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Monday, March 30, 2015

Polish Babka

   If bread and cake got together, fell in love and had a baby... this would be it!  It is a yeast bread that is just sweet enough and almost has the texture of a traditional cake.  It is amazing that this even works the way it does.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chloe's Guacamole

   Chloe is a guacamole aficionado.  So, when she heard that the theme of our girls night was Mexican she knew she had to make some.  This recipe is a really good one.  Of course you can always start from here and make it your own.  But then, why mess with perfection?


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Old Fashioned Butter Rolls - Guest Post by MiMi

    Chloe is coming home for spring break and I wanted to make something special for breakfast tomorrow.  She loves cinnamon rolls so when I saw this come across on Facebook this morning I knew I wanted to make it to celebrate Chloe's homecoming.  I love vintage recipes, so I was excited to try this one.  
     I attempt to never cook with shortening, so I decided to try using butter instead.  I am sure that these will be enjoyed by our family.  The biggest challenge will be getting her up in time for breakfast.
-MiMi

Friday, March 27, 2015

100% Whole Wheat Cheesy Bread

    I have a conference the next couple of days, so the boys will be baching it.  So, I wanted to make a big dinner so there would be plenty of leftovers just in case.  Sometimes Matt likes to have the freedom to make one of his specialties, but it is nice to know there is something they can just heat and eat if he'd rather.

    I made a baked tortellini casserole that Cori sent me the recipe for a while back.  I wanted to make some sort of bread to go along with it.  A loaf didn't seem right and breadsticks sounded like too much work.  I wanted to spend this day with the boys and not forming breadsticks.  So, I decided to go with cheesy bread instead.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cori's Baked Tortellini Casserole

    I have been looking forward to making this for a while now.  My cousin Cori emailed me the recipe and it sounded so good.  Every time I planned to make it, something came up.  So when I was looking for a meal that would leave me with leftovers, this seemed like the perfect time!  Nothing came up and I finally got to have it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Apple Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing

   I love salads with fruit in them.  Some greens topped with fruit, nuts and a light dressing and I am all over it.  That is what I order almost every time I go out to eat.  I can't help it, I just love them!  This is even better.  Why waste the room on greens when you can just go for the good stuff?!

    This is along the lines of a Waldorf salad, but lighter.  It is fruit in a light coating of yogurt, vanilla, honey, lemon and cinnamon.  It is soooo good and you can feel good about eating it!

   Jax loved it!  He loves apples, grapes and pears.  He also loves yogurt.  I had a feeling he would really like it, but sometimes the kid throws you a curve.  He ate a whole pizza bread and two helpings of apple salad for dinner.  Then a smoothie.  I think he is going through a growth spurt!  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pork Chop Suey - A Guest Post by MiMi

     Shortly after pops and I got married, Marlene invited us over to dinner.  She made us a pork chop suey dinner.  I really enjoyed it a lot but didn't have the recipe when I went to make it.  This is the version I came up with when trying to match the taste.  I'm anxious to see Marlene's recipe to see how different  it is from the one I made up.  Our family really enjoys this dinner.  K.C. has even requested it for a birthday dinner.  It is one of his favorites.
- MiMi

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bunny Butt Pancakes - An Easter Breakfast


    Usually I like to start with some story about the person who gave me the recipe or a little update on our day.  But, just look how cute that is!!!!  I couldn't help but back right into breakfast.  It's a bunny butt.  AH!  Wouldn't it be the cutest Easter breakfast you ever had?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Peanut Butter Popcorn

    Jax and I both have a love for peanut butter and popcorn.  So, I thought we should mix them together and see how it goes.  This one is a winner!  I made it using the same idea as Jenny's Smacky Delcious Mix and Grandma Scharnhorst's Microwave Caramel Corn where you use the microwave to dry it out.  That makes the recipe go so much faster than baking it off.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Corn Casserole - A Guest Post by MiMi


   This recipe quickly became a family favorite of our about 15 years ago.  We were invited to dinner at the home of Karen and Donnie Roush.  They were good friends and neighbors of ours when we lived in the country.  I just had to have this recipe so I could make it for our family.  I've brought it to many dinners and cookouts since.  Everybody always wants the recipe.  She also published it in the St. Anthony's parish cookbook that we gifted to many family members in 2004.  There are many recipes that we enjoy in that special cookbook.  I will make and share many of them for you as well.

- MiMi




Friday, March 20, 2015

Seafood Chowder

    I have been making this recipe for 4-5 years now.  We really enjoy it every time we make it.  Sometimes I make it with all fish, sometimes I use half fish and half shrimp.  I love that it comes together relatively quickly and tastes wonderful.  

   As a kid, I loved the chowder in the can.  This is so much better.  I can't even imagine going back to the can!  I don't always serve with a lemon, but it does brighten it up a little.  Jaxon prefers his with extra fish... goldfish!  He ate a huge bowl of chowder and goldfish last night.  He ate two bowls for lunch!!  He enjoyed squeezing his lemon in as well.  I just love him!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Corn Flake Crumb Chicken

      This one is an oldie but a goody.  My mom grew up eating it, I grew up eating it, Jax will probably grow up eating it if he ever decides to like chicken.  This kid of mine is strange!  He will eat pork loin and pork chops, hamburger... but the tiniest bit of chicken will get spit out.  He doesn't even eat chicken in nugget form.  What kid doesn't like nuggets?  He will try to drink the honey mustard and leave the nuggets!  Not that I really mind that he doesn't like nuggets, really.  It just doesn't seem right!


Anyway, if you have never had corn flake crumb chicken, the crumbs form a nice crisp crust and the chicken stays moist and delicious.  It is baked, so it is easy to make and it is so yummy!



Monday, March 16, 2015

You're Lucky There's Last Minute Fudge - Made by MiMi

   I thought for a minute MiMi wasn't going to make any fudge for St. Pat's.  She started a tradition with the 2 Ingredient Football Fudge for the Super Bowl, then the Valentine's Pink Two Ingredient Fudge and the 3 Layer Mardis Gras Fudge.  She even eluded to a fun idea for St. Patrick's day after she made the Mardis Gras Fudge.



    I have to admit I was a little sad when I thought she really might not do it.  But low and behold... today in my email there were pictures.  She made the fudge, people!  The tradition continues!

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

Are you looking for something a little different for your St. Pat's day celebration?  Why not make one of these?!



Instead of boiling your cabbage, why not make some Carlee's Cabbage?


It's not traditional, but you'll love a Beef Burgundy Shepherd's Pie


Or maybe some Kiwi n Cream Pie






Creamy Broccoli and Rice Casserole - Made by MiMi

   When K.C. invited us over for his crab fest, MiMi and I got together to decide who would make what side dishes.  I was thinking I would make either some sort of macaroni and cheese or a cheese and broccoli rice bake.  MiMi said she was making cookies and broccoli and rice casserole.  It's funny how these things work!  So, I set off to make a new version of a spring pea salad instead.  I figured we might appreciate something cool and light with all the rich and yummy food everyone else was making.

    MiMi's broccoli and rice was really good.  It was nice and creamy with lots of cheese.  It was so smooth and yummy.  The adults all really liked it, but Jax loved it!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Jenny's Smacky Delicious Mix

    My Aunt Jenny is famous!  She submitted this recipe to Gooseberry Patch and had it published in Homestyle in a Hurry.  Isn't that fun?  If you liked Grandma Schanhorst's Microwave Caramel Corn, you will love this!  It is the same principle of making a caramel and using the microwave to dry it out.  It is so much quicker than using the oven!

    We threw together an impromptu BBQ this weekend.  It was just too nice not to cook something over fire.  Now, when I say cook something over fire, I really mean it.  Matt cooks over a wood fire.  He starts with logs and paper and kindling and the whole bit.  So, it takes a while before we are ready to cook.  He has to make the kindling, build a pretty little fire (sometimes he gets pretty artistic with his wood placement), start the fire, feed the fire, burn the fire down a bit to get a nice bed of coal.   Finally, a few hours later we are ready for the food.

   So, needless to say, the process can make us all hungry!  It just so happened I had bought the cereal to make this.  So, I ran inside and made a little snack for everyone while we waited for the fire master to do his thing.


    Everyone LOVED it.  Maybe too much.  We all stood around saying how addicting it was while feeding our faces.  Then when dinner was ready, we weren't quite as hungry as maybe we should have been.  You live and you learn!  Next time we'll make a smaller dinner ;-)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Toll House Pie - Made by MiMi

     As I told you in the Pi day compilation, toll house pie is a tradition.  But with all of the other pies we have had recently, I just couldn't bring myself to make one.  MiMi woke up today thinking about it too.  When she saw my mention of one in the post, she had to make one.  So we had toll house pie after all!
    If you've never had a toll house pie, it is like a gooey chocolate chip cookie in pie form.  Think about that for a second!  Yum!

Happy Pi(e) Day!

    This is an extra special pie day!!  3/14/15!!  If you really want to get into the fun, you should have you pi... err, I mean pie at 9:26 and really get into it.   I started celebrating pi day in high school.  We had a pie carry in to my typing class of all things.  You would think the math teachers would have been the ones to spearhead it, but my computer teacher must have really liked pie!

    I used to always bring a toll house pie to such a gathering.  Sadly, I haven't made one yet this year.  So, maybe that is something to look forward to next year.  If you need some ideas on what to make to celebrate this momentous pi(e) day that takes pi out to a few more accurate decimal places, here are a few ideas!



Friday, March 13, 2015

Cooking With K.C.: Crab Fest!

    My brother K.C. is a really good cook.  He occasionally teases us by texting pictures of what he is making himself for dinner.  We have been talking about doing a seafood feast for a while.  Crab legs, lobster and the whole works.  We ended up doing Nana's Cajun crab chowder, crab stuffed shrimp, fried oysters and a variety of other mind blowing treats.  No crab legs and lobster though.  K.C. made up for that tonight.  He had us over for a crab leg feast, and feast we did!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Oh My.... Di's Skillet Apple Pie

    Hold on to your sweet tooth.  It might just fall out of your head and come running toward the computer screen.  Get this...  Butter and brown sugar melted in a 9-inch cast iron skillet.  Pie crust on top of that.  Then apples, more crust, more butter and topped off with cinnamon sugar.  Yep.  You read that right.  Brown sugar and butter under the crust!  It bubbles up and makes caramel under the whole thing!!!  Can you even?!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

New Painting!

    Have I told you lately how cool and talented and wonderful my friend Stephanie from FACT is?  Really cool!   After painting the beautiful pair that we put above our new buffet, she went to work on something for above our couch.  We had a pair of paintings there from her already, but I thought something larger would fit the space better.  So, we got another 3' x 3' painting done.


    Isn't it cool?!  Now the only thing left to do is decide where to move the other paintings too.  I thought I would put them in the office, but Matt really likes them and wants them somewhere more visible.  So, we need to find the perfect place for them on the first floor!

Grasshopper Poke Cake - Made by MiMi

      MiMi found this recipe over at Shugary Sweets and just knew she had to make it.  With St. Pat's coming up, why not do it now.  So this is what we had for dessert at our last family dinner.  Everyone loved it.  Jax especially liked the mint whipped topping and wanted to eat his and mine.  K.C. joked that it tasted like toothpaste, but didn't waste any time eating his whole piece.

    The pudding and hot fudge helped to make the cake extra moist and the minty whipped topping coated with Andes candy is a great finishing touch.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Great-Grandma Rees's Green Gelatin Salad

    It was hard to decide who to give credit to for this recipe.  My great-grandma got it from her mom (my great-great-grandma Langhorst of dutch apple cake fame).  But my dad and his siblings remember it as something their grandma would make.  Apparently this one was a particular favorite of my uncle Mike.  I can see why, it really is pretty tasty.



Monday, March 9, 2015

MiMi's Cincinnati Style Chili

   We love chili.  Pops usually requests a pot of chili for his birthday dinner and Matt thinks there should be a fresh pot every Sunday during football season.  No two pots are quite alike, but I normally make a pretty classic chili.  I usually use venison, a lot of different beans, fresh tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos from the garden and whatever else we have that sounds good to me at the time.

   Mimi makes a lot of different chilis.  She makes a good white chili, she sometimes adds pumpkin and of course makes a traditional chili.  When I was growing up, however she always made chili soup.  It was a thinner version that what we normally make now and had elbow macaroni in it!  This Cincinnati Style Chili is not one of our standard recipes, but is a fun variation.

   Pops orders spaghetti 7 ways when he goes to Steak and Shake.  Our Steak and Shake just closed, so MiMi wanted to make him something similar at home.



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Baked Peanut Butter Pie

     Surprise!  Who guessed the fudge sauce would be drizzled over a peanut butter pie?  Be honest, you had no idea.  Not to mention a baked peanut butter pie!  This takes everything you know about peanut butter pie and turns it on its head.

    Rather than a light and fluffy filling full of whipped topping and air, this is an eggy denser filling that has just the right balance of caramelized top and gooey filling.  Drizzle it with some fudge sauce and get ready to be delighted.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Super Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

     I have a confession to make.  I don't like chocolate syrup.  Matt loves the stuff.  He puts it in his milk and sometimes in his coffee.  He adds it to his smoothies (nothing says health food like simple syrup and chocolate syrup as regular ingredients in your smoothies!)  I do, however, LOVE hot fudge.  They are not even close to the same thing.  One is watery and blah and the other is rich and smooth and luscious and wonderful.  Not that I feel strongly about it or anything.

    This is one of those recipes you should just memorize.  It is so easy, comes together quickly and is made from pantry staples.  If you have a surprise visitor, you can impress them by whipping up a batch and drizzling it over ice cream.  There isn't much better!  This would also make a great icing drizzled over a bundt cake.  It is also tasty licked off fingers, or spoons, or spatulas or the whisk...

    I am posting it tonight as a tease for what is to come tomorrow.  (I'll give you a hint, it isn't ice cream or bundt cake... or fingers or spoons!)  I can't wait to show you what we had this with.  Ok, I can wait a little bit longer.  Come back tomorrow to find out!

Kiwi n Cream Pie

    I have a sad story to tell you.  I am sitting next to an empty pie plate trying to decide what to tell you about this pie.  So far I have "it was good" and "I wish there was more."  But, alas there is no more.  Darn!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Beef Burgundy Shepherd's Pie

    I know, I know, I said I was going to make this into a pot pie.  I was going to.  Really, I was.  But sometimes things have a mind of their own.  The more I got set to make it, the more mashed potatoes just made sense.  Why not a shepherd's pie?  I mean it is still a pie, right?  So... that is what I did.  And I don't regret it for a second!  It was soooo good.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pork Chops and Mushroom Soup Gravy - Made by MiMi

   This has always been one of my favorite dinners.  It is nothing fancy, but it is always so good.  MiMi doesn't know where she got the original recipe, but she has been making it for as long as I can remember.  I really like thicker bone on pork chops for this, but really any pork chops will do.

   When you make it, plan to make mashed potatoes and green beans.  You have to have them.  It is just how it goes.  It is a perfect meal on a cold and snowy evening. It is so warm, comforting and filling.