Sunday, February 21, 2016

One Pan Cheesy Smoked Sausage & Pasta Skillet

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Hillshire Farm Smoked Turkey Sausage, sliced
1 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic (about two fresh cloves)
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
8 oz dry pasta (any small pasta will do)
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese
1/3 cup chopped scallions, for garnish

Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart sauté pan over medium high heat. Add onions and sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with sliced scallions and serve.
Makes about 4 servings.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Italian dressing

3 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp honey
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

In small airtight container, combine vinegar, water, oil, parmesan, honey and spices.  Shake well and chill in refrigerator until serving.

This doesn’t make a huge batch so if you’re doing it for a family or wants to keep some on hand, I would double or triple the recipe.  The flavor is good and it’s comforting to know what exactly is in your dressing! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Shredded salsa chicken

4 chicken breasts
2 cups salsa
Salt & pepper to taste

Place chicken breasts in the crock pot.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover with salsa.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Remove and shred with a fork. 

Recipes don’t get much easier than this.  Set it and forget it! The chicken was very moist and had a good flavor. Would be wonderful paired with the Mexican chopped salad

Mexican Chopped Salad

1/3 c Italian dressing
½ tsp cumin
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can corn (drained)
½ c chopped red onions

2 avocados (chopped)
2 c cherry tomatoes
1 yellow pepper (chopped)
½ c mexican style shredded cheese

Mix together and serve with chips, lettuce or over rice. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Thin Mint Truffles

When it’s your friends birthday but she doesn’t eat cake and you have a copious amount of girl scout cookies on hand, this is what happens. 

1 box thin mint cookies
1 block cream cheese
12 oz almond bark or semi sweet chocolate

Crush cookies in food processor until small crumbs.  Mix with room temperature cream cheese until well blended. Roll into 1 inch balls and set in fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Melt chocolate in microwave according to directions.  Dip balls into chocolate and set on wax paper.  Store in an air tight container in fridge until ready to eat.  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Monster Cookies

1 1/2 cups creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's plain chocolate candies

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter with the sugars and butter. Use an electric mixer to mix until well combined. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the oats and baking soda. Then stir in the chips and M&M's.

Drop the cookies by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. If you'd like your cookies to look pretty, dot a few extra M&M's and chocolate chips on each mound of dough before baking.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets until cookies are set. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Egg muffins

12 eggs (beaten)
1-2 cups shredded cheese
Diced ham
(You can use any combo of breakfast meats and veggies but this is what we had on hand)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.  In the bottom of the muffin cups layer meat, vegetables and cheese.  You want the muffin cups to be about 2/3 full, with just enough room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients. Break eggs into large measuring bowl, add salt and pepper and beat well.  Pour egg into each muffin cup until it is 3/4 full.  Bake 25 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.

Muffins will keep for a week in the refrigerator without freezing.  Can also be frozen and reheated. For best results, thaw in refrigerator before reheating. Microwave on high about 1 minute if frozen, 15 seconds if fresh from the fridge. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bacon Ranch Chicken Bake

3-­4 Chicken Breasts
6­-8 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing
8-12 Slices Bacon
4 Ounces Cheddar Cheese or Colby Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place your chicken breast in a baking dish.  Spread 1-­2 tablespoons of ranch dressing on each chicken breast.  Wrap with slices of bacon. Bake on top rack for 25­-35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Top with cheese and return to oven for 3-­5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Margarita cake

Vegetable oil spray, for misting the pan
Flour, for dusting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow or lemon cake mix
Half a package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix (4 tablespoons)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup fresh lime or Key lime juice
¼ cup tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
4 large eggs

For the glaze and garnish:
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon tequila
1 tablespoon triple sec
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or Key lime juice
1 lime, cut into thin slices
1 to 2 teaspoons coarse sugar

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12­cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust it with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sugar, water, oil, 1/3 cup lime juice, ¼ cup tequila, 2 tablespoons triple sec, and the lime zest and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 1½ minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. The batter should look smooth and thick. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula, and place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 42 to 47 minutes. Transfer the Bundt pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edges of the cake, shake the pan gently, and invert the cake onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, about 25 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Place the confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon tequila, 1 tablespoon triple sec, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Slide the cake onto a serving plate. Using a long wooden skewer poke 12 to 16 holes in the top of the cake. Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Garnish the cake with the lime slices and a sprinkling of coarse sugar. Let the glaze set for 10 minutes, then slice and serve the cake.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pork roast in the crockpot

3 lb pork roast
3 cups water
1 packet onion soup mix
2 tbsp minced garlic

Set roast in crockpot.  Pour in water.  Top roast with minced garlic and onion soup mix packet.  I threw in some green onions just for fun.  Cook in crockpot on low for 10 hours or until meat reaches 170 degrees. 

This was one of the best roasts I have made in a long time.  It was extremely tender and fell apart when I went to remove it.  The flavor of the garlic and onion soup was a great mix.