Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easy Shepherd's Pie

I make this shepherd's pie every couple of months. It is in no way an elegant meal. I was able to get a nice picture, but you should have seen my husband's plate! I love it because it's easy and it's an all in one dish. I make my bread machine rolls to go with it and I have a meal. The significant thing about this recipe is the garlic mashed potatoes. I use minced garlic in a jar, a packet of brown gravy, and sometimes (I hate to admit) instant mashed potatoes.
Easy Shepherd's Pie
1 lb. ground beef
2 cups hot mashed potatoes
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup beef gravy

1 Brown meat in large skillet; drain.
2 Mix potatoes, cream cheese, 1/2 cup cheese, and garlic until well blended.
3 Combine meat, vegetables and gravy; spoon into 9-inch square baking dish.
4 Cover with potato mixture and remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 min. or until heated through.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Radish Dip

This is one of my favorite dips! It's made with vegetables so it has to be good for you, right?! We love to eat it with Wheat Thins and Sunchips. It's a great dip for your relish tray.
Radish Dip
1 bunch radishes, washed with ends cut off
8oz cream cheese, softened
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Chop radishes in food processor; drain out any liquid. Using a mixer, stir chopped radishes into cream cheese. Add all other ingredients; mix well. Chill. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pork Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Rice and Creamy Jalapeno Dressing

 We went over to our friends, the Marzetta's, for dinner a few months ago and had the best tacos ever! They emailed me these recipes and since then, I've made these tacos 3 times. Our favorite thing about them is the meat. I had been wanting to find a sweet pork taco meat recipe, and this one is perfect. There is also a rice recipe that goes along with these. You can use it as a side or as a filling with the meat. The dressing is wonderful too.

Creamy Jalapeno Dressing
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
1 small bunch cilantro
2 large jalapenos (seeds almost removed for mild, more if you like it hot)
1/2 yellow onion
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
1 tomatillo, quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1 Ranch Dip powder mix packet

Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Makes 3 cups.
(This recipe originally called for fat-free sour cream, low-fat mayo, and skim milk, but I just use less healthy regular stuff. I also half this recipe because we don't use as much as it makes.)

Sweet Pork Taco Meat
1 3-5 lb. boneless pork roast
2 16oz. jars of your favorite salsa
2 cups brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place roast in a crock pot. Pour 1 jar of salsa over pork and 1 cup of brown sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low overnight, approximately 8-10 hours. In the morning drain the crock pot of all the juices. Shred pork with fork and remove fatty pieces. Pour 2nd jar of salsa and 1 cup of brown sugar over the shredded meat in crock pot and cook on low 8-10 more hours. Makes a lot of meat.

Cilantro-Lime Rice
1 tsp olive oil or butter
2/3 cup white rice
1 lime, juiced
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil or butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil. At boiling cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Fluff with fork. Add cilantro right before serving. Serves 4-6

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lasagna Roll-Ups

I whipped up this yummy dish last night. I had two recipes and I mixed and matched to come up with this. It turned out beautiful! It would be a nice entertaining dish with a salad and bread. You could leave out the chicken and add a little more ricotta for a vegetarian meal.
Lasagna Rolls-Ups
10 cooked lasagna noodles
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 (6.5 oz) container of Alouette Garlic and Herb spreadable cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 9x13 baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of marinara sauce.
2. In a medium bowl combine chicken, Alouette cheese, ricotta, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and basil. Stir until well combined.
3. Arrange noodles on a flat surface. Spread 1/4 cup of chicken mixture onto each noodle. Roll up and place seam sides down in prepared baking dish. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over roll ups. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella over the top.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes more.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is one of my Mom's recipes that she got from her mom. She made it while I was visiting her over spring break and it was sooo good. Very moist and chocolaty!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1. In a small bowl melt the chocolate squares in the microwave.
2. In large bowl combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla, and melted chocolate. Beat well.
3. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Spray two loaf pans with non stick cooking spray. Coat pan with sugar. Pour into prepared pans.
5. Bake at 350 degrees, 55-60 minutes or until toothpick entered into center comes out clean.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cole Slaw

This is a copycat recipe found all over the internet. It's by far my favorite cole slaw recipe. I like to serve it with hot dogs and hamburgers, instead of fries. It's also great with BBQ everything!

Cole Slaw
Adapted from
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 TBSP white vinegar
2 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1 16oz bag Fresh Express Old Fashioned Cole Slaw

In a large bowl combine the sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Add cole slaw and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for a least 2 hours.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Cheese

This is one of those dishes my mom makes that has never had a name. It's usually called, "You know, that chicken with the soup and cheese." We like it so much that I decided it deserved a name and a place on my blog. It's very easy and yummy!
Creamy Chicken and Cheese
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom OR cream of chicken soup (I like the cream of chicken)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp ground sage
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Place chicken in a 9X13 in baking dish. In a bowl, combine soup, cheese, sage, and onions. Mix well and spread on chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Move chicken from baking dish to serving plate. To make gravy, add a little milk to the sauce in the baking dish and whisk to combine. Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 6

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies are my husband's favorite. I prefer chocolate chip, but when he's nice I make these for him. :-) I found this recipe last year, in a cookbook called "Blue ribbon recipes: 693 award-winners from America's state and county fairs". I thought it looked interesting because you soak the raisins in the eggs for an hour. This makes the raisins very moist and plumps them up a little. We also like the sugar coating on the cookies.
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups oats
1 cup nuts (optional)

1. Combine eggs, raisins, and vanilla in a bowl. Let stand 1 hour.
2. In a large bowl cream shortening, brown sugar, and sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon; add gradually to creamed mixture until well combined. Add egg mixture and stir to blend. Fold in oats and nuts, if using, to make a stiff dough.
4. Roll dough into 1in.-1 1/2in. balls. Roll in sugar to coat. Place 2in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 3-4 doz.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Three Packs and a Roast

I love a good crock pot roast! I usually make the kind with onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup, but I tried a new recipe tonight, and liked it so much better. You can throw in some vegetables and potatoes if you want (I used carrots).  The gravy I made with the juices was excellent too!
Three Packs and a Roast
adapted from and
1 beef roast
1/2 envelope Ranch salad dressing mix
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 1/2 cups water

1. In a small bowl combine all 3 seasoning mixes.
2. Place roast on a plate. Sprinkle half of the seasoning mixture evenly over roast and pat on like a dry rub.
3. Place roast in crock pot with the seasoned side down. Sprinkle remaining seasoning mixture over roast.
4. Add some vegetables or potatoes, if desired. Pour water over roast.
5. Cover, cook on low 7-9 hours.

If desired, thicken cooking juices for gravy.

Remove meat to a warm platter, then strain and skim the fat from the cooking juices. Measure out 2 cups of juices and place in a saucepan. Combine 6 tablespoons flour and 2/3 cup cold water, then add to saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until the gravy is thickened.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tuna Melt

I made these tuna melts last night and they were really great! My husband said it was the best tuna melt he's ever had.
Tuna Melt
Adapted from
3 (5 oz) cans solid white tuna, well drained (you can also use chunk light)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 TBSP fresh parsley, finely chopped
Seasoning salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
8 slices French bread (Italian or Sour Dough will also work)
Tomato slices
4 slices Swiss cheese, or shredded Swiss (I used provolone)
Butter or margarine (for cooking)

1. In a bowl combine tuna fish, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery rib, green onions, and parsley. Add seasoning salt and black pepper to taste, and mix well.
2. Compile the sandwich by layering a slice of bread, then the tuna mixture, some Swiss cheese, then tomato’s followed by more Swiss cheese. Butter a slice of bread and lay it on top of the sandwich (butter side up).
3. Heat your skillet or griddle on medium heat. Place the sandwiches butter side down into your skillet. Lightly butter the slice of bread that’s facing upwards. Cook for a few minutes until nicely browned. Flip sandwich over and cook on the other side until it’s browned. Remove from pan and serve immediately. Makes 4 sandwiches

Monday, March 1, 2010

Absolute Best Pancake Syrup and Oatmeal Pancakes

This syrup recipe was suggested by my sister Jenny. We tried it out for dinner tonight with an oatmeal pancake recipe I found online (Nana's Oatmeal Pancakes from and they were super yummy!

Absolute Best Pancake Syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Bring butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla extract, corn syrup, and cinnamon to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once simmering, whisk in baking soda, and cook for 10 seconds before removing from heat. Serve warm. Makes 1 cup.