New Recipe Monday — Salsa

With the harvests from the garden (although not mine since it didn’t do well this year), I enjoy making salsa from the fresh ingredients. Here is a recipe that we really like year after year.
6 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced (I use any kind)
1 sweet onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced (I often will use green instead)
1 bunch cilantro, finely minced (I like lots!)
1 lime, juiced (I’ve also used about 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
It’s that easy! I think it tastes best when it’s been refrigerated for several hours.


New Recipe Monday — Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti

This past week I had 11 people for lunch (including our family). I had no idea what I was going to fix. So I asked my readers for suggestions and had some fantastic options. I picked this recipe and modified it (I never follow a recipe exactly) to fit what I had. It’s not the healthiest, but it was a hit and was really easy to make.

Crock-pot Chicken Spaghetti


***I made a double recipe in my crockpot, so everything below was times 2 except the pasta***
16 oz dry spaghetti, cooked (I used 16 oz bag of elbow macaroni)
1 lb. velveeta light cheese
12.5 oz can chicken breast, drained and flaked (I don’t use canned meat, so used some left over baked chicken)
10 3/4 oz can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted (I don’t buy cream soups anymore…I found a recipe that I make whenever I need it…I share that next week)
10 3/4 oz can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Ro-Tel)
4 oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained (I didn’t add these)
1/2 c water
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced (I used red, orange, yellow and green)
salt & pepper, to taste


Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir well
Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. Stir again just before serving. I served it with salad, french bread, celery and carrots. It would be good with tortillas or corn chips.
**I actually cooked it on high for about 2 hours and then turned it down because I wanted to make sure it was heated through. I would also suggest when you’re cooking the pasta cooking it al dente because it continues to cook in the crock pot and it can get mushy**


New Recipe Monday — Granola bars

I’ve been looking for good granola bar recipes. I tried this one last week and it wasn’t too bad. I’m working on taking my favorite granola recipe and turning it into bars.


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

** I also added a handful of peanuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.

They are a little harder than I would usually like, so I think next time I’ll make them with about 1/2 cup of applesauce to see if that makes them a bit softer. I should also note that the whole pan was gone in less than 24 hours. Very popular at my house.


New Recipe Monday — Crazy Chicken

I was a little skeptical that my kids would eat this, especially my oldest, but he really likes it! In fact, he was really excited when I made it again this last week (and he’s my pickiest eater).
Here it is with my side notes…


  • 4 limes, juiced (I have used lemon juice from a bottle, 4 limes might be a little heavy for some, but we liked it)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (I thought this would be too much at first, but it isn’t.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage (I don’t have this on hand usually so I just leave it out)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (ditto with the sage)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I really just use any chicken I have on hand. The chicken breasts are nice because the chicken can be sliced and put on top of a salad or in a taco, but this last week I made it with chicken legs and the boys gobbled it up)


  1. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, sage, oregano, and cumin together in a small bowl.**I take the easy way out and mix the marinade in a gallon plastic bag, then put my chicken in and shift it around*** Arrange the chicken breasts in a shallow glass container; pour the lime juice marinade over the chicken. Cover the container with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 1/2 hours (I’ve marinated it longer), turning the chicken every 30 minutes (I don’t know who does this but it sounds good)
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove the chicken to a platter and allow to come to room temperature (I didn’t do this).
  3. Grill the chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 8 to 10 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

New Recipe Monday — Campfire banana splits

I came across this recipe and thought I’d give it a try as soon as it’s dry enough to have a camp fire.


  • 6 large bananas, unpeeled, stems removed
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows


  1. Preheat the grill for high heat.
  2. Spray 4 sheets of aluminum foil, large enough to wrap bananas, with cooking spray.
  3. Slice the peel of the banana from stem to bottom, while slicing the banana inside lengthwise. The bananas can be cut into slices instead if you like, (while still in the peel) for easier handling later.
  4. Carefully open the banana just wide enough to place the chocolate chips and marshmallows inside the peel with the banana. Stuff with as much of the chocolate chips and marshmallows as desired.
  5. Wrap the bananas with the aluminum foil and place on the grill or directly in the coals of a fire. Leave in long enough to melt the chips and the marshmallows, about 5 minutes. Unwrap bananas, open the peels wide, and eat with a spoon.


Adorable high heel cupcakes

A friend made these for her daughter’s birthday treats at school. I think they’re adorable. I asked for her permission to share them here so you could see them too.
I think if I were to make them for our family, I’d have to make them into camo hunting boots or something since I’m the only one who wears heels around here.
This is the top view.
The side view. The bottom (toe part) of the heel is the actual cupcake. How cute!
Thank you Lisa for letting me share!!

New Recipe Monday — Easy and simple Korean style BBQ ribs

I had some beef ribs this week that I wanted to cook, but was a little burnt out on “regular” BBQ. I found this recipe and we really liked it. I made note of the few things I did differently.


  • 1 cup soy sauce (I used about half soy sauce and half Worcestershire sauce as our family isn’t big on strong soy sauce flavor)
  • 1 cup white sugar (I used half white and half brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (I didn’t use quite this much)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil (I just used Olive oil because I don’t keep this on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 pounds Korean-style short ribs (beef chuck flanken, cut 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick across bones) — I used plain old beef ribs.


  1. Whisk together the soy sauce and sugar in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved, and stir in the black pepper, garlic, green onions, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
  2. Place the ribs in a large bowl, and pour the marinade over the ribs. Stir to coat the ribs with the marinade, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir the ribs and marinade again, and refrigerate for 1 more hour.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
  4. Remove the ribs from the marinade, discard the marinade, and grill the ribs until brown and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side. Have a spray bottle of water handy in case the ribs flare up.

**It was raining, so I had to bake these ribs instead of grilling. They were still good. The next time I make them, I might try making them in the crock pot.  **


New Recipe Monday — Taco Seasoning

I don’t usually like to buy pre-packaged seasonings. I came across this recipe several years ago and haven’t purchased taco seasoning since. I really like it because it doesn’t have salt.  I’ve also made it and given it as a homemade gift.

Ingredients (I usually double this recipe)

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix together in a small bowl and store in air-tight container. If I’m making tacos for our family, I’ll use about 3 Tablespoons per pound of hamburger. You can add more or less depending on your personal taste.

New recipe Monday — Snickerdoodles

These are a family favorite. I will usually double the recipe as they are gone quickly. I’ll often bake these for Christmas or birthday goodies.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Combine 1 1/2 cups white sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Blend well. Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Roll dough in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets (I flatten just a bit with a juice glass). I use my small cookie scoop and roll these in my hands then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. The dough is sticky, wet your hands slightly before rolling.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets.

New Recipe Monday — Breakfast Casserole

We often have breakfast casserole for supper. It’s easy to make and filling for everyone. Here is a recipe I’ve used recently and we all really enjoyed.


  • 1 pound sliced bacon, diced (I didn’t use bacon this last time, instead I used left over Easter ham)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped (I usually use half because the kids don’t care for onion much)
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten (I used 8 eggs)
  • 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese (I omitted the swiss cheese and just used a little extra cheddar).
  • I’ve also added a green onion for some extra flavor.


  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
  2. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.