Monday, May 30, 2005


I don't remember where I found this recipe, although I believe it may have come from a restaurant that no longer exists in Wakarusa IN named Come and Dine. It was in the heart of Amish country, and they featured real Amish cooking. I love this soup, and it is always a hit at gatherings.

1 roasting Chicken, at least 5 lbs.
4 1/2 qts cold Water
2 lg Yellow Onions, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
3 large Celery ribs, diced with tops
20 oz frozen whole kernel Corn
1/4 tsp crushed Saffron (expensive, omit if you must)
2 tsp Tabasco
3/4 cp minced Parsley
1 Tbl Salt
1 1/2 cps wide Egg Noodles
3 hard boiled Eggs. chopped

Simmer chicken in water for 2 hrs. Remove chicken from pot to cool. Strain and skim the stock. Add onions, garlic and celery, simmer for 35 min. Add corn, saffron, Tabasco. simmer covered for 40 min. Meanwhile. debone chicken and and chop meat into half inch pieces. Add meat, parsley and salt to pot, cook, uncovered, for 20 min. Stir in noodles, boil, uncovered, 15 min. Add chopped eggs, let set 5 min. Serves 12-14

Friday, May 27, 2005


from tshsmom

Here's my family's favorite crock pot recipe.

Cheapest Beef Roast you can find w/o too much fat. (Leftovers freeze well when covered with au jus)

1 envelope French Onion Soup Mix
4 cups water
Hoagie buns or French bread
Stir water and soup mix together in crock pot.
Add roast and cook on high 10-12 hours.
When you're ready to eat, put the roast in a serving bowl and shred it with 2 forks.
Put the shredded meat on your bread, ladle some au jus out of the crock pot and into a cup or bowl, and you're ready to go!

mark' note: I tried this the other night, only I shredded the meat back into the broth and used a slotted spoon to put meat on open face toasted hoagie rolls. Had to use a knife and fork, but it was really good!

note to Laura. I'm working on cutting down your Jambalaya recipe to fit a standard crock pot. As soon as I do I will post it along with the original!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


This was easily my ex-wife's best pot luck dish. It's one of those dishes the men fought over at family gatherings. In our family, it is affectionately known as "green junque"

1-#2 can crushed Pineapple
1-3oz pkg Lime Jello
2-3oz pkg Cream Cheese
1 cp Whipped Cream (or Cool Whip, Dream Whip)
3/4 cp grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cp chopped Walnuts

Heat Pineapple to boiling point. Add Jello, stir till dissolved. Chill until partially set. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill till set.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Crunchy Fudge Sandwiches

Now THIS is comfort food!

Melt 12 oz butterscotch chips (be sure you use Nestle--the others don't melt smoothly) and 1 cup peanut butter together in a large pan. Add 8 cups Rice Krispies.

Press half of this mixture into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Place in refrigerator.

In smaller pan melt 3 tbls butter, 2 tbls water, 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 1 cup powdered sugar. Spread over mixture in pan. Top with remaining Rice Krispies mixture and chill.

Note: you may want to bring them back to room temperature before you try cutting them:)

I found this recipe on the back of a Rice Krispies box back when I was in high school, and I don't think they ever ran it again. These are a real favorite!


Crock-Pot Spaghetti

Brown together:
2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped or minced
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
2 small or 1 large clove garlic
2 tsp chili powder

Drain fat and put the meat in the crockpot. Add:
(2) 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 can (about six cups) tomato juice
2-4 tbls brown sugar

Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. Turn to high for last half-hour of cooking and add 16 oz spaghetti noodles, broken in half.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I found this recipe (and a couple of others) the other day while blog surfing, and asked Nic if she would mind posting them to our comment section. The other rrecipes sound yummy and will soon make it to the main page too!

9x13 pyrex or corningware baking dish
6 thawed boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1½ cups of long grain rice (NON-INSTANT) if you use the instant it will get mushy.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can french onion soup
1 can water
salt/pepper/garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 390F/198.9C
Spray the baking dish with a non-stick spray
Sprinkle rice evenly along the bottom of the dish
Lay the chicken breasts down side-by-side in the dish on top of the rice
Take the cream of mushroom, french onion soup and water and blend them together
Pour the soup mixture on top of the chicken, lifting the chicken slightly so that all the rice underneath is covered with the soup mixture
Cover with foil and put in oven for 1 hour
Take foil off and bake for another 20 minutes
Take out and ENJOY!

Yield: 6 servings

Monday, May 16, 2005


My son Steven started working in local restaurants at age 16, and spent the next seven years in kitchens. In spite of that, he's become a pretty good cook! He posted a couple of recipes in comments yesterday. Thought I'd promote them to the main page! These are not only tasty, but easy on the budget!

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 or 2 cans Hormel chili (no beans)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a glass baking dish spread softened cream cheese evenly over the bottom. Pour chili over cream cheese spread evenly. Pour cheddar cheese over the top and spread evenly. Microwave for 5-8 min or until cheese is completely melted.
Let stand for 5 min. and serve with tortilla chips.

This easy and delicious appetizer is cheap and only takes 10 minutes to make.
This following recipe, while perhaps a bit unwieldy for a church potluck, would be great for a Sunday School party, or having the guys over to watch the game!


4 medium potatoes
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 Tbls. chili powder
1 can (15 oz. ) hot chili beans
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Pierce potatoes with fork. Microwave on high 11 to 13 minutes or until tender, rotating 1/4 turn after 6 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile in large skillet, brown gr. beef over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain grease. Stir in chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, beans and 1 cup cheese; cook and stir until heated through.

Cut a slit lengthwise in potatoes; fluff pulp with fork. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Spoon equal amounts of beef mixture over each potato. Top with remaining cheese and green onions. Makes 4 servings.

posted by mark

Saturday, May 14, 2005


I don't know where our mom first found this recipe. If memory serves me, she started making them when I was in elementary school. After that, seldom was there a family get together, potluck, or picnic that didn't include these. My boys still insist that this is the one indispensable dish at any holiday dinner. Because they are good cold, they are also great for picnics! These work great in an electric skillet.

3/4 lb. ground round
1 med Onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 16oz cans Campbell's Pork and Beans*
3 tsp prepared yellow Mustard
3-4 Tbls Brown Sugar

Spray a large skillet with no stick spray. Break up gr. round and add to skillet with onions, salt and pepper. Brown on med till onions begin to clarify. Add beans, mustard and brown sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until onions are completely clear and sauce has thickened, around 40 mins or so.

* In later years, Mom used Bush's Original Beans and omitted the Br. Sugar. I slightly prefer the original recipe, the boys slightly prefer the other. Either way, they're very good!

posted by Mark

Thursday, May 12, 2005


When I was thinking about starting this blog, I told someone it was about cuisine for the hopelessly midwestern. So how do you know if you're hopelessly midwestern?

Hopelessly Midwestern
By Joel Mabus

If you live life in the middle and not on the edge -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
If a big Saturday means clipping the hedge -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
If you shop at Sears, drink a lot of iced tea,
You like to dance the polka and watch TV,
Then the jury is in and the critics agree -
You're hopelessly midwestern.

[Chorus] Hopelessly Midwestern - cornfed boys and girls
Hopelessly Midwestern - square pegs in this
big round world.
Now, you can go from sea to shining sea,
But right in the middle - that's the place to be,
And if you like it like that, you're a lot like me -
You're hopelessly midwestern.

If you wish every highway could be flat and straight -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
If you still think sushi looks a lot like bait -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
You like your potatoes mashed, your chicken fried,
Your green beans boiled and your apples pied,
And you ain't trusted nothing since Rock Hudson died,
You're hopelessly midwestern.

If annual rainfall is a real hot topic -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
And if the Pocono Mountains sound kind of exotic -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
If you like Gerald Ford almost as much as you like Betty,
And a big corn field looks mighty pretty,
And you'd rather go to hell than to New York City,
You're hopelessly midwestern.


Hopelessly... Impossibly... Irreparably Midwestern.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Dirt Cake

Okay, it looks like it's time for more desserts! This one, besides being 'to die for', is lots of fun. If you need an attractive dessert, make it up in a large, fancy glass bowl. Or use a flower pot and top with artificial flowers and gummy worms. For a men's Wild Game Banquet, I made it in a silver bucket and topped it with the gummy worms and a 'gone fishing' sign.
Once, when I was working in a veterinarian's office, we had a doctor who was leaving. She was one of those women who hated men, but loved cats--she had seventeen of them. Anyhow, we made one of these cakes, only with vanilla cookies, and rolled tootsie rolls in the cookie crumbs and made her a litterbox cake. I thought it was rather disgusting, but she loved it!

.5 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese (Philly brand)
.5 to 1 cup powdered sugar
(2) small packages instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
12 oz Cool Whip
20 oz Oreos, crushed very fine (I use the food processor)

In medium bowl mix butter, cream cheese and sugar with a mixer. In a second bowl mix the milk and pudding. Add the whipped topping to the pudding mixture; combine the two mixtures. In a glass bowl or flower pot, layer crumbs and filling, ending with crumbs on top. Garnish with silk flowers and gummy worms, if you like.


One Pot Spaghetti

This is one of my family's favorites. I also have a crockpot version, if anyone is interested:)

In 3 quart pot on stove, or in electric frying pan, mix together and brown:
1-1.5 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped or 2 tbls instant minced onion
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, pressed
1.5 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder

(1) 6 oz can tomato paste
2.5 cups tomato juice
3.5 cups water
2 tbls or so brown sugar

Bring to boil and simmer 20-30 minutes. Add 8 oz spaghetti and cook until spaghetti is tender and sauce is thick (about 20 minutes).



These recipes were posted by visitors in our comment section:

Jessicarabbit is one of my favorite people in the blogesphere! She is smart, funny, irreverent, has a boyfriend who bears a remarkable resemblance to “The Count” on Sesame Street, and tends to post photos that prove she retired from stripping on her own terms. She posted this recipe in comments on our very first post. It has been tested, met with great approval, so I now offer it to you!

from JR:


I have a super easy dish, lots of people know it, I'm sure, but I always get asked to make it to bring to family events and people really like it,

1 bag frozen hashbrown potatoes, cubes
2 cups shredded cheese, a mix of white and yellow works well but it can be any kind you really like
1 can cream of potato soup
1 medium sized container sour cream
A few tablespoons of parmesan

Mix everything except the parmesan up in a bowl, spray some non stick spray into a baking dish, toss the whole mixed up mess in, sprinkle the parmesan on top and bake at about 450 until the top is nice and golden bubbly.

Its really yummy and really simple, but takes about an hour to an hour and a half depending on how big a pan you use and how thick you spread the potatoes out. Yes I know, I'm not very specific and half my words are spelled wrong, its late. But it really is quite tasty and so simple that exact measurements aren't really needed.

Marks note: My son and his girlfriend tried this one the other day and REALLY liked it!

Tshsmom is a Minnesotan, and if there are two things Minnesotans know, it's potlucks and hotdish!


2 lb pkg tater tots
1 can cr of mushroom soup
1 can cr of celery soup
1 lb ground beef or turkey
Press burger in bottom of 9x13 cake pan.
Sprinkle with onion salt
Lay tater tots side by side and end to end on top of burger.
Mix soups together and spread on top of tater tots.
Bake@375 for 45-60 minutes or until top is glazed and golden brown.
You can also put a layer of Velveeta or American cheese between the burger and tater tot layers.

Wandering Coyote is a Pastry Chef from Vancouver BC. She assures me the following recipe is a staple of United Church carry ins, although she apparently hasn't had the courage to try it!


4 cups tomato juice
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3 envelops unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup water
1 cup diced celery
In a large saucepan, heat tomato juice and chicken stock until hot. Stir in lemon rind, Worcestershire sauce and salt.
In a small bowl, combine gelatin with water. Set for 5 minutes. Stir in hot tomato mixture. Add celery.
Pour into ring mold or individual decorative molds.
Refrigerate to set. Dip mold in hot water for a few seconds. Unmold on platter or plates.

You can add other veggies aside from celery. Apparently this is great diet food, but quite frankly the whole thing sounds gross. United Church ladies love it, though!

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Waterford MI, where my parents lived, has a wonderful senior citizens program. My mom used to make these a lot for their potlucks. They were very popular. Dad loved it when she made these. Not because he liked the meatballs. Because it meant they would have a picnic ham for dinner one evening that week!

1 lb Ham (mom preferred picnics, more flavorful), ground
1 1/2 lbs. Ground Pork
2 cps fine dry Bread Crumbs
2 Eggs, well beaten
1 cp Milk
1 cp Brown Sugar, well packed
1 tsp Dry mustard
1/2 cp Cider Vinegar
1/2 cp Water

Combine first five ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape into 1" balls and arrange in a large baking or roasting pan. Combine remaining ingredients, stirring until dissolved. Pour over meatballs. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour, basting frequently. Makes about 75.

posted by Mark

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Hamburger/Potato Casserole

Okay, here's one that's unbelievably easy--and yet has lots of flavor!

1.5 lbs Ground Chuck
Potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 small onion, minced

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the bottom of a 2 quart (or so) casserole dish, and then press in the Ground Chuck, patting down well into the bottom of the dish. Salt and pepper again, and sprinkle with minced onion. Add a layer of potatoes, a little salt/pepper, a layer of potatoes...until dish is full. Dot with butter, cover, and bake at 350 degrees about 1.5 hours.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Whether you're from the northern Great Lakes and call this TUNA HOTDISH, or from the south and call it TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE, no genuine church potluck is complete without this dish. There are regional differences besides the name however! Minnesotans, Cheeseheads and Yoopers tend to top this dish with Durkee's French Fried Onions. Lopers, Hoosiers, and Buckeyes are more likely to leave out the corn and top with crushed potato chips. I have heard rumors that in the far east (Pennsylvania), and far west (Illinois), people actually top this dish with *gasp* buttered, seasoned bread crumbs! Here is the classic Minnesotan version:


1 can corn
1 can your favorite tuna (drained)
1 bag egg noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can french-fried onions
1/2 cup milk

Boil the egg noodles until done. Strain. Open the can of tuna, cream of mushroom soup and corn. Mix all ingredients in same pot the egg noodles were cooked in. Slowly stir in the milk and pepper. Once the ingredients have been thoroughly cooked, scoop into a 9"x 13" baking dish. Sprinkle with french-fried onions and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

note to Isabella: let's see you make an effite gourmet dish out of THIS one!

posted by Mark

Sunday, May 01, 2005


This recipe is great served with Barb's FAT POTATOES, rice, or noodles

2 Tbl Oil
2 lb Round Steak, sliced across grain into 1/4" strips
1 lg Onion, sliced and separated into 1/4" rings
4 oz jar sliced Mushrooms, drained, reserve liquid
1/2 cp Red Wine (you may use red cooking wine, but omit salt)
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

Over med. high heat (350), brown meat in oil. Add onions and saute till tender crisp. Blend soup, wine, liquid from mushrooms, garlic and salt. Pour over steak. Reduce heat to simmer. Add mushroom, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until meat is tender. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

posted by Mark