Monday, January 31, 2011

I'll Take a Scotch... Make it a double!

[Butterscotch...that is...]

Stay at home parenting can be a lot of things: relaxing, the opposite of relaxing, fun, lonesome...but I have found it can also be extraordinarily...delicious! I have spent a lot of time prepping marvelous nutritious meals for my family in addition to finding new recipes for very unhealthy baked goods. Here is one of my favorites.

I love butterscotch but am not the biggest fan of oatmeal scotchies, the predominant designation of the butterscotch chip. In my pursuit of a cookie of a different sort, I found the following recipe. It is artery clogging, melt-away buttery fantabulous! [ I will include a link to the website in which I found this recipe below it.] I have made this recipe at least 10 times this winter--I'm sure it will be made a few more times in the months of winter that follow! I found adding 2 cups of flour made a more reliable cookie. Happy baking!


Makes about 30 cookies
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, dry milk, and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running, slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Fold in pecans.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Lightly flour your fingers and press each piece of batter into a 3-inch circle.
  5. Transfer to oven and bake until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas (I used pulled pork)

Directions for pork:

I put a Pork Roast in the oven for 3 hrs @ 350, with one sliced onion, with salt and pepper, one inch of water in the bottom of the roaster, covered.  Make ahead of time and freeze for various meals!

Serves : 6

(notes in parentheses are changes I made)

9 oz. can Frito Lay® bean dip (1-15 oz can of refried beans)

20 oz. can red enchilada sauce (2-15 oz cans of enchilada sauce)

3 boned, skinned chicken breast halves - cooked, chopped (3 cups of pulled pork)

4 green onions - chopped

4 oz. can green chili peppers - drained, minced (I used a 4 oz can of Jalapeno peppers-
drained, minced)

4.25 oz. can sliced black olives - drained

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used a mix of Colby and Monterey)

1 1/4 cup sour cream

12- 8" flour tortillas (6-12" flour tortillas is all that fits in a 13"x9" dish)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-In a 13" X 9" X 2" baking dish, stir together bean dip (refried beans) and enchilada sauce; spread 2/3's of it evenly over bottom of pan; set aside. save the rest to poor over the top

-Fold together chicken,(pork) onions, chili peppers, black olives, Monterey Jack, and sour cream.

-Spread chicken (pork) mixture over tortillas and roll up; lay tortillas in baking dish, top with remaining bean mixture.

-Bake in a 350 oven for 35 - 45 minutes, or until bubbly.

-Sprinkle cheddar cheese evenly over the top and allow to melt before serving. (the last 15 min I put the cheese on top and then back in the oven)

Notes : Serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream and salsa on the side, or over the top.

Here is the website,, where I found the original recipe.  There are a lot more good recipes at this site!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another Knit Hat

Since I made one hat, everyone in the house wants their own hat.  This pattern was an easy pattern.  It used stitches I knew.  I did have to learn one new one, but it was easy and used only in the rim.  The pattern was also made for circular needles but easy enough for me to figure out on 2 needles.  I used #7 needles and Caron simply soft yarn in blue mint and grey heather for the stripe.

I found the pattern at
You have to register a user name and password but it is so worth it!  Lots of free patterns on the site.

Here is the link to the site where the pattern for this hat was found:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spicy Beef on a Chilly Day Will Have Your Family Shouting "Hooray!"

Chad came home from work one day last year extolling the virtues of pepperocini beef. Pepperocini Beef, you say? Ummm.... pepperocinis... ummm..... beef! A winning combination. For the second time since that day, we had pepperocini beef for dinner last night with a nice green salad and home-made hamburger buns. This is by far one of the easiest foods to prepare, and it is mouth watering delicious! Also, this would be a great recipe to bring for a pot luck!

To make the Beef:

Take a 3 lb beef roast. Cut slits in it. Push slices of fresh garlic into each cut. (we put in about 3 cloves worth). Pour a (16-20 ounce) jar of sliced pepperocini peppers over the roast in a slow cooker and set on low for 6-8 hours. After desired tenderness, pull the beef and serve on buns! This is so tangy, so yummy and so EASY to make!

To make the rolls:

I found a Betty Crocker for dinner rolls in which you start the dough in the bread maker. This recipe turned out absolutely wonderful! We had the left over rolls for lunch today and they were just as good as last night. Some of the comments under the recipe include tips for using this dough to make your own hot dog or hamburger buns... which I think is an excellent idea!

Here is the link to the recipe:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Knit Hat

I decided my next knitting project was going to be a baby hat.  I have to say it went really good!  The pattern I found was really simple.  This was my first time using the purl stitch.  I fumbled with it a bit but after a few rows it became easier.  This took me about three days.  For a beginner I thought that was quick.   I didn't work at it all day and night either, just here and there. 
I found the pattern at Hooked On Needles

I used number 7 needles and a medium weight yarn. 

The pattern is as follows:

Cast on 64 stitches

Work Knit 2, Purl 2 for 2 inches

Knit Stockinette Stitch for 2 1/2 inches

Starting the decrease:

Beginning on a knit row, K2TOG every 8th stitch(knit the last stitch)
Purl the next row
K2TOG every 7th stitch(knit the last stitch)
Purl next row
Continue this pattern with  K2TOG every 6th stitch, 5th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd.  Purling between each knit row.
Stop when you are done with K2TOG every 2nd stitch.

Cut yarn leaving a long tail which you will use to sew the seam. Thread a blunt darning needle with this long tail and run the needle through the remaining stitches. Draw the stitches together and secure. Using the same long tail still on the darning needle, sew the seam. Weave in ends.

The hat with the cuff rolled down

I have to say I am VERY grateful to all the people who post tutorials on the Internet.  I never would have gotten this far at any of this knitting stuff if it wasn't for videos on you tube, video jug, and other sites!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Homemade Granola

With the cold weather around for awhile.  What couldn't be better than homemade granola on top of yogurt with some of those berries saved from summer picking?  It's also a wonderful treat in the summer with the fresh berries, of course.

I had found this recipe in the paper a few years ago.  I have tweaked it many times to fit with what I had on hand.

Recipe as follows:
4 cups oats
1 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, whatever...I often use a combo of 2)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground flax (have seen wheat germ also added)
1 cup coconut (I'll be honest I have never added this.....not popular in my house)
1/2 cup sesame seeds (another confession, I ALWAYS forget to buy this I add a few more sunflower seeds)
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses (I have used maple syrup instead of molasses and got good reviews)
1/2 vegetable oil (try safflower oil)
1 T vanilla

In a large bowl, blend dry ingredients.  Gently heat honey, molasses, and oil in sauce pan.  Add vanilla.
Blend dry ingredients well with liquid.  Spread on a large cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes.  Let cool(it will harden).  Store in air tight container.

Some tips-
-Use old fashioned rolled oats.  They are bigger.
-Measure oil in glass measuring cup, then use the same cup for the honey and molasses.  The sticky ingredients will easily roll out of the oily cup.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

(photo from Betty Crocker's website)

Kim brought these to Christmas and they were yummy! 

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies from Betty Crocker 

Prep Time25 Minutes, Total Time 40 Minutes, Makes36 cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract

6 to 8 drops green food color

1 egg

1 cup creme de menthe baking chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

1.  Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.

2.  Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

3.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

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