Monday, May 29, 2017

Hot Ham and Cheese Croissant Sandwiches

On busy nights I tend to plan crockpot or sandwich meals. And if we have kids going all different directions and I know they're going to eat at different times I definitely do sandwiches. They are easy to fix for 1 or 2 kids at a time and everyone is still happy because it's not cereal. (Sometimes it is cereal night and they just deal.) These hot ham and cheese croissants are perfect! You can make them ahead of time, wrap them in foil, and pop as many in the oven at a time as you need (or have your kids pop them in the oven when they want to eat). Did I mention they are absolutely delicious too?!

Hot Ham and Cheese Croissants

1 1/2 lbs deli ham
sliced deli cheese (we like Colby Jack, Cheddar, and Swiss)
honey mustard, sweet hot mustard, or pineapple mustard (whatever fancy mustard you like)
split croissants

Spread mustard on each size of split croissants. Place a slice of cheese, then some ham, then another slice of cheese on each bottom croissant. Top with tops of croissants and wrap each sandwich in foil. Place in fridge for later bake right away. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until heated through.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is a wonderful Spring or Summer salad! It's delicious! I love all of the ingredients and together they make a great salad. I would love to use blue cheese in the place of the feta, but my kids would revolt. So I make it with feta for now. I let the pickier eaters pick out the red onion also. Let's just say this is not their favorite salad, but I love it! I like to take this salad when I'm taking dinner to someone. It's pretty!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bag baby spinach
1 bag spring mix lettuces
16 oz strawberries, sliced
4 oz feta or blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
salt and pepper
bottled raspberry or red wine vinaigrette, or poppy seed dressing

Toss together the spinach and spring mix. Add onion and strawberries and toss a little. Top with crumbled cheese and almonds. Sprinkle with a little fresh ground pepper and salt. Serve with salad dressing of choice.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Brown Butter and Mizithra Spaghetti - Old Spaghetti Factory Copy Cat

We love Old Spaghetti Factory! It is just a great Italian restaurant that we go to whenever we are in Utah. My 4 year old especially loves it because there is a trolley you can sit in and that is the coolest thing ever to her. Now I usually get the spaghetti and meatballs because I just love it, but my 17 year old and 10 year old always get the brown butter and mizithra spaghetti. I thought I'd try to make it at home because they love it so much and it turned out great. I did have to look around a bit for the mizithra cheese, which is a Greek cheese that's sorta like Parmesan, but I found it at my local grocery store's cheese counter. My kids all loved this and it was fun to recreate a favorite restaurant meal.

Brown Butter and Mizithra Spaghetti

16 oz thin spaghetti
1/2 cup butter
8 oz Mizithra cheese, finely grated
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water to al dente. Drain. While pasta is cooking melt butter in a saucepan, stirring, and heat until it turns golden brown. Remove from heat. Toss the cooked spaghetti with the butter and about 1 cup of grated Mizithra. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Serve immediately.

**You could totally make this with Parmesan instead of the mizithra and it would be delicious!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Stick of Butter Rice

I bet you, like me, have seen this recipe all over the place. It is so popular. I can tell you why it is - it's delicious! This rice turns out so flavorful. It reminds me a little of the rice from my favorite chicken casserole *Oven Chicken*. I got this recipe from Thirty Handmade Days and modified it just slightly  because at my altitude I use just a little more liquid in my rice. I served it with *Crispy Cheddar Chicken*, another family favorite, and steamed broccoli. It was a great dinner that my whole family loved.

Stick of Butter Rice

1 cup long grain white rice
1, 10 oz can condensed French onion soup
1, 14.5 oz can beef broth (this is what I changed - the original recipe calls for a 10 oz can)
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter, cut in slices

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9x9 inch baking dish or a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish, combine rice, soup, and broth. Cut butter into slices and place evenly on top of the mixture. Cover with foil (or your casserole lid) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake 25-30 minutes. Fluff and serve.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Super Easy Chicken Stir Fry

This stir fry can be made in about 20 minutes if you have already made the rice to serve it with and you know I have, because I love my rice cooker. Below I'm going to talk a little about my undying love for my rice cooker, but right now let's talk stir fry. This recipe is from Lauren's Latest and it is fabulous. It is a family pleasing, 20 minute meal and that makes it a total winner. The stir fry sauce is a little sweet and a little spicy. Yum! I highly recommend this one and I know I'm gonna have lots of requests for it in the future - especially from my husband and my 4 year old that loved the baby corn.

Rice cookers! This is a link to mine, the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy, on Amazon *link*. It is just wonderful. It cooks rice perfectly and starts and ends with cute little songs. It really is adorable and highly functional. I bought mine at a local Asian grocery store about 6 years ago and I have used it at least once or twice a week since. I am not great at making rice on the stove top and this really has made my life so much easier. If I'm making a dinner with rice in the evening I start the rice in my rice cooker in the morning and it keeps the rice hot and perfect until dinner time. It says it keeps it hot and ready to eat for up to 2 days set on the "keep warm" cycle. That's amazing though I never have tried to keep it that long. I have tried quite a few other rice cookers over the years that were much less expensive and none of them worked all that well. This one does. It's awesome. I'll stop now. :)

Super Easy Chicken Stir Fry

2 tablespoons oil (I used avocado, but canola or olive oil work great too)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2, 12 oz bags frozen Asian stir fry vegetables (Bird's Eye has a good one I like)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sweet Chili sauce (found in Asian section of grocery store)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

In a large skillet heat oil. Add onions and chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion is translucent and chicken has cooked through. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add in frozen stir fry veggies and heat through.

In a bowl whisk together: chicken broth, chili sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and cornstarch. Pour this over the cooked chicken and vegetables. Bring to a boil, stirring, and heat until sauce is thickened. Serve over rice.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Tortellini Chicken Noodle Soup

I've seen this soup all over Pinterest and I can tell you why - it's great! The tortellini ends up tasting a lot like dumplings. Everyone in my family had seconds and raved about how yummy it was. I got the recipe from Cooking Classy and modified it slightly, but I think there are a lot of different blogs with similar recipes. I served it with the Perfect Dinner Rolls recipe I posted last week and it was a great dinner.

Tortellini Chicken Noodle Soup

3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots, about 5 medium carrots
1 cup chopped celery, about 3 stalks
1 cup chopped onion
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2, 1 quart boxes chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
19 oz frozen cheese tortellini
3 cups cooked and chopped chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons Ultra Gel (or you can use cornstarch mixed with a little water), optional

In a large soup pot melt the butter. Saute carrots, celery, and onion in the melted butter until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add chicken stock, Italian seasoning, parsley, bouillon, tortellini, and chopped chicken. Bring to a boil and  cook until tortellini is cooked through. Add Ultra Gel or cornstarch just to thicken up the broth a little bit (totally optional). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Perfect Dinner Rolls

This is another fantastic recipe from Your Homebased Mom. They really are the perfect white dinner roll. I have another dinner roll recipe that I really love - it's half wheat flour half white flour - but I know this will be my go-to for white dinner rolls. The dough is very easy to work. These tasted amazing with butter and jam.

Perfect Dinner Rolls

1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 cups warm milk
3 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 tablespoon salt
6-7 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
melted butter

1. In a heavy duty stand mixer combine water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
2. Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, and salt.
3. Add in 5 cups of flour and mix until dough forms. Continue adding flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough becomes smooth and pulls away from the sides of the mixer. Knead on high speed for 3 minutes. Dough should be slightly tacky.
4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double in size (30 minutes or so depending on room temperature).
5. Press dough down and roll into a 8 x 12 rectangle. Cut the dough into 4 strips the long way and then each strip into 6 pieces for a total of 24 pieces.
6. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on a greased or silpat lined baking sheet.
7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise a room temperature for 20-25 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
9. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
10. Brush the baked rolls with melted butter if desired.