Daily Tidbits

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Red ornament and packages

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Homemade Pizza

Printable Recipe
~1 large pizza or 6 small

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 T yeast
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 1/3-3 cups flour
  • pizza sauce
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
  • your choice of toppings
Cooking Directions
  1. Stir sugar into water, add yeast and proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in salt, seasoning and oil.
  3. Add about 2 cups flour and mix, forming a small ball.
  4. Add flour as needed and knead until smooth and elastic--about 10 minutes. (I put it in my mixer with a dough hook.)
  5. Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled--about 45 minutes.
  6. Roll it out and top with sauce, cheeses and toppings.
  7. It will make 1 normal size pizza or about 6 smaller ones.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Holly's Note:
My boys like making their own individual pizzas. You can also do calzones instead of pizzas. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Still Life 2008, used with permission from Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage.

Happy Thanksgiving. May you find many reasons to be grateful today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Amish Friendship Bread

Printable Recipe

Day 1: Receive the start or make your own (see the bottom of this post for a starter recipe) Do not refrigerate the bag. Just leave it out on your counter.
Day 2-5: Mush the bag
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk to the bag; mush to mix
Day 7-9: Mush the bag

Day 10: Bake! Mush the bag, then pour the batter into a glass or plastic bowl.
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk and mix with a wooden spoon.
Fill 3 gallon-sized Ziploc bags with 1 cup batter each and give the bags to three friends with a copy of this recipe. Or freeze them for later.

To the remaining batter in the bowl, add the following:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
nuts are optional

Mix it together with a wooden spoon. Grease two loaf pans and coat the pans with a cinnamon sugar mixture. Divide the batter between the loaf pans and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Cool in pans for ~10 minutes before removing.

You can also make muffins. They're delicious. I make one loaf of bread and do the rest as muffins. Bake as you would regular muffins.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter, if you don't have one

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk

Put all three ingredients in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and mush it until well blended. Consider this Day 1. Follow the same directions as you would for the bread, as if someone had handed you a starter, rather than making your own! Do not refrigerate the bag. Just leave it out on your counter.

Day 2-5: Mush the bag
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk to the bag; smoosh to mix
Day 7-9: Mush the bag

On Day 10: Mush the bag, then pour the batter into a glass or plastic bowl.
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk and mix with a wooden spoon.
Fill 3 gallon-sized Ziploc bags with 1 cup batter each and give the bags to three friends with a copy of this recipe. Or freeze them for later. Make your bread as directed.

Holly's Note* (amended):
Normally a friend gives you a starter of Amish Friendship Bread and 10 days later, you make bread and give starters to other people. You can make your own starter though. It's easy.

My family loves Amish Friendship Bread. I, however, am always reluctant to give away the starters. I should just ask people if they want one, but I don't. I freeze them! On day 10, when you divide up the starter into plastic bags, just freeze those bags. When you want to start some bread, just thaw one out and treat it as Day 1.

You can also just take one bag of starter and make bread with it, as is. Just thaw it, dump it in a bowl and follow the recipe for Friendship bread. This is a very forgiving recipe. I've only done one bag for 8 or 9 days, and it turns out just fine.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pork Chops with Gravy

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup bread crumbs
1 t. parsley
1 t. thyme
1 t. season-all or additional seasonings of your choice
4 bone-in pork loin chops
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. oil or butter for browning
2 T. butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
2 T. cornstarch, mixed in 1/4 cup cold water, optional
Additional beef bouillon to taste

Whisk egg and milk together. Combine the bread crumbs, parsley and thyme in another shallow bowl. Sprinkle pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dip chops in egg mixture, then crumb mixture.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook pork chops in oil for ~2-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to an ungreased baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for about 10-15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.

In the same skillet, melt butter. Stir in flour and remaining salt and pepper until smooth; gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the cornstarch/water mixture if necessary. Add additional
bouillon or other seasonings to taste. Serve gravy with pork chops and mashed potatoes.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe at Taste of Home. I modified it significantly, mainly because the original recipe called for a milk gravy made with whipping cream and it wasn't as good as a broth-based gravy. I also only had dried herbs, so I played with the measurements there too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Printable Recipe
Makes ~12 muffins

1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white and 1/2 cup wheat)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake about 16-20 minutes. If I bake them for longer than 16 minutes, they get dry. Serve warm.

Holly's Note: I found the original recipe at Bake or Break and I modified it slightly. We love muffins. They freeze well. I throw them in school lunches and they're thawed by lunch. Or you can pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Easy Brownies

Printable Recipe
~16-24 brownies

1 12-ounce bag chocolate chips (whatever you like)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate chips. Stir constantly and remove from heat when chips are fully melted. In the same pot, blend in the sugar. Then add eggs, blending fully one at a time. Add vanilla, salt and flour and beat until air bubbles form in the batter. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe at
My Kitchen Cafe. I suggest you check it out. There are lots of good, easy recipes there. I honestly prefer my regular brownies over these, but this recipe has a texture reminiscent of store-bought mixes without that tell-tale store-bought taste that always gives away that they're from a mix! These are very chewy and fudgy. I used milk chocolate chips because that's what I had on hand. I think they would be even better with semi-sweet, Special Dark chips, or a mixture. You could even go so far as to use mint chips.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mashed Potatoes

Printable Recipe

Heat a pot of water until it's boiling.
Peel and chop however many potatoes you need.
Add them to the already boiling water.
Cook until the potatoes are done...15 minutes maybe?
Drain the potatoes.
Return the potatoes to the pot and place back on the burner. Stir the potatoes for a minute or until all remaining water is gone. I like to add minced garlic at this point.
Heat a good-sized chunk of butter (not margarine, because margarine is yucky) and a splash of real whipping cream (not milk, not water, not half and half: real whipping cream, preferably heavy whipping cream) together until the cream is warm and the butter melted.
Add the butter/cream mixture to the potatoes and mash it all together with a potato masher.
Season with Pepper.  Pepper is important.

Place it in a bowl, and serve. Preferably with a yummy gravy.

Holly's Note:
By adding the potatoes to the already boiling water, they absorb less water. By returning them to the hot pot after draining, you heat away any remaining water. Trust me when I tell you that this makes a big difference in taste and texture. When you heat the butter and cream before adding it to the potatoes, you don't cool them down and again, trust me when I tell you that it makes a difference. The cream alone makes a much better, much creamier mashed potato.

I like to add minced garlic after I've drained the water and put it back on the burner. 1-2 cloves, depending on your taste.  

My son calls them the best mashed potatoes in the world.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Andes Mint Chunk Cookies

Printable Recipe
~3 dozen cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 package Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips
2 2/3 cups flour

Cream together butter and sugars. Add baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs. Stir until mixed. Add Andes Baking Chips and then flour. Chill for approximately 1 hour (I don't do this). Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 for ~8-10 minutes.

Holly's Note:
This recipe is found on the back of the bag of Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips. It was pretty good. I think that next time, I'd add some regular chocolate chips too.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Freezing Cookies

I don't like to freeze cookies. I do, however, love to freeze cookie dough. Just mix up your favorite cookie recipe like normal. Use a medium-sized scoop and place drops of dough on a cookie sheet or other kind of pan. Place that cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once the dough is frozen, remove from the pan and place in a storage container. I use an old Otis Spunkmeyer tub that came from an over-priced fundraiser at the school. However, it is perfect for storing your own cookie dough, after you've used the good, yet over-priced stuff.

When you want to bake cookies, simply preheat your oven to 325 and place the frozen dough on the cookie sheet. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until done.

You can have fresh-baked cookies any time, in any amount. Want a whole dozen? No problem. Want just 3 or 4? No problem. 

Holly's Note:
This is such a life saver. I normally bake one or two sheets of cookies and then just freeze the remainder of the dough.

I was asked to take some cookies to a church social this weekend and I just pulled out a bag of frozen Snickerdoodles, baked them up and delivered them.  My boys love eating the frozen cookie dough though, so often I think I have dough and then I go to get it and I don't!

I haven't found a recipe yet that doesn't work frozen or with the 325, 16-20 min combination.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chocolate Mint Bars

Printable Recipe
~16 bars

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 t. peppermint extract
1/2 cup flour

Mix together, well. Pour in a greased 9 x 9 pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

2 T butter, softened
1 T. milk

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 t. peppermint extract
green food coloring (optional)

Spread on top of cooled brownie. This is a thin layer. Chill

Melt together:
~1 T. butter
1 square unsweetened chocolate

Stir in 2 T. powdered sugar. Spread over mint layer. Chill and store in fridge.

Holly's Note:
These are simply divine. Easy to make and yummy. Trust me when I tell you that it's really easy to eat the whole pan. Not that I've ever done that of course...

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Printable Recipe

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. salt

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, beat together. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Chill dough for about an hour. Roll into balls, and roll those balls in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar: 2 T. sugar/2 t. cinnamon.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly brown, but still soft.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Never Forget

Where were you that September day?
Is your flag flying today?
Are you registered to vote in the upcoming election?
Have you forgotten?
Do you think it's important to remember?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lime Slush

Printable Recipe

Combine in a large sauce pan:
4 cups water
4 cups sugar

Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large 2-3 gallon container, mix:

1 small package lime jello
juice of two lemons
juice of two limes
7 cups cold water
1 large can (~48 oz.) pineapple juice

Add cooled, sugar water. Stir it all together and freeze. (A big plastic bowl works well for this.)

Every 8 hours, mash the mixture with a potato masher. Do this for several days, until the mixture is frozen, but slushy.

The key to this is mashing it for several days. The more you mash it, the fluffier it gets. You get more slush and more volume.

To use:
Mix 1 part slush with 1 part Sprite (lemon/lime soda).

We fill a 2 quart pitcher with slush and mix it with 1 liter of soda.

This recipe should make at least 4 large punch bowls (2 qt pitcher to 1 liter of soda).

Holly’s Note:
This is perfect for entertaining, especially church functions or receptions.

Marshmallow Fudge

Printable Recipe

1 can evaporated milk
4 3/4 cup sugar
15 oz. Hershey bar
2. pkgs semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 t. vanilla
chopped nuts, to taste
1 jar marshmallow creme

Mix chocolate, nuts and marshmallow creme. Combine milk and sugar and boil for not more than 5 minutes. Pour over chocolate mixture and mix together. Pour onto a greased jelly roll pan, spread and allow to cool. Cut into squares.

Holly's Note:
This is one of my mom's traditional Christmas treats. It's divine.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Root Beer BBQ Sauce

Printable Recipe

1 cup root beer
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 T. dark brown sugar
1 T. molasses
1 t. liquid smoke
1/2 t. grated lemon peel
1/3 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1 T. honey
some soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer and sauce is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups--about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool slightly. Transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate. Can be made 2 weeks ahead of time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Printable Recipe
Serves 4-6

1 cup chopped onion
1 t. minced garlic
3 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. cumin
1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 t. taco seasoning
1 t. Mrs. Dash Chipoltle seasoning
1 can corn, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

In a large saucepan, saute the chicken in a bit of oil for about 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, broth, tomatoes, spices and vegetables. Simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Combine cornstarch and water and add to soup to thicken it. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute or two.

Top with cheese and serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Maple Glazed Ham

Printable Recipe

1 4-6 lb ham
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple flavored syrup
1 T. mustard

Mix it together and spoon it over your ham, the last 1/2 hour of cooking.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Beef Stroganoff

Printable Recipe
Serves 4-6

Round steak works well--probably a pound or two, I don't know. Cut it into strips and flour it, then brown it in oil or butter

2 c. water
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can mushrooms, drained

Stir together and let simmer for an hour.

1 c. sour cream right before serving

Serve over noodles (1 box or 1 lb package: twistie or farfalle work well) and fret that it’s not as good as your mom's.

Holly's Note:
This is my mom's recipe and no matter what I do, it’s never as good as hers. So every time she visits, we have her make it for us!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Maple Bacon Breakfast Muffins

Printable Recipe
Makes about 12 muffins

2 cups flour
8-10 bacon strips, cooked and diced
3 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup maple syrup

Combine flour, bacon, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, milk, oil and syrup. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened.

Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 for 16-20 minutes or until done.

Holly's Note:
I like more flavoring, so I don't drain the bacon too well (I know, I know) and I add a bit of maple extract too. This recipe originally came from a Quick Cooking magazine.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Peanut Blossoms

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Cream together butter and peanut butter. Gradually add sugars. Mix well. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients.

Shape dough into balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place and unwrapped chocolate kiss in the center. Press firmly and bake 2 minutes longer.


Holly's Note:

I've also done these in mini muffin tins. Just roll a small ball of dough, dip in sugar and place in a greased or lined mini muffin tin. Press an unwrapped chocolate kiss upside down into the dough. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. I actually prefer these cookies done this way.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cookie Secrets

I once made 400 cookies for an open house for my husband's new office. My Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies garnered me a marriage proposal that evening. I was in the conference room and an older gentleman and his wife came in. The man asked if I was the one who'd made the cookies. I replied, "Yes." And he said, "This is the best cookie I've ever eaten. Will you marry me?" I laughed and said, "Thank you, but I'm already married to Dr. B." His wife slapped his shoulder and said, "You can't take her home too!" It was funny.

Other than having terrific recipes, I only have one cookie baking secret. It's my scoop. I use the Pampered Chef Medium Scoop. It's terrific. Every cookie is uniform and nice and thick. Every baker should have a medium-sized scoop for baking cookies.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Candy Corn Chex Mix

Printable Recipe

4 cups Corn Chex
4 cups Honey Grahams
2 cups coconut
1 small package slivered almonds

In a saucepan, combine:

1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
3/4 cup butter

Boil for 2 minutes, pour over Chex mixture. Mix together and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rosie's Baked Beans

Printable Recipe

1/2-1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onions
2 cans (31 oz) pork and beans
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, drained
1 cup catsup
1 can (16 oz) butter beans, drained
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T. liquid smoke
3 T. white vinegar
1 t. salt
dash of pepper

Brown ground beef, drain. Put in crock pot. Brown bacon and onions, drain. Add to crock pot along with remaining ingredients. Stir well. Cook on low for 5-9 hours.

Holly's Note:
This recipe came from a dear friend of mine and are named for her. They're delicious.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Printable Recipe

  • 4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 packages frozen broccoli/cauliflower blend (parboil for 1 minute and drain)
  • 3 cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 t curry powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix vegetables with soup, mayonnaise, and curry.
  2. Add chicken pieces, mix well.
  3. Dump into a 9 x 13 pan.
  4. Mix together the butter, parmesan and bread crumbs.
  5. Spread over the top of the casserole.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until bubbly.
Holly's Note:
This is seriously one of my kids' favorite meals.  My non-veggie eater will inhale it.  It's easy and a great way to use up leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tuscan Chicken

Printable Recipe

2 boneless chicken breasts

1 T. olive oil
2 tomatoes, diced
2 T. minced garlic
1/2 t. Mrs. Dash Tomato-Basil-Garlic seasoning
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

Grill the chicken breasts. While the chicken is cooking, saute the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil over low heat, until the tomatoes are soft. About 10 minutes. Stir in the seasoning and about 1/2 the basil. Saute for another 2 minutes. Top each chicken breast with some of the tomato mixture, sprinkle with the remaining basil.

This is really good with salad and wheat bread rolls.

Holly's Note:
This recipe originally came from the cookbook Eating for Life, by Bill Phillips. It called for capers instead of garlic, but we prefer the garlic, so I changed the recipe and renamed it. ;) The Mrs. Dash seasoning really adds flavor. It's easy to double or triple.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Printable Recipe


4 cups sugar
2 pt. light karo syrup

Bring to a rolling boil and add:

1 lb. butter
1 pint whipping cream
1 large can evaporated milk

Have the butter cut into small chunks and ready. Add butter and cream a little at a time so mixture never is quite boiling. Cook to firm ball, test in cold water. Remove from heat and add 1 T. vanilla. Pour immediately into pans that have been greased and lined with nuts. Cut into squares and wrap pieces in waxed paper.

Holly’s Note:
This is one of my mom’s candy recipes. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without her treats. Just looking at the recipes brings back memories. These are melt in your mouth delicious. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Noodle Casserole

Printable Recipe

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cups of frozen veggies (whatever you like, broccoli, corn, peas, carrots, mix them all together), parboiled for one minute
1 cup of cooked noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of mayonnaise
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 t. season salt
2 eggs, beaten
4 t. minced onion

Mix it all together and put in a 9 x 13 pan. Top with crumbled crackers (any kind will do, we like Ritz). Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Holly’s Note:
This is one recipe that a dear friend brought to us when I was on bed rest during one of my pregnancies. It’s good, easy and freezes well.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Peanut Butter Criss-Cross Cookies

Printable Recipe

1 c. shortening
1 c. peanut butter (chunky is best)
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1/8 t. salt
2 t. baking soda

Cream shortening and peanut butter, add sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Roll into small balls, place on cookie sheet and with a fork, press a criss-cross into each cookie. Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pork Tenderloin and Veggies

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin

6-8 carrots
16-20 new potatoes, cut in half
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 T. olive oil
2 t. rosemary
1 t. sage

Place pork and vegetables in a greased pan. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with herbs and some pepper.

Bake at 450 for 30-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Printable Recipe

1 c. sugar
1 c. white karo syrup
1 c. peanut butter
6 c. rice krispies
1 6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 6 oz. pkg. butterscotch chips

Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together. Combine sugar and karo, stir until it boils. Add peanut butter and mix well. Add rice krispies. Pat ½ of mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Spread chocolate mixture over the top. Cover with remainder of rice krispie mixture.

Holly’s Note:
I have such fun memories of our family camping trips and they ALWAYS included scotcheroos for snacks. I have no idea where the name came from.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pasta Sauce

Printable Recipe

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
Cooking Directions
  1. Brown beef and sausage together.
  2. Drain.
  3. Add garlic and basil.
  4. Stir.
  5. Add tomatoes and tomato paste.
  6. Mix together and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Holly's Note:
This is the same sauce that is the base for my Best Ever Lasagna. I like to make the sauce alone, triple the recipe and then freeze it in 2-3 cup batches. It's easy to thaw for spaghetti or Penne Pasta Casserole.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I love making your own mixes. My friend, Marne, posted some great info about making your own mixes. Thanks Marne!

Check out these links. I can't wait to try some of them:

Recipe Gold Mine
Cyber Kitchen

Friday, June 20, 2008

Honey-Oat Rolls

Printable Recipe

1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
4 T. butter
1 egg
2 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
4 t. yeast
1 t. salt

Heat the water, honey and butter together until 120-130 degrees. Put in breadmaker. Add egg and dry ingredients. Mix. When cycle is completed, turn out and divide into 24 rolls. Let rise for about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter if desired.

Very light and tasty.

Holly's Note:
This is our new favorite bread roll recipe. I use this all the time. The original recipe wasn't a bread machine recipe. I just prefer to let the breadmaker do all my mixing and kneading for me. The original recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Breakfast Muffins

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted

In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. Add egg, milk and butter. Stir until just moistened. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Sprinkle a little cinnamon/sugar mixture on top. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until done.

Makes 12 muffins.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Penne Pasta Casserole

Printable Recipe

Cook one package of mini penne pasta as directed. Drain.
Add one jar of your favorite pasta sauce or about two cups-ish of Pasta Sauce.
I add extra dried basil and a minced garlic clove.
Mix it all together with some grated mozzarella (or Italian blend) cheese: about one cup or to your tastes.

Put it in a round casserole dish and bake for about 25 minutes.
Serve with salad and garlic bread (or the Herbed Bread Rolls).

Holly's Note:
This is one of our favorite, quick and easy meals. If you like a good, meaty pasta sauce, then use this delicious pasta sauce recipe that includes both ground beef and ground sausage.

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad

Printable Recipe

If you see this photo on another site, without the watermark or without a link and credit back to here, that person copied the photo without permission.

  • 1 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cube butter, melted
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip
  • 6 oz. raspberry jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 bag unsweetened raspberries
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix pretzels, 1/2 cup sugar and melted butter together.
  2. Press into a 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.
  4. Let cool
  5. Blend together cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and Cool Whip.
  6. Spread on top of cooled pretzel crust.
  7. Dissolve jello in water. Add raspberries. Stir.
  8. Pout over creamed mixture.
  9. Refrigerate until set.
Holly's Note:
In England, jello is a dessert not a salad, so The Doctor always eats this after his meal instead of with it. It's a delicious taste sensation because you get salty, sweet and tart flavors all at once. It's also a wonderful addition to BBQ. This is best eaten the day you make it, although it's not bad for breakfast the next morning!

This post has been shared at Food on Friday,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Cake Mix Doctor...Review

About the book:
The Cake Mix Doctor is in! And the prescription is simple: By doctoring up packaged cake mix with just the right extras--a touch of sweet butter here, cocoa powder there, or poppy seeds, vanilla yogurt, sherry, eggs, and grated lemon zest for the Charleston Poppy Seed Cake--even the least experienced baker can turn out luscious signature desserts, time after time. The proof is in the taste, and the taste never stops--from Toasted Coconut Sour Cream Cake to Devilishly Good Chocolate Cake; from a to-die-for Caramel Cake and a Holiday Yule Log to cheesecakes, coffee cakes, sheet cakes, pound cakes, bars, brownies, and those all-important frostings, here are 175 fast, foolproof recipes that will transform the art of home baking in America.

Who could believe these cakes came out of a box? Moist, tender, rich, deep, and complexly flavored, without a hint of artificiality, each cake stand up and delivers. But without any of the fuss of baking from scratch. Anne Byrn, an award-wining food writer and self-described purist, creates recipes that employ a cake mix's strengths--convenience, ease-of-use, dependability, and almost imperviousness to overbeating, underbeating, overbaking, and underbaking.

In addition to the recipes are the Cake Mix Doctor's Q&A's, extensive "Doctor Says" tips, lists--15 Beautiful Birthday Cakes, 15 Cakes That Will Cash in at a Bake Sale--and more, all illustrated in a full-color photographic insert.

The idea behind this book is good, if you use cake mixes. There are some innovative and fun ways to doctor up cake mixes so that they taste homemade.

I don't use cake mixes anymore (except for two recipes: Lemon Sheet Cake and Turtle Brownies), and I think it's just as easy to mix up a cake from scratch, as it is to add a bunch of stuff to a mix.

However, for someone who only uses cake mixes, I think this is a great book. For someone who cooks from scratch, it's a waste of time, unless you want some different ideas for flavored cakes and you can just add some of the extras to your tried and true scratch recipes.

You can purchase your own copy here.

* *
2/5 Stars