Friday, August 19, 2016


My mother-in-law's recipe and the only chili worth having, according to my husband. It even won us the chili cook-off at our church competition one year!


1-2 lbs ground beef
2-3 pkg. McCormick's Chili Seasoning (original)
1 large can (46 oz.) tomato juice
2-3 cans light red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
Sugar to taste (brings out the flavor)
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Brown ground beef.

Add seasoning and a pinch or two of sugar.

Add 1/2 of the can of tomato juice, and let it cook into the meat.

Add beans and remaining tomato juice. Allow to simmer until desired flavor is reached.

Top with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Freezer Meal: Freeze after preparation, then thaw and heat through when ready to eat.

Swedish Meatballs in Sour Cream Sauce

I found this recipe on Land O' Lakes website years ago. To make it a little easier, I started using frozen meatballs.

Swedish Meatballs in Sour Cream Sauce

2 bags (16 oz) Armour meatballs
2 cups half & half
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon salt
1 package egg noodles

Cook meatballs as directed on package in 13x9 baking dish.

Combine half & half, sour cream, cream of chicken soup and salt in medium-sized bowl. Pour over meatballs. Continue baking, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes or until sauce is heated through.

Meanwhile, prepare noodles as directed on package. Drain.

Serve meatballs and sauce over hot cooked noodles.

Makes 8 servings.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Taco Soup

I've tried several different taco soup recipes, and this has become my favorite. So easy to make, fabulous as a freezer meal, and perfect for making large batches (I can make 6 of these in about an hour with five boys running circles around me). We think adding sour cream and shredded cheese is a must (haven't tried the tortilla chips), but to each his own.

Printable Recipe

Taco Soup

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 cans corn, undrained
2 cans ranch-style beans (pinto beans in seasoned tomato sauce)
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
Tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream (for serving)

Brown ground beef.

In crock pot, combine ground beef, taco seasoning, corn, beans, and tomatoes.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

To make as a freezer meal:

Brown ground beef. Allow to cool

In a labeled gallon-sized Ziploc bag, layer the beef, seasoning, corn, beans, and tomatoes (no particular order). 

Seal and freeze flat.

The night before you plan on cooking it, move to fridge to thaw. 

Once thawed, pour into slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Serve over crush tortilla chips. Top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Homemade Applesauce

Once you taste homemade applesauce, you'll never want to go back to store-bought. And while sometimes that makes me immediately skip past that kind of recipe (it's so easy to buy it, so why would I want to make it??), this recipe is fairly simple and not time-consuming, so I make an exception. The only difficult part is peeling and coring, but that's where that terrific apple slicer, corer, peeler gadget truly comes in handy and makes this quick work.

This recipe is for canning, so if you want to make a smaller batch, you'll obviously need to adjust the amounts and just store the sauce in the fridge after you're done blending it. When adding the sugar and spices, I always started with just a little bit of each, tasted, and then added more as needed. Even with fruit from the same tree, some batches needed more and some needed less to get it just right.

I also skipped the ascorbic acid step and didn't have any issues, but I figured I'd leave it in there in case.

We used fruit from our own tree, and I'm not sure exactly what it is, but we believe they are Jonathan apples or something close. You'll want to use a sweet apple, such as: Braeburn, Cortland, Crispin (Mutsu), McIntosh, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Gravenstein, Liberty, Ida Red, Rome. Mixing apple varieties can make it even better.

Homemade Applesauce

Quantity: An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13-1/2 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 48 pounds and yields 14 to 19 quarts of sauce—an average of 3 pounds per quart.

Quality: Select apples that are sweet, juicy, and crisp. For a tart flavor, add 1 to 2 pounds of tart apples to each 3 pounds of sweeter fruit. 


21 pounds of apples
1 cup water
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg

Wash, peel, core and quarter apples. If desired, slice apples into water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning. 

Place drained slices in an 8 to 10-quart pot.

Add 1 cup water. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning, heat quickly until tender (5 to 20 minutes, depending on maturity and variety). 

Remove from heat and add honey, sugar and spices. Stir to combine. Sauce may be packed without sugar, if desired.

Press through a sieve or food mill, or use a blender or food processor to get to the consistency you want. (I used a food processor)

Taste and add sugar or spices as needed. 

Reheat sauce to a rolling boil.

Fill hot jars with hot sauce, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. 

Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process.

Recommended process time for Applesauce in a boiling-water canner

            Process Time at Altitudes of

Style Jar             0–                  1,001– 3,001– Above
of Pack Size            1,000 ft 3,000 ft 6,000 ft 6,000 ft

Hot                Pints 15 min 20                20              25

       Quarts         20                 25                 30                35

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

An excellent remake of Red Lobsters yummy biscuits.

Printable Recipe
Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 1/2 cups Bisquick mix
4 tbsp cold butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine Bisquick and cold butter, using a fork or pastry cutter. Don't combine too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter about the size of peas.
Add cheddar, milk and 1/4 tsp garlic.
Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Make 12 equal portions and place onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are light brown.
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 tsp garlic powder and parsley flakes.
Use a pastry brush to spread garlic butter over tops of biscuits.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

This recipe came from my mother-in-law. I have no idea what the name "Sock-It-To-Me" comes from, but it's one of my favorites. Super easy and sweet enough on it's own to not need frosting.

Printable Recipe

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

1 white or French vanilla cake mix with pudding in the mix
3 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 ounces sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Mix together filling ingredients and set aside.

Mix together cake ingredients.

Pour half the batter into greased pan.

Sprinkle filling on top of batter.

Pour remaining batter into pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Serve warm or cold.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Shredded Pork Tacos

We were trying to make more things with pork, so I found this recipe at It made quite a bit, but that was okay because it was delicious. Anthony even tried it as a sandwich, and it works that way too. All of the spices really come together for a fabulous taco filling.

Printable Recipe

Shredded Pork Tacos
Pork Filling:
1 3 lb. Boneless pork prime rib roast
8 cloves Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Ground red pepper
1 cup Beef broth

2 cups Shredded Savory Pork
8 Taco shells or eight 6- to 8-inch flour tortillas
3/4 cup salsa (if desired)
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Trim fat from meat.
In a small bowl combine garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and red pepper; rub into the meat.

Place meat in a roasting pan that has a cover; add beef broth. Cover and roast in a 325 degree oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until very tender. (Or put in crock pot--6 to 8 hours on low, 4 to 6 hours on high.)

Remove meat from liquid with a slotted spoon; discard excess fat from cooking liquid. Reserve the rest of the liquid.

When meat is cool enough to handle, shred it.

Stir in 1/4 cup of reserved cooking liquid to use as taco filling. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Prepare tacos as normal.

You can also freeze the prepared meat and reheat later for an easy freezer meal.