Friday, December 16, 2011


A few of you (very few....) have left comments asking questions about various recipes.  I don't want you all to think I am rude.  First of all blogger will not let me comment on my blog...strange.  Second, there is a way to add some type of HTML that will allow me to reply to comments, but I am afraid of the HTML.  I will get my oldest to figure this out for me soon, I promise.

As for the Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever, the filling does ooze out.  This happens to be one thing my kids like best about this recipe.  The gooey butter and sugar sticky stuff that has oozed out.  This first time I made these I lined my pan with foil and there were some sticking issues.  I suggest parchment paper sprayed with no stick spray.  There will still be stuff oozing out, but they will scoop up easily off the parchment paper and the yummy sticky parts will just come right up and into your mouth!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Snowballs...a cookie with many names...I call it my favorite!

This is my favorite Christmas cookie.  I love the Snowball.  I do believe that these cookies have many other names...Mexican Wedding Cakes is one of the more popular ones.  Ever since I can remember these have been my favorite at Christmas and they were always called Snowballs.  There is no way to eat just one. Crunchy, sweet, salty, buttery!

3/4 c. shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
1/4 c. butter
1 t. salt
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. vanilla
2 c. flour, sifted
1 c. pecans, chopped
Powdered sugar for rolling cookies

Cream shortening, butter and sugar. Add vanilla, flour, salt and nuts. Shape into balls. Cook 20 to 25 minutes at 325 degrees.  Cookies should look very pale tan, with the bottom being a little darker. Cool on wire rack and then roll in powdered sugar.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Slow Cooker Burgundy Beef....Boeuf Bourguignon

Who loves America's Test Kitchen? Who loves Cooks Country? What's not to love?

This recipe is great for company or special occasions. It is a little time consuming in the beginning, but that's okay since all this time takes place in the morning, not right before you are going to eat. This recipe comes from The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2010. This is one great cookbook. Check it out from the library and try a few recipes. You will soon be hooked.

As usual I have to make a recipe my own. Not really with this one. The stew is just as it is in the cookbook. Then there is the garnish....I leave this out entirely. It is not necessary and it includes MUSHROOMS! We like to eat this on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.

Fry bacon until crisp and remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Try not to snack on the bacon throughout the day or you won't have any to go in your delicious beef Burgundy.

This here is my 4 pound chuck roast.  I remove the large marbling and leave the skinny stuff that looks like human veins.  This is not my favorite process. You could use stew meat if you just can't handle the thought of cutting this hunk of meat up.  I use the chuck roast because it is so much more economical than stew meat.

Brown half the meat in half the bacon grease until golden brown.

This is what you get when you are done with sauteing.

Deglaze the pan with wine, chicken broth and soy sauce. Pour over meat in slow cooker.

8 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 (4 lb) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 lg. onion, minced
2 carrots, peeled and minced
8 med. garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 t. fresh thyme, chopped
4 T. tomato paste
1-1/2 c. pinot noir
1-1/2 c. low sodium chicken broth
1/3 c. soy sauce
3 bay leaves
3 T. minute tapioca

Cut bacon and fry over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from pan with slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Place in refrigerator. Pour half the bacon grease into a small bowl; set the skillet with the remaining bacon fat aside. Cut beef into 1-1/2 inch cubes, trimming off thick pieces of fat and discarding. Pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place half the beef in your slow cooker. Heat the skillet with bacon fat on medium-high heat until smoking. Brown beef on all sides until a dark golden brown. Transfer browned beef to slow cooker.
Add reserved bacon fat to the now empty skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add minced onion and carrot and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and thyme, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and cook about 45 seconds, until beginning to brown. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
Return now empty skillet to high heat and add chicken broth, wine and soy sauce. Simmer, scraping up brown bits, about 1 minute. Pour into slow cooker. Stir in bay leaves and tapioca. Set slow cooker on low, cover and cook until the meat is fork tender, about 9 hours.
When ready to serve, fish out the bay leaves. Serve on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes or by itself with some crusty bread.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lapbooks...We are just beginning.

In an effort to shake things up around here I decided to have the kids make Christmas Lapbooks. This was our first time making Lapbooks and the kids are hooked already. I think they want to do this all day everyday!  Here is the template for the preschool book. The big kids have not finished theirs yet.  Theirs are a little more detailed and they don't have mom helping quite as much as my little did. This is the link to the big kids printables. They did not use all the pages, but picked the ones they wanted and that would fit into their own layouts. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cornbread Chicken

It's cooling off in this hot part of the world.  We only got to 79 degrees on Sunday and this type of weather gets my taste buds going for some comfort food. This is the most tasty comfort food.  My friend Anna gave me this recipe.  This recipe has been handed down through the generations, or at least from her mom to her.

The Roux or "Row-x" if you are from this neck of the woods.

Pat cornbread into biscuits and place on top of creamy chicken filling.

Hot and bubbly, just out of the oven. 

Cornbread Chicken

White Sauce:
  • 1 stick of butter (8 T.)
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/8 t. pepper
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 1 c. milk
  • 4 c. chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1 small bag of frozen peas

Cornbread Topping:
  • 1 c. cornmeal
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3 T. shortening
  • 1 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. White Sauce: Melt butter over medium heat in large saucepan. Once butter is melted stir in flour and pepper, making a roux. Continue to stir for 1 minute. Combine broth and milk and pour into the roux while stirring vigorously to prevent lumps. Keep stirring until sauce starts to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add chicken pieces and peas. (Anna would never add the peas.....) Pour mixture into a 13x9 inch Pyrex pan. 

Cornbread Topping: In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the cornbread topping. Cut in the shortening. Mix in sour cream.  This usually has to be done with clean hands. This dough will be slightly sticky. Form dough into 12 or so biscuits and place on top of chicken mixture.

Bake a 400 degrees for 25 minutes uncovered. Test a cornbread biscuit with a knife to see if they are done. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is doubled.  You could easily cut it in half and make it in an 8x8 inch pan.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Life In A Shoe Giveaway!

Over at Life In A Shoe they are have having an amazing Vision Forum gift certificate giveaway! Visit her to find out how you can win.

Vision Forum is an awesome site for Christian Books, movies and every toy a young adventurous boy could want!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Chance to Win Vision Forum Gift Certificates!

Over at Raising Olives they are have having an amazing Vision Forum gift certificate giveaway! Visit her to find out how you can win.

Vision Forum is an awesome site for Christian Books, movies and every toy a young adventurous boy could want!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Win A Gift Certificate for Vision Forum

Over at Smockity Frocks they are have having an amazing Vision Forum gift certificate giveaway!  Visit her to find out how you can win.

Vision Forum is an awesome site for Christian Books, movies and every toy a young adventurous boy could want!

Best of Luck!

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever!

Is anyone else out there addicted to Pinterest?  Pinterest is AMAZING.  It is like having a bulletin board on your computer.  It is so much better than just bookmarking things you like.  Why?  There are pictures to remind you of why you liked that URL in the first place.

Of course this most AMAZING recipe was found on Pinterest.  It was originally posted on the the Jane Deere Blog.  If it weren't for Pinterest I doubt I would have ever wowed my kids with the most amazing breakfast they have ever gobbled down. 

  • 2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • Frosting
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, sugar and cinnamon. Carefully pull apart crescent rolls and spread equally with creamed mixture, about a tablespoon or so.  Roll up and pinch tip a little to they don't come apart.  Place on a greased cookie sheet with the pinched tip on the bottom. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.  While baking combine ingredients for frosting using 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until frosting is a consistency you like and that will drizzle easily, but not to easily. Drizzle over hot rolls and serve.   

Friday, November 11, 2011

Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal

You may notice my use of demerara.  You may wonder what demerara is.  According to Wikipedia demerara is:

Natural brown sugar is brown sugar made by partially refining sugar cane extract, whereas most brown sugar is made by adding molasses to fully refined sugar, which may come from sugar beets.

Did you know that about brown sugar?  Did you know it is really refined white sugar flavored with molasses? 

Demerara is also known as Turbinado.  Demerara is the name most commonly used in the UK and Turbinado is the name most commonly used in the US.  I buy Demerara in the bulk section at Winco.  Turbinado is available at Trader Joe's.  I also buy my quick oats in the bulk section at Winco.  I heart Winco.

Today I was out of brown sugar and I really wanted to make up some oatmeal since we are currently cleaning out the pantry!  Demerara is very coarse and I knew it would not blend in well with the oats and since I was grinding my oats to a flour like consistency I figured I could do the same with the Demerara.  It worked perfectly!  This was the tastiest oatmeal.  The kids loved it and I loved it. 

  • 4 c. quick oats
  • 4 c. quick oats, ground up in blender
  • 1-1/2 c. demerara, ground up in blender
  • 1 T. maple extract
Grind up 4 cups oatmeal and demerara in a couple of batches in your blender. Combine with 4 more cups oatmeal and maple extract. Mix well to incorporate the maple extract. Store in airtight container.

Prepare: Scoop desired amount into bowl, 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Pour desired amount of boiling water over oatmeal. Add a pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt and enjoy.

***Imitiation Maple new BFF!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sausage and Maple Pancake Muffins...tastes like a McGriddle!

This has to be the new favorite breakfast around the house!  It's true, we don't eat at McDonald's except for the occasional breakfast.  The kids just love the McGriddle.  Sweet yet salty, full of mystery ingredients.  I have cracked the code!

In other news, my new favorite kitchen staple is Maple Extract.  Use it in banana bread instead of vanilla, make homemade syrup, use your imagination, the possibilities are endless.

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. white flour
  • 1/8 c. cornmeal
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. of breakfast sausage (I am a sausage snob and can only eat Jimmy Dean!)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. soda
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 t. maple extract
Crumble and fry sausage until thoroughly cooked. Drain off grease. Combine dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk, beaten egg and maple extract. Stir to mix ingredients. Add in drained sausage and mix again. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack.  Makes 1 dozen regular sized muffins.  This recipe can be doubled.

    Win A Clothes Drying Rack from Homestead Drying Racks . com!

    This drying rack looks amazing.  It is huge.  You could win it!  Head over to Homestead Drying Racks and enter today for their Christmas Giveaway.  This rack is 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.  It looks like it would easily hold a full load of laundry.

    Look how huge this thing is!

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Potato and Broccoli Cheese Soup with Garlic Croutons

    I am in a soup mood.  Sorry kids, soup again.

    • 1 sm. yellow onion, diced
    • 4 celery stalks, diced
    • 2 T. butter
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 4 c. chicken broth (or 4 c. water and 2 bouillon cubes)
    • 2 c. milk
    • 4 c. diced potato
    • 4 c. broccoli florets
    • 2 c. grated Cheddar cheese or more
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    Dice onion and celery. Saute onion and celery in large soup pot with butter until soft, about 10 minutes. Add flour to onions and celery and stir until thoroughly mixed. Add chicken broth and milk and mix well. Bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and broccoli. Simmer until broccoli and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. At this point you can leave it chunky, cream it in a blender or use your potato masher to mash things up (which is what I do.) Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with croutons.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Homemade Syrup

    It's true, we don't have a maple tree.  If you could get syrup from an oak, we would be swimming in syrup.  Then there is the taste of real maple syrup.  It kinda tastes like sweet twigs.  I like to use real maple syrup for cooking purposes, but for pancakes and waffles I like the fake stuff! 

    This syrup can be whipped up quickly.  Just start it before you start your pancake batter and by the time you are done making cakes, you will have delicious syrup.  This is just another great recipe from the Family Feasts for $75 a Week cookbook.  This cookbook is really worth the investment.  I checked it out at the library before I bought it, as I do with most cookbooks, to see if it would be worth the money.  Let's just say that mine is stained and dog-eared.

    • 1-1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1/2 c. white sugar
    • 1-1/2 c. water
    • 3/4 c. light corn syrup
    • 1 t. salt
    • 1 t. vanilla extract
    • 1 t. maple extract

    In a saucepan combine sugars, water and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 7 minutes. (Set your timer and stir occasionally.) Remove from heat and add salt, vanilla and maple extracts. Let cool 15 minutes before serving or cool completely and store in an airtight container.  Does not need to be refrigerated, just in an airtight jar on the shelf.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Homemade Croutons

    Make these and eat'em up, preferably on salad, if they last that long.


    • Sliced bread
    • Butter
    • Garlic salt or seasonings of choice
    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread sliced bread with butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt or seasonings of choice.  Stack slices up and cut into cubes.  Spread on baking sheet and place in oven.  Bake for 10 minutes. Toss around the croutons and bake for another 10 minutes. Crank the heat up to 400 degrees, stirring croutons occasionally until crispy and browned, maybe another 10 to 15 minutes. Starting out with a lower temperature helps to dry out the bread, as opposed to the high temperature just quickly browning the outside leaving you with crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle croutons.  Once you remove the croutons from the oven they will become even more crisp as the cool.  These are excellent in a salad, sprinkled on a bowl of soup or just as a munchy.

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Apple Chips

    It's fall.  It's apple time.  It's apple chip time. 

    • Gala apples, or apples of your choice
    • Cinnamon

    Core and thinly slice apples. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle with Cinnamon.  Place apples in a 275 degree oven and bake for one hour.  Toss apples around or flip them over.  Bake for another hour to hour and a half until lightly browned and crisp. They get even crispier as the cool.  Store in Ziploc. 

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Italian Sausage Soup

    It is supposed to be in the 70's all week.  This is exciting food weather.  Almost cold enough at night to have a fire....lows in the 40's a couple nights this week.  Yay! 

    The original recipe for Italian Sausage soup can be found in the cookbook Family Feasts for $75 a Week.  I did change it a bit...she used sausage links cut up, I used bulk sausage (I don't like sausage casings..eww).  The recipe also called for one carrot, thinly sliced.  I was too lazy to add this in, plus there is usually grumbling about carrots from at least one person at the table.  Just tryin' to keep the peace.

    • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
    • 1 lg. onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 t. red pepper flakes (optional...I opted out)
    • 8 c. chicken broth
    • 6 med. sized russet potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 1 (15 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 box frozen chopped spinach
    • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
    Cook and crumble sausage over medium heat in your soup pot.  About half way through cooking add onion and garlic.  Continue cooking until sausage is done and onions wilt.  Drain grease if necessary. Add broth and frozen spinach.  Bring to a boil.  When spinach has completely thawed, add potatoes and beans.  Toss in red pepper flakes if you are using them. Simmer until potatoes are soft. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan on top. 

    Note:  I did not add any extra salt or seasonings.  The sausage had plenty of flavor and the broth added plenty of salt.  Taste your soup and salt accordingly.

    Today I have linked up with Tasty Tuesday.

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Oatmeal Banana Bread

    This is my kind of banana bread.  I like banana stuff, pudding, bread, muffins, smoothies...maybe I evolved from a monkey ;o)  The reason why I like this recipe so much is the texture.  I don't like the slimy crust of banana bread.  It kind of sticks to your teeth.  This banana bread has more texture and less slime.  I like that.

    Find this and many other great recipes at For The Love of Cooking!
    • 1-1/2 c. flour
    • 1/3 c. white sugar
    • 1/3 c. brown sugar
    • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
    • 1/4 t. baking soda
    • 1/4 t. salt
    • 1-1/2 t. cinnamon
    • 3/4 c. quick cooking oats
    • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
    • 1/3 c. low fat buttermilk
    • 1/4 c. canola oil
    • 1-1/4 t. vanilla
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine all dry ingredients together and mix well. Combine the banana, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until well combined. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Homemade Instant the packets.

    When I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a try.  My eldest is always reminiscing about the the days of old when she only had one sibling and her momma would buy her instant Brown Sugar and Maple oatmeal packets.  This is not really an economical purchase now with more mouths to feed.  We must have been rich or something ;O)  I found this recipe in the Farm Bell Recipes section  of the Chicken's in the Road site.  I put the ingredients together this morning in a jiffy and served up a bowl.  Ummm...the person who posted this recipe has a real sweet tooth!  I quickly adjusted the ingredients and now have my own recipe for Homemade Instant Oatmeal!

    • 1-1/2 c. light brown sugar
    • 1 T. vanilla
    • 2 t. cinnamon
    • 4 cups quick oats, ground up
    • 4 cups quick oats, whole
    Combine brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  In a blender grind up oats, 2 cups a time, until coarse flour texture. In a large bowl combine brown sugar mixture, ground oats and whole oats.  Your done!  Store in an airtight container.

    To make:  Measure 1/3 to 2/3 cups instant oatmeal into bowl. Pour in desired amount of boiling water or milk to thickness desired.  Add a slab of butter and a sprinkling of salt. 

    I am going to pick up some maple extract next time I am at the store and use it instead of vanilla in my next batch, then it will truly be Brown Sugar and Maple instant oatmeal.

    This post is linked up with Raising Homemakers and Tasty Tuesday.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Congressional Bean some history!

    Did you know that Bean Soup has been on the menu of the Senate's restaurant everyday for around 100 years?  Did you know that they have had a candy desk since is located in the back row on the Republican side...which is the door where most Senators enter the chambers.  Such a rich history.  Bean Soup and Candy.

    This soup is delicious.  My pickiest eater had two bowls, but then again we are a bean eating family.

    • 2 lbs. navy beans, picked through and rinsed
    • 1 sweet onion, diced
    • 4 celery stalks, washed and diced
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 t. salt plus more to taste
    • 1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
    • 3/4 lb. smoked ham hocks
    • 10+ c. water
    Pick yucky stuff out of beans and rinse them thoroughly. Place beans, celery, onion, bay leaf, salt, pepper and ham hock in crock pot. Cover with 10 cups water. Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. About one hour before serving, remove ham hocks.  If you like it soupy you can add more water at this point (that is what I did).  Stir around and then taste for salt.  Salt to taste at this point and continue cooking until ready to serve.  Delicious, frugal, simple. Serve with warm Honey Cornbread.

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Cinnamon and Sugar Scones

    This was my first time making scones.  This was a very simple recipe to start with and the kids loved them.  They ate'em all, licked their fingers and asked for more. 

    • 2 c. flour
    • 2 t. baking powder
    • 1/2 t. baking soda
    • 1/2 t. salt
    • 1/2 c. butter
    • 1 egg, separated
    • 3 T. honey
    • 1/3 c. buttermilk
    • 1 to 2 T. turbinado or sugar
    • 1/2 t. cinnamon
    • 1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 to 3 T. milk
    • 1/2 t. vanilla
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside. Separate egg and set aside white. In a separate bowl combine yolk, honey and buttermilk.  Add to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Form dough into a ball.  On a floured surface roll the dough into an 8 inch in diameter circle that is about 1/2 an inch thick.  (I rolled mine on parchment paper then just picked it up and set it on the baking pan.  You could also roll or pat it out on a greased baking pan so you don't have to worry about how you are gonna move it after you have rolled it out.) Place on a greased baking sheet.  Cut into eight equal wedges. Beat egg white until frothy and brush on top.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  Mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze forms.  You can drizzle over the whole thing, or over each scone (like I did) after you put the scone on a serving plate.  I like to drizzle it over the scone on the plate get more glaze!

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

    Some thoughts on cooking:

    1.  If a recipe has oats it must be healthy.
    2.  If a recipe has peanut butter it must taste good.
    3.  If a recipe has buttermilk it must be southern.

    • 1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour
    • 1 c. rolled oats
    • 1 t. baking powder
    • 1/2 t. baking soda
    • 1/2 t. salt
    • 2 T. applesauce
    • 3/4 c. organic cane sugar or light brown sugar
    • 2 lg. eggs
    • 1 c. ripe mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
    • 6 T. creamy peanut butter
    • 1 c. low-fat buttermilk
    Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  In a large bowl combine applesauce, sugar, eggs, mashed bananas, peanut butter and buttermilk. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until just moistened.  Scoop into prepared muffin pans and bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.  This recipe makes 18 muffins.  I made 12 big ones and 12 mini muffins.

    See Works For Me Wednesday for more good ideas!

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Win Some Music..The 4 Mom's Give Away!

    The 4 Mom's are giving away some fun music.  Help your kids and yourself to hide God's word in their/your hearts/heart!

    There will be one winner for each:

    God's Word from A to Z.


    Jamie Soles album of Psalms.

    Good Luck!


    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Mexican Rice

    We love Mexican food!  It is definately something I can serve with no complaints.  I have one chick who is especially fond of rice...any rice.  I have searched high and low for the perfect Mexican rice recipe.  Usually they come out too hard.  I have finally come up with the perfect rice.  Try it, you'll like it.  (Please excuse my pot...)

    Here is how the rice looks after I browned it...If you have ever made Rice-A-Roni you know what to do!

    Beans and cheese soft tacos with amazing Mexican rice.

    • 2 T. olive oil
    • 2 c. long grain white rice
    • 2 t. garlic salt
    • 1 t. cumin
    • 1/2 an onion, diced
    • 4 c. homemade chicken broth (canned will work too)
    • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook rice, stirring constantly, until golden brown. While rice is cooking, add cumin and garlic salt. Stir in onion and cook until soft. Stir in chicken broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.  Fluff with  fork. Serve along side your favorite Mexican meal.

    Check out Tasty Tuesday for more yumminess.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Honey Buns

    Oh honey...they are great.  Honey, you're gonna love'em.  These are amazing honey. Seriously, these are the best rolls I have ever made. It's a first...I didn't change a thing about this recipe.  This recipe is perfect just the way I found it at The Pastry Affair.  I am pretty sure I will be returning to this blog to try out other stuff like the Almond Joy Tart.  One of Rowdy's favorite things is coconut and this tart looks awesome. 

    One of the many things about blogging I have yet to master is the photography aspect.  This year I did get an awesome new camera and am able to take great pictures with it, however, there are many people living here and at dinnertime it is hard to say wait...I need to get a picture of that food before you start shoveling it in, or the baby is crying that dinnertime "witching hour" cry that only momma can sooth.  In any case, I did not get  a great picture of my rolls and did not get a picture of them out of the pan...I hope to make them again soon and get a great shot to add to this post.  Now that would be amazing.

    • 2 t. active dry yeast
    • 1 c. warm water
    • 1/4 c. honey plus 1 T.
    • 1 t. salt
    • 1 egg, room temperature (this is when I miss my chickens!)
    • 3 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra if necessary
    • 1 T. butter
    In the bowl of your stand mixer combine water, 1/4 cup honey and yeast.  Let proof for 5 minutes. Add egg, salt and flour and begin to knead with your dough hook.  This dough will seem sticky, but that is how it is supposed to be.  You may need to add a little flour, it just depends on how dry your flour is and the level of stickiness you can handle.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Shape into a ball, place in an oiled bowl (I must confess to never doing this step with bread dough...I just shape into a ball and place back in my mixing bowl), cover and and let rise for at least an hour, two hours would probably be better. Spray pan with nonstick spray.  I used my 3 quart enameled cast iron pan, but a 13x9 inch Pyrex would work just as well.  Shape into 12 balls and place evenly in pan.  Let rise for another 30 minutes. Combine 1 tablespoon of melted butter with 1 tablespoon honey.  Gently brush across the top of the rolls so you don't deflate them. Place in an oven that has been preheated to 400 degrees. Bake for 13 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden brown on top. Let stand a few minutes before removing from pan so the butter/honey can slightly harden. 

    Hey What's For Dinner

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Baked Spaghetti

    This is a dish everyone will love.  The key is chopping the onions and bell peppers very small, this way the kids who think they don't like onions and bell peppers won't notice them. My inspiration these days comes from TV.  I have been recording my favorite cooking shows to watch in the middle night while I am up with the baby.  This recipe is from Paula Deen's show, but it is really Dora's recipe.  Apparently she works at Paula's restaurant and was guest on the show.  Of course I did change the recipe some, but that is how I roll!  This dish was perfect for Rowdy...he loves his noodles really soft.

    My turned out really tasty.

    Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 inch dish. Spread 1/2 the cooked spaghetti over the sauce and half the cheese.

     Spread half of the sauce that is left over the cheese.

    Next layer the rest of the noodles and the rest of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and spread with remaining cheese. Put back in oven until cheese is melted.

    Hot out of the oven, let stand for 5 minutes or so before serving.

    • 3/4 lb. ground meat of your liking (I used sweet Italian sausage.  Dora used turkey, chicken and pork.  Ground beef would work excellent too.)
    • 1 T. olive oil
    • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
    • 1 green bell pepper, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
    • 1/2 c. water, swished in jar of sauce to get it all out
    • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
    • 1 lb. thin spaghetti
    • 1 cup jack cheese, grated
    • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
    Dice onion and pepper, mince garlic.  Fry and crumble Italian sausage (or meat of choice) in your saucepan with onion and pepper.  Once the veggies have softened and the sausage is cooked through, add the garlic and stir around until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Pour in spaghetti sauce, water that has been swished around in sauce jar and tomato sauce.  Simmer for at least 20 minutes. While sauce is simmering prepare spaghetti, cooking slightly al dente.  Grate cheese and set aside. Spray 13x9 inch pan with nonstick spray.  Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of the pan and spread around.  Layer half the noodles in the pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup jack and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Spread 1/2 of the remaining sauce over the cheese. Next, layer the remaining noodles and then the remaining sauce.  Reserve the remaining cheese for the end of baking.  Cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes or so before serving.

    See Works For Me Wednesday for more fun stuff.


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