Monday, March 29, 2010

Tater Tot Omelette Cups ***

First off, you cannot beat these for an easy, on-the-go breakfast.  Sadly, I read temp as 350 instead of 375, so I had to cook mine longer, which resulted in a more rubbery texture to the eggs.  I obviously didn't want runny yolks for the kids, so I let those firm up completely.  When you do that, though, you get a big bite in the middle that consists of nothing but egg yolk and tater tot.  Way too bland on that bite.  I'm going to try these again soon and just add some sausage or bacon crumbles between the tot and the cheese.  I'd also like to try it with shredded hashbrowns in place of the tots.  Those might crisp up a little better.  Overall, though, these were really good.  I'll definitely make them often.

Photo courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

36-48 frozen tater tots, thawed (about 1 lb)
12 eggs
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375°F.
Grease 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
Place 3-4 tater tots in each cup, and mash with back of spoon to line the bottoms and sides of the cups.
Add about a tablespoon of cheddar cheese and press down on top of tots.
Cook 5 minutes. Remove from oven and break an egg in each cup. (If you want the yolk to be basted, spoon a little water on top of each yolk.)
Bake 15-20 minutes until whites and yolks are firm.
Check often to avoid burning.  Remove from oven.
Use a heat resistant rubber spatula to loosen edges and bottom of each tater tot cup.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Caramel-Nut Pull-Apart Bread ***

These were actually really good.  Sadly, I was unaware that I possessed a Bundt pan, but I had firm plans to borrow my mom's.  The sadder part is that I forgot to do that also.  So, I ended up doing them in a pie-sized baking dish.  The very center rolls didn't get done, but other than that, it was delicious.  I definitely want to experiment again, since dh and the boys all loved it.  I want to try one with more of a cinnamon glaze, though.  This one is just a bit too sweet and buttery for me.  Definitely yummy, though.

Photo courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Southern Living)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 (12-oz) cans refrigerated biscuits
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine brown sugar and walnuts in a small bowl. Stir in butter. Spoon half of brown sugar mixture in bottom of greased 12-cup Bundt pan.
Cut each biscuit in half, and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle biscuits with cinnamon sugar; toss well to coat. Arrange half of biscuits over brown sugar mixture in Bundt pam. Spoon remaining brown sugar mixture over biscuits in pan; top with remaining biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until browned. Turn out onto a serving platter immediately, spooning any sauce in pan over bread. Serve warm.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tater Brat Bake ***

This recipe is one we tried about a year ago, and I'd forgotten about it until the other day.  Dh hates sauerkraut, but he remarked to a friend that there is one dish I make where he can stand to eat the sauerkraut.  This is the one.  Dh, ds1, and I all loved it again.  Ds2 wasn't so thrilled.  He liked the tater tots (that's a given), and he tolerated the brats okay.  He was less than ecstatic about the sauerkraut.  I normally get the jarred kraut and try to wash it really well.  This time I had to get the canned, and I just couldn't get it rinsed as well.  Dh remarked about that too.  I'll have to make sure to stick with the jarred in the future.  Other than that, it's still a winner with us.  Even ds2 could eat the tater tots and brats and still have a decent meal.

Photo courtesy of Taste of Home

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Taste of Home)

1 package (1 ¼ pounds) uncooked bratwurst links
2 bottles (12 ounces each) beer or nonalcoholic beer
2 tablespoons butter
1 can (16 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed, drained and chopped
1 can (10 ¾ ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
½ cup milk
1 package (32 ounces) frozen Tater Tots
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, combine bratwurst and beer. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Drain and cut into ¼” slices. In a large skillet, brown brats in butter over medium-high heat; drain on paper towels.
Spoon sauerkraut into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with brats. Combine soup and milk; drizzle over brats. Top with Tater Tots. Bake at 450° for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.
Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easy Crockpot Lasagna ***

I've been making lasagna once a week for the past few weeks, since the 6-year-old ds declared himself a lasagna conoisseur last month.  I've been making the Pepperoni Lasagna, as it's his favorite, but it just takes so long.  I decided to try to find a lasagna for the crockpot that might work for us.  This is pretty darn close.  I did throw in a little extra cheese, since I had some that needed to be used up, but I won't do that next time.  It was a bit too cheesy for my tastes.  I have no idea how many lasagna noodles are in 8 oz, so I just used 9 noodles total.  That seemed to work well.  The sauce still tasted fairly "ketchupy" to me when I combined the ingredients, so I ended up added about 2 tsp of Italian seasoning and about 1 1/2 tsp of cumin.  I would definitely do that again.  I also added a can of sliced mushrooms, to put in a little extra veggies.  I really think it would do well with some shredded zucchini or something.  I doubt it would even be noticeable.  As always, I subbed ground turkey for ground beef.
The family loved this, though.  I want to look through some other recipes and maybe tweak the sauce a bit, but this is an excellent jumping-off point for an easy crockpot lasagna recipe. 

Photo courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Brown beef, add onion and garlic - cook until onion is softened.
Stir in tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano - mix well.
Spread one fourth of the meat sauce in an ungreased slow cooker. Arrange one third of the noodles over the sauce.
Combine the cheeses.
Spoon one third of the cheese mixture over the noodles.
Repeat layers twice.
Top with remaining meat sauce.
Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Irish Herbed Potatoes ****

These were absolutely delicious!  I can't say enough about them.  I actually picked them out to make for St. Pat's Day, and then I got home and realized my corned beef recipe already had potatoes in it, lol.  Anyway, we finally tried them tonight with hamburgers, and they are so yummy!  My 6-year-old actually asked for seconds of a veggie!  I didn't make too many revisions with this one.  I used small red potatoes, and cut them into quarters, leaving the skin on.  I used dried parsley instead of fresh, since that's all I had.  I only put about 2 tablespoons of that in there.  I melted the butter as I waited for the water to boil, and then I mixed up the other ingredients and let them sit in the butter while the potatoes simmered.  That had the dried herbs nice and soft before combining with the potatoes.  This one will be made many, many, many times in our house!!!  It actually reminds me a lot of another recipe I have, Joe's Crab Shack's Buttered Parsley Potatoes.  I think I prefer this one, though.

Photo by Taste of Home

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Taste of Home)

2-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced chives
3 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 3 teaspoons dill weed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chicken Chalupa Casserole ***

This one was actually pretty good.  I don't see how the OP got the amts, though.  I assumed that when it said, "large casserole dish," it was referring to a 9x13 and the larger tortillas.  Maybe not, though.  Maybe it meant an 8x8 dish and smaller tortillas.  There is no way that I could do 6 layers on here, and I ran out of salsas after just 2 layers.  I ended up getting 5 layers out of it, and I used around 2 cups of each kind of salsa.  It was still too many layers for me.  I would have preferred less layers with more in them.  Dh loved it, though.  I'll keep it around for him, I guess, lol.  I've been inspired by this one to try one of my favorite crockpot casseroles in the oven, though.  Check out my Crockpot Stacked Enchiladas.  I'm going to put it on the list soon to follow the same type of format and cook in the oven.  Hopefully, it will work out!
Obviously, the kids wouldn't eat something with so much salsa in it, so I didn't even try to persuade them to try it, lol.  I just made them some ravioli, and they were happy.  :)

Photo from

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

12 flour tortillas
2 lbs roasted chicken meat, shredded
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup salsa
1 cup green chili salsa
black olives, sliced (to garnish)
cilantro, chopped (to garnish)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray large casserole dish with cooking spray.
Lay two tortillas in bottom of dish, overlapping slightly.
Top with a layer of chicken, a layer of cheese, and a layer of salsas.
Repeat layers until dish is full, finishing with a layer of salsa (pattern should repeat 6 times).
Bake until hot and bubbly (25 minutes.).
Garnish with olives and cilantro, if desired.
*Amy's notes: I cooked in a 9x13 dish and did 5 layers of the larger tortillas, using about 2 cups total of each type of salsa.  Next time, I will use less layers with more in them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tomato Alfredo Tortellini ****

This recipe has long been a favorite of ours.  I normally sub fire-roasted diced tomatoes for the plain, but this time, the store was out.  I have to say, I could really tell the difference.  The sauce wasn't nearly as flavorful as usual.  I've also used the tomatoes with garlic in them, and that comes out great as well.  I subbed half-and-half for the cream this time around, and it still thickened up nicely.  This stays on my favorites list, but I'll have to make certain not to use the plain tomatoes again.


1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or 2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups heavy or light cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, plain
2 small bags Barilla spinach and cheese tortellini (gives 2 more oz than using 1 lrg bag; about 14-16 oz)

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat.
Add 2 cloves garlic and cook until translucent; do not brown the garlic
Add the cream, and bring mixture to a slow simmer.
Do not allow cream to come to a rapid boil
Add parmesan cheese slowly, and stir well.
Add tomatoes with juices, and stir well.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently so as not to scorch sauce.
Continue to simmer sauce on low for 15-20 minutes or just until thickened to desired consistency.
Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil, salted to taste like the sea.
Cook tortellini per package instructions.
Drain tortellini, then put back into pot and add tomato Alfredo sauce.
Stir gently, until all is coated evenly, then allow to sit for a few minutes for sauce to cool and thicken.
* Amy's notes: I prefer the fire-roasted diced tomatoes.  I have also subbed half-and-half for the heavy cream successfully.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bacon Cheeseburger Rice *

No matter how hard I try, I just can't get into this one. It's too "oniony" for me. I really think you could leave out the onion soup mix and just cook the ground beef with chopped onion. I ended up having to add 1/2 can of water, 2 tablespoons ketchup, and 1 tablespoon mustard just to get it to where it was decent for me. Dh loves it. I don't think I can make it again, though. I'd like to see if there are some changes I could make to make it a little more palatable. They'd have to be some extreme changes, though.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

5 cups cooked rice
1 lb ground beef
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 (10 ¾ oz) can condensed tomato soup, undiluted
3 tablespoons onion soup mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Brown and drain beef.
While beef is cooking, mix together soup, onion soup mix, bacon pieces and cheese. Add to browned ground beef.
Simmer on low until cheese is just melted.
Add rice and mix well.
Serve immediately or allow to cool and ladle into 1-gallon freezer bag.
Label and freeze.
To serve: allow to thaw overnight in refrigerator and reheat on stovetop or in microwave. You could also freeze this in a reusable casserole dish for easier thawing/cooking.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Penne a la Betsy ****

This is delicious. Somehow, though, when I copied the recipe from the Babycenter website, it was missing the last two paragraphs and went straight to the yields. I managed to bluff my way through the end, though. I've gone back and copied it directly from the PW website for this post. I made just a few changes. I used about a pound and a half of medium shrimp, broth in place of the wine, dried basil, dried minced garlic, dried parsley, freeze-dried onions, and whole wheat penne. It was still fairly soupy at the end, so I added about a half a cup of fresh shredded parmesan to the sauce. It was really good. My 6-year-old actually asked if we could have it again tomorrow night. :)

(Tattoedmomma - The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

¾ pounds Penne Pasta
1 pound Shrimp
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Onion (small)
2 cloves Garlic
½ cups White Wine (or To Taste)
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
1 cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Parsley, to taste
Fresh Basil - To Taste
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.
Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside.
Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.
In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use wine, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ½ cup).
Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.
Now chop your herbs, about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil, or if you’re feeling very proper, chiffonaded.
Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Husband's Delight **

Okay, I'll admit it. I picked this one almost solely for its name, lol. I wanted to make something dh would enjoy, and it looked like a good pick. I did like it (as did he), but it's just not quite right. The cream cheese/sour cream/cottage cheese layer didn't melt enough. I think it would have been better with less of that cheese layer or maybe with it mixed into the noodles more. I'm thinking I may try cutting out the cream cheese and adding some parmesan cheese in its place. There are possibilities. I'm not giving up on it yet. :) Oh, and I used all low fat stuff and replaced the ground beef with ground turkey.

Photo courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

24 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (8 ounce) package wide egg noodles, cooked as directed
1 tablespoon sugar

Brown ground beef, bell peppers, and garlic together and drain.
Cook noodles as directed then drain.
Add noodles, sugar, and tomato sauce to ground beef and stir.
Combine sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and chopped onion.
Put into a 3-quart casserole dish a layer of noodles and meat, then a layer of cheese mixture.
Add the last of meat and noodle mixture.
Last of all add grated cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chicken Chile Casserole **

This is pretty good. I threw everything in together and cooked in the crockpot on low for 6 hours. I did add about a cup of chicken broth, but I could have probably just added a little extra half-and-half or something. It was good, though. The kids really liked it. Dh and both think there's just a little something missing, though. I'm thinking that next time, I'll either double the chiles in the recipe or switch out the salt for seasoning salt, or something like that. I definitely want to play around with it a bit to enhance the flavor. A good, filling meal with little hassle, though. Gotta love that! :)
See my crockpot version here: Crockpot Chicken Chile Casserole

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces half-and-half
1 cup chopped onion
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (2 lb) package frozen cubed hash browns
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken (I use leftover)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Mix sour cream,half and half, onions, chiles, salt and pepper.
Stir in potatoes, chicken and 2 cups of the cheese.
Pour into greased 13x9 baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese before serving.

Crockpot Chicken Chile Casserole **

This is pretty good. I threw everything in together and cooked in the crockpot on low for 6 hours. I did add about a cup of chicken broth, but I could have probably just added a little extra half-and-half or something. It was good, though. The kids really liked it. Dh and both think there's just a little something missing, though. I'm thinking that next time, I'll either double the chiles in the recipe or switch out the salt for seasoning salt, or something like that. I definitely want to play around with it a bit to enhance the flavor. A good, filling meal with little hassle, though. Gotta love that! :)
See the original version here: Chicken Chile Casserole

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

8 ounces sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
8 ounces half-and-half
1 cup chopped onion
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (2 lb) package frozen cubed hash browns
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken (I use leftover)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Mix sour cream, broth, half and half, onions, chilies, salt and pepper.
Stir in potatoes, chicken and 2 cups of the cheese.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese before serving.