Posted in Menu planning, Side Dishes

Menu Planning – Week of October 4 (with recipe)

Monday – mini meatloaf (freezer), butter noodles, veggies

Tuesday – crockpot chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday – cornbread pizza, raw veggies, or salad

Thursday – creamy caesar chicken pasta bake, veggies, garlic bread

Friday – hot dogs, French fries, raw veggies

Saturday – leftovers

Buttered Noodles –

  • 1/2 package of egg noodles (I used wide noodles.)
  • 1.5 to 2 Tbsp. of butter
  • salt and pepper
  1. Boil the noodles according to the directions on the package.  Drain the noodles (save about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water).
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave for about a minute.  Add some of the cooking water to make a sauce.
  3. Add the drained egg noodles.  Stir to cover the noodles.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

My oldest son loved the noodles.

This recipe is linked up to Menu Planning Monday.

Posted in Hamburger, Pasta, Recipes

Homemade Hamburger Helper

I found this recipe on Cooking During Stolen Moment’s blog and made it many different times.  I love this recipe because I know exactly what is in the food I’m cooking.  I feel it’s more nutritious that way.  Another thing I love about this recipe is that the ingredients come straight out of my freezer, pantry, or fridge.  This is a no-frills recipe.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 lb of hamburger
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 c. of pasta (I’ve used shells, elbow macaroni, and farfalle pasta.), cooked and drained
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1.5 c. shredded cheese (I usually use cheddar cheese, but it’s your choice.)
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. Mustard (You can use regular mustard, honey, or dijon mustard.  Again, it’s your choice.)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Brown the hamburger meat.  When it’s almost finished, add the onions.  Cook until they are translucent.  Take the skillet off the heat.
  2. Using the same pot you cooked the pasta in, melt the butter.  After it is melted, add the flour.  Cook it for a minute or two.
  3. Add the milk and raise the heat.  Stir until the butter/flour mixture is incorporated into the milk.
  4. Let the milk mixture boil.  Take off the heat.
  5. Add the cheese, ketchup, and mustard to the milk.  Stir until the cheese is melted.
  6. Add the hamburger and pasta.  Stir until it is all covered with cheese sauce.
  7. Enjoy!

This post is linked to Potluck Sundays, Delicious Dishes, and Tempt My Tummy.

Posted in Cookies, Holiday/Christmas, Recipes

Yummy Sugar Cookie Recipe

Last Christmas, I found this recipe in the Food Network magazine.  I loved the hint of orange in these cookies and the ease of the recipe.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 and 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  1. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy.
  2. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, and orange zest.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and then add it to the butter mixture.  Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll tablespoons into balls and flatten; sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

This recipe is linked up to Colleen’s Kitchen Recipe Swap.

Posted in Recipes, Soups

Skyline Chili

I found this recipe on Crockpot Tuesdays.  Cincinnati is known for its Skyline Chili, a sweet chili instead of a spicy chili.  I live an hour from Cincinnati, so there are many Skyline Chili restaurants around.  In fact, there are two Skyline Chili restaurants within five miles of my house.  Eating there can get expensive, so I decided making it at home would be a more cost-effective plus, I know what’s in my food.

Since I found the recipe, I have made it three times.  It was delicious the first time I made it.  However, the second time it was too runny, so it wasn’t as good.  So when I made it for the third time, I put a little less water.  It was thicker and as delicious as it was the first time.

Skyline chili is eaten in 5 ways.

1-way:  chili
2-way:  spaghetti with chili
3-way:  spaghetti with chili and shredded cheddar cheese
4-way:  spaghetti with chili, shredded cheddar cheese, and onions OR red kidney beans
5-way:  spaghetti with chili, shredded cheddar cheese, onions, and red kidney beans

Stars of the Recipe

  • 2 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. tomato paste (1 1/3 cans)
  • 5 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. steak sauce
  • 4 cups water (I used 3 and 3/4ths cups instead.)


  1. Brown ground beef lightly on the stovetop.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a Crockpot.
  3. Stir well, and cook on low for 12 hours or longer.


 This post is linked to Colleen’s Kitchen Recipe Swap.

Posted in Recipes, Soups

Spanish style chicken noodle soup

I’ve been making this soup for the past few years.  I saw Rachael Ray cooking it up on her cooking show and decided I wanted to try it.  During the Lent season, I’ve made it to share with the members of my former church when we’ve had soup Wednesdays.  They always loved it.  In fact, during this past Lent season, I sent home leftovers with a couple people.

The thing I love about this soup is that instead of regular egg noodles, you use orzo pasta which is sort of like rice but is, in reality, pasta.  I also like that it has black beans in it.

Spanish Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Stars of the Recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (about a palmful) of chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf; use fresh if available
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of chicken stock
  • 1 pound chicken tenders or chicken cutlets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes or 1 28-ounce diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound orzo pasta


  1. Put all of the ingredients except for orzo pasta in the crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. A half-hour before serving, put the orzo pasta in the soup so it can cook.
  4. Serve.

This post has been linked up to Colleen’s Kitchen Recipe Swap, Delicious Dishes, and Tempt my tummy.

Posted in Dessert, Holiday/Christmas, Recipes

Aunt Janet’s Pecan Tarts

These pecan tarts invoke a lot of memories when I eat these.  I can remember going to her farm with my grandparents for family gatherings.  I can visualize food being laid out on the island in the kitchen or family members sitting outside eating dinner or sitting around their dining room table.  I can see their pond with the weeping willow right by the driveway and the pine trees around the pond’s perimeter.

Many times these family gatherings involved my great-aunt making these delicious pecan tarts.  We lost another member of our family to cancer this past weekend.  Since then, I have been thinking about these pecan tarts because they remind me of my family and growing up; however, I couldn’t remember where I put the recipe.

This evening, I cut out some box tops for education labels.  When I opened the drawer in which I kept those box tops, I found the recipe for the pecan tarts.  I had put it in there so I wouldn’t lose it.

To make the pastry:

  • 1/2 c. butter softened
  • 1 (3 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. flour
  1. Mix ingredients well, and chill.
  2. Form into 24 small balls and place in lightly buttered (or sprayed with cooking spray) muffin tins.  I use the mini muffin tin.
  3. Chill again.
  4. Shape with a thumb and press against up to fit the bottom and sides.

To Make the filling:

  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp. butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c. chopped pecans
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  1. Add sugar to the butter and mix well.
  2. Then add egg and salt.  Combine thoroughly.
  3. Add nuts; mix well.
  4. Fill tart shells 2/3 full.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown.
  6. Remove from pan while warm.

Makes 2 dozen.  These can be frozen.

For great recipes, visit Potluck Sunday and Colleen’s Kitchen Recipe Swap.

Posted in breakfast, Recipes

Waffle House Waffles

Delicious!!!! When I found this recipe on Copy Cat Recipes, I knew I needed to put this on my September meal plan. My hubby loves Waffle House waffles with hash browns covered, smothered, and chunked, a.k.a hash browns with American cheese, onions, and diced ham. When I made this for dinner, I also made those hash browns. Our bellies were very happy after that dinner.

Warning:  You need to make the batter ahead of time because it needs to be chilled overnight or during the day.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 T. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter softened
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla


  1. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. In another medium bowl, beat the egg.
  3. Add the sugar, butter, and shortening and mix well until smooth.
  4. Add the half & half, milk, buttermilk, and vanilla, and mix well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture while beating and mix until smooth.

After you chill it overnight or for 8 hours:  (Make sure you cover it.)

  1. Take the batter out of the fridge about half an hour before you make them.
  2. Be sure your iron is well oiled and hot, and pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup batter and cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
  3. If you want to make pecan waffles, just sprinkle pecan halves over the batter after pouring.

This recipe only made 3 waffles on my waffle iron. Next time I’m going to double the recipe so I can freeze some of the waffles. They were that delicious.

I put butter and blueberry syrup on my waffle. I got the blueberry syrup in St. Louis on it. Yummy!

For more delicious recipes, visit Delicious Dishes.

Posted in Recipes, Side Dishes

Crockpot Baked Potatoes

I had read you could cook baked potatoes in the crockpot, but I was skeptical about whether it worked.  Since baked potatoes were on my meal plan for Thursday night, I decided to test whether you could cook them in the crockpot.  I am no longer a skeptic because it really worked.  My hubby even told me that they were delicious.

Stars of the recipe:

  • russet potatoes – (I didn’t put a quantity because it depends on how many you want to make.)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


  1. Wash the potatoes and then poke the potatoes.
  2. Wrap each individual potato in foil and then place it in the crockpot.
  3. Put about 1 to  Tbsp. of water in the bottom of the crockpot.
  4. Turn the crockpot on low and cook the potatoes for about 4.5 hours.
  5. When they are finished, unwrap them and put them in a bowl.
  6. Douse them with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to lightly coat them.
  7. Sprinkle them with salt.
  8. Enjoy with your favorite baked potato toppings.

For other great recipes, visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Posted in Dessert, Holiday/Christmas, Recipes

Cookies and Cream Cheeseball

A few weeks ago, I had a MOP party that I was going to attend. I knew I needed to bring some party food to share with everyone. At first, I thought about bringing brownies, but when I got home from work that evening, I decided I was not in the mood to bake, so I went onto the Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen blog and tried to find another recipe. I ended up finding a recipe for cookies and cream cheese balls.   It sounded like something different and totally yummy.

Once I tasted it, I knew I had made the right choice because it was delicious (my own made-up word). I had some leftovers, so I took them to work, and one of my co-workers even enjoyed it.

My hubby even enjoyed eating this right out of the fridge with a fork.

Stars of the Recipe:

  • 8 ounces, weight Package Cream Cheese, Softened
  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • ¾ cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 cup Oreo Cookies Broken Into Small Chunks
  • 1 cup Oreo Cookies Crushed Fine


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla and sugars and mix well.
  3. Stir in the Oreo cookie chunks.
  4. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Then form a ball, and roll the ball in the Oreo cookie crumbs.
  6. Place on a waxed paper-lined plate and drape the ball loosely with plastic wrap.
  7. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  8. Serve on graham cracker stix or mini vanilla wafers. (I used graham crackers because that is what I had in the house.)

For more great recipes, please visit Potluck Sundays, Kitchen recipe swapDelicious Dishes, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Posted in breakfast, Eat at home ingredient spotlight, Ingredients, Oatmeal, Recipes

Instant Oatmeal Mix

Usually, I’m not a big oatmeal eater, however; when I saw this mix on Mommy’s Kitchen, I decided I needed to try it. Oh my goodness, it’s a lot better than the instant oatmeal you get at the grocery store. I think I like it because I can add what I want to it, so it’s unique to my liking.

Stars of the “recipe”:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups of instant oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup dried milk powder
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp of cinnamon  (I added more because I love the taste of cinnamon.)
  • 1 cup of raisins or other dried fruit (I used blueberry-flavored craisins and added chopped pecans to my mix.)


  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and store them in an airtight container.
  2. Label the container with the directions on how to prepare the oatmeal.

To Prepare OatMeal:

  1. Scoop 1/2 cup oatmeal into a bowl and mix with 1/2 cup water. You may need a bit more water if you like your oatmeal thinner.
  2. Microwave on high for a 1-minute stir, and enjoy.

This post has been linked to Eat at Home – Ingredient Spotlight.