Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
I was browsing the dessert section of my Taste of Home cookbook and I found this recipe for Strawberry Cream Puffs.
My stepmom grew up in the south. She is really good at cooking southern food and has a huge hand me down type cook book full of southern family recipes. She taught me how to make cherry squares and cream puffs. (Plenty of other things too, but I really like sweets) When she would make these, we used just a regular cream filling and did a chocolate drizzle on top. They were so so good. When we would go to visit and even in college, we always made some kind of yummy treat. So, I figured, I better introduce Verity to Cream Puffs. We happened to have ripe strawberries needing to be eaten, so I slathered them in cream cheese and heavy whipping cream and served them right up
The dough is easier than you might think. This is what it looks like before you add the eggs. There is no cutting in of shorting or butter. It is a simple stove top method that hardly makes any mess.
Scoop them on to a cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop and bake. Easy peasy. They are so light and air. You don’t have to remove any of the middle. Just cut open the top and fill.
Doesn’t that filling look so good!!! My girls shared the spoon. They love “helping” me bake.
Strawberry Cream Puffs (Taste of Home)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- CREAM FILLING:
- 3 cups sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar divided
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Confectioners' sugar
- Additional sliced strawberries
- Mint leaves
- In a large saucepan, bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Drop by 1/3 cup (I used an ice cream scoop) 2-in. apart on a large lightly greased baking sheet (make 10). Bake at 400° for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar until fluffy
- In another large bowl, beat cream and remaining sugar until stiff. Fold in cream cheese and strawberries. Mix well. Chill until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, cut tops off puffs. Fill cream puffs and replace tops. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, and serve with additional berries and mint leaves. Yield: 10 cream puffs.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I know this has been posted before, but I made it again. We love it.
I always make 2 for dinner so that we have plenty of leftovers to
I had a mom request a meal that hides in some good greens. I grew up enjoying this recipe. In fact, all of us kids would gobble it up and my mom had to make 4 quiches to feed us all. It is still the recipe my 10 year old brother requests for his birthday dinner every year. And my 2 year old asks for seconds.
Spinach Sausage Quiche
1 pie crust (I use Pillsbury, but you can make your own)
8 oz bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup herb seasoned stuffing mix
1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (6oz)
3 eggs beaten
1 1/2 cup milk
grated parmesan cheese for topping
paprika to sprinkle on top
*Because pie crusts are sold in a package of two, sausage is sold in 16 oz portions and you would need a full 10 oz pkg of spinach, I choose to always double the recipe and make two quiches. You will be glad you did. It is very easy to double*
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Place pastry shell in pie plate and gently poke around the bottom. Bake for 7 min. (Sometimes I find my crusts shrinks and falls to the bottom. No big deal, just continue on….it will still taste amazing)
3. Reduce oven temp to 375 degrees
4. Brown sausage, onion, and garlic. Drain.
5. Stir in spinach and stuffing mix.
6. Sprinkle the 1 1/2 cups cheese in to the cooked pie crust. Top with sausage and spinach mixture.
7. Beat eggs and milk in a small bowl. Pour over ingredients in pie plate.
8. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake 15 more minutes.
9. Here is the tough part. You need to let it sit for 15 min before cutting. Otherwise you will get a sloppy mess. You may have to go outside so that you don’t stand drooling over the pie plate for 15 minutes.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
My Grammy first told me about cooking a chicken in the slow cooker. I will never to back to cooking it in the oven. It is so moist and literally falls off the bone. It is amazing. You can season it any way you like. I chose to stuff the body with onion and then season the skin with black pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder.
You first start by putting down 4 foil balls for the chicken to rest on. Turn your cooker on low and spray it if you like. I didn’t.
Add your chicken, season and cover to cook on low 6-8 hours. That is it! How easy is that!!
This time, I knew I would want some gravy to go on my side dish, so I put in a can of chicken broth and that made for a yummy gravy base with the chicken drippings.
This is the green bean and potato side dish. YUM!! This is the first time you 2 year old has liked green beans. She is not picky by any means, green beans just usually are not her thing. Tonight, she gobbled them up. (Recipe below)
Look at that yummy cooked chicken! The meat is separating on the leg.
The beans are done and ready to be devoured!
Yummy chicken dinner with gravy. It tasted like a “cook all day Sunday dinner”. But I was actually out of the house all day and just had to get out the plates come dinner time.
Green Beans and New Potatoes (Taste of Home)
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1 lb small red potatoes, quartered
1/2 lb medium fresh mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1 cans beef broth
2 tablespoons beefy onion soup mix
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1. In a large slow cooker, layer the green beans, potatoes, mushrooms, and onion. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, pour over vegetables. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours until vegetables are tender. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Remember how I told you in THIS post that occasionally I like to try new products from the grocery store? This is a new product out by McCormick. It is a little card with small amounts of different spices needed for 1 recipe. They print the recipe on the back so that you can grab any other ingredients while you are at the store.
My grammy actually tried this recipe first and called to tell me about it. She knows I love Mexican food and casseroles. And let me tell you, this was so fast and easy to whip up, I could have made it for a quick lunch. And it was REALLY good!!
There is crushed red pepper in here that does give it a kick, but you can leave it out and it is still yummy. I put it in ours because I like a little spice.
You just need a few extra cans and some ground beef to get this dish started.
Add flour tortillas and a good amount of cheese and you are all set. (I also tossed in a handful of pepper jack)
Look at that ooey gooey, bubbly, cheesy yumminess
Layers of quesadilla
You all really should add this to your menu next week. And, if you don’t want to buy the pre-measured spice card, you probably have all the spices you need in your cupboard.
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
16 oz tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (8 3/4 oz) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can (4 1/2 oz) green chilies, undrained
6 flour tortillas (8 inch size)
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1. Brown beef and onion in a large skillet on medium-high. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chilies. Mix well. Stir in all of the spices except the red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat low and simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste if desired.
2. Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on bottom of 9X13 pan (sprayed with pam). Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef and cheese.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
We put sour cream on ours. Guacamole would be yummy on it too.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Growing up, this was my absolute favorite dinner. Actually, it still is! My mom would make this for me on my birthday. She made this frequently, it reminds me of home. Even the smell of the vinegar reminds me of her house.
I tend to like this best with my own homemade meatballs, but the store bough homestyle ones work great in a pinch. Time to make more to store in my freezer. I usually make about 5lbs to keep on hand. Recipe coming soon.
This recipe is from my mom and then with the help of a few books, I doctored it to work in my slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs
24 oz frozen meatballs, I like home style
2 green bell peppers, diced
2/3 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
16 oz pineapple chunks, undrained
Hot rice for serving
1. Place meatballs (can be frozen still) and diced green peppers your slow cooker.
2. Mix vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour over meatballs and peppers.
3. Cover and cook on low 4 hours.
4. Add in pineapple and juice. Stir and cover to heat for 30 minutes.
5. Serve with hot rice. I like brown rice and a side of broccoli.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
This was really really good! I found a basic recipe and then altered it to my liking.
Quinoa is loaded with protein so it is a great way to start the day. I added raisins and banana to mine and I gobbled it right up.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup full fat coconut milk (you can sub in regular milk if needed)
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon (depending on your taste)
Raisins and banana for topping (optional)
Mix all ingredients except raisins and banana in a medium sauce pan with a lid. Heat over medium high heat and bring to a boil. After it boils, turn down to simmer and cover with lid. Let simmer for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
Top with toppings. Serves 2.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
My husband almost always order steak fajitas at our favorite Mexican Restaurant. I don’t make fajitias very often. I know they only take about 15 minutes to make, but those are 15 dedicated minutes over a skillet at the stove. I need to have meal options that I can step away from the stove should I need to help a young one.
This recipe suggested that I cook all of my ingredients on low for 6-8 hours. I knew that I would not like my veggies overly soft and I didn’t want to run the risk of the meat getting dry. So, I chose 4 hours on low (my cooker heats like a dragon and is always on the fast cooking side of the timeline). I loved how tender yet crisp my peppers were and the meat was “fall apart tender”
Next time, I will add some taco seasoning to give it a little stronger flavor, but as it, the recipe really was good.
For those of you with toddlers, you can put the filling in a tortilla like quesadilla. My 2 year old gobbled it down this way. Rolled fajitas are a bit hard for their hands to hold.
Slow Cooker Fajitas (Taste of Home)
- 1 each medium green, sweet red and yellow pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 2 pounds beef top sirloin steaks, cut into thin strips
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 8 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
- Place peppers and onion in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with beef. Combine the water, vinegar, lime juice and seasonings; pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until tender.
- Using a slotted spoon, place about 3/4 cup meat mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon salsa, 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 teaspoon cilantro; roll up. Yield: 8 servings.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I saw this on Pinterest and I just knew you all would love it. I plan to make it for lunch tomorrow. I will add in some shredded chicken I have left over and I am willing to guess that my 2 year old will gobble it up.
*Don’t ya just love Pinterest?*
Source: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1 package (8 ounces) shredded two-cheese blend (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups corkscrew-shaped pasta, cooked and drained (about 4 cups)
- Stir the soup, cheeses, milk and black pepper in a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Stir in the pasta.
- Bake at 400°F. for 20 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Serve this sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a slice of garlic bread. Loaded with healthy veggies and warm for a cold, snowy day.
This recipe I was leery of. I didn’t like Minestrone soup growing up, so I was not sure I would like this one. But the picture in the cook book looked really yummy, and I had most of the ingredients on hand. And let me tell you, I have already called dibs on this for lunch and I will be making it again for sure.
Don’t be afraid that it calls for chopped cabbage. It really did taste good. I didn’t get to add in the zucchini, there was none to be found. I couldn’t even find chopped, frozen zucchini. If you add this in, I am sure it is good.
This recipe comes from my Taste of Home Slow Cooker book. 400 recipes that are totally worth the $14 I spent on the cook book.
Forgotten Minestrone Soup
- Prep: 15 min. Cook: 7-1/2 hours
- Yield: 8 Servings
- 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced dried parsley
- 2-1/2 teaspoons salt, optional
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 6 cups water
- 1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender.
- Add the zucchini, cabbage, beans and macaroni; cover and cook on high for 30-45 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle servings with cheese if desired. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).
Sunday, February 12, 2012
I have two slow cookers, and I would have 2 more if I had a place to put them. I love making a full meal with entree, side, and soup all with my slow cookers.
This week, I am devoting my blog and recipes to slow cooking. Seems like a lot of you are like me and don’t have a ton of time to stand at the stove making a meal.
So, stay tuned. Tomorrow, I am making Minestrone soup.
A trick that I use, is to prep everything at night after I put my girls to bed, I get everything loaded in to my crock pot and stick the ceramic in the fridge. Then, in morning, I can just pop it in the slow cooker shell and turn it on. Sometimes, breakfast time is so busy that chopping veggies and cutting meat is not even going to happen.
See you all tomorrow for pictures, a recipe, and the review.
Here are all the ingredients you will need to make the 3 dinners this week that I will post
1 lb beef stew meat
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
1 medium onion
2 Tbsp minced dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 beef bouillon cube
1 medium zucchini
1 cups chopped cabbage
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 cup elbow macaroni
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Slow Cooker Fajitas
1 each: green, red and yellow bell pepper
1 sweet yellow onion
2 lbs beef top sirloin steaks
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 flour tortillas
cheddar cheese, shredded
Sweet and Sour meatballs
16 oz fully cooked meatballs
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 green bell pepper
8 oz pineapple chunks
cooked brown or white rice
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I am a day late on the announcement, but we have a winner of The Pampered Chef $25 gift card.
To keep all things fair, I used www.random.org to generate the winning number. I had 46 comments and the generator pulled #18. So I counted to the 18th comment and Shelly is the winner.
Here is the winning comment.
ShellyFeb 2, 2012 06:00 AM
I was already a Pinterest follower!ReplyDelete
Shelly, leave a comment here on this post with your email address so that I can contact you about your gift card.
If the gift has not been claimed in 3 days, I will choose another winner.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Oh.my.word. I really love gyros. I always have. When I was in elementary and middle school, my mom and I used to go to this little tiny, “hole in the wall”, straight from Greece, Gyro place. It was in the mall and way tucked behind nothing and in a dark hallway. You only went there for the Gyros. The couple that owned it spoke, and yelled, Greek and they were to funny. I always got a traditional gyro and a piece of baklava. My mom usually ordered the same. My mom and I have the adventurous taste of the family….usually the rest of the family was snarfing down a soft pretzel dipped in cheese goo. Not my mom and I…..we are too sophisticated for that.
These Gyros were so so easy to make. I marinated the meat and made the Tzatziki sauce the night before and let the flavors really really soak in. And, it really cut down on dinner time prep. The only thing I had to do at dinner time was to cook the chicken (10 minutes) and slice the tomatoes and red onions. So easy.
I got this recipe from The-Girl-Who-Ate-Everything.com. This truly is a healthy recipe.
Chicken Gyros Source: adapted from Annie-Eats Tzatziki sauce:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the chicken:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
To assemble: Pita bread
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin
Chop the cucumber and wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. I did overnight
To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. I let it set overnight
Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.