Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Easy Cheese Bread

This easy bread goes well with most dishes, particularly spaghetti and lasagna. Buy a freshly baked loaf of French bread and dress it up with a few ingredients.

Cheese Bread
4 servings

1 unsliced loaf (about 1/2 to 1 pound) French bread
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Slice the bread lengthwise; place the cut side up on a baking sheet.
2. Pour the melted butter on the cut surfaces; sprinkle with half of the Italian seasoning.
3. Top with the mozzarella cheese and remaining Italian seasoning.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and cut into slices.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Homemade Stuffing

I have become a snob when it comes to my stuffing/dressing choices in that I will pretty much only eat homemade. I know, so picky!! In the past, I thought it would have been a difficult thing to make, but in reality it is quite easy. I found this recipe a while back in an old cookbook and usually half it unless we are having more people.

Homemade Stuffing
8 servings

30 slices white bread, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of salt and pepper

1. Toast the bread and allow it to sit for half a day to harden.
2. Crush the bread crumbs with a rolling pin and place in a large bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a skillet and stir in the onion and celery, cooking until both are soft.
4. Mix the eggs and chicken broth in with the bread crumbs. At this point, the consistency of the mixture should be moist, but not mushy. If needed, use a little bit of water at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
5. Mix in the onion, celery, rubbed sage, garlic powder, and salt/pepper.
6. Press the mix into a greased 9X13 inch baking pan.
7. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until the top is brown and crisp.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

M&M Cookies

I love these cookies and have been making them forever. When I was little, my mom always made them and let me help and now I enjoy making these cookies for my own kids. It is so easy to coordinate them to whatever holiday is around the corner with the various holiday-colored M&Ms.

M&M Cookies
Makes about 5-6 dozen

1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups M&Ms
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1. Blend shortening and sugars in a large bowl.
2. Beat in the vanilla and eggs.
3. Mix together the dry ingredients.
4. Add to the sugar mixture, blending well.
5. Stir in 2 cups of candies.
6. Drop by teaspoon on an ungreased baking sheet.
7. Decorate the tops with the remaining candy.
8. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crockpot of Brats

Cooking brats in the slow cooker makes for a hearty fall meal. Add some bread and a salad and you have a full dinner. Not everyone in our family likes sauerkraut, so I do not add it to the slow cooker, but heat some up before the brats are done to add to individual plates.

Crockpot of Brats
6 servings

5 brats
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
1/3 cup diced onion
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a large skillet, brown bratwurst on all sides and slice into 1-inch pieces.
2. In a 5-quart crockpot, combine the remaining ingredients; stir in the brats.
3. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on HIGH or until the potatoes are tender.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sausage Bites

With the holidays fast approaching, it is always helpful to have a few quick and easy appetizer recipes to pull out for get togethers and parties. Sausage Bites can be put together easily; however make sure to cook or microwave the sausage ahead of rolling them up. I forgot this important part the first time I made them and could not figure out why the sausage was still pink inside. DUH!!

Sausage Bites
Approximately 40 appetizers

1 tube (7 1/2 ozs.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3-4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1 pkg. (8 ozs.) brown and serve sausage links

1. Roll out each biscuit into a small circle and brush with butter.
2. Combine the Parmesan cheese and oregano and sprinkle over butter.
3. Cook the sausage links according to the package directions.
4. Place a sausage link in the center of each and roll up.
5. Cut each width-wise into four pieces.
6. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Spicy Garlic Chicken Pizza

I love this pizza, the flavors are great together and it is a unique take on the normal pizza recipe. It may seem a little weird to add pine nuts, but they really do add to the overall flavor. I have been making it for years and have tweaked the original recipe a few times.

Spicy Garlic Chicken Pizza
6-8 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared garlic
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
16 oz. Italian pizza shell
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts

1. Brown chicken and cut into small pieces.
2. Combine the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar with olive oil and red and black pepper.
3. Add chicken to the mixture and marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature.
4. Drain and reserve marinade.
5. Heat the marinade and add cornstarch, heating until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
6. Spread the marinade and chicken over the pizza shell.
7. Add the pine nuts and cheeses.
8. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blueberry Jello Salad

Blueberry Jello Salad is a very easy fruit salad that works well with any meal and is a nice addition to take to holiday gatherings.

6-8 servings
2 packages (3 ounces each) black cherry or black raspberry jello
3 cups boiling water
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice
1 can (15 ounces) blueberries, drained

1. Dissolve jello in boiling water.
2. Drain pineapple, set aside and stir in reserved pineapple juice to the jello mixture.
3. Chill until slightly set (about the consistency of an unbeaten egg white).
4. Stir in pineapple and blueberries
5. Continue chilling until set.