Monday, January 31, 2011

Ham and Cheese potato bake

I had made a ham for Christmas and put the leftovers in the freezer for casseroles. This is one that is easy and good comfort food. It is from Pillsbury.
Ham and Cheese Potato Bake
1 1/2C milk
1/4C butter
1/4C flour
salt and pepper
6-8C frozen hashbrowns, thaw and pat dry
1 1/2C chopped ham
1C sour cream
1 1/2C shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Grease 13x9 dish(or 2 8x8). In saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1minute. Whisk in the milk, salt, pepper. Cook over medium heat until bubbly and thickened. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, ham, sour cream, cooked sauce and 1 C of the cheese. Spoon into the greased pan and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 15-25min or until bubbly. I like to also add cornflakes tossed with a bit of melted butter to the top and bake 5-10min longer. Use your light sour cream and 2% cheese and lowfat milk to make the recipe healthier.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One dish pasta with no cook noodles!

The birthday was a success and she loved her lemon cake. Mommy has had a migraine for two weeks now, so the cake decorating was pretty bad, but she didn't seem to notice!
She was acting pretty spoiled after all the Christmas presents and now birthday presents! And now Valentine's is coming up! I think we had her during the wrong month!
Thank goodness for all of the freezer meals in my freezer, when a migraine sticks around for two weeks, those meals come in pretty handy and I don't have to worry about what to feed my family!
Today I am going to share a wonderful and easy recipe. Easy because you don't have to precook the noodles!
Pasta Bake
1pd rotini, or penne
1 (26oz)can spaghetti sauce
3C water
1pd cooked ground beef, or turkey
(or you can make it without meat)
1-2C grated cheese
Brown meat. Place UNcooked pasta noodles in a 13x9 dish. In a large bowl combine the sauce,water, and meat. Pour sauce mixture over the noodles and mix to coat the noodles. COVER with foil and bake at 425 for 30min, or until the noodles are tender. Spread cheese on top and bake 5-10min more uncovered. The extra water is absorbed by the noodles!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Paula Deen's biscuits, oh my

I love Paula Deen and I love her down home cookn'. I'm not sure my waistline would like all of the butter and cream she uses, but my tastebuds sure do! I saw a recipe for her biscuits and I just had to try them, come on, they have heavy whipping cream in them! What is not to like about them?! I have not yet tried them with a lower fat version of milk to see if you get the same results, they are too good to do anything different! One of my favs growing up that my mom is the best at, is making biscuits and gravy. Any and all kinds of gravy will do! The best is ham gravy and biscuits, but we usually just do sausage gravy. I try to limit my portion sizes when I eat, but when this is on the menu, I stuff myself like a pig and love every second of it! I won't eat for a whole day just so that I will have room for biscuits and gravy! I know, I'm strange like that... Isn't it amazing how food can bring such joy!!???
You've got to try these, you will be the number one mom! My son's eyes roll back as he is stuffing the 5th biscuit in his mouth...he is in heaven and at the same time he has this worried look in his eye that he may explode and to help him! lol
Paula Deen's Biscuits
2 C self rising flour
1T sugar
1 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
Mix all together until dough forms a ball. Put onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5-7times.
Pat dough into a 1/2inch thickness and cut out 3inch circles. Place on a greased baking sheet 1 inch apart and cook at 500 degrees for 10minutes. If you don't have self rising flour do this:
For each cup of self rising flour substitute 1 C all purpose flour + 1 1/4t baking powder and 1/8t salt.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lemon cake

Today is my daughter's 5th birthday and she has requested a lemon cake with lemon frosting with a cherry on top! I asked her if she felt older today and she thought about it for a moment and she said, yes, I sure do! And she told me she grew overnight because now she could reach the sink without her stool, she was so excited! Oh, the joy she has brought to our lives!

Today I will post the recipe for her lemon cake, I'm not making it until the party tomorrow so I don't have a picture to post yet.

Lemon Cake

1pkg lemon cake mix, 1 small pkg lemon pudding mix, 1 3/4C water, 3 egg whites, 3/4C milk, 1/2t lemon extract, 1 small pkg vanilla or lemon pudding mix, 8oz tub cool whip. Spray 10x15 pan and preheat oven to 350. In bowl mix cake mix and pudding mix and pour in water and egg whites and mix 1minute on low. Switch to high and beat 4 more minutes. Pour batter into pan. Bake 25-30min or until done and cool completely. In another bowl mix extract, pudding mix and milk on low for 2 minutes. Fold in cool whip and frost cake and store in fridge.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reuben Casserole

A bonus recipe today! My mom just called and told me I had to put this on my three nieces,SIL and mom just had tried it for supper the night before and everyone loved it. I have not yet tried it, but have seen a similar recipe and wanted to make it. Of course, we love reubens, so I'm sure it is much quicker to make as a casserole and you probably have to like sauerkraut! Mom said she had never tried reubens with the russian dressing, but she gave it a try and it was good. Hope you enjoy it!
Reuben Casserole
6 slices rye bread, cubed
1(16oz)can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1pd deli sliced corned beef, cut up...or leftover corned beef
3/4C russian style salad dressing
2C shredded swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Spray 13x9 and layer meat on bottom and then sauerkraut, russian dressing then swiss cheese and then cubed rye bread. Bake 20 min or so until bread is toasted and casserole is heated through.

Easy Salisbury Steak

I must be a "new" blogger because once again I made the meal and didn't take a picture of it before we gobbled it up...and it looked so yummy too! I have a salisbury steak recipe I've used for years, but I came across this one and thought it sounded much quicker. The results were very good and the whole family loved it. The gravy comes out great to put on top of mashed potatoes and I served it with peas and homemade wheat rolls. Comfort food at its best!
Easy Salisbury Steak
1pd lean ground beef
1 C stovetop stuffing(just dry)(I used savory herb)
1 egg
1pkg onion soup seasoning, or
1/2t onion powder and garlic powder if you don't have the onion soup mix
2T flour
1C beef broth(I boil 1C water and add 2 beef bouillon cubes and stir)
1 can cream mushroom soup
Mix together the beef, stuffing, egg and seasoning. Form into patties(I made 7) and cook in a large skillet until browned on both sides(don't cook all the way through). Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan add soup and beef broth and bring to gentle boil and add 2T flour and mix well. If your family likes mushrooms and onion you can saute these and add the flour to this and then add the soup and broth. After adding the flour gently boil for one minute and then add the patties back in the pan. Cover and simmer for 15minutes. I flip them half way. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggie and rolls. My family liked ketchup on the patties.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Monday,UGH! It is so hard to get going again after a fun and lazy weekend. My baby turns 5 this week, oh my goodness! I can't believe how the older I get the faster the time goes. She is our mighty one, she is a whopping 32pounds, but it is all energy and awnriness and sweetness! She wants a lemon cake with lemon frosting..??? Strange request from a child, but as always, mom will provide. Which means I will be making two cakes because my son and my hubby don't like lemon...go figure! Fun times, fun times! I had cooked a turkey breast in the crockpot and then froze it for later use. That is the best way to cook turkey breast, moist and dryness at all. I will post how I do that and then the recipe I plan to make tonight with some of the turkey. I will use the rest of the turkey to make chicken(turkey) spaghetti and will post that recipe tomorrow. It is so nice to take already cooked meat out of the freezer and make several meals from it and eat a couple now and freeze a couple for later.
Crockpot Turkey Breast
Wash turkey breast off and place in crockpot. You can add a few raw bacon strips to the top of it and sprinkle some onion soup mix to the top of it. You can put water or chicken broth in the bottom, just enough to cover the bottom. Cook on high 4-5hours or low 8-10. Sometimes I turn it on before going to bed at night. Then let cool and debone. You can keep the leftover broth in the crockpot and then add all the bones to the broth and add in a couple carrots and celery and turn it on low or high and let simmer for several hours and have your own turkey/chicken broth, just strain into containers or mason jars and freeze.

Easy Chicken Pot Pie
2 (9in) frozen pie crusts, or refrigerated
1 pkg frozen mixed veggies
2C cooked, diced chicken or turkey
1 can cream chicken soup, or cream celery soup
1/2C milk
Preheat oven to 350. Combine the mixed veggies, chicken, soup and milk. Pour into the crust. Place the top crust on and seal the edges. Poke holes in the top. Bake 350 for 30min or until golden brown

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Today I am posting an amazing bread recipe..I know, yesterday I said dessert...but, in my book this tastes like dessert! I know I got this off of a blog, but I can not remember which one to give the credit to. I did change it just a bit though. I have never made banana bread with cream cheese, so I found this recipe exciting to try. I found the results to be moist and delicious! I made mine in 4 mini loaves, ate one myself, froze two, gave one away to a dear neighbor! ENJOY!!

Cream Cheese Banana Bread
8 oz cream cheese, softenend
1 C sugar
1/4C butter
2-3 mashed bananas
2 eggs
2 1/4C flour ( I use half white, half white wheat)
1 1/2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1C chopped nuts, optional
sugar cinnamon to sprinkle on top

preheat 350 and grease bread pan, or 4 mini loaves
In large bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar and butter. Mix in banana and eggs until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into pan(s), sprinkle with sugar or sugar cinnamon mixture and cook 60-70 min, or until brown on top

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quick and Easy Lasagna

I grew up with mom making the long version of lasagna, which was awesome, but now days I don't have the time. So this is a yummy and quick way. I think you could even adapt it to a crockpot. It makes a 13X9 and we never eat that much at once, so I help myself out and split it into 2 (8x8) dishes and place one in the freezer. Have you ever done that? It so nice to have a meal in the freezer on days I don't feel good or am too busy to cook, or if you want to give one away. As my 11 year old son continues to grow (and eat!) this method may not work, but for now it works awesome. I do this with every recipe that calls for a 13X9 size and if I do that a few times in one week, well, I get a few extra freezer meals...which equals awesome in my book! I like how velveeta cooks creamy and cheesey, but I don't like that it is processed and so unhealthy. If I do use velveeta, I get the 2% because you can not tell that it is lower in fat. When I don't use velveeta I get the natural shredded cheese. In this recipe it calls for lasagna noodles, but I used what I had and used egg noodles. I step up the nutrition and always get noodles that are whole grain and high in fiber,etc and with dishes like this, you can not tell the difference. I always get my beef from family who raise their own, so I know there are no horomones and nasty stuff in it and it is very lean. Of course, the sauce is all natural as well. This dish just shows that you can make a meal unhealthy, or you can analyze it, and make it much healthier then it could have been, just by making a few wiser choices.
Remember that saying? are what you eat! I like my sweets and fries like anyone else, but the key is moderation....and study your recipe and see where you can make healthier choices, like buying light or low sodium, 100%whole grain, unprocessed,etc.

Quick and Easy Lasagna
16 lasagna noodles, cook and drain (I used what noodles I had, egg noodles)
2pd ground beef, cook and drain
1 (28oz jar) spaghetti sauce
1pd cubed velveeta
Cook noodles and drain. Cook beef and drain. Add sauce to beef and heat through. Rinse and drain the noodles. Grease a 13x9 dish, layer 1/3 meat and half noodles and then 1/2 cheese. Repeat. Top with the rest of the meat sauce. Cover and bake at 350 for around 35min
Note: I will add a layer of cottage cheese next time to keep it moister
Source: I got this from a magazine years ago, but don't remember which one

Thursday, January 20, 2011

long time coming

I'm so excited to finally start blogging! I've been reading recipe blogs for a few years now and figured it was time to join in on all of the fun! Like all moms, I often have the question, "what's for supper?" I've learned without some prior planning that frozen pizza or cereal is the answer! Not really...but sometimes! I hope to list fast and easy recipes that are healthy and kid friendly. I love to learn new ideas in the kitchen, so I welcome comments! Growing up I only cooked when I "had" to help my mom cut onions, lettuce, shred cheese, brown know, all the stuff she didn't want to do because now her daughter was old enough to do! (thanks mom) I did learn from my mom and dad the joy of gardening and growing your own food and then mom and grandma taught me how to preserve that food by canning or freezing. I was perfectly content with mom's cooking and then I got married....and mom lived too far away to come over and cook every day for me! So, I took the little I chose to learn growing up and started my journey of married life scared that my new husband and I were going to starve to death, unless I learned real quick to dive into cooking. What did I do? I called mom of course! and wrote down every recipe she ever made for me growing up! and grandma too! After a couple years of the same recipes(that never did taste like moms or grandmas) I decided this cooking thing was kinda fun, especially when I didn't screw it up and got a good response from the hubby(which by the way was such a trooper and just knew to always smile and say thank you!) We soon had a son after we married and then I was responsible for making two people like my cooking...and keep them healthy doing so! That is when the obsession started for finding recipes....and 12 years later my hubby is still smiling and saying thank you...but, this time I think it is because he really means it! I hope you enjoy following me in my day to day journey of recipes and cooking and keeping those smiles on the faces of our loved ones!
Recipe #1 (so cool!)
Easy Noddle Dish (don't know where I got the recipe?)
1pd cooked ground beef
1 can corn, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes,undrained
1pkg ramen noodles
Take cooked beef and stir in flavoring packet from ramen and stir. Add in undrained corn and tomatoes and break up ramen noodles and add and stir. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer for 10min. stirring every so often to break up clumps.
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