Crab Dip

This a very easy crab dip with only four ingredients. Also perfect for holiday gatherings.

Crab Dip

8 oz. cream cheese
1 bottle cocktail sauce
1 can crab meat
green onion tops for garnish

Spread cream cheese on bottom of dish/platter
pour cocktail sauce on top of cream cheese
place crab meat on cocktail sauce. Garnish with creen onion tops
Refrigerate until ready to serve

Dried Beef Dip

Dried Beef Dip

8 oz cream Cheese
3 Green Onions
2.5 oz. Dried Beef
1 Tbsp Worchester Sauce

Soften cream cheese. Chop green onion and dried beef in small pieces. Mix cream cheese, green onion, dried beef, and worchester sauce and form into a ball. Roll in nuts, dried beef pieces or place in dish. Serve with crackers or celery pieces.

Christmas Eve

Okay so today is Christmas Eve. Many traditions abound, but there is one that follows me through the last five years. I will have to make my famous cinnamon rolls. (Check out a previous post for the recipe) There is also another tradition that abounds and that is making endless appetizers for our feast on Christmas Eve. This year I am making 6 or 7 different appetizers for a unforgettable buffet. Dishes such as crab rangoons, little smokies, taco dip, crab dip, barbecue ribs, red dip (a dish my mother makes) recipes will be posted today with pictures. Please be patient. That is my Christmas Eve menu and now off to get busy!


Creamy Greek Pasta Salad

I was looking for a way to use up greek olives this summer and I found this wonderful recipe to try!!! I think it would be a great unexpected addition to your holiday buffet.

1 lb dry rotini pasta
1 small cucumber (peeled, seeded and chopped)
1 tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped (or use 5-6 green onion, chopped)
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olive
1 cups cubed feta cheese (you will need more for the dressing)
salt (to taste)
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

1 fresh garlic clove (or use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano (or use 2 teaspoons Greek seasoning in place of oregano and basil)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup mayonnaise (more if needed mixed in the salad at the end)
Cool the pasta in boiling water until al dente; drain then rinse well under cold water.
Place the pasta in a large bowl.
Add in cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, olives and cubed feta cheese; toss to combine.
For the dressing; Mince Garlic Clove.
Add in all the remaining ingredients mix until well blended then add in the mayonnaise and mix until combined.
Pour over the salad ingredients in the bowl; toss to combine (if you prefer a creamier salad then add in more mayonnaise to taste).
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.


Frugal Gift Ideas

Looking for some frugal gift Ideas? Why not make up some cookies or caramel corn and package up in a pretty container and give to neighbors and teachers? Here is my recipe for caramel corn

Caramel Corn

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups unpopped popcorn
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1.In a 4 quart saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of the oil , and heat over high heat. When oil is hot, add 1/2 cup of popping corn. Keep pan moving constantly. When corn stops popping, remove from heat. Place popped corn in oven to keep warm. Repeat until all corn has been popped.
2.Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
3.Boil sugar, butter, syrup, and salt for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add baking soda. Stir well.
4.Pour over popped corn. Spread onto cookie sheets and place in oven for 1 hour. Stir every 15 min. Remove from oven and let cool, breaking apart the popcorn as it cools. Store in air tight containers.


Wild Rice Soup

This soup is wonderful!!! I received it from my mother who grew up in Wisconsin. It really warms a body up and it is a great way to use up leftovers.

Wild Rice Soup

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 medium carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups chicken broth

1 12 oz. can fat-free evaporated milk

1 cup cooked wild rice

1 cup chopped cooked chicken

1/2 of an 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), cubed

1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms and carrot. Cook and stir over medium heat till carrot is tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add broth all at once. Cook and stir till bubbly.

2. Stir in evaporated milk, wild rice, chicken and cream cheese; cook and stir over medium-low heat till cheese is melted.

Makes 4 servings

Christmas Baking

I start my christmas baking earlier and earlier each year. I am starting today with my cookies. I make a wide array of cookies each year and take them to various gatherings throughout the season. Recipes will follow later....


Tonight I'm making Northwoods Wild Rice Soup. So yummy! I will post thr recipe later today.


Caramel Apple Bread

Here is a wonderful recipe I make time and time again. I needed to use up some apples I had.

25-30 caramels
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter softened
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp all spice
3 peeled apples cored and chopped

preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 large loaf pans; set aside. unwrap the caramels and using scissors cut each into eight pieces. (I used the caramel pieces found in the baking aisle.) Set aside.

Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. In another bowl, stir together the remaining flour, cinnamon, and allspice. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and blend well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the apples and caramel pieces. Divide evenly between the prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 1 hour and 10-20 mins or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack and then remove from pans.


Tender Pork Loin

All the leftovers are eaten and busy after school season is upon us, so I figured that I would dust off the old crockpot and find me a new recipe.

Tender Pork Loin
1 pork loin
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage
1 1/2 tsp marjoram

place pork in a slow cooker, rub with minced garlic and sprinkle with rosemary sage and marjoram. Add me abour 1/4 cup water to bottom of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hrs.

I will also bake 4 apples up to eat as a side dish for this meal, along with a side salad.


Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Toss

I received this recipe from the group Budgethomemaking on yahoo. It was sent in by a member sometime last summer. I was working on cleaning out my pantry and had these items available. I also substituted fresh tomatoes chopped for the grape tomatoes. The result was very delicious.

Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Toss

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
8 oz. pasta
2 pints grape tomatoes
3 cloves garlic minced
4 oz. mozarella cheese
splash of balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried parsley
3 tsp dried basil

place chicken, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder in a bag and put in refrigerator for at least 4 hrs.

slice grape tomatoes in half and put in bowl with olive oil, garlic, parsley, basil, and vinegar. Put in refrigerator for at least 4 hrs.

Boil Pasta in salted water. While boiling pasta grill chicken for 10 mins. on each side or until no longer pink in the middle. Slice chicken into thin slices. When pasta is al-dente, drain and toss with tomato mixture. Add the mozarella. Put in bowls and top with slices of chicken. Serve with crusty Italian bread.

Serves 4
(although in my house we had enough left over to have for dinner the next night also!)


Just a few thoughts

I have rounded out the state fair competition with 2 blue ribbon's, 1 red, and 2 white ribbons. Not bad considering I only put 5 pies into competition and all 5 recieved ribbons.

I was looking at all my saved recipes and contemplating my next move on the food scene. I have vowed to try all the recipes I have saved over the last few years. It is a sort of cleaning out all the files. I will post each recipe as I try them with reviews. Most of these posts will be dinner meals. There are a few dessert and pie recipes mixed in. A lot of the recipes will be crock pot related.

I decided that I would try all these recipes instead of buying any new cook books. This being a frugal tip and I am always trying to save some money. I will start this later today with my meal that I will cook this evening. Chicken Caprese pasta. I will be using up my bounty of tomatoes with this meal. Recipe to follow.


Menu Plan Monday

Here is the first in hopefully many posts for the menu plan. Hopefully this will help many become successful at planning a menu. It is a frugal way to stay on a budget. I found out that menu planning has become an essential way to live for my life. I started menu planning about a year ago when my eldest child started school. I was not going to be a mom who had drive through meals every night. I vowed that we would have home cooked meals as best as we could while having dance classes after school many nights a week. We are a typical busy family and while I am not perfect, menu planning has allowed me some flexibility in the realm of "what am I going to make tonight?"

Monday Blt-Grilled Zucchini (Meet the teacher night at school)
Tuesday Spaghetti salad and garlic bread
Wednesday Leftovers (First day of school)
Thursday Grilled Pork tenderloin and potato salad
Friday Manwiches and french fries and fresh corn
Saturday Leftovers (Unless I get creative)
Sunday Roast chicken and various garden veggies


Perfect no fail Pie Crust

Crust Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups pastry flour
8 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 ½ -3 ½ tbsp. ice water
1 ½ tsp cider vinegar
Crust preparation:
All ingredients need to be cold. Place flour, salt, baking powder in food processor. Pulse 6 times. Place butter in to flour mixture and pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add water and vinegar until mixture just comes together. Take out of food processor bowl and place on plastic wrap and form into a disc. Chill for at least 30 mins. Roll out crust and place in 9 inch pie plate.

Fair Week

OK so this is it. What I wait all year for. This is the week of the Iowa State Fair. The fair boasts the largest food department and contests in the nation. I love this time of year so much that I take two weeks off of my "real job" to partake in the fun of cooking nonstop for two weeks. Mind you this is in the heat of August. Not to mention the last two weeks were unseasonably cool for this time of year and now it is hot!

Today, I was making cinnamon rolls to try something a little different than I have in the past. This recipe uses vanilla ice cream in the caramel topping. No, not a pie, but every bit as good.

Ice Cream Rolls

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 egg
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons instant powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened (for spreading)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

Place water, egg, bread flour, white sugar, powdered milk, salt, 5 tablespoons butter and yeast in bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select DOUGH setting, and turn machine on.
Meanwhile; in a small saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and ice cream; bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour caramel into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
When machine has finished cycling remove dough from pan and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat dough into a rectangle. Spread with softened butter and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Crumble 1/2 cup brown sugar over the top. Roll up, and seal edge. Cut into 12 rolls, and place in prepared pan of caramel. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.


Almost Fair Time

Getting ready for the fair...I have been practicing many different recipes...This is my favorite so far.

French Silk Pie

1 pound Belgium Chocolate (dark, semi-sweet)
4 eggs
1 pound 7 ounces sweet butter (softened)
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup toasted pecans (chopped)
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 baked graham cracker crust (recipe follows)

Melt the chocolate with cream slowly in a double boiler. Meanwhile, whip the butter and sugar together in a mixer (DO NOT OVER WHIP) till just incorporated. Add eggs, whip again till just incorporated. Add chocolate mixture after chocolate is melted and still warm, stir by hand until smooth and the butter is completely melted. Then add vanilla and pecans, stir to incorporate and pour into a 10" springform pan lined with a graham cracker crust. Chill at least 6 hours or over night. Remove at least 2 hours before serving and serve at room temperature. This pie may be made 4 -5 days ahead but should be kept refrigerated.

Graham Cracker Crust
Makes one 10" crust

2-3 cups crushed graham crackers
4-6 ounces melted butter

Mix crumbs and butter together, press into a 10" springform pan and bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


Happy Fourth Of July To ALL!!!

Here is a great Cherry Pie Recipe I have...What is better on the Fourth than a Cherry Pie...

Cherry Almond Pie

2 cans (14 ounces each) pitted tart cherries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
Pastry for double-crust pie ((9 inches)
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
Additional sugar
Drain cherries, reserving 1 cup juice. Set cherries aside. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually stir in reserved cherry juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter, extracts and food coloring if desired. Fold in cherries. Cool slightly.
Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust; trim pastry even with edge. Pour filling into crust. Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust. Trim, seal and flute edges. Brush lattice top with egg yolk. Sprinkle with additional sugar.
Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on wire rack. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Hope everyone's Holiday is safe...Let's bake some pies


Fresh Strawberry Pie

Gotta love strawberry season. It is in full swing in my area. I had to make this wonderful pie last night to use up the last of my strawberries.


1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
1 quart fresh strawberries
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Arrange half of strawberries in baked pastry shell. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell. Chill for several hours before serving. In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.


Spring Time

Well I decided to go and raid the Rhubarb patch and make a wonderful pie. I love this time of year. Sweet, but slightly tart rhubarb paired with nutmeg in the best pie of the season. I am grateful to live in a place where I can plant and grow wonderful produce.


8 inch baked pie shell

1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon


3 c. rhubarb, cut 1/2 inch
2/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. water


3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
6 tbsp. sugar

Stir together sugar and cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in small saucepan. Stir in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Beat egg yolks slightly and stir a small amount of hot milk mixture into yolks, then stir that mixture back into pan. Cook and stir until custard is thickened and smooth. Cover custard to keep warm. Toss rhubarb with sugar in small pan. Add water and cook over very low heat just until rhubarb is tender-crisp - don't let it get soft. Cover sauce.
For Meringue: Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Drain rhubarb sauce and fold into custard. Turn warm custard into baked pie shell. Heap meringue onto filling; spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven 10 minutes or until a delicate brown. Cool away from draft. If not served immediately, store pie in refrigerator.


Spring Has Finally Sprung

I want to let everyone know that Spring has finally sprung in my corner of the world. I want to let everyone know to check out Deal Seeking Mom and Kingdom First mom. For great frugal ideas. They are wonderful bloggers to learn some great money saving advice from.

The next recipe featured will be....

Chocolate Pie

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Crumb Crust

1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon dark rum
Chocolate curls

PreparationFor Filling:
Whisk first 4 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Whisk in egg yolks to form thick paste. Gradually whisk in milk, then cream. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in rum and vanilla. Cool 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Transfer filling to frozen crust. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

For Topping:
Beat first 3 ingredients in large bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe rosettes around edge of pie. Garnish with chocolate curls. (Can be made 4 hours ahead; chill.)

This is not a frugal pie, but with it just being easter some of us may have leftover cream and such.


Happy Easter To ALL!!!

In the spirit of Easter, here is a pie festive for the occasion


1 1/4 c. crushed round buttery crackers
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. milk
1 pkg. instant sm. vanilla pudding
1 (4 1/2 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 c. melted butter
2 tbsp. sugar
1 c. or more of halved strawberries
1 1/2 c. cold milk

Roll out crumbs, mix with melted butter. Bake in 8 x 8 cake pan at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Beat cream cheese with 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Spread over crumbs, spread strawberries over cream cheese layer. Beat pudding and 1 1/2 cups milk until well blended, fold in 1 cup Cool Whip. Spoon over strawberries. Chill 2 hours. Can garnish with Cool Whip and/or a strawberry. Can be doubled for 9 x 13 pan.



Hey all...Welcome to my wonderful new blog. This will cover all things that are baked. Specifically, pies. I love to bake pies. I started this love about five years ago. I was looking for a new hobby to share with my friends at work. This has evolved in a love affair with pies. I also am always looking for frugal recipes. This is the great part about pies, you can make a pie out of anything. I will share with you each week a new recipe. A favorite lately at our house has been chicken pot pie. Here is the recipe:

Chicken Pot Pie

1 9 inch pie crust
2 cups cooked chicken
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place onion and celery in a pan and cook until soft. When soft, sprinkle on the flour. Cook for 1 minute to get the raw flour taste out. pour in chicken broth. cook until thick and bubbly. Then place in mixed vegetables and cook till bubbly. place in deep dish pie pan. roll out pie crust and place over top of the pot pie. flute edges and bake for 25-30 mins. until brown.