Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Quick and Easy Nacho Dip
1 lb ground beef, browned
dash of salt, pepper and onion powder (if you have it)
2 cloves of garlic, optional (but really...who doesn't love garlic?!)
2 16 oz. jars of salsa (throw in homemade salsa if you want to)
15 oz. can of refried beans
1 1/2 c sour cream
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Add salt, pepper and onion powder to ground beef. Combine beef, salsa, bean, sour cream, and 2 cups of the cheese in the slower cooker. Cover and heat on low for 2 hours*. Just before serving sprinkle with the last cup of cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.
*My shredded cheese was still frozen, so two hours wasn't quite long enough to really melt it into the mixture...be sure to thaw your cheese first if you want it melted.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Is anyone else annoyed when avocados quickly turn an unsightly brown color!? Fret no more. If you have half of an avocado left over (rare, but possible. :)) keep the seed in and put in plastic, removing all the air around the avocado, then refrigerate. I couldn't believe it when it worked! Supposedly, if you have leftover guacamole (again, rare, but possible) or if you've made it for a party and you don't want it to turn brown before serving, you can do the same thing-- put the seed in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate. I haven't tried that, so I won't vouch for it. But that's my tip.
My dinner tonight was a salad of fresh lettuce, avocado, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mm, mm!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
1 head of romaine lettuce
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 hard boiled eggs
1 cup low-fat bacon-bits
1 cup feta cheese
Toss everything in a bowl and serve with your choice of dressing.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I also tried out a new slow cooker recipe, which was pretty much a failure for me. But I don't blame the recipe Beanery Crockery, rather I blame myself. I am forever forgetting to cook these slow cooker recipes for less time than called for until I know what works with my slow cooker. And then in a furry of frustration and wasted food, I usually proclaim the recipe a failure! This Friday, however, I was extra bad. I left the slow cooker on warm overnight, after the dish had cooked all day. Gross! That called for a long-term soaking to get it clean!!
Tonight, plain and simple, spaghetti with Prego sauce and ground beef!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Rachael Ray's Tomato Bean 15 Minute Stoup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomato
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans or cannellini beans
1 (10 ounces) box, cut frozen green beans
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh basil, torn or shredded
Grated Parmigiano or Romano, to pass at table
Crusty bread, to pass at the table
Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pot, 2 turns of the pan.
Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stir then stir in the onions, carrots, celery and zucchini.
Cook 10 minutes, then add in the stock, tomatoes and beans. Bring soup up to a bubble and season with salt and pepper, to your taste.
Simmer 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and wilt the basil into the soup. Ladle up the soup and serve with grated cheese and bread.
Something was missing taste-wise... and it was the cheese! Whoops! Those Italians know what they're talking about... grated cheese on soup is fantastic!
Friday, August 17, 2007
Burger King's Hershey Sundae Pie
Chocolate crust (store bought or hershey crumb recipe)
8 Ounce cream cheese
3/4 c. powder suger
8 Ounces cool−whip
1 Teaspoon vanilla
Whip cheese till softened, add powdered sugar blend well, add remaining
ingredients, blending well, place in crust.
1 lg. box chocolate pudding milk
Make pudding as directed minus 1/2 c. milk.
Add to pie. Top with more coolwhip and chocolate curls.
Source: "Insider's Recipes Master Edition"
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I usually make my chili with just beans, beef, and a package of seasoning. Since chili is by far my favorite recipe to make in the fall and winter I would like to try some new recipes because this one isn't cutting it. Maybe one with potatoes and slow cooked? Please share because I'm willing to try many recipes or end up taking something from all of them and make a new recipe. If I do make a new recipe from the ones given, I'll be sure to post it. I'm not looking for an extremely spicy recipe but a heart-warming recipe to sit down and eat on a cool Autumn day.
This is how I made it:
Sausage Gravy & Biscuits
Brown 1 lb of ground sausage. Empty sausage from skillet, set aside. Melt a 1/4 cup butter in the same skillet. Add 1/3 cup flour and stir constantly, about 1 minute, until mixture is smooth. Then gradually add 3 1/4 cups milk to the skillet. Continue stirring constantly, until gravy thickens and bubbles (this part takes awhile...plan on standing next to the stove and stirring for 7-10 minutes). Then add 1/4 t Italian seasoning and some salt & pepper to taste. Add the sausage to the gravy, and stir until heated through [you may attempt to recruit husband to stir for you while you get the baby, but be warned: husband will get bored and want to hold the baby instead of stir the gravy]. Serve over warm biscuits.
You can use any sort or kind of biscuits you want. These are what I used.
Mix 2 1/4 cups Bisquick with 2/3 cup milk. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Should make about 9 smallish biscuits. Cook at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
And perhaps someday I will remember to take a picture of my successes in the kitchen...I'm really good at taking pictures of the baby! :o)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I put the title in quotes because that's what the cake is actually called... I don't want to be sued if you don't think it's the "best ever."
"Best Ever Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake"
1 pkg (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg (4-serving size) Jello Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of water
1 pkg (8 squares) Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, divided
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
2 Tbsp Almonds, chopped and toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.
Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil, and water in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping side of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 min or until well blended. Stir in 2 squares of chocolate, chopped. Spoon into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min on wire rack. Loosen cakes from side of pans with spatula or knife. Invert cakes onto racks; gently remove pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
Place remaining 6 squares of chocolate and Cool Whip in medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on High 1 1/2 to 2 min. Stir until well blended and shiny. Cool 5 minutes. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread 1/4 of the chocolate mixture over cake. Place second cake layer on top; spread remaining chocolate mixture over top and sides of cake. Garnish with almonds.
Recipe from Kraft Food and Family
This is a great cake. however... it is a mess to make. The cake batter is really thick, making it really hard to get off the beaters. (Hence, it was soon all over my kitchen) The icing eventually becomes this nice ganache, stiff covering, but while you're putting it on, it's a drippy mess. Mine looked like the picture below... if you add lots of chocolate all over the plate! It was really yummy, and that's all that matters, right?
Make the cake... just be prepared to have chocolate all over your kitchen in the process! Or maybe that's just me... Let's just say it would have made a pretty entertaining cooking show.
PS I didn't use almonds... but they're sure pretty in the picture!
Cream of Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 10oz bag frozen, chopped broccoli
2 c chicken broth
1 ½ c mashed potatoes (leftovers)
2 c milk
1 ½ c shredded cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
In soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook onion till its translucent. The add broccoli and chicken broth. [Increase heat, to bring to a boil and] Cook till broccoli is tender about 3 minutes. Add mashed potatoes, mixing till well incorporated. Heat for five minutes. Then add milk and heat a little longer. Add the cheddar and stir until melted. S & P to taste.
Source: Saving Dinner
While we were eating, I said to Peter, “Don’t you think it needs more cheese?” He responded, “Yes, but we always think everything needs more cheese.” So true.
And for dinner tonight? It will probably be movie popcorn for me (Laura, Mom, and I are watching Becoming Jane) and something frozen for Peter…because I forgot to pull the ground beef from the freezer for spaghetti. Oops!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Frosty Orange Dream Squares
40 Nila Wafers, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 cups cold milk
2 pkg (4 serving size) Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 tub (8 oz) of Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed and divided
2 cups of orange sherbet, softened
Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan.
Mix wafer crumbs and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan; set aside until ready to use.
Add milk to dry pudding mixes in medium bowl. Beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes or until well blended. Gently stir in half of the Cool Whip. Spoon evenly over crust. Refrigerate for 10 min.
Add remaining Cool Whip to sherbet; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Spoon evenly over pudding layer; cover.
Freeze at least 3 hours or overnight. Use foil handles to remove dessert from pan before cutting into squares to serve. Store leftover dessert in freezer.
Makes 24 servings.
From Kraft Food and Family.
This can easily be made low-fat by using Fat Free Pudding and Lite Cool Whip. (I used Lite Cool Whip, but regular pudding.)
Friday, August 10, 2007
Penne with Bacon, Peas, and Ricotta
½ pound penne
4 slices bacon
½ cup frozen peas
15 ounce carton of ricotta cheese
generous grinds of black pepper
salt to taste
Cook pasta according to package. Cut bacon into one-inch pieces. Put in cold skillet. Turn the heat to medium and fry the bacon. Pour off most of the bacon fat, reserving about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Return the bacon to medium heat and immediately add the peas. Stir and cook until the peas are shiny green, about 1 ½ minutes. Put the hot pasta in a serving bowl. Mix in the cheese, then the bacon and peas. Add black pepper and salt to taste.
Source: Now You’re Cooking by Elaine Corn
Now this is what I will do differently next time: Use about double the bacon and at least ¾ cup of peas. Use only ½ or ¾ of the ricotta cheese, and add some milk to see if that will make it creamier. And then salt, salt, salt! It’s not a bad meal…and very easy to make…it just needs some adjustments. But I provided the original recipe because I once heard somewhere that you should always make something according to the recipe the first time and then play around with it!
P.S. Welcome, Joannie!!! Glad to have you in the kitchen! I hope we hear from some other contributors soon... :o)
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
about 6 potatoes, peeled and chopped up
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
½ stick of butter
4 bullion cubes (chicken or vegetable)
1 can evaporated milk
Place the potatoes, celery, and carrot in the crockpot. Just cover them with water. Then add the bullion cubes and place the butter on top. Cover and cook on low all day, until potatoes are tender. Add the evaporated milk, mix together. Puree in a food processor and garnish with shredded cheese of your choice.
Optional: add ½ a sweet onion with the other veggies
1 lb ground Italian sausage, cooked
½ lb (8oz) Velveeta cheese
¼ t oregano
¼ t garlic salt
½ t Worcestershiresauce
1 loaf of party-size rye bread.
After the sausage is cooked, add the cheese. Mix until the cheese is melted through. (You can put the sausage and cheese in a microwave bowl and melt it in the microwave if need be.) Mix in the oregano, garlic salt, and sauce. Slather about a tablespoon or two of the mixture on each slice of bread. Place the topped bread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes and serve.
So far Saving Dinner looks like it would be quite a good investment. I’ve only borrowed it from the library; I’ve not yet purchased it, but I might! I hope the rest of the crockpot recipes I’ve gotten from this book are just as good!
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
3 ears corn, husks and silk removed
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup cornmeal
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Sour cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Remove kernels: Cut off tip of each cob; stand in a wide shallow bowl. With a sharp knife, slice downward to remove kernels. To bowl, add milk, egg, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper; mix. Fold in cornmeal and flour.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towel. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Drop batter into pan by heaping tablespoons. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt; place in oven. Repeat. Keep warm in oven up to 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream, if desired.
Monday, August 6, 2007
1/3 cup coarse salt
¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, optional
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, using your hands to break up the sugar. Store in an airtight container, away from heat and light, up to 6 months.
For each pound of meat, poultry, or seafood: First, coat with 2 to 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, then 1 to 2 tablespoons spice rub. Either grill immediately or let meat sit and develop more flavor.
Makes 1 ¼ cups (enough to season 5 to 10 pounds of meat, poultry, or seafood).
Saturday, August 4, 2007
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugars, plus 3 tablespoons
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl (set aside).
With a handheld or standing mixer, beat together the shortening and butter. Add the 1 ½ cups sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and blend until smooth.
Mix the 3 tablespoons sugar with the 1 tablespoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll the dough, by hand, into 1 ½ -inch balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar. Flatten the balls into ½ -inch balls (make sure not to flatten too thin), spacing them evenly on an ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until light brown, but still moist in the center, about 8 minutes.
Recipe from food network.
P.S. completely not related to snickerdoodles. Dan and I were watching food network and saw our very own Triple-XXX restaurant on one of the shows....pretty cool.
I just discovered this last week. We love it. A simple, refreshing, perfect-for-summer desert.
5 large lemons
1.5 cups sugar
a bunch of ice
Juice the lemons (should yield 1-1.5 cups juice)
Add to the sugar in a blender
Add the ice
Put the entire blender glass in the freezer
After about 30 minutes, removed and blend well, again
Repeat freezing and blending until it's nice and smooth (usually about an hour in the freezer and three blends works for us)
It makes about one quart.
Thanks for sharing, Nick!! Sounds delicious!!
Friday, August 3, 2007
1 package skinless smoked saugsage, sliced
1 bottle of your favorite Bar-B-Q sauce
Place sausage in crockpot. Pour BBQ sause over sausage. Fill BBQ bottle 3/4 full with water, shake and pour into crockpot. Cook covered on low setting for 6-8 hours, or until sausage is tender.
We always serve this with mashed potatoes and some sort of green vegetable. Quick, easy, and yummy! I love crockpot recipes!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
last summer when I was looking for my job my mom and I used to cook together often, she is a great cook and has a lot ot teach me, although I am pretty terrible. My worst habit..I don't read the recipe through all the way. I usually read all the ingredients tomake sure I have them, but it comes out all wrong. I made this lemon pound cake, and I didn't reaad the recipe through first time around like mom says to. If I had, I would hvae known to mix in the oil BEFORE putting the batter into the greased pan. I was THIS close to putting it in the oven thinking, man, this batter is really thick...and then I looked on the counter and noticed the bottle of oil sitting there and I thought...why did I take that out, I didn't use it...SHOOT I DIDNT USE IT!! Oh boy, but I just dumped out the batter,added the oil and everything was fine after that.
I am excited to fiind new recipes to try :) so let the fun begin!
Also I recently ordered Now You're Cooking: Everything a Beginnger Needs to Know to Start Cooking Today by Elaine Corn as well as How to Cook Without a Book and Perfect Recipes for Having People Over both by Pam Anderson. I'll let you know how good these are when they get here!
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
It must be stated that we are quite new to cooking. Both young. Newly married or engaged to be married and not much experience in the kitchen. So we'll learn as we go and we're inviting you along for the ride!
Aren't you lucky?!