Monday, December 3, 2012

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl; blend in eggs. Mix in ginger and molasses; slowly stir in boiling water. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients except for the nuts; add to sugar mixture.  Fold in walnuts; cover and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets; bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Makes about 6 dozen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Swiss Chicken with Rice

4 chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of water
8 slices of swiss cheese
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
4 cups cooked rice

Layer chicken, cheese  and soup mixed with water. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until done.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Creamy Tomato Soup

I love Tomato Soup!  This recipe came from my dear friend, Melissa.

1 (29 ounce) can crushed tomatoes 
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth, undiluted 
2 tablespoons margarine 
2 tablespoons white sugar 
1 tablespoon chopped onion 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a large stock pot mix tomatoes, chicken broth, butter, sugar, onion and baking soda. Simmer for 1 hour. 
In a double boiler heat cream until hot. You can also do this in a regular saucepan over low heat, but watch it carefully so that the cream does not scorch! Once heated through add to tomato soup and serve.

Hearty Hashbrown Soup

Hearty Hashbrown Soup

2 pounds frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
4 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup sliced celery
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 quart milk
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, combine the first seven ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Mash vegetables with cooking liquid. Add soup and milk; stir until smooth. Add ham, parsley and garlic salt; simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with bacon. 
Yield: 12-16 servings.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Caramel Apple Pie

Caramel Apple Pie

2 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. oatmeal
¾ tsp. salt
1/3 c. pecans (optional)
¾ c. butter – melted

Mix above ingredients. Save ½ c. for topping. Press the rest into a crust in a pie plate.

4 c. apples
¾ c. sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbs. flour
10 caramel squares

Dump onto crust. Sprinkle remaining topping. 

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Grandma Miles' Lime Pickles

Simply the best. :)

7 pounds of cucumbers sliced, not peeled

Dissolve 2 cups of lime in 2 gallons of water and soak cucumbers in the water for 24 hours. Wash thoroughly several times. Let stand 3 hours in cold water. Drain well. (Do not use a metal pan. The lime is not nice to metal. An old-fashioned pottery crock is best for soaking.)

Bring the following to a boil and pour over the cucumbers and let set overnight:

2 quarts vinegar
1 tsp. whole cloves 
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon salt
4 pounds of sugar

(put the cloves and celery seed in a cheesecloth bag to keep the cloves from leaving dark spots on the cucumbers and to remove them easier before canning)

Reheat cucumbers and fluid til the fluid is clear (20-30 minutes) and water bath can.

Strawberry Angel Food Cake

Bake 1 large angel food cake as directed.  When cool, tear into bite size pieces.

Dissolve 2 small packages of strawberry Jell-o in 2 1/2 cups of hot water.

Add 2 10 oz. packages of frozen whole strawberries.  Cool mixture until syrupy.

Fold in 1 8 oz. carton Cool Whip.

Fold the cake pieces into the jello mixture.

Place in a large pretty glass bowl or individual dessert cups.

Cool until ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Green Tomato Relish

24 large green tomatoes
3 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
3 green bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 banana pepper
6 large onions
2-3 jalapenos - veined and seeded to taste
3 tablespoons celery seed
3 tablespoons mustard seed
1 tablespoon salt
5 cups white sugar
2 cups cider vinegar

1. In a grinder or food processor, coarsely grind tomatoes, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and onions. (You may need to do this in batches.) Line a large colander with cheesecloth, place in sink or in a large bowl, and pour in tomato mixture to drain for 1 hour.
2. In a large, non-aluminum stockpot, combine tomato mixture, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Sterilize enough jars and lids to hold relish (12 one-pint jars, or 6 one-quart jars). Pack relish into sterilized jars, making sure there are no spaces or air pockets. Fill jars all the way to top. Screw on lids.
4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with boiling water. Carefully lower jars into pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary, until tops of jars are covered by 2 inches of water. Bring water to a full boil, then cover and process for 30 minutes.
5. Remove jars from pot and place on cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press top of each lid with finger, ensuring that seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Relish can be stored for up to a year.

2013 Notes:
25 pounds of green tomatoes, yield 20.5 quarts
Used 6 jalepenos - semi-rough clean
Yellow onions
Mixed sweet peppers - 2/1 lb. bags

Monday, June 11, 2012

Zucchini Cakes

1 whole Large Zucchini
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
½ cups (to 3/4 Cup) Cornmeal
½ cups 4-cheese Italian Blend (or Parmesan Or Romano)
2 whole Eggs
Kosher Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Olive Oil

Wash and cut the end off of one large zucchini. Shred it using the large holes of a cheese grater. Squeeze the shredded zucchini inside of a clean towel until you’ve removed as much liquid as possible.

Place shredded zucchini into a medium sized bowl. Add minced garlic, breadcrumbs, cheese (shredded), eggs, kosher salt and pepper to taste. Stir with a fork until well mixed.

Heat olive oil (about ¼ inch deep in bottom of skillet) to a medium heat. When the oil is hot enough drop a glob of zucchini batter into the skillet and flatten it a bit. After about two minutes, turn the cakes over ( they should be nice golden-brown) and cook on the other side until done (about 2-3 minutes).

Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice and enjoy!

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

3 whole Eggs
1 cup Vegetable Oil (or 1 Cup Applesauce)
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 cups Shredded Zucchini (You Don\'t Have To Peel Them)
2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
½ cups Baking Cocoa
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
Handful Chocolate Chips Or Mini Chips

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Combine all the dry ingredients and add it to the zucchini mixture. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, or make muffins by filling the pans 2/3 full with batter.
Bake loaf pans at 350F for 1 hour or until bread tests done. Bake muffins at 350F for 15 minutes or until they test done.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Garlic Chicken Farfelle

16 oz. Farfalle pasta
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed OR garlic salt (I do a spoonful of crushed garlic)
1 Tbsp. pepper*
1/2 c. butter
1 lb. bacon, crumpled**
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (12 oz) Lawry’s mesquite marinade with lime juice

*Seems like a lot of pepper, but it has a wonderful flavor when everything mixes together. If you’re apprehensive, do less pepper. You can always add more.

**We like to cook our bacon in the oven (400 degrees, convection). Way less messy. And it’s crispy every time. Time varies, so you just have to watch it. I think it’s usually around 30 minutes. Allow to cool and then crumple.

Crock pot chicken and bottle of marinade on low for 6 hours. Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred (I pull it apart). Set this aside. About a half-hour before serving, boil the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through. Sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.

Recipe from

Chipotle-Glazed Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes (10 ounces each), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus additional to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes in the olive oil and scatter on the bottom of a roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes. 
2. In a small bowl, mix together the chilies, garlic, honey, vinegar, salt, cumin, and cinnamon to make a paste. Rub the paste evenly over each breast. 
3. Place the chicken breasts on top of the sweet potatoes and roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro if desired.

recipe from

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

So different, but so yummy! Not your traditional spicy enchilada!  Great for when you crave Mexican but want something a little more mild.

6 Tbs. honey
5 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 oz. green enchilada sauce
1 c. heavy cream

1. Whisk the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken in a Zip-loc bag.
2. Let it marinate for at least a 1/2 hour, but preferably a half day or so.
3. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan.
4. Fill the tortillas with chicken, saving marinade, and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.
5. Put tortillas in 9x13 pan as you go.
6. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade (if there is any).
7. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas.
8. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

This recipe was found at Dinner on a Dime.

This is also a great recipe to make as a freezer meal- put into 2 8x8" pans. Bake 1 pan for dinner now, put the other pan into the freezer. Pull it out and bake it when you need it!

Onion Strings

from The Pioneer Woman...sooooo yummy! And eeeeasssyy!

1 whole large onion
2 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
1 T. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1-2 quarts oil
Black pepper to taste.

Slice onion very thin.  Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil to 375.

Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil.  Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe is from Shugary Sweets and is the yummiest oatmeal cookie ever!

1 c. butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. baking powder
2 c. quick oats
2 c. flour

2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In food processor, add oatmeal and pulse until partly ground.  Don't make into a fine powder, leave some chunks. I pulsed mine 6 times, at 1-2 seconds each. Set aside.

In mixing bowl, blend together butter with sugars. Mix 1-2 minutes until combined. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in remaining cookie ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined.

Drop by several tablespoons onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes.

To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar with heavy cream and cinnamon until smooth.  Frost each cookie and allow to harden.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Honey Bun Cake

This cake is seriously amazing!

1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter, softened
4 eggs
1 (8oz) container sour cream or plain yogurt
½ c packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans, optional
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c powdered sugar
1 tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350o. Generously grease bottom only of 9x13 pan. Remove ½ cup dry cake mix; reserve. Beat remaining dry cake mix, butter, eggs and sour cream in large bowl on medium speed for 2 min; scraping bowl occasionally. Spread half the patter into pan. Stir together reserved dry cake mix, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter in pan. 

Carefully spread remaining batter evenly over pecan mixture. (To make easier drop batter by dollops over pecan mixture, then spread) Bake 30 min or until deep golden brown and cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Stir powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until thin enough to drizzle, stirring in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time if necessary. Poke top of warm cake several times with a fork; spread glaze over top of cake. Cool completely about 1 hr. or serve warm. Store Covered.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spicy Flank Steak

1/3 c. sour cream
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. celery salt
2 Tbs. chili sauce
1 Tbs. lime juice
½ to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. salt
1 flank steak (1 to 1 ½ pounds)

In a bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and celery salt; refrigerate until serving.  Combine the chili sauce, lime juice, pepper flakes and salt; brush half on one side of steak. 

Broil 6 inches from the heat for 10 minutes.  Turn steak; brush with remaining mixture. Broil 6-10 minutes longer or until meat reaches desired doneness.  Let stand for 5 minutes. Slice into thin strips across the grain. Serve with the sour cream sauce.

Spicy Chicken Spaghetti

1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
5 Tbs. butter, divided
3 c. chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce
2 c. chopped green onions
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼  tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 Tbs. salt
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. ground cumin
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
16 oz. angel hair pasta
½ c. sour cream

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in 2 Tbs. butter until tender.  Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, cayenne, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large resealable plastic bag, combine the salt, garlic powder, pepper, basil, and cumin; mix well.  Add chicken and  toss to coat.

In a skillet, sauté chicken in remaining butter until juices run clear. Add chicken to tomato sauce; simmer for 10 minutes.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Top with chicken mixture, Garnish with sour cream. Yield: 8 servings 

Breaded Ranch Chicken

¾  c. crushed cornflakes
¾ c. grated Parmesan Cheese
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
½ c. butter, melted

In a shallow bowl, combine the cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, and salad dressing mix.  Dip chicken in butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.  Place in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Basic Dough Recipe

2 c. water (100 degrees)
½ c. sugar
2 Tbs. yeast
½ c. oil
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
5-6 c. flour

Mix water, sugar, and yeast. Let set about 5 minutes.  Add about 1 c. of flour, mix until smooth.  Continue adding 1 cup at a time until desired texture is reached.

Let rise until double in size.  

Punch down and prepare for rolls or loaf.

Let rise again.

Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.

Apple Dip

8 oz. crème cheese
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. white sugar
1 bag heath bits
1 tsp. vanilla

Soften crème cheese and mix with remaining ingredients. Chill til ready to serve.

Cheeseburger Soup

This really tastes nothing like cheeseburgers, but that is it’s name.

½ pound ground beef
½ pound spicy breakfast sausage
¾ c. chopped onion
¾ c. shredded carrots
1 t. basil
1 t. parsley
¾ t. salt
½ t. pepper
4 T. butter
3 c. chicken broth
4 c. potatoes
¼ c. flour 

8 oz. cheese (I probably triple this.)
1 ½ c. milk
¼ c. sour cream

Melt butter in large stock pot.  Add potatoes, onion and carrots and cook til slightly tender.  Add flour to coat.  Slowly mix in chicken broth, spices and meat.  Continue simmering until potatoes are done.  

Before serving, add cheese, milk, and sour cream. Do not boil after adding these ingredients.  

This recipe works well in a crock pot as well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chai Tea

I love this recipe me Melissa gave me. 

1/2 C non-fat dry milk 
1/4 C powdered coffee creamer
1/2 C white or brown sugar 
1 T instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground cardamom
1/8 t black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a large ziploc bag. Make sure bag is sealed well and roll over the bag with a rolling pin to combine all ingredients well and crush to a fine powder for better mixing results with hot water. 

Store in a re-sealable container.
Brew with a cup of Black Tea.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Streusel Topping

For the muffins:
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

For the crumb topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Make the filling by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and stirring until smooth. Scoop and shape the filling into balls (about 1 tsp each.) and freeze for at least two hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

3. Make the crumb topping by using a fork to combine the flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and melted butter in a small bowl.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the sugar, canned pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a spatula just until completely combined.

5. Press one piece of the cream cheese filling into the center of each muffin, then sprinkle each muffin with about one tablespoon of the crumb topping. Gently press the topping into the batter to ensure that it sticks.

6. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for about five minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 12 muffins.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Dad's Lemon Chicken

This is one of my all-time favoritest recipes with some of my all-time favoritest memories associated with it!  My Dad made this often, as well as many other yummy Chinese dishes. This is the only one I'm any good at making.

Marinade for the chicken:
2 Tbs. cooking sherry
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Marinade your diced chicken for a few hours.  I usually use a couple of pounds of chicken.

1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. lemon juice
4 tsp. corn starch

3 green onions

Heat ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Keep sauce at a simmer.

1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup water
2 Tbs. cooking oil (mix regular oil with a spicy oil to give the batter a kick.)
1-2 Tbs. ground cashews.

Mix all ingredients into a thick batter. Dip each chunk of chicken into the batter and fry in a wok or skillet til done.

Serve with rice, 1 1/2 cup sliced iceberg lettuce, and cashews.

Spicy Tuscan Soup

1 pound Spicy Breakfast Sausage
1 whole medium red onion, diced
2 slices bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole medium potatoes
1 qt. warm water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
1/4 bunches kale, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream.

Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain and set the sausage aside.

Chop onions and dice bacon; add to the dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are clear. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Add warm water, bouillon cubes and potatoes to the Dutch oven and simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are done.

Add remaining ingredients as well as the sausage and simmer for 5 more minutes. Let cool and serve with warm garlic breadsticks.

**How I really did this recipe:  I have picky eaters in this house.  I blended (as in liquified) the kale and onion with the chicken broth. Then simmered it with the remaining ingredients.  It was a lovely shade of green that would be perfect for a St. Patty's Day meal! But it was yummy!  I accidentally cooked our garlic bread a little too long, so we crumbled it up like croutons in the soup. I will do that on purpose next time.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nuts and Bolts Chex Mix

One of my Dad's favorite Christmas time goodies.

1 box Cheerios
1 box Corn Chex
1 box Rice Chex
1 box Kix
3 lbs. nuts - the more the better
1 bag of thin pretzels

3 sticks of butter
3/4 c. shortening
2 Tbs. garlic salt
1 Tbs. celery salt
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbs. Tobassco
1/2 Tbs. Cayenne pepper

Mix cereals, nuts, and pretzels.  I use a large trash bag.  Pour mix into pans.

In a sauce pan, melt butter and shortening and add remaining spices.

Pour butter mixture over the cereal mixture and gently mix.

Bake at 250 for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.

Note: This makes a HUGE batch!  But it also goes very quickly! Be prepared with many pans to bake it in. Also, have several storage containers or gift containers ready for when it's cooled.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Bread

3 cups sugar
1 c. oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ cup water

In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Combine the remaining dry ingredients; add to the pumpkin mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Cheese Ravioli with Creamy Spinach Sauce

A recipe from Melissa that my kids tried, and LOVED, only because she made it first.

2 bags of frozen Cheese filled Ravioli, cooked according to package directions
1 c chicken broth
1 -2 c chopped fresh spinach
4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
5 green onions sliced
3 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 clove garlic
1 ½ c heavy cream
1 c grated parmesan cheese
1 fresh tomato, chopped for garnish

In a sauce pan add chicken broth, spinach, bacon, green onion, Cajun seasoning, and garlic. Bring
to a boil. Add heavy cream and boil on med heat until sauce has reduced and become thicker. This
normally takes 10-15 min. Once sauce is finished place cooked ravioli in a greased 9x13, toss with
sauce, sprinkle with cheese, toss again, garnish with tomato. Bake uncovered at 350o for 15-20 min.

Mex-Italian Jumbo Shells

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
14-16 jumbo shells
1 1/2  cups salsa
1 c. taco sauce
1c. cheddar cheese
1 c. monterey jack cheese 
3 T. refried beans
3 green onions
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.

In a frying pan cook ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.  Add cream cheese and refried beans, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.  While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.

Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce.  

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed.  Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.


1 package dry cheese filled tortellini- cooked according to package directions
1lb Mild Italian Sausage or Chicken
1- 14oz can diced Italian tomatoes
2 gloves garlic minced
1 c fresh spinach
5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
2 cups heavy cream

Cook sausage until browned. Add tomatoes, garlic and fresh spinach bring to a boil then simmer until spinach softens. Stir in heavy cream and ½ of the parmesan cheese turn heat to medium stir until cheese melts. Pour cooked and drain tortellini in a 9x13 spread sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake @ 350 for 15-20min.