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Yummy Baked Beans

This is an old family favorite. So good.

2 cans pork-n-beans
1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons mustard
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup onion, chopped
4-6 strips of bacon-diced (I like to cook my bacon a bit before I put it in with the beans, but it's not necessary)

Combine pork-n-beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and onion. Pour into greased baking dish Top with bacon. Bake 325 degrees for 2 hours.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Memorial Day Menu Ideas


Memorial Day is almost here, which means it's time to get out the grill and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Here are a few menu ideas to help you celebrate this coming weekend. 











Crunchy Broccoli Salad


Here's a yummy recipe to take to your next potluck dinner.

12 oz. broccoli coleslaw salad mix
1 carrot, peeled and grated
4 radishes, grated
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
6 oz. chicken flavored Ramen noodles, broken up
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar

In a large bowl, mix together broccoli coleslaw, carrots, radishes, raisins, sunflower seeds, and noodles (leaving 3 tablespoons for tossing at the last). In small bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, and vinegar. Pour over slaw mixture. Toss. May garnish with remaining noodles, if desired. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Easy Salisbury Meatballs

Here's a quick and easy recipe sure to delight your family.

Meatballs:
2 pounds ground hamburger
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 egg
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Sauce:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onions, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Shape into 2" balls. Place in a greased baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned.

In large skillet, heat olive oil saute mushrooms and onions until tender. Add salt, pepper, milk and half-and-half. In small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Add to sauce and stir until mixture thickens on medium heat. Stir in sour cream. Add meatballs. Simmer for 7-10 minutes. Ladle over egg noodles. Serves 6-8.

Wine Recommendation: Sterling Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Laurie Lucking's Banana-Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


An avid reader practically since birth, Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. When she gets a break from playing superheroes and driving windup cars, she writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of fairy tale romance. Her debut novel, Common, released in February from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, and her short story, “Threshold,” was published in a Fellowship of Fantasy anthology titled Mythical Doorways. Laurie is the Secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of Lands Uncharted, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. Find out more by visiting www.laurielucking.com.

Laura's Latest Book Release: Common

Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.
And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.
But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Rafe’s parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess, and she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. When she reports it without proof, her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.
Harbored by an unusual group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.
Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend? Buy the book HERE. 


Laurie's Banana-Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


The banana in these cookie bars adds a touch of flavor and makes them so moist! I get asked for this recipe all the time :) Plus, it’s perfect for anyone who can’t have eggs.

2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 banana, mashed
1 12-oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add banana and beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Chicken Marsala


Here's a new recipe I made when I had an opened bottle of Marsala wine. Enjoy!

1 cup Marsala wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 packet unflavored gelatin
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
seasoned salt and ground black pepper for dredging
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1/2 cup minced onion
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Parsley for garnish

In a large measuring cup, combine Marsala and chicken stock and sprinkle gelatin over the surface. Set aside. 

Mix together flour, seasoned salt and pepper on a large plate. Dredge chicken in the flour and tap off excess flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel to drain. May work in batches until all of the chicken has cooked. 

Add mushrooms to skillet, cooking in the remaining oil, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add more oil, as needed. Add onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook and stir until translucent, about 2 minutes. Pour Marsala mixture into pan, scraping out all of the gelatin. Bring to a boil, whisking up any browned bits from the pan, until liquids are reduced by about three-quarters. Add butter and soy sauce, whisking constantly until sauce has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Return chicken to pan and simmer until chicken has heated through. Garnish with parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes or cooked noodles. Serves 4. 
Wine Pairing - William Hill North Coast Chardonnay

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Spinach Quiche


This recipe is delicious to serve for a brunch or anytime you want something special.

1 pie pastry
4 strips bacon, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups eggs
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper, paprika

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry. Transfer to 9-in pie plate. Trim pastry and flute edges. Line pastry with double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes on lowest oven rack. Remove foil and cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 375 degrees.

In a medium skillet, cook bacon, onion and pepper until tender; drain. Stir in spinach. Spoon mixture into pastry. In small bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese and seasonings; pour over spinach mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes before cutting. May serve with sour cream. Serves 6-8. So good!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mother's Day Brunch Ideas

Here are a few ideas for a Mother's Day brunch.





Weekend Brunch Casserole (love this recipe)






Deep Dish Skillet Pizza Pie


Here's a new recipe we tried in our 12" Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. Delicious!

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups warm water
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
4 oz. Gouda cheese, grated
toppings of your choice: sausage, pepperoni, onions, peppers, black olives, etc.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Knead until it forms a nice ball, 3-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Allow to rise for 30-40 minutes until double. 

Meanwhile, prepare toppings and have everything at your fingertips to make your pizza. 

Place skillet on the stove over medium heat with a tablespoon olive oil. Rub garlic clove over bottom of the pan to flavor. Sprinkle cornmeal on counter or work space and form dough into a flattened circle, pressing dough into the cornmeal. Place in bottom of skillet, pressing dough against the sides of pan with a spoon or spatula. (Be careful not to burn your fingers, as the skillet will be hot.) Brush remaining olive oil over dough. Allow to cook until the dough begins to bubble. 


Cover bottom of dough with marina sauce, then layer with cheese, meats, and veggies of your choice. Place in preheated 425 degree convection oven and allow to bake 12-15 minutes until the edges are golden and cheese has melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 4.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Homemade Granola


This makes a delicious breakfast cereal served with milk, or use it to top your favorite yogurt with fruit.

6 cups oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dry milk
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries

In large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds, dry milk, and salt. In small bowl, combine honey, oil, and vanilla and mix. Pour over oat mixture. Mix well until thoroughly combined. Bake in 2 shallow greased pans at 300 degrees for 25-35 minutes, stirring twice. Mix in dried fruit. Store in covered container.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.