Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Best of Both Worlds

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (or allspice)
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup chunky peanut butter (not the all natural kind)
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 oz. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a separate bowl.

Beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a minute each, then add vanilla. Reduce speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips by hand.

If you have time, cover the dough and chill for 2 hours to one day, because the cool dough will produce more evenly shaped cookies.

Bake 13-15 minutes. The cookies are done when they are golden and firm around the edges. Once you've lifted them onto cooling racks they will firm up.

Makes about 60 cookies. They'll keep if wrapped or stored airtight for about 4 days at room temp, or for two months frozen.

This is a recipe I found online and I thoroughly enjoy them so I wanted to share!!

Seasoned Saltines

These are a great snack or appetizer. My two year old loves them!

 4 sleeves saltines
 1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
 1 1/2 C canola oil
 3-4 t red pepper (depending on how much kick you want)

1. Measure oil into measuring cup. Add ranch dressing mix and red pepper. Stir well.
2. Pour oil mixture over saltines (preferably in a large container). Cover the container and toss until well coated.
3. For the best flavor, allow to sit for 24 hours before serving. (It can be served immediately though.)
**NOTE: If you prefer extra virgin olive oil, it is best if you use 5 sleeves of saltines (or you could reduce the oil measurement).


Easy, easy, easy!!

 1 T onion powder
 1/2 t salt
 1 t pepper
 1/2 t red pepper
 1 t garlic powder
 1/2 t thyme
 1 lb sausage, sliced
 1 lb chicken, diced
 2 C rice
 4 C water

1. Brown sausage; drain grease, but do NOT rinse pan.
2. Cook chicken pieces; remove.
3. Add sausage, chicken, salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic, thyme, and water.
4. Bring to a boil; add rice.
5. Lower to simmer; cover for 15-20 minutes or until cooked.

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

I think this is a great recipe for sneaking vegetables into a kid's diet. (Just make sure you chop everything very small.)

 12 oz ground beef or bulk sweet Italian sau-sage
 1 C chopped onion
 1/2 C chopped green sweet pepper
 1/4 C chopped celery
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 4 C tomatoes, chopped (6 large) OR 2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes
 1 (6 oz) tomato paste
 1/4 C cooking red wine
 2 T fresh parsley
 1 t dried basil, crushed
 1 t dried oregano
 1/2 t dried marjoram
 1 t sugar
 3/4 C whipping cream
 10 to 12 oz pasta

1. In a large pan, cook the ground beef or sausage, onion, sweet pepper, celery, and garlic until the meat is brown and onion is tender.
2. Drain fat.
3. Stir in fresh or undrained canned tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, parsley, basil, oregano, marjoram, sugar, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper.
4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover, simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Uncover, simmer 10 to 15 minutes more or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
6. Meanwhile, cook pasta.
7. Stir in cream; heat through.
8. Serve sauce over pasta.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook p. 348

Chicken Chow Mein

1 pkg Chow Mein noodles
1 red bell pepper, Julienne sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen french style green beans (already Julienned for you)
4-5 carrots, Julienne sliced
1 onion, Julienne sliced
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Yoshida's Sweet & Savory Sauce

I recommend buying all your vegetables frozen, and sliced ... unless you want to spend an hour thinly slicing everything ... like I did. Don't be like me ... just buy a bag of frozen stir fry veggies.

Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt and papper and then saute chicken breasts in olive oil for about 4-5 minutes on each side. In the meantime, cook chow mein noodles, according to package. Remove chicken and let it rest on a cutting board. Add onion and carrots to the pan to saute for about 5 minutes. If there isn't a little left in the pan, add some olive oil. Slice up the chicken. Then add the green beans and pepper. Return sliced chicken to the pan. Cook until all vegetables are tender. Then add the Yoshida's and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add the noodles to the pan and mix everything together ... tongs would be good for this part. This should serve 4-6 adults, and probably tastes even better when you haven't just had your widsom teeth pulled and can CHEW it! lol.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Please see picture of Gnocchi below.

I added a picture of Gnocchi to the original recipe - four posts down.

Blueberry Almond Crunch Muffins

Muffin Batter
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 TBS baking powder
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
2 pkg fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
handful shredded coconut (optional)

Crumb Topping
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 stick butter, cubed
3 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400*. Grease muffin cups. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir and then add oil, milk, and eggs. Mix well. Fold in blueberries and almonds. And since I'm a spazz, I threw in a handful of shredded coconut. Fill muffin cups almost to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done. This makes 22 muffins. Not 24, not 23, but 22.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup flour, 1 stick butter, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 10 oz cans Cream of Chicken soup
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
3 cups milk
2 cups chopped broccoli, cooked and drained

In a large pot, sauté onion in the butter. Reduce heat to medium low, and add soup to pot and stir. Add cheese and stir until thoroughly melted. Whisk in milk until smooth. Add the broccoli and stir. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Caramel Popcorn Balls

2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 stick butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 quarts popped popcorn

Bring brown sugar, butter, and syrup to a boil; add 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Continue to boil for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly because it will burn easily. Pour over popcorn. Greese hands and shape into balls. Especially good when you haven't just had your wisdom teeth out and can chew!


Queen Bee requested that I post a picture. I wouldn't say this is the prettiest presentation, but maybe it will give an idea.

Last night my MIL taught me how to make gnocchi. There isn't much of a "recipe" but I'll do my best.

5 medium potatoes - she used Ukon Gold
1 egg
About 1 1/2 cups of flour - you want to eye it and just add flour as needed
Salt and water to boil

Boil (the same way you would for mashed) the potatoes well in advance - they must be cold before you start the process. Grate the potatoes after they have cooled. Dump the flour on the counter and make a well. Put the potatoes in the well. Then break one egg in the middle. Combine just to incorporate - don't over mix. Add flour as need - dough shouldn't be dry, but you also don't want it sticking to your hands. DON'T ADD SALT! If you add salt to the dough, it will fall apart in the water. This was a point she stressed more than once.

Once everything is incorporated, divide the dough into small balls and then roll out into "snakes". (Experiment with the flour here - we found that too much flour made the dough difficult to roll.) You can make your snakes as small as you want - the thinner the snakes, the smaller the gnocchi - I like them small. Cut the snakes into pieces the size you want - I would say about 1/4 - 1/2 long. You can then roll the gnocchi pieces on a fork or a gnocchi board, if you have one, just to make the class gnocchi "imprints".

Boil your water and add a lot of salt. MIL probably put in a good 1/4 cup...seriously. Pop your gnocchi into the boiling water. When they rise to the top, they are done. Remove them from the water, put them into the serving dish and immediately top and coat with butter so they don't stick. MIL served them with ragu last night, but you can also just do butter and cheese, or an alfredo sauce...it's up to you. Enjoy! They are yummy!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

I love this site and have found so many great recipes that I wanted to contribute one of my family's favorite meals. This is very kid friendly, I will just give them more noodles. For picky eaters, if you chop up your carrots and celery, it makes it a little easier on the kids.

2- 3 Chicken breasts, cooked and cut up
1 -1/2 cups carrots, diced
1-1/2 cups celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cans Chicken broth (14oz Swanson’s)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup half-n-half
Approx. 8 oz. Egg noodles, cooked (Use country noodles)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil chicken and shred. Boil your noodles while you simmer carrots, celery, and onion in chicken broth until tender. Add cream of chicken soup and half-n-half. Gently stir with whisk to break up any clumps from soup. Add salt and pepper and then stir in cooked chicken and noodles.
**Family favorite

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Hiney

So...I'm not a cook, but I do have a recipe that I love and want everyone to know about. This one is NOT for dinner (please forgive me). It is used to prevent and treat diaper rash. The one time I had to use it to get rid of a rash, the redness and little blisters were completely gone within 24 hours. And, it's totally safe to use every time you change your darling one's dipey. I don't like A&D Ointment because babies should smell like lavender or something, not medicine. This stuff doesn't smell at all.
Just mix the Vaseline with the Corn Starch until it gets thick. I don't measure, but it would probably be something like 1 tsp. Corn Starch for every 3 Tbs. of Vaseline. I just scoop out a big spoonful of Vaseline, spread it out on a paper plate and sprinkle Corn Starch over it. It's very messy and you have to mix it well, but the result is worth its weight in gold. I hope you enjoy it!

Strawberry Coconut Cream Pie

1 Keebler Shortbread Ready pie crust
2 pkg Jell-O Coconut Cream Pie pudding
1 cup Strawberry puree (fresh or frozen)
1 1/4 cup milk (if you have no guilt, you could use 1/2 cream / 1/2 milk)
toasted, slivered almonds
toasted coconut
whipped topping

Preheat oven to 375*. Spray pie crust with cooking spray (or you could brush with an egg wash, if you have the time) and then bake for 5 minutes at 375*. Do not over bake. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Using a food processor, puree strawberries ... you can use frozen or fresh, just make sure they are pureed completely. Using an electric mixer, combine pudding mix, 1 cup strawberry puree, and milk [or cream]. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Whip mixture for about 2 minutes, until it's thick and started to set. Pour pudding mixture into pie shell and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Top with whipped topping, toasted almond slivers, and toasted coconut. SO yummy.

*The pie will be flimsy ... try not to cry about it ... cause it tastes GREAT! And if you don't like coconut ... I bet it would be great with Cheesecake flavored Jell-O pudding. MMMM.

Candy Cookies

Another recipe idea stolen straight off of The Pioneer Woman Cooks website. She's a genius ... and her recipes are a piece of cake. I love the simplicity.
- refrigerator cookie dough
- miniature chocolate candies

I used Pillsbury Peanut Butter cookie dough with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups miniatures AND Pillsbury Sugar cookie dough with Hershey's Cherry Cordial Kisses (for Valentines Day, of course!). BOTH were FABULOUS! Although the PB dough with PB cups was the favorite by far.

Place cookie dough in freezer for about 15 minutes so that it will be easier to cut. Preheat oven to 350*. Remove cookie dough from the packaging and cut into 1-1 1/2 inch thick slices. Then cut those slices into quarters (like a pizza) and place each quarter in a mini muffin pan cup. Bake the dough for about 6 minutes; don't over bake it. If anything, you want it slightly under done. Immediately after removing them from the oven, place the chocolate candy in the center and press down (this would be GREAT for kids ... the whole thing would be, actually). Once cooled, remove from muffin pan using a spoon. SO EASY, SO YUMMY!

Split Pea Soup

The flavor of this soup is incredible. It's one of those dishes that tastes 100 times better than it looks, lol. MMMMM. 1 16 oz bag dried split peas
1 meaty ham bone
5-6 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
salt & pepper

Boil ham bone (or just a big hunk of ham if you don't have a leftover [meaty] bone) in about 8 cups of water for 10 minutes ... just long enough to heat the ham and draw some of the juices out of it. Remove ham and let it rest on a cutting board. Rinse peas in a collander and then add them to the pot of ham stock. Boil peas for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dice up the ham meat, discarding any fat. If you used a ham bone, throw out the bone. Return the meat to the pot, after the peas have boiled for 30 mintues. Then add the chopped onion. Once the peas have started falling apart and are almost completely disolved, add the chopped carrots. Soup is done when all of the peas have fallen apart and the carrots are tender. There shouldn't be any [visible] peas remaining. Salt [about 1 TBS] and pepper to taste.

*It usually takes my peas about 1 hour to completely fall apart and cook all the way through.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

chocolate covered marshmallows

It might be a stretch to consider this a RECIPE. But it is an idea. And it was a big hit at the school Valentine's party - especially with the moms! So, I thought I'd share! This takes no time at all. I had 10 minutes between everything else to get something made for the party, and this is what I came up with.

jumbo marshmallows (I used strawberry flavored)
stick pretzels
6 oz. chocolate (I used white chocolate)
1 Tbsp. shortening
colored sugar or sprinkles

Stick pretzels into the end of each marshmallow and put on a plate. Put chocolate and shortening in a small bowl and microwave on 70% power for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Using the pretzel as a handle, dip one marshmallow into chocolate. (You don't need to cover the whole thing.) Immediately sprinkle with colored sugar or sprinkles. Repeat with remaining marshmallows. Let chocolate harden and then serve.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Em's Mac n' Cheese

One night I was craving homemade mac n' cheese like nobodys business. I got online and found this recipe on the Food Network. It is an Emeril Lagasse recipe and it was great!!!
6 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 lb elbow macaroni
6TBSP All-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
2 1/2 grated cheddar (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 quart baking dish with 1 TBSP of the butter and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until dente, about 10 min. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.
Melt the remaining 5 TBPS butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the flour brown. Using a whisk, add the milk in a steady stream and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and 2 cups of the cheese, and stir well. Add the noodles and stir well. Pour into prepared dish.
In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese with the bread crumbs and Essence. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning)
2 1/2 TBSP Paprika
2 TBSP Salt
2 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Black Pepper
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Cayenne Pepper
1 TBSP Dried Leaf Oregano
1 TBSP Drie Thyme
Combine all ingredients throughly and store in an airtight jar or container
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking" by Emeril Lagasse and Jesse Tirsch. Published by William Morrow, 1993.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Beat butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Add dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
Roll into 1-inch balls about the size of a walnut (larger if desired). Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Drain cherries and reserve juice. Press center of each ball with thumb. Place a cherry in indentation.
In a saucepan, heat condensed milk and chocolate chips until chips are melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of mixture over each cherry and spread to cover cherry. (More cherry juice may be added to keep frosting of spreading consistency.)
Bake for 10 minutes.

Chicken Relleno

 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
 1/3 C cornmeal
 2 T taco seasoning mix
 1 egg
 1 4-oz can whole green chili peppers, rinsed, seeded, and cut in half lengthwise
 2 oz Monterey Jack cheese, cut into six 2 x 1/2-inch sticks
 2 T fresh parsley
 1/4 t black pepper
 1/4 t crushed red pepper
 1 8-oz jar taco sauce or salsa
 1/2 C shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese

1. Place each chicken breast half in a Ziploc bag or between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound lightly into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Remove from Ziploc bag.
2. In a bowl, combine cornmeal and taco seasoning mix.
3. Place egg in another bowl; beat lightly.
4. For each roll, place a chili pepper half on a chicken piece. Place a cheese stick atop chili pepper near an edge. Sprinkle with some of the parsley, black pepper, and red pepper.
5. Fold in sides; roll up jelly-roll style, starting from edge with cheese.
6. Dip rolls into egg and coat with cornmeal mixture.
7. Place rolls, seam sides down, in a shallow baking pan.
8. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
9. Heat taco sauce. If desires, sprinkle chicken with shredded cheese.
10. Serve with taco sauce.

Nutrition: 235 calories; 10 g total fat
(Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)

Hooters' Boneless Buffalo HOT Wings

Without the trampy girls in short shorts! lol.
(Look close and you can see my little punk kid's paws in the background)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 TBS garlic salt
4 cups cooking oil
Hooters Wing Sauce (HOT)

Preheat oil in a good size pot, until it is 350*. Cut chicken breasts into strips or pieces; whatever you prefer. In a separate dish, whisk together eggs and 1/2 TBS of garlic salt; set aside. In a Ziploc bag, combine flour and 1 1/2 TBS garlic salt (we like the Lawry's salt). A lot of the garlic salt seasoning cooks out into the oil, so you have to add more salt than you think is necessary. Otherwise, they just taste like flour. lol.

Soak chicken in egg mixture until fully coated. Place each piece of chicken into the Ziploc bag with flour mixture, one at a time. Shake bag to coat. Place chicken on a separate plate, until all chicken is fully coated. Begin placing chicken pieces into hot oil, one at a time, until approximately 10 pieces are in the oil. Do not over crowd the chicken. You'll have to cook it in batches. If you're using a smaller pot, cook less chicken at a time. Cook chicken pieces until golden brown and cooked throughout; approximately 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of pieces. Drain chicken on paper towels.

Place drained chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag. Pour room temperature Hooters Wing Sauce on top. Shake bag to coat chicken throughout. Place chicken on a plate; it will get soggy quick if you leave it in a bag. YUM! Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing.

We have made our own buffalo wing sauce several times and never really liked any of them. We finally tried Hooters' and it was great! I am a major whimp when it comes to hot wings, and the HOT wing sauce was just right. It wasn't near as hot as I thought it would be. Even if you're a whimp like me, you can handle this sauce. We found it at WalMart, so I'm sure you can find it just about anywhere!

Again, this is Gary's recipe ... he makes these frequently, but never measures anything ... so I took the liberty of guessing what the recipe amounts are so that y'all can reproduce this goodness. Enjoy!

Lime Pepper Boneless Chicken Wings

This is Gary's recipe ... he makes these frequently, but never measures anything ... so I took the liberty of guessing what the recipe amounts are so that y'all can reproduce this goodness. Enjoy!
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 TBS garlic salt
4 cups cooking oil

4 TBS butter
2 TBS lime pepper seasoning

Preheat oil in a good size pot, until it is 350*. Cut chicken breasts into strips or pieces; whatever you prefer. In a separate dish, whisk together eggs and 1/2 TBS of garlic salt; set aside. In a Ziploc bag, combine flour and 1 1/2 TBS garlic salt (we like the Lawry's salt). A lot of the garlic salt seasoning cooks out into the oil, so you have to add more salt than you think is necessary. Otherwise, they just taste like flour. lol.

Soak chicken in egg mixture until fully coated. Place each piece of chicken into the Ziploc bag with flour mixture, one at a time. Shake bag to coat. Place chicken on a separate plate, until all chicken is fully coated. Begin placing chicken pieces into hot oil, one at a time, until approximately 10 pieces are in the oil. Do not over crowd the chicken. You'll have to cook it in batches. If you're using a smaller pot, cook less chicken at a time. Cook chicken pieces until golden brown and cooked throughout; approximately 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of pieces. Drain chicken on paper towels.

Melt butter in a dish. Add lime pepper seasoning. Place drained chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag. Pour lime pepper butter on top. Shake bag to coat chicken throughout. Place chicken on a plate; it will get soggy quick if you leave it in a bag. YUM!

This is the kind of lime pepper seasoning we use. We bought it at Sam's. I'm sure any brand would be great ... so would lemon pepper seasoning. We just have a thing for limes over here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Marinated Prime Rib

This is a great meal for Valentine's Day. (Prime rib is usually on sale right now.) I serve it with potatoes, spinach salad, and rolls with strawberry soup for the appetizer. (One word of caution: you need to start marinating it the day before you plan to cook it...the flavor is much better if you do this!)

 3/4 C red cooking wine or dry red wine
 1/2 C chopped onion
 1/4 C water
 1/4 C lemon juice
 1 T Worcestershire sauce
 1/2 t dried rosemary, crushed
 1/2 t dried marjoram, crushed
 4 t garlic salt
 4-6 lb beef rib roast (prime rib)

1. For marinade, stir together wine, onion, water, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, marjoram, and garlic salt.
2. Place meat in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over meat. Close bag.
3. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours, turning occasionally.
4. Drain meat. Discard marinade. Place meat, fat side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer without touching bone.
5. Roast in a 325 degree oven till the thermometer registers 140 degrees for medium rare (2 to 2 3/4 hours), 155 degrees for medium (2 1/4 to 3 1/4 hours). Cover roast with foil.
6. Let stand for 15 minutes; carve. (The meat’s temperature will rise 5 degrees during standing.)

Strawberry Soup

This is a great soup to serve for a Valentine's Day dinner. It is a cold soup and it tastes very similar to a strawberry shake. I usually prepare it the day before I plan on serving it.

 6 C (1 1/2 qt) fresh strawberries
 6 T lemon juice
 1 1/2 C sugar
 3 C water
 2 C whipping cream

1. Combine all except cream in a saucepan.
2. Heat slowly until it comes to a boil; cook about 8 minutes, then remove and cool.
3. Blend half the cream and half the strawberry mixture at low speed.
4. Add remaining half and repeat.
5. Store soup in the refrigerator in covered container for at least 4 hours.
6. Serve cold.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Grandma's Banana Bread

This is my grandma's recipe that I have altered. I love it, hope you enjoy!

1 1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter or 1/2 cup Applesauce
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
3 TBSP Sour Cream (I use fat free)
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 1/2 cup Flour
1 cup (2 or 3) Crushed Bananas
1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) yeah, right!

Mix ingredients as listed. Bake @ 325 for 35 minutes. Yields 2 regular loaves or 8 mini loaves.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Heavenly Rolls

If you love bread as much as I do, these are the best ever . . . even better than a dessert! This is my daughter's recipe that she makes in her Bosch mixer.

1/2 cup warm water
2 T (heaping) active dry yeast
2 T sugar
** "Prove" or dissolve yeast in warm water.

1 cup evaporated milk + water to equal 2 cups
**heat in microwave for 1 minute

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup potato flakes
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
6 cups flour

Mix oil, sugar, and potato flakes in electric mixer . . . add the warm milk/water mixture . . . add eggs . . . add dissolved yeast . . . add salt and flour. Mix for 8 minutes -- the dough should pull away from the sides and even the center a bit. Put dough in an oiled bowl and let rise in oven until doubled. (Turn the oven on to heat at 350 for 1 minute and then turn off--set timer because you will forget to turn the oven off :). Punch down and shape . . . let rise again--will rise some more during cooking time.

Cook for 11-12 minutes at 350. Makes 2 dozen large rolls as pictured. (roll out dough in large rectangle and cut in strips --then form into loose knot)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatballs

This is a favorite with my boys. The meatballs freeze well, so I tend to make extra large batches and then freeze the meatballs (without sauce) for a later meal.

 1 lb lean ground beef
 1/2 C dry bread crumbs
 1/4 C milk
 1/2 t salt
 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
 1/4 t pepper
 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 C)
 1 large egg
 1 jar spaghetti sauce
 pasta

1. Heat oven to 400°.
2. Mix all ingredients except pasta and sauce.
3. Shape mixture into 1 inch meatballs. (Be sure to shape well so that the meatballs do not fall apart after being cooked.)
4. Place meatballs in ungreased rectangular pan.
5. Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink and juice is clear.
6. Boil water and cook pasta as the package directs.
7. While pasta is cooking, simmer spaghetti sauce on low in large pan.
8. Add meatballs to sauce for 5 to 10 minutes for added flavor.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Comfortable Chicken Noodle Soup

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups frozen peas & carrots
1 pkg Lipton Noodle Soup mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 small onion, diced
1 cup milk
salt & pepper to taste

Boil chicken breasts in about 3 cups of water ... just enough to cover the chicken breasts, using a good size pot. Chicken should boil for about 8 minutes. Remove chicken from water and place on a cutting board to cool. To the remaining water (chicken broth), add onion, peas & carrots, milk, cream of chicken soup, and Lipton soup mix. Whisk everything together until smooth and uniform. Bring to a boil. Allow the soup to boil for about 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, dice up the chicken and return it to the soup. Salt & pepper to taste. Pepper is essential. Easy breezy.

* The noodles in the Lipton soup mix hold up better than any other noodle I've tried. They keep for several days in the fridge without getting soggy.

Philly Cheese Rolls

2 cans refrigerator biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
8 oz block Philadelphia cream cheese
3 TBS butter

Preheat oven to 400*. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Open biscuits and place all 20 biscuits on a plate, so that you can create an assembly line. Flatten the biscuit, add 1 tsp cream cheese to the center, then 1/2 tsp cinnamon sugar mixture, then bring one side over the other and seal, pinching the sides together. Place on a greased cookie sheet, about 2-3 inches apart. REPEAT 19 more times. Once they are all rolled up, sprinkle a little more cinnamon sugar on the tops. Cut butter into small pats, and place a pat on top of each roll. Bake at 400* for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

* My picky little 17 month old ate 2 of these for breakfast this morning. KA-CHING!

Chicken & Biscuits

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup frozen peas & carrots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup milk
1/2 small onion, diced
1 box Stove Top chicken stuffing
1 can refrigerated biscuits
3 TBS butter
garlic salt & pepper

Okay, so this is a totally ghetto, super easy dinner. How's that for a sell? I hadn't planned anything for dinner the other night, and I just kind of threw all the ingredients together and it turned out pretty good. Just don't make a lot ... it doesn't keep well in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 400*. Grease a small 9x9 baking dish. Mix stuffing according to the box and spread on bottom of dish (you're going to want to add the butter that it calls for). Cut chicken breasts into cutlets and place on top of stuffing mixture. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the cup of peas & carrots, as well as the onion. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream of chicken soup together with the milk. Pour the soup mixture over the top of the casserole and bake, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the sides are bubbly. Remove the casserole from the oven and place refrigerated biscuits on top. Put a tiny pat of butter on top of each biscuit. Return it to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes ... until the biscuits are a deep golden brown and everything else is hot and bubbly. If you make this in anything bigger than a 9x9 dish, you'll want to reduce the temperature and cook for longer so that the chicken and biscuits in the center cook thoroughly.

* Again, don't make too much ... the leftovers aren't good because the biscuits go soggy ... and I'm pretty picky.