Hi! I’m Melina, mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!

This is a recipe I grew up with, and it was so common at potlucks that we attended it became famous in a Christmas song for the times – a remake of the 12 Days of Christmas…On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a plate full of Honey Baked Chicken!!! lol. Great memories.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange 3 lbs of chicken legs or pieces on a cookie sheet, skin side up (parchment paper placed first will make clean up a lot easier.)

Combine and pour over:

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

Bake 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes, or until chicken is tender and nicely browned.

Enjoy! Bon appetit!


Hi! My name is Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!

Did you know that I used to have a small cottage business making and selling chocolates and fudges?? The kids and I sold at farmer’s markets, country fairs, festivals, craft sales, and even our local corner store. But like all good things, this era came to an end. At sales, but not at home. Especially at Christmas time. Long live candy!

I like to make a chocolate similar to Turtles, with ooey gooey caramel, lightly toasted pecans, and of course, chocolate. I do make them with milk chocolate, but my absolute best seller (and personal favourite) are made instead with white chocolate. I’ll post the recipe soon!

And now I feature…caramel that is not only ooey and gooey, but also quick to make…in the microwave! Like all things that I make (big family!), it makes a lot, so don’t be afraid to make a 1/2 recipe.


Before you start, you’ll want to prepare the dish that you will pour the caramel into. I use an 8×8 baking pan greased well with butter. These caramels can be cut into small squares after cooled (or used to make homemade caramel pecan chocolates -Turtles! More on that later).

Now, place all of the ingredients (except the water) into a microwave safe bowl or 8 cup glass measuring cup.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • (and a glass of cold water for later for testing the caramel)

*Please be careful. This mixture will get very hot.

Stir the ingredients well (in the bowl) using a rubber spatula (or large spoon). Put the spatula to the side, and place the bowl with the well mixed ingredients (but not the water!) into the microwave. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, then stir. Repeat 2 more times, making sure to stir in between. Now, you’re going to need the glass of cold water. Place a few drops of caramel mixture into the glass. You want those drops to hold their shape, but squish easily between your fingers. It will also become darker in colour. This is good. If you’re not sure if it’s quite done enough, it probably isn’t. If it’s not ready yet (and it probably won’t be), return to the microwave for another 2 minutes of cooking on high. Stir again. Test in the water again (get fresh cold water if needed). Keep repeating until you have the right consistency. Now, pour your caramel into the prepared 8×8 or 9×9 pan (check the instructions before the ingredients!). Stores well at room temperature for at least a week. But into small squares before or after storing. Cover with plastic wrap to keep fresh.


Hi! I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!

I like to make extra rice for supper one night just so we can have some rice pudding for dessert later that week. We quite enjoy this. Sweet, but not overly filling. A great gluten free dessert too, when needed. My daughter replaces the milk with coconut milk for a tasty dairy free version for her family. It is so versatile!

I suggest reading through the whole recipe before beginning.

Please note that there are 2 separate recipes with different amount. Use one or the other.



  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Add all of the ingredients to a pot. Bring to boil on the stove. Lower temperature to simmer. Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 cup raisins. Simmer 30-45 minutes, or until almost all milk is absorbed. (Needs to bubble while simmering.) Add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. For creamier pudding add an extra 1/2 cup milk.

OR (for a larger amount of rice pudding)

  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups cooked rice
  • 1 liter (quart) milk
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Add all of the ingredients to a large pot. Bring to boil on the stove. Lower temperature to simmer. Stir in 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/3 cup raisins. Simmer 30-45 minutes, or until almost all milk is absorbed. (Needs to bubble while simmering.) Add 1 tsp. cinnamon. For creamier pudding, add an extra 1/2 cup milk.

Bon appétit!

Check out all our recipes on our page:  CATHOLIC BUFFET


Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!

This recipe is actually one that I saved from my Home Economics class from junior high school.  Loved it then, love it now.  And my kids had never had zucchini loaf!  I guess I’ve never grown zucchini before.  But it was a hit.  This year I planted a nice big garden, and are we ever enjoying it.  Right now we’re getting 3-4 zucchini every day, because all the seeds I planted grew these giant plants!  But that’s okay, we have lots of family to share with, when we don’t eat it all ourselves.  Soon will be tomatoes and cucumbers…


Preheat your oven to 325 degree F.  Prepare 2 loaf pans by greasing well.  Set aside.

Combine in a large bowl, mixing well:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups grated raw zucchini, skins included
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • (optional – add in 1 cup of grated carrots too)

Add the following:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • (optional – 1 cup chopped walnuts.  I always omit.)

Mix well and pour into the well greased loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour.  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool slightly before removing.  Serve immediately, or wrap well when cooled.  For longer storage, keep refrigerated.  Freezes well too.  Can be served with butter.

Bon appetit!

Check out all our recipes on our page:  CATHOLIC BUFFET


Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 5!

This crumble topping can top any fruit, from apples, to apple rhubarb, to rhubarb, to strawberries, to canned pie filling…your imagination is the limit.  If you cut the recipe in half, you can also top a Dutch Apple Pie (crust bottom, crisp topping).  The butter in it gives it a sweet caramel taste.  Yum!  


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Use a GLASS or CERAMIC 9×13 pan, or line a metal one (the rhubarb likes to discolour the metal).

Spray or grease a 9×13 GLASS pan.  In the bottom of the pan add:

  • a good layer of cut up rhubarb (4 cups +)
  • top with a layer or 2 of apples (6-10 apples), peeled, cored and sliced

Mix together:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and rhubarb.  Cover well with the topping (recipe to follow).  Place the dessert in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Serve warm or cold.  Great with ice cream or whipped cream.


Makes enough for a 9×13 pan.  HALVE the recipe to cover a pie or a 9×9 pan.

Mix together with a pastry cutter or a fork:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • cinnamon, if desired

Mix well until the mixture is the texture of crumbles.  Place crumble topping on your favourite fruit dessert and bake according to recipe.

Bon appetit!

Check out all our recipes on our page:  CATHOLIC BUFFET

BANANA LOAF (muffins)

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!

We love this loaf, but I also get a lot of compliments on it.  Just make sure that your bananas are starting to turn black on the peel to ensure that they are ripe and sweet.  You can also make this loaf into muffins for a handheld treat.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together in a bowl (I use my electric mixer):

  • 1/2 cup lard (or butter, or margarine)
  • 1 cup white sugar

Once well mixed, add:

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (3 med. bananas)
  • 3 Tbsp. milk mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar to sour milk
  • 2 eggs

Make sure these are mixed until smooth.  Add:

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix well.  Pour into a well greased loaf pan (or muffin tins).

Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 30-40 minutes.  Muffins cook for 15-20 minutes.  Makes 1 loaf or 12 muffins.

Bon appetit!

Check out all our recipes on our page:  CATHOLIC BUFFET


Hi!  I’m Melina!  Homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!

I’ll be experimenting with vegan recipes for a little bit, and posting about the ones I try.  I’ve made these burgers before, but it had been a long time.  One thing to keep in mind, is that these burgers are not the consistency of ground beef.  They are a lot softer.  I’ll be experimenting on ways to make them firmer.  I’ll keep you posted.

My husband absolutely loves these, I love them, one of the kids likes them the way they are, a couple complained they were the wrong texture.  Two wouldn’t even try them.  But still, they are very delicious.  I would recommend them to anyone, and serve them to guests.  Perhaps toppings of lettuce and tomatoes, or even mayo and salsa, are better than mustard, ketchup and pickles on these black bean burgers.

BLACK BEAN BURGERS (makes 8 burgers) – vegan

Fry up with a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on the stove:

  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet pepper, chopped
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, minced

Once the veggies are soft, top the veggies with:

  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric

Gently stir, remove the pan from the heat, and set aside.  Add to a blender:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, or 1 can, black beans, drained
  • 1 cup cooked rice (I like to use basmati)
  • cooked veggies (from pan)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. salt

Blend until well pureed.  When finished, scrape the mixture out of the blender into a mixing bowl using a rubber spatula.  To the puree, add:

  • 2 cups bread crumbs or 1/2 cups already pureed quick oats
  • hot sauce to taste, if desired
  • 2 Tbsp. salsa, or 1 Tbsp. ketchup (add more if necessary)

I like to have extra bread crumbs or pureed oats for dipping the patties in after formed.  So, that being said, form the mixture into patties, dip in crumbs or oats to coat, and place on a plate.  Separate layers with waxed paper or parchment paper.  Fry the patties in a small amount of oil, or grill on the bbq until heated and slightly browned.  Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Serve in burger buns with desired toppings.  I like tomatoes and lettuce.


***Check out more meatless recipe ideas here:  40 KID FRIENDLY MEATLESS LENTEN IDEAS

***Check out all our recipes on our page:  CATHOLIC BUFFET

ALFAJORES (Argentinian Cookie)

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!

I made these cookies for our Argentinian Christmas celebration on July 25th, and they were a hit!  Hubby declared them amazing.  I hope you enjoy them too!


Mix together in a bowl and set aside:

  •  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 1/8 cups cornstarch
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Add in a mixer bowl, then mix well with the paddle attachment:

  •  1 cup butter, at room temperature
  •  3/4 cup granulated sugar or 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar (I used powdered sugar)
  •  1 teaspoon grated lemon zest , optional
  •  5 large egg yolks
  •  1 teaspoons vanilla extract

The mixture should be very soft.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a disc shape, and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before attempting to roll out.  When chilled roll out the dough on a lightly dusted surface to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut the cookies into round shapes using a small glass or cookie cutter (less than 2″ round).  Place the cookies on a parchment papered cookie sheet.  Bake the cookies until slightly brown on the edges at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 9-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to complete cooling.   Store when cooled in a sealed container for up to 1 week (or in the freezer for up to 2 months).  These cookies can be filled with DULCE DE LECHE (bought or home made) right after cooled before storage, or filled just before serving.  (They are good with no filling also.)  After filled, roll each cookie edge in shredded or desiccated coconut (about 1/2 cup needed, total).


  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Place the sweetened condensed milk into a tall glass bowl or measuring cup (the bigger the better so it doesn’t overflow).  Place the sweetened condense milk bowl in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir with a fork.  Continue microwaving at 1 minute intervals and stirring until the milk is turning brown and is thickening.  Expect it to take at least 13 minutes.  Remember that it will thicken more when cool.  Cool the dulce de leche.  Now you can fill your cookies, using 2 spoons or by placing in a pastry tube and squeezing.  Place the filling on the bottom of 1 cookie, and cover with a second cookie.  Squeeze the 2 cookies together until the filling reaches the edges of the cookie.  It is traditional and nice to roll the edges of the cookies in shredded or desiccated coconut.  You’ll need about 1/2 cup of coconut.

Dulce de leche is a great filling for cookies, but it is also a great spread on toast, awesome on ice cream, and an amazing dip for apples.  I bet you can find your favourite way to eat this carmelized spread.




Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!

I like tacos, but I LOVE taco dip!  It can be served cold, but it is especially good warmed up in the oven with ooey, gooey cheese stringing up to your mouth with each scoop from a tortilla chip….  LOL…enjoy!

First you need to prepare your taco meat.  Cook up about a 1/2 a pound of ground beef in a fry pan until no longer pink.  Drain then add a touch of water and half a packet of taco seasoning, or make your own and add a couple of Tablespoons of seasoning!  My taco seasoning recipe is here.


Layer in a 9×13 pan (or double and put on a cookie sheet!):

  • 1 block of creamed cream cheese, spread on bottom of pan
  • 1/2 pound of seasoned taco meat, sprinkle over the cream cheese layer
  • enough grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella or monterrey jack or your favourite cheese) to lightly cover the meat (about 1/2 pound)
  • finely sliced/shredded iceberg lettuce spread over the grated cheese

Serve cold, or heat in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Eat by scooping with crunchy tortilla chips.


More great taco recipes:

Taco Salad

Taco Seasoning

Taco Tuesday

Check out all our recipes on our page:  CATHOLIC BUFFET

Conquering the Tongue

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 5!
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”   Proverbs 12:18
I’m going to share a secret with you: I’m not perfect. It’s true! Even though it might be hard to believe (not!).  But I am a work in progress.
For the longest time, my automatic response when talking with my husband has been to put him down. Not often, but too often. How did this happen, and when did it start? I don’t know. It probably comes from a sense of insecurity in myself. As I grow closer to God, so does my sense of security. This fight response has always made me cringe. As soon as the words leave my mouth, I wish they hadn’t. And I’ve been working really hard to change this. I would much rather my words heal than hurt.
My first goal was to just bite my tongue, to stop my destructive behaviour. To stop hurting the one I love with all my heart. How could I tell him I love him in one sentence, and tear him down in the next? All my acts of love and service mean nothing when my words aren’t backing up those acts.
Next goal was to speak words of encouragement and honour. Sounds easy enough, but it was like I had to reprogram my brain. It was a conscious effort. A worthy effort. But such an effort!
Finally this week, I can say that it is a natural (though not yet perfect) impulse to praise my husband and build him up. Finally. I pray it continues! Not only does hubby feel better (I can tell), but so do I. This is especially important for our relationship as his primary love language is words of affirmation. I’m hopeful that seeing (and feeling) my successes over my tongue this week will only continue to grow this good work in me. My husband deserves it. And I feel a sigh of relief.  Another step towards wisdom?  I sure hope so.
Being homebound most of the time these days has allowed me to focus my energies where they are most needed – on my family. God has placed these precious treasures in my care, and it is my desire to be worthy of this task. And with God’s help, I can conquer anything.