Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Scotcheroos


When Brian finally gets home from church on Sundays, he needs a Scotcheroo. You get it.

1 c. light Karo syrup

1 c. sugar

1 c. creamy peanut butter

6 c. Rice Krispies cereal


1 c. milk chocolate chips 

1 c. butterscotch chips

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, slowly heat Karo syrup and sugar, stirring constantly. When the sugar is completely dissolved and it's bubbling a little, take it off the heat and stir in the peanut butter until the mixture is smooth.

Put the Rice Krispies into a large bowl (like your biggest Tupperware bowl) and pour the syrup and peanut butter mixture over it. Mix with a spatula until combined. Transfer the mixture to a greased, 9x13" pan and spread evenly.

For the topping, melt the chips together over medium heat on the stove while stirring constantly, or microwave if you prefer. Once the chips are completely melted, pour over the Rice Krispies. Spread the butterscotch/milk chocolate topping evenly with a spoon or spatula. Cool until the topping has hardened.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Zuppa Toscana


There's a healthier version of this on Our Best Bites. I changed it so much to match what I have on hand that I created a totally different soup. My kids call it Pepperoni Soup and it's been a weekly favorite for the last few months.

16 oz. ground Italian sausage (I usually use Jimmy Dean)

1/2 tsp or more crushed red pepper flakes 

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 small sweet onion, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced

4 14.5-oz cans regular chicken broth

4 small to medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1 cup cream

3 oz. cream cheese, softened and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup baby spinach, chopped (I chop more to add to individual bowls)

Parmesan cheese

Cook sausage in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add red pepper flakes and smoked paprika. When sausage is just cooked, drain the fat and add the onions, continue cooking for 2 - 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Transfer to a soup pot. Add chicken broth, Italian seasoning and potatoes and gently boil for about 7 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour. Slowly add milk and cream, whisking constantly to keep the mixture smooth. Turn heat down a little and add cream cheese. Continue to whisk until the cream cheese is melted completely. Pour the mixture into the soup pot when the potatoes are cooked. Add salt and chopped spinach. Serve with more spinach and grated Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Sweet & Spicy Chili

 It's chili cook-off season! This is a winner. 

1.25 lbs. lean ground beef

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp (or less if you can't stand the heat) red pepper flakes

1 TB chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 (15 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes

1 (4 oz.) can green chilies

4 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans (or a combo of beans you like - pinto, navy, black, whatever)

2 (10.5 oz.) cans tomato soup

1.5 cups V-8 juice

1 cup brown sugar

Garnish: sour cream, cheese, finely chopped onion


Brown beef in a large frying pan or skillet. Drain fat. Add chopped onions and bell peppers right when the meat is browned. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables are just soft. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute. Add the spices and stir, then transfer the whole thing to a large pot. (If you're using a large Dutch oven, you don't need to change venues.)

Add the rest of the ingredients to the meat mixture (except garnishes) and stir. Keep it on low heat for at least an hour. The longer the flavors have to sit together, the better it will taste.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (or bread)


One of my favorites from Emil and Colin's baking class with 
Chef Freyka Nunez del Prado. I've included her pro-tips. :)

2 medium zucchinis, peeled and shredded

¾ cup sugar

½ cup Canola oil

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract


1 ½ cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking soda

¾ cup mini chocolate chips, lightly dusted with ½ a teaspoon of flour


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Shred zucchini in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for at least five minutes. Squeeze all the water from the zucchini and put it in a different container, discarding the liquid.

In a mixing bowl, mix the sugar and all the wet ingredients.

In a separate mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Use a spatula to combine – do not over mix.

Add chocolate chips to the batter.

Pour into loaf pan or spoon into lined muffin cups. Bake loaf for approximately 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Bake muffins for 25 minutes, but check (with a toothpick) after 20 minutes. Cool for ten minutes.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Grandma Peggy's M & M Cookies


This is Mom's official cookie recipe for posterity and also because it's on a tiny piece of paper in an overstuffed recipe box hanging on for dear life :). Mom has written in pencil directions for tripling the recipe for obvious reasons. (This is not the tripled version.) Mom always bought the holiday M&Ms to use in her cookies. 

3/4 stick Crisco Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 3/4 all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. baking soda

6 oz. plain M & M (seasonal colors are the best)


Heat oven to 375 degrees. 

Combine shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. 

Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in M & Ms.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet (or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper). Bake 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11-13 minutes for crisp cookies. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Cinnamon Bread French Toast


Our kids stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Lee overnight after Thanksgiving and Grandpa Bob made French Toast with Cinnamon Bread from Kneader's for breakfast the next morning. What?! This "taste treat" is so much better than some of my Dad's other food ideas. I put it over-the-top with Melissa's Buttermilk Syrup.

1 loaf of Kneader's Cinnamon Bread (makes about 13 slices)

6 eggs

6 tsp vanilla

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups milk


Cut cinnamon bread into 1/2-inch slices. 

Whisk together eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and milk. Pour into a small baking dish (7"x 9"). Soak slices of bread on both sides. Fry on a hot griddle. You know the rest... :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Salsa Fresca

Tomatoes are on! I have millions of them, so it's time for fresh salsa.

4-5 tomatoes, diced

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 jalepenos, seeded and finely chopped

3 TB fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.