Friday, February 25, 2011

Ham Tetrazinni

I've made Chicken Tetrazinni before, and we really enjoyed it! When I'm menu planning each week, I try to incorporate different kinds of meat than just chicken and beef. I got a good deal on some hams a few weeks ago, so right now I'm really enjoying incorporating ham into our meals. Since the Chicken Tetrazinni was such a big hit, I decided that the Ham Tetrazinni will most likely go over well also. I have to admit that I'm pretty sure we love the Ham version much better than the chicken version! I found this recipe over at Allrecipes - I just love their ingredient search so I can type in what I have and it spits out all kinds of great recipes for me, which is nice when I don't want to make a run to the store just for one recipe. Anyways, here's the recipe, with my changes.

No photo available, sorry!


2 T dried minced onion
1 T butter
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c water
1/2 c shredded mozzerella cheese
1 c diced ham
1/2 box spaghetti
1/2 t dried parsley


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute chopped onion in butter until tender. Stir in cream of mushroom soup, water, and shredded cheese. Heat mixture until cheese melts, stirring often. Add ham, cooked and drained pasta, chopped pimento, and chopped parsley to saucepan; stir until heated through. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monkey Muffins

I like to make a "special" breakfast on the days of "special" events and holidays. Birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, New Years Day, get the idea. This is something new that I've added to my list of possibilities. It is basically monkey bread in muffin form. I really like having "individual" monkey bread's to pass out because then I'm not as tempted to eat the entire pan in one sitting. And thus ruin every second of The 30 Day Shred that I've ever completed.

This recipe is a combination of two that I found - the dough portion is The Frugal Girl's recipe and the remainder of the recipe is from Pioneer Woman Cooks. You don't have to make the dough from scratch - you can buy a loaf of frozen bread or a can of refrigerated biscuits and either will work just fine for this recipe!  


*for dough*
2 1/4 t. active dry yeast (equals one packet)
1/4 c warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 1/4 c warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/3 c butter, melted
1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t salt
4 1/2 - 5 c all purpose flour
*for "glaze"*
Ground Cinnamon

In a stand mixer, let yeast dissolve in 1/4 cup of water. Add in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter and 3 cups of flour. Beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed for 3 minutes. Add in enough remaining flour to create a soft dough. Dump dough onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes. Place dough back in bowl, cover with a wet tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft free place. Let rise for one hour, or until doubled.

Punch dough down, roll into 40 balls and set aside.

Add 1/2 teaspoon butter to muffin tins. Sprinkle in sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough into walnut sized balls (or cut refrigerated biscuit dough into thirds). Place three into each muffin tin. Top with 1/2 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle on more sugar and cinnamon. Allow dough to rise for 30 minutes and then bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Basic Sandwich Bread

When I found this recipe over at The Frugal Girl (over a year ago) I decided to give it a shot. We liked the occaisonal loaf of homemade bread, but I never was too keen on the whole kneading thing, so I attempted it in my bread machine. It was one big.fat.flop. So I threw it away and never attempted again.

Fast forward a year and I was itchin' to try and make sandwich bread again so I could break free from the chains of having to buy bread at the store each week. I tried it just like Ms. Frugal herself and used the KitchenAid for the mixing, and then I kneaded the dough by hand. I know. Stop.the.World.

But guess what?!? It turned out FABULOUSLY! And it was EASY! And my arm muscles are getting so much more defined now that I knead our own bread! Okay, that last one may be more credit to Jillian than to the bread, but whatev.

So, we no longer purchase bread at the store. I just make a batch of this each Monday morning and we're good to go for the week. Don't be discouraged if this bread doesn't turn out 100% wonderful after your first, second or even tenth try. It takes practice. And experience. But you'll get the hang of it. The more you learn, the better it will turn out! So get kneading!

And here are some of Frugal Girl's "pointers" posts about bread baking, which have helped to improve my bread baking skills TREMENDOUSLY!!

How to Knead Bread Dough
A Lesson on Gluten
Gluten and Kneading
Troubleshooting Yeast Bread I
Troubleshooting Yeast Bread II
Does Homemade Bread Save Money?


5 3/4-6 1/4 c. All-Purpose Flour
2 1/4 t. (equivalent to one packet) Active Dry Yeast
2 1/4 c. Water
2 T. Sugar
1 T. Vegetable Oil
2 t. Salt


In a large standing mixer bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of flour and yeast. In the microwave, heat water, sugar, oil, and salt to 115-120 degrees (use a candy thermometer for this). Add hot liquids to flour and yeast. Beat at low speed until combined, then beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Add enough additional flour to make a soft, but kneadable dough, and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Put dough back into mixing bowl, cover with wet tea towel, and let rise in a warn, draft free place for 1 hour. Punch dough down, divide into two pieces, and roll into a rectangle, about 6″x18″. Starting from the short end, roll up jelly-roll style and place into two greased 4×8 inch loaf pans. Cover with wet tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft free place for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lasagne Soup

In the cold months of fall and winter, I like to serve soup at least once per week. It's such a warm me up dish that is absolutely delicious with homemade bread or rolls. However, by mid January I was getting a little tired of the same ol', same ol' soups week in and week out. It seems that my husband is rather picky when it comes to soup and I found myself making Chili, Vegetable Beef Soup and Potato Soup most of the time. Then, Real Mom Kitchen had "Soup Week" in January, and shared the recipe for this Lasagne Soup. I had to have it. I knew it was a MUST try! We love lasagne, we love soup...what's NOT to love about this recipe? I changed her recipe from being a stovetop prep to Slow Cooker and I served this soup up with Parmesan Knots (recipe coming soon!) and it was the perfect solution to a perfectly cold day!


- 1 lb. ground beef
- 3 T.  dried, minced onion
- 3 T. Garlic Powder
- 1 t. Thyme
- 1 T. packed Brown Sugar
- 4 cups of Chicken Broth
- 2, (14.5 ounce) cans Diced Tomatoes
- 2, (8 ounce) cans Tomato Sauce
- 2 t. Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 t. Salt
- 2 c. uncooked shaped pasta
- 1/2 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a skillet, brown ground beef, then add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. Drain well and put in crockpot. Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. In the last thirty minutes of cooking, add cooked pasta to soup and stir in Parmesan cheese.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coffee Jell-O

This is another recipe that I found in the most recent issue of Taste of Home. We had company over for supper last weekend - company who LOOOOOOVES coffee, so I decided that the time was right to test out this recipe. It went over well - everyone said it truly tastes like coffee, BUT (there's always a "but" isn't there?), it's too "weird". They said that coffee in "jiggly" form just isn't quite right somehow - SO, whilest it was a good attempt, I probably won't be making this dish again. But if you can get over the "weird" texture of this, then I'd say it's a keeper!


1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
1/4 c. cold water
1 1/2 c. brewed coffee
1/4 c. sugar
Whipped Cream


In a saucepan, sprinkle packet of gelatin in 1/4 cup of water, let stand for one minute. Stir in brewed coffee and sugar. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour into serving dish of choice. Cover and refrigerate until set. Garnish with Cool Whip before serving.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rotisserie Style Chicken - in the Crockpot!

I found some whole chickens for a very good price at Target a few weeks back, and there they have sat in my deep freeze ever since - just waiting for the perfect recipe to come and save them! That's where A Year of Slow Cooking came to the rescue (again! She is brilliant with crockpot recipes!). We LOVE us some rotisserie chicken, and I usually just purchase the marked down birds that didn't sell the day before at Fareway - only $3.99 and all I have to do is heat it up! This was was cheaper (because I got the birds on sale) and (I think) much more delicious. Probably because the labor of love was involved ;) This really couldn't get any easier (well, except for buying it hot and ready from the grocery store...but homemade wise, I mean!) and is a super delicious, moist, falling off the bone meal to make for your loved ones!


--1 Whole Chicken, skinned (4-5 pounds)
--2 tsp Kosher Salt (3 tsp. if you like them as salty as in the store)
--1 tsp Paprika
--1 tsp Onion Powder
--1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
--1 tsp Italian Seasoning
--1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
--1/2 tsp Black Pepper
-- Pinch of Chili Pepper


Skin the chicken and get rid of the neck and other stuff from the cavity. This takes awhile - so be prepared to spend a little time getting down and dirty with this chicken. If skin doesn't bother you - or if you'd PREFER to have it on the bird - then by all means don't skin it. Just pull the yuckies out from inside the chicken.

In a bowl, combine all of dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crockpot.
Do not add water.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.

Be sure to check out Foodie Friday over at Designs bt Gollum!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Garlic-y Potato Rolls

I found this recipe over at The Frugal Girl. She is a baking whiz! I have started to work very hard at becoming as talented at bread baking as she is, and I must say that I'm catching on pretty quickly! I have even started to make all of our own sandwich bread, so we don't have to purchase it at the store anymore (I'll share that recipe soon!). These rolls are super great, and very easy to whip up a batch of! We like to eat these rolls with just about anything! They are very soft and flaky, and the garlic potato flakes add just the slightest hint of a garlic flavor to these rolls. You don't have to use garlic flavored potato flakes to make these rolls, any flakes will do, I just like to use the garlic variety for just a hint of flavor to the rolls. As is the case with any bread, these are best eaten fresh from the oven - but they are mighty delicious later on as well!

3-1/2 to 4 c. All-Purpose Flour
1 T. Sugar
2 1/4 t. active dry yeast (equal to 1 packet)
3/4 t. salt
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. instant potato flakes
2 eggs

In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat water, milk, and butter until very warm (120° F). Stir in potato flakes; let soften 1 minute. Stir into dry ingredients. Stir in 1 egg and beat for several minutes. Add enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Place dough in bowl, cover, and let rise 1 hour.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 6-inch rope. Coil each rope to make “snail” shape. Arrange 12 rolls in a circle on large greased baking sheet with sides barely touching; repeat with remaining rolls. Cover rolls and let rise 30 minutes.
Lightly beat remaining egg; brush over rolls. Bake at 375° F for 15 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack

To see more great recipes, be sure to check out the Ultimate Recipe Swap over at Life as Mom!
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