Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Get ready for a huge, cheesy, comfort-food casserole fit for a crowd.
Fall dinner to me are big crockpot meals and huge casseroles. This one fits the bill. I really love this one because it takes the hassle out of stuffed peppers and just makes a casserole out of it instead. And don't underestimate when I use the word huge - I mean HUGE! This barely fit into my 9x13 baking pan, so get ready for loads of leftovers or split it into two pans to freeze. I haven't done this, but I bet it would be just fine to halve the recipe too, if needed. You'll love this one!

Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casseroleserves 10 - 12
from Five Minutes for Mommy
2 cups cooked rice
1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large green peppers, diced
1/2 cup frozen diced onion
29 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
3 (14 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (14 oz) cans corn, drained
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in a large stock pot, drain, remove from pan and set aside. 
Heat oil in stock pot on medium high heat and add green peppers and onion. 
Saute 5-10 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. 
To stock pot, add tomatoes, sauce, corn, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. 
Stir in rice and ground beef. 
Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. 
Top with shredded cheese. 
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Monkey Bread (Biscuit Cinnamon Roll Bread made in a Bundt Pan)

Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring
(Yvonne says...this is my picture of the one I made!)

2 small tubes refrigerator buttermilk biscuits OR 1 tube Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits (I use Grands Buttermilk Biscuits and cut them into 4ths more like Monkey Bread)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 C. pancake syrup (any brand you like, I used Mrs. Buttersworth)
1/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. chopped pecans, optional
1/4 C. chopped almonds, optional

Spray a fluted pan with non-stick spray. Combine the melted butter and syrup in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts (if desired). Place about half of the syrup mixture in the bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture on top. Lay the biscuits on the bottom of the pan, overlapping edges (closely together) to form a ring. Top with remaining syrup and sugar mixtures. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute in the pan, then invert onto a serving platter and enjoy!

**  Note from the author: I ended up using 1 1/2 tubes of the Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits (1 tube didn't seem like enough) and baked it for about 30 minutes. It needed a bit longer to bake since I used more.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

RumChata Hot Chocolate


1 part RumChata
1 part Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire
Mug of Hot Chocolate

Combine ingredients in a mug and enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ham & Cheese Pinwheel Sandwiches

I found this at Country Cook Website and since I happen to have some pizza dough in the fridge...I just decided to give this one a try this week!

From the original blog:  "They would even work for a Christmas morning breakfast with the thinly-sliced ham and Swiss cheese making a savory alternative (or addition!) to cinnamon rolls. Using prepared pizza dough made it quick and easy after a morning with the cattle. I served the sandwich pinwheels with some fresh grapes for a quick and easy noon meal, but they would be equally tasty on a holiday buffet.

The taste is similar to the "Funeral Sandwiches" made with King's Hawaiian rolls. The sandwiches are marinated in a buttery sauce with both sweet and savory components. And poppy seeds also dress up the appearance - making festive accessories to a holiday appetizer spread.

Enjoy ... whether for lunch, supper, a party or for Christmas morning!"

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

1 can classic-style refrigerated pizza crust in a tube
3/4 lb. thinly-sliced deli ham
12 slices Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12- by 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Unroll the pizza dough onto a cutting board and press into an approximately 13- by 18-inch rectangle. Top with ham slices, then cheese slices. Roll up tightly, like for cinnamon rolls. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so the seam is face down. Cut into 12 slices, each approximately 1 inch wide. Arrange in prepared baking dish.

For glaze, melt butter in a microwavable measuring cup. Stir in remaining ingredients, whisking until all ingredients are well combined. (If you need to, heat a little more in the microwave until the glaze is smooth and all ingredients are combined.) Pour the glaze evenly over the rolls.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. Or bake immediately, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. (Mine took a little longer than that to get brown. Just keep watching them!)

Salad Dressing--Ranch Salad Dressing and Dip

My niece told me about the Heavenly Homemaker Blog and I can't wait to try this recipe.  I do love some Ranch!

Ranch Dressing Mix

5 Tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoon parsley flakes
4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix together and store in an air tight container.

For dressing: Mix 
2 Tablespoons dry mix with 
1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hain Safflower mayo) and 
1 cup buttermilk or sour cream. (I use buttermilk.)

For dip: Mix 
2 Tablespoons dry mix with 
2 cups sour cream or kreme fresh.

Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend nicely.

The jar on the right is the mix, which costs pennies compared to a packaged mix! The jar on the left is the ranch dressing all made up and ready to go on our salad.

The Heavenly Homemaker Blog says:  Rhonda even suggested using this ranch dressing mix in my Ranch Potato Wedges recipe. It works GREAT!

I shall never buy another ranch dressing packet again. Rhonda – you rock!

Salad Dressing--Thousand Island (healthier version)

This comes to me from Heavenly Homemaker Blog via my niece Nicole.  Nicole didn't say that they have tried this one but I do like having Thousand Island Dressing on Burgers a la Big Macs.  ;)

Thousand Island Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise ( I use Hain Safflower)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pickle relish
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1 hard boiled egg, chopped (optional)

Mix ingredients, cover and chill.

Healthier dressings (aka dressings with NO high fructose corn syrup or MSG) to tickle your fancy…

Salad Dressing--Italian

This comes from Heavenly Homemakers Blog via my niece Nicole.  She says the Italian is to DIE for and tastes like an Italian Dressing from a really high end restaurant!  She had me at to DIE for!  ;)

More Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes! Italian and Thousand Island

Italian Dressing Mix

1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried celery flakes

Shake ingredients together and store in a jar. (It doesn’t really have to be a jar…I just really love my jars…)

To make Italian salad dressing: Mix 
2 Tablespoons dry mix with 
1/4 cup vinegar (I prefer red wine vinegar), 
2 teaspoons water and 
1/2 cup olive oil.

You can also use this dry mix (2-4 Tablespoons) to make Italian Roast Wraps!

I like to use Italian Salad Dressing as a marinade for Chicken that I am going to slap on the grill.  Can't wait to give this one a try!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Crockpot Meatballs or Little Smokies with Grape Jelly!!!!

I have had these before and oh Yeeeeuuuuummmmm....Lick the pot yummy!  Swoon!

Cooking Time: 6 hrs in the crockpot
Recipes Makes: 12
Calories: 369 Carbs: 30 Fat: 20 Protein: 26


1 (32oz) jar of Grape Jelly
1-2 (12oz) bottle Chili Sauce or BBQ Sauce (I have made it with KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce)
1 package of Meatballs (26 count) OR 2-4 pkgs (Hillshire Farm) Little Smokies

You can also use your homemade meatballs, throw them in the freezer for about 20 minutes after you roll them up so they'll hold their shape in the Slow Cooker.


Throw it in a CrockPot for 6 hours on LOW ­ or just until everything is heated, Easy! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Funeral Potatoes Casserole (Similar to Ore Ida Hashbrown Casserole)

Pretty much the same as the Ore Ida Hashbrown Casserole but with some extra.  I like to add some meat.  Usually Ham.  
Funeral Potatoes

Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
50 mins
Total time
1 hour 5 mins

A cheesy potato casserole full of melted cheese, sour cream, onions, and garlic with a crunchy top. This is full of amazing flavor and will be the star of the dinner table!

Serves: 12

6 Tablespoons butter, divided
¾ cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (30 ounce) bag of frozen, shredded has brown potatoes, thawed -or- 12 small potatoes parboiled and shredded
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream, or plain greek yogurt
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and firmly packed, divided
1½ cup crushed cornflake cereal or panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized skillet, add 2 Tablespoons butter and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the cooked onions, garlic, hash browns, condensed soup, sour cream, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and 1½ cups cheddar cheese.
Spread into a 9x13 inch baking pan. Top with remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese.
Melt the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter and mix with the crushed cornflake crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cooked throughout and bubbly.

Recipe fromFestive Feasts

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mocha Scrub

1 cup ground coffee
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1.75 ounces of melted cocoa butter

Four 4 ounce sterile jars to store the scrub 
Labels to list ingredients, instructions, and the date you made the scrub.

Begin by combining the coffee with the sugars. 
In this case, there’s no need to worry about the sugar content because the product will be rinsed off, preventing absorption. 
You can sub all organic sugar if you prefer, but the brown sugar lends a depth to the final aroma. 

In a separate bowl, mix the melted cocoa butter with the coconut oil and the grapeseed oil. 
The heat from the cocoa butter should melt the coconut oil. If it does not, warm it gently until it is all liquid. 

Pour this over the powdered exfoliants.

Combine until all of the oils and exfoliants are thoroughly mixed. 
At this point, you can add 8-12 drops of peppermint essential oil for a more invigorating minty mocha scrub if you prefer. 
Mix well.

Package the scrub in 4 ounce containers. 
While glass jars are pretty, keep in mind that this moisture laden scrub is going to be slippery, so plastic containers are safer for gift-giving. Enjoy!

This was from Vintage Remedies

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls

I just found this at Plain Chicken and having decided to fix Crescent Rolls for Thanksgiving this year, I am going to do half of them this looks so good!
Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls - string cheese, butter, garlic seasoning and refrigerated crescent rolls - great with pasta or as an appetizer served with warm pasta sauce!

Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls

  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rollsCheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls - great with pasta or as a snack with warm spaghetti sauce
  • 4 pieces mozzarella string cheese (light is fine)
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp garlic bread seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine melted butter and garlic bread seasoning. Set aside.

Separate crescent dough into 8 rolls. Cut string cheese in half.

Brush half of the butter on top of crescent rolls. Place one half of string cheese on the long end of each crescent roll. Roll up and place on baking sheet. Brush rolls with remaining butter.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until rolls are golden brown.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Peppermint Melt Aways Cookies

Peppermint Melt Aways
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TB Butter, softened
  • 1-2 TB milk
  • ¼ tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 - 3 drops red food color, if desired
  • Candy canes or hard peppermint candy, crushed
  1. In a large bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract. Beat until creamy, scraping down sides of bowl. Add flour and cornstarch; beat on low until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 60 minutes.
  2. Shape rounded tbs of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1-2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.
  3. For glaze, in a small bowl, combine 1½ cups powdered sugar, 2 TB butter, ¼ tsp peppermint extract and milk (enough to reach desired consistency). Mix in for coloring. Drizzle over cooled cookies and sprinkle with crushed candy.
Recipe by Lil' Luna at­melt­aways/

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

One Pot Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Serves: 6
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup rice (I used Basmati)
  • 1 can (10 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chopped onion, garlic and cubed chicken. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until chicken start to brown a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add rice, cream of chicken soup and chicken broth. Start with 2 cups of chicken broth and if more is needed until rice is fully cooked, add more. Cook over medium heat until rice is fully cooked, should take about 15 minutes or so. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  3. Add half the cheese and the broccoli florets and continue cooking for 2 more minutes, until broccoli softens a bit. Sprinkle over the top with remaining cheese and place skillet under broiler for a couple minutes, just until it melts and starts to brown a bit.
Calories: 342 Fat: 1.4g Saturated fat: 6.2g Unsaturated fat: 0.0g Trans fat:0.0g Carbohydrates: 26.2g Sugar: 1.7g Sodium: 733mg Fiber: 1.4gProtein: 23.7g Cholesterol: 65mg

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Menu 7/22-7/24/2015

Thursday 7/23
Green Chile Bacon Quesadilla Burgers

Friday 7/24

Green Chile Bacon Quesadilla Burgers


Found on FB...

*Layer 2 Flour Tortillas with Cheese (I used American, but use your fave)…

*Wrap the cheesy stuffed Tortillas around a fully cooked Burger,

topped with crispy Bacon and piles of Green Chile…

*Grill it up until it's warm and gooey!

Eat it…die and go to Heaven!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Apple Pie Tacos

4 Apples peeled & sliced
½ C Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ C Water
Tortilla’s (flour) 6″ size
Oil (for frying tortillas)
1/2 c sugar-cinnamon mixture
Whipped cream

Place apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water in a sauce pan.
Stir until well blended and cover and cook on medium stirring frequently
For 10 minutes or until apples are semi soft. If needed, thicken sauce using
1 Tbl of cornstarch to 3-4 Tbl of water. Mix into sauce and stir until thickened.

Heat oil on medium heat in a skillet and holding the tortilla folded in half, place the bottom on tortilla in the oil for a few seconds. Then lay it on one side until browned and then place other side down until browned. Remove from oil and Sprinkle browned tortilla with sugar-cinnamon mixture.
Fill taco shells with apple pie filling and top with whipped cream, and sprinkle a little more of sugar-cinnamon mixture on top.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Broccoli & Rice Gratin

Broccoli & Rice Gratin By Lois M on September 13, 2004 at

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 4-6

About This Recipe

Note by recipe author:  "Creamy baked rice and broccoli, an easy delicious side dish or light lunch with a salad and sliced tomatoes! My DD will only eat rice if cooked like this (or chinese) it is really easy, and tastes great! Good re-heated too! I have also used spinach or 1 cup of frozen peas instead of the broccoli. I think this came from a milk calander."

1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 cup long grain rice
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon, zest of

Crumb topping
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 In a large fry pan, melt butter.
Add onion and garlic and cook for 1 min over med heat.
Add thyme, rice, and flour, stirring for 1 minute Pour in chicken broth, stir and bring to a boil, cook for 1 minute Remove from heat.
Stir in broccoli, milk and parm cheese.
Mix well 
pour into a buttered 6 cup casserole dish.
Cover and bake for 35 min or until tender.
Meanwhile, to make crumb topping, toss together all ingredients and set aside.

Remove casserole from oven, stir in lemon zest and sprinkle with crumb topping.
Broil for 1 to 2 min until golden.

Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

This recipe is from EMeals  Walmart Classic Family Plan Feb 5-11, 2014

2 T butter
1 c Chopped Onion
2-6 oz boxes brocolli au gratin rice (see below for Broccoli Au Gratin Rice Recipe)
3 c Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
2 c Chicken Broth
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
8 oz container Sour Cream
8 oz Can Diced Water Chestnuts, drained
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a large skillet over med heat.
Add onion; saute' until tender
Cook rice according to package directions;
Stir into onion mixture in skillet with chicken, broth, soup, sour cream, water chestnuts and pepper.
Spoon into a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake 30 Min or until hot and bubbly.

MY NOTE:  This is really sodium heavy so I changed as follows:
Onion--saute onion til clear
Homemade Brocolli Au Gratin Rice Recipe (see below)
3 c shredded chicken (use your own baked chicken as rotisserie has a lot of sodium)
2 c chicken broth (homemade or low sodium)
10 oz can cream of chicken soup (or make a bechamel with flour and chicken broth and add chicken broth and cook until creamy)
8 oz container sour cream
8 oz can dice water chestnuts, drained (adds a nice crunch!)
1/4 tsp pepper (fresh ground of course!)
MY NOTE:  Adding some Nutritional Yeast to the Bechamel will add protein and a chickeny flavor to it as well

1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 cup long grain rice
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon, zest of

In a large fry pan, melt butter.
Add onion and garlic and cook for 1 min over med heat.
Add thyme, rice, and flour, stirring for 1 minute 
Pour in chicken broth, 
stir and bring to a boil, 
cook for 5-20 min depending on the type of rice used 
Remove from heat.
Stir in broccoli, milk and parm cheese.
Mix well 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

This recipe is from Chow

Total Time: 25 mins, plus draining time

Makes: About 2 cups (16 ounces)


8 cups (half gallon) pasteurizedwhole milk (not ultrapasteurized)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

Why do we assume certain foods are a challenge to make, when really they’re no more difficult to prepare than a pot of coffee? In the time it takes to create a pint of ricotta, you could have gone to and from the grocery store. Ricotta is typically made from whey, the watery byproduct of cheesemaking. But since whey can be difficult to find, we use a combination of whole milk and cream instead. This ricotta is similar to a queso fresco or paneer. It’s delicious baked into a cheesy spread, swirled into pancakes, stuffed into pasta, or just spread on bread with a little salt and olive oil or honey.

Special equipment: You will need a large nonreactive bowl, a fine-mesh strainer, butcher’s twine (optional), ultrafine woven cheesecloth, an instant-read thermometer, and a ladle.

Game plan: For drier ricotta, gather the corners of the cheesecloth and tie it into a sack with butcher’s twine. Tie the free end of the twine to a spatula or spoon handle and suspend it over a tall container with at least 1 inch of clearance from the bottom. Then refrigerate overnight. | by CHOW Food Team


1Line a large fine-mesh strainer with a double layer of ultrafine woven cheesecloth and place over a large nonreactive bowl; set aside.

2 Place milk, cream, and salt in a large saucepan, set over medium heat, and heat until mixture reaches between 175°F and 180°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.

3  Remove from heat and drizzle in vinegar while slowly and gently stirring.
Stop stirring as soon as all of the vinegar has been added. Let mixture sit undisturbed while the milk solids coagulate and float to the surface, leaving the whey underneath, about 20 minutes.

4  Gently ladle the solids into the strainer, leaving as much whey in the saucepan as possible; discard the whey.
Let the ricotta drain, without pressing down on the curds, until most of the liquid has drained, about 1 hour.
5  Remove the ricotta from the cheesecloth and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

This one is dryer and I found it at Epicurious



When creative director Richard Ferretti came to Gourmet two and a half years ago, he brought along a recipe for homemade fresh ricotta. It is more delicate in flavor than any store-bought version and has a lovely dry curd. Some of us make it at home often because it takes just a few minutes of active time. Topped with honey and cinnamon, it's also great for dessert.

YIELD: Makes about 2 cups

2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Special equipment: large sieve, fine-mesh cheesecloth


Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh) cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.

Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator 2 days.

Extra Easy Lasagna

I found this at Cookin at Home.  Note that there is a reader's note at the bottom with a homemade ricotta cheese recipe.  Awesome!

1 pound lean ground beef
4 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup hot water

Cook beef in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Stir in pasta sauce.

Spread one-third of meat sauce in a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish; layer with 3 noodles and half each of ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. (The ricotta cheese layers will be thin.) Repeat procedure; spread remaining one-third of meat sauce over mozzarella cheese. Slowly pour 1/4 cup hot water around inside edge of dish. Tightly cover baking dish with 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Classico Tomato & Basil pasta sauce.

NOTES FROM A READER: I made my own
ricotta cheese (1 gallon of whole milk, bring to 120F, add 1/2 c. white vinegar, wait 20 minutes while it sits undisturbed off of the heat, strain mixture through a cheesecloth, squeeze out excess moisture)
and added Italian seasoning to it along with 2 medium eggs and a generous amount of parmesan cheese. I also used a 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce and blended it until smooth with a large can (16 oz?) of organic tomatoes with basil (drain and drink the juice, yummy). Also, when I cooked the ground beef, I pureed 1 carrot, 1 small onion, and 3 cloves of garlic and cooked the beef in that. My kids are picky about chunks so I have to be creative. This was a real hit and very easy.

Homemade Velveeta Cheese

I found this at  Looks interesting.  I don't use a lot of Velveeta but worth a try!

¼-ounce packet unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 cup boiling water
16 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded

1 _ Line a small loaf pan with plastic wrap, covering all sides and leaving excess to hang over the sides.

2 _ Place the unflavored gelatin and dry milk powder in a blender or food processor (I used my blender). Pour the boiling water over top and immediately pulse to combine. Add the cheddar cheese and puree the mixture until smooth.

3 _ Immediately pour and scrape the cheese mixture into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing it into an even layer with a spatula. Fold the excess plastic wrap over the cheese, pressing it against the surface of the cheese, ensuring that it is completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, until set. The cheese will keep in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
MY NOTE:  This is from Steph at Plain Chicken but I also found one at that looked like the flavor profile was great as well, so I am kind of putting the two together!  The ingredients I am adding from are in red.

From Steph:  This is one of the most popular recipes on and I can see why. This was really quick and easy to make. I cut up the chicken into chunks and sauteed it in olive oil and butter. I used half milk and half whipping cream to cut down on the calories. I also added about a tablespoon of flour to help thicken it up. This was really good and I will be making this again.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips or chunks
4 ounces linguine, cooked al dente (I used whole wheat linguine)
2 tsp cajun seasoning
2 Tbsp butter
1-2 cup heavy whipping cream (I used half 1% milk and half whipping cream)
2 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 green onion, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp ground black pepper sub (1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Reduce heat add heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through.

Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese


This is the one from that I am combining to make one new recipe.  It is very Similar to Steph's but adds some flavors that sound delish!:
Cajun Chicken Pasta
recipe image
Submitted By: Tammy Schill
Photo By: DIZ♥
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 2
"Serve up a spicy dinner for two with this hot and creamy linguini tossed with an eye-opening blend of chicken strips sauteed with Cajun seasoning, colorful bell peppers, mushrooms and onions. Cream, basil, lemon pepper and garlic powder finish the sauce."
4 ounces linguine pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
halves, sliced into thin strips
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 green onion, minced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguini pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
2.Meanwhile, place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl, and toss to coat.
3.In a large skillet over medium heat, saute chicken in butter until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add green and red bell peppers, sliced mushrooms and green onions; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat, and stir in heavy cream. Season the sauce with basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper, and heat through.
4.In a large bowl, toss linguini with sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Monday, June 15, 2015

No-Boil Baked Cheese Tortellini

No-Boil Baked Cheese Tortellini

We love baked pasta dishes at our house. I especially love no boil baked pasta dishes! Just toss everything in the pan and let the oven do all the work! Saves on dirty dishes too! Chicken Legs loves any recipe
In addition to being super easy, this dish is also super delicious! It is packed full of great flavors. We ate this for dinner and again for lunch the next couple of days. It was equally delicious reheated! I used Italian sausage in this dish, but you can certainly use hamburger if that is your preference. You could also leave it out if you prefer a meatless dish.

No-Boil Baked Cheese Tortellini
serves 8

1 (24-26oz) jar pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups water
19 oz bag frozen cheese tortellini
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 lb sausage, cooked and crumbled
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Preheat oven to 400 degreesLightly grease 9x13 pan; set aside.

Combine sauce, water, 1 cup of mozzarella, sausage, parmesan and cheese tortellini. Pour into 9x13 pan and cover with foil. Bake for 35 minutes.

Remove foil and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until bubbly.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Smoky Chicken Pasta

Smoky Chicken Pasta

Smoky Chicken Pasta

Smoky Chicken Pasta

Smoky Chicken Pasta

8 oz Farfalle pasta
1 - 1 1/2 cup half & half
1 Tbsp of flour
2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 bottle (12 oz) Lawry’s mesquite marinade with lime juice
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Put chicken and marinade in the crock pot on low for 6 hours. 
Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred. 
Set this aside.

About a half-hour before serving, boil the pasta.

In a small saucepan, melt butter and flour. 
Add garlic, half and half, basil, pepper, parmesan cheese, and crumbled bacon. 
Whisk together on low heat for 5-6 minutes.

In a large bowl, pour over cooked drained pasta, add chicken and stir through. 
Sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Salsa Verde Chicken & Rice Bake

This Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Bake is a new favorite in our house. It was super simple to make and tasted SO good. We ate this for dinner and leftover for lunch the next day. It was just as good reheated. I love this recipe because there is no cream of anything soup in it. Simply make some rice, whisk up a salsa verde sour cream sauce, toss together with chicken and cheese and bake. Simple! It is on the table in under 30 minutes.

I used instant white rice in this dish. If you want to use instant brown rice, that will work too. Just make sure to follow the directions and the water to rice measurements on the box. They are different from instant white rice.

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Bake
serves 6

2 cups white instant rice, uncooked
2 cups water
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used half of a rotisserie chicken)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa verde, divided
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. 
In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. 
Add instant rice, cover. 
Remove from heat at let stand 5 minutes, until water is absorbed.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. 
Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. 
Add broth and whisk until smooth. 
Allow sauce to thicken. 
Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup salsa verde.

Mix tighter chopped chicken, rice, 1 cup cheese and sour cream sauce. 
Pour into prepared 9x13-inch pan. 
Top with remaining cheese and salsa verde.

Bake 20-25 minutes and then broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese, if desired.


This Texas French Toast Bake will knock your morning socks off! Everyone who's tasted this has wanted the recipe, so we put it here and hope you enjoy it as much as our friends/family all do! Be sure to use a nice, thick, fresh loaf of thickly sliced Texas French Toast bread. (In fresh bread aisles, not frozen.)
Recipe type: breakfast, brunch
Serves: 8-10
  • ½ cup melted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 entire loaf (1 lb, 12 oz) Texas Toast (Not frozen. Don’t use other breads.)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cup whole milk
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 2 TB light brown sugar, mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • Real maple syrup for serving, if desired
  1. Put butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Add 1 cup brown sugar and stir until well incorporated Pour into bottom of a greased 9×13 pan, spreading mixture evenly.
  2. Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla until incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Lay a single layer of Texas Toast in pan, cutting pieces to fit if needed. Spoon 1 cup of egg mixture evenlyover bread. Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Repeat with second layer, using up the rest of egg mixture over that layer, and ending with a sprinkling of brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Try to get the custard evenly soaked into the bread slices.
  4. Cover tightly and chill overnight in fridge.
  5. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes on lower middle rack — covered for the first 30 minutes, and uncovered after that. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Be sure to scrape up all the bottom sticky goodness. If desired, serve with pure maple syrup.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Rach’s Blog