Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nutella Nanaimo Bars

I've changed this recipe a little from the original I found - it's also not my picture :-)  I wasn't too impressed the first day, but by the second day all the flavors had mixed together and it tasted much better, so make ahead of time!

    • Prep Time 25 Minutes
    • Cook Time 1 Hour
    • Difficulty Easy


    • 6 Tablespoons Salted Butter
    • ½ cups Granulated Sugar
    • 5 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Preferably Dutch Process
    • 1 whole Large Egg, Beaten
    • 1-¼ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
    • 1 cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
    • ½ cups Skinned Toasted Hazelnuts, Chopped*
    • 3 ounces, weight Nutella
    • 6 ounces, weight Powdered Sugar

    Preparation Instructions

    1. For the bottom Layer: Melt 1 stick butter, granulated sugar and cocoa on top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 10×6 pan, and chill until no longer warm to the touch.
    2. For the middle layer: Combine Nutella with 6 tablespoons of softened butter until thoroughly combined. Add powdered sugar and mix until it’s incorporated and the mixture is the texture of soft frosting. Spread it evenly on top of the bottom layer, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
    3. Cut into small squares and enjoy.
    *If you have raw hazelnuts, spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake @350 degrees until the skin blisters.  Remove from oven and immediately wrap in a dish towel to let them sweat.  After a few minutes, rub vigorously to remove the papery skins.  Some won't come off and that's ok.  Then chop.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    Grilled Rueben Sandwich

    Admittedly not the best looking sandwich, but definitely one of the tastiest!

      • Prep Time 5 Minutes
      • Cook Time 10 Minutes
      • Difficulty Easy


      • 8 slices Dark Rye Bread
      • 1 jar Sauerkraut
      • 8 slices Turkey Pastrami
      • 4 slices Swiss Cheese
      • Russian Dressing
      • Butter

      Preparation Instructions

      Layer bread, 2 slices of pastrami, 1 slice of swiss cheese, desired amount of sauerkraut, and approx. 1 tbsp Russian dressing on sandwich. Butter outsides of sandwich well and grill on stove top over medium heat. Turn when brown and remove once cheese is melted. You really can’t mess it up!

      Tuesday, April 13, 2010

      Vegetable Pizza

        • Prep Time 15 Minutes
        • Cook Time 10 Minutes
        • Difficulty Easy


        • 2 packages Refrigerated Crescent Dough
        • 4 ounces, fluid Sour Cream
        • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
        • ½ packages Dry Ranch Seasoning
        • Vegetables (Your Choice)

        Preparation Instructions

        Roll out crescent dough to form pizza base, pinching seams closed. Bake according to package directions.
        In the meantime, mix sour cream, cream cheese, and ranch seasoning. Set aside. Cut desired vegetables. Once the dough is cooked, spread with sour cream mixture and top with vegetables.
        Veggie ideas:
        red and yellow peppers
        green onions
        water chestnuts

        Foil Dinners (Hobo Dinners)

        *So I know everyone has their own version of this, but I wanted to share mine cause I think it is really good.

        1lb ground beef
        3-6 potatoes skinned and chopped into chunks
        baby carrots
        half an onion thinly sliced
        2 packets of dry Ranch dressing mix
        beef broth

        Get out some foil. Bend up the sides to make a kind of bowl. Place carrots, potatoes, and onions in. (I put the amount of ingredients according to who will be eating it. Ex. Ashlyn loves the carrots but not the potatoes, so she gets more carrots in hers. And Terry hates onions so I barely put any in his, and so on...) Pour a little beef broth over the veggies. (this will help cook them and keep them moist.) Sprinkle one packet of Ranch mix evenly over the veggies in each foil dinner. Next, in a bowl, sprinkle the remaining packet into your ground beef and mix through with your hands. Take about 1/4 of the ground beef and form into a patty.(you can take more or less depending on who will be eating it. For instance, make a bigger patty for your husband and a smaller for your 3 year old.) Place the patty on top of the veggies and fold over the foil and seal off. Bake at 375 for no less than an hour. I usually do mine for longer.

        *Side note.. I have once replaced the Ranch mix with Itallian and it is also good (though I do prefer the ranch). So just use what you have. You can also put different veggies in as well. Carrots and potatoes are our favorites.

        **This makes 4 servings, but I'm sure you could stretch it out to serve more.

        Monday, April 12, 2010

        Black Bean Chicken Tacos

        This is a SUPER easy make-ahead meal. Layer in a crock pot in the following order:
        1 can black beans, drained
        3 chicken breasts
        1 pkg taco seasoning (1-2 Tbsp)
        1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
        Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6- 8 hours. Before serving, add about 1/2 cup instant rice, let it sit 5 minutes. Shred chicken. Serve in tortillas topped with cheese and sour cream. Yum!

        Friday, April 9, 2010

        Sweet and Spicy Chicken

        This isn't my original recipe (or photo for that matter).  But I tried it two days ago and it was delish!
        Sweet and spicy chicken that tastes almost identical to PF Chang’s Spicy Chicken. Make it at home any time!

          • Prep Time 15 Minutes
          • Cook Time 25 Minutes
          • Difficulty Easy


          • 8 ounces, weight Chicken Breast
          • 2 cups Vegetable Oil
          • 1 cup Flour
          • ½ teaspoons Salt
          • ¾ teaspoons Baking Soda
          • 1 whole Egg
          • ½ cups Milk
          • ½ cups Water
          • _____
          • FOR THE SPICY SAUCE:
          • 2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
          • 2 Tablespoons Garlic, Chopped Finely
          • 3 Tablespoons Green Onion (chopped)
          • 1 cup Pineapple Juice
          • 2 teaspoons Chili Sauce (Sriracha)
          • 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
          • 4 teaspoons Sugar
          • 1-½ teaspoon Soy Sauce
          • ¾ teaspoons Salt
          • 2 Tablespoons Water
          • 3 teaspoons Cornstarch

          Preparation Instructions

          Prepare the spicy sauce: heat oil, garlic and green onions over medium heat until soft. Add pineapple juice, chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and salt. Combine the water and cornstarch in a separate container. Mix the cornstarch/water mixture into the sauce and stir over medium-low heat until thickened. You can add more chili sauce if you want spicier spicy chicken sauce. Be sure to taste it as you go so you don’t overdo it. Reduce heat to low.
          Prepare the chicken: cut the chicken breast into 1-inch cubes and season with salt. Begin heating the 2 cups vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
          Prepare the batter: combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together. Batter should be fairly thin. Place chicken cubes in the batter to coat. Batter should be very thin on the chicken.
          Once the oil is heated, reduce heat to medium and add chicken cubes a few at a time, letting the batter drip off before placing in the oil. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes and turn halfway through cooking. Cook until golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper-towel-covered plate. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.
          Serve chicken over white or brown rice and cover with plenty of spicy sauce.

          Wednesday, April 7, 2010

          Easy Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce

          Makes 6-8 servings.

          1 pkg bowtie pasta
          1 Tbs butter or margarine
          1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
          1/2 tsp garlic salt
          1 c. milk
          1/2 pkg (4 oz) cream cheese, cubed
          1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
          1/2 c. grated parmesan

          Cook noodles according to package. In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt; cook 2 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Add milk and heat just to boiling; stir in cream cheese and basil. Reduce heat, stirring constantly until cream cheese is completely melted and chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan cheese. Toss hot noodles and sauce; serve immediately.

          Noticing a trend?... All of mine are fast and easy! :)

          Crock Pot Roast with Perfect Gravy

          2 cans cream of mushroom soup
          1 pkg dry onion soup mix (I just use onion flakes)
          1/2 c. water (optional, I don't add this or it's too runny)
          5 lb. roast

          Mix soup, onion soup mix and water in crock-pot. Add meat and coat with soup mixture. Cook on low 8-9 hours (or high 3-4 hours). When it's done, take it out and strain the gravy into a serving bowl. It really is SO good and easy!

          Easy Lasagna

          Bottle of Ragu or Prego spaghetti sauce
          1 lb browned hamburger
          1 c sour cream
          1 c cottage cheese
          Lasagna noodles (or any kind of noodle!)

          Mix together all ingredients. I usually only use about 3/4 the jar of spaghetti sauce or it gets kind of runny. Cook half package of lasagna noodles according to package directions. Layer noodles, hamburger sauce mixture, cheese. Repeat 3 times. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

          Klay HATES sour cream and cottage cheese and loves this lasagna! I've tried using different types of noodles besides lasagna for more of a pasta bake and it was delicious and a nice change.

          Monday, April 5, 2010

          Asparagus Rice Salad with Garlic Sauce

          Great as a vegetarian entree or delicious side dish. Can be served hot or cold.

            • Prep Time 10 Minutes
            • Cook Time 25 Minutes
            • Difficulty Easy


            • 6 ounces, weight Box Of Uncle Ben's "Original Long Grain & Wild Rice"
            • ½ cups Soy Beans
            • 1 whole Red Pepper Chopped
            • 1 bunch Asparagus, Blanched For 3 Minutes
            • ½ cups Pecans
            • 1 whole Avocado, Sliced
            • FOR THE GARLIC SAUCE:
            • ¼ cups Rice Vinegar
            • ¼ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
            • 1 clove Garlic, Mined
            • ½ Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
            • 2 whole Lemons, Juiced
            • ½ bunches Green Onions, Chopped

            Preparation Instructions

            Cook rice according to directions. Add soy beans, red pepper, asparagus, pecans, and avocados. Drizzle garlic sauce over top, if desired.
            For the garlic sauce, mix sauce ingredients and chill overnight in an airtight container.