Monday, July 27, 2009

Easy Butter Cookies

Our cookie jar is empty.... GASP!

Easy Butter Cookies

It's never happened before but I think me being a little under the weather, I didn't pay attention to it, so I'm refilling it with some quick and easy butter cookies.

Easy Butter Cookies

  • 1 stick of butter (may use margirine)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix ingredients together and roll into balls.
Press down with a fork.
Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each cookie.

Easy Butter Cookies

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Easy Butter Cookies

Friday, July 24, 2009

Green Chili Stew!

So good served with a slice of hot out of the oven bread and slathered on with some homemade butter. Enjoy!


Green Chili Stew


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, optional


In a large skillet, brown beef and onions in oil; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker.
Combine the beans, tomatoes, chilies, water, bouillon, garlic, sugar, salt if desired and pepper; pour over beef. cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until beef is tender. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Yield: 8 servings.


Amish White Bread!


Amish White Bread Recipe

2 cups warm water (110F)
2/3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups white flour

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water, add yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam, about 10 minutes.

2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Work in 6 cups of flour.


Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in well oiled bowl, and turn once to coat the entire surface of the dough with oil. Cover with a clean damp cotton cloth. Allow dough to rise until double in size. (Mine took about an hour).


3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place into well oiled 9x5 loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

4. Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. When you thump the top of the bread it should sound hollow.

For a buttery crust, brush hot loaves with butter. Cool on a rack and enjoy!

Homemade Maple Syrup!

There's nothing like pancakes or waffles with maple syrup, but it's even better when it's homemade maple syrup.

Quick and simple and my family actually prefers this one to the store bought which is good for me, I never have to spend money on those. :)


Homemade Maple Syrup

1-3/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 c water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. maple extract

Mix the white and brown sugar with the water, bring to a boil.

Cover and cook for about a minute.

Add the vanilla and maple, mix well and let cool.

This syrup does not need refrigeration. I just use a cute little glass bottle for mine.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Strawberry Bread!

I know, I know, what is that right? Usually it's lemon bread or banana bread, but if you've never had strawberry bread you have no idea what you're missing out on, and since I like you and would never dream of keeping something this good from you, I'm posting the recipe and then you can go forth and conquer the Strawberry World. 

I usually make loaves, but this time I made one loaf and then a bunch of muffins. YUM! And no this final result picture is not mine, I kinda sort maybe forgot to get a pic of mine before it was inhaled by the family LOL

Strawberry bread

2 cups of sliced strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/4 cup applesauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5x3″ loaf pan.  Place the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of sugar.

In a large bowl, blend together the remaining sugar, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until foamy before beating in the margarine and the applesauce. Stir in the strawberries. Combine the two mixtures, blending until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and cool the pan on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hearty Ham Casserole

Comfort food at it's best, ham, potatoes a creamy sauce and cheese. My kids love it!



2. c. cooked cubed potatoes
2 c. cooked cubed ham
1 fifteen ounce can of whole kernel golden corn, drained
1/4 c. fresh parsley (optional)
1/4 c. butter
1 T. chopped onion or green onion or leeks


1/3 c. all purpose flour
1-3/4 c. milk
1/8 t. black pepper
4 oz. shredded cheese, preferably yellow

Boil your potatoes until they are ALMOST done, they still have to cook in the oven for a while longer.

Drain off the water, add in the ham, corn, parsley, butter and green onions. Mix well.


In a small pot, add the milk and cook over medium heat until it just starts to want to boil, add in the flour and the remaining sauce ingredients and stir until thickened.

Pour the potato mixture into an oven proof dish, pour the milk mixture over, sprinkle some more cheese over and cover with foil.


Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until potatoes are done. Remove foil and bake for a few minutes more until cheese is completely melted and browned.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Buttery Pound Cake

My husband was craving a cake yesterday afternoon so I whipped up this delicious buttery pound cake, it has a brown sugar glaze and inside a layer of thinly sliced apples, with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg it's just so good.



1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. brown sugar, packed and divided
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground nutmeg
3/4 c. plus 2 T. butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. sour cream
2 t. vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 c. apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 T. milk

Combine 1/3 cup brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl; set aside.

Beat 3/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.


Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Add sour cream and flour mixture; beat at a low speed after each addition just until mixture is blended. Stir in one teaspoon vanilla.



Spoon half of batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan. Arrange apple slices over batter, then spoon half of brown sugar mixture over apples; gently press into batter.


Top with remaining batter, then sprinkle with remainning brown sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.


Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter starts to brown. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, milk and one teaspoon vanilla. Stir until smooth; drizzle glaze evenly over cake. Serves 16.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage
Image credit: oneordinaryday


1 lb sweet and hot Italian sausages, casings removed
12 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (about 1½ cups)
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
salt and ground black pepper
12 ounces fresh whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3 cups
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1½ cups)
1½ lbs ziti or other short, tubular pasta
4½ cups Marinara Sauce or jarred tomato sauce
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves (for serving)

1. Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot over high heat.

2. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the sausage loses its raw color, about 5 minutes. Drain the sausage on a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

3. Mix ricotta cheese, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, ½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper together; set aside. In a separate bowl, toss the mozzarella and Parmesan together until combined; set aside.

4. Add 1½ Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Reserve 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return the drained pasta to the pot and stir in the marinara sauce, sausage, remaining 2 Tbs. oil and reserved pasta cooking water.

5. Pour half of the sauced pasta into a 13×9-inch baking dish. Drop large spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture evenly over the pasta, then pour the remaining sauced pasta over the ricotta layer. Sprinkle the top of the penne evenly with the mozzarella mixture.

6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray (or use nonstick foil). Bake until the sauce bubbled lightly around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until pasta is completely heated through, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What's for dinner????


An old favorite.....Spaghetti Pizza Pie.

I just reposted the recipe and included photos, enjoy!

Mock Turkey Cordon Bleu!

We all know that a good Cordon Bleu has the ham and cheese rolled *inside* the chicken or turkey, but during one of my busy days I came up with this inside out cordon bleu which the family loved.

Hope you enjoy it too, it is super quick to put together and really tasty.


Mock Turkey Cordon Bleu

Turkey Tenderloins
Heavy Cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste

Grease a baking dish and layer the turkey tenderloins on the bottom.


Sprinkle with salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Place a layer of Ham followed by the Cheese and then pour about a cup of heavy cream over.


Bake at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes or until turkey is done, the cheese is melted and browning and the cream is bubbly.


Serve with mashed potatoes. We like to use the creamy gravy on top of the potatoes. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Menu Plan - Week July 5 to July 12

Here's my menu plan for this week. 



 {Frango com Cerveja - Portuguese Chicken with beer}


 {Slow Cooker Chicken Curry - using my Beef curry but substituting with chicken}

{Turkey Cordon Bleu}


 {Spaghetti Pizza Pie}


{Sandra's Mock Jambalaya}


FRIDAY 10th 

{Teriyaki Steak w/ Rice}


{Chicken Spaghetti}

SUNDAY 12th 
{Baked Penne with Italian Sausage}

Saturday, July 04, 2009

4th of July Cake

We always have this cake on the 4th of July, it's super easy to make and it looks cute and it tastes SO good.

Get the kids in on the decorating!


4th of July Cake

1 box white cake mix
Cool Whip
Strawberries, sliced

Bake the cake according to box directions, in a 9x13 inch pan.

Let cool and then turn out onto a cooling rack. I like to put a piece of wax paper underneath to keep it from sticking to the rack and to make it easier for cleanup.


Cover the cake with cool whip and then decorate using the blueberries for the stars and the strawberries for the stripes, leaving a line of cool whip between each row.


Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!


My Potato Salad

I think potato salad is one of the most versatile dishes you can prepare and nearly everyone has at least one or two different ways of making it.

This is the way I prepare mine and it's my family's and friends favorite.


Sandra's Potato Salad

5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 eggs
Sweet Relish
1 green onions, finely sliced
Mayonnaise - just enough to moisten the salad
Salt and pepper to taste


Fill a large pot halfway with water, add the potatoes and the eggs, season with a little bit of salt. Boil until the potatoes done, yet still firm, let cool. Strain the water out and transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl. Cut into small cubes.

Peel the eggs and dice them up finely, add to the potatoes. Add relish to taste, green onions, mustard (about a tablespoon, little more or less depending on your own preference). Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper and stir until well combined and moistened. (Just add mayonnaise a little at a time and keep adding until you're happy with the consistency)


You can serve the salad immediately or chill first, I prefer to chill it for about 30 minutes to an hour. Serves 6.

Best Grilled Steak Marinade

Being the fourth of July, we are grilling and that means Bratwurst and hamburgers and hotdogs, but it also means the BEST Grilled Steaks.

I came across this marinade a long time ago and honestly, I can't remember where, I didn't write it down just memorized it and have used it since then.

Instead of marinading steaks overnight, it takes but 3 hours until you can throw the steaks on the grill.


Best Grilled Steak Marinade

4-5 choice beef steaks
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ketchup
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
1 can of beer

Blend all ingredients, pour over steaks.
Marinate 3 hours, turning frequently.


Grill to your liking.

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

It's been quite a while since I've shared a recipe with ya'll hasn't it?

I've been so busy lately and also just returned from a two week vacation, hence my absence, but I returned with a yearning for cooking and baking so I'm sure you will start seeing a lot more frequent posts here on this ol' cooking blog of mine.

Tonight's dinner is one of those comfort meals, it just makes us go "yep, we're definitely home".


Swedish Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
½ lb ground pork
¾ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
1 large egg
1 small onion, chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp pepper
3 Tbs flour
¾ cup water
1 cup half and half cream
1 tsp beef bouillon
½ tsp salt
parsley for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, mix beef, pork, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, onion, ½ teaspoon salt, nutmeg and pepper. Shape mixture into 1″ balls.


Place meatballs in ungreased jelly-roll pan.


Cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes (until light brown). Remove meatballs to serving dish; keep warm.


Place 3 Tablespoons of the meatball drippings into a saucepan. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in water, half and half, bouillon and ½ teaspoon salt. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute.


Pour gravy over meatballs; sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Serve meatballs over hot, cooked noodles.

Servings: 6


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