Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

Sour Cream Cookies March 19, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 11:48 am
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again…no picture, imagine a snickerdoodle but fluffier, smaller and not perfectly round…

This is another recipe from the lovely Allissa Alvord


  • 1 c Shortening (I used butter, which I think made them spread out wider than Allissa’s)
  • 2 c Sugar
  • 1 t Vanilla (I always use more vanilla than called for 🙂 )
  • 1 c Sour Cream
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 5 c Flour

Mix it all together (flour last of course).  I used 2 spoons to spoon mine onto the baking sheet.  When they are on the sheet, dip the bottom of a cup in cinnamon-sugar and lightly press the ball of dough to make it flat on top (but don’t squish it!)  Bake at 350 for 12 mins.  They are done even if they are the same color and haven’t browned at all.

I love these cookies, Allissa always has them when I go over to babysit and was so glad she gave me the recipe!  They really remind me of snickerdoodles! mmmmmm 🙂 



Salsa (well, actually, pico de gallo) March 8, 2009

Filed under: frugal,Recipes — mrswade @ 4:26 pm
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Tonight is a taco night and I made some homemade salsa to go with it 🙂  It super easy, uber delicious, fresh and a fun way to get some veggies!


What I used

  • 3 1/3 tomatoes
  • 3/4 white onion
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (w/o the insides and the seeds)
  • cilantro to taste
  • a couple squirts of lime juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


Chop it all up, (use a food processor for the tomatoes if you want the salsa a little more juicy and less chunky) and mix it together, it’s super easy!

It’s also super cheap!  the cilantro and jalapeno were less than a dollar, onions and tomatoes aren’t that expensive either and this made way more than a traditional tub of salsa 🙂


Best Husband EVER February 28, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 11:11 am
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Last night was date night and I knew Jake had something up his sleeve.  He took the date money out of the cash envelope in my purse the night before and was being rather sneaky.  

what's cookin good lookin?

I had a friend over for coffee when he got home with a paper bag and immediately banned me from the kitchen.  Occasionally he would peek around the corner and ask questions like, “what do I do with this part of the garlic after I squeeze it?” and “do I use this knife for chopping the green onions?” and there were the occasional “ah ha!”s and “Oh come on!”s.  It was very cute 🙂  Jake has made me dinner once before, I’d say over 2, maybe 3 years ago.  He made me shrimp scampi and it was delicious, so I had a sneaking suspicion that he was making me the same thing last night.  I was right 😉

how romantic :)


I’m glad he made me shrimp, we both LOVE seafood and it is definitely a special meal because shrimp is not something we can normally afford to have.  And he makes one mean shrimp scampi! 🙂  

He even set the table with candles and everything 🙂


The shrimp was amazing…and REALLY buttery…haha.  He did a wonderful job and I felt so very loved 🙂

This is the recipe he found online:


  • 1 1/2 lbs large shrimp (about  16 to 24)
  • 1/3 c clarified butter
  • 4 Tbs minced garlic
  • mushrooms (as many as you want)
  • 6 green onions
  • 1/4 c dry white wine (Jake used Pinot Gris, which was really good)
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice, fresh if possible
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


Rinse shrimp and set aside.  Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Saute  garlic until it is softened but not browned with the salt, pepper and parsley.  In a separate pan saute mushrooms in butter.  When the garlic butter is done, turn the stove up to medium-high heat and pour in the wine, lemon juice and sauteed mushrooms.  Add shrimp and green onions; cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.  Do not overcook (no more than 5 minutes total).  Garnish with lemon slices and parsley sprigs if desired.

He served it over pasta with garlic bread 🙂





Simple Whole Wheat Bread February 25, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 6:20 pm
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Two posts in one day! wowee!  On monday I made homemade bread which I was a little nervous about, but it was O-SO-delicious!  It makes 3 loaves, which I would have known had I read ahead in the instructions, quite a pleasant surprise when I was only expecting one loaf!

Home-made Wheat Bread

Home-made Wheat Bread


  • 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely

I am going to keep making this bread, possibly as our main bread, for lunches and such.  I am also going to use all whole wheat flower instead of 5 cups white, 2 cups whole wheat.  I’m not sure if it’s cost effective to make my own bread, but it sure is yummier and makes me very happy.  Also, I think there is probably less crap in it than the store bought stuff, even though we already get bread that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup.



Eggplant Parmesan February 2, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 10:22 pm
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I was a little nervous about this recipe.  I had left over spaghetti sauce that I had frozen and didn’t know what to do with.  We were tired of spaghetti and I hate to throw anything out so I thought of eggplant parmesan.  I always try to make inexpensive recipes because Jake and I are on a pretty tight food budget.  2 eggplants cost me $2.98 and I threw out almost 1/2 an eggplant.  Next time I’ll just get one big one or two small ones.  Mozzerella was about 2.50, the parmesan I already had and I made my own bread crumbs.  Here’s the recipe.


  • 2 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced (mine were about 1/4 inch)
  • 2 – 3 eggs, beaten (start with 2 and crack another if needed)
  • 2-2/3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I just stuck 3 slices of bread in my food processor and then toasted them under the broiler, though I think I should have either toasted them less or not at all so they toasted more to the eggplant later.)
  • 4-6 cups spaghetti sauce (I’m not sure exactly how much I used, but I know I could have used more)
  • 8 ounce package mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used way more than this but I wanted to get rid of the parmesan I had sitting in the fridge)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
  3. In a 9×13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Jake kept going on and on about how delicious this was, I really liked it too.  It was far better than the eggplant parmesan I had had in my schools cafeteria 😉  Overall it turned out wonderful and is a cheap way to use up the extra spaghetti sauce (because I always make way too much!)  And healthy…I think (maybe with low-fat cheese?)


Crab Stuffed Zucchini November 21, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 10:52 am
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This recipe was UBER nummy and actually pretty easy!


3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons hard margarine (or butter)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon powder)

1 (6-ounce) can of crabmeat, drained, cartilage removed, flaked

1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 1 1/2 ounce)

1 large egg, fork-beaten

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 3/4 teaspoon flakes)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dill weed)

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Scoop out pulp from each zucchini, leaving 1/2 inch thick shells. Arrange shells in single layer on greased baking sheet. Chop pulp.

Zucchini before the oven

Zucchini before the oven


Melt margarine in small frying pan on medium-high. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until onion starts to soften. Add zucchini pulp. Stir. Transfer to medium bowl.

Add remaining 9 ingredients. Stir well. Spoon into zucchini

 shells. Bake in 375ºF oven for about 30 minute until filling is set

Michelle’s Notes:

Since I was cooking for 2 (not 6) I used 1 zucchini and halved the filling recipe.  I used olive oil instead of butter (lil bit healthier), I used imitation crab (I think it’s cheaper, but I didn’t look for canned crab), I accidentally used too much dill and no parsley.  It still tasted great!  That is what I love about recipe’s, most of them are just guidelines, improvising is so much more fun that being super strict about it!  

I served it with roasted red potatoes and had a bit extra crab filling so I pilled it on the potatoes as you can kind of see in the picture.

My Zucchini with the potatoes

My Zucchini with the potatoes


Zucchini from thenest.com

 I think mine looks better 🙂  But it looked even better in person, I need to work on my food photography!




The Start of Some Yummy Recipe Sharing! November 9, 2008

Filed under: frugal,home,Recipes — mrswade @ 4:25 pm
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I was meaning to take pictures of this deliciousness, I didn’t get to it but still want to share them.


The first recipe is Pasta Primavera, given to me by my good friend, Charu, for one of my bridal showers.

Pasta Primavera

  • 1 lb Pene Pasta
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves (Jake and I LOVE garlic, so i think we put in 6!)
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut into 1″ pieces (optional, asparagus is expensive so we skipped this)
  • 1 sweet red pepper sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper sliced
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbs grated parmesan (ALWAYS use real parmesan, not the kind from a can, it’s so much better!)


  1. Cook pasta until al dente (reserve 1/4 c of the pasta water)
  2. Heat 12 inch skillet over medium high heat.  (you can use a bigger sauce pan if you are substituting veggies or adding more than called for, this recipe is really flexible.  I suggest a sauce pan because it holds more and reduces risk of spilling once the half and half is added)
  3. Add oil & garlic, cook 1-2 mins
  4. Add carrots, cook 4 mins
  5. Add asparagus, cover, cook 8 mins (if skipping asparagus, still cover the carrots and cook them for 8 more minutes, remember to remove lid and stir frequently as to not burn the carrots)
  6. Uncover, add peppers, cook 5 mins
  7. Add Cherry tomatoes, salt & pepper.  Stir in half & half and pasta water.
  8. Drain pasta, transfer to bowl
  9. Pour sauce/veggies over pasta, sprinkle with parmesan; toss and serve

Jake and I ate this for dinner for at least 3 nights and then he had it for lunch the 5 days following that, this makes a TON of food!  And it is SOO good!


Chicken Corn Chowder (From the lovely Allissa Alvord)

In crock pot, combine

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 cans Cream of Potato Soup
  • 1 1/2 c chicken broth (you can use the broth from cooking the chicken breasts, OR you can use chicken stock, which is not the same as chicken broth.  I used my own home made stock from boiling chicken thighs (for another recipe).  After the thighs were cooked, I removed them from the water, cut off the meat and threw the bones and skin back in the water.  You may also throw in some chopped carrots, onions and celery to make a really nice stock.  Simmer for at least another hour (up to 3 hours).  Be sure to remove the white frothy stuff that comes to the surface.  Pour your stock into a glass jar and place in the fridge, the fat will form a seal at the top and your stock is ready for use whenever you need it.  When you are ready to use it, scrape off the fat from the top, the stock should have a jello-y consistency.  I think that this chowder was especially good for me because I used stock instead of broth)
  • 1 1/2 c frozen mixed veggies
  • 1 c frozen corn
  • 1 t dill (I didn’t have any so I didn’t but this in and it still tasted WONDERFUL)

stir well, cook on low for 6-8 hours

when I went to eat ours, it wasn’t very thick because I had added some water (about 1/2 can), I added a Tbs or 2 of flower to thicken it, I’m not sure if this was needed, but it helped make it thicker.  I also added 3 or 4 potatoes that I chopped into small pieces, which I really think helped with the flavor and thickness of the chowder.  Jake and I love onions and we had about 1/2c or so left over chopped onions from another dinner, so I threw those in as well. 

This chowder was amazing, have it with corn bread on the side.  We ate this for dinner at least 3 nights, so it serves about 6 (with the potatoes and such added, could serve less without).  I HIGHLY recommend this recipe (and it’s pretty cheap)!


Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (another tasty treat from Allissa)

in crock pot combine

  • 1 lb Cubed beef stew meat
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1/2 c Chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c Water

cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours

  • stir in 4 oz of Cream cheese just before serving

serve with noodles and and veggie of your choice 🙂 Serves about 6


That’s all for now, more delicious recipes to come!  (next time with pictures)