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Friday, December 31, 2010

Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes

Kids love these, and sometimes that's all that matters!!  This is a great twist to the classic sloppy joe that whole family is sure to enjoy!

the slop you need:
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce
1 TBsp. Worcestershire suace
2 TBsp. chopped pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
1 (11.25 oz) package frozen garlic Texas toast (or french bread if you have that on hand)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

how to make them:
1.  Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8-10 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well.  Return to skillet. Stir in tomatoes, next 3 ingredients, and, if desired, jalapeno peppers.  Cover and cook 10 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, prepare Texas toast according to package directions.  Serve beef mixture over Texas toast; sprinkle with cheese.

Quick, easy and basic ingredients make this sloppy joe a lunchtime favorite in our home!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread

This is one of the best banana nut breads I have ever made.  I sometimes double the recipe and make a pan of muffins as well, which is an easy breakfast to send with the hubby to work or with the kids to school!

What you need to make these:
1/2 cup of shortening or butter (I will use butter flavored shortening if I have this on hand)
3/4 cup white sugar (brown sugar can be substituted)
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (i use about 3 bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
*Rasins, cinnamon, nutmeg to taste are optional

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2.  In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the banana and vanilla.
3.  In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.  Beat into creamed mixture.  Stir in oats and nuts.  At this point I also choose to stir in about 1/2 cup of raisins and some cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste.  Pour into prepared pan.  (If desired, mix together some additional dry oats and brown sugar and spread on top of the loaf before baking). 
4.  Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

**If baking muffins instead of the loaf, follow the same directions as above and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

This is a delicious and easy bread to make and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken Dressing

Who would have thought that you could make dressing in the slow cooker?
But you can, and it is Ridiculously Delicious!!

**I have a personal note on my recipe to cut the liquids in half.  I start off with one can of soup and one can of broth and then add the remaining cans as needed depending on the consistency that I desire.  I also make two pans of cornbread instead of one just in case I need it, as I am cooking for six people.  Any leftover cornbread I have, I serve with the meal.

5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (9 x 9) pan cornbread, cooled and crumbled
8 slices day-old bread, torn into small pieces
4 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 teaspoon, salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried sage
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoons margarine

1.  Place chicken in a pot with water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil 20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Cool, and cut into pieces
2.  In a slow cooker, stir together chicken, cornbread, bread, eggs, onion, salt and pepper, sage, chicken broth, and chicken soup.  Stir until well blended.  Dot with margarine.
3.  Before placing the lid on the slow cooker, lay a paper towel over the opening of the pot and then place the lid.  This will keep moisture from dripping down off the lid into the dressing and making it soggy.
4.  Cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours.  Remove lid, and fluff with fork.  Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Fabulous dinner for the family.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Zucchini Bread

2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups grated fresh zucchini
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.  Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.  Add the flour, a third at a time.  Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix.  Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.

2.  Divide the batter equally between 2 buttered 5 x 9 inch loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly. 

Makes two loaves.

I made this bread with zucchini from the local Farmer's Market at my husband's request and it was one of the best breads I have ever eaten.  First time baking and eating Zucchini bread and didn't realize what I have been missing out on for the past 33 years!  And of course, my kids loved it!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Red Lobster Biscuits

What you need:
2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

How to make them:
Mix all ingredients.  Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.  Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees.  Remove from oven.

Melt stick of butter in microwave and add 1/2 tsp garlic salt.  Mix and brush on biscuits.  Serve hot.

These are super easy and very delicious!
And they really do taste like biscuits from Red Lobster!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Deep Fried Jalapeno Slices

What you Need:
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs
1 cup beer
1/2 quart vegetable oil
2 cups sliced jalapeno peppers

How to Make it:
1.  Mix flour, salt, pepper, red chili powder, garlic powder, eggs, and beer together in a bowl.

2.  In a deep fryer, or large pot, heat oil to 365 degrees F.

3.  Dip the sliced jalapenos in the batter.  Place battered jalapenos in deep fryer.  The jalapenos are fully cooked when they float to the surface of the oil.  They should be golden brown and crispy.

My husband loves to get these as an appetizer whenever we go out to dinner.  These taste just as good and are so simple to make!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Chili Mac

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can Mexican or chili-styled stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup water
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
2 cups elbow macaroni or small shells, cooked and drained
2 cups mexican style shredded cheese, divided

1.  cook ground beef, onion and green pepper in large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; pour off drippings.  add tomatoes, water and taco seasoning; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  toss cooked pasta with meat mixture into an 11 x 7 inch baking dish.  sprinkle with 1 cup cheese; top with remaining meat mixture.  cover with foil; bake in preheated 375 degrees F oven 30 minutes.  uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese.  return to oven 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

this recipe is quick and simple and the entire family will love it.  a much tastier version of the 'hamburger helper' chili mac i grew up eating!


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Banana Nut Bread - lightened up!

the yummy stuff:
1 pkg (8oz) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans, divided

making it!
~ in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar until well blended.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in bananas and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture just until moistened.  Fold in 1/2 cup pecans.

~ transfer to two 8 in. x 4 in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with remaining pecans.  Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

This bread has such a great flavor and this recipe allows you to enjoy an all time favorite comfort food with far less guilt by trimming the fat and calories. 


Monday, July 26, 2010

Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Meatloaf

what you need!
2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (6 oz) Stove Top stuffing mix for chicken
1/2 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Hamburger seasoning (optional)
4 Kraft singles

how to make it!
MIX: all ingredients EXCEPT cheese singles, just until blended.  Fold 2 (30-inch-long) pieces of foil lengthwise in half twice.  Crisscross pieces on work surface.  Top with meat mixture; shape into 8-inch round loaf.

USE:  foil handles to gently lower meatloaf into slow cooker, letting ends of foil hang over top edge of cooker; cover with lid.

COOK:  on HIGH 4 hours or until meatloaf is done (160 F).  Top with singles.  Let stand, covered, 5 min, or until Singles are melted.  Use foil handles to remove meatloaf from slow cooker before slicing to serve.

This is a really great meal that is easy to throw together and quick to cook.  The kids love it, and that is always a plus.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fruit Salad in a Pineapple Boat

This summery, sweet treat is as good as it looks.  When served with a ridiculously delicious fruit dip, no one will be able to resist this refreshing fruit salad.

the good stuff:

1 fresh pineapple
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
1 cup halved fresh strawberries
1 cup grapes
1 Tbsp. lime juice

the ridiculously delicious dip:

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese; softened
1 container of marshmallow fluff
1 can of sweetened condensed milk

Stand pineapple upright; vertically cut about a third from one side, leaving the top attached. Remove fruit and discard outer peel from the smaller section.  Remove fruit from the large section, leaving a 1/2-in shell.  Chop fruit; place in a large bowl.  Add the cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes and lime juice;  toss to coat.  place in pineapple shell.  In a mixing bowl, combine dip ingredients and mix with a mixer until well-blended and smooth.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with fruit.

I always seem to have extra fruit, so I go ahead and fill the remaining cantaloupe shells with fruit as well.  Blueberries are also a wonderful additive to this fruit salad.  The fruit dip is amazing and is also great served with sliced apples!  Thanks Tiffany for introducing me to this FABULOUS dip!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baked Slow Cooker Chicken

The Must Haves:
1 (2-3 pound) whole chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
injectable liquid marinade (optional)

The How To:
1.  Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3 to 4 inch balls and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2.  Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water.   Pat dry with paper towels.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika.  If desired, inject the bird with liquid marinade. 
3.  Place bird in a baking dish and brown on Low broil before putting into the slow cooker.  (Be careful not to burn.) 
4.  After bird is browned place it in the slow cooker on top of the crumbled aluminum foil.
5.  Cook on high for 4 hours or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

** I added some additional spices to my salt, pepper, paprika rub to add more flavor to the bird and I also basted the bird throughout the cooking process.  Very yummy, cheap and easy!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Cherry Peanut Butter Pie

I have had this one for a while and was excited to finally get to make it.  Our youth at church held a Baked Potato Luncheon and so I provided this fabulous looking pie for a dessert.  By the time I got through the line, the prepared slices of my pie were all gone.  However, the very sweet parents who were preparing the dessert plates had hidden a slice in the fridge for me. 
God bless them!

what it takes:
1 1/4 cups pretzels, crushed (i use a blender to crush them)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 cups frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
1 (21 oz) can Cherry Pie Filling (strawberry pie filling would be fab too!)

how to make it:
Combine the crushed pretzels and granulated sugar, then stir in the melted butter.  Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 10-inch pie plate. 

Cover and chill.  Beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Fold in the whipped dessert topping.  Spoon 1/2 cup of the cherry pie filling into the crust-lined pie plate. 

Carefully spread the peanut butter filling over top of the pie filling. 

Top with the remaining pie filling. 

Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving. 
The pretzel pie crust was so good and I think I will use this for many other pies I attempt to make.
I think this would also be delicious with a strawberry topping as well, and may try this the next time I make it.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Barbecue Ribs ~ slow cooked

the stuff you need to make it:
4 pounds pork country style ribs
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of ketchup
2 cups of BBQ sauce (we prefer Stubbs)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano (italian seasoning works if you don't have oregano)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 dash of hot sauce

how to make it:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes; drain fat.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.
4. Cover, and cook on Low for 6-8 hours or until ribs are tender.

*option: after cooking in slow cooker i remove the ribs and place back into a shallow baking pan and place under the broiler on low for a few minutes to carmelize them before serving.

These ribs are delicious and a regular
Sunday dinner in our house.
Hope your family loves them as much as mine does!

Nutrition info:
calories: 498
Total Fat: 29.7
Total Carbs: 33 g
Fiber: 0.8g
Protien: 26 g
Sodium: 1245 mg
Cholesterol: 117 mg


Friday, April 9, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Makes 24 slices Prep 10 minutes
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 12 minutes

What you need:

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
4 egg yolks

How to make it:

1. Heat oven to 325. Coat two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray; dust with flour and shake out excess. Set aside.
2. Stir together flour and salt; set aside. In small bowl, stir together eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; set aside.

3. Mix butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 6 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and gradually pour in egg mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Divide batter between prepared loaf pans and smooth tops. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on rack.

Per slice: 330 calories; 17 g fat; 4 g protein, 42 g carbs; 1 g fiber; 65 mg sodium; 99 mg cholesterol

Hey…at least it has fiber!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Tex-Mex Chicken

what it takes:

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
2 Tbsp. (1/2 of 1-1/4-oz. pkg.) Taco Seasoning Mix
2 Tbsp. flour
1 each green and red pepper, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1 cup frozen corn
1-1/2 cups Thick 'N Chunky salsa
1 cup mexican style shredded Four Cheese

how to make it:

TOSS chicken with taco seasoning and flour in slow cooker. Stir in vegetables and salsa; cover with lid.
COOK on LOW 6 to 8 hours (or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours).
STIR just before serving; top with shredded cheese.

this is a very healthy, very tasty meal.  i also serve this over white instant rice.  very easy to throw together sunday morning before church and your sunday afternoon lunch dilemma is solved.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Green Bean Stir-Fry

1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon peanut butter
3/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
4 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1.In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, garlic, sesame seeds, brown sugar and peanut butter; set aside. In a large skillet, stir-fry the green beans in oil until crisp-tender. Remove from the heat. Add the soy sauce mixture; stir to coat.

This is a great side dish and the best thing about these is that my kids love them! The soy sauce/peanut butter combo adds such a great flavor to these crisp green beans.
This is a must-try recipe!


Monday, March 22, 2010

No fuss Chocolate Cake

Need a scrumptious dessert?
Something that tastes ridiculously delicious, but better yet looks like it came out of a gourmet cookbook?
However, you just don't have the time or desire to whip something up?
Here is an easy, no fuss solution that
I have used a couple of times and definitely will many more times in the future.

Go to you local market and purchase a Pepperidge Farm Cake from the freezer section. Let it thaw as directed on the box. Slice cake into serving sizes and arrange on dessert plates. Spoon a small amount of whipped topping beside the cake and top with a strawberry (i prefer to use chocolate covered strawberries). Drizzle Hershey's chocolate syrup over cake and topping. And there you have it. A quick fix to your dessert dilemma, that tastes and looks fabulous!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Very Berry Cherry Cobbler

• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup milk
• 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Place butter or margarine in a baking dish and set on oven rack to melt.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Stir in milk.
3. Remove baking dish from oven as soon as butter or margarine is melted. Pour flour mixture into dish, but DO NOT STIR. Pour fruit evenly into pan, and DO NOT STIR.
4. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake cobbler for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown.
This cobbler is delicious served warm
with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or whipped topping.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cinnamon Apples ~ Slow Cooker Style


6-8 apples - cored and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup whole milk

1.Place apples in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir spice mixture into apples until evenly distributed. Fold in raisins and walnuts. Spoon into slow cooker. Pour milk evenly over apple mixture.
2.Cook in slow cooker until desired tenderness. I usually cook for approximately 1 hour on high and then switch to low for about another hour and a half to two hours.

These apples can also be baked in the oven on 350 degrees for approximately an hour and a half, or until bubbly and soft, in a 2 quart, greased casserole dish.

These are a perfect side to any breakfast or dinner dish.
Probably my favorite cinnamon apple recipe.