Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fudgy Brownie from Scratch

I have been trying to make most of my breads and goodies from scratch lately. I have found good recipes for most of the things I used to get from a box except brownies. I've made several batches of homemade brownies and they all tasted yummy but none of them had that fudgy, gooey taste you get from a box of brownie mix. They all have more of a cake-like texture and flavor than what I am hoping to achieve.

So, I know I don't have a very big readership, but if anyone reads this and has some recipes or tips for making fudgy homemade brownies, than please leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks! :-)

On another brownie note, I love the corners best and that is why I must get me one of these!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Strawberry Tacos?

I put some strawberries on the table one night when we were having tacos. Expert decided to make himself a strawberry taco.
He said it was good. Just a little more juicy than normal. :-)

What's for dinner?

I did not post a menu for this week because we are going out of town and I am just cooking up whatever we have on hand so I don't have to come home to a stinky fridge. I have some bacon that I bought and need to cook up so tonight we are having one of Expert's favs.

BLT Wraps
2 tomatoes
4 (10 inch) tomato tortillas (or spinach or flour, whatever you prefer. We like the tomato ones)
2 cups mixed salad greens (or just rip up some lettuce, whatever you have on hand)
1/3 cup ranch salad dressing
12 slices bacon, fried crisp (or I guess you could use bacon bits)

Dice the tomatoes.
Spread a thin coating layer of mayo on each tortilla, about 1 to 2 teaspoons per tortilla. Combine the tomatoes, salad greens and ranch dressing and mix well. Spread this mixture on each tortilla so that it runs lengthwise across tortilla. Top with three pieces of bacon. Roll up each tortilla lengthwise. Serve.

Note: If you like avocado, you might want to add some to the salad greens and tomatoes.
I usually make either tri-color pasta or tomato pasta with this.

Tomato pasta
1 (16-oz) package pasta (any kind you fancy) cooked according to package directions
1 tablespoon butter or oil
3 or 4 green onions (tops and bottoms), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil or butter in large frying pan over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the fat until the onions are clear and the garlic is barley tender. Add the tomatoes, and continue cooking until heated thoroughly. Stir in the cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese.

Note: We don't eat mushrooms in this house, but if mushrooms don't make you hurl you might like adding some sliced mushrooms in with the onion and garlic.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Flour Mess

I am messy when I cook and even more messy when I bake. I am too involved in the process of creating yummy food to worry about the mess. And I always clean up when I am done so why worry about keeping tidy while I work?

One problem is that I was losing a lot of flour because I was so messy when measuring it. Now I place a piece of wax paper on the counter, measure over that and then transfer the excess flour mess back into the bag of flour. Now I don't have to worry how much flour I spill.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I am not sure why, but I did not really stick to my menu last week. When it came time to make dinner I just felt like something else I guess. That is why a few things are being carried over from last week. It's good to be flexible.

Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Menu Plans

Easy Chicken Bake

A good friend brought this to my house on the day I came home from the hospital after having my son. It has been a favorite ever since. (I think this recipe can also be found on the back of a very popular boxed stuffing mix but I could not find it online to link to).

1-6 oz package stuff mix with seasoning
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 cup boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup sour cream
1-16 oz bag corn, thawed drained. (I do not usually add this much corn. You can also use peas and carrots or whatever vegetable your family likes).

Preheat oven to 400.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup dry stuffing mix on bottom of an 8x8 baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil; set aside.
Add hot water to remaining stuffing mix, stir just until moistened, set aside.
Place chicken over dry stuffing mix in baking dish.
Mix soup, sour cream and corn; spoon over chicken. Top with prepared stuffing.
Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Tri-Color Pasta Salad

This could not be more simple.
Take a big bowl of cooked tri-color pasta and sprinkle it with some olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh oregano. If you like garlic, go ahead and toss some of that in as well.

Makes a great side dish to pretty much any meal.

Ranch Chicken

This is one of the easiest and yummiest recipes I have in my collection.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

-Pour the dressing into a shallow bowl. Place the bread crumbs on waxed paper.
-Dip the chicken, one piece at a time, into the dressing, coating all sides. Then coat all sides with bread crumbs.
-Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes. Cook chicken in oil 12 to 15 minutes, turning chicken over once with tongs, until outside is golden brown and the juice is not longer pink when cut into the center of the thickest pieces. If the chicken sticks to the pan, loosen it gently with a turner of fork.

Monday, March 3, 2008

That time of year again!

These arrived at my door this weekend. MMM MMM MMM! :-) I won't touch the ones in the purple box with a ten foot pole but the peanut butter ones are mine, all mine!!!!

Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons grape jelly
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard (I use a deli/fancy style mustard. Not a yellow mustard. Yuck!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
5 hamburger buns, split

In large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup, ketchup, jelly, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt and celery seed. Bring to a boil. Reduce Heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Serve on buns.

I like to eat mine open sandwich style with a fork and knife.

Menu Plan Monday

I completely forgot to post and link my menu last week. I had a menu, I just forgot to put it on the blog. It was pretty boring anyway, with only 1 new recipe so nobody missed much.

Here is what is on deck for this week:

Happy eating!

Find more menus at Organizing Junkie

Is Mom's cooking that bad?

OK, I admit that I might have put a little too much onion powder in the soup.