Water Dragon Weekly Sunday Post: Recipe


Chili makes a great meal no matter what time of year it is!  It’s perfect for a camping supper in the summer, a nice hot dinner in the winter, and a one-pot dish on a cool spring or fall evening.

This is another of my mom’s recipes.  It’s been in our family for many decades.  
You can give this dish your own “signature style” by adding or subtracting ingredients.  Use it as a base and get creative!
It’s easy to control how spicy our Chili is.   The only spice is chili powder.   Add more or less, as you prefer.
In our house, my husband gets the chili powder bottle with his meal, so he can add as much as he wants!

Mom's Chili...hot and ready to eat! Yum!



2 lbs ground beef
5 or 6 onions, chopped or sliced
1/2 cup celery  (we omit this)
1- 28 oz can stewed tomatoes (or crushed, diced, Italian, etc)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder, (add more to taste if desired)
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained.

Brown meat, drain fat.  Sauté onions & celery in same pot with beef, until onions are starting to get soft.  Add other ingredients, cover and simmer for 30 minutes on top of stove.  Add beans, continue to cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Topping suggestions: *if desired:  sour cream, light sour cream or plain yogurt, shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or American), crushed tortilla chips, jalapeno  peppers.

Thanks for viewing Mom’s Chili RECIPE!
***If you would like to join the 2012 Water Dragon Weekly Sunday Post , go to:   https://jakesprinter.wordpress.com
 You’ll be able to sign up there and get the Water Dragon logo for your blog.  Then you’ll receive weekly emails advising you of that Sunday’s challenge.  It’s fun!  Join us!


All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.



Recipe: Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

A big thank you to Jessica of The Novice Chef blog for the recipe for Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies!   She has a free printable recipe on her site.  Click here for the recipe.

The Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies would make a great Valentine’s Day treat!

I made the Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies today and they are delicious!  They are rich, so you can eat a small piece and feel like you’ve had a triple treat!  This recipe also makes a lot of brownies, if you cut them into small squares, so it’s a great gift for relatives, neighbors, friends and anyone who passes by your kitchen window!

It’s fun to use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter too, as Jessica, of The Novice Chef did on her blog, and I did here.  You won’t get as many pieces this way, however.   Note:  The Novice Chef even has ideas for the leftover scraps if you use cookie cutters!   It’s your choice as always!  Use your wonderful creativity….make these ‘your own’ by changing up the recipe or using decorations.


One last thing……I think people would eat this brownie at any time of the year.  It’s not just for Valentine’s Day!

Happy baking and eating!

Judy   ❤ 
All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain. 

Recipe: Jason’s Super Bowl Snack Mix

Serving up today: Jason’s Super Bowl Snack Mix

This is another family favorite, it’s  SUPER EASY and it’s not just for the Super Bowl!  😉  It makes a lot, so you may want to cut the ingredients in half.  Or, because it is so GOOD, you may just want to make the whole recipe and keep it in an airtight container for future snacking!

You will need one huge bowl, or at least two large bowls.

Jason’s Super Bowl Snack Mix

1.one packet DRY Italian dressing mix
2.one bottle popcorn oil

3. 5-6 boxes/bags of any cracker or pretzel of your choosing.


1. Combine the packet of dry Italian dressing mix with the bottle of popcorn oil, mixing well.

2. In a very large bowl combine 5 or 6 boxes of your favorite kinds of crackers and pretzels:
Example: Cheez It’s, Mini Ritz, pretzels, oyster crackers (small round white crackers), Wheat Thins….
you can use any cracker or snack of your choice.  (if you are using two large bowls instead of one huge bowl….put half of the crackers/pretzels in each bowl.)

3. Pour oil mixture over top and mix with a spoon very well.  The oil will sit on the bottom, so make sure to mix well.  If you are using two bowls, pour half of the dry dressing mix/popcorn oil over each bowl, stir cracker mix well to combine, then move some back and forth between the two bowls to get an even mix)
Store in an airtight container.
Enjoy!                  **Thanks to my daughter for this recipe**

This is so yummy, you may be tempted to eat it all yourself! 😉   We’ve been nibbling all afternoon and evening!!
Good night~
All text and images are copyright © 2005-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Recipe: Sloppy Joes

My dear blog readers…..I should have said: NEON ORANGE Sloppy Joes!  I have trouble shooting food photos! (I’m sure you’ve noticed!)  This is an area of my photography I’m working on, desperately!  I even created a make-shift light box this time…..and you can see how well it worked!  😉  So…apologies to all of you….the recipes I post REALLY ARE delicious!  They just look awful!  😉  Bear with me….I’ll tackle this project and hopefully you will see food that looks like real food someday!


 Sloppy Joes

* a recipe from my mom ❤

1.5 pounds ground beef
1 ¼ cups ketchup
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard (ground)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons white granulated sugar

Brown the beef in a frying pan and remove any fat/grease.  Add the ketchup and the remaining ingredients.  Mix well.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes on simmer/low.  (check to make sure the flame isn’t too hot, as it can burn)
Traditionally, sloppy joes are served on hamburger buns.  But try soft flour tortillas for a change.

This recipe has been a favorite in our family for a long time.  I can remember eating it on camping trips when I was a child!

Enjoy~ and have a great start to your week!


All text and images are copyright © 2005-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

“Anniversary Roast”~ from my daughter, guest blogger.

Hello good friends…..
My daughter, Kara, is taking over tonight.  She made a delicious roast when she was here over the holidays.  Before she takes over, I’m going to be a “mum” and post her new blog!
She’s a reading specialist and teacher~and she has a blog reviewing books for kids, parents and teachers…and all of us really.  Many of the books for young adults make good reading for adults too.  Check out her blog….and pass it along to others.  Thanks!  Here’s the link:  “Reading With Mrs. Endsley”.

*Kara’s Anniversary Roast*

Kara's Anniversary Roast

Kara's Anniversary Roast

Hi everyone!  I took the “Awesome Red Wine Pot Roast” recipe from allrecipes.com,  adapted it to my taste and renamed it.  Here it is:

Kara’s Anniversary Roast


  1. 3 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  2. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 cup water
  5. 1 cup red wine (merlot)
  6. 1 1/2 Tablespoon Herbs de Provence* can be purchased, or see below
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  9. 1 onion, sliced
  10. 6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch disks


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Sprinkle the roast evenly with the flour and set aside. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof Dutch oven with lid (or heavy pot, such as cast iron/ stainless steel)  over medium-high heat. Brown the roast on all sides, about 10 minutes total; remove from the heat. Pour in the water and wine. Sprinkle with the Herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. Arrange the onion slices on the roast.
  3. Replace the cover and bake in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Add the carrots and continue baking covered until the roast pulls apart easily with a fork, about 1 hour longer.   Enjoy!!! Yum!
**Herbes de Provence~ if you don’t have this in your cupboard, here is a recipe for it.

  1. Combine and mix well.
  2. Store the mixture in small airtight jars in a dark cool location.
 Thanks to: www.food.com~Mama’s Kitchen (Hope) for the Herbes de Provence recipe.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!  It’s been fun to blog for mom today!







Sour Cream Coffee Cake~

Hello good readers…..
I have a traditional recipe to share with you.  It’s a popular recipe; it’s easy to make and nice to give to others.  Sour Cream Coffee Cake has sour cream, butter, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and flour in it.  See…..not many ingredients!  In fact, tonight, while I was making the first coffee cake, I set out the ingredients for a second one.   We gave the first one to friends and we’ll use the second one for our family during the holidays.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Oven: 350 degrees.

1 cup (or 1/2 pint) sour cream (I used lite)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup  (one stick) butter or margarine
1 cup sugar (white granulated)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together in a small bowl and save until later:
1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Grease a tube pan, bundt pan or 9″ x 13″ pan.  Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
Mix together the sour cream, margarine, sugar, and eggs.  Then mix in dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and baking powder.  When all is well-mixed, spread 1/2 the batter in the greased pan.  Then sprinkle 1/2 the cinnamon/sugar mixture over that layer.  Using a knife, swirl or twist knife through batter so cinnamon/sugar is cut into the batter.
Add the rest of the batter, spreading over the first layer, and then add the rest of the cinnamon/sugar.  Repeat with the knife, twisting it back and forth to mix the cinnamon into the layer.  This will give a bit of a marbling effect to the cake.

Bake cake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  However….if using a 9″x 13″ pan, cut the time to about 35 minutes…..and check the cake.  If a toothpick comes out clean, cake is firm to the touch, and cake is pulling away from the sides, take it out to cool.  Tube pans, bundt pans and deeper pans will need to go the full 45 mins.
Additions can be pecans, walnuts or almonds, mixed in with the cinnamon/sugar topping.
FYI: I used a 9″ x 13″ pan.



We love Crack (ers)!

Yep that’s true.  My family is addicted to Crack!  Crackers, that is.  To be more specific: Chocolate Caramel Crackers!   And you will be too, once you try these wonderful treats.  They last about a week in a covered container, according to the recipe.  But…..we’ve never tested that theory because they’ve never lasted that long around our house!

Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers) will make a great gift for family and friends.  Bonus: it’s not a difficult recipe to make.

For years I had been making a similar recipe with saltines and graham crackers.  But when I subscribed to SmittenKitchen.com and tried their recipe….I was, well….smitten with it!
Smitten Kitchen is a wonderful site for foodies.   She writes with a great sense of humor while giving tutorials on cool recipes.  Click here to see the Smitten Kitchen site.


Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers)
Adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from Marcy Goldman who is the genius that first applied this to matzo crackers

4 to 6 sheets matzo or approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with sides (or 11 x 17  jelly roll pan) completely with foil, and then line inside the foil (the base) with parchment paper, cut to fit.

Line the parchment paper with matzo or crackers, covering all parts. [If using matzo, you’ll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces, which will be annoying because despite being perforated, it does not actually break in straight lines. I have some luck pressing a serrated knife straight down along a section between perforations, if that (hopefully) makes sense.]  Note:  I use a serrated knife to cut saltines in half, to fit in the end of the pan.

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken & foam a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it’s really not necessary.)

Once completely cool — I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) — break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week but I’ve never seen it last that long.

 Enjoy!  I’ll bet you’ll have a new addiction soon too!  ~and thanks to smittenkitchen.com for this recipe.

Comeback Sauce

Hello dear blog readers!  Thank you for coming to visit.
I have a great recipe link for you!  It’s called “Comeback Sauce“.   I made some today and it is quite delicious.  According to the website where the recipe came from, we are to leave it alone until the flavors have had time to mingle or “become acquainted”…..which is just overnight!

Comeback Sauce has just ten ingredients and goes together quickly.  It’s good on fish, meat, chicken, salads, sandwiches……in fact, the website says it’s good on everything except: Cheerios!  My husband and I tried some tortilla chips with the leftovers in the bowl and it was very good.   One recipe will fill a pint canning jar.  (on the left in photo)

For the recipe, I’m giving you the link to the website, which is: SyrupandBiscuits.com

Click here and it will take you to directly to the recipe.

This makes a great gift for Christmas.  Because it calls for catsup and chili sauce, it will last in your refrigerator as long as those items will.
Thanks to Syrup and Biscuits for the recipe!

And thanks to you for stopping by!


Gifts in a Jar!

 Give these away for Christmas presents and make extras to keep for a treat for yourself!   😉

Gifts in a Jar: Double Fudge Brownies and Bavarian Mint Coffee.

(I’m apologizing for the photo.  Nothing RED went into either jar!  It seems as though the glass jars were reflecting the red cloth I had them posing on.  Baaaahhhh…..  So tonight we are pretending the colors are correct!!)  Thank you!


eeeewwww…..not liking that pinky color!  lol  Ok, here are the recipes for Double Fudge Brownies (large qt size jar) and Bavarian Mint Coffee (small half-pint jars).

Double Fudge Brownies
*Put ingredients in jar in this order.
1.  1 ½ cups sugar
2.  3/4 cup cocoa powder  (clean inside of jar with a small pice of a damp paper towel wrapped around a knife after this layer)
3.  3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4.  3/4 cup chocolate chips
5.  1/2 cup chopped pecans (I put mine in a small snack bag in case the person does not like them)
**Layer the ingredients starting with the sugar on the bottom,  into a wide-mouth 1 quart canning jar.  Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient.  Put the top and band on, and attach a tag with the mixing and baking instructions (below).
Double Fudge Brownies
Makes 24 bars

1 jar Double Fudge Brownie Mix
3/4 cup softened butter or margarine
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and eggs.  Add the Double Fudge Brownie Mix and stir until the mixture is well blended.  Spread batter into a lightly greased or sprayed 9×12 inch pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Cool in pan.  Cut into 2 inch squares.   Note: Mix in jar is shelf safe for six months.  If using the nuts…use by 3 months.  Enjoy!!!

Thank you to Gifts in a Jar, distributed by CQ products.
Click here to go to their website.

Bavarian Mint Coffee

1.  ¼ cup instant nonfat powdered dry milk.
2.  1/3 cup granulated sugar
3.  1/4 cup instant coffee
4.  2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5.  2 hard peppermint candies, crushed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, chopper or blender.  Mix well to combine flavors and until mixture is a fine powder.  Store in a tightly covered container.
Makes 1 cup dry mix.

**Attach these directions to the jar:
Bavarian Mint Coffee
To serve combine 3 Tablespoons of mix with 1 cup boiling water; stir to blend.  Enjoy!

Thank you to Judy Wesener, “Hot Beverage Dry Mix Recipes” (and more) for sale on Amazon.

Enjoy making these gifts.
They are great for so many reasons:
1. The interiors are consumable and exteriors recyclable (glass)
2. They are an easy gift to make/can make several at once.
3. The recipient can use them whenever they wish.
4. They are a “feel good” gift….
5.  They don’t need to be returned!

Sorry for the long post today…..I hope you can make use of it!

Recipe: Chicken Divan

Good Sunday evening, readers!

I have a special recipe for you tonight.  Chicken Divan was one of my mother’s recipes.  It was so well-liked by all, she gave the recipe to the church bazaar for their luncheon, and they used it for many years.  This is one of our family’s favorite recipes too.  It’s especially good after Thanksgiving, using leftover turkey.

So sorry I didn’t get it to you soon enough for this Thanksgiving.



Chicken Divan

2 cups of cut up or shredded chicken (or turkey)
1 can of cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) soup
1/2 can milk
8 oz sour cream

Place all of the above in a bowl and mix together well, making sure all chicken/turkey pieces are coated.  Pour into the bottom of a casserole dish that has been sprayed with olive oil or a purchased non-stick spray.

Top mixture with a purchased box of  Stuffing Mix for Chicken.   Or, if you have dressing/stuffing left from the holidays, you can use that.   If you’re using the purchased stuffing, make it as directed on the box.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 mins   ~until bubbly and heated through~

** a suggestion: my husband and I often purchase a Rotisserie Chicken and eat one meal from that.  We pull the meat off the bones and use the rest for Chicken Divan another night.  The chicken is warm and the meat pulls away from the bones easily.

For our family this is comfort food~I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Thanks for stopping by….