Sunday, December 18, 2016

Healthy Flaxseed Meal Pancakes

I've been making these for a while.  They are grain-free, have practically zero net carbs, contain good fiber and good omega-3's, and are pretty versatile!  I use them as breakfast pancakes and as wraps.

Flaxseed Meal Pancakes

  • 6 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 3/4 c. flaxseed meal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder

Mix wet ingredients first, then add dry ingredients and whisk.  The baking powder mixes in better if stirred together with flaxseed meal before adding.
Heat small skillet or pan (I use a 6 inch cast iron pan) with a bit of butter.  Add scant 1/4 c. of batter when hot and spread around to make a 5 - 6 inch pancake.  Flip when edges look dry -- work carefully to loosen the edges well before flipping.  Fry for another 30 - 45 seconds before removing to a plate.
Makes 6 to 8 pancakes.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Delicious Eggnog Cookies

We like to try a new recipe or two for Christmas cookies every year, and this is one that we decided to make this year.  What a hit!  These have good eggnog flavor and are easy to make despite the long list of ingredients.

Delicious Eggnog Cookies

  • 2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, unsalted preferred
  • 1/2 c. granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks (large eggs)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. rum flavoring/extract
  • 1/2 c. eggnog

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl; set aside.  Cream together butter and sugars in a mixing bowl.  Mix in egg yolks one at a time just until blended.  Add vanilla, rum flavoring, and eggnog and mix on low.  Add dry ingredients, a bit at a time, mixing on low after each addition.  Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased or parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 11 to 13 minutes.  Let cool for a minute before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.


  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 4 - 5 Tbsp. eggnog
  • 1/2 tsp. rum flavoring/extract
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • ground nutmeg

Whip butter until fluffy.  Add 4 Tbsp. eggnog and rum flavoring and mix.  Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and finally whip the frosting again until fluffy.  Add more eggnog as needed for spreading consistency.  Spread frosting on cooled cookies and sprinkle each with a pinch of nutmeg.  After the frosting dries, store in a sealed container.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cheesy Potatoes

I made this last night to use up leftover Velveeta, and before dinner was over the family was asking me to MAKE THESE AGAIN!!!!  I'm not a fan of Velveeta, but when the family digs into these like mine did then I'll consider using it once in a while.

Cheesy Potatoes

  • 6 to 8 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 quarts)
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into eighths
  • 8 to 12 oz. Velveeta (or store brand equivalent), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Cook potatoes and onion in water in a pan until potatoes are just fork-tender.

In another pan over medium low heat, melt and mix the rest of the ingredients.

Drain and pour cooked potatoes & onion into a baking dish and pour sauce over the potatoes.  Stir gently to mix.

Bake in 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown on top.

Makes 6 to 10 servings depending on size of appetites.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Festive Pear and Cranberry Tossed Salad

We enjoyed a new salad this week!  It was simple and delicious, and would greatly compliment roast pork or poultry.

Festive Pear and Cranberry Tossed Salad

  • 8 cups salad greens, torn into bite-sized pieces (a variety of red & green colors is pretty here!)
  • 2 large pears, cored and cut up - I used one each red and green D'Anjou pears
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecan chips (chopped pecans)
  • 6 to 8 oz. bacon, cut up and cooked
  • 4 oz. feta cheese crumbles
  • Poppy seed dressing of your choice, or try the homemade recipe below

Toss all but the dressing together.  Serve with dressing on the side.

Poppy Seed Dressing (from

  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds

Whisk first 3 ingredients together until smooth; add poppy seeds and mix well.  Serve.  Store in refrigerator.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Planning a Frugal Holiday Meal

I have been reading various internet articles about how to plan a frugal holiday meal and some of the tips offered are something I would not consider frugal or desirable.  So, I thought I'd share how I plan a frugal yet TASTY homestyle holiday FEAST, one that you can enjoy without having to starve yourself for weeks ahead just to be able to afford it.

A meal plan is VITAL for a holiday meal so that you know what you need to buy, you don't plan too many similar dishes, and you don't forget anything!   I try to utilize foods that are free to me (husband gets a turkey from his employer, we have canned or frozen garden produce, etc.), inexpensive (sales, made from ingredients I already have), and things that I can use in more than one holiday dish, ex. cranberries.  I cook from scratch, so the plan also helps me to plan my time wisely i.e. what can be made ahead.  I found this handy printable at along with even more handy tips!

I also plan the meal based on typical sale prices, portions, and KNOWN recipes.

  • MANY items go on sale for a few weeks before the holiday.  Watch for those sales!  Know what you will typically need and get those things when they are on sale.  A big tip:  some stores mark fresh turkeys down to extremely low prices right after Thanksgiving, so it's a good idea to grab one THEN and freeze it for Christmas dinner!  
  • Unless you want a lot of leftovers, you had better be aware of how many portions you'll need.  Don't buy a 20 lb. turkey to feed a family gathering of six people unless you plan for a lot of turkey leftover meals or plan to freeze the extra.  Do the same with side dishes and desserts.  Trust me, I'm well known for cooking way too much food!  Family WILL get tired of eating the same leftovers for days afterward!  A general rule of thumb is 1 lb. of turkey or ham per person if you want ZERO leftovers, 2 lb. if you plan on leftovers.  I found a chart on for other foods as well, although it looks to me to be one of those "zero leftovers" meals.   
  • Holidays are not a time to try to impress with a recipe you have never tried to make.  Do yourself a favor, save yourself a lot of frustration, and just don't.  
Now, if you are hosting plenty of extended family and know that the meal will be too much for you $$-wise and time-wise, don't hesitate to delegate!  Someone else can bring a veggie tray, or green bean casserole, dinner rolls, or a bottle or two of wine.  

Set your table the night before, unless you have little ones or pets that would get on the table.  Turn the dishes and glasses upside down to avoid getting dust in them; turn right side up before guests arrive.  It's also a good idea to get out all serving dishes and serving spoons/forks so that you're not scrambling to find them at the last minute.  If you will have kitchen help, you can even write down what food each dish will hold on a scrap of paper and put it right in the dish; this helps your helpers to know what will go where so that they can help dish up the food.

We will be taking part in a potluck Thanksgiving meal this year, but if we didn't my plan for the meal this year would have included:
veggie/pickle tray (using inexpensive veggies such as cucumbers, broccoli, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, homemade pickled beets, pickled cucumbers, pickled peppers, black olives.  Veggies can be prepped the day before where needed and quickly arranged the next morning)
turkey (free from husband's employer, cook in an oven bag to save time)
homemade cornbread & sausage stuffing (make cornbread from scratch, cut up veggies, brown the sausage all the day before)
mashed potatoes (crockpot recipe!  Prep potatoes the night before and store in fridge in water)
turkey gravy (easy enough to make while turkey is resting after roasting)
sweet potato casserole (another crockpot recipe, bake sweet potatoes the day before and mash.  $1.09 for 3 lb. sweet potatoes vs. $1.29 for 29 oz. can - Aldi prices)
traditional green bean casserole (not my favorite but some family members expect it, use green beans canned from the garden)
sauteed green beans w/bacon, mushrooms, and red onion (using frozen green beans and red onion from the garden, must be made shortly before the meal but doesn't take long)
potato rolls (make the day before, use bread machine to make the dough, ingredients all on hand)
broccoli cranberry salad (buying fresh broccoli, using part of the package of bacon from the previous sauteed green beans recipe, other things are typically on hand, prep the day before and put together the morning of the meal)
fluffy cranberry fruit salad (cranberries purchased on sale, everything else already on hand, make the salad except for whipped cream and nuts the day before) 
pumpkin pie, apple pie (all made from scratch, make the day before)
pumpkin cake roll (make the day before but don't put together with cream cheese filling until the morning of the meal)
orange cranberry cupcakes (bake and frost the day before, uses more of the seasonal cranberries that I buy on sale)

*The recipes for many of the above are in this blog*

Have a Happy Holiday Feast!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Broccoli and Cranberry Salad

This immediately became a favorite with my family!  I plan to serve it next week at our Thanksgiving meal.

Broccoli and Cranberry Salad

  • 6 cups broccoli flowerets (cut up broccoli heads)
  • 2 Tbsp. diced red onion
  • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 c. roasted sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 c. dried cranberries 


  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. sugar (may use less to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl.  Combine dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well.  Add to salad ingredients and stir gently.  Can be served immediately or refrigerate for later.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries

This is a great dish for fall and winter meals, and easy!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries

  • 6 c. cubed fresh sweet potatoes
  • 2 c. fresh cranberries
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • honey

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Drizzle olive oil on a baking pan.  Spread potatoes and cranberries in the pan and drizzle again lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.  Bake for 40 minutes or until fork is easily inserted into potatoes.  Remove from oven and drizzle with honey to taste.

You can also keep the cranberries out until halfway through the baking time.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

Ohhh, this is good!

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

  • 8 c. Granny Smith or other baking apples, cored and diced (peeling is optional)
  • 1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. melted butter

Mix apples with the next 5 ingredients and spread evenly in your crock pot.  Mix the rest of the ingredients and crumble over the apples.  Cover and cook on low 3 - 3 1/2 hours or 2 hours on high. Turn off and leave covered for at least another 30 minutes.  Serve warm or cold, with or without ice cream or whipped topping.

Note:  salted caramel flavored ice cream is FABULOUS on this!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Baked Chicken and Gravy

My apologies for not posting for so very long.  As happens to many, work consumed much of my time for the past year.  Unfortunately, this led to an injury this summer that forced me to re-evaluate my priorities.  It also necessitated the need for quick/easy/fairly healthy recipes that I could prepare while recovering.  Many of them are now additions to my collection.

I'm back!

This recipe came about as I needed to satisfy a craving for fried chicken, gravy, and mashed potatoes.  I was not able to stand at the stove and cook, so I found another alternative:

Baked Chicken and Gravy

  • 3 lb. chicken parts, or use all breasts if you prefer
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 c. water
  • 4 tsp. chicken bouillon granules or 4 bouillon cubes, crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix flour, salt, seasoned salt, and pepper.  Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture and brown in pan in melted butter or oil until browned on both sides (meat does not have to be cooked through.  Transfer to baking dish.

Make gravy by melting butter, then adding flour.  Add 4 c. water slowly, whisking constantly to remove lumps.  Bring to a boil (mixture should thicken slightly.)  Add chicken bouillon and salt.  Stir until mixed well.  Pour over chicken.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 1 1/2 hours until chicken juices run clear.