Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mary's Unbeatable Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I heard stories of these cookies for about a year before Mary would relinquish the recipe :) Evidently, she used to make them for Mark and other friends and take them to school in high school. My cookies were never good enough for Mark til I got this recipe; now he loves them! You can put any kind of chip you want in them, but we like a combo of chocolate and butterscotch the best :)

2 ½ cup flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 cup Crisco
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 pkg. (10-oz) choc. Chunks

Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add Crisco and mix until blended. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate. Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges of the cookies begin to look slightly chewy. Makes approx. 28 medium sized cookies.
**Mary likes to throw in a little peanut butter, oatmeal, or nuts into the batter for variation 

My favorite chicken salad

Ever since getting the perfect chicken salad at the Fresh Market, I've been looking online for a similar recipe. I found this at www.cooks.com. While I can't say they match up exactly, this recipe is by far the best I've made myself! We used crushed almonds instead of pecans because that is what I happened to have in the pantry and it was yummy :)


4 c. cubed, cooked chicken
1 1/2 c. green seedless grapes
1 c. pecan pieces
1/2 c. mayonnaise or creamy salad dressing
1/4 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. poppy seeds
White or black pepper, to taste
Lettuce leaves

Directions: Combine chicken, grapes and pecans in large bowl; set aside. Stir mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, poppy seeds and pepper in small bowl to blend well; add to chicken mixture. Toss well to coat. If desired serve salad on lettuce leaves.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gigi's Sweet Potato Casserole

A must-have for any Jones Family gathering! The sweetest and yummiest sweet potatoes ever!

3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
½ cup sugar
¼ cup milk
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
¼ tsp. Cloves

Topping Ingredients:

1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine 1st nine ingredients; spoon into lightly greased baking dish. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned
* Can spread marshmallows evenly over the top and place back into the oven until melted.

Lynne's Oven Fried Potatoes

This was another recipe I had to master to marry Mark and it seems like I never make them enough for him. He loves to dip them in Ranch or ketchup, but I think they are yummy enough by themselves :)

12 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
¼ cup grated Pamesan cheese
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Paprika
½ tsp pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions: Place potatoes in two large resealable plastic bags. Combine the Parmesan cheese and seasonings; add to potatoes and shake to coat. Pour oil into two 15x10x1 baking pans; pour seasoned potatoes into pans. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender.

Grandma Connie's Cheesy Garlic Grits

This was my absolute favorite thing to eat at my Grandma's growing up and she was nice enough to make it for every holiday meal. Mark thought I was crazy when I first wanted to make them; weird concept for him. But he thinks its yummy now, too :)


1 cup grits
1 tsp salt
½ stick butter
2 eggs
1 roll garlic cheese
½ cup milk
1 cup buttered corn flake crumbs

: Cook grits as directed. Cool 15 minutes. Melt butter and cheese. Add to cooked grits. Beat eggs and milk and slowly pour into a greased casserole. Top with crumbs. Bake 45 min. at 350. (Allow for 1 hour).

This recipe is part of Kelly's SUYL side dishes

Mary's Corn Fritters

For some reason, this is a Peterson family tradition when it snows :) Mary introduced it to us when they got "snowed in" at our house and it seemed like a good tradition to start :) I think they are good for breakfast, too :)

1 cup flour

2 eggs
1 tsp. baking Powder
½ cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oil
1 can whole corn

Directions: Blend dry ingredients. Mix eggs, milk, and oil. Add moist ingredients to dry ingredients and beat until smooth Add corn. Turn stove on medium and heat more oil in pot. Drop batter by spoonfuls into oil until golden brown. Eat hot with syrup!
This recipe is part of Kelly's SUYL side dishes

Lynne's Hotdog Chili

It sounds simple because it is, but I must say I've never had better chili on my hotdog )

1 pound ground beef
1 pkg chil mix
Tomato paste and water to taste
Directions: Brown ground beef; drain. Add chili mix. Stir in tomato pate and water til you get the consistency and flavor you desire
**makes a yummy chip dip if you layer a baking dish with cream cheese, then chili, then shredded cheese and bake til bubbly 

Richard's Awesome Steak Marinade

This marinade is one of the best ever!



2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic (4 cloves)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Y2 teaspoon instant beef bouillon granules

4 8-ounce beef top loin steaks, cut 1 Inch thick

Directions: In a small bowl combine horseradish, lemon juice, sugar, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, and beef bouillon granules. Trim fat from meat. Rub mixture on both sides of each steak. Cover; refrigerate steaks for 1 hour. For charcoal grill, grill steaks on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals until desired doneness, turning once halfway through grilling. Allow 11to 15 minutes for medium-rare doneness (145°F) or 14 to 18 minutes for medium doneness (160°F). (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place steaks on grill rack over heat Cover and grill as above.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Zach and Brian's Sausage Hashbrown Casserole

A yummy casserole that is good for breakfast or any other meal :) I used to make it for my brother and his buddies in college and they loved it!

2 lbs. Bulk pork sausage
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 carton (8oz) French dip
1 cup chopped onion
1 pkg. Frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed

Cook sausage in skillet until no longer pink; Drain off grease. In a large bowl, combine 1 ¾ cups cheese and next 7 ingredients; fold in potatoes. Spread half into a greased shallow 3 quart baking dish or rectangle casserole dish. Top with sausage and then remaining potato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer until heated through.

Melanie's Pronto Pizza Burger

A yummy, quick burger!
1 lb. Lean ground beef
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbs. chopped onion
1 Tbs. tomato paste
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
mozzarella cheese
4 English muffins, split

: In a bowl, mix beef, Parmesan cheese, onion, tomato paste, salt, and pepper just until combined. Toast the muffins in broiler until light;y browned. Divide meat mixture among muffins. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 8-10 minutes or until meat is cooked. Top with tomato and cheese slices. Return to broiler until cheese is melted. If desired, sprinkle with oregano. Serve immediately.

Mary's Baked Oatmeal Casserole

This is delicious, filling, and healthy, too! I grease the pan with coconut oil, which makes it even sweeter :)

3 cups oatmeal
¾ cups brown sugar
½ cup margarine
2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
Raisins, dried cranberries, blueberries, etc (whatever you like)
Milk, cool whip, ice cream or whatever topping you might like

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients together and pour in a 13 x 9 inch buttered pan. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Serve hot with milk, cool whip, or ice cream.

Gigi's Overnight French Toast Casserole

Oh, this is soooo good! My grandmother used to make this for us and my Dad continued the tradition. Now I make it whenever we have company come stay with us. Its great because I make it the night before and just pop it in the oven in the morning.

1 stick margarine
½ cup brown sugar
6 eggs
1 ½ cup milk
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 loaf cinnamon raisin bread or French bread

Mix margarine and brown sugar in a 9x 13 Pyrex dish. If using French bread, slice into 1 inch thick slices. Place bread onto butter/sugar mixture. Blend eggs, milk, nutmeg, and vanilla. Pour over the bread slices. Let chill overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered, 45 minutes at 350. Serve warm with syrup and confectioner’s sugar if desired.

This Post is part of KK's SUYL Breakfasts

Hollie's Crockpot Italian Chicken Dinner

Another great crockpot Italian recipe! Thanks, Hollie!


6 skinless, boneless chicken halves
8 oz Italian salad dressing
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
8 oz cream cheese (room-temperature)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

1.) In a slow cooker, combine the chicken breasts and Italian-style dressing.
2.) Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. (My crock pot cooks it in six hours)
3.) Drain off juices and shred chicken meat with two forks.
4.) In medium bowl, mix cream of chicken soup, broth, diced cream cheese, basil, thyme salt, & pepper.
5.) Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker.
6.)Continue cooking on low for one hour (in order to melt cream cheese and mix thoroughly). Stir well.

*Pour over a bed of brown rice or egg noodles, green beans, spinach salad and of course, good o'l southern sweet tea (sweetened with agave nectar, 100% pure/natural maple syrup, or stevia powder.)

Sarah's Chicken Scampi

This recipe is from one of my college friends, Sara Coker

5 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup white wine

Combine chicken with ground pepper, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt,
oregano, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and wine in a shallow bowl.
Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours (overnight is best). Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from marinade (save marinade) and place in a shallow pan. Broil 8 inches from heat, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink inside (about 15 minutes). In a small saucepan, bring marinade to a boil. Pour over chicken, toss and serve.

Honey-Cinnamon Spread

We love to eat this on pumpkin muffins or bagels!


1 pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 Tbs. honey

¼ tsp. cinnamon

Directions: In medium bowl, blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve on muffins, warm, toasted bagels, or your favorite breakfast bread.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lynne's Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Something Mark just can't get enough of and I love it, too. Better than what you get at a restaurant :) We don't put the tabasco sauce in because we aren't spicy people but a lot of people love it :) You can also make it ahead of time and freeze it!


1 stick margarine

1 med. Onion (1 cup chopped)

2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained

1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (not marinated)

1 (8 oz) cream cheese

1 (8oz) sour cream

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt to taste

2 Tbs Tabasco sauce if you want it spicy J.

Directions: Melt margarine in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, ¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, Tabasco sauce (if desired), and salt. Stir until well blended and heated through. Pour mixture into a baking dish and top with remaining cheeses. Bake at 350 until cheese starts to brown. Approx. 15 min. serve warm with chips, crackers, etc.

Lynne's Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Oh, so yummy!


3 (8oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 ½ cups mini chocolate chips

chopped pecans if desired

Directions: Blend cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and cinnamon with mixer. Add mini chocolate chips. Chill. Roll in chocolate chips and pecans if desired. Serve with graham crackers, cookies, or Ritz

Gigi's Boiled Custard

This is a Jones family tradition and my Dad makes tons of it every Christmas. We've never tasted a better boiled custard :)


2 cups milk

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. flour

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions: Bring the milk to “just before boil” in top of the double boiler. Mix sugar and flour, add the egg. Add milk slowly to the egg, whisking constantly. Stir in the vanilla. Return the custard to the top of the double boiler to cook until thickened. (Mixture should coat a spoon)

Emily's Ranch Snack Crackers

These are my husband's favorites and he will even make them himself if I put the ingredients out on the counter for him :) They are addictive, though, I warn you! They do get stale after a couple of days if you do not store in an airtight tupperware or freezer safe ziplock bag.


2 pkg plain oyster crackers

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch mix

¼ tsp. lemon pepper

½ tsp dill weed

¼ tsp garlic powder

¾ cup salad oil

Directions: Combine ingredients in bowl, pour over crackers and stir to coat. Place in long baking dish in warm oven (300) for 15-20 minutes. Stir once or twice during cooking.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lynne's Party Meatballs

These freeze well, so I make tons at the same time :) We love to eat it over brown rice or quinoa. Its also a great thing to take to a covered dish :)


2 lb. Ground beef
3 slices bread in crumbs
½ cup milk
¼ cup finely chopped onions
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp. salt

Sauce ingredients:
1 ½ cup ketchup
6 TBS. butter
6 Tbs. brown sugar
3 Tbs. vinegar
6 Tbs. water

Directions for Meatballs: Mix together and shape into 1-inch balls. Bake on cookie sheet 25-30 minutes at 375.
Directions for sauce: Mix ingredients together, simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Add meatballs to this mixture and heat thoroughly

Nacho Taco Salad

Mark absolutely loves this salad, but prefers the Ranch Doritoes :)

1 head or bag of lettuce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can of black olives if desired
6 oz Nacho Doritos, crushed
1 pound ground beef, browned, with taco seasoning
Ranch dressing or Thousand Island
1 can Kidney beans if desired

Mix all ingredients and serve immediately

Emily’s Excellent Potato Soup

The ultimate comfort food!

6-7 potatoes, peeled and diced
½ cup onion, diced
8-oz cream cheese, cut in chunks
1 ½ cup milk
1 can mushroom or cheese soup
1 can celery soup
¾ stick of butter
½ tsp garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
bacon bits
shredded cheddar cheese

Cook potatoes and onions together in just enough water to cover them. Once tender, remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients except for cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Heat again til combined and hot. Serve with cheese and bacon bits on top

Melanie's Easy Pizza Top Spaghetti

This is great if you don't have time to brown any ground beef for dinner :) Just throw in the pepperonies! We use it with whatever pasta we have on hand.

Spaghetti noodles (or whatever noodles you have)
Jar of spaghetti sauce
1 bag of Shredded Cheese (Mexican Blend)
1 pkg. of pepperoni
1 small jar of mushrooms, drained
1 small can of olives, drained
*Simply use whatever pizza topping you like best!

Bake noodles as directed on box and drain. Put spaghetti sauce on noodles. Place a layer of pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and cheese on top of noodle mixture. Continue layering until all ingredients are used. Cover entire casserole with cheese. Place in oven at 325 and bake for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with a tossed salad and French bread.

Mark's Favorite Crockpot Italian Dinner

This is an easy meal that can look fancy with the simple sauce :)

4 chicken breasts
1 small bottle of Italian salad dressing
box of your favorite type of noodles
8 oz sour cream
½ cup Parmesan cheese if desired

Directions: Place chicken in crock pot and pour Italian salad dressing over chicken. Cook on low 7 hours or on high for 3 ½. Boil noodles and drain. Remove chicken from crock pot and stir sour cream and parmesan cheese in remaining Italian dressing. Serve chicken over noodles, rice, or quinoa with the sauce.
*Mark likes it best if I grill the chicken in the mini Foreman grill for about 3 minutes before serving.
*Can also simply marinade the chicken all day in the Italian dressing, then cook the chicken on the grill. Boil the sauce for 5 minutes on the stove; then add in sour cream and parmesan cheese.
*Can add more sour cream for a creamier, less strong sauce

Creamy Spinach Chicken Dinner

This is one of my new favorites that I found in one of my cooking magazines :)


1 ½ cups uncooked pasta

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ cup chopped onion

2 tsp olive oil

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup heavy whipping cream

10 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach (we just used a box of frozen spinach)

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/8 tsp pepper

*garlic powder


*Parmesan cheese

Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet or Dutch oven over med heat, cook and stir chicken and onion in oil for 5 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Stir in soup and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach, cheese, and pepper; cook for 1-2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and cheese melted. Drain pasta and add to chicken mixture; toss to coat

*I added in some salt and garlic powder at the same time I added the pepper to give it more flavor. I also sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top when I served the plates

Melanie's All American Burger

This makes a perfectly seasoned burger :)

1 lb. Sausage
2 lbs. Ground beef
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
minced onion

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; form into patties. Grill.

Super Baked Ziti

My dear friend Mary Vargas gave me the idea to make all my pasta recipes more rich and creamier by mixing a can of Alfredo sauce with the tomato sauce. Oh, its so good!!!

1 box ziti noodles
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 can alfredo sauce
1 Cup shredded cheese
*Can add 1 lb browned ground beef, sausage, or meatballs

Boil noodles. Mix alfredo sauce and spaghetti sauce together. Add noodles. Pour into baking dish, top with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hawaiin Chicken Pile-up

My friend Sara made this for a ton of people in college -- she provided the chicken and everyone brought the toppings. It may sound weird to put the pineapple on, but you have to do it! It makes the recipe :) This is truly one of my favorite comfort food meals :)

2 lb chicken
2 Cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
Cooked rice or quinoa
1 box cream cheese
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Chow Mein noodles
Pineapple tidbits
*whatever else you think sounds yummy 

Directions: Put chicken, soup, milk, cream cheese in crockpot on low all day. Serve over a bed or rice or quinoa. Pile toppings on as you like 

Lynne's Poppy Seed Chicken

This is Mark's idea of comfort food and getting this recipe from his Mama was a requirement for our marriage, I think :) It freezes well, but save the ritz for right before cooking because they get soggy in the freezer :)

4-5 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 8-oz sour cream
1 stack Ritz crackers
1 stick butter
Poppy Seed

Directions: Cook chicken with onions; set aside. Combine soup and sour cream in small bowl. Line bottom of casserole pan with chicken; Cover with soup and sour cream mixture. Cover top with crushed crackers. Drizzle butter over crackers; sprinkle with poppy seed. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Rich and Easy Manicotti

Mark says he likes this more than what we get at Italian restaurants :) It also freezes well, so I always double it and have one for later:)

1 pkg manicotti noodles
1 pound ground beef or sausage
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced Italian tomatoes
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions: Cook pasta, rinse and drain. Drain diced tomatoes; mix with tomato sauce in a small bowl. Brown ground beef; stir in cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and 2 cups moz cheese. Spoon into manicotti shells, place stuffed shells in greased 9x13 baking dish. Pour tomato mixture over shells, sprinkle with remaining moz cheese. Bake at 250 for 20 min til bubbly. Let casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Mom's unbeatable Lasagna

We ate this regularly growing up and it is undoubtedly the best lasagna ever! And it freezes great, so make 2!

2lb ground beef
1 pkg. Onion soup mix
1 cup water
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp. Oregano
¾ lb mozzarella cheese (sliced or grated)
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can tomato sauce
2 lb cottage cheese OR ricotta cheese

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet or pot; drain. Add onion soup mix, water, spices, sugar, tomato sauce, and paste. Bring to low boil and simmer one hour. Stir often. Arrange in a long baking dish in the following order: meat, noodles, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. Make two or three layers. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top if desired. Bake at 350 for ½ hour. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Emily's Cranberry Chicken

My sis-in-law, Emily, served this to us and we've been hooked ever since! We love it over quinoa or brown rice. The sauce freezes well, so I usually double it for a quick "dump in a pan" chicken meal :)

16 pieces of chicken
1 container Russian dressing
1 pkg. Dry onion soup mix
1 can whole cranberry sauce
¼ cup water
Pineapple rings
1 jar peach or apricot preserves

Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl; pour over chicken. Bake at 350, covered, for 1 hour. Then bake 30 min. without covering. Serve over rice if desired.

Easy Chicken Cordon Blue

One of my favs and it freezes so well! I usually make about 15 of them and freeze individually so I can have them in a hurry :) I like to use mayonnaise instead of the milk because it makes it more tender and flavorful. But if you want to be healthy, just dip the chicken in milk :)

Chicken breasts
Milk or mayonnaise
Swiss or Provolone Cheese slices
Sliced ham
Italian Bread crumbs, Ritz crackers, or both
*Parmesan cheese if desired

Directions: Place chicken in large plastic bag, flatten with a meat tenderizer or heavy object. Place bread crumbs, crushed Ritz crackers and parmesan cheese in a medium sized bowl. In a small bowl, pour some milk or spoon out some mayonnaise. Lay chicken flat and place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on each piece. Roll chicken up and secure with toothpicks. Dip chicken breasts in milk or mayonnaise, then in bread crumb mixture. Roll in bread crumb mixture till covered thoroughly, then place in greased baking dish. Bake uncovered at 375 for 45 min till chicken is done. Can serve with a basic cream sauce found in any cook book (flour, milk, butter, salt)

Brian's Study Break Chicken Casserole

My friend Brian would make this for several of my friends and me whenever we were stressed with exams and didn't have time to cook. Yummy comfort food!

Cream of chicken soup
Cream of _____(your choice )
Cheddar cheese soup
16 oz. Sour cream
3 chicken breasts or more
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
1 bag egg noodles
ritz crackers

Directions: Cook chicken and noodles; shred chicken. Mix everything except 1 cup cheese, dump in baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and crumbled ritz crackers. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

Gigi's Overnight Brunch Casserole

This is great for dinner or for when you want to make breakfast ahead of time!


1 lb. Sausage or bacon or ham

½ lb. Grated sharp cheddar cheese

8 slices of bread

3-4 eggs

2 cups milk

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. dry mustard

dash of pepper

Directions: Use a greased 9” x 13” casserole dish. Place bread as liner in bottom of dish. Layer cheese, then meat. Sprinkle these evenly over the bread. Mix together eggs, milk, salt, mustard, and pepper. Pour over casserole. Chill overnight. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Brandi's Creamy Sausage Rotelle Dip

My friend Brandi Miller makes this for game nights regularly and we just can't get enough of it! Its a fun dip because you can make it as spicy as you want. Mark and I are not big spicy people so we use maple sausage and mild rotelle, but we have friends who love the super hot sausage and rotelle :) I also like to use 1 1/2 pkgs of cream cheese to make it creamier :)


1 pkg cream cheese (If you like really creamy, use 2 pkgs :)

1lb sausage

1 can rotelle tomotoes

Directions: Mix together in crockpot and serve when hot

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Best Sloppy Joes Ever!

My friend Beth McKenzie made a ton of this for everyone who helped us move into our new home. Mark and I had never tasted any sloppy joe as good as this! Honestly, this has ruined my husband and he no longer enjoys any other kind of sloppy joes :) He just thinks these are soo much better! I usually double this and freeze it for an easy meal later :)

1 lb ground beef
2 T. chopped onion
2 T. green pepper
2 T. celery
¼ tsp. garlic salt
½ cup ketchup
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2-3 T. lemon juice
1 T. vinegar
2-3 T. Italian dressing
2-3 T. brown sugar
sprinkled cinnamon

Directions: In a medium skillet, combine beef, onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic salt; Cook and stir until meat is brown and veggies are tender. Drain fat. Stir together rest of ingredients – Spread over meat and cook until heated through.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Leah's Chicken Enchiladas

I got this great and easy recipe from my friend, Leah Payne. Mark and I happen to like enchilada sauce better than salsa, so we pour that over the top instead. Mark also likes beef enchiladas, so I usually double the recipe, make half of them chicken and half of them beef, and freeze a pan of it before cooking. It’s a great time-saver later on when I don’t have time for dinner!! I've been trying to stay away from canned soup, so I've been making it by just layering cream cheese, salsa, meat, and shredded cheddar inside the tortilla instead.

1 large can Chopped Chicken (or 2 C. cooked chicken breast, chopped)
1 can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
½ C. Sour Cream
1 8 oz. pkg. Shredded Cheese (I prefer Mexican, but whatever you like)
6 10”-12” Tortillas
1 ½ C. Salsa

Directions: Mix Chicken, Soup, Sour Cream, and 1 cup of Cheese until well blended. Mentally divide the mixture into 6 parts. Scoop into center of each Tortilla; roll up. Place, seam side down, in greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Top with the Salsa and remaining Cheese. Bake in a 350ยบ oven for 25-30 minutes, thawed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mark's favorite Hashbrown Casserole

Another DeLong family favorite! It wouldn't be a family get-together without this casserole :) Leftovers are great for breakfast, too! I usually freeze one as I make it, but I don't put the cornflakes on til I am ready to bake it and serve, because they will get soggy in the freezer :)

2lb pkg. hash brown potatoes (thawed completely)
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup onion (chopped fine)
½ cup milk
¼ cup melted margarine

Mix all ingredients; place in a 9x13 greased baking pan. Top with crushed cornflakes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mark's Favorite Cornbread Casserole

This is another recipe that we ate at a covered dish and I had to look online to find a recipe that seemed similar. Mark loves this casserole so much that sometimes he will eat the leftovers for breakfast :) Great for potlucks!

2 slightly beaten eggs
1 (8 ½ oz) corn muffin mix
1 can corn, drained
1 can cream style corn
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients except cheese. Pour into a casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 about 35 minutes until a knife comes out clean.

Mom's Famous Chicken Divane

This was my brother's favorite recipe growing up and I fixed it for him and all our friends regularly in college. The lemon juice adds a kick to it that is lacking from the ordinary chicken casserole :) Its great for making ahead of time and freezing!

3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded
1 large bag of broccoli cuts, cooked
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup shredded cheese
½ cup shredded cheese (for topping)
Italian bread crumbs (optional topping)

Use a long casserole dish; spray with Pam. Put cooked broccoli in first, then layer chicken on top. In a small mixing bowl, combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and 1 cup cheese. Spoon this sauce mixture over chicken. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Bake at 350 for 30 min (until bubbly).

Lynne's Incredible Ham Biscuits

These are the most incredible ham biscuits I've ever eaten in my life! Mark didn't even have to beg me to get this recipe from his Mom because I'd already stolen it :) Perfect for showers and covered dishes! I usually make a bunch and freeze in smaller portions so that we can have them for breakfast whenever anyone is staying with us :)

About 40 party rolls or biscuits
1 ½ lb ham, sliced
1 lb Swiss cheese
Special Spread:
1 stick margarine, softened
4 tsp. minced onion
3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp poppy seed
3 tsp. dry mustard
Directions: Mix special spread and let sit for about 15-20 mins. Slice rolls/biscuits and fill with ham and cheese. Spread approximately 1 tsp. of mixture on top of each biscuit. Stir each time. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. (Can make ahead of time and wrap in foil and refrigerate till needed)

This recipe is a part of Kelly's Korner SUYL appetizers!

Lynne's Coffee Punch

I don't like coffee, but this punch is incredible and I can't help but keep going back for more! Great for parties.

16 cups water
2 large Tbs. instant coffee
2 cups sugar
1 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
16 oz. Cool whip

Directions: Boil the water, coffee, and sugar together and let cool in refrigerator overnight or for several hours. Put ice cream and cool whip in punch bowl and pour in chilled mixture of coffee.
*Half this recipe if just for family gatherings

Mom's Tried and True Fruit Cobbler

This is such an easy, quick cobbler that is absolutely delicious! We've eaten it for as long as I can remember. It is especially good hot with vanilla ice cream on top!

¾ stick butter
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup milk
2 cups fresh fruit
Cinnamon to taste

: Preheat oven to 400. Melt butter in pan. Mix everything else but fruit together in a bowl. Pour batter over butter, then pour on fruit. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake about 30 min til brown on top.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lynne's Berry Shortbread Dreams

One of my holiday favorites...

1 cup butter, softened, no substitutes
2/3 cup sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/3 to ½ cup jam

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tsp. water
½ tsp. vanilla

Directions: In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll in 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using thumb, make indentation in the center. Fill with jam. Bake at 350 for 14-18 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle over cookies. Makes about 3 ½ dozen.

Gigi's Super-Moist Carrot Cake

Hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings, but this is undoubtedly the best carrot cake I have ever tasted in my life! The pineapple makes it so moist and sweet!

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
2-½ tsp cinnamon
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup pineapple, crushed and drained
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese
1/3-cup butter
2 tsp vanilla

Beat sugar and eggs well. Add oil and beat. Sift dry ingredients together and add to sugar/eggs mixture. Add carrots and pineapple. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes in 3 9-inch cake pans. For Icing: Cream softened cheese and butter; add sugar gradually. Add vanilla and spread between layers and on top and sides. Keep cool in refrigerator.

Cheesy Corn Chowder

Believe it or not, this recipe came from Mark's high school librarian :) I use cheddar cheese instead of velveeta because its better for you. I also only use 1/2 onion.

1 qt. Of potatoes, peeled and diced
1 chopped onion
½ cup celery chopped
2 cups water
2 cups evaporated milk
1 can cream corn
1 can whole corn
salt and pepper to taste
bacon bits
1/3 cup velveeta cheese
1/3 cup flour mixed with half of the evaporated milk

Directions: Cook potatoes, onions, and celery in the two cups water for about 10 minutes. Then add the corn. After these ingredients are cooked well, add the milk and cheese. Cook until mixed thoroughly and hot.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

Another great salad for a covered dish :)


2 Tbs butter or margarine
1 pkg (3oz) Oriental flavored ramon noodle soup mix
2 Tbs. Sesame seed
Sweet and Sour dressing
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken
¼ cup toasted almonds or dry roasted peanuts
4 medium green onions, sliced ( ¼ cup)
1 bag coleslaw mix
1 can (11oz) mandarin orange segments, drained

Directions: Melt butter in skillet over med. Heat; stir in seasoning packet from soup mix. Break block of noodles into bite-sized pieces over skillet; stir into butter mixture. Cook noodles 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sesame seed Cook about 2 minutes longer, until noodles are golden brown; remove from heat. Add noodle mixture and remaining ingredients; toss
**If taking to a potluck, toss everything except noodle mixture and dressing in a large container. Once its time to serve, add noodle mixture and dressing, then cover and gently shake.

Connie's Blender Rolls

Always yummy, but best served with honey butter :)

1 pkg. yeast dissolved in ½ cup warm water
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 stick margarine
½ cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups warm water
7 cups flour

Blend 1st six ingredients in blender. Pour over 7 cups flour. Mix well. Place in large greased bowl. Grease top of dough, cover and put in refrigerator. When ready to use, shape and let rise about 3 hours. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes
*Can freeze after cooking til slightly brown

Connie's Carrot Souffle

Another holiday tradition :)
1 lb carrots
½ cup melted butter
½ cup sugar
3 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Directions: Cook carrots in salt water til tender. Combine carrots and butter in blender. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Blend well. Spoon into lightly greased 1 qt. Shallow dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Hotel Roanoke Beef Tenderloin

I'm not sure how my grandmother got ahold of this recipe, but it is a classic!


1 Beef Tenderloin
1 Tbs. ground thyme
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbs. Lawry’s seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water

Directions: Place beef in shallow pan and rub thyme into beef. Mix pepper, seasoned salt, oregano, and sprinkle over beef. Roll beef over to pick up little pieces. Wrap beef in foil and refrigerate for 12 hours. Remove 2 hours before cooking. Place beef in cooking pan and sprinkle water over meat. Cook 35 minutes.

Lynne's Chip Beef Cheese Ball

Thanks to my mother in law for this yummy spread for chips or crackers!

8 oz. Cream cheese, room temp.
2.5 oz. Packet Hormel dried chipped beef
chopped pecans if desired

Directions: Cut up chipped beef; mix with cream cheese. Roll into a ball. Roll in chopped pecans if desired. Refrigerate til serving.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brandi's Carob Pie

Brandie Miller made this for Mark's graduation cookout and no one could believe it didn't have chocolate in it! It is my Mom's current favorite dessert :)


Frozen Pie Crusts (2) **Prepare as directed on package!**
Evaporated Milk (12oz)
Eggs (4)
Sugar (1 1/2 cup and 4tbsp)
Self-Rising Flour (6tbsp)
Carob Powder (4tbsp)
Vanilla Flavoring (2tsp)

Directions for Carob Filling:
Mix sugar (1 1/2 cups), flour, carob, eggs (yellow only, save whites for meriange), evaporated milk, and 1/2 can of water (use the evaporated milk can). Get all of the lumps out. Pour into sauce pan and cook on medium-hi until the consistency of pudding. Pour carob mixture in already cooked pie crusts.

Directions for Meriange:
Put two shakes of salt into the leftover egg whites. Mix with blender on hi (going in the same direction) until the egg whites are white and firm. Once they are white and firm, add the vanilla and sugar (4tbsp). Mix again until fluffy. Pour on top of carob filling. Place two pies in the oven under the broiler until meriange has carmelized to your liking!! Take out of the oven and place in the refrigerator.
*My pastor's wife told me to always use a glass bowl when making meriange because it works better. I don't know if it's really true, but that's all that I have ever used and it always comes out perfect!

Gigi's 7 - Layer Cookies

My grandmother was featured in the Salem newspaper for this recipe and a few others. Yummy!

1 stick margarine
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1 6-oz pkg. Choc. Chips
1 6-oz pkg. Butterscotch chips
1 15-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped nuts

Melt margarine in a 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle over margarine the remaining ingredients, in layers, in order given. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

Lynne's Fresh Apple Cake

The butterscotch chips in this recipe from my mother-in-law make this cake different from other apple cakes and absolutely scrumptious!

1 cup oil
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans (if desired)
3 cups chopped apples
1 bag butterscotch morsels

Combine oil, eggs, and sugar and mix together. Stir dry ingredients into mixture. Mix mixture well and spread in a greased pan. Place morsels on top. Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes.

Easy Slow Cooked Chili

I usually triple this recipe, using two crockpots, and freeze enough to have all winter. We eat it over spaghetti, a baked potato, or with chips or crackers. Mark loves for me to make a dip out of it by adding cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese :)

2 lbs. Ground beef
3 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 big can and 1 normal can tomato sauce
1/3 cup water
Sprinkle with garlic powder ( probably 2 Tbs)
2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tsp. Salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tsp sugar
diced onions if desired
red/green peppers if desired
1-2 Tbs Worchestershire sauce
Pinch of brown sugar :)

: Brown ground beef. Add all ingredients to slow cooker; cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Dorito Chicken Ranch Salad

I ate this at a luncheon for teachers and just had to get the recipe. A lot of times we have this with grilled chicken leftover from a cookout the night before :)

Chicken Ranch Salad
1 head or bag of lettuce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small can of black olives if desired
6 oz Cool Ranch Doritos, crushed
3 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
Ranch dressing

: Mix all ingredients and serve immediately.

Biscuits like Red Lobster's

These are my absolute favorite and I got this recipe from my mother in law, Lynne DeLong

2 cups biscuit mix
½ cup cold water
¾ cup of sharp grated cheese (8 oz. Of cheese if you like cheesy)
¼ cup butter
1 tsp. parsley flakes
½ tsp. garlic salt or powder
½ tsp. Italian dressing

Preheat oven to 450. Mix biscuit mix, water, and cheese together. Drop by large spoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Broil tops 1-2 min – watch very closely; they’ll burn easily. While baking, mix last 4 ingredients together in small bowl and melt in microwave. After taking biscuits out of oven, brush the garlic butter mixture over hot biscuits.

Grandma Connie's Baked Apples

This is a favorite from my Grandmother :)


4 Rome Apples

¼ cup brown sugar

4 Tbs. brown sugar

cinnamon and nutmeg to taste, sprinkle lightly

Paste – (2-3 Tbs. brown sugar, 1 Tbs. flour, water to make paste)

Directions: Cook peeled, sliced apples in small amount of water until done. (Cover slightly with water and simmer for 5-10 minutes.) Dot apples with cut up butter. Sprinkle on spices. Make paste and drop by sp0onfuls around apples. (I usually make extra paste because it tastes so good) Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.
This recipe is part of Kelly's SUYL side dishes

Mama Bob’s Baked Spaghetti

This is a recipe from my sis-in-law, Terra, that I love because it has velveeta cheese in it and it is easy :)


12 oz. Spaghetti

1 can tomato soup

1 can tomato sauce

12 oz. Velveeta Cheese cut into slices

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Bring large pot of water to boil. Break spaghetti into thirds. Cook as normal. Mix remaining ingredients in bowl. Drain spaghetti and combine with mixture. Place in ungreased 2.2 qt. Dish; cover and bake 45 min. Remove cover. Bake until top looks crusty – about 15 min

Monday, September 8, 2008

Husband’s Favorite Barbeque Beef cups

This is a recipe that Mark insisted that I find. He ate these at every covered dish at his Baptist church growing up and loved them. So I searched online til I found something that sounded similar. Now I make mini-cups and take them to covered dishes and they are always a hit! I usually double the beef mixture and freeze half of it so that I can make these in a jiffy the next time :)


1 can refrigerated biscuits

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup barbeque sauce

¼ tsp thyme

1 lb. Ground beef

1 clove garlic, mashed

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. oregano

Cheddar cheese for topping

Directions: Brown hamburger, onion, and garlic together. Add barbeque sauce, seasonings, and simmer until hamburger is cooked. Meanwhile, press biscuits into muffin tins, forming cups. Fill with hamburger mixture and top with cheddar cheese. Bake according to biscuit directions.

This recipe is part of Kelly's Korner SUYL