Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Easy Cheesy Lasagna

This is not your ordinary, average, every day lasagna. It is more of a deconstructed lasagna. But it is super simple and super delicious!

Easy Cheesy Lasagna
Makes 4-6 Servings
Total Time: Less than 30 minutes

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 ounce package wide egg noodles, cooked
  • 8 ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Brown ground beef in a saucepan; drain. Stir sauce into beef; simmer for 5 minutes. Add noodles, mozzarella cheese, and cottage cheese; stir together and place in a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; bake and 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Basic White Sauce

This is the sauce used for the Baked Ziti. It was super easy to make. It definitely needs seasoning to it: salt, pepper, and garlic for sure. But you can do it all to your own taste. I had never really thought about making my own pasta sauces, but it does make sense. In the long run, it will be cheaper, and I won't be eating as many preservatives! And if you ever have a craving for pasta with sauce, and you don't have any in the pantry, chances are you will have all the ingredients already!!

Basic White Sauce
Makes 4 cups
Total Time: 15 minutes

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • salt and pepper
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk with the melted butter until it forms a paste and bubbles. 

Whisk in the milk. Whisk until flour and butter have dissolved into the milk. 

Cook the sauce over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring continuously. The sauce will begin to thicken, as it bubbles and cooks. To reach desired consistency, add the milk or flour, one tablespoon at a time.

Baked Ziti

I have a confession. I love pasta and I love cheese. I would put cheese on everything if that wasn't super unhealthy. Actually, I do put it on most everything that is logical if I have cheese left over. This recipe was fantastic! I did make the white sauce, and the only complaint I have is that it is kind of flavorless. Adding salt and pepper is a must. Next time I would probably add some garlic as well.  This was, however, a super simple recipe I would recommend to absolutely anyone! If I remember right, however, ziti usually has a red tomato sauce. I'm not a huge fan of that, but I know you could substitute, or mix the sauces to your own liking.

From The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook

Baked Ziti
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves Four

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot cook the ziti according to the package directions.

Prepare the white sauce.

Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency, add the cooked pasta. Transfer to 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake in the preheated over for 15 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is golden.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Guacamole Burgers

This burger is a nice twist on your everyday, average burger. If I made them again, I honestly think I would put the cheese in between the burgers more like a juicy-lucy. As long as you like a little spice, and guacamole, I would definitely recommend this recipe!  I have started exclusively using ground turkey instead of beef in recipes. I do my best to buy the leanest turkey available. I even have been using turkey bacon!

Four Servings
Total Time: 30 minutes

Guacamole Burgers

  • 8 bacon strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 sandwich buns, split and toasted
  • 1/4 cup guacamole

  • In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine onion and green chilies; set aside. Shape beef into eight patties. Top half of patties with onion mixture. Cover with remaining patties and firmly press edges to seal.
  • Grill, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Top each with bacon and cheese. Grill 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted. Serve on buns with guacamole. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tender Pork Chops & Rice

This is a super quick and easy recipe you could make on a night that you don't want to spend a lot of time on. And most likely you will have a lot of the items in your kitchen. It was very bland, so I seasoned the pork chops with seasoned salt and pepper, and the rice with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. I also used quick rice. I made it first, then returned it to the burner while stirring in the soup and mushrooms. Next time I would use real mushrooms..I just don't like the taste of canned mushrooms. I don't know if I would make this again for anything in particular..just for something quick when I don't want to spend time on dinner!

Tender Pork Chops & Rice

  • 4-6 pork chops
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 10-3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained and liquid reserved
  • 2 cups long-cooking rice, uncooked
Brown pork chops lightly in oil in a skillet; drain and set aside. Combine soup, reserved liquid from mushrooms and enough water to equal 3 cups; mix well and pour into skillet. Stir in mushrooms and rice; top with pork chops. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until rice is tender.

Penne Chicken Casserole

I bought a new casserole recipe book. They are just so warm and yummy and easy to put together!  I thought this recipe tasted a lot like a casserole made with alfredo sauce, except it was all 'homemade.'  I didn't have the sherry so that was omitted, but it still turned out wonderful (and the day after too)!  I also just bought a combo of grated pamesan and asiago cheese, which turned out great! I also just mixed the pasta and chicken in with the soup/sour cream mixture, which is probably easier than trying to mix it in the casserole dish. The only thing I would add to this dish is some seasoning, even if it is just salt and pepper!  No picture this time since I lost my camera last weekend :(

Penne Chicken Casserole

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon
  • 4 cups cooked penne pasta
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup dry Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken, water and bouillon cubes in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Drain liquid and discard; cut chicken into cubes. Combine pasta and chicken in prepared casserole.

Combine soup, sour cream, Asiago cheese, mayonnaise and sherry in medium bowl; mix well. Spoon evenly over pasta and chicken; lightly toss.

Toss bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and margarine in small bowl. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brown Butter Tart with Raspberries

This was absolutely amazing! I didn't have a tart pan, so I just used a pie pan with some parchment paper. This was actually pretty easy to make, not overly sweet, and it just gives such different flavors that I loved it!  I also don't have a working food processor at the moment, so I just used a normal blender and that worked just fine.

Brown Butter Tart with Raspberries

Tart Dough:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut up
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons currant jelly
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In food processor bowl fitted with metal blade, mix flour, powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter. Process 1 minute or until dough is formed. A few drops of water may be added if necessary. On lightly floured surface roll dough to 12-inch circle. Carefully fit into 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom; trim edges. Set aside.

In heavy medium saucepan heat 3/4 cup butter over medium heat until it turns golden brown (7 to 10 minutes). Watch carefully so it does not burn. Cool slightly.

In large bowl, whisk eggs until well blended. Add sugar, flour and vanilla; whisk until blended. Add browned butter; stir until smooth. Pour into pastry shell. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is crisp and golden brown. Cool completely. Remove sides of tart pan. Arrange raspberries on top of tart. In small saucepan melt currant jelly; brush over raspberries.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

These cookies were suuuuper yummy! Easy to make, and kind of fun and different too! The recipe also says that reduced fat or generic brands of peanut butter are not recommended for this recipe!  From Taste of Home.

Peanut Butter Oak Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the remaining ingredients; stir into creamed mixture and mix well.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 3 minutes before removing to wire racks. Yield: 5 dozen.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tortellini Alfredo with Roasted Peppers

This is such a simple dish. Pretty much something you could make when you don't want to take more than 15 minutes to whip something yummy up for dinner. And you should have most of these ingredients nearby (you can always substitute the type of pasta).  Also, I must admit-I love basil!

Tortellini Alfredo with Roasted Peppers from Better Homes & Garden's 365 Last Minute Meals

Tortellini Alfredo with Roasted Peppers
  • 16 ounce package frozen meat-or cheese filled tortellini
  • 10 ounce container refrigerated light Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 1 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain well. Return tortellini to hot pan.

Gently stir Alfredo sauce and roasted sweet peppers into the hot tortellini in pan. Cook over medium heat until hot and bubbly. Stir in basil. Season to taste with black pepper.

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

I'm obsessed with reading the Pioneer Woman's Blog.  More often than not, she posts step by step pictures that always look AMAZING. I can't believe this is the first time I've tried one of her recipes. This was so awesome!  I did make some changes to it. I didn't have heavy cream so I used milk instead. I also ran out of chicken broth so I ended up using beef broth for half of it. I also didn't feel like making my own pie crust so I caved and bought premade crusts. I put it in a 9x9 inch casserole dish.  One thing I would suggest is put more than what you think is necessary for the spices. Not that mine ended up bland, but I wish I would've added some more thyme. If you still have leftover turkey, MAKE THIS!!

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie from The Pioneer Woman

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

  • 1 pie crust 
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 cups leftover turkey, light and dark, diced or shredded (or both!)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • splash of white wine (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Frozen peas (optional)
  • Fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a skillet or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.)
Add turkey and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in chicken or turkey broth, stirring constantly. Splash in wine (you can leave this out if you’d like.) Pour in cream. (May add frozen peas at this point if you’d like.)
Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not underseason), and fresh or dried thyme to taste. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs.
Pour mixture into a casserole dish or deep pie pan.
Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using.
Place the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust.
Bake for 30 minutes or until very golden and bubbly.
Allow to cool for a little bit before serving.
Serve with a large spoon.


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