Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cous Cous Provencal

The Menu:
Cous Cous Provencal

Spiced Fish Bake and Cous Cous Provencal

The Original Recipe:
I have been on the look out for some more side dishes. I knew my kids would like this one. I even heard a little "mmm" as one of the boys took his first bite. It went well, as a side, with our Spiced Fish Bake. I will be making this again. I will have to double the recipe though, as it didn't feed 6 people enough. Oh, and the only thing I did a bit different is to use pureed tomato. I picked some fresh tomatoes from the garden today, and I puree them and cook them and then freeze them (no canning this year. not enough bushels of tomatoes to make it worthwhile). Anyway, I took 2 ladles and cooked it down with the garlic. I also used fresh herbs from the herb garden.

Cous Cous Provençal


Michelle--MMmom's DH

1 tomato, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ cup cous cous

½ cup water, boiling

a pinch of dried, chopped basil (to taste)

a pinch of herbes de provence (to taste)

salt (to taste)

black pepper (to taste)



Put tomato, garlic, olive oil, and butter into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until most of the water leaves the mixture.



Add ½ cup cous cous. Quickly add basil, herbes de provence, salt, and black pepper to taste. Quickly stir together, add just under ½ cup boiling water, and then remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.



After 5 minutes, fluff cous cous with a fork and serve.

Spiced Fish Bake

The Menu:
Spiced Fish Bake

The Original Recipe:
I found this recipe on Menus4Moms.com. It looked fast and flavorful, and it didn't disappoint. It was easy to bake, and we had Cous Cous Provencal as a side dish in which they worked well together. (We also had some butter beans heated up, too!). A+ from the whole family. And you know, I meant to cook this out on the grill... that would work out great, too!

Spiced Fish Bake


• 6 fish fillets

• 1 tsp paprika

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp lemon pepper

• 1/4 tsp dry mustard

• 1/4 tsp garlic powder

• 1/8 tsp poultry seasoning

• dash cayenne pepper

• 3 Tbsp butter, melted



Heat oven to 350°F. Place fish in a lightly greased baking dish. Combine spices and sprinkle evenly over fish. Drizzle with melted butter and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily. (*keep an eye on the fish. Mine cooked in only 15 mintues)

Apple, Grape, Walnut Salad

The Menu:
Apple, Grape, Walnut Salad

The Original Recipe:
Ok, so my family loves their sweets. They have been over-doing it a bit lately, so I thought I would take matters into my own hands and make healthier "desserts." I found this recipe from Menus4Moms, and I thought it would be a hit. The loved it. I, however, didn't have walnuts or apples, so I just used grapes. I thought I had recalled seeing this at a party one time with just grapes, so I figured why not? My kids really liked it, and they asked for it again the next night, so I know they truly did enjoy this as their dessert. I am also sure that had I had the other ingredients, it would of gotten the same reviews, too (or maybe even better!).

Apple, Grape, and Walnut Salad


 3 sliced and cored Granny Smith apples

 1 bunch red grapes, pulled from the stems

 chopped walnuts

 8 oz. vanilla yogurt

 3 oz. cream cheese

Combine fruit and nuts and serve with vanilla yogurt mixed with cream cheese (use a mixer for a smooth blend).

Spaghetti Tacos

The Menu:
Spaghetti Tacos


The Original Recipe:
My kids adored these. They have watched ICarly in the past and have always wanted to try these. When I saw Amy write about them, I knew I wanted to make them for my kids. The only thing I did different was to use garden fresh tomatoes that I pureed. I didn't use the spaghetti sauce mentioned, so all those herbs in the sauce were left out. I pretty much made it like I was making tacos, and then I added in about 1 cup of pureed tomatoes. I also used fettuccine noodles, too. They absolutely loved these. My oldest had 2 plates, and then the leftovers for lunch deeming this the best spaghetti I have ever made.

SPAGHETTI TACOS


(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey

1 packet taco seasoning

1 cup water

1 jar Sauteed Onion and Mushroom spaghetti sauce

1 box spaghetti noodles

12 hard taco shells

Salsa, optional

Cheddar cheese, optional

Lettuce, optional



Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.

Brown meat in pan until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add spaghetti sauce and cook until warmed. Add to noodles and mix thoroughly.

To assemble the tacos, place a spoonful of salsa in the shell. Sprinkle with a small amount of cheese. Finally, finish filling the shell with spaghetti. Add lettuce on top, if desired.

Very messy, but very yummy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Green Beans with Feta

The Menu:
Green Beans with Feta

The Original Recipe:
My husband loves green beans. I don't cook them to often as my kids don't like them. I found this recipe and thought that maybe with a few different flavors added they would at least try them (again). It was mixed reviews. So, 3 out of 6 liked them. Not bad, I say!


Green Beans with Feta


Michelle (MMmom) from Kraft


1-1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed

1/2 cup red onion slices

1/2 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing (I used caesar italian and less of it)

1 pkg. (4 oz.) ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese (I used less)



TOSS beans and onions with dressing in large skillet; cover.

COOK on medium heat 10 to 12 min. or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

STIR in cheese.

Oven Easy Beef Bake

The Menu:
Oven-Easy Beef Bake
(what? No picture? Nope, it was devoured in seconds by hungry boys!)

The Original Recipe:
This was amazing! It only took 1 1/2 hours in the oven, but I would love to convert it to the crockpot, which I think could be done. This was just good. I served it with greenbeans as a side. I also had some garlic french loaf left that was good to use with the gravy. This is definitely a favorite! I am so glad I took the time to make this tonight.


Oven-Easy Beef Bake

(Maggie via a Gooseberry cookbook)


1 1/2 lbs. stew beef, cubed

2 T. oil

1 can (10.5oz) can mushroom gravy (I used jarred)

1 can (12oz) tomato juice

1/2 c. water

1 pkg. dried onion soup mix

4 potatoes, peeled & quartered



Brown beef in oil in stockpot; drain, set aside.

Combine gravy, tomato juice, water & onion soup mix stockpot; bring to boil. Reduce heat, return beef to pot & simmer 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Arrange potatoes in a greased 13x9 baking pan. Pour beef mixture over top of potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for 2 hrs.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

The Menu:
Pesto Pasta with Chicken

The Original Recipe:
This was a quick supper night. I used my oven roasted tomatoes. This came together fast and was eaten even faster. Simple and delicious. Also kid friendly (especailly since there are 2 of us that doesn't like red sauce).

Pesto Pasta with Chicken
Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips

1/2 cup pesto sauce


Directions

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender, then stir in chicken. Season with red pepper flakes. Cook until chicken is golden, and cooked through.

3. In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. Toss to coat evenly.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chicken in Tomato and Basil Cream

The Menu:
Chicken in Tomato and Basil Cream

The Original Recipe:
I won a Taste of Home contest and came in 3rd place with my recipe!! ** is my addition to the end. I have made it a few times, and I ended up grilling the chicken one of those times, so I thought to add it to my post!

Chicken in Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce Recipe

Chicken in Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce Recipe
Chicken in Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce Recipe

Directions

  • In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in 2 teaspoons butter until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute tomatoes and onion in remaining butter until onion is softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Stir in broth. Bring to a boil; add orzo. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until orzo is tender. Stir in the chicken, milk, basil, salt and pepper; heat through (do not boil). Sprinkle with cheese just before serving. Yield: 4 servings.
Nutritional Facts 1-1/2 cups equals 417 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 94 mg cholesterol, 723 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 35 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 whole milk, 1/2 fat.
Originally published as Chicken in Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce in Healthy Cooking August/September 2012, p48
Tip

The History of Feta

FETA is a white, salty, semi-firm cheese. Traditionally it was made from sheep or goat's milk but is now also made with cow's milk. After feta is formed in a special mold, it's sliced into large pieces, salted and soaked in brine. Although feta cheese is mostly associated with Greek cooking, "feta" comes from the Italian word "fette", meaning slice of food.

Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.


 
**Since it is summer, I grilled my chicken out on the grill with some Italian seasonings and a bit of garlic powder on them. I then diced them up and added them in with the tomatoes. However, in the winter, I would do as the directions state.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

White Bubble Up Pizza

The Menu:
White Bubble Up Pizza


The Original Recipe:
When I saw this recipe, on Cooking for Your Family board, I immediately printed it out to try. My family loves the Mexican Bubble Pizza (actually, this is a request when I ask, "what do you want for supper tonight?" all the time!) My family absolutely loved this dish! They devoured the 13x9 pan in no time flat! This will be a favorite for years to come.

White Bubble Up Pizza

Via plainchicken.com

2 (12oz) cans Golden layers buttermilk biscuits

1 (15oz) jar alfredo sauce or homemade

2c mozzarella

1/2tsp garlic powder

2 c chicken, cooked and chopped or shredded

Opt: mushroom and onion

---Preheat oven to 375. Cut biscuits into quarters and place in a bowl. Toss biscuits with alfredo sauce and garlic powder. Add chicken, mushrooms, onion and 1c cheese; toss till well blended. Grease a 9x13 pan. Pour biscuit mixture into pan and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 min or until biscuits are done.

* I seasoned my chicken with Chicken Montreal seasoning, and I grilled it, and then I shredded it. I only used 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese mixed in with the alfredo. I used simply Pillsbury biscuits and Ragu Lite alfredo.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blue Cheese Burgers

The Menu:
Blue Cheese Burgers
MMM! See the bits of blue cheese in there! With fresh chives and a tomato from the garden! YUM!

The Original Recipe:
I have been asking around, Babycenter's Cooking for your family board, for some burger recipes. I have been wanting to try something new, but I don't want them to seem like I am eating meatloaf on a bun. This recipe didn't disappoint. It was delicious! So much flavor! I am not a fan of blue cheese unless I eat it with hot wings and celery sticks! However, this was just good. It was probably the best burger I have ever had!

Blue Cheese burgers
via jpsc recipe from allrecipes.com


3 lbs lean ground beef

4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

1/2 c. minced fresh chives

1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp dry mustard



In a large bowl mix everything together, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat the grill for high heat. Gently form the burger mixture in to 12 patties. Oil the grill grate. Grill patties 5 minutes per side or until cooked as well as you like. Obviously we didn't eat 12 burgers, so we froze 6 for dinner at a later date.
Amy's notes: I think next time I will half the recipe and make 6 burgers or even 4 really big burgers!
4kowboys notes: I used A1 steak sauce in place of the Worcestershire (I was out). It worked out great!

Potluck Beans Slow Cooker Recipe

The Menu:
Potluck Beans Slow Cooker Recipe

The Original Recipe:
We have potlucks at our church. There is this one "chili" dish that someone brings and it's an absolute favorite of mine. I have yet to ask for the recipe. When you see it, it has every type of bean in it possible. If there is a word bean in the phrase of the product, it is in this dish. So, I found this recipe on Crockpot365.blogspot, and I changed it a bit. I wanted to make it as close to possible to see what I could do with it next time to make it more like theirs next time!

Potluck Beans Slow Cooker Recipe

1 pound lean ground meat, browned and drained


1 pound smoked bacon, browned, drained, and diced

1 medium onion, diced and browned

1 cup ketchup (no need to brown!)

1/4 cup brown sugar (already brown!)

1 (30-ounce) can Pork n' Beans (I love products with the "n" instead of an &)

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can butter beans, drained and rinsed (they look like huge lima beans, and if they aren't in the bean section, try the canned veggie section)

1 tablespoon liquid smoke (yup, it's gluten free!)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart or larger crockpot. This makes a lot.

In a large skillet, brown the hamburger, bacon, and onion. You could probably do this all together, but I did the bacon separately (and woah, mama. pork bacon spatters *way* more than turkey bacon, but it tastes a whole lot better, so I sort of got over it rather quickly. for me. I hate spattery messes.)

While the meats and onion are browning, add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. No need to really stir things up quite yet, or the beans will fall apart. Drain the meats well, and dump into the slow cooker. Use a large spoon to gingerly fold in the hot ingredients.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Stir well and serve to your very best friends.

remember to clean the stove!
 
 
 
The Way I Made It My Own:
I added a few things. I would of liked to of used spicy ground sausage in this, but I didn't have any. I used hamburger, but then I added some red pepper flakes to spice it up. I think next time I will use at least 2 tablespoons chili powder to make it more of a chili. I didn't want to change it to much this first time around until I ate it and tried to figure out what else I wanted to add. I definitely had to add the mustard this time. I kept tasting it and something was missing up until I added it. Then it was very good!
 
Kowboys Potluck Beans
 
1 pound lean ground meat, browned and drained (preferably use spicy ground sausage)


1 pound smoked bacon, browned, drained, and diced

1 medium onion, diced and browned

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 cup ketchup (no need to brown!)

1/4 cup brown sugar (already brown!)

1 tablespoon Course brown mustard

1 (30-ounce) can Pork n' Beans (I love products with the "n" instead of an &)

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can butter beans, drained and rinsed (they look like huge lima beans, and if they aren't in the bean section, try the canned veggie section)

1 (15-ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon liquid smoke (yup, it's gluten free!)


The Directions.

Use a 4-quart or larger crockpot.

In a large skillet, brown the hamburger (or pork), green pepper and onion. Microwave your bacon, covered, on high for 5 minutes or until crispy. Drain off fat. You could probably do this all together on the stove, but I did the bacon separately.

While the meats and onion are browning, add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. No need to really stir things up quite yet, or the beans will fall apart. Drain the meats well, and dump into the slow cooker. Use a large spoon to gingerly fold in the hot ingredients.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Stir well and serve to your very best friends.
* Try adding at least 2 tablespoons chili powder.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Faux Thin Mints

The Menu:
Faux Thin Mints





The Original Recipe:
My mom had told me about these super easy faux thin mints. They taste almost like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, and if you buy the fat free Ritz, it makes them even better! These are an easy and fast summer cookie to throw together in a matter of minutes! I have been craving yummy winter cookies, and this is a great substitute so that I don't have to heat the oven! I want more! They disappeared on me!?! (humph)

Faux Thin Mints

1 (10 oz) bag of Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers

Empty the bag of mints into a sauce pan. Heat on low until nice and smooth and creamy. Plop a cracker down in the melted chocolate and cover completely. Take out, draining off some chocolate (as to not make a big mess!), and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. 1 bag of chocolate covers 1 sleeve of Ritz, so to do a whole box of Ritz crackers you will need more bags of chocolate or a bigger bag (which I couldn't find, so I used the 10 oz. bag). Place tray in the refrigerator until hardened. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Corn, Black Bean and Lime Salsa

The Menu:
Corn, Black Bean and Lime Salsa

The Original Recipe:
There are thousands of recipes for salsa out there. This is a version that I use. I have a garden, and my tomatoes are just now coming on, but not enough to can, so I decided to make something with them. I normally can spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes and salsa. But, I love my bowls of fresh salsa even more!
Ahhh... fresh salsa in the morning. Yum! (Yes, I like to eat spicy things in the morning!)

Corn, Black Bean and Lime Salsa

10 Roma tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
15 sprigs cilantro (with longer end stems cut off)
1/2 small purple onion
1/2 cup corn
1 cup black beans
1 jalapeno (seeded)
1 small green pepper (seeded)
1/4 to 1/2 cup lime juice
1 tsp. cumin
kosher salt

In food processor, add jalapeno, green pepper, purple onion, garlic, cilantro and lime juice (start with 1/4 cup).  Pulse until chopped and blended. Meanwhile, chop Roma tomatoes into small pieces. In small bowl, add tomatoes, kosher salt, cumin, corn and black beans. Pour cilantro mixture in with tomatoes and gently stir to combine (add remaining lime juice if you think it needs to be juicier).  Chill and serve with your favorite tortilla chips (or if you are like me, just eat it with a spoon!)