Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brown Sugar Pancakes

From: Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 pinch salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp melted butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  

In a large bowl, whisk the milk and eggs. Whisk in the vanilla and the melted butter.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three additions, whisking until smooth. (The batter will be thin.) Stir in 2 tbsp. brown sugar.

Melt some butter in the skillet. Using a ladle, pour some batter into the skillet, forming circles. Cook until the surface bubbles and the edges are browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until browned on the bottom, about 30 seconds longer. Sprinkle with some of the remaining 1 tbsp. brown sugar. Repeat with the remaining batter and brown sugar.






Verdict:
Thumbs up! I'm not a big fan of pancakes, but my kids and my husband love having them for weekend breakfasts or weeknight dinners if I forget to plan something (*ahem*...). I made these brown sugar pancakes for dinner tonight, though, and I have to say I really liked them. I think the kids did too, because they each ate 4 or 5. They are a little sweeter than my other recipe (which is basically the same as this except without the brown sugar) so maybe that's why I liked them a bit more. They definitely weren't sickeningly sweet. I will definitely make these again in the future. And yes - feel free to add in chocolate (my daughter and husband are chocolate fanatics) or any fruit that you usually would!    

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hearty Lasagna Soup

From: An old index card

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried parsley
3 1/2 cups beef broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups uncooked mafalda or corkscrew pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the beef, onion, garlic and parsley in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the beef is browned, stirring often. Pour off any fat.

Stir the broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning in the saucepan and heat to a boil.

Stir the pasta in the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Stir in the cheese. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.





Verdict:
Thumbs up! I liked this soup a lot. I used venison instead of beef, crushed tomatoes instead of diced, and elbow macaroni instead of corkscrew. I thought this soup was yummy and filling. My only problem with it is that I had to add a ton of water while it was cooking because the pasta soaked up so much of it. So in the end I wish I had added a little more tomato flavoring to it. It was still great though, and I would definitely make this again in the future. I also appreciated the fact that I had every ingredient in the pantry already! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Taco Rice

From: An old index card

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 cups medium salsa
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 1/2 cups rice

Brown the beef and onion in a skillet. Add the salsa, tomato sauce and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Make the rice and serve the beef mixture over rice.



Verdict:
Thumbs up! Listen, I know the picture isn't pretty, but I loved this recipe. I used ground venison instead of beef, and pasta sauce instead of tomato sauce. Other than that I didn't change anything about the recipe. It was incredibly simple to toss together and had a great flavor! I'll definitely be making this again. I think it would even be great in burritos or tacos.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Four Pasta Beef Bake

From: Taste of Home

Ingredients:
  • 8 cups uncooked pasta (four assorted pasta shapes of your choice)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 4 jars (26 ounces each) meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, peppers, onions and mushrooms over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • 2. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl; stir in the beef mixture, two jars of spaghetti sauce and eggs.
  • 3. Transfer to two greased 3-qt. baking dishes. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 2 casseroles (8-10 servings each).




  • Verdict:
    Thumbs up! I did halve the recipe and it was perfect for our family of four. I used venison instead of beef and it was delicious. This was a really simple casserole to throw together and I didn't have to buy any ingredients for it, which is a major plus in my book! I highly recommend this recipe.

    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    Hash Brown Soup

    From: Budget Savvy Diva

    Ingredients:
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
    • 1 (32 ounce) bag frozen hash browns
    • 1 can cream of celery soup
    • 1 can cream of chicken soup
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 8 oz of cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
    • Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper
    • Sour cream ( optional)
    In a medium size skillet melt butter and cook onions till browned. In a large stockpot – place onions, chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add hashbrowns and bring back to a boil.

    Add soups, milk, seasoning – bring back to a boil.

    Add 6 oz of cheese and mix till cheese is melted.

    Garnish with remaining cheese and sour cream.


    Verdict:
    Thumbs up! I love potato soup and I like hashbrown soup because it's so easy to make. This was a great, tasty recipe that I'm sure I'll use again in the future! 

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Italian Sausage Soup

    From: Sunset Pasta cookbook

    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 lbs mild Italian sausages
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 large onions, chopped
    1 large can (1 lb, 12 oz) Italian-style tomatoes
    3 cans beef broth
    1 1/2 cups dry red wine or water
    1/2 tsp dry basil
    3 Tbsp chopped parsley
    1 medium-size green pepper, seeded and chopped
    2 medium-size zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
    5 oz medium-size bow-shaped noodles

    Remove and discard sausage casings; cut sausages in 1/2-inch lengths. In a 5-quart Dutch oven, cook sausages over medium heat until lightly browned. Spoon off and discard all but 2 Tbsp drippings. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until limp. Stir in tomatoes and their liquid.

    Add broth, wine, and basil. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add parsley, pepper, zucchini, and noodles. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until noodles are al dente. Pass Parmesan at the table.


    Verdict:
    Thumbs up! I loved this recipe. I only made a couple of changes. I used beef bouillon cubes (3) instead of actual broth, and I did use the water instead of red wine. I used rotini instead of bow-shaped noodles. This was such a great, filling, delicious soup. I would love to make this again in the future.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    From: Southern Living 50 Favorite Cookie Recipes cookbook

    Ingredients:
    1 cup butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    2 cups AP flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
    1 cup raisins
    1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

    Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, raisins, and pecans.

    Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool.


    Verdict:
    Thumbs up! Although this isn't my favorite oatmeal raisin recipe ever, you really can't go wrong with this recipe. It was simple and yummy!