Sunday, December 30, 2012

Crock Pot Taco Dip

Someone Toby works with brought this to a work pitch-in one time & he asked for the recipe. It's good & it  makes a fairly large batch. It's a great New Year's Eve party idea if you are still planning your menu :)

Crock Pot Taco Dip

3 lbs hamburger, cooked & drained
2 pkgs taco seasoning
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
2 lbs. Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 large or 4 small jars of Pace Chunky Salsa (or your favorite salsa)

Add taco seasoning to hamburger & mix well.
In a 6 qt crock pot, add salsa, hamburger & both cheeses.
Heat til melted & serve with tortilla chips.

Olive Garden Toscana Soup

My bestie, Steph, came across this recipe somewhere & made it for me while we were studying for a nursing final one semester. So, I haven't actually made it myself, but I have eaten it & it is every bit as delicious as the Olive Garden version (if not better)!

Olive Garden Toscana Soup

2-3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1-2 medium russet potatoes
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 lb. of spicy Italian sausage
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Combine the stock & cream in a saucepan over medium heat
Slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4 in. slices, then quarter the slices & add to soup
Add the kale
Grill or saute the sausage. When cooked & cooled, cut the sausage at an angle into slices about 1/2 in. thick. Add the sausage to the soup
Add the spices and let the soup simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entree.
(I think Steph doubled it when she made it for 3 of us & she had leftovers for their dinner that night.)

**I've seen some versions of this that add bacon pieces & since bacon is like cheese to me (as in it makes everything better :) , I wouldn't be opposed to throwing in some bacon pieces.**

Grandma Ann's Shepard's Pie

When Toby & I first got married, I was always looking for budget friendly yet delicious meals. Funny, almost 15 years later, I'm still looking for the same thing :) Anyway, my Grandma Ann raised 7 kids (5 of which were boys) so I knew if there was anyone who could tell me how to cook on a budget it was her. This is one of the 1st recipes she gave me. I haven't made it in ages, but I came across it the other day & I think it is definitely worth sharing.

Grandma Ann's Shepard Pie

3-4 lbs. ground round (I think if I was to make this today, I'd try to cut this back to 1.5-2 lbs.)
6 cans of vegetarian vegetable soup (drain 3 of the cans)

mashed potatoes

Layer in a 9 x 13 baking dish in order of:
veg. soup (3 cans)
veg. soup (3 cans)
put mashed potatoes on top

Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.

**I think in this original recipe the beef was uncooked as it went into the dish. If I was to make this today, I think I'd precook the meat & cut down on the baking time. I've also seen this made & topped with cheese which I would definitely give a try. I love cheese :) **

Homemade Pizza

One of Toby's favorite meals I make is my homemade pizza. It's easily adaptable to whatever your family likes on their pizza.

Homemade Pizza

1-2 pkgs of pizza crust
1 lb. ground beef, cooked & drained
green peppers, chopped
2 cans mushrooms, drained
onions, chopped
banana peppers
1/2-1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 pkg of bacon pieces
1-2 pkgs of pizza cheese

Prepare pizza crust according to package directions. Press into 15 x 10 x 1 baking sheet/pan. (You could also prepare this on a round pizza stone, but I've always made it in my old handy dandy metal baking pan).

Put crust into oven (at whatever temperature package directions state) & allow to cook until mostly done.

Remove from oven & spread with spaghetti sauce. Then layer beef on top of sauce & add other toppings in layers. Top with cheese.

Return to oven & cook until heated through & cheese is melted.

Mushroom Salisbury Steaks

This is a yummy meal in which the main meat is made in the microwave. I usually serve it with mashed potatoes, but you can also serve it over egg noodles.

Mushroom Salisbury Steak
From Quick Cooking Magazine, Sept/Oct 1999

Photo from
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cans (10-1/2 oz) beef consomme, undiluted
1 jar (6 oz) mushrooms, drained
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2-1 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp pepper, optional
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef

Hot mashed potatoes or cooked egg noodles.

In a bowl, combine cornstarch & beef consomme until smooth.
Stir in mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce & basil; set aside
In another bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, onion, seasoned salt and pepper (if desired)
Add beef & mix well.
Shape into size oval patties; place in a shallow 1-1/2 qt microwave safe dish.
Cover & microwave on high for 6 minutes; drain.
Turn patties, moving the ones in the center to the outside of the dish.
Pour consomme mixture over patties.
Cover & microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
Let stand for 5 minutes.
Serve with potatoes or noodles.

Makes 6 servings.

Tator Tot Casserole

This is another one that I've had since Livi was little. It's one of those meals that kids just seem to like. Maybe it's the tator tots on top....I'm not sure...We usually eat it with a little A-1 or ketchup on the side :)

Tator Tot Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 (2 lb.) bag frozen tator tots
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I always use more because we like cheese :)

Optional: add fresh or frozen peas &/or chopped carrots (I usually add peas or a package of frozen mixed vegetables)

Cook ground beef & drain.
Put cooked ground beef into bottom of a greased 13 x 9 x 2 pan.
Spread soup over meat.
Add vegetables if using.
Cover with cheese.
Top with tator tots.

Cover & bake at 350 for 45 min. Then uncover and bake another 15 min.

Chicken Quesadillas

These make a great lunch or lighter supper.

Chicken Quesadillas
(From Taste of Home Magazine, Aug/Sept. 1999)

2-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2/3 cup salsa
1/3 cup sliced green onions
3/4-1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6 flour tortillas (8" size)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Sour cream & guacamole, optional

In a skillet, combine the first 6 ingredients. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Brush one side of the tortillas with butter.

Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture over half of unbuttered side of each tortillas. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese; fold plain side of tortilla over cheese.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake at 475 for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

Cut into wedges; serve with sour cream & guacamole, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Chocolate Mousse Pie

This is one of the 1st recipes I remember making from Quick Cooking Magazine. I'm not a huge pie person, but this one is easy & delicious.

Chocolate Mousse Pie
(From Quick Cooking Premiere Magazine)

Photo from
1 milk chocolate candy bar with or without almonds (7 oz) (I use Original Hershey's Chocolate Bar without almonds)
16 large marshmallows or 1-1/2 cups of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream, whipped (I use 2 cups of cool whip)
1 pastry shell, baked or graham cracker or chocolate crumb crust (8" or 9")

Place the candy bar, marshmallows & milk in a heavy saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted & mixture is smooth. Cool. Fold in whipped cream; pour into crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Garnish with additional chocolate pieces or curls.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe is one I've had laying around for years. I made it a lot when Livi was littler. It's quick, easy, budget friendly & really good. I found it originally on an ad for Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup. I've seen numerous versions of it over the years, but I'm going to record it here anyway just for the sake of having  our family favorites in one place...

Chicken Pot Pie
Photo from

1 can (10-3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 pkg (12 oz) frozen mixed vegetables (the recipe says "thawed" but I always just throw them in still frozen.)
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup Bisquick All-Purpose Baking Mix

Preheat oven to 400.
In a 9" pie plate mix soup, vegetables & chicken.
Mix milk, egg, & Bisquick.
Pour over chicken mixture..
Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden.

Serves 4

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A-1 Chili

This one is another one of those rare, great finds from It's a wonderfully different take on the usual winter chili. 

A-1 Chili
Photo from

1-1/4 lb. 90% lean ground beef
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tblsp garlic powder
3 Tblsp. chili powder
1 can (14-1/2 oz) tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup water
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/3 cup A-1 Original Steak Sauce

Cook meat, green pepper, onion & garlic in large heavy saucepan on medium heat 8-10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Add chili powder; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

**NOTE: if you do not use the 90% lean ground beef you will need to cook the beef first & then drain & then return to the pan & keep going with other ingredients. Otherwise, the chili gets very greasy.**

Drain tomatoes, reserving liquid; chop tomatoes. Add tomatoes, reserved liquid & the water to meat mixture. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 min, stirring occasionally. 

Add beans & steak sauce; stir until well blended. Cover & simmer an additional 5 min. 

Makes (6) 1 cup servings. 
Each serving= 300 calories

Steak Diane

This is a recipe I often forget I have but it is really tasty. It comes from Taste of Home Magazine, Dec/Jan 1999. I usually serve with a baked potato or potato wedges.

Steak Diane
Photo from

4 beef ribeye steaks (1/2 in thick)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp salt
4 Tblsp butter, divided
2 Tblsp finely chopped green onions
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 Tblsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tblsp minced fresh parsley
1 Tblsp minced fresh chives

Sprinkle steaks with pepper & salt. In a skillet, melt 2 Tblsp of butter. Stir in onions & mustard; cook for 1 minute. Add steaks; cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the meat reaches desired doneness. Remove to a serving platter & keep warm. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce & remaining butter to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes. Add parsley & chives. Pour over steaks.

Makes 4 servings.

Pizza Lasagna

I came across this recipe when I was doing Weight Watchers several years ago. It's a healthier take on lasagna & satisfies even the worst pizza craving. It can also be made with Boca Ground instead of ground beef without changing the taste much. Either way, it's a delicious, healthier meal!!

Pizza Lasagna
Taken from Light & Tasty Magazine, Aug/Sept. 2003

1/2 lb. lean ground beef
2 cans (14-1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) ready to serve creamy tomato sauce (I used a can of tomato sauce instead. Light & Tasty test kitchen recommended Healthy Choice Creamy Tomato Soup)
1 can (16 oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. each of dried oregano & garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
9 uncooked lasagna noodles (I cooked mine before assembling the dish)
4 oz. sliced turkey pepperoni
1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium red pepper, diced
6 green onions, chopped
1 can (2-1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained

In a nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
For sauce, in a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, soup, tomato paste, water, onion & seasonings.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce in a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Top with 3 noodles & a third of the sauce, then pepperoni. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Top with 2 noodles & a third of the sauce. Top with mushrooms, red pepper, green onions & beef. Top with remaining noodles, sauce & cheese. Sprinkle with olives.

Cover & bake at 350 for 1 hour (if noodles are precooked or 70-80 min. or until noodles are tender if noodles are uncooked). Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Spaghetti Skillet

Another delicious recipe from Quick Cooking Magazine before them, Taste of Home, & Light & Tasty Magazines went downhill (in my opinion). This ones comes from back when the magazines were completely ad-free, full of color photos & you couldn't hardly find a recipe in any of the issues that wasn't good....

Anyway, this recipe comes from the Annual Quick Cooking 2000 Book.

Spaghetti Skillet

Photo from
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14-1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems & pieces, drained
2 celery ribs
4 oz uncooked spaghetti, broken in half
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, cook beef and sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer for 14-16 minutes or until spaghetti is tender.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Grandma Patton's Potato Salad

One of my all time favorites!

Grandma Patton's Potato Salad

Unfortunately, I don't have measurements for the ingredients on this either but I'll try to give you some estimates to get you started. The rest you have to use your taste tester to figure out :)

Potatoes (for the 3 of us, I might use a 5 lb. bag mainly because I always want leftovers of this; for a family gathering I'd use at least a 10 lb. bag)

**Side note, my mom always said when making potatoes (like mashed, potato salad, etc) you peel 2 for each person & throw in a couple for the pot. That works for normal people, but I have an addiction to potatoes so I usually throw in a few more just because :) **

Other ingredients:
Mayo (you truly have to eyeball this to get the consistency of potato salad you want)
Relish - dill not sweet, (2-4 Tblsp., maybe a little more)
Eggs (2-3)
Onion (1/4-1/2 cup, chopped)
Salt & Pepper to taste
American Cheese Slices (2-4)

Dice, cook & drain potatoes. Lay the cheese slices on top of the hot potatoes. Cover & allow cheese to melt. Add remaining ingredients & mix. Enjoy!!

Velveeta Chicken and Vegetable Stir-fry

I rarely find a Kraft Foods recipe that I like (sorry, Kraft). I love Kraft brand foods, but I generally find their recipes lacking. This recipe, however, is one of those rare finds. It is advertised as a "healthier" meal & the original recipe uses Velveeta Light. I usually use the Kroger brand version of "Velveeta" & therefore don't use a "light" version.

Velveeta Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry
Photo from

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1-1/4 lbs), cut up (You could also use the pre-cooked, frozen chicken breast strips)
2 Tblsp. Kraft Light Done Right House Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
3 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 medium red pepper, cut into strips
1 medium yellow squash, cut into slices
6 oz. of Velveeta cheese product, cut up
1 Tblsp. milk

Cook chicken in dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Add vegetable; stir. Reduce heat to medium; cover. Simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Meanwhile, mix Velveeta & milk in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on high 2-3 minutes or until Velveeta is melted, stirring after 2 minutes.

Place chicken mixture on serving plate & top with Velveeta sauce.

Makes (6) 1-cup servings.
**If you make this with Light Velveeta, the Light salad dressing & fat free milk, each serving only has 200 calories!!!

Mom's Pea Salad

Mom's Pea Salad recipe has been a much requested hit at our family gatherings for years. She always made it in one of those ginormous Tupperware bowls. You can actually halve the recipe & make it in a smaller bowl.

Mom's Pea Salad

Layer the following in a large, non-metal container.

Head of lettuce (torn into pieces)
Chopped onions
Grated carrots
Green peppers
2 (16oz) bags of frozen peas, thawed
2 cups salad dressing spread over the peas (use more if needed to cover the peas entirely)
Bacon, crumbled or bacon pieces
6 hard boiled eggs
Parmesan cheese
Grated cheddar cheese

Refrigerate over night.

Stir well before serving the next day. Makes 20 servings.

**Now you'll notice that there are no measurements for many of these ingredients. You can thank my mom for that. She's one of those....the eyeballers, dash of this, pinch of that, "until it looks right" type cookers. So,  basically for this recipe you're making a layer of each item in the bowl. If you like onions, make a thicker layer. If you hate carrots, omit them or make a thinner layer. You get the picture. Sorry that's not much help when you are buying ingredients for the 1st time, is it?**

This is a pretty & delicious side dish. Enjoy!


Years ago I thought I'd win mother-of-the-year if I homemade Livi's birthday cakes. I made one...when she was 3...and I've bought one ever since. I have the utmost respect for people who do cakes for a living. They are creative, talented, patient people and I have absolutely no problem paying them to do all my cake making for me.

However, in the process of trying to be cake baker/decorator extraordinare, I did discover some good icing recipes that I wanted to hang on to & pass along.

Buttercream Icing

*(From the original author): "This is an egg-free frosting. If you need to add coloring, use color paste. If you use liquid color, you may need to add more confectioners' sugar. Makes 2-1/2 cups."

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tblsp milk

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla.
Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light & fluffy.
Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

**This is a decorating icing & will harden as it sets**

Butterfly Icing

*(From the original author): "This is a great recipe to put into your cake decorator attachments for making letters, borders, flowers, etc. Use any food coloring. Makes 1-1/2 cups."

2 Tblsp. butter
3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 egg white
1 Tblsp. cream
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
3 drops of any food coloring

Cream butter. Add part of the sugar, gradually, blending after each addition. Add remaining sugar, alternately with egg white, then with cream, beating after each addition until smooth. Stir in vanilla & salt. Divide into different bowls if you wish to make different colors, and tint delicately with coloring. Keep frosting covered to avoid crusting. If necessary, one or two drops of cream or milk may be added to maintain consistency.

*This is a great recipe & can even be made the night before as long as you keep it covered.**

French Buttercream Frosting

*(From the original author): "This buttercream is great for icing cakes & writing on them. It gets hard when refrigerated, so you have to let it come to room temperature before serving. You CANNOT make flowers with this recipe. Makes 2 cups."

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. butter flavored extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Mix heavy cream and flour in a small bowl. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 45 seconds on high. Set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine butter, shortening, confectioners' sugar, vanilla & butter extract
Using an electric mixer, beat on low until combined. Then beat on medium for 6-8 minutes.
Next add the heavy cream mixture and beat on medium for another 10 minutes. (Mixture will appear soupy at first, but then will become fluffy).

**This is a good, not-too-sweet icing. Don't make it ahead though because it will not warm up to room temperature & be spreadable**

Decorator Frosting

Makes 2 cups

2/3 cups butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tblsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 drops any color food coloring

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, confectioners' sugar, and milk until light & fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Beat in vanilla & food coloring.

**Hardens when set**

Wedding Cake Icing

*(From the original author):  "Very easy!! Add a little more water to the ice the cake & a little less to make the decorations. Makes 4 cups."

1 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup water
8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Mix shortening, water, vanilla, almond extract and half of the powdered sugar with a mixer for 5-10 minutes (It's very important to mix this long).
Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat just enough to mix in
Add additional water for desired consistency.

**Use an offset spatula dipped in water to smooth icing on cake**

Glazed Apple Pan Pie

I haven't made one of these in years, but I use to make them every Christmas. It's basically a delicious apple pie made in a 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. It's great for taking "apple pie" to a large family gathering because it makes 24 servings. My Dad is probably the pickiest apple pie connoisseur I know & even he said it was delicious.

The original recipe came from Taste of Home Magazine, Oct/Nov. 1998 issue. Unbelievably, I haven't really tweeked this recipe.

Glazed Apple Pan Pie

5 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cups shortening
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup ice water

14 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (I always use Jonathon apples..It takes about 10 lbs. for this recipe).
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tblsp. butter
2 Tblsp. milk

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 Tblsp. water
1/8 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt & baking powder.
Cut in shortening until crumbly.
Beat egg yolks & water.
Add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
Divide dough in half.
Roll out one half to fit the bottom of an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan.

Toss apples with lemon juice & vanilla; set aside.
Combine sugars, cinnamon, & salt.
Place half of the apples over the crust.
Sprinkle with half the sugar mixture.
Dot with butter.

Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. (This does not have to be smooth & pretty. You can actually piece a top together & it will look fine after it's baked.)
Seal & flute edges. (Okay, let's be honest, I didn't "flute" the edges. I sealed them & called it good. Homemade crust & I do not always agree :/)

Brush with milk.
Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool for 10 minutes.
Combine glaze ingredients & drizzle over pie.

Grandma Ann's Fudge

Today I'm going to do something I seldom, if ever, a recipe I haven't made myself.

Here's why: I am not a fudge maker. Anything that has to "set up" causes me great distress. (Need proof? Ask me to make some No Bakes/Cow Patties).

Anyway, these 2 fudge recipes are my Grandma Ann's (Livi's Great-Grandma on my Dad's side). I KNOW they are delicious & I KNOW they set-up if you are a fudge maker & the "set-up" gods do not hate you like they do me. So, even though I haven't personally goofed up made these, I can attest to their goodness.

Grandma Ann's Chocolate Fudge

4 cups white sugar
1 can (12 oz) PET milk
1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bar German Chocolate
1/2 stick butter
small jar of marshmallow creme
2 tsp. vanilla
Tblsp. of peanut butter (optional)

Boil sugar & milk for 8 minutes.
Melt chocolates.
Remove from heat - add other ingredients.
Stir & put in a 9 x 13 pan.

Grandma Ann's Peanut Butter Fudge

3 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 can (12 oz) PET milk
3-1/2 Tblsp. butter (stick)
small jar of marshmallow creme
2 tsp. vanilla
1 small jar of peanut butter
2/3 of a big jar of peanut butter

Boil sugars & milk for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat - add other ingredients
Stir & put in 9 x 13 pan.


This recipe was given to me years ago by Toby's sister-in-law. Although they are super yummy, unless you have a small village to help you roll the peanut butter balls, I'd recommend you drastically cut this recipe down. I don't remember exactly how many it makes, but it's gotta be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 million...ok, I makes about 900,000 ;)  However, if you are making candy for a lot of people, this is great recipe for making lots of candy on a budget.


Photo from
3 lbs. powdered sugar
2 lbs peanut butter
1 lb. soft butter

1-1/2 package of chocolate chips
1 stick paraffin

Mix powdered sugar, peanut butter & butter. Roll into small balls & chill.

Melt chocolate chips & paraffin in sauce pan.

Dip rolled balls in to chocolate by stabbing peanut butter ball with toothpick & then dipping.
Cool on wax paper.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crack Potatoes

I originally found this recipe here after coming across it on Pinterest. It sounded like it made several servings so I was waiting for a family function that I could test it out share it at. That opportunity came in the form of Christmas at my Mom's. Turns out they were a BIG hit so here's the recipe.

Crack Potatoes

2 (16 oz) containers of sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (3 oz) bags real bacon bits
2 packages Ranch Dip mix
1 large bag frozen hash brown potatoes

Before baking...
Combine first 4 ingredients, mix in hash browns. Spread into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 400 for 45-50 min. 

**Personally, I thought this dish was WAY too salty. Everyone else said it was just fine to them. Regardless, I think I'll try it next time with 1 Ranch Dip mix & 1 Ranch Salad Dressing mix (because the dressing mix is less salty).**

After baking...
picture thanks to
because mine were gone so fast I didn't have time to snap a picture!