Hawaiian Style Meatloaf (or Hidden Treasures)


Hawaiian Style Meatloafsource: su-lin

I make this recipe several times a year. It is loosely based on a recipe I received from my mother-in-law decades ago. She called this meatloaf Hidden Treasures, because of the hot dogs inside.


2 pounds ground meat

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup mashed potato flakes

2  1/2 tbsp onion soup mix

1/3 cup pineapple juice

1/3 cup + 1/4 cup ketchup

2 eggs, beaten

5 hot dogs, halved lengthwise

6 pineapple rings, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ground meat, brown sugar, mashed potato flakes, onion soup mix, pineapple juice, 1/3 cup ketchup and eggs.

Place half the meat mixture into a medium baking pan. Top with the 10 hot dog halves. Arrange the rest of the meat mixture on top of the hot dogs, making a neat loaf.

Bake for one hour, covered. Remove cover. Pour out excess fat (I do this into a unwanted jar or onto the ground to avoid clogging the sink.)

Spread the 1/4 cup ketchup on top of meatloaf, and bake for another 20-30 minutes without cover.

Option 1: Top meatloaf with the pineapple rings before baking. When spreading the ketchup after the first hour, pineapple rings can also be coated.

Option 2: The mashed potato flakes can be replaced by 1/4 cup fresh mashed potatoes and 1/4 cup matzoh meal.

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Favorite Craft Books



Here is a list of the craft books I currently own, the books I did own but got rid of, and the books I would like to purchase. I love to see what other people are reading, and I thought you may too.

Craft Books I Own

Landscape Quilts by Nancy Zeiman – This is a beautiful book, but I wish the instructions were a little more clear.

Trip Around the World Quilt (Quilt in a Day Series) by Eleanor Burns – I don’t like the fabric choices but the instructions are super clear.

Quick Watercolor Quilts: The Fuse, Fold, and Stitch Method by Dana Pappas – Pretty designs and excellent instructions.

Scrap Quilts (Leisure Arts #1947) by Beverly Rivers – Beautiful designs and color combinations plus I love the idea of making something beautiful from a throw-away.

Creative Sketches for Scrapbooking by Becky Higgins – Features layouts and shows several ways to use each one.

A Year of Scrapbooking by Debbie Janasak – This is not my favorite scrapbooking book, but it is nice, and has a little bit of everything.

My Creative Companion: The Ultimate Scrapbooking Resource by Becky Higgens – I like this one a lot. Nothing here but tons of ideas for scrapbooking elements…titles, tags, lettering, etc.

Scrapbook Borders, Corners & Titles by Memory Makers – This is my favorite scrapbooking book. It’s full of really nice, creative ideas.

More 3D Origami: Step-By-Step Illustrations by Joie Staff – I actually handled one of these designs in real life and it was amazing…solid and good looking. I’m dying to try a project myself.

Craft Books I Got Rid Of

Quick Sewing Projects from Placemats by Susan Beck – This wasn’t a bad book, but I’ve seen everything in it elsewhere. Nothing new.

Making Handbags: Retro, Chic, Luxurious by Ellen Goldstein-Lynch – There was nothing in this book that I wanted to make, so I got rid of it.

Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay: 30 Techniques & Projects That Imitate Stones, Metals, Wood & More by Irene Semanchuk Dean – I was crazy to get rid of this book. Big mistake!

Art Stamping Workshop by Gloria Page – I bought this book for the explanation on stamp carving but the projects were a bit disappointment. I gave this book to my mom.

Polymer Clay Extravaganza by Lisa Pavelka – Another book I was dumb to get rid of. One day I’ll get another copy.

Polymer Clay: Creating Functional and Decorative Objects by Jacqueline Gikow – Selling this one was also a very big mistake. Eventually I will rebuy it.

Quilting Makes the Quilt by Lee Cleland – Beautiful book with great instructions but I’m just not that “into” quilting.

Quick Country Quilting: Over 80 Projects Featuring Easy, Timesaving Techniques by Debbie Mumm – This book is okay, just not fabulous.

Nostalgia Patchwork & Quilting by Robby Savonen – This is another book that wasn’t bad, just not great.

Craft Books I Want To Buy

Watercolor Landscape Quilts: Quick No-Fuss Fold & Sew Technique by Cathy Geier – I already have a book on landscape quilting, but this one looks so appealing!

What Crafts Books Do You Own?

I’d love to hear about your favorite craft books. Please leave me a message with the names of the books you’re reading, and why. I’ll publish your responses as an update to this article.

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The Old Fashioned Recipe Notebook


recipe-notebookBefore I left the US, and decided to pare down my belongings, I owned 300+ cookbooks.  Even now, when I’ve spent the last six years simplifying my life, I still have over 100 cookbooks.  And yet, I rarely cook from a book.

Like a lot of women, at least 90% of the meals I make come from my own recipes,  accumulated over the years. My great aunt had slips of paper stuck in a cookbook and my mother had index cards organized in a file box, but it was all the same idea.  We  begged recipes from any great cook we came across, and kept them forever.

How I Store Recipes

I first stored my 25 year old accumulation of recipes by taping and stapling them into a spiral notebook.  When the pages started to fall apart, I glued them to computer paper, hole punched them, and filed them in a binder. In ten years, when the binder cracks, I’ll just buy a new one. The one thing I’ll never do, is throw the recipes out.

What’s In My Notebook?

The recipes in my notebook come from dozens of sources.  Some are from family members and neighbors whose food was so good I wanted to duplicate it.  Some of the recipes come from AllRecipes.com, my favorite online cooking source.  And, a lot, come from cookbooks.

The Cookbooks I Culled Recipes From

I must have penciled in recipes from at least 50 different cookbooks, but here are the ones that stick out in my mind.

  1. a biscuit and a pancake recipe from an old Joy of Cooking
  2. a universal muffin and a grain recipe from Tightwad Gazette
  3. a herb biscuit recipe from Herbal Treasures
  4. tons of pasta recipes from The 5 in 10 Pasta Cookbook
  5. a pizza dough recipe from The Fanny Farmer Baking Book
  6. a broccoli sauce recipe from an early Mollie Katzen books
  7. a chili recipe from Quickies (Chatelaine)

If you’ve spent years working on your own cookbook, or if you’ve inherited one from a relative, I’d love to hear about it.  Please drop me a line the comment box, and I’ll be happy to post it.

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Oven-Baked Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Oven-baked Grilled Cheese Sandwichsource: queenkv

This oven-baked sandwich tastes just like it was grilled in a frying pan. I got the idea for the basic recipe from Allrecipes.com.  The original was titled Awesome Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, in case you’d like to look it up.


bread, 4 slices per person

margarine or butter

any kind of sliced or grated cheese (American, cheddar, etc.)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place half the bread slices butter side down on a non-stick cookie pan. Place cheese on each slice of bread. Cover cheese with a second slice of bread, butter side facing out.  Bake for six minutes, turn and bake six more minutes or till medium brown.


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Dr. Bob Scrapbook Page


My husband is a big fan of the Twelve Steps. He lost around 175 pounds and has kept the weight off for about 10 years. He feels that he would never have been able to do it without the “program”.

So, off course when we were driving through Ohio, we HAD to stop off at Dr. Bob’s house. Dr. Bob’s kitchen is where much of the history AA took place. We toured the house, watched a video and bought a couple of things from the gift shop. Right before we left we took this picture of my now slim husband.

I’d love to give you a tutorial for making this page, but there’s really nothing to it. All I did is mount the photo on white cardstock and glue it on scrapbooking paper. Then I printed the title, cut it out and glued that down too. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes.

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Mezze Recipes


mezzaImage by Ariela R.

I live in the Middle East.

Here, company or holiday meals always start with a wide selection of Mezze.  Mezze are tiny dishes, usually simple salads, breads, and spreads, that are laid out family style before the meal begins. Mezze are the western equivalent of appetizers, but served much more frequently.

Why are mezze on my mind?

I’ll be eating at my sister-in-laws table tonight. I can almost predict there will be an enormous selection of mezze available. Her usual dishes are challah, dill dip/spread, fish, eggplant salad, zhug (middle eastern version of pesto),  charif (hot sauce), hummus, techina, eggs and onions,  pickles and olives, sliced and seasoned onions, and tossed salad. She also will probably add one or two extras like carrot salad or Israeli salad.

Mezze sounds like a tremendous amount of work, but it’s not.  It  isn’t  nearly as much trouble to throw together as it seems. Most of the dishes are available ready made and at very reasonable prices for the small amounts needed. Other dishes, like coleslaw, are very easy to produce.  People generally serve a combination  of purchased and homemade mezze.

If you’d like to create your own mezze, here are a couple of  recipes I posted in the past:

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Free Book: Handicrafts In The Home


Handicrafts In The HomeI just found a wonderful and free online book at a website called the Home Economics Archive.

The book is called Handicrafts In The Home and it was written in 1910 by Mabel Tuke Priestman. Handicrafts in the Home gives instructions for 21 different crafts. The book has chapters on piercing sheet metal, repousse work and etching on metal. Some other chapter are Pyrography, pulled rugs and artistic darning.

This is an excellent book and you don’t want to miss taking at least a quick look at it.

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