Welcome to my world of comfort food, recipes and discussion.

Friday, May 29, 2009


We have lived in our home for almost 19 years and have had many neighbors over the years. For the most part we have been very lucky. But now we are extremely lucky I think. I have an injured knee that I am nursing and my husband being on dialysis, gets tired very easily(what a pair lol). Our next door neighbor has been (unfortunately )layed off from his job , but in his kindness has been cutting our lawn for the past several weeks. We never asked him to do it, we do go out and give him refreshments and all he says is "I am so bored at home, just looking for something to do". How nice is that, I ask you? It is one less thing for me to worry about. I have been thinking of something nice to do for him and his family, who are always there when we need anything done. I decided this weekend I am going to make them a homemade pizza( which is one of my specialities), I am going to make a basic cheese pizza and give them all the toppings separate so they can put on what they want. Along with it I am going to make a cherry cobbler and I was thinking of a salad. They are the kind of people that do things without expecting or wanting anything for it, so I am hoping this is something homemade from my heart. I feel like if I bought them a gift, it wouldn't have the same feeling. What do you think? Is a gift from the heart good for the soul?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


1/2 cup butter(or margarine)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans(optional)
Mix ingredients together well and roll into balls. If the dough seems sticky you can refrigerate for about an hour and then roll into balls. The next is optional, I have a daughter with nut allergies so I only do this if I am giving them as a gift to someone. When I make them for us, I either leave them plain or roll in colored sprinkles . Take each ball and roll it in the chopped nuts and then place about and inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Gently make a thumbprint in the center. I use the end of a wooden spoon to make the thumbprint. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until they are nice and golden brown. After they cool you can fill them with your favorite jam or jelly. For my husband I use a sugar-free jelly. At Easter I put a chocolate egg in them as soon as they came out of the oven. You can also put a little frosting in the thumbprint. They taste good with all but the jam tastes the best in my opinion. Sometimes if I want to get fancy I make a thin icing and "spatter" them with it after the thumbprint is filled.
I hope you enjoy them, its fun to bake, it can bring everyone together. I have some great memories of baking with my sisters growing up. Now I bake with my daughter. Nothing brings everyone around like the smell of cookies baking.

Sunday, May 24, 2009



Friday, May 22, 2009


My daughter and I took a trip to Shipshewana, Indiana last year. We had such a nice time and talk about comfort food. They have every pie known to man, pies I have never even heard of and some I have heard of but never tried. Our favorite was the fresh raspberry , and fresh peach, too good! I tried shoo fly pie and have to admit I didn't care for it, a little too sweet for me. They had bakery the size of footballs and the chicken dinner was unbelievable. We live in Michigan so we do go up to Frankenmuth where they also have wonderful chicken dinners but this was just as good. The shops are so much fun and the atmosphere is very pleasant, not rushed, peaceful. I recommend going there to you all. My daughter and I were also huge fans(until the last season which I won't talk about) of The Gilmore Girls. In Shipshewana there was an area that reminded us both of Star's Hollow, we spent a lot of time there relaxing. Last Christmas my daughter made this picture for me, I was overwhelmed. It is just like the area we called"Stars Hollow". I am a lucky and very proud Mom.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The holiday weekend is almost here! I can smell the cookouts already. Burgers, hot dogs, brats maybe even steaks. What goes best with anything a fresh homemade potato salad. It takes a little time but it is so worth it. I can't stand the store bought potato salad, they always have that after taste. If you make your own you won't have that problem, the only problem you will have is making enough. This is the recipe my Mom made and I have never changed it. It is very basic nothing fancy but and trust me on this one it is good.

Serves 4 (you can double, triple and on and on)
6 large red skinned potatoes (if they are the real small ones than 12 small), cooked until still slightly firm, not too soft about 30 minutes but keep checking them every 15 minutes, you don't want them to be mushy at all. They should still have a little firmness when you poke them with a fork. I like to cook them and when they feel slightly firm I turn off the heat and just let them sit in the hot water for 5 or 10 minutes until they feel just right. Cool and then peel and slice or cube them. I don't know why but my Mom hated them cubed, we had to slice them when we made it with her lol.

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
6 hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise( it can be low-fat whatever brand you like)
salt and pepper to taste
I use a large bowl for mixing and starting with the potatoes I layer 1/3 and then some celery, onion, eggs and mayo and a little salt and pepper and continue layering until everything is used up. I do this so that now when I go to mix it all together, it doesn't get so broken up, I like to mix it gently so that it looks nice when you are done. I reserve 1 hard boiled egg and slice or grate it over the top. Now taste it and decide if it needs a little more salt or pepper. I tend to hold back so that my guests can add their own if they need to. Next cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day to all!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I had this at a friends house and it was so good and as I found out so easy to make.

You will need a 9x13 pan, 24 ice cream sandwiches(any kind), 1 large tub cool whip, ice cream toppings, nuts, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, cherries, etc.

Layer 12 ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of the pan, cut them if you need to so they fit snuggly. Spread a layer of cool whip over that and then another layer of sandwiches followed by another layer of cool whip. Cover with foil tightly and freeze for several hours or overnight.

To serve: Take it out of the freezer and let it sit out for 5 minutes to soften, then add the toppings. You can go nuts here. I like to put chocolate syrup all over and then sprinkles followed by cherries with the stems so that everyone gets a cherry when you cut it. You just cut into squares and enjoy.

There are so many different kinds of ice cream sandwiches that you can have fun with. There are also low fat sandwiches making this a nice low fat dessert.


Monday, May 18, 2009



Recipe 1: In a 3 quart sauce pan, brown 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey works well also, add 1 small onion, finely chopped. Drain off the excess grease and return to the sauce pan. Add 1 cup tomato catsup, 1/4 cup brown sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water, salt and pepper to taste, 1 or 2 quick drops of red pepper sauce just to spice it up, the amount is up to you. Let it simmer on low, uncovered for at least 30 minutes. Stir it pretty often because of the sugar it can stick to the bottom.

Recipe 2: The same as above for the ground beef and onion. After returning to the sauce pan add, 1 can chicken gumbo soup(weird I know but trust me its good), 1/2 cup catsup, 3 TBSP. mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Do not add any water to the soup, just the whole can. Simmer for 30 minutes, give it a stir every so often.

I do this all in one pot so the clean up is minimal and it doesn't take a lot of time to make. I like to serve it on hamburger buns or biscuits along with a salad and some potato chips. Watermelon for dessert.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Peppers and Onions and Grilling Season is Here!!

I love to grill in the summer. Today I am making brats, hamburgers and hot dogs. With the brats I love to make a cooked onion mixture on the stove first. I slice up 2 or 3 nice onions, vidalias are my favorite, slice a couple of green peppers and chop several pepperonchinis. In a 2 quart saucepan (depending on how many onions you might need a bigger one) melt 1/2 cup butter or you can use olive oil or both. Add all the ingredients and let simmer until everything is nice and soft but not burnt . You will need to stir it every so often and leave it on low. It smells so good, can't you smell it now, it is the smell of summer barbecue season!! Let it cook for a while and then add to the top of your delicious grilled sausages. It goes with everything and also good on hamburgers. The pepperonchini give it a nice warmth without making it too spicy. Of course you can had spicy peppers if you like. Now go and grill!!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Comfort Food in Wisconsin

My husband and I both grew up in Wisconsin, our daughter was born there. We moved to Michigan when she was 4. We like it here in Michigan, but if you want to talk comfort food you must visit Leon's in Wisconsin, the BEST, yes I said it the BEST custard in the world! It is a drive-up, very simular to Happy Days restaurant. Kopps and Culvers are also equally good for custard and burgers. We now have Culvers in Michigan and many other states. Now I am not saying this is probably good for the waist line, but in moderation this is the ultimate comfort food. I am sure everyone has a favorite from your home state. PLEASE SHARE.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Black Forest Cherry Cake

We love black forest cherry cake so I came up with a somewhat "healthier" version so that my whole family could enjoy it. I bake a boxed mix dark chocolate cake. Pillsbury has a reduced sugar cake mix, that is good but you can use any you like. After baking in round cake pans I like to slice each layer to make four layers, it just looks fancier and its not hard to do. For frosting I use cool whip but I add 1 cup shaved chocolate to it. For the cherries I get a can of cherry pie fill but again there is a low sugar version but you can use any. After frosting each layer and then the whole cake I lay the cherries on top and make a cool whip border around it to dress the cherries up a bit. It looks nice and I know its not as impressive as other black forest cakes but this one we can all feel a little less guilty about eating. My family loves it. Because of the cool whip it has to be refrigerated or eaten. I prefer eaten of course!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spice Garden

I decided to try growing a spice garden on my kitchen window, it gets some good sun. I am a big fan of Gordon Ramsay and he inspired me to use fresh spices. I started about a week ago with seeds for basil, oregano, parsley, also a tomato plant and strawberries. Target has a great dollar section and I found a lot of what I needed there. I haven't always had a green thumb in the past so I didn't want to spend too much to start. The basil came up fast and is doing well followed by the parsley and oregano. I have a nice tomato plant going but the strawberries are just barely there. So the race is on, in first place, basil, oregano, parsley, tomato, strawberry. I will update weekly. I hope they don't crap out on me lol. Wish me luck.

Does anyone have a spice garden?

Homemade Fruit Sauce

Any time of the year I love to make applesauce. I can't stand to buy it at the store. It just tastes so much better when you make it yourself. It doesn't take that long and the results are worth it. I start by peeling and coring the apple, I like to use gala apples, but there are many varieties you can use. I clean 6 regular size apples and put them in a 2 quart pan, adding 1/2 cup water. Cook them down for about 30 minutes or until they are soft and mushy. I also like to add other fruits to the apples, pears work well, I love peaches. You can peal, core and add a few to the apples. Strawberries are also great and taste so good but I don't add them while the apples are cooking until the last few minutes. After they cool you can either use a potato masher or just a fork if you like the sauce a little chunky. I like to put it in a food processor to get it smooth. Depending on the sweetness of your fruit, you can add sugar to the water before cooking. My husband is diabetic so I don't add any and honestly sometimes it doesn't need any, but if it does I add some sweetener after it is done according to taste. My family loves it, there is never any left, now matter how much I make. It is a comfort food you can feel really good about because it is comforting to know you are giving them healthy and homemade and they love it. How can you beat that??


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Breakfast Sandwich

I love a breakfast sandwich any time of the day.Start by frying some turkey bacon. I take an egg and fry it over medium and while still in the pan I add a piece of american cheese and let it get melty. To assemble 1 slice toast(wheat for me), the cheesy egg, then the bacon and toast. Squish it all together so the yolk breaks and enjoy. Slightly messy but so good. I have been reading lately that turkey bacon is so full of sodium that it isn't that much better for you than regular bacon. I am a little bummed about that, here I thought I was doing myself some good. You can't win sometimes. Enjoy.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!!

To all of the Moms, have a great day. We are going to a brunch, I am looking forward to it. My daughter is the best, I am so proud of her!
Fun breakfast food: Take a 6 or 12 serving muffin tin and butter each section or use cooking spray. Depending on how many cut the crusts off 6 or 12 pieces of bread. Save the crusts, dry them and make bread crumbs or feed to the birds. Fit the bread into the muffin sections making a little well, and then add 1 raw egg to each well on top of the bread. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until the egg is cooked, add a sprinkle of cheese and bake for a few more minutes until cheese is melted. Sometimes they stick a little but I take a butter knife and go around the edges and then lift them out. It is delicious and a fun way to serve eggs. Kids can help with preparation. You can make sure the egg is cooked by sight or jiggle the pan a little. I used to make this with my Mom. Have a great day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I love watermelon and the season is near, I have begun to get whole seedless watermelon from the grocery store. It is so good, sweet, crunchy sometimes messy and yet its good for you in the right amounts. What more can you ask of a food? It does contain sugar so be careful but it is rich in potassium, vitamins A and C. It is the perfect finish to a summer meal and easy to prepare! This is a picture of a cake I made to look like a watermelon, now it isn't quite as good for you but I had fun with it and it was delicious.

THOUGHTS ON WATERMELON???http://chicamom1985.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pizza burger gooey stufff

I love this recipe, it is quick and delicious. I start with 1 lb. ground chuck and brown it, draining the grease. Put it in a large pot 3 or 4 qt., add 1 -15 oz can pizza sauce, whatever brand you like and 1/2 tsp each basil and oregano . Next add all of your favorite pizza ingredients, we like mushrooms, chopped pepperoni, chopped onions and let that cook for about 20 minutes. Just before I serve it I add 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese and mix. I serve it on toasted hamburger buns with a salad. It is so delicious and yes a little messy but worth it.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mexican Meatloaf

I was looking for something different to do with a meatloaf. I had 1 pound ground beef , 1/2 cup salsa, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 egg, 1 cup soft bread crumbs, 1/2 cup ketchup. I mixed it all up and shaped it like a cactus, baked at 350 for 40 minutes then I poured 1/2 cup salsa over the top and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 crushed tortillas and baked for 10 more minutes. It was really good. I got creative with the toppings so it looked fun. My family liked it although my picky husband wanted more spices. I might try that next time.

Do you have any interesting meatloaf recipes??

Please let me know at chicamom1985@blogspot.com