Sunday, March 24, 2013

7 Up Rolls / Biscuits

I will never go to the trouble of making homemade (from scratch) biscuits or rolls again.  These can serve as either, and only require 4 ingredients.

4 cups Bisquick
1 cup sour cream
1 cup 7 Up
1/2 cup butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, cut sour cream into Bisquick well.  Add 7 up and stir. 

Dump onto a floured surface, and kneed into flour a bit to make it easier to work with.  Roll dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Melt butter and pour into bottom of 13 x 9 glass baking dish.  Cut biscuits and place in baking dish touching each other. Bake at 425 until golden brown.

Great with soups, for slider sandwiches, or can use with breakfast.  They taste like a cross between biscuits and yeast rolls. Depending on what size cookie cutter you use, this recipe makes about 20 rolls. 

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

I was skeptical about this one, it just sounded too easy, but it is absolutely amazing!

1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen whole kernel corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 (4 oz) can hot green chiles
2 cups grated Fiesta blend cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 (16 oz) bag frozen tater tots
1 large jar of your favorite salsa

Preheat oven to 375.

Brown ground chuck, onion and garlic in skillet.  Drain any excess grease off and dispose of it.  Add meat mixture to large bowl, and combine with taco seasoning, corn, black beans, green chiles, 1 cup of the grated cheese and the tater tots.  Stir well.

Prepare a 9 X 13 baking dish, sprayed with olive or canola oil spray.  Coat bottom of baking dish with a thin layer of the salsa.  Add meat mixture and pour remaining salsa over top. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cup of grated cheese on top, return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes.

I served with shredded lettuce and a dollop of sour cream on top of each serving.  Will feed 6-8.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Delicious Asparagus with Cheese Sauce

1 1/2 lbs asparagus
3 cups of water
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan for topping

Place water in large skillet, bring to boil.  Cut ends from asparagus, and add ends to water.  Boil covered for 5 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove ends and throw away.  Add asparagus stalks to water, bring back to boil and cook 4 - 6 minutes, until asparagus is tender.  Remove asparagus from water and place on paper towels to absorb the water.

Pour up 1 cup of the asparagus water and set aside, you can dispose of the rest.

In same skillet, melt butter.  Add flour and whisk well.  Add one cup of asparagus water, and continue to whisk as it thickens.  Turn heat down to medium low, cover, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, place asparagus in baking dish or cookie sheet if you don't have a good baking dish for boiling(sprayed with cooking oil).

Preheat oven to broil, move rack up to center of oven.  Remove water, flour and butter from heat, and stir in cheeses.  Allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.  Pour over center of asparagus, sprinkle remaining parmesan on top, and salt and pepper to taste.  Place in oven for 4-8 minutes, just until cheese sauce starts to brown.

Amazing Sweet and Spicy Chicken/Bacon Recipe

This one can be done on the grill or in the oven.  I tried it in the oven, and think I would prefer it that way because of the juices produced - it doesn't dry out.

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 lb bacon
Chili powder
Garlic powder
salt and pepper
brown sugar

Cut each chicken breast into 3 strips.  Sprinkle generously with chili and garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.  Wrap a slice of bacon around each chicken strip, then roll completely in brown sugar.

Prepare a baking dish by coating with olive oil or cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place chicken/bacon strips in baking dish, not touching.  Put in oven and cook for 40 minutes.  When you remove from oven, remove chicken to serving dish to minimize grease.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


We already had a cat.  We didn't want another cat. The one we had possessed enough nasty attitude to make up for 30 cats.

I left work one day and went to pull out on a busy highway and saw this little girl - a tiny feral kitten then - on the median in the center of the highway in heavy traffic.  She was trying to dart across the road, cars were honking and stopping, while she kept returning to the median and hunkering down in the rain.

I jumped out of my car and ran out into the highway, stopping traffic, thinking I would take her to the local animal shelter, which I believed to be 'no kill'.  They asked me if I would like a call at the end of her 7 days before they euthanized her, as they were overrun by homeless cats.  So, back in the car with me she went, thinking I would just find her a good home. 

She settled right in, and started bossing my 3 indoor dogs around like no one had ever gotten away with.  My other cranky cat even tolerates her.  I continued trying to find a good home for her, but before I could, my little grandson met her, and they became the best of friends. He walks through the door looking for her.  As soon as he sees her he says "Hewwow, Wiwwow" and goes straight to her.

She is a nightmare except where he is concerned.  Her feral behavior totally shuts off when he walks through the door.  I keep trying to get my daughter to take her home so Cooper can play with her all of the time, but I don't think that is going to happen.  Mimi has another cat!


I never thought I would be a Chihuahua 'person'...But we got one as a rescue, and we fell in love with her.  We decided to breed her, but when we took her to the male, she said no...She said it in a way that almost left him blind.  I wanted so badly to raise a Chihuahua from a puppy, and this little guy was a 7 week old pup from Gracie's supposed mate.  He was so tiny that I couldn't leave without him - he and Cee Lo are our only 'non-rescues'.

He is 1 1/2 years old, and weighs less than 3 lbs.  He is the most loving little dog you will ever encounter, and he dearly loves his Gracie.  They are inseperable, and I truly believe they would die of a broken heart if anything ever happened to the other one.  Diesel has so much attitude for such a tiny dog!  We fostered a Great Pyrenees for a few months, and no fear Diesel tried to snap his nose off the whole time we had him.  All 3 lbs of him took on a 95 lb dog every chance he got.

Now, his target is Cee Lo, our 3 month old white lab pup.  Diesel really can't get his mouth around any part of the pup, so basically it is just comical.  But, if you want a tiny dog who really thinks he's a bear, I would highly suggest a Chihuahua.  They are very loyal and protective, very much lap dogs, and highly intelligent and easy to train.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Felt Flower Wooden Initial

My daughter made one of these and I thought it was so nice.  It looked simple enough, and she surely completed hers in record time!  I almost turned it into a career by making my flowers too small!

This is a large 18 inch wooden letter from Hobby Lobby for $12.95.  The letter was spray painted, front and back, royal blue to match the felt flowers.  There is no wood showing through, but as I said earlier, I got a little overzealous with the smaller flowers. 

I wanted to make this one to hang on the door leading in from my carport.

Once the letter is spray painted and dried, you can start with the flowers.  They can be done in all one color, but I think they look nicer with a bit of another color added.  I chose royal blue felt and lime green felt.

The size of the flowers makes a huge difference in how long it takes to complete this project.  The largest flowers you see are made from 1/2 sheet of felt.  If I do another one, all of my flowers will be done with half sheets or 1/4 sheets - I will not go any smaller than that!  The amount of felt it will take will depend on the actual letter, and the size of the flowers you make, so there is some guesswork involved.  This one took over 30 sheets of royal blue and 4 sheets of lime green.  That is alot of felt, even at 4 sheets for $1.00!

Cut the felt evenly into 1/2 or 1/4 sheets.  Fold each sheet in half and cut into a circle or oval.  Take your scissors and scallop the outside edges of your oval, then cut the oval into a spiral.  Start with the center of the oval and wrap the felt tightly.  Hot glue the outside edge, and hot glue the flower to the letter.  The hot glue can be stringy, but it cools quickly (almost immediately) and you can remove the strings from the flowers.

This can be a more costly and time consuming craft, so make sure you are doing this one for yourself or someone you love.  I believe they would be adorable done to match a baby's room. 

Flower canvas

These turn out absolutely amazing.  I have done them with many different colored backgrounds.  Again, this is a spray painted canvas and the medium is scrapbook paper.  This one is a 16 X 20 flat canvas. 

All you need to do is have two pieces for your pattern.  You will need a circle proportionate to the size canvas you are using.  This will be mod podged onto the canvas first, as it is the center of your flower, but you do not want to place it dead center of the canvas.  Place it off center, and towards the lower portion of the canvas. Cut your petals - you can either use all one type scrapbook paper, or have multiple patters as I did.  Place them just as I have on this one, starting with the center.

This project takes about an hour once you have the canvas painted and dried.

Again, use baby wipes to gently wipe off excess mod podge. 


I have developed an obsessive fascination for owls!  I collect figurines of them, pictures of them, pillows, etc.  I have also started working with different crafty ways to make them.  They are everywhere!

The ones you see above can be made quite easily.  They are on canvases.  You can choose from a wide array of spray paints, metallic, gloss, satin or matte.  The best to work with in my opinion is Krylon.  I tried Valspar because they had a wider selection of different colors, but should you have the need to wrap them, the Valspar paint will pull off in spots when the wrapping is removed.

The mediums I use to make the pictures are scrapbook paper, felt, buttons, rhinestones, and even the little curly-q paper clips that come in different colors. 

I draw my owl first, on drawing paper.  I do this by making a line down the center of the paper so I can keep the owl centered while drawing it.  I then cut the pieces of the owl apart and trace them onto the scrapbook paper.  The owl, limbs, etc. can be added to dry canvas with Mod Podge - I keep baby wipes on hand to wipe excess from canvas so there are no streaks when it dries.

All other embellishments should be added with hot glue.  If you wish, you can cover the finished picture with matte or gloss clear finish.

I am hoping to branch out into other animals and do custom canvases.  For now, I just enjoy doing it!

Cee Lo

This beautiful angel was my Christmas present from my son and daughter in law.  We had been wanting a larger dog, even rescued a Great Pyrenees, but the Chihuahuas hated him, and made him miserable everytime they went out into the yard with him.  Cee Lo (who was supposed to be called "Queso" but we were watching The Voice every night and I kept calling him Cee Lo) is a now 3 month old white lab - he was 7 weeks when we got him.  Hopefully, the Chis will grow up with him and be a little more tolerant, although Diesel is always a 3 lb terrorist.  Luckily, Cee Lo is good natured, and just puts a paw on Diesel to stop his tirades!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Crock Pot Potato Soup Perfection

My daughter and I have tweaked this old recipe until it has reached perfection.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

2 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese, sliced for easier melting
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
1 soup can of whole milk
1 large back of southern style hash browns (the little squares - not the shredded ones)


grated cheddar cheese
minced chives
real bacon bits

Place crock pot liner in crock pot, and put all soup ingredients in order, starting with the cream cheese on bottom.  Cook on high for one hour, stir well to blend in cream cheese, then cook on low for 6-7 hours.  You may want to add more milk at the end if it's too thick for your taste, or you may add a bit of milk when warming leftovers.  Serve with above toppings.  Feeds 4-6. 

Breakfast Skillet

I can't remember where I found this recipe, but breakfast has not been the same since.  Everyone who has tried this absolutely loves it.

This recipe will feed 3 people.

8 slices of bacon
4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 small onion, diced
8 eggs, whisked well
2 cups grated cheddar

Cook bacon until crisp in large non stick skillet.  Remove and set aside to cool - crumble when cool.

While bacon is cooking, peel and slice potatoes and dice onion.  Once you remove bacon from skillet, leave on medium heat and add potatoes and onion to the bacon grease.  Cover, and stir occasionally until potatoes start to brown.

While potatoes are cooking, prepare eggs. 

Crumble bacon evenly over potatoes and onions, pour eggs evenly over the top of everything.  Allow to cook until eggs are done - if you have to stir it to prevent burning, stir it, just spread it out evenly in pan again.

Turn burner off, cover with cheese, replace lid, and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Great with pancakes, biscuits or french toast!  And only one messy skillet!