Posted in Crockpot, Main Dish, Recipes

Pinto Beans and Ham

Last winter, I found this recipe and cooked it several times.  The last time I made it, both boys gave it a thumbs up.  I enjoy this recipe because it makes a lot, stretches a buck, and is made in the crockpot.

Pinto Beans and Ham

Pinto Beans and Ham

Stars of the recipe:

  • bag of dried pinto beans
  • 1/2 lb. of ham chopped
  • small onion chopped
  • water


  1. Soak the pinto beans overnight.  Make sure you put them in a big bowl and cover them with water.
  2. In the morning, drain the beans.  Get rid of any debris which could have gotten in the bag.
  3. Place the beans, ham, and onion in the crockpot.
  4. Put water in the crockpot over the beans, ham, and onion.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  6. Serve over rice or with cornbread.

I serve mine with Northern cornbread.

Printable Recipe

Posted in Menu planning

November Meals

Week of November 1 – (I have parent-teacher conferences on Monday and Wednesday, so hubby has to cook.  It needs to be easy meals that I know the boys will eat.)

  1. mini meatloaves, pasta Roni, and veggie
  2. Skyline chili (in the freezer) over spaghetti, veggie
  3. roast with root veggies, rolls
  4. hash made from roast, veggie, Easy Rolls
  5. Chick Fil A (Friday) to support a fundraiser for a MOP’s mother – Her church is building an addition to her house.
  6. leftovers

Week of November 8

  1. primetime meatloaf (freezer), mashed potatoes, veggies, Easy Rolls (freezer)
  2. spaghetti carbonara, salad, garlic bread, or cheddar bay rolls
  3. pinto beans and ham (freezer) and cornbread (freezer)
  4. pork chops with onions and peppers, buttermilk biscuits, veggies
  5. breakfast for dinner – pancakes, bacon, eggs
  6. leftovers

Week of November 15

  1. molasses chicken (freezer), easy mac and cheese,  veggie, bread
  2. soup (TBA) and sandwiches
  3. spaghetti, garlic bread, salad
  4. ham (freezer), corn casserole or mashed potatoes, applesauce, peas
  5. chicken nuggets, French fries, raw veggies
  6. leftovers

Week of November 22 (Thanksgiving week)

  1. Taco soup (freezer), cheese quesadillas
  2. White Castle sliders, French fries, raw veggies
  3. Roast Kiebalsa dinner, veggies, rolls
  4. Thanksgiving
  5. breakfast for dinner – Waffle House waffles, hash browns smothered, covered, and chunked
  6. leftovers

Week of November 29

  1. chili (freezer), cornbread
  2. grilled chicken, pasta or rice Roni, veggie
  3. Swedish meatballs over egg noddles, veggies
  4. beef veggie soup, rolls
  5. sweet and sour chicken over rice, fortune cookies
  6. leftovers

This menu has been linked to This Mommy Cooks and Mommy’s Kitchen.

Posted in Menu planning

Menu Planning Monday – Week of October 25, 2010

Monday lemon basil pasta, cheddar bay biscuits, salad

Tuesday – pinto beans and ham, cornbread (freezer)

Wednesday – Monterrey chicken quesadillas for adults, cheese quesadillas for children, veggies

Thursday – molasses chicken (freezer), noodles or rice side dish, veggies

Friday – grilled cheese and potato soup (freezer)

Saturday – leftovers

For more great menus, visit Menu Planning Monday.

Posted in Cookies, Holiday/Christmas, Recipes

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This is my third week of posting Christmas cookie recipes. This week’s recipe is another favorite of the Imaginative One. My mother-in-law adores these. What’s not to love about them? Peanut butter and chocolate is delicious together.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Stars of the recipe:

  • 48 Hershey’s Kisses
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar


  1.  Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from the chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended.
  3. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.
  4. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well.
  5. Stir flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter.
  6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Immediately press a chocolate into the center of each cookie; the cookie will crack around the edges.
  9. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
  10. Cool completely.

Other Christmas cookie recipes:  Mock Thin Mints and Snickerdoodles

This post has been linked to Delicious Dishes. and Eat at Home.

Printable Recipe Card

Posted in Holiday/Christmas, Snacks

Sweet and salty Halloween treats

I found this “recipe” on This Mommy Cooks’ blog, so I decided to make them take to church for our fellowship time.  These treats were gone quickly.  In fact, my hubby came over looking for some and couldn’t find any because they were all gone.

I call these a “recipe,” but it is a method more than a recipe.

Stars of the “recipe:”

  • mini pretzels (twists or snaps)
  • Hershey kisses or hugs
  • candy or Indian corn


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or foil.
  3. Place the pretzels on the cookie sheet.  Make sure they are not touching.
  4. After unwrapping the kisses/hugs, place them on each pretzel.
  5. Place the cookie sheet in the oven.  Bake for 3 to 5 minutes until the kisses are melted.  You will know they are because they will become shiny.
  6. Take it out of the oven.  Carefully place a candy corn/Indian corn on each of the kisses.
  7. Cool and then store.  (You may have to put them in the fridge to aid the cooling process.)

Printable Recipe Card

Posted in Main Dish, Recipes

Roasted Kielbasa Dinner

I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray’s talk show about a month ago. I knew it would be an instant hit for my family, so I put it on my October menu plan. Boy was I correct (as the Wee One would say); it was a hit with the whole family. You need to plan ahead because it takes an hour of cooking. Very little prep needs to be done besides cutting up the onions, kielbasa, potatoes, and apples. Since you are not doing a fine chop with any of those ingredients, it doesn’t take too much time.

Roasted Kielbasa Dinner

Stars of the Recipe:

  • 2 pounds of red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size (Some of mine needed to be cut even smaller.)
  • 4 large onions quartered (I used only 2 onions because the boys do not like onions.)
  • 2 pounds of kielbasa into 2-inch pieces (I used turkey sausage instead.)
  • 4 Gala or Honeycrisp apples cut into wedges
  • Honey for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  2. In a large, shallow roasting pan, drizzle potatoes and onions with EVOO, salt, and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes.
  3. Drizzle the apples with honey, EVOO, salt, and pepper. Add kielbasa and apples to potatoes and onions in the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

I served our dinner with steamed green beans and Young’s Dairy Pumpkin Bread.

Printable Recipe Card

Posted in Menu planning

Menu Planning Monday – Week of October 18

I’m off of work this week!!!  A few of the meals take longer to fix than our usual meals.  I usually have meals on the table by 5 o’clock so my hubby can have dinner before going to work.  I’m excited to try the roasted kielbasa dinner.

Monday –  chili, cornbread

Tuesdayroast kielbasa supper, salad, rolls

Wednesday – ravioli lasagna(freezer), veggie, rolls

Thursday spaghetti carbonara, cheddar bay biscuits, salad

Fridayhomemade hamburger helper, green beans, easy rolls

Saturday – leftovers

This post has been linked to Menu Planning Monday.

Posted in Cookies, Holiday/Christmas, Recipes


This is another Christmas cookie recipe. The Imaginative One loves these. In fact, this is one of his top two favorite Christmas or year-round cookies. I know he will have a big old smile when I make these.

Last December, I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Cooking During Stolen Moments. As soon as I tried it, I knew this would be my go-to recipe for Snickerdoodles. They are so light and crispy.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 c. butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 3/4 c. flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/3 c. sugar  (I used green or red to make it look Christmas-looking.)
  • 2 t. cinnamon


  1. Cream butter or margarine and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes.
    2. Whisk or sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to creamed butter until combined.
    3. Place dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
    4. Roll about 1 t. of dough into a ball. Combine 1/3 c. sugar with cinnamon. Roll dough in cinnamon sugar until covered.
    5. Place dough on cookie sheets, flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until edges are very lightly browned.

I’ve smademy Christmas cookie dough and then put it in the freezer. This way, they are ready to go when it’s time to do my Christmas cooking baking. I roll the dough into a log shape and then wrap it in wax paper. I then put the wax paper log in a freezer bag with instructions on how to bake it in the bag. (I have to admit that we do bake some of the cookies so that we can taste-test the dough.)

This post has been linked to Potluck Sundays.

Printable Recipe

Posted in Menu planning

Menu planning Monday – week of October 11

Monday – porcupine meatballs, homemade applesauce, corn, homemade pumpkin bread

Tuesday – creamy caesar chicken pasta, garlic bread, veggies

Wednesday – pork chops with peppers and onions, veggies, rice

Thursday – potato soup

Friday – chicken nuggets, French fries, raw veggies

Saturday – left-overs

For more great menu plans, visit I’m an organizing junkie.

Posted in Cookies, Holiday/Christmas, Recipes

Mock Thin Mints

I’ve baked cookies or made candy for the past ten years for Christmas. It is a tradition that was started by my grandma and mom. I remember past Christmases when they made various types of cookies and candy. They would then package them up and give them to friends and family for Christmas presents.

Since Christmas is quickly approaching, I needed to start thinking of my baking/candy-making list. The goodies I made last year hit the spot, so I think I’m going to be making most of those types of cookies/candy if not all of them. I’ve decided to post a week of these goodies in preparation for the Christmas baking season.

I’m posting the first Christmas “cookie” Mock Thin Mints. My MOPs group does a cookie exchange every December. A few years ago, one of the ladies brought these. I quickly fell in love with them.

Last year, I made them. My mother-in-law, a girl scout advisor, tasted them. She could not believe they were made from Ritz crackers. She told me that they tasted just like Thin Mints. Coming from her, that was a compliment.

Stars of the recipe

  • Bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. of mint extract
  • 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers
  • crushed candy canes


  1. Put a bag of chocolate chips with a teaspoon of mint extract in a microwavable bowl.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips at 75% power for 1 minute. Stir. If not melted, put it in the microwave for 30 secs at a time, stirring each time, until the chips are melted.
  3. Dip Ritz crackers into the melted chocolate and then place them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or foil.
  4. Put crushed candy canes on top.
  5. Let the chocolate harden, and then put the cookies in a container.

Printable Recipe Card