Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 25, 2009

Renaissance of Tuna Casserole

1 lb. fettucine
3 T extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
NOT 1 small onion
2 6 ounce cans Itailan tuna, drained (I used regular, couldn't find Italian)
1/2 cup tender sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peans (I used more)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded fresh basil (20 leaves)

Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil for pasta. Salt water, then add pasta and cook to al dente.

While pasta cooks, heat deep skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Saute garlic and NOT the onion until tender (4-5 minutes). Add tuna and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to heat through, another minute or two. Add the wine and cook it down for a minute, then add cream. When it comes to a bubble, stir in the cheese and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Stir in the peas and heat through. Toss the drained hot pasta with the sauce. Serve topped with shredded basil.

I'm NOT an iceberg lettuce kind of girl. Yuck. But...this salad that Rachael loves with this tuna casserole had iceberg lettuce in it. I was up for a whim, so I decided to try it. Upon reading, it reminded me of a salad that my Mom and I loved that they served at Water Street (seafood) when it was here.

Iceberg Salad with Shrimp

1 head of iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup prepared cocktail sauce
1 few drops of hot sauce
2 tsp. lemon zest plus the juice of one lemon
1/4 cup mayo
1 cup small cooked shrimp (100 ct.) (I omitted shrimp)
Salt and pepper
NOT 2-3 T snipped fresh chives

Slam the core of the head of lettuce on the counter, then twist and remove it. Quarter the head of lettuce lengthwise.

In medium bowl, combine cocktail sauce, hot sauce, lemon zest, juice, and mayo. Stir the shrimp inot the dressing and spoon it evenly over the lettuce quarters. Season the salads with a little salt and pepper; DON'T sprinkle with chives; serve.

(From 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds by Rachael Ray)

February 23, 2009

Bertolli Pasta in a Bag. Have you heard of them before? I keep a bag or two of these in my freezer at all times. They're a yummy, quick meal (veggies included) and great for when we're in a hurry or just to tired to cook.

To accompany our "Dinner in a Bag"....

Parmesan-Parsley Biscuit Flatbreads

1 can Grands biscuits
2 T olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Separate biscuits into individual rounds (I didn't have Grands, but used 1 can of regular biscuits and laid one on top of another--2 in 1--and it worked).

Pour 2 T of olive oil into a baking sheet. Dip both sides of each biscuit round in oil, and arrange on baking sheet. Using fingertips, press each biscuit into a 4-inch free form flat circle.

Sprinkle each flattened biscuit with 1 T Parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 tsp. parsley, and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

These were a hit with all of us! (Also try with rosemary and garlic.)

(Southern Living, March 2008)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

February 21, 2009

Tonight is our annual Bunco Slumber Party at Christa's in Wimberley. We each bring a dish to share and I'm taking Mini Muffuletta's...except they didn't have any French Rolls at H.E.B. so there's no "mini" about it. Well, I am cutting it into bite sized pieces....

Mini Muffulettas

1 10 oz jar pimento-stuffed olives, drained and chopped
2 cans chopped ripe olives
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 French rolls, split (remember I couldn't find them, so I'm using a loaf)
1/2 lb. thinkly sliced hard salami
1/4 lb. sliced provolone cheese
1/2 lb. thinly sliced cotto salami (wasn't available, so I chose Genoa)
1/4 lb. sliced mozzarella cheese

In a large bowl, combine first eight ingredients; set aside.

Hollow out tops and bottoms of rolls, leaving 3/4 inch shells (discard removed bread or save for another use).

Spread olive mixture over tops and bottoms of rolls. On roll bottoms, layer the hard salami, provolone, cotto (Genoa) salami, and mozzarella cheese. Replace tops. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut each into wedges; secure with toothpicks.

(Taste of Home December/January 2009)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 21, 2009

Nellie's Farmgirl Egg Bake

1/2 cup butter, melted
10 eggs, beaten
16 oz. container cottage cheese
16 oz shredded Monterey Jack
7 oz chopped green chiles
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup flour

Drizzle butter evenly into a 13x9 baking dish.

Combine remaining ingredients; mix well and pour into pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Serves6-8 (I will be halving for my family of 3.)

(From a Gooseberry Patch catalog! I will swipe a recipe from anywhere.)

February 20, 2009

Layered Mexican Chicken with Corn Tortillas

Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups nonfat sour cream
8 ounces reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
8 6-inch tortillas, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Place the chicken in medium saucepan and add enough water to cover. Set pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and boil 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Drain and when cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch chunks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 11x17 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Transfer chicken to large bowl and add sour cream, 1 1/4 cups of the cheese, salsa, chilies, cumin, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange half of the tortillas in the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping the pieces to cover the surface. Top with half of the chicken mixture and smooth over with the back of a spoon to even. Layer remaining tortillas over the top and then spoon remaining chicken mixture over layered tortillas. Top with remaining 3/4 cup of cheese and chopped cilantro.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes more, until golden brown on top. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

(Self Magazine?)

Friday, February 20, 2009

February 19, 2009

Stouffer's Lasagna

Aaaaaah. No "cooking" tonight. Very few dishes. I like it.

Served with HEB rolls and not a veggie in sight.

I'm feeling a little inadequate tonight...but we're all full and happy though!

February 18, 2009

Hawaii Five Oh

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pelled and cored pineapple (from refrigerated produce section)(cut into 5 thick slices)
5 NOT onion rolls (I used Hawaiian Bread Snackers and wheat Kaiser rolls)
5 slices Swiss cheese (I used provolone)
5 slices thick ham (or 10 thin slices)
1 cup spinach leaves
Dijon mustard

Remove pineapple from plastic container and set aside. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, and vanilla extract in the plastic container. Put the sliced pineapple back in teh container, pop on the lid, and swirl it around to coat the pineapple in the seasonings. Let the flavors soak in while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Arrange the pineapple slices on teh greased baking sheet. Roast them for 10-12 minutes on each side, using the tongs to flip them, until golden brown. During the last 5 miknutes of roasting, heat up the buns in the oven. Put the ham and cheese on the bottom halves of the buns so the meat heats up and the cheese melts. Then turn off the oven and use the oven mitts to remove the pineapple and buns.

Build the sandwiches: Top each ham and cheese bottom bun with a slice of pineapple, then a handful of spinach. Spread Dijon mustard on the top half of each bun. Stack. Munch.

**I don't love Dijon mustard, but I went for it and tried it anyway. Didn't like it on this sandwich either!**

Served with Sun Chips (Salsa flavored are our favorite) and red grapes.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 17, 2009

Skillet Fillets with Cilantro Butter

1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets
Cooking spray
1 lemon, quartered
2 T butter, softened
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. salt

Combine first 3 ingredients; sprinkle over both sides of fish. heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Coat both sides of fish with cooking spray; place in pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place fish on a serving platter; squeeze lemon quarters over fish.

Place butter and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir until well blended. Serve with fish.

(Cooking Light, January 2006)

Carlsbad Squash with Cheese and Rice

2 yellow squash (sliced in half moon shape)
2 medium zucchini (slided in half moon shape)
1 T minced garlic
2 slices bacon, blanced and chopped
NOT 1 small bunch green onions, sliced
3 cups cooked rice**
2 green chiles, chopped
1 cup Monterey Jack
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Dulce Mediterraneo peppers, sliced (can substitute red bell pepper)

**Start Rice: Heat 1 cup rice in heavy pan in 3 T butter, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. oregano. When rice becomes transparent, add 1 3/4 cups water. Stir, cover tightly and simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with fork.

Saute vegetables with garlic and bacon in 1 T olive oil until vegetables are crisp, but tender. Gently stir in rice, cheese, and cilantro. Continue stirring until cheese is melted.

(Bunco Cookbook, from Stephanie)

February 16, 2009

I tried to take advantage of the wet cool day we had today, so I could make soup. It may be my last chance. Hope not!

Tortilla Soup

1 T olive oil
NOT 1 cup chopped onion
1 t. minced garlic (I used 3 because I omitted the onion)
2 T fajita seasoning (or salt, pepper, garlic)
2 1/4 cups water
2 15 oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed (I used one pinto, one black)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained (This was way too much chunky tomato for Russ and I. Next time I'll use crushed)
1 14 oz can low sodium chicken broth
2 4 oz cans chopped green chiles
3 T fresh lime juice
Cheese (for topping)
Tortilla chips (for topping)

Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add fajita seasoning and cook 1 minute. Stir in water, beans, tomatoes, broth, and chiles; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Top each serving with cheese and chips.

This wasn't my favorite tortilla soup recipe, but it was the quickest...and it's stuff I keep in my pantry, so I'll definitely keep this one.

(Cooking Light, October 2003)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Will Work for Comments

Someone say something, please!! It keeps me going.

February 15, 2009

Balsamic-Glazed Filet Mignon

2 4 oz beef tenderloin steaks
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Cooking spray
2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 T dry sherry
2 T low-sodium soy sauce
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey

Sprinkle both sides of steaks evenly with salt and black pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm.

Add garlic and red pepper to pan; saute 30 seconds. Add sherry to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and cook 1 minute. Serve with steaks.

I thought this was great and have never cooked a steak in a skillet. Russ wasn't as brave as I with his filet and I can't blame him.

(From Cooking Light November 2007)

Grilled Veggie Pouch

2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper

Slice vegetables to desired thickness and place onto foil.

Dot with butter, salt and pepper.

Create pouch of 2-3 layers of foil. Grill on medium-high 30 minutes on each side.

**Can also use mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, diced sweet potato, anything you like.**

This one's from the kitchen of my husband!

Monday, February 16, 2009

February 15, 2009

Honey Baked French Toast

4 T unsalted butter
3 T honey
2/3 cup orange juice
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of nutmeg
6 (1/2 to 3/4 inch) think slices of French Bread, Italian bread, or challah

Heat oven to 375.

Put butter and honoey into 9x 13 baking dish and heat in oven until butter melts and honey is bubbling, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and stir well.

In another baking dish, whisk together juice, eggs, spices, and salt. dip bread in, turning it once to coat well, let soak about 2 minutes per side. Carefully set each piece of bread into the honey-buttered pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until well browned.

Before serving, flip over each piece so the honey-butter side is up.

(Wondertime Magazine June 2008)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 14, 2009

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

I've been dreaming about these almost daily since Bakerella posted this recipe on her sight last week. I finally made them for myself and they were as delicious as they are beautiful. Thank you Bakerella!!

February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Breakfast:

Berry Muffins

No recipe, just a mix.

Riley's Smoothie

Bananas (the ones you should've eaten already)
Orange juice

I blend everything but the ice first, then add the ice and blend some more. Riley knows this recipe by heart!

Simple Baked Eggs

1 T butter
6 large eggs
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 t. salt
2 T whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat each of 6 (6 ounce) ramekins or custard cups with 1/2 t. butter. Break 1 egg into each prepared ramekin. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper.

Spoon 1 teaspopon of cream over each egg. Place ramekins in 13x9 baking dish; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 1/4 inches.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until eggs are set.

Riley and I loved these (Russ wasn't here to try them). He ate every bite. They are easy enough to make on busy weekday mornings too.

Friday, February 13, 2009

February 12, 2009

Croque Monsieur
(a glorified ham sandwich)

2 T mayo
3/4 tsp. Dijono mustard
8 slices white bread
4 slices ham
4 slices turkey (I added this because we had it)
8 thin slices Gruyere cheese (6-8 ounces)
2 T unsalted butter, melted

In small bowl, stir together 1T of mayo and all of mustard. Spread evenly over 4 slices of bread. Arrange a slice of ham and slice of Gruyere on each piece of bread.

Put remaining 4 slices of bread on top of sandwiches. Brush outside of both slices of bread with melted butter.

Heat indoor grill or heat nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side or until bread is lightly browned on both sides. Using large spatula, transfer sandwiches to a broiling tray or cookie sheet.

Heat broiler.

Spread top of sandwiches with the remaining tablespoon of mayo and top with 4 remaining slices of Gruyere, being sure to cover crusts.

Broil, cheese side up, for 1-2 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm.

I served with fresh strawberries and Sun Chips. Big hit with everyone in my house and my in-laws!

**Curiosity got the best of me and I looked the sandwich up on Wikipedia. Here you go: Croque Monsieur.**

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 11, 2009

Moroccan Chicken

1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 T vegetable oil

Stir together cumin, salt, and cinnamon (I doubled spices here) in a small bowl and sprinkle them over chicken. heat oil in skillet on medium. Add chicken and cook about 8-12 minutes or until done, turning once.

(From Parents Magazine June 2008)

Russ liked this more than I expected he would! Yeah!

Tomato Lentil Couscous (Near East)

I bought a box, cooked according to package directions.
After chicken cooked, I removed from skillet, wilted about 3/4 of a bag of baby spinach, and stirred the spinach into the couscous.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash, cut side up, on a foil lined baking sheet.

Microwave 1/4 cup butter and 2 T honey in microwave until melted; stir until blended. Brush cut side of squash with butter/honey mm ixture. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Bake, uncovered, 1 hour, or until tender; let stand 10 minutes; cut into large pieces and serve.

(From Southern Living November 2008)

I could've eaten the entire 2 1/2 pound squash myself. Riley wouldn't touch the "sweet potato squash." I slowly, discreetly added it to his applesauce and he ate every bite. Ha!

Friday, February 6, 2009

February 10, 2009

Double Bean Burritos

1 3 1/2 ounc bag boil-in-bag brown rice
1 cup salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
6 10 inch flour tortillas
6 T bean dip
3/4 cup Jalapeno Jack cheese
1 peeled avocado, slided
lime wedges (optional garnish)

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

While rice cooks, combine salsa and black beans in small saucepan; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stack tortillas; microwave on high 25 seconds or until warm.

Spread 1 T bean dip over each tortilla; top each tortilla with 1/4 cup rice, 1/3 cup black bean mixture, 2 T cheese, 1 avocado slice, and cilantro springs; roll up. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

(From Cooking Light)

**I omitted the rice from the burritos because I served with the rice dish below.**

Rice Chile Verde

1 pint sour cream
1 cup chopped green chili
pinch of salt
3 cups cooked rice
8 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese
Parmesan cheese

Combine sour cream, chilies, and salt. In 9x13 baking dish layer rice, sour cream mixture, and Jack cheese. Add another layer, ending in rice. Bake at 350 for 25
minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

(From Bunco Cookbook--Shauna)

February 4, 2009

Tonight was a dinner dilemma. I'd planned on making burritos and when I walked in the kitchen, there was a Freebirds cup on the counter. I was certain Russ wouldn't want burritos twice in one day. Besides...who wants to follow Freebirds?

So...I did some research.

Had a little help...

and voila--Breakfast for Dinner! Always a hit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February 3, 2009

Parmesan Spinach

10 oz. fresh, washed spinach
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place spinach in large saucepan or microwave-proof bowl. Cover and cook on medium for 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. If using microwave, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Place spinach in serving dish and add Parmesan, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss well.

Makes 2 servings.

Garlic Cheese Chicken Roll Ups

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned, dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 7 oz. pkg. of garlic-cheese spread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pound chicken breasts until thinned out. In a shallow dish or bowl mix together bread crumbs and cheese (I used less than 1 cup of breadcrumbs and had plenty). Dip one side of each breast into melted butter or margarine, then into crumb/cheese mixture. Place a tablespoon of cheese spread at one end of each chicken breast, on the side of the breast not dipped in the mixture. Roll up each breast and secure with toothpicks.

Place rollups in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish and drizzle any remaining butter or margarine over all. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through and juices run clear.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February 2, 2009

Turkey Wraps

1/2 cup garlic herb cheese spread
3 wraps
baby spinach
tomatoes, cut into thin slices
thinly sliced deli turkey
sliced cheese
cucumber, cut lengthwise into thin slices
shredded carrot

Spread 2T of cheese spread over each wrap. Layer with spinach, tomato, turkey, cucumber, cheese, and carrot. Roll up tightly; cut in half.

(My version of "Chicken Wraps" from Taste of Home's Feb/March 2008)