Monday, April 25, 2011

Broccoli Casserole

One of Rick's favorite things to eat this time of year was broccoli. He liked to grow it. It was really good when it was fresh out of the garden early in the season. The cooler the weather, the sweeter the broccoli. This recipe is from Paula Deen. Enjoy!


  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Will add more later.....have a great week!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie has been a favorite dish around here for many, many years. I started making it back about 15 years ago. We had it once a week for many years. Everyone loved it and there was never any left over. It was one of Rick's favorites. I have tried variations but always came back to this recipe. If you don't care for the thick crust, then find the pie crust recipe and make it and top it with that or use crescent rolls for the crust or buy the filo dough and use it. We always preferred the Bisquick crust. Enjoy! The baking dish I use 99% of the time for this looks like the one below, it is made by Anchor Hocking or Fire King. I got mine at the Dollar General Store years ago. If your dish is much over half full, consider placing it on a cookie sheet to capture boil-overs.

Chicken Pot Pie
In a deep dish 4 quart casserole (sprayed with Pam) combine:
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can water
1 can peas (drained)
1 can carrots (drained)
2 cans 12.5 oz Chicken ( I like Tyson best then Sam's Club then Sweet Sue then Kroger Brand)
dash thyme
dash oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Stir all together

2 cups Bisquick mix
1 egg
Enough milk to make a batter with the texture of cake batter (few lumps ok)
Stir together and pour over above mixture

Bake 400* preheated oven until biscuit mix is completely done, and gravy is bubbly (approximately one hour)

We ate this alone for the complete meal, but you could add a tossed salad.

Adjust baking times to your oven, the thicker the crust on top, the longer it takes to bake.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I know, I know it's spring! But with this cool day, I decided to post my recipe for chili. Wish I had a bowl of homemade chili right now. I had to settle for canned. When I got home from Church tonight I decided I needed something to hold me over until morning. (See the other blog for info if you want to.) Some day I might make a big pot of chili and see how well it freezes. Would have been good today as cool as it was!

Brown one pound ground chuck and drain
chop one sweet onion (more or less to your preference, but you have to use at least 1/2 an onion unless you're allergic)
three cans chili beans in mild chili sauce (smaller size cans)
one package McCormick Chili Seasoning (mild or hot to your taste)
2 large cans diced tomatoes (use with green chilies if you like hot hot hot chili)
1 cup water
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottom stock pot/dutch oven. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until onion is tender (approximately one hour) stirring often. If you like spaghetti or macaroni in your chili, add it the last quarter hour and cook until noodles are tender. Don't overcook the noodles.

Serve with your favorite sandwich or toppers and crackers. It is also really good to place Frito's in a bowl and top them with the chili......just sayin!


Enamel over cast iron dutch oven--great for soups and chili!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sloppy Joes (From cooking school) YUM!

Yesterday at 10am I joined Libby and Suzan at the extension office along with Terri from Community Action and about 10 others for the cooking class. It was extremely informative and a good refresher on nutrition and safe food handling. Then we cooked sloppy joes from scratch. And they tasted much better than Manwich sloppy joes!

Game Day Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground chuck
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tbsp quick oats
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
Dash hot sauce
12 hamburger buns
In a 10 inch skillet cook ground chuck, onion and celery until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain excess fat.
Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered 30 minutes stirring often.
Makes 12 1/3 cup servings.

Disposable single use and flexible multiple use cutting boards are available and are an inexpensive way to safely chop vegetables and meats without using the same board for both.

It is a very good class and the sloppy joes are excellent.
Recipe from UK Cooperative Extension Service.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3 Pies

I think of all the cream pies or custard pies that I make, lemon meringue is my favorite. I will share my recipe for lemon meringue pie and how to make a great high meringue. Rick's favorite was coconut cream pie. It was also a big hit at family and church dinners, but so is the lemon. I could never stand the texture of coconut.

A hint with the lemon meringue pie, when making the meringue, I use lemon juice instead of vanilla. I don't add the sugar until the meringue is already in soft peaks.

Lemon Meringue Pie
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
4 egg yolks (save whites, separate carefully)
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter
pre-baked 9" pie crust

Combine the sugar, salt and cornstarch in a heavy kettle with a whisk and set aside. Lightly whip the egg yolks in a bowl with a whisk, then stir in the water and lemon juice. Next, gently stir liquid into the sugar mixture and place on burner over low-medium heat. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly and comes to gentle boil. Boil for one minute, remove from heat, stir in butter. Spoon into pastry shell. Top with meringue and place in 325 degree oven approximately 25 minutes until lightly browned.


4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice (or vanilla)

Place egg whites in mixing bowl (a stand mixer, any brand with a whisk attachment makes lovely meringue) and beat on high speed until soft peaks begin to form. While the mixer is running, add sugar 1 to 2 tbsp at a time until all sugar is incorporated into meringue. After stiff peaks form, I add the lemon juice or vanilla. Top hot filling with fresh meringue. Brown as above.

Chocolate Cream Pie
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp corn starch
1/3 cup cocoa
dash of salt
Combine dry ingredients in heavy kettle

in mixing bowl, combine:
4 egg yolks lightly whipped
2 cups milk

stir milk mixture into sugar mixture, place on burner and cook over low-medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil until thick stir often to prevent scorching. When mixture is thick, remove from heat and add 1/2 stick butter (real) and 1 tsp vanilla. After butter is melted, stir into pie filling. Spoon into baked 9" pie crust, top with meringue and brown as in lemon meringue recipe.

For coconut cream pie, leave out the cocoa and add one small bag minus 1/4 cup (don't toast the 1/4 cup coconut, it is for the meringue) coconut lightly toasted to filling at the same time as the vanilla. Top with meringue and sprinkle on the untoasted coconut, place in oven and brown as above.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Pie Crust

Do you love pie? Do you make your own flaky crust? Well you should. It is so easy to do! I will help you. There is nothing like a good home made pie crust and lemon or chocolate (or whatever is your favorite) filling. Yum. Rick really liked coconut cream pie, and I can make a mean one!

Pie Crust
3 cups plain flour (again I like White Lily plain)
1 cup Crisco (I use butter flavor sticks)
Pinch of salt

Cut Crisco into flour and salt with your pastry blender until it is coarse and all the Crisco is cut in.

Add ice water a few tablespoons at a time and toss with a fork until it is moist and can form a ball. For best results, divide the dough in half, wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.

When chilled, roll dough on a lightly floured surface (I spread out a couple of long pieces of wax paper lightly floured, then fold up and throw the mess away) until it is about 1/8 inch thick (see photo above). Carefully place in pie plate, if filling a fruit pie, then crimp edges and fill and bake per recipe directions. If it is for a cream pie, fill the pie plate, be careful not to stretch the dough because this is what causes shrinkage, crimp the edges and prick with a fork, and bake at 375 degrees in a preheated oven until lightly browned. Fill and enjoy.

Let me know how it turns out! Practice makes perfect! Love y'all! Lemon or chocolate pie next time.......

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Apple Dumplings

Now, I don't really have a picture of my own for these, but they are so tasty......and easy. Follow the directions. I use granny smith apples for this. They are always a big hit at church dinners and homecomings. Kim brought them to work the other day. YUMMY! Oh, and don't sub out the Mountain Dew and don't use diet; but you can use low fat crescents if you want to, but if you're gonna make these, you might as well make 'em great!

Apple Dumplings

* 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
* 2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
* 1 cup butter
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Mountain Dew ™


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew™ over the dumplings.
4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Let me know if you like them! Gina Miller brings them to church dinners a lot, they are always gone!

Love y'all!
To be continued........
PS if there is a recipe you really like or one that you'd like me to find and post, please let me know!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Beef Stew

So this past winter I started making beef stew and I will say it is pretty tasty! But, guess what, it has tomatoes in it and I have to hide them from Nick. LOL!

Beef Stew
1 Sweet Onion (Vidalia if available) sauteed in 2 tbsp hot oil in dutch oven
1 pound stew meat, roll meat in flour and place with the sauteed onions in hot oil
Add to browned meat and onion:
6 peeled, washed and cubed potatoes
4 carrots peeled and sliced
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables
1 pkg McCormick Beef Stew Seasoning
Salt and Pepper
1 cup water

Simmer over low heat until thick and bubbly. Serve with Sister Schuberts rolls or crackers. YUM!!

Enjoy! Love y'all!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yum, tomatoes

So, today I had lunch at Cambridge Market & Cafe and boy was it good. I had the meatloaf, green beans and scalloped tomatoes. Now, those tomatoes tasted just like the ones I have been making for years. Except, with ours we like to have them with pinto beans fried potatoes fried apples and cornbread. I also like to use my homemade white bread (bread machine recipe) when I have it. Many days Rick, Val and I would enjoy our 'maters. Nick, who dearly loves ketchup, will not touch a tomato. Which brings me to a funny tomato story. When Nick was about six or seven years old, we had started growing a huge garden each year. This particular year in the early spring we had planted a couple rows of strawberry plants and with those the first year you don't let them bear, you want all the energy to be used to establish the plant. So We had to pinch off all the blooms of the strawberry plants. That chore (and boy it was a chore!) took quite a while to accomplish, it is one that had to be repeated several times a week for 3 or 4 weeks to capture all the blooms. OK to the funny part. We sat out a gazillion tomato plants. In a few weeks they grew and started producing blooms. Rick and I came home from town and Nick met us at the car. "DAD!! (He was sooo excited) I helped you! I pinched off all the blooms from the tomatoes in this row!" He really thought he had done something special! Of course, I had to keep Rick from showing his anger because Nick really did think he had helped. And he did. He said thanks to Nick and taught him about tomatoes and why we de-bloomed the strawberries and not the tomatoes.

Scalloped Tomatoes


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 quart whole or crushed tomatoes (home canned is best but store bought works well)
  • 2 cups bread cubes (toast bread before cubing, may use french bread, Texas toast bread or white bread)


  1. Preheat oven to 375*.
  2. Saute butter and onion in a medium saucepan until onion is transparent. Place salt, pepper, basil (optional), brown sugar and tomatoes into the saucepan, stir. Stir in bread until all of the ingredients are well seasoned.
  3. Pour the tomato bread mixture into a greased 9x9 inch deep dish casserole. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Enjoy.

I hope you are enjoying these posts! I hope you all have a great day!

Monday, April 4, 2011


So tonight I am going to tell you how to make a good, home made biscuit. One of Rick's favorite foods was biscuits. I have been making them since I was eight years old. I think I got pretty good at it over the years. I have tried many brands of flour and I think the best flour for making biscuits in White Lily red label self rising flour. It is unbleached and it is so soft. And the biscuits rise up so high......

One secret to making biscuits is to not overwork your dough. The more you work the dough, the tougher the biscuit so....practice and don't overwork that dough!!!

Another secret or two....invest in a pastry blender. That is one tool I will never be without.
Also, bake your biscuits on an airflow cookie sheet or a pizza stone. Seriously, unless you just forget the things in the oven forever, they will brown nicely and not burn but if you use a single layer cookie sheet or an aluminum pan, you can count on burned crusts.

Let's make biscuits!

Preheat oven to 475*
2 cups white lily self rising flour
1/2 cup Crisco (regular or butter flavor)

In your large mixing bowl, place your flour and Crisco. Take your pastry blender and cut the shortening into the flour.

Stir in enough milk to make a thick, sticky but not wet dough that holds together but you can handle it. This will be about 3/4 cup milk. Don't over stir. You want the dough to hold together well, form a ball and place it on a sheet of floured wax paper. Next, you want to lightly knead or fold over the dough 3 or 4 times, using care not to overwork the dough. Now, pat it out into a nice rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out your biscuits and place on pan, sides touching will make soft side biscuits that won't rise as much, or about 1.5 to 2 inches apart and they will rise and fall over......bake until nicely browned, about 15 minutes or so. And remember no one ever baked a perfect biscuit the first time.....except maybe me LOL!!! I did this every day I had off for many, many years. Practice and hey, call me, I would love to try your biscuits! I have made these when we go camping too, just "bake" them on the grill but you gotta watch them closely!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

BBQ sauce

Rick always loved BBQ. One day he said, "lets try to make our own sauce." I said, Ok we will. So I did some investigating on the internet and he brought home a cookbook of BBQ dishes. So from that recipe book we took one particular recipe and made it our own. This is great to use over ribs, chicken or even smoked tenderloin. I really don't use much bottled BBQ sauce, but when I do it is Kraft. I prefer this recipe. It is very easy. It is a sweet sauce so if you like it hot, you will have to investigate how to accomplish that feat. I'd really rather have sweet. Here goes!

Rick and Myra's BBQ Sauce

3 cups ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 large sweet (vidalia if in season) onions chopped and sauteed in 1 tbsp oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp minced garlic (I buy a small jar already minced and keep it in the fridge)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar (I use light brown, but you may use dark if you prefer)
and the secret ingredient is 2 tbsp yellow prepared mustard

In a medium to large sauce pan add the oil, saute the onion and garlic until the onion is beginning to become translucent, add remaining ingredients, bring to simmer over low heat 15 minutes more. Stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the pan.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

I love potato salad!

Do you love potato salad but hate to make it because you have to wash and peel potatoes and then cook and cube them? Me too. A couple of years ago I started looking for a better way to make potato salad. I tried using the hash brown potatoes that are small cubes. It had OK flavor but the cubes were so tiny and did not hold their shape. Failure. I am one that does not like my potato salad like mashed potatoes. I can eat it, but I prefer the most of the potatoes stay cubed.

One day I was in Kroger. I saw the Steam & Mash Potatoes from Ore Ida. Light bulb went off. Try those for potato salad. I bought a bag and decided I would try. It worked! One bag is enough for a couple of people to eat on for a couple of days. And it is good! when I make potato salad, I buy those and cook them the evening before and even boil my eggs the evening before. Works well!

Potato Salad

1 bag Ore Ida Steam & Mash potatoes
microwave per package directions and cool completely (I refrigerate over night)

4 boiled eggs, cooled
1 sweet onion chopped
2 tsp pickle relish (sweet or dill or both)
salt and pepper to taste
Celery chopped (optional)
Green and red pepper chopped (optional)

Peel 3 of the boiled eggs, separate the yolks from the white. Chop up the white into the potatoes.

Coarsely mash the yolks in a medium mixing bowl, stir in the chopped onion (and optional vegetables) salt and pepper, and relish. Add several tablespoons Miracle Whip (or mayo, your preference) and 2 teaspoon mustard. This makes a "dressing" that you pour over and fold into your cooked, cooled potatoes and egg whites. Taste and add salt if needed.

Pour into serving bowl. Slice the remaining egg and top potato salad as a garnish. This will make enough to have at least 2 days for 2 people who absolutely love potato salad. Rick and I loved it! I still do!

Ore Ida has several varieties of potatoes too, if you like garlic, they have that already in there, if you like skins on, they have those too. I just use the russet potatoes. YUM!!!!!

When I am taking a big bowl of potato salad to a dinner or cookout, I use 3 or 4 bags of potatoes and increase the amount of eggs and onion. And of course, I increase the amount of Miracle Whip that I use for the dressing. Yes, the steam and mash potatoes do cost about $3.00 a bag, but taters cost quite a bit too, and the time and energy used in peeling and cubing all those potatoes and the waste that is eliminated saves in the end.

*Note that if you use them the least bit warm, you will have mashed potato salad......and don't try to "quick cool" them in ice water. There is a reason they make that bag like they leaks! You will have soggy, unusable potatoes!