Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Out with the old, In with the new....

Here we are-2009 is almost out the door, and 2010 is on the way in. Time to make New Years Resolutions I won't keep, write 2009 for about a month then realize its supposed to be 2010, and realize its a new year- a fresh start. How about we start off with a fresh new recipe ?
We had this for dinner last night - it was so good ! My husband, on the other hand, only ate half of his . But he's just picky....

Pesto-Olive Chicken
you'll need: 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, 1/2 cup prepared pesto ( i use Classico Traditional Basil Pesto- its in a small jar near the pasta sauce in the stores), 2 jars (4 1/2 oz. each) sliced mushrooms (drained) , 1 can (4 1/2 oz) chopped black olives, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
** Place the chicken in a 13x9 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon pesto over the chicken, then top with mushrooms & olives. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min., then sprinkle with cheese. Bake for an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve & enjoy.

and I fixed some roasted potatoes to go with it....
I cut up (diced) 4 medium sized red potatoes. Covered a 13x9 pan with foil, then sprayed the foil with cooking spray. Then I added the potatoes to the pan, drizzled the potatoes with olive oil, then topped with diced onions, salt, pepper, and some Mrs.Dash seasoning. Then I covered the pan with foil & baked at 350 degrees for an hour . Uncover for the last 20 minutes for crispier potatoes.

And for dessert ? all the leftover cookies, cakes, and candy from Christmas ! :-)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Caramel Fondue

Did everyone have a good Christmas ? We did- but now the house is a wreck! Oh well- only at Christmas time right ? I'll get to it tommorrow :-)
Pretty soon 2010 will be here- are you ready ? I am excited- praying that 2010 will be an exciting year!!
Anyway- on with the cooking! Today I'm gonna tell you about an easy dessert recipe that is done in the slow cooker....

Caramel Fondue-
you'll need :
2 (14 oz.) packages caramels (unwrapped ) , 2 (14 oz)cans sweetened condensed milk, apple slices, pound cake squares.
** Place the caramels in the slow cooker & stir in the condensed milk. Cover & cook for 3 1/2 hours on LOW. Stir occasionally until mixture is smooth & caramels are melted. Serve with apple slices & pound cake squares.
Pour into a fondue pot for easy dipping.

**Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hoppin' John Chowder

Well, Christmas is almost here. I know I am ready- are you ? Only 3 more entrees for slow cooker month :-) Don't get me wrong- I LOVE slow cookers- but I have SO many other kinds of recipes to share with you !! Oh- and please leave comments- I LOVE comments! It actually lets me know that someone is actually reading this blog ! LOL :-)
This is a recipe I fixed one year for a Super Bowl gathering at our house (Christy & Melanie- you probably remember this!). I loved it, husband didn't like it so much- but he is a picky eater! You be the judge.....

Hoppin' John Chowder-
You'll need :
4 (15.8 oz ) cans black eyed peas (undrained), 2 (10 oz) cans of Rotel undrained (diced tomatoes & chilies- you can find it in with the canned veggies) , 1 (14 oz) can beef broth, 1 pound of smoked sausage (sliced), 1 cup water, 1 cup finely chopped onion, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 boil-in-bag rice (uncooked).

** Combine all ingredients except rice in slow cooker. Cover & cook on low for 6 hours. Then cut top off boil-in-bag rice , add rice into slow cooker & stir. Cover & cook on high for 20 minutes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tomato Florentine Soup

I know some folks are not fans of tomato soup, but THIS is different! It is not your plain-jane tomato soup! There are so many other ingredients - its a meal in a bowl. Also good with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side :-)

Tomato Florentine Soup:
you'll need : 3 cups chicken broth, 2 (14 oz) cans of diced tomatoes undrained (italian style), 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce, 1 (10 oz) pkg. of frozen chopped spinach (thawed & well drained), 1 cup chopped onion, 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (you can buy it at the grocery store already minced & in a jar!), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 (9 oz) pkg of refridgerated cheese tortellini.

**Combine first 8 ingredients in slow cooker. Cover & cook on low for 5 1/2 hours. Then add pasta and cook on low for 30 more minutes. Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese & enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meatball Hoagies

Ever have a recipe that is not in writing, but in your head ? This recipe is one of them. It doesn't have any exact amounts, you just go with it......

Meatball Hoagies-
* you'll need : 1 large bag of frozen Italian-style meatballs , 2 jars of Barilla Green & Black Olive Sauce (can be found at Publix) , grated parmesan cheese, hoagie buns.
Line your crock pot with Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners (they are wonderful- remember I told you about them in an earlier entry ?) . Pour in meatballs, then add sauce. Cook on low for about 6 hours or so. Then dip them out ,add to your hoagie bun, and top with parmesan cheese. As a side , you can do some french fries or just some chips. Simple & easy! If you have leftovers, just put them in the fridge & reheat later .

And something sweet for later ?

This one doesn't have a name- its just something I came up with :
Slice some fresh strawberries & bananas in a bowl. Top with whipped topping & drizzle with some chocolate syrup . Serve.

Tonite's post was all about easy & simple- around the holidays we need more of that! And when you're busy Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, going to Christmas parties, working, oh- and trying to maintain a household- sometimes its good to know that dinner is covered.
Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Southern Classic with a kick !

I LOVE grits- for breakfast, lunch or dinner- anytime ! As a southern girl, I think its just in my DNA ! Add some butter, LOTS of salt, certainly cheese and maybe some bacon- LOADS of ways to do grits. This recipe gives that Southern classic a kick....

Spicy Sausage Grits
* You'll need : 2 cups of uncooked regular grits, 2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth, 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cheddar Cheese soup, 1 minced jalapeno pepper, 2 cups frozen corn (thawed), 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp. hot sauce, 1/2 pound smoked sausage (sliced) , 3 tbsp. butter.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in your slow cooker. Stir in sausage. Cover & cook on low for 4 1/2 hours. Stir in butter & serve immediately.
Wanna give this recipe more heat ? Substitute a HOT smoked sausage , if you can find it in the store ....

And for dessert ???
Frozen lemonade pie- this recipe makes 2 pies
*You'll need : 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, 1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed & undiluted), 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip (thawed) , 2 graham cracker crusts.

Fold the condensed milk & lemonade concentrate into whipped topping- spoon evenly into crusts. Cover & freeze pies until firm.
Bon Appetit' :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chicken (Sausage) Soup for the Soul

Continuing on with the slow cooker theme, this soup is good & hearty. Just a batch of this with some rolls , and you're good to go for dinner !

Chicken Sausage Soup-

* you'll need- 1 (16 oz.) package of frozen vegetable gumbo mixture , 1 pound boneless chicken breasts (cooked & cubed), 4 oz. smoked sausage (sliced), 1 (14 oz) can cajun-style stewed tomatoes (undrained) , 1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth, 2 tsp. extra spicy seasonings (like Mrs. Dash), 2 cups cooked long grain rice.

*Place the first 6 ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover & cook on high for 4 hours. (Or you can cook on high for 1 hour, then reduce to low for 7 hours). Stir in the cooked rice during the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Makes 6 servings.

And let's not forget about dessert !!!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies-
*you'll need: 2 tbsp. softened butter, 2 tbsp canola oil, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1 large egg white, 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 3 oz. chocolate chips.

* Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the butter, oil & brown sugar. Then add the vanilla, salt & egg white. Mix thoroughly. Then mix together the flour & baking soda. Add chocolate chips to the mix & stir. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 4-6 minutes. Enjoy !

Sunday, December 6, 2009's cold outside- how about some stew ?

A good friend of mine has asked for more crock pot recipes - done! The month of December I will do all crock pot recipes, with a little something extra added ! During this busy season, slow down long enough to enjoy time with family & friends- and always remember the reason for the season. Enjoy !!

Mediterranean Beef Stew-
* you'll need : 2 medium zucchini (cut into bite size chunks) , 3/4 pound beef stew meat ( you can purchase it in the store already cut into pieces) , 2 (14 ounce) cans Italian style diced tomatoes (undrained) , 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon.
* Place zucchini in bottom of slow cooker. Add beef & remaining ingredients. Cover & cook on high for 5 hours.

And a little something for dessert....

Easy Strawberry Mousse-
*you'll need : 1 package (10 oz) frozen strawberries (partially thawed) , 2 cups sour cream, 1 cup granulated sugar.
* Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to blend. Place in a pie plate. Partially freeze then remove from freezer & beat for about one minute until smooth. Return to freezer until serving time. Cut into squares to serve & add a dollop of Cool-whip or fresh berries if you like.
Serves 6.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gotta love a slow cooker .....

I LOVE my Crock-pot ! Put the stuff together in the morning & it's done when you get home! Doesn't get any easier than that. And I also love the Slow Cooker liners from Reynolds Wrap- if you haven't tried them , pick some up the next time you're at the store. Put one of those in your crock pot, fix your meal- and when you're done, you throw away the liner. EASY cleanup !!! This is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes ....

Chicken Lasagna Florentine
* you'll need: 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 1- 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach(thawed, drained & dry), 3 cups diced cooked chicken, 1- 8oz. tub sour cream, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, 9 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

*Combine the first 9 ingredients, stir well. Place lasagna noodles in a crock pot sprayed with cooking spray. Spread 1/3 of the spinach mixture over the noodles, then sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process 2 more times. Cover & cook on high for 1 hour, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5 hours.

-Serve with a salad & some bread and you are all set for a fabulous meal !!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tis the season for..... Chili !

It's fall, there's a cool breeze outside , and it's time for some Chili !!!! I LOVE chili, but don't get to have it very often (husband doesn't like chili - weird, right?) . This is one of my favorite chili recipes. I even went as far as to enter it in a chili cook-off- but I didn't win :-(
This recipe makes a HUGE batch - some for eating now, and some to freeze.

Southwestern Chili -
you'll need : 2 pounds ground beef , 1 1/2 cups chopped onions, 2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes-undrained, 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans-rinsed & drained, 1 can (15 oz ) tomato sauce, 1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn- thawed , 1 cup salsa , 3/4 cup water, 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies , 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder.
** In a Dutch Oven , cook beef & onions over med. heat until meat is no longer pink, then drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients . Simmer , uncovered for 15 min. Serve the desired amount. Cool the remaining chili & transfer to freezer containers. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Yields 10 servings . ****
Serve with some cornbread & enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving !!!!

To me- Thanksgiving is all about being thankful & spending time with family. When I was little , I remember Thanksgiving as having a house full of family and always too much food! As the years went by & I got older , the house was not so full anymore - and I missed that. But this year We have the pleasure of having Thanksgiving at our home with my Dad, his girlfriend, and her daughter and of course me & Greg. And I am so excited about that!! I just wanted to take a moment to say I have SOOOO much to be thankful for - and I thank God for that. So, that being said- I wanted to share with you today a couple of recipes that take me back to my childhood (aka the good ole days).

Cocoa Gravy -
you'll need : 3 tbsp. flour, 2 tbsp.cocoa, 4 tbsp sugar, 2 cups milk, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanilla flavoring.
* Mix first four ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until boiling , then add butter & vanilla flavoring. Stir until thickened. Serve over some hot biscuits & enjoy !!! **

Peanut Butter Icing ( to be put on a yellow cake)-
You'll bake your cake according to directions on cake mix & then top it with this AWESOME icing !!!
You'll need : 1 and a half cup sugar, 7 tbsp. milk, 2 tbsp. shortening, 2 tbsp. butter, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla flavoring, 1/2 cup peanut butter.
**Combine sugar, milk, shortening, butter, & salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, let boil for 1 or 2 min. without stirring. Remove from heat, add vanilla & peanut butter. Stir until smooth & quickly spread on cake. **

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday appetizers

Ever get invited to a holiday function- but don't know what to bring ? Here are a few appetizer ideas that may help.....

Cheesy Bacon Dip :
you'll need :
1-16 oz. sour cream
1- 3oz. jar Hormel Bacon Bits (black top)
2 cups shredded cheese
1- 8oz. brick of cream cheese
** Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients & place in a pie plate sprayed with cooking spray. Cover & bake for 30 min. Serve with crackers of your choice. **
With this recipe- I guarantee if you make it & take it to share, you WILL get compliments and asked for the recipe :-)

Tortellini Appetizers:
you'll need:
1 pound container of Butolini cheese tortellini (in the refridgerated section of the store)
1 pound Genoa Salami- sliced from the deli
1 pound Provalone cheese- sliced from the deli
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
1 jar green olives- whole
** this is a recipe you can prepare ahead. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Once done & cooled a bit- place them in a gallon sized ziploc bag , then pour entire bottle of Italian dressing in the bag. Seal & refridgerate overnight. Slice salami & cheese down the center - to make "2 moons" . Roll salami & cheese up together , place on tooth pick (in the center) . Place prepared tortellini on one end of the toothpick & an olive on the other. YUM !!

Corn Dip Recipe - (my friend Melody shared this one with me - soooo good!!)
You'll need :
2 cans of Mexican corn (Green Giant Mexicorn)
1 cup mayonaise
diced jalapeno (to taste)
1/2 cup to 1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup diced onion
** Mix ingredients & bake in 350 degree oven for 30 min. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or Fritos. Good stuff !! ***

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Broccoli Chicken Skillet

I just LOVE any kind of one-dish meals- to me its just easier with less cleanup! And the only downside to cooking is cleaning up all the pots & the kitchen you've destroyed in the process! So this one is easy- only a skillet to wash! And it is SO good :-)

You'll need:
1 and a half pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts-cubed
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 can of cream of broccoli soup- undiluted
1 cup stuffing mix
1 cup milk
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup shredded cheese

** In a large skillet, saute the chicken ,broccoli, carrots & onion in oil for 6 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
Stir in the soup, stuffing mix, milk, raisins & pepper. Cook , uncovered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat ; cover & let it sit until cheese is melted. makes 4 servings.

Easy & Very filling! Give it a try & let me know what you think!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A blog? Maybe thats a good idea ! Could I do that?

A friend suggested I do a recipe blog- my thought was "great idea- but I know nothing about that" So, here I go- lets see if I can do this! My friends are always so sweet to compliment my food and always ask for my recipes. Enjoy & Bon Appetit !

Chicken Chowder (this ones for you Elaine!)
you'll need:
1 can chicken broth
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup-undiluted
1 can condensed cream of potato soup-undiluted
1 and a half cups of milk
2 cans of diced tomatoes- undrained
2 cups of cubed cooked chicken
1 can of Mexicorn- drained
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 can diced green chilies
1 and a half cups of shredded cheddar cheese
** In a large dutch oven or saucepan - combine broth, soups & milk. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken, Mexicorn, onion & chilies. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer -uncovered- for 15 minutes. Top with cheese when serving. Makes 8 servings.
*Serve with some cornbread or garlic bread - YUM !!!