Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nothing can go wrong with a recipe with beer and whiskey - right ?    It's very tasty and moist.
Got this one from a dear friend - it's one of our favorites.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Easy and satisfying.

This is one of those recipes that you can make on the weekend and then have it for breakfast the rest of the week ( if it lasts that long. )
Mmmmm. . . yummy!
This one is quick and easy for those nights where you just don't feel like cooking - but still want something substantial in your belly.  It's not exactly the healthiest - but you can substitute a low-fat or low-sodium soup if you'd like.
Here is the recipe that I use for making banana bread.  My son is allergic to eggs so this recipe has no eggs in it.  Also, in case you didn't know - here is a little tidbit of information - you can freeze your bananas when they start to get too ripe to eat.  Then, when you want to use them for baking - simply take them out (they will be all black - this is normal ) let them thaw and then just peel them and add them to the recipe.  They will be runny.  But freezing them also helps their natural sugars come out more, so they are sweeter.  Happy Baking!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Turkey Stuffing Roll Ups

Turkey Stuffing Rolls Ups

12 slices turkey lunch meat
2 boxes turkey stuffing mix
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can measured out milk

Prepare stuffing according to box.  Set aside.
Combine soup and milk in large bowl. 
Take turkey and place heaping spoonful of stuffing inside.
Roll up and put seam side down in baking dish. 
Continue until all turkey is used up.  Place remaining stuffing mix
Around outer edge of roll-ups. Cover this entirely with the soup/milk mix.
Smooth out and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Mexican Stuffed Shells

12 jumbo shells (cooked and drained)
1 lb ground beef
1 12oz jar mild picante sauce
½ c water
1 oz can tomato sauce
1 4oz can chopped green chilies (drained)
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 small can Durkee French Fried Onions

Brown ground beef; drain.  Combine picante sauce, water and tomato sauce in a bowl.
Stir in ½ cup into ground beef along with chilies, ½ c cheese and ½ can onions.  Mix well.
Pour half of remaining sauce mix on bottom of 8x12 inch pan.  Stuff cooked shells with ground beef mix.
Arrange shells in dish and pour remaining sauce on top.  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 min.
Top with remaining cheese and onions, bake 5 min more.

Cheddar Meat Loaves

Cheddar Meat Loaves

1 egg
¾ cup milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
½ c quick cooking oats
1 tsp salt
1 lb. ground beef

2/3 c catsup
½ c packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp mustard

Mix together egg and milk.  Stir in cheese, oats, onion and salt.
Add beef and mix well.  Shape into loaves. 
Combine topping ingredients and spread over top.
Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done on meat thermometer.

You can also make these ahead of time and freeze them for those nights that are going to be busy.  Just take them out the night before - let them thaw - then cook as normal.

Tortellini casserole

We cook this in our Nesco roaster - but it can be made in a crock pot as well.

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

If you don't like water chestnuts - you can omit those.  This also tastes great the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld together a little more.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This recipe is a no-brainer - but hey - sometimes when we are hungry and can't think of things to make we need a no-brainer!

Get a ready to make soup mix for broccoli/cheddar soup.  If you live in Green Bay like I do - we get the one from the U-Bake store on Military Ave.  It is a soup mix for brocolli/cheddar/rice soup.  Otherwise there are some soup mixes in the grocery store that will work as well.

We make that according to the directions and add fresh cut up broccoli.  Yummo!  Have it with some fresh warm rolls and you have a delicious dinner.

Organizing laundry

I think one of the main factors to becoming organized is to have the ability to think ahead and streamline things.

This morning I have been catching up on laundry before I head to the dentist ( round one of cap for root canal- ugh).  Anyway, I'd like to pass along how I do my laundry and keep everything organized.  Maybe a few of  my tips will help someone else with the daunting chore.

Every room in my house has a laundry basket/hamper in it.  Except the family room and the living room.  That way, when I do the load of laundry - it gets done, folded and goes right back to where it came from.  And - I can keep things separate that I need to bleach and wash in different temperatures.

I wash all bedding and all towels in warm/hot water to kill anything that may be on them ( my son has severe allergies) .  All kitchen towels, dishrags, washcloths get washed in hot water with bleach.  ( same reason- kill germs)  All clothes get washed in cold water - to save on electricity.

Also, I make my own laundry soap.  My son and husband have delicate skin that reacts to most perfumes and scents in soap and detergents and dryer sheets.  We don't use dryer sheets - we use the plastic balls that go round and round in your dryer to cut back on static cling.  If you are interested in the laundry soap I make - here is the recipe.

4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar - we found ours at Fleet Farm and stocked up
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. We've added lemon to ours.  :) 
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!  (We got this off the Duggar Website) 
Okay - back to laundry.  I will use my son's room as an example.  He is responsible for bringing his own laundry hamper down to the laundry room either when it is full - or when he wants his laundry done.  ( Trying to teach them responsibility)  Case in point - I had told him for three days in a row that he was running low on clean clothes and that if he didn't bring his laundry to the laundry room - he wouldn't have any of his pants to wear.  School morning - he had to wear a pair of pants that were too big.  Tough luck kiddo - I warned you.  So, we had to ask the secretary in the office for a safety pin to pin to his pants to cinch them in.  ( again - teaching him that he needs to ask for help - and problem solve)  Hopefully this will help him to learn that one - I mean what I say - and two  - if you want clean clothes that FIT - get them to the laundry room on time.  ( Needing to think ahead)
Once his clothes come down to the laundry room - all of it goes in in the same load.  I do not separate the kids clothes unless it is whites.  Sometimes I will do the whites separately.  Otherwise - all the clothes have been washed before and I have never had anything bleed or get discolored when washing in cold water.  All new clothes get washed separately before wearing with towels (in case they bleed) .  
When the clothes come out of the dryer - I sit down and fold all of it and put them in different piles.  Shirts in one, pants in another, socks and undies in another and pj's in another.  Shirts and pants get folded once.  Pants in half the long way - shirts in half once the long way.  Then, I take one shirt and match it to a pair of pants.  ( This way, all "outfits" are together.  I lay the folded shirt in half - then pants on top of it and fold over.  ( pants and shirts are now together.)  I do the same thing for pajamas.  Socks and undies get folded and put back in laundry basket.  
Once all "outfits" are put together - the kids can take their baskets back to their room.  They have one drawer for socks and undies - one for pj's one two or three for outfits.
This way - all pants are with matching tops and there is no " mom - what goes with what"  - "what should I wear today?"  It is all streamlined.  When they go to their drawer - they know they need to pick a pair of socks, undies and an outfit out to put on the in morning.  ( I am one of those parents who cares what their kids look like when they leave the house - so their outfits are all put together)  
Also - they are in charge of putting their clothes away - that way they know where it is and what they have.

When I do the laundry for the kitchen - it is all folded and put back in the drawer with all the towels and rags.
When I do the laundry for the bathroom - all towels are folded and put back into the cubbord.  We also have our sheets and blankets stored in our bathroom cabinets.  I find it is easiest to put fitted sheet - flat sheet and one pillow case all in the other pillow case and store them that way.  That way it is easy for them to be all organized and together when it comes time to change the bedding.
I hope this all makes sense.  Good luck and Happy Laundering!  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My "almost famous" pumpkin cookies.

My son just got home from school and notified me that they are celebrating his birthday tomorrow in his classroom at school and that "I am to make pumpkin cookies tonight".  Sounded like a demand - didn't it?  His birthday isn't until Sunday - so I'm not really prepared  ( meaning, that's not really what I wanted to do tonight and thought I might do it over the weekend. )  Even though I do have all the ingredients on hand - so, I guess you all know what I will be doing tonight.  This is the recipe for the cookies.  My son has a peanut and egg allergy - so these are his favorite cookies.

Mmmmm! Taco Hot Dish!

This one is one of my favorite!

My mom's chili!

I know everyone has their own recipe for chili - but - my mom's chili actually won a crock pot cook off - so, I think it's noteworthy to share.  :)  Oh, and if you like a little more kick - add more chili powder - and if you are someone who likes noodles in their chili - we make noodles separate and then add them to our individual bowl when you go to eat them.  That way, they don't get all smooshy in the chili.

Chicken Crescent Squares

Baked Potato Soup - One of my favorite!

Lately I have not been a friend to my garbage man!

I have had the irresistible urge to purge things from my house ever since the new year started.  I don't know if it's a bad case of "I want change" or if I'm just sick of all the crap around the house that we never use.  Anyway, I looked out into our garage this afternoon as I am purging more and more junk from the house and thought, my garbage man is going to hate me.  We have so much!  But then again, maybe I should remind them that all my purging is job security for them.  LOL!  Anyway, I have discovered that the less junk there is in my house and the more simplified things are, the better I feel about living here.  Is it just me who feels this way?  The more clutter there is around my house, the more I feel unorganized and a little more frantic.  Also, a part of me feels like I am not doing much as a parent to have all this stuff laying around that I can never keep ahead of the piles and piles of paperwork.  So, here's to me getting a better handle on all the junk in my house, and maybe, just maybe, my garbage man will still like me.

An oldie, but a goodie!

Easy Recipies

I hope to keep a running tab of some easy recipes that I use for our family.  Some are from various cook books, while others have been passed down through our family. 

Here is an easy one to start with  -

Apple Spice Cake
1 box spice cake mix
3 eggs
1 can apple pie filling
cinnamon and sugar mix
Blend all ingredients together.  Spread half in the bottom of a 8X8 inch greased pan.  Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Spread remaining cake mix on top of that and then top with remaining sugar/cinnamon mix on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

This makes a great breakfast meal with a nice cup of coffee.  :)

Figured this is something I should do . . .

Hi and welcome to my first post of my first time blogging.  I figured this might be a good thing for me to start since I love to write, and friends have asked for advice on cooking, baking and organizing.  I also want to share the ups and downs of everyday life here at our house.  So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!