Monday, March 23, 2009


I know what you're thinking. Who makes meatloaf anymore? Well, I only do because my friend Kelly introduced me to this sauce to top is so yummy, I make the meatloaf so I can have the sauce.

Your other question - where have I been? Well, who cooks when they're pregnant?! I actually did plan on posting one other recipe, but by the time I was done cooking I was too tired to take a picture...oh well.


the secret is to cook this on a broiler pan, then the meat isn't sitting in it's own drippings.

1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef
1/2 c dry breadcrumbs
1/2 c chopped onion
1 T barbeque sauce
1 T prepared mustard
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 egg

mix and form into a loaf on a broiler pan. If desired, top with bbq sauce before cooking (or kelly's special sauce...)

Kelly's sauce:
this is one of those things you just mix until it tastes right...I'll try to put it down...

abt 1 C ketchup
abt 1/2 T spicy mustard (kelly says plochmans is the best)
a swish or two of worsteshire sauce
1 to 2 T brown sugar

Whisk together and adjust to your liking. Should be sweet, salty, and very tangy. Yum!
Posted by Picasa

Mashed Potatoes

Ok, I know mashed potatoes are a no-brainer, but do you use your kitchen aid to mash them? Once I discovered this secret, we had mashed potatoes much more often! My other secret is to make them "rustic" - as in, use yukon golds or reds and don't bother to peel them, just half them before you boil. All the vitamins are in the peels anyway, right? They mash up just fine with the skins on!
Posted by Picasa

Cheddar Drop Biscuits

4 C flour

4 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1 1/2 t salt

3/4 C cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 C grated cheese

1 lg egg

1 3/4 C buttermilk

Combine flour through salt. Use pastry blender to cut in butter. Stir in cheddar until mixed. Add milk and egg, mix until a soft dough forms. Turn onto counter, knead a few times until even, should still be soft and sticky. Divide into 24 muffin tins, which have been greased. (I just pull a ball off of the dough). Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 9, 2009

Manicotti with spinach

I know, it's been like forever since I posted here. I made this Manicotti the other day, I forgot how good it is.

It's really un-recipe-ish. Just take Ricotta cheese (the big bucket at the grocery store), stir in about 1/2 bag chopped spinach, some italian seasoning, and some motzerella cheese (maybe 1/2 cup?). Cook manicotti shells for about 7 minutes, then using a pastry bag, pipe the filling into the manicotti. Put in casserole dish, top with sauce and motz cheese, cook at 375 for about 30 min, first 20 or so covered in foil so manicotti will finish absorbing liquid. Super yummy, and if you use a pastry bag, not too hard!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cheddar Chicken Chowder

This recipe is so yummy and great for winter.

2 slices bacon
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped red bell pepper
1 lb chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 3/4 cup diced red potato
4 C chicken broth
2 1/4 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup flour
2 C milk
3/4 C cheddar cheese

Cook bacon in bottom of saucepan. Remove and set aside. Saute chicken, onion, and pepper in bacon fat for about 5 minutes. Add diced potato and broth. Simmer 15 minutes, add corn.

Whisk together milk and flour. Slowly add to soup and cook until thickened, about another 15 minutes. Add cheese.

I like to serve with cheese and crumbled bacon on top:)
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

chocolate chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookies

I was going to be clever and call them Chocolate-Covered Raisin Cookies since they remind me of chocolate covered raisins, but my husband said it was deceiving as they are not really chocolate-covered cookies. So I stuck with the no-nonsense-straight-forward-this-is-what-they -are title. I developed this recipe just recently when I couldn't decide what kind of cookies to make for Brian to take to some friends. I made three batches in four days. The third batch was the winner. Fortunately, Brian is able to dispose of excess cookies at school. In fact, it improves his popularity quite a bit when he walks the hall with an open bag of homemade cookies.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. (scant) baking soda
2/3 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
3 cups oats
1 cup (generous) chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups raisins

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, beat well. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Drop by large tablespoon (I use the smallest cookie scoop by Pampered Chef. You could make them bigger just adjust the cooking time if necessary.) Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Split Pea, Beef and Barley Soup

Yeah! My first contribution to Amy's cooking blog. Either I haven't had pictures, or a solid-write-it-down kind of recipe, or the recipe I've thought of was one of Amy's in the first place.

So this soup sounds strange and looks kind of unappetizing-gloppy-green but it is seriously yummy.

The original recipe is from Sunset Magazine January 2007. I've tweaked it a bit.

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. (more or less) lean beef stew meat (I cut mine into pretty small pieces)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 large onions (I usually just use one, the original recipe calls for four)
1-2 leeks finely chopped (make sure you wash them really well)
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups green split peas (one 160z. package)
3/4 cup dried baby lima beans
3/4 cup pearl barley
5 carrots (or equivalent in baby carrots), peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper, then brown on all sides. Set aside.
2. Add onions, leek, parsnips, celery. Cook, stirring often, until onions soften about 5-8 minutes. Return beef to pot and add split peas, lima beans, and 4 qts. water. Increase heat to high and bring to a uncovered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
3. Add barley and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in carrots and cook 20 minutes more. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

So, about the veggies... I've done different combinations before. In fact, when I made the soup in the picture I didn't have onions, leeks, or parsnips. I used dried onion, celery, a zuchinni and a ton of chopped up brocolli. It tastes the same. You can cram a bunch of greenish vegetables in this soup. I usually end up with a pot full of veggies, more than the recipe calls for. They all seem to cook and meld together with the peas. I also didn't have any dried lima beans (which are yummy in the soup) so I added a can of butter beans after it was all cooked. There is no substitutions for the beef, barley and carrots though. The soup just wouldn't be the same without them.

Oh, and if it gets too thick, just add water to thin it out a little.