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Friday, April 29, 2011

Texas Casserole

Source- Fellow Nestie/Bumpie

I feel bad, I don't remember the name of the girl that posted this recipe online.  She raved about it, but it has been awhile since I got it from her.  I decided to go through my Word file of recipes I've copied and pasted from online message boards.  I love when people share recipes they love so I can try them.


  • 1 pound ground beef (use ground turkey)
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2- 8 oz pkg's Cream Cheese
  • 4 oz Sour cream
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz Egg Noodles

  • Brown the hamburger and the onion. 
  • Drain Well. 
  • Combine the tomato paste, tomoato sauce, pepper, salt, sugar, cream cheese and sour cream in large mixing bowl. 
  • Pour the mixture into the skillet with the browned hamburger and onion. Stir well. 
  • Let simmer for about 20 minutes. 
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Cook egg noodles per package instructions. 
  • Once sauce is done simmering, put back into large bowl and add egg noodles. 
  • Mix all the ingrediants except the cheese. 
  • Pour mixture into baking dish, a 9X13 is perfect. 
  • Then add all of the cheese on top of the noodle and sauce mixture. 
  • Cover with foil or lid and put in oven for 45 minutes.
  • Take out of the oven and eat for days!!!

Review & Changes- I was surprised at how well I liked the ground turkey in this.  This time it was fresh turkey, instead of frozen, so maybe that made a difference?  I don't know.  After successful recipes like this I'll definitely try ground turkey in other recipes.

Otherwise, it just seemed like this recipe needed something more. Not sure if adding a vegetable to the mix would work or what.  Maybe a pepper?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Layered Beef and Potato Casserole

Source-Betty Crocker

This recipe is so darn easy.  It comes together pretty easily.  Definitely a good weeknight dinner.


  • 1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 2 cups Green Giant® frozen mixed vegetables (from 1-lb bag)  (used full 1 lb)
  • 1 jar (12 oz) beef gravy  (used 14.5oz can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag (28 oz) frozen potatoes O’Brien with peppers and onions, thawed
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. 
  • In 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. 
  • Stir in mixed vegetables, gravy and salt. 
  • Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are thawed and mixture is thoroughly heated.
  • In baking dish, layer 3 cups of the potatoes and 1 cup of the cheese. 
  • Spoon ground beef mixture over cheese. 
  • Top with remaining potatoes. 
  • Cover with foil.
  • Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until bubbly. 
  • Remove foil. S
  • prinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  • Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 
  • Sprinkle with paprika before serving.
 Review & Changes- This was pretty darn good.  There is no reason to change anything.  I'd definitely make this again.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Four Cheese Pasta Florentine

Source- Kraft Recipes

I love new spinach recipes.  I always feel like I'm eating good stuff when there is spinach included.  So even though this recipe is loaded with pasta and cheese, it is still at least a little bit good for you.  : )

  • 3 cups mostaccioli, uncooked
  • 1 pkg.  (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup  Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pkg.  (8 oz.) Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese 
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Heat oven to 375ºF.
  • Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. 
  • Meanwhile, cook spinach as directed on package; drain well. 
  • Place in large bowl. 
  • Add cream cheese; stir until melted. 
  • Stir in cottage cheese and eggs until well blended.
  • Drain pasta. 
  • Add to spinach mixture with mozzarella; mix lightly. 
  • Spoon into 8- or 9-inch square baking dish; top with Parmesan.
  • Bake 25 min. or until center is set.  

Review & Changes- Confession, I forgot to add the eggs to this recipe.  Oopsy!  That's the bad part about only having a desktop, you have to go back and forth between the recipe and the kitchen.  Well unless you want to print the recipe. 

Even without the egg this recipe was really good.  Next time I'd skip cooking the spinach, and just rely on the cook time in the oven to warm it up.  I also might try substituting ricotta for the cottage cheese.  There was nothing wrong with the cottage cheese in the recipe, but I would have preferred a creamier look, instead of seeing the little cottage cheese pieces throughout the dish. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Taco Stuffed Peppers

 Source- Lauren's Kitchen

I've never had stuffed peppers before.  When peppers were on sale I decided to make my first attempt at making them.  I let H pick out the peppers, so you can see the variety of colors below.  And yes, the green pepper was huge compared to the others.  : )   

  • 6 medium sweet bell peppers  (used 7)
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1/2 C cooked couscous (used brown rice)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (used 1/2 large onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 C Mexican blend cheese
  • tortilla chips, just a handful and more for serving if desired.
  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Prepare peppers by washing, slicing tops off, and removing insides. 
  • Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. 
  • Boil whole peppers for about 3-4 minutes, until they begin to soften. 
  • Remove from water with tongs and place on paper towels to drain.
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add onions and garlic, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add corn, beans, green onions, taco seasoning, kosher salt, and pepper. 
  • Stir until corn and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. 
  • Place peppers in a baking dish. 
  • Remove skillet from heat and add couscous, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cheese. 
  •  Stir to combine well and give it a taste. 
  • Add additional salt, pepper, and taco seasoning to your liking. 
  • Then evenly divide mixture between peppers
  • Top peppers with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
    Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
    Serve with tortilla chips and desired toppings (sour cream, avocado, cheese, etc...)

Review & Changes-This recipe was really good.  And I was happy with the slight changes I made.  I would be willing to make this again, but I think I'd rather try my hand at some different varieties. 

I have 2 other varieties bookmarked in my Google Reader that I want to try.  Mexican Stuffed Peppers and Stuffed Peppers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Quick & Easy Chicken, Broccoli & Brown Rice Dinner

Source- WIC Spring 2011 Newsletter

It's hard to say that I'm proud that we receive WIC benefits for Baby Rebel,  but I can definitely say that we truly appreciate what we do get.  Every 3 months I head to the local clinic to get more benefits loaded on my card.  When there they have classes that focus on nutrition.  They also hand out their quarterly newsletter full of information, and recipes.  This is the first recipe that has immediately caught my eye.

Every ingredient on the list we always have on hand, so I knew that we'd like it.  The next time I made a menu I added this recipe to the list and got ready to make it. 

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (used olive oil)
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (used 1lb tenders)
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets

  • Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken and cook until well browned on both sides.
  • Remove chicken from skillet.
  • Stir soup, water, paprika and pepper in skillet.
  • Heat to a boil.
  • Stir rice and broccoli in skillet.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Return chicken to skillet.
  • Sprinkle additional paprika and pepper over chicken.
  • Cover, and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout and rice is tender.
Review & Changes-  What an easy and good for you meal.  However, there wasn't a lot of flavor.  After my first small plate, I added a little salt and garlic powder to the next serving.  What a difference it made!  I didn't want to add seasoning to the rest of the dish before I had tasted my serving.  While I don't like to add a lot of salt to my dishes, the seasoning salt I used is 30% less sodium.

I'd add 1/4 tsp of both seasoning salt and garlic powder to the whole dish next time.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chicken with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Source- Lauren's Kitchen

This recipe really doesn't need an introduction.  It's pretty straight forward and not hard to make. 


  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 5  garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1  pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3  cup  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • Garnish: 1/4 cup small basil leaves

·          Place chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness.   
·          Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. 
·          Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
·          Add olive oil to pan. 
·          Add chicken; sauté for 3 minutes on each side or until done. 
·          Transfer to a serving platter. 
·          Add coarsely chopped garlic cloves to pan; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
·          Stir in cherry tomatoes and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. 
·          ook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
·          Spoon over chicken.
·          Garnish with small basil leaves.
Review & Changes- This recipe was pretty good.  H and I both really liked the tomatoes on top of the chicken. 

And for once there was enough tomatoes for the chicken.  So that was a plus. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

ABC's of Danni
A. Age: 27
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you dislike: Bathroom for sure.  Especially toilet, floor and shower.  But sink and mirror are fine!  
D. Dogs: None
E. Essential start to your day: Lately it has been an onion bagel with cream cheese.
F. Favorite color: Teal
G. Gold or silver: Silver
H. Height: 5′ 5"
I. Instruments you play(ed): Trumpet in 5th grade.
J. Job title: Stay At Home Mom, SAHM
K. Kids: 9 month old Baby Rebel
L. Live for ______: Family
M. Most embarrassing moment: Most recently I sent an email to my professor and called him Greg instead of Gary.  Ooops!
N. Nicknames: Danni, Danno, and various pet names that H calls me.
O. Overnight hospital stays: When I gave birth to Baby Rebel, and that was 3 nights plus the night I was in labor
P. Pet peeves:  The biggest is people who spit.  Also hate people who chew with their mouth open.  <- Specific people come to mind, unfortunately.
Q. Quote from a movie: The only one that comes to mind immediately is "You want the truth, YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!" 
S. Siblings: 25 year old sister, 18 year old half sister, and 21 year old half brother.  Plus 2 step-sisters and 2 step-brothers. 
T. Time you wake up: Whenever Baby Rebel wakes up, lately it has been 7am. 
U. University attended: Went to Grand Valley State University for 4 1/2 years, before my financial aid ran out.  Now I'm going to Grand Rapids Community College for Pharmacy Technician.  I'll be done the beginning of June.
V. Vegetables: Love corn, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower.  Love salads with a bunch of different stuff.
W. What makes you run late: Not too much.  I like to be on time, if not early. 
X. X-rays you’ve had:  X-rayed my knee when I was a junior, my elbow after I fell off a chair onto concrete, and of course I've had my teeth x-rayed for my wisdom teeth.
Y. Yummy food you make: I made a whole bunch.  Hello, this is mostly a food blog!!  I really like my fajitas and stuffed shells.
Z. Zoo animal favorites: Penguins, big cats like Lions and tigers.