Monday, November 9, 2015

Sue's Reuben Sandwich ***

The 12-year-old's very favorite food right now is Reubens.  I haven't made them in at least two years, but both he and the hubby have been begging for them lately.  I finally caved in over the weekend.  They were wonderful as usual.  I do always have to rinse my sauerkraut really well, though, just because hubby hates the flavor otherwise.  Truthfully, I don't really follow the amounts on the recipe.  I just use it as a guide to make sure I get everything on the sandwich in the right order.  I definitely need to make them more often, though, because they all loved them!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

4 ounces lean thinly sliced deli corned beef
2 (1 ounce) slices Swiss cheese
2 slices rye bread
1/3 cup sauerkraut, well drained
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons thousand island dressing (to taste)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 pinch crushed juniper berries or 1 pinch caraway seed (optional)

Bring corned beef and Swiss cheese to room temperature.
Heat sauerkraut until it is warmed to about 120-140 degrees.
Prepare sandwich by first buttering one slice of bread on one side with 1 tbsp butter.
Place bread, butter side down, in a small skillet.
Follow with the following ingredients in this order: 1 slice of Swiss cheese, followed by 4 oz. corned beef, followed by 1-1/2 to 2 tbsp (to taste) of Thousand Island dressing, followed by well drained and warmed sauerkraut, followed by a pinch of either juniper berries or caraway, followed by the final piece of cheese.
Top the sandwich with the last piece of bread and spread the other tbsp of butter on the outside of the bread.
Heat the sandwich in the skillet on a med-low heat until the bottom side becomes golden; flip sandwich with spatula and lightly brown other side.
Remove to plate and slice in half before serving.
Serve with a dill spear and your favorite chips.

Previous Posts:
2/4/12 ~ I was completely astonished when hubby requested Reuben sandwiches this week, since he is vehemently anti-sauerkraut.  That being said, there are a handful of dishes that I can make with it, as long as I rinse the kraut really well.  That takes away some of the tartness of it, which is what he has the biggest problem with.  I don't like Thousand Island, but you really can't taste it in here.  It just adds the tiniest bit of sweetness to the sandwich.
I made these tonight, but I didn't follow recommendations for amounts or anything, just the order in which the ingredients were added.  I didn't bring my meat and cheese to room temp, but when I put them in the skillet, I put the lid on it, to warm the entire thing.  That worked just fine.  When I rinsed the kraut in the colander, I did it with warm water, so that warmed it enough that I didn't have to warm it separately.  Hubby asked for seconds, and both boys loved them too.  Definite winner for us.  :-)

Pumpkin Delight Dessert ***

This was delicious!  My grandma always made a cake she called a Robert Redford, which was basically a vanilla version of this.  Then my mom picked up and made a chocolate version, aptly named Chocolate Delight.  This one miraculously popped up on my Pinterest feed the very same day that my mom asked me to bring a dessert for a family get-together.  It was perfect!  I made it that morning, and it was good to go by the afternoon.  I will say, though, there were a couple pieces left over that the kids had for snack the next day, and it is so much better the second day.  I would probably make it the day before next time.  But however you look at it, this is a total winner for us!  I made it in a 9x13, and if you do that, be sure to follow her notes about increasing the crust amounts.  You don't want to skimp on that deliciousness!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ LilLuna)

1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Butter (softened)
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup Pecans, chopped
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1 cup Powdered sugar
3 cups Whipped topping, divided
2-1/2 cups Milk
3 small pkgs. White chocolate instant pudding mix (or vanilla) - 3.4 oz. boxes
1 (15 oz) can Pumpkin puree
1 tsp. Pumpkin spice

Layer 1: Mix flour, butter and 1/2 cup pecans together. Press into a sprayed 9x9 OR 9x13 pan. (For a 9x13 or if you would like more crust add an additional 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup chopped pecans.) Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove and let cool.
Layer 2: Blend cream cheese and powdered sugar, add 1 cup of the whipped topping then spread over cooled crust.
Layer 3: Mix milk, pudding mix, canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice and 1 cup whipped topping until smooth. Spread over top of layer 2.
Layer 4: Spread remaining 1 cup of whipped topping and sprinkle pecans.
Let chill for 3 hours or until set.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Crockpot Stacked Enchiladas ****

We love this more and more each time I make it.  I know that a lot of people don't like the doughy texture that tortillas get in the crockpot, but honestly, it's one of our favorite parts.  The 10-year-old even picked his tortillas out and ate them first before finishing the rest, lol.  I'm sure the corn tortillas would hold up much better than the flour, though.  We just happen to like the flour.  They all told me over and over how much they loved it.  I personally had to fight the urge to go back for seconds. ;-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 (14 ounce) package taco-size corn or flour tortillas
1 (20 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded cooked chicken or cooked pot roast
1 (10 ounce) can corn
1 teaspoon cumin
1-1/2 cups light cream cheese
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
1 onion, chopped fine
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can refried beans
1 can sliced black olives (optional)

Mix cooked meat, cumin, cream cheese, green chilies, corn, and onion together.
Spray inside of crock pot with nonstick spray, then pour a little enchilada sauce on the bottom.
Place one tortilla in the bottom of the pot.
Spread 1/4 of the beans on the tortilla.
Cover with 1/4 of the meat mixture.
Pour 1/5 enchilada sauce on top of meat.
Sprinkle some cheese on top of sauce.
Add another tortilla and continue layering until you run out of meat mixture.
You should still have some cheese and sauce left.
Top with a tortilla, then pour remaining enchilada sauce over all.
Cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
When it's done, sprinkle remaining cheese (and black olives, if desired) on top, and replace lid until cheese melts.
Cut into wedges with plastic spatula to serve.

Previous Posts:
4/16/12 ~ We've had this several times, but it's been a few years.  I'm still going through and trying to work some old favorites into our menus, to see how our tastes have changed.  The last time we had this, Monkey 1 was 4, and Monkey 2 was 2.  They're now 8 and 6.  How time flies!  They loved it this time around.  The recipe has changed so much over the years that I'm no longer even sure where I got it.  I do love it, though.  We prefer the flour tortillas, because they soften up so well.  Others may not be as fond of that and would prefer the texture of the corn.  Either way, you can't go wrong.  :)  This time, I used b/s chicken thighs, since I had some on hand.  In the past, I've used frozen shredded chicken and cooked it 6 1/2 hours on low.  It was still delicious!  It's a very forgiving recipe, which is always nice.  As usual, I served it with my Quick Spanish Rice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Easy Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup **

This was just okay for us.  The 12-year-old loved it, but the rest of us thought it was just so-so.  I really love the Chicken and Wild Rice soup at Panera, and the fact that this tasted nothing like it probably did a lot to stand in the way for me.  I did use wild rice, but that wouldn't have changed the taste.  I can't describe it, but the flavors just didn't blend very well.  Oh well.  Back to the drawing board!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ BackforSeconds)

6 cups chicken stock
2 chicken breasts (boneless skinless)
2 bay leaves
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 cups long grain rice (NOT quick cooking rice)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
10oz corn

1. Add everything to the crock pot except the rice, corn, flour and milk. Cover and cook for 8 hours. The chicken will cook in the broth and add more flavor to the soup.
2. Halfway through cooking add the rice (or you can stir in already cooked rice at the end).
3. About 30 minutes prior to serving, shred the chicken. In a small container with a lid shake together flour and milk really well and stir into soup. Add Corn. Let cook for 30 minutes more to allow the soup to thicken.
*NOTE: It seems like newer crock pots cook much faster than the older ones, so please keep that in mind. My crock pot is newer and cooks very hot. I cook this soup on low on the 8 hour setting and it is done in 4 1/2 hours. I add the rice about an hour before it's done.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mexican Beef-Stuffed Peppers (Crockpot) ***

First off, I apologize for the picture.  It is quite possibly the very worst one I've ever taken.  While I was snapping it, the 12-year-old dropped his entire plate on the floor.  Plate was fine.  Food was not. :-(  We were already in a rush to eat and head out for the 10-year-old's soccer tournament, so this picture is the only one I got.  I'll shoot for a better one next time.

That said, the recipe below is doubled from the one posted on Taste of Home, just because I needed extras for lunches (and to drop on the floor, apparently).  The original recipe is in the link under the title.  I didn't change anything but the amounts, though.  I have a 7-quart crockpot, and it will comfortably hold 7 peppers.  I made 4 green and 3 red.  The red was my favorite.  The 12-year-old liked the green, and the 10-year-old said he didn't like the pepper part at all.  Oh well.  He did love the stuffing, so it's still no big deal.  I used ground turkey, just because that's our preference.  It worked beautifully.  I've always wanted to make stuffed peppers, but I've never had time.  We love the Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole, but it's just not the same.  Now that I'm temporarily working at home, it was the perfect opportunity!  Hubby and I loved it.  I am already planning on making it again!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ TasteofHome)

6-7 medium green or sweet red peppers
1.5 pounds ground beef
2 packages (8.8 ounces) ready-to-serve Spanish rice
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided
3 cups salsa
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 cup water
4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds; set aside. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
Stir in the rice, 2 cups cheese, salsa and pepper sauce. Spoon into peppers. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Pour water around peppers.
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Top with remaining cheese; sprinkle with cilantro. Yield: 6-7 servings.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Slow Cooker Ham and White Beans ****

Last weekend, we went to a nearby harvest festival.  Every year, they have a little stand selling white beans with ham.  It always smells delicious, but there are so many other (more exciting) foods to sample that I rarely get around to having the beans. So this year, I came home craving them something fierce.  I went straight to the store, and the very next morning, these beans were in my crockpot.

Now, first off, I'll say that this is not a fancy recipe.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  Truthfully, it should probably be one of those "make it up as you go" things, but I kind of suck at planning those.  Recipes like that can only happen spur of the moment for me.  For everything else, I need a recipe.  Now, I can easily change around any recipe and even turn it into something completely different than was originally written.  I just need something to get me started.  This is perfect for that.  It really needs no changes to what's written, though.  I didn't measure anything, but I just kind of eyeballed all of the ingredients.  I went with ham steaks cut into cubes, and I probably had a bit too much in there.  But other than that, it was great.  I will absolutely make this again and again.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ PlainChicken)

1 lb package dried northern beans
ham bone, hocks, shanks or diced ham (about 1 pound)
2 tsp onion powder
6 cups water
salt & pepper to taste

Rinse and sort the beans for any pebbles. Add the rinsed beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ham to the crock pot. Add water. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours, until beans are tender. Remove ham bone, shanks or hocks and pull off the meat. Add meat to the crock pot and mix. Serve with cornbread.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Crockpot Pizza Quinoa ****

You guys.  Seriously.  I am just speechless.  This was that good.  And I did it all by myself!  As I've mentioned, we're trying to eat healthier.  Mainly, just trying to squeeze in more veggies and less pasta.  That's the biggest part of it.  So I've been trying out stuff with quinoa.  Well, this week I've been really craving Crockpot Pizza.  I love that stuff.  Since pasta is a no-no more than a couple times a week, I just knew that quinoa would be the perfect sub.  I searched high and low on the internet, but I couldn't find a single recipe that combined pizza with quinoa.  So I winged it.  And it.was.fabulous.  It got 2 thumbs up from every single person.  That's huge.  My 10-year-old just came in here and said, "That might be one of the best things I ever ate!"  I sprinkled a little cheese on top of each serving, just to make it prettier, but it's really not necessary.  The cheese inside is plenty.  I am actually sitting here fighting myself to keep from going back for seconds!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1-1/2 lbs ground turkey, browned
5 oz baby spinach
16 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
1-1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
8 oz frozen chopped green peppers and onions (fajita blend will also work)
3 (14 oz) jars pizza sauce
4 oz sliced black olives
1-3/4 cups water (I put mine in the pizza sauce jars and slosh them around to get the extra sauce out)
1-1/2 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 package mini pepperoni

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and stir well to combine.  I like to save a little cheese and pepperoni to put on top, but it's not necessary.
Cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 6-7 hours.
That's it!  It's that simple!
Serves 6-8