Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School Spaghetti

My mom got this great kid loved recipie from the Elementary School cooks where she works. It is so yummy, we all gobble it right up! (except for husband who is weird and doesn't like anything pasta)

Brown 1 lb. of ground beef with 1/2 cup diced onion (if you'd like)
Then add either 2 cans tomato paste and 5 cups of water or 4 small cans of tomato sauce and 3 cups of water
Season with: 2 t. sugar, 2 t. salt, 1 t. basil, 1 t. oregano, 1/2 t. pepper and 1/2 t. garlic powder. You could make it more spicy if you'd like but the seasonings are just right for kids!

Simmer the sauce/beef for about 10 mins then add 6 oz. dry spaghetti noodles, and cook until tender about 10-15 more minutes. This is the secret! Cooking the noodles in the sauce makes it so flavorful! ;)


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Back to School

We had fun making some 'school' sugar cookies to celebrate the first day back to school. I couldn't find any cookie cutters to buy so we free handed it. Fun and yummy!

A little trick I use is Sugar Cookie mix in a pouch from Betty Crocker. They are yummy and so easy it makes it more fun to roll them out when it seems like less work ;)

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I also made these apple cupcakes using a recipie from Food network:
They were pretty good. I used cream cheese frosting and caramel filling instead of the apple butter. I really would like to find a good gourmet cupcake recipie. A few weeks ago I went to The Sweet Tooth Fairy in Salt Lake City, YUM!! I've been wanting a really good cupcake ever since! Send me your recipies ;)
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Crock pot Chicken Cordon Bleu

Tonight we tried something new, Chicken Cordon Bleu in the crock pot. Super easy and pretty yummy!
Layer 4-5 chicken breasts (ours were frozen) in the bottom, top with cubed ham (about half the package)

Add some cheese

Then a can of cream of chicken soup

Cook on low 6 hours or so. (can be topped with a prepared stuffing mix for the last 30 mins, we opted not to, since Mommy is trying to loose some weight ;))
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Baked Potato Bar

So this is an old standby, super easy and everyone gets to have what they like. I love using cubed ham, but have also used sausage or seasoned ground beef for the meat.
All of the toppings can be changed up, some of our favorites our: cheese, peas and carrots, sour cream and ranch dressing. Tonight I had some red bell peppers and cilantor, they added a nice crunch and flavor.

Mommys little helper poking the potatoes, her big sister also helped wrap them up in foil. I love baked potatoes and they are so easy!

I enlisted the kids help to fill little bowls with toppings, they of course opted to forgo the peppers and cilantro, I wished I had some peas and carrots they also go for those, but alas we were out of stock...

The girls love to make 'towers' out of everything. Usually it's when they unload the dishwasher, but tonight it was also when they 'set' the table. ;)
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Monday, June 6, 2011

BBQ Meatballs and Cheesy Potatoes

I've been making these BBQ Meatballs for years. We love them! They are easy and oh so good with a homemade bbq sauce. My husband is always happy when I make these for dinner, and they make great lunches with the leftovers too.


Well the picky kidos at our house don't love them as much.... so we tested out the 'help make dinner and you'll eat it' theory again.
They measured and mixed and little sister was even brave enough to help form a few meatballs with the squishy meat mixture.

The bbq sauce is really simple: ketchup, brown sugar, garlic salt and a little liquid smoke.

Heat on stove till nice and bubbly and the sugar has all disolved.

These yummy cheesy potatoes are a favorite that my mom made for me when I was a kid. Big sister loves them too!

BBQ Meatballs
Mix and form into meatballs:
1 egg
5 oz. evap. milk (a pain because the cans are about 12 oz. This time I made some using pwd. milk, tasted just fine! For ideas on using pwd milk visit:
1 c. quick oats
1 t. salt
1/2 c. finely chopped onion (I use dehydrated from a can)
1 t. chili pwd.
1/4 t. garlic pwd.
1/4 t. pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
Bake in a 9x13 dish at 350 degrees for 20 min
Bring to boil:
1 c. ketchup
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. garlic pwd
1/2 t. liquid smoke (sometimes we make without if we don't have this)
After 20 mins in oven, pour sauce on meatballs and cook another 10 mins.

Cheesy Potatoes
Peel and slice potatoes into wedges
Place in a microwaveable cassorole dish
Season with salt and pepper
Add about 1/2 c. milk and 2-3 T. butter
Cover and microwave about 12 mins untill potatoes are soft and done.
Top with lots of shredded cheese, cover and let the cheese melt.
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Yummy Bubble Bread

To go with our dinner tonight we made a Bubble Bread loaf. So yummy and fun, the butter and seasonings get wrapped around each little peice.
Start out with some frozen bread dough (rolls)
Butter (2-3 T.)
Itailian shredded cheese and spices
Let the dough sit out and become thawed but still cold

Have some little helpers cut each roll up into four pieces. They thought it was cool to cut dough with kitchen scissors!

Shape half of the peices into a loaf on a baking sheet, pour on half the melted butter, cheeses and spices, then top with the rest of the dough and toppings.

Let raise till doubled, cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Bake at 350 degrees about 15 mins. We let this one go a little longer than we normally do, but it was still soft and yummy!
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Peanut Butter Bars

We love Peanut Butter Bars. Who wouldn't like a yummy peanut buttery cookie bar topped with delicious Chocolate Frosting? Well not anyone at our house. We made these delectable treats to share with our family at a get together. They are perfect because the recipe makes a lot!
A while back I was venting about how much I loved these but hadn't found a recipe that I really liked so my Mother in law gave me a wonderful idea. She said that she always makes a basic peanut butter cookie dough, then just tops them with chocolate icing. So I tried that out and they were super yummy and easy especially since I had a prepackaged mix.
But today I didn't have a mix and decided to try out a new (good old) recipe from the wonderful Snow family cookbook.
Here it is:
Cream together:
1 c. softened butter/margerine
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 c. quick oats
1 t. soda
Spread evenly in a jellyroll pan (11x17?)
Bake 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes, cool and
Top with Best Ever Chocolate Frosting.

My little helpers are always ready to mix up something sweet. They love dumping ingredients in and watching them mix up... and the best part of all licking the bowl clean!

Kind of a crazy day...First little brother helped by turning on the mixer when it was raised out of the bowl. We had a big mess and he was pretty upset. But we laughed about it and cleaned it up. Little sister had a story to tell everyone about peanut butter everywhere... Then we got interrupted with a phone call and after I have spread the batter in the pan I realized I had forgotten the soda. So scraped it all back in and mixed it up with the soda. But after all the effort they really did turn out wonderful! I will say that they are a bit milder peanut butter taste, so if you like peanut butter possibly spread some on the hot top after they have baked. Enjoy! ;)
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Somewhat Simple
All Things Heart and Home

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Strawberry Topped French Toast

So I thought I'd share a favorite breakfast at our house. French Toast. We love our french toast, and have a little family secret that makes it extra good! We also tested out a new idea from the Meal Makeover Moms: a strawberry topping.

So here's the basics for a good french toast. I love making it battered style with a little pancake mix thrown into the standard eggs and milk. Try it, it's awesome!

Here is our usual toppings for french toast: peanut butter and homemade maple syrup. Now I am very picky about my syrup and have passed on my good taste to my children. I usually pass up pancakes and the like at hotels, community breakfasts ect because I HATE the yucky cold syrup out of the bottle...ewwwww! Also if you haven't tried the peanut butter on pancakes/french toast/waffles it is soooo good!

So here's the idea from Meal Makeover Moms they are nutritionists with some fun ideas, we'll have to try some more out. This is just some frozen strawberries, a little water and some sugar boiled down a bit.

My little breakfast helper. She was so proud of cracking her own egg!

Little sister wasn't so sure about the strawberry sauce (although she is always the first to eat 2-3 strawberries whenever I pull them out to wash) so she tried the dipping method. Overall it was pretty good. But I kind of like sliced fresh strawberries and a little cool whip on top of my french toast better!

A happy little guy, he loves "beckfast time" and "cakes" (he calls french toast and waffles cakes too)
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