Monday, December 24, 2012

Need a last minute holiday main dish or appetizer?
You can throw this together in a minute. :-)

Cranberry Meatballs
1 bag of frozen or homemade meatballs,
approximately 1 and 1/2 pounds or 50 meatballs
1 can of cranberry sauce
8 ounces of ketchup or chili sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Throw all together in crock pot and cook
on low for 3-4 hours or until done.
Or bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Italian Beef Sandwiches and
Rotisserie-flavored Chicken Sandwiches

18-quart roaster recipe
 Many-Cheese-Macaroni for 50

5 pounds of pasta, like elbow, penne or ziti
1-2  cups of chicken broth
3 sticks of butter, divided
1 large block of Velveeta
2 jars of alfredo sauce or white cheese sauce
32 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese
12 ounces of shredded parmesan or Italian cheese
16 ounces of mozzerella
2-4 cups of Whole Milk, or to your liking

Boil pasta in two large pots on the stove,
adding a bit of oil to the water, to prevent sticking.
In the mean time, heat up the roaster to 300
and place 2 sticks of butter in the
roaster with the chicken broth.
Add the Velveeta and when it starts melting,
add the alfredo sauce and the other cheeses.
Stir, every few minutes,
keeping an eye, so it doesn't scorch.
When the pasta is ready,
drain well and add to the roaster,
stirring in the milk....1 cup at a time,
to your preference,
Cook for 30 minutes in the roaster,
checking for scorching often.
May want or need to turn the temp down.
Each roaster varies,
so may need to cook more or less than this.


Simple Italian Beef for Buns.
It doesn't get any easier than this.
8 ounces of Italian Dressing
per pound of beef stew meat
in the crockpot all day
or until falling apart.
If you have time to brown meat first,
it does taste a bit better that way.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Our precious son Drew
has shown us how interesting and fun trains can be!
He has given me a whole new appreciation for trains
and the men who have run them through the years.
So, at Christmas time, we are thrilled if we can
find anything involving trains.

Are you lucky enough to have a
Holiday Train come through your town? 
We've been blessed to see the
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train with friends
for many years now as it arrives in our town each
December and collects food for the food shelves.
Dear church friends had us for
hot chocolate and cookies following
this years very cold Holiday Train event!

Jackson Street Roundhouse plans
Holiday events each December.
This year, friends Linn and Max joined us for the fun!


My precious mom has been gone for 12 years now,
but every November two of her
dear friends from Bible School
take me out for brunch in memory of Mom's birthday. 
They brought Drew and I special gifts this year. 
Kathy made us delicate paper angels-no photo yet...
And Char made Drew and I these not-too-feminine-aprons
for our cooking jobs and events!
If we look exhausted, we are! 
We had just finished a meatloaf dinner and no-bake pies,
for 100 people at The Covenant Church.
God keeps us going though!  :-)

3 different Meat Loaves and Italian Shoe String Fries
Here are 3 recipes we made at the church last Wednesday.
We made four meat loaves,
including Pioneer Woman's Bacon Meatloaf which is not shown here.
Drew doesn't always plate foods as "pretty" as I 
might like but he's a good photographer, and I am proud of all he learns and does,
so here is his picture of a variety of the food we made.
As usual, we have fresh fruits and veggies and cooked veggies also.
And as always, change things up for your own tastes! 
Many of our simple recipes are very flexible or forgiving.  :-)
On this night, we got the most compliments on the cranberry turkey loaf!

Italian Fries
Olive Oil Spray
1 bag of frozen shoestring french fries
Italian Spice or Rosemary
Shredded Parmesan Asiago Romano Cheese
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray with Olive Oil Spray.  Place fries in a single layer. Sprinkle Italian Spice and Cheese over all.  Spray lightly with the olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes or until done.  Add salt or garlic salt, if desired.
All of these loaves below were made in 8 x 12 or 9 x 13 pans. 
Cut recipe in half if you prefer to make a loaf size. Since we are quantity cooks, we make larger sizes than most families. Or divide these recipes and freeze one half.
Cranberry Turkey Loaf
 3 pounds ground turkey or beef
4 eggs
1 - 2 cups of breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs
1 cup chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Any spice of choice
1 can of cranberry sauce
1 cup of ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp vinegar
Mix the first 4 ingredients and spices together in large bowl.
Pressed in greased 8 x 12 foil pan.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350-375 degrees.
Mix cranberry sauce, ketchup, vinegar and brown sugar in small bowl.
Spread on top of turkey loaf and then bake for about 50-60 minutes more or until
completely cooked through.

This recipe below was inspired by "true friend Linn" as Drew calls her!
She made us Turkey/Parmesan/Ranch Burgers on the grill
one weekend last year and I was hooked,
so I made up a Turkey Meatloaf that was sort of similar!
I think she used Ranch powder in the burgers.
 Thanks Linn!
Parmesan Ranch Turkey Loaf
 3 pounds of ground turkey
4 eggs
1-2 cups of Italian Breadcrumbs
1 and 1/2 cups of Shredded Parmesan Asiago Romano Cheese
8 ounces of ranch dressing, liquid, not powder
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or cheeese of choice
Mix first five ingredients. Pressed into greased 8 x 12 foil pan. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours at 350-375 degrees.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes more.
Pizza Loaf
 3 pounds of ground meat of choice
(beef, italian sausage and/or turkey)
4 eggs
1-2 cups of Italian Breadcrumbs
2 cups of mozzerella cheese
1 jar or cans of pizza sauce

For topping if desired:
More 1 more jar of pizza sauce, 1 cup of shredded
cheese of choice and 1/2 cup baby pepperoni's
Mix first five ingredients together.
Pressed into greased 8 x 12 foil pan.
Bake at 350-375 degrees for one and a half hours. 
Then we put more pizza sauce on top and
sprinkle with cheese and baby pepperoni's and
bake for 15-30 more minutes! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Coming Soon..........

A Tale of Two Ham-Loaf Recipes

See above post!

Check January 3, 2013 Post

Monday, December 10, 2012

Last week, Drew and I threw this together at work. 
When testing it out before serving it, I liked the tiny piece of chicken 
I had tried. We made alot and there were no leftovers,
so hopefully others liked it too.  Even some kids ate it.

Quick Hawaiian Chicken
3 pounds of chicken tenderloins
2 bottles of Lawry's Hawaiian Marinade/Sauce
2/3 cup honey
Dash of soy sauce, to your liking
2 cans of pineapple tidbits, mostly drained

We put the chicken tenderloins in sprayed pans (use two 9 x 13 pans for this amount) and baked for about 60 minutes at 350....from frozen.  Also, you need to cook things longer usually, when cooking in large quantity. We turned the tenderloins half way through cooking. Then we poured in this Lawry's sauce, honey, soy sauce and pineapple after the tenderloins were cooked through and baked for another 20 mintues or so. 
We served it with rice and chow mein noodles.
Should serve 8-12 people easily?


Drew and Better Half digging out the shed,
after our foot of snow last night!
Winter is back.  We were so spoiled last year!

Once we were shoveled out late last night, we went for a drive in
Better Half's 4-Wheel Drive heading towards downtown.
Drew captured this house which looked great against the snow!
But then I spotted something at another home! 
Better Half pulled up for a closer look
and THERE it was!  "FRA-GEEEE-LE!!!!!"  The Lamp!
If you have never seen A Christmas Story, the's a favorite in my family.
My brother Paul got me hooked.  He looked like "Ralphie"
when we were kids or that's how he felt,
having blond hair and being the only kid
in our family forced to wear glasses.
One year he gave me the movie
and said "you have to watch this Bits! -his nickname for me-
You'll love it as much as I do."
He was right!

Drew tried to snap a couple of shots of The Leg Lamp. 
I've seen the lamp in catalogs...
but never seen it in anyone's house window till today! 

My sissy has the decorating gene in our family. She can make even an old piano look beautiful, with her gorgeous candlesticks
and these purple-glittered pointsettias
that Drew picked out at Lunds!

Drew snapped a couple of shots while church friends
were decorating the main tree during committee meetings last week. 
Our music director looks like a teenager up on that ladder. 
You would never guess her age, looking at her! 
She's been on staff for over 35 years! Can't believe it.

Add caption

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Movie Contest

Email your answers to me by December 14th.
Prize: Your choice of these movies on DVD or Blue-Ray if available.

It's a Wonderful Life

1) How much money did Uncle Billy "lose" on Christmas Eve that he was to deposit?

2) Who played the rent collector or real estate man, and also played Mr. Bedloe on "Petticoat Junction"?

The Walton's Homecoming

3) What broken gift is Elizabeth given by the missionary to "the infidel's"?

4) What kind of cake does Olivia Walton try to make every Christmas?

5) Why do John Boy and Pastor Dooley go to the Baldwin sisters on Christmas Eve?

A Christmas Story

6) What happen's to the family's Christmas turkey?

7) What song is sung to them at Christmas dinner?

8) What word does Ralphie's dad mispronounce when he open's his prized prize package?

Christmas Comes to Willow Creek

9) Who is "handcuffed" to the truck? 

10) What city does Ray stop at to gamble while Pete's asleep?

11) What famous recipe is Ray known for?

12)  What "broke" in the truck as it hits the snow bank? Two possible answers for each.

Monday, December 3, 2012

 Easy Brunch Ideas

 Hash Brown Egg Bake Recipe
from Taste of Home and subscriber Cheryl Johnson.
  • 1 package (32 ounces) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1 pound bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • Paprika
  • In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, bacon, 1/2 cup cheese and salt. Spoon into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In another large bowl, beat eggs and milk until blended; pour over hash brown mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Yield: 8 servings.
  • This is my favorite egg bake recipe.  We use 6-8 ounces of cheese though.   
  • We made several of these over the weekend, using bacon, sausage, ham and 3 cheeses for our women's Christmas Brunch at church.  We made them the night before, without thawing the hash browns. Then we refrigerate them over night and the hashbrowns thaw enough that way.  We also made the pancake muffins shown on the right.  We saw these on Pinterest.  Time was not on our side and so we used Shake 'n ' Pour Bisquick and Bacon Bits, and also Shake 'n' Pour Bisquick and Hershey's Cinnamon Chips.  It doesn't get any easier than that. See our other blog for more info and pictures.  It was great to get the kids involved. The Cinnamon Chips seemed to be enjoyed by most and we liked them better than the bacon bits also.

Adventure Club at The Holly Trolley Event!

The train club that we are a part of,
met at Lake Harriet to ride the Holly Trolley on Thanksgiving Weekend!
 It wasn't too cold, Santa was awesome, the carolers were wonderful &
the scouts were serving hot cider & s'mores.
It was a great start to the Holiday Season.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Weekend Activities!
                                        Better Half Requested chili for a day-before
Thanksgiving work lunch to share with his group...
So, he brought our White "Norwegian Chili" and a Red Beef-n-Bacon Chili.
Chicken Chili is on previous post. 
Beef-n-Bean Chili
1 pound of beef stew meat
1 package of cooked bacon pieces or half a pound of cooked bacon
1 packet of chili or taco seasoning
1/3 cup beef broth
16 ounces of V-8 Juice or tomato sauce
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp. of sugar
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of black beans
(1 can of corn if you like)
It's best to brown the stew meat, if time allows, but not necessary. 
In 2 or 3 quart crock pot, place beef, bacon, seasoning and beef broth. 
Cook on low for 4-5 hours in crock pot 
if meat is browned first, or 7-8 hours if meat is not browned. 
Add the rest of ingredients about half way through.
Cook until the meat is tender.
Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, taco chips and rice. 
(We are not big onion or pepper eaters at our home, so add your own if you like.)  :-)


An annual favorite event at our church is "Pie Night".  It's not just about the pie, but everyone loves that part too.  It's a wonderful Thanksgiving Eve Service.  People share what they are thankful to God for and then come downstairs
to try as many pies as they can possibly eat. 
Some are store-bought and some are homemade. 
We cut up and plate as many pies as we can and we just keep filling in,
till everyone has had their fill. 
We serve coffee, cider and Cool Whip on the side.
Last week, friend Barb, Drewman and I had fun punching and making "PIE PIC'S" for this year's pie night, just to be different. 
Barb usually runs pie night & just love working with her.

 We left early on Thanksgiving Day, to make a few stops before our destination for Thanksgiving Dinner.  We stopped at Wilmar, MN to see the beautiful steam locomotive at the Kandiyohi Historical Museum and also stopped in Darwin, MN. to see the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota!
(Check out the Weird Al video, if you have not. Love Weird Al!)
Drew snapped these shots of Sissy's deck just as it started to snow. The Colonel deep fried turkey for us again. YUM!  It was a wonderful day. 
It was 60 degrees on Thanksgiving morning.  By Black Friday morning it was 18 degrees with a wind chill. Winter is here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

 What are you thankful for?
I am thanking God for my precious family!
(The beautiful steam locomotive at The Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Favorite Farm!
We still don't get to Grandma & Grandpa's (mom & dad's) nearly as much as we want to, but when we do, we sure enjoy our time with them. 
Once in a while, there's a bit of work involved, but mostly it's relaxing & fun-probably not for Grandma though. 
There's really no pictures of G & G on here, but
that's their idea, not ours.
We have only permission to publish their pets!
Sadly, Sammy the Dog passed away a few weeks ago. 
You can see below, that even the cats liked Sammy. 
He was an awesome and funny dog.
He was always there to greet us, as we drove up the drive way. 
We miss him alot.  Can't imagine how much Grandpa & Grandma miss him!

Are you taking me home with you?

                          There's too many fun vehicles at the Farm! 
                     No wonder Grandpa hates to come in!