Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Beef Merlot

Sunday I felt like making something a little "fancier".  Well, Beef Merlot sounds fancy, but it's actually quite easy and very good.  The best part? It calls for 2 cups (about 1/2 bottle) of wine.  So, I get to drink the other half while cooking!  That is the BEST type of meal to cook!

Beef Merlot

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 1/2 lbs Chuck Roast, cut into bite sized pieces
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
2 carrots, cut into small pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bay leaf (or dried bay leaves)
4 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 cups Merlot
2 cups beef broth

  1. Salt and pepper beef.  Heat vegetable oil in dutch oven until very hot and sear meat. Remove meat, set aside.
  2. Add onion, let sweat, add a pinch of salt, butter and flour. Cook 3-4 minutes, until onions soften, but don't burn flour.
  3. Add 1/2 bottle (2 cups) of wine. Reduce by about 1/2 (takes about 10 minutes). Add carrots, celery, meat w/juices, pinch of salt, bay leaf and tied thyme sprigs. Cover with 2 cups beef broth.
  4. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours on very low.
  5. Uncover and simmer 1/2 hour longer.
  6. Serve over mashed potatoes

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Smothered Cheesy Chicken

Now that I am leaving work at 3pm every day, and NOT logging back in from home, I've been able to make dinner for the family.  There is a downside though. We still really don't have time to eat together, as one kid or the other has practice or games every night of the week, except Friday, around 6pm.  So, the kids and I sometimes eat and then BD eats really quick when he runs in and out.  Sometimes, I get everything ready and either already in the oven so BD and PM can eat while DQ and I are gone, or I have it all ready and BD puts it in the oven at the designated time.

This recipe was one of those that I left in the oven, with instructions on when to take it out.  It was enjoyed by all.  I used my Pampered Chef Mandolin to slice the potatoes very thin.  The chicken was very juicy and tender.  Unfortunately, the bacon grease left a mess of my stovetop!

So, here it is: Smothered Cheesy Chicken

Until next time... "It's gonna be ok"...

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I'm being published!

How exciting! A recipe I submitted to Gooseberry Patch on a whim is being published in their Mom Knows Best cookbook. I'll receive a free copy in January 2015! Check out the recipe, Balsamic Chicken & Penne Pasta!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Food Snobs?

Have we all become food snobs? As I browsed through "Outstanding Standby Suppers" on the Betty Crocker website, I found myself scrunching up my nose at the recipes on the list. I read the description for Creamy Cajun Pasta, "Fresh bell peppers, thyme and onion meet a cheesy marinara sauce for super-easy Cajun flavor..." and made a face when I got to the "cheesy marinara sauce". Is that out of a jar or can, gag! I read further and found Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and saw it used a store cooked rotisserie chicken, the horror! 

My next thought was of Hamburger Helper and the like and it just sounded disgusting.  Then I started really thinking, I used to eat everything above.  In fact, sometimes I still buy a rotisserie chicken to use in a meal or a jar of spaghetti sauce (but not Ragu, never Ragu, only the good stuff, right?).  

This got me thinking about our kids. They have grown up getting to CHOOSE what we have for dinner.  That's right, they get to pick.  No, our house isn't like a restaurant, everyone doesn't get a separate meal.  What I sometimes do is let each kid pick a meal for the week, then I choose the others.  But, what they pick isn't Hamburger Helper, chicken nuggets or corndogs.  For example, this week, PM picked Salmon, Rice and Broccoli as his meal of the week (of course, DQ didn't eat that and had leftovers from a super yummy pork chop recipe). DQ picked Creamy Chicken Alfredo, which I am making tonight.

My kids have never even tried Ramen noodles.  I think they've had Hamburger Helper and Tuna Helper less than a handful of times.  DQ's favorite meal to order at a restaurant, or that she always tries to get us to make for dinner (which we don't), is Prime Rib.  PM always wants Salmon or steak.  They rarely eat chicken nuggets any longer. Forget corn dogs, that's a rarity too.

I think we've created children with expensive taste and food snobs!  A few weeks ago, when they were to stay a few days with my parents, they were asked what they'd like for dinners.  DQ immediately piped up with, "Prime Rib!"  They settled on my mom making Tommy's Ham Casserole, which I guess is pretty close to a "ham helper", so maybe they aren't totally ruined.  ;-)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Time to start fresh!

It's time to start posting to my blog again! Starting everyone off with a recipe I made last week that BD and I used to make for dinner all the time, back before the kids started eating the same food as us! The verdict? BD and I loved it. PM liked it. DQ said it was too spicy. As a suggestion, serve with Fat Free Sour Cream!

Tortilla Lasagna


1TBLSP Vegetable Oil
1 LB Ground Turkey
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 ½ Cup Chopped Green and/or Red Peppers
½ cup (4 oz) Diced/Chopped Green Chiles
1 PKG Taco Seasoning
2 Cups (16 oz) Ortega Thick & Smooth Taco Sauce
10 Flour Tortillas
2 cups Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

  1.  Preheat oven to 375⁰ and grease 13x9 baking dish.
  2.  Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add ground turkey and cook , stirring  occasionally for 5-6 minutes, or until no longer pink.
  3.  Drain meat, stir in onion, bell peppers, chiles and seasoning mix.
  4.  Reduce heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, until vegetables are slightly tender, stirring occasionally.
  5.  Spread ½ cup taco sauce over bottom of prepared baking dish, cover with 5 tortillas.
  6.  Spread with half of meat mixture and ½ cup of taco sauce. Top with 1 cup of cheese.
  7.  Repeat with remaining 5 tortillas, meat, taco sauce, ending with cheese on top.
  8.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Monday, June 06, 2011

S'more Brownies

The recipe for these yummy treats can be found here. While they were good, I'd cook them a tad shorter time the next time I make them, as BD thought they were not quite as gooey as he'd like them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken and Dumplin's

Sorry, I completely forgot to take a picture of this! But, I can say, this is one of my favorite recipes!!!

5 bone in skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
seasoning salt
garlic powder
1 stick butter
1 box frozen dumplings

  1. Boil chicken with water, salt, pepper, seasoning salt and garlic powder until done. (note, lots of salt & pepper)
  2. Leave about 4 cups of broth in pot and add one stick of butter and cream of chicken soup (set aside remaining broth).
  3. Shred/cut up chicken.
  4. Bring broth mixture to boil, reduce heat and lay dumplings on top, let cook until scalded and push to bottom. Repeat with as many as you want. If the mixture gets too thick, add some of the reserved chicken broth.
  5. Mix in chicken and pour into a GREASED (spray with cooking spray) crock pot. Cook on low. Add more broth if it gets too thick.
Once it is put into the crock pot, it is pretty much ready to eat. But, this is a great way to take this dish someplace and keep it warm for a while.