Easy Vegetable Minestrone

32 oz. can petite diced tomatoes w/ liquid
1 can garbanzo beans (drained)
1 can kidney beans w/ liquid
1 can corn w/ liquid
1 can tomato sauce
1 c. fresh spinach leaves
1 whole zucchini, sliced and diced
1 c. frozen peas
1-2 cloves minced garlic
16 oz. cooked rainbow rotini pasta al dente
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. thyme

Mix above ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer until fresh zucchini and spinach are softened. Serve w/ garlic bread.


Easy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

4 cups mashed strawberries
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. heavy whipping cream (or add more if your ice cream maker is larger than 4 quarts)

Crush strawberries. Mix well with sugar. Add beaten eggs; then, all other ingredients. Mix well and pour into container. Add enough milk to come to the line in the container. Mix according to ice cream maker instructions, or if you do not have an ice cream maker, stir well, then freeze. Makes 4 quarts.


Frog Eye Salad

1/2 (16 ounce) package uncooked orzo pasta (I USED acini di pepe)*
1/4 cup white sugar
1 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (20 ounce) cans crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved
1 can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (OR USE FRESH)*
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup*ish sliced strawberries

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain. In a sauce pan, combine the sugar, eggs, flour, salt, pineapple juice and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool. Toss together the pasta and cooked pineapple juice mixture. Refrigerate overnight (or for a couple of hours)*. Break up chilled pasta with a spoon and mix in pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries, and strawberries. Fold in thawed whipped topping, chill and serve.


Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan & Bread Crumbs

1 tbsp butter
4 pounds russet potatoes (about 10 medium), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup whole milk
1.5 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
salt and pepper
2 tbsps plain dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400, coat a 13x9x2 inch baking dish with 1 tbsp butter and set asideCook potatoes in large pot of salted water until they are very tender, about 15 min. Drain, return potatoes to same pot and mash well. Mix in milk and melted butter. Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to prepared baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the potatoes and bake, uncovered until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes!


Spinach & Corn Salad

1/4 cup lime juice (fresh)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups frozen whole kernel corn thawed, or 6 ears of fresh corn
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup seeded, chopped cucumber

In a large bowl whish together lime juice and honey until well combined. Stir in jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and salt. Add corn or carefully cut corn kernels off cobs. Add to lime juice mixture. Stir in spinach, tomato, and cucumber. Serve immediately.
Makes 9 - 2/3 cup servings.

Review - I made this for a BBQ, it is a refreshing side salad, that has quite the kick to it! I used picked jalapeno peppers, since I didn't have a fresh one, and I think I would use less next time. Let the frozen corn sit out for a couple minutes so it's not crunchy. A nice summer salad.

Mother-in-Law's Tangy Pasta Salad

16 oz. farfalle pasta
*Prepare pasta according to directions on box.
1 c. vegetable oil
2/3 c. bottled teriyaki sauce
2/3 c. white vinegar
Small bunch of green onions chopped
6 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
*Combine above ingredients (except pasta) in blender, blend well until smooth. Coat pasta in sauce and marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight). After marinating, add:
2. cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 c. honey roasted peanuts or cashews
1 bag fresh spinach leaves
2 small cans mandarin oranges
1 c. dried cranberries (I like to use a mix of dried berries)
1 T. parsley flakes
*Toss until mixed well. Can be served as a main dish, or a side salad.


Chunky Apricot Slush

6 c. (46 oz) Apricot Nectar

2 c. Pineapple juice

1 Lemon or Orange – peeled and juiced (pulp can be added)

2 Mashed Bananas

1 c. Mashed Strawberries (optional)

3/4 c. water

3/4 c. sugar

Combine all ingredients, mix well. Freeze overnight, or for serving that day, freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Let thaw until slushy. Serve with 7-Up or Sprite.

Shalyse's Pork Chalupas

**Super easy crockpot recipe and oh so yummy!

3 lb. pork loin roast - browned (i didn't brown it and it was still good), you can also use chicken

4 - 15 oz. cans of beans - any mixture will do i.e. pinto, kidney, black, etc. drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped onion

1-4 oz. can chopped green chilis

2 garlic cloves - minced

1 T. chili powder

1 T. cumin

1 T. salt

1 t. oregano

Dump the above ingredients over the meat and mix a little bit. Cook in crock pot until it falls apart, on high for half day or low for all day. Shred with a fork and mix well. This makes a LOT, so you may want to make half. Now for the boat part. Fry up some tortillas in a little oil and place over a bowl to cool thus making the shape of a little boat. Or you can omit that step and just serve in a soft tortilla and roll it up, burrito style. Fill with pork filling and other toppings if desired i.e. cilantro, cheese, salsa, sour cream, etc. Although I have to say, these are outrageously good on their own and don't need a lot of extra fuss.

Shalyse's Homemade Waffles

(I'm hoping Shalyse will soon be contributing her yummy greek salad recipe, hint, hint....)

1 3/4 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. Baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
1 t. vanilla
Optional: blueberries, choc chips, pecans, or whatever.
**It's great to make a large batch of waffles, eat, and the rest go in the freezer. Just toast them to heat up***


Krista's Salsa Chicken

4-5 frozen chicken breasts
1 jar salsa (any kind - use what you like)
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained

Cook in Crockpot for 4-5 hours on low. You can put in taco shells or on top of rice.

Teriyaki Ranch Chicken Sandwiches

4 chicken breasts (marinated overnight in your favorite teriyaki sauce - we like Yoshida's)
4 Kaiser rolls (or your favorite buns) sliced in half
4 TBS. homemade ranch dressing
1 Lg. tomato, thinly sliced
1 small head romaine lettuce, washed and sliced to fit bun-size

Grill chicken breasts on BBQ on medium-high heat, about 3-4 min. on each side, or until done.(can broil, but grilling is preferable)
Lightly butter and toast both sides of each roll. on top portion of grill, or in a pan.
Assemble sandwiches by spreading 1 TBS. ranch dressing on one side of bun.
Layer tomato, lettuce and teriyaki chicken.

Voila! Easy and delicious.

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Corn Casserole

2 lbs whole frozen corn
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp salt
1 TBLS sugar
1 tsp Accent (can make w/o, just enhances flavor)
3 TBLS butter
3 TBLS flour
¼ c. Parmesan Cheese (fresh & shredded)
Separate 2 TBLS Parmesan Cheese (fresh & shredded)

Boil cream and corn – simmer 5 minutes.

Add salt, sugar, accent.

In separate pan, melt butter, add flour. Mix well.

Add flour mixture to corn. Stir well. Add ¼ c. parmesan cheese. Mix well.

Simmer 2 minutes. Pour into casserole dish.

Sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Mushroom & Asparagus Pasta

10-15 stalks fresh asparagus, chopped into 1 in. pieces
2 cans drained mushrooms (or 1 pack fresh mushrooms)
2 c. fresh shredded parmesan (divided)
16 oz. wheat penne pasta (or noodles of your choice)
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 TBS. olive oil
1 TBS. flour
2-3 cloves of roasted garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

Boil noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350.
While noodles are boiling, in a large sauce pan, heat olive oil, cream, chili powder, garlic and flour in pan. Mix well to create a cream sauce. Add more flour or cream/milk to create desired sauce consistency. Add salt & pepper to desired taste. Add 1 1/2 c. parmesan cheese. Bring to a low boil until sauce thickens and cheese is mixed in, but is still runny enough to mix and coat noodles (add more cream if necessary). Add asparagus and mushrooms, cook for 2-3 more minutes until asparagus is blanched. Coat noodles w/ sauce. Pour into casserole dish, cover w/ remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.


Melanie Stephen's Pad Thai Peanut Butter Chicken

Cook one package of spaghetti (or I prefer to use the Pad Thai rice noodles).
While spaghetti is cooking also cook 2 large cut chicken breasts in a
skillet with:
4 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1Tbs. ginger (I use the powder and I don't use that much, I just
sprinkle some in)
black pepper

In the largest bowl you have add:
5 Tbs. of chicken stock (if you don't have any then use the spaghetti
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 Tbs. peanut butter (it is good with regular or crunchy) make sure it's sweet.
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
Chopped English cucumber or zuccini
Chopped carrots

Add spaghetti and chicken to bowl and mix well.

Meltaway Drops

1/2 lb. softened butter
3/4 cup corn starch
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour

Mix and shape into balls (about quarter size). (This mixture has no liquid
so I just cream it all together with a wooden spoon and it takes a while)
Also, I have learned from experience to be careful putting them into the
oven. They are round and roll all over the place.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (the bottom barely gets brown).

3 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
Mix well and add food coloring if desired. Let meltaways cool, then frost.