I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Easy Gravy

I hear so many people say they can't make gravy. Here is a really easy way to make it. I make this when I don't have enough drippings from chicken, turkey or roast beef.

(makes 2 cups)

*2 cups of chicken, turkey or beef stock
*3 tablespoons fat drippings (optional)
*1 teaspoon poultry season (chicken or turkey gravy)
*1/2 teaspoon thyme (beef gravy)
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon pepper
*1/4 cup cold water
*3 tablespoons corn starch

~Cook fat drippings and broth in a medium saucepan.
~Bring it to a light boil.
~Stir in seasonings.
~In a small bowl or glass mix cold water & corn starch until smooth.
~Add corn starch-water mixture into boiling chicken stock.
~Whisk constantly until gravy is desired thickness.

Vegetarian Version:
-Substitute stock for vegetable broth.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Autumn loves cheese crackers. I think these are a cross between 'Cheese Nips' & 'Goldfish'. These are fun to make with your kids.


*1 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon white ground pepper
*4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
*8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
*3-4 tablespoons water

~In a mixing bowl or food processor, mix flour, salt, & pepper.
~Add butter and pulse or cut until flour mixture resembles course meal.
~Add grated cheese a little at a time until mixture again resembles coarse meal.
~Mix in 3-4 tablespoons water, one tablespoon at a time. Only enough so that the dough forms a ball and sticks to the blade.
~Remove, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1/2 hour or up to 24 hours.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness, directly onto a baking sheet.
~Using a knife, cut 1 inch squares.
~Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crackers are a light golden brown.
~Crackers on edge of pan may get done before the center ones. If this happens just remove the outer crackers and then continue cooking the center ones.
~Store in a plastic bag for up to 1 week or freeze for longer shelf life.

`Substitute salt with garlic salt.
`Lightly sprinkle onion powder over crackers just before baking.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Coney Dog

I love a good coney dog. This coney sauce is very good.

(serves 6)

*6 hot dogs (skinless, in casings, or dearborn)
*1/2 cup onions, chopped (optional)
*mustard (optional)
*1/2 to 1 pound ground beef (depending on how meaty you like your sauce)
*1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
*3/4 cup ketchup
*1/2 tablespoon white sugar
*2 tablespoons white vinegar
*1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
*1/4 teaspoon celery seed
*1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
*1 teaspoon chili powder
*1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon salt

~Place the ground beef and 1/4 cup minced onion in a large skillet, over medium heat.
~Cook, breaking up in crumbles, until beef is browned.
~Transfer the beef and onion to a slow cook and mix in ketchup, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seed, cumin, celery seed, pepper, salt & worcestershire sauce.
~Cover and let simmer for 3-5 hours or simmer over low heat for 1 -2 hours.
~Grill, steam or boil your hotdogs.
~Steam buns (optional)
~Put hot dog on bun.
~Scoop coney sauce over dog
~Add mustard.
~Add chopped onions.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

This is a must for Thanksgiving. I love things that I can make a day or two ahead of time, and this is one of them.

(serves 8)

*1 single pie crust (make your own or buy refrigerated pie crust)
*1/2 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
*2 eggs
*1 (15 ounce) can solid pumpkin puree
*1 (5 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
* 3/4 cup half & half

~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~In a small bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger & cloves.
~In a large mixing bowl, gently beat eggs.
~Stir in pumpkin.
~Mix in the sugar mixture.
~Slowly stir in evaporated milk and half & half.
~Place pie plate on a baking sheet.
~Pour into pie shell.
~Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil (this helps prevent burning)
~Bake for 15.
~Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
~Bake 50 minutes.
~Remove foil from crust.
~Bake for another 10 minutes, or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
~Do not cut until pie is cool.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flakey Pie Crust

I got this recipe from my mom, years ago. It makes for a very flakey pie crust every time. Very easy to work with.

(makes 2 pie crusts)

*1 1/2 cups flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup lard (or crisco)
*1/4 cup water
*2 teaspoons white vinegar

~Whisk the flour & salt together in a medium size bowl.
~With a pastry blender or fork, cut the lard into the flour, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
~Mix water & vinegar together.
~Slowly add to flour mixture a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough comes together into a ball.
~Divide dough into two.
~Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface.
~Put into pie pan, and fill with desired filling.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

A healthy good soup to eat. Very easy to make and quick too. Both of my girls love this soup.  About 210 calories per serving.

(serves 5)

*1 medium size butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & chopped
*2 medium carrots, chopped
*1 stalk celery, chopped
*3 medium russet potatoes, peeled & chopped
*1 medium onion, chopped
*1 garlic clove, minced
*3 tablespoons butter
*4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
*1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional) (use gluten free if needed)

~Melt the butter in a stock pot.
~Add all the vegetables.
~Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
~Pour chicken stock over vegetables.
~Add seasonings.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to low, cover stock pot, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
~Carefully pour soup into blender (or use a immersible blender).
~Blend until smooth.

-substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock.
-add 6 ounces cream cheese the last 5 minutes of simmering, to make a wonderful cream soup.
-add 1/2 cup heavy cream the last 2 minutes of simmering (another way to make cream soup).
-add 1 large apple, peeled & chopped while you are sautéing vegetables.
-if you like like little chunks in you soup (rather than pureed) just take a potato masher and mash the veggies a little bit.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pan-Seared Fish with Tarter Sauce

I do love fish. I have a couple different ways to make it. This being more healthy than the deep fried coated fish that I make. I'm also posting along with this a 'tartar sauce' recipe. To be honest this is very good, but I love the 'white-sauce' that I use for 'Fish Tacos' better. Look under Fish Recipes and you'll see it.


*4 (4 ounce) fish fillets (tilapia, cod, bass etc)
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon onion powder
*1/8 teaspoon dill weed
*1 cup all-purpose flour (use rice flour to make it gluten free)
*1/2 teaspoon corn starch
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*2 tablespoons butter, melted

~Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
~In a small bowl mix seasonings.
~Season both sides of fish with seasoning mix.
~In a pie plate or plate mix flour & corn starch.
~Gently press each fish fillet into the flour mixture, coating both sides.
~Shake off any excess flour.
~Heat olive oil, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
~Cook the fish in the hot oil about 4 minutes on each side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
~Brush with melted butter right before removing from the skillet.
~Serve immediately.

~Add a 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice to butter before putting on fish.
~Add 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper to seasonings.

(serves 6-8)

*1 cup mayonnaise
*1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
*1 1/2 tablespoons onions, minced
*1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.
*1/8 teaspoon dill weed
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper

~In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and minced onions.
~Stir in lemon juice.
~Add salt, pepper, & dill weed.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. (If you don't let it sit, it tastes to much like mayonnaise)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak

No need to go to the Cracker Barrel for a good chicken fried steak dinner. This is so easy to make and very good.

(serves 4)

*4 (1/2 pound) beef cube steaks
*1/2 teaspoon onion powder
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
*1 teaspoon black pepper
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1 1/2 cup whole milk
*1 egg
*1/2 tablespoon tabasco sauce
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 cups vegetable shortening for frying
*4 tablespoons of the dredging flour
*4 tablespoons of cooking fat
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*3 cups whole milk

~Pound steaks to about 1/4 inch thick.
~Mix onion powder, garlic powder, & 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
~Rub seasonings into steak.
~Place 2 cups of flour in a shallow bowl.
~Stir together the baking powder, baking soda,
smoked paprika, pepper & salt.
~In a separate shallow bowl, stir in the 1 1/2 cups milk, egg, tabasco sauce & garlic.
~Dredge each steak first in the flour.
(keep flour for gravy)
~Then dredge the steaks in batter, then in the flour again.
~Pat the flour onto the surface of each steak so they are completely coated with dry flour.
~Heat shortening into a sturdy skillet to 325 degrees.
(I use my cast-iron pan)
~Fry the steaks until a golden brown, turn and brown other side. 4-5 minutes on each side.
~Remove steaks on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
~Remove all but 4 tablespoons oil from skillet.
~Stir in 4 tablespoons of the dredging flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
~Whisk, scraping up browned bits, for about 1 minute.
~Gradually whisk in 3 cups milk.
~Whisk until thick & bubbly.
~Stir in 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
~Serve gravy over steaks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Breaded Pork Chops

Such a simple recipe and yet moist and delicious. Make some good old fashion fried potatoes with onions, a few sautéed green beans & some homemade applesauce to go great with it.

(serves 4)

*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/4 teaspoons dried marjoram
*1 cup italian bread crumbs
*2 tablespoons shortening
*4 pork chops

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a zip-loc bag mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, marjoram, & bread crumbs.
~Beat egg lightly.
~Turn both sides of pork chops in egg.
~Then drop pork chop into zip-loc bag, close and shake.
~Heat shortening in oven proof skillet over medium-high heat.
~Brown pork chops lightly on each side.
~Remove pork chops from pan, set aside.
~Cool off skillet with a very little bit of water.
~Scrape drippings off bottom of pan.
~Return pork chops, and spoon drippings over pork chops.
~Cover (aluminum foil if you don't have a lid).
~Bake for 35-45 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cheese Sticks

Cheese sticks, may not be that good for you, but they sure are good. I do not like store bought ones at all, but these are another story. My daughter Autumn says they are even better than restaurant cheese sticks.

(makes )

*3 eggs, beaten
*1/3 cup water
*1 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
*1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
*1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*2/3 up all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup cornstarch
*4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
*1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese sticks

~Freeze mozzarella cheese sticks for 25-30 minutes.
~In a small bowl, mix the eggs and water.
~In a medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs, seasoned salt, garlic salt, & pepper in medium bowl.
~In medium bowl, blend the flour and cornstarch.
~In a heavy skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees. (or use a deep fryer)
~Dip each mozzarella stick in the flour mixture, then egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture, and back into the egg mixture. Last dip into the bread crumbs. Important to make sure the cheese is completely coated.
~Gently place into the hot oil.
~Fry until golden brown, about 30-40 seconds. (just fry a few at a time to prevent sticking and oil temperature from dropping)
~Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

-Eat plain, or dip in ranch, marinara sauce, or spicy dipping sauce (posted with my onion ring posting).

Helpful Hint:
-Make a batch or two and freeze. You then only have the mess once.
-I'm sure you can spray a cookie sheet with a cooking spray and bake the cheese sticks instead of frying. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

French Toast Sandwich

This recipe is so decadent. It is a wonderful mixture of sweetness, cinnamon & apples. You might even consider this a dessert.

(serves 4)

*4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
*2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
*1 teaspoon butter
*1 large apple, cored & chopped
*1 egg
*1/3 cup whole milk
*8 slices cinnamon bread (or cinnamon raisin)

~Combine mascarpone cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup & walnuts. Mix well.
~Melt butter in a small skillet.
~Add apples, cook until tender.
~Remove apples from skillet.
~Whisk together egg & milk.
~Dip bread in egg mixture.
~Cook bread on both sides until golden brown.
~Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone mixture on one side of bread.
~Top with cooked apple.
~Add another slice of bread.
~Cook until apple filling is throughly heated.
~Serve with maple syrup over sandwich.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brine Baked Potaotes

I urge you to try this. It really does make for a wonderful baked potato. Crunchy on the outside and so soft on the inside. Just put a little butter on it or load it up, either way delicious.

(serves 6)

*6 medium
*1 cup kosher salt
*1 tablespoons garlic salt
*1 tablespoons onion powder
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon seasoned black pepper

~Mix 1 cup kosher salt in 8 cups water.
~Place potatoes in salt water, making sure that they are completely submerged.
~Let sit on counter for 4-8 hours.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~In a small bowl, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, & seasoned pepper.
~Remove potatoes from brine.
~Gently rinse off salt water.
~Liberally coat potatoes with seasoning mixture
~Place potatoes on a wire rack in the middle of your oven. (I put the rack on a cookie sheet).
~Bake for 45 minutes.
~Do not poke or prick potato. It will be soft to the touch when it's done.
~Let the potato set for 5 minutes before eating.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Provolone Mozzarella Chicken

Easy, tasty dinner. Seeing you have the oven on for this, why not throw a green bean casserole and baked potatoes to go with it.

(serves 4)

*6 tablespoons olive oil
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
*1 1/2 cups provolone cheese, shredded
*1/2 slices mozzarella cheese, shredded
*1 egg, beaten
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 cup italian style bread crumbs
*1/4 cup butter
*2 teaspoons garlic, minced
*1 cup chicken stock

~Place chicken, olive oil, & 2 minced garlic cloves to a large zip-loc bag. Seal, and marinate for at least 2 hours.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Dip each piece of chicken in flour.
~Roll each floured chicken breast in egg, coating it well.
~Then roll each chicken breast in bread crumbs.
~Place coated chicken breasts in a greased (I spray with a cooking spray) 9x13 inch baking dish.
~In a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter and 2 teaspoons minced garlic.
~Add chicken stock and simmer all together for about 10 minutes.
~Pour sauce over chicken and bake for 35-45 minutes.
~Sprinkle cheese over chicken and bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cinnamon Pears

My grandmother used to can cinnamon pears, and what a treat it was for us to have throughout the winter. My daughters Tonia & Autumn and my sister Connie absolutely love these. Autumn describes it as, "It's Christmas in your mouth".

(serves 4)

*4 medium sized pears, peeled, cored, & sliced
*3/4 cup water
*3 tablespoons cinnamon hots candy
*1 teaspoon white sugar

~Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
~Bring to a boil.
~Cover, and reduce heat.
~Simmer for 20 minutes or until pears are tender.
~Remove from heat & let cool.
~Store, covered in the refrigerator overnight.
~Stir, serve cold.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hash Browns

Hash-Browns are almost a must if you are planning to make a big breakfast. These will taste like you got them from your favorite restaurant.

(serves 4)

*3 cups potatoes of your choice, shredded
(I use Idaho or Russet)
*1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour (use rice flour for gluten free)
*1 egg
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 - 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying

~Shred potatoes.
~Rinse in cold water, until water is clear.
~Drain, and squeeze dry.
~Put shredded potatoes into a medium sized bowl.
~Mix in onion, garlic, flour, salt & pepper and egg until potatoes are evenly coated.
~Heat oil in a heavy skillet, over medium-high heat.
~When oil is sizzling, carefully place potatoes into the pan.
~Cover the entire bottom of pan, in about a 1/2 inch thick layer.
~Cook until a golden brown on bottom.
~Flip, and brown the other side.
~Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels.
~Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Apple Pie

This is not your everyday apple pie. It is quick easy & delicious. Make your own crust or buy a refrigerated pie crust.

(serves 8)

*1 9-inch double pie crust. (Make your own or buy the refrigerated type)
*1/2 cup butter
*3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
*1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
*1/4 cup water
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla
*4 gala apples, 4 Macintosh, peeled, cored & sliced
(or two types of your favorite apples)

~Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
~Stir in flour and stir. It will make a paste.
~Add white sugar, brown, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, water & vanilla.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce and simmer for 5 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~In a medium-large bowl mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon with sliced apples.
~Place the bottom crust in your pie pan.
~Fill with cinnamon apples.
~Pour 3/4 of syrup mixture evenly over apples.
~Cover apples with top crust.
~Seal crusts around edges.
~Make large slits in top crust (or make a lattice work with crust).
~Gently pour the remaining syrup mixture over the crust.
~Pour slowly so that it runs down into the pie, and sticks to top of pie, not running off.
~Place aluminium foil over edges of pie to prevent burning.
~Place pie of baking sheet, to protect the oven in case of overspill.
~Bake 15 minutes.
~Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
~Bake for 30 minutes.
~Remove aluminium foil from edges of crust.
~Bake another 10-15 minutes.
~Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Onion Roasted Potatoes

This is such an easy potato recipe. I've seen this recipe made with the Lipton Onion Soup Mix, but I really would rather put my own seasoning mix on it. I have control over how much sodium goes in it that way.

(serves 6)

*1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
*2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
*1/4 teaspoon onion powder
*1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper
*1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
*2 pounds red skin potatoes, cut into quarters.
*1/3 cup vegetable oil

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Combine all ingredients large zip-loc bag.
~Shake until well coated.
~Empty into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
~Bake for 40 minutes, stirring them halfway through.
~Turn oven up to 400 degrees, and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

My sisters and I loved this meal growing up. It is so good on a crisp fall day or any other day.


*1 cup Italian bread crumbs
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon pepper
*6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 yellow onion, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 green bell pepper, chopped
*1 red bell pepper, chopped
*1 quart stewed tomatoes
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 teaspoon dried basil
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 cup chicken stock
*2 cups of egg noodles, cooked

~Combine the flour, Italian breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a gallon size zip-loc bag.
~Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
~Put chicken into flour mixture, seal bag and shake.
~Fry the coated chicken pieces until they are browned on both sides.
~Remove from skillet.
~Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, and red pepper to the skillet and sauté until the onion is slightly browned.
~Add the stewed tomatoes, oregano, parsley, basil, and chicken stock.
~Return the chicken to the skillet one the tomatoes are heated.
~Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour. (cook on low in slow cooker for 6-8 hours)
~Add your cooked egg noodles and simmer for another 10 minutes. If cooking sauce in slow cooker add noodles cooked.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Apple Pumpkin Muffins

Apple & Pumpkins are two foods that scream fall to me. These are so good and easy to make. I am not a big pumpkin person, but I do like these.

(2 dozen)

*2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*2 cups white sugar
*1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 large eggs
*1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin
*1/2 cup vegetable oil
*2 cups apple, peeled, finely chopped
(use a sweet apple)
*1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
*2 tablespoons flour
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*4 teaspoons butter, cold

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a large mixing bowl, combine the 2 1/2 cups flour, white sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda & salt.
~In a small bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, & oil.
~Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture.
~Mix just until moistened.
~Fold in Apples.
~Fill into a greased or paper-lined muffin pan.
~In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, & cinnamon.
~Cut in butter until mixture becomes crumbly.
~Sprinkle over muffin batter.
~Bake for 20-25 minutes.
~Cool for 5 minutes.
~Remove from muffin pan.