Monday, July 27, 2009

Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

This is another recipe my mother shared with me.

Spaghetti Suace

1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground beef
3 cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 8 oz pkg fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4- 1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
I tend to add a sprinkling of any or all the following: Italian seasoning, sweet basil, dried parsley. Feel free to throw them in to if you are feeling a bit crazy. It is also just wonderful without if you don't have them handy.

Brown meat, onion and bell pepper, salt and pepper and simmer. Drain off grease if needed. Add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes. Then add remaining ingredients. Simmer 45 minutes to 1 hours.

Serve over cooked spaghetti and top with parmesan cheese if you like. This is a thick and hearty sauce you are sure to enjoy! For a different treat, serve over baked spaghetti squash.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I decided to try these this weekend since I had several lemons. They are soo yummy...please, do try.

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening (I used regular Crisco and 1/2 tsp butter flavoring)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 T milk
2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon rind
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine butter (softened), Crisco, and sugar. Add egg, milk, lemon rind (grated) and extracts and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients and gradually add to wet until dough forms and completely combined. Roll 1 inch round balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Butter the bottom of a glass and dip in sugar, and then smash each cookie to about 1/4 inch thickness. Bake at 400 degrees for 9 minutes. The edges should be slightly browned, but do not overcook. Remove to a wire rack to cool immediately.

Combine icing ingredients and drizzle lightly over each cookie. This gives the cookies a little extra lemon bite. The orginal recipe didn't have the icing, but I think it made them even more yummy! I think I'll go have another one right now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Boston Cream Pie - Oh My

I can't find where I got this recipe or I'd give credit but it was posted on a blog last week...I could literally eat this whole cake/pie in one sitting. I've seen many more complicated recipes, but after you try this one you will never need them.

Yellow Cake mix - plus ingredients to make - eggs and oil
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cups cool whip
1 cup cold milk
1 block unsweetened baker's chocolate
1 T butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar (I think I used more like 1 cup
3 T cold milk

Bake cake mix as directed in 2 round pans. I prefer Duncan Hines. Let cool.

Filling: Mix pudding and milk for 1 minutes and then stir in coolwhip. Spread between two cake layers.

Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave. Add powdered sugar and milk until smooth and spread on top layer of cake immediately.

Refrigerate cake...and enjoy!

Broccoli rice casserole

approx 2 large crowns of broccoli, steamed and chopped
4 cups cooked rice
3 tbs butter
1 small onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup grated Velveeta
1 cup grated cheese of your choice (cheddar, monterrey Jack, whatever)

Steam broccoli and chop into bitesize pieces and set aside. Saute chopped onion in butter until soft. Cook rice on stovetop.

Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 for approx 30 minutes. If you are not as big of a cheese fan, you can leave out one of the two types or just not put as much. We love the cheese it all goes in over here!

MckMama's Macaroons

I like to follow and MckMama posted this recipe for Coconut Macaroons yesterday and I had to try it since I had everything I needed and was itching to baking usual. I cut my batch in 1/2 and still got about 16. These are yummy if you are a coconut fan and super easy.

1 14 or 16 oz bag of sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup sugar
6 T flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
4 egg whites

Mix all together in a bowl and drop by the rounded spoonful onto a greased and floured cookie sheet. Baked at 325 for 20 minutes or until they start to brown slightly. Cool on a wire rack.

While cooling in a saucepan over low heat combine 3 cups chocolate chips and 3 T heavy whipping cream. Stir often until smooth. Dip and let cool on waxed paper.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

This is my personal version of what started out as The Pioneer Woman's Blueberry Muffins...I, as usual, made a few changes to experiment. I think they were good choices this round. Here is my version that added a lemon twist.
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
3 cups less 2 tbs flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup plus 1 heaping tbs lemon yogurt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
zest from 1 lemon
Sift all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Mix wet ingredients and lemon zest in separate bowl. Stir in dry ingredients until JUST incorporated..about a count of 10. Add 1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries in 3-4 strokes.
Pour into buttered muffin tins or paper lined cups. Add remaining blueberries to tops of scoops and press in slightly. Sprinkle with brown sugar or Turbino sugar if you have it for a little crunch on top.
This is how mine turned out and I was very pleased. They weren't nice and rounded on top, but I think they looked scrumptious...but I could also smell the deliciousness! I also got to taste it...oh, who am I kidding, I had more than a taste. I'm not telling how much more. You bake them and see if you can resist!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stuffed Chicken, Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Paremsan

Stuffed Chicken Breast

4 boneless, skinless breasts
1 bag/box frozen spinach-squeeze in dish towel to drain water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup low fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lemon juiced
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Use 1 tbs olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and cook garlic over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the spinach, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and thyme and cook for 2 additional minutes. Transfer to a bowl and combine with cheeses.

Using a sharp knife cut a pocket in the thickest part of each breast and stuff 1/4 of stuffing into each breast. Season the outside of the chicken with additional salt and pepper.

Add additional tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking dish and bake at 350 for additional 20-25 minutes to finish cooking the chicken.

While chicken is baking add chicken broth, lemon zest and juice to skillet used to cook chicken. Cook over medium-high heat scraping chicken bits up into sauce and reduce by 1/2 to make a light sauce-about 8 minutes.

Spoon sauce over chicken just before serving.

This sounds like much work, but it really isn't. This would be a great dinner to serve guests since it presents quite impressively!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups prepared salsa
2 cups grated Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can enchilada sauce
12 to 14 soft round 6 to 8-inch flour or corn tortillas

In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and the sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup of the salsa. Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese. In a second bowl toss together the chicken, the corn, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1/2 of the scallions. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.

In a baking dish spread a 1/2 cup of the salsa over the bottom. Then layer 1/2 the tortillas. Top with chicken mixture. Add final layer of tortillas and top with remaining salsa. I also added about 3/4 can of enchilada sauce, but it would be good without as well.

Chicken Parmesan

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast
3 tbs olive oil
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 tbs milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese

Flatten chicken breast with a mallet to uniform 1/3 inch thick between plastic wrap. Dredge in flour, then dip in egg and milk mixture. Finally mix Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and seasoning. Brown in olive oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side.

Pour 1/3 of jar of pasta sauce in bottom of baking dish. Top with chicken breasts. Top each breast with a little sauce and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Suggestion Post

Do any of you have requests or suggestions of a recipe you'd like...or category.

More desserts, casseroles, vegetables, breakfasts, etc?

Here are a few things I have coming up:

Squash casserole, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, blueberry cobbler, oatmeal cookies, chicken Parmesan, Watergate salad, grape salad, cilantro lime rice(if I haven't posted already)....those are just a few off the top of my head I think are really tasty. This will hold me to posting the recipes soon.

Please leave me a comment if there is something you would like to see, or see more of and I'd be happy to oblige :)

Banana Slush and Orange Julius

These are great summer treats.

Banana Slush

1 12 oz can frozen lemonadde, thawed
1 12 oz can frozen orange juice, thawed
4 soft bananas
2 cups pineapple juice
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 quart bottle lemon lime soda

Mix bananas and lemonade in blender. Pour into a large tupperware container and add remaining ingredients. Mix and freeze until slushy. Enjoy!

Orange Julius

1 6 oz can orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar or less
1 tsp vanilla
10-12 large ice cubes

Blend in blender for 15 seconds. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Carne Guisada and Spanish rice

If you make these two dishes together your family will thank you and your kitchen will smell like a Mexican food restaurant. Don't be intimidated, both are easy!

Carne Guisada

2 lb roast, cubed and trimmed of fat
1/2 cup oil.

Brown meat in oil. When meat gives off juices, drain all but 1 Tbs oil. The meat will not be done, so don't worry.

Add and brown: 1 1/2 Tbs flour

Add and simmer at low temp for at least 30 minutes:

2 cups water
1 T bell pepper (optional)
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic salt (I probably used a little more)
1/2 tsp comino powder - this is the key flavor to the dish
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

The longer you simmer the the better the flavor and the meat will be more tender. I'd suggest an hour. I also added 1/2 extra water after about 30 minutes and additional seasoning with the water. I just happened to have a jar of Fiesta Carne Guisada seasoning and I added a few tsp to the extra water as well. This is not necessary at all but I was just throwing things in for extra flavor. It has cornstarch and more of the flavors above...I think it helped thicken the sauce a little, but I'm not so sure I would've even noticed if this was completely omitted.

Serve on fresh flour tortillas and you will NOT be disappointed. It was so good..and just as good left over today. I actually looked forward to leftovers.

I also made homemade Spanish rice which turned out great too. I made up the recipe so hopefully I'll get the measurements right since I was throwing things in.

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups Basmati rice
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp comino
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cumin
season salt

Bring chicken broth and tomatoes to boil. Add rice and seasoning. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes. Top with a dollop of sour cream, serve with the carne guisada above and you'll be glad you did.

If you don't have Basmati rice, just use the correct portions of rice and chicken broth (instead of water) as directed on the package.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Roasted Corn Guacamole

This is a recipe from my sister-in-law's Aunt Bitsy. It is soooo good. Watch out Pico...there is a new kid in town!

6 tbs corn oil
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
6 avacodos, chopped
4 tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
2 tsp appile cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbs Kosher salt

Spread 2 tbs of corn oil on baking sheet and add corn. Roast at 450 for 8 minutes. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add the remaining 4 Tbs corn oil and the rest of the ingredients in the order listed and mix well. Chill until serving.

Note: Don't chop avocados too small or it will get too soggy.

Tomato Pie

I've never tried this, but how could it not be good. This is not my recipe, but click on over to Let's Eat and check out Tomato Pie. I don't like raw tomatoes and usually don't like large chunks of cooked tomato, but these just sounds wonderful. I'm going to get Mom to bring up tomatoes on her next trip and try this. Here are a few of the ingredients to get you to click over. Tomatoes, BACON, basil, cheese, mayo...need I say more?!