Enchilada Casserole

This is part of a OAMC plan

Enchilada Casserole

Make this sauce, tripling it:
3 T oil
3 T flour
6 T chili powder
2 c water (or meat broth)
1 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder

Dissolve chili powder in the water and set aside.
(try putting the chili powder in warm water for ease of mixing)

In medium skillet, heat oil.
Add flour and heat until dissolved.
Add chili powder/water mixture and mix well.
Add salt and garlic powder and mix well.
Bring to bubbly boil, stirring constantly.
Simmer for 5 minutes.

Use water or meat broth for the base.

Combine 4 1/2 cups of the beef and onion mixture with 3 cans mild green jalepeno peppers, or use spicier version if you prefer, and one tablespoon of ground cumin.

24 ounces of grated cheese
Grease bottom of an 9 inch square baking dish, spoon very thin layer of sauce into pan.
spread a layer of corn tortillas in the bottom.
Smear with some sauce.
Sprinkle some of the meat mixture over the tortillas, ladle over some of the sauce, sprinkle with grated cheese. Repeat layering tortillas, meat mixture, cheese, and sauce until all the meat mixture is used. Pour any remaining sauce over top, sprinkle with cheese, and seal and freeze (make sure you label it).
To serve, defrost overnight in fridge. Remove covering. Bake at 400, 20 minutes.
Serve with chips, shredded lettuce, beans, rice, guacamole, sour cream, depending on what you have.

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Cheeseburger Quiche

This is part of a OAMC plan.

Cheeseburger quiche

Makes 3 deep dish pie pans
12 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
3 cloves garlic, minced
9 eggs
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
20 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Meat crust: combine 5 cups of the beef and onion mixture with bacon, and mix well, breaking up large pieces (you might use a pastry cutter).

Divide into three portions and press down hard into the bottom of deep dish pie pans.
Sprinkle grated cheese over the meat crust.
Combine eggs, mayo,half and half, salt and pepper to taste, and garlic and mix well.
Sprinkle cheese over beef crust mixture.
Pour egg mixture over the beef mixture.
freeze carefully, keeping the pans level. When it is frozen, cover well and seal with foil. Label.
To serve, loosen foil so that when it defrosts it won’t be touching the foil; defrost on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet directly into the oven with pie pan on top. remove foil. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350*, until browned and set.

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Pizza Pasta Casserole

This is part of a OAMC plan.

Recipe: Pizza Pasta Casserole

This should make about 3 healthy sized meals for around 4-6 people each

combine 3 cups of the ground beef and onion mixture with 16 ounces of pasta cooked to just barely al dente, add two tsp of Italian seasoning, approximately 26 ounces of spaghetti sauce (precise amounts are not important), and 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese.

Divide mixture into 3 or 4 greased 8X8 pans.

Top with a layer of pepperoni
Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
Top with more pepperoni if desired.
Cover and freeze (don’t freeze pasta recipes more than about a month or two, and never freeze them if they are overcooked. Noodles have to be very,v ery firm)
To bake frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until hot

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Squash Casserole

Recipe: Harvest Squash Casserole Casserole

This recipe is part of the freezer meals plan here.  It will make three 8X8 pans, serving 4-5 people each.

3 small summer squash, unpeeled, sliced into thick rounds
1/4 cup butter
2 cups cooked onion and ground beef mixture
3large eggs
3/4 cups mayo
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
3 cups cooked rice (or quinoa)
1 1/2 cups Ritz cracker crumbs, oyster cracker crumbs, or crouton crumbs ( or less,  to taste)
salt and pepper

Quickly saute the squash in the butter, just until crisp/tender, but mostly crisp. Stir squash into about 3 cups of the beef and onion mixture. Whisk the eggs and mayo together well, combine with beef and squash mixture. Stir in the cheese and the cooked rice. Put in a labeled freezer bag or a baking pan. Place the cracker crumbs in a separate quart sized bag and freeze with the squash casserole.

To serve:

Defrost. Pour into a greased square baking pan. Scatter cracker crumbs over the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes. or until heated through and not too jiggly.

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Hamburger Broccoli Alfredo Casserole

This is a freezer meal made using this plan, which calls for cooking a large amount of ground beef and onions with garlic in advance.

Recipe: Hamburger Broccoli Alfredo Casserole

This recipe will make two 8X8 pans, or enough to make two meals of about five servings each- unless you have it over noodles, in which case each batch could serve 8-10 if you are generous with the pasta.  It is very rich.

Label your ziplock bags (you can also freeze it in well sealed pans)

Pull out approximately 3 to 3 1/2 cups of the ground beef and onion mixture, stir in a tablespoon of basil, salt and pepper to taste, and put it in the fridge to chill while you:
Warm 12 oz of cream cheese if necessary, and stir until smooth. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of heavy cream until smooth, then stir in two pinches of nutmeg, 2 tsp garlic powder, and cheese and garlic powder and 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, or a combo of parmesan and mozarella . Combine the hamburger, roughly 15-20 ounces of frozen broccoli or frozen broccoli and cauliflower in 2 gallon bags. Pour in the cream cheese and cream mixture and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you are going to have it over noodles put a bag of pasta in the freezer with the beef alfredo- I usually attach them with a rubber band.
On cooking day, defrost, spoon into greased casserole dish, Bake at 350º for about 35-45 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top. Meanwhile, start pasta if you are having this with pasta, and serve over noodles (or over spaghetti squash, or over toast, or as is).

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Filled French Bread Sammitch

  There is a similar recipe here.

For this version, we browned a couple pounds of ground beef with a bag of frozen peppers, a diced onion, and a couple tablespoons of Fiesta Chili Powder and garlic. We drained the meat and then stirred in just a tad of beef broth.  I don’t think we added quite enough- it’s just a touch on the dry side.

We hollowed out the loaf (click on the link above for more directions on that), filled it with the beef mixture, topped with grated cheddar cheese. Then we put the top back on the loaf, wrapped it in foil, and baked it until heated through.  To serve, slice into sandwiches and lift to plate using a pancake turner or spatula or pizza paddle.  Serve with green salad or fruit.

You can freeze this, take it on camping trips and reheat it over the coals or your campfire or on your grill.


Save the leftover bread that you ripped out of the loaf and use it for bread pudding, bread casseroles, or strata. Or take it to feed the ducks.

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Gingerbread Muffins

Memorial Day Weekend we had our oldest daughter and her family of four, the single man who had been a groomsmen in their wedding three years ago, a teenaged boy who is a friend of our son’s, and a friend of mine from church (a deaf lady who is teaching me sign while pretending I interpret for her).  Plus 6 from our own family.

I made a big batch of these muffins, a smaller batch of oatmeal muffins, oatmeal, and a big bowl of frozen fruit (pineapples, peaches, and some raspberries).  The gingerbread muffins were the big hit- they were dark, soft as velvet, and rich.


3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (we used freshly ground)

3/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, ginger (each)

1/2 tsp each cloves and nutmeg

8 Tablespoons sugar (I used sucanat)

1 cup of molasses

1 1/2 cups milk

3 eggs

3/4 cup of oil (I used coconut oil, melted)


Mix dry ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients.  Combine just until moistened. Fill oiled muffin tins, putting batter up to about 3/4 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes.   This recipe should make around 2 1/2 dozen muffins, possibly 3 dozen, depending on the size of your muffins.


Linked at Frugal Follies

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Stevia Sweetened Gelatin Snacks

One of our grandsons came home from the hospital, after 41 days in the NICU, with a feeding tube in his belly- a g-tube.  He’s been doing fantastic, and the doctors decided their goal to get him off the g-tube would be the end of Summer.  Only this week, the child managed to pull his tube out while climbing on and off the furniture- and he didn’t even really flinch or fuss at all, so his parents didn’t find out he’d pulled it out for two more hours. At that point, the hole was starting to close.

The professionals decided to go with the baby’s timing (he’s 18 months old)and just leave it out.  Only his parents are packing up to move right now and a huge concern is his ability to go from getting most of his liquids via tube to getting them via mouth- and to do so overnight.   To help his mother out, we made this gelatin for him:

Stevia Lemon Jell-O

1 ounce unflavored gelatin (4 Tablespoons)
1 cup lemon juice

3 cups hot water
1 & 1/4 teaspoons powdered Stevia- or 30 drops of liquid stevia, apricot and/or berry or orange flavored
One teabag of hibscus (or other fruity flavored tea, or skip it, this is optional)

Sprinkle gelatin over cold lemon juice and let it sit a couple of minutes- it should look sort of like applesauce when you’re done, but it isn’t nice to tell your sister to taste the applesauce. Not that anybody in my house would have done that and you can’t prove that it happened.

Meanwhile, add the teabag to the hot water.   Add hot water to the gelatin mixture and stir or whisk until the gelatin is totally dissolved.

Stir in the stevia and mix well.

Pour into a large baking pan and chill until firm (about 3 hours).

Variation: Substitute one cup of yogurt for one of the cups of water.  Or stir yogurt into the whole thing for a creamier dessert.  Use half lime juice.   Simmer some coconut in pineapple juice, strain, and then make a pina-colada version.

Posted in dessert, low-carb | 1 Response

My Books

At the time of this posting, the following experimental book I wrote for Kindle is free (I think I set it to run for just 24 hours, so get it while it’s hot):

And there’s this vintage cookbook which I upgraded by adding an active TOC, and some cooking directions and other items:

Of course, there’s this one, which I co-wrote with three other MBOFOUS’es- Mama Bloggers Of Families Of Unusual Size (If you’re a Pricess Bride fan you get it):

I fixed up the TOC and activated it for Kindle, as well as adding a foreword to this poetry book: Required Poems for Reading and Memorizing (annotated)
The cover is an embarrassment, and I’ve tried to change it, but Amazon keeps reverting back to the original mistaken version.

And this, this is my newest:

It does have recipes because I think it’s an important thing for kids to do- cook with and for their families. I began the recipe section with stuff as easy as cinnamon toast, and ended with a couple of crockpot main dishes that aren’t too difficult at all. There are also recipes for play-dough, sculpting dough, and fingerpaint, as well as games to play, activities to do (both fun for ‘me’ and service opportunities), and toys to make. There are ideas that work for one child or ten, and ideas that work for preschoolers and some for 12 year olds. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

More to come!!

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Tuscan Style Summer Skillet Supper

Tuscan Style Summer Skillet Supper


2 T Cooking oil, if you are using a fattier grade of ground beef
2 lb. grassfed ground beef, or any ground meat you have available
1 cup finely chopped green onion or onions (minced small)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, or more (to taste)
1 cup cooked orzo- or cooked rice, or other pasta, cooked al dente (use diced, cooked spaghetti squash if you don’t want the carbs or the gluten)
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
6 tbsp. coarsely chopped walnuts (toast them lightly first for best flavor)
2 tbsp. dried oregano
dash or two of fiesta chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, or bleu cheese- ideally. Really, just use some cheese.=) Mozarella would be good. But you can also just skip the cheese. Really.
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onion
16 black olives
2-4 cups diced tomatoes


Heat cooking oil in a large frying pan on medium heat- it will be best if your pan is one that can also go under the broiler. Add ground beef, salt, pepper, green onion, and garlic. Fry, stirring regularly, until the ground beef is cooked through. Drain if necessary.

Add the diced tomato, cooked orzo, parsley, walnuts, oregano and chili powder. Continue to cook over medium heat while stirring- just until warm through.
Add feta or bleu cheese and a cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir quickly and remove from heat as soon as the cheese is stirred in.

*If your pan is not oven proof, transfer ingredients to a baking pan.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and green onions over the top of the ground beef mixture. Top with the olives. Broil on center rack in oven for 5 to 8 minutes until Parmesan cheese is golden. Watch carefully.
As you can see- the Boy, who made ours, did not dice the olives, and that would certainly have been ideal. We also did not have much cheese.

Serve with toasted garlic bread and a salad or vegetable sticks. Steamed green beans or asparagus would also be good if you don’t want to do the bread.

Recipe is adapted from this recipe at The Veggie Gardener, which is for stuffed tomatoes. But we don’t like stuffed tomatoes, and the tomatoes I had were already sliced, as we’d had them leftover from sandwich fixings the day before.

I think it would also be tasty in stuffed peppers, or even cabbage rolls, although it will be more troublesome to prepare any other way than this.

If I were making this for a freezer meal (OAMC), I’d mix up all the ingredients except the pasta, cheeses, olives and tomatoes (although you could use canned tomatoes). I’d cook that, cool, and freeze, and add the pasta, cheeses, olives and tomatoes on cooking day.


If you look closely you can see that instead of orzo, we used alphabet pasta.=)  It’s what we had in our hands.

We also were almost completely out of cheese- and I think this would have tasted just as delicious without the cheese.  It would perhaps need a little something more as a binding agent- wtih no cheese it would have been ever so slightly on the dry side. More tomatoes, maybe.

It was really, really flavorful, and a hit with all of us- including the Little Boys.  Definitely a keeper.

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