Sunday, June 28, 2020

Camping at Pinicon Ridge with IA friends we met in AZ

Last week we spent three days camping and eating (lots of eating) with friends (all from Iowa) that we met in AZ.  Some of them live pretty close and some live quite a drive away (SW Iowa).  We laughed, we played, we ate, and we ate, and we ate!  I was introduced to some great recipes and I wanted to put them on the blog so that they can forever be found when needed!

Chris (from Marion) shared the following recipe Cranberry Sauerkraut Meatballs.  This has some different ingredients than others I have had in the past and was quite tasty!

1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
3/4 to 1 cup brown sugar
14 oz sauerkraut - no seeds! (Rinsed and drained)
2 bags homestyle frozen fully cooked meatballs (not Italian) - thawed
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 cup water

Mix together and bake for 1 hour, stirring periodically....OR
Combine everything together (except meatballs) on the stove top and heat till it has melted together.  In a big bowl (or directly into the crock pot - if you have room) pour your meatballs in and then your heated sauce.  Stir until coated.  Cook on high for 1 hour or low for 3-4 hours.

Nutrition Facts
1 meatball with about 1 tablespoon sauce: 76 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

Pam (also from Marion) shared her family-favorite recipe for Corn Casserole.  Although it isn't up my alley (I don't eat cheese) I've seen this at other potlucks and it is always gobbled up!

1 can cream style corn
1 can corn (don't drain)
1 cup cheese (could use shredded or velveeta)
1 cup macaroni
1/2 stick margarine or butter

Mix together in a casserole pan and bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees.  Can microwave, just be sure to stir every 10 minutes...OR
Cook on high in crockpot for 3-1/2 to 4 hours, stirring often.

Deb (from Sidney) brought a dish to one of our dinners that I really enjoyed.  I love carrots and this salad hit the spot!  It is called Copper Pennies Salad or sometimes simply called Carrot Salad.

2 lbs. carrots (peeled, sliced, salted and cooked)
1 green pepper (diced)
3 medium onions (peeled, sliced and broken apart in rings)
1 can tomato soup (can use tomato sauce)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup salad oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 pinch of cloves (optional)

Toss carrots, green pepper and onions together.  Mix the soup, sugar, vinegar, salad oil and mustard together and pour over vegetables.  Let stand in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

If I can get my hands on any of the other recipes from our campout I will add them to this posting!  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Deviled Egg Spread

My family loves deviled eggs.  No family function would be complete without them.  Sometimes other family members will offer to bring them but rather than taking a chance on running short or having them not show up at all, I started making this Deviled Egg Spread.  It is fantastic!  Eat it with crackers, with veggies or spread it on a piece of bread/bun for a Deviled Egg sandwich.  Jim LOVES it!

I'm going to presume that you know how to make hard boiled eggs so I'm not going into that here.  In recent years I've started making my eggs in the Insta-Pot and they are perfect every time.

Deviled Egg Spread

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
1 cup mayo
1 TBSP spicy yellow mustard
Salt and pepper
Paprika for dusting

Halve the shelled eggs lengthwise.  Coarsely chop HALF the egg whites and transfer them to a large bowl.  Add the remaining whites and ALL the yolks to a food processor along with the mayo and mustard.  Process until smooth.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl and blend with the chopped egg whites.  Season with salt and pepper.  Dust with paprika if desired.  Can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.

Cream puffs with Dream Whip Filling

Here is a dessert that I'm able to pull together pretty quickly as I have these ingredients on hand most of the time.  These cream puffs can be made much bigger (which results in a smaller quantity) but I like the idea of "bite size"so that is what I went with.

From I got the recipe for "Best Cream Puffs Recipe Ever!"  Here it is:

Cream Puffs

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter (one stick=1/4 lb)
1 cup flour
4 fresh eggs at room temp

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine butter and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil and add the flour.  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until batter forms a ball and a film forms on the bottom of the pan.  Remove from heat.

Using either a wooden spoon or mixer, stir eggs into flour mixture one at a time, completely incorporating each egg before the next addition. Batter should be stiff.

Scoop dough onto baking sheet using a cookie dough scoop, or shaping with two spoons, or by using a piping bag.  (The baking directions apply to a 4 oz cream puff shell, but the dough can be scooped into rounds for cream puffs or ovals for eclairs and size may vary according to your preference - but know that baking times will vary by size and shape, so adjust accordingly.

Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degree F, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes more.  (This step is the key to deflation-proof cream puffs!)  Puffs should be golden brown when removed from the oven.

My note:  I used a small scoop and got a little more than 1-1/2 dozen cream puffs.  When cooled and filled I sprinkled them with powdered sugar.

I found the recipe for "Dream Whip Icing" at  I wanted something more than pudding for my cream puff filling and this does this trick beautifully:

Dream Whip Icing

2 envelopes Dream Whip topping mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small box instant pudding mix (I've used vanilla and chocolate - vanilla would be the most common)

Prepare the Dream Whip by mixing the whipped topping mix, milk and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed.  Mix until just blended.  Turn the mixer to high speed and mix for 4 minutes or until the topping is thick and forms peaks.

Add the pudding mix and beat well. Spread on cooked cake or refrigerate the icing until ready to use.  Be sure to refrigerate any leftover iced cake.

My note:  You need to use something fairly sharp to pierce a hole in the bottom of the cream puff and sorta "ream" it out.  I used a disposable piping bag to fill the cream puffs with the icing mixture.  As the cream puff filled I could feel the cream puff begin to swell and then I would stop.