Monday, January 28, 2008

Yummy Stuffed Bell Peppers

This looks hard, but it's really not. It's great for a change from the same old things. It smells heavenly and makes your whole house smell delicious. I am a cheese lover and like the cheese and basil on top the best so the next time I make it I will cut the peppers lengthwise and have stuffed bell pepper boats with cheese and basil covering all the tops.

3 T Chicken broth
6 large, well proportioned green or red bell peppers
1 lb Ground Turkey (or beef), browned in a pan.
1 medium to large onion, chopped
2 -3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
1 cup cooked rice
3 T brown sugar
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 T dried Thyme
1 tsp cinnamon
1 T dried oregano
Dash of Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste
15 oz of homemade tomato sauce (from the can works too)
1/2 cup grated mozzerella cheese
1 c grated cheddar cheese1/4 c minced fresh basil
Slice stems and tops off peppers. Remove seeds and white membranes. Rinse and set aside to dry.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Place onion an dgarlic in a non stick skillet with broth. Saute over low heat until tender.
Add browned ground turkey.
Mix in cooked rice, brown sugar, vinegar, all spices, and about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
Stuff peppers with the meat mixture.
Place upright in a 2 quart casserole dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
Place any remaining mixturearound the peppers in the dish. Pour any remaining mixture around the peppers in the dish.
Pour remaining tomato sauce over peppers.
Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and sprinkle cheeses and fresh basil over the top. Bake 5 -10 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Easy Pleasing Meatloaf

2 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. (6 oz.) stuffing mix for chicken
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided

PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients except 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce.

SHAPE meat mixture into oval loaf in 13x9-inch baking dish; top with remaining 1/4 barbecue sauce.

BAKE 1 hour or until cooked through.

May substitute ground pork or veal for the ground beef and/or ketchup for the barbecue sauce.

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 1 hr 25 min
Makes: 8 Servings
I've been looking for over a year for a good and super super easy meatloaf recipe and I feel like I've struck gold with this!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Minestrone Soup (tastes like Olive Garden's)

*Flavorful, delicious, and not difficult. Also, it's a flexible recipe as you can see by the changes I made based on what I did or didn't have on hand when I made this *I got this recipe from my sister-in-law 
In pot, heat:
2 T Olive Oil

Add and saute:
1 Med. Onion (or equivalent Dried Onion, whatever you have)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or garlic powder, whatever you have)
2 carrots, sliced thinly
2 stalks celery (I didn't have these and it turned out great)

2 cans Diced Tomatoes - Italian Recipe (or just regular diced tomatoes w/ Italian Seasoning added)
2 cans chicken broth (14 1/2 oz.)
2 t. dried parsley (or 1 T. fresh)
2 t. diced basil
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. salt

Bring all to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes.

2 cans kidney beans, drained (15 oz.)
2 c. shredded cabbage (optional - I didn't have this either)

Simmer 10 min.

Stir in:
1 med. sized zucchini sliced (again, I didn't add this)
1/2. c. uncooked elbow macaroni

Cook 10 min.

Serve topped with Parmesan Cheese OR shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (Kirtland brand at Costco in the deli/refrigerated section at the back - Jillyn recommended that I have this cheese on hand because it's delicious added to almost anything like soups, salads, pasta, hot veggies, toasted on bread, etc - it's really similar to fresh parmesan they grate onto your food at Italian Restaurants.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Super Easy Pork Tacos

This recipe is super easy (hence the name) and very delicious! Just put two ingredients into the crockpot in the morning and in the evening you will have very tasty tacos. I like to serve the tacos with tortillas (of course), cheese, sour cream, and advocados.
Buen Provecho!

1 jar of salsa (choose your favorite, any kind will do)
1 pork roast, or tenderloin (I usually use a tenderloin)
Put roast, or tenderloin in crockpot
Pour salsa over top.
Cook in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours, until meat can shred with fork.
Use shredded pork as meat for soft tacos.

Devil's Food Cake Mix Cookies

1 box Devil's Food cake mix

2 eggs

1/2 c. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, roll into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then move to wire rack. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

Variations: Add walnuts, pecans, coconut or chocolate chips.

These stay very moist and chewy for a couple of days (if they last that long!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Grilled Turkey & Cheese Sandwich

I stole this idea from Jenna but she used avacados and swiss cheese instead.

Prepare just like a regular grilled cheese sandwich and add turkey, ham, or whatever your fancy. I added turkey and Kraft singles (off-brand). It was so easy and you can add whatever you have on hand.

I give all the credit to Jenna as she's my secondary mentor for cooking, and my mom is my first.

AND this is the first recipe I've ever made just flying by the seat of my pants. I think I should get a pat on the back for that.

Hope you enjoy! It's so quick and easy, I don't know how you couldn't!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Heavenly Chocolate Mousse

My absolute favorite thing about the Internet is being able to find a recipe for ANYTHING I am craving at ANY moment. It's awesome. I've been wanting creamy chocolate, so chocolate mousse was the perfect thing! This was really good and really easy and hit the spot! It looks kind of fancy, too, so that's fun. Apparently, you can use it in a pie, but I like it with lightly sweet whipped cream on top. Beware: it's really rich (but really good).

8 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips)
1/2 cup water, divided
2 T. butter (no substitutes)
3 egg yolks
2 T. sugar
1 1/4 cups whipping cream, whipped (no sugar)

1. In a microwave or double boiler, heat chocolate, 1/4 cup water and butter until the chocolate and butter are melted. (I did chocolate chips in the microwave according to the package directions and then added the water and butter after it was all melted.)

2. Cool for 10 minutes.

3. In a small, heavy saucepan, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and remaining water. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees F, about 1-2 minutes. (I didn't test the temp.)

4. Remove egg yolks from heat and whisk in chocolate mixture.

5. Set saucepan in ice or cold water and stir until cooled, about 5-10 minutes.

6. Fold in whipped cream.

7. Spoon into dessert dishes.

8. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mom's Spaghetti & Meatballs

This is super easy (few ingredients) and very tasty. You kind of have to wing it on the amount of spices and herbs, according to your own preference. I just made this two nights ago, should've taken a picture!

1 lg. can crushed tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
2 cans water (from tomato paste cans)
salt & pepper
sugar (just a tad to offset the acidity of the tomatoes)

Combine all these ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat until mildly boiling, reduce to med-low heat, then add the meatballs. (Note: this sauce is also great for lasagna, manicotti or other Italian dishes. Add sausage, ground beef or chicken.)

1.5 lbs ground beef
2 pieces of bread, soaked in milk
1 egg
parmesan cheese
garlic salt
salt & pepper

Mix these ingredients together, mushing the bread and egg into the ground beef with your hand. Roll into balls (the larger they are, the longer they cook) and drop them into the sauce mixture. Cook in sauce over med-low heat at least one hour. Serve all this over spaghetti and you've got yourself one tasty, home-cooked Italian meal!

*This also makes a great crockpot recipe.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Calling Meatball Recipes

I want to learn to make them but I need easy recipes.

Jenna, I know you have one!

Thanks everyone!

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I have ham left over from this weekend and a huge bag of potatoes that I'd like to get rid of. Not to mention 3 blocks of cream cheese I was going to use for a cheesecake only to decide against it after the purchase had been made. So this recipe is perfect and has everything that I already have in my kitchen.
Prep Time: 30 Min
Total Time: 1 Hour
Makes: 15 Servings

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup chicken broth
3 lb. red potatoes, thinly sliced (about 12 cups)
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Smoked Ham, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1 cup frozen peas

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and chicken broth in large bowl until well blended. Add potatoes, ham, 1-3/4 cups of the cheese and peas; stir gently to coat all ingredients.
SPOON into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
BAKE 1 hour or until heated through and potatoes are tender.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Italian Vegetable Soup

This recipe is great one, especially if you have leftover cooked ham from another dinner. Most of the other ingredients you will probably have on hand. Bon Apetit!

3 small carrots, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 small potatoes, diced
2 T. chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
3 t. beef bouillon granules, or 3 beef bouillon cubes
1 ¼ t. dried basil
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
16 oz. Can red kidney beans, undrained
3 cups water
14 ½ oz. Cant stewed tomatoes, with juice
1 c. diced, cooked ham

Layer carrots, onions, potatoes, parsley, garlic, beef bouillon, basil, salt, pepper, and kidney beans in crockpot.
Do not stir.
Add water.
Cover and Cook on Low 8-9 hours
Or on High 4 ½ to 5 ½ hours until veggies are tender.
Stir in tomatoes and ham.
Cover and cook on High 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I got this recipe off the Food Network and modified it slightly. It was really good though - especially if you like cheese!

Prep time: 10 minutes (so it took me longer!)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Kosher Salt
2 cups elbow macaroni
2 eggs, beaten
1 14 oz. can evaporated milk + 1/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup water (2 cups total)
1/2 cup margarine, melted
3 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (can use the fridge kind)

1. Preaheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally until almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

3. In a larger bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and 1/4 cup melted margarine.

4. Put half the macaroni into a greased 2-quart casserole dish and top with half the cheddar cheese. Repeat.

5. Pour the milk mixture over the macaroni and cheese.

6. In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the paprika, the remaining butter, and the Parmesan. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the macaroni.

7. Bake until brown and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Creamy White Chili

1 lb. cooked, skinless, boneless chicken (cubed)
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 medium onion chopped
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 cans great northern beans
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cumin *
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper *
1 cup sour cream
½ c whipping cream

Sautee the chicken, garlic & onion in oil. Add beans (rinsed & drained), broth, chilies & seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream & whipping cream. Serve immediately.

*If doubling this I suggest not doubling the cumin & cayenne pepper. Otherwise it is really hot!

Having a lid on soup while it is simmering depends on you. I kept the lid on because I wanted to keep all the juice/moisture in instead of having it thicken up so much. Also you can grill the chicken on a George Forman grill and then add to the sauteed garlic and onion if you want. I’ve tried both ways and both are yummy.

Angel Chicken Pasta

Way good and way easy!!!

3-4 big chicken breasts
¼ cup butter
1 dry Italian salad dressing mix
½ cup white cooking wine
1 can condensed golden mushroom soup
4 ounces cream cheese with chives
½-1 lb angel hair pasta

Preheat oven at 325
In pot melt butter and then stir in Italian dressing
Add wine & soup
Add cream cheese until melts
Heat through- but do not boil

In a 9x13 pan cut chicken breasts into smaller pieces
Space them out and pour sauce over.
Cook about 60 minutes

Pour over pasta and/or rice.

Fiesta Casserole

Fiesta Casserole

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 green pepper- chopped
1 onion- chopped
1 red pepper- chopped (optional)
1 jar (16oz) Thick ‘n Chunky Salsa
10 oz. corn
Flour tortillas

Preheat oven 375
Brown meat with peppers & onions in large skillet.
Drain and add salsa & corn. Bring to boil
Spoon 1 cup meat mixture onto bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish.
Top with tortiallas, overlapping if necessary.
Spoon ½ of remaining mixture over tortillas, and top with cheese.
Top with more tortillas and meat mixture, cover with foil.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Remove from oven and uncover.
Sprinkle with cheese and let sit until cheese is melted.

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups milk
6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

I never knew Alfredo sauce was this easy to make!

Chicken Noodle Soup

4 c. chopped, cooked chicken
1 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped carrots
1/4 c. chopped onions
1/4 c. butter
8 oz. egg noodles
2 boxes (32oz) Swanson chicken broth
3-4 c. water
1/2 t. dried marjoram
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 T. dried parsley (I prefer fresh)

1. In a large stock pot, saute celery and onion in butter.
2. Add chicken, carrots, broth, water, marjoram, pepper, bay leaf and parsley. Simmer 30 minutes.
3. Add noodles and simmer 10 more minutes.