Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some freezer meal info

Notes on making freezer meals

* Dried herbs freeze better, impart a more pungent flavor, and will rehydrate when cooking
* If not freezing, fresh minced garlic is best
* If you are cooking food to serve 10-15 minutes later, or more, cover with foil and expect the internal temp to rise 5 degrees per 10 minutes as it rests. If necessary, adjust accordingly.
* You can refreeze meat if it is in a marinade or casserole
* Raw or cooked meat, poultry, or casseroles can be cooked or reheated from the frozen state. It will take approximately one and a half times longer than the usual cooking time for food that has been thawed.
* It is better to undercook, or cook just until tender, all types of rice to be used in freezable dinners. They will finish cooking when dinner is reheated.
* If you plan to freeze cooked pasta dishes, do not fully cook the pasta. It should be a bit chewier than al dente.
* Bottled lemon juice in a freezer recipe is just as good as fresh and easier.
* If you need more pans, line your baking pan with foil, build your casserole, and freeze it. Remove the frozen casserole from the pan, wrap it with another layer of foil, and place it back into the freezer without the pan. When ready to thaw and bake, unwrap the foil, and place the dinner back into the original baking dish.
* It’s a good idea to allow 2-3 days for thawing in the refrigerator and then be sure to cook and consume the meal within the next 3-4 days.
* Cook large batches of chicken at once. Boil a large pot of water and add boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a teaspoon each of garlic powder and lemon pepper. Return the water to a boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Cook more than you need for your recipe and freeze the remainder in resealable freezer bags for later use.
* Cook large batches of rice at the same time. Cool in the refrigerator, uncovered, in a shallow pan and place in freezer bags to freeze. A good rule of thumb is to put 2 parts cold water to 1 part rice in a saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Leave covered and remove from heat. Let it sit, covered, about 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. The rice will not be quite done- tender, but not completely soft.
* When converting a regular recipe to a freezer recipe, use extra liquid, stock, or milk
* Frozen dishes with larger chunks of veggies taste better reheated than ones with smaller ones.
* Cookies and cakes can be made ahead of time and frozen, baked or unbaked
* Muffin batters can be made and poured into paper-lined muffin tins. When they have frozen, remove the liners and place the frozen ‘muffins’ in a freezer bag. When time to cook, you can cook from frozen by reducing the original cooking temp by 25 and adding about 30 minutes to the original cooking time.
* It is best to double bag frozen meals. This helps prevent freezer burn (which only creates dryness) and will contain any leaks as the meal defrosts.
* Recommended freezing times are for quality, not safety (referring to the freezer meals)
* Always double-wrap baked items when freezing to help ensure freshness and taste.
* You can flash-freeze cookie dough by placing formed cookie balls on cookie sheets in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. Then remove and place in freezer bag. For slice-and-bake cookies, form dough into logs then wrap tightly in plastic wrap (seal ends well) and place in freezer bag.
* When making meals in freezer bags, it is a good idea to lay it flat when freezing so that it stores well. Some recommend placing in a baking dish stacked on each other while they freeze to ensure the shape stays flat and any potential leaks stay contained until frozen.
* Wrap leftover fresh cilantro in plastic wrap and put in a small freezer bag. Add directly to your recipe when needed.
* After squeezing juices from citrus fruits, store and freeze the leftover halved rinds in a freezer bag. You can grate the frozen rind directly when a recipe calls for fresh peel or zest.
Fresh ginger grates easily when frozen and keeps a long time. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.

Foods that freeze best:
uncooked proteins
fresh carrots, zucchini, onions & celery- do not use fresh potatoes!!!
Starch-based dishes dry out more quickly than protein-based ones when frozen
Butter and yogurt-based spread will freeze but cream cheese will dry out unless blended with other ingredients
Substitute cream cheese or sour cream if a recipe calls for mayonnaise (or heavy cream) as a base for a sauce. They both freeze better.

Comparable Crock Pot cooking times
Conventional recipe in 350 oven -->crockpot on low-->crockpot on high
15-30mins--> 4-6 hrs--> 1 ½-2 hrs
35-45mins--> 6-10 hrs--> 3-4 hrs
50mins-3hrs--> 8-18 hrs--> 4-6 hrs

Keep in mind when making freezer meals that it is an easy and quick way to bless the lives of others. They are great for new moms, single moms who may not have a lot of time to prepare meals, bad days, the elderly, and those dealing with sickness or death. This is why it is particularly nice to make multiples of a recipe, especially if you have the room or a friend to share with.

More freezer meals

From Dream Dinners cookbook (reg quantity/x3)

Corn Bread Muffins
1 c. all purpose flour (3c)
1 c. yellow cornmeal (3c)
2 Tbsp sugar (1/4c. + 2 Tbsp)
2 tsp baking powder (2 Tbsp)
1 tsp baking soda (3 tsp)
1/2 c. nonfat egg substitute (1 1/2 c.)
1 c. low-fat buttermilk (3 c)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil (1/2c + 1 Tbsp)

Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Add in egg substitute, buttermilk, and vegetable oil and stir until just blended. *To freeze- pour into prepared muffin pans and cover entire pan with plastic wrap. Freeze in muffin pan until completely frozen, then remove & place in freezer bag. Cook from frozen by returning to muffin pan and baking for 35-45 min at 350* To bake tonight: bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick in center is clean and muffins are golden brown.

Chicken in Herbed Mustard Sauce
1/3 c lemon juice (1 c)
1/3 c. white wine (1 c)
1/3 c. dijon mustard (1 c)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp dried rosemary (3 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns (1/4c + 2 tbsp)
1 tsp fennel seeds (1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (1 1/2 tsp)
1 c. chicken broth (3 c)
1 Tbsp olive oil (3 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp cornstarch (1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp)
6 4-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (18)

Combine lemon juice, wine, mustard, garlic, rosemary, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and stir. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine broth, olive oil, and cornstarch and mix until incorporated. Combine wine mixture and cornstarch mixture in freezer bag, add chicken and mix gently. *Freeze* Refrigerate until ready to cook. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and the marinade. Bring the marinade to a boil and cook the chicken for 5 minutes per side, allowing the sauce to thicken.

Chicken Parmesan
1/2 c. nonfat Italian dressing (1 1/2 c.)
6 4-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (18)
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese (3c)
2/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs (2c)
1 tsp paprika (1 Tbsp)
1 tsp sugar (1 Tbsp)
1 tsp kosher salt (1 Tbsp)
1 tsp black pepper (1 Tbsp)
2 c. store-bought marinara sauce (6 c.)

Marinate chicken in the italian dressing for at least 2 hours. Mix together parmesan, bread crumbs, paprika, sugar, salt, and pepper. Spread marinara sauce in the bottom of sprayed 9x13 pan. Dredge marinated chicken in the crumb mixture. Place in baking dish and sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. *To freeze: cover with plastic wrap and foil then thaw before continuing* Bake at 350, uncovered, for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through (internal temp should be 165)

Chicken Stir-Fry
1/4 c sesame oil (3/4 c)
1/2 c honey (1 1/2 c)
1/2 c lite soy sauce (1 1/2 c)
3 tsp minced garlic (1/2 c + 1 Tbsp)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (3/8 tsp)
6 scallions, chopped (18)
1 green pepper, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (3)
1 red pepper, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (3)
1 large carrot, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (3)
6 4-oz boneless skinless chicken breast halves, sliced into 1-inch thick slices (18)

Make each batch separately. Combine sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Pour soy sauce mixture into freezer bag and add chicken. *To freeze: place each batch of veggies in a separate freezer bag and place them with the bag containing the chicken into one larger freezer bag then thaw before continuing* Allow chicken to marinate 4-5 hours. Heat large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and marinade and cook for 5 minutes, just until the chicken loses its color. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add teh scallions, bell peppers, and carrot to the hot pan and cook for 1 minute. Return chicken to the pan and cook for 4-5 more minutes, until heated through, and serve.
My plan is just to freeze the chicken in the marinade and use a store bought frozen stir fry vegetable mixture.

Chicken and Artichoke Casserole
1 1/2 c uncooked white rice (4 1/2 c)
1 c marinated artichoke hearts, drained (3 c)
3 scallions, chopped (9)
2 c. cooked chicken, in 1-inch pieces (6 c)
1 10-oz can cream of chicken soup (3)
1/2 c. nonfat mayonnaise (1 1/2 c.)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (3 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp black pepper (1 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp curry powder (1 1/2 tsp)
2 c. seasoned croutons (6 c.)
1 c. low-fat shredded cheese blend aka colby/jack preferrably (3 c)
1 Tbsp dried parsley (3 Tbsp)

Spray 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place rice on bottom of dish. Layer with artichokes, scallions, and chicken (divide equally among the 3 dishes if you're making a triple batch). Set aside. In a bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper, and curry powder and stir until incorporated. Spread the soup mixture over the chicken. Top with croutons, cheese, and parsley. *To freeze: cover with plastic wrap and foil and thaw before continuing* Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 1 hour or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

from Donic Panic! Dinner's in the Freezer cookbook- additional multiplications available

Buttermilk Herb Chicken Breasts (reg/x2)
1 c. buttermilk (2c)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (2Tbsp)
1 Tbsp honey (2Tbsp)
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (2Tbsp)
1/2 tsp dried thyme (1 tsp)
1/2 tsp dried sage (1tsp)
1/2 tsp dried marjoram (1 tsp)
1/2 tsp pepper (1tsp)
1 tsp salt (2 tsp)
8 boneless split chicken breasts (16)

Mix buttermilk with mustard, honey and seasonings. Place chicken breasts in freezer bag and pour marinade over top. *freeze* Discard marinade. Grill over medium heat until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Option for kids: after grilling, cut into strips and serve with ranch dressing for dipping

Cheesy Chicken Bundles (reg/x3)
1 c. bread crumbs (3c)
1/2 c grated cheddar cheese (1 1/2c)
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese (1 1/2 c)
1 tsp salt (1 Tbsp)
1/4 tsp pepper (3/4tsp)
6 boneless chicken breasts (18)
1/2 c. butter, melted
* on serving day: 2 Tbsp butter, melted and 1/4 c parmesan cheese

Mix together bread crumbs, cheeses, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken pieces into melted butter then cheese mixture. Tuck sides of chicken breast under to form individual bundles. *To freeze, wrap each bundle in plastic wrap then place in freezer bag then thaw before continuing* Place chicken bundles in large, shallow baking dish. Melt remaining butter and pour over bundles. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 for about 1 hour, until chicken is crispy.

Hawaiian Chicken (reg/x3)
6 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (18lbs)
2- 16 oz cans pineapple slices, drained (6)
1- 15 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained (6)
1/4 c. cornstarch (3/4c)
1/2 c. brown sugar (1 1/2 c)
1/4 c. soy sauce (3/4 c)
1/4 c. lemon juice (1/2 c)
1 tsp salt (1 Tbsp)
1 tsp ground ginger (1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (1 1/2 tsp)

Place chicken in freezer bag. Mix together fruit, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, ginger, and ground red pepper. Pour over the chicken in a bag. *Freeze then thaw before continuing* Place in crockpot and cook on low 4-5 hours or high 2-3 hours. Add optional green pepper chunks 1 hour before serving. To serve, spoon over steamed rice and top with toasted almonds.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Freezer Meals

In an effort to take advantage of the Smith's caselot (and particularly case of real chicken) and ensure things don't go bad, I thought it a prime opportunity to make some freezer meals. Here are some that I made with things from the caselot and things from my pantry that I'd been meaning to get around to.

From Dream Dinners Cookbook
quantities: regular (x3- separate into 3 for freezing) *regular quantities are designed to serve 6 so keep that in mind when preparing if you have a smaller family*
Recommended freezing time for all recipes: up to 3 months... Thaw before cooking as directed

Tuna Tortellini Gratin
1 & 1/4 lbs (3 & 3/4 lbs) fresh cheese-filled tortellini (cook 1st if frozen)
2 (8) 6oz cans tuna, drained (albacore preferred)
1/2 c (1c) red bell pepper, chopped *I omit
1/2 c (1c) onion, diced *I used dried & eyeballed it
1 (3) 10 1/2 oz jars alfredo sauce
1/2c (1 1/2 c) white wine
1 tsp (1Tbsp) kosher salt
1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) black pepper
1 c (3c) seasoned bread crumbs
3 Tbsp (1/2c + 1 Tbsp) olive oil

Mix all ingredients together except bread crumbs and olive oil. Spread in 9x13 pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top and drizzle with olive oil. (*freeze by covering with plastic wrap & aluminum foil- thaw before continuing) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes-1 hour (till bubbly), covered w/ aluminum foil. Remove foil and slide under broiler for 3-4 minutes, until topping is golden brown.

Karlene's Cottage Cheese Pancakes
2 c (6c) pancake mix
1 1/2 c (4 1/2 c) club soda
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) lemon juice
1 Tbsp (3 Tbsp) baking soda
2 tsp (2 Tbsp) cinnamon
1/8 tsp (1/2 tsp) nutmeg
2 c (6 c) nonfat cottage cheese
1 tsp (3 tsp) vanilla extract
1 tsp (3 tsp) almond extract

In a bowl, whisk together pancake mix, club soda, and lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until just blended (*pour into freezer bag. Thaw in refrigerator before continuing). Cook 1/4 c of batter (per pancake) on 375 degree griddle for 1 min 15 sec per side or until golden brown, turning once.
These smelled so good putting them together that I almost made them right then!

Five Spice Grilled Chicken
6 (18)- 4 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) ground cumin
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) chili powder
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) curry powder
2 tsp (6 tsp) kosher salt
2 tsp (6 tsp) black pepper

Put the chicken in a freezer bag. Add all ingredients and toss to coat (*freeze). Marinate chicken for at least 1 hr. Grill on medium-high for 5-8 minutes per side. OR Brown in skillet on medium-high for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes per side.
This is a favorite of ours. So quick and easy! We love to take it camping and grill it outdoors.

Baked Pesto Ravioli with Chicken
2 lbs (6lbs) cheese-filled ravioli, fresh or frozen
1 lb (3 lbs) cooked chicken breasts in 1-inch slices
2/3 c (2 c) chicken broth
2 c (6 c) zucchini, cut in 1/2 in rounds (I omit)
1/2 c (1 1/2 c) red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-in pieces (I omit)
1/2 c (1 c) chopped scallions
1/2 c (1 1/2 c) store-bought basil-pesto sauce
1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) black pepper
1 c/4 oz (3c/12oz) grated parmesan cheese

Gently stir all ingredients to combine. (*freeze in freezer bags) Put in 9x13 dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until bubbly.
This one is taaasty!

Spicy Lime Chicken
1/2 c (1 1/2 c) low-sodium canned chicken broth
zest of 1 (zest of 3) lime(s)
1/3 c (2/3 c) lime juice
2 Tbsp (1/4 c + 2 Tbsp) olive oil
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) dried parsley
1 tsp (1 Tbsp) minced garlic
1 Tbsp (3 Tbsp) dried onion flakes
1 tsp (1 Tbsp) dried thyme
1 tsp (1 Tbsp) kosher salt
1/4 tsp (3/4 tsp) cayenne pepper
1 tsp (1 Tbsp) black pepper
6 (18) 4 oz boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Combine all ingredients in a freezer bag & add chicken. (*freeze) Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and liquid to the pan and cook the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 5-8 minutes per side.
I imagine this one will be too spicy for my children but I seriously can't wait to make it anyway because it just smelled so good putting it together.

From Don't Panic!-Dinner's in the Freezer cookbook
quantities: regular (x3)- I also have x6 and x9. It's not always just straight multiplication as some acidic ingredients change in larger properties.

Chicken in Raspberry Sauce
1/2 c raspberry preserves (1 1/2 c)
1/2 c frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed (1 1/2 c)
1/2 c soy sauce (1 1/2 c)
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (6 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp chili powder (1 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp curry powder (1 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 1/2 tsp)
1/4 c. fresh raspberries, mashed (3/4 c)
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (18)

Combine ingredients in a bowl then add to chicken in a freezer bag. (*freeze) Place sauce and chicken in large baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer chicken to serving platter, and top with juices. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
- if fresh raspberries are not available, you may substitute frozen ones
This one smelled so good I am cooking it this week and going back to the store for more soy sauce so I can throw more together for later. I'm positive it will be a hit!

Chicken Parisienne (x2 not x3)
1/2 c. white wine (1 c)
1- 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup (2)
1/2 c. mushrooms, sliced (1 c) * I omit
1/4 c. flour (1/2 c)
1 c. sour cream (2c)
6 boned chicken breasts

Mix wine, soup, and mushrooms together. Stir flour into sour cream and add to soup mixture. Place mixture together with chicken in freezer bag to freeze. Cook in crock-pot. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika over top and cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with pasta or potatoes.
Different but good. My kids really liked it and we had it over pasta.

Chicken Cacciatore (x2, not x3)
2 medium onions, sliced thin (4)- I just eyeballed some dried, minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced (4)- I used the dried equivalent
1- 15oz can diced tomatoes (2)
1- 8oz can tomato sauce (2)
1 tsp salt (2tsp)
1/4 tsp pepper (1/2 tsp)
2 tsp oregano (4tsp)
1/2 tsp basil (1tsp)
1/2 tsp celery seed (1tsp)
1 bay leaf (2)
1/4 c white wine (1/2c)
6 boned chicken breasts

Mix all ingredients together and place in freezer bag to freeze. Cook in crock-pot on low 6-8 hours or high 2 1/2-4 hours. Serve over pasta.

I have more, that's just some of what I've done so far. I also froze some chicken with just italian dressing dumped over it and bbq sauce dumped over another. I'll either grill those or cook them in the crockpot.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Banana Bread with Cauliflower

This banana bread is incredibly moist and one of the best banana breads I have had.
From the cookbook Deceptively Delicious

3/4 c. whole-wheat flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 c. banana puree (just mash)
1/2 c. cauliflower puree
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 9×5 loaf pan or two mini pans with cooking spray.
Mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, mix sugar and oil until well combined. Mix in egg whites, banana and cauliflower purees, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour batter into pan(s). Bake 55-60 min for large loaf, 25-30 for mini loaves- or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes then turn bread out of pan to cool before serving.

*To puree banana: Mash with fork (cutting board is better than bowl) then puree in food processor or blender for about 2 minutes
* To puree cauliflower: Cut off florets and discard core. Steam 8-10 minutes. Puree in food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, with a few teaspoons of water if needed for smooth, creamy texture.

Baked Chicken Casserole

Everybody has their own version of chicken & rice it seems. This is by far my favorite. Maybe because it's my mom's =)
From the kitchen of: Pam Alger

1 1/2 c. uncooked rice (I've found she must've meant minute rice)
1 c. grated cheddar cheese + 1/2 c.
6 chicken breasts
salt & pepper
3 c. chicken broth
1/2 pkg Lipton Onion soup mix
1 can cream of chicken soup

Place rice in bottom of large casserole dish. Layer 1 c. cheese over rice. Set chicken breasts on top. Pour chicken broth over the top. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Sprinkle onion soup mix over chicken. Cover with cream of chicken soup. Cook 1 hour at 325 uncovered. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake 1/2 hour longer.

Beef Chimichangas

Sooooo tasty! This is a freezer meal from my "Don't Panic!" cookbook. Original recipe yields 9 chimichangas and is what is featured here):

1 tsp salt
2 lbs lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano, crushed
1/2 c. canned green chiles, chopped
1/2 c. taco sauce (we used Macayo's sauce)
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. cider vinegar (when tripling the batch do not triple this- only do 1/2 c.)

Sprinkle salt in medium skillet. Place over medium heat. Add beef, garlic, and spices. Cook through. Stir in remaining ingredients. Remove from heat and cool. **If you are making it as a freezer meal, place the cooled meat mixture in a freezer bag- will keep for 3 months** For the lower-fat version: Microwave 9 tortillas wrapped in a kitchen towel for 60 seconds to soften. Then fill with mixture, fold in envelope fashion, and brush tops of folded chimis with melted butter (1 c.). Place seam side down in ungreased 11x7 baking dish. Preheat oven to 500. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and return for a few seconds. Top as desired: cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and additional sour cream

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ovocne Knedliky- also known as Fruit Dumplings

Earlier this year we visited Prague in the Czech Republic. I have a friend who told me I had to have the fruit dumplings and it was raved about in guidebooks as well. Sadly, it has been pushed aside at many more modern restaraunts in favor of more 'modern' food. Not so in the fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov. We went specifically to this one little restaurant/pub because I had read about their fruit dumplings and that they were the best to be found. It was no exaggeration. My husband still laughs at us digging in to it, and then ordering a second dish of them. We had to find them any other place we went after that. As a side note, in the Czech Republic it is an old tradition to eat desserts for a meal on Sundays. That's what our tour guide told us. This is something that is served either as a dessert or a main course and it is listed in both places on most menus it is found.

I found a couple of recipes here and here. The one that follows is my own adaptation of these based on how I remember those first (and best) ones we tried in Cesky Krumlov, and comments on recipes I looked at from Praguers. Billy agreed. It is surprisingly easy to make though it still takes up to an hour just because you have to wait for things to boil.

Ovocne Knedliky

1 c. whole milk
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 cups flour, separated
mixed berries (frozen ok) or other fruit
melted butter
dry cottage cheese
powdered sugar

In a large saucepan, bring milk, butter, and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in egg. Gradually whisk in 1 c. flour. Use remaining 1 c. flour to flour a board or wax paper. Turn out dough onto surface and knead, picking up some of the flour until it makes a nice ball. Roll dough out. Bring large pot of water to boil. If you have a straining basket you can use in the pot it will make things much easier. Rip pieces of dough off to cover about walnut-sized chunks of fruit. Drop dumpling into boiling water and let boil until it rises to the surface, about 10-20 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to allow water to drain. Place on plate and drizzle generously with melted butter. Follow generously with cinnamon. Sprinkle dry cottage cheese over it. Top off with a generous topping of powdered sugar. Serve hot.

A note on ingredients: You can use berries, apricots, plums, or peaches for the dumplings. Fresh or frozen is fine. I made these with a frozen berry medley. While in Prague I determined the mixed berries were my favorite filling although the only other ones I had were strawberries or raspberries. You may also top with whipped cream as well. Don't be afraid of the sugar and cinnamon.

To make dry cottage cheese: Rinse cottage cheese in a colander until it is just curds and let sit so that remaining water dries off before adding. I think about 3/4 c. would be just about right for this recipe. You can leave this off but in my opinion it is not as good and just not the same. My husband, who hates cottage cheese, disagrees.

**I have pictures to post just as soon as my Google account updates and lets me add photos again**

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This recipe was sent in by Justine, someone who attended one of my Grocery Smarts classes. Thanks so much Justine!

1/2 of a whole chicken pressure cooked, and shredded
1/2 pkg. cream cheese
3 cans cream of chicken soup (regular size)
1 1/2 TBSP dry Ranch dressing mix
enough milk to make a nice gravy

In a pot and on medium heat, warm up the soup, Ranch dressing mix and milk. Drop in cream cheese to melt. Add chicken and stir together before serving over mashed potatoes with side of green beans and dinner roll.

I use potato flakes from the LDS cannery in Las Vegas.
I use the 5 star dinner roll recipe at www.tasteofhome.com.

My family really enjoys this dinner and we hope your family does, too.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

My children could hardly stop raving about this between bites. Pammie even claims it to be her new favorite food- ousting the long-standing salad. I confirmed that she'd rather have it than salad and she told me she wished we could have it everyday! I served it with some mashed potatoes, using the cream sauce on the potatoes as well instead of gravy. I also used 6 chicken breasts but didn't increase any other amounts and we were just fine. There's not a bite of leftovers left!

Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce
Source: AllRecipes Dinner Spinner app for iPhone

1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. dried bread crumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 (4 oz) jar sliced pimento peppers, drained (I ommitted these)
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Place milk & bread crumbs in separate, shallow bowls. In skillet, heat butter or margarine to medium heat. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with crumbs. Cook in butter or margarine, on both sides, until juices run clear (about 10 minutes). Remove and keep warm.
Add broth to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stir to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in cream and pimentos; boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat.
Add Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper. Stir sauce and cook until heated through. Pour mixture over chicken and serve!

p.s. I never make fried or breaded anything because I can never get it just right nor to stick just right. This one actually came out perfect!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Apple & Prosciutto Sandwiches

I made these the other night and they were simply divine. Billy said they tasted like they came from a restaurant. As long as you can find (or make) foccacia, they are surprisingly quick and easy to make. We got ours from Panera but I'm pretty sure Albertson's carries it.

1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1 loaf (12 oz) focaccia bread
8 thin slices prosciutto
1 medium apple, sliced
6 oz Brie cheese, rind removed and sliced

In a blender, combine the oil, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, and rosemary, Process until blended and nuts are finely chopped. With a bread knife, split focaccia into two horizontal layers. Spread rosemary mixture over cut sides of bread.
On bottom of bread, layer prosciutto, apple and Brie; replace bread top. Cut into quarters. Cook on an indoor grill for 2-3 minutes or until bread is browned and cheese is melted. To serve cut each wedge in half.
Serves 8

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sunshine Chicken

This has been my "go-to" recipe for a few years when I want something a little more than regular baked chicken. I always have the ingredients on hand and it is so nice and juicy, but nothing extremely fancy.

3 pounds Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks (chicken breast would be good too!)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 pinch garlic powder

Remove skin from chicken and place in baking dish, meat side up. Baste the chicken with sauce, leaving some for basting while baking. Bake at 350°. Baste every 15 minutes for 1 hour until chicken is cooked through.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Shake

I know how weird this sounds. But you have to trust me on this. You will be glad you did. This is served up at Disney's 50's Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios in Disneyworld. My kids (and I) love it and it's a great way to cool off in the summer!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Shake
Yield: 3 3/4 cups

1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp grape jelly
1/4 c. milk
3 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
Combine peanut butter and jelly in a small bowl, mixing well. Combine milk, ice cream, and peanut butter mixer in container of electric blender. Process until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides.

Just try it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chicken Curry

I have to admit I have only made this with either Wes' Mom or Gram but it is wonderful so I thought I would share. It tastes even better the 2nd day and freezes very well.

Curried Chicken
Abt 2 lbs chicken breasts (boneless & skinless) cut up into bite size pieces
2 large onions chopped
1 1/2 granny smith apples peeled, cored and diced
1 med red pepper seeded and thinly sliced
3 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup whipping cream - unwhipped
2 oz butter
Cut onions, red pepper & apple finely. Fry with curry powder and paprika in butter until onion is transparent - not brown. Set aside. Cut chicken. Set aside. Mix cream with mushroom soup salt & pepper. Mix all together. You can either continue to simmer on the stove top for 2 hours in large saucepan or butter a large casserole dish and cook uncovered in ovenat 350F for 2 hours. Serve with rice.
I feel like I am in a food rut lately but thought I would share some of my go to recipes...

Crispy Chicken
1 1/2 c rice crispies coarsely crushed
2 T flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 c butter melted
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
In shallow dish combine cereal, flour & seasonings. Place melted butter in shallow dish. Dip chicken, both sides, in butter then in cereal mixture. Place in a greased 9 X 13 pan. Drizzle with remaining butter. Bake uncovered @ 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

Russian Chicken
1 1/2 - 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 - 8 oz Russian salad dressing
1 c apricot jam or preserves
2 tsp curry powder
1 pck dry onion soup mix
Lay chicken in ( X 13 casserole. Mix dressing, jam, curry powder and onion soup mix. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350F for 1 hr 15 min.

Confetti Spaghetti
1 -12 oz package angel hair pasta
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium green or red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes undrained (S&W Italian are the best)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is well cooked. Drain fat if necessary. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar, salt, chili powder, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Drain spaghetti: add to beef mixture. Transfer to a greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Yields 12 servings.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Apple Pie

1 c sugar
1/4 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
6 c apples slciced
2 Tbl butter

Heat oven to 425.
Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir in apples. Turn into a pastry- lined pie platter; dot with butter. Cover with top crust that has slices in it. Seal the edges. Cover edge with 3 in strip of alluminum foil. Bake in oven for about 30 min. Place a sheet of foil over the pie and bake until you can poke a fork through the filling and feel that the apples are no longer crispy (about 30 min). Then remove foil and bake another 30 min.

Use crust from Rhubarb pie recipe.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

1 1/4- 1 1/2 c sugar
3 Tbs cornstartch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 c rhubarb
2 c strawberries
1 Tbs butter

Dot w/ butter before placing top crust on. Cut slits in top.Bake @ 350 for 1 hour

Crust 2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 c shortening
1/4 c water

Measure 1 2/3 c of flour into a bowl. Add 1 tsp of salt. Mix then add 1 c of Crisco. Using pastry cutter, cut the Crisco into the flour until the mixture is in small crumbs. In a small bowl, mix the other 1/3 c of flour w/ 1/4 c of water until well blended. Mix the paste into the shortening/ flour until it sticks into a lose ball. Bake at 400.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chicken Neapolitan

Chicken Neapolitan

8 boneless skinless chicken breast (4 oz each) - I used a 2.5 lb bag of frozen chicken breasts and cut the largest pieces in half so that I had 8 pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
(1 pound mushrooms, quartered) - I left these out because we don't particularly like mushrooms.
2 cans (10-3/4 oz each) condensed tomato bisque soup, undiluted - I just used tomato soup because I couldn't find the bisque
3/4 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Hot cooked rice or egg noodles (we used egg noodles tonight but both would be delicious)
Sliced ripe olives and minced fresh parsley to garnish, optional

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, cook chicken, uncovered, over medium-high heat in oil for 8-9 minutes. Turn chicken, add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook 8 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear.

Using a slotted spoon, remove four chicken breasts and half of the vegetables to a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oup, broth, basil, and oregano; pour half over chicken in the skillet. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until heated through. Serve over noodles or rice. Garnish with olives and parsley, if desired.

Pour remaining soup mixture over chicken in baking dish. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.

To use frozen chicken: Thaw in the fridge overnight. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until heated through. Serve over noodles or rice. Garnish with olives and parsley, if desired.

I'm thinking about experimenting with this to bake instead of cook on the stovetop. I may try sauting the vegetables first in just a little oil - probably 1 Tbsp, and adding them to the sauce, then pouring the sauce over raw chicken breasts in a baking pan and baking at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. This would greatly reduce the oil.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


1 stick of butter
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c light karo
boil for 1 min and pour over 2 bags of plain popped popcorn

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Italian Roast Beef

4-5 pounds pot roast
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon basil
1 envelope Good Season salad dressing (Italian dressing mix)
1 onion (optional)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

*The recipe calls for shredding the meat, boiling it in the juices for 15 minutes, then serving on french bread or rolls.

*I served it as it was with garlic mashed potatoes. I made a gravy for the potatoes by boiling the sauce with cornstarch to thicken. I could easily see how it would make really good italian sandwiches though. That's probably what we will do with our leftovers.

My kids literally asked for thirds!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taco Salad

from my mom's collection- by Jean Santiago (I loved this stuff as a kid)

1 head lettuce
1 1/2 lbs hamburger
3/4 lb cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips
1 soup can size Ranch Style beans (with juice)
1 can diced green chiles
Picante Sauce
1 bottle Ranch dressing
black olives
purple onions

Brown hamburger. Shred cheese. Rip lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Break up chips. Mix all together and add any additional toppings desired.

More great frosting/icing recipes

Buttercream Icing for Gingerbread Houses (from Christy Alger's files- Mrs. Luck's class)
2 lbs powdered sugar
1 c. shortening
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

Beat shotening, flavoring, and salt together. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately, beating after each addition. Beat two or three minutes for smooth icing. Keep covered tightly.

Leanne's Great Icing (also from Christy's files- supposedly what was used on my sister's wedding cake, which was fabulous)

2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. margarine or butter
1/3 to 1/2 c. milk or water- get to consistency
1 tsp vanilla (real vanilla)
dash of salt

If you are using it to decorate, use the shortening in it. If just icing a sugar cookie, use all butter in place of the shortening.
To make, mix shortening/margarine with powdered sugar. Add liquid to consistency and then remaining ingredients.

Grandma Douglas's Buttercream Frosting

This is what we grew up on in my house. SO good on sugar cookies!

Blend together:
1 lb powered sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 stick of butter
1/4 tsp salt

Dairy Free Frosting

This is adapted from a recipe I have from my stepmom, which I will put up in a little bit. It did get a little runny when it was warm but was fine after being in the fridge. You could maybe do a little less water and that would take care of that problem.

2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. water
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Mix together the shortening and butter with the powdered sugar. Add water to consistency and remaining ingredients. Blend well. Recommend frosting immediately and then refrigerating to set the frosting a little bette.r

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole

I am pretty sure everyone has had this at some point in time... But since tater tots were on sale this past week, it's on our menu this week! I remember loving it as a kid.

1 lb hamburger
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen tater tots
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can milk or water
1 c. (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger & onion. Drain. Season with salt and peppper. Place in greased 1 1/2 to 2 qt casserole. Top with tater tots. Combine soup & water (or milk). Pour over tots. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baked Beans with Pineapple

We BBQed tonight and I tried this new recipe as a side. The original recipe was for 25 servings! So, I scaled it down a bit, and in the process, some of the proportions are a little different. Also, I modified it slightly to make it just a little healthier.

It was very, very yummy and pretty simple to make. I'll definitely be keeping this recipe handy for BBQs and potlucks. :)

You can find the original recipe here. But, this is what I did...

Baked Beans with Pineapple

5 or 6 strips of turkey bacon, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
28oz can baked beans (I used Van Camp’s Homestyle baked beans – 99% fat free and cholesterol free)
8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup

In a skillet, cook turkey bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Add onion and saute until tender.

In a bowl, combine the beans, pineapple, bacon and onion. Combine brown sugar and ketchup; stir into the bean mixture.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-35 minutes longer or until bubbly and beans reach desired thickness.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pineapple Banana Bread

Pineapple Banana Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (The recipe called for 2 cups but that just seemed like a lot; I reduced it to 1 1/2 cups and it was just right - I think if I had done the whole 2 cups, it would have been way too sweet.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs (I used egg substitute)
1 1/4 applesauce (it called for oil but I used applesauce and it turned out moist and yummy - plus more healthy)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups mashed ripe bananas

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and vanilla; add pineapple and bananas. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

***I doubled the recipe because I had several bananas (not quite 4 cups but I used a 20 oz can of pineapple instead of two 8 oz cans to make up the difference), it made two loaves, plus 12 regular muffins and 24 mini muffins. (I baked the muffins for about 25 minutes and the mini muffins for about 15 minutes.) They are a big hit with the family - the kids won't stay away from them! :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Caramel Apple Pork Chops and Apple Spice Rice

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops (I used pork loin chops... and I made 6 since that's how many were in the package.)
salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Granny Smith)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Arrange pork chops in a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a skillet, melt butter and saute onions. Add brown sugar mixture and sliced apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and place them on top of the pork chops. Continue cooking the sauce, uncovered, until thickened slightly. Pour over chops and apples. Bake about an hour or until the pork is cooked through.

Apple Spice Rice

2 Tbsp butter
2 cups rice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced
3 1/2 cups chicken broth

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in rice, onion, garlic, and apple. Saute 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth adn bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

Super Fantabulous Better-than-any-other Sugar Cookies!

Oh my goodness, these cookies are like heaven in your mouth!  I am amazed at how soft, and sweet they are!  I was introduced to these at an auction a few weeks ago.  I won a dozen frosted sugar cookies, got them home and they mysteriously disappeared in just under 48 hours!  The worst part?  I ate 9 of them...  Yeah.  They are THAT good.  I called the maker of these cookies and begged her to share her recipe, which she did without hesitation.  Thanks Natalie!

The ingredients:
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. TUB margarine or butter (not stick- must be spreadable)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 - 4 c. flour

The instructions:
In a small bowl mix sour cream and baking soda.  Set aside.  Cream together margarine and sugar.  Add the egg, vanilla and salt.  Mix well.  Add sour cream mixture, then baking powder and flour.   Freeze dough for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.  Roll out onto a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness and use cookie cutters for desired shapes.  If dough gets too soft, put back in freezer for an hour or so until it is workable again.

Bake at 375^ for 10 minutes.  DO NOT over bake them.

Frost with your favorite frosting and decorate as necessary.

The frosting I used was pretty simple, and super tasty... I used equal parts butter and shortening then added a capful of vanilla and a splash of milk followed by as much powdered sugar as I needed to get a good thick consistancy.  Add a bit of food coloring and viola!  Easy enough... but I don't use a recipe for it, so it's hard to add measurements....

Seriously, folks- these cookies are OOBER TASTY!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Barbeque Ribs

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Barbecued Ribs Recipe
courtesy Robin Miller
Show: Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller
Episode: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

2 sides pork spareribs (about 6 pounds), separated
1 (28-ounce) can chunky tomato sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place the spareribs in the bottom of a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the spareribs. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Baked Chicken with Orange Juice

I've got this in the oven right now. I remember that it was one of the first recipes I 'wowwed' Billy with after we got married. The 'Joy of Cooking' cookbook has never let me down!
1 chicken, quartered or 3 lbs parts
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 c. finely chopped onions
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits
salt and pepper
1 1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375.
Smear chicken with Dijon mustard.
Arrange in shallow baking dish or roasting pan just large enough to hold it in a single layer (skin down if it has skin)
Sprinkle pieces with onion (I have always just used the equivalent in minced dried onion), butter, and salt and pepper.
Pour orange juice around the chicken.
Bake for 30 minutes, basting once.
Turn over and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake until chicken is tender and golden- 15 to 20 minutes more.
Add more orange juice if the pan seems dry.
Remove chicken to a serving platter.
Pour juices into a small saucepan and boil over high heat until syrupy.
Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons basalmic vinegar
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloins

Mix first 7 ingredients. Place pork in sealable bag and add marinade. Refrigerate for 6-12 hours.

Remove pork from bag, reserving marinade. Bake pork at 350 degrees until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees (about 50 minutes).

The pork, as is, was so juicy, tender, and delicious, but if desired, make gravy by heating remaining marinade to a boil. Meanwhile, blend 1 cup chicken broth and 1 tbsp flour, add to boiling marinade. Reheat to a boil while stirring frequently. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes, reduce heat to a simmer until thickened.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Italian Skillet Supper

3 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta; mix with meat mixture. Top with cheese. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

The only thing I'll change next time, is to mix in half of the cheese and only top with the remaining 1 cup. Still... it was soooooo yummy!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pasta Salad

Scrapbook Pasta Salad
From the kitchen of: Janan De Silva

1 pk Spiral pasta (colored)
1 pk bow tie pasta
4 cups chicken breast
1 can whole cashews
1 can pineapple T-bits
1 bottle Kraft Colesaw dressing

Cook the spiral and bowtie pasta as directed on box. Cook chicken, cut into cubes. In a bowl add pastas, chicken, cashews, pineapple, grapes. Then, add dressing and mayonnaise. Toss until everything is well covered. Place in fridge to chill.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

3 pounds ground beef
1 cup onion chopped (I use 1/3 Cup dried minced onion to make it quicker)
1 cup ketchup
3 Tablespoon brown sugar ( I use a little more)
2 Tablespoon vinegar
2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (10 ¾ ounce) can tomato soup
1 teaspoon salt
12 hamburger buns

Brown ground beef, drain fat. Sprinkle salt, add chopped onion and cook until tender. Stir in ketchup, tomato soup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for about 30 minutes, Spoon into hamburger buns and serve. Serves 12.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bubble Pizza

Here is what you need:

Ingredients: 2 cups pizza cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand), browned sausage (you can also use pepperoni, hamburger or bacon),any veggies that you would order on your pizza, 1 jar of pizza sauce, 2 tubes buttermilk biscuits.

Step #1: Brown and drain the meat.

Step #2: Cut the 2 tubes of biscuits into quarters.

Step #3: Put the biscuits into a bowl along with the jar of pizza sauce.

Step #4: Add the meat and any other toppings you may have.

Step #6: Mix it all together.

Step #7: Pour into a baking dish (ungreased).

Step #8: Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Step #9- No, I didn't forget the cheese! After baking for 20 minutes, take it out and add your cheese. Now pop it back in the over for 10 more minutes.

Now you are finished! This is so yummy it is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!

Cost of Meal- $5.00
Serves- 6 people
Cost per person- 75 cents per person

Pretty FRUGAL!

* Wes saw it and thought it didn't look very good but I made in anyways and after he ate it he said to keep the recipe and make it again! *

I got this from another great blog Meal Planning Mommies.

Cola Pot Roast

2 lbs pot roast
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
1 c. thinly sliced carrots
2 c. cola (I used pepsi because it's what was on sale this week)
2 c. chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 tsp salt
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
Heat oil in a pot, add the meat and brown well on both sides. Remove the meat and pour out the fat.
Replace the meat and add onion, carrot and cola. Place over medium heat and cook 5 minutes. Add stock and salt.
Cover and cook for 1 1/4 hrs or until meat is tender.
Add peas and cook another 5 minutes.
Disclaimer: While we had this yesterday, I did not actually eat it (wasn't home). However, Billy reports that it is super good and super tender- and he is picky about his roast. Keller had seconds at least.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Green Chili

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. cooked pork roast
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans chopped green chilis
1/4 C. green salsa
choice of tortilla
cheese (optional I suppose....but a must for me!)

Combine first 4 items. Use your choice of tortilla for taguitoes, burritos, or enchiladas. Or for a super cute appetizer, get those scoop tortilla chips, place a spoonful of the mixture in the "bowl" of the chip, top with shredded cheese.

So tasty and so pretty!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stuffed Meatballs

1/3 c canned milk
1 lb groud beef
1 pkg of stuffing mix cooked according to directions.
Mix ground beef and canned milk. Dived into patties. Prepare the stuffing according to directions and place 1/8-1/4 c of stuffing into the center of the patty and wrap the over the stuffing creating a meatball with stuffing inside. Place them in your casserole dish.

2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
4 tsp of Worchestershire sauce
2 Tbsp ketup
Mix the sauce and pour over the meatballs. Salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 45 min at 350.
I add onion fakes and various herbs for added flavor.

Breakfast Casserole

5-6 slices of bread
1 lb of sausage or ham
3/4 lb cheeses (I like Crackle Barrel brand cheese)
4 eggs
1 c of milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
dash of Lawry's seasoning salt
dash of Cayenne pepper

butter the bread and cut off the crust. tear into pieces or one of the recipes I have says to layer the bead on the bottom of a 9x9 pan. Mix egs, milk, salt, mustard season salt and cayennne pepper together. Top with cheese and sausage. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cook covered with tinfoil for 1 hour at 350. Uncover for last ten min of cook time.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bourbon Street Chicken

As this was pointed out to me, this recipe is completely Bourbon free... I am guessing there is some famous restaurant on Bourbon Street (if I were to guess I would say down south) somewhere that served this dish... needless to say it is so easy and SO GOOD! Lil has named it Apple Chicken since it has apple juice and apple cider vinegar in it.

Bourbon Street Chicken

2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs. oil (for frying)
4 Tbs. cornstarch

1 garlic clove (minced)
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, and lightly dust with cornstarch. I used a gallon ziplock baggie. Just toss chicken and cornstarch together. Heat oil in your wok or frying pan and fry chicken until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine all sauce ingredients (I chose to NOT add the red pepper flakes since my kids are anti-spice... Oh who am I kidding- I don't like spice either). Pour into wok or frying pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve over rice!