Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ranch Roasted Baby Potatoes

Delicious and extremely simple to make.  Serve with any meat main dish!

Ranch Roasted Baby Potatoes

2 to 3 pounds of baby potatoes, quartered
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
1/4 cup canola oil

Place potatoes in large plastic bag.  Add oil and toss to coat.  Add dressing mixx and toss again to coat.  Bake on an ungreased baking pan at 450 for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Meatloaf

My family are what you would call 'meatloaf connoisseurs'.   I have made different variations of meatloaf over the years and I always come back to the same old one in my Betty Crocker cookbook.  This is the other one they will eat.  My Betty Crocker recipe is better but this is kind of a nice change if you feel the need.  Of course we always dump ketchup on top of our meatloaf after we smash it down on the plate, so that covers up any iniquities the dish may have.  I served it tonight with Ranch Roasted Baby Potatoes

Cheese Meatloaf

1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 pounds hamburger
1 cup oatmeal (or 3/4 cups breadcrumbs)
2 eggs
2-3 inch slice of Velveeta

Combine 1/2 cup of the soup, hamburger, oatmeal and eggs in a bowl.  Dump in a greased 2-quart dish and bake covered 1 hour at 375.  When the hour is almost up, in a sauce pan combine the rest of the soup, a little bit of milk mixed in the soup can to scrape out the rest and the velveeta.  Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.  Drain the fat from the meatloaf and top with the soup/cheese mixture.  Bake 15 more minutes uncovered.

Smash on your plate and smother with ketchup.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

I have seen recipes for this dish in many magazines.  Mostly Southern magazines.  I have wanted to try it for a long time and since I decided to go through my recipe binder I figured now would be a good time.  It was good.  Not fabulous, but I wouldn't throw the recipe away.  Hogan said it was good cuz you didn't even taste the tomatoes.  Chris said he would eat it again, but it wasn't a favorite.  It has a different taste, but I think it had a nice soft mexican chicken flavor.  So - try it if you'd like!  The recipe calls for a whole chicken.  I didn't have one so I used 5 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, but I bet it would be delicious with a rotisserie chicken!  This is a nice recipe to make with your kids.  Ava was dumping the ingredients into the tomato-soup mixture and then she cut up the tortillas with a pizza cutter and helped me assemble. 

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

1 4.5 to 5-lb whole chicken
2 celery ribs, cut into 3 pieces
2 carrots, cut into 3 pieces
3 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 10-oz cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained (I used one can of regular diced tomatoes and one can of the diced tomatoes with green chiles)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
12 6-inch corn tortillas cut into 1/2-inch strips

If the chicken has giblets, remove them then rinse the chicken.
Place chicken, celery, carrots and salt in a large dutch oven with water to cover.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low.  Cover and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is done.  Remove from heat and remove chicken from broth and cool 30 minutes.  Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid and save or throw out what is left in the pan, including the veggies.
Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter in a large skillet then add onion, green pepper and garlic and saute about 5 minutes.  Stir in the reserved 3/4 cup broth, soups, tomatoes and spices.  Simmer and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes.
Skin and bone the chicken and shred the meat.  Layer 1/2 the chicken into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan then top with half of soup mixture and 1 cup of cheddar cheese.  Put a layer of the tortilla strips on top of those layers.  Repeat layers once more and top with the last 1 cup of cheese.
Bake covered for an hour and let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Be sure to use a serrated knife to cut it because of the tortilla strips.

*note - since I didn't use the whole chicken and just used the chicken breasts instead - I still cooked it with the veggies and salt and water, but I didn't cover the chicken with water - it was not quite level with all the stuff inside my pot.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Yum Yum Hotdish

You're going to take one look at the ingredients for this recipe and probably think like many have.  That's quite a strange combination.  Trust me when I say - it's delicious.  It came from my Grandma.  It has to be good.  She made it for my dad, his brother and sister growing up and my mom made it for us kids and now my siblings and I make it for our own families.  It's one of my kid's favorites, but then again, my kids have quite a few of those.  It's really best served over top of a baked potato.  Smash it all together.  I dare you not to enjoy it!

Yum Yum Hotdish

1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 can cream corn
1 can spaghettios
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can of milk (pour the milk in your mushroom soup can and scrape the sides to get as much out of the can as you're able)
1/2 pound Velveeta, diced

Preheat oven to 350.  Brown hamburger with minced onion in a large pot.  Add the rest of ingredients and stir.  Bake covered for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

*note, Velveeta really is the best cheese to use in here, I have used the American Brick cheese, and it just doesn't add the flavor Velveeta does

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I am subscribed to the Evil Shenanigans blog and she posted this super delicious cookie recipe quite some time ago.  I printed it and put it in The Almighty Binder for safekeeping when I was ready to make them.  When the guys got going in the field for wheat harvest I went on a cookie & bar making kick so I would have treats to take out to the field with supper.  I had already made chocolate chip cookies and then ran across this and I just happened to have all the ingredients to make it.  Bonus!  So I whipped up a batch, threw some in the freezer and put some in a container for treats.  Big hit.  I've given the recipe to people and made another batch yesterday to take to tomorrow's bake sale benefit and everyone has LOVED them.  They are just delicious and especially good warm with a nice glass of milk... maybe a nice after school treat for the kids.  You could throw some jelly in between two cookies, that sounds good.  By the way - this bake sale that is happening tomorrow - Monday, August 29th at 8:30 am at United Valley Bank in Hallock, MN as a benefit for Brian Renstrom who has recently been diagnosed with cancer.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

8 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar (American Crystal Sugar of course)
1/2 cup white sugar (ACS)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 10 to 12-ounce bags peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (I've found parchment paper to work really great for cookies to bake evenly and not crisping up the edges too much)
Cream butter and sugars then add melted chocolate. Blend well then add vanilla, salt and eggs, 1 at a time, and blend well after each egg. Then add flour, cocoa powder and baking soda until all mixed. Blend in peanut butter chips.
Drop with a medium cookie scoop (about a tablespoon or a little more) onto baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Don't overbake or they will be too hard. They might not look done at 10 minutes but they should be. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks.

You can also freeze the dough into cookie dough balls. Just add an extra 2 minutes when baking.

Monkey Muffins

I've had this recipe in my recipe box for quite some time and haven't ever made them.  Yesterday I was doing some baking for a bake sale benefit tomorrow and decided I would make a double batch so I could give some for the sale and have some for the family.  They looked good except when they cooled off the centers sank in a bit on some of them, but they taste good.  Very soft and moist inside.  My family enjoyed them and I hope you do also.

Monkey Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in bananas, peanut butter, milk and vanilla.  In another bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt and mix well then blend into creamed mixture until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.  You can sprinkle a little more sugar on the tops before cooking.  Bake at 350 for 20 to 24 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in muffin tin before removing to wire racks.  Makes about 18 muffins.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quidditch Players Pie

I found a recipe online for Quidditch Players Pie a while back and re-vamped it with the ingredients I have on hand.  I thought it was a fun name for Shephard's Pie... which is basically what it is.  My kids really enjoyed this dish and I almost forgot to take a photo until there was only one scoop left in the dish and it didn't last long.  No leftovers tonight!  This is a really great way to use up some of those leftover mashed potatoes that never seem to get eaten once they have gotten put in the fridge.  Enjoy with some Frank's Red Hot sauce - I know we did!

Quidditch Players Pie

1 pound hamburger
1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed veggies (carrots, peas, green beans, corn - or use fresh of whatever you have on hand)
3 tablespoons brown gravy mix (I used the Tone's brand from Sam's Club, but you can buy it in envelopes also I think)
a few dumps of Frank's Red Hot Sauce
up to 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes, or make some fresh!
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
hungarian paprika

Brown the hamburger in a pan and drain grease.  Add the mixed vegetables and cook a little longer until they are softened a bit then add the gravy mix stirring well - add the Frank's Red Hot sauce here if you'd like also.  Just a tablespoon or two for a little extra flavor.  Dump hamburger mixture into a greased 8x8 cassrole pan.  Spread with your leftover mashed potatoes and top with cheese.  Sprinkle paprika over cheese.  Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes uncovered.

When serving on individual plates my kids and I like to pour extra Frank's over top of our helping of the hotdish.  Very delicious and an all-in-one meal everyone will enjoy! 

*Made again on October 3rd, 2012 for my Harry Potter food month.  YUM!

Homemade Cream Soup Mix

This is another recipe that I usually make a big batch of and store in a sealed container in my pantry.  If you use this as a recipe ingredient, just add the dry mix instead of cooking it with the water first.  Usually you don't even have to add the water to the recipe, but sometimes you might.

Cream Soup Mix

2 cups powdered milk
¾ cups cornstarch
¼ cups chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon granules (regular use – chicken)
2 tablespoons minced onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil or marjoram
½ teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container
Recipe makes 3 cups and = 9 cans of soup.

To substitute for one can of soup:
In a 1-quart saucepan, combine 1/3 cup mix and 1 ¼ cups water. Bring to boil stirring occasionally.

Can also be used as a fat free gravy. Thin to consistency you prefer.

Instead of thyme & basil – sub 1 tsp dry mustard & 1 tsp dill weed
Can add up to ¼ tsp garlic powder
Can add a couple of tablespoons dried vegetable flakes
Asparagus Soup – add 1 cup cooked, chopped asparagus
Broccoli Soup – add 1 cup cooked, chopped broccoli
Carrot Soup – add 1 cup cooked, chopped carrots
Celery Soup – add ½ cup sautéed, minced celery
Chicken Soup – add ½ to 1 cup cooked, finely diced chicken
Chicken Herb Soup – add ½ to 1 cup finely diced chicken plus additional herbs to taste – parsley, oregano or marjoram
Creamier Cream Soup – add 1 tbsp butter to any variation
Low Sodium – sub equivalent amt of low sodium bouillon
Mushroom Soup – add ½ cup sautéed, finely chopped mushrooms
Mushroom & Roasted Garlic Soup – add ½ cup finely chopped mushrooms & 1 or 2 roasted garlic cloves
Onion Soup – add ½ cup sautéed, chopped onions
Roasted Garlic Soup – add 2 or 3 roasted garlic cloves
Tomato Potato Soup – add ½ cup diced cooked potato plus ½ cup finely diced, seeded tomato
Tomato Soup – add ½ to 1 cup finely chopped, seeded tomato
Potato Soup – add 1 or 2 tbsp instant mashed potatoes or ½ cup mashed potatoes or cooked diced potatoes
Vegetable Soup – add ¾ cup cooked mixed vegetables

Homemade Dry Onion Soup Mix

I make a triple batch of this and store in my pantry in a good sized tupperware container.  I just leave an old plastic 1/4 cup measuring spoon inside of it for fast measuring.

Dry Onion Soup Mix

¾ cup minced onion
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
4 teaspoons onion powder
¼ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon sugar

Combine & store in an airtight container.

5 Tablespoons = 1 package onion soup mix

Onion Soup
Add one or two tablespoons to 1 cup hot water.

Onion Dip
5 tablespoons onion soup mix
2 cups sour cream
Combine & chill.

Cheeseburger Lasagna

Here's a recipe from The Almighty Binder that I tried recently.  The test subjects were the men during harvest and they all enjoyed it and it was huge hit with my kids.  It was a tad on the salty side, but very delicious.  I could even see adding some chopped up pickles to it!  I was a bit apprehensive trying this because it doesn't call for boiling the noodles, you just put them in dry, but it turned out really good and the noodles weren't gummy.  I just used regular generic brand normal lasagna noodles.

Cheeseburger Lasagna

1 pound ground beef
2 15-oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
2 eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350.
Brown hamburger, remove from heat, drain then add tomato sauce, ketchup, water & soup mix. In a bowl beat the eggs then add cottage cheese and parmesan. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce into an ungreased 9x13 glass pan. Top with 4 uncooked noodles. Top with half cottage cheese mixture and half remaining meat sauce.
Repeat layers then top with shredded cheese. Spray a non-stick sheet of foil with cooking spray on the non-stick side and place on top of pan sprayed side down. Bake at 350 for 1 hour until bubble and noodles can be easily pierced with tip of a sharp knife. Uncover dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Crockpot Pop Roast

I had always made roast with just water and onion soup mix until we went to Iowa for our annual Hattermann family reunion at Chris' Grandma's and she had made this oh so delicious and tender roast with 7-Up!  She said she has used both coke and 7-Up, but if you use 7-Up you get the normal colored gravy whereas if you cook the roast with coke the gravy turns out very dark.  Depends on if you are picky about what your gravy looks like I guess, but the taste is delicious.  I made ths and brought it out to the guys in the field for supper while combining and everyone told me that it was really tender and good.  The next day I made the Crockpot BBQ Beef with the leftovers and that turned out great also.  Sadly I only took one photo while it was in the crockpot and it turned out blurry.

Crockpot Pop Roast

1 or 2 roasts, any kind
1 envelope onion soup mix or 1/4 cup Homemade Dry Onion Soup Mix
1 can pop - coke, 7-up, cherry coke, sprite

If roasts are thawed slow cook all day long on low in a crockpot large enough to hold your roasts.  If they are frozen, cook all day on high in crockpot and turn down to low if needed after about 5 or 6 hours.

When I say all day - I mean about 9am to 5:30pm.  The roast should be so tender after cooking like this all day that you can just lift out large chunks and shred them with a fork to serve.  Use leftovers to make the Crockpot BBQ Beef.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Crockpot BBQ Beef

My sister gave me this recipe for BBQ Beef in the crockpot to use up leftover roast.  Today I finally got a chance to give it a whirl and boy, it was delicious.  When it was cooking this afternoon my hubby smelled it and it said it smelled just like Bullseye Barbecue Sauce, which is his favorite.  He said these sandwiches were really good.  Yesterday I made two Pop Roasts in the crockpot so we could have roast beef with potatoes and corn for supper then I could use the leftovers for BBQ Beef tonight.  I would highly recommend using this homeade sauce instead of the store bought!

BBQ Beef

Sauce Ingredients:
14 oz ketchup
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 tablespoons mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons light brown sugar (American Crystal of course)
10 ounces of Coke (I only had Coke Zero so that's what I used)

*Optional - you can put in a bit of tabasco to add a little spice, but I didn't do this

Put all your sauce ingredients in a 2 or 3 quart crockpot and whisk it so it's all combined.  Dump whatever leftover shredded beef you have into the crockpot and let cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.  I had probably 5 to 6 cups of shredded beef left from my roast and it was about perfect.  If you have only 2 or 3 cups, I would half the sauce recipe and make in a smaller crockpot.

American Crystal Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies

My sister-in-law told me I should use a white plate to bring out the colors in the food.  Who am I to not take that kind of advice?! 
Have you ever made a recipe from the back of a package?  Sometimes they are the best ones out there!  This came from the back of my Crystal Sugar Light Brown Sugar bag and it was worth it.  I doubled the recipe on the bag because why make just one batch of cookies when you can make a double and freeze some for later!  Hence the reason that I have two very large freezers.  These are delicious and a little chewy... just the way a cookie should be.  Don't overbake them or they will end up too crispy.

Peanut Butter Cookies (Courtesy of my American Crystal Sugar package)

2 cups Crystal Sugar Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 375.
Beat brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and egg until fluffy.  Beat in flour and baking soda on low speed.
Use a medium cookie scoop (because why would you shape them with your hands when they have these handy inventions called cookie scoops!!) to scoop out dough from bowl and place them 2 inches apart in ungreased cookie sheets.  Flatten in a crisscross pattern with fork tines dipped in white sugar.
Bake for 6 to 9 minutes, 8 was perfect in my oven, until set.  Let sit on pans for about 4 or 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.  This made about 4 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chewy Oatmeal-Chip Bars

Ooey, gooey goodness.  These are so delicious and there is just a touch of cinnamon & nutmeg that add so much to the taste.  Wonderful smells coming from my oven this afternoon!!  Serve with a glass of milk for a yummy after school snack!

Chewy Oatmeal-Chip Bars

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Dash salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups quick-cooking or old fashioned oats (not instant)
1 12-ounce package chocolate chips

Adjust rack to center position of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil, shiny side up, pressing out as many creases as possible and grease foil. In small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, pressing out any lumps with the back of a spoon.

In large bowl, preferably by hand with a large spoon, cream softened butter, both sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs until creamy. Add mixed dry ingredients and incorporate them. Stir in oats and chips, blending until they are evenly distributed.

Place dough in pan and spread as evenly as possible.

Bake 18 to 23 minutes (at 375) or until golden brown on top.

Cool completely so they don't fall apart, then cut and store in an airtight container.