Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 package ranch-style dressing mix
1 package taco seasoing
1 c water
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can black beans
1 can cream style corn

Brown beef with onions in a medium-sized dutch oven. Drain excess grease. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

Top with shredded cheese and/or sour cream and corn chips!

Orange Push-Up Cake

I'd choose chocolate over about anything. So this receives a big compliment: One of my favorite non-chocolate desserts in the whole wide world! My friend, Marianne, made if for my birthday. LOVE it!

1 (3-oz) package orange jello
1 box orange cake mix (use white if you can't find it)
1/2 c oil
1 c water
2 eggs

Mix, pour into 3 round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes

1 (16-oz) carton sour cream
1 1/2 c sugar
3-4 T orange juice and pulp
1 (12-oz) package coconut

Mix. Put aside one cup of filling. While cakes are cooling, chill filling in the refrigerator. When cakes are completely cooled put filling between each layer, then ice cake.

1 c (reserved) filling
1 (8-oz) container Cool Whip

Mix together and frost cake. Freeze the cake and serve frozen or slightly frozen.

Sweet Potato Quick Bread

For those of you who have read my Sugar Tails Blog (there's a link on this page) ,
you may know about my fear of making yeast breads. This is one I made often before my bread machine.

2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t baking powder
1 1/4 c sugar
16-oz can sweet potatoes
3 large eggs
1/4 c canola oil
3/4 c chopped walnuts
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Mix dry ingredients. Blend sugar, sweet potatoes, oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, walnuts (and raisins if you like them -- I don't in this). Bake about 1 hour.

Nacho Cheese Dip

I made this for our first New Year's party as a married couple. It disappeared!
1 lb regular Velveeta, sliced
1 lb Mexican Velveeta, sliced
1 lb ground beef
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 tomato, diced

Brown beef, drain and rinse. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn to high and stir often as cheese melts, then turn to warm or low.

Mary's Taco Salad

I could seriously eat the whole bowl if no one else was looking.

1 head lettuce
1 can ranch-style beans, drained
8 - 10 oz shredded Cheddar cheese
1 chopped tomato
1 chopped onion, optional
1 can black olives, optional
1/2 t0 1 bottle creamy Italian dressing
1 bag Frito's chips (chili-cheese rocks!)

Wash and cut up lettuce. Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion and black olives. Add cheese. Pour dressing and mix well. Just before serving, add the bag of chips and stir well.

My "Olive Garden"-ish Salad

As close as I can get . . .

5 c torn mixed greens
1 small red onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 can black olives, drained
some pepperocini peppers

Toss together. Top with dressing and croutons just before serving.

2/3 c canola oil
1/3 c vinegar
1 1/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 bag croutons

Melvin's Salsa

From the First Capital Christian Church Cookbook

3 - 5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
fresh cilantro
1/2 red onion
juice of 1 lime
jalapeno pepper (chopped fine)
2 t kosher salt

Mix and enjoy!

Stuffed Mushrooms

Melvin's recipe -- my favorite -- from the First Capital Christian Church cookbook (with a little revision by me in the cooking stage)

2 lbs large button mushrooms
6 oz cream cheese
12 oz pork sausage

Trim bottoms off of stems. Wash mushrooms and pop out the stems. Chop up for later use. Crumble and beginning browning the sausage, adding the chopped mushroom stems before it's fully cooked. When the sausage is done, drain grease then add the cream cheese and stir until blended. Stuff the mushrooms.

I usually make ahead by a few hours and store in the fridge. Then I bake in a 375 oven for 20 minutes. My Christmas party wouldn't be complete without them!

Apricot Chicken

This recipe came from my Emmaus Walk, and is great with rice.

6 - 8 boneless chicken breasts halves
Sliced onion to taste
1 jar apricot preserves
1 small bottle California French salad dressing
1 envelope dry Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Place chicken in a large baking dish. Arrange onion slices on chicken. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Bake at 325 for 45 - 60 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.

BBQ Crockpot Chicken

We like this served with rice.

2 T vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 c ketchup
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1/2 c water
salt and pepper to taste
10 - 12 chicken legs

Combine sauce in a bowl while you brown legs in hot oil. Place the browned chicken in slow cooker. Pour sauce over and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours.

Joyce's Yummy Spaghetti Sauce

This makes enough for a crowd or you can freeze what you don't need!

2 32-oz cans tomato sauce
1 large can tomato paste, plus 1 6 oz can
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
1 t salt
2 t oregano
1 can Parmesan cheese
Onion, to taste
1/2 t garlic salt
1 1/2 lb - 2 lbs ground beef

Brown beef and onion. Simmer until the onion is soft and beef is done, drain grease. Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker. In a tea strainer or cheese cloth, place these spices: 1 t rosemary, 1 t thyme, 1/2 t Ialian seasoning. Place in the sauce. Cook for 3 - 4 hours on high.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Super easy; super yummy!

1/3 c heavy cream
6 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 c Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 c Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa or ¾ c chopped almonds or pecans

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a shallow bowl. Cool, cover and refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours). Using a melon baller or small spoon, roll mixture into 1” balls. Roll each ball in cocoa or nuts. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. (makes 30)

Mom’s Toffee Coffee Cake

so bad for you, yet so good

Combine and set aside:
1 ½ c brown sugar
1 c chopped pecans
1 t cinnamon

In a large bowl mix:
2 c flour
1 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 small pkg. instant butterscotch pudding
1 c water
¾ c oil
6 t vanilla
4 eggs

Beat 2 minutes. Pour 1/3 batter in a greased 9 x 13 pan, sprinkle 1/3 sugar mix over batter. Alternate until 3 layers have been made, ending with sugar mixture. Bake at 350, 40 – 45 minutes.

Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

1 white cake mix
1 c buttermilk
½ c melted butter
5 large eggs
3 T light brown sugar
2 t ground cinnamon
1 T sugar
Buttermilk-Vanilla Glaze

Preheat oven to 350. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 ½ minutes or until thoroughly blended; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Grease a 12 c Bundt pan with shortening; sprinkle with 1 T sugar. Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan; sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool 20 minutes. Drizzle glaze over slightly warm cake.

1 c powdered sugar
1 T melted butter
1 t vanilla
1-2 T buttermilk

Stir together first 3 ingredients. Add 1 T buttermilk until smooth, adding additional 1 T buttermilk, if necessary.

Yummy Granola

4 c old-fashioned oats
½ c shredded coconut (my kids/husband don’t even know it’s there)
½ c wheat germ
½ c vegetable oil
½ c honey
2 t ground cinnamon (or 1½ t cinnamon, ½ t nutmeg)
½ c raisins
chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, except raisins and chocolate chips. Pour mix onto a baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes, stirring every 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Stir in raisins and a handful of chocolate chips if desired. Store in zippered plastic bags in the freezer. Makes 1½ quarts. Great by itself as a snack. Also can be a topping for yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

Deluxe Corn Muffins

This is a nice alternative to cornbread.
1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
¼ c sugar
2 ½ t baking powder
¾ t salt
½ t baking soda
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 ¼ c buttermilk
1/3 c canola
¾ c corn

Honey Butter: ½ c butter, softened & 2 – 3 T honey

In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk, buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients. Fold in corn. Fill greased muffin cups ¾ full. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing. Beat butter and honey until well-blended.

Fried Green Tomatoes

A summertime must!

4 large green tomatoes
1 T salt
1 ½ c buttermilk
1 t pepper
1 c flour
3 c vegetable oil
1 c self-rising cornmeal
salt to taste

Cut tomatoes into a ¼ - 1/3” thick slices; place in a shallow dish. Pour buttermilk over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish or pieplate. Dredge tomato slices in flour mixture. Fry tomatoes in batches in hot oil over medium heat 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Hashbrown Casserole

Thanks to my cousin, Julie for this recipe.
1 package Southern Style hashbrowns
1 pint sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup
1 stick butter

Place hashbrowns in casserole dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour a melted stick of butter over hash browns.
Mix cheese, sour cream and soup together. Spread over hashbrowns.
Melt stick of butter and mix 3 cups of corn flakes and spread on top of everything.
Bake for 1 hour and 350 degrees.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

I found this recipe somewhere without the ham. My guys like it added to it, and it makes a great main dish.
8 oz elbow macaroni
4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 12-0z can evaporated milk
1 ½ c milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t salt
¼ t pepper
4 slices American cheese
1 package of cubed ham (optional)

Cook the pasta according to package; drain. Mix the cooked pasta, 3 cups cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, milk, eggs, salt and pepper in a greased slow cooker. Sprinkle with 1 c cheddar and arrange American slices on top. Cook, covered, on low for 3 – 4 fours. Do not remove lid or stir while cooking.

Fancy Grilled Cheese

Sometimes I need a break from American and Colby standbys.

tomato slices
spinach leaves
white cheddar cheese
deli-style turkey
honey mustard
sourdough bread

Top bread with tomato, spinach, cheese & turkey. Spread another piece of bread with a little honey mustard. Sandwich together and brush with olive oil. Grill until cheese melts.

Chicken Parmesan

We love this easy dish.  It's especially good served with salad!

1 jar 15oz spaghetti sauce
Envelope of shake & bake Italian herb
2&1/2 pound of cut up chicken
1/4 cup of water
6oz of mozzarella cheese shredded

1. Spread sauce in a baking pan
2. Empty season mixture into bag
3. Moisten chicken with water 2 or 3 pieces at a time
4. Place in single layer in pan
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes
6. Place cheese over chicken and places in oven for 5 minutes

My Butter Chicken

My guys beg for this!
2 eggs, beaten
½ t black pepper
1 cup crushed buttery round cracker crumbs
½ t salt
1 t garlic pdr
½ t black pepper
4 skinless chicken breast halves or thinly sliced breasts
¼ cup butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Place eggs and cracker crumbs in two separate shallow bowls. Mix cracker crumbs with garlic, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in the eggs and then dredge in the crumb mixture to coat. Arrange coated chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place pieces of butter around the chicken. Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Ravioli Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg frozen cheese ravioli
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450. Brown meat, drain. (I like to add mushrooms, onion and garlic while browning.) Add sauce and tomatoes. Spread 1/3 sauce in bottom of a 9x13 pan. Then layer half of the ravioli. Sprinkle on half of the cheeses, then repeat layers of sauce, ravioli, then cheese. End with layer of sauce on top. Cover with foil, bake 30minutes.

Easy Swiss Steak

My guys, who don't like tomatoes, even eat this well.  For some reason, the combination of the meat with the tomatoes makes them taste good to them. 
6 thin-sliced eye of the round beef slices (can use regular thickness, but cooking time is longer for tenderness)
1 14-1/2 oz. can Stewed Tomatoes including juice
1 14-1/2 oz. can Italian Recipe Stewed Tomatoes including juice
1/2 to 2/3 cup water
Cooked rice

With a very small amount of oil of choice in large non-stick frying pan, lightly brown eye of round slices. If possible, place eye of round slices in single layer. After lightly browning, pour off excess grease. Combine 1 can of Regular Stewed Tomatoes and 1 can of Italian Recipe Stewed Tomatoes and water and pour over beef in pan. Simmer on low/medium until tender. When using the thin-sliced eye of round, the beef should be tender within the hour. If using regular thickness eye of round, the cooking time will be longer. Cook until beef is fork-tender. Serve over cooked rice.

Super Easy Chili Mac

This is one of the first recipes I made when I got married. My husband still asks for it even now that I know a bit more about cooking.

1 lb ground beef
a couple of handfuls of macaroni (1/2 c plus?)
1 can diced tomatoes (I like the chili-ready kind)
some water

Brown beef in a skillet. Drain if it’s really greasy. Return to skillet and add macaroni, tomatoes, and water if it looks too dry (maybe ¼ - ½ cup). Cover and simmer until macaroni is tender (8 – 10 minutes). Super easy!

Baked Spaghetti Casserole

I made this ahead and froze it when I was expecting my last baby. We all enjoy it, and it makes plenty.
2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion
garlic, if desired
1 t salt
¼ t pepper
Cook all until done. Drain

1 (7 oz) pkg. spaghetti, broken into pieces.
Cook and rinse with cold water.

When cooled, add two beaten eggs and ¾ c milk. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Layer as follows:
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
38 Pepperoni slices
¾ c mushrooms
2 c mozzarella
Bake at 350 or 40 – 45 minutes. Cover for the first 25 minutes.

Easy Beef Enchiladas

Very filling!
1 lb ground beef
chopped onion
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 can tomato sauce
¼ c sliced ripe olives (I don't use them)
2 C shredded cheese
1 can mild enchilada sauce
sour cream
shredded lettuce
10 tortillas

Brown beef, onions, and chilies until beef is cooked and onions are transparent. Stir in tomato sauce, olives (if you use them), and 1 C of the shredded cheese. Spoon the mixture into tortillas, roll up and place seam side down in greased baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream over a bed of shredded lettuce.


My mom used to fix pizza every Sunday night.  While I don't carry on that tradition, I enjoy fixing this easier twist on the meal.  It's one of my favorite evening dishes since it's easy and filling. 

1 can Pillsbury pizza crust
1 can tomato paste
1 lb sausage med. Cooked/crumbled
1 can mushrooms (optional)
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

spread out crust
spread on tomato paste
sprinkle on cooked sausage and mushrooms
sprinkle on cheeses
roll starting on the long sides so you have a long roll
curve ends around like a croissant

Beat one egg with a fork and dab on with a paper towel.  This browns it nicely.  Bake as can suggests, making sure it is not doughy inside.