Monday, November 12, 2018

Corn Dog Muffins (a re-post- popular recipe)

I have seen this recipe EVERYWHERE! I remember making a casserole similar to this when my sons were young, and they loved it. So I thought I'd give this version a try.

Guess what? It takes exactly like a corndog. Exactly. So if you (and especially your kids) like corndogs, these little muffins would make a great treat for lunch.

They also go well with chili too, as a side dish.

I guess, they could also be an appetizer.

The kids (of all ages) will love these. This would also be a good beginner recipe for kids to help make.
Corn Dog Muffins (24)

You will need:

* 2 (8.5 ounce) packages cornbread mix
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
* 9 hot dogs (*I cut mine in small rings)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease muffin tins.*I used cupcake liners instead.

2. Stir together the cornbread mix and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Fold the eggs and cheese into the dry mixture until moistened; then add the hotdogs. Spoon mixture into muffin tins until 2/3 full.

3. Bake in a preheated oven 14 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve with mustard and ketchup.

This made about 24 muffins. Sounds like a large amount, but they were gobbled up quickly. None were leftover!

NOTE: The average person will eat two of these. I, however, ate THREE, because I'm above average. 😊

Enjoy~ Everything in Moderation

A Turkey Two-fer (Two for one special)

Photo is from our classroom last year- our oven-roasted turkey, prepared by Mrs. Anita.

I love Thanksgiving turkey! I like it roasted, but I surprised myself when I prepared a turkey breast in the crockpot (for extra white meat for our large family) and it turned out so juicy and made the best gravy!

The crock pot version is  NOT pretty, so it is served sliced on a nice platter for best presentation.

I prepared them both using the same 2 special ingredients...BUTTER (never margarine) and a package of Good Season's Italian Seasoning Dressing Mix. It will not taste like "Italian turkey". Just trust me on this one.

Rub the butter on the skin of the turkey. Go ahead and put some pats under the skin, as well.  Next, rub with the dressing mix.

For the 3-4 lb. turkey breast in the crockpot:

 Place a stick of butter on bottom. Add 1/4 cup water, then the turkey. Cook on low about 3-4 hours for boneless, and 5-6 hours for a bone-in. (Meat thermometer should read 165 degrees internally when the meat is ready). If left in crockpot too long, it can fall apart when trying to serve, but the taste and juiciness is still wonderful. So check every hour if not ready at first temp. reading.

For the Oven-roasted version, (14-16 lb.)

 Be certain to thaw bird if frozen, according to package directions.  After properly preparing the bird, butter it all over and rub with dressing mix . Place in turkey bag and secure per bag directions. Cook about 3 1/2 hours in a pre-heated 325 degrees oven. Bake until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of chicken reads 170 degrees. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

With both styles of cooking, save juices to make the best gravy! For a good, basic gravy recipe, here's a link to follow from Betty Crocker.

You can do this!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Easy Italian Salad ( Popular recipe request)

I love salads. I do. I love healthy ones and also salads that have more fat and calories than a juicy cheeseburger. I don't judge them. I enjoy them.

I'll eat one as an appetizer before my meal.
I'll enjoy one as a side dish with my meal.
I'll devour one as the main entree when the mood strikes.

Salads are so versatile. They are also EASY to prepare--especially since you can purchase bags of pre-washed, ready-to-eat greens- even the organic varieties. I call it"lazy lettuce" since no washing, drying or chopping is necessary.

I also love the fact that you don't have to be very skilled in the kitchen to pull off a great salad recipe.
So, I want to give you a tip on a special salad I make that everyone always asks me for the recipe--and especially the dressing recipe. And it's a cheater version. Very simple. NOT from scratch, but who cares?

This salad can be served as a main entree for lunch (since it does have meat) or serve it as an appetizer or a side dish. Of course, it goes very well with any Italian main dish.

First, save yourself some time and purchase the bagged Italian blend. Then add your favorite vegetables. I won't pretend this salad is a healthy one, but you can omit the cheese and pepperoni and it would have less fat...but it won't taste as good. How you build your own salad is none of my business. No judgment here.

1 -2 bags Italian blend salad mix in a bag
1/2 can black olives, drained and sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup pepperoncini, drained and sliced
1 small pkg. pepperoni slices
1 red/green pepper, chopped
1-2 T. dried onion flakes (or use  rings of a sliced onion)
1-2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 tsp. of minced garlic in a jar)
chopped basil leaves or parsley--just a bit if dried (1 tsp.-1T.)
1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup or more-shredded Parmesan cheese
*Other veggies of your choice
Artichokes hearts would also be very good

Empty bag of lettuce blend into a large bowl. Add your favorite veggies. Toss. Cover with plastic wrap till ready to serve.


Prepare one pkg. of Good Season's Italian Dressing mix according to pkg. directions (which includes vinegar-I use apple cider vinegar- and oil -I use olive oil).

Add about 1 T. white sugar (or a little more) and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese. (This was a wonderful tip from my friend Gail who is a fabulous cook with all sorts of great ideas in the kitchen.) This tastes like a signature or House Salad at many fine dining restaurants. You can also add the sugar and Parmesan cheese to a bottle of prepared Italian dressing, like Wishbone.

Mix very well.

Right before serving, toss well with the salad. Sprinkle with more grated Parmesan on top. Serve with croutons or crusty bread.

You're welcome!

Enjoy! Everything in Moderation

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Sopranos Soup

I let my husband name this one because he went on and on about how good it was and he said no one would want to try something called, "Spinach Tortellini Soup". He said that name didn't do it justice.
He thought it needed a good Italian, The Sopranos.

The soup was very good and filling, but not in the "Uh-oh, I just clogged another artery" sort of way. :)

Serve it with a nice salad and some breadsticks for a satisfying meal.

If you want to give it a whirl,


1 box tri-color cheese tortellini (or frozen tortellini)
1 bag (9-10 oz.) pre-washed leaf spinach
4 cans chicken broth
2 bouillon cubes (or  2 tsp. chicken granules)
1-2 carrots (thin slices)
5 pinches Good Season's Italian Seasoning mix
*Boiled chicken pieces (optional)-I added chicken because my husband wouldn't consider it a main dish without meat in it. But it can stand on its own without meat.)

Parmesan cheese and/or shredded mozzarella for topping off each serving


 Heat broth and bouillon and add spinach, carrots, boiled chicken and seasonings and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add tortellini and boil for 7 minutes, Serve with sprinkled Parmesan cheese and /or mozzarella on top.