Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tex Mex Slow Cooker Chicken

We've all had those days....not much in the pantry and you have to feed your family! So, today I started rummaging through the pantry to find something to throw in the slow cooker. I was already in trouble because it was past 2:00.

Here's what I grabbed:

6 frozen chicken breasts
1 can of corn
1/2 of a large jar of salsa
1 can of Rotel

I threw it all in slow cooker and cooked it on high for 4 hours. I hoped we wouldn't be having fast food or cereal for dinner. It was so tasty! I topped it with cheddar cheese. If I had some sour cream and/or cilantro, that would have been nice, too.

My husband isn't much of a Tex Mex fan unlike me. He even said it was the best of the Tex Mex meals I make. was a hit.

Now it's your turn.....what can YOU toss in a slow cooker and get your family to enjoy? My friend, Heidi, is always throwing sauces in hers with pork and chicken. They turn out great! Please share your creations!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Zucchini-Pineapple Quick Bread

Photo Credit: Cooking Light

Just a head's up....this recipe makes 2 LOAVES! You can eat one now and slice the other and freeze for later (up to 1 month for best taste). This makes a super moist bread, enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light...(Here's a tip, drain the liquid off your shredded zucchini so your bread isn't mushy....and if you don't have the full 2 cups zucchini, you can use applesauce to make up the difference).

Zucchini-Pineapple Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar (I used a little less)
2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini)
2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
Baking spray

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, salt, and next 3 ingredients (through ground cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

3. Beat eggs with a mixer at medium speed until foamy. Add sugar, zucchini, oil, and vanilla, beating until well blended. Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in pineapple. Spoon batter into 2 (9 x 5–inch) loaf pans coated with baking spray. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Friday, June 25, 2010


1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
salt/pepper to taste
8 oz lasagna
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1. In large skillet, brown meet and onions. Drain off excess grease.
2. Stir in green peppers and spaghetti sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
4. Boil 3 qts of water with 1 tablespoon of salt.
5. Add lasagna strips one at a time, keeping water boiling. Boil rapidly, uncovered for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain in colander.
6. Lightly grease a 9 x13 dish.
7. Layer sauce, lasagna, mozzarella in dish, ending with sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Optional - Garnish with sliced olives and parsley.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Banana Split Cake

This doesn't look like the healthiest of recipes. :)

3 sticks of butter/margarine
2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
2 cups of powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 large can of crushed pineapple
5 or 6 bananas
1 large container of Cool Whip
Nuts (optional)
1 bottle maraschino cherries

Melt 1 stick of butter in saucepan. Combine with graham cracker crumbs. Press into 9x13 pan. Take 2 sticks of softened butter, powdered sugar, eggs, and beat for no less than 15 minutes. Pour this over the graham cracker crumbs. Place the cut bananas on top of the mixture. Spread well-drained pineapple on top of the bananas. Spread the Cool Whip on top of the pineapple and sprinkle nuts on top. Place cherries on top of nuts. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Microwave Eggs

I can make eggs for my family (of 7) in 10 minutes or less with only a coffee mug to wash! Spray a mug with Pam (or use oil or butter). Crack egg into cup. I like to give it a poke to crack the yolk. Cover with plastic wrap or a paper towel. Zap for 30 seconds. If more time is needed, cook in 15 second increments. Slide the egg out and repeat as often as needed. These are great for English muffins because they stay just the size and shape you need!

Apple Pie Bread

A week or so ago, I found this recipe on the Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms blog and decided I was going to make it for Sweet Treat Tuesday. It looked easy and sounded delicious. Well, it was just that, easy and delicious. I made it last week and brought some to a friend who had invited us over for a play date. Instead of making one big loaf, I made 4 mini loaves. I'm the kind of gal that likes the crusty outside part of bread, so mini loaves are what I tend to make when making quick breads. My boys also love it, which in my book is always a winner!

Apple Pie Bread
from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup 1% milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded apples (I peeled mine.)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 5 bread pan or 4 mini loaf pans with nonstick spray; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the milk, eggs, vanilla, and apples and mix on low speed until smooth. I used my shredder attachment on my mixer to shred the apples. They were pretty mushy, but since it's getting baked into a bread, I don't think it matters.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the apple mixture on low speed until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon on low speed. With the mixer on low speed, add little pieces of the butter and mix until blended. Add the walnuts and stir well. Sprinkle the streusel over the bread batter evenly.

Bake for 60 - 70 minutes for large loaf and 30-35 minutes for mini loaves (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Let stand for 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One Pot Chili Mac

Last week, I wanted to make something quick, that I had all the ingredients for, and that I knew my kids would gobble up. I searched Melanie's site My Kitchen Cafe and found a one pot dish that was basically chili and macaroni, two things my boys love, so I tried it. Her recipe actually spruces up the traditional chili mac, but I stuck to straight chili mac, no frills. You can click on the link below for her recipe if you want to spruce it up. The recipe calls for ground coriander. I wasn't sure if I had that, but low and behold, my trusty spice rack had coriander, it just wasn't ground. It looks like little balls. I put them in a Ziploc and pounded the heck out of them until they were little flakes, and used that. It worked perfectly. This is a perfect week night meal for anyone, even the working mom and dad. It's ready in 30 minutes and only uses one pot! Two great things!

Skillet Chili Mac
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey/beef
1/2-1 onion, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander (can substitute ground cumin for a smokier flavor)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 cups water
8 ounces (2 cups) elbow macaroni (I used whole wheat, you can find it cheap at Walmart.)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar.)

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, chili powder, coriander or cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat or grease. Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, water, and macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring often and keeping the heat at a steady simmer, until the macaroni is tender, about 12-15 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, and sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top. Cover and let sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Last Sunday, I visited the Chattanooga Market and picked up a gallon of strawberries. They are delicious! I needed a recipe for Sweet Treat Tuesday, and I needed to use my strawberries, so strawberry muffins it is! I googled "strawberry muffins" and this recipe came up. It sounded good, and anything sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar mixture is a winner in my book. These were easy to make and super delicious.
Fresh Strawberry Muffins
from A Recipe A Day

1/2 cup butter, softened (I used unsalted.)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 TSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
3 TSP sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture, ending with milk. Add vanilla. Gently stir in strawberries.

Spoon batter into greased or paper lined muffin pans. I used the Pam spray with flour in it.

Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 400ยบ for 18-22 minutes.

Makes one dozen muffins.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Crunchy Baked Tilapia

Yum! That's all I need to say about this recipe. It is delicious, and super easy! I love cooking fish because it takes no time at all. I got this recipe from a fellow blogger (link below) and it was a definite success. My boys ate it, especially since I told them it had Ritz crackers on top, and my husband raved about it. Delicious. Please try it. Don't be scared of fish, it is so easy to prepare!

Crunchy Baked Tilapia
adapted from Baking and Creating with Avril

3 fillets of Tilapia
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter, cut into small slices
3/4 tsp garlic salt
Freshly ground pepper
dried parsley
1 fresh lemon or 2 TBSP lemon juice
12 Ritz crackers, crushed (I used whole wheat.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray baking dish with nonstick spray. (I usually use a 9x13 glass baking dish for this recipe.) Drizzle each fillet with olive oil.

Sprinkle each fillet with 1/4 tsp garlic salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle parsley on top of each fillet and then top with crushed Ritz crackers. I used 4 crackers per fillet. Squeeze lemon over fish or drizzle lemon juice over top. Top with butter dabs and place in preheated oven.

Bake for 12 minutes at 375 degrees, or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Easy Baha Fish

Wow, was this good, and easy, and healthy! I made this last week and we all gobbled it up. The only thing I would change about the way I serve this next time, will be to serve it on top of tortilla chips. We had them on the side, but I think putting them on the bottom of the dish would add a great crunch! You need to try this! (I separated all the ingredients to this dish for the kids and they loved it.)

Easy Baha Fish
adapted from Jennifer T.

4 fillets of white fish (tilapia is our favorite)
garlic powder
2 TBSP butter
1 can black beans
guacamole (recipe here)
salsa of your choice

Season both sides of all fillets with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I didn't measure this. I just sprinkled the spices over the fish. Melt butter in skillet on medium-high heat. Cook fish in butter, turning once. When fish can flake easily, it is ready. While fish is cooking, warm beans on stove top. I cook mine in the juice that is in the can. Once everything is cooked, place a spoonful or two of beans on a plate, top with cooked fish. Place a dollop or two of guacamole on top of the fish, and then finally top the guacamole with a spoonful or two of salsa. Serve with tortilla chips. An alternate way to prepare this would be to put the chips on the plate first, and then top with beans and fish. This was so delicious, and healthy!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

* 6 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 pound trimmed green beans
* 8 small red potatoes, quartered
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, remove green beans and arrange over lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, arrange the potatoes over green beans. Place chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken in the dish. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 40 minutes, covered. Remove the chicken from the dish. Place the beans and potatoes uncovered, back in oven for 10 minutes more or until potatoes are tender.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chinese Chicken Casserole - Mary's Recipe Box

1/2 tsp chicken stock base (chicken bullion cube)
1/2 cup boiling hot water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cups of chopped cooked chicken
2 TBS shredded green onion
1/2 cup whole cashews
1 can chow mein noodle

Dissolve stock base in water. Combine with soup, chicken, onions, nuts and half of the noodles. Put in buttered 1 1/2 qt casserole. Top with remaining noodles. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ricotta Lasagna Rolls

1/2 pkg of lasagna noodles, cooked and drainer
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 lb ricotta cheese
1/4 cups chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced into this strips
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
3 cups water
2 TBS chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/8 tsp pepper

In sauce pan, combine sauce ingredients, stirring to blend well. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While sauce is cooking, prepare lasagna rolls. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Stir in egg, ricotta cheese, parsley, salt and pepper; blend thoroughly. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling on each piece of lasagna. Starting at the narrow end, lightly roll up each piece. Place rolls, open side down, in greased shallow baking pan. Pour sauce over rolls and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Zucchini Bread - Mary's Recipe Box

I'm starting a new series today. It's called "Mary's Recipe Box." All the recipes come from my mom's beloved recipe box that I inherited when she died 15 years ago. It is a handy harvest gold file holder that attached to the bottom of an upper cabinet.

I'm going to randomly pick something from the box each Friday. So, here it goes! No cheating, I promise.

Zucchini Bread

2 cups of sugar
3 eggs
Beat together and add
1 cup oil
3 cups of flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond
2 cups grated zucchini

Bake for 1 hour at 325 in a greased loaf pan.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

Be amazed. These.are.AWESOME! I have decided these will be my go-to recipe from here on out....unless my bread machine dies. These were easy to throw together into the bread machine and then roll out and add filling...roll back up, cut (or slice with dental floss) and place in greased pans and bake. Voila...breakfast is served! (Anyone know what movie that line is from?) By the this recipe from Money Saving Mom.

2 notes: I used half all-purpose flour and half white wheat flour. I also made cream cheese icing for the topping.

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour (Add a bit more if dough seems too wet after first few minutes of kneading in the bread machine.)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons (or less) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with 2 Tablespoons melted butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.

Roll up and cut into 10-15 rolls and place in two greased round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.

You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning.