What's Cookin?

Macaroni Salad

  • Pasta of your choice (today I am using Nuggets)
  • Miracle Whip
  • Sweet Pickles
  • 2 Tbs. Sweet pickle juice
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1/4 Onion
  • 6 Eggs
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Paprika

Place the eggs in a pot and fill with cold water to just cover the eggs.  Salt the water and place over heat uncovered. 
Heat to boiling, cover remove from heat and time for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes drain and fill with ice water to quickly cool the eggs.
Peel the eggs - set aside.
While the eggs are cooking - Place another pot of salted water over heat to cook the pasta.  I cooked the whole box of pasta but only used about half for this recipe - I will use the other half for lunch or something.
When the pasta is al dente, remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water - set aside.
While the eggs and pasta are cooking - chop everything up.

Finely chop the onion and place in a large bowl.
Peel and grate the carrots, place in the large bowl with the onion.
Rough chop about 1/2  jar of sweet pickles, and add them to the large bowl.  Keep the pickle jar out.
Once the pasta is cooked and cooled add about 1/2 the amount to the large bowl with the carrots and friends.  
Stir to mix.
Add about 1/2 jar of Miracle Whip a little at a time and stir to incorporate.  Pasta will absorb the liquid so you want this to look a little bit soupy now so that it looks perfect after it sits.
Rough chop the peeled eggs into the pasta mixture, and stir gently.
Add the pickle juice and mix.  
Salt, pepper, and paprika to  taste - mix well.
Transfer the salad to a sealable container and place in the fridge for several hour or over night to allow all the flavors to mingle and marry.

Pressure Coked Green Beans, Potatoes, and Ham

  • Fresh Green Beans
  • Cooked Ham (I used leftovers that I had in the freezer)
  • White potatoes (I used about 3 pounds)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of water
Wash the green beans, snap the ends off, and snap into bite size pieces.

Peel the potatoes, and cut into large chunks.  (I basically just quartered them unless they were really big).
Defrost the boneless ham and cut into bite sized pieces. 
In a large pressure cooker - I used my canning 18 qt pressure cooker (slightly way too big, but my 4 qt is too small), place the green beans, potatoes, and ham.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add the water.
Assembly the Pressure cooker according to its instructions and turn up the heat under it.
Pressurize to 15 pounds and the weight will start to dance nicely.  At this point let the pot cook for 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and adjust the heat as needed to keep it at 15 pounds of pressure.

After 10 minutes turn out the heat and let the pressure cooker depressurize and cool down.
I can never wait that long so I cheat.  Using a long metal knife or flipper, I will tilt the pressure weight to let off the pressure.  BE CARFUL DOING THIS....PRESSURIZED STEAM IS VERY HOT.
Once all the pressure is let off and it is safe to open the cooker - feast your eyes on a super taste dish.
Spoon yourself and your family a bowl of this quick tasty wonder and serve with apple cider vinegar, and some crusty bread.



  • 2 pounds of Lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 2 sleeves of unsalted tops saltine crackers
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Onion powder to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste

In a small bowl crunch up one sleeve of crackers and add the milk  - set aside. (note:  the crackers no not have to smashed into complete crumbs, just crunch them up like you would to add to soup)
In a large mixing bowl place all three meats and combine using your hands.
Add seasonings to taste and mix well.
Add the milk soaked crackers to the meat and mix well.
Crunch up more crackers and add them (dry) to the meatloaf as needed to make a firm not so sticky mass.  (note:  Sometimes it takes the whole sleeve sometimes not)
Form the meatloaf into a loaf shape and place in a sprayed roasting pan. 
Add some water to the bottom of the roaster.
Bake at 325* for about 3 hrs. 

Keep an eye on it and cover it once it browns - about half way through cooking.
One the internal temperature is above 180* it is done.  Remove it from the oven and let it sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes.
Remove the meatloaf from the roaster and place on a dish for cutting.

Summer Squash and Eggs


  • 3 Summer squash (here I used straight necks, you can use crook neck, yellow zucchini, and or green 
  • 5 eggs (mine are fresh from my hens)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the squash
Slice into thin slices into a frying pan.  I used a mandolin slicer to make quick work of it.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add a few dabs of butter.
Saute the squash until it is all done and limp.
Crack the eggs into a bowl.
Scramble the eggs with a fork.
Add the eggs to the squash and cook until the eggs are done.

Sloppy Joes


  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 8-12 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chili Powder to taste
Place chopped onion in a skillet and cook until translucent.

Add the hamburger and cook until the meat is done.  Chop up the meat with a spatula as it cooks so it is fairly fine.
Add seasonings to taste.
Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
Add about 10 shakes of the Worcestershire sauce.
Heat through.
Serve on a roll.

Chipped Ham BBQ


  • 1 pound of Chipped Ham from the deli counter
  • 1 Tbs Vinegar
  • 1cup Ketchup
  • 2Tbs Water
  • 1 Tbs prepared Spicy Brown Mustard
Combine the ketchup, water, vinegar, and mustard in a pot.
Loosely add all the chipped ham.
Stir to coat the meat with the ketchup mixture.
Heat on medium low heat stirring as needed until it is hot.
Serve on fresh rolls.

Spanish Rice

  • 1 bell pepper (I had 1/2 of each a green and yellow)
  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 1 pound of lean Hamburger
  • 2 cups of uncooked white rice
  • 2 large cans or jars of diced tomatoes
  • Paprika to taste
  • Cayenne  to taste
  • Chili Powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
Chop the onion and pepper.
Start cooking the rice according to directions.  I do not use minute rice so it takes mine a bit longer to cook.  
In a large pot cook the onion and pepper until tender.  
Add the ground beef and continue cooking until the meat is done.
Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Add the tomatoes to the meat mixture and warm through.  
Once the rice is done add it to the meat mixture stirring to incorporate.  This should be thick and not runny.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • 3 bell peppers (I used 2 red and 1 green)
  • 1.5 pounds of lean Hamburger
  • 2 cups of uncooked white rice
  • 1 can or jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 4 slices of uncooked bacon
  • Onion powder to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
Cook rice according to package directions - let cool.
Prepare a casserole dish with pan spray - set aside.
Wash the peppers under flowing water, and pat dry.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise so they will lay open side up.  
Remove the inner seeds and ribbing.
Place peppers in prepared dish open side up.
In a large bowl mix the hamburger and seasonings until well combined.
Mix in the rice spoonfuls at a time until the mixture is soft but still will hold a shape when squeezed together.  (We do about a 50/50 or 60/40 blend of meat to rice).
Stuff the pepper cavities with handfuls of the meat mixture.  You want it slightly domed above the pepper.
If you have meat left over after all the peppers are stuffed just make very large meatballs out of it and nestle them in the dish around the peppers.

Cut the bacon strips in half and lay across the peppers and any meatballs.
Pour sauce over everything.

Add a little water to the dish, and back at 350* for about 2 hours.
Keep an eye on them and cover them with foil if they start to brow up too much. (I should have taken my own advice here - as mine got a little dried out)


Stuffed Steak


  • Thin steaks - we used sirloin here
  • Stuffing - it was a weeknight so we just used stove top instead of making it from scratch
  • Bullion cubes
  • Water
  • 2 can of Beef Broth
  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Flour
  • Hot water
Make stuffing according to directions on package or make from scratch.
In a medium pot, add the broth, 2 cups and water and a few bullion cubes. 
Dissolve about 1 1/2 cups of flour in enough  hot water to make a glue like consistency.
When the broth is boiling drizzle in the the flour while whisking until a gravy is made.
Lay out a piece of the thin steak and season both sides with tenderizer, pepper, onion and garlic powders to taste.
Place a scoop of stuffing on the steak and roll it up. 

Place seam side down in a sprayed baking dish.

Repeat with the rest of the steak pieces.  
Pour about a cup of water in the bottom of the baking dish.
Pour enough gravy over the top of the rolled steaks to cover.

Bake 350* for about an hour, or until the steaks are done.



Hot Sausage in Sauce with Peppers and Onions

  • Hot sausage links
  • 1 can of Spaghetti Sauce
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, sliced
  • 2-3 Sweet Onions, sliced
  • 4Tbs butter
  • Sausage or Steak Rolls
  • Provolone Cheese slices (optional)
Cook the sausage in the oven at 350* for about 20 minutes until done.  
Transfer the sausage to a 5qt crock pot and add the sauce.
Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours.
In the mean time in a large skillet, cook the onions and peppers in butter until soft.

Serve the sausage in a roll topped with provolone cheese, pepper and onions and other toppings of your choice.  I like mine with ketchup.


Buffalo Chicken Dip


  • 8 oz cream cheese - softened
  • 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2 cup Red Hot buffalo wing  sauce
  • 2 - 12.5 oz canned chicken - drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I am using Mexican Jack cheese)
Preheat oven to 350*.
In a deep baking dish combine the cream cheese, ranch dressing, wing sauce, and shredded cheese.  
Stir to incorporate.
Stir in chicken.
Bake 20 minutes until heated through.
Serve with chips or veggies of your choice.

Taco Scoops

  • 1 pound of lean hamburger
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Taco Sauce
  • Salsa
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour Cream
Brown the beef and drain if necessary.  Add the taco seasoning packet and water according to the packet directions.  
Add about 1/2 bottle of taco sauce and mix well. 
Set up a bunch of Scoops, formed tortilla chips, and put a small spoonful of the meat mixture into each chip.
Top each with a spoonful of salsa.
Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese
Top with a squirt of sour cream.    


Potato Soup

  • 6 pieces of bacon
  • 1 medium Onion finely chopped
  • 5# potatoes pealed rinsed, chopped into bite sized cubes; separated into 2 groups
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 chicken bullion cubes
  • Diced leftover ham (optional)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 ½ c milk
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 4 oz Munster cheese diced
  • 4 oz Monterey Jack cheese diced
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese diced (optional)

In a large stock pot fry the bacon until done.
Remove bacon to paper towels to drain.
Discard all but about 4Tbs of bacon grease from the pot.
To the remaining grease, add the onion and sauté until done.
Add the 2 cans of broth, water, bullion cubes, ham and ½ of the potatoes.
Boil until the potatoes are very well done and fall apart.
In the mean time in a skillet melt the butter with the flour and allow to turn a golden brown.
Mix the milk and sour cream in a microwavable bowl and heat until warm.
When the potatoes in the pot are done you can mash them up some with a masher, add the warmed milk mixture, rest of the potatoes, and cheese.
Cook until potatoes are almost done then spoon in the roux and mix well to incorporate into the soup.
Continue cooking and stirring until the potatoes are done and tender.
Serve topped with crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.


Cheesy Hamburger and Noodle Casserole


·          1 pound of Lean Ground Beef
·         1 medium Onion chopped
·         1 medium Bell Pepper chopped
·          2 tsp minced Garlic (or 1-2 cloves chopped)
·          Salt to taste
·          Pepper to taste
·          Chili Powder to taste
·         1 can of Sweet Corn drained
·         1 small can of Tomato Paste
·         1 can of Stewed Tomatoes
·         1 can of Diced Tomatoes
·         1 12 oz package of Extra Wide Egg Noodles
·          1 8oz package of Cream Cheese softened
·         1 16 oz tub of Sour Cream
·         2 -3 cups of shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I sometimes add pepper jack cheese as well)

Start a large pot of water to boil for the noodles.
Spray a large casserole dish and set aside.
Preheat over to 350.
In the mean time in a large skillet brown the beef, onions, pepper, and garlic add salt pepper and chili powder to taste.
When onions are translucent and the pepper is soft stir in the corn, tomatoes, and paste and bring to a bubble.
Chop up the cream cheese into chunks and add to the skillet and stir to melt.
Add the sour cream and stir to blend well.
Add about 1/2 of the shredded cheese and stir to melt.
Boil the noodles until just tender - drain and return to pot.
Pour the skillet mixture into the noodles and stir to incorporate.
Dump everything into the prepared casserole dish and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes uncovered.
Remove from the oven and let set 5 minutes before serving.