Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven ****

I am completely useless when it comes to making hard boiled eggs.  I've tried every trick in the book.  That's why this one stood out for me.  This is absolutely amazing.  I've had it in my "to try" file on Pinterest for ages, but I never got around to doing it.  I ended up cooking mine on 335 for 30 minutes.  They had a few teeny tiny little burned spots, but I could easily pinch those off.  The taste was great, and I loved that I didn't have to waste an egg trying to figure out if they're done or not. 

Picture from The Burlap Bag

(Pinterest ~ originally from The Burlap Bag)

1 dozen eggs
Muffin tin

Preheat oven to 325-350 (depending on the oven.  Place eggs (still in shell) in the muffin tin.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes.  Get a huge bowl of ice water.  Use tongs and put all of the eggs in the water. This stops the eggs from cooking more and getting yucky green. After they are cooled (about 10 minutes), you can peel them.
NOTE: When you bake eggs, the shells will get little brown dots. This is fine.  When you soak them in water the brown spots will all disappear.
*Amy's notes: I cooked mine at 335 for 30 minutes.  I will probably go down to 325 next time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Steamed Butternut Squash ***

Yum, yum, yum!  We just bought some local honey at a harvest festival last weekend, so I've been looking for new recipes to try it in.  This was a total score for me.  The kids didn't love it as much as I did, sadly.  I made it with a Mexican dish, though.  It's possible that the kids just didn't like how they went together, though.  I couldn't help it.  I had a craving.  :-)  I'll give it another shot soon and see how it goes.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Meals for You)

1-1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. honey
1/4 tsp. pepper

Place squash in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover saucepan and steam 10-12 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly to a chunky texture.

Chicken Noodle Parmesan ***

I'm trying to work through some of my older recipes that we haven't had in a while.  We loved this one again.  Next time, though, I want to add some actual steamed broccoli. The kids each ate two helpings, so I would definitely say they approved.  :)  Sadly, the batteries in my camera are completely dead, so I still wasn't able to get a pic.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

4 cups egg noodles (I used whole wheat)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups rotisserie chicken, cubed
1 can (10.75-oz.) cream of broccoli soup
¾ cup milk
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil and brown chicken until no pink is showing. Remove from heat. Stir in broccoli soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, pepper and cooked noodles. Heat gently over medium heat. Serve hot.
Makes 6 Servings

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brat 'N' Tot Bake ***

This is definitely one of our favorite meals.  We haven't had it in a while, but the whole family loves it.  I have no clue why I don't make it more often.  I use lowfat versions of everything, and it doesn't seem to change the outcome.  The funny thing is that I don't think I ever realized how well mushroom flavor goes with bratwurst.  They really blend well together.  I'll have to play with that idea some in the future.  This recipe is perfect as-is, though.  :)  I also have a crockpot version that I love: Crockpot Brat 'N' Tot.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ via Allrecipes.com)

16 ounces uncooked bratwurst, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (32 ounce) package tater tots
2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Crumble bratwurst into a large skillet; add onion. Cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Top with Tater Tots and sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
*Amy's notes: See also the Crockpot Brat 'N' Tot.

Spanakoryzo (Spinach and Rice) ***

I've been craving spinach like mad lately.  I didn't want to waste fresh spinach on anything like creamed spinach, since that would totally do the opposite.  I thought of just sauteeing it, but I really wanted something new and different.  And then I remembered this one from last year.  It is so good!  I use brown rice, which adds to the flavor perfectly.  Of course, it doesn't fluff up as well as white, so that's a bummer.  I still stick with the brown, though, just because I like the nutty flavor next to the spinach.  Sauteeing the onion with the rice in the beginning gives them a little bit of a sweet, carmelized flavor.  For the last half of the part where I was sauteeing the rice with the onion, I added a container of sliced mushrooms.  Totally made the meal.  My KIDS even gushed about it!  For the water, I use boiling water and just add chicken bouillion granules.  I really don't think it would be as good with just the water.  Last time, it was a little too oily for me, so I cut the olive oil down to 1-1/2 tbsp.  Perfect.  Overall, this is a winner with us.  I plan on making this many, many times.  :)

Photo courtesy of Recipezaar.com

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ Recipezaar.com)

1 cup uncooked rice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups boiling water or chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 lb fresh spinach

Saute rice and onion in olive oil , stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add boiling water and salt; simmer covered for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash spinach well then cut into 1/2" strips (you can roll a group of leaves together and cut into strips).
After rice has simmered for 10 minutes add spinach and mix well, cover and continue to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
* Amy's notes: I cut the oil to 1-1/2 tbsp, cut the salt to 1 tsp, and add a carton of sliced mushrooms for the last 5 minutes of the first step.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Deep Dish French Bread Pizza ***

These were actually pretty good.  My rolls were a bit too long and skinny to make it an easy task to hollow them out, though.  But that fact aside, we all enjoyed them.  With the hollowing out of the rolls, it can be a little time-consuming, but as long as you stick to a night when you have a bit of wiggle room, it's still doable.  Even better would be if you could hollow them out the weekend before, but that takes way too much forethought for yours truly.  :)

Photo courtesy of Batter Up and Fry

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ via Batter Up and Fry)

For the sauce:
1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 t. dried oregano
½ t. salt
½ t. sugar
¼ t. fresh ground pepper

For the pizzas:
5 club rolls, 5-6” each
1 TB cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
4-5 button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
20 slices pepperoni
2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the can of crushed tomatoes into a small bowl. Finely mince the garlic and toss in with the tomatoes. Stir in the oregano, salt, sugar and pepper. Set aside.
Prepare the rolls: Cut off just the very top crust of the roll. Use your fingers to pull out the bread from inside the roll, creating a bowl. Be careful not to pull too much off from close to the sides and bottom as you don’t want the ingredients to leak out. You will want the sides and bottom to be about ½-3/4” thick.
Heat the cooking oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add the ground beef to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Break up the meat as it cooks with a wooden spoon, stirring frequently until the meat is no longer pink. Remove from the heat and drain using a metal colander. Set aside.
Place the “bread bowls” onto a baking sheet. Spread the bottom of each with a good portion of the sauce. Then divide the ground beef mixture among the rolls (you don’t want these to over flow too much, so use less beef if necessary). Layer the mushrooms and the pepperoni on top of the beef. Now top the each bun with the mozzarella cheese. The mixture/cheese should come just barely above the top of the bun as it will sink a little as it cooks.
Cook the deep dish pizzas for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling, the bread is slightly toasted, and the ingredients are warmed through. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 5