Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Apple Snickers Salad

Looking for a new way to get rid of some of your kids Halloween candy? This is a quick and yummy dessert idea I got from my friend Elise a while back. Plus the apples and fat free whipped cream make it good for you...right? Right? (Just forget about those delicious little bits of Snickers!)  I put quantities for each of the ingredients but this isn't really a recipe where you need to measure things out.  You can easily make as much or as little as you want.  The recipe below filled my regular sized trifle bowl perfectly. Enjoy!

Apple Snickers Salad
4 large granny smith apples (chopped)
1 16 oz. container fat-free whipped topping
5-6 regular sized snicker bars (chopped)

Chop apples and snickers bars into bite sized pieces and mix with whipped topping. That's it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Taco Soup

 I'm really surprised I haven't put this recipe on here before now seeing as I make it so much.  I got this recipe from one of my roommates aunts back in college.  It was a great meal for college because it was cheap and it lasted me all week.  Now that I'm cooking for six people it doesn't last quite as long but it's still cheap and easy to throw together.  It's made up of ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

Taco Soup
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can stewed tomatoes (do not drain)
1 can corn (do not drain)
1 can olives (drained)
1 can kidney beans (do not drain)
1 can pinto beans (do not drain)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup salsa (I use Kroger chunky salsa)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup water (or more as needed)

Toppings (optional):
sour cream
crushed tortilla chips

Cook beef and onion together in a large stock pot.  Add all canned goods, salsa and taco seasoning.  Take note that only the olives are drained. Add water until soup is desired thickness.  (I usually just use one of the empty cans.  About 1 1/2 cans of water usually does the trick).  Let simmer about 10 min.  When serving, top with cheese, sour cream or chips if desired.

Freezer Meal Instructions:
Brown ground beef and onion together until meat is cooked through and onion is tender.  Cool slightly and place in a gallon sized freezer bag.  Add all remaining ingredients to bag.  Seal and label.

When ready to serve, place in crockpot with an additional cup of water and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until heated through. Or thaw, place in a stock pot with additional cup of water on the stove and cook until heated through.  Top with cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips if desired.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

I got this recipe from Alex's aunt several years ago and love it.  Just mix all the ingredients together in a crock pot and the meat and au jus come out perfectly when you're ready to eat.

Italian dressing seasoning and banana peppers work together to give the meat its flavor.  You can spice it up by using hot pepper rings in place of mild. Serve on wheat hoagie rolls with whatever cheese you prefer.  We like provolone or pepperjack around here :)

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
3-4 lb. beef roast
1 packet dry Italian dressing mix
1 jar mild (or hot) pepper rings (with juice)
1 can beef broth
garlic powder (to taste)
oregano (to taste)

Mix all ingredients together in a crock pot.  Heat on low for 7-8 hours.  Shred meat and return to crock pot. Serve meat on sandwich rolls using broth mixture for dipping. 

Freezer Meal Prep and Cooking Instructions:
Place roast in a gallon sized freezer bag.  Substitute 2 tsp. boullion for beef broth.  Add a bouillion and all other ingredients to bag with roast.  Massage slightly to combine ingredients. Freeze.

When ready to serve- Place in crock pot. Heat on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is cooked through.  Shred meat and return to crock pot. Serve meat on sandwich rolls using broth mixture for dipping.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fruit Crisp

This is one of my favorite desserts.  The topping pairs well with just about all the fruits I've tried.  I've made it with fresh peaches, pears and apples.  The picture above is peaches.  I've also used frozen berries and cherry pie filling and those were both yummy too.  It's also easy to double and cooks nicely in a dutch oven (in case you get put in charge of making cobblers for 100 teenagers at Girls Camp...for example!)

There are a lot of ways to alter this recipe to your liking too.  Omit the coconut if you want, play around with the spices, combine different fruits, add extra pecans, etc.  Just don't forget the vanilla ice cream!!

Fruit Crisp
6 cups fruit (fresh, frozen or canned)
3 T. granulated sugar
1 T. lemon juice (only if using fresh fruit)

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon (I like more!)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1) Peel and slice fresh fruit or thaw frozen fruit.  Place in the bottom of a 9x13 in. baking dish.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar and lemon juice (if needed).

2) In a medium bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour and spices.  Cut in butter using a pastry blender until mixture is in coarse crumbs.  Stir in nuts and coconut.  Pour topping evenly over the fruit.

3) Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until fruit is tender.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Freezer Meal Prep Instructions:
Follow steps 1 and 2 above making sure to use a freezer friendly 9x13 dish (I use the disposable kind).  Cover with 2 layers of foil. Label and freeze.

When ready to serve:
Let thaw in refrigerator overnight, uncover and bake using instructions above. bake from frozen: tent foil over pan, increase cook time to 65 minutes or until fruit is tender and the top golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stuffed Jalapenos

These were so yummy!  And even though they are loaded with cheesy goodness I was surprised that they have a lot less calories than some of their appetizer neighbors :) They were super easy to throw together and bake quickly too.

One word of advice when making them...And unfortunately I learned the hard way...wear gloves when cutting and seeding the peppers.  If you don't, your hand will be on fire for about 2 days afterward, no joke!  I was only doing it to 15 peppers and thought I could get away without the gloves...big mistake!  So, now you can enjoy delicious jalapeno appetizers without the pain.

Also, It's hard to guess which jalapeno is going to be hot and which is going to be mild so it's kind of like playing jalapeno roulette when you eat them.  I served them at a game night and every once and a while someone would get a nice hot one and it made for a good time :) Enjoy!

Jalapeno Poppers
12-15 jalapenos (cut in half, seeds removed)
1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese (I used fat free)
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked bacon pieces
a dash of garlic powder (optional)

Cut each jalapeno in half and remove the seeds.  In a small bowl combine cream cheese, sharp cheddar and bacon.  Place about 1 Tablespoon of mixture in each of the jalapeno halves. Sprinkle with extra cheddar if desired.  Place stuffed jalapenos on a large baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until centers are hot and bubbly and jalapenos are tender. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Glazed Carrots

Here's a quick recipe that I use a lot.  All four of my girls love carrots cooked just about any way but this is probably their favorite.  I started making this for Easter and Thanksgiving but now we have them all the time.  You can use baby carrots or slice up regular carrots (pictured above).  Enjoy!

Glazed Carrots
5 cups carrots (baby or sliced whole carrots)
1-2 T. butter
1/4 cup honey
1-2 T. brown sugar

Steam carrots in stovetop steamer basket or in microwave until just tender.  In a medium saucepan combine butter, honey, and brown sugar, stirring constantly over medium heat until slightly thickened. Add carrots and coat with honey mixture. Serve immediately!