Tastes Like Lasagna Soup



January is National Soup Month and THIS is a great one! This is a recipe I found that I have tweaked it a bit. (of course) An option is to make it with spaghetti sauce instead of all the individual ingredients and it was good. But…taking a little extra time to do it with the individual ingredients makes it even better! This is a YUMMY comfort-food soup! MMmm.


1 pound ground beef

1 onion, chopped (I use onion powder)

1 green bell pepper, chopped (I use half)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon thyme

1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar

1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth (I use low sodium)

2 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/2 tablespoon basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups broken lasagna noodles (I added 1/2 cup more)

1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


In a large pot, combine ground beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well.

(at this point, you can put everything in your crockpot on low and cook for 5 hours. Put the Parmesan cheese in for the last hour, then continue to the last step, if desired)

Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, basil and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 8 to 10 ovenproof bowls (or a deep round casserole). Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.


Bacon Wrapped Smokies


Sometimes I pass along recipes that are more on the healthy side. This one however, is not. Unless you’re on a diet that lets you eat bacon and sausage and brown sugar. That’s all there is to it! How perfect for your tailgate! I’ve seen this done in an oven, but the Crockpot is WAY more convenient!


1 pkg Lil Smokies (13 oz.)

1 pkg. Bacon (16 oz.)

1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar (more or less)


Pour half of the brown sugar on the bottom of your Crockpot.

Cut strips of Bacon into thirds.

Wrap each strip of Bacon around 1 Lil Smokie, then poke a Toothpick through to keep it in place.

Place Bacon Wrapped Smokies into Crockpot.

Sprinkle on remaining brown sugar.

Cook on HIGH for approx. 3 – 3.5 hours, or until bacon is completely cooked.

Occasionally move smokies around in Crockpot to ensure they cook evenly.



Nuts and Bolts




This the home-made version of what you might think of as “Chex Mix”. This is so much better and extremely addicting! It makes a bunch. So feel free to give away!


1/2 box of the following cereals

Rice Chex

Wheat Chex

Corn Chex


2 cups stick pretzels

1 lb mixed nuts

1 lb dry roasted peanuts


1 stick butter

1 cup of oil

3 Tbls Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp garlic power

a couple of dashes of hot sauce



Mix dry ingredients all together in large bowl.

Melt butter and add oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic power and hot sauce to it.

Pour wet mixture over cereal/nut mixture; put in large roasting pan and bake in a 200 degree over for 2 hours.  Stir well every 15 minutes or so to insure that all dry ingredients get coated with oil mixture.  Enjoy!

Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies


A few years ago, all the girls in our family got together for what we call “sisters weekend”. We decided to put these jars together to give as Christmas presents! I had never heard of a cookie called “Hootycreek” but it’s fantastic! The cranberry makes it taste (and look) so Christmassy! And these jars make great teacher or pastor or BFF gifts! This first part is the actual recipe to make the cookies. The second section below is how you make the jars and what the card you attach to them should say! Enjoy!


  • 1cups flour
  • tsp baking soda
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • cup softened butter
  • 2cup brown sugar
  • 2cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • tsps vanilla
  • cup rolled oats
  • cup dried cranberries
  • cup white chocolate chips
  • cup chopped nuts


  1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  2. Cream butter, then add sugars, eggs & vanilla.
  3. Mix in flour mixture & oats, then cranberries, chips & nuts.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min.
  6. Makes 3 doz. Cookies




1 1/8 cups flour

½ cup rolled oats

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup white chocolate chips

½ cup chopped pecans


Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart jar as listed


Attach a tag with the following instructions: Cranberry Hootycreeks

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease a cookie sheet
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together ½ cup soft butter, 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla
  4. Add the entire jar of ingredients and mix together by hand until well blended
  5. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown
  7. Cool on wire rack

Homemade Cinnamon Almonds


The other day I was in the mall and I smelled such a wonderful smell, I had to find it! The cinnamon and sugar in the air was almost too much to take.  It was the cinnamon nut vendor! You know how those smell, right? Then I saw the price. Worth it, yes…but pricey. So I started digging for a way to make them at home. I found one! And you do it in the CROCK POT! I made them…and I think I could sell them if I set up a cart with NO PROBLEM. I won’t do that, but I WILL give them away for GREAT little Christmas gifts!


1 1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp all spice

1 egg white

2 tsp. vanilla

3 1/2 cups almonds

1/3 cup water


In a medium bowl, mix sugars, cinnamon, salt and all spice. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk egg white and vanilla until it’s frothy. Stir in the almonds until they are thoroughly coated. Add cinnamon mixture to the almonds and toss until coated.

Spray cooking spray in large crock pot. Add the mixture to the crock pot and turn it to low.

Cook covered 2 1/2 hours stirring every 20 minutes. Add water and stir well. Cook for another hour, stirring again after a half hour.

Lightly spray 2 cookie sheets and spread the almonds flat to cool. Separate them so they can dry out and crisp up.

Store in air-tight container and/or bag for fantastic Christmas gifts!

Parker House Rolls


Whenever we have a big holiday gathering at my mom’s house, she always wants to serve these rolls. Yes, there’s a little work involved. But trust me, you won’t regret taking the time when these melt in your mouth!

(Parker House Rolls Recipe courtesy Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts…via Bobby Flay and The Food Network. These are the best rolls ever!)


6 cups all-purpose flour (about)

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 packages active dry yeast

2 cups hot tap water

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened

1 large egg

In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast; add 1/2 cup butter (1 stick). With mixer at low speed, gradually pour 2 cups hot tap water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F.) into dry ingredients. Add egg; increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes, scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in 3/4 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter; continue beating 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. With spoon, stir in enough additional flour (about 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, working in more flour (about 1/2 cup) while kneading. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased large bowl, turning over so that top of dough is greased. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place (80 to 85 degrees F.) until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough is doubled when 2 fingers pressed into dough leave a dent.)

Punch down dough by pushing down the center or dough with fist, then pushing edges of dough into center. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead lightly to make smooth ball, cover with bowl for 15 minutes, and let dough rest.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Put remaining 1/2 cup butter into sheet cake pan just until melted. Tilt pan to grease bottom.

On lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll dough 1/2 inch thick. With floured pizza cutter, cut dough into 3 x 1 inch strips. Dip both sides into melted butter pan; fold in half. Arrange folded dough in rows in pan, each nearly touching the other. Cover pan with towel; let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Bake rolls for 15 to 18 minutes until browned.

Crock-Pot Overnight Breakfast

Crock-Pot Breakfast

When was the last time you woke up and breakfast was already ready? Our friend Jeannie called one morning during Crock-Tober and asked if I had ever tried a breakfast bake in the crock-pot. I had not. She passed this along and I had to try it. I did swap out a couple things (since I don’t like pieces of onions) and I think it’s so so good! Try it soon so you can wake up to this amazing smell and have breakfast already done!



  • 2 lbs frozen hash browns (I used cubed)
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage , browned and drained
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder



  1. Lightly grease large slow cooker with no-stick spray. Layer 1/3 of the hash-browns on the bottom, then lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 1/3 of the cooked sausage, then 1 cup of cheese. Repeat layers twice ending with the cheese.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Lawry’s and onion powder. Pour over the layers in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.