Andy’s Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

2 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup shredded mozzerella
fresh jalapenos
1 lb bacon (not thick sliced)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut jalapenos in half long-ways, core out centers and seeds. Mix 1st four ingredients and stuff into peppers. Wrap in single strip of bacon. Place on baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is done.

Andy’s Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos before cooking.

My Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, this is really the Tollhouse Cookie recipe with a few tweaks. I don’t use butter because it makes the cookies spread too much. If you don’t have eggs, you can substitute water (really) and you can eat the raw dough (YUM). If you don’t have brown sugar, you can substitute more regular sugar and some molasses. You don’t need a cookie scoop, although if you want perfectly round cookies all the same size, it’s a must. If not, just use a spoon πŸ™‚

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup Crisco shortening (butter or regular)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (or 3/4 cup more white sugar + 1 Tablespoon molasses)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs or 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Measure out flour, salt and baking soda; set aside. In mixing bowl, add shortening, sugars, vanilla, and eggs or water. Mix on high until super creamy – this takes a few minutes. Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated, don’t overmix. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by scoopfuls onto non-stick cookie sheet or parchment lined sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes depending on how you like your cookies. Less time makes them softer and more time makes them crisp/crunchy when they cool.


Simple Meals

Basic Recipe for simple meals:

2 cans no salt tomatoes
1 can no salt added beans
1 lbs bag frozen vegetables
4 oz frozen chopped greens
1.5 – 2 cups cooked grain (brown rice, potato, sweet potato, barley, etc)
Spice/seasoning to taste
Yields 4 servings

This is all you really need! Eat simply, inexpensive, and be healthy!

Curried Indian Potato Stew: 2 cans tomatoes, 1 can garbanzo beans, 2 bags 16 oz frozen cauliflower, 4 oz peas, 4 oz onions, 4 oz greens, 3-4 cups cooked potatoes, Curry spice mix

Mexican Beans and Rice: 2 cans chopped tomatoes, 1 can pinto beans, 1 can black beans, 2 bags frozen pepper and onion mix, 8 oz frozen corn, 4 oz greens, 3-4 cups cooked brown rice, Mexican spice mix, hot sauce or salsa

Italian Pasta Primavera: 2 cans chopped tomatoes, 2 cans dark red kidney beans, 2 bags frozen California mix, 4 oz greens, 3-4 cups cooked pasta, Italian spice

Basic Burger Recipe: 1 can kidney beans, 1/2 cup rolled oats dry, 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, 2 tablespoons diced tomatoes or salsa or barbecue sauce or ketchup, spice (try mexican seasoning or curry powder)
Mash beans by hand with a potato master, do not use a blender or food processor. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Divide into 8 or 10 equal parts and shape into a burger. Let sit for a few minutes in the refrigerator to set. Grill or broil on each side until golden brown.

Based on Jeff Novick’s Fast Food Recipes.

Shopping list for simple meals.

1 x Oats
4 x Canned tomatoes, no salt added
2 x garbonzo beans, no salt
1 x pinto beans
1 x red kidney or black beans
2 x frozen cauliflower
1 x frozen peppers & onions
1 x frozen corn
2 x frozen california mix
2 x frozen mixed veggies
1 x frozen spinach or kale
1 bag potatoes
1 bag brown rice
1 pkg whole wheat pasta
2 bunches lettuce
7 x tomatoes
7 x bananas
7 x organic gala or honeycrisp apples

Notes: shopping list is based on meals for 1-2 people. I usually eat one serving, put one serving in the fridge for another meal, and freeze 2 servings for later. This way, I have really fast food on those days I don’t want to cook.

Some additional very simple meals:

Beans and Rice – 1 can chili beans, 2 cups of instant brown rice, cooked. Mix together. Heat through. Add seasonings to taste. Serve.

Pasta with Sauce – Cooked pasta (your choice, I like whole wheat spaghetti), 1 jar no fat spaghetti sauce. Pour sauce over cooked hot pasta. Serve.

Rice and Vegetables – 1 bag frozen stir-fry vegetables, heated. Add 1 bag cook-in-bag rice, cooked. Season to taste. Serve.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy – 2 servings prepared instant mashed potatoes, 1 can Campbells mushroom gravy, heated. Pour gravy over potatoes. Serve.

Todd’s Macaroni and Cheese

4 cups cooked macaroni
Β½ teaspoon salt
Β½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups shredded cheese plus
  Β½ cup shredded cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 375Β°. Mix together salt, pepper, whipping cream, egg, and butter. Add to macaroni and stir. Add shredded cheese. Stir. Pour all into 8” x 8” pan. Top with additional Β½ cup shredded cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.

Vegan Beans and Rice

Vegan Beans and Rice

I like to have some very simple recipes on hand for when I don’t have much time or am just tired and want to eat. This is one of those recipes. This makes a large batch that you can have for several meals, or freeze half for a quick dinner later.

3 cups cooked brown rice
2 cans mild or hot chili beans
2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

Mix all together in a large saucepan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. You are ready to eat!

Please remember that you can add/omit any spices or ingredients you don’t like or don’t have. This is your dinner so make is how YOU like it!

Optional add-ins: 1 cup frozen spinach or kale, 1 cup frozen or fresh corn

Homestyle Lasagna

This lasagna tastes like authentic lasagna but is easy to make. Ok, as authentic as an American who has never tasted true Italian lasagna can make. It’s American yummy.


Brown in skillet together:
1 pound Italian sausage
1 clove garlic minced (approx 1 teaspoon)
1 Tablespoon sweet basil, dried

Combine in food processor:
3 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Additional ingredients needed:
2 large cans/jars spaghetti sauce
1 can diced Italian tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 box lasagna noodles (no need to pre-cook)
1 pound mozzarella cheese

Layer sauce, lasagna noodles, cheese filling, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Refrigerate or bake. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes if all ingredients are hot. If refrigerated, bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour covered. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Stuffed Mushroom Bake

My family devours this Stuffed Mushroom Bake. I prefer the vegan version. Either way, this recipe will satisfy your cravings!


1Β  8oz package sliced mushrooms
4 oz cream cheese, softened (vegan: use Tofutti vegan cream cheese)
1/4 cup butter, melted (vegan: use Smart Balance vegan margarine)
2 Tablespoons real bacon bits (vegan: use imitation bacon bits)
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese (vegan: use Galaxy Foods vegan Parmesan cheese or omit)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (vegan: use Go Veggie Cheddar Shreds)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (vegan: use Go Veggie Mozzarella Shreds)

Place all in 8″ x 8″ glass dish in order listed. Top with 1 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup melted butter (vegan: use Smart Balance vegan margarine.)

There are other vegan alternatives but the options listed are the ones that I like the best. Feel free to substitute whatever brand you like. πŸ™‚

Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Italian Cheese Chicken Roll Ups

Italian Cheese Chicken Roll Ups are a good Italian alternative to spaghetti – in case you could possibly get tired of spaghetti. As if.


2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup Italian cheese blend, shredded
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4″ thickness
2 cups spaghetti sauce

Combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, spices and garlic salt. Shape into 4 logs. Roll chicken around logs and place in 9″ x 13″ dish, seam side down. Pour spaghetti sauce evenly over chicken. Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove foil and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese. Bake 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball is wonderful for chocolate lovers! Especially served with chocolate graham crackers. Mmmmm …….


8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Blend together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Fold in sugars. Add chocolate chips.


Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas are easy and quick to make. They are milder than regular enchiladas and kids seem to like them.


1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can mushrooms, pieces and stems
2 cans chicken, white meat
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or less to taste
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Combine all ingredients and evenly divide onto 8 tortillas. Place tortillas seam side down in lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Chocolate Dipped Oreo Balls

These are highly addictive and loaded with sugar – just saying πŸ™‚


1 package of Oreo cookies
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
2 16oz bags milk chocolate chips or white chips, melted

Crush Oreos super fine. Mix with cream cheese. Roll into bite-size balls. Dip into melted chocolate and place on waxed or parchment paper until set. Store in refrigerator, if they make it that far πŸ™‚

p.s. Don’t feed these to children unless you don’t want them to eat anything else today. LOL

Pistachio Dessert aka “Layered Green Stuff”

This is a huge hit every year at our Thanksgiving and Christmas parties.

This can be made vegan with substitutions. I’m not saying it’s healthy, just vegan . . . πŸ™‚


1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts, your choice – I use walnuts
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups Cool Whip
1 package pistachio instant pudding
1 package vanilla instant pudding
3 cups cold milk

Mix flour, nuts, and margarine. Press into 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.

Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 cup Cool Whip. Spread over crust.

Mix pudding mixes and milk together. Let stand for 5 minutes until somewhat set up. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Spread remaining Cool Whip on top. Chill until ready to serve.

Best Pizza Dough

This is the best pizza dough I have ever had. A bread maker makes this recipe super easy!


1 cup warm beer*
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2Β  3/4 cups flour
1 Tablespoon yeast, not rapid rising

Place all ingredients in bread maker in order listed. Use dough setting and approximately 1 1/2 lb setting. Once dough is ready, place in refrigerator and let rise until double.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Press dough into 2 lightly greased 12″ pizza pans. Brush lightly with oil. Add toppings and bake 15 – 25 minutes or until bottom of crust is crispy and edges lightly browned.

* I can’t stand the smell of beer, let alone the taste. However, the alcohol evaporates and leaves a nice “yeasty” flavor. Give it a try πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Dip

This Pumpkin Dip is great served with mini graham crackers πŸ™‚


3Β  8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
scant 1/8 teaspoon cloves or less
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
8oz Cool Whip, thawed

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together until well blended. Stir in all remaining ingredients, then gently fold in Cool Whip.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups.

Holiday Cheese Ball

This Holiday Cheese Ball is a favorite at Christmas! Serve with a variety of crackers and/or vegetables.


2Β  8oz packages of cream cheese
4 oz dried beef, diced (find in the lunchmeat section)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Combine all using heavy duty mixer. Form into ball, roll in chopped pecans if you like. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.

Chicken Casserole

This is one of my family’s favorite recipes. I hope your family will enjoy it too!

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can of milk
4 hard cooked eggs, cubed
4 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup uncooked macaroni
2 large cans chicken

Stir all together. Pour into 11″ x 13″ baking dish.
Top with 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs mixed with 1/2 cup melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serves 6.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake & Icing

This is one of my family’s favorite cake recipes. You could make it vegan by substituting vegan mayo and almond milk. I haven’t tried this so if you are adventurous and try it, let me know how it comes out!

Mix dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons baking soda
4 Tablespoons baking cocoa


1 cup Miracle Whip – I know, the recipe says mayonnaise but we have always used Miracle Whip πŸ™‚
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Pour into 9″ X 12″ greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

1 stick (1/2 cup) of margarine or butter
1 pound bag of powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1/3 cup buttermilk (I use regular milk)
1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract

Melt butter/margarine, add cocoa and buttermilk/milk. Blend in almond or vanilla extract. This will be very gooey, pour over cake.

Best Banana Bread or Muffiins

This wonderful recipe can be made into banana bread or muffins for a quick snack or take-along breakfast!

Mix together:
1/2 cup sugar (or dry sweetener of your choice)
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend together:
2 cups flour (I like to use oat flour – ground dry oatmeal)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
shake or two of cinnamon

Combine ingredients and bake in oiled loaf pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees; two small loaf pans for 40 minutes; or 18 muffin cups for 23 minutes. Done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Fresh Summer Salad

Fresh Summer Salad – Ahhhh . . .

1-2 cups green leafy lettuce, torn or chopped

1/2 cup chopped carrots or more (I really like carrots . . .)

1 small diced fresh tomato

1 medium chopped apple, any variety

1/2 cup halved sweet Bing cherries

1/4 cup chopped Walnuts

1/4 cup shredded soy cheese

2 tablespoons salad dressing of choice (I used Kraft Zesty Lime)

Arrange in your bowl however you like. You can add some chickpeas (garbonzo beans) for protein or maybe a Boca Spicy Chik’n Patty.

Keep in mind that you can adjust this recipe to your liking. If you don’t want soy cheese, use your favorite cheese. Use what you have. Add or remove anything to make this salad into your favorite salad!

Summertime Breakfast Smoothie

Summertime Breakfast Smoothie – YUM!

1 ripe banana

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (no sugar added)

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon instant coffee

1 Tablespoon agave nectar (optional sweetener)

1 cup ice

Blend all together until smooth using Bullet blender or food processor. This smoothie provides the caffeine you need without having to taste the coffee. (yes!)

Remember this – recipes are guidelines or ideas. You can change anything about this recipe that you like. If you don’t like peanut butter, leave it out. If you love peanut butter, double it. It’s YOUR smoothie, so make it however you like! Enjoy!