Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 is over!

I can't believe 2011 is over already. I am so glad I got back to my food blog and met so many new friends and found some awesome cooking blogs. Please take a minute to visit some of the bloggers in my 'Links' down below to the right. You will be happy you did!

This year had its ups and downs, but it ended with a wonderful Christmas and I am looking forward to New Years with my In Laws. How many people can say they look forward to time with their In Laws? I am truly lucky.

I think next year I will start adding additional posts highlighting my favorite things, starting with my most favorite thing of 2011...

snuggle brothers
Steeeeeeve. He has tried our patience, made us laugh, and most importantly he has become best friends with our older dog Tanner. After we lost Joey we knew we had to get another dog and Steve ended up being the most perfect match for us.

Happy New Year to you all, thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Reuben Casserole

A lot of people eat pork and sauerkraut for new years, this recipe is a good way to use up any extra sauerkraut you may end up with.

recipe from taste of home 2005
This comes from Taste of Home, one of my favorites. Preheat your oven to 350 and lets gather up some ingredients.

You need some kraut, onions, corned beef, swiss cheese, garlic, sour cream, butter and some bread.

sauerkraut and garlic in
Rinse and drain the sauerkraut.

swiss cheese
Shred the swiss.

corned beef - YUM
Chop up the beef.

Dice up the onion. Chop up your garlic too, that didn't make it into the pictures.

everyone in
Combine the sauerkraut, onion, garlic, beef and sour cream in a bowl.

bread cubed
Cube up your bread, I just used white bread.

cheese on
Put the meat mixture in a greased casserole dish, I am using cute Pyrex of course! Put the cheese on top.

bread on
Put the bread on top and drizzle with the butter. Put it in the oven for about a half an hour and that is it, you are ready to eat!

Reuben Casserole
I used my toaster oven so the bread got a little extra toasty, but it was still great.

Reuben Casserole
I am so glad I made two servings of this because I also enjoyed the leftovers.

I hope you all had a happy holiday season and are looking forward to a new year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spicy Sesame Noodles

This recipe is also from the Healthy Cooking for Two or Just You that I mentioned in my last post. I really recommend it if you are cooking smaller portions. The funny thing about the recipe I am sharing today is that I planned on making it just for me. Then the hubby started lurking in the kitchen and asking questions about what I was making. So after he scanned the ingredients he decided to give it a try. So I doubled the recipe and we actually ate together...and he LIKED it. I was pretty excited.

So here is the recipe that was husband approved:

Spicy Sesame Noodles
Most of this is probably in your pantry already. Get a pot of water boiling and start gathering ingredients.

You will need pasta, tahini, ginger, red pepper, rice vinegar, oil, garlic, soy sauce, mushrooms, onion and celery...which I didn't have but it was fine without it.

ginger grated
Chop up your veggies and grate the ginger. You also need to chop your garlic but I missed getting a picture of that.

sauce combined
Combine the water, soy sauce, tahini, vinegar and red pepper flakes if you want them. Oh look there is the garlic hiding behind the measuring cup!

veggies in for 3 minutes
Get your noodles into the boiling water and get your veggies in the pan for about 3 minutes.

garlic in for one minute
Add in your garlic and stir for about a minute.

boil the sauce until it is smoooooth while stirring
Pour the sauce mixture in and stir that around until it is bubbling and smooth.

pasta in to get saucy
Drop in the pasta, give it a stir, and you are done!

Spicy Sesame Noodles on Pyrex!
Tasty, simple, spicy...the trifecta! My husband ate two servings, I would say that was successful.

I cannot believe Christmas is next weekend!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, stay safe and eat well.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Baked Potato Soup with Broccoli and Cheddar

I recently picked this cook book up by Frances Price, R.D. I found it at Goodwill and it looked perfect for me. It has a lot of great recipes and portions them to serve 1 or 2 or sometimes 2 or 4. I love it.

The first recipe I chose to make is baked potato soup with broccoli and cheddar:

I cannot tell you how absolutely easy this was. It is perfect for a weeknight and would go great with a piece of steak or chicken. This is also a nice dish to get kids or picky eaters (my husband not included) to eat their veggies!

You only need a few things, which you probably already have in your pantry and fridge. You need milk, shredded cheese, frozen broccoli or cauliflower (or both), baked potato, salt and pepper and my secret ingredient - nutmeg.

I baked the potatoes the night before, following a tip in the book so you aren't baking for an hour. Toss the potatoes in the microwave for 6 minutes on high. Take them out and put them in a 400 degree oven for another 15 minutes and they will be baked perfectly. I actually just used my toaster oven.

cut up potatoes
I put them in the fridge overnight and then chopped them up when I got home from work. That is all the prep you have to do!

getting ready to be soup
Put the potatoes in the blender with the milk and process until smooth.

veggies in
Throw in the frozen veggies, I used broccoli and cauliflower. I used the ice crusher setting since they were frozen and pulsed away.

this is such a pretty soup
I took a bite of this cold and it was already amazing. Get it in the pot and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Give it a stir and heat over medium until it comes to a boil.

Remove it from the heat and stir in the cheese and you are done. That seriously took like 10 minutes.

Baked Potato Soup with Broccoli and Cheddar
I garnished with a little more cheese and dug in. This soup was very thick and rich, with so few ingredients. If you wanted to thin it out to be more 'soupy' just add more milk while heating it up. I actually liked the fact it tasted like a bowl of creamy mashed baked potatoes. This is perfect for cold weather and is ready in no time!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Slow Cooker Chili Mac

This recipe comes from the book, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two. I got the most adorable new slow cooker...

my cute owl crock pot
Isn't it awesome? It was an exclusive at my local Fry's grocery store. I didn't have one in this size so I snatched it up.

This is comfort food without a ton of guilt.

You need some ground turkey or chicken, corn, pasta, onion, olive, chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, garlic and some cheese.

Mince up the garlic.

Chop up the onion and we are ready to cook!

onions and garlic
Get the onion and garlic in a pan and cook until its softened.

cooking the chicken
Add in the chicken and brown it.

chicken, tomatoes and seasoning
Spray the inside of your crockpot with non stick cooking spray and then drop the meat and onions in the crock pot with the tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and set the crock pot on low for 4 hours.

dog pasta drained
When the four hours are nearly done, boil some water and cook your pasta about halfway done. I am using adorable dog pasta.

everything in
Put the pasta in the crock pot with the olives and corn and give it a stir. Let it cook for another hour or so and then top it with some cheese. I told you this was easy.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Mac
This was so tasty, and perfect comfort food. I think it also tasted better because it came out of the cutest owl crock pot.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Cheer...

This is not a food post, but something I love almost as much as food is Christmas. I thought I would share a couple of Christmas photos...

Tree number 1 is up!
This is one of my three trees, don't worry the other two are small trees. I am not that Christmas crazy!

new ornament
My mother in law got me some gorgeous ornaments last year on clearance.

Santa Tanner!
Even my dogs love Christmas!! Tanner makes a great Santa.

working on his Joe Stains face maybe Steve declined the Santa suit, but I am sure it is just because this is his first Christmas ;)

I hope you are all getting in the holiday spirit, I will be back next week with some more food.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

I promised some more seafood recipes, so here you go! I very rarely cook with shrimp, and I really don't know why. They are usually on sale at one of the many stores around my house, so I have no excuse. This recipe is so easy, you could whip it up after work and be eating dinner in no time.

This came from Cooking Light's newest Quick Cooking book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, two of my favorites.

You don't need much for this one, just some shrimp, orzo or other small pasta, salt, butter, herbs, garlic and lemon. I just made this for me so I got almost half a pound of shrimp.

Get your water boiling for the orzo and then we can get started, there is not much to do.

Peel and devein your shrimp. If you have not done this before, here is a a great site to show you how.

Mince your garlic.

orzo bubbling
Drop in your orzo.

shrimp in the butter bath
Melt butter over medium high heat, sprinkle the shrimp with some salt, and drop them in. You don't need to cook these guys long, just a couple of minutes. When they are almost done, get them out of there! Add another tablespoon of butter and stir in the garlic and keep stirring for about 30 seconds.

getting awesome
Get the shrimp back in the pan, and add the lemon juice and a little pepper, keep stirring for about another minute more.

orzo done
Drain the orzo and stir in a little salt and parsley.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi
Get it on a plate and top it with the shrimp and the pan juices and you have a wonderful and easy meal. This definitely motivates me to try more shrimp dishes soon.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, back to reality this week!