Sunday, May 31, 2015

Amy's Pasta Salad ***

This was wonderful once again.  I love the pepperonis after they've soaked up some of the dressing.  I really didn't make any changes, other than never using the last 1/2 bottle of dressing.  The 1-1/2 was plenty, in my opinion.  I think that any more would have surely overpowered the veggies.  I also used frozen broccoli florettes and cauliflower.  I didn't know if it would work as well, but I steamed them, and it came out just as well as the fresh.  This makes a TON of salad, though.  Perfect for our Memorial Day get together!  It was absolute deliciousness! (For the record, I'm not the "Amy" in the title.  That's pure coincidence, lol.)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

2 bottles Paul Newman Italian salad dressing
2 tomatoes
1 white onion
1 green pepper
1 head cauliflower
1 head broccoli
1 can black olives
1 pkg. tri-colored pasta corkscrew noodles
1 pkg. small pepperoni
1 small-medium container feta cheese
Garlic powder
Parmesan cheese

Cook noodles as directed on package. Steam broccoli and cauliflower until crisp. Cut up all other vegetables, cheese and pepperoni. Mix all of the above in very large bowl. Add 1 bottle dressing, mix well. Add seasonings to your liking. I add it 2-3 times while mixing. Add 1/2 of the second bottle of dressing and mix well. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Add rest of dressing. Great for picnics and large groups!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Crockpot Hamburger Fiesta Casserole ***

This was the culmination of several different Mexican Chicken/Mexican Hamburger casserole recipes.  We ended up really enjoying it.  Unfortunately, we ran way late getting home from the doc with the 11-year-old, so it was drier than I would have liked.  The flavor was fabulous, though.  I want to continue to play with it and see what other changes I can think up, but it's great as-is.  I'll absolutely make it again.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 lb ground turkey or lean beef
1 chopped onion
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 can Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup
1 can mild Rotel
16 oz canned corn, drained
8 oz sliced black olives, drained
1-1/2 cups shredded fiesta blend cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips or corn chips (do not crush)

Brown ground turkey with chopped onion and mushrooms until no longer pink; drain juices.
Stir in soup and Rotel and heat until warm.
Spray crockpot with nonstick spray.
Sprinkle half of the bag of chips into the bottom of the crockpot. Top with half of the corn and half of the black olives.  Follow with 1/2 cup of cheese and half of the meat mixture.
Continue with a second set of layers and top with the final 1/2 cup of cheese.
Cook on high 3 hours or low 5-6 hours.  Serve warm.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Crockpot Brat 'N' Tot ***

This was my attempt at turning my oven version of the Brat 'N' Tot Bake into a crockpot dish.  I've done it before, but the last time, I was limited on time (as usual) and thought I would be brilliant and skip the step of frying the bratwurst by instead using the pre-cooked brats.  Bad idea.  It made for far too much oil in there.  I hadn't thought about it, but frying the brat meat gets the grease out of it.

So this time, I smartened up and stuck with frying the cased brats.  I then put them in a colander and not only drained but also rinsed them well.  SO much more effective.  The amounts are a little different in the crockpot version, simply because I have a big crockpot and didn't want to risk overcooking.  It made for a decent amount of leftovers for lunch, though, so it all worked out.  The only difference was that I doubled the meat and onion and soup.  I kept the tots and sour cream and cheese amounts the same.  I think that next time I might try layering them a bit.  Maybe do tots, brats, soup, tots, and cheese.  We'll see.  It's great just like this, though.  The Brat 'N' Tot Bake is one of hubby's favorites, but with such a long cook time (not even including the prep time of precooking the meat), I don't get to make it very often.  This is a perfect compromise for us.   The flavor of the tots was great, and while they didn't get mushy or anything, they did fall apart a little.  So, this is definitely a keeper for us.  It was yummy and easy, which make it a winner in my book.  ;-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

32 ounces uncooked bratwurst, casings removed (Do NOT use precooked)
1 to 1-1/2 medium onions, chopped
2 (10-3/4 ounce) cans low-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (32 ounce) package tater tots
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Remove bratwurst from casings.  Crumble bratwurst into a large skillet.  Add onions and cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain and rinse in colander.  Add to crockpot, and stir in the soup.  Cover with tater tots.  Spread sour cream on tots, and sprinkle with cheese.  Cook on low 5-6 hours.