Thursday, August 11, 2011


3 bunches of broccoli
1 pound of bacon, cooked crisp
3/4 cup of Sunflower Kernels (dry roasted)
3-5 green onions, chopped
2 cups red grapes cut in half
3/4 cup yellow(golden) raisins
1-jar coleslaw dressing (Lighthouse Brand)
about 11-13 ounce jar

Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces. Add bacon chopped up, sunflower kernels, green onions chopped, grapes cut in half and golden raisins. Pour coleslaw dressing over all and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve. 
If used as a main dinner or lunch item it will serve 6 (large portions) or 10-12 small portions. I like making this at the end of summer around August through September when the grapes are really sweet and crisp. I also cook my bacon in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes to make it nice and crisp. A good smoky bacon works best for this salad.   

Sunday, August 7, 2011


We start with 1 pound good quality ground beef browned in a cast iron frying pan, add one package of Taco seasoning and mix well. Put meat mixture into 4 salad bowls(one-fourth each) Add 1/4 cup grated Tillamook cheese,1/4 cup halved olives, 1/4 cup chopped Viddalla Sweet onion and 1/4 cup chopped tomato to each bowl. Top with good Salad greens. We use Multi-Grain Tortilla Chips placed around the bowl, Add a little tomato,olive,onion garnish and creamy salad dressing. (we used Lighthouse Homestyle Ranch) It is nice to add a basket of chips with the salad for those who would like a little more. WE also seve this with guacamole and extra chips .

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I made this for the first time and it was really good. I have had this recipe for a long time and just never got around to making it ..boy am I glad I finally did. It would be great with white chocolate as well.
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup fresh raspberries
heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9x2 inch square pan (I used a 10x7 oblong and it worked well) Beat the sugar and butter till light and fluffy add egg and vanilla then beat till well mixed. Mix dry ingredients together and add alternately with the milk mix about 2 minutes
 Now prepare the Streusel
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup slivered almonds roasted
Mix flour and sugar together , cut in the butter and stir in the almonds.
Put half the cake batter in well greased pan top with half of the streusel,sprinkle half the berries ,chocolate and almonds, add the rest of the batter and  then the streusel and then the rest of the berries, chocolate and almonds. You can add a few more berries, chocolate chips or almonds to the top to make it look pretty if you like...just not to many.Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
It would also be great to substiute white chocolate and maybe add a little drizzle to the top when done baking. I will be playing around with this recipe to see what other berries and combinations I might use.
NOTE: I only had sliced almonds and they were great on the top but didn't like the texture throughout the cake so the slivered would be better

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BAR-B-Q RIBS (low and slow)

This will take between 3 and 4 hours and has a couple of steps. I am not a big hot spicy fan but this was just enough heat for me and well worth the time and effort.

Heat your oven to 250 degrees


2 slabs of baby back ribs , membrane from back removed(my butcher did this for me)


1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons garlic powder

4 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small bowl , combine the dry rub ingredients and mix well. Keep one Tablespoon for liquid seasoning. Apply the rub over all the ribs, front and back. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place ribs meat-side up on pan. Cook for two hours


1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup apple jelly

1/4 cup honey (good quality)

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 Tablespoon saved dry rub

Mix all together and pour over ribs

I removed ribs from baking sheet and placed them meat-side down in a baking pan 13x9 inch. I poured the liquid seasoning over them and covered them with foil. Placed them back in the 250 degree oven for 1 hour.

1 cup Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce

Remove ribs from oven and liquid which will be thrown away, place them back on the baking sheet lined with new foil if you like. Cover both sides with barbecue sauce, place the ribs meat-side up on the baking sheet and put back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.ENJOY!


You may do this on a grill but you would use indirect heat( should still be at 250) and aluminum foil pans or doubled sheets of foil wraped tightly for the second step. Still wrap the pan with foil for the second step. You should have a covered grill for this.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


2 cups sliced Rhubarb

2 cups halved Strawberries

1-1/4 cups Sugar

1/4 cup Minute Tapioca

1 Tablespoon Butter cut in pieces

2 crusts of your favorite pie crust recipe

This is for an 8-9 inch pie if your going to make a bigger pie you will want to increase the fruit mixture by at least 1 cup each (2 cups total) You may also mix the amount of fruit to what ever your family likes such as more berries for a sweeeter pie or more rhubarb for a more tart pie. Mix the fruit together in a large bowl, add the sugar and tapioca. Let this stand for 15 minutes. This is when I make the pie crust for a 9 inch pie. I then fill it with the fruit, after the standing time, dot with butter. Cover with the second crust, flute edges and cut a few slits in the top for the steam to escape. Bake for about 45 minutes or until nice and golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Cool for a couple of hours before eating


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Have you ever been in need of a quick dessert and not had anytime to prepare one? This is when I try some ready-made desserts from the grocery store or bakery. We were having a belated Mother's Day dinner and I don't do the cooking (hubby does) so we needed a quick dessert he could manage. This is a really moist, dense browine with a cheesecake layer on top. We added some fresh cut strawberries cut and left to sit for a few minutes with a little bit of sugar and then added a little bit of whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.

The dinner was delicious (Ribeye Steak) but I really enjoyed the dessert.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Let's face it sometimes we just don't have time to bake from scratch and it is nice to have a few back ups in our recipe file so I thought I would share a couple of mine. I have been in Minnesota for about 10 years now and usually get the job of hosting all the Holiday's. This puts a strain on my energy level and sometimes I just have to pull out those quick and easy recipes I have hidden away in my recipe file.

The first one is BANANA CREAM PIE

I use a JELLO brand of vanila pudding mix(instant) I have tried cheaper brands and don't feel they taste as good so it is not worth the litlle bit of savings. I have made a vanilla wafer cookie crust for this one which is

1 1/2 cups crushed cookie crumbs

6 Tablespoons melted butter

3-4 Tablespoons granulated white sugar

Mix together place in a 9 inch pie plate and bake at 350 for 7 minutes Cool


Take 2 cups of whole milk

pudding and pie mix
whip together for two minutes. Let cool in refrigerator 5 minutes

Slice 3 bananas (at least) put into cooled crust, layer pie filling on top of bananas refrigerate a couple of hours. Whip cream put on top of pie and decorate as you like. Sometimes I save a little of the crust mix and sprinkle on top or maybe add a few bananas.

The next will be CHOCOLATE CREAM pie

Everything is the same as above except I used graham cracker crumbs and chocolate pudding mix. ( no bananas) I usually used shaved chocolate but I was in a hurry and had some chocolate sprinkles on hand so I used those. If you want to turn this into a mousse' pie you only use 1 1/2 cups milk for the pudding mix and after letting it set for 5 minutes you fold in one cup of whipped cream.

Note: if I can find chocolate wafers or chocolate graham crackers I would use those. They have been difficult to find where I live. Oreo cookie crust is also good.


You may use either crust( the reason for all the cookie crusts are they're quick and easy)
I use the Jello brand vanilla pudding mix but add toasted coconut. I use a cast iron skillet on the stove top around medium heat, throw the coconut in, (around 3/4 cup), toss it around until toasted(you have to stay right there and keep stirring it or it will burn) I save a little to sprinkle on top. The directions are basically the same for all crusts and pudding mixes the only change is folding in the coconut for the coconut cream pie and the whipped cream for the mousse pie.

I usually make all three pies for Easter as well as many other desserts for the Dessert Buffet so I have learned a few tricks to make it easier on myself ... like when I have to host the whole dinner, cleanup and keeping the grandbabies happy. I do prefer these pies from scratch but I feel these are good enough when your stretched for time. If you add a few homemade touches like lots of bananas in the banana pie of real shaved chocolate and real coconut it helps to taste more homemade.
Thank you for visiting today and hope you might try these sometime

NOTE: I use the different toppings so you know what each pie is before cutting into it

Sunday, March 27, 2011


We begin with a 1.5 pound 1 inch Steak. Bring this to room temperature at least 30 minutes before cooking but no more than one hour ( not all day on the counter..use common sense) Preheat oven to 375 degrees while steak is on the counter. When ready to cook pat both sides of steak with paper towel and take 2 Tablespoons of Olivel Oil and brush both sides of the steak. Take a cast iron skillet (a substitutions) heat on high, sprinkle steak with Johnny's season salt and put in pan for 2 minutes, using tongs (no forks allowed) turn steak over and cook another 2 minutes. Now put it into the oven for about 6 minutes less if you want it rare or med rare..I would say start with 4 minutes and go from there . Take out of oven and put on a plate where it will sit for 5 not eat before sitting time is up or you will lose the juices going back into the meat. You might have to make it a couple of times to get it to the exact way you like it but I enjoyed it everytime until I got to that point. Ovens also vary so if you know your oven that will help you to be more successful. This is a fairly quick meal and if you add your favorite side dishes a real treat.

Here I made mashed potatoes with butter and sour cream then added chopped green onions so it was like a baked potato but quicker then a can of french green beans and dinner was ready in 30 minutes


Monday, March 14, 2011


There are three parts to this recipe and each part has to cool so allow extra time for this. I like to make these on a day when I am going to be home because of the cooling time.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
4 eggs
1 -16 ounce can Hershey's syrup
(about 1-1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Mix sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffly. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in chocolate syrup and flour( do not over mix) Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes( top may appear wet but don't over bake) top should spring back when it is done. Cool about 2-3 hours
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon peppermint flavoring
6 drops green food coloring
1 tablespoon water
Cream the buter and sugar until blended. Add the rest of ingredients and mix well. Spread over brownie layer and cool in the refigerator about 1-2 hours.
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt chocolate and buter until a smooth consistency.
You may do this in the microwave or on top of the stove in a double boiler. I used a glass measuring cup that can be used in a microwave. I did 15 seconds, stirred and did 15 seconds stir until the butter and chocolate were smooth.. Be careful not to over cook do short times in your microwave or you will burn the chocolate. When smooth spread over cream layer, carefully spreading so you don't mix the cream and choclate layers.
These are great at Holiday times like Christmas or St. Patricks day. You may use a different food color like red if you were going to make them for Valentines Day and you may also experiment with different flavors. I did try substituting white chocolate but didn't have success. I will try this again using white choclate chips and see if it will work that way.

Monday, February 28, 2011


3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Add the almond extract to the cherries in their juice and set aside. Toast the almonds in a 350 degree oven. Put them on an aluminum foil lined pan and check every 5 minutes, stir and go another 5 minutes until they are lightly browned. It could take another few minutes depending on your oven. Set aside to cool. Now drain the cherries, try to get as much of the liquid out as possible as this will make the fudge a little gooey where the cherries are. I cut my cherries in half and that helped, now for the fudge part.
I used a 11x7x1.5 inch glass pyrex pan lined with foil coming up over the edge so you can lift out the fudge after it cools, be sure to butter the foil so your fudge doesn't stick. You may use any pan around 9 or 10 inches. I think a 13 x 9 inch would be a bit big and make the fudge to thin. You want to use a heavy 3 quart sauce-pan for cooking the fudge. Melt the butter, add the sugar and milk, mix well. Now put on a medium heat and bring to a boil. Keep stirring or it might burn. If you have a candy thermometer it should reach 234 degrees and take off the heat, otherwise bring to a boil and boil for about 4 minutes now, take off the heat, mix in the chocolate and marshmallow creme this will take a few minutes. You want to make sure it is mixed really good. I add the chocolate first mix that in and then the marshmallow creme and mix that in. Add the cherries, vanilla and almonds when mixed good pour into prepared pan and let it cool. I store it in the refrigerator. (it gets a little hard so when I want to eat some I take a little out and let it sit at room temperature) It will make around 3 pounds of fudge and the time frame for preparing would be around 30-45 minutes. I always allow an hour just in case something doesn't go as planned. It is best if you don't have any inturptions when making candy it is a very sensitive thing to make and needs concentration. If you are in a humid climate you might have to adjust your cooking time and go a few degrees higher or boil for a couple extra minutes this is hard for me to say exactly because it really depends on you particular situation. If you make it a few times you can usually figure it out and if it fails it is still very good as a topping so you won't have to throw it out(unless you burn it)

Monday, February 14, 2011


Apple Topping
4 gala apples peeled and cut into large cubes
4 tablespoos butter
4-6 tablespoons brown sugar
In a cast iron fry pan melt butter, add apples then brown sugar. (mix and toss until well blended) Heat should be between med low and med depending on your stove-top. I start out on medium and cook for a few minutes then turn it down to med-low and finish cooking. Stir every so often to make sure all apples cook and liquid reduces to a caramel like texture this will take around 20-30 minutes so I make this first and keep it warm while making the french toast. Be careful with the heat you do not want to burn the apples.
French Toast

4 slices cottage bread
2 cage free brown eggs
1/2 cup cream
1-3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Whiped cream for topping
Hot caramel for topping
beat the eggs with the cream then add sugar and vanilla mix well
dip bread into mixture and cook in a fry pan, I use cast iron coated with a equal parts butter and oil, but be careful not to burn the butter cook on both sides. Put on plate butter bread and sprinkle with powdered sugar, top with apples. Drizzle with hot caramel , top with whipped cream and drizzle with more hot caramel.
You can find the hot caramel in the ice cream section of the grocery store or you may make your own if you have time. I started making this recipe with a canned apple I found at Walmart but sometimes those products have a bit of an after taste(funny flavor) so this time I tried making my own apple topping and it was worth it ,the flavor was great. This is a cottage favorite and so far all guests seem to enjoy it. It is a very sweet breakfast item so you may want to add some bacon or sausage and hot coffee or orange juice to help balance the sweetness.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I am always looking for a healthy snack. I have to eat small meals or snacks six times a day so it makes a difference what I choose. I happen to be at Target and picked up a small bag of roasted almonds $.99 for about 2 oz. This got me thinking so today I tried to make them myself.
1 cup raw almonds
a little salt and a little olive oil
preheat oven to 400 degrees
On a small cookie sheet sprinkle the olive oil. Place almonds on and toss ,then put in oven.
Bake for 5 minutes and toss again. Bake another 5 minutes. They should be close to being done. If you need a little more time go every 2 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle with sea salt.
I love the way they turned out and I like them better than the store bought. I now have a snack ready to go and because I buy my raw almonds in bulk at Sam's Club I save money. You can control the amount of oil and salt to what ever your needs are.
Almonds make a really good protein snack and have been helping me not feel so might want to give these a try.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


12 cups bitesize pieces of spinach
(Iused half spinach and half romaine)
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups honeydew melon balls
1/2 cup toasted pecans
(broken or whole)
1/2 cup Gouda ( cubed or sliced)
Toss all ingredients together and keep chilled until ready to use
I used a Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing from the produce section of my grocery store.
I found this recipe in an older Betty Crocker holiday magazine you see displayed near the checkout at your favorite grocery store. I changed it a little and didn't use the dressing they suggested. I think it was good and a healthier version side for my Christmas dinner. Also good if you have vegetarians at your Holiday dinner.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


3 cups rice chex
3 cups corn chex
1 cup small pretzel twists
1 cup peanuts
2 12-ounce packages white chocolate chips(Ghirardelli)
1 12-ounce package m&m's ( I only found an 8 ounce)
Mix together cereals, pretzels, peanuts and M&M's in a large bowl. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Pour over mixture in the bowl and toss gently until well coated. Spread on wax paper lined cookie sheets and let cool. When cool break up into pieces and store in an airtight container ( not in a warm area because of the chocolate... a pantry cupboard should be ok)
Makes about 16 one cup servings
I found this recipe in a Midwest Living magazine but changed it a little. They used honey-roasted peanuts and I did not have any. I also substiuted white chocolate chopped for the chips because I had a 2.5 pound bar to use up I bought for Christmas baking and didn't use it. I used a little more than half the bar, chopped. It was Ghirardelli bought at Sams club. I am only able to get the white chocolate chips in the winter near the Holidays so I buy a few extra bags to have throughout the year. This would make a great Hostess Gift. My family really liked this one and it did not last long.