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1/2 cup butter (softened)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips

water – if necessary

Cream butter and sugar.  Add flour, salt, vanilla.  Mix.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Enjoy!


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Uncle Dan’s

This is by far, the best ranch out there.  I use it as a dip, a dressing, and a sprinkle on potatoes or in hamburgers.  If your grocery store carries it, buy it.  If they don’t, find someone who does and have them mail it to you.  If that’s not possible, get online and order it.  Seriously.

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*Easter Dinner*


ham loaf

twice-baked potatoes

roasted asparagus

spinach salad

fruit salad

deviled eggs


finger jello

strawberry pie

easter egg cupcakes


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yellow cake

When I decided to make Chasen’s birthday cake, I asked Julie in a panic for a good recipe for a firm cake that wasn’t a traditional pound cake (what 3 year old wants pound cake? not mine!).  She sent me a recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor, to which I didn’t exactly follow.  But!  It still turned out perfectly!


1 package yellow cake mix (the one w/ “pudding in the mix”)

1 cup 2% milk

1 cup vegetable oil (a smidge less, b/c I didn’t have quite a cup, whoops)

4 large eggs

*In mixer, beat on low for 1 minutes.  Scrape sides and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes until well combined.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or as per baking pan instructions.

Here’s Julie’s version.

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1/2 stick butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (12-oz) can Dr. Pepper

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 Tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp ancho chili powder

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

  1. In medium saucepan, cook and stir onion and garlic in hot butter over medium heat about 10 minutes until onions are tender.  Add all other ingredients.  Reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, 15 minutes.  Cook, uncovered, until sauce begins to thicken, 20-30 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Cool sauce for 10 minutes.
  2. Puree sauce in pan with immersion blender, or transfer to a blender jar, cover, and blend until smooth.
  3. Serve over hot dogs (in their buns).

Yield: 4 cups sauce


from Elizabeth Karmel via BHG


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Panera recipes

I absolutely love Panera Bread… and I just found they have their recipes posted on their website.  Score!

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menu: April 19-25

Sunday 4/19

  • slow-cooked roast
  • baby yukon potatoes
  • ceasar salad
  • garlic bread

Monday 4/20

  • Roast (leftovers) w/ gravy over white rice
  • Rolls
  • Veggie Plate

Tuesday 4/21

  • Turkey Tacos
  • Elephant Ears (dessert)

Wednesday 4/22  Happy Earth Day!

  • Chicken on grill (marinated in TJ’s dressing)
  • Corn
  • Garlic bagels
  • Fruit salad

Thursday 4/23

  •  TBA

Friday 4/24

  •  TBA

Saturday 4/25

  • TBA

Desserts… Key Lime Cheesecake, Ice-cream w/ Raspberries, Chocolate Chip Cookies


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