Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tator Tot Casserole



Tator Tot Casserole by Sonia D

1 lb ground beef*
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cans green beans, drained
2 cans corn, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 t garlic powder
Tony Cachere's Creole seasoning, to taste

1. Brown meat with onions; drain. In a bowl (I used a huge pan to brown the meat so I did the next step in the pan) add meat, soups, veggies, and seasonings; mix well.
2. Pour into a 13x9" dish (or 2 8x8 dishes) and top with tator tots.
3. Bake at 375 for 50 minutes or until tator tots are browned. Optional-add cheddar cheese and place in oven until melted.

Can be made ahead and frozen before baking. Thaw and bake as directed.

*I try to keep ground beef and onions in the freezer already cooked as a short-cut.

In my opinion: This was delicious, healthy, super fast, and easy. It required few dishes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Steak Fajita Chili

Steak Fajita Chili by Paula Deen (Jan/Feb '08 magazine)

1 lb flank steak
2 T vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 c water
3 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can ranch-style beans
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (14.5 oz) can petit diced tomatoes
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
3 t Ancho chili powder
2 t ground cumin
2 t fresh lime juice
1 t garlic salt
1 t ground black pepper
garnish: shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream

1. Cut steak across grain into thin strips. Cut strips into 1" pieces.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add peppers and onions; cook 5 minutes. Stir in water through pepper.
4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
5. Garnish with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

In my opinion:
This was fabulous. It is such a healthy meal too. It makes at least 10 servings so get out the plastic containers and freeze some for another day or share with friends. There are few dishes and other than the time it takes to chop all the vegetables, it is a simple meal.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fiesta Chicken

Fiesta Chicken by thatsmyhome.com

1/2 c butter
1 3/4 c cheddar cheese crackers, finely crushed
2 T taco seasoning mix
8 chicken breasts, boned, skinned, & flattened (sounds like a good stress reliever)
5 green onions, chopped
4 oz green chiles, chopped
2 c heavy cream
1 t instant chicken bouillon
2 c grated Monterey Jack cheese

1. Melt butter and pour 2/3 into 9x13" baking dish. Set aside.
2. Combine cracker crumbs and taco mix. Dredge chicken in this mixture. Pat it on so that you get a lot of the mix on the chicken. Place in baking dish.
3. In the saucepan with the butter, add the onions. Saute until softened. Then add green chiles, heavy cream, bouillon, and cheese. Mix and stir until smooth.
4. Pour over the chicken breasts. Bake uncovered 50-60 minutes.
Serves 6-8

In my opinion: this was really good. I think it would be good as enchiladas too. The only negative comment is it required a lot of dishes. Definitely not a "busy mom's meal."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan by Better Homes and Gardens

2 c frozen chopped broccoli (we leave this out)
3 T butter
3 T all purpose flour
1/8 t pepper
dash ground nutmeg
3/4 c light cream or milk
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c shredded swiss cheese
2 T dry white wine
1 1/2 c cubed cooked chicken or turkey
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cook broccoli according to package directions; drain. Arrange in 10x6x2" baking dish.
3. For sauce: in medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour through nutmeg. Add cream and broth all at once. Cook & stir til thickened and bubbly.
4. Add swiss cheese and wine, stirring until cheese melts.
5. Pour half of sauce over broccoli. Top with chicken, then remaining sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and paprika.
6. Bake about 20 minutes or til heated through.

In my opinion: this was good, easy to make, and required few dishes...always a plus for me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Margarita Pie

Margarita Pie by Eagle Brand

1 1/4 c finely crushed pretzels
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c plus 2 T butter
14 oz can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c lime juice
2 T tequila
2 T triple sec
1 1/2 c whipping cream, whipped
Additional whipping cream, orange twists, and mint leaves for garnish.

1. Combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and butter; press firmly on bottom and up side to rim of lightly buttered 9"pie plate.
2. In large bowl, combine Eagle milk, lime juice, tequila, and triple sec; mix well. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon mixture into prepared crust.
3. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or freeze until firm. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers in fridge or freezer.


Note: I will add a little green food coloring next time for effects.

Chuck Wagon Dinner

Chuck Wagon Dinner by recipegoldmine.com easy...makes alot

1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 packet chili seasoning
2 8 oz tomato sauce
5 oz evaporated milk
4 oz diced green chiles
10 oz cream mushroom soup
15 oz ranch style beans
1 c shredded Cheddar
15 oz Fritos

1. in large skillet, brown ground beef and onion. Pour meat and onion into collander, rinse and return to skillet.
2. Add chili seasoning and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5 minutes.
3. Add milk through beasn, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Sprinkle fritos into bowl. Cover with mixture and cheese.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bacon Spinach Salad

Bacon Spinach Salad by Kraft


5 c torn spinach
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 c thinkly sliced red onions
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 c Catalina Fat Free Dressing



Toss all ingredients. Add dressing. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Citrus Salmon

Citrus Salmon by Cooking Light

2 t orange zest
1/2 c fresh orange juice (1 orange)
1/4 c low-sodium soy sauce
4 6 oz salmon fillets 1" thick
cooking spray
2 t vegetable oil
1 t bottled, minced garlic
1/2 t salt

1. Combine 1st 3 ingredients in a ziptop plastic bag; add salmon. Seal. Marinatein refrigerator 30 minutes.
2. Preheat over to 500.
3. Remove fillets from bag (discard). Place skin side down in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray.
4. Cook 13 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


It's time for Menu Plan Monday. Thanks for stopping by. If you haven't already, go to Organized Junkie for more, great menus. I usually link my meals but this week I'll be trying a lot of new recipes. Come back for the recipes plus my opinion on the recipe.

Sunday: Supper Club Halloween dinner at friends' house. Click here for Halloween menu.

Monday: Paula Deen's Steak Fajita Chili (recipe to be posted soon)

Tuesday (ballet night): Quick Voila in a bag

Wednesday: Paula Deen's Irish Stew

Thursday: Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Friday: Family night out

Saturday: Mesquite Lime Chicken on the Grill

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cranberry (White) Chocolate Nut Pie

Cranberry (White) Chocolate Nut Pie by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

3/4 c dried cranberries
1/2 c brandy or OJ
1/2 (15 oz pkg) deep pie crust
1/3 c butter, melted & cooled
1 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1/8 t salt
1 c chopped walnuts
3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 oz white baking bars, chopped
*sweetened whipped cream

1. In a small bowl combine dried cranberries and brandy. Cover and chill at least one hour. Drain and reserve 1 T brandy.
2. Preheat oven to 325. Prepare pastry and line 9" pie plate (I used pre-made).
3. In a medium bowl whisk together butter through salt. Stir in walnuts through baking bars until just combined. Stir in cranberries and 1 T reserved brandy mixture. Spoon into pie crust.
4. Bake 65 minutes, loosely covering pie with foil the last 30 minutes of baking.
Cool on rack.

*Top with sweetened whipped cream: In chilled mixing bowl add 1 c whipping cream, 2 T sugar, and 1/2 t vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on medium until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 8-10 servings

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Recipes

I can't tell you how excited I am that it is Fall and time for baking. Last year I started collecting as many pumpkin recipes as I could. I wish I had the time to try them all but here are some of my favorites:

Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
Pumpkin Pie Crunch everyone must try this!
Pumpkin Pancakes
4 Layer Pumpkin Cake

There are more fabulous pumpkin recipes on my family blog (I haven't had time to move them here yet. Please visit Aggieland Mommy.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana this makes a lot It really is a unique, flavorful soup


1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 1/2 t crushed red pepper
1 large white onion, diced
4 T bacon, chopped
2 t garlic puree
6 c water
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1 c heavy cream
1 lb. sliced russet potatoes
1/4 bunch Kale


1. Saute Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in pot. Drain fat, refrigerate.
2. In the same pot, sautee bacon, onions, & garlic for approximately 15 minutes until onions are soft.
3. Mix chicken bouillon & water. Add to the onions. Cook to a boil. Add potatoes & cook til soft, about 30 minutes.
4. Add cream & cook til heated. Stir in sausage. Add kale just before serving.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Roasted Vegetable Soup by Pillsbury


2 T olive oil
1 t dried, crushed rosemary
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 c sliced zucchini
1 sweet onion halved lengthwise and sliced
1 med red bell pepper, chopped
8 oz fresh whole mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, chopped
14 1/2 oz chicken broth
3/4 c whipping cream
2 T ch. fresh parsley


1. Heat oven to 475. In small bowl combine oil, rosemary, s & p, mix well.
2. In large ziplock (or bowl) combine zucchini through garlic. Add oil mixture, coat well.
3. Place veggies in single layer in ungreased 15x10x1 pan.
4. Bake at 475 30 minutes til golden & tender, stirring halfway through baking.
5. In large saucepan, combine roasted veggies, broth, cream, & parsley; mix well. Cook & stir over medium 8-10 minutes. Makes 3 1 1/2 c servings.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday



I've been away far too long. Hopefully I can particiapte in Menu Plan Monday the rest of the year. Stop by Organizing Junkie to check out what everyone else is having this week.

Sunday: Hamburgers on the grill

Monday: Paula Deen's Stuffed Potatoes, mixed veggies

Tuesday (ballet night): Easy Shrimp Scampi over pasta, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday: Speedy Taco Salad

Thursday: Chicken in a Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato and Wine Sauce, salad

Friday: Family date night

Saturday: Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Easy Beef Stroganoff Soup

Easy Beef Stroganoff Soup by Pillsbury easy...uses 2 dishes...very good


2 c water
2 c medium egg noodles
1 lb ground beef
1/2 t garlic-pepper blend
12 oz beef gravy
4 oz sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 c sour cream


1. Bring water to a boil in med. saucepan. Add noodles; cook 6-8 minutes until tender. Drain half water.
2. Meanwhile, cook ground beef & garlic blend over medium 8-10 minutes until cooked. Drain.
3. To the noodles add beef, gravy, mushrooms, & sour cream. Cook until thoroughly heated.

4 servings

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mac N Cheese Soup by Pillsbury

Mac N Cheese Soup by Pillsbury

1 1/2 c water
12 oz shells n cheese mix
2 c milk
1 c frozen sweet peas
4 hot dogs sliced


1. Bring water to a boil in med saucepan. Add shells. Cook 7-10 min. Do not drain.
2. Stir in cheese, milk, peas, & hot dogs.

Cook 5-10 min until thoroughly heated. 4 servings

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup by Cooking Light
4 baking potatoes (2 1/2 lbs)
2/3 c flour
6 c reduced fat milk
1 c reduced fat sh. extra sharp cheddar
1 T salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 c red fat sour cream
3/4 c chopped green onion
6 slices bacon cooked & crumbled....or one slice perperson


1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Pierce potatoes with fork; bake for one hour or until tender. Cool, peel, coarsley mash.
3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level. Place flour in large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with whisk until blended. Cook over medium until thick and bubbly (8min).
4. Add mashed potatoes,3/4 c cheese, s & p, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
5. Stir in sour cream, 1/2 c onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle about 1 1/2 c into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each with cheese, onions, bacon.

In my opinion: Wow, this makes a ton...or maybe my potatoes were just jumbo. We had plenty for dinner and even more left over that we popped in the freezer. This is definitely a great soup recipe.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Green Chile Chicken Soup

Green Chile Chicken Soup

can Northern Beans
small can chopped green chiles
can shredded chicken
can chicken broth
can shoepeg corn


Bring to a boil. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Serve over tortilla chips. Garnish as desired with cheese, sour cream, etc...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder by Crock Pot

3/4 c chopped onion
2 T butter
1 c frozen hash browns
1 c diced, cooked ham
10 oz frozen corn
1 c cream style corn
1 can cream mushroom soup
2 1/2 c milk
s & p parsley flakes



Combine all ingredients. Cover & cook on high 4-5 hours. Serves 8.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ham and Potato Chowder

Ham and Potato Chowder by Pillsbury

7.8 oz pkg Au Gratin Potatoes
1 1/2 c shredded carrot
1/4 t pepper
3 c water
2 c milk
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley


1. In a large saucepan, combine potato slices from mix, seasoning packet, ham, carrot, pepper, water, & milk. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium; cook 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Do not drain. Stir in parsley and serve. 4 servings

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup by Kraft

6 flour tortillas (6")
1 1/2 t veg. oil
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless breasts cut bite size
2 cans (14 oz ea) chk broth
1 c Salsa (or Rotel)
1 c frozen corn
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut 2 tortillas into thin strips; toss with 1/2 t oil. Spread on baking sheet. Bake 10-12 min until crisp, stirring occ.
2. Finely chop 4 tortillas. Heat remaining oil in lg saucepan on med-high. Add chicken; cook & stir 5 min. Add ch. tortillas, broth, salsa, & corn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low & simmer 15 min. Spoon into bowls.
3. Top w/cheese & tortilla strips.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chicken & Rice Casserole by meals.com

2 c cooked rice
2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 c cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
12 oz evaporated milk
1/2 c finely chopped red onion
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c chopped cilantro
2 T butter, melted
1 T diced jalapenos
salt & pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly greas 2 qt casserole.
2. Combine all ingredients in casserole dish; stir well.
3. Bake 45-50 minutes until knife inserted comes out clean.

For freezer prep: prepare steps 1 & 2. Cover and freeze up tp 2 months. Thaw overnight. Bake 60-70 minutes.