Sunday, July 24, 2016

Crawfish Tortellini ***

So my original plan for the crawfish had been to sub them in another recipe (One-Pot Cajun Pasta).  Well, long story short, I apparently tore a ligament in my foot on vacation, and I'm in a boot this week.  I decided I needed something quick and easy instead.  Since most of the ingredients were the same, I just hit the store on the way home from work and grabbed some tortellini so that I could throw this one together.  It.was.perfect.  As usual.

The original recipe tells you to cook this in an oven at 350 for 45 minutes.  That seems silly to me, so I've always done it stovetop.  It comes out as pure perfection.  The kids and the hubby oohed and ahhed over it excessively, just as they always do.  Now I'm seriously thinking it about having it again this week. :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 lb frozen crawfish tails, thawed
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) whipping cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons parsley
1 large package tortellini noodles

Cook tortellini in pot as directed.
While noodles are cooking, sauté the crawfish tails in 2 tablespoons butter for about 5 minutes.  Add remaining butter, onion, and garlic, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring sauce to a boil, and pour into pot with drained tortellini.  Bring to a boil again.  Turn down and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so - just enough to thicken the sauce.

Previous posts:
8/10/11 ~ We've had this recipe before, and the kids loved it.  They think that crawdads are just about the coolest animals we can eat, but I rarely make any recipes with them.  This was a hit as usual.  As last time, I made it on the stovetop (still waiting for the new oven to be delivered - boo!), but it was as delicious as always.  We were on vacation all last week, and with all of the running around we had to do yesterday to get ready for the upcoming work week, we haven't eaten a homecooked meal in what feels like ages.  This was perfect.  I hated that it heated up the house, of course, but it was quick to prepare.  That was the main thing.  I wimped out and just served it with corn, but it was divine nonetheless.  I ran out of parsley, so I just used oregano in its place.  It worked perfectly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Slow Cooker Cornbread Casserole ***

As always, this was super tasty.  The kids think that Jiffy is my "secret cornbread recipe."  Seriously, my youngest asked me last year (when he was 9) if I'd pass it down to them before I die.  Bahaha!  So anything with Jiffy and corn was going to be a winner for us.  There was never any doubt.  We loved it, though.  I typically will use ground turkey sausage, and since it's leaner, I'll double the amount.  Then instead of messing with cutting up vegetables, I just grab a bag of the frozen fajita blend of peppers and onions.  Works perfectly.  I once again forgot about the note to try green chilies in it. Maybe I'll get around to it next time.  I'd considered maybe trying it with chilies and rotisserie chicken.  Just to see how it goes.  Who knows?  :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ SassySlowCooker)

1 lb ground sausage, browned
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of cream of corn
1 c of onions, diced
1 c green pepper, diced
3 packages of corn muffin mix
1-1/2 c of cheddar cheese, shredded

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
Brown meat with peppers and onions.
Place drained corn with the meat mixture in a bowl.
Prepare corn muffin mixes as directed in a bowl with cream of corn.
Layer slow cooker with 1/2 corn muffin, meat mixture, half of cheese, and rest of corn muffin mix.
Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, sprinkle remainder of cheese on top of casserole and replace lid.
You can use ground turkey or beef as an alternative to the sausage.
You can add green chilies or jalapenos if you would like to add a twist of spice to the casserole.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Slow Cooker Potato, Brat, Corn, and Cheddar Casserole *

This was just gross.  I really thought it would be similar to one of our favorites, Brat-N-Tot Bake (which did convert successfully to a crockpot meal, so that wasn't the problem either).  It most definitely was not similar in flavor.  For one thing, the potatoes still weren't cooked through after the 8 hours.  I had to put it back on for another 2 hours.  By that time, it had cooked perfectly.  But it was like massive bites of steamed, flavorless potato slices.  Every now and then, you got a taste of bratwurst (i.e. flavor), but the majority of the time, it was just total blandness.  It kind of made me mad, because I took and early lunch at work and spent my entire lunch break slicing potatoes and onions, basically for nothing.  I could go on, but you get the point.  We won't be doing this one again.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ FamishedFish)

8 russet potatoes, scrubbed and washed
2 large white onions
1 15 oz can corn
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 26 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 pack Johnsonville beer brats

Begin by slicing the scrubbed potatoes and onions thinly with a knife or mandolin, set at 1/4″ thickness.
Layer 1/3 of the potatoes and onions in the bottom of a large slow cooker.
Slice the brats and layer 1/3 of the drained canned corn and 1/3 of the sliced brats over the potatoes and onions.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the corn and brats. Spread 1/3 of the mushroom soup over the cheese.
Repeat the layers two more times and cover with the lid. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove lid to cool and thicken for 20 minutes before serving.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Tater Tot Sloppy Joe Casserole ****

We all absolutely loved this one.  I did make a few changes, but not enough to affect the final outcome of the dish.  I used frozen chopped onions and green peppers, so I just cooked them with the ground turkey, which I subbed for the ground beef.  That's really all I did differently.  The flavor is phenomenal.  I mean, it's obviously nothing fancy-schmancy, but it's a nice, hearty meal with some good veggies in there.  Other than the tater tots, it's actually not too terribly bad for you.  (Forgot to mention that I also used reduced-fat shredded cheese.)  The youngest didn't like the crunch of the carrots, so if I do it this way again, I'll probably cook them ahead of time with the meat and peppers and onions.  The other problem for me is that my tots were still kind of frozen after 25 minutes.  Nothing that a little zap in the microwave couldn't fix, but it was still a bummer, especially since they were already browning on the edges.  It would be much better to start with them thawed, I think.  I actually want to try doing this in the crockpot.  I've done similar dishes successfully in there, so I have high hopes that this will convert nicely.  Or not.  We'll see.  :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ GalOnAMission)

2 pounds 80/20 ground beef, cooked and drained
2 carrots, diced into small quarters
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 large white onion, diced
12 ounces frozen corn
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
14.5 ounce can Hunt's Diced Tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans MANWICH original
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 pounds frozen tater tots

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together the cooked ground beef, carrots, bell pepper, poblano pepper, onion, corn, garlic, salt and pepper, diced tomatoes, and MANWICH in the same pan you cooked the beef in.
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheddar cheese on top. Top with tater tots. Sprinkle 1 cup cheddar and mozarella cheese on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tater tots are cooked.
Freezer Directions: Prepare the casserole into a freezer casserole dish. Cover and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake at 425 degrees until the tater tots and filling are warm, approximately 25-30 minutes.
*luckymommy/Amy's notes: I subbed ground turkey and frozen peppers and onions, which I cooked all together in the beginning.  Next time, I will cook the carrots ahead as well and thaw my tots.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Egg Sausage and Spinach Casserole **

I actually made this one back in the spring, but I never got around to posting it.  I've since lost the picture that I took of mine.  It was basically the same as the one from the original posting, so I'm including that below.  Just know that the pic is from her meal, not mine.

I enjoyed this one, but sadly, the rest of the family did not.  I did add mushrooms to ours, but considering that we all adore spinach and mushrooms, I don't see how that could have affected the final result.  I would still like to try it again, though, just in case.  I figure I've waited long enough now that they probably won't even remember the first time. ;-)  I think I might go ahead and use the full-egg Egg Beaters, though, just to kind of *beef* it up a bit.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ LaurenKellyNutrition)

12 egg whites or 1 box of egg whites or combination of whole eggs and egg whites, whatever you prefer
1 package of lean turkey breakfast sausage
2 cups of baby spinach
1/4 cup shredded mexican cheese blend or whatever cheese you like

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place baby spinach (or whatever vegetables you like) on the bottom of casserole dish.  Next layer with sliced sausage and sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
Pour egg whites on top and bake for 35 minutes until completely cooked ( I do not like wet eggs AT ALL!)
ENJOY!!  Makes 6 servings.  Cut into 6 equal servings immediately so you aren’t tempted to eat more than the correct portion.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut ****

We've had this recipe several times now, and honestly, it seems like we like it more and more every time.  The sweetness of the apples perfectly melds with the tartness of the sauerkraut.  The kraut doesn't taste like kraut at all, actually.  It's just so absolutely divine.  I used a small package of the "real bacon pieces" instead of frying bacon (and dirtying another dish, lol).  It makes the bacon pieces puff up nicely, giving you a little taste of bacon in each bite.  Seriously, this is so good.  The Johnsonville brats come in packs of 5, so I just used two full packs.  Not a problem at all.  Mine were in the crock for 6 hours and were absolutely perfect.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ MomsWhoThink)

8 uncooked bratwurst links
1 (14 ounce) can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground mustard
8 brat buns, split

Place the bratwurst in a greased 5-6 quart slow cooker.
In a large bowl combine the sauerkraut, apples, bacon, brown sugar, onion and mustard; spoon over bratwurst.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until sausage is no longer pink.
Place brats in buns; using a slotted spoon, top with sauerkraut mixture.

Previous reviews
7/18/13 ~ Loved this.  Seriously.  The hubs wasn't quite as thrilled with it as the kids and I were, since he didn't like that the brats lost their crispness in the crockpot.  He did love the flavor, though.  I was worried about the sauerkraut, since he's definitely not a fan (he'd rather starve than eat it).  There are a couple of recipes I can get away with using it in, but I always have to wash and drain it really well.  Since that was in these directions anyway, we were golden.  :-)  There's honestly not a sauerkraut taste to this at all.  The apples and bacon completely mute the sauerkraut flavor.  My 9-year-old hates that stuff as much as his dad, and he actually ate it on top of the brats.  The 7-year-old liked the flavoring of it, but he ate the brat without the kraut (I had to rinse it off, lol).  This is most definitely a winner with us.  It's going right in the rotation!

Chicken-Chili Crescent Bake ****

Even after the several times I've made this, we still adore it.  My 10-year-old had THIRDS.  That child rarely even finishes one helping of anything, so I was totally in shock that he loved it that much.  I always add about 3/4 cup of sour cream to the chicken and bean mixture as it's cooking on the stovetop, just to soften the spice.  I'll always stick with that, because it really adds a lot, in my opinion.  The one time I forgot and made it without the sour cream, it was just a bit too spicy for the kids.  I ended up having to stir sour cream into their individual servings.  We all seriously love this one, so I should really make it more often.  The only problem is that it is getting harder and harder to find the Fiesta Beans.  I guess I need to find a copycat recipe, just for backup!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ via Pearls,Handcuffs,andHappyHour)

Rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 can Bush’s Fiesta Black Beans
1 can Rotel
2 tbsp. taco seasoning
1-2 cups shredded cheese
1 can crescent seamless dough sheets

Mix together chicken, beans, Rotel, and taco seasoning in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with cheese and top with the crescent seamless dough sheet.
Cook at 375 for about 18-25 minutes or until crescent topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
*Amy's notes: I used mild Rotel and added 3/4 cup sour cream to the chicken mixture.  I also just use 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts in place of the rotisserie chicken.