Sunday, December 21, 2008

Everyday Waffles

The boys wish I made these every day! I do make them quite often, but not that often. We really love these things. They are especially delicious with fresh strawberries and whipped cream! They are also good at Christmas time made with half egg nog.

1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 egg yolks

Mix well.

Add:

1 3/4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mix well. Fold in 2 stiff egg whites.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cinnamon Crock Pot Punch

I found this recipe on a crock pot blog that I really like and decided that this would be the perfect day to try it. It was nice to have it sitting on the counter ready for whenever I wanted a warm drink on this snowy day.


Although it sounded a little weird, it was actually pretty good. I did make a change, but I think it would be good either way.

4 cups cranberry juice
4 cups pineapple juice
2 1/2 cups orange juice (optional)
1/3 cup cinnamon candies
1 cinnamon stick

Put in crock pot and heat on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6 hours.


Mock Egg Nog

I got this recipe last Christmas from my friend Megan. It is a wonderful hot spicy drink that tastes a lot like warm egg nog, only better. (It's not so thick) We had it last year on our annual Christmas lights tour.


4 eggs
1/2 tsp each of allspice and cloves
1 tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
2-4 cups of sifted powdered sugar

Mix well with wire whisk. Store in fridge.

Add 2 tablespoons per mug of hot milk.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Popcorn

What makes caramel popcorn even better??? The same thing that makes all caramel better… dark chocolate and salt!
dark chocolate salted caramel popcorn - The Backyard Farmwife This is a really easy recipe and is also delicious just the way it is!
16 cups of popped popcorn (1/2 cup unpopped)


Bring the following ingredients to a slow boil over medium heat.

1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt

Let boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring after every minute. Remove from heat.

Stir in 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp vanilla. The mixture will foam.

Pour slowly over popcorn in a large microwave safe bowl. Stir with spoon and mix well. Cover. Microwave for 1 minute.

Shake or stir well. Microwave for another 35 seconds.

Stir again and let it cool before eating. Be sure to stir and break it up while it cools or you will have a really HUGE popcorn ball!!! :o)
dark chocolate salted caramel popcorn - The Backyard FarmwifeRemove about half of the cooled caramel corn and spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
dark chocolate salted caramel popcorn - The Backyard Farmwife Melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1 Tablespoon of shortening for 1 minute in microwave. Stir well and microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir until smooth.
dark chocolate salted caramel popcorn - The Backyard Farmwife Pour chocolate over the popcorn on the baking sheet. Toss carefully to coat all the popcorn as evenly as possible.
dark chocolate salted caramel popcorn - The Backyard FarmwifeAfter the chocolate has set up for a few minutes but is still slightly melted, sprinkle with coarse salt.
caramel corn 05Place chocolate covered popcorn in fridge so it can harden.
Toss the two together and serve. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container. But it doesn’t save well and is better to eat right away! It shouldn’t be a problem…
 caramel corn 06
 



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

This thick and hearty soup is a favorite around our house. It is best served with hot biscuits from the oven and garnished with real crumbled bacon, cheddar, green onion and cracked black pepper.

3 -4 large potatoes, baked and removed from skins or boiled

3 tbsp sliced green onion

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup flour

1/4 tsp dill weed

salt and pepper

4 cups milk


Cook green onion in butter. Stir in flour, dill weed, salt and pepper. Add milk all at once. Whisk until smooth. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Cook 1 minute more. Add potatoes and mash lightly.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Busy Day Pumpkin Dessert

This is a great alternative to traditional pumpkin pie for the holidays and smells heavenly while it's baking. I got this recipe from my friend, Trena in Fergus Falls. I love getting to see her when we go back for Annual Conventions. This recipe makes me think of her and maybe that's why I like it even more. :o)

30 oz can of complete pumpkin pie filling
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans


Heat oven to 350. Mix first four ingredients and pour into greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over the pumpkin. Drizzle melted butter over the cake mix and top with pecans. Bake 60-75 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.


Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie

Zack, Andy and I love pumpkin pie. This one is our favorite. I make it every Thanksgiving and perhaps for Christmas. One year, Zack requested it for his birthday (in April).


1 (15oz) can pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, and salt
1 graham cracker crust
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp cold butter or margarine
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1. Preheat oven to 425. Combine pumpkin, condensed milk, egg, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Pour into crust.

2. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350.

3. Combine sugar, flour and remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle strusel mixture over pie.

4. Bake 40 minutes or until set. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Refridgerate leftovers.


Cranberry Sauce

While we lived in Fergus Falls, we spent a Thanksgiving with our friends the Undseths. Lois made this wonderful cranberry sauce that I have made every Thanksgiving and Christmas since.

12 oz fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup fresh orange juice

1/3 cup cranberry juice

finely grated zest of one orange

3/4 cup dried cherries or cran-cherries


Pick through cranberries. Rinse and drain well. Combine cranberries, sugar, juices and zest. Place over medium heat. Boil slowly until berries burst, about 10 minutes. Skim foam off surface with metal spoon. Stir in cherries. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refridgerate. Will last up to one month.

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

This is my great-grandmother's recipe for cranberry-orange nut bread. It is a bit more work than other quick breads, but it's flavor and sentimentality is worth it.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Sift this together in a large bowl.

Cut in 1/4 cup shortening

Add 1 egg, 3/4 cup orange juice, 1 Tbsp grated orange rind.


Stir in 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries.


Bake at 350 for 1 hour in a greased and sugared bread pan.

Monday, November 24, 2008

See's Fudge

My parents got this recipe years ago from a little old lady that they delivered firewood to. The legend goes that she had asked See's Candies if they could send her their fudge recipe. They did, along with a bill for $350. She paid the bill and then gave the recipe to everyone she knew. I have no idea if any of it is true, but it is the best and easiest fudge recipe I have ever made.

Melt 1 12oz bag of chocolate chips with 1 stick of butter in a large bowl in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds. Stir until smooth.

Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 beaten eggs (or 1/2 cup pastureized egg product) and 1 tsp vanilla until very smooth.

Pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture and mix well.

Pour into buttered 8x8 baking pan. Score when soft. Place in fridge. Cut when firm.

Variations:

Rocky Road: stir in mini-marshmallows and chopped walnuts
Snoball: stir in mini-marshmallows
Mint: use mint flavored chocolate chips or peppermint extract instead of vanilla



Snoball Fudge: our favorite

plain fudge

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Campfire Brownies

This is a recipe that you can make with any brownie. We like them best with my brownie recipe ( http://carriesbestrecipes.blogspot.com/2008/10/best-brownies.html ), but it's good with ALL brownies.

All you need to do is place cut brownies on a cookie sheet and top with mini marshmallows.

Place in oven on broil until marshmallows and golden a toasty. Watch them very carefully, they burn quickly!

Serve them immediately with a glass of cold milk.

Orange Biscotti

This might be my personal favorite Christmas cookie. I love the orange flavor with the dark chocolate drizzle on it. This year I even used extra dark chocolate chips. Mmmmmmm! They are perfect with a cup of hot cocoa with or without whipped cream.

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350. Beat sugar, oil, orange peel, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Turn dough on lightly floured surface; knead until smooth.

Shape half the dough at a time into rectangle, 10x3 inches, on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

Cut crosswise into 1/2" slices. Turn cut sides down on cookie sheet. Bake about 15-20 minutes, turning once, until crisp and light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack.

Drizzle or dip in melted chocolate. (1 cup chips with 1 tbsp shortening) Chill until firm.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gingerbread Cookies

These are another Christmas cookie tradition at our house. The boys help decorate them every year, but this is the first year they haven't quit before they're all done and mom has to finish the rest by myself. They did a good job and were definitely more creative this year than most!

4 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 1/4 tsp baking soda

Mix together in large bowl.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup molasses

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then add molasses.

Slowly mix in flour mixture.

Divide dough in half, flatten into large pancakes, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours. (if it is too stiff to roll, let it sit out for 10 minutes)

Roll on floured surface and cut into desired shapes with cutters.

Bake at 350 on greased cookie sheets for 9 to 10 minutes, or until light brown.

Decorate when cooled.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mexican Wedding Cakes

I have had these cookies ever since I was a kid. My mom called them Russian Teacakes. One year the boys and I were studying Christmas in Mexico and found a recipe for Mexican Wedding Cakes. It was the same recipe! But we have stuck with the new name ever since.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
powdered sugar for rolling


Mix sugar, butter and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and nuts. Shape into 1" balls. Bake at 400 for 8-9 minutes, until set but not brown. Roll in sifted powdered sugar while still hot. Cool. (they will be sticky) Roll again in more sifted powdered sugar.

after the first roll

after the second roll

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are Chris' absolute favorite cookie! But they just didn't seem special enough for Christmas.

How do you make something ordinary into something special? Dip it in chocolate!


Just make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and let them cool.


Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 tbsp shortening in the microwave.


Dip one-half of the cookie into the chocolate and lay it on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.


At this point, you can put sprinkles in the chocolate to make them more Christmas-y.


Place tray in the fridge to set the chocolate.


Remove from tray and store in fridge.


Cookie Stamp Cookies

We have made these every Christmas since I was pregnant with Andy. That year I went to a class with my sister Theresa and made cookie stamps. (only 1 has survived)

We have made them with colored dough or colored sugar. Either way is easy and fun! The boys help with these every year.

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Brush stamp with oil. Let sit on paper towel.
Cream butter and sugar. Add extract. Add salt and flour. Mix well. Roll into 1" balls, roll in sugar. Stamp immediately on cookie sheet. (don't press too hard) You could also use the bottom of a glass to press the cookies.

Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes.


Pumpkin Muffins

I got this recipe over 10 years ago when Zack was in preschool. They made them as a class and the teacher sent everyone home with the recipe. They are great for a fall breakfast or snack, as well as a nice dessert when topped with homemade maple flavored cream cheese icing. Mmmmm!
Andy helped me make these, and they turned out great!

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Cream butter and sugar

3. Stir in pumpkin, milk, eggs and vanilla
4. Add other ingredients and stir

5. Bake 15-20 minutes

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Southern Peach Yam Bake

This is one of the BEST Thanksgiving recipes I have ever had or made. It's pretty sweet, so it's more like a dessert you get to eat for dinner. :o) Sometimes I think it is even better than pumpkin pie.

2 large cans yams, drained well
1 large can peaches, drained well

Pour into glass baking dish.

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Mix first 3 ingredients. Cut in butter. Add nuts. Sprinkle over yams and peaches.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.


Remove from oven and turn to broil.


Sprinkle top with 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows.


Broil until marshmallows are a light golden brown.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Butterscotch Brownies

I love making these cookies. I always have the ingredients on hand and they are super fast and easy to make. Just be sure to cut them while they are still warm.


1/4 cup melted shortening or vegetable oil

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (opt)


Heat oven to 350. Mix first four ingredients. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in greased 8x8 baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cut while warm.


Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of our favorite meals and I often make it for company. Someone at our church brought it to us when Andy was born and we have made it MANY times since.


Sauce:

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz sour cream

4 oz can of green chilis or jalapenos (use to taste)


Mix into sauce


Filling:

2 shredded chicken breasts

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar


Mix and add a little sauce to moisten.


Spread some sauce in a baking pan to cover bottom. Reserve some sauce for the top. Roll the filling into 12 flour tortillas. Place them seam side down in baking pan. Spread remaining sauce on top of rolls and sprinkle with some more cheddar.


Bake, covered, at 350 for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

This is a quick and easy soup that is filling enough for dinner and is great with corn muffins!


1 cup frozen brocolli

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 tsp thyme

2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 can cream of potato soup

3/4 cup shredded cheddar

black pepper to taste

1/4 cup shredded cheddar


Bring brocolli, corn, onion, water and thyme to a boil. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Stir in milk, meat, soup, cheese and pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. Serve and sprinkle with cheese.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Crab and Corn Chowder

I sort of made this one up based on some recipes I read and my baked potato soup recipe, but Andy LOVED it and said it was the best thing I had ever made out of crab!
By the way, the rest of us liked it, too!


2 cups frozen Southern-style hashbrown potatoes
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup real crab meat
3 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon

Cover with a bit of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp Old Bay, or to taste
4 cups milk

Melt butter in large pot. Saute onion for 1 minute. Add flour and Old Bay. Add milk all at once and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

Add crab and corn mixture to milk mixture. Stir well and heat through well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Candied Acorn Squash

I love having squash in the fall! This recipe is pretty sweet, but you can use less sugar to make it less so. But why would you want to do that? :o) It also works with any winter squash.


1 acorn squash
1/4 cup butter, melted
6 tbsp brown sugar (use more or less to taste)
cinnamon
nutmeg
1/4 cup orange juice (if desired)


Preheat oven to 350.


Cut squash in half and clean out seeds.


Place cut side down in baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.


Turn cut side up.


Mix butter and orange juice, if using. Pour over squash and into the seed cavity. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.


Bake 20 minutes longer, basting once or twice.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monster Cookies

I was going to make these cookies on Thursday, but am posting the recipe today because my friend Sara requested the recipe for today. I will add pictures later.

I got this recipe from my friend Kate. If you are gluten-free, these make a great treat!

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup M & Ms
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins
2 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups quick oats

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. *

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand 3 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

* at this stage you can also place the cookie sheets in the freezer until the dough is frozen. Then remove the dough from the cookie sheets, place in freezer bags and store in freezer until ready to bake. Bake the cookie dough while still frozen. It may take a little longer for them to bake from frozen.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Donut Muffins

Making these muffins this morning was like taking a trip down Memory Lane. I used to make these quite often when the boys were little, but I can't remember the last time we ate them. After breakfast, I couldn't figure out why I stopped making them.

1/3 cup shortening or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
*melted butter
*cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tin. (it may make more)

Cream shortening and sugar; add egg. Beat well. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; add alternately with milk to egg mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove doughnuts from tins and dip tops in melted butter and cinnamon sugar.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cake Mix Cookies

My friend Misty gave me this recipe when we lived in Arizona. You can make them with just about any kind of cake mix or with any kind of stir-in. But our favorite is always yellow cake mix with M&Ms. Even after all these years, Zack still told me today that they were "awesome"! Thanks Misty!
Preheat oven to 350.

Mix 1 box cake mix, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 2 eggs. Stir in whatever you would like or nothing at all.

Drop onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until very edges are slightly brown.

Remove and let cool on racks or wax paper.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Seeds

I have only made toasted pumpkin seeds once, and it was not good. But Zack had them the past two years at Youth Group and really wanted them again this year. So, I got on AllRecipes to see what I could find. I found a recipe for some sweet sugary ones that sounded so good that I had to try it. And they were good! If you haven't carved pumpkins yet, I would suggest trying this one for sure.



Caution! They are addictive!




1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
4 tablespoons white sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a combo of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 275-300 degrees F (120 degrees C). Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry and toasted. Larger seeds may take longer. Or they may toast sooner.


In a large bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of white sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and sprinkle the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar over them. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts. Pour seeds into the bowl with the spiced sugar and stir until coated. Allow to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cranberry Pork Roast

This is one of my favorite dishes to make around the holidays. It is especially nice for company around Christmas. It is extra nice because you can just pop it in the crock-pot for an easy to prepare supper. Serve the meat with the sauce on top and with sides of stuffing and vegetables.

Place 1 boneless pork roast in crock pot.

1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground or yellow mustard

Mix together with wire whisk. Pour over pork roast. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

When roast is done, remove it from crock pot. Strain the cooking liquid and put into saucepan. Make a paste of cold water and cornstarch. Slowly add to saucepan of cooking liquid, heating over medium heat. Whisk until thick and bubbly. Serve sauce over meat.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Crab Quiche

After going crabbing, the boys decided they wanted crab omelets. But since I wasn't interested in using 2 dozen eggs and spending 2 hours making them, I decided quiche would be almost the same thing.

So, I got a recipe from AllRecipes and altered it a bit. It was pretty good and I'll probably make it again since we have quite a bit more crab.

1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (any blend will do)
1/2 pound or more of imitation or real crabmeat (I used real)
1 pinch ground black pepper

Old Bay seasoning (to taste)

1/4 cup sliced green onion

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream and cornstarch. Stir in the cheese, crabmeat, green onion and seasonings. Pour into the pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly and serve.


What's For Supper

Recently, I have had people ask me about my menu plan. People notice it because I write down all the meals for the day on a blackboard in the dining room after supper the night before. So I thought I would share it on my blog.

I had a menu plan when we were first married and the boys were little. But for some reason, over time, I quit doing a menu.

Almost 2 years ago, my friend Deborah remarked about her menu planning and how much it helped her. So I decided to revive it again.

I forgot how much I like having a menu. I no longer spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME (3 times a day) wondering what I should make for a meal or looking in the fridge or pantry to see what I can make.

A friend asked me what I do if I don't feel like eating what I have planned for the day. It doesn't happen. Somehow I always feel like eating what I know we are having that day.

It takes a little more work ahead of time, but it is worth the stress and hassle I was going through every day. Writing it on a menu board also assures (most of the time) that I know what to take out of the freezer in time for it to thaw ahead of time. The menu board also cuts down on the incessant question of "Mom, what's for _______________?" :o)

Oh, it is also good for our budget because we have a LOT fewer days when we have to go out to the grocery store for something or out to eat because there isn't anything.

Ok, so here's what I do...

1. write out all of the days and meals for about 2 weeks at a time in a notebook (Day of the week followed by the date)

2. fill out all of the meals that are the same (ie: every Sunday morning is cereal and supper is Family Nite)

3. look at the calendar to see what is going on in our family. I schedule meals that are appropriate to the activities of the day. Busy days often get a crock pot or convenience meal. Nicer or larger suppers are planned for when we have company. Etc.

4. fill out all the meals

5. make out a grocery list to make sure I have everything we need to make the scheduled meals plus any staples we need. I also include snack and dessert items on my list.


Here's what a page of my plan looks like...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Waikiki Sauce

This sauce was orginally made for meatballs and was my favorite supper for years. But this sweet sauce is good on cooked sliced sausages, chicken, or meatballs. Serve over white rice. I use the extra pineapple chunks to make a fruit salad with mandarin oranges and fresh pear, banana or apple (or all 3) to serve as a side.

This makes a quick easy supper.


1 can pineapple chunks, drained and reserve juice in bowl


Add to juice:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp corn starch

1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (opt.) , use more or less to taste


Mix well with whisk. Pour over cooked meat, chopped green pepper and pineapple chunks in skillet and cook until thick and bubbly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Caramel Apple Dip

This dip is so good with crisp sliced apples, but goes well with other fruits, too.

Thanks Renee, for helping me remember what the recipe was (for sure). My memory wasn't good as I had hoped.


1 8oz cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla


Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugars and vanilla. Beat until well mixed and smooth.


Chill at least 2 hours before serving.