8.28.2009

Oatmeal Cake: don't let the title fool you.

This is super duper delicious.

1 cup oatmeal
1 1/4 c boiling water
1/2 c butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 nutmeg

Heat oven to 350.
Put oatmeal in a medium bowl. Pout boiling water over oatmeal and cover. Let stand 10 minutes. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Add vanilla, eggs, softened oatmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix. Pour batter into a sprayed or greased and floured 9 inch square pan.
Bake 50-55 minutes.

Frosting
1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c brown sugar
3 tbsp half and half or evaporated milk
1/3 chopped nuts
3/4 c coconut

In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, and half-and-half. Stir in nuts and coconut. Frost warm cake. Place cake under broiler and brown until bubbly, watching carefully so that it does not burn.

** My sister makes some very yummy modifications. She pours the cake mixture into a 9x13 pan and cuts the baking time in half until it's just barely done. Then she doubles the frosting. I tasted her product and it was heaven.**

Cashew Chicken

Saute:

2 T butter
1/2 c chopped onion
1 c chopped celery

Add:

2 T soy sauce
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
4 c chicken or turkey, diced

Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 for about 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with 1 can of Chinese noodles (chow mein noodles) and 1/2 cup of cashews for the last 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins


1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
3/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 to 2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbs. or more butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or fill with papers. Spoon flour into measuring cups and level with a knife. Put measured flour in a mixing bowl and stir in 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat egg in a separate bowl with oil and milk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture until just moistened. Fold blueberries and lemon rind gently into batter. Fill prepared muffin cups two thirds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until muffins are done. While still warm invert muffins and dip tops into melted butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Makes 12 muffins.

Mexican Fiesta Biscuit Bake

(Similar to Brittany's Oven-Fried Chimichangas)

1 (1 lb, 1.3 oz) can Pillsbury Grand Biscuits, cut into quarters
1 (16 oz) jar thick and chunky salsa
12 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
Sour cream for topping

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place quartered biscuits in a large bowl. Add salsa, cheese, green peppers, onion, cilantro, garlic, and chicken. Mix. Place mixture in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Serves 5 to 6.

Mint Brownies

1 cup melted margarine (I always use butter, it works great)

2 ½ squares unsweetened chocolate (melt it in the butter)

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

½ tsp. Peppermint Extract (not mint, peppermint)

1 ½ cup flour

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

Mix together wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients until mixed well. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (cool completely)

Frosting

6 T of margarine

4 T of evaporated milk

2 cups powdered sugar

½ tsp peppermint extract

Green food coloring

Mix together well and spread on cooled brownie. Put in freezer for about an hour to allow it to set.

Chocolate top layer

1 cup or more chocolate chips and 4 T butter. Melt together and spread over mint frosting, refrigerate to set. (sometimes 1 cup is enough and sometimes I have to make a bit more to cover, it just depends on how your brownie bakes up.)

Breakfast casserole

I cooked this casserole today and it turned out great. It fed seven people with a little left over so it's perfect for a crowd and was easy to whip up.


INGREDIENTS
1 pound pork sausage
1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
10 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
Dash of salt and pepepr

DIRECTIONS
Brown sausage and bell pepper.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with crescent roll dough, and sprinkle with crumbled sausage and peppers. In a large bowl, mix beaten eggs, mozzarella, and Cheddar. Season the mixture with oregano, and pour over the sausage and crescent rolls.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: After 30 minutes of baking there was liquid on the top of the casserole still so I baked a little longer, almost 40 minutes. Even after 40 minutes there was still some liquid but layer of dough on the bottom was brown so I took it out. A knife came out clean and after sitting a few minutes the liquid dried off. So, I should have taken it out sooner just as the recipe said. Don't be fooled by a little liquid on top.

8.26.2009

Spinach & Cheese Quiche


This quiche is super easy to make. I usually make it for dinner when I have nothing else to make. We usually eat it with a side of cantaloupe or kiwi. When we have left overs we eat them the next moring for breakfast. Bon app├ętit!

1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust (I used the frozen pie crust from IGA)
1/3 cup of chopped onions
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (You can use any type of cheese)
4 Large Eggs
2 cups whipping cream or half-and-half (I only used a 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream)
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of pepper
1/8 tsp ground red cayenne pepper

You can always substitute the spinach for mushrooms, broccoli or asparagus. Also, you can put bacon, chicken and any type of cheese. Spread cheese over the bottom of the unbaked pie crust. Set aside a bit of the cheese for later use. Then spread onions and spinach on top of the cheese. In a medium mixing bowl combine eggs, whipping cream or half and half, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Pour cream mixture over veggies and cheese. Sprinkle cheese on top of the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 mins.

8.25.2009

Hot Hoagies

1 loaf french bread, cut lengthwise

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (in a pinch, you can use two large cans chicken breast)

1/2 cup light mayo

1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo of monterey jack and sharp cheddar cheese)

Olives, chopped (0ptional - I omit these due to my kids' preferences)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place french bread on large baking sheet. Mix all topping ingredients together in a bowl. Spread topping evenly on top of both lengths of french bread. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and edges are lightly browned. Slice into pieces and serve immediately

When I made this I doubled the recipe and we didn't have french bread so we used hamburger buns and they worked great, plus we didn't have to try to cut them. You could add other favorites too. I think it would be good with artichoke hearts, or even some bacon chuncks.

This meal was really good and really fast!

Chicken Tortilla Soup


This is such a favorite in our house - I could probably eat it every day!

especially yummy when you have all the fixings for it :)


2 T. olive oil

2-3 cooked chicken breast, shredded

1 onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

32 oz. chicken broth (or French onion soup mix with appropriate amount of water– actually, I like to do half broth and half soup mix…gives it yummy flavor!)

14 oz. Mexican style tomatoes

4 oz. green chilies

1+ tsp. cumin (add more if you like it spicy)

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. sugar

1 TB. Lime juice (or the juice of one lg. lime)


toppings:

Diced avocado

Sour Cream

Freshly cut cilantro

4 oz. shredded monterery jack or cheddar cheese

1 cup tortilla chips crushed a bit (to go inside soup while cooking, but you’ll want more to put on top of soup when serving)


In a 6 quart pot combine onion, garlic, and olive oil. Sautee for 5 minutes. Add chicken and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Add crushed tortilla chips. Stir well, cover and simmer 30 minutes. If liquid cooks down too much add water. When ready to serve, put some cheese, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and a handful of broken chips in bowl.

{I haven't ever tried it but I'm guessing this could be made in a crockpot!}

8.23.2009

Spinich Turnovers


2 lb. frozen spinach
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
1 cup cottage cheese, drained
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 can of Pillsbury cresent rolls (2 rolls per turnover, rolled into rectangle shape)

Chop onion and saute, along with spinach. Cook until limp. Set aside to cool. Beat an egg and mix it with the cottage and feta cheeses. Add cooled spinach mixture. This is the filling. Roll out two rolls pinched together and put a blob of filling on the dough and fold it like a turnover. Pinch the edges closed. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet and cook according to cresent rolls pkg.

homemade Oreo's

These are a favorite around our house and super easy!

CoOkIeS:
1 box of devil's food cake
2 eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil

Mix together ingredients and use tsp. to place tiny blob on greased cookie sheet. Flatten blob with palm or bottom of cup. Bake @ 350 for about 8 minutes. Cookie will look doughy but let it cool. If cooked for too long they are crunchy.

FrOsTiNg:
8 oz. cream cheese
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
{note: I sometimes half this recipe since it makes a lot - but who doesn't like extra frosting lying around?!}

Beat ingredients together and spread generous amounts of frosting, sandwiched between two cooled cookies!

Bet you can't eat just one :)

8.20.2009

Pilgrim's Pie

I made a few modifications to an online recipe to find yet ANOTHER use for our vat of instant potatoes. Pilgrims ate turkey, right? Apologies for the half-eaten photo, I just wasn't fast enough! BTW, my 9-month-old loved picking this up and eating it.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 small butternut squash, diced
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste (AKA ketchup)
  • 1.5 cup chicken stock, divided
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 4 servings of your favorite instant potatoes (may involve butter and milk)
Instructions

Chop all those pesky veggies and set them aside for later. Shred your cheese. Don't worry, this is the most time-consuming part.
Place a large skillet over high heat and with 3 turns of the pan, cooking oil, about 3 tablespoons. Once the oil starts to ripple, add the ground turkey and break it up into small pieces as it cooks, using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Cook until the turkey is nice and brown, about 8-10 minutes.
While the meat is cooking, prepare your mashed potatoes. Make them just a little more watery than the instructions say.
Add the veggies to the meat and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chicken stock, spices (be sure to rub them to release flavor before you add them), salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes, stirring every now and then.
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
While the veggies are cooking, stir about half of the cheese into the mashed potatoes until it's all melted.
Once the veggies and meat are finished, use them to cover the bottom of a large, oven-safe baking dish. Spread the cheesy potatoes to cover the turkey mixture evenly.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the potatoes.
Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Not your mothers Meatloaf!

This is the yummiest, most delecious meatloaf ever, and yes, it is not your mothers meatloaf, because you use the secret ingredient (SUGAR!!) Yes, its true! It is a yummy one to make, and it is a great one to make two loafs, eat one and freeze the other! Here it is!

1-2 lbs ground turkey or beef
1 c. oats (either kind will work)
1 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 c. ketchup or tomato sauce, even soup (I use Ketchup)

Mix everything except the meat first, then add the meat and mix well. Put into a well greased pan, and TOP with tangy sauce (1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 t. mustard mixed well). Bake at 175 C (350 degrees) for about 1 hour.

Enjoy!

8.14.2009

Smoothie

What to do with all those over-ripe bananas? No time to make banana bread? I use them in this quick and easy smoothie "recipe."

One or two ripe bananas
One flavored low-fat individual yogurt (I like strawberry)
About a cup of frozen fruit (I like blueberries because they are easy on the blender)

Throw it all in the blender for a few seconds and you have yourself a frosty, fruity treat.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a recipe I stumbled across trying to use up wheat flour someone gave me. A little healthier than the buttery Toll House recipe. I thought they turned out delicous. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the dark chocolate the recipe calls for.
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli chocolate chips or Hershey's special dark chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in oats, then chocolate chips. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Makes 30 cookies.

Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

These are the brownies that we made for Lou's birthday cake. I am not a huge fan of chocolate but these brownies were really good.

Brownies

1 cup of unsalted butter
3 ounces of the best quality semi-sweet chocolate (I used IGA semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese, softened (Yes, I was able to find mascarpone cheese at IGA)
3 large eggs, at room-temperature
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract ( I used imitation vanilla)
1/2 cup of flour
a/4 tsp of salt

Ganache Topping

6 ounces of the best quality semi-sweet chocolate (For this part I used IGA chocolate chips)
6 tbsp of whipping cream
3 tsp of unsalted butter

Directions

1. Preheat oven at 325 F. Have a 8-inch square cake pan already buttered.
2. First, start by making brownie part. Take a small saucepan and melt the butter. Take the chocolate chips place them into a mixing bowl. Then pour the hot butter over the chocolate chips. Let stand for 30 seconds and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
3. Sift in the sugar and the cocoa powder.
4. With a wooden soon, beat in the mascarpone, eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
5. Slowly, fold the flour and the salt into the batter.
6. Pour the batter into the already buttered 8-inch pan. Make sure the batter is spread evenly across the pan.
7. Place pan into preheated oven and bake for 45-50 mins. Or until toothpick comes out clean.
8. Place pan on a cooling rack and let brownies cool for 15 mins. While the brownies are cooling start making the ganache.
9. Place chocolate chips into a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and the butter just bellow the boiling point.
10. Pour the hot cream-butter mixture over the chocolate chips and let it stand for 30 secs. Then stir mixture until smooth and spread over the brownies. Make sure the ganache is warm when you spread over the brownies.
11. Don't cut into the brownies until the ganache has firmed up.

8.02.2009

Easy Chicken Bake!

(photo courtsey of www.culinary.net)

I got this off the Stove Top Stuffing box and it was actually pretty good!

Ingredients:
- 1 pkg. Stove Top Stuffing Mix (Chicken flavor)
- 1-1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
- 1/3 cup Sour Cream
- 1 16 oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed & drained.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package; set aside. Mix raw chicken, soup, sour cream & vegetables in 13x9 inch baking dish; top with prepared stuffing. I also sprinkled it with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 min or until chicken is cooked through!

Makes 6 servings.