Monday, December 24, 2012

Breakfast Overnight Casserole

This is originally a Bisquick recipe. I've made a few changes to add more flavor. We have this for Christmas morning every year. Just pop it in the oven while you are opening presents!

Breakfast Overnight Casserole

1 to 2 cups diced fully cooked ham
12-15 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon instant chopped onion
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups milk
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried ground mustard
1 cup original or reduced fat Bisquick
4 eggs

1. Grease 13 x 9 baking dish. Mix ham, potatoes, bell pepper, onion, and 1 cup of cheese. Spread in baking dish.

2. Stir milk, Bisquick, salt, pepper, mustard, and eggs until blended. Pour over potato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover and bake 1 hour, or until light golden brown around edges and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

I compiled this recipe from other suggestions on the net, and from my own experiences in making it. I hope you enjoy!

Beef Stroganoff

1 lb top sirloin or tenderloin, cut thin into 1-inch wide by 2 1/2-inch long strips (often time I will use elk or leftover steak for this, just skip the 1st step of browning the meat).
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix
2 tbsp minced dried onion
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup water
1 can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Melt 2 tbsp of butter in large skillet on medium heat.  Increase the heat to med-high and add strips of beef.  Brown quickly, seasoning with salt and pepper on each side.  When both sides are browned, remove the beef to a bowl and set aside.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until browned and tender. Add soup mix, minced onions, mustard, and Worcestershire.  Stir until dissolved.

Add wine, water, and mushroom soup. Stir and continue to heat until thickened and bubbly. Add meat back into the skillet with sauce.

Reduce heat to medium- high. Add sour cream, nutmeg, salt (careful with salt as onion soup mix is pretty salty) and pepper to taste. Stir and cook 5-10 more minutes.

Serve over egg noodles (my preference), rice, mashed potatoes, or other pasta.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Best French Dip

This is definitely one of our "go-to" recipes for the colder months.  Quick, easy, and comfort food indeed!  I sometimes will add a can of cream of mushroom soup over the pot roast as well, and we enjoy it that way too.  It gives it an extra amount of creaminess which we like.  This is the fancy way to make french dip, but sometimes I don't have mushrooms, onions, and cheese to do it this way.  Believe me, it's just as good without!    This recipe is for 8 servings, but feel free to size it down appropriately for your family.  I don't mind having leftover sandwiches for lunch the next day, and I usually have even more leftover meat and au-jus which I use for homemade hash on a following day.

French Dip

2-3 lb Beef chuck roast, pot roast, or other roast cut of your choice (should have some fat content to keep the roast moist)
1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix
1-2 beef bullion cubes (depending on size and to taste)
8 french or sourdough hoagie rolls
4 tbsp butter, divided
Johnny's garlic bread seasoning (can substitute mixture of 1/2 garlic powder and 1/2 Parmesan cheese)
8 slices provolone cheese
10-12 button mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, halved and sliced

Place roast in crock pot.  Pour about 2 cups of water in the base of the crock pot. Pour Lipton onion soup mix over roast and into water.  Cook on high for 8-10 hours (meat should be falling apart).

Once ready to serve, remove roast from crock pot, turn the pot off, and let roast stand on plate for a few minutes.  Shred.  Add beef bullion to juices in the crock pot and let dissolve.  Add more water if needed, depending on amount of au-jus you want.

Saute onions and mushrooms in 1 tbsp of butter until browned and wilted.  

Open hoagie rolls and butter both sides.  Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning.  Broil 2-3 minutes or until browned in oven.  Remove from oven and add 1/2 slice of cheese to each side of bun.  Broil 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Top each bun with generous amount of shredded meat and mushroom/onion mixture.  Cut in half and serve with a dipping cup full of au-jus from the crock pot. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

This was my first attempt at butternut squash soup, and I was pretty pleased with it!

Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 large sweet potato, peeled and rough-chopped
1 cup baby carrots
1 large onion, rough-chopped
1 stalk celery, peeled to remove the stringy bits
32 oz chicken broth
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp curry powder
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup half-and-half
Sour cream, shredded Parmesan, and bacon crumbles, for garnish

Roast the butternut squash in a 400 degree oven, uncovered, flesh side up, for 30-45 minutes, or until fork tender.  You can also microwave the squash flesh side down on a plate with a few tsp of water for 6-7 minutes each half, to speed up the process. Let cool.

In a soup pot, place sweet potato, carrots, onion, and celery.  Pour in chicken broth until veggies are covered.  Simmer on medium heat until veggies are tender, approximately 20 minutes. 

Scoop out the flesh from the squash and add to the pot, with the remainder of the chicken broth.  Add spices and simmer 15 minutes. 

Use an emulsion blender to puree the soup in the pot, or remove from saucepan and use a stand blender if necessary.  Place soup back in the pot and add half and half.  Season with more spices if needed. 

Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream, bacon crumbles, and shredded Parmesan cheese.  I served with a slice of garlic Parmesan cheese toast.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Warm Your Soul Tuscan Soup

My husband actually asked for this soup again! I think that makes it a winner. I found this recipe on my meal planning site, and modified slightly. I recommend that site also if you want to consolidate to do lists, shopping lists, meal planning, and family calendars.

Warm Your Soul Tuscan Soup

1 lb Italian sausage
32 oz chicken broth
1 can evaporated milk
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups diced red potatoes, skin on
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups chopped kale
Shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Brown Italian sausage over medium heat, breaking up into small pieces as it browns. Pour broth, evaporated milk, onion, potatoes, and seasonings in crock pot.  Add browned sausage. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours. During last 20 minutes, add kale and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve topped with a spoonful of shredded Parmesan.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

BBQ Oysters

My hubby and I decided to try oysters bbq'd in the half shell this summer, and we absolutely love them since!  We get to where we crave them! Oysters can be tricky to shuck. I found some good how- to videos on You Tube that helped. I recommend an oyster knife too!

BBQ Oysters

8-10 oysters, cleaned, shucked, and in 1/2 shell
1/4 cup butter, melted
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp parsley

Combine butter, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, Parmesan, and parsley in small bowl. Freeze 20 minutes or until firm. Scoop rounded spoonfuls onto each oyster, dividing equally among all oysters. Place entire oyster in half shell on a hot BBQ grill (we prefer charcoal). Close lid, cook for 8 minutes. Remove from grill and serve.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Clam Chowder

This is the BEST recipe I've found for clam chowder.  Don't leave out the red wine vinegar.  It really makes the flavors POP!  I was skeptical at first, but this is really great. I have modified this to my taste, but the original recipe link (or close to) is at the bottom.


Clam Chowder

1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup carrots, finely diced
2 cups finely diced potatoes (I leave skins on)
1-2 cups chicken broth
4 (6 1/2 ounce) cans minced clams, and juice (less if you don't like as many clams)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup butter (not margarine)
3/4 cup flour
1 quart half-and-half (cream)
salt & pepper to taste

Chop vegetables and put in large soup pot.  Drain clam juice over chopped vegetables.  Set clams aside.  Pour chicken broth over veggies, enough to cover.  Simmer over medium-low heat until tender (about 15 minutes).

While veggies are simmering, melt butter over medium-low heat in a 2 quart saucepan.  Whisk in flour until smooth.  Slowly add half-and-half, whisking the entire time to keep smooth and lump free.  Continue stirring and heating until mixture is thickened and smooth (about 10 minutes).

Add cream mixture to veggies/broth in soup pot, reducing heat to low.  Add red wine vinegar, clams, and salt and pepper to taste.  (Usually with the broth, salt is not needed).  Heat through, but do not boil again. 

I also like to add leftover salmon/steelhead, scallops, shrimp, and any other seafood to make a seafood chowder.  If adding other seafood, you can reduce the amount of clams needed.

Original Recipe:  Clam Chowder