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 !!!