Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yummy Mummy Dogs

Yummy note: There is finally a cool chill in the air, and a crisp in our step, so that must mean one thing, fall has arrived. I enjoy the fall tremendously, not as much the Halloween ghoulish ways, but just the beauty of this time of year and the harvest of so many wonderful things. My daughter, Alicia, is the same way, she really doesn't get a huge kick out of Halloween, as she still gets pretty scared by it all, but these yummy mummy dogs sure are a treat for her! It doesn't matter what time of year it is, these are still a staple for our meal plan rotation. This is such a great recipe for kids to help out on and get their hands into the kitchen with. With just a bit of prep time and about 15 minutes of baking time, you can have a quick on the go meal in no time that the kids of all ages seem to enjoy.  

1 8 oz can of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or crescent sheets
1 package of hot dogs (8 or 10 hot dogs)
*optional add-in - sliced cheese (see original recipe)
mustard and ketchup for dipping/decorating

Unwrap and roll out the crescent dough on a cutting board. Cut crescent dough in strips, will need anywhere from 10 thick strips, to 40 thin strips, depending on how thick or how you wrap up your mummy strips. Wrap the dough strips around your hot dogs creating your mummy bandages. Place on a lined cookie sheet or a lightly sprayed pan to avoid sticking. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 13-17 minutes, or until your mummies turn a golden brown. Use ketchup and mustard to decorate your yummy mummy dogs and enjoy!

"ooo, it's hot.. but I want to eat it right away!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Damn Good Sandwiches

Yummy note: Honestly, I was cleaning out a box the other day and came across this... I don't think I've ever made them, not really sure why, as I can't tell you how many times I've "heard" about them... So this recipe has a story behind it. I got this recipe card several years ago. 

Actually, to be exact, about 9 years ago, this time of year. Since we are celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary today, this post is fitting. At my bridal shower, everyone had to bring one of their favorite recipes along to donate to my recipe box. This recipe came from my husband, Drew's side of the family. His mom's mom, Alice, used to say the only time she swore was when she made these sandwiches. Haha, hence the name that has always stayed with them, "Damn good sandwiches."

Damn Good Sandwiches

1 lb hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup green peppers
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Brown meat.

Add vegetables and cook until tender.

Add the rest and mix well. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Thanks for the memories,
Grandma Alice. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spaghetti Fritata

Yummy note:  So the secret recipe fairies sent me a new challenge this month, that was to cook something meatless! Our family loves meat, so this was a tricky one! My secret blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club was Kristi from Veggie Converter. What a great site to get ideas for vegetarian or vegan meals! Her site is chalked full of recipes, as Kristi has a New Year's Resolution of cooking meatless every day for an entire year. Woah! What an inspiration to keep up with such a daunting task, but it looks like she has been going strong, so way to keep up the great work, Kristi. Also, she has a great little link here with vegan options if you need a little help. So after narrowing it down to about four dishes... the chili, the zucchini fritters, or the breakfast cups,  I opted for the spaghetti frittata! I made just a few minor changes, and ended up with a delicious crunchy, flavorful, spaghetti frittata. I added some sun-dried tomatoes into the mix, and tossed in some leftover cooked spinach I had, and wow, it made a hearty dish satisfying for all. And what a great recipe! What I loved about this recipe is that it was easy, fast, and great for leftovers! You can easily throw this together in minutes if you have some spaghetti and spinach already in your refrigerator. So why don't you take the challenge and make something vegetarian or vegan today!

Spaghetti Frittata 
Adapted recipe from Veggie Converter

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup cooked spinach, chopped
2 cups cooked spaghetti noodles (about 1/4-1/2 lb of dry spaghetti noodles)
1/4 cup mozzarella/parmesan cheese mixture
1 large egg, beaten (may need an additional egg if mixture seems too dry)
handful or so of french fried onions
1 tsp dried parsley
couple tablespoons olive oil for frying
salt and pepper or additional Italian seasonings to taste

Prepare your noodles, if you are making them right away, sure they are rinsed and drained. In a large bowl, toss together spaghetti, sun-dried tomatoes, about half of your cheese, parsley, and spinach. Next stir in beaten egg and coat ingredients until thoroughly incorporated. At this point, you may want to add in an additional egg, if you think your pasta is not coated well. If all depends on your preference. Next, coat an oven-safe pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil and and toss in noodle mixture. Slightly pat down and spread it out in your pan and begin to fry over medium heat.

Continue frying in fry pan, until the bottom begins to crisp up, probably about 5-7 minutes.

Next top with remaining cheese mixture and a handful of french fried onions. Place your oven-safe fry pan into the broiler and watch the magic happen. :)  The top begins to brown up nicely and the fried onions get crispy. This takes just a few minutes, maybe 5 minutes top to finish. Be careful not to burn your fried onions, so keep a close watch on it. Cut into pieces and enjoy.

For more information or to participate in the Secret Recipe Club, please visit our group's website at

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Toad in a Hole

Yummy note: Growing up I would often make these "toad in a holes" - these little egg-toasted-cheese like sandwiches for a quick meal or snack even. It was typically something that we always had the ingredients on hand to use. I mean what can be more of a basic kitchen staple- you have your bread, butter, and eggs. (The cheese is an optional add on.) So what is this "toad in a hole" you ask? It's the delicious buttery cross between my ultimate comfort food of a grilled cheese mixed with breakfast twist. This meal even got the "it's yummy" dance by my picky little 5 year old! Wohoo! However, she proclaims to name it a "bear in the cave" since we used a teddy bear cookie cutter the one day. Bear, toad, frog, whatever you want to call it, it is old school comfort food, not to mention affordable. Plus you can eat it any time of the day! Just the other day, I happened to finally catch up on my dvr recorded episodes of the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond and saw she actually featured an "egg in a hole" too!! How cool is that, check out her version here for more inspiration to make your own...

Toad in a Hole

a couple tablespoons of butter
a piece of bread
an egg
a slice of cheese

Melt some butter in a non-stick pan over low heat. Then using a cookie cutter cut a shape from the center of the bread slice. Place bread in the pan and fry until lightly toasted. Add a bit more butter if you need, and flip bread over to do the other side. Next crack an egg into the hole in the bread. Either crack the yolk and mix egg a bit to make a scrambled egg inside the bread, or prepare egg as a sunny-side up (or over easy) egg. Either way, cook egg to your liking. While egg is cooking, add the inside bread piece in the pan and toast up as well; again you may need to add additional butter to the pan to finish frying. The bread should be nice and crunchy toasty when ready to eat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Last, lay a slice of cheese on the egg and top with the inside piece of bread and enjoy.

This post is shared with These Chicks CookedCast Party WednesdayWhat's on Your Plate?, and Let's Do Brunch.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Crinkly Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yummy note: The other day, I was in need of making a little thank you gift for my neighbor. My neighbor graciously watched my kids one morning in a short notice, as I had to go into the office and attend a training meeting for a new project am working on. Thankfully, she was available and the kids were behaved, which was an added bonus! So I wanted something that Alicia could help me bake for her, since she enjoys helping so much in the kitchen, and cookies came to mind. Plus, cookies are the perfect gift to easily hide in our neighbors mailbox for a fun surprise! It seemed to be great timing to try out this new chocolate chip cookie recipe I found for this and for this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge*. Honestly, I can't recall how I found my recipe but I've had it bookmarked for some time now. It was on this blog named Short Stop. Short Stop is authored by a lady named Sarah. Sarah seems to love this cookie recipe as I've seen it featured numerous times on her site, ranging from cookie bars, cookie cups, mini cookies,etc. and it kept tracing back to her one recipe--- Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies. So I had a feeling this was one awesome cookie recipe, and boy, was she right! It turned out great, we got gorgeous cookies. The cookies had just enough golden hard crinkles on the outside, while it was still a tad chewy and firm  enough inside to hold up those cookie cracks without it falling apart. yum, yum, yum. I really do love those pillow-like cookies with crinkles in them.      

Photobucket*The Crazy Cooking Challenge? What is it you ask? Another hostess blogger, Tina from Mom's Crazy Cooking, came up with this thing called the Crazy Cooking Challenge! Tina hosts fun blogging parties to showcase one specific kind of recipe each month, and this time is chocolate chip cookies! Check out all the others as well below. 

Crinkly Chocolate Chip Cookies
Original recipe found here.

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6-12 ounces chocolate chips (depends on how chocolaty chip you'd like it to be, we used about a whole bag)

Cream butter, shortening, and the two sugars together. Add in eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Gradually add in the flour a cup or so at a time. Then add in the baking soda and salt with the last cup of flour and stir well. Finish it by adding in the chocolate chips. Roll into balls (or use an ice cream scooper) and place on cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes or so depending on the size. Remove from oven when cookie begins to get slightly golden brown on the edges. 

Special thank you cookie gift baggie ready for delivery!
Yummy note: We enjoyed these cookies so much, another batch was made to tuck away into the freezer to bake some more at a later time when we wanted to enjoy warm cookies without a big fuss!