Tasty Tuesday – Two Treats!

I have two snack recipes ready to go…first is Homemade Root Beer, the second are Homemade Mozzarella Sticks. They are both super easy and sooooo delicious! Made a great after-school snack today! (And don’t forget about my Gooseberry Patch cookbook giveaway!)

Here we go!

Homemade Root Beer


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1/2 bottle root beer extract

Doesn't take much, but tastes so good!

Dissolve yeast in a little tepid water. Mix extract with sugar, add a quart of water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a gallon jug. Add dissolved yeast, add enough tepid water to fill jug. Let stand 6 hours with cap off, then screw on cap and put in refrigerator. It is ready to drink as soon as it’s cold. (Root Beer recipe came from the Fullerton 125th Cookbook.)

Letting the yeast dissolve in tepid water.

Not dark in color, but full in flavor!

And treat number two:

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks


  • String cheese
  • Egg roll wrappers (or wonton wrappers)
  • Water
  • Oil

Only two main ingredients! So simple!

Place string cheese on egg roll wrapper, fold ends in and roll up the wrapper. Wet the corner of the wrapper with water to seal. Heat oil on stove top, place 3-4 sticks in hot oil. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until brown. Turn and cook other side. Drain on paper towel. Enjoy! (This recipe came off Pinterest. That’s right. I actually made something off Pinterest. Amazing. I know.)

Roll up stick (make sure ends are tucked in) and seal with a dab of water!

Send those sticks for a little swim in hot oil...this is extra virgin olive oil.

Really...to die for...really.

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Gooseberry Patch Recipe #10 – Spicy Layered Enchiladas – and a Giveaway!

I did it! Recipe number 10 is in the books! And now that I’ve finished, you can win this great cookbook yourself!

Here’s my recipe #10:

Spicy Layered Enchiladas


  • 1 lb. ground beef, chicken, beef, turkey or beef (the extra beef’s are for a friend!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 1-1/4 oz. pkgs. taco seasoning mix (or use this recipe!)
  • 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 18 to 20 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 16-oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: chopped green onions or fresh chives

All those lovely tortillas, lined up and waiting for sauce!

Brown meat and onion in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Stir in beans, water and one package of taco seasoning; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. In a bowl, combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice and remaining taco seasoning; mix well. In a lightly greased 9″X13″ baking pan, spread enough of sauce mixture to just coat the bottom. Layer 1/3 of tortillas on sauce. Evenly spread half of meat mixture on top of tortillas, layer with 1/3 of remaining sauce mixture and 1/3 of cheese. Add 1/3 of tortillas, remaining meat mixture, half of sauce mixture and half of remaining cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, sauce mixture and cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into squares; sprinkle with green onions or chives, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Note: I skipped the first part, because I used the leftover taco meat that I had from Sunday. Layered it all together, like you would lasagna. Hubby gave it two thumbs up!

A BIG hit in our house!

Cost breakdown:

  • Leftover meat – $0
  • Sauce – $1.50
  • Tortillas – $1.50
  • Cheese – $1.97
  • Total – $4.97, that totals out to 41 cents a serving!!! Woohoo!

That is recipe #10 – and here’s a recap of my other nine recipes:

  1. Iowa Freezer Corn
  2. Easy Cheesy Potatoes & Sausage
  3. Country Chicken & Dumplings – a family fave!
  4. Taco Ole’ Bubble Bake
  5. Creamy Macaroni & Beef
  6. Mini BLT Cups
  7. Buttery Parmesan Potatoes
  8. Magic Peanut Butter Cookies
  9. Taco Seasoning Mix

Now…to get on to the winning! You will have until Dec. 11 to enter, using any one (or ALL) of these 11 methods!

  1. Follow me through Twitter @wagfarms
  2. Become a fan of Wag’n Tales on Facebook
  3. Follow Real Farmwives of America and Friends through Google
  4. Follow @realfarmwives on Twitter
  5. Becoming a Fan of RFOA &Friends on Facebook
  6. Follow GP on Twitter @gooseberrypatch
  7. Fan Gooseberry Patch on Facebook 
  8. Leave a comment on Gooseberry Patch’s blog 
  9. Join the Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends email club 
  10. Leave a comment on this blog, giving one sure-fire, money-saving tip for the kitchen
  11. Leave a second comment on this blog post listing out how many of the above methods to register for this giveaway you have completed and which ones.

And a quick reminder! Please, don’t forget about the Christmas Angel Project going on now (until Dec. 15)…we would love to share our love with those that need an extra hand this holiday season! (Check out details by clicking on the Blue Angel in the right hand corner at the top of the page!)
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Gooseberry Patch Recipe #9 – Taco Seasoning Mix

I would have finished up my last few recipes a week or two ago, but my camera ate my pictures and wouldn’t give them up! I have it fixed now, so I will finish up my last two recipes today and tomorrow. Are you ready for a giveaway?

Here we go with recipe #9:

Taco Seasoning Mix


  • 3/4 c. dried, minced onion
  • 1/4 c. salt
  • 1/4 c. chili powder
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. dried, minced garlic
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. dried oregano

Makes a pretty little pile, eh?



Mix all ingredients well; store in an airtight container. Use 4 tablespoons mix in place of a 1 -1/4 ounce package of taco seasoning mix. Makes about 1-3/4 cups.

So simple and so frugal!



And the lowdown on the cost? Another freebie. I had all the ingredients (although, I will admit, I did not use them very often). I LOVE it when I find a way to save a dollar, and didn’t even realize it was under my nose!

I used it this week to make up some taco meat for a church lunch. My boys absolutely loved it and told me that it was MUCH better than the other stuff I had been using. I will admit, it was pretty darn good!


Hunk of Meat Monday – Gooseberry Patch Recipe #6

Here we are, another Hunk of Meat Monday recipe. This time, I’m featuring BACON! Yum!

Mini B-L-T Cups


All you need!

  • 16 oz. tube refrigerated biscuits
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 t. dried basil

Halve biscuits horizontally by separating the layers. Pat biscuit halves into mini muffin tins that have been sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Combine remaining ingredients and spoon into biscuit cups. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 8 servings of 2 cups each.

Happiness is bacon in the kitchen.

All mixed up and ready for the oven.

Now, for my variations: My boys don’t like tomatoes, so I didn’t include them in the recipe. But I did dice some up for Boss Man to add to his cups. Also, I used Grands biscuits, so I used a normal sized muffin tin. It worked splendidly! And did I mention they were delicious!?!

Seriously delicious, seriously!

Now for the frugal part:

  • Biscuits – $1.50
  • Bacon – $1
  • Tomato – garden!
  • Cheese – $2
  • Total – $4.50 (the rest is all stuff I had on hand, as would most kitchens!) That’s a staggering 56 cents a serving! They’d make great appetizers, after-school snacks, or a quick, fast meal for a family on the go! Very portable!
Hunk of Meat Mondays

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Wordless Wednesday – Butter

It’s been a few days since I posted last…life has been on a roll again! When I say there’s never a dull moment here, I truly mean it! I’ll explain later, but for now, enjoy this photo:

The other day I opened the fridge, and was greeted with this:

Hmmm...wonder if this is a hint?



Call me crazy, but I believe someone may have been playing in the fridge! And for my dairy friends, half the sticks are real butter, half are the “other” kind. I don’t use real butter for George’s stuff, but Boss Man insists on it! 🙂 We’re a mixed house like that.

Today, I’m linking up with Katie over at Pinke Post for Wordless Wednesday. Go check her out and give her a follow, she’s amazing! (And a fellow Prairie Mama!)

Hunk of Meat Monday – Gooseberry Patch Recipe #4

It is definitely Hunk of Meat Monday…and today I’m featuring another fantastic recipe from my Gooseberry Patch Cookbook “Dinners on a Dime.”

And I’m also reminding you to head over to my latest blog post and sign up to win a Pink’ed-out Kitchen! That’s right, a pink Kitchenaid complete with accessories! Who can beat a deal like that? Check it out!

But now on to my recipe…this was a great one, but I learned a lesson or two!

Tac-Ole` Bubble Bake


Simple, just the way I like it!

  • 2 12-oz. cans refrigerated biscuits, quartered
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 1/2 c. salsa
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes

This is my meat of choice...hamburger!

Arrange biscuit quarters in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Spread beef (or leftover taco beef) evenly over biscuits. Spoon salsa over beef; top with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Garnish as desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Little did I consider that the full dish would cause a problem...but still looks yummy!


  • Biscuits – $2.27 each – $4.54 total
  • Beef – $2.97
  • Salsa – homemade (free!)
  • Cheese – $1.97
  • Total – $9.48 (6 servings = $1.58 per serving!)

Follow directions and be ready for some amazing food!

Lessons I learned:

1) Only use ONE layer of biscuits (one bigger container of biscuits will do it, don’t need two!) – Otherwise the biscuits rise to the point of making a mess while baking, then the inner biscuits don’t get done…and let’s just say that it makes a mess and a headache that’s not needed. One layer, one layer only.

2) Put a pan or something under it to catch the overflow…just in case you do something like what’s listed above and it makes a mess. Just a warning. 😉

Although it wasn’t an error-proof attempt (follow directions, Val, follow directions), it was absolutely yummy! And my boys ate it up like crazy!

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Fight Like a Girl

Right now, it is Sunday evening, and I spent a fair amount of time watching NFL football today. Yes, I know, it’s a tad unusual for the wife of the family to be the avid football watcher, but that’s the way it works around here. And what I loved about today’s games was the sea of pink.

For those that don’t know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month…as far as I’m concerned, it could be Breast Cancer Awareness Month every month, or just simply Cancer Awareness Month. But October has received the designation. And in honor of the pinkest month on the calendar, I’m hosting a giveaway.

This isn’t just your ordinary, everyday giveaway either. This is a big one.

In fact…I wish I could win, because I’m giving away something that I don’t even own myself. That’s right, my kitchen is not complete. I do not own a Kitchenaid.

But one of my lucky readers certainly will!

On Halloween (that’s right, October 31!), I will draw one lucky winner to receive a pink Kitchenaid 5 qt. Artisan Stand Mixer. I’m not kidding. It’s on it’s way to my house right now!

Imagine all the goodies this bad boy (or should I say girl?) can whip up?

Not only will the winner receive a Kitchenaid mixer, but I also have a slug of pink Kitchenaid stuff to go with it. Including: whisk, bamboo spatulas, set of 4 prep bowls and set of 3 mixing bowls. Kinda cool, eh?

Not quite the tools needed to fight cancer, but great tools to use as a pick-me-up!

So, how do you win? Easy…comment on this post. Tell me one way cancer has changed your life, or affected your family, or made you appreciate all that you have. Leave a comment, and you’ll receive one entry. Only comments on this particular blog post will count towards winning the mixer and gadgets, but comments on other posts are encouraged as well! 🙂

Ah, but you can earn extra entries…send some Cancer Kicking Love on over to my blogging sister Leontien, leave a comment on her blog, letting her know that many others across the country are praying for her, and helping her be strong when she feels week. Do that, leave a separate comment letting me know you have, and you’ll earn another entry. I’ve even made it easy, just click on the button below!

And, if you so choose, you can earn five extra entries by emailing me at: wagntales@gmail.com and telling me your story. This month isn’t JUST about breast cancer. Tell me about your struggles, your fears, your moments of amazement. Make us laugh, make us cry, inform us with statistics. Whatever it may be. I hope to intersperse our stories throughout the month. You can stay anonymous (just tell me so in your email), or I can give you full credit. Whatever you’re comfortable with, I’m game. And I’ll be adding mine in as well.

For those that don’t know…my mother is a cancer survivor. It was a fluke, an accident, a cold that didn’t get better. And somehow a rare cancer of the soft palate of her mouth was found. I’ll tell you her story later, but I know that almost everyone reading this has a story. Cancer sucks that way. It touches everyone.

But the good thing is, we have each other…and pretty soon, one of you will have a Pink’ed-out kitchen!

Good luck, God bless…and Fight Like a Girl!

A Meal for a Crew – Steak Pizza

I’m linking up to a Latte’ with Ott, A’s September Iron Chef Challenge. And this month, the ingredient of choice is Red Star Yeast. I was looking through recipes, and thought I would do The Pioneer Woman’s Steakhouse Pizza, but didn’t have much of the ingredients (except yeast, flour and steak!)…so I decided to make my own recipe.

I was nervous if it would turn out, but since the pan was empty in less than 15 minutes, I’m assuming that meant it was edible.

Here we go!

Great ingredients make for a great meal!


Ingredients (crust):

  • 1 teaspoon Quick Rise Instant Dry Red Star Yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

Sprinkle yeast in 3/4 cup warm water. Let stand a few minutes. Combine flour and salt. Drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. next, pour in yeast/water mixture and combine until dough comes together. Coat a separate mixing bowl with olive oil and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it. (Note: I made the dough the night before. It worked really well the next morning!)

Mixed dough



Dough - after being in fridge for 14 hours!



Pizza ingredients:

  • Dough (see above)
  • 14-15 oz. pizza sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • mushrooms (or toppings of choice)
  • steak (arm, ribeye, skirt, cut of choice)
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (pizza blend is what I use)

Ready to hit the oven!



On a cookie sheet, spread out dough. Combine pizza sauce and BBQ sauce. Spread evenly over dough. Top with toppings of choice, end with cheese. Bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese it bubbly and crust is turning golden.

Cook your steak as desired!



While crust is baking, cook your steak to about medium-rare. Let it rest. When pizza is done, slice steak into very thin slices and place on top of the pizza. Stand back and watch it disappear!

Did I say, Mmmmmmm?!?






This is what was left, about 15 minutes after it came out of the oven!




Gooseberry Recipe #3 – Crock pot Chicken and Dumplings

As promised…recipe number 3 from Gooseberry Patch, and a reminder about my Crock Pot giveaway!

Country Chicken & Dumplings


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 T. butter, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 10-oz. tubes refrigerated biscuits, torn

    So simple, yet so good!

Place chicken, soup, butter and onion in a slow cooker; add enough water to cover. Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours. Add biscuits to slow cooker; gently push biscuits into cooking liquid. Cover and continue cooking for about 1-1/2 hours, until biscuits are done in the center. Makes about 6 servings.

Simply add it together, minus the biscuits!

This was soooo easy and DELICIOUS! My family cleaned out the crock pot in a second and asked for me to make it again! (Which I will, in a heartbeat! And I will add potatoes, carrots, etc.!)

*Forgot to add costs!:

  • Chicken – $3.40
  • Soup – $3.00
  • Dough – $4.96
  • Total – $11.36 – at 6 servings, that’s less than $2 per serving. Not too bad for a great tasting meal, that would be easy to serve guests!

I barely was able to get a small salad plate of supper before the food was gone!

Hunk of Meat Monday – Gooseberry Patch Recipe #2

It is Labor Day, our first week of school is done, a fun weekend was celebrated and here we are…back at Monday.

I promised last week that there was going to be a special surprise added to my “Celebrate a Year of Blogging” celebration, so here it is: added to the prize package is a Smart Pot 5 1/2 qt. Crock Pot and a Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker cookbook!!! With the crock pot craze of late, and with school starting and activities picking up, I thought that a crock pot would be a perfect addition to my celebration! Be sure to go to this blog post, and post a comment…or go to Facebook and “like” Wag’n Tales!

Celebrate a year with me! Win a Crock Pot!

I know that I L-O-V-E my crock pot…and I know many of you do as well! This crock pot is great! It cooks to your desired time, and then switches to keep warm! As soon as my old crock pot decides to kick the bucket, I’m getting myself one of these babies!

Well, enough about that, on to my Hunk of Meat Monday recipe!

Easy Cheesy Potatoes & Sausage

All ya need!


  • 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb. smoked pork sausage, cubed
  • 16-oz. pkg. pasteurized process cheese spread, cubed
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. milk

I left my sausage in bigger chunks, that way it's easier to pick out for George.

Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a greased 10X8 baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for one hour, or until potatoes are tender. (I would suggest stirring occasionally.) Makes 6 servings.

All done!

Cost for this meal:

  • Potatoes – $1.77
  • Sausage – $1.50
  • Cheese spread – $2.50
  • Total – $5.77 – and since it makes 6 servings, that’s less than $1 per serving!
Hunk of Meat Mondays