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Friday, February 19, 2016

Lentil Sloppy Joes

If you are looking for a meatless version of sloppy joes, boy do I have one for you!  This recipe uses lentils as the base and it will make you wonder why you ever thought you needed ground beef for sloppy joes.  Seriously.  Just try it.


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic paste
1 c. green lentils
2 c. water
1 1/4 c. crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. ketchup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground dry mustard
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt & pepper


In a large pot or dutch oven, heat on medium-high heat.
Add onions, garlic, and saute for a minute or two.
Add lentils and cook another minute or two.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add water and bring to a simmer.
Cover and cook 10-15 minutes, or until lentils are getting tender.
Add crushed tomatoes, ketchup, and remaining ingredients.
Stir and taste, adding more seasonings, if needed.
Simmer, stirring often, another 10-15 minutes, or until lentils are cooked through and sauce is thickened.
(Be sure not to cook too long, they will get mushy.)
Serve on your favorite hamburger buns.

Use your discretion on the cayenne pepper.  This is how Tony and I make ours, but if you want to turn up the spice level (or tone it down), adjust accordingly. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Quick Sub Sandwich Buns

When I came on to post today, I found this gem in my drafts.  I thought I posted it last summer, but apparently, I never got around to it.  Since we are in the middle of winter, maybe a glimpse of the greenery in the background will get your spirits up!  The world will be green again soon! ;)


1 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and oil.
Mix well then let rest 10 minutes.  (Mixture should get foamy/bubbly.)
Stir in half of the flour, then add the salt.
Stir in remaining flour until soft dough forms.
Knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
Turn over in a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise 30-40 minutes.
Shape into desired size rolls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Let rise at least 15 minutes.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until buns are golden brown.
(Baking time will vary depending on the size of the buns you are making.)

{These buns reminded me a little of the Jimmy John's sub buns.  They are soft, yet dense, in the center with a chewy (but not crispy) crust.}

Monday, February 8, 2016

Banana Muffins

Hello Everyone! Who all loves banana bread? Well, if you do, you will love this recipe. Instead of banana bread, we are going to make banana muffins! We made them mini bite size, but you can do what you like. 


3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp.baking soda
1 tsp. salt
6 large ripe bananas (mashed)
1 1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c. butter (melted)

Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt: set aside. 

2. In a different bowl, mix together bananas, sugar, egg, and butter in a large bowl.

3. Combine the flour mixture with the liquid mixture.

4. Bake large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes.
Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy your freshly baked muffins!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Baked Chex Mix

I have mentioned before that I work in a nursing home. I absolutely love it! One of the best things about my job is being able to visit with the residents and hear the tales of their greatest memories and how things were different "back in the day." I was visiting with one particular man a couple years ago.  I don't remember exactly what it was that we were chatting about, but he began to tell me about "goop" and how he just loved the stuff. When I told him that I had never heard of goop, he proceeded to give me the run-down on how to make it (complete with hand motions).

"You mix all your favorite cereals... Chex, Cheerios, whatever you want! You could even add some nuts or pretzels, too. Then melt some butter. LOTS of butter makes it taste better! {*a laugh and a wink*} Mix it all together and then bake it niiice and good. You can eat it right away or after it's cooled, but I'll tell ya, there won't be much leftover."

When I told him I wanted to try it for my brother's graduation party, he was more than happy to repeat the recipe to me again and assured me that if I had any problems, to just call him and he would help me sort it out. I just love residents like him!

 I told my Mom about the recipe and she thought it sounded great. My brothers made a wiffle ball field on my parents' property over the last few years (it keeps getting bigger & better with time).  We figured a lot of time would be spent on the field that day. (We were right.) It was perfect to have these "to go" snacks so the kids could just grab a cupful and go play ball!

I started googling and searching "goop" and sure enough, there are many different versions. We created our own and tried it out. It went over really well and we made it again for the snack table at my sister's wedding last year. :)

*Note: many of the recipes for "goop" were to bake it in the crock pot. We tried that, but it was soft and almost sticky. It was good, but not what we were hoping for.
We made more of the batches in the oven, and we thought it was way better. It was crunchy and flavorful.
You can certainly make it either way, just depends on what you want for the outcome. :)


1 box rice Chex cereal
1 box corn Chex cereal
2 bags Bugles, original flavor
1 box Cheez-its
1 bag mini pretzel twists

1 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. seasoned salt
sugar, to taste (optional)


Mix the first 5 ingredients in a very large bowl. Set aside.
In a medium glass bowl, melt the butter then stir in remaining ingredients.
Pour evenly over cereal mixture.
Gently stir until "sauce" is evenly distributed.
Spread onto a large baking sheet.
Bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden and crisp, stirring occasionally.
Serve warm or cooled.
(Be sure to let it cool completely before storing in airtight containers.)


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Chocolate Ritz Cookies

This is a family recipe from our Aunt Cindy. It is a fun group recipe.
We hope you enjoy this!!! :)

Ritz Crackers
Peanut Butter (Creamy)
Almond Bark (Chocolate)
(Sprinkles, optional for Holidays)

You need:
Double boiler
Wax paper
Spatula (Fork or Spoon
is optional) 
Butter Knife

1. Spread the peanut butter on one cracker, then place another cracker on top, making a sandwich.

2. Melt the almond bark in a double boiler, then dip the sandwiches in.

3. Using a fork, lift them out and tap them gently to remove the excess chocolate.

4. Place them on wax paper. Let harden and then serve.

Enjoy!!! :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has begun. I know many have already pulled out their Christmas decorations. Trees are selected, ornaments are removed from their special packages, family recipes are located, wrapping paper selected.  I, along with everyone else, love Christmas, but....I also love Thanksgiving. Let's slow down a little bit and enjoy this great day before we rush to celebrate Christmas--although Jesus' birthday is worth celebrating!

In trying to slow it down, I decided to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I normally make my own pumpkin pie- homemade crust and all. This year, however, I decided to make the puree too. Below are the steps to make the main ingredient to that yummy pie. 

*Allow a good three hours. :) We're really slowing it down. 

1.  Grab small pie pumpkins.

2. Remove stems. Cut in half. This is where my husband really came in handy, or I am just very weak. ;)

3. Remove the guts. More than the picture. Scrape them clean. 

4. Line a pan with aluminum foil. Place a little vegetable oil on foil. Place pumpkin on the pan, cut side down. 

5. Rub lightly with oil and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until fork goes through easily. 

6. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Scoop out.

7. Puree it in a blender, food processor, hand mixer, depending on the consistency you like. I like my pumpkin smooth so I used the blender. 


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Microwave Caramel Corn

One night recently, my husband came home with a grocery bag full of junk food.  Cheddar popcorn, ice cream, candy, pizza, and of course...caramel corn!  We started talking about homemade caramel corn and I realized that this would be the perfect time of year to share a quick recipe for microwave caramel corn with you guys. A wonderful fall snack during a cozy movie date!


1/2 c. unpopped popcorn
3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. brown rice syrup
3/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda

Using an air popper, pop the corn. (It should make about 4 quarts of popped corn.)
Dump the popcorn into a large brown paper bag.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.
Add the brown sugar, brown rice syrup, and the salt.
Stir well.
Microwave the mixture on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds. It should just begin to boil.
Once it begins to boil, microwave an additional 2 minutes.
Using hot pads, carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the baking soda. 
Continue to stir the mixture until the baking soda dissolves and the mixture becomes foamy.
Drizzle the mixture over the popcorn.
Fold the bag closed and shake well to distribute the caramel mixture.
(*Bag gets HOT so use oven mitts! You don't want burned fingers.)
Microwave (bag & all) on high 1 1/2 minutes.
Shake well.
Microwave again for 1 1/2 minutes.
Pour caramel corn into a large bowl or onto a baking sheet to cool.
With a wooden spoon, stir occasionally to break into chunks. Once completely cool, store in large ziplic bag until devoured.

I adapted this recipe from Meaningful Mama and I think it's a keeper! It's a bit chewier than the caramel corn you bake in the oven, but it's still delicious.  Perfect if you want something quick and easy!

Make a bowl for your next movie night and enjoy. :)

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