Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mint Cookies

recipe from my friend Elizabeth S

1/2 c salted butter, softened
3/4 c dark brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
10 oz Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips
2 2/3 c sifted all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and eggs until mixed.
3. Stir in baking chips then flour. Chill about one hour in the fridge.
4. Roll into 1" balls and slightly flatten.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

In my opinion: These cookies are fabulous, especially if you are a mint lover like I am. Everyone asks my friend for this recipe. I made them for a Cookie Bake-Off at work today and got lots of compliments.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Macaroni Grill Foccacia Bread (by thatsmyhome.com)

9 T olive oil,l divided
3 c unsifted, all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsifted semolina flour
1/2 t salt, divided
1 1/2 T quick-rising yeast (2 pkgs)
1 1/2 c hot (120-130 degrees) milk
1 T fresh rosemary leaves

1. Pour a scant of a T of the olive oil into a 9" square cake pan; spread evenly to cover bottom and sides.
2. Place all-purpose flour, semolina flour, 2T of the olive oil, 1/4 t of salt, and all yeastin the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (the mixing can be done by hand as well).
3. Blend ingredients on medium speed. Reduce speed to low and slowly add hot milk. Raise the speed to medium and continue mixing for 5 minutes (knead 8-10 minutes by hand).
4.Sprinkle bottom of cake pan with a little flour. Remove dough from bowl and spread out evenly in pan. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
5. Remove towel. Brush dough with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle top with additional salt and rosemary. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining oil.
6-8 servings

In my opinion: I can't describe in words how good this bread is. I made my own rosemary oil to dip it in and we can't keep this around the house. To me it is as close to Macaroni Grill's bread as it gets.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Slow Cooker Lasagna (by Kraft)

1 lb ground beef
26 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 c water
15 oz ricotta
7 oz mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 T fresh chopped parsley (I used dried)
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked (I didn't use all 6)

1. Brown meat and drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. Mix ricotta, 1 1/2 c mozzarella, 2 T Parmesan, egg, and parsley (in separate bowl).
2. Spoon 1 c meat sauce into Crock Pot; top with layers of half the noodles, broken to fit; and cheese mixture. Cover with 2 c meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, remaining cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.
3. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Let stand covered 10 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Do not cook on high setting.

In my opinion: I was disappointed with the sauce even though I used my favorite spaghetti sauce. The bottom began to burn and I wonder if the burned part affected the sweetness of the sauce or if the ground beef was cooked too long. I loved the noodles and cheese but hope I can figure out the sauce problem next time. I loved that I only dirtied the skillet and a bowl preparing this meal.

For more Slow Cooker recipes that I've tried, click here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Crock Pot Rio Grande Spaghetti (by What A Crock blog)

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
15 oz can tomato sauce
16 oz can Mexican Style Diced Tomatoes (Ro-Tel)
1 T beef granules (I didn't have these)
2 1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
7 oz pkg spaghetti, uncooked
shredded Pepper Jack or Mexican blend cheese for serving.

1. In a skillet, brown beef; drain well and transfer to Crock Pot. Note-I always buy ground beef 5-10 lbs at a time and pre-cook and freeze.
2. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, beef granules, chili powder, and cumin; mix well.
3. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours. Prepare spaghetti according to pkg directions. When done, drain and stir into beef mixture in Crock Pot. Allow to slow cook for 15 minutes to half an hour.
When ready to serve, garnish with shredded cheese of choice.

In my opinon: This was good but with the name "Rio Grande" I expected more of a surprising flavor. It was pretty much like regular spaghetti to me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oven Fried Chimichangas (Pumkin Patch Blog)

2/3 c picante sauce or your favorite salsa
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 1/2 c cooked chicken, chopped
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped with some tops (About 1/4 c)
6 8" flour tortillas (I used 4 large but didn't use beans)
2 T margarine(or butter), melted
shredded cheddar for serving
chopped green onions for serving
picante sauce for serving

1. Mix chicken, picante sauce, cumin, oregano, cheese, and onions.
2. Place about 1/4 c chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.
3. Fold opposite sides over filling.
4. Roll up from bottom and place seam-side down on a baking sheet.
5. Brush with melted butter/margarine.
6. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until golden.
7. Garnish with additional cheese or green onion and serve salsa on the side.

Serve with Mexican rice/beans

In my opinion: These turned out better than I thought. I love chimichangas at Mexican restaurants but the REAL ones are fried, right? I really liked these a lot. I made notes on my recipe card to serve with sour cream, pico, or guacamole.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

White Chocolate Creme Brulee with Rapsberries & Mint (WW 10)

2 1/2 c whipping cream
5 oz white chocolate, chopped (must have cocoa butter in ingredients)
8 lg eggyolks
8 T sugar
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
8 mint sprigs

1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325.
2. Arrange 8 6 oz ramekins in roasting pan.
3. Whisk cream & chocolate in heavey medium saucepan over medium heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes.
4. Whisk egg yolks and 2 T sugar in lg glass measuring cup to blend. Gradually whisk in warm cream mixture.
5. Divide custard equally among ramekins in roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
6. Bake until just set but still slightly soft in center, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan to room temp.
7. Remove custards from pan. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours, or overnight (can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep covered and refrigerated).
8. Sprinkle remaining 6T sugar evenly over custards. Using torch, heat sugar until caramelized. Cover and refrigerate 1-4 hours. Garnish with fresh berries and mint.

In my opinion: This was a fabulous recipe. I made this for some friends of ours and they loved it too.

Summer Raspberry Chicken (by Lawry's)

1 c fresh or frozen raspberries
3/4 c Lawry's Dijon & Honey Marinade with lemon juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c walnut pieces
fresh raspberries (garnish)

1. In food processor or blender, process raspberries and 3 T Dijon and Honey marinade for 10 seconds.
2. Pound chicken to 1/4 thickness. Grill chicken until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes per side, basting often with marinade.
3. Remove chicken from grill when done, brush with extra marinade. Arrange on platter; pour raspberry sauce down center and sprinkle with walnuts.

In my opinion: This was good but I really expected more flavor. Maybe if I had garnished with extra berries I would have had that flavor I was looking for.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I wish I had time to participate in MPM every week but it just doesn't always work out that way. I am glad to be participating this week and if you're new to my site, thanks for stopping by! Please leave me a comment (if you have one).

Stop by Organized Junkie for more great menu plans and if she gets 400 participants, she'll give away a magazine full of Slow Cooker recipes. Here is my plan for the week:

Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice (Paula Deen's recipe)
Tuesday: Leftovers from Sunday...Rosemary Scented Chicken, Rice, and green beans
Wednesday: Hearty Chicken and Noodle Casserole
Thursday: Slow Cooker Taco Casserole, salad, and bread
Friday: Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Tropical Fruit Salsa with salad and rice

New Section

I have added a new label on the right hand side. It is "Persian." My father is from Iran and there are a handful of recipes I want to hand down to my children.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Grilled Mushroom & Onion Basket (by Pampered Chef)

note grilling time:16+ minutes

1 lb mushrooms, halved
2 medium onions, sliced 1/4" thick
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/4 t coarsley ground black pepper
3/4 c grape tomatoes
2 T lemon juice
1 T chopped parsley
1/4 c crumbled goat cheese

1. Prepare frill for cooking over medium-high heat. Place BBQ basket on grill and preheat 3 minutes. In large bowl, combine mushrooms, onions, oil, s & p; mix well. Add mushroom mixture to basket. Grill undisturbed for 7 minutes. Shake basket and grill additional 5 minutes. Add tomatoes to basket, grill 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and onions begin to caramelize. Remove basket from grill.
2. Return mushroom mixture to large bowl. Add lemon juice and parsley to mixture; mix well. Pour into serving bowl and top with crumbled goat cheese.

4 servings

In my opinion: We had a cookout and Pampered Chef party combined. This was one of the recipes we demonstrated. We doubled it but it made soooo much that I was eating the leftovers for days. I usually don't eat leftovers so that tells you that this was an amazing recipe (and we didn't have any lemon juice). You could even put the veggies in a tortilla. This has become my new favorite grilling side.

MY Rosemary Corn on the Cob

3 cobs of corn
1/2 stick butter, softened
Parmesan cheese
3-4 T lime juice
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3-4 T fresh rosemary, chopped

1. Mix butter through rosemary, set aside.
2. Remove husks from corn if necessary. Prepare 3 sheets of foil for the cobs.
3. Slather the butter mixture on the corn. It should be thick.
4. Wrap well with foil and grill until done.

In my opinion: Oh my goodness, I hope I got the measurements correct, I didn't write them down, but these were soooo good.

Serving suggestion:
Rosemary Scented Chicken
Mesquite Lime Chicken

Rosemary Scented Chicken (from Woman's Day Magazine)

1/4 c chopped fresh rosemary
2 lg cloves garlic
1 t salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 T very good quality balsamic vinegar

1 Heat grill to high and brush with oil.
2. Mash rosemary-pepper in a mortar and pestle (Like who has one of these?), then stir in the oil.
3. Spread evenly over both sides of chicken.
4. Grill 3-5 minutes per side or just until cooked through. Transfew to a serving platter and drizzle evenly with balsamic vinegar.

In my opinion: This was really good but we should have used at least 1/4 c rosemary to get the flavor. We also forgot to drizzle the balsamic vinegar over.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Penne Pasta (by KC's Cafe)

1 lb penne pasta
1 T paprika
1/2 T each salt, garlic powder, and pepper
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into cubes
vegetable or olive oil
buffalo wing sauce or hot sauce such as Louisiana (About 1/2 bottle)
1 c diced celery (we didn't use this)
1/2 c red onion, diced
1 c mayo
1/2 c bleu cheese dressing (or ranch)
3/4 c milk

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, prepare chicken with spices and cook in oil.
2. Add hot sauce and saute with chicken. When chicken is mostly cooked, add onion and celery, and saute until chicken is fully cooked. Combine mayo, dressing, and milk in medium bowl. Add to skillet, toss with pasta.

In my opinion: This was delicious, so creamy. It did make a lot though so be sure you're up for leftovers.

Buffalo Chicken Ring by Me

I found some yummy recipes for Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Penne Pasta and I figured why not make a pizza ring too? So here is what I came up with.

1 lb chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
Louisiana hot sauce, to taste
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg crescent rolls
bleu cheese for dipping

1. Mix the chicken, hot sauce, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese in a bowl or you can choose to layer them on the crescent rolls after step 2.
2. Using a round pizza pan (I use the Pampered Chef stone) unroll the crescent rolls and arrange each one about 3-4" from the edge of the pan. Continue around the pan, overlapping each piece a little. When you are finished, it should look like a sun with the crescent rolls as the sunbeams.
3. Spoon your filling evenly around the ring of crescent rolls that are on the pan.
4. Pull up each tip of dough and wrap it over the filling. You can stretch the dough a little to cover more of the filling but it need not be completely covered.
5. Continue until all tips are folded over.
6. Bake according to crescent roll directions until the crescents are golden brown.
Serve with bleu cheese or your favorite dip.


Fondue Bourguignonne (by Simply Fondue restaurant)

2 lb fillet steak
Assortment of sauces such as tomato sauce, horseradish sauce, mustard sauce, Roquefort butter, and cool curry dip.

1. Cut the steak into 1" cubes and put in a serving dish.
2. Each person spears a cube of meat with fondue fork and immerses it into the hot oil to fry and the meat is cooked according to individual taste.
3. Serve with dipping sauces on the side.

Roquefort Butter (by Simply Fondue Restaurant)

4 oz Roquefort cheese
1/2 c butter, softened
1 T prepared mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 t Worchester Sauce (spelling from recipe)

Whisk all ingredients together.
Spoon into serving bowl and serve at room temperature.

Serve with beef such as Fondue Bourguignonne.

In my opinion, this was great. I didn't discover fondue until just before moving away from Fort Worth where all the great fondue restaurants are. Now I live in a small town where if you want fondue, you just have to make it yourself.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Unbelievable Caramel Pie in Crock Pot (from Full Bellies Blog)

2 14"cans sweetened condensed milk
9" graham cracker crust
Garnish: whipped topping

1. Pour condensed milk into a slow cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. After 2 1/2 hours, milk will begin to thicken; begin stirring every 15 minutes.
2. When thick and golden (color of peanut butter) , stir again until smooth; pour into pie crust and chill. Garnish with whipped topping. Makes 6-8 servings.

In my opinion: This was great! I have in my notes to add 1.4 oz coarsely chopped Toffee bar. I guess you could add any candy bar.

Prosciutto di Parma Black Pepper Quesadilla w/Rosemary Oil (from Bobby Flay)

12 6" tortillas
1 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 T coarsely ground blk pepper
olive oil
1/4 c Parmesan Cheese
8 slices Prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 c olive oil
1/4 c fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 c coarsely ch chives
salt & freshly ground blk pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Place 6 tortillas on cookie sheet. Spread half the cheese, onion, and black pepper on each and season to taste with s&p.
2. Stack to make 2 layers, cover with remaining tortillas and brush the tops with oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.
3. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake 5-7 minutes or until tortillas are lightly golden brown and cheese is melted.
4. Cut into quarters, top each quarter with a slice of prosciutto and drizzle with rosemary oil.

In my opinion: These were quick and easy to make and tasted great.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Overnight French Toast (McCormick)

5 eggs, beaten
3/4 c milk
1 T pure vanilla extract
1/4 t baking powder
1 loaf bread, cut into (1" thick) slices
16 oz frozen whole strawberries, thawed
4 ripe bananas, sliced
1 c sugar
1 t cinnamon sugar

1. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, and baking powder. Pour over bread to soak; turn to coat well. Cover. Refrigerated 4 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 450. Mix strawberries, bananas, and sugar in 13x9" dish. Top with soaked bread slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

8 servings; prep: 15 min; ref: 4 hours; cook: 25 minutes

In my opinion: This was an easy recipe to follow and it was delicious.

Ham and Potato Chowder (Pillsbury)

1 7.8 oz package Au Gratin Potatoes
1 1/2 c diced cooked ham
1/2 c shredded carrot
1/4 t pepper
3 c water
2 c milk
1/4 c ch. fresh parsley

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

4 (1 1/2 c servings)

In my opinion: This was an easy recipe and a delicious chowder.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Welcome, My Friend!

My dear friend, Julia, has begun her own cooking blog. Her international background is amazing. Her parents cooked amazing Indian food and her husband's family is from Lithuania. (Right, Julia??)

I can't wait to see her wonderful recipes. Check out her new blog and tell her I sent you!

Also, I had a Pampered Chef Cookout Saturday and we tried some amazing new grilling recipes. I hope to get those posted this afternoon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Strawberry Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Strawberry Ooey Gooey Butter Cake by Paula Deen
1 pkg strawberry cake mix
1/2 c butter, softened
4 lg eggs, divided
8 oz cream cheese, softened
16 oz powdered sugar
3/4 c chopped fresh strawberries
garnish-sweetened whipped cream/strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 13x9" dish.
2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, and 1 egg. Press mixture into bottom of prepared dish.
3. In a separate large bowl, beat cream cheese and 3 eggs at medium speed until smooth.
4. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until combined. Stir in strawberries. Spoon mixture over cake mixture; bake 35-40 minutes or until center is set.
5. Cool completely; cut into squares to serve.
Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and strawberries if desired.

In my opinion: Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! Scrumptious, fabulous, amazing! You must try this recipe. I've seen recipes for other flavors of Ooey Gooey cakes and now I think I have to try them all.

Smoky Black Bean Chicken Wraps

Smoky Black Bean Chicken Wraps by Pampered Chef (freeze)
In bag 1, combine:
1 portion of make-ahead chicken
1 can 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c water
1-2 T Smoky Barbecue Rub (see Cook's tip)

In bag 2, combine:
2 c cooked rice
1 T Smoky Barbecue Rub

Seal bag 2 and place into bag 1; seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To demonstrate and serve:
1. Place contents of bags 1 and 2 into 12" skillet. Heat over medium-high heat 3-5 minutes or until heated through.
2. Divide 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese evenly among 6 11" flour tortillas; top with chicken mixture and optional ingredients such as lettuce, tomatoes, and BBQ sauce, Louisiana hot sauce, or sour cream.
3. Roll up tightly, cut wraps in half on bias.

Tip: If freezing, increase rub in bag 1 to 2 T.

In my opinion: This was a fabulous meal. I loved the leftovers and will have this again often.

Grilled Sweet Potato Sticks

Grilled Sweet Potato Sticks from HEB magazine
1/2 c walnut pieces (I used pecans)
1/4 c brown sugar
2 bags (16 oz each Frozen Sweet Potato Sticks)
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c dessert rub spice (I used cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon)
1/2 c lemon or blossom honey

1. Combine walnut pieces and sugar in heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Stir mixture while cooking for 3-4 minutes, until sugar melts and glazes the walnuts. Immediately spread the glazed walnuts on a sheet of foil to cool. Chop walnuts into small chunks and set aside.
2. Prepare sweet potato sticks in microwave according to package directions.
3. Carefully remove sweet potato sticks from bags and place on foil-lined cookie sheet. Add olive oil and toss sweet potato sticks gently. Sprinkle dessert rub on sticks and toss gently. Set aside.
4. Prepare grill (375) and spray a grilling mesh with nonstick cooking spray. Place in serving dish, top with glazed walnuts, and drizzle with honey.

8 servings

In my opinion: These were fabulous! They were more like a dessert than a side. We halved the recipe and it was perfect for our family of 2 adults and 3 small kids.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice from Paula Deen's Magazine Jan/Feb '09

4 large boneless, skinless chk breasts cut 1/2" pieces or shred after cooking
2 10 3/4 cans cream chicken soup
4 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 t paprika
16 oz sour cream
hot cooked rice (4 servings or more)
green beans *optional

1. In 4 qt SC, combine chicken, soup, mushrooms, and paprika.
2. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.
3. Stir in sour cream 30 minutes before serving.
4. Serve over hot cooked rice and with green beans if desired. Garmish with paprika. 4-6 servings

In my opinion: It's a Paula Deen recipe, what do you think? It was really good! I have added it to my favorites and will have it again and again.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dump Cake

16 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 can cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter, sliced into pats about 1/2 Tablespoon wide
chopped pecans, optional

Place in deep casserole dish in order listed.
Bake at 350 one hour.

In my opinion: This was similar to something my mom made when I was a kid. It was fabulous...my kids loved it. We put a scoop of vanilla ice cream over it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Tropical Fruit Salsa

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Tropical Fruit Salsa by Lawry's

1 c plus 2 T Lawry's Caribbean Jerk Marinade with Papaya Juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 lbs)
24 1/2 oz can tropical fruit in light syrup, drained

1. In a large, resealable bag, pour 3/4 c Lawry's Marinade over chicken; turn to coat. Close bag and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Grill or broil, turning once and brushing with 1/4 c marinade, 10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
3. Meanwhiole, in medium bowl, combine fruit with remaining 2 T marinade. Chill, if desired. Serve fruit salsa over chicken.
We served over rice.

In my opinion: This was delicious and we will definitely have it a lot throughout the grilling season.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburgers

Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburgers from Paula Deen's magazine
1 lb bacon, cooked til crisp
2 lbs ground chuck
3 T hickory-flavored BBQ sauce
1 T liquid smoke
1/2 t salt
12 slices sharp CHeddar cheese, divided
1 lg sweet onin, cut into 6 rings
6 hamburger buns, split and toasted
BBQ sauce, lettuce, and tomotoes *opt
crispy ranch fries

1. Preheat grill to med-high (350-400). Spray grill rack with nonstick nonflammable cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, crumble 10 slices bacon; set remaining bacon aside. Add ground chuck, 3 T BBQ sauce, liquid smoke, and salt. Stir gently to combine.
3. Divide mixture into 12 equal portions and shape each into a 4" patty.
4. Cut 6 slices cheese into quarters. Place4 cheese quarters on top of 6 paaties. Place remaining 6 patties on top of cheese and press edges of patties together to seal.
5. Grill patties, covered with grill lid, for 3-4 minutes per side, or until onions are browned and tender.
7. Spread additional BBQ sauce over bottom halves of buns, if desired. Top as desired with lettuce, tomatoes slices, grilled onion, burgers, and reserved bacon slices. Cover with bun tops. Serve immediately.

In my opinion: I halved this recipe including the amount of cheese I pressed inside the patty. These burgers were fabulous! Be sure you get the patties as flat as possible when first forming them or the burger will be pretty fat!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crispy Ranch Fries

Crispy Ranch Fries from Paula Deen's magazine
26 oz bag frozen extra-crispy fast food fries
1 oz pkg Ranch dressing mix, divided
1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c mayonnaise

1. Preheat oven to 450. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place fries in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with 1 T Ranch dressing mix. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until fries are lightly browned and crispy.
3. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, mayo, and remaining dressing mix. Serve with fries.
6-8 servings ....I think it was more like 8-10.

In my opinion: I didn't think this recipe was anything great. It was a nice change from the ordinary fries. There was a lot of "dip" left over as well as a huge baggies full of fries so I felt like I wasted a lot of food.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Grilled Banana Quesadillas

Grilled Banana Quesadillas from Paula Deen's magazine
4 (10") tortillas
3 T butter, melted
2 medium bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate morsels *I used butterscotch
5 T firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce optional

1. Preheat grill to medium-high (350-400). Spray grill rack with nonstick, nonflammable cooking spray. Brush one side of tortillas with melted butter. Place tortillas on grill, buttered side down. Place banana slices evenly on one side of each tortilla. Top bananas evenly with morsels. Sprinkle each evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon. Fold tortillas over to cover bananas. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side, or until chocolate is melted and bananas are soft. Cut into wedges. Serve with ice cream and caramel sauce if desired. Serve immediately.
4 Servings** If you are feeding small kids, you could stretch this to 6 servings.

In my opinion: This was fabulous! My husband doesn't like chocolate and we didn't have any so I used butterscotch morsels and it was divine! I went one step further and put some chopped nuts on top. If you have whipped cream and cherries, go for it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies from Paula Deen's magazine

1 c butter, soft
1 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t orange extract
3 c all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
12 oz bag white chocolate morsels
1 c quick cook oats
1 c chopped pistachios

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. (I used my Pampered Chef stones).
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with electric mixer until fluffy.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and orange extracts.
4. In medium bowl, combine flour through salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Beat in morsels, oats, and pistachios.
5. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers.

In my opinion: These were delicious cookies! I didn't have orange extract either. These cookies do not change shape when baking so I smashed the 2nd batch down. They will be easier to store if they are flat. This recipe made about 38 large cookies.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hearty Chicken & Noodle Casserole

Hearty Chicken & Noodle Casserole by Campbell's

Double the following if you are going to freeze some:

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c milk
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 c frozen mixed vegetables
2 c cubed cooked chicken
2 c medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Stir the soup, milk, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, chicken and noodles in a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish. (Maybe a Crock Pot????). If you have doubled the recipe, be sure to pour into 2 dishes and freeze one.
2. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir.
3. Top with Cheddar cheese.

In my opinion: This is a great recipe. It is actually one of my favorites now and I make it often.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Polynesian Burgers

Polynesian Burgers by Lawry's

1 lb ground beef
1/2 c Lawry's Teriyaki Marinade with Pineapple Juice, divided
1 c finely chopped bell pepper
4 pineapple slices
4 hamburger rolls, toasted

1. mix ground beef, 1/4 c of the marinade and bell pepper in medium bowl until well blended. Shape into 4 patties.
2. Broil or grill on medium heat 4-6 minutes per side until burgers are cooked through (internal temp reaches 160). Meanwhile, broil or grill pineapple slices 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Brush burgers and pineapple slices with remaining 1/4 c marinade while cooking.
3. Serve burgers on toasted rolls with pineapple slices.

In my opinion: These were good burgers! We will be having these again.

Dessert idea:
Grilled Hawaiian Donuts:
4-6 honey buns
1 pineapple ring per honey bun
1 T butter per honey bun
brown sugar

Place each honey bun on a sheet of foil big enough to wrap the whole bun.
Place pineapple ring on each bun.
Put 1 T butter in the middle of each ring.
Sprinkle brown sugar on top of each.
Bring sides of foil up and wrap bun carefully.
Grill until butter is melted. Unwrap carefully.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Garlic-Lime Flank Steak

Garlic-Lime Flank Steak (marinate 8 hours) by Weight Watchers 5 points

2 lbs falnk steak, trimmed (we used skirt steak)
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1 T olive oil
4 lg cloves garlic, minced
1 t crushed pepper
1/2 t salt

1. Score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak.
2. Combine steak and next 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Marinate in the fridge 8 hours.
3. Prepare grill.
4. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle evenly with salt. Place on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side or util desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
8 servings

In my opinion:
We made this recipe and served the skirt steak as fajita meat. It was fabulous!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken

Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken by Lawry's

1 c mayonnaise
1 T lemon pepper seasoning
1 T dried basil leaves, crushed
1/4 t salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1-1 1/4 lbs)

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken. Reserve 1/2 c mayonnaise mixture.
2. Grill or broil chicken, turning once and brushin frequently with remaining mayonnaise mixture, 12 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve hot chicken with reserved mayonnaise mixture.

In my opinion: This was great chicken but we didn't use the leftover mayonnaise mixture on the side. It was good enough without it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grilled T-Bone

Grilled T-Bone by Weight Watchers 6 points

4 t EVOO
2 t finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 t finely chopped fresh sage
1 1/4 lb T-Bone, trimmed of fat, at least 1-1 1/2" thick
1/2 t salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Spray the grill rach with nonstick spray; preheat grill.
2. In a small bowl, mix oil, rosemary, and sage. Rub steak with herb mixture; place on the grill rack. Grill 3" from heat, turning once, 6 minutes on each side for rare. Season with s & p as soon as the steak is done. Transfer the steak to a cutting board; let stand about 5 minutes before slicing. 4 servings

In my opinion: This steak was good but I found it tough to chew. It is a recipe I'd try again.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mexican Chicken Soup

Mexican Chicken Soup by What A Crock blog

1/2 to 3/4 lbs chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, and cut into 1" thick cubes
2 lg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 cans(14.5 oz) diced tomatoes and jalapenos
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 t oregano
1/2 t turmeric (we didn't have)
14 oz chicken broth
12 oz corn, drained

Place everything but corn in slow cooker and give it a good stir. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. Add corn, stir and serve.

In my opinion: This recipe was okay. It had a unique flavor but we didn't eat the leftovers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Citrus & Honey Grilled Chicken Breasts

Citrus & Honey Grilled Chicken Breasts by Jay Bush (Bush's beans)

4 boneless chicken breast halves
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
3 T honey
2 T olive oil
1/2 t hot sauce
1 T dried oregano

1. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap. Gently pound the chicken with your hand or meat mallet, just enough to make the breasts equal in thickness.
2. In a medium bowl combine the juices, honey, olive oil, hot sauce, and oregano, and pour into a re-sealable bag.
3. Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat well. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for about 2-4 hours. Remove the chicken. Boil the marinade for 10 minutes if you wish to use it as a baste.
4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 350.
5. Grill the chicken, turning oncve, for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

The chicken is done when a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast measures 165, and when pierced with a fork, the juices run clear.

In my opinion: This was good chicken. We all liked it and will have it again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Something New Potatoes

Something New Potatoes from Big John's Cookbook

18 sm red potatoes
1/4 c EVOO
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 T paprika
1 bunch chives, finely chopped

1. Scrub potatoes and cut in half. Pour most of EVOO in a mixing bowl. Toss potatoes in oil to coat.
2. In a separate foil roasting pan pour the remaining olive oil & spread on the bottom of the pan. Place the red potatoes in an even layer in the panm. Sprinkle with garlic, paprika, and salt to taste. Cover with foil.
3. Preheat grill to 350. Place pan on bottom cooking surface and bake 1 hour with grill cover closed. After 1 hour remove foil and sprinkle chives over potatoes. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 15 minutes with grill cover closed.

In my opinion: We followed the directions and the potatoes were burned. We got a few bites that weren't burned and they were fabulous so we will definitely have this again but we will watch the potatoes more closely.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More recipes to come

I am currently trying to catch up at home and hope to post new recipes soon. I have several great summer recipes to post such as some grilling and frozen pie recipes. Check back in a couple of days!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Foil-Pack Taco Chicken Dinner

Foil-Pack Taco Chicken Dinner by Kraft
4 chicken breast halves
4 t taco seasoning mix
2 c thinly sliced peeled potatoes
1 c shredded Mexican cheese
1/2 c salsa
1/4 sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400. Sprinkle chicken evenly with seasoning. Place 1/2 c of potatoes on center of each of 4 large sheets of foil; top each with 1 breast, 1/4 c of cheese, and 2 T salsa.
2. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and both ends to seal, leaving room for circulation. Place on 15x10 pan.
3. Bake 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender. Let stand 5 minutes.
4. Release steam before opening. Top each with 1 T sour cream.

I made this in October 2006. I remember the chicken wasn't cooked through. This wasn't a meal that I'd rant over. It was easy though.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Pizza

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Pizza by Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee
10 oz baked, thick crust
1/2 c marinara sauce
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
1 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
2 T fresh basil, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Lay pizza crust on foil-lined pizza pan (I use my Pampered Chef stone). Spread sauce evenly over crust.
3. Sprinkle mozzarella over crust, leaving 1" border around the edge.
4. Arrange prosciutto on top.
5. Sprinkle goat cheese over prosciutto.
6. Bake until prosciutto is crisp and cheese is melted, about 12 minutes.

In my opinion: This was a flavorful pizza but the abundance of flavors from the Boboli crust took over. I'll try it with another crust next time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crispy Rosemary Chicken

Crispy Rosemary Chicken by Kraft
3/4 c Grape Nuts
1/2 t garlic salt
1/2 t dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 t pepper
4 small boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 T vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 400. Finely chop cereal. Mix with seasonings in shallow dish.
2. Brush chicken lightly with oil, then dip in cereal; coating both sides. Place in greased 10x5x1 or on baking sheet.
3. Bake 20-25 minutes.
4 servings

In my oopinion: This ws pretty good. It was a nice change to plain ol' chicken.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pat's Teriyaki Chicken

Pat's Teriyaki Chicken This is my friend's mom's recipe
8 chicken breasts
1 pk slab peppered bacon
1 bottle KC Masterpiece Honey Teriyaki Marinade

1. Cut breasts in half.
2. Wrap 1/2 piece bacon around each.
3. Place seam-side down in 10x12 dish sprayed with Pam.
4. Pour marinade over.
5. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cordon Bleu Casserole

Cordon Bleu Casserole by thatsmyhome.com
12 oz fettuccine Florentine, regular
1 T butter
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 c cooked, diced chicken
1 1/2 c diced, smoked ham
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
5 oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c shredded Swisss cheese, divided

1. Heat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook fettucine as directed. Do not overcook. Drain and return to pot.
2. While pasta cooks, heat butter in a medium saute pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. Combine chicken, ham, soups, and evaporated milk in a large bowl. Add mushrooms and half the Swiss. Toss half of the soup mixture with the cooked fettuccine.
4. Spray 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray and pour fettuccine mixture in. Top with remaining soup mixture, spread to distribute evenly and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
5. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until heated through. Toss lightly before serving to distribute the sauce.

8 servings

I wonder if this would be good to divide in half and freeze.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Bruschetta Chicken Bake by Kraft
14 1/2 diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz stuffing mix for chicken
1/2 c water
1 lb breasts, cut bite-sized
1 t dried basil
1 c mozzarella, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes with liquid in medium bowl. Add garlic, stuffing, and water. Stir until stuffing is moistened, set aside.
2. Place chicken in 13x9. Sprinkle with basil and cheese. Top with mixture.
3. Bake 30 minutes.

In my opinion: This meal was very easy but I'd say the flavor was just, "okay."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Menu

I don't think Stephen and I have ever done anything special for Memorial Day before. As a matter of fact, he probably had to work on Memorial Day in the past. This year he is off so we are starting a new tradition.

We are having Ribs, my rosemary corn on the cob, Paula Deen's Texas Potato Salad, and a dessert. I'm not sure what dessert we'll have yet but I'm leaning towards Paula Deen's Best Strawberry Shortcake EVER!


Snickerdoodles by cooking.com (Betty Crocker)
1 c shortening
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c sifted flour
2 t cream of tartar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
2 t Cinnamon

1. Mix shortening, sugar, and eggs together thoroughly.
2. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt together and stir in.
3. Chill dough. Roll into balls the size of small walnuts. Roll in mixture of 2 T sugar and the 2 t cinnamon. Place about 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned but still soft. (They puff at first, then flatten).

5 dozen 2" cookies

In my opinion: These weren't the greatest Snickerdoodles I've ever had. I was surprised since this was a Betty Crocker recipe. I'll keep looking until I find a better one.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Peanut Butter Fudge

My husband's Peanut Butter Fudge
3 c sugar
3/4 c unsalted butter
2/3 c evaporated milk
12 oz bag peanut butter morsels
7 oz jar marshmallow creme
1 t vanilla extract
1 c chopped walnuts or pecans optional

1. In a 2-qt saucepan, bring sugar, butter, and milk to a rolling boil (240 degrees) for 5 minutes, stirring constatnly; remove from heat.
2. Stir in morsels, creme, vanilla, then nuts.
3. Pour into a greased 13x9x2 pan.
4. Cool to room temperature before slicing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Green Chile Chicken Soup

Green Chile Chicken Soup recipe from a friend

can Northern beans (or cannelini)
can chopped Green Chiles
can shredded chicken
can chicken broth
can shoepeg corn
*I also add 1 c instant rice, uncooked

garnish: shredded cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

Dump it all into the pot, heat at about medium until heated through. Serve!

In my opinion, this was fabulous. The first time I tried it I went back for seconds and would have have thirds but I didn't want to look like a pig.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grilled Baked Potatoes

Grilled Baked Potatoes by Kraft

4 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed
1 T oil
1 t salt
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c shredded cheddar
1/4 c sliced green onion
1/4 c bacon bits

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Pierce potatoes. Rub with oil; sprinkle with salt.
2. Place on microwavable plate. Microwave on high 8 minutes turning halfway.Place on greased grate of grill.
3. Cook 12-15 minutes til crisp and browned, turning occasionally. Split and serve.

In my opinion: These were good, tasted like a baked potato, nothing fancy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Talerine Beef Casserole

Talerine Beef Casserole from a friend

16 oz bag egg noodles
3 garlic cloves
olive oil for sauteing
2 cans corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
28 oz diced tomatoes
1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 and bring large pot of salted waterto a boil for the noodles.
2. Heat 2 T of oil on medium-high heat in a LARGE pot. Add the onions and bell peppers; saute until softened. Add garlic; cook for a minute more. Add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer; let cook for 10 minutes. Lower heat to warm.
3. In a separate skillet, heat to medium-high. Brown the meat. Sprinle salt over the meat while browning. Once browned, use a slotted spoon to remove meat from the pan; put in with the tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
4. Add the egg noodles to the boiling water. Cook as directed. Strain when cooked, but still a little firm.
5. Add egg noodles, corn, and about 2/3 of the cheese to the large pot of beef and tomato mixture. Gently mix in. Transfer mixture to 3 or 4 8x8 casserole pans (I line with foil). Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Place in the oven . Cook for 30 minutes (can go as long as one hour).

In my opinion: This recipe sounded funky when I got it but after lots of procrastination, I finally tried it and was pleasantly surprised. Right after I popped the extra dishes in the freezer, I found out a friends' family was sick so I took one to her. She said her mom made it when she was a child and she just loved it. This uses a lot of dishes but remember, you are making 3 or 4 meals!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crock Pot Sausage, Cream Cheese, and Rotel Dip

Crock Pot Sausage, Cream Cheese, and Rotel Dip by Crock Pot 365 Days

8 oz cream cheese
1 can Rotel, drained
1 lb breakfast sausage, browned and drained (I brown about 5 lbs at a time, divide by the pound, and freeze)

1. Put cream cheese in Crock Pot. Chop the sausage and add on top. Drain the Rotel and add it.
2. Cover and cook on low for about 90 minutes, or on high for 45. Stir well and serve.

In my opinion: I loved this dip! But I love all of the ingredients separately so it was no surprise.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hamburger Noodle Casserole

1. Cook pasta according to directions.

2. Mix softened cream cheese with cottage cheese.

3. Mix browned ground beef with your favorite pasta sauce.

4. Spread cheese mixture on top of noodles.

5. Spread meat mixture on top of cheese mixture.

6. Sprinke cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.

7. Enjoy!

Hamburger Noodle Casserole from my friend Heather Anne
-1 pkg egg noodles, cooked according to pkg directions (7 minutes)
-8 oz cream cheese, softened and 8-12 oz cottage cheese MIXED TOGETHER
-1 lb ground beef, browned (I always brown about 5 lbs at a time and keep in freezer) and
1 jar spaghetti sauce MIXED TOGETHER
-2 cups shredded cheese (any kind: cheddar, Italian, etc..)

1. Layer egg noodles, cheese mixture, and beef mixture into 2 8x8 pans (or 1 9x12). I always line one pan with foil so I can freeze it uncooked). Cover with shredded cheese.
2. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.

NOTES 2/4/10
I decided to make this meal for a meal swap. I learned a lot:
-Get the cream cheese out hours before you start and open the packages plus cut the cream cheese into cubes for easier mixing.
-Start the pasta first and let a few batches finish before you begin the ground beef. I thought it would be a great idea to use my stock pot with the strainer insert so I could save the hot water rather than using new, cold water everytime. It took 30 minutes to bring the water to a boil the first time and almost 30 minutes to bring the same water back up to a boil after pullin the insert and dumping the noodles!
-Have everything out and ready to go to make it faster, including your meat strainer with a large bowl to catch the grease, a bowl to mix the chream cheese and cottage cheese, and a bowl to mix the meat and sauce. Once you have noodles in every pan you can go, go, go!
-If you have a friend who is about to have a baby, make an extra one and freeze it to pass along to her.
-I decided to calculate the cost since I purchased all ingredients at once and I am OCD like that. I shopped at HEB and this is what it cost me:

noodles $1. 44 ea
Philly cream cheese $1. 29 ea
Cottage Cheese (bought 24 oz) $ .60 ea
spaghetti sauce $1.89 ea
ground beef (bought 5 lbs) $ 1.60 ea
mozzarella cheese 2 cups $1. 88 ea

$8.70 for 8-10 servings

It took almost 3 hours to complete 6 meals but it would have been quicker if the water didn't take so long to boil.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole (I don't know where I got this recipe)

6 beaten eggs
10 slices of bread
1 1/2 c milk
2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 lb sausage
salt and pepper
yellow mustard (optional)

1. Brown and crumble the sausage. For a time saver...I have this already done and in the freezer.
2. Spread mustard on one side of the bread and cut bread into quarters. Beat egg and milk together with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spray inside of Crock Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Layre bread, cheese, and sausage in CP. Pour milk and egg mixture over everything. Cook on low 8-12 hours.

In my opinion: This was a great recipe but the taste of the mustard was too much for me. We won't use it next time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins by Betty Crocker
1 egg
2 c Bisquick mix
2/3 c milk
1/2 c white baking chips
1/3 c sugar
2 T vegetable oil
1 c raspberries

1. Heat oven to 400. Grease bottoms only of muffin tin or place baking cups in muffin pan.
2. Beat egg slightly in medium-sized bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except raspberries just until moistened. Gently stir in raspberries. Divide batter evenly among cups.
3. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan.

*drizzle melted white chocolate over the top.

In my opinion: These were pretty good. I've never made homemade muffins before so I have nothing to compare the texture to. We'll make them again.

Friday, May 15, 2009

CP Cream Cheese Chicken

CP Cream Cheese Chicken by Crock Pot 365 Days a Year
1 can cream of something soup
1/2 c chicken broth
frozen chicken pieces (we used about 2 lbs of chk breasts)
packet of Italian salad dressing mix
2 cloves minced garlic
block of cream cheese (to add later)

1. Put everything except for the cream cheese in the crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked and begins to shred.
2. Shred the chicken with 2 large forks, and mix in the block of cream cheese. Switch the Crock Pot to high and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is fully melted.
3. Serve over pasta (or rice).

In my opinion: This was a delicious recipe. We'll definitely have it again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ultimate Party Meatballs (Crock Pot)

Ultimate Party Meatballs (Crock Pot) by Ocean Spray and Heinz

16 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
12 oz bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
2 or 2 1/2 lb bag frozen meatballs, pre-cooked, cocktail size

1. Combine sauces and pour over meatballs in slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook 4 hours on high.

In my opinion: These were great! My husband and I made them for our own little sports party and again a few weeks later for Caleb's 3rd birthday party. Several people asked for the recipe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Montreal Peppered Steak

Montreal Peppered Steak by McCormick
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c soy sauce
4 t McCOrmick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 lbs sirloin or strip steak (we got NY strip on sale)

1. Mix all ingredients, except steak, in large resealable bag or glass dish. Add steak; turn to coat well.
2. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove steak from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
3. Grill over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes per side or until desired doneness.

In my opinion: This was a good steak! It was very moist. We used the leftovers to make fajitas.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Southwest Chicken Skillet

Southwest Chicken Skillet by Betty Crocker

1 T veg oil
1 1/4 lb breasts, cut into 1"pieces
1 lb frozen broccoli, red peppers, onions, and mushrooms
15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c salsa
8" tortillas cut into 2"x 1/2" strips
1 c shredded Cheddar

1. In skillet heat oil over med-high heat. Cook cicken in oil 3-4 min, stirring occasionally til done.
2. Stir in veggies through salsa; reduce to meadium. Cover and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring til veggies are crisp tender.
3. Sprinkle with strips and cheese. Cover 2 minutes til cheese is melted.

In my opinion: This wasn't as good as I thought it would be. It was quick and easy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Edible Play Doh

Edible Play Doh

equal parts peanut butter, honey, powdered milk

Mix well. Use to cut out shapes, then enjoy!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ice Cream in a Ziplock

Ice Cream in a Ziplock

1/2 c milk
1 T sugar
1/4 t vanilla

1. Put in a pint size ziplock.
2. Place this is a quart size ziplock. Fill half full with ice and add 3 T salt.
3. Zip and shake 5 minutes.

Open carefully so none of the salt water gets into the ice cream.

Beer & Cheese Potato Chowder

Beer & Cheese Potato Chowder by Pillsbury
2 lb (6 med) russets, peeled and chopped
1 med onion, chopped
1 med stalk celery, chopped
1 med carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 t pepper
14 oz chicken broth
12 oz beer
8 oz shredded cheddar and American blend
1/2 c whipping cream
rye bread toasted (croutons)

1. In 3-4 qt slow cooker, combine 1st 6 ingredients. Stir gently to mix. Pour broth and beer over.
2. Cover; cook on low 6-8 hours.
3. About 10 minutes before serving, coarsely mash veggies with masher or fork. Add chese and cream; stir til cheese is melted.
4. Cover; cook 5 minutes. Top with croutons.

In my opinion, this was okay. It wasn't as fabulous as it sounded. Maybe it needed more beer. Or maybe I needed more beer!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Linguine with Garlic and Cheese

Linguine with Garlic and Cheese by Cooking Light
8 oz linguine
1 1/2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic chopped
3 oz fresh Parmesan
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package direction.
2. Heat oil in small, heavy saucepan over low.
3. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
4. Add pasta, cheese, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat.

In my opinion: This was a little bland and needed more salt. Otherwise it was a good dish.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Turkey Club Salad with Avocado Dressing

Turkey Club Salad with Avocado Dressing by Rachel Ray

12 slices bacon, crisp
3 hearts rommaine
2 c pea shoots or bean sprouts (I didn't have these)
3 slices plum tomatoes
1/2 chopped red onion
s & p
1 1/2 lbs sliced deli roast turkey breast
2 avocados
1 lemon zested and juiced
1 clove garlic
2 T red wine vinegar
1 t salt
1/3 c EVOO
2 t tabasco

1. Chop lettuce and arange on platter.
2. Next arrange #3-5 on top. Season with s&p.
3. Add bacon and turkey.
4. Put avocado in food processor. Add zest and juice.
5. Chop garlic and mix with 1 t salt to make paste.
6. Add paste and red wine vinegar to the food processor.
7. While processor is running, stream in EVOO and tobasco.
8. Taste and adjust.
9. Serve over salad.

In my opinion: I didn't make the dressing because I didn't have the food processor but this was a good salad with my favorite dressing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grilled 4 Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled 4 Cheese Sandwiches by Rachael Ray
3 T butter
1 clove garlic
8 slices crusty Italian Semolina bread
1 c shredded provolone

1 c shredded mozzarella
1/2 c grated Parmesan or Romano
1 c shredded Asiago

1. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, combine oil, butter, & garlic. Cook garlic in butter & oil gently for 2-3 minutes. Remove "garlic butter" mixture from heat.
2. Place large nonstick skillet on the stove over med-high heat. Using a pastry brush, brush 1 side of 4 slices of bread w/garlic oil and place buttered side down in skillet. Top each slice with equal amounts of the 4 cheeses.
3. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread brushed with garlic butter.
4. Flip the sandwiches a few times until the cheeses are melted & gooey and bread is toasted and golden.

In my opinion: Yumm-O! These are so good. You don't need that special bread, just use what you have and you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cajun Fried Potatoes & Sausage

Cajun Fried Potatoes & Sausage by meals.com

6 potatoes peeled and sliced
2 t corn oil
1 lb andouille sausage, cut 1/4"
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 t seasoning salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 onion peeled and chopped

1. Place potatoes in a large bowl of cold water and allow to sit 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and replace water & allow to sit additional 10 min; drain.
2. Heat oil in lg skillet over med-high. Add sausage and saute 2 minutes. Add potatoes, peppers, s&p. Cover, lower heat to medium. Continue cooking 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add onion and cook til tender, about 3 minutes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009



1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c mayonnaise
1 c sour cream
1 t onion powder
1 t seasoned salt
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

1. Mix all ingredients utill well blended.
2. refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with crackers or toasted bread slices cut into triangles.

In my opinion: This was pretty good but we served it with chips and got tired of it pretty quickly (it was just my husband and me watching the Super Bowl, munching away on junk).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mediterranean Steak Fries

Mediterranean Steak Fries from First Magazine 7/25/05

28 oz frozen steak fries
2 T dried Mediterannean seasoning
1 c mayonnaise
2 sm shallots, peeled and chopped *
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled and ch
2 t Dijon mustard*
1/2 t mashed anchovies*
1/8 t pepper

1. Heat oven to 450.
2. Place fries in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet; sprinkle w/ seasoning (Spice Islands).
3. Bake 20 minutes or until crispy.
4. In bowl, combine mayo through pepper. Serve with fries.

In my opinion, these were really good!

461 cal
4 g protein
30 g carbs
4 g fiber
5 g sat fat

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Classic Swiss Fondue

Classic Swiss Fondue by Simply Fondue Restaurant

1 clove garlic, halved
1 c dry white wine
1 t lemon juice
2 c grated Gruyere cheese
2 c grated Emmental cheese
2 t cornflour
2 T kirsch
pinch white pepper
pinch grated nutmeg
cubes of French bread

1. Rub inside of pot with cut clove of garlci.
2. Pour un wine and lemon juice and heat gently until bubbling.
3. Reduce heat to low and gradually stir in the grated cheeses with wooden spoon, continue to heat until cheese melts, stirring frequently.
4. In a small bowl, blend cornflour smoothly with Kirsch, then stir into cheese mixture.
5. Cook 2-3 minutes until mixture is smooth and thick, stirring frequently.
6. Do NOT allow to boil.
7. Season with pepper and nutmeg.
8 Serve with cubes of bread.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fettuccine with Cashew Cream

Fettuccine with Cashew Cream by Cooking Light

1/2 c roasted cashews
1 1/4 c water
cooking spray
3 garlic cloves, monced
4 c hot, cooked fettuccine (8oz uncooked)
1/4 c grated fresh Parmesan
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t salt
*(I added a little milk)

1. Place cashews in a food processor; process until smooth (2 min) scraping sides of bowl. With food processor on, slowly paour water through food chute; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl once.
2. Place cashew cream in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Reduce heat & simmer 1 minute or until cream is thick.
3. Heat a lg nonstick skillet coated with spray over medium-high heat. Add garlic, saute 30 seconds. Stir in cashew cream, pasta, cheese, s&p. Cook until thoroughly heated.
4 servings

In my opinion: This was suprisingly good.
378 cal
14.7 g fat
14.7 g protein
2.7 g fiber

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cheesy Ham & Rice Bake

Cheesy Ham & Rice Bake by Kraft

2 c minute white rice, cooked
10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup
2 c milk (I had whipping cream so used it)
1/4 c Miracle Whip Dressing
6 oz smoked ham, chopped
2 c frozen peas
1/2 c shredded sharp cheese
*I added mushrooms

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Mix rice through peas in 2 qt baking dish; cover with foil.
3. Bake 20 minutes; uncover.
4. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes or until rice is tender and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

In my opinion: This was quick, easy, and good, but a unique flavor with the Miracle Whip.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Touchdown Chili

Touchdown Chili by McCormick

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 c chopped onion
15 oz kidney beans, drained
14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
1 pkg chili seasoning

shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
chopped green onion

1. Cook beef and onion in large skillet over medium high. Drain. (I always have some cooked ground beef in the freezer as a short-cut).
2. Stir in remaining ingredients through seasoning.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

In my opinion: This was really good but I think there were too many beans. I will make it w/o the beans next time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My grandmother's Watergate Salad

I am a little confused about the name of this salad, I have heard it called Ambrosia but when I called my aunt and asked her for this recipe, she said it is called Watergate Salad. All I know is that my grandmother was not a good cook. She could burn rolls I tell ya. But she was good at making this. It's what I looked forward to every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I am so glad we got the recipe before she died last June.

1 pkg Jello brand pistachio pudding
1 can crushed pineapple
1 large container Cool Whip
1 bag miniature marshmallows

Mix the pudding with the pineapple including the juice. Add Cool Whip and marshmallows. Mix.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Ellie Says Opa blog

1/3 c butter, softened
1/3 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract
3/4 c old fashioned oats
3/4 c a.p. flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 c white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
1/4 c chopped pecans
1/4 c dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, mixing well. Add vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition.
4. Stir in dried cranberries, pecans, and white chocolate.
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Bake 10-12 minutes until done.

Yields: 18

In my opinion: These cookies are really good. I might add a dash of nutmeg for an extra pizzaz next time. The second batch browned a little more than the first and I liked those cookies better. The only thing is the cookies are small...they won't last through the night if you are baking for yourself, hubby, and kids.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken by K.C.'s Cafe
8 (6 or 8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 oz ) can cranberry sauce
1 can water
2 T dried minced onion
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1 t low sodium beef bouillon
fresh black pepper
1/2 t lite salt

1. Mix together cranberry sauce, seasonings, and water.
2. Place in bottom of Crock Pot. Top with chicken.
3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
8 servings

In my opinion: This was good but didn't have more than a hint of cranberry flavor. I was really expecting to taste it more.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chicken Casserole

Chicken Casserole by meals.com you might want to halve this recipe

4 lbs chicken breasts (I like to keep cooked chicken in the freezer)
8 oz sliced cooked mushrooms, drained
16 oz sour cream
2 cans cream chicken soup
1 1/2 pkg Club crackers
4 c shredded Mozzarella and cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook chicken until done.
2. In separate pan mix sour cream, mushrooms, and soup and bring to a slight boil. Add chopped chicken.
3. In 13x10, (or 2 smaller dishes if you are going to freeze some) layer with 1/2 of the crackers*, 1/2 of the cheese, and the soup mixture. Add another layer of cheese and top with crackers.
4. Bake 35-45 minutes.

*Do not put crackers in the dish you are going to freeze. Add those to the top just before cooking.

Note 5-8-10 This made so much I think next time I'll divide it into 3 8x8 containers and freeze 2! That's just because leftovers sit in our fridge until they can be used as science experiments.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chef Jake's Chicken Fried Steak

Chef Jake's Chicken Fried Steak
10 oz New York Strip Steak trimmed and pounded flat
2 eggs
1 c milk
s & p to taste
dash paprika
dash garlic salt
2 c Chinese bread crumbs
1 lg red bell pepper
1 c sliced portabella mushroom
3 stalks green onins, sliced diagonally
2 oz butter
2 c cooking oil
1 c flour

1. Mix eggs and milk together, add garlic, paprika, s&p. Combine bread crumbs and flour in a separate bowl.
2. Dip the steak in the eggwash, then dredge in flour mixture to coat.
3. Preheat the oil and add the steak. Cook and turn until brown on both sides.
4. In a separate pan, saute all vegetables in butter until golden brown. Top steak with vegetables and serve hot.

This was a good recipe.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Classic Pot Pie

 by Pillsbury
15 oz pie crust, softened
1/3 butter
1/3 c chopped onion
1/3 c a.p. flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 1/2 c chicken broth
2/3 c milk
2 1/2-3 c shredded cooked chicken
2 c frozen mixed veggies, thawed

1. Heat oven to 425. Make crusts as directed for 2 crust pie using 9" pan.
2. In med. saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes or until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper; stir until well blended.
3. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.
4. Add chicken and veggies; mix well. Removefrom heat. Spoon into crust. Top with 2nd crust; seal edges and flute. Cut slits or shapes in top crust.
5. Bake 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

4-26-10 I am going to try making 2 and freezing one before it is cooked.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mexican Quiche

Mexican Quiche
9" unbaked frozen deep-dish pie shell
1 c 4 cheese Mexican blend
1/2 lg green or red bell pepper, chopped
4 oz can diced green chilies
2 lg green onions, sliced
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c salsa
3/4 c evaporated milk (5 oz)
*garnish sour cream
*garnish salsa
*garnish diced tomatoes
*garnish sliced green onions

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Sprinkle cheese through green onions onto bottom of pie shell. Combine eggs through milk in small bowl until blended. Pour into pie shell.
3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 min. Garnish as desired.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


There is a story behind this lasagna that I'll never forget.
I had been dating my husband for 3 months and he offered to prepare this dish for me. I had my house on the market and would often throw a basket of odds and ends in the oven to declutter the counter before a quick showing. Little did I know that it wasn't common to look inside an oven before turning it on. Pretty soon the house was filled with smoke and I was quickly on the phone getting another debit card. Thank goodness I didn't throw the loaf of bread in there!

Lasagna by Cathy Lowe Food Network.com
10 lasagna noodles
12 oz ricotta
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c Parmesan, grated
12 oz mozzarella, shredded (I think it needed more, but you can never have enough cheese)
3 c Meat Sauce*

1. Prepare noodles as instructed on the package. Drain. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 c Parmesan, salt and pepper.
2. Spread 3/4 c meat sauce in bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Lay 3 noodles in pan and spread with ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and top with meat sauce.
3. Top with remaining mozzarella and 1/2 c Parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly at 375. Remove from oven and let lasagna stand for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Paula Deen's Southern Fried Chicken

Paula Deen's Southern Fried Chicken

3 eggs
1 c hot pepper sauce
2 c self-rising flour
2 1/2 lb chicken, cut into pieces
house seasoning
oil for frying, preferably peanut oil

1. Heat oil to 350 in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.
2. In a medium-size bowl, beat the eggs. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange (about 1 c). Season the chickn with House seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and coat well in flour. Place the chicken in the preheated oil and fry the chicken in the oil. Drain on paper towels.

Penne Pasta Bake

Penne Pasta Bake
16 oz penne pasta
1 lb lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
28 oz tomato-based pasta sauce
6 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1. Prepare pasta according to directions; drain.
2. Preheat oven to 300.
3. In a large skillet brown ground beef with garlic until no longer pink, about 10 minutes; drain.
4. Add pasta sauce and ricotta cheese; stir to blend. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Stir in pasta. bake, covered, for 10 mnutes. Uncover and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. bake another 5 minutes until gold and bubbly.

8 servings

Monday, April 20, 2009

15 Minute Taco Rice Skillet

15 Minute Taco Rice Skillet by recipegoldmine.com FEW DISHES! quick and easy

1 lb. ground beef (I have some already cooked in the freezer)
2 c water
1 pk taco seasoning
2 c Minute rice
1 c shredded cheddar
1/4 t pepper
crushed tortilla chips
shredded letuce*
chopped tomato*
sour cream*


1. Brown meat in large skillet over medium-high; drain. Add water & seasoning mix to skillet; stir. Bring to a boil.
2. Stir in rice. Sprinkle with cheese, cover. Cook on low heat 5 minutes. Top as desired with ingredients. Serves 4. My kids like this too.

In my opinion: This is a super easy and delicious meal. We have this often.

Menu Plan Monday

Thanks for stopping by. If you're new, please check out my "Busy Mom's Meals" section. I am a working mom of 3 who rushes home each day so my husband can leave for work. It's not easy cooking meals and taking care of a 4 year old, 3 year old, and 16 month old.

My favorite section is my Paula Deen's recipes. Her recipes are my favorite. Sunday: Hamburgers on the Grill, chips, queso
Monday: Pasta and Sausage in Madeira Cream Sauce , salad
Tuesday: Crock Pot Enchiladas, steamed veggies
Wednesday: Beef Ravioli in Basil Cream Sauce, carrots and dip for the kids
Thursday:Chicken with Rosemary Sauce (Weight Watcher recipe) more WW recipes here
Friday: A new grill recipe: Citrus Chicken with Corn on the Cob, and pasta salad
Saturday: Grilled sausage

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

Our wonderful friend Julia not only coordinated meals for us right after Abby was born, but she also brought us this dish. I had seen this recipe before but hadn't made it. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for something quick and child-friendly. My picky eaters liked it.

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie by Bisquick

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef * I always keep some pre-cooked in the freezer*
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
2. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese.
3. In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with fork or wire whisk until blended. Pour into pie plate.
4. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pasta and Sausage in Madeira Cream Sauce

Pasta and Sausage in Madeira Cream Sauce from my friend Randi W
1 lb Mild Italian Sausages, casings removed shortcut:I brown ahead of time & freeze
12 oz dry, bite-size pasta (I use shells)
4 oz mushroom slices, drained
2 cloves garlic, pressed/chopped
1/4 c dry sherry
1 c whipping cream
1 t ground white pepper
1/4 t ground nutmeg
3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

1. Crumble and brown sausage, stirring often. Set aside.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. In about a teaspoon of drippings cook mushrooms and garlic until browned. Add sherry, sausage, cream, pepper, and nutmeg.
4. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Let thicken 1-2 minutes.
5. Serve over pasta.

This really is quick and easy and uses 2 pots/pans. My kids love it too!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Beef Ravioli in Basil-Cream Sauce

Beef Ravioli in Basil-Cream Sauce This is good, easy, and requires few dishes!
24 oz frozen beef ravioli
2 T butter
8 oz sliced mushrooms (fresh or sauteed)
3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t dried Italian seasoning
10 oz can Ro-tel
2 T chopped fresh basil
1 c whipping cream
1/2 c grated Parmesan
1/2 t salt

1. Prepare ravioli in large Dutch oven according to directions. Drain & keep warm.
2. Melt butter in Dutch oven over med-high heat. Add mushrooms & next 3 ingredients, saute over med-high for about 6 minutes.
3. Stir in rotel, basil, & cream; bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat & simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
5. Stir in Parmesan and salt.
6. Stir in ravioli; toss to coat.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ravioli or stuffed shells

Ravioli or stuffed shells
buy frozen ravioli or stuffed shells
add your favorite spaghetti sauce
cook according to pasta's directions
add mozzarella cheese and bake until melted

I like this because you can make as much or as little as you like. If you don't want to have leftovers, you can make just enough for your family.

This has become one of my favorite things to take to friends who have just had a new baby.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Freezer Food

Lately I've been looking for freezer recipes to try to simplify my life. I went to What A Crock because she hosts Freezer Food Friday. I just found a few sites on her site:
Freezer Friendz
The Freezer Chicks

And here are the recipes I like to make and freeze for those busy nights.

Lemon-Parmesan Linguine

Lemon-Parmesan Linguine my friend Randi's recipe One of our family favorites!

3/4 lbs linguine
3/4 c whipping cream
1 T butter
3 T FRESH lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
1/2 fresh Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to directions (use salt). Drain.
2. Bring cream and butter to a simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Mix in lemon juice and peel. Add pasta, toss.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Add parmesan.

In my opinion: Yummilicious! It really is quick too. My kids and husband love it so we have this several times each month.

Peeling Potatoes

Now this is pretty cool. Have you seen this video by Dawn Wells (Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island). You'll never use that peeler again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cheesy Creamy Pasta Casserole

Cheesy Creamy Pasta Casserole by meals.com
16 oz any tube pasta
1/2 stick butter
1/4 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
12 oz evaporated milk
1/2 c water
14 3/4 oz cream style corn
4 oz jar sliced pimentos, drained
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, chopped
4 oz shredded cheddar
4 oz shredded Monterey (or Pepper) Jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 dish. I am thinking this could be put into 2 smaller dishes and you could freeze one for later. I'll try that next time.
2. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain
3.Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt & pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk & water. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture comes to just a boil & thickens. Remove from heat & set aside.
4. Spread 1/3 of white sauce on bottom of dish. Spread half pasta, 1/3 sauce, half corn, half pimentos, & half poblano. Sprinkle with cheddar. Repeat with remaining pasta, sauce, corn, pimentos, and poblano.
5. Top with Jack cheese. Cover with foil.
6. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, bake an additional 5 minutes.

In my opinion: This is one of my husband's favorites, definitely a delicious dish.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Baked Penne with Mushrooms and Cheese

Baked Penne with Mushrooms and Cheese

1 lb mushrooms, cleaned, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 T butter
salt & freshly ground pepper
10 oz penne (2 1/2 c)
3 oz Bel Paes cheese (any creamy mild cheese) thinly sliced/cubed
1/3 c fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
3/4 c heavy cream
* I added prosciutto on top

1. Saute the mushrooms with the whole garlic clove in 2 T of the butter over high heat. Add salt & pepper, lower the heat & cook for 3 minutes. Discard the garlic.
2. Cook pasta as directed. Drain & dress with remaining butter
3. Butter an ovenproof dish & cover the bottom with a layer of penne.
4. Distribute about 1/4 of the mushrooms & the cheese evenly over the pasta & sprinkle with 1 T of parmesan.
5. Add another layer of pasta and cover with mushrooms and cheese as before. Repeat until you have used all ingredients finishing with the cheeses.
6. Pour the cream over, sprinkle with salt & pepper and bake, covered with foil, in preheated oven at 400 for 10 minutes. Bake uncovered 10 minutes. Remove & allow to cool 5 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pasta With Pomodoro Sauce

Pasta With Pomodoro Sauce it's easy! by Cooking Light

2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t salt
28 oz whole tomatoes, undrained & coarsely chopped
1/4 c finely sliced fresh basil
8 c hot cooked penne (1 lb.)

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes stirring constantly (do not brown).
2. Stir in pepper, salt, & tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 7 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Serve over pasta. 6 servings

In my opinion: So easy! So healthy! Why not give it a try?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Parmesan, Pasta, & Artichoke Bake

Parmesan, Pasta, & Artichoke Bake by meals.com
8 oz pasta shells (I use small)
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 -13 3/4 oz cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 c grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 c whipping cream
1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Spray 8" pan.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium high. Add oil & saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add artichokes & saute until light golden, about 3 minutes. Add 1 c Parmesan, cream, salt & pepper.
5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, & simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
5. Mix pasta with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 20 minutes.

In my opinion: This is one of my most favoritist meals of all time! I have made this for groups and they ask for the recipe and then they are asked for the recipe. I would make it more often but my husband doesn't like artichokes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Vodka Cream Pasta

Vodka Cream Pasta by Rachael Ray

1 T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 c vodka
1 c chicken stock
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
coarse salt & pepper
16 oz pasta such as penne
1/2 c heavy cream
20 leaves fresh basil, torn
crusty bread for passing

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, & shallots.
2. Gently saute for 3-5 minutes to develop their sweetness.
3. Add vodka to the pan. Reduce vodka by half, 2-3 minutes.
4. Add chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble & reduce heat to simmer. Season with s & p.
5. While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente. Meanwhile, prepare salad or other side dishes.
6. Stir cream into sauce. WHen sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta.
7. Toss hot pasta with sauce & basil leaves. 4 servings

In my opinion: This is a great dish and super easy to make.

Cola-Baked Ham with Cherry-Orange Glaze

Cola-Baked Ham with Cherry-Orange Glaze by Emeril Lagasse

12-15 lb fully cooked bone-in ham
1 t ground allspice
2-L bottle cola
3/4 c cherry preserves or jelly
1/4 c fresh orange juice
2 T orange flavored liqueur (Recommend Grand Marnier)
biscuits or dinner rolls to go along
Creole mustard to go along

Preheat oven to 325.
2. Trim rind and excess fat from the ham, leaving a 1/4" layer of fat. With a sharp knife, score the fat in a doamond pattern. Place the ham in a large roasting pan and sprinkle with the allspice. Pour the cola into the pan and bake uncovered 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the cherry preserves, OJ, and liqueur over medium heat and cook, stirring, until melted, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Remove the ham from the oven and brush the top and sides with cherry glaze. return the ham to the oven and bake, brushing with pan juices and glaze every 15 minutes and tenting the ham with foil if browning too quickly, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of ham w/o touching the bone registers 140, about 15-30 minutes.
5. Remove the ham from oven and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature, thinly sliced, with biscuits or dinner rolls and mustard to make sandwiches.

In my opinion: This is good, really good, but also a lot of work for a mommy of 3 small children. I may cook this one again one day when the kids are old enough to help out.

Started at 3:30
Out of oven at 6:00
Ready at 6:30

Thursday, April 9, 2009

BLT Soup by Paula Deen

BLT Soup by Paula Deen

5 slices bacon, finely diced, plus crisp crumbles bacon for garnish
1/2 c diced green onions
2 T butter (That's all Paula?)
3 c finely shredded iceberg lettuce (We didn't use)
1/2 c instant flour (What's instant? I used good ol' a.p.)
3 1/2 c chicken broth, heated to a simmer
1 c diced fresh tomatoes
1/8 t grated fresh nutmeg (Sorry, I used my spices from my cabinet)
1/8 t ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 c heavy cream (Now we're talkin')
1/4 c mayonaisse
1/4 c sour cream

In a 3 qt pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the onions and cook, stirring until wilted. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the lettuce and saute for 2 minutes.Sprinkle the flour into the pot, then stir it in until well blended. Remove the pot from the heat and add the hot chicken broth, tomatoes, nutmeg, and pepper. Heat the soup to boiling, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the cream and mix well.

Mix the mayonnaise and sour cream. Serve each portion of soup with a dollop of mayonnaise mixture topped with crumbled bacon.

In my opinion: Heck, Paula Deen came up with this, who cares what I say? Honestly? This was a good soup. It used very few dishes in preparation which is even better. We'll be having this again soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Creamy Lemon Pie

Creamy Lemon Pie by Eagle Brand

3 egg yolks
14 oz can Eagle Brand milk
1/2 c lemon juice
8 or 9" prepared graham cracker or baked pie crust
whipped topping
lemon zest (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325. Beat egg yolks in medium bowl with electric beater; gradually beat in Eagle Brand and lemon juice.
2. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Remove from oven. Cool 1 hour. Chill at least 3 hours.
3. Before serving, spread whipped topping over pie. Garnish with lemon zest. Store leftovers covered in fridge.

This was a delicious pie. It is easy to make but actually takes 5 hours from start to finish due to cooling and chilling time. Plan accordingly.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chippers in a Jar

Chippers in a Jar by Better Homes and Gardens
3/4 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1 c semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c peanut butter morsels

To prepare:
1/2 c butter, softened
1 slightly beaten egg
1 t vanilla

1. Stir together flour and baing soda in a small bowl. Layer in a 1-quart glass jar the following ingredients: sugar, brown sugar, chocolate, oats, flour mixture, and peanut butter morsels. Tap jar gently on counter to settle each layer before adding the next. Cover jar.
2. Store at room temperature up to one month. Or, attach baking directions and give as gift.
3. Baking directions: Heat oven to 375. Empty contents into a large bowl. Add softened butter, egg, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Transfew to wire racks and cool. Makes 24-30.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Can't Miss Red Snapper

We have a very classy restaurant in town called, 'Christopher's World Grille' that has the most amazing menu. It's the kind of place you go to for VERY special occassions. Besides the menu, the atmosphere in the 100 year old Texas Ranch home is relaxing and romantic. I had a fish platter there called "Zihuatinejo Snapper" that had been recommended to me by many. I was hesitant since fish can taste...well..fishy. What I tasted was a melodic blend of flavors that I long to have again. Anyway, after trying the Snapper, I found the following recipe and decided to give it a try. Nothing will ever compare to the cuisine of the world chef but this is as close as I think I can come. By the way, my husband won a gift card to Christopher's and we get to go next Wednesday when my parents are in town. We haven't been since our 1st anniversary Dec. 6, 2004. http://www.christophersworldgrille.com/

Can't Miss Red Snapper by Paula Deen
4 8 oz snapper fillets
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 c chopped onions
1/2 c butter
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 c fresh parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Season fish with salt & pepper. Spread onions in 9 x 13" glass baking dish. Place fish on top.
3. Dot fish with butter. Sprinkle with Worcestershire.
4. Bake 12 minutes. Baste with pan juices. Sprinkle with cheese & place under broiler for 2 minutes until cheese browns.
5. To serve, spoon vegetables over the fish.