August 27, 2014

Cinnamon Syrup

If you are looking for a different flavor or just a change from maple syrup for your pancakes, you will love this recipe! It is quick to make and is done before you know it.   I love cinnamon and this recipe is just a light and perfect amount of cinnamon taste. You will seriously consider licking the pan when you are done.

1/2 cup butter or margarine 
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. soda
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Melt butter at a low heat on the stove.  Add the buttermilk, sugar, corn syrup, and cinnamon.  Simmer at a medium-heat. Once simmering, whisk in the baking soda (this will make it foam) and cook for 10 seconds. Add the vanilla in very last.  Serve warm

Tips: if you don't have buttermilk, you can make it really easy. I usually always make the syrup  this way . 

Buttermilk: 1 tsp. of lemon juice or vinegar in 1 cup milk. Let is sit for 5 minutes then add it to the recipe.  You can't taste the difference and it is super cheap!

Also I feel the corn syrup is optional. If I have it, I put it in.  It probably improves the thickness or texture. It  is a really small difference.

May 25, 2014

Home-made Beef and Bean Burritos

Make your own burritos and store them in the freezer for a quick meal!  These are really easy and you will feel proud that you did it yourself!

1 lb. ground beef, browned
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. cumin
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans

8 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese (optional)

In a large skillet mix together the meat, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin,   Add the tomato sauce and cook on LOW for 10 minutes.  Add the refried beans (and cheese), and blend well.  Cool.

Warm tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. Place 1/2 -3/4 cup mixture in each tortilla.  Fold the sides in, then roll up the tortilla.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Place the burritos in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Heat each one in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Layered Taco Dip

This is a great side dish for any party, or any meal.  It also makes a great left-over snack.  Serve it with corn chips.

1 large can re fried beans
4 avocados
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix

grated cheese
chopped tomatoes
slice olives
green onions, diced

Spread the can of re fried beans onto the bottom of a large plate, dish, or 9X 13 pan.
Smash up 4 avocados and spread that over the re fried beans.  Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream and taco seasoning mix (I usually use 1/2 the taco seasoning  packet).  Spread this over the avocado layer.  Then add the toppings you love.

Spanish Rice

This is a great side dish to any Mexican meal.  This rice tastes like authentic restaurant style Spanish Rice, or even better.

1 1/2 cups white long-grain rice
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cups chopped onions
1 clove garlic

Brown the rice in oil. Add chopped onion and garlic. Saute'

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 Tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Check periodically.  Do not stir at all.  Cook until the rice is soft and liquid is gone.  Serve  with refried beans, enchiladas and shredded lettuce.

May 24, 2014

Baked Potato Bar

Looking for something quick and easy, yet really satisfying?  A Potato Bar for dinner will be great!
As my daughters have gone off to college, the #1 phone call I have gotten is 'HOW to COOK a POTATO"?  So I am going to include the recipe for cooking a potato for my girls! 

Oven-Baked Potato:

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.   Wash your potatoes with  brush in the sink to get rid of any dirt left on them. Brush poke them for a fork or knife, then wrap them with tin-foil (shiny side IN-you want to reflect the heat to the potato)  Bake them for 45-60 minutes. This will give you a soft skin baked potato.  Another method which will give you a crispy skin  is to skip the tin-foil, brush them with oil and lay them on a cookie sheet and bake them like that.  You will know they are done by just squeezing them gently, or poking a fork in them. The fork should go in really easy.

Microwave Baked Potato:

Brush the potatoes with  oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and poke  them with a fork. Microwave  at full power for five minutes. Turn them over and microwave for another 3 to 5 minutes. If still hard in the middle, keep microwaving for 1 minute intervals until done. It could take 15-20 minutes, or longer,  depending on how many potatoes you are cooking at a time.

Slow-Cooker Baked Potato:

Brush the potatoes with  oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and poke them with  a fork. Wrap each potato in foil and lay it in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the lid over top and set your slow cooker to LOW for 8 to 10 hours, or HIGH for 4-6.  This is a great way to cook them without heating up your house!

Toppings for Baked Potato Bar
Shredded Cheese
Cheese and Broccoli:
  *1 can cream of Chicken Soup
  *1 lb Velveeta Cheese (or any soft American cheese), melted
  *1-2 cups frozen chopped broccoli
Sour Cream
Bacon Beets
Green Onions
Butter, salt and pepper

Beef Stew

My family loves beef stew!!  After trying out several recipes, this is our favorite. It is melt in your mouth delicious recipe made in the Crock-pot.  You could easily do this in a pot on the stove as well.

2-3 lbs beef stew meat
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup baby carrots
Potatoes, cubed
1 Tbsp. parsley (optional)
1 tsp. pepper
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 onion diced
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth (in a can)

Toss your beef stew meat chunks with flour and salt in a Ziploc bag or bowl. Brown in the skillet with a Tbsp. of oil (cook until just the outside starts to brown.)  Toss into your pan or Crock-pot. Add all the rest of the ingredients by just pouring on top of the meat. With a large spoon, stir the ingredients together to get even coverage of all the flavors. 

Cook on high for 4 hours in the Crock-pot.

*I sometimes want more gravy when it is done, so using the juices and sauces from the stew, I make a gravy.  (this also helps it go farther when feeding a crowd) You will want to separate the stew meat and vegetables from the juices by putting them in separate containers. Put your gravy in a sauce pan on the stove.  You could add a brown gravy mix, beef bouillon cubes, or just add a cup or two of COLD water with 1-2 TBSP. flour. Whisk it together to remove the lumps before adding it to the stove. Let it heat up and boil again. Add this to your stew meat and vegetables. 

Serve it with bread, crackers, and a glass of milk! 

Hawaiian Haystacks

These are a family favorite comfort food. We love making this for an easy meal for Sundays or lots of company.  Everyone can stack up there plates with the food they like.

2 cups water per 1 cup rice

Bring water to a boil, then add the rice.  Turn down the heat to LOW, cover it with a lid, and set your timer for 20 minutes.  For our family of 8, I make 6 cups a water with 3 cups rice. 

Depending on how much chicken you have, you can go heavy on the chicken or go sparingly and mix it with the gravy. 

Boil the chicken until done, then cut up in chunks. Serve it in the gravy or on its own.

Saute' the chicken (my favorite way). This adds great flavor!  Add a few Tablespoons of oil to a frying pan, and add raw chicken pieces, cut up if desired, and sauté it until it is just barely starting to crisp on the outside.

Cream of Chicken Soup,  a soup can of milk.  Add more milk if too thick.

Toppings-Start with rice on your plate, then add the chicken, gravy, then toppings:
Grated cheese
thawed, but not cooked, frozen peas
tomatoes, diced
Green Onions, diced
Pineapple chunks
coconut flakes
Mandarin oranges
Chow Mein Noodles

May 23, 2014


These hit every chocolate craving you may have!  They are great with ice-cream or just snacking.

1 cup margarine or butter
12 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tbsp. oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Melt the margarine or butter, then take off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients.  Spread in a 13 X 9 inch ungreased pan. 

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cooled.