12.13.2010

Menu Monday

I haven't shared a menu in awhile.  I've been so busy with work I haven't been doing as much cooking and I haven't taken enough time to keep up this blog.  My apologies!

This week we're having:
~Pizza, fruit
~Nacho Cheese Tortilla Bake, corn, fruit
~Sloppy Joes, green beans, fruit
~BBQ Ribs, ranch roasted potatoes, biscuits
~Pasta Roll Ups (from freezer), cheese stuffed breadsticks (from freezer)
~Tuna Melts, broccoli w/ cheese, fruit
~Pigs in a Blanket, fruit
~Leftovers/Breakfast Night

Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chicken Bake

We were so excited to try this I forgot to get a photo!  It wasn't bad.  I'd make it again but next time I wouldn't put the Doritos on the bottom; I'd wait until the last few minutes and sprinkle them over the top.  And I think I need to find recipes with shorter names!

Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chicken Bake

8 cups nacho cheese tortilla chips, crushed (Doritos, or even the Cool Ranch kind would work)
2 cans (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
Additional shredded cheddar for topping

Arrange chips in a greased 13x9 baking dish.  In a bowl, comine the soup, chicken, salsa, cheese, and chilies.  Pour over chips.  Sprinkle with additional cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.

12.11.2010

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Another recipe I made for the cookie exchange our playgroup does every year.  My Gram, who passes away this summer, used to make these every year and I figured if I was making cookies I'd better make at least one of her recipes.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting hands
1 cup pecans, chopped into very small pieces

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar at low speed until smooth.  Beat in vanilla.  At low speed gradually add flour.  Mix in pecans with spatula.  With floured hands, take out about 1 Tb of dough and shape into a crescent (or whatever shape you want really.)  Continue to dust hands with flour as you make more cookies.  Place onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 40 minutes.  When cool enough to handle but still warm, roll in additional powdered sugar.  Cook on wire racks.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Cut Out Shortbread Cookies

We're in a playgroup and every year we do a cookie exchange around the holidays.  This was one of the recipes I tried for this year and I thought they were pretty good.



Cut Out Shortbread Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tb vanilla extract
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
granulated sugar for decorating

Beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour until well blended.  Divide dough in half; flatten each into 1 inch thick disk on 2 pieces of plastic wrap.  (Dough will be soft.)  Wrap and refrigerate several hours until firm.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll half the dough at a time to 1/4 inch thickness.  (I added quite a bit of extra flour in order to work with this dough.  It was way too moist and was sticking to everything.  The cookies still came out just fine.)  Cut with floured cookie cutters.  Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets and sprinkle tops lightly with granulated sugar.  Bake 9-10 minutes or until set and lightly browned on bottoms.  Gather scraps, roll into ball.  Refrigerate if needed, while you repeat rolling and cutting process with second disk.  Remove from oven and immediately prick cookies randomly around edges with fork.  Remove to a rack to cool.

Makes 6 dozen.

Linked to:
Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

This was my first time making this recipe so I didn't make any to freeze but it would work great as a freezer meal if you leave off the cheese and cornbread until later.  It was very yummy and I will definitely make it again.

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
1 can (11 oz) whole kernal corn, drained
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 pkg (8 1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
2 eggs
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
sour cream and additional minced cilantro, optional

In large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in cumin, salt, chili powder and pepper.  Transfer to a 4-qt slow cooker; stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, enchilada sauce, onions and cilantro.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until heated through.

In small bowl, combine muffin mix and eggs; spoon over meat mixture.  Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Serve with sour cream and additional cilantro if desired.

8 Servings

Linked up to:
Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
Tasty Traditions at Coupon Cookin'
Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple
Tip Day Thursday at Around My Family Table
Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff

12.05.2010

Mexican Black Beans

These were pretty tasty.  I ate some as a side but my husband put them on his fajita.  Great both ways!

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups black beans, fully cooked from dry beans)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup beef or chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt, to taste
2 Tb minced cilantro

Combine black beans, corn and red pepper in skillet (or saucepan).  Add broth, cumin, garlic powder and salt to taste.  Bring liquid to boil and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes over medium heat.  Remove from heat, adjust salt if needed and stir in cilantro.

11.29.2010

Creamy Spinach Ricotta Pasta

I don't have a picture because I thought I had posted this and found out that I hadn't.  So sorry!

Creamy Spinach Ricotta Pasta

1 lb rigatoni
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes w/ basil, onion, and garlic
1 cup fresh or frozen chopped onions
1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
2 1/2 cup jarred alfredo sauce
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 Tb olive oil

425 degrees.  Coat 13 x 9 inch baking dish with spray.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook pasta.  Drain; return to pot.  Stir in tomatoes and chopped onions.   Cook spinach in microwave.  Squeeze out moisture.  Transfer to a bowl.  Add alfredo sauce, ricotta, garlic salt and pepper; stir to combine.

Transfer spinach mixture to pasta pot; toss to combine.  Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish.  Mix together bread crumbs, parmesan, and oil.  Sprinkle over pasta.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

8 servings

*I don't use canned tomatoes.  I just use some chopped onion and tomato alone.  Then season as desired. 
*I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta.

11.27.2010

Wild Rice Chicken Supreme


I got this dish from a friend when I had my daughter.  Asked for the recipe and it quickly became a favorite.  Easy to make and works well for the freezer.  If you wanted to make it more frugal you could even leave out the chicken.  In fact, I prefer it that way.

Wild Rice Chicken Supreme

1 box uncle ben's long grain and wild rice
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1 cup half and half
1 can chicken broth
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/3 cup chopped pimiento
1/3 cup chopped parsley

Prepare rice according to box.  Meanwhile melt butter in saucepan, add onion and cook for a few minutes until tender.  Stir in flour, salt, and pepper.  Gradually stir in half and half and chicken broth (whisking in).  Cook, stirring constantly until thickened.  Stir in chicken, pimiento, parsley, and cooked rice.  Place in 2 quart casserole dish.  Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Servers 6-8

11.24.2010

Nachos

I've been craving nachos and decided to make our own for dinner the other night.  Don't these just look divine?!  And they couldn't be more simple.

I took a small thing of velveets, 1/2 lb I think?  I heated it in the microwave until mostly melted then added some salsa to it.  That was our cheese sauce.  I know, I know...velveeta?  I've got to find a good homemade sauce to try.

I put some sauce over my chips and added some scallions, black beans, tomato, and jalepenos to mine.  The hubs only put ground beef and cheese sauce on his.  Boring!  They were so good and will be made again, probably on a Sunday while watching football.

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Found this recipe in my Taste of Home magazine, on an ad for Craisins and since I had everything other than the white chocolate chips (which the hubby went and got for me) I made them to take to our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow at the in-laws.

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2/3 cup butter/margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 6-oz pkg dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, mixing well.

Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in seperate mixing bowl.  Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in dried cranberries and white chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake fr 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack.

Makes around 2 1/2 dozen.

11.14.2010

Menu Plan


I was bad last week about posting new recipes.  Sorry!  This week we're eating a lot out of the freezer so there probably won't be many posts. 

Pasta Roll Ups, green beans, rolls
Tortellini Soup, garlic bread, fruit
Chicken and Stuffing, corn, fruit
Leftovers
Mini Meatloaves, Calico Beans, fruit
Breakfast Night:  pancakes, sausage, eggs
Leftovers

Pasta Roll Ups

Pretty much like lasagna but I get tired of doing things the same way all the time.

It didn't call for meat but my husband requested it so I added it in.  I think it made it better.  I also left out the green onions and used cottage cheese instead of ricotta.

Pasta Roll Ups

1 egg, beaten
1 container - 15 oz - ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Italian three cheese blend
4 green onions, chopped
1 Tb Italian seasoning
1 jar - 26 oz - spaghetti sauce, divided
16 lasagna noodles (I used 20)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
375 degrees.

Mix first 5 ingredients until well blended.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of 9x13 dish.  (I used two 8x8 so I could freeze one.  I got 10 rolls in each one.)  Spread each noodle with 3 Tb cheese mixture; roll up.  Place, seam side down, in dish.  Top with remaining sauce and parmesan.  Cover.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until heated through, uncovering last 10 minutes.

If frozen--thaw overnight in fridge.  Bake, covered, 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until heated through, uncovering last 10 minutes.


This post is linked to:
Delicious Dishes at It's a Blog Party
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
What's Cooking Wednesday at Turning Back the Clock
Tasty Tuesdays at A Beautiful Mess
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace
Tuesday at the Table at All the Small Stuff

11.09.2010

Alfredo Sausage and Vegetables

I wasn't sure how this would turn out and my hubby isn't a big fan of white sauces but it was Wonderful!  Will definitely be made again.  It had really good flavor and a ton of veggies.  Not the best thing in the world for you but it sure was good!


Alfredo Sausage and Vegetables

1 pkg smoked sausage
8 oz uncooked fettuccini
1/4 cup margarine/butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup matchstick-cut zucchini
1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 cup matchstick-cut red pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/3 cup grated parmesan
2 Tb chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Cut sausage into 1/4 inch slices; set aside.  Cook fettuccini; drain and keep warm.

While cooking pasta, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is tender.  Increase heat to medium high; add sausage, zucchini, carrots, pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 6 minutes or until carrots are crisp tender.

Stir in peas and cream; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through, but do not boil.  Stir in parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Toss with drained fettuccini.  Sprinkle with additional parmesan.

**I left the peas out since my husband doesn't really like them and I added in some broccoli since I had some to use up.  I think next time I might add some asparagus as well.

This post is linked to:
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative Party Blog
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple
Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale
Tasty Tuesday at A Beautiful Mess
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at At the Well
Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff

11.07.2010

Menu Plan

Not sure what days we'll have what but here's the plan:


Chili (recipe to come)
Burritos w/ cilantro lime rice
Tuna Melts (recipe to come)
Alfredo sausage and veggies (new)
Leftovers or Pizza
Maybe eating out for my birthday

11.04.2010

Coffee Cake

This is my Grandmom's recipe for a sour cream coffee cake.  I usually double it and get three round cakes out of it and freeze a couple.  They freeze really well.

Coffee Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Topping:  1/3 cup brown sugar firmly packed, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Add to creamed mixture alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour 1/2 batter into buttered 9x9 baking pan.  Cover with 1/2 of nut topping.  Pour remaining batter over filling and top with rest of nut mixture.  Bake about 40 minutes.

11.01.2010

New Potatoes in Creamy Dill Sauce

I'm not a big potato fan.  I just find them kind of boring.  But these I liked.  So what does that mean?  That nobody else in my family liked them!

New Potatoes in Creamy Dill Sauce

1 1/2 lb small new potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (or 1/2 of an 8 oz tub) chive and onion cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp dill weed

Microwave potatoes and water in covered 3 quart dish, on high 15 ot 17 minutes or until tender.  Stir after 10 minutes; drain.  Return potatoes to dish and set aside.

Microwave cream cheese and milk in bowl 1 minute; stir until smooth.  Pour over potatoes; sprinkle with dill.

Microwave 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.  Stir gently.

Almond Crusted Tilapia

Almond Crusted Tilapia (Or in this case, Catfish)

2 eggs
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp garlic pepper
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 (6 oz) tilapia filets
1/4 cup all purpose flour, for dusting
6 Tb butter
salt to taste
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 sprigs parsley
8 lemon wedges

Beat the eggs with the peppers until blended; set aside.  Stir together ground almonds and 1 cup parmesan in shallow dish until combined; set aside.  Dust filets with flour, and shake off excess.  Dip in egg, then press in almond mixture.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook tilapia in melted butter until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Reduce heat to medium, and season filets with salt if desired.  Sprinkle tilapia with remaining parmesan, cover, and continue cooking until parmesan has melted, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with parsley and lemon.

10.30.2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

I snitched one bite of these and all I can say is  YUM!!  Can't wait for breakfast in the morning.  Be warned that this make a LOT of dough.  I could barely use my electric hand mixer because there was so much.  It said that it makes 2 dozen but I think I ended up getting 33 buns, most of which are in the freezer.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

2 Tb active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
4 eggs
1 cup shortening
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1/3 cup instant butterscotch pudding mix
1 tsp salt
7 to 8 cups flour

Filling:
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing:
3 Tb water
2 Tb butter, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add eggs, shortening, pumpkin, milk, sugars, pudding mixes, salt, and 6 cups flour.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough; divide in half.  Roll each portion into a 12 inch x 8 inch rectangle; brush with butter.  Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges.

Roll up jelly roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.  Cut each into 12 slices (or more).  Place cut side down in two greased 13 x 9 inch baking dishes.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 22-28 minutes, or until golden brown.  In a small bowl, combine water, butter, and cinnamon.  Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Spread over buns.  Serve warm.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

These did taste a little like cake doughnuts.  I liked the smaller ones but they had a bit too much sugar for me.  The larger ones were perfect with the sugar on just the top but I like the smaller ones you can just pop in your mouth.  Next time I'll only dip half the smaller ones in the sugar mixture

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

10 Tb unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all purpose flour plus more for pan
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

Topping:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

350 degrees.  Butter and flour 12 muffin cups.  Make batter:  In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin.  In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until done, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon.  Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan.  Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture.  Let cool completely.

**I got 12 regular sized muffins and 24 mini muffins out of this recipe.  Not sure how they got only 12 standard muffins unless they had huge muffin tops.
**I just used a dash of ground nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon.


Beer Battered Asparagus

Saw this on one of Guy Fieri's shows on Food Network and thought they sounded pretty good.  They weren't bad but were a little greasy for me.  I'm always looking for new ways to make vegetables so I'll keep looking.



Beer Battered Asparagus

1 bunch medium asparagus, ends trimmed
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, seperated
3/4 cup beer, lager or pale ale
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup white cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups peanut oil
sea salt

In shallow pan, soak asparagus in buttermilk 12 to 24 hours.  Remove from buttermilk, but do not rinse.

In large bowl, combine well the egg yolks, beer, flour, cornmeal, salt, cayenne, and pepper.  In large deep sided pot, heat oil to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, in large clean bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks.  Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter mixture.  Dip spears, 1 at a time into batter, then carefully lay in oil.  Do not overcrowd pan.  Fry in batches, if necessary.  Fry 2 to 3 minutes, turning spears to ensure even cooking.  Drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste.

**I didn't read this recipe ahead of time and only soaked mine for probably a half hour or 45 minutes. 
**I didn't measure my oil but poured an inch or so in the bottom of a deep skillet and just turned them so both sides got cooked.
**You can serve this with an aioli but I just mixed up a couple tabelspoons of the Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic dip.

Stuffed Pork Chops

These were pretty good but I overcooked them a little bit and they got a little dry.  I'd make them again though.

Stuffed Pork Chops
4 boneless pork loin chops
4 slices ham, any variety
4 slices swiss cheese
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1 Tb dried sage leaves, crushed
1 tsp olive oil

Make a 2 inch long cut in the side of each chop to form pocket.  Top each ham slice with 1 cheese slice and 1/4 of the spinach; roll up.  Stuff 1 ham roll in each chop; press edges of pocket together to seal.

Sprinkle both sides of chop with sage.  Heat oil in large skillet on medium high heat.  Add chops; cook 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.

**I baked these in the oven and just used some seasonings from my cabinet since I didn't have sage.



10.27.2010

Creamy Spinach Ricotta Pasta

This is one I don't make often because no one else in my family much likes alfredo sauce but I do so every once in awhile I make something for myself!  It freezes well too.

Creamy Spinach Ricotta Pasta

1 lb rigatoni
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes w/ basil, onion, and garlic
1 cup fresh or frozen chopped onions
1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
2 1/2 cup jarred alfredo sauce
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tb olive oil

425 degrees.  Coat 13x9 inch baking dish with spray.

Bring large pot of water to boil.  Cook pasta.  Drain; return to pot.  Stir in tomatoes and chopped onions.

Cook spinach in microwave.  Squeezy out moisture.  Transfer to bowl and add alfredo sauce, ricotta, garlic salt and pepper; stir to combine.  Transfer spinach mixture to pot; toss to combine.  Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish.

Mix together bread crumbs, parmesan, and oil.  Sprinkle over pasta.  Bake 20 to 25 mintues or until golden brown and bubbly.

*NOTE:  Instead of a can of tomatoes I just use chopped tomatoes and garlic.  I also don't use ricotta and use cottage cheese.

To freeze:  Fix up to adding the bread crumbs and freeze in a casserole dish or freezer bag.  To serve, thaw.  Add bread crumb topping and bake until hot and bubbly.

Double Decker Tacos

I don't eat tacos often.  I enjoy crunchy shells the most but they made too much of a mess and break all apart so I never eat those unless I make a taco salad.  And I'm just not a fan of soft shelled tacos.  But this combination was wonderful!  I think the reason I liked these is that the meat had a great flavor.  I added more veggies to the meat, zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, and red onion, just to get some veggies in for the hubby and because I like them.   I would definitely recommend this if you like tacos.  I ate two of them and really wanted to go back for more!

Double Decker Tacos

8 hard taco shells
8 corn tortillas (we used flour tortillas cut to size)
2 cups refried beans, warmed
1 lb ground beef
1 onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb all purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1 tsp chili powder
dash black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp brown sugar
tapatio or other hot sauce, to taste
shredded lettuce
shredded cheddar cheese
diced tomatoes

Cook beef with onion and garlic.  Drain well and return to pan.  Toss meat with tablespoon of flour.  Stir in water, seasonings, brown sugar, and hot sauce.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and breaking any large chunks of beef into smaller bits.

Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat.  Lightly spray or drizzle with a little oil and cook corn tortillas until lightly browned on both sides (1-2 minutes per side)

Evenly spread about 1/4 cup of warmed beans over a cooked corn tortilla.  Place a hard taco shell inside and wrap tortilla so the beans are a layer between the hard shell and soft tortilla.

Fill with meat mixture, lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes.

This post is linked to:
What's Cooking Wednesday at Turning the Clock Back
Tasty Traditions at Coupon Cookin'
Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story
Tip Day Thursday at Around My Family Table

10.24.2010

Homemade Pizza: Garlic Veggie and Pepperoni

I'm weird and don't really like traditional pizza all that much.  So tonight we made homemade versions of whatever we wanted.  The one here used the following:


Bread Machine Pizza Crust
Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic made into dip
Alfredo sauce
zucchini
yellow squash
red onion
red pepper
broccoli
mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
paremesan cheese

I spread the Garlic Garlic dip onto the crust in place of pizza sauce.  Then I spread a little alfredo sauce on and placed the veggies on top.  Pour a little more alfredo sauce on top of the veggies and then top with mozzarella and parmesan.  Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees until hot and cheese is melted.  This was SO good I couldn't stop eating it.  I think next time I may not use quite so much alfredo sauce though, and will use more garlic garlic spread.  Also might add garlic into the crust.

 The kids wanted cheese and the hubby wanted pepperoni so here are their versions.

Bread Machine Pizza Crust
pizza sauce (tried making a homemade version that was a flop)
freshly grated mozzarella
parmesan cheese
pepperoni

Spread crust with sauce, top with cheese and pepperoni.  Cook for 10 minutes at 425 degrees until hot and cheese is melted.

And of course let the kids help make their own!







This post is linked to:
Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative Party Blog
My Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory
Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
Delicious Dishes at It's a Blog Party
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple
Tasty Tuesdays at A Beautiful Mess
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace
Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff

Bread Machine Pizza Crust

 Made homemade pizzas tonight with homemade crust for the first time.  I've only ever bought premade crusts before.  This will be used quite often from now on...good texture, soft and chewy, and nice flavor.  I may add garlic to mine next time.

Bread Machine Pizza Crust

1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tb honey
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cup flour (you can mix bread flour and wheat flour)
1 Tb yeast
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 Tb parmesan cheese

Add ingredients to your bread machine in the order listed.  Once cycle is finished plop dough onto floured area and divide into portions.  Let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Roll out each portion to desired thickness.  Continue to follow your pizza recipe for further instruction OR

For basic pizza--

Pre-bake crust for 8  minutes at 425 degrees.  Then top with whatever toppings.  Brush edges with olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until edges are brown and toppings are melty and gooey.

10.23.2010

Menu Plan


My menus aren't really made on a particular day anymore and I've been bad about posting them.  Some weeks my menu lasts me for 7 or 8 days, other weeks it only lasts me 5 days.  So I'll start trying to post it as I make it, whichever day of the week that may be!

All new recipes this week!  I'll finally get back to cooking normal and posting more.

Friday:  Tuna Helper
Saturday: Almond Crusted Catfish, broccoli w/ cheese, fruit
Sunday: Homemade Pizzas, fruit
Monday: Spinach Ricotta Pasta, garlic bread, fruit
Tuesday: Double Decker Tacos, fruit
Wednesday:  Chicken and Stuffing, corn, fruit
Thursday: Leftovers

10.20.2010

Homemade Granola Bars 2

 
This is Ina Garten's recipe on Food Network and it is SO good!  First I didn't think they were going to hold together but once they cooled they did pretty well.  I think it would be good to just bake it all together for a short amount of time and use as granola too. 

Homemade Granola Bars

2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 Tb unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I only used cranberries but I'd like to use dried apricots next time)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8x12 baking dish and line with parchment paper.

Toss oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.  Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees.  Place butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture.  Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour into prepared pan.  Wet fingers and lightly press mixture evenly into pan.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.  (I only cooked mine for 18 minutes because I wanted them more chewy than crunchy.  They came out perfect at that time.)  Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares.  Serve at room temperature.

This post is linked to:
What's Cooking Wednesday at Turning the Clock Back
Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Show Us What You're Working With at Me and My Bucket
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
Delicious Dishes at It's a Blog Party
Tasty Traditions at Coupon Cookin'
Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story
Family Food Fridays at Get Healthy Cheap
Tip Day Thursday at Around My Family Table
Designs by Gollum

10.18.2010

Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles

These were okay.  I think next time I would leave out, or use less, cornmeal.  We aren't big fans of that much cornmeal taste.  Otherwise I think they would be pretty good.  I added some garlic powder to make them garlic flavored and the amount of cheese was just right. 

Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 8-oz pkg sharp cheddar cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup club soda
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

Sift or whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in cheese.  In seperate medium sized bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, club soda, and oil, stirring to combine; gently stir into dry ingredients just until blended.

Using a 3/4 cup measure, spoon batter onto a preheated, lightly greased waffle iron.  Cook 5-10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.  Repeat with remaining batter.

This post is linked to:
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative Party Blog
Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale
Homemaker Mondays at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace
Tasty Tuesdays at A Beautful Mess
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple

Gram Jo's Pumpkin Pie

I forgot to take a picture of this but it's very yummy!  Probably nothing special except that it's my grandma's recipe but I'm sure it's just a regular ole' pumpkin pie.

1 1/4 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
2 Tb water
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and flour.  Add eggs; mix well.  Add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix.  Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife is clean.

10.11.2010

Pumpkin Spice Bagels

Pumpkin Spice Bagels

2/3 cup plus 2 Tb water (70 to 80 degrees), divided
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 cup bread flour
1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast...or 2 1/2 tsp
1 egg white
1 Tb cornmeal

In bread machine pan, place 2/3 cup water, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, spices, flour and yeast, in order suggested by manufacturer.  Select dough setting (check after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 Tb of water or flour if needed).

When cycle is compelted, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Shape into nine balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1 inch hole.  Stretch and shape dough to form an even ring.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes; flatten rings slightly.

Fill a Dutch oven 2/3 full with water; bring to a boil.  Drop bagels, two at a time, into boiling water.  Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds on other side.  Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

Whisk egg white and remaining water; brush over bagels.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Place bagels 2 inches apart on prepared pan.  Bake at 400 degrees fro 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to wire racks to cool.



I made 6 large bagels and 4 mini ones out of this batch.  Not sure why they wrinkled up so much when I dropped them in the water but the texture came out nice.  It's chewy and not real crunchy, which I like.

I tried these with honey and plain cream cheese.  I like the cream cheese way better but it wasn't bad with honey either.  This will definitely be my breakfast in the morning!

This post is linked to:
Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff
Tasty Tuesday at Beauty and Bedlam
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at At the Well
Tasty Tuesday at A Beautiful Mess
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaker Haven
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative Party Blog
Show Us What You're Working With at Me and My Bucket
Family Food Fridays at Get Healthy Cheap

Banana Honey Nut Loaf

This would be better if you made two smaller loaves.  Mine was getting a little overdone but the middle wasn't cooked yet so it tastes a little too done.  I think it could be good though, with some adjustments.

I was almost out of walnuts so I used a mixture of walnuts and pecans.

Banana Honey Nut Loaf

Topping:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 Tb honey
pinch of salt

Loaf:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Make topping:  in medium size bowl, blend together flour and butter with your fingertips.  Stir in nuts, honey and salt, then work mixture together with your hands to make crumbs (mixture will be very moist). Set aside.

In large bowl, prepare loaf:  whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg.  Make a well in center of dry ingredients.  In medium sized bowl, whisk eggs, honey, oil, mashed banana and vanilla.  Pour into well in flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Stir in nuts and transfer batter to prepared pan.  Sprinkle with topping.

Bake for 55 minutes.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove from pan directly to rack and cool completely.

10.07.2010

Pumpkin Scones w/ Pumpkin Spice Frosting


Let me just say that this is the best recipe I've ever made.  In my entire life.  The only thing I didn't like about it was that it didn't make more!  I'm going to make another batch for the freezer but unfortunately I don't see these lasting long in my house.  Ever.

Scone Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick cold or frozen butter (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg

Directions:
Mix first 8 ingredients together.  Cut in butter.  In seperate bowl, mix pumpkin, cream and egg together.  Beat wet into dry mixture a little at a time and just until mixed.  Don't overbeat.  Shape dough into disk on sprayed pizza stone or rectangle (3 inches wide by 1 inch think) on parchment lined baking sheet.  Cut into wedges.  Pull wedges apart so all sides are exposed.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Stick fork in center of largest wedge.  It should come out clean.  In not, bake another 5 minutes.

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tb canned pumpkin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream

Mix first 6 ingredients.  Drizzle cream in while whisking until frosting reaches molasses consistency.

**I have no idea how you're supposed to "shape" scones and cut and seperate them.  The dough was just too sticky.   This is the second time I've tried making scones and this was the case in both instances.  So I just cut them the best I could and kind of mushed them apart.  Then I pulled them out after 10 minutes or so and cut over the lines again.  They needed more like 23 minutes of cooking time, instead of the 15 minutes it called for, so I pulled them out and cut over the lines a second time.  And as I said, these turned out SO SO good!



This post is linked to:
Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap at And Baby Makes Five
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale
Tip Day Thursday at Around My Family Table
Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story
Tasty Traditions at Coupon Cookin'


10.06.2010

Giant Breakfast Cookies

I think these came out a little dry so next time I might try adding in some applesauce, or even a little bit of oil.  But I added in 2 1/2 Tb each of wheat germ and flax seed so that could be why.  I still think they'll be tasty with my coffee in the morning though!

UPDATE: 10-7-10--Ate one of these for breakfast and they were good!  They softened up after I put them in a bag and let them sit overnight.  Next time I think I may leave out the chocolate chips, just to be a little healthier, and add in some nuts.

Giant Breakfast Cookies

1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Mix butter, honey, eggs, salt, cinnamon, soda, vanilla and buttermilk.  Stir in flour and oats.  Fold in raisins or chocolate chips.  Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool 3-4 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to cool on wire rack.

This is posted on:
Tip Day Thursday at Around My Family Table

Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies

 Found these over at Mommy's Kitchen and thought I'd give them a try to use up some of the pumpkin I have.  I like them but I think next time I won't use as many butterscotch chips.  It's a little overpowering.


Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 to 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups quick or old fashioned oats
1 2/3 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in small bowl.  Beat butter, sugars, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla in large mixer bowl.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in oats and morsels.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies, 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Pan Cookie Variation:
Grease 15x10 inch jelly roll pan.  Prepare dough as above.  Spread into prepared pan.  Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.