Friday, December 26, 2008

Taco Bake

This is a great crowd pleasing recipe. Served with tortilla chips or "scoops", it is a finger food that is filling and delicious!

2 - 8oz cream cheese bars
1 lb. Hamburger
1 pack dry taco mix
1 med size jar salsa
1 package shredded cheese - cheddar or fiesta blend

Spread softened cream cheese in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Brown hamburger, add dry taco mix and salsa, stir and simmer about 5 minutes. Spoon hamburger mix on top of cream cheese, top with cheese. Bake at 350 about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with chips.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hot Pineapple Casserole

This is one of those dishes that is not just "good", it is melt in your mouth delicous! It is a perfect compliment to any meal.

1 lg. can chunk pineapple
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 c. bread crumbs
2 tbsp. butter
Cook juice from pineapple, sugar and flour to boiling. Boil 1 or 2 minutes. Add chunk pineapple and cheese. Put in 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Melt butter, mix with bread crumbs, sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pineapple Crusted Ham

The pineapple topping on this ham makes it stand out! This is a perfect main dish for the holidays.

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (5- to 6-pound) fully cooked semi-boneless cured ham

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil then coat with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except ham; mix well. Place ham in roasting pan. Pat pineapple mixture over ham, coating completely.

Bake 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours, or until heated through and coating is crisp and brown, spooning pineapple mixture over ham every 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pumpkin Cake

I have a cousin who has brought this cake to a family function twice and it is so delicious. She shared the recipe with me and it turned out wonderful.

4 Eggs
1 Cup Oil
2 Cups White Sugar
15 oz. Can of Pumpkin
2 Cups All Purpose Flour2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
2+ tsp. Cinnamon1
/2+ tsp. Ginger
1/2+ tsp. Cloves
1/2+ tsp. Nutmeg

Preheat oven 350* Mix first four ingredients. Mix together dry ingredients then add to pumpkin mixture. Pour into greased and floured pan. I use 14" x 10" and bake for 25-30 minutes. They can also be baked as cupcakes.

ICING: Beat 8 oz. cream cheese until softened. Add 1/4 cup butter or margerine and 1 tsp. vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add half a box of powered sugar (aprox. 2 cups).Beat until smooth.
Spead on top of cake and garnish with chopped nuts if desired.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Southern Banana Pudding

There are some foods which are staples in the South. Cornbread, fried chicken, grits and no gathering is complete without banana pudding! Here is an easy recipe for a culinary delight.

2 small packs or 1 large vanilla instant pudding
( I used 1 small pack of banana flavored and 1 small pack of vanilla flavored)
2 cups milk
1 tub cool whip
1 cup sour cream
vanilla wafers
sliced bananas

Mix pudding with milk until well blended and beginning to thicken. Stir in sour cream and fold in cool whip.

Layer a bowl or dish with a layer of vanilla wafers, top with part of pudding. Layer bananas and more pudding. Depending on how many vanilla wafers you like, you can add a layer of them also. End with pudding mix and place vanilla wafers around the edges of the bowl. Crush a few and sprinkle crumbs on top for decoration.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lima Beans Supreme

Here is a recipe to add some dazzle to lima beans!

1 package frozen lima beans
1 chicken bouillon cube
chopped onions
chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 T butter

Put beans in pot, add water to cover. Add all other ingredients, cook per directions on bag.

*You can also add 1 can chopped tomatoes to this - optional

Monday, October 13, 2008

Easy Apple Dumplings

Here is a sweet, flaky apple dumpling. Quick and easy!
Take one apple - peeled sliced into 8 pieces
1 can crescent rolls divided into 8 triangles
1 cup orange juice
1/4 (or more to taste) brown sugar
2 T butter
sprinklings of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger - to taste
Place in small pan and heat just to simmering.
Wrap each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in small baking dish and spoon sauce over each one. Bake at 350 until brown and flaky.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sweet Potato and Apple Bake

Here is a perfect side dish for fall:

2 medium apples peeled and thinly sliced
3 sweet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbs. butter melted

Layer the apples and sweet potatoes in a baking pan. Pour orange juice over them and sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Mix other ingredients together and spoon on top. Cover and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes until tender.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Light and Fluffy Pineapple Smoothie

Here is a quick and easy smoothie. It has a light and fluffy texture and is delicious!

1/2 or more small can of pineapple tidbits
about 1/2 cup milk
ice cubes
protein powder if desired

Mix in blender until well blended and fluffy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pork Chops In Gravy

Here is a simple recipe I experimented with last night with wonderful results.

sliced onions
chopped garlic
pork chops
1pack Lipton dry soup mix - beefy onion

Brown pork chops in a small bit of olive oil in large frying pan with onions and garlic. Sprinkle with seasoning - salt and pepper, accent, etc.. Put dry soup mix and about 2 cups of water in pan and mix with pork chops. Cover and simmer about 45 minutes. Pork chops will be nice and tender with a delicious gravy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

Here is a fast and easy delicious casserole!

1 bag frozen hash browns with peppers and onions (potatoes O'Brien)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 T butter
cheddar cheese

Thaw hash browns. Saute onions in butter. Mix soup and sour cream, add onions and hash browns. Chop ham into bite size pieces and add. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake at 350 about 40 minutes or until bubbly, brown and hash browns are tender.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mexican Hamburger Bake

Here is an easy main dish with tons of flavor!

1 to 2 cups cooked rice
1 lb. hamburger
1 - 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 can pinto beans
salt or seasoning to taste
1 cup mexican cheese

Brown hamburger and onion until brown. Add rice, rotel tomatoes and tomato sauce, pinto beans and seasoning. ( I added some chili powder also). Simmer everything for about 5 minutes. Put into baking pan - put one half, sprinkle cheese over, add the rest of hamburger mixture and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until bubbly.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blueberry Crumb Cake

This recipe came from Heritage Schoolhouse and I will have to say, this is a hit!
It is a Blueberry Crumb Cake and it is perfect for summer. Great for breakfast or a snack. You have got to try this!!
Here is the recipe:

1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cups flour

6 tablespoons butter
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
powdered sugar

Butter and flour two, 9 inch round baking pans. Combine sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter and then flour. Mix well and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, zest, and sour cream. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture; mix well. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into pans and top with streusel. Bake 40 minutes at 350°. Cool completely. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sausage Casserole

This is an easy dish which my family loves. It is easy to adapt if you don't have all the right ingredients.

Brown 1 lb. pan sausage
add chopped garlic, onions and green peppers in with sausage.
drain and set aside
in baking pan add:
1 can cream of mushroom, chicken or celery soup
1 soup can water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 cup rice
small jar red peppers
1 small can water chestnuts
cheddar cheese optional to sprinkle in
mix together and then add sausage mixture
Bake covered at 350 for 1 hour.

Spinach Garlic Bread

I saw this bread at another blog - see above link, and since it had spinach and garlic, I knew it had to be delicious - I was right! I made this in the bread maker:

1 cup water

2.5 cup flour

1/4 cup oil (or margarine or butter)

*I had some roasted garlic in olive oil in my refrigerator, I used that and 1 Tablespoon of butter*

1 T of sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp yeast

1/2 bag of fresh spinach - chopped or torn

2 Tablespoons of garlic

This complimented a spaghetti dinner beautifully!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blueberry Yum-Yum

This is a light and fluffy dessert, perfect for summer.

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 cups sugar - divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 T water
1 cup flour
1/2 cp butter softened
1 cup chopped pecans
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 8 oz container Cool Whip

Combine blueberries, 1 cup sugar adn 1/4 cup water in saucepan. Cook over low heat until berries are soft about 15 minutes. Combine cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water and stir into blueberries. Stir until thickened. Set aside to cool.
Heat oven to 350. Combine flour, pecans and butter in bowl. Mix well and press evenly in a 13X9 inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool.
Combine cream cheese and 1 cup sugar, beat until smooth, fold in Cool Whip. Spread evenly over crust and spread blueberry mixture over the top. Refridgerate several hours before serving. Cut into squares.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sweet and Tangy Cucumbers

Here is a recipe you can play with and not mess up! A great use for extra cucumbers.

Mix together for a marinade:
vinegar - begin with 1/4 cup. You can also use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Use equal part of oil ( the oil from the roasted garlic is delicious)
2 tsp (or to taste) sugar
add salt/pepper
snip some fresh rosemary
add a dash of lemon juice

Place the cucumbers in the marinade and soak for several hours or overnight. You can experiment with different spices etc.

Crisp Green Beans

This is a simple, but delicious recipe for green beans.
If you have fresh green beans, just snip the ends off and steam the green beans whole to crisp tender. If you are using frozen green beans, cook them in a small amount of water. In a pan, use some olive oil and brown some garlic in the oil. Place the green beans in the oil and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
This is a quick and easy vegetable to compliment any meal.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Stewed Squash with a Surprise

In our area, gardens are coming in and we have been blessed with lots of fresh squash. Here is a recipe I found which turned out delicious!

Squash - washed, sliced and quartered
Bell Peppers
Salt and Pepper
Sour Cream

In a pan put a small amount of water - less than 1/4 cup. Put squash, onions and pepper in, add salt and pepper and cook until tender. Add butter to your taste - I added about 2 tablespoons. Stir until melted and then add an equal amount of sour cream. Stir thoroughly and serve hot.
The sour cream adds a delicious rich and creamy taste to the squash.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Roasted Garlic

For a long time I have heard of the flavor of roasted garlic. Finally I tried it and could not believe how easy it was and the benefits of a deep, rich flavor it brought to many things! Also, it is easy to do!
Please take a look at the above link for pictures and step by step instructions.

Take a bulb of garlic and slice the top off. Just a thin cut to get the very top off. Leave the skin on.
Place in a small, round baking dish tightly placed together.
Pour olive oil on top generously. Add salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 until golden brown.
Let cool and then squeeze the garlic out of the skin, it comes easily. Leave in the oil and mash the garlic up in the oil.
Cover and store the oil and garlic for use in vegetables, pasta, over bread, there are many uses!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sensational Salad

I have shared previously how challenged I was as a newlywed in the cooking area. I've almost been disowned by my family over this, but I don't like tomatoes, but neither does dear husband, so as a tomato less family, we are fine! So in the beginning my salad entree consisted of iceberg lettuce. And that was it! If I felt adventurous, I would put some cucumbers in there, but not often.
I'm not sure how it all came about, but through the years after learning about healthy living, living foods etc, I have adapted our salad routine some. Now I only use dark green lettuce ( romaine, spring mix, field greens etc.) and mix raw spinach in with it. Here is a list of other ingredients to add:

lettuce (the deeper the color, the more nutritional value)
green onions
shredded carrots
red bell pepper
broccoli pieces
mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
sunflower seeds

Mix all together for a fabulous salad. Sometimes I add chopped apple or strawberries if there are some around. You can mix and match with any ingredients. Trust me - you can't mess up a salad!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Easy Jambalya

This jambalya is so easy and full of flavor.

Smoked sausage - one or two packages
Choppped onion and green pepper
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 can water
1 cup uncooked rice

In a large frying pan with a lid brown sausage with onion and peppers. Stir in rotel tomatoes and water. Add rice. Simmer 20 minutes until rice is cooked.

Succulent Pork Chops

This dish is great when you need a change or just want a different meal.

Pork Chops - any kind, just not too thick
3 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup hot water
sliced onions and green peppers - to your taste
seasoning - salt/pepper, garlic or onion powder etc.

In a large skillet with a lid, brown onions and peppers in oil or butter. Season pork chops with salt/pepper and any other desired seasoning. Pour water with bouillon cubes dissolved into pan. Add more water if needed. Cover and cook until fork tender - 30-45 minutes.

These pork chops come out so tender and flavorful with a nice gravy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Brining a Turkey

This Christmas I wanted to make a "good" turkey, moist and tender. After doing research, it seemed that brining would produce those results. I gave it an attempt and am pleased to say that it worked great!

To brine a turkey: I used a 6 lb turkey breast, but a whole turkey can also be brined.

In a large baking bag place:
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 bay leaves
1 T. allspice (whole) crushed
1 T course black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves dried
1 gallon ice cold water

Combine these ingredients and place the turkey in the bag and use a twist tie to close. You can place the bag into a big pot where the turkey will stay immersed in the liquid. Leave in refrigerator overnight.

To prepare the turkey, remove from brine and rinse. Pat dry and place in baking pan breast side up. Rub the turkey with oil and sprinkle with seasoning (use season salt, salt and pepper, or what you usually use to season). Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake until turkey registers 170 degrees, usually about 2 to 3 hours. Remove from oven and let sit about 20 minutes before slicing.

Holiday Recipes

This is too late for this year, but consider these upcoming recipes tried and true! You can read about my miracle in the kitchen and after a successful Christmas dinner these recipes can be shared!

Give them a try throughout the year, hope you enjoy them!