About Me

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Hello everyone, I'm Cindi, aka "domestic goddess", and I consider myself to be a country girl at heart. I'm also a mother to 3 daughters, and I have 1 granddaughter. Being a counrty gal, I enjoy preparing down-home country meals for my family. I also enjoy sharing recipes with others, collecting cookbooks, reading about the paranormal, and spending time with my family.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Snickerdoodle Blossoms

I "love" chocolate and Snickerdoodle Cookies! I get to combine the
cookie with a bit of chocolate. Both cookie and chocolate make for
one scrumptious tasting cookie!




Snickerdoodle Blossoms

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
52 chocolate stars

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, and the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Beat at medium speed until mixture is light and creamy.

Add the egg, vanilla extract and salt; continue beating until well mixed.

Add 1 cup of flour and the baking soda to the bowl, and beat on low speed until ingredients have been mixed together well.

Add the remaining cup of flour; beat on low speed until it has been thoroughly mixed together.

At this point you will need to refrigerate the dough (in a bowl covered with aluminum foil), so the dough firms up enough to shape into dough balls. This may take anywhere from 1-2 hours. (I let mine set overnight in the refrigerator, so I can bake mine the next day, and when I have the time.) I then let the dough sit on the counter (in the bowl covered with foil) for an hour or two before making it into cookies.

When ready to bake the cookies, heat your oven to 350º F. And in a shallow bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and the tablespoon of ground cinnamon.

Shape the cookie dough into 1-inch balls. (I used a small cookie scoop which is equivalent to 1 tablespoon, to make each cookie, then shape the cookie dough into 1" balls.)

Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then place them 2-inches apart onto either ungreased baking sheets, or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (I prefer to line my baking sheets with the parchment paper.)

Bake the dough balls for 10 minutes, and after removing baking sheet from the oven, immediately press 1 chocolate star in the center of each cookie.

Let the cookies sit for 1-minute on the baking sheet, then remove the cookies and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes: 52 cookies

To store the cookies: I place the cooled cookies onto clean baking sheets in a single layer, then place the baking sheets in the freezer, until the chocolate star is firm. I then place the cookies in a cookie tin or in a Tupperware container, and store the cookies in the freezer. These cookies do keep well for quite sometime in the freezer. When ready to serve, just take out as many cookies as needed, and let them sit for a bit before serving. (About 5 minutes. Providing you can wait that long!)


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ziploc Bag Omelet

I use to prepare omelets in one of those omelet pans, but not anymore! Preparing them in those quart-size Ziploc freezer bags, is so much easier, a lot quicker, and hearty enough for 1-serving.



Ziploc Bag Omelet

1 quart size Ziploc Freezer Bag
2 large eggs
several dashes of black pepper (See *Note)
1-1/2 to 2 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled (See *Note)
1 tablespoon diced onion
1 tablespoon diced green bell peppers
2-3 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Fill a large saucepan (half-way) with water, then bring water to a rolling boil. (I used a 3-quart saucepan.)

While waiting for the water to come to a boil, crack the 2 eggs into the quart size Ziploc Freezer Bag.

Seal the bag, and mush the eggs by squeezing the bag.

Open the bag, add the black pepper, then add the bacon, onion, green peppers, and the cheese. Mush the ingredients together.

Squeeze out as much of the air as you can, then seal the bag.

Place the bag into the pan of boiling water, and boil exactly for 14 minutes. (After 7 minutes of cooking, I turn the baggie over.  I do this using a pair of tongs.)

Use tongs to remove the Ziploc bag from the boiling water, and place the bag onto a plate.

Unzip the bag, or use a pair of scissors, and carefully cut off the top of the bag.

Hold the two bottom corners of the baggie up over the plate, and let the omelet slide out onto the plate. Season the omelet with a bit of the salt, if desired.

Yields: 1 serving (But if making 2 omelets, read the *Additional note following the recipe.)

*You can substitute McCormick's Hot Shots! Black & Red Pepper Blend, or Lawry's Seasoned Pepper, for the black pepper.  Also, you can use a variety of ingredients to make the omelets, such as: Canadian bacon, chopped ham or chopped pepperoni, other cheeses, also diced red, yellow, or orange bell peppers.

*Additional note: You can prepare 2 Ziploc Bag Omelets at the same time, but... by boiling them in a larger pot. (I used a 5-quart Dutch Oven.) Just be sure the pot you are using, is able to cook both baggies together, side-by-side.


........... A close-up picture of the omelet ...........

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Daughter and Granddaughter

I couldn't pass up posting this picture of my
daughter Heidi, and her daughter Jaycee. 
Mother and daughter look so much a like,
and Jaycee is the same height as her mother.
My granddaughter sure is growing up fast!
This picture was taken a few hours before
Jaycee attended her homecoming dance. 
I love this picture of the two of them!

Photos of Jaycee before homecoming dance!

Saturday evening was our granddaughter's homecoming dance. I wanted to share pictures of our granddaughter, which were taken a few hours before she attended the dance. Loved the dress she was wearing! She looks so pretty, and so grown-up!








This last picture is a close up of JC's hairstyle.
Aunt Kerry did JC's hair and makeup.
She also selected JC's dress. Kerry has good taste!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Caramel Krispie Bars

These are my all-time favorite marshmallow krispie treats!



Caramel Krispie Bars

2 (8 oz.) bags Kraft Jet-Puffed Caramel & Vanilla Swirled Marshmallows
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
8 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies Cereal

Butter the inside of one 13x9x2-inch cake pan, then set the pan aside.

In a large stock-pot, melt the butter over very low heat. (Whenever I make rice krispie bars, I use an 8-quart Teflon coated stock-pot.)

After the butter's melted in the pot, add the marshmallows, and stir until the marshmallows have completely melted.

Remove pot from the heat, add the cereal, and stir until the cereal is evenly coated with the marshmallow mixture.

Press the marshmallow/cereal mixture into the buttered pan.

Let bars sit for 2-3 hours, before cutting them.

Yields: 24 bars

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade

This is a great tasting strawberry lemonade! For this recipe, I used my own strawberries, which I picked, sweetened with sugar, and then froze them.



Strawberry Lemonade

1 (12 oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate
4 -1/2 cups water
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen sweetened strawberries, partially thawed

In a large pitcher mix together, the lemonade concentrate and the water.

Stir in the strawberries, then our the mixture into a blender, and purée until mixture is liquefied.

Strain the lemonade twice, to remove excess seeds from the strawberries.

Rinse the pitcher, so there aren't any seeds from the strawberries in it, then pour the strained strawberry lemonade back into the pitcher.

To serve, pour strawberry lemonade in glasses filled with ice.

Yields: 56 ounces of delicious strawberry flavored lemonade!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kool-Aid Strawberry Lemonade

Here's a great tasting strawberry lemonade, which I've made using 2 packets of unsweetened Kool-Aid Lemonade, and with freshly picked strawberries. Who'd a thought you could make a yummy strawberry lemonade with Kool-Aid. Well you can, and it's quite refreshing!



Kool-Aid Strawberry Lemonade

2 (0.23 oz.) packets of Unsweetened Kool-Aid Lemonade
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 cups fresh, sliced, strawberries
3 cups of water, divided
ice cubes, or crushed ice

Mix together in a blender, the sugar, strawberries, and 2 cups of water.

Pour the strawberry mixture into a 2-quart pitcher, along with the remaining cup of water, and add the 2 packets of lemonade. Stir mixture with a spoon. (This lemonade has a consistency of being syrupy.)

Strain the lemonade twice, to remove excess seeds from the strawberries.

Rinse the pitcher, so there aren't any seeds from the strawberries in it, then pour the strained strawberry-lemonade back into the pitcher.

To serve, pour strawberry-lemonade in glasses filled with ice.

Yields: 56 ounces of delicious strawberry flavored lemonade!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rather funny video, had to share...

Saw this on Facebook, and I had to share...
Don't worry, this is not adult/risky, but very funny!



Video: 1:04 minutes

Click onto the following link to view the video...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10204340532938650&set=vb.1389411830&type=2&theater

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Berry Bread

This actually is a dessert which my family enjoys on those hot summer days. Just mix the thawed, frozen, sweetened strawberries with the cream, and served over torn pieces of white bread.



Berry Bread

3-1/2 lbs. sliced frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
white bread, homemade or store bought, torn into small pieces

In a large bowl, add the 3-1/2 lbs. (thawed) sweetened sliced strawberries.

Stir in heavy cream until blended.

Chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes to 1-2 hours.

In serving bowls, add torn pieces of homemade, or store bought white bread.

Pour desired amounts of the berry mixture over each bowl of bread.

Note: If using your own frozen strawberries, you may need to add a bit more granulated sugar, but according to taste. Do this before adding the cream. The amount of strawberries and cream added; depends upon you.

More pix of the berry bread, can be viewed at the following site:

http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/dessert-fruit-dessert/berry-bread.html

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp



Cherry Rhubarb Crisp

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
4 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling
1/2 cup chopped pecans
vanilla ice cream
Reddi Wip (or) Cool Whip Whipped Topping

To make the crust: In a bowl mix together, the oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, and salt.

Cut in the pieces of butter, with either a fork or pastry blender, until mixture becomes crumbly (like a streusel topping).

Press half of the crumb mixture into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. (I probably added 2/3's of the crumb mixture.)

To make the filling: In a large saucepan (I used a 3-quart saucepan), add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and water. Stir until blended, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat; stirring continuously, and until the mixture thickens. The mixture should thicken within 3 minutes. (At least mine did.)

Once the mixture has thickened, thoroughly stir in the extracts and pie filling.

Now spread the rhubarb over the crust, then spoon the cooked pie filling on top, and sprinkle on the remaining crumb mixture.

Lastly, top the crumb mixture with the chopped pecans.

Bake in a 350º oven for 45-55 minutes. (I baked mine for 55 minutes.)

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. (Refrigerate any leftovers.) Enjoy refrigerated leftovers with either Reddi Wip, or Cool Whip Whipped Topping.

Yields: 7 - 8 servings


Friday, May 23, 2014

Iced Caramel Latte

I've made this delicious iced caramel latte several times. I've also made it using the caramel ice cream topping, and also with the caramel sundae syrup, but I have to say... I really didn't care for the caramel sundae syrup. So when making this caramel latte, be sure to use the caramel ice cream topping, like Hershey's. It gave this latte a nice rich caramel flavor that I enjoyed.




Iced Caramel Latte

3-1/2 to 4 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons hot water (which I heated on top the stove)
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping (I used Hershey's)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
ice cubes

In a tall beverage glass, add the coffee granules and hot water; until coffee is dissolved.

Add the caramel ice cream topping; stir well to combine.

Add the milk and water; stir until combined.

Add ice to the glass; and serve immediately.

Yields: 11.5-ounces (or 1-1/4 cups)

Note: Not quite sure how much coffee granules to add when making this latte? I've experimented several times trying to decide what would be the right the amount to add. If adding the 4 teaspoons, I've found the coffee does taste a bit stronger, but it doesn't seem to over power the taste of the caramel topping that's in it, but... after letting the latte sit for a while, and letting the ice cubes melt a bit into the coffee. I found the coffee didn't taste as strong, and I still could taste the caramel topping in it. And when I added less coffee granules, (the 3-1/2 teaspoons) I found I didn't have to let the coffee sit, and let the ice cubes melt just a bit, so the coffee didn't taste as strong. I was able to enjoy the latte immediately. So the amount of instant coffee granules you decide to add, I'll leave that up to you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cream of Broccoli and Mushroom Soup

This is a delicious, creamy vegetable soup to put together.



Cream of Broccoli and Mushroom Soup

2 (10-3/4 ounce) cans condensed cream of broccoli soup
2 (10-3/4 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
2-1/2 cups milk
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen chopped broccoli
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
black pepper, season according to taste
2 (4 ounce) cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained

In a large stock-pot, add the cans of soup.

Gradually stir in the milk.

Add the frozen broccoli and remaining ingredients, and stir.

Cook soup over low heat until it's heated through; stirring often.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Yields: 7 servings.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Yaaay, my first blue ribbon from Just A Pinch!

Hey everyone, I am so excited, as this past week I won my very
1st blue ribbon at one of my favorite recipe sites, JustAPinch,
for Grandma Richter's Wilted Lettuce Salad, a really delicious
salad that was originally made by son-in-law's grandmother.

Here's the link to the recipe and site...

http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/salad/green-salad/grandma-richters-wilted-lettuce-salad.html


This recipe is also posted here on my blog!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hamburger Spanish Rice With Bacon

This meaty Spanish rice has lots of flavor. Every time I make this dish, it reminds me of my childhood days when I was in grade school, and the delicious hamburger Spanish rice which was served for lunch. Prep time includes cooking the bacon, hamburger, and vegetables.



Hamburger Spanish Rice With Bacon

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

6 slices bacon
1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 of one green bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes, cut-up (See *Note)
2/3 cup long grain white rice

In a 12-inch skillet, cook bacon slices until crisp; drain on paper towel and set aside.

In the same skillet, along with the bacon grease, brown the hamburger and cook the vegetables; then drain off any excess grease in a colander.

Return cooked beef and vegetables to the skillet, then add the remaining ingredients.

Crumble the cooked bacon; add to the skillet, and stir.

Bring ingredients in skillet to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, and stirring occasionally.

Yields: 5-6 servings

*Note: You can substitute stewed tomatoes for the regular canned tomatoes.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hamburger Helper Lasagna Soup

This 'delicious' hearty soup is made with "seasoned" ground pork sausage. It's a nice change from the usual lasagna hamburger helper soup recipe, which is made with ground beef.

Hamburger Helper Lasagna Soup

1 (6.4 oz.) box Betty Crocker Lasagna Hamburger Helper
1 lb. "seasoned" ground pork sausage (*See note)
1 medium sized red onion, diced
2 medium size garlic cloves, minced
4 cups beef broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1/2 of 1-(14.5 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups cut-up zucchini (cut into 4-inch pieces)
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese, to garnish the soup

Spray the inside of a Dutch oven or soup kettle, with a no-stick cooking spray.

In the Dutch oven or kettle, add the ground beef, and season beef with a bit of black pepper.  (Do not add salt to this recipe!)

Brown the ground beef three quarters of the way, over medium heat; stirring to break up the meat.

Add the onions, and sprinkle onions with a bit of the pepper, then add the garlic.

Finish browning the beef and cooking the onions and garlic, this will just take a minute or two.

Add the following ingredients to the kettle of cooked beef, the seasoning packet from the boxed hamburger helper, the beef broth, stewed tomatoes, the Rotel Tomatoes, whole kernel corn, zucchini, and the Italian seasoning.

Bring soup to a boil; stirring the soup occasionally.

Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the soup for 10 minutes; stirring the soup occasionally.

Add the uncooked noodles to the Dutch oven or kettle. Bring soup to a second boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.

Remove soup from heat, stir the soup, and serve.

Top each bowl of soup, with a sprinkle of the grated parmesan cheese.

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

*Note: For this recipe, I used "seasoned" ground pork sausage, which already has garlic, onion, ground sage, salt, and black pepper added to it, but you could substitute ground beef for the sausage.  Also, any leftovers reheated, will have the consistency of a goulash, rather than a soup.

Zesty Italian Hamburger Helper Soup

I created this soup back in 2009, using a box of Betty Crocker Zesty Italian Hamburger Helper. I've also made this soup using a box of Italian Lasagna Hamburger Helper as well. This soup is hearty and delicious!



Zesty Italian Hamburger Helper Soup

1 (7.2 oz.) box Zesty Italian Hamburger Helper,
or 1 (6.4 oz.) box Italian Lasagna Hamburger Helper
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 cup diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
several dashes ground black pepper
4-1/2 cups canned beef broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 cup zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots (l used baby carrots)
1 cup whole kernel corn (frozen, or corn in a can, drained)
8 ounces frozen green beans
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning

Spray the inside of a Dutch oven or soup kettle, with a no-stick cooking spray.

In the Dutch oven or kettle, add the ground beef, and season beef with a bit of black pepper. (Do not add salt to this recipe!)

Brown the ground beef three quarters of the way, over medium heat; stirring to break up the meat.

Add the onions, and sprinkle onions with a bit of the pepper, then add the garlic.

Finish browning the beef and cooking the onions and garlic, this will just take a minute or two.

In the meantime, cook the frozen green beans in a microwave, till they are about three quarters of the way done; drain beans and set them aside. (Note: I sprinkled the green beans with a bit of black pepper, before microwaving them.)

Add the following ingredients to the kettle of cooked beef, the seasoning packet from the boxed hamburger helper, the beef broth, stewed tomatoes, the Rotel Tomatoes, zucchini, sliced baby carrots, whole kernel corn, the cooked green beans, and the Italian seasoning.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and simmer the soup for 10 minutes.

Uncover the kettle, stir the soup, and add the package of penne pasta, that's included in the box of hamburger helper.

Bring soup to a second boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.

Remove soup from heat, stir the soup, and serve.

Yields: 7 to 8 servings

Note: I noticed after making this soup and using the 6.4 oz. box of Italian Lasagna Hamburger Helper (with the mini lasagna noodles in the box) verses the Zesty Italian (which adds mini penne pasta to the box), the next day when I reheated the soup, I had to add a bit more liquid, as the soup had thickened, and it had the consistency of a goulash. Since the mini lasagna noodles seem to absorb the liquid, I added more broth (a 1/2 cup) plus I added some V-8 Spicy Hot Vegetable Juice.

Italian Sausage Hamburger Helper Soup

I created this soup back in 2010, using a box of Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper Italian Sausage Flavor. This soup is hearty and delicious!

Italian Sausage Hamburger Helper Soup

1 (6.9 oz.) box Hamburger Helper Italian Sausage Flavor
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
3/4 cup diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
several dashes ground black pepper
2 (10-1/2 oz.) cans Campbell's Beef Broth
1-1/2 soup cans water
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot (I used baby carrots)
1 zucchini (9 oz.) cut into 1/4-inch pieces
8 oz. frozen green beans
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Spray the inside of a stock-pot, with a no-stick cooking spray.

To the pot, add the sausage, and season it with a bit of black pepper, if desired. (Do not add salt to this recipe!)

Brown the sausage over medium heat; stirring to break up the meat.

While the sausage is browning, cook the frozen green beans in a microwave, till they are about three quarters of the way done; drain beans and set them aside. (I cooked the beans in an 850 watt microwave for 6 minutes, but stirring them after 3 minutes I also season the beans with a bit of black pepper).

When sausage is done browning, then drain it in a colander.

To the stockpot, lightly sauté the onions for a minute or two. (Add a bit of vegetable oil if need be.)

Add garlic to the pot, and sauté the garlic for about 1 minute.

Place sausage back into the pot, then sprinkle the seasoning packet from the hamburger helper over all, and stir to coat the meat.

To the pot add the following ingredients: the beef broth, one and a half soup cans of water, the stewed tomatoes, sliced baby carrots, zucchini, green beans, the Italian seasoning, and the rotini pasta that's included in the boxed hamburger helper.

Bring soup to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer the soup for about 14 minutes.

Remove soup from heat, stir the soup, and serve.

If desired, sprinkle each bowl of soup with a bit of the parmesan cheese.

Yields: 5 to 6 servings

Note: I noticed after cooking the soup, the carrots seemed to be slightly crisp.  For those who'd prefer them to be a bit more cooked, I would do the following after adding the cooked meat, the seasoning packet, onion, garlic, broth, water, and just the carrots to the stockpot. Bring those ingredients to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer it for 5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients, (the stewed tomatoes, zucchini, green beans and Italian seasoning) and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer the soup for about 14 minutes.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Uber-Braten Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Casserole

I happen to come across this recipe at food.com. HeidiRenee had posted the recipe, but I did tweak the recipe just a bit. I love this casserole, and could eat this at least once a month. It's great comfort food! If you love sauerkraut, then your going to love this dish!!



Uber-Braten Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Casserole

8 ounces wide noodles
1 (14 oz.) pkg. Kielbasa or smoked sausage
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 cups milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained
4 tablespoons plain dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter

Grease the inside of a 2-1/2 to 3-quart casserole baking dish; set baking dish aside.

Cook egg noodles as per directions on package; set aside.

Cut Kielbasa or smoked sausage into chunks, then cut each chunk in half; set aside.

Melt the 1/3 cup of butter in a large saucepan. (I used a 3-quart saucepan).

Stir in the flour, garlic power, onion powder, and mustard.

When mixture is well combined, gradually add the milk. Bring mixture to a boil for 1 minute; stirring constantly until the sauce has thicken. (Mine started to thicken in less than a minute.)

Add the cup of cheese to the pan, stir until melted.

Add the Kielbasa or smoked sausage, the drained sauerkraut to the pan, and stir.

Pour mixture into the greased baking dish, then stir in the precooked noodles.

Top the casserole with a mixture of 4 tablespoons of bread crumbs mixed with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

Bake casserole (uncovered) for 25 minutes in a 375º oven.

Yields: 5 servings

Note: When preparing this casserole, you can use a Bavarian Sauerkraut in place of regular sauerkraut. Plus the original recipe states to use 2 cups of the kraut, but I just use 1-1/2 cups. Also, you can use smoked sausage in place of the Kielbasa. I used smoked sausage, and the brand of sausage I used was, Eckrich.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Crock-Pot Ranch Mushrooms

I love mushrooms, and especially enjoy them cooked in the crock-pot along with butter and a packet of ranch dip mix. I serve these delicious tasting mushrooms as a side dish.



Crock-Pot Ranch Mushrooms

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 lb. whole fresh mushrooms
1 (1 oz.) packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dips Mix (*See note)

Place half of the mushrooms in the crock-pot.

Pour half of the melted butter over the mushrooms.

Sprinkle half of the (dry) ranch dip mix over the mushrooms.

Add remaining mushrooms to the crock-pot.

Pour the remaining melted butter over the mushrooms.

Sprinkle the remaining dip mix over the mushrooms.

Place lid on crock-pot, and cook on low for 3 - 4 hours. (I just cook mine for 3 hours, as after three hours of cooking time, my kitchen as well as the mushrooms smell so good, that we can't wait to dig into 'em.)

Yields: 2 - 4 servings.

*Note: Hidden Valley has 2 kinds of seasoning mixes, a mix to make dips, and a seasoning mix to make salad dressing. For this recipe, I much prefer to use the dip mix.

Bacon Corn Casserole

I happen to of found this delicious side dish recipe at food.com.
I love the combination of the corn, bacon, and sour cream. 
This is one side dish I'm sure your family will enjoy.



Bacon Corn Casserole

6 slices bacon (*See note)
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
18 ounces frozen corn (*See note)
1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a skillet, cook bacon, crumble, and set aside.

Cook onion in butter till transparent, in a large 3-quart saucepan.

In the same pan, blend in the flour and salt.

Add the sour cream gradually; keeping texture smooth.

Bring mixture to a boil, then add the frozen corn and parsley.

Reduce the heat, and cook till corn is heated through, then fold in half of the bacon.

Pour bacon/corn mixture into a greased 1 quart baking dish.

Garnish casserole with the remaining bacon.

Bake in oven (uncovered) for 30 minutes, then serve immediately.

Yields: 4-5 servings.

*Note: For this recipe, I used thick-sliced bacon, and the brand of frozen corn I used, was Birds Eye Freshlike Cut Golden Corn, as it's a sweet tasting corn. (And yes, I used exactly 18 ounces of the frozen corn in this recipe!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chocolate Banana Bread

I happen to come across this recipe at food.com.
This is "the best" tasting chocolate banana bread
I have ever had! It's also a nice moist bread.
I actually prefer this bread over the many
banana bread recipes I'm use to making.



Chocolate Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 baking cocoa (*See note)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350º.          

Grease one 9x5-inch loaf pan.
           
Combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a bowl. With an electric mixer, beat ingredients on medium speed until moistened.           

Add the mashed bananas and milk, beat on low to blend.
           
Add the flour, baking cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Beat on low until four mixture is moistened.
 
Use a spoon to fold in the pecans (or walnuts).
                               
Pour batter into the loaf pan.
                               
Bake on center rack 50-60 minutes. (I baked mine for 55 minutes.)           
 
Once the bread is done baking, remove from oven, and let the bread stand in baking pan on a wire rack for 55 minutes, to let it cool.
                               
Run a butter knife around the inside of the pan, then flip the pan over to release the bread from the pan.             

Cool bread completely before cutting into slices.
Serve bread.
                               
*Note: When it came to adding the baking cocoa, I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa, which gave the bread a nice chocolate flavor. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Smoked Sausage Bean Soup

This delicious, hearty soup, is so quick and easy to prepare. There's no need to add any additional seasonings, as the bean with bacon soup adds lots of flavor.



Smoked Sausage Bean Soup

3 russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 3/4" cubes
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 (32 oz.) box beef broth
1 (14 oz.) pkg. smoked sausage
2 (11.25 oz.) cans condensed bean with bacon soup

In a stock-pot, add the vegetables and the broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer the vegetables for 10 minutes.

While the vegetables are simmering, cut the smoked sausage into 1/4-inch slices, then cut each slice in half.

After the vegetables are done cooking, add the sliced sausage and both cans of bean with bacon soup.

Stir and cook over low heat until the soup is heated through.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Yields: 7 - 8 servings