Friday, September 30, 2011

Mexican Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

We love any kind of Mexican food at our house. This looked good and easy to make. It was! If you think it would be too spicy, use provolone or mozzarella cheese, but use the taco seasoning on the outside.
Mexican Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices of white bread
4-oz of Mexican prepared cheese (I used pepper jack) sliced thin
2 Tbs soft butter or margarine
1 tsp Taco spice mix ( season to taste, that amount maybe too hot )
1/2 cup of thick and chunky salsa

Mix the butter and spice mix to blend. Butter one side of the bread with the butter blend. Place down flat on a hot griddle . Top with some cheese. Butter remaining slices of bread. Grill till toasted and Gooey ~ Serve with a bowl of salsa

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thai Chicken in Peanut sauce (crock pot)

Many years ago, Don and I were in a 'Dinner for 6 ' group at our church in Green Bay. One night, Mike Mentzel made noodles with peanut butter in it. I fell in love! I didn't know that was considered Thai food. I found this recipe and knew I had to try it. Jenna was home from school and everyone gave it a thumbs up.

Thai Chicken in Peanut sauce (crock pot)
Melissa A Hunt-Wenndt

1 package of chicken breast (about 1 1/2 lb)
1 red bell pepper, cut into short, thin strips
1 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (divided)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more or less for spice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 green onions cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (do not use natural style)
12 ounces of hot cooked vermicelli pasta
3/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Place chicken, bell pepper, 1 cup broth, soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

Mix cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup of broth in small bowl until smooth. Turn slow cooker on High. Stir in green onions, peanut butter and cornstarch mixture. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened and chicken is no longer pink in center. Stir well. Serve over vermicelli. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blackening Spice Rub

I have been making a lot of baked chicken and fish lately. I was looking for different seasonings to use and came across this one. It is great! Tastes great on both fish and chicken. In the picture, I rolled both sides of the chicken. You can sprinkle the seasoning on, too for a lighter flavor.
Blackening Spice Rub ~ For Chicken and Seafood
Guy Fieri Food ~ Cooking' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It Cookbook.

3 T paprika
2 T kosher salt
1 T granulated or garlic powder
1 T black pepper
2 tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Use on your favorite protein. Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container for up to 6 months.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homemade Granola

Don loves granola for breakfast. I think I have two other recipes on here, but love to try new ones. I found this one with peanut butter in it and thought it was interesting. Don likes it, but prefers Koreena Renard's recipe! I made half the recipe. I didn't have 'other grains' so used another cup of oats. We used pecans, sliced almonds and sunflower seeds for the nuts. I filled up 2 jelly roll pans.  The original recipe says to make this late at night, shut the oven off and leave the granola in there until morning.  She said it becomes crunchier.  I think she is right!
Homemade Granola

10 cups old fashion oats
2 cups other grains (any variety six grain mix, steel cut oats)
2-4 cups nuts/seeds (mix them up almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds )
2 cups sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt

Stir all the dry ingredients together, then add:
1 1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cup water
1 large jar almond butter or creamy peanut butter(Beth used peanut butter)

Heat oven to 250ºF.
Mix well and place on three 9-inch by 13-inch pans. Bake for 1 hour. Stir; bake 1-hour longer. Stir, again.

NEXT, turn OFF the oven and leave granola in there for several hours to cool. Store in air-tight containers. Granola has been known to keep well up to 3 weeks before being completely consumed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

One Step Lasagna

I got this recipe from a friend, Mary-Frances Klimek, in Racine, WI, when Don and I were first married. I met her at a card shop we were both working . I have changed the recipe a bit since then. Very easy to make, but my girls always ask to have company since it makes so much and they don't want to eat it for a week. I need to learn to make it in 2 pans!

One Step Lasagna
1 c water
1 box lasagna noodles*** do NOT use the no boil ones
15 oz ricotta cheese, mixed with 1 egg and 1 T parsley
1 lb hamburger
2 jars spaghetti sauce--original recipe calls for 15 oz each, I use the 28 oz
1/2 c or more Parmesan cheese
2-4 c Mozzarella cheese

Brown hamburger.  Drain,  Add water and sauce to the hamburger.  Cover bottom of a 9x 13 pan with 1/2c or more of the hamburger mixture.  Arrange uncooked noodles on top of sauce.  Spread half the Ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella cheese over this.  Add 1 1/2 c sauce mixture over this and repeat layers.  End with sauce and Mozzarella cheese.  Cover with foil and bake 1 hour at 350.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sausage and Cheese Muffins

Kathleen put these together one afternoon. Now we have ready made breakfasts we can pull out of the freezer and pop in the microwave or toaster oven. We got 12 regular size muffins and 24 mini muffins. Don't know where I found this recipe....somewhere in cyber space. They are very tasty.  We didn't have self rising flour, so found a substitute for it.
Sausage and Cheese Muffins

1 lb. sausage, cooked and drained
2 cups self rising flour*** (we used 2 c regular flour, 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt)
½ stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 ½ c. Cheddar cheese

Make a well in flour and add butter, egg and milk. Mix until blended. Stir in sausage and cheese. Bake in greased tins 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Amish Wheat Bread

I made this to go with some soup we made. Don really liked it. I froze 2 loaves and will send one with Jenna to college for PB&J sandwiches. I was a bit worried about the beginning of the recipe---have never had flour in my yeast mixture. It worked fine.
Amish Wheat Bread

3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. salt
3 c. warm water
2 Tbsp. (2 pkg.) yeast
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
6 c. white flour

Mix sugar, flour and salt. Add water. Stir well and add yeast. Let set until it rises a bit,(Beth let it sit about 20 minutes until it started to bubble) then add vegetable oil. Mix well, then add wheat and the 6 cups of white flour. Mix well. Let rise until double(about 1 hour). Form into 3 loaves and let rise another hour. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Amish Wheat Bread recipe given by Mary Troyer

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mexican Beef Tips

I was looking for a different recipe for beef tips---didn't want to make the usual 'beef tips in gravy'. We love Mexican food here and love to use the crockpot, so this one was perfect. The flavor was great, too. There are suggestions at the end of the recipe on how to serve this...we ate it like taco meat. I cut the recipe in half since I had 2# of beef tips. Will make this again and it would be great for Packer parties!
Mexican Beef Tips

Makes about 10 cups beef and liquid
4 1/2 pounds extra-lean beef tips for stew
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes (or regular stewed tomatoes plus 1/2 teaspoon additional cumin and garlic powder) ***I used a Mexican diced tomato

Place the beef tips in a five-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle the spices over the beef. Add both cans of tomatoes with their juices, pouring them directly over the tips. Cover the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Stir well, and serve immediately, or store according to the directions below.

Stove-top method: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a 4 1/2-quart or larger Dutch oven or soup pot. Brown the beef tips for about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the spices and both cans of tomatoes, and cover the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer the beef for 3 1/2 hours, or until the beef cubes are so tender that they fall apart. Stir and check the liquid level periodically, and add water to keep moist but not soupy.
Over shredded lettuce for taco salad (with or without the shell and all the normal taco fixings)
As a filling with Monterey Jack cheese for quesadillas
As a topping for nachos or tostadas
As a filling for burritos or tacos
Paired with Monterey Jack cheese as a filling for a twist on a Philly cheese-steak sandwich.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Harvest Corn Chowder

This comes from one of my well loved Amish cookbooks. It really wasn't soup weather when we made this, but I had milk that was going to expire and I had all the ingredients in the pantry. Don really liked this, so I will make it again in cooler weather.
Harvest Corn Chowder
Naomi Beiler

1 medium onion, chopped
1 T butter
3 c creamed corn(2 cans)
3 c whole kernel corn(2 cans)
4 c potatoes, diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 c milk
1 medium green pepper, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 lb bacon, fired and crumbled

In a dutch oven, saute onion and pepper in butter until tender. Add corn, potatoes, soup, milk, salt and pepper. Simmer until vegetables are tender--20-30 minutes. Garnish with bacon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New organization and Caramel Crumb Bars

Yesterday afternoon I finally made a few more categories in which to break down the recipes.  I have added chicken, pork, beef, pizza, Chinese and Mexican.  I still have to finish up on pasta since that was an afterthought when I was almost through all 700+ recipes.  I hope this helps as you look for recipes.  Some recipes have multiple categories.

Kathleen and her friend Loren made these bars one Saturday afternoon. Everyone loved them. They were not hard to put together, but be careful not to let the caramel burn, or you will get dark flecks in it. We are still getting used to cooking on the flat electric stove!
Caramel Crumb Bars

2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Caramel Filling
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit with a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray, then line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment and spray again with cooking spray.

To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed until soft and light, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, add 2 1/4 cups of the flour, beating just until the dough is smooth and the flour has been absorbed, and stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl and the paddle as necessary.

Transfer 3/4 of the dough into the prepared baking pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan to form the bottom layer. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator while you make the filling and top layer.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to the remaining dough in the mixer bowl and work it in with your fingertips until 1/8 - 1/4-inch crumbs form. Set aside.

To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. When the mixture begins to boil, whisk frequently until it begins to thicken and darkens in color slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator and pour the filling over the bottom crust. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly then distribute the crumb topping over the filling.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is gently bubbling and a dark caramel color. Cool the bars in the pan on a wire rack until lukewarm, about 15-20 minutes. Use the foil (or parchment) to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Once completely cool, cut into 2-inch squares.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chicken Crescent Chimichangas

This is another recipe for one of those nights when you are short on time. Use leftover chicken, or boil a few frozen breasts for 20 minutes and then shred. My family liked this. Just REALLY seal the perforations between the crescent rolls. It makes it so much easier to roll when stuff isn't falling out....ask me how I know this! :-)

Chicken Crescent Chimichangas
KoKonut taste of home bb

1/2 c Onion; chopped
2 Garlic cloves; minced
3 tbs Oil
2 1/2 c Chicken; cooked, shredded
16 oz Crescent dinner rolls
1/2 c Salsa
2 c Cheddar cheese; shredded
Sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease large cookie sheet.

In large skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender.
Add chicken; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated, stirring
occasionally. Remove from heat.
Separate dough into 8 rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal.

Spread 2 tsp of the salsa on each rectangle to within 1/2 inch of

Stir 1 cup of the cheese into chicken mixture.
Spoon heaping 1/3 cpu of chicken mixture onto half of each rectangle.
Starting at shortest side or rectangle topped with chicken, roll up;
firmly pinch ends to seal.

Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 16 to 21 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven;
top each with about 2 T. of remaining cheese. Return to oven.

Bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream and additional salsa.

Monday, September 19, 2011


The directions for this cake seem a little odd, but really, it works. It was not hard to make and it is pretty easy and fast to put together. It would work well for one of those days where company comes unexpectedly. Most of us have all the ingredients needed in the pantry.
taste of home bb

1 yellow cake mix
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Chocolate chips (one cup or more)

Mix cake mix, peanut butter and brown sugar with a pastry cutter or 2 knives. Save 2/3 cup for topping. With remaining cake mixture, mix as directed on cake mix box. Pour in greased 9 x 13 pan; sprinkle on topping and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees, or as directed on box. I cooked my 32-36 minutes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tilapia with Herbs

I found this out in cyber space. I used 2 tilapia filets and 1 cod. Don and I really liked this. My girls don't eat fish, so I make it when they won't be around! :-) This recipe is for 1 filet....just double or triple it to make more.

Tilapia with Herbs
4.5 oz of Tilapia fish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic crushed and minced
1 tablespoon chopped onion
Pinch of dill
Fresh parsley
Salt and black pepper to taste

Saute fish in lemon juice with a little water then add onion, garlic and fresh
herbs. Garnish with chopped parsley. Or bake in baking dish with a little
water at 350 for 20 minutes until fish is tender and delicious. Variations:
oregano, thyme, or tarragon

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blueberry Orange Cake

We were in the mood for a dessert with blueberries. This was easy to put together and tasted great. It freezes well, too.

Blueberry Orange Cake
6 Ingredient or Less Cookbook

2 Oranges
1 box (18.25 ounces) lemon cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash the oranges and grate 1 tablespoon peel. Squeeze oranges to make 1/2 cup juice. Place orange peel and juice in a large mixer bowl. Add cake mix, oil, eggs, and 1/2 cup water. Beat on low about 1 minute to combine ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

By hand, carefully fold in blueberries. Pour into a sprayed 13X9 inch baking dish. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool. Makes 12 servings.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pepper Asiago Loaf

This was an easy bread to make and tasted very good. We used Romano cheese since we had it on hand. Will make this again.
Pepper Asiago Loaf
Taste of Home's Quick Cooking (September/October 2004)

1 cup water -- (70'-80')
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter -- melted
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese(we used Romano)
4 1/2 teaspoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select basic bread setting. Choose crust color and loaf size if available. Bake according to bread machine directions (check the dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken-and-Tortellini Salad

One of my girls had this where they babysat and asked for the recipe. We all LOVE this. It is easy to make and tastes yummy.
Chicken-and-Tortellini Salad
Southern Living JUNE 2011

2 (9-oz.) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare tortellini according to package directions.

2. Process olive oil and next 4 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Toss olive oil mixture with tortellini, chicken, and next 3 ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy 50th Anniversary to my parents!

Today my parents have been married for 50 years.  They are a great inspiration to all.  We celebrated with a party in Wisconsin on August 6.  They arrived in style in their 57 Chevy.

Congratulations to my parents. May you have many more years together.

Love you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Sandwiches

I had a boneless pork butt in the freezer and wanted to make pulled pork. This was quite tasty. I only had pineapple rings in a small can, so I used my hand blender and pureed it.
Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Sandwiches

4 to 5 pounds beef chuck roast or pork roast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce, divided

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Brown meat in oil if desired(Beth did NOT do this). Put roast in slow cooker, top with pineapple, onion and 1 cup bbq sauce. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Take out of slow cooker, shred and add some of the juice the roast was cooked in(with the onions) and more bbq sauce if desired. Serve on buns.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cream of Cilantro Soup

This was on the back page of the food section in the paper not long ago. I KNEW my girls would love it and I was right. It was very good and we will make it again for sure!
Cream of Cilantro Soup
Austin American Statesman (Elaine's Table)

1 stick butter
1 cup chopped cilantro, divided (We used about 1/2 cup because that's all we had)
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (We used celery flakes)
1 TBSP cumin powder
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1/2 cup flour
7 cups chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream (We used milk and thickened the soup with flour and water)
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, grated
1 lime, juiced (We used zest, too)
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in soup pot.  Add 1/2 cup of the chopped cilantro, the onion, celery, cumin and garlic. 
Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender.  Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat until mixture is golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Add chicken broth slowly, stirring rapidly until blended.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Stir in the cream and cook 5 minutes more.  Strain mixture and discard the vegetables (We just pureed with a hand blender) Add gated cheese, lime juice and zest, and remaining cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Amish Dinner Rolls--bread machine

Yes, these ARE Amish rolls for the bread maker. King Arthur website adapted an Amish recipe for the bread maker. They were wonderful! I did not need to let them rise for 2 hours. I put them in a warm oven for 1/2 hour and they rose beautifully.
Amish Dinner Rolls--bread machine

2 eggs
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
1 cup (7 1/4 ounces) unseasoned mashed potatoes, lightly packed*
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 cup water (potato water, if possible)
4 1/4 cups (18 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
*1 medium-to-large baking potato will yield 8 ounces of mashed potato.

Manual/Mixer Method: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and mix until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased or floured surface, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it's smooth and shiny. Or knead it in a mixer, using the dough hook. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or rising bucket, turn to coat, cover the container with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes.

Bread Machine Method: Place all the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (usually, liquids first, yeast last). Program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Check the dough about 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle and adjust its consistency as necessary by adding additional water or flour to form a soft, smooth ball. Allow the machine to complete its cycle, then allow the dough to remain in the machine till it's doubled in bulk, perhaps an additional 30 minutes or so.

Shaping: To make stand-alone rolls, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. If you want to make soft-sided, pull-apart rolls, divide the dough into 15 pieces. This isn't as challenging as it sounds: first, divide the dough into three equal pieces (about 375g, 14 ounces, each). Pinch off one piece, about the size of a racquetball or handball (75g, 2 3/4 ounces), off each of the three pieces, setting the pinched-off pieces aside; then simply divide what's left of the three pieces into four pieces each. Presto! Fifteen balls of dough. Gently roll the dough balls under your cupped fingers till they're nice and round.

Place the 16 dough balls onto a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet or sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them. Or place the 15 dough balls into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan, spacing them evenly in five rolls of three balls each. Cover the pan(s) with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise for about 2 hours, till they're quite puffy; the rolls in the 9 x 13-inch pan should be touching (or almost touching) one another.

Baking: Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, till they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, carefully turn them out of the pan -- the pull-apart rolls will come out all in one piece -- and brush them with melted butter, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 15 or 16 rolls.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Crockpot Refried Beans for a Crowd

I have had this recipe for a long time. I liked the bacon in this recipe and the fact that you do NOT have to soak the beans. I cooked them on high for 8 hours and they were soft and easy to mash. I used a hand blender to mash these.
Crockpot Refried Beans for a Crowd

1 sweet onion chopped
3 cups of rinsed (and sorted) DRY pinto beans
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. chili powder
6 slices of crisp bacon (crumbled)
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ fresh jalapeno (seeded and chopped)(we used pickled--about 1 T)
9 cups water

Put everything in the crockpot and cook on high for 8 hours or till tender. Drain but reserve liquid. Put drained beans into food processor and puree, adding just enough of the reserved bean liquid to make the beans the right consistency. Keep warm in the crock pot.

NOTE: No need to pre-soak the beans
NOTE: Check the beans after 6-7 hours, if it looks like they are losing too much liquid, add another cup of water.