Saturday, November 22, 2014

Enchilada casserole

I love enchiladas, all kinds, beef, chicken, ground beef the list goes on and on.  What I don't like so much is all the work involved in rolling them all up.  It is a little time consuming and with  3 kiddos including a 4 year old, full time college, husband, house etc... time sometimes is not what I have a whole lot of quantity of ...LOL  With that being said, I thought, hmmm I wonder if there is a way to get the delicious flavor & taste of enchilada with a little less time consuming work.  That is how this recipe was born, and boy did it turn out and taste great with little to no fuss and mess which is a win win in my book :)

I use mild enchilada sauce but use what your family likes.  Also, I use a mexican blend cheese but you can use any type of cheese you like, cheddar, co-jack anything works.  I also topped mine with a little finely sliced green onion, but a red/purple onion will work fine too. I also serve with sour cream but again it is optional. If you like it spicer/hotter add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your meat mixture.
For the tortillas, I used flour cut into quarters, next time I am not even bothering to cut them up I will just tear them into pieces.

**Note...Also, I used about 1/4 cup chopped red/green/yellow peppers and onions mixed.  Whenever I am cutting up peppers and onions for anything(making  pasta salads, fajitas or stuffed peppers etc) I reserve about 1/3 cup (combined onions & peppers) you really don't miss it in your original recipe, and it is so nice to have this mixture already chopped up in the fridge to use in recipes for example chili, frittatas, to add to scrambled eggs, or enchiladas ;)  .  I just put it in a covered plastic container in the fridge.  You will be amazed how much you use this and it's nice that it's already chopped up ready to go.

Make this today, you will love it.. enjoy

Enchilada casserole

1 lb ground beef ( I use 90% lean)
2 small cans enchilada sauce
1/4 cup pepper/onions cut up **see note
1 clove garlic minced
small package of flour tortillas (I used 12)
1 package shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
1 cup frozen corn
sour cream & thinly sliced green onions for topping

seasonings of your choice ( I used 1/2 tsp each cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic & onion powder, a pinch of cayenne, seasoned salt & pepper to taste)

In a large frying pan add ground beef, garlic and peppers/onions, (when meat is half way cooked add frozen corn) browning over medium heat till browned.  Drain mixture if desired (I use lean beef so I don't drain it).  Add seasonings and 1/3 cup enchilada sauce to the meat, stirring well.  In baking dish place a thin layer of enchilada sauce, then cover with tortillas in an even layer overlapping slightly if needed.  Add 1/2 the meat mixture.  Spoon 1/4 cup sauce over meat, and top with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat layers.  Place final layer of tortillas over the top and drizzle with the last of the sauce.  With a spoon spread the sauce evenly over the top, and sprinkle with the last 1/3 of the cheese.  Cover pan tightly with foil and bake (Place on a cookie sheet to avoid any bubble overs) for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown, remove from oven.  Serve with sour cream and top with green onions.    Enjoy

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Salmon patties

I love salmon patties... but whenever I order them out ..not so much do I love them... they usually don't have much flavor and I am all about flavor...give me some spices, and good things start to happen wink...

I have never made salmon patties like this before, but I thought what the heck..see I had some leftover sausage stuffing (or some people call it dressing).  I doctored up a box of stuffing with extra onion, celery and browned sausage (I used Bob Evans regular in the white package).  and I never want stuffing to go to waste.  It is one my favorite things ever.  I like it from scratch, out of a box, etc doesn't matter I love it...
Anyways, I needed a binder to make the salmon patties have flavor and stick together, and  while I was looking in the fridge it hit me, why not try the leftover sausage stuffing.  I thought what the heck, if it doesn't turn out it's all good, I will know for next time.. I love experiments in the kitchen, you come up with all kinds of good stuff (when they turn out that )

I added finely minced green pepper & onion (optional), thinking next time a little finely minced jalapeno would be good too. Also, I drained a can of salmon and removed any skin, grey meat and or bones that were in there and just flaked it with my hands. Also, I used Ritz crackers but any type of cracker crumbs or bread crumbs will work out just fine.  Good with a squeeze of lemon over when done.

Make these today...enjoy

Salmon patties

1 can salmon, drained and any skin, grey meat or bones removed, flaked
2 T. each finely diced green pepper & onion
3 T. mayo
1/2 t mustard
1 1/2 cups prepared leftover stuffing mix (cold from the fridge)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 to a 1/2 sleeve crushed cracker crumbs
olive oil & butter for sauting
Sseasonings of your choice ( I used 1/2 tsp each onion & garlic powder, and a little seasoned salt & cracked pepper)

In a large bowl add all of the ingredients (except olive oil & butter).  Mix well with a fork and shape into patties.  Heat olive oil and a little butter in a skillet, and when hot add patties pressing down when putting in the pan.  Heat till golden brown on one side, and carefully flip over when done, pressing second side down to a flat layer.  Cook until golden brown.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate.  Enjoy

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I love Ponsett.  Oh what is ponsett you are asking?  It is a bacon, egg & rice dish that is so heavenly and super easy to make. Its kind of like bacon fried rice.   My mom got this recipe from a friend of hers, who her friend had a friend from India who gave her this recipe.  Even my husband goes, not sure I will like it, once trying it says man, that is good.  And my 4 year old Jackson, once he tried it wants it every day...LOL so it must be good.

I also add onion & garlic to this which my mom doesn't do, but I think it adds more flavor, and I am all about flavor!!

I use instant rice, use your favorite brand.

**NOTE**  I usually use a couple of bouillon cubes (cause I always am running out of stock), but you can use beef broth/stock instead . If using bouillon cubes I take a big pyrex glass measuring cup, measure 2 cups of water and put the unwrapped bouillon cubes in an heat for about 4 minutes in the microwave.  Take out and with a spoon,crush and stir the bouillon cubes to dissolve.  If using broth, heat for 2-3 minutes in the microwave.

 Also, I use about 4-5 slices of bacon (and I use my favorite bacon, Wright brand  which is thick and yummy, but if you are using really thin bacon use about 1/2 package.
Make this today.. Enjoy


4-5 slices thick bacon, sliced thin
4 eggs, beaten seasoned with a little salt & pepper
2 cups beef broth (or can use 2 cups of water and 2 beef bouillon cubes) **see note
2 cups minute rice
1/2 onion, finely chopped

*seasonings of your choice.. I use 1/4 tsp garlic & onion powder, sprinkle of seasoned salt & pepper

In large pan over medium high heat, add bacon & onions stirring often, cooking till about 3/4 of the way done.  Add beaten eggs, stirring constantly till eggs are set and done.  Add heated broth, rice and seasoning stirring mixture well.  Bring to a simmer then cover pan and turn heat down to medium low and cook for 10 minutes stirring often.  After 10 minutes remove lid and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes till everything is hot and rice is done.  Remove from heat, taste adjust any seasonings and enjoy...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Creamy rice pudding

I love rice pudding... my mom makes a really good baked one, and I sometimes do a really super easy cheater type recipe using cooked or instant vanilla pudding and add a little whipped cream, a splash of vanilla and cooked rice to it, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on it. 

But sometimes nothing will work but an old fashioned cooked from scratch kind of something.  You can use already cooked rice, or make it easy on yourself the next time you get Chinese takeout get an extra quart of rice and make this rice pudding.  Easy, yummy and ready in about 10-15 minutes, then you can eat it hot, or let it chill however you like it. 

**NOTE** I  put the cinnamon shaker on the table and let each person add it if they like it to their own serving.  You can also use soaked raisins (I add a little water & vanilla and put them in the microwave for 15-30 seconds to heat them up and let them soak for 10 minutes, then I drain off the liquid.  Not everyone in my family likes cinnamon or raisins, so it is up to you to use them if you like them. I also like to add a little whipped cream to the top, but again it is up to you...make this today... YUM

Creamy rice pudding

3 cups cooked rice
3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 t vanilla (divided)
1 t butter
1 egg, beaten
pinch of salt

(**see note, cinnamon, raisins, whipped cream if you are using)

In saucepan, add rice, milk, sugar, pinch of salt, 1 1/2 t vanilla and beaten egg.  Bring to a boil over medium heat whisking/stirring very frequently.  When mixture is boiling turn heat down to a simmer (make sure mixture is still simmering) and simmer for around 10 minutes, making sure to whisk/stir about every minute or so, cause it will burn quickly.  Cook until mixture is thickened.  Remove from heat.  Serve or place in fridge in a bowl and let cool.  Serve... use cinnamon, raisins or whipped cream if desired.  Enjoy

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homemade granola bars

I love granola bars.. but they sure can be expensive and not so tasty..I have thrown many a package of yucky granola bars away.  Some taste like sawdust, or like are completely tasteless which who wants to eat something tasteless...I love flavor.... so I have been on a non stop search to make my own..  This recipe is one I came up with after researching many bar recipes and seeing ingredients that I either didn't like, or couldn't find.  

I used dried cranberries, but any dried fruit, think dried apples and pumpkin pie spice for fall, or dried mixed berries, or blueberries or dried strawberries for spring or summer.  Next time I am going to try and incorporate peanut butter and some peanuts for some of the nuts.  I used whole almonds, but use any kind of nuts that you like, pecans, peanuts, walnuts anything will work, use your imagination and what you have on hand. Also thinking chocolate chips in here would be yummy too, maybe a little cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon the possibilities are endless..

**NOTE** ...I also heat up the sweetened condensed milk a little to make it easier to mix together with the oatmeal mixture, otherwise all of the ingredients don't get coated properly, and are too dry.

Whatever you use, make these for your family today...enjoy :)

Homemade granola bars

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups coconuts, shredded or flaked
1 1/2 cups nuts ( I used whole almonds)
1 cup cranberries
pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 250.  Line a 13x9 pan with foil overhanging the edges for easy removal and spray with nonstick spray.

In saucepan put sweetened condensed milk, salt & vanilla.  Heat over medium low until mixture is thinned  out a little, not till bubbling but warmed through.

In a very large bowl, add oats, coconut, nuts, cranberries, and mix with a big spoon.  Pour milk mixture over the oat mixture and mix well.  Dump mixture onto 13x9 pan and spread out in an even layer with a spatula.  Bake for about an hour.  Immediately remove from pan lifting foil out and letting cool on a flat surface.  Let cool about 10-15 minutes and cut into bars... Can wrap individually and put into lunches or snack etc.  Enjoy

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Breakfast bake

Oh my gosh... I just made the most wonderful blueberry breakfast bake.  I got the recipe from my friend Amy (thanks for sharing it Amy :) she posted a pic on facebook and I knew I had to know more of what was in that yummy looking goodness....

Well and you all know me.. I had to put a little of my own spin on it...and it turned out great... I used fresh blueberries in it, she used frozen fruit, it's all good, canned, frozen, fresh equals YUMMY!!! My family was impressed, and my husband called me a "rockstar".. LOL so ya honey....

You can double the recipe & use a sprayed 13x9 dish, and just bake it a little longer.  I thought next time I am doing exactly that cause we ate the entire dish.. I served this with smoky links, ( I just put them in a pan in the oven about 1/2 way thru the baking time (line the pan with foil for easy clean up).  Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of powdered sugar... Make this today... enjoy

Breakfast bake

3/4 loaf cinnamon swirl bread ( I used Pepperidge Farms)
3/4-1 cup of milk
6 eggs
1 T vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen will work too)
1/2 cup sugar
For serving:
maple syrup
powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Tear bread into chunks and place 1/2 into baking dish, sprinkle with the blueberries, and top with the remaining bread (some blueberries will be showing and that is fine).  Whisk eggs, sugar & vanilla mixing well.  Add 3/4cup milk and whisk well.  Pour egg custard mixture over the bread/blueberries.  With hands press down the bread soaking up the custard.  If it still looks a little dry drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of milk over the bread mixture.  Place in oven and bake around 35-40 minutes until it is puffed and light golden brown.  Remove from oven and drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Re-purposed" chicken enchiladas

What to do with leftovers...hmmm that is the age old question.. and it seems like I always have a dab of this or a dab of that, and I HATE throwing away food.  There are so many hungry people out there, and with food prices skyrocketing, I try and be careful. 

We had company over the other day, and he stated that when he was growing up, they could throw nothing away from their dinner plates.  If they took it, they had to finish it, he remembered sitting for 3 hours at the dinner table trying to finish what was on his plate. He said that his family grew up without much money, and wasting food was out of the question... certainly though provoking...

Anyway, I had leftover cooked chicken, leftover rice, a small bit of leftover tomatoes & vegetables so my thought was enchiladas... So I put everything in a pan, added some cream of chicken soup, sour cream, seasonings, white wine and voila... enchilada filling.  I rolled everything up in flour tortillas, topped with enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese.. baked them in the oven... delicious... I served these with sour cream on the side, but that is totally optional. 

For the chicken, I had leftover chicken thighs, but you can use any cooked chicken, rotisserie, baked, broiled, boiled etc.  I also use mild enchilada sauce from a can, but you can use hot, or whatever your family likes.  Make these today.. so good....Enjoy

2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2-3 cups leftover cooked rice
1/4 cup white wine
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup, leftover cooked veggies ( I had a tomato, corn, okra mix)
Flour tortilla
1 small can enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded cheese ( I used a Mexican blend)
 1/2 cup Sour cream (PLUS more for serving)

seasonings of your choice ( I used Cumin, onion & garlic powder, pepper)

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
In large pan over medium high heat, add chicken, veggies & rice and start heating up.  Then add wine, soup & seasonings and heat over heat until bubbly.  Turn off heat & stir in 1/2 cup sour cream.  On a plate place a tortilla, then add a couple of spoonfuls of filling mixture into the center and roll the tortillas up like a burrito, placing seam side down in a baking dish. Continue until all of the filling is used. Slowly pour the enchilada sauce over the enchilada, and if necessary with a spoon cover all completely.  Bake for around 30-35 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and place in the oven for a few minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and serve with sour cream on the side.  Enjoy