Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken and Black Bean Tostizzas

1 can Grands biscuits
1 c diced, cooked chicken (I use a small jar of chicken that I pressure canned)
1 c canned black beans, drained
1/2 c salsa
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 c bell pepper strips (1 inch long)
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c sour cream, optional
1/2 c guacamole, optional

Heat oven to 350. Separate dough into eight biscuits. On ungreased baking sheets, press or roll each biscuit into 5 1/2 round. In med bowl, combine chicken, beans, salsa and taco seasoning mix well. Spread evenly over biscuits to withing 1/4 in of edges. Top with onions, bell pepper and cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-24 min or til biscuits are golden brown and cheese is melted. To serve, top with sour cream and guacamole if desired. Makes 8 mini- pizzas.

*I roll out the biscuits on a floured cutting board. I prefer to wait and put the cheese on after they come out of the oven and just let the cheese melt. My kids don't like the salsa and black beans added in, so for their tostizzas I just take diced precooked chicken (chicken that has been pressure canned works well) and add a little taco seasoning and water. Since Scott and I are the only ones who eat the chicken/black bean/salsa mix, I just freeze half of the recipe for the next time we eat it. Then I only have to make it every other month.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Week Three Menu

1. Chicken and Black Bean Tostizzas
2. Manicotti
3. Baked Ziti
4. Turkey/chicken pot pie
5. Tex Mex Ravioli

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sloppy Joes from America's Test Kitchen

Serves approx. 4-6

1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
Tabasco (optional)
Hamburger Buns

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook til lightly browned, about 5 min. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the beef, brown sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces Cook til meat is no longer pink.

2. Stir in the tomato puree, ketchup, and water. Cook until mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 min. Season with tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste.

Can be made ahead up to 3 days in fridge or 1 month in freezer. Reheat over low heat, adding a little water if it seems too thick. The tomato puree I find is more than 1 cup. I freeze the leftover puree for future sloppy joes. We like these with a slice of cheddar cheese.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rav'n Ravioli

(from Pampered Chef)
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
½ c onion, chopped
1 tsp veg oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 jar (26-28oz) spaghetti sauce
2 pkgs refrigerated ravioli or one 25oz pkg frozen ravioli (we like beef)
1 ¼ c water
1 baguette
¼ butter, melted
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ c grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400. Chop bell pepper and onion. In pan heat oil over medium heat; add bell pepper, onion and garlic. Cook 2-3 min til vegetables are tender. Stir in spaghetti sauce, ravioli and water. Bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile cut baguette into 12 slices, ½ in thick. Dip bread slices in melted butter to coat each side.
3. Spoon half of ravioli mix into baking dish. Top with cheese and top with remaining ravioli mix.
4. Arrange bread slices slightly overlapping, around edge of baking dish and press slightly into ravioli. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over bread and ravioli. Bake 15 min til bread is crisp and deep golden brown.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

This is April Meyers' recipe:

5 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
2 cans green chilies
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
16 oz. sour cream
1/2 bundle green onions, diced
5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt, pepper and garlic to taste
2 dozen corn tortillas

Filling: Combine chicken, chilies, soup, sour cream, onion and seasonings in large bowl. Add 2 cups of cheese. Spread this layer of filling in the bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Spread large dollop of filling in a softened tortilla and roll. Place in pan. Repeat for 1 dozen tortillas. Spread a thin layer of filling on top of first layer of tortillas. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Reat filling and rolling for remaining tortillas, creating another layer of enchiladas, saving at least 1 cup of filling to spread on top of the second layer. Spread remaining filling on top and cover with remaining cheese. Bake at at 350 for 30 min.

** I only make a 1/2 batch of this recipe and put it in an 8x8 dish. Also, my kids don't like corn tortillas so I use both flour tortillas (for the kids) and corn tortillas (for the adults).

Monday, March 22, 2010


You can use the recipe below for the dough ( you’ll need to double the filling ingredients)
OR I just make a batch of dinner roll dough in my bread maker.

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 t salt
2 pkg (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water (120-130 degrees)
1/2 c warm milk (120-130 degrees)
2 T butter/ marg, melted

1 lbs. bulk pork sausage
2 c (8oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 eggs
1 t minced fresh basil or 1/4 t dried basil
2 t grated parmesan cheese

In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add water, milk and butter; beat on low until well combined. Turn onto a well floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 min. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink; drain and cool. stir in mozzarella, 2 eggs and basil; set aside.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll one portion into a 15x10 in. rectangle on a greased baking sheet. Spoon half of the sausage mixture lengthwise down one side of rectangle to within 1 in of edges. Fold dough over filling; pinch edges to seal. Cut four diagonal slits on top of stromboli. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Sprinkle with parmesan. Cover and let rise until doubled about 45 min. Bake at 375 for 20-25 min or til golden brown. Slice and serve warm.

* I just make a regular batch of dinner roll dough in my bread maker and use that for the dough.
I skip letting it rise once the filling is in the dough, just stick it in the oven

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

2 breaded chicken tenderloins per person
(my sister uses Tyson Breaded Chicken Breast Tenderloins from Sam's Club; I use a bag of frozen chicken tenders from Wal Mart- the tenders are smaller so each person gets around 4-5)
Bake according to package directions.

15 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 t Italian Seasonings
1/4 t garlic salt
1/4 t onion salt/powder
1/4 t marjoram
2-4 T. brown sugar

1 pkg frozen cheese ravioli (4-6 ravioli per person)
(one of my kids doesn't like cheese ravioli so I throw in a couple of beef ravioli for her)

Mozzarella/Parmesan cheese, shredded

Bake chicken according to directions. In pan heat sauce ingredients. Prepare ravioli by bringing pot of water to a boil, add frozen ravioli and boil for 3-4 min.

In dish layer pasta, chicken, sauce and sprinkle with mozz. cheese.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week Two Menu

1. Chicken Parmesan
2. Stromboli
3. Chicken Enchiladas
4. Rav'n Ravioli
5. Homemade Sloppy Joes

Recipes to come :)

Here is a link for a heavenly dessert called Mississippi Mud Cake. I got a taste of this when Kaci Perkins brought over a dessert for a bbq.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce & Meatball Sandwiches

Spaghetti Sauce:
1/4 c olive oil
1 c diced onion
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
12 oz. can tomato paste
mushrooms, optional
1/2 c chopped celery, optional
2 T. dried parsley
1 T. salt
1 T. sugar
1 bay leaf
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. oregano
1/4 t. italian seasoning

Reserve water from cooking the noodles to thin out the sauce-optional

Brown onions and ground beef in oil. Combine remaining ingredients and add to beef. Simmer slowly for several hours to mix flavor. (or just til heated if you're short on time) Remove bay leaf before serving over noodles. This makes a thick sauce, add reserved water from cooking noodles to loosen up the sauce if desired.
Can store in freezer for about 1 month.

Meatball Sandwiches
24 (or more) frozen cooked Italian-style meatballs
1 26 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1 15 oz. can Italian-style tomato sauce (or plain tomato sauce with approx. 1 tsp Italian seasoning added)
1 5.5 oz. can V-8
6 hoagie rolls split, but not cut all the way through and toasted
shredded mozzarella cheese

The original recipe from Southern Living says to put this in a crock pot, but it's so fast to throw together that I just combine the sauce ingredients (spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, v-8) in a pan and heat it up. Then I microwave the meatballs till there hot and stir them into the sauce. The cheese gets sprinkled on top of the meatball mixture after it's been spooned into rolls. The store bought meatballs are pretty greasy so I give them a good squeeze in paper towels to absorb the grease. Homemade meatballs would work too. My kids love this one.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Taco Salad

From my favorite, and only, sister-Becky Stevens

8 oz. lean ground beef (I use more)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz. can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz. jar taco sauce ( I leave this out)
3/4 c canned/frozen corn (whole can works fine)
1 Tbsp. Taco seasoning ( I use a little more than 1 Tbsp.)
6 cups shredded leaf lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c sliced green onions
cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream, optional
salsa/taco sauce, optional

In a med. skillet cook ground beef and garlic until juices run clear. Drain off fat. Stir in kidney beans, taco sauce, corn and taco seasoning. Cook a little longer-especially if using frozen corn. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine lettuce, tomatoes and green onions.

To serve, divide lettuce mixture into bowls. Top each serving with some meat mixture, cheese and crushed tortilla chips. If desired, serve with sour cream and salsa/taco sauce.
Makes 6 main dish servings

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week One Menu

1. Taco Salad

2. Rio Grande Quesadillas
*I leave out the pimentos. My kids don't like refried beans, so their quesadilla
filling is precooked diced chicken breasts seasoned with taco seasoning, with
shredded cheddar cheese. I freeze any leftover filling from the recipe.

3. Pepperoni Macaroni This fills a 9x13 pan. We only eat half of this so I put half of this recipe in the oven in an 8x8 dish and the other half gets wrapped up and put in the freezer.

4. Spaghetti with Homemade Sauce

5. Meatball Sandwiches

Of course-use the recipes that your family loves. If you need some more recipes/ideas try some of these. The next few posts will be the recipes for the three dinners without links.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I've had some friends want to know how I organize dinners for the family. It's pretty simple. First I compiled a list of 30 dinners that my family will eat. 30 seems like a lot, but just ask around for recipes that other families like. I keep an index card in my recipe book. The card is divided into four columns. Each column is for one week of the month. In each column there are 5-6 dinners listed. I also have a little note on the bottom of recipes that we like, but don't make every month.
> Using my palm pilot (cause I loose little pieces of paper I make notes on) I write down which dinner I'll make each day. I cook dinner Monday -Thursday. Friday and Saturday nights are either homemade pizza/grilled cheese/ leftovers etc. Sundays are our "breakfast" dinners- pankcakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, etc. My husband and daughters even made crepes.
> Once you have all your dinners listed, make a list of all ingredients used. I use my master list to shop for my three month supply of food storage. I broke mine down into 1 month, 2 months and 3 months.
> When I need to stock up on storage items, I go to my list and see where I'm short. In posts to come, I'll list each week and the dinners I cook. If I can figure out how to post a link for recipes, there will be recipes as well.
>Sometimes a new recipe will replace an old one that we're tired of eating. This system also helps cut way down on the food bill. That makes this momma very happy!