Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Slow Cooker Lasagna

This recipe was so simple and smelled good while cooking.  It is not a substitute for the real thing, though! It was ok at best.  I will make it again with my own twists on it.  But with those of you with little kiddos or picky eaters it will be super for that!
1 pound Italian sausage
1/2 cup onion chopped
3 cans 15 ounce Italian style tomatoes**I used crushed**
2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Cook the sausage and onion and drain.  Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt.  Mix 1 cup of the mozz cheese, ricotta and parmesan cheeses together(put aside the remaining 1 c mozz,  Spoon 1/4 of the sausage mixture into the bottom of a sprayed slow cooker.  Top with 5 noodles**I could not fit 5.  I broke them into pieces to fit the bottom.** Spread 1/2 cheese mixture on top then 1/4 sausage mixture...top with noodles then cheese and sausage mixture. Top with noodles and remaining sausage mixture.  Cover and cook for 4-6 on low setting.  Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella over the top and cover.  Let stand until cheese is melted and cut and eat! Enjoy~

Monday, September 26, 2011

Beef Taco Rice with Refried Beans

I threw this together last night as we had a lazy. at. home. Sunday.  It was nice...until I realized we had lazed the day away by the pool and it was dinner time! I have made it before and the kids really enjoyed it.  They enjoyed it so much that they dug into it and it was gone before I realized I did not have picture...so....you get the tortilla part of the taco! :)  I have a growing teen boy and if there is food that is not guarded....there is no. more. food.  When did this happen?

4 cups water
1 cup chopped green pepper(all I had was red, so that is what I used)
1 c chopped onion(Brenn will not eat onions so I minced about 1/4 cup and threw that in)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp  pepper
1 pkg taco seasoning_divided
4 cups uncooked rice
2 small 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 lb hamburger(as you know I do  not use ground beef....I use ground turkey)
1 can refried beans
shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine 1st five ingredients and add 1/2 of that taco seasoning-boil- remove from heat. Add rice and stir and cover.  Let this stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato sauce.  Cook meat, drain and add remaining taco seasoning to the meat. Spray the 9x13 pan with cooking spray and layer 1/2 rice then spread the refried beans(I always warm these on the stove to make sure they will spread well), top with the meat then 1/2 cheese.  Finish with the rest of the rice and they rest of the cheese.  Bake 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.  I serve with tortillas, sour cream, avocados, chips, salsa and Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vanilla Latte Cupcakes with Espresso Icing

I love coffee.  I love vanilla.  This is a little piece of heaven in the shape of a cupcake!
I adapted the recipe from Pink Parsley to the likes of my family.  I can't wait until Brooklyn gets home to try these!
3/4 cup unsalted, room temp butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temp
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp espresso powder
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp coffee liqueur or milk if non alcoholic
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans. Mix the butter at medium speed for about 30 seconds and add sugar.  Beat for about 3 minutes until fluffy and light.  Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat well after each addition.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.  Stir together the coffee, buttermilk and liqueur.  Starting and ending with the flour add the dry and wet ingredients to the mixer mixing on low, until just incorporated.
 Fill each cupcake about 2/3 full.  These bake over so be careful not to add too much.  Bake 18-20 minutes.  Cool before frosting.

 1 cup butter, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp boiling water mixed with 1 Tbsp espresso powder
6 cups powder sugar
milk to consistency

Beat butter, add vanilla.  Add espresso and powder sugar then add milk to your liking.  Frost and Eat! Enjoy!~

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cookie Dough Brownies

This duo was made for brownies! Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookie dough? I am not a fan of chocolate but these are good!
from Jamie Cooks It Up

2 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C cocoa
1/2 t salt
1 C canola oil
4 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
1 C flour

2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1 T shortening

Brownie layer~Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa and salt and whisk.  
Add oil, eggs and vanilla. 
Mix on low for 30 seconds, scrape and beat on medium for 3 minutes, until glossy.
Pour batter into a prepared 9x13 baking pan and smooth with a knife. 
Bake at 350 degrees
for 30 min. or until tester comes out clean.
Cookie Dough Layer~ Mix softened butter, brown sugar vanilla and milk for about 3 min.
or until light and fluffy.  Add the flour and mix well for another minute. Spread on top of the
cooled brownies.  **At this point I will add mini chips next time to make it a true chocolate
 chip cookie dough**
Chocolate Glaze~
Microwave the chocolate chips at 30 second intervals and when they are almost ready add the 
shortening and stir to make a drizzle.  Pour the glaze over the bars and spread with a knife.
Refrigerate for 1 hour! Enjoy~

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mexican Potatoes with Sausage

I was trying to come up with a NEW dish to get my son to abandon his desire for boxed, frozen fish sticks and this did it! He ate 1/2 of the dish! A definite keeper in our book.  I will make it for brunch as well and switch it up a little.
12 ounces Italian sausage or chorizo
1/2 cup chopped green pepper**I did not use all of this amount**
1 package southwest potatoes
2 cups shredded cheese
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tomato seeded and chopped
sour cream and Hatch Green chili sauce for garnish

Heat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 inch square baking pan.  In a skillet cook the sausage until done.  Drain. Place 1/2 the potatoes in the bottom of the dish place 1/2 sausage and the 3/4 cup cheese...repeat. Combine the eggs and milk and mix well in a dish and pour over the mixture evenly.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover add the tomatoes, 1/2 c cheese and then bake again for 15 min or until knife comes out clean. LEt stand 10 minutes before serving.  I topped with sour cream and salsa...YUM! Enjoy~

Monday, September 12, 2011

Apples with Caramel Dessert

This is a perfect Fall dessert. I put it over pound cake, angel cake would be great, as well as use it as a ice cream topping.  So  versatile and easy.  It cooks in the slow cooker all day!

1/2 cup apple juice
7 ounce caramels*I used caramel chips...best invention!!*
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup  creamy peanut butter
2-3 medium apples peeled, cored and sliced

Combine the apple juice, caramel candy, spices, vanilla in the slow cooker.  Drop the peanut butter by spoonful stirring after each addition to make sure the peanut butter is mixed in well. Gently stir in the apples.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, stir then cover again and cook 1 more hour on low. YUM!! Enjoy~

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

WOW! Clash of yumminess! 2 great foods come together and make a delish dish! It is definitely NOT fat free....it IS rich and filling.  It takes a while and a whole lots of pans to get this in the oven but it is well worth it.

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound elbow macaroni or rotini
1 small onion, finely chopped 
2 stalks celery, finely chopped 
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced 
3/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce 
2 tablespoons  flour 
2 teaspoons dry mustard 
2 1/2 cups half-and-half 
1 pound yellow sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces gouda, shredded 
2/3 cup sour cream 
1 cup panko breadcrumbs  
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain. 
Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute. 
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half and add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and gouda, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth. 
Combine the chicken mixture, cooked pasta, and cheese sauce and toss to combine.
Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley**This is incredible! I will make this topping on a few different dishes**. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before ENJOY~

Monday, September 5, 2011

Apple Pie Bars

I stumbled across this recipe while browsing  my favorite cooking sites.  I cannot for the life of me remember where I found it.  I printed it right away and did not save...I apologize to the person that posted this YUMMI-LICIOUS recipe! I make this for a dessert at a neighbors cook out.  It was a home run! I served it with caramel ice cream....Tony said that witht he glaze there was really no need for the ice cream.  My suggestion would be to either glaze it(then it can be a breakfast or dessert) or to not glaze and serve with caramel or vanilla bean ice cream.  Just a suggestion...I do not have a photo, but I will post it today when I make another pan for my family.

1 cup Panko bread crumbs 
8 cups peeled, cored and sliced Granny Smith apples*I used 7 large* tossed with two TB fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar mixed with 1 to 2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

2 TB butter

Egg wash
1 package refrigerated pie crust doughs (2 crusts) - can use homemade too *I used my favorite King Arthur pie crust*

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

2 to 3 TB milk

Preheat oven to 350°.
Divide pie crust dough into 2 pieces on a ratio of 6 to 4. Roll out the larger of the two pieces into a rectangle about 11" x 15". Place in a 9" x 13" cake pan. Push the pastry up the sides of the pan a bit to make a shallow container for the apples.
Spread the bread crumbs over the pastry.
Spread the apples over the bread crumbs and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and the nutmeg over the top. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot over the top.

Rol the remaining piece of pie dough into a 9" x 13" rectangle and cover the apples. Brush with egg wash.
Slash the crust 6 or 8 times to allow steam to escape. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes until crust is golden brown. * I only baked mine for 55 minutes*
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely while you prepare the glaze.
ombine the glaze ingredients and stir until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Adjust the ingredients to achieve the consistency you need. Pour over pastry. Allow the icing to set before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer Peach Cake

Peaches are in season!! YAY!! I love to use peaches in my baking.  This is a new recipe I came across and tried this afternoon.


1/2 c sugar, divided
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
3/4 c butter
1 egg
2 Tbsp white rum or water
3-4 peaches skinned and sliced
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 peach preserves
1 Tbsp hot water

In a bowl mix the flour, 1/4 c sugar, salt and baking powder.  Add egg and rum or water and mix into a ball.  Press into a 9x13 baking pan.  PLace sliced peaches on top of dough.  In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the cinnamon and nutmeg along with the 1/4 remaining sugar.  Stir and pour over the peaches.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Mix the preserves with the hot water and brush over the top of the finished cake.  Easy! Enjoy~