Monday, December 28, 2009

Menu Plan 12/28/09

Monday - ham, mashed potatoes, squash

Tuesday - chicken stir fry (lots of veggies - cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc)

Wednesday - pork BBQ, collard greens

Thursday - FIFI (find it, fix it) or cabbage & noodles, depending on how many leftovers we have

Friday - skillet hash, steamed veggies

Saturday - ham stromboli, steamed veggies

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Brownies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir until blended. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until set and lightly brown around edges.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Menu Plan 12/20/09

Sunday - FIFI (Find It, Fix It) a.k.a leftovers

Monday - hosting our Mary Kay Christmas party, I'm providing dessert

Tuesday - chicken, pasta, & veggies tossed in olive oil

Wednesday - pizza

Thursday - sandwiches and/or FIFI (we have to be at church at 5:00 to prepare for our Christmas Eve service; food needs to be self-service and on-the-go)

Christmas morning breakfast - omelets, fried taters, and biscuits

Saturday - salmon casserole & baked potatoes

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gingerbread Coffee

I've been craving all things gingerbread this holiday season. One of the ways I love taming this craving is in flavored coffee. Yum! First recipe if for Gingerbread coffee, and the second is for Gingerbread coffee creamer. Enjoy!

2 cups powdered coffee creamer

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cups instant coffee

Blend together with a whisk. Add 3 tablespoons of the mixture to a mug of hot water. Taste test to see if you want to use slightly rounded or level tablespoons.


2 cups Coffemate Powdered Creamer

1/2 c. packed DARK Brown sugar

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cloves

Blend well, add 1 Well Rounded tsp to Hot Coffee or Tea.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thanksgiving in a Crockpot

Wow. This is some good eats. A totally flexible meal depending on what you have on hand. Great for cleaning up leftovers too.

Chicken and Stuffing Crockpot Casserole

1 large sweet potato
2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken or turkey
2 cups homemade cream of something (or 1 can cream of chicken soup+1 canful milk, mixed together)
2-3 cups prepared bread stuffing (I had leftovers from Thanksgiving)

Layer ingredients in a 3-4 quart crockpot. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours. Enjoy!

UPDATED TO ADD: Depending on what vegetable you use, this is about 350 calories per serving.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vegetable Soup

1 (46 oz) can vegetable juice

1 small cabbage, shredded

or 1 lb. pkg ready-to-use coleslaw

1 green pepper, diced

or 1 cup frozen chopped green peppers

3 ribs celery, diced

1 med. onion, diced or 1 cup frozen chopped onion

2 cups frozen French-cut green beans

6 tsp chicken bouillon

1 tsp. garlic powder or use fresh garlic

Spray a slow cooker with nonfat cooking spray. In the slow cooker mix together the vegetable juice, cabbage, green pepper, celery, onion, green beans, chicken bouillon and garlic powder. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Note: If you want to have thicker soup, put a few cups into the blender, vegetables and all, blend, and then return the mix to the pot.

Yield: 12 (1-cup) servings

as seen in Busy People’s Slow Cooker Cookbook

Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Plan 11/30/09

Monday - turkey/spinach stromboli

Tuesday - turkey & sweet potato something-or-other (those are the main ingredients, haven't figured out what I'm doing with them yet!) UPDATED: I decide to go with creamed turkey over biscuits and baked sweet potatoes.

Wednesday - pasta, steamed veggies

Thursday - FIFI (Find It, Fix It)

Friday - soup and sandwiches

Saturday - goulash

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Butterscotch Brownies

I made these for a meeting this week, and they got rave reviews! I needed something quick, easy, and made with ingredients I had on hand, so I turned to my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook. These are so simple, it's almost embarrassing! No chocolate in these brownies, but they are G-O-O-D!!

For more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday kitchen tips and recipes, click over to Blessed with Grace. And don't forget to visit my main blog, Not a DIY Life.

Butterscotch Brownies
1/4 cup shortening (I used real butter, don't be afraid of butter, people!)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of an 8x8x2 square pan.

2. Melt shortening (ahem, butter) in 1.5 quart saucepan over low heat, remove from heat when melted. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla, and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in pan.

3. Bake 25 minutes. Cool slightly in pan on wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares while still warm.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Menu Plan 11/23/09

Easy week for planning, since most of the Thanksgiving Day planning was finished weeks ago!

Monday - pork bbq/sweet potato crock pot meal

Tuesday - pasta, steam veggies

Wednesday - pumpkin soup (something like this recipe, but I may make substitutions) (why do most Food Network recipes call for ingredients that I don't usually keep in my kitchen???)


Fried Turkey
Broccoli/Cauliflower Salad
Green Beans
Pumpkin Pie
Strawberry Torte
(and a pumpkin hummus appetizer)

Friday - turkey noodle soup, sandwiches

Saturday - creamed turkey over biscuits

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Pizza Dough

I have been meaning to post my recipe for pizza dough for the longest time. We usually have a weekly pizza night; for the fall and football season, it is Sunday night.

I started with a standard dough recipe and have tweaked it for our tastes. And of course, I'm using my trusty bread machine!

A few notes: yes, it really does need the baking powder. It is much too chewy without it. Also, we found that the ratio of 3:1 bread flour to whole wheat flour is just right for us. I add the ground flax meal for added nutrition, but you can certainly leave that out if you want.

For more recipes and kitchen ideas, visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

My Pizza Dough

1 1/3 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp ground flax meal
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Add all ingredients to your bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Choose the dough setting.

After the dough has finished rising in the machine, remove from pan and knead 4-6 turns on a lightly floured surface. Roll out with a rolling pin. Transfer to baking stone and finish preparing your pizza as desired*. Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes.

*Here's how I finish our pizza. After transferring the dough to the baking stone, I rub a little bit of olive oil over the entire dough then spread my pizza sauce. Because I use regular spaghetti sauce, I doctor it up a bit by sprinkling Italian seasoning and either minced garlic or garlic powder over the sauce. Then top with cheese, other toppings, and a little more Italian seasoning.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Menu Plan 11/16/09

Monday - chicken tortillas, steamed veggies

Tuesday - pasta and steamed veggies tossed with olive oil and parmesan cheese (the toddler is going through a "no sauce" phase)

Wednesday - breakfast for dinner

Thursday - FIFI (find it, fix it)

Friday - sandwiches and soup

Saturday - ???

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan 11/09/09

I'm post dating this menu plan because I am trying to keep track of the meals we are eating, especially when I run out of ideas!

Monday - leftover ziti

Tuesday - chicken, mashed potatoes, corn

Wednesday - chicken stir fry with brown rice

Thursday - FIFI (find it, fix it a.k.a. leftovers)

Friday - grilled cheese and homemade chicken noodle soup

Saturday - chicken bbq

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cottage Dill Bread

My mom has been visiting the past few weeks. She brought with her some dill seed that she had dried from her own garden and said that she wanted to make dill bread while she was here. So I googled a recipe, tweaked it a little, and here's what we made.

You can either use the basic bread cycle or use the dough cycle, then remove the dough shape it into a loaf and bake in a 350 degree oven. It's great bread; the dill and the onion are not overbearing - it's just right!

For more recipes and kitchen tips, visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Cottage Dill Bread
  • 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast


  1. Measure ingredients into the machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Basic Bread cycle.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Menu Plan 11/02/09

Trying to get back on track with menu planning and posting new recipes. Here's our plan for the week.

Monday - Amish Chicken Noodle Casserole

Tuesday - pulled pork and sweet potatoes (bought a Boston butt on markdown last week, so it is already cooked. should be at least three meals for us!)

Wednesday - Mom's potato soup (recipe coming soon!)

Thursday - grilled cheese and carrot sticks (music practice night, need a quick dinner with easy clean up)

Friday - chicken stir fry

Saturday - not sure yet

Sunday - homemade pizza night!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu Plan 10/5/09

Sunday night has become pizza family night while watching football. I like this change in routine!

The rest of the week:

Monday - Chicken stuffing casserole

Tuesday - FIFI (find it, fix it a.k.a. leftover night) lots of leftovers from the weekend

Wednesday - spaghetti and meatballs

Thursday - grilled cheese sandwiches and carrot sticks (Need a fast, easy-to-clean up supper as we have music practice at church)

Friday - crockpot enchillada casserole (new recipe, if it works, I'll share!)

Saturday - undecided (we'll be eating lunch at a friend's memorial service/home-going party, so I'm not sure we'll want supper!) (yes, she wanted us to have a party after her memorial service! actually, a birthday party to celebrate that she has been born into heaven)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I have been wanting to attempt making our own tortillas for sometime. They are so versatile! So I finally did this week. Oh, and they were wonderful!

I'm linking this post to Fearless Friday at Home-Ec 101. If I look familiar, keep in mind this is a secondary blog for me. My main blog is Not a DIY Life.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup warm water

1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix the oil and water together in a small bowl (I actually measured the water in my glass measuring cup then added the oil; saved a dish!)

2. Slowly add the water/oil mixture to the dry ingredients by the tablespoon, mixing until the water has been incorporated before adding another tablespoon. When all of the water has been added, you will have a very sticky glob.

3. Flour your kneading area and plop your glob (very technical term, I know) on it. Begin kneading your glob, adding flour as needed. Knead for 4-5 minutes until you have a smooth ball. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.

4. After the dough has rested, pinch off golf ball size portions and lay out on a flat surface. Make sure the dough balls are not touching. Cover with towel and allow to rest for another 10 minutes.

5. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. No oil is necessary. Taking one dough ball at a time, flatten the ball on your kneading surface then use a well-floured rolling pin to roll out the tortilla until 1/8 inch thick. (They will be irregular shaped. If that bothers you, then trim the edges.)

6. Place your rolled out tortilla in the preheated skillet. Cook 30 seconds on each side. Keep warm on a plate with a towel. Best if served immediately but they can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer if necessary. (They didn't last long enough to need the freezer!)

Makes approximately 10 tortillas, depending on the size

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recipes I Want to Try

and maybe you will too!

Tasty Toaster Tarts

Mock Crab Cakes

Brilliant Blondies by the Sneaky Chef

Chocolate Chip Shortbread - yum!

The Best Biscuits Ever

This recipe is a combination of several good recipes that I have tweaked. The result? Seriously, the best biscuits ever! Well, except for Susie's biscuits in South Charleston, West Virginia. If you have had those, you know that they can never be topped. (Except with egg, cheese, bacon, or maybe steak.)

Another great biscuit recipe that I don't dare tweak because it's also pretty darn good is this buttermilk biscuit recipe from Christy at Southern Plate.

The Best Biscuits Ever

3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup cold butter
1 cup cold milk (a little more or less, as needed)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender or by criss-crossing two knives. Mixture will be crumbly.

Add milk and mix until just combined. Add more milk by the tablespoon as needed until your dough is slightly sticky.

Next, you can either roll out the biscuit dough or drop dough onto a baking sheet. I don't like rolling out dough, so I usually do drop biscuits.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown. (I forgot to time them last time, so if this is different, I'll update this post next time I make them.) (And I'll try to remember to take a picture next time too!)

Makes 11-12 biscuits, depending on size.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Menu Plan 9/7/09

Monday - pan fried steak, gravy, mashed potatoes, salad (steak is leftover from our fondue night this past weekend)

Tuesday - homemade macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli

Wednesday - spaghetti and meatballs, steamed veggies

Thursday - crockpot chicken, steamed veggies

Friday - creamed chicken over biscuits

Saturday - homemade pizza

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Making Banana Chips without a Food Dehydrator

I have wanted a food dehydrator for a few years now. I'd love to make dried apples, bananas, even try making beef jerkey for Hubby to enjoy. (I think I'll be asking for one for Christmas!)

I ran across a post somewhere last week, I'm sorry I can't remember where I saw it. It gave simple instructions on how to dry bananas without a food dehydrator. I was so excited! I knew I had to try this. And I took pictures, so this is my very first tutorial post - just for y'all to enjoy!

First, peel your banana and make thin slices. Not too thin or they will wither into nothingness. Not too thick or they will take too long to dry.
Next, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. I'm using a small rectangular baking stone that fits perfectly in my toaster oven. One banana fits on this baking stone, with just a few slices left over.
Then, place them in a 200 degree oven. Check on them after an hour. Then every fifteen minutes or so, to make sure you don't burn them. This batch took exactly two hours.
Immediately remove them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. They do not take long to cool, but they will probably stick to the baking sheet if you let them cool on it.

Voila! Banana chips!

I would suggest that you store your banana chips in an airtight container, but ours didn't even last the afternoon. They were enjoyed by the toddler, my Hubby, and myself!

I found that these were very sweet and did not need any sugar. If you don't want them to brown, I guess you could dip them in lemon juice before baking. Don't soak them, or your drying time will be longer.

For more great kitchen tips, visit Lisa at Blessed with Grace for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan 8/31/09

I need to recycle a few meals from last week since we didn't get to them.

Monday - breakfast for dinner

Tuesday - tuna noodle casserole

Wednesday - spaghetti & meatballs

Thursday - creamed chicken over biscuits

Friday - family birthday dinner for one of our nieces

Saturday - homemade pizza night!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Menu Plan 8/24/09

I'm going to try to post a weekly menu, not only for easy reference, but so that I keep a record of what I'm cooking. When you menu plan on paper, that paper gets thrown away and then you have no idea what you've been making from week to week. (At least, that happens to me.)

We occasionally have a leftover night (called FiFi in our house, which means "Find It, Fix It"), but we also use leftovers for lunch. So I don't usually plan a FiFi night.

Monday - crockpot chicken, pasta, steamed veggies

Tuesday - Heather's meatloaf, roasted potatoes and carrots

Wednesday - creamed chicken over biscuits, steamed veggies

Thursday - homemade pizza night

Friday - spaghetti, steamed veggies

Saturday - breakfast for supper

Saturday, August 22, 2009

White Pizza

This is one of my favorite ways to fix pizza! When I was growing up, I was not a fan of tomatoes or tomato products, so anytime I could order white pizza, I was all over it!

We usually have a once-a-week pizza night, and although my Hubby is a fan of more traditional pizza with lots of meat toppings, I think I need to convince him to let me make this every so often. It's so good!

White Pizza

your favorite pizza crust
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella
2 Tbs grated parmesan
1 Tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the ricotta and garlic together in a small bowl. Place pizza crust on baking stone or pizza pan. Spread ricotta mixture over crust. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Add additional toppings as desired. (My experience is to keep the toppings simple. My favorite is cooked and drained spinach!)

Drizzle olive oil over pizza toppings. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your crust. Cool slightly before slicing.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Easy Cream Cheese Pasta and Chicken

I wanted to make my yummy Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken, but I didn't have all the right ingredients. So I improvised!

First, I didn't have any boneless skinless chicken breasts; all I had was chicken leg quarters (yay for 49cents/lb chicken!). I didn't have any Italian seasoning or cream of chicken soup either. I'm trying to use less processed foods in my cooking. And I didn't want to mess up another pan just to make a white sauce!

This was very yummy! I'll definitely make this again!

Easy Cream Cheese Pasta and Chicken

4 chicken leg quarters (or use whatever chicken you have on hand)

8 oz spaghetti noodles
2 T. butter
4 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
1 T. milk

1. In the morning, put your chicken in the crockpot with about 1 cup of water. Sprinkle with a little bit of your favorite seasonings. I use seasoning salt. Cook on low 8 hours or high 6 hours.

2. A half hour before eating, cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain and reserve until after next step.

3. In the same pot over low heat, melt butter. Stir in cream cheese, seasonings, and milk. Allow the cream cheese to melt. Add a bit more milk if you like a looser sauce. I wasn't going for a sauce that you can pour, just a sauce that would stick to the noodles.

4. Return noodles to pot and toss to coat with sauce.

5. To serve, pile de-boned chicken, noodles, and your choice of steamed vegetables on your plate. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Easy Stromboli

I've been looking for some new recipes to shake up our usual rotation. This stromboli recipe is great, and flexible with ingredients. Use your favorite pizza crust recipe or the kind you buy in the tube in the refrigerated section.

We used chicken, broccoli, and onion as our filler the first time. We're looking forward to trying a sausage, green pepper, onion combination next. The original recipe calls for turkey or chicken and spinach, but you can use whatever meat and veggies you like or have on hand. Only limited by our imagination!

Easy Stromboli

2 cups shredded or cubed chicken or turkey
1 pkg frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

your favorite pizza crust recipe or 1 pkg (11 oz.) refrigerated thin crust pizza crust
1 cup pasta sauce, divided
1 cup shredded cheese (we used a mozzarella/cheddar combination)
2 tsp low-fat milk
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Roll your crust out into approximately a 14″x12″ rectangle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon half the sauce down the center, lengthwise, leaving 3″ on either side. Layer spinach, turkey, and cheese over sauce. Cut 12 strips on both sides of crust. Fold strips over filling, so they overlap. Brush with milk and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (You don't need to cut the strips, but it makes it look pretty.)

3. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve with more sauce for dipping.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Strawberry Pie

It's strawberry season, y'all! This time of year, I can eat strawberries for every meal and not get tired of them. Usually, I like to make strawberry rhubarb pie, but I didn't have any rhubarb this weekend. So I adapted the recipe for just strawberries - yummmmmmm!

Strawberry Pie

4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup tapioca
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all together in a medium bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or lard
4-5 tablespoons cold water

(This makes 2 crusts.) Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture using a pastry blender or by criss-crossing two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add cold water by tablespoon until all flour is wet and pulls away from bowl. Form into a ball.

Divide dough in half. Roll half of dough out on a floured board with a floured rolling pin. Roll dough back onto pin to transfer to 9 inch glass pie pan. Trim excess dough.

Pour filling into pie shell. Dot with small pats of butter. Roll remaining half of dough out and transfer to pie plate to cover filling. Trim dough and crimp edges with bottom crust. Make a few small slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until crust is lightly browned and filling bubbles slightly. (You may want to place a baking sheet until the pie pan to catch any drips!)

Allow to cool completely before serving. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Granola Bars

I found this "recipe" on one of my new favorite blogs, Health Begins With Mom. Her instructions are for actual granola, with a footnote on how to make granola bars. Since I've made granola bars twice in the last two weeks, I decided to list the recipe here for easier reference.

Granola Bars

6 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup plain yogurt

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)
1-2 cups chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts)

1 cup oil (I generally use 1/2 cup melted butter & 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt (reduce amount if nuts are salted)
2 eggs, beaten

The night before, mix oats, flour, and yogurt together with your hands. Break up lumps as much as possible. Loosely cover and place bowl on the counter. Allow to soak at least 7 hours.

Break up clumps and add coconut, seeds, and nuts.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, honey, vanilla, and salt, and stir until well combined. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until combined.

Spread in a 9x13 inch pan and bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven. Remove from oven when starting to brown around the edges. Allow to cool slightly, and cut into bars while still warm.

Variations: Add 1/2 cup melted peanut butter when using peanuts for a peanut-y granola bar. Or if you like cinnamon, add 2 tsp. cinnamon with the dry ingredients.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Amish Chicken Noodle Casserole

This is a great dish to use up leftover chicken. The week after I wrote this post about my frugal $5 chicken, I got two more whole chickens for $7 - for both of them! So we've been eating a lot of chicken lately! I cooked them in the crockpot, with about 4 cups of water, a couple of bay leaves, and some seasoning salt. Then I shredded the leftover chicken and froze it in ziploc bags, 2 1/2 cups to each bag. I also froze the broth in 2 cup amounts.

That has made meal planning very simple lately. Just pull out a bag of chicken and a bag of broth in the morning, and they were ready for this casserole in the afternoon.

I asked Hubby for some ideas of what meals he would like, and chicken and noodles was one of his choices. I had remembered having a chicken noodle casserole when I was a teen during a visit to an Amish farm. Of course, they had homemade noodles in their casserole. If you have time to make homemade noodles, go for it. I just haven't had that kind of time with a toddler underfoot! (Although I would like to try that again soon.)

The only thing I changed with this recipe is that I omitted the mushrooms (due to my allergy) and used peas instead. It turned out great!

Amish Chicken Noodle Casserole


  • 8 ounces noodles, cooked
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
  • 2 cups chicken broth (canned is ok)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


1. Melt margarine, then add flour and stir until smooth.
2. Gradually add milk and broth, then seasonings and mushrooms.
3. Combine chicken, cooked noodles, and prepared sauce.
4. Place in an ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking pan and top with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake at 350ºF for 35-45 minutes, or until heated thoroughly and top is browned slightly.
Nutritional Info:
Makes 8 servings
Calories: 281; Fat: 4 grams; Carbs: 48 grams; Fiber: 6 grams; Protein: 14 grams 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Creamed Chicken over Biscuits

This meal has a lot of different names; a few of them shouldn't be repeated on a food blog, as they may cause you to lose your appetite. My Hubby's family called this S.O.S. (sh** on a shingle).

Whatever you call this, it's a great way to stretch your food budget. I cooked a chicken in the crockpot this week and will be using the broth and leftover chicken from that to make this for our dinner tonight. Good comfort food that is frugal too - can't beat that!

I use whatever vegetables I have on hand: fresh veggies go in at the beginning, frozen veggies later. This a great way to use up whatever odds and ends of frozen veggies you might have hanging around. And use whatever type of meat you have: chicken, turkey, or even chipped beef or chipped ham.

For more recipes, please visit Carol who hosts Saturday Stirrings.

Creamed Chicken over Biscuits

2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
(a few Tbs of milk if you like your gravy on the creamy side)
1-2 cups shredded chicken
your favorite biscuits or toast

1. Start by making a roux in a medium saucepan: melt butter over medium high heat, being careful not to let the butter get brown. Add flour and whisk together for 1 minute, until flour starts to have a "nutty" smell.

2. If you are using fresh vegetables, add them to roux at this point, whisking continually. Cook for 2 more minutes.

3. While continuing to whisk, add the broth slowly. Whisk until all flour lumps are gone, then stir occasionally until broth begins to thicken. If you are using frozen vegetables, add them at this point. Add milk and shredded chicken and continue to stir until gravy has reached desired thickness.

4. Serve over your favorite biscuits or toast.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lima Bean Casserole

Can't believe I didn't share this recipe during the Lazarus Project. I really like the lima beans and tomatoes together - what a great combination of flavors! This is a great side dish to jazz up a regular weeknight meal.

For more recipes, check out Saturday Stirrings.

Lima Bean Casserole

1 pkg lima frozen lima beans (28 oz)
1-14.5 oz can tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Prepare beans according to package directions; drain well. In saucepan, combine tomatoes and cracker crumbs, heat for 2 minutes. Add beans, onion, pepper, and cheese; mix well. Pour mixture into a 8x8 casserole. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Red Beans, Sausage, and Rice

Another Lazarus Project recipe, courtesy of blogging friend and Twitter peep, Lisa. I left her notes intact. Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

Red beans, Sausage, & Rice
2 cups dried red beans
1 T Creole seasoning
1 tsp salt
cold water
2 T canola oil
2 links sausage, cut lengthwise & then into 1/2 inch half-moons (calls for andouie, we use turkey sausage)
6 cloves garlic, peeled & cut into thin slivers (or pre-minced from the jar)
4 scallions, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces (we just use onions, actually)
4 cups just-cooked rice
salt, pepper, tabasco sauce to taste

1. Combine the beans, creole seasoning, and salt in a saucepan, add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to ta boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender & falling apart (between 45 minutes & a couple hours, usually).

2. Remove from heat and allow the beans to cool in the cooking liquid. (Can be prepared to this point up to 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate when the beans are cool.)

3. While the beans are cooling, heat the oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage begins to brown, 5-7 minutes. Lower heat to med and add the garlic and onions (or scallions). Cook, stirring, until the onions start to soften (5-7 minutes). Season, to taste, with tabasco, salt, & pepper.

4. To serve, stir beans together with rice.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Beef Goulash

This week, our church has challenged us to participate in the Lazarus Project. This is a great frugal meal that I'll be making tonight. I knew Hubby couldn't go the entire week without meat so here is one meal idea that is inexpensive yet will keep the carnivores in your life happy.

I'll be posting more frugal meal ideas all week long, including some great beans and rice recipes that my tweeps (my Twitter peeps) shared. Please feel free to come back and visit every day this week!

For more recipes or kitchen tips, please visit Lisa who hosts Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Beef Goulash

  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1 15 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1/2 cup water or beef broth
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp brown sugar or honey
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 lb. pasta

In skillet, brown and drain ground beef. In large saucepan, place beef, water or broth, carrots and canned tomatoes. Cover with paprika, cloves, salt/pepper and brown sugar/honey. Bring to a boil.

In small bowl, whisk flour and 1/4 cup water. It will form a thin paste. Add the paste into the beef mixture. Stir well. Reduce heat. Simmer until carrots are cooked through. Add sour cream and heat through. Let simmer to allow excess water to boil off if necessary.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Serve goulash beef over or mixed in with pasta with side of favorite veggie!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lima Bean Ragout w/ Tomato and Thyme

Our church will be challenging members to participate in the Lazarus Project for one week during Lent this year. (Basic idea is to eat as the poor do for five days, then donate the money not spent on lavish meals to help relieve hunger.)

We are not real keen on beans in this household. Other than the usual, unfortunate side effects, the sulphur in most beans will trigger migraines for me. So I did some internet digging to find some inexpensive meals that we could sustitute for the usual beans and rice fare.

We love lima beans, so this will definitely be on our menu plan for that week (March 1-6). I will be posting some more traditional beans and rice recipes in this week as well!

Lima Bean Ragout w/ Tomato and Thyme

· 4 lbs fresh lima beans, shelled, or 2 packages frozen lima beans, thawed

· 2 tablespoons olive oil

· 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, then diced

· 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

· 3 cloves garlic, minced

· 1 bay leaf

· 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

· 1/4 teaspoon salt

· 1 cup vegetable stock or broth

· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the lima beans and cook until just tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomato, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and salt and saute until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the cooked lima beans and simmer, uncovered, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

I love stuffed peppers, but I hate all the work of actually stuffing the peppers. So adapted my mom's stuffed pepper recipe to be a casserole instead. Can't believe I haven't shared this before now!

Don't forget to visit Lisa at Blessed with Grace for more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday recipes and kitchen tips!

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey

1/2 cup onion -- chopped

1 can diced tomatoes -- 26 oz. can

1 large green pepper -- chopped

1/2 cup long-grain rice -- uncooked

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup cheddar cheese -- shredded

In a skillet, brown beef; drain. Transfer to a greased 2 quart casserole. Add the next 8 ingredients. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour or until rice is tender. Uncover and sprinkle with the cheese; return to the oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Or assemble casserole in your crockpot. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours. Top with cheddar cheese 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Baked Crab Rangoon

Hubby and I love to treat ourselves to some take-out Chinese about once a month. One of our favorite things to order is Crab Rangoons. Funny story about crab rangoons: when we were engaged, we both worked for the same company. One of our favorite places to eat was the local Chinese place that had a lunch buffet. We would eat lunch there at least once a week with our co-workers, one of whom was a good, old West Virgina gal. Instead of "rangoons," she would always call them "magoons." So her nickname became "Magoon."

Anyway, we love crab rangoons. But I don't like eating fried foods, and I have noticed that our local Chinese place isn't putting as much filling in the them. So I'll be making these when we want that special treat!

I received this recipe in an e-mail; it's from the Krafts foods website. Don't forget to visit Carol, the host of Saturday Stirrings, for more great recipes!

NOTES: This makes a lot of filling, so I would suggest that you can make 18 rangoons instead of just 12. And I'm going to add some garlic next time too! Overall, this tastes a lot like my favorite take-out place.


Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 40 min

Makes: 12 servings, 1 won ton each

1 can (6 oz.) white crabmeat, drained, flaked

4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, softened

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup KRAFT Light Mayo Reduced Fat Mayonnaise

12 won ton wrappers

HEAT oven to 350°F. Mix crabmeat, Neufchatel cheese, onions and mayonnaise.

SPRAY 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Gently place 1 won ton wrapper in each cup, allowing edges of wrappers to extend above sides of cups. Fill evenly with crabmeat mixture.

BAKE 18 to 20 min. or until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through. Serve warm. Garnish with chopped greenonions, if desired.

For a Crispier Rangoon:

Bake won ton wrappers in muffin cups at 350°F for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Fill evenly with crabmeat mixture and bake 6 to 8 min. or until filling is heated through.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Whole Wheat Applesauce Waffles

I found this on The Cookbook Junkie, and I'm making these today. I'll be putting the extras in the freezer for quick snacks during the week.

Don't forget to visit Carol for more Saturday Stirrings recipes!

UPDATED TO ADD: I use honey instead of sugar. I have a Belgian waffle maker and this makes 6 waffles for me. 194 calories per waffle without syrup

Whole Wheat Applesauce Waffles
Have Your Cake And Eat It Too Copyright 1993

butter-flavor no stick cooking spray
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
3 tablespoons nonfat vanilla or plain yogurt
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup or granulated sugar
¼ cup toasted wheat germ
¾ cup 1% milk, or as needed
½ cup unsifted all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour or buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pure maple syrup, warmed

1. Lightly coat the waffle iron with the cooking spray. Preheat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, and yogurt. Beat in the applesauce, corn syrup or sugar, wheat germ and milk.
3. Set a strainer over the bowl and add both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, With a spoon, stir and sift the dry ingredients onto the wet ingredients. Mix well. (If the mixture must stand for any length of time, you may need to add a little more milk, a tablespoon at a time.)
4. Spoon the batter onto the bottom panel of the waffle iron, close it gently, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes (models vary in timing), until the jaws can be opened easily. If the iron sticks, the waffle is not yet baked through. When the waffle is done, use a fork to gently pry it up. Repeat until all the batter is used. You should have to regrease the surface only rarely, but if the waffles seem to stick, lightly spray the waffle iron again. Serve the waffles hot, with the warm maple syrup.

Makes 15 4-inch waffles. Per waffle with 1 tablespoon syrup: 133 cal, 3 g pro, 3 g fat, .4 g sat fat, 26 g carbs, 111 mg sodium, 15 mg chol

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yum Yum Brownie Muffins

Another great recipe from Hungry Girl! I will never make a regular brownie mix again! This makes a wonderful, cake-like brownie. Definitely Yum Yum!!

Yum Yum Brownie Muffins

(1 Muffin, or 3 minis - 181 calories, 3.5g fat, 37g carbs, 2g, fiber, 2g protein - 4 WW points)

This super-simple 2-ingredient recipe is a Weight Watchers Fave!

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 can solid pack pumpkin (15 oz.)

Mix the two ingredients together. Don't add anything else that may be mentioned on the box, such as eggs, oil, or water. The mixture will be very thick and you will be tempted to add in other things to make the batter smoother. DO NOT DO THIS AS IT WILL RUIN EVERYTHING! Place batter into muffin tins (or mini muffin tins) lined with paper, or sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 12 regular or 36 mini muffins.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mom's Homemade Mac n Cheese

Yes, I have a wonderful crockpot Mac N Cheese recipe. But sometimes I need a little comfort food, just like Mom would make. Mom's recipe is more of a method; I don't think she really measures quantities for this. I've done my best to guess measurements!

Click here for more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday posts!

Mom's Homemade Mac n Cheese

3 cups macaroni
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
salt and pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese (I usually use 1 c cubed Velveeta and 1 c shredded cheddar)

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
2. When you drop the macaroni to cook, it's time to start the cheese sauce so that the two are done approximately the same time.
3. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Do not allow butter to brown. Stir in flour until it forms a paste. Cook and stir for one minute. (You've just made a "roux.") (you can use a whisk of some sort for this.)
4. Add milk to saucepan, stir to remove lumps, increase heat to medium high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Stir often (almost continuously, but not quite) until sauce begins to thicken. Add cheese and continue stirring until all the cheese has melted.
6. Hopefully by this point, your macaroni is cooked. Drain macaroni and return to pot. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and stir gently to combine.

There you have it - Mom's Homemade Mac n Cheese!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crockpot Walnut Stuffed Apples

To me, there is no better dessert on a cold night than baked apples! This recipe is easy, versatile, and delicious!

For more Saturday Stirrings recipes, don't forget to visit Carol!


large sweet apples

1/8 cup raisins per apple

1/8 cup chopped walnuts per apple

1/8 tsp. cinnamon per apple

1/4 tsp. sugar per apple

1/2 tsp. canola oil per apple

Core apple(s). Arrange in crockpot. Mix filling (the remaining ingredients). Stuff apples, packing tightly. Pile extra filling on top. Add a small amount of water to the pot & cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. Can also be baked in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve hot.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara

When we were out of town in early January, we had dinner at a friend's house. She made spaghetti carbonara, which I had heard of but had never tried. It was wonderful, and Hubby asked me to make it for him at home.

I asked another friend of mine, who is Italian, if she had a good recipe/method for making carbonara, but she had never made it. So I searched the interwebz. I read a lot of recipes, and combined what I read to make spaghetti carbonara this week.

It was absolutely wonderful and will be making many repeat appearances at our dinner table! The eggs, olive oil, and parmesan cheese combine to make a wonderful sauce. Using turkey bacon makes it a healthier option. Serve with a salad or side of veggies.

And don't forget to visit Carol, our host for Saturday Stirrings.

Spaghetti Carbonara

1 lb spaghetti
olive oil
8 slices of bacon, diced (I used turkey bacon)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat. If you use turkey bacon, you might need to add olive oil. When bacon is halfway done, add onions and saute until translucent. For last minute of cooking, add minced garlic.
3. While spaghetti and bacon are cooking, beat 2 eggs in a small bowl. Before draining spaghetti, add about 1 cup of spaghetti water to eggs to temper. (This will heat up the eggs without causing them to scramble.)
4. When spaghetti has reached desired tenderness (I prefer mine al dente), drain spaghetti and return to pot. Toss with olive oil. Do not return to heat! Immediately, pour beaten eggs over hot spaghetti. Toss quickly to coat spaghetti and allow the heat of the noodles to slightly cook the eggs.
5. Add bacon mixture (you can drain off most of the grease, but I didn't since I used the turkey bacon and there wasn't much grease to begin with) to the spaghetti. Toss to combine.
6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and toss one more time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pineapple Banana Muffins

I love to have homemade goodies around for snacks. Other than being the primary care giver for our daughter, my favorite thing about staying home is being in the kitchen. So in my quest for healthier eating habits, I am adapting and experimenting with some of our favorite recipes. And I'm having fun!

There are a lot of substitutions you can make to "healthify" your favorite baked goods. In this recipe, I decreased the sugar, subbed whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour, and subbed unsweetened applesauce for part of the oil. Hubby says this is the best muffin recipe yet!

This recipe made about 80 mini muffins for me. And my wonderful Hubby calculated the calories to be approximately 50 calories per mini muffin. And he says he doesn't like math!

And don't forget to visit Carol for more Saturday Stirrings recipes!

Pineapple Banana Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups mashed ripe bananas

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. (I don't like to use muffin liners; I feel that it wastes good muffiny-ness!)
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Mix eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract thoroughly. Stir in pineapple and bananas.
4. Fill each muffin about 3/4 full with batter.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, depending on your oven.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Zippy Pineapple-Carrot Smoothie

I will be trying to post more health-conscious recipes this year. I started this blog to record a lot of our family favorites. Since a lot of those recipes are my grandma's and her twin's, they don't usually fall into the "healthy" category. I will still post those from time to time.

But I will be trying new recipes and will post them here to share. I'll try to keep them simple, since that's the type of cook I am! I can't deal with complicated recipes or recipes that call for hard-to-find ingredients. I haven't tried this yet, as we just got back from an out-of-town trip, and I don't have any ginger right now. But this sounds really yummy!

Don't forget to check out more great recipes at Saturday Stirrings today! I found this recipe on the Eat Right 4 Your Type website.

Zippy Pineapple-Carrot Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup milk (the recipe calls for soy milk, but I haven't made that switch yet)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
  • honey, to taste

How to make it:
  1. Place all ingredients in blender container and blend until everything is smooth.
  2. Add ice if you like it frosty.
  3. The ginger adds some 'zip' to it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Heather's Meatloaf

I made this for our dinner tonight. It was scrump-dilly-icious! My mom always made the best meatloaf when I was growing up. It was an oft-recurring dinner - meatloaf, baked potatoes, and green beans. Yum!

I like using ground turkey instead of ground beef because there won't be much fat to collect around the loaf.

For more recipes, don't forget to visit Saturday Stirrings, hosted by Carol at I Throw Like a Girl.

Heather's Meatloaf

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb sweet Italian ground sausage
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup milk (start with 1/4 cup, add more if you need more moisture)
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp paprika
handful of leftover crackers, crushed

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands. Make sure everything is well combined. Form into two loaves, either using 9x5 loaf pans, or free form on a lipped cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your loaves. Remove from oven, allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Top with Heinz 57, or, if you must, ketchup (yuck). This is a moist, flavorful meatloaf and does not need much additional flavoring. Just my opinion. Keep it pure, people!