Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kae Cee's Bacon Mac

Easy and tasty recipe.

3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
12 ounces strozzapreti or penne pasta
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk, divided
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used 4)
Cooking spray

Preparation
1. Preheat broiler.

2. Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.

3. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes

Empty Tomb Easter Rolls

James and I had a wonderful time making these Easter rolls together. It was a great hands-on way to show my preschooler the "empty tomb" and talk about what it means for us- Jesus is alive!

1 Can Refrigerated Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
8 Large Marshmallows
Melted Butter
Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture

Directions:
1. Preheat oven according to crescent roll package Give each person one crescent roll triangle, (this represents Christ’s tomb) and one marshmallow (representing His body).
2. Have each person dip their marshmallow in the melted butter and roll around in the cinnamon and sugar (representing the oil and spices that were anointed on Christ’s body).
3. Next lay the cinnamon and sugar covered marshmallow onto the crescent roll triangle then carefully wrap, making sure that all seams are closed.
4. Bake on baking sheet or cupcake pan according to crescent roll package directions and let cool.
5. Break open the ‘tomb’ and show how Christ has risen and the tomb is empty.
It's empty!

Croque Monsieur Sandwich

How can you not like this recipe??

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
A pinch each of salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg, or more to taste (I didn't do the nutmeg)
6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups grated)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (packed) (optional)
8 slices of French or Italian loaf bread
12 ounces ham, sliced
Dijon mustard

METHOD
1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 Make the béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyère. Set aside.
3 Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavor you can spread some butter on the bread slices before you toast them if you want.
(Alternatively, you can assemble the sandwiches as follows in step four and grill them on a skillet, finishing them in the broiler with the bechamel sauce.)
4 Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Gruyère cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices.
5 Spoon on the béchamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese. Place on a broiling pan. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.
If you top this sandwich with a fried egg it becomes a Croque Madame.
Makes 4 sandwiches.

Orange Julius


I used to LOVE making these growing up! Thank you Jaime for reminding me of the recipe!

½ cup milk
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
½ of a 6oz can of frozen orange concentrate
½ tsp vanilla
5-6 cubes of ice

Put all ingredients in a blender with 5-6 cubes of ice. Blend until frothy. (Can try frozen strawberry concentrate instead of orange for a strawberry Julius.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Classic Meatball Sub


Another one of Mark's recipes this week.

1 TJ's Baguette, cut into fours and sliced down the middle
1 package TJ's Frozen Turkey Meatballs or Meatless Meatballs
2 cups TJ's Organic Marinara Sauce
1 Onion and 1 Green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced and sautéed in olive oil
1 package TJ's Sliced Mozzarella Cheese

Prepare meatballs according to package directions. Toast bread in oven at 300 degrees for about 5-8 minutes or until slightly golden and warm. Remove from oven and add meatballs, onions, peppers sauce and cheese to bread. Return to oven until cheese is melted.

Kryssa's Lentils


Kryssa gave me this delicious recipe and based on her recommendations and the fact that my lentils were already cooked, I made a lot of modifications, as you'll see in the recipe below. Click on the original recipe link if you want to start with uncooked lentils. (Also they call for potatoes instead of cauliflower). Mark does not really like lentils and he even gave this a thumbs up- so you should give it a try!

1 package of pre-cooked Trader Joes lentils (found in the refrigerated section)
3-4 bacon slices, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 head of cauliflower, chopped very finely (no stems)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (14- to 15-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice, finely chopped and juice reserved
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
A few dashes of Frank's hot sauce

Cook bacon in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crispy and then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and reserve for garnish.
Add cauliflower, onion and garlic to bacon fat in pot and sauté, stirring, until golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in lentils, tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and simmer until stew is thickened, 25 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mark is the cookie champion!


I recently got this e-mail from a reader named Ranee:
"I actually teach Home Ec at a small Christian High School and love finding new recipes! I actually used your "Chocolate Chip Cookies Three Ways" post as an inspiration for a lab I did in my foods class and now use the America's Test Kitchen recipe all the time!"

Mark was SO pumped because he was the first person in our house to find the America's Test Kitchen recipe and make them. When I showed him the e-mail, he said "I won! I won!" I love you Mark!

Kristi's Make-Ahead Muffin Melts

Photo courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Kristi sent me this recipe that she made for her daughter's baptism. Now I know why she got so many compliments on them- they were excellent! The perfect make ahead dish for a shower/brunch/holiday breakfast. Definitely fancy and tasty enough for company.

12 whole Hard-boiled Eggs, Peeled And Chopped
2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise (I used 3/4 c)
12 slices Bacon, Fried And Crumbled
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
6 whole English Muffins Split

Preparation Instructions
Combine eggs with all other ingredients. Fold together gently. Cover and store in the fridge overnight.
Spread on English muffin halves, then broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (Don’t set them too close to the heating element.)

El Pato over shrimp

I fell in love with El Pato when we lived in Tucson and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it's also carried at Safeway stores in the NW. This little can packs quite the punch! We always have one in the house for a quick weeknight dinner. We pull some frozen shrimp out of the freezer, defrost them, and cook them in olive oil and garlic. When the shrimp are almost cooked through, add the can of tomato sauce to warm it up. Serve over hot rice. This is actually one of the few things that are too spicy for my kids so they usually get black beans and rice on an El Pato night!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mark's Buffalo Chicken Panini


Mark was sweet enough to plan our menu this week and it started off with a bang! This recipe from the Trader Joes website was fantastic!

1/4 cup Low Fat Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Light Sour Cream
1/4 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 Green Onion (white and light green parts), finely chopped
1 stalk Celery Hearts, trimmed and thinly chopped
1 pinch (each) Sea Salt and Black Pepper, freshly ground, to taste
3 Panini rolls (Trader Joes sells these)
Butter

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese, celery and green onions. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Slice the rolls in half and butter each slice on the outside. Spread blue cheese dressing on the inside of each roll. Pile the chicken on the bottom half of the roll and cover with the top half. Place in the hot skillet and press down with a heavy spatula or small heavy pan for about 2 minutes. Flip and press down for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Serve and - Enjoy!

Abby's Barbeque Pulled Chicken Sliders


I loved this recipe because the sauce was so flavorful, it made it stand out from other pulled meat sandwiches I've had. I didn't have a rotisserie so I made the sauce and poured it over 8 chicken tenderloins in the crockpot and let it simmer all day. I also loved the crunch of the pickle on top!

1/2 cup no-salt-added ketchup
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
8 (1.3-ounce) sliders mini buns
8 bread-and-butter pickle chips

Preparation
1. Combine first 10 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Add chicken to ketchup mixture; stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.

2. Spoon 3 tablespoons chicken mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 pickle chip and top half of bun.

Nisha's Love Birds Chicken Pastry


I was excited about this recipe as soon as I saw fig preserves on the ingredient list. Mark and I had a pizza with figs on it at Tutta Bella (not something we would have ordered for ourselves) and really enjoyed it. And this recipe was a knock-out as well! Who knew we were fig fans? Now I just have to figure out what to make with the other half of the fig preserve jar. Any ideas?

4 pieces skinless chicken breast, boned (about 8 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 sprigs fresh finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 sheet puff pastry (11 by 17-inch)
8 slices Italian fontina cheese, slices should be 2 to 3-inches square and 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick, cut in 1/2
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cut each piece of chicken in half across the breast giving you 8 equal portions. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the chicken on both sides, 5 minutes total. Remove from heat.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pastry into 8 pieces. Place a piece of cheese on each pastry square and top with spoonfuls of fig preserves and the chicken pieces. Pinch and seal the dough up and over the meat and cheese, seal with egg wash, flip the pastry packets over and brush the tops with remaining egg wash. Bake 12 to15 minutes, until golden.

For entree portions, simply leave chicken breast whole and cut the pastry into quarters. Trim off excess dough and use it to decorate the pastry with small cut outs such as heart shapes.

Lindsey's Mini Cheesy Turkey Meatloaves


So, I'm not a meatloaf fan. And my sister knows that. But she still said I HAD to try this recipe that her friend Lindsey brought to her after her baby was born. I was skeptical to say the least. But, of course my sister was right. They are SO good and not even in the meatloaf category. First of all, it's not a LOAF which is really my biggest hang-up and it's stuffed with cheese. So...when are you going to try these?

3 pounds ground turkey
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/4 pounds Colby cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-1/2 cups chopped frozen spinach (I used an entire 16 oz bag), thawed and drained (squeezed well in a towel)
3/4 cup ketchup (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a bowl, mix the turkey, milk, bread crumbs, spinach and eggs by hand. Season with salt and pepper. You can make this recipe as a loaf or divide mixture into small mini-loaves. Place 2-3 cubes of cheese into the middle of each loaf. Top with ketchup if desired (before baking).
Bake 30 min in the preheated oven (for mini-loaves), to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Faith's Spinach Oven Omelet


Another great recipe that we made for dinner but could easily have a delicious breakfast dish! Thanks Faith!

1/2 pound bacon (chopped) or pork sausage
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
3-4 cups fresh spinach
12 eggs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used mozzarella)
sour cream and salsa as optional toppings (I thought they made the dish)

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a heavy, ovenproof skillet, brown the bacon or sausage. Add onion. While meat is cooking, scramble the eggs in a bowl. Add milk and stir.

Drain grease and remove meat. Return about 3 Tbsp. grease to the skillet. Saute mushrooms 1-2 minutes. Toss spinach in the skillet with mushrooms and stir until wilted.

Once spinach is wilted, pour eggs into the skillet. Add meat, salt, pepper, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Stir to evenly distribute all ingredients into pan. Sprinkle 1/2 -1 cup cheese on top.

Carefully place hot skillet into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until eggs are set. Cut into wedges to serve. Top with salsa and/or sour cream.

Beth's Baked Potato Soup


Thank you Beth for this recipe! (Check out her blog). After finishing his first bowl, Mark asked when I would be making this again. And my kids licked their bowls clean!

3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large (already) BAKED potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1
tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the
drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix
well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes.
Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not
boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.

Angela's Black Beans and Sausage

Thank you Angela for this recipe!! It was awesome and will definitely be a repeated recipe in the Heaviland house!

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Kielbasa or other smoked sausage cut into one inch pieces
4 medium carrots, diced small
1 medium onion, chopped small
coarse salt, ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken broth
3 TB chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
1/4 cup plain yogurt, for serving - optional


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high. Add sausage and cook until browned on all sides. About 8 minutes.Transfer to a plate.
Add carrots and shallots to the skillet, and cook until beginning to soften. About 4 minutes.
season with salt and pepper.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant - about one minute.
Add black beans and broth and bring mixture to a boil. Add sausage, reduce heat to a rapid simmer, and cook until carrots are tender - about 12 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in parsley, serve with more parsley and a dollop of yogurt.

Thanks for doing my meal planning for me!

I've had so much fun going through the recipes that you guys have sent me- thank you! Here are some with many more to come!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Steak Fries


We quadrupled the recipe below for a yummy side!

1 large baking potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Cut potato into wedges. Mix olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and onion powder together. Coat potatoes with oil/spice mixture and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 30-45 minutes in preheated oven, turning half-way through. Salt after cooking.

Waffles


For a fun Friday dinner, we had breakfast for dinner. I loved this recipe for waffles!

2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.
Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

Homemade Applesauce


Kae Cee gave me this recipe when I mentioned I didn't know what to do with the large amount of granny smith apples I got in my produce co-op basket. Why have I not been making applesauce all my life?? This was sooooooooo good!

8 apples - peeled, cored and chopped (I used granny smith)
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

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