1/27/2009

Easy Homemade Guacamole Dip


This is such an easy dip, and delicious served with tortilla chips. This is a wonderful appetizer when you are serving tacos or burritos.....
All you will need is 2 avocados (make sure that they are somewhat soft to the touch, when you are choosing these), a garlic glove, (chopped fine), a sprinkle of garlic power, and salt and pepper to taste.....


halve the avocados, and remove the seed.....




Scoop the flesh out of the shell into a small bowl and mash it well, with the back of a fork .....mix in other ingredients and salt and pepper to taste....



Serve with tortilla chips.... serve right away or chill in the fridge if you'd like it cold. This is best eaten fresh the same day that it is prepared....because.....I will tell you... that if this isn't eaten the same day as it is prepared.... the next day it will have turned a not so appetizing darker green on top. I have tried using lemon juice mixed in with the dip and this doesn't help....it always turns dark green the next day. This is best served fresh, the same day that it is prepared.....fix it just before serving.
2 Avocados yields enough dip for about 4 people as an appetizer. By the way you can add a dash of lemon or lime juice for added flavor if you'd like to. I sometimes do, if I have it on hand. This time I did not. Sometimes a cook has to improvise right? I didn't add any and we didn't taste the difference. Hope you will like this dip..... we really enjoy it.

1/19/2009

Homemade Chicken Pie Recipe~ Great Comfort Food On A Cold Day


For this recipe you will need:
  • 4 chicken thighs boiled and deboned,(reserve some of the chicken broth for later)
  • 3 boiled eggs
  • 1 can Veg-all vegetables drained, (I used great value brand vegetable medley)
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup, (I used Campbell's because it does make a difference)
  • 1 can of cream of celery soup, (I used Campbell's)
  • 1/2 of a can of the reserved chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup mayonaise
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (don't forget the self-rising flour, I didn't show it in the photo, oops)
Grease an oblong casserole dish with grease or Organic Pam spray, Lay the cooked deboned chicken in the bottom of the dish, add the chopped boiled eggs, then the can of drained veg-all, evenly over the top. Now, in a small bowl, mix the cream of chicken, and cream of celery soup with a half of a can of chicken broth. Pour this mixture on top of the chicken mixture and mix around lightly.
Next, in a small bowl mix up 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of mayonaise, and 1 cup self-rising flour, until mixed well. Now, pour this evenly over the top, and Do Not Stir, Lightly smooth it over the top....this is your chicken pie crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.....
and it will look like this.... when it's done....nice and golden......




This can be a complete meal in a casserole dish, or serve it with your favorite green vegetable......This is easy and so delicious.....great comfort food on a cold day.......
Enjoy~

1/14/2009

Homemade Chilli~ Easy Recipe~ Cold Weather Comfort Food


You will need: 


  • a pound of ground chuck or hamburger meat,

  •  half of a yellow onion chopped, 
  • garlic glove chopped, 
  • can of Del Monte Italian Stewed Tomatoes chopped,
  • can of light red kidney beans drained, 
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar, s
  • small can of tomatoe sauce, 
  • 2 Tablespoons of McCormick Chilli Powder, 
  • For serving you'll need Bisquick garlic cheese biscuits from the package, or Jiffy sweet cornbread or your favorite crackers.....whichever you prefer. I like the Garlic Cheese Biscuits the best...

Brown the hamburger meat with the chopped onion and garlic on med-high heat.......

When it's browned, drain it in a colander.....return it to the pot,


Then add all of the other ingredients to the pot........bring to a boil and then simmer it for about 30 min. to an hour......cook your garlic cheese bisquick biscuits or corn bread while the chilli is simmering...

then when it is done, it will look something like this.

Enjoy~


1/11/2009

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake~Time for Something Sweet~


For this recipe you will need:
  • 1 box of devil's food cake
  • 4 eggs divided
  • 1/2 cup of butter or margarine (I used smart balance) softened to room temp
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese softened
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, combine cake mix 2 eggs, butter: beat 2 min. (this will be thick) Spread in a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish......
Now, in a small bowl beat 2 eggs, cream cheese, and confectioner's sugar, until smooth ........
Spread this mixture over the cake batter. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.....

Cool completely, before serving.....
This recipe makes about 12 servings.
Enjoy~


1/09/2009

Skillet Herb Roasted Chicken With Scalloped Potatoes From Scratch


You will need: 

  • a package of boneless chicken strips, (I used about 1 and 1/2 lbs), 
  • 3 Tbsp. of flour, 
  • 1/4 tsp. of thyme, 
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground sage, 
  • salt and pepper sprinkled on the chicken, 
  • 2 Tbsp. of Smart Balance 50/50 Butter or margarine
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup 
  • 3/4 cup of water


Wash the chicken strips, then salt and pepper them. Combine the flour and spices and coat the chicken strips with the flour mixture. Melt the butter in the skillet on med-high heat....add the chicken strips and cook them until they are no longer pink and until they are a golden brown......it won't take but about 10-15 minutes or so.....You can reduce the heat some if it seems too hot......

If your pan gets a little dry you can add some more butter to the skillet....



This what they look like when they are done, they are good just like this, but I make the mushroom soup sauce to go over them.......


Add the can of cream of mushroom soup and the 3/4 cup of water, and some salt and pepper to the skillet that the chicken was cooked in......mix it up and cook until heated. Pour this over the chicken, as you serve it, on your plate, or you can add all of the chicken to this sauce and simmer it for a short while.

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Now, onto the side dish recipe.....

Scalloped Potatoes from scratch.... this was my Grandma T.'s recipe and she taught me how to do this one, a long time ago......
You will need: 

  • about 4 potatoes, 
  • some milk ....I used 2%, but you can use whole milk if you'd like to, 
  • stick butter, I used about 6 Tablespoons total (I used smart balance 50/50 butter), 
  •  self rising flour  
  • 3 slices of bacon 
Spray a round casserole dish with Organic Pam or grease it.....

Peel the potatoes and slice them into the casserole dish, you will layer them......this is what your first layer will look like......

Now, take a Tablespoon and sprinkle the potatoes with flour, until you get enough on them to look something like this, you will use a couple of heaping Tablespoons per layer.......

then sprinkle it with salt and pepper and cut off slices of the butter and evenly add to the tops of the potatoes and flour.....then repeat the potatoe layering process two more times or until you get the potatoes about 1 and a 1/2 inches from the top of the casserole dish......



Now, you will top it with 3 slices of bacon, (I use hickory smoked) and then pour the milk into the casserole dish from the edge of the casserole dish....until it is filled up about 1 1/2 inch from the top. Now cook in a 400 degree oven for an hour or until fork tender. (Note: if you want to prevent a mess in the oven, line the bottom of your oven with some foil in case it boils over during cooking, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't)

This is what it looks like when it is done.......


Serve this with some green beans or other green veggie and you have yourself a delicious meal, that's quick and easy. All of my recipes feed a family of 4.

Enjoy~


1/05/2009

Broccoli Salad~


 You will need: 

  • 3 crowns of Broccoli, cut off of the stems and chopped, 
  • 6 cherry tomatoes halved (optional) 
  • 1/4 of a Red Onion, 
  • 4 slices of cooked Bacon, (I use the Oscar Meyer fully cooked microwaveable, to save time), 
  • 1/2 box of snack size raisins, 
  • 1 cup of grated Medium Cheddar Cheese , 
  • 1/4 cup of Sugar, 
  • 1 cup of Mayonnaise,  
  • 2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar


Mix it all up in a medium sized bowl and then transfer it......to a large serving bowl....
or individual bowls......this makes a colorful appetizer or side dish....

Enjoy!


1/04/2009

Baked Beans and Easy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken


For the baked beans you will need: 

  • 2 cans of pork & beans, 
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 
  • 1/4 of a small onion chopped, 
  • 1/4 cup ketchup, 
  • dash of worcestershire sauce 
  • 3 slices of smoked bacon for the top 
  • a few slices of green bell pepper

I do usually add a few thin slices of bell pepper, 
 but I didn't have any this time.....if you have it add it....it makes these beans taste extra good........
Spray a 8 1/2" x 12 " glass casserole dish with Organic Pam and mix all of the ingredients together.......

Top with the slices of bacon and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.......


It will look like this above when it is done.....

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For the chicken, I buy an already cut up chicken, (I wash it) and sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on all sides and then smother it with about 3/4 of a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Bar-B-Q Sauce in a 14"x 10" glass casserole dish that's been sprayed with Organic Pam......



Cover it with foil and cook at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, then remove the foil and cook it for another 15 minutes uncovered.......


It turns out so tender and delicious and it looks like this when it is done. Besides being delicious....what I really love about this meal...... is that the chicken and the beans cook at the same time.... which leaves me a with a little bit of free time, while my oven does the work.......


Serve with onion rings or french fries and you have yourself an easy meal that doesn't take a whole lot of effort. If you remember to spray your casserole dishes before hand...clean-up will be a snap too......

Enjoy!

1/02/2009

Spinach Cornbread~Delicious & Easy



You will need:

  •  a package of defrosted chopped spinach, defrost it in the microwave, and  squeeze all of the water out of it 
  • 2 eggs beaten,
  •  1/2 stick of butter or margarine melted (I used smart balance),
  • 1/2 a small yellow onion chopped , 
  • a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix, 
  • 3/4 cup of lowfat cottage cheese or reg. cottage cheese,
  • 1/3 cup of buttermilk......

Mix it all together in a medium sized bowl.....





Pour it in a square 8 x 8 baking pan, sprayed with Organic Pam, or greased with oil, and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven, Bake for 25- 30 minutes or until golden brown.

and here's what it looks like, when it is done......I cooked this about 5 minutes too long, but it still turned out good.....just a little more golden than usual.....

Now, I realize that some people do not like spinach, but cooked in this sweet cornbread.....it's delicious . A great way to get your veggies......

Enjoy! 

(This was Grandma T's recipe)



1/01/2009

Southern Style Country Fried Steak with Gravy From Scratch


I started with a package of cubed steak, some flour and salt and pepper
Cut it into indivual serving pieces......


Salt and pepper it on a plate and flour.....

Coat all sides well....drop it by the piece into a skillet with 2 cups of grease.....that's been heating on high for about 2 and a half minutes. (never leave grease unattended).



After the meat is in the grease turn down heat to med-high and let it cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds, then turn the meat over and continue turning over, about every 30-45 seconds. They will be done when no more pink comes from the meat and they are brown. It takes about 3 -4 minutes to cook depending on thickness of meat......




Remove meat from grease and drain on paper towels on plate....then move grease to a heat proof bowl .....


Leave a little bit of the grizzle in the skillet, this will make the gravy taste good......






Now, add 3 Tablespoons of the grease back to the skillet and.....







Get a full glass of cold water ready......







Turn grease to high and add about 5-6 Tablespoons of flour and begin quickly stirring......sprinkle salt and pepper......bring to a boil stir about 20-30 seconds....then pour in the full glass of water.....this will steam up, but just keep your face away from over the skillet, and keep stirring......





After you get all of the lumps out, and the gravy becomes smooth, you can reduce the heat and add a little more water if it thickens too much.....after it reaches desired thickness, which will only take a few minutes.....




You can add your country fried steak to the gravy in the skillet, and let it cook on low for about 20 min. to soak up the gravy or.......




You can serve it right away, with the gravy on top....this is delicious with mashed potatoes.....
Enjoy!