Friday, December 30, 2011

Turkey Cranberry Monte Crisco

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I was bumming around on Miss Paula Deen's website looking for some dinner ideas, when I came across this. I love turkey and cranberry together, so this looked right up my alley. I've never made a Monte Crisco before, but they sure are tasty.

Let me just say though, if you can get the Fontina cheese already grated, or you can get the deli in your grocery store to do it or you, DO IT! Grating the cheese for this was the biggest pain in the butt. I don't have a fancy cheese grater since I rarely grate my own, so it was a lot of work.

Also, I think this recipe is geared more as a leftover idea, so it calls for thicker slices of turkey breast...I didn't have that, so I used thin sliced deli lunch meat. Worked just fine. I used the Challah bread that I had leftover from the Egg Nog French Toast that I made yesterday (I'll be posting that at a later date), and it was really good, though I'm sure a thick-cut french bread would also be just as good. Enjoy!


'Turkey Cranberry Monte Crisco'
Source: Paula Deen


8 slices bread (potato bread, challah, or any other soft bread)
1 cup fontina cheese, grated
8 slices cooked turkey breast
1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce
1 cup baby arugula leaves
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter


1. Lay the 4 slices of the bread out on a cutting board. On each slice, place 2 tablespoons of the fontina, followed by 2 slices of the turkey, and 2 tablespoons of the cranberry sauce.

2. Equally divide the arugula leaves and place on next layer. Top with the remaining fontina and remaining bread slices. Press down firmly on sandwiches to seal in the filling.

3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and nutmeg. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter.

4. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture coating both sides. When butter is melted in skillet, add the sandwiches and cook until golden brown. Flip sandwich and repeat with other side, adding more butter if necessary.

5. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, and let sit for a few minutes. Cut in halves and serve.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Banana Pie Cups

Ya know, I really should start paying closer attention to where I get my recipes from. The online recipes are easy cause I usually just email them to myself, but whenever I get something from outside the Internet, I never seem to remember where it came from. This I found in a magazine...I want to say Women's Day, or Family Circle...maybe Cooking Light. I don't know.

The first time I made this was a couple weeks ago when we had company over. They were a big hit, and were so easy to throw together. The recipe called for these to be more of a 'shooter', but they seemed too small to me. I'll admit, one of these (in a Ball canning jar) is a lot, so if you have glasses that are a little smaller than these, I say use them.

The cool thing about this recipe (besides being so easy), is how many ways you can change it. This is the banana version, but I think next time I'll try a chocolate one...I'm thinking crushed Oreo's on the bottom, chocolate pudding, maybe some grasshoppers, and whipped cream? Sounds good to me!


'Banana Pie Cups'
Source: A women's magazine...or maybe a cooking one?


Crushed vanilla wafers
Vanilla pudding
Ripe bananas; sliced
Whipped topping


1. Crush vanilla wafers in a plastic bag and spoon about 1/3 cup into the bottom of a glass.

2. Pour vanilla pudding over top wafers (I found it easiest to put the pudding into a plastic bag, snip the corner and squeeze it you a bit more control and it's less messy).

3. Top pudding with sliced bananas, then refrigerate if not serving immediately.

4. Once ready to serve, top bananas with whipped cream (I use Cool Whip, so I do the plastic bag trick again for a neater appearance. Or you can use canned whipped cream).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Slow Cooker Italian Beef

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I cannot for the life of me remember where I found this recipe. I know it was in one of the many, many cookbooks I checked out of the library, but I just can't remember which one. I think it was in a 'Fix-It-And-Forget-It' book, but I'm not sure. I Googled it, but there were so many different variations of this, and none of them were this particular one.

Either way, this is absolutely amazing. Really. Heath LOVES it. It's our new favorite slow cooker Beef recipe. I'd never even heard of Pepperoncini peppers before making this, but they are GOOD! A little spicy (I think so, but most people wouldn't be bothered by them), but good.

The first time I made this I served it on Hawaiian Bread burger buns, but there's so much juice (you DEFINITELY want to spoon some juice over the meat), that you couldn't pick it up and eat it like a burger...we had to cut it with a fork and knife. This time I still used the Hawaiian Bread (it's my favorite), but I used the small rolls that come in a 12 pack. I sliced three of them in half and spooned some meat and juice over top...YUM! I'm telling you...TRY THIS!! It's absolutely in the top 5 of the best slow cooker recipes I've ever made!


'Slow Cooker Italian Beef'
Source: Some random cookbook from the library


3 lb. Beef Chuck Roast or Sirloin
 1 onion, quartered
 1/2 tsp. Salt
 1/2 tsp. Pepper
 1 can can Beef Broth (14 oz)
 1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian salad dressing
 1 envelope dry Au Jus mix
 1/2 jar Pepperoncini Peppers and juice (from 16 oz jar)


1. Place meat and the onion in a 5-6 quart slow cooker.
 2. Mix together salt, pepper, broth, salad dressing, and Au Jus mix in a medium bowl. Pour over meat.
 3. Add peppers and juice.
 4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours.
 5. Remove meat from cooker and slice or shred.
 6. Place meat, peppers, and onions on burger bun or slice of bread for open faced sandwiches.
 7. Ladle juice over top.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Overnight Tex-Mex Egg Bake

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Well, I promised to share our Christmas Day breakfast with you all, and here it is. It's another
recipe that gets prepared the night before, and it is FANTASTIC! Really, this was so good. I found it over at Betty Crocker, and this is absolutely a recipe I'll make again throughout the year.

This is already an easy recipe to begin with, but you can make it even easier by using the Jimmy Dean pre-cooked Sausage Crumbles.

I used just over one and a half bags, and it was perfect. You can use different kinds too...there's Hot as well as Turkey Sausage. You can also use whatever shredded cheese you may have on hand. I didn't buy enough Colby-Jack, so I just threw in some cheddar. I actually decided to make this for Heath since he loves anything even slightly Mexican, but I ended up loving it the most! Even Jesse dug it!


'Overnight Tex-Mex Egg Bake'
Source: Betty Crocker


12 oz pork sausage (I used pre-cooked crumbles)
5 cups frozen southern-style hash brown potatoes (from 32-oz bag)
1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles, undrained
 3 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese (12 oz)
 6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 cup salsa


1. Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

2.  Spread frozen potatoes in baking dish. Sprinkle with sausage, green chiles and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. (If you're not using the pre-cooked stuff, then cook your sausage in a skillet first, breaking it up till it's no longer pink...about 8-10 minutes),

3. In medium bowl beat eggs, milk and salt until well blended. Pour over potato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 12 hours.

4. IN THE MORNING: Heat oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered 50 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve with salsa, chopped green onions, and sour cream if desired.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Overnight French Toast

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Hello everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Santa was very good to the Johnmeyer's this year and we had a wonderful day! Breakfast in our house is usually every man for himself. Heath and Jesse get up MUCH earlier than I on the weekends, so they make something when they get up, then I'll make myself an egg whenever I finally arise, though usually, it's almost lunchtime.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day however were the exception. I wanted to make something special, yet something easy...this fit the bill (as did our Christmas Day breakfast, but I'll share that at a later date). This super simple French Toast is prepared the night before, then tossed into the oven and baked the next morning...SO easy. I've seen recipes like this in the past, but this was my first time making one. I can honestly say I will be making 'night before' recipes for the holidays every year from now on. It's so easy, and there's nothing better than having a great breakfast ready after opening gifts, and all you had to do was bake it!

This recipe calls for 10 slices of bread, but as you can see, I only used 6...I knew 10 slices would be more than we needed. Should you need more, this is a simple recipe to double. I can't believe I've never tried one of these types of recipes glad to have discovered this!


'Overnight French Toast'
Source: Alaska Mom


1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
10 slices of thick-cut french bread
8 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, measured then chopped
maple syrup and/or powdered sugar for topping (optional)


1. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Pour on the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking dish.

2. Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish, overlapping if necessary. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices. Sprinkle chopped pecans over bread slices.

3. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours.

4. In the morning, take the baking dish out of the refrigerator and let sit on the counter for at least 10 minutes – while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes. If the top starts browning too quickly, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the pan for the last 10 minutes or so. You want it to cook long enough to make sure the bottom part is cooked, but don’t dry it out completely.

5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Serve with maple syrup and/or powdered sugar, if desired.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chicken Florentine Puffs

When I first saw this recipe on Food Gawker I thought two things...1st: Wow, that looks really good!...and 2nd: Wow, that looks like a pain-in-the-ass to make! I was right on both accounts. This was very, very tasty, but it's also a pain to make. It's not difficult, it's just time consuming, and I've never liked working with puff pastry (I've never been very good at baking or working with pastry). I will say though, while a bit of an effort, it was absolutely worth it. These were excellent! Even Heath, who usually whines whenever there's spinach in a recipe, really liked it!

Now, my only issue with this was the cooking time and temperature. The original directions said to cook at 300 for 15-18 minutes. Well, after almost 30 minutes at 300 and STILL no browning, I jacked the temp up to 350 and they finally started to brown. In my directions I've altered the oven temp, but am keeping the cook time at 15-18 minutes. All I can say is, make SURE you keep an eye on this while it's cooking. The filling isn't important...since the chicken is already cooked you're basically just heating that, it's the puff pastry that you want to get flaky and golden brown.

Well, Merry Christmas Eve to everyone, and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! Till next time!


'Chicken Florentine Puffs'


2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and rolled out
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1 (10oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and liquid squeezed out
1 roasted red pepper, diced (I got mine fro a jar)
4oz cream cheese, softened
1c Gruyere, grated
2-3 Tbsp fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg
1 Tbsp water


1. Heat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, spinach, red pepper, cream cheese, Gruyere, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss until well combined and cream cheese is completely mixed in. (I found it was easiest to just use my hands, like when you mix up ground beef for burgers).

3. Make an egg wash by beating egg with water.

4. Roll out puff pastry. Slice each sheet into 4 pieces making 8 squares total. Divide filling among the 8 squares, placing the filling in the center. Brush the edge of one half of each pastry with egg wash and fold in half diagonally to form a triangle. Press down the edges with a fork to seal.

5. Brush the top of the each puff with egg wash. Make 2-3 small slits in the top to allow steam to escape during baking.

6. Place puffs on two baking sheets lined with parchment or foil sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at for 15-18 minutes, or until golden. Keep an eye on them to prevent over-browning or burning.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Maple Sage Pork Roast

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This is the second time in as many weeks that I've made this recipe. That pretty much NEVER happens in this house. I'm not a huge fan of pork, even when it's prepared in the slow cooker, but this is, without a doubt, my favorite pork slow cooker recipe EVER!

The first time I made it Heath was out of town, so I made it again last night so he could try it. Apparently he wasn't as blown away by it as I was, but he's never been a huge fan of recipes that call for maple syrup. This recipe is also the first time I've ever cooked with butternut squash. Luckily Publix sells little containers of it already cut and cubed in the produce section, so I didn't have to mess with the headache of trying to cut through one (I hear it's a pain).

I just cannot recommend this recipe enough. It's so easy to throw together and the veggies and meat are cooked to perfection. Tender juicy meat, soft juicy veggies, all with a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup (I used Publix brand syrup, so don't think you need anything fancy). Jesse even liked it! Well, the veggies, not so much the meat...but I'll take it! I
m telling you...TRY THIS! You won't be disappointed!


'Maple Sage Pork Roast'
Source: Betty Crocker


2-3 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried sage
1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup water
2 cups 1 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
2 cups baby-cut carrots, cut in half lengthwise
2 small onions, cut into wedges


1. Place pork in a greased 4-5 quart slow cooker.

2. In small bowl, mix syrup, garlic, sage, bouillon granules and 1/2 cup water; spoon over pork. Arrange squash, carrots and onions around pork.

3. Cover; cook on LOW heat 8 to 9 hours.

4. Remove pork from cooker and shred using two forks. Serve with vegetables.



All Images Copyrighted © 2014 The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

Monday, December 19, 2011

Brie En Croute

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No, no...this certainly is not one of my better pics, but don't let that fool you. This appetizer was WONDERFUL! I saw this on (where else?) Pinterest a week or two ago and had to make it. We had some friends over this past Saturday so I figured that would be a great time to try it was definitely a hit. I'm actually going to make it again on Christmas Eve for just us.
Now, this is a Paula Deen recipe, so while it does taste fabulous, it's probably not very good for you. If you don't mind living a little during the holiday's, then I say add this to your holiday menu. The original recipe (which I'll post a link for under Source) calls for wrapping the brie in a puff pastry. I chose instead to wrap it in crescent roll dough, which is probably why my photo looks SO different from Miss Paula's. I'm just not a huge fan of puff pastry, I find it to be dry and thin...I MUCH prefer crescent roll dough. I doubt Paula would mind ;) I also decided to use Pecans instead of Walnuts...again, just personal preference.
Ok well, I'm off to bed early tonight. I've got a great week of recipes coming up that I can't wait to share. It's kinda nice being able to cook repeat recipes! Till next time!


'Brie En Croute'
Source: Adapted from Food Network


1 tube of crescent rolls
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup pecans
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (8-ounce) wheel Brie
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
Crackers, for serving (I used Town House)


1. Heat oven to 375.

2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the pecans in the butter until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and stir until pecans are coated well.

3. Carefully slice only the top of the rind off the Brie. Place the pecan mixture on top of the Brie and sprinkle the brown sugar over the mixture.

4. Unroll the crescent roll dough out on a flat surface and seal all perforations. Place the brie in the center of the dough. Gather up the edges of the dough, pressing around the brie and gather at the top. Gently squeeze together the excess dough and fold over.

5. Brush the beaten egg over top and side of the dough. Place the wrapped Brie on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

6. Serve with crackers.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Breakfast Egg Melts

Well, as I'm sure you've probably guessed by now...I love melts. Breakfast melts, lunch melts, I'm not picky. I can't remember where exactly I found this recipe (it was either Pinterest or FoodGawker), but it looked good, so I had to try it. I never thought to try something new with hard boiled eggs. Usually I inhale them too fast for me to ever have any leftovers. I've lost track of how many times I've made hard boiled eggs for egg salad, but then ate all the eggs before I got around to making it.

Now, I know I've been posting QUITE a bit of breakfast recipes here lately, but as you know MWT gets all my dinners. Hopefully though, I'll be able to post more dinners here this month and next month though because two things have happened...

1. MWT gave me the rest of the month off from cooking their recipes and taking pictures, but I'm still gonna get paid. They said to think of it as a 'Holiday Bonus'...awesome! So, that opens up the rest of the month for me to be able to make whatever I want for dinner (I've got quite a collection built up on Pinterest that I can't wait to try)!


2. While I'm still working on Slow cooker recipes four days a week for MWT, the other three days I'm doing their breakfast that leaves three dinners a week that I can make whatever I want. Yay!

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOOOOVE my job, but while bummin' around on the web I come across some yummy looking meals that I REALLY want to try, but just can't, so I'm definitely looking forward to some 'open cooking' :)

Ok guys...if you don't hear from me for the rest of the week, then have a great one! Little Jango's starting to stir, so I'm gonna need to take him out. Later!!

(The newest addition to our family...Mr. Jango Johnmeyer! And yes that's in Fett. I'm a total Star Wars nerd. He's a 6 week old American Eskimo and we just love him to pieces!)


'Breakfast Egg Melts'
Source: Adapted from Real Simple


4 English muffins
olive oil
tomato slices
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
shredded cheese (I used Monterrey Jack)
Chopped green onions
dill weed


1. Make Hard-Cooked Eggs.
2. Toast 8 English-muffin halves and place on a cookie sheet. Slice each egg into 4 (in half, then each half in half)
3. Drizzle each with olive oil (I like a lot), then layer on tomato slices, 2 egg slices per muffin, and a little shredded cheese. Sprinkle with green onions, dill weed, and salt.
. 4. Broil 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.

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All Images Copyrighted © 2013 The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife