All recipes, photographs and articles posted on this website are protected by copyright. Please feel free to print what you need, but do not repost without prior written approval.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Honey Glazed Dump Chicken

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE dump chicken recipes? I think I might have mentioned it here. This is the recipe that made me totally fall in love with them. This is my all time favorite chicken recipe, hands down. However, it’s not one my hubby enjoys. He’s not big on sweet in general. I can get by making it twice a month. Anymore than that and he’s not happy.

Honey Glazed Dump Chicken

1/4 c butter, melted

1/8 c soy sauce

1/2 c honey

4-8 pieces of chicken

Place chicken pieces in a freezer zip top bag. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Freeze.

To cook: Take zip top bag out of the freezer the night before you want to cook it and let it thaw in the fridge. Pour thawed contents of the bag into a baking dish big enough to contain the chicken and sauce. Bake at 350 until chicken is done. It will depend on the type of chicken you use. Boneless skinless breasts will take 20-30 min, bone in pieces will take longer.

I serve this with rice and ladel the sauce over the rice. It is YUMMY!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Banana Oatmeal Buttermilk Waffles

So, I finally got a waffle iron. I LOVE it. My kids have eaten waffles every day for the past 2 weeks. EVERY DAY. I’ve made a few different types and these were very well recieved. I doubled the recipe and it made enough for the whole family for breakfast and enough for about a weeks worth of breakfasts for the small and medium boy.

Banana Oatmeal Buttermilk Waffles

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup all purpose flour

3 tbsp brown sugar

1tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 & 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 ripe banana, mashed

4 tbsp butter

2 tsp vanilla

In a blender or food processor pulse 1/2 the oats until they are a fine powder. Put processed oats and remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl, mix remaining liquid ingredients until well blended. Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

Cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Serve warm with syrup, or not.

If you make extras and want to freeze them, spread out your waffles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet so they are not touching. Put in the freezer for a couple hours until they are frozen hard. Transfer into a labeled freezer bag. To re-heat just pop in the toaster.

I bet these would make great pancakes, as well. I did have to cook these a little longer than other recipes and they turned out light and fluffier than any other recipe I have tried.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Mini Quiches

I have been looking for some recipes I can cook ahead and grab for a quick lunch during the week. If I don't plan ahead, I eat whatever I can find and way too much of it. :)

As a post WLS (weight loss surgery) person, I have to watch what I eat, how much I eat, how often I eat, blah blah blah. Anyway, I frequently peruse Eggface's blog. She has some fabulous 'bites' recipes. I decided to try my hand at a couple different ones using up some leftovers in the fridge. Here's what I came up with.

Buffalo Chicken Mini-Quiches

5 eggs

2 cups finely minced broccoli ( mince it first, then measure)

2 chicken tenders, cooked & finely minced ( you could add more, but this is all I had on hand)

1-2 TBSP Frank's Red Hot hot sauce

6 cherry size fresh mozzarella balles cut in quarters

Preheat oven to 350.Beat eggs and hot sauce in a bowl. Mix in chicken and broccoli. Spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray. Put a piece of cheese in each muffin cup. Evenly scoop egg mixture into muffin pan and back 25-30 minutes.

You can serve these warm or cold. You can flash freeze these and they are great to re-heat a couple in the microwave for a quick lunch.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yummy Carrot Bread

I baked a super yummy snack cake this past week. I had been wanting to bake it for quite a while, but I just couldn’t seem to find the time between my school work, family stuff, house stuff, church stuff…ya know how it is. Anyway, I finally got around to it on Saturday.

I found the original recipe here. Of course, I tweaked it a bit. Here’s my version.

Yummy Carrot Bread

3 eggs

2c sugar

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup apple butter

1/1/2 cups finely shredded carrots

8oz can pineapple tidbits

2 tsp vanilla

3 c flour

1 cup shredded coconut

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Beat eggs and sugar about 2 min until fluffy. Add in oil and apple butter. Beat another min or so. Stir in carrots, pineapple and vanilla and stir until well combined. In a sperate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Slow add to the wet ingredients while stirring. Mix until completely combined. Divide the batter between 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 45-60 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This was a really nice snack bread. Not too sweet, moist and just yummy. This would make a great dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of a simple powdered sugar glaze. I think I will add more pineapple next time. I didn’t have the tidbits, so I whizzed up some chunks, but I think I whizzed them up a bit too much. I would have liked to have had bigger pieces of pineapple in my bread. I think you would get that with the tidbits. I also used the last bit of the homemade apple butter I canned. The original recipe calls for apple sauce and some other spices. Because the apple butter has spiced in it, I omitted them from the recipe.

I will be making this again. We ate 1/2 a loaf right away and put the remaining 1 1/2 loaves in the freezer for later.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hello out there....

I know it's been a while since I've posted. Life has been busy. I have been posting my weekly Wednesday posts over at Our Seven Sisters, but I have been seriously neglecting this blog.One of the reasons is I just don't know what to post here. So,here's what I want to know. What kind of recipes are you looking for? Family favorites, classic comfort food, vegetarian, freezer recipes, low fat, low carb, high fat, high carb, a recipe share day, menu plans?? Let me know what you want out of this blog and I'll try my best to get what you want posted here.

Leave a comment telling me what you are looking for and I'll get to working on it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Freezer Berry French Toast Casserole

I was on vacation the past couple of weeks and totally forgot to schedule posts. Bad me. But I’m back now and ready to post.
About a month ago out huge upright garage freezer got left open and everything thawed. I was able to salavage a few things and I made quite a few freezer meals. But, that left the freezer pretty empty, so I went on the search for some more freezer recipes. I found this recipe in my search. I decided to give it a go and adadpted it for the freezer. Here’s my version.
Freezer Berry French Toast Casserole

1 loaf french bread, cut in cubes
6 eggs
1 3/4 c milk
1 tbsp sugar
1tsp cinnamon
1tbsp vanilla
12 oz frozen berries of your choice
Spray a 9×13 freezer safe pan with cooking spray. (I use the metal buffet server pans from Sam’s. Super cheap and they stand up great in the freezer. Sam’s also sells lids for them, but foil works too. ) Put the cubed bread in your prepared pan. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat well and pour over the bread. Sprinkle berries over the top.
Cover well, label and place in the freezer.

To cook: Take casserole out of the freezer the day before you want to cook it. It needs a full day in the fridge to thaw completely. WHenready to bake, turn the oven to 350 degrees. Place thawed covered casserole dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. If you want the top to be crunchy, remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and crunchy.

My family loved this. I didn’t take it out in time to thaw completely so we didn’t have it for breakfast. I started it for breakfast, but we had somewhere to be and ran out of time to finish baking it. So, I put it in the fridge partially baked and then finished it up later in the day. We ended up eating it with ice cream for dessert. It was SUPER yummy. The leftovers we ate for breakfast the next day, and they got good reviews as well. I doubled this recipe and made one with blueberries and one with mixed berries. I still have the blueberry one in the freezer, but I am sure it will be just as well recieved as the mixed berry one was.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hot Chicken

I love 'dump' chicken recipes. You know, the ones where you dump some chicken and other stuff in a freezer baggie, pop it in the freezer, and take it out to thaw on the day you wanna cook it. The chicken marinates during the thawing process. Super easy. Here's one of my favorites. When I make this, I cook plain chicken, just seasoned with salt, pepper, & garlic powder for the kiddos.
Hot Chicken

4-6 pieces of chicken, your choice. I use boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of hot sauce. I use Frank’s Red Hot, but you can use your favorite type.
1 stick of butter, melted and cooled

Put the chicken in a freezer bag. Mix hot sauce and butter in a bowl. I mix it in a glass pyrex measuring cup that I use to melt the butter. This makes for less dishes to wash, and I’m all about washing less dishes. Pour hot sauce/butter mixture over the chicken. Remove as much air from the freezer bag as you can. Label the bag and freeze.
To cook: Take the baggie out of the freezer the morning you want to cook it and put it in the fridge to thaw. Pour the thawed contents into a baking dish and bake @ 350 until the chicken is done. It takes 20-30 min for boneless skinless breasts. You can also grill your chicken, basting with the sauce as you grill the chicken. I serve this chicken with hot buttered rice.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Searching for a GREAT homemade BBQ sauce

I love BBQ sauce, but I'm a bit picky about it. I actually only buy 1 type. I have bought other types/brands, but I feed that to the kiddos because they don't care. LOL Last night I made a BBQ shredded pork that I sorta got from here. Here's what I did.

BBQ Shredded Pork
4lbs pork shoulder- I used a bone in pork picnic ham something or other I got for .99/lb.
1 onion, sliced into rings
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Frank's Red Hot hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt
Place pork in your crockpot. Put sliced onion in crockpot on pork. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Shred meat with two forks.
This made a nice start for a bbq sauce. I will need to adjust the seasonings and maybe add a few things to it to give it more of a kick. All in all, it was pretty good.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

I volunteered to make something for a bake sale our Pastor's daughter is having next week to raise funds for her year long mission trip to Vietnam. So, I went looking for a cookie recipe. I found this one. Of course I changed it a bit. Oh, the best part is it doesn't have any eggs in it, so you can eat the dough raw...if that's your thing. :)

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

Heat oven to 375°. In large mixing bowl combine sugar, butter, buttermilk, and vanilla with a hand held mixer. Stir in remaining ingredients with a spoon. Using a cookie scoop, place dough balls onto cookie sheet. Flatten slight with wet fingers. Bake until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool.
I used a 2 scoops with a small cookie scoop for each cookie. I also cut the recipe in 1/2 and I got 2 dozen cookies out of it. You can change the dried fruit to whatever you have on hand. I had cranberries, so I used those. You could use blueberries or cherries, those flavored cranberries, or a combo.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lemon Garlic Chicken

I love easy recipes that pack great flavor. I also love a good sale. So, when I ran across boneless skinless chicken breasts for .84/lb a few weeks ago, I bought a ton of them. When I got them home I needed to figure out what to do with them all. My favorite thing to do with chicken breasts is to package them up in gallon freezer bags with different marinades. You've just gotta toss them in the freezer and take them out to thaw the morning you want to cook them. Here is one of my family's favorites.

Lemon Garlic Chicken
4-6 Boneless skinless chicken breasts- or whatever pieces of chicken your family prefers.
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 c oil
2-4 cloves minced garlic, depending on how much your people like garlic.
3 tbsp dried parsley
1/4tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Put chicken in a gallon size freezer bag. If you are going to label your bag, do it before you put the chicken in. I use a sharpie to label my bags and I always do it before I put anything in them. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Pour over chicken. Seal, and put in the freezer. On the day you plan to cook the chicken, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw completely. You can either pour the entire contents of the bag into a baking dish and bake @350 until the chicken is done. It will depend on what type of chicken you used. It usually takes 20-30 min for boneless skinless breast. OR you can drain the liquid off and grill the chicken until it's done.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meatball Soup

I have been looking for crock pot recipes to help getting dinner ready during busy summer days. I love that I can toss things in the crock pot in the morning, and have a tasty dinner in the evening. I found this recipe on the 'A Year of Slow Cooking' blog. I changed it up a bit to fit in with my family's tastes and to use up what I had on hand.

Meatball Soup

15-18 frozen meatballs ( yep, that's right. I buy frozen meatballs.)

4 cups chicken broth ( I use homemade, but you can use whatever you have)

1-14 oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup frozen corn

1c diced carrots

2 stalks celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced ( or dried minced onion to equal 1 cup fresh)
1 cup rice

Put broth, tomatoes, corn, carrots, & celery in the crockpot. Stire in meatballs. Cook on low 8-9 hours. It's soup, it'll be fine. About an hour before you plan to eat, add the rice and turn to high. That's it. Super easy.
Now, I will say my hubby is not a big soup fan, so this didn't go over with him all that well. I thought it was fine. It was a nice soup. If you use canned broth, it may be a bit bland. I use a lot of spices and what not when I make my broth, so there was flavor added by that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Taco Rice

I am always looking for ways to keep my kitchen cool during the summer. I use my crockpot & grill a lot. I have decided to start looking for recipes I can make in my rice cooker. Here's one we tried recently.

Taco Rice
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3 cups raw rice
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 medium onion, diced
1 packet Taco Seasoning
Brown ground beef & onion. Mix in taco seasoning.Put rice in rice cooker. Add undrained tomatoes. Fill with water to the 3 cup line in your rice cooker. Put ground beef in the rice cooker and stir. Close your rice cooker and cook on the white rice setting (unless you're using brown rice, then use that setting.) Serve in a bowl with shredded cheddar & salsa, or rolled up in tortillas.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crockpot Tuesday- Shepherd's Pie

I recently acquired a copy of Angela Coffman's (of Grocery Shrink fame) Slow and Savory Suppers e-book. It looks like it's gonna be a great crockpot resource. I have only been able to try one recipe so far, but it was fabulous. :) Everyone in the family liked it. I am going to be trying at least one of these a week until I go through them all. Here's the recipe I tried (reposted with Angela's permission, of course)

Shepherd's Pie
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cups frozen peas
2 tsp garlic powder
1 lb ground beef, browned
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2-4 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese
1.Combine all but potatoes and cheese in a greased slow cooker. ( I did not grease mine and it turned out fine.) 2. Spread mashed potatoes on top. 3. Sprinkle with cheese. 4. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I really like cornbread. A lot. The sweet kind. I know there is an unsweet kind, but I am not a fan. :) We have also built up more of a tolerance for hot and spicy since we've moved to Texas. Even Dave, who is not a spicy food person. Here's a recipe we like. I usually make a non-jalapeno version for the kiddos. Well, sometimes. Sometimes they just deal. LOL
Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup canola oil
3 TBSP egg substitute ( I used the All Whites brand which is obviously, all egg whites. LOL)
4 jalapenos, diced (seed them if you have milder tastes)
1/2 cup Kraft 2% cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray an 8 or 9 inch pan with cooking spray. Put dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix the milk, egg substitute, and oil in a seperate bowl until well mixed. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Add jalapeno and cheese to bowl. Mix until just blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until browned and tests done.I baked this in the Pampered Chef Square Baker. I cut this into small pieces and got around 16 pieces out of the pan. It turned out really moist and yummy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuna Cakes

Yep, you read that right. Tuna Cakes. It really is better than it sounds. Everyone in the family liked them. Total score for the Mom. : )

I used this recipe as a guideline, but of course I changed it up. Here's the Harman Family version.

Tuna Cakes
2 cans of tuna
1 box of stuffing- any flavor will work
1/4 cup mayo
3/4 c water- I used slightly less and added some dill pickle juice to make 3/4c liquid
1 cup shredded Montery Jack/Cheddar blend
1-2 tsp sweet relish-next time I will use dill relish, but I didn't have any on hand.
1-2 tsp dill- It depends on how much you like dill.
2 eggs
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, be sure to do this well so everything is all mixed up. Cover bowl and let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes. I left it in there for about an hour. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a little oil or cooking spray. Using either a tablespoon or one of these, scoop out some mixture into your hot skillet. Smash slightly with the back of a spatula to make patties. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until both sides are slightly brown.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bacon Cheese Burgers

I'm in the mood for a nice tasty grilled burger for dinner. So, I figured I'd look up a few recipes online and see what I could throw together. This looked interesting. Of course, I don't have all of the ingredients on hand, so I improvised. I usually improvise. :)
Bacon Cheese Burgers
2 1/2lbs ground beef
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup sour cream
1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar monterey jack blend)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Bacon Salt
Crushed saltines, just enough to hold meat mixture together
Mix all ingredients in a larg bowl until everything is evenly mixed. Form into patties. How many patties you get depends on how big you like your burgers. Grill over medium high heat about 8 minutes on each side, or until they are done to your taste. Serve on buns.

Friday, June 11, 2010

First go at fresh asparagus

I am pretty sure I have never eaten fresh asparagus. The canned stuff, yep. Fresh, pretty sure it's a no. I am POSTIVE I have never cooked fresh asparagus. Never. I have never even bought fresh asparagus. (While not buying and not cooking asparagus seems to go hand in hand, I often buy stuff that I forget about. Then it goes wonky & I never get around to cooking it. Sad, but true.) The other day while I was out getting groceries, I saw some asparagus and I bought it. It needed to be cooked today. So, I figured why not give it a go. :)
Yummy Asparagus
1 bunch of asparagus
an obscene amount of butter...ok you could get by on 2 tbsp
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
First snap the non edible ends off the asparagus. I never did this before, but it was pretty easy. Hold both ends and bend each asparagus rod ( I am sure there is another name for this, but I have no idea what it is) until it snaps and throw the bottom end snapped off part away...Got it? Ok. Melt the butter over medium high heat in a skillet large enough to hold your asparagus. I used a cast iron one, but I am partial to cast iron. When the butter is melted, add asparagus to pan and pressed garlic. Toss everything around and let cook 5-10 minutes, or until asparagus is soft, but still slightly crisp.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Frozen Yogurt- A tasty summer treat

I have an ice cream maker I picked up for free while we were living in England. I had been looking at boying one just like it when I walked into the Airman's Attic (which is sorta like a thrift store, but everything is free. It's a military thing) and there it was just sitting on the shelf waiting for me to take it home. It's one of these.

It is fabulous. Makes yummy frozen treats in no time without the hassle of salt and all that jazz.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I made some crockopt yogurt (recipe is coming soon. I just want to make it one more time) and I had some still sitting in the fridge. So, I decided that since it's a million degrees here in He...urm...Texas, frozen yogurt would be yummy. I searched the internet and found this recipe. Then I promptly tweaked it. Here's what I did.

Vanilla Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

3 cups plain yogurt-I used homemade plain, but any would do.

1-2tsp vanilla extract- it depends on how vanilla-y you want it

Honey- I added enough to take the 'tang' out of the yogurt and make it slightly sweet. Probably about 1/2cup-ish. Sorry I can't be more exact, but it's really a personal taste thing

1/2 c frozen blueberries-You could probably use fresh, but I only had frozen.

Put yogurt, vanilla, and honey in a bowl and stir well. Add the yogrut mixture to you ice cream makin' machine and turn it on. Let the machine do it's thang. It took mine about an hour or so to get to the right consistency. At that point I tasted it for sweetness and added a bit more honey and the blueberries. I let the machine run about 5 more minutes. Just long enough for the blueberries and honey to mix in. At this point, it was a soft serve consistency, which we all thought was fine. I like a little harder of ice cream, but it was fine. There was a tad bit left that I put in the freezer to firm up. After about an hour or so it was much firmer, and more like I prefer it.

This was a great treat. Not terrible for you. I knew exactly what was in it, and the family loved it. I'll be making this a lot during the summer. Guess I better keep on crankin' out that homemade yogurt.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Leftover Saturday-Sloppy Joe Ring

Saturday is our "Leftover" day. It's a time to use up what has accumulated in the fridge all week. Normally that's our plan for lunch on Saturday. Unless we're out all day, and then that's the plan for dinner. Anyway, we go through the leftovers in the fridge on Saturday. LOL

I recently posted my Sloppy Joe recipe on the blog. (No pics of that one, I'll have to get them next time.) That particular recipe makes a TON of Sloppy Joe filling. We always have leftovers. Here's what I did with them this time.

Sloppy Joe Ring
1-2 cups leftover Sloppy Joe filling
2 containers crescent rolls
Preheat your oven to 375. Get out a large pizza pan. Open the crescent rolls and place wide side to the center of the pan, over lapping the edges to form a circle. This was kinda tricky for me and I had to re-arrange them a couple of times. Spoon the Sloppy Joe filling along the inside of the ring, on the wide edges. Don't put it right on the edge. You need a little bit of space to tuck the pointy bits under. After you get the filling in, fold the points into the center and slightly tuck them under the inside edge of the circle. Put in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until filling is hot and crescent rolls are slightly brown. Easy Peasy.
This was a hit with most of the family. They Hubby loved it. The Large boy enjoyed it.The Medium boy ate seconds, which he doesn't often do. The Small boy didn't like the crescent roll part. ( I seriously do not know where this kid came from. No pizza, not a fan of cheese, and now crescent rolls....LOL) I thought it was yummy and supper easy. I will be making it again for sure.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Individual Chicken Cobblers

Individual Chicken Cobblers
Adapted from Cheap, Fast, Good by Beverly Mills & Alicia Ross
4 Frozen Southern-style biscuits (you can use canned refrigerated biscuits or homemade biscuits)
1 lb chicken, uncooked (Any chicken will do. Leftover chicken would work great. I used boneless skinless breasts)
1 TBSP veg oil
1 large onion, about 1 cup chopped ( I used dried diced onion because I hardly ever have fresh on hand)
8 oz fresh button mushrooms ( I left these out because the kids don't like mushrooms)
1/4 cup cooking sherry ( I used one cube of chicken bouillon disolved in 1/4cup water)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk ( I used whole because that is what we use at our house)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 Preheat the oven and bake the biscuits according to the package instructions.
2. Heat the oil in an extra deep 12-in skillet over medium heat. Peel and coarsely chop the onion. Add to skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, adding them to the skillet as you cut. Cook, stirring occassionally. Meanwhile, rinse, pat dry, and slice the mushrooms,if using. When th e chicken turns white on the outside, after about 4 minutes, add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until they begin to release their liquid, about 2 minutes. Add the sherry and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Then add the cream of mushroom soup, milk, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to mix well. Add the frozen vegetables and stir to mix in. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is bubbly and the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer while the biscuits finish baking. To serve, split the biscuits in half and place a bottom portion in each of four bowls. Spoon the chicken mixture evenly over the biscuits and top with the other half of the biscuits.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fresh Bread, Yummmmm

I like to make our bread. Having that skill is great. Knowing you can throw together a nice fresh loaf of bread for dinner is comforting. It really helps stretch your grocery dollars, as well. Sure you can get bread for less than $1 a loaf ( at least you can around here), but it's not as yummy as homemade bread and you probably can't read all the ingredients on the label, either. I tried this white bread recipe last week. I changed it slightly and made it in my bread machine. Here's my version with the instructions for my bread machine.

White Bread
1 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 egg
Put the milk, butter, egg, & salt in the bread machine. Add the flour. Make a small well in the center of the flour. Add the yeast and sugar. Select the "dough only' cycle. You know, the one that just does the kneading and rising for ya. :) I use the largest loaf setting on my machine. I think it's the 2lb loaf setting. Turn the machine on and let it do it's thing.
Once the machine is done, take the dough out and place it in a greased loaf pan. I flip the dough around to make sure it is coated in oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set somewhere warm to rise. I put mine in the oven with the light on. It seems to do well. After about an hour, or until the dough has risen slightly above the pan, your dough is ready to become bread.
Take the plastic wrap off and place your pan in a 350 degree oven. You can preheat it, but I normally don't. Back for 45 min or so until bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when you tap it. I am sure this is not the most scientific way to test your bread, but it works for me. Take the bread out of the pan and let it cool on a rack. You can wrap it in a towel to cool, which helps keep the crust softer but I let mine cool unwrapped and the crust was fine. After your bread is cook, slice and store in an air tight container.
Because this is homemade bread, and doesn't have any presevatives, it won't last as long as store bought bread. You might get a week out of it. Ours doesn't last that long.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sloppy Joe Slop-Sloppy Joe

Ok, bad title, I know. I know you are now belting out the Lunch Lady song. Admit it. You know you are, even if it's just in your head.

Have I mentioned I am not good at coming up with titles for things. I'm just not "name" creative. :) It's true. Maybe I'll get better as the blog goes on, maybe not. Hang around and find out. LOL

Ok, time to reign in the ADD-ness and focus. Focus. FOCUS...Alrighty, here we go. Oh, I feel another song coming on...FOCUS...

Who doesn't like Sloppy Joes?? Well, I am sure some people don't (Let's pray for them, shall we?) , but I am sure they are in the minority. Right??? Well, we like Sloppy Joes around here. The medium & small boys like them with ketchup and cheese. I like mine off the bun, in a bowl, with cheese. The large boy & the hubby just like them. Here's the recipe I use.

Sloppy Joes

Here is a super easy, not from the can version that our whole family loves. It makes a lot, and we usually have leftovers. You can freezer the leftovers or use them in another meal. I'm working on a recipe for the leftovers. I'll post it when I've got it perfected.

2lbs ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper (You can leave this out with no taste issues.)

1 can condensed tomato soup

1- 8oz can tomato sauce

2 tbsp ketchup

1 1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp mustard (I use course ground, but you can use whatever you have on hand)

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Hamburger buns

In a large pan, brown ground beef and onion. Add green peppers, if using. Cook an additional 5 minutes or so until beef is cooked through and onions and peppers are soft. While the meat mixture is cooking. Put the tomato soup, tomato sauce, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder and garlic powder in a crockpot. Drain meat mixture and add it to the crockpot. Cook on low 3-4 hours. Serve over buns.

I have let this cook much longer with no problems. You could shift it to the "keep warm" setting on your crockpot, if you have one, at the 3-4 hour mark if you like.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pasta Salad

It's Summer in Texas. That means it's hot. H-O-T. HOT!!! I try to do as much grill and crockpot cooking as possible during the summer. It saves on our utility bill and it doesn't heat the house up. Our house isn't exactly the most energy efficient home, so every little bit helps. I figured I'd share my basic pasta salad recipe. It goes great with any grilled meat. It's perfect to bring to picnics. We make this a lot during the summer months and it's always a hit.

Pasta Salad
1-16oz box of Tri-Color Rotini
1/2-1c Mayo (This really depends on your taste
and how "wet" you like your pasta salad)
1 TBSP Stone Ground Mustard
1/4tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
2 Hard Boiled Eggs, chopped
1 TBSP Dried Chives
1 TBSP Dried Parsley
1/4tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
1/2c Frozen Peas
Salt & pepper to taste (Sometimes I use Bacon Salt.)
Boil pasta just until tender. While pasta is boiling mix everything except the peas in a large bowl. Put frozen peas in the colander you are going to drain your pasta in. Pour pasta in the colander and drain it well. This will thaw the peas enough to mix into the pasta salad. Pour pasta/pea mixture into the bowl with the sauce. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ice Cream Cake

So, my "baby" turned 19 on May 21st. I always make the kids their birthday cakes. Nothing fancy. Usually just a box cake with their choice of frosting. Most of the time they pick buttercream frosting (which is my favorite frosting of all time). I asked the Large Boy what kind of cake he wanted and he replied..."an ice cream cake". A "vanilla with mint chocolate chip" ice cream cake. Great. I have made an ice cream cake before. It was about 7-8 years ago for the Medium Boy's birthday. When I made that one, I had a glass 9x13 baking pan explode. Not fun.

So, I went out and purchased my ingredients, returned home, and gave it my best shot.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

1 box of vanilla cake mix

1/2 gallon of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

1 container of hot fudge sauce or chocolate syrup

1 bag of Andes mint candy pieces

Buttercream frosting-enough to cover a 9x13 cake

Mix and bake the cake according to the package directions, but divide the batter between two 9x13 pans. ( I made 2 boxes of cake mix and 2 cakes, and it was way too much). Remove cakes from oven and let cool. Place ice cream in the fridge to soften.

Once cakes have cooled, place one of them on a serving platter. I used one of these. Hollow out the center of the cake (or not, it's your cake. It really depends on how much cake you want). Fill the hollowed out section with the ice cream. (If you didn't hollow out your cake, spread the softened ice cream over the cooled cake.) Sprinkle 1/2 of the Andes candy pieces over the ice cream. Drizzle hot fudge sauce or chocolate sauce over the ice cream. Carefully place the second cake on top of the ice cream. Put the whole thing in the freezer for a couple of hours. I left mine in there for about 2 hours. Just long enough for the ice cream to firm back up and the top layer of cake to freeze slightly.

After the cake has been in the freezer for a couple of hours, you get to frost it. :) Now, let me just say I am not a "for pretty" type of cook. What I make tastes good and looks alright, but it is nothing fancy. So, no pressure to make it look professional quality here, just frost it. Put a thin layer of frosting on the cake and return it to the freezer. If you keep it out too long the ice cream starts to melt and get oozy and it just makes a mess. Trust me on this one. After about an hour take the cake out of the freezer and put the final coat of frosting on it. Return to the freezer until ready to serve.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Simple Pasta Sauce

We have pretty simple taste as far as food (and life) goes. As much as I enjoy the entire cooking process, I do occassionally want simple & quick. This sauce fits that. It's easy to put together. It's made of stuff you probably have on hand (or stuff you should have on hand). It is just a bit more complicated than opening a jar of sauce, but it is so worth the little extra work. And really, it is just a little extra work. Honest.

Simple Pasta Sauce

This is an easy pasta sauce that when tossed with your favorite pasta, makes a quick and wonderful weeknight dinner.

Here's what you'll need:

1lb ground beef (More if you like your sauce super meaty. I live in a house full of boys. We prefer meaty sauce. I use more, closer to 2lbs)
1- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1-14.5 oz can of petite diced tomates (You can use regular diced tomatoes. At least one of my boys has an aversion to "chunks". I can usually get the petite diced past them without much fuss.)
1 small onion, diced (You pick the size of the chunks. I dice mine pretty small due to the chunk aversion boy mentioned above.)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced, depending on how much your people like garlic.
1 tbsp dried italian seasoning

Place onion, ground beef, and garlic in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until beef is cooked through and onion is soft. Drain if needed, and return beef mixture to sauce pan.
Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and italian seasoning to pan. Stir until well mixed. Heat to boiling, stirring often. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer covered for 20-30 minutes, stirring occassionally. Serve over your favorite pasta.
You don't have to let it simmer this long, but I think it helps the flavors blend better. If you start your pasta water boiling when you set the sauce to simmer, both the sauce and the pasta will be ready at the same time. :)
This makes a fairly chunky sauce. If you prefer a more saucy sauce, add an 8oz can of tomato sauce(or two) and increase the italian seasoning to taste.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hello Everyone

Well, after much prompting and suggestions by many of my friends, I've decided to start a blog. I figure that while I am on Summer break from school, I might as well give it a go. :) That should give me plenty of time to sort everything out before school starts back up for me in the fall.

I suppose I should tell you a bit about myself and what my plans are for this blog. I'm a SAHM, student, & military wife. I've been married for almost 19 yrs. My hubby & I were high school sweethearts. We have 3 handsome boys ages 19,11, & 9. We are currently calling Texas our home & we'll be here until the Air Force says otherwise.

I love to cook. Really really love it. It's almost an obsession, really. It's what I do in my free time, when I have it. Cooking is how I relax. It's how I help take care of my family. It's I'm what you might call a tweaker...a recipe tweaker...not that other kind of tweaker. :) I don't often follow a recipe exactly. Actually, I'm pretty sure I haven't followed a recipe exactly in years. Drives my dear sweet hubby nuts. But, he deals. :) I use recipes as guidelines and then I add a bit of this, and a bit of that until I think it's good. Usually it turns out well...usually.

This blog is going to chronicle my cooking adventures. I'll post my family's favorites, new recipe adventures, meal plans, and other kitchen adventures. I'll also share some of our day to day life stuff. Some of it. As much as I think you can handle. 'Cause we're a bit crazy. I'll try to ease you into the crazy slowly.

I hope you like it enough to come back and visit. :)