Sunday, March 22, 2009

Caramel French Toast

My friend, Carol, made this for the kids when we went to her house for brunch and cookie decorating in December. It is delicious and our kids LOVE it!

Make one day ahead:
6 eggs
2c. milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 loaf french bread, sliced 1 inch thick or Texas Toast (but you can only get 6 slices in the pan....)
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter, sugar, corn syrup and cinnamon until it is a syrup; pour into bottom of the 9x13 pan. Arrange bread slices on top of syrup. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour over the bread; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar over top. Cover pan and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
Serve each slice by turning upside down on plate, carmel side up. Delish!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Crock Pot Lasagna

UPDATE: Dan made this for dinner on Wednesday night. It is delicious. Oval crockpot is recommended. He used the no-boil whole wheat Archer Farms lasagna noodles. Really delicious. Highly recommended.

So, the St. Paul Pioneer Press had this deal a while back to sign up and get a crock pot recipe a week until the end of April. Well, it has been a total bust in my book. The recipes have not appealed to me at all . . . and I'm not a picky eater!
Yesterday, this recipe arrived in my mailbox and it actually is something that we'll try. My family loves lasagna. The invention of the no-boil noodles sealed the deal for me. We have lasagna a few times a year and it's made from scratch. I'm not a fan of Simek's (eccchhhhhh!) and the other frozen varieties (except the frozen stuff from Morrelli's!!).
Give it a try and let us know how it turns out . . . . maybe we'll make it here next week???
I'll talk to the chef.

Easy Lasagna

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar (about 26 ounces) of marinara sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound whole-milk ricotta (such as Crystal Farms)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 pound shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles
To prepare crockpot: Spray crockpot with cooking spray or grease with vegetable shortening.To prepare meat sauce: In large saute pan, brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Drain off any grease. Add marinara sauce. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To prepare cheese mixture: Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine ricotta, milk and egg. Mix until smooth. Add mozzarella and parmesan. Mix until combined. To assemble lasagna: Spread 2 tablespoons meat sauce in bottom of crockpot. Arrange 3 noodles on top of sauce (break them if necessary). Spread 1/3 cup cheese mixture on top of noodles. Top with 1/4 cup meat sauce. Add another layer of noodles. Repeat layering (2 or 3 more layers of meat sauce, noodles and cheese, depending on size of crockpot). Top with meat sauce. Cover. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Beef Pot Roast with Root Vegetables

This recipe is from my friend Mary Owen (aka: Ted's step-mother). I have not made it, but it sounds delicious. We really like sweet potatoes at our house and they are so much better for you than just a regular potato.
It sounds delicious!

½ cup chopped onion
2 large sweet potatos, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped
1 (5 lb) boneless beef roast, trimmed of fat
Sea salt and ground black pepper
3 tbsp. flour
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup real maple syrup
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
*I like to add a small handful of chopped parsley*

Arrange onion, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and celery root in bottom of crock pot. Season beef all over with sea salt and black pepper. Rub flour all over beef. Place roast on top of vegetables. Whisk together tomatoes, maple syrup, and seasonings. Pour mixture over beef.
Cover and cook on LOW for 12 hours or HIGH or 8 hours.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shredded chicken tacos- super easy meal.

This is so simple and delicious! It's great on a salad the next day and also served with lime and cilantro rice (think Chipotle!). We also will use the leftovers for Chicken Enchiladas (roll filling with cheese in corn tortillas, lay in pan, pour a can of red or green enchilada sauce over it, smother with more cheese and bake for 30 minutes, YUM)

1 package Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn (or any frozen corn will do...) (left over grilled corn from the summer works too)
1 can black beans, drained
3-4 frozen chicken breasts (depending on leftovers, use 1 or 2 more)
1 jar salsa
1 package taco seasoning (I used either Penzey's Taco Seasoning or Chi Chi's)

Pour the bag of corn in the bottom of crockpot. Add the black beans. Put the chicken on top of beans and sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Pour the jar of salsa over the top.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4. Shred the chicken and then toss with the remaining ingredients, serve in tortillas with your regularly scheduled taco fixin's.

Also really good with lime and cilantro rice:

1 tbsp butter
1 cup white basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
juice of 1 lime
lime zest
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Melt butter in a heavy sauce pan. Add rice and saute until you reach your desired nutty flavor (america's test kitchen technique, yummy!) 2-4 minutes. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add lime juice and fluff with a fork. Remove from heat and let sit for another 15 minutes. Add cilantro and fluff with a fork. Serve.

Beef Lombardi

Makes 6 servings
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 (6-ounce) package medium egg noodles
6 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain.
Stir in chopped tomatoes and next 4 ingredients; cook 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and bay leaf, and simmer 30 minutes.
Cook egg noodles according to package directions; drain.
Stir together cooked egg noodles, chopped green onions, and sour cream until blended.
Place noodle mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with beef mixture; sprinkle evenly with cheeses.
Bake, covered with aluminum foil, at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover casserole, and bake 5 more minutes. Garnish, if desired.
Note: Freeze casserole up to 1 month, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed.
To lighten: Substitute low-fat or fat-free sour cream and 2% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese. Reduce amount of cheeses on top to 1/2 cup each.
Southern Living, OCTOBER 2003

Prune Cake

I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman. You can see photos of it there. I made it back in early February for a family gathering. I neglected to mention to anyone what the name of the cake is. I just called it "spice cake." There wasn't a piece left on the cake plate. It is so moist and delicious!
Give it a try and keep the ingredients secret until after it's been eaten.
Hands down, delicious!

Grandma Iny’s Prune CakeCake
1 cup prunes
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 ½ cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cover prunes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft and mashable, about eight minutes.Remove from heat, drain water, and mash on a plate. Set aside.Sift together dry ingredients.Mix together oil, sugar, and eggs.Combine wet and dry ingredients, add buttermilk, and stir gently until just combined.Throw in the mashed pruned and stir gently to combine.DO NOT OVERMIX.
Pour batter into buttered baking dish (9 x 13 or so) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

While cake has five minutes remaining, make the icing:
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
¼ cup butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes, or until icing starts to turn dark. Do NOT allow icing to reach soft ball stage; icing should be caramel in color, but not sticky like caramel. Icing should be easily pourable.
Remove cake from oven and pour on icing immediately.
Allow to rest on the counter. Serve warm.
NOTE: There is absolutely zero “prune effect” associated with this cake. The end

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pumpkin Crisp

Tesa's Pumpkin Crisp
(not sure if it is really her recipe, but she gets credit for it as she introduced us to it)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick of melted butter
1 egg
*remove 1 cup of the cake mix for use later. mix the remaining cake mix, butter and egg in a bowl and then pat into a 9x13 cake pan.
1 can pumpkin
2 eggs
2/3 cup of evaporated milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
*mix pumpkin, eggs, milk and spices together and pour over the cake mix mixture.
1 cup yellow cake mix
3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 granulated)
1 stick room temperature butter
*combine cake mix, sugar and butter in a bowl until mixed and sort of crumbly. crumble in small pieces on top of the pumpkin mixture.
bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 minutes or until it doesn't jiggle and is a nice carmelized brown color.
Serve warm with a spoonful of whipped cream.
** this is delicious! and one of our fall favorites.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe on Heidi Swapp's blog. They sounded good, so I gave them a try. OMG! They are fantastic. I love everything pumpkin and these don't disappoint! So good!

1 c. pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 c. chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
Nuts (optional)Dissolve baking soda in milk; set aside. In large bowl add pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg; stir. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until done.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I've never been a fan of Tuna Noodle Casserole, but being that it's Lent, I figured we better come up with some that is liked by all and I do believe that this is it! The kids love the Goldfish crackers.

8 oz. dried egg noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup Durkees French fried onions
1 can albacore tuna, packed in water, drained and flaked.
1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups frozen baby peas
1/2 tsp pepper (I used Penzy's Shallot Pepper, so good with anything!)
1 cup cheddar flavored goldfish crackers

Cook noodles, drain. Stir in soup and next 6 ingredients Pour into an 8x8 square casserole sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Cover and back at 350 F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with crackers; continue to bake for 5 minutes uncovered. 4 servings.

**I learned on America's Test Kitchen that evaporated milk makes dishes like this creamy. Regular milk breaks down and separates during cooking. Evaporated milk, because it is already cooked, doesn't separate and remains a nice creamy texture.

Heavenly Hash

Everyone in Minnesota has eaten (or at least been served) this hot dish in some form or another . . . . commonly referred to as Beef Goulash or something like that.

2 T butter
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (or 2 4 oz cans of sliced mushrooms, we never had fresh growing up)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
8 ozs. egg noodles or macaroni noodles
8 ounce pack cream cheese
2 cups corn (frozen) or 15 ounce can
1 can crushed tomatoes

Heat oven to 350F
Melt butter in large skillet. Saute onion, celery, green pepper and mushrooms in butter; add ground beef, saute and breaking up meat, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions in salted water, being careful to not overcook. Cut cream cheese into small chunks and put in large bowl. When beef is cooked, drain excess fat and add to bowl with cr. cheese. Toss until all ingredients are coated with cream cheese. Drain noodles, add to bowl. Toss to combine. Add corn, toss and then add tomatoes. Turn mixture into a 2 qt baking dish and bake about 40-45 minutes, until well heated.

**this is a little bit different, the cream cheese is really a good addition, much better than grated cheddar. Also, I like a little bit of tomato rather than sauce or soup . . .so I changed to crushed tomatoes.