Sunday, June 29, 2014

Corn Dip

 Need a good dip recipe for a July 4th barbecue?  This one is delicious!
Corn Dip
2 cans corn, drained
1 can diced green chilis (7 oz.)
1 small green pepper, diced fine
1 (or more) jalapeno peppers, diced fine, seeds removed (this is so much to taste.  Start with a little and add more if you want more kick)
small bunch green onions, chopped fine
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garlic salt (more or less to taste) You can also use garlic powder and then add salt to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
16 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Lots of tortilla chips or Fritos Scoops

Monday, June 23, 2014

On Top of Spaghetti . . . Now that's a spicy meatball!

I love spaghetti and meatballs.  I prefer that to a meat sauce.  These little meatballs are very easy and so, so tasty.  You can make a big batch and freeze them in freezer bags.  Just cook some spaghetti, open a jar of Marinara and you're ready to go.
Italian Meatballs
3 lbs. ground meat of your choice (sweet or spicy sausage, ground turkey, chicken, or beef)
2 Tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning 
2 eggs
Splash of Worcestershire sauce 
1 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
3 Tablespoons dried parsely (or even better, a bunch of chopped fresh parsley)
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil
Freezer Bags

Heat the oven to 400.  Get out all of the ingredients and line or spray a baking sheet.  Once you get your hands in the mixture, it's nice not to have to keep washing them, so have everything ready to go.  Put the ground meat, steak seasoning, eggs, bread crumbs, Worcerstersire, parsley, cheese and a generous drizzle/ drizzles of olive oil in  a large bowl (the amount of oil depends on what kind of meat you're using.  If the meats are lean, you need more oil.)  With your hands, mix together the ingredients until well mixed.  Form into about 48 ping pong-sized balls and place on the baking sheet.  Bake in the hot oven for about 15 minutes.  Cut one open to be sure they are cooked through.  Cool and put any you're not using tonight in ziplock freezer bags.  It depends how many meatballs you like per quart of marinara.  We like about a quart of meatballs per quart of marinara, but you could get by with much less.  This recipe makes 2 quarts of meatballs.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Foil Dinner Casserole

My husband loves foil dinners that you cook over the campfire. Loves them.  So, I thought, why wait for camping?  Why not just put the same ingredients in a casserole dish and eat it any old time.  So that's what I started doing and called it Foil Dinner Casserole.  The recipe, just like for foil dinners in inexact and can include anything you'd like.
Foil Dinner Casserole
1 lb.  lean hamburger
 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 packet dry onion soup
Montreal Steak Seasoning (amount to taste)
 Mix the hamburger with the Worcestershire, onion soup and steak seasoning.  Crumble into a casserole dish that you've sprayed.
Top with vegetables of your choice:
Potatoes, peeled and cubed
Carrots, peeled and diced
Celery, diced
fresh Tomato, diced
mushrooms, sliced
Zucchini or Summer squash, diced

Sprinkle all with Seasoning Salt, then top with a can of cream of mushroom soup.  Cover and bake at 350 until hamburger is browned and vegetables are fork tender.  It makes a yummy, beefy gravy as it bakes.  I like to do this on time bake in my oven and set it so it's ready when we get home from church.  It is so delicious!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pantry Pick of the Month: Dipping Chocolate/ Cake Balls

My reach into my pantry this month yielded this half-used bag of dipping chocolate.  It immediately made me think of those fun, little cake balls that were wildly popular a few years ago.  I made them once or twice then, but haven't made them since, so I thought that would be a fun idea.  They are cute and fun, but they were a bit of work.  I think one of the words I use the most when describing my recipes on here is "easy."  These are time consuming, so not in the "easy" category.   But, like I said, they were tasty and very cute.   You actually don't need dipping chocolate for these.  Any baking chocolate- semi-sweet or dark, or white chocolate will do.

Cake Balls
1 cake mix, baked according to directions (eggs, oil, and water)  Any flavor.
1 tub frosting, Any flavor
Chocolate for dipping (Baking semi-sweet, milk, or white chocolate)
Sprinkles or other decorations, if desired

Crumble the mostly cooled cake into a large bowl, making a fine crumb by rolling it between your hands.  You could also use a food processor for this.  Add a couple of large scoops of the frosting and, with your hands, mix together.  Try forming a ball with a Tablespoon or so of the mixture.  If it makes a nice, moist ball that doesn't crumble apart, you probably have enough frosting.  Add frosting until you can form nice, moist balls.  Put the mixture in the fridge for about 15 minutes while you melt the dipping chocolate.  Put the chocolate in a narrow, deep bowl, so that a whole cake ball can fit down in it.  Form the cake into balls and put them on waxed paper.  Dip each one by using toothpicks or skewers and place them on the waxed paper.  Before the chocolate sets up, decorate with sprinkles, oreo crumbs, crushed candy bars or hard candy.  Then put them on the waxed paper to harden.  Again, you can put them in the fridge for this if you'd like.

The popular thing these days is to put these on a sucker stick and wrap and bow them for a nice favor.  I really think this would be easier because you wouldn't have to mess with the toothpicks.  They'd have their own dipping stick.

For more Pantry Picks click here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Unknown Cake (Texas Sheet Cake)

Why this is called Unknown Cake is, well, unknown. This is one of my oldest recipes as I got it as a teenager from a lady I worked with- Ethel . . .and she called it Unknown Cake.  I later found out everyone else called it Texas Sheet Cake.  But whatever the name, it's moist and yummy and very easy.  There are many versions and variations of this recipe, but I always come back to this one.

Unknown Cake
Mix in bowl:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream (you can substitute buttermilk)

In a saucepan, bring to a boil:
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup water
1 cup butter (two sticks)

When boiling, pour over the mixture in the bowl.  Beat well, then pour into a large, sided jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  While the cake is baking, make the frosting (below) and frost while the cake is warm.

Bring to a boil in a saucepan on the stove:
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup butter
6 Tablespoons milk
When the butter is melted and it's boiling, add:
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla.
Beat well with a hand mixer.  When well blended, frost the warm cake.

Original Source:  Ethel Claussen

Friday, June 13, 2014

Easy Mexican Quiche

This is an easy, quick and yummy dinner that uses few and common ingredients.  It goes together in minutes, and then bakes for about 45 minutes.  I strongly recommend serving it with homemade pico de gallo.  Man, they taste good together.  Add some tortilla chips and a diced avocado, and maybe some fruit and you have a delicious and easy Mexican meal.
This recipe serves 4, but you could expand it easily.
Easy Mexican Quiche
4 flour tortillas
2-3 cups grated Monteray Jack Cheese and/ or cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
4 eggs
1 cup milk

Spray a square 9x9 pan and put the tortillas in the bottom and up the sides, forming the quiche "crust."  Top with the grated cheese, then the salsa.  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together (add salt and pepper if you wish.)  Pour the egg mixture over the salsa.  Bake in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes or until the egg is set in the middle.

Shown garnished with fresh pico del gallo

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

No Bake Cookies

Okay, daughters, what's the first word that comes to your mind when you see this recipe?
Sunday night?  (oh, that's two words)
Doesn't it just make you smile to think about seeing the waxed paper out on the counter top with just a few missing cookies- with only a chocolate smear where the cookie used to be and was consumed before set up?
Yes, nearly every Sunday evening our daughters would make (and consume) these cookies. I, like every other college student, learned to make them from a roommate.  I have to admit, since my daughters left home, I haven't made them very often or at all.  I guess I need to start making them for the grand kids!
No Bake Cookies
Put a large piece of waxed paper on the counter top, ready for later. 
In a large mixing bowl, mix together
3 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup cocoa

In a large saucepan, combine:
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup milk

As the butter melts, stir and combine.  Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in
1/2 cup peanut butter.
Pour hot mixture over the oatmeal mixture.  Stir to combine well.  Drop large spoonfuls onto the waxed paper   Let cool completely (if you can!) and then remove from waxed paper.  Store in an airtight container.

Original source:  Debbie Shorb 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pork Choppese

I love that you can see the steam rising in this picture.  

Oh, the memories!  My sister Joan and I worked at our Dad's doctor's office in the summers while we were growing up.  My dad's partner was Dr. Hubler and his daughters Carol and Jennifer also worked there.  They became good friends.  They shared this recipe with us.  I don't know if they made it up or found it somewhere, but it is good!  I've made it occasionally ever since.

Pork Choppese
In an ovenproof skillet*, brown 4-7 pork chops in butter, salt and pepper. While the chops are browning, melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a saucepan.  Blend in 1/3 cup of flour.  Stir and cook for several minutes.  Stir in 2/3 cup milk.  Cook, stirring constantly until mixture makes a thick paste.  Add 1 egg and beat well, cooking until mixture is shiny.  Stir in 1 small grated onion, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Spread some of the cheese mixture on each pork chop.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the pork chops are done.

I usually double the topping recipe and pour it over all the pork chops (as shown.) Then I serve it with rice and a vegetable.  The topping is so tasty and is delicious mixed in with the rice.

*If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, you can brown the chops in a skillet, then transfer them to a 13x9 pan to put them in the oven.

Original Source:  Carol and Jennifer Hubler

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad
1 home canned quart bottle sliced peaches (or you can use a store-bought can)
1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
About 15 strawberries, sliced
1 banana, sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 small bunch grapes
1-2 Tablespoons sugar, optional and to taste

Mix the peaches and pineapple with their juices with the pudding until the pudding is dissolved.. Stir in the other fruits and the sugar (if desired) and chill for a few minutes to set up.  Delicious!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

What's For Dinner? - June

Here's what's for dinner (and dessert) in the month of June:
French Dip Sandwiches

Beef Enchiladas- these are so yummy.
Beef Spread Sandwiches
Chicken Parmesan Meatball Subs

Italian Wedding Soup

Swedish Meatballs
Stuffed Hot Dogs
Gnocchi Soup in Bread Bowls

Lazy Sister Chicken- Ha! Ha!  This has been on the last three months' menus and I still haven't made it.  I'm bound and determined it will get made this month!
Pork Choppese
Mexican Quiche
Foil Dinner Casserole
Neimann Marcus Chicken Salad- this creamy chicken salad is just the ticket for a hot summer day dinner.

Unknown Cake
Next Best Thing to Robert Redford Dessert

Pantry Pick of the Month: Dipping Chocolate/ Cake Balls