Monday, March 30, 2009

Kathy's Top 10 Main Dishes...

I'm sure this list will change from time to time, even depending on the season - but for now these are my favorites...

1. Garlic Swiss Steak
2. Chilaquiles
3. Grilled Spicy Citrus Ribs
4. Carnitas
5. Garlic-Rosemary Lamb Pita, with our homemade tzatziki sauce!
6. Chili
7. Chicken Tequila Fettucini
8. Shredded Beef for Tacos
9. Beer and Beef Stew
10.Our Southwestern Chicken Enchiladas

These two are my absolute favorites, belonging at the very top of this list, but my hubby refuses to let me share these family secrets with you! I'm sorry! :(

*No1here's Tortilla Soup
*No1here's Steak with his secret sauce

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Something different for your ripe bananas...

What a cute and yummy cookie for Easter!!! I used to make these all the time when No1here and I lived in England, before the kiddos came. I think I made them so often, that I got burned out on them. Well, many years have passed - Now it's time to see if the kids love them as much as we do!

Banana Cookies

3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 bananas, mashed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the shortening, sugar, egg, vanilla, and bananas. Beat well and add your salt, soda, and flour. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will be soft and puffy. After they cool, spread with icing. Makes: 3 1/2 dozen

4 Tbs brown sugar, firmly packed
2 Tbs + 2 tsp milk
2 Tbs + 2 tsp margarine
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

Add your brown sugar, milk and margarine to a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Add enough powdered sugar to make into a spreading consistency. Spread onto cookies and enjoy!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dessert for the week...

I don't know what has happened to me... all my life I have been a chocoholic and in the last two years I prefer salty snacks to sweet snacks?!?!? What is going on with me? Hormones?! Who knows... Anyway, I still drool when I see photos like this one, but once the goodies are made - I'll only be able to have a couple of bites. Well, I found this recipe and I'm hoping it'll put me back on track!!! I'll keep you posted...

Nestle Toll House's Chocolate Chip Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell *
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 325° F. Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

* If using frozen pie shell, use deep-dish style, thawed completely. Bake on baking sheet; increase baking time slightly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Two Fun Favorites for the Kiddos!!!

Taco Chicken Fingers

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbs. milk
3 cups crushed tortilla chips
3 Tbs. mild taco seasoning
garnish: salsa, sour cream, guacamole

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut each chicken breast into 1/2 inch strips. In a large shallow bowl, whisk mayonnaise and milk until blended and smooth. Place tortilla chips in a resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush chips into fine crumbs. In another large shallow bowl, toss crushed tortilla chips with taco seasoning; mix well. Toss chicken strips first in mayonnaise mixture, then in crushed tortilla chips. Place on prepared baking sheet - do not overlap. Bake until just browned and chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. Serves: 8-10

In the background is Potato Slabs, that I found over on Amber's Delectable Delights. These were awesome!!! My entire family devoured them!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Great for company...

This is a great dish to take over to a sick friend or when company's coming over! Or just half this recipe if you're making it just for your family.

Tara had a wonderful Tetrazzini recipe that I had years ago, but I can't find my copy anywhere and she lost her cookbook that it was in!!! ughh... So, I had to come up with my own. We had it this weekend and it was divine!!! YUMMMM!!!! Let me know if you give it a try!

Chicken Tetrazzini

16 oz. spaghetti, broken into pieces
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sherry
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 lg. onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 15X10 inch casserole dish.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook your chicken breasts in butter/olive oil. Once chicken is golden brown and juices run clear, set aside to cool, then chop. Then saute your onion, mushrooms, and garlic until tender - in the same pan you used for your chicken. Then in a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, and gradually stir in chicken broth and cream. Return to heat, and bring to a low boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sherry, then stir in cooked spaghetti, diced chicken, mushroom mixture. Taste and add more salt and pepper according to your tastes!!! Then pour it all into the prepared baking dish, and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, covered with foil in the preheated oven. Then remove foil and cook another 10 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned. Serves: 8-10

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break request...

The only thing that my oldest son really requested to eat while out this whole week was his favorite -- Egg Salad Sandwiches!!! Here's our recipe...

Our Favorite Egg Salad Sandwiches

8 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
2-3 Tbs. chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop. (Week old eggs peel better!)
Place the chopped eggs in a bowl, and stir in the mayonnaise, mustard and green onion. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir and serve on your favorite bread or crackers. If serving on a lettuce leaf - you might add a little paprika for color!

Texas Jambalaya

I orignally found this on AllRecipes, but of course we made some minor changes to it. The kids weren't too crazy about this meal, but No1here and I loved it!!! I think the reason they weren't licking their plates was because it was still a tad bit spicy. Definitely a "keeper" for us big kids! ;)

Texas Jambalaya

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 cup converted long-grain white rice
4 ounces smoked sausage, cut into slices
4 ounces cooked ham, cut into bite-size pieces
1 (10 oz) can Rotel, mild
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (15 oz) can Ranch-style beans, undrained

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, green pepper and celery, until onions are soft and translucent. Stir in garlic, and cook another minute. Add rice, sausage, and ham. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, to coat the rice with oil, stirring frequently. Pour in Rotel, can of diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Season with thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in the beans, mix well and heat through.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No1here's favorite...

My husband absolutely loves his mother's dressing and it kills him if he doesn't get to have it at Thanksgiving. Well, here's an easy recipe that he can have year round! I just asked him the other day to list his top 10 recipes - this was at the top!!!

This week is perfect for this meal, with the chilly, foggy weather we've been having. I originally found it in my Southern Living magazine, but we've modified it to our tastes. It even tastes like hers too. Let me know if you give it a try!

Crockpot Chicken and Dressing

4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
6 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
8 (1-ounce) firm white bread slices, torn into pieces
2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons ground sage
Sausage seasoning to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened

Combine first 12 ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 5-quart round slow cooker. Dot evenly with butter. Cover and cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or on LOW 7 hours or until set. Or if you missed your window of opportunity for the crockpot, I've cooked it in the oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Stir well before serving. Serves: 8-10

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Breakfast for Supper...

This is a 5 star recipe from Southern Living!!! I can't wait to give it a try!!! Looks great for anytime of the day!

Country Grits and Sausage Casserole

2 pounds mild ground pork sausage
4 cups water
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits, uncooked
4 cups (1 pound) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs

Brown sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles. Drain well, and set aside. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan, and stir in grits. Return to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add cheese and next 3 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in sausage and eggs. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish; sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour or until golden and heated. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired. Serves:10

Make-Ahead: Prepare grits mixture as directed above, but do not bake. Cover and chill overnight. Remove from refrigerator; let stand, covered 30 minutes. Uncover and bake as directed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Rainy Day Meal...

Where did that dreary weather come from today? Talk about perfect timing for this wonderful meal, from Cooking Light...

Beef Daube Provencal

2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine
2 cups chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Dash of ground cloves (we omitted this ingredient)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
egg noodles or rice

Preheat oven to 300°. Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add garlic, beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles or rice. Serves: 6

Note: To make in a slow cooker, prepare through Step 2. Place beef mixture in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.

No1here was really dreading this meal, since we already have two wonderful stew recipes. He was very pleasantly surprised!!! All the kiddos liked it too! So, another keeper - make that 3 different stew recipes!! ;) lol...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More CBS Brunch Ideas...

Well, of course now that my obligation for the CBS brunch is over for this semester - I keep finding really neat recipes everywhere!!!! Guess I'll have to make them next year. I don't think I can wait until then to try them though. Thought I'd share these with you...

This one comes from Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

Sausage and Pancake Strata

12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg(14.5 oz) frozen mini pancakes(I made my own although from a mix) approx 18
1 pkg(7oz) maple flavoured brown and serve sausage patties,8 or 9 patties
Maple Syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 11"by 7" baking dish with cooking spray. Beat eggs with milk and stir in cheese and salt and set aside. Cook the sausages and the pancakes. Arrange half of pancakes in bottom of dish. Top with sausage patties. pour egg mixture over the patties and top with the rest of the pancakes, gently pressing them into the egg mixture to partially coat. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Uncover and drizzle maple syrup over the egg mixture which has started to set at this point. Continue baking uncovered for another 30 min until set. Let stand 5 min before serving and drizzle with more maple syrup if you prefer.

The Next few come from Mommy's Kitchen...

Mini Cini's

2 packages Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
(preferable the packages where it is one rolled sheet of pastry per package)
2 8oz packages softened cream cheese
1 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2-3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 ½ Cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream (do not substitute)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove rolls from packaging. Unroll each of the dough pieces so they are in the shape of rectangles. Roll each individual into an even thinness. Place cream cheese, sugar and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Stir until well combined. Spread half of the cheese mixture onto one sheet of dough and half onto the other spreading evenly across dough leaving about ¼ inch border around edges. Roll dough as if you were making cinnamon rolls, ending with seam side down. Cut 1 inch pieces and place all 24 pieces into mini muffin tins. Brush each roll with melted butter and bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden around edges and cooked through. Transfer rolls to a cooling rack and cool completely. While cooling combine powdered sugar and heavy cream until thick and drizzle ready. With a spoon, drizzle icing over each roll.

Donut Muffins

3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 sticks butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a different bowl, cream together 1 cup sugar and shortening, then add eggs and mix. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. In a bowl, melt 2 sticks butter. In a separate bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Dip baked muffins in butter, coating thoroughly, then coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Sausage Cream Cheese Crescents

1 lb. sausage, browned & drained
1 (8oz.) philidelphia cream cheese spread
1 pkg. pillsbury crescent dinner rolls

Brown and drain breakfast sausage . Combine sausage & cream cheese. Roll into logs about 2 inches long place on crescent triangle or spoon into crescent. Roll up Crescents and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 350 about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Katie Lee Joel's Award-Winning Burger

Okay Cindy, you said you were in the mood for a Patty Melt!!! Well, take a look at this! It's a cross between a hamburger and grilled cheese!!! YUMMMM!!!!

This burger is a creation of Katie lee Joel's grandmother who made the burger with cheap ingredients during tough times. She was crowned this year's queen of the Burger Bash with this winning recipe!!! (She also has written The Comfort Table, if you're interested.)

So, I figured this would be the best recipe for us to try!!! Let me know how it goes, if you beat me to it!!!

The Logan County Hamburger

1 pound ground beef (85 percent lean)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 medium yellow onion, half grated, the other half thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 slices white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 slices American cheese, optional

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, grated onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined. Form into thin patties. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Drain the grease from the skillet. In the same skillet, place six slices of bread, butter side down. Top each with a slice of cheese, if desired, some onions and a burger. Top with remaining slices of cheese, if using, and bread, butter side up. Cook each sandwich until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with mustard, ketchup, pickles, or any other desired hamburger toppings. Makes 6 burgers.

Thanks to Katie Lee and her grandmother for an awesome recipe!!! Can't wait to try it!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Have you ever had Migas?

If so, what recipe variation do you use? I have searched high and low - I took some from this recipe and some from that recipe, and then put in things that we love and came up with our own variation.

This is on our menu for the week with No1here's homemade refried beans, southern fried potatoes, and warm tortillas on the side!!! Yummm.... I can't wait!!!

Migas (pronounced MEE gahs) is a Tex-Mex "mess" of eggs, bits of fried corn tortilla, and a host of savory ingredients, from black beans, chorizo and cheese to salsa, avocado and chiles. The word, migas, in fact, is derived from the Spanish word for crumbs, that was from old bread. Here in Texas, this dish is designed to use up your old stale tortillas, but if you only have fresh ones - it will still be just as wonderful!

Our Migas

10 corn tortillas (if your eggs are large, you might want to add more tortillas)
Vegetable oil (or if making bacon with this - just use leftover drippings)
diced onion
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (or green chilies if you want it milder)
diced tomato (salsa, or tomato sauce)
10-12 eggs, lightly beaten
cilantro, chopped

Put a good amount of oil in your skillet. Heat it over medium-high heat. Tear up your corn tortillas, or cut them into strips. Once your oil is heated, add your tortillas. Stir them around until all the tortillas get a good coating of oil. Season with salt. Toss in your onion, jalapenos, and garlic. Once your tortillas have started to get golden and have some crisp to the edges, stir in your eggs. Then add your diced tomatoes, salsa, or tomato sauce - which ever one you prefer. Then add your cheese and melt. Don't forget to top with cilantro!!! Then serve on big plates with fried potatoes and refried beans! Use your tortillas to scoop up all this yummy goodness!!! Serves: 6

* other possiblities to try: bacon, green onion, chorizo, bell pepper, black beans, ham, poblanos, avocado, crema or sour cream, etc... The ideas are endless!!!!