Tuesday, January 29, 2008

French Onion Soup

I love french onion soup but in the back of my mind I had it that it must be very difficult to make. I'd never actually consciously thought about it so when I saw this recipe come through a recipe group and skimmed I knew it was on the menu!  I covered it with croutons and then lots of sliced swiss. Yum!!
*half recipe for next time*

French Onion Soup
7 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 7 cups)
1/4 cup butter
3 cup beef broth*
1 cup water
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, saute onions in the butter, cooking until tender, about 20 minutes. Place onions and butter into a crock pot. Add the beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. If desired, serve with cheese, crackers or croutons.*3 bouillon cubes dissolved in 3 cups of water can be used instead of beef broth.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Butternut Brownie Pie

Luby's used to serve this but since Landry's bought them I haven't seen it. I've made it once in the past and learned to not put the whipped cream on until you're serving or it doesn't stay a nice dry pie underneath...gross LOL
If you've never tried this it's different from any other pie I've ever had and I never would have guessed it was graham crackers!
The whole family likes this and it was gone in 24 hours.
Butternut Brownie Pie
4 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups white sugar, divided
14 graham crackers, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lighty grease a 9 inch pie plate.In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and baking powder until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar, beating constantly. Add 1 cup of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until stiff peaks form.Break graham crackers into 1 inch pieces. Fold graham crackers and pecan halves into the whipped egg mixture. Spoon into pie plate.Bake pie for 30 minuntes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the pie to room temperature on a wire cooling rack.In chilled small bowl using chilled beaters, beat cream just until it begins to thicken. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the vanilla to the cream, and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Place the flavored whipped cream on top of the cooled pie. Sprinkle pecans on the top, and refrigerate until served.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pork Chop Casserole & Mac n Cheese

The pork chop casserole is from Kris' week. I really liked the cabbage and potatoes but the dog got most of the pork chop from the older kids and myself. 

The mac n cheese is from Mandi's week and it was really good! Definitely not "creamy" in the same way as a box of mac n cheese. We ate the whole crockpot full! I used whole wheat macaroni too and it tasted great! I would definitely make it again but probably would try putting the ingredients in without melting the cheese and butter together...
Pork Chop and Cabbage Casserole
1 small head cabbage, shredded
4 potatoes, peeled and sliced
salt to taste
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 (10.75 ounce) can water
1 small onion, diced
4 pork chops

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Place a layer of shredded cabbage into baking dish and then a layer of sliced potatoes. Repeat cabbage and potatoes and salt.
Simmer the soup, water and diced onion. Pour over cabbage and potatoes.
In a skillet, brown each pork chop in a small amount of oil and place on top of mixture. Bake for 1 1/2 hours uncovered or until chops are tender.
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
courtesy Paula Deen Show: Paula's Home Cooking
Episode: Slow Cookin'
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn't quite 2 cups)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stuck) butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Gingerbread Loaf

This is another recipe from Mandi's week. I was so expecting a really sweet bread and instead it's a very mild flavor. Nice as a basic bread so it's a good thing I used up the other bread I made for lunch sandwiches=))) Smells so good! The lemon icing would make it sweeter but it didn't sound good to me so I skipped it.

Makes 1 1/2 pound loaf
3/4 c Milk
1/4 c Molasses
1 Egg
3 tb Applesauce
3 1/3 c Bread flour (I used white whole wheat again)
1 tb Brown sugar
3/4 ts Salt
3/4 ts Ground cinnamon
3/4 ts Ground ginger
1 ts Yeast
103 cal/oz
Put ingredients in machine according to custom. (I used the sweet bread setting)

LEMON ICING: In small mixing bowl stir 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 t vanilla, 1 t lemon juice & enough milk (1-3 t) to make an icing of drizzling consistency.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reuben Casserole

I have had this recipe saved a good while to make. The ingredients are definitely pricey and Corrine just ate the meat but the rest of us liked it(even Justin).

Reuben Casserole
1 32-ounce bag sauerkraut, very well-drained
1 pound deli-style corned beef, chipped
1/2 8-ounce bottle Thousand Island dressing
1 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
12 slices buttered rye bread, cut in 1-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bottom of a 13-by-9-by-2-inch casserole,layer the sauerkraut, corned beef, dressing and cheese. Top with the buttered rye bread cubes.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly to set and it's ready to go.

Crockpot Taco Casserole

This is a recipe from Mandi's week and was really really good! I ate mine with sour cream on top and loved that. I'll definitely make this again!

1 lb. ground beef, browned; drained
1 chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
2 drops Tabasco sauce
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 cup frozen corn
32 oz. can chili with beans
3/4 lb. grated cheese

1 bag Nacho cheese tortilla chips
Combine meat, onion, garlic and tobasco, tomato sauce and chili powder. Mix well. Layer in crockpot: meat mixture, tortilla chips, corn, chili, cheese. Cover and cook 6-8 hours on low.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread

I bought the flour to make another recipe and have the majority of the bag leftover so I made this bread and it's REALLY good! The honey was just enough sweetness and then I used flax and sesame seeds so there are little crunchies(that I LOVE). I've tried a lot of recipes in the bread machine and while they're okay this was I can truly say was SO good and I'd make it again. Since there's lots of flour left I just might=)

For 1 1/2 lb. bread machine
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive
1/4 cup honey
3 to 3 1/2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat
1/4 cup sesame or flax seeds, combination (optional)
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
Put all of the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed. Program for basic white bread, and press Start.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bruschetta Chicken Skillet

This got high ratings and I absolutely loved it! The rice is flavored with the tomatoes perfectly, the rice cooked up just right. Yum! Added bonus is that it's low fat and low calories!

Bruschetta Chicken Skillet

1/4 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)

2 large red peppers, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) pasta-style or Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup water

2 cups instant white rice, uncooked

1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 large tomato, chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

HEAT dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, peppers and garlic; cover. Cook 10 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF), turning after 5 min. Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

ADD canned tomatoes and water to skillet. Stir in rice; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10 min. Meanwhile, combine cheese, chopped tomatoes and basil.

RETURN chicken to skillet; sprinkle with cheese mixture. Cover. Cook 5 min. or until chicken is heated through and cheese is melted.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Layered Meatball Casserole

My family LOVED this! Hunter said it's better than hot pot pie(and that is his all time favorite meal!). It got 10s from everyone and I will definitely be making it again!

Shar sent this recipe on the group and it's one of a few I plan to try this week.

The changes I made was I used my own mix instead of the mushroom soup(to avoid msg for Hunter) and I used a LOT more cheese because we love cheese=)

Layered Meatball Casserole

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup milk

1 pkg. (1 lb.) frozen meatballs

2 cups frozen peas

1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 400ºF. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package for Light Preparation; set aside.

COMBINE soup and milk in 13x9-inch baking dish. Stir in meatballs and peas; sprinkle with cheese. Top with the prepared stuffing.

BAKE 20 to 25 min. or until heated through.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Country Fried Steaks and Pan Gravy

We love chicken fried steak so when I was searching for a dinner where I had all the ingredients on hand I ran across this and gave it a try.

I prefer the kind of chicken fried steaks we had in school but this is definitely the traditional meaty chicken fried steak.


Sabrina 8

Hunter 6

Corrine 7

4-6 cube steaks
flour (for dredging)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
Pan Gravy
4-8 tablespoons butter
4-8 tablespoons flour(approximately)
2 cups milk
salt and pepper

For steak: Melt butter & oil in an electric skillet set on about 350°F
Dredge cube steak in flour seasoned with salt & pepper mixture. (I have done it dipping it in egg first & didn't think it made that much difference).
Fry about 5 minutes on each side. (If you over cook it gets tough.) Move cooked steak to a small cookie sheet & place in a warmed oven.
For the gravy: Pour any butter and oil out of the skillet, being careful to not pour off the browned flour that are in the pan. Loosen the bits of browned flour from the pan with your spatula.
Turn the heat down to about 250°F and melt 4-8 Tbls of butter stirring the pan drippings into it. (The more butter you start with, the more gravy you'll have. My family likes LOTS of gravy!).
Once the butter has browned a bit add enough flour to absorb all the butter, mixing well. (You will use approximately the same amount of flour as butter.).
Start adding milk about 1/2 cup at a time while using a whisk to work it into the flour/butter mixture. After I have added about 2 cups of milk I start using water. Add liquid until the gravy is as thin as you like it. This takes a little time especially when you are first getting used to it. Add some liquid, mix, add liquid, mix --
Once the gravy is the right consistency add some salt & pepper until it is to your liking (I used quite a bit of salt actually).
Remove steak from oven & serve with mashed potatoes!
(Hint: have the rest if the meal done before you start the steak & gravy. Once you are into making the gravy you won't be able to do anything else because you have to stir it constantly so it doesn't stick or burn).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pizza Casserole

This was one of Kris' choices for her recipe week. This was great! I had precooked beef in the freezer which made prep time super easy. I added pepperoni and a diced green bell pepper. I will be making it again...with an onion too and two packets of sloppy joe seasoning. I gave it an 8 and everyone else gave it a 10. When I change the ingredients a bit it'll be a 10 from me too=)

Pizza Casserole
2 pounds ground beef
1 (1.3 ounce) envelope sloppy joe seasoning
2 (8.5 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (14 ounce) can pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place the beef in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until evenly brown. Drain grease. Mix in sloppy joe seasoning.
Press 1 can of refrigerated crescent roll dough in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer with ground beef. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and Cheddar cheese over beef. Spread evenly with sauce. Top with remaining crescent roll dough.
Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until top is golden brown

Sunday, January 06, 2008


 I love fruitcake. It seems like I am very much in the minority though. I don't like fruitcakes with alcohol and there can't be much citron. Since they marked down the candied fruit I decided to take a stab at baking my own fruitcake.
After searching for recipes I printed two and then picked and chose through them.
The fruitcake tasted great but didn't hold together at all....I'm guessing too much fruit and not enough cake=)

My recipe to perfect...
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
5 eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tsp cinnamon

2 pounds candied red cherries
2 pounds candied fruit cake mix
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups flour(divided)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream butter/sugars. Add eggs one at a time. Add molasses and cinnamon. Mix well.

Put fruit and nuts in a bowl and coat with 1/4 cup flour.

Mix flour and baking soda into butter/sugar mixture. Stir in fruit mixture.

Spoon into greased bundt pan(12 cup). Press mixture firmly. Bake at 250 for 3-3 1/2 hours.

Cool on wire rack 20 minutes; invert onto wire rack and cool completely.