Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baked Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

The Menu:
Baked Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

The Original Recipe:
This recipe comes via Pinterest. I have made other baked spaghetti dishes before, but this one tops them as far as comfort food goes. Delicious! This will be a family favorite for a long time to come. I made the recipe as-is, and the crunchy onion topping just rocks!

Baked Spaghetti with Cream Cheese (Scooter's Spaghetti)

Pinterest via

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
1 large can spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped green peppers (I usually omit or substitute red peppers)
1/3 cup chopped onions
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons milk
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
French Fried Onions (small can)
1. Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
2. Brown ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat.
3. Combine onions, peppers and butter in small glass bowl. Cover and microwave 4 minutes on HIGH until soft.
4. Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables and stir well. (If cream cheese is not soft, nuke it for 20-30 seconds to make it easy to spread.)
5. Using a 10 x 6 dish, assemble in the following order:
6. Thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
7. Spaghetti
8. Cream cheese/vegetable mixture
9. Spaghetti sauce
10. Parmesan Cheese (amount subject to your own taste)
11. French Fried Onions (added during last 5 minutes of cooking)
12. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with French Fried onion and continue baking 5 more minutes. (This is the secret ingredient–don’t let them burn.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

5 Minute Chocolate Lava Cake

The Menu:
5 Minute Chocolate Lava Cake

The Original Recipe:
I ran out of chocolate candy!! I cannot live a day with out some type of chocolate crossing my lips. I did a quick search on what to make using cocoa powder, and this recipe came up. This is The-Most-Simple recipe you will ever make. It is so fast and easy! So much so, that I made it for myself for supper one night. Only 5 grams of fat! Nice!

5 Minute Chocolate Lava Cake



1/3 cup granulated sugar
 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
 6 tablespoons milk
 1 teaspoon vanilla


2 tablespoons brown sugar
 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
 1 tablespoon cocoa
 3 tablespoons coffee, hot or cold


In a microwave-safe 2-cup measure, stir together a heaping 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.
Add 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Stir till smooth.
In seperate bowl, Mix 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa, and 3 tablespoons hot or cold coffee.
Pour into the cup.
Gently swirl it in; don’t mix thoroughly. Cook in the microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, depending how powerful your microwave is. When done, it’ll look set on top, and kind of mushy around the edges. Turn the cake onto a plate. It’ll be layered with… well, let’s call it sauce. It’s actually semi-baked batter, but since there are no eggs in here, it’s fine. (it will be HOT! I just ate it right out of the bowl. Nothing fancy for me when it come to chocolate!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bacon Mushroom Swiss Meatloaf

The Menu:
Bacon Mushroom Swiss Meatloaf
I know, my pictures are horrible lately with this yellow light... I need natural summer light back!

The Original Recipe:
I bought some mushrooms on sale, and I needed to use them up. This meatloaf was so good. I loved the stringiness of the cheese and the bacon and mushrooms. OMG it was like a bunless hamburger. It doesn't have any sauces in it or on it (like ketchup), but I didn't think it need it. My kids did use bbq sauce and ketchup to dip though, but I thought it was perfect with out anything. I served it wtih Hasselback Potatoes.

Bacon Mushroom Swiss Meatloaf

Amy – amylz

All recipes - Yields: 6 servings

12 ounces chopped raw bacon

1 small white onion, chopped

5 button mushrooms, chopped

1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef

1 egg

1/4 cup evaporated milk

6 ounces shredded Swiss

cheese, divided

1/2 cup corn flake crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Place bacon in a skillet and cook over medium heat until the pieces are browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Stir in onions and mushrooms, and cook until soft. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, stir together beef, egg, and milk. Stir in the onion and mushrooms. Mix in about 4 ounces of Swiss cheese, and all but 1 tablespoon of bacon. Stir in cornflake crumbs, and mix until well blended. Shape into a loaf, and place in a meatloaf pan.

4. Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour. Drain fat, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon. Return to oven, and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Hasselback Potatoes

The Menu:
Hasselback Potatoes

The Original Recipe:
These are floating around the Internet, so I decided to try them. They are good. I didn't find them all that spectacular as they have to bake, what seems like, forever. However, on a more positive note, my kids ate the whole potato! They really liked them! I can live with that. I found this on Pinterest via I skipped the garlic (I didn't think my kids would like it.) and doused them in butter!

Hasselback Potatoes


6 Medium Size Potatoes

2 - 3 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

30 g Butter

Maldon Sea Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Preheat the oven to 220˚C (425˚F). Put the potato on a chopping board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, at about 3 to 4 mm intervals.

Arrange the potatoes in a baking tray and insert the garlic in between the slits. Scatter some butter on top of each potato. Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake the potatoes for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

I used Sour Cream mixed with Chives and Garlic to top mine. Yum!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tilapia with Balsamic Browned Butter and Creamy Farfalle with Bacon, Tomato and Peas

The Menu:
Tilapia with Balsamic Browned Butter and Creamy Farfalle with Bacon, Tomato and Peas

The Original Recipe:

I am not sure how I came upon this recipe. I am so glad I did. I think it is one of my new favorites. My husband even said that I need to make this again. It seems a bit time consuming, but if you just follow the directions in order, it all comes together rather quickly. So good. I can still taste the fish with the brown butter/balsamic glaze. OMG so savory! The only thing, from the comments, that people mentioned was that the pasta seems to serve 8 (we even have leftovers and there are 6 of us!), and the fish serves only 4 (which I just made extra so that we all had a piece).

Tilapia with Balsamic Browned Butter and Creamy Farfalle with Bacon, Tomato and Peas
foodnetwork via Rachael Ray

Total Time: 1 hr 0 min.

Prep15 min.

Cook45 min.

Yield:4 servings .



1 pound farfalle, bow ties

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

5 slices center cut bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 to 3 grated garlic cloves

1 bay leaf

12 white mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 can San Marzano tomatoes

4 (6 to 8-ounce) tilapia fillets

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded or torn


Heat a pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al dente.

Heat a deep large skillet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and crisp 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, garlic, bay leaf and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender but not browned, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, crush them up with a wooden spoon and simmer 15 minutes on low heat.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Dust fish with flour and shake off excess.

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook fish 4 minutes on each side.

While fish cooks, stir peas into sauce, return to bubble and stir in mascarpone cheese. Adjust seasoning.

Remove fish from skillet to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Reduce heat to medium and add butter to pan. Brown butter, 2 to 3 minutes, stir in balsamic and simmer 1 to 2 minutes to reduce by half. Pour the brown butter and vinegar over fish.

Drain pasta, toss with sauce and wilt basil into pasta.

Serve fish with pasta alongside.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Crazy Crust Pizza Dough

The Menu:
Crazy Pizza Crust Dough 
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

The Prebaked Crust

The Original Recipe:
I didn't have any yeast to make pizza dough so I searched for an alternative. I found this recipe on Allrecipes. I did change it a bit after reading some reviews. My way will be after I post the original.

Crazy Crust Pizza Dough


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2/3 cup milk


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a rimmed pizza pan or baking sheet.

2.In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, oregano and black pepper. Mix in eggs and milk; stir well. Pour batter into prepared pan and tilt until evenly coated. Arrange toppings of choice on top of batter.

3.Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is set.

4.Remove crust from oven. Drizzle on pizza sauce and sprinkle on cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes
The Way I Made It My Own:
This was DELICIOUS! It was like a pizza made on a flat bread of pita or something. OMG so good! My teenager and his girlfriend loved it! I am not sure it would taste good with traditional pizza toppings though, and they agreed with me. That being said, I made Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza with this crust. Delish! I could also see making a Chicken Alfredo Pizza with this crust, or Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza or a Pesto Pizza with chicken, tomatoes, baby spinach and lot's of yummy cheeses.
Kowboy's Crazy Crust Pizza Dough

1 1/2cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon garlic

1 tsp. baking powder

1 egg, lightly beaten

2/3 cup milk


.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a rimmed pizza pan or baking sheet.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, basil, baking powder and garlic. Mix in the egg and milk; stir well. Pour batter into prepared pan and tilt until evenly coated. It will be a loose dough and you want to spread it out onto your baking sheet/stone.

Prebake the crust for about 15 minutes(or longer; it's your choice how dark you want the crust). The edges lifted up on mine, but it will be fine, I promise.

Take out of the oven and arrange toppings of choice on top of dough

Bake in heated oven for another 15 minutes or  until cheese is melty and everything is heated through.

Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

The Menu:
Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

The Original Recipe:
I didn't have yeast to make pizza for Friday night, but I wanted pizza! I found this great alternative. Pizza muffins! My teenager and his girlfriend (*gasp! I am old enough to have a teenager--with a girlfriend!) said they tasted like the chedder biscuits from Red Lobster, but with pepperoni. I personally didn't think so, but that is a good comparison. I added a ton of pepperoni and 2 types of cheeses. It was stringy when I pulled it apart to eat it. YUM!

Pepperoni Pizza Muffins 4.8 from 6 reviews Print

Recipe type: Entree

Author: Crystal @

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 23 mins

Total time: 38 mins

Pepperoni Pizza in a muffin.


• 3/4 cup flour

• 3/4 tsp baking powder

• 1/2 tsp dried oregano

• 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

• 4 oz turkey pepperoni, diced

• 3/4 cup milk, 2%

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 1/2 cup pizza sauce


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and oregano. Whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni and let stand for a few minutes.

2. Stir the batter and divide evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, about 18 to 23 minutes.

3. Warm pizza sauce in the microwave for about 15 seconds or heat on the stove in a small sauce pan. Serve the muffins with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cherry Kuchen Bars

The Menu:
Cherry Kuchen Bars

The Original Recipe:
I found these on the internet. OMG! They are delicious! It really whipped up in a short amount of time, too. I made these last minute, and they turned out great. I wish I could find more recipes that would taste so good in such a short amount of time! :)

Cherry Kuchen Bars

Yield: 32 bars

Prep: 25 mins Cool: 10 mins Bake: 350°F 42 mins


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 -21 ounce can cherry pie filling*

1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until well-combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the dough. Spread remaining dough in the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

2. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Spread pie filling over crust in pan. Spoon reserved dough into small mounds atop pie filling.

3. Bake about 30 minutes more or until top is light brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Drizzle top with Powdered Sugar Icing. Cool completely. Cut into bars to serve.

From the Test Kitchen

Tip *Tip:You may substitute your favorite flavor of pie filling for the cherry pie filling.

Powdered Sugar Icing

Yield: Makes about 1/2 cup.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

3 - 4 teaspoons milk


In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla or almond extract, and enough milk (3 to 4 teaspoons) to make smooth and of drizzling consistency.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Tip: Perfectly Shredded Chicken

The Menu:
Perfectly Shredded Chicken

The Original Recipe:
I found this on Pinterest. I don't have the link to the site that posted it. However, I read through it real fast and remembered this great tip. It is so much better than standing there with 2 forks and hot chicken, or even waiting until the chicken cools in order to shred it. If you're like me, I use forks, knives, or this other gadget I have that is like a fork, but with lots of spindles. I can never get my chicken perfectly shredded. This may use a bowl and paddle to wash, but it's totally worth it! You will not go back to unorganized shredding ever again.

You can make the chicken however you want. I am going to use my chicken for salads, so I marinated it in Italian dressing, brought the chicken to room temp. and seared it on each side, then covered it and let it cook through. I then deglazed the pan with a bit of water and dumped the whole lot into my mixer. This will work with bbq shredded chicken, chicken for soup, etc.

Tip: Perfectly Shredded Chicken

2-4 chicken breasts, fully cooked (you do not need to let cool and you do NOT need to cut up in advance)
1 Kitchen Aid Mixer with Paddle attatchment

Dump each (whole) chicken breast into mixer, turn on low until chicken starts to break apart and then you can turn it up another notch. In a few minutes you will have perfectly shredded chicken with none of the stress of hand shredding.

Pan Roasted Carrots with Thyme

The Menu:
Pan Roasted Carrots with Thyme

The Original Recipe:
I found this on the internet through Babycenter website. I am in love with finding new vegetable side dish recipes for my kids. These were quick to make, and I also used frozen (but thawed) carrots to roast. They worked out really well. I love how roasting caramelizes the carrots. Very tasty!

Pan Roasted Carrots w/ Thyme

Michelle (MMmom), inspired by Rachel (burns_toast)

8 carrots

1 1/2-2 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2-2 tsp fresh thyme or a few pinches of dried thyme

Cut the carrots in half. Halve again lengthwise. Then cut each piece in half or in quarters (lengthwise again) depending on how fat your carrots are.

Heat oil in a skillet large enough to place the carrots in one layer.

When oil is hot, add the carrots and season with salt and pepper. Pan roast over medium low for 20-30 minutes, until the carrots are tender and browned in spots.

If using dried thyme, add it the last 5 minutes of cooking. If using fresh add just before serving, toss, and heat through.

About 4 servings.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Baked Garlic Green Beans

The Menu:
Baked Garlic Green Beans

The Original Recipe:
Since the success of "Broccoli My Kids Like" I have been trying to find more recipes that my kids will like! Why not, right!?! I absolutely loved this recipe. My kids didn't like the vinegar so much. I think next time I make it, I will add balsalmic vinegar instead. I could also see using the Ritz cracker as opposed to the bread crumbs, too. This was very good. I will make it again.

Baked Garlic Green Beans

from Taste of Home

1 tablsp olive oil

1 ½ tsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp. dried minced onion

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ tsp. salt

Dash pepper

1 ½ cups frozen cut green beans, thawed

1 tblsp. Dry bread crumbs

1 tblsp. Grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. butter, melted

In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the beans, toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 3-cup baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and butter; sprinkle over beans. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. 2 servings.