November 20, 2008

Homemade Mixes

I went looking for a way to make the Pot Roast I posted without using the packets. I am trying to get away from packets because of the sodium and other preservatives in there, I can't even pronounce some of these things. So, when I make the Three-Packet Roast I will probably substitute all the packets. Who knows if it will taste the same, we'll see.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix
From Momadvice blog

½ cup dry buttermilk
1 tbsp dried parsley, crushed
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground pepper


Combine all ingredients in your food processor and grind until it becomes a fine powder. Store in an airtight container. To prepare the dressing: Combine one tablespoon mix with one cup of mayonnaise and one cup milk.

Homemade Italian Seasoning Mix

1/3 cup dried oregano leaves
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion salt
1/3 cup dried basil leaves
2 Tbsp. rosemary leaves, ground down to 1 tsp.
1/4 cup dried thyme leaves

Combine all ingredients and store in a tightly closed container. Store in a cool, dry place.

Brown Gravy Recipe

1/4 cup Soy sauce
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Sesame oil
1/2 cup White wine


Blend all ingredients and cook until slightly thickened.

Three-Packet Roast

This recipe is from Everyday Cheapskate

Here is yet another recipe that I haven't tried yet. I will try it soon although, I think I'll tweak it slightly by putting in vegetables.

I know it seems crazy to post without trying it, but this blog has been a good place to save things. Let me know if you try it and leave a comment.

1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 packet dry Italian dressing mix
1 packet dry brown gravy mix
1 beef roast

Place the roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the dry mixes over the roast. Pour 1 cup water into bottom. Cover. Cook on low for 7 hours.

November 19, 2008

Update on Pineapple Cheese Casserole

I made this the other night! It sounds weird with cheese and pineapple together in the same dish.

4 1/2 out of 6 of us liked it. Jasmine was the 1/2, she thought it was just OK. Elizabeth wasn't thrilled about it. That is a good average.

I liked it enough to make it again. I think I'll make this for Thanksgiving in Kansas City.

November 17, 2008

Birthdays at a Nuggets game

My Mom was in town and decided to take everyone out to dinner and a Nuggets game to celebrate every one's birthdays for the year.

My Mom and Dad

Jennie and David

Pineapple Cheese Casserole

I got this recipe from A Latte Moment blog.
It sounds kind of interesting.
I am going to try this tonight, my Mom is in town and my sister and nephew are coming over for dinner. We are having pork chops and baked potatoes. I've wanted to make this, today seems like as good of time as any to make this for a captive audience. I'll keep you posted.

20 oz. pineapple chunks
3 tbsp. pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup shredded cheese
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter
1 cup crumbled ritz crackers

Drain pineapple reserving 3 tablespoons of juice.
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and flour. Stir in juice.
Add grated cheese and fruit.
Mix well.
Spoon into greased 1 quart casserole dish.
Combine margarine and crackers.
Sprinkle over top.
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes till lightly brown.

November 14, 2008

Teriyaki Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I put this in the crock pot yesterday and had Keith finish it. So,he shredded the meat and put the teriyaki/flour mixture back in. I came home later and had it. I liked it and I am guessing Jazzy liked it, she had two sandwiches. Keith still likes the BBQ pulled pork sandwiches the best, of all the pork shoulders I've been making. I find them in the clearance meat section for about $5.00 each.

This recipe is from the Taste of Home website.

METHOD: Slow Cooker
TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 8 hours

• 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3 pounds), trimmed
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 cup teriyaki sauce, divided
• 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
• 1 can (20 ounces) sliced pineapple, drained

In a large skillet, brown roast in oil over medium-high heat. Cut in half; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the onion, 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender.
Remove roast; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the flour and remaining teriyaki sauce until smooth; stir into cooking juices. Cover and cook on high for 30-40 minutes or until thickened.
Shred meat with two forks; return to the slow cooker and heat through. Spoon 1/2 cup onto each bun; top with a slice of pineapple. Yield: 8 servings.

This coming week

We are so busy this upcoming week, my Mom is flying in Saturday and she'll be here for a week. We are so excited and have lots of plans for this fun-filled weekend especially.

We have a Girl's Weekend planned for Saturday.

We are all meeting for dinner Sunday with a Nuggets game to follow.

Later in the week I am making dinner at my house Monday night. So, I am trying to decide what to make. I think I'll look in my freezer to see if I can use something up in there. That's a whole other story about my freezer, I'll have to write about later.

I think Elizabeth will be making dinner on Tuesday night.

I am not sure what the rest of the week will hold but, I am excited to have my Mom come into town.

November 12, 2008

Upcoming trip to Branson, MO

Yesterday I booked my trip to Branson. I found tickets on Southwest Airlines for $139.00 round-trip. Yeah. I will be there December 4-7. Every year all my sister-in-laws and Mother-in-law have a "Girls Weekend" to do some Christmas shopping and see some shows in Branson. Last year I didn't go (money was tight) but, this year I decided to just do it. I talked to Keith about it and we decided it could be my birthday present. I am so excited to be one of the Monnig Women and their annual trip. This trip is going to be fast, I fly in Thursday at 1:15pm and everyone leaves Kansas City to drive down there at 4pm. And, drive back Sunday to catch my plane by 8pm.

I'll post pictures and blab on about it soon, so look forward to it!

November 10, 2008

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix

I just got this recipe, can't wait to try it.

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
¼ tsp white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder. Add two-three tablespoons of mix to 8 ounces of hot water or milk.

November 8, 2008

My Birthday Ticker

Spaghetti Pie

I found this recipe on the Taste of Home website. I really like everything I have found there. I went looking for this because I had leftover spaghetti to use up.
I made two(I probably should have made three smaller ones) , one with foil in the bottom for the freezer,and ate one on Halloween night. The frozen one we had tonight, after defrosting of course. We do like this recipe and will have it again. Now I've got this blog to refer back to.

TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 35 min.
1 package (1 pound) spaghetti
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 pounds bulk pork sausage
2 cups water
1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Add eggs and Parmesan cheese. Transfer to three greased 9-in. pie plates; press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Set aside. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and Italian seasoning. Spoon into the crusts. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in water and tomato paste. Simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Spoon over sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
Cover and freeze two pies for up to 1 month. Cover and bake third pie at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

To use frozen pies: Completely thaw in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed.

Yield: 3 pies, 18 servings, 6 per pie.

Good Luck Sam's Chapter Meeting

We went to our monthly meeting with the Good Luck Sam's. We went to a restaurant called Bon Ton's Cafe in Old Colorado City for lunch today. We met more new people yet again this time. I do like getting to see all the same people every month to catch up with how everyone is doing.
They give door prizes every time and we won again, second month in a row. This time we won a set of canisters that are black and we're not sure we will use them.

Also, Carol had some brand new rugs to give away, so we picked out a couple for the bus. That was really nice of her. I guess she went to a store that was going out of business and they gave them to her, about 35-40 nice rugs. Wow, and we got to benefit.

November 7, 2008


We went to High School Musical 3!
Jasmine and I met my friend Aleta and her daughter Sarah.
We went out to dinner at Chili's and then went to the movie.
I think the girls had a fun time.

Snickerdoodle Pie

I received this recipe from a email recipe exchange. I haven't made it yet but plan to soon. I'll keep you posted.

From Paula McMillin

1 recipe of your favorite piecrust, or 1 unbaked refrigerated piecrust
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or coarse sugar
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (divided use)
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (divided use)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry. In a small bowl, combine turbinado sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush melted butter over crust. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, water, corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar until well combined. Beat in egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in milk. Beat in flour. Spread in piecrust.
Slowly pour the syrup over the filling. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar. Cover edges of pie with foil.
Bake pie for 25 minutes; carefully remove foil. Bake 20 minutes more, or until top is puffed and golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm.
Makes 10 servings.
Approximate values per serving: 385 calories, 17 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 49 mg cholesterol, 53 g carbohydrates, 289 mg sodium, 4 g protein, 1 g fiber; 40 percent calories from fat.

November 5, 2008

Flank Steak

Marinate for at least 30 minutes:
Soy sauce
brown sugar

grill for 8-10 minutes on each side

Sounds so exciting doesn't it. It is super easy! I have decided recently I like flank steak. OK maybe the fact that they were in the clearance meat section at a great price so a bought a couple and put in the freezer. So, one of my clients gave me this marinade. I am one of those cooks who throws in a little of this and that so, the first time I made I think it had too much brown sugar, slightly sweet. Although I did marinade it for a good day and a half. Tonight I made it again, I tried to find the right combination, aka. not too much brown sugar and only let it sit for an hour. We eat it with horseradish sauce. I use my electric knife to cut thin slices. Tonight Keith and I only ate half so I sliced the rest of it and put it in the freezer, I'll probably pull it out and use it for burritos or steak nachos for a quick fix.

November 3, 2008

I shared

OK, I just sent everyone I know a link to this blog. Scary. I have been posting without telling anyone for a while and now I just put myself out there to the world. Ahh! I hope everyone is nice.

Table Update

We're still waiting. The company Keith ordered the table from is having issues. They called Keith last week and explained that they messed up and sent someones table to us and our table to that person. He told Keith to refuse it when it gets delivered. Then Friday, while handing out Halloween candy the UPS man shows up to deliver the table and Keith was frustrated. When he placed the order he put in his work address as the shipping address because he is there during the day and would be there to receive it. He did this also because sometimes the UPS man just leaves boxes outside our door, so his work address just made sense. So, not only did they send the wrong table but to the wrong address. Now, we're starting to wonder what shape the table will be in when it arrives! I will keep you posted.

Beef 'n Beans with Cheesy Biscuits

From Pillsbury website
I made this last week and doubled the meat portion and froze half for another meal. I pulled it out of the freezer for something easy to fix tonight.
My family liked it, I added some extra cheese under the biscuits this time, who doesn't love a little more cheese. I'm always tweaking something.

1lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1/2cup chopped onion
1can (16 oz) barbecue beans or pork and beans with molasses
1can (10 3/4 oz) condensed tomato
1teaspoon chili powder
1/4teaspoon garlic powder
1can (7.5 oz)
refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1cup shredded Cheddar or American cheese (4 oz)


1.Heat oven to 375°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.
2.Stir in beans, soup, chili powder and garlic powder. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
3.Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Spoon hot beef mixture into ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish or 2-quart casserole. Arrange biscuits over hot mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.
4.Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown and no longer doughy.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Do not sprinkle with cheese in step 3. Bake 15 minutes; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.

My Cousin, Martha came to Colorado

Martha came to Colorado with her friend Heidi to visit. Heidi has family in Ft. Collins. We met up with them on Sunday night at Ben and Jenn's and then went to dinner at Picalo's Resturant. The resturant was Italian/Mexican, I thought it was a interesting combination. I liked it though. I ordered a Chili Rellenos and a smothered chicken burrito.

It was nice to see Marf and quiz her about her family (all my dad's side of the family). I just wish I could see all my family in Nebraska more often. Marf got to meet JJ for the 1st time and was amazed how tall Jasmine has gotten. I am too.

November 2, 2008


Pork Blade Shoulder Roast, trim the fat cap (but necessarily all the way, this gives flavor and keeps it moist)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, quartered
water (I guessed on this, maybe 1/2 cup)
2 tsp. ground cumin

Place the roast with the fat cap up in the crock pot and add the rest of the ingreadients cook on low for 8-10 hours. 

Take the roast out and shred it and remove any pockets of fat. If there is too much juice pour some off but, you will want some of the liquid to keep it moist when baking it. 

Generously sprinkle the shredded pork and onions with garlic salt in a baking dish. The garlic salt is key, keep taste-testing and season to taste. 

Bake 45 min. at 350 degrees occasionally stirring. Towards the end I stir every 5 min. to expose more surface to heat the get more of the crunchy bits. 

Serve on tortillas with cheese and salsa. 

Sometimes I put it in the crockpot overnight so that your not shedding and baking it at dinner time because it does take some time to shred.