Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

  • Impossible Cheeseburger Pie

    Date: 2012.01.26 | Category: recipes | Response: 2

    I know that this basic recipe has been on the back of Bisquick boxes for ages, but I’ve added a few twists to make it more healthy and flavorful and a family favorite.

    Impossible Cheeseburger Pie

    1 pound ground beef
    1 chopped onion
    Mexican or Italian seasonings and garlic to taste
    1/2 cup frozen spinach

    1/2 cup frozen corn
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    3/4 cup Bisquick
    1 1/2 cup milk
    3 eggs
    1/4 cup ground flax seed or wheat germ

    Heat oven to 400º and spray or grease a 9×13 baking dish.

    Brown beef with onion and seasonings.  Add frozen spinach near the end of cooking to defrost and lightly cook the spinach.  Add corn and pour into baking dish.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Mix Bisquick, milk, eggs, and flax, pour over meat mixture.  Bake at 400º for 30-40 minutes.


  • Crab and Pesto Grilled Cheese

    Date: 2012.01.23 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    Holy cow.  I’ve stumbled upon another winner.  Thank you Pinterest, apparently you’ve turned me into a cooking blog!

    So I’ve got some leftover pesto and was cruising Pinterest the other day looking for ideas of how to use it when I saw this recipe for crab and pesto grilled cheese sandwiches.  I knew that I had a can of crab in the pantry and I had picked up a loaf of sourdough and a loaf of this yummy olive bread, so all I had to buy was the cream cheese.  These turned out fantastic.  The only change I would make to the way I made them tonight is that I would double the crab and decrease the pesto since the pesto flavor is pretty strong and overpowered the other flavors.  Here’s the recipe the way I will make them next time…

    Crab and Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    6 oz cream cheese
    1/4 cup pesto
    12 oz canned crab
    10 slices cheddar or colby jack cheese
    10 slices sourdough or artisan bread

    Mix cream cheese, pesto and crab.  Butter two slices of bread and  place butter side down in a skillet to lightly brown.  Add some more butter to the skillet and flip both slices of bread.  Add a slice of cheese to each slice of bread and top with a hearty layer of cream cheese mixture.  Close sandwich and continue cooking until cheese is melted and bread is lightly toasted.  Remove from heat and slice in half before serving.

    Makes 5 sandwiches.


  • Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken or Shrimp

    Date: 2012.01.19 | Category: recipes | Response: 2

    I love pesto.  I do not love the price of pesto at the grocery store, nor do I grow my own basil to make pesto at home.  Costco, however, sells a huge jar of pesto at a great price.  Yum!  I came up with this recipe and it is now a regular family staple.  Somehow it has gained mythic status with Chris’ kid’s at school- they all rave about it too.  I’m not really sure how that happened, but I’ll take whatever glory I can get, even if it is from a bunch of middle school students!  Perhaps even more so because aren’t kids that age supposed to be picky eaters?

    Creamy Pesto Pasta

    1 box whole grain rotini or penne
    8 oz pesto
    8 oz alfredo sauce
    1 cup cooked and cubed chicken or 2 cups cooked and prepared shrimp
    Parmesan cheese to taste

    Boil pasta.   Add other ingredients.  Eat!


  • Chicken and Dumplings

    Date: 2012.01.16 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    “Oh we’ll all have chicken and dumplings when she comes (when she comes).  Oh we’ll all have chicken and dumplings when she comes (when she comes).  Oh we’ll all have chicken and dumplings, yes we’ll all have chicken and dumplings, oh we’ll have have chicken and dumplings when she comes (when she comes).”

    So apparently when my husband sings “She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain” he sings this verse.  And JT has been intrigued with the idea of eating chicken and dumplings for MONTHS.  He’s mentioned it many times and repeatedly asked me to make chicken and dumplings for dinner.  Somehow, this very easy and achievable request just never really permeated my brain and made it onto my meal plan.  It’s not like I had ever made chicken and dumplings, even though it was one of the meals my mom cooked for us regularly when I was growing up.

    Anyway, I finally googled crock pot versions last week and realized that I could easily make it with ingredients I had on hand.  And so I did.  As a spur of the moment, do something nice for my kid, just because surprise.  JT was thrilled.  He said he loved it.  He ate about 2 bites.  Oh well, Chris also said he loved it and he ate a big steaming bowl.  And Kate ate her entire bowl too.  So there.

    Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

    3 large chicken breasts (mine were still frozen)
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 can chicken broth
    1 small can sliced mushrooms
    2 cups mixed frozen veggies (I used peas, corn and spinach)
    1 diced onion
    several large shakes of cheesy garlic and Italian seasonings

    2 cups Bisquick
    2/3 cup milk

    Add first set of ingredients to the crock pot and cook 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
    1/2 hour before serving shred chicken.  Mix Bisquick and milk and place heaping spoonfuls on top of soup.  Replace lid and continue cooking for 30 minutes (or more).


  • Chicken Enchiladas

    Date: 2012.01.09 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    Years ago, when Chris and I were engaged to be married, we decided to “play grown ups” and have his roommate and roommate’s fiance over for a fancy dinner.  I wasn’t in the habit of entertaining yet and this was slightly nerve wracking and crazy making for me (so different from now when I don’t even bother to clean my kitchen half the time before company comes!).  I decided to make these chicken enchiladas that a girlfriend of mine from dental hygiene school had given me the recipe for.  I had eaten them once a few years before and loved them and asked for the recipe, but I hadn’t ever made them.  That evening I prepared yummy appetizers, a huge tray of enchiladas, and some complicated dessert to impress them.  As we all started to dig into our meal Chris turned to me and whispered “I don’t think the chicken is cooked”.  His roommate was shoveling bites in while the fiance was politely pushing little piles of food around her plate.  I investigated my enchilada and was horrified to discover that the chicken was as raw and pink as can be!  Needless to say we whisked the plates out from under them- fortunately I had made enough that I was able to return the pan to the oven and dump the partly eaten plates.  We ended up playing cards for a good hour while we waited for the enchiladas to finish cooking so we could resume our dinner.

    I learned a lesson that night- regardless of whether the recipe says so, when you’re making enchiladas you need to precook your meat!  So now you know too.  All these years later we still enjoy this particular recipe, only now we affectionately refer to them as “Salmonella Enchiladas”.

    Chicken Enchiladas with Cream Sauce

    4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded
    1/2 jar of salsa
    2 cans cream of chicken soup
    2 cups grated cheddar cheese
    16 oz (2 cups or 1 pint) sour cream
    1 can diced olives
    10 flour tortillas

    Mix sour cream and soup.  Reserve 1/3 of mixture.  Add chicken, olives, salsa and 1 cup of cheese to remaining soup mixture.  Fill tortillas and roll.  Place in a greased 9×13 pan.  Spread reserved soup mixture over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake at 325° for 30 minutes.

    This recipe freezes well- I often make a second pan to freeze and bake later!


  • Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies

    Date: 2011.12.22 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    I love snickerdoodles.  Even with their obvious lack of chocolate, they still manage to rank right up there as one of my favorite cookies.  A few months ago I got a coupon to try this new Land O’ Lakes Cinnamon Sugar spread for free, but my grocery store only started stocking it a few weeks ago.  I picked one up and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but then I remembered that they had also sent me some recipes.  When I noticed that one of the recipes was for snickerdoodle sandwich cookies I knew that was the one.  Of course, living here at altitude I am constantly frustrated in my baking attempts, so I decided to swap out my girlfriend Tricia‘s snickerdoodle recipe for the cookie- I knew that it was a proven winner at our elevation.  Here’s what I ended up making.  Twice.  Because the first time I ran out of cookies within three days.  So I made a second batch and doubled it.  And immediately froze most of them.  We’ll see how long they last!

    Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies

    1/2 C margarine (I used the Cinnamon Sugar spread)
    1/2 C shortening
    3/4 C brown sugar
    3/4 C white sugar
    2 eggs
    2 3/4 C flour
    2 tsp cream of tartar
    1 tsp soda
    1/4 tsp salt

    2 T sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon (for coating)

    Cream together margarine, shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, and eggs.  Add flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt.  Shape into balls (since these will be turned into sandwich cookies I made them pretty small) and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 2″ apart and slightly flatten with your fingertips.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 350- you want the centers to be slightly undercooked- do not overbake!  They come out puffy and then flatten and crackle as they cool.

    2 1/2 C powdered sugar
    1/4 C Land O’ Lakes Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread
    1 tsp vanilla
    1-2 TBS milk
    (I threw in the unused cinnamon sugar mixture from rolling the cookies too!)

    Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Beat at low speed until creamy, adding enough milk to reach desired consistency- you will want the frosting to be slightly thick.

    Spread frosting on bottom side of cookie and top with another cookie of similar size.  Repeat until you run out of frosting or cookies!

    This is the size I rolled my cookies- I have no idea what to compare it to.  It’s smaller than a golf ball.  Maybe 1 1/2 inches across?

    JT was the official cinnamon/sugar roller- he probably rolled 4 trays worth of cookies for me before wearing out!

    If making sandwich cookies it really helps to slightly flatten them before baking!

    They come out of the oven slightly puffy and not yet browned at all.

    As they cool the tops start to crackle- this tray was just perfect!

    See how beautiful these turned out?

    This picture is from my first batch- I didn’t start flattening them out until the very end, it made for some wobbly cookies!


  • Homemade Fudge

    Date: 2011.12.15 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    I know that last year I mentioned one of my favorite Christmas treats is homemade fudge.  I usually make a peppermint and an orange fudge.  Well, this year I added a new type for my beloved husband who loves white chocolate… white chocolate vanilla fudge that I found on one of my favorite food blogs.  (I think it tastes too much like vanilla frosting.  My hubby says it’s just perfect.  It has me thinking though about using cream cheese frosting or something else.)  When I made the orange fudge this year I got a little crazy and switched out the vanilla extract for almond extract.  It’s a winner!  I really like the creamy texture with the orange almond flavor.  I’m also a better blogger this year, so I took pictures before we devoured the entire batch!

    Here are the recipes with pictures this time!

    Peppermint Chocolate Fudge

    1 pkg Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
    1/2 pkg Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    dash of salt
    1/2 tsp peppermint extract
    1/4 cup crushed candy canes

    Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk in the microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30-60 seconds.  Stir in all other ingredients.  Spread in a foil lined 8×8 baking dish.

    Chocolate Orange Fudge

    1 1/2 pkgs Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    3 TBS chocolate syrup
    1/2 tsp orange extract
    1 tsp almond extract

    Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk in the microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30-60 seconds.  Stir in all other ingredients.  Spread in a foil lined 8×8 baking dish.

    Vanilla Peppermint Fudge

    1 (12 ounce) package of white chocolate chips or high quality white chocolate bar
    1 (16 ounce) container vanilla frosting
    1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
    8 drops red food coloring
    2 Tablespoons crushed peppermint candies

    Line an 8X8 pan with foil
    Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval.
    Stir the frosting into the white chocolate chips.  Stir in peppermint extract. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Drop 8 drops of food coloring evenly spaced on top of the fudge. Using a knife swirl the food coloring. Sprinkle top of fudge with crushed peppermint candies and press down slightly.

    For each recipe, chill at least 2 hours. Turn fudge onto a cutting board and peel off foil.  Cut into small squares (I use a pizza roller).
    Store in a tightly sealed container at room temp.

    Can you just imagine all the yumminess here at our house?  Fudge also makes a great gift!  Check back in a few days to see how I made teacher gifts for JT’s preschool teachers.


  • Lasagna Soup

    Date: 2011.12.04 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    I decided to try this soup recipe that I found on pinterest because we love lasagna and we love soup and man it’s cold outside!  Of course I made just a few changes.  We skipped the bell pepper and the red pepper altogether because we’re not fans.  I added some frozen spinach and a can of sliced olives.  And I might have tripled the cheese.  But it actually could have done with a little less- it was awfully stringy!  Maybe one cup next time.  Well, it turned out just as yummy as it looked so I thought I’d pass the recipe on to you.

    1 pound Italian sausage
    1 onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, crushed

    1 cup frozen chopped spinach
    32 oz chicken broth (I used homemade turkey stock)
    15 oz tomato sauce
    1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
    1 can sliced olives

    4 oz lasagna noodles, broken into bite size pieces

    1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
    1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
    3 TBS parmesan cheese

    Brown sausage with onion and garlic in a large nonstick stockpot.
    Add next 5 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Add the noodles and return to a boil, then simmer 10-12 minutes until soup starts to thicken and noodles are cooked.
    Remove from heat and stir in basil and cheeses.
    Serve with additional parmesan and with breadsticks if desired.


  • Chicken Corn Chowder

    Date: 2011.11.17 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    I consider myself a lucky woman that my husband likes soups and stews and chowders.  I know a lot of men don’t consider a soup hearty enough for dinner. This chicken corn chowder is one of Chris’ favorites, especially when the weather starts to get chilly!

    1 pound chicken breasts (I throw mine in still frozen!)
    1 can creamed corn
    1 cup frozen corn
    1 can cream of potato soup
    2 cans chicken broth
    1/2 cup bacon pieces (I use the ones from Costco)
    2 cups diced potato (I sometimes skip these if I don’t have any on hand)

    1 jar queso cheese (we use the store brand sold near their salsa)
    8 oz sour cream (we use light)

    Add first 7 ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low 10 hours or so (I’m sure the recipe says something reasonable like 6-7 hours, but I’m always at work!).  Shred chicken and stir in queso and sour cream 15 minutes before serving.  If soup is too thin, thicken with instant mashed potatoes.  Serve in large bowls and top with shredded cheddar and bacon bits.


  • Blooming Artichoke Bread

    Date: 2011.11.07 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    Last weekend I was in charge of an appetizer for dinner with friends.  I planned on making this awesome looking blooming pepperoni pizza bread


    Then I found out that we were having pizza for dinner.  Well, I thought, it would be silly to make a pizza appetizer before we ate pizza, but I had already purchased the ingredients for it.  Then I remembered this yummy looking recipe for artichoke bread


    and thought that perhaps I could combine the two recipes into one new creation with ingredients I had on hand.

    I’m pleased to report that it was a hit- and super easy to do!

    Melody’s Blooming Artichoke Bread

    1 sourdough round loaf
    1/3 cup olive oil
    3 TBS diced garlic
    2 tsp Italian seasonings
    2 tsp cheesy garlic seasoning
    1 can (14 oz) artichoke heart quarters, diced
    1 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
    Pizza sauce for dipping

    Preheat the oven to 350°.  Make lengthwise and crosswise cuts through most of the thickness of the bread.  Mix the olive oil and seasonings before drizzling the bread liberally.  Stuff the entire can of diced artichoke hearts between the cuts and then do the same with the cheese.  Cover the loaf with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.  Serve with warmed pizza sauce for dipping.

    I’m a terrible blogger and didn’t take a single picture of my own creation.  Sorry!  Just trust me, it blooms just like it should, so it’s pretty and yummy!

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