Copyright©2007- 2010 Donna Goff

Friday, December 9, 2011

Donna's Christmas Saltine Toffee (aka Ikea Crack)

I made some "Terribly Terrific Toffee." It is made with semi sweet chocolate chips.  I am not a semi sweet fan except maybe in our family's chocolate chip recipe. Someone on Pinterest called it "Christmas Crack," someone else called it "Southern Crack," because it can be addictive.  I played with the recipe and decided to use European milk chocolate bars from Ikea, instead of semi-sweet morsels. I like this the best!

40-42 Saltine Crackers
1 cup+ (2 sticks) Butter
1 cup firmly packed Golden Brown Sugar
3 IKEA 3.5 ounce Milk Chocolate Bars 
pre heat oven to 350. Line a  jelly roll pan with heavy foil. Brush generously the bottom and sides of the foil with butter. Lay out saltine crackers edge to edge Place 2 sticks of butter in large pan on low heat.  Add firmly packed brown sugar and stir to dissolve.  Turn the heat to medium high and stir constantly until boiling.  Then turn the burner down to a low heat simmer.  Simmer four minutes.  Spread evenly over crackers. Some crackers will float.  It is OK for this hot mixture to get under the crackers then they are even more yummy! Just use your mixing spoon to push them back down and realign crackers side to side.  Bake in oven six to eight minutes or until the toffee is bubbly. Remove from oven, cool three to five minutes before sprinkling with chopped up chocolate. Let chocolate soften. Then use a spatula to spread chocolate evenly over the top of the toffee mixture.  Let sit to cool and firm. Cut and serve.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Chinese Chicken Casserole

Can of Fried Chinese Noodles
2-3 Cups De-boned Chicken or Turkey-- Cut Up in Bite Sized Pieces
4 Ounce Can of Mushrooms-- Drained
1 Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Cashew Nuts
3 Ounce Can of Water Chestnuts

1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Cup Milk
2  1/2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

Grease a 9 x 13 dish.  Layer separate layers of 1/2 can fried Chinese noodles, Chicken, mushrooms, onions, cashews, and water chestnuts in the baking dish. Mix the sauce ingredients together.  Pour over layered ingredients. Top with 1/2 can Chinese noodles. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.  Serve with rice.  Enjoy!

Ground Pork Casserole

2 lbs ground pork (browned and crumbled)
4 Cups Cooked Rice
1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Slivered Almonds

In an 9 x 13 baking dish layer rice; next layer cooked ground pork and cream of celery soup.  top with cheese and almonds.  bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 Cup Butter (softened)
8 Ounces Cream Cheese (softened)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
4 Cups Powdered Sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese together; add vanilla and cream well. Add in powdered sugar. Whip to creamy.  Add a few drops of milk to make spreadable.  Frost between layers, sides, and top.  Chill and serve!  Enjoy!

14 Carrot Cake

I came by this recipe during my single years when I lived in Huntington Beach, California.  This is one of the favorite cakes of my oldest son. It is moist and delicious.

2 Cups flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil Eggs
4 Eggs
2  1/2 Cup Finely Grated Carrots
1 Small Can Crushed Pineapple (drained)
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9' pans. Blend sugar, oil eggs, carrots, pineapple, and nuts.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Pour into prepared  pans and bake for 40 minutes.  Cool and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Chicken-Almond Bake

This was my Aunt Opal's recipe! She made this dish when we visited her back in 1978. So, tasty!  

Can of fried Chinese Noodles 
1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/4 Cup Milk
1 Small Diced Onion
2 Cups Diced Chicken ( or Turkey)
1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds
1 (4 oz.) Can Mushrooms
1 Small Can Pimentos

Butter an oblong baking dish.  Spread half a can of fried Chinese noodles on the bottom of the baking dish. pour casserole mixture over noodles.  Top casserole with 1/2 a can of fried Chinese noodles.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve with rice!  Enjoy!

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

These make delicately delicious soft gingerbread that can be cut into shapes and frosted with standard butter cream frosting.

1  1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Butter (softened)
3 Tablespoons Molasses
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Egg
3  1/4 Cup Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1  1/2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Salt


In a large bowl cream sugar and butter; add molasses, milk, and egg; mix well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off with a knife. In a small bowl mix baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir spice mix into batter, add flour and blend well.  Work with 1/3 of the dough at a time.  Roll out onto a floured surface. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes with floured cookie cutters.  Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet immediately and cool.  Frost with Butter Cream Frosting.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Sandwich Mints

My sister-in-law, Beatrice, made these for my wedding reception held at her home in December 1977.  These are creamy, three layer mint squares, and they are so yummy!

French Cremo Center Layer
(makes a double batch)
4 Cups Sugar
2 Cups pure Whipping Cream (preferably without carrageenan or other additives- as they can make the recipe grainy)
1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Directions for French Creme Center
In a heavy pan, combine all ingredients and stir lightly to mix. Cook to boiling ( 228 degrees at sea level, adjust for altitude). Pour mixture on a clean marble slab or clean formica counter top. Do not touch for 30 minutes.  Eye drop 15 drops of oil of peppermint and 15 drops of green food coloring. Using a spatula, work like fondant by pulling and folding for about 20 minutes. Knead with hands when when solid.  If the fondant begins to crumble or powder, put hands in softened butter and knead into fondant. This should be spreadable like a thick frosting.  Store in an air tight container. These can be molded in silicon molds or can be used as centers for Sandwich Mints. 

Ingredients for Sandwich Mints
French Cremo center
1.5 lbs Merkin's Marquis Dipping Chocolate

Directions for Sandwich Mints
In a double boiler melt 1.5 lbs. of chocolate.  Place wax paper on cookie sheet. Pour melted chocolate on cookie sheet and spread evenly and thinly with a spatula. Cool. Spread a layer of French Creme over the chocolate. Spread a layer of melted chocolate over the French Cremo  center. Put a layer of wax paper over the chocolate. Let it sit until firm and cool to the touch. Remove wax paper and cut into squares with a sharp knife using a yard stick to measure squares.  

For a marbled candy, swirl chocolate and French Cremo together and cut into squares.

Other colors and mint flavors such as wintergreen and spearmint, or other flavors can be used in this recipe, in place of the green and mint.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Simply Delightful Ranch Deviled Eggs

Boiled Eggs
Ranch Dressing


Peel eggs.  Slice eggs in half length wise.  Scoop out yolks.  Mash yolks with a fork.  Add Ranch Dressing a teaspoon at a time.  Mix until smooth and creamy.  Spoon into egg white halves, or put in a cake decorating bag with a star tip and squeeze into the egg halves decoratively.  Chill. Serve and Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rice Chex Krispy Treats

Rice Chex and Rice Krispies taste the same, but the Rice Chex are more substantial and the Rice Krispies are lighter. We like to add a little more butter to the marshmallows.  Sometimes we add more cereal and pour the mixture in a buttered jelly roll pan. Though I have included the recipe and directions, it is really it's up to you, just do the amounts that you like best and enjoy!
6 T. Butter
14 oz Marshmallow Cream or 40-60 Lg. Marshmallows
8 C. Rice Chex or Rice Krispies Cereal
Butter a 9x13 pan and set aside.
Melt Butter in large pot on medium heat and immediately add marshmallows.
When marshmallows are melted and mixed thoroughly with butter; add rice cereal while stirring.
When thoroughly mixed, and rice cereal is coated, pour and spread in buttered 9x13 pan and let cool.
* Spread chocolate chips over hot crispy treats in pan and allow to melt and then spread more thoroughly.
* Sprinkle top of cooling treats with sprinkles (tiny colored sprinkles that are usually sprinkled on cup cakes and cookies.).
* When mixing the cereal and marshmallow mixture one can substitute chopped nuts for some of the cereal and after pressing into the cooling pan, the mixture can be sprinkled with mini M&Ms or Reese's Pieces. 
* Coconut can be added into the treats or one can top the warm treats with chocolate chips and sprinkle coconut over the top.

Note For a Smaller Batch

1/4 C. butter
10 oz of Marshmallow cream or 40 Lg. marshmallow
5 C. Rice Chex or Rice Krispies
Same as above.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pomegranate Beef Fajitas or Chicken Fajitas

This recipe has a great zesty fruity flavor. Versatile marinade, fabulous for grilling, pan frying, or fajitas.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Frugalite Kitchen Tool

I bought a Food Saver wide-mouth mason jar attachment (10.99) today at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, luckily I had a 20% off coupon.  Then I went to the Bosch Kitchen Center and found both the wide mouth (.99) and regular (7.99) mouth jar attachment

Food Storage
Now I can use my 1/2 gallon mason jars for storing barley, brown rice, home dried fruit, home dehydrated veggies, homemade croutons & crackers, fresh dried herbs, etc. The vacuum seal will extend their shelf life. I can vacuum seal jar cakes, nuts, spices, etc. and keep in the freezer. I may also use freezer jars for home grown, blanched, and frozen veggies.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Donna's Red Velvet Jar Cakes

Make and freeze these little elegant delights ahead of time.  Weeks ahead of time, if need be.  But, don't tell your family!  If they find them you may not have any left! These little cakes are moister in a jar than made as a cake. These are great to have on hand to drop off with a friend as a sweet little birthday reminder or even for a kind uplift.

1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Red Velvet Cake Mix

Prepare twenty four 1/2 pint wide mouth freezer jars (these are straight sided jars), following guidelines for preparing baking pans, as listed on the box. Mix according to box directions. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared jar. I use a Pampered Chef "Measure All." Bake at 350 degrees for 19-23 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Then cool completely. 

To Freeze
If cake is too high to frost, use a knife to loosen cake from sides and slide cake from jar. Use a bread knife and slice off top of cake. Cakes that are over the top of the jar can be sliced horizontally in half and placed in two jars! Frost and then place a clean lid and canning jar band on the bottle, tighten band and place in the freezer.

Serve frozen or thawed.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dandelion Jelly

An online friend, Emily, said she was making dandelion jelly and that it was yummy. Curious, I asked for the recipe. She did.  I found this specific recipe in several places on the internet, so I thought it would be OK to share. I then set out on the adventure to make this jelly with my friend.

4 cups dandelion blossoms --from a chemical free lawn! 

Make sure not to use the stems as they tend to be bitter!
4 cups water
1 (1 1/2 ounce) package fruit pectin
1 teaspoon lemon extract
4 1/2 cups sugar

Pick blossoms without stems attached. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the blossoms, and cook for 3 minutes. Strain 3 cups of the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth into a bowl. Discard the blossoms. Stir the fruit pectin, lemon extract, and sugar into the liquid. Return to the saucepan, bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately pour into sterilized half-pint jars and attach the seals and lids.

Makes 6 half-pint jars.

Note: My Jelly turned out like syrup. I feel this recipe was designed for sea level. I live at over 4800 ft elevation. So, I searched the internet for someone who had success at high altitude and what they did differently. I shall use this same recipe ingredients list, but try making this again with the new high altitude process. When I get the process down I will replace this recipe with the recipe with the proper process and pictures!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Donna's Morning Sundae

This is Donna's healthy Morning Sundae! 


1/2 cup regular oatmeal
1 cup water
dash of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
10 raw almonds (soaked overnight), chopped
1/2 cup applesauce


Boil water and salt
Stir in Oats
Cook one minute
Cover, remove from heat, and let stand until desired consistency.

For creamier oatmeal, add oats and salt to cold water, bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat, and let stand until desired consistency.

Stir applesauce and cinnamon
Top with chopped almonds.  Sliced or slivered almonds can be substituted, with a sacrifice of nutrition.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Donna's Autumn Chicken Casserole

Makes 9-12 servings.

2 large chicken breast, boiled with onion and celery, de-boned and cubed
1 large can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 rounded teaspoon Jamaican curry powder
2 cups chopped broccoli tops (you can substitute Broccoli Normandy Blend (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots) )
3 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed (do not use bottled lemon juice, it makes this dish taste bitter)
1/4 - 1/2 red pepper, diced. Reserve 2 tablespoons chopped pepper to sprinkle on top before serving.
2 scallions (green onion), snipped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup seasoned cornbread stuffing
1/4 cup almonds, sliced, slivered, or chopped
1 package puff pastries(sheet style or individual pastries)
Combine chicken, soup, curry, mayonnaise, lemon, chopped broccoli, and red pepper; heat in large pan. While cooking up the creamy chicken mixture (with broccoli) , cook up 2 cups of rice (pre-cooked measure). Place cooked rice in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour creamed chicken mixture over top of rice. Top with cheese, dry stuffing mix, and almonds. Bake 30 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Top with grated cheese, dry stuffing, almonds, snipped scallions, and 2 tablespoons chopped red pepper. Serve.

 After cooking top with 2 tablespoons chopped red pepper and 2 snipped scallions.

Previously roasted, cubed, and frozen Turkey can be used in place of chicken in this recipe.

Roger's Sunday Sunshine Salad

This is a great cool fruit salad to accompany a crock pot supper. Both can be prepared ahead of time.

1 Small Box Lemon Gelatin
1 Small Box Orange Gelatin
1 Can Grapefruit Sections, Drained, and Reserve Liquid
1 Can Crushed or Tidbits Pineapple, Drained, and Reserve Liquid
1 3/4 cup Boiling Water
1+ Cups Ice
Reserved Liquid with water added to make 1 cup

Drain cans of fruit, reserving the liquid.  Bring water to a boil. Dissolve gelatin completely in water. Mix reserved liquid with water to make one cup. Stir liquid into ice in a large bowl. Pour gelatin over ice mixture.  Stir with slotted spoon to thicken. If desired, use more ice to thicken quickly. Stir in fruits.  Pour in 9 x 13 glass dish and chill at least 1 hour.

Donna's Sunday Sunshine Salad~ Add one can drained mandarin oranges.

Steamed Veggie Lunch

This makes a tasty midday repast. 

1 Potato, Scrubbed and Quartered
1 Small Yellow Onion, Sliced
1 Large Carrot, Quartered or a Handful of Tiny Gourmet Carrots
1 Handful String Beans
Fresh ground pepper.

Clean, slice, vegetables and place in steamer basket. Steam until vegetables are tender.  Arrange vegetables on plates and top with fresh ground pepper.  Also great chilled!

Donna's Country Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This is a savory simple chicken salad sandwich.

4 Steamed Chicken Breasts or Boiled (with onions and celery), Cubed
1/3 Cup Celery, Diced
1/8 Cup Yellow Onion, Diced
Mayonnaise to consistency
1 Dash Garlic Salt

Steam or boil chicken breast until tender.  If boiling, add sliced onion and celery to add flavor, but discard the steamed vegetables when making the chicken salad (vegetables can be saved and added to a soup stock).  Cut chicken into small cubes. Add freshly diced raw celery and onion, sprinkle with garlic salt and mix well.  Add mayonnaise until desired spreading consistency. Spread on dinner rolls, cream puffs or sliced bread. Can also be used as an appetizer served in a baked wonton shell, on a Triscuit cracker, or rolled in a tortilla with lettuce and sliced on an angle.

Donna's Ranch Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This is Donna's Ranch Chicken Salad recipe and we have used variations of this at Princess Circle meetings and as finger food at special events.


2 cans chicken breast (drained)
1 tablespoon Real Bacon bits
1/8 cup chopped celery
1+ tablespoon mild cheddar cheese finely grated
Ranch dressing (made from Hidden Valley Ranch packet)

1 scallion finely chopped
1/2 cup finely shredded lettuce

Drain chicken and shred chunks. Add bacon, cheese, celery, optional ingredients) and mix well. Add ranch dressing to desired consistency. Serve on crackers, rolls, white or wheat bread (or both), pita bread, or tortillas.

Note: This can be mixed with grapes (red or green, cut in half), nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pecans) and tossed with salad greens, or pasta (rotini, rigatoni, farfelle, macaroni, mostaccioli, etc.).

Great Grandma Julia's Lye Soap

My grandmother used her mother's recipe to make soap and used it to clean her laundry.

3 Pints Water
1 Can Red Seal Lye
2 quarts Melted Lard, Warm
1/2 cup Ammonia
1/2 cup Borax

Boil water and lye.  Cool until warm.  Stir in melted lukewarm lard.  Add ammonia and borax.

"Use Caution When Working with Lye"
This link explains how to work with lye safely.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Buttery Breakfast Biscuits

(biscuits before baking)

When I was a little girl my mother used to make baking powder biscuits and cut them out with a floured drinking glass. I do not have her recipe. These make flaky, tender biscuits and can be eaten as a bread with dinner or can be used as a base for a meal or dessert. This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Old Fashion Baking Cookbook. I have used this recipe since 1990 when the cookbook came out. I have usually made this with whipping cream, but it also works well with milk. I always double the recipe!


2 Cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Whipping Cream, Light Cream, or Milk

In a bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt (I use a wire whisk). Using a pastry blender, cut butter into the dry mixture until it looks like crumbs. Make a well in the middle and pour in liquid all at once. Stir lightly with a fork until well moistened.

On a lightly floured counter (I use a pastry cloth) dump contents of the bowl. Flour hands and knead by gently folding and patting the dough 10-12 times. Dough will be very soft and sticky, add a little flour to make it easy to pat out into a thickness of about 1/2. Cut out with a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter, I prefer heart shaped. Dip cutter in flour between cuts. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove immediately from baking sheet.
Serve hot.

Makes 10-12 biscuits.