Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Whenever you see avocados for cheap they're usually on the brink of complete mush. But that's okay! Guacamole is an excellent way to use them up, and it is soooooo good!

2 avocados
1 can diced tomatoes

Mash these together and mix well.
1 T. salt
1 can (4 oz) of green chiles
1 T. vinegar
lime juice

Add these to the avocado/tomatoes and mix well. Taste and adjust as needed.

Here's a tip: if you keep the pits of the avocados (or at least one of them) and stick it in the finished guacamole, it will help to keep dip green. Otherwise it'll turn a nasty brown color fairly quickly, even though it'll still taste fine.


These are so cheap and easy, and they make A TON.

chicken (cooked and chopped)
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles

Mix all of these to taste. Wrap in flour tortillas (careful not to add too much, which is easy to do), and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. I often cover them with foil to keep the edges from burning. Take them out, sprinkle with cheese and pop them back in just long enough to melt the cheese.

Lovely Lasagna

Lasagna takes some prep work, but really, it's the easiest thing in the world to make. And it's SO GOOD!

This makes 1 9-by-13 pan of thick lasagna.
Boil water in a medium to large pot. Cook 9 lasagna noodles until still slightly firm.

In a separate pan, cook 1 lb. ground beef until brown. Add whatever kind of sauce you'll be using until there is plenty of sauce to cover the meat. (I usually just use tomato sauce, but technically you could do any kind of pasta sauce.)

(I'm putting measurements on this next part, but really I just eye it until it's the right consistency. Besides, the first couple times I made this, I ended up needing to make a little more part way through. You'll just have to adapt it to how much filling you like.)

1 or 2 eggs
1 pint (15 oz) Ricotta cheese
dash of salt
parmesan cheese
Italian dressing

Mix this in a bowl until it's a medium thickness. I like to use quite a bit of Italian dressing, and it also is an easy way to thin it out a little if you need to.

In a 9-by-13 inch casserole pan put a little bit of non-meat filled sauce on the bottom, this will act like grease, so you don't need to spray the pan. Layer three noodles, and don't worry about them touching some, that's a good thing. Then put a layer of cheese mixture followed by a layer of meat sauce. If you're putting anything else like olives, artichokes, peppers, whatever, this is a good place to put them. Continue the pattern until you're out, and cover the top with some sauce (even plain is fine) and parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. Let sit for at least five minutes before eating.

Of course, you can also make vegetarian lasagna, which is also very good.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chicken Nuggets with Barbeque Dipping Sauce

This recipe came from the cookbook "Quick & Easy Freezer Meals" and it was great! I served it with the dipping sauce in the recipe and with corn on the cob- we almost ate it all in one sitting! I really liked the cheese cracker crumbs as the breading since it gave it a unique twist. Try it, you won't be disappointed! Just one tip, I ran out of the egg white/water mixture when I was assembling my nuggets, so you could double the amounts or just use the whole egg instead of the just the egg white to give yourself a little more to work with.

Chicken Nuggets with Barbecue Dipping Sauce
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1\4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp salt dash black pepper 2 cups crushed reduced-fat baked cheese crackers (you could use cheeze-its or goldfish type crackers) 1 tsp dried oregano leaves 1 egg white 1 Tbl water
3 Tbl barbecue sauce (I used Kraft's spicy honey BBQ sauce) 2 Tbl all-fruit peach or apricot jam (I used a pineapple-apricot preserve)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse chicken. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 40, 1-inch pieces. (You could make these chicken strips if you wanted- just cut the breasts into strips. Or you can make bigger nuggets than 1-inch ones, just cut them the way you want.) 2. Place flour, salt and pepper in resealable plastic food storage bag. Combine cracker crumbs and oregano in shallow bowl. Whisk together egg white and water in small bowl. 3. Place 6 or 8 chicken pieces in bag with flour mixture; seal bag. Shake until chicken is well coated. Remove chicken from bag; shake off excess flour. Coat all sides of chicken pieces with egg white mixture. Roll in crumb mixture. Place in shallow baking pan (I used a greased cookie sheet). Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Bake 10 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown (I had to cook mine for about 16-17 minutes because my chicken wasn't quite done. Make sure you check the inside of the chicken instead of just relying on the outside's color.) 4. Meanwhile, combine barbeque sauce and jam in small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until heated through. (If freezing nuggets***, don't prepare the dipping sauce until you eat the nuggets.) Serve chicken nuggets with dipping sauce. ***Freezer Instructions: To freeze chicken nuggets, cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Wrap chicken in plastic wrap, making packages of 5 nuggets each. Then, place individual packages in resealable plastic freezer bags or container with tight-fitting lid. (Or what I'd do is to flash freeze the nuggets in the freezer and then throw them into a big ziploc freezer baggie so you can just take out how many you need.) To reheat nuggets, preheat oven to 325 F. Unwrap nuggets. Place nuggets on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until hot. Or, place 4-5 nuggets on microwavable plate. Microwave on DEFROST (30% power) 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 minutes or until hot, turning once. To make BBQ dipping sauce for each serving of reheated nuggets: Combine about 1-1/2 tsp BBQ sauce and 1/2 tsp jam in small microwavable dish. Microwave on HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or until hot.

Oh-So-Peachy Cake

This recipe comes from the "Gooseberry Patch Cake Mixes" cookbook. I've eyed it ever since I got the book from my mom, and so I made it to take with me to a church meeting a couple of weeks ago. It was yummy! It does puff up quite a bit in the pan, but then sinks as it cools (or at least that's what mine did). So just make sure you leave plenty of room for the cake to rise. Also, the cream cheese topping was hard to spread on top of the peaches so I might actually heat it up in the microwave until it's runny and then just drizzle it on top. Enjoy!

Oh-So-Peachy Cake

18-1/4 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix (I had a butter cake mix on hand that I used)
3-1/2 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1 c. water
1 c. oil
29-oz. can sliced peaches, drained and juices reserved
1 c. sugar
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

Combine first 5 ingredients; mix well. Spread in a lightly greased 13" x 9" baking pan; arrange peach slices on top. Set aside. Blend sugar, cream cheese and 5 Tbl. reserved peach juice together until smooth and creamy; pour over peach slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blog Award

Sorry, no recipe this post. Just a bit of housekeeping. Jessica at Harwood Harbor gave me this blog award and so now it's my turn to give it to others (Oh! And thanks Jessica for the award!). Here's how it works:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link. (You can get the award picture by right clicking the image and saving it to your computer. It's the only way I could figure out- so if anyone else knows how, please share!)

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered

3) Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

My nominations for the award:

1) Anissa's Kitchen- It's my mom's blog, and I couldn't take full credit for this blog since she's the one that taught me to cook

2) My Kitchen Cafe- This isn't "newly discovered" for me, but Melanie has so many delicious looking recipes that I have a hard time not drooling over them!

3) Lynn's Kitchen Adventures- Lynn tries to focus on budget-friendly recipes that are tried and true mixed with new recipes. She also does some menu planning if you want ideas in that department.

4) The Thurstonian- Amy is an old family friend and I used to babysit her kids. I love reading through her blog at the randomness that happens in their life. It keeps me entertained :)

5) Blog Chef- Again, this blog isn't new to me, but it features a lot of what I LOVE to eat... Chinese food! This blog has had many recipes that have come to my rescue since I live in a town with slim pickings on Chinese restaurants!

6) Prepared LDS Family- This is a great site for emergency preparedness, whether you are just starting with 72-hour kits, working on your 3-month supply or beyond.

7) Easy Cheap Recipes- Another frugal food site. Some of you may have already been over to Jayne's site, but it's a great place to look when planning your menu or scrambling for dinner!

8) For the Love of Cooking- I've found a couple of recipes here that I've enjoyed, and there are so many more that look yummy!

9) Good Stuff Maynard- Another great recipe site to browse through- it's a collaboration from many aspiring cooks.

10) Eat at Home- Just what it says... recipes so you can save money and eat at home!

Hmmm... I can't think of any more blogs! I guess I'm with you on just choosing 10 Jessica! So to those of you who were nominated- Congratulations! And do your best to come up with 15 blogs. (If you don't we'll still forgive you!)

Cheesy Italian Chicken

This is another recipe I got from the "Girlfriends on the Go!: A busy mom's guide to make-ahead meals" by Suzie Roberts. It was so good and extra easy since it used the crock pot! I know we'll be making this again for sure! I only used 4 chicken breasts and next time I think I'll go ahead and use 6 for the full recipe because there seemed to be a little excess sauce- but it was still good! Again, this recipe is enough for a larger family, so if you don't want a ton of leftovers, it might be best to half the recipe- especially since you serve it with rice or pasta and can add a vegetable.

Cheesy Italian Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in pieces
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (I'm not sure why they had these in except for the flavor. You could probably substitute a packet of Italian dressing mix and have it turn out just as well)
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand- any kind should work well)

Mix soup, milk, bread crumbs, and cheese together. Add chicken pieces. Cook in slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Stir often so cheese doesn't stick to the bottom (I didn't do this, and I didn't have a problem). Serve over rice or noodles.

If you want to freeze this recipe, place the chicken pieces in a freezer bag. Mix all other ingredients together and pour over chicken in the bag. Don't forget to label your bag with the instructions on how to cook it and don't forget to thaw it before putting it into the slow cooker or it will take a lot longer!

Ravioli Casserole

I got an awesome freezer meal cookbook from my mom titled "Girlfriends on the Go: A busy mom's guide to make-ahead meals" by Suzie Roberts. And since I've been feeling crummy, I decided to try out some of the easy recipes to help lower our food budget (fast food isn't very friendly! ;) So far, they've been delicious. I'm so glad that I can put together a few meals in one day and be able to have a homemade dinner to feed my family, even if I don't feel up to cooking! This one is similar to lasagna, but for any of you lasagna lovers out there, you know lasagna can be really expensive if you don't find every ingredient on sale. This is a less expensive version, and my husband said he even likes it better than plain old lasagna. This recipe is also very easy to mix-up as you can use different types of ravioli (or make your own if you feel ambitious!), different sauces, and you can even add cooked ground beef, cooked ground Italian sausage, or even sneak some veggies in it. The full recipe makes quite a bit. I could easily half the recipe and still have enough for dinner plus some leftovers for one or two lunches for me and my husband. So if your cooking for a small family, either only make half the recipe or freeze the other half. It'll be worth it!

Ravioli Casserole
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 package (25 oz.) frozen cheese ravioli, cooked and drained
2 cups small curd cottage cheese (that's about 16 oz.)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (this seemed like too much, so I used 2 cups and it was great!)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in 9x13 pan. Layer with half of the ravioli, 1-1/4 cups sauce, 1 cup cottage cheese, and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

If you want to freeze it, place your casserole in a disposable aluminum pan (the $1 store is a good resource for purchasing them), cover it with foil, and label it with the instructions on baking it. Before you use your meal out of the freezer, be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator or else the cook time will need to be more than doubled :(

Monday, June 8, 2009

Omelette for Two

Before I give this amazing breakfast recipe, I want to apologize for not having posted very many recipes last month or for this month so far. I'm almost out of my first trimester of my pregnancy, so I should be better about actually cooking. So thanks for your patience! I wish I could say that I made this recently because it's delicious! My mom actually made something similar to it when I was visiting her this weekend, which is what reminded me of it. I'll probably make her version sometime and then share it with you! But until then, give this one a whirl. You won't be disappointed!

Omelette for Two

1/4 lb. bacon (or you could use leftover ham, or even browned sausage, or I've left it out too and it's still good)
1 Tbl. butter
1 c. medium yukon gold potatoes (~2; I used regular potatoes and they work fine or if you have hashbrowns in the freezer, they'd work, too)
1/2 c. chopped yellow onion
6 eggs
2 Tbl. milk or cream
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. (or more :) ) extra cheddar cheese

Dice, cook, and drain bacon. Cook butter, onions, and potatoes about 10 minutes, or until tender. Beat eggs, milk and pepper. Stir in cheese. Put potato mixture into egg mixture. Place in greased pie pan and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and set in the middle.
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