Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mom's Rice Casserole

This is one of the easiest side dishes that I make. I got it from my mom, and everyone just loves it when I serve it.

Mom's Rice Casserole
From: My Mom

1 can onion soup
1 can beef broth
1 cup real rice
1- 2 Tbsp butter (optional)
Mushrooms (optional)

1. Combine soups, rice, and butter into a baking dish.

2. Bake for 1 hour at 325 uncovered. Stir once after 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cabbage Salad

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law Jackie, but my mom also has a recipe very similar. It is a great fresh side dish!

Cabbage Salad
From: My Sister-in-Law Jackie

1 cup slivered almonds
4 Tbsp seasame seeds
3/4 cup oil (I usually end up using only about 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 pkg Chicken Ramen noodles
6 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
Angel Hair cabbage (mixed with carrots, and red cabbage, or separate pkgs)
Diced Red pepper
Sliced green onions

1. Saute almonds, seeds, and oil until Golden

2. Remove from heat, add sugar, red wine vinegar, and seasoning packet from Ramen. Cool dressing to room temperature.

3. Add cabbage, gr. onions, peppers and crushed up Ramen noodles. Toss together with dressing and serve.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

I love pumpkin bars this time of year. This is my mom's recipe and you can make one jelly roll pan, or two 9x13 pans and it always make a ton. mmmmm!

Pumpkin Bars
From: My Mom

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup Oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups Pumpkin (1 lb can)
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Frosting ingredients:
3-4oz cream cheese (softened)
3 Tbsp melted butter
3 cups powdered sugar (or more)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp Milk (add as needed)

1. Mix all cake ingredients together, beat until smooth

2. Pour in 1 jelly roll pan or 2 9x13 pan (Greased)

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes

4. Let cool completely

5. Mix frosting ingredients together and frost the cake.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Apple Crisp

My mom made this recipe from All Recipe's a few weeks ago when I was at their house, and it was so good that I made the recipe for myself. So easy and a a perfect fall dessert!

Apple Crisp
From: AllRecipes

6-10 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 tspn cinnamon

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn baking soda
1/2 cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan.

3. Mix together the white sugar, cinnamon, and 1 Tbspn flour and sprinkle over apples and stir to coat.

4. Combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder baking soda and melted butter and 1 cup flour. Crumble over the apple mixture

5. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mimi's Chili

It is getting down right cold here in Chicago, and that means it is time for some Chili. Everyone has their own favorite chili recipe, and this is the recipe from my mom, but it is originally from my Mimi. It is delicious, and super easy, perfect for the fall football watching season!

(as you can see I'm missing the onion and green pepper in the picture... sorry! I also sometimes like to add Black beans which I obviously did here since you can see their reflection in the toaster!

Mimi's Chili
From: Mimi

1 lb hamburger
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1 can chopped tomatoes (undrained)
2-3 cans chili hot beans (undrained)
I often add 1 can of black beans because I love them.

1. In a large pot or dutch oven, brown hamburger, onion and green pepper together. Drain off the excess fat.

2. Add tomatoes, sauce, and beans. Stir.  (I sometimes add corn, but if you are doing South Beach Diet Phase one, omit corn)

3. Heat through, top with shredded cheese if desired.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Huevos Rancheros

My brother (David) and his wife (Jackie) made these for us when we were at their house in Napa earlier this summer, and they were so delicious that I had to make them at home! They are pretty easy, and so delicious!

Huevos Rancheros
From: David & Jackie

1 can Black beans (drained but not rinsed)
1/2 Onion (chopped)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
Shredded Cheese
Eggs (we poached ours, but you could also fry or scramble them)

Sour Cream
Hot sauce

1. Saute Onions and Garlic in Oil, then add Black beans. Heat through. (I didn't use onions this time because I forgot to buy one, but I will next time)

2. Preheat Oven to 350. On a cookie sheet place 4 tostadas. Layer each one with a layer of Black beans, then a layer of salsa, followed by a layer of cheese.

3. Place in the oven and heat through (5 - 10 min). While heating poach (or fry, or scramble) 4 eggs (one for each tostada).

4. Remove from Oven, top with egg, and garnish with hot sauce, avocado, and sour cream.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Since football season is now under way, I usually start to try out new appetizers and dips (along with soups, but it still to warm out for that yet). This Dip is apparently not new at all, but I first heard about it at The Bitten Word. However you can also make it the way you see it on the FRANK'S® REDHOT® page. Below is the one I made and thought was best.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
From: The Bitten Word

8 oz pkg Cream Cheese (Softened)
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup Blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or crumbled blue cheese)
2 cups shredded meat from fully cooked rotisserie chicken

1. Pre-heat oven to 350.

2. In a deep baking dish, mix cream cheese, Salad dressing, buffalo sauce, and cheese. Stir until combined. Stir in Chicken

3. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes until heated through. Serve with tortilla chips (or bread)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

We really love the Lettuce Wraps at P.F. Chang's so when I found this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I changed a couple things, and now we have it fairly regularly and love it! Although I have a hard time getting the lettuce to stay wrapped around the meat as I eat it, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know!

Turkey Lettuce Wraps
From: Kalyn's Kitchen

Olive Oil
1/2 red onion (chopped)
1/2 bell pepper (chopped)
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp Ginger root (grated)
Chopped Cilantro
1 Lb Ground Turkey
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sriracha Hot Sauce (or other hot sauce)
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Head iceberg Lettuce

1. Chop Onion, Pepper, Cilantro, Garlic, and Grate ginger. (use as much cilantro as you feel like pulling off :))

2. Heat oil in wok or large frying pan, add onion and pepper and saute for 2 min.

3. Add garlic and ginger and saute one more minute

4. Add ground turkey and mix with vegetables. Allow to cook for 4 minutes or so.

5. Add soy sauce, Sriracha Sauce, and brown sugar.

6. Continue to cook turkey is brown and crumbles (3- 5min)

7. When Turkey is done cooking, add chopped cilantro and cook for another minute

8. Serve inside individual lettuce leaves and wrap lettuce around the mixture. Add rice if desired (we often add Brown rice, But it is good without as well if you are trying to stay away from carbs)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sweet Corn Risotto

I LOVE Corn in the summer and absolutely adore risotto, so it only made sense that I would want to try a Corn Risotto. I looked up several recipes online, but there wast any one that kept it simple enough (I like to keep it simple), and didn't introduce too many spices. I wanted to keep the pure corn flavor throughout the whole dish. So I kind of just did my own version which I'm sure isn't new, but I didn't work off any one recipe. I think it turned out great, especially if you love corn, but if you like a little heat, you could easily spice it up anyway you like! It is a little sweet (like the corn) so I think it is best to have it with something that balances it out is best - like steak and salad with a vinaigrette which is what we had.

-- I totally forgot to take a picture of the ingredients!--

Sweet Corn Risotto

3 ears of corn
1 Tbs Olive Oil & 1 Tbs Butter
1/2 onion chopped
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/4 cup white wine
2-4 cups of chicken broth
2-3 Tbs Milk
1/4 -1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
Salt & Pepper

1. Cook the corn (you can do this anyway you want, grill, boil, bake - what I did was wrap each corn in aluminum foil [with husks still on] and baked it for 20 min at 400 degrees). After corn is cooked and cool, remove husks (if you haven't yet), and cut off the kernals and save for later.

2. While Corn is cooking, heat the oil and butter in a saucepan on Medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Then add Arborio rice cook for 1-2 min (stirring the entire time). Heat Chicken broth in a separate pan.

3. Add Wine to the rice and stir continuously, letting it absorb the wine. When the wine is absorbed start to add chicken broth one ladle full at a time. Let each ladle of broth be absorbed by the rice, stirring often. Repeat until rice is al dente and creamy (about 20-30 min).

4. While rice is cooking, puree 1/2 of the corn with the milk. When Rice is al dente, add the puree, whole corn kernels, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir until combined. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.  mmmm... heavenly!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Avocado, Asparagus, & Tomato Salad

This recipe caught my eye because the main ingredients are 3 of my favorite, especially in the summer. It was so delicious, crisp, refreshing, and on top of that it was EASY. You can also find it HERE.

Avocado, Asparagus and Tomato Salad
From: Thyme for cooking

1 Avocado
Cherry or Roma Tomatoes
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs Olive Oil

1. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, and oil in a medium bowl

2. Cut Asparagus into 1 1/2 inch sections. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drop in cold water, then drain and add to the bowl with the vinaigrette.

3. Slice Cherry tomatoes in half (or cut Roma tomatoes into Chunks). Cut Avocado into cubes and add both Tomatoes and Avocados to the asparagus. Stir well to combine, and serve.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Super Easy Supper

Last night I didn't feel like going to the store, but didn't have a whole lot of fresh stuff to make anything at home. So I remembered that Bill used to make this recipe he found from "A Man, A Can, A Plan," that was super easy, but I couldn't find the recipe and we didn't have the exact ingredients anyway so I came up with something else with the ingredients we did have.

It turned out pretty good. It doesn't have any meat, so if you need to have meat at dinner, this isn't for you. But this took all of 15-20 minutes from beginning of 'prep' to serving, and it made a lot - way too much for 2 people! Since I was just putting it together at the last minute, and didn't really have any idea how it would turn out, I didn't take any pictures... sorry about that!

Super Easy Supper

1 1/2 cup Instant Brown Rice
1 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans (I slightly drained mine with the lid of the can, but did not rinse)
1 can Ro*tel (do NOT Drain)
1 1/3 cup Water

1. In a large Sauce Pan, add rice, corn, Ro*tel, black beans, and water. Stir together.
2. Heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Cover and boil for 7-10 min.
3. Remove from heat and let sit 5 min.
4. Serve in a bowl or in taco shells. (if desired garnish with cilantro, sour cream, salsa, or avocado)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chicken & Asparagus with 3 Cheeses

Chicken, Asparagus, and Cheese? Sounds like a match made in heaven to me... I found the recipe here, but made a few substitutions. It was Creamy and delicious!

Chicken and Asparagus with 3 cheeses
From: Kalyn's Kitchen

Boneless,skinless chicken breast
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
3 oz. soft goat cheese
3 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1. Preheat oven to 375. Trim fat and membrane from Chicken breasts and cut each one in half.

2. Season Chicken with Salt & pepper, then saute in a large fraying pan with 1 Tbs olive oil. Cook until chicken pieces are well browned on both sides.

3. Meanwhile, trim asparagus diagonally into 2 inch pieces. Boil pan of water, and put asparagus pieces in and let boil for 3 minutes - drain and then put them in cold water - then drain well.

4. Spray casserole dish with nonstick spay. Layer in the browned chicken, then the asparagus. Use chicken broth to deglaze the pan you cooked the chicken in (make sure to scrape up allt he little browned bits). Let it simmer about 5 minutes.

5. Lower heat and whisk sour cream into sauce and continue to heat over low heat. When it is hot, add goat cheese and Parmesan and whisk into sauce until melted. Do NOT boil.

6. Pour sauce over chicken and asparagus and sprinkle sharp cheddar over the top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is starting to bubble (don't overcook).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fajita Sweet Potatoes

When I found this recipe, I thought it looked so easy and I love sweet potatoes so I had to try it. I found the recipe HERE. It turned out fantastic. These are a great easy side to throw with anything from steak to hamburgers, and I have had them many times since I found the recipe.

Fajita Sweet Potatoes
From: The Bitten Word

2 Large Sweet potatoes
Olive Oil
Fajita seasoning mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Peel the potatoes and dice them into half-inch cubes. Place potatoes in a plastic resealable bag. pour in some olive oil (enough to coat the potatoes)

3. Sprinkle fajita seasoning (anywhere from 2 Tbls to half the package) over the potatoes and shake together so the potatoes get evenly coated.

4. Spread potatoes on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake about 35-40 min or until potatoes are fork-tender with a light caramelized crust on the outside. Season with salt and pepper if desired and serve.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicken Piccata

One of the blogs I read called Closet Cooking - always has delicious dishes featured... here is another one I saw and thought I could try at home. It was really easy and super delicious. I love capers so it was perfect for me.

Chicken Piccata
From: Closet Cooking

2 Chicken Breasts (butterflied)
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
Splash of white wine (can be omitted)
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 lemon (juice)
1/2 lemon (sliced)
2 Tbsp Capers
Salt and Pepper
Parsley (as Garnish)

1. Place the chicken between plastic and roll/pound the chicken to 1/4 inch thin

2. Season the Chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the Chicken in the flour

3. Heat the oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a pan.

4. Add the chicken and fry until golden brown on both sides (about 3 min per side). Set aside.

5. Place the wine, stock, lemon juice, lemon slices and capers in the pan and deglaze it.

6. Simmer until the liquids reduce by half.

7. Stir in 1 Tbsp butter and pour over the chicen and garnish with parsley (serve over rice or orzo pasta) ***I served over orzo, but I may try serving it over brown rice next time***

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Basil Chicken Pasta

I love pasta, especially Angel Hair, so this one jumped out at me and I had to try it. I found this recipe here, and it turned out so delicious and very fresh and light tasting. It was also very easy (especially if you cook the chicken the night before), so this made it a keeper!

Basil Chicken Pasta
From: Good Eats

1 (8oz) pkg Angel Hair Pasta
Olive Oil
1/2 finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic chopped
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
4 tsp dried basil (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil if you are fortunate enough to have fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup heavy cream (you could probably use 1/2 & 1/2 or maybe even milk)
Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook angel hair pasta according to directions until al dente
2. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
3. Saute onions and garlic.
4. Stir in tomatoes, chicken, basil, salt, cream, and red pepper flakes
5. Reduce heat to medium and cover skillet. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until mixture is hot and tomatoes are soft.
6. Serve over angel hair pasta and top with Parmesan cheese

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bacon Brunch Bites

I like breakfast, but I never seem to have time to make anything to interesting during the week, so on the weekend sometimes I experiment. This was a recipe I found here, and turned out pretty good, but beware your house will smell like bacon and onions for quite a while after.

Bacon Brunch Bites
From: My Wooden Spoon

1 Can of Pillsbury Recipe Creations
1/2 cup bacon (about 10 slices) - chopped
1/3 cup Shredded Cheese
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup of whipping cream

1. Fry chopped bacon with onion in frying pan

2. While cooking, unroll dough and cut into 12 squares. Place squares into ungreased muffin tin (I might try spraying it with a bit of PAM next time - or I might use my silicone muffin cups)

3. Spoon in cheese then top with bacon and onion mixture on top of that.

4. In a bowl, beat your egg and cream together and pour about 1 tblsp of the cream mixture into each cup.

5. Back at 375 for 12-15 minutes (I burnt the bottom of mine a bit so next time I might start with 10 min) Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spicy Macaroni & Cheese

As you probably can tell I really enjoy the recipes at The Pioneer Woman Cooks. This is another one of hers you can see here (with much better pictures). I liked the flavor, but it seemed a little soupy and the cheesy sauce didn't stick to the pasta, maybe I didn't drain the pasta enough.

I think next time (and believe me there will be a next time) I would add more cheese (because everything is better with more cheese)... maybe mix the pepper jack with a different kind of cheese, and maybe try it with macaroni pasta instead of Cavatappi. I would also probably cut the amount in half, because it made enough for a family of 4 or even 6, but way to much for 2 people!

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese
From: The Pioneer Woman

4 cups cooked Macaroni or cavatappi
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 finely diced red onion
1/2 diced red bell pepper
1 finely diced jalapeno (if you like more heat, include some seeds)
1 4oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup cream
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
2 Tbs butter

1. Boil pasta until Al dente.
2. In a large skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic and veggies over medium heat for a few minutes
3. Add in canned chilies and stir around
4. Drain Pasta and add to skillet
5. Pour on cream, add Cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste
6. Stir gently, add butter and stir again, and serve


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