Monday, June 30, 2008
I just took inventory and we have spaghetti sauce and noodles, stuff for burritos and nachos, and all manner of fresh produce including a salad already made.
So it looks like I won't have to do any cooking today, or maybe just a bit of eggs and oatmeal for breakfast. I'm thinking egg and cheese burritos for breakfast for the girls and oatmeal for the baby.
There is ONE thing I like to do in the kitchen ... make coffee! Here's me drinking coffee from one of my favorite mugs. My daughter took this picture a couple of years ago.
My most recent coffee purchase was a one-cup coffee maker I got for two bucks at a yard sale about a month ago. I thought I might take it to my sister's house and leave it there for when I go visit her, but I have been using it a lot at night. I like to have a cup at night sometimes when I need to stay up and work.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
You can substitute ground turkey for the ground beef in this recipe but then that would change the name of the recipe. Hmmm ...
Slow Cooker Italian Beef and Potato Casserole
1 lb lean ground beef
5 1/2 oz scalloped potatoes mix
16 oz can tomatoes
1 can pizza sauce
1/2 c water
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 c cubed mozzarella cheese
Brown ground beef, drain well. Put in slow cooker (Crock Pot) with dried potatoes from scalloped potato mix and sauce mix. Add tomatoes, pizza sauce, water, oregano, basil and garlic. Stir to mix. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. Turn to high, stir in cubed cheese. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Here's my Cheesy Chicken Dress-Up, so called because of the bow tie pasta. (Get it, you are dressed up when you have a bow tie on! LOL)
I made this recipe up. I call it “dress-up” because of the bow-tie pasta! ;-)
Cheesy Chicken Dress-Up
Chicken (I used one leg quarter)
Cream of mushroom soup (about a half a can or so)
Bow-tie pasta (I used half a one-pound box)
Shredded cheese (about one cup in total, I used Colby Jack)
Put the chicken in a pan of water on the stove with onions, salt, and pepper, and boil until tender. When the chicken is finished, take it out and save the water you cooked it in for the noodles. When it cools, pull the meat off the bone. Cook the bow-tie pasta according to package directions in the chicken broth. When the pasta is done, drain it and add the soup, cut up chicken, and most of the cheese. Stir it all up with a bit of salt and pepper and sprinkle some more cheese on the top.
I served it with steamed yellow and zucchini squash, microwaved in a steam bag for about three minutes. Delicious!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
1/2 of a 16 oz. pkg. linguine
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Prepare linguine according to package directions in 3-qt. saucepan. Add broccoli during last 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain linguine and broccoli well in colander.
Heat butter in 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until well browned, stirring often.
Stir soup, milk, cheese, black pepper, and linguine mixture into skillet. Cook until mixture is hot and bubbling. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.
Make this Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo by using grilled chicken breasts.
Make it Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo by using 1 lb. fresh extra large shrimp, shelled and deveined, for the chicken. Cook until shrimp turn pink.
I love both chicken and shrimp alfredo! Yum, yum!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
1 can tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Put a can of cream of mushroom soup in a pan on the stove and enough water to make it gravy consistency. Add the can of tuna and heat until thoroughly warm.
This tastes wonderful over white rice or biscuits. I also like to put it over eggs.
The first time my husband made this for me I thought it was going to be just awful. I was quite surprised to discover how delicious it really was. Now I love to make it for company and watch them have the very same reaction I had!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It's called "Country Pie" but I'm not sure why. I think while I'm making it I'll come up with another name.
1 lb. ground beef
1 jar (14oz) spaghetti sauce
3-4 cups uncooked white minute rice
Mozzarella cheese to cover top
Brown and drain ground beef. Combine meat and 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce. Spread evenly into bottom of 13x9 dish.(will be spread thin). Mix remaining sauce with rice. You can add 1/4 cup water to sauce jar and shake. Use up the last of the sauce in rice. Mix well. Spread evenly over meat. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil. Bake uncovered 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with garlic bread or bread and butter.
Of course I can't just follow a recipe. I always have regular rice on hand so I'll use that instead of minute rice. I'll cook the rice first and then mix it in with the recipe and adjust the cooking times. I'll also substitute ground turkey for the ground beef. I'm looking forward to making this and I hope the kids will like it!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Cold mashed potatoes
Crumbs (regular or Italian)
Shape some mashed potatoes into your favorite shape and roll it into the crumbs.
Pop in the oven until hot.
Serve with a little bit of butter on top.
Mini Pigs in a Blanket
Mini sausage links (like Lil Smokies)
Cut each crescent roll square into 4 pieces, wrap around sausage, and cook according to crescent roll package directions. Serve with dipping sauces such as mustard, ketchup, sweet and sour sauce or whatever you like.
I usually don't prepare them exactly according to package directions, though. The seasoning is usually a bit stronger than what the kids would prefer, so I add extra noodles or rice to tone it down some. Plus when you are cooking for 3 to 5 kids you need to stretch it out!
Depending on the meal I'll add extra cheese, tomatoes, mixed vegetables, etc. I almost always add extra cheese no matter what the dinner is.
I just bought some tuna box dinners at the grocery store since they were on sale, and I'll cook those for the kids this week with extra noodles and cheese. Yummy!
Monday, June 23, 2008
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
In a large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of the tomato soup, ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, onion, salt and pepper using your hands. Shape firmly into two loaves.
Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatloaves in the hot skillet, then reduce heat to medium and cover with a lid. Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until meat is cooked through.
Spoon the fat from the skillet, and stir in the remaining soup, water, and mustard. Top with mozzarella cheese, and let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring sauce occasionally.
1 1/2 pounds uncooked ground chicken
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided (Could use olive oil)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients except 1 tablespoon oil in large bowl until evenly combined.
Shape into loaf. Place in loaf pan and pour remaining tablespoon oil over loaf. Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is lightly browned and juices run clear when poked.
You could sneak in some healthy stuff like fiber powder into this. My mom used to make meatloaf with ground beef and sneak in some of her healthy powders! She made us promise not to tell our dad what she was putting in there, so we never did tell him what was in it. We just watched and smirked while he ate it and smacked his lips!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Noodles of some type
Macaroni and cheese
Flour and other pancake/bread/biscuit fixings
Some type of salad/veggie
COFFEE!!! (Nobody wants me to be without this!)
Chicken (We like thighs and buy the skinless, boneless variety as well as skin/bone there)
Ground meat (I always buy ground turkey)
Ice cream (Yes in our house that IS a staple)
We also try to keep fruit handy for the kids and I like to have yogurt available for whenever I want a snack.
My son has also started eating oatmeal just about every morning so we have started keeping oatmeal (the regular old-fashioned kind you cook on the stove) and raisins to put in it.
Now I need to go grocery shopping!
My husband gave me this really easy idea that is so simple you'd think I could have come up with it on my own. But then again, I hate cooking and the kitchen.
You just take a couple of pieces of chicken (we have come to prefer thighs and buy the boneless skinless variety when we can) and a potato or two cut in half, put them in a pan with enough water to cover them, and BOIL!
Boy how easy is that? It's super quick too.
Sometimes I throw a little bit of diced onion in there for flavor, since he likes his food to be tasty and since I eat with him on occasion. If I feel like it I put some carrots in there too but you have to be careful about cooking carrots with potatoes, as the carrots take a lot longer to get done than the potatoes.
After we eat the food I put the chicken stock in a bowl and freeze it for the next time I make noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Broccoli Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
1/2 pound dry fettuccine pasta (I used thin spaghetti)
1 cup fresh chopped broccoli
2 tablespoons butter
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast (I used thighs)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fettuccini pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, adding broccoli for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain.
Cut chicken breast meat into bite size pieces, trimming any fat off in the process. In a large skillet melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add chicken and saute until well browned. Add soup, milk and cheese and stir all together. Add pasta/broccoli mixture and heat through. Serve hot.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Seafood or Chicken Pasta
8 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/2 pound seafood (I prefer shrimp!) or chicken, cooked
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped (could also use canned diced tomatoes, drained)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a skillet over low heat; add next 8 ingredients (tomatoes through pepper). Cook, stirring constantly, until heated. Add cooked seafood or chicken. Spoon mixture over hot pasta and sprinkle with cheese.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Here's the fresh picked, organic yellow and zucchini squash and cucumbers we're having for supper!
Supper tonight is coming from a gift card and an organic garden! Yummy!
We went down to a farm today to do a story about worm farming. Kind of yucky to think about, but those worms help that man raise some really gorgeous day lilies and a wonderful garden full of organic vegetables. He picked some yellow and zucchini squash and gave it to us for supper, and his wife gave us a big bag of cucumbers she had just picked the day before. All the veggies are organic and guess what they fertilize the garden with?
On the way back I stopped at Wal-Mart to get some chicken and pasta to go with the fresh veggies. I stopped there because I had a $15 gift card I earned on one of my points sites. I got a bag of chicken quarters for $5 and some different kinds of pasta and cheese. I used all the money on the card except for about 80 cents!
I'm cooking a couple of leg quarters in a pot of water on the stove with onions, salt, and pepper, and am going to steam a little squash for the baby and me. (The girls won't eat it, more for me!) I'm going to cook the noodles and add some Velveeta cheese to them when they get done and that'll be macaroni and cheese.
I'm looking forward to my gift card/organic garden supper and will let you know how it turned out!
Easy and Healthy "Fried" Fish
Fish fillets (any kind)
Salt and/or other seasonings
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan on the stove or electric skillet. Place fish fillets, onions, and seasonings in the pan and cover. Cook until done.
You can also bake this and/or toss in other things like tomatoes or peppers.
It tastes great with the Super Easy Mash Potatoes I last posted about!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Super Easy Mashed Potatoes
Peel and cut up the potatoes and boil them in a pan with the onions, chicken broth, and seasonings. (I use chicken stock I have frozen from a previous meal. If you don't have enough broth just add water until it covers the potatoes.)
After the potatoes are done, drain the water off and put the potatoes back in the pan or in a bowl. Add a generous tablespoon or so of sour cream, a tablespoon or so of butter/margarine, and a tablespoon or so of milk. Be careful not to put too much milk. Mix (with mixer) until the potatoes are all creamed.
I use it mostly with potatoes and onions but you can use it with pretty much anything firm enough to pass through the blades on the cutting tray.
You just peel your vegetables (or not), cut them up in smaller chunks, place them on the cutting tray and smash the lid down. There is a tray for dicing and a tray for chopping, which leaves your vegetables in larger pieces.
I love it!
Monday, June 16, 2008
I have used regular box pudding instead of instant to make this since that is what I had. It worked out just fine.
Easy Southern Banana Pudding
3 cups cold milk (any kind works fine, I usually use skim or 1 percent)
2 pkg. vanilla pudding
Vanilla wafers (about 30)
3 bananas, sliced in round pieces
1 tub whipped topping, thawed
Pour milk in a large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes. (If you are using the kind you cook, just prepare it according to package directions and you are good to go!)
Arrange half the wafers on bottom and up side of 2-qt serving bowl. Add layers of half of each the banana slices and pudding. Repeat all layers. Spread whipped topping over pudding.
Refrigerate 3 hours or until ready to serve. Store leftover pudding in refrigerator.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I'll most likely use thighs, love them!!)
2 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces
Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.
Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Onions and seasonings to taste
Cook some chicken breasts in the slow cooker (Crock pot) with onions and seasonings. When they are done, pour the chicken and the broth in a pan on the stove. Cut up some flour tortillas and put them in the pot with the chicken. Cook until the tortillas are the texture you like. Viola, there you are!
You can also just cook the chicken in a pan on the stove and then add the tortillas when the chicken gets done.
My mom cooks a whole chicken in a stock pot, takes it out, separates it, and puts what she wants to use for the chicken and dumplings back in. For the dumplings she uses her biscuit recipe, which is awesome and a family favorite. She just drops small pieces of dough in there and cooks it. Now THAT'S YUMMY!!!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Beefy Skillet Ravioli
1 lb. lean ground beef (I use ground turkey)
1 can spaghetti sauce (I use Hunt's Garlic & Herb)
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 9 oz. pkg refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
2 T shredded Parmesan cheese (I use a lot more than that and sometimes other kinds of cheese
1 T chopped fresh Italian parsley (I skipped this)
Brown ground beef/meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomatoes; blend well. Bring to a boil.
Add ravioli to skillet; spoon meat sauce over ravioli until well coated. Reduce heat; cover and simmer on medium heat 15 minutes or until ravioli is tender.
Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
Friday, June 13, 2008
2 c flour
2½ t baking powder
1 t salt
¼ c sugar
2 c milk
Mix all this in a bowl and cook in skillet greased with olive oil, butter, etc. You just put enough oil or butter to grease the bottom of the pan. You don't want any standing oil.
If I am making this for just my kids I half the recipe. If I'm making it for all five I use the whole thing, but I make sure I am finished cooking all the batter before I call them to the table! They love it!
You can get free cookbooks online. Here are a couple of sites with free cookbooks:
Or just type in "free cookbooks"!
I'm also getting recipes in daily email newsletters from www.allrecipes.com. There are other sites that offer the daily email recipes but I didn't want my inbox flooded with recipes.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Hearty Chicken and Noodle Casserole
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Stir soup, milk, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, chicken, and noodles in 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir. Top with cheddar cheese.
Make it crunchy by omitting the cheese and using French fried onions. Give it a twist by using 2 cups cooked corkscrew shaped pasta instead of egg noodles.
But with a husband, three children, one of which has a ravenous appetite, and two nieces, one of which has an excellent appetite, I am forced to spend time in the kitchen.
Now that summer break is upon us and I have a bunch of kids in the house with me all day long, I have to keep them fed. That means I'm cooking at least two, if not three meals a day plus sweeping, mopping, washing dishes, and all that.
So this blog will be about my kitchen gripes but mostly about the super easy meals I have cooked or am planning to cook. The things I cook are super easy and pretty much foolproof, since I can mess up pretty much anything. I've got some great recipes and concoctions my husband whips up too, so I'll post those as well.
Now I have a pile of dirty dishes staring at me that I must tend to ...