Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ham 'n Noodles

Generic Picture of Ham N Noodles
It's Ham 'n Noodles day!! I haven't had this in ages, at least not made the way we used to make it at home with Mom. This was one of the dishes she had me make for dinner and time it to be ready when she and my dad got home from work. Do you think I could remember that recipe? ... No. So I have been searching the internet for a recipe that looks familiar... and found one today that I'm going to try. I actually found 2 recipes, and was thinking of merging the 2 together, although that doesn't always work for me... We'll have to wait 'n see.  I'll post a pic here after it comes out of the oven and IF it tastes good, I'll even come back and post the recipe!  Check back in a while!
-- Ruth

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

OH Fudge!!

Yup, it's Fudge Season! What? You didn't know there was a "Fudge Season"? Oh, come now... where have you been hiding? Seriously, when Christmas is close, it becomes cookies and candy season and my specialty is Fudge! Lots of varieties too, not JUST chocolate!

I love to experiment with different flavors. So far this year, I have made Chocolate, Peanut butter, Toasted Coconut, Cranberry/White Chocolate, Peppermint, Coffee, and Pumpkin.

Favorite? Well my favorites are the 1st 3 listed above. Toasted coconut is such a nice change from the typical chocolate and peanut butter and I toast the coconut myself. I had a batch I made for sending off to family, and I kept only 3 pieces for myself; ends really. Knowing my resident family doesn't like coconut I figured that was enough for me. However, last night, I found out my husband "accidentally" ate a piece of the coconut, thinking they were nuts of some kind. Apparently he LIKED it, because when I went to the kitchen to snag a piece for myself, it was ALL GONE! Wow... He knows I like coconut and yet he made a trip back to the plate to finish off the last piece. I'd say that's just rude.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

...and then she said....

Check out the awesome cookies I made! That's not very humble, I know, but they just sort of evolved, it's not like I planned them... well, OK, I sort of planned them, but not the way you think. I saw some similar on Pinterest, but when I 'clicked through' on the picture, it never led to a recipe! I think that is fairly rude, if you ask me. So I decided I could figure it out on my own. Thankyouverymuch!! And I guess I did! First, an old recipe I have used for years, to make the cookie part. I made these yummy peanut butter cookies which you could make with your eyes closed. And as it happens, they are also Gluten Free too! Totally unintentional, but it works! (My Gluten intolerant neighbor loved them!)
The recipe is so easy you'll say, "What??" Ok, here it is:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

That's IT! See ... I told you! And.. You don't even use a mixer! Just measure out the 1 cup peanut butter, then add 1 cup sugar & the egg. Then stir with a fork til it's all blended.

Then, I used a cookie dough scooper to make sure the balls are evenly sized. Place on the cookie sheet ( I use a silicone baking sheet, but parchment will work nicely also). Using a fork dipped in sugar, I do the criss-cross press into the peanut butter balls for the 'typical' look of peanut butter cookies.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes and cool. Makes about 18 cookies, more if you go small. If you make them smaller, you may want to check their progress a bit sooner.

Now for the filling!! This was amazing. In a glass measuring cup, I poured 1 cup chocolate chips and melted them in the microwave, on high for 1 minute.

When it comes out, using a fork, stir like crazy until they are melted. Then add a drizzle, (maybe 2 Tbl) of Sweetened Condensed Milk and about the same of Heavy Whipping Cream plus 1/2 capful of vanilla. All of this should give you quite a fudgy consistency of chocolate. Drop a spoonful onto the top of one cookie and smash it down with another, making the sandwich. Eat. Enjoy!

Monday, September 2, 2013

We interrupt this silence with a blog post...

I actually saw that line on another person's blog and thought it so cute and appropriate that I had to borrow it! It has been a rather long break since my last post and I thought I'd better get back on this horse before I forgot how to ride!

Today is Labor Day... 2013 and we are going to have Fajitas for lunch! Isn't that American? well, we like cooking on the fire pit outside (ever since our BBQ grill blew up) and I came across a HUGE sale on flat iron steaks yesterday at the store... so they whispered "Fajitas" to me. That's it, pure and simple.  I am also going to attempt a cucumber salad today, first time ever... and I found a recipe online to start me off. Here it is, and I'll let you know later how it turns out!

Adrienne's Cucumber Salad

4 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon dried dill, or to taste
1.Toss together the cucumbers and onion in a large bowl. Combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and pour over the cucumber and onions. Stir in dill, cover, and refrigerate until cold. This can also be eaten at room temperature, but be sure to allow the cucumbers to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Kitchen Rules

The fact that I even have to type this out and hang in the kitchen is PATHETIC! but True...Feel free to ADD any of your rules to the bottom, in the comments area! I'd love to hear them.

~~ Kitchen Rules ~~

  1. WIPE the counter clean EVERY time you use it, even pouring beverages or making sandwiches on a plate. (Ants can see what you cannot...)
  2. If you are the only one eating, wash your dishes, dry them and put them away.
  3. If we are eating together (2 or more) wash, dry & put away dishes together immediately after eating, including pots or pans on stove. (Best to soak them during eating to be easier to clean)
  4. Wipe counters clean right after preparing food, BEFORE eating.
  5. No open or partially used Foods, no Crumbs, no Drips left on counter. (One would think #4 would take care of this but...)
  6. Wipe stove clean after every use, lifting up burner grates to get drip area. (This way it doesn't build up to a full blown chore)
  7. When done washing dishes, clean any 'foodstuff' out of sink.

Holy Hannah! I made PIE!

Well, I don't really know who Hannah is... or whether or not she is Holy... but what I DO know, is that "I made PIE!!"  Now, that may not seem so great an accomplishment to you, but I have led a fairly full life of cooking and baking, and known to be fairly good at it... but NEVER have I made (or even attempted to make) a PIE! ...unless you count Pizza Pie! LOL... but seriously... Pie Crust is one of the things I was just SURE I couldn't make. Not because I tried and failed, but because I FAILED to TRY.

So a month or so ago I was sitting in the living room with dear husband and I remarked how I really would like to make a Peach Pie (my favorite) if only I had a pie crust. "Why don't you go make a pie crust for me?" I said to DH. He didn't least not at first. 10 minutes later he got up, went into the kitchen and asked where the flour was. "Why?" I asked him. He said, "well you asked me to make a pie crust and it requires flour." Wow! Why didn't he respond like that when I asked him to build a deck on the back of the house? Hmmm owell, little steps.

A couple hours later, we had Pie. I cut up the peaches and mixed with sugar and spices and added it to his amazingly normal looking pie crust and we baked it. WOW! It was great. I was totally surprised. For a week or two I was resigned to a life of husband made pie crusts with me assembling the fillings. But then the competition or the inadequacy got the better of me and I asked him if he'd show me how to make pie crust. Not only me, but my pie-queen-friend also wanted to know his secret/method. So she came over one day, and we assembled all our ingredients and followed his example and we three made 3 pie crusts with our own individual fillings. He made peach, my friend made strawberry rhubarb, and I made Apple-Pear-Raspberry. Awesome pies! (mostly)

After that day, I decided I could now whip up a pie crust at a moment's notice! What an awesome ability! Yesterday I made a Black Raspberry-Mullberry pie using berries picked in our backyard and today I have in the oven 6 little mini pies of the Peach variety, complete with lattice tops. (see below) Tomorrow will be another Black Raspberry and a Cherry pie also from our back yard cherry trees. This has opened up a whole new world for me... someday I may even try making a savory pie!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Asian slaw

Another healthy recipe that sounds good enough to try... this time from the Slender Kitchen

Asian Peanut Slaw
Weight Watchers Asian Peanut Slaw
Points: 1 weight watchers pointsplus
Servings: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Nutritional Info: 44.9 calories, .2 g of fat, 6.4 g of carbohydrates, 1.9 g of fiber, 2 g of protein
3 cups of cole slaw mix (red and green cabbage and shredded carrots)
1/3 red onion, sliced thin
2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
1 small jalapeno, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 medium jicama, diced
3 scallions, diced
2 tbsp low calorie peanut dressing (I love Tamari Peanut by San-J)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Add the lime juice and dressing. Mix well and enjoy! I like to let it sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to combine.

Need Some Anti-Cupcake Weight Food!

I've been making cupcakes for a month or more now, and somehow a large portion of the weight I had lost has sneaked back on! OH NO! so I have been getting back on my stationery bike, and riding 20 minutes in the morning... but I'm finding I need some GOOD FOOD ideas... I've added salads back into my daily routine... but am starting to experiment with dressings to find a less fattening one, not totally fat free, but also less acidy that some in the stores. Here is one I found on a blog that I follow: The Gracious Pantry and in case you'd like to see more of her recipes, here is a link to her blog! This is one I'll be trying this week.

Clean Eating Raspberry Vinaigrette

(Makes approximately 1 1/4 cups)


  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or other light flavored oil)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup honey (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
  • Pinch of salt to taste


  1. Blend all ingredients together with a blender until smooth. Store in an air-tight bottle or container for up to 2 weeks (give or take)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Strawberry Yum-Cakes

Yumm Yummm Yummmmmmy! I tried a new flavor and a new frosting last nite... strawberry. I even cut up pieces of strawberries and put in the batter! And then, I found a light and fluffy frosting recipe I liked so I tried it. I think the hubby liked it more than I did, but it was okay. I'm not sure what I didn't like about it, it was light... it was airy... it had a good vanilla flavor... but... still something was not exactly right... So I have a couple ideas of ways I can tweak it but that will be tomorrow, for today I have another plan (stay tuned!)

Meanwhile here is a picture of yesterday's delight! They froze well too, I put a couple dozen in the freezer and tried one this morning, for research you understand, and it was still Wonderful!

No,... sorry... not posting this recipe. LOL

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yummy Healthy Omlette

Well, I didn't think this omelette would turn out so well, or I would have taken a photo of it! But it's fast and easy... so Here it IS!

Chopped up 7 or 8 leaves of spinach and put in a small fry pan, sauteing with butter (or cooking spray).
Add 1 chopped up clove of garlic.
Let saute for about 3 min while you whisk up an egg with about 2-3 Tblspoons of water.
Add eggs to the pan, along with Salt & Pepper to taste.

Once it firms a bit, fold the sides in toward the middle and then (attempt to) FLIP. After flipping... add a little bit of cheese to melt on the top, OR as I did... a few small pieces of Ricotta Cheese!

Put lid on, turn off heat. Pour coffee, juice, whatever you drink and get a's READY!

Vidalia Onion Casserole

I really try not to skip days because then I have TWO things to blog about... and I don't like doing 2 things in one post... but... today I will tell you about "Vidalia Onion Casserole" AND the yummy omlette I made this morning.  (and maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about the Healthy Butter cream frosting I made yesterday!!)

Ok... So I went to a luncheon put on by our Quilting group at church and one of the ladies made this Kick Butt Onion Casserole. I know what *I* was thinking when I heard onion I can easily imagine what YOU are thinking... but believe-you-me! It was "kick butt"... as I begged for the recipe, she told me it was... ONLINE!... LOLOLOL and told me the website as well... so I will give you the link and just tell you ... TRY IT.  If you like sauteed onions you will LOVE this and it couldn't be ANY easier to make.
(photo compliments of taste of home website)

I think i'll put the Yummy Omlette in a separate post... LOL

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2 Minute French Toast

Yes, you read it right! I know many things that will cook quickly and make only one serving in a mug using the microwave, but I NEVER thought of French Toast... until today. Actually I was (yes...) browsing on Pinterest and found a website that offered ideas AND recipes for 18 things to make in a mug using a microwave. I'll give the website later, but for now, I TOOK PICTURES and calculated the calories (360) !!! So here goes...


1 hot dog bun (120 cal)
1 egg
3 Tblspoon fat free milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tblspoon syrup (165 cal)

Cut the hot dog bun into 1/2" cubes and put in a coffee mug. Dont pack too tight.
Crack an egg into a separate bowl and scramble with fork.
Add 3 Tbl milk, combine.
Add vanilla and cinnamon, combine.
Pour over bread cubes.
Let sit for a few minutes, the longer the better.
Microwave (approx) 1.5 minutes
...check to see that egg is cooked.
Top with syrup... EAT & ENJOY!!

By the way, you can calculate your calories and nutritional info for a menu at this great site!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cupcakes for all Occasions!

I have wanted to make and sell cupcakes for a Loooong time now. I'm not sure why, I just like cupcakes so much, and there are SO many possibilities with them! So a few days ago, a friend of mine was online and looking for an idea for her little girl's 7th birthday. CUPCAKES! Seemed a natural solution. The problem was she didn't have time to make them. We are so busy these days it's hard to find the time to do things like this so.. this is where I can help!

We looked at a few ideas and she really liked these rainbow cupcakes I showed her so I took the burden from her and eagerly accepted the first order for cupcakes! I figured this would be an easy one to start with since there was no filling, very little decoration needed on top, just white frosting and I wanted to add a little colored sugar.

Let me tell you... Rainbow Cupcakes is NOT a walk in the park. They are not difficult, just Time consuming. I mixed up a white batter, and then separated into 4 bowls. Tinted with good vibrant coloring til I was happy with the colors then the fun began! Spooning a small amount into each cup.. no problem. Smoothing it to the edges so it doesn't mix & marble with the color beneath - there is a trick to that! LUCKILY I had read about this trick and knew what to do. Needless to say, I did ONE dozen at a time, and it took 50 minutes from mixing batter to putting ONE tray in the oven. Amazing! Would I do it again? YOU BET!  They turned out SUPER... I loved them, she loved them, her little girl loved them, even her hubby loved them and wants some for HIS birthday! YAY!!! Here are a few pics...

This is before any frosting was applied. The cupcake wrapper was yellow (see at top of paper) but you can definitely see the colors of the layers thru the wrapper! (and yes, the top is Purple!)

After that we have a couple pictures of them frosted and ready to go. I made 2 dozen and one dozen I sprinkled with blue sugar on top of the frosting, and the other was a light green. Light green didn't show up as well, so I think it either needed more, or needed to be blue. But Just the same it added a little sparkle to them.

Time to box them up and roll 'em out!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kale - it's Good For You and very Disguise-able!

I just hate come-on ads... "Click here to find out the secret to...", "Click to see how Kelly lost 45 pounds", and most recently... "7 Hearty Kale recipes!" ... Only to find out you need to sign up, or join something to get to the "promised land".  Well Nature Box.. you did it to me today. I am trying to find ways to introduce Kale into our meals since it is a bit hard to eat alone. When I clicked, I was faced with the "sign up for our program" page before I would be allowed to see these recipes. No Thanks! I decided I could probably figure it out from these photos so that is what we'll do. I have plenty of Kale in the fridge, and I can see trying at least 3 of these in the coming days.

First one that catches my eye is Kale Mac 'n Cheese. How hard can it be to figure out how to add it to Mac n Cheese! Ok.. and then the Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.. CAN DO! I think I'll skip the Massaged Kale Salad, I just can't see me "Massaging Kale" before putting it in a salad, although some of it is tough enough I can see it needs it! LOL

Anyone have recipes for using Kale you'd like to share? Feel free to Comment below and let's get this (kale) party started!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fish Tacos

I have procrastinated making Fish Tacos for a LONG time now, even though I really did want to try them. Finally last night I bit the bullet, while the family was out, and made them for myself. I figured if I liked them we have a chance they might also, but if I don't - well, then it's over, done.

I had a package of individually frozen Tilapia and I had heard the lighter fish was preferable for Fish Tacos, at least in the beginning. So I took out one fillet and put it (frozen still) in a low flat soup bowl, then proceeded to look up a recipe. In looking at recipes, I didn't find one that completely floated my boat, but I did see some ingredients that I thought would go well together. The general consensus was need to marinate the fish for about 15 - 20 minutes. (no longer, or it will start to 'cook' it)

I squeezed the juice of a lime over the frozen fish in the bowl, then minced up a clove of garlic and tossed that in along with some spices (see below) and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Jiggled the bowl around and turned the fillets over and over to make sure it was on both sides, then let it sit for 15 minutes. (Of course I set the timer!)

Meanwhile I wanted a creamy sauce of sorts to put on top... so I got out the sour cream. I know.. I KNOW! Next time I'll use plain FF Greek yogurt! (but I didnt have any) The plain sour cream did nothing to excite me so I reached for the same spices I had put in the marinade and doctored it up with that, (1/2 tsp each) then I put in a dash of Sriracha sauce to give it a little kick! Obviously you can make this as spicy (or NOT spicy) as you like, even add a little red pepper flake.

I bought the small size corn tortillas and decided to heat them in a small frying pan with No Oil... just a nice HOT pan. Grilled both sides and took out while it was still pliable enough to fold in half and not crack... and set those aside.

Now it's time for the fish to hit the pan.. 1 Tbl oil so it doesn't stick, and in the pan with the fillet and 1/2 the marinade sauce. 3 minutes on side 1, so it will mostly hold together, then flip for side to for maybe a minute. Turn off heat.

While the fish is cooling a bit, rough chop some lettuce, and a few small pieces of tomato.
Time to plate it up! Divide the fish in half to fit into 2 tortilla shells, then drizzle with what is left of the marinade in the pan. Top with a few dabs of the sour cream mixture then lettuce & tomato. Yumm! Ready to eat!

white fish fillet(s)

juice of 1/2-1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cummin
1 Tbl oil

sour cream sauce:
small carton sour cream
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 shake of Sriracha sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mini Meatloaves

This idea came to me after eating mini meatloaf by Jenny Craig. Eventually you need to be able to eat on your own without the assist of their food, so I wanted to make a smaller portion of meatloaf but full flavored and I think I hit on it!

Reducing the size was easy enough, a cupcake pan makes the perfect portion size. But my previous meatloaf recipe was not the healthiest so I began experimenting. Instead of breadcrumbs I needed a more healthy 'filler' so I looked to my Turkey Burger recipe as an example and began shredding veggies to use. Feel free to switch out the veggies below with whatever you have in your fridge.

1 lb. Ground Turkey (or ground beef if you need to ease into healthiness)

1/2 lb of mixed shredded veggies like:
yellow squash

1/2 cup chopped onions
2-3 cloves minced garlic

Roll into balls, and somewhat smash into the cupcake tin. Bake 25 min at 350, then drain any grease off and top with a spoon full of your favorite BBQ sauce. Return to the oven for 5 more min and done!

I don't have a picture to post right now, but as soon as I find it... I will. Here is one I found through Googling, just to give you an idea of what it should look like.

Compliments of

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Green Smoothie Picture and slight recipe substitute

Ok, as promised, I took a picture today of the Green Smoothie I made. One alteration was made. I used up my spinach yesterday and forgot to replace it so.... I used what I had on hand... Romain Lettuce! Yes it worked quite well. I do think the spinach blended just a tad bit smoother, but it was really hard to tell. And again, I didnt taste any GREEN... basically just banana and honey. So there ya go... a GOOD tasting, HEALTHY morning (or anytime) smoothie!! (oh and I think I'd also classify it as Quite inexpensive.)

Note: for recipe, see yesterday's post

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Green Breakfast Smoothie - Yumm!

I know... it's been a LONG time since I have blogged... and yes, I know... I DON'T have a picture to post with this one, but I just HAVE to blog about it!!  This morning I made the BEST (BEST) Breakfast Smoothie!!!  So I had to tell people about it and put the recipe where I'll remember it! LOL Here goes, into the blender IN THIS ORDER!...

GREEN Breakfast Smoothie

1 cup fresh spinach
1 handful Kale (remove spines)
1 over-the-hill banana
1 green apple
2 Tbl honey
1 cup skim milk (any will do)

Blend in blender til smooth and creamy looking...about 1 min.

Seriously, the only ingredients I tasted while drinking this... was banana and honey! It was awesome.  My stepson walked in while I poured it and I had a little left over so I poured him a small glass and said here, you can try the extra.  He didnt like the looks of it and I had to promise him all I tasted was banana and honey. He says, "you better not be lying"... and he tasted it.  Then he DRANK the whole thing in one downing. YES,... it's GOOD!

It's a great thing to do with those bananas that are just past the point where anyone in the house will eat them, and maybe not quite ready for banana bread. I used a small green apple, sliced with an apple slicer (8 pcs) first since I don't own a Vitamix.

I plan to make another one tomorrow, and I WILL take a picture then!
**Check the comments and you'll see a list of fruits and their fiber contents!**