Monday, September 30, 2013

DIY Taco Salad Shells

I don't know about you, but where I live the local grocery store has a taco salad shell kit that comes with 4 flour tortillas and paper shells to bake them on.  It costs a little over $4 for this kit and frankly, I find that to be outrageous.  With a little effort, the same shells can be achieved for a little under $2.00.  The first step is to invert a muffin pan and place it on a cookie sheet.  Then take four wide-mouth canning jars and place them on the muffin tin, as seen below.
Next spray the jars with nonstick spray and drape one 10 inch flour tortillas over each jar.  Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes.  I had to move my oven rack to the lowest setting in order to put the tray in the oven.  

Then fill with your favorite taco fillings and serve.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Berry Cobbler

I had planned on posting this several weeks ago, but on Labor Day weekend, our house was struck by lightening.  It has been a long process working with our homeowner's insurance, getting quotes to have our stove, refrigerator, laptop, washing machine, and hubby's shop equipment repaired or replaced.  We almost immediately bought a new television but are still without our blue-ray player and I think all of us are having Netflix withdrawals.  At least our son can watch his cartoons on the Kindle.  We were without internet and phone service for almost a week because of the holiday weekend, so I had to go "old" school and get out my cookbooks to find something new to put on the table.

One of the features on the evening news that I used to love to watch was Mr. Food, so well before hubby and I were married, I had bought several Mr. Food cookbooks.  I remembered that on these segments he always seemed to use common items that most people would have in their pantry and this berry cobbler was no exception to that rule.  The original recipe called for blueberries, but I didn't have enough in the freezer to make a this recipe, so I substituted blackberries for the one in the picture.  Since then I've made the same cobbler using a mixture of frozen strawberries and blueberries (my favorite) and also using canned peaches (hubby's favorite).     

Berry Cobbler

3 cups fresh or frozen berries
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick or Jiffy Mix)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup butter or margarine cut into small slices for dotting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, toss together the berries, lemon juice, vanilla and Splenda.  Spoon the mixture into a prepared 8-inch square baking pan.  In another bowl, combine the biscuit mix, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Sprinkle over the berry mixture, then dot with the sliced butter.  Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until just crispy.

This recipe was adapted from Mr. Food Cooks Real American by Art Ginsburg (Mr. Food)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cream Cheese Peach Pie

This was the found on Facebook recipe that I tried this weekend.  It was good recipe, however, if I make it again, I will use some cinnamon and/or cloves to add another layer of flavor to the peaches.  I was surprised how good the cream cheese filling and the peaches tasted together.  The one thing that I did not like about this recipe was the number of bowls needed to make a simple dessert. 

Cream Cheese Peach Pie

1 package of white or yellow dry cake mix
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, divided
29 ounce can of peach slices, drained
8 ounces of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. In large bowl combine cake mix, butter, and 1 egg. Mix until crumbly. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of crumbs for topping. Press remaining crumbs in bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Cut Peach slices into 1 inch pieces. You can use frozen or fresh peaches if you choose but I like canned for this particular recipe because of the short baking time. Spoon into partially baked crust. In large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and vanilla extract. Beat with mixer until creamy. Spoon over peaches. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Bake 30 minutes. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. 

This recipe was found on

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I've made a goal to try to make at least one new recipe from my Facebook news feed each week.  This week my friend Jan had a recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cake and it looked really yummy, so I thought I'd give it a try.  When I told DH that this recipe came from Facebook, he was skeptical that it would taste good, I was wondering about the amount of butter, but the cake was really good, it pretty much tasted like cinnamon rolls that are make using biscuit mix instead of a yeast recipe. 

Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter

1 cup butter, softened
1cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon


Cake:  Mix everything together except for the butter.  Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. 

Topping:  Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.  Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 28 - 32 minutes.

 2 cup powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and drizzle over cake while the cake is still warm.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Found on Facebook - Cracker Barrel Chicken 'n Dumplins

I thought I would start trying some of the numerous recipes that my friends share all the time on Facebook.  Cracker Barrel Chicken 'n Dumplins was the recipe that I tried this evening.  Both my hubby and I decided that we like my own personal recipe.  Here's the recipe that was shared on Facebook.

Cracker Barrel chicken n' dumplins

2 cups Flour
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 pinch Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup ButterMilk, A Bit Less Than A Full Cup (you can use regular milk if needed)
2 quarts Chicken Broth
3 cups Cooked Chicken

Preparation Instructions:
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.

Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with. I like to use a pizza cutter. I also like to use a small spatula to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.

Roll the dough out thin with a heavily floured rolling pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in squares about 2″x2″. It’s okay for them not to be exact. Just eye ball it. Some will be bigger, some smaller, some shaped funny.

Use the floured spatula to put them on a heavily floured plate. Just keep flouring between the layers of dumplings.

To cook them, bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they not doughy tasting. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and you’re done!

As found on FACEBOOK

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

The second day of my chicken challenge made me think about a recipe I found several years ago on Allrecipes.  Of course, as usual, I didn't want to use the oven, I wanted to convert it to a crock pot recipe.  And I didn't want to stand and roll the enchiladas, so I decided to make a layered casserole.  

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 - 12 inch flour torillas
1/4 cup of milk

1.  Lightly grease your crock with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  In a mixing bowl, mix together the garlic powder, chopped green chilies, cream of chicken soup and sour cream.  Set aside 3/4 of the sauce.  Combine the chicken and 1/2 the cheese with the rest of the sauce.
3.  Place one torilla on the bottom of your crock.  Layer on the chicken/sauce combo.  Continue layering until you use all of your torillas and sauces.  
4.  Mix the milk with the reserved sauce then pour over the layered torillas.  
5.  Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours with the lid of the crock open to allow the steam to escape.
6.  During the last 30 minutes of cooking, use the remaining cheese to cover the casserole.

Adapted from

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stuffing Casserole

This week, I decide to challenge myself by making at least three meals with one chicken.  It's not that we are low on chickens, in fact, while I was on vacation, darling husband butchered 23 chickens and we put them in the freezer for this winter.  It is just fun to see how many different meals can be made with one chicken.  I have done this in the past, but one of the meals I made from the chicken was soup.  Since it is getting really hot in this part of the country, soup really isn't something we are interested in right now.  However, crock pot meals are something that does sound appealing.  So yesterday morning, I put a whole chicken in my large crock pot to bake for the day.  There are many different recipes online describing how to bake a chicken in the crock pot, so I'm not going to go into details about that.

The meal that I made for today's lunch was a recipe that was passed on to me by my mother-in-law.  Darling husband loves this meal, I think of it as more of a wintertime type meal, but he requested it for lunch, so stuffing casserole was what we had.  It is usually prepared in the oven, but I don't think I could have stood baking with the humidity as high as it was today.  Please forgive the photo, for as good as it tastes, casseroles are hard make look good in a photo.

Stuffing Casserole

2 boxes Stove Top or store brand stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 lb Velveeta cheese
2 cups of chicken
1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth

Mix all of the ingredients together until well moistened.  Spray crock with non-stick cooking spray, I would not recommend a crock pot liner for this.  Pour the stuffing mixture into the crock and spread evenly.  Put on medium or high heat.  Prop the lid of the crock pot open to allow steam to escape.  Cook for 4 to 6 hours (depending on your crock pot temperature).

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easy Pizza Bake

We love pizza at our house.  Homemade pizza is the bomb, but there are times when I can seem to find time to make homemade pizza.  Then we order pizza from a local gas station, yeah, from a gas station.  Their pizza is very tasty, but as you know takeout, even from a gas station is expensive.  Several friends on Facebook have started posting links to recipes, and this pizza bake was one of them.  I thought, heck that recipe is a great starting point, but I can take it and make it even better.

This was easy to throw together using jumbo biscuits and sauce from a jar.  I think my husband had two servings, then went back and got a little for a snack.  Using what we had on hand, I made this pizza bake with bulk ground sausage and ground beef, you can chose what topping your family prefers.

Easy Pizza Bake

1 can jumbo biscuits
1 jar (14 oz) pizza sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 lb ground sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
4 oz can chopped mushrooms and pieces
4 oz can chopped black olives

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Brown ground sausage and ground beef together.
3.  While meat is cooking, cut each biscuit into 8 pieces.
4.  Toss the biscuits, meat, mushrooms, olives, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese together with the jar of pizza sause.
5.  Spray 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non stick spray and spread the mixture into the pan.
6.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
7.  Remove from oven and top with remaining cheeses and place back in the over for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Adapted from Pillsbury

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Oven Cooked Bacon

Weekends are a little slower around the farm especially on the Saturdays that I don't have to work and this Saturday was no exception.  Once we got the animals all fed, it was time to feed the family.  This morning we had homemade waffles and bacon.  This time, I prepared the bacon differently, I baked it.  DH looked at me as I was putting it in the oven and I said, "Well it is called "bakin".  It was pretty nice to not be popped while cooking bacon.

Oven Cooked Bacon

1 lb bacon
black pepper optional

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Place bacon on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle bacon with pepper.
3.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning half way through cooking.

I retained the bacon grease for flavoring beans or cabbage.

Adapted from  Food Network

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cake Mix Banana Bread

Yesterday was a nasty, cold, rainy day, a day made for our ducks and geese, so we spent the day indoors watching our new Netflix.  We finally decided to cut the cable with our satellite provider when they raised their price AGAIN.  But there was a bunch of bananas that were starting to turn brown and a DH saying that he wanted banana bread.  Instead of pulling out the Betty Crocker cookbook and what feels like a 1,000 ingredients, I went online and did a search for cake mix banana bread.  With 4 simple ingredients that most people would have in their kitchen, I made a very yummy banana bread.

Cake Mix Banana Bread

1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
3 - 5 mashed bananas

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Grease 2 loaf pans or one bundt pan -- I used an angel food cake pan.
3.  Mix all ingredients together until well mixed.
4.  Bake 30 - 35 minutes for loaf pans or 45 minutes bundt pan.
5.  Cool.

There are no pictures today because DH could not wait until it was cooled to have a slice.  It tasted just like I had slaved in the kitchen instead of just tossing a few ingredients in a bowl and mixed.

Recipe adapted from Duncan Hines

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Silk Tie Easter Eggs

So what do silk ties and eggs have in common?  Silk Tie Dyed Easter Eggs.  After searching the internet and coming up with several different recipes for these eggs, I settled on a recipe that I found at Taste of Home.  With a few minor alterations, my son and I made Silk Tie Easter Eggs this morning.

What you will need:

Raw Eggs
Silk Ties
An old pillowcase


1.  Cut up the silk ties and remove the labels.  Make sure that you get 100% silk ties to do this.  I found mine at thrift stores.

2.  Cut a piece silk large enough to cover the egg.

3.  Wet the silk and drape over the egg.  Twist tightly to make sure that the silk is touching the entire egg.  Wrap the yarn around the end and tie securely.

4.  Cut up the pillowcase and wrap around the egg.  Tie yarn around the case to make sure it doesn't slip off.  Do this with all the eggs you have. 

5.  Place eggs in pan, cover with water, and bring to a rolling boil.  Boil eggs for 15 minutes.

6.  Cool and carefully unwrap.  Wipe eggs with oil for a shinier surface.

Adapted from Taste of Home