Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sloppy Joe for 1

I found this recipe and doubled it.  I thought it was a great recipe.  I really liked it--even without a bun!
Sloppy Joe for 1

3.5 ounces Ground Beef
1/4 - 1/2 cup Onion, chopped
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
1/2 tsp Mustard
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Basil

Brown ground beef with onion and garlic until almost done. Add tomato sauce, mustard and spices, and simmer until thick.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Graham Cracker Pralines

I made this recipe to put in the girls care package. They LOVED it. This is something similar to another recipe I made regularly with saltines. We loved the addition of pecans. I took some to school and the teachers all liked them, too.

Graham Cracker Pralines
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped pecans
graham crackers(Beth used cinnamon grahams)

Preheat the oven to 350. Line the bottom of a cookie sheet(Beth used a jelly roll pan) that has sides with graham crackers. It may be necessary to cut a few graham crackers to fit on the edges. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the brown sugar and pecans. Bring to a boil and then boil for 2 minutes. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the graham crackers, spreading with a knife to evenly coat them.

Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to sit for about two or three minutes before cutting them into squares. Then let them cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheet,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mexican/Salsa Chicken

I put this in the crockpot at about 6:30 in the morning.  I put the chicken in frozen and it turned out great.  The picture doesn't look too good, but the taste was great!  I served it in a tortilla with cheese and salsa.
Mexican/Salsa Chicken

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream
cheddar cheese
cilantro, for serving (optional)

Put chicken, soup, and salsa in slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over everything. Cook on low for 6 hours.(Beth cooked this from 6:30am-5 pm) If shredding the chicken, pull the breasts out and shred; return back to slow cooker. Stir in sour cream and heat just until everything is combined.  Serve in tortillas with cheese and taco toppings.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Chicken Chili for 1

This chicken chili is different than any other chicken chili I have had. This has no beans and is red! Most chicken chili uses white kidney beans. I really liked this. I did double this recipe and it does have a little zip to it. I used 1 can of diced tomatoes instead of the whole tomatoes. Tasted great on a really cold day last week!

Chicken Chili for 1

3.5 oz Chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup Onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, diced
1/2-1 cup Water
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
1 large Tomato, diced
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder, to taste
1/2 tsp Cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pot or pan, cook chicken with onion, garlic and water until chicken is done. Add water as needed to keep things moving around. Add tomato sauce, diced tomato and spices. Allow to simmer until tomatoes are cooked and the mixture thickens.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Egg Drop Soup

We have had a colder than normal January here in central Texas. Yes, this former Wisconsinite is becoming a wimp! I was looking for a quick soup for lunch one day.  This fit the bill.  I loved it and will make it again!

Egg Drop Soup
one serving
Adapted from

1 1/2 cups chicken broth OR 1 1/2 cups water + 2 teaspoons (cubes) powdered chicken broth
1 medium egg and 3 egg whites
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon celery, minced
1 teaspoon green onion, minced
garlic powder, pepper & salt to taste
splash Tabasco sauce
Add chicken broth to a medium
nonstick saucepan
(easier clean-up). Add soy sauce, ham & veggies and heat to simmer. Cook for 1 minute.
In a small bowl beat the egg and egg whites with a fork or
nonstick whisk (better result). While stirring broth in one direction with a spoon, slowly pour in egg. Ribbons will form and soup is done! Easy peasy for a quick high protein snack.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chocolate Strawberry Drink

This is a refreshing sugar free treat. I made this once with frozen strawberries and you can see that some of the strawberries didn't totally mix in. The next time, I used fresh refrigerated strawberries and added ice. I liked it both ways. I felt like it really WAS a treat with the cocoa in this.

Chocolate Strawberry Drink

1 packet sweetener(Beth used sweet and low)
1 T cocoa powder
1 cup frozen strawberries

Put all ingredients in a blender or magic bullet and blend well.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cherry Chocolate Kisses

I was looking for a quick recipe to make and send to the girls in a care package. This one fit the bill. I had all the ingredients on hand(I may or may not have gone crazy buying Hershey kisses in different flavors.....)These turned out to be bite sized and tasted great. I got 39 cookies and did cook them about 5 minutes longer than the recipe said.

Cherry Chocolate Kisses
Pillsbury Holiday Cookbook #118

1 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 c. confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
1/2 tsp. almond extract
A few drops of red food coloring
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. maraschino cherries, well drained and chopped
48 milk chocolate Hershey kisses, unwrapped and frozen

Combine the first 5 ingredients; blend well. Stir in flour and salt; add cherries and mix well. Form dough into 1" balls (you can refrigerate the dough if it seems to sticky to roll) and place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
Remove from oven and immediately top each cookie with a frozen Hershey kiss, pressing lightly. Remove from cookie sheets to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chicken Gyros and Tzatziki Sauce

Don and I LOVE regular gyros while the girls won't eat the lamb. They found this recipe and we all liked it. Try it! We had some trouble finding the pocketless pitas, but they were worth searching for.

Chicken Gyros and Tzatziki Sauce

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
kosher salt and pepper
1 batch tzatziki sauce(see below)
sliced tomatoes
sliced onions
sliced cucumbers
4 (pocketless) pitas

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl and add to Ziploc bag. Add in chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning halfway through.

Preheat the grill (or pan, or broiler). Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, and then grill over indirect heat until cooked through, about 8 minutes per side, depending what size/type chicken you are using. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.
Meanwhile, warm your pita bread. Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and lettuce.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 (32 oz.) container of plain yogurt (preferably NOT fat-free)
2 regular cucumbers, peeled & seeded
3 cloves garlic, crushed (I usually use a microplane for this)
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
salt and a little pepper
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Strain yogurt using a cheesecloth over a bowl (if you don’t have that, a strainer lined with a coffee filter will work) for several hours or overnight to get out as much moisture as possible.
Shred or grate the cucumbers, place them in a clean kitchen towel, and then squeeze to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible.

Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. It’s best to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, so flavors can meld.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the top before serving.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Copy Cat Chick-fil-A Sauce

Both Jenna and Kathleen love Chick-fil-A sauce for their nuggets. They found this recipe and felt it was a pretty close clone. Try it!

Copy Cat Chick-fil-A Sauce
1/2 cup Mayo
2 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbs honey
1 tbs smokey BBQ sauce
Whisk all ingredients together and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Orange-Chile Wild Rice

This was absolutely delicious! We will make this again, for sure. We used Uncle Ben's wild rice(just didn't use the spice packet) since that was what I had in the pantry.

Orange-Chile Wild Rice
Rachael Ray

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1cup wild rice
1-2 tbsp fresh oregano
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1orange sectioned and chopped
2 fresh chilies (jalapeño) seeded and finely chopped (we did 1/2 of a large jalapeno)
1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Evoo(Olive oil)
Salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan bring the stock to a boil. Add the wild rice, reduce to a simmer and cook until the role blooms and a tender, about 40 minutes.

On a cutting board finely chop the oregano, thyme and parsley together.

When the rice is done, stir in the herb blend, orange, chiles, onion, almonds, lime zest and lime juice. Add a drizzle of evoo and salt and pepper.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baked Avocado Fries

Jenna and Kathleen made these while they were home over Christmas Break. They LOVED them. I got home from school and there were none left, they were that good! Best part frying!



1/4 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)  We used regular bread crumbs
2 firm-ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-in. wedges
Grated parmesan for serving (optional) Mary Note: Not optional in my opinion.

Preheat oven to 450.
Coat avocado slices in the four, then egg, then panko. Spread on a cooling rack that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, then place on a cookie sheet. Spray the top of the wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then bake for about 20 minutes at 450, or until they are golden brown

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Come Back Sauce

My girls made this to go with baked avocado fries they made. They really like it. Would be an excellent topping for a burger, too.

Come Back Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons minced onions
2 cloves garlic -- minced
juice of 1 lemon
Add all ingredients to a jar. Cover and shake. Refrigerate overnight before using. Great with seafood, on sandwiches, or as a dressing.
Makes about 2 cups.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blackberry Chip Ice Cream

This was an excellent recipe. We had some blackberries in the freezer and decided we NEEDED to make this. We are glad that we tried it!

Blackberry Chip Ice Cream

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

2 pints fresh blackberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate(We used chocolate chips)
Combine the blackberries, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until the blackberries are broken down and syrupy, about 20 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Using a whisk or spoon, force out as much of the deep purple liquid as you can, and then set it aside to cool. Discard the blackberry pulp and seeds.

Heat the half-and-half and remaining 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.

Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks until pale and thick. Temper the eggs by splashing a small amount of the warm cream into the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the tempered yolks into the saucepan, stirring gently. Cook over medium-low heat until thick, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

Pour the heavy cream into the bowl with the berries, and then pour in the custard and stir to combine. If you have time, refrigerate this mixture until cool.

Freeze the mixture according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

When it is frozen, chop the chocolate into chunks and stir into the ice cream.

Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and allow it to harden for several hours or overnight

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rustic Italian Bread

I found this recipe while searching for a bread recipe to make with Manicotti I had in the freezer.  This recipe looked easy enough.  It WAS easy and tasted great.  I did the two rises since I had the time and am glad I did.  It looked dense after the first rise and letting it rise again did make it less dense.  Kathleen made her famous Garlic Butter for the bread

Rustic Italian Bread

1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Sesame Seeds (optional for the top)

1. In a bowl add 1 cup of warm water and dry active yeast and let it stand until creamy (about 5 minutes). In another bowl add flour, salt, and sugar. After 5 minutes take the yeast and give it a mix then add it to the flour mixture mixing it in with a fork until sticky. Sprinkle with a bit more flour and work it with your hands to make a ball.
2. Take the ball of dough and gently mold it into a smooth ball but firm but with an elastic fill.
3. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Once it rises take a little more flour and pat it down and roll it into a ball again.
5. {OPTIONAL} Put the dough back into the bowl and let it rise 1 more time. When you let the bread rise twice it really makes for a better bread but if you are short on time then don’t worry about it.
6. After you are done with all the rising you will take the dough and put it on the parchment paper that is on a baking tray. The dough should be elongated and oval-shaped, with tapered and rounded (not pointed) ends. Note: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
7. Take about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and coat the dough with it. This will make it nice and crunchy on the outside.
8. After you rub it down with olive oil you can sprinkle a bit of sea salt or sesame seeds on top.
9. Next slash the top of the dough with a sharp knife at a 45 degree angle.
10. Bake 30 minutes, until you hear a hollow sound when you tap the bottom.
Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving, and enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Candy Cane Cocoa Mix

Kathleen was looking for a hot chocolate mix to take back to college with her. I had gotten peppermints so we decided to modify this recipe to her liking. The original recipe called for regular creamer, but we used peppermint mocha. She really liked it. It makes a pretty small batch--maybe 8 servings.

Candy Cane Cocoa Mix
adapted from

1/2 c peppermint candy canes or mints, crushed
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup powdered peppermint mocha creamer
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Break up the candy canes place in the bowl of a food processor and process until the candy canes turn to powder. Pour candy cane powder into a small bowl and add remaining ingredients; mix well. To serve, mix 1/3 cup Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Mix into 3/4 cup hot milk. Stir well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Perfect Potato Soup

It has been cooler than normal here in TX since after Christmas. We saw this recipe and thought it was a perfect lunch recipe. We all liked it.

Perfect Potato Soup

6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
3 stalks Celery, Diced
6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
½ cups Heavy Cream
½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
½ teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix
1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley
1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice
Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.
Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.
Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sliced Steak Tacos

We had these for dinner the day after New Years. They were EXCELLENT! Will make these again for sure. We used the gas grill instead of broiling the meat.

Sliced Steak Tacos
My Year in Meals by Rachael Ray

1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Juice of 2 limes, divided
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak or top round (sometimes labeled as London Broil), 1 inch thick
Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
16 soft taco-size good quality (look for a small producer or "handmade" on label) corn or flour tortillas, charred

Mix and match toppings for tacos:
Corn, scraped fresh from cob then charred in butter or oil over high heat
Hot pickled vegetables, such as giardiniera, drained and chopped
Hot pickled jalapeño rings
Crumbled Queso Fresco or Cotija cheese
Cilantro leaves
Thinly sliced red onion
Shredded cabbage
Diced ripe tomatoes
Sliced avocado dressed with lemon or lime juice and salt
Juice of 2 limes, divided
Seed chipotle peppers then purée with adobo sauce into a smooth paste. Add 4 tablespoons to a large plastic food storage bag. Place remainder in a small freezer bag, mark it with date and contents and place in freezer for another use. To the large food storage bag, add the lime juice, honey, Worcestershire, oregano, garlic and vegetable oil. Mash up the bag with your hands to combine
Season steak with salt and lots of black pepper. Drop it in the bag and press out most of the air as you seal up the bag. Maneuver the marinade evenly around the meat and marinate in the fridge for several hours.
Bring the beef to room temperature. Preheat the broiler and set an oven rack one notch up from the center. Shake off excess marinade, place beef on a broiler pan and broil 5 minutes on each side for rare, 12 minutes total for pink center or medium. (We grilled the meat on the grill)
Let meat rest 5-10 minutes then thinly slice against the grain. Dress each portion of sliced steak with more lime juice, cilantro and salt. Serve with charred hot tortillas and toppings of your choice.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Almond Custard Brioche French Toast

Jenna made this recipe for breakfast during her Christmas/New Year break from school. We all liked this and got more than the 6 slices of bread it called for.

Almond Custard Brioche French Toast
My Year in Meals by Rachael Ray

3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c heavy cream or half and half
1 c milk
1 t almond extract
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
6 thick slices day old bread(brioche is suggested) we used french bread, thickly cut
sliced almonds
4 T butter
2 T oil

Preheat oven to 250.

In a baking dish, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, almond extract, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined.  Soak the bread in the egg mixture until completely soaked through.  On wax paper, scatter the almonds and turn the bread slices to coat with the almonds.

On a large griddle, heat 2 T butter and 1 T oil over medium high heat until it begins to sizzle.  Add 3 slices of bread at a time and cook, turning once, until golden and crisp on both sides--about 2 minutes per side.  Repeat with the remaining butter, oil, and bread.  You can keep each batch warm in the oven while you are making the next batch.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Restaurant Style Salsa

Jenna got the Pioneer Woman's cookbook for Christmas this year. This recipe comes from there. It DOES make a lot, but it is easy and SOOOOOO good!

Restaurant Style Salsa
The Pioneer Woman Cooks

1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
¼ cups Chopped Onion
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
¼ teaspoons Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
½ whole Lime Juice
Note: this is a very largee batch. Recommend using a 12-cup food processor, or you can process the ingredients in batches and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Roasted Bean Dip

Here is another recipe from Jenna's new cookbook. We made this and used it on steak tacos and also as a dip. We all like it. You can cut back on the jalapenos according to how spicy you like things.

Roasted Bean Dip
My Year in Meals by Rachael Ray

1 small onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic(unpeeled)  we used 3
2 jalapenos
1 16 oz can refried beans
handful of cilantro
1 t ground cumin

Preheat the broiler

Broil the onion, garlic and jalapenos until charred.  Let cool and then peel and seed the jalapeno and garlic.  Transfer to a food processor and add the refried beans, cilantro, cumin and salt and pepper.  Thin it out with a little water--about 1/2 cup and puree.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Roasted Onion, Chile and Garlic Guacamole

I was able to see Rachael Ray in Austin before Christmas and got Jenna a signed cookbook. This is from the newest cookbook. We all liked this. Loved the smokey flavor of the charred veggies!

Roasted Onion, Chile and Garlic Guacamole
My Year in Meals by Rachael Ray

1/2 onion
2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 jalapenos
2 avocados
juice of one lemon
handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

Preheat the broiler. 

Broil the onion, garlic and jalapenos until charred all over.  Let cool and then peel and seed the jalapenos and garlic.  Chop and combine with the avocados, lemon juice, cilantro and salt(to taste).  Mash together and serve.  Makes about 1.5 cups.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Green Bean Casserole

We wanted to try a new recipe for green beans for Christmas dinner. This is very similar to our 'go to' recipe--Green Bean Dairy Supreme but uses a few different ingredients.  We all loved this! 

Green Bean Casserole
 From the Pioneer Woman
2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off(We used canned beans)
4 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2-½ cups Whole Milk
½ cups Half-and-half
1-½ teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentoes, Drained we didn't use these
Extra Milk For Thinning If Necessary
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs we used cornflakes instead
Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.

Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside. (Beth used canned beans here)

Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.

Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs. (Beth omitted the pimentos since we didn't have them, and used corn flakes instead of panko crumbs)

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

We made this casserole for Christmas morning. We all liked it! Cheese and tater tots, what's not to like?

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

1 pound ground sausage, cooked
1 10.75 ounce can cheddar cheese condensed soup
16 eggs, scrambled
1 bag tater tots
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook sausage in a skillet; drain fat. Stir in cheddar cheese condensed soup, and pour in the bottom of a greased 9×13″ baking pan. Cook eggs and layer atop sausage and cheese. Top with tater tots and bake for 35 minutes in a preheated 375° oven. Top with shredded cheese,(Beth put the cheese on before the tater tots and then did not broil this) and broil to melt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

My girls and my sister made these for our Christmas Eve get together. They were easy to make, tasted great and we came home with an empty platter!

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls                                           
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium)
Heat oven to 350°F. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut lengthwise into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle.
Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicken Chili Cups

My sister Jamie made these for Christmas Eve this year. We took these to my Aunt and Uncles for a family get together. They were easy to make and tasted great! She had cooked the chicken ahead of time, so putting them together was a breeze!

Chicken Chili Cups

1 - 1/2 lb chicken breasts - cooked and shredded
1 cup ranch dressing
1/4 tsp each - salt and pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese--  Colby jack works, too
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 pkg wonton wrappers
1 cup red/green pepper, chopped

Preheat oven to 350

Mix chicken, dressing, salt and pepper.  Combine cheese, chili powder, and paprika until cheese is well coated.

Spray mini- muffin pans.  Place one wonton in each, shape. Bake for 5 minutes.  Spoon chicken filling into each cup. Top with cheese and peppers*****

Bake 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

**** Jamie mixed the chicken and cheese mixture all together before she "stuffs" the wonton wrappers. It makes less of a mess!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chicken with Jalapeno Cream

This was an excellent recipe. I will make it again for sure! I used a small poblano pepper fresh from my garden. Next time I will either use more or use a jalapeno. We all liked this.

Chicken with Jalapeno Cream
Serving Size: 1 chicken breast with 1/4 sauce   8 PP

      4  6oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
      Salt and pepper
     1 tbsp vegetable oil
     1 tbsp butter
     2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (or 1 poblano for a milder flavor)
     2 tbsp onion, minced
     2 garlic cloves, minced
     1 tbsp flour
     1/4 cup skim milk
     1 12-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
     2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
     juice of 1/2 lemon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat an oven proof pan over medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Once it is nice and hot, sear the chicken breasts on both sides and then place in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes. You want the chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees but cooking time might vary slightly depending on the thickness of the breast.
  3. Using a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, jalapenos, and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Then whisk in the flour to create a roux.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the skim milk and evaporated milk. Cook for about 7 minutes until it begin to thicken. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Right before serving, squeeze the lemon over the chicken breasts and spoon the sauce over.

6.      Nutritional Info: 292.4 calories, 8.1g of fat, 11g of carbohydrates, .5g of fiber, 42.8g of protein


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

I saw this recipe a month or so ago on America's Test Kitchen. I immediately searched for the recipe. I am glad I made this. We all liked it. It does have a bit of a kick to it if you add the 'gravy' to it. My loaf pans were too big to fit in my crockpot, and I didn't have a disposable one, so I used 2 mini pans and put them over the onions. I will make this again.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket
From Cook's Country  February/March 2009

Serves 8 to 10


1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 (4- to 5-pound) brisket roast, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick and scored lightly


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

1. To allow the flavors to permeate, we lightly scored the fat on the brisket before rubbing. RUB Combine sugar, chipotle, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper in bowl. Rub sugar mixture all over brisket. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

2. COOK Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, chipotle, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Following photos at left, mound onion mixture in center of slow cooker, arrange inverted metal loaf pan over onion mixture, and place brisket, fat-side up, on top of loaf pan. Add water to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until fork inserted into brisket can be removed with no resistance, 7 to 8 hours (or cook on low for 10 to 12 hours).

3. REST Transfer brisket to 13- by 9-inch baking dish, cover with foil, and let rest 30 minutes. Carefully remove loaf pan from slow cooker. Pour onion mixture and accumulated juices into large bowl and skim fat. (You should have about 2 cups defatted juices; if you have less, supplement with water.)

4. SAUCE Transfer brisket to cutting board, slice thinly across grain, and return to baking dish. Pour 1 cup reserved defatted juices over sliced brisket. Whisk ketchup, vinegar, and liquid smoke into remaining juices. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing sauce at table.

MAKE AHEAD In step 3, wrap brisket tightly in foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Refrigerate juices separately in airtight container.) To serve, transfer foil-wrapped brisket to baking dish and heat in 350-degree oven and cook until brisket is heated through, about 1 hour. Reheat juices in microwave or saucepan set over medium heat. Continue with recipe as directed.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Black Pepper Biscuits

We have made these two times now and really like them. I think we roll them too thin since we get more than double what the recipe says. We like them plain, or with a white sausage gravy over them.

Black Pepper Biscuits
Bobby Flay

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper(1 T in mix, 1 T on top)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse twice to distribute the ingredients evenly. Scatter the butter over the top of the flour mixture and pulse 4 or 5 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and pulse until the mixture just begins to come together.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Pat the dough into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to make 8 biscuits then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Press together the scraps of dough, and repeat process. Place the biscuits on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper; brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake the biscuits for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jalapeño Popper Pulls

This is the other recipe Jenna and I made to use up the other baguette. I really liked it, but you have to like cream cheese. Try this one for a party, soon!

Jalapeño Popper Pulls

1 16oz round sourdough loaf, unsliced
8 oz cream cheese softened
2 Tbsp pickled jalapeño pepper juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup diced picked jalapeño peppers
3 Tbsp bacon bits
1 cup monterrey jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust.

Mix together cream cheese, jalapeño pepper juice and garlic powder. Spread cream cheese mixture in between cuts. Sprinkle diced jalapeño peppers and bacon bits on bread, making sure to get in between cuts. Top bread with cheese, getting in between cuts.

Wrap in foil the entire loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Unwrap (I just open the foil packet to expose the bread). Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls

I had gotten 2 baguettes to make brushetta and then realized my basil in the garden had petered out. Jenna found this recipe and made it for lunch one day. She and Don really enjoyed it!

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls

1 unsliced loaf of (round is preferable) sourdough bread
8-12 oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced(we used shredded)
3 oz bag Oscar Mayer Real Bacon bits(We used bacon, cooked and crumbled)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix

Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust. Place slices of cheese in between cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits on bread, making sure to get in between cuts. Mix together butter and Ranch dressing mix. Pour over bread. Wrap in foil the entire loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Abuelo's Papas con Chile

We tried these potatoes after I saw them on Pinterest. We all loved them. I had made beef tips in the crockpot, so we ate these with them. Try these!

Abuelo’s Papas con Chile™

3 pounds red potatoes
3 oz cream cheese – cut into 2" squares
½ cup heavy cream
10 oz Velveeta – cut into 2 " squares
½ TBS salt
¾ tsp granulated garlic
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup diced red bell peppers
½ cup diced green bell peppers
2 cans chopped green chiles
½ cup chopped green onion tops
2 TBS of finely chopped jalapeño – seeds removed

1.Wash and scrub potatoes until clean
2.Place potatoes in a pot covered with water and boil until soft.
3.Drain potatoes
4.Add the rest of ingredients and mash. Be sure all ingredients are incorporated