Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ian's Birthday Dinner

It is my wonderful husband's birthday today.  Growing up we had a rule at our house if it was your birthday you could have whatever you wanted for dinner (ask my mom about my sister wanting Bean soup when she was like 6 years old for dinner,,, my mom did have to veto that one and tell her no..she said how can I serve a house full of company Bean soup for dinner?)  LOL  I have carried on that tradition with my family... We have had many delicious dinners... for years my son wanted a "Thanksgiving dinner" except with a whole roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, squash, and stuffing and of course lots of cake & ice cream.  When he was young I always took the day off of work to spend with him, and I would pack a picnic lunch of all of his favorite things and take lunch up to his school & eat it with him.  And also bring the class cupcakes to celebrate his day... Gosh I miss those days, he is going to be 18 in a few weeks... where does the time go....sigh.....
Anyways my husband requested steak, potatoes (he really is a meat & potato kinda guy) salad, vanilla cake with vanilla icing, and ice cream.  Do you think I could find a really good vanilla (white) cake recipe.  Tested a couple and they were yuckky :(  So I broke down and bought a boxed cake mix & icing... Geez shoot me now.. yuck cake out of a box & frosting out of a can.... maybe homemade next year honey.. got a full year to test drive them :)
I made him filet mingon, loaded baked potatoes, & salad...

Filet Mingon

4 Filet Mingon steaks (can either use the ones with bacon, I didn't but have used those in the past)
Olive oil
seasonings of your choice ( I used a blend of seasoned salt, Montreal Steak seasoning, onion & garlic powder, paprika, no salt herb blend, cajun seasoning, and chipolete cinnamon seasoning & cracked pepper)

Preheat oven to 375.
In large oven proof skillet, turn heat to medium high.  Pour into pan a couple of Tablespoonfuls of olive oil.  Swirl around pan to coat bottom.  Mix all of the seasonings in a small bowl.  Sprinkle liberally both sides of the steak pressing in seasonings.  Place in pan to sear.  Sear on both sides for around 3-5 minutes  per side until seasonings have formed a "crust" and the steaks are browned on both sides.  Place in oven for around 5-10 minutes.  Check for doneness by lightly cutting into steak ( I press down on my steaks instead of cutting medium well feels slightly firm) then cover steak pan with foil to keep warm.)  I let my steak cook until almost done and use that foil method to let the juices re-collect into the meat and the 5-10 minutes that the steak rests the carryover cooking gets the steak to the right doneness.

Loaded Baked Potatoes

4 Large Idaho potatoes scrubbed clean
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
toppings of your choice ( I use shredded cheese, green onions, thinly sliced, sour cream & bacon bits)
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 375.
On pan with a rim around it place potatoes.  Poke each potato a couple of times with a sharp knife.  Drizzle potatoes with olive oil , rubbing all of the potato with the oil.  Sprinkle liberally over the top with Kosher Salt.  Place potatoes in the oven and bake for around an hour. Remove from oven and check potato doneness with a sharp knife, if inserted easily potatoes are done.  Serve with butter, salt & pepper and toppings.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chicken with Grandma B's homemade noodles

Can I just say that I love homemade noodles....Those storebought cardboard yuckky ones...not so much but homemade melt in your mouth noodles dripping with some kind of homemade broth (soup) on them.... awesome.

My Grandma B always made homemade noodles.... she is such an awesome cook (I will be sharing some of her recipes like cinnamon rolls, and coffee cake, noodles, I could go on and on... ) she used beef short ribs flavored simply with a little onion, salt & pepper then lots and lots of wide homemade rolled out noodles.... They are absolutely awesome.  I took her recipe and put my own little spin on it.  I used this time chicken (but have used short ribs and they are equally delicious) and flavored the cooking broth with carrots, onion & celery along with seasonings.... My husband ate 2 helpings and loved them, and I am so glad that I have extra left to eat on this week .  I used the bones of chicken breasts that I removed the breast meat for (I made fajitas), I left around 1/3 of the meat on them.  You can use whatever pieces of chicken that you like.  Try these they sound like alot of work, but couldn't be any easier....enjoy

Chicken & Homemade noodles

Chicken carcass (I used the the bones of 3 very large chicken breasts I usually leave about a 1/3 of the meat on when removing the breast meat)
1/2 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped (can use baby or regular carrots 2-3 depending on size)
6-8 cups of water
2 cans of chicken stock
seasonings of your choice, I used 1 bay leaf, seasoned salt & pepper, parsley flakes, splash of worchester sauce, no salt herb seasoning blend)


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (additional flour for rolling out and kneading dough)
pinch of kosher salt,
1 egg
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp baking powder

In large soup pot, place all of ingredients (except noodle ingredients) and bring to boil, turning heat down & simmering for around 2-3 hours until meat is done and soup broth is reduced by about 1/3.  Let mixture cool.  When cool. remove chicken bones and remove meat from them and put meat back into the pot.  Taste mixture and adjust seasonings adding more if necessary to make really flavorful broth.  Turn up heat bring broth back up to full boil.

In bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt whisking to incorporate. Mix in egg, olive oil & water until mixture forms a ball in bowl ,might have to add a couple of more T. of water until mixture forms ball.  Turn out onto floured surface.  Knead slightly until dough comes together.  Roll out to 1/4 " thickness. With pizza cutter (or knife) cut into large square noodle shapes.  With large spatula lift noodle off of floured surface shaking off additional flour, and drop gently into boiling stock one at a time stirring well with each addtion of noodle.  Bring back to a boil and boil about 2-3 minutes or until noodles are floating to top.  Check for doneness by tasting noodle (it will hold it's shape, be firm to the tooth and not have a raw flour taste.  Turn off heat.  Ladle the noodles & broth into serving bowls & enjoy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My Aunt Mary called me and asked me to make Galoush for the family... I love to cook so I was happy to oblige..  Galoush is a yummy fall dish, with pasta, meat & tomato sauce.  I serve this with buttered bread & steamed mixed veggies on the side to round out the meal. 


1 box elbow macaroni
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 quart stewed tomatoes
2 cans tomato soup
1 can tomato sauce
1T. worchester sauce
1/4 c brown sugar
seasonings of your choice (I use garlic & onion powder, celery & seasoned salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, parsley flakes)
1/4 c red wine (optional)
1/2 cup water
hot sauce & shredded cheddar cheese ,optional

In large pot cook macaroni in salted water until done, drain.  In large skillet brown ground beef & onion.  Pour off extra fat in pan. In pan that you cooked the macaroni in place meat mixture & all other ingredients (EXCEPT hot sauce & shredded cheese). Bring to a simmer and simmer for around 15-20 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Serve with a little hot sauce, & sprinkle with shredded cheese.  My mom likes kidney beans added to her galoush so if you like them add them....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chili & Cornbread

When fall arrives here in Michigan and the weather cools down all I can think of is warm, steamy comfort food...bubbly mac & cheese , steaming chicken & dumplings, soups, and chili..... yummm nothing says warm & yummy like a good bowl of chili... with cornbread...not that dry, crumbly bland yuck cornbread, but moist, a little sweet & warm, buttery right out of the oven cornbread slathered in butter... (you do know that butter makes EVERYTHING better right :) lol..... all kidding aside... why not try making a big batch of chili and cornbread, sitting down with your family and enjoying.... I have tons of other ways to serve leftover chili as well... Here are a few: 

I love pasta topped with chili and cheese (cook spaghetti or elbow macaroni (for chili mac), heat chili and for spaghetti top it like you would spaghetti with marinera, for elbow macaroni add chili to the cooked macaroni, top with cheese and serve...

Baked potatoes (I roast potates, I use Idaho potatoes in a 375 degree oven (scrub them clean and poke with a knife to stop them from exploding in the oven), drizzle them with olive oil rubbing around so the potatoes is covered and sprinkling them liberally with kosher salt. Roast for around 1 hour.  The skins will be crispy and yummy, and the inside from roasting will not be dry but delicious.  ( if you are using yukon gold or red potatoes adjust the time cause they take less time too cook).  When the potatoes are almost done, heat the chili, when the potatoes come out of the oven, split open & mash the insides a little, pour chili over, add cheese, a little sour cream, and green onion tops.  I also top with a few crushed fritos (I know it sounds wierd, but it tastes delicious and the crunch is yummy too :)

I also love to make nachos with leftover chili.  Heat leftover chili.  Preheat broiler. On a sheet pan lined with foil spread nacho chips out in a layer.  Spoon leftover heated chili, top liberally with shredded cheese.  Place under broiler for a short while to melt cheese, serve with toppings of your choice ( I like hot sauce, sour cream, green onions.  Whatever you like....


1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 onion & green pepper chopped medium fine
3 cans diced tomatoes (I use ones made for chili but can use plain ones as well)
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 c molasses
1/4 brown sugar
1 T. worchester sauce
1 t. minced garlic or 1 clove minced finely
Seasonings of your choice ( here's what I use.... Seasoned salt, & pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, (just a pinch)Italian seasoning,(just a pinch) red pepper flakes (just a pinch, more if you like hotter), garlic & onion powder, no salt seasoning blend and a packet of chili seasoning mix (optional )
1/4 c red wine (optional)- can use beer
1 c water
1 can chili beans (mild or hot)depends on your preferences
1T. hot sauce-more if you like hotter

Brown meat, onion & green pepper in a large pot add seasoned salt & pepper to meat.  Break up meat cooking until meat is done.  If lots of fat drain off.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.   Turn heat down low and simmer for about an hour until thickened.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve with cornbread, & crackers..enjoy


1 1/2 c corn meal (not self rising)
1 c flour
1 egg
3/4 c milk
1/3 c sugar
3 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
2 T. oil
1/4 c miracle whip or mayo
2 T. honey

Combine all ingredients mixing well but not too much...batter will be a little lumpy.  Put into sprayed dish.  Bake at 400 degrees about 20-25 minutes until done, placing toothpick into center of bread making sure it comes out clean.  Brush with butter when out of the oven.  Serve with additional butter & honey.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Leftovers..... Steak Primavera omelets

Leftovers..... not always a welcome thing... Most people tell me that their families HATE leftovers and that they end up throwing them away... I am like with the price of groceries... are you kidding me.... how about making a REMIX.... in Joelle talk......  Folks, here's a little secret... make them delicious and undetectable and nobody will even know they are leftovers... all your family will think is yummy :)

Here's a tale of some leftovers getting a brand new life and lots of ........yum this is really great mom :)  Which this is what this momma likes to hear.....
My husband and I went out to dinner for Sweetest Day which is rare cause I hate going out to eat... ( I know, I know everyone thinks I am nuts, but usually the food is awful :(  I hate spending money on awful things.... and I like what I make much better....So we had leftover Steak  w/ sauteed onions & mushrooms, steamed veggies (zuchini, broccoli, & carrots) and mashed potatoes which I did throw out cause they were awful... (which I think how bad is it when you can't even make mashed potatoes right but ,....that my friends is another story altogether :)  ....

I was wanting to make a yummy breakfast for my family but was looking for something new and different (tired of the same ole stuff)... which lead me to the leftover box from Sweetest Day dinner.... I opened the box and thought what on earth can I do with this.... The veggies made me think of primavera....and then I thought what about the meat....and those potatoes....So I had my "lightbulb" moment and thought hmmm what about a steak primavera omelete....Then I saw those yuck potatoes, and thought alright throw those out, and get out real potatoes, onion & bacon and make your own... Off to the stove I went and the following is what I came up with... hope you all get into the kitchen & use up your leftovers.... My husband while he was eating breakfast kept made this up all on your own?  And I was like yes honey... I did... He was like I would have never thought of that... I said that is why you married me wink.... LOL not really but like to tease him... he is a great sport and loves me & my cooking... Thank you honey,,, love you...

I serve these with toast, you can serve with bagels, biscuits, torillas whatever.....

Steak Primavera Omelets...

Eggs, scrambled ( I use 2 per omelet)
Leftover steak (sliced across the grain thinly)
The onions & mushrooms from the steak (or saute your own in butter/olive oil
The steamed leftover veggies (or whatever veggies you like, broccoli, zuchini, carrots, peppers whatever you have in the fridge...)
salt & pepper
Shredded cheese

Preheat broiler....
In a 6 inch skillet melt a pat of butter, when melted move across pan to coat bottom.  Add some veggies, steak with mushrooms & onions.  Season with salt & pepper.  Saute till heated through.  Add scrambled eggs over top moving around with spatula until set on bottom.  Put in oven for just around 30 seconds to a minute until eggs on top are set then sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice, put back under broiler until cheese is melted.  Slide out onto serving dish... Enjoy

Potatoes, with onions, & bacon

1 T. bacon grease
4 potatoes ( sliced lengthwise and cut into thin slices)
1 onions chopped
salt & pepper
garlic powder (optional, if you like garlic)

In large saute pan with lid, place bacon grease, making sure to melt, on medium high heat.  Swirl around and coat pan.  Add potatoes, onions and seasonings. Mix well coating potatoes, with grease, onions & seasonings.  Place lid on pan, turn heat down to medium low & cook for a few minutes.  With a spatula turn potatoes letting potatoes carmelize and cook. When potatoes are fork tender & the onion is done, take lid off of pan and turn up heat to crisp up the potatoes.  Watch carefully so potatoes dont burn.  Serve with omelete....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Dinner

I have had the most awful day today =(  So not a good day all the way around... Thought to myself I might as well have a yummy dinner to make up for this awful, awful day.... (it is 3:00 and the baby has had 3 baths and 3 changes of clothes, and 3 changes of clothes myself =(  well only 1 bath for me lol.....
So was going to cook a great dinner for my husband for Sweetest Day tomorrow and thought why not do it today and go out to dinner for Sweetest Day (use up those gift certificates from last Christmas and my birthday lol :)  Hopefully my family will cooperate and let me cook dinner.....(listen to that family =)
Making  Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms, Cumin Marinated Pork Chops, Roasted potatoes w/ bacon & onions, steamed squash & Texas Sheet cake for dessert...

Cumin Marinated Pork Chops
5-6 pork chops
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worchester sauce
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1tsp. cumin
2 T. brown sugar

In a big ziploc bag, place all ingredients (except pork chops), mix together (I wisked the ingredients together in the bag), then place pork chops in.  Seal bag getting as much air out as possible.  Mix with your hands the bag around to coat porkchops in marinade.  Place in a bowl into the fridge (in case bag leaks).  Marinate at least an hour to overnight. Place on greased baking sheet ,disgarding marinade.   Cook at 350 degrees until pork chops are done about an hour.

Texas Sheet Cake
1 stick butter or margarine
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 can Hershey syrup
1 c flour
1tsp cinnamon

Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray and preheat oven to 325. 
Mix together with electric mixer butter & sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix together in another bowl all of the dry ingredients (I wisk the mixture instead of sifting it, much easier).  Alternately add dry ingredients, and Hershey syrup until all the ingredients are incorporated.  Place batter in sprayed sheet pan baking for 30 minutes until done and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  Immediately pour icing over hot cake..

1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 c sugar
1/2 c evaporated milk
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 mini marshmellows
1 tsp cinnamon

In saucepan over medium heat place butter, sugar,marshmellow & evaporated milk stir together.  Bring to boil stirring until marshmellows are melted and entire mixture is rapidly boiling.  Add chocolate chips stirring until melted.  Add cinnamon mixing well.  Pour mixture over hot cake just out of the oven spreading into a thin layer over cake.  Will harden upon standing.  Enjoy :)

Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms
6-12 Whole Mushrooms (stuffing mushrooms in mushroom section of supermarket)
1 can crabmeat drained and flaked
1 pkg Stove Top stuffing (I use Chicken)
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cups water
olive oil

In saucepan put water, sage and butter bring to boil.  When mixture boils turn off heat and add Stove top mixture.  Mix well put lid on pan and let sit for 5 minutes.  When done fluff with fork.  Add crabmeat to stuff mixture mixing well.  Wash mushroom caps and disgard stems.  Stuff each mushroom cap wih 1-2 Tablespoons stuffing mixture place on aluminum foil lined baking sheet stuffing side up.  Drizzle the mushrooms lightly with olive oil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees until done.  Enjoy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beef Vegetable Soup

I so, so, so LOVE soup.

  It warms your soul and your body, makes the house smell good and is good for you.... Add whatever your family likes, and don't put in what your family doesn't like....that is what makes it good and easy to make.  Just dump, cook and dinner is done.  Great for working moms & dads who don't have alot of time.  (I have even not put in the chopped carrot & celery didn't have time and put in a whole package of frozen mixed veggies...turned out fine, just a little more flavorful with them in:)  This is just a basic version of soup, I usually clean out my veggie drawer when I make soup (I usually don't put in green pepper, or broccoli or cauliflower because those veggies tend to overpower a basic soup),,, This is a great way to get veggies into your children. Even my very picky 5 year old loves homemade soup... and it is so yummy....

1 1/2 lbs. cubed beef stew meat (you can also use a cubed roast, cheaper buy it when it is on sale)
8 cups water
1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix
1 pkg. Good Seasonings Italian dressing mix (dry)
1/4 cup red wine
1 carrot chopped (can use baby carrots chopped around 1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery chopped
1/2 package of Frozen Mixed Vegetables
2 T. sugar
1 can stewed tomatoes (cut right in can with kitchen shears who wants to dirty another dish?)
Seasonings of your choice (I use garlic powder, pinch of red pepper flakes, bay leaf, cracked pepper, seasoned salt (go light cause of soup mix ), no salt seasoning blend, parsley flakes,dried onions, splash of Worchester sauce
Wide noodles; uncooked


In big soup pot place onion soup mix, and Italian seasoning.  Add beef to seasonings mixing well to coat beef.  Add remaining ingredients (EXCEPT NOODLES), mixing well.  Cook on medium high bring to boil, turning heat down to low ,place lid on pot and simmer for several hours until meat is tender and vegetables are tender.  Taste mixture to see if seasonings need to be adjusted.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Turn heat to medium high and bring soup back to rapid boil.  Add noodles, stir (I usually add a couple of big handfuls of noodles) and cook stirring occasionally until noodles are done. Serve with bread or biscuits(to sop up the yummy broth)... Enjoy

Can also do this in a Crockpot/Slow Cooker:  Place everything (EXCEPT NOODLES)in a Crockpot/Slow Cooker mixing well.  Cook on Low 8 hours or High 6 hours until meat is tender, and vegetables are done.  Add noodles to soup turning cooker on high (if not already) and stir and cook for around 15-30 minutes until done.  Enjoy.....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homemade Pizza Dough

Well today I made homemade pizza dough... Actually a double batch...some for a deep dish pizza (not really meaning to do that will explain :) & some for some cheesy breadsticks....
My husband use to work at a wonderful pizza establishment and was teaching me how to toss the dough etc.  I was  like okay,, just get the dough into the pan and then into the oven I am starving!!! LOL  He presses the dough into the pan I top it with sauce toppings, and cheese and into the oven it goes... Smelling so delicious we peek into the oven when the timer goes off and it looks like a flying saucer is in the oven.  It has over doubled in volume and my husband goes what happened... I said looks like deep dish pizza tonight... LOL   Tasted awesome and the breadsticks with garlic butter and freshly grated parmesan...delicious... Dough had just the right consistency.... Delicious.... will definately make again..
Just maybe not flying saucer sized but will make again....

Pizza Dough recipe

1 cup warm water (around 110 degrees)
1 pkg. dry yeast (I use rapid rising kind)
1-2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
3 T olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour
Cornmeal for sprinkling on pan
Sauce & toppings of your choice

Mix warm water, dry yeast & sugar in large bowl mixing well until mixture is dissolved.  Add salt & olive oil mix well.  Add flour mixing well until dough forms ball.  Place dough onto floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes until elastic.  Place back into bowl and cover with an additional small amount of olive oil, brushing on top of dough.  Cover and let raise for around 15-30 minutes.  Sprinkle cornmeal onto pizza pan and push dough with olive oil covered fingers onto pan.  Prick dough with fork to ensure that you don't have "flying saucer" dough...Top with pizza sauce, cheese and whatever toppings you like.  Bake at 425 for around 15 minutes.  Enjoy