Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole ***

This was by far the best slow cooker breakfast egg casserole I've made.  There are some parts left out of the instructions, though.  Ham and salt are both mentioned in the ingredients list, but they're not in the directions.  I skipped the ham and just added the salt in the egg mixture.  I'm thinking about trying it with maple sausage next time, to give it a bit more flavor.  It was really good, but as with any crockpot breakfast casserole, it was just a tad bland.  The sundried tomatoes did help with that, though.  We actually put a little ketchup on ours, to give it some flavor, and I am most definitely not the type of person who enjoys ketchup on eggs.  It would probably be good with salsa, but I didn't have any on hand at the time.  I forgot to take a picture, but the link to Debbi's original post is below the title of the recipe.  She has a good pic on hers.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Debbi Does Dinner)

1 pkg. frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (26 - 32 oz)
1 pkg. sausage, cooked and crumbled (about a pound)
8 oz. ham, chopped
1 cup (4 oz) shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded pepperjack cheese
1/2 cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes, drained
6 green onion, sliced
12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with half the sausage, cheeses, sundried tomatoes and green onion. Repeat layering.
Beat eggs, milk and pepper in a large bowl with a whisk until well blended. Pour over potato mixtures. Cook on low setting for about 6 - 8 hours or 3 - 4 on high or until eggs are set.

Grands Meatball Pops **

For the time being, I'm going to have to give this one just 2 stars.  I may make some changes in the future and try it again.  I love the idea.  Even the flavor was pretty decent.  The problem is that there is way too much biscuit per meatball.  You can either roll it out in smaller than 3" rounds (maybe 2"? - just enough to go around the meatball), use regular-sized biscuits, or split them into three layers instead of two.  Not sure which route I will go.  I think it would be really good with just a little bit of the spaghetti sauce smeared inside the pop too.  To just give it a little extra flavor.  And I really don't see the need for the crushed croutons.  That's a total PITA.  So, next time (if there is a next time), I'm just going to use the Italian breadcrumbs.  But like I said, the flavor itself was good...

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Tablespoon.com)

1 can (10.2 oz) Pillsbury Grands refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
10 refrigerated or frozen cooked beef meatballs, thawed
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup finely crushed seasoned croutons
10 large appetizer picks or lollipop sticks, if desired
1-1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce, heated

Heat oven to 375*F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Separate dough into 5 biscuits. Split each biscuit to make 10 rounds. Press out each biscuit half to form 3-inch round.
Sprinkle each biscuit round with cheese to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top each with meatball. Bring up sides of dough over meatball; pinch edges to seal. Brush rounded tops and sides of dough with butter; coat with croutons. Place, seam side down, on paper-lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 375*F for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Place appetizer pick in each biscuit-wrapped meatball to form meatball pop. Serve with warm pasta sauce for dipping.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rolo Pecan Caramel Candies ***

I've had this for a million years (or so), and I'm almost certain I got it from BBC. It's a pretty well-known recipe, though.  These are just delicious.  It gets harder and harder to find Rolos, though!  I did finally manage to find the small rolls at Walgreens, thankfully.  Hubby took them to work the next days, and there weren't any leftovers.  That means the boys and I will be making more tomorrow.  Woo hoo!  The very best part of them (other than the chocolate, hehehe) is that the kids can help make them.  They had a blast, and they thought they were really big stuff after making candy almost all by themselves.  :-)


1 package Mini Pretzels
1 (13-oz.) package Rolo Candies (there are exactly 63 pieces in the bag)
1 package Pecan Halves (you'll need 63 halves and there will be about 25 to 30 left)

Preheat oven to 250 Degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place pretzels individually to form one layer only. Place one Rolo Candy on top of each pretzel.
Bake at 250 degrees for 4 minutes or until the candies are soft. Immediately remove from the oven and quickly place a pecan half on top of a candy and push down to squish the chocolate into the pretzel and flatten out.
Cool for 15 to 20 minutes, then place in refrigerator (uncovered) until the chocolate candy is firm, usually 10 to 20 minutes. No harm is done if these are left in the refrigerator longer. Transfer to plate or container.
Makes 63 candies, approximately 1 ¼ pounds (M&Ms can also be used in place of pecans. Hershey’s Kisses, Hugs, etc. can be used in place of Rolos.)

Red Pepper Tenderloin ***

I found this recipe in the newspaper ages ago, and I've kept forgetting to make it.  I love roasted red peppers, so that's what initially drew me to it.  I couldn't find a 2-lb tenderloin, so I used two 1-lb tenderloins instead.  I went with about 4 hours on the cooktime, but that was still too long.  Some of the pieces got a little dry.  The flavor was wonderful, though.  I will definitely try it again, just with an actual 2-lb roast instead.  Even both of the boys asked for seconds!  (By the way, my picture of it sucks, because I had just burned my arm on the oven and was in a rush.  I'll get a better one next time, lol.)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 oz packet ranch dressing mix
1 cup roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup water
8 oz sour cream

Brown tenderloins in a large skillet and place in a sprayed 6-qt slow cooker.
Combine ranch dressing mix, peppers, and water in a bowl; spoon over tenderloin.
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
When ready to serve, remove tenderloin from slow cooker and stir sour cream into sauce. Serve sauce over tenderloin slices.
Yield: 4-6 servings

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sweet Potato Peach Bake **

This wasn't too bad, but it definitely could have been better.  I'm still not sure what size casserole dish they are suggesting, but I used a 9x13.  I really wish I'd cut the yams into smaller pieces.  We did like the flavor, but I was disappointed that the sugar and butter mixture didn't carmelize.  I let it sit for a bit and cool after taking it out of the oven, and it never did thicken.  Just kind of a runny liquid around the potatoes.  I could see this as a start to a good recipe, but lots of changes would need to be made.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Bruce's Yams can)

3 (15-oz) cans Bruce's Cut Yams, drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup broken pecans
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 small can of peach slices, drained
1-1/2 tbsp butter or margarine

Combine brown sugar, pecans, ginger, and salt. Layer half the sweet potatoes in a casserole baking dish, then half the brown sugar mixture. Repeat. Dot with butter. Bake covered in 350* oven for 30 minutes. Uncover. Put sliced peaches on top. Bake 10 minutes longer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Saltine Toffee Cookies/Christmas Crack(le) ****

This is our second year to make Christmas Crack.  It's been called a million things, but we go with Christmas Crackle, because the last thing I need is for the boys to go to school and tell the teachers that Mommy & Daddy made crack over the weekend, lol.  I use milk chocolate chips instead of the semisweet, because that's just my preference.  The youngest doesn't like nuts, so I left them off one end and instead used the little red and green holly sprinkles.  So cute!  Beware, though.  This is mega-addictive.  :-)

Photo courtesy of Allrecipes.com

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Allrecipes.com)

4 ounces saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer.
In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely.
Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.
*If you choose to line the pan before beginning, don't use foil.  It tears too easily and will stick to the crackers.  I had pretty good luck with parchment paper this year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Baker's Salt Dough Ornament Clay ****

We make these every year, but since I've been feeling so puny lately, hubby made them with the kids this past weekend.  They had a blast!  It's fun to look back at the old ones and see how they've improved over the years.  :-)

(Cindy ~ mommy_of_love1)

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/3 cup water

Mix all to form a dough. Add food colorings, if desired, or paint once baked and dry. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters, or shape as desired. Make a hole in the dough, before baking, or insert an ornament hook. Place on foil sheet in pan. Bake in a 275 degree oven, for 1 hr. Once painted and dried, spray with a clear coat varnish, to preserve.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crockpot Cheesy Smoked Sausage and Potato Soup ****

I'm not at all a fan of Velveeta, but this tastes more like a heartier, less cheesy version of hashbrown casserole.  We love it.  This time, I added some instant mashed potato flakes and some milk to thicken it up and stretch it a little further.  It dulls down the cheesiness of it a bit, which makes me happy.  Dh likes it either way, lol.  Definitely the perfect meal for a cold winter night.  :-)  Sadly, it was all gone again before I even remembered to take a picture.  :(  I did find the one below that is similar to it, however.

Photo of a similar recipe on Recipezaar

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 (30 oz) bag frozen shredded hashbrowns
16 oz turkey smoked sausage, cubed
2 (14.5 oz) cans low sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 onion, diced
Pepper, to taste
12 oz light Velveeta cheese

Rinse sausage to remove juice.
Combine everything but Velveeta and one cup of broth in crockpot. Stir well and cook on low 6-7 hours.
30 minutes before serving, cut cheese into cubes and stir into soup. Add remaining broth.  Cover and cook on high 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.