Melissa Arenson

I got married at 19, so I knew nothing about how to run a house. When I quit working to finish out my bachelor’s degree (student teaching) and then to complete my master’s degree full-time, I decided it was time to take up the role of house wife. I started cooking slow-cooker recipes that could cook while I was at school and then I discovered I LOVE to cook. It’s how I distress. My mother-in-law was a wonderful help and this website gave me lots of new ideas to try. Now I’m the best cook in both my family and my husband’s family!
Scrambled Eggs Done Right
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

I joined just to rate this recipe. I've had two eggs everyday since I tried this recipe! Soooo good! They are light and fluffy with an extra kick of flavor. Toast a bagle, heat up some bacon slices, and top with eggs and american cheese for a quick, filling breakfast!

Clone of a Cinnabon
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

Great!!! It takes a lot of time and attention once the bread machine is done, but it is way worth it. Also, the instruction that says to wait until the bread has doubled in size is confusing. The bread machine does it automatically on the dough cycle so skip that part.

Cranberry Cinnamon Cookies
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

This was a great recipe! I hate cookies that are too sweet, but the mix of sour cranberries and cinnamon made this recipe great. I only froze the dough for about 40 minutes and that still worked out though it was a bit sticky. Also, I hate doughy cookies so I cooked them the suggested time and then left them in and watched them until they were the texture I like. The first couple were good, but they were super hard the next day so I had to microwave them every time I wanted some. I would advise following the cook time and letting them sit to see how they harden. Mine looked raw, but I bet they woudl have hardened into perfection.

Honey Ginger Carrots
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

My husband only eats peas and green beans, so after 6 years I’ve decided we have to branch out. I found this recipe and we both loved it (impressive because I hate carrots). I used baby carrots and just sliced the really thick ones in half. I also let them simmer for about 5 more minutes on the stove and was grateful I did since they were still very crispy but good. Increase ginger to at least 1t. Otherwise they only taste like honey. Very good, will make again.

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Ham Bone Soup
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

I do not like beans, but had a ham bone left and didn't want to waste it so I tried this recipe. It was surprisingly good but very salty. However, the salt was manageable. I did not cook it in a crock pot, but in a pot on the stove. It didn’t take long, only about 30 minutes until the potatoes were done so I had to turn the heat way down until we were ready to eat. I also used canned northern beans instead of kidney because I don’t like the texture of kidney beans but found that the toughness of the kidney bean is needed since the soup boils so long to get the flavor of the bone out.

Allie's Delicious Baked Dumplings
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

These were a little bland for me. I prefer more flavor to my dumplings. I think maybe the glaze is very neccessary since we used ice cream instead.

BBQ Glazed Homemade Meatballs
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

I agree with others that the sauce really does have to be doubled. Aside from that, these meatballs were good (everyone I made them for loved them), but they lacked that special kick I was looking for. AND they were very greasy. I think using premade, frozen meatballs might fix that.

BBQ Cola Meatballs
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

The sauce was too sour for me.

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Marinated Tuna Steak
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

I really love fish and the reviews were great on this, but it just didn't have a very good flavor. I know part of this may be the difference in preferences, but I even adjusted it and it still wasn't great. I added quite a bit of red pepper flakes, which did help, but maybe it needs some cayanne pepper. Just something to make it pop.

Spinach and Mushroom Casserole
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

Really loved it, but like everyone else, I made changes. First, I halved it which was perfect for just me and leftovers (someone suggested serving it with shrimp over rice, which I plan to try b/c it was so good). I also took others advice and just sauteed the mushrooms, onions, and spinach in the same pan with a light layer of cooking spray instead of butter. I didn't remove the stems (it seemed like a waste of time and still tasted fine). I added a splach of worchesterchire and lemon juice before putting it in the dish to bake. Instead of cheddar, which I think would overpower the flavor of the veggies, I used a small amount of swiss and covered the rest in an italian blend of romano, parm, mozz, and guyer.

Pizza Pinwheels
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

So wonderful! I made these two years ago for a football party and my husband and I enjoyed them so much that they've started to replace our weekly pizza date. They're cheaper to make than homemade pizza and way cheaper than pizza hut (alas, it's the only option in town!).

Slow Cooker Ham
Rating: Unrated
Melissa Arenson's rating

I have tried many recipes and this really is the best ham recipe I've found! Both my mother and myself do not like ham, but I served this last Easter because my husband loves ham, and we were both delighted. So easy, plus it left the oven open for turkey and other sides.

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