Monthly Archives: May 2014

Best of the Blog – Most Popular Posts In May

Here is a quick review of the most popular posts this month.  And in case you missed any, you can catch up on reading them by clicking on their title.

How to Care for Your Black Cast-Iron Skillet

(Awesome for baking inside the oven, too!)


Easy Strawberry Orange Fruit Jam

 (Made with ginger & lemon.)



Fresh Raspberry Peach Jam




The Classic Betty’s Salad

(An original from Toledo, Ohio!)


10 Frugal Ways to Love Your Home Again!

(Restyle your home for zero cost!)


One-Bowl Supper — Toasted Sweet Corn with Avocado

& Crispy Bacon



8 Simple Steps to Making a Hand-Sewn Slipcover

(Easy-to-do, no machine required!)


Before & After: How to Paint A Kitchen Island on a Slim Budget

 (Do-it-yourself and save.)


Yummy! Pan Fried Egg Rolls

 (Yes, please!)


The Ultimate Turkey Burger with Caramelized Onions

& Creamy Greek Sauce

(Quite possibly the best turkey burger evah!)


Bacon & Egg Breakfast Jiffy Cups

 (So moist and easy to make.)


Mexican Fried Ice Cream with Cinnamon Cups & Sweet Cream



Simple Meatballs with Garlicky Marinara

 (Another helping, anyone?)


Thanks for stopping by to read when you can!  I would love to hear your thoughts on these posts and any suggestions you may have for future recipes, crafts and projects.


Meatballs With Fresh Spinach and Basil Marinara {Beef or Venison}


To keep this recipe simple and a tad healthier, I left Italian Sausage out and sauteed the meatballs and marinara sauce in one pan.  They are delicious made with ground beef or venison.

Serve with fresh Italian bread, pasta, or hoagie style on a bun loaded with parmesan cheese — the more cheese the better! They’re so good!

Simple Meatballs with Fresh Spinach and Basil

1 lb. ground chuck beef or venison
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 Tbsp Italian spices
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper seeds
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 handfuls of fresh spinach, about two cups
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Olive Oil
Simple Garlicky Tomato Marinara Sauce (recipe below) or 1-24 oz jar
 Ragu brand Roasted Garlic Sauce

1. In large bowl mix ground meat, egg, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs by hand, then add in next 5 ingredients and mix well.
2. Add olive oil to large skillet. Roll meat mix into 1-1/2 inch round balls and place inside. Repeat until all meatballs have been rolled.
3. Bring pan up to high heat and sauté meatballs turning every few minutes until all sides are brown.
4. Turn heat to medium-high, cover pan with lid and allow to cook through another 10-15 minutes, turning once. Use cooking thermometer to test meat; they are done at 160 degrees, or test one meatball by removing from pan and cut through to the center to check.
5. Place meatballs on plate and set aside. Wipe away any grease from pan and make marinara sauce recipe below, or jar sauce listed above.
6. Saute fresh basil, spinach and a light dusting of garlic powder and pinch of salt in olive oil until wilted. Add marinara sauce and meatballs. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Dust with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Simple Garlicky Tomato Marinara Sauce
4 to 5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt

In large skillet or saucepan cook garlic and crushed red pepper in hot oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. (Do not allow garlic to burn which gives bitterness.) Stir in tomatoes and salt. Bring sauce to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. For smoother sauce, use hand-blender to pulsate marinara right inside the pan. Makes 3 cups.


Mexican Fried Ice Cream

Picture 6

I recently shared an ice cream dish with my family similar to this one when we were out of town. We loved the cold creaminess of the ice cream mixed with the sweet cinnamon crunch outer shell. In fact we enjoyed it so much we ordered a second one. This dessert is a marvelous Continue reading

Bacon & Egg Jiffy Cups


Jiffy Cups are perfect for weekends and holiday mornings. Folding scrambled eggs and shredded cheddar cheese into the batter, then topping with crispy bacon and a bit more cheese before baking brings a unique twist to these breakfast muffins. Allow them to cool until the pan can be handled without an oven mitt to lock in moistness.  Serve with warm Maple syrup.


Bacon & Egg Jiffy Cups

4 slices bacon, cut in thirds
6 eggs
2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, 8.5 oz each
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil or butter, melted
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
Maple syrup (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In large skillet cook bacon just until crispy. Drain and reserve drippings. Return 2 tsp. drippings to skillet. In small bowl, beat 4 eggs, 2 tbsp water, and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook eggs in hot skillet over medium heat without stirring until eggs begin to set on bottom and around edges. With spatula, lift and fold allowing uncooked portion to flow underneath. Cook until set but still moist. Lightly break cooked eggs apart into medium chunks. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Brush twelve 2-1/2″ muffin cups with remaining bacon drippings. In medium bowl stir together Jiffy Corn Muffin mixes, milk, oil and remaining two eggs. Fold cooked eggs into batter along with cheese. Spoon into muffin cups until full.

Place one bacon piece on each muffin and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until light brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack until pan can be handled without a mitt. Run a table knife around edges of muffins to loosen; remove from pans. Serve with warm Maple syrup if desired.

Toasted Sweet Corn with Avocado & Crispy Bacon


This sweet corn recipe has become my favorite summer supper.  It satisfies my husband’s hungry appetite, which is a big deal to me.  The first time I served it I had my doubts that he would like it because it’s a one-bowl dinner, and being the meat and potatoes kind of guy that he is, one bowl of food usually leaves him hungry. But we were both pleasantly surprised to find the loaded mix of flavors and plentiful ingredients to be quite hearty.  Diced red bell peppers add sweetness, fresh basil brings a peppery spice, and citrus juice gives this dish a nice zing. Add crispy bacon, creamy avocado and garbanzo beans with bits of feta to toasted corn from the cob, and this is one scrumptious meal!

This handy-dandy gadget makes shaving corn easy and safer!

This handy-dandy gadget makes shaving corn easy and safer!

Toasted Sweet Corn With Avocado & Crispy Bacon

3 – 4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled & set aside, 1 tbsp of bacon grease reserved
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, kernels shaved from cob
1/8 tsp red pepper seeds
2 green onions, chopped fine
1 small sweet red bell pepper, diced
1/2 can garbanzo beans or chick peas, drained
1 ripe avocado, removed from pit and diced
1 small bunch fresh basil or cilantro, chopped
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 lime or lemon for squeezing
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

In medium sized pan on medium-high heat, saute red pepper seeds, green onions and sweet red peppers in bacon grease, about 2 minutes. Add garbanzo beans and corn and cook several minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until corn is slightly toasted, but not brown.  Add chopped basil and feta, turn to mix and pour into glass or ceramic bowl for serving.

Add avocado, bacon, salt then squeeze fresh lime or lemon juice over the top. Turn to mix and it’s ready to serve. Enough for 4 as a side dish, or 2 as a meal.

What is your favorite summer supper to serve to your family? I would love to hear from you!



20% Discount Off Entire Bill at Olive Garden

Happy Memorial Day a little early! I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend. I also wanted to share with you this 20% off discount coupon to Olive Garden Restaurants. You can print direct from your computer or show your wait person the coupon from your phone. Enjoy!

Here’s the link:


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