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Busy! Busy! Busy!

Busy! Busy! Busy!That one little word sure does describe my life these days! Up every morning before 5 a.m., cooking before my kids arrive at 7 a.m., taking photos of all my recipes, caring for my little ones, cooking some more when the kids are napping, taking more photos, taking the kids outside to play, fixing their lunch, etc., etc. I sometimes don’t know if I’m coming or going!

You may be thinking “Oh well, you have the weekend off to rest up”. Not so! That’s when I have to compile my shopping list for ingredients I will need to make more yummies. Then, of course I have to do the shopping, come home and put it all away, do more cooking, take more photos, wash more dishes, etc., etc. And in between all that, I am creating new recipes, updating my old recipes and planning what I will cook the following day. I don’t even have time to get sick!!

But I sure am having a lot of fun even with all the hard work. The hardest thing for me to do is keep all the dirty pots, pans and cooking utensils cleaned up! Even with my dishwasher going I still have to wash some by hand (I can’t stand a sink full of dirty dishes), not that I’m criticizing any of you who don’t have a problem with dirty dishes in the sink!!

Jason says I’m getting better at my photography attempts. I didn’t know there was so much involved in taking good photographs! Maybe that’s why I’ve had so many blank pictures in the past! I do seem to be getting the hang of it though and having such good teachers (Jason & Christy) sure has helped. If you have a free minute sometime, it would be great to receive a comment from you expressing your opinion. I love hearing from all my visitors!

Well, it looks like my day just got busier. I now have a Facebook account! It is so much fun looking up people and making new friends. Sometimes I lose track of the time until my husband reminds me that I really need to spend a little time with him! Guess I’d better watch the clock, I wouldn’t want to end up in divorce court over a Facebook account!! Better yet, I think I’ll sign him up for an account and then I’ll have to remind him of the time!

Well, it’s back to the kitchen to dirty up some more dishes. Then I’ll have to take more photographs, but not until I clean up all those dirty dishes!¬† Is this fun or what?



Deviled Eggs

Deviled EggsThe perfect addition to your picnic basket! Also great as a side for dinner or an in-between-meal snack.

6 hard boiled eggs, shells removed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place in a small bowl; set whites aside. Mash the egg yolks with a fork.

Add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar to the egg yolks. Mix together until well blended.

Spoon the mixture into the egg whites. Place stuffed eggs on a serving dish; lightly sprinkle with paprika.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 1 dozen, each with a trace of carbohydrate.



Beef Noodle Casserole

Beef Noodle CasseroleA delicious, economical, all-in-one dinner that is sure to please your family.

1 (8 oz) package wide egg noodles
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, green pepper and onion until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in the salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream. In a greased 2-quart casserole, layer 1/2 the cooked noodles, 1/2 the meat mixture and 1/2 the cheese mixture. Repeat layer with the remaining 1/2 of the ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.



Chicken and Rice

chicken-and-rice-2An excellent weeknight dinner that’s ready in a jiffy!

1 cup uncooked instant rice
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped frozen green pepper, thawed
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (9 oz) package ready-to-use grilled chicken breast strips
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook rice in broth according to package directions. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the green pepper and onion in oil until tender-crisp; about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken, corn, peas, basil and sage; stir to blend. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the rice, salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.



Crustless Apple Pie

crustless-apple-pieA delightful apple dessert that requires little preparation time!

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sliced tart apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and apple pie spice; mix well. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add the apples and pecans; stir until well blended.

Spoon into a buttered 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Bake for 30 minutes or until the apples are tender. Makes 6 servings.



Hamburger Skillet Dinner

hamburger-skillet-dinnerReal comfort food! Filled with beef, pasta, veggies, and cheddar cheese.

1 (7oz) package small pasta shells, or other small pasta
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups cubed cooked potatoes
1 (15-1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn
2 (8 oz each) cans tomato sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Cook the beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat until the beef is no longer pink; drain and return to the skillet. Stir in the carrots, celery and garlic. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add the potatoes, corn, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and chili powder; heat through. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the skillet; toss to coat. Sprinkle with the cheese; cover and cook until the cheese is melted.



Tortilla Bites

tortilla-bitesThese yummy and spicy appetizers won’t last long so you’d better make plenty!

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas, cut into quarters
1 medium onion, grated
1 (16 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (8 oz) jar chunky salsa*
sour cream
chopped fresh cilantro

Spray 16 muffin cups with cooking spray. Place 1 tortilla quarter in each muffin cup. Layer the onion, black beans and salsa in prepared muffin cups.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 16 servings.

* You can make these as spicy as you like by choosing mild, medium or hot salsa.



Vegetables & Ham

vegetables-and-hamFrozen vegetables and canned soup make this cheesy ham dinner super fast-to-fix!

3 cups frozen cut green beans, thawed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (10-3/4 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cooked chopped ham
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, sauté the green beans and corn in butter or margarine. Sprinkle with the flour; mix well. In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream and ham. Stir into the vegetable mixture.

Cook over medium heat until heated through. Remove from the heat; sprinkle with the cheese. Cover and let stand until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Makes 4 servings.