Monday, November 30, 2009

Calling All Chefs!

I know it's the holidays and everyone is busy, but let's get some new recipes on here!
Especially at this time of year, it's all too easy to slip into picking up fast food or a pizza rather than cook after a long day of decorating, wrapping presents, shopping and all the other holiday "fun"

Besides, all my cookbooks got put into storage during the move, so I REALLY need new ideas!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tortilla Chicken

Tortilla Chicken Crock Pot Recipe

1 dozen corn tortillas
3 cans cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup
1 (8oz) pkg. Jack cheese, grated
1 (8oz) pkg. Cheddar cheese, grated
2 cans (4oz each) chopped chilies
1 boiled deboned chicken (3 to 4 cups chopped)
1/2 med. onion, diced

Layer in a crockpot: Soup, tortillas, cheese, chicken, chilies, onion, soup; repeat, etc. until ingredients are used up. Start on high for 1/2 hour. Reduce temperature to low and cook for 6 hours.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ridiculously Easy Honey Orange Chicken

This recipe is in violation of the "no fruit and meat" rule at my house. But not only did my husband LIKE this meal, he requested that it go into rotation -- which is a high honor around here.

You will need:

Half a bag of frozen chicken tenderloins
1 cup orange juice
1 orange, zested and sliced
2-3 tbsp honey
1 onion, sliced
three cubes chicken bouillon, crushed (about 2 tsp.)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange still frozen chicken evenly in large baking dish. Yes, still frozen.
Sprinkle with pepper, salt and paprika. Cover with onion slices.

In a small bowl combine orange juice, honey, chicken bouillon, 1-2 tsp of grated orange peel (you can use a zester or the smallest part of the cheese grater)

Pour the mixture over the chicken. Place dish into oven, bake for 45 minutes to one hour.
Cover the chicken and onions with the orange slices, put back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.

Serve over rice or orzo.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meat Rolls

Serves 4

This recipe comes from my Great-Grand Mother on my mom's side.


1 lb Ground Beef
1 can of Vegetable Soup
1 can of Tomato Soup
vegetable oil


First use the directions for making Bisquick Biscuits. Roll dough out flat no to flat. Then in a large frying pan cook ground beef. After cooked, add 1 can of vegetable soup. Stir meat & soup together. Then pour mixer on to the dough & roll it into a roll. Cut roll in to 2 1/2 inch slices & place into greased 13 x 11 cake pan. Preheat oven 450 and heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

For The Gravy:
In large frying heat enough vegetable oil in the bottom to cover it, then add flour & milk to desired thickness & add 1 can of tomato soup to that.

*For larger servings just increase your proportions.

Viola...pour gravy over meat rolls & serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maple Glazed Salmon with Wild Rice and Asparagus

Don't be turned off by the title of this post! This meal was ridiculously easy and EVERYONE ate it, including the baby!

The menu was Maple Glazed oven baked Salmon, steamed asparagus (now on sale at Safeway!) and Wild Rice (from a mix, also on sale currently.)

First thing, marinate the salmon.
I got a bag of frozen salmon fillets from my local market, very affordable. You will also need....
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Mix all that stuff up in a shallow bowl, throw in the salmon and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, if you have a rice cooker, set it up with the veggie steamer for the asparagus. If not, you can microwave or boil the asparagus, instructions to follow...

Near the end of your 20 minute marination...prepare the wild rice as per instructions on the box. I made Rice a Roni Naturals Wild Rice which takes about a half hour to cook.

If you're steaming the asparagus, start the rice cooker when you start the wild rice, then throw the asparagus into the steamer about 15 minutes later. If you're boiling, wait....boil the water then toss in the asparagus, it takes about 5-7 minutes, same for microwave....

When you have about 15 minutes left on the wild rice, preheat the oven to 450. Let it heat up for five minutes with a shallow baking dish/cookie sheet with a lip INSIDE the oven. (I recommend lining with foil for easy cleanup)

After five minutes, put the salmon on the baking dish/sheet and put into the 450 degree oven for 7-10 minutes until easily flaked with a fork. I had to turn mine halfway since it had no skin on....if you have skin on, put the fish skin up and you won't have to turn it.

Everything should get done all around the same time.

Plate it all up, salt and pepper to taste and drizzle some maple syrup over the salmon, sort of like a toaster strudel.

I'm telling you it's a hit! My husband and kids are NOT fish lovers...they loved this!

Friday, August 21, 2009

tortilla casserole

You need:

6 Corn tortillas
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 small can of green chills
Shredded cheese
*(Optional) Chicken or beef may be added

Mix soup & green chills in sauce pan...warm.

Layer tortillas, soup mixture, & cheese in a casserole dish. Repeat as many times as desired. Use small or large casserole dish (increase to 2 cans of soup & more tortillas for large dish).

Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Melt cheese in oven. Serve & enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


1 or 2 lbs Hamburger Meat

1 or 2 cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 lb Sour Cream

1 12 oz Bag of Egg Noodles (cook noodles as directed on the bag)


Cook hamburger meat, add to cooked noodles, then add soup & sour cream. Stir all together and warm to desired temp.

Serve & Enjoy!

Very Quick & kids actually like this one.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Not Exactly Loretta's Spaghetti Sauce :)

Technically not a "meal" but it can be used in many meals and is much better for you than store-bought sauce which is chock full of preservatives, artificial colors, sugar and other yucky stuff.

You can make this and can it (I use a big canning pot and steam) or you can freeze it. It freezes beautifully.
This recipe will make about 6 quart jars of sauce at probably half the cost of storebought. You can size the recipe up or down to suit your needs.

You need:
Olive oil, about 3 Tbsp. Enough to cover the bottom of the pot.
Six 28-ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes (or if you don't have a food processor or want to skip a step, crushed tomatoes)
Four 6-ounce cans of tomato paste
Two medium onions, chopped small
Six cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Oregano, about 3 Tbsp
Basil, about 1 Tbsp
Rosemary, all the leaves off of about four two inch sprigs

*I don't MEASURE when I put the spices in mine, I just put in what I think looks and smells good and I have for years and I still have no actual idea how much goes in. So....

Heat the oil in the bottom of a very large stock pot.
Toss in the chopped onions. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes.

While that's cooking, open up all the cans of tomatoes and run them through the food processor (or not if you got crushed). At the end of the 2 minutes, dump all the tomatoes into the pot. Stir it up good. Turn the flame WAAAY down. Set a timer for an hour.
You can't just walk away though. You need to come back and stir every so often. This stuff is going to be MOLTEN HOT LAVA. Be careful.

At the end of the hour, dump in all tomato paste, all the spices, salt and pepper as you like it. Stir it all up. Smell it or taste it, adjust spices as needed.
Set a timer for an hour. Same deal. Come back and stir the molten hot lava every 10-15 minutes or so.

And that's it!
At the end of the hour you're done.
If you're steam canning...pour into clean dry quart jars and submerge in hot water for about 45 minutes or more/less depending on your location (altitude affects canning).
If you're gonna freeze it, pour into clean dry freezer safe containers and stack up in your freezer.

Voila! You'll never eat Ragu again.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Easy Peasy Turkey Dish

This is a yummy dish that you can eat with crackers... or roll it up in a tortilla for a burrito!!

1 lb. ground turkey
1 jar salsa
1 can beans (your choice)
1 bag steamed rice

Steam the rice in the microwave according to directions on the package. Cook the ground turkey until done. Add the salsa and beans and rice then let it heat up for a minute.

Yummy, fast and easy!!!

Chicken Piccata

Quick and easy.
The finished dish looks fancy and like it took TWICE the time to cook.

You need:
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast halves pounded to 1/4 inch thickness (or get the fillets, which are usually thinner and sometimes cheaper)
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp dry white wine or water
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon thinly sliced
3 Tbsp capers
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, shake off excess

In a large frying pan, heat butter AND vegetable oil over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook about three minutes a side, until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.

Add wine to pan and deglaze for about one minute. Make sure to get all the pan drippings scraped up off the bottom of the pan.
Add lemon juice and bring to a low boil. Return chicken to pan cover with lemon slices and capers cook until sauce thickens slightly, about three minutes.
Serve garnished with parsley over hot buttered egg noodles and whole green beans.

Hong Kong Casserole

Super easy & uses cheap ground beef to boot! One of my husbands favorite recipes that he remembers his Mom making.

- Brown 1 lb ground beef
- In a seperate bowl combine 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup rice, 1 soup can of water, 1 cup diced celery, 1 medium onion diced, 3 T. soy sauce, pepper. Stir in cooked, drained ground beef.
- Pour everything in a lightly greased 13x9 pan.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
- After an hour add 1 bag crispy chow mein noodles to the top and bake for 10 minutes more.

Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing

I made up this recipe about 8 years ago when I couldn't find a store dressing like it. Somebody asks for it every time I make it and I hope you all do to. Since it's taken me so long to get around to posting I want to come out of the gate strong!

2 T. smooth peanut butter
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. chili oil, if desired
grated ginger to taste, if desired
1/4 c. canola oil

Put the peanut butter in a bowl and slowly wisk in soy sauce. Add vinegar, sugar, sesame and chili and wisk. Add the oil either by slowly wisking in or putting everything into a mason jar with the oil and shaking until combined. Chill for 30 minutes in order to let the sugar dissolve. Shake again to combine before dressing your greens.

This is both kid approved and fire house approved!

Cheesy Bean Dip

Super easy and quick appetizer to whip up- good for bringing somewhere, like a potluck, or BBQ, or whatever.

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 4 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 8 oz. package Neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Whatever else you have on hand that seems good and Mexican-food-y. (Today I had salsa, so half a container of that went in. Also good are olives, garlic powder, green chiles, hot peppers, green onions, etc.)

Blend together 1/2 of shredded cheese with everything else. Put in greased baking dish and sprinkle remainder of cheese over the top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, til cheese is bubbly and brown around edges. Serve with tortilla chips. Very popular!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Zanzibar Chicken

This totally violates the "no fruit and meat" rule at my house, but seriously, it's sooo good. And raisins are only just barely fruit. In fact, I let my daughter in on the secret that raisins and grapes were exactly the same thing, and she looked at me like "Mom, seriously, you've lost your mind now. For real."

OK. Zanzibar Chicken. Another great recipe for a cheaper cut of chicken, the thigh.

You need:
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp raisins

I like to combine the chicken, cinnamon, cloves, salt, pepper and oil in a bowl together and let it sit and marinate for awhile first.

Then you heat a skillet, medium high, brown the chicken five minutes a side, until it is golden brown and slightly crusty.

Remove the chicken and keep warm. Add the onions to the skillet. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remember to be scraping up those delicious browned bits off the bottom of the pan while you saute those onions.
Add the garlic to the pan, cook one minute.

Return the chicken to the pan, add OJ and raisins. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

I serve this over steamed rice with broccoli or whole green beans on the side. Very nice. We had this for dinner tonight. And though I got a raised eyebrow from the husband, on account of the raisins, it was very well received.

Fettucine Alfredo with Asparagus and Mushrooms

1/3 +/- cup of margerine (I use a big scoop of spreadable margarine and it looks like 1/3 cup LOL)
bunch of fresh asparagus, the green kind, break off the woody bottoms and then snap into bite size pieces
4 ounces or so of fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced
3/4 c. SHREDDED parmesan cheese, not that fakey stuff
8 ounces of evaporated milk (I use fat free)
italian seasonings to taste
16 oz. fettucine noodles, but anything you have on hand will work.


Note- I made this recipe up (based on another recipe, but i changed it all up) and I don't measure ingredients often. So please note that you are free to fiddle with amounts and stuff.

Note again - The sauce appears very thin... let it stand for a minute and it will thicken or just toss noodles with thin sauce.. it is suprisingly tasty and light!

Cook noodles. While noodles are cooking, melt margarine or butter in sauce pan. Add mushrooms and asparagus. Saute for a few minutes until they look yummy. Add shredded parmesan cheese and evaporated milk (If you buy a 12 oz can just eyeball it and pour in 2/3 of the can). Stir until cheese is melted.

Drain cooked noodles. Toss noodles and sauce. YUM!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Turkey Carbonara Burgers

I watch Rachael Ray. I don't love her, but I like her. She's dubbed herself the "Burger Queen." I realized all of her burgers are a distinct meal thrown into meat to make a burger.

So I started doing it myself.

Spaghetti carbonara is awesome, spaghetti (whatever kind you like) tossed with crisp prosciutto, Parmesan and topped with an egg that is mixed in to make a thick, creamy sauce.

I made it into a burger, and it's awesome. Though I haven't quite figured out how to incorporate the egg, so I left it out. Though if you want, you can fry an egg over easy, place it on top of the burger then place the bun on top. The yolk will break and ooze all into the bun. Delish, as Rach would say.

If you don't have prosciutto, you can use bacon, or your favorite ham that will fry up crispy. I buy a little package of pre-diced prosciutto, because it's usually on special at the store.


20 ounces ground turkey (the prosciutto will make the burgers moist, so you can get away with a leaner turkey)
2 ounces prosciutto (bacon or pancetta would work too), cut into small dice
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 tbsp olive oil
Good italian bread, or ciabatta rolls

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Form into four patties. Grill over medium-high heat, 6-7 minutes per side, until cooked.

Place on roll, top with over easy egg if desired. Serve with a side of pasta tossed in butter and salt (since it's supposed to be spaghetti carbonara).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tatter Tot Casserole

This is SUPER easy & my family LOVED it!

Depending on how big your family is or how hungry. You can add more or less.

1 lb of ground beef

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

tatter tot ( as many as needed to cover the top)

Cheese (shredded)

brown ground beef then spread in bottom of casserole dish. then mix can of cream of mushroom soup like you were making soup in a saucepan (maybe a little thicker) next spread it in casserole dish. Then spread cheese over that then lastly cover with tatter tots! Cook in oven until bubbly on sides,cheese is melted, and the tots are browned....THEN ENJOY!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Simple White Cupcakes (and Icing)

Since cupcakes are my favorite treat, I have a rule that in our house we never use cake mix or store-bought icing. These are my very favorite (and very easy!) recipes:

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. You can add more milk to make the cake lighter (I usually add an extra splash or two.) Beat REALLY well each time- turns out SOOO light and fluffy. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch. Makes 18 cupcakes.

ICING (Wilton recipe)
1/4 C vegetable shortening
1/4 C butter
2 C confectioner's sugar
2 Tbl milk
1 tsp vanilla


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Here is my Godma's version of Shepherd's Pie which is super easy.

Mashed potatoes
Ground meat (your choice of beef,chicken orturkey)
diced carrots (optional)
Worcestershire sauce
shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F
Lightly grease a pie dish
Brown your ground meat in a skillet. Add approximately one tbsp of Worcestershire sauce. (adjust according to your preference)
Add in your carrots and peas.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
Set aside to cool.

Spread mashed potatoes evenly and mold it around the pie dish.
Spoon your ground meat ingredients on top of the mashed potatoes.
And cover the ingredients with another layer of mashed potatoes.
Decorate the mashed potatoes on top with a fork.
Lightly sprinkle the top with some shredded cheese (My Godma sometimes uses regular American cheese to write our names on individual mini pie casseroles)

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.
Serve warm.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Macaroni & Cheese Hamburger

This one is always a hit & very easy & quick. As a matter of fact I have a couple easy ones like this but need some new ones to try. Especially ones that the kids will eat. Hope you all's nothing fancy or anything just easy & tasty.

1 lb of Hamburger meat

2 boxes of Mac'n'Cheese (make as directed on the boxes)

1 can of stewed or diced tomatoes

1 can of tomato sauce

1 can of tomato paste

Brown the Hamburger meat & cook the Mac'n'Cheese as directed on the box. Then when both meat & Macaroni are cooked mixed together stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce & tomato paste all together with meat & macaroni. Serve & Enjoy.

Pumpkin and Kale Pasta

I haven't tried this yet, but due to my whining about having too much Kale and not knowing what to do with it, a friend provided this recipe. Sounds delicious.

  • cook 1 pound pasta of the tubular variety. Drain and reserve.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add about 8 oz of chopped kale (remove thick stems and chop into 1 in pieces) and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3-5 min.
  • Add 29 oz pumpkin puree (found in the store next to the pumpkin pie filling, but don't use the pumpkin pie filling. Just pure pumkin), 31 oz vegetable broth, and 2 tbs jarred sun dried tomato pesto. stir and bring to a simmer....
  • season to taste with salt and pepper
  • toss pasta with pumpkin mixture. transfer to a 9 by 13 baking dish or eight individual dishes. Top with 1/2 cup unblanched sliced almonds. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 mins or until top is golden.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tres Leches Cake (to go with Chile Relleno)

And the big dessert!

French Vanilla Cake Mix
1/4 can evaporated milk (half of the can left over from making the Chile Relleno)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
For whipped cream topping:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 Tbl vanilla extract

Bake the cake as directed, let cool 20 minutes, and poke millions of holes and gashes in it. It can be ugly because you're covering it with whipped cream. Whisk first four ingredients together and pour over cake, really soaking it into the holes and gashes. Best if you saran-wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight because then it really gels together, but not necessary. Right before serving, whip up the last three ingredients until fluffy and frost cake. YUM!!!

Salad (to go with Chile Relleno)

This chile relleno meal harkens back many years and is just a habit at this point. Why always the same salad, drink, dessert, and main course together? Just because. And it all tastes so nicely together. Amounts of everything here are to taste:

2 regular-sized packages of lettuce
About 1/2 pound shaved pepper turkey, ripped into small pieces
Light salami, chopped in small triangles
Spanish olives, chopped tiny
Black olives, chopped tiny
Grape tomatoes
Lots of avocado
The other half of the package of queso fresco you used making the chile relleno, crumbled
Mozarella cheese slices, chopped in small triangles
Bernstein's Cheese Fantastico salad dressing


Pina Colada (to go with Chile Relleno)

Jess, since you liked the chile relleno recipe, I thought I'd post everything I make to go with it. It's a perfect meal! Probably my favorite, and I always make it for dinner parties. Here's the drink (it's so yummy we call it Mother's Milk) :

Makes 1 gallon

1 quart can of Dole pineapple juice
1 can of coconut milk (small, maybe a pint?)
1 cup sugar

Blend these ingredients in a blender, and pour in gallon pitcher

Add to this mixture:
Approximately 1 quart of water (maybe less, to taste)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp rum extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

STIR AND GUZZLE! Seriously, the pitcher often disappears before dinner begins.

I am looking for a recipe for......

Let's all add to this post via the comments section and make a list of all the dishes we would like the recipes for. That way, we can check here and say "Hey I have a GREAT easy tried and true recipe for chicken and dumplings" and post it accordingly then cross it off the list here!
I will maintain the list of recipes needed as part of this original post.

We are looking for the following recipes:
Chinese restaurant style Orange chicken
White Bean Chili
Green Chili Pork Enchiladas
make your own ravioli (got to be cheaper than storebought)

Uncle Thomas' Chicken Cacciatore

Honestly, I've yet to make this for MY family, but Uncle Tommy makes it for his all the time and it's a bonafide hit. This is his recipe straight from him. He is one of those natural cooks, so he uses hardly any measurements. I will add them in along with notes on what he means by fancy cooking words like "deglaze" and "other seasonings"

You Need:
Olive Oil & Butter (maybe 2tsp of each)
Chicken (a couple lbs cut up, bone in, skin on or off)
Flour (about a quarter to half cup)
Pepper & other seasonings (about 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper and maybe 1/4 tsp of anything else you add)

Note from Jessica: By "other seasonings" I think he means, and I would suggest, using salt, garlic powder, maybe sweet paprika, maybe parsley, thyme, sage. This is mixing in with the flour to make what will be the crust on the chicken. Think like KFC...11 herbs and spices...

Garlic (about 2tsp, minced)
one Red Pepper (seeded & sliced)
one medium Onion (sliced)
(mushrooms, sliced, about four ounces, if you like them, they are NOT in Thomas' recipe)
Tomato Paste (about 1.5 Tbsp or so)
Chicken Stock, white wine or water (1/4 cup or less)
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (any flavor, I like fire roasted)
Oregano & other seasonings

Note from Jessica: HERE by "other seasonings" he means your standard italian seasonings like basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. Whatever you like or would normally put in spaghetti sauce. About a tsp or so of anything, or to taste.

Melt butter & olive oil in big, deep fry pan.
Dredge chicken in seasoned flour & brown in butter oil mixture for couple of minutes per side.
Remove chicken from pan and keep warm, add garlic, onion & red pepper to pan. Saute then add tomato paste & fry that up until onions & peppers start to get soft. About five minutes.
Deglaze (see below) pan with liquid of choice, add 2 cans diced tomatoes.
Bring to a bubble then lower to minimal heat. Return chicken to pan and cook over low heat for about 20-30 minutes.
Taste & season sauce to your liking. The meat should almost fall off bone. If you don't like the chunks of veggies in your sauce, blend with a stick blender, food processor or blender. Blending will also thicken sauce. Serve over favorite pasta. You should have a good amount of tasty sauce left over.

Note from Thomas: If you use boneless chicken, cook veggies longer before you add the chicken & reduce cooking time of chicken. This recipe is really meant for less expensive chicken on the bone like thighs, legs, etc. It's a great way to get all the flavor and value out of those cheaper cuts.

Deglaze: Deglazing is a cooking technique for removing bits of food from a pan in order to make a sauce with them. Usually, the meat is removed from the pan. The pan is returned to the heat, and a liquid is added to act as a solvent. This liquid can be plain water, vegetable or meat stock, a spirit, some wine or any other liquid. This allows the cook to scrape the dark spots from the bottom of the pan, and dissolve them creating a rich sauce.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chile Relleno

This is my FAVORITE dish to bring to people's houses or serve when we have guests. It's SUPER easy and quick and always quite the crowd-pleaser. Leftovers are delicious too and it reheats beautifully.

Big can of Ortega green chiles
About 2-3 cups shredded cheese
1/2 package queso fresca
1/2 can of evaporated milk
4 eggs
A few dashes of cumin

Rinse the green chiles to rid them of any seeds and make them not too strong. In a glass dish, make the first layer by laying half the green chiles flat (no need to grease or spray the dish). Cover with half the shredded cheese (You can use as much as you want. I use a ton.) Crumble the queso fresca by smushing it with a fork, and cover the shredded cheese with half of it. Repeat these three layers. Mix (I use a blender) 4 eggs, evaporated milk, and cumin. Pour mixture evenly all over, making sure to go right to the edges. I sprinkle some more cheese on top for a nice golden look. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Delish!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Green Chili Burritos

This one is quick & easy! Serves several & you can experiment with it if you want.


1 lb of Lean Hamburger Meat

1 can of green chili's

1 to 2 cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup (more or less for thickness)

Flour Tortillas

Pepper Jack Cheese (shredded)

Colby Cheese (shredded)


Brown hamburger meat in pan, then add can of green chili's and cook with meat for a bit, then add cream of mushroom soup. Warm until desired temp. Serve in your favorite flour tortillas with Pepper Jack & Colby cheeses.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Serves: 4

1 lb ~ Lean Hamburger Meat

1/2 to 1 ~ Onion (Chopped)

2 ~ Eggs

half can of Tomato sauce

15 or so Saltine Crackers (as desired)

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. ~ Sage

Catsup Sauce

Catsup Sauce:

6 TBSP. ~ Brown Sugar

1/2 cup ~ Ketchup

1/2 tsp. ~ Nutmeg

2 tsp. ~ Dijon Mustard

Mix all ingredients, except Catsup Sauce, in small casserole dish then pour Catsup Sauce over it and put it in the oven. Bake it at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until meat is cook thoroughly. Serve & Enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuscan Noodle Bake

Modified from the Favorite Brand Name One Dish Recipes cookbook....

This is something I have made many times and it's always gobbled up...pun intended (it's a turkey recipe!)

1 package ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can tomato sauce (I use my own recipe)
1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 can sliced black olives, drained
1 tsp each, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 16 oz package of wide egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In large Dutch oven or large stock pot brown turkey with onion and garlic until no longer pink. Drain off fat.
Add remaining ingredients except Parmesan cheese, noodles and mozzarella cheese. Simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan and noodles. Blend well and pour into buttered baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella over top and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quinoa Breakfast

Quinoa is one of my new favorite foods. Like a rice, but with a slightly crunchy texture and almost nutty taste, plus it has a ton of protein. It works great as a rice/potato substitute with dinner. However, as a grain, it can also be used for a breakfast food. If you haven't tried it, I encourage you to do so!

This morning I tried a breakfast variation, stolen from my new favorite food blog, 101 Cookbooks. Check this website for a variety of vegetarian-inspired (although not all are meatless), often organic recipes.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed!)
  • 2 cups fruit/berries (I used some chopped, fresh blackberries)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (next time I'll use a little more for more flavor)
  • 1/3 c toasted nuts (optional)
  • sugar/honey/nectar to taste (I stuck w/ sugar, as I didn't want the honey w/ the nuts, and I'm allergic to nectars.)
Combine milk, water and quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes (or until most of the liquid is absorbed). Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in fruit and cinnamon. Transfer to bowls and top with nuts. Add sweetener to taste.

Serves 4.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

I found this recipe on a random blog and have made it mine :D

6 large potatoes, cleaned and stabbed with a fork a few times
1/2 c butter
4 cloves garlic
1/2 c flour
2 cans chicken broth (4 c)
24 oz evaporated milk, I use fat free or skim
shredded cheese and other potato toppings

Microwave taters until done
Melt butter in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add flour and stir until it gets all thick like. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and broth. Chop cooked potatoes into various sizes, some big, some small, and toss into the soup. Add salt, pepper, and dill to taste. Heat through :D
Add cheese or other toppings to your bowl!

Serve with fresh bread. YUM!

this soup does not store very well... it turns into a big gelatinous mush after a while.. does okay on reheat but is much thicker the second time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tuna Artichoke Salad

This makes a great lunch and is a nice change from tuna sandwiches without a lot of extra effort!

1 can tuna in water, drained and flaked
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
half a can of sliced black olives
1/3 cup mayo, or less if you prefer
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Mix all ingredients together. Serve.
Easy no?

Corn Casserole

This is less like a casserole and more like a super moist corn bread, which is just right for me!
Cut into squares, this is great with chili!

1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 oz) can creamed corn
1 (8 oz) package corn muffin mix like Jiffy
1 cup sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
1.5 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350
In a large bowl, stir together both cans of corn, muffin mix, sour cream and melted butter. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cheddar cheese, bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let rest for 5 minutes then serve!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring-time Strata

I for one am a huge fan of breakfast dishes, and with Easter/Spring/what-have-you coming up, this recipe seems to be a good one to share. It takes some forethought (i.e. the bread needs to get crusty overnight), but can be tossed together quickly in the morning so if you have things you need to get done, or would rather visit with your visitors instead of prepare breakfast, give a strata a chance. Plus, it's kinda pretty with the bright color of the berries...

Kids young and old enjoy it. Goes great with coffee, orange juice, or mimosas. And I have to confess: this is not my recipe. I stole it from epicurious!

Berry French Toast Strata

  • 1/2 cup (plus a little extra) pure maple syrup, plus additional for serving (maple tastes best, *but* cheaper varieties can be used with tasty results, and if you add a little extra, you probably won't need any additional on top)
  • 3/4 loaf (or 6 cups) day old bread in one-inch cubes (I buy a loaf of french bread, cut it up and let it sit in the bag for the day)
  • 4 cups berries (fresh can be used, but thawing frozen is so easy - I thaw mine in the fridge overnight)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (lemon isn't always necessary; I've gone without and substituted 1/4 tsp of orange peel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Arrange rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  • Lightly butter 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish or 14-inch oval gratin dish. Pour in maple syrup; scatter bread cubes and berries in dish. (Personally, I find it tastes more french-toasty if you let this sit for 20 minutes or so).
  • In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, lemon zest, and salt; pour over bread cubes.
  • Bake strata until puffed and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool 5 minutes, then serve warm with additional maple syrup.
Serves 8-10 and works as leftovers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Dry beans are a super economical way to stretch your food budget. For years, i did not know how to make beans from scratch and just always bought them canned. I thought I would pass on the info for those who may be like me!

The night before you want to serve the beans, put your dried beans into a big bowl(or into your empty crock pot) and cover with water. Make sure there is about 3 inches of water above the beans.. maybe a bit more. Leave them soaking on the counter over night. The soaking helps break down enzymes in the beans that are hard for us to digest. I have left my beans soaking up to 2 days.

In the morning, drain the bowl of beans, and rinse a couple times. Throw the beans into your crock pot, and cover with water. At this point you will also want to season your beans. If your beans are for a Mexican dish (refried?) You would add cumin, garlic, red pepper, adobo, salt etc. I don't measure.. just dump! If you were cooking beans for an Italian dish, you might add basil, oregano, pepper, salt. Season to your tastes and preferences.

Put your crock pot on low and cook allllll day. At dinner time, you will have a nice steamy bunch o cooked beans.

I cook up a crock of beans each week and we eat them all week. At breakfast with eggs and tortillas, in soups at lunch, with cornbread, with chicken, refried... the possibilities are endless!

We also refry the beans.. Just dump some in a frying pan with some of the cooking liquid from the crock pot. turn on the heat, and mash with a potato masher. Season to taste. SOOO MUCH better than canned.

If you have leftover beans you can can them with a pressure canner. I process mine for 90 minutes at 15psi but you should check for your elevation. :) Enjoy!

Corn Bread

This corn bread is so good, we fight over who gets the last piece. It is light and fluffy and super yummy.

2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a greased 8-inch square baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.

VOILA! You can make mix up ahead of time and store in an airtight container. Use 3 cups of mix with 2 eggs, 1 c. milk and 1/2 c. melted butter..

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sausage Vegetable Soup

Another family favorite, we just serve it to the kids with almost no broth, and cut the sausage slices into quarters. The turkey sausage looks like kielbasa, but it's turkey!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes

1 14 1/2-ounce can beef broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups frozen loose-pack diced hash brown potatoes
1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 pound smoked turkey sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large saucepan combine beef broth, undrained tomatoes and water. Bring to boiling. Stir in hash brown potatoes, mixed vegetables, sausage and pepper. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

2. Ladle into soup bowls. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings. (6 weight watchers points)

Greek Pasta Skillet

Now that I'm a stay at home to my two crazy kids, any dinner I make has to be quick (less than half an hour), healthy (or healthy-ish) and be kid friendly. This is one of our family favorites!

Only 8 points if you're doing weight watchers.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

3/4 pound ground lamb or ground beef (we use ground turkey)
1 medium onion chopped (1/2 cup)
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 5 1/2-ounce can tomato juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon instant beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup packaged dried medium shell or elbow macaroni
1 cup frozen loose-pack cut green beans
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)

1. In a large skillet cook ground lamb or beef and onion until meat is no longer pink. Drain off fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato juice, water, bouillon granules, cinnamon, and garlic powder. Bring to boiling.

2. Stir uncooked macaroni and green beans into meat mixture. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until macaroni and green beans are tender. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Makes four servings.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 50 minutes


4 portions chicken breast (about 1 lb.)
4 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Jalapeno, seeded & minced
3 cans (10 oz each) green enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas
1 cup cheese, shredded
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tomato, diced
1 can (2 oz) ripe olives, sliced


1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Shred cooked chicken by pulling apart with 2 forks; set aside.

3. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium high heat. Add green onion, cilantro & jalapeno; saute for 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken & 1 can of enchilada sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

4. Pour the 2 remaining cans of enchilada sauce in a medium bowl and microwave until warm, about 2 minutes. Dip each tortilla in the heated sauce and fill with about 1/8 of the chicken mixture. Roll up and place, seam side down, in prepared baking dish.

5. Pour remaining heated sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

6. Top with desired toppings lettuce, tomato, olives, salsa, & sour cream. Serve & enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

Being a half mexican family, we love to eat mexican food. We are also in love with Italian food after our stay there, so what could be better than noodles and mexican flavor??

12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sour cream
1/4 c milk
1 1/4 t cumin
1/2 t garlic powder
3 c cubed cooked chicken
1 can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chilies, undrained
1/2 c sliced green onions (approx. 9)
1.2 c fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
3 c shredded mexican style cheese blend (I use whatever cheese i have on hand... cheddar, jack, pepper jack etc. I am too cheap to buy preshredded), 12 oz.
1 large red bell pepper
1 small can sliced black olives

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish with cookin spray. Cook and drain noodles according to package directions.

In a large bowl, mix soup, sour cream, milk, cumin, garlic powder, chicken, chilies.

Spread about 1 1/4 c of chicken mixture in baking dish. Top with 4 noodles. Spread 1 1/4 c chicken mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with onions, cilantro and 1 c. of cheese.

Top with 4 noodles. Spread 1 1/4 c chicken mixture over noodles. Sprinkle bell peppers and olives. Sprinkle with 1 c. cheese. Top with 4 noodles. Spread with remaining chicken mixture.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 15 to 30 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot in center. Sprinkle with additional cilantro. Let stand for 15 min. before cutting.

Serves 8

Friday, March 6, 2009

Harvest Vegetable and Rice Soup

  • 2 cans vegetable broth
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 med. carrots, chopped
  • 3 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 med. yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 med. green onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 c. shredded cabbage
  • 2 t dried marjoram leaves
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 c. uncooked instant rice
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh basil leaves

Mix all ingredients except rice and basil in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or vegetables are tender. Stir in rice. Cover and cook on low heat setting about 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in basil.

Serves 7

Susie's Zucchini Bread

Fantastic bread.. kids eat it till it is gone! They don't even realize there is *shudder* squash *shudder* in it!

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t bakin soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 3 t cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. applesauce
  • 2 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 3 t vanilla extract
  • 2 c. grated zucchini
  • optional: 1 c. walnuts, 1 c. chocolate chips

Grease and flour 2 8x4 inch pans. Preaheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Beat eggs, applesauce, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini and any optional ingredients until will combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 40 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan and completely cool before cutting.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Egg Casserole

We make this for breakfast OR for dinner, depending on the ingredients.

Basic Ingredients:

* 1 dozen eggs

* 1 cup milk

* 1 cup cheese (colby jack works well, but you can use just about ANY choice - we have used Swiss, cheddar, and many others)

Optional ingredients: chopped onion, chopped green pepper, chopped spinach, cubed ham, hash brown potatoes, crumbled bacon, sausage crumbles.

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together eggs and milk, and then stir in additional ingredients. Pour entire mixture into a 9 x 13 sprayed pan and bake. Casserole is ready when it puffs in the center and is golden brown. You can top with a bit of cheese when you take it out of the oven - the cheese will melt on top of the casserole. Don't be alarmed if the casserole falls a bit as it cools, this is normal.
My kids LOVE this casserole. I change it up almost every time I make it, using different meat - or cheese, or a different veggie. Serve with muffins and a fruit salad.

3 Cheese Rigatoni

This quick and easy meal is loved by all of the kids! Last night, the kids wanted me to make another "batch" so they could have thirds!

  • 1 lb rigatoni noodles, uncooked
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 8 ounces mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese (I use real must-shred parmesan, not the kind that comes in a can, however, that would do in a pinch.)
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 T chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 t dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 c. seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 T butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Mix pasta and remaining ingredients except bread crumbs and butter. Place pasta mixture in ungreased 2 quart casserole. Mix bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle around edges of casserole. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serves 6 (but leaves you wanting more!)

Pair with brown sugar carrots and a salad for a full meal!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Another husband approved meal this one never makes it to the fridge as leftovers.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Butter a large rectangular glass baking dish

Cook one package of egg noodles, and while they're cooking....

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter (real butter) in a medium saucepan until bubbly but not browned.

1/2 package sliced mushrooms
one onion, finely chopped
1/3 package of frozen bell pepper strips, chopped and thawed

Cook until veggies are tender, about five minutes

Stir in 1/4 cup flour
cook for one minute. Remove from heat and whisk in 2.5 cups of milk

return to heat and cook whisking until sauce returns to a boil and thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat again and add about 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, whisk together until the cheese melts into the sauce.

Add two drained cans of water packed white tuna to a large mixing bowl, break apart but don't mince.
Add the hot cheese sauce to the tuna.
Add in the noodles, two Tbsp. dried parsley flakes, salt and black pepper to taste.
mix together and pour into baking dish.

Combine and sprinkle over the top
1 cup dried plain bread crumbs and 4 Tbsp. melted butter.

Bake until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Poor Man's Cookies

These may not be healthy but they sure are great once in awhile. It's an old recipe from my grand mother.

Let boil - 1 cup of raisins, 2 cups of water until 1 cup of liquid is left.

Melt 1/2 cup of shortening in the above mixture, then stir in 1 tsp. of baking soda until it foams.

Cream 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg and add raisin mixture.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine two mixtures and spread on cookie sheet. Bake at 300-325 for 20 minutes. Frost (if desired) and cut. 1/2 or cup chopped nuts may be added, if desired.

Crunchy Taco Salad

This is easy & yummy & healthy...a great combination!

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes


4 portions of lean ground turkey (about 1 lb)

1 can (15 oz) chili beans in chili sauce

5 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup of salsa

1/2 cup of reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tomato, diced

4 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup light sour cream

4 oz baked tortilla chips


1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey & cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in chili beans and simmer until heated through and slightly thickened, about 10 more minutes.

3. Evenly divide lettuce onto 4 plates. Spoon a portion of turkey mixture over lettuce. Then top with salsa, cheddar cheese, tomato, green onion and sour cream.

4. Crumble about a fourth of the tortilla chips over each salad. Serve & Enjoy!

Lemon Puff Custard

This has been my favorite dessert of all time, since I was a little kid. The crazy thing about these is that the bottom half stays custard and the top half turns into cake. It is very unusual and delicious!

Lemon Puff Custard

3 1/2 T Flour
2/3 C Sugar
2 T Sweet (unsalted) butter
2 eggs, separated
3 T Fresh lemon juice
2/3 C Milk

Combine flour and sugar; add to creamed butter. Stir in beaten egg yolks, lemon juice, and milk. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg yolk mixture lightly but thoroughly into egg whites. Fill glass custard cups 2/3 full and set in shallow pan filled with enough hot water to come almost to the tops of the cups. Bake for 35 minutes at 325 or until custard tests done. Serves 4.

Honey Muffins

These muffins freeze well!


  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 2 c. orange juice
  • 1 c. honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 T applesauce
  • 6 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract


  1. Prepare 12 regulare muffin cups with muffin paper or a light coating of cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the egg slightly. Add juice, honey, applesauce and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined and moistened.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. If toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out dry, muffins are done.

Makes 24 muffins.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is my go-to, gotta make something the whole family will eat meal. It's easy and the prep time isn't too bad considering it cooks inself in the crockpot after that.
Bob requests this for his birthday and Father's Day and any other day he thinks he should get a special meal.

You need:
3-4 lb chicken, I use a whole cut up chicken, you can also use half breasts with the bones still in.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. oil
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
(I use the reduced fat, sodium kind, no taste difference)
1 cup sour cream
1 - 28 oz can green enchilada sauce
1 - 4.5 oz can peeled diced green chiles
20 corn tortillas
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Boil chicken. Shred meat and discard bones and skin. (I freeze the broth from this in ice cube trays for use later as chicken stock) You can do this step a day ahead and keep the chicken in the fridge until you're ready to whip up the sauce and assemble.

Saute onion in oil in saucepan until translucent. Add can of green chiles cook one more minute. Stir in soups, sour cream and enchilada sauce. Warm through.

Cut the tortillas into four wedges. I do this in a big stack rather than one at a time!

In your crock pot, layer sauce, chicken, tortillas and cheese, it's usually three or four layers, end with cheese then pour the remaining sauce all over the top.

Cover. Cook on low 5-6 hours or high 2-3 hours (I recommend slow!)

Speedy Tamale Pie

This dish is full of fiber and high quality protein.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min

2 cans (15 oz each) salt-free pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4" chunks
1 can (14.5 oz) Mexican styled stewed tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 cup medium-spicy chunky salsa
2 tsp chili powder
1 cup shredded Cheddar
4-5 large potatoes

Preheat oven to 400*F. Coat a shallow 2.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray

Wash, peel and boil potatoes in a large pot of water. While you are waiting for them to be done:

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, combine the beans, zucchini, stewed tomatoes, corn, lima beans, salsa, and chili powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Turn into the prepared baking dish.

Mash your potatoes (using milk and butter if needed) and spread on top of the baking dish. (kind of like icing a cake!)

Bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbly at the edges. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 3 minutes, or until melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

Makes 6 servings
408 calories
19 g. protein
77 g. carbs
4 g fat
475 mg sodium

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cowboy Chicken

My kids love this quick and easy dinner!

  • 2 c. shredded chicken in BBQ sauce. You can buy this already in a can or you can be like me and throw some chicken and the contents of a bottle of BBQ sauce in the slow cooker the day you want to make this for dinner.
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can lima beans or pinto beans
  • 1 can kidney beans (I use 3 cans of random beans, whatever I have on hand.)
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 quart casserole with cooking spray (or olive oil in your Pampered Chef oil spritzer thing). Mix chicken and beans in casserole.
  2. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

6 servings

Serve over rice or with tortillas or tortilla chips. Serve with corn and a salad and you have a complete meal!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bread Maker Cinnamon Rolls

We don't eat cinnamon rolls often, maybe once a month, but they are so yummy and everyone loves them. These are really inexpensive, and freeze well, so you can make ahead of time and just thaw and cook whenever you want them. We eat these for every special occasion!

You need a 2 lb. bread maker for this recipe. If you have a smaller one, half the recipe.

  • 1 c. milk, heated approx. 1 min. in microwave.
  • 1/4 c. warm water, 110 degrees F.
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 t. active dry yeast
  • Cinnamon Filling (see below)
  • Butter Frosting (See below)

  1. Add all the ingredients except the cinnamon filling and butter frosting to the pan of the bread machine. Process according to manufacture's instructions for a dough setting. When bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto lightly oiled surgace. Form dough into an oval. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Butter a 9x13x2 baking pan; set aside.
  3. After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approx. a 15x24 inch rectangle.
  4. Brush the softened butter from cinnamon filling (see below) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the butter on the prepared dough.
  5. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rollin the log too tightly will result in centers who pop up during baking.
  6. Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place cut side up in prepared pan. Cinnamon rolls should not touch each other as they need room to rise.

  • Freezer: Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. Before baking allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place. Just take the rolls out of the freezer and set on the counter overnight or 10 to 12 hours.
  • Refrigerator: Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. Bake upon removing from the refrigerator. It is not necessary to allow them to come to room temperature before baking.
  • Bake Immediately: Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread butter frosting over rolls while still warm.

Yields 15 cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1/2 c. butter softened
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 to 5 T. of cinnamon
  • 3/4 to 1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

In a bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in chopped nuts.

Butter Frosting

  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. butter, room temperature
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 t. lemon extract

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and lemon extract until well mixed and creamy. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before spreading.

My Inspiration

We recently had a healthy family living seminar at my daughter's school.
I was absolutely astounded at how many parents there admitted that they had no idea how to cook at all, let alone cook healthy meals for their families.

It was really shocking!

No wonder so many frazzled moms and dads turn to fast food and Hamburger Helper to keep the family fed and so many kids miss out on good home cooking.

I know moms and dads (and marrieds without kids too!) have stressful lives today with schooling and working and cleaning and shuffling kids around and trying to squeeze in any social life and some time to ourselves.

I also know that I need help out of my cooking rut! So I started this blog so we can all share our tried and true favorite family recipes and ask for help finding a recipe that we know will be good that fits with certain ingredients or health and dietary concerns or just picky eaters!

My main mealtime issue is that I have three very picky kids and one quite picky husband. I save my "adventurous" recipes (like stir fry...sigh) for nights I know he won't be home by dinnertime or I make them for lunches! I'm just so tired of fixing a meal for my husband and I (one from "The Rotation" of approved meals) and then nuking chicken nuggets and veggies for the kids.

And I also want to get input on recipes I find online...I mean, I could search all day and find 1000s of recipes, but are they tasty? Will MY husband eat them? Will my kids?

Who better to help us than us! We know what works for our families so let's share the knowledge and make dinnertime less of a struggle and more fun! Because seriously, I can't do one more night of spaghetti!

Rules and Regulations

1. When you post a recipe, the title of your post should be the name of the dish and the tags on your post should be the main ingredient of your dish...for example: chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian, pasta...etc.

2. You may post asking FOR a recipe using certain ingredients or for a certain event or just to acquire new recipes. If you do so, use the title "YOUR NAME needs a hand in the kitchen" and use the tag "help"

3. Have fun! Share your favorite family recipes with friends and enjoy the favorite dishes of others!

4. I've added a feature that will allow you to rate a recipe posted either "Liked it" or "Did not like it" and "Plan to try it!". The feature will appear on each posted item. Please rate the recipes that you try from this blog.

5. Also, the recipe you post MUST BE a from scratch (or semi-from scratch), moderately healthy and definitely appetizing! We're looking for fun, family friendly, healthy recipes. They can take all day (like crock pot recipes) or be super fast (like homemade spicy turkey burgers) as long as they're YOUR family's favorite, it'll work!