Sunday, December 12, 2010

This is GREAT--Peanut Butter Fudge Delight.

Peanut Butter Fudge Delight

Melt 1 package of white almond bark. Add 1 cup crunchy peanut butter. Pour mixture into greased 9x13. Melt 4 Hershey Bars with Almonds. Dallop spoonfulls over almond bark mixture. Use a butter knife and create pretty swirls of chocolate in the almond bark/peanut butter mixture. Allow mixture to harden at room temp! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Probably my favorite Holiday food.

I know it's wierd. But, I'm wierd. I make this every year--at least twice--during the Holidays---and I love it. I don't really need a recipe anymore. I mostly just eyeball the ingredients. I recently discovered how wonderful caramel sauce is on top.

Peanut Butter Pie--(Paula Deen's recipe adapted a bit!)

1 three or four ounce package cream cheese
1 cup confectioner's sugar--I always use less
1/2 cup peanut butter--I always use more
1/4 cup evaporated milk--I use 1/8 cup of 2%
large container of cool whip--I use about 3/4 of it
8 inch graham cracker crust

Whip the cream cheese until fluffy, then beat in the sugar and peanut butter. Slowly add the milk, blending well. Fold in the cool whip and spoon this into the graham cracker crust. Freeze 4 hours or overnight. Let pie thaw for 5-10 minutes before serving. Slice and serve with caramel sauce and extra cool whip. This pie keeps really well--just stick it back in the freezer.

(I know I'm awful! I need to just follow the recipe as is! I just can't.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mo's 1.

Ok, so his name really isn't Mo. It's just what I like to call him. It is short for Satchmo. Maybe one day, when he's like 4, I'll call him his real name. Any rate, Mo's 1 now. I cannot believe it. He had a great birthday-pretty low key. We've all been puking around here courtesy of the stomach flu. E
P.S. Those fresh baby pictures of Mo--those are just an added bonus for reading this post. Yes, I know I'm crazy. (I just found them). Or maybe I'm just proud to have my computer back! Notice the size of that newborn's feet!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You got a what?

Yeah, that's right. I'm the proud owner of an iphone and I thought you should know.
As far as the cooking goes, try this:

with lots of beans.
Peace out. This soccer coaching is exhausting!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ode to Mo--He's sick again

Poor Mo. Sick from just about day 1 of life! Meningitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, ear infections. Did I mention the loud screaming from day 1 as well? Ironically his name is Jeffrey Satchel. Do you know the meaning of Jeffrey? Divine peace, a peace from God. HMMMM. . . .

Mo's Favorite Chops

Desired number of pork chops-(I used 1/2 inch, bone in.)
3 parts soy sauce, 2 parts honey, 1 part oil, black pepper as desired.
Mix ingredients well. Marinate chops in mixture overnight. Bring chops to room temp. Grill 5-6 minutes a side on a medium-high heat grill.
So good, so tender.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weary. . .

Do you ever get that way? If you told me you were, I would tell you to look up (at him).
Hey, somebody forgot to tell me that juggling work, kids, spouse, house, church, life in general was tuff. . . at times.
But then I remember my children are well, my belly is full and my pjs are warm. I think it is called perspective right?

Eye of the Round Roast---by Paula Dean with my tweaks of course

1 eye of round roast(be sure you know exact weight)
1/2 cup red Burgundy wine
1/3 cup soy sauce
fresh cracked pepper.

Make marinade or wine, soy sauce and pepper. I used a large freezer bag. Add meat. Marinate overnight. Next day, place meat in shallow pan with a little of marinade. I foil lined my pan. Preheat oven to 500*. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes per pound of meat. Turn off oven and cover roast with foil. Leave in oven for 40 minutes for medium-rare roast.

This was pretty good. I sliced that medium rare roast up pretty thin and then returned it to the warm au juice which cooked the beef a bit more. We made sandwiches on whole wheat buns with the beef and mozarella cheese/parmesan cheese.

This next recipe was WAY TOO COOL! It is another Paula Dean with a huge variation. Don't knock it before you try it. My kiddos loved them! Lets just say, don't let the baby eat too many!

Green Muffins

1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup-3/4 cup canned turnip greens drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Stir together cornmeal and flour in mixing bowl. Add the eggs, greens and juice, oil and sour cream. Don't overmix. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

This was WAY too cool. Paula uses home cooked turnip greens in her recipe which I'm sure is delicious as well! She also warms the muffin tins before filling with the batter.

What I liked about the canned turnip greens versus home-cooked was of course the ease, and the kids ate their muffins with butter and honey. If using home-cooked I think the muffin could only be eaten savory. We also sampled the muffins with sour cream.

My favorite pork chops
4-6 pork boneless pork loin chops about 1/2 inch thick
Italian bread crumbs
freshly ground black pepper
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
Italian seasoning
oil for browning

Dredge chops in crumbs. I use a large storage bag for ease. Brown 2 minutes on each side in oil. (You don't need much oil here--only about 1/4-1/3 cup in large nonstick skillet). Place in greased 9x13. Mix can of soup with 1 soup can full of hot water. Add about 2-3 tsp. of Italian seasoning and 1 tsp. pepper to this mixture. Pour gravy over chops. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350* for 1 hour.

Last night was the first night I used water instead of milk in the recipe. Guess what--it worked great, possibly better than milk!

Well, I'm recipeeed out now, so I'm off to pack bags and finish the dishes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My dream. . .

well, one of them, is to own a small scale catering business. This weekend I sort-a-maybe launched a little. I made birthday cakes(and decorated) for my cousins and a peach/pecan cobbler for a tail-gate party in Fayetteville. Granted it was mostly family at the party but still a possible launch.
Second, tomorrow is a shower at church and I made and decorated the cake (cupcakes). I think they turned out great! I had SO much fun making everything. I have been cooking lots and lots lately. I guess I'm stressed. I cannot wait to share. The list includes the above menitioned and homemade applesauce, no-bake cookies, "green" muffins, peanut butter bread, biscuits, pork chops and gravy, and eye-of-the-round roast.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Soccer mom?

Well, I don't know about that. But, I had to share. I'm coaching Brooks' team and I love it! We have a great time. Kate is my assistant coach. Satch crawls around and eats grass. Last night was our first game. We won! WOOHOO!
Next week I think we will work on spreading the field a little better and not crowding the ball! (The age division is for 4-6yos).
This weekend. . . cakes, cakes and more cakes! Have you ever tried to make bright red buttercream icing?

Monday, September 20, 2010

"MOM. . . . .

(true story--hey wait, ALL my stories are true.)

there is a ring."
I reply,"There is a what?."

"A ring,come see, there is a ring in this toilet." says my soccer star son.

Thats right. Thats my toilet cleanin' boy. Please don't have him over unless you've cleaned!

Fancy Pork Loin Roast

You know us, we're pretty fancy right? Well, this sure looks fancy and tastes pretty yummy!

1 3# or so pork roast
fresh mushrooms and onion--about 1/2 cup of each--more or less fine. Sprinkle these veggies with seasoned salt and pepper.
turkey bacon
brown sugar

Slice pork roast open length wise. Fill with mushrooms and onions. Place roast back together. Tie with twine. Wrap roast (widthwise) with bacon strips real pretty like. Use toothpicks if you like to hold bacon in place. Sprinkle with good amount of brown sugar. Bake at 425* for 25 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 and continue baking for another 60-70 minutes or so.(use your meat thermometer!)So pretty and yummy. I baked mine on a roasting rack.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wounds and Steps

Gimini-Christmas! Is that even how you spell it? Brooks had pre-K today. I had a break at work, so I rushed over to pick him up. We have a fold-down desk in the hall at work. I put it up so God- love- him he wouldn't run into it yet again. (It's eye level).
Well, someone unfolded it and BAMMO he nailed it just under his left eye. Thank you God he didn't nail the eye! I could have cried with him. He cried and cried. It drew blood. I thought he might need a stitch, but he didn't. SHOO!

I thought I had this day whipped. Then. . .
enter Sis-limping! Limping? Kids DON'T limp. She had a small abrasion on the bottom of her foot from stepping on one of Brooks' toys a few days ago. I took a fresh look this evening. 3 WORDS--green, streaks and red. You get it? Yeah that's right. It's 6 p.m., she's infected and streaking!! So, nothing else to do--load her up and take care of it. Right? What a tuff gal she is! I returned to clinic with her, cultured, cleaned and injected!

Mother kept the boys while we dealt with Kate. She just called and informed me that while we were gone--Mo stepped X 2!

Oh yes and I'm going to see Mercy Me. WOOHOO!

Live in His Love tomorrow. . . Let Him love you. . .E

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New recipes and a new baby

He's a new baby. The tubes have made ALL the difference. Very limited screaming and LOTs of playing. I'm so happy for him!
Did I mention I'm a soccer coach? Yes, that's right and no, I've never played a day in my life.

I love cooking w/o recipes. Herein is the joy of cooking. I hope you cook w/o recipes too. There is no need-well--except for with desserts! Follow recipes to a T with desserts!

Eggplant Parmesan--easy style and SO good for you.

Slice desired amount of eggplant--I did 4 medium sized eggplants--about 1/3 inch thick. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400* for 6 minutes a side. Add salt and pepper before roasting.

Layer roasted eggplant with jarred marinara sauce in greased 9X13, alternating layers, starting and beginning with sauce. (I used about 1/2 jar of sauce). Sprinkle top with Italian seasoning and black pepper. Top with shredded mozarella---however much you like. ( I do believe in shredding my own cheese--don't buy the pre-shredded if you can help it. The blocks are SO much better and you can use less). Seal with foil and bake at 350* for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove foil. Top with desired amount of grated Parmesan cheese. DON'T replace foil. Return to oven for 10 more minutes. So DELICIOUS and SO GOOD for ya!

Mo (a.k.a. Satch)meter--He gave this one a 10 before he started breaking out!

Friday, September 10, 2010

TUBES and what-not

WELL, well, well. What a week is all I have to say. Oh, don't worry, I've been in the kitchen and EVERYWHERE ELSE it seems. I took Satch this a.m. (at 5:30) to have bilateral tubes placed in his ears. I was very concerned about this, but it went so well. Thank you God. I also got 30 minutes after the procedure to rock him, nurse him, thank God for him in the stillness and darkness of the recovery area. It was so nice. In honor of Satchel:

Smothered Steak--Satchel Style

cube steak-desired amount--I did about 5-6 large steaks
3/4 cups Panko crumbs, 3/4 cups Italian Bread crumbs mixed together
canola oil for frying
2 packets brown gravy mix--the "make on the stove" kind--you know REAL easy--you just add water--go ahead and make it and use a little extra water

Dredge both sides of steaks in crumbs. Set aside. Heat about 1/2 cup canola oil in large nonstick pan. (medium-high heat). Brown steaks for about 2 minutes a side. Place browned steaks in Crock-Pot. Feel free to pile em' in on top of one another. Pour brown gravy over top and cook away--for like 6 hours on low. YUMMO! Super tender and flavorful.

NOTE--I have an oval crock pot. This meat does best when cooked in lots of gravy, so if you need 3 packets, feel free. Just try to make sure meat is mostly covered with gravy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sweet Dumpling Squash

No, not a new nickname for Airl. An awesome new addition to my dinner arsenal. It looks like a pumpkin and tastes kind of like a sweet potato. The kids LOVED it. Here is the scoop:

Sweet Dumpling Squash--oven roasted

Preheat oven to 350*. Remove excessive stem from squash. Slice squash lengthwise in half. Scoop out the few seeds. Place desired number (skin side up) in greased 9x13 with bit of water in bottom of pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes--depending on number of squash and their size. Remove from oven. Turn squash over(skin side down now). Fill with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon (if desired). Some of mine were so sweet they didn't need any sugar, just a pinch of salt. Return to oven for another 10 minutes or until fork tender. Delicious. I prefered these over the Butternut variety.

Tomorrow I am going to fry them. Did I mention I purchased 30 lbs. of the squash? Yes, I know. And so does my poor husband.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Krystal" Burgers

1.5 lbs. ground beef lean
1 packet onion soup mix
lots of fresh ground black pepper

Mix together(hands here). Flatten out to about 1/4-1/2 inch on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375* for 20ish minutes. Cut in small squares. Serve on "brown and serve" rolls or buns if desired. I froze a bunch of these and have been putting them in Airl and Brooks' lunch. Can add mustard/pickle if desired.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

He's 5. . .

and I'm not coping well. It really doesn't seem possible that 5 years ago today I told those nurses, "I'm sorry ya'll. . . this baby's coming. . . ". I really tried to not deliver him in the wheelchair.

I cannot believe he is 5. He started Pre-K. It has been like him starting school for me. It is so tough to let them go. . .

And then today, I was distracted---the baby was sick.

This is when you pray hard and look up. . . and pray that they always look up. . .

the perfect Buttercream frosting (for any little boy's birthday cake)

2 sticks butter softened for about 1 hour at room temp.
whip it I say whip it.
Gradually work in about 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
Add 1-2 tsp. of vanilla extract now.
whip it.
Add 4-5 tsp. milk.
whip it.
Add another 1/2 cup or so of powdered sugar until desired consistency.

So delicious and so easy. Extra easy if you own a stand mixer.

Note--You can easily add cocoa to this or a different variety of extract. If you add cocoa you may need to add more milk. I also added food coloring to some of mine and piped it on the cake using a plastic storage baggie with the corner snipped off of it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Butternut Squash

So busy here. Today I cooked a "mess" of butternut squash. My kids loved it and so did their mom. Wait, I loved it!

Butternut Squash

Squash-halved lengthwise.(Cut from bottom of squash up towards stem, much easier). De-seed. Place halves skin side up in greased 9x13 with approximately 1/2 inch water in bottom of pan. Bake for 30 ish minutes. After 30 minutes, turn squash over (flesh side up). Sprinkle with butter and brown sugar--if desired. Bake another 10 ish minutes until fork tender. Adjust cooking time based on size of squash. Mine were pretty large.

I knew I would be pushed for time tonight and we would be STARVING! What's new you say? So, I placed 3 large butternut squash-halved, skin side up in large roasting pan, with bit of water. I had to semi-stack the squash, so it would ALL fit in the roasting pan. I sealed it with foil. I then slow cooked it at 300 degrees for about 2 hours. It was perfect. No trouble.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My name is Kate. . .

and I'm guest bloggin' for my mom. She is typing for me.

When Brooks was three he was cute. When he got presents for his birthday, he was very happy. Now he is older than that. On Thursday, he will turn five. At his next birthday, he will be six. At Brooks' party this year, he will be happy. My mom built his birthday cake and cupcakes. It is a Batman cake. He is going to ride go-carts for his birthday. He will celebrate at Pre-K too.

Satch is going to turn one on his birthday. It is very exciting. He is so cute and screams a lot. He will start walking pretty soon, and maybe even talking. He likes to climb on me. He likes to stand on me. He hurts my teeth. He eats a bunch. He loves to try new foods. He is ready to try steak and ribs and all those kinds of meat. He loves food so much, he could probably eat all day and all night. When he is one, he will eat even more. With all those birthday presents, he is going to be happy.

My birthday is in the Spring. I think I will have a flower party next year. I still don't know what cake I will get. When I was younger, I use to love my birthday because of presents. Now, I would rather give them than get them. The boys are fun to give to. And I might ride go-carts too, cuz I might be able to drive my own next year.

Sincerely, Kate.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Screamer

Do you have a screamer? Have you been around a screamer? It can be life ALTERING to say the least. My latest and greatest is a screamer. He came out screaming and I can assure you he hasn't stopped yet. His name is Satch. (See bottom left). I love that fella. BUT PLEASE! Sleep and stop screaming. Its funny b/c people always look at him and make comments like, " He is so sweet, is he always this happy?" I just laugh on the inside.

Oh and don't worry. That picture I promised, its a coming. E

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Pool

We have swum and swum and swum. Did you know that is actually a word? Correct tense too. My kids LOVE to swim and you know so do I. I don't actually swim. I just love to be there-either in the water or sitting in a lounge chair. (Before you think of having more children, let me remind you how difficult it is to apply sunscreen to 5 bods.) Yes, I am in charge of everyone's application. I have let myself tan TOO much this year. I normally don't do this. I'll get back on track next summer. We ate at a new restaurant today. It was YUMMO. I think it is an Arkansas thing--Larry's Pizza. Loved it. I have cut watermelon, peaches and canteloupe until my hands hurt and now I will rest. Tommorrow I MIGHT have a pic for you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Peach Freeze

I thought you might want to know what I am doing with my now 100# of peaches. I have been making this delicious peach slush-like thing! It is SO good-and SO good for you. The kiddos love this.

Frozen Peaches

10-12 medium sized ripe fresh peaches peeled (or not, or kind of "rough peeled"-which means KIND of peeled)
1 T. Fresh Fruit
2-3 oz. thawed frozen OJ concentrate

Mix all together. I usually double the recipe. You can add some sugar if you wish or if your peaches are not very sweet. Place is multiple sandwich size freezer bags and freeze.

These are SO great to pack in lunches. The peaches keep your sandwich cold and by lunchtime they are just the right amount of thawed to enjoy! (I do usually add a little bit of Splenda to the peaches right before eating.) I cannot wait to enjoy peaches all winter!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1-5-10-Try it!

Since school has started for the kids-1st grade-Kate, Pre-K-Brooks, we have invented a new game. If you are a parent, you know the routine--you ask, "How was your day, Did you learn anything?, How was Mrs.(blank)?, How was (friend's name)?, What did you have for lunch?" Sometimes you get answers, sometimes, MOREtimes not.

SO> > > we play a game at the Cheek house. We go around the table (multiple times) and play 1-5-10. 10 is the best thing that happened to you all day. 5 is something that was not bad, not good, just was. 1 is something not so good that happened. This is VERY fun to do with kids. We end up going around the table LOTs and it really opens up the conversation.

And for the record, the taco burgers I made tonight were YUMMO! Don't knock em' til you try em'.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peach Cobbler

Peaches are in. And the Cheeks are partaking--to the tune of 75#. Yes, that's right, 75 lbs. of peaches have passed through this home--literally--HA! No, no, we haven't eaten them all. . . yet. I've "put up" about 1/2 of what I have bought. This cobbler is delicious and EASY. Give it a try with other fruits too!

Peach Cobbler

1 stick REAL butter melted
1 cup plus 4 T. sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup NOT skim milk
3 cups of fresh, sliced and peeled, ripe peaches (I like my cobblers fruity. It makes me feel less guilty!)

Whisk 1 cup sugar, flour and milk together. Whisk in melted butter. Pour mixture into greased 3 quart baking dish. Sprinkle the sliced peaches evenly on top of the batter. Sprinkle 2 T. sugar on top. Bake for 50 minutes at 350*. Remove from oven. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the top and return to oven for 5-10 more minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes OR SO. Enjoy with ice cream!

My mother said this is an old classic recipe--actually the same one my grandmother made many years ago.

NOTE--If you like cinnamon, feel free to add a tsp. OR SO! It is good either way!

Stove-top Meatloaf

It is SO hot--or has been SO hot. I keep my thermostat on 80 degrees so when the oven is turned on, it gets hot in our house. I invented this the other night and it was delicious! We ate all of it--except for 1 piece. The fam. said it was my best meatloaf ever!

Stove-top Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 egg beaten
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
lots of ground black pepper
3/4--1 cup or so of bread crumbs--I used 2 hard wheat rolls crumbled--You could use 3-4 slices plain white or wheat bread, already prepared bread crumbs, etc. (Remember most prepared bread crumbs are SALTY.) The crumbs are just a filler--to help form the loaf--for texture--you get it.
1/3 cup or so of milk

NOTE--I know my recipes have LOTs of estimated measures. I am sorry for this you sticklers. The key here is being able to form a nice shaped loaf. My loaf was approximately 8x4x2.5 inches. Approximate now, approximate. (I have a ruler sitting right here by me).

Tear bread into pieces. Add milk. Add the rest of the ingredients. Get your hands in it now. Come on, work it now. Mix well and make a nice loaf. Loaf should form easily. Grease HEAVY stockpot. Place your meatloaf in the pot. Cover tightly and place over medium heat for 40-50 minutes. NO PEAKING here--Ok, a little bit of peaking ok, but quickly put the lid back on. This is the key--letting the meatloaf kind of steam. Check doneness with meat thermometer. You are looking for 160 degrees.

Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with ketchup. Delicious. So moist and EASY! Seriously, so good!

I hope you like the blog

I promise to do better with my blog! Pictures of the kiddos are coming---and many many more recipes. Who knows? I might get crazy and take pics of my food!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stay Tuned--It won't be long now.

Well, well, well all three of you followers. The day has almost arrived for the unveiling. Yes, yes, my new blog should be up by tommorrow. I am so stoked I can barely contain myself. I have SO much to share. And now a new platform! I sure hope I spelled tommorrow correctly. I always mess that word up. Hey, stay tuned. You ain't seen nothing yet! e

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What a wonderful day!

We had a great day today. It was the day before school starts for K. She will be in the 1st grade this year. I cannot believe it! Brooks starts Pre-K on Monday. We baked and cooked a lot of the day. I just finished stocking the freezer with pancakes. They warm up nicely on school days. I made the entire box of mix. Satch has another ear infection. Rats! We stayed home all day except for church tonight.

It is late and I feel blessed. Have you ever stopped to think that God intended you, yes you to be "their" mother? I'm so glad he chose me to be Kate, Brooks and Satch's momma. I only hope I can do the job justice.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This is a must try!

Fried Okra Salad
(I had seen a couple of recipes for this. This is my OWN take.)
1 bag breaded okra--fried or baked--and cooled
1/2 lb. bacon crisp fried and crumbled
1 medium tomato sliced and diced--remove as many seeds as possible
1/2 small red onion diced
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese crumbles
1 small bottle fat free Catalina dressing (French dressing works too.)

Mix all ingredients except tomatoes. Use as much or as little dressing as you prefer. Top with tomatoes and serve. This is wonderful! Tip--chill dressing before using.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One of these days. . .

my blog will look cute.

My Mo is really growing up. He is so sweet and so funny. Today he had 6 dirty diapers. Thats right 6. He's pretty good at eating to say the least.

Mo's favorites:

sweet potatoes
sweet peas
hot dogs (He's #3 and they are diet hot dogs sliced correctly)
pretzels (minus the salt--I won't tell you how we get the salt off!)
pizza crust

I made him the best baby food last night. I combined and processed sweat peas and carrots with a bit of peach sauce(like apple sauce just peaches). It was really tasty for no added salt or other spices. I think tomorrow he is trying an avacado. Whatcha think?

I haven't been in the kitchen much lately--just makin' easy stuff. I do have a new favorite for breakfast. Frozen blueberries with plain cheerios and milk. Yummo. (add Splenda of course). e

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


is so very busy. Lately, I have cooked nothing new. We just "get by" at meal time. I thought I would comment tonight on eating out and eating easy--whats affordable, whats good, etc., you get it.

First, try the new Domino's pizza. It is YUMMY. The special now is a $10 large. Be sure and get hand-tossed. Hand-tossed is the actual only "new" pizza. Let me recommend veggie lovers. It is yummy.

2nd, I love Sonic Burgers--plain and simple---just a #1, no butter on the bun, no mayo or mustard BUT ALL the veggies. So stinking good.

3rd, McD's ice cream cones are hard to beat--when the ice cream is fresh. I hate it when the ice cream is AIRY.

4th, Don't knock a Taco Bell Bean Burrito Fresco Style.

5th, Try some of WM's preseasoned roasts, briskets, etc. Hey not bad and NO WORK! I try to hit WM early Monday a.m. All the meat they don't sale over the wknd is marked WAY down! Also, try their shrimp-precooked, frozen, not bad.

6th, buy melon--now is Peak time--look for roadside stands--LOCAL!

7th, Try Oscar Meyer Light hot dogs. Not bad.

8th, McD's yogurt parfaits are tough to beat!

Well thats all I've got tonight--not much I know.
The kids are well and I am blessed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Grill Alert---chicken--

Yes, I know absent I have been. Busy I have been.
Those of you who know me know I hate to waste. I had some boneless skinless breasts in dire need of grilling. (I've been on a grilling kick). I marinated them in Marzetti's coleslaw dressing and black pepper overnight. I know crazy you say. I grilled them the next evening after removing the excessive marinade. They were AMAZING--so moist. I served them with seasoned salt and bbq sauce. I am making a concerted effort to desalt. So, many times I salt after cooking only, not before.

Grilled Chicken Thighs--I've discovered thighs. So here is how it goes. Remove skin from thighs--I used my kitchen shears. Marinate in Light Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing and black pepper overnight. Grill the next evening. Superb! Very Asiany--if you are in to those flavors. I grilled them on Medium heat for 6 minutes a side. Remember it takes dark meat longer to cook than white. Thank goodness for thighs!

Third, if you do not own an electric smoker---PURCHASE ONE NOW!! Ladies and gents, its an outside crock pot. I've been on a smoking kick lately too. More on that later! E

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Mexican Stack

This was FAB! Really FAB! I hope I can remember how I did it----Here goes--

The Mexican Stack
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 T. tomato paste
3 cups low sodium chicken broth--I made my own with ch. base and water
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. powdered garlic
4 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 lb-1 lb. browned ground beef--I seasoned mine while cooking with garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper--not too much seasoning---I also used about 3/4 lb.
12 corn tortillas
sour cream
large oval crock pot.

All seasoning measurements are approximate! I don't measure. I eyeball and use my palm! Mix tomatoes, paste, broth and spices. Grease crock pot. Place 3 tortillas in bottom--will need to tear tortillas to fit. Sprinkle with cheese and beef. Cover with good amount of sauce. Repeat layers until tortillas are used. The last layer is sauce. Can top with additional cheese if desired. Bake on low for 5-6 hours. Let cool a bit before serving. Serve with dallop of sour cream, cilantro and hot sauce (if you can take the heat!) This is so good! We all loved it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Excellent Fish Tacos

If you've never tried fish tacos----shame on ya! Try this

Fish Tacos
8 tilapia filets thawed
1 serving crushed Doritos--about 14 chips or so
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
3/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper--about 1 tsp.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix above ingredients--except fish. I used my processor. Beat 1 egg. Dip filets into egg wash and then into coating. Place on greased foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or so.

Warm flour tortillas. Stuff each tortilla with desired amount of fish, sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, hot sauce, salsa--(you get the idea). These were DELICIOUS! My family loved. Note--Be sure and drizzle filets with a little lemon juice after cooking to kill strong fish flavor--yummy yummy---and VERY EASY! e

Monday, May 24, 2010

Steak and Egg Burritos

Forgive me--I'm on a Mexican kick.
This was a great way to use left over steaks and too many eggs

Steak and Egg Burritos
leftover steak--about 3/4 lb--sliced into bite size pieces--no fat left please
3-4 beaten eggs
1/2 of a medium onion chopped
1/2 of green or yellow or red pepper chopped
1/2 cup fresh cheddar shredded
flour tortillas
pinches of--garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, salt, pepper
toppings--i.e.---cilantro, sour cream, extra cheese, salsa, hot sauce
1 T. Canola oil

Stir fry veggies in oil over medium high heat--flavor with ground cumin, garlic powder and pepper while cooking. Decrease heat to medium. Add cooked(already seasoned) steak. Mix well to combine and heat steak. Add eggs. Cook slowly over medium heat--be gentle with eggs. Season to your likings. When eggs are cooked through add cheese. Mix well. Stuff tortillas with this mixture and desired toppings. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Mexican Fiesta-Chicken (something) and Refried beans

I'm back. Tired, run down, busy, but I'm back.

Chicken (something)
1 1/2 lbs. cooked chicken breasts chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel
1/2 cup FRESHLY shredded cheddar

Mix all. Place into greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Refried Beans
1 can pinto beans--rinsed and drained
Pinch of onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 soup can water

Mix all in food processor. If you don't have a food processor, use a potato masher.
Heat to desired temp--I nuked mine for about 3 minutes.

Place desired amount of Chicken "something", refried beans, sour cream, and cilantro in a flour tortilla. Add salsa and hot sauce if desired. Roll up and enjoy!

This is delicious! My entire fam LOVED it including me!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Texas Pie

One of my favs. I had forgotten about this!

Texas Pie
1lb. ground beef
1/2 chopped onion
2 small potatoes sliced very thin--this is optional--I LOVE potatoes in my Mexican food so I added them in. Slice them thin
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 can favorite beans, rinsed and drained
1 packet taco seasoning
1 handful or so of brown sugar
1/2-1 cup shreddded cheddar
1 deep dish pie crust or 2 small crusts

Prebake crusts 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Be sure and poke holes in crust with fork before baking. Brown ground beef with onion and potatoes. I added ground pepper, pinch of garlic powder, pinch of onion powder, pinch of cumin and pinch of paprika to this mixture--this is optional---I am REALLY trying to cut down on salt so I'm looking to season other ways! Add taco seasoning, corn, beans and brown sugar. Mix well. Pour into pie crust(s). Top with cheese and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with sour cream. Yummy. My family LOVED IT!

Monday, May 10, 2010


You know how I feel around my children. . . loved. Unashamedly loved. As I post this I cry. I know how much I mess up as a momma---a bunch. I fall way short too. But they LOVE me. They love me. I can see it in their eyes, hear it in their voices, feel it in their touch.

You know we don't love our kids the way Christ loves us. We think we do--we try-- but we don't. It is just the opposite. . . They LOVE US the way Christ loves us.

Happy Belated Mother's Day. e

p.s. I'm allowed to say this--my kiddos are 6, 4 and 6 mths!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Heavenly Hash and Poke

I finally got my hands on some poke salad and boy did I make it count! I know I mentioned the HAM in previous posts. Well. . . its been ham and more ham all week and so tonight it was time for hash. I love hash-so versatile. You can do ANYTHING with it. Really the bottom line is make fried potatoes and add stuff to it! I think you will like this recipe--remember to OWN IT--feel free to change it up--make it your own.

Heavenly Hash
potatoes-I used unpeeled russets scrubbed sliced thin probably 1.5 lbs
meat--I used sliced ham off the bone-cut into bite sized pieces probably 1 lb. could use a variety of meats --precooked of course
1 cup frozen corn
1 onion sliced
2 cloves chopped garlic-jarred is fine
seasoned salt to taste
freshly grated black pepper
freshly grated cheddar

Start with 1 T. olive oil and 1-2T. canola oil. You don't need much oil b/c taters are sliced thin. Heat to med/high in large nonstick skillet. Throw in taters and onion. Season with seasoned salt and pepper. Mix well. Cook for about 3 minutes uncovered,stirring frequently, then cover loosely and cook for about 2-3 more minutes. Add in garlic and corn. Mix well. Partially cover again. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in ham. Cook partially covered for about 3 minutes until heated through. Top with desired amount of shredded cheddar. This is so yummy. And so easy.

Poke Salad
WARNING--Poke is poisonous if not boiled before cooking!
Wash desired amount of poke. Boil poke partially covered in salted water for 30 minutes. Drain very well. Melt bacon grease in skillet over med-high heat. Add poke and chopped onion if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Serve with jalepeno vinegar. YUMO!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cocoa Krispy Treats

Better try this one. . . FAST!

Cocoa Krispy Treats
1 box Cocoa Krispies---we like quantity
2 packages fresh marshmallows-10 oz package
6 T. butter
1 bag dried cherries--can use more--just the normal size bag at WM will do fine

Melt marshmallows and butter at low/medium heat. Stir in Cocoa Krispies and dried cherries. I always avoid putting in the very last of the Krispies--you know the real mealy junk at the very bottom of the bag---don't put that in your treats. Press mixture (using greased hands)into greased 9X13. This makes enough for 2 pans, but I like mine REAL thick and I was too lazy to grease 2 pans. YUMO!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pie crust

Tonight I'm feeling ultra fatigued so I think I better blog early.
Seriously the best pie crust I've EVER EVER made and one of the best I've ever eaten.

Pie Crust
2 sticks frozen salted butter thawed for about 15 minutes
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 1/2 cups flour

Process or cut in butter with flour until mealy. Thank goodness for food processors! Add water. Blend until all dough pulls away from side of bowl. Thank goodness again for food processors. Dough will be on the wet side. Trust me here. Chill in fridge for about 15 minutes. GENEROUSLY flour counter. Allow yourself ample counter room. Roll dough to desired thickness. Makes 2 deep crusts. DO NOT OVERWORK YOUR DOUGH! Generously flour the counter and make sure you have AMPLE room so you do not have to reroll!

I used this dough for a quiche and an apple pie. It worked well for both! E

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pinto Beans

Sometimes you score---

These were WAY WAY good and SO good for ya.
Yesterday I cooked a ham, so it will be ham ALL week with various sides.

Lets cook beans!

Start with 1 lb. pinto beans. Soak overnight in water. Drain and rinse. Pick out nasty ones. Enter crock pot. Grease crock pot with canola oil. Add beans. Cover with water about 2-3 inches above bean line. Add 5 beef bouillon cubes. Add 2 heaping capfuls of canola oil. Stir all. Cook away for 10 hours on low. After cooking add Lawry's Seasoned Salt to taste and fresh black pepper. (I usually season each bowl of beans individually not the big pot. The kids like to season their own). 1 word here---YUMO! I hope you do not plan on eating beans all week b/c chances are they will be gone or close to gone that night!

We ate these beans with ham, Mexican cornbread, greens and sour cream. Sour cream you ask? Remember what the "old timers" drank with this meal----hmmm-----buttermilk? Same idea. Fresh cilantro is good here too. ec

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I sit here tonight--at the table--blessed. It is late--er. The older kids are with Airl at SDC and I am here with my Mo. Have you ever stopped to think how blessed you are to feed your children? Tonight I am thinking this as I sit and feed him his baby oatmeal. He loves to eat and I love to feed. I was thinking about how "whipped" nursing him makes me---and I have enough to eat.

Imagine what those mommas feel like who don't have enough to eat themselves but still yet give their very last drop of energy/milk to their young.

I often think God must have something grand in mind for those of us who have enough to eat and clothes on our back. I hope and pray I am able to fulfill even part of what he has in mind for me. NO, I hope and pray I am able to fulfill EVERY part of his will for me.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us."---- from Paul's letter to the Ephesians, I believe.

Enjoy your dinner tonight and remember to tell him thanks. I felt like Ma earlier. I cooled a cherry pie in my window sill---I'll post pics later.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is the kitchen closed again---you loafin?? DREAM ON! Cake and Steak.

Have you ever tried to type with a 6 month old suckin on ya?? It can be done and I'm here to prove it!

The kitchen is not closed. In fact it is birthday cake time which presents challenges and lots of fun. Give this one a try--way to cool and looks exactly like the title implies.

Hornets Nest Cake
1 yellow cake mix
2 cups whole milk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 bag of butterscotch chips
1 small box vanilla instant pudding

Make pudding per package directions-2 cups milk/wire wisk/you get it. Fold in cake mix. Mix will still have small lumps. Spread into greased 9X13 pan. Sprinkle cake with butterscotch chips then pecans--order important here. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. DON'T OVERBAKE. This was way to cool. It looked exactly like a hornets nest. My daughter loves bugs and being outside so I thought this might be fun. Oh and it tasted delicious. Delicious I say-we all thought so--and did you notice how easy? No mixer involved. I am not a huge butterscotch fan so I did not use a whole bag of chips, nor did I use an entire cup of pecans bc I'm tight. I used about 3/4 bag of chips and 1/2 cup nuts and had GREAT results. The pecans end up looking like hornets.

Bring Me Some More Steak
2 lbs. thick sirloin
large storage bag
black pepper
Italian dressing-I used Robust Italian
garlic powder

Put large steak or singles in storage back. Pour in desired amount of dressing for marinade-You don't have to use a ton--just so meat is well covered. Add an obsurd amount of black pepper---I said obsurd. I did not use fresh ground here. Add 2-3 tsp. garlic powder. Squish it all around REAL well. Make sure meat is covered. It would probably work best to make mixture and then add steak--so much for afterthoughts. Let meat marinate for 6-12 hours. Remove from fridge about 1 hour before you plan to cook it. This is important. Place about 1 T. olive oil in non stick skillet. Bring to medium--high--high heat. Add steak. Sear 1 minute on each side. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes per side depending on how you like your steak cooked. This was delicious. We loved it. So tender and full of flavor. I like sirloin b/c it is so lean. Oh and that obsurd amount of pepper---don't be afraid. The meat is far from spicy or hot--its not at all---just delicious.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I love Chicken and Noodles

so basic-but I REALLY love it. Try this variation--mix it up a little--make it your own. OWN IT!

Chicken and Noodles
#3-4 large chicken breasts--cooked and cut up into medium size pieces--I like to season mine with chicken base and ground pepper--I poach my breasts on the stove and save the broth.
chicken broth
12 oz. egg noodles
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 soup can of milk
freshly ground pepper

Boil egg noodles in reserved, strained broth (you may need to add water to reserved broth if you do not have enough volume to boil noodles)--can use canned broth as well. Drain noodles. Mix all ingredients and enjoy! I serve this with sweet peas. So easy and so comforting.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mrs. Cheek's kitchen is back open-Lentils

So I had no idea what I was doing but wanted to try cooking lentils. It worked.

Lentil Soup-Cheek Style
1 lb. Lentils-rinsed
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
8 cups low sodium chicken broth--I make my own from store bought chicken base
seasoned salt
1 tsp. sugar
fresh ground pepper
4 T. olive oil

Here we go. Coat bottom of dutch oven with olive oil. Heat to med-high. Add veggies-except for lentils. Season veggies w/seasoned salt, pepper and sugar. (Find a seasoned salt you REALLY like. My favorite is one from Tastefully Simple.) Cook veggies for about 5 minutes-till browned a bit. Add chicken broth--this will "deglaze" the pan. Add lentils. (I assume you know to stir, right?) Bring to boil. Boil for about 4 minutes--stirring occasionally. Cover. Simmer (low-medium heat) for about 15-20 minutes. Add more broth if desired depending on how soupy or stewpy you want your soup. Add tomatoes now and heat through. The Lentil Soup is now ready to enjoy! Serve w/freshly ground pepper.

Friday, April 16, 2010

This is a Good One-Minestrone Soup

I was rackin' my brain tonight for something to share. I'm tired girls. I bought Subway last night w/my Subway card(thank you Tera for the Bday gift!) and tonight Grandpa Red took us to eat fish. So Mrs. Cheek's Kitchen has been closed.

After all that rackin' I remembered this little pearl.

First of all, check out your local down-home meat store. They can have tremendous meat at ok prices. The one just down the road from me has been open for years. I remember going with my grandfather on special occasions to buy steaks. They open at 5:30 A.M. and in addition to selling meat, also sell plate lunches and breakfast-- and homemade pie and cookies.

I knew they had GREAT meat, but who knew they made their own greaseless sausage? Yes girls thats right-QUALITY SAUSAGE!!!--a hard find. The owner swore to me it wasn't greasy--I reluctantly bought and immediately fell in love! Now, I can eat and cook no other. Did I mention the seasonings are great too?--not too hot---not too wimpy. So I said all that to say---Check out your local meat shop--you might just fall in love!

Minestrone Soup
1/2 lb.--1 lb. Quality Breakfast Sausage
2 cans Minestrone Soup (Progresso Brand)
1 can Diced Tomatoes with Green Pepper/Onion
optional--another can of diced tomatoes--I like those petite diced--I'm a BIG tomato fan!
Fresh ground pepper
Shredded or grated parmesan cheese

Brown sausage. Drain off grease(if there is any). Mix all ingredients in stockpot and heat to medium. Serve with shredded or grated parm. I LOVE EASY.

at Rush/Mo/the loaf--(precooked)

Rush/Pea-eatin'Mo/AuGratinPeas/Strawberry Cake

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Be patient with me. . . /meatloaf/chicken breasts

this blog will get better.

2.5 lbs. ground beef--lean works best
6 slices of bread soaked in 1 1/4 cup milk--I use whole wheat bread--if you use white bread (which is good too) cut back on milk to about 1 cup--I also use skim milk
4 eggs plus 1 white
3/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan-canned stuff
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak bread in milk. Beat eggs/white. Mix all ingredients together with clean hands. Form beautiful loaf. (Mine measures about 9x4x3inches. This is approximate.) Place in foil lined 9x13 pan. Bake for about 45 minutes. Pull from oven and smear loaf with tomato gravy. Back to oven for about 15more minutes. Wonderful.

Note. . . You DO NOT have to make the fancy beautiful loaf, you could. . a. Press mixture into 9x13. Nothing fancy, but it eats. Bake for about 45 minutes total. b. Divide into two 9x5 loaf pans. Total bake time 1 hour. c. Press into whatever size casserole dish you desire---just adjust your baking time based on dimensions of loaf. My mom never made the fancy loaf--she just pressed mixture into casserole pan. This recipe REALLY makes alot(obviously). Feel free to 1/2 it!

Tomato Gravy
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2/3 cup ketchup
2/3 cup bbq sauce
2 squeezes of mustard--about 1 T.
dash or two of hot sauce

Serve with meatloaf. The Tomato Gravy REALLY takes the meatloaf OVER the top!

Frozen Chicken Breasts in Crockpot
Place desired amount of frozen chicken breasts in crockpot--Mine were the Great Value variety. I used about 1 lb. of breasts. Cover with can of cream of chicken soup. Place crock on low and bake about 8 hours. These shredded perfectly for Mexican Chicken. Could be used for any chicken dish!

Grow Mo Mo Grow

My poor children--given the profoundest of names--and then cursed----with crazy nicknames invented by their mom. And she really calls them that--the nickname that is--until they get hmm. . . about school age. I don't know about me sometimes.

So back to the title. Sweet Mo Mo. (Mo for short). He continues to grow and thrive and become the apple of his mother's eye. There seems to be something about that 3rd that makes you think you could have 6 and be just fine. Sometimes I feel so selfish to even wish I had more to hold..more to love. I am so thankful for 3 healthy children. Thank you God again. So love your babies up tight today. Remember how blessed you are and hopefully time will permit you to gather with them around the table tonight--no matter what you serve.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fry Momma Fry--Fried Pork Chops and Taters

Fried pork chops-EASY

#4-6, 3/4 inch lean chops no bone
1 1/2 cups white flour
seasoned salt or cavendars or salt, pepper, herbs (whatever flavor you like; flavor the flour generously--I probably used 3 tsp.or more of Cavendars)
plastic gallon storage bag (large "ziploc")
2 beaten eggs
canola oil

Mix flour and season salt in large storage bag. Beat eggs in deep bowl. Dredge chops in flour, then eggs, then back in flour. Shake off excess flour, but don't be skimpy-fine line here. Pour oil to depth of 1/2 inch in skillet-I use a non-stick skillet. Heat to med-high. Test the oil by dropping small pinch of flour in oil. If it sizzles nicely, and doesn't burn up, you are probably ready. I use a 12 inch skillet and cook on electric burners. It takes my oil about 5 minutes to get to the correct temperature. Drop (lay) chops in. I only cook 2 at a time so I can watch them close and control the oil temp. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until deep golden brown. Yum. I served w/bbq sauce and ketchup. I should have made gravy but no time.

"Fried" Potatoes
3 cans sliced new potatoes rinsed and drained in cold water
canola oil
salt, pepper, garlic

Wipe previously used for pork chops skillet down with paper towels. Coat bottom of skillet with canola oil--just a nice coating--no need for excess. Heat oil to medium high heat. Drop taters in, season, toss around in pan, season, and fry baby fry. Takes about 6-7 minutes. Yum.

Shrimp pizza

I had some leftover shrimp. So. . .

1 thin pizza crust in can
3/4 cup marinara sauce (I used leftover plain Prego)
shrimp--whatever amount you have--peeled, deveined, detailed--cut in small pieces
pineapple rings--whole can
1/2 red pepper-julienned into strips
mozarella shredded--about 8 oz.
grated parmesan cheese-canned is fine--whatever amount you like--I like alot
Italian seasonings seasoning
red pepper flakes--if you can take the heat!

Chances are you know how to make a pizza but in case you do not. . . Pre-Bake crust per package directions. Add marinara sauce and desired amount of shrimp, pineapple, and red pepper. Add cheeses. (I did season shrimp with garlic and lemon before adding to pizza.) Sprinkle pizza generously with Italian seasoning. Bake per directions on crust package. DELICIOUS and so pretty. Bottom line of this is do whatever you want with this combo of toppings!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A night off. . .

Dream on girls! But I did take it ez--baked potatoes, green beans and leftovers. The crew had eaten out for lunch after the circus, so I knew I could go minimal tonight. If you haven't tried canned green beans w/shelly beans, try them. I love them. I normally mix them with 1 can plain green beans. (I like Allen's brand). On all canned vegetables,drain and rinse before cooking(thanks Marla). The veggies taste MUCH fresher and lose the metal taste. Do yourself another favor re: green beans--its called bacon grease--you better be savin' it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cream cheese glaze

I don't like lots of icing on cakes for just my family to eat around here. I invented this a few nights ago and really liked it. I used it on the Cherry Red Velvet Cake from earlier today.

4 oz, 1/3 less fat cream cheese--really soft---nuke if needed
about 1/3-1/2 cup skim milk--add to your desired consistency
4 packets of Splenda--you could use leftover cherry juice to sweeten, but I accidentally discarded.

whip together and pour over cake. Really good and easy. e

Frozen ground beef+crockpot

I knew the day was going to get busy quickly. I also knew what I had in the freezer. I pulled out 1 lb. frozen ground beef this a.m. around 8. I left it out on kitchen counter hoping it would thaw quickly. It was 93% lean(I think this is one of the reasons this recipe worked--bc the beef was so lean). Around 11, I get the crazy idea to try the still FROZEN ground beef in the crock. Well guess what--it worked. I cannot believe this worked.

Tasty tacos
1 lb. half frozen ground beef, broken up into 6 big chunks
taco seasoning packet
1/2 chopped medium onion
handful shredded carrots--trust me here--it is good in tacos.
2 T. water
canola oil

grease crock with canola oil. Add veggies. Add 1/2 capful oil to veggies. Mix with hand. Top with chunks of still frozen ground beef. Sprinkle on taco seasoning and water. Cook on high 4 hours.

When I returned home, meat was fully cooked. I simply used spoon to mix all together and break up chunks. Yum.

Addendum--you can stop here. OR make your meat go further and the kids eat more veggies> > > I added 1 can rinsed, drained pinto beans and 1/2 can corn.

All this strawberry talk. . . . Chocolate Cherry Cake

Come on girls. Don't forget about cherries. Ok, I did make a strawberry cake this week, but this a.m., thank God I don't have to work today, I whipped up a little something different. My kids and hubbo LOVE cherries. So here we go. . .

1 Box Red Velvet Cake Mix-I like Duncan Hines. (Be sure and load up on cake mixes when WM has them 78 cents around the Holidays--that way you don't feel bad when you screw one up!)
3-4 eggs--(farm fresh if you have them). If you want a denser cake-more pound cake like use 4. If you crave fluffier texture, use 3. I used 3--would have been good either way.
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
1 jar marschino cherries---drained--save juice for frosting.

Preheat to 325. Grease a bundt. To grease I pour 1 capful of oil into my pan, swirl it around, use my hands to coat, then turn pan upside down to drain off excessive oil. This trick works very well and is easy. Mix all ingredients except cherries on low until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium. Mix one minute. Gently pour in cherries. Continue mixing another 1-2 minutes on medium. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT over mix. Pour batter into pan. Since fruit is involved use a knife and swirl it around in batter to make sure fruit is evenly distributed. Bake 45-50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in pan on wire rack. Gently turn pan over now to release cake. TADA--masterpiece. We have already sampled and we likey!

We'll work that frosting out later. Give me some time girls. The laundry is calling.

I will be posting pics later. I cannot wait to show off my little sweet peas!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pancakes--Cheeky style

My kids love breakfast--and pancakes. Check the quantity here. And guess how many I got-NONE--Thats right NONE. I guess I forgot to mention Hubs loves them too. I did sample one--2 pinchs or so-they were yum. I really believe in a good breakfast. I also believe in sneaking in extra fruit and veggies whenever possible. Did I mention my kiddos are only 5 and 4? And I had to feed my 4 y/o a 2nd breakfast 1 hour after this one?

2 cups whole wheat pancake mix
1 cup applesauce
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk--may need a splash more--just check batter
2 capfuls canola oil
pinch of salt
1 small egg
makes about 14 cakes

Mix all ingredients. Do not overmix. Let batter rest 2-3 minutes. Preheat griddle to 300. Bake for 3ish minutes per side. I know this is a long baking time but due to the fruit--they need it! Yum.

Leftover Easter Ham

my favorite way.

Loaf of French or Italian bread--From your local supermarket
1 lb. of your favorite cheese--I used Baby Swiss
about 1-2lb. left over ham
olive oil
Italian seasoning

Slice bread lengthwise with bread knife--get it---wait where is my camera---no not there. Ok, cut it like you are making world's biggest Hoagie Roll. Got it? You now have a top and a bottom--like a Big Hogie Roll. Pile that sucker up with meat and cheese on both halves of the Large Hoagie Roll. Ham first, then cheese. Place in 375 oven open face for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and close the large sandwich. Slice crosswise. Now mix together 3 parts olive oil to 1 part Italian seasoning--i.e. 3 T. olive oil/1 T. Italian seasoning. Serve with sandwich. YUMO!
Baby rating-N/A
Kid rating-7
Hubs rating-7
Me-7-the flavored oil really took it up a notch.

Baked Potatoes---in the crock pot

Ok. This was pretty cool. Who knew? Maybe you did.

Desired amount of small baking potatoes
small amount of bacon grease
canola oil

Scrub the fire out of potatoes in warm, slightly soapy water. Rinse and dry well.
Grease crock pot with small amount of bacon grease. Mix equal parts bacon grease and canola oil--You don't need much. Coat each potato with grease mixture. This part if fun. I love it when they get slippery in your hands. Place potatoes in crock so they form single layer. Sprinkle with salt. Bake on high for 4 hours. Pretty easy and pretty good. The skin is fab!

Dinner is EASY when part of it is already done!

Augratin Peas

for a 6 month old!

So I guess it is obvious now--how much I enjoy cooking. Well guess what--I love to cook for my baby too. Tonight I made him augratin peas. Guess what--he loved them.

2 heaping T. sweet peas--I use canned rinsed about 100 times and drained
1 1/2 oz. bottled water
1/4 scooper of powdered formula

Baby rating: 10 (everything I do in his eyes is a 10!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jalapeno cornbread

I hope I spelled the title correctly! Anyway you get it. Jiffy cornbread mix IS NOT my favorite. But, I had it and it needed to be used, so away I went.

1 box Jiffy
1 small can green chilis
1/2-1 cup whole kernal corn. (I used canned-rinsed and drained)
1 egg--farm fresh ALWAYS best
bacon grease
shredded cheddar(if desired--I like sharp cheddar freshly shredded)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease pan with bacon grease--I use 8 inch cast iron skillet and melt bacon grease in oven--You don't have to do this. You could just spray small pan with "Pam". Mix remaining ingredients. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add cheese if desired. Bake for another 10 minutes. Corn bread is good with and without cheese. Enjoy with big pot of beans.

Country Style Pork Ribs-Cheek style

Country Style Pork Ribs-Cheek style

Ok, let me first point out a few things about these knock off ribs. They are lean. They are cheap. They are delicious when cooked properly. This recipe is what I like to call a 2-1-1

Country Style Pork Ribs

Start with 1 1/2-2 lbs ribs
1/2 cup bbq sauce of your choice-I like the cheapo kind from the discount grocery store--Actually it is Hunt's original--but it was CHEAP
1/4 cup Italian Dressing--I used Robust Italian
1/4 cup H20--thats code for tap water

Mix all liquids ingredients. Place pork in a (greased)dutch oven or small casserole pan. Season with fresh ground pepper. Pour mixed ingredients over pork. Cover. Bake at 225 degrees for one hour. Remove from oven. Turn ribs over and add additional bbq sauce as desired. I added about 1/3 cup--just eyeball it. Cover and bake an additional hour. Remove from oven. Keep covered but let cool about 1 hour. Then remove ribs and shred meat. Return meat back to sauce. Simply delicious. (I'll add Airl and the kids' ratings after we eat this tonight. I sure thought this was good). Did you catch the 2-1-1?

Chicken Fried Steak--EASY

1 to 1.5 lbs. cube steak at room temp
1.5 cups seasoned flour--I use Lawry's and fresh pepper. Go Easy with Lawry's.
1/2-1 cup milk-room temp best. at least not super cold.
canola oil for frying
medium sized fry pan--I like cast iron, but sometimes just use non-stick

Soak cube steak in milk. Longer is better but not necessary if in a hurry. Last night I soaked for about 1-2 minutes. 15-20 minutes would have been better. Heat oil to medium high heat. This does not require a lot of oil--about 1/2-3/4 inch high in skillet.(Depending on your dieting mood). Dredge soaked meat in flour 1 piece at a time. Give it a nice coating but be sure to shake off excess flour. To test oil temp drop in a bit of flour--just a pinch. If it sizzles nicely and doesn't burn up immmediately--you are probably good. I usually just cook one piece of meat at a time if using my smaller skillet. It is easier to control the heat and the meat does not take long to cook. I sometimes do have to adjust the temp. of the oil down after adding the meat. Just watch it. CLEAR ALL KIDS FROM KITCHEN B4 frying. Cook meat 2-3 minutes per side. Try to turn it just once. (its ok if you have to turn it twice but once is best). This is really really delicious and terribly easy even on a work night. Last night I didn't have time for cream gravy, so I cut it up like steak fingers after cooking and we ate it with ketchup.

Cheek kids rating-8.
Hubs rating-7 (it wasn't perfect and didn't have gravy.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I keep my promises-BEANS

I dig beans--home cooked beans.

1 bag pintos (the smaller bag)I think it is 1 lb.
3/4-1 pound ham cut into small pieces(more of less, depending on how much you like, this amount gives enough flavor). I ALWAYS use leftover ham. Thank you Easter.
couple strips of bacon cut into small pieces--don't need much for good flavor
fresh black pepper
Lawry's Season Salt
1/2 medium onion-diced small

Soak beans overnight. Combine beans, both meats and onion in crock pot. Spray crock pot with "Pam" first. Sprinkle generously with fresh pepper. Mix together well--I use my clean hand. Cover with water approximately 2 inches above bean line. Cook on low 8-10 hours. After cooking, sample. Add Lawry's as needed. Remember Lawry's comes out of container fast and is SALTY. Don't oversalt. You can ALWAYS add more. Delicious with canned greens. I eat the beans like soup with the greens mixed in.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A big time

Ok so this is way fun for me. Gees am I lonely or what? I had a thought tonight as I was doing the dishes. We are so blessed. Every night you, me, lots of people in America decide what to put or not put on the dinner table. How spoiled we are to have that luxury. Thank you God for blessing us.

Homemade biscuits-Wow them

This is really SO EASY. Do not be intimidated. They are simply delicious. So flaky. Just right. You can do this!

Brooks' Biscuits

3 cups self rising flour
2 cups buttermilk (I make my own using 1 T. white vinegar to just under 1 c. milk to equal 1 cup buttermilk)
1 cup plain vegetable shortening--I do recommend name brand here.

This recipe can be easily halved. Cut shortening into flour until crumbly using hands. Yes your CLEAN HANDS. Slowly add milk, working ever so gently with your hands until incorporated evenly into dough. It will be sticky but this is more than ok. Stop and enjoy how that dough feels in your hands. Remember you are the master of the dough. Lightly flour surface to prevent stickage. Pat out dough to about 3/4inch thickness. Use hands only! Add little more flour if needed to prevent stickage to hands and counter. I use the rim of a baby bottle to cut the perfect sized biscuits. If you have a fancy biscuit cutter, by all means use it here, but a cup or baby bottle rim works well too. Dust off any excess flour on the biscuits and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 until golden brown--about 12 minutes depending on biscuit size. Delicious. May take some practice, but hey what doesn't?

This one is pretty pathetic--Don't tell Airl. After the homemade biscuits, its time for gravy--chocolate that is--come on I know you can do this one.

Airl's Chocolate Gravy

1 package cook and serve chocolate pudding (small box)
2 cups milk.

Yes thats right. It's delicious too. Make according to package directions and serve over biscuits. My secret is out.


I forgot to mention the shredding of the chicken in the previous post. See revised edition. Yes I know, lets not forget the essentials Mrs. Cheek.

Chicken Cheekurritos--EASY

So often I get inspired from others for new dishes. I take a recipe and make it my own--Cheek style. I invite you to do the same! Please share back with me!
Marla inspired these. I will post a picture of her later(as soon as I learn how). She is so pretty on the inside and out.

1 lb. nasty frozen chicken breasts (They need to be the cheap kind---you know the kind that has broth and parts added. They aren't that nasty--just kind of funny shaped---kind of large I've noticed---well large when frozen, they change dimensions upon thawing). Go ahead and thaw them for this recipe.
1 can black beans--drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernal corn-drained and rinsed.
1 can mild Rotel--off brand is fine.
1 crockpot sprayed with "Pam"-please you know I don't use name brand cooking spray!
cumin powder, garlic powder, salt and fresh pepper
1 package flour tortillas--I used whole wheat

Place chicken breasts in crock. Season with 1/2 tsp or so of all above spices. Add in additional ingredients. Cover with lid and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours on High.

Arrive home late. Remove lid from crock. Shred chicken using fork. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE HOW TENDER IT IS! Mix all back together. Sample. Add a pinch more of above spices if desired. I LOVE CUMIN---take it easy of fake garlic-it can get OUT OF CONTROL quickly. Get cranky b/c you are so hungry. Fix milks, baby food and Airl's "crystal light". Get crankier--Instruct children ONCE again to wash their sweet little paws before eating. Warm tortillas and stuff with chicken mixture. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese(I like extra sharp), salsa and cilantro. Simply delicious and WAY too easy and healthy to be THAT good.

Of note---You will not believe the quantity this makes. Tomorrow--beans.
Pictures of family coming SOON!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


KICK A CHOC. CAKE--borrowed and tweaked

1 Butter recipe cake mix
1 cup Canola oil
1/4 cup water
4 eggs--farm fresh ALWAYS best
6 oz sour cream
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 package milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325'. Mix all ingredients by hand except choc. chips until well blended. Don't over mix. Stir in chips. Pour into greased bundt cake pan. Cook 50minutes-1 hour. This is so good it doesn't need frosting. BUT, of course I frosted mine with a simple powdered sugar glaze(milk and sifted powdered sugar). Wonderful.

For Will. . . and Marla Sue---Easter recipes

Oven Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. asparagus--thin stalked is always best.
salt--I prefer sea salt
fresh ground pepper
aluminum foil
1 T. olive oil
1-2T. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425. Wash and dry asparagus. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place asparagus on foil in single layer. Drizzle olive oil over all. Salt and pepper generously. With hands mix together well so each piece is covered with goodness. Place in oven for 7ish minutes--depending on width of stalk. Immediately upon removing from oven, drizzle with lemon juice. Mix again--not with hands this time---, so each piece is coated with lemon juice. Delicious and SO good for ya!

Really Good "Fluff" and so good for ya

2 small packages sugar free strawberry jello
1 small container whipped topping--I used light
16 ish oz cottage cheese--I used 1 percent
1 can crushed pineapple, drained and rinsed
1 can mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed

Mix together cottage cheese and jello. Add fruit, stir. Fold in whipped topping.
Simply delicious. So good and so easy. Chill for 2-3ish hours.

Elvis Presley breakfast

bread--any kind--great way to use up aging/old bread!
peanut butter--I like a mix of crunchy and creamy

Make sandwiches with peanut butter and sliced bananas-desired amounts of each.
Melt butter in medium heat skillet. (About 1/2 T. per sandwich). Add sandwich. Increase heat to medium high. I usually do about 1 sandwich at a time. Its easier this way. Cook about 1-2 minutes per side, until bread is nice and toasty and pb melty. This is so good. Be sure and move sandwich around skillet so bread gets nice and buttery. Get that butter on the sides of the skillet. WE DON'T WANT TO WASTE GOOD BUTTER. And please do not insult Mrs. Cheek by using MARGARINE of any sort. Butter only! Serve with honey. My kids and hub love this.

More later. This is going to be fun. Real fun.

My Kitchen

So my favorite place to be--when awake anyway. It isn't big. My stovetop and oven are 20 plus years old, and sometimes dirty. My microwave is a hand me down. My oven doesn't heat to the correct temp! Two people cannot stand at the fridge at the same time. Its cluttered and always smells of whatever I've just cooked. Did I mention the range hood is a little aged and lets face it--it just doesn't work right. OH AND Don't eat off the floor. So if you enjoy the smell of bacon (or sausage)---welcome aboard. (FYI---the countertops are clean and so is the sink! Anne raised me right!)My joy, my anxiety medicine, my fun---cooking.