Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cowboy Spaghetti

I love cookbooks and even though I have at least 30 of them, I found a Rachel Ray cookbook at a rummage the other day and couldn't resist buying it. It's my first Rachel Ray cookbook, though I have made some of her recipes before from her magazine and website. This pasta recipe was so easy to put together Sunday night when I was feeling kind of lazy. It was something different from regular spaghetti and didn't take much time at all. The little bit of bacon in it made it even extra special :)

Cowboy Spaghetti From Rachel Ray Express Lane Meals
1 pound spaghetti
1 T olive oil
3 slices smoky bacon, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp hot sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 14 oz can chopped or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
4 scallions, trimmed, chopped (I omitted since I didn't have these)

Cook spaghetti until al dente in a big pot of salted water. Drain.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and bacon. Brown and crisp the bacon for 5 minutes and remove with slotted spoon to paper-towel lined plate. Drain of some of the excess fat, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the beef and crumble it as it browns. Add the onions and garlic and stir into the meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, then stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Add the hot spaghetti to the meat and sauce and combine. Adjust the seasonings and serve up the pasta in shallow bowls. Sprinkle shredded cheese and scallions over and serve.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Red Pepper and Parmesan Tilapia

I love any food with a little zip to it. This dish was really simple to make and so yummy! Give it a try when you don't have a lot of prep time for dinner.

Red Pepper and Parmesan Tilapia From Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking
1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tilapia filets (6 oz each)

Place egg in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and pepper. Dip fillets in egg, then cheese mixture.

Place in a 15x10" baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Curried Chicken Corn Chowder

I have been doing some wonderful cooking, they just haven't made it on here yet. This soup was our dinner last night in efforts to use up some of the corn I had frozen last fall and it turned out very yummy. It did not take a lot of time to assemble and it only had to simmer for less than a half hour total. A very quick dish to put together especially if you have some cooked chicken on hand, if not, that will add some time to the prep.

Look forward to posts coming up on Beef Barley Soup and Parmesan and red pepper tilapia. Both delish!

Curried Chicken Corn Chowder From Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking
2 medium onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 T butter
3 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chicken broth
5 cups frozen corn
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro

In a Dutch oven, saute onions and celery in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, corn, curry, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk flour and milk until smooth (will be very thick and paste like). Whisk into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken and cilantro; heat through.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Happy Easter everyone!! I made this tasty breakfast casserole for our Easter morning. My mom has a recipe that I'm sure is similar, though I'm not sure if its the same. This was assembled the night before and cooked in the morning to save time. I halved this recipe for just my husband and my self and put it in a slightly smaller baking dish. It smelled wonderful as it cooked. Enjoy!

Blueberry French Toast Casserole From Midwest Living Recipes for All Seasons
12 slices dry white bread, cut into 1/2" cubes (about 8 cups)
2 8-oz pkg cream cheese cut into 3/4" cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Place 1/2 of the bread cubes over the bottom of a well buttered 13x9" baking dish. Sprinkle cream cheese and blueberries over bread cubes. Arrange remaining bread cubes over blueberries. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with a rotary beater or whisk; beat in milk and the 1/2 cup maple syrup. Carefully pour egg mixture over the bread mixture. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours. Bake, covered, in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake about 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, and topping is puffed and golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with blueberry-flavored syrup (optional). Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Taco Soup

I love this easy, fast soup to put together. I used up some of our garden bounty from last year making this delicious soup. It tastes great with some corn chips, cheese and sour cream over the top of it too!

Taco Soup From Simply in Season
1 pound ground beef, venison or turkey
1 small onion, chopped
6 cups tomato juice
2 cups corn
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1-3 T chili powder
1 T sugar or to taste

Brown meat and onion in soup pot. Add the remaining ingredients and heat to boiling. Simmer 10 minutes. Or place everything in a slow cooker and cook on low 2-4 hours. Serve over corn chips with sour cream and/or grated cheese.

Butterscotch Pecan Rolls

My sister was visiting from out of town for the last week and for breakfast on Friday I whipped up these rolls. I was having a craving for cinnamon rolls and then found this recipe and had to give it a try. Since I didn't want to actually get up in the morning at 4am to get this started, I made the dough the night before and put it in the fridge. I woke up at my usual time, 5:40am and took it out of the fridge to start rising and went back to bed. I turned the oven on and placed the dough over the oven vent to help speed the raising along. These were relatively simple to whip up and taste great!

Butterscotch Pecan Rolls From Country Cookin'
Basic sweet roll dough (see recipe below)
1/3 cup plus 2 T butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T corn syrup
1/2 cup pecan halves

Roll dough 1/3 inch thick into an oblong, 9"x18". Spread with butter and sprinkle with the white sugar and cinnamon mixed. Roll up tightly in a long roll and seal edge well. Cut into slices about 1" wide. Place rolls in baking dish in which the butter, corn syrup and brown sugar have been melted. Place pecan halves on top of the melted ingredients, rounded side down, before placing slices of dough on top. Cover and let rise until double (35-40 minutes). Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Immediately turn upside down on a large tray. Let pan stay over rolls a minute or so to let butterscotch run down over them.

Basic Sweet Roll Dough:
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup melted shortening
3-3 1/2 cups sifted flour (I used bread flour)
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large mixing bowl. Stir in milk, sugar and salt. Add eggs and shortening and half of the flour. Mix well. Add remaining flour; mix. Turn onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and blistered, adding flour as needed. Round up in greased bowl, bringing greased side up. Cover with damp cloth. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours). Punch down and let rise until almost doubled (45 minutes).