Category Archives: homemaking

Joan’s Cottage Cheese Pineapple Lime Salad Mold


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


This Sunday is Easter, and in honor of my mom, I’m sharing her special holiday recipe.  Mom’s holiday salad mold lives on in the family, and my dad still prepares it every year for our family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  If there’s not at least a small scoop of this on my plate, it just doesn’t quite feel like a holiday meal.  It’s been in the family for at least 50 years.  A real blast from the past.  🙂

This recipe’s official name is “Pacific Lime Mold.”  Why Pacific?  Maybe because there was pineapple added to it?  It was created around the time period when Hawaii became a state, so maybe it was a nod to the islands?  I remember that I just called it “Mom’s Jello Thing.”  Other people in the family called it Joan’s Jello.

I suspect a lot of families had something similar appear on their family dinner tables back in the heyday of Jello recipes and aspics.  I sometimes think our moms and grandmoms all used the very same recipe booklets from the major food manufacturers.  Everyone seemed to make the same perennial goodies —  things like Green Bean Casserole with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, for example.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe for Mom’s jello thing.

Joan’s Cottage Cheese Pineapple Lime Salad Mold

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 small package lime flavored Jello
  • 1  9-oz can crushed pineapple (reserving juice)
  • 1 cup creamy cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve jello in boiling water, and stir in juice from pineapple.
  2. Chill in refrigerator until slightly thickened.
  3. Remove from refrigerator and beat until frothy.
  4. Fold in remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour into serving bowl or festive gelatin mold.
  6. Chill until set.
  7. Serve cold.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series.  You can visit Debi online at:  http://www.SimpleMom.com


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Filed under cooking, dinner, Easter, entertaining, family, food, holidays, homemaking, meal planning, party food, recipe, recipes, salad

A Secret to a Relaxed Holiday Dinner

Can you imagine a relaxed Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without needing to actually cook a turkey on the big day? You’d be able to enjoy the festivities as much as your friends and family!

Believe it or not, it’s possible to roast your turkey ahead of time and store the cooked meat in the freezer to reheat and serve on the big day. If this sounds a bit too much like eating leftovers, let me assure you that by following these simple freezing and reheating instructions, you’ll have moist, delicious turkey — and not one of your guests will suspect you didn’t spend the entire holiday slaving away in the kitchen keeping watch over a hot oven. Continue reading

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Got Budget Woes? Simple Grocery Savings Ideas


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


Groceries are one of the few flexible items in a family budget, but it can sometimes be challenging to find creative ways to save on regular family food costs. The following are some simple tips for reducing your grocery expenses. If you’re an old pro at frugal living, some of these may be old hat, but I’m amazed at how many people still find these types of tips helpful.

  1. Plan ahead. Whether you’re cooking your meals ahead of time to store in the freezer, or just planning your menu and shopping lists in advance, it helps to know what you’re going to eat, and when. With fewer last minute food-related decisions, this also helps keep your family away from developing a first-name relationship with the pizza delivery guy! (And your own home cooking is probably a lot healthier than the pizza guy’s wares, anyway.) Continue reading

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Debi’s Favorite Easter Recipe: Make-Ahead Chicken Packets


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


It was truly a sad day in our house when three of the four of us could no longer eat this particular meal. This recipe had become my go-to meal for Easter brunch — they’re actually quite elegant looking and they taste heavenly.

But sadly, now I’m the only person in our immediate family who can eat this anymore. I think I might make up a batch of them just for myself, however. It’s also a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken. 🙂

Serve this with steamed asparagus and a fresh tossed salad. Yum! Continue reading

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Debi’s Baked Ziti


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


This is one of those recipes my family can never get enough. I remember my youngest daughter when she was about three, holding out her plate with a huge smile and asking in a sweet little voice, “More yummy noodles, Mommy?” Always a pleasure when the kiddos enjoy an easy meal the grown-up folks love, too. Continue reading

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Debi’s Hacienda Breakfast Sandwich

In a hurry for breakfast but have a few minutes to scramble an egg? With no more effort, you can make this simple breakfast sandwich (or substitute the English Muffin for a corn tortilla for a gluten-free burrito option).

This recipe is for a single serving, but simply multiply each ingredient by the number of people you’re feeding. It doesn’t take much longer to scramble one egg for yourself or four for the family.

And making a breakfast sandwich at home is so much cheaper than buying one on the way to work at the local drive-thru.  Tastes better, too.

Enjoy!  😀 Continue reading

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Debi’s Mix-n-Match Quick Bread & Muffin Recipe

I’m always on the look out for recipes that are quick, easy, family-friendly, inexpensive and flexible. This quick bread meets all of my criteria for a budget-worthy recipe. Plus it’s tasty and super-simple, too! 🙂

Quick Bread Tips: When making any quick bread (banana bread, zuchini bread, cornbread, etc.) be careful not to overmix. Stir mixture until just combined or it may become heavy and too dense. Also, be sure to bake in the center of the oven where the temperature is the most consistent. Continue reading

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Debi’s Carrot Cake Squares


This recipe really does have a “secret” ingredient that makes it the moistest, tastiest carrot cake you’ll ever serve. 🙂

What’s the secret? Well, this recipe calls for jars of baby food carrots instead of grated carrots. Seriously! But don’t tell. Your guests will never know. You can just tell them it’s an ancient family secret that you learned from a friend. 😉 Continue reading

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Spice Nut Cake

Special recipe request from a college classmate.  (Hope this is what you had in mind, Deb!)  🙂

Spice Nut Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions:

Sift together first seven (7) ingredients.  Add shortening, brown sugar, and buttermilk.  Mix till all flour is moistened.  Beat two (2) minutes at medium speed on electric mixer.  Add eggs; beat two minutes more.  Stir in nuts.  Bake in 2 greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or till done.  Cool ten minutes; remove from pans.  Cool completely.  Fill and frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired.

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Debi’s Tex-Mex Layered Dip Recipe

Copyright Deborah Taylor-Hough. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Debi’s Tex-Mex Layered Dip Recipe

This is one of my standby recipes that I take to potlucks or serve when we’re hosting a Game Night for friends and family at our house. It’s always a huge hit … and never any leftovers! It might actually be worth making two if you’re expecting a large crowd or want some to snack on the next day. I’ve actually been known to serve this to the four of us at home for a light dinner or lunch. It’s very filling! 8)

When money’s tight (which it usually is these days!), I leave out the avocado layer and don’t add the mayonnaise or packet of taco seasonings. It’s still tasty, though. 😀

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized ripe avocadoes
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cans (10.5 oz each) plain or jalapeno flavored refried beans
  • 1 large bunch of green onions with tops, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (10 oz.) sliced black olives
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • a bag or two of tortilla chips

Instructions:

  1. Peel, pit and mash avocadoes with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and taco seasoning mix.
  3. To assemble layered dip, spread refried beans on a large shallow serving platter or 9″x13″ baking pan.
  4. Spread seasoned avocado mixture over beans, and then spread on a layer of the sour cream mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, tomatoes, and olives.
  6. Cover with shredded cheese.
  7. Serve chilled or at room temperature with tortilla chips as dippers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series. You can visit Debi online at: http://www.SimpleMom.com

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