Friday, November 26, 2010

Something different - Holiday Cards

As Christmas nears I have a check list I’m working on to make sure that Lucas’ First Christmas is the best and least stressful for me possible. One of the first things I have to complete are my Christmas cards and I decided to first start with a little research. I have ordered things from Shutterfly online before and once I started looking at their Christmas card options I was very impressed. They have a wide selection of cards and formats – making my decision both easy and hard. I knew I would find something in the wide selection but then I started looking through I found that I liked a lot of different ones. Check out all the different options at http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards. If you want something alittle different or not specifically Christmas check out the other options at http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery. . Head on over to Sutterfly and you can get their current promotion: “Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards” http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery. Enjoy your holiday cards! I can’t wait to get mine in the mail and out to family!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lasagna Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 cups onions chopped
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 2 cup mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Can Italian style stewed tomatoeschopped
  • 1 Can tomato sauce 10 3/4 oz.
  • 1 cup mafalda pasta
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 cup provolone cheese diced
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese diced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 teaspoon fresh basil thinly sliced

Directions | Numbered...

Brown sausage in a large saucepan. Add onions and carrots; saute 3 min. Stir in mushrooms and garlic and saute another 3 min.

Add broth, stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. Drop in pasta and simmer until cooked about 10 min. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.

Place 1/4 cheese into each serving bowl and pour soup on top. Garnish with parmesan and basil.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Apple Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 bananas, mashed
1 small apple, grated
1 pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
***Topping:***
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven 350 degree. Grease and flour loaf pan.
2. Blend shortening, eggs, sugars and fruit together. Mix salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour together; add to fruit mixture.
3. For Topping: Combine brown sugar, nuts, butter and cinnamon together in saucepan. Cook until sugar dissolves.
4. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and spread on top of bread and return to oven for 10-15 minutes longer.
5. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Fresh Green Beans

Fresh green beans are a wonderful addition to a meal. They are much crisper than canned green beans and you can add a variety of flavors. The following recipe is the way I typically make my green beans.

1lb fresh green beans
3 slices bacon - diced
1 small onion - diced
salt
pepper

1. Snap ends off of green beans and discard. Snap into smaller bites it you would like. Rinse green beans.


2. In a medium size sauce pan brown bacon and onions over medium heat.


3. Add green beans and toss to coat all green beans with bacon, onions and bacon grease.
4. Add enough water to cover green beans, reduce heat to low-medium and cover.



5. Cook until desired texture is achieved. We like ours fairly crispy and usually cook for about 15 minutes.
6. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Muffins with Crumble Topping


We went and picked apples last weekend. Now we have what seems like a million apples in the house (not that it's a bad thing) and we have had to think of new things to try with apples. Jason decided he would like some muffins, so here is the recipe that we made today and they are yummy,

Muffin Mix
1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmag
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 apple - peeled, cored and diced

Filling
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Topping
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cubbed butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line 12 muffin cups with muffin cup paper or grease.
2. Mix together flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmag. Mix in egg, milk, applesauce, and vegetable oil. Fold in apples.
3. Fill muffin cups 1/2 to 3/4 full of mixture.
4. Mix together all ingredients for the filling. Should be similar to a brown sugar butter consistency. Drop 1/2 tablespoon of filling onto the muffins.
5. Prepare the topping - mix together flour, white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add in cubed butter, mix until you have a crumble texture that can be sprinkled onto the muffins.
6. Sprinkle topping onto muffins.
7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Cool on a cooling rack or serve warm.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries

A sweet alternative to regular fries.

2 sweet potatoes
oil
salt or sugar

1. Cut sweet potatoes into desired shape and size of fries - remember to keep them a similar size so they cut in the same amount of time.
2. Place sweet potatoes in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until tender.
3. Drain completely.
4. Heat oil in sauce pan or fryer to 375 degrees. Add sweet potatoes and fry for about 4 minutes or until desired crispiness is achieved.
5. Sprinkle with salt or sugar. Enjoy!

Deviled Eggs

Eggs
1 tablespoon Miracle Whip
1 tablespoon Mustard
1/2 tablespoon Butter
2 Sweet Pickles - Diced
Salt
Pepper

1. Boil eggs covered in water for 1o minutes.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Run cold water over the eggs to cool enough to remove the shells.
4. Carefully remove the shells from the eggs. Cut eggs in half and remove yolk - place in separate mixing bowl.

5. Add Miracle Whip, Mustard, Butter, Pickles, salt and pepper to the egg yolks and mix until completely combines.





6. Using a piping bag, ziplock bag or spoons fill the empty egg yolks with the mixture.

7. Sprinkle with Paprika if desired.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Easy "Homemade" Cookies

This is a super simple way to make homemade cookies in a zillion different varieties!

1 box of cake mix (any flavor)
2 eggs
1/2 cup of oil
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
Any flavor add ins you would like (chocolate chips, oatmeal, raisins, etc)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.
2. Mix eggs, oil and vanilla together in mixing bowl. Add cake mix. Mix until completely combines with no lumps.
3. Add any flavor add ins that you would like.
4. Place tablespoon size cookies approximately 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 10-12 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
7. ENJOY

*I made Chocolate Caramel Chip Cookies with Yellow Cake mix and Oatmeal Raisin Cinnamon Chip Cookies with White Cake mix*



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chicken Parmesan


Chicken Parmesan

4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 large eggs
4 slices of Provel Cheese
3 cups Pasta Sauce
Spaghetti

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place a piece of chicken between 2 pieces of wax paper. Using a meat pounder or rolling pin or bat or something heavy, flatten chicken to approximately 1/2 inch thick.
3. In a flat container (big enough for the piece of chicken to fit in) mix flour, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. In another bowl beat eggs.
4. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add butter and melt.
5. Dip chicken in egg wash and then bread crumb mixture. Place in skillet.
6. Cook until brown on one side and flip (about 4-5 minutes). Flip and cook other side.
7. While chicken is cooking, prepare desired pasta according to box instructions and heat pasta sauce.
8. Once chicken is browned on both sides remove from pan (I place mine of a paper towel to soak up the excess oil).
9. Mix pasta and pasta sauce, saving a 1 cup of sauce for the chicken, in an oven safe bowl or pan. Place chicken on top of pasta, cover with remaining 1 cup of sauce. Top with Provel cheese.
10. Place in oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until cheese is browned.
11. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Goulash

Very simple recipe. Easy weekday dinner option.

1 lb of hamburger
1 large can of Tomato Soup
1 lb of pasta (any kind - elbow is what I normally use)
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
(all spices can be tweaked to taste)

1. Brown hamburger in a medium sauce pan. If necessary drain fat off of hamburger.
2. Add Soup and spices. Stir and simmer over low-medium heat.
3. Prepare pasta according to directions on package.
4. Add pasta to soup mixture and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chicken a-la King



My husbands favorite comfort food, my mother-in-laws recipe!

A great use for leftover chicken.

My husbands favorite comfort food, my mother-in-laws recipe!

A great use for leftover chicken.

3 cups of cooked diced chicken
1 family size can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of onions
1/4 cup of green peppers
4 tablespoons pimentos
1 cup of milk
salt
pepper

1. Melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and green peppers to the pan. Sweat the onions and green peppers (click here for instructions on how to sweat onions).




2. Add Soup and milk to onion and green peppers once they are translucent. Mix well.
3. Add chicken and pimentos and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes (the longer it cooks the better it tastes).
5. Serve over toast.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pineapple Cupcakes


This is a funny "lite" summer dessert! I made this for Father's Day. The only thing that would be a nice alternative would be Coconut Jello (but they don't make that).

1 box of Pineapple cake mix
1 tube of Cool Whip
3 tablespoons of crushed pineapple
1 regular size package of pineapple Jell-o
1 cup boiling water


1. Prepare the pineapple cake mix as directed on the box. I made a combination of mini and regular size cupcakes.
2. Allow cupcakes to cool for approximately 15 minutes. Prepare Jell-o - mix 1 cup of boiling water with pineapple Jell-o.
3. Using a straw, chopstick, skewer or other similar item and poke 3 holes (or more if you want) in each cupcake. Use a spoon to drizzle Jell-o over the cupcakes. (this can get a bit messy so make sure you do this over a plate or cookie sheet or something).
4. In a medium bowl, mix Cool Whip and crushed pineapple. Apply to tops of cupcakes.
5. Serve and enjoy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad

I made this recipe several weeks ago for a family reunion and it was great! Jason (who never eats pasta salad actually liked it). The only modification I would make is more dressing for the pasta (so I will provide instructions for more dressing here).

Erica - I originally found this on Smitten Kitchen - didn't even realize what the site was.

1 pound of pasta (any kind you want - I used elbow macaroni cause that's what I had)
1 cup of frozen peas
2 large red peppers or 2 jars of roasted red peppers
5 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 small shallot diced
Salt
Pepper

1.If you are using fresh red peppers you will need to first roast them. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the peppers on a cookie sheet. Cook for 25 minutes then turn the peppers and cook for another 20 minutes. Peppers should turn black on the outside. Remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (this makes it easier to remove the skin later).
2. Once the peppers have cooled completely, remove the skin and the sides from the inside. Place pepper in blender or food processor.
3. Add Vinegar, olive oil, shallot, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add more vinegar or seasoning if desired.
4. Prepare pasta according to directions on the box.
5. Blanch asparagus (Boil a large pot of water. Now, place your asparagus into the boiling water. Cook until the asparagus turns a bright green. The time this will take will depend on how thick your asparagus stalks are. Count on between 2-5 minutes or so.)
6. Once pasta is completed, mix frozen peas, asparagus and dressing together (warm pasta will thaw the peas).
7. Chill, Serve and Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baby Food - Peas


I have 2 batches of Baby Food completed - I will post both recipes individually.

Peas

1 bag of frozen baby peas

1. Put approximately one inch of water in the bottom of a pot with a steamer. Put frozen peas in the steamer.
2. Bring the water to a boil and place a lid on the pot.
3. Steam peas for 8 minutes.
4. Place steamed peas in blender. Puree to desired consistency. (For 1st foods you will want this to be very thin)
5. Put puree in ice cube trays, freeze. Once frozen remove from ice cube trays and place in freezer bags labeled with the type of food and date.


Chicken Pot Pie



Recipe from Ashley Webber.

Jason loves Chicken Pot Pie and it's a great comfort food, but frozen chicken pot pies just aren't very good. Ashley posted this recipe and I decided to try it, my past experiences with Chicken Pot Pies did not turn out well (usually the "soup" base is my problem). Jason loved this recipe and it was super simple.

Filing
2 cups of Chicken (pre-cooked)
1 29oz can of Cream of Chicken Soup
16 oz of frozen vegetables
1/2 cup of milk
Crust
1 cup of Bisquick
1/2 cup of milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
.
In a mixing bowl combine chicken, soup, frozen vegetables and milk (if you are using the chicken that you prepared making chicken broth you will not need to salt and pepper - other wise salt and pepper to taste). Pour mixture into medium size baking dish.
Mix Bisquick, milk and egg. Pour over chicken mixture.



Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. (Half way through I spread butter on top to better brown the biscuit topping.)


Chicken Dishes and Broth

Next on my list for the freezer are several chicken dishes. To prepare for the chicken dishes I cooked chicken/made broth today. I purchased 2 cut up fryer chickens (approximately 8 lbs total). This morning I took the chicken and put it in my large stock pot with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then I covered the chicken with water. I boiled the chicken on medium high heat for approximatively 4 hours - until the chicken falls off the bone.
Once the chicken has cooked for a while I use a strainer and get all the chicken and bones separated from the broth. Store the broth for later use. Remove all chicken from bones, store for use in recipes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Grandpa's Vegetable Beef Soup


Grandpa's Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe

20 quart pot (this is a large batch of soup)
4lb Chuck Roast
5 large Potatoes - chopped
6 Stalks of Celery - chopped
1 bag of baby carrots - chopped
1/2 head of cabbage - chopped
2 cans of tomato juice
4 cans of green beans
4 cans of corn
1 can of peas
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Sage, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder to taste

1. Salt, pepper and garlic powder the chuck roast on both sides. Place Chuck Roast in the pot with enough water to cover the roast. Boil until meat is falling apart (usually about 2 hours).
2. Remove chuck roast from pot and add raw veggies. Add cans of tomato juice and any water need to cover the veggies.
3. Cook on medium- high heat until raw veggies are soft. Once raw veggies are done add canned veggies and spices.
4. Cook on low heat for 1 hour.

(This soup gets better the longer it sits) Enjoy!

Pasta Sauce

Traditional Pasta Sauce

1lb of hamburger
3 - 29oz cans of tomato sauce
1 - 29oz can of water
1 - 15 oz can of tomato paste
2 small cans of mushrooms (optional)
(Spice measurements are a guideline - spice to desired taste)
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Basil
1 Tablespoon Parsley
1 Tablespoon Sugar

1. Brown hamburger and drain excess fat.
2. Combine remaining ingredients, cook over low to low-medium heat with a tight lid. Stir occasionally. Cook for several hours (ready to eat in 30 minutes but the taste is better if you let it cook awhile.
3. Prepare desired pasta and cover with desired amount of sauce.

Made 7 - 2 cup meals.

Re-Stocking the Freezer

Right after Lucas was born my Mom came and stayed with us for a week. While she was here she helped me (mostly did it for me) cook and freeze soup for easy meals. Well after 4 months Jason and I have cleared out the freezer, so yesterday was the trip to the grocery store to prepare. Today I fixed Pasta Sauce and Grandpa's Vegetable Beef Soup. In total I made 7 dinners of Pasta Sauce and 9 dinners of Grandpa's Vegetable Beef Soup.
These meals offer an easy option for dinner, the just have to be put in a pot, thawed and warmed up.
I will be posting the recipes to follow.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jason's Mac and Cheese


Tonight after going to the grocery store, Jason and I looked at each other wondering what we would have for dinner. We got tons of groceries, and I planned meals for the rest of the week but had not thought about tonight. We were so hungry it was hindering our ability to decide on dinner, then Jason suggested a good comfort meal - Mac and Cheese.

Jason does not like Boxed Mac and Cheese (I'll admit it's not the best but in a hurry it works). However tonight I told him I would make his favorite Mac and Cheese - a very simple recipe.

In a sauce pot of medium heat mix 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter. As you heat the milk and butter begin adding American Cheese slices. Depending on how thick you want the sauce you will add between 10-20 slices, I also something add 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted. Remove from heat when cheese is completely melted and combined.
In another pot fix 4 cups of pasta, this can be any kind of pasta - whatever you have extra in the cabinet (we had shells and elbow noodles because we didn't have enough of either one so we had to combine). Cook pasta in boiling water to desired tenderness (usually about 10-12 minutes).
Drain noodles and mix cheese sauce in. Salt and Pepper to desire. Allow noodles and cheese to stand for about 5 minutes to thicken the cheese sauce.

Enjoy!!