Thursday, August 28, 2008

Christmas Egg Casserole

Every Christmas morning my mom makes an egg casserole, I made it the other day when we had Patrick and Laura over for the weekend.

Christmas Egg Casserole
From: My Mom

10 slices of bread
2 cups milk
6-8 eggs
ham, onions, green pepper, mushrooms, etc.
6-8oz Shredded Cheese
Salt &; Pepper

1. Grease 9x13 pan. Put bread cubes in pan
2. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper
3. Place ham and whatever vegetables you like on top of bread cubes (I didn't use ham this time, because Patrick doesn't eat ham... but I usually do)
4. Pour Egg mixture over entire pan
5. Add shredded cheese over the top
6. Refrigerate over night (or at least 2 hours)
7. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 35 min.

Farfalle with Zucchini and Tomatoes

As you can probably tell by now, I like trying new dishes, and that I really like the recipes I find on The Pioneer Woman website. Well this is another on of hers. With the summer here and lots of fresh veggies, I had to try this one out. And you should too... it is delicious! I did it a little differently than hers calls for because I didn't have a couple of her ingredients.

Farfalle with Zucchini and Tomatoes
From: The Pioneer Woman

2 Zucchini
1 Onion
1-2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
Olive Oil
2/3 cup White Wine (or Chicken Broth)
1/2 pkg Farfalle (Bowtie) Pasta
1/2 cup Cream
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Herbs: Lemon Thyme, Basil, Chives (I don't have my garden, so I used dried Thyme, Basil, and Chives)

1. Bring a pot of water to boil for pasta. When boiling, cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While water is coming to a boil, dice 1 medium onion, and cut up the zucchini
3. Slice Grape tomatoes in half Lengthwise, and dice 1-2 cloves of garlic
4. In a separate pan, heat a couple of tablespoons Olive Oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini (don't stir right away, let it to get a little brown). Sprinkle zucchini with salt.
5. Stir it around until it cooked but still firm. Do not overcook the zucchini! then remove to a plate
6. In the same pan add a little more olive oil, and add onions and garlic. cook for a few minutes
7. Add the halved tomatoes on top.... lower the flame to medium low.
8. Add 1/3 cup of wine. With a whisk or a spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the flavorful bits released.
9. Add the rest of the wine to the dish and let it cook down a little.
10. Add 1/2 cup cream, then add the zucchini. Stir gently to combine. Turn off heat at this point. If the mixture seems thick, add some of the boiling pasta water.
12. Taste the mixture. Add Salt and pepper if needed.
13. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Add the Fresh herbs (or dried if that is what you have) to your taste. Then add the zucchini mixture.
14. Add and mix in some Parmesan cheese, then top with Parmesan cheese when serving. (I suggest using real Parmesan, because the real thing is always better in my opinion)


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bowties with Sausage, Tomato, & Cream

When I got married, I received a bunch of recipes at my showers (like a lot of people do), I've tried a bunch of them, and this one we had earlier this summer. It is from our family friend Joan DeWilde, who is a great cook, much better than myself, and if you try this recipe, you will see why. The only reason I waited so long to try it is because I was convinced it was going to be difficult... but it wasn't!

Bowties with Sausage, Tomato, & Cream
From: Joan DeWilde

2 Tbs Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic (crushed)
1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage (Take meat out of skin)
1/2 tsp Hot Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup chopped Onions
28oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
1 1/2 cup half & Half
1/2 tsp salt
16 oz Bow Tie Pasta

1. Cook Pasta according to package

3. Saute Sausage & Pepper Flakes (approx 7 min)

4. Add Onion & Garlic - Saute another 7 min.

5. Add Tomatoes, salt, and Cream

6. Simmer Until Sauce Thickens (approx 4 min)

7. Pour over Cooked Pasta. Serve with Parmesan Cheese.

(NOTE: you can freeze 1/2 the sauce for a later meal... also it is a little spicy, but very good!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I have a thing for Mexican food. And any food with a hint of Mexican flare. I could probably eat it everyday... but I try to limit it to once a week and mix it in with other types of food for my Husband's sake. So here is another Mexican(ish) dish that I got from my mom, who got it from Taste of Home. Even my little brother ate it who is a picky eater, so it isn't too exotic... but it is delicious!

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
From: Taste of Home

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. water
1 t. onion powder (you could use onion salt if you don't have powder... Use whatever you have or you could add real chopped onions)
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. salt
1/8 pepper
2 1/2 c. diced cooked chicken (I actually cooked up some chicken in the oven with some salt and pepper then diced it, but you could use the pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to save time)
10 flour tortillas

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 can chopped green chilies
1 cup (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

1.In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, water onion powder, cumin, salt & pepper until smooth. Stir in chicken.
2. Place 1/4 cup of mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in greased 9x13 baking dish.
3.In a bowl combine the soup, sour cream, milk & chillies. Then pour over enchiladas.
4. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.
5. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake 5 more minutes until cheese is melted.

6. Serve with Salsa and sour cream if desired.
I know... I have lousy presentation of my food... I'm trying to work on it, but sometimes I just want to eat it and not take pictures of it so I get distracted.

NOTE: I often end up serving any Mexican dish with a side of rice and black beans because we really like them, but also because I don't have many ideas for other Mexican sides. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

I haven't posted much lately, mainly because I just plain haven't cooked much lately. I was gone in California for my brother's wedding were we had some fantastic food, but I didn't make any of it. Then when we came back I was exhausted, so not much cooking for me until last weekend. I read this recipe for Mexican Lasagna on The Pioneer Woman Cooks but it was actually a recipe by her friend Ryan. It looked so delicious I made it the very next day. His recipe makes a huge amount since he is a caterer, so I cut it way down, and I'll share the smaller one with you.

Mexican Lasagna
From: Pastor Ryan via The Pioneer Woman

1 1/2 - 2 cups unprepared rice
2 cups low sodium chicken broth/stock
2 tomatoes
1 onions
1-2 large cloves of garlic
1 lb lean ground beef
1 16oz. bags of mexican cheese blend
Flour Tortillas
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of black Beans (not drained)
2 x 7 oz. jars of Salsa Verde
1 10 oz. jar of enchilada sauce
Taco seasoning (mine is Chili powder, Paprika, and Cumin)
Garnish: Sour cream, Cilantro, Avacado (optional)

1. Begin by preparing Rice with Chicken Broth/Stock. Once prepared, salt to taste.
2. Chop up tomatoes, onions, and garlic as small as you prefer. Saute in a pan with a tablespoon or so of butter. (I saute'd the onions firs for a little bit before adding the tomatoes because I don't like crunchy onions) Add approx. 1 Tbs. chili powder, and 2 tsp. of both paprika and cumin (this is what it calls for, but this was a little spicy for us, so I might cut the chili powder down a bit next time) . Stir until nicely combined. Feel free to add beans if you like them…no need to drain.
3. Mix cooked rice together with tomato/onion/garlic mixture.
4. Brown the Ground Beef – add 1 Tbsp chili powder, 2 tsp paprika, and 2 tsp of cumin with a couple of ounces of water (again I would use a little less chili powder next time for less heat)

(***NOTE: I did steps 1, 2, & 4 at the same time to help speed up the process***)
5. Spread one container of salsa verde in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. (make sure it covers the entire bottom, this will help it not to stick to the pan)
6. Layer on tortillas covering salsa verde. Some overlapping is expected (I also Ripped apart my tortillas to make them fit a little better and fill in the holes)
7. Divide your rice mixture in half and spread it over the layer of tortillas.
8. Divide cheese in half and layer it on top of the rice layer. Approx. 8 oz. of cheese (I used a little less)
9. Add another layer of tortillas on top of your cheese layer.
10. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas and spread it out evenly.
11. Add layer of browned ground beef.
12. Add corn on top of beef layer.
13. Add remaining amount of rice mixture on top of corn layer.
14. Add remaining jar of salsa verde on top of rice layer.
15. Add remaining cheese to the top - making sure to cover.
16. Sprinkle top with some taco seasoning or cayenne pepper (I left this out)
17. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes uncovered until cheese has melted and gotten crusty! Serve with toppings of your choice: Sour Cream, cilantro, avocado, salsa, etc.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Spinach Salad and Dressing

I am really bad at making salad... I know that sounds weird, but I have a hard time figuring out what will all taste good together and what dressings will go with what salad. But my favorite salad is the spinach salad and homemade dressing that my mom and aunt make.

Spinach Salad
From: My Mom

1 bag of fresh spinach washed
1 can bean sprouts or fresh
1 can water sliced chestnuts
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 - 1 l b. fried crumbled bacon (or bacon bits)
1 pkg. Mushrooms cleaned & sliced
1/2 pine nuts (optional)
Can also add: mandarin oranges, red onions, almonds, upared apples, avacado, strawberries, kiwi, green onions

Directions: Combine ingredients in big bowl or prepare on each person's salad plate


1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions: Mix in blender and toss with salad just before serving

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tortilla Roll Ups

One of my favorite appetizers is the Tortilla Roll Ups, and they are so easy.  This recipe is another one from my mom.

Tortilla Roll Ups
From: My Mom

Flour Tortilla shells
8 oz Softened Cream Cheese
1/3 cup salsa
1/4 cup Chopped Onion
1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder

1. Combine cream cheese, salsa, chopped onion, garlic salt, and chili powder
2. Spread on tortilla shells and roll up.
3. Refridgerate the tortilla rolls.
4. slice and dip in salsa.


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