Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

CREAMY CHICKEN LASAGNA

Ingredients:

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/4 cup hot water
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (26 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce


1. Bring large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 8-10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, & set aside.

2. Place chicken in saucepan with just enough water to cover & bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes, or until no longer pink & juices run clear. Remove from saucepan & shred. I put mine in my food processor for about 20 seconds and it's done!

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dissolve chicken bouillon cube in 1/4 cup hot water. In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the bouillon, cream cheese, & 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

4. Spread 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in bottom of 9 inch square baking dish. Cover with chicken mixture, & top with 3 lasagna noodles; repeat. Top with remaining sauce, & sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.

5. Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven until golden and bubbling.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mexican Casserole

This recipe is SOOOOOOOO easy and is really yummy. Literally, 20 minutes! Beat that Rachael Ray! My mother-in-law Joyce made this dish for us over the Thanksgiving holiday and it was scrumptious. I made it for supper tonight because after I ate it in Mississippi, I haven't gotten it off my mind. Also, I am addicted to all things Mexican and food related!

Mexican Casserole

Ingredients:
- 1 lb. ground sirloin
- 1 can Rotel (I used mild)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can chicken and rice soup
- 1/2 package of Taco seasoning mix
- 1/2 bag of tortilla chips, crushed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place crushed tortilla chips in botton of casserole.
Brown ground meat and drain. Add Rotel and both cans of soup (don't drain anything). Add taco seasoning mix. Stir and heat through until bubbly (about 3 minutes). Pour mixture over crushed tortilla chips. Cover with cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly delicious! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sweet Potato Muffins

This recipe was found on cooks.com, but I adapted it a little when I realized I did not have one of the ingredients. They were really good, moist and not too sweet. I like that because then they can be used for breakfast. It says the recipe is from the Louisian Sweet Potato Commission (heehee-they have a commission for potatoes?)
ingredients:
3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup peeled finely chopped apples
1 cup cooked sweet potato (alternative is canned)
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3 T vegatble oil
2/3 cup PLAIN yogurt
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. In bowl combine dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Mix both together. Spray muffin tin, pour in mixture and bake 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Granola

This is a tried and true recipe I got from Terrie Carcello. The nice thing is this is a basic recipe that you can customize (ideas are included).
6 c oats
3 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c water
1 T salt
1 c olive oil (trust me on this)
1 c honey
Mix all these things together in a large bowl. At this point you can add nuts, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.
Put this out on a cookie sheet and bake at 250 for 50 minutes, "turning" it in the pan with a spatula 4 times during the 50 minutes.
At this point you can add dried fruit if you like it (suggestions: raisins, dates, apricots, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, etc)
My favorite way to make it is with vanilla, almonds, and cherries. Cool completely and store in a large zip lock bag or plastic container with lid.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

White Chicken Chili

I think this is Scarlett's recipe. I love it! It's from the CCK Cookbook on page 37. Does anyone have any good soup recipes?

1 cup chopped onion
2 lg. garlic cloves minced
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp Cheyenne pepper*
1 tsp. crushed red pepper*
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 T. olive oil
4 cooked chicken breast, skinned, boned, cubed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tsp. lemon pepper
2 (4-oz) cans diced green chilies, drained
1 sm. jalapeno pepper thinly sliced*
2 T. lemon juice
2 (15-oz) cans great northern beans, undrained
salt/pepper to taste
chopped green onion
shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese
salsa
sour cream
tortilla chips

- Cook chicken in a covered skillet with water half way filling the pan (par boil) until done. Drain all water off, cut chicken into medium cubes, and set aside.
- Stir and cook onion, garlic, cumin, and oregano in olive oil in a large pot until onion is tender. Add all remaining ingredients including chicken.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheese, salsa, green onion and sour cream per preference. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Note: Optional, if you don't like spicy food.

Also, often I will add another can of beans and substitute chicken broth for the water. I don't usually use the spicy ingredients. One day I'm sure I will.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chicken Stroganoff

I made this new recipe for supper last night, and it was absolutely delicious! Jonathan said it is one of his new favorites. It is actually a Weight Watchers recipe that I printed out months ago and it just resurfaced earlier this week. Try it!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 package of Lipton's Onion Soup mix
1/4 cup water
1 8 oz. fat free or low fat cream cheese, softened
1 can fat free cream of mushroom soup
1- 4 oz. can of mushrooms, drained

Directions:
In crockpot, combine chicken, soup mix, and water. Cook on low heat for 4 hours.
In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, mushroom soup, and mushrooms. Combine with cooked chicken in crockpot. Continue cooking for one additional hour. (5 hours cooking time total). Serve over angel hair pasta.

***The pasta is what the recipe called for. That is what I had my stroganoff with. However, we had some mashed potatoes in the refrigerator that Jonathan tried it with and he said it was delicious. Also, I think it would be great over rice. Anything goes! Whatever your family enjoys the most.

***If anyone is interested in the Weight Watchers points information: The recommendations were to divide the chicken mixture into 6 portions and serve over 1/2 cup of cooked angel hair pasta. 1 portion of chicken sauce and 1/2 cup pasta equals 7 points.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monkey bread and Green Eggs & Ham

I saw Paula Deene make these with children today. Never tried it, but I am planning on it. We'll cook, then read Dr. Seuse, then enjoy the breakfast (probably for dinner).
Monkey bread ingredients and directions:
2 cans biscuits (quartered-there's a math lesson)
cinnamon and sugar mixed
butter
brown sugar
Just cut up the biscuits, roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture and
put in bundt pan. Melt butter and add brown sugar-pour over biscuits and bake until golden brown

Green eggs/Ham
eggs with BLUE food coloring (I would have used green, but Paula pointed out that since eggs are already yellow, just add blue)

Citrus Garlic Salad Dressing

My friend Terrie gave me this recipe. It's great on mixed salad greens with sliced mushrooms, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, black olives and shredded mozarella. Since my friend Jeannie gave me 4 heads of garlic recently, I made this salad dressing.
2 cloves garlic
3 T olive oil
3 T lemon juice
2 T honey
Put all in a glass jar and shake well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Strawberry Bread

I bought some strawberries last week and needed to use them so I looked up a recipe for strawberry bread online. I found this one below and I think it turned out really great. You can click here for the website I found it on. I think it is from a Junior League cookbook, which are usually always good. Enjoy!







Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter


3/4 cup granulated white sugar


3 large eggs1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


2 cups all-purpose flour


1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1/2 teaspoon baking soda


1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt


1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped


1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries (I used 2 cups)


To make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of an 8-cup loaf pan(9 x 5 x 3 inch) (23 x 13 x 8 cm). Set aside.




Place the walnuts (or pecans) on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool completely before chopping coarsely. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.


In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries and walnuts.




Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake about one hour, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 1 loaf.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BBQ Chicken Pizza

This is from the CCK Cookbook (pg 56)

3-4 chicken breasts, boneless
3/4 c. corn, rinsed and drained
3/4 c. BBQ sauce
1/2 c. red onion, chopped
1/2 t salt
1 lg. pizza shell, or 2 cans pizza dough
1 1/2 c. cheddar shredded cheese

Directions: In a large pot, boil chicken until done; drain, trim fat and shred. In a skillet brown onion slightly; stir in corn, BBQ sauce and salt heating until warm. Place shell or form dough on pizza sheet. Top evenly with mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is to your liking.

Recipe Note: You can use more or less of the ingredients to suit your taste.

* Aaron doesn't like onions so I omit that. Also, for the crust I use a loaf of frozen bread like you would for the Stromboli recipe. I let it thaw in refrigerator for 8 hours and then pat it out into a rectangle. I let it sit out for about 5 - 10 minutes before patting out as it stretches better.

Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Here is the recipe for the ice cream cake I made for Travis's birthday. I got it off of Kraftfoods.com. You can click here for the link to the recipe page. It has a video showing you how to do it if the recipe confuses you. I watched the video to make sure I layered the cake right. Enjoy!




What you need:


1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding (I used sugar free)

8 OREO Cookies, chopped (about 1 cup)

12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped (I used sugar free)


To make it:


POUR fudge topping into medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the whipped topping; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in chopped cookies; set aside.


ARRANGE 4 of the ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long piece of foil; top with half of the whipped topping mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 4 ice cream sandwiches. Frost top and sides of dessert with remaining whipped topping. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet.


FREEZE at least 4 hours before serving. Store leftover dessert in freezer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monkey Munch

I have come to know this great snack recipe as Monkey Munch, but you may have heard of it before as Puppy Chow or some other fun name. This is an easy, easy, easy, and extremely yummy snack for the kids or Care Group. Enjoy!

Monkey Munch

9 cups of Chex cereal (I recommend Rice or Corn Chex)
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar

1. In a large bowl, pour in the 9 cups of Chex cereal.
2. In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Heat in microwave for one minute. Add teaspoon of vanilla. Stir. Heat for 20 seconds more, or until the mixture is smooth.
3. Pour mixture over Chex cereal and stir gently until cereal is covered in chocolate mixture.
4. Put the Chex cereal in a 2 gallon freezer bag. Add confectioner's sugar, seal bag, and shake until cereal is coated in sugar.
5. Pour snack mix on cookie sheet lined with wax paper until cooled. Store in an air-tight container for best results.

*** Suggestion: I made a double-batch of this for Care Group recently. For variety, I purchased a box of Corn Chex and a box of Rice Chex. Each box of Chex Cereal contains 13 cups of cereal, and the recipe calls for 9 cups. So one box will give you more than enough for one batch. Enjoy!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tuna Salad Nicoise

Alright, here's a healthier recipe. I had this one at a fancy-schmansy restaurant near Melbourne, Australia. (For those, especially me, who did not have French class it is pronounced like saying "knee-swah" and the c should have a little "5" hanging off it...I digress).

Ingredients:
Mixed salad greens or romaine torn into pieces
Long-stemmed green beans (hericot verts-don't pronounce the "h", the 2 "t"s, or the "s"-now I know why I never took French)
baby new potatoes (red skin), quartered
vinaigrette of choice (I like to add dijon mustard to basic Italian-like Newmans)
nicoise olives (or use kalamatas if you can't find)
3 eggs
albacore tuna (they have some nice gourmet ones at Walmart)

Place washed/drained lettuce on plates.
Hard boil the eggs and slice them.
Steam the green beans and new potatoes.
Place items on top of lettuce in little piles (not like a regular salad that you want mixed up).
Drizzel with dressing.
This is delicious!

Reubens

We love Reubens! No, they're not healthy! But they are good...

Ingredients:
Jewish rye bread (2 slices per person)
butter for bread
corned beef (you can get this in the Deli section)
1 can saurkraut
thousand island dressing
swiss cheese (1 slice per person)

Directions:
butter outsides only of bread (ie the side of each piece of bread that will get toasted)
in between layer: beef, saurkraut, dressing, and swiss cheese
from here its like doing grilled cheese-toast on low until golden brown and cheese is melted. my children like it if I omit the kraut(-they don't know what they're missing)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Italian Sausage with Pesto Pasta

Looking for an easy meal? This one's easy, and tasty. Some days you just gotta take a shortcut. Here's one.
Ingredients:
1 pound italian sausage
1 pound pasta
1 jar of pesto (Walmart carries Classico -its with the regular marinaras)
Directions:
brown sausage
cook pasta according to pkg instructions
Toss pasta with pesto and top with sausage
We add a salad and bread to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the meal. This is easy to keep all ingredients on hand (sausage in freezer) and a nice break from regular spaghetti.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Something Worth Trying: Flat Iron Steak

A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law called me to tell me about a new supper idea she had just tried. She purchased a flat iron steak from her local Kroger and was so surprised by how lean and yummy and inexpensive it was. So, I purchased one at my local Kroger and we had it for dinner the other night. It was great!

To be honest, we rarely have steak simply because it is such an expensive purchase. However, the flavor of the flat iron steak was wonderful, and get this, one steak fed four hungry adults for a mere $6.50. I marinated the meat for about six hours and then grilled it for 20-30 minutes. YUM! Just thought I would share this recent find with those of you who have yet to discover it. It is such a versatile cut, the meat was very tender, and Jonathan really enjoyed it. We'll be having this more often!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Easy Pork Bar-B-Que Sandwiches

I got this extremly easy recipe from my friend, Kristie. It's so easy and so, so yummy!

1 large pork loin (I get the ones at Sam's). I have to cut the large ones in half and freeze the remaining one. But if you have a large crock pot, you may be able to cook the entire pork loin at once.
1 large jar of Bar-b-que sauce.
Sandwich Buns

Place the pork loin in your crock pot and cover with sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve with your favorite bar-b-que fixins. You will have a lot of left overs. Freeze leftovers for another easy meal or two later.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Taco Pie- made with Pie Crust

I made this recently for my family and we loved it. Then I made it for some ladies in my small group at church and it was a hit so I thought it was time to post it for you!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 (1.25-ounce) package Taco Seasoning Mix
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1 (1-pound) package frozen green, red and yellow peppers and onions*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (11-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup salsa
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded cheese recommended: Colby/Monterrey blend or Mexican blend

Garnish: Sour cream, Taco Sauce , guac.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Add taco seasoning mix and water; mix until ground beef is well coated.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat until hot. Add peppers and onions; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and drain excess liquid. Add garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper, corn, and salsa, stir well and set aside.

Prepare pie crusts as directed on package for 2-crust pie using 9-inch glass or metal pie pan.
Combine salsa and corn mixture with ground beef; mix well.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese evenly in bottom of crust-lined pan. Spread 1/2 of beef mixture evenly in pan over cheese, pat down. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese in pan and spread evenly with remaining beef mixture, pat down, top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Top with second crust and flute; slit in several places.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with strips of foil or a pie crust shield after 15 minutes of baking. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator.
Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of taco sauce. Also recommended: guacamole, salsa, and diced green chiles.

* If using fresh peppers and onions, use 1 1/2 cups chopped onions and 2 1/2 cups chopped peppers and increase prep time and stove top cooking time.

My Notes: I've never tried it with frozen peppers and onions. It's easy but if you use fresh products it does add to prep time. I also just used garlic salt instead of garlic powder, salt and onion powder. Finally, I used medium salsa in the corn/salsa mix to give it a little kick.

Recipe from the Foodnetwork, Emeril's Pie Contest

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Best Brownies EVER!!

Here is a great brownie recipe that is slightly based on my friend, Sarah Helgeson's famous brownie recipe. These are so very, very rich, but worth every bite!

BROWNIES
2/3 cup butter (it MUST be real butter--I use Amish butter from our local produce store)
5 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 3/4 cup sugar (I use demerarra sugar--it's the best)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a square pan (9X9X2) with shortening.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in 1 qt saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
3. Beat sugar, vanilla, Irish Cream, and eggs in medium bowl with electric mixer on high for 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture on low speed. Beat in flour just until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks. Spread into pan.
4. Bake until brownies pull away from sides of pan.
5. While the brownies are baking, mix frosting:

FROSTING
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
1 tablespoon milk

6. Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl. Stir in vanilla, Irish Cream, and milk. Beat until smooth and spreadable.
7. After brownies have baked, make sure they have cooled completely. Ice the brownies with all of the frosting mixture. Let frosted brownies sit out at room temp for several hours (this is the key to keeping them good and moist). You can eat them now or refridgerate until later. Enjoy!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Freezer Meals-Installment 3

Sorry about that error. I think I was a little ambitious trying to get Install. 3 posted after cooking 6 meals! I was tired and "lost" my work in cyberspace.
I cooked up some more ground beef and made Mexican Stuffed Shells & Baked Spaghetti. Recipes follow:

Baked Spaghetti

Ground beef, 1 pound browned and drained
1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to pkg directions
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (you could also use mozerella or combination of both)
grated parmesean cheese to taste
italian seasoning
can mushrooms, drained (if you like them)
spaghetti sauce, 26 oz

Mix cooked beef, cooked pasta, 1 cup cheddar cheese, mushrooms and spaghetti sauce in large casserole dish (I used disposable aluminum pans). Top with remaining cheeses and sprinkle with italian herbs. The key to this dish is to make sure the cheese covers the top well and evenly so the pasta does not dry out when you store or bake it. Wrap with plastic wrap, then foil. Label and make a note to remove plastic wrap before baking. 350 for 30-45 min.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

12 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to pkg instructions
1 pound ground beef, browned, drained
1 cup salsa
1 can spaghetti sauce/ tomato sauce, 15 oz
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup cheddar cheese (or moterey jack or Mexican)
toppings when you serve it: black olives, sour cream

Mix all ingredients except toppings and pasta in large bowl. Stuff shells with it using a serving spoon. Note: the cooked noodles are floppy and slippery! Place these in a greased or sprayed pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Wrap, label, and freeze.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Freezer Meals-Installment 3

Freezer Meals-Installment 2

O.K. the kids are having "quiet resting time"-did I say quiet? I made two soups in about an hour. I defrosted about a pound of ground beef and made vegetable beef soup and chili with it (we don't like tons of meat in our stuff).

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2 pound ground beef, browned
onion, 1 small diced
green pepper, 1 small diced
celery, 2 stalks diced
garlic to taste
2 cans tomatoes, diced with juice
1 can corn drained
chili seasoning (to make your own use chili powder, garlic powder, cumin)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can water
After browning beef, add pepper, onion, celery to pan and saute until tender. To the pan add tomatoes, chili seasoning, and all other ingredients. I stored mine in a large freezer bag, labeled.

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
2 cans tomato juice (you can take a shortcut and use v8)
1 can corn, drained
1 can green beans, drained
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
pasta (I used alphabet)
salt, pepper, herbs to taste
Cook ground beef until pink is almost gone. Add onions, carrots and celery last 5 minutes or so. Cook pasta according to pkg directions. Don't overcook vegetables or pasta or it will be mushy when you reheat. Place all ingredients into large zip lock bag, label and freeze. Also, you could substitute cans of mixed vegetables for the others to make this super quick.

Reheating:

I would defrost the bags 24 hours in advance. Then place in stock pot and heat over medium heat until hot. Accompaniment ideas for the chili: Cornbread (can be made ahead and frozen), crackers, tortilla chips, fritos, peanut butter sandwiches.

I forgot to give instructions for reheating things in installment 1. Most casseroles can be cooked at 350 for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven or whether or not you defrosted.

Freezer Meals- Installment 1

I am using the time my kiddies are playing in the yard this summer (I can see them from the kitchen) to make some freezer meals to serve us during the busy school year. So far I've made two family size meals in 30 minutes. Some benefits are less cooking and clean-up on a busy evening or an evening when you're tired. Also, you can cook several meals using the same pot (one pot to cook rice, one to cook pasta etc). You can also double batch. Here are some things that do not freeze well: eggs, tofu, potatoes (exception is hash brown potatoes). Other people might know of some other things not to freeze. Also, others might post their favorite freezer meals. Pasta-based and rice-based meals are ideal for freezing, as is soup. Recipes follow:

Pizza Pasta

pound of pasta (any kind is fine)
pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
Mozarella cheese 8 oz, shredded
Parmesean cheese
cheddar cheese if you like 4 oz, shredded
italian seasoning
pepperoni 1/3 bag
peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms (whatever you like on your pizza)
Cook pasta, drain, and place in casserole dish. Stir in tomato sauce. Then just layer your pasta with ingredients just like you would if you were building a pizza. Finally top with cheese and sprinkle with italian herbs.

Chicken & Rice Casserole

Rice 2 cups, uncooked
bag of brocolli flowerettes
boiled & shredded chicken 1 pound
shredded cheddar 2 cups, divided
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
crushed ritz crackers, corn flakes or bread crumbs
Cook rice according to pkg directions and drain. Place rice in casserole dish. Stir in brocolli, cooked shredded chicken, cream of mushroom soup, milk, and 1/2 cup cheddar. Stir all until well blended. Top with remaining cheddar, and sprinkle with cracker crumbs.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Terry's Chicken and Rice

1 package of chicken breast tenders (I used 3 chicken breasts. Also, flattened them a little with mallet and cut them up to size of big chicken tenders)
1 stick of butter (I used 5 tablespoons to cut down on fat)
2 cups minute rice
2 chicken bouillon cubes in 1 cup boiling water
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup

- Melt butter in 9 by 13 baking dish. mix in rice, dissolved bouillon cubes, chicken broth, and cream of mushroom soup. Salt and pepper chicken and place in pan so liquid covers it. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. For the last 5 to 10 minutes uncover so rice can get a little brown.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 12 oz bag chocolate chips

Mix the first six ingredients by hand and then with mixer. Add in the flour baking soda and salt. Blend together. Add in 1 12 oz bag chocolate chips. Mix all together.
Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 12-13 minutes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

2 cups cooked chicken
1 large can of mixed veggies
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 cup Bisquick with 3/4 cup milk

Mix chicken, vegetables, soup and 1/2 cup milk in bowl. Melt stick of butter in baking dish while pre-heating oven. Pour chicken mixture over melted butter. Mix 1 cup of Bisquick using 3/4 cup of milk. Pour over chicken mixture. Bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hamburger Stroganoff

This is a pretty inexpensive meal, easy to make, and tastes good! The recipe is from CCK's cookbook. I changed it a bit.

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 T. flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (4 - 9 oz) can sliced mushrooms
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
2-3 cups hot cooked egg noodles

- Cook and stir ground beef and onion until ground beef is thoroughly browned. Stir in flour, salt, garlic, pepper and mushrooms. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Stir in soup. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream; heat through. Serve over hot noodles. Serves 4.

* Once I didn't have an onion, so I substituted it for about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of onion powder. It worked fine and saved a dollar!

** The original recipe calls to cook the ground beef and onion in a 1/4 cup butter. I don't do that to cut down on calories/fat. Also, it calls for cream of chicken. I like cream of mushroom better.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Frugal Meals

Well, with the cost of gas and food going up, do any of you have any frugal meals?

Here is one of my favorites (It can also be frozen and thaws well. We usually split it in half and cook half and freeze the other half for another time)

Baked Ziti
1 LB ziti cooked and drained
1 lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
2 jars spaghetti sauce
6 oz provolone cheese (slices)
2 cups mozarella
1/2 c sour cream

Brown ground beef with onion. Drain. Add jars of sauce and simmer 15 minutes. In baking dish layer 1/2 cooked ziti noodles, provolone, sour cream, 1/2 sauce, then mozarella. Repeat with remaining ziti and then remaining sauce. I like to top it with some extra mozarella.
Bake @ 350 for 30 min or until bubbly.

If you freeze it, you should add a little more sour cream to the layering so it stays moist.
My family is anti sour cream, but they love this recipe!

Any other frugal meals???

Monday, May 5, 2008

Skinny Caesar Salad

Of course, I got this recipe in a magazine (Health) and tweeked it a tiny bit. You could omit the chicken and serve this as a side salad. The shaved parmesan made this recipe! Walmart doesn't ususally carry anchovy paste but Kroger does. Since it all goes in the blender anyway, I used anchovy fillets (they are in a little can near the tuna).
Ingredients:
head of romaine lettuce torn into bite size pieces
olive oil for sauteeing chicken
1 pound chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper
dressing:
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup soft silken tofu
2 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
1.5 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp anchovy paste
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
Topping:
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1.5 cup fat-free croutons

Directions:
Basically sautee seasoned chicken in a bit of olive oil. Slice thinly when cooled. Blend the dressing ingredients in a blender until well-combined. If needed add 1 T water to thin it. Toss lettuce, croutons, and dressing in a large bowl. Divide salad among 4 plates. Top with the chicken and shaved parmesan.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pecan-Crusted Chicken in Honey-Mustard Sauce

I made this dish on Sunday night. I got it off of Kraft Foods. I made some alterations after looking at suggestions from others and it turned out FANTASTIC! It will be one of our new dishes. The dipping sauce is what makes this so yummy. You can click HERE to see the original recipe, but what I ended up doing to prepare it is below. You have got to try this, it was SO good!
Chicken:
1 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix
1 cup finely chopped Pecans
1 egg
2 Tbsp. water
flour (for dipping)
up to 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I only used 3)
Cayenne pepper to taste
Dressing:
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1-2 TBSP honey
1-2 TBSP horseradish sauce
*I didn't measure the honey or horseradish sauce so that's why I have a range of 1-2 TBSP, just make it to taste. The more horseradish sauce you add, the spicier it is.*
PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Mix coating mix and pecans in shallow dish (add the Cayenne pepper at this point if your going to use it); set aside. Beat egg with water in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in flour, then egg mixture, then in pecan mixture, turning to evenly coat both sides. Place on foil-covered baking sheet.
BAKE 18 to 20 min. or until chicken is cooked through.
MEANWHILE, mix all ingredients for sauce together. Serve chicken with sauce on the side.
I served this with some Parmesan garlic potato wedges made by Oreida and green beans.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stromboli

This recipe is from the Girl Talk blog. My friend, Johanna, made it for us, and it has quickly become a family favorite!

Stromboli
2 - 16 oz. loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
¼ pound thinly sliced ham
¼ pound sliced hard salami
½ tsp. dried whole basil, divided
½ tsp. dried whole oregano, divided
3 oz. sliced provolone cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbs. butter, melted
Spaghetti Sauce

Place bread dough on a lightly greased baking sheet, pat into a 15x10 rectangle. Arrange ham slices lengthwise down the center; place salami on top. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. basil and ¼ tsp. oregano. Arrange provolone cheese over herbs, and top with mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with remaining herbs. Moisten all edges of dough with water. Bring each long edge of dough to center; press edges together securely to seal. Seal ends. Brush dough with 1 T. butter. Carefully invert and brush top with remaining butter. Bake 375* for 20 to 22 minutes. Serve with your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce. Yields: 8 servings.



A few tips from Johanna (You might not need the tips because you are probably smarter than me when it come to bread dough)

1. The directions on the bread dough package will probably give you a quick thawing option which takes a couple of hours. You can do it much quicker by defrosting it in the microwave. Make sure you wrap the frozen dough in plastic wrap before you microwave it because it will dry out.

2. Make one for dinner and then freeze the other one. Don't forget to use plastic wrap with a little cooking spray.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

This is an easy and delicious meal that can feed a large crowd once or your family for a few nights. Enjoy!

1/2 stick of butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 packages of smoked sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
1 2 lb. box of Uncle Ben's rice (not the instant!!)
3 cans of French Onion soup
3 cans of beef broth
salt and pepper, for seasoning

For the sake of convenience and because I do not own a pot/pan big enough to prepare this meal, I usually purchase a disposable aluminum roaster pan to cook this dish.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While preparing your meat, stick the 1/2 stick of butter and chopped vegetables in the pan and place in the preheated oven so the butter can melt and the vegetables can soften. (Note: You can also purchase a bag of the frozen seasoning mix already chopped. It typically includes onion, bell pepper, celery, etc.)

2. Once the butter is melted and the veggies have softened, remove the pan from the oven and DUMP the chicken, sausage, 2 lbs. of rice, and 2 cans of each soup. Mix and add salt and pepper. (Keep in mind the two soups are pretty salty to begin with, not to mention the sausage).

3. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, removing the foil the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Every 30 minutes or so, check and stir jambalaya and add in the additional cans of beef broth and French Onion soup as needed. I typically use all six cans! You will know the jambalaya is done when the rice is soft, not mushy!

I usually pair the jambalaya with a green salad and some good, hot French bread! I am a native New Orleans girl and learned this recipe while down there. It's not a spicy version, but it is full of flavor and DELICIOUS! Bon Appetit!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vegetable Panzanella with Tuna

With the warmer weather are you craving lighter fare? Here's a great recipe. I don't want to be an ingredient snob, but it is worth it to get FRESH herbs for this and "first cold pressed" olive oil-it has a nice fruity flavor and light green color. I think this was a Cooking Light recipe originally-of coarse I changed it a little. Also, I double the vinaigrette-I've reflected the increase in the recipe.
Vinaigrette:
4 T chopped fresh parsley
4 T chopped fresh basil
4 T olive oil ("first cold-pressed" is best)
4 T red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic
Salad:
4 cups peeled diced cucumber (de-seed if you wish)
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 tsp salt
3 tomatoes coursley chopped
2 cans albacore tuna (chunk light is ok too)
4 cups cubed or torn day-old french/italian bread (you can also just toast it)
Mix all together. Delicious! (If you do not want to serve it right away-just reserve your bread cubes until serving.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Where are all the new recipes?

Sorry for the lack of recipes here lately. Just so you know....the contributors of this site are quite busy. (Thus the name of the blog) The 15 contributors of this blog have three babies on the way (that I'm aware of....), four new babies, 10 toddlers, 15 pre-schoolers, and 5 school-age children. That's 37 kids! I'm tired just thinking about that!



Here's a great crock pot recipe that I got from Laurie's blog. We had it for dinner tonight.

A roast
A can of cream of mushroom soup (chicken/ celery if you have non-mushroomers)
One packet of onion soup mix.
Put the roast in first, cover with can of soup, sprinkle with powder soup, set on low, let it cook 6-8 hours.
*add chopped potatoes, carrots and onions for a yummy side dish

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Easy Delicious Fried Chicken

Here is a Paula Deen recipe that I changed a little. My changes are noted.

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup hot red pepper sauce (I used only a little b/c I wasn't sure if my fam could take the spice)
2 cup self-rising flour (notice it says self-rising and not all purpose!)
2 1/2 lb chicken, cut into pieces
Paula Deen's House Seasoning ( I just used garlic salt and pepper)
Oil, for frying, preferably peanut oil (I used crisco)
1/2 cup of milk or buttermilk (this was an idea from my Mum)

Directions:

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.

In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with milk. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange (about 1 cup). Season the chicken with the House Seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour. Place the chicken in the preheated oil and fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer than white meat. Approximate cooking time is 13 to 14 minutes for dark meat and 8 to 10 minutes for white meat.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 14 minutes Difficulty: Easy Yield: 6-8 servings

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Another Hint: My mum told me to dip the chicken in the egg wash with one hand and the flour with the other hand. It worked perfectly with minimal mess.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Thanks Trillia for posting. Life has been a little crazy here with a new baby! For our family, all meals are easy right now.

Here's our easy meals
1. Tacos - with black beans and corn - yum yum!
2. Spaghetti - I make a big batch of sauce - nothing special. I use a large containger of store bought sauce and add ground beef, onions, green peppers, garlic and other seasonings. I freeze the sauce in freezer bags and then just thaw them when needed. I usually get four meals out of one container. I'm sure as our three boys grow up, we won't get that many servings out of one big container.
3. Frozen Lasagna - ok I said it, FROZEN lasagna. The Wal-mart brand is just as good as the leading national brand.
4. Petro's. - This is the meal that my friend, Zerita, brings to others when she's blessing them with a meal. For those that aren't familar with Petros, It is an East Tennessee company started after the 1982 World's Fair where Petros were first introduced. Click on the link for a description of what a Petro is and see just how easy it is to make!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Easy Dinner Meals

Sorry it has been so long since anyone has posted. I think the title rings true for most of us "busy moms".

Thinking about Honey's great list of foods for kids I started thinking of meals that were easy for dinner. Some of the recipes may already be on here so I will just post the titles of the meals rather than a full recipe:

1. Spaghetti, bread, and salad
2. Shepard's Pie! (meat and potatoes and peas on the side)
3. Crock pot beef stew
4. Beans (like pinto beans) and cornbread (This is not a staple in my house but my friend makes it and enjoys it because it's easy and cheap!)
5. Pot Roast (with veges in the roast)
6. Salad for dinner (add some unique veges like artichokes and a meat like tuna or chicken)
7. Black beans and rice (add salsa and cheese to spice it up and broccoli or other vege on the side)
8. Pizza! (OK so take out may not count but it sure is easy! Ha!)

Any others?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Salsa Shrimp Soup

I got this from Parenting magazine a few years ago. It's so easy. I have modified it. It's quick. It's also not too fiery for children if you use mild salsa.

Ingredients:
1T Oil
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
32 oz. chicken broth (you can use veg.)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup salsa
1 can corn,drained
1 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled
1 avacado, diced
2 T fresh chopped cilantro
2/3 cup crushed tortilla chips, lime and green onions for topping
I also like to add 1/2 to 1 cup cooked rice

Saute garlic, onion, shrimp in oil. Add all ingredients thru cilantro (including rice if you want). Top with chips, & avacado.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

breakfast & lunch ideas

Tired of cereal? Bored with sandwiches? Here's a list of ideas for breakfasts and lunches for children. Does anyone else have ideas? Please post.

Breakfasts:
1. Happy english muffins (toast english muffins, mix cream cheese with dried fruit bits and nuts -like sunflower seeds or pecans, spread on muffins) (nuts-older children only)
2.Oatmeal with various toppings for kids to choose
3.Sister Schuberts yeast rolls with sausages (yeah-and try not to eat them all yourself!)
4.Pancakes/waffles and various toppings (these can be made in large batches on the weekend and frozen to use as needed during the week)
5.Toast with peanut butter and banana
6. Quiches (All you need is pie crust, six eggs, 1cup milk for basic recipe-add anything else you want. I let mine cook in the oven with the dinner the night before and just microwave the next morning. We like melon on the side)
7. Mini quiches without crust (use muffin tin and let the children put in what they like-cheese, ham, etc.
8. muffins-make ahead and freeze

Lunches:
1. Pizza dogs (slice open hotdog buns, and hotdogs lengthwise, top with ketchup, shredded cheese, onion etc.)
2. cheese toast strips with marinara sauce for dipping
3. party tray with cheese cubes, crackers, lunch meat, grapes, avacado slices, veggies & dip etc
4. spaghetti squash with pesto or marinara (just cut squash in half and get out seeds with a spoon, cook in oven until tender -maybe 45min-1hr-then scrape out spaghetti-like strands with a fork & top with sauce-we never have leftovers!)
5. edamame as a snack or part of a meal (these are in freezer section, quick to prepare, and my kids love to pop them out of their shells into their mouthes-yummy!)
6. tomato soup with toppings (you remember the commercial-"Campbell's tomato soup-possibilities!" -its true. We like goldfish crackers, parmesan cheese... you can also put in a can of veg-all for a quick vegetable soup)
7. jazzed up turkey sandwich (i've let my kids put a little jelly on their turkey sandwich instead of mayo-it's remniscent of turkey with cranberry sauce)
8. english muffins with crab and cheese (use jar of "old english cheese spread by kraft"-heat imitation crab meat and jar of cheese in small saucepan and place on toasted english muffin-for adults, I add sauted celery, mushrooms, and onions)
7. quesadillas (tortillas, cheese, canned corn, and leftover ham is popular at my house. just construct like a sandwich then zap in microwave 30-45 seconds and cut with a pizza cutter)
8. little chefs salads (iceberg lettuce, raw veggies, cheese, ham or turkey or bacon, avacado, saltine crackers and ranch or honey-mustard dressing)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mediterranean Chicken Packets

I just made this last night and it was a hit. Very moist, easy and delicious. I made it with a side of couscous.

4-6 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions
1 cup drained and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespooons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
4 ounces goat cheese or feta, crumbled

preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.


Prepare 4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil to measure about 12 by 15-inches. Fold in half crosswise to crease, then unfold. Divide the spinach among the 4 foil sheets, placing it in the center of the bottom half.

Lightly coat both sides of each chicken breast with oil, then season with the Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Place one chicken fillet in the center of each spinach portion.


In a medium bowl, combine the onions, tomatoes, olives, garlic, wine, basil, thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and stir to combine. Pile the tomato mixture on top of each chicken breast, spreading to cover evenly and allow any liquid to puddle around the chicken. Top each portion with 1 ounce of cheese.

One at a time, fold the top of the foil over the chicken, and starting at the corner, fold the edges of foil over to tightly seal, each fold overlapping the previous one. Place on the grill, or if using the oven, place the packets on a baking sheet and bake until the packages puff and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, and cut the tops of the packets open with a small, sharp knife. Serve immediately either in the foil packets, or by removing the chicken, toppings and sauce to dinner plates.

This recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse. I changed only a few things.
Episode#: EM1E44Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved