Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I haven't posted in awhile. There are a lot of posts that need to be written but between flying home for my sister's wedding, Christmas, and then getting a severe case of the flu and strep throat, cooking and blogging have been placed way down on my list. Hopefully I'll be feeling better in a few days and I will have lots of posts for you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

7 Layer Magic Bars

Alternate post title: Sweet Deliciousness

For the cookie exchange I hosted, I wanted to do something a little different. We had ten girls coming so I knew we would have tons of cookies. I choose to do a bar and I picked one of the best bars I know. Magic bars are just that- a magical blend of layers of different flavors. I omitted the nuts since I know some people are allergic to them. I even made an extra batch to send to work with Neil and his buddies loved them!

Recipe yields 2 dozen but can be easily doubled.

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chops
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350º (325º for glass pan). Combine graham crackers and melted butter and mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of a well-greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Add chocolate chips and butterscotch next. Top with coconut. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Cut into squares or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

White Chicken Chili

Oh San Diego. It's the middle of December and I think I'm safe to put chili on the menu and the day I plan on making it dawns and lo and behold, it's 85º and sunny out. There's just something wrong about laying out on the beach and then going home to eat chili from the crock pot. Yep, something wrong about that picture.

Luckily, this wasn't your normal kind of chili. It's not heavy or super creamy so it worked fine for our not so wintery night! Recipe is from Lemons and Love.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups salsa verde (the green salsa)
2 cans northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small can green chiles
1 tsp cumin
1.5 tsps white pepper
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

In your slow cooker combine broth, salsa verde beans, celery, green chiles and spices. Mix well and nestle chicken into the liquid. Cook on high for 4 hours and take chicken out and shred it. Return to crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sausage Balls

Recently, I hosted a cookie exchange (more posts coming on that soon). We had ten girls RSVP so I knew we would have lots of sweets at the party. I wanted to have a few appetizers set out that were more substantial/salty/etc than cookies. While brainstorming, I immediately thought of sausage balls!

Sausage balls are a staple at our house during Christmas. It never seems like they are served during a meal or set out as appetizers. Instead they're made, put in little cookie tins, and then people just munch on them throughout the day. They're yummy, bite sized, and can be prepared ahead of time- a perfect appetizer!

3 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 lb italian sausage (I bought the spicy kind because I like a little heat to mine)
4 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup milk
pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Preheat oven to 350º. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. If you have a kitchen-aid mixer, this is easy with the dough hook. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the balls are golden brown. Cool completely and serve.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


These were delicious and not at all dry like I thought they would be. Apparently, pasties were a popular food for miners because they were portable and could be eaten without utensils. We sat at the kitchen table and I ate with utensils but the hubby choose to use his hands :) He recommends them if you need a meal on the go!

I forgot the egg wash, but even without it they were great! Recipe from Tiny Tyrants Kitchen.

2 pie crusts
1.5 lbs ground beef
2-3 potatos
1/2 white onion
1-2 tsps minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 egg
2-3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 400º. Roll pie crust out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut crusts into 4 half circles.

Boil potatoes about 8-10 minutes until slightly soft, but still firm. Drain, peel and chop potatoes. Add potatoes to a bowl with ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix carefully with hands to form 4 balls. Place each ball on half of each of the half-circles of the crust. Fold over sides to cover meat and crimp edges. Poke a few holes on top to release steam.

Beat egg and water together. Brush top of pasties with egg wash. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tortilla Lasagna Casserole

This was delicious. But not very pretty. Hubby had 24 hour duty tonight so I wanted to bring him something more exciting than a frozen pizza or a hot pocket for dinner. This was very easy to make and delicious according to his text! Between taking his over to base and dealing with cleaning the house I completely forgot to take a picture. So... picture a burrito unwrapped and spread all over the place. That's exactly what it looks like! Recipe source.

1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 package of taco seasoning
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup salsa
1 5 oz. can diced green chiles
2 large tortillas
1 cup sourcream
1-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350º. Combine cooked ground beef with taco seasoning, water, and green onions. Stir in salsa and green chiles.

Spray a 9- inch round cake pan with a nonstick spray. Place a tortilla in the bottom of the pan, pressing up the edges if needed. Top with half of the beef mixture. Spread half of the sour cream on top of the beef. Sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese.

Repeat with another tortilla, followed be beef mixture, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes (remove foil for the last 10 minutes of baking time).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Foil Packet Italian Chicken

I haven't had a lot of posts lately because school has taken over my life. The end of the semester is nearing and with two 25+ page papers due as well as a huge project I've been working on over the entire semester to present, cooking an elaborate meal when I get home is the last thing on my mind. We've eaten an embarrassing amount of pizza and grilled cheeses lately so I knew I had to cook something blog-worthy... and something the husband would like :)

This meal was very easy to put together and even easier to clean up. I'm all about easy these days so it's definitely a keeper. Not to mention that it tasted delicious! The chicken was very juicy and the fact that I could cook chicken and a side in one little packet was perfect. If you have a busy weeknight schedule, you should definitely try this out! Recipe is from Amber's Delectable Delights.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 red potatoes
1/4 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup Italian cheese blend (Or just mozzarella)

Preheat oven to 400º. Lay 2 pieces of aluminum foil on a flat surface and spray the middle of each with a non-stick cooking spray. Wash and scrub potatoes and slice into very thin slices. Arrange the potatoes in an oval shape on the middle of the foil about the size of your piece of chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Mix all of the seasonings into a small bowl and sprinkle on both sides of the chicken. Place a chicken breast on top of each pile of potatoes. Top each chicken breast with 1/8 cup of marinara sauce and 1/8 cup of cheese.

Raise up the long sides of the foil and fold down twice. Do the same thing to the sides of the foil creating an air tight seal. Place the packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is 170º. Remove chicken from oven and let set a few minutes before poking a hole in the foil to release the steam before opening. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rotel Dip

This dish is one of my staples during the holiday season. There are so many parties and events to attend and I'm usually assigned to bring an appetizer. It requires hardly any preparation and can transport easily. We had this for Thanksgiving and I prepped the sausage the night before and the day of I just placed it in my crock-pot and left it alone until the guests arrived!

This is another simple recipe!

1 small box of Velveeta, cut up
1 can Rotel
3 spicy Italian sausages

Fry the sausages until cooked through and no pink remains. Grind the sausage up in your food processor. Mix the Velveeta, sausage, and rotel into a small crock pot. Set on high for 2 hours and then switch to warm. Serve with chips and enjoy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Once again, no picture :( I actually don't eat broccoli but my husband and our other friends assured me it was delicious! Broccoli cheese casserole seems like a staple at nearly all of my family's holiday meals. This is another recipe of my aunt's!

8 oz. jar Cheese WHiz
1/4 cup margarine, divided
20 oz frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 cup crushed Ritz crackers

Boil broccoli without salt until soft and drain. Cook cheese and 2 tablespoons margarine until smooth. Add broccoli and 1/2 cup of crumbs to the cheese mixture. Place into a greased 8-in baking dish. Melt remaining margarine and toss with remaining crumbs. Sprinkle over broccoli mixture. Bake uncovered at 350º for 20-25 minutes.

This can be completely prepared ahead of time up to the buttered crumbs. On the day of, take out of refrigerator and allow to warm to room temp for about 30 minutes. Follow cooking directions and enjoy!

Cornbread Dressing

I have to start this post by letting you know I took absolutely no pictures from Thanksgiving. Hubby snapped one of the table and one of my plate but that's it. I'm pretty annoyed with myself especially since I put so much effort into setting up the table and food line. But I assure you everything looked delicious and tasted even better!

A few Christmases ago, my aunt gave every one in the family a copy of a cookbook she had put together of her recipes and a few of the family's favorites. My aunt is an awesome cook. She catered our wedding and people are still talking about how delicious everything tasted almost a year later. So when I started menu planning for Thanksgiving, the first thing I consulted was her cookbook!

This recipe comes from my aunt Anelda and it is a perfect dressing for Thanksgiving!

1 cup corn meal
1 1/3 cup self-rising flour
3 tbsp oil
4-8 eggs, beaten (depending on how eggy you like your corn meal)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery (more to taste)
1/5 cups chopped bell pepper
1 stick margarine
salt and pepper to taste
chicken or turkey broth

Mix first 7 ingredients well. Bake in cast-iron skillet at 325º for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Cool and crumble in a large bowl. Saute vegetables in 1 stick margarine until tender. Add to cornbread. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken or turkey broth to desired consistency. Bake at 400º for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned.

You can use a cornbread mix instead of making it by hand. Omit the first 7 ingredients , except the eggs. If you choose to do this, hard boil your eggs and crumble them into the mixture.