Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Herb and Cheese Chicken Tenders Parmigiana with Spaghetti

from Rachel Ray
This recipe is SO good!! Rob loved it and I will definitely be making it again.

Makes 4 big servings

Light olive oil, for frying
1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (none of these herbs were fresh that I used when making it)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water


1 1/2 cups italian style bread crumbs (eyeball it)
1/2 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese (2 to 3 handfuls) (I used an italian blend)
6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, stripped and chopped (2 to 3 tbsp)
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped (3 tbsp)
2 handfuls chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350. Place a nonstick cookie sheet in oven with a foil liner.

Heat 1/2 in oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Beat eggs with water in a second dish. In a third dish, combine the remaining ingredients. Coat chicken in flour, then egg, then breads and cheese mixture.

Add chicken to the skillet and cook until deeply golden on each side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to hot cookie sheet already in oven and bake for another 5 min. Cook 5 or 6 tenders at a time in a single layer, adding additional oil if necessary. If chicken browns too quickly, lower heat slightly. Serve chicken hot or cold with green salad, or complete as a parmigiana.

Simple tomato sauce for chicken parmigiana

1 lb spaghetti
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 oz) chunky style crushed tomatoes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth, or stock
a handful fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
coarse salt to taste
1 cup shredded provolone (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Set a large pot of salted water on for the pasta.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, onions and garlic, and saute for 10 min stirring occasionally.

To the onions and garlic, add both cans of tomatoes and a cup of chicken broth and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to simmer until ready to serve, then stir in torn basil and salt to taste.

Coat the chicken tenders in the 3 steps outlined in the previous recipe. Saute chicken and finish in oven as directed. REmove from heat and set aside until pasta and sauce are ready.

When sauce simmers, cook pasta, drain and place in serving dish, coating it lightly with some sauce. Set chicken tenders on top of pasta and dot them with a little sauce as well. For a cheesy finish, cover the chicken with shredded provolone and parmigiano reggiano cheeses and either serve as is, or brown under a hot broiler for a minute or so.

Breakfast casserole


1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 pound pork sausage
1 small onion, diced
5 eggs (I added one extra)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and ground black pepper to taste
12 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart baking dish. Place the hash brown potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook and stir the sausage and onion until the sausage is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink; drain. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and pour over the potatoes. Layer with half the Cheddar cheese, the sausage mixture, and the remaining Cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove cover; return casserole to the oven and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes.

I left out the meat and it still turned out great. I made this for Rob's work party and he said it turned out great.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shredded Chicken Taquitos

Ooh these were so good! Great flavor and of course being fried in oil didn't hurt the taste. Rob LOVED them. I left out the cilantro.

2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1/4 C finely chopped red pepper (I used close to 1/2 and left out the jalepeno that it called for)
2 C cooked, then shredded chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz--I think used 10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
3 TB vegetable oil
burrito size flour tortillas

In a 10-inch non stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and pepper and cook 3 to 5 min or until veg. are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken, salt, cumin, pepper and tomato with green chiles. Cook 5 minutes. Place oil into large skillet over medium heat. Place about 2 large TB of chicken mixture into each tortilla. Tightly roll, securing ends with toothpicks. In batches, place taquitos into hot pan. Pan fry until nice and golden brown on each side. Remove, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to dry.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Country Fried Steak

These were so flavorful! I put these together and whipped up some country-style gravy from the packet and some instant potatoes. It was a great little meal that I was able to put together fast. I need more of these. Next time I will really watch and try not to overcook them at all.


1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (4 ounce) packet saltine crackers, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning
4 (4 ounce) cube steaks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Whisk together the egg and milk in a shallow bowl; set aside.
Whisk together the flour, crushed saltines, seasoned salt, onion powder, and steak seasoning. Dip the steaks in the egg mixture, then press each steak in the flour mixture. Pat the flour mixture into the steaks to coat them completely.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and fry the steaks until they are golden brown, firm, hot in the center, and just turning from pink to grey, about 4 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baked Potatoes

This is a really good way to do baked potatoes. It's from

1 large russet potato
Oil (vegetable or canola oil)
Kosher salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in top and bottom thirds. Wash potato (or potatoes) thoroughly with cold water. Dry well, then using a fork poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the potato. Place in a bowl and coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and place potato directly on the rack in the middle of oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings.

Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft. Serve by creating a dotted line from end to end with your fork, then crack the potato open by pushing the ends towards one another. The potato will be hot and steamy so be careful!

NOTE: If you're cooking more than 4 potatoes, you'll need to extend the cooking time by up to 15 minutes.

White Castle Burgers

These were really good. Rob said the onion was a little too much so I would do less onion soup mix next time. Try half package. You can refrigerate and heat in the microwave the next day. They still tasted great. This was from

you need:

1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 onion, finely chopped
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 tablespoon peanut butter (yes, peanut butter.. trust me)
1/2 cup milk
Sara Lee Classic Dinner Rolls (or the really soft small-sized dinner rolls from the bakery), sliced in half
Cheese slices
mayo and ketchup

In a large bowl mix (with your hands or a spoon) the hamburger, Lipton onion soup mix, peanut butter, and milk. Spread the meat mixture on a cookie sheet with a lip. Use a cup or rolling pin to roll over the meat to smooth it out.

Put it in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. The meat will shrink. Take it out of the oven and put the diced onions all around the edges to flavor the meat. Place back in the oven for about 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven. If you want onions on your sliders then spoon them onto the meat from the sides. Add your cheese slices. Put it back in the oven for 7-10 minutes (until cheese is melted). Then add the tops of your rolls (the bottom part of the rolls will just sit on the counter) and place back in the oven for about 5 more minutes. Take it out of the oven. Slice the meat with a pizza cutter and pick up the slider/top bun with a spatula and set it on the bottom bun.

Grilled Chicken Tacos

you need:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (or however many you think your family will need)
1/2 bottle Lawry's Havana garlic and lime marinade
Flour tortillas (get the uncooked ones.. it's the only way)
cheddar cheese
sour cream

Marinade chicken in Lawry's marinade for 30 mins or overnight. Grill chicken until done, dice chicken into bite size pieces. Prepare tacos using chicken meat and toppings of your choice.

Chicken Divine

I should really make this more often because it's one of Rob's very favorites and it's so easy. It's so easy, it cooks in the microwave!

you need:

1 can cream of mushroom
1/2 c mayo
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 cup uncooked egg noodles
cooked chicken
cooked broccoli (you could substitute peas)
shredded cheese

Cook egg noodles as directed on package. Mix together soup, mayo, lemon juice, curry in a casserole dish. Add cooked noodles, chicken and broccoli. Mix well. sprinkle cheese on top. Cook in microwave for 10 minutes. If your microwave doesn't rotate, then rotate after 5 minutes.
I usually double it and freeze one. The curry makes this dish. It's so tasty!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I'm posting this again because the first time was kind of a test run and now I think I know exactly how we like it. It serves 6.

you need:

12 chicken tenderloins (I used frozen chicken and let it unthaw on the counter)
salt pepper
swiss cheese
ham slices
bread crumbs
1 egg
1 can cream of chicken
1/2 C sour cream
1 tbsp lemon
1/4 C mustard
1/4 C honey
1/8 C light corn syrup
1/8 C mayo
1 tsp dry onion flakes

Pound the chicken a little to make it flatter (and more tender). Sift a generous amount of paprika in about a cup of bread crumbs, spread on a plate. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken. Dip chicken in egg, then in bread crumbs on both sides. This time I wasn't shy about going heavy on the seasoning. It wasn't overbearing at all. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and spread half the breaded chicken strips in the the baking dish. Top with a slice of swiss and a slice of ham on each one. Top those with another breaded (on one side, breaded side up) chicken strip on each. Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from oven and place another cheese slice on each one. Return to oven for a few minutes. Baking it hotter and faster kept the chicken juicy.


Mix together cream of chicken, sour cream, and lemon juice and heat.

Dipping sauce (honey mustard):
This makes plenty, I'd probably half it next time...

Mix mustard, honey, light corn syrup, mayo, and dry onion.

Serve over rice.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

cream cheese frosting

This frosting was a hit. We put it on mini brownies. Sooooo good.


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Honey-lime Chicken Enchiladas

Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas

6 Tb honey
4.5 Tb lime juice
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
flour tortillas
colby or monterey jack cheese, shredded
10 oz. can green enchilada sauce

Mix first 4 ingredients together and toss with shredded chicken. Let it "marinate" for at least a half hour. Pour some green enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 10x10 casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese. Pour the rest of the can of green enchilada sauce over enchiladas then sprinkle with more cheese. (When using a 9x13 I like to use 1 1/2 10 oz. cans) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (Put it under the broiler at the end to make the cheese brown and crispy on the top.)

I got an "amazing" from rob on this one. I'm really happy with some of the recipes I'm finding lately. They are definitely keepers. This is from sisterskitchen.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chicken Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

Chicken Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

3 cups 2% milk
1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 T. butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 quarts chicken broth
2 small chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 " cubes
2 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 cups frozen corn (not thawed)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 Tb dried parsley)
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix milk and muffin mix in bowl until well combined. Meanwhile, heat butter in large pot over medium heat until foaming. Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, chicken (raw) and sweet potatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked and sweet potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in milk and muffin mixture and simmer until soup thickens (can take up to 10 minutes although mine thickens immediately) Add cheese and corn and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

This recipe is amazing! We absolutely loved it and I would definitely make it for others. From sisterskitchen.

Chicken Fried Rice

Got this recipe from a very talented cook in my old ward. It was so dang good we practically ate it on it's own. I actually didn't add the chicken cuz I already had a chicken dish with it. I'm excited to make it again with the chicken. Measure everything before hand because the cooking goes fast. She also said LaChoy and Kikoma? are good soy sauces. And this is for 2 servings--you'll want a lot of this so double it, or just wing it.


2 oz chicken diced small
8 oz steamed rice cooked
1 egg
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 T finely diced onions
2 T finely diced carrots
2 tsp (or more) soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
6 pinches pepper
6 pinches salt
2 T butter


Scramble egg and chop into fine pieces. Set aside. Heat a pan and add 1/2 tsp oil, cook the chicken. Set aside. Add a 1/2 tsp oil cook the onion and carrots for 3 or 4 minutes. Put the rice on one side and allow it to heat up. Add the garlic and green onions and cook for 1 minute. Mix all the ingredients together, but the butter. Mix together. Put a hole in the middle and add the butter, mix together.

Easy Broccoli-Potato Cheese Soup


1/2 or 3/4 C chopped onion
4 or 5 peeled and chopped raw potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
approx. 1/2 C milk


Saute onion in butter. Add potatoes, soup and 2 cans water. Cook til potatoes done. Add broccoli and milk. When broccoli is done, add chunks of cheese. Melt, done.

This recipe is a favorite around our house because it gets Josh to actually eat some veggies. I think for being so easy, it is very tasty. I use onion powder and I think it tastes great!

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Got this delish recipe off dinnerfordollars and we loved it. It was actually even better the next day.

Tomato Tortellini Soup (5-6 servings)

1 package frozen cheese tortellini (or you could use fresh, frozen is just cheaper)
1 can healthy request tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
Additional shredded Parmesan, optional

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, In a dutch oven, combine the soup, broth, milk, cream, tomatoes and seasonings. Heat through, stirring frequently. Drain tortellini; carefully add to soup. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle each serving with additional cheese if desired.

Spaghetti Sauce

This was some dang good homemade pasta sauce. From johnchandler on 'all recipes' who claims it's the world's best.


1 pound sweet Italian sausage, sliced
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the sausage, beef, onion, and garlic until well browned; drain fat. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Mix in sugar and season with basil, fennel seed, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

1package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1tablespoon LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
2cups cubed cooked chicken
1tablespoon chopped fresh chives or onion
1/4teaspoon salt
1/8teaspoon pepper
2tablespoons milk
1tablespoon chopped pimientos, if desired
1can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1tablespoon LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
3/4cup seasoned croutons, crushed
1.Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and 1 tablespoon softened butter; beat until smooth. Add chicken, chives, salt, pepper, milk and pimientos; mix well.
2.Separate or cut dough into 4 rectangles. If using crescent dough, firmly press perforations to seal. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto center of each rectangle. Pull 4 corners of dough to center of chicken mixture; twist firmly. Pinch edges to seal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops of sandwiches with 1 tablespoon melted butter; sprinkle with crushed croutons.
3.Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices cooked ham
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 7x11 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness.
Sprinkle each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on top of each breast. Roll up each breast, and secure with a toothpick. Place in baking dish, and sprinkle chicken evenly with bread crumbs.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from oven, and place 1/2 cheese slice on top of each breast. Return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove toothpicks, and serve immediately.

"Fantastic. My variation includes: add some paprika to the breading, and bread the whole chicken roll, not just the top. I also like to cook my chicken hotter and faster to keep it juicy - 20-25 minutes at 400. Final suggestion: add the honey-mustard sauce from this site's Aussie Chicken recipe (inside the roll and/or as a dipping sauce). It really complements this dish!
I read the reviews and took the suggestion of some others. First of all, I dipped the chicken in egg wash, then laid the slices of ham and cheese on top. I got a plate and sprinkled breadcrumbs and placed the chicken on it and rolled it from there. I also added a pat of butter on top of each. It came out beautifully and you must use the sauce (which is 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1 tbsp of lemon juice). I put a bed of white rice on the plates, put the chicken cordon blue on top of the rice covered with the cream sauce. A good side dish is buttered rolls, mmm-mhmm! All I can say was that it was such a beautiful presentation and absolutely heavenly!"

Me: These turned out great. I like to buy chicken tenderloins and they're pretty small so I used 8 small ones instead of 4. I added paprika to the bread crumbs and whipped an egg. Put the chicken strip in the egg, then the bread crumbs, then put the ham and cheese on, then breaded another chicken strip and put it on the top with the breaded side up. I had to use cream of mushroom soup cuz I didn't have any cream of chicken and I think I would have liked it much better with the crm of chkn. Try the honey mustard next time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wisconsin Cauliflower-cheddar soup

This was SO yummy! Everyone loved it and I will definitely be making it again. Got it at

Wisconsin Cauliflower-cheddar soup

2 tablespoons margarine or butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium onion, chopped (I of course ommitted the onion)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 can (13 3/4 to 14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 head (2 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 package (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (2 cups)

1. In 4-quart saucepan, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Gradually stir in milk, chicken broth, and 1 1/2 cups water; add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.

3. In blender (with center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape), blend cauliflower mixture at low speed in small batches until very smooth.

4. Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in mustard and 1 1/2 cups cheese until melted and smooth. Garnish soup with remaining cheese to serve.

I didn't have a blender on hand so I used a food processor and it came out with little chunks of cauliflower instead of smooth. I actually loved it this way and think I will continue to make it with little chunks. Yum! Also, I didn't have an onion and used part of an onion soup mix packet instead. It still tasted great and I hate dealing with onions anyway.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Hearts!


1 (16 ounce) package confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon milk
8 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening


In a mixing bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter and milk (if needed for moisture) until blended. Shape mixture into two 1/2 pound eggs or make a bunch of smaller eggs. Freeze eggs for 1 hour.
While the eggs are freezing, cut semi-sweet chocolate into small pieces and place in top of double boiler with shortening. Melt over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Stick a long-tined fork in top of each peanut butter egg, dip it in melted chocolate to cover then drain on waxed paper. When the eggs are cooled and set, decorate the eggs to suit your fancy.

I looked at a couple other recipes and some said add rice krispies which sounds yummy. Also, others added 1 tsp vanilla. I ended up adding the vanilla to this recipe because it wasn't quite moist enough. In fact, next time I would add the vanilla instead of the milk and see if it needs the milk for moisture after it's been mixed. It shouldn't be crumbly. Also, make sure the baking chocolate is fresh next time. I have no idea how long the stuff I used had been in the pantry ('m living with my mother-in-law right now) so it might have had kind of a weird taste. No one else noticed it though. This was a fun valentine's treat. I think I'll make do the egg shape for Easter.

Sloppy Joes

These are always a hit, yet I forget about them a lot. I just used the sloppy joe seasoning packet for the ground beef. It called for tomato sauce or tomato paste. I didn't have either so I put a can of italian style stewed tomatoes in the blender and used that. It was really tasty! I think I'd do it again.

sloppy joe seasoning packet
italian style stewed tomatoes
1 lb hamburger

Baked Spaghetti


Baked Spaghetti
16 oz pkg spaghetti noodles cooked (I usually use a little bit more noodles.)
2 24 oz jars spaghetti sauce
2 lbs ground beef browned
4 T butter
4 T all-purpose flour
4 T grated parmesan cheese
2 t salt
1/2 t garlic
12 oz can evaporated milk
3 c cheddar cheese shredded and divided

Combine spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce and ground beef together; set aside. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter; add flour, parmesan cheese, salt and garlic. Stir constantly over heat until smooth and bubbly. Add evaporated milk and one cup cheddar cheese; stir until thoroughly melted. Pour 1/4 of the spaghetti noodle mixture into each 9x13 casserole dish and pour 1/2 cheese mixture over top in each pan. Pour remaining nood mixture into casserole dishes; top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 mins.

The above makes enough for two 9 x 13 in pans. You can freeze one for later. Rob approved. I though it could have been a bit more saucy, but I think I erred on the side of too much spaghetti. But remember if you add more spaghetti than it calls for, also add more sauce.
I need to have everything out and measured for the creamy middle before I start it. The butter melts really fast and I can't be fumbling for the other ingredients because I need to stir constantly and make sure I do it quick so the butter doesn't burn. Make sure you have all the ingredients. Even though it is just spaghetti, there's stuff I don't always have.


I'm going to get these breadsticks down so they're really good. I think my problem was that the rack was way too low in the oven. The bottom got cooked too fast and the dough not fast enough. They needed to be fluffier. I googled it and I think I needed to also make the water warmer. If you add 110-115 degree water to room temp flour then it should be 78 degrees which is perfect for yeast. Also, err on the side of too much water and make sure you don't add any more salt than it asks for. I also didn't add enough seasonings. I thought I was adding a lot but it needed even more.
Amendment 1: I made these again and they were awesome! Turned out the first couple times I omitted the 30 min rise all together. How did I miss that? The only thing I would change this time would be cook even less time. I was right around 15 min and they were just a tad crispier than I would have liked. Right when you start to see a little golden brown on top, take them out.

Divine Breadsticks

*Makes about 20-25 breadsticks, depending on how thick or thin you cut them

1 ½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ cups flour (I usually use a combination of unbleached all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour but use whatever you have on hand!)
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted (for the baking sheet)

Mix all ingredients (except melted butter) in a large bowl or electric mixer and knead for three minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread melted butter onto an 11X17-inch baking sheet. Roll out the breadstick dough about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick and cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Twist slightly if desired and place about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt, herbs of choice (I vary this depending on my mood but it usually consists of rosemary, basil, or thyme in some form and crushed finely) and parmesan cheese. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cheese ball

1 8 oz package cream cheese, room temp.
1 ranch dressing mix packet
1 to 1 1/2 cups cheese, grated

Mix together and form into a ball. Serve with crackers.

Yum! Use the full 1 1/2 cups cheese.

Lentil Soup

I'm also testing this one for the festival of trees cookbook. It was really good. Very flavorful.

1 lb sausage, browned and drained
2 cups lentils, washed
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
2 quarts water

2 cups tomatoes, diced (V8 juice can be used)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

In a large pot, combine sausage, lentils, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley, salt, oregano, pepper, and water. Simmer for 1 1/2 hrs. Then add tomatoes and vinegar. Cook another 15 min. Serve and enjoy!

I cheated and used canned great northern beans. I used 3 cups instead. I used V8 juice but my mom said she would have done tomatoes. Maybe try half and half? It was much faster this way. I should try it the real way when I have time. I used the regular country style fresh ground sausage. Rob liked it but wasn't crazy about it.

Pudding Cake

I've made this twice now and have yet to make it right. It's going to be so good when I finally do. I'm testing it for someone for the festival of trees cookbook.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts, optional
1/2 cup raisins, optional

3 cups water
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar

Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking soda, salt, milk, 1 tbsp butter, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, nuts and raisins together to make batter. Spread batter in a deep baking bowl. Make syrup by boiling water, remaining butter, remaining sugar, and brown sugar together until dissolved. Pour syrup over batter. Bake at 350 for 45 min OR 375 for 30 min. Serve hot with whipped cream or icecream.

The first time I burnt it--I thought I read AND 375 for 30 min. The second time, I realized I was doing the syrup wrong. I thought that the water had to pretty much dissolve until it became the consistancy of syrup. I really means until the sugars are dissolved which happens really quickly. So my syrup was mostly pretty crunchy. My family still liked it but it's going to be so creamy and gewy next time! And don't over cook it just because it looks that way. The cake underneath the gew is cooked. Also I didn't use nuts and raisins of course. :) This was (should be) a pretty easy homemade cake!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beef and Broccoli

Failure! I thought this would be a hit with Rob because it calls for sirloin steak, but I botched it and overcooked the steak. PS I also burned the rice. The sauce was good though. I've been getting a lot of recipes from my friend's dinner for dollars blog lately and they're great.

Broccoli Beef

2 TBSP cornstarch
1 3/4 cup beef broth
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 lb boneless sirlion steak or top beef round steak cut into thin strips (I actually used 1 ranch steak that was .75 lbs for 2.99 and it fed 5 adults and my toddler, it was tender!)
4 cups fresh broccoli (you could use frozen.. but why? hehe)

In a medium size bowl stir together cornstarch, beef broth, soy sauce and brown sugar; set aside. (if you are making your own broth this can wait a minute until your broth has cooled a bit). In a large nonstick skillet fry beef over med-high heat until cooked and drain off any fat. Add in the garlic and continue to saute. Add broccoli and saute for an additional minute. Add your sauce and cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Great served over hot white rice!

So this will be really good next time I try making it. I think my problem was adding the broccoli and sauce mixture too late. As I waited for things to cook and thicken, the beef got overcooked. Remember, self, steak is tasty with some red in the center. Before you make this again, google 'how to make beef really tender.'

7 layer dip

I forget about this yummy stuff yet it is always a hit. I wanted to make a note to make this in the same week as the tacos above because it uses a lot of the same ingredients.

refried beans
guac spread
sour cream


Tonight I made a bit of my own concoction..which I RARELY do. Maybe some day, but for now I desperately need recipes.
I cooked the meat according to the taco seasoning package, lightly fried some tortillas in some smart balance oil, and put warmed up refried beans on the tortillas, meat over the top, with tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream. Rob and my dad started eating it and as an afterthought I pulled out some guac spread and salsa. Rob loved it after he added these. He said it was just the juice it needed.

refried beans
sb oil
hamburger meat
taco seasoning
guac spread
sour cream