Menus and Executive Decisions


Today was ‘the’ day to get all the Christmas grocery shopping done; I fully planned out my ‘route’ – 3 stores, where to get each item at the best price – check! Mid-way through store #1 I began to feel the “Boy, am I getting tired” feeling. After checking out I thought – “You know, this needs to be amended – do I REALLY need to get those few items at store #3 JUST because they’re on sale?” NOPE! On to store #2 only to find that one of the main items in making Cheesy Potatoes (hash browns) was NOT in their freezer compartment…that space was EMPTY! UGH! WHAT TO DO? I ‘could’ go on to store # 3 which probably had them or I could postpone the trip to another day. NOPE – on the fly quick decision: We’re having my husband’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes! He loves making them, they’re tasty – who needs FANCY potatoes? A little further on almost same quandry – needed BIG pecan pie . . . store only had the 8 inch size – NOW WHAT!? Ok, LOOK! Here are really cute Pecan TARTS! Almost same price (actually a little bit less). You would get about 8 slices of pie – these tarts come 12 to a package – I’ll buy 2 and we’ll call it DONE! SCORE! What ‘fun’ I have when I really tired & shopping! Learned from other grandma that she’s added MORE cold sides to menu – my thoughts? I give up – we’ll have a BOATLOAD of food – let’s just enjoy it ALL!


Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

1 (15.5 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies,
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream,
1 (16 oz) jar hot fudge ice cream
topping, warmed
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In large bowl combine 3 3/4 C.
cookie crumbs & butter; press
into a greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Spread with ice cream.
Cover & freeze until set.
Drizzle fudge topping over ice
cream; cover & freeze until set.
Spread with Cool Whip; sprinkle
top with remaining cookie crumbs.
Cover & freeze 2 hours until firm.
Remove from freezer 10 minutes
before serving.
Serves 12


Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 C. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 C. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

3 T. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix butter, sugar & eggs in large
bowl. Combine flour, cream of
tartar, baking soda & salt in
another bowl. Mix dry ingredients
into butter mixture & chill
10-15 minutes. Chill a cookie
sheet the same amount of time.

Mix 3 T. sugar & 3 tsp. cinnamon
in a shallow pan (pie plate). Scoop
dough into balls & roll in mixture,
then place on refrigerated cookie
sheet. Bake 10 minutes & remove
from pan immediately.
Makes 24


Smoked Salmon Wrapped Dill-
Chive Potatoes

1 lb. baby red potatoes*
8 oz. smoked salmon
3/4 C. sour cream
1 T. chopped shallots
1 T. chopped dill
1 T. chopped chives
1-2 tsp. horseradish (optional)
salt/pepper, to taste

Cut larger potatoes in half; place
potatoes in large pot of salted,
boiling water 15 minutes until
just tender. Let cool slightly.
Mix sour cream, shallots, dill,
chives, horseradish (if using),
salt/pepper in large bowl &
pour over warm potatoes – stir
to combine then refrigerate
until cold. Slice small strips of
salmon to wrap around potatoes.
Wrap potatoes & hold together
using a toothpick or skewer.
Serve immediately or refrigerate
until ready to serve.
Makes 26-30 skewers

*poster used Chilean Splash
little potatoes


Garlic Butter Chicken & Pasta

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1 T. minced garlic
3 C. sliced carrots
1/2 C. diced white onions
1/2 C. sliced butter
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. frozen peas (add at end)
1 lb. rotini pasta, cooked al dente,
(add at end)
Parmesan cheese – for serving

Place chicken, garlic, onions, carrots,
butter, thyme, basil, salt/pepper in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours. When cooking time is done,
cook pasta according to pkg. directions;
add peas & drained cooked pasta to
crockpot; stir well. Sprinkle Parm.
cheese on top when serving. Serves 8


Bacon & Cheddar Green Bean

2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of
mushroom soup
1 C. milk
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
6 slices bacon, cooked/chopped
(about 6 T.), divided
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
4 (14.5 oz,ea) cans green beans,
2 2/3 C. French’s French fried
onions, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray insides of 3 qt. baking
dish with nonstick spray.
In large bowl mix together
soup, milk, 1/4 C. cheese,
5 T. bacon, black pepper,
green beans & 1 1/3 C. onions;
pour into prepared dish.
Bake 25 minutes until mixture
is hot & bubbling. Stir &
sprinkle top with remaining cheese,
onions & bacon. Bake 5 minutes
more until onions are golden
brown. Serves 12

(recipe: The Oakland Press,
Family Features, Dec., 4, 2016)

Cabbage Roll Soup
(regular & crockpot methods)

1 lb. lean ground pork or beef
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 C. tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. thyme
1 T. tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 large head cabbage
2 C. cooked rice (white or brown)
1 T. olive oil
2 C. gruyere or Monterrey Jack
1 egg
1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown meat, onion & garlic over medium
heat until no pink remains; drain. Stir in
tomatoes (including juice), tomato paste,
seasonings & tomato sauce – simmer,
uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat
& add rice.
Coarsely chop cabbage, rinse & shake dry.
Heat 1 T. oil in skillet & add half of cabbage;
cook just until softened (about 5 minutes);
repeat with rest of cabbage. Place half of
cabbage in large casserole dish; top with half
meat sauce; repeat layers. Cover with foil &
bake 45 minutes. In small bowl combine cheese,
egg & milk. Remove foil, top casserole with
cheese mixture & bake, uncovered, an additional
20 minutes. Serves 8

Crockpot Method:

1 1/2 lb. ground beef or pork (or
a mixture of the two)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce, divided
1 C. water
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
salt/pepper, to taste
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. thyme
3/4 C. long grain white rice, uncooked
1 head cabbage
1/3 C. water
1 1/2 C. Mozzarella cheese (optional)

Brown meat, onion, garlic & seasonings
in skillet over medium heat until no pink
remains; drain. Add 1 C. tomato sauce,
1 C. water. 1/2 can tomato soup & diced
tomatoes to skillet. Stir in rice & mix well.
Heat through then remove from heat.
Chop cabbage into 4 wedges & remove
core (discard core) & chop wedges into
chunks. Layer half of meat mixture and
half of cabbage in crockpot; repeat layers.
Combine remaining soup, tomato sauce &
1/3 C. water – pour over top of cabbage.
Cook on Low 4-6 hours just until rice is
cooked. Once done, turn off heat &
sprinkle cheese on top. Cover & let
stand 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serves 8


Baked Chops & Scalloped Potatoes
(oven and/or Crockpot recipe)

6 boneless loin pork chops
2 small-medium onions, chopped
2 T. butter
4 C. potatoes, sliced very thin
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
spray. Heat large skillet over medium-
high heat & melt 1 T. butter. Brown chops
on both sides, remove from pan. Add
remaining 1 T. butter & brown onions
until soft. In same pan, add soup &
gradually stir in milk (so you don’t get
lumps). Place sliced potatoes in even
layer in prepared dish; place chops on
top. Pour soup mixture over chops then
wiggle the dish a bit so sauce distributes
throughout pan. Cover & bake 30 minutes.
Remove cover & bake 30-40 minutes longer.
Serves 6

Crockpot Method:
Follow recipe up to sauteeing onions &
making soup/sauce. Butter or spray
insides of crockpot then place sliced potatoes
in bottom. Top with chops & pour soup
mixture over top. Cover & cook 3-4 hours
on High or 5-7 hours on Low.


Crockpot Salty/Sweet Crunchy Candy

1/2 C. butter, sliced
1 (11.5 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 T. creamy peanut butter
2 C. corn chips, coarsely crushed
2 C. mini pretzel twists, coarsely

Place all ingredients EXCEPT corn chips
and pretzels in crockpot & stir. Cover &
cook on High 30-90 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Once chocolate is completely
melted, add corn chips & pretzels; gently
stir until well coated. Line a cookie sheet
with parchment paper & spread mixture
evenly using a wooden spoon. Refrigerate
sheet 1 hour until it sets up. Break into
pieces after set. Serves 10-12


Granny’s Spice Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 large egg
2 T. light corn syrup
2 T. grated orange peel
1 T. cold water
3 1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

(red hot candies/nonpareils and
or sprinkles – for topping – optional)

Cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy.
Beat in egg, corn syrup, orange peel &
cold water. In another bowl whisk flour,
baking soda, cinnamon, ginger & cloves;
gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Divide dough in half – shape each into
a disk & wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate
dough at least 1 hour until firm enough
to roll.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
On lightly floured surface roll each
portion into 1/8″ thickness. Cut into
desired shapes using a cookie cutter &
place 1 inch apart on greased baking
sheets. Decorate as desired then bake
until lightly browned, 6-8 minutes.
Remove from pans to wire racks to cool
Makes 4 dozen



While out today I noticed the gas prices have
jumped up quite a bit; around here regular
is now $2.39/9.

It’s now four days since my fall on the ice;
am doing a little better each day – a little
stiff in the shoulder blade area but that’s
where the major impact was, so I’m not
surprised. Am still sure I didn’t break any
bones, although my sons keep bugging me
to go get it checked out. Yes, I’m stubborn
and No, I’m not going to – end of story.

Hope things are going well for all of
you during this (can be stressful) time
of year. Remember to take a little time
out to relax – even if it’s a 10 minute
‘power’ nap! (just did that about half
hour ago!).




The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I know tour concern about the meal. I am about to pull the recipes and double check to make sure I have everything I need to complete our Eve dinner. Take care and take time to rest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: