Monday, December 19, 2016

Cheese-Stuffed Christmas Tree

This is absolutely AMAZING! But you have to eat it hot right out of the oven.

First make a batch of Easy Peasy Bread dough.

After the dough rises, split the dough into pieces to make rolls.

Roll the dough around 1/8 of a piece of string cheese.

Place stuffed rolls on a greased baking sheet in a Christmas tree shape.

Brush with an egg beaten with a little water.

Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until golden.

Remove from oven and brush generously with melted butter. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese or topping of your choice.

Place back in oven for 2 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately with pasta sauce for dipping.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Easy Camping Food

We just got back from a month-long road trip to Alaska. Because we were using our mini-van as our very own RV, I was determined to keep costs and supplies low.  My hubby built a raised bed for the back of the van and we stored everything we needed in bins underneath or in storage bins on a hitch rack. It was awesome!

Because we were on vacation, I also wanted to keep cooking/clean-up to a minimum. The only cooking supplies we brought was our backpacking stove, backpacking mess kit and a coffee pot for boiling water. That was it.

Did I also mention that I HATE doing dishes? So, not washing out nasty pots and pans was not an option.

I adore my boil in bag cooking method for camping but we didn't have cooler space for that much food. (It works better for shorter trips)

What to do???

Backpacking food...

Thankfully, Pinterest had lots of ideas for homemade backpacking meals that were easy to make and only needed boiling water.

I tried 9 different recipes (from various blogs or made up myself). It took a while to put them all together but it was totally worth it!

All we needed to do was boil some water, pour it in the bag, seal it up and wait 10 minutes. That was it!

Most of them were rice and chicken variations. It did get a little old after a while. We also found that the recipes were way too much for just one person. So we added some side dishes (like fruit cups and/or bread and dessert) and just shared.

I'm posting links to the recipes we liked at the bottom of this post.

The ones that used pasta just didn't work. I used some rice noodles and some more expensive fancy pasta that cooked quickly, but neither really worked. The pasta never got done. In order to make them work, I had to add water and then boil the bag in water. It took a lot more time (and water) and never was really that great. The Korean beef noodles using ramen, were our exception. They were pretty tasty and worth the extra effort on the road.

For breakfast, I made up individual servings of my homemade instant oatmeal in pint-sized freezer zipper bags. Just pour in boiling water, stir and eat. So easy and so much better than the store bought stuff!

I had also brought some canned veggies, instant potatoes and heat and serve meats. All I did was use freezer zipper bags to heat things in a pot of boiling water. Worked GREAT! No clean up!

I know I said I hate doing dishes but we didn't want to use disposable tableware that took up space and makes for tons of garbage. So, I did have to wash our plates, bowls and silverware after every meal. But that was it.

Easy peasy!

Recipe Links:

Fried Rice

Fiesta Rice

Curry Rice

Apricot Cous Cous

Cranberry Chicken Stuffing

Korean Beef & Noodles

Monday, June 13, 2016

GF Peanut Butter Cookies

Need a fast and easy GF treat to make? Here's one...

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350

Mix peanut butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined and smooth.

Roll into small balls and place on baking sheet. Dip a fork in water and make criss cross pattern on top of each cookie. Be careful not to make it too flat!

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until set.

Let cool a few minutes before removing to cooling rack.

Eat with a glass of cold milk.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sausage Bean & Kale Soup

I think I've made something very similar to this in the past but it turned out well enough that I didn't want to forget what I did. So here it goes...

Saute chopped onions and mushrooms in olive oil. Add chopped kale and stir until it begins to wilt.

Cover with water.

Add chicken and beef bouillon, salt, pepper and parsley.

Bring to a boil. Add some chopped potato and some white beans. Return to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add homemade potato sausage meatballs and heat through.

Serve with snails... ;)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

3...2...1... CAKE!

Last week we had supper with a couple from church and she made the coolest little cakes for dessert! I'm sure this recipe is all over the internet, but since it was new to me I'm posting it here...

It's so easy and you have have individual cakes in any flavor you want in only a couple of minutes. Here's all you need to do...

First buy a boxed angel food cake mix. (You MUST have this!)

Then buy a second box cake mix in any flavor you want. (She had strawberry and I made devil's food for tonight.)

Pour both mixes into a large clear bowl and mix well. (Use a clear bowl because you will better be able to see when they are mixed.)

Pour into a zipper bag for storage in the pantry.

Take a standard 12oz coffee mug and put in:
3 TBSP cake mix
2 TBSP cold water

Mix well with fork. (Be sure you get all the dry mix off the bottom.)

Place in microwave and cook for 1 minute.

Remove from microwave.

Immediately turn the mug upside down and shake into a bowl or plate.

You can eat this cake warm or cooled. (But they are better warm) Top it with whatever floats your boat. The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Have fun and eat cake!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Vegan Zucchini Bread

When I think of vegan, I think healthy and not tasty. This bread is tasty and not healthy. It is also moist, tender and very easy to make... Enjoy!

1 cup grated zucchini
3oz unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
Mix well.
Stir in:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Do not over mix.

Pour into greased and sugared bread pan.

Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Let cool on rack. Remove from pan. Let cool before serving.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Raisin Spice Bars

Make these quick and easy bars to celebrate National Raisin Spice Bar Day... Very nice with a cup of coffee or tea for a late morning snack.

Pour boiling water over 1/2 cup raisins. Let sit about 10 minutes. Remove 2 Tablespoons of water then drain well.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons raisin water

Mix together.

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon each: baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves and allspice

Stir until smooth.

Add 1 egg and mix well.

Fold in raisins.

Pour into greased 8 or 9" baking pan.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until top springs back when touched.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chewy Molasses Bars

February 8th is National Molasses Bar Day. So, in honor of the occasion I went searching for a recipe in my 1963 Betty Crocker Cooky Book. I didn't find one, but I modified a recipe I did find in the Heritage Cookies section.

They turned out amazing! They are just like a molasses-y brownie: chewy, moist, a little spicy and delicious! I'm going to celebrate with a couple of these and a mug of our own hand-pressed spiced apple cider... Mmmm!

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, molasses and milk. Mix well. Blend dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in raisins and vanilla.

Pour batter into a greased 9" square baking pan.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 or until pick comes out clean.

Let cool on wire rack before cutting.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cherry Struesel Dessert Pizza

While making plans for our Youth Group Valentine's Dinner, the youth leader came across this recipe for our dessert. But I decided I should make one before we made our decision. I am so glad we did!

You know how sometimes when you're making something, you just know it's not right? I knew pretty much right away this just wasn't going to work.

I was right! It was horrible! Hard, dry, just plain icky...

Then I started to think about what I would do, if it were my recipe. Went to the store, picked up new ingredients and whipped up a second one. Tried it out on my out-of-town guests and the youth group kids... PERFECT!

*Side note: Wal-Mart's Great Value brand pie filling has just as much fruit as the name brand claiming to have 20% more fruit and no high fructose corn syrup!

1 white cake mix

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 can cherry pie filling

Mix cake mix and butter until crumbly. Remove 2/3 cup and add brown sugar. Mix into a streusel topping.

Add egg to remaining cake mix/butter mixture. Mix until smooth.

Press into an 11-12" circle on greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Spread pie filling on top. Top with streusel topping. You might have a bit left over...

Bake for another 15 minutes or so. The pizza will be golden brown on the edges.

Serve in a small slice, warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Irish Mocha

In honor of National Irish Coffee Day, I made myself an Irish mocha. Like Irish coffee, only better because there's chocolate... ;) 

All you need is a 6oz cup of coffee, a heaping Tablespoon of hot cocoa mix, 1 shot of Irish cream, 1 shot of Irish whiskey, some whipping cream and a pinch of nutmeg. 

That's it...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Soda Biscuits

These are absolutely, hands down the BEST biscuits ever! They are light, fluffy, tender, buttery deliciousness! They don't look pretty but we LOVE them! In fact, we have declared them too tasty to use for biscuits and gravy. And that's really saying something because we really love our biscuits and gravy around here.

Bake up a batch to go along with a pot of your favorite soup for a lovely cold winter's night supper.

Don't worry if the dough seems a bit wet. It is. And they will spread some, but they'll be just fine... :)

2 cups Bisquik baking mix (I use a homemade one)
1/2 cup lemon lime soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 450. Put butter in glass baking pan and place in oven to melt. (Don't let it brown!)

Mix baking mix, soda, and sour cream together. Remember, it will be wet.

Drop into the buttered baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on edges and lightly browned on top.

Let sit for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Eat while hot.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Butterbeer for Grown-Up Muggles

I found this butterscotch soda made by Reeds at a grocery store down where my boys go to college. While I like it all on it's own, I found a way to make it even better...

Just pour one bottle of Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer into a chilled glass. Add one 1.5 oz shot of Eastside Distillery's Holiday Egg Nog Advocaat Liqueur.

It's just what you need for a Harry Potter marathon...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sometimes your food and your movie just have to coordinate. And I believed that Sherlock's Abominable Bride needed Sticky Toffee Pudding. I was right...

1 cup dates, cut up
1 1/2 cup water

Cover dates with the water in small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. And let sit.

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream together.

2 eggs

Add 1 egg at a time, mixing well after each egg.

3 Tablespoons molasses
2 Tablespoons dark corn syrup

Beat well.

1 2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together. Add to butter and eggs in 3 equal portions, mixing after each one.

Take the date and water and puree them together in a blender or food processor. Stir in 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Mix into the batter until smooth.

Pour into greased and sugared muffin tin. This will make about 18, depending on the size.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until center is firm.


1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons molasses
4 Tablespoons dark corn syrup
4 teaspoons vanilla

Bring to a slow rolling boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes.

Let cool a couple of minutes.

Serve puddings warm with sauce poured over the top.

Store leftovers in fridge and rewarm before serving.