Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Traditional Meat Loaf

AKA Hunter's Meatloaf

1 Egg beaten
2/3 c. milk
3 sliced bread, crumbled
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 c. finely shredded carrot
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. ketchup
1 Tbls. prepared mustard

In a kitchen aid or mixer combine the first eight ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into a loaf. Place in Bread pan.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ketchup and mustard; spread over the meat loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes or until no longer remains pink. Drain the grease. Let it stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Once a week the kids take turns making dinner. Tonight Hunter made dinner all by himself. It was WONDERFUL!!!! This was a good meat loaf recipe, I will be making this again!

Peanut Butter Marble Brownies

(Once again, can't take credit for this picture, although they looked JUST like this)
(Proper Credit: From the cookie madness site HERE)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 Tbls. sugar
1 egg
1 pkg brownie mix plus ingredients to prepare mix

  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 3 inch pan and set aside

  • Beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and egg in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until blended..

  • make the brownie mix according to package directions. Spread brownie mix in the pan. spoon peanut butter mixture in dollops over brownie mixture. Swirl peanut butter mixture into brownie mixture with tip of knife.

  • Bake 30-35 minutes

Autumn Spice Bread

(not my picture, found on internet, it would look similar to this except it has walnuts on it)

3 1/2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 t. salt

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 cup butter

2 cup sugar

2 cup canned pumpkin

4 eggs, lightly whipped

1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (we use milk chocolate)

1 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

Grease 2 loaf pans; set aside. Combine flour, soda and spices. Cream butter with sugar and pumpkin, blend in eggs. At low speed add dry ingredients to egg mixture. Mix in chocolate chips and once cup walnuts, stir to blend. Pour into loaf pans and sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for one to one and a half hours, top with spice glaze. Makes 2 loaves.

Spice Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 to 3 tsp. cream or milk

1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

Combine dry ingredients, blending in cream or milk until mixture becomes the consistency of glaze. Spread on loaves when removed form oven. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. After 5 minutes, remove from pans and cool on a rack.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


4 to 6 pieces chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
4 to 6 pieces Swiss cheese
4 to 6 pieces thin ham slices
1 can cream of chicken soup plus 2/3 c. milk
1 pkg. chicken stove top stuffing, crushed a little
1 1/4 c. hot water
1/2 stick butter

Mix soup and milk in bowl with whisk. Set aside. In a 9 x 13 inch pan, roll ham slices; place on top of the chicken pieces. Then top with Swiss cheese slices. Pour soup mixture over all. Combine stuffing with softened butter and water in bowl; sprinkle over top.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Cover with foil last half hour if getting to brown.

If you like the taste of Chicken Cordon Bleu without the hard work, this is the dish for you! It was easy AND delicious! We will definitely be having this again. Enjoy!

Fruit Bouquet

First, you'll need to decide what fruit you want to incorporate into you fruit bouquet. We used fresh pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes, watermelon, honeydew melon, oranges, and even though we didn't use parsley I would highly recommend getting some!

You will also need a few other items to make this edible fruit bouquet: a flower cookie cutter, a knife, a melon baller, kitchen scissors, bamboo skewers, a cutting board, a vase or basket and some floral foam

Step 1. Using your knife, cut up your pineapple, half of honeydew melon, half of watermelon, half of cantaloupe into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Step 2. Using the cookie cutter, press each slice of fruit and cut out a flower

Step 3. Using the melon baller scoop several pieces of watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe
*We also sliced grapes in half

(Don't mind Addi's picture..HA!)

Step 4. Now add 2 grapes on the bamboo skewer. Add the fruit flower on top. Make sure the skewer pokes through the fruit. Push the fruit down leaving about 1/2 " from the top. Now stick that part of the skewer onto either a watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon ball, or a half of grape. Don't let the skewer stick out the end. Do this for each "Fruit flower".
*The purpose of the grapes is to help support the fruit flowers so they don't slide down the skewer.

Step 5. Wash your strawberries (you can remove the strawberry leaves if you want). Add a few grapes on the skewer. Then take each strawberry and stick a bamboo skewer into the top of it, but don't let the skewer poke out the other side.

Step 6. Take a bamboo skewer and stick it through about 6-7 grapes. When you stick one grape on, slide it down to make room for the next one. Repeat this until your last grape. Make sure that the skewer doesn't stick out of the last grape (the one on top). Then slide each grape up the skewer until they touch the grape just above it. I made 7 of these grape skewers for this fruit bouquet.

*I also put oranges on skewers

Step 7. Put your floral foam into your vase or basket. (Don't use a clear vase, it's not pretty!!!)

Step 8. Now you should have all of your fruit on skewers. Place each skewer into the floral foam at various angles. You will want to create a spherical shape to the bouquet, so place the outermost skewers on a large angle and make them shorter than the center skewers. I had to break a few inches off some of the skewers to get them to the right height (I used kitchen scissors to help me break the skewers). This step is the most time consuming because you want the bouquet to look perfect. If you have trouble, just start putting in skewers into the foam. Then adjust each one to look how you want it. The key to this step is to adjust your skewer lengths. Don't be afraid to break a good part of the skewer off (if you break too much off, you can always use a new skewer - I had a LOT of extra skewers at the end). Another key to making your fruit bouquet look AWESOME is to have plenty of fruit. Having too few fruit skewers makes your fruit bouquet look bare and skimpy.

Step 9. Once all your fruit skewers are placed, place some twigs of parsley in-between the skewers. This fills in the bouquet, hides the skewers and makes it look more like a flower bouquet.

Once you have the parsley in place, YOU ARE DONE! WA-HOO! Your family will love you FOREVER!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Erika's Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 carrots, peeled & cut into round pieces
1 onion, finely diced
2 stalks of celery cut
1 lb broccoli divided
1 lb. precooked and shredded chicken (optional)
1 stick butter
2/3 cup flour
1 jar cheese whiz
2 cups cream
milk, to desired consistency (we added maybe 3 cups)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Garlic Powder to taste

Peel and chop carrots. Chop onion, celery, and 1/2 of broccoli. Steam the carrots, onion, celery, and 1/2 of broccoli in saucepan with water. In another saucepan, boil the other half of the broccoli until tender. Once cooked, add the broccoli and water to blender, and blend on high making a puree. In soup pot add vegetables, broccoli puree, cooked chicken, and cream. In another small saucepan melt the butter and mix in flour until well blended. Add the flour and butter mixture to the soup pot. Add cheese whiz, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Add milk to get your desired consistency. Enjoy!

This is a spin off of another recipe I have. But we made it to our liking. (I like my broccoli more pureed, then I do chunky). Hunter and Mike especially enjoyed this dish. YUM!

Erika’s Strawberry-Limeade Frizz

(Drink will resemble picture)

1 can Frozen Limeade (minutemaid)

2 cups frozen strawberries

½ cup sugar

4 cans of sprite or 7-up

2 cups cold water

1 cup ice cubes

Add frozen limeade mix, strawberries, and sugar into a blender. Blend until well mixed (we don't want lumpies right?) In the meantime add cold water and sprite into a LARGE pitcher. Stir. Add frozen mixture from the blender. Stir with a large spoon. Add ice Cubes. (you can add more water to make it less sweet, however we like it STRONG). Enjoy!

I was in the mood for some type of a sweet drink. Boy did this hit the spot!! We were experimenting with ingredients and this is what we came up with. YUM-O!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Butter Syrup

1 can evaporated milk
2 c. sugar
1 T. butter
1 t. vanilla

Combine milk, sugar and butter in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Add vanilla, stir, serve warm.

Addi made this syrup for breakfast today. It was WONDERFUL! It tastes a lot like the buttermilk syrup we make.

It was a perfect thing for a child to help make as long as they are supervised.

Griddle Cakes

2 1/2 c. flour
2 T. baking powder
2 T. sugar
1 t. salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. milk (can use buttermilk for a wonderful flavor)
4 T. oil, bacon grease,melted butter or shortening

Add flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt to kitchen aid or mixer. Combine eggs, milk and oil, to mixer. Stir just until flour is moistened. Batter will be a little lumpy. Bake on griddle, turning when golden brown. Makes 12-16 cakes.

We fixed these for breakfast today. They were thick and yummy!! They also go well with the "butter syrup" Addi made.

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

AKA Lee's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 egg
3 tsp. vanilla
5 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
! bag or more chocolate chips (we like to use milk chocolate chips)

Cream butter, beat sugars, eggs, then vanilla. Mix salt and baking soda into flour. Stir in flour until almost mixed, then add chocolate chips and continue stirring just until flour is all mixed in. Do not over mix. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Form a tablespoon of dough into a ball for each cookie. Place on cookie sheet and bake until cookie just springs back when touched, about 20-25 minutes. Cool cookies on wire rack.

These are the thick and chewy cookies, not the thin crunchy type.

The person I got this recipe from essentially got it from the toll house cookie recipe, but modified it based on her experience at Mrs. Fields cookies.

It is a nice change of pace from my "normal" chocolate chip cookie recipe I make. These are REALLY thick and chewy. yum!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Creamed Peas & Potatoes

1 lb. frozen peas
1 1/2 lb. small red potatoes
1 1/2 c. milk (we used whole milk)
1 1/2 c. cream
4 Tbls. butter
4 Tbls. Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes. (If using large potatoes, cut into large chunks). Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Add peas to the boiling water for the last 5-10 minutes cooking time. Cook until done. Drain the water.
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and add flour to make a paste. Add milk, cream, and salt & pepper. Cream sauce will thicken. Once thickened, add to peas and potato mixture. Stir. Enjoy!

This has been a family favorite for years. I've always loved this dish growing up, and still do today. They also taste great with the "Guymons famous bread sticks" recipe.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Erika's Mock McGriddles

2/3 c. 7-up (or sprite) (maybe just a little more)

1 egg

1 Tbls. sugar

1 Tbls oil

1 1/2 c. Biscuits

(Don't forget the mixture below)

Put these ingredients into a blender. It may be a little too thick to blend, so just add a little more 7-up. Blend smooth and let stand 10 minutes before preparing on hot oiled griddle allowing about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake.

"maple burst"

1/2 c. Brown sugar
1/8-1/4 tsp. maple extract

About 1 tbls. maple syrup (give or take?)

Mix together until moist.

Spray the griddle well with pam. Sprinkle sugar mixture over the undone side of pancake (Make sure it the sugar isn't clumpy). Flip. Cook until light brown. Add a sausage patty between 2 pancakes. Enjoy!

I found the recipe for the pancake batter on the Internet, but I made up the "Maple Burst" myself, and I'm pretty darn proud of it!! We thought these tasted A LOT like McDonalds McGriddles.

Quick Brownies

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 c. flour

1/2 c. cocoa

1 tsp. salt

5 eggs

1 c. vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. semi-sweet (or milk chocolate) chocolate chips

Beat first seven ingredients until smooth. Pour into a 9 x 13 in. dish and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

I like this recipe because they really were quick. However, I may try milk choco. chips the next time I make these. It tasted a little like dark chocolate to me. But they were good. They stayed moist for days! Enjoy!

Easy Chicken 'N' Biscuits

1 pkg. (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables

2 1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

3/4 c. milk

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided


1 1/2 c. biscuit/baking mix

2/3 c. milk

(or 1 can of pillsbury buttermilk biscuits)

(Optional) 1 can french fried onions

In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, chicken soup, milk, and 1 cup cheese. Pour into an ungreased 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine biscuit mix and milk. Drop batter by Tablespoonfuls onto chicken mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 20-22 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Top with onions and remaining cheese. bake 3-4 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

We had this last night for dinner. It was one of those "comforting" dishes.It was easy because I had all the ingredients on hand. Quick fix!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Erika's Gingerbread Muffins

2 Eggs
2/3 c. oil
1 c. molasses
1/2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 c. boiling water

In a medium bowl beat eggs, oil, molasses and sugar, mixing well. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl and add egg mixture. Stir in water, mixing well. Fill greased or paper muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar. bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
Sprinkle powdered sugar in top

*Also good with buttermilk or maple syrup drizzled on top

With fall soon approaching, I feel the need to bake. The smell of gingerbread somehow makes me long for those long cool crisp evenings and long winter nights. These muffins are the perfect cure! Yum!

Erika's Favorite Butter Cream Frosting

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. shortening
4 2/3 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. water

In a large mixer bowl combine butter, shortening and sugar, and beat until very creamy. Add almond extract and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Add water and mix until light.

This is one of my favorite Butter Cream Frosting recipes. It's from the lion house. I know it has a lot of butter and shortening, but it's worth every little fattening morsel! I LOVE almond extract in my frosting, it gives it a little burst of flavor!

*This makes a lot of frosting, if you have left overs, frost cookies, or frost graham crackers

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Minnestrone/Meatball soup

2 lbs. lean ground beef or 2 lbs. pre-cooked meatballs
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
salt to taste (I use garlic salt)
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 qt. water
4 lrg. carrots, peeled and sliced
2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
5 c. beef broth
1 can corn (I also use the juice)
1 Tbls. dried parsley
1 tsp. ground basil
2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 (16 -oz) can green beans (I put the juice in the soup)
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 1/4 c. uncooked pasta
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Brown ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring to break up meat. Drain. If you are making a meatball soup, unthaw and warm. Stir in celery, onions, garlic, and salt in 1 1/2 Tbls. butter or oil. Cook until vegetables are tender crisp, (about 10 minutes). Boil carrots in 1 qt. water (save water for soup).
In a large pot combine ground beef, tomatoes, carrots,water, tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, & spices. Bring to a boil. Cover; simmer over low heat (about 20 min) Add green beans, corn, & kidney beans.
Bring to a boil, add pasta. Add all ingredients into pot. Cook 15-20 minutes until pasta is tender. Garnish with Parmesan cheese. Makes 12-14 servings.

A sweet neighbor in kenai brought me a dish similar to this one day when I was under the weather. It was much appreciated. My kids were much appreciative that she introduced this dish to our family...they love it.

*This makes a LOT of soup. So freeze some when you need a quick meal...or when YOU'RE under the weather and don't have a sweet neighbor to bring you dinner!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

We have A New Look

I decided it was high time this blog needed a make over! Hopefully I will get some new recipes posted soon. My vacation is nearing to an end, so I am hoping my blogs will be a little more updated! Thanks for looking!

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