Saturday, October 9, 2010

Creamy Shepherds Pie

Ok, So tonight is shepherds pie. My husband had bad acid reflux. So, I try to limit the items I make with a tomato based sauce. Here is a good alternative for tomato sauce in your shepherds pie. I've used one can of cream of celery and one can of cream of broccoli. Cream of chicken or cream of mushroom as well as Alfredo sauce is good in it too. :)

1 can cream of celery
1 can cream of broccoli
2 cans green beans
2 pkg instant potatoes (or 7 red potatoes boiled and smashed)
1 cup shredded cheese
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion

This is a really simple and easy meal. You can substitute mixed veggies for the cans of green beans, to add more veggie value.

Brown ground beef and onion in a skillet, drain excess fat, set aside. Make instant potatoes or boiled potatoes. set aside. In a 13x9x2 pan, mix the cream soups, the ground beef and onion together. Once mixed well, layer the green beans (or mixed veggies) on top of the creamy mixture in the pan. Then layer the prepared mashed potatoes on top of the green beans. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 30-45 min, till bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 min. Then eat.

This is a tasty meal, good on a cold day. Serve with salad, buttered bread, or with no side dish. If wanting for smaller meals. Make up and divide into two square pans or small casserole dishes. Set one in the Freezer for a later date, and cook one for now. Two meals in one :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Overnight egg casserole

Overnight Egg Casserole

I wanted to make something for breakfast, but we usually make quick easy pancakes. so I wanted to try something different. I created this casserole with items we had in the house. I looked online for other egg casseroles, and so I took some of their ideas, and incorporated some in to here.

1 lb breakfast bulk sausage (browned)
10 eggs
1 bag potatoes o brien
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken with herbs soup
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage and drain. set aside. in a separate bowl beat eggs with salt and pepper til mixed well. Add sour cream, soup, prepared mustard, and ricotta cheese. Once mixed in with the egg stir in the cheese, sausage and potatoes. Pour mixture into lightly greased 13x9x2 pan. Refrigerate overnight covered.

Remove from refrigerator 30 min before baking. Bake uncovered, 350F for 50-60 min or until set. Let stand 5 min before cutting.

I will let you know how this turns out. It looked good before I put it in the fridge. I like easy weekend breakfasts. It makes the weekend get off on a great start. :)


This was very tasty, It took longer than 60 min. more like 1 1/2 hrs to cook. I topped mine with some salsa and sour cream. It was good. I think next time I will sprinkle some extra cheese on the top. But not sure yet. The kids got into other things before this was done, and even before I woke this morning, so they didn't get any (but the leftovers will be used in Breakfast burritos). Bill said it was good, but we were in a hurry at that point to make our appointments. So he had half of his serving. He did say it was good, too. so he won't mind if I use it in Breakfast burritos either. :) Stay tuned for that.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Steak salad with homemade croutons

Ok, so I tried something new tonight. I have never made homemade croutons before. I know that may sound funny. But it's true. I think they turned out pretty good.

My salad had the steak that I marinaded the other day, the recipe for the marinade is in a previous post. Then I broiled it for 5 min on each side. It was a flank steak. I let it rest for 5 min. Then sliced it into small pieces. I put the pieces over a salad mix and cucumbers. Then I cut up some homemade bread I had made last week that was getting a little stale, into small cubes. Then I put them in a single layer on a jelly roll pan. Drizzled it with olive oil to lightly coat the bread. Lightly tossed it to coat all bread pieces. Then I sprinkled a packet of ranch dressing on the bread cubes, then lightly tossed it to try to coat the bread. Then placed in a preheated oven at 400F. For 10 min then tossed and set it for another 10 min. They came out nice and toasty and yummy. I placed them on top of the salad and then I drizzled with a store bought BBQ sauce.

The verdict... SO TASTY... It was an amazing salad. I highly recommend it!

Whole Wheat, Spelt, Millet Bread

I had someone suggest that I put more bread recipes on here, so here is a bread that I made today. It is as easy as bread can be. It takes a little while to make, but can be done in the morning. It took me 3 hrs from start to pulled out of the oven. I know it sounds like a long time, however, most of that time was rising and baking. So actual work on it, is only like 20 min or so. Not too bad to end up with some delicious bread.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 pkgs dry active yeast
3 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp butter, margarine or shortening
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups spelt flour
2 cups millet flour
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup wheat flakes (optional)

In a large mixing bowl stir together 2 cups of all purpose flour and the yeast. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan heat and stir water, brown sugar, butter/margarine/shortening, and salt just til warm (120 to 130F) and butter almost melts. Add butter mixture to dry mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 sec., scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the whole wheat flour and the other flours as much as you can. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes). Shape dough into a ball. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl. Turning once to grease surface of the dough.

Cover and let rise in a warm place til double in size (1 - 1 1/2 hours).

Punch down dough, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface divide into 4 or 2 depending on the size of your loaf pan. Cover let rest 10 minutes, meanwhile, grease pan. Shape portions of dough into a loaf by patting or rolling.

Place shaped dough into prepared pan. cover and let rise in a warm oven till double in size (approx. 40- 60 min). DO NOT OPEN OVEN! Bake 375F for 40-45 min or till bread sounds hollow when you tap on the top with your finger. Take bread out of oven and cool on wire racks.

My yummy bread with butter :)

Slow cooker smothered Pork Chops

Ok, I'm not making this tonight, but a friend was saying she needed more slow cooker recipes. So I thought I'd add one to my blog to help her out. So, when I make this again, hopefully soon, I will add pictures so you can see how mine turns out. This works best in the 6 quart crock pot.

1.5 -2 lb boneless pork chops
2 cans french onion soup (campbells)
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Heat a skillet on high heat with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Once hot, place pork chops in skillet, brown on both sides. Should be pretty quick 1-2 min per side. (this will also help keep moisture in the pork chop). Once browned on both sides remove from skillet. In slow cooker, place the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker, stir to mix together, then add the pork chops to the mixture and cook on low for 6 hrs. Serve with rice or potatoes. A salad is a nice side dish. Pork chops come out nice and moist, Great gravy to smother the pork chops in. Enjoy.

Beef Stroganoff

Last night I made Beef stroganoff for dinner. It was really yummy. I get leftovers for lunch today, Bill said it was so good even cold. :) That's a great compliment if you knew my husband. He doesn't eat things cold. So, I thought I'd share my recipe with you.

1.5 lbs beef steak (cut into bite-size pieces)
1 onion (small, diced)
3 tbsp ketchup
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
8 oz sour cream
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 small can of mushroom pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a hot skillet, add beef pieces to brown, salt and pepper to taste. Drain, Add the onions cook until translucent. add the mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, Worchestershire sauce and ketchup. Stir and simmer 15 min. stirring periodically. Just before serving add the sour cream and mix well. Serve with egg noodles. This is a staple in my house. You can also substitute ground beef for the steak if you want.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pineapple, Cherry, Blueberry Dump Cake

Ok, tonight we are having a yummy dessert. When I lived in West Virginia a friend of mine would make dump cake. It took me a few tries to get the recipe to where my family would eat it. Here is my version of Dump Cake.

1 cake mix (any flavor)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup rolled quick oats
1 stick of butter/margarine
1 1/2 cup fresh/frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries)
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can cherry pie filling (any flavor pie filling will work)

Preheat oven to 350F. in a 13X9X2 pan dump the can of crushed pineapple and cherry pie filling in and mix. Then place evenly on top the fresh/frozen fruit.

Then open the cake mix, and sprinkle the entire DRY cake mix on top of the fruit mixture in the pan. Then lightly mix the cake mix into the fruit mixture, leaving a layer of dry cake mix on top.

Then sprinkle the coconut and oats on top. cut the butter into small pieces, and place in a single layer on top of the dry mixture.

Bake for 30 min. or until golden brown and bubbly.

This turns out to be like a cross between a fruit crisp and a fruit cobbler. It is so yummy. The last two times I've made this there have been no leftovers. Usually doesn't last more than two days in my house. I have used apple pie filling with frozen blueberries, and cherry pie filling with blueberries and strawberries sliced. Both were very tasty and so easy to make, no added oil, or eggs or water needed.

Marinade for Flank steak

I try to prep meat the day before I plan on using it so that it has time to marinate and add more flavor to the dish. I am having flank steak tomorrow so I started the marinade today. Here is the recipe for the marinade that I am using. (my creation :)

Marinade for Flank Steak

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp orange marmalade
3/4 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic

I am allowing to marinade overnight. but even 2 hours would be good. I am hoping to grill tomorrow, if it's not raining, if not I will broil this and then slice. Cooking it medium rare. light warm pink in the middle. about 10 min on each side under the broiler.

I will be serving this on top of a salad. Enjoy :) I will post pictures soon:)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Slow cooker Taco dinner

Ok, tonight is Taco night, or a variation on it. Usually Tuesdays are Taco night at our house. Sometimes we like to take advantage of Del Taco's 3 taco's for $1.00 on busy tuesday nights. Well, tonight we are having taco night at home. When I make my taco's at home I like to add for added texture, and protein refried beans to my taco meat, it also mellows the flavor out and it helps to stretch the beef out, for more tacos for my hungry brood of boys. :) So, with that said, I scoured my pantry for a staple in my house of refried beans. I realized I ran out and didn't even know it. So I made homemade refried beans with one can of black beans and one can of pinto beans. They smelled so good. I will include that recipe here too. In case you don't have a can or two of refried beans. :)

Slow cooker Taco's
1 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
1-2 cans of refried beans (personal option)
1 cup salsa
1-2 packages of taco seasoning mix - depending on how many cans of refried beans - if two cans use 2 pkg taco seasoning mix.
1/2 large onion (diced)

Either in the crock pot or in a pan separately brown the beef and onions together. Once the beef is browned and the onions soft, add in the remainder of the ingredients, set on low for 6-7 hrs and dinner will be ready. As it cooks the water will reduce and have a nice flavor.

My kids have liked using tostada shells or tortilla's heated in the microwave with their dinner. Sometimes we heat up the house and use taco shells warmed in the oven. It's your personal choice. This is also good rolled in a croissant dough and baked in the oven in a taco round. :)

Homemade refried beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp bacon grease (I refrigerate leftover grease from cooking bacon)
1/2 can of water (use one of the cans the beans were in)

Heat on high heat for 3 min until boiling, and bacon grease is melted. Mix and then mash with
potato masher until preferred consistency. The longer it boils, the thicker it becomes, stirring constantly.

The verdict, YUMMY! my kids will devour this tonight with no problem. It is yummy and full of good vitamins and veggies. Even if they only put cheese on their tacos. It is one of the little ways I hide veggies into their diet. If you find that it is too spicy for your kids, you can omit the salsa, or use a mild salsa, or add a can of diced tomatos instead of the salsa. :)

OK, on another note... when I came home tonight my taco meat was pretty watery. I added one packet of potato flakes into the mixture and it thickened up quickly and was still yummy! My kids or my husband didn't even notice. I only had a little bit of my taco mix left. Very tasty and not too spicy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meatloaf recipe for tonights dinner

Okay, I posted a meatloaf recipe before I made mine tonight. Well, I changed it. Here is what I made tonight.

Preheat oven to 400F

1 lb ground beef
1 lb pork sausage
1/2 large onion (diced)
2 tiny bell peppers (1/2 large bell pepper)(diced)
2 eggs
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon
minced garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon
Mrs. Dash
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp ketchup

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into a loaf in a loaf pan or into small loaves on cookie sheet. Bake in oven 30 min, then top with glaze. Bake an additional 15 min at 350 F.

4 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp dry mustard

well, place in fridge until needed to glaze before the last 15 min. Reserve rest to add during meal.

I made mine into small loaves so they are a more single serve portion. I will be serving with Mashed potatoes and green beans. The bell peppers I used are bonnie bells, they are a small green bell pepper (very sweet) from my garden. I love incorporating items from my garden into my recipes.

The pictures are part of the ingredients and what my mini-meatloaves looked like before I put them in the oven and when the glaze was added. Tonights meatloaf was a HIT... Braeden had three servings. One was enough for me and the rest. I have two leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. MMMM SO YUMMY! I think the best yet. Let me know what you think...Enjoy :)

Meatloaf Dinner

Tonight is Meatloaf for dinner. This recipe started from a Joan Lundon's Healthy cooking cookbook I got a long time ago. In her recipe she uses ground turkey and a few other items I have changed. But I am grateful for her glaze. It's the crowning jewel of this recipe. SO Yummy! I tried a meatloaf recently with rice in the slow cooker. It didn't cook the rice, but everything else was yummy. I usually use rolled oats or breadcrumbs but thought it would be a nice switch for rice. So, that might be the last time I add rice to my meatloaf, unless it's already been cooked. I'll let you know. Here is the recipe I'm going to use tonight. I also like making several small meatloaves, they cook quicker, and it's nice to have individual servings. The recipe for the meatloaf is similar to my meatballs. So, you can use either one interchangeably.

Preheat oven to 350 F

1 lb ground sausage
1/2 to 1 lb ground beef
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup breadcrumbs or oatmeal
1 small onion, finely chopped or grated about 1/2 cup
1 garlic clove minced (1 teaspoon)
1/2 small green bell pepper (finely chopped)
3 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. (Do not over mix) make sure mixture incorporates all ingredients. Form meat mixture into a loaf shape in either a 9X5X3 inch loaf pan, or smaller loafs on a cookie sheet about the size of your palm in a loaf shape. Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. The drippings can be used for gravy if wanted. While the meatloaf is baking, mix the glaze in a small bowl.

6 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp dry mustard

Mix until all incorporated. Spread on top of the meatloaf after the first 40 minutes, bake an additional 15-20 minutes more. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with leftover glaze for added flavor.

I am not one for gravy with my meatloaf. I prefer to eat just the glaze with my meatloaf. But I know others like gravy. So with the drippings from the glaze. Add to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Mix in a separate bowl - 3 tbsp flour and 1/2 cup cold water. Once the sauce pan is boiling, pour in the flour mixture and continue to stir until thickened. Keep at a rolling boil for 2 minutes, to cook the flour flavor out. You can add additional salt and pepper, or worchestershire sauce for added flavor.

I hope you enjoy this. I'm gonna get making mine for tonights dinner. I'll add pictures soon. :)

Hoagie Rolls and Meatball Subs

This week I took on an adventure I had not really done before. I made some hoagie rolls for meatball subs. I had made the meatballs previously as part of spaghetti and meatballs. I had leftover meatballs and thought they would be GREAT in meatball subs. I stuck them in the refrigerator in the spaghetti sauce for a future date. I will include the recipe for the meatballs in this post. They are fantastic :) Well, when it came time to make the meatball subs, I realized I didn't have any hoagie rolls. I thought about going to the store but realized I had a vehicle with a flat tire and that I wanted to save a little money. (I know buns are not that expensive, but every little bit counts). So, I started searching the web for recipes for hoagie rolls. Not many came up. Most if I wanted crusty hoagie rolls would take at least two days. So, I went to and put in hoagie rolls. I came up with a few recipes. Mind you I follow some recipes to a "T" other's I doctor to fit what I have at home.

Hoagie Rolls

2 (1/4 oz.) package of active dry yeast
3 cups water, divided (110-115 degrees)
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
8-8 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1. In mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water add 1 T. sugar and then let stand about 5 minutes.
2. Add remaining water and sugar. Beat in oil, salt and 4 cups flour until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.
3. Turn onto floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic for about 6-8 minutes.
4. Place in a greased bowl turning once to grease the top.
5. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
6. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured board, divide into 18 pieces.
7. Shape into an oval.
8. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
9. With scissors cut a 1/4-inch slash across the top of each.
10. Cover and let rise 20 minutes.
11. Bake at 400 degrees F for 13-18 minutes until golden brown.
12. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Ok, my verdict and what I did differently. I tried to divide into 18 pieces, but it didn't work very well, and they would've been small hoagie buns. I ended up making 8 hoagie rolls, and some smaller rolls. I think that if you want 6 inch or so hoagie rolls then you may only want to cut with the scissors 6 sections. Lightly roll/form into an oval. I have found this to be a yummy roll recipe. I will make these again, and try to make them into bigger rolls. When I cut the rolls for the meatballs, I could fit 3 meatballs and some sauce on each roll. Which worked great with kids and their smaller appetites. My kids gobbled it all up. We had only two meatballs left for my hubby (who had to work late).

Preheat oven to 425 F

1 lb. bulk sausage (or ground pork/ground turkey)
1/2 to 1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion diced to preference (I like them kindof chunky, my kids like them really diced)
1 small bell pepper (diced)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup rolled oats (or breadcrumbs)
3 tbsp ketchup
season to taste with salt/pepper
about 2 tbsp italian seasoning or mrs. dash (optional)

Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix till all incorporated with hands. It will get a little messy, but really worth it. Try not to over mix.

Take a 2 tablespoon size ball, or medium scoop full of meat mixture and put on a cookie sheet. Continue to place in single layer on cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 30 min or until center is no longer pink. Drain off excess grease and add to your favorite sauce. These turn out so yummy. They freeze well too. So make a bunch and store for a later date. :)

Feel free to let me know how your meatballs or rolls turned out. What suggestions do you have, or changes did you make to the recipe?