Friday, December 31, 2010

Quick and easy Festive Soup

I was looking for something different to make with ground beef and started flipping through a Pillsbury cookbook I had at home and came across this recipe.

Beefy Nacho Soup
1 lb of ground beef
Pack of taco seasoning
2 cans of condensed nacho cheese soup
1 can of diced tomatoes and green chilies undrained
1 1/2 cups of milk
Shredded cheese
Tortilla chips

Brown the ground beef and drain in a large pot
Reduce heat to medium and add the taco seasoning, soup, diced tomatoes and milk. Cook 10 minutes stirring frequently until heated through. Top with cheese and tortilla chips. I also added green onions and sour cream to it which gave it even more flavor.

The recipe only called for 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning and 1 can of nacho cheese soup but the extra seasoning and soup gave it an extra kick while the sour cream on top cooled it down.

Katie's bacon wrapped chicken

Chicken was on sale at a local grocery this week for $1.79 a pound. After we stocked up, I had to find a new chicken recipe. Here's what I came up with:

Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Worcestershire sauce
Sliced fresh mushrooms
Onion sliced
Monterrey Jack shredded cheese
1 bottle of Marzetti's honey mustard salad dressing

Put chicken in a glass dish and poke holes in it with a fork
Pour Worcestershire over it to soak in and marinade. I put quite a bit actually.
Refrigerate for 1 hour. You can cover it if you want, but I didn't and it came out just as good.
Cook bacon, drain and set aside.
Cook onion and mushrooms in bacon grease. Let sizzle on low.
Preheat oven to broil
Broil each chicken breast for 10 minutes on each side.
Take out and top with bacon and cheese and cook until cheese is melted.
Serve with mushrooms and onions and dressing.

We also had baked potatoes which went quite well. It's not too time consuming but oh so tasty!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Spanish kind of Sunday meal

For some reason Mexican food sounded really good and I came across a new enchilada recipe in Taste of Home yesterday that I thought I would try. Couple it with some home made Spanish rice and you've got a South of the Border Sunday meal.

8 servings

2 cups of cooked chicken
1 package of 8oz cream cheese, softened
8 flour tor
tillas (6 or 8 inch)
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of salsa
Shredded cheese
1 can of sliced olives
1 can of chopped green chilies
Shredded lettuce to top
Chili Powder

Combine chicken with cream cheese, green chilies, and sliced olives. I added some chili powder for more flavor as well. Mix 1 cup of salsa with sour cream. Spread in bottom of 13 x 9 pan. Spoon about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture down the center of a tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in a 13 x 9 pan. Spread the remaining salsa mixture on top of the tortillas. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with lettuce and serve.

Home made Spanish rice
2 T oil
1 cup of uncooked rice (I used Italian Arboro Rice because it's thicker)
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 can of Mexicorn

1 can of chicken broth
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 t chili powder
1 t salt

Heat oil over medium heat
Saute onion, corn and bell pepper
Add rice and cook until rice is browned and onion is tender
Stir in tomatoes and chicken broth and chili powder and salt
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all of the liquid is cooked out.

This rice had a ton of flavor and was quite tasty. It could even be served as a meal if you wanted to add some chorizo sausage to it, which I may do when I make it again.

Homemade Cherry Danish, perfect for the holidays

I was cleaning up some of my old magazines and came across this recipe in Taste of Home, I figured I had to try it. Never made homemade Danish before but man did it sound good. You make the dough the night before and put it in the fridge, perfect for entertaining or the holidays.

2 packages 1/4 oz. each of active dry yeast
1/2 cup of warm 2% milk (110 to 115 degrees)
6 cups of flour
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tsp salt
1 cup of cold butter
1 1/2 cups of warm half and half cream (110 to 115 degrees)
6 egg yolks beaten
1 can cherry pie filling

In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. (I used a serrated biscuit cutter to mix the butter into the flour and sugar mixture)
Add the yeast mixture, cream and egg yolks. Stir until mixture forms a soft dough, it will be sticky. I found it better to use your hands to mix it then a spoon since it was very sticky. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Punch dough down; divide into quarters. Roll each portion into an 18 x 4 rectangle. (Best to do this on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin). Cut into 1x4 inch strips. Place 2 strips side by side and twist together. Shape into a ring and pinch the ends together. Repeat with remaining strips. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. (I used Pam for Baking, worked perfectly). Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. (Putting them in an oven that isn't turned on works well too.)

Using the end of a wooden spoon make a 1/2 inch deep indentation in the center of each roll and fill with 1 Tbsp of cherry pie filling. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned. Remove from pans to cool.

Icing: 2 Tbsp of softened butter, 3 cups of confectioners sugar, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract, 4 to 5 tsp of half and half.

Beat butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and enough cream to achieve a drizzling consistency.

I found I had to add more than 4-5 tsp of half and half to make it thinner.

Drizzle over rolls.

These Danish were quite tasty out of the oven, mine didn't rise as much as I would have liked, partly because the yeast didn't dissolve all the way into the milk. The recipe makes 3 dozen. I only did 2 sections of the dough and froze the other 2 sections. Let me know how you fare with them!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday morning Breakfast

I was cleaning out the freezer yesterday and discovered that I had some hash browns and breakfast sausage and decided to make a breakfast casserole this morning. Since Ryan and I are not huge egg fans I was so happy to have found a casserole that wasn't loaded down with eggs. I made it for 6 servings since there was just 2 of us and it was just enough. If you're serving more people, just double or triple the recipe.

Amish Breakfast Casserole

Sliced sausage or bacon
Onion chopped
Green pepper chopped (the recipe didn't call for this but I had one fresh from the garden and threw it in)
2 cups thawed frozen shredded hash browns
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup of another flavor of shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook meat, onion and pepper
Combine the remaining ingredients
Add the meat mixture
Put in a greased baking dish
Bake 35-40 minutes
Wait 10 minutes to cut

This was quite enjoyable and would definitely be good for company or holidays!

A tasty summer meal

Ryan and I are always up for finding new things to eat for dinner especially in the summer when we can utilize the grill. We decided that some fish on the grill sounded really good and started our adventure at the farmer's market. After reading a recipe in Rachael Ray magazine for some grilled asparagus we decided on grilled cod sandwiches with grilled asparagus for dinner. There were very tasty! Here's what we did:

2 lbs of fresh cod fillets
Fresh rolls (we used basil focaccia rolls we found at the farmer's market)
Tartar sauce
Fish seasoning
Grilled red pepper
Fresh onions and lettuce

We seasoned the cod and just grilled it until it was done
We also grilled the red pepper so it was soft and had a smoky taste
Slice the rolls and put the tartar sauce, pepper, onions and lettuce on it with the fish.

For the asparagus we just cleaned it and rubbed it with olive oil before putting it on the grill. While Ryan was grilling it, I made some changes to this Rachael Ray recipe:

Asparagus with Parsley and Orange Butter

chopped parsley
chopped chives
1 whole stick of almost melted butter
Orange marmalade (the recipe called for grated orange peel but I thought the marmalade would give it more orange flavor)
Lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in with the butter
Put the grilled asparagus in and mix together

The grilled asparagus will melt the butter more and make more of a clear liquid sauce.

This was a great recipe, I could have used a little more marmalade (I only used a spoonful) but all in all what a tasty summer meal.

Quiche by Katie

One of my mom's recipes that I've seemed to have mastered is the dinner quiche. I've become so good at making it that I've doctored up the recipe to include other things such as Italian sausage, red peppers, feta cheese, and spinach. Most recently I made a ham, green onion and feta cheese quiche that came out pretty tasty. Here's the recipe:

1 frozen pie crust
diced ham
onion sauteed (I actually didn't saute it and it was just as good)
3 eggs beaten

16 oz cottage cheese
1 container of feta cheese
Green onions

8 oz shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mix meat, onions, eggs and cheeses in a bowl
Pour in a pie shell and put on a cookie sheet

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes
Turn oven down to 350 degrees for 45 minutes
Let cool 15 minutes before cutting

Let me know if you try this, you can do many variations of it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Katie Concotion

Growing up my mom would always concoct things for dinner with what she had in the cupboards and freezer or fridge. I took a lesson from Mom and concocted some pretty good pasta for dinner last night.


Chicken breast, thawed
Pepper and some seasonings for the chicken
Pasta (I u
sed penne)
1 1/2 sticks of butter
Lemon Juice
Diced Tomatoes

- Season the chicken and grill it

- Boil the pasta until al dente, drain
-Chop onion and saute in some olive oil in a skillet
- Add the cooked pasta
-Add the butter
and stir until melted
-Drizzle lemon juice on top and stir
-Mix in some garlic
-Stir in diced tomatoes
-Let simmer for
5 minutes
-Cut chicken in to strips
-Dish the pasta and put chicken on top and top with shredded cheese.

It's pretty quick and easy but tasted like something you could get at Olive Garden or another tasty Italian restaurant.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mini quiches for a morning breakfast or a special occasion

Since it's Mother's Day even though I'm not a mother I thought I'd make something different for breakfast this morning. Since it turned out good, I know it's worthy enough to make for my mother or company.

Bacon Quiche
5 or 6 slic
es of bacon
8 oz package of cr
eam cheese, softened
2 tablespoons of milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup of cheese (I used Colby Jack)
1 bunch of green onions
1 10 oz can of flaky biscuit dough
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray (I used an extra large muffin pan because I used Grands biscuits)
-Cook the bacon, Drain and crumble
-Mix cream cheese, milk, and eggs w
ith a mixer on low.
-Stir in cheese and onions.

-Separate biscuits
-Press into muffin pan-Sprinkle bacon at the bottom
-Spoon mixture into cups
-Bake 20-25 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown.
-Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining bacon, pressing it into the filling.
-Remove from oven pan and serve warm.

Starting the cooking blog back up

I've decided since my life is kind of crazy with school right now that a great way to relieve stress is cooking and blogging. So I'm making a concerted effort to update my cooking blog at least once a week if not more. I've become quite a skilled cook, I won't say I'm amazing but I'm getting better and better. So here's a quick meal I made on Saturday since it felt like fall in May.

French Onion Soup & Cuban Sandwich Calzones

Ingredients for Soup:
2 Onions

1/4 cup of butter
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 cans of beef broth

2 1/2 cups of water


Slice the onions

Saute onions in butter

Stir in flour and gradually add broth and water

Simmer for 30 minutes of for a couple hours on low
Add crou
tons and shredded cheese when hot and ready to serve

Cuban Sandwich Calzones
(I got this recipe in an email and figured I'd try it)

Pillsbury Frozen biscuits
1 1/2 teaspoo
n mustard (we used spicy)
1 1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise
Cheese slices (I used Colby Jack)
Sliced Ham and one other sliced meat (I used chicken breast)
1 egg, beaten

-Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray
-Microwave biscuits for 30-45 seconds turning over half way through, they should still be cold when you take them out.
-Stretch each biscuit to six inches round. (It was easier to do this by laying them flat on the cookie sheet.
-Mix mustard and mayo together and spread within 1/2 inch of the edge of the
-Layer pickles, meat and cheese, folding if necessary.
-Brush egg on edges.
-Fold over and press with a fork
(You can use left over egg to brush on top and sprinkle with minced onions or garlic powder if you like.)
-Bake 15-20 minutes in the oven until cheese is melted and biscuit is cooked.

Please forgive the messy cookie sheet, it's a sign that we use it a lot! :)

The only thing I would change about this recipe is the biscuits, they were hard to fold out, maybe try a flat bread or something thinner next time. Other than that the soup and sandwiches were a quick and tasty meal! If you try it, let me know what you think.