Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Soft Pretzel Rolls

This is another recipe that Kathleen made while in San Antonio.  Very good--especially toasted!

Soft Pretzel Rolls


1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
Vegetable oil
2 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
6 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda

Place the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside to rest until the mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture does not bubble, either the liquid was not at the correct temperature or the yeast is old.) Meanwhile, coat a large mixing bowl with a thin layer of vegetable oil and set aside.
Place the flour, sugar, and measured salt in a large bowl and whisk briefly to break up any lumps and combine. Once the yeast is ready, fit the bowl on the mixer, attach a dough hook, and dump in the flour mixture. Mix on the lowest setting until the dough comes together, then increase to medium speed and mix until the dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball, place in the oiled mixing bowl, and turn the dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel and let rest in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 30 to 35 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat the paper with vegetable oil, and set aside.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into oblong rolls. Place the rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Once the rolls have risen, stir the baking soda into the boiling water (the water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle well with salt and repeat with the remaining rolls.
Once all the rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sriracha Beef Lettuce Wraps

Kathleen made this recipe while she was working in San Antonio and brought some home so we could taste. VERY yummy!
Sriracha Beef Lettuce Wraps
adapted from

2 tsp. neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed or peanut oil
1 lb. lean ground beef (use ground beef with less than 10% fat for South Beach Diet)
1 T fish sauce (I like Three Crabs Fish sauce by far the best)--I just used soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1-2 T Sriracha Sauce (depending on how much heat you want)
1 T water
zest from one large lime
juice from one large lime (about 1 1/2 T juice)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion (or double that amount if you're not using the cilantro) I used regular onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan, then saute the beef until it's cooked through and starting to brown, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks.

While beef cooks, mix together the fish sauce, Sriracha Sauce, and water in a small bowl. Zest the skin of the lime and squeeze the juice. (You may need two limes to get enough juice, but only use the zest from one lime.) Thinly slice the green onions and chop the cilantro. (Most iceberg lettuce doesn't need washing, but if yours does break the heads apart gently and wash and dry the lettuce.)

When the beef is done, add the Sriracha Sauce mixture and let it sizzle until the water has evaporated, stirring a few times to get the flavor mixed through the meat. Turn off the heat and stir in the lime zest, lime juice, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro.

Serve meat mixture with iceberg lettuce leaves to fill with meat and wrap around it, to be eaten with your hands.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Spice Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I made this recipe to take to our last Ladies Bible study of this year.  Watch that the topping doesn't burn(ask me how I know this)  This was easy and tasty.

Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 package yellow cake mix
1 package instant Pumpkin Spice pudding from Jello 
1/4 cup oil
1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 to 3 Tablespoons whole milk

Begin by mixing the eggs, water and cake mix together in a bowl until smooth.  Add in the pudding, oil, and sour cream and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl mix the topping ingredients well.

Grease a 9x13 inch pan.  (Because I wanted to be able to remove my coffee cake from the pan when it was done baking, I also added a piece of parchment paper to the inside of the pan.)

Put half of the batter in the pan and then add half of the topping.  Carefully layer the rest of the batter on top and finish the cake off with the rest of the topping.  

Bake the cake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake tests done with a toothpick inserted in the center.  Cool it on a wire rack.

When the cake is no longer warm, mix up your glaze.  Whisk together the powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  Add two tablespoons of milk.  If the glaze seems too thick, add more milk a teaspoon at a time.  Pour the glaze into a piping bag (or you can do as I did and pour it into a ziploc bag and cut the tip just as well.)  Drizzle the glaze over the top of the entire cake.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Margaret's Chocolate Cake

This is a cake that is served as part of a fundraiser at the annual Craft Fair at Hillcrest Baptist church.  We LOVE this cake!

Margaret's Chocolate Cake
Margaret Miller--Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas

2 sticks butter
4 T cocoa
1 c water

In a saucepan or microwave, melt these ingredients together.

2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 t baking soda

Mix these ingredients together and mix in the cocoa mixture

1/2 c buttermilk
2 eggs
2 t vanilla

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean


In a saucepan or microwave, melt together:

1 stick butter
4 T cocoa
1/3 c milk

3-5 c powdered sugar
2 t vanilla

Mix well and pour over hot cake

Cake freezes well 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad

This was delicious!  I did think the dressing needed some type of sweetener.

Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad


4 oz fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 a ripe avocado
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2-4 TBSP dried cranberries
2-4 TBSP roasted sunflower seeds (I used unsalted)
black pepper, to taste (optional)


1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup of buttermilk (extra if desired)
1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
1 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder, to taste
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

1. Start with the dressing (skip if using premade)

2. Ranch dressing always tastes it’s absolute best made ahead of time. Whisk and chill for a few hours before serving or make things simple by tossing it together the night before.

3. Peel 1 clove of garlic, then smash and mince it into a paste.

4. Season with salt.

5. Combine salted garlic paste with remaining dressing ingredients and whisk well.

6. Pop in the fridge to chill for a few hours for flavors to set.

7. Wash + dry spinach.

8. Combine with broccoli, blueberries, dried cranberries, avocado, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds.

9. Toss with dressing and serve.

10. Season with black pepper, to taste.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

This was a quick dinner.  I used cooked chicken I had in the fridge.  We both liked this.

Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cups fresh spinach
1 large head cauliflower, stems removed, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350ยบ and lightly grease a 9-13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
Place cauliflower in a large saucepan with 1 inch of water over medium heat. Cover and steam until just tender.

Drain cauliflower and place in a large bowl.

Add chicken and cheese to bowl and toss together.

Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add spinach and garlic and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Add spinach to chicken and pour in beaten eggs. Season again with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into baking dish and place in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set and edges begin to brown and pull away from the side of the dish.

Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016

    Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Porridge

    I made this recipe two days in a row last week.  I LOVED it.  The first time I used a sugar free coffee syrup for the sweetener.  I used Splenda the 2nd time and preferred it.  Try this for a low carb breakfast that will keep you full all morning.

    Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Porridge

    Cook Together
    2 tablespoons Almond Flour
    1 tablespoon Golden Flax Meal
    ¾ cups water
    ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1 pinch of salt
    1 large egg, beaten

    Top With:
    2-3 drops of vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
    1 tablespoon your favorite sweetener
    1 tablespoon heavy cream
    1 tablespoon butter

    Measure the first 5 ingredients into a small pot and place over medium high heat.

    When the mixture begins to simmer, turn the heat down to medium and whisk until it thickens and becomes hot.

    Remove from the heat and add the egg, little by little, whisking all the while. Place back over medium heat and whisk quickly until the porridge gets thick. Remove from the heat and whisk for 30 seconds more.

    Whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    Garnish this low carb almond porridge with your favorite ingredients and enjoy!

    Tuesday, November 22, 2016

    One Pan Chicken Garlic Mushroom Saute

    I made this for a quick and easy dinner last week.  I really liked it.  See my changes in bold.

    One Pan Chicken Garlic Mushroom Saute

    1 ½ lb chicken thighs or breasts, skinless boneless (about 4 to 5 pieces)
    1 cup sliced mushrooms
    ½ tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
    ⅛ tsp sea salt
    ⅛ tsp black pepper
    2 tbsp butter, divided in half
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    ⅓ cup white cooking wine Beth used chicken broth
    1/2 tsp arrowroot powder Beth used cornstarch

    1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium high heat sear chicken in ½ tbsp oil for 5 to 7 minutes on each side until browned.

    2. Remove chicken from skillet and place on a plate and set aside (will return to the pan later).

    3. In the same pan used for the chicken, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sliced mushrooms. Stir and saute until mushrooms are browned and softened.

    4. Add wine(broth) to the pan and stir.

    5. In a small bowl mix; 1 tbsp butter and ½ tsp arrowroot powder, smashing arrowroot powder into the butter with a fork until butter has absorbed the arrowroot

    6. Add the arrowroot butter to the mushroom wine mixture in the pan. Stir and melt arrowroot butter into the saute over medium to medium high heat until the sauce starts to thicken.

    7. Place chicken on top of mushroom saute, cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked. Plate chicken and pour some of mushrooms and sauce over chicken.

    Monday, November 21, 2016

    Perfect Turkey in an Electric Roaster REPOST

    I posted this in Dec of 2011  Thought this may come in handy for someone this year. 
    This is year 2 to make our turkey this way. Last year I only had one oven, so really NEEDED to make the turkey in the roaster. We LOVED how moist it was, so even though I now have a double oven, I decided to do my 20.5# turkey this way again. It was quite moist and tender.

    Perfect Turkey in an Electric Roaster Oven
    By Squirrel Gone Wild on

    1 whole turkey, thawed up to 20 lbs
    1/4 cup olive oil or 1/4 cup butter
    1 teaspoon seasoning salt

    Take the insert pan out of the roaster and pre-heat the roaster to its highest setting

    Prep the turkey by rinsing and patting dry. Sprinkle salt in the cavities Place the bird in the roasting pan on top of the wire rack that comes with your roaster. Make sure the handles are up, not tucked below.

    Rub the entire bird with olive oil or butter.  Doctor up your bird with whatever special seasonings you wish. I always use poultry seasoning.

    Finish with a good sprinkle of seasoning salt and black pepper. The olive oil and seasoning salt will help the skin brown nicely Put the insert pan with the bird into the roaster oven and cover. I never add water or other liquid to the pan, but some people do.

    Roast at highest setting for 30 minutes. The oil, seasoning salt and the searing time will make the skin beautifully browned and perfect!

    After 30 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 325.

    The bird will self-baste if you do not lift the lid, so you don't have to baste it every 20 minutes like you do in your conventional oven. DO NOT LIFT LID during cooking time! Lifting the lid will increase cooking time because roaster ovens lose their heat unlike regular ovens

    Check your Bird - Figure your total cooking time from the time you first put the bird in the roaster. FINAL TEMPERATURE FOR SAFETY AND DONENESS IS: 180 DEGREES IN THIGH AND 165 DEGREES IN BREAST AND STUFFING. Juices should be clear, not pink.

    Your turkey will almost certainly be done at the earliest of the suggested times on the chart. Lift lid only slightly and quickly to check the pop-up thermometer or use your meat thermometer. If necessary, check after another 30 minutes, but I doubt you'll have to do that. If the pop-up thermometer isn't popped, double check with your regular meat thermometer because those little plastic things stick sometimes. I say check after 30 minutes because it's really OK to let the bird roast a little extra - you won't dry it out using my method if you let it go for 1/2 hour.

    Figure your total cooking time from the time you first put the bird in the roaster. Check your bird at the EARLIEST of these times:.

    8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours.
    12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours.
    14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours.
    18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours.

    When done, remove the bird from the roaster, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. This allows the juices to really seep into the meat, so they say.

    Sunday, November 20, 2016

    Mustard-Crusted Potatoes

    I made these potatoes to go with dinner one night.  They are delicious and could be a breakfast potato, too!

    Mustard-Crusted Potatoes

    1/3 cup olive oil
    1/3 cup Dijon mustard
    1/3 cup whole-grain mustard Beth used jalapeno mustard
    Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 6 cups) Beth used russet
    Kosher salt
    1/2 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
    Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustards, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with the mixture.

    Spread the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt.

    Bake for 30 minutes. Toss the potatoes, return to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are a deep golden brown and fork-tender.

    Transfer the potatoes to a serving platter, squeeze the fresh lemon juice over them, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.

      Saturday, November 19, 2016

      Favorite Bread Machine Sourdough Loaf

      I fed my sourdough starter the other day and made this recipe with it.  This is a light and airy bread and makes wonderful toast.

      Favorite Bread Machine Sourdough Loaf

      Yield: 2-lb. loaf

      3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      2 tablespoons sugar
      2 teaspoons salt
      2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
      3/4 cup milk, warmed
      1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
      1 cup sourdough starter

      Bread Machine Directions
      Add 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast to your bread pan. If your bread machine has a warming cycle, turn it off and start a basic bread cycle to stir these ingredients together. I use the dark crust setting for this recipe

      Slowly add warm milk and softened butter to dry mixture while the bread machine is still stirring. Then do the same with the sourdough starter.

      Add the remaining 2-1/2 cups of flour slowly to the wet mixture. It may seem like too much flour, as the dough will get very crumbly, but it will all get kneaded into the bread. I've found that it helps to press down on the dough as the machine is still kneading to get it to pick up all of the bits of dough.
      Close the top of the bread machine and let it finish out its cycle. When the bread is done baking, remove it from the pan immediately and let it cool on a rack to prevent it from getting soggy.

      Oven Directions
      Add 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast to a mixing bowl.
      Slowly stir in warm milk and softened butter to dry mixture. Then do the same with the sourdough starter.

      Mix remaining 2-1/2 cups of flour slowly into the wet mixture. Then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.

      Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to make sure it's coated, and let rise for one hour.
      Punch down and let rest for 15 minutes. Then shape into a loaf and place in a greased 2-lb. loaf pan. Allow to rise for another hour.

      Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.

        Friday, November 18, 2016

        Smoked Chuck Roast for Pulled Beef Sandwich

        While I was at my parents' house last week, we used their smoker to do ribs and this chuck roast.  All the food turned out wonderful, and this roast was really good.  Now I NEED a smoker!

        Smoked Chuck Roast for Pulled Beef Sandwich

        1/2 cup Salt
        1/4 cup Garlic
        1/4 cup Onion Powder
        1/4 cup Chili Powder
        1/8 cup Black Pepper
        1 tea Ground Parsley
        1 tea Ground Oregano

        Season all sides of the chuck roast with this mixture (this recipe is more than enough seasoning for 2 chuck roasts).

        Now it’s time to light the fire. I’m looking for 250 degrees with a little mild pecan smoke for these chucks. Once the smoker is up to temperature, place the roasts directly on the grate and close the lid.

        After 1.5 hours flip both roasts over and continue smoking. Keep adding pecan chunks as necessary and maintain the temperature at 250 degrees.

        At the 3 hour mark the chuck roasts should be ready to pan. Take a thermometer reading here; it should read between 140-150 degrees. The meat won’t take any more smoke at this point, so it’s best to get it covered.

        For these chuck roasts, I use a large steam pan to hold them both. The meat needs some additional liquid as well, so I pour in 32oz of warmed beef broth.

        Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place it back on the smoker still holding 250 degrees.

        You’re looking at another 2-3 hours at least, so keep an eye on the pit and add fuel as needed.

        You want to go more by the internal temp that the time – and the final target temperature is 195-200 internal. It’s not the end of the world if you overshoot the target temp on this cut of meat. There’s plenty of liquid in the pan to add moisture and you want it falling apart. This beef is for pulling, so we want the collagen and fat holding it together to completely dissolve.

        When the thermometer is reading 195 and it feels like a knife sliding into hot butter, you know it’s done. Remove the pan from the smoker and let the steam escape for about 5 minutes. Rest the meat for at least an hour (I go for 2) before breaking it down. Even after two hours it will still be so hot you’ll need to wear hand savers and gloves.

        When it’s done properly this meat will practically pull itself. Separate any fat that didn’t render and pull the pieces into small strands. If you don’t want to shred it by hand you can always use a couple forks or a pork puller… it will flake right apart after it cools a little.

        I like to reserve the liquid from the large pan. That beef broth is rightly seasoned after you’ve cooked the chuck roasts in it. You can use it to add a little extra moisture to your pulled meat. Just ladle some of the liquid over the pulled meat… and you’re ready to serve.

        Thursday, November 17, 2016

        Peanut Butter Rocky Road Fudge

        I saw this recipe and since I had all the ingredients, I KNEW I had to try it.  It did NOT disappoint.  Very easy and very good!  I used half walnuts and half pecans.

        Peanut Butter Rocky Road Fudge

        1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
        1½ cups Reese's peanut butter baking chips
        1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, divided
        2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
        2 tbsp butter, divided
        2 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
        1 cup roughly chopped nuts, your choice (walnuts, pecans, peanuts)

        Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray and lightly wipe with paper towel. Set aside.

        Combine chocolate chips, half of sweetened condensed milk and 1 tablespoon of butter in a microwave-safe bowl.

        In a another microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter chips, remaining half of sweetened condensed milk and 1 tablespoon of butter.

        Heat both bowls on high for 30 seconds, stir, repeat until chips are melted and smooth. Do one at a time if both bowls don't fit in your microwave.

        Add one teaspoon of vanilla into each bowl and stir to combine. The mixtures should be smooth and glossy.

        Spoon both the chocolate and peanut butter mixtures into the prepared pan alternating flavors so that all the chocolate isn't together. (drop by spoonfuls)

        Sprinkle on half of the marshmallows and all of the nuts.

        Use a spatula or knife to cut through the fudge, evenly distributing the marshmallows and nuts and creating a swirl pattern with the chocolate and peanut butter fudge.

        Top with remaining marshmallows and press down gently to secure.

        Let cool to room temperature before transferring to refrigerator to chill.

        Remove from pan, peel off foil, and cut into squares.

        Store in an airtight container.

          Wednesday, November 16, 2016

          Peppermint Mocha Creamer

          Jenna and I have always loved anything Peppermint Mocha, but it seems like the bottled creamers have gone "down hill" this year. We decided to make our own and it turned out pretty great! You could make it sugar-free by using Splenda instead of the sugar. -Kathleen

          Peppermint Mocha Creamer

          ½ cup granulated sugar
          ½ cup water
          1 and ½ Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or dark)
          ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract (start with 1/2 can always add more!)
          ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
          ¾ cup cup half-and-half/milk/cream (any dairy or nut milk you enjoy in your coffee)

          In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water and heat until sugar is just dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
          Add half-and-half (if desired) to a ratio of your liking. I prefer a 1:1 ratio. You may also leave the syrup as a standalone flavoring. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks, shaking very well before using.

          Tuesday, November 15, 2016

          Rolo Blondies

          Jenna made these.  What is NOT to love?  Today is her birthday!  Happy Happy Jenna day!  Love her!

          1 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
          1½ Cup brown sugar
          ½ Cup White sugar
          2 Large eggs, lightly whisked
          ¼ teaspoon vanilla
          ¼ Teaspoon salt
          2 cups all-purpose flour
          1 Package Chocolate Chips
          1 Package Rolos

          Grease a 9x13" Baking pan

          Mix melted butter with brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and then vanilla.

          Add salt and flour in a small bowl. Add to the wet mixture and then add chocolate chips.

          Pour half of the batter into prepared pan and lay the unwrapped rolos on top. Flatten pieces of the dough in your hand and place on top of the chocolate until the entire pan is covered. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle, tenting with foil the last 10 minutes.

            Monday, November 14, 2016

            Chili Dip, No Beans

            We made this while I was in Wisconsin for a Packer game.  I realized I didn't have this recipe on my blog.  It is simple and yummy

            Chili Dip, No Beans

            8 ounces cream cheese
            1 can Hormel Chili, no beans 
            2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

            Layer ingredients in order.  Bake at 350 until bubbly.  Can microwave, also.  Serve with fritos or tortilla chips.

            Sunday, November 13, 2016

            Jill's Pork Tenderloin

            Karen made this for lunch last Sunday.  It was SO very good.  I could have eaten a whole tenderloin by myself!  See her changes in bold.

            Jill's Pork Tenderloin

            3 pounds Pork Tenderloin (1 Pkg. Of 2 Tenderloins), Cut Into 4 Pieces Total
            1 pound Bacon
            ¾ cups Soy Sauce
            1 Tablespoon Minced Onions
            ½ teaspoons Garlic Salt
            1 Tablespoon Wine Vinegar Or White Vinegar
            ¼ teaspoons Salt
            1 dash Pepper
            ¾ cups Brown Sugar

            Wrap the tenderloin pieces in bacon. Place in an 8 1/2″ x 11″ pan. Poke holes in meat with a fork.

            Combine rest of ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Pour marinade over meat. Refrigerate, uncovered, 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

            Bake in a 300 degree oven for two to three hours. If the bacon burns, place foil over the top after approximately 1 1/2 hours of baking. Remove from oven, cut meat into small pieces and allow the meat to soak up the excess juices in the pan. ***Karen cooked this in the crockpot on low all morning.  She took it out and broiled it to get bacon crisp for 5 minutes.

            Saturday, November 12, 2016

            Grilled Mushroom Caps

            I had some large mushrooms I needed to grill.  I just put this recipe together that night.  I really liked them.  They are great as leftovers, diced and used in an omelet.

            Grilled Mushroom Caps

            Large portabella mushrooms, destemmed and cleaned
            olive oil
            parmesan cheese

            Clean mushrooms.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on grill and brush with olive oil that you have added basil(and other seasonings of your choice to).  Cook for 5 minutes each side, brushing with oil.  Top with parmesan cheese as you take them off the grill.

            Friday, November 11, 2016

            Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad

            Kathleen put this together for her lunches a few weeks ago.  She loved it!

            Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad


            Serves: serves 8

            1 pound thin spaghetti
            2 tablespoons kosher salt
            2 cucumbers, quartered and sliced
            1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
            ½ red onion, thinly sliced
            10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
            8 ounces mini pepperoni
            1 4-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
            ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino romano
            1 cup extra virgin olive oil
            ½ cup red wine vinegar
            2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
            2 teaspoons sugar
            1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
            1 teaspoon kosher salt
            1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

            Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions in boiling water seasoned with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Drain, rinse and cool. Add the spaghetti to a large bowl with the cucumbers, red bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, mini pepperoni, black olives and parmesan cheese. In a pint jar with a lid, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, sugar, garlic clove, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake well and pour over the spaghetti mixture and toss to coat. Add more parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 30 minutes up to overnight.

              Thursday, November 10, 2016


              This was SO good.  It was easy to put together and we really liked it.  Don had me make rice to serve his over.

               adapted from

              4 lbs of your favorite stewing steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
              4 tbsp bacon fat
              Montreal® Steak seasoning
              4 ribs celery, chopped
              1, 5 oz onion, diced
              14.5 oz diced,  tomatoes,
              8 oz regular cream cheese
              1 cup water
              1/4 cup heavy cream
              1 tsp crushed garlic
              2 tsp salt
              1/2 tsp Montreal® Steak seasoning
              3/4 tsp black pepper
              1/4 tsp paprika
              1 tsp cornstarch

              In large nonstick frying pan, in 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat each time, fry steak in 4 batches over medium high heat on both sides until browned. While cooking, sprinkle with steak seasoning on both sides of the steak. Place in slow cooker. Top with celery and diced onions.

              In food processor or blender, process canned diced tomatoes, cream cheese, water, heavy cream, garlic, salt, Montreal® Steak seasoning black pepper and paprika. Blend until smooth. Pour over steak and vegetables. Stir to combine all. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low 7-8 hours. 

              Can add cornstarch and water(2 T) at last half hour and turn on high.  Beth didn't think it needed to be any thicker. 

              Yield: 10 servings
              1 serving
              569.7 calories
              34.1 g protein
              45.4 g fat
              1.0 g fiber

              3.8 g net carbs

              Wednesday, November 9, 2016

              Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes with M&Ms

              I made these and used pastel M and M's since they was opened in my cupboard.  I liked these a lot.  They are best warm.  Don thought they were too 'wet' when they cooled.

              Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes with M&Ms

              Yield: 30 mini donuts Beth got 24

              1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
              1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
              ⅛ teaspoon (a hefty pinch) baking soda
              ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
              1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
              ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
              a pinch of ginger
              a pinch allspice
              ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
              ¼ cup buttermilk
              6 tablespoons unsalted butter
              ⅓ cup brown sugar
              1 large egg
              ⅓ cup peanut or milk chocolate M&Ms
              For Coating:
              ½ cup granulated sugar
              2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
              ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

              Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with baking spray and set aside.
              In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.

              In a large measuring cup, whisk together the pumpkin puree and buttermilk.

              In the bowl of a stand mixer or medium bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
              Alternate the flour mixture and pumpkin mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Using a spatula, fold in the M&Ms gently.

              Using a tablespoon, divide the batter into the mini muffin cups. Smooth the top of each for a rounded smooth shape. Bake the donut holes for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit in pan for 2 minutes

              Meanwhile, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

              Coat the donut holes in the melted butter, then toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Enjoy immediately!

                Tuesday, November 8, 2016

                Peanut Butter Candy Corn Rice Krispies

                So I only had patriotic Rice Krispies in the house and really wanted to make these, so I did  They look a bit funny, but tasted like fall!

                Peanut Butter Candy Corn Rice Krispies


                1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
                10 ounces miniature marshmallows
                5 cups puffed rice cereal
                1 cup candy corn

                Prepare an 8x8 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.
                1. In a large mixing bowl, microwave together 1/4 cup peanut butter and the marshmallows for one minute. Stir, and microwave for an additional 30 seconds if needed to melt the marshmallows.
                2. Stir until smooth.
                3. Use a large rubber spatula to mix in the cereal. Mix in the candy corn as well.
                4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish and gently press it down to level. If desired, press additional candy corn pieces into the top.
                5. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving (speed set the treats by place in the refrigerator

                Monday, November 7, 2016

                Snickers Slab Pie

                I made this to take to a get together a week or so ago.  It was delicious and held up for 5 or six days in the fridge. 

                Snickers Slab Pie

                1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box Beth used Ina Garten's recipe
                3 cups heavy whipping cream
                1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
                1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
                1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons caramel topping
                6 Snickers™ candy bars (1.86 oz each), chopped (2 cups) Beth chopped up fun sized bars
                1 tablespoon chocolate-flavor syrup

                1 Heat oven to 450°F. Unroll pie crusts; stack on lightly floured work surface. Roll to 17x13-inch rectangle. Fit crust into ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, firmly pressing in bottom and up sides of pan. Fold crust even with edges of pan. Flute or crimp edges. Prick crust several times with fork.

                2 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

                3 Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Reserve 2 cups of the whipped cream; set aside for topping.

                4 In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and 1/4 cup of the caramel topping with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

                5 Gently fold cream cheese mixture into remaining whipped cream. Fold in 1 cup of the chopped candy bars. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly onto crust. Spoon reserved 2 cups whipped cream onto cream cheese mixture; spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chopped candy bars. Refrigerate 1 hour. Just before serving, drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons caramel topping and the chocolate syrup.

                Sunday, November 6, 2016

                Perfect Pie Crust (from Ina Garten)

                So, I usually rely on ready made refrigerated pie crusts.  I had 10 month old crusts in a box in the refrigerator.  When they say "USE by Jan 2016", trust them, they mean it!  I found this one and it turned out PERFECT.  It makes two regular pie crusts, and they both fit in my jelly roll pan.  Delicious!

                Perfect Pie Crust (from Ina Garten)

                12 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter

                3 cups all-purpose flour

                1 teaspoon kosher salt

                1 tablespoon sugar

                ⅓ cup very cold vegetable shortening Beth used butter flavored Crisco

                6-8 tablespoons ice water (about ½ cup)

                Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix.

                Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

                Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

                **Ina Garten prefers to use Crisco shortening, that has been stored in the refrigerator. ***Cook time does not include 30 minute refrigeration time.

                Saturday, November 5, 2016

                Grilled Taco Chicken

                This was quick and easy to make.  I did marinate it about 2 hours.  After grilling, I sliced the chicken on an angle into strips and served it in tortillas and over a salad.

                rilled Taco Chicken

                4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
                1/4 cup lime juice
                1/4 cup vegetable oil
                1 (1 oz) packet taco seasoning (or 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning)
                1 garlic clove, minced
                1/2 teaspoon cumin

                In a gallon-sized resealable bag, pour in lime juice, vegetable oil, taco seasoning, garlic, and cumin. Mix well and add in chicken breasts. Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 30 minutes (although I highly recommend a at least 4-6 hours).

                Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Place chicken on a grill heated to medium-high heat. Let chicken cook until it is no longer pink on the inside (and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F), turning as needed.

                Serve chicken topped with pico de gallo or your favorite salsa and all the other taco fixings

                Friday, November 4, 2016

                Riced Cauliflower to Freeze

                Since I have been eating mostly LOW CARB, I use cauliflower as a replacement for rice and potatoes.  This riced cauliflower is nice to have on hand for pizza crusts, too.
                Riced Cauliflower to Freeze

                1-2 head of cauliflower, or more
                Ziploc bags

                Wash cauliflower and put in food processor.  Pulse until it looks like rice.  Put in Ziploc bags.  I found most low carb recipes using riced cauliflower calls for 2 cups, so that is how I froze it.

                Thursday, November 3, 2016

                Waffle Iron Caramel Apple Pies

                This is what I wanted for my birthday 'cake' this year.  Kathleen put them together and they tasted JUST like fall!
                Waffle Iron Caramel Apple Pies

                2 premade pie crusts (should be 2 in one box), unrolled
                1 small can apple pie filling (you need about 1/2 cup total)
                1/2 cup powdered sugar
                1/2 tsp milk + additional if needed
                4 tsp caramel sauce

                1. Heat a waffle iron, set aside.

                2. Using a small bowl (about 4 inches across the top), cut out 4 circles from each crust (8 total) Place about 2 TBS apple filling in the center of 4 circles. Place remaining dough circles over the top of the apple filling. Using your fingers, pinch the outside close, then use a fork to really secure the outside shut (you don't want a waffle iron full of apple filling!). One at a time, cook each pie in the waffle iron. Check for done-ness - the dough needs to be cooked (it took me about 5 minutes per pie). Remove from iron and repeat with remaining pies.

                3. In a small bowl mix the powdered sugar and milk until completely combined. Add more milk if you need to thin the glaze, but careful not to add too much as you want it a little thick.

                4.  Serve each pie with glaze and caramel drizzled over the tops. Serve warm!

                Wednesday, November 2, 2016

                Peanut Butter Brownie Puppy Chow

                I made this for a snack during the Packer/Bears game.  It is sinfully delicious!  I added pieces of Texas sheet cake that Kathleen had made.  YUM!
                Peanut Butter Brownie Puppy Chow

                6 C. rice Chex cereal
                1 C. milk chocolate melts or chips
                1/2 C. peanut butter, creamy
                1 tsp. vanilla extract
                1 C. brownie mix, from the box
                Optional: Peanut Butter Brownies, Reese's Pieces, or Peanut butter cups (chopped)

                1. Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
                2. In a microwave proof bowl, melt chocolate, peanut butter and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
                3. Pour over cereal and fold until covered.
                4. Dump into a large plastic bag and add brownie mix, seal and shake until coated. (If you don't have a large plastic bag, pour brownie mix over cereal and stir well. Or you can use a pot with a lid to shake it in.)
                5. Dump onto a cookie sheet and toss with pieces of brownie or peanut butter brownies (or even Reeses Pieces or peanut butter cups would be great!). But TRUST me, you will be addicted to this puppy chow, so beware.

                Tuesday, November 1, 2016

                Low Carb Chili

                I made this for the Thursday night Packer/ Bears game.  It was delicious.  See my additions in bold.
                Low Carb Chili

                1.25 lb ground beef
                8oz tomato paste
                1½ tomatoes, chopped
                1 red bell pepper, chopped
                2/4 cup onion, chopped
                2 celery sticks, chopped
                1½ teaspoons cumin
                1½ teaspoon chili powder
                ½ teaspoon pepper
                1½ teaspoons salt
                ¾ cup water (add more if needed)Beth doubled this
                **1 tsp beef bouillon granules    
                **1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

                Brown meat in medium-large pan. Once almost finished, drain off fat and sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt over meat.

                Add onions and peppers to pan and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

                Combine cooked meat, onions, peppers, tomatoes, celery, water, and tomato paste in medium-large pot.

                Stir spices into pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and let simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.

                Serving size: 1 serving (Total recipe makes 6 servings)
                Protein 14.99g, Fat 28.88g, Cals 348, Carbs 7.25g, Fiber 2.08g -- NET CARBS: 5.17g