Saturday, July 31, 2010

Macho Nacho's

Ok, so I have to make this post quick...Heath is out on the porch tapping his foot waiting to get his ass kicked in Scrabble. I didn't think I was going to be making anything this evening since I've been feeling pretty crummy, but I feel MUCH better today. I had planned on making this tomorrow, but figured I'd let Heath grill some steaks instead.

This is another Paula Deen recipe, and it is OUTSTANDING! I made it awhile back for my Mom and Step-Dad, and they loved it. I think he ate half the platter on his own! This was the first time I've ever made it for Heath, and he was pleased...he's also very, very full :) Ok, that's all...time to go kick some Scrabble-ass!


'Macho Nachos'


1 can refried beans
1 large bag white corn tortilla chips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup shredded pepper jack
1 jalapeno, sliced crosswise, plus extra for garnish
1 can chili, or your favorite chili recipe
1 cup shredded Cheddar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup green onion, chopped
1 tomato, diced


 1. Heat oven to 350. Have all the prepped ingredients easily accessible to assemble nachos.

2. In a small saucepan over low heat, cook refried beans until they are loose enough to spoon onto nachos.

3. On a large ovenproof platter, spread out a layer of tortilla chips and quickly put a teaspoon of hot refried beans on each chip. Working quickly, sprinkle with some onions, jack cheese, and jalapeno slices.

4. Spoon on chili and top that with Cheddar. Repeat this layering process until ingredients are used up. Save some of the jalapeno slices for garnish.

5. Place platter in the oven and bake until cheese has melted, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a trivet or heatproof surface. Top nachos with sour cream, green onions, diced tomato and jalapeno slices and serve hot.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Seven Layer Bean Dip

So, unfortunately, I don't have anything from dinner to share with you all this evening. I probably won't tomorrow night either. I've been feeling a bit under the weather the past couple days (it's these damn faulty intestines of mine), so food is NOT a big priority of mine. Heath just made some Kraft Home-Style mac 'n' cheese for him and the boy while Mama laid in bed whining (btw, that new Home-Style mac 'n' cheese? Very good. I was able to get down a few bites). Anyway, we were SUPPOSED to attend a Hail & Farewell this evening (Ward Room function), but with my feeling like crap, I opted out. Heath decided to stay home to help me out...I'm glad he did, I've been useless all evening. This bean dip is what I was going to bring though, and since I had already bought all the stuff for it, I didn't want it to go to waste. I KNEW Heath would munch on it throughout the night, and he has. Even I managed to drag myself out of bed for some of it. It's VERY tasty. I realize this recipe has been around for like, ever, but I thought I'd share it anyway. Have a great weekend everyone!


'Seven Layer Bean Dip'
Source: Betty Crocker


1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1 cup Thick 'n Chunky salsa (any variety)
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups shredded Cheddar or Mexican cheese blend (8 oz)
1 can (2.25 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained (1/2 cup)
1 medium tomato, diced (3/4 cup)
Tortilla chips, if desired


In medium bowl, mix refried beans and taco seasoning mix. Spread mixture on large platter. In another medium bowl, mix cream cheese and chiles (you can microwave cream cheese for about 15 seconds to soften it up). Carefully spread over bean mixture. Top with salsa, lettuce, cheese, olives and tomato. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

One-Pot Chicken and Corn

I found this recipe last week in my quest to find recipes where I can use the Dutch Oven. I made some pretty big changes to the original recipe, but I won't bore you with that info. I thought this would just be 'ok', one of those recipes that isn't a stand-out, but gets the family fed, however I was pleasantly surprised to find that my hubby and son loved it!

The chicken fell right off the bone, and the corn (once it cooled down) was delicious! Unfortunately I've been feeling pretty cruddy all day (a stomach bug I think I picked up from Jesse), so I couldn't eat too much of this. The one piece of chicken and corn I had was wonderful though, and the potatoes were so soft. Adding the chicken broth was a genius idea, if I do say so myself! (that was one of the changes I made).

Anyway, I absolutely recommend trying this. It's ok if you don't have a Dutch Oven, you can use a big long as it has a lid. Just brown the chicken and onions for a few minutes, then throw everything else in the pot and let it slowly cook...I wish I had thought to take a picture of everything stewing in the pot, mmmmm, it just looks (and smells!) so good! This is definitely my new favorite way to cook!


'One-Pot Chicken and Corn'
Source: Adapted from Betty Crocker


1 tablespoon butter or margarine
6 chicken legs
1 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup water
4 cups chicken broth (32oz)
6 half-ears Nibblers frozen corn-on-the-cob (from 12-count package)
5-6 small red potatoes, cut into fours
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired


In 4-quart nonstick Dutch oven or large pan, melt butter over high heat. Cook chicken, onion, 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoned salt and the pepper in butter 10 to 15 minutes, turning chicken occasionally, until chicken is light golden brown. Stir onions to side if they start to burn. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Add water, chicken broth, corn and potatoes to Dutch oven; sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon seasoned salt evenly over top. Cover; cook 90 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (180°F). Remove chicken and corn to serving platter, using tongs. Gently stir potatoes with onions and pan juices; spoon onto serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Charleston Shrimp 'n' Gravy

I would just like to say a very big Thank You! to my friend Jillian who sent me this was AWESOME! Even Heath, who always rolls his eyes when I tell him I'm making a seafood dish, loved it. In fact, he ate so much that for the first time in forever, he wasn't able to eat what was left on my own plate!

Now, this recipe was my first  time making a roux, and I was convinced that I would screw it up. I can't believe how easy it was! Though the whole time I was making this, I wasn't sure if I was doing it right...well, just follow the recipe, and you're doing it right. At one point I started to get a bit exasperated, thinking this wasn't going to turn out well when I realized, I was done! It's usually like that for me though when I make a new recipe for the first time...especially anything involving seafood. I'll definitely feel more comfortable the next time I make this.

Let me just say though, you ABSOLUTELY need to do a bit of prep before dinner. Either in the morning before you leave for work, or in the afternoon if you stay home. You'll want to have the onion and green pepper chopped already when you're ready to start dinner...and of course you'll want to peel the shrimp earlier. I accidentally added 2 tablespoons instead of 2 teaspoons of season salt, but ya know, it was still really good! In fact, I'm glad I made the mistake cause it added a lot of flavor. Oh, and I also added a bit of Old Bay...I just really like it. So! Jillian, thanks a bunch for sharing this recipe with me, it has definitely been added to our favorites folder!!


'Charleston Shrimp 'n' Gravy'
Source: Jillian via All Recipes


3 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
black pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 green onion, chopped


1. Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry until browned, then remove to paper towels to drain.

2. Add the butter to the bacon grease. When the butter begins to sizzle, sprinkle 3 tablespoons of flour over it. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until dark brown. Don't let it scorch - if it starts to, just reduce the heat.

3. When the roux reaches dark brown, increase the heat to medium-high, and add the onions and bell pepper. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes, just until softened.

4. Meanwhile, place the shrimp in a bowl, and toss with seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, and remaining flour. Pour into the pan, and stir constantly for 1 minute.

5. Whisk in the chicken stock, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for just a few minutes to thicken the broth. Don't cook much longer, or the shrimp will become tough.

6. Sprinkle the chopped green onion over it, and remove from the heat. Serve over fresh hot grits, rice or biscuits. Crumble the bacon slices on top.


Stuffed French Toast

This is SUCH a good breakfast! I usually get in these moods where I'll eat this every morning for like, a week straight. Cream cheese, ham, cinnamon raisin bread...good stuff! I found this over at Kraft Foods a while back, and it's at the top of my breakfast favorites. I'm not much of a breakfast kinda gal, and usually, when I finally DO eat breakfast, it's about 11:45...almost lunch. Actually, this is perfect for brunch! I definitely recommend trying this one morning. It's very easy, and very good (really, I think you could drizzle syrup on ANYTHING, and it'd be good!).


'Stuffed French Toast'
Source: Kraft Foods


2 slices Cinnamon-raisin bread
Cream Cheese Spread
4 slices Deli thin sliced Ham
1 Eggs
1 Tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. Sugar or Cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Maple-flavored or pancake syrup


Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium heat. Spread one side of each bread slice with cream cheese; fill with ham to make a sandwich. Lightly press edges together to seal. Beat egg, milk and sugar with fork in shallow dish until well blended. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture, turning over to evenly moisten both sides.  Add sandwich to skillet; cook 2 min. on each side or until golden brown on both sides. Serve with syrup.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

I found this recipe about a year or so ago, and since then, I've made it quite a few times. I personally really like it. Hubby just likes it, and my mother, who I finally talked into making this, did not like it. It all depends on how you like your pork chops. If you don't like baked chops, then this is not for you. Though I will say, it's not one of my favorites because it's fantastically tasty, it's one of my favorites cause it's fantastically easy.

The best part by far is the apples and stuffing (I looooove Stove Top Stuffing!)...I just eat the pork chop cause it's there. I know, I know...another recipe with very few ingredients. These are good to collect though for nights when you're busy, or are getting dinner started a bit later than you'd like. Don't worry, tomorrow's dinner will be MUCH more complicated ;)~


'Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing '
Source: Taste of Home


4-6 boneless pork loin chops (1-inch thick and 4 ounces each)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 box stuffing mix (I use Stove Top Chicken flavor)
1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling with cinnamon


1. Heat oven to 350. In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, prepare stuffing according to package directions.

2. Spread pie filling into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Set the chops in the dish and spoon stuffing over the chops.

3. Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Tonight I tried another recipe from my friend Cassie's blog (she's got some GREAT stuff over there). I'll admit, I was pretty skeptical of this recipe. I just kept looking at the few meager ingredients thinking 'No way are these 3 things going to make a decent sauce'...well, I was wrong.

This was actually VERY good, and so simple. Seriously...5 ingredients...and that's counting the chicken and rice! This is definitely a keeper for us. Unfortunately I wasn't able to give any to Jesse since he's got a bit of a stomach bug, so his diet is strictly applesauce, toast, and bananas for the next day or two, but I really think this is something he'll like. This is perfect for those crazy nights when you don't want to THINK about dinner, you just want it done! I highly recommend trying this...thanks Cassie!


'Sweet and Sour Chicken'
Source: Cassie Craves


4 chicken breast halves
1 cup Catalina salad dressing (I used the Zesty Catalina)
1 cup brown sugar
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
Rice, for serving


1. Heat oven to 350. Place chicken in a greased casserole dish.

2. In a small bowl, combine the dressing, brown sugar and onion soup mix. Pour over each chicken breasts.

3. Cook in for about 45 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.

4. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package. (I used the 5 minute white rice. I started it with 14 minutes remaining on the chicken, and it was done the same time as the chicken)



This morning I decided I wanted something different for breakfast. I usually just make a dippy egg (over-easy to the rest of you) and a piece of bread for dipping. I've been on an Eggs Benedict kick the last week, but I wasn't feeling it today. This popped into my head, so I went with it.

My Dad used to make this back in the day. Not often, but enough that I remember it. It's very easy, and if you like a small breakfast, this is perfect. I've never been able to sit down to a big 'ol plate of eggs, sausage, bacon, and toast. Just one egg and a piece of bread/toast is enough for me.

Jesse was hovering while I was eating this...standing next to me the whole time saying 'Bite? Bite?' in that little voice of his, so he ended up eating about 1/3 of it, but it was good! A nice change from my normal ho-hum breakfast! And now the boy has a new favorite as well :)




1 slice of bread
spreadable butter or margarine
1 egg
season salt (which is what I use) OR salt and pepper to taste


1. Evenly butter both sides of the bread. Cut a 1.5-2 inch circle out of the center of the bread (I use the cap that goes on my season salt bottle. It's the perfect size).

2. Lightly toast both sides of the bread in a greased skillet...about 3-4 minutes per side.

3. Crack the egg into the center of the hole and let it cook about 3-4 minutes. Gently flip bread over and let cook to desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with either salt and pepper or season salt.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Grilled Bratwurst

*Sigh*...Heath absolutely loves Bratwurst. Me? Not so much. I don't buy it and I try not to bring it up so Heath won't be reminded that they exist, yet every once in awhile, after sending him to the store to pick up a few things, he comes home with these damn things, and a huge smile plastered to his face. I don't complain though. I think it's payback for every time I serve Shepherds Pie...a meal he can definitely live without (though it's my FAV!).

If he insists on buying Brats, then I always saute some peppers and onions just to try and liven them up a bit. Heath says this is a waste of time since nothing can better the already awesome taste of the meat, but I beg to differ. If you've got a meat-lovin' hubby, then bring home some brats for him to grill up. I'm sure he'll be pleased (though you may not be, so...sorry!).


'Grilled Bratwurst'


1 package of Bratwurst (according to hubby, Johnsonville's the best)
1 green pepper; sliced
1 onion; sliced
2 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil
1 package of potato rolls
Mustard (personal preference)


1. While the grill is warming up, heat oil in a mid-sized pan. Saute peppers and onions on medium heat till soft (about 20'll want to start sauteing just before the brats go on the grill). When they've reached desired softness, remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile, grill brats turning once...about 15-20 minutes. Place on a potato roll, throw some mustard on it (if desired), and top with peppers and onions. Try to enjoy!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Creamed Chicken Over Corn Bread

I've had this recipe sitting in my 'To-Be-Made' folder FOREVER. I finally decided to try it this week. Not sure what was holding me back...chicken, broccoli, corn bread...all good! And it was...very good.

The hubby was certainly pleased since he loves corn bread. For as easy as it is to make, I rarely make it, so it's quite the treat when he gets it. I got the Jiffy boxed corn bread (mainly cause the recipe calls for an 8.5 oz box), which is good, but I think next time I'm gonna get the Betty Crocker bagged corn bread (2 of them since one bag is only 5.5 oz) cause it's super sweet. This was also a great dinner for my son. He loves all bread/biscuit products, and he also loves veggies...the creamy sauce was just a bonus for him, he wolfed this stuff down. That alone will have me definitely making this again!


'Creamed Chicken Over Corn Bread'
Source: Taste of Home


1 package (8-1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cups cubed chicken
1 package (16 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
3/4 cup milk
Shredded cheddar cheese


1. Prepare corn bread batter and bake according to package directions, using a 9-in. round baking pan or glass dish.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes; stir in chicken and broccoli. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until heated through.

3. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; stir in the egg yolks, sour cream and milk until smooth. Add to chicken mixture; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Cut warm corn bread into wedges; top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Salmon with Bearnaise sauce

So, this is a meal to make when your feeling particularly lazy, and just don't want to cook. Throw some salmon in the oven, cook a packet of Bearnaise sauce, pop some Steam-fresh veggies in the microwave, and BOOM! You've got a great meal that took almost NO effort ( a box of Kraft Mac n Cheese takes more effort than this). I love salmon, and am always looking for new ways to make it. I have a great maple salmon recipe, as well as a brown sugar glaze that's very good. Those will have to wait for another day though. Today, there's this. I just wasn't in the mood to make a big deal over dinner tonight. It feels like it's 137 degrees outside, I have about 12 loads of laundry to fold, and I'm kinda it was no-fuss cooking. Still though, no-fuss doesn't have to mean crap. Oh, and if you've never seen the packet of Bearnaise sauce that I'm talking about, here ya go...

the other brand I get is by Knorr. It really doesn't matter which you get, they both taste the same. I just grab whichever I see first. They both also make a great Hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict. You'll need 1 cup of milk, and 1/4 cup of butter to make the sauce. So simple. Well, hope you try this...really, this sauce is just great. You can also put it over meat or veggies. Mmmm...good stuff.

'Salmon with Bearnaise Sauce'
Source: My laziness

2 Salmon Fillets
Lemon Juice (optional)
1 Packet of Bearnaise Sauce
~1/4 cup butter (for sauce)~
~1 cup milk (for sauce)~

Heat oven to 350. Place salmon skin side down on a greased foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a few squirts of lemon juice if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes (if you have really thick fillets, cook a bit longer) or until fish flakes with a fork. Meanwhile, cook Bearnaise sauce as directed. Top salmon with sauce, and serve with some veggies. That's it!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Mac n Cheese

I got this recipe from a friend of mines blog, Cassie Craves. I have been searching for years for the perfect Mac n Cheese recipe, yet none have come close. Tonight however, this recipe did. While I really liked this, it wasn't quite the 'So-good-it-knocks-you-on-your-ass' Mac n Cheese I'm searching for (to be honest, I'm not sure it exists...except maybe at Trail's End Restaurant in Fort Wilderness at Disney World...Mmmmmm). If it were up to my husband, my search would end here. He looooooved this Mac n Cheese. His exact words were, "It's got bacon, it's got jalapenos, it's got cheese...what more could you POSSIBLY want???" Speaking of jalapenos, let me throw in a word of caution here. When you've finished chopping the jalapenos, DO NOT touch any part of your face. It will hurt like hell if you do. Should you forget this advice though, and you DO end up with a face that's on fire, wash it with milk. Yes...Milk. Wash your hands and face with milk, and the burn will go right me...I know. So! Let me share with you my friend Cassie's VERY tasty recipe for:

'Jalapeno Popper Mac n Cheese'
Source: Cassie Craves

1/2 pound bacon
1 pound elbow pasta
1/4 cup butter
2 large jalapenos or 4 small jalapenos, finely diced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups milk
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 ounces cream cheese
1 cup bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Heat oven to 350. Cook bacon to desired crispness; drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside (I used Oscar Mayer pre-cooked bacon just to shave a little prep time off dinner). Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter in a LARGE saucepan over medium heat.

Add jalapenos and cook for 3 minutes, or until they’re slightly softened. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add milk; heat to boiling and stir constantly for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in cheddar cheese and cream cheese until melted and smooth.

Add pasta and bacon to the cheese sauce and mix gently. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Combine 3 tablespoons melted butter with the bread crumbs or crackers; sprinkle evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is slightly browned.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu in Pastry

I've been making this recipe for a couple years now, and it's always a hit. Tonight was the first time I've given it to my son, and he ate it up! I've made this a few times whenever I've had company over, and everyone's always loved it. It's easy, yet looks like it takes much more time than it actually does. If you do make this for company, you're not gonna have to spend an hour in the kitchen getting dinner ready instead of hanging out with your guests. Now, I personally LOVE Chive and Onion cream cheese, so I slather on a bit more than the recipe calls for for my particular piece, but other than that, I don't make any changes. I absolutely recommend trying this. It's so good, and so easy. There is a bit of prep involved, but it's maybe 10 minutes...not bad at all. I'm telling you, you're gonna love this...try it!


'Chicken Cordon Bleu in Pastry'
Source: Taste of Home


 1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4 cup spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
8 thin slices deli ham
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
4 slices Swiss cheese


Heat oven to 375. On an un-greased baking sheet, separate dough into four rectangles; seal perforations. Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese lengthwise down the center of each rectangle. Place 2 pieces of ham widthwise over each dough rectangle. Arrange chicken in center of each rectangle. Wrap ham around chicken. At each long end, pinch dough together around chicken, forming points.

Bake at for 15-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the chicken reads 170°. Top with slice of Swiss cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Enchiladas Verdes

My husband is obsessed with Enchiladas. He could seriously eat them 5 days a week, with steak being served the other 2 nights, and he'd be a happy man. While I don't hate Mexican food, I kinda tolerate it.

Over the years, I have made many different enchilada recipes. His favorite for a loooong time (and still MY favorite) is Kraft's Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas. They are VERY good. About 6 months ago, I tried a new recipe...Betty Crocker's Chile-Chicken Enchiladas, and that is now his new favorite. I came across this Verdes recipe on another blog, and she said it was her family's favorite (she having tried about as many different types as I have), so I thought I'd try it.

Hubby really liked it, but Betty Crocker is still his favorite! This was very good news for me since, while this particular recipe wasn't at all difficult to make, it was quite that pain-in-the-butt. I think it would definitely be easier to make the second time around though since I'd know just how long everything cooks for.


'Enchiladas Verdes'
Source: Taste of Home


1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 cup (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 package (8 oz) Velveeta Cheese, cubed
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, drained
1 jar (2 oz) diced pimientos, drained
12 corn tortillas (6 inches)
1/4 cup canola oil


1. Heat oven to 350. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and salt over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in cheddar cheese; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook and stir the soup, cheese and milk over medium heat until cheese is melted. Stir in chilies and pimientos.

3. In a large skillet, fry the tortillas, one at a time, in oil for 5 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

4. Spoon about 1/4 cup of meat mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over the top. Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blue Cheese Burgers

Well, tonight's dinner was Blue Cheese Burgers. I've gotta be honest with you, I was not impressed. Heath, on the other hand, LOVED them. He grilled them to perfection, and they were moist and flavorful, but I guess I'm just not a blue cheese kinda gal. I like it crumbled on salads (with walnuts and Raspberry dressing...YUM), but not so much in a burger. I told Heath he didn't have to make them again (getting him back for last night's dinner that I loved and he didn't!). I'm sharing the recipe cause, while I personally wasn't crazy about these, if you're a fan of blue cheese, then you'll probably really like these.


'Blue Cheese Burgers'
Source: TLC Cooking


1-1/4 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper


1. Preheat grill. Combine ground beef, onion, thyme, salt and pepper, and blue cheese in medium bowl; mix lightly (be sure not to over-mix). Shape into four patties.

2. Grill over medium heat, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (or, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes) to medium (160°F), turning once. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes and Dijon mustard on whole wheat buns, if desired.

**We ate these on Kings Hawaiian Bread Burger Rolls...VERY good. Those are my favorite burger rolls. Oh, and I put A-1 sauce on my burger...not bad. added a little extra flavor.**


Deli Eggs Benedict

Whenever we go out to breakfast, if it's on the menu, I will ALWAYS get eggs Benedict. One of the best restaurants ever for it is a little place called the Silver Diner, in Fairfax, VA. We were stationed there for 2 years, and would try to go to breakfast there at LEAST once a month. They had a whole menu of different styles of Eggs Benedict...the best being the Maryland Crab Cake ones...mmmmm...I miss it.

Anyway! While I love Eggs Benedict, I do NOT love Canadian I'm also not a fan of poached eggs. I don't know, something about them. I have no problems eating them in a restaurant, but I make terrible poached eggs. Seriously, they look truly disgusting. So, when I started making my own Eggs Benedict, I used an over-easy egg, and there was no difference at all. It was just as good, still runny, and MUCH easier for me to make.

I had never though to put tomato on it till my Mom mentioned she had tried it, and it was wonderful. Very glad she told me about that. So, here's my take on Eggs Benedict that can EASILY be made at home in no time. (I'm listing the ingredients for one, since that's all I usually make myself, but it's obviously not difficult to make more than one).


'Deli Eggs Benedict'
Source: Myself


1 English Muffin
1 egg
1 slice of tomato
2-3 slices of thin-sliced Deli Ham (or turkey)
1 packet of Hollandaise sauce)
salt and pepper (to taste)


1. In a small pan, follow the directions for the Hollandaise sauce (you'll need about 1/4 cup of butter and 1 cup of milk for the sauce). If you cook it on a higher heat, it thickens up in no time...about 5 minutes.

2. Once the sauce starts to thicken, begin toasting your English Muffin, and make your egg however you prefer. I make an over easy egg, but if you know how to, and you prefer a poached egg, by all means, go with that.

3. Place slices of deli ham (or turkey) on the toasted muffin, top with tomato, then egg, then spoon desired amount of Hollandaise over top. Season with salt and pepper, and you're good to go!

**Note: You can store any remaining Hollandaise in a little container in the fridge, and re-use if for the next day or two...if it's been in the fridge longer than two day, toss it. When I make this, it's usually for a few days in a row just to use up all the sauce, which I reheat in a pan on the stove.**


Friday, July 16, 2010

"Cheater" Chicken and Dumplings

I looooooove Chicken and Dumplings, though I will never make it from scratch. I'm sure it's not difficult, and I know I could do it, but I just don't want to.

SO! I was very excited to try this recipe I found on another blog that I love, Sing For Your Supper. I have been waiting all week to make this, and tonight, I finally got to (and I was also excited about using the Dutch Oven again!!).

It was very easy to throw this together, and is cooks up pretty fast (only a couple hours!). was it?? Well, I loved it! My husband however, was not a fan. He liked it (he ate two big bowls, so he MUST have liked it a little), but he said I didn't have to make it again if I didn't want to. This was NOT what I wanted to hear...especially since, as I said, I loved it. I'm definitely not ditching this recipe, so I guess I'll have to file it under my 'When Daddy's Deployed' recipes.

I absolutely recommend this (which is why I'm sharing it here), and I hope your significant other appreciates it little more than mine did :)~


"Cheater" Chicken and Dumplings


1/4 cup olive oil
4 chicken thighs, bone in (or 4 bone-in or boneless chicken breasts)
2 medium onions, diced
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tablespoon pepper (plus more to taste)
6 cups chicken stock
4 frozen biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands Frozen Biscuits), thawed enough to cut into pieces


 1. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat half of the olive oil (1/8 cup) in a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken, turning the pieces so that all sides are slightly brown, about 3 to 4 minutes for each side. Remove the chicken pieces and place on a paper towel-lined plate.

2. Add the remaining 1/8 cup of olive oil to the pot, along with the onions. Saute the onions until they’re soft, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and white wine. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Saute, stirring frequently, for another 6 minutes.

3. Add the chicken back to the pot. Cover the meat and vegetables with chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 90 minutes. (If your liquid is reducing too much, you may need to add more chicken stock. If the dish is too liquidy, turn up the heat and to reduce the stock more. The idea is to end up with a consistency of a stew.) If the broth is not as thick as you would like, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. 

4. Remove chicken pieces with tongs and allow them to cool. Debone the chicken and shred the meat into small pieces. Return to the pot. Cut each biscuit into fours. Drop the pieces onto the top of the chicken and vegetable mixture. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through. Serve immediately.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

I don't ever remember being a big fan of meatloaf as a child, though to be honest, I don't remember ever having it. I'm sure my Dad made it a few times here and there, but obviously it must not have been too spectacular since I can't recall it. As an adult, the thought of meatloaf made me want to gag. Meat in loaf form...doesn't even SOUND very good.

My Aunt stumbled upon this recipe YEARS ago on Allrecipes, and since then, it's been the only meatloaf anyone in my family makes. I don't make it too often, a handful of times throughout the year, but when I do it's always a big hit. My Mom calls it 'Candy Loaf' due to it's sweetness from the brown sugar (which may be why my 2 year old son LOVES this stuff!).

If you have a tried-and-true family meatloaf recipe, then I probably won't be able to convince you to make this, but if you're open to trying new things...TRY THIS! It is really good. And it's one of those things that tastes even better the next day. I guarantee you, none of this will go to waste.


'Brown Sugar Meatloaf'
Source: All Recipes


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs


 1. Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan.

2. Press the brown sugar into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan and spread the ketchup over the sugar.

3. In a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place on top of the ketchup.

4. Bake for 1 hour or until juices are clear.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Simple Shepherd's Pie

Ok, so I realize this may not look like the most appetizing dish in the world, but it is truly one of my favorites. I make it all the time when my hubby is out to sea (and a lot even when he's not). It heats up great in the microwave for leftovers, but most importantly, my son loves it. He gets everything in one big mess on his plate..meat, veggies, and potatoes...perfect!

I never liked traditional Shepherd's Pie recipes, mainly because they have too much 'junk' in them. I like to keep mine simple, and this recipe is my version of the best I've ever had...Flanagan's Shepherd's Pie, courtesy of Chef Mookie.

Flanagan's is the restaurant in a hotel I worked at many years ago in Groton, CT, and whenever they brought this out for Happy Hour, I alone would eat half of it. I realized one day just just how easy this would be to make, so I started doing it at home. I just love this recipe, and if you try it, I think you will too. It's also open to tons of personal touches. If you want to season the meat, or add other veggies, you could always do that. Personally, simple works best for me :)


'Simple Shepherd's Pie'
Source: My version of Flanagan's


1 lb ground beef
1 can whole kernel corn, well drained
1 container of pre-made mashed potatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. Heat oven to 350. Brown ground beef in a skillet; drain.

2. Place ground beef in a greased 8×8 baking dish. Pour drained corn on top of beef.

3. Cook mashed potatoes in microwave as directed. Spoon the majority of the potatoes over the corn (you can always use the whole tub if you like a LOT of potatoes).

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with shredded cheese, bake an additional 5-7 minutes.


Fried Green Tomatoes

I would like to share with you all another favorite of mine from Miss Paula Deen...her deliciously easy fried green tomatoes. These are so good, and fry up in no time. Now, just because you don't see green tomatoes at your local grocery store, doesn't mean you can't get them. I shop at the Publix here in South Georgia, and they never keep green tomatoes in stock, but if you ask one of the produce workers to order some, they'll do it no problem, and they'll tell you what day they'll be in.

Try to pick them up the day they get them in though, cause I've found if you don't, they'll likely be gone. Seems they go fast when people who aren't used to seeing them find them in stock.  Oh, and if you've got some time, the Fannie Flagg book 'Fried Green Tomatoes' (the one the movie's based on) is GREAT! Really, every book from Fannie Flagg is great, but if you've never read her stuff, that's a fine place to start!


'Fried Green Tomatoes'
Source: Paula Deen


3 or 4 large firm green tomatoes
2 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 cup buttermilk (recommended, though you CAN use regular milk)
2 cups self-rising flour
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Slice the tomatoes 1/4-inch thick. Lay them out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Allow time for salt to pull the water out of the tomatoes, approximately 30 minutes.

2. In a skillet, heat the oil for deep-frying over medium-high heat.

3. Dip the tomatoes into buttermilk, then dredge them into flour with a dash of pepper. Deep-fry until golden brown.


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