Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sloppy Joes and Mama's Chip Fries

Good Saturday night! Hope the weekend is turning out nice!
As I may have mentioned before we like to have fun stuff for dinner on Saturdays. So tonight I whipped up my sloppy joes. Now I know what you are thinking.....seriously, that's not that exciting or unusual. I don't make mine the conventional way though. Here ya go:

1 pound ground beef, turkey, chicken or sausage (what ever you prefer)
1/2 red onion (or whatever onion you have on hand)
1 carrot grated ( a GREAT way to sneak in some veggies)
1 C BBQ sauce of choice (I used a mesquite flavored one)
1C cheddar cheese, shredded
4 large baking potatoes, sliced thinly (about an eighth of an inch)

Brown the beef along with the onions and carrots. Drain off grease. Add BBQ sauce and simmer until thickened.

Meanwhile heat veg oil in pan to 350 degrees. Add sliced potatoes a few at the time to cover the bottom of the pan. If you have a fry daddy this would work perfectly. Fry until browned on both sides. Remove to paper towel lined plate and season liberally.

Once the fries are done add the cheese to the joe mixture and let melt. Serve on hamburger buns with the fries.

YUMMY! Hope you enjoy!

sorry camera still nonoperational.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pasta Salad

Everyone has their own recipe for a pasta salad. Here is one of mine. We had pack meeting tonight and I took this as my potluck contribution. Sorry, batteries died in the camera before I had a chance to get a picture. You'll have to use your imagination. :O)

16 oz elbow macaroni
2 medium carrots, chopped finely
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1 bell pepper, chopped finely
2 med tomatoes, chopped
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 envelope ranch dressing mix
2 big scoops mayo
green onions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Add pasta to bowl along with veggies. Mix mayo and mix in another bowl and fold into pasta mixture. Top with bacon and green onions.

The longer this sits before you eat it the better it tastes! This is a great picnic or potluck dish. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

This is one of those meals that will clean out your fridge/freezer. I started by thawing out my chicken last night and slathering my pieces with this seasoning rub. (Kickin' Chicken Seasoning by Weber)

I found this at Sam's last year. It's really good and gives superb flavor. If you can find it I recommend it. As Emeril says you have to season at every stage. So I let my chicken sit overnight in this. Yummy!!

So here it is....The original version is here

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake
-4-5 C. uncooked noodles
-1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 C. alfredo sauce
1 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C split cherry tomatoes
1 med onion, roughly chopped
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or cubed

Preheat oven to 400.
Roast tomatoes and onions in a little oil with salt and pepper (or use more of that chicken seasoning I mentioned above) for about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
*This is optional, I had the tomatoes from my plant in the garden. You can always just add extra sauce if you don't have or don't want to use the tomatoes.

reheat oven to 350

Cook the noodles according to package directions. In a 9x13 baking dish pour 1/2 of the cooked noodles and pour the spaghetti sauce and tomatoes/onions over top.

Add the cooked chicken on top of the spaghetti sauce.

Pour the remaining noodles over top of the of the chicken, then spread the alfredo sauce over top of the noodles.

Next sprinkle the cheese over the top of the alfredo sauce. You can use more cheese if you like...the more the better!

Cook at 350*F for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

This makes a lot. Be prepared for left overs. But it was good. Nice mix between the alfredo and the spaghetti sauce.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chicken tonight!

Happy Sunday night! Hope you are having a great night! Tonight I tried something new. I love chicken cordon blue but it's pricey to make so I found this casserole version and of course because of who I am, I tweaked it. Here's my version of Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
2 pounds chicken nuggets
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
8 oz. deli ham
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C milk
1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed

Place nuggets as the bottom layer of a baking dish. Add cubes of mozzarella cheese and small pieces of ham. Mix cream soup with milk. Mix well and pour over the rest of ingredients in the dish. Top with saltine crackers.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serves 6.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mexican Pasta Casserole

This casserole is very hearty and delicious. I'm a big fan of Mexican food, this hit the spot perfectly. It makes a ton so be prepared for leftovers. Even with big eaters we had leftovers. Perfect for freezing and eating later.

1/2 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces egg noodles or macaroni noodles
1 (15 ounce) can chili w/ beans
1 large diced tomato
1/2 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/4 cup salsa
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 -2 cups shredded mexican blend or cheddar cheese.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the ground beef, onion, pepper, and celery and saute for 10 minutes, or until the meat is browned and the onion is tender. Drain the fat and set aside. In a separate saucepan, cook noodles according to package directions. When cooked, drain the water and stir in the meat mixture, chili, tomatoes, corn, salsa and taco seasoning mix. Mix well and place entire mixture into a 9X13 baking dish. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 250 degrees for30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

We served this with salad and some tortilla chips. Enjoy!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Coffee Cake

I first saw this recipe at the Picky Palate website. It looked so good I just had to try it. So tonight after our family night activities we dove into this. I made a few changes to the recipe but otherwise it's the same. (Thanks Jenny!)

As you can see mine bubbled over the struessel topping a little.

Nothing a little powdered sugar can't cure!

Beth's Starbuck's Coffee Cake

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (plus ingredients on back of box)
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/4 C powdered Milk
1 tsp vanilla

2 Sticks cold salted butter
2 1/4 Cups flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 ¾ Cups sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
Powdered sugar (for dusting)

PREHEAT oven to 350.

PREPARE cake mix in large bowl according to directions on box. Spray 9X13 pan with non-stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until center is just barely set.

WHILE cakes are baking, prepare crumb topping. In large bowl of electric mixer combine, butter, flour, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla until all crumbly.

IMMEDIATELY after cake is removed from oven, break crumb topping into marble size pieces with fingers, sprinkling over top. Put back in oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes (topping will begin to look a little less wet/raw). Let cool fully then dust with powdered sugar, using a sieve.

CUT into squares and serve.

I used 2 loaf pans instead of the 9X13 and had to cook it a little longer. Otherwise nothing changed. I hope you enjoy it-Thanks again Jenny for posting this!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I don't know how many of you have kids out there but if you do, you should try these. I found these the other day in our grocery store and I couldn't resist picking them up. I've been trying to make dinners more fun and this fit the bill. It doesn't really matter what you are cooking, but this will make the dish all that more fun. I hope you are able to find them and if so can get them. They aren't that expensive either which made it even better!
Have a great Sunday night!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

PB & J Biscuit Puffs

Happy Saturday night! I hope you've had a grand day. Our family was extremely lazy today! But I guess everyone deserves one of those every now and then!
Tonight we had breakfast for dinner. I tried a new recipe instead of the same ole pancakes. You can find it here. Thanks to Stephanie for a GREAT idea. I tweaked ours a little because the bananas we had weren't quite ripe.

2 C flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 C peanut butter
1/2 C shortening
3/4 C milk
jam of choice (I used grape)

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add shortening and peanut butter and mix until mixture is crumbly looking. Add milk (may need to add more depending on how dry it is). Put mixture on a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Cut into 12 pieces and place in a muffin pan. Feel free to use liners (I did-one less pan to wash). Top with small amount of jam. Bake for about 15 minutes. Don't let them get too brown. I served these with loaded scrambled eggs and hash browns. It was a yummy dinner and something different.
I hope you enjoy them!!

Mmmmmm Nachos

I love nachos.....yummy! My favorite thing to order whenever we go to Taco Bell is the nachos. So why not have some homemade ones. I'm feeling the need to feed the craving..

I think I made enough for an army even though me and the husband were the only ones eating them.

  • Nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips (or plain tortilla chips)
  • cheddar cheese, as little or as much as you like
  • 1 C black beans
  • 1 C corn
  • 1/2 large tomato chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • drizzle of ranch dressing or sour cream
  • 1C salsa
This is basically whatever you like and whatever you have on hand. This is what we had lying around and therefore what we used. Feel free to tweak it as you see fit.

Put oven on broiler-if it has a low/hi setting use the low setting.
Place ships on sheet pan and top with cheese. Broil for about 5 minutes.
When they come out of the oven if you have super pickey eaters then let them top their own, or you can do like I did and just throw all the toppings on it right out of the oven.

This makes a great lunch or if you just make a little a perfect after school snack. Since we are currently watching our BYU Cougars beat UCLA I thought it would be perfect.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rachel Sandwiches

I had no intention of turning on the stove or making my kitchen hot last night so we had these little gems for dinner. My pickiest eater cleaned his plate and my husband thought they were pretty dang good. So much so that this has been added to the repertoire.

Rachel Sandwiches
6 Kaiser buns, hamburger buns, or any other sturdy bread
deli sliced turkey
provolone cheese (original recipe used Swiss but since we don't like Swiss I improvised)
cole slaw (i used premade found in the deli section)
Thousand Island dressing

Slice open buns and slather dressing on bread. layer ingredients, eat and enjoy.

I liked mine extra sloppy so I put lots of cole slaw on it. The others weren't as excited about sloppy. I hope you enjoy!!! We served it with a yummy Caesar salad.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Baked Spaghetti and Zucchini

Good Sunday evening everyone. I hope you've had a great week and are looking forward to another fun week. It's been a fun and football filled weekend for us as we cheered for our BYU Cougars and the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as various other teams. If you are a football fan, I hope your team did well!
Tonight for dinner we had a really yummy spaghetti bake. I hope you will enjoy it!

8 oz spaghetti noodles broken into thirds
1 can tomato paste
1 med onion, chopped
1 pound hamburger (if you want this veggie, you could use soy burger)
2 zucchini's chopped
3 med (or 2 large) tomatoes, chopped
1 C water
2 tbsp pizza spice (or you could use basil, oregano and garlic to your own taste)
1 C mozzarella cheese (or you could use the Italian style cheese-that's what I used)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook noodles for about 7 minutes until almost done, drain completely.
  • While noodles are cooking, cook hamburger and toss spice into. Drain off grease. In a medium pot heat tomatoes, zucchini and onions until just tender, about 10 minutes. They will continue to cook in the oven. Add hamburger and water to the mixture.
  • Put spaghetti noodles into a lightly greased 9X13 pan. Top with tomato, zucchini mixture and top with cheese.
  • Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.
This is great to make ahead. Make it to the point where you are about to put it in the oven. Put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. Then cook for the 30 minutes.

More to come later this week with some yummy sweet treats! Have a great week ya'll!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Baked Veggie Alfredo

This is one of those throw whatever you have on hand into the pot and VIOLA! You have dinner ready. It turned out really yummy and everyone enjoyed it. Feel free to make it to your family's likes. Enjoy!!

1 16 oz bag pasta
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 fresh zucchini chopped up
2 ribs of celery, chopped up
1/2 C frozen peas and carrots
3 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 C breadcrumbs
(i always have leftover bread in the freezer. put it in a food processor and season to taste. you will always have breadcrumbs on hand if you do this)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook and drain the pasta until almost done. About 8 minutes (depending on the type of pasta you are using.
Cook the peas and carrots with the pasta, drain. Add the celery, zucchini and toss lightly in alfredo sauce. Put in lightly greased 9X13 pan and top with breadcrumbs and bacon pieces. I also used the little bit of bacon grease as a flavoring on the top to help brown and crisp up the bread crumbs-this is of course optional.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!!

We served this with a broccoli slaw. I found a bag of the broccoli slaw at the store today. I dressed it with salsa, 1/2 a tomato, chopped up and ranch dressing to taste. This was a yummy dinner and for the most part, healthy. Hope you enjoy it!
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