August 28, 2012

Ham, Cheese, and Broccoli Strata

This is a recipe that I fall back on when I'm desperate for a fast and easy dinner (when am I not?).
Very quick to prepare (you can have this recipe ready to bake by the time your oven has finished preheating), it's easy to adapt and switch up! 
I think you will find this recipe one that you use often too.

5 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed
1 (6 oz.) pkg Stove Top Stuffing mix,
(chicken flavor) do not prepare
9 oz. Ham, chopped or diced
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly coat a 2-qt baking dish with non-stick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and sour cream until well combined.  Stir in the dry stuffing mix (entire box contents), broccoli, and 1/2 c. of the shredded cheese. Pour into the prepared baking dish, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 1 hour.
After hour of baking time, uncover, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese, and bake an additional 5-7 minutes until cheese has melted.
We always use salsa and sour cream as condiments with this dish.  Freshly diced tomatoes are wonderful sprinkled on top when the dish comes out of the oven.

I love the versatility of this recipe.  One of my favorite variations is using chicken, spinach, and mozzarella cheese, in place of the ham, broccoli, and cheddar cheese. Using Swiss cheese with the ham and broccoli also creates a different taste result, and is delicious!

Now you know why I like this recipe so much.  A great way to use up leftovers, like ham, broccoli, or whatever you have on hand.

One additional bonus is the relatively frugal cost of making this recipe. It calls for pantry supply items, and ingredients you may have left over from other meals...can't beat that!

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August 26, 2012

Pumpkin Bars with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a great recipe that I convinced my friend Denise to share with me.
If there is pumpkin and spice involved I have to try it!
This recipe is really good, easy to make, a basic homemade bar/cake that will delight you.
An awesome food for fall  {or if your like me, any time of year}.
The recipe for the whipped cream cheese frosting is actually my own.  I use it often as a substitute for regular cream cheese frosting, it's lighter in texture than the basic frosting, and I think you will love it!

2 c. pumpkin puree
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil 
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/ 2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, and oil. Mix until smooth.
Add the eggs, and mix well.
Now add the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix until well combined.
Add the flour, then pour into a 10x15 jelly roll pan that has been coated with non-stick spray.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool completely.

1(8 oz.) package cream cheese, 
softened to room temperature
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. powdered sugar

In a large bowl, pour in the whipping cream and vanilla extract. Whip until firm peaks are reached.
In a separate mixing bowl combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar, and beat until smooth and creamy.  
With the mixer on low, combine the whipped cream and cream cheese mix together.
Spread over the cake, and chill until ready to serve.  Store in the fridge.

Thanks Denise, for a wonderful treat!

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August 17, 2012

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie-for 1

I am in heaven.  I found this DELISH recipe on Pinterest (where the recipe pin links to Angela's Adventures, a fun blog you should spend some time visiting)!
Anyway, back to this awesome cookie recipe...
For all those who know me, there are 2 kinds of cookies that I absolutely adore, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, and your basic soft Chocolate Chip Cookie.  Love them. Sadly, I'm too lazy to make them. I'm seriously lazy.  So, unless a friend takes pity and drops some off to my needy/greedy self, I don't get to indulge in either cookie very often.
Unbelievably easy, and honestly very very delicious, this cookie recipe is now an absolute necessity for my sanity and general attitude about everything. -he-he-he

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie for 1
(don't share)
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 drops vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
  • In a bowl, combine the melted butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and egg yolk.
  • Stir with a fork until well mixed.
  • Add in the flour & salt.  Mix again.
  • Add the chocolate chips and stir until they are evenly distributed in the batter.
Spread into a ramekin, shallow bowl, or coffee mug.
Microwave for 40-60 seconds, or until the cookie no longer appears "doughy" in the center (my cookie take 60 seconds, in our 1100 watt oven).
(Don't over cook, because as the cookie cools it will become drier, and not as soft. This happened once, but hey, I had no qualms about eating it, and it was still fabulous.)
Cool slightly and dig in! 

This would be soooo good served still warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
~This takes me about 7 minutes to assemble and  "bake". Less time if I don't clean up behind myself! Ha Ha ~

Note:  I haven't tried to make the cookie in a mug, but I'm guessing that the cooking time may need to be increased because the dough is not spread out as thinly as in a ramekin or bowl.

Recipe source: Angela's Adventures Blog

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August 8, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake

This is a recipe that I and my family really liked!  I have added this one to our make again list. 

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
3 c. chicken, cooked and cut into cubes
1 (12 oz) package spaghetti noodles
1 (16 oz) package Velveeta style cheese, cubed
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1/2 c. butter
1 (8 oz) package shredded cheddar cheese
(I used sharp)
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 celery ribs, chopped
1/4 c. green bell pepper, chopped
(I omitted this-we aren't fans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray, and set aside.
In a large stock pot, cook the spaghetti according to package directions, until barely al dente (remember the spaghetti will continue to cook and soften while it's baking).
While the spaghetti is cooking, melt the butter in a skillet and add the chopped vegetables.  Saute the veggies until they are tender and the onion is slightly translucent. 
Drain the pasta, and set aside.
In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the chicken broth, soup mix, and Velveeta cheese cubes.
Place in the microwave, and zap for 5-7 minutes on medium power.  Stir, repeat microwaving until the cheese is melted and well combined (I have also done this step of the recipe in a sauce pan on the stove, but I have found that it works better in the microwave).
In the prepared baking dish, layer the ingredients in the following order;
 Vegetables with butter
 Cheese Sauce
and top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake for 45 min, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand 5-7 minutes, then serve with some great french bread, and enjoy!!!!

Recipe adapted from; Mommy's Kitchen  

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