Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad

2 lbs. cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

2/3 c. mayo

1/4 c. milk

1 lemon, juiced

2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Throw all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for about an hour (the herbs need to infuse into the salad). Serve cold.

Simple Scalloped Potatoes

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 tbsp. butter

5 tbsp. flour

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

5 c. milk

6 c. thinly sliced potatoes

1 c. shredded cheese

In a saucepan, saute butter and garlic. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Add milk and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce is thickened (2 minutes). Place half of the potatoes into a greased baking dish. Pour half of the milk mixture over potatoes. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until potatoes are cooked through.

Sweet ‘n Saucy Meatballs

These meatballs are sweet but so yummy! This recipe is perfect for kids because it involves mixing the meatballs with your hands!

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 egg

1/2 c. cracker crumbs

1 1/2 c. water

1 1/4 c. ketchup

1 c. sugar

In a bowl, combine beef and egg. Sprinkle with oats and mix with fingers. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place in a lightly greased baking dish.

In a separate bowl, combine water, ketchup and sugar. Pour over meatballs (they will be completely covered with sauce and look soupy). Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. They will still be soupy when done but you can spoon the meatballs out and scoop the sauce over them. I also like to serve mine with a side of rice because the sauce is delicious! Enjoy!

Famous Fried Chicken with Honey Mustard Dip

This recipe isn’t really measured precisely, it’s more about eyeballing for however many people you’re feeding. I’m going to write this recipe for 2 people.

Fried Chicken:

canola oil

6 chicken tenders

1 1/2 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

3 eggs

1/2 c. milk (I use lactose free)

Fill just the bottom of a medium sized pan with canola oil and heat over medium high heat. Put the flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir together. Put the egg and milk in another and whisk. Dip the thawed chicken tenders in the egg (covering each side of the tenders), then the flour mixture, and then back into the egg. Now this is where it gets a little tricky for some: I don’t have an exact time to cook the chicken, I use a meat thermometer to make sure I pull the tenders out of the oil once they reach 160 degrees. There shouldn’t be any pink left inside the meat and the outside of the batter should be a brownish color (pictured below). This is a difficult thing to time because everyone’s stove is different.

Be careful not to dry the tenders out. About 3 minutes on each side should be enough to cook any raw meat. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, I recommend you buy one. They’re not too expensive and they can come in handy.

Honey Mustard Dip:

honey

dijon mustard

This dip is all about your preferences. I make it by putting more honey than mustard and I always taste it before serving. If you like sweet, add more honey. If you like tangy, add more mustard. You really just have to taste it as you go and add more of whatever flavor you feel needs to be stronger. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

2 lbs. frozen chicken breasts

1 c. ketchup

1 c. BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

1 tbsp. yellow mustard

2 tbsp. A1 steak sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. white vinegar

pinch of basil

salt & pepper to taste

Don’t thaw the chicken; just toss it in. Trust me on this, you can unthaw it if you want but chances are the meat will dry out. As long as the chicken is 160 degrees when you finish cooking, it’s safe! Add all ingredients, doesn’t need to be stirred. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Shred the meat when it’s finished cooking and stir the mixture. Serve on hamburger buns. This recipe is so delicious! My husband made yummy sounds the entire time he ate it 🙂 A quick warning though, it’s incredibly messy! If you have toddlers, strip them to their diapers to eat it and prepare for a bath afterwards! Enjoy!

Homemade Laundry Soap

I live in a tiny 655 sq. ft. second floor apartment in Southwest Michigan. Thank goodness there’s a dishwasher in here because there’s no washer or dryer 😦 In order to do my laundry I have to walk down two flights of stairs to the basement floor of the building connected to mine. The washers and dryers are decent but each machine costs $1.25! It costs me $10 just to do my regular loads of laundry.

As you can imagine I don’t have extra change laying around for expensive laundry soap and the cheap stuff breaks both my husband and I out. Naturally, I was really excited when I learned how inexpensive and easy making your own laundry soap is.

Everything you need: Arm & Hammer washing soda (not to be confused with baking soda), Borax, and your choice of a scented bar soap.

Put 1/2 cup of washing soda with 1/2 cup of Borax into a tupperware container. Grate one bar of soap (I like Lever 2000) and add to the mixture. Close the lid and shake to mix. That’s all there is to it! You only need three heaping spoonfuls for a regular sized load.

This is what the finished product should look like. It smells great and gets your clothes clean without leaving an icky residue! Have fun happy housewives and househusbands!

Lemon Thyme Bars

I found this recipe through Giada from Food Network. These are incredible and they’re a spin off my favorite, lemon bars. They’re more of a crumble, not moist like lemon bars, but they are divine! You’ll need butter to grease the dish and a little flour to dust.

Bars:
1 stick (4 oz) butter, room temperature
1 c. flour
2 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour an 8×8 baking dish. Combine flour, thyme, and salt. Using a mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Turn the mixer down and slowly add the powdered sugar. Lightly flour your fingers and gently press the dough in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes and then let cool for another 30 minutes.
Icing:
2 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 c. powdered sugar
Whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar and pour over the cooled crust. Make sure to spread it evenly. Cut into squares and store at room temperature in a covered container. Yum yum!

Homemade Donuts

These are my husband’s favorite! My Grandma Butcher (maternal grandmother), invented these in the 50s and they’ve been in our family ever since! They are delicious and I’m sure other people have come up with them too because I saw them on Food Network once. They’re the best on a Sunday morning when you’re rushing to get ready for church 🙂

Donuts:
1 tube of plain dinner biscuits
vegetable oil
Open the biscuits (it takes me 10 minutes to pop the container). Cut holes in the center of the biscuits (I use the twist cap from my soy milk or orange juice container). Heat up the oil on the stove top, medium heat works the best. Drop the donuts and donut holes in the oil, once it’s heated, and fry until lightly brown. Cool on a plate with paper towel.
Icing:
1 (8 oz) package sour cream
1/4 c. butter
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In a mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese (I like to warm the butter up if it’s not already room temperature, just don’t melt it completely). Mix in the vanilla and then slowly add the confectioner’s sugar. Frost the donuts when they’ve cooled slightly. You can refrigerate the icing if there’s leftover. You can also dust the donuts with confectioner’s sugar if you don’t want icing, or you can use cinnamon & sugar. Enjoy!

Mom’s Guacamole

My friends always ask me how to make my guacamole. Well, it’s not my recipe, it’s my mom’s. It’s delish and perfect if you prefer a more avocado-tasting dip.

Image

1 avocado
1/2 to 1 tsp. chile powder
1 heaping spoonful sour cream
1 tomato, diced
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. salt
 
Spoon out both halves of an avocado into a medium sized bowl, and mash with a fork. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chile powder (just depends on your desired amount of spice). Spoon in one heaping spoonful of sour cream (this is optional if you’re lactose intolerant like me, it just makes it creamier). Dice one good sized garden tomato, two if you’re using Roma tomatoes. Add 1 teaspoon lime juice (this also varies depending on how tart you want it, I usually go by taste more than measuring). Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt (again, depends on your desire for saltiness. If your tortilla chips are really salty then add less). Stir together all ingredients and voila! Guacamole!