Marshmallow Caramel Corn

 
I am sad to report that this recipe should come with a warning label! Don’t be like me and think you are smarter than the “average” bear and only make half a recipe of this popcorn like I did. Yep! Stupid!
 
This is one of those recipes you make when you are home all alone and have no one to share it with. Curl up on the couch, pop in your favorite movie, and eat until you are doubled over with a stomach ache because it will be well worth it!
 
Within 30 minutes of this popcorn being made we had NONE left… NONE! That’s how good it is! From the mouth of my husband “this stuff makes Crunch and Munch look like &$%^!# in a box! Yep it’s that good!! Yummm-O! BTW Forgive my crummy pictures I was being lazy and didn’t get the camera out, but instead used my phone. Yup crummy pictures!

INGREDIENTS: (Full Recipe)

  • 2 bags microwave buttered popcorn, popped & unpopped kernels removed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 large marshmallows

DIRECTIONS:

  1. If you haven’t done it already pop 2 bags of popcorn then lay the out as close to a single layer as possible on a two tin foil line jelly roll pan or something similar with a small lip around it. I recommend the foil for easy clean up.
  2. Lightly spray the pan with some cooking spray. This may not be necessary but I was afraid it might stick to the foil.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  4. Add the brown sugar, honey, vanilla & marshmallows. Turn heat to medium and stir until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth. Or you can be impatient like I was and add everything at one time then let it melt together.
  5. Spoon over the popcorn until it’s covering the popcorn as much as possible the with a nice sized spoon toss or mix popcorn to coat.
  6. If you have any left store in an airtight container.

Orange You Monkeying Around Monkey Bread

I know … I know, terrible name, and  a bad joke! This is a WONDERFUL recipe. I started it in the bread machine while I was cooking dinner and it was ready in time for dessert. The flavor is amazing. You could really play with the flavors in this recipe, and make all kinds of great monkey bread!!

3 hour turn around time:
Ingredients for the bread machine

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 large orange, juiced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

After dough cycle is done

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

Directions:

1. In a one cup measure combine the milk, eggs, grated orange rind, juice from one orange, and enough water to equal one cup. Place into bread maker.

2. Add the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter or margarine, and cinnamon to the bread maker and turn machine onto dough cycle.

3. When cycle is complete, divide the dough into 20 equal portions and roll into balls (if needed add a little flour to your hands and dough). Dip balls into melted butter and then into brown sugar. Place in greased bunt pan, or round glass dish.

4. Let rise for 35 to 45 minutes.

5. Bake in a preheated 375 F degrees (190 degrees C) for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan.

6. Glaze with a mixture of confectioners’ sugar and orange juice.

Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes


These sweet potatoes were delicious! I loved them made this way because the roasting processes brings out the sweetness and gives the potatoes a nice caramelized stickiness. They are bursting with flavor and will be great made again in the fall. I think this would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving Day table.
 
The only change I will make next time is to make them on parchment paper for easy removal. Foil was a fail!
 
Ingredients: 
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
 
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position oven rack to middle position. Line the bottom of a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray well with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, place the prepared, cubed sweet potatoes, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, dried thyme. Distribute the ingredients evenly to cover the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread out the potatoes so that they are in a single layer.
  3. Roast in oven for about 40 minutes or until tender.
  4. Set the oven to broil and broil until the tops of the sweet potatoes start to brown and get crispy about 5-10 minutes but be sure to watch them because they will burn. 

Sweet Garlic Butter Sauced Pasta


 
This is my favorite way to use up left over pasta of any kind. I have used this recipe with left over tortellini, spaghetti, and linguine. Anything you have left over will work great. I hate having left over pasta go to waste. It’s not that expensive, but waste is waste.
 
Before I was married I would make this sauce and add tortellini to it that would be my quick and easy dinner.  Now that I am more frugal I use any left over pasta in this sauce to make a nice side dish for a casserole or chicken or whatever we are having that needs a little extra to go along with it. 

Waste not want not right?

I have always loved the ease of this garlic butter sauce. I will admit that it’s not very easy for me to cook it slowly but cooking it slowly really is the key to the success of the garlic. There seems to be a fine line between overcooked bitter garlic and crispy sweet garlic. Patience is a must with this recipe but its well worth it!!

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 ounces cooked pasta noodles
Directions:
  1. Preheat skillet on a medium flame or on a medium heated burner. To a warm skillet on add butter and olive oil.
  2. Once the butter is melted adds minced garlic.
  3. Sauté garlic on a medium to medium low flame so that the garlic gets crispy and toasted but does not burn or get scorched. The goal is sweet garlic flavor not bitter garlic. Cooking it as low as possible is the key for success with this sweet garlic. Be patient it’s worth the wait.
  4. Once the garlic is a nice toasted brown color add cooked pasta.
  5. Mix pasta in the butter garlic oil mixture until pasta is well coasted.
  6. Continue to heat until pasta is warmed through.

Pepper Steak


This is honestly one of the best recipes I have made in a long time. Tops on my list that’s for sure. The flavor is fantastic! It’s super simple to make and makes a beautiful presentation, certainly restaurant quality and more than anything you get a lot of bang for your buck!!
 
I really didn’t know if my family would enjoy this recipe. My aunt makes a killer pepper steak which my husband adores so I wasn’t sure he would be too happy with this recipe. You know it’s one of those things when you love something it’s hard to be excepting of something similar.
 
He was over the moon for this recipe and actually had seconds because he loved it so much. The worst part of making this recipe was taking the time to cut the meat nice and thin. The original recipe calls for round steak. I actually ended up using roast meat because I got it on sale and planned on using the other half of the roast for something different so it worked out well for us. 
 
Ingredients: 
  • 16 oz. round steak or roast
  • 4 tsp. plus 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine
  • 3 tsp. cornstarch
  • 5 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Slice meat into thin slices with the grain. Cut each strip across the grain about 1″ long so you have small thin slices. Place in a bowl and add 4 tsp. of soy sauce, 1 tbsp. of rice wine, 1 tsp. cornstarch and black pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 3 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tbsp. water and 2 tsp. cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Heat the skillet on medium high heat. Swirl in 1 tbsp. oil and add the beef spreading evenly. Cook undisturbed for 20 seconds letting the beef brown. Using a spatula, stir meat, cooking another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add remaining 2 tsp. of oil to the skillet, add peppers and onions and cook about 2 minutes. Return beef to the skillet, add the sauce and stir fry about 30 seconds until slightly thickened.

Original Recipe Source

Famous Focaccia Bread

I purchased a three pack of focaccia bread. I had never had it nor did I really know what to do with it. So between my husband and I we came up with this excellent bread that leaves you craving more. We served it at a spaghetti dinner we were having, and it was a total hit. I hope you like it too. 

Ingredients:

  • Focaccia Bread (you can make your own click here for the recipe)
  • 1 ounce Domestic feta cheese (This is a little saltier than regular feta) crumbled
  • 2 ounces of grated Whole milk mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small sauce pan add olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, thyme, salt and red pepper flakes, and heat until it’s simmering.
  3. Place your focaccia on a lined cookie sheet
  4. Brush the focaccia heavily with the olive oil mixture (cover the entire bread round) 
  5. Top bread with mozzarella and feta
  6. Bake on 350 for 8-10 minutes (depending on your over) until mozzarella cheese is melted (feta won’t melt)
  7. With a pizza cutter cut into slices

Cowpoke Casserole

I found two recipes that had the same similar concept and similar ingredients but they were both completely different. I loved the idea of both of them so I took what I liked about each recipe and combined them together. What came of the two was an incredible recipe that my entire family loved.
 
The recipe calls for a 9×13 pan which is normally way too much food for us and always means a ton of leftovers. I debated half-ing the recipe but then I thought it would became a pain with too many half cans to worry with. I decided to make the entire recipe, and thank goodness I did. By the time dinner was over there was about 1/8th of the pan left over. I was stunned, but yes it was that good!
 
We all loved this recipe and I can easily see it being on our menu again and again. It’s easy, dirt cheap and delicious!
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 4 tbsp. dry minced onions
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (more or less) 
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can Rotel (I used mild) do not drain
  • Tater tots – 32 oz. (leave frozen)
  • Cheddar cheese – 2 cups

Directions: 

  1. Brown ground beef then drain the grease off (Before you add the spices)
  2. Add diced onions, cumin, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft.
  3. Add, soup and Rotel tomatoes, then mix together well
  4. In the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan add bag of tatar tots in one single layer you may not need the entire bag, then top with 1 cup of the cheese.
  5. Then on top of the tots and cheese add burger mixture then top with remaining cheese
  6. Place in a 350F oven for 30 -45 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Juicy Gourmet Hamburgers

This is a yummy recipe that once again has been made famous by Kittencal. These are very juicy burgers, and the flavor is amazing!! 
 
A tip from Kittencal … to keep your burgers juicy add a 1/2 tbs of margarine to the middle of the burger. Roll the meat in a ball, stick a hole in the of the meat, add the margarine to the middle and cover back up and flatten. WOW what difference it makes!!
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. ground beef 90/10
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup dry plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
 
Directions:
  1. In a bowl crumble the ground beef with clean hands.
  2. Add in the dry soup mix, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper.
  3. Using clean hands mix until combined, add in more breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs if needed to just hold the mixture together (do not overwork the meat or it will be tough).
  4. Divide the ground beef into 8 equal patties. 1/4 lb each approx.
  5. Place the patties onto a large plate or a small cookie sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 24 hours to blend flavors.
  6. Grill or pan fry the burgers as desired until cooked through.

Oven Baked Frito Pie

This recipe is easy and delicious! Who doesn’t like Frito Pie? It’s such a family tradition that keeps us coming back for more. When I found this recipe I couldn’t wait to give it a try and I am sure happy I did. Quick, Fresh, Fantastic! I can’t wait to make it again! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 can (16 oz) pinto beans (I used Great Northern I had them on hand)
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning (I used Taco Bell I had it on hand)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3-1/2  cups corn chips (Fritos more or less)
  • 1-1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. Cook ground beef until meat is browned; drain. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, taco seasoning mix and 1/4 c. of cheese.
  2. Sprinkle 1 cup corn chips in bottom of 8×8 baking dish. Cover with chili.
  3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  4. Spread sour cream over chili.
  5. Top with remaining corn chips and cheese.
  6. Bake 4-5 minutes longer.6 to 8 servings

Traditional Spinach Dip

 
I grew up with this recipe being a staple especially around the holidays. If my Nana wasn’t making it my aunt was. This year my aunt didn’t make it and my Mom was heartbroken so I made it for her. When I was a kid I didn’t like it at all, but now I love it.
 
There are so many companies that claim this to be their recipe so there are plenty to give credit to. I personally think it’s a Knorr recipe but I am sure others would disagree.
 
Although all the recipes call for mayonnaise in it I never add it. The biggest reason is that I don’t think it taste very good in it, and if you leave it out the dip is even better. The bonus is… less calories!
 

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 16 ounce container sour cream
  • 8 ounce package vegetable soup mix
  • 8 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 
  2. Mix well
  3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours but over night is much better
  4. Serve with crackers