Friday, September 28, 2012

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

This is a recipe that I made many moons ago, but have been lazy in sharing. I'm not sure's a super easy, very kid-friendly recipe that's actually pretty good considering how basic it is.

You've got your entire dinner in one simple-to-throw-together casserole...burger and fries. Good stuff. Add any toppings you like, (ketchup, pickles, onions, tomato, etc.) and you're good to go. If you want you could even grab a burger bun and make a kind of sloppy-Joe-ish sandwich out of it.

Jesse ended up loving this. Of course he ate more fries than he did burger meat, but any time I can get him to eat without a fight, I'll take it :)


'Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole'
Source: Adapted from Midwest Living


2 pounds lean ground beef
1 can condensed golden mushroom soup (10 oz)
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup (10 oz)
1 package frozen, crinkle-cut fries (20 oz)
Desired hamburger toppings (ketchup, pickles, mustard and chopped tomato)


1. Heat oven to 350. In a large skillet until brown; drain.

2. Place cooked meat in the bottom of a 9 x 13 in. baking dish.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the golden mushroom soup and the cheddar cheese soup. Spread over top the meat.

4. Scatter frozen crinkle fries over the top of the casserole.

5. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the fries are golden. Garnish with desired hamburger toppings.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lobster Mac N Cheese

This is a really good Lobster Mac n Cheese recipe. It should originally came from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. That right there should let you know that it's also an expensive recipe.

I guess it really all depends on where and in what form you get your lobster. Here in Groton, I went to Grossman's (on rt.184) and bought my lobster meat ready-to-cook, because I'm lazy. You could definitely save some money though by cooking and shelling the lobsters yourself at home (if you do that, you'll need about 6).

Also, just in case you're not familiar with Gruyere cheese, it's got a real smokey flavor to it, so you may want to ask the deli if you can try a little first before cooking with it. It's definitely got a powerful flavor, and if you don't like it, all the lobster in the world isn't gonna cover up the taste of it in this dish. If you don't like it, you can always use a cheese you're more comfortable with in it's place.

This is such an excellent recipe for holidays (I may make it again for Christmas dinner since my sister and I both hate ham) or special events. It makes a LOT, so unless you have a huge family or want a ton of leftovers, I suggest making this for some sort of occasion. Or I suppose you could just cut it in half...


'Lobster Mac N Cheese'
Source: Adapted from Smells Like Home


1 lb spiral pasta
1 stick butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
12 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (4 cups)
8 oz shredded sharp Cheddar (2 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 lbs cooked lobster meat, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup Panko bread crumbs


1. Heat the oven to 375.  Set aside a greased 13×9-inch baking dish or 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot, but cut the cook time down by 3 minutes – it will finish cooking in the oven; drain pasta well and return it to the pot.

3. Meanwhile, melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture until no lumps remain.

4. Heat the milk, stirring frequently, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and starts to bubble in the center of the saucepan 4-7 minutes). Once it bubbles, let it cook, stirring the bottom of the pan to prevent burning, for 2 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and add in a handful of cheese, stirring it into the milk with a rubber spatula until it is completely melted; repeat with the remaining cheese. Stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

6. While the milk cooks, melt the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Toss in the bread crumbs with the melted butter and toast them until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally at first then frequently towards the end. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

7. Add the lobster meat into the cheese sauce then pour the entire mixture over the hot pasta in the pot. Mix everything together well, making sure the pasta is well-coated with the sauce.  Transfer to prepared baking dish(es) and place it/them on a baking sheet to avoid spillage on the bottom of the oven.

8. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top of the mac n’ cheese. Bake the large dish for 45-50 minutes and the smaller dishes for 30-35 minutes, until the mac n’ cheese is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chinese BBQ Ribs

This is a recipe that was recommended to me by Kitchen Life Facebook friend Erin Jones. This recipe is a favorite among her family having been shared with them by a flight attendant back in the 1960's. She asked if I'd be interested in trying and sharing it with you, absolutely! I am always open to new recipes, and I do love ribs, so this making this was a no-brainer :)

We had this for dinner on a night when we had company that we hadn't seen in about 2 years, and everyone really liked it (the guys loved it). It's super easy to prepare and has a wonderful flavor.

I used all white sugar for the sauce, and bone-in ribs. You can use whatever type of ribs you prefer though, either bone-in or the boneless country style...doesn't matter. I marinated mine all morning and early afternoon (about 6 hours), but Erin said you can marinate them anywhere from 1 hour (the minimum) to all night. I would recommend that...just make the marinade and toss everything in the fridge the night before. The longer they sit in that sweet, sticky sauce, the better!

As for cook time, that depends on how many pounds of ribs you're making. I tend to stick to the '1 hour per pound' rule. Since I made just over 3 lbs, I baked them for just over 3 hours, and they were perfect.

Erin, thank you so much for sharing your family's recipe with us, we thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm sorry that my photos don't do this dish any justice (ribs are not the most photogenic things I've ever pointed a camera at), but this is a great recipe to have on hand, and definitely something I will be making again. Thank you :)


'Chinese BBQ Ribs'
Source: Erin Jones


2 cups water
1 cups sugar, white or brown
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon season salt
pepper to taste
crushed red pepper to taste (optional)
2-3 lbs of ribs (boneless or bone-in, doesn't matter)


1. Bring all ingredients (except ribs) to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half.

2. Place ribs in a large zip-lock bag or container with a lid. Pour sauce over ribs.

3. Place in the fridge and marinate at least an hour, but preferably 4-6 hours (or overnight).

4. Heat oven to 325. Place ribs in a greased casserole dish and cover. Bake time depends on how much meat you're using, but figure about 1 hour per pound. 

5. Uncover ribs and spoon surrounding sauce over top. Continue baking uncovered for the final 15-20 minutes. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Roasted Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cream Sauce

Allrighty, so...remember those 'Awesome-Yet-Pain-In-The-Ass' recipes I mentioned yesterday? Well, here's one of them.

Now, by pain-in-the-ass, I mean time consuming for those who did not plan accordingly and just walked into the kitchen at 5:15pm thinking "I'll just whip up these enchiladas real quick!". No, no you won't. Trust me.

This was an amazingly flavorful dinner that I highly recommend trying, but there is some heavy prep work that needs to be done earlier if you want to make this as easy as possible when it comes time to cook. I did not pre-prep, and I regretted it.

SO...what I recommend: You can roast the shrimp, let it cool, then chop it up either the night before, or earlier in the day (store in fridge). This will save a lot of time, having the shrimp cooked, cut and ready to go when it's time to start cooking.

Also, if you can, go ahead and dice your onion, mince your garlic (these two can be stored in the same container since they get thrown in the pan together), shred your cabbage, peel and grate your carrot, and chop the jalapeno and cilantro (or parsley) at the same time...either the night before, or earlier in the day (store everything in the fridge).

This will make life so much easier come dinner time, and you can just throw everything into the pan as you go. Of course you don't HAVE to do this if you're making this on a leisurely weekend or a day off, but it's always handy to have everything ready-to-go when it's time to make dinner.

These enchiladas were awesome, and I definitely recommend giving them a try. Word of advice though, they do have a little kick to them (it's from the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. I do NOT recommend leaving this out since it's such a huge source of flavor), so just be careful if serving this to little ones. Great recipe, another Pinterest win!


'Roasted Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cream Sauce'
Source: Adapted from Damn Delicious



1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons chipotle pepper, in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese

Jalapeño Cream Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup sour cream
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)


1. Heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place shrimp in a single layer and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss to combine.

2. Place in oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through (6-8 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 375. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the cabbage, carrot, chipotle pepper, oregano and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes. Add the shrimp and gently toss to combine.

5. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.

6. Stir in the sour cream and add the jalapeños and garlic powder. Simmer until the sauce has thickened (2 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro (or parsley).

7. Assemble the enchiladas: Lay a tortilla on a flat surface and spoon 1/3 cup of the shrimp mixture in the center; sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down onto prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and shrimp mixture.

8. Pour half of the jalapeño cream sauce evenly over the top. Place into oven and bake, COVERED, until lightly golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

9. Serve immediately with remaining jalapeño cream sauce and garnished with cilantro (or parsley).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Frito Taco Pie

This recipe was originally called 'Sensational Taco Pie'. Since I have to disagree, I'm dropping the 'Sensational'.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good recipe, and a super easy weeknight kind of dinner, but I think calling it 'sensational' is a but much.

Crescent rolls, taco seasoned ground beef, sour cream, shredded cheese and Frito' I said, simple to throw together, but pretty basic as far as flavor goes. There is however, a plus side to this...if you tell the kids there's Frito's in their dinner, they're probably gonna be a little more eager to eat (as Jesse was. He absolutely destroyed I guess for him it was pretty sensational :)

I figure I'll start the week with something nice and easy since I have a few 'awesome-yet-pain-in-the-ass' recipes coming up. After having no one to cook for for three weeks I dug out some recipes from my Pinterest Dinner folder that have been collecting cyber dust due to the amount of time it takes to prepare them. They sure were good though, so I'm excited to pass them along.

Ok guys, have a great rest of your day and I'll see ya tomorrow!


'Taco Pie'
Source: Adapted from Aunt Peg's Recipe Box


1- 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup water
1 can sliced olives (4 oz)
1 can crescent rolls
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups crushed corn chips


1. Heat oven to 400.

2. In a large skillet brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain and return to the pan. Add the taco seasoning, water and olives. Simmer 5 minutes.

3. Separate the crescent rolls into triangles and lay them in a greased 9" pie dish, placing the points toward the center of the dish. Press the seams together to seal, forming the crust.

4. Sprinkle 1 cup of the crushed corn chips onto the crust. Spoon meat mix over the top of the corn chips, spreading evenly.

5. Stir sour cream until smooth, then spread over meat. Top with shredded cheese and the remaining 1 cup of crushed corn chips.

6. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mimosa Sorbet

Ok so, I realize this isn't really a 'recipe', but I wanted to share it anyway. I saw it on Pinterest and my Mom and I were both wanting to try it. So we did.

Now, if you follow the link below to Peanut Butter and Dill Pickles, she actually made her own orange sorbet from scratch.

I did not.
(I know...SHOCKING).

Even though I used store-bought orange sorbet, it was still a tasty adult treat. I thought they were pretty good. My mother on the other hand was licking her empty glass (don't lie Mom, you know you were).

Hope you guys have a great weekend. It's looking to be a beautiful one here in New England, so I think I'm gonna drag my boys to Gillette Castle on Sunday. Well, drag Heath. Jesse'll be all kinds of excited to see a real life castle :)


'Mimosa Sorbet'
Source: Adapted from Peanut Butter and Dill Pickles


Orange Sorbet


1. Scoop desired amount of sorbet into large champagne glasses (about 2-3 spoonfuls works well)

2. Top with champagne!

(though I can't imagine why you would need to)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Slow Cooker Ham and Beans

This was another recipe that I was seeing all over Pinterest, so I decided to try it. I don't like ham, but Heath loves it, so I figured it would be a nice dinner for him. It was simple to throw together in the crock pot, so that's always a plus.

Overall, it was ok. Heath thoroughly enjoyed it, but as I said...I don't like ham.

I purchased packaged ham that was already cubed, but you can use whatever you prefer here. I think a ham bone would give it a nice flavor, and I would probably enjoy the shredded ham over the little cubes.

Also, this could definitely stand to use a little more seasoning, but you can play around with it and add whatever you like. I just drowned mine in more salt and pepper :)

Ok guys, gotta run Jesse over to school then I'm headed to Foxwoods for Bingo. I won last week (even got to go in the Money Machine again!) $726 (split with another winner...still $363 isn't bad! More than I walked in with), so here's to hoping Thursday is my lucky Bingo day!


'Slow Cooker Ham and Beans'
Source: Plain Chicken


1 lb package dried northern beans
ham bone, hocks, shanks or diced ham (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons onion powder
6 cups water
salt & pepper to taste


1. Rinse beans in a strainer in the sink. Add the the beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ham to the crock pot. Add water.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Remove ham bone, shanks or hocks and pull off the meat. Add meat to the crock pot and mix. Serve with cornbread.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Southwestern Baked Spaghetti

Yes, another Baked Spaghetti recipe. I actually made this one awhile ago though...about a month before the Baked Spasanga (which I must say, was awesome).

While this version isn't quite as amazing as the spasanga, it's much quicker and easier to prepare...a great dinner for any day of the week. And it makes really good leftovers, which is something I will now be paying attention to since I have to pack a lunch for Jesse every day (his last school provided hot lunches each day...I already miss it).

Ok guys, have a great rest of your day and I'll see you Thursday. Since Heath is still on leave and Wednesday's are Jesse's off day, we're heading up to Mass for The Big E tomorrow. I'm so excited...fried food heaven, here I come!!!


'Southwestern Baked Spaghetti'
Source: Adapted from


8 oz uncooked spaghetti
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz each)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese


1. Heat oven to 425. Cook spaghetti per package directions.

2. Combine milk and egg, mix well. Pour over drained spaghetti; mix well.

3. Pour spaghetti mixture into a greased 9x13 inch casserole dish.

4. Brown ground beef with onion, bell pepper and garlic in a large skillet; drain. Return meat back into the skillet and add seasonings; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and cook for 2 more minutes.

5. Spread meat mixture over spaghetti ans sprinkle with cheese.

6. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and is bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Eggs and Avocado on Toast

Good morning! Well, afternoon. It was a busy morning here. Jesse started his new school today and, while he was initially excited about it, he quickly changed his mind once we walked into the building. When I called to check on him though they said he had calmed down about 2 minutes after I left. I knew he would have a good day. He's such  happy and personable little guy. He makes friends so fast.

Then it was on to boring doc appointments for me...good times.

This is a super simple breakfast that's so easy to whip up for either yourself or your family any day of the week. I absolutely adore avocado, so as soon as I saw this I knew I would be making it. I don't normally use Tabasco sauce, but I did for this (just a little since I'm such a wuss). The flavor goes really well with the eggs and avocado.

Ok guys, I'm off to fold 476 loads of laundry. Heath got our washer and dryer working, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I was doing all my laundry over at my Mom's while they were gone, but then I got lazy and let it pile up. When you add that to the huge mound Heath and Jesse brought home with them, it's a wonder we all found clothes to put on this morning.


'Eggs and Avocado on Toast'
Source: Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine


1 teaspoon butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 avocado
1 slice hearty grain bread, toasted
Tabasco sauce


1. In small bowl, mash avocado; season with desired seasonings.

2. In small nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add egg; season with desired seasonings and scramble.

3. Top avocado with egg; sprinkle with pepper and hot sauce.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Caramel Apple Grapes

Wow. I saw this on Pinterest, but I wasn't too optimistic that grapes could taste like apples. I was wrong. So, so wrong.

These. Are. AWESOME! And an absolutely perfect fall snack!

They are so awesome in fact, that I made them yesterday. Yesterday!! I was so excited about sharing them that I downloaded the pics this morning, edited them, and had to get this post out as soon as possible.

These are super simple...sure, it's a bit tedious sticking toothpicks into a million individual grapes, but you can always have the kiddos help with that. Once that's done though, just dip and roll!

I PROMISE  you, they really do taste like little mini caramel apple bites. My mother was supposed to come over and try these with me, but she didn't feel like it...her loss! I made less than I was planning to since she didn't come over and that turned out to be a good thing since I ate almost all of them myself. Seriously...I probably had 15-20 of these. I just couldn't stop.

If your kids like caramel apples, they will absolutely destroy these. Make them...TODAY! I'm telling you...awesome!

Ok, have a great weekend guys! I finally get my hubby and Bubba-Loo back tomorrow, and I can't wait! Over 3 weeks without my guys. It's bad enough when Heath has to go out to sea, but I will not be without my boy that long again until he leaves for college...which I'm sure will thrill him in about 10 years  ;)


'Caramel Apple Grapes'
Source: Very Culinary


1 cup caramel bits
2 tablespoons heavy cream
handful of seedless green grapes
1 cup salted peanuts, crushed


1. Poke toothpicks into the tops of each grape; set aside.

2. In a small pot over medium-low heat, combine the caramel bits and cream. Stir until melted. Reduce heat to lowest setting just to keep warm.

3. Place the peanuts in a shallow dish and dip the grapes into the caramel sauce and then roll in the crushed nuts. Place on a plate to set. Repeat until all the grapes are used.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Baked Chicken and Artichokes

This is a recipe that a made awhile, June. It was really, really good (if you like artichokes), but I was never thrilled with the pictures, so that's why I haven't posted it earlier. It was a cloudy day, the light outside was very blue-ish...I should have used the damn lightbox, but whatever.

Anyway, it's a super easy recipe, and even Heath, wasn't sure if he liked artichokes or not, scarfed it down. You can use any type of chicken you prefer, but I stuck with the thighs that the original recipe called for.

Ok guys, I'm out. Headed to the casino to play some Bingo and win big money! Have a great day :)


'Baked Chicken and Artichokes'
Source: Adapted from Life's Ambrosia


2 pounds chicken thighs
2 (6 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts with their liquid
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper


1. Combine the chicken thighs and artichoke hearts (with liquid) in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Heat oven to 325 degrees.

3. Place chicken, artichokes and 1/4 cup of the liquid into a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Bake for 45–55 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Turn on the broiler and broil for 2–4 minutes to brown the chicken.


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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

I made these sandwiches for my Mom and I for lunch one afternoon, and they were really good. That horseradish, butter, dill weed mixture is pretty tasty.

What's nice about this is you can easily alter the ingredients to make a whole bunch at once if you're cooking for a large group, or you can make just one or two if that's all you need.

I wasn't originally planning on using onion rolls, but since I went to the commissary on one of the worst days of the month (payday), there was NO selection for bread and rolls left (I have since learned my lesson. Go on Tuesday mornings, and avoid payday at all costs). I would recommend using buns that are a little less...bready. These were good, but you had to use a lot of meat to balance out the bread-to-meat ratio. 

Or, I imagine it would be pretty easy to turn this recipe into sliders if you're wanting to serve it as finger-food for say a football gathering or birthday party. Just get some small rolls (I think the Hawaiian mini rolls would be wonderful, but then I do love those things), and you could wrap 4 sandwiches together in the foil and bake them that way, then pull them apart after cooking, so you're not wrapping a million individual little sandwiches...just a thought.

I had never heard of Horseradish Mustard, but it's there with all the other mustard's (I think I used French's).  It's really good on hot dogs, brats, and plain ham and cheese sandwiches, so you'll definitely be able to find uses for the rest of the bottle.

Ok guys, I'm off to get cleaned up then take Jango puppy to the groomers to get shaved since he is shedding everywhere. Seriously, I'm vacuuming every day, and it's just me and the dog here right now. I'm thinking a navy blue area rug for the living room may have been a poor choice....


'Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches'
Source: Book Cooking


1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish mustard
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon dill weed
4 slices Swiss cheese
12-16 slices deli ham
4 buns (personal preference)


1. Heat oven to 250.

2. Combine butter, mustard, onions, poppy seeds and dill weed. Spread insides of buns with this mixture. Place a slice of cheese and three to four slices of ham inside each bun.

3. Wrap buns in foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese has melted.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beef Fettuccine Dinner

If you're looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner idea, than it doesn't get much easier than this. That's why I love Taste of Home, they have such a great collection of recipes, and many of them use things I already have on hand.

Oh, and if you're wondering what a 'package of fettuccine and beef-flavored sauce mix' looks like, it's this...

Publix didn't have this brand, but they did have the same thing in their own store brand, so that's why my noodles look a little different in the picture than they do on the package above.

We all really liked this, and I loved how easy it was. There are so many things you could add to this too, to suit you own families tastes.


'Beef Fettuccine Dinner'
Source: Adapted from Taste of Home


1 pound ground beef
1-1/2 cups water
1 package fettuccine and beef-flavored sauce mix (4.3 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can whole kernel corn, drained (11 oz)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided (4 oz)


1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.

2. Add water; bring to a boil. Stir in the fettuccine mix, tomato sauce and chili powder. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until thickened.

3. Stir in corn and 2/3 cup cheese; heat through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Creamy Hashbrown Casserole

Posting a little later than usual today, but I had a bunch of errands to run this morning. I went to Jesse's new school to meet with his new teachers and get a tour of the place before he starts next Monday, followed by a bunch of boring stops that should have been quick and cheap, but weren't (stupid T.J. Maxx, taking all my money).

Anyway, let me just give a little advice about this dish. If you click the source link below, you'll see that this recipe has all kinds of glowing reviews. Personally, I don not agree with them. I was excited to try this, and made it for myself, my mom and my sister. It was a bit of a disappointment.

I would absolutely NOT recommend making this as a dinner. It would however make an excellent side dish. Seriously. We all agreed that this was more of a side dish than a dinner.

Also, I'm posting the recipe exactly how Paula posted it (which is how I made it), but I do suggest changing a couple things. First, the soup. It calls for Cream of Celery, but I think you should try Cream of Chicken (you'll see almost this exact recipe on the back of the Ore-ida Hashbrown bag, I think Paula just changed some things to make it 'hers'). Also, I would suggest added some chopped ham or chicken...SOMETHING of substance to give it a little 'Oomph'.

Finally, the topping. Now, I liked the crushed potato chips, but my mom suggested bread crumbs or panko instead. Just  a thought. You could also try crushed corn flakes.

So, while we didn't love this dish, especially as the main event, with a little tweaking I think it would make a great side dish.


'Creamy Hashbrown Casserole'
Source: Paula Deen


1/4 cup butter
1 onion, chopped 
1 container sour cream (16 oz)
1 can cream of celery soup (10.5 oz) 
1 package shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend (8 oz)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed (30 oz)
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
2 cups crushed potato chips


1. Heat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray.

2. In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Pour onions into a large bowl.

3. Add the sour cream, cream of celery soup, cheese, garlic powder, hash browns, and salt and pepper. Combine until well blended.

4. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Top evenly with crushed potato chips and bake for 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Thighs

Oh I missed you. Comcast finally showed up yesterday around 1:30 (30 minutes past the 11-1 time frame I was given, so I got a $20 credit...nice). They were here for almost 3 hours, but when they left I had home phone and cable. Glorious cable!! I proceeded to sit on the couch in a sitcom-induced coma for the rest of the evening.

It was wonderful.

Anyway, pecans are a staple of the south. Southerns just LOVE  their pecans. I like them, but I can live without them. I learned in my 4 years of southern living that I like the thought of pecans more than the actual nut. I always think I like pecan pie until I take a bite, then I remember that I really don't care for it.

This though, this I could eat all day. Take some juicy chicken, cover it in pecans, and crushed saltines, and you've got yourself one tasty little dinner. 

A word of advice careful with the nutmeg. Even that little tiny amount of 1/4 teaspoon gives the chicken a definite nutmeg-y taste, so if you don't really care for the stuff, just leave it out. Or you can try cinnamon in it's place.

Ok everyone, have a great weekend! I will be joining my bestest bud Jenn at the Ledyard Fair tomorrow for a day of fatty fried foods and heckling annoying teenagers. We've been going to the Ledyard Fair since we were very young, and even though it's totally hokey, I've missed it. Now that we're all old and un-cool, we're gonna make fun of the same young whipper-snappers that are laughing at us, and throw things at people from the top of the ferris wheel.

It's cool....we've got our one phone call lined up should we find ourselves in jail  ;)


'Pecan-Crusted Chicken Thighs'
Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 egg
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup crushed saltine or wheat crackers
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon olive oil


1. Pound chicken to slightly flatten; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. In shallow dish beat egg. In a second dish combine pecans, crackers, and nutmeg. Dip chicken first into the egg then into the nut mixture, pressing to coat.

3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 5 to 6 minutes each side until crisp.

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