Cooking

Mexican Lasagna Created From Leftovers

Mexican Lasagna Created From Leftovers

Mexican Lasagna Created From Leftovers

Well, my my my, I had no idea my Mexican Lasagna Created From Leftovers would taste so good.  A few days ago, I made Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches.  I had a lot of the meat leftover and that is what I used instead of ground beef.

Ingredients

Steak um’s (you can use ground beef)

Salt-free garlic and herb seasoning

Seasoning

Creole Seasoning

Orange, yellow, red peppers, chopped

Fresh garlic

Onion, chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes

1/3 white queso Velveeta

Can of drained whole kernel corn

Directions

I placed my meat and veggies in the pan and sauteed them.  You can add a bit of oil, bacon grease, or butter to keep them from sticking.  Once that was done, I seasoned it until it tasted like I wanted it to taste.

Next, I added in the corn and diced tomatoes.  My husband doesn’t like tomatoes like that, so I covered my pot and let them stew all the way down.  Then, I added the white queso Velveeta. Taste to adjust the seasoning.

Rice

2 c. of water

2 c. of rice

Place on “rice” mode in your instant pot.  Let naturally release.

Layering

Put a small amount of sauce in a greased 13×9 dish.  Then, place in flour tortillas, next, sauce.  Then, rice.  Finally, I had some colby/jack cheese cubes.  I broke those over the rice and added a bit of cheddar.  Repeat layers ending with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.

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Sav’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Sav’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Sav's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup salted butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 tsps. vanilla

2 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. sea salt (can use kosher or regular salt)

2 cups chocolate chips (we use the mini but any will do)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.  In separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder.  Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugars until combined.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy.  Then, mix in the dry ingredients until combined well.  Add the 12 oz. of chocolate chips and mix well.

Rolling Rolling Rolling

Roll 2-3 Tbsp of dough, at a time, into balls.  Place them evenly spaced on your prepared cookie sheets.  You can also use a small cookie scoop to do this.  Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 8-10 minutes.

Take them out when they are just BARELY starting to turn brown.  Remember the bottoms will brown quicker than the top.

You could slather your naked body with the dough…  Just a thought cause the dough is FANTASTIC.  Also, you can bake them until they are crispier.  My father-in-law loved burnt cookies.  These cookies remind me of the Soft Batch Cookies from back in the day.

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Oh my is this Cinnamon Roll Cake the best thing ever.  I hope you find it as good as my family does.  It is so easy to make.  This cake is good hot or the next day.  It usually doesn’t last too long after that, at my house.

My parents are coming over for dinner and they have chosen the menu.  I’m unnaturally excited about them coming for no reason.  Normally, when they come to my house it is either a celebration or a crisis.  This time is neither.

Technically, Thursdays are reserved for pizza night but I am gladly rescheduling that for Friday night.  I’m thankful that my parents are still able to get up and go whenever they want too.  It is definitely a blessing.

I love cinnamon rolls.  Probably more than my waistline does.  We do not make this often, but tonight was a special occasion.

Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

4 tsps. vanilla

4 tsps. baking powder

1 stick butter, melted

Directions

Place ingredients in bowl and mix well.  Pour into a 13×9 greased dish.

Next Up

1 cup brown sugar

1 T. Cinnamon

3/4 cup melted butter

Directions

Mix in small bowl and pour over top of cake.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Icing

3 c. powdered sugar (for those who might not know, the symbol XXX is for powdered sugar as well).

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

5-8 tsps milk (you want it thin enough to pour easily)

Directions

Allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Pour over hot cake.  If you get wild, poke some holes in the cake and let that yumminess seep down into it.

THEN EAT!

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Pizza Spaghetti Bake

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Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

In this Pizza Spaghetti Bake, I will write down what I did because it was good!  Yet, I will also write in what I will add/do differently.  I feel like all recipes need to be tweaked in some form or fashion, so this is pretty typical for me.

Ingredients

Beef

Onion

Minced Garlic

Pepperoni, chopped (and some whole for the top)

Next time will do a pound of beef and a pound of sausage.

Seasoning

Italian Seasoning

Rosemary

2 packets of spaghetti mix

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

Next time, I will add a jar of pizza sauce.

2 cans of mushrooms, drained

Chopped spinach

Panko

Parmesan

Cottage Cheese

1 egg

Mozzarella

Penne Noodles

Directions

Boil noodles and drain, according to directions.

Cook beef, chopped pepperoni, onion, garlic, seasoning (sausage if being used) and drain.  Put back in the pot.  Next, add mushrooms and chopped spinach.  Then, add the Italian seasoning, Rosemary, and spaghetti packets.  Mix well.

Next up, add the spaghetti sauce (and about a quarter of that same jar put some water to add).  If you are also using pizza sauce, add it.  Mix well.  Add in some panko, parmesan, a couple of handfuls of mozzarella, cottage cheese, and the egg.  Stir and keep warm until your noodles are done.

Finally, mix the meat mixture with the noodles and spread it in a greased 13×9 dish.  Top with mozzarella and whole pepperoni.  Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

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Chicken Alfredo Soup

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Cooking

Chicken Alfredo Soup

Chicken Alfredo Soup

Chicken Alfredo Soup

Just go ahead and slap your mama.  Dang it.  This Chicken Alfredo Soup is now tied for first place for Big Daddy.  The other two being Easy White Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese and Pizza Soup Recipe.  Frankly, I am impressed with myself.

Ingredients

3 cans of chicken, drained (feel free to use chicken breasts because you can use the broth)

Seasoning

Onion

Garlic

3/4 c. butter

3/4 c. flour

1 c. heavy cream

Sour Cream

Chicken bouillon

Water

Parmesan

Mozzarella

Pasta

Directions

Saute up the cut up onion and garlic in butter.  Once sauteed, add in your flour and cook that down a bit.  Get your whisk out and add 2 c. water.  Whisk that all in really well.  Now, I wish I could tell you how much chicken bouillon I used, but I used that paste.  I think I did about 2 Tbsps.  Sprinkle with your seasoning.

Once that is incorporated, add more water and just keep stirring.  I did this in my Instant Pot on saute mode, by the way.  You will notice your “roux” is getting thicker.  I think I did about 5 c. water.  You can adjust accordingly.  Add your chicken and parmesan.

Moving On

Let’s talk pasta, real quick.  I used bowtie pasta.  In my pot (not the instant pot), I brought my water to a boil.  Once it came to a boil, I seasoned it and added my pasta.  Drain and then add to your roux.

Next time, I might use a couple of boxes of Ditalini pasta or maybe cut up fettucini.  The bowties were fine and good, but I think I want a smaller type…like a small rigatoni.  Ugh, I just need to go and look at all the types or maybe make my own.  Do you know what would be good?  Putting in cheese tortellini.  Cause, yum!

Anyway

Once I got all of that in the pot, I added the heavy cream and sour cream.  If you cook this in an instant pot, you have to keep stirring because it will start to burn on the bottom.  Baby it!  In the end, I added about 2 cups (I know, I know) of mozzarella.  Keep tasting to adjust the seasoning.  Now, remember, you can always add seasoning but you can’t take it out if you put too much in there.  Start small and add as you like!

Dang, this was good.  Had my Oak been here…I would’ve slapped her face 🙂  Then, she would have slapped me back LOL.

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Pizza Soup Recipe

Pizza Soup Recipe

Pizza Soup Recipe

Is it a secret that I love soup?  I don’t believe it is.  So, without further ado, here is my Pizza Soup Recipe.  It’s a keeper!  Bart says it is tied for first for his favorite soups. This soup is tied at first.  The other being White Chicken Chili.  I did this all in the Instant Pot but you can do it on the stovetop!

Ingredients

2# sausage

2# ground beef

Pepperoni

Can add any meat you want here or combine your favorite meat toppings in this soup.  Also, if you like a lot of veggies on your pizza, chop them up and add them here because you want to cook them down a bit.  I would like to use peppers, but my husband doesn’t care for that.  Mushrooms would be good!

1 onion

Minced Garlic

Seasoning

Italian Seasoning

Rosemary

1 jar of pizza sauce

Water (I believe I filled up the pizza sauce jar 3x and put it in there.  Eyeball it.)

2 cans of Tomato Soup

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

Mozzarella

Directions

On the saute mode (Instant Pot), combine the meats, onion, minced garlic, and seasoning.  Cook until done, drain if you need to.  Once done, put it back in the pot and add your Italian Seasoning and Rosemary.

Next, add the sauce, water, and soups.  Stir well and then place the lid on, seal, manual, for about 8-10 minutes.  Everything is cooked, so you just want to meld the flavors.  Once done, use the quick release.  Stir in your mozzarella.  Again, put as much in there as you want.  I think I may have used 2 cups cause we like cheese!

Enjoy!

Oh, my original plan was to add a box of Ditalini noodles in it.   I would have boiled them in saltwater on the stovetop.  Then drained it and then added it to the instant pot.  For me, I have found that if I cook noodles, that small in the IP, they get mushy.

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Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

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Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style.  With Co-Vid19 rearing its ugly head, I have not been out of the house.  I lied.  Twice.  I have been out twice.  Both of these times has been to take Hunter to treatment in Nashville.  So, grocery shopping is through pick-up, when my son works (at a grocery store), or my husband picks it up.  Also, the school has been bringing food, for the week, for 3 kids.  That helps tremendously.

Yet

There are some things my kids will not eat, by themselves.  Now, they are not picky eaters, but they prefer it to be cooked in something.  So, what I’ve been doing is separating out the breakfast foods, lunch foods, snacks, and fruit.  They eat all the breakfast stuff throughout the week.  Also, they eat most of the lunch food throughout the week.  Yet, there are things like raw broccoli and cherry tomatoes that they will not eat unless I use it another way.

I do not waste food.

Plain and simple.  I am not a short-order cook and I do not throw things away.  That is how I was raised and that is how I raise my kids.  With all that being said, I stockpile the carrots.  For one, my kids do eat those. Secondly, I can cut those suckers up and put them in any casserole.  Thirdly, carrot bread or carrot cake.  Yes, please.  Fourthly, soup.  Put them in any soup.  Fifthly (I’m starting to giggle now because what do I do when I get up to tenthly?  Is that even a word?), put them in a saute pan with some butter and brown sugar.  It’s a good thing.

Next up, cherry tomatoes.  Once I have a baggie full, I either give them to one of my older daughters who both love them.  Also, I juice them for chili or soup.  I chop them up and saute them in any pasta dish.  You can do a multitude of things with those things.

Now, onto this recipe and broccoli.  My big girls love raw broccoli.  Sadly, my other 5 kids do not.  My son-in-law calls them “the trees of the devil.”  He is a bit extra.  You can make broccoli soup or Chicken and Broccoli Braid.  Also, you can use it to make beef and broccoli stir fry.  Lots of things.

Odds and Ends

Today, however, I had a 1/2 bag of a lot of things.  Noah had brought home some leftover hamburgers and cooked bacon from work.  I had a couple of bags of this and a bag of that.  Then there was a 1/2 a bag of another thing.  I put all those together and I made 2 casseroles.  Honestly, I didn’t think it would make that much.  I’m cooking one casserole for tonight and I’m freezing the other for another night.  We also have leftover breadsticks from the pizza we ordered last night, so that is a side dish.  I think I have a couple of cans of corn.  Voila.  Dinner is served.

Beef, Broccoli, & Extras Casserole

2# ground beef

onion

garlic

seasoning mix

Worcestershire sauce

Brown all of this together, drain if needed.

In a 13×9 dish, grease it (preheat oven to 350).  On the bottom of the dish, place the meat mixture.

Step 2

Now, this is what I had, on hand.  Tweak this to what you have.  Just have fun with it.  If it sucks, you will remember what not to add!

2 c. chopped fresh spinach

carton of fresh mushrooms, chopped

fresh broccoli, chopped

cooked bacon, chopped

Cheddar cheese

Layer each of these components on your meat mixture.

Step 3

In a bowl, add 2 cans of cream of mushroom (can use chicken or celery) and 16 oz. sour cream.  Once combined, spread over casserole.

Next up, add cheddar cheese (any cheese will do, this is what I had).

Lastly, I had a 1/2 bag of leftover tater tots.  I lined them on top.  Mainly because I wanted to get rid of the bag.  Another reason was that I had no potatoes to cook up.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, covered, and then another 12 minutes or so, uncovered.  Really until your tater tots are done.  Now, I did not pre-blanch or steam my broccoli.  I was afraid it would get mushy.

On freezing this dish, I did not cook it first…again, the broccoli issue.

Other Options

Now, you can change up your cheese.  Also, you can add in zucchini, squash, cauliflower, or carrots.  You can change up your soups.  Instead of tater tots, use instant or regular mashed potatoes to put on top.  If you don’t want to do that, on the bottom of the dish, add egg noodles or rice.  The sky really is the limit.

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Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

My OCD dictated my Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese.  On a good day, I’d just sling them on there.  Tonight, they each had a place, and frankly, that makes me happy,  I do believe I’m going insane.  Insane, people.  It’s fine.  I am fine.  We are all fine.

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

2# ground beef

Lipton onion soup mix

Worcestershire sauce

1 can cream of celery (normally I use cream of mushroom, but that’s what I had)

Sour cream, 1 c.

Seasoning

Cheddar

Spinach

Tater Tots

Directions

Brown beef with seasoning.  Drain if necessary.  Add in some Worcestershire sauce and the Lipton onion soup mix.  I have a gluten-free, copycat Lipton onion soup mix recipe.  Once that is done, add in your chopped spinach and mix well.

In greased 13×9 dish, place the meat/spinach mixture on the bottom.  Next, in a bowl, mix the sour cream and cream of celery together.  Pour that over the meat.  Then add a layer of cheddar.  End with the tater tots and be sure and season the tots.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  You might want to add a few minutes if you put frozen tots on there.  Mine were already thawed out.  Again, it was good.  My crew gobbled it up.

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Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

I am going to weigh a thousand pounds by the time this quarantine is lifted.  Cooking is something I enjoy doing.  It brings me peace.  So, with that being, I haven’t made a pound cake in a month of Sundays.  Here is my Traditional Pound Cake Recipe with a powdered sugar glaze.  Forgive the “angel food cake” look because I couldn’t find my bundt pan.

This is a cake that you have to “baby” but I’m telling you, my KitchenAid mixer, it made all the difference.  You can use your hand mixer, as well.  My mixer died a long long time ago, bless its sweet heart.

Ingredients

1 pound butter, softened

3 c. sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

4 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. milk

1 tsp. almond extract

Vanilla extract, 1 tsp.

Directions

In a bowl, place the pound of butter and mix the crap out of it.  It should be a pale yellow, whipped look.  On a medium to high speed.  Why am I singing the song “Whip It.”  Good grief, now it won’t leave my head.  Dangit.

Where was I?  Oh…PSA…do not try and “sip” the almond or vanilla extract.  My son-in-law learned a lesson on that one.  Just passing in the kindness to everyone.  God love him.  Him’s a special boy LOL.

Quarantine.  Bunny trail.  I cannot focus.

Cheesecake…no…Pound cake.  I can do this.

Once the butter has been whipped, add an egg in one at a time.  Whip it till the yolks are blended.  Next up, get your milk and flour.  Go in this order:  a bit of milk, whip, a cup of flour, whip, repeat ending with flour.  Mix it until it is smooth.  Lastly, add in the extracts.  You can leave out the almond extract but it was good.

Grease a bundt pan (yes, I used an angel food cake pan).  After you grease it (spray or crisco), then you need to get some flour and swirl it around in there.  Add your batter.  Bake at 300 for about an hour and 40 minutes.  I started checking it at 1:30 but I did up it to 1:40.  It was done.

Icing

Eyeball this…I think I did 2 c. powdered sugar, a tsp of vanilla, and enough heavy cream (you can use 1/2 and 1/2 or milk) to thin it out.  I ended up making WAY too much, so Big Daddy drizzled all the leftovers over each slice that he eats LOL.  My daughter put it on the cake.

For the love…it is good.

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Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

I went to make Tater Tot Casserole tonight and realized I had no Lipton Onion Soup Mix. What does one do during quarantine?  I concocted a Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe.  This is enough for 2 packets, so if you are using this, 1/2 it if you just need the equivalent to one packet.

Ingredients

1/2 c. minced onions

4 T. beef bouillon granules

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 T. parsley

1/4 tsp. paprika

Directions

Put it in an airtight container or a ziploc baggie.  Use immediately or store for up to a month.  You can also double or triple this recipe and keep it in a mason jar.  I don’t use this often.  Always, though, I put it on a roast.  Also, I put it in my Tater Tot Casserole, which I will post that recipe tomorrow.

Anyway…

I’ve been cooking up a storm during the quarantine.  Well, who am I kidding…I cook all the time.  Honestly, I feel like that is all I do is cook, clean, or educate.  The highlight of my day is driving down the road to see Kevin the pig.  He is my neighbor’s pet pig that lives in the front yard.  If you want to join in on the fun, I post daily on my quarantine log with my crew over on my Facebook page.  Come on over and “like” my page and join in.  Let us all in on what you are doing during this bizarre time in history.

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