Monday, December 26, 2011

Oreo Fluff

Oreos are a family favorite at our house, so is just about everything that I make that has oreos in it.  So when my MIL introduced the recipe to us some time ago, it didn't take long for it to be a "go to" recipe.

Oreo Fluff

1 large instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cup cold milk
12 oz cool whip, thawed
15-20 oreos, crushed

Mix together pudding and milk until well blended; stir in crushed oreos.  Fold in cool whip.  Store in Fridge.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Whiskey Slush: a family tradition

When Mike and I were dating I was introduced to this Whiskey Slush recipe.   Every Christmas Eve, the Schipper family (Mike's mom's family) gets together for Christmas, and there has never been a party in the past 14 years that there hasn't been whiskey slush....and I'm pretty sure it's been going on a lot longer than that.

(Imagine a picture of Mike with drink in hand)

Whiskey Slush
9 cups of water
3 tea bags
2 cups sugar
1 can frozen OJ
1 can frozen Lemonade
1 pint Whiskey

Boil 2 cups of water; put tea bags in boiling water and let set until well dissolved.  Add rest of the ingredients and frozen.

Serve with 7-up

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bran Muffins

What is it about a warm bran muffin.  
You put butter on it and the butter melts into the good!!!!    

Bran Muffins

1 cup Crisco
2 cups boiling water
3 cups sugar
3 tsp salt
4 eggs
5 cups flour
5 tsp baking soda (mix in a little buttermilk)
1 quart buttermilk
2 cups Kellogg's All Bran
4 cups Kellogg's Bran Buds

In a small bowl mix together crisco and boiling water until the crisco has dissolved.  In an extra large bowl cream eggs and sugar; add crisco mixture.  Add salt, flour, soda; mix well.  Slowly stir in Buttermilk.  Add bran cereals.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Note:  taste better if batter is in the fridge overnight

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever since we moved to our house in Freeport, I have had a hard time making a good chocolate chip cookie.  Every recipe I try the cookies end up being flat as a pancake and just look horrible to serve others.  I have finally find a cookie that works in my oven...that's who what I blame the problem on.  Enjoy!!!

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 box instant vanilla pudding
2 1/4 cup flour
12oz chocolate chips

1.  Cream together butter, sugars, baking soda, vanilla and eggs.
2.  add in flour and pudding
3.  add chocolate chips
4.  Drop by teaspoon on un-greased cookie sheet.
5.  Bake 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

There are two foods that my husband loves...I think each could have it's own food category in his book;  Oreo Cookies and Cinnamon Rolls.  
If I could figure out how to get both into one recipe he would be in his glory. :)  Thankful I haven't come across anything yet, cause it doesn't sound very good to me.

We, I mean Mike has tried lots of different recipes to find just the right amount of gooey-ness and sweet all wrapped up into one roll.  I think we have finally find success...cause we aren't sampling different recipes anymore.

these Cinnamon rolls have a special ingredient in them...

do you want to know what it is????

 it's something you would never expect in cinnamon rolls....

it's ICE CREAM!!!!  
Yup that's right, our rolls has ice cream in them...I swear that's why Mike likes them so much.

So without farther's the recipe

Cinnamon Rolls
Dough in the bread machine
6 oz Milk (90-100 degrees F)
1 Egg
3 cups bread flour
3 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBSP butter
1 1/2 tsp Fast Rise Yeast

Add warm milk and egg to pan.  Next add bread flour, sugar and salt to pan.  Tap pan to settle dry ingredients then level ingredients, pushing some of the mixture into corners.  Place butter into corners of pan.   Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add yeast.  Program your bread machine for DOUGH.  When done, remove dough from bread machine.  Place dough on floured surface.  Knead dough about 1 minute, then let rest 15 minutes.

Caramel Sauce
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ice cream

Meanwhile; in a small sauce pan; melt  butter.  Add brown sugar and ice cream; bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Pour caramel into the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan.

1/2 cup butter, softened (for spreading)
brown sugar

After dough rest for 15 minutes, roll dough into a rectangle, about 15x10 inches.  Spread butter over dough to within 1 inch of edges.  Then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and crumble brown sugar over the top.  Roll up and seal the edge.  Cut into 12 rolls and place in prepared pan of caramel.  Allow to rise in warm, draft free place until double in size, about 45 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Finally top with a glaze or a frosting.  I really don't have a recipe to speak of for that.  I just mix some powder sugar with some milk to make a thick glaze.  You could add some vanilla flavoring to it if you want.  OR  if you prefer a cream cheese frosting of them you could do that too.  Whatever you prefer.

There that our recipe, hope it's not too complex for you.  These cinnamon rolls are so worth take
the time and make them.  
They are so good!!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

This past week I spent two full days canning applesauce.  I canned 4 bushels of apples and made approx. 68 quarts of applesauce.  Can you tell we love our applesauce here.  I make it with no added sugar or cinnamon...just the apples and I must say it's really good.    I used my apple peeler/corer/slicer all in one machine and it worked great.  This year I put it right at the edge of the counter top and put a bucket on the floor and the peeling went right into the worked slick.  I put some press and seal on the cabinets to keep them from getting sticky.  

Now I will leave you with some pics and some apple fun facts.  Enjoy!!!

Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free & about 80 calories

 Applesauce can be substituted for oil in cake and muffin recipes
 Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated.
 The old saying, “ an apple a day, keeps the doctor away ”. This saying comes from am old English adage, “ To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”
 A bushel of apples weight 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce.  (I only got about 16 far. :)  )
 Astronaut John Glenn ate the first space meal aboard Friendship 7 in 1962. He ate pureed applesauce from a tube.
Americans eat 19.6 pounds or about 65 fresh apples every year.  Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually.  INTERESTING!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bacon Cheeseburger Bites

I've been trying lots of new recipes thanks to Pinterest.  Most of them have been very easy and simple, using ingredients I already have in the house...which is so nice.  The latest one I tried was these yummy and delicious bacon Cheeseburger bites.  Brendan gave it a raving review...even added to his prayer that he was thankful that I was so creative with our meals lately.    I hope you try them and let me know what you think.

photo credits : Taste of Home

Note:  the recipe includes making a dough, I cheated and just rolled out some Grand Biscuits, it worked really good and way more easy.  I only made eight because that's all the biscuits I had, so I have leftover meat mixture for a second (maybe even a third) meal.

Bacon Cheeseburger Bites


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2/3 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 pound sliced bacon, diced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons butter, melted  ( I didn't use)
  • Ketchup or barbecue sauce, optional


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt and 3-1/2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add bacon and cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from the heat.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into fourths. Roll each portion into an 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle; cut each into six squares. Place 1/4 cup meat mixture in the center of each square. Bring corners together in the center and pinch to seal.
  • Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with butter. Serve warm with ketchup if desired. Yield: 2 dozen.  
  • Weight Watchers PP+ 8 per bite (if made according to recipe)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love the changing of the colors.  I love being able to bundle  up in my comfy clothes.  I love comfort food, including all things pumpkin.  Here's a new recipe for me, it's something very similar to the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread that I have made in the past.  I would highly recommend you making this if you are like me and love pumpkin.  ENJOY!!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies
2 c all-purpose flour
1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temp
1 & 1/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 c pumpkin puree
12 oz chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350. grease a 9x13 pan
2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
3.  In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high until smooth. Beat in the egg & vanilla. Beat in the pumpkin puree.
4.  Add the dry ingredients and mix on low just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely in the pan.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bubble up Pizza Casserole

So I've been spending way too much time on pinterest lately...especially looking a food.  Never a good makes me hungry all the time.  But I came across a recipe for  Bubble Up Enchiladas and while I was looking at the comments on the blog post, someone mentioned that did a similar recipe but made it with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese and that sounded better to family likes LOVES pizza.  Then later that day, I was on another food blog for freezer meals and the same recipe was there. So I knew I just had to try it.

Bubble Up Pizza Casserole

2 cans Pillsbury biscuits
2 14oz jars pizza sauce
1lb ground hamburg, browned and drained 

3 cups Mozzarella cheese (reserve 1 cup)

1.Cut Biscuits into quarters. 

2. Add jars of Pizza Sauce, Hamburg,  & 2 cups cheese; mix well.
3. Place in greased 9x13 dish. Top with remaining 1 cup Cheese. 

4. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 40-45minutes.

The family score on this recipe is a 5 out of 5 stars....the boys gobbled it up and Mike couldn't stop sneaking his fork back into the 9x13.  I'm hoping they will like the enchilada style as well.  Happy Thursday y'all!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fritos Sweet Snack Mix

I putt together a cookbook for Brendan's fourth grade as an auction item for the School's harvest sale.  I had all the students submit a favorite recipe and I wanted pictures in the cookbook so I made about 18 of the recipes (it wasn't a good thing for the weight lose thing.)  So I made the snack mix that my amazing friend Chelle's son submitted and it's to die for....I fall head over heels in love with it.  It's an best mixture of salty and's a good thing that I had to give some away otherwise I would have eaten the whole bunch.

Fritos Sweet Snack Mix


*2 cups brown sugar
*2 sticks butter
*1/2 cup Karo® syrup
*1 box rice Chex®
*1 bag Fritos®
*1 can peanuts or mixed nuts (I used peanuts)
*1 bag M&M's®


1. In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients (minus the M&M's).
2. Bring sugar, butter and syrup to a boil.
3. Pour caramel mixture over the mix and stir.
4. Spread in two 9x13 cake pans.
5. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes, stir and bake another 8 minutes.
6. Pour in brown paper bag to cool, mixing every so often to keep from clumping together. 

7. Once totally cool, add M&M's.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Weight Watchers Version of my Mozzarella & Beef Roll-ups (made with Turkey)

A few months back I posted a recipe for some Mozzarella and Beef Roll-ups, well I really like this recipe but don't like all the points that were involved with eating one.  So I slimmed it down and came up with a great alternative.  Enjoy!!!

Mozzarella & Turkey Roll-ups


1 medium green pepper(s), chopped   
1/2 cup(s) red onion(s)   
8 oz pizza sauce   
1/2 tsp dried oregano   
20 slice(s) Hormel Pillow Pack Turkey Pepperoni   
14 serving(s) Mission Carb Balance Mediun tortilla (42g)   
1 pound(s) Jennie-O Turkey Store Extra lean ground breast, cooked   
7 piece(s) Weight Watchers string cheese   


1.Brown turkey, onions and green peppers until turkey is cooked.
2.Add pizza sauce, chopped pepperoni, and oregano.
3. Put 1/4 cup of turkey mixture into middle of tortilla. add a string cheese on top of turkey mixture. Fold in side of each tortilla over the filling and roll up from the opposite side. Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350degrees for 10 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Point Plus = 4 per serving
14 servings

Cooler Days = Soup Days

With the temperatures getting colder the last couple weeks I've been having a jonesing for some soup.  I cam across with this recipe in a magazine at my local grocery store.  And seeing how I'm too cheap to buy the magazine just for a soup recipe, I quickly pulled on my smartphone and snapped a picture of the recipe, grabbed a few ingredients I didn't have and headed home to make it.  It's really good and very filling.
sorry about the soup all over the bowl...note to self;  put into a different for picture next time.

In the magazine they had in labeled as a Fat Flush Soup,  I hoping that's a good thing that maybe it will help me get back on track with losing some more weight, but that's a topic for other day.  The serving size is very generous I's 2 full cups.  Only once have I been able to eat that much at one sitting.  I usually have a cup and that fills me up.

Here's the recipe:


 1 medium onion(s)   
2 clove(s) garlic clove(s) (medium)   
 1 item(s) bell pepper(s) (medium)   
1/4 cup(s) parsley   
4 tsp olive oil   
 16 oz mushroom(s)   
64 oz Campbell's Low-Sodium Tomato Juice   
 2 1/2 pound(s) Jennie-O Turkey Store Extra lean ground breast   
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice   
2 Tbsp ground cumin   
 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes   
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes   
7 serving(s) Bush's great northern beans, drained and rinsed   


1.  In a stockpot, heat 2tsp of olive oil over medium-high setting.  Saute meat until cooked through.  Drain and set aside.  
2.  Saute onion, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms in other 2 tsp of olive oil until soft.
3.  Stir in remaining ingredients, except the parsley.  
4.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  
5.  Stir in parsley.  Cover; simmer 10 minutes longer.  

Store soup in refrigerator up to 5 days.  Freezes well

1 serving equals 2 cups
1 serving equals 4 pointsplus

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I've been making this salsa for the last couple years and it's so easy.

8 cups tomatoes, chopped
3 onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
8-10 jalapeno peppers, chopped (keep seed for hot, remove for milder)
1 12oz can of tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP pepper

Combine ingredient in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 60-90 minutes. Put into pint jars and seal.  make 5 to 6 pints.

I usually put my salsa in the blender after I cooked it for a smoother salsa.

wear plastic gloves when working with jalapeno peppers so you don't get the "hot" of the pepper on your hands.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Bites

So like I said on my last post, I've been spending a lot of time on and am finding tons of new recipes to try.  After my original plan for dinner back fired on me (I was on pinterest and the soup burnt to the bottom of the pan.  It stunk up the house!!!)  I had to come up with something different.  Seeing how Mike is in the field harvesting corn, I quickly thought of this tasty looking pizza bites.   I threw a batch together and the boys eat the whole I had to make another batch and brought those out to Mike for supper....I'm already sick of harvesting season.  

Pepperoni Pizza Bites
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of salt 
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pepperoni sliced, chopped
  • 1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, & salt ; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

These would also be great as an appetizer...Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

I have tomatoes growing out of every nook and cranny at our house.  I already have plenty of salsa but still have tons of I headed to pinterest for some ideas of what to do with them.  That's when I came across this recipe for a great Spaghetti Sauce that I could can.  So that what I did Monday before and after our little trip to the local animal park

picture credits:  tasty kitchen
Now, we haven't had it on pasta yet, but everyone seems to like it when they tasted it off the spoon.  Can't wait to have pasta again soon (it's a fall/winter food here at the Van Dam household so we haven't had it for a while.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade Pancakes

This morning to celebrate the holiday I made pancakes and sausage link for the boys...all five of them for breakfast.  I even splurged and let the kids have peaches (jam that didn't set up) and cool whip on top of their cakes.

Here's the recipe

1 cup flour
1 TBLS sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
2 TBLS oil

mix together and make the pancakes.

I usually double this recipe for my family.  I would say one batch makes about 6-8 medium size pancakes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Marinade for Chicken or Beef

  • I made this marinade a couple night ago for some Chicken we put on the good.  The chicken was so tender and juice it almost melted in your mouth.


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, mix soy sauce, honey, distilled white vinegar, garlic powder, ground ginger, vegetable oil, green onions and black pepper. Place desired meat in marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before grilling.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Rainbow cakes in a jar

This past weekend, we got to together with my family for a Sunday picnic at my parent's house.  It was both my brother's and my niece's birthday this past weekend so I was planning to make some cupcakes for help celebrate these milestones.  So Saturday I hauled out my trusty mixer and whipped at batch of chocolate cupcakes.   While the cupcakes were cooling, I did some blog surfing and came across this blog post that was about 50 different food you can put in a jar.  There are so many great ideas, but when I saw the rainbow cakes in a jar I knew that I needed to make them...and what better reason than a birthday. I threw the cooled cupcakes in the freezer and figured I could take those along camping next week, and quickly went to work making these yummy dessert.

Here's the link to how to make these adorable cakes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strawberry Pie

We have had lots of strawberries from our garden this year.  Don't get me wrong I am loving every single berry that is coming from the vines.  I have made lots of Strawberry Jam (the only jam the boys will eat), crushed strawberries with some sugar for later on, and a few strawberry pies...which an few of my guys and Danno have loved.

Don't tell the boys but I found the recipe on the weight watchers website. It was so good and simple to made.

Here's the original recipe.  I didn't make it quite like this but I'm sure it would taste very simple to mine.  I substituted Hawaiian Punch for the cranberry because that's what I had in the house.  Also I didn't use the Greek yogurt and lemon zest.  My boys love using the reddi-whip so that what they had on theirs and I ate just the pie.  Plus one tenth of the pie wasn't near enough...I probably had more like a sixth of the pie. :)

Fresh Strawberry Pie


2 pound(s) strawberries, hulled, sliced (save 3 small berries for garnish)   
3/4 cup(s) sugar, granulated   
1/2 cup(s) cranberry juice cocktail, or cranberry-strawberry juice   
1/4 cup(s) cornstarch   
6 oz Ready Crust 25% Less-Fat Graham Cracker Ready pie crust   
1 cup(s) fat-free vanilla yogurt, Greek-style   
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated   


  • Combine 3 cups sliced strawberries, sugar and juice in a medium saucepan.
  • Mash berries in pan with a potato masher; stir in cornstarch and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until very thick, about 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat; let cool slightly and then stir in remaining sliced strawberries. Scrape into pie crust.
  • Let cool slightly; cover loosely with plastic lid from pie crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours (you can then freeze the pie for a little while if desired, to make it easier to slice).
  • To serve, in a medium bowl, stir together vanilla yogurt and lemon zest until blended. Spread on top of pie, leaving a border around edges so strawberry filling shows. Slice reserved strawberries and use them to garnish pie. Slice pie into 10 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.


  • This pie can be made ahead 1 day but top it with the yogurt mixture shortly before serving.

    If you cut this into 8 pieces, it is 7 PointsPlus values per slice.