Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! The weather, the visiting, the weather (wait I said that already) and all the baking that comes with the holidays.  I can't take credit for this recipe (except for passing it on) but I don't know who to give credit to either because I've had it for so long I don't remember where I got it from! I do know it was not Paula Deen because I was making a long time before she made ooey gooey butter cakes famous!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake


1 Yellow cake mix 
1 egg
1 stick butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix above ingredients with electric mixer. Pat mixture into lightly greased 13 x 9 pan. I usually spray my fingers with some Pam or use butter and pat down and slightly up the sides.

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Beat cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, butter and beat again. Add remaining ingredients; beat again. Spread over crust. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The crust will be browned but the middle will still look jiggly. Don't worry it sets after cooling.

No Cook Eggless Homemade Ice Cream

Nothing says summer like the sound of a churning ice cream machine filled with the delicious goodness of homemade ice cream! My family for several generations has made the uncooked version that means having raw eggs in the ice cream. Just one problem, as good as it tastes it completely grosses me out to find a piece of egg in my ice cream. 

No worries, help is on the way! Like I said it just grosses me out to have raw egg in the mix and I'm not about to feed that to my children so I went on the hunt for an eggless ice cream mix. After many searches and failed attempts I got the recipe below. Don't ask where it came from, because I do not remember. All I know is no eggs were harmed in the making of this ice cream!

No Cook Eggless Homemade Ice Cream 
Makes 1 quart

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. whole milk

Mix it all together and pour it into your ice cream mixer. Layer ice and rock salt then crank it 
up. Delicious! You could add other ingredients to change the flavor such as crushed oreos, butterfinger or chocolate syrup.

Want to get the kids involved? Pour 1/2 c. of the mix into a quart size ziploc bag and seal up tight. Fill a gallon size bag about half full with ice and add salt (table salt will work but you have to use a lot).  Put the smaller bag inside the gallon bag and shake with all your might for 5-7 minutes or until ice cream is firm. **I made this with my 8 year old a few weeks ago and she had a blast! I would suggest wrapping a towel around the bags because they are VERY cold!

Apple Salad

Have company coming and you need a quick dessert? The ingredients for this Apple Salad are easy to keep on hand and pretty inexpensive. Plus adjust it just slightly (less snickers, reduced calorie/sugar cool whip) and it's not too bad on the diet!

Apple Salad
3 Granny Smith Apples
3 Red Apples (not red delicious, look for jazz or honey crisp)
3 Snickers Bars
Handful of peanuts (optional)
1 container Cool Whip

Chop apples  (do not peel) and Snickers. Mix with cool whip and peanuts. Chill; serve within a few hours.

Roast Pork Loin

I was tired of the same old, same old pork loin roast so I went recipe hunting. This is the result! Delish! Sorry I'm one of those cooks who doesn't measure! Can't decide if it's a blessing or a curse!

Roasted Pork Loin

 olive oil (1/4 a cup for a small pork loin)
red pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
2 1/2 c. chicken broth

Mix seasonings and oil. Rub on pork; brown in hot skillet. Place in roasting pan with one chopped onion. Deglaze pan with 1/2 c. chicken broth. Add to roasting pan along with remaining chicken broth. Bake at 350 degrees for 4 hours.

I serve this with garlic roasted red potatoes and green beans.

You can't go wrong with Crescent Rolls!

You can't go wrong with crescent rolls! Serve them with dinner or as dinner! You can even turn them into dessert!

Crescent Taco Ring

2 cans crescent rolls
1 lb. ground beef, browned drained
1 package of taco seasoning
1 package of shredded cheddar cheese

Cook drained beef with taco seasoning. While beef mixture is cooking unroll crescents and make a circle on a pizza stone. Leave an opening in the middle with the small points of crescents pointing out. After meat mixture is complete, spoon around edges of crescents. Top with cheese; fold crescent tips toward the center and press down. Bake at 350 degrees until crescents are golden brown (about 15-20 minutes).

Crescent roll lasagna

1 cans crescent rolls
2 cups shredded cheese, your choice
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 jar pasta sauce

Mix cooked beef and pasta sauce.**Make sure you choose a thick sauce OR only use half a jar, if too watery crescents will be gooey** Spread meat mixture into pan. Top with 1c. cheese. Roll out next set of crescents on top of meat. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees or until edges of crescents are golden brown.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 cans crescent rolls
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted

Spray 9x13 dish with non stick spray. Mix cream cheese and 1 c. sugar together.  Roll out one can of crescents into pan; top with cream cheese mixture. Roll out second can of crescents. Mix melted butter with 1/2 c. sugar and cinnamon. Pour over top of crescents. Bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Country Apple Dumplings

2 granny smith apples, peeled, quartered
2 cans crescent rolls
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 can Mt. dew

Roll one quarter of apple in each crescent roll. Place in casserole dish. Mix melted butter, sugar and cinnamon and spoon over each roll. Pour Mt. Dew over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Crockpot Fall Apart Chicken

I've had this recipe for several years but I don't remember where I found it! I'm bad about that. Guess I should start writing it down, because I would imagine there are other good recipes in that location.

Crockpot Fall Apart Chicken

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 block cream cheese, softened
3 chicken breasts
1 stick butter or margarine
1 pkg. Italian dressing
1 can water

Put chicken, butter and seasoning in crockpot. Cook on low for 3 hours. Add soup, water and cream cheese. Cook for 3 more hours. Remove chicken; shred and add back to crockpot. Serve over rice.

Mardi Gras Pizza

We LOVE pizza! Delivery gets too expensive, and I try not to buy the prepackaged stuff very often. So necessity (and not wanting all the preservatives) forced me into finding a dough recipe.  This is one of our favorite pizza ideas, Mardi Gras Pizza! This same type of pizza is served at Old Venice Pizza Co. in Jackson, MS and a bbq sauce version at Tom's Extreme Pizza in Ocean Springs and Gautier. We love both versions so much we make our version at home!

Here's my recipe: Makes 2 small pizzas

Mardi Gras Pizza
1-recipe Everything Yeast Dough
1 small red(purple) onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1small yellow bell pepper, diced
andouille sausage, browned (amount depends on how much you want!)
1/2-1 block cream cheese, softened
mozzarella cheese
garlic salt

Prepare your dough as directed; bake until lightly browned. Remove from oven and spread cream cheese on top. Then sprinkle peppers, onion and sausage on top (as much or as little as you want). Top lightly with mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Bake a second time until cheese it melted.

*When using prebaked dough (like Boboli) start by topping with cream cheese and then proceed as directed. 

Freezer Meal: Mexican Stuffed Shells

Freezer Meal: Mexican Stuffed Shells

This is not a recipe we've tried before but we love tacos and we love pasta so how could we go wrong?! I found this recipe on Big Oven. Follow the link to the original recipe OR you can see my version below.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

1 1/2 pounds ground beef , browned and drained
1 package taco seasoning
4 ounces cream cheese
20 JumboPasta Shells
1 1/2 cupssalsa, more if you like salsa
2 cups Kraft Mexican Cheese (Montery Jack/Chedder mix)

Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning; following directions for amount of water. Bring water in large pot to a boil and cook shells. Cook until al dente (not all the way done). Cut cream cheese into squares and mix into hot beef. Stir until melted; set aside. Drain shells and set out on a cookie sheet so they don't stick together.

Cover bottom of two 8x8 or one 9x13 baking dish with salsa. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of meat mixture into shell and add to pan. When all are filled spoon any remaining salsa over the top of shells and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes or until cheese is good and melted.

**To freeze: Follow all steps except don't bake! You can line a glass baking dish with foil; freeze and then remove from pan, wrap up tight and place in ziploc bag or prepare in disposable foil pan.

To bake after freezing: let thaw in fridge for most of the day and then bake in the oven until heated through and cheese is melted.

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

This is one of my favorite busy weeknight meals. Super easy and takes little preparation. I try to keep some precooked, shredded chicken in the freezer for days like this when I need something quick.

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
1- small box of spaghetti
2 c. chicken, cooked and shredded
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 can cream of chicken soup (or make your own like me)
1 c. milk
dash salt, pepper and garlic powder

Cook your noodles; drain. Combine chicken cream of chicken soup,milk, seasonings and noodles together; add in one cup of cheese. Place is greased 13x9 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

Family Traditions: Uncle Henry's Squash Casserole

My mother's family published two cookbooks about 25 years ago. This recipe was submitted by my Great Uncle Henry. This is one of my all time favorite recipes and this is the perfect season with all the squash being perfectly ripe (but frozen squash will work too!) Even my picky hubby will eat this!

Uncle Henry's Squash Casserole

3 c. cooked squash, mashed (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 T. butter
2 1/2 c. plus 1 c. cornbread, crumbled
1 med. onion chopped
1 grated carrot, optional
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream chicken soup
salt and pepper to taste

Cook squash until done; drain and put in a bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Put into a large casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Comes out a lot like cornbread dressing.

No time to cook? Freezer cooking to the rescue! Part 2

No time to cook? Freezer cooking to the rescue! Part 2

My plan had been to do round 2 of my freezer cooking last Wednesday but that did not happen! So here we are almost a week later and I got it done! So as a review here is the menu for last week and this week. Now obviously since I didn't get around to getting my freezer cooking done the way I wanted the menu adjust slightly, but we are still on the right track!
Mondaywaffle iron french toast, corndog muffins, chicken gyros with hummus
Tuesday- yogurt and granola, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, beef tips in gravy
Wednesday- Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal cups, ham & cheese roll ups, Italian crockpot chicken
Thursday- cereal, chicken soft tacos, Creole Daube
Friday- Blueberry Muffins, mac & cheese, Divine Chicken
Saturday- Breakfast Burritos, pizza bites, Baked Ham
Sunday- fruit & toast, Creamy Chicken Taquitos, leftovers

Monday- yogurt & granola, cheese quesadillas, mini meatloaves
Tuesday- breakfast burritos, pb & banana, pork chop bake
Wednesdaylemon blueberry scones, pizza bites, slow cooker beef fajitas
Thursday- cereal, bbq cups, leftovers
Friday- Waffles, nachoes, eat out
Saturday- scrambled eggs & bacon, ham & cheese sandwiches, Chicken soft tacos
Sunday- biscuits & ham, eat @ my mom's, leftovers from Mom's

Here is the order I went in:

  • Preheated the oven to 350 degrees.
  • I threw all the chicken soft tacos ingredients into the crockpot. 
  • Mixed up the banana bread, started the chicken breast to boil for the taquitos, pulled out the cream cheese to soften.
  • Started the pizza dough for pizza bites.
  • Put together pizza bites. Cooked bacon in the oven at the same time as banana bread.
  • Pulled out bacon and the banana bread to cool. Put pizza bites in oven.
  • Shredded the chicken breast in my kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment (one of the best things I've discovered on pinterest so far!) 
  • Made up chicken taquitos; pulled out pizza bites.
  • Put taquitos in the oven; started lemon blueberry scones.
  • sauteed onions and bell pepper; scrambled eggs. Made breakfast burritos.
  • That evening the chicken soft tacos are done; put a little meat in the tortillas with cheese; wrap in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag. 
Chicken Soft Tacos
3 chicken breasts
1 jar enchilada sauce
1 pkg. taco seasoning

Dump everything in your crockpot. Cook in crockpot 4 hours high or 8 hours low.

Pizza Bites- adapted from Annies-eats
1 T. instant yeast or 1 envelope (use the pizza dough yeast if you buy the envelopes)
4 c. bread flour (or you could use all purpose or a mix of whole wheat)
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/4 c. room temp. water
1 pouch of pepperoni
block of mozzarella, cubed
3 T. butter, melted
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese
garlic powder

Mix yeast and 1/2c. warm water. I find even though it's "instant" yeast, my dough rises better when I take this step. Mix all your dry ingredients in your mixing bowl; add in remaining ingredients and yeast. Use dough hook and mix until well incorporated and forms a ball.  Let rest for 5-10 min. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Tear the dough into 20-24 golf ball sized pieces. Top with a piece of pepperoni and a cube of cheese. Wrap the edges of the dough around and pinched closed. Place in greased pie plate or pizza stone; edges should not touch each other. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown.

Melt butter and mix in garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Brush over baked pizza bites and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Banana Bread- Money Saving Mom
2 cups flour (all-purpose, whole-wheat, or a mixture of both)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons milk

Stir together dry ingredients. Beat together remaining ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Chicken Taquitos- adapted from Our Best Bites
1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 C green salsa
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
1 chicken breast, cooked and finely shredded (I used my kitchen aid mixer with the paddle)
1 C grated pepperjack or monterey jack cheese

small flour tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray
Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray or use your pampered chef large baking pan.
Toss everything (except the tortillas) into your mixer and blend until incorporated. Heat your tortillas a few at a time in the microwave between damp paper towels for 20-30 seconds to keep them from cracking or unrolling as easy. Use about 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture in each tortilla, careful to leave about 1/2 from edge so you can roll them up; roll it up as tight as you can.
Lay them all seam side down and don't let them touch. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and start to brown. To freeze, let cool completely and place in a freezer bag with the following instructions: Heat in microwave 1 min to thaw. Crisp in oven at 425 for 5 min or until crisp again.

Breakfast Burritos
1 dozen eggs, scambled
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 c. cheese, your choice
bacon or sausage, cooked and crumbled
20 tortillas

Saute onions and bell pepper; stir in scrambled eggs and meat. Warm tortillas between damp paper towels for 20-30 seconds to prevent breakage. Put 2-3T of eggs mixture in tortilla and top with cheese. Roll up tight. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in ziplock bag; heat in microwave 1 min. or until warmed.