Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Picnic Salads

I just love summery side dish salads. I also love hearty salads where you can have the leftovers for lunch and feel perfectly satisfied. Here are a couple that you might like. I know we sure liked them!

Tortellini Bacon Broccoli Salad


2 (9 ounce) packages refrigerated three cheese tortellini
1 pound bacon
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 cup bottled coleslaw dressing


Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, drain, rinse with cold water, and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces while still a little warm.

Place the tortellini, bacon, broccoli, grape tomatoes, and green onions into a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients, and toss lightly to coat. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

Source:, submitted by MostAwesomeChefEver. You can find it here.

Notes: This was so good. I loved it...and it most definitely made for awesome lunch leftovers for me!

Picnic Potato Salad with No Mayonnaise


2 pounds small new potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with lightly salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes; drain.

Whisk vinegar, olive oil, mustard, basil, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl; add the potatoes and onion. Toss gently to coat. Let stand until cool, about 30 minutes.

Fold blue cheese or gorgonzola and chives into potato salad until blended.

Source:, submitted by It's A New Day. You can find it here.

Notes: We had a bad experience with blue cheese recently where we tried a buffalo chicken lasagna recipe that we were excited about that basically just tasted like blue cheese. Now, we all love blue cheese, but that was just too much. So, we have decided to tone it down lately and we have been opting for gorgonzola in place of blue cheese. Prepared with the gorgonzola, I absolutely loved this recipe. it was so good. I couldn't get enough of it. The lelftovers were also a good lunch for me!


Whether you boil 'em, mash 'em, or stick 'em in a stew, I can never get enough of potatoes.

Here are two potatoes recipes that we found that will complete any meal!

Lemon Horseradish New Potatoes


1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, unpeeled


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a 2 quart casserole dish in the oven. stir in salt, pepper, horseradish, and lemon juice. Place potatoes in a dish and toss to coat with butter mixture.

Cover and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.

Source:, submitted by numnum. You can find it here.

Notes: We loved these. They had such a great flavor. We did decide though that in the future, we would probably bake them uncovered for all or part of the baking time to allow them to get crispy on the outside as well as tender on the inside.

California Creamy Potatoes


1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cream of potato soup
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 lbs. red potatoes (about 8), very thinly sliced
1 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix first three ingredients in large bowl. Add potatoes; toss to coat. Spoon into 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with cheese.

Bake 55 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Sprinkle with chives.

Recipe notes: When thinly slicing a large amount of potatoes, use a food processor or manual slicer (mandoline) for even results. Place the sliced potatoes into a bowl of cold water until ready to cook to prevent them from darkening.

Yield: 24 servings, 1/2 cup each.

Nutrition information: 90 calories, 4.5 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 3 g protein.

Source: You can find it here.

Notes: These had such a great flavor. One caution though, 55 minutes might not be quite long enough for your potatoes to be tender. Make sure to test them with a fork for tenderness before you assume they are done.

"What Is That Amazing Smell?"

"Chocolate! Ha ha ha!" I frequently get those lines from Frozen stuck in my head, but the good part about it is that my youngest son laughs at that line every single time (and he has the cutest laugh), and he now says "chocolate" in pretty much the cutest way possible.

Anyway, here is a great chocolate cake recipe that we recently found.

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake


1 (18.25 ounce) package Swiss chocolate cake mix (such as Duncan Hines)
1 1/4 cups chocolate milk
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13-inch pan with butter and flour.

Bake cake mix, chocolate milk, canola oil, eggs, and espresso powder (if using) together in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on a low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speped to medium and continue beating another 2 minutes; pour into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan until it is no longer hot to the touch. While the cake is still warm, poke lots of holes all over the cake with a small skewer or a fork.

Whisk sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, evaporated milk, and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder together in a bowl until cocoa is mostly incorporated into the liquid; slowly pour the milk mixture evenly over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely as the liquid soaks into it.

Sift confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl.

Beat heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute. While continuing to mix, add sugar-and-cocoa mixture to the cream in 2 batches, allowing the first to incorporate before adding the second. Increase mixer speed to medium-high; beat until soft peaks form and the cream is thickened and spreadable. Spread chocolate whipped cream on the cake to serve.

Source:, submitted by MrsFisher0729. You can find it here.

Notes: It is currently rated as a 5 star recipe, and it deserves every one of those stars! This is yummy stuff.



Summer is a Time for Sandwiches

I think you can't really have summer without having at least one pulled pork sandwich. Am I right? Here is a new recipe that we found, which we liked very much.

Slow Cooker Pulled Jerk Pork Sandwiches


1 boneless pork shoulder (2 1/2 lbs.)
1 tablespoon Jamaican jerk seasoning (dry)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup cola
2 cups barbecue sauce
8 sandwich buns


Spray 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Remove fat from pork. Rub jerk seasoning over pork; sprinkle with thyme. Place pork in slow cooker. Sprinkle with onion. Pour cola over pork.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.

Remove pork from slow cooker; reserve 1/2 cup juices. Use 2 forks to pull pork into shreds. Place pork in slow cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce and reserved juices. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 30 to 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Spoon filling onto bun.

Source: Betty Crocker. You can find it here.

The Easy Way

Do you ever feel in the mood for a homemade pretzel, but don't want to take the time to make them? Well, if so, this recipe is a good compromise.

Soda Pretzels


1/3 cup baking soda
5 cups water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or more all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons kosher salt, for topping


In a non-aluminum stock pot, dissolve 1/3 cup baking soda in 5 cups water. Bring water to a boil, and then remove from heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bow, sift together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and baking soda. Stir in buttermilk and honey until dough pulls together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly to form a firm dough.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a cylinder approximately 12 inches long. Form into classic pretzel shape. Pinch ends to seal. Dip pretzels in baking soda solution and then place on lightly greased cookie sheets.

Sprinkle pretzels with kosher salt, and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Source:, submitted by ARVILLALAR. You can find it here.

Notes: We opted to use 3 cups of all-purpose flour as opposed to 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour on the advice of the recommendations made in the comments section for this recipe.

This was super tasty and really did taste like a good homemade pretzel. Good stuff!

Fruit Salads for Summer

There is nothing as refreshing as a nice fruit salad to go with your summer feasts. Here are a few new good ones that we found.

Glazed Fruit Medley


2 cups orange juice
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups cubed honeydew
3 medium firm bananas, sliced
2 cups green grapes
2 cups halved fresh strawberries


In a small saucepan, mix the orange juice, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened. Transfer to a small bowl; cool slightly.

Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, combine the fruit in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with orange juice mixture; toss gently to coat.

Yield: 10 servings.

Nutrition information: 3/4 cup equals 188 calories, 1 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. you can find it here.

Notes: I am a sucker for honeydew. I just love it. I would suggest tossing the fruit with enough of the glaze to coat it. There is a lot of glaze in this recipe and chances are you won't need all of it.

Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad


Whipped Cream Dressing

2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
1 tablespoon butter or margraine
3/4 cup whipping cream


1 can (15 oz) pitted dark sweet cherries in syrup, drained
2 cans (20 oz. each) pineapple chunks in juice, drained, 2 tablespoons juice reserved
3 seedless oranges, peeled, cut into small chunks (you can also substitute two cans--11 oz each--mandarin orange segments, well drained)
1 cup miniature marshmallows


In 1-quart saucepan, mix all dressing ingredients except whipping cream. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly; cool.

In chilled medium deep bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on low speed until mixture begins to thicken. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in cooled egg mixture.

In large glass or plastic bowl, gently toss salad ingredients and dressing. Cover; refrigerate at least 12 hours to blend flavors, but no longer than 24 hours.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe notes: For a lighter salad, omit whipped cream dressing. For dressing, reserve 1/4 cup pineapple juice from cans of pineapple; fold juice into 2 cups frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped topping.

Source: Betty Crocker website. You can find the recipe here.

Very Similar

These two pork recipes taste very similar, but the preparation method is a little different. Either way, it makes for good eating!

Barbecue Spareribs


2 tbsp. liquid smoke
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup chili sauce
1/2 tsp. Accent

4 lbs. country style pork spareribs


Mix together first six ingredients (liquid smoke through Accent).

Marinate ribs in sauce overnight or at least 2 hours.

Cook in slow oven at 275 degrees F for 2 1/2 hours or until done. We like to use a Dutch oven, but any oven friendly baking dish/pot will work.

Just before serving, remove to another pan and broil 3 minutes to brown, if desired.

Source: This came from an old ward cookbook and was submitted by Jeri Burton.

Notes: This is a great recipe. The pork is tender and flavorful. You can even make it in a Dutch oven over a camp fire.

Slow and Easy BBQ Ribs


2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
1 can (5 ounces) unsweetened pineapple juice
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup plum jam


In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, brown ribs on all sides. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker; top with pineapple juice, onion, and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove ribs; drain and discard cooking juices and onion. Return ribs to the slow cooker. Combine barbecue sauce and jam; pour over ribs. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find the recipe here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

All the Fixings

Do you want to know what I can't understand? I can't understand when people have a hamburger that only consists of a hamburger patty, a bun, maybe some cheese, and ketchup and mustard. That is just not enough! A hamburger isn't worth it to me unless there is some crisp lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes involved as well--and that is the minimum! Sometimes in life, more is better!

Here are some ways to make your burger even better!

Bacon Jam


12 strips thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch lardons
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 Spanish onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 sprig fresh thyme
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper


Render the bacon in a pan over low heat with 1/4 cup water until crispy, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess grease.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet and add the canola oil and onions. Sweat the onions over low heat until translucent and lightly caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes, and then transfer to a nonreactive bowl.

Pulse the bacon lardons in a food processor until they reach a coarse consistency. Fold the bacon into the onions, and then stir in the vinegar and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and then let cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Remove the thyme sprig when reheating.

Yield: About 2 cups.

Source: You can find the original source of this recipe here.

Notes: Good stuff. It really added a lot to the burgers.

Special Sauce


1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha
1 clove garlic
Kosher salt and ground white pepper


Blend together the mayonnaise, ketchup, sherry vinegar, Sriracha and garlic in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper, and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Yield: about 2 cups.

Source: This recipe was part of a greater recipe (which also included the Bacon Jam). Here is the link again.

Caesar Spread


1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1/2 ounce)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped (optional)
Black pepper


In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Parmesan, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, anchovy (if using), and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Tip: Before you grate cheese, coat the grater with cooking spray. It will be easier to use and wash.

Source: Real Simple. You can find the recipe here.

Secret Burger Sauce


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, garlic powder, and pepper in a bowl, and place a dollop on your hamburger.

Source:, submitted by Soifua. You can find it here.

Great Green Salads

One of the easiest ways for me to get my veggies in is through a green salad as a side to the main dish. It's my no-brainer side dish. Salads go with everything! Here are a few new ones we found. You might even catch yourself saying, "Holy great green salads, Batman!"

That Good Salad


3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 bunches (1 pound each) romaine, torn
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted, optional
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 cup Caesar salad croutons


In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper; cover and shake well. Chill.

In a large serving bowl, toss the romaine, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, almond, if desired, Parmesan cheese, and bacon.

Shake dressing; pour over salad and toss. Add croutons and serve immediately.

Yield: 14 servings (1 cup each).

Nutrition information: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 193 calories, 17 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 257 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find the recipe here.

Notes: Ooh, I liked this. So good.

Great Green Salad


4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch white sugar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
4 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, parsley, lemon juice, and garlic. Add the avocado, and stir to coat with the dressing.

Just before serving, add the salad greens, and toss to coat with dressing. Sprinkle sliced almonds and feta cheese over the top.

Source:, submitted by JESSPOOH. You can find it here.

Notes: So the salad greens we used weren't just green...there were some purple/red lettuce leaves in there too, but even so, this was one great green salad!

Garden Medley Salad


Caraway Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped


1 medium cucumber
8 cups bite-size pieces salad greens
1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)


In tightly covered container, shake all vinaigrette ingredients until well blended.

Cut cucumber lengthwise in half; scrape out seeds. Cut halves diagonally into 1/2-inch-wide pieces.

In large serving bowl, toss salad greens, tomato, cucumber, onions, and vinaigrette.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Betty Crocker. You can find it here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Is For Homemade Ice Cream


Is there anything better than homemade ice cream at a family dinner in the summer? Oh, and don't forget to check our other big ice cream post. Oh, and in addition to that, here are some other ice cream and sorbet, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Easy Chocolate Ice Cream


6 cups milk
3 large cans sweetened condensed milk
15 tablespoons cocoa


In a large mixing bowl, combine milk and sweetened condensed milk.

Dissolve the cocoa in a bit of hot water.

Once dissolved, stir cocoa into the milk mixture until completely blended.

Pour ingredients into the freezer canister of your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Do not fill the canister more than 2/3 full, as the mixture will expand during freezing.

Pour into a freezer safe container (or freeze in your canister, if you like), and place in freezer to allow ice cream to ripen. Ice cream will need 2-4 hours to ripen before it is ready to serve.

Source: I got this recipe out of my manual for my new ice cream maker. My old ice cream maker went kaput, so I got a new one--a Nostalgia Electrics Old Fashioned Ice Cream Maker. You can view the manual, and this recipe here. The recipe is on page 9.

Notes: At first, I thought I would describe this ice cream as tasting like a Frosty. However, that wasn't quite it...after thinking a little longer, I realized that it reminded me of a fudgesicle. Good stuff! My oldest son really loved this especially. It took around 40-45 minutes to thicken and freeze the ice cream, and at least 2 hours to allow the ice cream to ripen. If you eat it before ripening the ice cream, it will be more like a shake. In order for the ice cream to set up enough to be scoopable, it has to ripen in the freezer first.

Above: Easy Vanilla Ice Cream with blueberries mixed in.

Easy Vanilla Ice Cream


6 cups heavy whipping cream
4 1/2 cups half and half (if adding mix-ins, use only 4 cups half and half)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
Mix-ins, if desired (such as crushed Oreo cookies or mashed fruit such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, etc.)


Combine all ingredients in ice cream canister. (See notes below regarding mix-ins)

Do not fill canister more than 2/3 full as the mixture will expand during freezing.

Stir well until sugar has dissolved.

Follow manufacturer's instructions for freezing ice cream.

Pour into a freezer safe container (or freeze in your canister, if you like), and place in freezer to allow ice cream to ripen. Ice cream will need 2-4 hours to ripen before it is ready to serve.

Source: Again, I got this recipe out of my manual for my new ice cream maker.You can view the instruction manual here. The recipe is on page 9.

Notes: Vanilla ice cream on its own is to die for. However, I added mix-ins. I decreased the half and half to account for the extra mix-in ingredients.

For Cookies and Cream Ice cream, I added a full package of Oreos. I roughly crushed 1/3 of the package and added it to the cream mixture at the beginning of the freezing package. I then crushed the remainder of the package of Oreos and folded them in when it was time to ripen the ice cream. If you add Oreos at the beginning, it will turn your ice cream gray. So, if you don't want it to look that way, I would suggest crushing and folding in ALL of the Oreos at the very end. However, I like to mix in a little at the beginning because it infuses the ice cream with an Oreo flavor throughout. Go by your personal preference though.

For fruit ice cream, I would say to add about 1-2 cups of mashed fruit (depending on how fruity you want your ice cream) to the cream mixture at the beginning and then freeze. You might get a little fruit stuck to the paddle of the ice cream maker at the end of it, but that can easily be spooned back into the ice cream and folded in.

Above: I think raspberry ice cream is my all-time favorite. It just tastes so good!

Above: Blueberry ice cream is my husband's favorite. It is probably tied, for me, in second place with blackberry ice cream.

Above: Oooh...cookies and cream ice cream...yum.

Sopapilla Cheesecake Ice Cream


1 pie crust (from a refrigerated pack of two, or from scratch
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk (fat-free or regular)
8 ounces cream cheese (reduced-fat or regular)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces (one and a half 8-ounce containers) Cool Whip (fat-free, lite, or regular), or 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, whipped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Mix granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Unroll pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Press lightly with your hands so it sticks to the crust. Spray the crust lightly with cooking spray.

Bake crust for 8-12 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely before making ice cream.

Place cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Mix in vanilla and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Fold in Cool Whip (or whipped cream).

Crumble cooled pie crust into small pieces and stir into ice cream mixture. You can reserve 1/4 of the pie crust to use as garnish, if you desire.

Place ice cream in a large resealable container and freeze for at least 4 hours (but overnight is better). Will keep in the freezer for up to one month.

Recipe notes: If you don't like Cool Whip, you can use fresh whipped cream instead. Beat 2 cups of cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Sweeten with granulated sugar, to taste. Once cream is whipped, fold into the ice cream mixture in place of the Cool Whip.

Source: We found this on a site called Crazy for Crust. You can find it here.

Notes: I really, really liked this one. We didn't go the light route, and we used regular sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream (instead of the Cool Whip). Holy decadent, Batman. This was good.

A Sweet Side or Dessert

This was a very unique dish. We ate it as a side dish, but you could serve it hot and top it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and it would be a fantastic dessert too. We all thought it was surprisingly good.

Baked Pineapple Casserole


1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
1 pinch ground nutmet (optional)
6 slices white bread, torn
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a medium-sized casserole dish.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Add bread and crushed pineapple into the mixture. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and lightly browned, about 60 minutes.

Source:, submitted by Cheryl. You can find it here.

Notes: Again, yum! This was really good. I could have loaded up on this alone!

A Great Side

You know, I just love potatoes. I could never give them up.

Grandpa's Party Potatoes


12 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 carton (8 ounces) French onion dip
Salt and pepper, to taste


Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mash the potatoes with butter, mimlk, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add cream cheese and onion dip; mix well. Spread in a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika.

Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 12-14 servings.

Nutrition information: 1 cup equals 181 calories, 10 g fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 316 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: These weren't MY grandpa's potatoes, but these are pretty darned good. I added salt and pepper as an ingredient, because almost everything is better with a little salt and pepper.

Inspired By Our Neighbors To the North

We recently made a recipe for Nanaimo Bars. This recipe has a slight variation in that they are lemon flavored instead of your traditional bars which are vanilla flavored (or sometimes they are made with a custard filling).

We found that these bars were good (though a little messy for the younger crowd), but that they only got better with time. I would suggest making them the day before you plan to serve them.

Lemon Creme Nanaimo Bars



1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional


1/2 cup softened butter
1 box lemon pudding mix (3.4 oz)
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar


4-5 oz. chocolate
1 tablespoon butter, shortening, or coconut oil


In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, and add cocoa and sugar. Stir until well combined. Quickly add egg before mixture becomes too hot, stirring quickly to mix egg in well. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute or two, to let the mixture thicken. Remove from heat.

Stir in graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and nuts (if using). Press mixture into a 9x9 pan (ideally, pan would be lined with parchment paper) and let chill while you make the filling.

For filling, combine butter, pudding mix, milk, and powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Spread filling over crust layer, and return to refrigerator.

For topping, melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each. Spread chocolate over filling layer, using a knife to spread evenly.

Let bars chill at least 1 hour before serving. Use parchment paper to remove bars from pan, and cut into 9 large or 16 small squares. For best results, serve chilled and store in refrigerator.

Source:, but the link doesn't seem to be working, so I can't add a hyperlink here.

Notes: As I said, we liked these on day one, on day two, they were fantastic.