Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I found this recipe on recipe zaar along with many of the recipes I do. Most of you have probably heard of this website, if not I highly recommend it. I can't say the ratings are fool proof, because I have tried many that are 5 star that aren't really 5 star in my book, and visa versa. I guess it's just a difference in taste buds. Speaking of which I have had no feed back on any of these recipes and I know some of you have tried them!:) I really want your opinions good or bad. So if you have tried any of them please write back and let me know what you thought!...Awkward... I am also trying to be better about taking pictures because I know it helps in deciding to make it or not. Anyway.. these meatballs turned out really yummy..even Parker enjoyed them, so they are definitely kid friendly:D. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

1 lb ground beef
1 t. worcestershire
3 T bread crumbs
1 egg lightly beaten
salt and pepper
garlic powder

1 T veg. oil
small onion minced
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. white vinegar
1 t. lemon juice
1 c. ketchup
2 T. soy sauce

Mix egg with seasonings and bread crumbs (don't worry about it being perfect, honestly there was a couple things I didn't have enough of and they still turned out great.) Add ground beef and mix thoroughly, just like meat loaf. If your grossed out with hamburger, or just don't feel like getting it all over you like me, I used a fork to mix it and it turned out fine. Shape into 1 inch balls. Again if your grossed out with the hamburger an ice cream scoop helps, but you still have to round them a little bit. The next part I changed from the original, I chose to bake the meatballs instead of frying them. I feel it's much easier and they cook more evenly. So bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes.
Then for the sauce, start with sauteing the onions in veg oil until translucent. Then add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Then for my convenience I chose to stick the meatballs and sauce in the crock pot and cooked them on low for 4-5 hours. Otherwise you can combine the meatballs with the sauce and let them simmer for 1 hour. Serve over rice or noodles..soo yummy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Braided Chicken Crescent

Before you look at all the pictures and assume this is a hard recipe let me tell you it's actually super easy and turns out looking and tasting really good. The original of this recipe had a lot of crazy things in it that didn't seem appealing to me at all; like mayo, craisins, dill, and almonds. The combination of these just didn't appeal to me and my family's taste buds so I came up with this recipe. I hope you enjoy the changes!

2 c. chicken, cooked and diced
1 c. finely chopped broccoli
1 red bell pepper chopped
1/4 c. minced onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 1/2-2 cans cream of chicken
2 pkgs. refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white beaten

Unroll crescent rolls on a greased baking sheet into a large rectangle, pinching seems to form single sheet of dough. Combine first 6 ingredients. Add only enough cream of chicken to make moist, not soupy. Spread chicken down the center of crescents length wise. On longest sides cut one inch strips towards the middle and chicken mixture. Fold strips over chicken mixture alternating strips from each side. Brush with egg white. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes of until browned on top. Ok so I know that probably sounded like jibberish so I hope these pictures help the confusion.
Crescent rolls in one long sheet

Chicken mixture poured down the center-I went a little crazy on the broccoli so it's kind of piled on there

Sides cut in 1 inch strips and braided over chicken mixture

Voila! Yes I realize half of it is gone my husband had to go to work, but you get the point.

Fried Rice

So some people consider fried rice as just a side, but for me I make it for a main dish fairly regularly, usually to use up left over ham. The recipe I did last night was not my usual recipe, it called for sausage instead and few other things I don't typically cook with. Honestly I liked the change, but Frank thought it tasted funny. It had bean sprouts in it which I think gave off kind of a different flavor. I think next time I might use my usual recipe and just try sausage instead of ham for a change. So instead of giving the recipe I did last night I'll give you my usual Ham Fried Rice recipe.

1 c. minced carrots
2-3 T. cooking oil
2-3 eggs scrambled
3 c. rice, cooked and cold- I have used warm rice it just tends to want to clump together a little but it's really not a big deal
1 c. ham, cubed
1 small can sliced water chestnuts, chopped
1 c. frozen petite peas
3-4 T. soy sauce

Saute carrots until cooked to your liking (I leave them a little crunchy.) Add ham, eggs, and then cook on medium high heat until eggs are completely cooked. Add remaining ingredients and cook until completely cooked through. This is kind of a no fail recipe. I think I kind of do it a little different every time so really just do whatever works for you, add whatever you have or like. If you check out she has a good fried rice recipe but with some different chicken recipes you can do with it instead of ham.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chicken Ole

It's been awhile since I've posted. I took a short vacation on cooking after having my wisdom teeth removed last Thursday. It really wasn't too bad, I lucked out only having two upper wisdom teeth which are the easiest to recover from, so here I am back to posting new recipes. I actually kind of made up what I made tonight. I combined two different recipes and decided I like the original better..shocker, but you don't know until you try it right? Mostly it's called I have a sick kid who I didn't feel like dragging to the store so you make do with what you got on days like that. Anyway so I'll give you the original recipe that I liked better and once again it's a crock pot recipe. I didn't realize I had so many crock pot recipes until I started this blog. I kind of went through a faze of all crock pot cooking when Parker was younger because it was all I could manage to do. Anyway without further babbling here's the recipe for Chicken Ole.

3-4 chicken breast, cooked and cubed (to be honest I only use 2 because I'm a tight wad like that but if you want lot's of chicken I would go with 3 or 4)
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
1 T grated onion
1 c cheese
1/2 jar Green Chili Salsa-just kind of eye it, it gives a little spice so if you want less spice use less
10-12 corn tortillas

Mix soups, onion, cheese and salsa. Spray bottom of crock pot. Start by layering using 3-4 tortillas torn into fourths, sprinkle half of chicken, then half of soup mixture. Repeat layers. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. If you don't half corn tortillas you can go for the more casserole option I did last night just using egg noodles instead of tortillas, I think it was just missing a little substance which probably would help if I used cheese. I thought about adding frozen corn but forgot or if your really daring maybe some black beans which I had none of. Also if you like sour cream try swapping out the cream of mushroom for sour cream instead. I also threw on buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, 5 minutes uncovered.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chicken Verde

This was kind of a fun recipe I just made. It was super easy to make and the thing I liked most is that you could serve it a few different ways. It's a spin on chile verde but with chicken so you can use it any way you would with the chile verde; tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, or just served over rice . It's a bit on the spicy side so if you don't handle heat or you have little kids it's probably not for you. For the rest of us who like our Mexican food this is a must try!

2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded ( just throw in crock pot frozen season if like low 5 hrs or boil with onion, red pepper, and 1 qt water and use left over water instead of chicken broth)
1 onion minced
1 red pepper minced
3-4 minced garlic cloves (I just buy the jar of already minced usually found in produce section)
1 T cumin
1 can green chilies
1 cup green salsa
2 cups chicken broth (I just make broth using chicken bouillon granules)

Saute onion and red pepper in a little butter or oil ( this is not necessary if you boiled with chicken) Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium low heat for 1 hour with lid off. And it's as easy as that!

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Muffins

I've been trying to save money buy making more of my food rather then just buy everything. One of the things I've been doing is making muffins for breakfast instead of buying cereal. I have been totally surprised at how much this has saved me. Cereal can be so expensive $3-4 a box, even though I know you can get some really good deals with coupons I always seem to like the expensive stuff that never goes on sale. Not to mention I just get bored of cereal every morning, and let's be honest, it gives me something to do that I enjoy. So if your like me and sick of cereal try these Carrot Cake Muffins that I found on Studio 5 from I Can't Believe It's Food Storage by Crystal Godfrey.

2 c. brown sugar
1 c. oil
3 eggs ( you can you powdered eggs here by just adding these in with the dry ingredients)
3 c. carrots finely grated (can also use food storage carrots just finely chopped)
1 c. crushed pineapple
2 t. vanilla
3 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. salt
1 T. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. raisins soaked in water- optional
1 c. walnuts-optional

Mix oil and su gar. Add eggs, carrots, pineapple and vanilla. Mix well. In separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add raisins and walnuts. Combine with wet ingredients, do not over mix. To be honest this recipe was posted without a baking temperature and I guessed 375, but that seemed to be too hot as mine got slightly over cooked too fast, so I would assume it should be 350 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grape Salad

Since you all hopefully know how to make spaghetti, I won't waste a post in saying that's what I had for dinner last night. I did on the other hand make this grape salad last Sunday, and to be honest I've only ever had a small bite of this salad last Summer, again the whole dairy thing for me:( It must have been good though because the whole bowl was gone in minutes and nobody could stop talking about how good it was.
This is one of those so called salads that are more like a dessert than a salad. These are a staple to a Sunday dinner at my in-laws. My mother-in-law is kind of like the queen of all jello, pudding, fruit salads. My family on the other hand would only see something like this if I happen to bring it over, and would then proceed to tell me "this is more like a dessert." Kind of funny the differences you notice in each others families after you get married. Sometimes I think I'm kind of the odd ball in my husbands family. I think they always worry what I'm going to come up with to bring to family get togethers, my husband included. I've always tried to be respectful of their differences so I think they've finally started to trust me to bring more than just a bag of chips:) My family on the other hand is where I try out all my new and sometimes different recipes. The only bad thing about this is that my family has no censor in telling me how they felt about it. They have no problem telling me how something didn't turn out or that I should have done it a different way. So whether your more like my in-laws who live on these salads, or your more like my family who thinks of this as a dessert, I say give it a try!

2 lbs red seedless grapes (I just used a bag from Walmart)
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. pecans

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in grapes. Transfer to medium serving bowl. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over salad.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Berry Orange Rolls

Whether you want a sweet treat for breakfast of just a yummy dessert, you have to try these Berry Orange Rolls. I saw these on Studio 5 and had to try them out for a Valentine's treat for Frank to take to work. I changed it just a little, but I'm sure either way is really good. The recipe calls for a can of raspberry pie filling and I thought I would take it a step further and make my own raspberry sauce. Needless to say the pan is empty, so I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

One bag of Rhodes Orange Rolls
One pkg of orange cream frosting (comes with orange rolls)
1 cup raspberry pie filling or one batch raspberry sauce

Place orange rolls on bottom of 9x13 greased pan. Top with raspberry pie filling. If using raspberry sauce just use one large spoonful on each roll, there will be some sauce left over (use left over on ice cream for another sweet treat:). Bake at 350 for 15-20 for pie filling or 30-40 minutes for raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce

1 pt raspberries
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. orange juice
3 T. corn starch
1 C. cold water

In small sauce pan combine raspberries, sugar, and orange juice. Combine cornstarch and water and stir until cornstarch is dissolved and add to berry mixture. Bring to boil and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until mixture is a thick consistency, stirring continuously.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Crunchy Chicken Casserole

I got this recipe at my little recipe exchange group. It was one of my favorite casseroles there and it's super easy so I hope you like it!

3 c. cooked chicken breasts, cut into chunks (I cooked 2 chicken breasts)
3 c. chow mein noodles ( you can find these with all the Chinese food)
3 c. diced celery
1 small onion chopped
3/4 c. salted cashews
3/4 c. chicken broth
2 cans cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients reserving 3/4 c. of the chow mein noodles. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake covered at 325 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle reserved 3/4 c. noodles on top and cook another 10 minutes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crock Pot Marinara Chicken

I actually made something totally different last night. It was a Mexican dish made in the crock pot, but I wasn't thoroughly impressed with it so I'm giving you this one instead. I love love love this recipe, unfortunately I'll probably never make it again because I'm allergic to milk and it calls for whipping cream and I try really hard to stay away from dairy products. I usually will just substitute with other things, but it doesn't work for everything and whipping cream is one of those things. This recipe is from an old ward cook book of mine. Sometimes these can be some of the best places to find recipes. Anyways, I hope you like this one as much as I did, and it's another crock pot one which everyone seems to like, so give it a try!

4-5 chicken breasts
1 Tb. melted butter
1 pkg. dry Italian dressing
1 bottle Marinara Sauce ( I used Paul Newman, also suggested in original recipe)
1 t. crushed red pepper- don't be scared this really doesn't make it real spicy, but it is optional
1/2 c. whipping cream

Put 1/2 inch of water in bottom of crock pot. Cut all fat off chicken, cut into thick pieces and put in water (or you could probably just use chicken tenders just don't cook as long) Drizzle butter over chicken. Sprinkle Italian dressing over chicken and let cook on high for 2-3 hours. Pour marinara sauce over chicken and let cook on low for another 1-2 hours. One half hour before eating add crushed red pepper and whipping cream. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Leftover Ham Casserole

I always have a hard time with using up left over ham. I usually choose between ham fried rice, breakfast burrito, or the heavenly ham casserole I shared with you earlier. This time I thought I'd venture out and make up my own concoction. It came out pretty good, but I still think I will change it up a little if I make it again. So once again, I'll tell you what I did make it with and how I'd change it if I were to make it again, because if you remember I don't make a lot of the same recipes more than once.

1 c frozen petite peas
1 can cream of celery
2-2 1/2 c. cooked macaroni
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 c. chopped ham
1/2 c. milk
1-2 c. cheese- on my husband's half of course:)
pepper to taste

Combine everything in a greased 9x13. Cover and cook on 400 for 30 minutes.
If I were to do this again I would use broccoli instead of peas just to add more flavor and substance, and I would add a can of cream of chicken so it would be a little more creamy. And if you really wanted to go crazy (life on the edge I know:) Add buttered bread crumbs on top.

Easy Apple Turn Overs

Once again I didn't make dinner last night because my mom invited us over for dinner. Kind of funny once you have a kid people like to invite you over...j/k, we've been blessed to be able to live close to both our families so between the two we get invited fairly often. Anyway I was prompted to make a dessert, something apple and these apple turn overs came to mind. I just barely got the recipe from a friend of mine, I won't mention her name because she would probably be embaressed, but she knows who she is:) Anyway, they turned out really good so I had to share!

1 c butter, melted
1 1/2 c sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 cans pillsbury crescents
2 apples peeled and cut into 8 slices each
1 can mountain dew (I didn't have MD so I used sprite)

Mix butter with sugar. Add vanilla. Wrap each apple slice in a crescent roll covering entire apple. Place in greased 9x13 pan. Pour butter mixture over. Pour can of Mountain Dew around the outer edges of pan. Bake uncovered at 375 for 40 minutes. Serve over ice cream. Yum!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

BLT Sandwich Spread

So once again it was sandwich night at my house. This time I even made my own bread. Believe it or not this was my first time making a yeast bread. I'm not a big baker and I just never felt the desire to make my own bread, until now. I just thought it would be fun to try, and surprisingly it turned out pretty good. Even if you choose not to make your own bread, which I don't blame you, this BLT spread will make your typical turkey sandwich taste like you bought it from your favorite sandwich shop. So give it a try!

1/2 lb cooked bacon, chopped up
1/3 c. mayo
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 t. garlic
1/4 t. pepper
2-3 diced tomatoes or I used a couple spoonfuls of canned tomatoes, drained

Just mix up and serve in place of mayo and mustard. You can even make in advance just leaving tomatoes until ready to serve.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

There are few recipes that I ever do more than once, and this is one of them. We love this recipe! It takes a little more time than some of the other recipes I've posted, most of which is just cooking time, but it's worth it. Enjoy!

2-4 chicken breasts cut into large chunks or chicken tenders would probably work (I only use 2 and that makes about 2 servings each for me and Frank, unless you just want lots of chicken:)
garlic salt
1 c. flour

Sweet and Sour Sauce
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1/4 c. chicken broth ( I just make this using chicken bouillon granules)
1/2 t. salt
4 Tb. ketchup
1 Tb. soy sauce
1 Tb. seasoning salt

1 can of chunk pineapple, drained
1 onion minced-optional
1 green pepper minced-optional

Sprinkle garlic salt on chicken. Pour flour into large ziploc bag along with chicken. Shake bag until chicken is completely covered. Heat frying pan with 4-5 Tb. oil. Remove chicken from bag shaking off remaining flour. Cook chicken in oil just until the outside turns white, don't worry about cooking all the way through, it will continue cooking in the oven. Place chicken in greased 9x13. Mix together ingredients for sweet and sour sauce (sugar through seasoning salt) until sugar is mostly dissolved. Pour over chicken. Add pineapple, onion, and green pepper. Cover with tin foil and cook at 350 for one hour. It isn't necessary but I flip my chicken every 20 minutes or so just to keep it tender. Serve over rice.

Cake Balls

Once a month I go to a little cooking group to taste and exchange recipes. This months topic was deserts. I've seen these cake balls all over and I've actually tried them one other time and wasn't completely sold on them, but I thought I'd give them a second chance. This time they turned out much better. I think I've learned a few tricks and decided what I like and don't like. I'll give you the recipe and then tell you what I think works and doesn't work.

Any flavor cake mix
Any flavor frosting
Almond Bark or Candy Melts

Make cake according to instructions. Let cool completely. Add frosting and mix until completely incorporated. I think using your hands is the easiest and most efficient way. Wash hands. Then you can either you a cookie scoop or your hands, I used my hands. Shape into 1 inch balls. Put into freezer for about 3 hours or refrigerator for several hours. This is where I get kinda picky. According to you can use chocolate or vanilla almond bark. I've tried both and was not a fan of the chocolate. I think if you want a chocolate covering you need to use chocolate candy melts. You can get those at any cooking store like Gigi's or I think there's a store in Orem called Funfinity. To me the chocolate almond bark is waxy and doesn't have a very good chocolate flavor. Another trick with the almond bark, if you do it in the microwave, you can only do about half of it at a time. It starts to get hard by the time your half way done and then it doesn't work, so only do half at a time. The best way is probably to use a double boiler, but do what works for you. Don't let these things scare you, it's really not that difficult. There are so many fun things you can do with these. If you want more ideas on these check out, she is full of of fun ideas for these.


Egg and Sausage Breakfast Ring

I don't know about everyone else, but I love doing breakfast for dinner. I found this recipe in my newest Pillbsbury Cook book. Honestly this one was kind of a divider in my house. My husband liked it, but I didn't love it, I didn't hate it either, I think it was the cream cheese that didn't work for me so for me if I were to do it again I would change it up just a little. Below I listed how it's suppose to be made and then how I would change it if I were to make it again. If anything this just gives you an idea of breakfast for dinner..right?!?

Mine definitely didn't turn out like this

1/2 lb pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
1/3 c. sliced green onions
1/3 c. chopped red bell pepper
5 eggs
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
3 oz pkg. of cream cheese, softened
2 cans pillsbury crescent rolls
1/2 c. cheddar monterey jack cheese blend
1 egg beaten
1 t. sesame seed

Heat oven to 375. Spray large cookie sheet. Cook sausage and onions until sausage is completely cooked; drain. Stir in red bell pepper and cook until tender. Remove from pan. In small bowl beat eggs, salt, and pepper. Add to pan. Cook until eggs are set but still moist. Stir in sausage mixture and cream cheese. Unroll both cans of crescents making a 14x13 rectangle. Press edges together to seal. Spoon egg mixture down center to within 1/2 in of edges. Sprinkle with cheese. Starting with longest side, roll up. Shape into a circle. Cut several slits on top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake 25-30 minutes.


Cook Sausage and red pepper until sausage is completely cooked. In small bowl beat 6 eggs and salt and pepper. Reserve 2 Tb of egg mixture, pour remaining eggs into pan with sausage. Add onion and cook until completely set. Unroll both cans of crescents making a 14x13 rectangle. Pour egg mixture down the middle leaving several inches on both sides. Fold flaps of crescent over egg mixture pinching the ends to seal. Brush with reserved eggs. I thought the sesame seeds tasted funny so I would leave them off. Bake 25-30 minutes.

I'm sorry if this makes absolutely no sense I even had to read their instructions a few times so I hope the picture helps. Let me know if you have questions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spanish Noodles

I actually have made these before, but it's been a really long time. This recipe is really good, but you definitely can't substitute or leave out anything. Every ingredient adds to the flavor. I'm still not sure if it's a recipe that everyone will love. Me and my husband both liked it, but the website I found it on only rated it a 4, mostly for the fact that they had to add more water for the noodles to cook. I fixed that by just adding more water from the beginning. Honestly I think this recipe is worth trying. The best part about it is that if you want you can do it all in one pot. Well once again let me know what you think.

1 lb ground beef
1 green pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
3 c. egg noodles
14.5 oz can tomatoes (I used basil oregano because it was all I had)
2 c. water
1/2 c chili sauce (I used Heinz)
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
5-6 pieces of bacon
cheese to sprinkle on top

If you want to keep it all in one pot cook your bacon first until slightly crisp. If your in a hurry and dishes aren't a problem you can cook the bacon at the same time you cook your hamburger and noodles.
Cook ground beef, onion, and green pepper until hamburger is completely cooked. Drain off grease. Add noodles, tomatoes, water, chili sauce, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally until noodles are done. Sprinkle chopped bacon and cheese over top and serve!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Low Fat Strawberry Banana Muffins

I know it's been a couple days since I've posted anything. I was invited to another birthday dinner, gotta love birthdays, and then I was invited to my grandma's for Sunday dinner. So instead of a dinner idea I'm posting the recipe to these really good muffins to start off the week. I love making muffins and having them for breakfast, and my husband snacks on them pretty much all day long, he tells me it's ok because they're low fat:) which is another reason why I really like these. I'm feeling motivated to get more healthy. I want to try to switch over to all wheat, or at least mostly. Anyways enough about me these muffins are REALLY good. They even get better the next day and stay good for days to come. Muffins are so easy to make and make it easy in the morning for a quick breakfast, so give these a try!

2 1/3 c whole
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1 c fresh strawberries
1 c milk
1/3 c banana yogurt
1 mashed well ripe banana
1 egg
1 t vanilla

Mix flour, both sugars, baking powder, and salt. Stir in chopped strawberries. In separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Pour liquids in with dry ingredients and mix just until moist. Do not over mix. Cook in greased muffin tins or use baking cups. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.