This is a blog of my adventures in the kitchen. I always like to try new things, and I'm looking up different recipes constantly. Some recipes on here will be my own, some will be found recipes. Some will work, some won't. Trial and error, right? I'm no professional and I don't claim to be, I just enjoy cooking. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

Mmmmm... Okay, so it's not the nicest picture in the world, but it was still delicious. :P

I know alot of Philly Cheese Steaks are made with cheese whiz, but I'm not a fan. I used cream cheese and a little A1 steak sauce. :)

Things you'll need:

Cream Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Slice your peppers and put them in a pan with some olive oil on medium heat.

While that starts to cook, slice your onions. Then add them to the pan.

Let that cook up, and in the meantime slice your steak pretty thin.

When the veggies are done, put them in a separate bowl... for now.

Then add the meat to the pan and hit it with some salt and pepper.

Cook it up.

Add the veggies back in.

Slice up your bread and slather on some cream cheese. Add A1, if you'd like. :) The bread would also be good toasted.

Pile on the meat mixture and you've got yourself a sandwich!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Pizza is definitely not one of my bests, but it sounded delicious so I figured I'd give it a go. :)

Things you'll need:

14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
Italian seasoning
fresh italian parsley
olive oil
Your favorite pizza toppings

**I used the same recipe as my bread dough recipe from an earlier post. But I halved it and only used about a teaspoon of sugar.

Make dough as in instructed in the white bread recipe. Let it rise for an hour, separate it into 2 balls and let it rise another 15 minutes.

While you're letting your dough rise for the last 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 450 and make the sauce.

Put the can of stewed tomatoes in a sauce pan and mash them up a bit. Add the tomato sauce and italian seasoning. Add the parsley.

Let that simmer together for about 10 minutes.

Stretch the dough until it's rounded and about 1/4 inch thick -- leaving it just slightly thicker around the edge for the crust.

With a pastry brush, or just using your hands, rubs a thin layer of olive oil on the dough.

Add the sauce.

Add the cheeses.

Add the toppings. I made mine a margherita pizza - adding only fresh basil, but my husband likes meat. lol... So, I added dry salami to his.

Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until it's where you like it. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash

So, this is something I threw together tonight, to use up the leftover squash from the Dinner in a Pumpkin in my last post. This recipe would also work great with yams.

What you'll need:

Butternut squash
brown sugar

You could add some cinnamon, if you'd like. :)

Also, this recipe could be altered to make more of a savory dish, rather than sweet. You could use some garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper in place of the brown sugar. Yum! :)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray a baking dish with non stick spray.

Peel and slice the squash. I sliced about 1/2 inch thick. Be sure you've removed the "guts" and seeds. Then make a layer in baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and diced butter.

Make another layer of squash, brown sugar and butter.

Cover with aluminum foil and pop into the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes, or so (Yeah, that's a technical term), until the squash is cook. A fork should slide through it easily.

I actually wish I would have baked it half of the time with the cover off, to brown the top just a bit.

When you dish it up, be sure to drizzle some of that delicious sauce over the top.

That's it. Pretty simple, eh? :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dinner in a Pumpkin... sorta.

Okay, this recipe came from my friend, Brandy. It is one of my favorite fall foods... It looks weird. It sounds weird. It tastes great. The actual recipe that I'm posting is for the dinner to be made in a pumpkin. Unfortunately, I could not find a pumpkin in the size that I wanted, so I made it in a casserole dish with sliced butternut squash on top. :) Still delicious, just not as cute. :P

Things you'll need:

1 medium sized pumpkin (or several small if you want to make individual ones)
2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped (I brown it with the hamburger)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water chestnuts, drained
mushrooms, sliced
2 T soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
2 to 3 cups cooked rice

First, if you're wanting to make this in the pumpkin, you'll need to cut and clean it out, saving the top.

Preheat your oven to 350. Yes, I do realize that this picture is completely pointless, but I took it so... I posted it. ;)

Cook the rice. If you make rice often, I seriously recommend a rice cooker.

Brown the ground beef with some salt and pepper, and the onions.

While that browns, slice the mushrooms. I used fresh mushrooms because I can't stand the texture of canned mushrooms. If you like them, go ahead and use them. I'm not hear to tell you what you like. ;) So, do whatcha want.

I had to get these because they came in a pink container. Plus, it supports breast cancer so... win-win, right? :)

I tried to share these with my dogs, but they weren't very interested. They eventually caved and ate them, but I don't know that they were happy about it.

Again, this picture is completely pointless.

Mix the soup, water chestnuts, mushrooms, soy sauce and brown sugar in a bowl.

Then mix in the rice and browned ground beef.

Scoop that mixture into your pumpkin, or casserole dish in my case.

If you used the pumpkin, skip the next step... If not, read on...

Layer peeled, sliced butternut squash (or squash of your choice) on top.

Place top back on pumpkin, or lid on casserole dish.

Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

When using a pumpkin, scrape some of the pumpkin out while you dish it up. Mmmmm... ;)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Okay, I don't have step by step pictures for this one this time. I was halfway through it before I thought about it. lol... I also don't have exact measurements. It's sort of one of those "throw it together until it tastes good" kind of foods. :)

Things you'll need:

Red potatoes
Sour Cream
Milk or cream
Italian Parsley (optional)

Cut your potatoes into cubes, with the skins on. Peel a clove or two (or three or four) of garlic. Depending on how many potatoes you're cooking, and how garlicky you want it. :P Give them a good "whack" to smash them and throw them in a pot with the potatoes. Add salt and add enough water to cover the potatoes.

Boil until soft - until a fork slides through easily.

Drain. Put back in pot.

Throw in a pat or two of butter, a scoop or two of sour cream, a splash of milk, salt and pepper to taste. Smash it up.


Do you like it?


Add what you think it needs...

Like it now?

Good. :)

Now, chop up some parsley and stir it into the mix...

There you have it... Garlic smashed potatoes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Okay, if you're looking for some awesome, unique, fancy way to prepare Sloppy Joes then you should probably keep searching... This is just a basic, easy, cheap way to make them. This recipe came from my grandma and it's been a staple in my family for as long as I can remember. It's not one of my husband's favorites, so I make it when he's gone. :)

Things you'll need:

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, grated
1 - 8oz can tomato sauce
1/4 C ketchup
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
Hamburger buns
Your favorite sloppy joe toppings

First, brown the ground beef and onion together. I don't grate mine because I like the big chunks of onion in it. Grating is great if you have kids, though. They'll never know that they're in there. ;)

This is actually 2 lbs of ground beef. I'm cooking extra beef now to freeze and safe to use another day. It's a quick trick I use when I'm cooking for one. :)

While it's browning mix the tomato sauce, ketchup, sugar and vinegar in a bowl. If you want to skip this, and just throw it in the pan after you finish browning, go for it... I won't judge. ;)

Once the beef is browned, drain off the fat and add the sauce.

Let it simmer on a low setting for 20 minutes.

Slap it on a bun with your favorite toppings (mine of which are cheese and dill pickles), and you're done! :) Easy as pie!! Which is really a dumb expression. Pie isn't THAT easy... Hmmm...

White Bread

It's a stormy day today, so I decided I would bake some bread. I love baking during stormy weather. :) It's comforting. I figured that I didn't need to bake cookies or cakes since I'm the only one home, and my hips seriously don't need the calories... Bread seemed sorta safe... Emphasis on the "sorta". ;)

This is the first time I've attempted homemade bread without the use of a bread machine in quite a few years. It just never works out for me. I've always used my grandmother's recipe, but I just can't get it to turn out. It is the same recipe that my mom and dad have used for years, and they make it perfectly. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. lol...

This is a recipe that I found on It was titled Amish White Bread. The recipe is supposed to make 2 loaves, but I halved it to only make one.

What you'll need (for two loaves):

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar (That seemed like alot, so I halved it)
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

Like I said, I halved the above recipe.

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast.

This is where I realized I picked the most unappetizing color of bowl that I had in my kitchen. Sorry about that.

Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam. See it puffing up, or "blooming"? You want that.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast.

This is where my mom would panic a little. She always told me to be careful with salt, because too much salt can ruin the yeast reaction.

I thought for a minute, held my breath and threw it in anyway. ;)

Mix in flour one cup at a time.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. I kneaded for about 5 or so minutes. It probably could have used more, but I'm not that patient.

Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. (Yeah... I used "Pam".)

Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

After the salt scare I was a little nervous when it was time to check.

It worked!!

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans.

I used shortening and flour in my pan. Butter would have tasted better, but I didn't have any softened.

Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

I checked after 30 minutes, and it was NOT 1 inch above the pan. So, I gave it 15 more minutes.

It still didn't raise that high, but as I said I'm impatient, so I popped it in the oven anyway.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

While it baked, I made some butter to go with it.


Take it out of the pan and set it on the a cooling rack to cool for a bit.

Or if you have patience like I do, slice it up, slap some homemade butter on and enjoy it warm. :)

It's not my grandma's bread, but at least it was a loaf I was able to bake successfully. :P Yay me!