Wednesday, May 27, 2009


1 stick of butter
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c light karo
boil for 1 min and pour over 2 bags of plain popped popcorn

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Italian Roast Beef

4-5 pounds pot roast
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon basil
1 envelope Good Season salad dressing (Italian dressing mix)
1 onion (optional)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

*The recipe calls for shredding the meat, boiling it in the juices for 15 minutes, then serving on french bread or rolls.

*I served it as it was with garlic mashed potatoes. I made a gravy for the potatoes by boiling the sauce with cornstarch to thicken. I could easily see how it would make really good italian sandwiches though. That's probably what we will do with our leftovers.

My kids literally asked for thirds!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taco Salad

from my mom's collection- by Jean Santiago (I loved this stuff as a kid)

1 head lettuce
1 1/2 lbs hamburger
3/4 lb cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips
1 soup can size Ranch Style beans (with juice)
1 can diced green chiles
Picante Sauce
1 bottle Ranch dressing
black olives
purple onions

Brown hamburger. Shred cheese. Rip lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Break up chips. Mix all together and add any additional toppings desired.

More great frosting/icing recipes

Buttercream Icing for Gingerbread Houses (from Christy Alger's files- Mrs. Luck's class)
2 lbs powdered sugar
1 c. shortening
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

Beat shotening, flavoring, and salt together. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately, beating after each addition. Beat two or three minutes for smooth icing. Keep covered tightly.

Leanne's Great Icing (also from Christy's files- supposedly what was used on my sister's wedding cake, which was fabulous)

2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. margarine or butter
1/3 to 1/2 c. milk or water- get to consistency
1 tsp vanilla (real vanilla)
dash of salt

If you are using it to decorate, use the shortening in it. If just icing a sugar cookie, use all butter in place of the shortening.
To make, mix shortening/margarine with powdered sugar. Add liquid to consistency and then remaining ingredients.

Grandma Douglas's Buttercream Frosting

This is what we grew up on in my house. SO good on sugar cookies!

Blend together:
1 lb powered sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 stick of butter
1/4 tsp salt

Dairy Free Frosting

This is adapted from a recipe I have from my stepmom, which I will put up in a little bit. It did get a little runny when it was warm but was fine after being in the fridge. You could maybe do a little less water and that would take care of that problem.

2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. water
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Mix together the shortening and butter with the powdered sugar. Add water to consistency and remaining ingredients. Blend well. Recommend frosting immediately and then refrigerating to set the frosting a little bette.r

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole

I am pretty sure everyone has had this at some point in time... But since tater tots were on sale this past week, it's on our menu this week! I remember loving it as a kid.

1 lb hamburger
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen tater tots
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can milk or water
1 c. (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger & onion. Drain. Season with salt and peppper. Place in greased 1 1/2 to 2 qt casserole. Top with tater tots. Combine soup & water (or milk). Pour over tots. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baked Beans with Pineapple

We BBQed tonight and I tried this new recipe as a side. The original recipe was for 25 servings! So, I scaled it down a bit, and in the process, some of the proportions are a little different. Also, I modified it slightly to make it just a little healthier.

It was very, very yummy and pretty simple to make. I'll definitely be keeping this recipe handy for BBQs and potlucks. :)

You can find the original recipe here. But, this is what I did...

Baked Beans with Pineapple

5 or 6 strips of turkey bacon, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
28oz can baked beans (I used Van Camp’s Homestyle baked beans – 99% fat free and cholesterol free)
8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup

In a skillet, cook turkey bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Add onion and saute until tender.

In a bowl, combine the beans, pineapple, bacon and onion. Combine brown sugar and ketchup; stir into the bean mixture.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-35 minutes longer or until bubbly and beans reach desired thickness.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pineapple Banana Bread

Pineapple Banana Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (The recipe called for 2 cups but that just seemed like a lot; I reduced it to 1 1/2 cups and it was just right - I think if I had done the whole 2 cups, it would have been way too sweet.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs (I used egg substitute)
1 1/4 applesauce (it called for oil but I used applesauce and it turned out moist and yummy - plus more healthy)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups mashed ripe bananas

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and vanilla; add pineapple and bananas. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

***I doubled the recipe because I had several bananas (not quite 4 cups but I used a 20 oz can of pineapple instead of two 8 oz cans to make up the difference), it made two loaves, plus 12 regular muffins and 24 mini muffins. (I baked the muffins for about 25 minutes and the mini muffins for about 15 minutes.) They are a big hit with the family - the kids won't stay away from them! :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Caramel Apple Pork Chops and Apple Spice Rice

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops (I used pork loin chops... and I made 6 since that's how many were in the package.)
salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Granny Smith)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Arrange pork chops in a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a skillet, melt butter and saute onions. Add brown sugar mixture and sliced apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and place them on top of the pork chops. Continue cooking the sauce, uncovered, until thickened slightly. Pour over chops and apples. Bake about an hour or until the pork is cooked through.

Apple Spice Rice

2 Tbsp butter
2 cups rice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced
3 1/2 cups chicken broth

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in rice, onion, garlic, and apple. Saute 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth adn bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

Super Fantabulous Better-than-any-other Sugar Cookies!

Oh my goodness, these cookies are like heaven in your mouth!  I am amazed at how soft, and sweet they are!  I was introduced to these at an auction a few weeks ago.  I won a dozen frosted sugar cookies, got them home and they mysteriously disappeared in just under 48 hours!  The worst part?  I ate 9 of them...  Yeah.  They are THAT good.  I called the maker of these cookies and begged her to share her recipe, which she did without hesitation.  Thanks Natalie!

The ingredients:
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. TUB margarine or butter (not stick- must be spreadable)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 - 4 c. flour

The instructions:
In a small bowl mix sour cream and baking soda.  Set aside.  Cream together margarine and sugar.  Add the egg, vanilla and salt.  Mix well.  Add sour cream mixture, then baking powder and flour.   Freeze dough for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.  Roll out onto a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness and use cookie cutters for desired shapes.  If dough gets too soft, put back in freezer for an hour or so until it is workable again.

Bake at 375^ for 10 minutes.  DO NOT over bake them.

Frost with your favorite frosting and decorate as necessary.

The frosting I used was pretty simple, and super tasty... I used equal parts butter and shortening then added a capful of vanilla and a splash of milk followed by as much powdered sugar as I needed to get a good thick consistancy.  Add a bit of food coloring and viola!  Easy enough... but I don't use a recipe for it, so it's hard to add measurements....

Seriously, folks- these cookies are OOBER TASTY!