Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our new "Favorites" at our table...

Easy Southwest Chicken

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 jar Salsa
5 boneless, skinless frozen Chicken Breasts
Mix the soup and salsa together. Pour over chicken in greased slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over rice and sprinkle with shredded cheese. It would even taste good with black beans and corn mixed in. This is very YUMMY and will quickly become a family favorite.

Mexican Manicotti

1 lb. Ground Beef
1 16 oz. can Refried Beans
2 1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Oregano
1 8 oz. pkg. Manicotti
1 19 oz. can Enchilada Sauce
2 cups Sour Cream
2 cups Mexican style shredded cheese
Cook Ground Beef. Boil Manicotti according to package (suggestion: cook them on the tough side, easier to fill and they will continue to cook in the dish). In a bowl combine beef, beans, chili powder, and oregano. Spoon into shells and arrange in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour Enchilada sauce over top. Cover and bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Uncover and spoon sour cream over top (personally we didn't like the sour cream cooked on it, we would prefer to spoon on top after you melt the cheese) and sprinkle with cheese. Bake additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Other toppings: diced green onions, tomatoes, sliced olives, etc.
This reminds me a lot of Mexican Lasagna just not all the work. We absolutely love this...especially Dalton who gobbled it up and had 3 more helpings. :)

Slow Cooked Mac and Cheese

1 16 oz. pkg Elbow Macaroni
1/2 c. Melted Butter
2 Eggs, beaten
1 12 oz. can Evaporated Milk
1 can Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 c. Milk
4 c. shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 tsp. Paprika
Cook Macaroni according to pkg. directions. Drain and place in Crock Pot. Add melted butter. In a bowl combine eggs, evaporated milk, soup, milk, and 3 cups of cheese. Pour over top of noodles and stir to combine. Cook on low for 4 hours. Sprinkle with reamaining cheese and cook additional 15 minutes till cheese melts. Sprinkle with paprika. So yummy and reminds me of good homemade mac and cheese.

Chicken Spaghetti

4-5 Chicken Breasts, cooked and cubed
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cans diced Italian Tomatoes
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Mushrooms with Juice (Thanks to my husband we don't add this but still tastes good)
Combine above ingredients in Crock Pot and cook about an hour on Low.
Then Add:
1/4 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 tsp. Dried onion
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Season Salt
1/2 tsp. Salt
Cook an additional hour. Serve over Spaghetti Noodles.
OoOH this is so so good. Very creamy, flavorful, and delicious!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My thoughts EXACTLY----

So I came across this on "Cooking on Clover Lane" and it is my philosophy to a "T"!! Just thought I would share...

I abhor when people (anyone!) complains about food. Especially people in this house. It does not fly, let me tell you. I grew up in a house where you ate what was put before you, and you liked it. We finished our plates and went out to play. I can't remember EVER hearing any talk of whether what we were served was "good" or not. It was food! It was made for you! You are lucky! There are people that are starving, STARVING!, all over the world. Too bland? Don't care. Think mushrooms are gross? No one cares but you, so push them aside and zip it! Did your nose just wrinkle up? How incredibly rude! I just can NOT tolerate pickiness or analysis of any kind.
Sensitive palate? Oh, please! I think all food issues are all CONTROL issues. That's my inner psychologist coming out, but I'm right and you know it.
My mom had a rule about pickiness. My brother Andy knew it well. If you simply could not stand what was being served, help yourself to the Saltines. By the way, Andy is the youngest. I have no recollection of that option till he was born. For a couple years, he ate row after row of Saltines. I don't think he ever complained about it. He'd just go get the box after prayers and crunch away at the dinner table. I'm sure it crossed my mother's mind that he might acquire a good case of scurvy one day, but no, he's a strapping 6'5".
My rules? Ritz crackers. A little better than Saltines. I stepped it up a notch. I do try to avoid all that trouble by really cooking food everyone loves. Or at least likes. Or tolerates.
And the more people around your dining room table, the harder that gets.
I do not cook Halibut Steak with Eggplant Sauce. Or Borscht Horseradish Terrine. I'd go through a whole box of Ritz in one dinner if I did that.
So, I guess what I'm saying is I do know that recipes that require Campbell's Condensed Soups are NOT appearing anytime soon in the pages of Bon Apetit. I do know that it is slightly Midwestern (and not in the good way) to use your Crock Pot at least 3 times a week.
I also don't have the time or the inclination, truthfully, to spend hours in the kitchen preparing some fancy dish that requires my concentration. Not right now. I'm concentrating on getting one kid working on his Algebra 1 and finding the other one's shin guards for soccer practice. The halibut would be charcoal in a minute. I also cook almost EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I'd burn out fast if I tried something new every night.
So until my life slows down a bit, my idea of a good meal is "home-made and liked by most."
One day I might get to Beef Cheeks Braised in Red Wine with Orange Zest, but right now, I'd rather have to time to kiss my sweet little baby's cheeks. Wasn't that cute? I was thinking of saying something about his other cute little baby cheeks, but then thought, this is a blog about food, and mind my manners, darnit!