Monday, November 29, 2010

Tangy Turkey Salad

This was a yummy, unique way to use up some Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. The cranberries and oranges appealed to me, so I gave it a shot. I don't love pecans, put I put them in there anyway and liked them in this recipe. This was a refreshing alternative to the typical turkey/chicken/tuna salad.

Tangy Turkey Salad

2 cups cooked turkey breast, cubed
1/2 cup cranberries, finely chopped
1 orange, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 chopped pecans

In large bowl, combine all ingredients; chill. Serve on the bread of your choice.

(Makes about 6 sandwiches.)
(From Gooseberry Patch's Harvest Kitchen Cookbook)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Last year I ate my Thanksgiving meal in a hospital bed and still had another month to go on bedrest. My wonderful family came to visit, of course, bearing Thanksgiving food from home. I was thrilled to receive this, of course, but couldn't have been more disappointed in one thing...


If I wasn't so incredibly thankful, it would've ruined my meal! I didn't let it though, but this year I took the cranberries into my own hands and made them myself, my first attempt at cranberry sauce and I was thrilled with the turnout. I even heard my very traditional, "keep things the same" father-in-law say that he tried it and liked it (even though he usually prefers the jelly kind in a can )! Maybe I've converted him? Nah, I don't think so.

The recipe was Pioneer Woman's. I saw it on her website and was immediately sucked in because of the beautiful cranberry photos. It's as delicious as it looks!!

Pioneer Woman's Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

1 bag (about 12 To 16 Oz) Fresh Cranberries
16 ounces, fluid Pomegranate Juice
¾ cups Sugar, More Or Less To Taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Mixture will thicken as it cooks, and will thicken more as it cools.

Cool in a jar or bowl in the fridge.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Well, as you can see, there is a Pumpkin Festival going on in my house. It seems like everything I want to make has pumpkin in it. It won't last forever, I promise, but I sure am enjoying this!

I found this recipe in Kraft Food and Family Magazine (Holiday 2009) and they're pictured with a cup of coffee and called Pumpkin Cream Cupcakes. I can't feel good about calling anything I eat for a breakfast a cupcake, so I changed the name to suit my needs! :-) In my world a cupcake should have gobs of buttercream icing on top anyway...

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

1 pkg spice cake mix
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Add dry pudding mix and pumpkin; mix well. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.

Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Blend in sugar and egg; spoon over batter. Swirl gently with small spoon.

Bake 18-21 minutes (longer for me) or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes and cool completely.

Special extra: Stir 1/4 ground nutmeg into 1 1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip and spread over cooled cupcakes. Keep refrigerated.

I actually froze these and Riley and I ate them in the mornings on our way to school and work. When there were only 3 left, he said, "Okay Mommy, you can have one and I can have two, right?" He loved these, told me I needed to make some more because they were "the best", and they froze well. I just zapped them for 30-45 seconds in the morning right before we walked out the door.

Pumpkin Crunch

I've made this before, but never posted and when we decided to have a Southern Cooking potluck lunch at work to celebrate some fall birthdays, I figured Paula Deen's Pumpkin Crunch would suffice. It was a big hit and I didn't even ice it...I can only imagine that the iced version would be that much better!

Pumpkin Crunch

1 (15 oz.) can fresh pumpkin
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 c. sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans (I used chopped walnuts instead)
2 sticks butter, cut into pieces
1 (8 oz.) pkg. softened cream cheese
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, cinnamon and sugar until well combined. Add eggs and mix well.
Pour mixture into a 9X13 baking dish prepared with a non stick spray. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over entire top. Sprinkle nuts evenly over cake mix and top with butter pieces. Bake at 350ยบ F for 50-60 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Prepare frosting while cake is cooling. In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, whip cream cheese until light. Add in whipping cream and continue to whip until fully combined and thickening. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon and whip until smooth.

To Serve: Scoop out a slice of the pumpkin crunch and top with a dollop of the cream cheese frosting, or frost the entire pumpkin crunch with the frosting.

It was so delicious, this is all I brought home!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Green Chili Mac and Cheese

I spend lots and lots of time at H.E.B. I've never been a taste tester when they offer samples of things in the store, but now that Riley is old enough to want to try everything around, he does. My H.E.B. has The Cooking Connection inside and I do pay attention to what is going on in there. One day, we were rolling by and I heard the chef telling someone about her Green Chili Mac and Cheese. I backed up with no warning and had to try a bite. Riley and I both loved it, in fact, he wanted it for dinner that night! Too bad 'cause it wasn't cool enough outside for me to be making anything like that.

Well, it finally cooled off and I finally had a chance to make it. It was pretty simple (though we did get lots of dishes dirty!) and a hit, once again. Thanks for a great recipe, H.E.B.!!

Green Chili Mac and Cheese

1 1/2 pounds uncooked Ground Beef
1 jar Texas Two-Step Tomatillo & Green Chili Stew Mix
16 ounces elbow macaroni, penne or farfalle pasta
1 pound EZ Melt or Velveeta Cheese, cubed
2 teaspoons Adams Reserve Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Adams Reserve Chili Powder (variety of your choice)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a 3-quart baking dish with non-stick spray.

Cook macaroni in boiling water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cook ground beef in a large skillet over Medium-High heat; crumble into small bits with a spoon while browning.

Place stew in a 3-quart saucepan or microwave-safe dish; add cubed cheese, garlic and chili powder. Microwave or heat over Medium to melt cheese.

Stir in macaroni, beef and cream; season to taste. Transfer to baking dish.

Top with shredded cheese; bake 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

This was a hit! Riley even wanted to take some in his lunchbox one day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

I'm a fan of pumpkin and that hasn't always been the case. I have several recipes for Pumpkin Dip in my stash and this one stood out because it was different. Of course, I had to try it immediately and I wasn't disappointed! It's lighter than the usual version. Try it!

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

1 8 oz container Cool Whip (thawed)
1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can pumpkin
pumpkin pie spice to taste

Mix together pudding, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in Cool Whip. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with ginger snaps or apple slices.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is an annual tradition that we started a few years ago at our house. I tried it on Halloween night, but there's just too much going on, so it is a November 1 tradition now. That worked much better for our house!

Because a friend asked for the recipe, I'm posting it tonight, in case you have time to pull it off for tonight or plan for dinner soon. It's on our menu for tomorrow! I'll post photos later.

This one's for you, Julie:

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 medium sized pumpkin
1 lb. hamburger meat
1 can mixed vegetables (I use frozen mixed)
1 can Rotel
1 can beans (I use black, but use what your family likes)
1 can corn
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 pkg Spanish rice (already prepared)

Cut off top of pumpkin and clean outside and inside. Start your Spanish rice.

Meanwhile, brown hamburger meat, then add vegetables, Rotel, beans, and taco seasoning.

Add sliced mushrooms.

Scoop mixture into pumpkin and bake at 350 degrees for one hour on cookie sheet.
Stir Spanish rice into mixture after baking.

When you serve, you can serve chunks of the pumpkin with the meat/rice mixture.

Hope your family enjoys this one as much as we do!!

(Serves 4-6, but can easily be doubled/tripled to feed a crowd--just make sure your pumpkin is big enough.)

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This one's a keeper folks and I don't even like buffalo wings! My friend, Erin made this one night she invited us over for dinner and I couldn't keep my celery out of it! Russ even put some on his hamburger!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 cups rotisserie chicken

Stir all ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. Serve with celery, baby carrots, and Triscuits!

My father in law who HATES blue cheese even liked it! Great football season dip to make--makes the men and the women happy!! Even got me to eat a bunch of celery!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower

I've never cooked cauliflower before. Never really grew up eating it, it isn't something that I have in my repitoire. I have bought it and chopped it up to make my mom's yummy Broccoli Cheese Soup though.

When I saw this recipe in Southern Living, I tore it out, feeling inspired to try a new veggie at our house.

When my husband saw me cutting this one up, he said, "I'm not eating that." to a good start with this one.

Roasted Cauliflower

2 T olive oil
1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lb.)
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle a 15x10 jelly roll pan with 1 T olive oil. Cut cauliflower vertically into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on prepared pan. Drizzle cauliflower with remaining olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Not only is it beautiful, but I loved it (and didn't really have high expectations proud I gave it a try), Hubby ate it AND liked it, AND 4 year old loved it and after dinner asked me when I was going to make that white broccoli stuff again. He ate every bit of his...and asked for more! And the next trip to H.E.B., Riley saw the cauliflower and told me we needed to buy one!

It's amazing how happy a little cauliflower made me!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Acorn Squash (with a Breakfast Twist)

This recipe caught my eye because the flavors 2/3 of them go magnificently together, but the other one....not so much. But with this, they definitely work.

We love all kinds of squash around here and this is just one more way to enjoy it. I bought some for us for dinner and one for Kace to steam and puree to make him some baby food.

Maple Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash (1 1/2 pounds), cut lengthwise in half, and seeded
2 slices bacon (or if you're like us, make a couple of extra because someone will walk by and swipe a piece)
2 T maple syrup
1 T balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Place squash, cut sides up, in microwaveable dish; cover with plastic wrap, turning back one corner to vent.

Microwave on high 12-14 minutes or until squash is tender. Meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet on medium heat 8-10 minutes or until crisp, turning occasionally; drain.

Mix syrup and dressing; brush onto (I spooned) squash. Crumble bacon; sprinkle over sqush.

(Serves 4)
(Kraft Food and Family Magazine, Fall 2007)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Hot Sauce

My roommates and I started making this in college and I haven't made it in years. We would make it often, leave it in the fridge, and keep eating it even when it was so hot your eyes would water...and if you stopped, the burn was worse, so you kept eating. You know that hot?

Well, I had a flashback of it and we were making fajitas for dinner, so I wanted to make some homemade salsa to spicen it up. We grilled the veggies this time and that wasn't the ZING I expected. The next day, I added something. THAT was the zing! Here is the recipe!!

Missy's Hot Sauce

5 roma tomatoes (rubbed with olive oil and grilled until it had a char)
Juice of 1 1/2 limes
1/2 head garlic (rubbed with olive oil and grilled until it had a char)
2 serrano peppers (also rubbed and grilled)
3 chipotle peppers in adobo (I'd start with one if I were you, this got hotter by the day!)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and serve with Julio's tortilla chips!! Yummy I tell ya!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

I don't LOVE Hummus. I like it. But when I saw this recipe, I thought I maybe, just maybe could LOVE Hummus! We eat black beans like they were going out of style around here and Riley didn't even know that beans of other colors existed! Poor little fella...

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

1 garlic clove, peeled
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
1 tsp. ground cumin (I used more, maybe 1 T)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped (about 2 T)
dash of crushed red pepper
pita chips

Place garlic in food processor; process until finely chopped. Add lemonn juice, tahini, cumin, salt, beans, jalapeno, pepper, red pepper; and process until smooth. Soon bean mixture into medium bowl and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with ground red pepper. Serve with pita chips.

(8 servings)
(Cooking Light, January/February 2009)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

White Wine and Peach Sangria

We spent the evening with some great friends...who happen to be our neigbors--and met some new friends too! We were invited over for dinner, brought the kids and everything! I was told not to bring anything, but instead I took White Wine and Peach Sangria...a yummy recipe from my sweet friend Christine. She shared a glass and the recipe with me and I loved it! I doubled this and took it over last night--there were 5 ladies and we each enjoyed a glass...or two! I'd never had white wine sangria before...and I'm all about something different. It was a perfect drink for this Hot Texas Summer!

White Wine and Peach Sangria

1 (750 ml) bottle white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
3/4 cup peach brandy (I used 3/4 cup of peach schnapps instead of the brandy and sugar)
6T frozen lemonade concentrate
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 bag frozen peaches (I used this and sliced up a large fresh peach)
red and green grapes, sliced (I used red grapes and sliced a Granny Smith apple to throw in)

Mix liquids first, then add fruit. Ideally, let it sit 2 hours. We couldn't wait that long!! (If you use the brandy and sugar, make sure sugar is dissolved in liquid completely before adding fruit.) I packed the fruit in there, add what you like, depending on your taste. You could throw anything in there--we discussed adding cherries and raspberries last night! I don't really think you can go wrong.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa

I've always loved coconut shrimp at restaurants but it's fried and I try to avoid it. So when I stumbled across this recipe online with the bonus pineapple salsa, I had to print it for my files! Well, it finally landed in my meal planning folder and on the menu for the week. I thought it was great!

Oven Baked Coconut Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds shrimp peeled, deveined, tails intact (I used 1 lb for the 3 of us)
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2-3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
Nonstick cooking spray

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse shrimp in cold water; drain well on paper towels until dry.

Combine cornstarch, salt, and red pepper in shallow dish; stir with whisk. Place egg whites in medium bowl and beat with electric mixer at medium-high speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. (For me, 2 minutes was actually more like meringue--not sure if that was supposed to happen, but it was fine). Place coconut in shallow dish.

Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Working with 1 shrimp at a time: Dredge in cornstarch mixture, dip in eggwhite, then dredge in coconut, pressing gently with fingers. Place shrimp on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Lightly coat shrimp with cooking spray.

Bake 20 minutes or until shrimp is done, turning after 10 minutes. Serve with pineapple salsa.

Pineapple Salsa

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
NOT 1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (or 1-2 T if your husband hates it, like mine...and that was enough to ruin it for him)
1/4 cup pineapple preserves (or apricot pineapple preserves)
1 T finely chopped seeded fresh jalapeno
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and gently toss. (If I had an orange bell pepper on hand, I would've chopped it up in there for a little yummy color).

(Serves 4-5)

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

This recipe intrigued me because of the cottage cheese. You puree it in a blender and it makes the sauce of this casserole. It was a good one, we all enjoyed it and I froze some individual portions for another time. Basic ingredients, it was a casserole with ingredients I usually have on hand. It was yummy and not too heavy for our hot Texas summers.

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

1 tsp. olive oil
Cooking spray
3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
NOT 1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used yellow)
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 T chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (16 oz.) carton 2% lowfat cottage cheese
4 cups hot cooked penne pasta (about 8 oz. uncooked)
2 cups shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 can reduced fat and sodium cream of chicken soup

*Start your pasta*
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, NOT the onions, and bell pepper; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, oregano, and black pepper; saute 3 more minutes or just until spinach wilts.

Place cottage cheese in food processor (or blender); process until very smooth. Combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup cheddar, 1/4 cup Parmesan, milk, and soup in large bowl. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and then Parmesan. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

(Serves 6-8)
(Cooking Light, March 2006)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon and Apple Cinnamon Acorn Squash

This is only the 2nd time I've made salmon. Because it's not my favorite fish (I prefer a little less fishy) and my hubby says he doesn't really like it either. Trying to add new, healthy things to our diet, I found a few recipes I've wanted to try and so far, so good! I'm 2 for 2 on the good salmon dishes--and the best part is that Riley has enjoyed them too!!

Riley's plate (and I'm proud to say he ate every bite):

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon
1 T brown sugar
2 tsp. butter
1 tsp. honey
1 T olive oil
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T soy sauce
1/4-3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 salmon fillet (2 1/2 lbs) (I probably bought a 1 lb. fillet for the 3 of us)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir the brown sugar, butter, and honey until melted. Remove from heat; whisk in the oil, mustard, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Cool for 5 minutes.

Place salmon in a large foil-lined baking pan; brush with brown sugar mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minurwa oe until fish flakes easily with a fork.

(Serves 8)
(Taste of Home, December/January 2009)

Apple-Cinnamon Acorn Squash

2 pound acorn squash, about 1 large
1 T reduced calorie margarine
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Trim ends of unpeeled squash, cut in half, and remove and discard seeds and fibers. Slice each half into four 1/2-inch thick slices.

Melt margarine in large, nonstick skillet. Add apple juice and cinnamon; mix well. Add squash and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn squash slices over, cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 10 minutes more.

(Serves 4)

I served it up with some edamame too--we needed something besides the squash skin that was green on our plates! The glazes on the salmon and the acorn squash complemented each other very well. You can really taste the apple juice in the squash. I thought it would be just a hint, but ended up being more flavorful than I expected.
I am so proud when I can make something we don't love into something we do!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Banana-Mocha Cappucino

Okay, so a hot cup of coffee around here is a rarity.  I either get distracted with all of the things I can do while I'm up between 5 & 6 and everyone else is asleep (no, sleep is something a normal person would do) OR someone wakes up and needs something. 

Right now, both boys are napping and I'm having some coffee!!  It's 3:37, but who cares.  Ideally this would be a great to-go summer breakfast.  Today, it's just a fancy cup of coffee!

Banana-Mocha Cappucino

1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup brewed coffee (or a little extra if you're behind like me)
1 banana (that brown one will even work)
2 tsp. cocoa powder
4 ice cubes

Combine in a blender.  Process.  Get fancy and add some whipping cream with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, JUST like Starbucks does it.  Live a little!

(Serves 1 or 2, depending on how generous you're feeling)
(Source unknown...other than my Ziploc bag filled with drink recipes, cut out from a magazine.  Could be from Shape.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rosemary Chicken

This was even better than I thought it would be....I love it when that happens.  It was a hit with everyone in the house, not just me.  This was so yummy (and easy), I will definitely make again soon!

Rosemary Chicken

3/4 cup Grape Nuts cereal
1/2 tsp. garlic salt (I probably used 1 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed (I used fresh from my backyard...and more than 1/2 tsp.)
1/8 tsp. pepper (more again, to taste)
1 lb. chicken breasts, halved (I used chicken tenders and would do it again)
1 T vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place cereal in blender container (I used my mini chopper); cover.  Blend on low speed until cereal is finely crushed.  Mix with seasonings in shallow dish.

Brush chicken lightly with oil, then dip into cereal mixture, turning to evenly coat both sides.  Place in greast 15x10x1 baking dish or on greased baking sheet.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

(Serves 4)
(Kraft Food and Family Magazine Fall 2004)

Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

We had a tenderloin in the freezer and Russ has this smoker that he loves and we've only cooked ribs on it. We made up a rub for the tenderloin to compliment the sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes caught my eye long ago because it was a savory potato, not sweet. I've had this recipe for a long time and finally got around to trying it. We were NOT disappointed! They do take a long time, but they are worth it.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin


Ancho chili sear and crust rub
Brown sugar

Wrap rubbed tenderloin with a few strips of bacon.

Smoke in Orion Cooker for 40-45 minutes.

Oh my goodness, it was delicious!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (I'm not a fan of bacon bits and would definitely NOT use them here to speed things up)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Scrub and pierce sweet potatoes. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender.

When cool enough to handle, cut a thin slice off of the top of each potato and discard. Scoop out the pulp, leaving thin shells. In a large bowl, mash the pulp with butter. Stir in cheese, bacon, salt, and pepper. Spoon into potato shells.

Place on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Hubby said those sweet potatoes were the best he'd ever eaten. "Better than Outback?" I said. "Yes!" Wow, now that was great, especially considering this isn't the usual taste of sweet potato. No cinnamon or brown sugar as one would expect. We'll definitely make these again!

I think I was too busy eating to take any pictures of this one, sorry.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Green Chile-Chicken Casserole

I've been wanting to try this but since it serves 12 I didn't want to make it for the 3 eaters at my house and continue eating it for a week.  Tonight my niece and her friend came into town, so I decided now was my chance.  My mother and father-in-law came too!  I served it with Spicy Caesar Salad, black beans, and French bread.

1/3 cups fat free, less sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned chopped green chiles, drained
NOT 1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fat free sour cream
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin (I used much more)
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 cans condensed 98% fat free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
24 corn tortillas
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 lb.)
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

Spread 1 cup soup mixture in a 13x9 baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Arrange 6 tortillas over the soup mixture, and top with 1 cup chicken and 1/2 cup cheese.  Repeat layers, ending with the cheese.  Spread remaining soup misture over cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

*Leftover turkey works too*
*If you assemble casserole the day before, cover with cooking spray coated foil.  When ready to serve, bake 1 hour then uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and browning.*

(Serves 12)
(Cooking Light, November 2003)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Slow Cooker Pizza

Hopefully I'm back!  Instead of trying to catch up all of the recipes from the past, I'm starting with the here and now.  I planned for this based on the 103 degree forecast we had, but it ended up being not quite that warm, thank goodness.  This was a hit with the big little one and he asked for a shot of the "white stuff that goes on my salad" in it.  I'll never tell him that in high school we dipped every bite of pizza we ate in that white stuff.

Slow Cooker Pizza

1 16 oz pkg wide egg noodles
1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey (I used 1 lb)
NOT 1/4 cup chopped onion (I used garlic)
1 26 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 jar sliced mushrooms (I don't like mushrooms in a jar so much, I would've preferred to use fresh, but didn't have any, so I threw in a can of sliced black olives in to substitute)
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 3 1/2 oz pkg. sliced pepperoni, halved
3 cups shreeded mozzarella cheese
3 cups shredded cheddar (I didn't use cheddar at all and certainly didn't use 6 cups mozzarella!  I'd even top it with some Parmesan)

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and NO onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, and Italian seasoning.  Drain noodles.

In 5 qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray, spread 1/3 of meat sauce.  Cover with 1/3 of noodles and pepperoni.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat layers twice.  Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Another slow cooker recipe I wouldn't cook on a weekday when I had to go to work.  There isn't enough liquid.  Great for a Saturday when  you're outside doing yardwork or running errands.

(Made a TON, recipe says serves 6-8...we may eat it for a week!)
(Taste of Home Magazine)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm Trying, I'm Trying...

I have a folder of things I've cooked and baked just laying here on the desk by my computer, waiting for me to return and catch up.  I hate being behind and it feels like every day I get further and further away from "caught up."

There's some yummy stuff in that folder, so don't go away.  I'll be back, I promise!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mexican Meatball Soup

I wanted this to be delicious.  It sound like something we'd enjoy, but with a twist. 

Mexican Meatball Soup

1 T cooking oil
NOT 1 small red onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 zucchini cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 1/4 tsp dried oregano or 2 T chopped fresh
1/2 tsp. cumin (I love cumin and always use more than a recipe calls for!)
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups drained canned diced tomatoes
1 3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 T dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten to mix
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 T lime juice

In large pot, heat oil over moderately low heat.  Do NOT add onion.  Add half of jalapenos and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini, 1 1/2 tsp. of oregano, and 1/4 tsp. of cuin and cook, stirring until zucchini starts to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add broth, water, tomatoes, 1 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper; bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine ground beef, garlic, remaining jalapeno, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 3/4 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 T of fresh), 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper, bread crumbs, and egg.  Shape mixture into 24 meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.

Add meatballs and corn to soup and simmer until meatballs are just done, about 5 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and the remaining fresh oregano, if using.

(Serves 4)
(Food and Wine cookbook)

Okay, so I liked it.  It was okay.  My husband liked it more than I did, I think.  This recipe defininitely has potential, but I think it's needs a little more spunk for me.  Seemed a little bland (maybe I didn't put enough cumin in there!). 

Try it....I'm accepting suggestions!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Garden Harvest Cake

This seemed like a great twist on zucchini bread or banana nut bread.  We made it for a weekend breakfast and had some "to go" a few days that week too!  Do the fruits and veggies count in this recipe?   I sure hope so...

Garden Harvest Cake

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup grated carrot (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup shredded zucchini (2-3 small)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add grated apple, grated carrot, shredded zucchini, and walnuts to flour mixure; toss well. 

Combine canola oil, buttermilk, and eggs in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. 

Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.  Spoon batter into an 8x4 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in a pan on a wire rack; remove cake from pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

(Makes 9 servings)
(Cooking Light, April 2009)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Grilled Ham and Cheese Waffle Sandwiches

The only thing odd about these that I questioned was the mustard. I'm not a huge fan of mustard in the first place, but I followed directions anyway. And proceeded to dip this one in some good ol' maple syrup. And I loved it! The boys missed out and didn't want one...I think they were afraid. But Riley had a bite of my breakfast sandwich and requested one for his lunch. Score!!

Grilled Ham and Cheese Waffle Sandwiches

8 frozen toaster waffles
1 T Dijon mustard (I used regular)
1/2 pound sliced deli ham
1/4 pound cheddar, thinly sliced
4 T unsalted butter

Place 4 of the waffles on a work surface. Spread one side of each with the mustard.

Top with ham, cheese, and remaining waffles.

Spread the top of each sandwich with 1/2 tsp. of the butter.

Melt the remaining butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the skillet, buttered-side up. Cook, pressing occasionally with the back of a spatula, until the cheese melts and the waffles are golden, 3-4 minutes on each side.

(Serves 4)
(Real Simple, December 2005)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thai Style Butternut Squash Soup

This one I've been anxious to try.  Very out of the box for me, but we like all of the ingredients, so how could it go wrong?  I thought it was delish and made a few modifications.  Next time I'll add some grilled chicken...with a some sort of Asian peanut marinade/sauce. 

Thai Style Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash
2 T vegetable oil
NOT 1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp freshly grated lime zest
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 1/2 T kosher salt
1 T sugar
3 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1-2 T lime juice
Nam pla (fish sauce)
Coarsely chopped cilantro

Heat oven to 400 degress.  Halve squash lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds and stringy gunk.  Line a baking sheet with foil, grease it with 1 T of the oil, and roast squash, cut sides down, until it is very soft, 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat for 2 minutes.  Do NOT add shallot.  Add garlic, ginger, lime zest, paprika, coriander, and cayenne.  (For more authentic Thai ingredients, replace zest, paprika, coriander, and cayenne with a teaspoon of red curry paste and 3-4 Kaffir lime leaves.) 

Stir briskly until it's sizzling and fragrant, 30 seconds or so.  Add salt, sugar, broth, and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer.  If the squash isn't done, cover broth mixture and turn off heat; otherwise, add squash (after scraping and scooping it out of the peel), and simmer for 15 minutes.  Puree soup with hand blender, or in batches in a blender.  Add 1 cup of water if soup seems too thick, then stir in lime juice and a dash or two of fish sauce.  Taste.  Should be a lively mix of sweet, tart, and salty--add more lime juice, salt, or sugar if needed.  Garnish with cilantro, if using, and serve.

*My husband felt like this soup was good, but needed some texture to it.  I agreed.  I made some brown rice which we scooped into the bowl first, then poured the soup over the rice and I topped ours with peanuts.  It was great.  Next time, will definitely add some grilled chicken to it.  Thought this one had a great flavor!!  Different from the normal soup routine!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Slow Cooked Hamburger and Noodle Soup

Good soup, something different, but not my favorite.

Slow Cooked Hamburger and Noodle Soup

1 lb lean ground beef
NOT 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 pkg dry beefy mushroom recipe soup mix
1 can diced tomatoes, u ndrained
3 cups water
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed, drained
1 cup uncooked fine egg noodles
*I added some zucchini slices*

In large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

In 4-6 quart slow cooker, mix ground beef and remaining ingredients except vetables and noodles.  Cover; cook on low heat setting 6-8 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, stir in thawed vetables and egg noodles.  Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook 15-20 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp tender and noodles are tender.

(Serves 6)
(Pillsbury Most Requested Recipes)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Swiss Chicken and Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

For some reason I pulled this recipe to try even though I do not like swiss cheese. It smells like stinky feet to me. I liked this dish though. It was easy, had a great texture, and smelled nothing like stinky feet! (NOT appetizing food conversation, I know.) I've concluded that I don't like to eat swiss cheese by itself. In recipes, and maybe even on a sandwich (the jury's still out on that one) it's a good thing. I will no longer substitute provolone for swiss.

(One more thing: do you capitalize the "s" in "swiss?")

Swiss Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts
sliced swiss cheese
1 pkg Pepperedge Farm dry stuffing (I used cornbread because it was in the pantry)
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
olive oil

Rinse and dry chicken. Moisten chicken with olive oil. Salt and pepper each chicken breast.

Lay one piece of swiss cheese over each chicken breast in baking dish. (I used 9x9 for 4 small breasts.) Pour stuffing over entire pan. Melt butter and drizzle over stuffing.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Enjoy!

(Serves 3-4)
Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 T honey

2 T canola oil

6 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and halved lengthwise

salt and pepper

6 cinnamon sticks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together honey and oil. Rub each sweet potato half with honey and oil mixture. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Press a cinnamon stick between matching halves of each sweet potato and wrap potatoes in foil.

Place on a baking sheet and roast 30 minutes. Remove foil from potatoes and arrange, skin side up, on baking sheet. Set cinnamon sticks next to potatoes and return to oven. Bake until potatoes and cinnamon sticks brown lightly, about 30 minutes. Transfer to serving platter.

(Serves 6)

(Oprah Magazine, December 2003)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

These LOOKED great in one of my latest issues of Kraft Food and Family magazine. When we decided to go visit family, I knew these would be a perfect treat to take. They were so perfect, they were gone before a photo of them ever happened. They were destined to be eaten, not photographed!! Maybe next time!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1 pkg Jell-O chocolate instant pudding
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1/2 cup cold milk
6 squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and divided
1 cup peanuts, divided
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13x9 baking dish with foil; spray with cooking spray. Mix first 4 ingredients until blended (mixture will be thick). Press of the cake mix into prepared pan.

Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle half with each of chocolate and nuts over crust; top with peanut butter. (Not easy smooth, but doesn't have to look great.) Cover with layers of remaining cake mix mixture, chocolate and nuts. Press gently with spatula. Bake 15 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours before cutting into bars.

(Makes 32) *Not the way I cut them!*
(Kraft Food and Family magazine, Fall '09)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nutty Noodles

I love Asian food, particularly Asian food with noodles...and peanut butter...and edamame. This one's delish! I could eat it every day. Makes a great lunch for a few days.

Nutty Noodles

8 oz. wheat (soba) noodles or multigrain thin spaghetti (I used spaghetti)
1 cup crinkle cut carrots
2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce (I combined peanut butter, Tahini, rice vinegar, and sweet red chile sauce until I liked the way it tasted)
2 T creamy peanut butter
2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
Chopped fresh cilantro
Coarsely chopped cry roasted peanuts

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles and carrots, return to boiling and cook 5 minutes. Stir in edamame and snow peas; cook, uncovered for 3-5 minutes longer or until noodles and vegetables are tender. Drain and return to saucepan.
In a medium bowl, mix together peanut sauce, peanut butter, and soy sauce until it's smooth. Stir the peanut sauce into pan with the noodles and veggies. Sprinkle on the cilantro and peanuts.

(Serves 4)
(Parents Magazine, July 2008)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas

We love Mexican food at our house. Riley knows the menu at a Mexican restaurant without looking (quesadilla, enchilada, taco...and don't forget the beans and rice). He loves it all! I've made enchiladas before, but not the basic red sauce variety. I've made sour cream enchiladas, my Aunt Bette's yummy queso enchiladas, etc. This was new to me and I was honestly skeptical.

Martha Stewart? Enchiladas? See what I mean? I gave it a try because it sounded simple enough and I was pleased. Russ said he'd eat two...and ate 4! Not as good as Dart Bowl though (and I certainly didn't expect them to be)!! They tasted even better the next day.

Tex Mex Beef Enchiladas

2 T olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 small chipotle chile in adobo, minced plus 1 T adobo sauce
NOT 1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound lean ground beef
salt and pepper
8 corn tortillas (have a few extras)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking occasionally, 1 minute. Add broth, chili powder, chipotle, and adobo sauce, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Make filling: In nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If freezing, don't place any sauce in baking dish.) Spoon 1/4 cup sauce in bottom of 8-inch square baking dish. Set askide. Make enchiladas: stack tortillas; wrap in fil, and warm in oven, 10 minutes. *(I warm in microwave.)* Fill each with a heaping 1/4 cup of beef mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese; tightly roll up.

Raise oven heat to 450 degrees. Arrange enchiladas, seam side down, in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly. 15-20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with cilantro and, if desired, a green salad.

To freeze: make suace and enchiladas; arrange enchiladas in baking dish without sauce (so tortillas won't become soggy). Place sauce in airtight container. Cover dish with plastic wrap and foil. Label, date, and freeze enchiladas and sauce. Use within 2 months; bake without thawing.

To bake from frozen: Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove foil and plastic wrap from baking dish. Pour sauce over top, and sprinkle with cheese; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; baking until lightly browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and serve.

(Serves 4)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


(Cow Zones as Riley calls them)

1 lb. lean ground beef
3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1 can low sodium tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I just used the whole box...)
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cans refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
Olive oil
*Jar of spaghetti sauce as topping, if desired

Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain.

Combine beef, 2 1/2 cups cheese, and next 3 ingredients.

Unroll each pizza crust, and cut each crust into thirds. Roll each portion into a 5-inch circle. Spread 3/4 cup of meat mixture evenly over half of each circle. Moisten edges with water; fold dough over, pressing or crimping edges to seal. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, and cut slits in tops to allow steam to escape. Brush with olive oil.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Top with spaghetti sauce, if desired; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Melt cheese under broiler.
I had to show a picture of this "not so pretty one" that busted open!
Note: Freeze baked calzones up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Wrap in foil and bake at 300 degrees for an hour or until thoroughly heated.

(Serves 6)
(Southern Living, September 2003)

They were great, we all liked them and Riley had 3 small bowls of the filling while the calzones were baking!!!