Thursday, March 27, 2014

One Pot Tortellini and Sausage in Tomato Cream Sauce **

This one was just okay for me.  The kids and hubby liked it, but it was too salty, in my opinion.  I didn't even add in the salt that it calls for.  I figured the kielbasa would give it plenty of salt on its own, and it does.  It's not that it has a bad taste or anything.  It's just a little too much for me.  Like I said, though, the guys all liked it.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ YellowBlissRoad)

1 lb package of Turkey Kielbasa
1/2 cup diced onion
20 oz. package of refrigerated Tortellini
20 oz can of whole tomatoes, cut in the can with kitchen scissors
1 cup chicken broth or water
Pinch of salt & pepper
2 Tbsp cream cheese
2 cups shredded jack and cheddar cheeses

Cook the onion in a little olive oil until soft. Add sliced turkey sausage and cook until browned. Add chicken broth, tortellini, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is cooked to al dente. Remove from heat and add cheeses, reserving a handful for topping. Cover and let stand for five to ten minutes. Garnish with green onions, if desired. Serve hot.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mushroom Rice ***

This one has been all over Pinterest.  The notes say that you can add chicken, but I honestly don't think it would be all that good with the chicken in it.  I think that the chicken might overpower some of the mushroom flavor.  I made it with brown rice, and even after cooking it an extra 10 minutes, it still was firmer than I would have liked.  I'm going to try it with white rice next time and see how it goes.  The flavor and smell are great, though, and it's a breeze to throw it together.  I would absolutely make it again.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

9 mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 garlic clove
1-1/2 green onion
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups rice
3/4 teaspoon parsley
1-1/2 to taste salt
1-1/2 to taste pepper

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat; cook mushrooms,garlic and onion until mushrooms are cooked and butter evaporated.
Add broth and rice; season with parsley (chopped), salt, and pepper.
Cover and cook on low heat about 15 mins till rice is cooked.
If using as main dish, add cut-up cooked chicken after rice is cooked.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Sandwiches ***

These were yummy.  The 8-year-old (who rarely ever finishes a meal) devoured his.  He practically inhaled it.  I made a few changes, but nothing to really alter the basic recipe.  I forgot to thaw the chicken, so I mixed the sauce up and used 3 frozen breasts.  Then I added an extra hour to the cook time.  It was done perfectly in 7 hours.  I would probably use 4 breasts next time, though.  Tonight, it was just me and the boys eating, so 3 was perfect.  I'd need 4 to have enough for all of us plus leftovers for hubby's lunch.  I used some crusty bolillo rolls.  I didn't want to take the time to put them in the skillet, so I sliced them all in half, used a little spray butter, and stuck them under the broiler long enough to toast them up a bit.  I also added a small tub of sliced fresh mushrooms, since I had some in the fridge that needed to be used up.  I would totally do that again.  They were really, really good in there.  

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ FoodFamilyFinds)

29 ounces canned tomato sauce
14.5 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes
12 ounces canned tomato paste
2 cups sweet yellow onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped (about 2 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (about 6 leaves)
3-4 large THAWED/FRESH boneless, skinless chicken breasts
sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
4-6 hard rolls

Start the slow cooker on low heat.
Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and stir until combined.
Add onions, garlic, stir.
Add parsley, oregano, bay leaves, basil and stir.
Set chicken breast on top of the sauce, sprinkle generously with salt/pepper, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Use two forks to shred the chicken.
Slice the hard rolls in half and toast on a hot buttered skillet.
Use tongs to grab chunks of the chicken, tapping the excess sauce into the pot before adding to your roll.
Top with a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan, sliced mozzarella and serve.
*luckymommyto2boys/Amy's notes: I used frozen breasts and cooked on low for 7 hours.  I also added a small package of sliced fresh mushrooms.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Apple-Pecan Bread Pudding *

I actually made this back in January for my dad.  He loves bread pudding.  I subbed Craisins for the raisins, just because that's my preference.  I'm not a fan of bread pudding in general, so there's that going against it already.  It's kind of a texture thing with me.  The apples and Craisins were absolutely amazing in the sauce.  The bread just wasn't that great.  I used toasted French bread, hoping that it would keep it from getting as mushy.  Didn't work as well as I'd hoped.  My dad seemed to like it, but it's not something I would make again.


Cooking spray
4 cups toasted bread cubes (approximately 8 slices; I used gluten-free bread)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs
2 cups half-and-half

Use a 2-quart slow cooker. Spray your stoneware insert well with cooking spray. Put the toasted bread cubes into your cooker and add the diced apples. Toss the bread and apples with the melted butter. Dump in the pecans, raisins, and brown sugar, and sprinkle in the pumpkin pie spice. Stir gingerly to distribute the ingredients evenly. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and half-and-half, and pour evenly over the top of the assembled ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Your pudding is done when it has browned on top and pulls away from the sides. The center should be set and not super jiggly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream as a dessert or plain for breakfast.
Serves 6

Monday, March 3, 2014

Crockpot Split Pea Soup ****

I haven't made this in several years,  but for some reason, it sounded really good.  We loved it yet again.  I always sprinkle a little bit of cheese on the servings, but this time, I also stirred 8 oz of sour cream into the crockpot before serving.  I figured it might cut some of the spice from the Tony's, while also making the consistency a little creamier.  Yum!  Definitely going to do that again.

Photo of similar recipe from Recipezaar

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 (16 ounce) package dried split peas, rinsed
2 cups diced ham (I rinse mine)
3 carrots, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup chopped celery, chopped (or diced green peppers)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's or seasoning salt
Pepper, to taste
6 cups hot water
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients except the water and the bay leaf in a crockpot.  Do not stir.  Simply pour the water on top of the ingredients to disperse them.  Add bay leaf.
Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours (my preference) or high for 4-5 hours. 
Remove bay leaf before serving.

Previous reviews:
12/7/10 ~ I looked at several split pea soup recipes online and came up with this combination. Dh and I had never tried split pea soup before, so we didn't know what to expect. I hate green peas with a passion, and I always just assumed split pea soup tasted like that, lol. Oh, how wrong I was! Dh and I both LOVED this. The kids had already eaten, so they didn't try it. I would need to cut down on the Tony's or use seasoning salt in its place, since that adds a little spice. The kiddos aren't fond of that kind of thing. I also ended up using chopped green peppers instead of the celery, since I was out of celery. I would gladly do that again. Dh and I gobbled it down, though. I don't even like leftovers normally, and now I'm wishing I hadn't promised dh he could take them to work for lunch tomorrow. :-)

Cake Mix Cookies ***

It's been ages since I've made these, since I rarely have cake mix on hand.  I had a box of cake mix left over from Christmas, and we're iced in for three days with no school.  Figured we could use a little sugar pick-me-up. :-)  This time, I just used yellow cake mix with chocolate chips, but I've made lots of other versions in the past.  We used to love the chocolate mix with the Andes mint chips and the chocolate mix with mini peanut butter cups.  These are no gourmet delight or anything, but they're good nonetheless.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy~

1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, butter and eggs until smooth and well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
* You can use peanut butter chips or raspberry chips and nuts instead. You can also add 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Or you can use another flavor cake mix and omit the chocolate chips. The cake mix, butter and egg mixture is the same for all.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Beer Crockpot Chicken **

This was pretty good.  It smells divine while cooking.  I used a bunch of boneless skinless thighs.  I cooked mine 4 hours on high, and it was a bit too long.  My crock always runs hot, so I think they probably would have been perfect at the 3-hour point.  Because of that, they were kind of dry.  I'm going to try them again with a shorter cook time and see what we think.  The flavor was really pretty good, so it's definitely worth a shot.  There's absolutely no beer flavor to them at all.  I'm not a fan of beer, but I love it when used in cooking.  This didn't disappoint in that respect.  I served it with the Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans, and they went together perfectly.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ MyDailyDish)

4-6 Chicken Breasts or 1 Whole or cut up Chicken
1 Can of any kind of Beer
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
*You can use whatever spices you like

Put all ingredients into crockpot.
If frozen cook on high 4-5 hours or low 8-10.
If fresh cook on high 3-4 hrs or low 7-8 hours.

Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans ****

These are absolutely unbelievable.  I've had Roasted Asparagus and Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli made like this, so I knew I would love the green beans.  Even the hubby raved about them, which is HUGE.  He's not normally a green bean fan, so the fact that he loved them says so much.  The youngest monkey wasn't crazy about them, which really surprised me.  He loved both the asparagus and broccoli recipes, so I really thought he'd like the green beans too.  The oldest one loved them, though.  The parmesan kind of crisps up on the outside of the beans.  The beans themselves are kind of crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.  Just all around yummy veggie goodness.  :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ BudgetSavvyDiva)

8 oz of green beans
Olive oil
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400.
In a medium size mixing bowl place green beans ( trim off ends), small amount of oil ( enough to coat beans), pinch of salt and pepper. Mix till everything is covered.
Lay green beans onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle a “healthy” amount of cheese on top
Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes – green beans should be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
Enjoy ( you can garnish with extra cheese if you like)