Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Broiled Pizza Burgers

Spring Break is here. It's amazing how easily we slip into vacation mode, especially when the weather has finally started warming up. We haven't gotten to bed at a decent time since last Thursday. Ice cream cones for supper, any one???

I felt pretty guilty about not feeding my children the other day, so I went looking for something simple. This one came from Allrecipes. They have a new set of recipes on their home page every day, so I went through a period where I checked that site every day.

Brown a pound of hamburger. Add in half a chopped onion and cook until the onions are translucent.
Add in a can of diced tomatoes. You can use plain or they also have Italian style which has a little more kick to it.
Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup of the meat mixture onto an open bun.
Add a slice of cheese and broil for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

Serve open faced.

I think next time I will only use half a piece of cheese. A whole slice kind of detracted from the rest of the filling. While I didn't really get the taste of pizza, these are really good.

And easy. Good supper for spring.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Broiled Pizza Burgers
1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
8 slices American processed cheese
4 hamburger buns, split

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat; drain. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Stir in the tomatoes, salt and onion salt. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Place hamburger buns cut side up on a baking sheet; spoon about 1/4 cup meat mixture onto each bun half. Place cheese slices over meat mixture. Broil for 4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Five Minute Mousse

The Girl is enrolled in Cooking as a 4-H project, so it has become her job to help with the menu planning. She decides on our Saturday lunches and any snacks we have are entirely her choice. Well, okay, The Boy has helped. Depending on what she chooses, it is her responsibility to make the snacks and clean up afterwards. The first part is going well, not so much the second.

She recently started a blog and wanted to post this recipe. I jokingly suggested she could make it into a cooking show. She loved the idea. So we set about figuring out how to do that.

So I have my first guest blogger and a video blogger at that :)

Click here for Printable Recipe

Five Minute Mousse
3 3/4 ounces instant pudding mix, any flavor
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups Cool Whip - thawed
Beat the pudding mix with a wire whisk into milk for 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon into 4 dessert dishes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hot Fudge Cake

When my computer crashed (again) a couple months ago, my dear brother recovered all my files (again) for me. He probably keeps that equipment just for me.

Hidden away in my Documents was a file dated somewhere in 2009, simply named "recipes." Not sure what to expect there, I opened it up to find thirty-two pages of recipes.


Thirty-two pages.

Holy Cow!

Apparently one day a few summers ago, I had gone on some type of recipe copying rampage.

This Hot Fudge Cake was one of them. Like nearly all of the recipes in the file, it did not come with the source. A quick Google turned up several amazing new desserts that I simply must try, but I couldn't find anything that looked like this one.

Bake a yellow cake in a 9 x 13 pan. It can be your favorite from-scratch recipe or from a mix. Who am I to judge?

This is a spin on the poke cake, so use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes into the cake about every inch or so.
In a saucepan, melt a can of sweetened condensed milk with a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Pour this over the yellow cake. Spread it out and let it cool down a bit.
Spread a container of Cool-Whip over the top.
Doesn't that look incredible?

It is.
I'm going to go make it again.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Hot Fudge Cake
1 Yellow Cake Mix, baked
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Carton Cool-Whip
Poke holes in the cooled cake with the handle of a wooden spoon. Melt the chocolate chips and milk in a saucepan and spread over the cake. Let cool. Spread Cool-Whip over chocolate.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dragon Cookies

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

While we can't really claim to be Irish, we can certainly appreciate all things green today. The Girl, especially seemed pretty obsessed getting into the proper Irish spirit.

I received a similar recipe in email the other day I think from Betty Crocker, but apparently deleted it. The Kids loved the idea of green cookies, so I adapted my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe as best I could.

Of course since they are green, The Boy immediately thought them to be "Dragon Cookies" and that just sounded better than "Green Chocolate Chip Cookies." He didn't quite get the whole "Kiss me, I'm Irish" thing.

Cream together 1 cup of shortening, 1/2 cup of butter and 2 cups of brown sugar.
Beat in 2 eggs.
And a teaspoon each of vanilla and peppermint extract.
Add in 30 drops of green food coloring. Yes, 30 drops.
Gradually mix in 2 teaspoons baking soda and 3 cups of flour.
Stir in 2 cups Andes mint chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon on to a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Careful when you open the oven door. Peppermint extract can really clear out the sinuses (and burn the eyes) after it has been baked.
These are yummy. As I was mixing them up, I started second guessing myself on the peppermint extract, thinking it would be too overwhelming. Turns out I didn't have to worry. However, I'm not convinced that you need the peppermint extract AND the Andes mint chips. I think you could get away with just vanilla and the chips or peppermint extract and regular chocolate chips. The way I made them, I'm not sure you can tell that they are Andes chips as opposed to regular chocolate chips. Next time I will probably pick an alternate version just to see.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Dragon Cookies
1 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Butter
2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
3 Cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Cups Andes Mint Baking Chips

Cream shortening, butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Beat in extracts. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chips. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool for two minutes and remove to cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Easy Homemade Donuts

It's Daylight Savings Time. Seriously. WHY?? I really do not adjust well to these days. I am on a schedule and I do not like to change it. And anyway, does it really serve any purpose at all? There is an old Indian saying that may or may not have been made up by my dad: "Only a White Man would cut the end off a blanket, sew it back on to the top and believe that it was longer." Kinda makes sense, don't you think?

The Boy wanted donuts for breakfast this morning and I really didn't feel like going out and getting any. Lucky for me, Carrie posted this a few days ago. I had some extra biscuits in the fridge and that just seemed like a good omen.

I had never made donuts before, so I had zero background knowledge to fall back on, which made for some interesting issues, as you will see shortly.

Get your oil heating up. If you have a fryer, you can use that. I have a specific old frying pan that I use when I require hot oil. You need a good couple inches deep, otherwise you won't be able to turn the donuts.

While you are waiting, mix up your glaze. The Boy wanted chocolate, so I added a handful of chocolate chips to 1/4 cup melted butter and 3 tablespoons of milk.

Whisk that together and mix in a cup of powdered sugar.
Open a can of refrigerated biscuits and lay out each individual biscuit. There are several directions you could go here. You could not worry about taking any dough out of the middle. I'm not positive, however, that you would technically be making donuts anymore. According to Ty Webb (you know, Caddyshack), "A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish." Since we are wanting donuts, we are going to cut out the middle. You can use anything round, like the lid from a pop bottle. The problem I had with this is that I didn't have anything circular small enough for my biscuits. I dug around and found my mini cookie cutters. Star centers it shall be.

Now, Carrie said she put her stove on "5" and it took 20 minutes to heat up. You can check this by tossing a VERY SMALL DROP of water into the oil. If the water sizzles, the oil is ready. I set my stove to medium and when I checked it after about 10 minutes, it nearly caught my kitchen on fire. If you have a kitchen thermometer (I apparently do not), you want the oil to be heated to 375. Anything over that and you are going to end up something like this:
These four unfortunate donuts were added to the oil and by the time I got the last one in (approximately 2 seconds), this had happened. A kitchen thermometer is now on my shopping list.

Even if you donuts do not actually become charcoal, if your oil is too hot, you will get them nice and brown on the outside, but not quite cooked on the inside. I'm not sure which is worse.

Cook for a few seconds on one side until you see a very light brown start to creep around the edges of the donut. Then flip it over and cook for a few more seconds.
After a few tries, I ended up with some nicely browned samples.

Dip these in your glaze.

Aren't the stars cute??
Let the glaze dribble off. Ideally, I would have had waxed paper under the cooling rack, but I seem to have run out.
These were devoured. Definitely keeping this recipe. Someday I might try "real" donuts, but these are so easy I don't know if it would be worth the trouble.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Easy Biscuit Donuts
2 tubes Refrigerated Biscuits
3-5 Cups Oil for Frying
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
3 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Powdered Sugar

Heat the oil to 375.
Whisk butter, milk and chocolate chips until smooth. Add powdered sugar. Whisk until mixture is again smooth. Set aside.
Cut centers out of biscuits. Place in the hot oil. Brown on both sides. Place on a cooling rack or paper towel.
Cool slightly and dip in glaze.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March Menu

Did you know it was March? I mean March 6th? I'm not sure how it happened, but I completely missed that. Whew.

Any who, better late than never I suppose.

Easy Chicken Parmesan
Upside Down Pizza
CP Chicken Cordon Bleu
Swiss Mushroom Chicken
Bacon Wrapped Corn Dogs
CP All Day Crock Pot Delight
CP Beef Stroganoff
Fish Stick Supper
Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
Marinated Baked Chicken
CP Ham and Beans
Busy Day Baked Fish
Roasted Red Pepper Chicken
Chicken Pizza Packets
Homemade Shepard's Pie
Pizza Pasta Casserole

Snacks and Desserts
Rice Krispy Treats
Strawberry Mousse Parfaits

Hmmm...this list doesn't have much in the way to link, does it? These are dinners I fall back on over and over, so I will try to get more of them posted this month.

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chicken Valentino

I don't know where I got this recipe. I have had it for awhile, but can't seem to find the original source. There are a lot of recipes out there that claim to be Chicken Valentino, but don't seem to look anything like another one. This could be Chicken Valentino and it could possibly NOT be Chicken Valentino. From here on out, this is what I mean when I say I am making Chicken Valentino.

I'm not usually big on stuffed anything recipes mainly because they seem to take forever to put together and they never seem to some out like they are supposed to. I made this one because it reminded me of a song. Yes. I am THAT close to actually going insane. Anyway, remember the Bangles song Manic Monday?

I love that song and had forgotten all about it until this recipe came to me. "I was kissin' Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream..." I sang that song the whole time I was making this. Jeff thinks I need a nap.

Pound your chicken breasts flat and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, cheddar cheese.
Add a little bit of mozzarella cheese and thinly sliced roasted red peppers.
Roll 'em up and stick in a toothpick or two so they stay rolled.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
Click here for Printable Recipe

Chicken Valentino
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 Cup Roasted Red Peppers, sliced

Pound the chicken breasts flat. Sprinkle with seasoning, cheeses and red peppers. Roll up the chicken breast and secure with a toothpick. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear.