Top Ten Tuesday: Recipes I Need To Blog

I was reading my friend Mary’s, blog today and saw something in her post that made me pause. Then I got excited. Then, I was sad… so very sad.

Mary posted an extremely yummy looking (and WW point friendly) recipe for Baked Apple Crumble. That was exciting. Even MORE exciting was that she was blogging the recipe (Let me pause here. Can I use the word blog like a verb? Is it both a noun and a verb? Like text is now a noun and a verb? It’s something to ponder.) Where was I. Oh, she was blogging the recipe as part of a Secret Recipe Club.

Excuse me… SecretRecipeClub. What? I am so in! I wanna be in! Sounds AMAZINGLY FUN right? Well, for me. Amazingly fun for me. I quickly clicked over to join this fabulous club. Only to realize {cue the tears} I don’t qualify. I’m not “good enough.” That is to say I haven’t blogged enough about food. **GASP** The rules say I need to have 60 recipes on my site to participate. I am a SERIOUS rule follower. I did a quick count. I’m at 12. Yep, 12 recipes. That’s all I’ve found on the House of Hills. (They are all lovingly filed under my Recipes Tab now.) Since I do a terrible lousy not so great job of tagging my posts, there may be more. I just don’t know where they are.

You can see where this is going. Right? My new challenge… cook and blog the recipes more! Looking at my photos, I’ve got pictures of some recipes that I’ve just never put up here. Guess what’s coming soon friends… MORE RECIPES! Whoop!

In true Top Ten Tuesday fashion, these are some of the recipes I shall be blogging (There we go using that word as a verb again.) in the VERY near future.

  1. Crock Pot BBQ Pork

  2. Pizza Roll

  3. Chicken and Rice

  4. Crock Pot Mac & Cheese

  5. Hot Cocoa Mix

  6. Breakfast Casserole

  7. Egg Nogg

  8. Pigs in a Blanket

  9. Buffalo Chicken Dip

  10. Pumpkin Muffins

People, I have pictures of ALL but the last one. Meaning, I had intended to blog the first nine and just haven’t. What’s up with that? What, I say, is up with that? I would be so much closer to the Secret Recipe Club if I had just blogged what I intended to blog! **sigh**

I’ve got some work to do. Don’t I know it! So, the question becomes… which recipe should I blog first? Thoughts?

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday.

Summer is Here!! What to eat?

Nothing says summer like an ice cream cone. Mmmmmm… However, one cannot live by ice cream alone. Well, I guess you could, but I don’t think you would feel really good after awhile.

However, there are certain summer foods that we all LOVE to eat. I thought I’d start gathering some for you. Fun – right!

House of Hills:

Other Blogs:

How’s that for a start? I’ll keep adding as the summer goes on. I’m sure to come across some more yummy stuff.

Have you found some great summer recipes? Do you have one of your own?

The Newest Chef at House of Hills

Tonight, The Princess made dinner for us. Like seriously, I was her sous chef/handler of hot things, but she was pretty much in charge of dinner. Here’s how it started.

This afternoon I decided the roads had probably thawed enough that we could head to the grocery store since we were now out of milk and strawberries – the two most important things at the House of Hills. The Princess then stated that she wanted to get some things at the store “herself” (that starts at 2 and never ends) because she wanted to cook. She then got a lecture on the fact that we were not going to waste food so that she could play with it and “make something up.” She doesn’t know enough about cooking to just throw something together that is edible so IF SHE WANTED TO COOK, SHE NEEDED A RECIPE. I thought that was the end of that….Nope.

The Princess marched (literally) over to the cookbook cabinet and grabbed her copy of “Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook” (that I gave her Christmas of 2008), flipped to the dinner section, and announced that she was making stuffed shells for our dinner. Ever the flexible mommy (please insert laughter here), I agreed. You see I had just done this post this morning about God and family time and using this snowcation to build relationships so I, um, needed to practice what I was preaching. I do believe she was slightly shocked that I agreed.

We looked over the recipe and discussed what we had on hand and what we needed to get at the store. The original recipe did not call for any actual meat so I suggested that we add some sausage for Daddy. Anything for Daddy, so sausage got added. We jumped (well slid a bit really – ice you know) into the car and headed to the grocery store. The Princess brought her cookbook with her so she wouldn’t forget anything.

Once we arrived at the grocery, The Princess announced that she was going to get a basket, gather her things, and meet me at the checkout. Um, NO! We then had a discussion lecture about how I loved her too much to allow her to go willy-nilly throughout the grocery store. Someone would steal her, I would be sad, and there would be no dinner. After a short pout, we moved on with our shop.

WHAT A GREAT AFTERNOON we ended up having. While shopping for the things she needed to make dinner, we had amazing conversations about brand differences, price differences, where to find certain items, what Daddy likes to eat, what Mommy likes to eat. She listened intensely and soaked it all in. I was in awe of her attention. Once we got home, we unpacked the groceries and planned out the rest of the afternoon based on the time she wanted to serve dinner.

The Princess didn’t pick the easiest recipe to do. Stuffed shells has multiple steps involved. First we browned the sausage. I will admit that I did a good bit of this part. It was hot and hard for her to do. Then, we cut coupons for awhile until it was time to boil the shells. While the shells were cooking, we mixed the filling. Then, she assembled (with only a bit of help from me), and we put it into the oven to bake.

It was delicious! Of course, it was Paula Deen so that was a bonus. My Sweetie and I enjoyed it very much. Even more amazing, The Princess ate one of the stuffed shells. Like, an entire shell. That is AMAZING!! She is the pickiest eater out there. In fact, she hadn’t planned on eating any of what she was cooking. She was cooking for Mommy and Daddy. She didn’t think she’d like it. I was so proud of her for trying it. Then, she ate the whole thing. AMAZING! And, we discovered she likes plain cottage cheese. Who knew!

I’m going to bed one very proud mama. Proud of my girl for cooking for the family. Proud of my girl for trying something she seriously didn’t think she’d like. Proud of my girl for growing up and becoming the amazing young lady I know God has planned. It’s days like these that I want to hold onto. I want to remember the look of accomplishment on her face when she placed the dinner plates on the table. I want to remember the joy on her face when Daddy pronounced it delicious. I want to remember it all.

Next week, she’s making Chicken Pot Pie. Can’t wait!

Stuffed Shells
(Adapted from Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook)

  • 1 Box Jumbo Shells
  • 1 Pound Small Curd Cottage Cheese
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Cups Spaghetti Sauce
  • 2 Cups Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Pound Mild Sausage*
  • 2 Shakes Red Pepper Flakes*
  • 1 – 2 Tsp Italian Seasoning*
    • * indicates what we added to the original recipe

Preheat oven to 350. Boil shells according to package directions. Brown sausage.

Mix sausage, cottage cheese, and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl.

Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

Add red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to spaghetti sauce. (Basically season it to your liking.) Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan.

Stuff shells with a heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture and place them side by side in the dish. Cover the shells with the rest of the sauce, and then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the mozzarella is bubbly and brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Things I Love Thursday : Deviled Eggs

Do you have that one recipe that people ask you to bring to EVERY gathering? Mine is deviled eggs. I take them to gatherings of friends and family year after year, especially in the summer.

The week before Christmas I emailed out the recipe for my deviled eggs to several friends and then ended up making them for my own family’s Christmas Eve gathering. As my friend Todd says, “A party’s not a party without the deviled eggs.”

I got my deviled egg recipe from this OLD church cookbook that my Grandma gave me when I was about eight. I love that it has her handwriting in the front. I used to stay with my Grandma during the summers and can remember going to church picnics with the people who wrote this cookbook. We ate well! I even have some relatives with recipes in this cookbook. It’s a definite family heirloom. Now, I’ve tweaked the recipe from the book over the years. Here is my version…

Deviled Eggs

  • 12 eggs (Hard boil, peel, and cut in half. Place yolks in bowl and whites on platter.)
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish

Mash the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Add Miracle Whip, dry mustard, Worcestershire and salt and pepper. Mix well. Place mixture in a Ziploc bag and force into the corner. Snip the corner of the bag and fill the egg whites with the mixture. Sprinkle with Paprika.

See how I’m squeezing the yolks out of the Ziploc. The easiest way to get the yolk mixture into the Ziploc is to use the “Purple Cup Method.”

So friends…you now have the secret to my deviled eggs. They really are yummy. Feel free to play with the amount of Worcestershire you put in them. That really changes the flavor. We like them a bit tangy, and I’ve increased the amount from the original recipe.

Do you have a favorite recipe that people ask you to bring to EVERY gathering?

Linked to Things I Love Thursday at Diaper Diaries.

Linked to Spring/Summer Linky Party at Southern Hospitality.

Leftover Turkey

Did one of these come out of your oven yesterday? One came out of mine. It smelled so good that we couldn’t wait to eat it. So we didn’t. My sweetie and I just stood there and picked at it. There is nothing better than warm turkey right out of the oven…

We didn’t eat much. There were only two of us eating it as the poor Princess was under the weather and just wanted toast for dinner. That meant that I had this left over.

Oh my turkeyness! I was very excited. I put the majority of it in the fridge so we could eat on it this week. I made myself one of these…

And finally, I bagged some of it up. I always go ahead and chop and measure cooked chicken and turkey before putting it in the freezer. That way I know exactly how much to thaw when I want to use it.

Now, I just need to put recipes in the menu plans for the next few weeks that use chopped turkey. What’s awesome about turkey is that it can be used in just about any casserole that calls for chicken. In fact, I think it makes the casserole better when I use turkey instead of chicken. With that in mind, these are some of the recipes I’m considering using for my leftover turkey.

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice with Chicken (Turkey) :: I’ve made this for many people, and it is ALWAYS a hit. It freezes well and feeds a crowd.

Chicken (Turkey) and Noodles :: I made this last year for several new moms, and they RAVED about it. It’s a great meal for a cold day.

Chicken (Turkey) and Wild Rice Casserole :: I got this recipe from a friend YEARS ago and am realizing that I haven’t shared it with you yet. That will have to be rectified.

Turkey Cranberry Wreath :: I was a Pampered Chef representative many moons ago. This was one of my favorites to make in the fall.

Chicken (Turkey) Pot Pie :: You could use your favorite pot pie recipe or try this one. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve loved everything I’ve ever tried of Jessica’s is FABULOUS.

Broccoli and Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes :: SERIOUSLY considering adding turkey to this recipe. SERIOUSLY!

What are you doing with your leftover turkey?

Things I Love Thursday: The Slow Cooker

This is on my counter right now. It’s making dinner for me. I love that it makes dinner for me. It makes dinner for me often.

I cook all kinds of things in the slow cooker – roasts, ribs, bbq, chicken, mac n cheese, green beans, applesauce, cider

Oh, and I don’t have just one slow cooker. Nope, I have THREE! And yes, they have all been going at one time.

I thought I’d share a family favorite that I am asked to make every year for Thanksgiving.

Slow Cooker Green Beans

  • 2 lbs fresh green beans (ends snapped off) – I cut them into smaller pieces for easier eating
  • Salt
  • 1/4 lb ham cut into chunks – I get a slab fresh from the deli and cut it up – yummy
  • Water

Put half the beans into a 4.5 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and half the ham. Add the remaining beans, another sprinkle of salt and remaining ham. If I am preparing ahead of time, I put the dish in the fridge at this point until the next morning. Add enough water to cover beans (about 3 to 4 cups). Cook for 10 to 12 hours on low.

That’s right, you cook them for 10 to 12 hours. They really taste best after 12 hours. Now, that takes some planning. For Thanksgiving, I prepare the beans the night before and set the alarm for 5am. At 5, I stumble into the kitchen, add the water, turn on the slow cooker and stumble back to bed for another few hours. It’s worth the few minutes of interrupted sleep. Believe me.

What is your favorite thing to cook in your slow cooker?
How many do you have?
I love my slow cooker! Do you?

Linked to Things I Love Thursday

Top Ten Tuesday: Baking Day Recap

This Saturday was Baking Day! I had the entire day free, and I spent the whole thing in the kitchen. It was heavenly. **sigh** Now, all of that goodness is gone. Well, almost gone. I have one more delivery to make tomorrow. Here’s what I accomplished:

1. I filled 30 bags with muffins and treats for my volunteers and the Princess’ leaders at church.

2. I brought a tin of Cranberry Bread to share with my fellow “workers” on Sunday.

3. I took four tins of goodness to the office on Monday

4. I gave one big tin of goodness to our Church’s Family Ministry team to share at their meetings this week.

5. I sent one tin of goodness to work with My Sweetie

6. I have some muffins and bread to take to my friend Katie tomorrow.

7. I marinated two pork tenderloins for the freezer.

8. I cooked seven chicken breasts in the crock pot to shred and freeze.

9. I cooked two pork tenderloins for dinner using a favorite Paula Deen recipe.

10. I made a HUGE mess and ran the dishwasher three times.

I made a wide variety of baked goods this year. Some family favorites and some new to me recipes. I already plan on making more Pretzel treats for the Princess’ teachers since I ran out already. We’ll do those together this afternoon.

Have you done your Christmas Baking Day? What is your favorite treat to share with family and friends?

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday.

Quick Gifts from the Kitchen

I was asked a couple times at church today for quick gift ideas from the kitchen. So, I thought I’d round up the ones I have already talked about on the House of Hills and put them in one place for your convenience.


A note about this recipe: My cousin was just talking about these on Facebook and she uses candy wafers from the craft store instead of Hershey Kisses. Brilliant!! I say. No unwrapping!



All of these are quick to make, not too expensive, and easy to package. You can put large quantities in containers like those above. You can have your kids decorate white or brown lunch snacks with Christmas images and then put a baggie inside. OR, you can package your goodies individually like I did below.

What are some of your favorite holiday treats to give as gifts?

Christmas Baking Day 2010

Christmas Baking Day! It’s one of my favorite days of the year. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to spend the entire day creating yummy things to give to my friends, family and co-workers. It fills my soul. Like seriously. Today is Christmas Baking Day for 2010. I’ve already made a double batch of waffle sticks so that I can freeze some and give some to my friend Katie B’s family. Now I begin the real cooking. I thought I’d share what I plan on making today. We’ll see if it all gets done!

My recipes:

Bloggy Friends’ recipes I want to try:

I’ll check in with you at the end of the day and let you know how it went!

I am seriously all smiles as I’m pulling my apron out. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Linked to Saturday Stumbles.

Cook for Thanksgiving TODAY! (Giveaway)

Once a Month Mom Holiday 2010 eCookbookWe all know that I love Freezer Cooking and Batch Cooking and…well, I just like cooking in general don’t I. However, I really love cooking when I’m not in a rush to cook. I like cooking when I can cook when I want to and how much I want to. I like cooking when I have actual time to cook. Then, when it’s time for dinner, I just pull something from the fridge or freezer, and it’s ready in a snap. This, my friends, makes me so happy.

Tricia at Once a Month Mom understands this happiness. That is why I love her. She understands that a full freezer means a stress free mealtime. She understands that a bit of work on one day can result in weeks of meals that flow to the table with ease. She understands it so well that she gives us (that’s right you too) monthly meal ideas for FREE! That’s right! Every month, there is a new menu on all ready for you to enjoy. You should really check it out.

Now that I have told you how AWESOME Tricia is, I’m going to take it up a notch. Oooo I sound like an infomercial. Tricia has created a Holiday eCookbook for us this year. I am SO EXCITED! In fact, I was so excited when I heard about it that I bought one before I got her email telling me she wanted me to review it for her and give one away. Yep! I’m giving away a copy people! Get those fingers ready.

This eCookbook is a step-by-step resource for cooking Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner ahead and freezing it. Like all Once A Month Mom menus it contains grocery lists, instructions, recipe cards and labels. Since it is a holiday menu, there are resources for those serving a family of 8 and those serving a family of 16. Here are the recipes that are contained in the ecookbook:

  • Veggie Pizza
  • Pumpkin Cheeseball
  • Scalloped Corn
  • Freezer Mashed Potatoes
  • Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes**
  • Slow Cooker Stuffing**
  • Make Ahead Butterhorn Rolls
  • Turkey Baste**
  • Cranberry Mustard Ham Glaze**
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Caramel Apple Pie Trifle

**Indicates newly created recipes.

Here are some additional features:

  • A choice of preparing an 8 serving or 16 serving dinner.
  • Step-By-Step instructions for cooking your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners ahead and freezing the items.
  • Grocery lists for the 8 serving or 16 serving dinner.
  • Customized labels for each of your prepared items.
  • Recipe cards containing photographs and some step-by-step photos as well.
  • Recipe cards for each of the recipes.

Did you see that recipe list? FABULOUS! Did you see that there are grocery lists for 8 OR 16 servings? AWESOME! Did you see that there are labels? LOVE IT! For some reason I really do love the labels. It’s my Type A personality I guess. Did you see that there are photos! AMAZING!

You can order and download your own copy of The Once A Month Mom Holiday eCookbook for only $9.99. You’re going to want to get it today so that you can cook this weekend. Wouldn’t you love to have the majority of your Thanksgiving dinner already made two weeks before the day? Can I get a Whoop! Whoop!

Tricia has generously given me one copy of her eCookbook to give away to one of my readers. Enter by leaving a comment and telling me which recipe from the eCookbook you would most like to try.

For additional entries (leave a separate comment for each):

This giveaway is open until Sunday, November 14th, when I will draw a winner at random. Feel free to purchase your copy in the meantime. If you win, you will be refunded the cost of purchase.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of the eCookbook to review and one to share with my readers. All opinions of how fabulous The Once A Month Mom is are my own.


Congratulations to Earleen for winning the Holiday eCookbook!

Earleen wants to try the Turkey Baste. I do too!

Thanks for everyone who participated.