Katybug273's Blog

{November 22, 2011}   Let’s Talk Stuffing……

Stuffing is the one thing the traditionalist will make sure is on the table on Thursday.  But how do you like yours?

My mom was a devoted fan of Stove Top.  I didn’t even know there was another way to make stuffing until after I’d been married a few years.  She never stuffed the bird because my dad hated the stuff and didn’t want it to touch his sacred turkey.

My mother in law is big on tradition.  She & her sisters use their mother’s recipes for most of the Thanksgiving dinner on the years she hosts.  The stuffing is stuffed in the bird and done the old fashioned way.

I tend to be more of an experiment cook.  I will try new things.  I will try old things.  I rarely do the same thing two years in a row where the stuffing is concerned but I’m still on the search for that elusive stuffing that is absolutely perfect.  My sister in law makes one but she now lives 19 hours away and I have yet to bribe her efficiently enough to get her recipe.  Therefore I am left to guess and randomly combine identifiable ingredients until the year I figure it out.

I have tried stuffing the turkey but I just don’t care for it that way.  The stuffing seems overly soggy and mushy.  I want a little bit of texture with my stuffing.  There are the obvious health reasons not to do so as well.

This year I set out with a goal in mind – to rip my sister in law’s recipe off.  I miss her stuffing!!!! Will I be successful? Probably not but maybe seeing my blog post of desperate attempts will cause her heart to have empathy for me?  I set out on a shopping spree to make sure I had everything I could see & taste in her stuffing.  I am all excited and ready to cook it in two days.  Then I realized – I didn’t buy water chestnuts.  And I know there are water chestnuts in her stuffing.   They are crisp and not only have their own flavor but help absorb some of the other ingredients and give you a perfect bite.    So I will be off to the store (or crazy hell known as last minute holiday dinner shopping) to pick those up this evening.

Aside from the forgotten water chestnuts, this is the recipe I intend to test out Thursday, feel free to leave yours! (Especially if you use one similar to this one!)

1 box of Mrs Cubbison’s Stuffing

1 can of chicken broth

1 Tablespoon of Sage

1 package of fresh Baby Bella Mushrooms (sliced)

Fresh Celery (chopped)

Onions (chopped)

A few spoons of butter or Best Life spread

Saute the fresh veggies in a skillet with the butter.  Combine all the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes to “crisp” the top.


Update: I decided to whip it up stove top and the cubes got added with the veggies so the texture was a little mushy but the flavors were spot on delicious.  I haven’t made one this good before.  I wound up adding a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon, and sage as seasoning and foregoing the water chestnuts.  I also added a spoon of butter to the finished product.


{October 26, 2011}   Paula Dean Wins In our House

My mom, bless her heart, tried to text me her recipe for cobbler and it came through as half the ingredients and half the directions.  Her emails weren’t going through on Facebook so we tried giving her a call.  She didn’t answer so in a pinch and craving home made cobbler we turned to Google.

Now my mom doesn’t care for Paula Dean and I have my own theory about why.  It’s because Ms Paula is making money cooking the same style and taste my mom has done all my life.  So when I want something close to my momma’s I know Paula has the answer and she didn’t disappoint.


We had to add a tablespoon of baking powder to our flour and we used home canned peaches & pears mixed.  It was the most delicious cobbler I can remember having.  And almost a dead ringer for momma’s! The one thing the recipe left out was telling us how much fruit syrup to use.  So we made a bit of a soup our first try but mom quickly corrected that when she called me this evening.   She suggests 3/4’s of a cup to a cup of syrup is all we needed and that you could forgo the milk and mix the syrup directly into your batter if you wanted a stronger fruit taste.

{April 19, 2011}   Roasted Mushrooms

The orginal recipe was found here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/12/garlic-butter-roasted-mushrooms/

but I realized I only had “most” of the ingredients.  So I made some tweaks and adjustments and they are still delicious! So here’s an option for adapting the above:

3 tbsps olive oil

3 tpbs butter

Baby Bella mushrooms (1 lb)

Fresh Parsley

Fresh Dill

2 cloves of garlic

(we used dill in place of the lemon juice)

we also mixed all the ingredients before roasting.  Instead of adding parsley afterwards.  It took about 15 mins to roast them at 450.

{April 29, 2010}   Taco Burgers

So I was in the mood to experiment with food with no recipe.

It tasted delicious.  So here’s the recipe we made up on the spot:

2 lbs of hamburger

a packet of taco seasoning

1/4 c. chopped red onion

a small handful of chopped fresh cilantro

Mix the ingredients together and form hamburger patties.  Drop on skillet and cook until done.

Serve on hamburger buns (we used some French style ones from the bakery).  Salsa and Sour Cream made yummy condiments to the burgers.  And can be served with tortilla chips to the side.

Delicious! And even my son gobbled his up 🙂

{March 27, 2010}   Yummy Chicken

This was so easy and I adapted the orginal recipe a bit to cut out the spice and hot sauce as we’re just not big fans. It still tasted great and orginial recipe credit is all Rachel Ray’s…this was just the adaption that worked for us and was the perfect combo of garlic and herbs.

4 cloves of pressed garlic (pampered chef sells one of the best garlic press tools at a great price)

a handful of chopped parsley leaves (I am also thinking that cilantro would work if you are a fan of it’s taste)

chicken pieces (I used three breasts)

Olive Oil (About 3 tbspoons)

Mix all those ingredients and then coat the chicken and let it sit about five mins or while your oven is heating to 400.  Then I put chicken and rest of marinade juices in skillet and browned it on each side a few minutes then baked.  It took about 20 minutes to bake at 400.   I served with mac and cheese and peas but RR reccommends a salad (we had salad a few nights in a row so I was over it that night LOL)

I really recommend this for taste and those wanting something a bit healthier than fried chicken.  It is also extremely cost effective as this could easily be made with thighs instead of breasts of chicken.

Here’s a link to the cookbook this was adapted from:


{November 5, 2009}   Chicken and Noodles

1 pgk of egg noodles

I use a whole chicken fryer and there’s usually more than enough – the pieces can always be saved to use in another dish in the freezer (after cooked)

Sage, Poultry Seasoning, Emeril’s Seasoning, chicken bouillon, salt – I don’t measure these ingredients I just sprinkle a good amount of the seasonings – probably a couple of teaspoons (later you can taste your broth and add or take away) If you do not have bouillon you can also use chicken broth or stock – aprox 1 cup.

an onion chopped up


Bring your water to a boil, season the water, and add in the chicken.  Let it cook for aprox 30 minutes or until your chicken is done if the fryer is whole this can take longer than if it is cut.  Use a fork to remove your chicken and set aside on a platter, save the water.   Add your egg noodles and your onion.  You can freeze the chicken for 5 minutes to cool it a little faster.  Then pick the meat off the chicken and add to your pot.  Turn it down to simmer.  Once the egg noodles are cooked the meal is done, however now is a great time to taste test your broth and make sure it’s not bland.  If you need to add a few more seasonings go ahead and do so.  Stir occassionally after adding noodles, especially or they will stick.


Thanks mom and dad for making this yummy comfort food when I was a kid! We love these and they are sooo good in the cold and flu season!!!!

{November 3, 2009}   Rachel Ray Recipe Night

French Onion Burgers and Roasted Potato’s

I won’t post recipe because of copyrights..but this was an excellent meal.  Now, I’m not the most talented of chefs in the kitchen so it did take me and hubby both to get everything done and we totally skipped making the Dijon Mustard sauce for the fries.  We did switch the cheese because of the availability in our local grocer to a swiss.

For the savvy experiments – it contains some hamburger mixed with things like worchestire, swiss cheese on top of your buns, and carmelized onions….the potato’s are oven baked with some olive oil and garlic.  (Exacts and other goodies included you’ll have to find a copy of the recipe on her website or in a cookbook it was in Rachel Ray Just In Time) You should plan about an hour for cooking time.

Results: Tasty and the whole family will enjoy.  For adults – this was a nice variation on cheeseburgers with a grown up taste.  For kids- Mine picked his onions off and loved it.

I’m not big on anything too fancy but I found this very easy to do and brings a bit of experiment into your kitchen with little fuss.

{October 25, 2009}   Fudge

So I’m on a soft food diet and craving something sweet. I have a hankering to experiment with some home made fudge – will add some pictures later of the results.

We’re starting with this basic recipe:

3 c. Sugar

1 Stick Butter

1 c. Half and Half

1 c. cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

Mix the sugar, milk, and cocoa and cook for aprox. 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Then add butter and vanilla and stir until thick.  Butter a pan and let fudge sit.  Then cut and serve….

going to try this with the variation of adding Half of a Jar of Marshmallow Creme

Hopefully will melt in my mouth 🙂

{October 16, 2009}   Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

I was a little suspicious of this one and how it would taste but as I started cooking it, it smelled delicious.  And the smell was NOT deciving – my husband is an avid fan of cheeseburgers and he couldn’t get enough.

On top of that is this probably the EASIEST dinner to cook ever – just make sure you plan aprox a hour and a half for the actual cooking of the meal, don’t worry you will be sitting back with a book while it does the work!

What you need:

2 lbs of hamburger

a can of golden mushroom soup

a can of cheddar soup

and a bag of frozen french fries.

Brown your hamburger, drain it.  Then put it back in pan and stir in the soups.  Pour it in a casserole dish and then top with the fries.  Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.  Serve with some fruit (from a can if you truly want easy meal )

{October 13, 2009}   A Cooking Journal

This is more a journal of sorts where I will share the food my family seems to enjoy, cooked up this idea as I realized that I currently charged myself to try new things each month and we’ll keep favorites in a rotation and toss the rest 🙂

Watch for fun things – I like cooking when it is easy, fast, and enjoyed by the family!

Tonight we tried a spin on burrito’s (a bit spicy for the weak but not spicy enough for the diehard!) However, this makes it a great adaptable meal for almost anyone in your family! Even the 10 year old loved it!

You layer a dish with some soft burrito shells, brown and drain some hamburger – add a pkg of taco seasoning and 2 – 7 oz jars of taco sauce of your choice (I went with Taco Bell mild though green sauce was suggested) Then put half your meat mixture on those shells, add some shredded cheese (we used Mexican mix of cheese) and then put more burrito’s down in a single layer.  Add a can of refried beans and a small container of sour cream, some chopped green onion and black olives sliced.  Then another layer of burrito shells and the rest of your meat, top with cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so to heat everything throughly.

Easy! And very tasty for a new spin on burrito’s! Consider serving some tortilla chips on the side 🙂

et cetera