Monday, December 15, 2008

Taco Bean Burgers

I thought I'd share my husbands favorite meal because it is ridiculously easy and he loves it so much. I'm not a fan of sloppy joes, but this alternative is one that everyone in our family likes:

1 lb ground beef, browned
1 can baked beans
1 pkg taco seasoning

Mix together and warm. Serve on hamburger buns.

I usually serve this with potato salad, french fries, or another more labor intensive side dish because the main is so effortless. Of course, in a pinch, I just chop up and steam some veggies.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Peppermint Bark

I just made this today for my neighbor gifts. It is really easy and addicting!

1 1/2 -2 pounds of white melting chocolate
10-12 candy canes crushed
4 drops of peppermint oil (All I could find was extract and it seemed to work fine.
red gel food coloring (opt)

Melt chocolate in microwave 2 minutes and stir in everything else (I saved a little bit of the candy canes to sprinkle over top)
Pour onto heavy foil (I used regular and it worked) lined cookie sheet. Put in refrigerator until set. Break off in brittle-like pieces. Very yummy. Enjoy!

Sorry the picture is of my bags too with my shortbread cookies. I didn't have any left over out and I didn't want to unwrap the bags. =)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yummy Potato Casserole, with a twist

Commonly referred to in Mormon Culture as "Funeral Potatoes", this is one of my favorite dishes. But it's a bit much work and makes A LOT just for a side dish. Thus the name...this is usually made only for funerals or other such large gatherings. Well, a coworker of mine once made this as a breakfast casserole with ham. In addition instead of shredding the potatoes, she simply cut them into large chunks (you could do any size you like, I'm sure). This cuts down prep time and the addition of the ham makes it a great meal in and of itself. So with those additions, here is a YUMMY casserole with the changes added.

Yummy Potatoes and Ham (or other meat :)

8 (or so) boiled potatoes (cut into chunks, or shredded)
1 C Ham or Turkey chunks (***I've use the stuff that comes in the packages, already cut for salads, the measurement is a guesstimate. When I made it I just used all the leftovers I had and actually used both AND Turkey***)
1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
2 C shredded cheese (I use cheddar)
2 C sour cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 C chopped onions
2 C crushed cornflakes (***or any other plain cereal, tonight I used rice crispies and bread crumbs, because that's what I had...back to the recipe...***)
3/4 C melted butter, divided
1 tsp pepper

Mix potatoes, meat, soup, cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper together. Melt 1/2 C of the butter in a pan and saute the onions until soft. Add the butter and onions to the potato mixture. Put in a 9 x 13 pan. Mix remaining 1/4 C butter and cornflakes and put on top of casserole. Cover with foil and back at 375 for 30 minutes.

Also, this I think is the best recipe for this dish that I've tried. I usually try several when I have it at functions (like the Christmas Party tonight) and I can never find one I love as much as this...

And ANOTHER plug...please review any recipes you try...we hope your trying them!!!

Red Velvet Cake

This is a very festive red cake. It is great for this time of the year. I also make it at Valentine's day. It is great for a Christmas birthday cake. Enjoy and let me know if you like it.

Red Velvet Cake
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoon cocoa
2 oz red food coloring( it comes in small bottles in the spice part of the grocery store)
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Cream sugar and shortening and then add eggs. Make a paste with the cocoa and food coloring in a small bowl. Add to creamed mixture. Mix salt and vanilla with buttermilk and add alternately with the flour to the creamed mixture. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small cup. Fold into the mixture. Don't beat.Bake in 9x13 or 2-9 inch round floured and greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can check to make sure it is cooked with a toothpick and poke it into the center to make sure it is all cooked.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Black Bean Quesadillas/Burritos

This is another recipe from the Dinner Diva (Saving Dinner). I did this one today for lunch and it took me about 20 minutes from start to serve. I will admit regular burritos are probably faster, but this gives you a really nice variation on that theme for just a few extra minutes.

I Tbls olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 package frozen corn (5 ounces)
12 flour tortillas (she suggest whole wheat, but this is one thing I really prefer with white flour...)
1 C Cheddar Cheese

In a large skillet, add half the oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Mix in beans, bell pepper, tomatoes and corn. Cook until heated through.

***Kristy's version (faster). I then just warmed the tortillas and used the mix as burrito filling, including the cheese. My husband also added sour cream and avocados to his and that was really good. Also I didn't have the red pepper on hand, so just made it without and it was still great. Back to the original version:

Place a tortilla on a plate or flat surface. Sprinkle some Cheddar cheese over the tortilla. Spoon some of the bean and veggie mixture over the cheese. Top with another tortilla. Repeat until all the tortillas are used.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place quesadillas in the skillet and heat and flip until both sides are brown.

***UPDATE: We used the leftovers a few days later to bulk up some chicken tacos we made. My hubby liked it better that way. I loved it the first time as it was, but this is another option for you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scones, Navajo Tacos

This is a REALLY yummy scone recipe. It's a little sweet so is great with butter and jam or honey. But it also works really well for Navajo Tacos. We usually throw on chili beans or regular canned chili, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, cheese, sour cream...whatever you like. These go together really quickly also. REMINDER: If you are trying these recipes PLEASE review makes me feel like my effort is not in vain:)


Navajo Bread:

4 C Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/2 C Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 C Milk

Mix dry ingredients, add milk. Mix until you get a good dough. (I usually have to add a little flour until it's not too sticky). Fry in hot oil.

I make smaller scones from golf ball sized balls, and just press them down quite flat as they rise in the oil. Today I also used 1 C of wheat flour and 3 Cups regular flour and that turned out well.

NOTE: One reviewer said she didn't like these so much because they were heavy. They ARE a little heavier than some scone recipes. This is a QUICK recipe without yeast, so it does turn out that way. I don't mind it. My husband on the other hand really prefers the lighter scones I make with my white bread recipe. It just depends on your preference. But if you are a hurry, these are a great option :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mexican Chicken in a Crock Pot

I LOVE this recipe. It sounds a little different, but is really good and appealing to picky eaters I think. Give it a try.

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen)
1 can black beans
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 can corn
1 can green chilies
1 jar salsa

1 can refried beans

Cook all ingredients except the refried beans in a crock pot on low for 4 hours. Shred chicken and add the refried beans to thicken. Stir well. Serve in flour tortillas or with tortilla chips. This makes quite a bit so is a good dish if serving lots of people or for leftovers.

Ritz/Triscuit/Cornflake/Breaded Chicken

The above title was used because I've tried basically the same recipe with a variety of breading options, depending on what you have on hand.  I really like all of them and have even used homemade bread crumbs on my most recent venture.  This is DELICIOUS and simple to put together.

1-2 C Breading (Crushed crackers, cereal or bread crumbs)
3 TBLS Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Season Salt
1/2 C Melted butter
1 small container of plain yogurt (I have also used sour cream when no yogurt on hand, still good)
1 lb Chicken Tenders  (I usually just cut up chicken breasts into thinner that what tenders are?)

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl or zip lock bag.  Wash chicken and dry with paper towels.  Dip chicken into yogurt then in dry mix.  Place in a greased pan.  After chicken is in pan pour melted butter over the top.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

This recipe came from our SLC ward cookbook.  My friend Jaclyn made it for us one time and since then my husband declared I can make anything in the cookbook by her, because he liked it so much.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

OK, one more from Lara...then I'm off to make dinner and will post another tonight if it turns out good.

Chicken Noodle Soup and Breadsticks:

Dump 3 cans of chicken broth in a large pot, throw in 3 stalks of celery sliced, 3-4 big carrots that have been peeled and sliced, 1/2 of a small onion chopped (or 1 TBSP dried onion) and a chicken breast that has been cut into bite size chunks. Set that to boil for about 20 minutes till the chicken is done and the veggies are as tender as you'd like.

Dump in about 16 oz. of dry noodles (penne holds up the best for this soup). Add more water if you need to - you don't want a whole lot of liquid, just a couple of inches over the top of the noodles and stuff. Boil (stir often) till the noodles are done. Stir in 2 cans cream of chicken soup and serve.

We eat this about once a week in the fall/winter. I always mix up a batch of breadsticks to go with it.

Those are easy too - after you get the veggies and chicken boiling, put 1 1/3 cups really warm water in your mixer bowl. Add 1 TBSP yeast, 1 TBSP sugar, 1 tsp salt, and mix. Let this sit for just about a minute to get started. Then add in 3 1/4 cups flour (sometiems a bit more or less depending on the humidity - you want a soft dough that is not sticky). Mix for 10 minutes by hand or machine. (You can do this in a bosch, kitchenaide, or bread machine). Melt 1/4 cup butter and pour it onto a large jellyroll pan. Spread the dough onto the pan. You'll have to stretch and press the dough to get it as close to the edges as you can. Cut the dough into breadsticks - we do one cut across the middle and then about 7 the long way, but you can cut them however big or small you'd like. Let rise until puffy (sometimes I put them in the oven and then turn it on to pre-heat if I'm in a hurry). Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes. Brush with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt. Really good!

If you want sweet breadsticks for a treat, at the end instead of using garlic salt, sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.

Honey Mustard Chicken

This is another recipe from Lara's blog. Again, I haven't tested it, but sounds good...

Honey Mustard Chicken (from Rachael Ray)

3 TBSP honey
2 TBSP spicy brown mustard
2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 limes, 1 juiced & 1 cut into 8 wedges
8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (I actually used about 10-12 chicken tenderloins and it worked fine)

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the honey, mustard, oil and lime juice. Add the chicken and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes (I thawed my chicken in the microwave first.)

Grill chicken for 10 minutes on each side, or if you are grill-less like me, pan fry it!. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Fettucine

Disclaimer:  I haven't tried this recipe.  I stole it off of my friend Lara's blog.  She's who basically inspired the idea of this website with her post asking for help.  She got a lot of recipes in response to her request...this is one of them.  I might post more later.  This is just one of the first and sounds good.  PLEASE post a review if you try it...

Fetuccine in crock pot
2 chicken breasts (frozen or not)
1/4 C butter or margarine
1 pkt. italian dressing mix
Cook for 4-6 hrs in crockpot, cut up chicken, then add 
1 8oz cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken
1/2 can water
cook for another half hour. while this is cooking, boil fetuccine noodles. Mix together with chicken/cream cheese mix. I always serve this with french bread.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cream of Mushroom Pork Chops and Potatoes

This recipe is very similar to the pork chop recipe with sour cream in it, but just a little different. It is so easy and my family LOVED it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

4-6 pork chops
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
about 6-10 potatoes(cut up)
garlic salt if desired

Wash potatoes and cut them up in chunks and put cream of mushroom soup, potatoes, pork chops and seasonings in crock pot. Let cook for approximately 3 hours depending on if pork chops are frozen or not.