Friday, June 28, 2013

Random funny food pages

I don't even know how I stumbled across this stuff....random internet clicking I guess!

They are funny enough I figured this should be shared with my readers, don't you agree?

I had a ball with the nostalgic cereal one. I think I have tried any and all of those cereals. :::sigh::: there are quite a few I wish would come back!

37 People who are worse cooks than you

21 Unusual food monuments

28 Food tattoos

25 Ugly foods

25 Cereals from the 80's

18 Snacks in a mug

25 Foods you will never eat again

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meatloaf wrapped in Bacon

My man hearts his meatloaf!
My man also hearts bacon. He goes so far as to call it "meat candy".
Marry the two and I have the happiest man in the world.

1 ½ Lbs ground beef
1 Packet onion soup mix
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
Salt and Pepper
1 lb bacon

1. Mix all ingredients
2. Wrap with bacon: Lie bacon strip next to strip on parchment paper. Move meatloaf to middle of bacon. Using each side of the parchment paper, wrap each side with bacon
3. Cook on a cookie sheet in parchment paper for 45 minutes at 350
4. Remove parchment paper and cook 15-20 more minutes until bacon is crispy.


Layered raw bacon strips
Add your favorite meatloaf mixture

Use the sides of the parchment paper to help you roll the bacon in one big layer around the meat

Crispy and delicious!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Breakfast Casserole

We are not a breakfast family.
Scratch that, we love love love breakfast for dinner!
As a general rule, we don't have a meal until lunch though.

I had a good friend and her (gorgeous, sweet, smart) daughter come here for a visit last summer. We did a bunch of touristy things, you know how it goes.
One morning, on our way to pick them up, we were stopping for coffee. Sent a text asking if they wanted anything...a bagel for each.
They get in the car and devoured said bagels. She mentioned something about not being able to wait as long as they did yesterday.
Whoops! Leave it to us to starve our friends!
Yes, I am that kind of person. Apparently.

My friend and I are still on speaking terms, thankfully, and she tells me she reads my blog faithfully. Wonder if she will remember and laugh about my torture methods.

While making sense of my box of random recipes, I found this one. It is hand written by me, so I assume I had made it at some point in my life...but just to be on the safe side, I made it again to ensure it is as yummy as it sounds.

My daughter had friends spending the night. Just because we don't eat first meal (as a general rule, and rules are made to be broken) doesn't mean they should go hungry.

Made this the day before, as stated, and cooked it up in the am.

In my handwritten instructions, it just says sausage. It does not specify Italian or breakfast. I used bulk sweet sausage instead of cutting up links, but I think it would be just as good either way.

1 Lb sausage
1 (8oz) package shredded cheddar cheese
½ pint half and half
6 Eggs
6 Slices of bread

1. Cut edges off bread. Butter bread and place in 9x13 dish.
2. Brown sausage, drain, cut into small pieces and put over bread.
3. Sprinkle cheese over sausage
4. Mix eggs and ½ and ½ together. Pour into dish.
5. Refrigerate overnight
6. Preheat oven to 350. Cook for 45 minutes.



It was a hit! The girl and her friends went back for seconds.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chocolate Layered No-Bake Cheesecake Bars

Darling daughter of mine marches to the beat of her own drum.
I love this about her!

When her birthday rolled around this year, we were at the store to pick out the ever important birthday cake. (I want it noted for the record, this was a last minute thing...otherwise it would have been homemade). She very carefully checked out every cake, cookie, and danish in the store. If it was sweet....she looked.

It was a bit comical, I had visions of a wine enthusiast examining a fine glass of wine for legs.

She circled the bakery, and kept coming back to this one item. I think she knew it was the item, but wanted to check the other options before she admitted to it. daughter had mini cornbread loaves for her birthday cake.
Yup, that is my southern born baby!

Flash forward to her "friend" party...a bunch of giggly girls hanging out at the mall eating pizza.
There had been a kiosk set up at the mall with Girl Scout Cookies....
Can you fill in the blanks?
Her friends bought her a box of cookies and they make-shifted her a fake candle (it was the food court after all, they tend to frown upon fires) and had themselves a jolly good time.

This recipe (adapted from a recipe on the inside of a Baker's Chocolate box) ended up being the "real" birthday cake. We birthday-ed it up by adding rainbow sprinkles.
I can honestly say, it was birthday-licious!

1 ½ Cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ Cup butter (melted)
½ Cup plus 2 Tbsp Sugar
8 Squares semi sweet baking chocolate
4 (8oz) packages cream cheese (softened)
1 Tsp vanilla
1 Tub (8oz) whipped topping (thawed)

1. Line 9x13 inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides.
2. Mix graham crumbs, butter, and 2 Tbsp sugar.
3. Press graham mixture onto bottom of pan
4. Refrigerate while making the filling
5. Melt 6 chocolate squares as directed on package.
6. Beat cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended.
7. Stir in whipped topping with whisk.
8. Pour half of the batter into a medium bowl. Stir in melted chocolate.
9. Pour chocolate mixture over crust. Cover with plain batter.
10. Melt remaining 2 chocolate squares, drizzle over batter
11. Refrigerate 3 hours until firm


Aren't the sprinkles just beeeautiful?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Trifle

I won a Pampered Chef cookbook at a party once. One of those deals where you get a ticket for showing up on time and then tickets are drawn from a hat.
I never win anything...yay me!

Hubby dearest came to me one day with this thin booklet made entirely out of dust.
It was my prize winning cookbook, it had fallen behind something and I never thought about it ever again until he found it.

Time to use it!

We had no homemade sweets in the house, and our fave neighbors were celebrating their anniversary. Such a dessert is easy enough to make in halves....since we don't need much, and they deserved some.

I decided to make this trifle, and it was incredibly delicious!
I used unsweetened raspberries though, and I think it was the best part. The tart really set it apart with all the sweet in this dish.

1 Cup milk
1 Package (3.3 oz) white chocolate or vanilla instant pudding
1 Tub (16 oz) whipped topping (thawed)
1 box (12 oz) vanilla wafers
1 Cup milk chocolate morsels
1 Jar (12 oz) seedless raspberry jam
1 Bag (12 oz)  frozen sweetened raspberries (not in syrup) (thawed)

1. Combine milk and pudding mix. Whisk until mixture begins to thicken.
2. Reserve ½ cup of the whipped topping
3. Gently fold remaining whipped topping into pudding mixture. Cover and refrigerate.
4. Combine chocolate morsels, reserved whipped topping, and half of the jam in a small microwavable bowl.
5. Microwave on high 40-60 seconds, or until melted, stirring after each 20 seconds.
6. Stir melted ganache mixture until smooth. Reserve ¼ cup for garnish.
7. Place remaining jam into a microwavable bowl. Microwave on high 30-60 seconds or until melted.
8. Place berried into a bowl, pour jam over berries, stir gently.
9. Set aside 16 cookies for garnish. Break remaining cookies in half.
10. To assemble, place one third of the broken cookies into the bottom. Layer one third of the raspberry mixture. Top with one third of the pudding mixture, and one third of the ganache.
11. Repeat layers two more times.
12. Finish with a smooth layer of ganache. Place reserved cookies on top of trifle.


I had vanilla pudding on hand, so I used that instead of white chocolate

The world's shortest, ugliest trifle! I should have piped in the ingredients, and it would also be prettier if I didn't make one for the neighbors too (this is only about half of the trifle)

This recipe was shared with: Daily Dish

Friday, June 14, 2013

Janice's American Chop Suey

My friend Janice...everything she makes is normal, everyday food...but with a twist!
We make a lot of the same meals, but hers are just so different from mine.

I have started picking her brain to get her versions, I am always game to try something new!

She gave me this recipe and I ran home to make it. We are big American chop suey fans in my house.
This meal did not disappoint!

It still had all the comfort food feeling of my own....but with a lighter feel.

The sausage was a nice addition, it gave spice to this that just blossomed. She told me that she uses the hot sausage...but I was going to use sweet. I got to the grocery store and the cheese and garlic flavor was on super sale, so that is what I grabbed.

I should give her credit, the creamy habanero chicken soup came from her (well, apparently her sister).

1 Lb box elbow macaroni
1-1 ½ Lbs ground beef
8 Italian sausage links (hot or sweet)
1 Green pepper (chopped)
1 Onion (chopped)
2 Cans of stewed tomato
Tomato juice
Pasta sauce

1. Cook pasta as directed
2. Cook hamburger with onions and peppers
3. Cook sausage, slice on an angle
4. Mix everything together with stewed tomato
5. If you would like thicker sauce, add marinara sauce
Thinner sauce, add tomato juice.



Optional Ingredients

Stir and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Supreme

My life is so freaking busy.
I can't even begin to tell you....but I love every moment!

I rely on my crock pot for meals more than once a week. I don't know what I would do without it.
When I see recipes like this, I store it away for future use.

As much as we liked this meal, I think I would use dill havarti cheese next time. Without knowing, I just got plain. The extra dash of flavor would have just elevated it by a level.

5 Slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
6 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
10 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup or
10 oz jar four cheese alfredo sauce
4 oz jar sliced mushrooms (drained)
½ Cup diced swiss or havarti cheese

1. Cook chicken in bacon drippings for 3-5 minutes or until light brown.
2. Place chicken in slow cooker.
3. Top with mushrooms and sauce.
4. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours
5. Top chicken with diced cheese and sprinkle with bacon.
6. Cover and cook on high for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted


Ingredients: I used alfredo vs the cream of chicken soup

My daughter said it was well worth the "pain" of smelling the bacon cooking the day before!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Crock Pot Apricot Chicken

I love finding a really great deal on chicken breasts at the store. I buy a whole bunch, bring them home to clean them and then freeze.
Very much worth the initial effort to clean and trim them, then they are ready to go when thawed.
Or, in this case, cook from a frozen state!

I served this over mashed potato, but rice or pasta would work well too.
Recipe adapted from here

6 Frozen chicken breasts
1 Envelope dry onion soup mix
½ Cup Russian or French salad dressing
1 Cup apricot preserves
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tsp dried thyme or basil leaves
⅛ Tsp black pepper

1. Arrange chicken pieces in slow cooker
2. Mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl and pour over chicken
3. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours
4. Optional: if you would like a thicker sauce combine 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 3 Tbsp water and mix until smooth. Add to crock pot, turn to high for 10-15 minutes until thickened.


Ingredients: The ugly pink blob to the left are my frozen chicken breasts

Mmmm...the mashed potato soaked up the delicious juices

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sympathy meals/Help meals

At some point in all of our lives, we have had friends and family who have been sick or been grieving.
A lot of the time, we all feel a little helpless. What can we do to ease things for these people we care about?

Many people ask "what can I do" or "please let me know if I can help in any way". As grand as they are as gestures...we all know that you will never get the phone call asking. Many people don't want to "bother" others by asking for help.

A simple solution is to just do it! Take the initiative and tell your loved one what you will be doing.
" I would like to come over and help, I will be there soon"
"I know child A has ballet this week, I will be there to take her to class for you"

Most often, I rely on cooking to help.
When someone has so much turmoil in their lives, not having to worry about a meal is a big deal.
There are some items to think about when bringing a meal to a friend...

1. Allergies. Always keep this in mind. If you are uncertain, please feel free to call and ask.
2. Taste. If you know your friend likes exotic foods, that is one thing, but when in doubt, keep the meals simple. Please also stay away from flavors that many people have strong aversions to: olives, onions, hot sauce to name a few.
3. Freezable? In this sort of situation, there is always the chance you are not the only person who had this idea. There is no way the family can go through 18 meals in a few days. Making sure the food can be frozen and reheated is a nice option to have.
4. Directions. Do not just assume they will know how to reheat your food product. A quick note on the package will go a long way in ensuring they enjoy your food.
5. Packaging. Please do not send food in dishes you need returned! They really do not need to worry about this right now. Most dollar stores have throw away aluminum pans that you can use.

The one thing you rarely run into...but it has happened, is rejection.
Please, please do not take it personally. 
This person could be so overwhelmed, they just do not know how to deal with such an outpouring of support.
It could also be bad manners, but odds are, that isn't the case.

When you are on the receiving end, always just thank them. If you eat it or not isn't the point, they took time out of their lives to think and care about you.

I just am not a cook, what can I do to help?
A simple bag of groceries can go a long way! They might not have had time to go to the store. Just some basics, the fixings for a meal or two.
Or, a gift card for a local restaurant who delivers. They can decide what they want, when they want it.

What are your favorite meals that travel well to bring to others?

Some (too many to mention all of them!)of my faves are:
Main Dish

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chicken Salad (Willow Tree Copy Cat)

I had a hankering for some chicken salad. I knew I had some shredded chicken in the fridge and knew 90% of the work was already done for me.

I was sitting on the couch, playing on the computer, organizing a bunch of online recipes I had saved...and just happened to pull up this one. Blindly!
A quick scan of the recipe told me I already had the ingredients on hand.

As we all know, this is an obvious sign and it must be followed. Karma likes when we do things like this.

Into the kitchen I go...and less than 10 minutes later I had a delicious lunch!
We used potato rolls, as they are our fave. Hubby and the girl both wanted a thick slice of tomato on theirs. Mine was just in a bread needed!

I am typing this the next day....and I can't get it out of my mind! I think I need to go make another batch, it was simply that good!

1 Lb cooked chicken breast
¾ Cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp finely minced celery
3 Tbsp finely minced onion
1 Tbsp brown sugar
⅛ Tsp garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

1. Shred chicken breast
2. Add all other ingredients, stir to mix well
3. Serve with tomato/lettuce if desired


I used about 2 cups of shredded chicken.

Must make NOW!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Red Beans and Rice

I don't remember where/why/how/when but one day hubby declared "I just don't like any Cajun food".
Considering he loves spice...and has never HAD any Cajun food, I thought it was an odd thing to say.

Playing around online, I found this recipe and decided to adapt it to my own needs (read: convenience).

I had bought Cajun seasoning for another recipe a million years ago and was psyched to be able to use some more of it. Hate buying something and having to throw it away!

The only "difficulty" I found in this recipe was finding chipotle powder. Apparently it isn't a hot commodity at my closest grocery store. I found some chipotle marinade and used some of that powder. If it changed or "ruined" the flavor, I wouldn't be aware. Tasted good to us!

Hubby has now decided that he is willing and able to try more Cajun recipes...yay for breaking down barriers!

2 cans (15.5 oz) kidney beans
4 Garlic cloves (chopped)
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp powdered chicken stock
1 Tsp garlic salt
1 Tsp dried chipotle powder
1 Tsp liquid smoke
2-3 Bay leaves
1 Onion (chopped)
1 bell pepper (chopped)
1 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp salt (according to taste)
1-2 Tsp cajun seasoning
¼ Cup butter
1 Tsp tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Lb smoked sausage

1. Drain beans and place in crock pot along with black pepper, chicken stock, garlic, garlic salt, bay leaves, chipotle powder, and liquid smoke.
2. Cover with water until it just covers the bean mixture.
3. Saute peppers and onions with butter
4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
5. Remove bay leaves, add ¼ cup butter and stir.
6. Add cornstarch with a small amount of water to dissolve, add to bean mixture to thicken.
7. Cook rice according to package.
8. Slice smoked sausage and cook until nicely browned.
9. Season with salt if desired.
10. Put rice in single serving bowls, add beans, top with sausage.
11. Sprinkle with additional cajun seasoning and/or tabasco if desired.


The Weber package was my chipotle marinade

So, I made the servings way too big. This is an incredibly filling meal!