Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bow Tie Lasagna

This is one of our families favorite meals. It is a great fast and easy version of lasagna. I got it from my great go-to ward cookbook.

8 oz. bow tie pasta
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 (12 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 c. cottage cheese
1 large egg
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz grated Mozzarella cheese
8 oz. ground beef (or ground turkey)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Cook pasta according to package directions for half the amount of time given.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Add onion and saute for 1 minute. Stir in ground beef and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add spaghetti sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; partially cover the skillet and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, egg, and Parmesan. Drain pasta. Layer half the pasta in baking dish. Spoon the cottage cheese mixture over the pasta. Spoon half of the meat sauce over the cheese mixture and sprinkle with half the Mozzarella. Layer the remaining pasta sauce and Mozzarella. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until heated through and serve.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

MCK"s Delicious French Bread

So really I am such a wimp when it comes to cooking. I think I like to post recipes on this blog because I can see that I did make a few things and it gives me the courage to try more things. I grew up in a home where my mother made amazing bread and rolls. I have always made those wonderful homey recipes and haven't really felt a need to venture much beyond those great stand by recipes. Well, I really love french bread. But I really hate when it is stale and cold from the store (and it gets that way FAST). Have you ever had it when it is nice and hot, right out of the oven? Oh my goodness there aren't many things I like more than that (that don't have sugar in them anyway...) I attempted to make french bread a few years ago and it was good, not great and the instructions were horrible so I ended up improvising and never made it again. Well, my favorite food blog had a recipe on it for french bread that I just had to try and it turned out A.MA.ZING! My boys gobbled it up like nobody's business and my husband and I also ate a ton. It was so good that the next day we all fought over the second loaf, now that is good stuff. Here is her recipe, but if I were you, I would go see all of the good stuff there.

2 ¼ c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too stick – but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes.

Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

We love this so much that I made AT LEAST once a week, sometimes twice. It is so good!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

This doesn't look that appetizing, but let me tell you, it is SO GOOD. It is moist and delicious. It is always the thing that everyone devours in our St. Patrick's Day feast. Recipe found in this cookbook.

2 cups flour
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs butter
1/2 cups raisins (optional, but oh so good)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbs butter, melted
flour to dust

Ina large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add raisins, if desired. Add buttermilk. Mix with a fork until moistened.

Knead gently about 1 minute. Shape into a ball. Place dough on a greased cookie sheet or pie plate and flatten into a 7 inch circle. Dough will be about 1 1/2 inches thick. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. Brush top with melted butter. Dust with flour. Makes one loaf.

Irish Stew

Okay I realized that this recipe isn't going to do you much good now as St. Patrick's Day is over. But there is always next year... I have been making this recipe for a long time now. I first made it for St. Patrick's Day when my oldest son was 1 and he is now 7. I tried to do corned beef and cabbage one year and WAS NOT a fan, so we went back to our traditional Irish Stew. Recipe found in this cookbook.

1 lb lean boneless lamb (I always buy whatever the grocery store has out. Stew pieces, lamb chops...it all cooks into a tender wonderful stew, so don't worry about what it is although you probably do want something lean.)
1 tbs cooking oil
2 1/2 cups peeled turnips cut into 1/2 inch pieces (2 medium)
1 1/2 cups carrots cut into 1/2 inch pieces (3 medium)
1 1/2 cups peeled potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces (2 medium)
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
3 cups beef broth

1. Cut lamb into 1 inch pieces. In a large skillet brown lamb, half at a time, in hot oil. Drain off fat. In a 3 1/2 or 4 quart crockery cooker combine turnips, carrots, potatoes, onions, tapioca, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir in browned lamb and beef broth.

2. cover and cook on low heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Recipe from HERE

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls.

Coat each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lemon Bars

Recipe from allrecipes.com

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar


1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


Combine the flour, butter and powdered sugar; pat into an 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, flour, lemon juice, extract, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until frothy; pour over crust.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until light golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar.

Homemade Applesauce

I love this yummy applesauce recipe. Found in this cookbook.

1/2 c. water
7-1/2 c. apples, cored, peeled and quartered
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 t. vanilla extract

Bring water to a boil in heavy saucepan; add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients; stir well. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Autumn Apple Pork Chops

Okay I recognize that I am a little late (or early) in posting this...but they are really good and I make them for my family all year long.

4 pork chops
3/4 c. barbecue sauce
3/4 c. apple juice

Brown pork chops in a 12" skillet until done. Mix barbecue sauce and apple juice together; pour over pork chops. Reduce heat; simmer until liquid reduces, about 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Roast Beast (Roast Beef Roll ups)

I love to celebrate holidays. Dr. Seuss' Birthday seemed like a WONDERFUL excuse to celebrate to me. You can check out our celebration here. I got these fun recipes for the food from this blog.
4 triangles Light Cow Cheese or 1/3 c. softened butter
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 lb. thinly sliced med. rare roast beef
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch watercress, stemmed
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin

Cream cheeses together with a fork in a small bowl. Lay roast beef slices on flat surface. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread 2 teaspoons of cheese mixture along the short end of the beef. Pile on the rest of ingredients. Roll the beef into a tight cylinder. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate till serving time. To serve, halve the rolls, crosswise.

Who Hash (Sweet Potato Hash)

This was also part of our Dr. Seuss Celebration this year. I got this recipe here. Although it sounds strange, if you like sweet potatoes, you will love this. I was a little worried about it at first, but it is so good!

Who Hash
2 grated sweet potatoes
1/2 chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
2 t. thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat a large skillet, add olive oil. Cook onions till caramelized. Add garlic, sweet potatoes, and seasonings. Cook till brown on one side, then flip, continue till all is lightly browned.

Gingerbread Waffles

I just got this cookbook and I am so excited about it! I am always looking for yummy breakfast recipes and there are some GOOD ones in here.

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
1/4 c. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup milk

Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, then set aside. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg yolks and milk. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Bake in a heated waffle iron and serve hot with butter and honey or maple syrup.

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

I LOVE a good soup. This one is SO GOOD. It is one of the most popular recipes on allrecipes.com. You have GOT to try it.

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Fried Chicken

I LOVE fried chicken. We had this dish on Sunday a lot when I was growing up and I always would get excited when I knew we were going to have it. Now some of you are rolling your eyes that I am even putting this on here, but I have a recipe for good fried chicken, and when I was trying to figure out how to do it on my own I had no idea. So, this is for people "Just trying to figure it out..." Found in this cookbook.

3/4 all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 frying chicken (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut up or chicken pieces (I usually just buy a big thing of drumsticks as that is my boys' piece of choice)
1/2 cup shortening

1/ Combine flour, salt and pepper in paper or plastic bag. Add a few pieces of chicken at a time. Shake to coat.

2. heat shortening to 365 degrees in electric skillet (this is how I do it, LOVE my electric skillet), or on medium-high heat in a large heavy skillet. Fry chicken 30 to 40 minutes without lowering heat. Turn once for even browning. Drain on paper towels.

Please note that for this type of fried chicken the chicken MUST have skin on it. I have tried it with boneless, skinless and it is very bad...Just sayin'

Banana-Pecan Pancakes

My kids go CRAZY for these pancakes. Forgive the pic...again. Honestly it is all I can do to get a quick picture of these foods before my kids SCARF them down. I always love when I have ripe bananas because these get put on our breakfast menu. These are from this cookbook.

2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4 ripe)
1/4 cup granulated sugar or packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

1. Beat eggs in medium bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients except pecans just until smooth. Stir in pecans. For thinner pancakes, stir in additional 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk.

2. Heat griddle to 375 degrees or heat skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter if necessary.

3. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around edges. turn and cook other sides until golden brown.