Friday, February 29, 2008

Pigs in a Blanket

I remember eating these when I was a kid. My own kids gobble these right up!

8 hot dogs
8 strips of cheese
1 tube crescent rolls

Make a slit in each hot dog the length of the hot dog about 3/4 through the thickness of the hotdog, but don't cut through the ends. Put a strip of cheese in each slit. Roll each hot dog up in a crescent roll triangle and place on cookie sheet. Bake according to directions on crescent roll tube. Makes 8.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monster Cookies

When I was in college, some weekends my friends and I went home with a friend who lived much closer to school than we did. We often baked these cookies at her house and took them back to school with us.

Mix together:
6 eggs
2 c brown sugar
2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
4 tsp baking soda
1 c butter

Stir in:
1 1/2 lbs peanut butter
9 c oatmeal
1 bag chocolate chips or M&M's (I like to substitute peanut butter chips or Reese's pieces sometimes.)

Drop on cookie sheet with Tbsp and flatten. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 min. Makes 90-100 cookies.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oatmeal Scotchies

I remember making these cookies with my Grandma when I was little.

2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c soft butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c uncooked quick oats
1/2 tsp orange extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
6 oz butterscotch chips

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Combine butter, brown sugar, eggs, and water; beat til creamy. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in oats, chips, and orange extract. Refrigerate 2-4 hrs. Drop on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 min. Makes about 4 dozen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cheesy Garlic Bread

The cheesy garlic bread in this picture is shown with easy ministrone.

This garlic bread the tried and true standby in our house. As you can see, there are no defined measurements; I just eyeball them according to the number of people I'm serving.

bread (cut French or Italian bread -- Open-faced hamburger or hot dog buns work well, too!)
butter, softened (Use the real stuff. It's worth it!)
minced garlic
Italian seasoning
parmesan cheese or any type of shredded cheese

Mix softened butter and garlic together (ratio of about 1-2 garlic cloves per 4 Tbsp butter). Spread on bread. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and cheese. Broil in oven til bread is browned to desired doneness and cheese is melted (if using shredded).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Easy Minestrone

The ministrone in this picture is shown with cheesy garlic bread.

I'm lucky that my older two kids like beans. Even J, who isn't fond of soup, will gobble this right up!

1 Tbsp butter
1 lg onion, chopped
3 med carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar (28 oz) spaghetti sauce
4 c beef broth
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1 c uncooked pasta (small shell or rotini work well)
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 c frozen green beans

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, sauted onion and carrots in butter til tender. Add garlic; cook 2 min longer.

Stir in spaghetti sauce, broth, and beans. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Return to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 8-10 min or til pasta and green beans are tender. Makes 10 1 c servings (2 1/2 qts).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Herbed Slow Cooker Chicken

(This recipe is from the Quick Cooking 2005 cookbook.)

1 Tbsp oilive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp browning sauce, optional
4 bone-in chicken breast halves (6 oz each)*
1/2 c chicken broth

In a sm bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients; rub over chicken. Place in a 5 qt slow cooker; add broth. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hrs or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Makes 4 servings.

*I use 4 thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Zucchini Soup

4 med zucchini, shredded
1 med onion, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 c chicken broth
1 c milk (Skim works just fine.)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

In a lg skillet, saute the zucchini and onion in butter til tender. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12-15 min. Cool slightly.

Transfer to a blender; cover and process on low til smooth. Return to the skillet. Stir in the milk, salt, basil, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 1-2 min or til heated through. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Golden Diced Potatoes

3/4 c flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
4 med-lg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (about 1/2" size)
1/2 c butter

Combine first 4 ingredients in a lg ziploc bag. Add potatoes; toss to coat. In lg skillet, melt butter. Add potatoes. Cook and stir over med heat 25-30 min or til potatoes are tender. Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Dip

(This recipe is from the Quick Cooking 2006 cookbook.)

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 c powdered sugar
1 c canned pumpkin*
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
gingersnap cookies

In a lg mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar til smooth. Gradually add the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger; beat til smooth. Serve with gingersnaps. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 4 c.

*I use 1 c cooked pumpkin.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Penne Pasta and Kielbasa

1 pkg (16 oz) penne pasta
1 lb fully cooked kielbasa, cut into 1/4" slices
2 med green peppers, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
1 jar (28 oz) meatless spaghetti sauce

Cook pasta according to pkg directions. Meanwhile, in a lg skillet, saute the kielbasa, peppers, and onion til vegetables are crisp tender. (No need to use oil. The grease from the kielbasa is enough to work.) Mix in spaghetti sauce. Drain pasta and stir in. Makes 6 servings.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mozzarella Beef Roll-Ups

(This recipe is from the Quick Cooking 2006 cookbook.)

1 lb ground beef
1 med green pepper, chopped
1/3 c chopped onion
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce
28 slices pepperoni
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6 flour tortillas (10 in), warmed
6 pieces (1 oz each) string cheese

In a lg skillet, cook the beef, green pepper, and onion over med heat til the meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the pizza sauce, pepperoni, and oregano.

Spoon about 1/2 c beef mixture off-center on each tortilla; top with a piece of string cheese. Fold one side of each tortilla over filling and roll up from the opposite side. Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min or til heated through and cheese is melted. Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Refried Bean Pizza

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilis
2 c (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Unroll the crescent rolls on a 15x11" baking sheet and press perforations together, spreading the dough to get as close to the pan's edges as possible. Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 min or til lightly browned. Combine refried beans and chilis; spread over crust to within 1/2" of edges. Top with cheese. Bake 5-8 min longer or til cheese is melted. Cut into slices. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Apple Coffee Cake

(This recipe is from the Quick Cooking 2005 cookbook.)

1/2 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
3 eggs
3 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c milk
1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling
2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted

3/4 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 tsp vanilla
2-3 tsp water

In a lg mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Pour half into a greased 13x9" baking dish. Combine the pie filling and cinnamon; spoon over batter. Drop the remaining batter over the filling; spread gently.

Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min or til a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm or cooled coffee cake. Makes 12-14 servings.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cookies 'n' Cream Cake

1 pkg (18 1/4 oz) white or yellow cake mix
16 Oreos, coarsely crushed

Prepare cake batter according to pkg directions; stir in crushed cookies. Spoon into a greased and floured bundt pan.* Bake at 350 degrees for 33-38 min or til a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pan. Frost with your choice of white frosting, cream cheese frosting, or whipped cream.

*May use a 9x13" baking pan or 2 round cake pans, but baking times will vary.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rosemary Parmesan Bread

1/2 c butter
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
fresh or dried rosemary
1 loaf (1 lb) French bread, halved lengthwise

Melt the butter. Stir in the cheese and garlic. Spread over cut side of bread. Sprinkle with rosemary. Place bread, cut side up, on and ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min or til lightly browned. Slice and serve warm. Makes 14-16 servings.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Pineapple Chicken Lo Mein

1 can (20 oz) unsweetened pineapple chunks
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp ground ginger OR 1 Tbsp minced fresh gingerroot
2 med carrots, julienned
1 med green pepper, julienned
4 oz spaghetti, cooked and drained
1/2 c sliced onion
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 c soy sauce
1 Tbsp oil

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 c juice; set pineapple aside. In a lg skillet over med heat, cook the chicken, garlic, and ginger for 6 min. Add the carrots, green pepper, and pineapple. Cover and cook for 2-3 min or til vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir in spaghetti and onions.

In a sm bowl, combine the cornstarch, soy sauce, reserved pineapple juice, and oil til smooth. Stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 min or til thickened. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Orange Cashew Chicken

I like to use larger amounts of the carrots and celery than are called for in the recipe.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
2 medium carrots, sliced
1/2 c chopped celery
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 c orange juice
1/4 c honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4-1/2 c salted cashews
hot cooked rice

In a lg skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken, carrots, and celery for 8-10 min or til juices run clear. (If skillet or wok is NOT non-stick, cook veggies in 2 Tbsp oil.) Reduce heat. In a bowl, combine the cornstarch, ginger, orange juice, honey, and soy sauce til blended. Stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 min or til thickened. Stir in cashews. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

2 c flour
3 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c shortening
3/4 c milk
1/4-1/2 c soft bacon bits
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine the four, baking powder, and salt; cut in shortening. Add milk and mix well. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 6-8 times. Rol into a 16x10" rectangle. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese.

Roll up from a long side. Cut into 15 slices; place cut side down in greased muffin cups. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 min or til golden brown. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 15 rolls.

Italian Pork Hoagies

Using the pork from this recipe makes these sandwiches even more drool-worthy! Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

6 hoagie buns, split*
1 small jar pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
12 slices cooked pork roast (1/4" thick)
shredded mozzarella
Italian salad dressing (can use light version)

Open hoagie buns and place cut side up on baking sheet. Spread 2-3 Tbsp pizza sauce on the bottom half of each bun. Top each with 2 slices of pork side by side. Sprinkle 2-3 Tbsp shredded mozzarella on the pork. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp Italian dressing on tops of each bun. Bake open-faced at 350 degrees for 5-10 min or til cheese is melted and buns are lightly toasted. Replace bun tops. Makes 6 servings.

*I like to use wheat buns, but you can use whatever kind you like.

Savory Pork Roast

(This recipe is from the Quick Cooking 2003 cookbook.)

This pork loin is delicious on it's own, but it's even better when the leftovers are used to make this sandwich! You may even just want to make this roast specifically for the sandwich!

1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 boneless pork loin roast (4 lbs)

Combine the seasonings; rub over roast. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hr and 20 min or til a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Let stand 10-15 min before slicing. Makes 9-12 servings (or 3-4 servings plus leftovers).

Friday, February 1, 2008

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake with Frosting

I combined 2 recipes to come up with this super moist, easy, delicious frosted devil's food-type cake. The cake recipe is from the Quick Cooking 1999 cookbook.

2 c flour
2 c sugar
1/2 c baking cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c vegetable oil*
1 c buttermilk**
2 eggs
1 c hot water

6 Tbsp butter (softened)
1/2 c baking cocoa
2 2/3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
additional powdered sugar

In a lg bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir in oil, buttermilk, and eggs. Add water and stir til combined. Pour into a greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-38 min or til a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

In a sm mixing bowl, cream butter. Add cocoa and powdered sugar and milk. Beat together, adding additional powdered sugar til you achieve the consistency you desire. Frost cake.

Makes 20-24 servings.

*I use olive oil in place of vegetable oil.

**Since I usually don't have buttermilk, I put 1 Tbsp lemon juice in a measuring cup and fill the remainder with milk up to the 1 c mark. Let milk mixture sit for 5 minutes to curdle before adding to the cake mix.