{ Cooking }

I love to cook and experiment with new foods! Hopefully posting when I try something new will encourage me to start keeping track of my recipes and not just tossing stuff together and hoping I can recreate it next time!

Taco Salad
this is super quick and easy recipe that my boys just LOVE! 
All you need is 1lb of ground beef, 1 packet of taco seasoning, lettuce, tomato, onion, shredded mexican cheese and tortilla chips. 
Start by browning the ground beef. When it is browned add the packet of seasoning and follow directions (or what I do is just empty the packet and then add 2 of the packet full of water stir and simmer). Cut up the lettuce, tomato, and onion. toss it all in a bowl then crunch up a couple handfuls of chips, sprinkle in a couple handfuls of cheese and toss again. When the meat is finished add that to the salad, toss again, and serve! This is the type of recipe that you can make as little or as much as you need/want so there are no exact measurements and it's easy to adjust to serve larger groups!

O_o *Thanksgiving Recipes* o_O
Turkey Glaze
Ok this is quick and easy BUT I don't actually measure anything out so you have to just kind of eyeball it based on how big your turkey is. After all the herbs are chopped it's about a full handful and all "measurements" are approximate for what I used on a 20lb turkey
5 sprigs of Thyme
8 Bay leaves
5 Sage leaves
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
finely chop the herbs and mix in with the EVOO then brush it all over the turkey

Ham Glaze
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
2 tbsp maraschino cherries
Whisk together and poor evenly over the ham

Cook the Turkey and Ham according to instructions. Personally I do my turkey covered overnight (8 hours) at 215deg. and then let it brown. Then the ham goes in the morning. 

Easy Aioli

1/4 cup mayo 
1/4 cup sour cream 
1tsp lemon juice 
2 cloves of garlic pressed 
1 stalk of green onion diced
then add a little salt and pepper 
and 1 egg white and whisk 

Fresh Green Beans w/ Bacon


2 handfuls of fresh green beans
2 pieces of turkey bacon (diced)
1/4 cup diced onion
1tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp butter
salt and pepper

dice onions and turkey bacon and cut the stems and ends off of the green beans

heat 1 tsp of EVOO in a med. skillet

Saute bacon and onions for about 1 minute

Add green beans and mix together

cover and saute on low - med/low heat about 5 minutes
Add 1/2 tsp of butter and saute 2-5 minutes depending how  tender you prefer your green beans
add salt and pepper to taste and serve

Sweet Potato Fries

A yummy baked alternative to greasey french fries!

2-3 good sized sweet potatoes (washed)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 475 degrees
First cut the ends of the sweet potatoes, then cut in half down the wide center
Next cut the halves into half through the long center 
Each fourth of the sweet potato then will stand on end and cut about 3 sheets and then cut into "fries"

Combine milk, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a small/med bowl and whisk

Prepare a baking sheet (or 2) with foil and Pam (or any other oil to avoid the fries sticking)
Toss the sweet potatoes in the milk mixture and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet

Bake for 40 minutes turning every 10-15 minutes
Sprinkle a little extra salt and pepper to taste and serve (super yummy with ranch dressing) 

Gooey Mac & Cheese
This is, of course, a favorite for my boys and I must say I love it too! It's super gooey and you could probably add a little more milk to make it creamier and I don't add salt or anything when I make it but usually a little on my plate when I serve it, the kids don't know the difference if it's salty or not and I enjoy a pinch of salt!

1 box of noodles (shell, elbow... whatever) cooked according to directions and drain
20 slices of velveta cheese
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
2 tblsp butter
1/2 c. milk
2 cloves of garlic (minced or crushed)
and about 1- 2 tsp basil or about 8 fresh leaves chopped

Cook the noddles (this day was bow tie!)

mix milk, butter, garlic and basil on med/med-high

Stir in velvetta slices --- I usually stir in about ever 4 slices

Stir in parmesan cheese until the edge just starts to bubble and remove from heat
Stir in noodles until they are all covered in the gooey cheese and serve!

Spaghetti and Sausage Meatballs


  • 1 pkg mild italian sausage
  • 1/2 onion - diced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) - diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chili's
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste with garlic
  • 1tsp basil
  • 1tsp oregano
  • 1 tblsp sugar

  • Directions

  1. roll sausage into balls and brown in a large pot
  2. add onions, peppers, and garlic and saute for 2 minutes
  3. add tomatoes, sauce, paste, basil and oregano and stir
  4. simmer on med-high heat for about 5-10 minutes
  5. add sugar, stir and cover
  6. reduce heat to low and simmer 30 up to 3 hours
  7. the longer you simmer the more the flavors come out
  8. uncover about 5 minutes before serving to let it thicken
  9. delicious over any noodles - we prefer penne or spirals

Make sure you check out this recipe on allrecipes.com and rate it!

Spaghetti Soup

Left over spaghetti sauce and a couple cups of water and some chopped carrots. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add left over noodles and simmer up to 10 more minutes. Top with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese.