Friday, January 29, 2010

Barbecue Meatballs

I hope you are not getting tired of meatball recipes.  This is another way of cooking the basic meatball.  I actually doubled the meatball recipe, planning on freezing half.  My family enjoyed this dish so much that I ended up using all of the meatballs with nothing left over.  Needless to say it was a huge hit at our house.
Barbecue Meatballs
Make a batch of meatballs. You can find my favorite recipe here.
Place meatballs in the bottom of a 9 x13 casserole dish and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and drain grease.
In a saucepan combine the following ingredients:
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional: I just love the flavor)
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke (I did not have this and it was not missed.)
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 minutes. Pour over the meatballs.  You may need to stir a bit to get them meatballs covered in the sauce.
Return to oven and bake 10-12 more minutes.
Serve!!

Check out other great recipes at Foodie Friday and Recipe Swap.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chinese Hamburger Casserole

A few days ago I needed something easy and quick for dinner when I thought of this recipe.  I actually put it together the night before and put it in the refrigerator.  It made dinner the next day so easy.  I love that you actually just throw everything together and don't have to worry about cooking the rice. 

Chinese Hamburger Casserole
1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups water
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 medium can Chinese noodles
Brown hamburger and onion. Drain and place in a casserole dish. Mix in soups, rice, celery, water, and soy sauce.  Bake covered at 350 degrees fro 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle noodles on top of casserole and bake 10 more minutes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ham & Bean Chowder

I am proud to say I took full advantage of the ham I cooked last week and used every bit of it; including the ham bone.  I got this recipe from my good friend Katie.  She made it for a contest at her husband's work one year.  She had me come and taste it before she took it. I was instantly hooked and of course her soup won!! I believe she has won the last several years in a row with different recipes.  Perhaps, I should get her to share all her prize winners with us!!
I did find a great kitchen tip.  My ham bone was pretty fatty, so there was quite a bit of fat on top of my soup.  I found that if you add a few lettuce leaves to the top it will soak up the fat.  Then you just remove them and the fat will go with them.  It worked pretty well.


Ham & Bean Chowder
3 cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter
1 meaty ham bone
2 cups ham broth (If you don't have the ham broth, use chicken.)
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Place ham bone in crock pot.  Add all ingredients except the milk and cheese.  Stir. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Turn to low and cook about 2 more hours. (Or cook on low for 6-8 hours). Remove ham bone, cloves and bay leaves.  Take meat from the bone,shred into small pieces and return to the soup.  Stir in milk and cheese.  Cook on low until it is heated through.  Add cheese and stir until it is melted.  I served it with Crusty French Bread.

*Stove Top Directions: Saute onions, celery, and garlic in butter until tender. Add other ingredients except milk and cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for two hours.  Then follow above directions.
*The original recipe calls for 1 lb dried great nothern bean, cooked. (I was not thinking enough ahead of time, so used the canned instead.)

Here's what I did with my ham:

Ham, easy sour cream potatoes, salad and rolls.

Ham Fried Rice




Ham & Bean Chowder



Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (In the freezer) It was cooked on Sunday!
and I froze two small bags of cut up ham for future use.

Check out some great Crock Pot recipes over at Dining With Debbie.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shortbread Squares

I received this recipe a long time ago.  It was served at some function that I did not attend and everyone raved over it.  So of course I wanted to try it..so the big question is why did it take me so long??  I pulled it out yesterday when my husband told me he needed some dessert but did not know what he wanted.  (He had fed the kids and cleaned the kitchen up before I got home. So I could not resist.)  It was very tasty!! It is a combination of  shortbread with a chewy caramel filling and topped off with cream cheese frosting.

Shortbread Squares
Cream:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

It will be crumbly.
Pat into a cookie sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Until it is firm but not brown. (I cooked it 12 minutes.)
Beat together:
4 eggs
4 Tablespoons flour
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
Add:
1 cup chopped nuts ( I used slivered almonds)*Optional
7 oz. flaked coconut
Pour over shortbread layer.  Bake 25 minutes at 300 degrees.
Let cool and frost.
Icing:
1/2 cup butter
4 oz. cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

My husband ate one for breakfast the next morning along with his banana....I think they were even better the next day!!

Check out other great recipes at Tuesdays at the Table and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday and Am I a Freak??

Friday I made my way in to the local Goodwill.  I find it fun to see what I can find.  In the book section near the floor I discovered this:

So of course I was intrigued..  It was darling.

A cute way to organize recipes.
Then I found what really had my attention.....

It was filled with handwritten recipes.... So for this reason I paid the $3 (a deal!!) and walked out with this.
Now the question I ask, Does this make me a FREAK
that I purchased this item because of the handwritten recipes?? That this type of thing fascinates me?
I haven't had the chance to really go through and check the recipes out yet.  I'll let you know if I find anything good!!  Now on to this week's menu.  I actually got feedback this week when I asked the family what they wanted to eat.. My hubby wanted: hamburgers, hotdogs, chili dogs, fried chicken, chicken cacciatore and spaghetti. Yeah RIGHT!!  Even if I would make all those things the problem is that I am trying to make things without going to the grocery store. Since it is the first time he's given me any help on this I tried to accomodate his requests the best I could.

This Week's Menu
Monday: BBQ Meatballs
Tuesday: Baked Chicken
Wednesday: Hamburger Patties (baked with a hidden surprise!)
Thursday: Chicken Cacciatore
Friday: Finger Steaks
Saturday: Burritos
Hopefully this will make both the hubby and budget happy!!
Check out what others are cooking this week at Menu Plan Monday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

When I made my menu this week I believed the recipe I found was for Mexican Lasagna, but when looking closer it was for Mexican Meatloaf.. I was not feeling that so I created my own recipe.  The kids liked it and my husband took it for lunch the next day and he said, "That stuff you made last night, whatever you call it, was pretty good! A man of few words, but I guess I will take that as a compliment.

Mexican Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 package taco seasoning mix
¾ cup water
1 cup salsa
½ cup sour cream
1 can olives, chopped
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 soft flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese
¼ to ½ cup chopped tomatoes
Lettuce (optional)
Cook beef, onion and garlic until beef is brown; drain
Stir in water, taco seasoning, salsa, kidney beans, and ¼ cup olives.
Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stir in sour cream. 

Place two tortilla on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Cover with 1/3 of the meat sauce, sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Top with 2 tortillas, 1/3 meat sauce and 1/2 cup cheese.  Repeat layer on more time topping with 1 cup cheese.

Bake  covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Take off cover and cook 10 more minutes.

Top with remaining olives, tomatoes.
Garnish each serving with sour cream and lettuce.

*You can use 1 package of crisp taco shells, broken instead of the soft tortillas.

Check out some great recipes over at Foodie Friday and Recipe Swap.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Easy Sour Cream Potatoes

This is a great, quick potato dish.  It can be made ahead of time and is a great dish to take to pot lucks or other dinner functions.  This recipe is known by my family as "funeral potatoes"!!  I believe it is because when my mom was in charge of the after funeral luncheons she would make this to take quite often.


Easy Sour Cream Potatoes
1 (2 lb.) bag chunky hashbrowns
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 -2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup*
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups crushed corn flakes mixed with 1/4 cup melted butter
*you can substitute cream of chicken soup for the cream of mushroom. Use which ever you prefer. It is good with either.

Mix all ingredients except the corn flakes in a large bowl.  Place into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.

Top with corn flake butter mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crock Pot Swiss Steak

I used to make Swiss Steak a lot when I first got married.  Then I decided that I liked Salisbury Steak better and had not made Swissl Steak in a long time. My husband informed me he likes the Swiss Steak better so when I found round steaks on sale last week I decided to pull out the old recipe and give it a try or better yet just try to make something that would make my hubby happy!!


Crock Pot Swiss Steak
1 1/2 - 2  pounds round steak
2 (15 oz can) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced onions
1 package onion soup mix
1 package brown gravy mix

Place all ingredients in the crock pot and stir to mix.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until meat is cooked through.  (You can brown the meat first if desired, but not necessary. )

Verdict: Everyone really liked it. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cookie Dough Brownies

This recipe contains two of my favorites: chocolate and cookie dough.  After tasting some very delicious cookie dough truffles at Christmas I could not wait to try this recipe out.  
Cookie Dough Brownies
1 box brownie mix; make and bake following the directions on the box.
Allow brownies to cool completely.
Cookie Dough Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in milk and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour.  Spread over the brownies; chill until firm.
Glaze:
1 cup chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Melt chocolate chips and oil in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Spread over filling. 
Optional: add chopped nuts or toffee bits on the top.
Chill long enough for the glaze to set up.

*I believe the original recipe came from a Taste of Home Magazine.

This recipe is linked with Tuesdays at the Table and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

You will notice I have included a lot of ham meals this week.  I cooked a big ham yesterday and since the grocery budget is low I am going to try to keep my grocery shopping to a bare minimum.  I hopefully can freeze a little of the ham for later uses also.
Coming up this week a recipe for cookie dough brownies. They were yummy!!


Monday: Mexican Lasagna
Tuesday: Ham Fried Rice
Wednesday: Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Thursday: Ham & Beans or Ham Chowder
Friday: Picnic Night
Saturday: Kid's night to cook.

Check out what others are cooking this week at The Organizing Junkie.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Simply Caramel Rolls

This is a quick and delicious tasting version of the carmel rolls that you make the night before with the frozen rolls but even better. There is no wait.  You make them and immediately bake them. You don't have to worry that you forgot to make it the night before. No thawing and no sitting overnight in the fridge. I got this recipe from my Auntie "K".  She is the dough queen!  The caramel sauce is so good!  My kids love this.

Simply Caramel Rolls
3 packages of refrigerated biscuits (the tubes)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
Open biscuits and cut each in half.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together.  Dip each half biscuit in sugar mixture and put on edge in a greased bundt pan.


Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture over the rolls.
Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cube butter
Place in a saucepan. Melt ingredients on medium to medium high heat. Just bring to a boil and take off heat.
Add:
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream. 
Stir until ice cream is melted and mixed in.
Pour over top of the rolls.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Dump upside down on to a platter. Enjoy!!

Check out some beautiful pictures and delicious recipes at Foodie Friday and Recipe Swap.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hawaiian Haystacks

This is an old recipe that probably everyone has their own version of.  I got this one from my Aunt Linda.  She served it one New Years.  You know it must have been good since I actually remember when I first had it. She is another amazing cook!  So I am going to share with you the McNee version of this recipe. This is another favorite of my kids.
Hawaiian Haystacks
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cup chicken broth or 1 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp. chicken boullion.
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
4 cups cooked rice
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
2-3 tomatoes, choppped
1 can chow mein noodles (I buy the bag it is cheaper.)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
Combine soup and broth in a medium saucepan to make the gravy. You might need to wisk it a little to get it smooth. Add chicken and simmer about 10 minutes.  To serve layer: rice, chicken gravy, cheeese, celery, noodles, tomatoes, pineapple and almonds if desired.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is one of my family's favorite casserole. I used to add double the crackers and butter, until one day my husband informed me (after serving it numerous times like that) he did not like all the crackers.  It made it too rich.  Over time I have compromised with him and added 1 1/2 cracker mixture (this is the amount I included in the following recipe).  You could add shredded hashbrowns at the bottom or mix in broccoli for a complete meal.


Poppy Seed Chicken
2 cups cooked chicken (diced or shredded).
1 1/2 packets Ritz crackers
1 Tablespoon poppy seed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup butter melted
Combine chicken with soup and sour cream. Crush crackers. Melt butter. Add crushed crackers and poppy seeds to the melted butter.  Mix half the cracker mixture in the chicken. Place in a casserole dish. Spread reamining cracker mix on top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mini-Cheese Stuffed Meatloaves

I decided to try a new twist to the Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf.  I made them into individual loaves and instead of stuffing with shredded mozzarella cheese I used mozzarella cheese sticks or "string cheese" as it is known by at my house.  Let's see if my experiment worked??

Mini-Cheese Stuffed Meatloaves
Use the original recipe for Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf.
Changing the following ingredients:
Substitute 3 mozzarella cheese sticks for the 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella. Cut each stick in half.
Divide meat mixture into 6 parts.
Flatten out a bit and place one half cheese stick in the middle.

(The counter was cleaned and sanitized before I did this!)
Roll meat mixture around the stick. Making sure to seal all ends well.












Place on cookie sheet.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and drain grease.  Place loaves together and pour the remainingg spaghetti sauce on top.  Sprinkle with 1/2 -1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Return to oven and bake 10 more minutes.

The finished product.  It actually turned out really well.  The cheese stayed on the inside and the kids loved having their "own" loaf.  We served it over lightly buttered noodles.
There are a couple of things I will do different next time though:
1. Separate the meat mixture into 7 or 8 loaves.  The loaves were a little big for my kids.
2. Use a 13 x 9  casserole dish to bake in. (That is if the loaves will all fit.) 
 It will make it easier with the sauce.
3. I used light mozzarella sticks and next time will use the real deal.  The light cheese does not melt as well. 
Other than that it was a hit and I will be making it this way again.  MMMMM...I think it would make a great freezer meal.

Check out Tuesdays at the Table and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for other great recipes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I survived Beehive Conference.  It went really well, was lots of fun, but I found myself exhausted when it was all over. I am going to post some pictures on my other blog. We fed around 80.  The highlight for the girls were the dirt pudding cups that I made.  Who would of known??  This week I have got to get caught up on everything!! So here's what is on the menu this week:

Monday: Tacos
Tuesday: Chinese Casserole
Wednesday: Crock Pot Swiss Steak
Thursday:  Picnic Night
Friday: Parmesan Chicken
Saturday: Dad cooks
Sunday: Ham or Roast??

Check out great menus at Menu Plan Monday!

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