Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I love cheeseball at Christmas time and this is one of my favorites!

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese (I usually use 4 oz.as that is 1/2 block)
1 cup shredded gouda
1 can shrimp
1/4 cup mayonnaise
seasoning salt
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp garlic salt (I usually use garlic powder)

1/2 cup crushed potato chips
1 1/2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

Beat together cream cheese and mayo.  Beat in cheddar and gouda.  Add Worcestershire, garlic, and seasoning salt.  Chill.  Shape into a ball.  Combine the parmesan cheese and chips; roll the cheeseball in mixture.  Wrap and chill.

This is a picture of the cheeseball before it has been rolled in the crushed chips and parmesan cheese

Monday, February 9, 2015

BBQ Chicken Sliders

This is from the Taste of Home Slow Cooker magazine that I have been relying on for our busy week nights!  It was a family favorite!

1 1/2 qt. water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. dries thyme

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup liquid smoke
1 1/2 cups hickory smoke-flavored bbq sauce
slider buns or dinner rolls

1.  In a large bowl, mix the brine ingredients, stirring to dissolve brown sugar.  Reserve one cup brine for cooking chicken.  Cover and refrigerate.
2.  Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag; add remaining brine.  Seal the bag pressing out as much air as possible; turn to coat the chicken.  Place in a large bowl; refrigerate 18-24 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
3.  Remove chicken from the brine and transfer to a 3 qt. slow cooker; discard the brine in the bag.  Add reserved one cup of brine and 1/3 cup liquid smoke to the chicken.  Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.
4.  Remove chicken; cool slightly.  Discard cooking juices.  Shred chicken with two forks and return to slow cooker.  Stir in bbq sauce; heat through.  Serve on buns.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fiesta Beef Bowls

As a busy mom, I rely on my slow cooker to get me through the week.  This recipe is out of Taste of Home Slow Cooker Meals (Summer 2014).

Prep:  25 mins.
Cook:  8.5 hours
Makes:  6 servings

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef top round steak
1 (10oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

3 cups hot cooked rice

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 Tbsp. sliced ripe olives
6 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onions
6 Tbsp. guacamole

1.  Place round steak in a 3-quart slow cooker.  In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and seasonings; pour over steak.  Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat is tender.

2.  Remove meat from slow cooker.  Add beans to tomato mixture.  Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until beans are heated through.    When cool enough to handle, slice meat.  In individual bowls, layer the rice, meat and bean mixture.  Top with cheese, olives, onions and guacamole.

My cheats:

  • I cut the meat before cooking it and when I put the rice on to cook I just added the beans to the slow cooker to warm through.
  • I used a larger can of tomatoes than what is called for and I used the Aylmer blends mexican
  • I could not find pinto beans but any beans will work.  I used one can of beans and one can of black eyed peas.
  • I did not add the salt and pepper as there is sodium in canned goods and I always think people can add salt and pepper if needed at the table.
  • I did not measure the toppings - just prepared enough for the family!
  • I did not use guacamole as I am the only one in my family who will eat it but I put sour cream on the table as an option (nobody used it but I am sure it would have been good)!
  • Because I had cut the meat ahead of time I also reduced the cooking time.  I probably only had this one for about six hours as opposed to the suggested 8 to 9.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ginger Shortbread

This is a recipe out of Company's Coming 150 Delicious Squares - it is so simple that my 8 year old made it on her own and we finished the pan in two days over Thanksgiving!

1 cup butter (do not use margarine)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 - 1/2 cup candied ginger
1 tsp powdered ginger (if desired for a stronger ginger flavor)

Measure all ingredients in bowl except chopped ginger.  Cut butter into flour and sugar, ending with mixing with your hands as for pie crust.  When mixture will hold together, work in ginger.  Press in ungreased 9 x 9 inch pan.  prick with fork through to the bottom of the batter (we had a hard time with this as it seemed pretty crumby so we skipped this step).  Bake in 300 degree oven for 50-60 minutes until a delicate golden brown color.  Cut while warm into 36 squares (easiest to cut without crumbling while it is warm).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nutella Banana Oat Muffins

  • This one came from a site called Chef in Training.  These muffins have been a huge hit in my house!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • Nutella

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until ingredients are well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, beat egg. Add milk, oil, vanilla and mashed bananas. Sir to mix ingredients until well combined.
  4. Add flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until ingredients are incorporated, do no over stir.
  5. Line a 12 muffin pan with 12 muffin tins or spray muffin tin generously with cooking spray.
  6. Divide batter evenly among the 12 muffin tins.
  7. Add a teaspoon of Nutella to the top of each muffin and gently cut Nutella into batter with a knife or toothpick to produce pretty swirls.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Honey Pecan Porkchops and Sweet Pepper Rice

MMMMM......I don't know where the recipe came from but it is a hit with the whole family!

1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1.  In a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt, and pepper.  Dredge pork cutlets in flour mixture.
2.  In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add chops and brown both sides.  Cook through and transfer to a plate.
3.  Mix honey and pecans into the pan drippings.  Heat through stirring constantly.  Pour sauce over cutlets.

I often serve these with sweet pepper rice!  This rice is a recipe for two so I usually double it.

Sweet Pepper Rice
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup each chopped green and red pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. salt
pinch of pepper
minced fresh parsley (I usually leave out the parsley if I don't have any on hand)

Saute rice and garlic in butter.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients (except the parsley). Simmer covered until rice is tender.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bar-b-que Beef

I really do not know where this recipe came from.  My mom used to make it all the time and she served it over pasta (linguine or fettuccine I think).  I prefer to serve it over rice so I usually double up the sauce so there is lots of extra.

2 lbs. round steak
2 Tbsp. oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water

Cut beef into slices 1/2" wide, across the grain.  Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet and brown meat strips slowly.  Combine all remaining ingredients and pour over browned meat.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender.

*I usually just used beef stewing meat from the store as it is already cut and ready to go.  I have also started making this in my slow cooker and it comes out so wonderfully tender.  I just throw all the ingredients in the pot and cook it on low for 5-6 hours and it is soooo yummy!