Tag Archives: home made

Home Made Chili

home made chili


  • 1 Lg can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Lg can Diced Tomatoes – if you prefre no chunks of tomato then use 2 cans of tomato
  • sauce and omit the diced tomatoes
  • 4 Sm cans Chili Beans – found with all the other beans the can will say “chili beans” you can buy hot or mild which ever you prefer
  • 1 Med Onion chopped
  • 1 Pound Hamburger browned and drained
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (this is for heat, you can omit it if you don’t like it hot”


Brown and drain the hamburger. Add the onion and brown. Pour these into a soup pan and add all remaining ingredients. Stir all together. Let this simmer on low for a few hours on Med-Low ,stirring occasionally. It’s even better if after that you let it cool and refrigerate over night. This lets the spices meld together better. If you can stand to wait that long!
Prep time – 15 minutes. Cook time – 1-3 hours
Serves – 10 bowls approx


Additional ways to serve chili:

cheesy chili with pasta

Ham and Pea Soup

split pea and ham soup

I wanted to make ham and pea soup. My family including my kids love this soup and have eaten it since they were babies. Normally after I make a ham for the family the next day I use the leftover ham and bone to make soup. In case you didn’t know the secret to soup is the bone. I asked the butcher at my local grocery store if he had a ham bone I could buy. He said they didn’t. I told him why I was looking for one and he suggested ham hocks. I had never used these before. He assured me thats what he uses in his pea soup. I asked are they salt cured or sugar cured. Because salt cured is better in ham soup. Sugar cured is OK, but not the same. He assured me they were salt cured and then told me I knew what I was doing to have asked that question. Kudos to me!

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Next buy a bag of split green peas. They are found in the isle where the bags of different beans are. Normally the rice isle.


  • 1 package Ham hocks
  • 1 bag split dried green peas
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 chopped potato


In a large soup pot add the peas and the ham hocks. Cover with water. Place on burner on medium. This takes most of the afternoon for the peas to become mushy. You may need to turn the burner down so it doesn’t cook too hot and boil over.

Add onion, carrot, and potato. Salt and pepper to taste and  continue cooking. Cook until the peas are basically melted. Take the ham hocks out and let cool. You will need to peel off the skin and discard. Pick of the meat and add to pot. Throw away the ham bone too.

Be careful if the ham is salt cured you want to make sure to salt to taste and not over salt. I do like a good bit of pepper in my soup. You can make the soup thick or thin as you prefer. My mother likes it thick almost like mashed potatoes. I prefer it to be more runny. It’s all in how much water you add.

Serve with buttered bread or drop biscuits.

Ham and Broccoli Casserole

ham and broccoli casserole

This is a tasty dish for the winter time. This recipe can also be changed up easily to make Ham and Scalloped Potatoes if you wish.

ham and broccoli casserole IMG_20140227_114950


  • Ham 2 Cups
  • Penne Pasta 2 Cups dry pasta – (Pronounced Pen-nay)
  • Mozzarella Cheese 1 Cup – shredded
  • Broccoli Florets 1 Cup (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cream Sauce Recipe
  • Crouton Recipe


Start with my Cream Sauce recipe. Cook the Penne Noodles. After the cream sauce is done, add the Ham, Penne Pasta, Mozzarella Cheese and Broccoli. Pour into an 11×9 greased dish. Top with my Crouton recipe. Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour.

If you prefer to make Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, omit the broccoli and mozzarella cheese and swap the Penne Pasta for sliced potatoes. This will take longer to cook the raw potatoes. So cook it for an hour.

Meatloaf With a Twist


My mom made her meatloaf in a bread pan with ketchup on top. I like doing mine in a 9×9 pan with tomato sauce on top. Makes it have less sugar and more flavor.


  • 4 slices of bread broken up into small pieces
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Chopped Onion
  • 2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 Lb ground chuck hamburger
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce


Mix first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Add Ground Chuck Hamburger. Mix well. I find it’s easier to mix if you use your hands.

Place meet mixture in a pan make into a loaf shape. Pour tomato sauce over top. Bake on 400 degrees for 1 hour.

It’s also nice to put potatoes in the oven too so you can have baked potatoes with dinner. Place the meatloaf in the middle of the rack and place potatoes on the rack on both sides of the meatloaf pan. One potato per person.


Cream Sauce

Cream Sauce

Cream sauce has been around for generations. It’s the basis of all kinds of recipes. It can be used in Tuna Noodle Casserole. This is also called Roux (pronounced Rue). If you add Parmesan Cheese you can use it for Chicken Parmesan recipes.  If you add shredded Cheddar Cheese you can use it for Broccoli Cheese Sauce. It’s basically easy to make but you need to know a few rules first.


  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 C milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt


Start melting the butter on medium. As you move along slowly turn down to medium low. You do not want it to “catch” on the bottom of the pan and you do not want it to boil. This can make the milk lumpy.

OK so start with 1/4 C butter melt it in the pan over medium heat
Slowly add 1/4 C flour a little at a time
The sauce will become very think stir to make no lumps
Slowly add 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 C milk make it the thickness you like
Add 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt to taste

Homemade Croutons

Homemade croutons

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My crouton recipe I have made for years. I learned it as a little girl. My mom sent me to a coking class when I was in 5th grade. I have used this ever since. They are great for on top of Tuna Noodle Casserole or Macaroni and Cheese or on a fresh salad.


  • 1/8 Cup butter
  • 2 slices 5 grain Italian bread (or any kind of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt


Melt 1/8 C butter in a fry pan
You can use any bread you like. I am using fresh 5 grain Italian bread. I like to use up the slices on the ends. Crumble up the bread into the butter until the butter is absorbed.
Brown the croutons on medium heat.
Sprinkle 1/2 tsp garlic salt over them
Stir until they are getting crispy on the edges and browning

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna noodle casserole

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This is an easy recipe great for cold weather.



You will start with my Cream Sauce recipe. Make it in a large sauce pan. Make noodles either spiral (Rotini) or egg noodles which ever you prefer. Use 2 cups of dry noodles cook according to directions. Add to cream sauce along with 1 drained can of tuna and 1 cup of frozen peas or 1 can of canned peas. Pour into a 9×9 pan.

Add my homemade croutons to the top and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Quick and Easy Goulash


This is the perfect winter meal. Having the oven on warms the house and the meal warms the insides. My mother made this for years, of course I have changed it up a bit.

  • 2 C Dry Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 Lb Ground Chuck Hamburger
  • 1 Medium Onion chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Large (29 oz) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 4-8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cook elbow macaroni according to directions. While it is cooking take a large frying pan. Brown the hamburger, drain. Add onion and saute. Add salt and pepper and tomato sauce. Stir in elbow macaroni. Pour into oven safe bowl or 11×9 dish.

Hint – when I use a bowl I pour in 1/2 the mixture topped with half the cheese and repeat. In the 11×9 pour in all the mixture and top with all the cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Home Made Gravy


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This gravy recipe can be used for Chicken, Beef, Turkey or Sausage gravy. The main things to have are meat drippings or fat or grease. Whatever you want to call it. If you look at my Swedish Meatball recipe for example after frying up the meatballs there are drippings left in the frying pan. Remove the meatballs or meat. Always remember once you add water or milk you can never add flour again because it will clump up. Take flour (some people prefer Corn Starch this creates a more clear gravy) sprinkle some flour over the drippings and mix. Have your heat on medium low. Mix in more flour until the grease is absorbed and it becomes almost like a paste. Add water a little at the time. It will start to get even thinker at first, that’s OK. Keep adding water small amounts at a time. Mixing all the time. Sometimes a whisk will help to make it smooth. I use chicken or beef bullion to flavor the gravy. Salt and pepper to taste.

If you end up with grease floating on the top, you didn’t add enough flour. Remember this for next time. But to fix it now, take a small bowl add 1/2 cup water and 2 Tbsp flour, mix well with a whisk slowly pour into the gravy while mixing with a whisk the whole time. This should absorb the grease.

The darker the drippings are, the nicer the color of the gravy will be. So let those meatballs cook a bit to get color on the balls and color in the drippings. Not too hot though.
If you want to make sausage gravy or milk gravy just substitute milk for the water. Make it exactly the same way. Fry up the sausage add the flour then milk just like before. HINT ***If you don’t have enough fat add butter to the pan.


Swedish Meatballs – Kjottbollar


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I am half Swedish. My fathers parents came over from Sweden by boat to Ellis Island at the turn of the 20th Century. This is the recipe from my grandmother directly from Sweden.

  • 1 lb Ground Chuck Hamburger
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 Med diced Onion or 1 tsp dry Onion Flakes

Beat egg, add milk and bread and soak. Add all ingredients except for hamburger.  Mix evenly. Add hamburger and mix in. I prefer to have a sink of soapy hot water ready. I mix the hamburger in with my clean bare hands. Then I clean my hands in the soapy water. Roll mix into small balls. Swedish meatballs are smaller then Italian meatballs. Place in frying pan and fry slowly, turning when browned. Add 2 Cups water and 2 Beef Bullion Cubes. Boil slowly until the water is cooked off. Remove meatballs and make gravy from drippings. Click here for gravy recipe. Add meatballs back to gravy.