Wednesday, February 23, 2011


See I cut this in half because it was the first attempt and I did not want to be inundated with something if I hated it. Well I loved it and so did everyone else except Evan. I will note my alterations in parenthesis.
12 slice(s) white sandwich bread (1-1/2 C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs)
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 package(s) (1 pound each) smoked Polish sausage, halved lengthwise, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces (I used only one package)
2 large onions, chopped (only used 1 onion)
8 clove(s) garlic, chopped (only used 4 cloves)
1/2 cup(s) tomato paste (used 1/4 C paste)
1 can(s) (14 1/2-ounce) reduced-sodium chicken broth (used 7.25 oz of chicken broth)
1 cup(s) dry red wine (used 1/2 C of white wine)
1 teaspoon(s) dried thyme (our of thyme so I used 1/2 tsp sage)
4 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern or cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained (I buy the gigantic cans so I used 1 can- 40 oz- of white beans)
I also added: 1 tsp lemon pepper, 2 tsp Adobo, 1 tsp poultry seasoning, and 1 C of cooked white rice that was left over in the fridge)
1.In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form (you should have about 6 cups); season with salt and pepper. Set aside. (I did not do this I used already made crumbs)
2.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 6-quart heavy-bottom saucepan, cook sausage, onions, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and sausage is starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
3.Add tomato paste, broth, wine, thyme, and 2 cups water( I cut the water to 1 Cup and added the lemon pepper, Adobo, poultry seasoning and rice); bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; add beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened but still soupy, about 10 minutes.
4.Stir in 2 cups of the breadcrumbs( I did not stir in any crumbs since I added the rice). Divide sausage mixture between two 3-quart shallow baking dishes (only used 1 baking dish since I halved the recipe)or eight 10-ounce ramekins. Top with remaining breadcrumbs.
5.Bake, on a baking sheet, until topping is golden, 30 minutes.

I wish I could take photos of every recipe I attempt but lately more then usual 3pm hits and the kids turn into these crazy, half-starved, attention-deprived creatures. I literally barely make the food fast enough for them, I get it to the table right from the oven no pit stops. Interesting crowd these boys of mine. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011



CHICKARITOS from Taste of Home

3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 package (17-1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed or pie pastry for double-crust 10-inch pie
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, chilies, onions, cheese and
seasonings. Chill until serving.
Remove half of the pastry from refrigerator. On a lightly floured
surface, roll to a 12-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Cut into nine small
rectangles. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling across the center
of each rectangle. Wet edges of pastry with water and roll pastry
around filling. Crimp ends with a fork to seal. Repeat with
remaining pastry and filling.
Place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Refrigerate
until ready to heat. Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until
golden brown. Serve warm with salsa and guacamole. Yield: 1-1/2

Thursday, February 17, 2011



adapted from Taste of Home
Loved this dish because I have nothing like it, and it is not something I would have normally picked but I am glad I did.


  • 1 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large head cabbage (4 pounds), coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cans (8 ounces each) Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3 to 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (my addition)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (my addition)


  • In a Dutch oven, brown the sausage in 2 tablespoons butter; remove
  • and set aside. In the same pan, saute cabbage, garlic and onions in
  • remaining butter until onions are tender.
  • Combine the tomato sauce, sugar and paprika; pour over cabbage
  • mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover ( I would add the potatoes here they took quite a bit longer to cook then 30 minutes) and simmer for 20
  • minutes. Add the potatoes and reserved sausage. Cover and simmer for
  • 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Tonight is parent teacher conference, ours is at 5:45pm and I am so not looking forward to this. Many parents, especially those who have girls, get all the wonderful adorations about how well their child sits and does their seat work and how much they participate, not my Kaleb. Kaleb is a dreamer, he is easily distracted and instead of doing his seat work he sits and does nothing. The teacher and I are at an impasse there is nothing more I can do unless I sit beside him at school and nudge him everytime he starts to wander off into thought. The truth is I feel for him, I can't tell him yet, but I used to daydream in school all the time. I remember getting lost in thought only to snap to and have no clue what we were doing in class. Tonight will be filled with us talking about having no idea what to do to make Kaleb do his seat work, how he aces tests, but that will not be enough when he goes to third grade in the other building. SIGH I hate parent teacher conference. 

Monday, February 14, 2011


Photo courtesy Taste of Home

Yes another wonderful recipe from Taste of Home, seems like I have more success then failure with recipes from their magazines. This is another tasty, simple and cheap meal to make. I have to go to the grocery store tomorrow so we are light on the food around the house, but I still had everything to pull this together, gotta love that, ok well you don't gotta but I sure love it.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 5 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup, undiluted
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt ( I omit the salt since there is bacon and I have folks with high blood pressure in the house)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef, bacon, mushrooms, onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink; drain. Stir in flour until blended. Add the broth, soup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt and paprika. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
  • Stir sour cream and horseradish into beef mixture; heat through (do not boil). Serve with noodles. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with parsley if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
Well I finally scheduled someone to come out and clean the gutters. Yes I know that should have been done last fall, however did not get it done. I am excited because all summer and right now (because of the warm weather) we have Niagara falls outside our sliding glass door because the gutters are so clogged. Two hundred dollars for the gutters, and I should have the honey pot come suck out the septic there is another 200, then the driveway needs stone which is 200 dollars too. It is another enigma everything that needs to be done around the house is the magical number of 200. PHEW!

Friday, February 11, 2011



Loved, loved, loved this dish. There were no leftovers which was a big time bummer I could have really gone for some for lunch the next day. I opted to omit the water chestnuts, tomato and mushrooms because I have people in the house who do not like those foods. I did add some bell pepper and it was fabulous.
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
2 cups cut fresh asparagus (1-inch pieces)
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 package (5 ounces) sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
1 large tomato, chopped
Hot cooked rice, optional
In a large skillet or wok, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same pan, stir-fry the asparagus, water chestnuts, mushrooms and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and ginger until blended; pour over vegetables. Return beef to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in the tomato. Serve with rice if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

Ok I might be addicted to Plants vs Zombies. I want to play it in my free time, and I have to fight Kaleb for the computer because he likes to play it as well. Right now is the perfect opportunity to get in some quality play time because the baby is asleep, I just put Evan up to bed and Mike took Kaleb to pack night. The computer is mine all mine for at least 2 hours. That is 2 hours of uninterrupted Zombie blastin' time...ok so maybe I am addicted.

Thursday, February 10, 2011



I loved how simple these were to make, and they look like I fussed. No baking, just a little microwaving and slapping things together. I opted to use peanut butter for one tray of 12 and marshmallow creme for the other 12. Totally tasty and worth the minimal effort to throw together.

2 doz. or 24 servings
what you need
1/4 cup butter or margarine, divided
12   OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp. raspberry jam
1 pkg.  (6 squares) BAKER'S White Chocolate
1/2 cup whipping cream, divided
6 squares  BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
2 Tbsp. multi-colored sprinkles
make it
MELT 2 Tbsp. butter; mix with cookie crumbs. Press onto bottoms of 24 miniature paper-lined muffin cups. Add 1/4 tsp. jam to each. Refrigerate until ready to use.
MICROWAVE white chocolate, 1/4 cup cream and 1 Tbsp. of the remaining butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min.; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is well blended. Spoon over jam. Freeze 10 min.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Well the morning started out simple enough, low on milk, low on butter and brown speckled bananas on the verge of reaching inedible.  So I thought why not make some banana bread and I have a new recipe that I wanted to try, only because it calls for cream cheese and I love cream cheese. Since we are low on butter I had to substitute the butter-flavored Crisco for butter.

BANANA BREAD adapted from Taste of Home
Like I said up above due to a shortage of butter (seems people must be eating it by the stick here) I used the butter-flavored Crisco. I also added nutmeg to the bread because I LOVE nutmeg in my banana bread. I am sure cinnamon would be just as tasty. This bread has the nicest texture, soft and fluffy, with the creamiest taste. I am also imagining the alternatives to the orange flavor in the glaze...

  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in 1/2 cup pecans. 
  • Transfer to two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk the glaze ingredients; drizzle over loaves. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).
This recipe yields TWO loaves which in our home is important many people wandering around and banana bread seems to go fast. This is what brings me to the sore eyes...our full house consists of Mister, myself our 3 boys, Mocha the lab and my parents. My parents came to live with us when their eyesight failed them. Yes, both of them have issues and it seems to never end which is slightly disheartening. My mom lost an eye to glaucoma because the pressure could not be controlled by her medicine and surgery led to infection and yadda yadda yadda she is a cyclop. My dad's eyesight is something else, retinal detachment, macular degeneration and cataracts with pressure issues as well. Here is the kicker bad enough that mom has only one eye left, that eye is now troubled too, the pressure seems out of control. To top off that, dad who is legally blind, is going to have cataract surgery and his pressure seems not so good so they are talking about trying to relieve some of that pressure while removing the cataract. Just so amazing that over 10 years later they are still dealing with these eye problems.


Where's Mom Now That I Need Her? hit another home run with this recipe which I of course slightly altered.

3 Tbsp butter
1/4 C minced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
1/2 tsp Old Bay
3 Tbsp flour
2 C milk
1 (6 1/2 oz) can tuna, drained and flaked
3 large potatoes thinly sliced
Shredded cheese

Saute onion and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in salt, pepper, Old Bay and flour; whip in milk to make sauce. Continue cooking, stir constantly until thickened. Add tuna and heat through. Layer potatoes in 8x8 square pan; sprinkle cheese over potatoes (I actually sprinkled the potatoes with some Lemon Pepper before I put on the cheese) then pour tuna mixture over top. Bake covered at 350 degrees for one hour then uncover and bake 30 minutes longer, or until potatoes are tender.

If you get the potatoes thin enough they will cook even faster then the 1 1/2 hours required.

I do not have a picture because in this house it is hard enough to move at a speed befitting the boys. It seems like I barely have enough time to pull my hands away from their plates.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Butterscotch Pudding found at Framed Cooks

I am really not a butterscotch fan, actually kinda repulses me, but I love making
homemade pudding and I have people in the house that like butterscotch so I 
made this recipe I found at Framed Cooks. I ate some and I have to say it was 
excellent I loved it, not as much as chocolate pudding, but hey we can't all be 
as yummy as chocolate.
  • 6 ounces butter
  • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half (I substituted evaporated milk)
  • 10 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups milk or half and half
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine butter and brown sugar in saucepan over low heat. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring. 
Add half and half, stirring until smooth.
Combine cornstarch and salt in bowl. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk or half and half 
until cornstarch dissolves. Add to saucepan with remaining 3 cups milk or half and half. 
Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Boil gently 
2 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk 
in egg yolks, stirring until smooth. Add vanilla.
Return saucepan to heat and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Strain and pour into 
12 custard cups. Serve warm or cold. Makes 12 servings.

Original source: Wolfgang Puck via the LA Times

I do not have half and half on hand usually so I substituted evaporated milk
for half and half. Oh and those 6 egg whites, I saved them (divided in half) and made
the Chocolate Cloud cookies.


It's official I'm in love, the new love of my life is sleek and brilliant. The new love of my life is my iMac, she has a beautiful LED screen that is way bigger then my old Dell and she comes with less baggage (read no tower). I have spent the past two days ogling, caressing and discovering all my iMac has to offer. It has been nearly 11 years since I have owned or used a Mac computer and I have missed it.  Microsoft is what it is I have nothing negative to say I just LOVE Mac. It is going to take me a while to get back into the swing of the Mac again. Just yesterday I sat in front of my Mac trying to figure out how to capture a picture that a friend took and posted. In a Microsoft world I would right click my mouse and either choose copy or save as depending on my intent. Let me tell you it is hard to stop right-clicking. Then I thought what is the simplest way to grab an image and I remembered why Mac is my first lover...just click on the image, grabbing it, and drag it to my desktop. Simplicity, what you see is what you get, that is why I love Mac.

A lot of things have changed while I was away, cool changes iPhoto, GarageBand and Photobooth to name a few. So forgive me my absence while I reacquaint myself with an old friend.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I am making two meals in my slow cooker today because I am lazy and I am stressed the heck out. I have so much swirling around me that it feels like there is mass hysteria in my mind.  The 3 (nearly 4) year old does not want to potty train, while he has shown me he is quite capable of using the toilet he just does not want to and frankly I am tired of changing diapers. I have been changing diapers for nearly 8 years straight, I had a 2 month hiatus between Kaleb getting trained and the birth of Evan. I am through with changing his diapers, I have offered bribes which worked for a week now the bathroom is too much of an inconvenience again. He will just keep wetting his underware and having accidents I suppose WHATEVER!

Then Mister gets the Cub Scout den dropped in his lap coming on the end of the year. He agreed to take over the den for next year, but come to find out the previous leader is not even going to finish what was started and is just dropping the majority in Mister's lap. I got an email that infuriated me about how as a leader he would not attend the Blue and Gold Ceremony. Mister just agreed yesterday to take over now...after 2 weeks of this person not performing the duties and last minute dumping them on Mister. I am appalled that the comment was made after all the shortcomings this person has confessed.

Kaleb's teacher is a total waste of a year, she is so inconsistent and unreliable I am ready to call the principal on the lack of communication. I have not been given the courtesy of a return call that I requested twice now. I just have this feeling that she is less then enamored with Kaleb (which is whatever since you cannot like every child I suppose) and has not fostered an appropriate level of concern over his success in 2nd grade. I feel like he is being ignored and left to his own devices instead of being included in the classroom. I am seething, I feel the anger hot in my chest starting to fume.

So those being my major gripes for the time being I am lest then thrilled with making dinner. I threw 4 chicken breasts into the slow cooker, added about 2C frozen turkey stock (I made from Thanksgivings carcass) 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 medium onion sliced, half a green pepper sliced and a 4oz can of green chilies with some water to cover the chicken. Then I mixed together my own fajita seasoning as follows...


1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

I set the slow cooker on low for 6 hours, seasoned with the fajita seasoning to taste, and I will shred it when it is done cooking. Tonight we will have chicken quesadillas and then later in the week I will use the rest of the shredded chicken to make chicken puffs (new recipe untested).


2 chicken breasts, shredded
package of flour tortillas
1 can (16 oz ) refried beans
2 C shredded mexican cheese
1 medium tomato, diced
sour cream, optional

Place a flour tortilla on a cookie sheet, spread refried beans on tortilla. Personally I like a slightly thick layer of bean, maybe about 1/2 inch while the boys do not care for it at all. Then I place shredded chicken around on top of the bean, as much or as little as you want then cover with cheese, at least a cup's worth because this is what binds your quesadilla together. Quesadilla's are great because the preparer can make them to their liking with as much or as little of the ingredients as you want. Place another tortilla on top of that cheese and place in the oven 350 degrees until cheese melts about 10-15 minutes. Serve with fresh diced tomato and sour cream .