Monday, March 29, 2010

Fresh Spinach Salad

This is one of my favorite spinach salads. The dressing on it just makes it so delicious. Oh, and the fried bacon bits on top, they are like icing on the cake. This is a great recipe to make all spring and summer especially if you plan to have spinach in your garden this year!

Fresh Spinach Salad

1 pkg. fresh spinach, wash and discard the heavy stems. Tear into bite size pieces.
1 can water chestnuts (optional), drained and sliced
1 can bean sprouts, drained
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 lb. bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Toss together in large serving bowl.

1/2 c. sugar
3 T. ketchup
1/2 c. oil
2 T. vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients and mix well in blender. Pour over spinach mixture.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Karl's Favorite Chicken Cutlets w/Gravy

This is comfort food at its best! Our good friends Jennifer and Karl first introduced us to this delicious meal.

At the beginning of my pregnancy I was very nauseous and had "morning sickness" for what seemed to be all day long. Jenn and Karl were so kind and cooked this meal for us and brought it over one night. I definitely ate for two that night! It was so good! The chicken was so tender and the gravy was such the perfect compliment on top of the rice. I asked for a copy of this recipe and it's now a very popular meal in our house. The leftovers are just as good the next day!

Karl's Favorite Chicken Cutlets w/Gravy

2 Eggs, beaten
6 Chicken Cutlets
1 family size or 2 small cans Cream of Chicken Soup
4 c. Italian Bread Crumbs
1 T. Teriyaki Sauce
1-2 c. Chicken Broth
1 t. Garlic Powder
3/4 t. Onion Powder

Heat oil in large skillet with tall sides. Rinse chicken cutlets in water and pound to soften. Dip chicken in beaten egg then in bread crumbs. Place 2 or 3 pieces in hot oil and brown on each side. Remove from oil and place on plate covered with paper towel (to remove extra grease).

When all chicken is browned remove extra oil from pan. (We want the remnants from the chicken though so do not wash the pan just dump the grease out.) Mix in pan the cream of chicken soup, teriyaki sauce, chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Blend together to a gravy-like consistency. Add more chicken broth until it's the consistency that you like.

Add chicken back into the gravy. Cover and saute at least 30 minutes. The longer you let it saute in the gravy, the more tender it will be! (I usually transfer everything over to my crockpot and let it cook on low for the last hour.)

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reese Cup Ice Cream Pie

I've got a sweet treat for you tonight! This is such an easy dessert to whip together! It is extremely versatile too. If you're not a peanut butter lover than feel free to substitute your favorite candy bar instead. I'm sure using Butterfinger, Whoppers, M&M's, or even Twix would make delicious ice cream pies as well! This will be the perfect thing to make this summer for those hot and humid days...

Reese Cup Ice Cream Pie
Source: Kaitlin in the Kitchen

1 Graham Cracker Crust Pie Shell
8 Reese Cups, chopped into small pieces
Vanilla Ice Cream, half of a box container
2-3 T. Peanut Butter, heaping

Carefully take apart the ice cream container so that you can easily cut the block in half with a knife. Seal it back up and put in the freezer for a later use. Transfer the other half into your mixer and start mixing it until creamy. Add peanut butter, mix. Add chopped up candy and mix well. Pour into the pie shell and using a spatula, smooth the top over so it is all even. Cover and place in the freezer until frozen through. (I'd say about 5 hours, it's even better if you leave it overnight) Garnish with whipped cream and extra reese cups, if desired.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cherry-Apple Cheese Coffee Cake

This is an all-time favorite of mine! I love making this for breakfast when we have company staying with us. A good friend of mine, Barbie, made this for one of our MOMS Club events a couple years ago and I told her I just had to get this recipe from her!!! It's originally called Peachy Cheese Coffee Cake but you can use any kind of pie filling you like - peach, apple, cherry, or blueberry. I usually use 2 different kinds, making it 1/2 and 1/2 so that our guests get to choose which kind they want to try.

Today I choose cherry and apple. So perhaps I should call it "Cherpple" Cheese Coffee Cake or "Apperry" Cheese Coffee Cake. Call it whatever you like, it's guaranteed to put a smile on your guest's face early in the morning!


2 pkg. crescent rolls
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 t. vanilla or almond extract (I used almond extract)
1 can peach, cherry, blueberry or apple pie filling

1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 - 3 t. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate dough into 16 triangles (reserving 4 for top). Arrange 12 triangles on a round pan with wide ends toward the outside. Roll into 14 inch circle. Form slightly raised edge along inner and outer edges. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. Spread over dough. Spoon pie filling over cream cheese mixture.

Cut each of the remaining dough with pizza cutter into three strips. Arrange over filling in spoke-like fashion. Press ends to seal. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.

Combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle over warm coffee cake. Serve warm.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

American Chop Suey

Growing up, this was always a staple meal around my parents' house. I still make it to this day. It's such a quick and easy meal to throw together. It would definitely be considered comfort food in my dictionary. I hope your family will enjoy it as much as mine does!

American Chop Suey

1 lb. hamburger, browned
1 c. celery, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water (fill up one of the empty soup cans)
3 T. soy sauce
3/4 c. uncooked rice

Mix all ingredients together and put in a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Cook in 325 degree oven for 1 hour, covered.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tres Leches Cake

I love, love, love MILK!!! In fact, between my 3 year old and myself, we go through a couple gallons a week! So of course a recipe called Tres Leches (THREE MILKS) Cake would catch my attention.

The first time I ever sank my teeth into a piece of Tres Leches Cake was about a year ago when Ryan took me to this amazing restaurant in New Jersey called Cuban Pete's. (This is now our all-time favorite restaurant.) I remember ordering this cake for dessert. It was an airy, fluffy cake, so moist and just soaked full of milk, yet not soggy at all. A perfect way to end our wonderful dinner that night.

I was anxious to try and make my own Tres Leches Cake. I found this recipe while admiring The Pioneer Woman's website. She has so many wonderful recipes with amazing photos! The posting for her Tres Leches Cake has easy to follow directions and a picture for each step! She could not have made it any easier to make your own cake so I tried it out this weekend. It was delicious! Such a light and airy cake, drenched in sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. A milk lovers dream!

I was afraid the cake would become soggy the following day, but it was even better than the day I made it! (It also tastes great for breakfast!!! haha) So check out the recipe below or go directly to the Pioneer Woman's site if you want to see those step-by-step pictures.

Tres Leches Cake
Source: The Pioneer Woman

1 c. Flour
1-½ t. Baking Powder
¼ t. Salt
5 whole Eggs
1 c. Sugar, Divided
1 t. Vanilla
⅓ c. Milk
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
¼ c. Heavy Cream

1 pint Heavy Cream, for Whipping
3 T. Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
Beat egg yolks with 3/4 c. sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 c. sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.

Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for at least 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 T. of sugar until thick and spreadable.
Spread over the surface of the cake. Optional: Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries or strawberries. Cut into squares and serve.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Homemade Potato Chips

My brother-in-law sent me a link this morning on how to make homemade potato chips in the microwave! I was completely skeptical at first thinking there was no way that the microwave could produce crispy potato chips that would actually taste good. My husband was also very skeptical so he joined me in the kitchen for this cooking experiment.

We were pleasantly surprised how good they were! They were crispy and actually tasted like fresh potato chips! Even my 3 year old kept asking for more!

One batch in the microwave makes a snack size portion for one person. We ended up making 2 different batches - one with regular salt and pepper and the other batch with garlic salt. Both were yummy! This is definitely more of a fun kitchen project rather than a practical way to make a big batch of chips. (There's no way I would try making these for a large group of people.)

So if you have a potato laying around you should give this recipe a try! Grab the whole family because it's a fun experiment with an outcome that will promise to leave no crumbs behind!

Homemade Potato Chips

1 russet potato
Non stick spray
Parchment paper or glass plate
Salt and Pepper

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the inside of your microwave. Carefully slice 1/3 of a potato into paper thin slices using a mandoline, vegetable peeler, or sharp knife. You don’t want to cut any more than this because any extra slices laying around waiting to be cooked will turn pink in color. Completely coat the parchment paper with non-stick spray and place the potato slices in a single layer. Spray the potato slices with non stick spray and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Turn off the rotating option on your microwave and cook for 4-5 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on the strength and power of your microwave. Some chips may turn very dark brown. Ideally you want them light and golden. Repeat the process until you’ve used your entire potato.

*This fun idea came from Check out Alice's blog for lots of other great recipes!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches for the Crockpot

Those of you who know us realize how much my hubby LOVES buffalo chicken wings and how much I LOVE using my crock pot for easy to prepare dinners! When I saw this recipe, I knew it was a Win-Win situation and just had to give it a try. It proved to be quite tasty and was given two thumbs up from my husband.

It was a little hard to taste the Ranch dressing mix so next time I would use a little more. Otherwise it's just as good if you drizzle some Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing on top of the sandwich right before serving them.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches for the Crockpot
Source: A Recipe A Day

4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
1 (17.5 oz) bottle buffalo wing sauce (I used Buffalo Wild Wing Sauce)
1/2 of a 1 oz. pkg of dry ranch salad dressing mix
6 sandwich or hoagie rolls

Put the chicken in the crockpot. Pour 3/4 of the bottle of the hot sauce over the top of the chicken and then sprinkle the salad dressing mix over that. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.

Once the chicken has cooked, shred it right in the crockpot and let it continue to cook for a few minutes to soak up the sauce.

Pile chicken onto rolls and splash with some of the remaining wing sauce if desired. Cover with provolone cheese and stick under the broiler until the cheese melts.

Makes at least 6 sandwiches.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sweet and Salty Butterscotch Candied Popcorn

I was searching for a snack that my family could munch on this evening while watching TV. I came across this yummy little treat on one of my favorite food blogs Picky Palate.

Sweet and Salty Butterscotch Candied Popcorn

1 3.3oz bag Kettle Corn popcorn, popped and all un-popped kernels removed
1 c. peanuts
1 c. butterscotch chips
6 T. butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. corn syrup
¼ t. salt

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place popped popcorn and peanuts onto a large rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed lightly with non stick cooking spray.

2. Place butterscotch chips, butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a light boil. Remove from heat and pour evenly over popcorn and nuts. Gently stir to coat mixture over popcorn. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and pour onto parchment paper to cool. Break into pieces and serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Freezer Meals - Updated

I am 8 months pregnant now and baby #2 will be here before we know it! One of the items on my "Before Baby Comes To-Do List" is to stock our deep freezer with lots of frozen meals. I love to cook, but I'm sure sleep will be #1 on my list right after the baby is born. I found a 30 pack of 9x13 inch aluminum pans at Costco the other day for $5.99 and I plan to fill most of them up before this baby gets here!

I also have many friends that are pregnant right now so I'm hoping they can benefit from this post as well!

I have completed 8 different Freezer Meal Recipes so far. The links to the recipes are below. This list will continue to grow over the next couple of weeks. Enjoy!

Mini Meat Loaves - DONE!

Spaghetti Casserole - DONE!

Pizza Pasta Bake - DONE!

Tator Tot Casserole - DONE!

The Best Chili Ever - DONE!

Ziplock Chicken - DONE!

Chicken Pot Pies - DONE!

Italian Lasagna - DONE!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Homemade Pizza

I have to admit this is the first time I have ever made my own pizza crust AND pizza sauce. This truly is a homemade pizza. I am usually all about convenience when it comes to making pizza at home and will buy a pre-made pizza crust and jar of pizza sauce from the grocery store. But not this time! I wanted to try making it all from scratch! The pizza sauce was whipped together in the blender and the crust was ready in a matter of minutes...much easier than I had ever imagined. Not only did it taste WONDERFUL but it also gave me such a sense of accomplishment making it all from scratch! I'm not sure I'll ever be able to buy the pre-made items again...

Pizza Sauce

1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/4 t. oregano
1/4 t. basil
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. onion powder
1 T. sugar

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until it reaches desired consistency.

- - - - - -

Fast and Easy Pizza Dough

3 c. flour, more or less
1 T. honey, heaping
1 T. oil, heaping
1 c. warm water
1 T. yeast
1 t.garlic salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. (If using a pizza stone, let stone heat for at least 30 minutes in the oven before baking pizza.) Mix all pizza dough ingredients together, except the flour. Add flour and knead for a bit then put into pan (or use a pizza stone). Top dough with sauce and toppings. If baking in a sheet pan, bake for about 12 minutes (checking often) until crust is browned and cheese is golden and bubbly. If baking on the preheated pizza stone, slide pizza onto stone and bake for about 8 minutes.

Makes 1 large pizza.

*Thanks to Real Mom Kitchen for these recipes! Here are the links to the recipes on her site:
Pizza Sauce
Fast and Easy Pizza Dough

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Sunshine Salad

Also know as...The Wedgie Salad Bar

This was a big hit at a BBQ we had this past weekend. I got the idea from Robin Sue at but put a new twist on it. With two wonderful helpers by my side, Trinity and Julia, we arranged the salad to look like the sun and gave it a new name - The Sunshine Salad! We drizzled the wedges with 3 different salad dressings and arranged all the toppings around the platter so that people could decorate their own salad to their liking. Both the adults and the kids had fun with this one!

The Sunshine Salad

1-2 heads iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into wedges (Use a plastic knife so the lettuce does not brown)
Dressings of your choice
1 pound crispy crumbled bacon
1 cucumber, chopped
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
1-2 c. shredded cheese
2-3 tomatoes, chopped

Place lettuce wedges on a round platter and arrange wedges to look like the rays of the sun. Drizzle with your favorite salad dressing(s). Place a small bowl of shredded cheese in the center. Place all other ingredients in small bowls around the platter. Let your guests pick their own wedgies and toppings.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Snickerdoodle Muffins

The cinnamon and sugary goodness of snickerdoodle cookies always bring back such great childhood memories. They are definitely in my top 5 of favorite cookies.

Now let me introduce you to something just as good! SNICKERDOODLE MUFFINS!!!! The same cinnamon and sugar taste and the same snickerdoodle "look" on top. These muffins are so fluffy and moist that it's hard to eat just one!

Snickerdoodle Muffins

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
3/4 t. cream of tartar
3/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 and 1/4 c. sour cream
2 and 1/4 c. flour
2/3 c. additional sugar and 2 T. ground cinnamon mixed together for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter and sugar until soft about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla, and then the eggs one at a time and mix until each is incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture, scraping the bowl occasionally.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out muffin batter one at a time and drop into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Roll the “ball” of batter around in the mixture until it is covered completely in cinnamon sugar, and then place into a prepared (either greased or with liner) muffin tin.  (Each ball of batter should fill about 3/4 of a muffin tin.) Depending on the size of your tins, you should get about 14 to 18 muffins. Bake them for approx. 20-22 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Do you know the best thing about these? You no longer have to feel guilty about eating a snickerdoodle for breakfast. That's what these Snickerdoodle Muffins are for! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chicken Marinades

We had a great time hanging out with friends from church last night! We even took advantage of the warmer weather (high 40's) by cooking up a storm on our BBQ grill. Today I'd like to share two of my favorite chicken marinade recipes with you. The Mouth Watering Chicken Marinade seemed to be the favorite of most but I really enjoy the Lemon Chicken Marinade as well. They are both perfect for a good BBQ!


1 can Sprite
3/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 t. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients, add chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or overnight. Discard marinade, grill chicken on your BBQ grill.

- - - - - -


1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 T. lemon zest
1/2 T. kosher salt
1 t. ground black pepper
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor until liquids are fully combined and garlic is well pureed. Mixture should be opaque and fairly thick. Pour over chicken and marinade for 4-8 hours.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

Do you like Oreos? Do you like Rice Krispie Treats?

Then you will love this next treat!

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
Source: 3B's

3 T. butter
6 c. mini marshmallows (*Next time I would use more!)
5-6 c. Rice Krispies
Oreo cookies, broken into chunks, about 1/2 a package

In a large bowl melt butter and marshmallows in the microwave, stiring until mixed together.  Add the Rice Krispies and Oreo chunks. Stir to combine. Press into a greased 9x13 pan. Cut into bars of what ever size you want.

*These are yummy little treats; however I learned this time around that you need to be very generous with the marshmallows. Next time, I would use 9 cups of marshmallows because these just were not gooey enough!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Italian Lasagna w/Meat

For dinner last night...LASAGNA! This recipe caught my eye and I've been meaning to try it for awhile. It was very good and full of flavor! I even doubled the recipe, baking one last night and sticking the other in the deep freezer for another day.

Italian Lasagna
Source: Amanda's Cookin'

1/2 of a (1-pound) package lasagna, uncooked
1 lb Italian sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
2 t. sugar
2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. basil leaves
1/2 t. fennel seed
1/4 t. pepper
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 T. parsley flakes
1/2 t. salt
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 c. grated parmasan cheese

Prepare lasagna according to package directions, drain.

In large skillet, combine Italian sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain. Stir in next 7 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer 20 minutes. In medium bowl, blend ricotta, egg, parsley, and salt. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce into 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Layer one-third each lasagna, remaining meat sauce, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Cover. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Uncover, bake until hot, about 20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Serve with garlic bread and side salad.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Yes, I know...ANOTHER freezer meal! This recipe took some time with all the peeling, dicing, and chopping but it sure did look and smell delicious in the end. I just know all the prep time will be worth it once my family sits down for this delicious dinner!

Chicken Pot Pie

Yield: 2 pot pies (6 to 8 servings each)

4 c. cubed cooked chicken
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 c. sliced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1 c. butter
1 c. flour
2 1/2 t. salt
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. pepper
3 c. chicken broth
1½ c. milk
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. frozen corn
Ready-made pastry for two double-crust 9-inch pies

Boil potatoes and carrots in a large stockpot. In another pot, boil cubed chicken for 8 minutes. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain vegetables and chicken and set aside.

In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme, and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken, peas, corn, potatoes, and carrots. Remove from heat.

Line two 9-inch pie plates with bottom pastry; trim even with edge of plate. Fill pastry shells with chicken mixture. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pies. Cut slits or decorative cutouts in pastry. Place over filling; trim, seal and style the edges. Bake one pot pie at 425ºF for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

*To serve frozen pie: Cover edges of frozen pie crust with foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425ºF for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350ºF and bake for 70 to 80 minutes longer, or until crust is golden brown.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ziplock Chicken

Our baby is due this Spring...perfect grilling weather! So I thought it would be a good idea to add this as one of our freezer meals. All we'll have to do is let it thaw, throw it on the grill, and serve it with some grilled vegetables.

Ziplock Chicken
Source: 30 Day Gourmet

4 lbs. legs and thighs (I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
1 c. barbecue sauce
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
12 oz. coke or beer
Salt and pepper to taste

Assembly Directions:
Wash chicken parts well. Combine barbecue sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, coke or beer, salt and pepper in a large freezer bag. Add chicken parts.

Freezing and Cooking Directions:
Seal, label and freeze.

To serve, thaw parts. Cook on grill using a brush to baste chicken with leftover marinade. Test doneness by piercing thickest part of chicken. Juices should run clear.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crock Pot BBQ Ribs & Mashed Potatoes

A good friend of mine recently emailed this recipe to me.
(Thanks Kelli!) BBQ ribs are one of my hubby's favorite foods. I wanted to try this recipe just as soon as I could make it to the grocery store to buy some ribs and liquid smoke! For those of you who have never cooked with liquid smoke (it was a first for me) then you can find it in the condiment aisle by the BBQ sauce and marinades.

Many times, when I cook a big meal like this, I look forward to having the following day off and eating leftovers. I had all intentions of eating leftovers tomorrow; however, these ribs were so good that we couldn't stop eating them! With only a couple ribs left, I think I need to figure out a new game plan for tomorrow's dinner! :)

If you like BBQ ribs - this is a must try recipe!!!

Crock Pot BBQ Ribs

1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. black pepper
2 T. liquid smoke
2 t. minced garlic
1 medium onion sliced
1 c. cola
3 c. BBQ sauce

Combine above ingredients in crock pot. Add a rack (or two!) of baby back ribs, cutting the ribs up into sections so they will fit in your crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours or until meat if falling off the bones.

Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 t. salt
4 T. heavy cream
3 T. butter
1 T. milk
Salt and Pepper

Add potatoes and salt to a boiling pot of water. Bring back to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until fork can easily be poked through them.

Drain water from potatoes. Add cream and butter to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher. Add milk to achieve the consistency you desire. (Do not over-beat or your potatoes will get gluey.) Salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tator Tot Casserole

While searching for more freezer recipes online, I ran across a cool website called The Freezer Chicks. They have lots of great freezer recipes out there!

I've had many variations of Tator Tot Casserole but never one quite like this so we are going to give it a try. It was very easy to put together and it is now tucked away in our deep freezer...another meal waiting to be eaten after our baby girl is born.

Tator Tot Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
small onion, chopped
1 can Cream Mushroom Soup
1/4 c. milk
1 c. sour cream
16 oz. pkg frozen mixed vegetables
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese (medium or sharp)
Tator Tots

Brown ground beef and drain. Saute onion until translucent. Mix. In bowl mix soup, milk, sour cream. Stir until well blended. In 9'x13' freezer/oven pan layer ingredients evenly as follows:

1. Ground beef/onion mixture.
2. Frozen Vegetables (break up any clumps of vegetables)
3. Soup/milk/sour cream mixture.
4. Cheddar cheese.
5. Top with layer of tater tots.

Cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze. Freezes about 6 months.

To heat: Preheat oven to 350'. Bake UNCOVERED 35-45 minutes until tater tots are brown and casserole is bubbly.