Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

This is another tried and true delicious meal that my kids always love.  This delicious plate was posted a long time ago and the photo, my oh my, did it need a make over.  I've determined that I have a love/hate relationship with lasagna.  I love the taste, but hate the hassle. Fortunately for me, this lasagna is not only tastalicious, but easy to make.  So it's the perfect meal!  Seriously, look at the cheese all hot and melty running over the edges of the filling and tortillas. good.   

Mexican Lasagna


1 lb. hamburger
1 green pepper, diced
½ cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced (or ¼ tsp garlic powder)
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp salt
10-12 small tortillas (corn or flour)  *For gluten free, use corn tortillas. 
2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican mix)

Optional Toppings:
Green Onion
Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350. Cook hamburger with green pepper, onion and garlic; drain. Add refried beans, tomato sauce, salsa, cumin and salt; simmer 15 minutes. Spoon small amount of meat mixture into 9x13 pan and spread to coat bottom of pan. Top with six tortillas or however many tortillas it takes to make a 1 layer covering over the meat. Top with half of meat mixture; sprinkle with one cups of cheese. Cover with remaining tortillas and meat mixture. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining cheese and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve with lettuce, tomato, cilantro, green onion, and/or sour cream.

Recipe Source:  My SIL Nicole Courtright

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Saturday Swap, This Week's Cravings

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Snickers Surprise Cookies

Oh mylanta!  Not only do these cookies look fantastic, they taste divine!  A snickers bar tucked away all soft and melty-like in a warm, soft peanut butter shell drizzled with smooth and creamy milk chocolate.  Decadent and delicious!  Be sure to have a glass of milk in hand for these babies!

Snickers Surprise Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 (13 oz.) packages Snickers miniatures
powdered sugar (for sprinkling)
melted chocolate (for drizzling)

Combine the butter, peanut butter and sugars using a mixer on medium to low speed until ight and fluffy.  Slowly add eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined.  Then mix in flour, salt, and baking soda.  Cover and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.  Unwrap all the Snickers minis.  Remove dough from fridge.  Divide the dough into tablespoon size pieces and flatten.  Place a Snickers in the center of each piece of dough. Form the dough into a ball around each Snickers.  Place onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on a rack.  Lightly sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar and drizzle melted chocolate over the top.  (For the melted chocolate, I combined about 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 tsp. shortening.  Melted it in the microwave and put it in a plastic sandwich bag.  Then I cut off the corner and drizzled.)

Recipe Source:  My SIL Christina Jenkins

Linked to:  Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, This Week's Cravings, Potluck Sunday, Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits, A Themed Baker's Sunday

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hamburger Stroganoff

Back when I first started this blog, I used to have a quote at the top that said, "If you are what you eat, I'm fast, cheap, and easy."  Well, this recipe fits all those qualities while still being a delicious, comforting, home cooked meal.  Kids love this stuff.  My daughter is going through a phase of severe pickiness, but she pounds down the ol' hamburger strogy.  Plus, it takes about 30 minutes to prepare, sometimes even less.  Ya gotta love that. 

Hamburger Stroganoff

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (8 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces or 4-8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup butter (You can reduce this or leave it out if you are wanting to cut a few calories.)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic or 1 clove garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 soup can water
1 cup sour cream (can be light)
cooked noodles or rice
snipped parsley (optional)

Brown ground beef with onion and mushrooms in the butter until onion is tender.  Stir in flour, salt, garlic, and pepper.  Cook 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in soup and water.  Simmer covered for 10 minutes.  Stir in sour cream; heat through.  Serve over cooked noodles or rice.  Sprinkle with snipped parsley.

Linked to: Frugal Food Thursday , Tasty Tuesday, Saturday Swap

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Macaroon Brownies

Could it get any better than this?  Macaroons combined with brownie and drizzled with a chocolate frosting?   Maybe...but not by much.  When I say these were good, I mean these where GUH-ood!  Wow!  I had to get them out of my house so I would stop eating them.  Bless my mother who sends me all these delicious recipes.  We both have an addiction to coconut and chocolate!  This recipe is the best of both worlds. 

Macaroon Brownies

1 cup butter or margarine softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Macaroon Filling:
1 package flaked coconut (14 ounces)
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, cocoa, cream of tartar; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread half of mixture into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
2. Combine coconut, condensed milk and vanilla; carefully spread over chocolate layer. Top the coconut layer with the remaining chocolate mixture.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
4. For frosting, combine sugar, milk and butter in a saucepan over medium to low heat; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook and stir until marshmallows and chips are melted. Cool until mixture reaches spreading consistency, about 25 minutes. Spread over the cooled brownies. Cut into bars.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Paddy's Day Corned Beef

So my first thought when anyone would mention Corned Beef was...that stuff is Nasty with a capital N.  How many of you think the same thing?  Okay people, 'fess up.  I'd only seen Corned Beef in a can and HELLO, it is a little cat foodish to me.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think I've ever even tried it from the can, but I just had this bad perception of Corned Beef.  Then we made this for the first time last year and oh, how my perceptions have changed.  Now I only have 100 % pure love for this Corned Beef.  In fact, after we made it last year, the hubs and I were dying to eat it again and again and again.  So let me just tell you...throw all perceptions aside and try this. 

St. Paddy's Day Corned Beef

1 Corned beef brisket, flat cut (about 3 lbs.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2-3 Tablespoons mustard
1 head of cabbage
9-10 small red potatoes
1/4 cup butter

Dipping Sauce:
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. horse radish
squirt of mustard

1.  Cover the brisket with water in a kettle. Pour the spice packet in the water. (The corned beef comes with a spice packet.) Boil the brisket for about 4 hours.   When you boil it, be sure to check the water level occasionally.  You may need to add water throughout the 4 hours.  Bring the water to a boil and then you can reduce the heat to medium high so long as it continues to boil.  You can also use a crock pot instead of the kettle if you desire.  Follow the directions above and cook on high for 4 hours.  You probably will not need to add any water if you use the crock pot method. 

2.  After the meat is boiled, preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare a glaze by mixing about 1/2 cup of brown sugar with enough mustard to make a paste. Spread this glaze over the corned beef and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. The glaze will be bubbly.

3.  While the meat is cooking, wash, quarter and core the cabbage.  Cut the cabbage into smaller pieces.  Put the cabbage in a pot of water to boil.  I like to cook the cabbage in the excess water from the cooked meat because it has all the spices and flavors in it.  You can also boil it in fresh water if desired.  The water should come up at least halfway on the cabbage.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until it reaches your desired texture.  Some people like it crispier, some softer. 

4.  After putting the cabbage on to boil, peel off a little bit of skin from around the center of the baby red potatoes with a potato peeler.  (You don't have to do this.  It just makes it look pretty.)  : )  Boil the baby red potatoes for about 10-15 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork. 

5.  When everything is finished, arrange cabbage, potatoes and meat on a platter. Melt the butter in a small bowl and mix with some parsley.  Drizzle this mixture over the vegetables and potatoes (not the meat).  You can use as much or as little as you want.  Feel free to add more butter and even other spices.  *Leave out the butter to make it dairy free. 

6.  Dipping sauce:  Mix together the sour cream, horse radish sauce, and mustard in a small bowl for dipping.  (My husband liked the sauce for variety.  I preferred it the meat plain.  Yes, it was that good!)

7.  Enjoy, devour, make more!

Recipe Source:  Geri Rosequist, a dear family friend

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Creamy Peas with Tarragon

Don't be deceived...the cream is in there.

Sometimes I wonder if I am defeating the purpose of serving a healthy food by adding so many creamy calories to it... but then I taste it, and realize that I added to my purpose rather than defeating it.  That's the case with these peas.  They were so yummy!  They only take 10 minutes to cook.  Holla'!  I don't dress up my veggies every night, but every now and again, it's fun to make a new and tasty side dish in addition to a scrumptious main meal.

Creamy Peas with Tarragon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound frozen peas (3 cups) *Do not thaw the peas
2 teaspoons sugar
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallot, tarragon, and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.  Stir 1/2 cup heavy cream into the skillet and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the peas and sugar.  Cover and cook until the peas are heated through, about 4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Source: The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook 2006

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pastel de Choclo (Chilean corn and meat pie) and a Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the giveaway!  The winner was selected by  And the winner is...Rachel!  Rachel, I will be contacting you for your address to send you your Pillsbury prize package.  Now on to the main dish.

Once upon a time, I lived in Chile.  Southern Chile to be exact where it is cold and the penguins live.  Yes, penguins really do live in Chile.  Let me tell you, I loved Chile!  Besides being beautiful and breathtaking landscape, the Chileans are some of the best people on earth.  My favorite, favorite dish in Chile was this "Pastel de Choclo". is so good.  Plus, it reminds me of one of my favorite places in the world.  The day I left Chile after a year and a half to come back to the states, I stopped by the house of some dear friends.  I walked in to see a surprise feast of Pastel de Choclo made by the wonderful Olga.  I definitely left Chile with some additional baggage as in 20 lbs. worth stuck to my body!

I made this for the first time for my hubs and kids.  I cannot believe I have not made this before for my family!  What was I thinking?  So this dish includes beef and chicken....and eggs.....and raisins....and olives.....and a corn crust....all topped off with powdered sugar.  Crazy?  Maybe.  Delicious!  Yes!!!  So this recipe includes the most traditional Chilean way of making this by adding all of the above, of course.  But if there is any ingredient you don't particularly like, you can leave it out.  The essentials are the meat mixture, the corn puree topping, and the powdered sugar.  The other stuff (eggs, raisins, olives, and chicken, can you believe you mix that in one dish?) really, really adds flavor though.  Seriously, you'd be surprised.  Now without further blah, blah, blah from me, I present to you my favorite, most beloved Chilean dish...Pastel de Choclo.

Pastel de Choclo Chilean Style

Meat Filling:
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water or beef broth
1 Tablespoon flour (for gluten free, use rice flour)

Corn Topping:
1 lb. fresh or frozen corn
1/4 cup cornmeal
1-2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
Milk (if needed)

Additional Toppings:
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup raisins
1-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded, cubed, or whole (seasoned with salt, pepper, and ground cumin, to taste)
2-3 Tablespoons powdered sugar (plus, more for sprinkling after)

1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, beef, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and saute.  Cook until the beef is cooked through (about 6-8 minutes).
2.  Pour in the water or stock and bring to a simmer.  Sprinkle flour over the meat mixture and stir in well.  Simmer for another 5-8 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and set aside.
3.  Place the corn, cornmeal, cornstarch, granulated sugar, and basil in a food processor or blender and process until well pureed.  You want these ingredients to form a thick batter.  I didn't need to add milk to mine, but feel free to add milk little by little until you have a formed a thick batter.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
4.  Melt the butter over medium-low heat in the large saucepan.  Add the corn puree and cook, stirring constantly, until well thickened about 5-8 minutes.  Set aside. 
5.  Spread the beef mixture in the bottom of a greased casserole dish (can be an 8x8 or a larger pie dish with tall sides).  Arrange over the beef mixture the hard boiled egg slices, olives, and raisins.  Season the cooked chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.   Spread the chicken over the top of the eggs, olives, and raisins.  Cover that with the cooked corn puree and spread evenly over the dish.  Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the corn topping. 
6.  Set the dish in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top. 

*In Chile, more powdered sugar is served on the side to sprinkle over the "pastel" (cake) as it is eaten.  Trust me, it's good!
*To make this dairy free, just leave out the hard boiled eggs, butter, and don't add any milk.

Here's the inside of this bad boy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

White Chip Orange Dream Cookies

Let me preface this by saying that I don't particularly care for orange peel.  It's just one of those things my taste buds don't find as appealing as others.  So for me to even post this recipe is huge, but I have to say these are some yummy cookies!  The orange flavor is very subtle, yet distinct, and not overpowering.  I'd heard from my family members that these cookies were sooooo good.  So about 3 years later, I finally decided to try them.  They were worth it!  Add a bit of orange food coloring if you want them to reflect the orange delight inside.  I left mine "au naturel".  You'll be dreamin' of more...

White Chip Orange Dream Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
3 tsp. grated orange peel
2 cups (or 12 oz. package) white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar in large mixing bowl until creamy.  Beat in egg and orange peel.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in white morsels.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.  Let stand for two minutes.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies. 

Recipe Source:  My Momma-in-law

Linked to:  Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday


Related Posts with Thumbnails