Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

I found this recipe on the side of a red velvet cake box. I thought they would be the perfect Christmas cookie with their red color and all. They were very easy to make! I made one change. The original recipe called for 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tsp of cornstarch, but I had tons leftover, so when I make these again I will use 1/2 instead. FYI, this dough is very sticky. You MUST use a scoop to handle the dough. Just like my brownie crackle recipe here, you need to drop the dough from the scoop straight into the powdered sugar mixture and carefully roll it around. If you try to make balls with your hands, you will just make a mess.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
adapted from duncanhines
6 TBSPs butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter; set aside to cool. Place powdered sugar and cornstarch in shallow dish. Mix with a fork to blend.
2. Place cake mix, cooled butter, eggs and lemon zest in large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and a dough forms.
3. Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on cool, ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
4. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
5. Store in airtight container with wax paper or parchment separating layers.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Reindeer Noses

My kids and I made these this week and gave a few away to friends. It was a fun treat for them to help with.

Reindeer Noses
Pretzel rings
Hershey's Kisses
Red M&M's
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Place the pretzel rings on a foil lined baking sheet. Put one Hershey's Kiss in the center of each pretzel ring. Bake for 4 minutes to soften the Kisses. Remove from oven and push an M&M into the center of each Kiss. Cool completely to harden. To speed up the process you can stick them in the refrigerator.


Creamy Garlic Pasta

Here's another Pinterest meal that I tried recently. It was very tasty! I like that you cook this all in one pan instead of making a sauce and cooking the pasta separate. Less dishes!! Serve it immediately, because sauce absorbs fast and then it isn't as creamy.

Creamy Garlic Pasta
adapted from thecheesepusher.tumblr.com
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
¾ cup heavy cream
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

1. In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
2. Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

Tip: Pay attention to the liquid as the pasta is cooking. If it starts to get low, turn the heat down a little.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

I love a good slow cooker recipe, especially when I can just dump in a bag of frozen chicken! I made this a few days ago, and we all loved it. My 2 year old kept asking for more chicken, and I ate too much!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
adapted from sixsistersstuff.com
1 3lb. bag of frozen chicken breasts
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 TBSPs canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBSPs cornstarch dissolved in 6 TBSPs water
Sesame seeds

1. Place frozen chicken into a slow cooker.
2. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
4. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve cornstarch in water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened (if sauce isn't thickened after 10 minutes, leave slow cooker on high and whisk until thick). Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving.
5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.

Caramel Grapes

These are like a mini caramel covered apple! I found some gigantic grapes at the store and remembered seeing this on Pinterest. My kids and I made them as a snack. I bought some caramel dip and heated it a little to make it easier to coat the grapes and then we rolled them in nut topping.




Monday, November 5, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes

Don't these cupcakes look fun?! I made these for a get together with some great friends. I knew it would be a lively time, so I needed suitable cupcakes for the occasion. There are 3 different parts to these, and they are all pretty easy. The coke flavor is very slight, but makes for an interesting ingredient.

Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes
adapted from confessionsofacookbookqueen.com 
Cupcakes
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 cup Coke, Pepsi, or other cola product

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, add cake mix, butter, buttermilk, eggs, and Coke. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase speed to medium. Beat for 2 minutes.
3. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Place cupcakes on cooling racks until cooled.

Cherry Frosting
2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 cup shortening
16 maraschino cherries, chopped small enough to fit through piping tip
4 TBSPs of juice from a jar of maraschino cherries
8 cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and shortening together, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add maraschino cherries and juice; beat until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beat on med/high speed until light and fluffy. Pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes and place in the refrigerator until well chilled (about an hour) then make your glaze.

Chocolate Cola Glaze
4 TBSPs melted butter
2 TBSPs cocoa powder
1/4 cup Coke, Pepsi, or other cola product
2 cups powdered sugar
 Maraschino cherries/gummi Cola bottles for garnish

Melt the butter in a small pan over medium low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the cocoa powder and Coke and whisk in well. Once the mixture just begins to boil, remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar. Spoon the frosting over the cupcakes and top with a cherry and gummi Cola bottle before set.

Tips:
*Slowly spoon the glaze onto the top of each cupcake. If you put on too much it will drip all the way down the sides.
*Take out the cherries that you are going to use for garnish and set them on a paper towel to soak up some of the extra juice before placing on top of the cupcakes.
*Keep the cupcakes in the fridge until about an hour before serving.
*If you are spreading on the frosting and not piping it on high, you can half the cherry frosting recipe.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Witch Broomsticks

This is the easiest Halloween treat ever! Reese's peanut butter cups and pretzel sticks are all you need. Your kids can make them for you!


This post is dedicated to my sister Jennifer. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mini Banana Muffins

This is a great way to use up your mushy bananas! And because they are mini muffins, they only bake for 15 minutes instead of an hour like banana bread. These would also be good with chocolate chips. This recipe makes about 48 mini muffins, but you can half it.

Mini Banana Muffins
adapted from foodnetwork.com
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 TBSP milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray, or use liners.
2. Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
5. Fill muffin cups using a small scoop (1 TBSP). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and finish cooling on rack.

Makes about 48 muffins

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chicken Quesadillas

When I make this slow cooker chicken taco meat here, we always have lots of leftovers, so sometimes instead of having tacos again, I change it up a bit and make quesadillas. It's practically the same thing, but it seems like a different meal. :) This isn't a real recipe with measurements. It's more like an idea.

Chicken Quesadillas

Tortillas
Chicken taco meat from this recipe here
Chopped tomato
Sliced green onion
Shredded cheese
Spray butter or cooking spray
Sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole for dipping

Heat griddle or skillet. Mix some chopped tomato and green onion with your leftover chicken taco meat. If your taco meat is cold, you might want to heat it a little in the microwave first. Spray one side of a tortilla and place it sprayed side down on griddle. Sprinkle some taco meat on the tortilla. Sprinkle some cheese on top of the meat. Place another tortilla on top. Spray top tortilla. When bottom tortilla is lightly browned and crispy, carefully flip the quesadilla over. Cook other side until done. Remove from griddle and cut into triangles with a pizza cutter.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole for dipping.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Easy Quiche

I like to make quiche for dinner on occasion. I usually just see what I have in my fridge, and figure out what to throw in there. I've used Swiss, Jarlsberg, Gruyere, Monterey jack, Colby jack, queso fresco, and cheddar. They all are good, though I prefer Monterey jack with a little cheddar. For the meat, I use bacon, turkey bacon, or ham, and then onions add for flavor. If you want a vegetarian quiche, you can substitute frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained. I've also added cooked broccoli, and mushrooms would work well too (we don't like them). Quiches are very versatile! I basically used the Williams-Sonoma recipe that I previously posted, and just simplified it.

Easy Quiche
1 9in. deep dish prepared crust (like Pillsbury crust, or make this Quick Pie Crust)
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled, bacon or ham pieces
1/4 cup sautéed onion or sliced green onion

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick bottom and sides of crust with fork. Cover crust with foil, poke a few holes in it, then press it into the pastry-lined pan. Bake the pastry for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the pastry looks dry but not brown, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the oven; reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.
2. While crust is baking, in a medium bowl combine eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, cheese, bacon, and onion. Stir to combine. When the crust has finished baking, pour egg mixture into the crust.
3. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. If the edges are browning too quickly, cover them with strips of aluminum foil. Cool 15 minutes then serve.

Note: If the crust falls it's OK. It happens sometimes. Just pour your filling in and if some spills over the side of the crust and goes underneath it will still be fine. It won't be as pretty, but it will work. Sometimes I move my oven rack to one spot below the middle, especially if I'm having crust issues, just to make sure the bottom isn't soggy.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pepperoncini Beef

This is a recipe from ourbestbites.com that I use to make sandwiches for one dinner and taquitos on another night. Two for one! You cook the beef in the crock pot with a jar of pepperoncinis which gives it a very different and slightly spicy flavor.

Pepperoncini Beef
adapted from ourbestbites.com
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TBSPs of olive or cooking oil
3 lb. beef roast, trimmed of excess fat
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 16-oz. jar sliced pepperoncinis, undrained

1. Heat oil in a pot or high-sided skillet over high heat. While the oil is heating, combine the salt and pepper and rub it into the meat. Add more if necessary.
2. When the oil is hot, sear the roast on all sides so the outsides of it is browned and a little crispy.
3. Transfer the roast to a slow cooker and add the minced garlic and the entire jar of pepperoncinis.
4. If possible, cook on high until the liquid comes to a boil and then turn it to low and cook until the roast shreds easily with a fork, for a total cooking time of about 6-8 hours. If not possible, cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
5. Drain and shred. Keep the peppers!

Sandwiches
Crusty sandwich rolls
Sliced provolone cheese

Slice the rolls and spread lightly with mayonnaise and then top with the shredded beef. Add a slice of provolone cheese and then place under the broiler for 1-3 minutes or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Taquitos
Tortillas (corn or flour)
Crumbled Queso Fresco (or shredded pepper jack or monterey jack)
Cooking spray
Salt

Sprinkle 1-2 TBSPs shredded beef on each tortilla and about 1 TBSP of cheese. Roll up and place seam side down on greased baking sheet. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until tortilla is crispy and edges are lightly browned. Serve with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole








Thursday, September 13, 2012

2 Ingredient Fudge

This is an embarrassingly easy recipe. I wanted to make some pink fudge for the baby shower that I helped out with last month, and when I did a Google search for pink fudge, I kept seeing this recipe. After trying and failing at a white chocolate cherry fudge, I made this. I don't necessarily love the fake strawberry flavor of the frosting, but you can make it so many different ways. I also made some with vanilla frosting and added a little food coloring and peppermint extract, and that one was really good! I will make this again, which is why I decided to add it to my blog. I even found a chart with lots of different combinations here. Next time I'm going to try chocolate. :)

2 Ingredient Fudge
cookiesandcups.com
1 (16 oz) can of strawberry frosting (or any flavor)
1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips (or any flavor)

1. Prepare a 9x9 pan by spray lightly with cooking spray or line pan with foil.
2. Over a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt your white chocolate chips.
3. When chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in your strawberry frosting, evenly.
4. Spread in your prepared pan and place in fridge to set for 30 minutes.

Cut into squares to serve. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.



Cheesy Ranch Tater Tots

I make a lot of frozen tater tots. We like to eat them with sloppy joes, BLTs, and burgers. I saw a yummy looking recipe on Pinterest for cheesy fries, where you make your own fries and add lots of delicious fattening toppings, so I tried it with my frozen tater tots. I usually half this when I use it as a side for my family.

Cheesy Ranch Tater Tots
adapted from ohsodelicioso.com
1 bag frozen tater tots (or french fries)
Sour Cream Ranch Sauce
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup milk
Toppings
1 cup (or as much as you like) Shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup real bacon bits
1/4 cup green onions
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook frozen tater tots according to package directions.
2. Spread 3/4 of the sour cream ranch sauce onto an oven safe serving platter. (I used a cookie sheet)
3. Arrange tots on top of the sauce.
4. Drizzle remaining sauce on the top, and sprinkle on the toppings.
5. Place under broiler for a few seconds to melt the cheese.
Serve immediately



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spinach Salad with Pasta & Teriyaki Chicken

I had to hurry and add this salad recipe before fall is here! We ate this for dinner many times over the summer. It's a very filling salad because it has pasta and chicken. I've been using a few different recipes when I make this, so I kinda make it a little different every time. This is how I like it best, but it's easy to adjust the salad ingredients to taste. Sometimes I don't add the parsley, sesame seeds, or Parmesan, and it's still great. I originally got this recipe from a friend and combined with this recipe here, I tweaked them to make it how I wanted. Make sure you serve it immediately after adding the dressing so the spinach isn't soggy. Sometimes I like to mix everything except the spinach, dish it up for my kids, and then stir in their spinach, because it won't be the same the next day, and I HATE to have soggy leftover salad that you can't save. It makes a bunch, so don't make that mistake like I have!

Spinach Salad with Pasta & Teriyaki Chicken
Dressing
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup bottled teriyaki sauce
2 TBSPs rice vinegar
2 TBSPs cider vinegar
3 TBSPs sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salad
8 oz bow tie pasta, cooked, drained, and cooled
2 cups cooked chicken, tossed with 2-3 TBSPs teriyaki sauce
1/2 bag fresh spinach (about 5 ounces)
3/4 cup craisins
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 TBSPs sesame seeds, toasted
3/4 cup. honey roasted peanuts
Fresh Parmesan (optional)

1. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended.
2. Mix about 1/2 cup of the dressing with the cooked pasta in a large bowl and marinate for at least one hour.
3. Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving, add pasta and toss. Add dressing to taste and toss. Serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 large servings

This is it minus the sesame seeds and Parmesan.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BLT Canapés

Here's another baby shower recipe. I had to look up the definition of canapé because I wasn't exactly sure what it meant. It's an appetizer consisting of a piece of bread or toast or a cracker topped with a savory spread. I copied this recipe from a cookbook I checked out from the library a long time ago, and decided to make it so I could use some cherry tomatoes from my garden. I loved these! I doubled the recipe and had a little bacon mayo left over so my husband and kids finished it off. You could also try it with baguette slices.

BLT Canapés
1 cup mayo
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 loosely packed cup chopped fresh parsley
Dash of cayenne pepper
8-12 slices sandwich bread
24 cherry tomatoes, halved OR 24 thin slices of plum tomato
Shredded lettuce

1. Combine the mayo, bacon, and parsley in a small bowl. Season with cayenne pepper. The bacon mayo can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven broiler. Using a small biscuit or round cookie cutter (mine is 2 inches in diameter), cut 24 rounds from the slices of bread. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and broil until lightly browned on one side, 1-2 minutes.
3. When ready to serve, arrange bread rounds on platter, browned side down. Spread 1-2 tsps of bacon mayo on each round, then top with tomato and lettuce. Serve at once. Makes 24.

I used white and wheat bread.

A pile of bacon mayo.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I tried a bunch of new recipes this week because I helped make some food for a baby shower. I was very fortunate to have almost everything turn out fabulous. You never know quite what you'll get when you're trying new stuff. These cupcakes weren't totally new though. I took my white cupcake recipe and doubled it, adding a little pink lemonade mix, and a tiny bit of food coloring. Then I found a recipe for pink lemonade frosting. I was very happy with the results! One tip for the frosting: make sure you stir the frozen concentrated pink lemonade before measuring it out because it separates in the can.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 TBSPs sweetened powdered pink lemonade mix (like Country Time)
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 tsps vanilla extract
Pink food coloring (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and lemonade and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk and vanilla; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (I use a muffin scoop that holds about 1/4 a cup). Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing. Makes 24-28 cupcakes

Pink Lemonade Frosting
adapted from realmomkitchen.com
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening
Zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 TBSPs milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 pound package or 7 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Pink food coloring (optional)

Cream butter, shortening, and lemon zest together. Add lemonade concentrate, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, mixing well until light and fluffy. Beat in the food coloring. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.



I'll be posting a few more recipes soon.....


Friday, August 10, 2012

Gorgonzola Pear Toasts

I love these! I had this appetizer at a baby shower I attended, and I couldn't stop eating them. They look fancy, but are practically effortless! I bought a bag of candied pecans, which you can find on the baking aisle, but you can make your own too.

Gorgonzola Pear Toasts
Lindsay Walden
1 baguette sliced
2 TBSPs olive oil
8 oz cream cheese
4 oz Gorgonzola cheese
1 (15oz) can of sliced pears, drained
1/2 cup candied pecans
2 TBSPs chopped parsley

Lightly brush tops of sliced bread with olive oil. Toast in oven at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Combine cream cheese and Gorgonzola then spread on top. Add a sliced pear then sprinkle with candied pecans and fresh parsley.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad

Here's another yummy main dish salad I like to make in the summer. You can use a rotisserie chicken from the store, and there is absolutely no cooking involved. I boil frozen chicken breasts, and because that makes them bland, I add some dressing to the chicken and let it sit in the fridge.  If you're not going to eat all of this right away, leave the ramen noodles out and just sprinkle them on your individual serving and then mix them in. They get soggy, and then the salad isn't the same.

Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad
Dressing
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 TBSP teriyaki sauce
3 TBSPs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Salad
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1 package (3 oz) ramen noodle soup mix (any flavor)
1 bag (16 oz) coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (2 oz)
2 small cans mardarin oranges, drained
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional

1. In small bowl, beat dressing ingredients with wire whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is well blended. In a separate bowl cover chicken with 1/4 cup of dressing and toss. Place chicken and remaining dressing in refrigerator for a couple of hours.
2. Break up ramen noodles in bag before opening. Discard seasoning packet. In a large bowl add chicken, noodles, coleslaw, green onion, and almonds; mix well. Add oranges, drizzle on remaining dressing, and stir to combine. Serve immediately. Makes 8 main dish servings.




Easy 4th of July Dessert Idea

I didn't want to make a fancy dessert for the 4th this year, but I still wanted it to look festive. I made an angel food cake from a boxed mix. All you do is add water, and I think they taste better than store bought. Slice it up, add a little whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries, and you're done!




I started to make it look like a flag, but gave up when the strawberries started tipping over.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Taco Pizza

We eat a lot of taco, burrito, and enchilada dinners. We also like pizza, so when I saw this on pinterest I knew we'd love it. It's pretty much like a burrito, but with a crescent roll crust. We ate it for dinner, but you could also cut it up into small appetizer sized squares. I served it with a little sour cream...yum!

Taco Pizza
adapted from realmomkitchen.com
1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
2 (8 oz.) cans Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 small can sliced black olives
4 green onions, chopped

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning to the ground beef according to the package directions.
3. Unroll crescent rolls into rectangles. Place in ungreased 11 1/2 inch x 16 1/2 inch jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Press dough over the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust. Bake at 375 oven for 11 to 13 minutes or just until golden brown.
4. Microwave beans in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Carefully spread beans over warm crust creating a thin layer. Top with cooked beef mixture, sprinkle with cheese followed by tomatoes, black olives and green onion.
5. Return to oven for 3-6 more minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 main dish servings or 48 appetizers.




BLT Chicken Salad

I'm always looking for new main dish salads for dinners in the summer. I took this salad to a gathering last week, and had enough leftovers to feed it to my family too. My 2 big kids ate it right up. I even got a "This is the best salad ever, mom". The dressing was good, easy to make, and interesting addition with the BBQ sauce. I also got to use some of my MANY cherry tomatoes we've been picking from our garden.

BLT Chicken Salad
adapted from tasteofhome.com
1/2 cup mayo
3 to 4 TBSPs BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 TBSP finely chopped onion
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 cups salad greens (I used a bag of butter lettuce)
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (I marinated mine in a little BBQ sauce and then cooked it on my George Foreman grill.)
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Place salad greens on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with tomatoes, chicken and bacon; garnish with eggs. Drizzle with dressing. Makes 8 servings


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Easy Beef Enchiladas

This is another enchilada recipe that my family likes. It's pretty much the one from the side of a can of enchilada sauce, with a few changes. We like more cheese, and I like to add a little sour cream and some onions.

Easy Beef Enchiladas
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 can (19oz or 20oz) red enchilada sauce, divided
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
10 tortillas
chopped olives (optional)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 13X9 inch glass baking dish. In a large skillet add onion and ground beef. Cook over med-high heat and stir until beef is browned; drain. Stir in 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce and 1 cup of the cheese.
2. Spoon enchilada filling onto tortillas (about 1/4 cup each); roll up and place seam sides down in baking dish.
3. Combine remaining enchilada sauce and sour cream and pour over the top of the tortillas in dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and chopped olives if desired.
4. Bake 20 minutes or until hot.
Makes 10 enchiladas

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

I seem to be getting all my new recipes to try from pinterest these days. These were great! My kids loved them, and they were easy. What more can you ask for?! To make them even easier you could use a box of Jiffy cornbread mix (but that might make a few less). They make a fun meal for kids, and would be a good man snack too.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins
adapted from hopestudios.blogspot.com
Cornbread 
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups corn meal
1/3 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup if you want it sweeter)
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

5 beef hot dogs, cut into 1 inch pieces

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a mini muffin pan.
2. Combine ingredients just until dry ingredients are moistened. Don't over beat.
3. Spoon 1 TBSP of batter into each muffin cup. Then press a  hot dog piece into the batter.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Makes about 30 mini muffins