Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Buttery Corn Bread Recipe

This has become my family's favorite homemade corn bread recipes.  We love Jiffy mix, but I would much rather make it from scratch.  I just never really know what's in the mixes.  I found this recipe online.  Sometimes I end up changing a few things to recipes.  This one needed no changes.  I included the link to where I found it. 

Buttery Corn Bread Recipe

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. Yield: 12-15 Servings

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1-2/3 cups 2% milk
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine the eggs and milk. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.  It will look a lot like cake batter. 

Bake at 400° for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm. Yield: 12-15 servings.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Marble Pound Cake

For Hannah's 12th birthday she wanted a marble cake.  I found a recipe online, and made a few changes after reading the reviews. 

Marble Pound Cake


2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups cake flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs (room temp)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.  Then add vanilla. 

2. Sift dry ingredients together.  

3.  Add dry ingredients and milk.  Alternating between dry and wet in 3 batches. 

4. Remove 2 1/2 cups batter and set aside.  

5.  Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to remaining mixture and mix well.  

6. Grease and flour bundt pan.  

7. Alternate white and chocolate mixture in layers into pan, 1 cup of each mix at a time.  

8. Using a butter knife, swirl to make marble effect. 

9. Bake 350° for 50-60 minutes until done.  

10.  Let sit 10 minutes then remove from pan into cooling rack.  Let cool completely.  

Homemade Chicken Noodles

Today is my daughter Hannah's 12th birthday.  My kids always request a meal for their special day.  Today, Hannah wanted chicken noodles.  

We started with a triple batch of noodles. 
So it's this recipe times three.  You can do it by hand, but I'm lazy, so I do it in the food processor in 3 batches. 


1 2/3 cup flour
2Tb butter
1tsp salt
2 eggs
4Tb  1/2 & 1/2

Mix flour, butter, salt  in food processor.  Beat eggs & 1/2 & 1/2, then add to food processor. 

Setting 5 on noodle roller. 

Then we lay the noodles out on the table, cut into strips, and let dry. 

While that is drying, I have the chicken bone broth thawing, along with the chicken thighs that will be cooked in the chicken broth.  

Heat the broth with the thighs (or whatever pieces you want) and bring to a boil then simmer until fully cooked, about an hour. 

Remove chicken and cool.  Then remove meat, chop, and set aside.  

Bring liquid to boiling and add noodles.  Cook 15-20 minutes, until al dente.  If you want thickened, mix 1/4 cup softened butter with 1/4 flour.  Add to liquid and stir until liquid boils.  Add chicken and serve. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Homemade Cranberry Sauce/Relish

Growing up, I had only had the canned jelly cranberry sauce.  As an adult, I found an interesting recipe in The Joy of Cooking cookbook.  Homemade cranberry relish.  Hmmmm.  That's interesting.  Using actual cranberries to make cranberry sauce/relish (I still call it sauce). I tried it, and it's been a huge hit. It's so easy, there's no reason for me to not make it.  I just do it the day before and chill it for our meal.  

I at least double it.  I like to buy 3 pound bags and make a huge batch and then can it.  My kids LOVE it on their pancakes throughout the year. 

Whole Cranberry Relish
The Joy of Cooking
Combine in a large skillet:
1 lb cranberries, picked over
2 c sugar (or 1 1/2 c honey)
1/2 c water
1/2 c orange juice
2 tsp gratedorange zest
Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until most of the cranberries pop open and the nixture is somewhat thickened, 7-10 minutes.
Let cool and serve, or refrigerate up to 1 day.
* makes about 3 cups

Holiday Ambrosia Salad

I don't make this often.  I love to eat it, but never seem to make it.  I don't know why.  I decided to make it this Thanksgiving. It's my own version.  I do like walnuts or pecans in it, but left them out since my daughter is allergic. 

Holiday Ambrosia Salad

1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 oranges pealed, segmented, and skinned OR 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 apple (fugi or honeycrisp are good), diced small
2 cups grapes, quartered
1 bag sweetened shredded coconut 
1 small bag mini marshmallows
16 oz Cool Whip, softened
1 single container key lime yogurt
4 oz sour cream

Combine in a large container and chill. 

Paula Dean's 'Ol Number 7 Yams

This is a must have every Thanksgiving.  It is our favorite way to eat sweet potatoes.  Even my pickiest kids love it. 

'Ol No. 7 Yams

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

4 large sweet potatoes 
3 cups water 
1 1/2 cups brown sugar 
4 tablespoons butter 
1 (3 to 4-inch) cinnamon stick 
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
1/3 cup bourbon (recommended: No. 7 Jack Daniels) *
1 long strip orange peel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash and dry sweet potatoes and bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly then remove skin from potatoes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. 

While the potatoes are baking, combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. 

Slice the potatoes 1/2-inch thick into a medium casserole dish. Pour syrup over them and return to the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. 

* Instead of JD we have also used spiced rum, and it turned out just as good. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

This is a recipe that was given to me by my mother-in-law.  It's very good, like a lemon cheesecake.  It makes 2 pies.  You'll want to start it the day before if possible. 

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
3 well-beaten eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 T. Butter or margarine
Dash of salt
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 4-serving package instant lemon pudding mix
2 baked 9-inch pie crusts
Whipped cream
In saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cornstarch.  Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly.  Reduce heat and stir for 2 minutes.
Beat about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks.  Transfer all the mixture back to the saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add 1/3 cup lemon juice, butter and salt.  Stir till butter melts.  Cover surface of mixture with clear plastic wrap and chill for 3 to 24 hours.
Beat together cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, 1/3 cup lemon juice and dry pudding mix.   Fold into chilled mixture.
Turn into prepared crusts.  Garnish with whipped cream.  Can decorate with lemon slices if you want it to look pretty before serving.
Makes 2 pies, 8 servings each.
***Note - you can freeze pies before topping with whipped cream.  When ready to serve, thaw and top with whipped cream.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Easy Crockpot Chili

Many times I do meatless, only because meat is so expensive. I do like to cube up some brisket or chuck roast and throw it in at the beginning, if I have some available.  

Easy Crockpot Chili

Add to the crockpot...

4 cups dried & rinsed beans

8 cups water

2 soda sized cans V8 juice (or can use tomato juice)

1 can tomatoes

1 onion, diced

1-2 tsp salt

1/4-1/2 cup chili powder

1 spoonful (about 1 Tbsp) cocoa powder

1/4-1/2 cup sugar

1-2 Tbsp molasses

Lid it and let it cook on high 10-12 hours, or until the beans are done. Stir it about 7 hours in.

I usually start it at bed time, and then once done, keep it on warm or low until dinner.

Serve topped with sour cream and cheese if you like.  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Secret Recipe Smoked Catfish

My husband has done this twice for us.  It's his secret recipe, and as soon as I pry it out of his mind (secretly write it down as I help him), I'll post it here. 

I can post the basics. 

Catch a catfish. 

Fillet it. 

Take the skin off and cut it into small, equal sized portions.  Add it to the brine (secret recipe here).  LOL

12 hours later, strain and rinse, then set out to dry until tacky (You do not want it wet.  Just sticky.).  

Smoke it 4-6 hours at 160°  (the large pieces was the carp)

Take off when done.  Eat and enjoy. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Impossible Coconut Pie - Dutch Oven Style

So, I've been seeing this recipe floating all over Facebook and Pinterest.  My first time seeing it was when my husband showed it to me.  He's a huge coconut fan, and wanted to try this out. 

We decided to do it a little different, and pulled out the old cast iron Dutch Oven.  We cleaned it up a little bit, buttered it up, and poured the batter in.  50 minutes later we had yummy coconut pie heaven!  It's a sweet coconut pie, with its own crust created as it cooks. 

We did end up doubling the original recipe so the kids could have a little taste.  Haha!  The recipe below us the single version, instead of my usual double sized version.  

Try this recipe!  It's a keeper!

Impossible Coconut Pie - Dutch Oven Style


4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
¾ cups sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup self-rising flour
cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate and set aside. In a large bowl, combine melted butter and sugar and whisk until incorporated. Add eggs and continue to whisk until smooth. Next add in the flour, coconut, milk and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Scrap the batter into the pie plate and bake in the lower third of the oven for 45-55 minutes, until the pie is fairly dark golden (will be darker at the edges) and firm to the touch. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool completely before serving. Store the pie covered in the refrigerator.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Crockpot Peach Cobbler

We purchased a 25 lb box of peaches the other day at the Amish store.  After days of eating peaches, peaches and yogurt, and peach smoothies, we ventured into peach cobbler.  

I didn't want to heat up the house with the oven, so I decided to try out the recipe (I think it's Paula Dean's) in the slow cooker.  I tinkered with the ingredients some, and it turned out peachy (pun intended). I like peach skins, so I always leave them on.  I feel it adds more flavor, and peeling them is a messy job I would rather avoid.  I loved it in this.  

Crockpot Peach Cobbler


4 cups sliced peaches

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup water

8 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

3/4 cups cream

3/4 cups milk

1/4 tsp Ground allspice


Preheat crockpot to High.  Add 8 Tbsp (1 stick) of unsalted butter to the crockpot.  Put the lid on, and let butter melt (about 10 minutes). 

Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a bowl and mix well. 

Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, allspice, cream, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Batter will rise to top during baking. Turn crockpot to Low and cook 2 1/2-3 1/2 hours (or until cake  portion is done). 

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fruit Smoothie Pops

Smoothie Pops

So, I was at Wal-Mart the other day (Yeah, I know.  Don't judge.  LOL) and saw these cute popsicle makers in the dollar section.  I have 8 kids, and there were 8 of these, so that was perfect!  Ok, so one of them doesn't actually eat food, but I get her popsicle, and she gets it by proxy.  

Anyway, what could I make my kids that's somewhat healthy?  Smoothies!  I add a bit more sugar than I would for an actual smoothie, but you can do more or less to your liking.  

Here's my Smoothie Pop recipe! 

Combine in a blender:

3 cups of frozen fruit (I use a tropical blend)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup water
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 drops almond extract

Blend on high about a minute, or until completely smooth.  Pour into popsicle molds.  Put on tops.  Freeze 2 hours, or until completely frozen.  Enjoy the leftover smoothie, as there is generally some left over!

Run under warm water a few seconds to help unmold.  Eat!  Great for a hot summer day. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies

This was my first attempt at baking gluten free brownies.  I came across the recipe, and decided to try it out.  

I was somewhat expecting a plain and uneventful brownie.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Even my husband, who is not into gluten free, liked them.  He ate several of them after I told him it was made with chickpeas.  "Chocolate Hummus Bars" he called it.  

As you can see in the picture, they didn't last very long.  

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed 
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spray a 9 x 9-inch pan with baking spray. Place chocolate chips in a double boiler and melt until smooth.

Combine beans and eggs in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients to food processor until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the baking pan and sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Cool in pan. These are best if they've had time to sit overnight (if you can wait). 

Yield: 16 squares

Source: Naturally Tasty author Gilda Mulero, Chef and Cooking Instructor

Friday, June 14, 2013

Easy Cheesy 3 Ingredient Crockpot Potatoes

My family loves potatoes.  They are an amazing food.  There are so many things that can done with them!  Here's one recipe I threw together the other night.  It disappeared rather quickly. 

5-6 large baking potatoes
8 oz bottle Itallian salad dressing
1 lb cheese; shredded

Slice potatoes thin.  Put in 6 Qt or larger crockpot.  Pour Italian dressing over potatoes and stir to mix.  

Add cheese, and mix well about 3 hours into cooking.  

Cook High 6-8 hours or Low 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender.  


Ice Mocha Frappé

I will be the first to admit that I drink way too much coffee.  It's my favorite drink.  Sometimes I'll sneak it into my food, like in the broth with a roast.  Ice Frappés are a yummy treat for me though.  

With minutes you can blend your own yummy frappé.  I like my coffee sweet, so if you don't like them quite as sweet, start with half the sugar and add more if needed.  

I start off with 1/2 cup coarse ground coffee in my French Press.  i add 28oz boiling water, stir, put the lid on (don't press the plunger), and set the timer for 4 minutes.  Every minute just give it a stir.  After 4 minutes, push the plunger down.  Strain and cool the coffee you plan to use for the frappé.  Drink the rest.  ;)

For the frappé:

1 1/2 cups coffee; chilled
1/2 cup milk (or 1/2 & 1/2)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
3 cups ice, plus more as desired
Whipped cream 


In a blender, puree coffee, milk, sugar, and ice. For a thicker consistency, add more ice and blend.  For mocha frappé, add chocolate sauce while blending.

Pour into 2 glasses, and top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce if desired. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hannah's Mock Pumpkin Pie

For some reason we were blessed with a surplus of 29 oz cans of yams in syrup.  Someone gave us a box of them last year.  Don't get me wrong.  I am a huge sweet potato and yam fan.  I generally eat them baked or in soups though.  So I was left with wondering what to do with all these canned yams in syrup. 

I gave my 11 year old daughter, Hannah, the idea and she went with it.  She wanted Pumpkin Pie, and it turned out amazing.  

2 eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (29 oz) yams in syrup
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 450°

Drain the yams; discard the syrup.  Mash the yams until smooth.  Mix in the flour, salt, sugar, and spices.  Mix in the slightly beaten egg, then slowly add the evaporated milk, mixing until well blended. Pour the batter into the unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 450° for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 325° and continue baking pie for an additional 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the mixture comes out clean.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Roasted Garlic

There is nothing better, and more practical, than roasted garlic.  It's easy, and it's healthy. 

Peel 4 bulbs of garlic
Put in an oven proof dish (I use a coffee cup) that is large enough to hold them all, but not too large
Pour extra virgin olive oil over garlic until just covering
Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the oil 

Bake 1 hour at 350°

When the garlic is tender and brown it is done.  If it over cooks, it will get hard.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Easy Crockpot Oatmeal

Some mornings it's nice to wake up and breakfast is already done. This is another great crockpot meal that is incredibly fast to prepare, and is really yummy.

Crockpot Oatmeal

4 cups oats (not quick cooking kind)
10 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine in crockpot.
Cover with lid.
Turn to warm for 8 hours.

It's a full crockpot of oatmeal. ;)

Add raisins, cranberries, fruit, peanut butter, or whatever strikes your fancy before serving.

Friday, April 26, 2013

No Bake Bar Cookies

No Bake Bar Cookies

2 cups sugar
4 Tb cocoa
1 stick butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats (rolled)

In heavy saucepan combine sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk. Bring to rolling boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Add vanilla and peanut butter. Stir quickly until combined. Add oats. Mix well, working fast before mixture cools.

Lightly butter/oil 9x13 pan. Spread and press cookie mixture into pan. Let cool completely. Cut into squares.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Crockpot Teriyaki Beef

We have a big family. This is the amount for 10 people, but we generally eat seconds and there's a little left over. In other words, this is about 15-20 servings (since my little ones get small servings).

Crockpot Teriyaki Beef

5 lbs Beef chuck roast; cubed inch pieces
1/2 a #10 can of Pineapple Tidbits with juice
1 - 12 oz jar Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste & Glaze
1 cup Brown sugar
6 cloves garlic; minced
2 cups Beef Broth
1 Tb sriracha sauce
1 tsp Sesame Chili Oil (found in Asian markets)
1/8 cup soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins)

Cube beef into inch pieces. Add to 6 Qt crockpot.

Put pineapple over top of beef chunks.

Mix all other ingredients. Pour over beef and pineapple. Cover with lid. Turn to high. Cook 4-6 hours, until beef is tender.

Serve over rice.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Italian Vegetable Soup

All I can say is this soup is a winner. It took no more than 30 minutes from serving the family to the crockpot being empty. I'd call that a good meal.

Italian Vegetable Soup

1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion; chopped
3 potatoes; diced
2 carrots; sliced
4 stalks celery; chopped
1 can red kidney beans (if using dried - 2 cups soaked and boiled)
1 can garbanzo beans (if using dried - 2 cups soaked and boiled)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
6 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Mrs Dash
1/2 tsp each dried Basil, Thyme, Parsley
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins)
5 Beef bullion cubes

Cook meat and onions together until meat is no longer pink and onions are translucent.

Prepare all vegetables.

Add everything to the crockpot. Mix well (especially the tomato paste).

Set crockpot to high. Cook 4-6 hours until all vegetables are done.

Season additionally if needed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vegetable Bake

There are so many variations to this recipe. Basically, throw in whatever vegetables you have lying around. There is no set amount to it. It's not a 'pretty' dish, but it tastes good.

I normally use:
2 lbs Brussels sprouts (stalk end cut off and Brussels sprout cut in half)
3 carrots
4 large or 6 small potatoes
1 lb mushrooms
1 lb green beans (fresh or frozen; not canned)
2-3 sweet potatoes
1 rutabaga
1 large onion
3 stalks celery

I may not put all of these in at once. It's pretty close though.

Preheat your oven to 425°

Chop the vegetables into 1 inch chunks. Put into a large roasting pan (something you roast your turkey in).

You can easily add meat to this. Cube cooked chicken, beef, pork, sausage, etc... Add to finished vegetables and mix well.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sloppy Joes

I'm not much of a fan of the canned sloppy joe concoction. However, I do like homemade sloppy joes. I like to tinker with it some. This is how we make them at home.

Sloppy Joes

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
1/4 cup chopped dehydrated onion
1 Tbsp worcherstershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Brown hamburger and sausage. Add onions, worchestershire sauce, and a little salt to meat. Add all other ingredients. Simmer 10 minutes.

Serve on buns.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pork Stew

When I cook in my slow cooker, I like to just throw it all together. I would rather let the crockpot do the cooking for me. Here's my recipe for pork stew, using raw pork, instead of browning it first.

Pork Stew

5 lb pork steak, cubed
5 small-medium potatoes, cubed
2 large carrots, quartered and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup frozen (or 1 can) peas
1 cup frozen (or 1 can) corn
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2-1 tsp Mrs Dash
1 bay leaf
2 cups water

Cube raw pork steak. Put in bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add 1/4 cup flour to pork. Stir until pork is covered with flour. Add bay leaf.

Add potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes on top of pork. Season with other 1/2 Tbsp salt, thyme, Mrs Dash, and Worcestershire sauce, and water.

Cover and cook Low 6-8 hours, or High 3-4 hours until meat and vegetables are tender.

When stew is finished, add 1 cup of frozen peas and 1 cup of frozen corn (or 1 can each - drained).

** I will stir the stew once at about 2 hours. That way the meat can be broken apart (as it sticks together), and all the vegetables are able to be submerged in the liquid. **