Beer Pancakes

Did that title catch your attention like it did mine, the first time I saw it? I love trying crazy, new things, so of course I had to try this. I was looking for yummy recipes to take on our camping trip. I had planned to make my own pancake mix (where you would then add the eggs and milk and oil when you were ready to cook them) but seeing this recipe, I eagerly went and bought store bought pancake mix! And hubby had bought some raspberry beer, which was AMAZING in this, as there was a slight raspberry taste

Pancake mix (the kind that only requires the addition of water)

Simply follow the instructions on the package substituting the beer (or soda) for the water. That’s it! So simple! And so yummy! Really does taste like buttermilk pancakes!

(For my Mormon friends and any others who don’t use alcohol, you can actually make this with soda as well, I just think using beer for breakfast is funny and it tastes so yummy!!)

Grilled Cheesy Burgers


I had tried a recipe similar to this that I had found online.  You actually made a regular grilled cheese sandwich while cooking the burger, and then you had to open the grilled cheese to stuff in the burger.  Messy, not so great.  SO when we went camping, I came up with this much easier, much cheesier recipe!

ground beef (I usually make 1/4-pound burgers)
onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
a variety of your favorite cheeses (we used provolone, American, and cheddar)
butter or margarine
dill pickle slices

Mix ground beef with onions, salt and pepper.  Shape into patties and grill until done.  Butter 2 slices of bread per serving.  Place 1 slice of bread, butter-side down, into hot skillet, stack on cheese, burger, more cheese, pickle slices, and 2nd piece of bread, butter-side up.  Cook until bottom bread slice begins to brown.  Gently turn entire sandwich over and brown second side (cheese should be nice and melty, holding the whole yummy concoction together).

Better Butter

The price of butter keeps going up, but I don’t want to use “fake stuff”.  So I buy lots of butter when it’s on sale ($2 a pound) and I make some of it into Better Butter, which is very similar to margarine except that it’s homemade with more natural ingredients.  It’s much more spreadable than butter and my kids really like the taste.  Yes, I do add a little salt as we like that taste better.  From 2 cups of butter, you get 4 cups of Better Butter.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup canola oil
1/4 tsp lecithin (optional)
2 Tbs water
2 Tbs dry milk powder
pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend well.  Pour into a seal-able container and store in refrigerator.  I linked the lecithin so you can read up on it and decide whether or not you want to use it.

Swedish Cardamom Bread

This comes from one of my favorite and frequently used cookbooks, which happens to actually be a handmade deal put together by a friend of a friend.  I don’t actually know Shari Meyer, but I can tell you this, she is a GOOD cook.  I love everything I make from her cookbook.  Thanks Kim for sharing this gem with me! 

I’ve made this bread several times and it’s always a HUGE hit.  So yummy and pretty too!

2 pkg. yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp cardamom
1 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
7-9 c. flour
1 egg
1 tsp water

1. Dissolve 2 pkg. yeast in 1/4 c. warm water.

2. Scald 2 c. milk.  Add 1/2 c. butter and cool.

3. Beat 2 eggs and add them to the milk.  Add the dissolved yeast.

4. Add: cardamom, sugar, and salt

5. Stir in 7-9 c. flour.

6. Knead 10 min. until shiny and elastic.  Shape into a ball and turn up in a well-greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.

7. Punch down the dough and knead lightly.  Shape into 4-6 braided loaves and let rise, covered loosely with plastic wrap.

8. Beat 1 egg with 1 tsp. water.  Brush this over the loaves and sprinkle with sugar.

9. Bake at 350º for 25-30 min.

Hellman’s Mayonnaise


I remember my Mom making mayonnaise when I was younger.  I always kind of thought it was a big hassle and didn’t taste quite like I thought it should.  Well, this recipe changed all that!  I LOVE this recipe and have pretty much quit buying mayonnaise and now just make my own.  Not really difficult at all and it tastes really good!  Yeah, there’s a raw egg in it, but somewhere I’ve read that the vinegar kills any salmonella.  Whatever, I’m okay with it anyway….we all gotta die of something!  :p

1 egg (room temp)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup veg oil.
dash cayenne pepper
1 cup veg oil. (I use canola oil because I need the omega 3)
3 Tbs Vinegar

1. Place First 5 ingredients in blender on low speed.

2. While the machine is blending, SLOWLY pour in another 1/2 c. oil. Add the vinegar and the remaining

3. oil. Blend until firm. Store in refrigerator.

Apricot BBQ Sauce for Grilling

My spicy sweet SuperHero requested barbecued chicken on the grill.  Since I didn’t have any store bought barbecue sauce, we played around with some ingredients and came up with this delicious sauce.  Served with a huge fresh salad, this was a wonderful dinner and SuperHero declared it blog-worthy (because “we gotta write this down!”


1 cup (8 oz) apricot preserves (I used some I canned earlier this year)

1 packet taco seasoning

1 tsp dry mustard

1/3 cup ketchup

1 Tbs (or more) Salsa Chipotle

3 Tbs cider vinegar

Mix this all together!  It’s that easy!  We let the chicken marinate in it for about 45 minutes or so and then just cooked it on the grill.

ETA: Tips from my SuperHero (who is also the grill king)  To enhance the flavors, cook over 100% hardwood charcoal and mesquite wood chips.  Mesquite wood chips should be soaked in water for a couple of hours and then placed around the fire once it is going.

2nd ETA: This won a blue ribbon on the Just A Pinch recipe site!  My second blue ribbon.  

No-Fry Onion Rings

I found this recipe at and just had to try it.  We LOVE onion rings, but I HATE deep frying things (and the way it makes my house smell is awful too!)  So we made these and they’re fairly easy and very tasty!  Yay!

Oven-baked onion rings with the flavor and crunch of traditional deep-fried onion rings

Hands On:10 | Total: 25 | Makes: 6 servings (about 4 rings each)


  • PAM® Olive Oil No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1/3 cup fat free milk
  • 1 cup Ultragrain® All Purpose Flour
  • 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups cornflake crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cover 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil; spray evenly with cooking spray.
  2. Separate onion slices into rings. Dip into milk, then into the flour, turning to evenly coat both sides of each onion ring. Dip coated onion rings in egg whites, then into cornflake crumbs, again turning to evenly coat both sides of each onion ring. Place in single layer on prepared baking sheets; spray evenly with cooking spray.
  3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until onions are tender and golden brown.

Cook’s Tips

Variation: Omit cornflake crumbs. Prepare as directed, coating the onion rings with a mixture of 2/3 cup dry bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons sesame seeds.

Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup

One Sunday after church, we went to Chili’s for lunch with some friends.  My friend highly recommended the Chicken Enchilada Soup, which my husband and youngest son then ordered.  Hubby gave me a taste of his and I thought it was pretty good, then, when my little guy ate his, he asked for seconds and raved about it for days!  So I knew I needed to find this recipe.  And voila!  CopyKat Recipes had it!
1/2 C. Vegetable oil
1/4 C. Chicken base
3 C. diced Yellow Onions
2 tsp. ground Cumin
2 tsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. granulated Garlic
1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
2 C. Masa Harina
4 qt. Water (divided) (I actually used 3 qts of water as we like a thicker soup)
2 C. crushed Tomatoes
1/2 lb. processed American cheese, cut in small cube
3 lb. cooked, cubed chicken
In large pot, place oil, chicken base, onion and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes. In another container, combine Masa Harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve. Add to sauteed onions and bring to boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from Masa Harina. Add remaining 3 quarts (here’s where I added only 2 more quarts rather than 3) water to pot. Add tomatoes; let mixture return to boil stirring occasionally.
Add cheese to soup. Cook stirring occasionally, until cheese melts. Add chicken; heat through. Makes 1 1/2 gallons or 16-20 servings.
Please note you must mix in the mesa harina into 1 quart of broth completely.  If you add the masa harina into the soup directly it will be difficult to mix in and may be lumpy.  If you feel 2 cups is too much masa harina I have made the soup with 1 1/2 cups successfully.
My family also asked for the “chippy things” that were sprinkled on top.  To make those, I cut several corn tortillas in half and then in thin (1/4 inch) strips.  I spread them on a cookie sheet, sprayed them a little Pam, and baked them at 475 degrees for 5-7 min (until crispy).


Garlic Soup

My Mom emailed me this recipe.  And I admit, it does sound a bit scary.  However, my Mom was sending the recipe to a bunch of us because my 18yo (VERY COOL) nephew loved it so much and wanted the recipe so he could make this for himself.  I don’t know about you, but in my book, if it passes teenage boy taste bud tests, it’s gotta be good.  Plus it is very inexpensive to make.  So please, give it a try, and I promise, you won’t even be gagging on garlic fumes after eating it!
2 small onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 C. butter
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large saucepan, saute onions and garlic in butter until tender, about 2 – 3 min. 
Stir in flour until blended.  Gradually add broth.  Bring back to boil; cook and stir
for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 min.
Stir in cayenne pepper.    Yield: 4-6 servings.


Got this recipe from my friend, Jaleina.  It was in one of her family cookbooks, and her family is in Wyoming and gumbo is Cajun food, but this stuff is GOOD!  (rated an “Excellent” from my SuperHero!)

4 Tbs oil

2 Tbs flour

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup celery, chopped

1 lb shrimp (21 to 25), peeled and deveined

1 cup onion, chopped

3 links, hot links, browned and drained

2 cups okra, sliced

3 Tbs parsley

1 green pepper, chopped

2 tsp basil

1 tbs garlic clove, minced

2 tsp sage

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp ea. Salt and pepper

2 bay leaves

1 can (15oz) tomato sauce

2 Tbs paprika

3 qts chicken broth

1 can (15oz) diced tomato

Over medium heat, make a dark roux of the2 Tbs oil and flour in an iron skillet.  Heat until DARK brown.   Put roux in a large pot over medium heat.  Add shrimp and cubed chicken.  Stir until coated and shrimp curl up.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices and bring to a simmer.
In separate pan, heat 2 Tbs and sauté okra, onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic.  You can also add 1-2 chopped jalapenos at this time.
When vegetables are tender, add this to the shrimp/chicken mixture.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour or so.  Put in browned, drained hot links.
Serve over boiled white rice.
Serves 8