Monday, February 28, 2011

Beef and Vegtable Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 sm chopped onion
1 (16 oz) can french style green beans drained
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 pkg tater tots

Brown ground beef with onion in skillet stirring until ground beef is crumbled. Drain. Layer ground beef mixture, green beans and tater tots in baking dish. Combine soup and milk in bowl, beat until smooth. Pour over layers. Bake 1 1/4 hours at 350.

I seasoned the meat. I can't just meat, I have to add seasonings. I don't measure I just sprinkle all over the skillet and mix it in. I pressed about 4 cloves of garlic. I add pepper, Italian seasoning, cumin and some smokehouse maple grill mix seasoning. I didn't have a second can of green beans but I would suggest it, especially if there is more than 2 in the family. I also add a can of peas, (2 for you bigger families is my suggestion) and about a half bad of frozen corn. This all went on the layer with the green beans. On top of the taters after I poured the cream soup mixture, I added cheese. I also wish we had mushrooms. I would cook them with the beef and onions. I aslo don't think you have to stick with cream of chicken soup. I'm sure any cream of soup would be good. So the next time I make I'm adding mushrooms and using a different cream of soup.

I got this one out of Taste and See. The "ABC" Senior Adults at First Baptist Church in Sylverster, GA put this cookbook. I got it from a friend. Carolyn Paulk submitted.

Square Meal: Turkey Chili Meatballs, Fire-Roasted BBQ Sauce, Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes and Broccolini

2 lbs. new potatoes or baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
3 tablespoons of butter
salt and black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream
3 to 4 tablespoons snipped or chopped fresh chives
1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey breast (the average weight of a package)
1 onion, peeled
4 large garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chooped
2 tablespoons of EVOO (extra0virgin olive oil), 2 times around the pan, plus some for drizzling
1/4 cup of molasses
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 (28-oz) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 lb broccolini, stem ends trimmed

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cut larger potatoes in half leave smaller baby potatoes whole and place them in a saucepot. Add water to cover by about 1 inch, cover with lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the lid and simmer the potatoes until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to their pot, then add 2 tablespoons of the butter some salt and pepper, and the sour cream and chives. Smash with fork or potato masher until your preferred consistency is achieved.

While potatoes are coming to a boil, place turkey in a mixing bowl. Grate half of the onion into the meat along with half of the garlic, the chili powder, shredded cheese, cilantro or parsley and salt and pepper, Form the mixture into 1 1/2 inch-round meatballs and arrange on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle the meatballs with a little EVOO and roast in the oven for 12 minutes or until they are golden and the juices run clear.

Once you have the meatballs in the oven, start the barbecue sauce. Place a large skillet over the medium-high heat with the 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Chop the remaining half onion and add it to the center of the skillet along with the remaining garlic and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the molasses, cinder vinegar, and brown sugar; stir to combine; then stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes. Bring up to a bubble and simmer the sauce over low heat until you are ready to eat.

Place about 1 inch of water in a high-sided skillet over high heat, put a lid on it, and bring up to a simmer. Add some salt and the broccolini and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, keeping the broccolini on the crunchy side. Drain and return to the skillet season with salt and pepper and add the remaining tablespoon of butter; stir until the butter has melted and coated all the broccolini.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and add to the skillet with the barbecue sauce. Toss to coat with the sauce. Plate up the meatballs with a little more sauce on top serve with the smashed potatoes and the broccolini alongside.

My tips:
My barbecue sauce came out real thin and took the longest. I suggest starting after the potatoes or on the stove and then starting your meatballs. The potatoes where kinda dry for me, so you may want to add a small amount of broth or milk about a splash to 1/4 or cup. We couldn't find broccolini, so we did broccoli and cooked like the broccilini. I add some stuff to the meatballs. I add a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, a tablespoon of Italian seasoning, a teaspoon of poultry seasoning, and a teaspoon of cumin.

This came out of Rachael Ray's Just in Time!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Experiments in the land of cookies into cupcakes

Devilishly Good Chocolate Chips Cookies
18 1/2 oz box of devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup of oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Mix dry cake mix and remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool on wire racks. Makes 3 1/2 doznes.

I got this out the Circle of Friends Cookbooks - 25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes: Exclusive on-line cookbook. It's on amzon for the kindle for free when I got it. I decided to try and make them into mini muffins. I used a medium scoop and placed a scoopful into my mini muffin pan. They need to cook a little longer. They need about 20 minutes in the oven and I used the whole bag of chips.I'm going to try them again with white chocolate chips. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Meal Plan #1

1.) Japanese-Style Salmon and Cucumber Salad. Found in The Pampered Chef Grill it Quick! We may add a side dish to this.

2.) Barbecue Pork Shepherd's Pie Found in The Pampered Chef More Weekday Dinners-Done! Cards.

3.) Turkey Chili Meatballs, Fire-Roasted BBQ Sauce, Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes, and Broccolini. Found in Rachael Ray's Just in Time!

4.) Beef and Vegetable Casserole. Found in Taste and See. It's First Baptist Church in Sylvester, GA cookbook.

5.) Indian-Spiced Chicken (We are using turkey) Pitas. Found in The Pampered Chef 29 minutes to dinner volume 2.


I'm not claiming to know all there is about cooking. I'm offering advice. It's hard not to go through the drive-thru for dinner 7 days a week. I can tell you that cooking at home is easy and doesn't have to take hours.

I'm going to share how I get a home cooked meal on our table most nights. Feel free to use my ideas and even tweak and make them fit your family better. Right now it's just James and I. I don't try to find meals that serve for 2 I have a few cookbooks that are for two and we do use them. We just save the leftovers for lunch during the week.

I will post our meal plans which are really lose. I don't set days to our meals. I've learned that life happens and sometimes the day doesn't go as planned or your forget about things that are happening. I just pick up 5-6 meals we go shopping for the everything but produce and then cook what we want on the days we cook dinner. Having options makes it easier to eat at home and not go out. On that day we go buy the produce for the meal we want when James gets home. When I cook I'll post the recipe, where I got it from and how I tweaked.