Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year's Favorites 2008

I've decided that the end of every year needs a favorite list. The best of the best recipes I've found so far. These are the ones that have really stood out from the pack- so make sure to try them!
I'm excited for next year's recipes.... I've bought a few new cookbooks and have been in the kitchen testing and tweaking. Start preparing your tastebuds!

Black Bean & Corn Tacos

Chicken Pot Pie

Minestrone Soup

Banana Pancakes

Autumn Fruit Salad

Brownie Cheesecake

Monday, December 29, 2008

All-Day Crockpot Beef

I'm contemplating making a roast. The last attempt went poorly. Perhaps this recipe will be better.

1−1/2 pounds beef roast,
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 package onion soup mix
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon steak sauce
3 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice

* Use any cut of beef roast desired.

1. Cut beef roast into serving−sized portions. Use more beef if you need more than 6 servings. Brown beef in a bit of vegetable oil, although you can skip this step if rushed for time.

2. Slice onion and separate into rings. Dice the peeled carrots, dice the celery and slice the peppers into thin strips or circles. Place these into bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle the beef pieces with fresh ground black pepper, minced garlic and the onion soup mix. Place on top of the vegetables.

3. Mix the steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl with about 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup tomato juice. Pour this over the meat.

4. Turn to low, cover and cook for 7−9 hours.

It is not important that you take the meat and vegetables out at a specific amount of time. One or two hours either way usually makes no difference. When ready to serve, dip meat and vegetables out of pot with a slotted spoon. Use the liquid as is or turn crockpot to high and thicken liquid with a little flour or cornstarch.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Mom made this yesterday- and it was soooo delicious!


  • 3 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 slices whole-grain bread


Combine first 9 ingredients, stirring well. Spread about 2/3 cup of chicken mixture over each of 5 bread slices, and top with remaining bread slices. Cut sandwiches diagonally in half.

Note: Try using Pumpernickel bread- yum yum!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cherry Cake Stuff

This reminds me of girls' camp. Scrumptious.

2 (21 oz.) cans cherry pie filling
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 c. melted butter/margarine

Spread pie filling in the bottom of greased slow cooker. Sprinkle dry cake mix powder over the top. Pour melted butter over the top. Cover and cook on high for 2 hrs or on low for 4 hrs.

Makes 10-12 servings

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ravioli Lasagna

I love this recipe because it has directions if you freeze it!

26-oz jar marinara or pasta sauce
Two 13-oz packages cheese ravioli
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a foil baking pan. Spread 1 package of ravioli in a single layer on sauce. Top with 1 cup of sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Layer the second package of ravioli on top, then 1 cup sauce and 1 cup mozzarella. Cover pan with foil and freeze until ready to use, or bake covered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes.

To bake frozen lasagna: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, covered, for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is melted and starting to brown, and inside middle is hot, about 25 minutes more.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Black Bean & Corn Tacos

I don't know about you- but I've just about had it with browning beef. So here's an easier alternative!
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chipotle Salsa (or just regular salsa)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 12 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (1/2 pound) firm-ripe avocado (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spoon beans into a shallow 2- to 3-quart casserole. Stir in salsa, 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, and cilantro. Top bean mixture with corn, then sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Bake beans and corn in a 400 degree F oven until hot throughout and cheese is melted and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stack tortillas and wrap in foil. Place in the oven until tortillas are warm, about 5 minutes.
  4. While bean mixture and tortillas heat, peel and pit avocado. Cut into thin wedges and arrange wedges on a small serving plate. Sprinkle avocado with remaining lime juice.
  5. To eat tacos, spoon bean and corn mixture into warm tortillas. Offer avocado wedges and additional salsa to add to taste.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Banana Cookies

Want cookies? Maybe chocolate chips don't last long in your house? (like at mine) Try this recipe! I usually have a few extra bananas on hand!

1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 tea. vanilla
1 c. mashed bananas
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. salt

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add bananas and use mixer until smooth. In separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In small amounts, pour the flour mixture into the banana mix until fully combined.
Spoon onto baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10 mins.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Easy Ziti

1 lb. italian sausage
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. sliced bell pepper
1 jar (Prego) 3 Cheese Pasta Sauce
4 1/2 c. hot, cooked penne

In skillet, over med-high heat, cook sausage, onion, and pepper until sausage isn't pink and pour off fat.
Add pasta sauce, heat to a boil, serve over penne.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dad's Eggnog

Any of you who really know my Dad probably already know about the eggnog concoction. But it is yummy. So I thought I would share it with the rest of the world.

2 parts eggnog
1 parts 7-up (only 7-up will do- Sierra Mist and Sprite are different)

Pour eggnog first, then slowly add 7-up. (watch out, there is foam)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Autumn Fruit Salad


2 red delicious apples
1 sliced banana
1 Granny Smith apple
2 Bartlett pears
1/2 pound red grapes
1/2 cup almond slivers -- toasted
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon apple cider


1. Wash and core apples and pears, peeling if desired. Cut into one inch chunks.

2. Slice bananas 1/2" thick. Wash grapes and cut in half.

3. Combine fruits and almonds in salad bowl.

4. Mix yogurt with spices and cider. Pour over fruit salad and stir to coat fruits evenly. Chill.

Note: You could add raisins, or any number of nuts to this as well! Yum!

Boca Tacos

I know it sounds silly- but this is the ultimate lazy meal- and I admit to making it for myself way too often than I would care to realize.

2 Boca Burgers
2 tortillas- taco size
shredded cheese

Microwave the Boca Burgers as directed, chop it up with a fork a bit, and make your taco! I love the Boca because you don't have to dirty-up a pan with the browning. Just zap and yum!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Banana Bread

4 tbl. margarine
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
2 tbl. milk
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. mashed bananas
1 3/4 c. flour
2 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. baking soda
1/4 tea. salt

Mix together and pour into greased bread pan. Bake at 350 for 55 mins.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Taco Topped Potatoes

4 med-lrg potatoes
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
shredded cheese
chopped tomato
sliced green onions
sour cream

Wash potatoes and wrap them in aluminum foil and pierce with fork for ventilation. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake them in the oven at 425 for about one hour.
(or you can microwave them if you wish)

Brown the beef, drain the fat, and add taco seasoning. Mix well. Pour onto potatoes, top with cheese, tomatoes, green onions and sour cream.

Note: You may also find tubs of ground beef in taco sauce in the refrigerated meat section of your grocery store.