i can't live without...

ok. in honor of the good weather YESTERDAY... I am posting one of our families "I can't live without's..." perfect for spring and summer. ok, really we love it all year around....

drumroll please.

thank you.


I know. It's simple. yet oh so yummy. it's like candy. And after our last Dentist visit... we need more "candy" like that!! Try it!! it's yummo. I just buy a couple of pounds--wash them-- then put a handful in little baggies-- toss them in the freezer-- then the kids just grab a bag out for a treat! it's perfect. ;)

freakin good pork chops

this is one of Amanda's all-time favorite things to make for dinner. It is WAY easy and freakin' good.

Coke and Ketchup Pork Chops.

1 Can Coke
About 1 1/2 cups Ketchup
4-6 Pork Chops
Easy-make Rice

Brown Pork Chops in a large skillet. Add equal amounts of coke and ketchup to skillet and stir until mixed throughly. Bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently. Once sauce begins to boil, decrease temperature and simmer Coke and Ketchup for about 20 minutes and stir occasionally until sauce thickens. During that time, cook up your easy-make rice. The coke and ketchup sauce makes a nummy topping for the rice. Serve with sauce on top of pork chops and rice. Yumm Yumm!

Red Potato Salad

thanks Melanie for this salad recipe...

12 cups cubed red potatoes
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon (or regular) mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook potatoes, covered in boiling water, 10 minutes, or until tender then drain well and cool. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, bell pepper and onion.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate.
Broccoli Salad

thanks Tanya for this yummy salad recipe...

2 bunches fresh broccoli (about 1 pound),
cut in small flowerets
1 medium purple onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
½ cup sunflower seeds or raisins or both (optional)
1 recipe Broccoli Salad Dressing (see below)

In a large bowl combine broccoli, onion, and cheese. Refrigerate. Just before serving, stir in bacon. Add sunflower seeds or raisins if you wish. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad. Stir briefly. Serve the same day.

Broccoli Salad Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Mix ingredients. Chill at least one hour before tossing with salad. Makes 6 servings.

Funral Potatoes

this is my quick version of these classic potatoes...

1 bag shredded hashbrowns /potatoes
1 can cream of mushroom
1 tub of sour cream (16oz I think..)
1 cup of shredded cheese

crush a bunch of ritz on the top for extra flavor....

easy pork chops

4 bone-in pork chops, 3/4" thick
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Cream of Celery Soup
1/4 cup apple juice OR water
2 tbsp. spicy-brown mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 cups egg noodles

SPRAY nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray and heat 1 min. Add chops and cook until browned.
ADD soup, apple juice, mustard, honey and pepper. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 10 min. or until done. Serve with noodles. Serves 4.
Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
2 jars (16 oz. each) Alfredo sauce
1/3 cup water
1 ½ cups chicken, cooked and diced (I shred mine - just preference)
1 carton (16 oz.) ricotta or cottage cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Break 4 noodles to fit in the bottom of a greased 6-7 quart slow cooker. Layer a third of Alfredo sauce, half of water, and half of chicken over noodles. Spread half of ricotta or cottage cheese and sprinkle a third of mozzarella over meat layer. Add another layer of noodles (4 broken). Layer a third of Alfredo sauce, remaining chicken, water, and ricotta/cottage cheese. Sprinkle second third of mozzarella. Layer remaining 4 noodles (broken), sauce, and mozzarella. Cover an cook on low heat 4-5 hours. Do not cook more than 5 hours. Makes 10-12 servings.

Serve with hot garlic bread.

VARIATION: Add a small can (2/25 oz) of sliced olives between layers.
Sweet & Sour Chicken (Ooooohhhhh Yummy)

4 Chicken Breasts
1-2 TBSP Oil
1 Cup Flour
1 TBSP Corn Starch
1 Egg
1 tsp water

Mix cornstarch and flour together in a bowl, then beat 1 egg and 1 tsp water together in a separate bowl. Cube chicken in bite size pieces. In a large skillet heat oil on medium to high heat. Take cubed chicken and place in egg and water bowl. Cover chicken with the liquid. Put wet chicken into dry flour and cornstarch bowl cover chicken completely. Throw into hot oil. Fry chicken until completely cooked. Place cooked chicken on plate with napkin laid down. This will help remove access oil. Let cool slightly.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

2 Cans Chunked Pineapple
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Ketchup

Pour 1 full can of pineapple chunks including juice into a saucepan. Pour juice from 2nd can of pineapple into sauce pan (leave out additional pineapple chunks). Add sugar and ketchup heat to small boil. Turn down heat to low/medium. Thicken sauce by adding 1 tbsp cornstarch and 1/4 cup water together in separate cup. Slowly mix in until sauce is at consistency desired. You might need more or less cornstarch and water mixture. It does thicken quickly.

Serve over sticky rice and egg rolls on the side. Awesome quick dish!!!

chocolate oat squares


a yummy dessert from Tanya!

1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened, divided
2 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
3 c. quick-cooking oats
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 c. (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream 1 c. butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. Combine the oats, flour, 1 teaspoon salt and baking soda in a separate bowl; stir into creamed mixture. Press 2/3 of oat mixture into a greased 9" x 13" baking stone (or pan). It's also fine in an 8" x 8" pan. You'll just have taller squares.

In a saucepan combine milk, chocolate chips and remaining butter and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat; stir in walnuts and remaining vanilla. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool. Cut into squares.

Yield: 4 dozen.



another yummo dessert from Tanya!

1 c. Karo syrup (found with other syrups)
1 c. sugar
1 c. peanuts (I got unsalted and I don't chop them)
1 c. peanut butter
3 c. Rice Krispies
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1 pkg. butterscotch chips

Stir together Karo syrup and sugar. Microwave for 2 minutes. Add peanuts and peanut butter to the Karo mixture. Microwave everything for 1 minute. Add 3 cups of Rice Krispies. Spread into a greased 9" x 13" pan.

Combine chocolate chips (on bottom) and butterscotch chips in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Spread over krispie mixture and cool in the refrigerator.

Remove and cut into 1-inch squares.

toffee apple dip

a yummy dip from Tanya!


Mix the following together & serve with apple slices:

8 oz. cream cheese
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. Skor toffee bits

fruit dip

Amanda's Favorite Fruit Dip

24 Oz of cream Cheese (3 packages)
16 Oz of Marshmellow Cream
2 Tablespoons Orange Consentrate
1 Tablespoon Ginger (I don't use a full tablespoon though)

Mix it up and Chill for an hour or so! It is Super Yummy!