Monday, January 28, 2013

Musselman's Apple Butter Giveaway


Well folks, it's game time!

Nothing says "Big Game Sunday" like a tableful of game day favorites.

With that in mind, I was sent a little package from Musselman's with some of their wonderful apple butter and the cutest little apple bowl, which is perfect for dips and sauces.


One of our favorite Musselman's Butter recipes is the Monkey Bread made with apple is to die for.  Check out the recipe here.

Musselman's Apple Butter Monkey Bread

But the new recipe my family asked to try out, was the Caramel Apple Dip. Perfect for dipping sliced apples.....and also delicious if you heat it up and serve it over ice cream. Yum!


Easiest dip to make ever.


Caramel Apple Dip

1 cup of Musselman's Apple Butter
1/2 cup of Caramel Sauce

Combine ingredients. Serve with fresh fruit or graham crackers.

That's IT! Easy peasy and yummy. Perfect if you have people over.


If you want more recipes you can check out the Musselman's website, or their facebook page.


Musselman's have been kind enough to provide a giveaway gift pack to a lucky reader. The winner will receive a jar of Apple Butter, recipe cards and a matching multi-purpose bowl.


All you need to do is to leave a comment below, and please make sure there is an email where I can contact you if you are chosen as the winner.

Good Luck!!!

Contest will run until Friday the 1st, 2013 and is open to US residents.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Husband's Delight

Oh the name just cracks me up.  But I guess it's a pretty accurate name because my husband does enjoy this one, then again he loves anything with pasta, cheese etc.

This is another one from my stash of old recipes, I think it came from

I'm not really sure where that name came from, and from what I've gathered over the years, there seem to be quite a few variations on this recipe, I guess in a way it's whatever you have on hand.   It does remind me a lot of a good ol baked spaghetti casserole.

A Husband's Delight

A Husband's Delight

1 lb. ground beef
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Pinch of garlic powder
1 1/2 to 3 tbsp. minced onion or 1 onion, chopped
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
1 (8 oz.) pkg. egg noodles  (I used spaghetti noodles this time)
1 (4 oz.) pkg. cheddar cheese, grated  (I used mozzarella)

Brown hamburger; drain. Add sauce, seasoning, and onion; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions. In small bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream, mixing well. In 2 quart casserole dish, layer noodles, meat mixture, and sour cream mixture alternately - twice. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot.

A Husband's Delight

Walnut Crescent Cookies

My family loves cookies, so I try to keep the cookie jar always full.

While I make the usual chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies, I also enjoy trying different combinations to fill the jar.

Walnut Crescent Cookies

Today it was these buttery delicious cookies. I'm sure you have made them before.

The reason I picked these was actually because I'm out of eggs and needed a recipe that didn't include them. So, this was it. I may need to make more tomorrow as these are pretty much gone.

Walnut Crescent Cookies

Walnut Crescent Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour. Stir in walnuts.

Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 2-1/2-in. logs and shape into crescents. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Walnut Crescent Cookies

Bake at 325° for 20-22 minutes or until set and bottoms are lightly browned. Let stand for 2-3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Yield: 6 dozen.

Walnut Crescent Cookies

From:   Have this one handwritten on a piece of paper, have had it for many years and can't remember where I copied it from, but I am almost certain it was Taste of Home.

Homemade Vanilla Flavored Coffee Syrup

Flavored coffee syrup......great for your coffee.....not so great for your pocket.

My husband and I enjoy flavored syrups, but I don't buy them very often because I find them expensive.

Since I make a lot of store bought products at home, I figured that flavored syrup couldn't be that hard either, so I went in search of a recipe online.

I found a few, but decided to give Paula Deen's recipe a try.  Really easy to make and I love the dark color of the syrup.  Tried it in a cup of coffee this afternoon, and loved it.

I didn't follow her recipe exactly, I adapted it to my needs, which included cutting it in half and it still made quite a bit, enough to fill an empty Torani syrup bottle and a small little mason jar.

Now I know I can make it at home and not worry about spending so much money at the grocery store.

Vanilla Flavored Coffee Syrup

Homemade Vanilla Flavored Coffee Syrup

1 and 1/2 cups water
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, gently stir together the water and sugars. Cook until mixture becomes thick and syrupy (approximately 10-15 minutes). Allow to cool and stir in vanilla extract. Fill jar with cooled mixture.

Serve with your favorite coffee drink!

Hamburger Roll-Ups

Hamburger Roll-Ups

I've had so much fun looking through my Amish cookbooks and trying out new recipes. 

When I came across this one I knew it would be perfect for our Friday nights, which usually consists of pizza or sandwiches or something along those lines, something lighter.

These are delicious, even my Nicholas who doesn't like onions, ate them without complaining.

Hamburger Roll-Ups

Hamburger Roll-Ups

1 lb ground beef
finely diced onion (I eyeballed it, it was about 2 tablespoons worth)
1 T. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of pepper
2 T. flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tube refrigerated pizza dough

Brown the ground beef and onion in the oil;  drain off some of the grease.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the flour, stirring, and then gradually add the milk, continuing to stir until meat mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and allow to cool so it doesn't burn when you handle the roll-ups.

Hamburger Roll-Ups

Roll out the pizza dough in a wide rectangle.  Spread the meat filling over the dough.  Roll up into a log the way you do when making cinnamon rolls.  Cut the log into 1 1/2 inch slices. 

Hamburger Roll-Ups

Place the roll-ups cut side up on an ungreased pan and bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes or until done.

I sprinkled some mozzarella cheese one mine, and a few sliced green onions.

Hamburger Roll-Ups

From: The Homestyle Amish Kitchen Cookbook

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lizbeth Lane Gourmet Sauces


I had never heard of the Lizbeth Lane Gourmet Sauces, until I was contacted and asked if I was interested in receiving some samples to try out.

I love trying new products and especially when they are connected with something I love doing, which is cooking.

The first thing that caught my attention when I received these in the mail, is that they are Gluten Free.  As I've said previously, thankfully, neither I or my husband or children have any issues with Gluten so we don't have to worry about it, but I have so many friends who ARE gluten free, so when I agreed to try this out it was with them and YOU out there in mind.


Simmering sauces that can be used with chicken, steak or even fish. These were really good, especially the Marsala and Tarragon which I used to cook chicken with, and ended up with a delicious gravy to pour over mashed potatoes.

The Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Cream was also very good, I used that one to make a filling pasta bake, rotini, grilled chicken, cheese, YUM.


Our favorites though were the Pizza Sauces. Oh my.


The Roasted Vegetable Pizza sauce is closer to the pizza sauces that I'm used to, or rather, it's a tomato based sauce and I paired that with pepperoni and olives. My boys who love Pepperoni Pizza were very happy with that one.


But nothing prepared us for this one.......oh boy.....


Never would I have thought of these flavors as a pizza sauce, but my goodness it was out of this world good.


My 13 year old said it was her favorite pizza ever, she absolutely loved this sauce.

I did too....and so did my husband, which pleasantly surprised me because he ate more of this pizza than the pepperoni, and that is how I know something is good.


Amazing sauces, both the simmering and the pizza.....and hey, they're gluten free.

So if you've never heard of Lizbeth Lane Gourmet Sauces, check them out on their website.

Just who are Lizbeth Lane?? 

We are a gourmet simmer and pizza sauce company from a small town in Pennsylvania. Our delicious simmer sauces are basically finishing sauces that you pour, and let simmer, over any cooked protein and/or vegetables in order to create a complete gourmet dish.All our products are all gluten-free and our pizza sauces are vegetarian as well!

That's right, Gluten Free AND Vegetarian as well. But delicious enough to be enjoyed by the rest of us folks who just want a good tasting sauce :)

Thank you to Lizbeth Lane for providing me with samples to try. All opinions are my own.

Olive Garden and Longhorn Lighter Fare Menus

We don't eat out a lot, but when we do we usually head to Olive Garden or Longhorn SteakHouse.  There are one or two others, but these two are at the top of the list for favorite place to eat.

I was asked recently if I would be willing to try out the new Lighter Fare Menus, and of course I obliged.  I love their food but it's great knowing that when I'm counting my calories, I can enjoy a good filling dish without completely blowing the calories out of the water.

This past weekend, we headed to Olive Garden.

I started the meal with a delicious Strawberry Mango Limonata.  YUM!  So delicious.


Next, the meals.  I had a look through the Lighter Italian Fare Menu.  I was also offered a Gluten Free menu which looked delicious too, but since I am not Gluten Free neither is anyone in my family, I decided to stick to the Lighter Italian Fare.

The great thing is that the option is there, so if you ARE Gluten Free, you will be able to pick from a myriad of yummy dishes, like the Penne Rigate Pomodoro,  Steak Toscano, Herb Grilled Salmon or Mixed Grill amongst others.

I picked the Seafood Brodetto, which is AMAZING.


It is a soup/stew mix and the description given is, scallops, shrimp and delicate tilapia with spinach and mushrooms simmered in a light white wine and marinara-saffron broth.

I am telling you, I was in heaven with this dish. It was beyond what I was imagining.


Truth be told, when I think low calorie, I think bland, tasteless food, but this is not the case at all.

My husband tried a few bites and said he should have ordered the same. It was THAT good. Only 480 calories. I am definitely having it again next time I'm at Olive Garden.

My husband went with the Linguine alla Marinara...he added shrimp to it. Another hit.


I am not a fan of marinara sauce at all, but this one was so good. And only 360 calories for a pretty big portion that he couldn't even finish.

If Italian food is not your thing, then you should give Longhorn SteakHouse a try.  They offer a Flavorful under 500 menu filled with delicious options.

Renegade Sirloin, Flo's Fillet, Flat Iron Steak, Sierra Chicken,  Napa Grilled Chicken, Redrock Grilled Shrimp, Grilled Fresh Rainbow Trout or Longhorn Salmon.

You can't go wrong with either of those choices.

So next time your family wants to go out for dinner and you're counting calories, watching your waistline or just want a lighter meal, there's no excuse to stay home.  Either Olive Garden or Longhorn SteakHouse are the perfect place to go.

Thank you to Darden Restaurants for providing me with a gift card to try out one of the restaurants.  All opinions are mine alone.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oatmeal, Porridge....America's Favorite Pantry Staple

I'm a porridge fan.  Like a huge porridge fan, but I'm also kind of a snob in a way, it has to be a specific brand or I won't touch it.

It's weird because I'm not like that with many food products, but porridge....and oatmeal.

 Irish oats – for oatmeal, cookies, as a crust for fish, and much more

I was lucky enough to be asked if I would interested in trying out some samples from the Irish Food Board.....which so happen to be my favorite porridge and oatmeal brands.  Ummm YEAH, of course I'll try.

Shortly after I received in the mail a package with some amazing products that I really could not wait to try.

Kilbeggan Creamy Porridge
Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal
John McCann's Irish Oatmeal


The very next morning, I was up bright and early as usual, and fixed myself and hubby a big bowl of creamy porridge.




My word, so good.

Usually to make the porridge edible for me, I have to add tons of sugar and cinnamon and all sorts of toppings, but for this one, I went with just a drizzle of honey and it was the creamiest tastiest porridge I had ever tasted.


I'm familiar with the John McCann's oatmeal, it's one of my favorites, but it was my first time trying the Kilbeggan.  It's now top of the list for me.

My daughter loves oatmeal too and her favorite is the Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal.

Ireland produces arguably the highest quality, best-tasting oats in the world. Did you know that there are several high-quality brands of Irish oats available in the US? It’s true – McCann’s, Flahavan’s, Macroom and Kilbeggan!

Of course you can go on over to the individual sites and learn more about these oats:

McCann’s Irish Oatmeal Website:
McCann’s Irish Oatmeal Products:
McCann’s Irish Oatmeal Recipes:
Become a Fan on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:!/McCannsIrishOat

Become a Fan on Facebook
Tweet us @flahavans_USA


So tell me, are you an oatmeal or porridge fan???  Have you ever tried either John McCann's, Flahavan's or Kilbeggan???

Thank you to to the Irish Food Board (Bord Bia) for providing me with samples for the review.  All opinions are mine alone.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

I love chocolate cake, but I don't make it very often, and the reason being that it's just the four of us and even though we'll have a slice right after it's baked, it will usually just end up sitting in the refrigerator for days.

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

My husband is also not a big cake eater and I don't want to make a big cake just for the kids and I, I definitely don't need to be eating all that cake.

But this recipe makes a smaller batch which is perfect for when the sweet tooth does strike, and we don't have to worry about having too much leftover.

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

It's a very easy recipe to throw together, perfect for when company shows up and you want something to serve in a pinch, with a cup of coffee.

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup cold water

In an 8 inch square baking pan, mix together with a fork the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

In a separate bowl, mix together oil, vanilla, vinegar, and cold water. Pour all at once into the baking pan with the flour mixture and blend with the fork until thoroughly blended together.

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

From: The Homestyle Amish Kitchen Cookbook

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

Slow Cooked Honey Garlic Chicken

I've had such a busy day, and I knew it was going to be this way so early this morning I got the crockpot going with dinner.

This is one of our favorite meals and the chicken always comes out tasty.  You can serve it with mashed potatoes, or rice or noodles or whatever you wish.

Tonight I'm serving them with some baked potatoes.

Slow Cooked Honey Garlic Chicken

Slow Cooked Honey Garlic Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
fresh basil, shredded, for garnish

Place the chicken in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, soy sauce, ketchup and honey. Pour over the chicken and cover.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken, place on a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Transfer the remaining sauce to a saucepan and reduce down over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. Serve over the chicken and garnish with fresh basil.

From: More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Patty Melt

Patty Melt

Oh do I love a good patty melt, but I don't get to have it that often, actually only one place I know of around here makes them, and that's Freddy's.

I've always wanted to make them myself, but there are so many varied opinions out there on what constitutes a real patty melt and what kind of bread it should and shouldn't have, and the cheese.....oh the cheese, it has to be swiss, no it has to be cheddar, no no it HAS to be american.

Varying opinions, so I shied away from making these. While browsing the Saveur magazine I came across a recipe for the Patty Melt, and decided to just go for it and make using the bread I wanted the cheese I wanted and even the butter I wanted.

What resulted was a delicious patty melt that made me ooooohhhhh.

For the original recipe go to Saveur.

Patty Melt

Patty Melt
Adapted from:  Saveur
Makes 6 sandwiches

1½ lbs. ground beef
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 tbsp. canola oil
2 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
12 slices Texas Toast bread
12 thin slices American cheese
8 tbsp. Challenge Tuscan Style Butter

1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Divide meat into six ¼"-thick patties that are slightly wider and longer than the bread.

2. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 12 minutes.

Patty Melt

Transfer the onions to a bowl; wipe out skillet. Working in 3 batches, heat 1 tbsp. oil in skillet over high heat. Add 2 burger patties; cook, flipping once, until well browned, about 4 minutes total. Transfer patties to a plate.

Patty Melt

3. Top each of 6 bread slices with some of the onions, a cheese slice, and a burger patty. Top each burger with a cheese slice and a piece of bread. Using a table knife, spread butter over the top and bottom of each sandwich.

Patty Melt

4. Heat a 12" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in 3 batches, cook sandwiches, flipping once, until golden brown and hot, about 6 minutes.