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!