Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mom's Potato Soup

I was at my mom's house this morning and she was making this for dinner. I will be making this tomorrow. She has a 6 quart crock pot, so that is what this recipe is for.

1 onion
1 can of corn
1 can of evaporated milk
2-3 cups of grated cheddar cheese

Cube enough potatoes to fill your crock pot just over half way. Rinse them off so your soup isn't too starchy. Put the potatoes in the crock pot. Add one diced onion and the can of corn - juice included. Let this cook in the crock pot until it's boiling pretty well, then turn to low. Mom didn't start this until around noon, so she put the potato/corn/onion mix in the microwave to heat up. Then the crock pot just starts cooking without having to heat up the food first.
About a half hour before you are going to eat, take it off the heat and add 1 can of evaporated milk, 2-3 cups of grated cheddar cheese, a few shakes of Mrs. Dash and some pepper, some chives, some parsley, or whatever sounds good to you.
The heat of the potato mixture will heat up the milk and melt the cheese.

This is great served with some crusty bread, a salad, or by itself.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

The name of this dessert is somewhat misleading. It is really more of a cake. It's so delicious.

2/3 cup margarine
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2 cups oatmeal
2 8 oz. packages of chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the margarine, brown sugar, and the eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, soda, and salt. Mix in with the creamed together ingredients. Add the milk, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and the vanilla. Mix well. Pour into a sprayed 9x13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Orange Glaze

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
6 Tablespoons orange rind, optional

Mix together to make a glaze. Pour the glaze over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. I find that if you spoon it on, mostly in the middle of the cake, it runs down the sides, but doesn't pool up there. That way you have glaze throughout the cake instead of just on the sides.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Applesauce Gingerbread

Makes one 8 x 8 pan or doubled makes one 9 x 13 pan. Believe me, you will want to double this recipe.

6 Tblsp. shortening
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. molasses
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. applesauce

Cream shortening and sugar together. Add egg and beat well. Add molasses. Add dry ingredients and applesauce and mix well.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

To double:

3/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
3 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup applesauce

Best if served warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Barbara's Orange Rolls

This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law (I don't know where she got it). It is super yummy. We only get to have them a couple times each year or we would all weigh ten thousand pounds. Make sure you make enough for everyone to have two or three. They'll be glad you did.

12 dinner rolls
1 grated orange rind
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

for two dozen - triple the orange and sugar part but not the butter part.

Spray muffin tins WELL. Even the tops of the pans, because these rolls rise. Sometimes a lot.
Roll each blob of roll dough into a snake shape. You will want to roll out all rolls before dipping any.
Mix together the rind and the sugar. Dip each roll into butter and then into the orange sugar.
Tie each roll into a knot as you go and then put each one into a well of the muffin tin. ( I have also just put them on a well sprayed cookie sheet before when I didn't have enough muffin tins.)
Let rise then bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes. Watch them closely toward the end because the sugar mixture can burn easily. This will make the rolls yucky and will cause you to "test" your smoke alarm. Ah, good times. Good times.
Take the pans out of the oven and dump them out onto tin foil to cool. DO NOT LET ANY OF THE SUGAR MIXTURE TOUCH YOUR SKIN!!! It burns immediately.
Soak the tins immediately or you will just have to throw them out. Dried cooked sugar does not come off easily.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sloppy Joes

This is my mom's recipe. It's really good. I usually only put in half of the chili powder because it's a little spicy for my kids with all of it.

2 pounds ground beef (or turkey if you want)
1/2 cup diced celery
1 small onion, diced
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 Tablespoons worchestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat with the celery and onion. Drain the fat. Add the other ingredients and cook until warm. Serve on buns, with or without cheese.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Zucchini Bread

I always put the zucchini in the blender and measure it out into Ziplocks in the summer when there is an over-abundance of zucchini everywhere. That way I can just get a bag out of the freezer and make zucchini bread anytime of the year. It works best if you grate the zucchini first before trying to blend it.

3-4 cups of zucchini, big seeds removed and grated
(2 1/2 cups of blended zucchini)
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped nuts - I use walnuts
3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 teaspoons vanilla

Put zucchini in blender and blend until smoothish (no chunks, but not totally liquified). You will need 2 1/2 cups of blended zucchini. Add the raisins to the zucchini and heat until hot, not boiling. You are just heating up the raisins and reconstituting them in the juice of the zucchini. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl mix together all the other ingredients with a spoon. I mix together the dry ingredients first, then when they are mixed thoroughly, I add the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly with a spoon until no clumps remain.
Pour into two large loaf pans that have been greased, lined with wax paper, and greased again.
Bake at 335 degrees for 70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

We love to have this sliced and toasted in the oven.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sponge Cake

I guess I need to get back to posting a recipe a day. Sorry I was such a slacker this last week. I had issues.

This cake is what I made for the one year old's official birthday cake. (What he had on his birthday was a store bought piece of yucky-ness. Just my opinion, and no offence to the store where it was purchased. I just think that homemade is SOOOO much better.) It is sorta like angel food cake, not as light and airy.

9 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored, about five minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in water, lemon extract and lemon rind. Beat in flour.
Beat egg whites until frothy; add cream of tartar and salt then beat until stiff enough to hold a point. Gently fold into egg yolk mixture.
Bake in dry, ungreased deep 9 for 10-inch tube pan at 325 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes.
Invert pan immediately and let cake hang in pan until entirely cool.

This is a picture of the pan I use so you can see what it's like. I didn't have any lemon extract, so I substituted lemon juice for all the water, still added the 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice in place of the extract, and put in the rind on one lemon. You could also (and I have before) substitute almond extract, or any other extract you have that you might think would be tasty. You could even add sprinkles or tiny chocolate chips in with the flour. If you wanted a chocolate sponge cake, add cocoa powder - about 1/4 cup - in with the flour. It might be a good idea to cut the flour by about 1/8 cup or so if you decide to do this so the cake isn't too dry.

The reason you invert the pan until it's cool is so that the weight of the cake will not make it collapse. I have done that before, and the cake is flat and very dense. Still edible, but not nearly as tasty. After the cake is cooled, you run a knife around the sides (if it hasn't fallen out by itself), take it out of the pan, and run the knife around the middle spindle and under the cake to remove the insert.

I always serve this with strawberries, fresh or frozen with sugar so it makes a syrup, chocolate sauce, because everything's better with chocolate, and whipped cream.

(It's really good sliced, toasted in the oven, and eaten at breakfast if you have any left over. I don't know how I know this. I, of course, always eat a well balanced meal for breakfast.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Since I didn't get around to posting a recipe yesterday, you get two today. And since today is pi day (3.14, March 14) here is my mom's recipe for pie crust.

Pie Crust

2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup very cold water

Mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in (with a pastry cutter or two knives) the shortening until it's mixed and crumbly. Add water last. Roll out on lightly floured board. Makes two pie crusts or one double crust (bottom and top crust - like on an apple pie).

Bake shell at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
For a filled pie, bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then turn down to 375 degrees for 30 minutes. For filled tarts or individual pies, bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then turn down to 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.


I got this recipe off the box for Alber's cornmeal. Since my family is a little larger, I one and a half times it. It still fits in a 9 x 13 pan. Sorry, I no longer have the original recipe.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Alber's yellow corn meal
1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 plus 1/8 cups milk
3 eggs
1/3 plus a half a third cup oil
4 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Mix ingredients together just until blended. Pour into greased pan.
Bake for 35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

My family loves this. I make it often, probably too often. It can be made ahead and put in the freezer for later use.

Line the bottom of a pan (sprayed with cooking spray, of course) with fresh, cooked (or frozen) broccoli. Sprinkle with cubed cooked chicken. Make a sauce with two cans of cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup mayonnaise, and about 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Spread the sauce on top of the chicken. Cover the top with shredded cheddar cheese. You can sprinkle the top with bread crumbs, crushed up corn flakes, or leave it plain. I guess you could even top it with sliced almonds if you wanted a little crunch. Cook for about 30 minutes in a 350 - 375 degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes one 9 x 13 pan that will serve 10 - 12 hungry people. Serve with rice and maybe some fruit or a salad.

I have made this using frozen Normandy blend veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots). I have also, on occasion added some mushrooms. I usually put it all in a huge bowl and mix it up (except the cheese) because I like it when you get sauce in every bite. You know, no naked broccoli or chicken.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


These are somewhat like the enchiladas below. They are not creamy though. You can make them with chicken, beef, pork, whatever. I'm sure you could use shrimp if you wanted to, although I have never tried it. I always make these sometime in the first few days after I make a roast. These freeze really well, so you could easily make them ahead of time and just thaw on the day you want to eat them. You could also just freeze the filling for use later. That's what I do if I have more than I want to use that day.

First you put some salsa (whatever brand you like) into a strainer over a bowl or whatever. Then you cube up your meat. I always add shredded cheese to the meat. When the salsa is done draining, I see how much salsa juice I have. If I think I'll need more, I pour a little water over the salsa and let it drain some more. Sometimes I add black beans in with the meat, sometimes corn, sometimes nothing. It totally depends on my mood, and if I have anything left over in the fridge that I think would be good in the enchiladas. After the salsa is done draining, I dump the salsa in with the meat. It is now meat, cheese, salsa, and beans or other add-ins.

Next you take your tortillas and warm them up a little. Then I dip them in the salsa juice - I forgot, if I add black beans to the meat I put a little water in the can before I drain them and then I drain them into the salsa juice, so the bean juice is in with the salsa juice. Anyway, then I take a tortilla, dip it into the salsa juice, and put some of the meat, bean, cheese, salsa mixture in the middle. Sometimes I've even spread a little refried beans down the tortilla before the meat mixture, but not if there's beans in with the meat. That's just asking for trouble. (If I have any salsa juice left, I just pop it into a container, label it, and stick it in the freezer for use next time.)

Then I roll them up and put them in a pan that I've sprayed with cooking spray. Then I spread shredded cheese over the top.

Cook in a 350 - 375 degree oven for about half an hour until the cheese is bubbly and yummy looking.

Serve with salad, corn, applesauce, sour cream, or whatever you like.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This isn't anything like that yucky stuff you buy in a can. This is real. I am proud to say that I have never bought a can of frosting. After tasting this and seeing how easy it is to make, maybe you won't buy that stuff either.

about one pound of powdered sugar
a blob of room temperature margarine about the size of a ping pong ball
a blob of shortening about the size of a ping pong ball
really hot water, I usually use hot water from my teapot
extras like cocoa powder, kool-aid, or flavorings

I usually use half of a (2 pound) bag of powdered sugar to cover a 9 x 13 pan. Put it in a bowl. Add the blobs of margarine and shortening. Add two or three heaping tablespoons of cocoa, a package of kool-aid, or a couple of teaspoons of vanilla or other flavoring. Or you can just leave it plain. Pour in some hot water. Not too much. You can always add a little more. If you add too much water, you have to add more powdered sugar and it could become a vicious cycle of adding one then the other. And the flavorings get diluted too. Mix with a hand mixer until it's mixed well. If you want stiffer frosting, don't add so much water. If you like it a little softer, water is the key. You can totally make this anyway you like it.

party mix cake with vanilla frosting with sprinkles in it
White cake with cherry frosting (cherry kool-aid)
Yellow cake with chocolate frosting (my fave)
Chocolate cake with chocolate chunks in it with chocolate frosting with tiny chocolate chips in it (okay, now I'm needing to make a cake!)

If you want more frosting, or you're making a layer cake, use more powdered sugar to begin with. One of the great things about this frosting is the fact that it has no milk. You don't need to store the leftover cake (if there is any) in the fridge. You can just put it on top of the fridge, or on the counter, or wherever. Another benefit - if it's not in the fridge, the kids won't hear you open the fridge after they've gone to bed to sneak some.

I usually make more than I will need. I then take a graham cracker, spread some frosting on it, and top it with another graham cracker - making a frosting sandwich. We call these cookies Graham Cracker Frostings. After you make them, you need to put them into a ziplock for a day so the graham cracker part gets kindof soft. Sometimes, I don't even make a cake. I just make Graham Cracker Frostings.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meat Ring
(not loaf)

I also got this recipe from the book A Star In Winter by Anita Stansfield. It is super easy and my kids love it! I always serve this with mashed potatoes, because what is mealtloaf without mashed potatoes. That's like a goldfish with no water.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup oatmeal or cracker crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (can use dried onion)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together and mold into a round pan, leaving a hole in the center.
Cover with sauce and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.


1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon mustard

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Children-Friendly Chicken Enchiladas

I found this recipe in a book called A Star In Winter by Anita Stansfield. I rarely make it how it is written though. Here is the original recipe.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can milk
1 8 oz. carton of sour cream
12 flour tortillas
cooked chunks of chicken
sliced black olives
shredded cheddar cheese

Mix soup, milk, and sour cream. Spread a little soup mixture on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Spread some soup mixture down the center of each tortilla, along with some chicken, cheese, and olives. Roll tortillas and place in the pan. Spread the remaining mixture over top and then cover with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until hot (20 - 30 minutes).

I decided that it's a little bland for my tastes, and since my kids enjoy things that are a little spicy I always add green chiles. And I don't think I have ever made it with olives. My kids like them, but we almost never have them on hand. Here is how I make them.

I make the sauce the same, but I usually double it. If I have any left over, I stick it in the freezer.
I spray the pan well with cooking spray so it won't stick. I mix together the chicken, and the green chiles (I usually use two small cans, depending on how much chicken I have), and sometimes I put some grated cheese in too. I would also add the olives now because I am all about making less work for myself. Then I mix well to make sure all the ingredients are well distrubuted.

I put the sauce in a shallow bowl and dip the tortillas into it. I then hold the dipped tortilla in one hand and grab out some of the stuffing with the other hand. I spread the stuffing down the center of the tortilla and roll it up and place it in the pan. It's a messy business, but this is how it works for me. Then after the pan is full, I put grated cheddar on top, and cook it for about a half an hour.

I have found that if I dip the tortilla in the sauce and if I make it early in the day, the tortilla is soft and not dried out. I hate it when I take a bite and the tortilla is dry.

I usually serve this meal with applesauce and a salad, and sometimes with corn.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This recipe is delicious. It tastes a lot like the chicken you get in Chinese restaurants. It is a little time consuming, but totally worth it. You can adjust the amount just by adding more chicken and doubling the sauce.

4 - 8 skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1 egg, beaten
sauce - recipe follows

1. Cut the chicken into strips.
2. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg, then roll them in the cornstarch.
3. In a small amount of oil, fry the chicken until just browned.
4. Place the chicken in a shallow baking pan, pour the sauce over it, then bake uncovered at 325 degrees for one hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes.


3/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together.

I always triple the sauce for a 9 x 13 pan of chicken. It feeds my family of eight and we usually have enough left over for me to have lunch the next day. And, I always serve it with rice. The sauce is really yummy with rice.

3X Sauce recipe

2 1/2 cup sugar
12 Tablespoons ketchup = 2/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons
1 1/2 cup vinegar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder