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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Microwave Lasagna

This is my mom's recipe that has morphed out of other recipes she has used over the years. It was one of my favorite meals growing up and has found a prevalent home in our repertoire of meals lately.

8 oz of lasagna noodles (My mom is particular about the kind she uses (American Beauty) - but they should at least be the traditional kind, not the oven-ready kind)
2 lb Ground Beef
26.5 oz Spaghetti Sauce (Again, my mom is specific - she uses the Hunt's Traditional flavor)
16 oz Cottage Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
16 oz Mozzarella Cheese

This is a dish that you prepare all the elements, throw them together, then let them cook.
Cook the noodles as directed. Cook the ground beef seasoning it to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder/cloves as desired. Add the entire can of spaghetti sauce to the beef. Open the cottage cheese container and pour Parmesan cheese into it (this will look like a big mountain peak of Parmesan cheese sitting on the cottage cheese - the measurement is not precise, but use as much as you think you can stir into the cottage cheese without making a HUGE mess) stir together. Shred all 16 oz of Mozzarella Cheese.

At this point you are ready to assemble the lasagna. Spray a 9 x 13 pan. Layer 1/2 of the noodles, followed by 1/2 of the meat, then 1/2 of the cottage/Parmesan mixture (this you want to do by dotting it around on the meat and trying to spread it, recognizing that it will not form one solid layer), top with 1/2 of the grated mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers in the same order.

Now it is time to throw it in the microwave. Cook at regular power. My mom used to cook it 20 minutes in our old microwave, but finds that each microwave is different - we do about 17 minutes in our microwave. After that time is up, it's ready to serve! It only takes about 30 minutes from start to the table!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

German Chocolate Brownies

1 German Chocolate Cake Mix
3/4 cup margarine
1/3 cup evaporated milk
Mix first three ingredients together, put 2/3 batter in 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes.

1 16 ounce package of caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk

Unwrap caramels and melt with evaporated milk in microwave until runny. Stop frequently to stir. Drizzle caramel over cake mix. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and chopped walnuts if desired over top. Drop remaining 1/3 cake mixture over top. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Sloppy Joes

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp mustard
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste

Brown hamburger with chopped onion & green pepper, drain grease/ Combine water, ketchup, sugar mustard and Worcestershire. Add to meat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until consistency is thick. Serve on hamburger buns.

Catalina Chicken

1 package dry onion soup mix
1 bottle Catalina dressing
4-5 Tbsp Apricot Jam
6 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Spray 9x13 pan with Pam cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in pan, sprinkle soup mix over chicken breasts. Pour l bottle Catalina dressing over all. Place 2-3 teaspoons apricot jam on each chicken breast. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes, then remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes basting occasionally. Serve over rice. My boys love fresh pineapple with this dish.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

4 Chicken breasts
1 large onion diced
2 carrots diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 Tbsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
3 1/2 quarts Water
4 cubes chicken bullion

1 egg
2 Tbsp water
1Cup Flour
1/4 tsp. salt
dash pepper

Simmer chicken with water, onion, celery, carrots, salt & pepper for 1 hour. Strain broth and cut chicken into bite size pieces.
To make noodles beat egg, water, salt 7 pepper, gradually add flour. Roll out and cut in to thin strips. ( I double the noodles) Add to soup, boil for 15 minutes. Serve and Eat.

White Bread

1/2 Cup Warm Water
4 1/2 Teaspoons Yeast (or two packets yeast)
(Set these in a cup, stir lightly and let dissolve)

2 Cups Hot Water
1 Tablespoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1/3 Cup Oil
3 Cup Flour
Mix these ingredients together then add the dissolved yeast mixture
3 Additional Cups Flour (add these)
Mix and put a towel over (leave the wooden spoon in the bowl)
Set timer for 10 minutes 5 times just stir at the 10 minute intervals then cover and leave the wooden spoon in. (I don't know why but that is what the recipe says)
Divide the dough in half and place on jelly roll pan. ( My neighbor braids hers maybe next time I will try that)
Let rise for 20-60 minutes.
Beat one egg and brush on top
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes depending on if you like the outside soft or a little crusty. Either way the inside is fabulous.


German Pancakes

This is an easy breakfast or dinner solution. It's prep time is less than 5 minutes, and then you have a 20 minute bake time, and it's done. it's light and yet satisfying because of the protein. We use to eat these growing up a lot. We love them.

1/2 C. Margarine or Butter
1 C. Milk
6 Eggs
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 C. Flour

Put Margarine in a 9x13 pan and place it in a preheated oven at 425 degrees. While butter melts, mix milk, eggs and salt in a blender. Then add flour and blend just enough to mix in the flour.

when the butter in the pan is bubbling, pour the batter out of the blender and into the pan, return it to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove pan and immediately cut and serve with your choice of toppings, we like jam, powdered sugar, syrup, or fresh fruit.

Corn Bread

This is great with Chilli or just about anything. My Husband loves it!

1 C. milk
1 egg
1/3 C. shortening
1 tsp. Salt
4 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp. baking Powder
1 C. Flour
1 C. Corn Meal

Mix all ingredients and place in a greased 8" baking pan. Double the recipe for a 9x13 pan. Cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

German Cabbage Soup

This is a recipe my mom got from a German woman who lives by her. I love it, it's light and so delicious. The flavors are amazing!

1 pound of Ground Sausage
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 C. Chopped Cabbage
1 Medium Onion Chopped
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Basil
6 C. Water
1 Pint Stewed Tomatoes
1 Can Black beans
3 Cubes Chicken Bullion

Cook Sausage in a frying pan, when done cook cabbage and onion is sausage pan with olive oil is needed to keep from sticking. Once done add all ingredients either to a crock pot or soup pot and simmer together until ready to serve.

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

This is a quick meal that kids love! It helps them to get their veggies at meal time and what mom doesn't love that?

2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
3 chicken breasts
1-2 packages of frozen Broccoli
10 oz. Grated Cheese
1 C. Mayonaise
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 C. Milk
Parmesan Cheese
Cooked Rice or Pasta

Cube raw chicken into edible pieces. In the bottom of a large pot add some oil and pan fry chicken until golden brown. At that point mix chicken soup, grated cheese, mayonnaise, cumin, lemon juice, and milk. Place frozen broccoli into pot with chicken to cook broccoli. Then add Sauce to large pot.
At this point you can either spread mixture into a 9x13 pan mixed with your choice of rice or pasts and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or you can cook in the large pot for awhile longer until the broccoli is cooked then serve over rice or pasta.


This is one of the fastest breadstick recipe's that I have ever found. And it's very good, you can choose the toppings for whatever you are eating it with. Hope you enjoy it.

1 Tbsp Yeast
1 1/2 C Warm Water
1 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Salt
3-4 C. Flour

Mix Yeast & Warm water, let set for 15 minutes. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Roll into breadstick's, place on a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Top with melted butter and you choice of toppings (garlic salt, sesame seeds, cinnamon/sugar or Parmesan cheese are some of our favorites.)

Clam Chowder

This is one of my mom's recipes. I can remember having this as a little girl. It's my favorite clam chowder recipe, and it's pretty simple to make. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, and it's so yummy!

2 cans chopped clams
1 C. Chopped Celery
1 C. Chopped Onions
2 C. Chopped Potatoes
1 1/2 cubes butter
3/4 C. flour
5-6 C. Milk
Salt & Pepper

Place Chopped vegetables in a sauce pan drain clam juice into pan, add just enough water to cover vegetables, cook until soft.
Melt butter in large pot, add flour to butter and mix together (mixture should be thick). Add milk a little at a time stirring after each addition until mixture is smooth. cook until mixture thickens and boils. Add vegetables with water they were cooked in. Add salt and Pepper to taste, then add clams and serve warm.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Taco Seasoning

Making our own taco seasoning instead of using packets has become one of our favorite meals. This recipe actually came from, but we have tested it and love it!


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.
  2. To season meat (we have used it on chicken and beef) cook the meat through and drain it. Add seasoning to meat - other users said somewhere between 2 and 3 tablespoons is equivalent to a seasoning packet - also add some water to the meat. Stir then cover over medium-low heat until the water cooks off.
I don't think we have ever had oregano on hand when we have made it, and we just use regular salt. We have used this seasoning with regular tacos and taco salads and it's not the first seasoning recipe we have used, but it is our favorite. We make a large batch and store it to use for several batches of taco meat.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Banana Cream Cake

This one is a classic Tradition at my house. On your first birthday you get this cake, and it's a mess which kids love, and it's so refreshing and good. It's a great cake for a birthday or anytime, it's a fun change from the traditional frosted cakes, the whipped cream makes it lighter and the bananas add a fun touch as well.

1 Cherry Chip Cake Mix (or other flavor of your choice)
1 pint of Whipping Cream
3-4 ripe bananas

Prepare cake mix according to package and bake in 2 8" round cake pans according to directions on cake mis package. Once cake is cooked, cool completely. While cake is cooling whip your whipping cream adding just enough powdered sugar to make the cream sweet. Then set the first cooled cake round on your serving plate. And scoop a large amount of cream on top of the cake round and using a knife spread it around until it is evenly distributed over the entire cake top. Next slice up your banana's and begin to place them from the outside edge in a circular pattern until you reach the center. Then take the second cake round and place it on top of the first cake round. Place 4-5 toothpicks down thru both cakes to secure them from slipping off each other. Then frost the sides and top with the whipped cream and then place banana's around the edges and top in a like manner. Refrigerate until served. The banana's will tend to brown if left refrigerated for too long. After serving remaining cake may be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blueberry Pancakes!

These are my new favorite breakfast food. I woke up craving them one morning, and I found this recipe online, and it is very good! Tanner loves to eat them, and so do we. They really almost don't need anything else on them, they are so sweet by themselves, I think a big dollop of whipped cream would be perfect on them as well. Enjoy!

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 stick butter or margarine, melted and cooled
Approximately 1 cup whole milk
1 cup fresh or thawed and drained frozen blueberries (about 8 per pancake)
Vegetable oil or butter, for cooking

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs then whisk them into the flour mixture. Combine the butter and 1 cup of milk in the medium bowl then gradually whisk this mixture into the batter. The batter should be slightly thicker than heavy cream. It the batter is too thick, add a little more milk.

Heat a seasoned griddle or a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. If the pan is not well seasoned, add a little oil to prevent the pancakes from sticking. Spoon or pour about 3 tablespoons of batter onto the griddle to form a pancake. Repeat forming only as many pancakes as can fit on the griddle with 1-inch or so of space around each. Drop 7 or 8 blueberries on each pancake. (or you can mix the blueberry's into the mix like I do, if you don't mind slightly blue pancakes.) Cook until bubbles form on the pancake surfaces then flip and continue cooking until the second sides are golden, about 3 minutes longer.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Strawberry Cheesecake

Though I have yet to make this one, it looked so yummy! My old Roommate Sharon made the one displayed below, and it looks absolutely delicious. It's on my list of things to try...when I get a free cooking day!

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen
sweetened strawberries, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened
condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 eggs
1 tablespoon water

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries and cornstarch; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce; cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Add lemon juice; mix well. Add eggs, beat on low just until combined. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust. Drop half of the reserved strawberry mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto cream cheese layer. Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce. Drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top. With a knife, cut through top layer only to swirl strawberry sauce. Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of pan. Thin chilled strawberry sauce with water if desired; serve with cheesecake. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Beef Stroganoff

This is a classic meal, which I'm sure most of you have recipes for already, but I wanted to share my quick version with you all in case you don't have one. This is another quick meal idea.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion minced
1 pint sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can sliced mushrooms or you can use fresh

In a large fry pan brown hamburger onions and mushrooms.
Once hamburger is cooked thru, add sour cream and cream of mushroom soup to hamburger.
If sauce is thick add small amount of milk to thin sauce. Use salt & pepper to taste.
Serve warm over rice or pasta.

Anniversary Chicken

This is such an easy recipe, it takes only about 5 to 10 minutes to prepare and then you just let it cook away. It is also a really yummy recipe as well. It's one of our favorite meals, especially when we are short on time to prepare things. It also taste's like you spent all day in the kitchen making it. I do it for special occasions as well as for every day meals.

add equal parts of: ranch dressing from a bottle (not the dry mix)

Yoshida’s Teriyaki Sauce (you can get this at costco)

pour this mixture over boneless skinless chicken breasts in a baking dish (like a 9×13)

then top with

minced onions either green or white

crumbled bacon (the costco pre-cooked crumbled bacon works great)

then cover with Cheese.

Cover the baking pan with tin-foil

Bake at 350 for 2 hours (the last 30 minutes take the tinfoil off)

* just make sure that your chicken is cooked all the way thru before you eat it, if it’s thick frozen chicken you might need to adjust the cooking time.

Easy Tortellini Casserole

This is a very simple recipe that my friend Allie taught me years ago, and I still make it and love it. It's a quick meal when you need to put something in the oven and don't have much time to prepare things. It's also a big hit with kids! they love the pepperoni and cheese on top and love the tortellini.

2 small to medium sized packages of frozen tortellini

1 can Spaghetti Sauce (I like Ragu)

1 can olives sliced

1 package pepperoni

Grated Cheese

in a 9×13 backing dish lay out the tortellini, then cover with spaghetti sauce (I usually add about 1/2 to 1 cup of extra water to help the sauce not dry out. Then cover with pepperoni, olves and top with Cheese. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until tortellini is done.