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Posts Tagged ‘Sundays’

Weekend update

DH was at a conference at church Friday night and nearly all day and evening on Saturday, so I puttered around the house. Here are a few things I worked on:

I made another batch of granola. This time I tried a tropical blend with chopped dried pineapple, coconut, banana chips, and chopped cashews. I didn't know if we would like this combination, but we've found it to be quite tasty.

picture of Tropical Granola

picture of Thomas Quilt

I worked on quilting another baby quilt. This one is made from a remnant of Thomas the train fabric and an old curtain from DS Mark's bedroom. I just need to add the borders and it will be finished. I adapted an idea from this book:

picture of Quilts for Baby

I had read about the book on a sewing blog and checked it out of the library. It was still in print and DH got it for me for Valentine's Day. All the quilts are simple without a lot of fussy piecing and are planned to go together quickly and easily.

I made a Ham Loaf for our Sunday dinner using some of the leftover Easter ham that I had ground up and frozen. My Aunt Nana used to make Ham Loaf and it had been years since I had eaten any. I made the loaf on Saturday and cooked it in the Crock Pot on Sunday.

picture of Raw Ham Loaf

DH got up at 5:30 AM to turn it on. 🙂 It was perfectly cooked by lunch time. I had read this tip about putting the strips of foil in the crock pot in one of those little Pillsbury cookbooklets.

picture of Foil Crockpot

This is all that was left when I remembered to take a picture!

picture of Cooked Ham Loaf

Here's the Ham Loaf recipe:

Ham Loaf

1 1/2 lbs. ground ham (about 3 cups) (I chopped it in the food processor)
1 lb. ground fresh pork
1 cup dry bread crumbs or cracker crumbs (can use graham cracker crumbs)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
dash pepper
1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion

Topping Sauce
1/4 cup catsup
2 Tbsps. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. dry mustard

Mix all ingredients well and form into a loaf. Top with some of the sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours or in crock pot for about 7 hours on low. (I added another portion of the sauce about 1/2 hour before the cooking time was up.)

I served the Ham Loaf with these green beans, which are also very tasty:
(note, I hadn't added the bacon in at this point.)

picture of Green Beans Tomatoes

Skillet Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Bacon

6 slices bacon
1 large onion, sliced or diced
1 bag frozen green beans or about 1 lb. fresh, cleaned and snipped
1/2 cup chicken broth
dash pepper
1 large tomato, chopped (in the winter I use about 3/4 cup drained, diced canned tomatoes)

Cook bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Set aside. Sauté onions until slightly browned. Add beans, broth, and pepper. Cook until beans are tender, about 10-15 mins. Add tomatoes and cook briefly. Add bacon and serve. These are very tasty and attractive.

I hope your weekend was equally full and blessed.


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Another Sunday dinner in the crockpot

We got married in the peak of crockpot popularity. In fact, we got two crockpots for wedding gifts. Neither of our mothers had one at the time so we gave one to each of them. I don't think my mom used hers much, but I do remember one time when we were visiting Rob's mom's house she cooked hot dogs in her crockpot and toward the end of the cooking time she put the buns in the pot to steam them.

Before we were married Rob got a crockpot and it was the mainstay of his bachelor cooking. He had an arsenal of recipes and he would throw something in the crockpot each morning before heading off to school and his dinner would be ready when he returned home in the late afternoon. That original red/orange crockpot made by Rival came with a small cookbook that contained a number of really good recipes. If you ever run across one at a yard sale or thrift store try to snatch it up.

picture of Rivalbook

During that same era I purchased the 1973 edition of Crockery Cookery by Mabel Hoffman. You can tell it is rather dated by the price on the cover--$1.95!

picture of Mabelbook

This book too has a number of good recipes. I looked on Amazon and she has published several later editions which I am not familiar with.

The recipe I made for lunch on Sunday was from Mabel's book. It is quite tasty and is one that works well even in a non-programmable slow cooker. My theory is that the older crockpots didn't cook as hot as the ones we can purchase today. This probably has to do with an increased emphasis on food safety. Many of the older slow cooker recipes that I made when we were first married become overcooked in my newer non-programmable crockpot. That's one reason I have been thrilled with the new programmable model that I can set to cook for X number of hours and then it will switch to warm. No more burnt offerings from the crockpot!

Anyway, after that diatribe here is a good recipe for in your crockpot:

Budget Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 -2 lbs. round steak
dash pepper
1/2 onion, finely chopped
generous sprinkling of garlic powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp. beef soup base or granular beef bouillon powder
1 Tbsp. catsup
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup sour cream

Cut steak into 1/4 inch strips. Place in slow cooker. Sprinkle in pepper and garlic powder. Add Worcestershire sauce, catsup, water, and soup base. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. If you have been cooking on low turn the control up to high and add the mushrooms. Dissolve the flour in a small amount of water and stir into the meat mixture. Cook on high for 15 mins. or until slightly thickened. Stir in sour cream and then turn off the heat. Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice.
Makes 5-6 servings.

picture of Beefstroganoff


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Sunday dinner in the crockpot

I wanted something different for dinner today and I remembered this recipe for Crockpot Lasagna:

Crockpot Lasagna from Taste of Home magazine

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4-5 cups spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup water
7-8 no cook lasagna noodles (oven ready)
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic. Drain off any accumulated grease. Combine with spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning, and water. In a greased crockpot (mine is 5 quart size) spoon 1/4 of sauce. Layer in 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the cheeses. (I used two whole noodles and half a noodle for each layer. I broke the half noodle in half again and put a piece on each end.) Repeat the layers ending with sauce and cheeses. You can assemble this ahead and refrigerate overnight. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. My family really liked this.

Sorry there are no pictures, but you probably know what lasagna looks like. By the time I thought about taking a picture we had eaten about half of it and it didn't look very photogenic, as you can imagine. It does make a pretty good casserole and it's nice because you can assemble it ahead of time.

I bought this crockpot about a year ago and I really have enjoyed it.

picture of Crockpot

You can program the time and after the cooking time it automatically switches to warm so your food does not get overdone. If you have an older crockpot without this feature I would highly recommend purchasing a new one. I still use my older one for soups, beans, etc., but this one works great on Sunday when I am often cooking meats or the occasional casserole.

I did try a new dessert from a recipe I found in the summer edition of Kraft Food and Family. It, too, was very tasty and is something that can be made ahead.
If you need a cool, refreshing dessert, keep this one in mind.

picture of Frozendessert

We have berries ripening in the backyard and we were discussing that this might be nice made with raspberry sherbet and fresh raspberries on top.


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Saint Patrick’s Day Recipes

Do you have any St. Patrick's Day traditions?

Our one tradition each year for St. Patrick's Day is to make St. Patrick's Day cupcakes using a recipe that I found a long time ago in a magazine. I often make the cupcakes for Valentine's day too by using vanilla pudding and decorating the tops of the cupcakes with pink or red colored sugar and M & M's.

picture of Stpatcupcakes

Each year around St. Patrick's Day you see corned beef on sale for a good price at many grocery stores.

picture of Rawcornedbeef

Last year I found a really good recipe for corned beef brisket that can be prepared in the crock pot. It works well for us as a Sunday meal. At first I was skeptical about the need to glaze it and put it under the broiler just before serving it, but it really does add a lot of flavor and eye appeal. So, if you try this recipe please go the extra mile and make the effort to add the glaze. Here are the recipes and pictures of the finished products:

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups flour
4 oz. package instant pistachio pudding mix
3/4 cup chocolate chips (minis are nice here)
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 cup butter frosting (recipe follows)
green colored sugar
green M & M's (minis are nice here too)

Line muffin tins with papers. (I like to use the white ones.) In a large bowl stir together the flour, pudding mix, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. In a small bowl stir together the eggs, milk, oil, and almond extract. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dry ingredients are moistened--you can do this by hand--no mixer needed. Fill the muffin papers 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 mins. Cool, then frost with the butter frosting, sprinkle with green sugar, and top with three green M & M's in a shamrock pattern. Makes 18 delicious cupcakes.

Butter Frosting
2 1/2 Tbsps. softened butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. almond extract
1-2 Tbsps. milk

Blend all ingredients together and use to frost cupcakes.

To save money on the M & M's buy a bag of red and green ones at Christmas time and squirrel them away. Then you will be prepared for both Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day!

Here are some pink ones I made for a friend's birthday in February. I did use a different icing recipe for these since I was trying to make them a little "fancier."

picture of Pinkcupcake

Orange Marmalade Corned Beef

1 piece corned beef brisket (I prefer the flat cut rather than the point cut)
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup orange marmalade
potatoes (I like to use red ones cut into pieces)
carrots (baby carrots work well or use regular ones peeled and cut up)

Rinse all the goo off the corned beef and place in the crock pot. Add the water, bay leaf, and cloves. You can cook this for 6-8 hours on low, or for Sunday dinner cook 2 hours on high, add potatoes and carrots and then cook for 4 more hours. Before serving remove the beef from the slow cooker and cut off the fat. Place the meat on a broiler pan. (To ease clean up place a small amount of water in the bottom section and then spray the top slotted part with pan spray.) Prepare a glaze from the brown sugar, mustard, and marmalade. Glaze the meat and then place under the broiler for 3-5 mins. Slice and serve with the remaining glaze.

Here's the finished product:

picture of Cookedcornedbeef


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Good chicken breasts

One of my readers wrote a while back and asked if I would do a post about some recipes that work well for Sunday dinner. This chicken recipe is one of our favorites.

Good Chicken Breasts
10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (for each piece of chicken you need a slice of ham and a slice of bacon)
10 slices deli ham
10 slices bacon (I use turkey bacon)
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
1/2 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of chicken soup

Trim chicken breast of any fat and skin. Cut in half if they are really large.

picture of Chickenprep

Wrap each piece with a slice of the ham and a slice of the bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Place in a large baking pan. This part of the recipe can be done on Saturday night.

picture of Chickenready

Mix together the sour cream, dried onion soup mix, and cream of chicken soup. Before baking top the chicken breasts with the mushrooms and then the soup mixture. Cover the pan with foil. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 1/2 hours. Before serving stir the sauce.

picture of Chickenbaked

This is good with mashed potatoes or noodles.

picture of Chickenserved

If you have any recipes that you have found that work well for Sunday dinner feel free to link or post them here - I'm always glad to have some new ideas.


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