Saturday, December 13, 2008

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min.

* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 cup shredded peeled zucchini
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 cup chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add egg; beat well. Stir in zucchini; set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Add to zucchini mixture; stir until thoroughly combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375̊ for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on pans for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cookies are cake-like. Yield: 3 dozen. If Cooking for Two: Freeze cookies in airtight containers and thaw as needed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bean Burrito Mac & Cheese

This is one of my inventions. It was different, but Brian and I liked it. Chloe, not so much. This is what you need:

*Approx. 4-5 cups macaroni noodles
*1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese--divided
*1 can refried beans
*1 can tomato sauce
*1 tbsp lime juice
*salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to taste.
*sour cream or salsa optional

Cook noodles in boiling water for 10-12 minutes. Drain. In the meantime, heat refried beans and tomato sauce in sauce pan until heated through. Add seasonings. Stir in about 1/4 cup of cheese. Stir until melted. Add bean mixture to noodles and pour into a baking dish. Put remaining cheese on top. Broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream or salsa.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fajita Frittata

This is a really good recipe. I found it in the Taste of Home "Simple and Delicious" cookbook, however, my version is a little different than the one in the book. The above picture is all the ingredients you'll need.


1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 eggs, beaten
5-7 strips of turkey bacon, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1 small onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 medium green pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin--for a smokier flavor.
Sour cream

In a large ovenproof skillet, saute the chicken, lime juice, salt, chili powder and optional ingredients (except salsa and sour cream) in oil until chicken juices run clear. Add bacon and cook for 3-5 more minutes.

Pour eggs over chicken mixture. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until eggs are nearly set. Uncover; broil 6 in. from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.

Yield: 8 servings.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ramen Noodle Makeover

I know I've already posted a Ramen noodle dish, and you may be thinking "enough is enough already," but this is the made over version of the ham and cheese noodle soup I posted a couple months ago. This was very good in my opinion and you don't have to use a gravy mix like the other one. I don't, however, have a picture for this one. Here we go.

You'll need:

--3 packages Ramen noodles--I used chicken flavor, but it doesn't matter all that much.
--About 2 cups chicken stock
--2 tbs butter or margarine
--1/4-1/2 cup flour--amount depends on how much butter you use and your personal taste.
--1/2-1 cup milk--again, amount depends on you.
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped bacon, ham or hot dogs--I used hot dogs, and while they are quite redneck, I really liked them in this.

First, prepare the noodles according to package directions EXCEPT when noodles are done, DRAIN the water and DO NOT add the flavor. You will add them later. Return noodles to pot and add chicken stock. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt butter. Then add flour and stir constantly until smooth. This is called a rue. Next, slowly add milk. You don't want to add too much, so that's why it's important to add it a little at a time. You want the mixture to be fairly creamy, but not runny. Add cheese, stirring constantly until melted completely. Add to noodles. Add two of the flavor packets to the noodles.

Next, prepare the meat. For hot dogs I just chopped them in the pan and let them brown slightly on both sides. Then add to noodles. Place noodles on medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.

Serves three quite nicely...we even had a little left over. This really isn't a soup, as mine came out more like a pasta with creamy sauce than anything...but it's tasty!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zucchini Banana Bread or Muffins

2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup mashed banana
3 eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup sour cream
3 cups flour
Chopped dates or raisins, optional

Cream oil and sugar together; add sour cream, eggs, zucchini and bananas. Then, alternately add flour and the rest of the ingredients. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. In bread pan or 10 x 13 inch pan.

Note: Instead of using the oil I used a 1/2 cup of applesauce - it cuts down on fat and adds sweetness so you can cut back on sugar. When making the muffins, I started checking them after about 35 minutes. If the toothpick comes out clean - they are done. Fill them about 3/4 full or a little less. I suppose you could add chocolate chips to these too. They are delicious and very moist.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lilac Lace Scarf--Knitted Pattern

This is a really nice lace pattern. It will make a good spring scarf. I used 1 skein of Patons Lacette yarn in Lilac Lace. If you can't find this particular yarn, any soft fine yarn will do. I also used size 8 needles.

--C.O. 32 stitches. (You can make this wider or thinner, but make sure the # of stitches is a multiple of 4.)
-- K1, *YO p 2 tog. K2* repeat between * to last stitch, K1. Repeat this row throughout.
--Work until piece measures 50"
--make fringe (optional)

I was really surprised that one skein was enough to make this whole scarf. Not bad considering I bought this yarn at the Dollar Tree. I still have 4-5 more skeins of this so I could make a whole lot of these if I wanted to. But I think I'm going to design a sweater here before too long. Maybe I'll put the pattern on here when I'm done.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Homemade Vodka Perfume

I just made some today. I think it should work pretty well. Word of caution though. Do not put Vodka in a thin plastic cup. The Vodka will eat right through it and you'll end up with a sweet smelling mess. I know, because I did that already.

Anyway this is what you need:
2 ounces of Vodka (per 2 ounce spray bottle)
scented oil--about 20 drops per batch, in varying scents.
2 ounce spray bottle
glass or thick plastic container with a lid
Coffee Filter

This is real simple. All you do is pour the Vodka in a glass or thick plastic container. Add the oil. This will take some experimenting until you get a scent that you like. The stuff I made was a mix of lavender, gardenia blossoms and sweet pea and jasmine. It smelled pretty good. Anyway, don't add too much oil or you'll end up with an oily mess. 20-25 drops should be fine.
Next, stir the Vodka and put the lid on the container. Let sit for 48 hours to 6 weeks. The longer it sits the stronger the scent.
Then, add two tablespoons of spring water. Filter the perfume with a coffee filter and put into bottle. You might end up with a small amount left over. You can either discard it or add it to your next batch

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cheesy Baked Potato Soup

3 medium potatoes
5 bacon strips, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 packet sausage gravy mix (2 cups)
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, basil

1. Scrub and pierce potatoes; place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 8-12 minutes or until tender, turning once.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels.
3. In the drippings, saute onion until tender. Stir in 1/4 cup flour; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Gradually stir in broth. Add the parsley, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the gravy mix with milk until smooth; add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
5. Peel and cube potatoes; add to soup. Add bacon. Cook and stir until heated through. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is yummy!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
In a separate bowl combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla. Beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. And flour mixture, stir until moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into loaf pans. Bake in preheated over for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

I'll have plenty of zucchini this year if you want to try this recipe.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ham & Cheese Pockets

2-3 cups chopped turkey ham

2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 tubes large refrigerated flaky biscuits (I use the reduced fat kind)

Flatten half the biscuits into 4-inch circles. Place on a cookie sheet or large baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Spoon 1/4 cup ham into each biscuit. Sprinkle with cheese. Flatten the rest of the biscuits into 4-inch circles and place on top and pinch edges to seal tightly. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 8 servings.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spinach Souffle'

3 eggs - Slightly beaten
8 ounces of cottage cheese
1 cup of diced cheddar cheese
¼ cup of butter
3 tbs of flour
¼ cup of buttermilk
½ package of frozen spinach
Mix all ingredients together and bake
At 350 for 45-60 minutes.
(Insert a toothpick in center to insure that it's not soupy)

This is a recipe my mother made for my daughter
when she was about 5 years old. My daughter has
continued to make it every Thanksgiving
and randomly throughout the year.
It is delicious - even if you don’t like spinach - and
I don’t. But you can substitute broccoli if you
feel the need to.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bean Burrito Soup

I figure if there can be a taco soup, there sure as heck can be a bean burrito soup.


2 cans fat free refried beans

1 can tamato sauce (or diced tomatoes, if you prefer)

8-10 ounces Chicken Stock

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Onion Powder

2-3 corn or flower tortillas

In Large Saucepan or medium pot, heat beans and tomato sauce just until boiling. Pour in Chicken stock and cheese. Reduce heat and wait for cheese to melt. Add onion powder.

Meanwhile cut tortillas into strips and bake on cookie sheet, 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Serve with soup. Optional: Serve with sour cream and additional cheese.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ballpark Breakfast Burritos with Creamy Cheese Sauce

Here's a recipe I came up with while cleaning out my fridge. I had some turkey dogs, turkey bacon and whole wheat tortillas that needed to be used. Here's what I came up with:


6 eggs

Small amount of milk

3-4 turkey dogs

5 strips of turkey bacon


1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

About 6-10 ounces of Chicken Stock (I didn't measure, but if it's too runny, add more flour, if it's too thick, add more stock)

1/2 cup flour

Chop bacon and hot dogs. Cook in medium skillet until done. Whisk eggs in bowl, add small amount of milk. Add to skillet and stir constantly. You may need to reduce heat. When eggs are done, remove from heat and begin making cheese sauce.

In small saucepan, heat chicken stock to boiling. Add flower and stir until smooth. Reduce heat. Add cheese and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and serve on burritos.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Alluring Halter Top--Pattern

I've knitted this before, but instead of going all the way to the neck I got lazy and quit before then. Then I just crocheted a cord to tie behind the neck. It's cute either way. Just thought I'd share the pattern. If you use a different yarn than the pattern specifies, like I did, it's really hard to find a yarn that will match the gauge. But it's a simple enough pattern it's not too hard to figure out how big to make it. Anyway, enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Knitting pattern

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Knitting Instruction??

I don't know how many people actually read this blog, but if there's anyone who would like to be taught how to knit, please comment and let me know. I would be happy to offer some instruction and some easy patterns to get you started. I'm sure my sister, Betty would be happy to help as well. If so, I'll post some easy knitting stuff in here, otherwise I'll just put patterns that will interest my sister and I. I would like to see this blog become more than another recipe blog. I would also like to post things about the various other crafts that interest me. If my sisters would be interested in posting other things besides knitting and cooking, please do so. Any craft or art is fine.

Anyway, let me know if you'd like to learn.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

Here's the recipe you were asking about, Jenn

1/2 cup ( 1 stick butter or margarine)
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8X8 in. pan In a medium sauce pan, melt butter or margarine. Remove butter or margarine from heat. Add cocoa and stir until well blended. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well. stir in vanilla, flour and salt. Do not over beat. Fold in nuts and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Peach Cobbler

I decided to post this recipe since my Sisters haven't yet. I got this recipe from my Mom and it is so good! I just had to share it.

1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Milk
Mix-Pour in greased 9X13 in pan.

Fruit Mixture
2 Cups canned peaches
2 Tbs. Butter
1 Cup Sugar
Mix and boil-Pour over batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.
(If you are using fresh fruit, use 2 cups water for fruit mixture.)

The Best Meat Loaf Ever!

Don't like meatloaf? Don't worry, you will as soon as you try this. There's also a lower fat variation if you're watching what you eat, like me.
2 eggs (beaten)
2 lbs ground beef
1 pkg. Stove Top chicken flavor stuffing mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup barbeque sauce (divided)
6 (or more) strips uncooked bacon
1-2 cups shredded cheese (you can pretty much add as much or as little as you like)
1-2 sheets Wax Paper
Instead of ground beef, I like to use either 2 pounds of turkey burger, or 1 pound turkey burger and 1 pound turkey sausage. Instead of bacon I use turkey bacon. You can also use a lower fat cheese than cheddar, or you can leave the cheese out, but it won't taste near as good.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, beat eggs lightly with a fork. Place ground beef, stuffing mix, water, beaten eggs and 1/4 cup barbeque sauce in large bowl.
Mix all ingredients just until blended. Form into oval shape, lay on wax paper. Roll out or press into flat long oval shape. Sprinkle cheese over mixture, roll up in a loaf shape, put in pan. Lay bacon over top and spread remaining barbeque sauce over top. Bake 45 min. to an hour.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wanna Learn How to Knit?

I found some really basic knitting instructions in case anyone reading this would like to learn. It's a shame more people don't 20 years or so it might just be a forgotten art. And it really is addicting even if you normally don't like to sit in one spot for hours trying to figure out why the needles don't have hooks on them...because believe me you WILL wonder that. Anyway, here's the link. Have fun!

~Homemade Cleaner~

I know this isn't exactly food, but it's made with food so I'm posting it.

This stuff rocks! And it's really easy. All you do is take a spray bottle (any size) and fill it half full with vinegar. Then fill it the rest of the way with water. You can also add a little bit of lemon juice if you prefer. Vinegar makes a really good cleaner and there are no chemicals. I think it works better than Windex on glass and it's a disinfectant too. You can use it on just about any surface except marble. I have a glass table and it works great on that. I'm almost all out of mine, so it's about time to make some more.

Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Butter Sauce


1 pkg ground turkey
1/2 pkg Ritz crackers
1 egg
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
Italian seasoning (to taste)
Onion powder
Garlic salt
1 tsp Ceyenne pepper
2 or 3 splashes Tobasco

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Use an ice cream scoup or large spoon to form meatballs. In a 375 degree oven, bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.

Peanut Butter Sauce:

1 c packed, dark brown sugar
1 small can tomato sauce
1 c peanut butter
Italian seasoning (to taste)
Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
Soy sauce (to taste)

Mix tomato sauce, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire, and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Heat to a low boil, add peanut butter, stir briskly. When mixed thoroughly, pour over meatballs. Serve and enjoy!!

This one is really good. My husband invented this one, and we love it so much I just had to share.

Taco Enchilada Casserole

1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 can olives, sliced
1 pkg. shredded cheese (any kind you like)
1 can tomato sauce (you can also use spaghetti or pizza sauce)
6 tortillas
Garlic salt
Onion salt
Italian seasoning
Ceyenne pepper
Salsa (optional)
Sour cream ( optional)

Brown meat and taco seasoning. Heat tomato sauce and all seasonings over medium heat until warm. (I don't measure so just season to taste.) Cut tortillas into quarters, (you will use 2 per layer). In a medium cake pan or casserole dish, begin layering shells, 1/3 of the cheese, 1/2 of the olives, sauce, and meat. Make another layer in the same way, reserving some cheese to put on top. On the last layer, use up the rest of the shells and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until cheese melts and the top layer of shells are golden brown. Top with salsa and sour cream, if desired. (I like to put Ranch dressing on mine.)

I hope this makes sense. I kind of came up with this one on my own, so it is my first time making up a recipe.

Taco beef soup

This is a favorite at our house.

1/2 lb ground beef ( I use a pound)
1 1/2 c. water
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans ( I use 3 to 4 cans)
1/2 env. taco seasoning mix ( I use a full packet)
shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream
1/4 c chopped onion(Optional)
1 (16 oz.) Can stewed tomatoes
1 (8oz.) tomato sauce
1 chopped avocado(optional)
In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion until meat is browned. Drain off fat. Add water, undrained tomatoes( cut in small pieces), undrained kidney beans, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Serve and pass cheese, chips, avocado and sour cream to add to your own bowl. Makes 6 servings.
Note: I always drain my beans. We don't get as gassy that way. You may need to add extra water. If you want to make 6 servings don't follow the amount that I use. I make a huge pot of it.

Enchilada Casserole

2 Lbs. Lean Ground Beef
1 med. onion, chopped. ( I use dehydrated onions or onion powder)
1 clove of garlic, minced (I use 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 to 3 tbsp chili powder or to taste
Salt and Pepper
8 flour tortillas
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. Milk
2 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown beef, onion and garlic. Add tomato sauce and chili powder; salt and pepper. Heat thoroughly. Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Line with 2 tortillas. Cover with 1/3 of meat mixture and cheese. Layer 2 more times beginning with tortillas, meat mixtureand cheese. Top with 2 more tortillas. Combie soup and milk. Pour over top of tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. ( Can also be baked in casserole dish in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Recipe--Ham & Cheese Noodle Soup


2 packages Ramen Noodles, chicken flavor.
1 package sausage flavored gravy mix (2 cups)
2 cups chopped turkey ham, or 5 strips of bacon
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
16 oz. (Half a box) Chicken Stock

In large saucepan cook noodles according to package directions, except drain the water when noodles are done. Do not add flavor.

Meanwhile, cook bacon and prepare sausage gravy mix in small mixing bowl by stirring mix with milk.

Add stock to noodles and reduce heat. Next add gravy/milk mixture and stir. Bring to a boil.
Add 1 packet of chicken seasonings. Save the other for another time.
Stir in ham or bacon and cheese. When cheese is melted, let simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.