Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheesy Cowboy Stew

I originally found this cowboy stew recipe at one of my favorite crockpot blog. I have made it several times. I even made it once for my in-laws and they loved it! They request that I make it at least once every time they visit. It's a great hearty stew that is so easy with mostly canned foods I have on hand. It's so easy to put together. The longest part is browning your meat. Or you could even have it meatless, or with leftover meat. This time I thought it would be yummy with some cheesy component. So here is my take on a cheesy version of this delicious cowboy stew.

1 can chili beans (RANCH style or generic brand)
1 can italian style tomatoes
2 cans whole or sliced potatoes (drained)
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can tomato sauce (I used Tomato soup today)
1 can Rotel(T) tomatoes with green chili's
1 lb ground beef (I used italian turkey sausage)
1 jar ragu cheese sauce
1 small onion, diced
1 cup water

In a large crock pot, preferably the 6 qt but the 4 qt will work. Brown your meat and cook your onions til translucent. I usually cook them at the same time. Then in the crock pot add the remainder of the ingredients only draining the potatoes and corn. Add the meat onion mixture, water and the ragu cheese sauce. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Stirring occasionally.

I love quick easy crock pot meals. You can add jalapenos for added spice to your own dish.

My kids actually eat everything including the tomatoes. It's amazing and so filling. One crock pot full will feed my family for two meals. I like to either freeze this or bring dinner to another family. This freezes well. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fetteccini with carbonara and peas

I wanted to make a quick and easy dinner. I also needed to have all the ingredients, isn't that always the way, wanting to make something yummy, but limited on ingredients. I don't have chicken tenders or chicken breasts. The kids wanted bacon wrapped teriyaki chicken skewers. That sounded so yummy, but since i'm out of the chicken, i couldn't make it. So I found this recipe and it was so yummy! I found this in my Better Homes and Garden's Cookbook. I know I use it a lot, but it has some GREAT recipes.


12 slices of bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
12 oz dried fettuccini or linguine or pasta of choice I kept thinking bow tie noodles would be fun.
2 beaten eggs
1 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk
4 Tbsp margarine or butter
1 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
1 bag frozen peas
salt and pepper

First put the pot of water to boil, for the pasta. Then start cooking the bacon and cook until crisp, drain on paper towels. Add the fettuccini to the boiling water  cook for 8-10 minutes or until desired tenderness. Remember to salt your water after you add the fettuccini to add flavor to the pasta. This is the only time you can flavor your pasta. You can test the water to see if it's salty enough. If it's not salty enough add more salt, if too salty, add a extra water. While the pasta cooks, start the sauce.

For the sauce in a medium sauce pan combine egg, milk, and margarine. cook and stir over medium heat till egg mixture just coats a metal spoon (about 6 minutes). Immediately add the bacon and peas, cook a little longer to cook the peas.

When sauce is finished, the pasta should be finished and drained.  Immediately pour sauce over fettuccini, toss gently to coat.

Add Parmesan cheese and parsley; toss gently to mix. Season with pepper. Serve immediately.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Decadent Buttermilk Pancakes


If you read my previous post about the blueberry muffins. Then you know that this was the second dish of the day. I started with the blueberry muffins and while they baked in the oven, I made these decadent buttermilk pancakes. You may be saying to yourself "how are these decadent", Well, they are decadent because they are so versatile and tasty... I have three growing boys and they all pretty much have different tastes. One said he wanted chocolate chip pancakes, and another said blackberry pancakes and the other said mint chocolate chip pancakes. I just wanted plain buttermilk pancakes. I did not want to make 4 different batches of pancakes. So I made one plain buttermilk pancake batch and then added the desired additive such as blackberries or mint chocolate chips to it. We served those with whipped cream. I had a batch of plain buttermilk pancakes with pear syrup I made a year or so ago (it was a failed attempt to make pear jelly, that turned into heavenly syrup). I also when I started making this recipe realized I didn't have enough buttermilk to make a double batch, so I tried to alter the original recipe for a one and a half, but realized I couldn't because how do you half an egg? so this originally was from the Better homes and Gardens cookbook I have, but I couldn't half my egg, so I just doubled the egg, and these were I think the best pancakes I have ever had in my life. So here is what I did.. If you make these, please let me know how you liked them. I found them heavenly.

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tps baking powder
1/4 and 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 and 1/8 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp cooking oil

In a medium mixing bowl add the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate all ingredients. In a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl add the eggs, buttermilk and oil. stirring to blend together. Pour all at once into the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate all ingredients, I stir until most of the lumps are gone.

Heat an electric griddle to 325 or 350. Using a 1/4 measuring cup scoop out some of the batter onto the griddle. It seems a little thick so try to flatten a little with the measuring cup. Heat about 1-2 minutes or until lots of bubbles around the edges and center, flip over and until pancakes are browned on the bottom another 1-2 minutes.


For our pancakes before we flipped them I added fresh blackberries to the first batch and andes mint chips to the second batch. The third batch was plain. Made 15 pancakes. Serve with whipped cream, syrup or fruit compote.

Blueberry Muffins

Today I was feeling quite energetic when it was time to make breakfast. I also, wanted to make something that everyone was in the mood for. Unfortunately for me not everyone was wanting the same thing. I had one child who wanted blackberry pancakes, another two wanted chocolate chip pancakes and a husband who wanted blueberry muffins. I tried to see if he would be happy with blueberry pancakes, but he said whatever, which means... if I have to... So, me being the good wife that I am "trying not to break my arm patting my own back" I know shameless... Back to breakfast. I wanted to make something from scratch. So I made the blueberry muffins first, then the buttermilk pancakes (also from scratch). The cool thing is that the other day when I was at the store, I got some fresh blueberries about 3 (6 oz) containers. I have been dying to make something with them, but my schedule this week has been really crazy and I didn't even make dinner last night, my husband made fish sticks for me. I was so grateful to have something that he could just throw in the oven.  I think having the night of not making dinner, that I was feeling somewhat guilty for not making it, that I catered to everyone today. (I normally don't do this) I don't like catering to everyone with their own tastes. but sometimes it's nice for a little treat.

For the blueberry muffins I used a recipe from my Better homes and Gardens cookbook. This makes 1 dozen regular sized muffins.

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil (I used canola)
1 6oz container of blueberries
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel

Preheat oven 400 degrees F
Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or spray with non stick cooking spray. set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir to incorporate the dry ingredients together. Then in a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl measure the milk and cooking oil and add the egg. Mix together to blend in the egg.  Pour all at once the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir only until moistened, then fold in the blueberries and lemon peel.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. fill each cup aprox. 2/3 full.  Bake in a 400F oven for 20 minutes or til golden brown.  (When pushed slightly on the top of the muffin, it bounces back up quickly muffins are done).

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack or out of muffin tins for 5 min before eating. However, my family can't wait until they are cooled, they cut down the middle of the muffin, and add a little butter and then let it melt and eat it right up!

These were so yummy, my husband had 5 of them. I only have 3 left. They made 12 muffins. I'd say pretty yummy.