Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kielbasa Bundles

We love just about any type of sausage around this house, and we love bread.  So when the two marry, we have happy mouths.  We all liked this easy recipe (and I love it when they love easy).  It's another I wrote down long ago and just now got around to trying.  Tasty!

1/2 lb kielbasa, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T butter
2 tubes crescent rolls
1 egg
4 slices American, halved

Cook sausage in skillet 5 - 8 minutes.  Add onion, garlic and butter; cook until tender.  Unroll crescent roll dough and form 8 rectangles.  Place a cheese slice on half of each rectangle; top with 2 T sausage mix.  Fold dough over filling and pinch edges to seal; fold seam under.  Beat egg and brush over dough.  Bake according to crescent roll package. 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Taco Pasta Shells

I wrote down this recipe from who-knows-where a long time ago but forgot all about it.  I wish I hadn't!  It's a new family favorite.  Tasty and filling.  All five thumbs up!  (And no judging the photo.  We were in a huge hurry.  Grin.)

1 lb ground beef
3 oz cream cheese
1 t salt
1 t chili powder
18 jumbo shells
2 T butter
1 c taco sauce
1 c shredded cheddar
1 1/2 c crushed tortilla chips
8 oz sour cream

Cook beef in skillet.  Add cream cheese, salt and chili powder.  Mix and simmer 5 minutes.  Boil shells according to package.  Toss cooked shells in butter.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill shells with beef mixture and arrange in 9 x 13; pour taco sauce on top.  Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes.  Add cheese and chips; bake 15 more minutes.  Top with sour cream and serve. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hearty Sausage Sandwich

Note to self:  don't type up recipes at night.  It makes you hungry at the worst time.  But I'm making the sacrifice for you. 

I really like this recipe.  While it's similar to the Beef Stroganoff Sandwich that I've made for years, it's enough different that I found it worthwhile to stash here.  It's a keeper from Taste of Home. 

1 lb bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c chopped green pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
1/4 c chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 c grated Parmesan
1/4 c water
1/4 t oregano
1 loaf Italian bread
1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella

In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic; drain.  Add cream cheese, mushrooms,  Parmesan, water and oregano.  Cook and stir until well-blended.  Cut bread in half horizontally; hollow out top and bottom, leaving a 3/4 inch shell.  Place bread bottom on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese, top with sausage and remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 350. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

This is a new favorite!  I found it at Better Homes and Gardens.  It was easy and yummy, (and the kids liked that they didn't have to eat the mushrooms but could still enjoy the sauce).  Plus, it only took about a half an hour to fix!

4 chicken breasts
1 t olive oil
2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium sweet pepper, cut into small squares
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c sour cream
1 T flour
1/8 t pepper
2 c hot cooked rice

Lightly coat skillet with Pam.  Preheat over medium heat and cook chicken for 3 - 5 minutes or until browned, turning once.  Remove from skillet.

Add oil to hot skillet.  Cook the mushrooms, pepper and garlic in hot oil until tender.  Remove veggies and keep warm.  Carefully stir broth into the skillet.  Return chicken to skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 5 - 7 minutes or until chicken is done.  Transfer to a platter and keep warm. 

For sauce, in a bowl stir together sour cream, flour and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper until smooth.  Stir into mixture in skillet.  Cook and stir until bubbly and then 1 minute more.  Serve chicken, vegetables and sauce over rice.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tropical Lime Chicken

This is a little different, but I like different. And I think it's especially good for summer time. You can broil it or fix it on the grill for about the same amount of time. It's one of those recipes that I don't know where I found it, but I'm glad I did!

1/2 c pineapple tidbits
1 medium kiwi, peeled and chopped
1/4 c chopped sweet red pepper
1 T lime juice
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T honey
1 t crushed red pepper

3 T, plus 1 1/2 t lime juice
1 T canola oil
1 T grated lime peel
1/8 t salt
1/8 t pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 c couscous

In a small bowl, combine the salsa ingredients and refrigerate until serving. In a large Ziploc bag, combine the lime juice, oil, lime peel, salt and pepper and add the chicken. Seal the bag. Turn to coat; refrigerate 2 - 4 hours.

Drain and discard marinade. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 3 inches from the heat for 5 - 6 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with couscous and salsa.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Turkey Muffuletta

Almost all of us like this.  My younger son doesn't count because he doesn't like pizza or peanut butter, so you can see he's just weird.  I love him anyway.  But this is a super-easy, tasty sandwich that also sits well in the fridge for the next day.  Now, isn't that nice?  I found it in the December/January 2008 Taste of Home magazine.

1 loaf Italian bread
1/3 c olive oil
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 t dried basil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t crushed red pepper
3/4 pound sliced deli turkey
6 oz provolone cheese, sliced
1 (7 oz) jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and sliced
1/2 c sliced pimento-stuffed olives (I used them even though I don't like them.  It's good!)
1 large tomato, sliced
3 T shredded Romano cheese
1 t oregano
1/4 t pepper

Cut bread in half lengthwise and hollow out top and bottom, leaving a shell.  In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, basil, garlic, salt and red pepper.  Brush over cut sides of bread.  In the bottom bread shell, layer turkey, provolone, peppers, olives and tomato.  Sprinkle with Romano cheese, oregano and pepper.  Replace bread top.  Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Cut into slices and serve!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

Often when I make a meal to take to someone, this is the main dish.  It's one of our absolute favorite foods, and if I don't double it when I'm making it for someone else so that we have some too, I get in big trouble.  I made it for my mother-in-law when she had foot surgery and got some dirty looks from my husband and boys until they realized that there was one in the freezer for them for another day.  It's from an old Betty Crocker Cookbook.  Gotta love Betty! 

1 package (7 oz) spaghetti, broken into thirds
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 c chicken broth
1 c heavy whipping cream
2 T water (or dry sherry)
2 c cubed cooked chicken
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350.  Cook spaghetti according to package.  While it's cooking, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.  Stir in broth and whipping cream.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir one minute.

Drain spaghetti.  Stir spaghetti, water/sherry, chicken and mushrooms into sauce.  Pour mixture into an ungreased 2-quart casserole.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until bubbly in center. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mexican Beef and Bean Casserole

This is an old favorite of ours -- a quick, easy dish that also freezes well and is very filling.  I think it's from a Betty Crocker Cookbook.

1 lb ground beef
2 cans pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 c salsa
1 t chili powder
1 c shredded cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook beef in a skillet over medium heat until browned; drain.  Mix all ingredients, except the cheese, in an ungreased casserole.  Cover and bake 40 - 45 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake, uncovered about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ham & Cheese Roll-ups

This is a new favorite!  I found it in an old Taste of Home Magazine from my mother-in-law.  Everyone gobbled these up greedily, and then the next day, my son asked me if I could make them for lunch.  And I did --- that's how much we liked them!  They are so easy, it's almost embarrassing to share them as a recipe.  But they are good, and I'd hate to hold out on you. 

olive oil
4 flour tortillas
grated Parmesan cheese
deli-style ham
provolone cheese
hard salami
shredded mozzarella

Brush olive oil on one side of tortillas.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Layer with ham, cheese, salami and mozzarella.  Roll up and place seam side down on baking sheet.  Brush with oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake at 425 for 9 - 12 minutes or until gold brown.  Serve with marinara sauce if desired. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Italian Roasted Vegetables

I love roasted veggies!  This is a slight variation from a recipe I found quite awhile ago (but I'm not sure where).  The best part is you can add or eliminate most vegetables to this easy dish.  Quick and delicious! 

3 medium yellow summer squash, sliced
1 sweet red pepper, sliced
1/4 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
4 - 8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 c sun-dried tomato salad dressing
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a large baking pan.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees, stirring once. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Almond Chicken Casserole

My hubby and I really, really like this; the boys think it's okay; and Baby Girl eats just about anything most days.  The hubby took all the leftovers with him to work because he liked it so much . . . and I was disappointed!  This came from a Taste of Home magazine -- not sure which issue.  Easy peasy!   

2 c cubed, cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c sour cream
3/4 c mayo
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped (I leave these out)
1 T finely chopped onion
2 t lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c crushed cornflakes
2 T butter, melted
1/4 c sliced almonds

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients but the last four.  Transfer to a greased 9x13 dish; sprinkle with cheese.  Toss cornflakes with butter; sprinkle over cheese.  Top with the almonds.  Bake, uncovered at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sausage and Spinach Calzones

My hubby's philosophy is if you put sausage in something, it's got to be good.  If that philosophy sounds right to you, you'll like these.  They received two thumbs up from all my guys, and The Princess gobbled hers up too. 

1/2 - 1 lb bulk sausage
1 tube refrigerated pizza crust
3/4 c shredded cheese
2 2/3 c fresh spinach
1/2 c ricotta cheese (I use cottage cheese)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

In a skillet, cook sausage until done.  Meanwhile, roll pizza crust out to a 15x11" rectangle.  Cut into four rectangles.  Sprinkle cheese over half of each, to within 1 inch of the edges.

Drain sausage.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove from the heat; stir in ricotta (or cottage) cheese, salt and pepper.  Spread over dough.  Fold dough over and press with a fork to seal. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Eat up! 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Resurrection Rolls

Last summer at VBS a friend of mine made these treats for the kids.  They were so easy and fun that we had to try them this Easter. 

All you need
     large marshmallows
     tube of refrigerated crescent rolls
     cinnamon sugar

Roll out the crescent rolls (these represent the tomb).  Place the marshmallows on top (these represent Christ).  Roll them up, starting at the narrow end.  Pinch and seal the edges.  They will look like lopsided balls.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake at 375 for 10 - 11 minutes.  

Bite into them -- the tomb is empty!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Impromptu Pork Tenderloins

Yesterday I was all set to fix one of our favorite chicken recipes and share it here, but I discovered a problem when I went to get the chicken out of the freezer to thaw.  It wasn't there. 

Don't you hate it when that happens? 

I noticed that I had some pork tenderloins, so I thought I'd try My Butter Chicken coating on the pork chops because I needed a meal I could fix fast.  It was a hit!  It's great to discover a flexible recipe!

But I forgot to take pictures.  It was just that kind of day.

Do you have a favorite impromptu recipe?  Send it to me.  If I like it, I'll feature it here, giving you all the credit.  Happy eating!  

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Broccoli Rice Casserole

I tried to make crab cakes, and they were more like crab crumbles, so I won't share that recipe.  Instead, how about broccoli?  This is a great stand-by from for sharing at potlucks since it makes a LOT!  (It's tasty too!)

20 oz package frozen chopped broccoli
3 c instant rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 c milk
1 package American cheese, cubed
1 T butter
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook broccoli and rice according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a medium saucepan, mix soups and milk.  Gradually stir in cheese until melted.  Be careful that the cheese doesn't burn.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; saute celery and onion until soft.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into a 9x13 dish.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and light brown.  Easy peasy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Barbecue Jack Chicken

It just doesn't get much easier than this quick, tasty dish.  It's good on the grill in the summer or broiled in the oven when the weather is not-so-good.  My family raved over it.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 slices pepper Jack cheese
1 c barbecue sauce

Cut a pocket in each piece of chicken.  Fill with cheese; secure with metal skewers (or wooden ones that have been soaked).  Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat (or broil a few inches from heat) for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, basting frequently with sauce.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Favorite Banana Bread

I love this bread!  It's moist and full of flavor and quick to put together.  I also like it with blueberries added to it for a change.

1 1/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter, softened
2 large eggs
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 c chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease bottom of 9x5x3 loaf pan with shortening.  Mix sugar and butter.  Stir in eggs until well blended.  Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until creamy.  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened.  Stir in nuts (or 1 cup of blueberries if you prefer).  Pour batter in pan.  Bake 1 hour, 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish Rolls

Yum, y'all!  These are good!  I found them awhile back on Better Homes and Garden's site.  They're really easy and make me think of summer.  I love the sandwich as a whole, but if you want to eat the fish plain, it's good too; just add some salt.

1 1/2 lb catfish fillets
1/4 c cornmeal
2 t Cajun seasoning
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 large sweet red pepper
1 stalk celery
1/4 small red onion
1/3 c mayonnaise
1 T ketchup
1/4 t bottle hot pepper sauce (optional)
sesame seed buns, toasted

Rinse fish; pat dry.  Cut into 8 pieces.  In a shallow dish combine cornmeal and 1 1/2 t of Cajun seasoning; coat fish with mixture.

In a large skillet, cook fish in hot oil over medium-high heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until browned and fish flakes easily.

Meanwhile, thinly slice peppers, celery (lengthwise), and onion.  Combine in a bowl.  In another bowl, combine mayo, ketchup and remaining Cajun seasoning (and pepper sauce, if you use it).  Add 1 T mayo mixture to the pepper-celery mixture.  Spread some of the remaining mayo sauce on cut sides of rolls.  Assemble sandwiches with catfish and celery mixture.  Serve with remaining mayo sauce. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cracker Barrel Baby Carrots

I used to dislike cooked carrots.  I thought they were mushy and drab compared to their crispy, juicy raw selves.  One day I tried them at Cracker Barrel, and I fell in love with soft, buttery sweetness.  I have tried to imitate them ever since, but just couldn't find the right combination.  I finally found a recipe at Recipezaar that does a great job, and it's so simple (I modified it slightly).  Why couldn't I figure this out myself?!?  Now, I've just got to find a recipe for Cracker Barrel Pancakes!

2 lbs fresh baby carrots
1 t salt
1 T brown sugar
2 T butter, melted

Rinse carrots and put in a sauce pan, pouring enough water in pan to just cover the top of the carrots.  Cover and bring to boil over medium heat.  Turn heat to low and simmer about 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.  Drain.  Meanwhile, stir sugar into melted butter.  Pour over the drained, cooked carrots and stir well. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes

This yummy, fun idea to make with kids comes from Family Fun Magazine.  It's a perfect St. Patrick's Day or spring treat and the colors just lifted my spirit! 

Here's the very simple directions:

1.  Prepare one box of white cake mix according to package directions.
2.  Divide the batter evenly among six small bowls.
3.  Follow this chart to dye each bowl a rainbow color:
     Purple -- 9 red, 6 blue drops
     Blue -- 12 drops
     Green -- 12 drops
     Yellow -- 12 drops
     Orange --  12 yellow, 4 red drops
     Red -- 18 drops

4. Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups and distribute the purple batter among the cups.  Then the blue, green, yellow, orange, and finally, red.  As you go, carefully spread each layer of batter with a spoon to cover the previous color.
5.  Bake according to package directions.  When serving, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream cloud.  Dreamy!

Beef, Mushroom and Onion Tart

This recipe from the March 2010 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine received thumbs up from my family.  It has a little bit of a grown-up taste because of the blue cheese, so I tried to go light on it in some spots for my younger son.  Quick, simple and yummy!

1 lb ground beef
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 medium red onion, cut in thin wedges
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground pepper
1 pkg refrigerated pizza dough (I used a tube of Pillsbury)
3 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 425.  In a skillet cook beef, mushrooms and onion over medium heat until beef is browned and onions are tender.  Drain off fat.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Meanwhile, grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment (or use an ungreased baking stone, as I did).  Unroll dough on baking sheet.  Pat to a 15x12 rectangle.  Top with beef mixture, keeping filling within 1 1/2 inches of all edges.  Fold over the filling and crimp edges.  Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden.  Top with blue cheese and oregano.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cheeseburger Soup

6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, grated
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c chopped green pepper
2 T chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper (optional)
2 1/2 c water
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 t pepper
1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground beef
1/2 lb sliced fresh mushrooms
5 c milk, divided
6 T flour
16 oz American cheese, cubed

In a large saucepan or soup kettle, combine the first nine ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Meanwhile, cook beef and mushrooms until done; drain.  Add to the soup.  Stir in 4 cups milk; heat through.

In a small bowl, combine flour and remaining milk until smooth; gradually stir into soup.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chicken Pepper Fajitas

This is one of those recipes I used to make all the time, and then forgot about.  And I love it!!  Why did I let it sit for so long?  It's a great low-fat dish that tastes good too.  And I love that!

2/3 c lime juice
1 T seasoning blend
1 T ground cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4" strips
1 large onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 sweet red pepper, julienned
flour tortillas, warmed

In a bowl combine the seasonings; set aside 2 tablespoons.  Pour remaining marinade into a Ziploc bag; add chicken and seal.  Turn to coat and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes; turning occassionally. 

In a large skillet coated with Pam, saute onion and peppers until crisp-tender; remove and set aside.  Drain and discard marinade from the chicken.  Cook the chicken in the reserved marinade in the skillet for about 5 minutes or until done.  Return vegetables to pan; heat through.  Serve on tortillas.  Yummy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chicken and Red Potatoes

Okay, I'm on a slow cooker kick.  It's been a busy week, and I needed recipes that worked for me while I was gone.  I really like this dish, but if the chicken cooks too long, it gets a little dry.  However, the broth/gravy that cooks with it, solves that problem nicely.  This dish is a winner in my house!

4 boneless chicken breasts
3 T flour
2 T oil
4 red potatoes, quartered
2 c baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1 can diced chilies
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
1 can cream of onion soup
1/4 c milk
1/2 t chicken seasoning
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Place flour in plastic bag.  Add chicken, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.  Brown chicken in oil in a skillet.  Meanwhile, place the carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and chilies in a greased crockpot.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Pour half of the mix over the veggies.  Add chicken to the slow cooker; top with remaining soup mixture.  Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours, or until chicken is done and veggies are tender.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Forgotten Jambalaya

I'm always, always on the lookout for crockpot recipes.  We enjoyed this dish -- even my kids who aren't too crazy about spicy stuff. 

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can chicken broth
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 t dried parsley
2 t dried basil
1 1/2 t dried oregano
1 1/4 t salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t hot pepper sauce
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Hot cooked rice

In a slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, broth and tomato paste.  Stir in veggies and seasonings.  Stir in chicken and sausage.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.  Stir in shrimp.  Cover and cook 15 - 30 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink.  Serve with rice.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Creamy Bacon Mushroom Soup

I found this recipe in an old Taste of Home Magazine at my mother-in-law's and wanted to give it a try.  Here's the rub:  I thought I had all the ingredients, but when I was in the middle of fixing it, I realized I was missing something important:  the cream.  (Also in the middle of it, my sons who were playing soccer -- in the house! -- managed to send the ball sailing into the onions in a dish which broke into a gazillion pieces.  But that's beside the point.  I just thought you might appreciate knowing under what conditions this soup managed to get made.)  I'm going to give you the ingredients that are called for, but I'll also tell you what I did instead.  You can take your pick, because it was yummy!  And my kids, who aren't big on mushrooms, even liked the soup.  (Which after their fiasco, they'd better like it!)

1 package of bacon, diced
1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart heaving whipping cream
1 can chicken broth (or 2 cups)
1 package shredded cheese (we like Monterey Jack)
3 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
3 T water

In a soup kettle or large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels, drain, reserving 2 T drippings.  In the drippings, saute mushrooms, onions and garlic.  Stir in cream and broth.  (I was missing the cream, so I improvised.  I used 1 1/2 cups whole milk, plus 5 oz of cream cheese.  It's what I had.  It worked!  Just stir a lot to melt the cream cheese.)  Gradually stir in shredded cheese until melted. 

In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and water.  Whisk until smooth.  Stir into soup.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Garnish with bacon.  Makes about 8 servings.  Really yummy!  Serve with your choice of bread.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Easy Snack Ideas

Not too long ago, I made a list of easy lunch ideas for those days when we're all thinking-challenged and stuck on pb&j.  After that I had a request for some ideas for those mid-afternoon snacks.  Since I love my friend, and I love easy food, I thought I'd comply.  I'm like that.  So here are some easy snacks that we like to have at our house.  Some of them also double as our lunch or breakfast ideas -- just usually not on the same day!  Eat up!  (And  please feel free to share what you do when the hunger monster strikes at your place.)

yogurt and granola
apples and peanut butter or honey
fruit (especially strawberries, grapes and bananas) and marshmallow creme dip
trail mix
chex mix
vanilla wafers and peanut butter
popcorn with parmesan cheese sprinkled on it (or plain)
cheese sticks
whole grain crackers with topping of choice (peanut butter, cheese, cream cheese or jelly)
quick breads (banana, pumpkin, sweet potato)
fruit kabobs
tortilla chips with shredded cheese or salsa
soft pretzels
dill pickle spears
graham crackers with icing
dried fruit
ants on a log
popsicles (we like Edy's)

I also found some cute snack ideas from Family Fun.  So if you're feeling creative, take a gander at those.

Marshmallow Creme Dip

This is so easy and so good and much better than the kind you buy at the store.  I can't get enough!  Really.  I can't.

1 small jar marshmallow creme
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
2 - 3 T orange juice

Beat together until smooth and creamy.  Refrigerate until serving.  Serve with your favorite fruit.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ambrosia Fruid Salad

This yummy dish comes from a 2008 Taste of Home Magazine my mother-in-law gave me.  We gobble it up quickly.  The recipe calls for marshmallows, which sometimes I leave out because Baby Girl has an addiction to them.  It's not pretty when we run out . . . or her big brothers are still eating theirs when she's consumed hers already.

2 c cubed fresh pineapple (or 1 can if you don't have fresh)
2 large oranges, peeled and sectioned (but last night I used a can of Mandarin oranges)
1 1/2 c grapes
1 large banana, sliced
1 c mini marshmallows
1/2 c flaked coconut
1/4 c chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
1 6 oz carton vanilla yogurt

Combine all the ingredients but the yogurt in a large mixing bowl; gently fold in yogurt.  Chill until serving.  Sometimes I wait until just before serving to add the bananas and marshmallows.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fish Tacos

Okay. I'm almost embarrased to add this to my recipes, because it's not really a recipe. It's more of an assembling together of stuff you buy already prepared. But I like easy, and I'm realistic enough to know that surely there are others out there like me that need something this easy but still tastes really good.

1 package of breaded fish, cooked according to directions
romaine lettuce
sliced red onion
tortillas, warmed
tartar sauce

Assemble and gobble!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Slow Cooker Roast with Gravy

I love easy recipes, and I love my crockpot. One of my favorite things is to start dinner in the morning, and not have to think about it for the rest of the day. This roast would be good with green beans, carrots, and mashed potatoes. Last night I made it with roasted potatoes and carrots. It was a winning combination!

4 - 5 lb chuck roast
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 1/4 c beef broth

In a slow cooker mix the soup, onion mix and broth. Place the roast in next. Cover and cook on low 8 - 9 hours or on high for 3 - 4 hours.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baked Eggs

I have a new favorite easy egg recipe. It's a favorite because, well, it's . . . . easy, but I think I already mentioned that. It also requires very few ingredients, and it tastes good. I took it to church yesterday and received lots of compliments. So here it is!

12 eggs
5 oz milk (whole or evaporated makes it richer)
1 t mustard
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle cheese in the bottom of the pan. Beat eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. (If you want to, add garlic powder and a chopped green onion. I did, and it was tasty!) Pour on top of cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until firm. Slice and serve warm.

Next time, I'm adding mushrooms if I have them, just for something a little different, but it was good without them!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Easy Lunch Ideas

I'm a homeschooling mom, so I need quick easy lunches because I'm mom, teacher, chef and janitor. And sometimes I just forget that there are other things out there than pb&j. So here's a reminder for me, and you, if you need it.

the main thing:
personal pizzas on English muffins
turkey sandwiches cut into shapes with cookie cutters
tomato soup and grilled cheese
tuna salad and crackers
corn dogs
egg salad sandwiches
cheese quesadillas
fried egg sandwiches
fish sticks
chicken nuggets
bagel sandwiches (turkey or ham on toasted bagel with melted cheese or cream cheese)
hummus and crackers with shredded carrots
pitas stuffed with leftover chicken, Parmesan cheese, dressing and lettuce
cheese sticks
boiled eggs
turkey and cheese pinwheels

carrot sticks
cucumber slices
mandarin oranges
cheese cubes
ants on a log (celery with pb and raisins)
grape tomatoes
fruit cups
baked chips
good ole apples and bananas or other fruit (grapes, peaches, strawberries, kiwi, etc.)

If you have more lunch ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Backyard Burgers

"Really good. These are really good. I really like these."

A little bit later . . . "Do you think Baby Girl will eat all of hers?"

This was my husband's reaction to this recipe. I enjoyed them too, but he REALLY liked them. It's just a burger . . . but it's not. It's a great change from your regular burger -- grilled outside or cooked on the stove top indoors. Eat up!

1 - 1/2 lb ground beef
1 package onion soup mix
2 T barbecue sauce
2 T Worcestershire sauce

Mix well and cook to desired done-ness. Serve with your choice of toppings.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bacon and Egg Salad Sandwiches

I found this recipe in the August 2008 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, and it's delish -- bacon makes everything better, right? It's extremely easy, and I just made a couple of minor changes to suit my family. Plus, it was a successful way to get my boys to eat lettuce.

6 eggs
8 (or more) slices of bacon
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 t yellow mustard
1/2 of a cucumber, chopped
lettuce leaves of your choice
8 slices bread (I use cheese bread from the bakery)

Place eggs in medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover and turn off heat. Keep in water for 10 minutes. Once done, peel and coarsely chop four eggs. Meanwhile, in 12" skillet cook bacon until crisp; drain. Also lightly toast the bread at the same time. In small bowl combine mayo and mustard.

Top 4 off the bread slices with lettuce leaves, chopped egg and cucumber. Halve the remaining two eggs and place on half on each sandwich. Top with mayo mixture, bacon and remaining bread slices. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creamy Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

These are not your diet potatoes, so of course, they're yummy!

When your ingredients are these . . .

count on Comfort!

2 lbs potatoes
2/4 c evaporated milk
1/4 c butter
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Place peeled and cubed potatoes in large saucepan. Cover with water; bring to boil. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 - 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Return to saucepan; add evaporated milk and butter. Beat with mixer until smooth. Stir in cheese and season.

I found this recipe on They suggested adding green onion and/or bacon for more flavor. We topped our individual servings with green onions (well, the adults in the family did), and they were even better!

Friday, February 19, 2010

New England Pork Tenderloin

Don't let how disgusting this meat looks uncooked scare you away. The end result is appealing and appetizing. This recipe is a favorite from my mom, and if Mom makes it, it's good!

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 c apple jelly
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
2 tart red cooking apples, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced

Heat oven to 375. In a small bowl, combine apple jelly, lemon juice and pumpkin pie spice; blend well. Place roast in a greased pan. Brush with half of jelly mixture. Roast for 20 - 30 minutes. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place apple slices on a broiling pan; brush with remaining mixture. Broil 5 - 6" from the heat for about 5 minutes.

I usually double the recipe (which doubles the cooking time).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Anne's Chocolate Cake

Addiction Alert! This chocolate cake with chocolate icing will make you both deliciously happy and sick with its richness at the same time. I looooooooove it! My friend, Anne, made it for a church something-or-other, and I was hooked. And I don't think I shamelessly begged her to make it for my birthday, but I might have. It's wonderfully yummy and easy (it starts with a mix!). Perfect with a tall glass of milk.

1 box Super Moist Fudge Cake mix
1 c sour cream
1 c oil
1/2 c water
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
12 oz chocolate chips
1 container of chocolate icing (or make your own)

Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and icing. Mix well. Stir in chips. Grease a Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool and turn onto a plate. Ice with chocolate icing. Yum!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

This is a blend of various recipes I've found. I love the garlicy-ness of it. (It's a new word. Try it.) Serve it with my Olive Garden-ish Salad and pretend you're not at home.

6 oz uncooked fettuccine
1 lb chicken breasts, cubed
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ t salt
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 T butter

1/2 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups milk
6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large skillet, sauté chicken, onion, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper in butter. Cook until chicken is done. At the same time in a sauce pan, begin the sauce. Melt the 1/2 c butter over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta and chicken to serve. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan if desired.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Warm Fruit

This is so easy, I can't even really call it a recipe. It's a great side to breakfast breads -- toast, pancakes, waffles, etc. . . A comforting winter dish.

Warm a can of peaches in a skillet in their juice. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to taste; simmer a few minutes. Add fresh or frozen (thawed) berries (whatever you prefer) and allow to warm through. I especially like a mix of raspberries and blueberries.

Baked French Toast

This is my favorite make-ahead breakfast. I first had this yummy dish at a women's retreat several years ago, and it's been a staple special in our home ever since.

1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
2 T corn syrup
1 c milk
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 loaf French bread, cut into 3/4" slices

Over medium heat in a saucepan, mix and melt brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Arrange bread slices on top. In a blender, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour over the bread. Cover and chill overnight. The next day, uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. No syrup needed!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Easy Mac 'n Cheese

My sis and cousin get the nod for introducing me to this. It's super easy, super good and perfect for family gatherings since it makes a big dish. And who doesn't love cheese and carbs?!

Layer in a greased 9x13 pan:

2 c macaroni
1 stick butter
12 oz shredded cheddar cheese
4 - 5 c milk
salt and pepper to taste

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more.

Mushroom Oven Rice

I LOVE mushrooms, so this is one of my favorite ways to eat rice.

1 c brown rice, uncooked
1/4 c butter
1/4 c chopped celery
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can chicken broth
1/3 c water
1-2 T soy sauce
1 T dried parsley

In a skillet, saute the rice in butter for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Add celery and onion; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until celery is tender. Transfer to a greased baking dish (1-1/2 qt.). Stir in broth, water, soy sauce and parsley. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 - 50 minutes.

Bruschetta Chicken

Mmmmm, mmmm good. Great served with my Olive Garden-ish Salad.

1/2 c flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 chicken breasts
1/4 c grated crumbs
1/4 c bread crumbs
1 T butter, melted
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 T minced fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T oil
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour, then eggs. Place in a greased 9x13 pan. Combine Parmesan, crumbs, and butter; sprinkle over chicken. Loosely cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients. Spoon over chicken and bake 5 minutes longer.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Apple Dumplings

We salivate over these. I must admit, I don't have these as perfected as my mom does, so my husband says I need to practice more. Sound familiar?

4 apples, peeled and cored
1/2 of Grandma's pie dough

1/2 c sugar
1 t cinnamon

Roll out a square of dough and and place an apple in the center. Fill apple with sugar and cinnamon mixture.

For sauce, bring to a boil:
2 c water
3 T butter
1/4 t cinnamon

Place apples in a baking dish and pour sauce over. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes.

Grandma's Pie Crust

1/2 c shortening
1/2 c butter
1 T vinegar
1 t salt
1/2 c boiling water
3 c flour

Pour the boiling water over the first 3 ingredients and stir. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to roll a crust. For pressing into a pan for cobblers, you can handle after 1 hour.

Pork Chops and Rice

This is one of my favorite ways to eat pork chops, and I love how easy it is to throw together. If you have more than 4 - 6 pork chops, you may need more than 1 (15-oz) can of whole tomatoes. Thanks to my mom for this one!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season pork chops with salt and pepper, if desired. Brown lightly on both sides in hot oil. Cover each pork chop with sliced onion, 1 Tbsp. rice, and 1 canned whole tomato. Drizzle remaining juice/tomatoes over the pork chops. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies

My friend, Amber, introduced my to these from The Pioneer Woman, and I was hooked. I seriously wished no one else wanted them because I wanted them ALL. Super, super good!

20 whole fresh jalapenos, 2-3 inches in size
2 cubes cream cheese, softened
1 pound bacon, sliced into thirds

If you have them, slip on some latex gloves for the pepper prep. Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things hot). Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle. (At this point, you can freeze them, uncooked, in a Ziploc bag for later use).

Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. You don’t want the bacon to shrink so much it starts to the squeeze the jalapeno. If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn’t look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off.

Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Easy Breakfast Ideas

Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and find myself eating cereal every morning for two weeks. Here's a list of easy breakfast ideas to help us all start off the day with a little variety.

Oatmeal -- sprinkle with nuts and apples or bananas and chocolate chips
French Toast Slices
Vanilla Yogurt with Granola Topping
Bagels with Cream Cheese
Cinnamon Toast
Toast with Peanut Butter and Bananas
Biscuit Sandwiches filled with scrambled eggs, sausage patties, or ham & cheese

Make ahead and freeze:
Waffles -- Toast them and top with fruit and whipped cream or syrup
Pancakes -- Ditto
Muffins -- warm them in the microwave

Make the night before:
Fruit salad
Boiled egg -- serve with toast and juice

What do you do for breakfast?

Chicken Potpies

This super easy recipe makes two pies. One for now and one to freeze or share!

4 c cubed cooked chicken
4 c hash brown potatoes, thawed
16 oz frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of onion soup
1 c milk
8 oz (1 c) sour cream
2 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
1 package (15 oz) refrigerated pie pastry

Combine all the ingredients, except for the pastry. Divide between two 9" deep-dish pie plates. Roll out the pastry to fit top of each pie. Cut slits in the top. Place over filling; trim and seal. Cover and freeze one pie for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the other at 400 for 35 - 40 minutes.

For the frozen pie:
Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake on a sheet at 425 for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350. Remove foil and bake 50 - 55 minutes longer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Thanks to Shelly for this one. Super easy and just as yummy!

1 package tortillas
4 c cooked chicken breasts, shredded
4 oz can green chilies
4 T sour cream
3 c shredded cheese
1 can red enchilada sauce

Mix chicken, sour cream, 2 c cheese and chilies. Fill tortillas with mixture. Put in a lightly greased 9x13 pan and top with sauce and remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Gingerbread Boys Pumpkin Dip

This comes from my friend, Lisa, and it's addictive. Serve with gingerbread cookies or gingersnaps.

3 oz cream cheese
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 c pumpkin
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmet
dast of cloves
8 oz tub Cool Whip

Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add pumpin and spices. Fold in whipped cream. Keep chilled.


This yummy recipe comes from my sis. They are enjoyable three ways: plain, with pumpkin dip, or dipped halfway in melted white chocolate after baking and allowing to cool completely.

3/4 c Crisco
1 beaten egg
1 c sugar
1/4 c molasses
2 c flour
2 t soda
1 t cloves
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger

Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in molasses and egg. Add dry ingredients. Roll into small balls, dip and sugar and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Slow-Cooker Veggie Soup

This is great on cold winter days. We like it with corn bread, corn muffins or best bread machine bread.

1 lb ground beef (or use beef roast), cooked
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
3 c water
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 onions, diced
3 celery ribs, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 1/2 c frozen veggies

Place all ingredients in a crock pot, cover, and cook on low 6 - 8 hours.

Chicken Provencale

Love, love, love this!

3 - 4 lbs chicken, cut up (or just use breasts)
1 1/2 c chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced (if you're in a hurry, used the jarred ones)
1 T oil
2 cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (29-oz) can diced tomatoes
3 medium carrots, sliced 1/4" thick
1 T chicken bouillon
1 t thyme
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t pepper

Brown chicken in oil; remove and set aside. Saute onion and garlic in drippings. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spoon into a 3-qt dish; arrange chicken on top. Cover and bake at 350 for 65-75 minutes (a little less if you just use boneless breasts).

Chicken Quesadillas

I like these better than any other.

2 1/2 c shredded, cooked chicken
2/3 c salsa
1/3 c sliced green onions
3/4 t cumin
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried oregano
6 (8") flour tortillas
1/4 c melted butter
2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream

In a skillet, combine first six ingredients. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Brush tortillas with butter. Spoon 1/3 c chicken mixture over half of unbuttered side of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/3 c cheese, fold. Place on a sheet sprayed with Pam. Bake at 475 for 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chicken and Noodles

This takes a little longer to fix than some of my recipes, but it makes a big dish. We especially enjoy it when it's cold out.

3 c whole chicken legs (drumstick and thighs) (about 2 lb), skinned
3 c water
2 bay leaves (optional)
1 t dried thyme
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 c sliced carrot
1 1/2 c chopped onion
1 c sliced celery
3 c dried wide noodles
1 c frozen peas
2 c milk
3 T flour

In Dutch oven, combine chicken, water, bay leaves, thyme, 1/2 t salt and the pepper. Add carrot, onion & celery. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 - 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Reserving broth, remove chicken; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones, chop and set aside.

Bring broth to boil. Add noodles; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in peas, 1 1/2 c milk and remaining salt. In a small bowl, stir remaining 1/2 c milk and the flour. Stir into noodle mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken. Cook and stir 1 - 2 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Skillet Ravioli

My guys liked this so much they were fighting over who would get the leftovers the next day, and the way my baby girl ate it, she would have fought too if she could talk.

1 lb ground beef
3/4 c chopped green pepper
1 ounce deli ham, chopped
3 c spaghetti sauce
3/4 c water
1 (25-oz) package frozen cheese ravioli
1 c shredded mozzarella

In a large skillet, cook the beef, pepper and ham over medium heat. When done, stir in spaghetti sauce and water; bring to a boil. Add ravioli. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 7 - 9 minutes, stirring once. Sprinkle with cheese and simmer uncovered 1 - 2 minutes.

Burger-Potato Bites

We had these for our Super Bowl party. They were a big hit -- cute and tasty. I got the idea from Better Homes and Gardens e-newsletter.

16 large frozen waffle-cut French fries
1 lb ground beef
2 t grilling seasoning blend
4 slices cheese, cut into quarters (I used American)
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
mustard, ketchup and/or dill pickles slices

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Evenly space potatoes on baking sheet and bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until crisp and slightly browned. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine meat and seasoning. Form into sixteen mini-burgers. In a skillet, cook burgers, uncovered over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until done. Drain fat. Top each potato with a burger, cheese quarter and (optional) tomato slice. (I left off the tomatoes and allowed people to put them on afterwards.) Broil 4 - 5 inches from heat for 1 -2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with condiments.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I lost my favorite recipe awhile ago, so I was glad to find a similar one from Paula Deen. We enjoy these!

House seasoning:
1 c salt
1/4 c black pepper
1/4 c black pepper

Mix ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

olive oil, for tossing
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4" long slices, then 1/4" wide strips
1/2 t paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment (or spray with Pam). In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of House Seasoning and the paprika. Spread potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake until they are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Best Bread Machine Bread

I'm in love with my bread machine. I found this recipe on, and it's a keeper. I've modified it a little bit.

1 c warm water (110 degrees)
3 T white sugar
2 t bread machine yeast
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 1/2 c bread flour
1/2 c wheat flour
1 1/2 t salt

Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select basic or white bread setting and press start.

Now isn't that awesome? You walk away and a few hours later . . . bread! Who'da thunk it?

Easy Vegetable Linguine

If it says "easy," I'm in! It's tasty too, and sometimes I leave out the bacon and just saute the veggies in oil.

6 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1 c broccoli
1/4 c chopped onion
1/2 c cherry tomato halves
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
3 oz cooked and drained linguine

In a skillet brown bacon. Remove bacon and reserve 2 T drippings in skillet. Add broccoli, onion and mushrooms and saute until crisp-tender (3 - 4 minutes) Add linguine, tomatoes and bacon; mix lightly. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. I like to sprinkle mine with garlic powder too.

Stuffed Shells

This is another recipe of my mom's that I love. It's great with salad and garlic bread.

16 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
1 lb ground chuck
1 c cheese, divided
1 can cream of celery soup

Brown beef, drain and rinse. Stir in half of the cheese. Dilute the cream of celery with half a can (the soup can) of milk. Pour enough of the diluted soup mix into the beef and cheese to hold together. Reserve the rest. Fill shells with beef mixture and put in a greased casserole dish. Pour remainder of soup on top and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake long enough to melt.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

This is my mom's recipe, and it's my favorite! I especially like the crumb topping.

2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 c rinsed and drained fresh or frozen blueberries

Crumb topping:
3 T flour
1 t cinnamon
3 T sugar
3 T butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add milk, oil and beaten egg. Mix just until blended. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full. Sprinkle crumb topping on muffins. Bake about 10 - 12 minutes. Makes 15 - 18 medium sized muffins.

Breakfast Rice

I make this just like my mom. It's especially good in the winter.

1 c rice
2 c cold water
1 t salt
1 T butter or margarine

Combine in a heavy 3 quart saucepan. Turn heat to high. When it begins to boil reduce heat to medium low. Stir once with a fork. Cover tightly and simmer 12 - 14 minutes. When done, add:

1 stick butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c milk

Cook down. Keep adding 1/2 c milk and cooking until rice is as wanted. You can add the sugar later and have less problems with sticking. Serve with cinnamon sugar and milk.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tortilla Soup

Easy and tasty!

1 pkg taco seasoning
2 1/2 c chicken, cooked and diced
14 oz can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
11 oz can mexicorn
8 oz sour cream

Combine all the ingredients, except sour cream, in a saucepan and simmer for about one hour. Remove a large bowl of soup and stir in sour cream, return this to your pan. Simmer until read to serve. Top servings with shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa and tortilla chips.

Cherry Delight

My favorite recipe for this comes from the Little Blue River Church of Christ Keepsake Recipes. It's such a great summertime dessert and pretty too!

To make the crust mix together:
2 c crushed graham crackers
1 T sugar
1 stick melted butter

Press into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350.

For the filling mix together:
2 c powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese
12 oz Cool Whip

Once the crust has cooled, spread the filling on the crust. Top with 1 can of cherry pie filling. Store in the refrigerator.

Hot Spiced Cider

My favorite winter drink that we all expect my mom to make at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

1 quart apple cider
1/2 t whole allspice
1/2 t whole cloves
1 - 3" stick cinnamon

Put spices in cheesecloth or a tea ball and put in cider. Heat in a crock pot and serve hot.

Fruit Trifle

Another good dessert from my friend, Marianne, of the Orange Push-Up Cake fame.

1 angel food cake (bought or made with a mix)
1 can pineapple chunks, well-drained
1 can fruit cocktail, well-drained
1-16 oz container Cool Whip

Cut strawberries and bananas. Mix them with blueberries and drained fruit. Cut the angel food cake in half and tear into chunks.

1/2 angel food cake pieces
1/2 fruit mixture
1/2 Cool Whip

Repeat; add fruit on top for decoration.