Foodie Pen Pal – January 2014

This month I was paired up with Megan.  Megan writes a blog called St. Louis Dietician.  Check out her blog for health tips.

Ohio was part of the country impacted by the Polar Vortex at the beginning of the month and at the end of the month.  Since the jet stream was further south than it usually was we got snow from Alberta Clippers.  Three days straight we got snow during the day.  Two of those days, I had stressful commutes home because of the road conditions.  I was greeted with the box after that second commute.  I absolutely loved the box so that put a smile on my face after my stressful commute.

I’ve tried everything in my box.  One of  favorites was the dark chocolate mint bar.  I eat only one block of it at a time so I can savor it.  Another favorite was the peppermint tea.  I love mint teas so this was perfect.  I’ve been using the Greek Seasoning on air popped popcorn and coconut oil instead of butter.  Yum!  The olive oil granola was quickly eaten for breakfast.  I love the combination of cashews and pistachios.  In fact,  I keep a container of almonds, pistachios, and almonds at work so I can eat some when my stomach growls.

Thank you Megan for a great box.

Dilly Oyster Crackers

This is an easy snack to assemble and bake.  They are also very yummy!

They are also like Lay’s Chips.  Once you eat one, you can’t stop.

Dilly Oyster Crackers

Adapted from


Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 package of Ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 tsp. dill
  • 3/4 c. vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 package oyster crackers


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients thoroughly in a big mixing bowl.
  3. Add the oyster crackers and toss gently.  (Get the topping on all of the oyster crackers.)
  4. Spread on a cookie sheet and then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Stirring 2 to 3 times during baking.
  5. Cool and then store in an airtight container.
  6. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Mom, What’s for Dinner? Week of January 27

I know’s it’s Tuesday and I’m finally typing out my menu for this week.  This Arctic blast of cold air has really been playing with my sinuses.  Last Thursday, I started out with a sinus headache.  It didn’t go away on Friday so I called off of work.  Saturday and Sunday were full of me stuffed up.  Yesterday I went to work for half of the day and then went to a training (professional development) in the afternoon.  Every time I would come in from the cold air, I would be stuffed up once again.  So frustrating.  Today we are at home because Ohio is getting wind chill values down into the negative 30’s.  I’m doing okay today but that is because I’m not going out into the cold air.

So what are we having for dinner?  This week consists of eating foods that we have in the house.

MondayCopycat I-Hop pancakes from the freezer, smoothies, and bacon

Tuesday – Ravioli, garlic bread, veggie, applesauce

Wednesday – Sausage, baked French fries, veggie


Friday and Saturday – Crockpot meals out of the freezer

Chocolate Chip Muffins

In August 2010, I posted a recipe for an All Star Muffin Mix.  With this cold weather, I’ve been baking more than usual.  Last night I decided to make a batch of it.  Then I asked the Imaginative One what he thought I should use as add-ins.  He suggested chocolate chips.

Once they were baked, the Imaginative One had 1 and the Wee One had 2.  I’ll say they were a hit.

I’m going to give you the recipe 2 different ways.  One using the All-Star Muffin Mix and one without the muffin mix.

Chocolate Chip Muffins


Stars of the recipe:

  • 2-3/4 c. All Star Muffin Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. melted butter (1 stick) – (Melt in the microwave for 1 minute.)  – Allow the butter to cool down before adding to the mix.
  • 1 c.milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips but you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips.)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix together until all the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Pour into a muffin sprayed down with cooking spray or lined with cupcake wrappers.  I put a 1/4 of a cup of batter in each cavity.
  5. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Cool and enjoy!  (Store in an airtight container.)

Without the All Star Muffin Mix

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 c. flour (all purpose or white whole wheat)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. melted butter (1 stick) – (Melt in the microwave for 1 minute.)  – Allow the butter to cool down before adding to the mix.
  • 1 c.milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips but you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips.)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients minus the chocolate chips.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients and chocolate chips to dry ingredients.
  4. Mix together until all the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Pour into a muffin sprayed down with cooking spray or lined with cupcake wrappers.  I put a 1/4 of a cup of batter in each cavity.
  6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Cool and enjoy!  (Store in an airtight container.)

Printable Recipe

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal or Overnight Oatmeal

In August of 2010, I posted an entry for Instant Oatmeal Mix.  As we are experiencing another cold snap, oatmeal is a good way to warm up on a bitterly cold morning.

I was pursing Yummy Life‘s instant oatmeal packets’ blog entry and found some good ideas for different types of instant oatmeal.  Making your own instant oatmeal mixes is  better than the Quaker or off brand instant oatmeal packets.  You control the ingredients.  Plus it doesn’t have preservatives.

Using some of the ideas from Yummy Life and what I had around the house, I came up with an apple cinnamon instant oatmeal that is divine.

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal


Stars of the recipe:

  • 2-1/4 c. Instant or Quick Oatmeal
  • 1/3 c. powdered milk
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. dried apples
  • 1/3 c. chopped nuts (I used cashews.)
  • 2 -3 Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla powder (optional)


  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. When you are ready to make oatmeal, mix 1/2 c. of the oatmeal mix with 3/4 c. water.  (Make sure the bowl is big enough because the oatmeal with expand in the microwave.)
  4. Heat in the microwave for 90 seconds.


  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Mix 1/3 c. oatmeal mix, 1/2 c. water, and 1/4 c. yogurt in a mason jar or a similar type jar.
  4. Make sure the lid is on tightly and shake up the mixture.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Enjoy straight out of the fridge or allow it to warm up to room temperature before eating!

Printable Recipe

Mom, What’s For Dinner? Week of January 20

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of January.  2014 is already flying by.  Two more months until we are going to Disney.  That gives me something to look forward to.

We are going to use the crock pot all week again.  It was so helpful getting supper on the table all week.  It’s also going to be soup week.  Three of our meals are going to be soups.  Yum!!!


Monday – Chili and Northern Cornbread

Tuesday – Shredded Taco Beef

Wednesday – Chicken Divan Broccoli in the Slow Cooker, Veggie, Rolls

Thursday – Potato Soup, Rolls

Friday – Teriyaki Chicken with rice

Saturday – All Day Beef Stew, Rolls


Northern Cornbread

My husband is a northern with southern roots.  His mom’s family was from the Charleston, South Carolina area.  During his childhood, his family would travel to Folly Beach which is near Charleston.  We’ve traveled there ourselves several times.  One of our favorite things is to do while there is to eat southern cuisine.

So when we had pinto beans and ham for supper, he was a happy camper.  I needed something to serve with the pinto beans and ham so I decided to bake up some cornbread.  I made them the northern way which is more cake like.

The Wee One and Hubby both gave thumbs up when they tried the cornbread.

Northern Cornbread

adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures


Stars of the recipe:

  • 1-1/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. corn meal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. shortening
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add the milk, shortening, and egg to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix until combined.
  5. Pour into a greased 8 by 8 pan.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with butter, syrup, or honey!

Or follow steps 1 through 4.  While you are making the batter, place a cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of butter in the oven.  When the butter is melted, place the batter in the skillet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Smoothie Packs

Mornings are crazy for me.  If I don’t have a plan or have something ready to go, I am running behind when I should leave for work.  Lucky for me I know different routes to work and have a little padding on when I would like to leave and the latest time I could leave to make it to work.

One way I help with making sure I have breakfast is to make smoothies.  Getting the ingredients together in the morning can be challenging.  Sometimes my high powered blender has a fit and refuses to blend the ingredients.  That doesn’t help getting out the door on time.

So what can be done to make sure I have a smoothie in the morning?  I could make some ahead of time and then put them in the freezer.  The only problem with that solution is remembering to pull out the smoothie of the freezer so it could defrost so I can drink the smoothie.

Another solution is to prepare smoothie kits so all I have to do is pull the bag out of the freezer and then add the liquid ingredients.  I’ve started to do it and it makes life so much easier.

20140112-205143.jpgHere’s what you need to do:

  1. Gather all the ingredients for the smoothie.  (Except for the liquid)
  2. Place all of the ingredients in a Ziploc type of bag.  If you are going to make a green smoothie, place the greens in a sandwich bag.  Then place the sandwich bags in the Ziploc with the other ingredients.
  3. Place the smoothie pack in the freezer with instructions of what liquid needs to be added to the other ingredients.

When it is time to make the smoothie:

  1. Place the greens with the liquid in the blender cup.
  2. Blend up the greens and liquid until smooth.
  3. Add the other ingredients with the greens and liquid.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. If you need more liquid, add a little water until all of the smoothie is blended.
  6. Enjoy!

Some smoothies you can make packets for are:

Fruit Smoothie

Carrot Tropical Smoothie

Key Lime Smoothie

Apple Jack Smoothie

St. Patty’s Day Smoothie

Power Up Green Smoothie

Tastes of Thanksgiving Smoothie


Soft Pretzel Nuggets

My family loves soft pretzels.  In fact when we go to the mall, we have to stop and get the pretzel sticks.  My mom used to do that when I was a kid and now I do that with my two.  If you don’t watch the Imaginative One, he will eat almost all of the pretzels.  I love mine dipped in cream cheese or nacho cheese.  He loves his dipped in chocolate.

We also love going to the Target cafe and getting the cinnamon soft pretzels there.  I’ve learned to get two of them now because once again the Imaginative One will eat the majority of the pretzel if you share with him.

I’ve tried the cinnamon soft pretzel at Sam’s Club and was not too thrilled with the flavor.

I made these on Monday, the sixth, which ended up being a temperature related snow day because it dipped down into the negatives.  People in our area are not used to those temperatures and don’t have outer clothes to combat those temperatures.  Both the Imaginative One and Hubby gave the soft pretzel nuggets a thumbs up.  Yeah!

(I also realized when I did the Best of from last year that I did not post any bread recipes so I’m trying to post some bread recipes this year.)

Soft Pretzel Nuggets


Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Stars of the recipe:


  • 2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour.)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2-1/4 tsp. instant yeast (If using active dry yeast, increase amount to 1 Tbsp. and then proof it in warm water and sugar (bubble and foam) for about 5 minutes before adding it to flour and salt.)
  • 1 c. very warm water


  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. baking soda
  • Coarse salt (pretzel salt), optional
  • Cinnamon sugar mixture, optional
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, place the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.  Mix until combined.
  2. Add the water and mix well, adding more flour, as needed to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Knead the dough by hand or machine for about 5 minutes, until it is soft and smooth.  (You don’t want a soft dough that is not sticky.)
  4. Lightly flour the dough and place in a plastic bag; close the bag with room for the dough to expand.  Let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  6. Spray or line two cooking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide into about 4 strips of dough that are equal length.  Allow the strips rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile combine 1/2 c. warm water with the baking in a small bowl.  Make sure the baking soda is completely dissolved.
  9. Cut each strip of dough into 6 to 8 pieces.  Dip each pretzel nugget in the baking soda/water solution.  
  10. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes.  Bake the pretzels for 7-8 minutes (mine took 6 minutes).
  11. Remove the pretzels from the oven and roll them in the melted butter.  Add the salt or cinnamon sugar mixture.
  12. Enjoy warm with your favorite dip!

Printable Recipe

Mom, what’s for dinner? Week of January 13

Last week I did not prep any meals. I also went back to work on Wednesday. Needless to say I need to have some prep done.

I prepped 3 of my dinners for this week today. I also prepped smoothie packets for next week. Easy peasy breakfasts.


Monday. King ranch chicken, left over potatoes, carrots, and onions

Tuesday. Pinto beans and ham, cornbread

Wednesday. Fire roasted tomato sauce over whole wheat pasta, salad, bread

Thursday. Chicken tacos, chips and salsa

Friday. Italian crusted pork roast, Parmesan fettuccine, veggie

Saturday Chili, hoe cakes

All of the meals are done in the slow cooker.

Easy Rolls Revisited

I originally posted this recipe in July of 2010 when my blog was only a month old.

“A while ago, I was looking for a recipe for biscuits or rolls on Paula Deen’s website.  I found this recipe for Easy Rolls.  They looked easy so I decided to try them.  Once I tried them once, I was hooked.  They have a slightly sweet taste and are so tender.

The Imaginative one tasted one and his response was “M-M-M.”  After you try them, I’m sure you will say the same thing.”  – July 2010

One thing I did differently is I added some cinnamon to the top before baking them.  I’m now wondering if I could add some vanilla extract.  That might take this rolls to another level.

Enjoy this blast from the past.


Easy Rolls

Stars of this recipe:

  • 2 cups of Self Rising Flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 Tbsp. of sugar
  • 4 heaping Tbsp. of mayonnaise
  • cinnamon to taste, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together flour and milk.
  3. Add sugar and mayonnaise.
  4. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or grease the muffin tin.
  5. Fill each muffin tin 1/2 way full.  If using cinnamon, sprinkle of the muffins.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until brown.
  7. Enjoy with butter or your favorite jelly!

This recipe makes 12 rolls.

Printable Recipe

Pork and Sauerkraut (A Slow Cooker Recipe)

It’s a family tradition to have pork and sauerkraut for our New Year’s dinner.  My father-in-law would make a big pot of it and family members would eat the sauerkraut so that they would have good luck for the new year.  Since he died two weeks ago, I offered to make it this year.

I made some changes to how it was cooked.  First of all I made it in my slow cooker instead of in a big stock pot.  I also roasted potatoes instead of cooking the potatoes in the slow cooker with the meat and sauerkraut.  Hubby loved it and was impressed because it didn’t have the bitter/sour taste you usually associate with sauerkraut.  He even took some to work with him to share with his co-workers.

The boys did taste the sauerkraut so they would have good luck but being kids didn’t really like it.  At least they tried it which is better than on New Year’s Eve.  I made fish for supper.  The fish was cooked with olive oil and a seasoning mix from one of my Foodie Pen Pals.  Hubby loved it but the boys wanted to give me excuses on why they could not eat it.  They still had to eat it but it was interesting on what excuses they came up with.  The best one is their brain was going to explode since I told them fish is brain food.

Now onto the recipe:

Pork and Sauerkraut in the Slow Cooker


Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 -2 lbs. pork roast
  • 16 – 32 oz. of sauerkraut (depending on how much pork you have)
  • 1 big carrot or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 apple, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Drain and rinse the sauerkraut several times to remove the brine.
  2. Place the pork roast in the bottom of the slow cooker.  (Mine is 5 qt.)  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the pork roast.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the rinsed sauerkraut, apple pieces, carrot pieces, and brown sugar.
  4. Place the sauerkraut mixture on the pork roast.
  5. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  6. Shred the pork and combine with the sauerkraut.
  7. Enjoy with boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes (just serving suggestions)!

Printable Recipe

Sausage Gravy

My absolute favorite breakfast besides granola and yogurt is sausage gravy and biscuits.  Sometimes I treat myself to an order of them at our local farmer’s market.

Since I was on winter/Christmas break and life was back to normal or almost normal, I decided I needed to make some for Hubby and my lunch.  The Wee One and the Imaginative One won’t touch the gravy with a ten foot pole.

So if you are looking for a delicious lazy Saturday type of breakfast, this recipe is for you.

Sausage Gravy

Crumbs and Chaos

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 pound of bulk sausage
  • 1/2 c. flour (I used whole white wheat)
  • 4 c. milk or 2 c. milk and 2 c. half and half
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • black pepper and seasoning salt (or white salt) to taste


  1. Brown crumbled up sausage in a skillet on med. heat.  Don’t drain the grease off.
  2. Add the flour and stir until all of the sausage is coated with flour.
  3. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet.
  5. Turn the heat up to high and allow the mixture to boil.  (Keep an eye on the mixture.)
  6. After it boils, turn the heat down to med. low and allow to cook for 5 more minutes or until the gravy is thickened.
  7. Enjoy over biscuits!  Some biscuit recipes from my blog are 7-up biscuits, buttermilk biscuits, or buttermilk biscuits revisited.

Printable Recipe

This Weather

Many states in the United States are currently deal with the Polar Vortex.  From my understanding, it is always around but this is this first time in 20 years that it’s gone so south and then stalled.  We are experiencing record lows that have not been felt in 20 years which was my first year in college.  I am surprised I don’t remember that because I went to a community college and would ride public transportation to and from school.  I would have to walk several blocks to catch the bus home even though I could ride a bus down there but I decided to be healthy most of the time by walking.  I don’t remember it getting that cold or I just forgot.

However I do remember when I came home from Walt Disney World in January of 1996.  I had been down there for the College Program.

Disclaimer:  Cell phones and the Internet were not as readily available as they are now.  In fact, I did not use the Internet until the summer of 1997 and did not own my first cell phone until my first year of teaching (2000-2001 school year).   Even then I rarely carried it around.

This day reminds me of the day I came home from my Disney internship 18 years ago. (We are having record-breaking cold weather. The forecast had been 8 to 12 inches of snow and we only got 1.5 inches of snow.)

I had talked to my mom before leaving for the airport. She told me that it was cold and snowy. It was 80 degrees in Lake Buena Vista, Florida and I was wearing shorts during that phone call.

Later on that morning, I got onto the plane (no longer in shorts) and never heard about the connecting flight from Atlanta to Dayton. Another person who had done the internship and I had taken the same flight home. We took times calling our family in the Dayton area. (Had to use the pay phone) The other person waited in line to find out information about our delay. We knew more from our family than we did from the Atlanta airport.

Almost 11 hours after we were suppose to take off, we finally did take off. (11ish at night). When we landed in Ohio, we were greeted with 8 inches of snow on the ground (looked it up today). I put on layers because I had no winter coat with me. We then hunkered down in the baggage claim area which was freezing because of the exterior flaps. One of the baggage claim carousals had some diet Pepsi and peanuts come through so that was our middle of the night snack. I had no pillow but did have a big Pumbaa stuffed animal. That ended up being my pillow. (It was about 2 am at this point.)

Between 6 and 7 am, we found one cab driver willing to drive me home. Even though the other young man lived really close to the airport, he rode with me to assure I got home safely.

I could not find the spare key outside the house and everyone was asleep. Luckily my grandma woke up to go to the bathroom. She heard me outside and let me in. (No cell phone because cell phones were nothing like we have today.) Even though they wanted to celebrate Christmas since I was in Disney on Christmas Day, I told them I was ready to sleep.

When I got up, we had to go to Wal-Mart because I had left all of my personal hygiene goodies in my apartment in Lake Buena Vista and my glasses had broken right before I had left.

Oh this was a Sunday into Monday ordeal . . . And we were only supposed to get 2-3 inches of snow that Sunday.  (The dates were January 7 into the 8th).


Four years later, I traveled down there with Hubby.  It was our honeymoon a year after we had married.  On the way home, we got stuck in Newark, New Jersey.  They had a plane for us but then all of a sudden there was no plane.  We ended up spending the night in the Newark, New Jersey airport.  The next 2 times we traveled to Walt Disney World were by car and when we go in March, we are once again driving.

Honey Kettle Corn

I like kettle  corn but not if it’s too sweet.  The microwaveable kettle corn packets are way too sweet for my liking.  The ones you get at fairs have the right balance of sweetness and saltiness.  When I found this easy recipe for honey butter popcorn, it reminded me of a kettle corn that has that perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.

It would be a great snack for a movie night.  Make some honey kettle corn and then watch a movie.


Honey Kettle Corn

Finding Joy in my Kitchen


Stars of the recipe:

  • 6 c. of cooked popcorn (I use an air popper for my popcorn.)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 c. of honey (Spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring out the honey.)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pop the popcorn and then put into a baking dish.
  3. Place butter and honey in a microwaveable dish.  Microwave for 1 and a half minutes on high.
  4. Pour the butter-honey mixture over the popcorn.
  5. Stir to coat the popcorn.
  6. Bake in oven for five minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, add the salt, and stir.  Bake for an additional 3 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven.  Allow to cool.
  9. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

IHOP Pancakes (Copycat recipe)

When my kids stayed overnight at the grandparent’s house, my father-in-law would make them pancakes for breakfast.  On the day of his funeral, the boys asked me to make them pancakes.  At first, I told them no because I did not think I would have time to make them any pancakes.  I used a baking mix to make the pancakes because I did not have time to make them from scratch.

I found this recipe from Finding Joy in my Kitchen‘s countdown to the new year linky party.  Mostly Homemade posted her list of best breakfasts.  This was one of her best breakfast recipe of 2013.

When I made it for breakfast one morning, the Wee One licked his lips when I asked him what he thought of the pancakes.  He told me that licking his lips meant he liked them.  So he gives his seal of approval.

IHOP Pancakes (Copycat Recipe)

Mostly Homemade


Stars of the recipe:

  • 1-1/4 c. flour (I used white whole wheat.)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-1/4 c. buttermilk or 1-1/4 c. milk with 1 Tbsp. and 1/2 tsp. vinegar added to it
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 c. sugar


  1. Preheat griddle.  (I used my stove top, I heated mine to med. heat.)
  2. In a med. mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the buttermilk and beaten egg.  Stir to combine ingredients.
  4. Next add the melted butter, vanilla, and sugar.  Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Grease your griddle or griddle pan with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Cook pancakes until bubbles form.  (I ladled the batter onto the griddle pan in 1/4 c. portions.)  Flip and then cook for another minute or two.
  7. Enjoy with butter, syrup, or even strawberry jelly!

Printable Recipe

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Smells Like Grandma’s House Soup

We had a turkey for Christmas dinner.  The left-overs were shared between my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and my family.  I decided to use the turkey to make a soup for the next day’s dinner.

When the Wee One walked into the kitchen for dinner, he sniffed the air.  Then he remarked “It smells like grandma’s house.”  He was given a bowl and ended up devouring it.  While he was eating, he sang about Kookaburra birds which is a Girl Scouts’ song.  My mother-in-law is a Girl Scouts’ leader so this was an appropriate song to be singing.

The other fan of the soup was my Hubby.

So if you have any turkey or even chicken left over from your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even just dinner, make this soup.

Smells Like Grandma’s House Soup


Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 c. chopped or shredded chicken or turkey
  • 1 c. left over veggies or frozen mixed veggies (We had left over mixed veggies and corn.  That’s what was in our soup.)
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 – 2 c. water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 box of small pasta (I used whole grain shells.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste


  1. Combine the chicken or turkey, veggies, broth, water, bay leaf, and spices in a dutch oven or big soup pot.
  2. Turn the burner to high and allow the broth/water to boil.
  3. Once the broth/water is boiling, add the pasta.
  4. Follow the directions on the pasta box for how long to cook the pasta.  (Mine took about 7 minutes.)
  5. After the pasta is cooked, discard the bay leaf.
  6. Taste and if necessary, add more spices to taste.
  7. Ladle into bowls.
  8. Enjoy with pretzel rolls, a slice of bread, crackers, or a biscuit.

Printable Recipe

Recipes Not Viewed

Here are some lesser known recipes:

1.  Yummy Sugar Cookie – Published in Sept. 2010

2.  Brown Sugar Carrots – Published in Feb. 2012

3.  Homemade Hamburger Helper – Published in Oct. 2010

4.  Homemade Pizza – Published in June 2010

5.  Chicken Stew with Parsley – Published in Feb. 2011

6.  Mystery Cookies – Published in March 2011

7.  2 good fruit dips – Published in Aug. 2010

8.  Ginger snaps – Published in Dec. 2013

9.  Brown Sugar Ham – Published in Feb. 2012

10.  Pinto Beans and Ham – Published in Oct. 2010

11.  Skyline Chili – Published in Sept. 2010

12.  Easy Rolls – Published in July 2010


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