Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pasta salad w/bacon & ranch dressing

So I forgot to include this pasta salad alongside with the Sloppy Joe posting of earlier today... So here is the salad that went with the sloppy joes... enjoy
Note* my husband likes shredded cheese in this salad, I don't like cheese really so this step is up to you....and I didn't put this in the salad... he added it to his :)

Pasta Salad with Bacon Ranch dressing

1/2 package pasta (I use orichette pasta, which means little ears in Italian, your italian lesson of today lol )
1 rib celery, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1 cup ranch dressing (I homemake Hidden Valley Ranch with Buttermilk)
1/2 cup mayo
1 T. sugar
splash of rice wine vinegar
sprinkle of salt & pepper

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente (or firm to the tooth).  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. 

In large bowl mix dressing ingredients.  Add vegetables and cooked pasta stir well.  Let sit in fridge for a couple of hours to chill. 

Sloppy Joes

I was walking thru the grocery store the other day looking for some inspiration.  Saw the hamburger buns and thought to myself why not make some sloppy joes..  Yummy hamburger creations with lots of  bbq-y (is that a word??? lol)  tomatoey sauce.... with some chopped onions and a little mustard (my husband likes cheese on his..) with macaroni salad and some baked beans and chips... It reminds me of summer.. which in this really cold, snowy, yuckky day I need reminding of..... enjoy

Sloppy Joes

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 green pepper chopped
1 clove garlic
1 t. oil


8oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 T. worchester sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. vinegar
1 t. mustard
1 T. orange marmelade

seasonings ( I used paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes a little seasoned salt & pepper)
Hamburger buns
toppings (optional), chopped onion, mustard & cheese

In large skillet add oil to skillet.  Add chopped onion & green pepper.  Saute for around 4 minutes over medium heat, add ground beef turning up heat to medium high.  When meat is almost done add garlic stirring until fragrant.  If meet is greasy drain meat mixture.  Add sauce ingredients stirring well bring to boil, then turn down heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Serve with buns.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Squash soup

For one of our holiday get togethers the menu was potluck featuring soup & sandwiches.  There were many delicious soups to choose from and one of them was squash soup, which I absolutely love.  I thought after the holidays are done I am going to make it my goal to try to make a new soup at least once a week using vegetables (trying to get more veggies into me and my family :)  so searched all over online looking for soup recipes.  I saw several squash soup recipes but none that I wanted to completely commit too, so I decided to make my own.  This is my version and it turned out yummy and delicious.

Squash Soup

1 butternut squash
4 T. butter
1/2 cup (diced celery, carrots & onion) or you can use the frozen ones from the freezer section (Kroger carries it called mirepoix blend)
1 box (4 cups) Chicken Stock
1 cup water
8 oz. Cream cheese ( I use 1/3 reduced fat), bring to room temperature
1/2 tsp. Worchester sauce
salt & pepper to taste
seasonings of your choice ( I used just a sprinkling of seasoned salt, onion & garlic powder, sprinkle of paprika & a pinch of cayenne pepper)
Optional for serving, Bread or crackers of your choice

Rinse squash under running water removing any dirt and grit.  With a sharp knife poke 3 holes into squash and place on a microwave safe plate, microwave about 13-15 minutes or until about halfway tender.  Let cool completely.  When cooled cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.  Peel and cut squash into chunks.  In large stockpot melt butter and add celery, carrots & onion.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Add squash chunks and salt & pepper to taste.  Add water & chicken stock (This mixture should  cover vegetables completely.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Turn heat down to medium when boiling, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Add seasonings, cream cheese & Worchester sauce to veggies.  With an immersion ( stick blender) blend soup until smooth & creamy.  (Can also do this in batches in a blender or food processor, but the stick blender is much easier).  Taste soup and adjust salt & pepper if needed.  Enjoy

*note can use bouillon cubes or granualles and water instead of chicken stock.  Be careful cause these things are salty so you probably can omit the salt completely if you use these methods). 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mexican galoush & Black Bean & Corn Salsa

This recipe is the result of an attempt to try something new and it didn't turn out exactly as planned so I re-invented it.  I was attempting to make some Mexican minstrone soup, but added way too much pasta to the dish, and it sucked up all of the broth that was in the soup when it was cooking, birthing "galoush".  My husband says after I told him I ran out of broth, it looks like galoush... my "lightbulb" moment.. ok now we are having Mexican galoush... LOL  Sometimes the best things come out of "mistakes" in the kitchen... I would love to hear of your "mistakes"... maybe I can find some new recipes ...
This is pretty quick cooking and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand.. frozen, canned whatever.. use what you have.. the same with the pasta, use whatever shape you have in the cupboard...

The Black Bean & Corn Salsa is good with just tortilla chips, or to put in recipes or to heat up and eat inside tortillas (see my previous blog for my tortilla recipe).  I sometimes heat it up put it in a tortilla and sprinkle with cheese and microwave until the cheese is melted...yummm

Mexican Galoush

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced small
1 can diced tomatoes
6 cups water
2-3 tsp. chicken bouillon granuales, or 2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 T. brown sugar
2T. red wine (optional)
1 T. Worchester sauce
1 can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups black bean salsa mix (recipe follows or you can use store bought, use whatever or just use salsa)
1/2 box pasta, ( I used digitallini)
seasonings of your choice ( I used chili powder, paprika, garlic & onion powder, cumin, seasoned salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, celery seed)
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
Toppings of your choice ( I used sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese & crushed tortilla chips/Doritos/Fritos (use your choice of chips whatever is your favorite) the crunch is nice and adds flavor

In large pot place onion & ground beef cooking until crumbled and browned and no longer pink. Deglaze pan with red wine  Add rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT PASTA). Bring to rolling boil, add pasta stirring occasionally until all of the liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender.  Serve with sour cream, and crushed chips of your choice and cheese.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 can corn, rinsed & drained
1 small bunch of green onions thinly sliced
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 lime (or lemon) juiced
1 cup salsa
seasonings of your choice ( I seasoned salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, chili powder & paprika)
1 T. worchester sauce
1 T. brown sugar
Tortilla Chips
drizzle of olive oil

Mix all ingredients mixing well.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pizza Dip & Chili Cheese Dip

Going over to my father in laws for our Christmas... yes I know it's January but everyone has had so much going on that we all couldn't get together until this weekend.  Hopefully this year we will be able to get together sooner...

Wanted to make something warm and yummy (since it is about 0 degrees outside today)...These dips are always popular and super easy to make....... you usually never have any left.... try this one today... it is so yummy.  I serve this with toasted french bread slices, but you can serve this with plain french bread slices not toasted, crackers, crunchy breadsticks... use whatever YOU like.... enjoy

Chili Cheese Dip is super easy as well and so yummy..  This is so popular as well... enjoy

Pizza Dip

8 oz. cream cheese ( I use light)
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded cheese, ( I use 1 3/4 c. mozzerella & 1/4 cup cheddar)
1/2 package of pepperoni (or enough to cover the top)
1/2 tsp. each onion & garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning

Dippers of your choice:
French Bread sliced (I drizzle it with olive oil & sprinkle it with garlic powder and toast it in the oven until golden)
Crunchy breadsticks

In oven/microwave safe dish ( I use a 9 inch round pan) spread cream cheese evenly over bottom of pan.  Sprinkle with the onion & garlic powder & Italian seasonings.  Spoon pizza sauce evenly over the top of cream cheese.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over top and top with pepperoni all over the top of the cheese.  Bake (at 350) or microwave until all the cheese is melted and the sides are bubbly.  Usually about 15 minutes ( check center of dip to make sure it is hot)  Serve with dippers of your choice.

Chili Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese ( I use light)
2 cups leftover chili ( or in a pinch can use 1 can Hormel chili w/ Beans)
2 cups shredded cheese ( I use 1 3/4 cups cheddar & 1/4 cup mozzerella)
Tortilla or Frito chips for dipping
(sour cream  & hot sauce optional)

In oven/microwave safe dish (I use a 9 inch round dish) spread cream cheese evenly over dish.  Spread Chili over cream cheese.  Sprinkle cheese over the top.  Bake (at 350) for about 15 minutes or until dish is bubbly and cheese is melted (check center to make sure it is hot).  Serve with Tortilla or Fritos to serve. I set out a bowl of sour cream & hot sauce for guests to add to their individual plates.. it is optional though... enjoy

Friday, January 21, 2011

Steak sandwiches & No Bake Cookies

I am getting tired of the same old stuff to eat.  Needed a change.  I decided to go online and look for some new ideas, going to be trying a couple of new recipes this week (Asian Sesame noodles w/ chicken, and Cheese souffle (yikes a little nervous about this one...).  Also decided to get some inspiration at the grocery store.  They had some yummy steak on sale this week and it hit me... Why not make some steak sandwiches with sauteed green peppers, onions & topped with butter sauteed mushrooms.... yummy... I love these they are so good....
In my online journies saw some no bake cookie variaties... I love my recipe so I decided to post my recipe.... People always compliment me on these cookies and they couldn't be any easier.  In about a total of about 5 minutes from start to finish you couldn't ask for any easier thing to make... yummmm

(Serves 2-3)

Steak Sandwiches

1 1lb steak ( I used sirloin)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
2-3 Tbls. butter
1 T. oil
1 small package of sliced mushrooms ( I used baby bella)
Hoagie/Sub buns sliced almost in half to hold fillings
cheese optional

seasonings for crusting the steak ( I used seasoned salt, pepper, montreal steak seasoning,paprika, onion & garlic powder)

Sandwich sauce (to serve with the sandwich)

1/3 cup mayo
2 Tbls ketchup
1 tsp mustard
couple splashes hot sauce
splash of worchester sauce

Mix ingredients together and serve on the side with the sandwich.

Preheat oven  to 400 degrees. In small bowl mix seasonings.  In large oven safe frying pan place oil heating pan.  Sprinkle both sides of steak with seasoning mix patting into steak.  Place steak in frying pan and saute until golden brown on both sides.  While steak is browning on both sides, place a little oil into another frying pan, add sliced onions & peppers.  Add salt & pepper. If steak is browned on both sides (should only take 2-3 minutes per side) place steak in oven for about 7 minutes.    In another small frying pan place butter melting, add mushrooms.  Stir onions & peppers and mushrooms cooking until they are done.  When mushrooms are done salt & pepper them.  Take steak out of oven and it should be pink in the middle.  Place aluminum foil over steak and let rest for 5 minutes. 

Turn broiler on.  Place buns on baking sheet and broil until light brown.  (should only take about 1-2) minutes WATCHING CAREFULLY so they don't burn.  On cutting board place steak.  Slice very thinly across the grain.  On buns place steak, topping with green peppers and mushrooms.  Add cheese if desired and replace under broiler to melt cheese if desired.  Serve with steak sauce on side....

No bake cookies

1 stick butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbls cocoa
1 hershey bar broken into pieces
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla

In saucepan place butter, sugar, milk, cocoa & hershey bar (I keep mine in the freezer and break them inside their package on the counter before adding them, easier than chopping them up).  Bring mixture to rolling boil, boil for 1-2 minutes.  Add peanut butter and vanilla, melting peanut butter.  TURN OFF heat.  Add oatmeal and drop onto waxed paper lined counter by spoonfuls.  Let set about an hour and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chili Dogs

I have lots of leftovers in the fridge.  Sometimes wondering what on earth am I going to do with them??  I usually love leftovers lots of things are better the next day with chili being one of them.  See my earlier blog on my chili recipe... I love it... but didn't have enough for the family to have for a meal.  I didn't want to throw the remaining out but was racking my brain on finding a use for it.... then it hit me chili dogs.... which I hadn't had in absolute ages... I told my husband what I was thinking and he was like sounds good.  Well made them, my husband and son went nuts over them and so did I ..... so much so that I had them 3 days in a row.... crazy good.... enjoy
This makes 8 chili dogs

Chili Dogs

2 cups leftover chili
8 hot dogs
1 Tbls. butter
1 package of hot dog buns
1/2 onion, finely chopped
shredded mild cheddar cheese
condiments of your choice (I used mustard)

In pan heat leftover chili.  In frying pan place butter melting over medium heat, adding hotdogs.  Cook hotdogs until golden brown and stir chili heating thru.  In microwave warm buns for 30 seconds.  To assemble : Place hotdogs in buns, spoon chili over top, sprinkle with cheese then onions.  Top with mustard.  Enjoy....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dump cake & more slushies

Well it's Sunday.... the day my entire family is finally together.. I usually make a yummy dinner to get us ready to start the weekout right... I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chinese coleslaw and Dump Cake for dessert... Also trying out a new slushie recipe... can you say YUMMMMMM... turned out awesome....  now after this yummy dinner and family night, after church we can start this week out good..... enjoy

Dump Cake

2/3 stick of butter, melted
1 can cherry pie filling
1/2 yellow or white cake mix
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
sprinkling of cinnamon

In baking dish, spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Place pie filling, sprinkle dry cake mix over it, then coconut, then nuts, and sprinkle cinnamon lightly over top.   Drizzle melted butter over all and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and light brown. 

* note can use other kinds of pie filling, peach, blueberry, apple whatever is your favorite.


1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 can frozen grape juice concentrate
3 1/2 cups water
Cold white pop : Diet 7up/Sprite/Sierra Mist (use your favorite)

In large container place frozen lemonade & grape concentrate whisk well until combined.  Whisk in water.  Freeze overnight until hard.  With fork scrape top of surface of frozen drink mixture until light and fluffy.  Fill glass with the fluffy ice crystal mixture.  Pour cold pop over top of ice crystal mixture.  Use straw to break up mixture and to drink.. Enjoy

Friday, January 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Blossom cookies

Today I just needed a little something homemade, sweet & yummy... While I was looking around my cupboards kinda wondering what to make I ran across an entire unopened bag of Hershey's kisses... Then I remembered that I bought them to make peanut butter blossom cookies for christmas.... Well since the family was sick at Christmas they never got made (along with peanut brittle ingredients, and fudge ingredients as well).  Well since I have started my diet at the beginning of January (like the rest of the world ) I have been trying to not make a bunch of junk and have it lying around the house.  Well I thought I am having company tonight and that would be a nice treat.  And I told myself that I  can eat a couple but that is it.  So when I came across the peanut butter blossom ingredients I was like that is it, you gotta make these.  So that is my junk treat for the week... they were delicious and I did eat 2.  No more for me...... but I do realize you have to allow yourself some treats along the way....LIFE IS WAY TO SHORT not to enjoy it.... I hope you will try these, they are super easy and really delicious and were a big hit :)  enjoy

makes 12 cookies
Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
12 Hershey kisses, unwrapped
1 tbls. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In bowl place all ingredients (EXCEPT hershey's kisses & flour), mix well.  Scoop onto sprayed baking sheet.  Place flour in a small bowl.  With fork dipped in flour press down on cookies flattening to about 1/4 inch thick.  I do the design one way and then the other so it looks like little squares from the fork tines.  Bake for about 14-15 minutes or until done.  Immediately when they come out of the oven put one Hershey kiss in the center of each cookie pressing down slightly.  Remove immediately to waxed paper and let cool.  Enjoy

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chinese Coleslaw & Pistachio cake trifle

Went to my husbands family the Jordan's Christmas holiday get together yesterday.... It was so nice to see everyone but my husband and 5 year old stepson had to stay home cause they were both sick.  It was a potluck and I wanted to make something yummy and fairly easy cause I didn't have alot of time due to them being sick and a 10 month old baby... I seem to have forgotten how much time babies take.... It has been 18 years after all ;)
So my husband said how about Chinese coleslaw which we both love.  Then I was going to make my Cheesecake Chocolate chip poundcake that I wrote about the other day but forgot to buy the Cheesecake pudding mix to make it... I was looking around in the cupboard and saw Pistachio pudding mix.  It brought back memories of my mom who made this cake when I was young.  So I looked around online and found a recipe, but being me I had to tweak it and put my own spin on it... what could happen it not turn out??? Then I am stopping and buying something on the way but yeah it turned out so fabulous and yummy... Keeping this recipe indefinately!!! Yummy and it went over huge at the party :)  Which I was glad about... always nice when people like what you bring... not so good when they don't..LOL   enjoy

Chinese Coleslaw
1 pkg. coleslaw mix
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 Tlb. sesame seeds
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 pkg Oriental Ramen noodles (dry), noodles crumbled in small pieces

1/2 cup oil
2 Tbls. soy sauce
4 T. Rice Wine Vinegar
3 T. sugar
1 pkg Seasoning mix packet from Ramen noodles

In dry skillet toast sesame seeds & almonds for a couple of minutes over medium heat until light golden brown.  In large bowl place coleslaw, green onions, ramen noodles, sesame seeds, & almonds.  In another bowl add dressing ingredients whisking to combine.  Pour dressing over salad mix stirring well.  Place in fridge and let set for about an hour mixing occasionally.  Serve.

Pistachio Cake Triffle

Cake :
Yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup white pop (7 UP/Sprite/Sierra Mist) use your favorite
1 box instant sugar free pistachio pudding mix
1/2 cup oil

Pistachio fluff icing:
1 box sugar free instant pistachio pudding mix
3 containers cool whip, thawed

Add all of cake ingredients to mixing bowl, mix well with mixer for about 2 minutes.  Spray bundt pan with nonstick spray.  Bake at 350 for about 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes and then invert out on a plate to cool.

When cake is cool in large bowl whisk pudding and 1 1/2 containers of cool whip.   In large bowl or trifle dish place 1/2 container of cool whip, slice cake and place layers of cake ontop of cool whip.  Spoon fluff/icing mix over cake spreading into thin layer.  Repeat 2 more times.  Over top of cake place remaining container of cool whip.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds.  Cover with plastic wrap and then store in fridge.  Serve.  Store any leftovers in fridge. Enjoy

Friday, January 7, 2011

Vodka slushes & yummy punch

I went to some holiday parties this Christmas season and came across Slushes...not the kind for kids but for adults....also had the best punch I have ever had in my life... I am not a huge punch fan but this was delicious.....

I am not much of a drinker... I don't believe in drinking to get drunk... a very occasional cocktail once or twice a year is about it for me....

You can make this slush mixture and leave out the alcohol (although I usually take about a 1/3 and leave it alcohol free for the children... they gotta have slushies too....

Vodka Slushes

3/4 to 1 cup Vodka (however strong you like it)
1 can each, orange juice,limeade, & lemonade frozen concentrate
2 tea bags
1 cup water, boiling
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups of water

To Serve:
Marashino cherries with juice
cold-Diet white pop (7UP/Sprite/Sierra Mist) whatever is your favorite

Add tea bags to boiling water steeping tea until dark.  In large freezable container put sugar.  Pour tea over sugar mixing to dissolve sugar.  When sugar is dissolved add vodka, juices, & remaining water to tea mixture stirring well.  Cover and place in freezer.  Freeze overnight. 
To serve take container out of fridge and uncover.  With the tines of a fork scrape mixture resembling light fluffy snow.  In glass place a couple of marashino cherries and a little cherry juice, spoon drink mixture filling glass up almost to the top.  Place an additional marashino cherry and a little more cherry juice on top.  Pour cold pop over slush mixture (If you don't use cold pop it will take the fizz out of the drink and you want that fizz).  Place straw in glass breaking up chunks of slush and mixing cherry juice into drink.  Enjoy

*note for kids*  I usually take about a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the mixture (I SKIP ADDING THE VODKA TO THE ABOVE MIXTURE) I mix it like normal (minus the serving step) and place in a freezer container.  When I am done with the kids is when I usually add the vodka to the remaining. The kids will be much firmer and harder to scrape with a fork due to the lack of alcohol. Serve like normal. 


1 can each frozen lemonade & grape concentrate
Water ( I use about 1 can less than it calls for)
Cold White Pop (7UP/Sprite/Sierra Mist) again use whatever is your favorite

In punch bowl add lemonad & grape concentrate mixing well.  Add water and stir until mixed.  Pour cold pop over mixture.  Add desired amount of ice and serve immediately.  Can make the punch mix up (minus the pop & ice) ahead of time..then right before serving add pop & ice... enjoy

Beef & homemade noodles & Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Poundcake

My aunt called the other day asking me how you made homemade noodles...which she told me she was making beef and noodles, which reminds me of my Grandma B....she always made beef short ribs and noodles.... so that got me  really wanting  them.... I went to buy short ribs in the store (when the heck did they get so darn expensive)....I could get steaks on sale cheaper than these short ribs ..a little package was like $15 for stuff that you throw most of it away.... I was like ok...come up with another alternative to short ribs... then I thought roast, or thick sirloin steaks.... so onto my adventure to come up with an alternative.... Roasts were still around $12-$15 and not on sale, so I got 2 big thick sirloin steak roasts... that were on sale and about $3 a lbs... Which was better than the $6 a lbs for short ribs..????  So we are being adventurous and trying this... What the heck...some of the best cooking ideas come from being adventurous and trying new things.....

Onto dessert.... I have to go to a family Christmas party tomorrow (I know it is January) but still wrapping up this Christmas thing with 2 Christmas family get togethers this weekend...then onto 2011.. I need to bring a dessert and my husband suggested this... since he loves it so much :) wherever I take this it is always a hit...easy and yummy.... you can use any flavors of cake, chocolate with chocolate pudding & chocolate chips, yellow cake with vanilla pudding & chocolate or white chips or a combination of both....whatever YOU like.... then the drizzle can be also whatever you like,,, powdered sugar with orange juice as the liquid, or a little melted peanut butter and milk to thin it out... again use whatever YOU like....

Beef & Noodle

2-3 lbs roast or thick sirloin should steak (or meat of your choice, I wouldn't waste using say a T-Bone steak or anything) use whatever meat is on sale and that you like
1 onion chopped in big chunks
2 stalks celery chopped in big chunks
1 carrot chopped in big chunks
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbls. Worchester sauce
1-2 tbls. red wine (optional)
1-2 beef bouillon cubes
Beef Stock (I use 1/2 water & half stock)
seasonings of your choice ( I used parsley flakes, bay leaf, and a little onion & garlic powder)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (optional, my gramma didn't do this but trying to get the kids to eat their vegetables :)

In large stockpot place all of the ingredients.  Cover meat 2-3 inches above with water & beef stock.  Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat.  Turn heat down to low and continue simmering, covering pan once everything reaches boiling.  Simmer for 3-4 hours stirring occasionally.  After about 4 hours meat should be falling apart.  Turn off heat & shred meat with a couple of forks. Taste broth to adjust seasonings if necessary.  Make noodle dough.  Turn meat mixture back on, and if need be add more stock you want at least 1/2 the pan with liquid so the noodles will cook properly. I had to add an additional can of beef stock.... Turn heat to medium high add frozen mixed veggies bring to boil, and follow steps below...

Homemade Noodles
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (additional flour for rolling out and kneading dough)
pinch of kosher salt,
1 egg
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp baking powder

In bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt whisking to incorporate. Mix in egg, olive oil & water until mixture forms a ball in bowl ,might have to add a couple of more T. of water until mixture forms ball.  Turn out onto floured surface.  Knead slightly until dough comes together.  Roll out to 1/4 " thickness. With pizza cutter (or knife) cut into large square noodle shapes.  With large spatula lift noodle off of floured surface shaking off additional flour, and drop gently into boiling meat stock mixture one at a time stirring well with each addtion of noodle.  Bring back to a boil and boil about 2-3 minutes or until noodles are floating to top. Scrape counter of additional noodle little pieces and additional flour and add stirring to pan (stir to avoid clumps of flour), this helps thicken the broth & adds a little more flavor.  Check for doneness by tasting noodle (it will hold it's shape, be firm to the tooth ).   Ladle mixture into bowls and enjoy....

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Poundcake

1 box cake mix (I used yellow)
4 eggs
1 box instant cheesecake flavor pudding, dry
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a bundt cake pan with nonstick cooking spray
In large bowl place flour and chocolate chips, coating chips with flour.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well with electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Pour evenly in prepared bundt cake pan.  Bake for aound 50 minutes.  Insert toothpick in cake making sure it comes out clean.   Take out of oven and turn oven off.  Let cool 5 minutes then invert onto serving dish.  Let cake cool completely.

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tbls. milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbls. butter, softened
powdered sugar

Mix cream cheese, & butter until fluffy.  Mix in vanilla & milk.  Add powdered sugar a little at a time to make a runny glaze.  Drizzle over cake.  Slice and serve cake... enjoy

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sausage & Peppers

Ok trying to incorporate more vegetables in my diet.... forever not just this New Years thing :)  LOL.... They had colorful peppers on sale at the grocery store which I ususally buy for things like fajitas, stuffed peppers, pasta salad etc.  I bought 8 peppers they were orange, yellow & red.  I brought them home and my son goes what are you doing with all of those?  I was like hmm not sure yet but I will find something.  I hate waste and I love to be creative and find uses for food related things (maybe I should be more creative in other areas of my life and dig out all of that "scrapbooking" stuff that I just had to have and NEVER ever use....) I think it would make my husband happy to see that stuff not being "wasted"... LOL anyway back to those peppers....
I was thinking about summer time (with all of this cold, snowy weather here in Michigan who wouldn't),which got me to thinking about my son's upcoming open house and what are we serving, as well as summer fairs, our cabin in Gladwin...lots of things.... then I thought fair food...yummm who doesn't love fair food.... Funnel cakes, french fries, sausage & peppers.... ding...wait a minute... I have all those peppers in the fridge, why don't I make sausage & peppers like at the fair.... So here's how this recipe came about.... enjoy
Use whatever peppers you like, colored ones, or green it doesn't matter... It is still delicious.... Also, you can use whatever kind of sausage that you like, I like the raw kind that has to be cooked in the oven but you can substitute the cooked kind, (just don't forget to reduce the time cooking)... can use turkey sausage , hot or sweet types of sausages whatever YOU like....enjoy

Sausage & Peppers

5 pack of raw Sweet Italian Sausage (can use regular or turkey)
4 peppers (can use colored or green) washed, seeded and thinly sliced
1-2 large onions, peeled cut in half, and cut in thin half moon slices
olive oil
salt & pepper

Hot dog buns for serving
condiments  ( I use mustard & ketchup)
Peppercini (yellow hot peppers)

In 350 degree oven place Sausages on baking sheet drizzle with olive oil and place into oven. After sausages are in oven for about 5 minutes, in large skillet over medium high heat place a couple of tbls. olive oil add peppers and onions and salt & pepper to taste. Stir to coat with olive oil and cook until tender but slight crisp. Cover pan when done After about 15-20 minutes check the sausages and cook until golden and done... I usually turn mine half way thru.  Serve sausages on hot dog buns, with a big spoonful of the peppers and onions, and condiments of your choice.  I usually serve these with peppercini on the side as well. 

** I have also skipped the oven step and put the raw sausages (I usually slice them crossways) in the pan with the raw peppers and onions and have cooked them together that way as well, and serve them on buns... Just make sure that the sausage is done.... enjoy

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pasta salad & fruit crumble bars

It is now January 3rd.... and I am sitting here thinking about New Years Resolutions....  My goal is to make small managable changes in my diet (healthier eating) and to incorporate excercise at least 3 times a week...Also hoping with these changes that the 15 lbs that I have gained since last summer goes away by summer 2011.... so with that I decided to make a healthy pasta salad with lots of veggies in it... and since my family still loves dessert a fruit crumble...hey a girl has to have a little something to "sweeten" her up doesn't she.... diet coke doesn't count ;)  LOL.. enjoy and here's to a healthier 2011 :)

Pasta Salad

1/3 of a box of orzo pasta, cooked and drained
1 can tuna, drained and flaked
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbls green olives sliced
1/2 each red, yellow & orange bell peppers, diced
1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
1 carrot, diced


Lite Miracle Whip, (I used about 1/2 cup)
2 Tbls. yellow mustard
2 tbls. dill pickle juice
1 tbls regular mayo
 Seasoned salt & pepper to taste

In serving bowl combine dressing mixture.  Add remainder of ingredients mixing well.  If salad is still dry can add a little more Miracle whip and a little additonal pickle juice to thin it out and give it flavor.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Fruit filled crumble bars

1/2 yellow or white cake mix
1 3/4 cups oatmeal (I use old fashioned oats)
2/3 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup jam (can use whatever flavor you like, raspberry, strawberry etc)
2 Tbls. hot water

In large bowl mix cake mix & oatmeal.  Add melted butter and mix until crumbly.  Press 1/2 mixture in an 8x8 ungreased square pan.  In another bowl mix jam and water until mixture is thined out.  Pour over crust mixture spreading out over top (be careful and not get too much attached to the sides of the pan cause the sugar has a tendancy to burn), sprinkle remaining cake mixture over top pressing down slightly to even out.  Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes (mixture will look not done, and will be pale and not brown), but any additional cooking will burn the bottom.  Cool and cut into squares.  Enjoy