Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hamburger Houdini

Since starting my blog in November, the amount of groceries I buy every week have almost doubled and sometimes I am not using everything that I buy.  This weekend, I decided to not buy any food, except for the necessities and work on cleaning out my pantry and freezer.  I have a ton of frozen vegetables in the freezer and I thought this recipe was a great way to use them up.  The recipe was fast, simple, healthy, and tasty.  I believe the title of the dish means that this is a great way to blend vegetables that children usually don't care for into a delicious dish.  I love vegetables, but this definitely a good recipe to try for those that do not.

Source:  Jaime Cooks: Endeavors in Eating & Entertaining


1 lb. ground beef (I used ground turkey)
2 cups mixed vegetables, frozen
1/2 box uncooked Farfalle pasta
4 cups beef broth
2 tbsp. Dill, chopped, if using dried, cut amount in half
Sour Cream
French fried onions


Brown beef in large saute pan with lid.

Mix in vegetables and pasta.  Add broth.  Mix, bring to a simmer, and cover.  Let cook for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through.

Season with salt, pepper, and Dill.  Serve with sour cream and onions.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chicken in Red Wine

I recently purchased a new cookbook that helps benefit a local suburban team that is walking for the upcoming Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  The team members submitted their favorite recipes and there were some really good ones in it!  I first decided to try a crock pot chicken recipe.  I often struggle with cooking chicken in it because it can dry out quickly.  My crock pot cooks a little fast so I shortened the cooking time an hour.  This was a simple tasty dish and it turned out great!

Source:  Hot Off the Rack - Cooking for a Cure (2010 edition)


6 boneless chicken breasts
6 slices cooked, chopped bacon
1 (16 oz.) bag baby carrots
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 1/4 c. red wine
3/4 c. chicken broth
1 (16 oz.) package fresh sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. cold water


Add all ingredients, except for mushrooms, flour, and cold water to crock pot.  Cook on low for 7 hours.  Add mushrooms and remove bay leaves.  Mix flour and cold water in a side dish and stir in crock pot.  Cook an additional 1/2 hour. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Crock Pot Asian Beef and Noodles

I think that most people who come on to my blog know that I'd rather cook with my Crock Pot than anything else.  You can do ANYTHING with it and it's turning into an obsession!  I found another great recipe using it that was completely different than any of the other recipes I tried.  This dish was really tasty!  I love having Ramen noodles for lunch so it was fun to incorporate into my dinner.  I love a little spice in my food and the red pepper flakes really brought out the heat of the beef.  You can alter the amount of pepper based on your preferences.  All in all, a good meal!

Source:  Stephanie Cooks, adapted from Laura's Kitchen


1 (16 ounce) package frozen stir fry vegetables
2 - 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
1 (12 ounce) bottle stir-fry sauce, any flavor
3/4 cup chicken or beef broth (low sodium)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles, broken
1/4 cup green onions, chopped


Coat a 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place frozen vegetables in the bottom and top with stew meat. In a medium bowl, stir together stir-fry sauce, broth, and red pepper. Pour over stew meat and vegetables in cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 4 1/2-5 hours

At the end of cooking time, discard spice packets from ramen noodles and cook noodles in boiling water. Stir cooked noodles and green onions into meat mixture. Cover and let stand 10 minutes more. Stir before serving. This can be kept on warm for 1-2 hours.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Spread

Wow, this was such a great dip to make for a Superbowl party. If you like the taste of jalapeno peppers, this is the appetizer for you. The dip was completely eaten up halfway through the party! It was extremely simple to prepare and turned out even better with shredded parmesan cheese. I highly recommend this for a party, but definitely double up on the recipe!

Source: AllRecipes


2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained

2 oz. canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used shredded Parmesan cheese)


Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chilies and jalapeno peppers. Pour mixture into an oven-safe dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm with sour dough baguettes, tortilla chips, or crackers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicken Garlic Pizza

I'm not a big fan of store bought or delivery pizza, but I LOVE making it from (semi) scratch. I decided to avoid a red sauce pizza this time and found a great recipe for this pizza. The garlic butter was delicious, and can also be used in making garlic bread. The recipe called for only one chicken breast, but my husband loves extra chicken on everything when possible so I used 2 1/2 chicken breasts. This dish was really simple to make and delicious. I will definitely make this pizza again!

Source: Annie's Eats, adapted from AllRecipes


1 chicken breastsalt and pepper

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. green onion, chopped

½ tsp. dried basil

2 roma tomatoes, sliced

¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro

½ c. ricotta cheese

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

pizza crust (I used the Pillsbury brand)


Season chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook chicken breast until browned on both sides. Cut into chunks and finish cooking until cooked through. In a small saucepan, melt butter with garlic, onion and basil. Pour into a chilled dish to cool and refrigerate until set. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread herb butter over crust. Arrange chicken on top, then dot with ricotta. Top with tomato slices, cilantro, and Parmesan. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Chicken & Rice Bake

Ultimately, this dish turned out well and tasted great, but with using my oven, it was a long and difficult road to get to that point. It took a lot longer to cook the chicken and rice than the directions said. After about 45 minutes, the chicken was practically still raw so I removed the alumimum foil, drizzled some of the liquid over the chicken so it wouldn't dry out, and let it cook for another 25 minutes. Once the chicken was cooked thoroughly, I had to take the chicken out for awhile and continue cooking the casserole because the rice was not cooked all the way. When I was finished and the casserole was done, I cooked it for at least 35 minutes longer than I thought I would. However, everyone's oven is different so I still recommend cooking the casserole following the directions below. But if it's not ready, at least you know you have some options!

Source: Vintage Victuals


1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (white or brown)

1 10.5-ounce can of condensed cream of chicken soup

1 can of water

1 can of milk

1 1-ounce packet of ranch seasoning mix

1 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

4 medium-sized chicken breasts

2 cups cheddar cheese

6-8 slices of bacon, cut into 1″ pieces


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the rice, the soup, the water, the milk, the ranch seasoning, and the diced peppers. Stir until well combined. Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture. Cover the dish with tin foil and wrap tightly.

Bake for 45 minutes. In the meantime, lightly brown the bacon pieces over medium heat in a small frying pan. When you remove the chicken and rice from the oven, check the chicken to make sure it is cooked through (I like to use a meat thermometer for this). Then, sprinkle with the shredded cheese and the browned bacon pieces. Return to the oven for about 5-7 minutes so that the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve hot. Yield 4-6 servings