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.