Hawaiian Haystacks

I must be on a Hawaiian kick. My last 2 blog posts were foods with rice and pineapple and the word “Hawaiian” in them. Do you think I’m subconsciously wishing for a Beachy,  Hawaiian vacation right about now, in the middle of a Utah winter? I think that’s highly possible!

Hawaiian Haystacks 

Toppings for Hawaiian Haystacks 

Yeah.  Could be.  It was so cold the last few days. And I should know. I had recess duty during the day AND after school and it was snowing and super WINDY on Monday. My umbrella that I was holding kept doing the backward blow up thing and then would almost send me down the street like Mary Poppins. It was embarrassing! And I had the crosswalk detail so everybody picking up their kids after school SAW ME being blown around and my umbrella pulling tricks. Just call me Mary.  I felt like a big geek in a snowsuit!  So I long for the white beaches and sun and unfettered relaxation of a Hawaiian Island.

I love the crunch these chow mein noodles add…

Add Cream of Chicken soup, sour cream, milk and spice it up with Lawrys or Salt and Pepper….that’s it! 

I like slivered almonds to top my Hawaiian Haystacks….

The kids love coconut….
Have to have a cherry on top!  Or a handful! 

But since I can’t wrangle that for now, I can at least eat yummy food with the taste of Hawaii in it.  This recipe is easy, quick and really yummy.  And it’s a great choice if you have to feed an army or a crowd at a party. My sister-in-law served this at her son’s missionary farewell before he left for Texas. It was yummy!

I diced up some cooked carrots….. chow mein noodles and slivered almonds….

And lots of fresh fruit and veggies…..

The hubs likes my Hawaiian haystacks……..that sounds a little weird saying it out loud tho….hehe…

So here are the easy ingredients for the basic chicken mixture that goes over rice.  Then the toppings are whatever you decide you want to add. I use one of those veggie and dip platters when I’m doing it for a crowd. You can find them at the dollar store for…..well…..A DOLLAR!  I use them when I’m doing cookie decorating in my classroom too. They are very versatile for putting out little piles of stuff.


Here is the Chicken base all mixed up….then I just microwave it to warm it …

Hawaiian Haystacks
2 cans cream of chicken soup  (or use large family sized can)
3  chicken breasts diced
1 t. salt  (or Lawry’s Season Salt)
1/8 t. pepper  
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 to 1 cup of milk 
3  cups Steamed Rice

My finished plate of Hawaiian Haystacks….a work of art really!  

Boil the chicken and dice up.  Mix soup, salt and pepper, milk and sour cream and milk. 

I boiled 3 chicken breasts with a handful of carrots…..

Cook rice until tender. I have a rice cooker so I added around 2 1/2 cups.  Put soup mixture on top of rice and top with any or all of the following:

Toppings: Canned pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, grated cheese, slivered almonds, chopped red pepper, celery, olives, diced tomatoes, chow mein noodles.

Veggie and fruit toppings….

Well, now he’s just acting like Vanna White…he’s such a tease! 

 It’s really filling, and everybody can pick their own preferences for toppings. That makes it even more of a fun meal. You can see my husband is having fun doing his own toppings…LOL.  Actually I made him pose…he’s just a good sport. :O

He doesn’t like the fruit as much….he’s more of a veggie man….

He does like the almonds and the white grated mozzarella cheese….

Hawaiian Haystacks……..My plate is still prettier than the hubs………just sayin……..

This recipe for Hawaiian Haystacks is a KEEPER!   Enjoy!  

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles

Homemade Noodle Chicken Noodle Soup…Fast, easy and super yummy! It’s my Grandma-in-law Ruth’s recipe. She was a professional cook her whole life. 

My husband’s Grandma Ruth was a dietitian and cooked big mounds of food in hospitals. Once when John and I were newlyweds she was over at his parents house for a visit and she taught me how to make homemade noodles.

I boiled up my 3 bone-in chicken breasts first….they make the best broth…or use a whole chicken cup up. 

  Anyway, let’s make some egg noodles tonight to go with some chicken breasts I just bought on sale at the market for only 99 cents a pound! COOL Deal!

Here’s some of my noodle ingredients….not the parsley…that’s just to add to the soup….oops! 

  I’m glad I have a little piece of history learning to cook from a master cook. She was what John still calls “A Lunch Lady” because she cooked for large groups of people in a big community kitchen her whole life. She was really good at all kinds of breads.

I’m gonna add a little bit of butter to my noodles to make them richer…I hope they stay fluffy! 

  She started out with a mound of flour and made a little “well” in the center where she cracked egg yolks into it.  Then she slowly mixed those eggs into a paste with her hands. I don’t remember much else. But when the dough was done we made long strips of it using a pizza cutter and it was really fun.
I have always LOVED playing in the kitchen since getting my first Easy Bake Oven when I was 5 or 6.

Mix up the melted (cooled) butter with the 2 eggs mixture….whisk away! 

Guess what my little Marisa Belle is getting for Christmas? You guessed it. Her own Easy Bake Oven!
Won’t her mommy just LOVE that? Yeah. She’s gonna be doing the cooking with her… I hope she doesn’t hate me.  I just LOVED my little blue Easy Bake Oven when I was about her age….

  So after studying 4 different recipes, I’m going to add 1 tablespoons of melted butter to the 2 eggs and add 1/4 teaspoon baking powder to the 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup milk. Mix it all up in a bowl and let your dough hook knead for 3 or 4 minutes.

I’m going to add 2 bullion cubes to my broth for a bit more flavor

I got these bone in chicken breasts for 99cents a pound….look for bone in for a better broth,  OR
just pick up a rotisserie chicken….use half for lunch sandwiches…..and then boil the rest of the whole chicken for the soup! It makes an excellently seasoned soup with just all the spices they add in the store!  EASY TOO! 

 Most recipes call for flour salt and eggs and that’s about it. But just like really good homemade bread. And I think butter will make them tastier. Also many recipes call for baking powder. I like my noodles fluffy. So I add a little pinch of baking powder too.  Too much flour will make them dense. So watch the flour as you are adding it.  When the dough is just a bit sticky, stop adding flour.

Roll out your dough  for your homemade noodles in a long rectangle…I’m shooting for 4 inch strips….
Roll them AS THIN as you can get them….they always plump up when boiling them….

I use all these extra strips too…they just aren’t as pretty as my neater noodles….snicker….

 Most recipes tell you to chill the dough or let it “rest” or whatever but I’ve never been that patient. So I just dive right in. Roll them out thin as you can and use a pizza cutter to cut into 1/4 inch strips about 4 inches long. Then let them dry a bit

I just use a pizza cutter to roll out my dough….then set them out on a paper towel to dry for an hour or two….

 . Most recipes call for hours of drying. Again, I never wait that long, but I try to wait an hour and a bit laying them on a dry towel while I chop my veggies and debone and cut up my hot boiled chicken for the soup.

Saute your onions a bit before adding to the broth…

I thought this cute and colorful bowtie macaroni would be fun for a Christmas brunch macaroni salad with artichoke hearts…
I’ll post a great recipe soon using this cute stuff! Only $1.50 a bag at Fresh Market!!
 I think this would be a great neighborhood gift,
maybe with some cute salad tongs to go with it for a favorite neighbor? 
I diced up my onion, sauteed it a bit, then chopped up my celery and carrots and threw them in ….then  7  minutes later the noodles…. they will take another 7 or so minutes to fluff up….by then your veggies will be tender…
They start to plump up right away!
I threw my noodles right in to cook but here is the warning…they WILL suck up lots of broth…so
it is actually better to boil them in salt water instead and then add to the soup after 15 minutes….
Be sure to check your baking powder with  a 1/2 teaspoon test in warm water to be sure it is still fizzy,
If it is not, that means it is old and expired and you need to get a new can….it will make your noodles flat and dense if it is not working,
NOT light and fluffy the way you’d want them….

My finished Chicken Noodle Soup…Yum! 

Egg Noodles Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the beaten egg, . Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rest in a covered bowl for 10 minutes.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out to 1/8 or 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired lengths (I do 1/4 x 4 inches)
  3. Allow to air dry before cooking (1 to 2 hours). Drop into 2 quarts of boiling, salted water for about 10 to 15 minutes. drain, then add to Chicken soup when veggies are tender.  
  4. Note: You COULD drop them into soup to cook, but I find that it will suck up all of your broth and not leave you with as much liquid. So I’d recommend boiling them in salt water till they are fluffy and done. Then add to the soup.  
So homemade Chicken noodles and soup takes me a good 90 minutes to make. They are worth the extra effort once in awhile. And they make a nice soup to freeze for a cold, snowy, winter day when hot soup is exactly what you’d love to come home to…. mmmmm….

Chicken Noodle Soup homemade is really so Delicious! 
And healthy too! And low calorie too!  What’s not to love? 
And don’t ya love my Grandbabies wearing their Christmas shirts?  Too cute! 

Chicken Soup Recipe
2 1/2 to 3 cups of shredded or diced white chicken meat
1 cup celery
1/2 to 1 cup baby carrots sliced
1 small onion diced  (saute a bit in butter till clear)
2-21/2 quarts water (use the boiled chicken water and add 2 to 3 bullion cubes)
1 teaspoon Johnny’s seasoning
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper (add to taste)
dash of pepper
Boil the chicken (I used 3 breasts with rib meat attached and bones attached) Add 2 bullion cubes. Chop veggies and add and boil on medium for 7 -10 minutes or until tender. Take dried egg noodles and add 1/2 to 3/4 of the recipe to a salt water boiling pot.   You could freeze half the recipe for another time.  When they are fluffy and done, dry them on a paper towel and then add them to the soup. Season.  Then enjoy!  

    Pecan Crusted Salmon

    Here is one of my very favorite dinners, baked Pecan Crusted Salmon! 

    My favorite way to make salmon I found at a favorite recipe site of mine called all recipes.com called Baked Dijon Salmon. It has bread crumbs, honey and mustard, and chopped pecans. It is wonderful!

    Isn’t this Pecan Crusted Salmon just tempting looking? 

    I start by mixing up the bread crumbs with chopped pecans, a little mustard and honey mixed in…

     Here is my adapted recipe:


    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • 2 1/2  tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
    • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
    • 4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
    • Lemon Pepper a few shakes
    • Lawry’s Season Salt a shake


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    2. In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, and honey. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs, pecans
    3. Shake season salt and lemon pepper on each fillet lightly, then  brush with honey mustard mixture, and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with the bread crumb mixture.
    4. Bake salmon 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until it flakes easily with a fork.

    Then I spread them on salmon fillets and bake….DON’T BROIL! 

    I added some salad with fresh tomatoes 

    And a side of fresh fruits…
    And here it is!  Pecan Crusted Salmon!  

    And garlic parsley red potatoes….yummy dinner!

     I love salmon fillets from Costco, individually wrapped. They are so easy and economical. And they always taste fresh. I am never disappointed. And the salmon is so delish. This is a favorite dinner of mine.

    Chinese Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Oranges

    Chinese Chicken Salad with cabbage and cranberries!

    I’ve had this salad many different ways but this is my favorite way to have it. I use cabbage, Ramen Oriental Noodles, sliced almonds and mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. I make the dressing with oil and rice vinegar and sugar and the noodle seasoning packet. It always turns out delicious, crispy and fresh looking. And the best part is…..it will feed a huge crowd!

    I love this crunchy Chinese Chicken salad! You can add green onion to each serving if you like it. 

    I like that it is super easy and quick too. When I’m not in a cooking mood I usually pick up a cabbage and have some chicken breasts in the freezer, and those ramen noodles last for like 10 years in your pantry so I buy them in bulk…. a whole box at a time. We usually use them up in a year.  I also buy all my nuts  from Costco in bulk, so I know I’ve got my ingredients on hand.

    Mandarin oranges, Ramen noodles raw, sliced almonds and dried cherries go into my Chinese Chicken Salad. I got dried fruits at the downtown Farmer’s Market.. …Yum! 
    Don’t ya LOVE this cutting board I just picked up at Hobby Lobby for 50% off?  I diced up the chicken on it…

    Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe
    1 medium cabbage chopped coarsely
    2 packages ramen noodles broken up (oriental style) reserve the 2 packets of sauce mix
    1 larger or 2 small cans mandarin oranges (add them just before tossing salad)
    1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
    1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
    3 chicken breasts cooked and diced into chunks
    green onion for garnish.

    This dressing is really flavorful and tart….

    Delicious Dressing

    2/3 cup canola oil (I’ve used olive oil and I don’t like it as much)
    1/3 to 1/2 cup rice vinegar (or apple cider or red wine vinegar but I prefer the rice vinegar)
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 seasoning packets from the Ramen
    1 Teaspoon of lemon or lime juice (optional) for a zingy flavor
    A shake of Lawry’s season salt if needed (or Johnny’s season salt – get at Costco)

    Break up the Ramen Noodles in the chopped cabbage and fruit and sliced almonds…
    Then add the dressing  and chicken for the Chinese Chicken Salad, and toss a few times! 
    That’s it!

    Whisk the dressing  up in a small bowl till sugar is dissolved. Taste it.. if it is not flavorful enough add a dash of rice vinegar…not sweet enough add a shake of sugar, not seasoned enough add a shake of Lawry’s Season Salt.  I can’t remember a time I have not messed a little with homemade dressing of any kind. You get better at it the more you make it.

    These plates are so cute for a summer Chinese Chicken Salad, aren’t they?

    Here is my finished salad. It’s delicious on a warm, fall day when you don’t want to cook!  Great with homemade muffins or some rustic, crusty bread and butter.And how do you like my new stoneware? It’s from Smiths Marketplace! It was a buck a plate! I think it’s so pretty! Boo yah!  I bought a set of 12 with bowls too. I think they will look cute in the Spring and Summer for dinner parties.


    Red sauce Enchiladas
    quick and easy weeknight meal…

    These cold fall days seem like perfect hot enchiladas days. I like chicken enchiladas in a sour cream and green chili sauce. But I happened to have leftover taco meat. So I decided to do a red sauce and make regular enchiladas.

    I use cheddar cheese and make my own sauce….also great topped with quacamole! 

    I fried them up in a little canola oil in my crepe pan!  So quick and easy! 

    My leftover meat made 8 enchiladas, enough for 2 meals!  (freeze one or bring it to work for your lunch!)

     Enchiladas……Bake at 350 for around 20 minutes…

    I didn’t have to fry any meat up but I did make enchilada sauce. I used a small can of tomato sauce, a few shakes of chili powder, onion salt,  and garlic powder and some cumin.  Then I microwaved it for a minute. Then I  fried up the corn tortillas in a little oil and put them on paper towels.

    My red sauce…I added cumin, onion and garlic powder, and some chili powder.

    Here are my red sauce enchiladas  before I baked them….

    Then I just dipped the tortillas in sauce, added the taco meat and some grated cheddar and rolled them up. I topped them with sliced olives and then baked them for 20 minutes on 350. It was really quick!

    Yummy with a fresh green salad with avacado, tomatoes and green pepper….

    I love to add some sour cream on my enchiladas….yummy!

    Enchiladas are an easy 30 minute dinner if you have already prepared your  meat….

    I sliced some green pepper, avocado, tomato and chopped up some green leafy lettuce and made a side salad with ranch dressing. These were yummy-licious.  Not very low calorie though.  But hey, sometimes you’ve just gotta live it up!

    Clam Chowder

    Clam Chowder Soup New England Style

    It started SNOWING OUTSIDE this week! It is only the first week in October! Man that is soooooo not fair I said to Mr. Weatherman! What the heck! So I had to get out my umbrella because when it wasn’t snowing it was raining. That means one thing to me. Let’s make some hot soup and homemade bread!  Perfect thing when the weather gets COLD! brrrr…

    Snow on October 5th! Well…at least it melted off by day’s end….

    I always start any soup I make with a half cube of butter and chopped onion in a frying pan.  Then when the onions are tender and caramelized I add a few tablespoons of white flour and mix that up with the butter for a few minutes to cook off the “flour” taste. Then I pour in about a 1/3 cup of milk and make kind of a roux mixture. This helps to thicken my soup.  When it’s almost done I add a few cups of milk.

    Chopped up an onion
    Then I let that thicken up for a few minutes while I add spices. I like Johnny’s seasoning, lemon pepper and some parsley. Then I cut up some red potatoes into diced pieces and shuck the corn from 2 cobs of corn.  
    Last of the summer corn on the cob…..sigh…..

    Shuck it up! 
    I just get minced clams for Clam Chowder Soup….2 cans are tastier than just one….

    In another pan I add my diced new potatoes (red potatoes) and 2 stalks of celery in some water to boil.. Then when those are tender (about 10 minutes I dump them into the roux mixture and add a can of cream of chicken soup and a dollup of sour cream. the cooked and diced bacon, the corn (fresh or frozen or canned), and the minced clams.  It’s almost done now.  Just taste it and season salt and lemon pepper it.  Let it simmer 5 more minutes.

    8 new potatoes not peeled, diced up
    2 stalks celery
    1 diced onion
    can of corn or a frozen corn or 2-3 ears of corn shucked
    2 pieces of bacon cooked and diced
    1 to 2 small cans (tuna size) of minced clams
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
    2-3 Tablespoons flour
    Johnny’s seasoning salt, lemon pepper & parsley to taste.

    Great soup seasonings…Parsley…Johnny’s Season Salt (get it from Costco)….I add lemon pepper too….it’s a good all around seasoning….
    Here’s a close up of my veggies & the thickened Clam Chowder soup…..

    And now it’s ready to eat! Don’t ya want a bite?  Soup makes a great meal on a cold, rainy day! 
    And ya gotta have some hot bread too…just keep some  in your freezer…Rhodes Rolls are so easy! 

    It is a delicious, hearty Soup and it is so easy too. It takes less than 30 minutes start to finish, even chopping up veggies. It’s great on a cold day.  It just warms everybody up.

    What to do With Leftover Marinara Sauce? Baked Ziti!

    My Version of  Ziti, Goulash or Beefaroni….

    With some Garlic Bread added….makes a nice weeknight meal! Do you have some leftover Spaghetti or Marinara Sauce? 

    I added mushrooms and ground beef….. Beefaroni!  

    Boiled up some pasta shells for Pasta Casserole  

    Grated some Mozzarella Cheese for the top…..Ziti Goulash….

    Added some roasted vegetables…..remember to roast them  very HOT like 450 degrees! 

    Yummy, easy Italian Pasta dinner…takes about 20 minutes start to finish…..

    Yummy marinara sauce and Ziti pasta….mozzarella cheese and parsley on top. 

    Leftover Marinara Sauce Pasta….a Weeknight meal that is even better tasting for lunch as leftovers the next day!  Yup! 

    Easy Taco Salad

     I got this recipe from a friend of mine long ago. She was a very health conscious person and whenever a recipe called for ground beef, she would use ground turkey. That was the first time I’d ever tried ground turkey. It is great for this recipe because it is leaner, less fat to remove, and you can’t tell the difference too much in taste. 

    So here is my recipe:
    1 pound ground turkey fried up and drained, then mix with 1 taco seasoning packet, a little water, 
    add in 1 small can green chili salsa or regular mild salsa. Simmer till reduced. 

    Put together salad made up of…..
    1 small head of iceberg or romaine lettuce chopped into bite size pieces
    1 can of drained kidney beans
    1-2 small cut up tomatoes
    3/4 to 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
    1 1/2 cups Doritos Nacho Cheese variety crushed into bite size pieces
    black olives optional

    Kraft Catalina Dressing (pour over just before serving to taste, about 1/2 cup) It is just as good with the reduced calorie variety of dressing. 

    kidney beans drained….

    cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, I ran out of olives….OOPS! 

    Taco meat…..leave this separated till right before mixing up the dressing or it wilts the lettuce…..

    Easy ingredients for a yummy taco salad….

    I’ve used both varieties….I can barely tell the difference…so go for the Low Cal! 

    Yummy and pretty healthy too! Sometimes I add olives to it for more color, sometimes a diced avocado if I have one. Yummy! 

    Perfect with a side of cornbread muffins! Yum! 

    Easy Fajitas

    Yummy and easy fajitas….takes about 15 minutes to make! 

    I had 2 frozen chicken breast that were kinda tiny in my freezer leftover from one of those mega bags of chicken from Costco. And I decided I’d make some easy fajitas. These are so quick and yummy and healthy too.

    Fajitas….mix your chicken and veggies with a packet of seasoning…that’s the lazy way…..

    Just grill your chicken (or if you are in a rush, just cut it up and saute the pieces in a little olive oil in a fry pan). Spray Pam on an onion and a green pepper and grill those too. (or if you are lazy, just slice them and saute them in a different pan in some oil.) When both the chicken and the peppers and onions are done slice it all up and put it together in one of the pans with a packet of Lawry’s Fajita Seasoning mix.

    Fry up some onions and green pepper….or better yet,  grill them! 

    It calls for a little water.  Then just let it simmer for a few minutes.  That’s it! I add diced, fresh tomatoes, some cilantro, sour cream and grated cheese on flour tortillas warmed up in the microwave.

    Add some tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro….maybe some sour cream? Guacamole? MMMMMM

    You could add some homemade guacamole to it and that would make it perfect!  If you prefer your own seasoning, I’d add garlic seasoning, coriander and cumin with some pepper.

    Ya wanna bite? 

    If I wasn’t so lazy I’d have had some guacamole with my chips! But salsa was a good 2nd best.
    Mucho delicioso! Fajitas are soooooo easy. I always wonder why people get them in a restaurant. It’s like ordering peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese!


    Well Brucie? What are we gonna make for dinner tonight? I want something fast and I’m kinda tired because, well,  school started and teachers are ALL tired out from standing and talking ALL DAY! 
    So let’s make some easy white chicken chili! 
    Here’s all my ingredients…..2 kinds of white beans….onion….and some squash from my garden (optional) I’ve GOT to start using up my garden veggies. It seems like I get a new Zucchini every day! 
    Chop up a cup of onion and a 1/2 cup of celery (and I added 1/2 cup yellow crookneck squash) 
    You could also use a 1/2 cup of frozen yellow or white corn just as easily…both optional.
    A small can of chopped green chili peppers go GREAT in white chicken chili….
    I used these spices….dash of lemon pepper, parsley, chili powder, onion salt, and Season Salt.... And I added 2 slices of lightly microwaved bacon….

     Well, and of course the chicken broiled and then diced up….I added a few cups of milk and dumped the beans in after the veggies were tender….it’s so easy…takes about 20 minutes to make.   And it’s great with hot bread sticks!


     Recipe for White Chicken Chili
    3    chicken breast boiled and cubed
    1    cup sauteed onion in butter
    1/2 cup chopped celery boiled for 10 minutes
    2    cans white beans any variety, butter, limas, great northern (1 use 2 varieties) add the liquid too.
    1    small can chopped green chilis
    1/2 cup yellow squash or frozen corn (optional) I just did this to use up my garden veggies….
    2    dashes of spices to taste  (onion salt, chili pepper, lemon pepper, parsley, Seasoning Salt)

    2 -3 cups of milk
    2 slices of microwaved bacon

    After onions are sauteed and celery and chicken are boiled and chopped add them to a pot of beans, chilis, milk and then add the spices. Boil for about 10 minutes. Serve with bread sticks and a salad.

    We saw a marvelous balloon launch at a park practically in our backyard…..it was really cool…..
    I’ve never seen one before….but it is so exciting and beautiful to watch!
    Here’s my hubs. I’m taking a picture of him taking a picture….snicker….
    I got a close up view to “feel the heat”….It is awesome! But I don’t think I would try it….
    There they go! It was all over in 10 minutes…..Bye guys!