Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bolognese

Have you ever heard of Bolognese? It's an Italian meat sauce for pasta, that's all. Nothing too fancy. Typical bolognese is loaded with fat but this one has hidden veggies, is made with turkey, and broth instead of wine. Basically a much healthier version. But still packed with flavor. It's a nice change from regular spaghetti sauce and very filling. My favorite part is the hidden veggies. They really are hidden, I can guarantee that. See, I hate celery (I blame it on eating celery and then getting the flu) and can taste it in everything. But I was brave and added it to this dish. And I couldn't taste it, not even one little bit.

6 ounces of noodles (pick your favorite)1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup tomato paste
1- 28oz can diced tomatoes in juice, packed with oregano and basil, etc.
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup neufchatel (low fat cream cheese)

After chopping up all the veggies, throw them (the onion, carrot, celery and garlic) in a blender or food processor and mince them up. Here is a picture of what mine looked like.
Now cook up the turkey and oil, in a skillet, over medium high heat. I tried to cook it without oil, but then the turkey cooked too fast on the outside but was staying raw in the middle. Make sure you break the turkey into smaller chunks while it's cooking. Cook until browned.

Add the veggies and cook for 5 minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and stir until well combined. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes (in juice), broth, and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce for 40 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the sauce has about 20 minutes left, cook the noodles according the package directions.

Add the neufchatel to the sauce, stirring until it is melted. Serve the sauce over the noodles.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peach Crisp

I'm so ready for spring to really be here. It comes for a day or two and then it snows...again. So I cured my spring blues by making some peach crisp! This dessert is wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. I often whip this together quick when we have unexpected company and find myself in need of a dessert. Everyone loves peach crisp. It is different than cobbler because crisp has a crispy top, whereas cobbler has a cake like top. This is more like an oatmeal cookie on top. When I made this, my niece declared she didn't like oatmeal cookies. But she tried one bite and LOVED, loved, loved this. So it's even kid approved! In the summer, I use fresh peaches, which requires a longer cooking time. But in the winter, I use canned peaches. Both are wonderful. Especially when you are wanting Spring to get here.

6 to 8 fresh peaches, skin removed and sliced or 2 big cans of canned peaches, drained
2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the peaches on the bottom of the pan. If you are using fresh peaches, and they are not very sweet, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar over the peaches. If they are yummy and sweet, you don' t need to do anything.

Mix together the remaining ingredients. I like to mix it using my hands, since you have to get your hands dirty placing the mixture over the peaches anyways. But you can use an electric mixer, just don't over mix. The mixture will be crumbly. Once nicely mixed, don't eat too much, and sprinkle the mixture over the peaches. Bake for 30 minutes for canned peaches, or 1 hour for fresh peaches. You know the peach crisp is done when it's hot and bubbly. Goes great with whip cream or vanilla ice cream!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Funeral Potatoes

These are called Funeral Potatoes (also known as Relief Society Potatoes) because they are commonly served at LDS funerals. Well, not at the actual funeral, but at the family dinner afterwards. However, they are worth eating at any time, and for no special reason other than they are delicious. You can make this using leftover baked potatoes or a bag of frozen hashbrowns. Whatever suits your fancy. They make a great sidedish for dinner, they are perfect for a potluck or that little something extra to impress visitors.

6 medium baked potatoes, grated or 1-32 oz bag of frozen hashbrowns
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
3 chopped green onions
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed corn flakes
2 Tablespoons butter, melte

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

Mix together the potatoes, soup, sour cream, green onions and cheese. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Mix together the corn flakes and butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake for another 20 minutes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Swiss Penne with Ham and Peas

I have a two part story to tell you. It eventually ends in this amazing dinner. So bear with me. I love scalloped potatoes! But after a long day of herding 5 and 6 year olds, I'm not in the mood to slice up the potatoes. Part two, my local grocery store had noodles on sale for only $0.49 a bag!! Don't worry, I totally stocked up. Like filled an entire shelf in my food storage, stocked up. That left me pondering "what am I going to do with all these noodles?" and "I really want scalloped potatoes." There was only one thing left to do - combine them! I was slightly leery at first, but trust me, this recipe is a keeper, please everyone, make often kind of dinner.

6 ounces penne pasta
3 Tablespoons of butter
3 Tablespoons of flour
2 3/4 cups milk (I used fat-free but use higher fat milk if you want it to be creamier)
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) Swiss cheese, shredded
8 ounces of ham, diced
2 cups frozen peas

Cook the penne according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, slowly, until well blended. Cook until slightly thickened, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until completely melted. Add the ham and peas, cook until the peas are hot. Stir in the cooked noodles. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Grocery Store Grab - Sun Dried Tomato Chicken from Campbell's

I originally saw this recipe on the back of a can of soup at my sister's house in Indiana. Sun dried tomatoes and chicken...right up my alley. It took a little searching when I came back home, but I found it! This can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup went from this....

to this! I must admit, the picture on the can makes it look much more delicious. But trust me, your taste buds will be happy, happy, happy after eating this. I totally forgot to buy fresh basil, so I used dried when I made it. It took longer to make this than the can said because my chicken was really thick. So either pound down your chicken or cut the thickness in half.

3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
1 shallot, finely chopped (I omitted this)
1 can (10 3/4oz) Campbell's Condensed 25% Less Sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
4 cups extra wide egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet.

Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir soup, water, tomatoes, vinegar and chopped basil in skillet.

Return chicken to skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken and sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with cheese and sliced basil, if desired.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

 
Here another something fun for St. Patrick's Day!! I posted this recipe almost two years ago. Aren't they super cute!!! I love them, even though they take a little extra time. I found this recipe on the blog "I "heart" cuppycakes". Now, she used a homemade recipe and her batter was thick. So her cupcakes turned out different than mine. Her's just had much more of a rainbow effect. But I still LOVE them! This is the original post. In my head, I was going to have time to make these again this week, and actually have a finish product I remembered to take a picture of. But it's report card time, and Parent Teacher Conferences, so there is no spare time. Not even a to make yummy cupcakes. But I had to repost this recipe. It's so perfect for a fun St. Patrick's day!


Here's what you do:

You can either use a homemade recipe for a white or yellow cake, or make it according to box directions. Since I'm on crutches, I had Brian move everything I needed to the table, and made the batter from a box (I usually always make them from scratch - one day I'll follow the cuppycake recipe and see how they turn out). Once your batter is complete, seperate the batter into six bowls, add food coloring and stir.

Now you drop a small amount into 24 cupcake forms. It takes less than you think so be careful.

Continue with each color. The orange next to red, yellow on top of red, green on top of orange, etc, until all colors are used. I decided to start with red and go to purple, the cuppycake lady started with purple and ended with red. The first time I made them, I only used three colors. That's because it was Janie's birthday and she has three favorite colors. Gotta spoil the birthday girl! Now, bake according to your recipe's directions.

This is what mine looked like out of the oven! The fun thing is every cupcake has a different pattern inside. Now I did ice mine with white icing and rainbow sprinkles but we had to run to the Elder's Quorum party so I forgot to take a picture. Yummy, fun and easy with an extra step!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

For that little green added flair for St. Patrick's day, how about some mint chocolate chip ice cream?? Boo-yah! As you will notice, there are no chocolate chunks in this ice cream. See, growing up in Canada, mint chocolate chip ice cream always had grated chocolate. Which means you get this perfect blend of chocolate and mint in every single bite. And there are no chunks of chocolate that overpower the mint flavor, followed by another bite with no chocolate at all. Trust me, grated chocolate is the way to go.

I bought a giant Hershey's bar, cause it was on sale for one dollar and it left me with some leftover chocolate to nibble on. Oh, yeah. Win-win! Grate it using a regular cheese grater, the big holes, and try not to lick your fingers until you are done grating. Then put it in the freezer immediately, until it's time to add it to the ice cream. I adapted this recipe from Ben and Jerry's ice cream book.

1 Hershey's milk chocolate bar, grated and put in the freezer
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons mint extract
10 drops of green food coloring

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time. After all the sugar has been added, continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the mint extract and blend again.

Pour into your ice cream maker, and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions. Just before the ice cream is done, add the frozen grated chocolate.

I always freeze my ice cream, in the regular freezer,  for several hours after it's done.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

I have never made soda bread before and I've got to say, it is quite tasty. I will be making this again, a lot, to accompany meals. It really has a very different flavor than typical bread. But I loved it. Also, it doesn't need to rise. Just mix it up and bake. Just plan in advance, it needs to cook for an hour our more. It tastes amazing plain but would go great with butter, or jams or even a sandwich. Some people add raisins to their soda bread, but we aren't raisin people at my house. So add your own if you like them, I would say 1/2 cup.

1 egg
2 cups buttermilk (or sour milk - mix 1 3/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup vinegar)
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a bread pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, slightly beat the egg. Add the buttermilk and whip until mix. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just until moistened. Add the melted butter and stir until mixed. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Corned Beef and Cabbage Stew

Ohhhhh...this is so good. Like drink every drop, eat every smorsels, lick the bowl clean good. It has the most amazing flavor and everything practically melts-in-your-mouth. One thing about this stew though, since corned beef is made from tougher meat, it needs to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. However, then your house smells unbelievably delicious and your stomach is dying for dinner. It really is a win-win situation. Yummy, tantalizing smell, melt-in-your mouth deliciousness. Okay, one more thought. When I made this I started with the amount of water I listed below. However, I had to add at least 12 more cups of water as the meat cooked. So, if you have to do that, don't worry. Just add away.

2 to 3 pounds of corned beef
7 cups of water
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1 Tablespoon basil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
12+ baby carrots, cubed (I used 12, add more if you like more)
3 to 4 potatoes, cubed (I left the peel on cause it's yummy)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
6 cups cabbage

Cut the corned beef into bite-sized pieces. Put in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the crushed bouillon and basil. Let the meat simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until very tender.

Add the garlic, carrots, potatoes and onion. Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender. Add the cabbage and cook for just a few more minutes, or until the cabbage is crisp tender.

I am serving this with traditional Irish soda bread (recipe coming tomorrow) so I can get every little tiny smorsel out of the bowl.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

What are you having for dinner this St. Patrick's Day? I always thought I didn't like corned beef, but then I tried it. And...I LOVED it. However, it takes way to long for this working girl to make her own corned beef, so I bought me one. I'm going to turn it into Corned Beef and Cabbage Stew, and serve it with Irish Soda Bread. Then, for a little added green, I'm going to round it off with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream for dessert. Which will be made the Canadian way. What's that you wonder? Well, you'll just have to wait and see. I'll be posting the recipes over the next three days. So stayed tuned!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mini Buttermilk Corn Muffins

I love cornbread! So when I came across this recipe from Bon Appetite, I just had to try it. They said the recipe comes from Chino Farms, which is an amazing farmstand in Rancho Santa Fe, California. They only serve it in the summer when the corn is being harvested. Sounded too good to be true! And I can testify that they are yummy. Different from regular cornbread, I found these to be sweeter, but delicious.

1/2 cup flour
3 Tablespoons yellow cornmeal
3 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from 1 ear of corn)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill (okay, I totally used 1 teaspoon dill weed)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat 16 mini muffin cups with nonstick spray.

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk sour cream, buttermilk, and egg in another medium bowl. Whisk in melted butter. Stir in dry ingredients. Add corn kernels and dill; fold just to incorporate. Divide among prepared muffin cups (about generous 1 Tablespoon per cup.)

Bake mini muffins until puffed and brown around edges, 13 to 15 minutes (tops will not brown.) Cool slightly. Remove muffins from pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ummmm...I love brussel sprouts! When I originally made these, it was crazy because roasted brussel sprouts were popping up on everyone's recipe blogs. Okay, maybe not everyone. But quite a few. However, I'm still posting my own idea on how to make them. It's simple and yet oh-so-delicious. I like to cut the brussel sprouts in half because I feel it gives them more flavor (I know it sounds weird, but there are now more sides to coat to something like that) and more tender. You could totally skip that step if you want. The more brussel sprouts to make, the longer they may need to cook. Mmmm...brussel sprouts.

For every pound of brussel sprouts:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine all the ingredients together making sure they are mixed evenly. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender. I test them by putting a fork through them. If it goes in easily, they are ready. Or just taste one and see what you think.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pretzel Salad

This salad is so yummy! It looks a lot harder to make then it really is. It's just a nice change from a traditional salad. The pretzel crust is divine! This is the kind of side dish you have more of even when you are already full. I posted this last year but the photo was horrible. When I went to add the new picture, I realized I should repost the entire recipe. The picture may have turned people off from making it and I wanted to make sure the picture could speak the deliciousness of the dish. I use to think this was something for special occasions, now I'm going to make it more often.

2 cups crushed pretzels
3 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
8 oz cool whip
2 small boxes of strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
12 oz package frozen strawberries

Combine the pretzels, 3 Tablespoons of sugar and the melted butter. Press into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool completely.

Cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Stir in the pineapple and cool whip. Mix well. Spread over the cooled crust.

Dissolve the jello in the boiling water. Add the frozen strawberries. Let it thicken and then pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve. I have found it's best to make this the day before. The jello layer sets up quickly but the cream cheese layer needs longer to set up.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Breakfast Burritos

I love breakfast burritos for numerous reasons. One, they are yummy! Two, I can use up leftover veggies. Three, they don't ever have to be the same. Change one ingredient, change the entire meal. Four, they are great for breakfast or dinner. And the list goes on. Basically, pull together some veggies, such as peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes - I've even use zucchini - whatever is left in your fridge and needing to be used. When I have had a leftover baked potato, I've grated it up and added it too. Then you need eggs and cheese. And some tortillas. I must say, use the ones that you have to cook yourself. I get them at Costco. They seem to always be in a different place every time I go, but they are so worth it. You will never go back to store bought again. This recipe is enough to make 2 burritos. It's very easy to double or triple, depending on your family size, if you have visitors, etc.

a variety of veggies, diced to equal at least 2/3 a cup, if not more
4 eggs
1/2 cup cheese
2 tortillas

In a skillet, saute the veggies for about 3 minutes or until they are getting tender. I do not use oil for this but if your veggies are sticking a little, add a small amount of water. Or feel free to use oil. Remove the veggies to dish.

Add the eggs and cooked for scrambled. Add the cheese just before the eggs are done. Add the already cooked veggies. Toss and make sure all ingredients are warm/hot.

Divide the egg mixture among the two tortillas. Wrap up and top with more veggies or cheese if you like. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Judy Jello

It's really hard to take a picture of jello. I'm just saying. You will have to trust me on the yum factor of this recipe, rather than go solely on the picture. This is like my fourth attempt at making and getting a good picture. So I give up on the picture taking side. The making side is easy. This is lovingly named after my Mom. She served it at one of the Sandberg Family reunions, cousin Heather fell in love with it, called it Judy Jello and the name has stuck ever since then. It is the easiest way to "spice" up regular jello. I have had this with fresh strawberries and with frozen. Take my word for it, this recipe is a million times better with fresh strawberries. It's still delicious with frozen, but seriously, who wouldn't prefer fresh?

1 large box of strawberry or raspberry jello
1 container of strawberries or raspberries, washed and cut up (you could also use frozen)
8oz tub of Cool Whip, thawed

Make the jello according to the package directions for "Quick set". When you remove the ice cubes, whisk in the Cool Whip until completely mixed and then stir in the fruit. Put the jello in the fridge so it can continue to set.

See, it's super easy and amazingly wonderful!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carribean Jerk Hamburger

Winter has been COLD this year, and spring has started showing herself, so we celebrated by pulling out the grill. It was a great reminder that eventually the snow will melt and warm weather will come. These burgers were so fun to make. I adapted them from another recipe I saw but didn't have the right ingredients for. You can't tell from the picture, but not only is the meat flavored, but the burger was stuffed with cheese. I did mine  with grated cheese, but next time (and what I suggest you do) is put a small block of cheese in. Really though, they just had such a great flavor.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
2 pounds of lean ground beef
4 teaspoons Carribean Jerk seasoning
6 hamburger buns
any toppings you want for your burger (tomato, lettuce, pickles, etc)

Combine the onion and green pepper. Cut the cheese into 6 equal cubes.

Combine the beef and Carribean Jerk seasoning. I like to use my hands because you are going to have to get them all meaty forming patties anyways. So dig in! Once it's nice and mixed, form the meat into 12 equal patties. 

Place a cube of cheese on six of the patties. Place equal amounts of onion and green pepper on the same six patties. Cover each one with another patty, pressing around the edges to seal the burger.

Barbeque them up! Turning once during the cooking time. They took about 15 minutes when we barbequed them.