Thursday, March 31, 2011

Flatbread Tacos

Anyone out there like to hunt? This weekend is opening weekend for the youth turkey hunt in Kansas. My husband and 11 year old son are going and my husband is so excited to be taking our son on his first turkey hunt! He got all of his hunting clothes out and the fake turkey decoy and I have had a fake turkey looking at me in my living room for a week now! Every time I enter the room that darn thing scares the poo out of me!  The last couple of days my 5yr old daughter has been playing and talking with it and I'm pretty sure today she is going to dress it up!  The last turkey hunt my son went on he was only 5 and he went with me and my husband and we got up at 4a.m. and walked over a mile to get out in the pasture where we needed to be before the turkeys came down out of the trees to have their coffee.  My son was SO excited and didn't complain a bit waking that early or walking that far. We got to our site and sat down very still and waited and watched the turkeys come down out of the trees and called them in. The entire time you have to be very still or you will spook the turkeys, during this time I was holding our son on my lap and he suddenly started getting very heavy, sure enough, I look down and he was sound asleep! But, poor mom, I had to continue to be very still as my arm was dead asleep with him on it and it hurt SO bad, but I knew if I moved while the turkeys were coming in toward us that my husband would be SO mad at I continued to be very still because I could see the turkeys strutting toward us, and I was pretty proud of myself for being so strong and still just so my hunter husband could get his trophy turkey! Until......all of a sudden...yup, my son started SNORING! Right as those darn turkeys came up over the hill and in shot range, my son scared them off with his snoring! UGH! My husband was mad because he almost got his prize turkey and I was mad because I had just endured an hour of traumatic arm pain holding my sleeping son!  Needless to say, my son woke up and wandered why it was taking so long for the turkeys to show up and my husband and I sorta laughed all the way home!  I guess that is why he is now 11 and going again for his first turkey hunt...he shouldn't be snoring this time! Although now he probably will complain about the waking at 4a.m. and walking a mile!!! Remind me later, when my husband goes coyote hunting to tell you a funny story about that! Of course he would like to tell that story because it pertains to me and him laughing his butt off at me! He loves to tell everyone that story!
On to the recipe! This is a recipe that I found at the blog An A for Effort and thought it was an awesome idea! I never thought to use premade biscuit dough for a flatbread.  I think she got the recipe from the blog Your Home Based Mom. Go check out both of these blogs, they are each awesome and full of wonderful recipes! I wish Pillsbury was compensating me for advertising for them, but they aren't! (maybe one day!)But, I have found that Pillsbury has a new line called Simple with their biscuit dough, crescents,etc. That means that they have cut most of the "bad" stuff out of the dough, so it's healthier. In our small town, it isn't always in stock and they don't carry the whole line of Simple products, but we usually have the biscuits.  I usually make my own biscuits,etc...but, when I need dinner quick, I am happy that I have the option to choose the Simple Pillsbury brand.  I wish more major brands would realize all the "crud" they put in our foods(which I'm sure they know this) and realize people would much rather buy their products "free" of these ingredients.  I was surprised that the Simple biscuits tasted so great....usually you take the "crud" out and you wander if it still tastes any good, but these are great! As consumers, we need to take a few extra minutes and really look at our options at the store.  Companies are slowly realizing that consumers want the option to choose healthier products, those products with less "crud" in them. Not necessarily organic, but just free of all the chemicals, preservatives, dyes, etc. None of that stuff needs to be in our foods and I really believe it plays a BIG role in our health problems. As a consumer, take that extra time to look for those companies that are trying to help us and supply healthier products for us...those smaller companies can not make it without the consumer buying their stuff. It is hard in smaller towns because we don't have the supply/demand and don't always get those options, but in the bigger cities you people have those choices to help the smaller companies to supply healthier options. You will be surprised if you take a few extra minutes and view your selections that there are many small companies trying to provide healthier choices.       This recipe uses canned biscuits to make a quick tortilla, or flat bread, for tacos. But, after eating them last night, you could even use them to put butter and jam on them, or honey, or powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar. All sorts of ideas! Make sure you don't put any oil in the pan, it is a "dry" fry.
Flatbread Tacos
1pkg Pillsbury Grand (I use the Simple)biscuits
Your favorite taco toppings...ground beef, beans, shredded cheese, tomato, lettuce, etc.
I used my leftover Crockpot Salsa Chicken and topped the flatbread with this and it worked great!
With your hand or rolling pin, press out each biscuit into a flat even circle, around 6inches
Put in "dry" skillet and cook until lightly browned on each side, it won't take long. They do puff up a bit while cooking. Top with your favorite taco toppings!
This is the flatbread topped with my Crockpot Chicken Salsa

Monday, March 28, 2011

Orange Fluff Jello

Boo Hoo....Kansas Jayhawks lost last night...what an upset! But, another great basketball season!  Since there has been no sun outside for awhile I made this bright and cheery jello.  I call it orange fluff, but I know there are many versions and names to this dish.  It is very versatile and you can use any flavor of jello along with the corresponding fruit.  Our favorites are the orange and strawberry. 
Orange Fluff
1small pkg orange jello
1small pkg tapioca instant pudding
1small pkg vanilla instant pudding
(I sometimes don't have tapioca, so I use two vanilla)
3C water
2 (15oz)cans mandarin oranges, well drained
1 (8oz) tub cool whip, lite
Combine jello and both puddings with the water and heat in saucepan until thickened, this takes several minutes and lots of stirring.  Cool mixture and stir in oranges and cool whip and refrigerate.  Try using strawberry jello with strawberries, yum!  You could even use one can mandarin oranges and one can fruit cocktail, just drain them well.
Old camera+dark cloudy day=bad picture! But, I'm sure it still tastes cheerful!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Banana Blueberry Nut Bread

OK...I have a serious is snowing! I am not a happy camper...although I know better this early in the season, I had my mind set on warm weather! The grass is green, the birds have been chirping, the trees and bushes are blooming...and now snow, UGH! So what is a spring fever momma to do? BAKE! That's what I'll do!  I found a new blog called homeecathome and it is full of great ideas and yummy recipes.  I was looking for a banana bread recipe, I have several, but wanted to try a new one, and came across Faith's Banana Blueberry Nut Bread and it was perfect....go check out her site, you will enjoy it!  And I'm enjoying this bread on a snowy day! 
Banana Blueberry Nut Bread
1/3C butter
3/4C sugar...I used all brown sugar
1 egg
1C, or 3medium, mushed up bananas
1/2C milk
2C sifted flour, I used 1C flour and 1C white wheat flour
1Tbsp baking powder
1/2t salt
1/2C quick cooking oats
1/2tsp vanilla
1C blueberries...I used frozen
3/4C chopped walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 2 regular bread pans, or 1 large loaf pan. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, bananas, and milk. Measure flour, reserving 2T to coat the blueberries. Stir baking powder and salt into flour mixing well. Stir in oats. Add flour mixture into wet mixture and stir. Stir in vanilla.  Add reserved 2T flour to blueberries and mix and fold into batter. If using nuts, add them in to the batter.  Transfer batter to bread pan(s). I like to generously sprinkle cinnamon/sugar over the top of the batter before baking, that always makes things better! Bake for 50min, if using one large pan, add 5-8min to the cooking time. Cool on a wire rack.
I used a large bread pan and it took about 60-65min

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cherry Chip Bars

This recipe uses a cake mix and comes together quickly. You can double the ingredients and make it in a 15x10 cookie sheet.
Cherry Chip Bars
source: The Ugly Binder
1box cherry chip cake mix
1 egg
1/4C water
1/3C flour
1/2C oil
chocolate chips, desired amount, I used almost a cup
Mix all together and put in a greased 13x9. Bake at 350 for 15-20minutes, or until light brown.

If you look really, really close, you can see specks of cherry chip!
Update:  I just tasted this for the first time and I would say you need to like cherry chip cake mix before "liking" this...I do like it, and I did realize I would need to like this cake mix, but it wasn't all I thought it would be. I think I will try other cake mix flavors, like chocolate or spice, that would be really good with the chocolate chips. Even add nuts if you like!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paula Deen House Seasoning

I saw this seasoning a couple years ago on the food network channel when Paula was cooking....I have been making it ever since. The combo is perfect to mix up in an empty container(I use empty spice containers) and have handy to season anything from steak to chicken to fish and I even season my ground beef with it when I am cooking several pounds of beef at once.  Anything you want to season, this is the perfect blend.  So many times people only season with salt and pepper, but by adding garlic powder too, it takes the taste to another level.  Even if you don't care for garlic, this blend is settle enough that you won't taste it so much as just know your food has a good flavor....if you do like garlic, then just add more garlic to the mixture.  And yes, this WILL make you sneeze when you mix it up!!
Paula Deen's House Seasoning
1C salt
1/4C black pepper
1/4C garlic powder
Mix together and store up to six months.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cranberry Jello Dish

The Sunday school teacher asked my 5yr old daughter a couple weeks ago, who St. Patrick was and she told the teacher, "that is Spongebob's friend!" How cute! I'm so glad the teacher came over to tell me that story after church, I think I will write that one down in her baby book! Yesterday she told me that she was learning about dinosaurs in preschool and that there are tons of bones in the dirt from them and she told me that there aren't any around our town anymore, they are totally INSTINCT! She is quite the crack up! She just got done telling me that she was naming her stuffed animals(AGAIN!) and she named one  cat Amber and she said it just didn't go over so well with that cat, so she just HAD to change it for the cat because the cat was throwing a fit, so she named it something different and the cat started licking her and that meant the cat was then happy with its new name! Darn stuffed animals, they sound like a bunch of work to me! What an imagination that daughter of mine has! HMMM....I wonder where she gets it? If I wasn't crazy before kids, I am now! I have always told my husband that I am so glad he has never installed spy cameras around the house, or he'd think his wife has gone crazy! The things he would see me doing during the day to entertain a child! I didn't even know I had that craziness in just kinda comes out when we are using our "imaginations!"  Oh, it has been so fun staying home with our children...the things I would have missed if I wouldn't have been here all day with them! And to think it is coming to an end next fall when my youngest goes to Kindergarten! UGH! Who am I going to play "crazy" with and use my "imagination" with? Then when I do those things during the day, I won't have an excuse that my 5yr old made me do it! Then I will have to go to the funny farm! Oh well, I will probably end up there anyways from heartache after dropping my baby off at kindergarten on her first day!
Anyways, enough on that subject, I'm gonna start getting sad if I keep thinking about that!
This recipe is really light and refreshing and you can use different flavors of jello, like I used cherry today, because I had no other flavors. Cranberries are very good for you too!
Cranberry Jello Dish
1large(6oz)box raspberry jello, or cherry, strawberry,etc
1 small can crushed pineapple,drained ( I used a large can)
1 8oz tub of cool whip
1C chopped walnuts, optional
1large can whole-berry cranberries
Make the jello using 2C boiling water and then add your 2C cold water.  Use pineapple juice that you drained in place of the water if you want.  Let the jello set until slightly set, not solid.  Stir together can of cranberries, cool whip, drained pineapple and nuts in a large bowl and add the jello and mix it all together. Refrigerate atleast a couple hours.

How long does crushed pineapple take to drain? that stuff just keeps draining!

This isn't the prettiest dish to take a picture of, but here it is...with a couple bites missing!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crab Dip

Spring is in the air, oh yea! I love having my windows open and letting the old winter air out and the new Spring air in! I only wish there was a way to filter out the allergies from coming inside too! I plan on washing comforters and blankets this week and hanging them outside to you enjoy the simple, unexplainable, wonderful smell of line dried sheets? Oh, I love smells so good! It's in the same category of smells like the awesome smell of bon fires or fireplaces burning! There's nothing like it! Some of you are probably thinking I'm pretty strange right about now, but I love those smells!

Well, I've got to find some good game day is March Madness you know! And you do know that the KU Jayhawks are the number one pick right?! I am from Kansas, so you know that is who I am going for! on!  I found a wonderful recipe that I have not yet tried, but thought it would be perfect to try for game day...I found it over on the blog Diary of a Recipe Addict and it is called Crab Dip. It sounds wonderful and simple! I'm going to give it a try for game night! GO KU!!!!!

Crab Dip  (KU Colors!)
1/4-1/2C sliced black olives
1C diced celery
11/2C shredded cheddar cheese
1tsp dill weed
1pd imitation crab meat, diced
3/4 C mayo(real)
1/2C sliced green onions
Combine all ingredients, serve immediatley, or refrigerate until serving.  Eat cold on club crackers or ritz or wheat thins!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

This is a fun and easy crockpot recipe that you can add ingredients to make it more of a meal, like black beans, rice, corn, green chilies....just whatever your family likes..throw it in! But, this is the core recipe that you start with.  It is good topped with crushed up tortilla chips and shredded cheese. Have fun with it!
Crockpot Salsa Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts(add more if your family is bigger)
You can even throw them in frozen!
1C salsa
1/2-1pkg taco seasoning
1can cream of mushroom soup
1/2C sour cream light
Add chicken to crockpot and sprinkle with amount desired of taco seasoning. Pour salsa(or even a can of diced tomatoes)over the chicken.  Cook on low 6-8hours or high 4-5....just depends how hot your crockpot cooks. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Serve over rice.    Feel free to add the rice to the crockpot and many other ingredients...I like adding in corn and chili beans  (makes it healthier), then I top it with shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips.
This is in the crockpot and the chicken is on the bottom

Friday, March 18, 2011

Creamed Corn

This is an easy crockpot dish that could be taken to potlucks or parties. A nice twist from regular corn.  You could even spice it up and make it mexican and add a can of green chilies, or add stuff to it like spanish rice and hamburger and black beans,etc etc Play around with it and make it a main dish!
I got this from a Taste of Home cookbook.
Creamed Corn
2pkgs(or around 26oz)frozen corn
1(8oz)pkg cream cheese, softened and cubed
1/4C butter, cubed
1T sugar( I don't add this)
1/2t salt
Coat crockpot with cooking spray and combine all the ingredients. Cover and cook on low 3-4hours or until cream cheese is melted and corn is tender. Stir before serving.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ranch Salmon Packets

This is a fun recipe for grilling season, although you can also do the same thing and put it in the oven.  It is also healthy, if you use Light Ranch! I don't like the fat-free ranch, but I really can't tell much difference in taste with the regular vs. light ranch.  The cooking time will vary for this depending upon the size of your salmon and how hot your grill is, but you just want to make sure you check the salmon before getting it off of the grill and make sure it flakes with a fork in the middle. Be very careful when opening the foil packet, the steam will bite you! My kids really enjoy this and eat the veggies with no problem since they have ranch on them! If the salmon does happen to have a slight fishy taste, the ranch helps to cover it up...but, if it is fresh salmon, just don't buy it if it smells fishy. Here in Kansas, it is not real possible to get fresh fish! But, I have found a brand at Sam's that is frozen and is really good. These foil packets are fun because each person gets their own and you can custom make their packet depending on what seasonings and veggies they like.  It is great for camping too!
Ranch Salmon Packets
Salmon fillets
Ranch dressing
fresh, or frozen veggies(I usually use frozen california blend)
Take a square piece of foil, per salmon, and spray well with pam. Place the salmon on the greased foil and sprinkle with seasoning, I use salt and pepper.  Place a handfull of veggies on top of the salmon and squirt ranch dressing on top of the veggies and then sprinkle with seasoning again.  You could even place cheese on top of this. Then wrap up the foil and leave room at the top, like a dome, so it can steam.  Grill on med-high for 11-13minutes, depending on size of salmon. I always carefully open the packet and see if the salmon flakes in the middle before I bring it inside. If it isn't done yet, then close the foil up again and grill longer. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Does anyone have a liking to sauted mushrooms? I love the things, can't get enough of them. They make me smile. They make my eyes roll back.  I would have never ate them as a kid, but somehow during adulthood I have found a liking for them.  My kids think I'm "totally gross" when they see what I am eating...oh well, more for mom!  If I go to the grocery store a couple days after the sale add comes out, which is Friday(and before the weekend), then mushrooms, apples, bagged salads,etc are all marked down. I always get mushrooms for 69cents!  I also get the bagged caesar salads for 0.99!!
This is a great recipe to have with grilled steaks! Enjoy!
Sauted Mushrooms
Melt 2T butter in a skillet and add 8oz pkg mushrooms; cook and stir until soft and release liquid, around 5 minutes. Stir in 2cloves minced garlic and cook for one minute. Pour 2T(I thought 1T was plenty) and cook the mushrooms until the liquid has evaporated, about 4minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Creme De Menthe Cake

This is a fun and very easy dessert for St Patrick's day, or even a Spring celebration. It makes a very light and delicate green and is super yummy! It does have alcohol in it, but it cooks out of the cake.  If you don't want to add the alcohol, just add green food coloring to the frosting. I don't care for mint and I really enjoy the mint flavor of this cake. I got this recipe from my mother-n-law.
Creme De Menthe Cake
1box yellow or white cake mix, or even chocolate!
1/2C creme de menthe liquor
Make cake according to pkg directions, adding in the liquor
Let the cake cool and frost with chocolate frosting.
Mix 1 (8oz)carton of cool whip lite with 1/4C creme de menthe liquor.
Spread on top of the frosting and refrigerate for a couple hours.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lemon Bundt Cake

Tomorrow is potluck day at church! YES! I LOVE LOVE LOVE potlucks! For someone like me who loves recipes and to try new food, it is SO much fun attending a potluck! Especially at church when all the older women make recipes they've been making for years....that is why whenever you see a church cookbook or a community cookbook, BUY IT! They are full of good 'ol recipes that you can just count on to have extreme comfort food! Our church has some pretty awesome older ladies, they are just so sweet and kind and you can learn so very much from them.  It is a true blessing for me to sit and visit with older people.  It is a generation and quality of people, that sadly, we will never probably see again.  These older people have been through wars and depression and seen so very much and I love to hear their stories and their wisdom. Can you imagine what they have seen in their years, as technology has progressed so much? I am amazed at technology and don't know how to figure half of it out, I can't imagine what that generation thinks! I have been blessed my whole life to still have my grandparents(except one) and I have the best relationship with them and it is so fun to watch them be grandparents now to my children! They get spoiled even more than I do! That generation has respect and loyalty and morals and kindness and have worked hard their whole lives and feel blessed to have every single thing they own. They wouldn't think twice about disrespecting authority(be parents or teachers or law), like so many kids do these days. They are genuine and they truly care about people, about this nation, about everything.  I know there are still plenty of terrific kids these days, but some kids just amaze me at their outlooks on life and how they think everyone owes them something and they have no respect for anyone. I really do believe the theory that if you have to work hard to get something that you will appreciate it so much more than if it were just given to you.  Anyways, I could talk forever about this topic, but the next time you have an opportunity to visit with an older person, or help them, just see how much you are blessed by it and it will also bless them!
On to the recipe! This is a very simple lemon bundt cake that I found on allrecipes, it is much like the one I posted for my daughter's birthday, but even easier and this one has sprite in it. It does not have a frosting, but I think a simple lemon glaze would be great. I plan to just dust it with powdered sugar and keep it light.
Lemon Bundt Cake
1 pkg lemon cake mix
1small pkg instant lemon pudding mix
3/4C vegetable oil
4 eggs
1C sprite
Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 10inch bundt pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix, then stir in oil.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sprite. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 35min(mine took 50min), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20min and invert onto serving dish.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Corned Beef and Cabbage

St Patrick's Day is coming up quick and those corned beef are going on sale at the stores! I usually buy a few of them while they are on sale and freeze some for later. We love reuben sandwiches around here, so I save some corned beef meat just for these sandwiches. This recipe can be made in a dutch oven or adapted to a crockpot! I got the recipe from allrecipes from Laria Tabul
Corned Beef and Cabbage
3pounds corned beef brisket(with spice packet)
10 small red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled
1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges
Place corned beef in large pot, or dutch oven, and cover with water.  Add the spice packet.  Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 50minutes per pound.  Add whole potatoes and carrots and cook until almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15min more. Remove the meat and let it rest for 15minutes. Place veggies in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth from the cooked meat as you want. Slice meat across the grain.
Crockpot version: Add meat and sprinkle spice packet on top. Cook on low 8-10 hours or on high 5-6 hours. Add potatoes and carrots and cabbage a few hours before serving. If you had to leave for the whole cooking period I would think you could add the veggies in with the meat, they may just get mushy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, another chocolate chip cookie recipe...didn't I just post one last week? I must be on a choc chip cookie kick?? I don't know what it is...there are thousands of recipes for these cookies and every single time I find a new one I can't say no...I have to try it! It stays on my mind until I finally give in and make the new recipe..each new one I find is SO convincing that their recipe is the best and, well, I guess I fall for it! I could have worse bad habits, right?!  Today's recipe comes from the wonderful yummy blog, Mel's Kitchen Cafe  Go check her blog out, she has awesome recipes! She swears these are the perfect chocolate chip cookie and her "go to" recipe, so I had to try them and find out for myself!   I have got to tell you....I can finally rest and not feel obligated to make another chocolate chip cookie recipe I come across....these were AWESOME! PERFECT! I can finally rest on my quest...thank you Mel! These cookies had the perfect amount of salt, the perfect amount of chocolate chips and butter and they were the perfect texture! Next time I will add nuts.....that way my family will stay away from them!
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
21/8C flour
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt
Mix these three ingredients and set aside.
12T(1 1/2sticks)butter, slightly melted and cooled
1C brown sugar
1/2C sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2t vanilla
2C semi sweet chocolate chips
Mix the butter and sugars until combined. Then add the egg,yolk, and vanilla and mix until the batter has lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add in the flour mixture along with chocolate chips and stir until combined. Form into tablespoon balls and place on greased cookie sheets.  Frozen balls can be stored up to 2 months. Bake the cookies 10-12minutes or until slightly browned on edges, do not over bake or the cookies will be tough and hard. If baking frozen cookie dough add 1-2minutes to cooking time. Store baked cookies in an airtight container, or freeze baked cookies for up to 2 months.
(when I made this recipe I used my cookie scoop which is bigger than a Tablespoon and I had to cook them 14minutes...they won't look done, but take them out! I let them rest on the cookie sheets a few minutes before transferring them to wax paper. If you are using dark pans, take them out sooner)

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie!   Finally!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chicken Bake

This is a dish that I have tweeked until I found the right combo for my family. So feel free to use the veggie you like and you could change the cheese for a different taste and it would be great for leftover turkey instead of chicken.  Kids love this casserole and it's easy to sneak in the veggies without them knowing they are hidden within the stuffing!  Stuffing and cheese make anything better! Shoot, if I was a kid again, I'd eat my veggies if they had stuffing and cheese on them, maybe even that darn canned stringy spinach stuff my parents use to make me eat, yuck! That stuff shouldn't even be edible!  That is punishment, making your children eat canned spinach! OK.....I have a confession to make....I use to have to sit at the dinner table until my canned spinach was gone from my plate, which meant that I was still sitting there at bedtime! (my parents were very consistent and meant what they said!and I was very stubborn!)Well, after sitting there for hours each time we had canned spinach, I realized it was cutting into my play time and I did NOT like that! So, the schemer in me thought of an evil plan!(I didn't want to be this way, my parents brought this out in me!) I would only drink half of my milk during supper and then when my family would get up from the table and go into the other room, I would put my untouched spinach into the milk and hope that it stayed hidden! Mom would check my plate and see the spinach gone and I was FREE to go!  I know, terrible right?!  I don't think I ever told my parents about this "scheme" until I had my first child 11 years ago and the tables turned and I thought how my little one may do these terrible things to me! Thank goodness prepackaged fresh spinach came along, that stuff tastes totally different then that canned stuff.....besides, I would never make my children eat canned spinach! Anyways, just a heads up if you are a parent that makes your child sit there until their food is gone....check their milk!  And I forgive you mom and dad for making me eat that stuff!

Chicken(or turkey)Bake
Preheat the oven to 400. Prepare a package of stovetop chicken stuffing according to package directions and set aside.  Mix 2C of cooked and shredded chicken with a bag of frozen broccoli(or your choice of veggie) and place in a greased 13x9 dish. I have also used a 9x9 and it worked great.  Stir together a can of cream of chicken soup with 1/2Cmilk until smooth.  Add a small can of water chestnuts(optional), bag of cooked wild rice(or your choice of flavor) I use the 90second Uncle Bens rice in the microwave. Pour the mixture over the top of the chicken/veggie layer.  Top with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese and then top with the prepared stuffing. Bake for 25-30minutes

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Penne and Smoked Sausage

Does anyone else just LOVE the magazines Simple and Delicious and Taste of Home? I have been following these magazines for years and get many wonderful recipes from them.  The recipe today is from one of them(can't remember which one).  Enjoy!
Penne and Smoked Sausage
2C uncooked penne pasta (I use Smart Taste, it is healthy pasta)
1pd fully cooked kielbasa, (I use lite, or turkey sausage)
11/2C milk
1can cream of celery soup(I used cream of mushroom)
11/2C cheddar french-fried onions,divided
1C shredded mozzarella, divided
1C frozen peas
I had fresh mushrooms so I added them also
Cook pasta and drain.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown sausage for 5minutes(add mushrooms and raw onion here if you want them). In a large bowl, combine milk and soup and stir til smooth. Stir in 1/2C french fried onions, 1/2C cheese, peas and sausage. Drain pasta and stir into sausage mixture.  Transfer to a greased 13x9 dish.

Cover and bake at 375 for 25min or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with remaining onions and cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes more, or until cheese is melted.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Apple Crumb Pie

So, yesterday was sunny and short sleeve weather, overnight we had small hail and a thunderstorm and this morning it is snowing.....crazy Kansas weather! No worries though because it is FRIDAY!!!  I've been wanting to make this yummy apple crumb pie recipe ever since I spotted it over on the food blog Good Eats'n Sweet looked so simple, with very few ingredients.  I am use to apple pie with two crusts, which there is nothing wrong with that, but I thought the crumb topping sounded fun to try.  Let me tell you.....this was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! Very delicate, with the perfect amount of sugar and cinnamon and butter and the crust combined with the crumb topping was a perfect combination! The only thing I would do different is add toasted walnuts or pecans to the crumb topping, of course then no one else in my family would eat it if I added nuts to it....which of course may just be a pretty darn good plan!
Apple Crumb Pie
1 pie crust(I used Pillsbury!)
6C. or 5-7 tart apples, peeled and sliced
1C sugar, divided
1tsp cinnamon
3/4C flour
1/3C butter
Thaw pie crust and place in pie pan. Add sliced apples to the pie crust and combine 1/2C sugar and 1t cinnamon and sprinkle this over the apples.  Combine the remaining 1/2C sugar, the flour and the butter in a bowl and use a pastry blender(I just use my fingers) to incorporate the butter, until it resembles crumbs. 
Pour this over the top of the pie. Bake at 400 for around 40minutes or until apples are tender and the crumb topping is slightly browned. Cool completely before serving.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creamy Tortellini with Spinach and Tomatoes

This is a recipe from Kraft Foods that I have used for a few years.  I usually make it when I have fresh spinach and tomatoes growing in my garden, yummy! My daughter likes most veggies, so she ate it no problem. My son won't eat the red things or the green stringy stuff, but when I make this and it has the tortellini in it and cream sauce he will eat the veggies.  If your kids just won't eat tomatoes and spinach, just substitute veggies they do like.  I have added grilled chicken to this. It is easy and very good, enjoy!
Creamy Tortellini with Spinach and Tomatoes
1(19oz)pkg frozen cheese tortellini
1C milk
5oz cream cheese, cubed
1/4C + 2T grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/4t black pepper
6oz fresh spinach leaves
1C quartered cherry tomatoes
Boil tortellini according to pkg directions. In skillet, cook cream cheese and milk while stirring until combined.  Add 1/4C parmesan cheese and pepper and stir, taste to adjust seasoning. Add spinach; mix well. Drain tortellini and add to spinach, stir lightly.  Add tomatoes and rest of parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Puffy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a wonderful chocolate chip cookie recipe that I found over on the blog:  I know there are too many choc chip cookie recipes out there to even mention, but I made this one for the first time yesterday because the "puffiness" and pure size of them appealed to me. They are AWESOME! They are not one of those cookies you want to give to your kids that will put them in a glass of milk, or they inhale them so fast they don't even appreciate the decadence of, these are the type of cookies that you hide from anyone who won't truly appreciate their gourmet taste and depth of texture. In my house, that means I hide them from my two kids and my husband...SO, guess who gets them all? Yep, momma does! This could be bad!(but oh SO good!).  Does anyone else have those "secret" hiding places around your house where you put chocolate? I have to do this, or my kids and husband find the chocolate and it's gone! Then, when I decide to have a chocolate, I have to make sure they are busy and don't watch where I'm going and I usually end up eating it in the bathroom(with the door locked), or in my bedroom.  I only had to resort to this embaressing practice because my 5yr old daughter has this special talent of always knowing when mom has something sweet in her hands, I could be downstairs and away from her, and she still knows! It really is an amazing gift she has(although annoying too!).  It's the same gift that she has when she knows I just sat down to relax, or I have a few moments of quiet!!! Anyone know about this gift?!!          This is only a half batch and I used a 1/4C measuring cup to measure the scoops and it made 13 cookies.  I believe the original recipe calls for 1/2C measuring cup! You don't want to overbake these cookies, mine took 12minutes and they didn't look done at all, but they did continue to cook after I pulled them out of the oven and they turned out perfect. So, don't be tempted to cook them longer because they don't look done!  Use a good quality chocolate chip, I used Ghirradeli, and if you keep the nuts in them, then use walnuts or pecans.

The cutest Cookie Monster I've ever seen!
 Puffy Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Buns in my Oven blog
8Tbs cold butter, cut into cubes
3/4C brown sugar
1 large egg, cold
1tsp vanilla
1 3/4C flour
1/2t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
1/4t salt
1C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2C walnuts, or pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 and grease baking sheets, or line with parchment paper. In a bowl, or standup mixer, beat the cold butter and brown sugar for about 1minute, you don't want to cream it or let it get fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat until combined. Mix together the dry ingredients and add them to the butter and sugar mixture. You should have a stiff and somewhat sticky dough. If needed add another T. of flour. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and stir to combine.  Measure out the dough in equal portions, I used a 1/4C and it made 13. Levain Bakery(where this recipe is from) uses 6oz portions!  Place the cookies on the baking sheets and place them in the fridge for 5minutes to get cold again, this helps the cookie from spreading while cooking.  Bake for 11-13minutes or until the slightest brown on the outside. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack. Go to a closet, or hiding place where no kids can find you, and eat them slow enough to really enjoy them!
There is a link party at Little Rays of Sunshine, come join us to view other sweet treats!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I can NOT believe it!

My daughter, Brooke, did it! I was SO totally wrong! I would have lost the bet...good thing I didn't bet any money! She sat up there big and tall and closed her eyes and held her breath....

How could I have let her, those crocodile tears about killed me!

That's my big 5 year old! Now we need to work on her doing so well at getting shots at the dr. office!

Bierock Casserole

Who wants to take bets? My 5 yr old daughter has an appt to get her ears peirced today and I'm not thinking it's gonna happen! This is a tom boy were talking about, who could almost care less with what she wears and does not play with dolls, who loves dirt and mud and bugs and when it's time to get a shot at the dr.s office it takes 4 people to hold her down and about 20minutes of struggling with her before the shot can even be given. So you wanna make a bet now? LOL  I hope she does go through with it and it was her idea.  She saw a couple girls at preschool with earrings and her cousins too, so she thinks she wants them now.  She will be so "pretty" this summer while digging in the mud with her sparkly earrings! She does take after her mom in this department...I will be right next to her digging in the mud! Hey, a girls gotta be pretty while in the mud, right?! I will post a picture tomorrow if she goes through with it!  On with the you like bierox, or is it bierocks? My mom taught me how to make them and they are wonderful and so easy to freeze for later.  They do take some time to make, but they are worth it. And there are many variations to what you can add to your meat.  I came across this recipe for bierock casserole a few years ago and it is really good. It's not quite the same as an individual bierock, but it is much quicker and really good.  It uses crescent rolls, and you can put the layer on the top or on the bottom, or if you like more bread, then put a layer on top and bottom.  Enjoy!
Bierock Casserole
1 bag of prepackaged coleslaw
11/2pd ground beef
1can cream mushroom
1-2C shredded cheddar cheese
1or 2 cans crescent rolls
Brown beef and add onion if desired.  Mix in the bag of coleslaw(I don't use the whole bag, but use how much you like) Place a lid on the beef/coleslaw mixture and place on med-low to let the coleslaw steam and get soft. Once it has softened add the cream of mushroom soup and stir well.  I often add a few Tbsp of mustard at this point and I also boil about 1/4C water and add a beef bouillon cube and melt and add this to the mixture.  You can leave this step out if you want, I just think it adds more flavor.  Grease a 13x9 and place the mixture in the dish and top with shredded cheese and then place the crescent rolls on top, pressing seals together.  In my picture, you see I put the layer of crescent rolls on the bottom of the pan and it worked just as well. I think it would also be good to put a layer on the top and the bottom.  Bake at 400 for around 15-20min.
Note: instead of using a bag of coleslaw you can also use a bag of prepackaged broccoli slaw, it is located near the bagged coleslaw
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