Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mile High Mexican Pie

This recipe was created by my cousin, Mollie. I made a few changes and will note them accordingly!


2 lbs ground beef (Mollie uses deer meat...a benefit of having a husband that hunts!)
2-3 cups of freshly shredded cheddar cheese (see my note about cheese)
3 burrito sized Tortillas (Mollie uses wheat tortillas)
1 can of rotel (or diced tomatoes & green chilies)
1 package taco seasoning
1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 can of Red kidney beans, drained
1 small box of Velveeta (Mollie uses a small jar of cheese queso)

sour cream, optional

1. Brown beef in a skillet. I use the micro cooker from Pampered Chef. Drain.

2. Melt Velveeta in a microwave safe bowl and add cooked beef and taco seasoning.

3. In a separate bowl, combine corn, beans and rotel.

4. Lay a tortilla in the bottom of a round dish.

5. Layer meat mixture, veggie mixture and sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese on top.
6. Repeat layers and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until top tortilla is crisp and cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Meal Plan for week of 3/8

Tried a couple of recipes from my cousin Mollie's blog! It's so awesome having friends and family that blog, too...always new things to try out!

Monday ~ Mile High Mexican Pie
Tuesday ~ Spaghetti, Salad and Garlic Bread
Wednesday ~ Jambalaya, corn on the cob, red potatoes
Thursday ~ Pigs in Blankets and Onion Strings

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Creamy Rosemary Potatoes

This is also a recipe from Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman. I can't help myself! I love her! But, after this one, I will be taking a break from her cookbook for a few weeks! This recipe was relatively easy and a great side for just about any meat dish. I did cut this recipe in half and it was plenty! I am listing the recipe as I made it, so adjust accordingly!


2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c half-and-half
1/2 c heavy cream
2-3 medium russet potatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/2 medium onion
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 -2 green onions
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried chives


1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom of a pan, approximately 8" x 8" size. Combine the half-and-half and the cream.

2. Slice the potatoes very thinly. I recommend using a mandoline, so that your slices will be even, but if you don't have a mandoline, a sharp knife will work fine.

3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with half of the half-and-half/cream mixture and set aside.

4. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent, stirring occassionally, about 4 minutes.
5. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the skillet, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and combined, about 3 minutes. Pour in remaining half-and-half/cream mixture and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper and stir. Adjust the seasonings as necessary. Add the rosemary and green onion and stir to combine. Finally, add 1/4 c of the grated Parmesan and stir. (Lots of stirring going on here!)
6. Pour the cream-soaked potatoes into the baking dish.

7. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top.

8. Bake for at least 1 hour, or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cube Steak Sandwich

Another Ree Drummond ~ Pioneer Woman recipe! She calls it Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich (named after her nickname for her husband!)

I'll be honest with you...I've made this twice and I'm still working on perfecting it. Don't get me wrong...it is good! But I still think there is more goodness to be found in it! I am writing the recipe to include the changes that I am going to make the next go 'round!

Another warning...this recipe is NOT low fat...it's got lots of butter in it! Use the REAL stuff...it really does make a difference! This recipe will make about 4 sandwiches.

1 small to medium onion
3 Tbsp butter, divided, plus softened butter for rolls
1 - 1 1/2 lbs cube steak
seasoned salt
lemon pepper
black pepper
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce
deli rolls


1. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat.

2. Slice the onions. Add the onion to the melted butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occassionally, until it is soft and light brown, 5-7 minutes. Remove the onion from the pan and set aside.

2. Cut cube steak against the grain into 1-inch strips. Season the cube steak liberally with seasoned salt, lemon pepper and black pepper.

3. Add 1 Tbsp butter to the same skillet in which you cooked the onion. Turn the heat to high. Let the butter begin to turn brown, about 2 minutes. You want the skillet to be hot!

4. Add enough meat to the hot skillet to form a single layer. Don't stir. Let it sit for about a minute, or long enough for one side to turn brown. Then, flip the meat over and cook for another minute. Meat is cooked through when the juices run clear. Remove from skillet and set aside. Repeat until all the meat is cooked.
5. Return all the meat to the skillet and add the cooked onion. Pour in Worcestershire sauce and several dashes of Tabasco, according to your taste, and another Tbsp of butter. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes to thoroughly warm.

6. Cut rolls in half lengthwise. Spread generously with butter and either brown on a griddle or skillet, or stick them under the broiler.
7. Place the rolls face up on a plate, then place the meat mixture on the bottom half. Spoon some of the pan juices over the top. Top with other half of roll.

Some variations:

*Saute sliced mushrooms with the onions

*Try different seasonings on the meat

*Add a little sherry to the meat mixture

*Melt a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of the meat

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blue Cheese Dressing

There are very few bottled salad dressings that I like, so I prefer to make my own! We eat a lot of salads, so I am always looking for new and different ways to make salad, to shake it up a bit!

I made a salad last night with chopped iceberg lettuce, REAL bacon bits, french fried onions and this dressing...so good! This would also make a great dip for buffalo wings, veggies, etc! You won't believe how easy it is!


1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 cup blue cheese crumbles (less if you don't want it chunky)
salt and pepper to taste


In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Creamy One-Pot Pasta

This is another Pampered Chef recipe. I made it at a lot of my shows and it always got rave reviews. It is very versatile, so you can add and take out whatever you don't like. As always, I have modified this recipe to my preferences! The recipe makes 6-8 servings.

4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 jar (7 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, undrained
3 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
1 lb uncooked penne pasta
2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
2 medium carrots, julienned OR 2 handfuls of matchstix carrots
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
dried basil leaves (optional)
1. Pour 1 Tbsp of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into an 8-qt stock pot. Add garlic. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until garlic is golden brown, stirring occassionally.

2. Remove from heat; add broth. Return to burner; increase heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta; cover and simmer vigorously 8-10 minutes or until pasta is almost cooked but still firm, stirring occassionally.

3. While pasta is cooking, put broccoli and carrots in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. This starts the cooking process so that they vegetables are not crunchy. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes; pat dry and add to bowl with cooked broccoli and carrots. Here's a picture of the carrots and tomatoes that I buy. If you don't buy julienne cut tomatoes, you will need to slice them into thin strips.

4. Cut cream cheese into cubes. Add vegetables, cream cheese, salt and pepper to pasta. If you want a little spice, throw in some cayenne pepper, too! Stir until cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated.

5. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook an additional 2-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Top with Parmesan cheese and basil, if desired.

6. For a heartier version of this recipe, you can add grilled turkey, Italian sausage or sliced grilled chicken breasts to pasta.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Steamed Artichokes

Artichokes are misunderstood...mostly because people don't know what to do with them! They are easy to cook and easy to eat and have TONS of health benefits! Give 'em a try!


2 whole artichokes (1 per person...if you are feeding more, adjust accordingly!)


1. I use a stock pot with a steamer insert. Fill the pan with just enough water to cover the bottom. Bring to a full boil over high heat.

2. While water is heating, trim and discard the stems and tough outer leaves of artichokes. Some people also trim the thorns, but it is not necessary. They will soften as the artichoke cooks and pose no threat to the person eating the artichoke.

3. When water is boiling, place steamer insert into pot and set artichokes in steamer, stem-side down. Cover pot with lid and allow artichokes to steam for approximately 20 minutes, until tender. They are tender when a knife is inserted easily into the stem.

How to eat the artichoke:

Pull off petals one at a time and dip into melted butter. Sprinkle a little salt on it, if desired. Place in mouth, fleshy side down and pull through teeth to remove flesh. Discard petal. I usually keep a bowl on the table for petals to be discarded in.

Continue until you get to the fuzzy part, which is called the "choke"...I stop here, but you can scrape out and discard the choke (don't eat it!) and underneath is the "heart", which can be cut into pieces and also dipped into the butter.

Try them and let me know how you like them! Feel free to comment me if you have any questions!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Don't be afraid...scallops can be a little intimidating, but they are yummy! This meal is TOO EASY to not at least try! This recipe feeds two people, so adjust accordingly!

6 slices bacon (I prefer Wright's ~ it is thick and doesn't shrink up!)
12 sea scallops
garlic salt, to taste
juice of one large lemon


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cut bacon slices in half and place a scallop on a half of a slice of bacon.
3. Sprinkle scallop with garlic salt.

4. Wrap bacon around the scallop and secure with a toothpick.

5. Repeat with remaining scallops and place on metal cookie sheet.

6. Roll lemon back and forth with your hand a few times. This gets the juices flowing and makes it easier to juice. Cut lemon in half and squeeze both halves over scallops.

7. Bake 15-20 minutes and then turn broiler on until bacon is cooked.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


This a Pampered Chef recipe...a little time consuming, but made faster if you get an already cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I tried to include lots of pictures to help you along the way!

1 can (8 oz) water chesnuts, drained and finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion with tops
1/4 cup grated carrot (I use matchstix carrots)
1 tsp peeled and finely grated fresh gingerroot (*see note on gingerroot below)
10 oz chicken (I use rotisserie, but you can also use canned or get some fresh chicken breasts and boil them)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 c mayo
1 garlic clove, pressed
24 square wonton wrappers (these can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets)

* A few things to know about gingerroot: Here is a picture:

When you purchase it from the grocery store, just break off a small piece...you don't have to purchase the entire root.

To store in the refrigerator, wrap it in a paper towel and put it in a sealed plastic bag. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Gingerroot freezes well. If you have any left over, keep it wrapped in paper towel and in sealed plastic bag and it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Peel it with a vegetable peeler before using.


1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Finely chop water chesnuts.

3. Thinly slice green onions (I use kitchen shears).

4. Grate carrot OR use matchstix carrots, like me! About a handful...

5. Finely grate gingerroot...I do this by using a microplane.

6. If using a rotisserie chicken or boiled chicken, finely chop...

7. Combine chicken, water chestnuts, green onions, carrot, gingerroot, soy sauce, egg white, mayo and garlic in a bowl and mix well.

8. To assemble potstickers, place 12 wonton wrappers onto smooth surface.

9. Lightly brush edges of each wonton with water.

10. Scoop filling onto center of each wonton.11. To assemble, fold one point over filling and overlap with the opposite point. Repeat with remaining two points.

12. Place potstickers on pan and repeat with remaining wontons.

13. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges of potstickers are golden brown.

I serve mine with Hot Chinese Mustard, but you may want to try this dipping sauce:


1/2 c red jalapeno jelly

1/4 c rice vinegar

2 Tbsp soy sauce


Place jelly in small, microwaveable bowl and microwave on HIGH 30-40 seconds or until warm; add vinegar and soy sauce. Whisk until well blended.