Thursday, December 23, 2010

Black Bean Salsa

LOVE this stuff!! I've heard this type of salsa called different of them being Cowboy Caviar. It is so easy to make and YUMMY!

You will need:
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 package of frozen corn, thawed
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. red onion, chopped
1/4 c. lime juice
1 envelope Good Seasons Garlic & Herb Seasoning Mix
5 T. chopped cilantro
2 t. cumin

Mix all of the ingredients together; refrigerate. Serve with tortilla chips, if you choose, my favorite way. I've also ate it without the chips, as sort of a side dish type thing.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

I love these! I think they are supposed to be similar to what they serve at Red Lobster. I haven't been there in a long time so I don't remember. Someone gave us this recipe when Tim & I got married and I've been making them ever since!

You will need:
2 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. margarine, melted
1/4 t. garlic powder
dried basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine Bisquick, milk and cheese and mix together well. Drop dough onto cookie sheets making 12 biscuits. Bake 15 minutes, till golden brown. Combine margarine and garlic powder and brush over biscuits. Lightly sprinkle biscuits with basil. Serve warm.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

I found this recipe over at It is a super easy recipe and tasted pretty good too! No one complained in our house...that's always a good thing! :)

I made some small changes, nothing major. Below is what I used.

You will need:
8 oz. spaghetti, cooked & drained
1 1/2 c. cooked, chopped chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 c. water
2 T. butter
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Place noodles in the bottom of 11x7 baking dish. Layer chicken over the top of the noodles. On stove top, bring soup, water, butter and bouillon cube to a boil (make sure the bouillon cube dissolves); then pour over chicken & noodles. Sprinkle cheese over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Egg & Sausage Casserole

I found this recipe on Love that site!! This casserole was super easy!!

You will need:
1 tube of refrigerated crescent rolls
1# sausage, cooked & drained (I used a bag of fully cooked turkey sausage by Jimmy Dean's instead...I think it was a little over 9 oz. and it was plenty for me!)
8 eggs, beaten
1 8 oz. bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1 8 oz. bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 t. oregano
salt & pepper, to taste

Spray the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Roll out crescent dough and place in the bottom of the dish. Spread sausage over the top.

Combine eggs, cheese and spices in a bowl. Pour over sausage.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Chicken Rolls

Made these for dinner tonight! This recipe is from my sister. DELICIOUS!!!

You will need:
1 tube of crescent rolls
Cooked, cubed chicken (about 2 cups or so??)
About 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 c. milk

In a small pot, combine soup and milk. Heat on low till heated through and well blended (I whisk mine every so often as it warms up). While soup/milk is warming, take crescent rolls and press 2 triangles together to get a will end up with 4 rectangles. Spread chicken and cheese in the centers of each rectangle and roll up and place in lightly greased 9x13 dish. If you have leftover chicken & cheese, throw it in the soup mixture. Pour soup mixture over the tops of rolls (cover tops lightly otherwise they end up doughy). Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

*If you have older children or bigger eaters, you'll probably want to double the recipe. This is JUST enough for our family of 5 (3 of which are young children).


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fun Christmas Recipes

Here are a few of my favorite recipes to make this time of year. I enjoy doing this type of thing for people to let them know we appreciate them!

This is probably one of my favorite things to make. It's easy & yummy! :) Our whole family really enjoys it but it is addicting...which is why I need to give most of it away.

White Chocolate Covered Snack Mix
18 oz. White Almond Bark
6 c. Rice Chex
3 c. Cheerios
2-3 c. small pretzel twists
1/2 "medium" bag of Holiday Plain M&M's
1/2 "medium" bag of Holiday Peanut M&M's

Melt the almond bark in the microwave until smooth (put it in for 30 seconds at a time and stir in between till completely melted).

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.

Pour the melted almond bark over the cereal mixture and stir to coat it evenly.

Spread mixture out on waxed paper to cool. Once it is cool, break it into small pieces. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

*This is they way we like this mix. You could add in different kinds of Chex cereals, peanuts, different pretzels...whatever your preference. You could probably do Chocolate Almond Bark if you really like chocolate!? I have found Aldi's to have the best price on Almond Bark.

These are also easy to make and fun to do with the kids...they can pretty much do most of the work on their own. They enjoy being able to open all of the Hershey's Kisses...and when they are done they get to eat one...which I'm pretty sure is their favorite part!? ;)

Pretzel Treats
You will need:
Small Pretzel Twists
Hershey's Kisses OR Rolos

Heat oven to 170 degrees.

Cover cookie sheet with pretzels. Put a Hershey's Kiss or Rolo (Tim's personal favorite!) on top of each pretzel. Place in oven for about 4-6 minutes until chocolate is soft (Rolos sometimes take a bit longer). Pull them out of the oven and press an M&M's into the top of each chocolate candy. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or longer until chocolate is set.

*I store these in the fridge but I don't think you have to.

These cookies are a little more time consuming than the last two recipes but a family favorite. I make them all year long but just use regular M&M's instead of the holiday version.

Monster Cookies
I found a recipe for these on a while back and have tweaked it a bit to make them how we like them. This is what I use:
1/2 c. margarine, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter (crunchy or creamy...crunchy is probably our fave!)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1-2 t. light corn syrup (I don't always use this)
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. quick oats
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. Holiday Plain M&M's

In a large bowl, combine margarine, peanut butter and sugars. Mix well. Then add in the eggs, corn syrup and vanilla. Mix well. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix. Stir in oats, chips and M&M's.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 11 minutes.


What items do you like making at Christmas time? Please share!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tater Tot Casserole

I have seen several different versions of this type of casserole but have never found one that I thought my family would eat. Most versions of this recipe involve vegetables that no one will eat but me. I found this one here and made it for lunch today after church and everyone liked it. I think it was was a little on the bland side but I would make it again because everyone ate it without complaint! I may need to figure out a way to season the meat a little more.

You will need:
1# ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
32 ounces package of tater tots
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. milk
1 c. sour cream
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef with onions. Add salt & pepper, to taste. Drain grease off meat (I always rinse my meat with hot water...does anyone else do this??). Spread meat into bottom of 9x13 baking dish.

In a bowl, combine soup, milk and sour cream. Spread over meat.

Place tater tots on top of soup...I thought I would line these up in nice little rows so they would look nice but after doing this with 3 tater tots I decided it would take way too long. I ended up dumping them on top of the casserole and tried to spread them evenly across the top.

Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (should be bubbly and cheese melted).


**When I make this again, I will probably thaw the tater tots a little bit before making my dish. It seemed like they froze the cheese and then the cheese didn't melt like it should have.

Parmesan Baked Potatoes

I thought these were pretty tasty!

You will need:
8 potatoes, quartered
1 stick butter, melted
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
2-3 T. minced garlic
salt & pepper, to taste

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients together and pour into 9x13.

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

I found this recipe on a couple of years ago and it has become a favorite for our family! :)

2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. milk
1 T. melted butter
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For cookies:
Cream together butter and sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla; beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool cookies.

Combine all ingredients. Add more milk to get drizzling consistency, if necessary.

Drizzle icing over tops of cookies with fork.

ENJOY!!! :)

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin roll is one of my family's favorite desserts this time of year. They are actually very easy to make and SO YUMMY!

I think this recipe originated from Libby's, but not for sure. Here is what you need:

Powdered Sugar to sprinkle on towel
3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. salt
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin

8 oz. block cream cheese, at room temp
1 c. powdered sugar
6 T. margarine, softened
1 t. vanilla
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Lay a piece of waxed paper in the bottom of the pan. Spray with cooking spray again.

Lay a clean towel out on a counter or table; sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

To make cake:
Beat eggs and granulated sugar together until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Spread evenly into pan.

Bake for about 13 minutes. Remove from pan right away (you may need to take a knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the pan) and turn onto towel. Carefully peel off the waxed paper. Roll cake and towel up together and let cool on a wire rack.

To make filling:
Beat cream cheese, 1 c. powdered sugar, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Unroll the cake. Spread filling over the cake--I try to get as close to the edges as I can, otherwise when you roll it up the ends have nothing in them. Reroll the cake (w/o the towel) and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or so. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Cut into slices.

*If I am taking this somewhere I usually cut the ends off so that it looks nicer (filling all the way to the ends and a nice straight end).

Do you have a favorite recipe that you like to make with pumpkin?

Pumpkin Seeds

Are you trying to figure out what to do with all of those pumpkin seeds? I posted this last year on the Centsible Shopping site but thought I'd post here again...LOVE these!!

I first dug out the seeds and tried to sort them out from the "gook" the best I could and put them in a colander. I rinsed them off with water to get more of the "gook" off. Then I laid them all out on paper towels in a single layer to dry out overnight.

I only had a small amount of pumpkin seeds (about 1/2 cup) because I bought an overpriced hull-less pumpkin.

I combined:
1 t. melted butter
1/8 t. seasoned salt
1/8 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce

Stir the pumpkin seeds into this mixture and then lay them out on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 275 and bake for 1 hour, stirring about every 15 minutes.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pizza Meatballs

I found this recipe over here on Cindy's site. The whole family liked them...even the picky eater!

I italicized my notes...the rest is all from Cindy.

You will need:
1# ground chuck
1 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. milk
2 T. dried minced onions
1 t. garlic salt
1/8 t. pepper
4 oz. mozzarella chunk cheese , cut into 12 cubes (I needed more cheese than this)
3 T. flour
2 T. oil
1 jar pizza or pasta sauce (I used a jar of spaghetti sauce)

Mix the first 6 ingredients, shape into 12 large meatballs with 1 cube of cheese in center of each, making sure that the cheese is completely covered with meat mixture. Coat each meatball lightly with flour. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook meatballs in oil until browned on all sides. Drain fat. Add sauce to meatballs and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 min or until done.

You can serve this over rice, noodles, or as a pizza sub.

Note: I doubled the recipe to have some for later use. After I browned the meatballs, I took out half, cooled, flash froze, placed them into a ziploc bag, and put them in the freezer.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lime Chicken

I love this recipe because there are so many options for it!

You will need:
1 1/2 # skinless, boneless chicken breast meat
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
2 t. white sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. dried oregano

I mix up the ingredients, excluding the chicken, in a ziploc freezer bag. I then poke the chicken a few times with a fork, throw it in the bag and then seal and put in my freezer for future use. To use the chicken, I let it thaw in the fridge. I place the pieces of chicken in a baking dish and discard the remaining marinade. I then bake it at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. I cut this up and my family eats it in flour tortillas with the usual taco toppings (lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, sour cream, salsa). I also like to eat it on a salad and crush some tortilla chips over it. I also make my own mexi-ranch dressing to go with it. My mexi-ranch dressing consists of mixing 2 T. light or fat free sour cream, 2 T. light ranch dressing and 1/3 c. salsa.

If you don't want to freeze this, you could always just make the marinade and add your meat a little while prior to baking or grilling.

If you didn't want to bake the chicken, you could also cube your chicken, saute it over medium-high heat and then once it's cooked through, you could add the marinade ingredients and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oven "Fried" Fish Fillets

This is delicious!

You will need:
1 # bag of frozen tilapia fillets, thawed
4 T. margarine, melted
2/3 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. garlic powder

Combine bread crumbs, cheese, basil, oregano and garlic powder on a plate. Dip fish in butter then coat in bread crumb mixture. Place in 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

*In place of bread crumbs, I've used crushed crackers ("Ritz" or "Club" type crackers).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cookie Recipes--Snickerdoodles & Oatmeal

I thought I'd share two of my family's favorite cookie recipes. These work great for my husband who does not care for chocolate...CRAZY, I know!

3/4 c. margarine, softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
2 c. rolled oats

In large mixing bowl, beat margarine so that it will blend in better; add brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Beat until well-combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour. Stir in oats. Drop onto cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen.

*These are also yummy with 1 c. of butterscotch chips stirred in.

This next one is fun to do with kids...they enjoy rolling the dough balls into the cinnamon & sugar mixture! :)

1 c. margarine
2 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cream of tarter
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon

4 T. sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Beat margarine; add 2 c. sugar, baking soda and cream of tarter. Beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs & vanilla. Beat in flour and 1/2 t. cinnamon. Cover & chill for 1 hour. Combine 4 T. sugar & 2 t. cinnamon in smaller bowl. Shape dough into 1" balls and then roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Put on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-11 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Happy Baking!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chicken Strips Italiano w/ Noodles

Here is a family friendly recipe for you!

You will need:
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, reduced fat
1/2 c. Italian style bread crumbs*
1/2 c. light Italian dressing
3/4 - 1# boneless chicken, cut into 1" strips
1/2 of a 13.25 oz. box of whole grain noodles
26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce

Combine Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a bowl. Pour Italian dressing into separate bowl. Dip chicken strips into dressing, then coat with bread crumb/cheese mixture and put on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Cook noodles, top with sauce & chicken strips.

*If you do not have Italian style bread crumbs, use plain and add some Italian seasoning.

ENJOY!!! :)

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

These are SO good!! Give them a try!! :)

You will need:
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cubed*
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
12 flour tortillas for fajitas
2 cans (10 oz. ea.) green chile enchilada sauce
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Oven 400 degrees. Spray 9x13 baking dish.

In skillet over medium heat, add cream cheese & chiles to cooked chicken. Cook & stir till cream cheese is melted. Spoon chicken filling into tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over top, sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes--till hot & cheese is melted.

*I use fat free cream cheese or neufchatel.

ENJOY!! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

With Canned Pumpkin Being So Scarce...

Give this a try!

Laura, over at Sharpen Your Scissors, did a post on how to roast your own pie pumpkin to make your own pumpkin puree. Go here to check it out!

Chicken, Potato and Green Bean Dinner

I am making this for dinner tonight...and it smells so good right now while it is baking in the oven! This stuff is DELICIOUS!! It is one of our favorite meals...and it is SO GOOD that Tim will even eat the green beans! That is saying something!

5 T. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 can cut green beans, drained (French cut works, too!)
4 russet potatoes, cut into larger cubes
4 chicken breast halves
about 1 t. lemon pepper seasoning (this can be hot/spicy so use an amount that works for you!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl combine: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper. Add green beans to this mixture and stir around to coat well. With a slotted spoon, scoop out green beans (I let as much of the oil drain off them as I could) and place in 9x13 baking dish. Then add the potatoes to the olive oil mixture and coat them as well; then place in baking dish with beans. Place the chicken in the olive oil mixture and coat; then place chicken on top of beans & potatoes. Sprinkle chicken & veggies with lemon pepper seasoning. Bake for 40 minutes.

ENJOY!! :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Apple Pie Kits

Here is a great tip that some of you may find helpful when you're able to get some great deals on apples.

When I can get apples really cheap, I prep them for apple pies, apple crisp, etc. and freeze them. That way, when I need to make a dessert, I just pull one of these bags out, thaw it a little bit and throw it in my dessert. Super easy!!

4 large apples (peeled, cored, sliced)
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. flour
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. butter, cut into small pieces

In a freezer bag, combine all of the above ingredients. Seal the bag and then mix together with your hands.

Freeze until needed!!

Green Tomato Jam

I would have never known that you could do something with the green tomatoes toward the end of the gardening season had it not been for a woman in our small group. But you can...and the results are YUMMY!! When her and her husband first starting coming to our group, she brought us some jam and she told me it was green tomato jam...I was very curious and also a bit nervous to try it at the same time. We were all pleasantly surprised. My kids LOVED it too!! I do not have her recipe, but in talking I believe it is similar.

You will need:
5-6 c. pureed green tomatoes
4 c. sugar
6 oz. package of Jello (Raspberry is SUPER yummy...but we also love Blackberry Fusion and Strawberry)

In my blender, I add a small amount of water (maybe 1/2 - 1 cup) and then add my green tomatoes (I chop them up into smaller pieces first). I then puree the tomatoes because that is what my family prefers. You could leave them in bigger chunks if you choose. You will need 5-6 c. of pureed tomatoes.

Pour the pureed tomatoes into a large pot. Add sugar; bring to a boil. Boil hard for 15 minutes. As it cooks, skim the foam off of the top. Continuously stir the tomatoes also. After 15 minutes, remove from stove top and whisk in Jello until mixed well. Pour jam into glass jars--you can use small jelly jars, pint jars...or whatever works for you. I use pint canning jars. Store the jam in the refrigerator. I've also preserved it by pouring Gulf Wax over the top. It is very easy!!


Peanut Butter Apple Dip

This stuff is SO GOOD!!!

You will need:
8 oz. bar cream cheese (a lesser fat version tastes great too!), softened
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. milk

In a bowl, beat these ingredients together until well blended.

Serve with apples!

ENJOY!! :)

Apple Slices

This is for my Bunco friends and anyone else who loves apple desserts!! This is basically a giant apple pie with frosting on top! :)

You will need:

3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. milk

Filling (OR 3 apple pie kits--find out more about these here):
12 large apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
2 1/4 c. sugar
6 T. flour
3 t. cinnamon
6T. butter

2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3T. milk
1/3 c. butter, softened
1/2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For pastry: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Slowly stir in milk until completely blended. Separate dough into two balls. Roll out 1 ball of dough to fit a jelly roll pan (15x10) with some dough extending over the edge of the pan.

For filling: Combine all of the ingredients and layer over bottom crust.

Roll out remaining dough and place over the apple filling. Seal the edges and prick the top several times with a fork.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before frosting.

For frosting: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy. Spread over dessert.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Easy Black Forest Torte

I haven't made this in a long, long time. It is very yummy and super easy! I was asked for a couple years in a row to make it for a big fundraising dinner when we lived in Chicagoland.

You will need:
5 c. miniature marshmallows
1 box of chocolate cake mix (will need ingredients listed on package to prepare)
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. Sprinkle marshmallows in the bottom of the pan.

Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions and pour over the marshmallows.

Spoon the pie filling over the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool and frost with the Cool Whip. Store in the refrigerator!

ENJOY!! :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mexican Chicken

This was DELICIOUS!!! I have made this recipe a few times in the past and thought it was okay. A friend shared this same recipe with me BUT there was one difference in the ingredient list. Doritos instead of soft flour tortilla shells!! It was THE best change ever!!! It changed the recipe completely and made it taste SO much better!! (Thanks Laura!!)

You will need:
1 bag of Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos, crushed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of Rotel (I drained the juice off)
4 chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped
1- 8 oz. bag of Mexican blend cheese

Mix soups together in a bowl.

Spray bottom of 9x13 dish.

Layer in dish:
1/3 Doritos
1/2 soup mixture
1/2 of Rotel
1/2 of chicken
1/2 of cheese
Repeat layers.
Final layer will be the last of the Doritos.

I baked at 350 for about 30-40 minutes.

**I only put the Rotel on one side of the dish because it can get quite spicy at times, especially for the kids.

This is a meal that would work well as a freezer meal too!

ENJOY!!! :)

"Seven Layer" Salad

I've never really understood Seven Layer Salad because typically there are usually more than seven layers whenever people make it. The same for my concoction! And I don't even layer maybe I should just call it something else??

I will list what I use but alter the ingredient amounts to your liking!!

You will need:
3 heads of romaine lettuce
1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 of a small head of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 - 1 pint of grape tomatoes, sliced
5 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 bag (2.8 oz.) of real bacon pieces (you can use real bacon but this is less mess, less time and less fat...all for $1.50 - $'s worth it! Find it near the salad dressings!)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

For Dressing:
2 c. light mayo
3 T. sugar

I usually have all of my veggies (& other items) cut and ready to go but do not combine everything until right before serving.

I also usually make my dressing ahead of time so that it can sit in the fridge so the flavors can blend. Do this just by stirring together the mayo and sugar in a plastic container.

At serving time, I combine all of the salad ingredients in a very large bowl. I then pour the dressing over top and mix in with tongs to coat the salad and serve!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Family Favorite: Taco Casserole

You will need:
Crushed Tortilla Chips (about 2-3 cups)
1 - 1 1/2 # taco meat
Cottage Cheese (about 1 cup or so)
Sour Cream (about 1 cup or so)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (about 2-3 cups)*

Spray the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Combine cottage cheese & sour cream together; set aside. Spread half of the crushed chips on the bottom of dish. Then layer half of the meat and then half of the cottage cheese/sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese. Repeat the layers with remaining ingredients.

Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes.

YUM!! Enjoy!! :)

*You can also use Monterey Jack or a Mexican blend of some sort...whatever you have on hand!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Layered Mexican Dip

I am in the process of moving all of my recipes over here from my other blog. I posted this one a long time ago. Some of these are recipes I haven't made in a long time...just might have to make this one again soon! YUM!!

You will need:

2- 8 oz. pkgs. fat free cream cheese or neufchatel
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can Rotel, drained
1-2 c. cheddar or colby jack shredded cheese

In 11x7 baking dish, spread cream cheese in bottom. Layer beans, Rotel and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mexican Shepherd's Pie

I get emails from Betty Crocker on a regular basis with new recipe ideas. This recipe is one that stuck out to me. The picture looked tasty and then as I read the ingredients I realized I had most everything to make it. My kids even thought it sounded good so I gave it a whirl! You can find the original recipe here. I made some alterations so that it wasn't too spicy for my kids.

You will need:
1# of ground beef
sweet onion, chopped
1 c. salsa (thick & chunky would probably work better than my homemade salsa)
1 bag of frozen corn, cooked & drained
1 box of Betty Crocker Loaded Mashed Potatoes, made according to directions on package
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
crushed tortilla chips

Brown ground beef with onion. Drain off grease and rinse with hot water. Return the meat to pan and stir in salsa and corn. Cook until heated through. Then spread mashed potatoes over the top. Sprinkle with cheese and cover until cheese melts. Before serving, sprinkle with tortilla chips.

Three of the five of us really liked it, the other two thought it was okay...but not at the top of their list! If I had to change anything, it would be to use plain mashed potatoes rather than the "loaded" but it was still pretty good!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Easy Pasta Salad

This is an easy pasta salad that you can throw together quickly with very little effort and as many or as few ingredients as you choose.

You will need:
1 box of rotini pasta noodles
1 16 oz. bottle of Italian salad dressing

Add veggies of your choice--I have been using the grape tomatoes and zucchini from my garden...and also some red onion. BUT you could add cucumbers, olives, green pepper...or whatever you like! There are so many options!!

I sometimes also add small cubes of cheese...whether it be cutting up string cheese or some chunk cheese that I have on hand.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Orange Jello Tapioca Salad

Don't let "tapioca" in the title scare you off! This is the best stuff!! :) I got this recipe when we lived in seemed pretty popular out there. Maybe it was a Dutch thing?? ;)

Orange Jello Tapioca Salad

You will need:
6 c. water
4 boxes of cook & serve tapioca pudding
1 large box of orange jello
12 oz. Cool Whip
1 large can of mandarin oranges, drained

Mix the water & pudding in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the jello.

Let it cool for 30-45 minutes, stir every 10 minutes. When cool, stir in mandarin oranges and Cool Whip; pour into bowl and refrigerate.

*This looks really pretty in a glass dish if you were going somewhere that you wanted it to look nice.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chicken Broccoli Divan

I LOVE this dish. It is actually probably one of my favorites, but not one of my family's favorites. I think I am the only one that likes broccoli. They usually pick it out and enjoy the rest of it though.

You will need:
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen broccoli, cooked and drained
1 1/2 c. cooked & cubed chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
dry bread crumbs

In an 8x8 dish, mix together chicken and broccoli and spread out evenly.

In a small bowl, combine soup and milk. Pour over the chicken and broccoli.

Sprinkle cheese on top; then sprinkle with dry bread crumbs.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot & bubbly.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Zucchini...What do you do with it?

I will be able to pick some zucchini from my garden soon...super excited about that!! :) We like to eat the zucchini raw and I have a couple of recipes that I like to use it in; but I've been on the hunt for some new recipes that include zucchini.

Last year I posted these:
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Zucchini Brownies

Here are some zucchini recipe links that I have found...check them out here, here, here, here and here (search zucchini).

Do you have a favorite recipe that includes zucchini?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Banana Pudding Dessert

You will need:

35 reduced fat vanilla wafers, finely crushed
1/4 c. margarine, melted
1 pkg. 8 oz. neufchatel cheese or fat free cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
8 oz. light Cool Whip
3 bananas
2 pkg. (1 oz.) instant fat free, sugar free vanilla pudding
3 c. cold fat free milk
miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine crumbs and margarine and press into a 9x13 dish. Refrigerate while preparing filling. With mixer, mix neufchatel cheese and sugar until well blended. Stir in 1 1/2 c. Cool Whip; spread over crust. Cut up bananas and layer over neufchatel cheese mixture. Beat pudding mixes and milk together with whisk for 2 minutes. Spoon and spread over bananas. Spread Cool Whip over top and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Enjoy!!! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pizza Biscuits

I made these tonight for supper. The kids LOVED them and begged me to make them again! Trust me...that doesn't happen very often!

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a book based on what I had.

I used:
1 tube (8 ct.) Homestyle Buttermilk Grands Biscuits
4 "pieces" of mozzarella string cheese, cut each piece into fourths for a total of 16
Pepperoni slices
1 egg, beaten
Italian seasoning
Parmesan Cheese, grated
Pizza Sauce and/or Ranch Dressing

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Tear each of the biscuits in half and shape/flatten into 3" circles. Put about 3 pepperoni slices and 1 piece of cheese in the middle of each circle. Wrap the biscuit dough around the pepperoni and cheese and seal. Place seam side down on the cookie sheet. Continue doing this with your remaining biscuits. Each of the biscuits should be touching when you place them on the pan.

Brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg and then sprinkle with desired amounts of Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 18-20 minutes.

Serve with ranch dressing (our personal favorite!) or warmed pizza sauce.

ENJOY!! :)

*This was just enough for the kids and myself. So if you have more than one adult and kids eating, I would suggest doubling the recipe so that you have enough.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Taco Dip

You will need:
1 c. sour cream (light works great!)
2- 8 oz. bars of cream cheese (the 1/3 less fat stuff works too!), softened
1 can of bean dip (...OR 1 can of fat free refried beans)
8 oz. bag of cheddar or mexican blend shredded cheese
8 oz. taco sauce
shredded lettuce
chopped tomato
tortilla chips

Mix sour cream, cream cheese and bean dip/refried beans together with mixer. Spread into the bottom of a 9x13 dish. Then layer with cheese, taco sauce, lettuce and tomato. Serve with tortilla chips. ENJOY!!

Note: I wait to add the lettuce until just before I am ready to serve so that it is crisp. You can also add black olives and onions into the layers, if you choose!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Recipe Blog

Soon I will be adding new recipes to this site and adding in recipes from my other blog.

Stay tuned!