Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A contest you don't want to miss....

True to form the SITS girls are hosting an amazing giveaway on their cooking blog, Saucy Eats.
They are giving away a $100 Gift Card to Williams-Sonoma and a New Digital Camera so that YOU can become the next "lady-who-posts-great-pictures-and-recipes-on-her-blog" blogger!!!
All you need to do is submit your favorite, original recipe and then vote for your favorite once the top 5 are announced on the 23rd.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

I'm a Dutch Oven fan. A big one, although I don't cook that way nearly often enough. I've got to find a way to cook like I'm camping while not having to actually camp! I think one of my all time favorites is this Peach Cobbler.

4 (15oz.) cans of peaches (drained)
1 Yellow cake mix (dry)
1 can of Sprite or 7up
butter slices to taste (optional)

Pour peaches in Dutch oven. Layer the cake mix on top. Pour Sprite/7up on top of cake mix making sure that the cake mix is fully covered by liquid. Sometimes I use butter on the top and my kids like it better that way, but the cobbler is great alone, too. Place 12 briquets under and 12 on top of oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lion House Rolls


2 packages of yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/3 cup milk, scalded and cooled

2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 cups flour

Combine 2 packages yeast and 1/2 cup warm water and set aside. In large mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients, mix until smooth. Stir in yeast. Add 3 cups flour and mix, knead until smooth and no longer sticky (you may need more flour). Place dough in greased bowl, cover with towel and set in warm place to raise until double in size (about 1 hour). Roll out and shape rolls, place on greased baking sheet.(for extra flavor, melt 1/2 stick of butter and pour onto baking sheet before placing shaped rolls) Cover rolls with towel and raise for 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Brush tops with melted butter,remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.

I got this recipe from Laurie over at Treasure the Little Things. I've had these rolls, and I can't even tell you how delicious they are!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Black Bean Salsa

1 red bell pepper diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
½ red onion diced
1 can corn
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
¼ c. olive oil
4 TBLSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp. lime juice
Mix all together and serve with your favorite brand tortilla chips.
Avocado and tomatoes make a great addition.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 to 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
¾ c. rolled oats
2 eggs slightly beaten
½ c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ c. milk
1 tsp. salt
few grains of pepper
Combine all ingredients, mix well. Form into about 18 (approx 2 inch in diameter) balls. Place in a casserole dish, and cover with the below sauce.
( I usually double the sauce)
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. vinegar
1 tsp. prepared mustard
¼ c. BBQ sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Combine the sauce ingredients and blend thoroughly. Heat in the microwave for about 1 minute, (until the B. sugar is dissolved), and pour over meatballs.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

This is another gem from my cousin Stacey. She likes to serve it with brown rice.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crock pot recipes

A friend of mine just sent me the link to this blog. 365 days of crockpot recipes. I'm so excited about this blog as I'm a huge fan of the crock pot.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pizza Crust

For a great, easy Pizza Crust, try this recipe that my cousin Stacey sent me.

Yummy Pizza Crust
1 TBS. yeast
½ tsp. sugar
1 ½ c. warm water

Dissolve the above ingredients in the warm water and let sit for about 10 minutes until frothy.

In a separate bowl, combine the following:

2 TBS. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 c. wheat flour
1 c. white flour

Add the wet ingredients into the dry stuff, and stir until well blended.

On a floured surface, knead the dough until it forms a ball. (Add flour as needed so the dough is not too sticky.)

Let rise for 10 minutes and form into either pizza crust, or calzones.

Top or stuff with your favorite toppings.

Place onto greased pans or a baking stone sprinkled with corn meal.

Bake at 450 for 16-18 minutes.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Absolute Favorite Salad

To me, it's the combination of the strawberry, pear, pecan and gorgonzola that makes this salad top my list.
Here's how I make quantities listed here because it totally varies depending on how big the servings are and many people are partaking.
mixed lettuce greens
thinly sliced strawberries
thinly sliced pear
crumbled gorgonzola cheese
chopped pecans
Toss with dressing. My favorite is Champagne by Girards.


Per special request, my cousin Kristin sent me this easy recipe that is a kid and adult pleaser.

In a pot mix:
1/2 C. Soy sauce
1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. sugar
Bring to a boil, stirring, till sugar is dissolved.
Turn heat to low
Add in layers:
1/2 Sliced onion
1# sliced London Broil very thin, against grain.
4-5 carrots sliced in thin sticks
1/2 pkg frozen green beans
Cook on low till carrots are tender and green beans done. About 15-20 min.
Serve over rice.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A NO Go with kids

Some things you just can't serve children and expect them to eat it. This is one of them: Bacon Spinach Salad.

Spinach salad is one of my salads of choice, but I couldn't persuade my children to eat it, for anything. So, when I make this salad for dinner, the kids get this: Top Ramen with egg and sugar snap peas
My kids love hard boiled egg sliced on the top of their Top Ramen. They aren't so fond of the snap peas, but I have to offer them something green.

In case you'd like to throw together a Spinach Salad like mine, here's what I throw in:
Washed and dried spinach leaves

sliced hard boiled egg

sliced mushrooms
grape tomatoes
thinly sliced purple onion
crumbled bacon
tossed with Catalina dressing

Monday, April 14, 2008

Maryland Crab Cakes with Lemon Remoulade AND Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Chives

These recipes came compliments of Nancy at Turk Talk. Thank you so much. It looks delicious, and I learned something new!

Maryland Crab Cakes with Lemon Remoulade
5 Tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons minced shallots
1 Table spoon drained capers
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Chesapeake Bay seasoning - I use Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound crab meat - I used canned since it is out of season, but you can use thawed frozen or lump crabmeat

1. To make the remoulade, combine 3 Tablespoons of the mayo, parsley, shallots, capers, lemon zest, and pepper sauce in a small bowl; cover refrigerate.
2. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons of mayo, the egg, mustard, Bay seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl; gently stir in the crab meat.
Shape mixture into 8 patties. Place on a plate; cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
3. Spray a large skillet with canola nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes and cook until heated through and well-browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with remoulade.

Goes well with:

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Chives

1 (1 pound) bunch of asparagus, trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Preheat the oven to 425
2. Put the asparagus in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly. Spread in a single layer and bake, shaking the pan occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a platter; sprinkle with the lemon juice and chives.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Taco Soup

1 onion diced (unless your children refuse to eat onions-in that case, skip it)
1.5 lbs. of browned hamburger
1.5 lbs. of boiled shredded chicken
2 cans of corn (undrained)
2 cans of kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cans of petite diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of taco seasoning

Throw all ingredients in crockpot on low and let warm at least a few hours.

To serve, top with sour cream, shredded cheese and fritos or tortilla chips.

For another Taco Soup variation, visit Motherhood for Dummies.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


For the worlds best stroganoff, you must try this recipe. An absolute favorite in the Lee family.

1 large onion
1 clove garlic in 1 TSBP. oil
remove from pan

Braise: 3 pounds sirloin tip or london broil cut into bite size pieces (about 1/4 of the meat at a time)

Add: 1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can mushrooms with liquid
1 bullion cute or 1 tsp beef granules

Cook all ingredients in a slow cooker, crock pot or heavy kettle until meat is done, stirring occasionally, about 3 hours on the stove, 4 hours at #4 on slower cooker or 8 hours on slow in the crock pot. About time to eat, add 1-2 cups of sour cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Serve over rice, or noodles.

Monkey Bread

A friend of mine from Massachusetts gave me this recipe, and if you are a bread lover like me, you'll LOVE this one. I've made this with wheat flour and it's delicious. Much denser, but tasty. I usually don't use as much butter, either.

1 egg
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
4 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 /2 cup butter

Mix all ingredients except the butter. Melt butter in bundt pan. Let dough rise until double. Roll 1/2 inch flat and cut into rounds. Dip tips of rounds in butter and place in a bundt pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. You'll have to keep checking to see when it's done depending on your oven and bundt pan. Turn upside down and remove from pan.

Mexican Rice

This isn't the easiest rice recipe ever, but it is the best. My sister in law Debbie threw this one my way.

2 medium tomatoes quartered
1 onion peeled and quartered
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups rice (not minute, basmati works well)
4 garlic cloves minced
3 jalapenos chopped finely
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup minced cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Puree tomato and onion until smooth (should be 2 cups). Heat oil in pan and add rice, saute until golden. Stir in 2/3 jalapeno and all of garlic, cook until fragrant. Stir in tomato puree, broth, paste, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to boil. Pour into 9X13 baking dish and cover with foil. Bake until rice is tender. Stir 1/2 way through at about 15 minutes. Total bake time about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in cilantro and remaining jalapeno.

Cream Cheese Crock Pot Chicken

The first year of the twins life we lived on crock pot dinners since that's all I seemed to be able to manage. This recipe is by far my families favorite:

Put 4-6 chicken breasts in the bottom of crockpot.

Mix together and pour over chicken:
8oz block of cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg Italian dressing seasoning mix
1/2 cup water optional

Cook all day on low and serve over rice.

Easy Crepes

This recipe was given to me by my friend Tanya and it's tried and true. The crepes are super easy, always turn out, and are always a crowd pleaser.

1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
3 Tbs. melted butter or oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour

Mix all ingredients in a blender and pour on griddle to cook.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

My sister in law Susan gave me this recipe and it's my favorite soup recipe ever. It's hearty, it's versatile and it tastes delicious. You can substitute almost any vegetable and it's always wonderful.

1 head chopped cauliflower
1 chopped onion
1 medium carrot
1 medium potato
1 1/2 cup cheese (added at the end)
enough chicken broth to cover the vegetables in the pan

Add all vegetables in a pan and cover with chicken broth. Cook until the vegetables are tender and then puree. Add half and half to taste and then add the cheese.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

THE cooking/recipe resource

My sister gave me this cookbook as a wedding present, and in the 10 years I've been married it has been THE resource I always turn to. I've never been disappointed!

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Dinner Philosophy

The Seven Clown Circus dinner philosophy is pretty simple. Everyone eats the same thing and although I try to make meals that everyone will enjoy, I'm not always successful. The kids must try everything I've prepared. If they don't like it, fine. They don't have to eat it. But, that's it. No special meals to make up for it, and no snacks. Casserole type dishes are usually not a hit, rather, my kids prefer something simple like chicken, a green vegetable and rice or some other starch. Simple is golden here, and as the chief cook, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Breakfast Favorites

My cousin Stacey sent me these recipes, and although I haven't tried them, her family has and they are their absolute favorites.

Breakfast Pizza

1 package (12oz.) Breakfast Sausage links
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup thawed hash brown potatoes
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
¼ c. milk
¼ tsp. dried basil
dash of cayenne pepper
½ c. grated parmesan cheese

Cook sausage until no longer pink, and slice into coin size pieces.

Unroll crescent roll dough, separate into 8 triangles

Arrange on an ungreased 12 inch. Pizza pan, placing the points into the center.
Press seams together and press over the bottom and up the sides of pan to form a crust.

Top with hashbrowns sausage and cheddar cheese

Combine the eggs, milk and spices, pour over cheese.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

8 servings

Overnight French Toast

This is a simple one, but a favorite on a cool fall Sunday morning…..Enjoy!

A- 3-5 cooking apples ( I use green granny smith) peeled and diced
B- 1 c. brown sugar
C- 1 cube of butter (don’t use margarine)
D- 1/3 c. karo syrup
E- 1 Tbsp. of tapioca (or flour if tapioca isn’t available)
F- loaf of good and fresh French Bread (or I use Texas Toast)
G- 1 c. milk
H- 4 eggs

In the microwave cook B-D one minute at a time. Stirring in between minutes until very well melted, and combined. Usually takes 3 or 4 minutes to make a good thick syrup..

Pour out into a 9x13 pan

Spread apples out evenly over syrup and sprinkle tapioca/flour over them.

Cut bread into thick slices and dip into mixture of egg and milk well whipped.

Layer soaked bread over apples like fallen dominoes.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 375 uncovered for 30-45 minutes until golden brown. I sometimes cook with the foil on for half the time, and then take it off for the last half to keep the bread softer, not so crusty.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cooking Substitutions are a must...

I don't know about you, but when I'm an ingredient or two short, I don't have time to run out to the store and that's why this substitution guide from Kraft is so handy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Easy Cheesy Chicken Manicotti

This is a recipe I modified from a Kraft recipe. It's certainly not gourmet, but the kids and Jeff liked it, and there was enough for 7 hungry clowns with leftovers. I don't think I liked it enough to make it often, but it was a nice, easy recipe to break up the monthly menu.

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1\2 cups of water
2 cups of grated cheese
2 cups frozen brocolli florets
12 (approx) manicotti pasta shells, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 chopped green onions

Prehead oven to 400 degrees. Mix soup, water and cheese in microwave safe bowl. Microwave until cheese in melted and stir well. Pour one-third of the soup mixture into the bottom of a baking dish and set aside. Add brocolli and green onions to remaining soup mixture. Stuff chicken in shells. Place in baking dish. Cover completely with remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake 45 minutes.