Tag Archive | Cook

Bad Weather Makes Me Cook = Gaining Pounds!

With the weather coming in the form of ice, sleet and snow k11253065 Sunday night … through Monday… and still on the ground Tuesday… I didn’t have to work…

Our Seniors stay home on such bad weather days… No one wants them to fall…k12864083

I was getting ready when I got the call…k7108300

I’ve been in the house like so many others… that I was really looking forward to seeing my Senior Friends at the YMCA

When I’m in a lot… I tend to look for something to cookk14082118 NOT a good idea… I know I’ve gained pounds ouch! this winter!… but, hopefully summer and warmer weather will help me…

A simple snack for our TV watching night is Velveeta Cheese/ Rotel (Famous Queso Dip) with Tostitos Scoops… I like the way they are made into a little cup…



I used Wal-Mart‘s Brand of Rotel…works fine!


and also Wal-Mart’s version of Velveeta… “Melt and Dip“…works fine…tastes great!


Just added to my small crock pot and heated until melted…stirring occasionally…


Yummy with Tostitos Scoops! tostitos-scoops

The simplest recipes are sometimes the best!

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Cowboy Stew…Thanks to Freeda

One of my lovely blogging friends mentioned Cowboy Stew that she was making…


It sounded so good for a cold snowy day… and that’s just the kind of day we were havng! k10369666

She was sweet enough to pass the recipe k14882261 onto me…

This is the link to her posts…


She writes the most wonderful poetry and talks of her life in the Ozarks in Arkansas85px-Seal_of_Arkansas_svg

I had received a new crock pot for Christmas and have been wanting to try it out…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This was the opportunity… wanting to try this yummy sounding recipe!…

Cowboy Stew
1 tbsp margarine (butter)
1 lb ground beef (turkey)
1 onion, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup celery, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 #303 can tomatoes (1 can rotel tomatoes)
1 16-oz. can whole kernel yellow corn
1 32-oz. can ranch-style beans
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water (or enough to make sauce without scorching)
* Melt butter in 5-6 quart pot.
* Add ground beef and brown well.
* Add onion, green onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; saute with browned meat until soft.
* Add salt, pepper, chili powder, and sugar; stir in well.
* Add rotel tomatoes, corn, beans, cubed potatoes, and water.
* Stir all together and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to keep from scorching.
* Reduce heat and cover.
* Simmer until potatoes are soft (about 30-40 minutes).

(Freeda Baker Nichols’ Variation)

1 tbsp. margarine
1 pound ground beef ( a little more than that)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
I package McCormick Chili Mix, Original flavor
1 small can tomato sauce, unsalted
1 can (16 oz) ranch-style beans
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed ( small cubes)
3 cups water ( more, as needed)

* Melt butter in 5-6 quart pot.
* Add ground beef and brown well.
* Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté with browned meat until soft.
* Add salt, pepper, chili powder mix, stir in well.
* Add tomato sauce, beans, cubed potatoes, and water.
* Stir all together and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to keep from scorching.
* Reduce heat and cover.
* Simmer until potatoes are soft (about 30-40 minutes).

I made the original version… wanting everything in it!…

since I was going to make a big pot!… and figured we would eat on it a couple of days!…

It is a little spicy just hot enough!… szo0041

My guys loved it and so did I!…

More of a soup to me… would be awesome with Corn Bread 11115885 

but we ate it late tonight to taste it… so just had it all by itself… DELICIOUS!


Will bake some corn bread another time…

Thanks Freeda!

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Beginning My New Year

My head is spinning with new thoughts on what the New Year may hold… and things I want to accomplish!k5436749

Some things I have done already!…

Made a new resumek6543634

Emailed it to the YMCA for a job openingYMCA-SVG-Common_International_svg

I’ve started my Good Things in 2014 List… (will be daily)

Todays good thing was our invitation to my nephew’s home for a wonderful New Year’s Day meal… all foods included for health… wealth… and good luck…


Roast Porkk9507312

Corn Beef

Mashed Potatoes

Fried Corn with Bacon

Black-eyed Peas u11641525


Cheesy Cabbage k13643706

Corn Bread

Apple Pie 42-19732181

Pecan Pie


Wasn’t that deserving of my “Good Things List” item!


I want to save some money this year… k14001119

I will follow this chart…


Something I feel I can manage…

I will have to do it monthly instead of weekly… because of how our money comes in…

I will also put aside in a container of some sort… 10% for God… each month… to be used for whoever or whatever I see fit at the end of the year…

( actually where God sees fit).k5280428..

HE doesn’t ask for very much!

I always keep a calendar… to keep track of appointments and fun stuff!… already bought and hanging… One in my kitchen 140101_006 … one from my cousin on my computer desk 140101_007

I will share more later… my list is a long one… some leftovers from 2013… hanging around… to complete… k9486576

But, I feel good about my start…

Christmas Party Fun!

Last night there was a Christmas Party  u11216554 with my TOPS friends(Take Off Pounds Sensibly)…

We went out one year to eat and then the last three years we have opted to have our get-together at the meeting room where we meet each week…

It is so much more fun!…

Due mainly to our club leader


Our Leader, Sharon… in red…

She makes the room into a wonderful Christmas Party atmosphere!k7497879

with decorations… pretty tablecloths… colorful festive tablewarecenterpieces u11289609… and little gifts running up the middle of the length of tables…


Table decorations and lots of friendly conversation!


There is meat and bread provided… along with drinks/ice…

( this time we had lean pulled pork and chicken ) with BBQ saucefrom Mark’s Feed Store…


since turkey and ham is usually the meat served everywhere else…

We all sign up to bring lower calorie dishes

We are all pretty good cooksu11777124 … or we wouldn’t need the club to help us stay on track of our weight or encouragement to lose those extra pounds...

Menu last night included…

green beans, glazed carrots, salad, jello salads, carrot salad, fruit, couple of different potato dishes, turkey/ dressing (after all), frito corn salad, veggie pizza appetizer, deviled eggs, broccoli casserole and a few desserts…


My contribution…Veggie Pizza Appetizer


Enjoying all of the good food!

I wouldn’t have liked to weigh after dinner  k12581406 … but, we did before and I am pleased to say I had lostYES!kch0052

As a group we gave our leader a gift card k4432558… and expressed how grateful we are for her hard work……

and then the fun began!

Sharon had 5 games…

Left-Right Game




and 25 Christmas Items…

On this last one we all brought at least 25 or more Christmas Items in a bagk1658377 

Our leader read off a list of 25 items … Any items we had in our bag that matched her list counted as 1 point each…

Whoever had the most matches won a prize… gwil60212

It was so much fun!… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The kid in all of us comes out at these times!

Everyone left with a prizek15728629

We all help clean up… so it doesn’t take long to get everything packed away… divvied out… and cleaned up…

We are a good teamencouraging each other in every way!k11738059k9865422

Just Because the Oven Is Hot!

I’ve got to quit cooking and baking!…

or do I…

I got up early as I usually do…

Waffles kept calling my name… and I hoped everyone else was in the same mode… because that is what I made…

Blueberry Waffle Mix with extra blueberries and my homemade blueberry jam…


Love lots of Blueberries


I checked in the mirror to see if I had turned blue… but, no I was just fine… but, I did have a smile on my face!…

I then decided to make a Coconut Cake for my husband… No… he doesn’t need it… but, I treat him sometimes… Oh… get real… all of the time!…


Coconut Creme makes the cake so moist!


Then… that little pumpkin that I had bought was staring me in the face…

“What are you going to do with me?”, it seemed to ask…

I just decided to take all of the seeds out of it… and toast them in the oven… a little Cooking Spray… a little sprinkle of salt… and let bake until turn a light golden brown and crunchy…

I just love munching on them!…


Pulled out all of the seeds…


Rinsed seeds really well…


Laid seeds on a sprayed baking sheet to dry…


Baked in hot oven until golden brown and crispy!

My next thought went to dinner… and I love having things done a little ahead of schedule… so, while the oven is hot in go the three stuffed peppers I have…”the last of the last” as my Mom used to say… that my daughter-in-law’s Mother had made for me this summer… She made me 24 of them to put in the freezer… “I love you Pam!”… They were so delicious and we will enjoy the last of them later today!…


I just put a can of RO*TEL on them512-ccBBSuL__SY300_


I’m not finished!…

I was on a roll…

The oven was hot and I wasn’t going to waste the heat…

and actually felt good with temperatures being low and flurries in the air…

While the peppers were baking I put together a cabbage casserole recipe a lady at the YMCA told me about…

Remember… I’m a simple person… and this was a simple recipe…

Head of cabbage cut up… I like it in long pieces… and placed in a greased (Spray Pam) baking dish (8″ X 8″) … Pour a can of Cream of Chicken Soup mixed with 1/2 c. of water over the cabbage… top with bread crumbs and pats of butter…


We will see how it tastes later along with the Peppers… but, how could it be bad!…

I think my stomach is growling… from all of the wonderful smells wafting around in my kitchen… Husband says, “It smells like a delicatessen”, as he peeks into the oven… k8579335

Sunday Gratefuls: November 24, 2013-Turkey Roasting Pan

We frequent Horseshoe Casino in Indiana across the River… playing penny slots every now and then… or eating lunch or dinner…


So, sometimes we get FREE OFFERS from them…

Like a gift card for a turkey two weeks ago…k16037210

A gas card last week…k13566248

and today a Roasting Pan to bake the turkey in… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I didn’t have a Roasting Pan… and was grateful to be able to go and get this one…

I remember Mom having her big pan… but, then she had a lot of “mouths to feed”… as was said…

The smell of baking turkey szo0600 wafting upstairs to my bedroom… was the best smell… and I knew she was getting everything ready for all of the company we were going to have…

Family… relatives and friends… k4693971

She made most everything herself… for a long time… sfo0350

as we set the table with the white and lace tablecloth… “good” dishes… silverware and napkins… k15918650

Turkey / Gravy

Dressing… ( Stuffing )- 3 kinds… Regular bread/ Cornbread /Oyster


Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Sauce

Sweet potatoes ( Candied Yams) … k15771642

Fordhook Lima Beans

Green Beans


Hot Rolls / butter

Cranberry Relish k4751631

Stuffed Celery – Pickles k11969984

5 – cup salad

Pies…Cakes…Cookies…Cobblers k12728614

As she aged we all pitched in to bring the sides and desserts…  but, she still made the Turkey – Dressing – Gravy…

Although she passed in 2007 at the age of 98… the smell of the house remains with me… and her devotion of cooking all of us that wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanks Mom…

and although I have been invited out to eat Thanksgiving Dinner for so many years…

sometime I’ll have to put my Roasting Pan 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  to use and make a big dinner… and see if my house smells as good!

Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

A fellow blogger was talking about how a song or a piece of music made her think of certain people

It happens to me when I’m cooking sometimes…

like today…

I cooked green cabbage and baked Idaho potatoesk14778718

Cabbage just cut in wedges… boiled with a little water… salt/pepper… a little sugar and butter184732

I cook until tender not stirring much… because I like the wedges of the cabbage to remain whole

Baked potatoes with salt/pepper and I admit a lot of butter!…


Nothing else… it was the midday meal… and I couldn’t have eaten anything that tasted better…

Every time I start to cook cabbage a memory of a friend’s Mother comes to the surface…

I would be visiting and that simmering cabbage and big bowl of homemade mashed potatoes k4508598would be set on the table… sometimes cornbread baked in an iron skillet… k5650848

We dipped right out of the pan that the cabbage had been cooked in… 178320

I never tasted anything as good!k15802113

and didn’t realize that’s probably all there was to eat…

Maybe that’s why… what I cooked today… tasted so wonderful…

It wasn’t the food… it was the good memory… k11242244

Cooking Utensils I want!

I’ve been wanting a Mandoline… To be able to slice veggies into ribbons and small pieces… for salads… soups… veggie dishes


Looks so pretty… and I like the texture when eating…

2011_02_04-slaw1  2011_05_18-asparagus1

I know I could buy one at a store… but, it’s on my list for my Thrift Store finds

Another thing I have wanted is a Madeleine Pan… to make those sweet little cakes for the Holidays… 220px-Madeleinetraysmall


but, will have to keep looking… The fun is in the hunt!…

I did happen on this neat little pan that had shapes that reminded me of “peanuts”…


Well, that’s what it looked like to me…

I just liked it… so bought it… thinking of some cute cookie shapes… or little cakes of some kind…


Then, it dawned on me!… Lightbulb moment!…

This was an Eclair Pan… 200px-Eclair_1120005560

and I love Eclairs pastry… custard filling and chocolate frosting!…


So, I looked up a few recipes… and these seem to be as simple as I could find…

Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from

being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions.


Specialty tools: Two 12-cavity Madeleine pans

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen

4 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely minced

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the cavities of two 12-cavity Madeleine pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside briefly.
  2. Using a mixer, beat the eggs with the salt in a large mixing bowl until they’re foamy.

Gradually add the sugar and whip the mixture at medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is pale colored and holds a slowly dissolving ribbon when the beater is lifted. Add the vanilla extract and blend in well.

  1. Fold the flour into the mixture in three stages. Fold in the melted butter in three stages. Blend in the lemon zest.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Pour the batter into each cavity of the pans, filling three-fourths full.
  3. Place the pans on baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, until the Madeleine’s are golden and spring back when touched. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and turn the Madeleine pans upside down on cooling racks.

Gently shake the pans to remove the cookies. Cool completely on the racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.




Serves: 10

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into quarters
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (1      pint) heavy cream
  • 1 (4-serving)      package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’      sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened      cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons milk
What To Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. In a medium saucepan, bring water, butter, and  salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add flour all at once and stir quickly  with a wooden  spoon  until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat.
  2. Add 1 egg to mixture and beat hard with wooden spoon to blend. Add remaining  eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; each egg must be  completely blended before the next egg is added. While beating dough, its  consistency will change from looking almost curdled to smooth.
  3. When dough is smooth, spoon it into a large resealable plastic storage bag  and, using scissors, snip off one corner of bag, making a 1-inch-wide cut.  Gently squeeze bag to form ten 1″ x 4″ dough logs about 2 inches apart on an  ungreased large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and  puffy. Remove to a wire  rack  to cool.     ( I would use my pan I found )…
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in pudding mix and  set aside. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, cocoa,  and milk to make a smooth icing.
  5. Cut eclair shells horizontally in half and spoon pudding mixture equally  into bottom of each. Replace tops of eclair shells and spread cocoa icing  over tops. Cover loosely and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Pastry/Bakery-Style-Eclairs-503#fW0qyAH4HUg31Z7t.99

Simple… Blueberry Jam!

It’s a good thing I live with the man I do…

He pretty much wakes up and just waits to see what I’m going to do

If I decide to cleanOK with him!…k14386366

If I decide to playOK with himsdu0040

If I decide not to cook breakfast OK with him…

and then there may be a feast waiting

OK with him!u26664217

Today after breakfast I started making Blueberry Jam

I’m addicted to this freezer jam recipe

I had made Strawberry about a month ago… Have

two jars left…


So easy! … and for some reason… The jam made at home tastes so good!…

Even if it is a simple recipe


Fresh Blueberries… about 2 to 2-1/2 pints

Washed …


5 to 5-1/2 cups Sugar and I packet of Sure-Jell

Add sugar to berries… stir till to sugar is dissolved…

Boil packet of pectin with 3/4 cup water for 1 minute…

add to berries and stir for 3 minutes…


Put in clean jars… I had saved these… why buy… when you already have these cute jars from other items…


This recipe made 5 jars exactly… just enough to get out of freezer and enjoy!


They are so prettydark purple/blue in color…

Can’t wait to taste!

Have to let sit for 24 hours before refrigerating (Will last a couple of weeks)… or freeze for up to a year!

My word for the year is “Simple”… chosen on January 1, 2013…

I loved the idea of just choosing a word to get you through the year!…

and this recipe fits in perfectly!

Zucchini for One or Two… If You Like It!

Today I wanted to write about something fun… easy and yummy!…

I’m trying to eat more fresh veggies and fruit…

I have a goal to lose 20 pounds by Christmas… u10106036

That’s to be seen of course… but, I think I might have the mindset to do it!

I bought some zucchini… or as I learned from a fellow blogger “My Beautiful Things”… Courgette

knowing my guys aren’t going to eat it… but, I wanted to try a new recipe I had seen… and it sounded like something “I” would eat and enjoy…

Being a “simple” person… and liking things easy to prepare… I winged it…


Since I would be the only one eating it… I bought 2 small/medium size zucchini


1- package Vegetable Rice Medley Mix (Knorr) brand… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had some shredded cheese… only took about 1-cup… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Salt/pepper/ and a shake of some mixed seasoning I had…

Whatever you like…k4603497

So… here is my version of …

“Rice Stuffed Zucchini”


I microwaved zucchini for about 4-5 minutes until soft…

Scooped out insides leaving a well to stuff…

I saved the zucchini that I had scooped out… added some chopped onion and sautéed in butter until tender…k3930734BED0015


After cooking rice per directions on package (water and butter)… boil…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I added sautéed zucchini and onion

and spooned into shells of zucchini…


Sprinkled shredded cheese on top… and baked for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees……


This is the photo right before putting in oven,,,

Why I didn’t take photo after baking… is beyond me…

Well, maybe I was just so pleased at how they looked… I forgot… and couldn’t wait to taste!…

Healthy… easy and my complete meal… (Actually two servings)…