Saturday, January 30, 2010

Macaroni & Hamburger Casserole

Growing up this was one of my all time favorite recipes to enjoy at my grandma's house. It still is. She makes it when we come over for dinner, when company comes or when I just call and make a request for it.
It's such a simple dish to make and it's perfect for any time of the year. But somehow it just feels like a winter dish - it's very hearty - almost a meal in itself. You don't need to serve a lot with it and actually, I don't serve a side dish with it at all. In all reality, the dish my grandma makes isn't very healthy but I've substituted healthy ingredients for the not so healthy ones.
You Will Need
1 lb ground turkey (i get the 93/7 fat ratio)
1 can tomato paste
1.5 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and begin to brown the meat and boil the noodles.

Mix the can of tomato paste with a can of water.

Combine all three ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Make sure the sauce is distributed evenly.

Put into a casserole dish and place in the oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.

The casserole will be crunchy on the top. Serve with desired side dishes, if any.
I apologize for the quality of this photo, my camera died right after I got this shot and our hunger couldn't wait for me to charge it:-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Breakfast Eggs

This recipe came from an old coworker of mine many years ago. I've changed it and added variations over the years, but it's her basic recipe.
The name of this dish, "Breakfast Eggs" has always sounded so weird to me, but this is what I was told it's called and I've never questioned it.
Also, this is a dish that might not sound good by reading it but I promise you, it's super good! I like to make it on lazy Sundays for brunch, or even for dinner on a weeknight when I'm craving some breakfast foods!
You Will Need
6 pieces of white bread (or your bread of choice)
6 large eggs
shredded cheese (your preferred variety)
breakfast meat of choice
6 pats* of butter
You will notice that there is sausage in this picture. I overcooked the sausage and didn't use it in the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Place your pieces of bread flat in a 9x13 casserole dish. You might have to squeeze them in, but they'll fit.

Scramble your eggs. Make sure they are well mixed.

Pour the eggs over the white bread evenly.
*I forgot to take a picture of this, but add the butter now!*

Add the cheese. You will notice I didn't state a measurement for the cheese. That is because I just shake the bag and when it looks good to me, I stop. They are really very few occasions in life where you can add too much cheese.

Stick it in the oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes**.

It should look similar to this. The bread should be slightly crisp on the edges and you will need to make sure the egg is fully cooked and the cheese is properly melted throughout.

Since I ruined the sausage, I made the dish sans meat and had some kielbasa on the side.

*The word "pats" always seems funny to me in relation to cooking, but it's literally just a little slice of butter.

**Oven cooking times will vary.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Country Store Apple Cider

I was born in Maryland; on the Patuxent River Naval Base to be exact. My daddy was in the Marines and we were stationed there until I was 3 years old.
There was a Christmas Country store in Maryland that my mom and grandma would always go to, and they served light refreshments including apple cider there.

I've had a lot of apple cider over the year and nothing compares to this recipe. It's the actual recipe the store used and a Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition in my family. You can fix it on the stove or in a crock pot, but we've always made it in the crock pot because it's just easy. You can keep it in there during parties and the guests can just serve themselves out of it!
I asked my mom if I could please share her recipe and she consented, but she did mention that she had to pay the store to get the recipe herself! When I asked how much, concerned that I was about to give away some deep, expensive secret she replied very nonchalantly, "Oh, $.25 or $.50..."

We'll just go ahead and let y'all have it for free! Ha!

It's great to be served at a holiday party or just on a regular day to warm you up inside.

You Will Need
One gallon of apple juice
1/2 of a lime
1/2 of a lemon
12 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Put the crockpot on low, as this can stay in all day long and you do not want it to boil or get too hot.

Dump in the apple juice and then do the following:
1. Slice the lemon and limes and insert the cloves into them like you see in the picture.
2. Insert a cinnamon stick into one and let the other just float.
3. Place the slices in the juice.

Wait for it to heat and then....enjoy!

Such a simply good drink! One variation you could take is to put red hots at the bottom of the crockpot. This will give it an extra spice! I like it both ways!

Pecan Pie

Pie is a Thanksgiving staple. You probably won't find any family feast that doesn't serve at least one type of pie, and each family has their specialty.

In my family, traditionally we've served both pumpkin and chocolate pie. My grandma likes mincemeat pie, but she's the only one so it rarely gets made.

My favorite is pecan pie and up until this year, I've never made one. I was always intimidated by pecan pie. It scared me to attempt to make one because I thought it was some complicated recipe that only master chefs could take on.

Boy, was I wrong! Pecan pie is super easy to make. And fast! And you only need 7 ingredients total! That includes your pie crust!

You Will Need
Oven preheated to 350 degrees
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp vanilla
1 pie crust
You must prebake the pie crust for about 10 minutes before you dump the ingredients in it and let the pie bake. If not, you will have an undercooked crust and you really don't want that! Now, I use a premade crust from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. If you know how to make crust from scratch then more power to you, but pie crust and I have a long unhappy history together! Make sure you poke holes in the bottom with a fork so it doesn't try and bubble up in the pie dish.

Combine all the ingredients except the pecans into a mixing bowl and stir.

You will probably need to work this mixture for about 3 minutes, but whatever you do make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.

Add the pecans and make sure they are thoroughly coated.

Pour the mixture into the pie crust and place it in the oven to bake for about 45 minutes.*

When you pull it out of the oven, it should be golden brown on top. The filling might be slightly soft still, but it will harden as it sets.

Top with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy!

*Oven cooking times vary. Please judge your oven accordingly.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwiches

I love Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki subs. Love them.
I wanted to find a way to make them at my house, but I never could quite figure out the recipe by tasting it - and believe me, I tried a million times.
So, I found the recipe for the sauce online.
All I did was prepare the sauce that I found here. And boy, was I nervous. I didn't want it to be gross. I then cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small strips. They were no more than an inch wide and two inches long. I put them in a bag, poured in HALF of the sauce, poured some teriyaki sauce over it and marinated the whole day.

I had originally intended on getting Whole Wheat hoagie rolls, but I found a coupon for these new "sandwich thins" and so I decided to use them. They are really good - like a flat bread sandwich.
I toasted them in the oven with some provolone cheese.

Added some lettuce,mayo and extra sauce and was done!

Actually, I didn't put lettuce on mine. But I did have SunChips!

Homemade Popsicles

Homemade Popsicles are so easy and you really don't even need to buy those Popsicle molds that are on the market today. All you really need is what I have below.
You Will Need
Ice Cube Tray
Drink of your choice

Start by preparing the drink mix as usual. This is Pink Lemonade.

Pour the drink mix into the ice cube tray.

Get them all full to the top.

Cover with foil.

This picture isn't very clear because the lighting was bad, but what you need to do next is stick the toothpicks in each cube holder. You can make sure of where you are sticking it by peeling up the foil and looking to see where the partitions are in the tray.
You will then stick the tray in the freezer and wait.
And wait.
And wait.
My freezer takes about 3 hours to fully freeze the pops.
When you take the tray out, carefully remove the foil so none sticks to the Popsicle.
Crack the tray as if you were just removing ice cubes and carefully dislodge the Popsicle.
Here is your finished product. Yes, they are small, but they are the perfect size for small children and they are sugar free and preservative free so you can have as many as you like!

You can use any kind of liquid you want in these Popsicles. Orange juice, grape juice, any drink mix - the possibilities are endless.
Also, you could skip the toothpicks and just make, for instance raspberry lemonade ice cubes and drop them in your Sprite [or whatever you drink] for extra flavoring!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shrimp and Chicken Fried Rice

I didn't post the Spaghetti recipe from the other day, because well - it's spaghetti. And there is nothing special about it.

Here is the Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice recipe, though.

Usually, in restaurants the dish comes with either chicken or shrimp, but I like both so I make it with both!

You Will Need

3c cooked brown rice

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 bag mini cooked shrimp

1/2c water

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 eggs

2tbsp chopped green onion

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures because it was prepared for me before I got home, but I thought I would post the recipe anyway!

Cook your chicken. I just bake it and then cut it into very small pieces. Like no bigger than an inch pieces. This can be done the night before if you are trying to save time when you get home from work.





In a skillet or wok, sautee the onion. I use a little bit of EVOO.




Add the eggs and scramble them.

Add the shrimp, chicken, rice. Make sure the rice grains all separate from one another.

Add the soy sauce and sautee until it's all mixed in.

This dish should serve about 6 people. Or 4 with leftovers.

Or 2 or 1 with leftovers for that matter!