Monday, August 30, 2010

Pepperoni Lasagna ****

Loved this one as usual.  We were having it on a weekly basis for a while there, but we haven't had it at all since before summer started.  This is the first time it's been cool enough to consider keeping the oven on for that long.  I just noticed that I didn't do the covering with foil part.  I just cooked it straight through for 45 minutes.  It did fine that way, but I really do prefer it with the foil.  It makes the cheese gooier.  I did use the oven ready noodles tonight, though, and I just don't like them as well in this one.  But I do I think they would do fine in the crockpot version (located here). 

Recipe courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

1-1/2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2-1/2 cups water
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) carton small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 (3 1/2 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Add water, tomato sauce, tomato paste, bouillon and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese and sour cream.
Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Layer with four noodles, the cottage cheese mixture and pepperoni. Top with remaining noodles and meat sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Cover and bake at 350*F for 35 minutes.
Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through.
Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
* Amy's notes: I subbed ground turkey for ground beef and garlic powder for garlic salt. I also only cooked the sauce for 20 minutes, as opposed to 30.

Previous reviews:
I don't even know where to begin in describing how good this was! First of all, it's been ages since I've made a homemade lasagna, so you have to take that into account, lol. Even still, this was amazing. I had fears that the pepperoni would make it too salty, but it really just added an extra little zing of taste to each bite. The boys are not pepperoni lovers at all, but my 6-year-old even asked for thirds (which he did not get, obviously)! The cheese layer is perfectly baked, and the eggs actually add another dimension of flavor to it. It takes forever to throw together, but it is SO WORTH IT!!! I will be making this again and again. I'm thinking I could start putting it all together the night before and then just throw it in the oven when I get home after work. The only change I made was to use garlic powder instead of garlic salt. With the pepperoni and then the addition of salt already, I thought the garlic salt would be overkill. Oh, and I subbed ground turkey for ground beef, as usual. I also used the tiny pepperonis instead of the regular-sized ones, so there was at least a little bit of pepperoni in every bite.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crockpot Chili Pork Chops **

This is another one that I had in my old files, but I had labeled it as one that we really liked.  It was good, but nothing special.  Definitely not as good as the Creole Pork Chops in Crockpot.  In my mind, they were very similar, but they're really not.  The sauce on this was good, but the meat was really dry.  Dh and I were talking, though, and we really think it would be better with a more tender side of meat.  A pork steak would probably be excellent in it.  Maybe I'll try it again, maybe I won't.  For now, this one's getting demoted to 2 stars.  Sorry, Charlie.  :)

Photo courtesy of Recipezaar

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

¾ cup chopped onions (I used minced)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves (I used minced)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ¼ cup water
1 ¼ cup ketchup
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
8-10 pork chops, bone-in preferred (I used 10 boneless)
salt and pepper

Cook onions in oil until lightly brown.
Add garlic, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, water, ketchup, salt, and pepper.
Cover and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
Arrange pork chops in crock pot, pour sauce over the chops.
Cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours.
OP’s notes: I find that the longer you cook them, the more tender they are. I normally serve them with mashed potatoes and a vegetable. I put the sauce over the mashed potatoes (yummy!).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rachael Ray's Grilled Beer Chicken With Potato Slabs ***

I doubled the recipe on this, since it said it only made 4 servings, and I like to make enough for dh to take some to work for lunch the next day.  That's absolutely wrong.  It's more like 6 servings.  Next time, I'll keep the marinade the same and just add a bit more chicken.  I used boneless/skinless thighs instead of drumsticks, since that's what I had.  The marinade smells divine.  The flavor is wonderful.  I forgot that I would need to cook it longer with thighs than with drumsticks.  I ended up cooking it an extra 10 minutes, but it could have used even longer.  Of course, if I hadn't doubled the recipe, there wouldn't have been more on the grill, so the 10 extra minutes probably would have been fine.  The chicken was so moist and flavorful, though.  I'll be doing that again soon.  The potatoes weren't a keeper for me.  I expected them to crisp up some on the grill, but they never did.  The outer edges were mushy, while the inner circles weren't even completely cooked.  It says to only cook them 3 minutes per side, but I cooked them a total of 15 minutes, and they were still slightly raw.  Next time, I'll skip them and just do baked potatoes.

Photo courtesy of Recipezaar

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

12 ounces beer, room temperature (can or bottle)
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt, plus more
salt, for sprinkling
6 chicken drumsticks (about 1.5 pounds)
2 baking potatoes
olive oil, for drizzling
lime wedge, for serving

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the beer, butter, garlic, chili powder, brown sugar and salt.
Add the drumsticks, seal the bag and let marinate while you proceed.
Preheat a grill or grill pan to high.
Microwave the potatoes on high until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Slice the potatoes lengthwise about 1/4-inch thick.
Drizzle both sides generously with olive oil.
Transfer the chicken and potatoes to the grill.
Grill the drumsticks, brushing with the beer marinade and turning occasionally, until the skin is golden and crisp and the juices run clear, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill the potatoes until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt.
Serve the chicken and potatoes with the lime wedges.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Comforting Smothered Chicken ****


3-4 boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
2/3 c flour
½ c vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 c chicken broth, low sodium

Season flour with salt and pepper and mix well. Coat chicken completely with the seasoned flour. Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add chicken and brown on each side (about 4 minutes per side). Remove and set aside. Add sliced onions to the pan drippings and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining flour and continue to stir until onions and flour begin to brown. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, stir until incorporated and return chicken to the gravy. Cover skillet, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until gravy is thick and chicken is tender.