Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Paula's Macaroni Salad

I got this one from Paula Deen's show. It is a great macaroni salad with all the classic flavors that a macaroni salad should have. It went great with our grilled hot dogs the other night.

Paula's Macaroni Salad

2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup celery, diced small
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons sliced green onions
1 small jar pimentos, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
ground black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste

Combine ingredients and mix together. Chill until serving.

Cheater Tetrazzini

This is a cheater tetrazzini because it's not baked and it uses canned soup. Now don't get me wrong canned soups are often the answer to make recipes simpler, but honestly this tetrazzini is not as good as a real tetrazzini like my friend Kellie's wonderful recipe. But if you are short on time this is a great weeknight meal that you can whip together in under a half an hour. No one complained and all my kids had seconds.

Cheater Tetrazzini

1 lb spaghetti (you can use less if you prefer a saucier tetrazzini)
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken)
1 zucchini, peeled and shredded (you can skip the peeled part if your kids are not personally offended by visible zucchini like mine are)
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 - 1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper

Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While noodles are boiling melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion, carrot and saute till soft. Add zucchini and garlic and saute a couple minutes more. Add soup, sour cream, milk, Parmesan, frozen peas, and chicken. Heat through. Add noodles to the sauce and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with more Parmesan on individual servings.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Whole Wheat Pizzas

This is a really healthy pizza recipe (well healthy for pizza in any case) and it's very yummy too. You can let your bread machine do all the dough making then just roll it out and bake it. Easy peasy. Makes 2 large thin crust pizzas.

Whole Wheat Pizzas

1 1/2 cups hot water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
1 tablespoon SAF yeast

Put ingredients into bread machine in order listed in manufacturers instructions (for mine I put in water, oil, honey, salt, flour, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, flax seed, then make a well in flour and put int he yeast). Let machine run on "dough" cycle.

Once the dough is done divide dough in half. Roll out each half on a surface sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and place on a non-stick sprayed pizza pan. Top with toppings of choice. Bake at 375 for about 15-18 minutes until toppings are cooked and crust is slightly browned. Brush outer crust with a little melted butter after it's done baking.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stove Top Chicken Casserole

This is quick and easy and good. What more can you ask from a casserole?! My whole family enjoyed it and I liked that with only 3 chicken breasts I fed everyone and there was even a full serving left over for my husband to take to work tomorrow. Nice.

Stove Top Chicken Casserole

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 box chicken flavor Stove Top Dressing, prepared according to package directions

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. (Actually I used the baking dish size slightly smaller than 9x13 - it was 8x11.5.) Lay chicken strips in the bottom of the dish. Combine cream of chicken and sour cream and spread over the top of the chicken evenly. Top with the prepared Stove Top. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 325 for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to crisp the top of the stuffing.

Chocolate Crescent Rolls

Have you ever come across a recipe and thought, "why in the world didn't I think of that"?? Well finding this recipe at Stick a Fork In It was definitely one of those moments for me. I love chocolate croissants. Love. Love. Love. Them. Why have I never thought to do the easy version with tubed crescent roll dough? It's SO good. There is just something about buttery bread with chocolate. Seriously give this a try and you will be surprised how simply yummy these crescent rolls are. Thanks to Stick a Fork in It for this lovely lovely recipe that I'm sure I'll be making every time I have a tube of crescent roll dough in the fridge. I might even try it with my homemade crescent roll dough too.

Chocolate Crescent Rolls

1 tube Pillsbury crescent roll dough
chocolate chips (semi-sweet is good)
1 tablespoon melted butter

Unroll crescent roll dough from the tube and divide into triangles. Put some chocolate chips on the bottom third of the dough triangles (the larger end of the triangle). Roll up the crescent rolls pinching the ends and shape into crescent shape. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter. Place crescent rolls on a rack to cool - they are best when they have cooled to almost room temperature.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Smores Bars

These are quite yummy and I love that I can now make a Smores treat any time. These bars totally taste like smores - maybe even a little better. Everyone loved this for our FHE treat last night.

Smores Bars

12 oz box of Golden Grahams cereal (about 8 cups)
2 cups chocolate chips, divided
6 cups mini marshmallows, divided (that's 1, 10.5 oz bag + 1 cup)
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup corn syrup

In a large microwave safe bowl combine 5 cups of marshmallows, 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Pour Golden Grahams into a large mixing bowl. Pour marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until it's all combined and evenly coated. Add 1 cup marshmallows and 1/2 cup chocolate chips and mix. Press mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish. With wet hand press the mixture evenly into the pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Cut into bars and serve.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chili Mac

This recipe is from Emeril Lagasse and it's great! It's the one he made on Jon and Kate Plus 8. My whole family loved it. My kids all had seconds and I think my 5 and 2 year olds had fourths actually. It was a great and flavorful casserole and will definitely be going into our regular meal rotation.

Chili Mac

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped into a small dice
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1, 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, with juices, tomatoes crushed up with your hands
1/2 cup water
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound elbow macaroni (I used a 14.5 oz box of Barilla Plus Multigrain Elbows)
1 lb medium cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream for serving

Cook macaroni in salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While macaroni is cooking heat olive oil in a 6-quart or larger soup pot. Add onions and 2 teaspoons salt and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add ground beef and cook breaking up any large clumps of meat. Add chili powder, oregano, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and 1/2 cup water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened to a chili consistency, about 20-25 minutes. Taste and add 1/4 teaspoon salt if needed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Fold cooked macaroni and 1/2 of the cheese (8 oz) into the chili. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish or 2 8x8 baking dishes if making one for now and 1 to freeze. Top with remaining grated cheddar and bake until heated through and cheese is melted on top, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Top individual portions with sour cream if desired.
Freezer Meal Instructions:
After folding macaroni and cheese into the chili in the pot transfer it to a disposable 9x13 or 2, 8x8 baking dishes. Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap and then 2 layers of foil. Label with cooking instructions. Place remaining 8 oz of cheese into 1 ziplock bag for the 9x13 or 2 ziplock bags if you are doing 2, 8x8 pans. Tape cheese bag/s to pan/s.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw for a day in fridge. Remove plastic wrap and foil. Cover loosely with a layer of foil creased in the middle to allow circulation to casserole. Bake for probably 45 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly. Remove foil and top with cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
*To bake from frozen allow far more cooking time - probably 2 hours.

Homemade Applesauce

All I can say is homemade applesauce is SO good!! It was a perfect side dish for pork tenderloin. I hadn't ever made applesauce before and now I know I will all the time. It tastes like smooth apple pie filling. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about how good it was.

Homemade Applesauce

4 lbs apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
1/2 cup sugar (you can cut this in half if you'd like less sweet applesauce)
pinch of salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon melted butter

Put apple chunks, sugar, salt, and water into a pot. Cook over medium high heat with lid on for about 20 minutes, stirring every couple minutes. In 2 batches place cooked apples in blender and pulse till it reaches desired consistency - my kids like it fairly smooth, but I would probably prefer it nice and chunky. Place blended applesauce into a bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon till it reaches desired cinnamon-ness. Add melted butter and stir it in. Leave out at room temp till it cools down slightly, serve.

Spicy Pork Tenderloin

We had this the other night and everyone really liked it. I let the pork soak in a brine for an hour and I really think that helped it to be moist and flavorful. It was so good with Homemade Applesauce for a side. Mmmm.

Spicy Pork Tenderloin

2, 1 lb pork tenderloins (I bought these at Costco - you get 4, 1 lb tenderloins in packages there)
1 quart water
1/4 cup salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder

Combine water and salt and whisk well to dissolve all the salt. Soak tenderloins in water/salt mixture for 1 hour.

Take tenderloins out of the water mixture. Wash them off and pat them dry well. Rub oil all over the tenderloins. Combine chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Sprinkle spices evenly over the tenderloins, rubbing the tenderloins to make sure the spices are evenly distributed. Let tenderloins sit in fridge till you're ready to cook them.

Heat oven to 375 with a baking sheet in the oven (I use a stoneware jelly roll pan). Place tenderloins on baking sheet and roast for about half an hour, the internal temperature needs to read 150 degrees. Place cooked tenderloins on a cutting board and cover with foil. Allow meat to rest for 5-10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

**You can also grill the tenderloins. I bet that would be super tasty.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Broccoli Salad

The other night we had Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches (I LOVE that dinner) and to go along with it I decided to make this salad. The recipe if from The Neeleys on the Food Network and it's really good.

Broccoli Salad

6 slices bacon, cooked crisply and chopped up
2-3 heads of broccoli or 8 cups
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
salt and pepper

Cut broccoli into florets. Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water until barely tender (about a minute). Shock them in a bowl of ice water (helps them keep their nice green color). Drain and set aside.

Combine mayo, sour cream, and celery seed. In a bowl combine broccoli, onion, and shredded cheese. Add mayo mixture and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Vanilla Ice Cream

On fast Sundays we have "Sundae Fast Sunday" which means we eat ice cream sundaes after dinner. Let me tell you the kids love this tradition. And everyone especially loves Sundae Fast Sunday when I make homemade ice cream. Isn't everything better with homemade ice cream?!

Vanilla Ice Cream

4 oz Egg Beaters
1 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine Egg Beaters, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Add cream and half and half and whisk it all together very well. Chill in the fridge for about an hour. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions to make the ice cream.

Friday, July 3, 2009

BBQ Meatballs

I tell you Pioneer Woman has never let me down. All of her recipes are wonderful and this is no exception. We had these the other night and everyone (the 9, 5, and 2 years olds included) loved it.

BBQ Meatballs

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup quick oats
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons finely mince onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
canola oil

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
4-6 tablespoons finely minced onion
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine beef, oats, milk, 3 T minced onion, salt and black pepper. Roll into medium-small balls and place onto a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and immediately dredge meatballs in flour and place back on cookie sheet.

In a large skillet heat some canola oil, enough to coat bottom of skillet. Brown the meatballs in the oil in batches (it took me 3 batches), placing browned meatballs in a 9x13 baking dish.

Combine sauce ingredients and pour evenly over the top of the meatballs. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes at 350. Meatballs and sauce should be sizzling around the edges.

Rye Muffins

If you aren't in the mood to take lots of time making Russian Black Bread these rye muffins are a great alternative. They have the same sort of flavor and are a snap to make. I think I might make these muffins to go with Pelmeni in the future (if I don't have the 5 hours it takes to make real black bread).

Rye Muffins

1 cup dark rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 400 and grease a muffin tin very well (otherwise these muffins stick).

Mix together dry ingredients. Combine milk, egg, and oil and stir into the dry ingredients. Spoon into greased muffin pan. Bake at 400 for 13-15 minutes. Serve with butter and honey if you wish. Makes 12 muffins.

Crockpot 4 Hour Stew

I got this recipe years ago at a Macy's Little Theater cooking class with Janet Eyring (the c0-author of 101 Things to Do With a Slow Cooker). I love this recipe. The stew always turns out so yummy and it's so easy to throw together. Even though you can make it in 4 hours I always opt for the 10-12 hour on low cook time because I think stews are much better that way. I made Rye Muffins to go along with it and they were a great accompaniment.

Crockpot 4 Hour Stew

2 pounds stew meat
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (about 3 russet potatoes)
2 carrots, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 soup can of water
1 packet dry onion soup mix

Spray inside of crockpot with non-stick spray. Add stew meat, celery, potatoes, and carrots. In a bowl combine soups, water, and onion soup mix. Pour over meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 10-12 hours.

Pan Cinnamon Sticks

So using My Sister's Pizza Dough Recipe you can either make 2 large pizzas or 1 pizza and one cookie sheet of bread sticks. Last Saturday everyone opted for the pizza and cinnamon sticks and they were a big success.

Pan Cinnamon Sticks
-This recipe will make 2 portions of pizza dough, so you can either make 2 cookie sheets of bread sticks with that or 1 pizza and 1 sheet of bread sticks.

5 1/4 cups white unbleached bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 rounded tablespoons SAF yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons liquid lecithin
2 cups hot tap water (I always end up adding 1/4 cup more to get the right consistency)

Cinnamon Sugar:
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and yeast) in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add lecithin and water. Mix for 1 minute with dough hook. Check consistency - it should be like a stiff cookie dough - if it's too dry add more water, if the dough looks too moist add a little more flour. Mix with dough hook for 5 minutes.

Spray a flat surface with cooking spray and also your hands so that you can handle the dough easily. Knead dough on flat surface into a smooth ball. Cut in half. Roll each half into a rectangle the size of your cookie sheet. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray and place dough in it. (I always use my Pampered Chef pie crust roller to help roll the dough out in the pan to get it to reach the sides.) Cut down the center of dough lengthwise and then cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Brush with melted butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle ample amounts on each dough strip. Repeat with other half of dough or make other half into a pizza using these directions. Let bread sticks raise for 25 minutes. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar when it comes out of the oven.

Seasoning for Garlic Bread Sticks:
garlic powder
seasoned salt
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese

Brush dough strips with butter and then sprinkle with the seasonings above. Serve with heated marinara or pizza sauce to dip the bread sticks in.