Saturday, December 19, 2009

Black Bean n' Pumpkin Chili

This is a new recipe I found and altered to my families taste. Everyone really liked it. Great for this time of year.

1 med. onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans black bean, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cup cooked turkey or chicken, chopped up
1 can (15 oz) canned pumpkin
1 can Italian style tomatoes, undrained, blended
1 cup frozen corn
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil. Add to soup pot with broth, beans, pumpkin, Tomatoes (put them in the blender and blend them so they aren't chunky and then add them to the pot) corn, chicken and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about an hour- until thickened. YOu can also do this in the crock pot on low for 5 or 6 hours.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

2 2/3 cup sugar
1 can solid pack pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cloves
Mix sugar, pumpkin, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. put in 2 9x5" loaf pans and bake at 350 for 60-70 min.
There are lots of mix-ins that you can put in pumpkin bread. It's so versitile that it makes it fun. You can add:
chocolate chips
cinnamon chips (that is what I added in this loaf. SO YUMMY!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Egg Nog Bundt Cake

This is a super easy cake that looks very pretty finished. It flavor is so yummy! We love Egg Nog at our house and the girls look forward to "egg nog season" every year.
4 TBSP melted butter
1 pkg White or Yellow Cake Mix
1 1/2 cups Egg Nog
2 eggs
1 tsp Rum extract
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Bake 350 for 40 min in greased bundt pan.
2 cups powder sugar
2 TBSP melted butter
3 TBSP Egg Nog (more if you like the glaze thinner)
1 tsp vanilla
a few shakes of nutmeg
( in the picture I followed the glaze exactly as the recipe and didn't make it any thinner- that should give you an idea of how thick the glaze turns out with 3 TBSP egg nog)
The cake tastes the best after it has cooled and been in the fridge for a while- it also cuts much easier if it's been in the fridge for a few hours. Store in the refridgerator.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Easy To Freeze Meals

With Baby #4 here- life is much more busy. You can never plan when the baby is fussy, toddler needs a diaper change, preschooler has a meltdown, and 2nd grader needs help with homework. It is always right when I need to be making dinner. Juggling these four girls at this particular time in their lives has been a test. I knew life would be getting more hectic and so before Ava was born, I decided to do a little- No- a lot of cooking- then freezing. I went through my recipes and started to test if they would freeze well for reheating on those inevitable hectic days. Having dancing 2 times a week that you don't get home until 5:30 doesn't help with getting dinner ready either.

So, I have a new label over on the side that says "Easy to Freeze". These recipes I have made and froze and reheated on a busy day. I hope that they will be of help to you on your busy days too. Good luck and enjoy!

Audrey Cox

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Super Easy Key Lime Pie

This is SUPER easy and VERY yummy! My kids really like it- and it's so versitile- you can change it to be any flavor you want.

1/4 cup water
1 pkg. lime flavor jello (you can even use Sugar Free if you'd like)
2 6 oz containers Key Lime Pie Yogurt (you can use the regular of Lite versions)
1 8 oz. container Cool Whip
1 graham cracker pie crust
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the water for 45 -70 seconds or until boiling. Add the jello and wisk until jello is dissolved. Add Yogurt and fold in Cool whip. Spread in crust. Put in fridge for 3-4 hours. Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wild Rice Casserole

This is such an easy recipe. I got the idea from one on the internet and then adjusted it to the ingredients that were easily available to me. I took a picture of the rice and sauce I use so that you would know what I bought. I just got them at Walmart (the only place to buy groceries around here).

4-6 chicken breasts or boneless thighs, boiled and chopped up
1 box Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice cooked according to package directions
1 can French cut green beans
1 jar Bertolli Alfredo sauce
Combine all the ingredients and spread in a 8x12 pan. Crumble a package of Ritz crackers over and melt 1/2 stick butter/margarine and pour over crackers. Cook at 350 for 40 - 50 min. Everyone really likes this recipe- even Alyssa who is not even 2 yet (however, she is an excellent eater)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blueberry Breakfast Cake (or dessert)...

This is so yummy! My kids love it so much that it never makes it out of the oven and until breakfast the next morning- so usually it's dessert or afterschool snack and leftovers for breakfast.

1/2 cup butter/margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1-1 1/2 cups blueberries (you can use fresh or frozen)

Struesel Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cold butter/margarine

Combine butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat well. Add milk, flour, salt, BP- mix well. Fold in blueberries. Put in a square baking pan (9"). I like to line it with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Then I can easily remove it and cut it nicely.
Combine struesel topping ingredients and mix with a pastry cutter. Sprinkle on top and cook at 375 for 35-40 min. Remove and cool for 10 min and the lift foil from pan and fold down edges so it can cool completely. Good warm or cold.

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This is a great breakfast casserole (we had it for dinner the other night though). It would be a great Christmas morning recipe. I just made it up but it turned out really yummy.

1 pkg frozen Hash browns (shredded kind), thawed out
1 pkg frozen peppers/onions combo (some brands have a few other things in it- like a few red pepper and/or a little bit of celery), thawed out
12 eggs
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb sage sausage (the kind in the roll- like ground beef) cook and crumble up
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp Dry mustard
1 cup half n half (or you can use milk)

Dump hash browns in a greased 9x13 pan. Dump peppers/onions combo, and cooked sausage over potatoes and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Stir around with a fork to incorporate all of it together.
Mix eggs, half n half, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Wisk until combined. Pour over veggies/sausage mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese (1 cup).
Cook at 350 for about an hour.
I covered it for 45 min. and uncovered it for the rest. Use your best judgment- however crusty you want your cheese to determine doneness.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Fruit Salad

Sorry for the lack of recipes this summer, but there has been a lack of cooking anything worth sharing this summer. It's hot, I'm uncomfortable, and cooking is the last thing I've wanted to do. Something I do love eating every summer (and anytime in between) is fruit- especially when I'm pregnant. I have passed on my fruit hog genes to my children as well. So this is a salad that I "made up" this summer and my family will down the whole salad in one sitting. Needless to say "WE LOVE IT"
1 pint blueberries
1 container strawberries
~20 grapes cut in half
1 or 2 bananas (if you put in bananas, make sure you don't add them until right before you serve it so they don't get all brown and squishy)
1 0r 2 mangos
1 or 2 peaches
The good thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever fruit you have or what is on sale at the store. These are just the basics. I wouldn't add melons though- wounldn't go with the sauce.
1/3 pkg Instant Vanilla or French Vanilla pudding
Enough orange juice to make it a slightly thickened sauce ~1/4- 1/2 cup
Stir together with a fork until smooth and slightly thickened and pour over fruit. Chill for ~10-20 minutes. I make it- put it in the fridge- get it out after we've eaten dinner- and it's gone in 10 minutes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Creamy Mushroom Chicken

This is a great recipe!! The kids eat this one good. You can use the leftover mushroom top from the Turkey Burger or use a regular 8 oz pkgs. I found this recipe on the back of the chicken bag once and have altered it some (my hobbie). My version is better than the bags.

4 chicken breasts (1 lb). If they are monster breasts -like size DD- I cut them in half so they cook better.
1/2 lb mushrooms (or the leftover Portobello mushroom top from the Turkey Burger recipe below)
6 TBSP butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 3/4 cups chicken broth ( I use 1 3/4 cup water and 2 tsp chicken boullioun granules)
2 TBSP half n half
Spinkle of nutmeg

Brown chicken in 3 TBSP butter in a large skillet. Remove. Add mushrooms and rest of butter to drippings. Cook until tender. Remove. Stir in flour to the melted butter and drippings (this is a roux). It will be a thick paste. Add broth, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Wisk until it blends together and becomes a thickened sauce. Add half n half. Return Chicken and mushrooms to the pan. Spinkle with a little nutmeg. Cover and cook on low for 20-30 minutes. Meat should be 165 degrees. Stir a few times to make sure it isn't sticking. Serve sauce over rice or mashed potatoes.

Frozen Strawberry Pie

Who doesn't like fresh strawberries in the summer? Who doesn't love a frozen treat in the heat of the summer?

This is a fun easy pie that we like in the summer. You could probably use frozen strawberries instead, but we usually use fresh ones. This recipe makes two pies- you can make one for yourselves and take one to the neighbor.

1 pkg 8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups fresh strawberries chopped and mashed a little
1 12 oz carton of cool whip
2 chocolate crumb crusts

Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and strawberries. Fold in cool whip. Put in crusts and freeze 2-4 hours. Remove from freezer 20 minutes from serving so you can cut it.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies... An all time fav!

I found this recipe in a magazine and I really like it because it always turns out well (I seem to alway screw up cookies) and it only make a small batch (I can get about 2 dozen and a few ). That way the fam can eat them all in a few days before they get dried out and stale. And... because I have little will power when it comes to homemade chocolate chip cookies. As Kayla would say, I have a sweet tooth!

1/2 cup butter flavor shortening
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP molasses
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk- whichever you like)

Mix shortening and sugar until creamy. Add molasses , egg and vanilla- mix.
Add dry ingredients except oatmeal and mix- then add oatmeal- mix- add chips- mix. You know the rest of cooking making so I won't bore you with those directions. Cook at 350 for 8-10 min depending on your oven. Mine work best at 9 min. Remover from oven and let cook on pan for 5 min.

Turkey Burger Extrodinaire!!

I'm not a burger person. But I'll have to say I am for this recipe. It's made with ground turkey so it's much leaner and the flavor it superb!! Even my kids LOVE this one (with the exception of Alyssa- I think it's a texture thing with ground meat). Kayla will eat a whole burger- bun and all!! They fight over the leftovers the next day. Top it with light mayo, mustard, tomato and spinach instead of lettuce and this will be the HEALTHIEST burger you ever had. I toast the bun in the toaster a second to give it a little crunch. One more note before I get on to the recipe- I know you're on pins and needles waiting- I've tried the super lean (~93%) and the next leanest (~85%) to see if either make a difference in moistness and flavor. They both tasted the same and turned out equally good so you're probably better off to go with the leanest ground turkey you can buy.

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 portobello mushroom top (I buy the ones that are sliced (2 tops in a pkg and sliced lengthwise))- You just use one, but I have a great recipe that I will post that you can use the leftover mushroom top.
1/2 red pepper chopped fine
1/2 onion chopped fine
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic- minced
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
3 TBSP tomato paste
3 TBSP Italian parsley, chopped fine (in the fresh veggie section by the regular parsley and cilantro- use fresh and not dried parsley- you can definately tast a difference)
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix all ingredients together and shape into burgers. I can usually get 5 or 6 burgers. I sized them according to whose eating them (i.e.- I make Savannah a much smaller one than Dad). Remember though- burgers really shrink up when cooked. Place on a cooking sheet and place under broiler- 4 in. from heat. (I haven't yet tried on the grill- I'm always afraid I'll loose some of the burger through the slats) Turn. Cook until meat thermometer is 165. If you don't have a meat thermometer- WHAT KIND OF COOK ARE YOU!! J/K. Really, if you don't have one you really need one. This burger can seem pink from the tomato paste and red pepper. It may seem pink even though it's done and you don't want to keep cooking thinking it isn't done and end up serving a hockey puck for dinner. For the last few seconds- place a slice of cheese on top- we like the round provolone cheese that comes sliced already. Place on your toasted bun with your favorite fixings (mayo, mustard, spinach & tomato are our favs for this burger). ENJOY a great summer cookout with this recipe!!

Easy To Freeze Recipe:
You can double this recipe and freeze the 2nd half. It thaws easy and you have a super quick dinner!

Buttermilk French Toast

This recipe came from a friend in my previous ward. I don't know what her exact recipe was but I knew kind of what was in it so we improvised. It's hard to mess up french toast so just experiment yourselves.

French Toast Recipe
1 pint Buttermilk
6 eggs
2 TSP vanilla
Day old French Bread

Mix buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Slice french bread and soak in egg mixture. Put in skillet and sprinkle cinnamon on it. Turn and cook other side. Serve with homemade syrup or strawberries and cream. Yummy!!!

Homemade Syrup recipe:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp Mapeline falvoring (an extract)
1 tsp vanilla

Cook until it boils and the sugar is disolved.

Just a note: This recipe is my mom's. I never grew up on "Store bought" syrup. We always made our own. It's so much better than the slimmy bottled stuff. I store the leftovers in a jam jar in the fridge and warm it up in the microwave whenever we need it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cinnamon Carrot Coins

Does your family LOVE cooked carrot? My family DOES!!! If they don't, I bet they will love these ones. These are easy and YUMMY!!

2lb bag fresh carrots
1/4 cup butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
4 TBSP brown sugar
4 TBSP orange juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Peel and slice carrots on a diagonal. Add all ingredients to a medium sized sauce pan. Cook over medium heat with lid on (stiring occasionally) until carrots are tender.

This is actually doubled so if you want to use a 1 lb bag of carrots 1/2 all the ingredients. I like to make this when we serve company so I use the 2 lb bag. My kids love this recipe and eat carrots like they are bunnies. But who wouldn't went they are cooked in brown sugar, cinnamon and orange juice.. not to mention butter. Hope your family enjoys this vegetable side dish as much as mine does.

Beef Stoganoff

Forgive this picture, it looks more orange than it should be. I assure you that it is just the lighting.

I had a great Beef Stroganoff recipe a few years back and it has come up missing. I had been wanting to make it but I couldn't for the life of me find my "good" recipe. So, I remembered all of the ingredients that went in it and used the internet to help me come up with the right porportions and came up with this recipe. I think it is just as good as my original recipe.

1 lb. Beef sirloin, cut into 1 inch strips
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 8 0z pkg mushrooms
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 TBSP flour
Medium Egg Noodles

Brown meat and set aside. Combine mushrooms, onion, garlic and olive oil. Cook until onion is tender. Add broth and let boil. Add ketchup, W. sauce, salt, pepper and stir. Add cooked meat. Stir flour into sour cream and add to beef mixture. Serve over Egg noodles.

Easy To Freeze:
You can freeze the leftovers or make a double batch and freeze half. It thaws easy and serve over fresh noodles. Another quick idea is to use leftove pot roast meat for the beef.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What to do with Leftover Easter Ham???

Do yo have OODLES of leftover Easter Ham? Have you been eating sliced Ham and funeral potatoes for 7 days? I have a few great recipes that you can use some of that leftover Ham in. Here they are:

Fettuccine & Ham Stir Fry

This recipe has been one in my collection for a few years but I've never tried it before. I was sad that I hadn't been enjoying it all this time because it was a real winner!! So YUMMY! My kids were skeptical at first but tried it and liked it. I had to really talk them into trying the asparagus and it wan't their favorite, but nobody died and they would eat it again. Brady and I really like asparagus so we really enjoyed this dish!! Here's the recipe:

1/2 box fettuccine noodles (about 6 oz)

1/2 lb. (a bunch is a lb) fresh asparagus. cut off the bottoms (1/2 of the spear) and then cut those small spears in half so half of your asparagus has tops and half is just stems

~1/2 lb. leftover ham cut into small cubes or julienned (long skinny strips)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 green onions chopped

2 tsp. rubbed sage (in the spice isle)

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp salt

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the fettuccine. In a large skillet, saute the ham, walnuts, onion, sage and salt & pepper in the oil until onion is tender. Add the asparagus an dcook and stir until it is bright green and tender- don't overcook it!! Drain the fettuccine and toss with the ham mixture. Toss in the cheese and enjoy! This recipe fed us one night- NO Leftover of this much to Brady and my dismay.

Crockpot Beans & Ham
1 lb pinto beans (about 2 cups- check the bag for how much is 1 lb.) Cover them with plenty of water and soak them overnight.
3 cups of either water, beef broth, or ham juice (using the ham juice that was in the pan is so yummy. I saved all of the ham juice in a quart jar and used it for these beans twice at Christmastime)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 lb. ham chopped up
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Put the soaked, washed bean into the crockpot. Cover with the water. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 9 hours or on high for ~6. Add more water during cooking if necessary. Great with Corn bread.
This recipe is Savannah's favorite thing for dinner. She'd eat this for dinner every night if I made it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cowboy Cheesy Chicken

This is by far our favorite chicken recipe. Brady says it's as good as a restraunt's. I don't make it that often because it's not exactly low fat- but it's worth all the flavor sometimes. We had downed most of the pan before I got my camera. I love to make this when company comes and Jessica and Cameron were visiting us so it was a must make recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. It's great with the pillaf recipe that can be found in the main dish section under Apricot chicken. The sauce in the bottom of the pan is great on the rice.
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 8oz pkg fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 pkg bacon cooked (not to crispy because you bake it in the oven too) (cut the pkg in half so the bacon stips are half length and use that half of the pkg)
Combine marinade and put 1/2 cup marinade in a plastic bag with the chicken. Save the rest of the marinade. Refridgerate the chicken for 2 hours (sometimes I don't get it in the fridge that long and it still tastes great). Drain and discard the marinade from the chicken. Brown chicken chicken in a little bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with remaining marinade. Place mushrooms in pan that you browed chicken in and cook until tender. Sprinkle over chicken. Spinkle cheese over chicken and place bacon pieces over chicken. Spinkle with parsley and cook at 375 for 20-25 min. Server with lemon rice pillaf. SO YUMMY!!

Cheesy Beef and Spinach Enchiladas

Sorry this isn't the best picture of this dish. It doesn't do it justice. I didn't get a good picture of it until we had almost eaten most of the pan. It is really good though. Even Savannah liked it, which is saying a lot when it comes to enchiladas.

1 lb. ground beef
2 gloves garlic
1 1/2 cups frozen cut leaf spinach
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp cumin
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or the colby jack preshredded kind- easier to find)
1 pkg (8 or 10) 8 inch flour tortillas (I try and find a 10 pack because I usually have one that is messed up- breaks- and I like to have a few back ups- then I have an extra tortilla to give Alyssa since I don't think she'd eat these)
1 can (19oz) Old El Paso Red Enchilada sauce (you can use mild or medium depending on you taste. I use mild to make it more kid friendly, but Brady would prefer the medium)

Toppings if desired:
Sour Cream, Salsa, Fresh Cilantro

Cook ground beef and garlic in a skillet until browned. Drain or pat with a paper towel to get off extra grease. Add spinach and cook until it is thawed. Stir in cream cheese, cumin, chiles and 1 1/2 cups cheese and cook until all combined. Spoon about 1/3 cup beef mixture into each tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down in a greased glass baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over rolled tortillas sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min. I cover them for the first 15 min and remove for the last 5-10 min. Put your favorite topping on. This is great with rice or the Texas Caviar recipe that is under appetizers.

Easy to Freeze:
Make and put in a throw away aluminum pan. Cover with foil and the plastic lid and freeze. Note: Let it cool before you freeze or it will sweat.

Easy Orange Carrot Cake

If you like carrot cake this is a very easy recipe that I found in a magazine. I love it because it has a touch of orange flavor and because it uses a cake mix as a base so it is really easy.
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup oil
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins (optional)- I don't put these in because I don't like raisins in cake
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 TBSP orange juice
1 TBSP grated orange peel (the zest from about 1 med. orange)

Combine cake mix, pudding mix and cinnamon. Whisk the eggs, orange juice and oil: add to dry ingredients. Beat until well blended. Stir in the carrots, raisins and nuts.
Pour batter into 2 greased 9 in round pans and bake at 350 for 30-35 min. Let cool before frosting. Store the cake in the fridge.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Patrician Potatoes

This is a great potatoe side dish. It makes a lot but it keeps really well for left overs. Would be a great side dish to meat for company or feeding the missionaries (we do a lot of that around here).

5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cooked
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 pkg (8 oz) Light cream cheese (you can use regular if you want)
1 cup Low fat sour cream
3 tsp salt
2 tsp minced chives (you can use fresh or the freeze-dried kind you get in the spice isle)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I just use the grated kind in the can and it works great)
1 tsp paprika

Cook potatoes and drain. Add butter, cream cheese, and sour cream and mix until like mashed potatoes. Add salt and chives. Put in a casserole dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and paprika. Cook at 350 for 20-25 min.

We all really like these potatoes and they are even great the next day and the next!

Frosty Toffee Bits Pie

You will LOVE this Pie!!! It is so easy, so fast, and ohhhh so yummy! You will want to make it every weekend. Especially this summer.

3 oz. cream cheese softened
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup half & half (don't have half & half, but you have cream in your fringe?- use half cream, half milk- that's what half & half is)
1 carton (8 oz) Cool Whip thawed
1 pkg (8 oz) Toffee bits (you get them next to the chocolate chips- Health make them- just like the candy bar)
1 graham craker or shortbread prepared crust- I used the shortbreat crust and we really like that one. They are right next to the graham cracker crusts.

Mix the cream cheese and sugar. Pour in the half & half and mix until smooth. Fold in the Cool whip and then fold in the toffee bits. Pour in the crust and freeze for a few hours- 2- 4 is usually good. The whole family loves this easy pie. Great for a fast FHE treat!!

Sloppy Joes

I wish I could say this is a Family Favorite, but I cannot for the life of me get Savannah to eat Sloppy Joes. However, Kayla can't get enough of them. She'll eat a whole one and want more and want them for 3 nights in a row.
I know some of you may be Manwich people out there, but I never grew up on Manwich so to me making them from scratch is easier than having to remember to buy the Manwich.
2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 1/4 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard (the dry kind, but I'm sure you could use the wet kind if thats all that you had)
1/2-3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground allspice (the secret ingredient that makes these so good)

Cook and drain ground beef. Add the rest of the ingredients and put on toasted buns!! Yummy and really fast!!
Easy to Freeze:
Freeze leftovers or make a whole batch and freeze for a busy day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Apple Cake with Butterscotch Sauce

This has to be one of my favorite dessert recipes (o.k., I'm lying I LOVE all my dessert recipes- I could never choose just one. I have a sweet tooth if you can't tell) Anyways, this is SOOOO good and my kids love it. What kid doesn't like butterscotch sauce and whipped cream, even if it's on cardboard. Luckily, this cake if to die for and you'll talk yourself into a piece for breakfast because it's almost like a sweet bread. So, I'll stop babbling and just give you the recipe.
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 cup chopped apples ( this is the point that I altered this recipe, I decided that I like to use the cheese grater to grate the apples rather than chop them- much faster and my kids like it a lot better whent he chunks of apples aren't very noticeable. I use about 3 large apples- Gala is usually what I have on hand, but use your favorite)

Butterscotch Sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Combine dry ingredients together and gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well (batter will be stiff). Add grated or chopped apples until well combined. Spread into a greased or sprayed 9x13 baking pan and cook for 40-45 min. at 350.

In a sauce pan combine the brown supgar and butter. cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Gradually stir in cream and bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly. Remover from heat, serve with the cake (I like to cool it off a while so it's a little thicker). It's really good if the cake is slightly warm. Top with whipped cream. YUMMMMY!!!!

I like to double the sauce recipe because everyone likes LOTS of sauce on their cake and then there is plenty to go around.

Italian Rice

I love rice as a sidedish but sometimes we get tired of Lemon Rice Pilaf (sorry mom, we love that recipe too, it's posted among the side dishes). I came across this recipe a few years ago and we LOVE it too.
1 3/4 cup Chicken broth (I usually never have broth on hand but I always have the chicken boullion granules- use 1 3/4 cup water and 2 tsp granules)
3/4 cup long grain rice, uncooked
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (the seasoning that is a combination of oregano, basil, thyme, etc)
1 cup Fresh spinach, chopped fine. (last time I made this I didn't have any fresh spinach because they were out in the store so I use frozen spinach- it still turned out fine but I sorted through it because the frozen kind usually has a lot of stems in it. If you use frozen, I would only use about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (from the can)
Add broth, rice, Ital. Seasoning, and spinach to a saucepan. Let it come to a boil and boil for 10 min. Cover and remove from the stove and let it sit until the rice is done (~ 15-20 more minutes). Add the Parmesan cheese and stir in. This recipe is really easy to double. It's a great sidedish for chicken or fish and is good enough to serve to company.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beef & Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

MMMMM.... Yummy!!! That's all I can say about these shells! And my kids like them too. Add a green salad and garlic bread or rolls and it's a great meal, even for company!!

24 Jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
1 lb lean ground beef
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (28-32 oz)
1/4 cup water
1 8 oz container chive & onion cream cheese
1 bag (2 cups) Italian blend shredded cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
Italian seasoning sprinkled on top

Cook ground beef and drain of grease. Pour 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 pan bottom. Add the water to the rest of the spaghetti sauce and save for the top of the shells. Mix together the cream cheese, ground beef, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, parmesan cheese, and egg. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of mixture into each cooked shell and place in pan on top of sauce. Pour the rest of the spaghetti sauce/water mixture over all of the stuffed shells. Top with remaining shredded cheese and sprinkle with Italtian seasoning. Cover with tinfoil and Cook at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Easy to Freeze:
Freeze in an aluminum pan. Cool before placing in the freezer. Thaw before cooking- or if still frozen- double cooking time (that tends to toughen the shells that aren't in the sauce so it's better to cook after it thaws- however, I've done it this way and it still tastes great- just a few tough edges).

Sun Dried Pasta Bows

This is a great Pasta recipe that has been made into a LOWER FAT version. Just perfect for January, seeing that most people try to diet in the month of January so I though I'd post this one. My kids love this one, first because the pasta is shaped like bows and second because they love olives.

1 Box Pasta Bows (Walmart Brand- I'm not sure how many ounces the box is)
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/2 cup boiling water (I just steal some from the pot of boiling water for the pasta)
1 chopped shallot (if you don't know what a shallot is- it's like an onion, but way smaller and pink. You can get them near the onions and garlic, they usually come in a net package with 3 or 4 together)
2 small cloves or 1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
2-3 TBSP sliced olives
(about 1 small can- depends how much you like olives)
2 TBSP prepared pesto (you can get this in a jar near the tomato sauces and alfredo sauces. You'll wonder what to do with a whole jar, but pesto is great on sandwiches and even better on the Alfredo chicken pizza)
1/4 tsp pepper
Salt to taste
3 tsp flour
1 cup fat-free half-n-half
3 cooked chicken breast
, sliced thin
shredded Parmesan cheese
toasted pine nuts (optional)

Cook past according to direction on package. In a small bowl, combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes; cover and let stand 5 minutes. In a large skillet, cook shallot and garlic in oil until shallot is translucent. Stir in broth, olives, pesto, pepper and salt to taste one minute longer. Combine flour and half-n-half until smoth, stir into pan. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened.

Drain pasta and tomatoes; add to creamy mixture. Stir in Chicken; heat through. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and pine nuts.