Thursday, May 22, 2008

White Bread/ Cinnamon Bread

Since I've started baking my own bread, I have always made a yummy Whole Wheat bread. This past weekend as I started my "baking marathon", as Hubbie calls it, I thought something different might be nice! I got out a cookbook that I rarely use and decided on the white bread recipe and went ahead and made 2 batches of it. The second batch I made into cinnamon bread! So good! I won't ever buy cinnamon swirl bread from the store! Mine is so much better! Both recipes come from the Better Homes and Gardens The New CookBook.

Perfect White Bread

1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water
2 cups of milk, scalded
2 tblspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tblspoon shortening
5 3/4 to 6 1/4 cups of sifted all purpose flour

Soften yeast in warm water. Combine hot milk, sugar, salt and shortening. Cool to lukewarm.

Stir 2 cups of the flour; beat well. Add the softened yeast; mix. Add enough of remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out on a lightly flour surface. Knead until smooth and satiny. Shape into a ball; place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to greased surface. Cover; Let rise in warm place until double (about 1 1/4 hours). Punch down.

Cut dough into 2 portions. Shape each in smooth ball; cover and let rest 10 mins. Shape into loaves; place into greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise til double (45 to 60 mins). Bake in hot over 400 degrees or until done. Makes 2 loaves.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Make the perfect white bread, increasing sugar to 1 1/3 cups and shortening to 1/4 cup. After first rising, roll dough to two 15 x 7 inch rectangles. Combine 1/2 sugar with 1 tblspoon of cinnamon. Spread over each rectangle. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons water over each. Roll into loaves. Continue as for Perfect White Bread. Bake at 375 for 30 mins. Makes 2 loaves.

Tater Tot Casserole

When I heard of Tater Tot Casserole I wasn't really impressed. I'm not a big fan of tater tots, but Hubbie was very excited so we tried it. The recipe was so -so, but I could take it or leave it. I never made it again. One day while surfing the net I came across the Duggars website. They have mentioned their Tater Tot Casserole on their show. After looking at the recipe (and seeing that it was quite different from the one we had tried) I decided to try it again. If you go to the Duggars website, it'll show their recipe yields 2 9 x 13 pans. I just divided their recipe. Oh so yummy!

Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb browned ground beef
1 bad of tater tots
1 can of cream of mushroom
1 can of cream of chicken
1 can of evaporated milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Brown ground beef. Mix soups and milk together in separate bowl. Once the meat has browned, pour into greased casserole dish and spread. Layer the tater tots on top of the meat. Pour the soup and milk mixture on top evenly. Bake in oven for one hour.

Serve with a yummy green veggie! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Easiest and Best Lasagna You've Ever Had... I Promise!

Growing up, we had Stouffer's Lasagna.... I loved it.... until I started making my own lasagna. I found a recipe that made it quick and easy to make one of my favorite meals. This recipe feeds my family for about 3 least, so I don't make it very often (usually once we finish it, we're sick of lasagna)! Enjoy!

Simply Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
2 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, divided
15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup of parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
26 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
12 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat in large skillet, drain fat. Mix 1 1/4 cups of the mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, the container of ricotta cheese, the parsley and the egg. Blend well. Set aside. Pour spaghetti sauce in the skillet (with the meat). Pour the cup of water into the empty spaghetti sauce jar, cover and shake well. Add to skillet and stir. You should end up with 5 cups of sauce. Now, layer- start with 1 cup of sauce at the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish. Then top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and then 1 cup of spaghetti sauce. Repeat layers 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles and the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the cheeses on top. Cover with greased foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15 mins.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just Call Me Betty Crocker...

Today has been busy and I've still got a gazillion things left to do. I am hungry, so I thought I would take a break and give y'all a recipe! I have made the dough for bread sticks and pizza, peanut butter muffins and chicken is thawing for chicken pot pie (making for a MOPS mom that was diagnosed with cancer). I still need to make two batches of Scotcheroos(totally not organic or natural....especially the Karo syrup! ouch!) and a loaf or two of banana nut bread. Not sure when I'll finish the rest. Peanut is sleeping in his crib. Bubbie has been helping me bake. When he gets bored, he'll run to his trains in the next room and then come back... I have promised Bubbie an outing once I get most of my "to-do list" finished. I might just have to wait until this evening to finish the rest- once Hubbie gets home.

The recipe is for Peanut Butter Muffins. My grandmother sent it to me a few months ago and I am just now getting around to making them. I have been calling them Peanut Butter Cupcakes. If you say muffins to Bubbie- he says he doesn't like them. If you call it cupcakes, he's excited! I let him make these with me this morning. He never questioned the yellow and orange "stuff" going into the bowl! I think the article in the Tennessean says that this mother adapted this from Jessica Seinfeld's recipe. Not sure, so if you have that book, you might have this recipe.


Peanut Butter Muffins

1 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
1/2 cup of carrot puree
1/2 cup of banana puree
2 large egg whites
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl mix 1/2 cup of the brown sugar with the peanut butter, carrot and banana puree, and the egg whites, using a wooden spoon.

Put the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix. Add to the bowl with the peanut butter in it and stir just to combine (batter will be lumpy). Add the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar and stir once or twice.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Bake 15-20 mins. Turn muffins out onto a rack to cool.

Yummy! Yummo!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Menu Plan Monday...errr Wednesday?

Yes, I know, its not Monday. It is a little late! Thanks to my sweet Hubbie- we now have groceries! I was able to make our menu plan while feeding Grayson and now we're set until April 19th! Hubbie was able to find a lot of things at Kroger that were natural and organic. We even found some "pop tarts" that were all natural. Bubbie loves pop tarts and they are so easy to serve to him on busy morning! Our favorite ceral here lately is Kashi and Good Friends. Both have a lot of fiber and have all natural products in them. I told Hubbie to go ahead and buy some bread. I didn't do so hot last weekend with my baking, so we're out of bread. I can't seem to find time to bake during the week. I must do better this weekend!

Wednesday night- Homemade pizza, bread sticks and salad

Thursday night- Leftover pizza, bread sticks and salad

Friday night- Fish, noodles and squash medley

Saturday lunch- Chicken Pot pie
Saturday night- Chopped Steak, potatoes and leftover squash medley

Sunday lunch- Leftover chicken pot pie
Sunday night- Lasagna and rolls

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

We found this muffin recipe online at a few months ago. The whole family loves these muffins. In order to get the recipe a little healthier we added flax seed. The recipe is already adjusted for the flax seed. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour (we tried whole wheat flour and they turned out B-A-D)
3/4 sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
4 tblspoons butter, melted
1 egg, beated slightly
1 cup finely chopped apples
3 tblspoons flax seed

Heat oven 375 degrees. Bake 18-23 mins.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in bowl. Add all remaining ingredients. Stir just until flour is moistened. Spoon batter into muffin liners.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday- Date night

Tuesday night- Homemade pizza

Wednesday night- Baked Spaghetti

Thursday night- Chili and cornbread

Friday night- Leftover Baked Spaghetti

Saturday lunch- Leftover chili and chips
Saturday night- Chicken Pot Pie

Sunday lunch- Breakfast (eggs, bacon and biscuits, pancakes or waffles)
Sunday night- Pasta

Monday, March 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday nite- Leftover Roast, veggies and homemade bread

Tuesday nite- Leftover Potato Soup and homemade bread

Wednesday nite- Burrito Casserole with chips and salsa

Thursday nite- Baked Spaghetti and bread sticks

Friday nite- Leftover Mexican Casserole

Saturday lunch- Sandwiches and chips
Saturday nite- Home made Pizza

Happy Easter!
Sunday lunch- Leftover Baked Spaghetti
Sunday nite- Leftover Pizza

I hope everyone has a fantastic Easter this year! We will have two Easter egg hunts- one with the Mom's group and one with Nana and Pops. Chandler keeps saying "It's almost Easter!" We've got the goodies for his Easter basket and the camera ready!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Burrito Casserole

My wedding present from my Dad's sister, Auntie C, was a scrapbook of family recipes. I have loved that book and cook from it often. Not only does it have great recipes, but also the pictures and stories behind the recipes, when they were made, etc. One of the recipes was from Wanda who worked for my Aunt. When I lived in Nashville, with my grandparents, for a few months, Wanda made this Burrito Casserole one day for lunch and it was so yummy! Aunt Cathy put the recipe in my cookbook and Andy loves it! He is always asking me to make it! It's a very heavy meal, so we have leftovers for a LONG time! Serve it with chips and salsa! Enjoy!

Burrito Casserole


1lb (I use 1/3 of a lb) ground beef (drained)
1 pkg. of taco seasoning
1 can of refried beans
8-10 tortillas
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 medium can of sour cream
1 pkg of cheddar cheese

Mix the first three ingredients together. Then fill the tortillas with the mixture and place them in a dish. In a separate bowl, mix 1 can of mushroom soup and the container of sour cream, and pour it over the tortillas. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, until bubbling. Take out and sprinkle cheese over it. Put the casserole bakc in the oven to melt cheese!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

A little late, but since we weren't planning on being in town, we hadn't planned any meals. We went grocery shopping and finally planned meals on Tuesday. We're good to go for the rest of the month!

Thursday lunch- Leftover Beef Pasta
Thursday dinner- Chicken, potatoes, carrots and onions in a chicken broth (crock pot)and Homemade bread

Friday lunch- Leftover Chicken
Friday dinner- Roast, potatoes, carrots, garlic and onions in cream of mushroom, a little red wine (crock pot) with corn bread

Saturday lunch- Hamburgers on grill w/ potato salad and beans
Saturday dinner- Leftover Roast

Sunday lunch- Leftover Roast or C.O.F. (clean out fridge)
Sunday dinner- Soup-maybe Potato (bought a HUGE bag of potatoes...need to use them up!) and Homemade Bread

For more MPM, check out Laura's site! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yummy! Yummy! Honey Whole Wheat Bread!

I decided to start baking our own bread. Its really easy to find good, healthy and natural bread, but since we love bread so much in our house, we go through a lot. I decided on our quest for more healthy, natural foods, I could start to make all our bread. Hopefully it'll save on money too! Even better!

I found this recipe on! This recipe was a winner. I was able to make 2 loaves and about 20 small rolls out of one recipe. One warning... I couldn't get 6 cups of flour into this recipe. I was only able to fit 4 cups. Also, the recipe doesn't have any time frame. I left the rolls in for about 15 mins. They were a little brown on the bottom... so I'll probably watch them closer next time. The bread loaves were left in longer. Maybe 20-25 mins. It really didn't have the look like other bread recipes do. You couldn't go by "knocking" on it and making sure you heard a hollow sound. So, once I REALLY started to smell the bread, I took it out. I know that sounds odd, but it worked! Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Bread or Rolls
2 tbsp. yeast
2 c. lukewarm water
1/4 c. honey
3/4 c. olive oil
2 eggs
6 c. whole wheat flour (it only took 4 cups for me)
2 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast in water and honey for about 5 minutes. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and knead until it loosens from sides of the bowl. Place in large oiled bowl, cover and let rise until about double (took a hour or two). Be sure it is in a warm place. Remove and shape into loaves, rolls, or buns. Bake at about 375 degrees until browned.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Beef and Parmesan Pasta

Alright, folks! This is one of my all time favorite pasta dishes. I found this on Yahoo Food and it has everything a pasta lover wants- noodles, meat, tomatoes and veggies! Yumm-O! If you want to decrease the amount of sodium intake- buy the low sodium beef broth. I make this with extra zucchini and it is extremely filling! Add some crusty french bread and you've got yourself a tasty meal! Also, if you're trying to not have any dairy in the pasta- just don't add the cheese. I made this without cheese and allowed my family to add it to their portion and it was great without it! I didn't even notice a difference!

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (we use 1/3 lb of meat and you get plenty)
14 oz can beef broth
14.5 oz can of Italian style tomatoes
2 cups of uncooked bow tie pasta
2 cups of sliced zucchini (1/4 inch thick)
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan chese, divided

  1. In a large skillet over medium/high heat, brown the ground beef. Pour off the fat.
  2. Return the skillet to the heat and add the beef broth, tomatoes, and pasta. Stir to coat all of the pasta. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.
  3. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes stirring frequently. Add zucchini and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  4. Return beef to the skillet and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese; heat through. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over each serving.
Yield: 6 servings


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Italian Cheese Bread

My SIL had these on her menu plan on week and I had to steal the recipe from her! I love these bread sticks. They are quick, easy and so yummy! We make these once a week to go with Italian dishes or sometimes with our Homemade Pizza!

Bread sticks:
2-1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 TBSP quick-rise yeast
1 C warm water
1 TBSP vegetable oil

1/4 C prepared Italian salad dressing
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Dash peper
1 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese (we always use more)
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Note: We have run out of thyme and oregano. The bread sticks are still wonderful without those ingredients!

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Combine water and oil; add to flour mixture. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Punch the dough down. place on a greased 12" pizza pan and pat into a 12" circle. Brush with salad dressing. Combine the seasonings; sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 450* for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. From Tracy's Recipes.

Slow Cooker Ravioli

Slow Cooker Ravioli

1 (25 oz.) bag beef or cheese ravioli
1 (26 oz.) jar pasta sauce
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Pour about 1/2 the pasta sauce in the bottom of slow cooker. Add frozen ravioli. Pour additional pasta sauce, tomato sauce, and water over ravioli. Sprinkle cheese on top. Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 4-5 hours (until ravioli are tender).

Thanks to Aldi Queen and Punkin Press!

Yummo! We love Italian food around our house! Any kind of pasta dish and bread it okay by me! Oh! And if I can get away without severing meat in a meal and having leftovers....well, you have made my day! Enjoy!


Welcome to my new blog! I have been blogging for almost a year and you can check out my other blog here! This blog- Meet Us In The Kitchen is a way for me to keep track of all my recipes. My 3 yr old son and I are always making something in our kitchen! I love to bake and cook from scratch. I am trying to keep from eating too much dairy, because my newborn son is slightly intolerant. I was put on a no-dairy diet to see if his tummy got any better. During those few days I found a lot of sites and recipes that either have no dairy or have substitutes for dairy products! Also, I am learning to "hide" healthy stuff in our food so that our 3 yr old won't notice! He is on a strict diet of goldfish, p b & j sandwiches, spaghetti o's and milk! Ha! We also are very budget conscious people so if I can squeeze another meal out of something....I'll do it! I also do a weekly menu so that we don't end up wasting money on eating out! For more about Menu Plan Monday, check out Laura's site!