Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Summit House Restaurant's Creamed Corn Au Gratin

Summit House Restaurant in Fullerton, CA, gets so many requests for this recipe, they started printing it on cards for diners to take home! It's a holiday tradition for our family & a favorite wherever I bring it.

Classic Creamed Corn Au Gratin

1 lb frozen corn (I buy the sweet white or petite corn)
12 oz whipping cream
1 1/2 T. melted butter
1 1/2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. white sugar
pinch of pepper
3 T. Parmesan cheese

  1. Combine corn, cream, salt, sugar & pepper in a pot and bring gently to a boil. (Be sure to stir often to keep the cream from burning)
  2. Stir butter & flour very well, until totally combined. (Make a roux) Add to corn/cream mixture & mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes. (Mixture will thicken - be sure to stir occasionally)
  3. Transfer corn mixture to casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese & brown under broiler.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Soup

**This recipe came from http://www.lilluna.com/2010/11/recipe-tip-deal-of-week-chilis-chicken.html

Everyone in our family loved this and even the guests we had over. This for sure is a new family favorite. I was actually surprised at how mild the flavor was. There is alot you could do with this recipe and it would still be delicious. You could double the enchilada sauce and then reduce the water by a cup, you could probably even add a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, if you are a cilantro lover, you could certainly add cilantro and that would be great. Next time I make this I will double the enchilada sauce and reduce the water by 1 cup and see what we think and also add some black beans. **

Chicken Enchilada Soup
•1 tablespoon vegetable oil
•1 lb chicken breast fillet (approx. 3 fillets)
•1/2 cup diced onion
•1 garlic clove, pressed, to taste ( I used minced garlic)
•4 cups chicken broth
•1 cup masa harina (I would not sub this out. I think it needs this flavoring verses regular flour)
•3 cups water
•1 cup La Victoria enchilada sauce
•16 ounces Velveeta cheese
•1 teaspoon salt, to taste
•1 teaspoon chili powder
•1/2 teaspoon cumin

•cilantro (optional)
•crumbled corn tortilla chips

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts to skillet and brown for 4-5 minutes per side. Set chicken aside.

Add onions and garlic to skillet and sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until onions begin to become translucent. Add chicken broth. Pour into a stock pot.

Combine masa harina with 2 cups of water in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. (I put mine in the blender) Add masa mixture to pot with onions, garlic and broth. Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, cheese and spices to pot and bring mixture to a boil.

Shred the chicken into small, bite-size pieces and add it to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer soup for 30 minutes.

Serve with crumbled corn tortilla chips. You can also use cilantro if you like that flavor. The picture shows cheese on the top. You really DON'T need it though because there is so much cheese flavor in the soup.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

**This recipe came from http://www.aubreysrecipes.blogspot.com/ I thought the pasta sauce was a little bland, so then when I served it, I tossed the chicken in with the pasta and let the seasonings from the chicken mix with the sauce. It was much better that way, so that is how I am going to write up the recipe. The cajun seasoning is really good and it is made with spices that I already had in my cupboard, so I just put them all in a little air tight container.**

Cajun Chicken Pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips.
8 ounces penne pasta--cooked according to directions on package
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning (see directions below)
2 TB butter
1/2 tsp dried onion
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 TB chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cajun seasoning --- This is a great flavored seasoning you can use on the BBQ also.
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt

In a large saucepan cook the pasta according to directions on package. Drain and return pasta to pan.

Melt butter in frying pan over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over. Saute chicken in butter until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from pan and cut up into pieces. Return to pan and add about 1-2 Tb of water to help remove the bits from the pan and it will coat the chicken more with the seasoning. Pour chicken mixture in with the pasta.

In a saucepan mix onion, cream, tomatoes, basil, garlic powder, black pepper, and parmesan cheese. Heat until just boiling. Pour this in with the pasta and chicken.

Stir to combine. Serve immediately. Sprinkle top with a little parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

I got this recipe from allrecipes.com. It's SO yummy & comes out perfectly every single time. Perfect for a cold Fall & Winter day snack - and your house will smell DELISH! Wrap it beautifully & it makes a great gift too.

Pumpkin Bread
from allrecipes.com - submitted by Shirley Sober

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 (16 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9"x 5"x 3" loaf pans & set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs; mix well.
Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture, just until moistened.
Stir in pumpkin.
Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until bread tests done.

In my oven, it only needed 50 minutes to bake.


60 Minute Dinner Rolls

**SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS ROLLS---This recipe was given to me by my friend El. I promise you will love these rolls AND they are super duper easy. My oven always cooks hot, and I should have been careful and watched these, but aside from being a little brown on the top, they are absolutely delicious. They have the perfect amount of yeast and next time, I will try these using wheat flour since we love whole wheat.**

This dough can also be used to make cinnamon rolls, and I think it would be great to make dinner calzones in. You could use ham and cheese or pepperoni, spaghetti sauce and cheese, etc..

UPDATE-- I just made a second batch with whole wheat flour. I was not crazy about them. I think the wheat was too strong. Maybe doing a half white/half wheat would be better. I did use regular yeast though this time instead of quick rising and they still worked.

Dinner Rolls

Dry Ingredients
3 1/2 cups flour --divided (2 1/2 cups 1 cup)
*This is how I did the flour, my friend said she started with 3 1/2 cups flour and added up to 1 more cup, but you may not use the whole 1 cup.
1/4 cup sugar
2 TB yeast
2 TB dry milk powder
1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Hottest tap water
1/4 cup oil

Add all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (minus the 1 cup flour). Add wet ingredients to a measuring cup. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat by hand or by mixer for 1 minute. I did mine in my Kitchen Aid mixer.

Now, gradually add the extra 1 cup of flour and knead for 4 true minutes.

Cover and let rise for 15 true minutes.

Punch down and pinch off balls about the size of golf balls. Place in a greased 9x13 pan.
**I personally liked them better when I cooked them in a 9x13 and an 8x8. They expanded a bit more and I just liked them better than squishing them all into a 9x13.

Cover and let rise for 15 true minutes.

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.
Makes 24 rolls.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Taco Pasta

**Okay, so a few months ago my daughter came home from youth activity where they learned to cook a dinner. Her written down recipe had no measurements, just what was in it, so I had to try to do it on my own and see how it goes. So, below are the measurements I used. As I tried to do a search for this recipe, I was not able to find much, but I did run across a recipe that also called for Sour Cream to be stirred in just prior to serving. Now, that could be good, but this is good the way it is without adding the extra calories.**
Taco Pasta

1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 6oz tomato paste + 2 cans water or just use 1 15oz tomato sauce
Optional add in - 1 4oz can chopped green chiles
2 cups frozen corn
1 13-16 oz pkg pasta (you could use larger macaroni, fusili, wagon wheels, anything fun for kids)
1 tsp parsley approx
1/4 cup cheese (grated cheddar, or parmesan)

Cook pasta according to directions.

Cook ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off any fat. Add taco seasoning packet, tomato paste, chiles, water. Bring to a boil. Add corn, stir. Then add pasta and mix well. If you think it is too thick, add a little milk. I did.

Sprinkle top with Parsley flakes, and then sprinkle your favorite cheese over the top. I did parmesan cheese, but you can do cheddar cheese too.

This will easily serve 6

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our Weekly Meal Plan: Nov. 21 - 27

This week will include Thanksgiving (YAY! My favorite!). We'll be cooking more turkey than we need to shred & cube & freeze for future meals.

SUNDAY: Cheesy Baked Shells w/Polska Kielbasa & Broccoli, green beans, rolls
MONDAY: Creamed Tuna over Rice, peas & corn
TUESDAY: Spaghetti & Meatballs, green salad & garlic bread
WEDNESDAY: Leftovers & "Serve Yourself" - to make sure the fridge is empty & ready for Thanksgiving leftovers
THURSDAY: THANKSGIVING - turkey & all the trimmings
FRIDAY: Turkey-Bacon-Avocado Sandwiches on ciabatta bread
SATURDAY: Turkey-Noodle Soup, french bread

FREEZER: Polska Kielbasa, ground turkey, bacon, peas & corn
PANTRY: Baked Shells ingredients, Creamed Tuna ingredients, meatball ingredients, soup ingredients
FRIDGE: cheese, milk, eggs, misc ingredients, fresh green beans, red onion & lettuce
GROCERY: rolls, french bread, ciabatta, avocado


Turkey-Bacon-Avocado Sandwiches on Ciabatta
Use leftover turkey, cooked bacon & sliced avocado on sliced ciabatta bread. Trim with fresh lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, and a 1-1 mixture of your favorite mayo & spicy mustard. SO yummy!

Our Weekly Meal Plan: Nov. 14-20

Weekly Meal Plan - Nov. 14 - 20

SUNDAY: Chicken Quesadillas, guacamole & salsa
MONDAY: Lemon-Garlic Pork Tenderloin (made by Hormel - just roast & serve), Rice-A-Roni Low-Sodium Butter-Herb flavor, broccoli & corn
TUESDAY: Macaroni & Cheese (we top this with breadcrumbs before baking), green salad & wheat rolls
WEDNESDAY: Rodizio Grill for my birthday :)
THURSDAY: French Dip Sandwiches & green salad
FRIDAY: Stouffers Frozen Lasagna (crazy day!), green salad & garlic bread
SATURDAY: Soup (choose your favorite from food storage) & "Old School" grill cheese (wheat bread buttered w/American cheese - cook 'em low & slow)

FREEZER: pre-cooked chicken, shredded & stirred w/green chilis, beef roast, Stouffers Lasagna, broccoli & corn (cut from fresh cobs this summer)
PANTRY: tortillas, salsa, guacamole spice mix, Rice-a-Roni, Mac-n-Cheese ingredients, soup, bread
FRIDGE: Mexican cheese blend, avacados, green salad ingredients, American cheese
GROCERY: pork tenderloins, wheat rolls


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

**My mom used to make these growing up. They are tried and true YUMMY. The cake is always so moist and you can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting. This is a perfect dessert for all the fall and winter festivities.**

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Beat the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

In a seperate bowl add remaining dry ingredients and stir to combine. Slowly add to the wet mixture until well blended.

Grease a jelly roll pan. (I use my Pampered Chef Bar pan) Pour mixture into pan. Spread out evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Let cool completely and then frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter
1 8oz cream cheese (I used light and it turned out great)
1 lb box of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat with mixer until fluffy. Spread over cake when cooled.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Weekly Dinner Plan + Chicken Corn Chowder

I've been gone awhile - thanks to Janis for keeping the blog going!! - and, now that we've moved, my camera cable is missing still. This mean I can't upload any pictures for recipes. But with my kitchen in an uproar, installing new cabinets, I haven't been trying any new recipes these days anyway. But I wanted to have something for the blog...

SO, I decided I wanted to start posting our family's weekly meal plan each week. These are meals I plan ahead for - taking meat out of the freezer, buying produce & specific ingredients for, etc. I decide each evening what sounds good & then prepare it for dinner. If I can, I work in a new recipe, but it's usually our tried-and-true favorites that are served.

Having a week of meals pre-planned helps me use the food I already have in my freezer, fridge & pantry, allows me to take advantage of weekly sales at the grocery stores, and means I don't have an excuse to fall back on eating out when I can't decide what to make or don't have ingredients on-hand.

Dinner Plan - November 7-13

Sunday: Turkey burgers, veggies & dip (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower & cucumbers), & chips
Monday: Chili with toppings (cheese, sour cream, green onions), green salad & cornbread
Tuesday: Domino's Pizza (for my daughter's elementary school fundraiser), green salad
Wednesday: Chicken-Corn Chowder (recipe below), stir-ins: bacon, cheddar, broccoli, whole wheat rolls
Thursday: Skillet Lasagna made with ground turkey, broccoli & corn
Friday: Beef Tips (browned in a skillet w/olive oil) with gravy over egg noodles, peas & corn, wheat rolls
Saturday: Sub sandwiches, veggies & dip, & chips

I make a dessert twice each week & try to make it last for a couple of days. This week, I made brownies & Indoor S'Mores.

Freezer: ground turkey, pre-made chili, shredded chicken & bacon (for chowder), stew meat (for Beef Tips), frozen broccoli, peas & corn, whole wheat rolls
Pantry: Ranch dip spices, chips, cornbread mix, egg noodles, Skillet Lasagna & gravy ingredients, brownie mix & Indoor S'Mores ingredients
Fridge: sour cream for Ranch dip & chili toppings, cheddar cheese, lunch meats & cheeses, Skillet Lasagna ingredients
Grocery store: fresh veggies for the week - used for veggies & dip and green salads

I hope these will be helpful, giving you dinnertime ideas along the way. I'll post more recipes too (when I find that darned camera cable).

Chicken Corn Chowder

Mix thoroughly & set aside:
1/4 cup cold water
3 T flour

Cook & crumble, 8 slices bacon
Save 3 T bacon grease & set crumbled bacon aside.

Slice thinly, 1 onion. Cook in 3 T bacon grease until soft & browned.

Cook in water until soft, 2 large potatoes, cubed or sliced
use 2-3 cans sliced or diced potatoes, drained.

In large pot, combine cooked onions & potatoes.

In a 4-cup measure, combine to equal 4 cups total:
2 cans evaporated milk

Heat evaporated milk/water mixture in saucepan. Add flour/cold water mixture when heated through.

Add 17 oz can creamed corn to milk/flour/water mixture. Stir to combine & heat through.

Add creamed corn mixture to potatoes & onions. Stir in 1 can chicken chunks (or 1-2 cups cooked & shredded/cubed chicken), 1 pkg frozen broccoli (thawed & drained), and 1 can corn (drained).

Heat 10 minutes, or until heated through.

Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with desired toppings:
Crumbled bacon
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Green onions or French-fried onions

If you don't like the cooked onions in the chowder, leave them out & only add green onions or french-fried onions on top.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chicken & Broccoli Ring

**Remember the late 90's and how popular Pampered Chef parties were and how they would always make some kind of ring. Well, it just popped into my head tonight and so I tried my best to remember one that I liked. This one was good, but maybe in my older age, I just like things with more flavor where this was more simple, but this should still give you some ideas on trying some different flavors in it. I remember they had a taco one with beans, taco meat & cheese. Then you would serve it after it was cooked with the lettuce and other garnishments over the top. Another idea would be to do one like a pizza calzone.**

**I did a search for this recipe online and I saw one that had mayonaise added and slivered almonds. The mayonaise is probably just what this needs to make it a little richer, and the slivered almonds would be so much better than the water chestnuts. I would probably add 1/4 -1/3 cup mayonaise. :)**

Chicken Wreath

1/2 cup peppers, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
6 oz. cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (8 oz.) pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Chop pepper, broccoli, water chestnuts, onion and chicken. Combine all ingredients except crescent rolls in medium bowl. (I sauteed my peppers onion and brocoli first to bring out some flavor.)

Unroll crescent rolls and arrange triangles in a circle on a cookie sheet with the wide part of the triangle being the center of the circle and the points going out. It will look like a sun. ( See picture above ) After you have arranged the rolls, I pushed mine with my hand a little in the center to create a larger area to scoop the filling onto. After I pushed the centers more, the circle in the midded ended up being about 2" or smaller. Scoop filling mixture onto the middle part of the circle. Fold points of triangle over filling into the center. (Filling will not be completely covered.) Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before serving.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lasagna Rolls

***I have never seen these before, so it was a fun new way of cooking a classic. This recipe is being adapted from a recipe from my friend Trelesa who shared this in a group recipe newsletter when we were all part of a recipe group, and from a weight watchers magazine I bought just the other day. I was surprised that I liked the lasagna roll without the spinach more. :( I usually really like spinach in things, plus it makes it more healthy. Maybe next time I would just use less spinach and do more vegetables as a side dish to make up for it.***

Lasagna Rolls

8 Lasagna noodles

1 26oz jar of your favorite Marina or Spaghetti sauce

1 lb Italian sausage flavored turkey meat (You could also use ground beef, I used the italian turkey because it always has so much more flavor. You could also do this meatless and add some thinly slice up zuchini or squash. If you are going to use beef, I would saute with onion and garlic to add some more flavor.)
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 10oz frozen spinach--thawed, drained, and squeezed dry (I used less because I was making part without spinach)
1 egg (or you could use egg substitute)
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 TB breadcrumbs
2 TB parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozarella cheese - for filling

1/2 cup mozarella cheese - to sprinkle over top

Boil pasta, but do not over cook. Drain, and pat dry. I layed mine out on parchment paper.

In a skillet brown your meat. Drain any fats. Add the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, italian seasoning, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and mozarella cheese. Stir until mixture is all well incorporated.

Spoon mixture evenly over all 8 lasagna noodles. Then roll up like a snail. :)

In a 9x13 pour about 1 cup of spaghetti sauce on bottom of dish. Then lay the lasagna rolls over that. Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle the remaining mozarella cheese over top and continue baking for about 15 minutes.


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