Thursday, January 24, 2008

There are definitely a few options out there for using your left over roast beef, but this is by far and away our favorite. Based on the concept of corned beef hash, it is a simple and satisfying breakfast item, found in our Cooking with Mickey cookbook.

roast beef, leftovers

2-3 potatoes, sufficient for your family, diced small

1 cup beef stock

1 tbsp onion powder

2 tbsp butter

Pre-heat oven to 350. Melt butter in large frying pan and add diced potatoes. Chop up roast beef (I've been known to use leftover steaks, too) and combine with potatoes and onion powder in the frying pan just long enough to mix well. Spoon into a greased baking dish and bake uncovered for 1 hour. After this, you can go one of two ways. We have certainly served it just like this, topped with a fried or poached egg. The other option is to heat a little more butter in your frying pan and fry the cooked potatoes and meat before actually serving. We happen to like it more when it's been fried in the butter after the baking, but you could save a few calories by not :)

Note: The original recipe uses 1 medium onion finely chopped, instead of onion powder, sauteed in the frying pan before adding the potatoes and meat.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Peanut Butter Balls

Steve's mom makes these for him at Christmas time every year, and he would be quite thrilled if I made them a few times through the year. They are a prime example of the fact that he enjoys almost anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate. For most things I will go cheap on quite a few ingredients, but I wouldn't reccomend it on this one since the quality of the peanut butter and the Rice Krispies actually make a difference in how well the recipe works; I've tried. Also be aware that room temperature is bad for this recipe, since a room temperature dough will lend moisture to your Rice Krispies, depriving them of their crisp.

1 cube margarine, softened
1 cup peanut butter, Jif
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Rice Krispies
1 - 12 oz pkg chocolate chips
1-2 tbsp parafin (you will find it in the canning area of your grocery store)
toothpicks (square is better than round)

Cream margarine and peanut butter. Add powdered sugar and carefully mix in Rice Krispies. Chill immediately in the fridge for 4 hours. Roll into 1/2 - 1" balls, but be careful not to crush the Rice Krispies. Freeze overnight. This is the part where the kids can have fun helping now, so melt your chocolate and paraffin together in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl set on top of a pan of water), being careful not to burn your chocolate. Stab frozen peanut butter balls with toothpicks and dip in melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper on a baking sheet. We usually use 4-6 toothpicks and rotate them as the chocolate cools, since they don't pull cleanly right away and we don't want to use the entire box :) As soon as all the balls have been dipped, place entire baking sheet in the freezer and leave over night. Yeah! You're done. We store ours in a ziploc bag, and they will keep for months.

Sloppy Joses

No, the Jose isn't a mis-spelling. Steve calls it a Sloppy Jose because he adds a dash of Tobasco sauce to make them a little spicy. I was quite stunned when we first made these because I had never had Sloppy Joes on anything but a burger bun, but Steve likes to have his on a single slice of bread and eat it open-faced with a fork. I will still use a burger bun if I have them on hand, but his method is by far the more common method in our house now.

1 lb hamburger
Worcetershire sauce
Tobasco sauce
liquid smoke
1 egg

This recipe is almost entirely a 'feel it as you go' kind of thing so sharpen your cooking instincts and enjoy the ride :) Brown and drain the hamburger. Add a few generous shakes of Worcestershire, one to three dashes of Tobasco (depending on how much you want it to bite back), a cap-ful of liquid smoke, and then enough ketchup to bring it to your desired consistency. When all of that is well-mixed and thoroughly heated, push the meat mixture to the outer edges of the pan, leaving an empty space of hot pan in the middle. Crack your egg into this well and immediately begin scrambling it in, allowing it to mix into the meat as it cooks. Once your egg is mixed into the meat (you should just see small flecks through your Joses) it is ready to serve.

Worcestershire and Garlic Burgers

We were quite pleased with the results of this recipe, found on the back of a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, and have done it a few time since. Regretably, we don't often make our burgers from scratch, since it's so much easier to buy the Costco package of patties.

1 lb hamburger
1/4 cup Worcestershire
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine thoroughly, shape into patties and grill.

Bob's Swiss Steaks

We don't do this one as frequently as some others, but it came to us from Steve's dad and is still one that we really enjoy having when we can.

Sufficient portions of cube steak or well-tenderized round steak for your family
flour, salt, pepper mixture to dredge meat in
1/4 cup oil
1 envelope ionion soup mix
Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water

Heat 1/4 cup oil in frying pan. Dredge meat in flour mixture and brown in hot oil, removing to a 9x13 pan as they are browned. Sprinkle meat with the onion soup mix, a generous drizzle of Worcestershire (3-4 tbsp perhaps), and the water. Bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lasagna Enchiladas

I have actually adapted this from my crock pot cookbook, and it's an excellent option for really easy enchiladas.

4-6 corn tortillas
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 can refried or whole beans, your choice
1 large can olives, sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese of your choice
1 large can red enchilada sauce

Begin with a greased 6" round casserole dish (fits corn tortillas perfectly) and pour in just enough enchilada sauce to cover the bottom. Place first corn tortilla on top of sauce and layer beans, meat, sauce, cheese, and olives; repeat until you reach the top of the casserole dish. Pour any remaining enchilada sauce over the top and around the sides. Bake uncovered at 350 for about a half hour, or until hot and bubbly. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before spooning out to serve.

Note: this can obviously be adapted for chicken enchiladas by using chicken and green enchilada sauce instead of beef and red sauce. And, per the original recipe, it can be made in the crock pot if you cross a couple of long, folded strips of foil in the bottom first, like an X. The strips should then extend up out of the crock pot so that you can hold onto the strips to pull out the enchiladas.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bill's Biscuits

Originally, this recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Dad has been making them so long though that, to us, it will always be his recipe. The members of the Edwards Ward even took to calling them Bill's Biscuits, so that's how the recipe is listed.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

Combine dry ingredients in mid-sized mixing bowl; cut in shortening, either with butter knives or with a pastry cutter. Use a fork to mix milk into flour mixture thoroughly but avoid over-mixing as this will make the dough tough. Press out onto lightly floured surface and use either biscuit cutter or a glass to cut biscuits into uniform circles. Place on a cookie sheet beginning with one biscuit at the center and working out, making sure that all biscuits are touching each other. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.
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Beef Barley Soup

On one of our trips to Disneyland, we bought a cookbook called Cooking With Mickey. It is a book of the most-requested recipes from Walt Disney World and Disneyland, which means that most of them are fairly fancy, but we've definitely enjoyed them. I altered this one to include the potatoes and a few extra spices, so it's just slightly different from the one in the book.

1 cup carrots, diced small
1 cup celery, diced small
1 large potato, diced
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp beef base (or 4 boullion cubes)
2 tbsp chicken base (or 4 boullion cubes)
6 1/2 oz. pearl barley
3 qts water
1/2 lb ground beef
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp savory
1/4 tsp basil
dash garlic
1/2 tsp parsley
In large pot combine water, onion powder, boullion cubes, barley, potato, and spices; begin heating. In another pan saute other vegetables in butter until tender; add to pot. In same pan brown hamburger and drain; add to pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Silver Dollar Pancakes

Steve and I had only known each other for about three months when he brought me to his parents' house to visit, and these pancakes were made for us for breakfast that first morning by his dad. After we were married, Steve told me that I just had to get the recipe for his mother's pancakes because they were better than anything else out there, and I'm inclined to think he was right. This recipe makes a very thin, light pancake. Steve's favorite topping is cinnamon sugar, as is Kellen's, but I happen to favor powdered sugar, and Madison will take anything sweet!
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups milk
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Mix dry ingredients together in medium bowl. In another, smaller bowl, combine the vinegar and milk; allow to sit for just a couple of minutes to sour. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients gradually, whisking continually to avoid lumps. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Choose either a large kitchen spoon for making 2" silver dollar pancakes, or a ladle for making larger pancakes. Cook on medium to medium-high heat (about 325 on your griddle). The first side should cook just until the bubbles stop and the edges of the pancake are dry, then flip to cook the second side just until golden brown. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Taco Soup

We really enjoy Mexican foods of varying sorts and, although this is certainly an Americanized version of Mexican food, it is one we like to have often. It came from my Edwards Ward Cookbook but, like so many other recipes, it has received some adaptations along the way since Steve prefers his soups to be thick and chunky.

1 lb hamburger
1 can tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1 pkg (or 3 tbsp) taco seasoning
1 cup corn
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cans kidney beans
1 tbsp sugar
1 large can olives, sliced
3 cups water
1 cup dry macaroni

Brown and drain hamburger. Combine all ingredients except pasta in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately with a side of corn bread.

Note: this recipe can be done in the crockpot, cooking on high for 4 hours and adding pasta a half hour before serving.

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs were a completely new concept to me when Steve first made them for me while we were dating. We were having some friends over for dinner and he really wanted to make this for dinner. I had an apartment in Spokane, while he had one just outside of town in Cheney where he was attending Eastern Washington University. He started the meatballs in the crock pot at my apartment, went to get our friends, and then took them home again afterwards. Amazing the memories that can be tied up in one food item.

1 1/2 lbs hamburger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp onion powder
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 cans tomato soup
1 can water

Mix raw hamburger, salt, pepper, rice, onion and worcestershire with hands; roll into 1" balls. Place in pressure cooker with about a 1/2" space in between the meatballs, to allow for heat flow. Combine tomato soup and water and pour over meatballs. Cook at pressure for 20 minutes. Allow pressure to come down on its own and serve hot over mashed potatoes.

Note: these can be made in the crock pot, cooking on low for 4 hours, but the meatballs won't hold their shape as well and end up rather on the mushy side.


Everyone has their own favorite lasagna recipe, and we are certainly no different. Steve seldom orders lasagna when we go out to eat because he has decided that this is the best lasagna out there. The sauce recipe was originally given to me by my grandma, but there are a few adaptations I've made along the way.

1/2 lb hamburger
1/2 lb italian sausage
3 - 6oz cans tomato paste
3 cups water
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 whole bay leaves
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp parsley

Brown meats and place in crock pot. Add all other ingredients, mixing well. Allow to simmer on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally. Boil 9 or 12 lasagna noodles, depending on how many layers you want your lasagna to have; plan on three noodles per layer. When you are ready to assemble your lasagna, have the following ready:

1 lb shredded mozzarella or montery jack cheese
1 pt cottage cheese (I prefer small curd) with a single egg mixed in
parmesan cheese

Begin with a ladle of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan, followed by noodles, a thin layer of cottage cheese spread along the noodles, 1-2 ladles sauce spread to all corners, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and a handful of shredded cheese. Repeat these layers until you get to the top of the pan or you run out of ingredients, making sure that you end with a layer of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for a half hour until the edges are bubbly. Allow to sit for 10-15 min before serving with your choice of vegetable and a slice of garlic bread.

Taco Dip

Meet another member of the Hall of Traditions. We only make this about once or twice a year, usually at Christmas, but it is one of Steve's absolute favorite appetizers. It makes enough to fill a crock pot so we typically end up snacking on it for several days afterwards. And they don't come much easier than this :)

2 lbs hamburger
2 cans green chiles
2 cans pinto or kidney beans
1 jar salsa
1 large can olives, sliced

Brown and drain hamburger. Combine all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours. Ladle into small bowls and serve with a side of your favorite tortilla chips for dipping.


This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that my mom had when I was growing up. That page of the cookbook was so frequently used that eventually part of the page went missing because of ingredients sticking the pages together.

3 1/2 cups flour
6 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup oil

Beat egg whites until stiff; set aside. Sift together dry ingredients; set aside. Mix egg yolks, milk and oil. Add slowly to dry ingredients while whisking quickly. When it's completely combined, gently fold in stiff egg whites. Don't break down the whites any more than necessary because they are providing the air that will keep your waffles light. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings.

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

This is my mom's recipe and is just an all-around good comfort food, excellent for cold evenings.

2 qts water
6 boullion cubs, chicken
1 lb broccoli, frozen or fresh
1 1/2 cubes butter
3/4 cups flour
8 oz Velveeta or Cheese Whiz

Boil water, boullion, and broccoli in large sauce pan until broccoli is tender. In small sauce pan melt butter. Gradually add flour, stirring contantly until bubbly and smooth. Stir into boiling water until thickened. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ginger Crinkles

This recipe is from Steve's grandmother. I remember that the very first time I met Gray she had a bag of Ginger Crinkles ready in the freezer that she had made just for him in anticipation of our visit so that he would have some to take home with him. We have modified the recipe slightly because Steve actually prefers his cookies soft and her recipe was for a crispy cookie; if you like your cookies to crunch then you can leave them in the oven longer. As good as these cookies are on their own, I prefer mine with a mug of hot cocoa :)

2/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 cup sugar for dipping
Stir together oil and sugar. Add egg and molasses; beat well. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl and add to previous mixture, combining thoroughly. Roll into 1" balls and place on ungreased cookies sheet about 1" apart. Flatten slightly (about halfway down) with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 for 10 min.
Note: as convenient as a Kitchen Aid or Bosch mixer might be, this recipe actually mixes better by hand with a spoon; you will end up with a less sticky dough.

Pumpkin Bread

This recipe was one of Steve's favorites growing up and he still regularly requests that I make it for him :) When his mother made this recipe, she used small coffee cans instead of loaf pans, giving her pumpkin bread a unique appearance. Steve prefers his pumpkin bread frozen with a swipe of butter on top :)

4 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
5 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
1 large can pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat sugar and eggs until smooth like snow; add pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl and add gradually to pumpkin mixture, beating well. Grease loaf pans and fill 1/2 full with batter. Bake at 350 for one hour. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then remove from pans to cooling rack.

Gingerbread Houses

This recipe is a member of our Hall of Traditions. This is the same recipe that my mom used while I was growing up and the gingerbread houses are one of Kellen's favorite Christmas traditions.

5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cloves

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 molasses

2 eggs, beaten

Blend dry ingredients; set aside. Melt shortening in a heavy pan; remove from heat and add sugar, molasses, and eggs, mixing well. Allow to cool slightly and then add dry ingredients; mix well again, and chill for in a covered bowl for 1-2 hours. Take 2 large cookie sheets, turn them over, and oil the back of the cookie sheets. Roll out dough on the backs of the cookies sheets to a thickness of 1/8" - 1/4", using a light dusting of flour on the surface of the dough to help prevent sticking to the rolling pin; do not try to turn dough over while rolling out. Place house pattern pieces on the dough and cut with a sharp knife. Remove excess dough and bake at 350. The length of time will vary, depending on the size of the piece, so watch them carefully (anywhere from 7 - 14 minutes) and make sure to bake pieces of a similar size together so that they will bake evenly. After removing the cookie sheet from the oven, while the pieces are still hot, place the pattern back on and re-cut the edges, since they will have 'grown' a bit. Then carefully remove the pieces to a cooling rack and leave them to cool and dry for about 24 hours. This recipe will make two medium-sized houses with some dough left over. The most common way of assembling gingerbread houses is with frosting, but we typically choose to use carmelized sugar, since it cools and hardens almost immediately. If you choose this method, though, only melt a few tablespoons of sugar at a time; a little bit goes a long way :) Then we use a royal frosting for placing all of our candies on the houses.

One of Kellen's favorite parts of this tradition is that he gets to munch on all the 'trimmings' as they come off of the freshly baked pieces.

Rice Custard

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 tsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1-2 Tbsp butter
Pre-heat oven to 350. Combine eggs, sugar, and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Scald milk in sauce pan and then add slowly to egg mixture. Stir in cooked rice and vanilla. Pour into greased 1 1/2 qt greased baking dish; dot with butter and lightly sprinkle nutmeg on. Put 1" water in bottom of 9x13 pan and set rice custard baking dish in the water. Place entire thing in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Although it can be served warm or cold, we prefer it hot out of the oven.
This recipe is one of my family favorites, since my mom used to make it for us when we were growing up, and now I enjoy making it for my kids.

Chicken and Meatball Stew

1 cup flour, divided
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lbs chicken (thighs or breasts, 4-6)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 carrots, peeled and cut
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut
1 cup chopped celery
small pinch of cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup milk
20-25 meatballs, pre-cooked
Combine 3/4 cup flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Heat oil in large skillet. Dredge chicken in flour and brown well on both sides in hot skillet. Remove to plate and set aside. Put chicken stock, onion, garlic, vegetables, cloves and bay leaf in large pot; bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the chicken. Cover and simmer for 25-30 min, or until vegetables are tender. Remove chicken once more to individual plates. Combine one cup milk with remaining 1/4 cup flour and add to stew, stirring to thicken. Add heated meatballs and stir in gently. Ladle stew out into bowls and serve immediately.