Friday, January 29, 2010


2 lbs. southern style frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. butter, melted (optional)
1-2 c. cubed, cooked ham
1/3 c. chopped onion (optional)

2 c. crushed corn flakes
1/4 c. butter, melted

Combine all casserole ingredients and mix well. Place in 13"x9"x2" baking dish. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle on casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour*.

*I used fresh, grated potatoes and had to cook them for a lot longer than 1 hour, so I'm not sure how hash browns will cook.

EASY Meatloaf/Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1/2 package chicken stuffing mix
1/2 cup water
1-2 eggs
1/4 tsp pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (opt)
1/2 to 1 onion, chopped (opt)
1/2 Tbs parsley (opt)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (meatballs only-opt)
1/2-1 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce (meatloaf only-can mix in some of this with ingredients and put some on top of meatloaf too)

Mix all ingredients.

Meatloaf: Put in a loaf pan. Cook 350 for 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Pour off excess fat 15 minutes prior to removing from oven and add brown sugar and ketchup to top of loaf. Let cook remaining 15 minutes.

Meatballs: Shape into meatballs and put on foil lined cookie sheet. Cook 20-30 minutes. Turn halfway during baking if desired.

This recipe is great because the stuffing makes it taste great and then you can add in the optional ingredients to accentuate the flavor to your liking!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chicken Souvlaki

  • 1 lb chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag, shake and marinate 30 min. Skewer and grill. May also serve chicken in a pita with lettuce, fresh tomatoes, mustard and mayo or on a plate with fried potatoes or rice pilaf.

Cinnamon Toast

Mix together:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 t. cinnamon
Spread butter/margarine on bread and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over it generously. Toast in a toaster oven or in a regular oven on broil. Eat immediately.

If you all remember, this was a family favorite growing up!

Kettle corn

  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn
  • salt and sugar
Use a large stock-pot with lid (non-stick is easier to clean afterwards). Add canola oil into the saucepan. Add 3 kernels of popcorn, cover with lid and heat on medium high. When first kernel pops, lift lid and add 1/3 cup popcorn, cover with lid and gently shake pan until popping stops. Carefully pour popped corn into a large bowl and season to taste. Add popcorn salt and a little sugar so that it tastes like kettle corn.

Ritz Chicken

  • Chicken Breasts (however many your family needs)
  • Fleischman's UNSALTED butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ritz Crackers, crushed

Dredge Chicken in melted butter then salt and pepper to taste and roll in ritz crackers. Place in a greased casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 for 1 and 1/2 hours. Uncover and brown top to your liking.

It's good with steamed Broccoli and Lawry's seasoning salt. Or Green beans drained and cooked with beef bullion cubes (2).


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (I use 14 oz or the entire can and it turns out great too)

Heat first four ingredients in a large saucepan.l Bring to a rapid boil and allow to boil a few minutes. Lower heat to medium and add the condensed milk, stirring constantly until desired ball stage.

*For caramel popcorn or popcorn balls, cook to a soft ball stage.
*For caramel candy, cook to a medium ball stage (15-30 minutes)
*For caramel suckers, cook to a crack stage

For caramels, pour mixture into a 9X13 buttered dish and let cool.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cream Cheese Filling for Cream Cheese Braid

4 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together. Enough filling for one cream cheese braid.

Friday, January 15, 2010


8 oz beef steak (of just a couple chicken breasts which is what I like to use)
1 TB butter
1/4 c. minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB flour
1 c hot water
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp tomato paste
1 pkg instant stroganoff seasoning mix (I like McCormick the most)
3 TB low fat sour cream
2 TB parsley (fresh if possible)
2 c. cooked noodles
1 pg mushrooms (8oz), each mushroom cut in half or so

On rack in broiling pan, broil meat 2 inches from heat source, turning once. (Chicken: just slowly fry with butter or whatever for a few minutes until cooked). Slice into 1/2 inch slices and set aside. In 9 inch skillet heat butter until hot and bubbly, add onion and garlic, and saute briefly, about 1 minute (DO NOT BROWN). Add mushrooms, salt, pepper, and cook stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Mix flour and broth mix in hot water until dissolved, then mix into the pan with other ingredients. Add mustard and tomato paste and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture is slightly thickened. Reduce heat, add sour cream and parsley, and stir to combine. Add steak (chicken) and cook until just heated through. Serve over hot noodles.

Cream Cheese Pasta Sauce

Heat together until smooth:

1 cube cream cheese
1 cup milk

Add mushrooms a few minutes before serving if desired. Pour over pasta.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chicken Salad with Grapes and pecans

  • 1 can of chicken
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • big handful seedless grapes, cut in half
  • approx. 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • mayonnaise
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dill weed
Drain chicken and add to medium sided bowl. Add celery, grapes and pecans. Mix. Add and mix in mayonnaise until reaches a good consistency. Add salt, pepper and dill weed to taste. Enjoy as a sandwich used break or croissants.

Restraunt Style Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 Tbs packed brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Mix all but corn starch and 1/4 cup water in sauce pan and begin heating. Mix corn starch and water in a cup and add to pan. Heat until sauce thickens to desired thickness (add water to thin if over-thickened by accident).

Ham Fried Rice

  • Cooked rice (day old rice is best!) 
  • Cooked ham, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced (opt)
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, diced (opt)
  • Mixed veggies (frozen or fresh, I like broccoli, carrots, peas, and corn)
  • 2-4 eggs, beaten
  • Soy Sauce
  • Brown Sugar (opt)
  • Salt/pepper
Cook rice (do not over cook!). Sauté onion and bell pepper in some olive oil in a large frying pan. Add veggies and stir fry until mostly done (add more oil as needed). Add the ham and cook until hot. Cook eggs in separate pan and add (or in same pan if there's room). Add some soy sauce and 1-2 Tbs brown sugar (decreases the salty taste of the soy sauce); mix. Add the rice, mix and sauté. Add salt/pepper; Add more soy sauce to taste (careful not to add too much!).

Asparagus with turkey or bacon

  • Asparagus
  • Oil
  • bacon or turkey sandwich meat
Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Rinse Asparagus and snap off ends using hands. If using bacon, cook in frying pan for a few minutes (until halfway done). Place bacon in baking sheet. Saute asparagus in bacon fat, or if using turkey, saute asparagus in 1/2 Tbs oil. Place asparagus on baking sheet in between bacon, or wrap in turkey/bacon (1-3 asparagus for each piece of meat). Cook in the oven at 400° for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Chicken and Rice Soup

  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 1.5 cups celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 tsp sage (I prefer a little less, but Breno loves it like this)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or real garlic)
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked brown or white rice
Season chicken with salt and pepper (remove skin from chicken for a "healthier", but in my opinon, less tasty soup). Heat an 8-quart pot on medium. Sear chicken in oil until golden, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix onions, celery, carrots, sage, garlic, thyme and nutmeg. Add vegetable/spices to chicken. Satue until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add broth and water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes (until chicken pulls away from the bone). Remove chicken, discard bones and add meat back to the pot. Mix in rice just before eating and heat 2 to 3 minutes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Aunt Bev's Famous Apple Pie

7 tart apples, peeled and cored
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or to taste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt to taste
2 recipes unbaked pie shells
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the apples into 1/4 inch slices.
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, flour, nutmeg (or apple pie spice), and salt; mix thoroughly. Pour the spice mix over the apples and stir until the apples are coated.
Line one crust in a 9 inch deep dish pie pan. Place the apples in the pie crust. Dot the apple filling evenly with butter. Fit the top crust over the apples. Press the crust down gently and cut 3 or 4 slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape while the pie bakes
Bake in the preheated oven 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Check the pie after the first 30 minutes of cooking: if the crust is already browned reduce the heat to 350 degrees F to allow the apples to cook without the crust burning (I just put aluminum foil around the crust when I first begin cooking it).

I like to put egg white on bottom pie crust and top of top crust. I also sprinkle top of crust with sugar.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oat Bread

  • 2 and 1/2 cups of water (cold if using a machine, warm if by hand)
  • 1 cup of oats (or 1 and 1/2 to get a little more whole grain in there)
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour (or use a little over 1 cup, again for the whole grain)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP butter (or canola oil so dairy free)
  • 5 cups white bread flour (I only use 4 cups since I add in extra oats and whole wheat)
  • 1 pkg yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp jar)

Put in bread machine in the order listed and set to dough cycle, allow it to rise in the machine (it will be huge)

By hand:
knead til smooth- 5-10 min. Double cover in a big bowl (1-1 and 1/2 hours)

After dough has finished rising, punch down, cut in half, shape like loaf, put into two greased loaf pans (don't kneed it anymore or fold it over- it will create a crease- simply cut it, put it in the pan and mash it down into a loaf). Preheat the oven to 350°. Allow dough to rise (roughly double) in the pans for 30 min. Bake 30-40 min at 350. Take out of oven, allow them to cool in the pans for a few minutes and then completely on a rack. Wrap one of the loaves in saran wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze it. Thaw it in the fridge for a day before putting it out.

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup PLUS 2T canola oil (can use 1/2 cupt melted butter-cooled- if not eating dairy free)
  • 1/4 c. apple juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin (I use "Libby's" out of a can)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin tins. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, combine oil, juice, eggs and pumpkin. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, stirring until well-moistened. Spoon into tins and bake for 7-10 minutes.

Non-Dairy Banana Bread

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup oil (may substitute 1/2 cup applesauce)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 ripe (really ripe-- covered in brown spots, ripe) bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. water (you can use Milk or SILK if you wish-- it's just as good with water, though!)

Stir flour, soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside dry ingredients. Combine oil and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the two (already beaten) eggs, bananas, vanilla and water. Add flour mixture until just combined. (Don't mix it up too much or you'll get a big CRACK in the top of your banana bread loaf when it's done cooking). Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350° until toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry (about 1 hour and 10 min.).

Pigs in a blanket

  • Hot dogs
  • Crescent rolls
  • Cheese
Roll up 1 hot dog and cheese slice in each crescent roll dough triangle. Follow cooking directions on crescent roll can.
I cooked this on my mission all of the time. It's also one of dad's favorites!

Chocolate cake/cupcakes


  • 3 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    6 tablespoons cocoa
    2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons vinegar
    3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups water

1. Sift first 5 ingredients together in an ungreased 9x13-inch pan.
2. Make 3 wells and in each hole place the next 3 ingredients.
3. Pour 2 cups of water over top and mix with a fork or wire whisk.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Serves 16-20 people.

For cupcakes, perform steps 2-3 in mixing bowl. Cook 350° for 20 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.

Ramen Surprise


  • Ramen noodles
  • olive oil
  • frozen vegetable stir fry
  • soy sauce
Cook Ramen per package directions (do not overcook)! Defrost frozen vegetables in microwave. Add olive oil to skillet and saute vegetables for a few minutes. Add cooked noodles and soy sauce to taste and saute again. A Rodrigues family favorite!

Egg Drop Soup

  • 4 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water)
  • 2 large slices fresh ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch (I add a little more to increase thickness)
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1 tsp salt (if using stock, do not add if using broth)
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 scallions, diagonally sliced (i.e. spring/green onion)(opt.)
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro (opt.)
  • Shrimp (opt.)
Combine stock/broth-water, ginger and garlic in a large saucepan and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Discard the ginger and garlic. In a small bowl stir together cornstarch and water. Bring soup to low simmer and add cornstarch mixture. Stir until the soup is slightly thickened. Stir in salt (unless using broth) and pepper. Whisk together egg and oil in small bowl. Remove soup from heat. Pour egg mixture through spokes of a fork 6 inches from soup while stirring soup in a big circle, one direction only (you'll need 3 hands for this or some clever ingenuity). Stir in scallions, cilantro and shrimp.

Split Pea Soup


  • 8 cups cold water

  • 1 small ham hock (I usually use precooked ham)

  • 1 lb split green peas (about 2 cups)

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced

  • 1 large celery stalk, diced

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • small bunch parsley

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ground black pepper

  • croutons

Combine water, ham and split green peas in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Stir in carrot, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Simmer until ham hock and peas are tender, about 1 hour more. Season with lots of ground black pepper to taste. Remove the ham hock. Discard bone, skin and fat. Dice meat and return to soup. For a thicker soup, simmer to desired consistency. Garnish with croutons.

Lentil soup


  • 3 Tbs olive oil

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

  • 3 medium celery stalks, diced

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 sliced bacon, diced or ham, diced (optional, but makes it very good)

  • 8-9 cups water

  • 2 cups lentils picked over and rinsed (1 lb bag)

  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (I use italian flavored and then omit the thyme)

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1.5 tsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1-2 tsp salt (more if you use water, less if you use broth etc)

  • ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bacon/ham and cook, stirring ocassionally, until tender but not browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in water, lentils, tomatoes and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30-45 minutes. Stir in balasmic vinegar, salt and ground balck pepper.

Recipe from The Joy of Cooking

Olive oil and garlic pasta


  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4-6 garlic cloves minced (or more!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (dried = 2.5 Tbs, I use less than this)
  • ground black pepper
  • salt

Follow cooking directions for pasta (don't forget to add salt to the water! 1 Tbs salt per pound of pasta). In a pot, add olive oil and saute garlic until pale gold. Remove from heat and add parsley. Add cooked pasta to pot. Mix. Add pepper and salt to taste. Add Tomatoes or olives for a new taste.