My little girl turned 30 today (I had her when I was VERY young 🙂 ) and this post is a tribute to her. She wrote a blog post today titled “20 Thoughts on Turning 30” and item #18 is “I’ll never cook as good as my mom and grandmas”. Personally, I think she’s a VERY good cook, and really creative!
We all know that food, 1. tastes better when someone else cooks it for you, and 2. never tastes the same as did when that special loved one either made it for you, or you’re lucky enough to still have it occasionally. I say the same thing about stuff my mom used to make.
Anyway, somewhere back in her childhood, I threw together this chicken and rice. I don’t remember for sure, but it was probably out of sheer desperation and lack of time….probably just did chores, ran in from the arena late on a school night, kids running to the shower, and me trying to figure out what to feed them. I recently sent home a batch of this with Brandi because I know she loves it, and after that she called one night to clarify how to make it and declared hers will never be as good as mine. Well, I’m sharing one of her favorites today, and it’s handy because it heats up well (trust me, it does…I remember heating it up for dinner in the microwave in my living quarters horse trailer a few years back).
Happy birthday, Brandi, and hope you enjoy some chicken and rice!
Easy Chicken and Rice
Start with 1 cup of uncooked rice in a glass dish, adding 1 cup of water. Cook according to microwave directions on box. This will yield about 3 cups of cooked rice.
Either use a roast chicken from the deli, or while rice is cooking, prepare chicken, and dice when cool. Combine rice, chicken, 1/2 stick butter or margarine, and season well with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and black pepper. The key here is plenty of butter and seasoning salt. Give it a stir and you’re ready to roll.
Well, not a “real” mexican, but some mexican food. 🙂
Who doesn’t LOVE that white cheese dip that is typically available in restaurants? Not sure anyone can turn that stuff down. Here’s a simple recipe to make it at home! Drizzle this over some quesadillas or chips, and you’ll be in heaven.
1 C. Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 half of a small can chopped green chiles
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 tsp cumin
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
For a little more spice, you can add some finely chopped pickled or fresh jalapenos. Combine in small saucepan over low heat until cheese is melted and well blended. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn and keep warm until ready to serve
I love quiche and gruyere is one my favorite cheeses, although pretty darn pricey, but I thought I’d take a shot at this recipe, adapted from Food Network Magazine. I took it to work and it was a hit, so thought I might share here. Super easy, and you don’t have to sell the farm to buy the gruyere…I just bought a small container of it shredded which wasn’t too bad.
I used a frozen pie crust, although I like the ones you unroll from a box better. Notice the container of apple smoked gruyere is empty – I’m a cheese freak so I took care of the extra. Whipped it up and in 30 minutes, ready to roll. Finished product:
Ham and Gruyere Quiche
1 cup diced smoked ham
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)
1 9 inch pie crust, thawed if frozen, or ready-made out of box
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups half and half
Minced onion to taste (optional)
Handful of fresh or dried chives
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a baking sheet on the middle oven rack. Scatter the ham and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, and onion if you are including it. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, chives and season well with salt and a few grinds of pepper; pour into the crust. Transfer to hot baking sheet and bake until the eggs are set and the top is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Place on rack to cool a little; can be served immediately or refrigerated.
This is not your traditional tater casserole. Nothing healthy about it, but with Easter approaching, I wanted to share as it would be a delicious addition to your meal.
Keep in mind that this casserole may use shredded frozen potatoes and cheddar cheese, but you use HEAVY CREAM – nope, no canned soup in this baby. I now use only sharp cheddar but you could go with your favorite. And, for those of you who want to make it and leave it, I’m pretty sure a slow cooker would work on this.
Happy St. Patty’s Day, and enjoy!
4 cups shredded hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 1/2 heavy cream
Optional: thinly sliced or minced onion
Alternate layers of potatoes and cheese (and onion, if using), using salt and pepper to taste. One you have all of the taters and cheese in casserole dish, pour cream over it. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min covered, then remove lid and continue for another 10-15 minutes uncovered so cheese is bubbly.
I scored this recipe off The Kitchen, thank you Katie Lee, and although it was touted as a Thanksgiving and holiday recipe, I made it tonight and we enjoyed it with marinated, grilled flank steak (amazing). This was super easy and delish, and if you don’t want to include the glaze, the roasted sweet potatoes were to the moon on their own (I had to do a little tastey tastey).
Again, I almost burnt the almonds while toasting (saute in butter) because I multi-task too much, and was hoping that KSU could pull off a win 😦 Anyway, here’s my taters, drizzled with EEO, then add salt and fresh cracked pepper:
In the oven they went while I enjoyed the beautiful weather outside. Made the glaze ahead of time and just let it chill (remember, EASY recipe):
Here’s my final product, and it tastes much better than it looks, but that’s typical cuz I’m not a photographer, and my new phone got wet and died in the rainstorm out in the cove at the lake this summer 😦
Yes, I need to break loose and buy a new one (with insurance.) This weather makes me miss boating life, so am sharing a pic of my boat, which I miss! Can’t wait for March!!!!
Actually looks better now since I’ve added a KSU and American flag to the antenna!
Enjoy this time leading up to the holidays, and pray for our friends in France and those working so hard to keep us safe here in America, where we are soo lucky to live! I know I have followers from several other countries, so prayers to you as well for your safety!
Cranberry Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Approximately 5 medium sweet potatoes, or 3 large
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
On a baking sheet, toss together the sweet potatoes, oil and salt and pepper. Roast until the potatoes are golden brown and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes.
In the meantime, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce the cranberry juice by half. Add the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon, stirring to dissolve and incorporate.
When the potatoes come out of the oven, add them to a large bowl. Pour the glaze over top and toss to coat completely. Serve topped with the toasted almonds.
I FINALLY found my recipe for super quick and easy cinnamon rolls using boiled sour cream. You don’t even have to let them rise! You can actually whip up a batch of these in an hour.
Super easy and delicious!
I challenge you to try them today – whomever you decide to share with will undoubtedly be impressed!
Easy Cinnamon Rolls
Bring 1 cup sour cream to a boil. Remove from heat and add the following:
3 tbsp shortening
3 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp soda
1 tsp salt.
Let mixture dissolve & cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, dissolve 1 pkg dry yeast with 1/2 cup warm water in large mixing bowl. Add 1 beaten egg and mixture in pan. Mix in 3 cup of flour or more to desired consistency.
Move to floured surface and knead a few times until smooth. Roll to rectangle and spread with softened margarine or butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon; add chopped pecans if you wish.
Roll up starting with short end and cut to desired thickness. Place in greased pan and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Frosting: 1.5 cups powdered sugar, 2 tbsp softened butter, 1/4 tsp vanilla and milk to desired consistency.
We had a birthday party for the youngest daughter, Kristy, last month, and smoked a bunch of pork butts in anticipation of a United Way fundraiser (today) as well as her birthday. I had made my famous and delicious cheesy potatoes but as I contemplated the number of men and kids attending, I thought I might whip up a quick batch of mac and cheese.
My sister came up with this recipe and it’s super easy, cheesy and delicious. All you need is mac and cheese, powdered milk, velveeta and sharp cheddar. I might add that at first I was only able to find these huge boxes of powdered milk, but now you can buy little packages of it which are really handy and work for those of us who don’t use this on a regular basis.
Be sure to use sharp cheddar and the more liquid the better when you pop it in the oven. (I’ve actually started only buying sharp) Sooo good!
Homemade Mac & Cheese
Preheat oven to 325 for glass dishes; 350 for metal. Spray a 9 x 13 dish with non-stick spray.
2 cups small size elbow macaroni
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 lb. Velveeta (1/2 of package)
8 oz. (at least) sharp grated cheddar cheese
1/4 pound butter
Fill a 3 qt saucepan 2/3 full with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil. Add mac to boiling water, stir. Allow water to return to boil and cook macaroni just to al dente stage. This does not take long!! It will cook more as you melt the cheese and also in the baking process. Drain some of the water – leaving just enough to “almost” cover the macaroni.
Add nonfat dry milk to the macaroni and water. Stir until milk is dissolved.
Cut Velveeta into chunks and add to the macaroni mixture. Stir well, cover loosely and return to very low heat. Add 1/4 lb. butter, cut into chunks and add to the mac and cheese mixture. Stir frequently until almost all of the Velveeta is melted. Once that happens, pour into baking dish. You may want to add more water or milk at this point. Top with shredded sharp cheddar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned to your preference.
Now that the kids are back in school and everyone is running around the house all crazy-like, I wanted to share a scrumptious muffin recipe that can be made ahead and frozen, microwaved, has protein, and is customizable (is that a word?) for even the most finicky eater. My friend Heather and her daughter Gabby whipped these up, and I think they’re gone already.
The supplies, and the finished product:
After spraying your muffin cups, throw in whatever ingredients you wish — ham, bacon, spinach, onion, green pepper, sausage….you get the deal! Oh yeah, and don’t forget the CHEESE!!! Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder if desired, then add your beaten eggs. They freeze well and are ready in a snap with the handy dandy microwave! Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Assemble chopped veggies and meats, and your choice of grated cheese(s), and sprinkle in muffin tins. Beat desired amount of eggs and add to muffin tins. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate or freeze for use later. Microwaves well.
You’ll notice that in my Recipe Box, I’ve added a new category called “Cooking with Kids”. Why, you might ask? Well two of my favorite cooks were at it again last night, and we happily sampled their creation! Here’s the final product:
This is a super fun way to let kids be creative, and since there’s no certain method of placing the fruit, other than just plopping it down, everybody’s a winner! Start with sugar cookie dough and small bowls of your choice of fruits:
Ice the baked “cookie” with a combo of cream cheese, whipped topping and confectioners sugar:
Gab and Gen in their creative mode!
And then turn it over to the kids! This was super delicious, and healthy because we can just gobble up the leftover fruit! Be sure to check out the Cooking with Kids section, and if you have a good recipe that works great with kids, email me at email@example.com and YOU can be my next guest! Until then —-
1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
Assorted chopped fruit
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
12 oz. whipped topping
1/4 cup confectioners sugar, or to desired consistency
Bake sugar cookie and let cool. Beat together cream cheese, whipped topping and confectioners sugar; ice cookie. Throw (or arrange neatly) fruit on and have at it!
I continually get requests for meals that you can throw it in and when you arrive back home, voila! It’s ready! This is a super easy recipe that I believe maybe my hubster and his friend, Nick, invented. Might have had a couple of other lake friends in the mix, but they are the chefs of the crowd.
Buy the CHEAP pork steaks — not pork chops. Throw on a little seasoning, BBQ sauce, and layer away. Low and slow and oh man, yummo! You can add veggies and eat solo, or put on a little roll and they’ll be gone pronto!
Keep your eye open for an easy Italian Chicken recipe coming soon! Another crockpot favorite. Happy Friday!
Pork Steak (not pork chops or pork cutlets)
Your favorite BBQ sauce
Your favorite all purpose or BBQ seasoning
Place a liner in your slow cooker. Start with a pork steak on a little bbq sauce on the bottom liner to keep if from sticking. Season, couple of blobs of BBQ sauce, and repeat layers. Cook on low 6-8 hours depending on the amount of pork you are cooking. Delish!