Thursday, October 13, 2016

Scalloped Potaotes

Growing up my Mother made the best scalloped potatoes, they are one of my greatest comfort foods.  Basic but so yummy.  One of the best things about the potatoes, if there were any left from the meal, was breakfast the next morning.  She would warm them in a frying pan and they got a little crispy and so delightful.  This to me is great comfort food.  Missing both Mom and Dad a lot right now and the weather has turned cooler so for dinner and breakfast I turned to comfort food.
Mom's Scalloped Potatoes
4-5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly (I use my food processor)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cube butter, cut into pieces
Butter a casserole dish or a 9x13 pan and dust with flour.  Layer potatoes, onion, butter pieces, sprinkle salt and flour (about 1 to 1 1/2  T. flour per layer)  repeat until the potatoes are all layered leave about 3/4 inch to the top of the pan.  Cover with milk until all of the flour is mixed covered.  Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. The milk on top should be golden brown when baking is completed.
Hint I usually start them in the microwave for about 10 mins to reduce the cooking time.  AND I place the casserole or baking pan on  a foil lined cooking sheet in the oven to prevent the milk bubbling over and making a mess. 
Some people put cheddar cheese in the layering as well but this was something we have never done. This was a recipe that was a staple for her family as they lived through very hard times.  They used the basics.  I don't change the goodness she made.  I often doubled the recipe for my family to ensure that we had enough for breakfast and we now like to put an over easy egg and bacon  to the side, we don't make them often but they are a treat when we do.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chilly Winter Weather means Soups Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copy Cat)

I am sure this has been posted by me before.  It's cold here in Utah and add the wind to the cold well it just makes soup for dinner the go to thing.  So I just wanted to share this one again.  One of my fav's.  Just add some of my breadsticks to it and yum. 
Zuppa Toscana- (Olive Garden copy cat)

1½ Mild or Medium Italian sausage
2 medium potatoes, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut into 1/4" slices
3/4 c. onions, diced
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. kale leaves, chopped (or less depending on picky eaters)
2 cans chicken broth
1 qt. water
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Cook Italian sausage until brown, drain on a paper towel to remove fat.   Cook bacon and remove from pan, place on paper towel as well, crumble when cool. Place onions in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear.  Add garlic to the onions and cook an additional 1-minute. Add chicken broth, water, and potatoes, simmer 15 minutes. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale, and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rachel's Salsa

Rachel's Salsa

3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeno, seeded
1/2 onion
pepper, Anaheim, white..
1 qt. tomatoes
 lime juice

Combine the first four ingredients.  Using a food processor to chop evenly.  Add the tomatoes, salt, and lime juice to the food processor and blend until smooth

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rachel's Chili

Rachel's Chili

1 lb. ground beef, browned
2 cans chili beans
1 can black chili beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 c. salsa
1 pint tomatoes
1/4 c. chili powder

Combine ingredients in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 adding water as needed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

More Cuteness from White Rose Cookies

White Rose Cookies ("The Cookie Momster")

My very talented daughter, Natalie,  has started a Cookie Business and she comes up with some of the cutest designs and ideas, these are only a sampling of some she has done recently with many more to come.

It is amazing to see her creative talent come out in such a wonderful way.  More and more people are finding her and ordering for special occasions and holidays.  Anyone interested could contact her on Facebook at White Rose Cookies.  She can also do Gluten Free Cookies.  She is always accepting orders

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Briques (Brik in Tunisia)

This is a copy cat of sorts from the Gourmet Guys father from his time working in Tunisia.  It is his version of Briques that are served in Tunisia.  It is a family favorite that we only make occasionally because they are deep fried!


12 inch thin flour tortillas
leftover ham, pork roast,  turkey or chicken, cut into cubes (We prefer Ham)
green onions, diced finely (optional)

Take a tortilla, place ham in a circle in the center with the green onion, place egg in the center.  With egg white seal the tortilla in half and deep fry until golden brown, drain and cool.( The Gourmet Guy and his father liked them so that the eggs were barely cooked but the rest of us like it done a little more!) Eat it like an upside down Taco.
The Gourmet Guys dad was the original Gourmet Guy!  He was the real cook in his family while my Gourmet Guy was growing up.  He traveled a great deal and had a knack for tasting something that he liked and being able to replicate it when he got home.
(In Tunisia is made with a sticky lump dough and filled with tuna, or ground meat, and topped with anchovies, capers and cheese.)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Master Mixes (revisited) Ranch Dressing (More Important than ever! Food Allergies)

As mentioned in a previous post our family is being impacted with more and more allergies or food intolerance issues.  I used to faithfully make my own mixes because I knew exactly what was in them and there were no extra additives etc.  As my family grew and life became hectic I used prepackaged mixes more and more.  I have once again come full circle and am making and using my own mixes.  Some of the ingredients have to be altered a little bit here and there but all in all I will be making my own mixes once again to meet the needs of a much larger extended family. 
Because we now have tree nut allergies, dairy allergies, tomato and avocado allergies, gluten intolerance, diabetes, and high blood pressure to contend with it makes life a little challenging. Some of these have been with us for a few years but others have come to the front in the last two especially.  I certainly have become a label reader more than I have ever before in my life.  For pot luck meals with extended family we are having to have families make sure that particular details are taken care of in order to meet specific needs.  With mixes I can alter salt content or gluten by using a different product than in the past.  But there is nothing that sneaks in that might be harmful to one of my loved ones.  In addition I know exactly when they were made and how long the shelf life is. 
Making mixes in bulk saves on time and clean up.  With the mixes that might need adjustment for gluten some of the ingredients have to be added at the time of preparation, I include that step on the instructions. For example the bouillon used to be dry and could be added all at one time, now the beef replacement has to be refrigerated so it is added to the rest of the dry ingredients at the time of use.

Obviously the Ranch Dressing does not meet the dairy free requirement but it fits into all of the other dietary needs in the family.  I love this recipe and am not sure why I stopped making it in the first place.  Our little dippers love it as much as the bottled kind and some of my girls like it even more. 
This is a copy cat of Mo's Ranch Dressing.

Ranch Dressing                                                            

1/4 t. garlic powder                                                     
1 t. onion powder                                                         
1 t. dried minced onion                                          
1 t. salt                                                                 
1T. dried parsley
1/4 t. ground pepper

1/2 c. buttermilk powder
2 c. mayonnaise
1 c. water

Mix all of the dry ingredients, except the buttermilk powder, and place in a plastic bag and seal tightly.  Place mixes in a plastic container with a good seal to store.  To make a mix up add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk powder, the mayonnaise and water and mix well, chill before serving.

One of my favorite uses of the Ranch Dressing is in the bottom right picture above.  An avocado with mini shrimp and the dressing similar to a salad at Mo's in Newport Oregon which the Gourmet Guy and I love. (Obviously this particular use is not an option to those who can't eat avocado and who won't eat shrimp!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco De Mayo-Nachos

Nacho - Copy Cat (Serendipity)

I don't go to Vegas very often, only for certain sporting events, visiting friends, or stopping through on our way to CA.  I am not a gambler but there are certain things that I love in Vegas like the fountains and gardens at the Bilago, and particular restaurants.  My daughter loves the frozen hot chocolate drinks at "Serendipity" but I love the Nachos! In celebration of Cinco De Mayo I once again attempted to make my version of Serendipity's Nachos.  My first try was the best, this time they were not as goopy!  But still a fun treat once in awhile.


tortilla chips, I love the Juanita's brand
ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
black beans, rinsed and drained
Tostido's Salsa Con Queso, med or mild
tomato, chopped
green Chiles, optional
guacamole. as desired (previously posted)
sour cream
cheddar cheese, grated (to top)
green onions, chopped

Layer tortilla chips with beans, ground beef, green Chiles, the salsa con queso (generously, after warming), tomato, and guacamole. Repeat layers one or two more times, top with sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion. 

These chips are fabulous, more like I have had in a good Mexican restaurant than any other store bought chip.  Served warm they are even better and they are also gluten free.

Friday, May 1, 2015

It's a Graduation Celebration (Natalie's cookie fun)

Time to Celebrate Rachel's accomplishment!  She has been working hard to earn her Master's Degree.  She is a wife, mother of two little ones, as well as a full time teacher, and teacher on special assignment at her school.  To say she has been busy the last couple of years is an understatement.  A good portion of our extended family were able to go and cheer her on as she received her diploma.  Natalie made her some of her fabulous cookies to celebrate with afterwards.  Time to play!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pool Gogi (Korean Fire Meat)

 Pool Gogi

1 1/2 T sesame seeds
1/4 c green onions, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 T sesame oil
1/4 c soy sauce (to make gluten free use La Choy)
3 T sugar
1 lb. tender beef, sliced thin

Combine all of the ingredients and marinate for at least an hour.  Remove the meat and grill.  Cut the meat in bite size pieces (kitchen sheers work wonderfully).  Serve over hot rice or in romaine or iceberg lettuce with rice and roll. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bran Muffins-Grandma Homberg (update)

(originally posted this recipe earlier this year.  Today I made it but substituted applesauce for the shortening,  1/2 c. applesauce for 1 c. shortening.  Same great flavor as I remember with Grandma's just a little healthier approach.)
Refrigerator Bran Muffins
1 c. boiling water
1 c. Nabisco 100% Bran or Kellogg’s Bran Buds
½ c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 c. buttermilk
2½ c. flour, sifted
2 t. soda
½ t salt
2 c. Kellogg’s All bran

Combine boiling water and add 1 c. bran and let cool.  Cream shortening, add sugar gradually and beat until blended.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add buttermilk and cooled bran mixture and blend.  Sift flour with soda and salt; add remaining bran to creamed mixture, stirring just until all dry ingredients are moistened.  Bake or store in covered container in fridge and bake as needed.  (Batter will keep for 1-2 months)  To bake, fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake in preheated 400 oven for 25 minutes.  Makes 2 ½ dozen muffins.

(Grandma Holmberg had these at her home all of the time when we would visit her.  They also freeze very well)


Monday, March 30, 2015

Buttermilk Syrup

Buttermilk Syrup  (Been looking for this one for quite awhile)

1 cube of butter
1 c. sugar
2 T. corn syrup
1/2  c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. baking soda

Melt butter, add the sugar, corn syrup, and buttermilk.  Stir until sugars are dissolved, bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 mins.  Do not over cook.  Remove from the heat and add vanilla and baking soda which will cause the syrup to foam and expand.  Serve warm. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rainbow Cake-1st birthday magic

This little girl doesn't know how "lucky" she is.  Her talented Mommy created this rainbow cake to celebrate her 1st birthday.  Can't believe that Grandchild number 11 is already a year old. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

2 whole large chicken breasts, skinned  and boned,                                   
2 c. water                                                                                     
1 14.5 oz. can beef broth                                                  
1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth                                             
1 14.5 oz. can tomatoes, cut up                                                     
½ c. onion, chopped                                                                       
½ c. green pepper, chopped                                               
1 8 &2/4 oz. whole kernel corn, drained                                       
1 t. chili powder
½ t. cumin
1/8 t. black pepper
Tortilla chips, 3 c. coarsely crushed
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, about 1 c., grated
1 avocado, peeled, pit removed and cut up
Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes; set aside.  In a large saucepan combine water, chicken broth, beef broth, undrained tomatoes, onion, and green pepper. Bring to boiling.  Add chicken; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 10 mins.  Add corn, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Simmer, covered, for 10 mins more.  To serve, place crushed tortilla chips into each bowl.  Ladle soup over tortilla chips.  Sprinkle with cheese, avocado, and cilantro if desired.  Serve with lime wedges, if desired.  Makes 6 servings.

 This is one of my favorite go to recipes because I have all of the ingredients in my pantry 98% of the time and because literally everyone in my family loves this soup.  I make a double batch because it is great for leftovers and or freezes really well, minus the cheese, for another time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Spencer's Day (Patricks)

One of my favorite things to do for St. Patrick's Day is to add the green food color to change up normal foods.  When I did waffles the first time, when my children were quite young, was to do add the green to the waffles, the bacon is a family favorite as it cooks right along the batter.  Note the bacon must be the one sided kind, sliced super thin in order to completely cook.  My oldest daughter refused to eat the waffles and to drink the green milk, she was convinced that it changed the flavor as well.  We have also had really green Shepherds pie, pot pie, pancakes and waffles to name a few things.  Since my second grandson made the 17th his day it has become St. Spencer's Day in our family.  Happy St. Spencer's Day.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Copy Cat - Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups

1 pkg. graham crackers
2 c. peanut butter
4 c. powdered sugar
2 sticks softened butter, not melted
1 pkg. chocolate chips.

Mix together graham crackers, peanut butter, powdered sugar and softened butter, blend well.  Form into balls or place in mini cupcake holders.  Melt chocolate chips and spread over the peanut butter mixture. 

(Grandpa Smith really loved these for special treats.)


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Homemade Chicken and Noodles

Feeling a little ambitious today as I start my largest batch of homemade noodles ever.  Intending to share with others and have a meal for us as well.  Wish I still had little ones to help me roll them out on the counter to dry.  I will always be grateful that my mom shared this skill with me as my family was just beginning. on my large island in my kitchen the noodles filled a space of about a 4.5x 4.5 area.  I think mom would be proud.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Red Lobster Biscuits

For years I have been trying to find a "copy cat" recipe for the cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster.  I have tried many and they failed me.  As the Gourmet Guy and I were doing some shopping at Costco we came across this Red Lobster Mix.  It had to be good because it carries the Red Lobster Logo.  We tried it last night, it is so easy and good.  As I opened the little silver herb packet I knew that it was going to be good because it smelled just like Red Lobster when you walk in.  This is a keeper for me.  I may just have to experiment with some of the spices in those little packets and see if I can come upon the flavor combination.  For me no copy cat recipes when I can pull this off of the shelf occasionally. 
This made my day, pretty simple, but it made my day!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crock Pot Sweet BBQ Chicken (my version of Sweet Baby Ray Chicken from Pinterest)

Crock Pot Sweet BBQ Chicken

6-8 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (Original recipe calls for Chicken breasts)
3/4 c. Noh Hawaiian Bar-B-Q Sauce
3/4 c. apricot marmalade
2 T. soy sauce (La Choy is gluten free)

Place chicken thighs in crock pot and cook on low for three hours (for easy clean up use a crock pot liner).  Mix remaining ingredients and set aside. After three hours drain juices from the chicken and cover with the sauce for 30-45 minutes.  Serve over egg noodles, a gluten free pasta, or rice.

(I made it with all of the specific ingredients from the original recipe and then with ingredients that I generally keep on hand.  We actually liked the second one better. We like using chicken thighs because they stay more tender and don't dry out as much as chicken breasts tend to,)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pasta Fagioli (Copy Cat with my modifiations)


Pasta Fagioli

2 lbs. ground  beef (next time I will make it with sweet Italian sausage)
1 onion, chopped
3  carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 c. minced dry garlic (added for my own personal taste)
1 qt. canned tomatoes (the original called for 2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes), undrained
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed (white kidney beans)
3 10 oz. cans beef broth
3 t. oregano
2 t. ground pepper
5 t. parsley
1/2 t. Tabasco sauce (originally called for a full teaspoon)
1 24 oz. Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce (my personal preference)
8 oz. small cut pasta

Brown beef and place in lined crock pot with everything but the pasta.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours or low 5-6 hours. (for my personal crock pot 4 hours was not long enough for the vegetables to be tender)  30 minutes before serving add the pasta. 

*This makes a large batch of soup in the future I will take 1/2 of the soup out before adding the pasta and freeze for another meal and add the pasta at that time.  To make it gluten free just make sure the beef stock is gluten free and use a gluten free pasta.  This is compared to Olive Garden in the original recipe but I don't think it is the same, but it is a keeper for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Parmesan Rolls (Copy Cat Magelby's-revisited with modifications)

Parmesan Rolls (like Magelby’s)

25 frozen roll dough (preferably the Terrel's brand)
1 c. Parmesan cheese (the powdered kind)
4 t. garlic powder
1/3 c. parsley flakes
1 c. butter melted

While you are preparing the rolls, preheat oven to 200 degrees,  put the butter on a jellyroll pan while the oven heats.  In a bowl mix together Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and parsley flakes.  Roll the frozen dough in the melted butter then the Parmesan mixture. Turn oven off then place rolls in oven.  Let rolls rise between 2-3 hours.  Remove from oven and preheat to 350.  Bake until lightly brown on top 15-20 minutes.

(I found this recipe from a woman who was teaching a class at the Little Theatre in the Orem Macey's during the time I was hosting (working) there.  These are a copy cat from a local restaurant called Magelby's.  The owner recently passed away and learning of this made me pull this dust off this recipe and make it again, it has been far too long!  The restaurant like the owner is gone and it makes me sad but at least I can remember both when I make these.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Family Favorite Bluberry Muffins with Crumble Topping

My daughter Natalie finds these beautiful blueberries for me and I have learned to love them.  We love them enough that we are trying to get a bed with a PH balance that will allow us to grow several bushes to raise them ourselves.  In the mean time we get these wonderfully sweet huge berries and learn to use them in many fun recipes.  This batch of berries are sweet and huge.  In fact they were to big to use as many as I did for this batch and the muffins didn't hold together very well.  The best part of the muffin is the crumble that is placed on the top,

Blueberry Muffins with Crumble Topping.

for the muffins:
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. canola oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries, if frozen don't thaw, (if the berries are really large cut down on the quantity.)

Mix milk, oil, and egg in a small bowl.  In a larger bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and gently mix them together, don't over mix.  Fold in the blueberries. 

crumble topping:
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 T butter, softened (not melted)

Grease muffin tin thoroughly (so the blueberries do not stick to the pan) fill the cups about 2/3 full and top with the crumble.  Place in a 400 degree preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Yields 12 medium size muffins. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stoup- ( Italian Sub Soup from Rachel Ray) A combination of soup and stew a family favorite

Soups are some of my favorite things to make. I have a large arsenal of recipes that I like to use.  This one was on the old "Thirty Minute Meals" show of Rachel Ray's on the Food Network.  This particular recipe is one that everyone in the family likes which is rare. 

Italian Sub Soup (from Rachel Ray)

 1 lb. mild Italian sausage, fried
¼ lb. pepperoni stick, diced
1 ham steak, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded, quartered and diced
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 c. chicken stock
½ lb. gemelli pasta or other short-cut pasta

In a soup pot preheat to med. heat.   Brown the sausage and crumble, drain off excess grease.  Then add ham and pepperoni.  Cook meats together for two minutes then add peppers and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes more.  Add diced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken stock and bring stoup to a boil.  Stir in pasta and cook for 8 minutes.  Make croutons while pasta cooks.


5 c. cubed crusty bread
3 lg. cloves garlic, removed from the skin
½ c. grated Parmigiana-reggiano cheese
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
½ t. dried oregano

 In a large skillet heat ¼ c. of olive oil.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add bread to oil, and toss, toast for 5-6 minutes.   Season the toasty bread cubes with red pepper flakes, oregano and lots of grated cheese.

Ladle the soup and float several toasty garlic breads cubes in each bowl. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Slow Roasted BBQ Ribs (Pork)

Slow Roasted BBQ Ribs

Barbeque Sauce

2 T. brown sugar                                                
1 t. paprika                                                                    
1 t. dry mustard                                                 
1 t. salt                                                                        
1/8 t. cayenne pepper                                                    
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
¼. c. vinegar
1 c. tomato juice
¼ c. ketchup
1 medium onion, chopped

Pork or Beef Ribs (I prefer the boneless, country style the Gourmet Guy prefers the beef short ribs)

Bake in 400 degree oven for 1 hour.  Remove from pan and place into a roasting pan.  Cover with BBQ Sauce, bake at 325 for 3-4 hours, covered.  You can also cook it longer at 250 degrees.  Remove the lid in the last half hour to thicken up the sauce. This can also be placed in a slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. Serve over rice or noodles.

(This was one of Grandma Rayda Stevenson’s favorite recipes.  It was always fun to have dinner at her house when she served these and her homemade rolls.  It was one of the first recipes I asked for from her,)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mega Meal Day(s) New Dietary Challenges

I got the urge to make Chicken Pot Pie for dinner a week or so ago.  The recipe I have makes a huge batch, big enough that I always made two and froze one for another day.  Now that it is just the Gourmet Guy and I at home I usually cut it in half and still make two and freeze one for another day.  I decided that I would make the full recipe and freeze a couple for us and some small ones for my Mother-in-law.  Simply doing that put me in the mood to make some meals ahead and freeze them for my daughter in Idaho who is having a baby at the end of the month.  Since they don't live half way across the country anymore I can take them to her frozen and not have to do all of the work while I am there. Instead I and can play with the Grand kids and snuggle the newborn and not be in the kitchen all of the time, except for that days meals.  She will have eight meals for days when she just needs to pull one out of the freezer, and as mom of three small children and a newborn she will need them.
Over the years we have had favorite meals as a family. Recently we have had new challenges that have caused us to rethink some of our recipes.  We have a  dairy allergy, gluten intolerance, and most recently a severe nut allergy that gave us quite a scare, as well as diabetes!!!! Actually the nut allergy was one we were aware of but it was hidden in with another ingredient and caused a life threatening experience.  We have to read labels much better than we have ever before and she will have to stay away from bakeries in general from now on. Preparing meals for all twenty three, with the newest addition is going to be more and more of a challenge! As I had these mega cooking and days I had to alter some of the ingredients and my taste buds were put to the test.
10 lbs of potatoes
1 med bag of carrots
4 stalks of celery
5 onions, diced
1 medium bag of frozen mixed vegetables
6 14.5 cans of beef broth
4 14.5 cans of chicken broth
3 4 oz. mushrooms
6 4 oz. cans tomato sauce (what I keep in my storage)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 10 3/4 cans tomato soup
4 10 3/4 cans cream of chicken soup
1 quart tomatoes, home canned
1 pint tomatoes, home canned
3 sleeves of Ritz crackers
4 c. sour cream
1 lb. butter
After two days of cooking (I kind of went crazy)  I ended up with 20 meals, 7 mini meals and 
3 1/2 dozen cinnamon rolls. Part of the meals were non dairy. My Mother-in-law took home 9 mini meals this morning when she left our home.
After loading my freezer I realized I was able to share with some others in my neighborhood and took some of the warm cinnamon rolls to five families and three meals as well.  It was great fun!  Now to finish putting away Christmas decorations.  I would rather be cooking!!!!!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cream Of Broccoli Soup


Broccoli Soup

6 c. chicken broth
½ c. onion
2 t. salt
2 heads broccoli, cut into small pieces
 1 1/2 c, butter
1 1/2 c. flour  
2 quarts half and half (I use 1 quart half and half and one quart milk)  
1 15 oz. jar Cheese Whiz            
Place broth, onion, salt, and broccoli in a large pan and cook until tender.  In a separate pan melt butter, gradually stir in flour until blended, add half and half, heat until thickened.  Mix into vegetables and add Cheese Whiz.  Serve warm.  .


Tuesday, December 23, 2014



4½ c. sugar
1 can evaporated milk
2 sticks butter
1 pint jar of marshmallow cream
1 t. vanilla
1 pkg. semi sweet or milk chocolate chips
nuts, optional

In a medium heavy saucepan combine sugar, milk, and butter.  Boil hard for 9-10 mins. or to as soft ball candy stage. Remove from the heat and add chocolate chips, vanilla and marshmallow.  Beat until the fudge stands in peaks or changes in texture.  Pour and let stand 24 hours.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Compound Butter (revisited)

Rosemary Orange Butter
1 c. butter, softened
2 T fresh Rosemary, finely diced
2 T orange juice
1 orange rind, finely grated
1-2  fresh garlic cloves, minced
Combine all ingredients and place on wax paper, roll and refrigerate until firm.  Remove from wax paper and serve.  This is also fun to place in molds and chill. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wild Rice and Turkey Soup (great for the leftover Thanksgiving turkey)

Wild Rice Turkey Soup
1 box Uncle Ben's Wild Rice
½ c. green onions
1 ½ c. turkey
8 strips fried crumbled bacon
3 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
2 c. water
2 c. half and half
½ c. butter
¾ c. flour
1/4 t. poultry seasoning
1/4 t. pepper
salt to taste
2-3 caps of cooking  (optional but gives a good flavor)
Boil your rice in the broth until rice is tender.  Make your rue.  Combine all ingredients and simmer until ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grandma Rayda's Butter horn Rolls

Butter Horn Rolls
2c. milk, scalded
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
3 t salt
2 pkgs. yeast
1 c. water
6 eggs, beaten
8-10 c. flour, add until dough is soft but not stiff

Bake at 400 for 15 mins.

(Grandma Rayda Stevenson made these rolls all of the time.  She had it down to an art and had made them so often that she made them from memory.  The aroma in the house was wonderful as they baked.  We could always look forward to them buttered and toasted the next morning for breakfast; we loved the “breakfast toast”.)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pumpkin Roll (modification)

 Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs, beat on high for 5 minutes.
1 c. sugar gradually added to the eggs
2/3 c. pumpkin (stir into the above mixture)
1 t. lemon juice

In another bowl mix.

3/4 c. flour                                         
1 t. baking powder                               
2 t. cinnamon                                       
1 t. ginger
½ t. nutmeg
½ t. salt
Stir the above together and fold into pumpkin mixture.  Spread in a greased and floured jelly roll pan. (Parchment lined then floured and greased makes it easier to roll.  Wax paper can also be used) Top with 1 c. finely chopped walnuts (optional)  Bake at 375 for 15 mins.  Turn out on tea towel, cool.  Spread filling over cake.  Roll and chill.


1 c powdered sugar               (note we do one and half of the filling recipe to make a thicker filling)
8 oz. cream cheese
4 T. butter
½ t. vanilla

Beat until smooth.

(lg can of prepared pumpkin pie filling makes five pumpkin rolls.  The pumpkin roll freezes well.  Any left over pumpkin can also be frozen, simply measure out and place in a zipper freezer  label and freeze.)

Holiday Tableware (caution for lead poisoning)

I love dishes!  I used to collect dishes for different holidays, weddings, special occasions, etc.  Until a few years ago I learned of the lead poisoning that can occur from dishes.  There was a so called effort to try and regulate these types of items as they were imported or manufactured and stickers were being placed on safe items. Safe to use, to put in the microwave or dishwasher.  It was short lived and I rarely see those stickers anymore.  Specialty dishes are often the ones that have more lead in them!  Be sure you check the labels.  If you do have some don't use them in the dishwasher.  Much to my dismay my favorite special birthday plate was highest in measurement when I had some of my dishes  tested.  Unfortunately it sits on the shelf as a decoration now.
Inexpensive dishes often accompany neighborhood Christmas gifts this time of year so buyer be ware!
These Christmas plates are safe but because they are a type of china I never use them in the dishwasher,  I don't want the pattern to disappear.
 At a very young age I had and Aunt that gave me some depression glass.  I fell in love with it and have collected more over the years.  Only last summer as I was looking in an antique store in Carson City Nevada did I learn something I had never known about these dishes before.  The dealer held up a black light to show me that they were indeed depression glass and informed me that they were made with a radio active isotope.  The glassware glowed, wow!  I have never used these in the dishwasher either because of the age and not wanting them to be scratched.  Now I am relieved that I haven't because it would cause scratching from the caustic detergent and would have cause problems with the use of the glass.  I only use them once in awhile but I was grateful to learn more about them.  I still love them and will look for "special pieces."  I just won't use them as regular servings!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Orange Bread

Orange Bread

3 c, flour
2 c. sugar
¾ c. orange juice
2 eggs
½ c. oil
1 c. milk
zest from 1 orange
1 t vanilla
1 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt

Mix ingredients and pour into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake in 350 oven for 45-50-minutes.
We use this to make French toast and it is heavenly!  Just after we were married the Gourmet Guy went with  a couple of friends to a wedding in California.  While they were there they picked fresh oranges and brought them home.  We had a lot for a young couple so we tried making bread from them and discovered that it was really good also makes really good French toast.  Some trial and error is just worth the effort.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pasta Shells

This is one of the cookbooks I have collected over the years.  I chose this recipe because I literally had all of the ingredients in my pantry/fridge.  I only had the medium shells so it took longer to stuff them than it would have with the larger shells.  I also put the meat in with the cheese mixture and pulled some of my own homemade marinara sauce (recipe on the bottom of the blog as Lauri's Italian Sauce) out of the freezer.  What I realized is that the reason I chose this recipe on the fly is because I always have these ingredients in stock and it tasted much like my own. I would also use Sweet Italian Sausage rather than the ground beef in the future.  This is so close to the way I make my own Manicotti, not very risky but good flavors and seemed comfortable.

(From the Cookbook-Church Suppers)
 Stuffed Shells

25 jumbo shell
2 c. ricotta cheese
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t. salt
1/8 t black pepper
1 t dried parsley
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 . ground beef
1 28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce.

Cook shells according to the package directions; drain.  In a large bowl, combine the cheeses, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano.  Preheat the oven to 350. Fill each shell with 2 T of the mixture.  In a large skillet, brown the beef and mix with the spaghetti sauce.  Spread a thin layer of sauce in 3 qt. rectangular baking dish.  Place the shells 1 deep in the dish and cover with sauce.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 35 minutes.  Make 6 servings. 

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

½ c. shortening
1 ½ c. sugar
3 eggs, beaten separately
pinch of salt
1 t. soda
1½ c. buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1½ squares of baker’s chocolate

Cream sugar and shortening, add egg yolks, melted chocolate and a little red food coloring
Alternate buttermilk, with soda added, with flour.  Fold in egg whites.  Bake in layer pans 30-35 minutes at 350.

German Cake Icing:

1 can evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
3 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
¾ small package of coconut
pecans, finely chopped

Mix ingredients except the coconut and cook, about 12 minutes at a boil.  Stirring constantly not to let it scorch.  Cool and spread on cake.

(This was a recipe that Grandma Smith was well known for.  It was a treat for my sister and me to get this cake for our birthdays.  Two days before she passed away she was concerned that she had not been able to get a birthday cake made for Rosemarie. She had all of the ingredients purchased and waiting on her counter top.  We were all touched that she worried about the cake not being taken care of even as she was dying.  I love the frosting but cheat and put it on a much moister cake than the above recipe.  However, this is her true recipe.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cinnamon/Orange Rolls

After craving these for many months I finally broke down and made these sweet rolls. I used  the remaining mashed potatoes from another day because it makes the dough so soft. Since there are only two of us in the home I have been reluctant to make them, only because I knew that I wouldn't eat just one.  One of my solutions is to share with family and friends.  They were every bit as good as they sounded, nice and soft and filled with cinnamon and or orange.  Next time I'll do the Sticky Bun version!  ( I only made half of the recipe.)

Cinnamon Rolls
4 c. scalded milk  (Or 4 c, hot water and 1 c. powdered milk)
1 ½ c. sugar
2 t. salt
8 eggs, beaten
2 c. mashed potatoes
1 ½ c. shortening
½ c. warm water
2 pkg. yeast
6 c. whole wheat flour (or enough white flour to make a soft dough. approx. 9-10 c.)
Combine ingredients and let raise.  Roll out.  Sprinkle with butter, sugar, and cinnamon.  For orange rolls sprinkle with sugar and orange rind and some fresh squeezed orange juice. Roll and cut, place on a greased jelly roll pan and let raise once again.  Bake at 375 until golden brown.

The Pantry

The pantry can be a life saver if it is well stocked and can help when you just don't know what to fix for dinner.

As I have made meals over the years I have stocked up on things that are common in my recipes so all I have to do is shop from my shelves. It is easy to come up with things quickly when you have supplies on hand. It may seem like a lot to have on hand but these are some of my pantry/storage staples and if you build slowly it isn't oppresive to purchase. Watch the ads and sales in your local stores.

Tomato Sauce
Tomato Paste
chicken broth
beef broth
beans- kidney. canellini, black, refried
dried beans, red, white, pinto, split peas
creamed soups, mushroom. chicken. celery
tomato soup
bean with bacon soup
favorite spices
variety of pasta's
peanut butter

chicken breasts
bone in hams
chuck roasts pork roasts
pork chops
lean ground beef
ground turkey
Itailian sausage

Tillamook cheddar cheese
Lowfat mozerella cheese
sour cream
cream cheese
miracle whip
half and half

Pantry Shelf:
potatoes, red and Idaho russet

Home Canned Items: (I love to can!)
chicken breasts
green beans
chile sauce

Favorite From the Pantry Recipes

Lauri's Italian Sauce

3 bottles whole tomatoes (4cans approx. 1 lb size)
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
3 8 oz. cans mushrooms

3 T. dried Oregano
3 T. dried Marjoram
3 T. dried Basil
1 ½ T. dried Thyme
T. Fennel (optional)
dried onion or two chopped fresh onions
2 T. minced dried garlic or 5 cloves fresh garlic minced (if using fresh onion and garlic sauté them in olive oil until transparent and then add the remaining ingredients)

Combine all of the above ingredients and bring to a boil, simmer on low heat until thickened. (I usually simmer it for several hours)

Meat Sauce

4 lbs, lean ground beef
2 chopped onions
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Brown the meat and add the onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add to the marinara sauce and simmer.

Sour Cream Enchilladas

4 lb. hamburger
2 onions, chopped
6 carrots, grated or chopped
1 or 2 green pepper chopped
2 T. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. garlic salt

Brown beef and drain, add prepared vegetables. Cook until tender and drain, cool.*

Add to hamburger mixture
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/4 oz. can green chili's chopped (more if you want a little more spice)
1 c. sour cream
1 c. milk
Monterey jack and cheddar cheese grated (to your taste)
corn tortillas

Fill corn tortillas with meat mixture. Place seam down in a 9x13 baking pan. Layer with sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 mins. This can also be served lasagna style in a casserole dish. This saves time rolling the enchiladas. It just depends on how you want the dish to look on the plates.

*This meat mixture is great to use for other things as well, it can be used to make sloppy joes, tacos, or with other ground beef recipes. It is a great way to add more vegetables to meals with out children or picky eaters even knowing. Just freeze into portions in a zippered bag and thaw when you need a quick meal.


Always fill your sink with hot soapy water and wash as you go. This helps to keep the mess under control. (I love to cook to I really hate to clean up after!)

When you fix rice for a meal make extra and freeze some of it in a zipper bag. With this premeasured rice it is easy to do a quick thaw and serve or add to other ingredients for a quick and easy meal.

Post a shopping list where you can find it, when you run out of something simply write it down and teach your family to do the same. You are less likely to be caught off guard when you are making your favorite dish.

Make a menu and include your shopping list. You spend less time in the store when you have a plan. When you make more trips to the store you simply spend more money. Having worked with a large grocery chain I learned some of the tricks used to get you to buy more. Be prepared when you go!

Shop the Ads. Make your menu out with the ad and use the shopping list. Most people don't have time to run from store to store getting the best deal on just a few things. When you compare and find the best prices it saves you time, money, and gas.

When making dishes like lasagna, manicotti, chicken pot pie, and many casseroles make two at the same time and freeze the second one for rainy day or a sick friend. It takes little effort to make the extra and it can be a big bonus in your freezer.

Tomatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator but on your counter top. The cold causes them to break down and turn mushy.

If you need to ripen your avacados faster place them in a small paper bag with a banana or apple. The gas that they put off causes the avacado to ripen faster.

Don't store onion and garlic together because the garlic goes bad faster from the gas emitted from the onions,

Applesauce Spice Cake

2 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
2 c. thick unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
2 t. cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. allspice
1 t. salt
8 t. baking powder (that's right)
3 c. flour
1 c. nuts chopped (optional)

Cream together shortening and sugar, add eggs. Mix dry ingredients and combine both mixes. Spread on to a sheet cake pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.


½ c. plus 2 T. butter
5 c. powdered sugar
2½ t. Mapleline flavoring
3 T. milk

Soften butter and combine with remaining ingredients, spread on top of cake.

This is good to take to Pot Luck dinners or large gatherings. I would also freeze leftover cake in individual servings for my kids after school or when they needed a quick, small snack.

Zucchini Blues

Took it for granted
When it was planted
That I had just enough

Now during my days
I'm trying new ways
To use up all this stuff

My basement is crammed
It's been jellied and jammed
Make into bread and cake

It's been chopped and sliced
And grated and diced...
There's nothing else to make!

I've baked it and planned it
Boiled and canned it
And frozen all I need

I have had my fill
There's too much... and still
It's growing like a weed.

(After going away for a week I came home to find six zucchini that were bat size in the garden. Seems like the kids didn't look as hard as they said they did! So I thought of this poem. Anyone need some Zucchini?)

My blog is being extended to my family. My girls are so creative in some of the things they are doing and I am always asking them to send me the recipes and pictures. I decided to make them co-authors to save a step or two. Of course the "Gourmet Guy" is a great cook and so he is also on board. So if you see the names, Jessica, Natalie, Rachel, Cydney, Rebecca, or Kerry (the Gourmet Guy) you know who they are!