Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Sorry - no picture today!

I'm sure everybody has a recipe for beef stew that they just love, but I thought I'd share this one anyway. It's tried & true, works everytime, makes for great leftovers, and fills your home with the yummiest of smells on a cold, wintery day.

Enjoy! :)

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Place in large crock pot:
1 lg onion, halved & thinly sliced
1 lb baby carrots
2 lb Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 lb beef stew-meat chunks (we actually use about 3 pounds for our family)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed

Mix together in 4-cup glass measuring cup:
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tsp salt (don't use salt if you only have regular (not low-sodium) beef broth)
3 tsp Worchestershire sauce
Pepper to taste

Pour beef broth mixture into crock pot over beef & vegetables. Stir to combine.

Cover & cook on LOW for 8-9 hours. Stir stew once or twice as it cooks, if possible.

About 1 hour before serving, transfer 2 ladle-fulls of broth to a small mixing bowl.
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons tomato paste
Whisk until smooth. Stir mixture into stew until well-incorporated.

Add to crock pot:
2 16oz pkg of frozen veggies like: peas, green beans, or corn. Stir frozen vegetables into stew. Cover & cook for remaining 1 hour.

Makes 6-8 servings.

We like to serve this with hearty wheat bread or rolls for dipping.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chili Cook Off -- 1st place winner for Laguna Creek 4th Ward

Tonya's White Chili

1 can each of
White beans
Navy beans
Pinto beans
Great Northern beans
*All drained

2 T. cumin
1 green pepper chopped
1 onion chopped
1 lb. chicken
1 c. half and half
8 oz. jar of salsa
1 c. chicken broth

Saute peppers and onions. Cook chicken (I boiled the chicken in water with a little bit of chicken bullion). When chicken is done then I shredded it. Over Med. heat add everything together (I put it into the crock-pot for about three hours, I think that it helped cook in the flavors). Add more half and half and salsa to get the thickness that you want (I added quite a bit more).

Friday, November 14, 2008

OH SO YUMMY Cornbread


3 eggs

1 1/2 cup melted margarine

1 1/4 cups milk

*mix ingredients together and set aside*

2 1/2 cups bisquick

1 cup sugar

1 cup corn meal

1 tsp brown sugar (I actually use a TB)

*mix dry ingredients, then stir in to wet mixture.

Pour in to a jelly roll pan and Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with honey butter. Yum!

*You could probably bake this in a 9x13, but I have never done this, so I don't know how long it would cook for.

Cheddar Chicken and Vegetable Skillet

**I was pleasantly surprised with this dish. It actually tasted pretty good for healthy eating.**

Cheddar Chicken and Vegetable Skillet
1/2 cup KRAFT LIGHT DONE RIGHT! Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
2 cups MINUTE Brown Rice, uncooked
1 1/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups small broccoli florets
1/2 cup diced green peppers (I used the frozen peppers that come in the red, yellow and green peppers all together)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Mild Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onions

Heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 2 min.
Stir in rice, broth, peppers and broccoli. Bring to boil; cover. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender. Let stand covered, 5 min. or until liquid is absorbed.

Add tomatoes, cheese and onions; stir until blended.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

I realize this isn't dinner but I also saw other desserts posted so I decided I should add this. I made this for a family dinner today and several people asked for the recipe. In my book, that means it's good.
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 Graham cracker pie crust
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Pecan Pieces, divided
1 cup cold milk
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans. Beat milk, pudding mixes, pumpkin and spices with whisk until blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups Cool Whip. Spread into crust. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Top with remaining Cool Whip, caramel topping and pecans just before serving.

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
Makes: 10 servings

Recipe and photo courtesy of Kraft Foods

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Amazing French Bread

This bread is so yummy and it's super easy to make!

Dissolve 1 Tablespoon yeast in ¼ cup warm water for 5 minutes
Dissolve 1 ½ Tablespoon sugar and ½ Tablespoon salt in 1 cup hot water

Add: ¼ cup olive oil (extra virgin is best)
Yeast mixture
2 1/2-4 cups flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl but still stick, just so you're barely able to handle the dough with light oiled hands.

Oil a bowl and transfer dough to it and cover with oil sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled (about 1 hour). Punch down and roll out as if you were making cinnamon rolls. Roll up, pinch end and tuck under ends. Brush with egg (yolk makes the bread really pretty) and cut three slits on top. Let rise again until doubled. Cook at 400° for 20 minutes. Let bread cool before cutting. This recipe makes one very large loaf.

If you happen to have to worry about an egg allergy, omit the egg and you can brush with melted butter after baking to give it the pretty color.

Recipe courtesy of my sister Mindy and beautiful picture courtesy of Rachel.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Foil-Pack Taco Chicken

This is really nice for a quick and easy dinner and it makes a my camping husband loves it for his tin foil dinners.

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
4 tsp. Taco Seasoning Mix
1/2 lb. red potatoes, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup Shredded Mexican Style Cheese
1/2 cup Salsa
1/4 cup Sour Cream

Heat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning mix. Prepare four large sheets of heavy-duty foil by spraying with cooking spray. Place 1/2 cup potatoes on center of each sheet of foil; top with chicken, cheese and salsa.

Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and both ends to seal each packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place in 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

Bake 30 to 35 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165°F). Cool 5 min. Cut slits in foil to release steam before opening. Top with sour cream.

Prep Time:10 min
Total Time:50 min
Makes:4 servings

Macaroni and Cheese

Now I don't normally like macaroni and cheese but this is SO yummy!

1 pound short pasta, such as cavatappi or macaroni
Coarse salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups shredded (12 ounces) sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup finely grated (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese
3 cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 to 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons salt; bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cheeses until smooth. Pour over pasta; toss to coat. Divide among baking dishes.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; freeze up to 3 months.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake uncovered until golden and bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.

Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Everyday

Chicken Parmesan

This is a super yummy recipe that can be found on page 91 of 101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker.

**This was an original post when our blog was opened up to several authors. The recipe was not given, but you can buy the book for about $10 at Deseret Book Store. Trimble says it is well worth the investment. I have attached a recipe for a Parmesan Chicken that came from a class I took at church. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good and it looks like it could resemble the picture above.**

Parmesan Chicken
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 1/2 cup milk
2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup converted long-grain white rice
6 boneless skinlesschicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter, cut in bits
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine the onion soup mix, milk, mushroom soup, and rice in a bowl or large measuring cup. Place chicken breasts in bottom of greased crockpot. Top with butter. Pour soup mixture over top.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmesan. Cover; cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours. When serving on plate, sprinkle a small amount of parmesan cheese over top.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Indoor S'Mores

I got this recipe off the Golden Grahams cereal box. It comes together in about 10 minutes. You can eat it warm & gooey or cool it in the fridge & eat it later. It's also great to take to a potluck or picnic.

It's not good for you, it's not healthy - but it's SOOOOO yummy!!

Golden Grahams Indoor S'Mores

8 cups Golden Grahams cereal (or 1 12-oz box)

5 cups mini marshmallows

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1/4 cup light corn syrup

5 Tablespoons butter or margarine

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup mini marshmallows, if desired

1. Into a large bowl, measure cereal. Set aside. Butter 9x13" pan.

2. In a large microwavable bowl, microwave 5 cups marshmallows, the chocolate chips, corn syrup & butter uncovered on HIGH for 2-3 minutes. Stir after every minute. Stop cooking when mixture is melted & smooth when stirred.

3. Stir in vanilla.

4. Pour over cereal; quickly toss until completely coated. Stir in 1 cup marshmallows, if desired.

5. Press mixture evenly into buttered pan using back of buttered spoon. Let stand uncovered at least 1 hour, or refrigerate if you prefer a firmer bar.

For squares, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days.


1. See above

2. In 3 quart saucepan, heat 5 cups marshmallows, the chocolate chips, corn syrup & butter over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted; remove from heat.

3. Stir in vanilla.

4. Continue as directed above.

Kathryn's Breakfast Burritos

I made these for myself one morning when I was hungry! They're lighter than the normal breakfast burritos due to the black beans, green sauce & scrambled egg-whites. They're the yummiest breakfast burrito I'VE ever had. :)

Kathryn's Breakfast Burritos
(for 1 person)

1-2 tortillas, cooked or warmed (I prefer the cook-your-own kind from Costco, but I've used regular flour and corn tortillas too)
2 egg whites (keep the yolks if you want more protein), scrambled
2 spoonfuls canned black beans, drained but not rinsed & heated
1/2 green onion, chopped
Tomatillo (green) sauce
Grated cheddar cheese

Layer all in tortilla, roll it up & enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chicken California

I got this recipe from our ward cookbook about 10 years ago. (I'm not sure where the name came from!) It's similar to chicken enchiladas in the way it's made, but the ingredients are much different. It's mild in flavor & great to make when you're taking dinner to someone.

You can freeze individual portions (2-4 tortillas) for later. They're great to take to work & heat up in the microwave for lunch.

You can spice it up by adding diced chiles inside, or make it healthier by adding minced broccoli & julienned carrots inside.

My husband likes the regular recipe with hot salsa & corn on top. (pic below)

The kids & I enjoy it with sides of broccoli & corn.

I always make a double batch for our family. 20-21 tortillas fit in my lasagna-size dish. We'll usually have 4 or 5 leftover (if I can stop my husband from cleaning out the pan!).
I hope this becomes one of your family's favorites too! :)

4 T butter
4 T flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken, cooked & shredded or cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 dozen flour tortillas
2 T chopped parsley

1) Preheat oven to 350*.
2) Measure flour, salt & pepper into small bowl.
3) Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add flour/salt/pepper all at once. Whisk until mixed well.
4) Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth & bubbly.
5) SLOWLY stir in milk, whisking constantly, and heat to boiling. Continue stirring until smooth & thickened.
6) Reserve half of sauce, set aside. (I usually pour the sauce from the pan into a 4 cup Pyrex measure - the kind with a spout & handle. It's easier to pour into the tortillas that way.)
7) Put a spoonful each of chicken, cheese and sauce in each tortilla, then roll up enchilada-style. Lay side-by-side in a 9x13” pan.
8) Spread remaining sauce evenly over top of rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese & chopped parsley.
9) Bake uncovered at 350* for 20-25 mins.

Monday, October 20, 2008


This recipe is from a friend from Garden Grove. It is her mom's recipe.
I halved the recipe and I also sprinkled cheese on top also.

Linda's Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

18 Soft taco size flour tortillas
1 Costco chicken, de-boned and shredded
3 Cans of condensed cream of chicken soup
2 Cups of sour cream
½ Medium onion, finely chopped
1 large (8oz.?) can diced Ortega chilies
1 Can chopped olives
1 ¼ tsp. Cumin, divided (¾ tsp. and ½ tsp.)
4 cups shredded cheese, divided (2 cups and 2 cups)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl add the shredded chicken, onion, Ortega chilies, olives, ¾ tsp. cumin, 2 cups shredded cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. In a separate mixing bowl combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, 2 cups of cheese, and ½ tsp. cumin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Now before you start rolling up the enchiladas, you should know that this is a BIG recipe and makes one- ½ sheet pan or 2- 9x13 pans. With that in mind, spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of your pans. Get a tortilla and add about ½ cup of the chicken filling to your tortilla, roll it up, and place in the pan seem side down. Repeat until all of the tortillas are used up. Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas making sure to spread sauce around the sides of the pan and with the back of a spoon push sauce in between each enchilada. Put your enchiladas in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Yummy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Turkey Meatloaf

I told Janis I'm starting "The Meatloaf War" by posting our version of meatloaf. Isn't it funny how we all begin with a basic recipe, like meatloaf, and our results are all so very different?

Anyway - this recipe is from my mom. She always made it with ground beef, but since our family only eats ground turkey, we've switched it up.

You can cut this recipe in half, bake 2 separate 1 pound loaves, then eat one and freeze one. To freeze: cool, then wrap in plastic wrap, then freezer-duty foil until completely sealed. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and re-heat & serve.

We have this whenever it's cool/cold outside & we (meaning "I") want comfort food. I serve it with corn, broccoli and baked potatoes.


Turkey Meatloaf

2 lbs ground turkey
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chopped fresh onion OR 1/4-1/3 cup dried minced/chopped onion
1 sleeve crushed saltine crackers (about 35-40 crackers)
1 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp pepper (to taste)

Hand mix all ingredients together well.
Line a 9x13" pan with foil (for easy clean-up).
Form loaf shape with meat mixture in foil-lined pan.
Bake 1 - 1 1/4 hours at 350*.

** The original recipe is half this much. We make a 2 pound meatloaf for our family of 6 with older kids and we plan to have some leftovers. If making a 1 pound recipe, bake for only 45 minutes. **

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Savannah's 2nd favorite dinner.......

1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I use the 93/7)
1 packet Mc Cormick sloppy joe seasoning mix
1/2 package saltine crackers crushed
1/2 cup ketchup (I don't really measure this, it may be a bit more)

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. You may have to mix with your hands to get everything mixed well.

Spray a casserole dish with pam, and put the meat in and form a loaf.

OPTIONAL- My mom would always lay a couple pieces of bacon on top for more flavor. I do not do that.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Serve sliced up with ketchup drizzled over top.

No Curry Chicken Divan

Savannah's favorite dinner......

3/26/2010***I just updated this recipe. I forgot to include the mayonaise on this recipe. It originally only had sour cream on the recipe. It really needs the mayonaise. It makes it richer.

Chicken Divan

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonaise

2 cup grated cheddar cheese (divided)

1 crown Brocoli florets

2 cups Cooked chicken- diced

1-1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

1/4 cup melted butter

In an 8x10 casserole dish (thats what I use), layer the diced chicken, then the brocoli florets.

In a seperate bowl mix both cans cream of chicken soup, the sour cream, mayonaise and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Stir. Spread this mixture over the brocoli and chicken.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over top.

In a seperate bowl, melt the butter and add the bread crumbs and stir. Sprinkle this over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yummy Carrot Cake

**Growing up, my friend Tracy used to work at a bakery. They were known for their Carrot Cake. Somehow my mom got the recipe, and has been making this ever since. **

This carrot cake was even yummier on day 2.

Carrot Cake
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
**Cream these ingredients together

**In seperate bowl combine and stir to mix:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 tso cinnamon
1 tsp salt
**When the sugar mixture is creamed, slowly add the flour mixture.

**Then add:
1 cup crushed pineapple
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cups nuts (I used pecans)

When the entire mixture is mixed thoroughly, pour into greased pan and bake 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes. I would assume you could do this in a 9x13 or cake pans.

I made this in my pampered chef bar pan and then cut it in half and made a double layer cake. It seems like my Mom would make this in her 9x13. My new oven is an electric one and seems to bake hotter than my gas oven did, so I baked this at 275 degrees for the same amount of time. It baked perfectly.
Cream Cheese Frosting
*I doubled this recipe for the above cake*
1 stick butter (I use margarine)
1 8oz cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat with mixer until fluffy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Freezable Meat Sauce

I have this meat sauce in my freezer all the time. When I make it, I make 1-2 extra batches & freeze them flat in Ziploc bags. Just pull one out of the freezer in the morning & serve that night for dinner. Love the convenience! Love the taste too! :)


1 pound ground turkey (I've never tried ground beef)
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped onion (for a mild onion, use 1/2 cup - for a stronger onion, use 1/4 cup)
1 T fresh minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste
1 can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained & rinsed
4 cups spaghetti sauce (your favorite)
1/4 cup water

Brown ground turkey in a large skillet. Halfway through browning, add chopped onion. Cook until turkey is thoroughly browned & onion is translucent. Stir in garlic & beans. Add salt & pepper sparingly. (just a few shakes is plenty - or none at all)

Pour in spaghetti sauce & stir to mix well. Only add water if sauce looks too thick - never more than 1/4 cup. Bring to soft boil. Cover & reduce heat.

Simmer for 15 minutes and serve!

We like it over cheese ravioli, fettucine or rigatoni.

We've also served it over french bread with melted mozzarella on top. Just heat sauce, pour over bread, sprinkle on cheese & brown/melt it under the broiler.


Allow to cool to room temperature.

Spoon into gallon-size Ziploc bag. Push out all the air, seal & lay flat in freezer. On a cookie sheet is great, but on top of something flat like a pizza or pie box is good too.

Once frozen, you can stand it upright & it takes up less than an inch of space.

I've used portabella mushrooms, sliced or roughly chopped, instead of the ground turkey. I'm not a mushroom fan, but it was really good!

Linda's Sprinkle Cake

** Recipe from Family Circle Magazine, about 10 years ago **

This cake just says "Autumn" for me! And Autumn's my favorite season, so we get this cake a lot from September thru...well...March. (giggle)

It's not one you'd frost with frosting - it's perfect for chocolate glazes or even Hershey's syrup! It keeps well, freezes well, and is easy to transport. Just take it dry & pour the topping/glaze on just before you serve it.


Linda's Sprinkle Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (regular-size box, 18.25 ozs)

1 box INSTANT vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz box)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup water

4 eggs

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1 container chocolate sprinkles (2.5 ozs or 1/3 cup)

Heat oven to 350*. Grease & flour 10" tube pan or Bundt pan.

In large bowl, combine cake mix & pudding mix. Add oil, water & eggs.

On low speed, beat 30 seconds until moistened. One medium speed, beat for 2 minutes.

Stir in walnuts & sprinkles.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in 350* oven for 50-60 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.

Cool 5-10 minutes, remove from cake pan & cool on rack.

Serve & enjoy!

** This cake can be made with different cake mixes. We've enjoyed vanilla & pumpkin/spice cake mixes. On the pumpkin/spice cake, we've also used a white chocolate glaze & white chocolate chips.

** You can replace the chocolate sprinkles with mini chocolate chips, if you like. We do & like the stronger chocolate flavor much better than the sprinkles. Make sure they're MINI chips though. The regular size chips make the cake mushy & soggy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Healthier Fettucine Bake

**This was a very pleasant surprise and it is very low in fat**
Fettucine Bake
8 oz Wide egg noodles-cooked( I didn't have any, so I used the fettucine noodles I had in the pantry)
2 1/2 cups skim milk
3 Tb flour
1 Tb Chicken flavored bouillon
1 tsp or more of minced garlic (OPTIONAL)
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey-cubed
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cook noodles as per package directions
3. In medium saucepan, combine milk, flour, minced garlic and bouillon. Stir until flour is dissolved. Place pan over medium heat and cook and stir until the mixture slightly thickens.
4. In large bowl combine the cooked noodles, milk mixture, yogurt and chicken. (I also added 1/4-1/3 cup parmesan cheese) Stir well.
5. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with vegetable spray and pour noodle mixture in pan. Sprinkle cheese over top. Cover
6. Bake for 25 minutes.

I hope you like it!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Baked Italian Turkey Meatballs

This is a recipe my kids make for me now. They LOVE these & I use them in a multitude of dishes like spaghetti & meatballs, ravioli & meatball casserole, and meatball sandwiches.

Obviously, these are unbaked. I totally forgot to get a photo of them after they were done! (duh!) Picture them all browned & yummy. :)

You can bake a double or triple batch and freeze them after they're baked for future dinners.

Baked Italian Turkey Meatballs

1 pound ground meat - I use ground turkey but you can use ground beef, if you prefer
1/3 cup Italian spiced bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 garlic clove minced OR 1 tsp prepared minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400*F. Line cookie sheet(s) or baking pan(s) with foil. Be sure to seal the corners so juices don't flow off onto your oven floor.

Mix all ingredients by hand in a large bowl. (You can mix with a spoon, but the texture is very different - more dense, I guess.)

Shape into 1 1/4" balls (about 33) and evenly space them on the foil-lined cookie sheets/baking pans. (I use a cookie dough-type scooper for this part - much faster!)

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned on the outside & cooked through.

Serve immediately over pasta with your favorite spaghetti sauce or in meatball sandwiches topped with grated mozzarella cheese & spaghetti sauce.


TO FREEZE: ** After they're baked **
Freeze extra meatballs (not touching) on a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. Transfer to a Ziploc freezer bag or freezer container & store in freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheat, frozen or thawed, in the sauce with which you plan to serve them.

Mix together gently:
2 9-oz pkgs fresh cheese ravioli (or defrosted from frozen)
1 16-oz jar spaghetti sauce
1/8 cup water (only if sauce is too thick - you can omit this if your sauce is thinner)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Gently pour into a 9x13" baking dish. Place 12 meatballs throughout the ravioli mixture. (press them down into the mixture, not just sitting on top)

Top with more grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

Bake 30-45 minutes at 375*F or until ravioli are tender & cheese is browned.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stove Top Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is the first time I made this recipe. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. Everyone enjoyed it, but it is not one of my favorites.

**Here is a picture of the ingredients I used. I run to the Super Wal Mart every couple of months for BIG shopping and this is where they sell this big bag of reduced fat cheese. I love it.**

Original Recipe
Stove-top Chicken Enchilada Casserole
1 TB butter or veg oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
10 0z Enchilada sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 12.5 oz can chunk chicken in water (drained)
4 8" flour tortillas
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
1- In 2 quart saucepan melt butter and add onion. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reserve 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, and add remaining sauce to onion. Stir in cumin and chicken. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered 5 minutes.
2- Lightly grease 10" skillet with cooking spray. Heat over low heat. Place 1 tortilla in skillet. Top with the shredded pepper jack cheese. Place 2nd tortilla on top of cheese. Pour enchilada sauce mixture over this tortilla. Place 3rd tortilla over enchilada mixture. Top this tortilla with shredded cheddar cheese. Place 4th tortilla over cheese. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over this tortilla.
3- Cover skillet and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Top each slice with sour cream.
Instead of enchilada sauce, I used 1 can healthy recipe cream of mushroom and 1 cup pace picante medium. ( I reserved about 1/2 cup and poured the rest in with the onion and chicken.)
I did not have pepper jack cheese, so I used my reduced fat cheddar and monterey jack cheese for the cheese layers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Beauty of Bread

Some of you may remember Laura B. I found this on her blog and it looked great. So I'm stealing it from her for my entry.

A year or so ago a friend, who just happens to be a former "National Mother of the Year", taught me how to make a simple bread recipe and shared with me the beauty of bread.

I can see your eyes rolling. A year ago if someone had told me making home made bread was a secret to three simple meals- I would have laughed and scoffed in disbelief. Not to mention it was a next to near impossible task for the novice baker I am. I mean, homemade bread!?! My past attempts to homemade breads and rolls always turned out things that looked more like bricks or hockey pucks than something you could or would eat. It doesn't sound easy OR fun. But it's true- this recipe is so easy! And the beauty about it is with one batch you can make a pan of cinnamon rolls for breakfast, a pan of bread sticks for lunch AND make a braided (use a left-over) dish for dinner! Beauty eh? An hour or so of baking and you're done cooking for the DAY!

So yesterday, my son wanted to make "Cinnamon melts". I thought that would be a great Sunday morning treat so I pulled out the flour and yeast.

Here's the magical recipe-

Mix together
2 cups warm water- just from the tap
2 Tb. Yeast
1/2 cup sugar

Let this sit for a minute and "proof" the yeast. (Make certain the yeast is still good before you go on to the next step. How you can tell- it starts to bubble and get thick. If it doesn't- start over with a new batch of yeast.)

2 1/2 tsp. Salt
3 cups flour
Mix well with a spoon

1 egg
1/4 cup oil

3 more cups of flour- added one at a time.

At this point, I take my ring off, pour some veg. oil on my hands and go at it. After all the flour is mixed in- I put more veg oil on my counter and knead it up. I then scrape my bowl clean spray some Pam in it and place my dough ball back into the bowl to rise for 1/2 hour.

My friend, the former Mother of the Year, who is the real bread expert says "the oil adds flavor, richness and tenderness to the bread and helps the bread stay moist longer"- so don't be shy! (I use to use flour to knead my dough and no wonder my loaves were dry and hard.)

Now if you just wanted to make rolls after the first RISE you would make your rolls and let them rise another 1/2 hour then bake at 375 for 12-20 min.

But we are making the magical trio. So you've got 1/2 hour to wait.

Perfect time to clean up the counter and get ingredients ready for the next step...
I usually have to clear off a counter space to roll out the dough,
scrape up some dried peanut butter
sort the mail and random papers on the counter
do some dishes- or just throw them in sink full of suds
and jump in the shower

Okay- Now my dough has doubled.

Split the dough. Normally- I just make a few cinnamon rolls and more bread sticks. ( I mean, really? How many cinnamon rolls does one family need? We just eat them ALL- even with the best of intentions to give some to neighbors we can't resist. Just one more....)

Yesterday though- I had some leftovers I wanted to use. (Piggy back meals! I love this! I get such a thrill from using up my leftovers!). Two nights ago I made a chicken/cream of chicken soup with frozen vegetables & cheese casserole served with rice. I had maybe three serving left of the chicken casserole. So I divided my dough into THREE portions.

Preheat your oven at 375 degrees

FIRST- pull out the cinnamon roll portion.
Pour oil on your counter and roll out the dough into a rectangle.

So simple - a child can do it!

Spread with soft margarine

It probably won't take you as much concentration as my 5 year old.
He wanted "Cinnamon melts" but you'll notice he's not in any future pictures- his interest was quickly lost in "helping me".
Sprinkle with cinnamon
Sprinkle with brown sugar

roll it up like a jelly-roll

Cut into 1 1/2 inch portions

(Okay- who ever said using floss was the best way to cut cinnamon rolls out? Have you ever heard of that? Don't bother getting the floss. That will cut out a huge headache- just cut them. This is one of my favorite pamper chef tools.)
Place on a baking sheet and let rise until double. (Bake at 375 for 12-20 min.)

While the cinnamon rolls are rising.... Pull your next portion out for your bread sticks.
Roll dough into a rectangle

melt 1/2 stick of butter and pour on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle in McCormicks Salad Supreme seasoning.

Then you cut your dough into 1/2 inch strips. Dip into the butter & seasoning on the cookie sheet. Twist and lay flat on same cookie sheet. Don't let the bread sticks raise a second time. Once the pan is full place in oven and bake for 12-30 minutes. I cut them in half. Then they are cooked and ready to warm up for lunch.

We eat these by dipping into pizza sauce. They make a great snack or as a side with spaghetti or lasagna OR my kids just fill up on them for lunch. (You can use different seasoning- garlic powder, basil, oregano and Parmesan for a more Italian twist.)

This is the best part.

LASTLY- While your bread sticks are baking, cinnamon rolls are rising...pat yourself on the back two down- one to go! Roll out your last rectangle of dough. Cut slits up the sides- but leave a center portion uncut for your filling.

Sorry the picture has my shadow in front of it... ( I really should learn some photography tips.)

Like I said before- I had some leftover chicken casserole. I wanted to spruce it up a bit- so I added some cream cheese.

By this time- your cinnamon rolls and braided bread are ready to bake. Where I live it is HOT HOT HOT- (Hawaii and NO air conditioning). So if I've got the oven on, I'm cooking everything at once, then we'll reheat in the microwave later. (But you could wrap up your braided bread and put it in the refrigerator until your ready to cook dinner.)
Both the cinnamon rolls and braided bread cook at 375. The cinnamon rolls will be done in 12-20 minutes and the braided bread in 20-25 minutes.

I wait to make this trio-combo when I have left-overs that would make tasty fillings. I mean, if I'm doing all the work of making bread... I don't want to have to cook chicken too! But some of you might like cooking more than me... so knock yourself out! You could fill it with cooked taco meat, cheddar cheese and garlic with onion- served with diced tomatoes, sour cream and shredded lettuce. Another filler my friend (former Mother of the Year)recommends is
Chicken a Broccoli:
1 cup chopped broccoli
2 cups cooked and chopped chicken
1 can cream chicken soup
1 cup mayo or sour cream
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 tsp curry powder.
(This makes enough for two loaves.)

And there you go!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pomegranate-Balsamic Marinated Chicken

This one's SUPER easy and SUPER yummy - if you like balsamic vinegar. Our family loves it so it's a great recipe for us.

We've made this marinade before with regular balsamic & liked it, but then I found this Pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar at Albertsons. It added a sweetness that regular balsamic vinegar didn't have. (My family described the marinade with regular balsamic as "more bitter" than this one.)

FYI - There's a recipe on the back of the bottle for a delicious vinagrette salad dressing that's worth making!

We eat this chicken as an entree with sides or sliced up as a topper for salads. It's great cold the next day too.

Pomegranate-Balsamic Marinated Chicken

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16-oz bottle of Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar (you won't always use all of it)
1 soup-spoonful of minced garlic (probably 5-6 tablespoons)

Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag. (Use a strong one so it doesn't leak.)
Pour balsamic vinegar over chicken breasts until it just covers them.
Add garlic.
Zip bag closed & smoosh bag to mix chicken, vinegar & garlic until all chicken breasts are well-covered. Be careful it doesn't leak!
Marinate with Ziploc bag upright in fridge for 15-30 minutes. (No longer than 30 minutes or the flavors are too strong)

Grill over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through.


You could cook these in a skillet or under the broiler too, but the flavor is better on the grill.

We serve these with summer favorites like grilled corn on the cob, watermelon & veggies with dip. Also great on salads.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I should be embarrassed to post this, it's way too simple... but I can't resist sharing something so perfect for those times when you have, say, soccer practice, Cub Scouts, Brownies, drum lessons and a screaming one-year-old and it all seems to be converging at once. Not that I know what any of that is like...

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1 can (16 oz.) whole cranberry sauce
2 cups chunky garden pasta sauce
24 oz. (or so) refrigerated or frozen fully-cooked turkey meatballs

1. Put cranberry sauce in large skillet; break into chunks. Add pasta sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until cranberry sauce melts.
2. Add meatballs; stir to coat with sauce. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 15 minutes until heated through.
3. Serve over rice.

Recipe credited to Woman's Day 1-2-3 Suppers

Monday, August 25, 2008


Various types of noodles
1 Jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb pork sausage

Fry the sausage and set aside. Boil some water and cook the noodles until they are just about done. When noodles are ready drain the water and rinse under cold water. Put noodles in large bowl and add 1/2 lb of fried pork sausage, spaghetti sauce and mix. Then you can be creative and add any ingredients you like. I usually add:

green peppers
pepperoni (quarter cut)
mozzarella cheese

Mix all ingredients together and then put in 9X9 pan or 9X13 pan depending on how many noodles you cook. You may need to add more spaghetti sauce depending on the amount of noodles. I also like to save a bit of sauce to put on top to make sure that the noodles don't get dried out. Top it with mozzarella cheese and add some pepperoni on top for looks.

Cook at 400 for 30 min.

Mom's Pork Chops

My mom's been making these pork chops for as long as I can remember. She doesn't even remember where the recipe came from!

This is a super easy way to take advantage of the bone-in pork chops that go on sale all the time. You can use any cut except "thin cut". (I suppose you CAN use that cut, I just don't know how long they'd need to cook - obviously a shorter time than I've written below.)

I just buy the standard package - center or loin chops (or both mixed together) - doesn't matter.

You can prep these in 2-3 minutes & just let them bake until dinner time. The sides I like are herb & butter rice pilaf or baked potatoes.

Mom's Pork Chops

bone-in pork chops (as many as you need for your family)

For each pork chop:
1 slice lemon
1 slice onion
1 T (or a squiggly drizzle) ketchup
1 T (or a regular spoonful) brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350*.

Line a 9x13" pan with foil. Sprinkle salt lightly in bottom of foil-lined pan.

Lay pork chops in pan(s), about 2 inches apart.

Top each pork chop with lemon & onion slices, ketchup & brown sugar.

Cover & seal each pan with sheet of foil.

Bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours (until pork registers 160*). Remove & throw away lemon slices. You can leave the onion or remove it (depends upon taste).

Serve & enjoy!!

NOTE: You can use lemon juice if you don't have lemons on hand. Just pour about 1-2 Tablespoons per chop into the bottom of the pan.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

6 Layer Casserole

Okay, I made this last night. It's a great thing to give to people that you're making dinner for! I actually gave two away and ate some where else:) I make it all the time for us though. You can even make it vegan. We had my brother (who is vegan) over for dinner and all I used was a frozen mock veggie vegan imitation meat (or you can leave this layer out) and veggie broth. It tasted great that way too!

2 med. Potatoes, sliced
2 med. Onions, sliced
1 ½ lbs. ground beef or turkey (raw)
½ cup uncooked rice
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 med. Carrots, sliced
3 cups chicken broth

Cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with potatoes, then onions, meat, rice, celery, and carrots. Sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper as you go. Pour the broth over the entire dish and cover with foil. Bake at 400* for 1 hour or until the carrots and potatoes are hot.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lasagna w/ garlic cheese bread

Lasagna is Lasagna... but the cheese bread is amazing!!! Here is the recipe for both


Prepare noodles according to package, cool

Brown: 1/2 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound italian sausage

Drain grease and add:

1 large jar of favorite spaghetti sauce

1 tsp italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Begin layering lasagna:



ricotta cheese

mozzarella/parmesan cheese

sauce.... etc. until completely layered. Ending with cheese on the top.

Bake covered @350 degrees for 30 minutes, remove and bake an additional 15 - 20 minutes.

Cheese garlic bread

Split loaf and butter.

Spread with cheese sauce below:

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded

1/2 cup mayonaise

1-2 cloves garlic crushed

1 green onion chopped

salt and pepper

Broil on low until brown and bubbly... about 8-10 minutes.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Skillet Chicken & Dumplings

I got this recipe from a Betty Crocker email last week. Glad I tried it! :) I changed a couple of things - like cutting up the chicken, using regular cream of chicken soup instead of lowfat, and I changed the herbs in the dumplings. All to match our family's preferences.

Since I'm cooking for 6 & our youngest is 10, we doubled the recipe & had just enough for my husband to take to work for lunch the next day. I also made a couple extra dumplings so everybody could have 2.

No sides for this one - it's really a one dish meal.


Chicken & Vegetables:

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb), cut into bite-size chunks
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 bag (1 lb) frozen stir-fry vegetables (or your favorite frozen vegs - like mixed vegs or a brocolli/cauliflower/carrot mix)

1 cup Bisquick mix
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley or rosemary or poultry seasonings

In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil about 5 minutes, turning once, until chicken begins to brown.

Stir in soup and frozen vegetables. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently.

In small bowl, stir all dumpling ingredients until soft dough forms. Drop by 4 spoonfuls onto boiling chicken mixture. Reduce heat. Cook uncovered 10 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

TIP: To prevent dumplings from falling apart, drop dough onto chicken or vegetables rather than directly into liquid or gravy. If dough is dropped into liquid, the simmering action may force the dough apart.

Hope you like it!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yummy Potato Salad & Pretzel Jello Salad

We just had a family BBQ, and the staple side dish that is always there is Potato Salad. Usually people either love potato salad or hate it. This potato salad is totally different from the normal and I am always getting asked for the the recipe. It is always requested by the teachers at Savannah's school when I do the teacher BBQ and it was eaten up at our church Fathers Day brunch.

Thanks Mom for creating this awesome potato salad. I remember it from when I was younger and in young womens so it is has been in the family at least 27 years.

Potato Salad
3-4 medium sized russet potatoes (I like to use the red potatoes though, I think they have a better texture)
18 eggs
*1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix BUTTERMILK RECIPE (I buy the double packet and use 1 packet and save the 2nd for another date or to make homemade dressing)
1 1/2 -2 cups mayonaise? I usually just add it until it is all covered and looks good

*This must be the buttermilk recipe packets. If it is not, your salad will taste bitter. The regular packets have buttermilk solids in them because they are made with milk. The BUTTERMILK recipe packets do not have buttermilk solids in them because they are made using actual buttermilk.*

Cook your potatoes in boiling water until cooked through. Remove to a plate and add your eggs to the boiling water. Cook until eggs are done. (You could do this in 2 seperate pans) When the potatoes have cooled, peel the skin from the potatoes and cube. Remove the shell from the eggs and cube those as well. Put all this in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Ranch packet seasoning and toss to make sure the potatoes and eggs are well coated. Add mayonaise and stir again. Serve.

**Here is the as requested jello salad recipe also**
This is a staple at our Christmas Eve dinner on my side of the family.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Salad
6 oz strawberry or raspberry jello
1 ½ cups frozen strawberries or raspberries
2 cups boiling water
Dissolve jello in boiling water, add fruit. Put in fridge until it cools down. Pour over cream cheese mixture.

3 cups crushed pretzels (I crush until the pieces are pretty small)
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter
Mix together and press into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool.

8oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
12 oz cool whip
While the pretzels are cooling, beat the cream cheese and sugar. Fold in cool whip. Spread over pretzels when they have completely cooled.

When all the layers have been put together, put in fridge and chill until jello is completely set.


Related Posts with Thumbnails