Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Potato, Broccoli and Sausage Skillet


Well, talk about easy! What caught my eye about this recipe was it used a box of Scallop Potatoes, which I happened to have 2 of in my cabinet and needed to use. I can't believe how little attention this dinner required. Chop some kielbasa, throw everything in a pan, and let it simmer...awesome! And it only took 30 minutes start to finish! Now, don't get me wrong, there's no culinary genius going on here, but it's fast, it's tasty, so what's not to like? Heath said it reminded him of something he'd make back in college. A collection of 'Hmmmm, let's see, what have I got in the fridge and cabinets that I can throw together?'...I though it was a little better than that, but whatever :)~ The main reason I'll be making this again (aside from the fact that I still have another box of scallop potatoes in the cabinet), is it turns out Jesse LOVES Kielbasa. He hardly touched the broccoli (which is definitely strange), liked the potatoes, but had seconds of the kielbasa! Can't argue with those results!

'Potato, Broccoli and Sausage Skillet'
Source: Betty Crocker

2 cups water
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 box (4.9 oz) scalloped potatoes
2 cups sliced fully cooked Polska-kielbasa sausage (from 1-lb ring)
1/2 cup Thick ‘n Chunky salsa 
2 cups frozen broccoli florets

In 12-inch skillet or 3-quart saucepan, heat water, milk and margarine to boiling. Stir in contents of uncooked potatoes and sauce mix pouches (from potato mix box). Add sausage and salsa; stir until well mixed. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in broccoli. Cover; cook 8 minutes longer or until potatoes and broccoli are tender (sauce will thicken as it stands).


Monday, August 30, 2010

Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp



I made this dish awhile ago, and it was very good, and very creamy (I know it doesn't look like it in the picture, but all the sauce ran down to the bottom of the bowl. It was fine once I mixed it up). Heath is NOT a seafood mixed with pasta kinda-guy, but he liked this a lot! The Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing gives it a really nice flavor. I think next time though, I'll cut the grape tomatoes instead of leaving them whole. They may be small, but they're still a mouthful. This dinner was tasty and super simple to prepare. From start-time to sit-down-and-eat-time...30 minutes. Can't beat that!

'Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp'
Source: Adapted from Kraft Foods

3 cups Bow-Tie pasta, uncooked
1/4 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, divided  
1 lb. uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and black pepper
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Cream Cheese, cubed
2 cups Grape tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
8 Fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until shrimp turn pink. Use slotted spoon to remove shrimp from skillet; cover to keep warm. Discard any drippings in skillet.

Add remaining dressing, broth and seasonings to skillet; cook 2 min. or until heated through. Add cream cheese; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until melted. Stir in tomatoes; cook 1 min.

Drain pasta. Add to ingredients in skillet. Stir in Parmesan and half the basil; top with shrimp and remaining basil.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cheesy Beef & Bacon Burger Meatloaf


Ooooookay, so, if you're on any kinda of diet, or maybe thinking of going on a diet, or if you're really into health food, then I suggest you just leave now and I'll see you tomorrow! I have no idea what the calorie count of this meatloaf is, but I really don't care cause it was gooooood!

I'm not a huge meatloaf eater, but when I do make it, it's always the Brown Sugar Meatloaf, which is very sweet (that's still my favorite). However this meatloaf is great in it's own way. It certainly taste like a cheeseburger! Heath loved it...in fact, he likes this better than the Brown Sugar loaf! And Jesse? Well, for the first time perhaps EVER, he ate all the meatloaf and NONE of the green beans. This is a boy who will go through phases where he'll only eat veggies for dinner, and nothing else. My boy loves his greens, so for him not to touch them cause he filled up on meatloaf is considered a huge success in my book!

Anyway, I believe most kiddos will like this, and most Dads as well. As for you Mom's...well, just close your eyes and try to forget about the fat/calories. You can always do a couple extra sit-ups the next day :)~

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'Cheesy Beef & Bacon Burger Meatloaf'

Ingredients

1 lb. bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled and divided (I buy pre-chopped bacon)
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef sirloin
1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350. Set aside 1/2 cup bacon for topping. Combine remaining bacon, ground beef, cheese, eggs, crumbs, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a large bowl; set aside.

2. Mix together ketchup, hot sauce and mustard; set aside 3 tablespoons of this mixture. Add remaining ketchup mixture to beef mixture; blend well. Press into a greased 9x5 loaf pan; spread reserved ketchup mixture over top and sprinkle with reserved bacon.

3. Bake uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until done. Remove from oven; let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 6 to 8.


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Friday, August 27, 2010

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon


Well, it was a quiet night for us last night. Heath was on the boat all night, so dinner was just Jesse and I. I knew this earlier in the week, so I picked up a couple small Salmon for us on grocery shopping day (which is always Monday). This is a recipe I've made before, and it's always good. The glaze is tasty, but absolutely not over-powering. If you're wanting a major brown sugar flavor, then you might want to try marinating your fillets in the sauce for a couple hours in the fridge...this may help the taste seep in a bit more. If you make it according to the recipe, it'll just have hints of brown sugar, which is what I was in the mood for. As it turns out, Jesse does NOT like Salmon, so I ate mine and half of his. In fact, he disliked it so much that he felt the need to place his chewed up mouthful of salmon into my hand, and storm off from the dinner table...ok, point taken. At least he ate the noodles though :) Anyway, if you're a salmon fan, I definitely recommend this. I just love salmon and am always looking for new ways to make it, but this recipe is a keeper since it's so simple (pretty much NO mess!) and so tasty!

'Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon'
Source: Taste of Home

1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 salmon fillet (2-1/2 pounds)

Heat oven to 350. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir the brown sugar, butter and honey until melted. Remove from the heat; whisk in the oil, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cool for 5 minutes.

Place salmon in a large foil-lined baking pan; brush with brown sugar mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Butter Chicken


This recipe had me at 'Butter'. I adore all things butter (and cream cheese, and mayonnaise...mmmmm), so I was super excited about trying this. It was VERY tasty! I was skeptical of placing the pats of butter all around the chicken though...I just couldn't wrap my head around how that would make for juicy chicken, but ya know what? It did! I'm not gonna try to figure out the mechanics behind it, but it was moist and buttery, and oh-so-good! For the 'buttery round crackers', I used Town House Original crackers, and they worked great. I couldn't decided whether to use those or Ritz, but Ritz are a wee bit saltier, so I tried Town House. I may try Ritz next time though. Well, hope you all are having a great week thus far, and I'll see ya tomorrow...Friday, Yay!

'Butter Chicken'

2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup buttery round crackers, crushed
1/4 tsp garlic powder, or 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup butter, cut into bits

Heat the oven to 375. Place the eggs into a shallow bowl. Place the cracker-crumbs into another shallow bowl and mix together with the garlic powder and the pepper. Dip the chicken breasts, first into the egg and then roll them in the cracker crumb mixture, coating them well. Place them in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Drop the pieces of butter all around the pieces of the chicken. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink inside, the juices run clear and the crumbs are nicely browned.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls



Yesterday was only the second time I've made this recipe, but it's definitely a favorite of mine. You DO need to give yourself about 30 minutes for prep, but it's not difficult in anyway. I recommend boiling the cabbage in the morning, soaking it in some cold water, then slowly peeling back the leaves and letting them sit out to dry for 20-30 minutes (if you're in a hurry, you don't have to let them sit, just pat dry with a paper towel). If you want to save even more time, you could always chop up the green pepper the night before so it's ready to go when you need it. This time when I made it, I forgot to pick up the 46oz bottle of V8 (I'm still miffed about that), but I happen to have 4 little 5.5 oz cans in the fridge, so I used those, added some water, and used half a jar of spaghetti sauce that was also in the fridge...couldn't tell at all that anything was different!

Now, this is probably not going to go over too well if you try putting this in front of most kids, as it looks (and kinda smells, thanks to the cabbage) horrid, but they may like the meat filling...at least Jesse does. When I put one whole roll in front of him, he looked at me like I had three heads, but once I removed the cabbage, he ate it up. TRUST ME, this dish is MUCH better than it looks! Heath said it the first time I made it, and he said it again last night...It's strange how some things can look so disgusting, yet taste so good!

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'Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls'
Source: Taste of Home

Ingredients

1 large head cabbage
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
3/4 cup quick-cooking rice
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup crushed saltines (about 15 crackers)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 ounce onion soup mix
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
1 can (46 ounces) V8 juice
Salt to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions

Cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside 6-12 large leaves for rolls; drain well. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce, rice, green pepper, cracker crumbs, egg and soup mix. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

Place about 1/3 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf; fold cut end of leaf over the meat mixture. Fold in sides and roll up completely to enclose filling. Secure with toothpicks if desired.

Place cabbage rolls in slow cooker. Pour V8 juice over rolls. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until filling reaches 160°. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and cheese if desired.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunday Chicken & Dressing



If you like Thanksgiving, then this is a dinner for you! I happen to love Thanksgiving, so this was right up my alley. You just can't beat mixing stuffing with chicken or turkey...and the soups added a great flavor. Now, instead of using my regular Perdue Short Cuts Chicken Strips, I tried Oscar Mayer's Deli Cuts Cubed Chicken...NOT a good idea. Heath liked it and didn't notice any difference between the two (he doesn't count though since he's a guy and will eat pretty much anything), but I noticed a BIG difference. The Oscar Mayer was a bit dry and thicker, whereas Perdue's is much more...chicken-y...know what I mean? I may not be articulating very well the point I'm trying to make here, but basically it's this...DO NOT USE OSCER MEYERS CUBED CHICKEN! Ok...moving on.

This is a super easy dinner to throw together on a night when cooking is just not what you want to do, and I'll absolutely be making this again (though with the RIGHT chicken...I may even use turkey next time). I cut this in half since a big 13 x 9 inch baking dish full of this would just be WAY too much for Heath and I (Jesse's got an intestinal thing going on, so he's strictly on the BRAT diet for the next few days...bummer since I think he would have liked this)...so I made mine in an 8 x 8 glass dish...only needed 1 box of stuffing and half the chicken...of course I still used all the soup mixture. It occured to me I should only use half after I'd already used it all, but it's ok, it was still good. Served with cranberry sauce, we had ourselves a little Thanksgiving in August!

'Sunday Chicken & Dressing'
Source: Gooseberry Patch Cookbook

1 can (10-3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 can (10-3/4 oz) cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup
1 cup chicken broth
2 1/2 - 3 pounds cooked chicken (or turkey), cubed
2 packages (6-oz) chicken-flavored stuffing mix, prepared

Heat oven to 350. Combine soups and broth in a bowl; set aside. Place half of chicken (or turkey) in a lightly greased 13×9 baking pan; top with half of stuffing and half of soup mixture. Repeat layers, ending with soup mixture. Bake uncovered for one hour.

Great if served with cranberry sauce!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Cola Chicken



I tried this recipe last week and, while it was good, I don't think I'll be making it again. The chicken was super moist, but the cola/ketchup mixture ended up tasting like barbecue sauce...and just using barbecue sauce from the beginning would have been a lot easier. I will say though, I've never made BBQ chicken that came out this moist, so maybe for that reason, this recipe isn't one to be tossed aside (though I'm not a huge fan of BBQ to begin with, so it doesn't much matter to me). Heath really liked this, and even Jesse ate up, but there just wasn't anything special about it, ya know? Nothing that made me think, 'Wow, this is really good! I definitely need to make this again!'. Eh...to each his own. Try it, you may love it. It's not difficult in any way, though it does take awhile to cook, so keep that in mind. Basically, if you like BBQ, then you'll probably like this.

'Cola Chicken'
Source: Taste of Home

1 can (12 ounces) cola
1/2 cup ketchup
2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed

In a large skillet, combine first five ingredients. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Add chicken; stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover; simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fried Catfish



Ok...so, if you've never had Catfish, you may be thinking 'Gross!', but actually, it's pretty good. I'll be honest, I did NOT like it the first couple times I tried it, but I don't know if that's because it was just poor quality Catfish, or if it's an acquired taste...either way, I do like it now. I didn't cook this meal, my husband did. It's one of the few things Heath makes, and it's wonderful! (Another is his fried chicken...WAY better than anything I've ever made...which seriously irks me!) Really, the only way to serve Catfish is to fry it. You can make it other ways I'm sure, but breading it and frying it is definitely the best. Every Labor Day weekend here in Kingsland, Ga, we have the annual Catfish Festival. This year it's September 4-6, and just as we've been the last 2 years, we'll be there again this year...mmmmm, can't wait. They have these Catfish nuggets that are WONDERFUL! Anyway, I digress. When Heath makes this, he always uses Zatarain's Fish Fry:


Very Tasty. We've tried some of the other brands, but this was by far the best. SO!...here's my husbands recipe for yummy...

'Fried Catfish'
Source: The Hubby

2-4 Catfish Fillets
2-3 cups of oil for frying
1 box of seasoned Fish-Fri

Pour oil into a large skillet...it should be about 1/2 an inch deep in the pan. Heat oil on medium for about 5 minutes. Place desired amount of breading into a large zip-lock bag (about half a box for 2 large fillets, a whole box if making more...the box is pretty small). Place fillets in the bag and coat evenly with Fish-Fri.

Fry fish in oil on medium-high for 6 minutes per side. Once golden brown, remove to a paper towel lined plate and cover with more paper towels to absorbe some of the oil. Serve with veggies or cajun rice!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beef & Bean Burritos



I'm always on the look-out for new Mexican-style recipes since Heath loves them so much, and this particular one was pretty good. I found it over at Campbell's Kitchen, and it's super easy to make. I think I liked it more than Heath though. While he ate THREE of them, he said they had a strange taste to them...hmmmmm. Well, he must not have minded it too much for him to put down so many! The Bean and Bacon soup really gives this a good flavor. When they came out of the oven, I added sour cream to my individual burrito...good stuff! The original recipe doesn't call for any oven time, but I wanted to have my burrito wrappers warmed up, so I just filled them, put them in a baking dish, and baked them for about 10 minutes...just to evenly warm everything. Of course, you can skip this step if you're short on time. The link below has the original recipe.

'Beef & Bean Burritos'
Source: Adapted Campbell's Kitchen

1 pound ground beef
1 can (11 1/2 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Bean with Bacon Soup
1 cup Pace Picante Sauce
8 flour tortillas (8-inch), warmed
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour cream (optional)

Heat oven to 350. Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it's well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat.

Stir the soup and picante sauce in the skillet and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Spoon about 1/2 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes.

Top with the cheese, additional picante sauce and sour cream, if desired.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Caprese Panini



So, I know I just posted like, 30 minutes ago about how we were going on vacation for a week...yeeeeah...thanks to some (very) recent changes, the US Navy has other plans for the crew of the USS Wyoming Blue. We're definitely NOT leaving today, and in fact, may not be leaving at all. Whatever. Thank God the end is in sight and we're slated to leave this place soon. Boomer life is NOT for the Johnmeyer's. We love our Fast Attacks!

ANYWAY! This is another recipe I found on my dear Internet friend Cassie's blog Cassie Craves. I saw this sandwich Monday morning, immediately went to Amazon and purchased a Panini maker, and thanks to Amazon Prime, it was here Tuesday morning! The first thing I made was this sandwich and OMG was it good! The Balsamic Vinegar was a nice touch. This makes for an awesome lunch, and MUCH better than a boring 'ol lunch meat sandwich on white :) Thanks again Cassie for another tasty recipe (seriously, her blog is FULL of them, you really should check it out!)!

'Caprese Panini'
Source: Adapted from Cassie Craves

Olive oil (I used the Spray Olive Oil for this, worked great)
2 slices thick-cut bread (I used pre-slice Italian loaf I found in my grocers bakery)
3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
2 slices tomato
3-4 leaves basil (depending on the size of your bread)
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Top bread with mozzarella cheese, tomato, and basil; sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Spray the outer sides  of both pieces of bread with Olive Oil and place in Panini maker. Cook until bread is crisp and cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Italian Breaded Pork Chops



Yeeeeeeah, so, I was feeling pretty lazy last night and threw this together. It's not really a recipe, just breading some pork chops and frying them, but hey...some people may not have tried this yet. I love Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs. They are very tasty. I've never tried them on chicken though, only pork chops. Anyway, if you're looking for a quick dinner, it doesn't get much quicker than this. Throw a bag of frozen Steam-fresh veggies in the microwave, and you're good to go!

'Italian Breaded Pork Chops'
Source: Myself

4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of milk
4-6 boneless pork chops
1-2 cups Italian bread crumbs (depending on how many chops you're making)


Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs and milk. Place bread crumbs in a large zip-lock bag.

Dip each pork chop in egg mixture, then place in the bread crumb bag. Coat each chop thoroughly with bread crumbs, then place in the skillet. Fry chops on medium to medium-high heat for about 5 minutes each side (if using thin chops, then about 3 minutes each side, thicker chops about 7-8 minutes). Cook till no longer pink inside.

Remove chops from skillet and set on paper towel lined plate before serving, just to soak up some of the oil.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bacon-Cheese Topped Chicken



O...M...G. This chicken was SOOOOO friggin good! Judging by the ingredients, I was expecting it to be tasty, but it far surpassed just 'tasty'. Even Heath, who usually complains whenever I make chicken breast, absolutely loved this. He's usually right though...I've found that 90% of the time I cook chicken breast, it comes out dry...not so with this! It was so moist and flavorful...Mmmmm. Good stuff! I didn't even marinate the chicken for 2 hours in the fridge like it said to (I forgot). I only marinated it for about 15 minutes, but it was still awesome. Also, I can't stand the mess of cooking bacon and then crumpling it up, so instead I use this stuff. They sell bacon bits (pictured), or Recipe Pieces, which are a little larger (that's what I always get, I just couldn't find a pic of them)...


Anyway, I definitely, definitely recommend trying this recipe. It was so good, and something that I'll absolutely be making again!

'Bacon-Cheese Topped Chicken'
Source: Taste of Home

1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
4-1/2 teaspoons canola oil, divide
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dash paprika
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
8 bacon strips, partially cooked (or 1 bag of the bacon bits mentioned above)
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Heat oven to 375. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, 1-1/2 teaspoons oil and lemon juice. Pour 1/2 cup into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken. Seal the bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade.

Drain and discard marinade from chicken. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in remaining oil on all sides. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Transfer to a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish.

In the same skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until tender. Spoon reserved marinade over chicken. Top with cheeses and mushrooms. Place bacon strips in a crisscross pattern over chicken.

Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Sprinkle with parsley.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Better Than Brad Pitt Dessert




I made this dessert a couple weeks ago when the Peterson's came over for dinner, and holy crap was it good! Vanilla pudding, chocolate pudding, cream cheese, whip cream...what's not to like?! It's super simple to make (just spread each layer out over top the previous), but be warned...it's VERY filling! This would be great to serve after a light dinner maybe, or if you're serving a buffet style dinner with mainly hors d'oeuvres. The most difficult part of preparing this dessert was shaving the chocolate, but you can always get someone else to do that for you. For instance, I had Lindsay do it...saved me a whole lotta irritation! :)~

'Better Than Brad Pitt Dessert'
Source: The Noble Pig

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, plus more for top of cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 cups milk
2 boxes (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding
2 boxes (3.4 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding
Chocolate, milk or dark to make chocolate shavings

Heat oven to 350. Coat 13 x 9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium-size bowl, mix flour, walnuts and butter. Pat into prepared dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioner's sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust. Prepare vanilla pudding using 2 cups of the milk. Spread over cream cheese layer. Prepare chocolate pudding with remaining 2 cups milk. Spread over the vanilla pudding layer. Spread remaining whipped topping over pudding. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate shavings. Cut into squares.



Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pineapple Shrimp Rice Bake


Last night was the third or fourth time I've made this, and it's always a hit. Jesse eats it right up, which is nice. I usually don't give him any shrimp (yes, I know he's 2 1/2 and totally able to eat seafood, but I'm still kinda cautious about it), but last night I gave him a few pieces and he loved it (that's my little Yankee boy, just like his Mama!)!

The recipe calls for pineapple chunks, which I've always used in the past, but this time I tried crushed pineapple...about double what's called for. The chunks are great, but you really only taste the pineapple when you bite into one, the crushed pineapple is more spread throughout the dish, so you taste hints of it in every bite. Either way is fine though...Heath prefers the chunks, but I liked the crushed. Huh...it just occurred to me to use both next time. Well...I'll have to try that.

ANYWAY! This is a super simple recipe that's very good. We add soy sauce to our individual bowls, and that really makes this tasty! I recommend buying frozen pre-cooked shrimp with the tails already removed...makes prep that much easier...enjoy!

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'Pineapple Shrimp Rice Bake'
Source: Taste of Home

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked long grain rice (NOT the instant rice!)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, julienned
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2 pounds cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
3/4 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350. In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in rice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet saute the garlic, onion and green pepper in oil until tender. Stir in soy sauce and ginger. Add shrimp, ham and pineapple. Stir in rice.

3. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Stir before serving.



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Friday, August 13, 2010

Southwest Stuffed Peppers



I love stuffed peppers, but have never actually made them myself before. I always just buy the Stouffer's Stuffed Peppers..they're VERY good. I came across this recipe on Taste of Home and, seeing how easy it was to make, decided to give it a try. It was soooo good! I cut it down a bit and only made 4 peppers, so I had a little extra filling, but I just put that in a small dish for Jesse to have for lunch today. Heath enjoyed these as well...they're definitely something I'll be making again. Oh, and if you're wondering what 'One envelope of Mexican-style rice and pasta mix' is, it's this...


Anyway...hope you give this a try. It was a great dinner, and something a little different for us, which was nice. I always thought stuffed peppers would be a HUGE pain-in-the-butt to make, but turns out, they're not at all!

'Southwest Stuffed Peppers'
Source: Taste of Home

8 medium green peppers
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1-1/2 cups water
1 envelope (5.4 ounces) Mexican-style rice and pasta mix
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend

Heat oven to 375. Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. In a Dutch oven or large pot, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the diced tomatoes, water and pasta mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Place 1/3 cup rice mixture in each pepper; sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Top with remaining rice mixture. Place in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted and peppers are tender.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chile-Chicken Enchiladas



I have made many different enchilada recipes in my time. Heath's favorite dinner in all the world is enchiladas. I probably make them 2-3 times a month. He usually has a favorite (for the longest time it was this recipe for Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas...this is still my personal favorite), and this is currently it. Every once in a while I'll try a new recipe to see how he likes it, but he always comes back to these, which is fine with me cause so far, they're the easiest to make. These are filled with nothing more than chopped chicken, sour cream, some chilies and some cheese. I usually cover mine with a nice layer of sour cream on top as well. I'm sure I'll try some more enchilada recipes in the future, but for now, this is the one of the best I've made so far. If you're a fan of Mexican food, I definitely recommend trying these. They're also a good choice if you're having a couple people over for dinner since they don't take too long to prepare. That way you can actually spend time with your guests!

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'Chile-Chicken Enchiladas'
Source: Betty Crocker

1 can (19 oz) enchilada sauce (any variety)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (6 oz)
1 cup sour cream
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1 package flour tortillas for burritos (8 tortillas; 8 inch)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
Chopped avocado or green onions, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of baking dish. In medium bowl, stir together chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and chiles.

Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas; arrange, seam sides down, in baking dish. Top enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Spray sheet of foil with cooking spray; cover baking dish with foil, sprayed side down.

Bake 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until hot and cheese is melted. Top with avocado or green onions. If desired, serve with lettuce, chopped tomato and additional sour cream.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Honey Mustard Kielbasa and Potatoes



I've been making this recipe for a couple years now. It's one of Heath's absolute favorites, and Jesse's pretty fond of it as well. I like it cause it's so easy. Kielbasa isn't my most favorite food in the world, but it's not bad. Since Jesse enjoys it so much, I try to make it every now and again. If you do the prep work of cutting the kielbasa, onion, and potatoes earlier in the day, then this is a breeze come dinner time. Just mix together the first 3 ingredients, throw all the previously cut ingredients into the dish, mix and bake...love it! Make SURE you mix it up a few times while it's cooking though, otherwise the edges of any exposed onions and kielbasa will blacken. For being such an easy dinner, it sure does pack a lot of flavor!

'Honey Mustard Kielbasa and Potatoes'
Source: Adapted from Kraft Foods

3/4 cup chicken broth
 1/4 cup GREY POUPON Savory Honey Mustard
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1 lb. Kielbasa, cut into 1-inch pieces
6-8 Red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 large Onion, sliced

HEeat oven to 400°F. Mix first 3 ingredients until well blended. Combine remaining ingredients in shallow pan. Drizzle with chicken broth mixture; toss to coat. Bake 55 min. or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monterey Ranch Bread


Ok...just LOOK at the ingredients for this bread, then try to tell me you're not interested! It was SO GOOD! I made this this past weekend when we had our dear friends the Peterson's over for dinner one last time before their big move to Italy (*sniff, sniff*). It was definitely a hit. One long loaf of French bread cut in half, then each half sliced open made four good size pieces...perfect for the four of us.

Of course, you could also cut this in smaller pieces of you're going to have more people around. We each ate one whole piece, and it was VERY filling. I could hardly eat much of my dinner...so maybe less is more with this. I'm probably going to make it just for myself a couple times while hubby's out to sea, and pass it off as dinner! Anyway, I hope you try this cause it is just so darn good!

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'Monterey Ranch Bread'
Source: Taste of Home

Ingredients

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1 loaf (1 pound) unsliced French bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Minced fresh parsley

Directions

1. In a bowl, combine the cheese and salad dressing; set aside.

2. Cut bread in half lengthwise; brush with butter. Place on a greased baking sheet. Broil 4 in. from the heat until golden brown.

3. Remove from oven and spread cheese mixture over each bread piece. Heat oven to 350 and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Chicken Salad Melt



I noticed this recipe on the home page of Campbell's Kitchen last week and sent it to my Mom thinking it would be something she might like. But then, the more I looked at it, the more I thought I might like it too. Well, I do like it. In fact, I've been making it almost everyday for lunch for the past week! Chicken salad is something I hardly ever make. It's just such a pain, but this calls for Swanson Chicken Breast in Water (looks just like a can of tuna...actually, it's next to the tuna on the shelf). You may be familiar with this stuff, but I sure wasn't. It is now the ONLY way I'll make chicken salad, and I'll make it MUCH more often! It's so easy! I've got about 12 cans of it in my cabinet...I love it! Anyway, I absolutely recommend this if you're looking for a light lunch. It takes no time at all to make, and it's very good. I'm not a big lunch eater, but this is definitely a new favorite of mine!

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'Chicken Salad Melt'

4 English muffins, split
2 cans (4.5 ounces each) Swanson White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
8 tomato slices
2 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Heat the oven to 400. Bake the muffin halves on a baking sheet for 7-10 minutes or until they're lightly toasted. Stir the chicken, celery and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Divide the chicken mixture among the muffin halves. Top with the tomato slices and cheese. Bake for 6 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Easy Cheesy Lasagna


My husband LOVES lasagna. I mean, really, really loves lasagna. I like it. It's not something I care to go out of my way for, or even something I'd ever order in a restaurant. If I'm at someone's house and they're serving it, then I'll eat it. I was always under the impression that lasagna took FOREVER to make, and you had to have some super-secret family recipe that went back generations for it to be any good (don't ask why I thought this, I just did).

So when I saw this recipe over at Campbell's Kitchen, I figured 'Eh, why not? The worst that can happen is that he hates it'. Well, he didn't hate it. In fact, he really liked it...even though it doesn't have any meat (I don't like real meaty lasagnas, so that was much of the appeal for me). Cooking time takes awhile at 1 hour 30 min, but prep couldn't have been easier. There's really nothing to this, so it's definitely something I'll make again. It satisfies the hubby hankering for lasagna, yet it doesn't keep me in the kitchen half the day...I'm sold!

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'Easy Cheesy Lasagna'
Source: Adapted from Campbell's Kitchen

Ingredients

1 large jar Traditional Italian Sauce or Mushroom Italian Sauce (7 1/2 cups)
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 container (32 ounces) ricotta cheese
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375. Spread about 2 cups of the sauce in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish.

2. Top with 6 lasagna noodles, the ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, the Parmesan cheese and about 2 cups of the sauce. Top with the remaining lasagna noodles and sauce.

3. Cover the dish and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Uncover and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

S'more Brownies



Happy USS Wyoming Day everyone! For those of you that don't know, today is our Submarine's 'Appreciation Day'. We had an event earlier this morning at the base pool, and it was good time! We only stayed about an hour and a half...it's so hot out and the sun is just relentless. Jesse had a great time playing in the water with all the other kids, but he is TIRED! He's napping right now...I expect he'll be asleep for quite awhile. Anyway, I made these brownies for the party, and I promise, I am NOT exaggerating when I say they were gone within 10 minutes of my showing up. Everyone LOVED them. I initially made 2 pans, but the one batch was a little undercooked, so when I tried to take them out of the dish, they were a gooey mess (I kept them here for us to munch on, I swear it wasn't on purpose ;). The second batch I put back in the oven for another 12 minutes, then covered them with foil and let them sit all night so they could cool completely. This morning they were much firmer than the first ones, so I cut them a bit smaller and got 16 brownies. They were a HUGE hit! Well, I'm off to fill up the toddler pool so Jesse can relax and try to beat the heat when he wakes up from his nap. Hope you all have a great day!!

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'S'more Brownies'

1 box brownie mix
10 whole graham cracker squares, broken into pieces
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup milk chocolate morsels

Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Mix brownie mix according to package directions. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with graham cracker pieces, pressing down lightly. Sprinkle evenly with marshmallows and chocolate morsels. Return to oven, and continue baking for 12-15 minutes. Let cool, and cut into squares.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Roadside Diner Cheeseburger Pie


I've had this recipe sitting around for awhile and decided that tonight, it was time to make it. This would be a great recipe for in the winter, when you can't use the grill (well, except here in the south where you can use the grill all year, but you know what I mean!) but you want that cheeseburger taste...you'll get it with this pie. It really does taste just like a cheeseburger!

I topped my slice with ketchup...very good. Now, this isn't a dish that you'll whip right up. Total prep time, from when I started browning the meat, till I put the pie in the oven to bake was 30 minutes. Add to that the 45-60 minutes it takes to bake, and you've got a little while till dinner. I chopped my tomatoes and onion earlier in the afternoon, so I'm not even counting that. I see this working best as a weekend dinner, or if you're going to have a bunch of kids around (all kids love cheeseburgers, right?). Overall though, this was very good, and I'll be munching on the leftovers tomorrow!

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'Roadside Diner Cheeseburger Pie'
Source: Noble Pig

Ingredients

1 refrigerated pie crust (or make your own or use a frozen deep-dish pie shell)
3/4 lb. ground beef
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup dill pickle relish
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
5 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, onion, relish and bacon. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, mustard, pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside. Unroll pie crust into a 9" deep-dish pie plate (make sure it's deep dish, otherwise, the mixture will not fit) and flute the edges. To make refrigerated pie crust fit into a deep-dish plate, roll it out a little bit more with a rolling pin. You can make your own pie crust or purchase frozen deep dish pie crusts; just make sure it's completely thawed out.

3. Transfer meat mixture into prepared crust. Pour egg mixture over the meat and use a fork to move the meat around, letting the egg mixture settle in between. Sprinkle with cheeses.

4. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

*I used Pillsbury Frozen Deep Dish Pie Crust...worked out just fine*


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