Friday, November 28, 2008


Basic Slipper Pattern:

US 9 (5.5 mm) needle
US 11 (8.0 mm) needle for bind off
Worsted weight yarn 7 ounce skein (plenty for all sizes)
Fun Fur 2 balls (1 ball is enough for smallest size)

Gauge: 3-1/2 stitches to the inch

Directions are for 6 (7-8-9-10-11-12) inch slippers.

With double strand of worsted weight, cast on 44 (50-56-62-68-74-80) stitches.

Work in garter stitch for 2 inches.

Cut off one strand of worsted weight and begin knitting with one strand of worsted and one of novelty yarn.

Knit the next row placing a marker between the center stitches.

Row 1: Knit to within 6 stitches of marker, k2 tog 3 times, slip marker, k2 tog 3 times, k1, turn, purl 8, turn and knit to end of row.

Row 2: Purl across.

Repeat these 2 rows until 26 stitches remain, ending with purl row.

Work in stockinet for 5 rows.

Work 5 rows in k1-p1 ribbing. Bind off loosely (this is the cuff of slipper). Use size 11 needle to bind off.

Fold in half purl sides together (the purl side is fuzzier). Sew bottom and back using one strand of the cast on tails for each seam.

Bootie pictured is the 6 inch size, which is a children’s size 8.

loom baby ugg's

Tools: small round blue Knifty Knitter loom, 1 skien Vanna White yarn in taupe, 1 skien fuzzy tan yarn

Calf to Ankle:

Using the blue kk loom, cast on 10 pegs using e-wrap and knit 24 rows back and forth. This will knit a flat peice. After kniting 24 rows, crochet off. Put this peice aside.


Using the blue kk loom, cast on 8 pegs and knit 16 rows back and forth using e-wrap. Crochet off, and set aside.


Cast on blue kk loom 5 pegs and knit 8 rows back and forth using e-wrap. Crochet off.

Now, get the peice made for the toe. Turn inside out and sew up one end and two sides leaving the other end open. Turn right side out and set aside.

Take the panel you made for the calf to ankle and turn inside out sewing the two ends together. Turn right side out once this is done and set aside.

Now, take the heel peice lengthwise and sew one end to the bottom of the opening for the toe. Once it is attached to the bottom of the toe, get the calf to ankle peice and sew the front of it to the top of the toe opening, gradually sewing around until you get to the heel peice. Then sew the heel to the calf to ankle peice going around until all three peices are sewed together.

Once this is done, cut a long strand of the fuzzy yarn and go around the top of the boot basically whipping the yarn on around it. Then you will sew a line down to the toe at a slant. Once you have done this and the yarn is above the toe, then sew around to each side with the fuzzy yarn.

And your done!! I hope you all will try this pattern and share with me your results! If anyone has any questions feel free to let me know! I hope you all like them!

fits 6 month to 1 year

slipper boot

Sizes XS(S,M,L,XL)
XS & S = small child to young teen
M = Women size 6 to 8 shoe
L & XL = Men
Directions are for smallest size with larger sizes in brackets. If there is only one figure, it applies to all sizes.

any knitting worsted weight yarn
4.5mm double pointed needles (4 needles for small sizes and 5 needles for larger sizes) or size to obtain gauge
markers, darning needle

Gauge: 20 sts and 26 rows = 4"/10 cm over stockinette st

2x2 ribbing - *k2, p2, repeat from *
dpn(s) - double-pointed needle(s)
k - knit
k2tog - knit 2 stitches together
p – purl
p2tog – purl 2 stitches together
pm - place marker
rnd(s) - round(s)
ssk - slip 2 stitches separately to right needle as if to knit. Knit these 2 stitches together by inserting left needle into them from left to right.
st(s) - stitch(es)

Bottom of boot:
Cast on 64(72,80,88,96) sts distributing evenly over 3 needles, pm and join.
*K 1 rnd, p 1 rnd, repeat from * 5(6,6,7,7) more times.

Middle portion of boot:
K29(33,37,41,45) sts, k2tog, p1, pm to denote centre of boot, p1, ssk, k to end of rnd.
Following rnds, k to last 3 sts before centre marker, k2tog, p1, slip marker, p1, ssk, k to end of rnd.
Continue decreasing in this manner until 32(36,40,40,44) sts left on needles.

Top/ribbing of boot, XS(M,L):
Work a 2x2 ribbing for 16(20,20) rnds, p1, *k2, p2, repeat from * to last 3 sts, k2, p1.
Bind off loosely.

Top/ribbing of boot, S(XL):
Work a 2x2 ribbing for 18(22) rnds, k1, *p2, k2, repeat from * to last 3 sts, p2, k1.
Bind off loosely.

Sew up bottom with darning needle and weave in ends.
Fold cuff over.

1. Work bottom, middle portion and ribbing in 3 different colours.
2. Work bottom and cuff in one colour, middle portion in another colour.
3. Embellish boot with a fancy edging.

The following pattern is the original source for my adaptation above.

Amy Detjen's Aunt Alm's Dorm Boots!

4 mm/US 6 needle and 2 oz knitting worsted weight yarn
Cast on 76 sts (86 sts for men) - (3.75 mm/US 5 needle with 76 sts for children)

Knit 14 rows (7 ridges) in Garter Stitch.

Row 1 - K35, k2tog, p2, k2tog in back of st, k35.
Row 2 - P34, p2tog in back of st, k2, p2tog, p34.

Continue these two rows until there are 40 sts left on needles.
Work 7 rows (3.5 ridges) of Garter Stitch.
Bind off with large needle. Sew up back and bottom.

- - - - Amy adds - - -

Aunt Alm died last summer (1998), and I know she's just sitting up there waiting for us to cast on ... but she also wouldn't mind if we edited her pattern a little.

These are the official Knitu Dorm Boots!!! Knit on....

Fuzzy knitted boot slippers

Knitted Boot Slippers - Child
This is a favorite pattern of mine and I have created a crocheted version of it for those that don't knit. Here is the knitted version.

1 to 3 yrs of age size # 6 needles
4 to 6 yrs of age size # 8 needles
Knitting Worsted Yarn

Cast on 52 sts and work 8 rows of garter st. (knit each row).

Row 9: Knit 22 sts, k2 tog; put a marker on needle; k2, put another marker on needle; slip 1 st, k1, pass slip st over, knit to the end of the row.

Row 10: Purl to marker, K2, purl to end of row.

Row 11: Knit to within 2 sts of marker, k 2 tog, move marker, k 2, move marker, slip 1, k1, pass slip stitch over, knit to end of row.

Repeat Rows 10 and 11 until only 28sts remain on needle.

Then knit 8 rows of garter sts and on 9th row, bind off loosely.

Sew sole and back heel seams together.


Try using baby yarn and size 4 needles for baby size booties. If you want to make
the foot to be longer or shorter just add or subtract stitches from the cast on total in
increments of two.

My pink and white variation it the same pattern but changes where it says to knit 8 rows even.
I fasten off the pink and tie on one strand of white sport weight yarn and one strand of white
eyelash yarn. Using these two strands of white yarns I knit the 8 rows evenly. This makes for
a soft fuzzy top on the slipper.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

slipper socks

Knit this cold-weather craft to keep your tootsies toasty!

By Anna Hobbs
Designed by Joanne Scantlebury

Brisk days and frosty nights are coming our way again. To help you face the chilly weather in comfort and style, P.E.I. designer Joanne Scantlebury knit these leg-warming slipper socks using scraps of wool yarn. They're great for aprés ski, or aprés anything!

Knee-high slipper socks are knit on two needles from the top down using leftover scraps of 3-ply yarn. Recommended for knitters with some experience. Standard abbreviations are used. Instructions are given for one-size adult slipper sock, measurements as follows:

Foot length: 27 cm (10-1/2 ins)
Leg length: 44.5 cm (17-1/2 ins)
Leg circumference: 28 cm (11 ins)

You need:
Scraps of 3-ply yarn in 15 colours, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N and P, which knits to the tension given below
One pair 4.50 mm needles OR whichever needles you require to produce the tension given below
4.00 mm crochet hook
3 stitch holders
Tapestry needle

16 sts and 18 rows = 10 cm (4 ins) in St st. Work to the exact tension with the specified yarn to obtain satisfactory results.


Pattern I
Click to download the pattern.

Pattern II

Rows 1 to 3: Work rows 1 to 3 of graph in St st.
Rows 4 and 5: Work rows 2 and 3 of graph in St st.
Row 6: Work row 1 of graph in St st.

To make:
Beg at top of sock, with A cast on 50 sts.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: K3, k2tog, yon, (k5, k2tog, yon) to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 3: Knit.
Row 4: Purl.
Rows 5 and 6: With B, knit.
Rows 7 to 12: With X = C and O = D, work Pattern II.
Rows 13 and 14: With E, knit.
Rows 15 and 16: With F, knit.
Rows 17 and 18: With G, knit.
Rows 19 to 26: With X = H, O = A, * = I and + = G, work Pattern I graph.
Rows 27 and 28: With J, knit.
Rows 29 and 30: With K, knit.
Rows 31 and 32: With A, knit.
Rows 33 to 38: With X = L and O = C, work Pattern II.
Rows 39 and 40: With E, knit.
Rows 41 and 42: With F, knit.
Rows 43 and 44: With B, knit.
Rows 45 to 52: With X = M, O = N, * = P and + = B, work Pattern I graph.
Rows 53 and 54: With J, knit.
Rows 55 and 56: With C, knit.
Rows 57 and 58: With N, knit.
Rows 59 to 64: With X = F and O = J, work Pattern II.
Rows 65 and 66: With E, knit.
Rows 67 and 68: With K, knit.
Rows 69 and 70: With G, knit.
Rows 71 to 78: With X = H, O = A, * = I and + = G, work Pattern I graph.
Rows 79 and 80: With L, knit.
Rows 81 and 82: With C, knit.
Rows 83 and 84: With A, knit.

To shape upper foot:
Next row: With K, k33, place rem 17 sts on st holder.
Next row: With K, p16, place rem 17 sts on st holder.
With X = D and O = K, work rows 2 and 3 of Pattern I graph 10 times.

Continue alternating rows 2 and 3 of graph and at same time dec 1 st each at end of needle on every row until 8 sts rem. Place these sts on holder. Break yarns.

To shape sides:
With K, right side of work facing and beg at right ankle, pick up and k 25 sts along top right-hand edge of upper foot, k 8 sts from toe st holder, pick up and k 25 sts along top left-hand side of upper foot, k 17 sts from stitch holder.

Next row: Purl, p 17 sts from rem st holder. 92 sts now on needle.
With E, k 2 rows.
With F, k 2 rows.
With N, k 2 rows.
With P, k 2 rows.
With B, k 2 rows.

To shape sole:
Next row: With C, k42, (k2tog) 4 times, k42. 88 sts now on needle.
Next row: Knit.
Next row: K40, (k2tog) 4 times, k40. 84 sts now on needle.
Next row: Knit. Cast off.

To finish:
With C, sew up bottom of sock. Sew back seam.
With G and crochet hook, work 1 row sc around top of sock. Weave in yarn ends on wrong side of work.

Tie and Tassels
Cut four 150 cm (59-ins) lengths of different-coloured yarns. Knot 2 strands to the other 2 to make 3 m (118-ins) length. Attach one end to a doorknob or clamp. Twist yarn until it becomes a springy coil. Fold twisted length in half to form cord. Knot each end. Thread through holes at top of sock. Make 2 tassels and attach to each end of cord.

Make second sock in same manner.

loom slippers

"No Short Rowing Slippers"--Loom

The knitting loom patterns I make up are fairly easy and pretty basic. They are great for teaching loom knitting and quick patterns for the seasoned knitter.

This pattern is for my “No Short Rowing Slippers”. The knitting starts at the heel and works on down to the toe of the slipper.

These are quick and easy and make great last minute gifts. This pattern is for an adult but you can easily adjust the size by adding or subtracting rows.

There is no short rowing to keep tract of for the heel, which adds to the ease of this pattern. I hope you enjoy these slippers as much as my family does.

There is plenty of knitting loom patterns coming to the site so be sure and check back.

No Short rowing Heel Slippers

Adult Slippers

Materials needed:

Blue Knifty Knitter 24 peg round loom

3 strands sports weight yarn

Ewrap 24 pegs (do not connect)

1. Reverse direction and ewrap the pegs again.

2. Knit across

3 – 19 Repeat rows 1 and 2

Now you will knit around in a tube. (do not reverse anymore)

20 – 33 Knit around

With a large eyed needle, string off toes end. Pull tight and tie off.

Sew up heel end of slipper with a slipstitch.

Chain 75 and weave thru ankle part of slippers. Make pom poms for decoration if you wish. (My husband doesn’t want pom poms)

I do most of my knitting in the evening watching TV and this is one of those projects we can complete in one evening without a lot of concentration.

You know we all love to have a few mindless patterns too.

This pattern is ideal for those last minute gifts also.

The pattern is worked from heel to toe so you can add rows to make it larger or subtract rows to make it smaller.That is the great thing about this pattern. It is simple to adjust but also a nice finished project. Just go by the foot length.


Easy Adult Slipper Pattern

These make a wonderful charity slipper for local nursing homes, hospitals, and older children's group homes.

Top Down Version of a favorite sock pattern.

adapted from a pattern found at Beckys (list mom of the Knitting4children site) webpage to be no-seam!

Needles: size 10 or 11 - 12 circular or double points (will make a womans sized slipper) size can be adjusted by needle size.

Yarn 3 to 4 ounces of worsted weight.

Cast on 30 stitches and place a marker at the beginning of the round.
Row 1-10: Knit 1, Purl 1
Row 11: Knit 13, *(Increase 1 in next stitch, Knit 2, Increase in next stitch)*, Knit 13.
Row 12: Knit 14,*repeat stitches above that are in *s, Knit 14
Row 13: Knit 15, *s repeat, Knit 15
Row 14: Knit 16, *s repeat, Knit 16
Row 15: Knit 17, *s repeat, Knit 17
Row 16: Knit 18 , *s repeat, Knit 18
Row 17: Knit 19, *s repeat, Knit 19
Row 18: Knit 20, *s repeat, Knit 20
Row 19, Knit 21 , *s repeat, Knit 21
Row 20: Knit 22, *s repeat, Knit 22
Row 21: Knit 23, *s repeat, Knit 23
Row 22: Knit 24, *s repeat, Knit 24
Row 23: Knit 25, *s repeat, Knit 25
Row 24: Knit 26, *s repeat , Knit 26
Row 25: Knit 27, *s repeat, Knit 27
Rows 26-41 Knit even rows, Purl odd rows

You can finish the slipper by either binding off all sixty stitches, folding flat and sewing the bottom closed or you can kitchner it shut for a no-seam slipper.

To make this slipper flat using 2- size 10 needles (not circular):
Cast on 30 stitches
Repeat above but, Purl the odd rows and only knit on Rows 26-41.

knitting help

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Garter Lace dishcloth

Garter Stitch Lace Facecloth
Designed by: Nanette Blanchard
Rating: Easy

Materials: 1 ball of Lilly's Sugar 'n Cream, worsted weight, Size 6 (US) needles
Guage: (over garter stitch) 4 stitches and 7 rows to 1 inch.

Cast on 42 stitches.
Rows 1 - 6: Knit.
Row 7: K 1, *YO, K2tog*, repeat between *s, end K1.
Row 8: K1, *YO, P2tog* , repeat between *s, end K1.
Row 9: Repeat Row 7.
Row 10: Repeat Row 8.
Repeat this 10 row pattern six times.
Knit 6 rows.
Bind off.

Checkered dishcloth

Checkered Dishcloth
designer unknown
Rating: Very easy

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn, Size 4.5 MM knitting needles.


Cast on 40 stitches

Rows 1 - 5: P5, K5 across

Rows 6 - 10: K5, P5 across

Repeat rows 1 -10 four times, then repeat rows 1-9 once, bind off in pattern. Tie in ends.

Petal Dishcloth

Petal Dishcloth

Designed by: Hazel Schrock
Rating: Easy

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn, Size 8 US needles.

Instructions: Cast on 16 stitches
Row 1: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, yarn over (YO), K 10, turn and Knit back.
Row 2: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, YO, K 9, turn and Knit back.
Row 3: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, YO, K 8, turn and Knit back.
Row 4: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, YO, K 7, turn and Knit back.
Row 5: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, YO, K 6, turn and Knit back.
Row 6: Bind off 5 stitches, Knit to end of row.
Row 7: Knit across row.

Repeat these 7 rows until there are 12 points.
Bind off next row, leaving 12 inch end. Stitch around center, pull together and join 2 sides.
Also, you can make the "petals" in different coelors by changing yarns every 7 rows.

Close this

Pebble dishcloth

Pebble-Stitch Cloth
Designed by: Cindy Bartorillo -
Rating: Easy ( Read the whole pattern before you begin and try the small sample if the directions seem unclear)

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn, 4.5mm needles

Cast on an even number of stitches.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: K1, *K2tog. Repeat from * across to last stitch, K1.
Row 4: K1, *K1 in bar between this stitch and the next, k next stitch. Repeat from * to last stitch, K1.
Repeat these 4 rows for pattern.

This is a very easy pattern that makes a nice pebbly texture.
An interesting (and also very easy) variation is to do stripes of two different colors, working rows 1 & 2 with one and rows 3 & 4 with the other color. If the bar between this stitch and the next is unclear, here's an easy way to learn this stitch: make a Barbie-sized cloth in two colors ( I'll assume you've also never done 2 colors):

Cast on 6 stitches in a darkish color. Knit 1 row. Purl 1 row.
Starting the 3rd row, stick your right needle into the first stitch to knit it, but wrap a second, lighter color around the needle instead of the yarn you were using on the first two rows. Let the end of the darker color just hang there on the edge, as well as the short end of the new color. Finish that first stitch with the new lighter color. Continuing across with this color, knit the next 2 sts together, and the next 2. Then knit the last stitch and turn.
4th pattern row: Knit the first stitch. Now, hold the two needles slightly apart and you'll see the bar going across the top of the fabric between the stitch on the right needle and the next stitch on the left. It'll jump right out at you because it's in the light color. Stick your right needle under that stitch from the front to the back and wrap the yarn around it, just as if you were knitting normally. Pull the loop through as usual, but nothing, of course, gets removed from the left needle. Now you can knit the next stitch and start the whole process again.

When you finish the 4th row of the pattern, you'll be back at the edge where you started the new color. Drop the new color and pick the first color back up. When you're all done you can weave in the loose ends, and neaten the edge.

kitchen dishcloth

Designer: Unknown
Rating: Easy

Size: Approximately 9" x 9"
Materials: One ball of cotton yarn
Needle: Size US 7, or size needed to obtain gauge.
Guage: 5 stitches = 1"

Cast on 46 stitches.
Rows 1 and 2: Knit across all stitches.
Rows 3 and 4: K 2, *K 1, P 1, repeat from * across to last 2 stitches, K 2.

Repeat Rows 1 - 4 for pattern until piece measures approximately 9" ending with pattern Row 2.
Bind off all stitches in Knit.
Weave in loose ends.


Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth

This pattern has been around a long time – Lion Brand offers a version, among other sites – and it’s the one I make the most often. Because it is knitted on the diagonal, it shrinks evenly.

Cast on 3 stitches. K1, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K to end. Repeat this, increasing in the second stitch of each row, until the legs of your triangle are about 8 inches long. You’ll have about 44-50 stitches on the needle, depending on your gauge. Begin decrease rows. K1, s1, K1, psso, K to end. Repeat this row, decreasing one stitch at the second stitch in each row, until you have 4 stitches on the needle. Bind off.

Garter Rib Dishcloth

This is a firm, non-curling, reversible stitch pattern with a little more visual interest than garter stitch. The stitch count is a multiple of 8 plus 4. The Harmony Guide shows 2 and 3 stitch variations, as well.

Cast on 36 stitches. K4, *P4, K4, repeat from * to end. Repeat this row. Make sure your finished dishcloth is about one inch longer than it is wide, and bind off in pattern.

Brioche Rib Dishcloth

Brioche Rib, like its snooty cousin Brioche Stitch, tends to spread out, so cast on only 30 stitches. Stitch count is a multiple of 2. Row 1 – Knit. Row 2 – *K1, K1b(insert needle through th ecenter of the stitch below the next stitch on the needle and knit as usual, slipping the stitch above off the needle at the same time) repeat from *, ending K2. Repeat row 2 until your finished dishcloth is long enough and bind off in garter stitch. Brioche Rib produces a thick, spongy cloth; it’s a great choice for scarves, too.


Basic Knitted Dishcloth Pattern


One ball of dishcloth cotton yarn

Size 6 or 7 knitting needles (US)


Cast on 4 stitches

Row 1: Knit 4

Row 2: Knit 2, yarn over, knit across the row.

Repeat Row 2 until you have 44 stitches.

Row 3: Knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row.

Repeat Row 3 until you have 4 stitches left on the needle.

Bind off and weave in ends.

Friday, November 21, 2008

slipper pattern

Cranberry Slush

There are two versions - the original and the fast. We always do the fast version and it’s fantastic.
Original Recipe:
- 1 lb cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 quarts cranberry juice
- 2 quarts ginger ale

Cook cranberries, sugar and water until thickens. Run through collander. Add 1 quart cranberry juice. Freeze. When ready to serve, mash up frozen cranberries with 1 quart cranberry juice and 2 quarts ginger ale.

Quick Recipe:
- 4 cans whole cranberry sauce
- 3 quarts cranberry juice
- 2 quarts ginger ale

Run 4 cans of whole cranberry sauce through collander. Add 2 quarts cranberry juice. Freeze. When ready to serve, mash up frozen cranberries with 1 quart cranberry juice and 2 quarts ginger ale.

Crockpot Peppermint Hot Cocoa

The Ingredients:
serves 10-12 people.

For the basic peppermint hot chocolate:

--3 cups nonfat dried milk
--1 cup powdered sugar

--3/4 cup cocoa powder

--1/4 tsp salt

--1/2 cup chocolate syrup

--1 to 2 tsp peppermint extract (my kids thought 2tsp was too strong.)

--7 cups water

--marshmallows and candy canes for garnish

for a "mocha":

--pour the cooked hot chocolate over a shot of espresso or a half-cup of very strong coffee

for an "adult drink":

--omit the peppermint extract and pour the hot chocolate over a shot of Peppermint Schnapps

The Directions.

I used a 4 quart crockpot.

Combine the dry ingredients into your crockpot and stir with a spoon. Squeeze in a half-cup of chocolate sauce, and add the peppermint extract. Add the water, a cup at a time, and stir well. The chocolatey mixture will be bubbly and look powdery. It's okay---it will cook together.

Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until completely hot. Serve with marshmallows and candy canes. If serving to guests, keep the pot on low with the lid off, and provide a ladle. If kept on warm, the hot chocolate will not stay warm enough.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cranberry Brie Pizza

Cranberry Brie Pizza

1 8 oz. can crescent rolls

3/4 C whole berry cranberry sauce

8 oz. cubed Brie cheese

1/2 C chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 425. Use a lightly greased pizza pan or a pizza stone. Unroll crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Arrange on pan with tips towards the center and lightly press together. Forming a circle with the dough. Bake 5 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with pieces of Brie. Spoon the cranberry sauce over the cheese. Top with pecans. Bake an additional 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and cut into wedges or squares.

Popularity: 3% [?]

Breakfast PIzza

My kids will also request it for their birthday breakfast. The best part of it is you can prepare most of it the night before so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen in the morning.

Breakfast Pizza

1 lb. pork sausage (I use Jimmy Dean regular or maple)

1 pkg. (8) refrigerated crescent rolls

1 cup frozen loose pack hash brown potatoes, thawed (I put in the refrigerator and let thaw overnight)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

5 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (I use Kraft)

Cook sausage until well browned, drain fat. Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place in an ungreased 12 inch pizza pan with points toward the center. Press over bottom and up sides to form a crust; seal perforations (important) Spoon sausage over the crust. Sprinkle with potatoes and top with cheddar cheese. (You can make it to this point the night ahead of time, cover with plastic and refrigerate)

In a bowl beat together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over crust in the middle - it will seep out to the edges on its own. If you pour it near the edges it may overflow. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese over all. Bake at 375 oven for 25-30 minutes.

Popularity: 22% [?]

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages

Microwave cake

4 Tablespoons cake flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil
1 Mug


Mix flour, sugar and cocoa:

Spoon in 1 egg

Pour in milk and oil, and mix well

Put in microwave for 3 minutes on maximum power (1000watt)

Wait until it stops rising and sets in the mug

Tip contents out of mug onto saucer and enjoy!

Easy Apple Pie

Apple Pie- from Home based mom

2 C flour

1 C sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp baking powder

Mix and add.

2 cubes butter, melted

Press 1/2 of dough into a glass pie plate. Being sure you have an even layer on bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. (no holes!)

7-8 apples - sliced, cored and peeled. I prefer a crisp, tart apple.

Afer pressing 1/2 of pie dough into pie plate, pile apples onto crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon (sorry, no exact measurement - I just sprinkle until it looks like enough, probably a Tablespoon or two) and 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar (or more if you like it sweeter!)

Crumble remaining dough on top by breaking it into small pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes - 1 hour (Time will vary depending on how thick you slice the apples, you want them tender but not mush! I just stick a fork in to see how tender they are.)

Popularity: 33% [?]

Turkey/chicken Pesto Panini

This Pesto Panini has pesto spread on the inside of both pieces of Italian bread (I use crusty, chewy bread from the bakery at the grocery store, such as a Neo-Tuscan Boule or Rosemary Boule...). Then I layer grilled chicken (I grill mine with some lemon pepper on it), tomatoes, avocado, roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind that comes in a ball). I spread a little butter on the outsides of the bread (this is optional) and then grill it in a George Foreman-type of grill for five minutes. Serve immediately. (Submitted by Erin)

To make roasted red peppers, half the bell pepper and remove seeds and stem. Place face down on a sheet of tinfoil and place under the broiler. Broil until the skin is black all over, about 8 or so minutes. I cover the tops of the pepper with some tin foil when it gets black and continue to broil it so the remaining sides will blacken. Once the skin is black, fold the tinfoil around it to seal in the heat (or place in a bowl and cover with Saran wrap) and let sit for 20 minutes (I've scrimped on the time before, and I think it still tastes good). Then peel off the black skin and cut into slices.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Costa Vida Chicken

Costa Vida Chicken

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp cumin

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast (this recipe can be easily halved but make a full batch and freeze the leftovers for another meal! Good menu planning!)

Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.

Cafe Rio

I hope you enjoy dinner Cafe Rio Style as much as I do!

Sweet Pork

1-2 lb. pork tenderloin (I have used inexpensive pork carnitas also - available at Winco)

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups fresh salsa

Mix sugar and salsa, pour over pork. Cook in crock pot for 8 hrs. on low. When done shred with two forks and return to juice in crock pot and allow liquid to absorb. Serve with tortillas and all the fixins!

Green Chile Rice (Serves 6)

1 cup rice

2 cups chicken broth

4 oz. green chiles

1 sm. onion, diced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

1 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1-2 tsp. cumin

3 green onions.

Mix together and pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until rice is done at 350.

Cilantro Salad Dressing (This gets rave reviews everytime I serve it)

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry mix)

1 cup buttermilk

1/2- 1/3 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1/2 - 1 small jalapeno (remove seed)

1 cup mayo

1 tsp. lime juice

1-2 tomatillos (remove outer papery skin)

1 garlic clove

Blend all ingredients in blender!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cranberry Pork Roast

3 lb rolled pork loin roast
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
16 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 t grated orange peel
1/8 t ground cloves
1/8 t ground nutmeg
cut roast in half, place in slow cooker. sprinkle with salt/pepper. combine remaining ingredients, pour over roast. cook on low 4-5 hours. let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Low Fat Creamy Potato Soup

Creamy Potato Soup

4 cups chopped red potatoes
¾ cup chopped celery
1 ½ cup diced green onion
2 cups chopped carrots
¼ cup water
½ cup frozen peas
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 cups skim milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes

Sauté green onions in the 1/4 cup water until tender in a large stock pot. Add potatoes, celery, carrots, 1 tsp salt and 2 cups water. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes. (Add peas when you have about 5 min left) Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, melt butter and flour until bubbly. Slowly add skim milk, bouillon, salt, and pepper. Stir until thickens. Add this mixture to the vegetables. Stir until heated all the way through

Friday, November 14, 2008

Caramelizing Onions

Caramelizing Onions, Step-by-Step
By: Allrecipes Staff

A step-by-step tutorial for sweetening and bringing out the amazing natural flavor of onions.

You can caramelize any type of onion, but depending on their sugar content, some might caramelize more quickly than others. A standard yellow onion is just fine--it actually contains more sugars than "sweet" onions. (Vidalia onions contain fewer sulfur compounds, which makes them taste sweeter when they're raw.) Caramelized onions are terrific served as a garnish in soups, on sandwiches, or served aside an appetizer platter to add a bit of life to your party!

1. To caramelize an onion, we used 1 medium onion, 3 tablespoons cooking oil or butter, a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper (optional), and a pinch of sugar (optional).
2. Slice the top off of your onion. Cut the onion in half from top to bottom and peel it.

3. Place half of the onion, flat side down, on a clean, flat cutting surface. Slice the onion into half-rings. The thickness of the slices is not important, although thinner slices will cook faster. If you prefer a more rustic look and feel, make the slices very thick.

4. Place a large skillet or saucepan on the stove and add a small amount of fat. Heat the oil to a medium-high temperature.

We used 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Butter is also delicious, but it tends to burn more easily, so be sure the pan doesn't get too hot.

5. When the fat begins to ripple, the oil is hot enough.
6. Add the onions to the hot oil.
7. Stir the onions until they are coated with oil.
8. Adding a pinch of salt seasons the onions at the same time it speeds up the caramelizing process. The salt will suck moisture out of the onions and eventually evaporate. Be cautious not to add too much salt. If you would like, add a pinch of ground black pepper and a very small amount of sugar.

9. Continue to stir the onions. After a minute or so, you will notice that they might have begun to stick to the bottom of the pan and turn dark in color. This is okay--in fact, it's what should happen.

10. Continue stirring and watch as the onions' color turns darker and darker.

11. If you feel that the onions are sticking to the bottom of the pan too much, add a very small amount of water, broth, or wine to the pan and stir vigorously; this is called "deglazing." The water will evaporate almost immediately while loosening the onion slices.
12. Continue this process of cooking and deglazing until the onions have reached the color, flavor, and texture you desire. Caramelized onions are perfect to use as the flavor-base of an onion soup, or to garnish sandwiches and other dishes.

Crookpot Sweet & Spicey Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken
from Prudence Pennywise

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 teaspoon)

Coat the inside of your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Place all ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until chicken shreds very easily with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Chicken will absorb liquid after it is shredded.) Serve in tacos or however your little heart desires.
Posted by Melanie at 2:07 PM

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

12 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen)
--1/2 cup orange juice
--1/2 cup water
--1/2 cup brown sugar
--1/2 cup white sugar
--1/4 tsp cinnamon

The Directions.

I used a 1.5 quart crockpot. It worked well for this recipe. If you only have a huge crockpot, you can put an oven-safe dish into it to create a smaller cooking vessel.

Rinse off the cranberries and put them into your crockpot. Add the orange juice and water. I had the kids squeeze fresh juice, but you can use store-bought if that's what you have on hand.

Add the sugar and the cinnamon. Stir. There will be an awful lot of liquid, and the cranberries will float and you'll wonder how on earth it could possibly turn into cranberry sauce.

Cover and cook on high. It will take about 3 hours.

Stir every hour or so. When the skin from the cranberries has softened, the cranberries will "pop" when pushed with a spoon up against the side of the crock. It wasn't until about 2 hours in that my cranberries were soft enough to do this.

Smoosh all of the cranberries. Stir well.

Heat enough for it to be warm throughout. Take the lid off and heat on high for another 30 to 45 minutes. Your house will smell wonderful!

Serve. This easily can be made a few days before your holiday dinner.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

1 bag cranberries
1 c. white sugar
1 c. orange juice
1 c. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash cranberries and place in 9x13 baking dish. Add water and orange juice and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 1 hour and allow to cool. If you like it with a little texture, mash berries; if you prefer it smooth, process in blender or food processor until desired consistency is reached. Serve with turkey, Swedish meatballs, on pulled turkey, pork, or chicken sandwiches, or on top of ice cream or cobbler.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

French Rolls/Bread Bowls

Use this recipe for bread bowls.
Trade Secrets: The original recipe calls for bread flour. Since I usually don't have that on hand, I've always used all-purpose flour and it works brilliantly. However, if you are a bread flour user, I bet the rolls will come out even more tender. I also cut the baking time down from the original 18 minutes to about 12 minutes. And finally, these rolls rise QUICKLY (probably due to the 1 tablespoon of yeast) so don't forget about them or you may have a big mess on your hands.

French Bread Rolls
adapted from

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12-14 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth (or greased saran wrap), and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
Posted by Melanie at 3:54 PM
Labels: Breads, Rolls

CReam Cheese Chicken Soup

Trade Secrets: The original recipe calls to either use chicken bouillon granules/cubes or soup base for the three cups water. I used soup base but found it didn't add enough salt to the broth, so I added an additional 1 teaspoon, approximately, of salt after tasting it and realizing it needed something more. Maybe using bouillon or homemade or canned broth instead of soup base would give it enough kick so I would suggest tasting and seasoning accordingly. I also only used three potatoes since we are minimalists when it comes to potatoes in soup. I think celery would be a great addition to this as well. Also, I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese and the soup was still very thick and rich.

Cream Cheese Chicken Soup

from Erin and Melanie

1 pound chicken breasts (I use 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts), cooked and diced
1 onion, finely diced
1-2 Tablespoons butter
2 handfuls of baby carrots (or 4-5 reg carrots, sliced small)
4-5 potatoes, finely diced
1 cup milk
4 Tablespoons flour
1 8oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese), softened at room temperature

Saute onion in butter. Put onion in pot and add 3 cups of chicken broth (homemade, from the can or use water seasoned yourself with bouillon or soup base) carrots, and potatoes. Add more broth to cover vegetables, if needed. Bring to a boil, then simmer until veggies are tender (about ten minutes). When veggies are tender, mix the flour with the milk and add to the soup. Add cream cheese to soup little pieces at a time and stir until it is all melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Crockpot Stew

Trade Secrets: This makes a VERY hearty and thick stew. If you want it a bit "soupier" add another can of water or a cup of beef broth or stock. Also, I use red potatoes and leave the skin on.

Mom's Stew
1 can minestrone soup
1 can tomato soup
1 can water
1 to 1 1/2 pounds stew meat
1 onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, thickly sliced
3-4 potatoes, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in a crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours. Serves 4-6.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Garlic Cheese Biscuits--Like Red Lobster

2 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano -optional

Mix Bisquick and cheese; add milk. Spoon on an ungreased cookie sheet (makes about 12). Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Brush with melted butter, garlic powder and oregano.

Crockpot Stuffing

1 loaf of bread, lightly toasted in the oven (I used the pink bag of Food Life brown rice bread)
--1 large yellow onion, diced
--1 cup celery, diced
--1 cup tart apple, peeled and diced
--1/4 cup butter, melted
--1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
--1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (and maybe 1/4 cup later if needed)
--1 T ground sage
--1 tsp ground marjoram
--1/2 tsp savory
--1/2 tsp thyme
(if you have poultry seasoning in the house, use 1 tablespoon and omit these spices.)
--1 tsp salt
--1 tsp pepper

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart crockpot. I'd recommend a big guy, so you have room to toss. If you only have a 4 quart, toss everything well in a very large mixing bowl, then put into your crockpot.

Toast the bread slices in the oven at 300 degrees. I needed to keep the brown rice bread in for about 30 minutes before it was all toasty. Regular bread will toast much quicker, be aware.

While the bread is toasting, chop up the onion, parsley, celery, and apple. Add to crockpot. Add the seasoning, and add melted butter. Stir well.

When the bread is done, cut into 1/2 inch size-or-so cubes.

Add to the crockpot.

Toss very well with the butter, chopped vegetables, and spices. When the bread is coated nicely, pour in 1 1/2 cups of broth.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Sweep up the bread crumbs.

When finished, the bread will have browned a bit on the top and around the edges, and it will be hot throughout. It can stay on warm for probably another 2 hours before serving, if needed. Stir. If you'd like it a bit more moist, you can add a 1/4 cup more (or as much as you desire) of broth.

If you'd like to start the day ahead---you can do the bread cubes, and seal in zipper bags, and chop the vegetables and keep separate. Combine as directed the day of your dinner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Make your own Instant Oatmeal

3 cups oats (quick cooking works best)
8 small zip-like baggies

Process ½ cup oats in a blender (or 1 cup oats in a food processor) on high until powdery. Set aside. Repeat with additional ½ cup oats if using blender. Put the following into each baggie: 1/4 cup regular oats, 2 tablespoons powdered oats, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Store in an airtight container.

To serve, empty packet into a bowl. Add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir and let stand for 2 minutes. Adjust water amount for thicker or thinner oatmeal. Try some of the following variations:

Sweetened Oatmeal: Add 1 T. sugar
Brown Sugar/Cinnamon Oatmeal: Add 1 T. brown sugar and 1/4 t. cinnamon
Raisins and Brown Sugar: Add 1 T. packed brown sugar and 1 T. raisins.
Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal: Add 1 T. sugar, 1/4 t. cinnamon, & 2 T. Chopped dried apples
Fruit and Cream Oatmeal: Add 1 T. non-dairy coffee creamer and 2 T. dried fruit
Health Nut Oatmeal: Add 2 T. any kind of wheat germ

Crockpot Cherry Chocolate cake

1 (21 ounces) can cherry pie filling
1 package chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted

Place pie filling in slow cooker. Combine dry cake mix and melted butter. Put mixture over filling in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. You can use different type pie fillings and cake mixes.

Belgian Waffles

Belgian Waffles
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast
2 TBL sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ¾ cups milk
¼ cup water OR ½ cup apple butter
¼ cup butter
3 eggs

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (but not too hot!). Add to flour mixture. Add eggs. Using an electric mixer blend at low speed until moistened; beat 1 minute at medium speed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate several hours or overnight. (Be prepared – batter will double in size!)

How to cook beans in a crockpot

Cooking Dried Beans in the CrockPot

Day 292.

It's day 292. And I finally have cracked the cooking-with-dried vs. cooking-with-canned-beans code.

Why did it take me 292 days?

Sheer laziness. I have no other reason.

1 bag of dried black beans costs $1.89 at the fancy-pants grocery store, and it costs $0.89 at our local produce stand.

1 can of organic black beans at Trader Joe's costs $0.99.

1 dried bag of black beans (16 oz) = 3 cans (15 oz each).

Which means even if you buy over-priced dried black beans you will save some money making them at home yourself.

The Ingredients.

--bag of black beans (or other beans. but remember that kidney beans have that freaky toxin.)
--crockpot (3 quarts and up)

The Directions.

Pour the entire bag of dried beans into a colander and rinse under cold water. If you see any beans that have broken in half, or skin that floats to the surface, get rid of it. Also pick out any beans that look shriveled and gross.

Dump all the beans into your crockpot. Add enough water to cover all the beans and an additional 2 inches.

Cover. Do not turn on. Let the beans soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight. If you live in a very warm area, and the crockpot won't be in a room that is climate-controlled, put the stoneware in the fridge. You don't want bacteria to have the opportunity to grow.

In the morning, dump the water, and rinse your beans. The water will be bean-colored.

Put the beans back into your crockpot and cover with enough fresh water to completely cover the beans with an extra 2-3 inches.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

The beans are done when they are bite-tender. Don't worry if the water hasn't all absorbed. You're going to dump it, anyway.

Drain the beans.

When cool, put 1 2/3 cups of beans into storage containers or freezer bags (you're adding this amount because you aren't adding filler-liquid like the cans have). The beans will store nicely in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for 6 months.

Use as you would canned beans in your favorite recipe.

Crockpot Yogurt

The Ingredients.

--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)

--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring

--thick bath towel

The Directions.

This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!

Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

The Verdict.

Wowsers! This is awesome! I was completely astonished the next morning that the yogurt thickened. I was so excited to feel the drag on the spoon---and sort of scared the kids with my squealing.

They each ate a huge serving that morning (they added honey to their servings) and have eaten it for every meal for 2 days. I'm actually kind of worried they're over-doing it, but whatever. They're happy and are eating real food.

This is so much more cost-effective than the little things of yo-baby I was buying for them. I haven't run the numbers, because I sort of suck at math, but it's huge. Seriously huge.

Updated 10/23 8:45 pm:
I have gotten quite a few emails alerting me that yes, you can use lower-fat content milk with this method. To thicken the best, add one packet of unflavored gelatin to the mix after stirring in the yogurt with active cultures. Some have had good success mixing non-fat milk powder in as well.

The way I created fruit-flavored yogurt was by taking a cup or so of the plain and blending it in the stand blender (vitamix) with frozen fruit. Although this tastes great, the yogurt never thickened back up the way the plain did. I think maybe keeping the plain separate and adding fruit daily is your best bet. Or you can try the gelatin trick.

I was able to achieve a Greek-style yogurt this afternoon by lining a colander with a coffee liner and letting the liquid drip out of the leftover plain I made. The remaining yogurt was as thick as sour cream.

Crockpot Pasta E Fagioli

--1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
--1/2 large red onion, chopped
--1 cup carrots, chopped
--2 celery stalks, sliced
--2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (and juice)
--1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
--1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
--4 cups beef broth (check label for gluten!)
--1 jar (16.5 oz) pasta sauce
--2 tsp oregano
--1 T Tabasco sauce
--1/2 tsp salt
--1/4 tsp black pepper
--1/2 cup dry pasta, to add at end of cooking time (I used TJ's brown rice fusilli)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot, or cut the recipe in half. This makes a lot.

Brown the meat on the stovetop, and drain well. Let it cool a bit.

Chop up the carrots, onion, and celery. Add it to the empty crockpot.
Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Add the whole cans of tomatoes, and the pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and Tobasco sauce. Stir in your meat.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the 1/2 cup of dry pasta.

Cover and cook for another hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. It will swell quite a bit.

Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese if you have it.

The Verdict.

Delicious. Amazing. This is a very filling soup, and a great warm-me-up on a chilly evening. The ingredients are everything you'd put in a traditional minestrone, but that bit of Tobasco sauce changes the flavor dramatically. Very yummy. One kid ate a bowl, and the other one fell asleep before dinner. I wasn't about to wake her.

I was on the news last night in Oklahoma! At the very end when the newscaster says I have a book on this year coming out in March, she is mistaken. The book is Totally Together: An Organizational Journal for the Busy Household.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bread Bowls

Artisan Bread Bowls
adapted from King Arthur Flour

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, enough to make a smooth, soft dough

Let yeast dissolve in warm water until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients—by hand, mixer or bread machine— and knead till you've created a smooth dough.

Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes; it should become puffy. Divide the dough into 5-6 pieces, depending on how large you want your bread bowl to be. Roll each piece into a ball. Place on a lightly greased or parchment covered baking sheet.

Cover the bread bowls with greased plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to 24 hours); this step will give the bread bowls extra flavor, and a delightfully crisp-chewy texture. Two or more hours before serving, remove the bread bowls from the refrigerator. Uncover, and let them sit for about one hour while you preheat the oven to 425°F.

Just before baking, slash the top surface of the bowls several times with a sharp razor/knife to allow them to expand. Bake for 22 to 28 minutes, until the bowls are deep brown, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Italian Bread Bowls
adapted from

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not need to use all 7 cups).

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Punch dough down, and divide into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use silpat liners or parchment paper). Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
32 oz. frozen or freshly grated hashed browns (we baked our own potatoes first, then grated them)
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1 lb. turkey sausage (pre-cooked bacon would work too!)
2 C. shredded cheese
One dozen eggs
1 C. milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of dry mustard

Grate/place the hashed browns in the bottom of a lightly sprayed crockpot

Pour salsa on the potatoes

Crumble sausage or bacon on the hash browns; sprinkle cheese on top

Mix the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard

Pour eggs over the entire mixture

Cover and cook on low for 10 hours - and ENJOY!

Pumpkin Butterstoch cupcakes

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cupcakes

2 1/2 c flour
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 t cinnamon
3/4 t nutmeg
1 can (15 oz)pumpkin
4 eggs
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c oil
1 bag butterscotch chips
1 3/4 c finely chopped walnuts
Beat wet ingredients together, add 1 c walnuts and 1 c butterscotch chips. Combine with dry ingredients. Spoon into wrapper lined muffin pans. Combine remaining nuts and chips. Top each cupcake with 1 T nut/chip mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.
ONLY use Wilton cupcake liners. NEVER, EVER use any other brand!!!
For this recipe it is MUCH easier to buy the finely chopped walnuts at the store. If you finely chop them yourself you have to chop forever and then sift out the nut dust that accumulates. The nuts have to be finely chopped or they don’t stay on top of the cupcakes.

Pumpkin Chili

My newest pumpkin recipe:
Pumpkin Chili
1 onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
Saute, but don’t over do it. No one likes soggy peppers!
3 c chicken broth
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 c cooked chicken or turkey, chopped
1 can (15 0z) pumpkin
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 t chili powder
1 1/2 t oregano
1 1/2 t cumin
1 t curry
Add all ingredients to crock pot, stirring to combine. Cook on low 4-5 hours.
**Whenever a recipe calls for chicken I sprinkle the chicken breasts with Back of the Yards Garlic Pepper (available at It’s a Chicago store with the absolute best spices), brown in olive oil, then simmer with some chicken boullion and enough water to produce the needed amount of broth. If I don’t need the broth I freeze the cooking liquid for future chicken soup.

You can’t live without both the sweet and the savory!

Bajo Style Chicken

Awesome Bajio Style Chicken

5 chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 4oz can diced green chilies
6oz Sprite (1/2 can)

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return to crock pot and cook 1 more hour. Serve with flour tortillas, lettuce, cheese, black beans, and whatever other taco fixin's your family likes.
-This chicken is not real spicy, so you could add some extra green chilies if you like your food with a little more kick.
-It has a lot of juice, so serve it with a slotted spoon.
-Bajio serves the chicken with caramelized onions, I think I might try that next time. Maybe. I don't know if I can handle any more yumminess.

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup (Adapted from Rachel Ray)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 fresh bay leaf (I used 2 dried bay leaves)
2 ribs celery, finely chopped (*Note from know I'll be using my dehyrated celery)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (or substitute dehydrated onions from the cannery- Combine 2 Tbsp dried onions with 8 Tbsp hot water and let sit 15 minutes)
Salt & Pepper
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning (or 2 tsp thyme)
2 Tbsp hot sauce
6 cups chicken broth
29-oz canned pumpkin puree
2 cups half and half (or heavy cream) (*Note from Crystal: Make your own substitute by using 3/4 C. Milk + 2 C. Water)
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions: Heat oil, butter, bay leaf, celery, onion, salt and pepper over medium-high heat in a soup pot. Cook 6-7 minutes until tender. Place celery and onion mixture in a food processor or blender for just a few seconds until mixture is smooth. (This part is optional- but I don't like chunks of onion or celery in a smooth pumpkin soup) Place back in soup pot and make sure the mixture is hot. Add flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce; cook 1 minute. Whisk in chicken broth and bring liquid to a bubble. Whish in pumpkin in large spoonfuls, incorporating it into the broth. Simmer 10 minutes to thicken a bit. Add half and half or cream and nutmeg. Keep warm until ready to serve. Yields-16 cups

Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute

1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk Substitute:(1 C. dry powdered milk, 1 C. sugar, 1/2 C. hot water, 1 T. Butter-blend in blender very well)

Grilled Chicken Pesto Alfredo

Grilled Chicken Pesto Alfredo- This meal is easier and CHEAPER then you'd ever imagine! First grill up some chicken (personally I use thighs because they have more flavor and are much cheaper). While your chicken is grilling make your parmesan white sauce (a.k.a alfredo sauce) out of your MAGIC MIX!!

Magic Mix White Sauce-makes 1 C.
2/3 C. Magic Mix
1 C. Water

In saucepan combine Magic Mix and water. Stir rapidly (I use a wire wisk) over medium heat until it starts to bubble. (Use Magic Mix White Sauce for all recipes calling for a white or cream sauce.) Click here to learn more about magic mix.

Add 1 cup of paremsan cheese per one cup of white sauce and a dash of salt and pepper. You can stop here and have alfredo sauce or add in 1/4-1/2 C. pesto to make a creamy pesto sauce. Personally I buy my pesto at Costco and divide the large bottle into small ziploc bags and freeze.

Serve over hot noodles

Magic Mix White Sauce

Magic Mix White Sauce-makes 1 C.
2/3 C. Magic Mix
1 C. Water
In saucepan combine Magic Mix and water. Stir rapidly (I use a wire wisk) over medium heat until it starts to bubble. (Use Magic Mix White Sauce for all recipes calling for a white or cream sauce.)

Magic Mix Pudding

Magic Mix Pudding- Makes 4 1/2 C. Servings
Okay, I don't even like pudding but since my husband does I thought I'd make him some (and what kid doesn't like pudding?). I was able to make it while my macaroni was boiling and it chilled while we ate. Well I took one bite and was SOLD!!! I've never had pudding that tasted so good, was so easy to make, and took such little effort!!
1/2 C. Sugar
1 C. Magic Mix
2-3 T. Cocoa (optional)
2 C. Water
1 t. Vanilla
Combine Magic Mix, sugar and cocoa in saucepan and mix well. Add water, stir over medium heat until pudding bubbles. Add vanilla and beat. Cover and Cool.

Magic MIx

Step 1: You will need some sort of good mixer. Make sure you use beaters when making the mix as shown above. If you don't have a good mixer, start calling around...get together with a friend and make is SOOOO worth it!

Step 2:

2 1/3 C. Powdered Milk
1 C. All Purpose Flour (Yes, use All Purpose)
1 C. (2 sticks) Margarine (***HAS TO BE REAL MARGARINE, NOT SPREAD***) or Butter, at room temperature

Combine dry milk, flour and margarine/butter into a large bowl.

Step 3: Mix until it looks like corn meal. (You may want to start off slow and work up to the fastest setting so that it doesn't blow powder all over)

Step 4: Keep mix tightly covered in the refrigerator. (note: keep your #10 cans for just such a purpose! They are 50 cents and work great for storing home made mixes)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon

12 strips applewood smoked bacon

¼ Cup pure maple syrup

¼ Cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an oven safe cooling rack with non stick cooking spray and place over a rimmed baking sheet. Place strips of bacon onto cooling rack and brush maple syrup evenly over each strip. Take pinches of brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over each strip of bacon. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned and crisped to your desire. I went closer to 40 minutes for a real crispy strip. Enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

1-1/2 C. Onion, Chopped (or 1/3 C. dehydrated onion)
1 T. Olive Oil
1 C. Red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 4 oz. can Diced Green Chiles
¾ C. Dehydrated Carrots
1-1/2 t. Ground cumin
3 C. Chicken Broth
6 C. Cooked Black Beans, drained (or 4 15 oz. cans)
¼ C. Red Wine Vinegar

Heat oil in large, deep saucepan. Sauté onion (if using fresh), bell pepper and garlic until tender. Add remaining ingredients (including dehydrated onions) and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with sour cream and tortilla chips or corn chips.

Pumpkin Chocolate chip muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Mel B.

1 2/3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice**
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 c. chocolate chips

Mix first six ingredients together in large bowl. Make a well and add eggs, pumpkin and butter. Mix just until incorporated, then fold in chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tin (or use muffin liners). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Don't overbake or they will be dry!

**My tip: if you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and woila! - you have the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (and it is much cheaper than buying it premade). So for this recipe, you would need to triple the above amounts to equal one tablespoon pumpkin pie spice.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I think my mom came up with this recipe. I love Chicken Cordon Bleu but it often takes more effort than I want to put forth. This recipe is quick and easy and tastes so good. It is a regular on my dinner rotation.
1 ½ C dry rice (combine with 3 C water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes)
Put rice in a sprayed 9 x 13 pan
Top with salt and pepper, cooked diced chicken, (I use one chicken breast) diced ham and grated Swiss cheese(I used the cheese slices cause that is what I had. I do prefer the grated though)

Mix Together:
1 can cream of chicken soup
½-1 C sour cream
splash of lemon juice
splash or two of milk to desired consistency
Pour over top and cook 350 for 20-30 minutes till hot and bubbly.

Posted by Adrienne at 9:39 AM 1 Sharing My Joy
Labels: Chicken, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy
Monday, September 8, 2008
Chewy Apple Squares

This is a perfect way to use those apples that are coming into season. I have an apple tree with very tart apples that I don't care much to just eat, but I love to use them in this recipe. I have a 6 year old nephew that could not get enough of these when I made them. They are delish for the young and the old!

Frito Pie-Crockpot

Frito Pie

1/2 pound ground beef, browned and drained
2 (16 oz cans) pork and beans, pork removed
1 (4 oz can) chopped green chilies
1 (8 oz can) tomato sauce
4 to 6 drops Tabasco sauce (I leave this out)
1 bag (15 oz) Fritos Corn Chips

Combine all ingredients except chips in a greased 3 to 4 1/2 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Scoop over a handful of Fritos. Makes 6 - 8 servings (I think it makes more like 5 servings)
Serve with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and grated cheddar cheese.

Take 5 Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 Cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chunks (your choice of intensity, just use good chocolate)
large double fisted handful of pretzel sticks lightly crushed (good and salty)
soft caramels to melt and drizzle

Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheets with parchment.
In medium bowl, cream together butter, sugars, corn syrup, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the peanut butter, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in the flour. Mix in half of the chocolate and half of the pretzels.

Drop dough by soup spoon full onto cookie sheets. Add 3 or 4 more chunks of chocolate on top and a few nice size pieces of pretzel so that they will show nicely when baked off.

Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until they are lightly golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.

When cool drizzle with caramel. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Yield: approximately 40 cookies