Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dump Cake

I first had this at a work potluck about 7 years ago. I brought home the recipe and made it that night. It was so delicious! I have forgotten all about it until now! This is the easiest cake EVER! I really recommend keeping the ingredients in your cupboard for impromptu dinner guests. Best of all, there is nearly no work involved and it takes less then 5 minutes to throw together! This yummy cake is a cross between cake and cobbler... delish!

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 20 oz can of cherry pie filling
1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple with juice
2 sticks butter or margarine sliced

Preheat oven to 350. Dump cherries into 9x13 glass dish

Dump pineapple (juice and all) into pan and mix with cherries.

This should make a very pretty pink base for your cake.

Pour dry cake mix evenly over fruit, feel free to taste it, Aidan did.

I realyy should have used sticks of margarine rather then spread because this part was a pain!

Bake for 45-60 minutes until cake is bubbly on top. Finished cake pictures in next post!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tex Mex Shells

This is certainly a favorite around our house. I think I might have gotten this recipe off of one of those recipe cards in the meat department at Walmart, go figure :)

1 lb ground beef
1.25-1.5 lbs large shell pasta cooked and drained
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can olives, drained and sliced (or 2 cans pre sliced olives)
1 can diced tomatos, drained (you could also use about 1.5 cupsof halved cherry tomatos)
3 cups shredded cheddar
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can milk (tomato soup can)
1 package of fajita seasoning (I really think this recipe tastes best with Great Value brand seasoning, I have tried others)

Brown beef with onion and drain.

Mix beef, onion, olives, tomatos and pasta. Mix together seperately tomato soup plus one can of milk and fajita seasoning. Pour this over pasta mixture and add shredded cheese.

Place in pyrex dish and cover with foil and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.

This is also really yummy topped with crushed fritos!

Monday, April 25, 2011

An experiment...

Spaghetti sounded good today. While at Fred Meyer I thought I would look at their meat specials. Low and behold I found ground pork, at $0.79 a pound! I figured I should try it. I cooked my ground pork with some chopped onion, italian seasoning and garlic. It is better then I expected. It is down right delicious! It tastes like little chunks of lean pork chop. Speaking of lean, the butcher said he estimated the pork to be 85% lean. Not quite as lean as ground turkey (generally ground turkey is 93% lean) but way tastier and much healthier then ground beef. My spaghetti is still simmering (I did half ground pork and half ground beef) but I just had to share with you my fantastic experience with ground pork! By the way, it is normally priced at $1.49 per pound at FM!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not forgotten....

I have NOT forgotten about my blog, promise. With the rise in price for groceries lately, I have been making super easy, not so healthy meals around here. I need to sit down and cut some coupons as well as really work out a grocery list so I can stay in budget and still make my yummy meals! We've been doing easy, cheap stuff this last week like chili mac, corn dogs and tater tots, fried egg and pastrami sandwiches, etc. I need to get back to making our meals a little less processed and a little healthier, this "to go" food has got to go!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Taco Salad

So, I grew up with traditional taco salad. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, taco meat, cheese, tortilla chips and ranch dressing. This is a little twist to the traditional salad.

1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 can olives, sliced
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained (you can add taco seasoning or not, it's your choice)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 bag doritos (crunch them all up in the bag)
Catalina dressing

I would normally say to simply toss all of these ingredients but I don't toss them all so that I can save the leftovers without them getting gross. Toss everything but the chips and dressing. WHen serving, add the chips and dressing to each plate. This is such a yummy way to enjoy taco salad! (BTW, this picture is lacking dressing and chips)

Don't say EEEWWWW yet....

I didn't even want to post the name of this recipe because I didn't want to stop people from reading it! I've already ranted about cabbage and now I am going to rant about spam. Spam is something I never ate until about a year and a half ago. At least not that I can recall (my mom says she put it in fried rice growing up but I don't remember that). My friend came over and made this spam and cabbage dish at my house. My first thought, DISGUSTING. Once I tried it, I was asking for the recipe and made it two nights later! Spam really gets a bad reputation and really tastes just like salty ham with a bit of a softer texture. Don't get me wrong, it's not all that healthy for you but it really does not taste as awful as the name implies, or the stories you've heard about fried spam sandwiches (YUCK). So, this recipe has two very widely disliked foods, spam and cabbage. It is however a very tasty, easy, cheap meal and I really suggest you try it before you knock it!

1 can LITE spam, chopped into small pieces
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 bunch of asparagus cut into bite sized pieces
1 small(er) cabbage, chopped (you will use nearly all of the cabbage, it cooks down quite a bit)
soy sauce
olive oil
garlic powder
onion powder
TOASTED SESAME SEEDS (these are important to the flavor)
cooked rice to serve the cabbage and spam over

Take chopped spam and toss it in a large, hot pan, cook until it's lightly browned and then set aside. In the same pan heat up about a tablespoon of oil and saute asparagus. When the asparagus is nearly done add all that cabbage and mushrooms. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil, about 4 TBSP of soy sauce, and the pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Toss these all together and cook until cabbage starts to wilt (don't overcook the cabbage). Add sesame seeds and spam. Toss together and serve over rice!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

I got this recipe from my mom. While it is not traditional stroganoff this dish has wonderful flavor and is a great comfort food!

2 lbs stew meat (I actually used "taco meat" which is very small chunks of beef)
3 cans cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 16 oz container of sour cream
1 envelope of onion soup mix

Mix soup, sour cream, water and soup mix in crock pot. Add beef and mushrooms. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over noodles.

This comes out of the crock pot rather thin. What i like to do to rectify that is mix 2 tablespoons of white wine with 2 tablespoons of corn starch to create a slurry. I mix this into the stroganoff about an hour before serving.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pasta, Beans and Greens

First of all, if you don't like cabbage, ask yourself this question: have you only eaten boiled cabbage (like in corned beef and cabbage)? If the answer is yes, then pull on your big girl panties and give it another try! I personally don't mind boiled cabbage but boiling it really takes away it's flavor and gives it a slimy texture. Cabbage really adds great flavor to your meals and is low in calories, high in vitamins and antioxidants, not to mention packed with fiber! Go on, give it a try.

I should also warn you this recipe makes alot of food. Enough for seconds (for the grown ups) and lunch the next day. At my house, we like it that way so I don't have to pack lunches!

1 lb. thick sliced bacon
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
about 4-5 cups of shredded cabbage (just like you would shred it for tacos)
12 oz (3/4 lb) penne pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup chicken stock (I just use my bouillon)
2 can canneli beans (white kidney beans), drained
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan to top

Start by taking your raw bacon and cutting it into bite size pieces. Then, fry it up until it is fairly crispy.

While doing this, cook penne according to package directions. When bacon is done, drain (reserving 2 TBSP of drippings). Saute onion and celery in 2 tsp of olive oil.

When it is tender, add cabbage and bacon drippings. Cook just until cabbage is wilted.

Add beans, bacon and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 3 minutes. Toss this with the cooked penne and sprinkle with parmesan. Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Veggie Breakfast Bake

I am trying something new tonight. Not only is it new but it's just off the top of my head :) Keep in mind, this is one of those recipes you can use whatever you have in the fridge for this. Basically, anything that would be good in eggs can be tossed in this dish! I left this recipe pretty open but for those of you who prefer a more rigid recipe, I listed some ideas below!

** Update: This was absolutely loved by my family!

1 dozen eggs (beat and seasoned, I used black pepper and italian seasoning)
about 4-5 cups of chopped veggies
2 cups shredded cheese
1.5 cups of chopped breakfast meat (can be omitted for vegetarian dish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute your veggies in olive oil until they are still slightly crisp but not raw

(not all veggies should go in at the same time, pay attention to which will take longer to cook, leave tomatos uncooked). After veggies are done pour them in a 9x13 greased glass dish. Top with meat. Sprinkle with your cheese.

Pour the eggs over everything in dish. Top with tomatos.

Bake for 45 minutes (or longer) until when egg is set and toothpick SHOULD come out clean!

* Veggies: for this particular bake I used asparagus, broccoli, yellow squash, mushrooms, onion and tomato. Some other ideas would be bell pepper, zuchinni, greenbeans, snow peas... the possibilites are endless!
* Any cheese will work! Cheddar, monterey, swiss, etc. I also sprinkled mine with parmesan and feta.
* Meat: I used ham for this bake but crumbled bacon, smoked sausage and even some breakfast sausage would work.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sausage, Beans and Rice

This is another super easy meal. We love this recipe around our house, Aidan even requested it for his birthday.

2 boxes of long grain and wild rice (plus seasoning pack)
2 cups boiling water
1 green pepper seeded and diced
1 can cream style corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 polska kielbasa, halved and sliced (or any type of smoked sausage)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a casserole dish, add water to rice and seasoning packets. Stir in cream style corn. Add all other remaining ingredients. Cover with lid or foil and bake at least an hour (check to see that all water is absorbed, if not, continue cooking until it is gone).

* For a lighter version, brown the kielbasa in a pan first and drain grease that cooks off.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Silly? No, not me!

I really have plans of this being a well read blog, at least by my friends and their friends. I am going to keep working towards making it user friendly and a little prettier. However, this was not the point of my post tonight.

My point was, a friend of mine let me know today that she tried one of the recipes I posted! YAY! Her boys even gobbled it down without any leftovers. Please share with me when you use my recipes, I love to know that this blog isn't useless! Thanks for your support and I will keep the recipes coming!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Update on the Blog

So, I am changing my plans slightly for this blog. Originally, I was only going to post once a day (if that) as I made each meal so I could post photos. However, I have decided it would be easiest if I post recipes when I have the time and add pictures at a later date when I make the meal. This way, my readers have plenty of recipes to choose from, even if the photos aren't up! Please feel free to pass my blog on to your friends! I am excited to share my passion of cooking with everyone!

Taco Bake

This meal is SUPER easy and super yummy!

2 tubes (7.5 oz each, 10 biscuits each) of buttermilk biscuits
1 lb ground beef
1 pckg taco seasoning
1 can chili
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 400. Spray glass dish with cooking spray and place biscuits inside, touching and covering the bottom of dish.

Bake for 10 minutes. While that is baking, brown ground beef, drain and follow directions on taco seasoning to finish meat.

When meat is ready, add can of chili. Spread on biscuits. Sprinkle with cheddar and bake another 15 minutes.

When finished, top with salsa and sour cream!