Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Soft Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from Aunt Stacie, and is a good way to use up a couple of rotting bananas you may have sitting on your kitchen counter.

Soft Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed bananas (2)
2 eggs
1 cup (12 oz) chocolate chips

Cream sugar and shortening, add eggs and bananas, then mix in all other ingredients, flour and chocolate chips last.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake on ungreased pan.

Bake at 350 degrees, 8-10 minutes

**I find the cookies need a full 10 minutes, even though they look done before then.  If I pull them out sooner, after a few minutes of cooling they start to look quite doughy on top.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Shepherd Pie

A recipe I got @ my wedding shower from the ladies in my ward

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion (or equivalent dried, minced), chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed tomato soup
2 cans green beans, drained
Mashed potatoes (homemade, instant, refrigerated) 4-6 servings
Grated cheddar cheese or American cheese slices

Brown ground beef with onion in large skillet, drain fat, season with salt and pepper.
Stir in tomato soup and green beans, simmer together 5-10 minutes. Pour tomato, beef, bean mixture into a shallow casserole and top with mashed potatoes. Top potatoes with shredded cheese or cheese slices. Bake in 350 degree oven about 20-30 minutes until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Easy Baked Tilapia

This is a recipe that Dave and I really like, in fact we're having it for dinner tonight!  This is one meal I taught Dave to make so he can feed himself when I go out of town.  This recipe comes from a food blog that Marisa used to use a lot.  Unfortunately, this lady (Amy Scott) hasn't posted anything recently, because I actually make a lot of recipes from here.

I recognize that not everyone loves fish, and that it's not necessarily affordable for larger families, but it's something that our little family loves to make.  It is also really easy and a no brainer when I can't think of what to make for dinner--I just pull out some frozen fish and veggies and we're good to go!

Here are changes that I make to the recipe.

  • I don't use old bay seasoning, I use a seasoning called "Citrus Grill" that we found at Sam's.  Really, I just dump whatever I feel like on the fish.  Sometimes it's lemon pepper.
  • I just use whatever veggies I have in the freezer.  I found a southwestern veggie mix one time that has corn, bell peppers, etc.  I usually mix that with broccoli, carrots, or whatever else I have.
  • I don't always use fresh lemon.  It is admittedly better that way, but I'll just dump some lemon juice from the bottle if I need to.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dr. Pepper Chicken

I decided to try something off the web. It was OK but it needed something, I may try it again and tweak it...

4 boneless, skinless chicken beasts
12 oz can of Dr. Pepper
2 tsp liquid smoke
One envelope dry Lipton onion soup mix
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours. If chicken breasts are frozen, cut into pieces when able, about 2 hours in, if thawed, cut sooner. When chicken is done, remove from sauce and whisk in 2 Tbsp cornstarch to thicken sauce, about 30 min. Add chicken pieces to heat through. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tzatziki Sauce (for Sausage Pitas)

This recipe comes from my friend Tiffany Giles.  I'm sure she found it on the internet somewhere, but I don't have an original source.  Dave and I love to make these sausage pitas just like Tiffany did for us one summer when we were watching So You Think You Can Dance and having dinners together.  Oh, good times.  We had great friends in Illinois!  I make the tzatziki earlier in the day, and then it's really easy to put together at dinnertime.  It's a quick, tasty, healthy meal that is perfect for warmer weather (which we are not experiencing--it's supposed to snow here in the next few days).

Tzatziki Sauce

1 (16 oz) container low-fat plain yogurt  (or non-fat greek yogurt and ignore step one--which is what I do)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded & grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh, chopped parsley (I usually use dried)
1 Tbsp fresh, chopped mint (I don't use unless I feel like buying mint)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I use my lemon juice from the fridge)
salt & pepper to taste

1.  Line a colander w/ 2 layers of cheesecloth & place it over a medium bowl.  Place the yogurt on the cheesecloth & cover the colander with plastic wrap.  Allow yogurt to drain overnight.
2.  Lay grated cucumber on a plate lined w/ paper towel; allow to drain 1-2 hours
3.  Combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, parsley, mint, lemon juice, S & P in a bowl.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Sausage Pitas  (probably don't require a recipe, but, here you go):
  • pocket pitas, or the "Greek" pitas like you see here--like you would eat with a gyro
  • 1 package summer sausage, polska kielbasa or turkey sausage (the stuff shaped like a horseshoe in the package), sliced and sauteed in pan until warm and caramelized
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • onion
  • tzatziki sauce
Put everything in the pita and eat.  YUMMY!

Seven Layer Tostada

As you can see, we eat a lot of Mexican food around here.  In fact, Ryan's coworker asked if I was Mexican (obviously she's never met me).  This recipe is pretty self explanatory and doesn't really need a recipe, but here it is anyway.

from Kalyn's Kitchen

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pasta Carbonara

8 oz Penne Pasta
4 oz sliced pepperoni
1/2 c REAL bacon bits or bacon cooked crisply & crumbled
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (6 oz) can black olives, drained & sliced
1 (15 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 c milk
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

Fill large cooking pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water to desired firmness. Drain and return to pot.

While water is heating, slice pepperoni into 1/4" strips and fry to remove grease, drain meat on paper towels.

Combine all ingredients with pasta in large pot, heat to blend. Sauce should be somewhat thin, (add additional milk if needed) this will thicken. I usually use extra penne pasta and more sauce for larger amounts. (I showed Bertolini pasta sauce, sold @ Sam's, but it is very salty and I prefer good old Walmart brand).

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Beef Stew

I made Mom's beef stew for dinner tonight, so I thought I'd post the recipe.  Of course, having the oven on all day in the spring made my house a nice 75 degrees, so we made sure to keep the windows open.  By the time dinner was ready it was cool enough outside that we didn't feel weird about eating stew in April!

Beef Stew

2 lbs stew meat
2 onions, chopped
frozen peas (aka, as many as you want)
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can water
1/4 cup pickle juice
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut up
1 tsp salt

Mix everything but the peas together and bake at 275 for 5 hours.  Add the peas in the last half hour of baking.

**I almost always double the amount of soup, water and pickle juice.  Usually because I end up with pretty large potatoes and use more carrots and potatoes than the recipe calls for.  I like it a little soupier the first night, because the second night it's nice and thick and even more "stewy"

**Obviously there are no peas in my picture, I didn't have any, so I threw corn in instead.  It was still yummy.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Cherry Coffee Cake

This recipe comes from Mom's recipe box, meaning, she cut it off of the back of the Bisquick container, or out of some magazine, so I have no exact reference for it.  Shelby doesn't remember this coffee cake, but I remember eating it a fair amount of times.  I also remember it being one Marisa really liked.  Don't know if that still holds true today, though. Marisa, are you still a fan (I added pictures when I made this this morning just for you!)? 

I felt like a real food blogger as I took pictures, yet when I mentioned this to Dave he said that only held true if I took a picture of every step.  I figured you guys didn't need a picture of "mix all ingredients together", and that you could figure it out.

Cherry Coffee Cake

4 cups Bisquick (I've used jiffy mix, too, and it works the same)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
3 eggs
1, 21 oz can pie filling (cherry, blueberry, etc)

Mix all ingredients except pie filling & glaze; beat vigorously 30 seconds.  Spread 2/3 of the batter in greased 9x13 pan.  Spread pie filling over batter.  Drop remaining batter by tablespoonfuls onto pie filling.  Bake until light brown 20-25 min at 350.  (Mine always bakes for at least 30 or the center is runny).

Glaze:  Beat 1 cup powdered sugar & 1 to 2 tbsp milk until smooth & of desired consistency.  Drizzle over the top of coffee cake.

**I have also cut this in half and put it in an 8x8 pan.  I use 2 eggs, and just save the extra pie filling in the fridge for something else.  It's pretty hard for me and Dave to eat a whole 9x13 pan by ourselves before it's dry and inedible.

Spam and Cheesy Potatoes

This recipe was one Grandma Hyer used to make with either Spam or leftover cubed ham. You either love it...or not

Enough potatoes peeled and cubed (about an inch) to fill a pan 2/3-3/4 full
Velveeta cheese, about a pound, cubed
One can Spam, diced about 1/2-1 inch cubes
Worcestershire sauce
Onion powder, about 1 tsp

Cover potatoes with water in a large pan, & boil until tender, drain water, return pan to stove with heat off. Add enough milk to cover about bottom inch of pan; add Velveeta and Spam, stir until Velveeta melts. Stir in onion powder and about three shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Add more Velveeta &/or milk to desired consistency and taste.

Sorry there are no exact measurements but it's hard to totally mess up unless you add too much Worcestershire sauce, then it's just a little "tangy".

Pesto Stuffed Shells

I'm sure there are tons of recipes out there for these, but this is what I use from Budget Bytes.  It makes a full 9x13 pan which is plenty of dinner and leftovers for Ryan and I.  I'll even eat them reheated (and I NEVER eat leftovers).

Pesto Stuffed Shells

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chinese Rice

A cheap recipe I picked up in college and fed the family to stretch the budget.

1 lb ground beef (browned with chopped onion)
1 1/2 c uncooked white rice
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 small onion (or equivalent dried, minced), chopped
1/4-1/3 c soy sauce
3 c boiling water

Stir together all ingredients in a covered casserole dish. Bake one hour @ 350.
Sprinkle chow mein noodles on top if desired.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I'm making these for dinner tonight.  They're one of our regulars (again from Our Best Bites...).  It's also another good use for the Green Enchilada Sauce.