Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No-Peek Beef

A few months ago, I tried a recipe for No-Peek Chicken...and then I saw this recipe for No-Peek Beef last week, courtesy of Mommy's Kitchen blog.

It cooks low and slow...and makes your house smell divine. I used stew meat, and it was incredibly tender...and swimming in a swoon-worthy gravy. I will use low-sodium onion soup mix next time, as it almost bordered on too salty (the blandness of the rice made it less so).

We eat late, so this was a good weeknight meal for us, especially since it only takes a few minutes to put together. But I could see this as more of a weekend meal for most families.

I (obviously) served it over rice, but it would also be delicious over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Printable recipe

2 pounds beef tips or stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 packet Lipton dry onion soup mix
1 4-ounce can mushrooms
1 cup water 

Add cubed meat to a 9x13 inch dish. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over the meat. Add mushrooms and stir to coat. Cover with foil and bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

OBG: Chicken and Dumplings

Here's another Oldie But Goodie (OBG). I have no idea where I got this recipe, but I've been making it for years. No judgment on using biscuit dough for the dumplings...that's how I cook. No way would I ever make dumplings from scratch!

This picture was taken after it had's much soupier/looser when hot. It's the perfect cold-night dish...will warm you to the bone.

Printable recipe

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can refrigerated biscuits

Bring broth to a boil and cook thighs 15-20 minutes until done. Remove thighs from broth. Keep broth in pot. Allow chicken to cool, then shred. Whisk in both cans of soup, and add chicken back in. Bring back to a boil. Separate biscuits and cut each into sixths. Add to pot and simmer for 12-15 minutes until dough is cooked.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tortellini Bake

This is why I love Pinterest.

BF: Can I see your iPad for a few minutes?
Me: Sure. Why?
BF: I want to pick something Italian from your board for dinner.

Let me say this...this isn't a "one and done" dish. I promise if you make this, it will become part of your permanent rotation. The cream cheese turns an ordinary "pasta and sauce" recipe into something special. It's so rich and creamy...we couldn't stop eating it. My BF didn't even miss the meat, although you could certainly add ground beef or Italian sausage to it.

This recipe comes courtesy of Pass the Sushi.

Printable recipe

2 9-ounce packages refrigerated tortellini
1 jar spaghetti sauce
3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Cook the tortellini per package instructions. Drain. 

Meanwhile, stir together the spaghetti sauce, cream cheese, milk, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Stir in cooked tortellini.

Pour into greased 9x13 dish. Sprinkle the mixture with the mozzarella cheese and the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mexican Chicken and Rice

A few weeks ago, my mom gave me some smoked chicken breasts left over from her supper club, and I shredded and froze it. So, when I saw this recipe from Me and My Tadpole, I thought it would be a perfect dish to use up the chicken. I added a can of Rotel tomatoes for color and a little more heat.

As a "dinner," this had way too much taco seasoning. Overpowering. However, as a "dip," served with Frito Scoops, it was perfect. The flavor of the chips offset the seasoning and made it much more tasty. Plus, it uses ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Printable recipe

2-3 cups cooked, chopped chicken

1 packet taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/3 cups water
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 cup Minute rice, uncooked
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

Mix together taco seasoning, soup, water, tomatoes, rice and 1/2 of the cheese in a large bowl. Stir in cooked chicken. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake up to an additional 10 minutes or until cheese on top is melted.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meat Lover's Bread Pudding

Doesn't the name of this dish just scream "guy food" to you? This was floating around on Pinterest and comes courtesy of Pillsbury.

I made a few adjustments, some on purpose and some not. I intentionally left out the onion/celery/bell pepper mixture, for personal preference. Also, when I was browning the beef and sausage, I realized I was cooking 1/2 pound extra meat than the recipe called instead of mixing in just one cup of marinara, I used the entire jar, just to make sure it had enough liquid. Finally, I realized that the boxes of frozen Texas toast I had bought were larger than specified, so I just used a box and a half. Basically, you just need enough cubes to cover two layers.

The prep on this was a little more intense than I, cubing frozen pieces of bread is no small task. And, the reviews were mixed. I thought it was delicious, with the bread sort of melting into a consistency that was almost like pasta. However, my BF thought it was dry. I brought leftovers to my mother the next day, and she said that when reheated in microwave, the bread became "gummy"...but that it had good flavor and she wished she could have tasted straight from the oven.

Like I said, though, I enjoyed it. I might not make it again...but I'm glad I gave it a try.

Printable recipe

 pound ground beef
 pound Italian pork sausage
  cup marinara sauce
  cup half-and-half
teaspoon Italian seasoning
 teaspoon garlic salt
teaspoon pepper
 boxes (9.5 oz each) frozen five-cheese Texas toast, cubed
 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Brown and drain beef and sausage. Stir in 1 cup marinara sauce. 

In medium bowl, beat half-and-half, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, pepper and eggs until blended. 

Layer half of the Texas toast in greased 9x13 dish; top with half of the meat mixture and 1 cup of the cheese blend. Repeat layers. Pour egg mixture over top. 

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Crack" Quiche

After four days of turkey and trimmings, I was so OVER (and out of) leftovers from Thanksgiving. I wanted something completely different, so I went with breakfast for dinner.

Plain Chicken has a popular, crowd-pleaser Cheddar-Bacon Dip that she's dubbed "crack," and she used the same flavor combination in this quiche.

While I love the taste of bacon, I can't stand to cook it, so I'm a huge fan of the bags of bacon pieces (not bits). This is crazy just takes a bowl and a whisk to prepare. It's big on flavor...smoky, cheesy, and creamy with a flaky crust. Perfect for any time of day!

Printable recipe

1 frozen deep dish pie crust
1 (3-ounce) bag real bacon pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Ranch dressing

Place bacon in bottom of pie crust. Top with cheese. Whisk together eggs, cream, milk, and Ranch dressing. Pour over bacon and cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving: Sweet Potato Casserole

For Thanksgiving, my parents make the turkey and cornbread dressing, and my sister and I split up all of the other sides. I love Thanksgiving Eve...I crank up the music, pour a glass of wine, and cook!

I wanted to make something new this year, so my sister traded me the sweet potato casserole. (I also made green bean casserole and squash casserole.)

I'm sure everyone has their particular version of this holiday standard. I chose this recipe from Taste of Home, one of my favorite sites, because it a) used canned sweet potatoes (I wasn't about to peel, cube, and cook pounds of fresh ones!) and b) used a pecan/brown sugar topping and not marshmallows.

This was perfect...smooth and creamy with a sugary, crunchy top. And easy to make, to boot!

Printable recipe

2 cans (40 ounces each) sweet potatoes, drained
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

In a large bowl, mash sweet potatoes. Add the eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth. Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and pecans; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cowboy Casserole

In the original post of this recipe at The Cutting Edge of Ordinary, the blogger included this in the title: "looks like dog food, tastes delicious." I had no hope that this would photograph well (figured I would just include a pan shot), but it actually looks better than I thought it would. And, it is indeed delicious.

As the blogger suggested, I used Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns instead of actual tater tots so that they would lay flat. The bottom layer of potatoes ends up sort of breaking down and blending in with the hamburger mixture, while the top layer gets crunchy. Perfect combination.

I had a three-year-old helper with me in the kitchen, and he loved placing the Crispy Crowns on the bottom and top. Simple pleasures, I suppose...he was so pleased with himself for arranging them "just right."

Printable recipe

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 bag frozen tater tots

Brown and drain beef and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the soup, milk and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add to hamburger mixture and stir to combine. Add corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.

Line the bottom of a greased 9x13 dish with half of the potatoes. Pour the hamburger mixture over the top and then top with the other half of the potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cup cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Monday, November 12, 2012

OBG: Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Here's another Oldie But Goodie (OBG) mom's potato soup recipe. The temperatures here lately have been crazy...70s during day, 30s at night. But, it makes for good soup weather. Plus, with football season in full swing, I knew I didn't want to be cooking. Enter the crockpot.

No fancy flavors here...just "warm you to your bones" goodness. I like to serve this with Sister Schubert yeast rolls stuffed with Canadian bacon or ham.

Printable recipe

1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 bag frozen cubed potatoes
2 cups water
2 cups milk

Mix all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low 7-8 hours. Stir in a handful of cheese and serve with additional cheese and bacon bits.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Creamed Corn Casserole

I don't usually have access to a grill, but when I did for a few nights last week, I made sure I used it for dinner every chance I had: burgers, steaks, BBQ chicken, and this pork tenderloin (I marinate in equal parts of Moore's and Italian dressing).

For the side dish, I went with this corn casserole recipe from Unsophisticook. Creamed corn screams comfort food to me, and this recipe could not be easier. No kidding. Dump, stir, bake. I loved the crunch of the corn kernels within the sweet, creaminess of the rest of the dish. With Thanksgiving around the corner, this can be easily doubled for a crowd (in a 9x13 dish).

Printable recipe

1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into 8x8 dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Y'all know I'm a sucker for a casserole...and Cassie Craves is one of my favorite food I immediately pinned this recipe when she posted it a couple of weeks ago.

This has all of the flavor of chicken parmesan, with the benefit of simple prep. I love a twist on a classic! The garlic bread topping alone was heavenly, but it was divine all together. The chicken/marinara mixture on the bottom was a little "loose," so I'll serve this over macaroni or some other type of pasta next time. I think that would put this already-delicious dish over the top.

A couple of notes...My grocery store didn't have garlic breadsticks, so I added garlic powder to the butter mixture. Also, instead of dipping each breadstick piece in the butter mixture, I put the bread and butter in a large bowl and tossed together.

Printable recipe

1 package boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 jar marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 can refrigerated garlic breadsticks
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In an 8x8 baking dish, arrange chicken and pour marinara sauce over top to coat. Top with mozzarella cheese.

In a small bowl, stir together melted butter and Italian seasoning.

Separate dough into 8 breadsticks. Cut each breadstick into 1-inch pieces and dip dough into melted butter mixture. Arrange pieces over mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over dough.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.