Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Post 4

Old picture, I know, but it's still one of my favorites
Pretty much all of you that know me know that I am a disaster in the kitchen.  I rarely sign up to take meals to people because I get so nervous that my food will make them sick.  I try.  I really do.  I actually even enjoy cooking, I just get so frustrated when I spend hours cooking and then even I won't eat the result. 

If you haven't figured out my post yet, this is my annual "What I was willing to eat" post, i.e. "My favorite Recipes & Favorite New Kitchen Gadget" post.

Here goes.....

I don't think I have ever posted about this recipe (and I use the term "recipe" loosely).  It is my family's favorite thing to eat and I love it because it is so easy. 

I was talking to one of my sisters a while back and complaining about the lack of easy recipes I have.  She immediately spouted this one off to of the girls who works in my dad's office had given it to her and said it was her family's all time favorite recipe.  I'm not sure if that is true, but I could probably say that it is my family's.  Thank you Vicki and Allie for sharing with me.

BBQ Biscuits

1 can of Grands biscuits (it doesn't matter which one, I use whatever I have on hand, the honey butter ones are yummy)
1 lb ground beef
BBQ sauce (I have made this using Sloppy Joe mix and it is yummy as well)
Grated Cheese

Cook the beef,  once cooked stir in BBQ or Sloppy Joe sauce. 

Using a muffin tin (or a small loaf pan, which I prefer) squish the Grands to cover the bottom and side of pan. 

Spoon the beef BBQ mix into the biscuits.  Top with Cheese.

Follow baking instructions on the Grands package.  I always bake the longest amount, I found that with the mixture on the biscuits it takes a few minutes longer to cook.

That's it.  Seriously, it's that easy.  See why I use the term "Recipe" loosely???

Sweet Chex Mix:
I actually made this as my holiday treat this year, I love it that much.....Heck, anything (well, almost) that is sweet is an instant favorite.  I have gotten a few friends addicted to this stuff as're welcome :)

Here is the actual recipe,
1 1/2 c butter
1 c white Karo
1 c sugar
3 c rice chex
3 c corn chex
6 c golden grahams
1/2 c coconut
slivered almonds

I modified mine to be:
1 c butter (1 1/2 just tasted too buttery)1 c honey
1 c sugar
12 c rice and corn chex (It's actually about half a box each.  I don't even measure anymore.)
3 c golden grahams (I didn't like having so many golden grahams, it was just too sweet so I lower the quantity of gg and upped the chex, I prefer it that way)
1 c marshmallows -I eyeball it and put in however much looks yummy
1/2 c coconut - same thing, I probably add more
Slivered almonds

In large (I do mean LARGE) bowl combine cereals, coconut, marshmallows and almonds

In saucepan combine butter, sugar and honey/Karo

Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 min

Let sauce cool a bit (or it will melt the marshmallows, which I think is yummy so I don't let it cool very long)

Pour over cereal mixture-I do half, mix really well and then pour the other half.  That seems to coat it best

You can spread it on wax paper to cool, but I just leave it in the bowl and eat it and eat it and eat it. 

Needless to say, I only make it when lots of people will be around, otherwise I make myself sick.

Black Bean Dip:

I begged one of my friends to share this recipe with me after she made it for book club.  I am not much of a dip fan, I don't really care for chips so I rarely eat dip.  That being said, I am addicted to this dip.  I make it every chance I get.  I think it is probably pretty healthy, too bad the chips ruin it.  But, it would probably taste yummy on carrots or something.  Just so you know, it's really, really yummy with the lime flavored Tostito chips.

I'm crossing my fingers that my friend will not mind me sharing it with the entire cyber world...It's just too good to keep to myself.

1 can black beans, drained
1/2 c fresh salsa
2 T cilantro (I use WAY more)
2 T lime juice
1/4 tsp cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend all together in a food processor. 

That's it, eat and enjoy.

Roast Chicken With Garlic, Apples & Cider:

This recipe actually came from Red book magazine.  It looked so good I couldn't resist making it, my family loves it, and it really doesn't take that much time to make.  It sounds longer than it is.

I have a funny story about this recipe coming in a future blog post, while you are waiting on the edge of your seat, make's delicious.

2 Chicken breasts
1 T Olive Oil
1/2 t Salt & pepper
2 T Minced garlic
1 T Parsley
1 Golden Delicious apple
1/2 cup Apple cider
2 T Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Cream

Heat oven to 400*

Brush chicken with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Bake 20-25 min

In skillet:  simmer garlic, cut up apple, cider & mustard gently for 10 min, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cream.  Add chicken and simmer until sauce thickens. 

Stir in parsley.

My adjustments:  I double the sauce recipe.  We like sauce of any sort, BUT I do not double the mustard.  I'm not a huge mustard fan so I keep it at 2 T, otherwise it's too strong.

Also, it's pretty hard to find cider during the year, so I buy a jug during the holidays and freeze it in 1 cup increments.

Chicken Spinach Lasagna Casserole:

Here's another recipe I tried from Red book, funny enough, these are the only two I've ever made, but they were definitely wonderful.  Trisha Yearwood did a spread for the magazine and included a few recipes (I'm guessing it was to promote her cookbook), anyway, I have made this a few times and even took it for a dinner to a girl who had a was that good.....and that easy.

1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 1/2 ounce) jar mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise
6 lasagna noodles - COOKED (I made that mistake once, you have to cook them in this recipe)1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, chicken, cheddar cheese, onion, cornstarch, salt, pepper, soy sauce, soup,sour cream, mushrooms and mayonnaise.

Put a layer of noodles in the bottom of a greased (9x13x2 inch) lasagna pan.

Spread half of the spinach mixture over noodles.

Place another layer of noodles on top and cover with remaining spinach mixture.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, then pecans on top.
Bake for 1 hour.

Apple Butter

Did I mention that I made HOMEMADE Apple Butter this year?  Before you start to think I'm even close to Martha Stewart it's about the easiest thing I have ever canned.  Thanks to the delicious apples my mother-in-law brought me (along with the easiest recipe EVER) I have a pantry stocked with them.  Yay!!!

20 apples, cored and peeled and cut into small pieces
4 cups of sugar
1 T of Cinnamon

Yep, that's it. 

Stir it all together and put in the crockpot on high for 1 hour.  Stir and cook for 8-9 more hours on low. 

With about 1 hour left to go use an Immersion Blender (stick blender) and blend it smooth.  Let it cook another hour and then I put them in 1/2 pint jars and gave them a water bath for 10 minutes.

You really can't mess it up.  Seriously, we left one batch on high for about 3 hours and it still turned out just fine.

Here are a few more recipes (with links, thank goodness!) I love:

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

Oh, this is so yummy.  I just discovered it recently and LOVE it.  I am a little addicted to Panera Bread's Macaroni and Cheese (What?!?  You haven't had it.....try it, or maybe you shouldn't, it is sooooo yummy) and so I am going to get some white cheddar and try to replicate it.  Send your prayers, I am not very good at creating dishes.

Pot Roast Soup

This is incredible.  I use my leftover french dip sandwich meat and make this.  We love, Love, LOVE it.  If the deliciousness of the french dip sandwiches wasn't enough to get me to make the meat, the soup is.  I add zucchini to it because, well, I love zucchini.

French dip sandwiches

Once again, another favorite recipe from my wonderful friend Lindsay.  I will forever owe you for this one.  I get the Kaiser rolls at the grocery to go with this and look forward to dinner all day as it cooks.  The website even claims it is the number one most requested recipe.  There is a reason, folks.  This is the recipe I use in the aforementioned Pot Roast Soup recipe.

My favorite Rolls

Since my husband earned some serious brownie points this year by buying me this baby, I have been working non-stop trying to perfect my bread making.  I have made many roll recipes and this is my favorite.  I tried the favorite roll recipe from Our Best Bites, but I thought they were just eh.  But this one....oh, they are yummy. 

I also discovered Dough Enhancer ( I got mine at a Bosch store) this year and now will not make bread without it.  I know, I know, it's not as healthy, but hey, I'm making white bread dinner rolls.  I'm pretty sure there isn't too much healthy about them anyway.  Also, I am now converted to bread flour.  I buy it at Costco and love the difference in my bread.

That's it for this year.  I stuck to the recipes I seem to always make, over and over again.  Happy cooking!

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