Sweet ‘n’ Spicy baked beans


This is just another new-fangled way to make baked beans for a group or large family. I made them for our church small group and received several nods of approval.

1 large can Bush’s homestyle beans
1 large can Bush’s chili beans
1 large can Bush’s Great Northern beans
1 medium sweet onion (vidalia if available)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 bottle of root beer
1 pound cooked and diced bacon

In large crock pot add all above ingredients except bacon. Stir to combine. Set slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Check for thickness, if necessary, add a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken. Before serving, add bacon.


Homemade Granola


I’ve been wanting to make this for some time, but never found or made the time. Thankful for a couple days off during the week, and time to make granola.

1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 250 degrees
In small sauce pan combine brown sugar, honey and oil on medium heat until mixture dissolves.
In large bowl add oats, cinnamon and salt and any optional items e.g. Craisins, slivered almonds, raisins, assorted nuts, etc.
pour sugar mix over oats and fully combine.
Pour out evenly onto large jelly roll pan that has been coated in butter or Pam nonstick spray.
Place into oven for approx 30 minutes. It will be chewy while warm, then will harden up. Break into pieces or cut into bars.
Place into ziplock bag to keep fresh.


Banana Oatmeal Muffins


I have been out of town all week in Minneapolis for work and I missed cooking. What?! Crazy. But it’s true. I decided to make some breakfast muffins, this one was experimental. A successful experiment.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3 bananas
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oats

Mix bananas, brown sugar, egg, butter and vanilla in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture. When combined, add oats.
Fill muffin paper 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Enjoy your muffins!


Epic Buttermilk Pancakes


Hi, my name is Pattie, and I love pancakes. I rate breakfast establishments based on their pancakes……as everyone should. If they can’t make pancakes, they shouldn’t be selling breakfast……stepping off of soapbox.

There are no better pancakes than homemade, this can be said with 98% of food items.

This recipe is not low fat, but it’s low maintenance. It, as stated in the title, epic. I mean it. Melt in your mouth deliciousness. Make sure you read the entire recipe before you start.

3 cups AP flour
3 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Combine wet ingredients, buttermilk, milk, eggs, melted butter.

Buttermilk, milk and eggs should be as close to room temperature when you begin to mix ingredients together. When adding melted butter make sure it has cooled. Add butter slowly while stirring as to avoid cooking the egg mixture.

Fold wet ingredients into the dry. Do not use whisk, lumps make it better.
Cook as soon as possible. I use bacon grease to cook pancakes in when I can, again……disclaimer……..not a low fat recipe.


Bruschetta Chicken


I met up with some old friends from high school and his parents. Going to school in Southern Oregon, you don’t meet up with high school friends very often in the Midwest. My 16 y.o. Daughter and I drove over to Omaha and had lunch with the old gang.
I had the most amazing lunch, which I decided to recreate for dinner.

2 large chicken breasts (butterflied)
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Roma tomatoes
Fresh basil
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh mozzarella

Cut butterflied chicken breasts in half, then in half again. Place in gallon size bag and seal. Bang the crap out of it with a rolling pin or the like.
Add 2T. Olive oil in grill pan and heat pan to medium heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken pieces, then place in heated pan.
Mince tomatoes into itsy bitsy pieces and cut basil into small pieces or tear to avoid browning. Add 1T. Olive oil and 1T. Balsamic vinegar. Mix.
Finish cooking chicken through, then place thick slice of fresh mozzarella on each chicken piece. If pan is able, place in oven quickly on broil until cheese softens, not completely melts. Remove pan from oven. Plate each piece and add tomato/basil mix.
Eating with focaccia is highly recommend and also easy to make.


Meatball Stroganoff


This is another easy one pan dinner that can easily be made after you get home from work. Not a lot of planning is necessary and it a super rich and savory meal.


One package frozen Italian meatballs
3 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Wide egg noodles
Salt and paper to taste


Put olive oil in large pan and heat on medium high, add meatballs. Add broth to deglaze pan. Add seasoning and noodles. Add whipping cream, stirring often, until boil begins then reduce to simmer, cover and wait for noodles to cook. After noodles cook, remove from heat and add sour cream and cheese. Enjoy!


One pot Tortellini and Sausage in Creamy Cheese Sauce


So, I was told by one of my kids that I never make dinner. Really?? Wait. Really?? How else do you eat? This remains a mystery. I digress.
I was looking for for an easy week night meal I could make super quick. It’s a little harder when you want to not cook after being told you “never” do! Breathe.
So, this one pot wonder fits the bill. Less than 30 minutes start to finish!! Not to mention very little leftover!

1 lb turkey kielbasa (I used Hillshire Farm)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
20 oz. refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini (I used frozen Louisa brand)
1 can 20 oz. stewed tomatoes (I used Del Monte original)
1 cup chicken broth (I used Swanson)
2 cups mild cheddar (grated)
2 Tbsp cream cheese (I used Philadelphia brand)
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan to top

Sauté minced onion in olive oil in large pan. Slice kielbasa into 1/4″ slices and place into pan. Add broth, tomatoes, tortellini, salt and pepper to pan. Bring to boil. Stir often so as not to stick. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese. Let alone to thicken for about five minutes. Add cheeses to top and serve hot.