Thursday, December 10, 2009

Healthy AND Delicious?!?

DING DING DING, We have a winner! This dip would make a great side to those less than healthy sandwiches, or would be healthier choice over those yummy but artery clogging cheese dips for Super Bowl Sunday- and the best part- people will love it and devour it just as fast!

I made this dip last night for Ryan to take to work for a Christmas thing today. He asked me to send him the recipe for some ladies at work and while I was at it, I figured I would add it on here. Luckily, I saved myself a small bowl of it so I have a picture, and I am getting to enjoy some now to remind me just how good it is!=) I think all the Braithwait women have made this dip numerous times. It's a keeper!!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 can petite diced tomatoes, well drained
1 can shoepeg corn
1 can black beans, rinsed adn drained
2 Tbs. chopped red onion *
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro *
1 tsp. chipolte chili peppers (I just used some diced jalapenos with some
chipolte seasoning for a little kick)
1/4 tsp. salt*
pinch of sugar
squeeze of fresh lime

*- I add extra to taste
(you can easily double the recipe for a crowd)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill for atleast 30 minutes.
Stir before serving with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just in Case You're on a Sandwich Kick

I know, two sandwich recipes in a row. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, who doesn't love a sandwich? Correction: who doesn't love a mean sandwich? Yeah, we aren't bologna and bread kinda people, we like a good, packed sandwich, which for us does pose a problem. It's a lot of work to get out all the stuff to make a sandwich and a lot of times we just don't and I often let perfectly good sandwich meat go to waste. Do you have this problem? Well, this recipes, my friends, is the answer! These sandwiches can be made up ahead of time and frozen!!! That, second to their yummy taste of course, is what makes them so wonderful! The "recipe" part of this is really more for the spread and I do know a lot of people make them on those little dinner rolls in a foil pan and have them for party food. If they are just for us, I go ahead and do them on full sandwich hoagies.

Oven Ham Sandwiches

For 6 sandwiches:
2 packages thin sliced ham (or about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 package (or 12 slices) salami
6 slices provolone
6 slices cheddar
(you can change up the meat and cheese as you like, this is just our preference)
6 sandwich hoagies

1 stick butter (yeah if you haven't noticed yet, this is not a sandwich for dieters)
1 Tbs. worcestershire
1 Tbs. Poppy seeds
2 Tbs. mustard
2 Tbs. grated onion

Slice rolls and slather spread generously on both sides with spread. Assemble with meats and cheeses. Wrap in foil and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Remove, unwrap, and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winter Staple

This is definitely a winter staple in our house. I love to make it for football games and it hits the spot on any brisk afternoon. Today my hubby had a big day at work and I wanted him to feel good when he walked in the door, so I had the kids ready for naps, the house cleaned up, a candle lit, and this in the crock pot with the aroma filling the house(this doesn't happen on a regular basis =). Sounds good, huh! We thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm willing to bet you would too!

French Dip Sandwiches in the Crock

1 boneless chuck roast (3 1/2- 4lbs- I make more for a big gathering, less for just us)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 beef bouillon cube (a lot of times I will just do beef broth-atleast 2 cans- cause I don't use bouillion cubes that often and usually end up throwing them out)
1 bay leaf
3-4 peppercorns
1 tsp dried, crushed rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
(I also like to add a few dashes of Worcestershire)
French rolls, split

Place trimmed roast in slow cooker. Combine rest of ingredients (minus the rolls, obviously) and pour over roast. Add water to slow cooker until roast is almost covered. Cook, covered, on low for about 7 hours or until very tender. Remove and shred/ slice. I dump it back into the pot with the juice and just have a ladle for the juice. Serve on rolls (we toast in the oven with Provolone) and reserved broth for dipping. I also like to serve with sauteed onions and sometimes peppers.

I know the onions look not so great in the pic- if onions aren't your thing, leave them off,  but if they are your thing, mmm, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not A Lost Cause

So any of you few that may actually check/use this site, just wanted you to know, it is not a lost cause!! I am planning on continuing with it, it's just our end of summer got crazy, then Sadie arrived and I just haven't done much cooking, and what I have done is either not really share worthy or just repeats, SO...

Now that we are done getting "new baby" meals I will hopefully be picking back up with cooking and will try to find time to get back on board with getting some new recipes on here. Just to prove it to you, I will atleast include a "no recipe idea" for you that is on our stove here tonight.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you like Mexican soups, don't think you can't easily make your own creation at home. It's a great way to get creative or use up stuff from your pantry. Just dump and taste! Here's generally how I do mine.

  • chopped cooked chicken -I have used canned, rotisserie, or like tonight I boiled a 3 pack of breasts to use the extra broth- but 2 breasts would have been enough- so whatever you have or find easiest
  • beans- my fave is black beans- but really a white bean (northern beans) would be fine too
  • tomatoes- I like to use a can of tomatoes and green chilies for the extra kick
  • corn- a can or a bag of frozen- either works
  • chopped onion and fresh garlic- if you don't have these just use garlic and onion powders
  • chicken broth- again I used the broth from my cooked chicken, plus a four cup carton of store bought
  • rice- I like to cook up some rice and throw that in
  • spices- I always use lots of cumin and some chili powder- or you can even use taco seasoning if you have that. Obviously salt and pepper.
  • peppers- tonight I threw in just a small amount of chopped jalapenos, guess I'm feeling a little extra spicy =)
  • We top ours with crunched tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream--- just cause we're healthy like that!
Dump it all in your pot and simmer on your stove top- oh I'd say atleast thirty minutes and there you have it! Easy as... well... soup!

Thanks again for sticking with me and again hope to be back soon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh So Berry Good!

I am sitting here enjoying a bowl of reheated blackberry cobbler that I made last night for Father's Day. I found this recipe last summer and loved it, and I can't believe I am just now making it again. I think I love it so much because it is just so simple- it's like a cobbler your grandma would make. If you like berries, you will love this!!! And by the way, I am well aware I am no Pioneer Woman- in neither my cooking skills, and certainly not in my photography skills, but I did include step by step pictures for this one that are solely for practical purposes =) Hopefully they will help with the instructions, despite their unprettiness- how could they be pretty with my lovely taupe laminate counter tops for a background anyways? (Oh well=)

Blackberry Cobbler
1 cup butter divided (that is 2 sticks, so there is no need to divide)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups self rising flour (if not self rising, use the same amount regular with 1/4 tsp. salt and 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder- but I tell you, I do love the self rising for this recipe!)
1/3 cup milk, room temperature
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. sugar

In 10 in. oval or round baking dish, melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter; set aside.
In saucepan, heat sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved.
Place flour in mixing bowl; cut in remaining butter (second stick- which is good to have softened) until fine crumbs form.
Add milk, stirring with a fork until dough leaves the side of the bowl.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead three or four times.

Roll out to an 11x9 in. rectangle that is about 1/4 in. thick.

Spread berries over dough and sprinkle with cinnamon. (I like to smash some of my berries up a little during this step.)

Roll up, jelly roll style. (My dough sometimes crack in this step- especially if I use frozen berries that are still a little cold- I don't think it hurts anything. I also do this on wax paper not to stain those beloved taupe Formica counters too badly)

Cut into 1/4 in. thick slices and carefully lay slices in baking dish over butter. (I usually have to smush them in there and still end up with two layers- that is perfectly good.)

Pour sugar syrup around slices. (You will think uh- oh! But trust me it is supposed to look like that- I promise the water will absorb!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with sugar and bake 15 minutes more and this is what you will pull out....

My favorite way to serve it is hot with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream... duh!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sweet Treat

I for some reason woke up yesterday morning wanting to make these, and once I have something in my head I want to do, well, we know that that usually turns out....

(Martha's picture- I thought this one may look more appetizing than mine below =)

This is a Martha Stewart recipe that I used to make over at a family that I used to work for, keeping their kids after school. The mom was quite the cook AND baker!!! I am not a great baker, but she would leave me ideas for things I could make in the afternoons with all the ingredients there, and I always loved it that she did that. Again, I'm not the greatest baker, even though baking is in my blood ( My grandfather was a baker by profession- and an awesome one at that, and my mom actually just did her 1st wedding cake!) Despite the fact that the genes apparently skipped me, I do enjoy it **when I have the extra time** I don't like to bake in a rush. If you've got the time, these cookies are pretty fun to make- and of course even more fun to eat!!

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup sugar- for rolling dough in
36 mini Reese's cups, unwrapped and chilled ( my batch never makes 36 cookies worth, so you may not want to unwrap that many to start with)

Heat oven to 350.

Mix Peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add in brown sugar and beat well, scraping down sides as needed. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt to mix. Beat into the peanut butter mixture in two batches until well mixed.

Roll dough into balls by Tablespoon and roll to coat in the sugar.
Place on insulated baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes or until starting to slightly puff up. Remove and press a peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie. Return to oven and bake an additional 6 minutes, or until golden. Let cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bringing Jamaica to You!

When we were dating Ryan decided he wanted to be sure he knew how to grill. So I got him the Grilling for Dummies book to help him out. =) I hadn't looked at this in years, but when we were in the mood to grill the other night and I wanted some inspiration I pulled this book out of my cookbook cabinet. I saw this recipe and decided that I wanted to give it a whirl- even though it sounded totally different- I have never made a jerk marinade before. Some of the ingredients sounded strange to me, but after looking at several other jerk recipes, it lined right up- so we did it and it was AWESOME! Ryan was skeptical at 1st when I said I was going to make jerk chicken- as the memories of the lime green bony stuff we "ate" on our mission trip to Jamaica came flooding into his head. "No honey, that was the curried goat that we ate after seeing it sitting on some one's doorstep on the way to our work site that morning." Relieved that that was NOT was I was planning on setting before him that night, he jumped on board and he thought it was delightfully delicious as well!! Even though he would never use the words "delightfully delicious" himself =). Be daring- give it a try- you won't be disappointed, I promise.

Jerk Seasoned Chicken Breasts

About 2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts ( the recipe said eight, but for me, that was a five pack)

1/ 4cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 scallions, finely chopped (green and white parts)
4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbs. lime juice (about 1 lime will produce that for ya!)
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. dried leaf time
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Trim chicken of fat and rinse and dry well. Combine remaining ingredients, beating with a fork or whisk to mix well. Place chicken in a large freezer bag (or a shallow dish) and pour marinade over. Seal the bag pressing out the air, and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, turning occasionally to coat well.

Place chicken on well oiled, preheated grill and grill for 10-12 minutes total (5-6 on each side) or until done.

Seriously even if you are freaked out by the ingredients- try it! We had it with Lipton's oven roasted potatoes and roasted fresh asparagus. Yummy!

Yes, Another Casserole

I cooked this recipe the other night on a night where we didn't really know what to have and I was looking for something simple. I wasn't really expecting it to be something to brag about or to make as a "usual", but we actually really enjoyed it and I will definitely make it from now on. It's beefy, noodley creamy, saucy, and cheesy- and for me that spells comfort food!!! If you shied away from the previous pasta casserole that I just posted because it had too much "stuff" you weren't a fan of- this one may be a little more up your ally. I also got this out of our church cookbook.

Toula's Casserole

1 lb. ground beef ( I used a little more)
16 oz. can tomatoes ( I always prefer the petite diced for stuff like this)
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz. noodles ( I used wide egg noodles)
1 cup sour cream
3 oz. cream cheese
6 green onions, chopped (I didn't use quite that many)
1 cup (+) grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Brown meat and drain. Stir in tomato sauce, salt, garlic, and sugar. ( I also added some Italian seasoning in, thinking it may need something more, I then thought I might regret that decision since this isn't really specifically an Italian dish, but I definitely don't think it hurt anything, and may have added some flavor- I also of course peppered the sauce generously). Simmer for 10 minutes. Cook noodles and drain. While warm, mix sour cream, cream cheese, and onions in with noodles.
Layer in a baking dish ( my 2 1/2 qt. Corning wear was filled, but fir perfect). Start with meat, then noodles, then a layer of cheese and then I did another layer of meat and topped with cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes.

I didn't take a picture this time around, because we just dug in and I really didn't think it was much to impress- but it reallywas a good simple, comforting and satisfying meal paired with a salad.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

One Dish Bliss

Here you have a true meal in one. I tried this recipe that a gal I know had put in our church cookbook and I believe she said she got it from a Southern Living easy weeknight meals. I wasn't sure how it would turn out with all the ingredients and I didn't want it to taste too "casseroley" with the cream soup and all, but it really didn't and we enjoyed it as just a good hearty meal.
It was easy, but I did it on a night when I had lots of time to dirty and clean dishes as I went and do all my prep work- if you don't you will have the sink piled up with dirty bowls and pots by the time you are done, and that is no fun! It would make a great meal to take to someone- just bring it to them made up and ready to pop in the oven.

Three Cheese Chicken Pasta

8 oz. penne pasta ( I cooked more)
1 tsp olive oil
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 small red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 box frozen spinach
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
16 oz. cottage cheese
2 c. shredded roasted chicken (using a rotisserie chicken is the way to go)
1 c. sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 425.

Cook pasta and spinach according to package and drain. (Drain spinach well!!)

Heat olive oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Saute mushrooms, peppers, and onion for about 4 minutes. Add spinach, oregano, and pepper and saute an additional 3 minutes. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine cottage cheese, spinach mixture, pasta, chicken, 3/4 c. cheddar, and 1/4 c. Parmesan, milk, and soup. Spoon into a greased 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and bake for 25 minutes.

A Healthier Choice

We are not health nuts by any stretch of the imagination- but I am always open to trying healthy things and I would probably try cooking with light ingredients more often if my husband was more open to the idea- not that I want to eat beans and rice all the time- but you know what I mean. Anyway, maybe we made some progress last week when I made... gasp... TURKEY BURGERS! I had ordered one at a restaurant that was very good and was wanting to give it a whirl. So these are the ones I made and I must say, I thought it was delicious and even Ryan- who was completely UNstoked about the idea, enjoyed them I believe.

Tex- Mex Turkey Burgers

1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 Tbs. dried cilantro flakes ( I used fresh because I love fresh cilantro so much!)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
4 hamburger buns split ( I toasted mine)
4 lettuce leaves

In bowl, combine turkey, taco seasoning, and cilantro- shape into four patties ( I got 2 packs of turkey and doubled the seasoning and it made 5 nice large patties). Grill covered, over medium heat 5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with cheese and grill 2-3 minutes longer, until melted. Combine sour cream and salsa. Serve burgers on buns with lettuce and sour cream mixture.

Friday, May 15, 2009

No Recipe Required- Meal Idea #5

Last night when 5:00 rolled around, and I knew the question of "What are we going to do for dinner?" was looming over our heads- I decided to forgo asking Ryan, since that usually gets me no where and think of something creative on my own. I have been kind of digging the finding what's around and trying to use it up thang lately. I had two chicken breasts left from a dinner I am making for a family with a new baby, so I decided to cook them up, shred them , and use them for a BBQ chicken pizza. My other toppings were pretty much extra things I had left in the fridge that were left over or just staples. SOO this is a fun way to get creative, but here is how I did mine.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 can Pillsbury pizza dough- cooked at 425 for 8 minutes BEFORE topping- 10-12 minutes after toppings
BBQ sauce- I would recommend using one you really like- we love Rendevous (locally) but this last time I bought some I bought "Sticky Fingers" and it is delicious!
2 chicken breasts- cooked and shredded- I did in a skillet with my usual base seasoning of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
Other Toppings:
Red onion- sliced into small strips
Red Sweet Pepper- sliced into small strips
Green Onion- chopped (I just wanted to use this up and thought it would add something green- wasn't sure if it would be onion overkill, but it wasn't)
Bacon-3 slices, fried and crumbled
I layered all my ingredients on partially baked crust, then sprinkled with a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes and topped with shredded Colby Jack Cheese and returned to oven to bake.
Before cheese and baking- Finished-
Let me know if you come up with any other toppings that would be good!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just the Way Yo' Momma Makes It

My mom was never an avid cooker when I was young, but she did have several "signature" things that I will always remember her making often. You know- it's those things that I think we feel like "Nobody makes them as good as our mom did." So there are a few things I am sure I will always make just like my mom did and that to me is the best way since I never really knew any different. I made one of my mom's old recipes last night and thought I would share- her meatloaf.

Some of you may cringe at the word "meatloaf" and I'm not going to say I blame you. That's why I like my mom's and it is the only meatloaf I have ever really eaten. TRUST ME- I dont' want to eat mystery meat with three colors of the rainbow fleckered through it, either. That's why I love this simple and tasty recipe. It really is good, and my husband (and Bennett of course!=)would agree!
Mom's Meatloaf

about 3 lbs. ground beef

2 eggs

1 cup oats

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 large onion chopped

salt and pepper

Mix these ingredients well (you'r going to have to use your hands and it's going to hurt=) Then mix in about

1/2 cup milk.

Form into two loaves and place in greased baking dish. I always squirt some ketchup on the tops before baking for looks. Bake at 350 for about 1 hr. 15 min. It's always a good idea to serve with some mashed potatoes or the good ole' southern staple-Hashbrown casserole (pictured above) for an all around comfort meal.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Trying Something New

I love to read cookbooks and sometimes I get on this kick where I just want to try all kinds of new and different from the usual type things. Last night, I made a new meal- taking a huge risk- by trying two new recipes for both the main dish and my side. But I must say they both turned out good! I got them from my Taste of Home Busy Family cookbook- which why wouldn't I love a cookbook directed toward being simple and easy =). So we tried these two and liked them both.
Spicy Flank Steak

1/3 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. mayo
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. celery salt
2 Tbs. Chili sauce
1 Tbs. lime juice
1/2 -1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1 beef flank steak (1-1 1/2 lbs.)

Combine 1st 4 ingredients in small bowl and refrigerate until serving. Combine chili sauce, lime juice ( 1/2 fresh lime squeezed is about a Tbs.), red pepper flakes, and salt- I double the basting sauce- brush on both sides of steak. Broil 2-3 in. from heat for 6-8 min. on each side. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with sour cream sauce (which is yummy!).

*Instead of broiling, we grilled the steak for 8-9 minutes on each side.

If you've never made flank steak, this is what you are looking for. This was my second attempt at a flank steak recipe- the 1st was a honey based recipe and I didn't care for how sweet it was, and that time I used "flat iron steak" which I have heard both is and isn't the same thing. We liked this far better- and Ryan asked the butcher for a fresh cut of flank steak b/c all they had out were flat iron steaks- I'm still not real sure if they are the same or not. It is not a real tender piece of meat, but it holds the flavor well and is budget friendly. All in all we enjoyed this meal- and I was especially digging the corn recipe.

Creamy Southwestern Corn

Creamy Southwestern Corn
(The cookbook called this "Spicy Cream Corn"- But I changed the name, because I didn't think there was anything about this recipe that was spicy)
3 oz. Cream Cheese, cubed
1 can (15 1/4 oz) corn, drained- *I used frozen, thawed just b/c we aren't huge canned vegetable people
1 can(4 oz) chopped green chilies
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper

In large saucepan, combine ingredients. Cooke over medium heat, striring often, until cheese is melted and warmed through.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Creamy Caesar Chicken Pasta

My friend made this for a baby shower she hosted a few weeks ago. I had to go back for seconds, but had to refrain from embarrassing myself by going back for thirds, ha!!! I asked her for the recipe so I could make it for our monthly Grace group tonight, and I am having a hard time not picking in it while it sits in a warm oven waiting to go! It's simple and satisfying and mmm, mmm good!

Creamy Caesar Chicken Pasta
(not sure what the official name of this recipe is=)

1 lb. bowtie pasta, cooked
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast- cut into bite size pieces
1-2 cups green peas, cooked (If Ryan had his way, these would be left out)
8 oz. package of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 Bottle *Ken's Creamy Caesar dressing
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Generously salt and pepper chicken (I also used some garlic powder) and saute in a skillet with butter or olive oil.
Saute onions and mushrooms ( I added them to the same skillet after the chicken was more than half way done)
(Transfer to serving dish)
Add in peas and pasta and pour dressing over, mix well, and top with Parmesan.

Squash Medley

So have you noticed yet we like squash around here?? Well, we do and I love this casserole recipe that I have made for several years since Ryan's mom made it when we were dating. A few weeks ago we had it with some barbecue chicken legs and a baked potato. And being the over analyzer that I am I feel weird putting back to back recipe using stuffing mix too, but I am making myself get over it- I think these are my only two reciped that even use stuffing, but oh well.

Squash Medley

1 1/4 lb. squash (I usually use around 4 zucchini and 2 yellow summer squash), thinly sliced
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 carrots (more or less)- I like to puree them instead of slicing them
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup diced onion
1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix

Mix all ingredients except stuffing. Pour into casserole pan and top with stuffing mix. Bake at 350 for 40 minuted covered, and 20 uncovered.

I always make a huge dish mess when I make this because I use my food processor and my mandolin slicer, but it is so worth it! Also makes a great side for holiday meals!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ooey Gooey Good Chicken

I stole this recipe from another blogger's recipe blog. I wasn't sure what I thought really at first about the recipe, but after reading a lot of comments about how good it was I thought I would try it- I also gathered that it seems to be a fairly common dish that people make. We were not disappointed, it was really good!!! My favorite part is that it took literally five minutes to put together before throwing it in the oven. I also read it freezes well, I may make a batch to put in my freezer!

Swiss Stuffing Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
1- 6 oz. pack Swiss cheese (sliced)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup Herb Stuffing Mix
1/2 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay chicken in buttered baking dish. Top with slices of Swiss. Mix together soup and wine and salt and pepper. Pour over cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top and drizzled melted butter over. Bake for about 50 minutes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Recipe Required- Meal Idea #4

Sometimes I wonder if most people realize how easy it is is to make your own Alfredo sauce. There are many nights that we don't know what we are going to have for dinner that we just make some "garlic butter pasta" (which is just as it sounds- olive oil, butter, and lots of garlic all sauteed then tossed with pasta) or Alfredo sauce. I LOVE Alfredo ( it's creamy and bad for you, of course I would like it wouldn't I?) but I honestly DO NOT like jarred Alfredo in the slightest. If you buy it refrigerated, that stuff is okay, but I have yet to find a jar of Alfredo sauce that tastes right to me. And why would I want to? Making my own is a cinch! Here is your No Recipe Meal Idea for today-

Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

(Even though, we did have this- with the pesto and chicken variations last night for dinner, I did not take a pic so I stole one form the internet this time around)

Okay so for a bare bones Alfredo sauce all you need is, kid you not, is: butter, cream or half and half, and Parmesan cheese (grated works best), and salt and pepper of course. Seriously that is all there is to it!! I do, however, add garlic every time because I think it gives it more flavor, and well I love garlic!

SO- I melt oh about 1/2 stick butter in a pan on medium low heat and let my garlic (about 3 cloves, minced) cook just a little in it before I add my cream. Then I pour in 1-2 cups cream or half and half- exact measurements really aren't vital.

Bring it to a low boil, stirring regularly- Meanwhile, cooking pasta. Add Parmesan cheese to sauce - I don't usually measure, but it's a pretty generous amount- 3/4 cup or so? This should help thicken your sauce. Some people don't even cook their sauce- they just add the ingredients to hot, drained pasta- I cook mine since I use garlic so that the flavor cooks through. When your pasta of choice is done and drained, just pour sauce in with it and toss- add more Parmesan as needed.

**Other variations I like to do:
  • Add a couple tablespoons full of store bought pesto to your sauce.

  • Cook chicken (boneless skinless breasts) in a skillet, browning on both sides and cooking through. Drain some and add sauce to chicken to simmer, then serve over pasta.

  • And one of my favorite meals period- I like to chop up some red onion and put it in my butter with the garlic to saute for a bit- then continue Alfredo as before. Then when my pasta is done boiling, I toss into the water (with the noodles and all) a full container/bag of fresh spinach. Let it sit in the boiling water for literally a few seconds before you turn the stove off. Turn it off and let stand for a couple second until it is just cooked (doesn't take more than a few more seconds) then I drain my pasta and spinach all at once and add my garlic and onion Alfredo sauce. YUM!
What variations do you do?

Monday, April 6, 2009

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

I made this cheese cake for our Grace Group this weekend and was very pleased and I think most everyone else seemed to be too! I got the recipe from (If you don't use this cooking website, you should!) There are a couple things I want to do a little different next time I make it- maybe I will try it again for Easter- it is an all around WINNER and came out beautifully, other than I want my crust a little thicker next time!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
1 cup chocolate wafer cookies crushed (I used Oreos and will use 2 cups next time)
3 Tbs. Sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix and press into the bottom of spring form pan.
Raspberry Sauce:
1 10 oz. bag frozen raspberries
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
Combine in saucepan and bring to boil. Boil five minutes until thickened. Strain to remove seeds.
**This was the trickiest part. Getting the seeds out is a little rough. I ended up adding some water to get it to run through the strainer better. I then felt like it was too runny, so I added more sugar and cornstarch and reboiled until thick again. This worked well- it had a little less of the raspberry tang, but I was okay with that. I don't know if I will try another technique next time?
White Chocolate Sauce:
2 cups (12 oz. bag) white chocolate chips
1/2 cup half and half
Melt together in microwave safe dish. the original recipe says to heat in bowl over pan of simmering water- I didn't bother with all that- the microwave worked just fine, just don't heat for more than 20 seconds at a time to prevent scorching and stir between each heating.
Cheesecake Filling:
3- 8 oz. packs cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and white chocolate sauce and blend well.
Pour half of the batter over the crust. Spoon 3 Tbs. of the raspberry sauce over. Pour remaining batter on top and follow with another 3 Tbs. raspberry sauce. Swirl with the tip of a sharp knife.
Bake 55-60 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool and chill at least 8 hours. Garnish as desired and serve with remaining raspberry sauce.
(I heard a tip to keep the cheesecake from sinking and cracking is to turn off your oven when it is done baking and leave the cheesecake in there- I read once with the door open and once didn't specify) I left the door open to make sure it didn't burn. I think this may have helped?)
You won't be disappointed!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Double Duty Zucchini

Once it starts getting nice outside don't you just start craving fresh food?! Ryan and I often eat too much or too late at lunch and end up just wanting something light for dinner. Last night I got a strange craving for some gazpacho- (cold soup). Since all the recipes I wanted to make you have to chill overnight or 8 hours. I knew that wasn't going to work, so I decided to take the same fresh veggie route and we had Grilled Veggie Pizzas and while I was at the store getting stuff (i.e. zucchini) I decided to still get the stuff to make my gazpacho too- so here are two- light and veggie filled meals for you!

Grilled Vegetable Pizzas

(This recipe is actually from one of the more recent Better Homes and Gardens Cook Books- so I'm willing to bet you have it- you may just not have realized it!)

1-2 medium zucchini quartered lengthwise
1-2 yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise
1 small sweet red pepper, quartered lengthwise
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large, ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 Tb.s store bought pesto
1 Tbs. fresh basil
1 Tbs. fresh oregano
4 6-7 in. flour tortillas
1 cup shredded mozzarella or smoked provolone

1. Brush veggies (minus tomato) with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until crisp and tender- 5-6 minutes for squashes and 10 minutes for pepper (turning halfway through)-- I accidentally chopped all my veggies first so I just made a foil pouch and grilled them until tender). Remove from grill.
2. Chop vegetables. In medium bowl veggies, tomato, mayo, pesto, basil, and oregano. Place tortillas on grill and toast lightly (1-2 minutes). Flip and spread veg. mixture over toasted side of tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and grill 2-3 minutes more until lightly toasted and cheese is melted. Remove from grill and enjoy! (Since I went a little heavy on the cheese, I ended up bringing them in and broiling to finish melting my cheese without over toasting my tortilla- you want them to be crisp but not blackened).

** I have made the gazpacho and it is chilling, but I haven't tried it yet- I will post it on here if it is any good- I am too afraid to put something up I haven't tried yet and can't vouch for. Hopefully, it will be coming soon...

Monday, March 23, 2009

No Recipe Required- Meal Idea #3

We did this easy dinner this weekend, and when wanting some down home kinda cookin' it's good, but it's not for the extreme health conscious, so if you one of those, skip this! It definitely doesn't fit into the current trends of cooking, it's more like what an old school southern or midwestern mom would cook up, but hey sometimes I feel like that!

Minute Steaks
Skillet Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole

If you've never made minute steaks, you buy "cube steak" from the store. They normally come in packs of four and look like skinny beef patties that someone took a punch roller to. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat- just enough to generously cover the bottom of the pan. Set out 2 dishes. Fill one with flour and seasoning (I usually just do pepper and Seasoned salt) and fill the other with your "binder"- evaporated milk or eggs, beaten both work well. Dip steaks in milk/ eggs and then into flour mixture, coating well. Place in oil and cook until no longer pink- about 4 minutes on each side.

For my potatoes, I slice them thin with my mandolin slicer (2 large or 3-4 small is more than enough for two people). Melt half stick of butter in frying pan and place potatoes in. I season them generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I even continue seasoning them through cooking when I flip them , to make sure each slice gets coated since they tend to stick together. I would give yourself forty minutes or so for these, especially if you like them to crisp up! Flip several times to brown on all sides.Yum!

Lastly we did green bean casserole- you know the stuff- 1-1/2 bags frozen green beans (I like French cut) thawed, a can of cream soup (celery or mushroom) and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 35 minutes at 350- remove and top with French fried onions and bake for an extra five.

And there you have an easy, BUDGET FRIENDLY, no recipe required meal in 45 minutes start to finish.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake....

1/2 c butter
2 whole eggs
2 TBSP (heaping) cocoa
2 1/4 c of cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP white vinegar
1 1/2 c sugar
2 ounces (1/4 c) red food coloring
1 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs. Make a paste of food coloring and cocoa and add to the creamed mixture. Add alternate buttermilk with flour and salt, then add the vanilla. Add soda to the vinegar. HOLD OVER THE BOWL, AS IT FOAMS! Then add the soda and vinegar to the mixture, blending instead of beating. Bake 25 to 30 mins. at 350 degrees in two 8-inch greased and floured round cake pans. Cool on racks. Using very sharp knife, or dental floss (yes, dental floss!) split each layer into 2 layers. Make sure the center of the cake comes clean on a tooth pick before you remove from oven... I found it needed about 8 minutes longer in my oven.

Frosting for Red Velvet Cake

3 tablespoons flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Blend flour in a little of the cold milk and then add rest of milk and cook, stirring constantly until it forms a ball. Cook flour and milk until very thick. Remove from heat, and cool. Cream sugar, butter and vanilla until very light and fluffy. Add to first mixture. It should have a light texture similar to whipped creme. Frost all four layers and sprinkle with coconut.

I have never seen flour in frosting.... but it is YUMMY!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Can't Go Wrong With This One!

I really think this is an ideal recipe. I got it from my husband's high school's cookbook and it is quick and so easy (can you tell yet that I like easy?) and totally satisfying without being as heavy as say a casserole. It's also an easy recipe to have the ingredients on hand for. If you like chicken, this one is a winner all around! I make it often and have made it to take to new moms (as long as you have a way to keep it hot).

Rosemary Chicken

1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbs Soy sauce
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary- regular or crushed
1 Tbs garlic, crushed (I just mince 3-4 good size cloves)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I have made it with boneless, skinless thighs as well- it is still good but since this is a fairly salty recipe to start with- if you like things less salty, I would definitely stick to just breasts)
3 cups cooked rice

Combine 1st 7 ingredients. Place chicken in ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Pour mixture over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

(If your thinking your not a big fan of plain rice- just do what we do- pour the juice from the chicken over it and ti is sooo good! I think I usually double the ingredients to the sauce just to make sure there is plenty for the rice.) My favorite side to put with this is grilled or roasted fresh asparagus.

*Pictured with thighs, but better with chicken breast

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fire Up the Grill Baby!!

Okay now that spring is truly just around the corner and we have had at least a taste of some beautiful weather- it time to start grilling!! We had Ryan's brother and sister-in-law and our sweet little niece over last weekend and grilled out. We grilled this pork with the rub I found a couple years ago and have used several times since- we just love it. It's so easy and you most likely have the few ingredients on hand.

Grilled Pork Rub

** This is per 2 lbs. pork- I always cook more so I adjust accordingly**
3 Tbs. brown sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 lbs. pork- can use on tenderloin, loin, or even chops!

Combine well in a bowl. Coat pork generously and refrigerate 30 minutes- 3 hours. Grease grill and cook accordingly (about 25- 30 minutes for tenderloin, 45 min. for loin, and about 10-15 minutes per side for thick cut chops) Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Delicious and moist! This weekend I served this with mashed potato casserole and roasted broccoli and grape tomatoes.

Roasted broccoli is really good if you have never tried it. I take my fresh broccoli head, cut into florets, lay out on a baking sheet with a pint of grape tomatoes. I drizzle them with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake in the oven at 400- 425 degrees for about 20 +/- minutes. You'll really just want to watch them on the time, you want it to be nicely browned and toasted but not overcooked. Even if your not the worlds biggest broccoli fan, you just may want to give this a try!

Mashed Potato Casserole

My grandmother and Ryan's mom have both always made these, so of course I followed suit. They are a forever favorite.

Mashed Potato Casserole/ Do Ahead Mashed Potatoes

About 6-8 lbs. potatoes- peeled and diced
1 stick butter
1 8 oz. bar cream cheese
1 pint sour cream (16 oz)
1 medium or a little over 1/2 large onion- grated

Boil potatoes in large stock pot until they break with a fork. Drain and mash. Add in all ingredients and mash/ mix well- (I mash then get out my beater). Place tehm in a large casserole dish. At this point you can refirgerate them for up to a couple days (i.e for large holiday meals), hence why my grandmother called them do ahead mashed potatoes- I usually however just make them all at once. Top with a couple pads of butter and some paprika if you want to make it look pretty =). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. This dish also travels well!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Yahoo for Scotcheroos!!

**EDIT: I originally forgot the measurement for peanut butter in the ingredients list. It is there now, sorry for the confusion.**

I have been craving these like crazy lately and finally made a pan this weekend! My cravings were not disappointed. This is an easy, yummy dessert that I crave for the chewy texture. So good!

Chocolate Scotcheroos- AKA- Special K Bars

1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups crispy rice cereal ( some recipes I see say Rice Krispies- I only use Special K Rice Flakes)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Butter a 9x13 pan.
In saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and corn syrup- bringing to a rolling boil (do not over boil or they will be hard as rocks). remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Mix in cereal until evenly coated. Press into pan. In glass dish (measuring cup) microwave chips, stopping and stirring every 30-45 seconds to prevent scorching, until smooth and well blended. Spread over top and chill until set. Cut into bars.

**Note- they will be very hard to cut when they have been refrigerated for a while. I like them chilled, but I do set them out a little ahead of time so they aren't quite as hard. Enjoy the chewy chocolaty goodness!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Baby, It's (Still) Cold Outside

Okay, so spring is just around the corner, but I wanted to include this recipe before it got here. Soup cooking is about to die down a bit I'm sure (even though I can eat soup any day of the year), but you just may have one last chilly day that would be crying for a pot of soup on the stove, and this particular pot of soup is a great pick!!

Potato Leek Soup

6-8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken broth
3-4 leeks sliced
1 cup cream ( I always use way more)
Bacon, cooked and crumbled- or even the real bacon pieces in a bag are still pretty decent
Shredded Cheese

Boil potatoes in chicken broth. Saute leeks in butter (or bacon grease if you fried your own bacon) until soft. Add in the pot with the potatoes. Add bacon and cream (you can use half and half if you want to make it at least a little more figure friendly). Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer and serve with cheese.

I always buy extra broth and extra cream so that I have plenty and can add more if I need. If you've never cooked with a leek before, they look like giant green onions. I cut the "rooty" part of the bulb and the really flat parts at the top and use everything in between. I slice them in halves lengthwise and then chop them.They are like a milder onion and are absolutely delicious. This soup is easy and so satisfying! Enjoy!

I don't have a picture now, but next time I make this I will be sure to take one and add it on =)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Favorite

Okay, so I have only made this a few times, but it has been a hit and will probably be a forever keeper for me. And well, if you know me at all, you know I LOVE Mexican, so no wonder I love it! I did a risky thing, actually, the 1st time I made this I made for a friend who had a new baby- and despite the fact that I used a WHOLE can of diced jalapenos on accident instead of green chilies (which ups the heat factor about 300%! When I realized I did that to a nursing mother I could have died!) she said they were some of the best enchiladas they have had and loved them, so I thought I would include them on here. I must say- I used two ingredients that were specifically Costco items and I think they were key ingredients in making them as good as they were, but I am sure if you aren't a Costco person, they will be good with whatever you do use.

Chicken Enchiladas

~~~Note: (+) means I use more to taste~~~

2 Tbs. Olive oil

1 cup chopped onion (one medium sized onion)

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

2-3 cups (8-12 oz.) shredded or chopped cooked chicken

**I used Kirkland brand canned chicken breast- it is good canned meat and on top of making your job easier, I like how well it shreds as opposed to cooking it myself- I think I used 2-3 cans

1 tsp. ground cumin (+)

4 oz. (+) cream cheese (the original recipe calls for reduced fat- if you prefer that)

salt and pepper

2 cans chopped green chilies

2 medium sized cloves garlic (+), peeled

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (+)

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup tomato salsa (I used Kirkland Organic salsa- it is amazing)

8-10 flour tortillas (6-7 in. each)

2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican style cheese blend (+)

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.
  2. Place olive oil in large skillet and saute onion and pepper over medium heat until soft, about 4-5 minutes. remove from heat and stir in chicken and cumin. Add cream cheese and place back over heat. Cook until cheese melts and creates a sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set filling aside.
  3. Place chilies, garlic, cilantro, and oregano in food processor blender and blend until nearly smooth, about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and salsa and blend until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of your baking pan and set aside.
  4. Place tortillas on a work surface and spoon chicken filling down center of each tortilla, dividing evenly. Take shredded cheese and set aside the majority (I just by a 4 cup bag so I don't have to worry about measuring it out and saving enough) for topping, and use the rest on top of the chicken filling before wrapping each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place them seam side down in baking dish, squeezing them to fit as needed. Pour remaining sauce over the top and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.

  5. Bake until the cheese melts and the sauce is bubbly, 25- 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve with your toppings of choice--i.e. sour cream, shredded lettuce.

For my side items with this I like to make Mexican rice and black beans with lime juice. This time I just did the beans just because we weren't really hungry enough for all taht food. We love to scoop the beans up in the same bite as the enchilada. Mmmm.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just GOOOD Chocolate Cake

2 Cups Sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 cups flour (not necessary to use cake flour)
2 tsp. soda
1/2 cup cocoa
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients well, pour into lightly oiled and dusted with flour, 9x13 pan, bake @ 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Frost with favorite or store bought frosting...

Fast, easy and best with big glass of ice cold milk....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dinner Ideas- No Recipe Required

I thought I would try to include on this blog from time to time, some general dinner ideas. Sometimes you don't want to drag out a cook book, measure things out, peruse the grocery aisles for every exact ingredient- Sometimes you just want to make something and just don't know what. We always hate the dreaded "what do we do for dinner?" question. Just making the decision sometimes is more than half the battle in our house. So I thought I would include this "No Recipe Required Dinner Ideas" for those nights that we just need some inspiration on a direction to head.

I have two that we have done this week:

Dinner Idea #1

Grilled Chicken ( we did boneless skinless thighs and I seasoned with Lemon Pepper)
Grilled Zucchini (I use my mandolin slicer to slice them in planks lengthwise and they grill beautifully)
Baked Potato (Just good old fashioned potato in the oven- dressed to your liking)

What a satisfying, easy dinner with little work and even better- hardly any clean up! Also, you only have to pick up three things at the store.

Dinner Idea #2

Shepherd's Pie

Who's mom didn't make Shepherd's Pie when you were a kid? This had been sounding good to me lately so I made it last night for dinner. Talk about a meal with no rules- my mom used to use corn as her vegetable and anything else she could find leftover in our fridge to use up. Once I had Ryan's mom's that she made with green beans and a tomato sauce in her meat. I liked it like that and that way has stuck with me.

So her is how I did mine:

Browned my ground beef (a little less than 3lbs) with chopped onion and seasonings (you can be creative)- I just used salt and pepper, oregano, and some garlic powder. I drained it and mixed in two cans of tomato soup (You can use anything for your tomato sauce- I chose soup to keep it mild)
Meanwhile, I cooked and mashed my potatoes with butter, milk, and some sour cream.
I layered in my big casserole dish- my meat, a thawed bag of frozen french cut beans, my potatoes, and topped with some shredded cheddar and sprinkled with Paprika.
I baked at 350 for about 30-40 minutes.
It hit the spot for us! And if your leftover people like us, you've got dinner for the next couple nights.

I hope the picture is a bonus for you- I felt like a nerd taking a picture of our food, but I thought if it would add something to the blog I would do it =) So I hope you like it. Haha.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ryan's Favorite Dish

My friend, Erica, said I should put this recipe on here, and of course!- It is Ryan's favorite thing, after all! I always make this for him if I want him to feel special- he loves it. I originally found this recipe online and have come across it a couple times since, it is a keeper.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

2 chicken breast, cut into small peices or slices
2 tsp (+) cajun seasoning
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
green onion, minced
1- 1/2 cup cream (I use more)
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs. (+) grated parmesan cheese

Coat chicken in cajun seasoning. In large skillet, saute chicken in butter until no longer pink. Add pepper and green onion. Cook 2-3 minutes, or just until tender. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Season with seasonings and heat through. Mix with your favorite pasta- we like bow tie. Mix in parmesan cheese to desired thickness.

** This is one of those recipes that I gave the orginal measurements as a guide to start you off, but I really just throw them out the window and pretty much do everything to taste- we like things pretty flavorful so I usually add a little more of everything. I use more cream to make sure it is good and creamy. I use more red pepper than green- it's all about the way you like it with this one! Yum!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Broccoli & Ham Quiche

1-10" unbaked pie shell
8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Half and Half
Dash of Nutmeg
Layer in pie crust as follows:

4 cups broccoli - chopped fine
1 cup ham, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6+ strips of bacon, crumbled
1 cup swiss cheese, shredded
(Red pepper for garnish)
Beat eggs, add Half and Half and nutmeg; mix well. Layer ingredients in order given in unbaked pie shell. Pour egg mixture on top. Arrange pepper strips on top of mixture. Sprinkle with Nutmeg. Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour or until knife comes out clean in center of pie.

THIS RECIPE can also be used as a Breakfast Casserole:

Double the filling, (enough to cover the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan), then, instead of crust, make a layer on the bottom of the pan with Hashbrowns from the freezer. Pour egg mixture over all. Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour or until a knife comes out clean from the center.

This would go nicely with either a Mimosa for breakfast, or a glass of Chardonay for dinner.
Slice fruit on the side would be an added bonus.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This Dip's for You, Mom!

Okay my mom has asked me for this recipe about 10 times. Apparently she never writes it down when I give it to her- so now you can't ask again mom =)

Party Cheese Dip

2 lbs. Velveeta
1 lb. ground beef (browned and drained)
1 can enchilada sauce
2 cans RoTel
1 cup rice, cooked
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup water
Heat in large pot or slow cooker. Serve with your favorite chips.

My mother-in-law was actually the 1st to make this and it is a good variation to your regular RoTel cheese dip. While it is still just as terrible- since with the other ingredients it doesn't re-congeal into a solid block of cheese the shape of your storage container after being refrigerated, it somehow makes it seem a little less artery- clogging. I know that line of thinking doesn't actually work, but hey, it makes me feel better! Also, with the beef and rice, it is a little easier to make a meal out of it!

An Easy Meal In One!

This is a great, super simple dinner I love to make when I'm not sure what we want and I don't feel like a lot of work. I got it from my Betty Crocker One Dish Meals Cookbook- it doesn't get any easier than this folks!!

Cajun Pork Tenderloin with Vegetables

Package of Pork tenderloin or even just pork loin
Cajun Seasoning
2-4 baking or Yukon gold potatoes
4 zucchini
1 onion
4 Tbs. butter, melted, or olive oil
dried thyme

Heat oven to 425. Rub pork with Cajun seasoning. Place in ungreased jelly roll pan (large cookie sheet).
Cut potatoes and zucchini into bite size chunks. I like to chop my onion up into wedges- you may not use the whole onion. Arrange veggies around the pork. Drizzle butter or olive oil over them and sprinkle with thyme and salt.
Bake uncovered about 35 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 155 degrees (longer if using pork loin- probably at least 45 min). Loosely cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Slice and serve with veggie.

Grab yourself some crusty bread and you've got a satisfying and simple meal in one! Yum!

To Kick This Off

Okay, so I am starting this blog for a couple of reasons. I am not sure how good I will be at keeping up with it, but here was kind of my thinking- I get asked often for recipes and I am terrible about getting them to people- SO- I thought I could put them on this site and then just direct people here when they ask for recipes. Also, I thought it was a cool way to organize recipes- you can categorize them with labels, to make it easy to find what you want! I am hoping I can get some other family members to contribute as well.... We will see!

Oh and as far as my picture at the top goes- haha, this is not a familiar scene in our house, but I thought the pic was too cute and who knows, maybe someday it can happen here =)