Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding

Okay, for Easter dinner I made Banana Pudding. But not JUST the pudding, don't worry. My mother in-law took care of the other items! I'm not going to even try and reglorify this recipe because it is already glorious enough, and the recipe is Paula Deen's and she already has it up on her site with pictures and everything. I'm simply stating that if you haven't yet, make it. Make it now. Go... run to the store and get yourself the ingredients required, make it... leave it over night in the fridge and then eat. You will think you're in heaven (that is, if you like banana's) for a second, it's THAT good. Even if you're not a HUGE banana fan and they're kind of "meh" to you- you'll like this. It's not overly... banana-ey. The recipe is HERE. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Meatloaf - Spicy with a side of sass!

I am not usually a big meatloaf fan, and it is not something I have tried to cook before. I am a huge lover of green chilies, and I tend to put them into as many recipes as I can. That being said...I bet you can guess what I added to my meatloaf that added the perfect kick!

I didn't know where to start with how to make meatloaf, so I researched meatloaf recipes. I decided to use Paula Deen's Old Fashioned Meatloaf as a base, and then I tweaked it. I wanted to add the green chilies and also garlic. I was surprised hers didn't call for that. I also left out the bell pepper she used, namely because I didn't have one. I just used more onion instead. My ingredients list was:

For the Meatloaf
3/4 pound of ground beef
1/2 pound of ground pork (Publix sells these mix together already in their meat department)
1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of garlic (It was a heaping teaspoon)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lightly beaten egg
1 can of Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilies - drained
1/2 cup of quick-cooking oats

2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of mustard
1/3 cup of ketchup

Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly spray your baking dish.

Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients together in a bowl. Take the mix and put it in your baking dish and shape into a loaf form. Then, mix together your topping ingredients and spread on the loaf.

Pop it into the oven and cook for about 1 hour. Mine cooked for an hour and ten minutes.

Take it out of the oven and enjoy! We had ours with some garlic mash potatoes and it was perfect. This recipe has a bit of a kick to it, but in the best possible way! This will definitely be made at our house over and over again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Taco Bake

We found this in our Dollar General believe it or not... decided to give it a try and we LOVE it. Easy, the kids will like it and it's cheap too! You can also find more recipes from Kraft here.
Kraft Taco Bake

1 pkg (14 oz) Kraft (or any really) Macaroni and Cheese Dinner

1 lb ground beef

1/8 cup chopped onions

1 pkg taco seasoning

3/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 cup of chunky salsa
Heat the oven to 400F. Prepare the mac and cheese dinner as directed on package. While that is cooking, saute your onions in a LITTLE bit of butter or oil. When translucent, add meat and cook until no more pink shows. Drain out the fat and move back to heat and add taco seasoning until mixed in well, remove from heat. Stir the sour cream in to the mac & cheese, spoon 1/2 of this mixture in to a 8 in square baking dish. Top with a layer of the meat, then 1 cup of the cheese, and finally the rest of the mac; cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, take out and top with salsa (or not if you're like my husband) and then cheese on top of that. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy! It's really quite easy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

So, I had been wanting to try to make chicken and dumplings for some time now...namely because I had never had them before. They sounded interesting, so I thought, why not. Plus, Jacob got really excited when I mentioned making them.

Since I didn't know what they should taste like, I read a bunch of different recipies and decided on two that I thought sounded good...so I took a little from this and a little from that, and BAM! Chicken and dumplings. Here is what I did. (Please excuse the picture quality...they were taken with my iPhone...)

For the chicken portion, I used this recipe from Baking Bites.

1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
40-oz chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
**I also added some Italian seasoning to it and it was YUM!

And for the Buttermilk-Chive Dumplings, I used a recipe from Tyler Florence, which I found here. Note, I didn't have chives, so I used dried parsley. That was a good decision... Also, this could be cut down by a fourth. I didn't know that before I started, but I had a bit left and also had some huge dumplings.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped chives (or parsley)
1 cup buttermilk

To make the dumplings: Take the dry ingredients and sift them into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and chives/parsley. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together until it's a cake batter like consistency.

It's good to have a helper around to clean up the floor behind you as you go....

To make the chicken portion, all you do is heat up a large pot or dutch oven and add the celery, carrots and onions. Leave them in there for about 5 minutes while they sweat it out. Then throw in the garlic and leave it along for another couple minutes. Add in the chicken stock, salt, pepper, thyme, (Italian seasoning if you so choose) and chicken to the pot (remember, the chicken should be cooked and shredded already. Mine was still pretty frozen when I pulled it out of the fridge, so I cubed it and then boiled it and it worked just fine. It was also super quick!) Bring this to a boil.

Once the chicken is brought to a boil, you can start dropping in spoonfuls of the dumplings. My pot wasn't really wide enough, so they ended up touching and cooking. Guess what. It wasn't the end of the world! I let them sit in there with the lid on for about 13 minutes. Next time I would make my spoonfuls a bit smaller, but like I said, they were still delicious!

So maybe my dumplings looked a bit more like biscuits than dumplings, but that's ok. They were great, and the chicken portion was YUM!! I have actually thought about taking it and turning it into a chicken soup recipe. Jacob agreed, he really enjoyed it!

Conclusion: If this is what chicken and dumplings are all about, I'm sad I have gone this long without them!! I will definitely be making this again.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sausage Dip

One of mine and Ashley's trademark dips for parties has become... dun, dun, dun... THE SAUSAGE DIP. Everyone loves it. I mean EVERYONE. And well, it's pretty much expected of us now. SO... we thought we'd share so we're not always the only ones making it! Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Sausage Dip

1/2 and onion (or about a 1/2 cup pre-chopped frozen onions)
2 lbs Jimmy Dean sausage
4 tomatoes diced OR 2 (16 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
8 0z of chopped green chilies

Saute the onions in butter (there's that butter again) until golden brown...not burnt. Stir in sausage and cook thoroughly. Add tomatoes and chilies.

8 oz cream cheese
16 oz sour cream

Melt cream cheese and sour cream in a crock pot. Add the sausage mixture. (You can even add this before the cream cheese is totally melted, because it will help in the melting process.) Cook thoroughly stirring often to melt all the cheese!
Don't forget to take what my dad calls, a scritch (small taste) often and eat with your fave tortilla chips!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Well, some people have asked me to post my recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. So here I go! My first DFLS recipe entry! YAY! (A big THANK YOU to Ashley for getting this all set up for us! I am SO excited to share recipes with you!)
First, the Sauce: 2 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tbsp flour 2 tbsp chili powder 1/2 tsp cumin 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 2 cups water (warmer is better) 1 8 oz (or 12 or 6... I haven't found an 8 oz can yet, but if you have gold star for you) can of tomato paste 1 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp salt *secret ingredient 1/2-1 tsp SUGAR! Depending on your liking Heat the oil, flour and chili powder in the saucepan and cook 1-2 mins. It'll look weird and dark red. That's okay, this IS a red sauce! Reduce heat or turn off the heat while doing your next step- dissolve the tomato paste in the two cups water as much as you can. Add this mixture and the rest of the ingredients on low heat and simmer for 20 mins, stirring it occasionally with a whisk. Because of the flour, it will thicken up quite nicely. AND, in my opinion- the longer you can simmer or even let sit before using, the better tasting it is. This gives the flavors a chance to work their magic and absorb in to this lovely mixture we call Red Sauce. For the Enchiladas: 1 chopped onion 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp each chili powder, garlic powder & ground cumin 8 oz cream cheese 6 cups chopped cooked chicken (season to your liking) 8 oz sharp shredded cheese 16 corn tortillas (or 10 small flour tortillas) Heat your oven to 350 degrees, spray your large glass baking dish, two if you need. Spoon some sauce in to the bottom of the dish as well for the enchiladas to rest in. In a large saucepan or wok cook the onion (I use Kroger's Recipe Starters pre-chopped onions! I HATE chopping onions) and oil for 5 mins or until translucent. Mix in the spices; chili, garlic and cumin until onions are coated well. Add the cream cheese in small chunks and cook on low until melted. Add your chicken and stir well, then add the shredded cheese. The insides are all done now! Yes, it's THAT easy!Now... this part gets tricky I think because corn tortillas are kind of a pain to work with (which is why some prefer flour tortillas). So you have two options in my humble opinion. #1-Have a skillet of hot oil ready and quickly dip your tortillas in the hot oil before filling with the chicken mixture and rolling up to put in your baking dish. This keeps the tortilla flexible and saturated so it doesn't fall apart when you roll it up. #2-Another trick is to warm them up in the microwave and spray with warm water- although this sometimes results in MUSH or the tortillas ending up falling apart anyway. Personally- I do the water trick because it seems to be less of an extra step and plus I don't really care if they fall apart- they end up covered in sauce and cheese anyway and no one can even tell! Now, if you're using flour tortillas... easy-peasy... you just fill and roll, no problem. Anyway you decide- fill those bad boys up, roll them and tightly fit them next to each other in your baking dish.Now, for the SAUCE... the best part! Now you've got your Enchiladas ready for a bath in that lovely warm red sauce... so go for it. Pour it ALL over the enchiladas making sure to get in the nooks and crannies and the sides of the dish. Cover with as much lovely cheddar cheese as you want and bake for 20-30 mins. Then eat! Seems like a process, and I guess it is- but trust me it gets easier the 2nd and 3rd times and you WILL make it at least that many times more! These are DELISH!