Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Taco Pie ***

We love Jiffy cornbread around here, so I'm always on the lookout for new recipes that use it.  I've had this one in my "to try" file for ages.  I should have made it a long time ago.  We loved it.  The only problem I had was that the cornbread didn't set up all the way in the middle.  The outer edges were perfect, and the top of pie was a beautiful golden brown.  I put it back in and let it cook a little longer, and even though it got a little darker on top, it seemed to set up much better.  I will definitely have to go the full 20 minutes and possibly longer next time.  Other than that, no complaints here.  I think I may try adding corn to the mean mixture next time, though.  Overall, it's definitely a keeper for us.  Yum!

(Michelle ~ MMmom)

1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1 medium onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
1 packet taco seasoning
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 small can sliced black olives
1 can refried beans
¾ to 1 cup sour cream
1 c shredded cheese (whatever you like)
2 boxes cornbread mix prepared according to pkg directions (need eggs & milk)

Preheat oven to 450.
Brown ground beef along with onion and bell pepper. When browned, add taco seasoning and follow directions on packet, adding water and simmering. Add garlic powder, drained tomatoes, and black olives and simmer a few more minutes.
While meat mixture is cooking, warm refried beans separately.
Add the meat mixture, in a layer, to the bottom of a 13 x 9 dish. Top with a layer of refried beans. Carefully spread sour cream over the bean layer. (This seems to work better if sour cream is not just out of the fridge.) Sprinkle shredded cheese over the sour cream layer.
Prepare boxes of cornbread mix according to package. Pour over the top of the casserole. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes. Let sit 5-7 minutes before serving.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spinach-Artichoke Cheesy Tortellini ***

As soon as I saw this on Amy's WFD Blog, I knew I had to make it.  This one was definitely a fan favorite around our house tonight.  The sauce is very similar to spinach-artichoke dip, which the boys and I love.  Dh is not so much a fan of artichokes, so I compromised by rinsing them out really well before chopping them up.  That took a lot of the bitter flavor away (which is, of course, some of the yumminess, but the things we'll do for our loved ones, lol), so it was more tolerable for him.  I also added about a cup and a half or so of diced cooked chicken right before I mixed the sauce with the noodles.  When I did that, I added a cup or so of milk, to thin it out a bit.  It was perfect, and I'll definitely keep doing that.  I was kind of wary of the nutmeg, since it's definitely not my favorite spice, but you really can't taste it at all.  I'm guessing you could probably even leave it out, but since it's not over-powering, I don't mind it being in there.  I'll definitely be making this again.  Thank you for posting it, Amy!

(snoelles - Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals)

1 (10 ounce) box frozen spinach , thawed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, grated
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (14 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts , drained and chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese or romano cheese
1 lb cheese tortellini

1. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat with the oil and butter.
2. When butter melts, add garlic and grated onion. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and cook for 1 minute.
4. Whisk in the broth, then the cream and bring to a bubble.
5. Season the sauce with nutmeg and reduce heat to low.
6. Separate spinach into pieces as you add it to the sauce.
7. Stir in the artichokes and cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
8. Cook the tortellini in salted boiling water according to package directions, about 7 minutes.
9. Drain and toss with the spinach artichoke sauce.
10. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese and diced tomatoes, if desired.
*Amy's notes: I added a cup and a half of diced cooked chicken and a cup of skim milk before combining the pasta with the sauce.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mexican Macaroni Salad **

I loved that this was a spin on the traditional macaroni salad.  I normally gag when thinking about macaroni and mayo, but the fact that this used rotini and ranch really interested me.  Sadly, the kids didn't like it at all.  Dh and I thought it was okay.  It really could have been smoother, in my opinion.  I'm thinking about maybe subbing sour cream for half the ranch next time.  That would help it "blend" more, I think.  I really did like the flavors, though.  I made the mistake of using whole grain noodles, which didn't go well in here at all.  Regular would have been much better.  I'll definitely try it again.  It's possible if I cut down on the taco seasoning, I might be able to get the kids to eat it as well.  I let it refrigerate for about 2 hours, but I'll bet it would be even better if you could do it overnight, to give the flavors more time to soak in.

(Amy – amylz ~ Pillsbury)

6 cups uncooked rotini pasta (1 lb)
1 to 2 tablespoons grated lime peel (from 2 medium limes)
3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
1 cup ranch dressing
1 package (1.25 oz) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and finely chopped
1 pint (2 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 medium green onions, sliced (including tops)
1 can (19 oz) Progresso® red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (6 oz) pitted large ripe olives, drained, cut in half
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles, drained

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain well.
2. Meanwhile, grate peel from limes; place in small bowl. Squeeze juice from limes; add to peel in bowl. Stir in dressing and taco seasoning mix. Stir avocado into dressing mixture.
3. In large serving bowl, toss pasta with all remaining ingredients. Pour dressing mixture over salad; toss gently to mix. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to blend flavors.
Makes: 8 servings (1 1/4 cups each)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Easy Mac and Cheese Lasagna ***

Tonight was the second time I made this.  The kids were just so-so about it the first time, but they were crazy about it this time.  Just goes to show you how fickle kids are with their favorite foods, lol.  It can change from day to day.  I meant to add veggies to the sauce, but I completely forgot about it when I started cooking.  I think it would be really good with shredded zucchini in it.  I definitely want to give that a shot.  I used skim milk and ground turkey, and I cut back on the butter and cheese.  It was still good with all of the changes.  It's obviously not a healthy meal, lol, but it will do in a pinch, which is what I was in today.  If nothing else, it's always better than McDonald's!  :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar)

2 (7 1/4 ounce) packages macaroni and cheese dinner mix
2 1/4 cups spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350* F. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish.
Cook and drain ground beef and mix with spaghetti sauce.
Prepare Macaroni and Cheese using the directions on the box.
Place a layer (exactly half) of Mac and cheese in the baking dish, top with a layer of meat then a layer of cheese. (Repeat).
After the 2 layers are complete, bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.
Then top with Parm Cheese.
**For meat substitute you can use pre cooked chicken.
**For a complete meatless dish you can use just the spaghetti sauce and leave out all meats.