Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baked Mashed Potatoes

I use a potato ricer when making this dish to eliminate lumps. If you don't like green onions (like my husband), simply eliminate them or substitute with a teaspoon or two of dried, minced onions.

4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted & divided
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
5 green onions, finely chopped
½ cup crushed butter-flavored crackers

Cook potatoes until tender; drain. Place in a large bowl. Add milk, salt and 1 tablespoon butter; beat until light and fluffy. Fold in egg, sour cream, cottage cheese and onions. Place in a greased 1 ½ quart baking dish. Combine the cracker crumbs and remaining butter; sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned.

Porcupine Meatballs

These work both as a main dish and appetizer. I serve them with Baked Mashed Potatoes (recipe will be posted shortly after this one) and salad.

½ cup uncooked long grain rice
½ cup water
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic posder
1 lb. ground beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Add beef and mix well. Shape into 1 ½ inch balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in oil; drain. Combine tomato sauce, water, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce; pour over meatballs; cover and simmer for 1 hour over medium-low heat.

Cheesy Beef Spirals

This is a good, faster alternative to lasagna. I often substitute Italian sausage for 1/2 or all of the ground beef. You can also eliminate the process American cheese and sour cream and simply replace it with 1/2 of the Mozzarella cheese called for in the recipe. Parmesan cheese also adds a nice flavor to this dish. I usually serve this with Caesar salad and garlic bread.

2 cups uncooked spiral pasta (shells or macaroni pasta are fine as well)
2 pounds ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
1 4 ½ oz. jar sliced mushrooms, drained
½ cup sour cream
½ lb. process American cheese, cubed
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the beef, onions and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and mushrooms; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place ½ cup of meat sauce in a greased shallow 2 ½ quart baking dish. Drain pasta; place ½ over sauce. Top with half of the remaining meat sauce; spread with sour cream. Top with American cheese and remaining pasta and meat sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Uncover & bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly.

Creamy Chicken and Rice

Comfort food at its best! Because it makes a lot, I normally cut the recipe in half when making it just for my family of 4 and bake it in a round or square cake pan.

4 cups cooked rice
½ cup butter or margarine, divided
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
½ - 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
4-5 cups cubed cooked chicken
12 oz. process American cheese, cubed (Cheez Whiz is an easy substitute)
2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
1 ¼ cups crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 32)

Spread rice into a greased shallow 3-quart or 13x9x2 inch pan; set aside. In a saucepan, melt ¼ cup butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, bouillon, seasoned salt, garlic powder and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; add chicken, cheese and sour cream; stir until cheese is melted. Pour over rice. Melt the remaining butter; toss with cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

My grandmother made these cookies every year, and they are a sentimental favorite with my family. My husband loves them as well.

2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup Crisco
½ tsp. vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
Additional sugar for rolling cookie dough balls in
Hershey’s kisses

Cream together Crisco, vanilla, sugars, peanut butter & eggs. Combine flour, baking soda & salt and add to creamed mixture. Shape dough into balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Indent Hershey’s kiss into center of each cookie & bake for 2 minutes longer.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake

This recipe is absolutely amazing!! I always get requests for it, and it is seriously not hard at all. It is sure to be a huge hit! Sorry there's no picture. It goes too quickly and my brain doesn't always think fast enough to get a picture before it's served.

1 Oreo Cookie Pie Crust
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp peppermint extract
2 c heavy cream, whipped (using approx. 1/2 c sugar and 1 Tblspn vanilla)

In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Stir in extract, mixing well. Fold in whipped cream. (I usually get sick of "folding" and just stir it.) Pour into pie crust. Cover; freeze 6 hours or until firm. Eat up! Store unused portions (if there are any) in the freezer.

Mint Chocolate Cookies

These are super yummy cookies that are perfect for the holidays. So perfect because they are super quick and easy to make! Enjoy them!

2 chocolate cake mixes
1 brownie mix
3/4 C oil
3 eggs
3/4 C water
Secret ingredient: Andes Mints (shh)

Mix everything together. Form 1 inch balls. Bake 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes. While they are baking, unwrap Andes Mints. After cookies bake, immediately lay one mint on each cookie. Wait one minute and spread the mint (like frosting).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Whole Wheat Bread

This is a yummy, hearty whole grain bread that my family loves with honey butter. It's got a great texture! You use cracked wheat cereal in it, so whenever we make Zoom hot cereal, which is about once a week, we make enough to use the leftovers in this bread. You need a good mixer (Bosch or Kitchenaid). The picture below is of the bread dough before it has risen all the way.

Mix the following and let sit for 10 minutes to proof (it should get bubbly and foamy):

1/2 c. warm water
2 t. yeast
1 t. sugar or honey

Cook 1/2 c. of cracked wheat in 2 cups water with 1/2 t. salt (either crack your own wheat with a wheat grinder set very coarse or use Zoom cereal) . Bring to boil, then simmer until soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

In mixer, mix:

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp sugar or honey
1 c. warm water

Add yeast mixture and 2 c. whole wheat flour. Mix for 2-3 minutes.

Add cracked wheat cereal and about 1 Tbsp of your choice of the following (I add them all):

ground flax seed
sunflower seed
oat bran
wheat bran
wheat germ
sunflower seeds
2 tsp salt

With mixer running, slowly add whole wheat flour until dough ball forms and sides of bowl are clean (usually ends up being about another 2 cups). Mix for 7 minutes.

Divide in half and form into two loaves. If you want to, you can sprinkle the tops with sunflower seeds. Place in well greased loaf pans, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes (until about doubled). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cafe Rio, YUM

Wow, 4 posts in a row. I guess i'm the only one not super busy with Christmas right now.

Well I found this on the Recipe Queens' website . I hope it's legit because i definitely have to try it now. Here's the entry:

Cafe Rio Shredded Pork Salad with Ranch Dressing
OK, I had not been to Cafe Rio until 6 month ago and the food indeed is yummy. My friend gave me this recipe which she got hand me down from all over Utah and she promised that this is the exact recipe for their Shredded Pork Salad with the green dressing. Real copy or not, this is divine. Enjoy!


Night Before:

3 ½ to 4 lb. Pork Roast
2 Tbs Brown sugar
1 to 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

Mix together and rub on pork roast. Put in crock pot on low. Cook all night.

Next morning, add:
1 can coke
1 cup chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped

Keep cooking all day in crock pot on Low.

About an hour before serving, shred roast and add:

1 cup brown sugar

Salad Dressing:

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing Mix
8 oz. can Salsa Verde
2 cloves garlic
¾ cup Mayo
¾ cup sour cream
¼ tsp Tabasco Sauce
¼- ½ cup fresh cilantro

Mix in blender. Add lime juice to taste. Mix ahead of time and chill it for several hours. It can be thinned with buttermilk if needed.

I serve this over Shredded Lettuce and crunched up tortilla chips and top with beans, pork, dressing, cheese. The dressing makes a ton.... Yum

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Add a Little Zest to Your Biscuit

I've never been to Red Lobster, but these are supposed to be like their cheddar biscuits. i found this recipe from Copycat Recipes -link on the side). They were pretty good and easy.

Serves: 8
Prep. Time: 0:15

2 cups Bisquick® baking mix
2/3 cup milk - low fat okay
1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese - low fat okay
1/4 cup butter OR margarine - melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
parsley flakes - as needed

-Combine Bisquick®, milk, and cheddar and beat with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds.
-Spoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
-Bake in 450 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes.
-Combine butter and garlic powder and pour over hot biscuits; sprinkle with parsley.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Real Simple Lasagna

I found this recipe off of the This Week For Dinner website (there's a link on the side). I haven't tried it yet but I thought that was such a good idea to use ravioli for a quick lasagna.

This is from Real Simple magazine
1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
1 18-ounce bag frozen large cheese ravioli, unthawed
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 8-ounce bag shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) grated Parmesan

Heat oven to 350° F. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place 12 ravioli on top. Cover with the spinach and half the mozzarella. Add another layer of ravioli and the remaining sauce, mozzarella, and the Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes more.

I'll post a picture when i try it and let you know how it goes!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Amazing Apricot Chicken

I got this recipe from Chris's family. His mom made it for us after I had Kate and served it with rice-a-roni rice pilaf. Yum. It's a nice quick meal as long as you have the hour for it to cook. I've never tried it in the crockpot but I imagine that would be good as well.

8 boneless chicken breasts
1 (8 oz.) bottle Russian salad dressing
1 cup apricot jam
1 pckg. dry onion soup mix

Place chicken in a greased 9X13 baking pan. Combine dressing, jam, and onion soup mix and pour over chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 for an hour. Makes 8 servings.