Mandie's Dinner Diner

March 8, 2014

Keurig money-saving tip

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks — Tags: , , — ruralmomof3 @ 7:55 am


I decided to try something that my 11 y.o has been doing (peer pressure- lol) and I’m happily impressed with the results. My 11 y.o. likes using the Keurig but he doesn’t like strong coffee. . . so. . . . . he saves everyone else’s used k-cups in the refrigerator and reuses them! He brews the much lighter “second run” coffee and then mixes it with hot cocoa mix for an 11 y.o. version of a mocha.

Well, I decided to try a more adult version of the same and am quite excited to share it with you!

I brewed a used k-cup at the small size setting and added the following:
milk to fill the cup (coconut milk for me)
sweetener to taste (stevia drops for me)
a dash of cinnamon
a few drops of vanilla

The result was a mild coffee beverage with reminder notes of chai tea!! I likey!!


March 24, 2011

Cheryl’s Pork Chops with Chocolate Strawberry Milkshakes

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks, Pork, Snacks and Appetizers, What's for Dinner? — ruralmomof3 @ 5:56 pm

When I was in college, I spent 4 awesome years with three awesome roommates!  One of them was Cheryl.  Not only was she a great roommate- kind, considerate, funny, etc.  She was also an excellent cook!  She shared her pork chops with me one night and I fell in love with them!   Tonight’s supper at Mandie’s Diner was my version of her famous pork chops, baked potatoes, green beans, and chocolate strawberry milk shakes.   Here’s how this dinner fell together (thanks to my 12 y.o. son who is turning out to be quite handy in the kitchen!)

The recipe:

6-8 pork chops, any cut but the thinner they are the faster they cook

worcestershire sauce

6 medium potatoes, scrubbed and pierced with a fork

1 qt home canned green beans or 2 cans store bought

6 oz container yogurt (plain, vanilla, strawberry)

1-2 c. fresh or frozen strawberries

vanilla ice cream


chocolate syrup (or chocolate milk drink mix)

Turn oven to 450^.  Lay out your pork chops on a cookie sheet so that they only slightly overlap.  Drizzle on a good amount of worcestershire sauce on each one and place them in the oven. 

 Next, place all of your potatoes (make sure you pierced them) in the microwave for 6 min. on high power.  When the microwave stops, put your potatoes in the oven next to your pork chop cookie sheet or on the bottom rack.  You can bake them right on the rack.  Close the oven and then turn it down to 400^. 

Set the timer for 25 min. and go lay down for a quick nap (this is really important).  When the timer goes off, check the potatoes and pork for doneness.  Poke the largest potato with a fork- it should slide in and out easily.  The pork chops will be slightly browned and all the juices should run clear.  If they are thick er ones, cut one in half and make sure no pink shows in the middle.  When they are done, cover the pork chops with foil, return them to the oven with the potatoes, turn the oven off, and shut the door. 

Dump your beans in a sauce pan, cover it, and heat to boiling on high heat.  While the beans are cooking, make your milk shakes.

Combine the yogurt, strawberries, and enough ice cream to nearly fill in a blender.  Add milk to about the halfway point, drizzle in what you would think a good amount of chocolate syrup would be (you can always add more later) and blend well.   Taste test and add more chocolate if needed. 

By this time the beans should boiling and you are ready to serve your meal!  To save on dishes, make sure you use the elegant paper plates seen in the picture! Enjoy!

November 29, 2010

Egg Nog

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks, Eggs and Vegetarian Main Courses, WIC friendly — ruralmomof3 @ 3:58 pm

This is the recipe my mom taught to me from “the old school”- back when raw eggs were not a concern.  If you do not consume raw eggs, simply follow this recipe exactly and then cook the egg nog on low, stirring constantly until it almost reaches the boiling point.  You can serve it warm or cold.

The recipe:

3 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

3 heaping Tbl sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

4 c. milk (approximately)

3 shakes of nutmeg (optional)

Crack fresh eggs into blender.  Blend on high until frothy.  Add sugar, salt, vanilla, and blend until frothy again.  Add enough milk to fill to the top line of the blender.  Blend for 2 min. on high.  Add nutmeg and give it a quick blend to incorporate or sprinkle on top after it’s been poured into glasses.  Serves 4-6

September 28, 2010


Filed under: Beverages and Drinks, Breakfast, Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 8:04 pm

Smoothies can be made from a whole bunch of different ingredients. They are quite nutritious too! I picked up a bag of frozen fruit- pineapple, strawberry, and mango at Aldi’s tonight and mixed this up in a flash to go with that Shrimp Spagetti that I made for supper. That recipe is first and below are some ideas for mixing it up a bit and getting your own flavor.

The Tropical Smoothie Recipe:

2-3 cups frozen pineapple, strawberries, and mangoes
1 banana
1/2 – 1 cup vanilla yogurt (can use any yogurt that’s flavor blends with the fruit you chose)
1 heaping Tbl honey or brown sugar
Milk (enough to blend to milk shake consistency- start with a cup and add more if needed)

Pulse in a blender until smooth and then run for 15-30 seconds to even out a little more. Be sure to pulse first or you might burn up the motor in the blender.

You can mix and match any fruit you like. You can also add coconut to this particular combination.

If you only have fresh fruit on hand, put in ice cubes to get that cold smooth taste.

Bananas are a must for the smooth texture most expect but you can leave it out and get more of a fruit slushie

You can also replace the milk with fruit juice or a combination of both.

If you need extra protein, you can add a vanilla or plain soy protein powder to any smoothie combination.

Peanut butter banana Smoothies

1/2 blender of ice
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
1/4- 1/2 c. peanut butter
1 Tbl honey or brown sugar
Milk to make it like a milk shake

If you blend this up and find it not creamy enough, you can add powdered milk (1/3- 1/2 c of powder) or evaporated milk to cream it up a bit.

Orange Banana Smoothie

1/2 blender of ice
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
1-2 bananas
1 Tbl honey or brown sugar
Orange Juice to make is smooth (or use o.j. concentrate with half the water for stronger taste)

You can also add powdered milk to this one to make it creamier like an Orange Julius


God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

September 14, 2010

Homemade Grape “Soda”

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks — ruralmomof3 @ 8:25 pm

I didn’t put up any grape juice this year (although the year’s not over yet- lol) but I love this special drink that long time friends of the family shared with my folks way back in the day.  Way back when friends used to just stop by and say hello, pulled up a chair and laughed the night away!  When the friends would pull out the popcorn and serve up a tasty, refreshing treat in minutes just because you stopped by!  We need more of that!!

Carl, Carol, Coe, and Cristen- Thanks for the memories!  (if you know these people, let me know- you’ll win the prize of the day!)

The Recipe:

Home-canned Grape juice (store bought is fine but no added sugar is best)



A tall glass on  a hot day for each person

Combine the juice and ginger-ale about half and half over ice and serve with hot buttered and salted popcorn!

July 2, 2010

Homemade Lemonade

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks, Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 7:31 pm
I love lemonade shake-ups from the fair!!! Love them, love them, love them!!! At home, I can make up a batch of homemade lemonade by the pitcher full instead and it’s nearly as tasty and there’s no shaking involved (unless you count the wiggly jiggles the boys get helping me!)

The Recipe:

2 Fresh Lemons- washed
1 cup sugar
water and ice to fill 2 qt pitcher

Hand the lemons to your best kitchen helpers under the age of 13 or so (adults can do this too but it’s not quite as fun for us). Tell them to beat up the lemons. Let them pound them on the table, throw them on the floor (will have to re-wash if your floor is like mine), etc but don’t break the skin. Beat up the lemons until they are soft and squishy. This breaks all those little “juice bags” that make up the pulp of the lemons and lets the juice run free! In a bowl or right over the pitcher, slice or quarter the lemons. Make sure all the juice is poured into the pitcher with them. Pour the sugar over them in the pitcher and using a potator masher or similar device, squish and mush the lemons into the sugar until the sugar is fully “wetted”. If you have a little time, let this stand on the counter for 2 seconds up to one hour. If you don’t have 2 seconds, immediately fill the pitcher halfway up with water. Sitr until all the sugar dissolves and then add ice (crushed or shaved would be awesome but we can’t wait that long at our house!).



God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

May 1, 2010

Chocolate Milk

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks, Snacks and Appetizers — ruralmomof3 @ 4:27 pm
1 tall glass of ice cold milk
2 scoops of Ovaltine Chocolate Malt MixStir good and drink right away!!!



God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

April 23, 2010

Jello Slush Punch

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks — ruralmomof3 @ 6:34 pm
Some people call it green punch because it uses lime jello but you can really use any flavor jello you want to. My mom used to make this for parties and insisted that it had to be green- I like it that way too! It is an awesome drink for a summer party.

The Recipe:

1- 3 oz. box jello
2 c. hot water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 qt cold water
1/2 can frozen lemonade concentrate
1- 46 oz can pineapple juice
2 qt gingerale ( 2 liter bottle is fine)

Dissolve the jello in the hot water and then add all the other ingredients except the gingerale. Freeze in a large container or if you’re in a hurry, use several shallow containers (it will be mush when served so no reason to use a mold or certain designed dish). Keep frozen until the day you need it. Set it out so that you have enough time to thaw it slightly. Put it in a punch bowl and pour the gingerale over it. Using a potato masher, smoosh up the frozen stuff to make a slush.

God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

Frosty Lemonade

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks — ruralmomof3 @ 6:28 pm
This is similar to an Orange Julius but I think it’s slightly fancier- something you could serve at a ladies luncheon or something.

The recipe:

3/4 c. lemonade concentrate
1/2 c. dry powdered milk
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1/8 tsp almond extract (important- if you don’t have it, add 1/2 tsp vanilla)
16-18 ice cubes

Blend in the blender until you have made one awesome slushy! Serves 4.

God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

April 17, 2010

POC Smoothie by first born

Filed under: Beverages and Drinks — Tags: , , , , — ruralmomof3 @ 7:39 am
All of my kids love to cook and help in the kitchen (well, except for the clean up part but I’ll admit they get it all from me!). My oldest is working on 12 years old (in Aug) and his new “feat” in the kitchen is his mastery of. . . .. . . . . .THE BLENDER (enter theme music from Jaws here).The other day when the boys got home from school I was busy helping their dad outside and so I left them to their own devices for snacks. Picture this:

I walk into the house to check on them. The 1/2 gallon water coolers I had rinsed out and turned upside down on the counter to air dry earlier in the day had been pushed aside to make way for. . . . .the blender (Jaws music again), ice cube trays, and opened cans of fruit right out of a horror film. First born couldn’t find the regular can opener but he did find the opener that makes the triangle-shaped punctures in cans for pouring juice out. So he had made triangle-shaped puncture after puncture until he could open up the cans he needed for his smoothie. There were drizzles of juice and melting pieces of ice everywhere!

I really did laugh at the site because not even a week before I thought I would whip some cream in the blender instead of using the mixer. I also thought that as an adult I would be capable of scraping down the sides of the blender with a metal spoon. . . . . WHILE IT WAS RUNNING! I had successfully done this the last time and why I pressed my luck, I’ll never know. The spoon, of course, touched the spinning blades, kicked back, and blew yummy REAL whipped cream all over the kitchen and all over my face as I peered down into the blender to make sure I was careful not to do exactly as I had actually done. So first born’s mess really was nothing in comparison. . . . .

. . . . . AND his mess tasted really yummy too! (you thought I had forgotten that this was a recipe blog didn’t you?)

POC Smoothie by First Born

1 standard size can pineapple (we use natural pineapple juice kind and not the syrup one)
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained or one peeled, seedless orange
Coconut Cream (he said he used 1 Tbl but I’m guessing since half the can was gone after 2 batches that he used more- so add enough to your liking!)
Ice (at least one tray)

Blend in your blender (with the lid on and without using a spoon to scrape down the sides) until the ice is well blended into the fruit. Makes 2 large or 4-6 small servings that can then be re-frozen as popcicles if desired.

Slight alterations: Coconut cream can be quite expensive (we found ours at a scratch and dent store for $1 and that is a real steal) so you can replace that with flaked coconut. It will be less creamy this way so if you like it creamy you can add some yogurt or a banana to it. Taste before serving because you may need to add a little sugar or honey this way as well.

You can also omit the oranges all together if you like and make a “pina-colada” the boys think it’s neat getting to drink an “adult drink” that is kid friendly.

Or you can omit the coconut and add a banana for a pine-orange-banana smoothie.

This can also be made a little more hearty and served as a breakfast drink by adding any of the following or combination, powdered milk, yogurt, soy protein, or a very fresh raw egg-if you dare (more Jaws music please). These will add protein and make it more of a meal and more likely to keep a tummy full until lunch time.


Oh and one more thing- when you make this, you must let your kids help you! They will think it tastes better having had their fingers involved in the preparation!

God is good- all the time. . . . 40.gif

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