Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chicken & Broccoli Stuffed Shells

Something a little different from the traditional stuffed shells with beef, spinach, ricotta, and marinara. They were very good. My mom shared this recipe with me. Not sure where it came from.

1 jar (16 oz) Alfredo Sauce
2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained

(serves 7)

In a large bowl, combine the Alfredo sauce, broccoli, chicken and the cheeses. Spoon into pasta shells. Place in a greased 13 X 9 baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

We served this with a tossed salad and some french bread.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

This recipe was so easy. Ribs were fall off the bone tender.

3 1/2 pounds ribs
salt & pepper
1/2 c cherry cola (we used Cherry Pepsi)
BBQ Sauce (we used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ)

Put ribs in slow cooker and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour soda over. Cook on low for 8 hours. Place ribs on broiler pan, brush with BBQ sauce and broil in oven until BBQ is glazed.

We served with a baked potato and corn on the cob.

Pork Tacos

This came from an issue of Woman's Day. Thought I'd try a little something different in the "taco department" and these sounded easy enough. And let me tell you, they were REALLY good. Meat was super, duper flavorful.

2 tsp oil
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c salsa verde (green salsa)
1/2 c chopped cilantro
8 corn tortillas (heated according to package directions)
1 c shredded lettuce
other toppings (tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, cheese, etc)

The recipe claims it takes 15 minutes from start to finish which sold me. However, I feel it took a tad longer. By the time I cut the pork & cilantro, etc. I think it was closer to 30 minutes. But still, not bad. The shredding is what took the longest.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cumin. Cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Stir salsa into skillet; cook 1 minute or until heated through. Stir in cilantro. Using two forks, pierce and shred cubes of pork.

Fill warmed tortillas with pork mixture, then add lettuce. Add additional toppings of your choice.

We served our tacos with Spanish Rice and watermelon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Zucchini and Onion Saute

This tastes similar to what you'd get at a Japanese Hibachi style restaurant. A friend of mine gave me some zucchini from her garden so we made bread with one and this with the other.

1 onion, cut into slivers
1 medium zucchini (about 3 cups) cut into strips or chunks
soy sauce
garlic salt
sesame seeds

Melt butter in pan. I used about 3 tbls. Add onion and zucchini. Sprinkle with garlic salt and sesame seeds. Drizzle over soy sauce until lightly coated. Saute until onions and zucchini are crisp tender. You could add mushrooms too, but I didn't have any on hand.

Ranch Chicken

I have no picture to post because I didn't make enough. They were gobbled down before I even had time to think about grabbing my camera. But that's a good thing. ALL four family members gave them a thumbs up.

3/4 c crushed cornflakes
3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese (I was out and used shredded mozzarella)
3 Tbls dry ranch powder
1/2 c melted butter/margarine
8 chicken breasts (We used chicken tenders instead. Also, I don't feel there would have been enough breading to cover 8 breasts)

Combine cornflakes, cheese, and ranch powder in shallow dish.

Dip chicken in butter. Roll in cornflake mixture to coat.

Place on cookie sheet. I drizzled with leftover butter and sprinkled leftover breading over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. (The chicken tenders took about 20 minutes)

These were sooooo yummy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What to do with leftover beef roast?

When I make beef roast, I put it in the crockpot on low, all day long. I usually sprinkle with a packet of Lipton Onion Cup of Soup and add a can of beef broth. About half way through, I add cubed potatoes and baby carrots. With only four of us AND two being kids, I always have leftovers. I make one of three things:

1) Hash-I chop up the meat REALLY small (my mother-in-law uses a meat grinder, but I do not own one). I cut up the leftover potatoes into bite sized pieces. Chop up an onion. Melt butter/margarine in skillet. Add onion and saute. Add meat and potatoes. Fry until crisp. We serve with eggs (over easy) and toast.

2) Barbecued Beef Sandwiches-Shred beef. Put in saucepan. Add your favorite bottled BBQ sauce and heat through. Serve on toasted buns. We serve with chips, fruit, raw veggies, and a pickle.

3) Italian Beef-Shred beef. Add some beef broth and an Italian Seasoning packet. Heat through. Serve on buns w/Mozzarella or Provolone cheese. Reserve some "juice" for dipping into if you'd like.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Philadelphia Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake

Saw this in a magazine ad. It was in an issue of Every Day with Rachel Ray. There is nothing "simple" about the recipes in her magazine. Don't get me wrong, they look REALLY tasty, but just not practical in our household. Hard to find ingredients, lots of prep, ingredients my kids probably wouldn't be willing to try, ingredients that I may never use the rest of... anyways I find it comical that the only recipe that I will probably ever make from her magazine was just an advertisement. Oh well. Enjoy!

PS-I'm usually hesitate about cheesecake. I've had trouble with it before, being underdone or overdone, cracking, etc. But this was super easy. And it even looked pretty too.

40 NILLA Wafers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 Tbls butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg (8 oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened, divided (I used the 1/3 less fat)
1 c sugar, divided
1 Tbls plus 1 tsp vanilla, divided
3 eggs
1 tub (8 oz) COOL WHIP, thawed

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix wafer crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9 inch springform pan.

Beat 3 pkg cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbls vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely in pan.

Beat remaining cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in COOL WHIP; spread over cheesecake. Refrigerate 4 hours. Remove rim of pan before serving cheesecake. Garnish with fresh berries if desired.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Banana Split Link

Check this out...

Monkey Lover's Split

YUMMY! And supports a great cause. Her statistics were unbelievable.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Taco Hot Dish (Casserole)

I LOVE casseroles b/c you have everything all in one. No need to come up with you side dishes. No need for all the extra dishes, pots, and pans.

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 pkg dry taco seasoning
1 (8 oz) bag Doritos, crushed
1 (12 oz) cottage cheese
1 (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 c sliced black olives
2 c shredded Monterey Jack
2 c shredded cheddar

Combine meat and onion in skillet. Drain. Add tomato sauce and taco mix. Stir well. Place crushed Doritos in bottom of a greased 9 X 13 pan. Top with meat. Combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Sppread over meat. Top with olives followed by the shredded cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

We served this with my corn casserole (recipe posted previously).

NOTE: I forgot the onion and don't think I'd add it next time. Also, I used fat free cottage cheese and fat free sour cream and it was fine. I know sometimes fat free things don't always work.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Caramel Bars

Many of you probably already have this recipe somewhere, but I'll share JUST in case any of you are missing out on this ooey, gooey goodness.

3/4 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c flour
1 c oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

bag of caramels
3/4 T milk
3 T butter

6 ounces of chocolate chips
1 c chopped nuts (we do not use the nuts)

Mix crust ingredients and press HALF in a greased 9 X 13 pan. Bake for 6 minutes at 350 degrees. Meanwhile, melt caramels, milk, and butter.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over crust. Pour over the caramel sauce. Crumble the rest of the crust over the top.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes.

Meatball Sandwiches-2 ways

This is a quick, hearty sandwich with no prep work. It's great for one of those nights when you have a million things going on but don't want to go out. When frozen meatballs are on sale, I grab a bag or two. That way, I always have some on hand. I make them two different ways.

frozen meatballs
hoagie roll/sub bun
canned marinara sauce OR can of beef gravy
mozzarella or provolone cheese
butter/margarine (if you plan to toast your roll)

I put my meatballs in the crockpot a few hours before dinner. When there is about an hour left, I add my choice of sauce. Sometimes we use marinara, sometimes we use beef gravy. Heat through.

If you choose to toast your bun, I do that on the stovetop on a frying pan with the insides of the bun buttered. But I suppose you could use a toaster oven, the broiler, etc.

Scoop meatballs onto bun and add a slice of cheese. So easy, right?

We usually serve with something simple like chips, fresh fruit, and raw veggies/dip.

*Note: If you have leftover meatballs you are set with another meal for the week. Use them to make spaghetti w/meatballs (if you used marinara) or serve meatballs w/gravy over buttered egg noodles like Swedish meatballs. You may just need to add a little more sauce.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crazy Kids Cuisine

Well, we are well into summer. Are you running out of ideas for you kiddos for lunch? Here are a few fun & simple ideas to get your kids excited for lunch.

1) Octopus Dogs and Seashells

Boil shell pasta and serve with sauce of choice (my kiddos like all noodles just plain with a little shredded cheese over. Boring, I know) To make the octopus, slice hot dog up center about half way up. Then cut each of those "strips" in half, then in half again to create 8 legs. Boil gently or microwave and serve over bed of seashells. Oh, we added a little mouth and eyes too, simply carved into the dog with a paring knife.

2) The "Starving Artist's Lunch"

Give each kid a white canvas (paper plate) and a variety of snack foods. Ie crackers, cut up meat, cut up cheese, baby carrots, grapes, raisins, etc. and have them create a face, design, etc. Great tool for teaching colors, patterns, etc. Who said you shouldn't "play with your food"?

3) Fun Shaped Sandwiches

Cookie cutters aren't just for cookies. My kids gobble down sandwiches like nobody's business IF they are cut into a fun shape. Our favorites are PB & J and summer sausage and cheese. For a "hot meal", make grilled cheese. Cut everyone's in a different shape and practice naming shapes. Or play a guessing game like "who's sandwich has 3 straight sides?".

4) Kid's Sushi

I saw this recipe in a parenting magazine. My girls really liked them. Take a slice of bread. Spread peanut butter and/or jelly and/or honey on it. Far to one side, place a row of sliced bananas. On top of each banana slice, place a strawberry slice. Roll it up tight starting with the fruit side, rolling it into a cylinder. Slice into little "sushi rolls".

5) Anything on a stick

Wasn't there something in the movie "There's Something About Mary" about there not being enough foods on sticks? Well, we like to do fruit kabobs. If you are worried about skewers being too sharp, try little straws/coffee stirrers. For a complete meal, serve fruit kabobs along with skewers made with cubed cheese, cubed meat, pickle chunks, olives, and pepperoni.

6) Quesadillas

My girls love quesadillas. AND it is a great way to use up leftovers in the refrigerator. We have a quesadilla maker, but a frying pan works just as well. Place tortilla in pan/maker, top with meat, rice, cheese, etc. Place another tortilla on top. Heat and flip OR close maker. Cut into triangles. A pizza cutter works great. We make a dipping sauce with half ranch/half salsa.

7) I LOVE eggs.

Do you have one of those heart shaped pancake thingys? Well, we made an egg in one the other morning. Be sure to spray the mold with cooking spray. Spray frying pan really well and heat pan. Lay down mold and crack egg into center. Cook till set. Remove mold and flip. We served it with a piece of heart shaped bread too (cut with cookie cutter) to soak up the yolk with. You can buy those molds, two in a pack for a reasonable price. We saw a two pack at Cost Plus World Market for only $3. Or, use the molds for any type of pancake too. Check out my recipe for chocolate chip banana pancakes. YUMMY!

So, hope that your kiddos like these as much as mine do.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Check it out...

Check it out! Someone posted a recipe from MY blog. Woot woot! AND, I don't even know her. Just thought I'd share my excitement. While I'm here, anyone have any requests? Looking for a certain recipe?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chicken Tacos

My friend recently blogged about her favorite things of summer 2010 and this was #7 "favorite summer meal". I've never had a bad meal at her house, so I gave it a go. They were different than what I expected, but still good. The chicken had a very subtle flavor and was sweeter than I thought. But paired with all the toppings, it came together.

Here's the link (for copyright purposes), but I'll also type it out for you so you don't have to jump around.

1 lb chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
1 c lemonade
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbls lime juice
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf

plus tortillas, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.

In medium skillet, combine first 5 ingredients. Add seasonings. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink. (about 15 to 20 minutes)

Warm tortillas in microwave or oven. Put out chicken, tortillas and fixings and let each person create their own wrap to their liking. Viola!

*Note: We added rice to our tortillas too. I wanted to have black beans as a topping option too, but I didn't have any on hand. Next time I will add them.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bert's Best Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

We're talking Bert as in Bert & Ernie...this recipe also comes from "C is for Cooking: Recipes from the Street". I had blueberries that I needed to use up AND I was looking for something that Ellie could help me with.

1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 c oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 c oats
1 pint fresh blueberries

Cream together sugars and butter until fluffy. Beat in oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix in oats gently. Then carefully mix in blueberries as to not "smoosh" them.

Spread batter into greased 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and cut into 24 bar cookies.

*note: even though is says "bar cookies", they are very moist and cake like. Not condensed like a bar cookie.