Too Many Kitchen Towels

I have way too many towels.  I counted them:  Dish Towels: 30, Hand Towels:  38 - and that is not including the 30+ ones I have purchased at Kohl's that are in my closet.  Maybe some day I will use them. Some of these need to be thrown out - I have had some of these since college - wow that is over 10 years ago!

Honestly, I am a germ phob!  I am constantly washing my hands and cleaning off the counters.  I use probably 5-7 hand towels in one evening.  Always getting a new one out every time I wash my hands while preparing supper.  I drive Shannon crazy by this.  He will put a clean towel on the cupboard knob, and the next time he goes to dry his hands, its gone - he just shakes his hand.  The way I see it, I am going to have to wash hand towels sometime, so why not have a large load, instead of a small load - since it doesn't use any more water.  I have the ugliest pot holders and oven mits.  Those need to be replaced for sure!  But then I have to spend money - I would rather spend my money on other things.   I cram these into two drawers.  I really need to pack some away.

I finally threw these out!

This was a towel that I have had for over 10 years! Finally threw it out!

Bulgarian Chicken Paprikash Soup

A few months back Shannon and I went to a cooking class hosted by Barry and Meta West - "Traveling through Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Crotia with Barry and Meta."  We learned to make an Eastern European Dinner.  Tonight I made two items from what we learned, the Hungarian Dobostrorte and the Bulgarian Chicken Papriskash Soup. This is a healthy soup!  Shannon loves bread - so I made a small loaf in my bread machine - got to love that thing! 

3 to 4 tablespoons oil or butter
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 green pepper diced
1/2 to 1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 TB Hungarian paprika
4 to 6 cups chicken stock or more as needed
2 cups canned tomatoes, diced
1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream (or leave out if you prefer a clear soup)
2 lbs. cooked chicken meat, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional sour cream and paprika for garnish, if desired.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil or butter and saute the onion, celery, green pepper, and mushrooms until soft (I did not use oil or butter).  Add the paprika and 4 to 6 cups chicken stock.  Bring to boil then turn down to a simmer.  Add the diced tomatoes and additional chicken broth as needed.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.  Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.  Add the sour cream if using.  Add the chicken meat; heat through.  To serve:  ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of paprika if desired.

NOTE:  I made my own chicken stock.  I took 4 cups of water and placed in large pan.  Added three boneless skinless chicken breasts (they were frozen).  Added minced garlic, 2 diced celery sticks, 1 small onion, parsley, salt and pepper.  (I used one onion for the broth, then sauteed one onion as directed in recipe).  Boiled/simmered chicken for about 40 minutes.  Removed chicken and used liquid for the broth.  If you like a lot of juice, I would suggest using 6 cups when making the broth.  I started with 4 cups, but at the end of boiling my chicken only had about 3 cups.

Dawn's Easy Mexican Rice

1 TB olive oil
1 medium onion - finely chopped
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup of brown rice (minute rice - uncooked)
1 - 8 oz can no salt added tomato sauce (probably will use less next time)
1/4 - 1/2 cup of chicken broth - I just poured some in - just guessed on amount

Heat oil.  Saute onion and garlic on medium/low heat - until onions are softened.  Add rice, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder.  Stir continuously - on medium heat for a few minutes to cook/brown rice.  Add tomato sauce and chicken broth.  Bring to boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until rice is tender.

I think corn would be good in this rice.

Enjoy this rice with my Shredded Chicken Tacos!

Dawn's Mexican Shredded Chicken Taco's

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
2 tsp minced garlic
3 dashes of hot sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Red pepper flakes - sprinkled in
1/2 cup picante sauce
1 can of black beans - drained and rinsed
1 can of no salt added diced organic tomatoes (undrained) You may want to drain the tomatoes - the mixture was a bit wet - but had flavor.  I used only 3 - 5 oz. chicken breasts - I would recommend atleast 4 breasts.
1 bag of 3 pepper and onion frozen Kroger veggies

Place chicken breasts in crock pot.  Sprinkle all spices on top of chicken.  Then add onion, jalapeno, garlic, hot sauce and picante sauce.  Top with black beans.  Cook on low for 3 to 5 hours.  After one  hour - stir mixture.  After three hours - remove chicken and shred with two forks.  Place chicken back into crock pot.  Add frozen veggies, stir and cook for one more hour.

Serve on tortilla and with side of mexican rice.

Carbmaster - Kroger Yogurts

If I am not enjoying Fage Greek plain yogurt, I am eating Carbmaster.  These are only .44 cents at Dillons. They have several flavors, but my favorites include:  Vanilla Chai, Spiced Pear, and Tropical Fruit (my favorite).

80 calories, 1.5 g fat, 3 g carbs, 12 g protein
Peach, Strawberry Banana, Blackberry, Cherry

60 calories, 1.5 g fat, 4 g carbs, 9 g protein
Strawberry Colada, Raspberry Yumberry, Vanilla, Vanilla Chai, Carrot Cake 

I like to mix together the greek yogurt and a carbmaster yogurt - to mix in a smoothie or mix in walnuts.  I do not eat all of the yogurt in one setting - I save some for a later snack. I will admit that some of the flavors leave that artificial sweetener after taste.  But when mixed with greek, it doesn't.

Today, I mixed an entire single serving of fage and tropical fruit yogurts together.  I ate a custard bowl size with chopped walnuts and a pear.  This was the first time I have tried walnuts in my yogurt. I can't wait for tomorrow to have another one!!!  I have not had a fresh pear. . . hmmmmm I don't even remember when the last time was.  I purchased three pears for $3.00 at Country Mart, and have decided that pears are not for me.  Maybe they would be better baked, sprinkled with cinnamon.  I guess that I have not been missing out.  I only purchased them because they did not have any pink lady apples (my favorite thanks to Deedra, my husbands coworker recommendation - a bit pricy - but I don't care - LOVE THEM).  

I came up with a concoction - Mexican Crock Pot chicken, which we will eat as tacos on corn shells - will post recipe later if it turns out decent.  

Wasa Crackers

WASA - Whole Grain goodness.  To make sure I am getting extra whole grains throughout the day - I have incorporated WASA crackers into my healthy eating.

Whole Grain is a wholesome and filling combination of whole grain rye flour, water, yeast and salt. It's 100% whole grain, providing 12 g in every crunchy slice. Each serving of Whole Grain provides only 40 calories and 50 mg of sodium, along with 8% of the Daily Value for fiber (2 g) and 25% of the minimum daily whole grain recommendation from whole grain rye.

Use your imagination with these crackers.  Here are some ways I eat WASA crackers:
  • Crumble and use as a salad topping
  • Enjoy with almond or peanut butter and sprinkle with chia seed  
  • Melt cheese on top
  • Spritz with garlic spray
For more WASA products and recipes visit their website.  WASA

Masterpiece Spicy Mango Marinade

This is my all time favorite Marinade - Spicy Mango! For best flavor - I usually marinate over night.  I marinate chicken, onions, and bell peppers and cook on the bbq grill. YUMM!!!! Of course onions are my favorite.  We had chicken and onion kabobs the last two nights for supper.  You can find this marinade at Country Mart - I could not find it at Dillons or Walmart.


I came across these at Dillons in the health food freezer section.  It was kind of weird because a day later my mom says have you ever heard of Edamame?  She said I bought a bag today at Country Mart - on sale for $1.00.  So I had her purchase more for me.  Since the ones I purchased weren't so cheap.

EDAMAME (ed-ah-MAH-may) is a complete protein containing all the essential Amino Acids.  Good source of Protein, Fiber, Essential Fatty Acids, and isoflavones (which is only found in soybeans.)

Edamame can be served cold or hot.  To eat Edamame, one must push the beans out of their pods.  I am glad I read the directions, otherwise I may have tried to eat the shell.

These are easy to cook!  Place desired amount in microwave safe bowl, cover and cook for 4 minutes.

NYC Food

I LOVE NYC and I love the FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!  There were several eating places we for sure had to visit while in NYC - ones we saw on the travel channel, tlc and the food network!  We enjoyed - Grimaldi's, Lombardi's, Sal's Pizza, Johns Pizza - wow we ate at four pizza places!!! I can not get enough of pizza.  Pretty cheap when you have five people sharing!!!! We also had Katz Deli, Stardust Diner, Junior's on our first day there for a late night snack of cheese cake after touring NYC - my favorite Carrot Cake.  We had a snack at the Statue of Liberty - onion rings - YUMM!  We also had a late night dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe after watching Mary Poppins.  We went back to the Hard Rock the next evening after getting back from Washington, DC and had nachos and dessert - YUM!  To top it off we had Crumbs bakery - if you look closely in the pictures - you will see the calories - WOW!!!!! On our last day we ventured out on our own and in hopes of finding Donut Plant - which was down in China Town - the donuts were awesome - not greasy - nice and fluffy.  Enjoy the slide show.  I love food, especially sweets.  There are more bakeries I would love to visit.  Last year we went to Magnolia's - which has yummy cheesecake and cupcakes.

Carlo's Bakery - Cake Boss

I love NYC!!!! Especially the food!!! One highlight of our trip was visiting Carlo's Bakery - Cake Boss in Hoboken, NJ.  We spent more on desserts than we did on one meal alone!  Too much to try - YUM!!!! I want to go back!!!!!!  We only had to wait 5 minutes until getting into the bakery - we were lucky.  The man standing in front of us even let us go in front of him since he goes there almost every day.  He recommended the chocolate covered cannoli - boy did he make a yummy suggestion.  I ate two! or did I eat more - I will neve tell!!!!!  I bought a little bit of everything - I actually went back for seconds! I had to try a lot.  There were just too many choices.  I wish I would have tried even more!!!!!!!! Boy did I have a ton of running to do when I got back to Kansas!  After we ate our dessert - we had pizza at Grimaldi's!!!!

Butter Crunch - 2nd time around

Today I made Butter Crunch, for the second time this week.  My first batch was chewy, didn't harden, so I had to make it again.  The second batch did harden, but was still not as good as my mothers.   Just didn't have that toffee taste - seemed to taste like sugar a bit -  kind of bland.  But I guess it was still tasty.  I made a bit on the thick side, note to self --- spread out more in my pan.  The candy did harden, but according to my mothers standards, the candy should not stick to your teeth or be chewy when you are chewing it - well anyway, hard to explain.  I am happy though that it did harden.  I made this batch for Joselyn - she is my guinea pig on this Butter Crunch journey.   I guess there will be a round 3 in a few weeks.   Not sure what I did wrong this time.  But I am getting closer - maybe cook it longer?

I love this part!!! Looks so yummy and pretty. SMELLS DELISH!!!

Pumpkin Cereal Bar Recipe | Snack Girl

Pumpkin Cereal Bar Recipe | Snack Girl: "Healthy Pumpkin Bites Recipe
(makes 14 or 28)
1/2 cup peanut butter (or any of your favorite nut butters)
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
1/2 cup whole nuts (choose your favorite)
1 ½ cup total of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, coconut, etc.)
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (optional)
4 tablespoons maple syrup (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, coarsely chop nuts and dried fruits. Mix nut butter and pumpkin until a well blended. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Taste to ensure the right level of spice and sweetness. Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes. Can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days.

For one pumpkin bite (14 in recipe) = 168 calories, 6.9 g fat, 25.2 g carbohydrates, 4.6 g protein, 3.0 g fiber, 47 mg sodium"

Homemade Taco Seasoning {recipe} – Polysyllable Free

Homemade Taco Seasoning TasteSpotting Kitchen’s Taco Seasoning

4 parts chili powder
2 parts ground cumin
1 part paprika
1 part crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper
1 part dried oregano
1 part onion powder
1 part garlic powder
1 part salt
½ part black pepper

Throw spices and herbs in a bowl and combine.

Butter Crunch

This recipe came from my Grandma Hoy!  I also found the exact recipe on the Internet - Better Home and Gardens.  I love toffee.  A coworker mentioned one day that she loves toffee as well!  So I thought that I would surprise her and make it for her today.  This was my first time making toffee.  So did it turn out????? Not exactly - kind of chewy and sugary in some spots - not crunchy like the title. So I need a round two or three to get it right.  I still took it to her though.

  • 1/2
    cup coarsely chopped almonds or pecans, toasted
  • 1
    cup butter
  • 1
    cup sugar
  • 3
    tablespoons water
  • 1
    tablespoon light-colored corn syrup
  • 3/4
    cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2
    cup finely chopped almonds or pecans, toasted

Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts in pan. Set pan aside.
Butter sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In saucepan melt butter. Add sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, till thermometer registers 290 degree F, soft-crack stage (about 15 minutes). Watch care-fully after 280 degree F to prevent scorching. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer. Pour candy into the prepared pan.
Let candy stand about 5 minutes or till firm; sprinkle with chocolate. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes. When chocolate has softened, spread over candy. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts. Chill until firm. When candy is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan; break into pieces. Store tightly covered. Makes about 1-1/2 pounds (48 servings).

nutrition facts
  • Servings Per Recipe about 1-1/2 pounds (48 servings)
  • Calories79
  • Total Fat (g)6
  • Saturated Fat (g)2, 
  • Cholesterol (mg)10, 
  • Sodium (mg)39, 
  • Carbohydrate (g)7,
  • Protein (g)1, 
  • Vitamin A (DV%)3, 
  • Iron (DV%)1, 
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
For some helpful tips on making butter crunch see Joy of Baking!!!

Peanut Butter Scotch Cookies

Shannon is playing in a softball tournament tomorrow, so I thought that I would be nice and send him with some treats!  I made spicy pretzels, peanut butter scotch cookies, and my White Chocolate Almond Coconut Flake Bars for him to take.

2 cups sugar
2 cups peanut butter
1 tsp french vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter scotch chips
Dash salt

Heath Bits - for topping (I also sprinkled some heath in the last two batches of cookies that I made, as well as placed some on top) Placing the Heath on top put a nice looking caramel top swirl.  The first batch I did not include any heath bits.

Combine all ingredients.  Use 1" cookie scoop and drop on greased cookie sheet.  Take fork dipped in sugar and create crisscrosses on each cookie.  Do not press flat.

Bake 10 - 11 minutes - I used an Airbake Cookie sheet.

Yield:  3 1/2 dozen

Pressed into a jelly roll pan, instead of a 9 x 13 pan.  For recipe click here.

Gaga's Three-Holer

I have way too many recipe magazines.  So I decided to go through the magazines and tear out recipes and place them in plastic page protectors in a three ring binder - for future reference.  I began going through the June/July 2011 Issue of Taste of Home and found this recipe.  So instead of tearing it out, I went and made it for Shannon.   This recipe is from a 90-year-old woman who was a friend of the Editor-in-Chief of the Taste of Home Magazine.

The recipe includes:

1-1/3 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
3 TBSP cocoa, unsweetened
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 TBSP vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cold water

1.  Measure flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt into sifter; sift twice. Sift all into an un-greased 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Make 3 holes; put canola oil in one, vinegar in second and vanilla in third. Pour water over all. Mix with a fork until blended and batter is thin. Bake at 350 for 30 min., no more. Cake is so moist it doesn't need frosting.

So I made three holes down the middle - all the same size.  I first put the vanilla in one of the holes.  Then noticed the canola oil amount - 1/3 cup - that was not going to fit in any of my holes that I made.  So made a bigger hole. 

I am not for sure why you have to create the three holes, if it's all getting mixed up together anyway, why would the holes matter? I have no idea. I really don't. But I complied.   Guess its for the name.

I did not try to cake - but Shannon said that it would have been better with icing.  So today I am going to icing the cake.  It is a neat little recipe - EASY!!! Especially with no eggs, which I don't always have.  I did put Chocolate Butter Cream icing on the cake the next day.

I will make this cake again!

Baby Ruth Cookie Recipe

I have a ton of Baby Ruth candy bars that I need to do something with. Today I found the solution!!! on

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 (6.8 oz) cups all-purpose flour
1/ 2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (2.1 oz) each bars Baby Ruth candy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick foil.

Beat the softened butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl. Stir in the baking soda and salt, then add the flour and stir just until it’s mixed in. Add the chopped Baby Ruth. Drop by rounded teaspoons two inches apart onto parchment lined or greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies develop light brown edges.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen"