Friday, May 28, 2010

Anne's Go-To Meals

Nana's Chicken Pie

Not chicken pot pie, just chicken pie. Think Southern. This is an old family recipe from my friend Melissa Maxwell. It's Scotty's favorite food. I only "go to" this if I want to be impressive.

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 pie crusts

1 ½ c. chicken broth

1 T. flour

4 pats of butter

salt and black pepper

Cook chicken in salted boiling water until done, cut into small pieces.

Line pie plate with bottom crust and add 3 cups chicken, broth, and flour. Top with 4 pats of butter, dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper. Moisten edge of bottom crust and top with 2nd crust, pressing edges together. Cut slits in top crust, then sprinkle generously with butter and flour that have been worked together.

Bake at 350 for 65 minutes.

Never Fail Pie Crust

Makes 2 pie crusts.

3 c. plain flour

1 ¼ c. shortening

1 tsp. salt

1 egg, well beaten

5 T. water

1 T. vinegar

Mix first three ingredients, cutting shortening in with pastry blender. Mix last three ingredients, stir into dry mixture. Mold into a ball. Roll out 2 crusts.

Peggy's Pot Roast

This is an easy and awesome Sunday dinner from Wade's Grandma Peggy (think lots of diamonds).

In a medium-sized crock pot combine:

5 lbish chuck, rump, or pot roast

1 package Lipton Onion

1 package Au Jus

3T balsamic vinegar

2T worcestershire sauce

1 t. dry mustard

Simmer 5-6 hours on high or 8-9 hours on low. Halfway through, cut into meat so it will soften and fall apart.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

A good "compassionate service" meal . . .

1 lb. lean ground beef

1/2 c. rolled oats

1 egg. slightly beaten

1/3 c. chopped onion (or 1/4 c. dehydrated)

1/2 t. salt, pepper

3/4 t. Worcestershire sauce

1/3 c. milk


1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. vinegar

2 t. mustard

1/2 c. barbecue sauce

2 t. Worcestershire

Form into balls and place in 9x13. Cover with sauce. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes at 350. (I take off the foil for the last few minutes and actually cook them a little longer.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Suzanne's 3 go-to meals

1. Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Salad Wrap

-4 cups torn romaine lettuce
- Grilled Chicken breast strips (this recipe calls for the prepacked Southwestern Seasoned Chicken Strips, but I season my own chicken--usually with salt, pepper and celery salt.)
-1 large tomato, chopped
-1 (11oz) can corn, drained
-1/2 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
-1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
-1/4 cup chunky salsa
-8 flour tortillas (I like the ones you cook yourself)

Toss romaine, chicken strips, tomato and corn in a bowl; sprinkle with cheese. Combine dressing and salsa. Pour over romaine mixture; toss to coat. Spoon in to tortillas and enjoy.

My family really likes this recipe and I like it because it is quick. (This is what we are having for dinner tonight!)

2. Grilled Chicken Penne Al Fresco (Sorry, Pam it is kind of similar to yours.)
I like this recipe because most of it is cooked in the microwave.

-4 garlic cloves peeled
-2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
-3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta
-3 cups chicken broth
-3/4 cup dry white wine (I use sprite)
-1/2 tsp of salt and pepper
-11/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves divided. (I have used dry basil before, but have not put in as much)
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
-2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts

Spray a microwave safe dish with Pam/olive oil. Slice garlic and add whole tomatoes. Cover; microwave on high 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes. Crush remaining tomatoes (i use a potatoe smasher). Add pasta, broth, sprite/wine, salt and black pepper.

Return to microwave; cover and microwave on high 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 1o minutes (I had to cook it about 22 minutes last time.) Meanwhile, coarsely chop basil. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish.

Remove from Microwave when noodles are done. Add remaining basil, cheese and chicken; mix well. Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired.

3. Taco-topped Potatoes. It is pretty much taco salad on top of a baked potatoe.

-4 large baking potatoes (bake as you wish--I prefer the oven)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1 garlic clove, pressed
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/8 ground pepper
-1 can tomato sauce
-1/4 cup water
-2 teaspoons chili powder
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 cup shredded cheese
-Ranch dressing

optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, sliced pitted olives, torn romaine lettuce, sour cream, snipped cilantro, sliced green onions, and salsa.

Fry hamburger. Add onion and garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender. Stir in tomato sauce, water, chili powder and cumin.

Serve on top of cooked split potatoes. We like to add lettuce, tomatoes, green onions and ranch dressing.

Have fun cooking. I can't wait to try some of Kate's and Pam's recipes.

I tag Anne!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pam's 3 go-to recipes response.

Nobody die because I'm posting!

1. Penne ala Vodka

We honestly have this at least twice a month because I always have the ingredients on hand, AND it's cheap to prepare. I'll note possible substitutions, but I only recommend them in a bind - the fresh ingredients are just so good. (I got this from the Williams Sonoma cookbook "Pasta".)

  • 5 large tomatoes (you could use 1 can diced tomatoes, and it will still be good, but not as good as fresh)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup vodka (you can use white cooking wine, but if you do get Vodka, it keeps in the freezer forever. And it's always liquid, even in the freezer. We end up using white cooking wine more, because I just don't really have any reason to go to a liquor store except this recipe.)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. penne
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Leaves from 3 or 4 large fresh flat-leaf parsley
    sprigs, coarsely chopped


Peel and seed the tomatoes, then cut them into small dice. If the tomatoes are very juicy, drain them for about 10 minutes in a colander. Set aside.

**to peel seed and dice, score tomatoes on bottom with an x. toss into a pot of boiling water, watch tomatoes and when the skin starts to peel from the 'x', take them out. let them cool, then kind of dig the seeds out through the 'x'. the skin should just slip off.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until just starting to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the stovetop and add the vodka. Return the pan to medium heat and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well and add the pasta to the fry pan.

Add the cream and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the pasta is well coated with the sauce, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour into a warmed large, shallow bowl. Add the parsley and toss briefly. Serve immediately.

#2 Lasagne

This is a recipe Bryan came up with based on some experimentation on his mission in Italy. You know, when he wasn't out preaching the word. It's a "go-to" recipe because I make it once a month, but times the recipe by 1.5. That way I can make two small pans, and freeze one for later in the month. It's easy to make, and tasty. If you do freeze one, you need to thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before baking.

1/2 pound deli shaved ham, diced
1 pack Barilla lasagna noodles, ready bake
4 -6 cups shredded mozzarella. (or buy the fresh log and slice it in thin slices)

Meat mixture: saute 1 onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in 1 TBSP olive oil for 5 minutes. Add 1 lb ground beef (or 1/2 pound beef, 1/2 pound Italian sausage) and brown.

To meat mixture, add
1 can tomato paste (small can)
1 can tomato sauce (small can)
1 can diced tomatos
1/2 tsp each basil, oregano, parsley
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 beef boullion cubes

White sauce, mix:
1 carton ricotta cheese
1 small carton cottage cheese
1 egg, well beaten
1 TBSP parsley
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

red sauce
diced ham
white sauce
mozzarella cheese

try to have 3 layers, topping the last layer with red sauce and mozzarella.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more.

3. Dagwood Sandwiches
I don't know the full deal on these, because on paper they look like something I would hate. But I love them. The recipe is from Bryan's grandma, and Bryan calls them dagwoods. Don't know why.

1 cup diced ham (I buy good deli ham, 1/2 pound, thinly sliced)
1 cup cubed swiss
1/2 cup sour cream
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 TBSP good dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 small can sliced olives

8 good quality sandwich rolls (about six inches each)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl, mixing gently until just combined. Divide mixture among the six rolls, and wrap each sandwich in foil. Bake in a 350 oven for 20 - 25 minutes.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

This is a wonderful recipe from the beloved Pioneer Woman. If you haven't seen her website you should check it out. I got this recipe from her cookbook, which is just beautiful.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
4 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir together and set aside.
2. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Mix with a fork and set aside.
3. Then, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the cocoa and then whisk together to combine.
4. Meanwhile bring 1 cup water to a boil.
5. When the butter is melted, pour the boiling water in the pan. Allow to bubble for a moment, then turn off the heat.
6. Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture.
7. Stir together for a moment to cool the chocolate, then pour in the egg mixture.
8. Stir together until smooth, then pour into an un-greased jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder
6 Tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
2. Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.
3. Add the milk and vanilla.
4. Add powdered sugar, stir together
5. Dump in the chopped pecans and stir until well combined.
6. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, pour the warm icing over the top. You'll want to avoid doing much spreading, so try to distribute it evenly as you pour.

This cake is completely delicious, and it is great for large groups of people. I took this to a church "friendship dinner" with 3 other families and it was plenty for all of us, and I brought home leftovers. Although, I wouldn't recommend bringing home the leftovers. :) I think we all saw how much butter is in this cake. :)

In the meantime...

Kate, those are great recipes, the Mexican Meat-zza is really good (plus, Meat-zza is just a cool word), I tried it a couple of months ago! And I can't wait to try ALL of those burger recipes, they all sound great.
So, since Pammy is busy moving/renovating/having a baby, let's tag SUZANNE in the meantime, since I know she is ready to go with her recipes. Pam, you're still tagged, just take your time with it!
Love you all!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kate's 3 Go-to Meals Tag Response

Okay, here are three of my go-to meals. I realized that I have only put one of them up as a separate post so most of this is new.

1) The Mexican Meat-zza. I love this and I'd rather have it than plain tacos.

2) Some kind of burger with something other than red meat. Here are three varieties

Black Bean Burger: (Makes 8 patties)
1/2 cups prepared salsa
1 jalapeno (optional--sometimes Max and I just put jarred jalapenos on our burgers so it's not too spicy for the kids)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8.5-oz corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy)
2 1/2 and then 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp chili powder

In colander, drain salsa (just let it sit in the sink for a minute). Seed and finely chop half of jalapeno; thinly slice remaining half (if you're using it). In large bowl, mash beans with vegetable masher or fork. Stir in muffin mix, drained salsa, 2 1/2 tsp of chili powder. Shape into 8 patties. In 12-inch skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over meduim-high heat. Add four bean mixture patties to skillet. Cook 3 minutes each side until browned. Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining oil and bean mixture. In a bowl, combine sour cream and 1/2 tsp chili powder to spread on the buns. The you can top the burgers with anything you want--more salsa, lettuce, tomato, cheese (I like it with cheese), the sliced jalapeno and definitely Cholula!

Curried Turkey Burgers: (Makes 4 patties) (I know this maybe sounds weird, but even my kids love these)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp curry powder
1 lb ground turkey breast
1/4 tsp salt
2 oz feta cheese with basil and tomato, crumbled
4 Greek pita flatbread or burger buns (I like to use wheat burger buns)

Heat broiler. Stir together mayonnaise and curry; set aside. Combine turkey, 2 Tbsp of curry mayonnaise, feta, and 1/4 tsp salt. Shape into four 1/2 thick patties. Broil 4 inches from heat 11-13 minutes, turning once. Spread remaining curry-mayonnaise on flatbread or patties. Top with red onion, spinach and more feta.

Salmon Burgers--(not a real recipe, just something I threw together based on a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens)
2 6-oz pkgs precooked salmon or about about 12-14 oz cooked salmon fillet
1/3-1/2 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp snipped fresh dill (or I've used dry dill--probably just 1 Tbsp or less though)
chopped chives or green onions to taste
(you can also add leftover mashed up potatoes with a little sour cream too if you have it)

Mix all ingredients and form into 6-8 patties (about 3.5 inches wide). Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Cook cakes over medium-high heat 3-4 minutes each side--the salmon is already cooked so your really just heating them through and browning them. Serve on hamburger buns with lettuce and honey-dijon salad dressing.

3. Chicken Enchilada

2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
2 cans mushrooms (4 oz) (optional)
1 can chopped green chilies
1/3 C minced onions, sautéed in a little oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 lb cheese
1/2 C sour cream

Combine ingredients, leaving a little cheese aside.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 C sour cream

Lightly smear glass baking pan with soup/sour cream mixture. Place about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture into flour tortillas. Roll and place tortillas in pan. Cover with remaining soup/sour cream mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 450º for 10-15 mintues.

Oh, yeah....I tag Pam

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ok, how about this.

I am in a bit of a rut. I need some good meal ideas. Let's play a game. We'll call it "Hungry Tag". Here's how it works. I'm going to post my top 3 meals (the top 3 things that I usually make for dinners) including recipe. Unless of course it doesn't really have a recipe like, say, tacos, or spaghetti or something. And then you get to tag someone else. You know how tag works, right, I tag you, and then you have to do it or you mess up the whole game. (love you)
Here's my top 3 in no particular order (except for maybe #1).

1. Curried Chicken with Carrots and Lime This meal is hands down my favorite. Only a few ingredients, minimal prep, and a delicious meal to show for it. My family loves it, too.

2. Homemade Pizza. This is a great dinner, because it's yummy, and my kids(and hubby) have fun topping it how they want to. I've been using Kate's pizza dough recipe here and most times I'll use store bought sauce.

3. Some Kind of slow cooker burrito/tacos. I love the Cafe Rio Pork recipe, actually, do any of you have a version that you think is pretty authentic? I don't love the version I have... Or I also love doing these slow cooker chicken tacos. Of course both of these things need to be served with all of the yummy fixin's... cilantro, tortillas, salsa, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes...

I tag....KATE.