Friday, August 31, 2007

Really Easy Oreo Pie

1 half-gallon vanilla ice cream (low-fat works great)
1 package Oreos
1 pre-made Oreo crust (found in the baking aisle)

Take ice cream out of package and let soften on the counter in a big bowl (you probably want to stir it every so often). While you're waiting for the softening, begin crushing the Oreos. The beauty of this recipe is that you can crush them to whatever consistency you desire. Personally, I like them a little bigger, which is why I do the crushing myself, rather than buying a pre-made cookies and cream ice cream. I usually end up using about 30 cookies or so, but again, it's completely up to you. When the ice cream becomes soft and stir-able, add the Oreos. Put mixture into pie crust. (Note: I don't put entire thing in because it is just too much and the lid doesn't fit well. So I fill it till it looks good and then eat the rest right then.) Top with one Oreo. Freeze overnight.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Broccoli and Bow Ties

*This recipe comes from "Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Family Style" Love her recipes!

Kosher salt
8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta - you can really use any kind you like
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced (I love garlic so I add more)
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, optional
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook the broccoli for 2-3 minutes (I do 2 minutes) in a large pot of boiling salt water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions (I cook it for 9-10 minutes). Drain well and add to the broccoli.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low hear for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pine nuts and cheese, if using, and serve.

*This dish is so easy and even my little 2 yr old will eat it. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Banana Bread

1 1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
3 egg whites
1 1/4 c. ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 c. plain or vanilla yogurt
1 t. vanilla
2 3/4 c. flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and butter. Stir in egg whites until well blended. Add bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Beat till smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients except nuts just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into two 8” pans, greased. Bake 48 minutes. Cool five minutes and cool completely before slicing.

Chuck and I love this recipe. Of course you could leave out the nuts if desired. I always use three bananas, regardless of the cup-age of it (it comes really close); it just makes it easier. I also cook them in four smaller loaf pans and it takes me a little longer than the 48 minutes, more like 53 or so. I almost love this more the next day, cooled in the fridge. YUM.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chicken Bowtie Pasta Salad

2 (12-oz.) boxes of bowtie pasta (do not overcook)
1 large can pineapple tidbits
1 large can mandarin oranges (arranged around outside of bowl)
1 package Craisins
red grapes cut in 1/2 (optional)
4 stems chopped green onions
1 to 2 cups celery, cut in chips
4 to 5 cooked chicken breasts
1 1/2 to 2 cups cashews
2 to 2 1/2 cups of dressing (3/4 jar of Kraft coleslaw dressing and 1 cup mayo) or make your own with mayo, sugar, salt and vinegar

Mexican Tacos (American Taquitos)

I am excited to post my first recipe on the Foodee's blog! I've been gazing over all the great recipes and haven't tried any yet, but I have BIG plans to! I am constantly looking for something new and relatively simple.

I've made this for dinner guests several times recently and get rave reviews. I made this for dinner tonight, and my children love it every time and ask for it often! That tends to be a rarety, so I thought this was a good one to share. A few months ago, I asked my friend from Mexico to teach me how to make an authentic Mexican meal, little did I know how simple it would be and how much I'd love it (and my kids).

Now, I LOVE those frozen Taquitos that can be purchased at the grocery store, and this is 10 times better! Fresh yumminess! I don't have an actual recipe, so I'm going a little off the cuff here. Sorry if it is confusing:)

-30 Corn Tortilla's
-shredded chicken or beef (cooked)
-can of refried beans (optional)
-fresh avocados
-fresh tomatoes
-grated cheese
-sour cream
-box mix of spanish rice on the side

*My friend just rolled shredded beef into a corn tortilla and cooked that, but the meat kept falling out when I cooked it and I thought it needed a little something more, and to hold it together, so I mixed my meat with refried beans and it worked great!

Vegetable oil in skillet dish on med-high (not sure if there is a better oil for that)
*If it is too high, you'll get a lot of splashing bounce back onto you of the hot oil

Heat the tortilla's for 10 sec or so and they roll better. Put meat/bean mixture in and roll it and drop with tongs (to avoid splashing) into hot oil mixture. The first set takes longer and don't get as crispy. I have meat falling out sometimes, so do it carefully. Watch it and flip it and then hold it vertical to let some of the oil drop out before putting it onto a paper towel lined tray (pulls more oil out).

Serve with yummy homemade guacamole and sour cream and spanish rice.

2 small avocados mashed
1 small cut up tomatoe
little lime juice
little salt
Here is my messy skillet after all are cooked and my side dishes with the meal!

Back to School Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is our traditional first day of school dessert. Something about the carrots being a healthy start to the new year (smile). The kids love it!

The recipe comes from the book The Cake Doctor

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 lg. eggs
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins (I don't add these)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (we don't add these either)

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, orange juice, oil, eggs, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl and increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more. The batter should be thick and well blended. Gently fold in carrots, raisins, and nuts with spatula. Divide batter among 2 prepared pans, smoothing the top. Bake until golden brown about 30 minutes. Cool completely and frost with Cream Cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8Tbsp) butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp orange zest

Combine cream cheese and butter in mixer until well combined. Add confectioners' sugar, a bit at a time, until well combined. Add orange juice and zest to the mixture. Beat until frosting lightens and is fluffy. (Sometimes I need to add a little more confectioners' sugar if the frosting is too thin. It is a little thin for me in the picture above, and it was hard to keep the frosting on the sides of the cake.)

Monday, August 20, 2007


1 1/4 c. milk

1 c. flour

2 eggs

3 T. sugar

3 T. melted butter

1 T. lemon zest

1 t. vanilla

Put everything in a blender and blend for 3 minutes. Chill for at least one hour - can be chilled as long as overnight. If you have a crepe-maker, use that. If not, heat a skillet and cook like a pancake - although make these much thinner. You don't necessarily have to turn them over to cook since they are thinner than a pancake. You just might have to practice until you get it right.

Put toppings in, roll up, and eat. Toppings we like: any fresh fruit, yogurt, powdered sugar, etc.

I got this recipe from erin - and she might have gotten it from her friend gretchen. it's good stuff.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dixie's Famous Kalua Pork

1/2 c. soy sauce
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I use minced because it's already like that in the jar)
2 T. chopped ginger (again, I'm lazy and I'm sure it's just crushed ginger)
Liquid smoke to taste
3-5 lbs. Boston butt or country ribs

Put meat in oven bag and cook at 350 degrees until over done. Drain the fat. Pull apart and toss with sauce. That's it.

Note: Notice that this is "Dixie's" kalua. That's why the directions are slightly vague (years of doing this help my mom, but not me). So here's what Chuck and I did tonight. We had about 6.5 lbs of fresh Boston Butt (bought at Sam's Club for $1.50/lb). Cook in oven bag at 350 degrees for about four hours. What my mom means by "over done" is that the meat should fall off the bone. It should NOT be tough at all. The meat at this point will be tasteless. And regarding the liquid's a very very very small amount, like 1/4 of a capful. I add it to the sauce very last and will dip the meat in the sauce until I like the taste. This stuff is GREAT. Ask emily. And it easily serves a lot of people. General rule for how much to purchase: if bone-in, about 2/3 lb. per person. If boneless, then only 1/2 lb. per person.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Grape Salad

2 lbs. grapes (1/2 red, 1/2 green)
4 ounces sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar (best to use a little less than 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
sliced almonds (desired amount)
brown sugar (sprinkle on top)

1. Using an electric mixer mix the sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until smooth.
2. Add the almonds and stir until just mixed in.
3. Stir half the topping mixture through the grapes. Then repeat with the other half of the topping mixture.
4. Sprinkle the top with almonds and a hint of brown sugar.

Serves 4-6 people

Friday, August 3, 2007

Homemade Salsa (canned)

1/2 bushel tomatoes (about 24 lbs. or 45 large tomatoes)
20 Anaheim peppers
5 black jalapeno peppers
7 yellow banana peppers
5 green bell peppers
6 cloves garlic, pressed
3 Tbsp. oregano powder
2 cups sugar
6 large onions
1/2 cup salt
3 Tbsp. cumin

Scald tomatoes and peel. Cut up fine and place in large canning stock pot (or you can pulse quickly in a blender or food processor before adding to pot). Use food processor to chop all peppers until a nice, almost mashed, consistency (cut stem off and use the whole pepper, seeds and all). Add remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil for 2-3 hours on stovetop, stirring often. Pour into pint jars, filling to within 1/4" from top. Process in steamer for 35 minutes. Makes about 18-21 pints.

NOTES: I don't currently have a canning steamer, so you can just pour the hot salsa into hot pint jars and turn them over after you have added the hot lids and rims. After they have sat for several hours or overnight, turn over and the lids should have sealed. The salsa has a shorter shelf-life this way, however, and is only recommended to last one year - so just be mindful of that (we're lucky to have this recipe last even half a year around here anyway!).

I should also note that right after you make this salsa, it is more of a medium hotness at first, but the longer it sits, the more mild it becomes. Even after we open a jar and refrigerate it, it becomes milder. So after the jars have sat for several months in the jars, they become "mild". This is our favorite salsa and we plan on growing a salsa garden every year just so we can make multiple batches of this each season!

Sweet Sausage Sauce & Pasta

Here's a recipe that we LOVE from my friend Heidi:

Sweet Sausage Suace & Pasta:
2 lbs. Italian sausage
2 medium sweet onions, chopped
2 medium sweet red peppers, chopped
2 medium green peppers, chopped
6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 (29-oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (14.5-oz.) cans Italian stewed tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (opt.)
1 1/2 lbs. bowtie pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, saute onions, peppers, and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, brown sugar, and seasonings. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, process tomato mixture in batches until smooth. Return to pan. Add sausage and heat through. Gradually stir in cream. Cook and stir over low heat until ready to serve. Be mindful of cream in sauce - don't heat too high or for too long or it will curdle. Top pasta with sauce and sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

NOTES: This makes a very huge batch, so you can definitely half it if you don't want that much. I love that it makes so much and I just take about half of the sauce and freeze it for later (no noodles) and the rest lasts a couple meals for us to have right away. Todd loves that this sauce has a little kick to it. The other great part about it is that if you have kids that won't eat chunks of veggies in their sauce, they don't even know that this recipe has so much good stuff in it since it all gets blended together.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Pizza Rustica

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed (or breakfast sausage)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10- ounce) package frozen cut-leaf spinach, thawed and drained
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped (I use ham)
4 large egg yolks, beaten to blend
Pastry Dough, recipe follows
1 large egg, beaten to blend

Position the rack on the bottom of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sausages and sauté until golden brown, breaking the sausage into pieces, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts and the juices evaporate, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Squeeze the spinach to drain as much liquid as possible.

Into a large bowl, add egg yolks and beat lightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add the sausage, the spinach and prosciutto to the mixture and stir to combine.

Roll out larger piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 17-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch spring form pan. Trim the dough overhang to 1 inch. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dough-lined pan. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round. Place the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges of the doughs together to seal, and then crimp the dough edges decoratively. Brush the beaten 1 large egg over the entire pastry top. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the top. Bake on the bottom shelf until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Let stand 15 minutes. Release the pan sides and transfer the pizza to a platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Pastry Dough:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Blend the flour, the butter, the shortening and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in the eggs. With the machine running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, with 1 piece twice as large as the second piece. Flatten the dough pieces into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Food Network

Chicken Chilaquiles

2 c. shredded skinless chicken breast
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (with peppers, if desired), divided
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. chili powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 (11-ounce) can tomatillos, drained
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
12 6-inch corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine chicken, green onions, 1/4 c. Jack cheese, Parmesan, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Place milk and next three ingredients (through chiles) in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Pour 1/3 c. tomatillo mixture into bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 corn tortillas in dish, and top with half of chicken mixture. Repeat layer with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture, ending with tortillas.

Pour remaining 1 1/2 c. tomatillo mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with remaining Jack cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Notes: I don't have an 11x7 dish, so I used an 8x8 and it worked fine. Because of that, I don't think 12 tortillas were necessary; I think I used 10, but could probably get away with 9. The tomatillas were found at a local Hispanic grocery store, but the green chiles were just at regular store. Everything else as stated.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Crepe Quiche Lorraine

2 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup yellow onion, sliced
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
8 eggs
12 ounces milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
6 ounces cheddar, shredded
6 savory crepes, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saute pan, melt the butter and sweat the onions until translucent. In a small bowl, mix the onions and crumbled bacon together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, and season with salt and pepper.

In a large, non-stick, 6-cup muffin tin, place one crepe into each cup. Make sure that the edges of the crepes are slightly pleated and overlap the edge of the tin slightly. Spoon the bacon and onion mixture into each cup. Distribute the cheese evenly into the cups. Pour the egg mixture into each cup so that all of the quiches are the same size. Place into a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the egg mixture is completely set.

Savory Crepes:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped herbs, spinach, or sun-dried tomatoes
Butter, for coating the pan

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients (excepting the butter for coating the pan) and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.