Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Pin It With all of the Thanksgiving gatherings this past week I am sick of eating turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy.  My tastebuds need a wake up with some new flavors.  That's why I decided to make some chicken tortilla soup.  This makes a large pot full of soup so invite a crowd over or be prepared for delicious leftovers for days to come.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 c water
1 can corn, drained
1 can white hominy, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
juice of 1 lime
3 T green chiles, more or less to taste
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
sour cream
shredded cheddar
cilantro, chopped

1. In a large soup ot saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, crushed tomatoes, broth and water.  Bring to a boil.
2. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, hominy, green chiles, chicken and lime juice.  Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour.
3. Just before serving, stir in the tortilla strips.  Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro and shredded cheese.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Pin It
Our first official date was to Red Lobster.  Ever since then we have had an obsession with their rolls, however our checkbooks and waistlines don't allow us to eat there as frequently as we would like.  I stumbled across this recipe in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and it is pretty darn close to the real deal.  These are now a staple at our dinner table because they are so quick to prepare and I usually have the ingredients on hand.

Copycap Cheddar Bay Biscuits
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 c milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 T butter
1 tsp garlic salt
1 T parsley flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine Bisquick , milk and cheese until it forms a ball of dough.
3. Drop spoonfuls of dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Hint: they turn out best when you don't roll them into perfect balls.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slighly golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, melt butter and garlic salt together. 
6. Remove rolls from oven and brush butter mixture over warm rolls.  Sprinkle with parsley flakes.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nutella Fruit Dip

Pin It So you probably noticed the 2 tone fruit dip in the last post.  That's because I was feeling creative and decided to make 2 flavors or dip for a holiday gathering.  My fruit dip recipe is extremely versatile.  You could add any flavor of yogurt, pudding, peanut butter, or anything else delicious you can blend in to the mixture.

Nutella Fruit Dip
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c Nutella
1 container whipped topping

1. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
2. Stir in Nutella until well blended.
3. Fold in whipped topping.
4. Serve with fruits, cookies and graham crackers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Crowd Pleasing Fruit Dip

Pin It Albert loves fruit dip.  He would eat it all day if I let him.  I don't mind making it though because then I know he will eat some fruit.  It has now become our go-to item to bring to potlucks and family gatherings because everyone loves it.  Only 3 ingredients and you can easily whip it up in 5 minutes.  Leftovers keep for up to a week in your fridge.

Crowd Pleasing Fruit Dip
1 pkg cream cheese (reduced fat is fine), softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tub whipped topping

1. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
2. Fold in cool whip until well blended.
3. Enjoy on your favorite fruits or graham crackers and cookies.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grandma's Blueberry Coffee Cake

Pin It This is one of those recipes that reminds me of my childhood.  It reminds me of waking up at my grandma's house to the smell of freshly baked breakfast.  This is a classic, dense coffee cake with plump, juicy blueberries and a delicious streusel topping, drizzled with vanilla glaze.  Breakfast perfection!
You could substitue any type of berries, cherries, fruit that you like.

Grandma's Blueberry Coffee Cake
3 1/3 c flour
1 1/3 c sugar
1 c butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 c powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix flour, sugar and butter with a pastry cutter until butter is broken up into pea-sized pieces.
3. Remove 1 1/2 cups of mixture and set aside for topping.
4. To the remaining flour mixture add eggs, milk, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.  Mix well with a hand mixer.
5. Spread batter in a lightly greased jelly roll pan.  Top with blueberries.  Sprinkle reserved topping on top.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned around edges.  Allow to cool completely.
7. Mix powdered sugar with 1 T of water to make a glaze.  Drizzle on top of cake.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Heavenly Ham Sandwiches

Pin It This is a great potluck lunch item.  Ham sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls, covered in a delicious butter mixture and oven baked to perfection.  Recipe can be doubled or halved depending on the number of mouths you have to feed.  These are great even the next day as long as you reheat them.

Heavenly Ham Sandwiches
12 Hawaiian rolls
1/2 lb thin sliced ham
4 slices swiss cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
poppy seeds

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice rolls in half.  Put ham and 1/4 piece of cheese on each roll and replace top.
3. Put butter, mustard, worchestershire and onion powder in microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave until butter is melted.  Stir to mix.
4. Place sandwiches in an oven safe baking dish. 
5. Spoon butter mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
6. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and chesse is melted.
7. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Bake S'mores Bars

Pin It Craving the gooey, melty, messiness of a s'more, but don't have access to a fire?  I have the treat for you.  These bars are easy, fast and taste just like the campfire favorite.  Great for after school snacks or lunch boxes.  This recipe makes an 8x8 pan, but if you double it you can make a 9 x 13 pan.

No Bake S'Mores Bars
3 3/4 cups mini marshmallows, divided
2 T butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups Golden Grahams cereal
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, divided

1. Put 3 cups of marshmallows and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.
2. Stir in vanilla then add cereal and coat well.
3. Mix in 1/2 cup of marshmallows and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
4. Press into a well greased 8x8 pan.
5. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of marshmallows and chocolate chips on top.
6. Allow to cool before cutting (place in fridge if you are really hungry)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Pin It I have never been a huge fan of 5 ingredient or less recipes because I like experimenting and adding my own spices or ingredients to liven things up.  When I stumbled upon this recipe while watching Food Network one day, they made these cookies look so delcious that I had to try them.  I was pleasantly surprised.  They are moist and chewy and can be mixedup in the amount of time it takes to preheat your oven.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup natural, creamy peanut butter (I used Trader Joe's)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
sugar for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until well blended.
3. Spoon tablespoons of dough into sugar and roll into balls.  Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
4. Press down with a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on the cookies.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  They will look under cooked.  Let cookies cool slightly before removing from baking sheet and placing on cooling rack.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stuffed Green Peppers

Pin It A great meal for a cold weeknight.  Warm, tomatoey, meaty goodness nestled inside crisp green pepper shells and toppd with cheese.  Very easy to assemble, minimal cleanup, great leftovers.  What more could you want?  These could easily be assembled the night before and baked when you get home from work.

Stuffed Green Peppers
4 medium green bell peppers
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Cut off tops of peppers and remove seeds.  Submerge peppers in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. ***do not skip the boiling or it will take forever to bake these***(I learned my lesson)
3. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onions.  Drain well and return to skillet.
4. Add tomato sauce, rice and spices.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Remove peppers from water and drain well.  Place peppers in an oven safe dish.  Fill peppers with meat filling.  Top with shredded parmesan.
**if you have extra filling, pile it between all of the peppers.  It is still dellicious and great for people who want a little bit more, but not a whole pepper.**
6. Bake 20-25 minutes until peppers are tender and cheese is lightly browned.

Friday, November 4, 2011

So Easy Shepherd's Pie

Pin It Since Albert is a meat and potatoes kind of guy he loves shepherd's pie.  This is one of those meals that can be made a day in advance and heated when you are ready.  Comfort food at it's finest :)

So Easy Shepherd's Pie
1 lb ground beef
1 packet onion soup mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 1/2 cups of water
1 can corn, drained
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and chunked
1/4 c milk
1 T butter
3 T sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, boil potatoes until tender.
2. Meanwhile brown and drain ground beef in a large skillet.
3. Put beef back in skillet.  Add oinion soup mix, gravy mix and 1 1/2 cups of water.  Stir until mixture comes to a boil.  Take off heat.
4. Drain potatoes and put back in pot.  Add milk, butter and sour cream.  Mash until smooth.  Add more milk and sour cream to get to desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 7x11 baking dish with cooking spray.
6. Put beef mixture in bottom of pan.  Cover with corn.
7. Smooth potatoes on top of corn.
8. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbling.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Steamed Lobster Tails

Pin It My husband and I love a good lobster tail, but it isn't exactly in our budget to go out for seafood all the of the time.  One of Albert's good friends' moms is an amazing cook and she shared this recipe with us so we could make lobster at home.  I had always thought that lobster would be scary to cook and definitely too hard to do at home, but I was mistaken.  Anyone can make lobster in their home with minimal cooking experience or fancy supplies.  The only necessary cooking item that you need is a broiler pan. 

Steamed Lobster Tails
2 lobster tails
1 lemon, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 packet of seafood and crab boil seasoning (I used McCormick's)
2 T Old Bay Seasoning
Melted Butter for dipping

1. Fill bottom of broiler pan with 1/2 inch of water.
2. Arrange lemons and onions in a single lyer inthe water.  Sprinkle with seafood seasoning packet and Old Bay.
3. Put grate on top of broiler pan.  Lay lobster tails across the openings of the grate.
4. Cover tightly with foil.  You want all of the sides to be sealed so it creates a steamer effect.
5. Place broiler pan over 2 burners on your stove.  Turn heat to medium high.
6. When you can see steam, set your timer for 8 minutes.  DO NOT PEEK!  It will ruin the steam effect.  It is ok if some of the liquid escapes out of the sides.  It is easy to clean up.
7. When timer goes off, turn off burners and let lobster cool for a few minutes, until steam slows so you don't burn yourself. 
8. Carefully uncover.
9. Serve with melted butter for dipping.

Broiler pan over 2 burners