Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taco Bake

Once again, not a pretty picture. But trust me, it tastes better than it looks. The orginal recipe calls for pasta, but I used rice instead.

Adapted from Love Deliciousness


1 lb ground turkey (you can use beef or chicken)
1 packet taco seasoning
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened in microwave
1/2 cup sour cream
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
taco sauce or hot sauce (optional)


Brown ground beef, drain. Add taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Prepare rice using your preferred method. I cooked mine on the stove top by combining the rice and 3 cups of water. I seasoned it with taco seasoning while cooking.

Mix softened cream cheese and sour cream in separate bowl.

Spray bottom of 9x13 pan. Spread cooked rice in bottom of pan. Layer on your cream cheese and sour cream mixture. Layer meat mixture next and top with your shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Top with taco sauce or hot sauce.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Salsa Chicken

I have seen Salsa Chicken all over the place. I am not sure who was the originator of the recipe and it seems like everyone has their own version. This was incredibly tasty and easy. It is pretty budget friendly too. Here is my version:


5 boneless skinless chicken breast (frozen or thawed)
24 oz jar of salsa
1 can Campbell's Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup
taco seasoning
rice, tortillas, cheese, sour cream - optional


Combine the first 4 ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low. Mine cooked for about 11 hours while I was at work.

Shred chicken.

Serve over rice, in a tortilla, or in a tortilla with rice!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Beef Hand Pies

It wasn't pretty, but it was tasty. I found this recipe while thumbing through a Martha Stewart Magazine, Everyday Food. I hate working with pie crust, but it was worth it. The original recipe called for ground sirloin, but the grocery store was out so I used lean ground beef...which also saved me some money. For some reason I added a little ketchup, it just seem like it needed it.

Adapted from: Martha Stewart


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ head green cabbage shredded
½ pound red potatoes scrubbed and diced
1-pound ground beef (93/7)
3 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon ketchup
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ tablespoon dried thyme
Course salt and ground pepper
2 - 9” piecrusts, homemade or store bought
All-purpose flour for rolling


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Heat oil over medium heat, in a saucepan. Add potatoes and cabbage. Cook for about 7-9 minutes. Add beef, cook, breaking up meat with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and 1 cup water. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly mash mixture with fork. Add salt and pepper. Let cool completely.

On lightly floured surface, roll each crust into a 14” square. Cut into 4 equal squares place ½ cup filling on one half of each square, leaving a ½:” border. Brush edges with water fold over and crimp with fork to seal. Make 3 small vents.

Transfer to baking sheets bake until golden brown 10-12 minutes

TO FREEZE: Arranged unbaked pies on a baking sheet (not touching); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Wrap each pie in foil and store in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months

To bake from frozen: Bake for 28-30 minutes of 400.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Basic Blondies

Not only had I never made blondies...I had never eaten them. Boy have I been missing out!These were so good and so simple. I love recipes that I already have everything on hand. And just for St. Patrick's Day coming up, I used green M&Ms.

Source: Blonde Ambition in the Kitchen


6-7 TBS butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder (optional, creates lighter blondie texture)
1 cup M&Ms candy


Preheat oven to 350.

Line an 8x8 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add salt, stir in flour and baking powder (if using). Mix in any additions.

Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool on rack before cutting.

My Custom Header

Like my header? I love it! I was lucky enough to win a blog giveaway from Get in my Belly. My fabulous header was created by a friend of hers, Valerie. She also does monograms and candy wrappers. Valerie was GREAT to work with and so was her work. Check out her website, Custom Printables, and her blog. Thank you to both Beth and Valerie.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake

I thought this would be sweeter than what it was so I was a little disappointed. If your more a scone type person, then I think this is up your alley.


Butter Crumb topping:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tsp vanilla extract

1¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup cake flour1 stick butter
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1½ eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips, for sprinkling on top of the cake
Powdered sugar, for sifting on top of the cake


Preheat oven to 375°F

Lightly grease a 9×4 inch loaf pan, and line the inside of the pan with parchment paper or foil, and then great it as well.

To make the topping:
Thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Drop in chunks of butter, using a table knife, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls. Sprinkle vanilla extract over, working with fingertips, knead the mixture together until moist, clumpy lumps are formed. DO NOT overmix.

Mix the batter:
Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the sifted mixture in a small bowl.

Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3 minutes.

Add in the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.

Add in egg and beat for 45 seconds.

Mix in the vanilla extract.

Alternately add in the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the baking pan, and spread evenly, smooth the top with rubber spatula.

Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the cake batter, make sure that the whole surface is covered.

Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean. The baked cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the baked cake immediately.

Let the cake cool completely. Use the parchment or foil to lift the cake out of the pan, then sift some powered sugar on top of the cake. Serve.

Roasted Butternut Squash

So I don't like yellow squash, but everyone raves how great butternut squash is so I thought I would try it. I roasted it with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary to make it more savory than sweet. Well guess what...I still don't like squash. It was ok, but it still tasted like squash, go figure! My mom thought it was great though. Maybe one day I will try a sweet version.


1 butternut squash, peeled and cut up
extra virgin olive oil
fresh rosemary, cut up


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Line baking sheet with foil.

Toss squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Spread out on baking sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Eggs in Purgatory

This was really good! I did however overcook my eggs because at first I got impatient and then I walked away. I think next time I will fry and egg separately and then add it on top. I served this over rosemary hashbrowns.

From The Sopranos Family Cookbook


1 clove crushed garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups canned tomato pure
4 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces or
1 pinch dried oregano
salt and pepper
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese


In a medium skillet, cook the garlic in the oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Add the tomato, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.

Break an egg into a small cup.

With a spoon, make a well in the tomato sauce.

Slide the egg into the sauce.

Continue with the remaining eggs.

Sprinkle with the cheese.

Cover and cook for 3 minutes (mine took longer), or until the eggs are done to your taste.

Serve hot.

I halved this recipe

Pepper Cheese Muffins

These muffins seemed like they were missing something. I think maybe I will use a sharper cheese next time. Although my Mom loved them the way they were. They were really pretty looking though!

From my KitchenAid mixer instruction/recipe book


1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded pepper cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon parsley (I used a basil garlic blend to add more flavor)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Place buttermilk, butter and eggs in bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed 4 and beat 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Combine flour, cheese, sugar baking powder, parsley (garlic basil blend), baking soda, salt and pepper. Turn to STIR Speed and add flour mixture, mixing just until moistened, about 30 seconds. Do not over beat.

Fill greased regular muffins pans two-thirds full. Bake 400 for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm