Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chicken Gyros

Well, we are going to the local county fair tonight, and I am not cooking; however, I have a recipe to share with you that goes along with tonights theme.



The Menu:
Chicken Gyros

The Origional Recipe:
I love Gyros (pronounced Year-Oh's or if you live in the boonies, such as I, they pronounce them GI-Row's and that just doesn't sound right to me!! I will not order them using the latter of the two pronunciations, so I make my husband do it!). I found this recipe on Babycenter from Lou - CallMeLou; Thanks Lou! Gyros normally contain Lamb meat...

Chicken Gyros

4 pieces flat bread of pitas
2 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar, divided
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T fresh oregano or 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 T fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 oz. crumbled Feta
1/4 C kalamata olives, pitted, if desired
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 4-inch pieces
1/2 C plain yogurt
1 small cucumber, roughly chopped (peel first, if desired)
1 1/2 T finely chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 tsp dried dill

Heat oven to 250.
Wrap the bread in foil and place in oven to warm.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 tsp of the vinegar, the lemon juice, oregano, thyme and pepper. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream.

In a separate bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, Feta and olives. Pour 2 1/2 T of the vinegarette over the tomato mixture and toss; set aside.

Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Add it to the remaining vinegarette and toss. Heat a grill or broiler on high. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 5-7 minutes total.

Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill and the remaining vinegar in a bowl. Spoon some of the cucumber mixture onto each piece of bread and top with the chicken and the tomato salad


The Way I Made it My Own:
I don't like olives and Gyros dont have cheese on them, either... Sooo...

My chicken Gyros
4 pieces flat bread of pitas

2 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T fresh oregano or 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 T fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded lettuce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 4-inch pieces

1/2 C plain yogurt
1 small cucumber, roughly chopped (peel first, if desired)
1 1/2 T finely chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 tsp dried dill

Heat oven to 250. Wrap the bread in foil and place in oven to warm.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 tsp of the vinegar, garlic, the lemon juice, oregano, thyme and pepper. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream.

In a separate bowl, combine the tomatoes and onion. Pour 2 1/2 T of the vinegarette over the tomato mixture and toss; set aside.

Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Add it to the remaining vinegarette and toss. Heat a grill or broiler on high. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 5-7 minutes total.

Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill and the remaining vinegar in a bowl.

Spoon some of the cucumber mixture onto each piece of bread and top with the chicken and the tomato and onion and lettuce

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Addicting Chicken Tetrazinni

The Menu:Addicting Chicken Tetrazinni



The Way I Made it My Own:
Ok, I got this out of my cookbook (Favorite Brand Names-The Best Loved Casseroles), but I already have it saved in files with my changes to it. So, I do not have the original saved on my computer. However, I say that this is just addicting enough, for me to call it my own name! :o)
Addicting Chicken Tetrazinni

Ingredients:
8oz. Thin noodles, cooked
2 cups Chicken cubed
2 tsp. Butter
6 Green onions chopped
8 oz. Pkg. mushrooms sliced
1 cup Milk divided
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
2 tablespoons Dry sherry
1/8 tsp. White pepper
4 tablespoons Grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup Sour cream
1 can Reduced fat and sodium chicken broth (or 1 cup water and 1 tsp. chicken bullion)


Preparation
Preheat oven 350 degrees.

cook chicken, add salt and pepper taste. Place in 8x11 casserole dish to reserve.

In same pan add butter, onion, and mushrooms. Saute until onions are soft. Add chicken broth, sherry, and 1/2 cup milk.


In seperate bowl combine the other 1/2 cup milk, flour, 2 tbls. cheese, nutmeg and pepper. Mix to combine.

Slowly add mixture to bubbling pot, stir constantly until thickened. Add Sour Cream.


Add in chicken and noodles. Place back in 8x11 baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly hot.
***UPDATE:
I recently made this in the crockpot and it turned out fantastic. I cooked the noodles seperately to very aldente, and then added it to the crockpot. I left the lid off for it to thicken while it cooled, and it was perfect!! Yumalicious!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

7/27/08 Slushies!

Everybody LOVES slushies, right!?! I craved these things when I was pregnant. I wish I knew I could make them this easily!!

The Origional Recipe:
I found this recipe on Recipezaar, of course. We had Blue Raspberry.. Oh man, it was sooo good and refreshing!

I don't see why splenda would affect this drink at all... :o)


Pick-Your-Flavor Blender Slushies

Ingredients

2 cups ice water let water sit in ice to get very cold)
1 (1/3 ounce) package fruit flavor unsweetened Kool-Aid powdered drink mix (use a small package unsweetened)
2/3 cup sugar (or use more)
4 cups ice cubes (one full tray of ice cubes)

Directions

1Place all the ingredients in a blender (it will be 2/3 to 3/4's full) place the lid on the blender and process the mixture on HIGH for a full 1 minute.
2Stop the blender and mix with a long wooden spoon, look for any unchopped ice cubes, if all the chunks are grated up finely then go ahead and serve.
3You may need to process it for another full minute if there are any unchopped ice cubes.
4Serve IMMEDIATELY with a spoon to start as the mixture will be thick.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

7/26/08 Home Made Vegetable Wash

Ok, since it is "that" time of year. I will share a vegetable wash that I found on Recipezaar. I don't use this on my veggies from the garden, but it is nice to use when you buy produce from the store... You never know what is on those things!

Home Made Vegetable Wash

Ingredients

SPRAY
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup water

SOAK
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons salt

Directions
1For the spray; put all ingredients into a spray bottle (be careful as it will foam up) shake gently to mix, then spray on veggies or fruit allow to sit for about 2-5 minutes then rinse under cold water.
2For soak; fill a clean sink or a large basin with cold water; add in vinegar and salt, then swish around with hands (you may also do this in a large bowl).
3Place the fruit and/or veggies in and allow to sit for 25-30 minutes although I have even left soaking for over an hour (this will not effect the flavor at all, the vinegar cleans and the salt draws out any little bugs, dirt and other small unwanted things, it also will remove some of the wax.
4Rinse under cold water and dry.

7/26/08 Substitutions

I never have the right ingredients. I also try to cook a bit more healthy than what some recipes call for. For instance, I may use applesauce instead of oil for baking a cake. Below are some substitutes that I tend to use. You can find a good list of these from the Land O' Lakes and Budget 101 links I have posted in my Welcome Page.



Substitutes:

Broth, Beef or Chicken
Substitute 1 cup boiling water and 1 teaspoon instant bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube) for 1 cup broth

Breadcrumbs Substitute
3 to 4 slices oven-dried bread crushed for 1 cup breadcumbs.

Substitute 3/4 cup cracker crumbs for 1 cup breadcrumbs.

Substitute 1 1/4 cups croutons or stuffing cubes, crushed for 1 cup breadcrumbs.

Rolled oats or crushed brand cereal


Butter and Oil
Substitute equal amounts melted butter or margarine for vegetable oil.

Applesauce or prune puree of equal amounts for butter and oil.

May also sub. 2/3 amounts applesauce in place of the fat.

Substitute unsalted butter for salted butter in any recipe. It is NOT necessary to add salt.

Substitute whipped butter, based on weight, not volume for stick butter.

Substitute stick margarine made from canola oil in most baking applications except in pastry recipes. Using margarine will produce a softer dough than one made with butter, and may not have the same flavor as butter.


Buttermilk
Substitute 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to equal 1 cup for 1 cup of buttermilk. Let stand 5 minutes.

Substitute 1/2 cup plain yogurt plus 1/2 cup milk for 1 cup buttermilk.

Cream (40% fat) (Heavy Whipping Cream not for whipping)

Substitute 1/3 cup melted butter and 2/3 cup whole milk for 1 cup whipping cream.

Two tablespoons flour whisked into two cups non fat milk

Cream, Half & Half
Substitute 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup whipping cream for 1 cup half & half.

Substitute 1 tablespoon melted butter and enough milk to equal 1 cup for 1 cup half & half.

Eggs
Substitute 1/4 cup refrigerated egg product for 1 whole egg or two egg whites for 1 whole egg.

Herbs
Substitute 1 teaspoon dried herbs for 1 tablespoon fresh herbs.

Sour Cream
Substitute 1 cup plain yogurt for 1 cup sour cream.

Sugar, Granulated
Substitute 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar for 1 cup granulated sugar. (Flavor will be affected somewhat.)

Whipping Cream
Substitute 1/3 cup melted butter and2/3 cup whole milk for 1 cup whipping cream.

White Flour
Whole-wheat flour for half of the called-for all-purpose flour

Walnut Chicken

Oh, I am so behind on the reicpes. Ok, to the point!


The Menu:
Walnut Chicken
Fried Rice

The Origional Recipe:
I have never made this recipe before, so I did it as directed, which is rare for me. However, I usually make a recipe the right way, at least once... sometimes...

Ok, ok, after writing out the recipe, I find that I did change a few things, but not major, so I just noted the original recipe. No need to rewrite it out. I used low sodium soy sauce, so you might want to add a bit of salt. The taste of this dish was a bit bland. I need more flavor. I might jazz it up if I make it again, with something else. I am not sure what, but something...

I got the recipe out of my cookbook called, " Favorite Brand Name-The Best Loved Casseroles"

Walnut Chicken

Marinade:
3 tbls. soy sauce (I used low sodium)
1 tbls. corn startch
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tbls. fresh ginger, minced

Ingredients:
1 lb. chicken, cubed (I used 4 bonless skinless breasts)
2 scallians, chopped
1 cup frozen green beans, thawed (I used string beans)
1 small can water chesnuts (I say these are optional; I don't like them!)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbls oil (I used peanut oil)

directions:
Place marinade ingredients in plastic ziploc bag; add chicken and marinade for at least 1 hour.
Place oil in large frying pan (or wok) with walnuts; saute until toasty brown. Remove from pan. Add chicken with marinade and cook until no longer pink inside. Add the remaining ingrediants, except walnuts. Cook until green beans are done. Plate on rice, add chicken mixture and walnuts on top.


Side Dish


The Origional Recipe:
I wanted something other than plain rice to go under this chicken. I opted for fried Rice. It is yummy! I didn't make it as directed so underneath will be the way I made it my own.
I got this recipe off of BabyCenter, but I think it is also a Weight Watchers Recipe!

Chicken Fried Rice

Now 3POINTSServings 6Preparation Time 20 minCooking Time 13 min
Level of Difficulty Easyside dishes Chopsticks are optional for this lightened-up Chinese favorite.
For a burst of color, toss in any leftover veggies you have in the fridge.

Ingredients:
2 sprays cooking spray
4 large egg white(s)
1/2 cup scallion(s), chopped, green and white parts
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
12 oz uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup carrot(s), diced
2 cup cooked brown rice, regular or instant, kept hot
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

Instructions:
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat. Add egg whites and cook, until scrambled, stirring frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.Offheat, recoat skillet with cooking spray and place back over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chicken and carrots; sauté until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.Stir in reserved egg whites, cooked brown rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

The Way I made it My Own:
I just wanted fried rice to go with my chicken!! I would have added peas to it, but I didn't have any handy, and my chicken all ready had green beans, so we got a veggie in there. I have to say it was pretty good! It tasted like Fried Rice!

Fried Rice


Ingredients:
2 sprays cooking spray
1 egg white and 1 whole egg
1/2 cup scallion(s), chopped, green and white parts
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
2 cup cooked brown rice, regular or instant, kept hot
3 Tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup mixed veggies, carrots and peas

Instructions:
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs and cook, until scrambled, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and set aside.Offheat, recoat skillet with cooking spray and place back over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in reserved cooked egg, cooked brown rice and soy sauce and veggies; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Spiced Chicken Cacciatore

I haven't had time to post the recipes lately. We have had a TON of things going on and happening lately. Our van is broke down. The metal fuel line is rusted. So, we have to have that fixed sometime. I was wondering why we were getting such bad gas mileage. It is horrible to have that now-a-days!

The Menu:
Spiced Chicken Cacciatore

The Original Recipe:
I found this recipe on Weight Watchers. It is Delicious!! I did everything as directed. I even froze the leftovers in a freezer and just thawed it out yesterday for supper, and it still tasted GREAT!
This is that "something different" that you want to eat, but you never know what it is!

Spiced Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion(s), chopped
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 medium green pepper(s), diced
1 cup mushroom(s), sliced
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
8 oz uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti

Instructions:
Heat oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over medium-high heat; add onion, garlic, green pepper and mushrooms. Sauté until vegetables are tender and mushrooms release juice, about 4 minutes. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add basil, curry powder, salt and black pepper; stir to coat.
Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Transfer spaghetti to four shallow bowls and spoon chicken mixture over top. Yields about 1 cup of chicken mixture and 1 cup of spaghetti per serving.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Last night I made BBQ Chicken Pizza using the leftover roasted chicken from the other night. It turned out Great! MMM

The Menu:
BBQ Chicken Pizza

The Original Recipe:
I first had this recipe from Pampered Chef. Of course, I use my own "tools" and what-nots here at the house, and it turns out just delish!


Smoky Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Ingredients:
1 package (10 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Colby & Monterrey Jack cheese blend, divided
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll pizza crust into a 12-inch circle on Classic Round Stone using lightly floured Baker's Roller™. Sprinkle crust with 1 cup of the cheese.
2.In Classic Batter Bowl, combine chicken and barbecue sauce; toss to coat. Dice bell peppers using Chef's Knife. Thinly slice red onion using Ultimate Slice & Grate fitted with adjustable thin slicing blade. Top crust with chicken mixture, bell pepper and onion. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
3.Bake 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Yield: 8 servings


The Way I Made it My Own:
I just switched it up a bit. My whole family loves this.

Again, I used the leftover roasted chicken from the other night, so I didn't do exactly as my recipe states, but close! I just threw the onion and bell pepper in with the chicken and reheated the chicken in the microwave a bit, added the sauce, and followed the directions from there... Yummy!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients
3 Chicken breasts, cubed
2/3 cup Barbecue sauce
1 (13.8-ounce) package Pizza dough
1 cup Shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup Shredded Parmesan
1/2 Medium red onion,chopped
1/2 Large green bell pepper , julienned
2 cloves Garlic, chopped

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Add chicken and saute until golden brown. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, toss chicken with 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, onion and green pepper. Set aside.
Roll out dough and place on a greased sheet pan. Spread with garlic and remaining barbecue sauce evenly over pizza dough. Sprinkle chicken mixture, mozzarella, and Parmesan over top. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles.

Cook's Notes
*for a crispier crust, bake the dough on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes before adding toppings. Top and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.
* A great way to use leftover roasted chicken pieces!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bread and Butter Pickles

All right, I have cucumbers coming out of my ears.. not really out of my ears, but out of the garden! Yes, we have a garden. Now, I don't recommend canning unless you have someone to help you watch the kids and keep them entertained, especially if you have 4 kids all ready and you let a friend of theirs spend the night, and then your husband just had surgery....
Anyway, let's just say, do this when you have time, and you have all the ingredients, which doesn't require you to leave the kids and your "just out of the hospital" husband alone with the kids, so that you can go to the store.... and still not have enough when you get home... but you make it work..

Ok, what was I talking about??? Oh yeah, Bread and Butter Pickles!! YUMMMYYYY!!!



The Menu:

Canning Bread and Butter Pickles




The Original Recipe:
Brought to you by my stepmother who graciously gave me this recipe, over the phone, and didn't know exactly how many jars this would fill. I found out for you though, so never fear, the answer is here! Seriously, you cannot buy these in a store!

Bread and Butter Pickles

Brine: Makes 3 Quarts at a time
5 cups sugar
3 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Additional Ingredients: Makes 12 Quarts at a time
12 Cucumbers
2 Onions

Directions:
I placed 12 cucumbers, cleaned, with skins on, sliced in a 12 quart pot. I added 2 onions, sliced thin to the pot. This should fill your pot. If it doesn't, add more until it does! Cover with water and let stand in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, have your cleaned Quart jars out and fill each of them with the drained cucumbers and onions.
Place all the brine ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Add to the quart jars to just cover the cucumbers, 1 jar at a time. Cover and let stand to cool so that they seal. This is called cold packing. After the 3 jars are filled, you will then have to make more of the brine. Brine will be made 4 times in order to fill all of the jars.

Enjoy!!

Whole Roasted Chicken with Red Potatoes

Oh man, oh man!!! We had the BEST chicken yesterday!! It is sooo flavorful and yummy!


The Menu:
Whole Roasted Chicken with Red Potatoes

The Original Recipe:
I recommend using fresh herbs, but you may substitute with dried if you don't have any...

Whole Roasted Chicken with Red Potatoes

Ingredients:
4-5 lb. whole chicken
6 red potatoes
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 tablespoons butter (I use Smart Balance)
1/2 tsp. dried rosemarry
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 clove minced)
1/4 tsp. onion powder

Directions:
Oven preheat 450 degrees
Rinse chicken and place in roasting pan. Cube red potatoes and place around chicken. In separate bowl, combine butter with herbs, spices, and salt and pepper. Place 2 tsp. of butter mix under chicken skin and press to distribute around under skin. Brush top of chicken with additional tsp. of herb/butter mixture. Then dollop the rest around on the potatoes. Bake 2 hours or until internal chicken temp. is 180 degrees.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Taco Soup

Oh this supper is one of our favorites!! It has just that right amount of spice to it. It is particularly good on a cold winter night, but even in the hot summer we find it yummy!

The Menu:
Taco Soup


The Way I made it my Own:
You can use ground beef or turkey, again, I usually use turkey, but we have tons of beef right now, so that is my ground "meat" of choice. I am sure this recipe is inspired by another recipe from somewhere, but I can only remember the taco soup I had at a Tastefully Simple party I had once, and this is somewhat what was in it minus the product they sell...

Taco Soup

Ingredients:

1 1/2-2 lb. ground meat
1 packet Ranch dressing seasoning mix
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup corn
1 can black beans
1 can white (cannelloni) beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 can Rotel (or 2 depending on your mood!)
1 Rotel can water

Brown ground meat in large pot, add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and simmer about 20 minutes. Serve.

Notes: Serve with additional toppings such as nacho chips, sour cream, and diced avocado Yumilicious!!!
The Origional Recipe:
Ok, I found it!
Fiesta Taco Soup
Submitted by Amber Haun (IL) via Tastefully Simple Website

Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. Fiesta Party Dip Mix™, divided
2 (14 oz.) cans tomatoes with diced chile's
14 oz. can black beans
2 (14 oz.) cans pinto beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup frozen or canned corn
Crushed tortilla chips
Sour cream
Mexican cheese
Directions
Brown beef and drain; add water and 1 1/2 tablespoons Fiesta Party Dip Mix™. Cook on medium low until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Combine remaining Fiesta Party Dip Mix™ and the next 6 ingredients; mix well. Pour beef mixture and Fiesta mixture in slow cooker; cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and Mexican cheese. Makes 8-10 servings.

Grandma Mack's Breakfast Casserole

I haven't posted because our computer is on the fritz, but never fear, I am here! I decided to try a new recipe out yesterday that I never had before, and it was AWESOME!! My oldest ds, myself, and my husband ate almost the whole pan by ourselves! It really hit the spot. We had breakfast for supper!


The Menu:
Breakfast Casserole

The Original Recipe:
I found this recipe on this CFYF recipe board. It is also found on Babycenter Bullitain boards, Cooking for your family.

Grandma Mack’s Breakfast Casserole
Tina~momto2cuties

Ingredients:

1 Tube Refrigerated Crescent Rolls (8 Oz)
2 Cups Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage Cooked and Crumbled
6 Eggs (beaten)
½ Cup Milk
Salt & Pepper
2 Cups Frozen Hash brown Potatoes (thawed)
1 ½ Cups Shredded Cheddar or Monterrey Jack Cheese

1: Arrange Crescent rolls on the bottom of a 13x9 in baking dish, pressing together at seams to seal. Place cooked meat on top of the crescent rolls. Beat the eggs and milk and set aside. Layer the hash browns over the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Pour egg mixture over the hash brown. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes

The Way I Made it My Own:
I added a few things, and I think it made it much better than it would have been. I also didn't bake it as long.


Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

1 Tube Refrigerated Crescent Rolls (8 Oz)
1 pkg. (the roll) Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage, Sage, Cooked and Crumbled
6 Eggs (beaten)
½ Cup Milk
Salt & Pepper
2 Cups Frozen Hash brown Potatoes (thawed)
1 ½ Cups Monterrey Jack Cheese
1/4 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped

Preheat 375
Cook and crumble sausage, onions and bell pepper, set aside.
Arrange crescent rolls into bottom of 13x9 pan, pressing seams together to form crust.
Beat the eggs and milk in separate bowl and set aside.
Place sausage mixture on top of crescent roll; layer the hash browns over the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the hash brown. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes


The Final Product:
YYYYYYYYUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
You know, we had this for breakfast this morning as leftovers...
Man, you could seriously sell this in a restaurant. It is that good!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Apple Butter

MMMM!! My husband has recently had surgery (brain surgery to remove a tumor), and his work sent him a fruit basket. Well, those apples have been sitting there for about 3 weeks now. I have decided it is time to make some home made apple butter.
Yes, I am Miss Suzy Homemaker. :o)


The Original Recipe:
I got this recipe off of Baby Center bulletin boards. I love to check out their recipes. I only had 7 apples, so I cut the recipe in half, and I place everything into the crock pot... this is the only way I made it my own today. It is rare that I follow directions!!

Apple Butter
katiedid

12 medium Granny Smith or other cooking apples, peeled and cut into fourths
1 ½ c packed brown sugar
½ c apple juice
1 T cinnamon
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves
Mix all ingredients in 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until apples are very tender. Mash apples with potato masher or large fork. Cook uncovered on Low heat setting 1 to 2 hours stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick. Cool about 2 hours. Spoon apple butter into containers. Cover and store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks. Yield: 4 cups


The Final Product:
This recipe is super simple, and it tastes DELICIOUS!!! You can't ask more out of a crockpot, in my opinion! What could be easier than placing all the ingredients in the pot and letting it sit all day.. Your house smells like baked apple pie!! The final product tastes like Amazing Apple Butter!

Refrigerated Cucumbers

The Menu:
Refrigerated Cucumber

I was going to make supper tonight when we were invited down to my dad's to eat. So, I am posting this a day late, but I did make something yesterday to share! Our garden is producing tons of cucumbers. I want to can bread and butter pickles, but until then, I wanted something to do with at least one of them. I talked to my step mom and this is what I got.

The Original Recipes:
Brought to you by my step mom...

Cucumber Slaw (this makes 1 small bowl)

Ingredients:
1 cucumber
1 small onion sliced or chopped (I used purple onion)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup Mayonnaise (not miracle whip)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. celery seed (optional)


Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate. Eat chilled.


Cucumbers in Sour Cream

Ingredients:
1cup Fat free sour cream
1t. Sugar
1/4cup Cider vinegar
1/4 cup Chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp. White pepper
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Celery seed
3 Large cucumbers peeled and thinly sliced
1 Sm. onion thinly sliced into rings

Preparation:
In a large bowl combine sour cream, sugar, vinegar, dill, pepper,salt ,and celery seed. Blend well.
Add cucumbers and onions toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hrs. before serving.

Cook's Notes
*if mixture is a little thick for your taste, slowly add a little more vinegar. No more than 1T. or it will be too runny.
* Substitute 2 tsp. dill weed for 1/4 cup fresh dill weed

Monday, July 14, 2008

Asparagus and Ham Casserole

The Menu:
Asparagus and Ham Casserole
Ham & Asparagus Casserole Recipe

The Original Recipe:
My Recipe that I had published in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking. Very light and comforting and pleasing to the taste buds! I think this dish would also taste awesome with orzo instead of the noodles!!

Ham & Asparagus Casserole Recipe





3-3/4 cups uncooked yolk-free whole wheat noodles


2-1/2 cups cut fresh asparagus (1-inch pieces)


1 medium onion, chopped


1 tablespoon reduced-fat butter


1/4 cup all-purpose flour


1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


1/8 teaspoon pepper


1 cup fat-free milk


1 cup Progresso ® Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth


1 tablespoon lemon juice


1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham


1/4 cup minced fresh parsley


1/3 cup french-fried onions


2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


Directions


Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add asparagus. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside.


In a large skillet, saute the chopped onion in butter until tender. Combine the flour, thyme and pepper; gradually whisk in milk and broth until smooth. Add milk mixture to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice.


Drain noodles; add the ham, parsley, sauce and asparagus. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with fried onions and cheese.


Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Yield: 4 servings.


Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Land O'Lakes light stick butter.





Nutrition Facts: 1-1/2 cups equals 343 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 946 mg sodium, 50 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 22 g protein

Kids Play!

I have decided that this blogging thing is fun, and I love to share recipes... So, here is a great recipe to make on a rainy day!

The Rainy Day Plan:
Home Made Playdough

Home Made Playdough

1 cup flour
1 cup salt
2 packages kool-aid (your favorite flavor!)
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup boiling water

Mix all 5 ingredients together very well until incorporated thoroughly.
Let it cool before letting the little hands start playing.

Gnat-B-Gone

I decided this needs to be in it's own separate post so that I can organize better! :o) We all love organization, don't we?!? I will learn how to do this blog thing some day!

Following is a recipe for Gnat-B-Gone that I got from my step mom (she is an inspiration all around!). It is for those pesky fruit bugs!

My own Pesky bug recipe:
I will also share a secret weapon of mine for those pesky little gnats that love to fly around fresh fruit and vegetables... this should make you real happy! It totally works! Although, my guests have asked me why do I have pee cups covered in foil on the counters, HAHA! They are not pee cups, they are gnat traps... so get your pretty markers out and draw some cute designs on them, then they will be designer pee cups; I mean gnat traps...

Gnat-B-Gone

Ingredients:
1 small clear plastic cup
1 small square of aluminum foil (enough to cover top of cup)
apple cider vinegar
Dawn dish liquid
toothpick

Directions:
Pour about 2/3 apple cider vinegar into the clear cup; add a few drops of dawn dish liquid into the cup. Nope, I have never used any other kind of dish soap, so I have no clue if it would work. Cover the cup with the foil so that it is on tight. Poke about 10 holes in the top of the foil. Place around fruits and veggies and watch day to day as it accumulates with gnats.. eewww!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

Well, I don't have a recipe to share. We are essentially having leftovers. OK, well, I guess I can share my chicken noodle soup recipe, in which we are eating as leftovers. It is my own; it's just your basic run-of-the-mill soup.

The Menu:
Chicken Noodle Soup

My Own Recipe:
OK, well, I probably learned to cook this somewhere along the way to growing up. I am almost positive I started doing this after I really wanted to cook a semi-home made soup for the family. I would have to think my step mom had a lot to do with teaching me, or it might have been me watching from the side lines as she cooked, either way, it is yummy!

Chicken Noodle soup
Ingredients:
2 Chicken breast on bone
1/8 tsp each celery seed and minced onion flakes
1 cup Carrots chopped
1 cup Celery chopped
1 Medium onion chopped
1 Bay leaf
1 Garlic clove chopped
1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. Herb Ox chicken bullion powder
5 cups Water (or more)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg. whole wheat noodles

Preparation:
Place chicken in tall pot and cover with water. Add celery seed and dried minced onion flakes. Lightly boil until chicken starts to fall off the bone. You may have to add more water to the pot. Remove chicken and bones (do not drain water) and shred chicken and place back in broth.
Add all ingredients to water, except noodles. Cover and lightly boil for about 30 min. until carrots are tender. Add noodles and boil 6 minutes. Serve

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Crockpot Cowboy Casserole

Well, I do not feel like cooking in the least, so I turn to my favorite way to get past this; my crock pot! I don't typically like meals that you have to cook before you cook, so I partially cook the ground meat and then throw it in the crock pot for this dish.


The Menu:
Crockpot Cowboy Casserole
Roasted Zucchini

The Original Recipe:
I found this recipe online somewhere while googling for crock pot recipes. It looked good, and I made it, and there have been requests for it again, so it was deemed a "keeper."

Crockpot Cowboy Casserole
Ingredients:
1 Onion chopped
2 lbs. Lean hamburger meat
3 Large potatoes
1 can Kidney beans
1 can 98% fat free tomato soup
Salt
Pepper
Garlic


Preparation:
Brown meat and put aside.
Put chopped onions in the bottom of the crock pot, layer with browned hamburger meat, sliced potatoes, kidney beans. Spread tomato soup over all.
Season as desired.
Cook on low 7-9 hours
The way I made it my own:
I think that this dish tastes a lot like chili with potatoes, so I made it more of a chili with potatoes! MMMM...
I normally use ground turkey, but about a month ago I received about 30 lb.s of fresh lean ground beef, straight from my dad's farm, so until this runs out, we will be using ground beef.
I also probably would have used white potatoes, but as luck has it, we had none. So, I used red potatoes which turned out Yummy!
Crockpot Kowboy Casserole

Ingredients:
1 small Onion chopped
1 1/2 lbs. Lean hamburger meat
3 Large red potatoes, cubed small
1 can Kidney beans
1 can 98% fat free tomato soup
1/2 can tomato soup can of water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. Garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
additional 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Preparation:
Cook and crumble ground meat in separate pan, adding chili powder, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste and put aside.
Put chopped onions in the bottom of the crock pot, layer with browned hamburger meat, cubed potatoes, kidney beans. Spread tomato soup and water over all, sprinkle with additional chili powder and pepper.
Cook on low 7-9 hours.
Side Dish:
I made this side dish using leftover zucchini from our kabobs the other night.. Awesome!
Roasted Zucchini

1 medium zucchini, sliced
Mrs. Dash Seasonings
EVOO
Place Zucchini on cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little bit EVOO and Mrs. Dash seasonings. Bake 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until tender. YUM!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Home Made Pizza Dough

Well, it is Friday night, and we feel like pizza tonight. OK, well, I just don't feel like cooking. I think Pizza is a great way to get our kids to eat something a tiny bit healthy!
The Menu:
Home Made Pizza
The Original Recipe:
My Stepmother received this recipe from a friend who was in the Navy years ago.
Navy Pizza Dough
Ingredients:
3 cups white flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 package dry active yeast
4 tbs. vegetable oil
Mix all ingredients together and let stand for 1 hour. Spread onto large cookie sheet, add your favorite toppings and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is done.
The Way I Made it My Own:
This is what I bake when I feel like baking.
Home Made Pizza Dough
Ingredients :
2 cups White flour
1/4cups Whole wheat flour
3/4 Wheat germ
2 Tbs milled flax seed
1 1/2 cup Water (more if needed)
1 pkg. Dry yeast
4 Tbs. Canola Oil
Italian seasonings
Onion and garlic powder



Preparation:
Mix all ingredients together. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour to rise (I cover mine with a wet paper towel to keep it moist). Spread onto two 10x15 cookies sheets. Bake 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Take out and apply your favorite toppings. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

The way I am making it tonight:
and this is the way I make it when I really don't want to cook!

Quick Pizza
1 13.8 oz. Pillsbury Pizza Crust Classic (from grocers refrigerated section)
Italian seasonings

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread out onto a 10x15 cookie sheet, add seasonings. Bake for 10 minutes. Add sauce, cheese and pepperoni (or toppings of your choice) and bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Toppings:
Our family likes
Pepperoni
Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza sauce that comes in a blue can. I cannot think of the name of it. I would get up and look, only that I found out that we have none of that left and I have to use the GV brand instead, for tonight.


Grilled Beef Kabobs, Grilled Red Potatoes, Grilled Corn on the Cob

This is my first post! Woohoo!

I decided to cook out on the charcoal grill. It takes FOREVER to heat up, but when it does, it gets to a cookin' like nobodies business!

All 4 of my children tried at least one bite of everything on the skewers! My 11-year-old declared he likes cooked purple onions, as well as my 6-year-old. My 4-year-old loved the red peppers, and the baby... well, let's just say he had food on his plate. He ended up passed out on the couch from a day in the pool. He later on ate a PB&J sandwhich. I couldn't serve him cold food now could I?


The Menu:
Grilled Beef Kabobs
Grilled Red Potatoes
Grilled Corn on the Cob


The Original Recipe: http://www.recipezaar.com/122199

Fantastic Grilled Beef Kabobs!

SERVES 3 -4
Ingredients
1 lb boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut into 1-1/2-inch squares (should have about 8-10 pieces)
1 (8 ounce) bottle French dressing
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
black pepper
2-3 cloves finely minced fresh garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
8-10 uncooked bacon, strips
1 large green bell pepper, cut into larger-size chunks
1 large red bell pepper, cut into larger-size chunks
2 small zucchini, cut into chunks
8 large fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, quartered
Directions
1In a bowl, combine salad dressing, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, pepper and fresh minced garlic or garlic powder (if using) mix well to combine; reserve about 1/4 cup and refrigerate.
2Using a shallow glass dish place in the beef cubes, and pour the remaining marinade over the beef; toss to coat.
3Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight is even better.
4After 8 hours, remove the beef, and discard the marinade.
5Wrap the bacon slices around the beef cubes.
6Then thread the beef alternately with the coarsely chopped veggies (make certain to thread the skewers through the wrapped bacon side, or the bacon will come open when grilled).
7Grill over hot heat for about 10-15 minutes, basting frequently with reserved marinade, or until beef reaches desired tenderness.

The Way I Made It My Own:

Grilled Beef Kabobs

Marinade:
1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat
1 (8 ounce) bottle French dressing
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
black pepper to taste
2-3 cloves finely minced fresh garlic

Ingredients:
8-10 uncooked bacon, strips
1 large green bell pepper, cut into larger-size chunks
1 large red bell pepper, cut into larger-size chunks
1 medium zucchini cut into chunks
1 large purple onion, quartered
2 tomatoes cut into chunks
8 bamboo skewers (soaked in water to prevent burning!)

Directions:
In a large Ziploc baggie, combine salad dressing, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, pepper and fresh minced garlic mix well to combine. Add Beef into bag and refrigerate overnight (or at least an hour before grilling).

When ready to cook, remove the beef, and discard the marinade .

Cut the bacon slices in half and wrap the bacon slices around the beef cubes.
Then thread the beef alternately with the coarsely chopped veggies (make certain to thread the skewers through the wrapped bacon side, or the bacon will come open when grilled).

Grill over hot heat for about 8-10 minutes, or until beef reaches desired tenderness.


Side Dish: My Own Recipes

Grilled Red Potatoes

5-6 Red Potatoes
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Aluminum foil

Cube potatoes (leave skins on). Place on large sheet of foil. Add 1 tsp. EVOO, basil, and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Wrap foil around potatoes and place directly on charcoal for 45 minutes or until tender. Serve

Grilled Corn on the Cob

6 ears of last years frozen corn on the cob, thawed (fresh from the farm at the time!)
Hot Charcoal grill

Place cobs directly on the grill for 5-8 minutes. Serve with butter and salt... mmm lots of salt...