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Friday, February 26, 2010

Yummy treats!

Made some Fleur de lis cookies for a Dance Studio grand opening and some fun cupcakes for a Candyland birthday party! Fun times! Going out for dinner tonight! That is always a fun way to have dinner:)!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Double recipes for dinner ideas tonight!

It's been a few days since I have posted some dinner recipes...we have been eating, but I have not been posting! Oh dear...let me catch up. The other night we had Taco soup-but if you ask me this should be called taco stew. So I made a quick corn bread and served this on top. It was VERY tasty, if I do say so myself. I also wrapped some in a tortilla and topped it off with some cheddar cheese and hot sauce-which made for a great lunch the next day. This recipe was from Paula Dean's Quick and Easy Meals. Super fast preparation even if you don't freeze for later.

Taco Soup
1 3/4 pound ground chuck
1 large onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans
1 (16 ounce can pinto beans
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 (15.25 ounce) can corn
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

In a large dutch over, cook beef, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until beef is browned and crumbly; drain well. Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, pinto beans, salsa, corn, black beans, broth, and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 mins. FREEZE...

Then last night we had a Cannelloni with Cheese Sauce dish we made at our freezer cooking night. These were interesting, but all my kids ate them-because I bribed them-and my husband had seconds and thirds. So, if you want to try a twist on cannenolli, feel free to make these and freeze. They freeze well and come out tasty. I got this recipe from http://organizedhome.com/

Cannelloni with Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups marinara sauce
1⁄4lb ground beef, browned
1⁄4lb italian sausage, browned
1cuponion, chopped and sauteed
6 cannelloni, large
1cup white sauce
6 oz cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Instructions
To make filling, combine browned beef, browned sausage, sauted onion and Marinara Sauce. Cook cannelloni as directed, but cook for only 3/4 recommended time; rinse and drain. Fill cannelloni with filling mixture and pack firmly into greased baking dish. (easiest way to fill these cannellonis is to fill a pastry bag or a ziploc bag with the mixture and fill them up.)
To make cheese sauce, warm White Sauce until nearly boiling; add grated cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Pour over cannelloni, coating pasta generously. Cool.
To freeze: cover baking dish with aluminum foil; place in freezer bag. Label and freeze.
To prepare: uncover and bake frozen casserole in 400-degree oven for 1 hour, or until hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, return to oven for 5 minutes to brown top.

Enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Passion

One of my many passions are sugar cookies! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to make them for my friends and family. Here is a glimpse into some of my favorite cookies I have made these past few months...I hope you enjoy the pics.

Jonesy Stuffed Peppers

I have to say finally that this recipe is kinda mine. I took a recipe and made it my own adding my own ingredients and making it OH SO yummy. I usually always make other people's recipes, but here is one original Nina Jones recipe. Might I add it was delicious! I made my kids eat it too, they did, hesistantly, but they did. Anyways, enjoy...a great one to freeze...just double the cooking time when heating it back up. It seemed to take a longer time for the peppers to be hot all the way through.

Jonesy Stuffed Green Pepper
Ingredients:
3 lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 red pepper chopped fine (green one is fine as well)
2 cups cooked white rice
2 (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can green chillies
1 can black beans
1 cup corn
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 tsp pepper
2 tbl oregano
2 tbl Greek Seasoning
1 cup shredded cheese (paremesan or mozzarella) or my favorite Feta
4 bell peppers (your choice, I used green)

Cook ground beef, drain fat, add taco seasoning. Cut the tops and clean out peppers (you do not have to keep the tops) Coat peppers in olive oil and roast upside down in over at 450 for 15 mins. Mix the reast of the ingredients into the cooked ground beef. Let the peppers cool enough so you can handle them. Fill the peppers with the mix and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 mins-covered.

You can FREEZE after you top with shredded cheese, if using Feta, do not freeze...wait till you cook them to top with the cheese. I defrosted mine and then cooked for almost an hour as my peppers weren't defrosted all the way through when I cooked them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dinner Tonight...Paula Dean's Italian Veggie Chicken soup

This was one of our meals from our FREEZER cooking night. Deforsted it yesterday and heated it up today. It was not as tasty as I like my soups to be so I added a Liption Onion soup packet and topped each bowl with some mozzerella cheese. For a more hearty meal add some garlic bread Enjoy!

Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1 small onion
1 cup sliced carrots (3 small ones)
2 1/2 cups sliced zucchinni (about 2 medium)
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth
Grated Parmesan cheese-optional
Mozzerella-optional
Liption Onion Soup Packet-optional but recomended:)

In a large dutch oven (or pot), heat oil over medium-heat. Add chicken, and cook for 10 mins., stirring frequently, or until chicken is cooked through. Add onion and carrot, and cook for 5 mins. Stir in zucchini, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth (I would add the Liption Onion Soup packet here). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 30 mins. Top each serving with Parmsan cheese or Mozzerella or both:)!

Picture is from Paula Dean's cookbook that I got this recipe from. A note about FREEZING this recipe. I wouldn't reccomend it. It turned out a little mushy compared to this picture, more like a stew. FYI.


Easy and Quick Side for your dinner tonight!

If you ever have the privilege of finding a church cookbook around your parents home, you will have struck gold! Recently when organizing my parents home I stumbled across the Full Gospel Tabernacle Choice Recipe cookbook. Since my mom doesn't cook anymore I helped myself to the book and have found some amazing recipes. The Lemon Basil Carrots was my mom's recipe and I remember eating them as a child. I quickly made these and they have become a family favorite side.
Lemon Basil Carrots
1 lb. baby carrots
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
Dash of pepper

Cook carrots in salted water until tender. Drain and add butter. When it melts, add lemon juice, garlic salt, basil, and pepper. Toss. Makes 4-6 servings.

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Steak Fajitas Tonight!

Pan-searing...
This was a GREAT dinner tonight...one of those meals that makes you look like you know what you are doing and looks so effortless:) I got this recipe from http://www.organizedhome.com/; tweaked it a bit to fit my needs. Defrosted meat in microwave a little and added some black beans, spanish rice, sour cream and salsa. Hubby loved them! Tip: undercook your steak the first time because you end up re-heating and it cooks a little more. This way your meat won't turn out tough.
Steak Fajitas
2lb sirloin steak (when on sale this makes this meal super cheap!)
4 T lime juice
4T white wine vinegar
2 T salad oil
2 t oregano, dried
4 garlic cloves, crushed (I always used minced...buy a big jar at winco and it lasts a long time!)
12 flour tortillas (freeze them in your ziploc along with meat and veggies, that way everything is there)
2 frozen vegetables, fajita mix (I used one small bag)
1 c salsa

Place steak in quart-sized freezer bag; combine lime juice, white wine vinegar, salad oil, oregano, and crushed garlic cloves; Slice meat against the grain then add meat.
Pan-sear meat until medium rare. Let cool then put in ziploc bag.
FREEZE: to bundle; steak/marinade mixture; flour tortillas; frozen vegetables.
To prepare; Thaw steak in marinade (I defrosted for 12 mins) Remove steak and pan-sear in hot pan until warm all the way through. Remove from pan, add frozen veggies and marinade; cover and cook until veggies are crisp-tender. Put meat back in pan and add salsa heat-through.
Enjoy dinner!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Smothered Pork Chops by Paula Dean

Tonight for dinner we had smothered pork chops. One of our FREEZER meals we tried for the first time. I can't say I LOVE it, but I can't say that I don't either. It was good, but got better after you had it. Does that make sense? After the first initial bite, I almost didn't want anymore, than after a few minutes I wanted more and it tasted better. Weird, I know, but try it if you're a pork fan or not. It was easy and fed a whole family with leftovers. Just add a salad, maybe some applesauce for the kids, and dinner is served. Here is the recipe and a picture. Enjoy!
Smothered Pork Chops
Tblsp butter
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 onion diced
3 cups chicken broth
1 Tblsp crushed dried rosemary
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp salt
4 (8-ounce) pork shoulder chops
2 Tblsp Paula Dean House Seasoning (we didn't have this, but they sell it at Target. I would recomend using it because I think the dish would taste better)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with Pam Spray.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add rice and onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until rice is browned and onion is tender. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine broth, rosemary, sage, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in rice mixture; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle pork chops evenly with House Seasoning.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork chops for 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Place in prepared baking dish. Spoon rice mixture evenly over pork chops. FREEZE or cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil, and bake for 45 mins. (Defrost completely before you bake if planning to freeze this meal)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

Well Super Bowl Sunday was a hit at our friends house. Lots of food and lots of fun. The three recipes I tried turned out fantastic. I recomend using for any gathering any time because they were all easy and tasty! Here is how my Greek Layered Dip turned out and the recipe:LAYERED GREEK DIP
www.RecipeGirl.com

8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups prepared hummus
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
½ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (reduced fat is fine)
1/3 cup sliced green onions
pita chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips

Then I made a peach cobbler like cake, but added my own twist to it since I didn't have plain walnuts. I used the walnuts I had prepared for Baklava...which is simply chopped up walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon. This is the topping I added to the following recipe from http://www.bakerella.com/
(Cinnamon-Walnut) Peach Crunch Cake

24.5 oz jar of sliced peaches in heavyt syrup
1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into 16 pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts mixed with sugar and cinnamon to taste (until the mixture looks pretty dk brown)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Layer ingredients in a 13 X 9 dish, in order starting with the peaches.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle is clean.

  Then I made one more thing...Milky Way Brownies. The original recipe I found called for homemade brownies, which are great but take forever and I had a limited time. So I grabed a box of Duncan Heins Dark chocolate brownie mix, followed directions on the boxm added a 12 oz bag of mini Milky Way chocolates chopped up and poured it in the Perfect Brownie Pan to create the most tasty brownie known to mankind:) It was a hit, although they would not easily come out of the Perfect Brownie Pan, due to all the caramel:) Forgot to take a picture of those...Hope your Super Bowl food was just as yummy if not yummier:)
P.S. The Sticky Chicken turned out fabulous from the previous nights dinner...tonight we are having South Western Wraps...already made, deforsting in the microwave for a quick and easy dinner tonight!
Good night!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sticky Chicken tonight

So I am trying a new recipe from our freezer cooking night (a night my friend and I took out of our busy schedules to cook meals...made 29 I believe). It's called Sticky Chicken and I got it from http://organizedhome.com/ So far I took out of freezer and stuck in oven for the next 5 hours...it says to baste chicken, but I am not getting any juices so far...so I have rubbed it down with butter (when in doubt reach for the butter) and some lemon juice to create my own juices. We shall see how it turns out. Here is the recipe in case this sounds good. I will keep you posted...

Sticky Chicken
8 tsp salt
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper
2 roasting chicken, large (make sure to purchase on sale...we got ours for .99 a pound!)
2 cups onion, chopped
2 lemons cut into quarters (we added this to add more flavor)

In a small bowlm thoroughly combine all spices. Remove giblets from chicken (GROSS!!!) clean cavity (real well...make sure you look inside and clean it...all) and pat dry with paper towels.
Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure you distribute evenly down deep into the skin. The original recipe says to FREEZE here, but my friend and I stuffed the chicken with onions, and lemons. We also squeezed some lemon all over the skin and then placed it in a freezer bag and put it away. When you are ready to cook it, take it out a day before then...
Roast uncovered at 250 for 5 hours in a shallow baking pan.
After the first hour, baste chicken every 30 mins with pan juices. The pan juices will start to caramelize on the bottom of the pan and the chicken will turn golden brown. (I lined my pan with foil for easy clean-up)
Voila...finger licking good!

Here is my chicken right before I placed into the oven.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Buttercream Frosting (best for cakes and cupcakes)

This is for you Michelle A.:) I got this from http://www.kevinandamanda.com/ just in case anyone wonders...and in case kevinandamanda think I am claiming it as my own...which I am not...giving credit where credit is due...
1 cup shortening (crisco)
4 cups powdered sugar (32oz)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening until fluffy (mix on high). Add sugar (when you have stopped your mixer of course:) ) and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream. (you might find you need to add more depending on the consistancy you prefer) Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.

Allyson's Minestrone Soup (The best Minestrone soup you will ever have!!!)

Okay another post for today...just trying to post all the recipes requested most often from my friends. Here it is...beware it makes A LOT!
1 onion chopped
1 minced garlic
3 carrots peeled/chopped
3 stalks chopped celery
4 cans stewed tomatoes
8 cans chicken broth
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can white or pink or kidney beans drained
1 can corn
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 1/2 mini pasta shells (more if you like heavy pasta-some friends have added tortellini)
2 zuchininnis cut

In Pot:
Heat oil and saute onion, garlic, celery, and carrots until onion is see-through
Add tomatoes, broth, herbs, salt, and pepper
Bring to a boil and simmer on Med/High for 20 mins
Add the rest and cook for approx. 10 mins.
Let cool and fill ziploc bags with soup and FREEZE...when you decide to eat, serve with french bread and heat on stovetop until hot.
Enjoy!

Valentine's 1st round

Getting a head start on the Valentines for each kid's class and the teacher treats for each kids class...some of my kid's classes have more than one teacher...so I decided to get a head start so I don't stress come Thursday next week. Here is a peak at some of the treats done so far...thanks to TomKat Studios for her Valentine labels and cards. Hope you are all having fun putting your Valentine's together:)

The BEST Lasagna

Everyone always asks me for this recipe, which I found somewhere online. I am a recipe hog so I am constantly looking for recipes...and sometime I don't remember where I got them. I think it is off of the Mueller's Lasagna Box. For the majority of my recipes I have to admit I tear them out of magazines and half of the magazines are from the doctor's offices...ooops! Anyways, here is a GREAT recipe which I keep on hand frozen...several at a time so when a friend has a baby I sign up for a meal and voila...lasagna without working up a sweat:) Follow directions and freeze before it tells you to bake. Tip: spray the foil with PAM SPRAY before you freeze it, that way when you bake it the cheese won't stick to the foil. And stock up on ground beef when it's on sale...that ways it costs about $5.00 for a whole lasagna...love this meal:) Enjoy!!!

Classic Lasagna
Serves 8
1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onions
2 Tbls olive oil
1 (1lb) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6ounce) cans tomato paste
2 cups water
1 Tbls chopped parsley (you can use fresh or dried)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder (I use minced)
1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground is always best)
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
4 ounces Lasagna Noodles (secret: I NEVER buy the no boil ones and I never boil the ones I buy...just
                                               layer and bake, they never come out crunchy...save money and buy the normal 
                                               noodles:))
1 lb ricotta cheese (always double or triple this recipe so your ricotta cheese doesn't go to waste)
8 ounces shredded mozarella cheese (I always use a little more)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large heavy pan lightly brown beef and onion in oil
Add Tomatoes, paste, water, parsley, salt, sugar, garlic, pepper, and oregano;
In a 13x9x2 baking pan, spread about 1 cup sauce
Then alternate layers of lasagna, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, ending with sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan. FREEZE (cover and label)
If no freezing bake at 350 for 40-50 mins until lightly browned and bubbling. Keep covered so your cheese doesn't burn. Uncover last 5-10 mins.
FROM FREEZER: Frozen bake at 350 for about an hour...

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's for dinner tonight at our house?

Chicken Enchiladas by Paula Dean of course! Love that lady!!! They are defrosting as we speak so I can do whatever I want during my day while dinner is ready...just need to put in the over...ahh the life of freezer cooking...gotta love it! Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Sunday Potluck Chicken Enchiladas
(Recipe from Nancy Breit-from Quick and Easy Paula Dean)
2 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (10 ounce) can mild enchilada sauce
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, softened
½ cup chopped onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, divided
1 (16 ounce) pkg 10-inch flour tortillas
1 (10.75 ounce) can fiesta nacho cheese soup
1 (8 ounce) jar picante sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with Pam spray.
In a large bowl, stir together chicken, enchilada sauce, cream cheese, and onion. Add 1 cup Cheddar Cheese and ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese. Spoon mixture evenly down center of each tortilla; roll up tortillas, and place, seam side down, in prepared baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, remaining ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, soup, and picante sauce. Spoon mixture evenly over tortillas.(FREEZE) or bake for 30-35 mins, or until hot and bubbly.
Enchiladas defrosting...

Paula Dean's Lasagna Roll-ups

Here is the recipe that took my partner in crime a LONG time to complete during our freezer cooking day two weeks ago. But it turned out to be SO tasty...sharing the recipe below. After you roll-up the noodles put into a greased pan (we did a disposable kind) and freeze. I took them out and put them straight into the over for 1 hour, covered at 350, didn't wait to defrost. They were delicious! Enjoy!


Lasagna Roll-Ups
(from Quick & Easy Meals Paula Dean)
(makes 12-15 servings)
40 Lasagna noodles
1 ½ pounds ground chuck (we used regular old grund beef)
1 pound Italian sausage (we used regualr smoked sausage)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (we used the one from a jar)
2 (15 ounce) can plus 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, gralic, and oregano
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups ricotta cheese
2 (5-ounce) pkgs shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 (8-ounce) pkgs shredded nozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350, spray 2 13x9-inch baking pans with Pam Spray. Cook Lasagna noodles (this is the long dreadful part of the recipe) according to the package. In a large pot combine ground chuck, sausage, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until meat is browned and crumbly; drain well. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and parsley. Add eggs, stirring to combine.
Spread about 1 Tblsp. cheese mixture over 1 noodle. Top with about 3 Tblsp meat mixture, and about 1 Tblsp mozzarella cheese. Roll-up firmly, and place seam side down, in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining noodles, cheese mixturem and mozzarella cheese. FREEZE here or bake 30-40 mins, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 mins before serving…you can be fancy and garnish with some parsley if you like. Serve with garlic bread and a great anit-pasta salad and call it dinner!!!
If Frozen: bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until defrosted all the way through.