Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chocolate Chip Brownies

My friend, Julie, served these brownies last night. They were very yummy!

Chocolate Chip Brownies
(adapted from Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers)

3/4 stick Unsalted butter, melted
1/4- 1/2 c water (depends how thick you like your batter)
3/4 cup rapadura (or sugar)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Stir together first 6 ingredients (through baking powder). Mix in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into a 8×8 baking stone or pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Red Lobster's Garlic Cheddar Biscuit Recipe

Have you ever had the garlic cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster? If you haven't you're missing out, they are absolutely delicious and totally worth every calorie! I make these often, and my family goes nuts over them! This recipe makes a lot, so I usually half it. These biscuits also freeze well. I just put them in a Ziploc freezer bag and pull out a couple at a time, defrost in the microwave and they are ready to eat!

Red Lobster's Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
original recipe found here
Ingredients:
Biscuit:
2 1/2 cups Bisquick (I use the heart healthy kind because it is healthier)
3/4 cup whole milk
4 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 heaping cup cheddar cheese

Topping:
2 TBSP butter, melted
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of salt

Directions:
Combine Bisquick and cold butter with pastry cutter or two knives. There should be small chunks of butter in the mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix until just combined, be sure not to over mix. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet (a silpat is great for this!) and bake at 450 for 15-17 minutes until slightly browned and cooked through. My oven usually cooks these in about 10 minutes, so make sure to check yours throughout cooking. While these are baking, mix the ingredients for the topping together, and then brush on the tops of cooked biscuits. Delicious!

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Have you ever made a chicken pot pie? They are divine. So creamy, warm, and perfect for dinner. They can be as easy, or difficult as you want. I have a pretty easy one posted here on my site already. It is delicious, but I wanted to try and make one from scratch, including the pie crust. It is very similar to the other recipe, but I'm hoping to adapt this one even farther when I try to avoid the cream of chicken soup next time. This time, I just didn't have the time to omit it. My kids love chicken pot pie. Even though they aren't fans of food all mixed together, I kind of separate it for them and give them a big hunk of crust, their favorite part, on the side. Enjoy!



Homemade Chicken Pot Pie


Ingredients:
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken (I cooked mine in the crock pot.)
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen broccoli
1/4 cup frozen green beans
1/4 cup corn, I used frozen
2-3 carrots, cut (could use frozen here too, I just didn't have them)
1/4-1/2 onion, diced
3-4 TBSP butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup, or more, shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 pie crusts (recipe here, or use store bought)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in skillet. Saute onions and carrots in butter until tender. Add cream of chicken soup and chicken broth. Simmer 1-2 minutes. Add cheese, stir until melted. Add frozen vegetables and chicken, stir and set aside.

Place pie plate on a cookie sheet. Press one of pie crusts into pie plate. Fill with chicken mixture. Top with second crust and pinch sides to form a seal.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, until crust is golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Spaghetti

Since spaghetti is loved by all at my house, I'm always trying to do something a little different with it so it doesn't get boring for me. Baked Spaghetti is one of those variations. It takes my standby recipe for spaghetti and adds cheese, which is one of my favorite things to eat.

Baked Spaghetti

Ingredients:
1/2 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 TBSP onion, diced (could use minced onion)
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
whole wheat spaghetti noodles, cooked


Directions:
Brown meat, drain excess fat and return to pan. In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients, onion, and garlic together. Add tomato sauce and water to pan with meat, and then dry ingredients. Stir until combined well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cooked spaghetti noodles in small baking dish. Top with spaghetti mixture. Next, top with shredded cheese, and then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted, and then place on broil for 1-2 minutes until top starts to brown slightly.

Serve with french bread. YUM!

Stove Top Chicken Casserole

I love chicken casserole, and it is usually a hit at our house. I'm always looking for different ways to fix it and came up with a variation that we really like. The Stove Top Stuffing really adds to this dish and makes it just a little bit crunchy, which is always good to me! Serve this with a veggie and you're ready to go!

Stove Top Chicken Casserole

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
8 ounces sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (or more)
1 box Stove Top Stuffing (I used whole wheat chicken flavored)
salt and pepper to taste
4 TBSP butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread chicken on bottom of baking dish, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese on top of chicken. In separate bowl, mix sour cream and cream of chicken soup. Spread sour cream mixture on top of cheese. Sprinkle entire box of Stove Top on top of sour cream and soup mixture. Finally, drizzle melted butter on top of entire casserole. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes covered, until bubbly. Serve with vegetable of choice. I serve it with green beans.

Homemade Lasagna

Ah...lasagna. How I love lasagna, and I'm not talking about the stuff bought in the frozen section of the grocery store. When I was growing up, lasagna was only made for special occasions. I guess because it takes it little bit extra time and ingredients to prepare. I love the lasagna I grew up having, although I have made a couple of changes as I've started preparing it myself. This was actually the first thing I ever made for my husband. I had only known him for two weeks! It is so yummy and it's really not that hard to prepare. You just need make sure you allow time to bake it, because it does take almost an hour to bake. This dish also freezes great. Just cover tightly with foil and freeze. When ready to prepare it, thaw it in the fridge and bake as directed. Enjoy!

Homemade Lasagna
Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef
1/2 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 TBSP onion, diced (could use minced onion)
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup water

16 ounces Ricotta Cheese
1 egg, beaten
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked

Directions:
Brown meat, drain excess fat and return to pan. In a small bowl, mix first 14 ingredients together. Add tomato sauce and water to pan with meat, and then dry ingredients. Stir until combined well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. (This is my basic recipe for homemade spaghetti.)

Cook noodles as directed on box and cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix ricotta cheese and egg in small bowl.

Layer half of the meat mixture on the bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top. Spread half of ricotta cheese mixture on top of the noodles and then sprinkle 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese on top of that. Repeat those layers one more time; meat, noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella. Finish with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes without foil, until cheese starts to brown slightly and is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with a salad and some hot bread. Delicious! And be prepared for leftovers, this makes a ton! You can make two small lasagnas if you choose, but this lasagna leftover is soooo good!

Shrimp and Grits

I love shrimp, pretty much cooked any way. I had never tried shrimp and grits until my husband ordered it one night when we were out to dinner. He made me try it, and it was oh so good! You could also add some sausage to this, double the sauce and even add some hot sauce if you fancy it. But I think it's just perfect the way it is. I actually made this at a freezer meal prep gathering with some friends. We made a bunch of meals to place in the freezer. All we had to do was pop them in the oven or in sauce pans as this recipe calls for. If you want the directions for freezing this dish prior to cooking it, comment and I'll give them to you. I forgot to take a picture, so next time I will. So easy and so delicious!
Shrimp and Grits
slightly adapted from a friend


Ingredients:
Shrimp Sauce
¼ cup diced Celery
¼ cup diced Green Onions
¼ cup diced Green Peppers
1 ¼ cup cream of Chicken Soup (don't let this scare you, it's great!)
Dash Cayenne pepper
Dash Paprika
1 pound shrimp, peeled and tails removed
Cheese Grits
1 cup Grits
4 cups water
½ tsp Salt
½ stick Butter
1 ¼ cup Cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp Garlic powder

Directions:
Pour all cheese grits ingredients into sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Rinse shrimp and drain. Pour sauce ingredients into saute pan or skillet, bring to a boil, add shrimp, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Serve shrimp over grits.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ranch Dressing Mix

Another great recipe from Laura at Heaveny Homemakers! We love it!

Ranch Dressing Mix

5 Tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoon parsley flakes
4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix together and store in an air tight container.

For dressing: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream. (I kept mine for 2-3 weeks in the fridge after mixing up)

For dip: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream or kreme fresh.

Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend nicely.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chicken Corn Chowder

My friend, Amber, posted this chowder recipe on her new cooking blog, This Mommy Cooks. I was told it tastes like chicken pot pie in a bowl. I can't wait to try this one out!



Chicken Corn Chowder
adapted from Paula Deen's Chef Jack's Corn Chowder

Ingredients:
6 TBSP butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 small celery stalk, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cans corn (I used bi color white and yellow)
1 1/2-2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (I used 3 chicken breasts.)
3 cups chicken broth
1 can evaporated milk (12oz)
Pinch nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned; set aside to cool to room temperature. I poured the mixture into a glass bowl so it would cool faster. Then used the unwashed pot for the next step.

While roux is cooling, combine the corn, chicken, and chicken broth in saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour roux into the corn and chicken mixture(a little at a time), whisking briskly so it doesn't lump. Return the pot to the heat and bring to a boil. The mixture should become very thick.

Stir evaporated milk into the thick corn mixture. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste. Return to boil and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quick and Easy Homemade Pudding

This is a great way to use up milk and have a treat at the same time. It's super cheap and is made with pantry ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

Chocolate Pudding (this is from Recipezaar)

6 TBSP sugar
4 TBSP cornstarch
2 heaping TBSP cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 cups milk (I wouldn't use skim)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients in saucepan until well blended. Add milk and turn burner on high. Stir constantly while cooking and cook until desired consistency. (This is usually around 3-5 minutes..it goes quick!). Remove from burner and stir in vanilla. Cool and refrigerate.

I also made a Lemon variation. Follow instructions from above just omit cocoa powder and vanilla and replace with 1/4 c fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons).