Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dinner with the Parrys

We tried a new recipe at our house tonight. The kids LOVED it. I don't think I've ever even seen Victoria clean her plate, and she ate two helpings. Tristan ate three helpings. I thought it was a little bland and needed some salt, but that's easily remedied. Best of all it's cheap and fairly healthy. All of the ingredients (excluding spices) came to $9.40. The recipe says that it makes 8 servings, but I thought it was more like 12. This brings the cost to 78 cents per serving. You can't beat that! This dish would also freeze well, or be great for a potluck.

Quesadilla Casserole

You will need:

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (8 3/4 oz.) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can chopped green chiles, undrained
6 flour tortillas (8-inch)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional- I left it out)

1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain.Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chiles; mix well. Stir in all of the spices except red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste, if desired.

2. Spread 1/2 cup pf the beef mixture on bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking dish sprayed with no-stick cooking spray. Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture and cheese.

3. Bake in preheated 350 oven 15 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Molly's Chicken & Dumplings

Healthy? No. Delicious? Definitely. I'm actually making this recipe as I blog about it. It's Richie's favorite. You'll know why when you see how much buttter it calls for. He's been begging me to make it all week, and since he is more than likely heading to the Carolinas for Hurricane Earl, I thought I would ablige. This recipe started out as a found recipe in an Amish cookbook that I bought when we were first married, but I found it bland. Throughout the last five years I've tweeked it. So much so, that I believe that it's become my own. We think it's similar in taste to The Cracker Barrel's dumplings; just far more rustic. Perfect for fall, my favorite season!

3 C flour
6 T butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 C milk
1 big can of chicken broth (49.5 oz.)

As for the chicken, I would suggest 4 pieces pressured in a pressure cooker, any mix of light and dark meat. Whatever you prefer. If you're short on time a cooked store bought whole chicken shredded with two forks works great also.

1. Sift together dry ingredients.
2. Cut in butter and blend with a pastry blender or fork.
3. Add milk and work the dough with your hands. The dough will be very heavy and sticky. This is what you want for a moist dumpling. If you don't like it cut back on the milk and butter.
4. Drop by spoonfuls into boiling chicken broth.
5. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
6. Cover and cook for 10 minutes more.
7. Add shredded chicken and warm through before serving.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Richie's Wicked Awesome State Fair Lemonade

Yes, he named it himself.

What you will need for1-2 people :
32oz. Mason jar and lid
3 lemon halves
3/8 cup sugar (so a 1/4 cup and then another half a 1/4 cup)
Ice & water

I thought this was a really good idea. Richie takes the Mason jar and fills it halfway with ice. He then adds the squeezed lemon juice and sugar. Then he fills it with water, screws on the lid, and shakes. Then you just drink straight out of the Mason jar. Perhaps I'm just easily impressed, but it's fast, and then I can just carry it outside with me. And there isn't a huge pitcher taking up room in my fridge!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I lOvE mE sOmE pAnCaKeS!!

I have a stash of Bisquick recipes that I've "improved upon". There is more to come.

Molly's Pancakes

2 cups Bisquick Mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla (I prefer pure vanilla, because I'm a snob)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Stir all ingredients in a bowl until blended. Pour 1/4 cup portions onto hot greased pan or griddle. Cook until edges are dry and bubbly, then flip. You can add more milk if you prefer a thinner pancake, or if you're adding fruit.

Going without the syrup and topping them with strawberries and sugar is sublime!

I also mix the batter the night before and store in the fridge in a covered container for a super fluffy pancake.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In advance, forgive me.

This is going to be one of those eyeball it kind of recipes I was telling you about. But you won't care once you eat it, because it could in fact be better than sex.

Chicken Fajitas

Two bell peppers (sure why not) whatever color(s) you like, cut into strips
4-6 chicken breasts (sounds good, too. Ya know, depending on size) cut into strips
two cloves of garlic (if you're me...4)
1/2 cup of salsa
1/2 cup water
1 packet onion soup mix
A couple drizzles of olive oil

Drizzle the pan with a little bit of olive oil. Cook the bell pepper a few minutes, and then add the pressed garlic. Then continue to cook the pepper to your liking. Set the pepper aside.

Now drizzle a little more oil so that the chicken doesn't stick and cook the chicken. I add more garlic here. So just do what you like. When the chicken is fully cooked add the bell pepper back in.

Now add the salsa, water, and onion soup mix to the chicken and pepper, and stir. Let it cook a few minutes to thicken.

Add all the fixings and. OH. MY.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A quick tip.

I LOVE garlic mashed potatoes. Actually, I just love garlic. I put it in everything, including scrambled eggs. Well, I was conflicted when making garlic mashed potatoes because I only use fresh pressed garlic when cooking. Sorry, I'm a snob. While I'm snobbing it up I may as well add that I love the Pampered Chef garlic press. A-MAZ-ING. So I didn't want to use garlic powder, and I didn't want to bite into a chunk of raw garlic.

The solution?

Boil two cloves of freshly pressed garlic with the potatoes and then mash to your liking. It's like heaven!

Why did it take me so long to figure this out? Am I the last one to figure this out?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Birthday Cake

In honor of my birthday this Sunday, and because Hillary has once again requested it, I'm posting the best Pineapple upside Down Cake recipe ever. I can't make this without thinking of my Grandpa. It was his favorite, and we had it every year.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1/2 - 3/4 cup walnuts (optional, I don't use them because my nephew is allergic)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple slices, undrained
5 maraschino cherries, drained and halved
1 package yellow cake mix (I use pineapple cake mix)
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
12 oz. Cool Whip, thawed (if you like to top yours)

Preheat oven to 350. Chop nuts (if using them); set aside. Melt butter in a pan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar until well blended. Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set aside. Move butter/ brown sugar mixture to the bottom of a greased or non stick cake pan. Arrange pineapple slices over mixture. Place a cherry half in center of each pineapple slice. Sprinkle with nuts (once again, if you want them). Add enough water to reserved pineapple juice to make1 1/3 cups liquid. In bowl, combine cake mix, liquid, eggs, and oil; whisk until well blended and smooth. Pour over fruit mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove; cool 5 minutes. Carefully loosen edges of cake; invert onto large, heat-safe serving plate. Cool slightly. Serving warm is best in my opinion.

Hope you all love it as much as I do!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Basic White Bread

People ask me for my recipes a lot. The problem is that I don't usually use too many recipes. I'm a lot like the women before me, I just throw things in. I eyeball it. But starting today I am going to make a conscious effort to get some of my recipes commited to paper. This recipe however is a most have for everyone. Not to mention it has been requested by my cousin, Hillary, a few times. Making homemade bread is time consuming, and the first time it is a bit intimidating, but the end result is more than worth it. This recipe is the closest thing that I have found to my Grandma Lovelace's bread. You see I got my ability to just "throw things in" from her. Her recipe went with her when she left us, as far as I know. Nothing warms the home like homemade bread, and people are more than grateful to receive it as a gift (I give it a lot). So here we go. On my maiden cooking blog voyage, I give you bread.

Basic White Bread (Country Wisdom and Know-how: Everything you Need to Know to Live off the Land)

This is for two loaves. If you're going to go to the trouble, you may as well make two loaves, but it can be cut in half.

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons dry yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

6-61/4 cups white flour

1. Heat the milk in a medium size saucepan. Add the butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until dissolved.

2. Stir the yeast into the lukewarm water in a large bowl. Make sure it's dissolved, then set aside to proof for 5 minutes.

3. Add the cooled milk mixture to the proofed yeast. Beat in the flour, 1 cup at a time, then turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead.
**I don't really use the measurement for flour. I go by the feel of the dough. You want the dough to feel just like your earlobe. The humidity of your house will vary each time you make the bread, so the measurement of flour will also.

4. Place in a greased bowl and turn the ball of dough around so it's greased on all sides. Cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
**This is my process for letting bread rise. I boil water and fill a bowl with it and place it in the bottom of the oven (don't heat the oven). Then I cover the bowl containing the dough with a towel and let it rise above the bowl of water in the oven for 45min. - an hour.

5. Punch down the dough, turn it out onto the floured surface again, and knead once more, briefly.

6. Shape the dough into two loaves. Place them in two well greased, large (9 inch) loaf pans. Cover. Let rise once more.
** I do the boiling water in the bowl thing again.

7. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
**I leave the water in an oven safe bowl to bake with the bread during the winter. It makes the bread moist. The air is so dry in the winter.

8. When the loaves have doubled in size, bake for 45 minutes, then remove from the pans and allow to cool.