Monday, March 31, 2008

Homemade Croutons

These are so much better than the store bought kind of croutons! Once you have had them, you will be spoiled for life!

12 slices day-old bread (any kind you like)
½ cup margarine, melted
½ t garlic powder
½ t Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 275 degrees. Cut bread into cubes and put in a large baking pan with sides. Combine melted margarine, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Drizzle over bread cubes and lightly toss until coated. Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and allow croutons to remain in oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, and store in an air-tight container.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oriental Pepper Steak

This is a fabulous WW dinner recipe that is healthy, tasty, and can be thrown together very quickly!

1 t cooking oil
1 pound flank steak trimmed and cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
½ orange bell pepper, sliced
2 T reduced sodium soy sauce
1 ½ T cornstarch
1 ¾ cup beef broth

Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Add the oil, swirl to coat the pan, then add the steak. Stir-fry until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the onion and bell peppers to the skillet. Reduce the heat and cook, covered until the veggies are softened, about 6 minutes. Uncover and stir-fry until the veggies are browned, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce and cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth; whisk in the broth. Return the steak to the skillet, along with the soy sauce mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce boils and thickens- about 3 minutes. Serve with brown rice.

TIP OF THE DAY: To save even more time, buy stir- fry frozen onions and bell peppers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mama's Rolls

These are the rolls my mother always made and they are easy and delicious! They take a little while to make- because of the rising- but are actually very simple!

1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups flour
3 T sugar
3 T powdered milk
1 t salt
3 T butter, melted

Dissolve yeast in warm water. In large bowl mix together all dry ingredients. Add yeast mixture to dry ingredients, along with melted butter. Stir until well mixed. Cover with a damp dish towel and place in a warm spot (I turn my oven on and set them on the stove) and allow dough to rise until doubled in size (approximately one hour).

When dough has risen, punch it down (press the air out) and place on a floured surface. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. Roll out and cut with a biscuit cutter or a glass. Dip cut roll in melted butter and place in baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Fold roll in half for a pocketbook roll or make 3 small balls and use a muffin pan for cloverleaf rolls. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rolls rise again until doubled.

Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown- approximately 10 minutes.

TIP OF THE DAY: You can make the rolls for later use by freezing immediately after cutting and placing in the pan. Cover tightly with both plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and foil. Remove two hours before baking.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

This is Madison's favorite food in the whole world!

1 (8 ounce) package elbow macaroni
4 T butter or margarine
4 T flour
1 small can evaporated milk
1/4 large package of Velveeta, cubed
1-2 cups of milk
Salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil and drain macaroni and set aside. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour with a wire whisk and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes- stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper and then add in evaporated milk- stirring constantly. Add in cubed cheese- stirring often till melted. Add in milk till smooth and creamy. Stir in macaroni and pour into a round glass dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes.

TIP OF THE DAY: If we are having company, I double this and make it in a 9 x13 inch pan.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Mama's Rolls

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Menu

It's been a super busy weekend full of much too much good food, sweet family, some great shopping, lots of fun and laughter, and a precious Savior who died for our sins. No time for a new recipe tonight but I thought I would share our Easter menu with you.
  • Honey Baked Ham
  • Mom's Macaroni and Cheese (which I just realized I have never posted and simply must b/c it's YUMMY!)
  • Fresh Green Beans with Onions and Pepper Bacon
  • Debbie's Squash Casserole (b/c sweet Debbie is joining us for lunch)
  • Watergate Salad
  • Mama's Rolls (which I also realized I have never posted and promise to later this week)
  • Deviled Eggs (gotta use those Easter eggs somehow)
  • Italian Coconut Cake
  • Nana's Chocolate Pie (I'll get this recipe and post it soon too)
Happy Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rosemary Parmesan Chicken

This recipe was in the Real Simple magazine this month (my favorite magazine) and we had it for dinner the other night. It was super quick and YUMMY! So yummy that even my chicken hating husband loved it!

12 ounces (3 cups) pasta (any type)
3 1/2- to 4-pound rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Shred the chicken, using a fork or your fingers, while the pasta cooks. Discard the skin and bones. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/4 cups of the water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the reserved pasta water, chicken, rosemary, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pot. Stir over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Divide among individual bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Watergate Salad

This is a salad I can remember eating at my grandmothers house every Easter. It's a quick and easy spring alternative to fruit salad!

1 (3.5 ounce) package pistachio jello pudding
1 large can crushed pineapple
1 cup small marshmallows
1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip
1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix pudding mix (dry) and pineapple (including juice) together. Add marshmallows and Cool Whip. Add nuts and mix well. Let stand in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Rosemary Parmesan Chicken

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baylor Cake

This is one of Madison's favorite cakes. She even gave it the name because of it's fabulous yellow and green color! I made it for St. Patrick's day and realized then that I hadn't ever posted the recipe. Sic 'em Bears! :)

1 box lemon cake mix
1 (3 ounce) package lime jello
¾ cup water
½ cup water
1 envelope Dream Whip
1 (4 serving size) lemon instant pudding mix
1 ½ cups cold milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small saucepan dissolve jello in boiling water. Add 1/2 cup cold water. Set aside, at room temperature. Mix and bake cake as directed on cake mix using a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cool cake for 20 - 25 minutes. Poke deep holes through top of warm cake (while still in pan) with meat fork or regular fork- spacing holes about 1/2 inch apart. Slowly pour or spoon jello over cake, making sure it goes into the holes. Refrigerate while preparing the topping.
In a chilled, deep bowl, blend and whip Dream Whip and pudding mix until stiff (3 - 8 minutes). Immediately frost cake. Refrigerate cake -- store in refrigerator.

TIP OF THE DAY: You can alter this recipe using any flavor cake mix and jello that you like.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Watergate Salad

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Peanut Marbled Chocolate Cake

1 box yellow cake mix- reserve 1 cup
¾ cup water
1 cup fudge ice cream topping
2 eggs

1 cup dry cake mix
½ cup peanut butter
1/3 cup water
¼ cup butter, softened
1 egg

1 box powdered sugar
2 T cocoa
2 T peanut butter
2-3 T milk
½ t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Reserve 1 cup cake mix. In large bowl blend cake mix, water, topping and eggs. Beat 2 minutes on high. Pour 2 ½ cups batter in pan. In small pan combine filling ingredients and blend until smooth. Spoon over cake batter in pan. Cover with remaining batter. Marble by cutting thru 2 or 3 times in each direction with butter knife. Bake 60-70 minutes. Cool for 45 minutes. Mix all glaze ingredients together in mixing bowl until well blended. Frost cake.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Baylor Cake :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Almond Hershey Torte

1 box vanilla wafers
1 large Hershey bar with almonds
16 large marshmallows
½ cup milk
1 pint heavy cream
½ cup toasted almonds

Crush vanilla wafers and sprinkle half in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Melt candy bar and marshmallows in milk in a double boiler- stirring constantly. Cool. In large bowl whip the cream till stiff and fold in chocolate mixture. Spread over crumbs and sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Sprinkle almonds on top and refrigerate.

Tomorrow’s Daily Special: Peanut Marbled Chocolate Cake

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Peach Angel Pie

5 eggs
¼ t cream of tartar
¼ t salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup whipping cream
4 medium, ripe peaches

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Butter and flour 9 inch pie plate. Separate 4 of the eggs. Add cream of tartar to 4 egg whites along with salt and beat till foamy and doubled in volume. Sprinkle in 1 cup sugar- one T at a time. Put in pie plate and bake for 1 hour. Add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and lemon juice to egg yolks and egg in double boiler and beat slightly. Cook, stirring constantly over simmering water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Arrange sliced peaches around edge in shell. Spoon custard in center. Chill for 2 hours.

Tomorrow’s Daily Special: Almond Hershey Torte

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oven Fried Vegetables

¼ cup bread crumbs
1 T Parmesan cheese
1/8 t paprika
2 cups vegetables (squash, zucchini, onion, peppers, etc.)
2 T Italian dressing

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Stir together bread crumbs, cheese and paprika in pie plate. Place veggies in a bowl and drizzle with dressing. Roll in crumb mixture. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes.

Tomorrow’s Daily Special: Peach Angel Pie

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jello Cake

1 box strawberry jell
1 box yellow cake mix
4 whole eggs
½ cup oil
½ cup water
½ cup strawberries, mashed

½ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 box powdered sugar
Strawberries, mashed with juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Mix all cake ingredients together- adding eggs one at a time- till well combined.

In large bowl mix together melted butter and powdered sugar. Add in strawberries with juice in small amounts until icing is of spreading consistency. Be sure to add only a little at a time or it will be too thin. Pour over cake. Cool and serve.

Tomorrow’s Daily Special: Oven Fried Vegetables

Monday, March 10, 2008

Caramel Walnut Bars

2 cups flour
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup margarine or butter
¾ cup chopped walnuts
24 caramels
1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar and egg; cut in ½ cup of margarine or butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Reserving 2 cups crumb mixture, press remainder firmly on bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile in heavy saucepan over low heat melt caramels with sweetened condensed milk and remaining ¼ cup margarine or butter. Pour over prepared crust. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly. Cool. Cut into bars.

Tomorrow’s Daily Special: Jell-O Cake

Friday, March 7, 2008

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These are easy chocolate cookies! If you like soft cookies and you like chocolate, these are for you!

2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chunks. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set but still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Celebration Cake

This is one of my favorite Weight Watcher dessert recipes. It's a light and yummy cake- perfect for spring!

1 box yellow cake mix (I buy the Pillsbury low sugar kind but a regular one will work)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs or the equivalent amount of egg beaters
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges in juice

1 (8 ounce) container Fat Free Cool Whip
1 small box sugar free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (15.5 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all cake ingredients till well combined. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30-40 minutes. Cool completely. In large bowl mix all frosting ingredients together. Spread icing on cooled cake and refrigerate.

TIP OF THE DAY: For recipes that call for unsweetened applesauce, instead of buying a jar- that will take up space in the fridge and go bad before I can use it all, I buy the little serving sized tubs of unsweetened applesauce and store them in the pantry.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cherries n' Cake

1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup milk
1 t vanilla or almond extract
4 cups drained cherries, juice reserved
1 cup sugar
2 cups hot cherry juice and water

Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in large mixing bowl; add shortening , milk and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Cover batter with drained cherries; sprinkle 1 cup sugar over cherries, then pour 2 cups hot liquid over cherries. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes (350 degrees if using a glass pan), covering with foil the last 15 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Celebration Cake (a WW cake that is YUMMY!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pesto Feta Mini Pizzas

These are great for an appetizer or for dinner when paired with a salad. I love feta cheese so I think these are fabulous!

1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 (10.6 ounce) package Pillsbury Garlic Breadsticks

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In food processor bowl combine basil and garlic; process till chopped. Add Romano cheese. Process 30 seconds. Unroll dough; separate into 10 breadsticks. Cut each in half crosswise. Place dough pieces 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press each to form 3 x 2 inch rectangle. Spread 1 rounded teaspoon basil mixture over each rectangle. Top each with feta cheese and pecans. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 10 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Cherries n' Cake

Monday, March 3, 2008

Enchilada Pasta Soup

3 (14 ounce) cans 99% fat free chicken broth
2 (14.75 ounce) cans cream style corn
2 (10 ounce) cans enchilada sauce
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 (5 ounce) package uncooked vermicelli, broken into pieces
1 (10 ounce) can chunk white chicken, in water, undrained
1 1/2 t cumin
1/2 t salt
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t dried oregano

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups shredded Colby- jack cheese blend

In large saucepan combine broth, corn, enchilada sauce and chiles. Mix well. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add all remaining soup ingredients; mix well. Reduce heat to low; simmer 8 minutes or until vermicelli is tender, stirring occasionally. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Garnish each serving with onion and cheese.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Pesto Feta Mini Pizzas