Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rice with Ham and Sausages

What is your comfort food? Is it mac & cheese? Tomato soup? Twinkies?

My comfort food is this... Tomato flavored rice with ham and sausage. My mom made this for us many, many, many times throughout our childhood and to this day it is still one of my favorite meals. It's even become one of the meals my kids ask for often.

It requires a bit of chopping, but otherwise not much effort. It just simmers for some time on the stove-top and smells amazing while doing it.

Rice with Ham and Sausages
serves 5

1 pkg. (12 oz.) uncooked sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups cubed ham (leftover or packaged is fine)
1 med. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups water
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste with Italian herbs
1 cup uncooked white rice

In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic and sausage until sausage is no longer pink. Add ham, water and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Add rice. Cover and simmer on low about 25 minutes or until rice is tender.

If you can't find the Italian herbs tomato paste you can substitute with 2 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt but it's not quite the same.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

I'll be the first to admit that this isn't the most healthy thing to feed my family, but in my defense it's so good!

I grew up eating this from the time I was really little. I'm not sure where exactly the original recipe came from. Maybe my grandmother? No one really seems to know, but it has always been one of my favorites. It's like ooey gooey comfort food on a cold winter's day.

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

8 oz. small sea shell pasta
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of celery soup
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (6 oz.) tuna, drained
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbls. butter, melted

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. I've found that under cooking the pasta by about a minute or so keeps it from getting squishy while baking.

Meanwhile, mix the soup, milk, miracle whip, dry mustard, cheese and tuna together in a 2 qt casserole dish.

Mix bread crumbs and butter together in a small bowl; set aside.

Add cooked pasta to the soup mixture; mix well. Top with bread crumbs.

Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 45-50 minutes or until bread crumb topping is lightly browned. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lemon Battered Fish

This is one of those recipes I have had around for years. I'll make it a bunch and then somehow forget all about it until some months later I come across it again. And then when I make it I can't figure out how I forgot about it!

This fish recipe makes such a light, crispy fish with a yummy citrus flavor. I love citrus and fish!

I use tilapia a lot while making this, but cod, perch and other similar white fish will work as well.

Lemon Battered Fish

1 cup + 1/2 cup flour, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup + 1/3 cup lemon juice, divided
2 lbs. tilapia or other white fish
Oil for frying

Pour oil into a large skillet suitable for frying (cast iron works awesome!) so the oil is approx 1 inch deep. Please make sure your skillet is deep enough that the oil will not overflow while frying. This could be a fire hazard!

Heat oil over med to med-high heat until it reaches 350*. A candy thermometer works great for this.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; set aside. In another bowl, beat together the egg, water and 1/3 cup lemon juice. Add to the flour mixture and mix well until smooth.

Place the remaining lemon juice in a small bowl and the remaining flour in a separate small bowl.

When oil is ready, dip each fish fillet first in the lemon juice, then the flour and finally the egg batter. Carefully drop battered fish pieces two or three at a time into hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and fish flakes easily with a fork.

Drain fish on paper towels before serving.

For more great recipes visit Tasty Tuesday, Create Link Inspire, Totally Talented Tuesday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, and Recipe Sharing Monday

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Yum! That's about all I ever hear from my family when I make these. They are so good! They are also nice and chewy and stay soft for days in the cookie jar.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 Tbls. butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 bag (12 oz.) butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350*F

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars together on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and butterscotch chips; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Cool 1 minute on cookies sheets; remove to wire rack to cool. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

For more great recipes visit Recipe Sharing Monday, Weekend re-Treat, Weekend Potluck, Crafty Frenzy Friday and Full Plate Thursday.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Crockpot Corn Chowder

This was one of the first recipes I put into my cookbook (a 3 ring binder of tried and trues) when I was a young bride. It's changed a little over the years to this current form and it is a huge family favorite.

I love crockpot meals because I can put them in, turn them on, and then spend the day down in the shop without worrying what I'm making for dinner after I close. Just a quick stir every now and again is all it needs during the day.

For the ham in this soup, we normally use leftovers from a baked ham, but any ham will do.

Crockpot Corn Chowder

4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can (14 3/4 oz.) cream style corn
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 cup cubed ham
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Gently mix all ingredients in a 4-5 qt crockpot. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

For more great recipes visit Create Link Inspire, Totally Tasty Tuesday, and Hearth and soul.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mom's Sloppy Joes

Did you eat sloppy joes as a kid? I did....a lot.

Maybe it's because they are so child friendly, economical and unbelievably easy to make. Or maybe it's just because they are fun. Whatever the reason sloppy joes are always a crowd pleaser and moms seem to love to make them.

My mom always made our sloppy joes from scratch. The smell of them was intoxicating and because they needed to simmer on the stove for awhile, I learned how to sneak a bite right out of the pot when no one was looking.

It wasn't until I was a teenager that I learned of the sloppy joe sauce in a can. You know the one I'm talking about. The whole concept seemed weird and alien to me especially with how easy the homemade version was.

Now I make these every couple of weeks for my own kids. They love them and can never get enough. In fact it won't be long before I have to start doubling the recipe to feed growing teenagers!

Mom's Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbls. yellow mustard
1 Tbls. brown sugar
1 cup ketchup

In a med. saucepot (the one I use is around 3 qt.), brown the ground beef and onion. Be sure to break up the ground beef into small pieces while cooking. Carefully drain off any liquid when done.

Add remaining ingredients to ground beef mixture in saucepot. Stir well to combine.

Cover and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Serve on your favorite hamburger bun.

For more great recipes visit Full Plate Thursday, Recipe Sharing Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Hearth and Soul, Totally Tasty Tuesday and Create Link Inspire.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Teriyaki Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Yum! That's really the best way I can think of to describe this. You can't go wrong with a pork tenderloin and I think brown sugar makes everything awesome.

Teriyaki Marinated Pork Tenderloin

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbls. brown sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbls. Olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 pork tenderloin approx. 1 lb.

Mix all ingredients except pork in a large resealable bag. Shake well. Add pork. Place bag in fridge and let marinate for at least 3 hours.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray.

Remove pork from marinade. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade for basting. Place pork on foil lined baking sheet.

Bake at 400* for 45-50 minutes or until center reaches 160*. Baste with reserved marinade during last 15 minutes of cook time.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This will help it retain it's juiciness.

For more great recipes visit Weekend Potluck, Hearth and Soul and Full Plate Thursday

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cheesy Crescent Dogs

These are one of those things I don't make very often but when I do they are gone quick. I'm not sure my kids even let them cool down before they were gobbled up for lunch.

I normally serve them with a salad, carrot sticks and/or fruit to round out the meal.

Cheesy Crescent Dogs

8 hot dogs
4 slices american cheese, cut into 6 strips each
1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375*.

Cut hot dogs (not all the way through) to within a 1/2 inch of the ends. You are making a "pocket". Insert 3 cheese strips into each hot dog "pocket".

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Wrap each triangle around a hot dog. Place on an ungreased baking sheet cheese side up.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden.

*You can use whatever brand of hot dog is your favorite

For more great recipes visit Hearth and Soul and Full Plate Thursday.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Taco Pasta Salad

I've had summer on my mind lately and with all the snow we've been getting, who could blame me.

Thinking of summer got me thinking about summer-y foods and pasta salad is right up there at the top of the list. The only thing better may be anything off the grill.

Of course I love tacos too and while I was enjoying them last night I was reminded of a pasta recipe I hadn't made in a few years. I wondered if I could find it.

Amazingly I did find it and it was just as yummy as I remembered. And the reminder that summer would be here eventually didn't hurt either.

Taco Pasta Salad

2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
3 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup Catalina salad dressing
Tortilla chips

Cook pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.
In a large bowl, stir together pasta and ground beef. Add the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, olives and dressing; toss to coat. Serve with tortilla chips.

I've also substituted kidney beans for the ground beef for a fun salad.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Oatmeal Bacon Scones

Lately my family has been on a scone kick. That's not a bad thing though because these are so easy and delicious. They also freeze really well so I can double the batch and make extra.

I love that these aren't overly sweet, but instead are a nice savory scone. Our favorite way to eat them is alongside soup or chili for dinner, but they work equally well for breakfast.

Oatmeal Bacon Scones

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup butter, softened and cut into slices
1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 Tbls baking powder
2 Tbls sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon

In a large bowl, add flour and butter. Cut in butter until pea sized. If you do not have a pastry blender you can use a food processor for this step but be very careful not to cut the butter too tiny. This is what is going to help them be fluffy.
Next stir in the remaining dry ingredients except bacon.
Add the buttermilk and egg. Stir until blended. The dough should be a little bit sticky. If it seems too dry you can add a little more buttermilk. No more than a tablespoon at a time.
Stir in the bacon gently.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Knead dough 10-12 times. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with a little more flour and work in gently while kneading.
Divide the dough into 2 even portions. Flatten each portion into a 8 inch round circle.
If you would like to freeze your scones stop now. Place the dough circles on a wax paper lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen you can place the dough into a ziplock freezer bag, label, and save to use later.

To bake scones:
Thaw dough completely first if frozen.
Divide dough circle into 8 "pie slices".
Place scones on a baking sheet leaving some space between each one. Sprinkle each scone with a little sugar if desired.
Bake in a 400* preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until a light golden brown on top.
Let cool slightly before serving.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Easy Teriyaki Salmon

Do you have trouble getting your kids to eat fish that doesn't resemble a stick? Do you hear them chanting salmon is yucky?

That's my kiddos in a nutshell. If it wasn't labeled fish "stick" it didn't enter their mouth. Even putting it on their plate started a riot.

Fast forward a bit to the moment where an experiment yielded the easiest, yummiest salmon recipe ever. Somehow (and I'm still not really sure how it happened) I got them to try a teeny bite and lo and behold they were hooked! Salmon was now a must eat!! Go healthy fish!

Easy Teriyaki Salmon

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbls. vegetable oil
2 tbls. brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. salmon fillet cut into four pieces (individually frozen salmon pieces/filets are great for this!)

In a small baking dish, combine the soy sauce, oil, brown sugar and garlic; mix well. Place salmon in the baking dish, coating with sauce mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill or broiler (both work equally well). Grill (or broil) over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Spraying your grill or broiler pan with a light coating of oil (Pam, etc.) to prevent sticking is recommended.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...