Monday, February 23, 2009

Recipe for homemade laundry soap

I know this is supposed to be a site for food recipes, but I just tried making this homemade laundry detergent tonight and it turned out really well. Here's the quick reicpe. For further details on the process plus lots more pictures, check out:
1. Using a food processor, grate 1 bar ivory soap
2. Add 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda
3. mix together in food processor.
4. Use 2 tablespoons detergent for a large load of laundry
Half the price of discount detergent!

Coffee Creamers

In hopes of being frugal I have been making my own coffee creamers. They aren't the same as the liquid stuff, but a bunch cheaper, especially if you start with the Costco sized containers of the ingredients.

Toffee Coffee:
1 cup powdered coffee creamer
1/2 cup brown sugar
Combine and stir into coffee.

Vanilla creamer:
1 cup powdered coffee creamer
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Combine in container about twice the size, and then really shake it up. The vanilla does leave little chunks, but still dissolves fine.

I'm still looking for a good chocolate combo. The other day I was making the kids chocolate milks and stirred a little Nesquick into my coffee, which was pretty good, although did taste a little "kiddie."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Scallops and Noodles- Monica's Favorite!

This is Monica's favorite meal of all-time. You should see the raised eyebrows when she tells people that scallops are her favorite food. At $13 per pound we don't exactly have this every night, however I now buy the freezer bag of scallops for about half the cost of the single-serving packages at the seafood counter.
Here's how to make this delicious meal that especially good for Fridays in Lent! :)
Brown scallops in 2 T of butter and 1 t of minced garlic. Place in a bowl.
Add 1 package cooked angel hair pasta.
Stir in 1/2 cup white pasta sauce and 1/2 cup red pasta sauce (or however much sauce you like to have). If any Oshels are coming to dinner make sure to get the super chunky mushroom sauce. (Just kidding.)
Toss together and serve.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cheesy Biscuit Skillet Dinner

This recipe came from my Aunt Donna once upon a time. It can be made all in one skillet, if you have an oven proof one. Otherwise it is easy to transfer into a casserole dish before it goes into the oven.

10 oz can of refrigerator biscuits. (I had Grands on hand, but I think the thinner (and cheaper) ones actually work better.)
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 grated cheddar
3 tbl onion soup mix (divided)
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 can cream of whatever (recipe called for mushroom, I go for chicken)
1 cup grated swiss or cheddar
2 eggs, beaten

Combine cream cheese, cheddar and onion soup mix. Roll each biscuit into a 4" circle. (I just mash them with my hands.) Spoon about 1 tbl of the cheesy mix into each biscuit. Fold the dough in half to cover the filling, and then seal the edges with a fork.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef with 2 tbl of onion soup mix. Drain any grease. Add soup, cheese and eggs. Heat until bubbly.

If you have an ovenproof skillet arrange the biscuits on top. If not, pour the mixture into a casserole and then arrange the biscuits.

Bake at 375 degrees for 22-28 minutes, or until the biscuits look done.

The kids will at least eat the biscuits, and Seth especially likes the meat mixture. Nathanael and I like all of it. :)

Chicken pasta

Chicken (around 4-6 boneless, skinless breasts). Sometimes I grill and slice it, sometimes just cut up in bite sized pieces and season it and fry up in fry pan.

1 cup broccoli (in small pieces)
1-2 cups sugar snap peas
1 jar sun dried tomatoes

Stir fry broccoli and sugar snap peas in just a little olive oil till crisp tender (broccoli takes longer)
Add sun dried tomatoes (I usually use a bit of the liquid its packed in)
Pour in 1 small sized container of 1/2 and 1/2 (the recipe actually called for heavy cream, but I just can't do it...what's the fat content of that stuff??)

Liquid will thicken as it cooks down..

Add a couple shakes of fresh ground black pepper and some red pepper flakes for a little kick.
Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan. Or just sprinkly parmesan on individual portions afterwards. Or both :)

Serve over Pasta of your choice. I like whole wheat angel hair.

We don't have this much because the kids won't eat it (well, they'll pick out the chicken and broccoli and eat the pasta) and its VERY HIGH IN FAT. But very YUMMY. However....its our date night meal on candlelight after the kids have been fed early and banished to the back bedroom with a movie. It's called a low-budget date.

Yummy grilled chicken and veggies

However many chicken breasts you want (I use boneless, skinless)
Marinate for HOURS in a ziploc bag in a bottle of Italian dressing.
Chuck it on the grill when you're ready. Pete likes to add a bottle of beer. Not to the recipe, just to sip on while he grills.

slice up (thinly):
1 zuchini
1 yellow squash
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion (seperate into rings)

Put veggies on broiler pan and drizzle with more Italian dressing or I've also drizzled with just Olive oil and some Italian seasonings.

Sprinkle all with minced garlic, black pepper and fresh Parmesan.
Broil veggies to disired level of doneness. We prefer ours a bit crisp tender. Our kids prefer the daylights cooked out of them. I usually grate extra parmesan on top after it comes out of the oven.
Delicious served over rice (wild rice is our fave)

I made this up, so sorry amounts are not specific!

Chicken broccoli casserole

1 box Uncle Bens wild rice (prepared according to pkg. directions)
3 cups cooked chicken or leftover turkey (diced)
1 bunch broccoli (cooked)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 oz. shredded cheese

Layer in 9x13 pan: Rice, chicken, broccoli, combined soup and mayonnaise, cheddar cheese. Cover and bake 1 hr. at 350 degrees.

This is the ONLY meal and I repeat...the ONLY one NO ONE whines about in our house. They even eat the broccoli in this one and don't pick it out.


1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. light mayonnaise (or go all out and DON'T use light :) )
1 clove garlic, minced
14 oz. can artichoke hearts
1/3 c. roasted red pepper
(I've also added spinach to this or used spinach in place of the artichoke hearts)

Stir Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and garlic til smooth. Add artichoke hearts and red pepper (drained). Spread in 8 x 8 dish or pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Serve with crackers or baguette bread. I've even added leftover chicken to this and we've eaten it as a weekend meal. It's one of Pete's......"if I was on death row and was getting my last meal, what would I want" meals. Just for future kids won't touch this with a ten foot pole.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chicken Quesedillas with Aunt Dorothy's famous guacamole

This is a tasty meal and a favorite in our house.
Cube skinless boneless chicken thighs and brown with margarine in a frying pan. Season with the following: garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. (By the way, the cumin is the secret ingredient in this and in the guacamole so don't skimp on it.)

Spread out cooked chicken on full or half flour tortilla. Cover entire surface with slices of cheddar. Spread margarine on the outside of both sides of the tortilla and fry both sides.

Top with sour cream and Aunt Dorothy's famous guacamole, crack open a mountain dew, and enjoy!

Aunt Dorothy's Famous Guacamole (a secret family recipe, but I'll blab!)
You will need: 4 ripe avocados, 1 small tomato, 1/2 sweet onion, lemon juice, salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salsa.
Dice avocados, onion, and tomato. Place in a mixing bowl. Season GENEROUSLY with seasonings and add salt to taste. Add in a splash of lemon juice, and two spoonfulls of salsa. I use a hand mixer to blend, Aunt Dorothy does it by hand with a fork or a potato masher.
Hint: if you do all of this and taste it, and you think it's too bland then you have not added NEARLY ENOUGH seasoning and need to add quite a bit more to get it where it needs to be.
My cousins and I can polish off a bowl of this in about 30 minutes!

Meatballs or Meatloaf

This is another dish I throw together. I don't really measure I just throw it in but I am going to try to estimate the correct measurements. It is a very easy recipe and easy clean up.

1 lb ground beef
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 tsp garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
dash of pepper
2 dashes of salt
water to moisten

Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Add enough water to moisten the breadcrumb so it mixes well and is moist. Sometimes I add about 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese to the mixture. When my grandmother used to make this as a meatloaf she used to shape it around a big ball of Mozzarella cheese. You can choose to use mozzarella or not. I usually don't when I am in a rush. You can shape into meatballs and put in a 9x13 pan or put in a bread loaf pan to make into a Meatloaf. Bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 30 minutes. Enjoy!!

Baked Ziti

This is so easy and freezes well. I kinda throw it all together and it is a great dish for giving away.

1 box or bag Penne pasta
1 Jar spaghetti sauce
1 16oz containter Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup. parmesan cheese
You can add parsley, italian seasoning and garlic to this dish also if you wish. You can also add ground beef to the sauce if you want. I make meatballs and extra sauce to serve on the side.

Prepare pasta as directed. Mix all ingredients with the pasta in a 9x13 pan. Mix well!! Sprinkle extra Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Bake uncovered 350 degrees for 30 min. or freeze and then bake when ready to eat.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pizza Cookies

The kids and I made this recipe for pizza cookies today. I'm sure any sugar cooking and frosting recipe would work, but we used the one from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

1/3 cup butter or margerine
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour

Beat butter and shortening on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour. Spread onto a pizza pan, making a 12" circle. Don't make it thinner around the edges (as I did) or it will get too crispy.

Bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes. Let cool and frost and decorate.

Frosting: (Only needed about half, though)
1/3 cup butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
food coloring

Beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly add the milk and vanilla. Slowly beat in remaining sugar. Add more milk, if needed, to get desired texture. Tint with food coloring.

Use a pizza cutter to slice into wedges.

Crockpot Potato Soup

I told you I liked potato soup!

2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cans cream of chicken soup (I think cream of celery would be an even better fit)
1 can chicken broth
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
black pepper to taste

Combine potatoes, soup, broth, green onions, garlic powder and chili powder in crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. (Mine seemed done closer to 6, though.)

Add cheese, sour cream and milk and stir until cheese is melted. Cover and cook on high for 10 minutes. Season with black pepper.

I served it with some bread I made with the Dairyland Rolls recipe, only I turned it into a loaf, which worked well, too.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mexican Lasagne

This is sort of a non-recipe meal, easily adapted to what is in the pantry. I think the original recipe came off of a can of soup, but I can't seem to find it on the campbell's website.

Brown 1# of beef or turkey, tossing in some diced onions if you have any. Add taco seasoning.

Cut 6-8 tortillas into triangles and place into bowl. Stir in a can of tomato soup, or tomato sauce, and 1/2 cup of salsa, and some chili powder. Stir together.

In a casserole dish layer tortillas, taco meat, refried beans, tortillas, meat, beans, and end with tortillas. Add cheese to the top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tater Tot Casserole or TTC

TTC is a staple around here. I've been making it since junior high. I remember getting the recipe from Denise Josi's mom back in my 4-H days. It varies depending on the ingredients on hand, but usually goes something like this:

Brown 1# of either ground turkey or beef with some onion soup mix sprinkled in for flavor. Drain and put into the bottom of a casserole dish. Stir in 1 can of cream of whatever. I usually use chicken, but sometimes celery. Never ever mushroom, as it doesn't exist in my house. Add a layer of tater tots. If I'm thinking ahead I let them thaw a bit first. Add another can of cream of whatever and spread over the top. Sprinkle with "Pure Magic" aka Johnny's Seasoning Salt. Cover with cheese. (Tillamook, of course.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so, longer if the tots were still frozen.

This also freezes really well, so I usually make two and freeze one for later.