Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weeknight Ravioli Bake

This is the one I told you about at girl's day! You probably have made something similar, but this is so good!
1 jar Prego, any flavor
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained. I like petite diced.
1/2 cup water
2 pkgs (1lb. each) frozen cheese ravioli, leave frozen. Can do meat filled if you prefer.
1 pkg shredded Italian cheese blend (2 cups)
Mix Prego with tomatoes and water. Pour 1 cup sauce on bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Layer half the frozen ravioli and 1 cup cheese blend. Repeat ravioli layer and remaining sauce. Top with remaining cheese blend. Cover and bake at 400 for 30 mins. Uncover and continue baking 15 mins till bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan, let stand 10 mins. Serve.

Brownie Trifle

1 pkg. brownie mix
2 1/2 cups cold milk
2 boxes chocolate instant pudding (3.4oz)
12 oz cool whip
3 Heath candy bars, chopped
Bake brownies, cool completely. Cut into bite-sizes cubes. Beat milk and pudding 2 mins. Fold in cool whip. Place 1/2 the brownie cubes in bottom of trifle pan , cover with 1/2 pudding layer. Repeat layers. Top with Heath crumbs.

Yummy French Dip Sandwhich

Crockpot on low, 10-12 hrs:
3 lb. roast
2 pkts. au jus mix
1 pkt onion soup mix
7-8 cups water
Shred beef and serve on buns and use juices from crock pot for dipping.

Hot Hammies

I stole this recipe from some blog I ran into!
Rhodes rolls, thawed
10-15 thin slices deli ham
10 slices swiss cheese
Roll out each roll into big as you can circle
Place slice ham and 1/2 slice or so swiss in center. Wrap dough around meat and cheese and seal all edges. Melt 1 cube butter. In a seperate bowl, mix 1/2 cup parmesan, 1/2 T dry parsely flakes, 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Dip each roll into butter then parmesan mixture. Place in greased baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to double, about 1 hr. Bake according to roll's package, 350 for 20 mins?? Be careful to watch for burning.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I finally found the perfect oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe! I was so excited once I baked them to find out that they were nice thick, soft, and chewy cookies--just the way we love them. In the past my oatmeal cookies have always gone flat, but not these babies! (Found at allrecipes with some adjustments).

1 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla extract
1 3/4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 c quick oats (I'm sure you could use reg.)
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

-Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. I like to do this for a few minutes until it gets light and fluffy.
-Beat in eggs one at a time.
-Add vanilla.
-Combine flour, baking soda, and salt into separate bowl. Gradually add to creamed mixture UNTIL JUST BLENDED.
-Stir in oats, nuts, and chocolate chips. If you don't think you like nuts in cookies, you will in these. It's a small amount and hardly noticable but adds great flavor.
-Drop by heaping spoonfuls ontol ungreased baking sheets. I use medium size cookie scoop heaping.
-Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. I found 12 minutes to be perfect. Don't overbake. If your oven tends to cook fast check cookies at 10 minutes or so.
-Store in airtight container.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Homemade Whole Grain Pancake Mix

I decided I wanted to make my own pancake mix. Since I have a wheat grinder, I thought I should be thinking of more ways to use it.  I am also interested in fresher, more quality foods. These are just under 90% whole grain!  This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour Company's website.  It is SOOOO delicious!  This stores in an airtight container at room temp for 2 weeks, or indefinately in the fridge or freezer.  Everyone gave these a thumbs up tonight.  This will be really fast to whip up before school! 

4 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil

To Make Mix
1.Grind the oats in a food processer until they are chopped fine, but not a powder. (I just use quick oats and don't bother grinding. One less step.)
2.Put the flour, oats, and all other dry ingredients into a mixer with a paddle. Mix on slow speed, and drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running.
3.Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature, or indefinitely in the refrigerator or freezer.
To Make Pancakes:
1.Whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup of buttermilk (you can use soured milk, but buttermilk gives noticeably superior results; a combination of half plain yogurt and half milk also will do), and 1 large egg. Don't worry if it seems thin at first: the oats will soak up the milk, and the mix will thicken a bit as it stands. Let the batter stand for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
2.Heat a lightly greased griddle to 350°F (if you've got a griddle with a temperature setting; if not, medium-hot will do).
3.Drop the batter onto it in 1/4-cupfuls (a jumbo cookie scoop works well here) to make a 4" diameter pancake. If you have English muffin rings, use them; they make a perfectly round, evenly thick pancake. When the edges look dry and bubbles come to the surface without breaking (after about 2 minutes, if your griddle is the correct temperature), turn the pancake over to finish cooking on the second side, which will take about 2 minutes.
4.Serve pancakes immediately, or stack and hold in a warm oven.
Yield: a batch using one cup of the mix will make about eight 4" pancakes.
Note: If you don't have buttermilk in the house, try the yogurt and milk combination first; if you happen to have buttermilk powder, try this: In place of the buttermilk, add 1/4 cup buttermilk powder to 1 cup of dry mix, then stir in 1 cup water and 1 large egg. The results won't be as magnificent as using liquid buttermilk, but you'll still have very tasty pancakes.
Variation: Add 1 tablespoon orange juice to the dry mix along with the buttermilk. We've found that the acidity and sweetness of the orange juice helps mellow the tannic taste some people perceive in whole wheat flour; while the pancakes won't have any orange flavor, they may taste slightly milder to you, if you're not a fan of whole wheat flour (but still want to get more whole grains into your diet).

I didn't use their brand of flour.  I ground my own WW flour and I only use unbleached anyway.  I only had quick oats on hand, so I used those instead.  I only had the mixture sit 10 minutes.  It seemed fine.  I also didn't have buttermilk, so I used the sour milk.  Whenever I do this in a buttermilk recipe, it makes a thinner pancake. (we call the too thick ones 'sinkers'--they sink to the pit of your stomach and stay! My dad always made sinkers growing up!!)  I don't mind the thinner, but it is different with the real stuff.  I would say they are better with buttermilk , but still delicious no matter what is used.  They also said you can freeze buttermilk in 1 cup portions to use at later times.  I will definitely do this, because I don't often have a need for buttermilk otherwise.  Also, these are fabulous with berries in them.  And my kids loved jam on them.  They were nervous to try the syrup I made. (see comments below!)

Here is a syrup recipe I found on Rumble in the kitchen blog.  It doesn't taste like Mrs. Butterworth.  Chris thought it tasted "boozy" with the rum.  I liked it.  Not sure what that says about me...  I think you just need to use a little.  Chris always dowses his pancakes, I am a minimalist!  See what you think, and let me know!

Homemade "Mrs. Butterworth's" Syrup

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp rum flavoring
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1.Put the brown sugar & salt into a medium saucepan. Place the cornstarch in a small bowl or cup and drizzle with about 2 tbs. of water. Stir or whisk with a fork until the cornstarch is dissolved, then add it to the saucepan along with the rest of the water.
2.Stir or whisk constantly over medium-high heat, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil one minute, still stirring.
3.Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let the syrup cool completely. When it's cool, stir in the extracts.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winter Salsa

Don't you miss fresh salsa in the winter??  I surely do.  I came up with this the other day.  Most Mexican resturants don't use fresh tomatoes anyway.  And who doesn't have them on hand all the time?!

1 can (15 oz) stewed tomatoes--puree, diced, whatever you like (I put mine in the blender because I don't like chunks)
jalepeno pepper, to taste
annaheim pepper, to taste
onion, to taste
green onion, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
little bit of sugar, if desired
2-3 tsp cider vinegar, to taste  (I found the vinegar was key to making it yummy!  I don't know if lime juice might do the same thing, you might play with that)

Put tomatoes, peppers, and some of plain onion in blender.  Whirl til just blended, not pulverized.  Put in bowl and add the rest of your ingredients.  Chris is the salsa king and he LOVES this!  Now we can have good salsa all year round!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beef and Broccoli

My sister sent this yummy recipe to me.  This is really good and quick and easy!  My sister said she didn't have apple juice, so she substituted orange juice, and it was fine.  Her hubby is diabetic, so she only used 1T sugar, and she said it was good that way.  I put toasted sesame seeds in it for fun.  Enjoy!!!

1 pound top round beef steak
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tlbs sugar
¼ cup white grape juice or apple juice
2 Tlbs cornstarch
1 cup water
2 cups fresh broccoli florets, stems removed
4 Tlbs vegetable or olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
(toasted sesame seeds, optional)
Cut beef steak into 2-inch strips; set aside.(I cut mine into bite-sized pieces) Combine soy sauce, sugar, juice, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl; set aside. In a large skillet, stir-fry broccoli in 2 tlbs oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Do not overcook. Place broccoli in another dish. Pour remaining oil in the same skillet and heat on medium high. Add beef steak and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, not more than one minute. Pour soy sauce mixture over meat and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in sesame oil. Remove from heat. Stir in broccoli. Serve over hot steamed rice. Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Refreshing Shrimp Salad

I've been craving Costco's shrimp salad and thought I'd try making my own. I love what I came up with, so refreshing and perfect for a light meal, and of course it's low-carb so that makes it even better. You can use low-fat mayo to cut on the fat also if you'd like. This would be lovely served for brunch/lunch in a hollowed out tomato and a sprig of parsley or fresh dill on top for garnish (if putting in a tomato you may want to cut up shrimp a little bit). Can also be served on a bed of green leaf lettuce.

2 pounds medium cooked shrimp
3 stalks celery, diced
3 green onions, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 c mayonnaise
1 t kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
1/2-1 t dill weed (fresh or dry)

-Combine everything in a large bowl and chill for at least an hour for flavors to mix.