Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Crock Pot Pizza Casserole

Tried yet another Pinterest pin for dinner last night. I personally wasn't a huge fan but husband ate 3 huge helpings. That's more than rare.. It's unheard of! So, in light of THAT I figured it warranted a post :)

The actual recipe hails from Moms With Crock Pots blog. I changed my recipe a bit because I knew my crock pot and I've made a few recipes like it. Click the link above to see the original recipe.






Ingredients

    1 Box Spiral Pasta Uncooked and rinsed (As you can see in the pictures, I was out of spiral so really, Anything you want will work)
    1 pound lean ground beef
    1 onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    1 cup sliced pepperoni
    1/2 tsp basil
    1 tsp Italian seasoning
    1 Small Can tomato Paste
    1 small jar of pizza sauce (I used Ragu)
    3 Cups water
    2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese divided

Optional ingredients

You can subsitute 1 pound of beef for half a pound of ground beef and sausage
olives
Canadian bacon
Fresh mushrooms
or any other ingredient you like on your pizza!
Directions

    Spray Large Crockpot with non-stick spray
    In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef onion, pepper, garlic, basil and italian seasoning. Drain excess fat.**Don't forget this step. Especially if you're using sausage.
     
Rinse pasta and place in the crock-pot and combine all ingredients except cheese. Once well mixed, top with 1 cup of mozzarella. Let cook on low for about 1-2 hours or until noodles are cooked. 10 minutes before serving, stir inside the crock pot and then add remaining cheese. Let melt and then serve.

I also fixed a salad and cheesy bread to go along with dinner. Kept the feel of eating pizza pasta. 

One of these times I will post my recipe for my salad dressing. It's sure to please! 

Let me know if it works out! 

K.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dinner of grease

Have you ever just eaten everything fried for a meal? I have at restaurants but never at home. I'm not too big a fan of fried foods myself. I swear I can just feel the oil congeal and sit in my stomach. Ugh... I so should not have said that. That didn't stop me tonight though. My husband and I bought a fryer yesterday. We were supposed to buy it when we received our tax return but some rather large bills came up preventing THAT from happening. 

So we broke in our new fryer and it was A-MAZING! Dinner and dessert was done in 35 minutes! (not counting prep time.. about 15min) My fries alone (Cooked in oil in a soup pan over the cooktop) usually take 30 minutes. Like I said, I'm not a big fried food person but it was so easy and I can't help but think of all the things I can fry at home now. (Fish and Chips here I come!)







We fixed homemade corndogs, (no, I didn't make the weiner :P) french fries and donuts made from refrigerated biscuits. SO much fun and SO fast. I'll admit pretty much everything I made I got the recipe from Pinterest. I'll be sure to give credit to everyone that definitely deserves it.  

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My recipe for the corndogs came from Lauren's Latest Blog. I followed the recipe to a tee but I think it needs to be a little thicker so I will be adjusting the next time I fry corndogs. 

Ingredients:
1-16 oz. package Hot Dogs {8 wieners}
3/4 cup dry cornbread mix
4 tablespoons corn starch+ extra for coating
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
Canola or Vegetable Oil for frying (I use Veggie oil)

Directions:
Pour oil into fryer or pot and heat to 375 degrees.


Take wieners and push stick 3/4 way into it. (Wooden skewers cut it half, small popsicle sticks or cake pop sticks work just fine.} Coat hot dogs in corn starch and dust or wipe off with your finger to get a thin, even coating. (Too much cornstarch and the batter doesn't stick - I learned the hard way) Set aside.

In large bowl, stir all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Create a well in the middle and pour in egg and milk. Stir slowly until batter is thick and mixed evenly. Slowly dip a prepared hot dog into the batter and hold it there about 5 seconds. Very slowly remove hot dog from batter to keep it coated entirely. If you can start to see parts of the hot dog as you remove it from the bowl, spoon more batter over to coat entirely. Rotate coated hot dog over bowl to remove any excess batter and then slowly and carefully drop into hot oil. Totally okay if your 'dogs look a little deformed. After a few more times you will get the hang of it.  

Fry 4-6 minutes, rotating occasionally for an even fry until batter is a deep golden color and the hot dog is hot.
You can fry as many corn dogs as you like per batch as long as the temperature does not drop below 350 degrees.

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My french fries were pretty simple but I used seasoning called "House Seasoning" from Paula Deen. Really amazing. Actually the best season fries I've ever had. 

Ingredients

3-4 Large Russet Potatoes

House Seasoning
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Peel potatoes, cut in half and then into strips. Can be as thick and wide as you want them. Soak potato strips in water for 10-15 minutes until you're ready to fry. 

Be sure potatoes are as dry as possible before frying or else you will be burned. Fries have enough moisture in them without being coated in water. 

I fry my potatoes for about 5-7 minutes or until crispy on the edges. If you're frying over the stovetop more like 10-15 min. 

Once fries are done dump them into a bowl with paper towel. Sprinkle 1 tsp of house seasoning on fries and toss.  

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The donuts were from Quick and Easy Recipes Blog. Be sure to get REGULAR and not butter flavor. Totally ruins it. 

Easy Biscuit Doughnuts
1 can of Grands Original Flaky biscuits. 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
Cut biscuits into quarters, drop in oil for a couple of minutes (flip halfway), cool sightly on paper towel then roll in cinnamon sugar. 
Whisk powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Use as sweet dip for donuts.

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If you try anything please let me know via comments! I would love to know how it worked out for you!
-K



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lasagna Soup!

So as I keep saying I'm quite in love with Pinterest. So much so that I now have a board dedicated to just the recipes that I've tried and are delicious. Sound obsessed much?

One of my most recent successful recipes gleaned from Pinterest is Lasagna Soup. The photo looked delicious and I LOVE lasagna. I couldn't help but think it was anything but good and I was right.

The post linked to a farmgirl's dabbles blog. She has some amazing posts I might add. So much so, I now follow her :)

I did of course change the recipe a tad. Not out of choice but because I managed to go the store for the few items and still forgot 1. If you want to follow the recipe to heart, here is the post.

Lasagna Soup

2 tsp. vegetable oil
1-2 pounds. Italian sausage
3 c. chopped onions 
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 large can of tomato sauce
2 small cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock(3 small cans)
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta-- I used Farfalle (bowtie) since I couldn't find either of the other pasta
1 tbsp dried basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

The cheesy part:
8 oz. ricotta
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese


Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 7 minutes or until onions are soft. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, basil and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering boil your pasta in another pot until Al Dente, drain. Right before serving, add pasta to soup, salt and pepper to taste. Let cook and additional 5 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, salt, and pepper. 

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

ENJOY! It really is a super delicious soup. I still have leftovers and now that I've made this post it's all I can think about it go have it for lunch! Yum!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homemade Breakfast Muffins

Sorry for the lack of posts. I managed to crack the screen on my phone. It was rather random to be honest. My phone had been locking up and getting really hot for a while. (I have a Galaxy S2.. I can see most of you going "Ohhh that explains it") I went in and Sprint said I needed to back up data and then bring it back in so they could do a factory reset on it. So on the day I was going to have it reset I managed to drop my phone into my daughters plastic tub (No it did not have water in it). It landed on her little seat thingy. I got 2 cracks inside the screen. It was useless. I was in shock because I drop my phone on the cement and hard wood floors all the time and then it finally cracks in a plastic tub.

With me having no phone I don't have a camera for all my yummy goodyness foods I fix. I have felt a little naked and alone. Luckily I still have my Kindle Fire to keep me updated on my FB and Pinterest. Poor hubby is now getting is camera used alot and lots of posts on FB. I feel sorry for him.. Just a little.

I thought I would start with my morning breakfast item I fix for Angel now that he works mornings.

Homemade Breakfast Muffins.
(The cheaper Egg McMuffin)

I found this awesome idea by Undressed Skeleton on Pinterest.

I of course changed the recipe to fit what I had on hand and to be sure it was going to taste good to my always picky husband.
If you want the original post/recipe you can find it here.

For the eggs:
6 count muffin tin
5 Eggs
2 T Milk
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 t minced onion
1 t Fresh Parsley

6 English Muffins. - Whatever you like. I use FiberOne brand. Buy 24 for $6.39 at CostCo

Either 12 slices of bacon (Cook at 400 degrees in the oven. Comes out amazing!)
6 Slices of cooked sausage. (I use Walmart brand)
6 slices of fried canadian bacon

6 Slices of your choice of cheese. Angel prefers American. We've tried Cheddar, Velveeta and American.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan.

Combine eggs,milk and scramble well. Portion scrambled eggs evenly into muffin pan. Add onion, parsley and salt/pepper. You can use whatever you like here. I hardly use any onion because of my husband but if it was for me I would do onions and peppers.

Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. Undercooked is always better than overcooked because these sandwiches will go through 2 more cooking phases.

While eggs cook get your meat cooking. If it's bacon you probably should start before you do the eggs.

Once eggs are done, take eggs and let cool inside pan for about 5 minutes. Slice muffins and place meat, cheese, egg on 1 slice and then top with last slice of muffin. Repeat with remaining muffins. The sandwiches will be pretty tall/thick. To remedy that either use a grill/waffle maker or do what I do and use a griddle with a plate on top and push down to flatten. Be sure to do each side.

Once sandwiches cool I simply put them into a plastic baggie and then freeze them. The original poster made her own cute little labels but I will be honest. I figured my hubby wouldn't even notice or if he did appreciate the time I took. I know, my love only goes so far.






Now all my husband has to do is grab one, take it to work and on his first break pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on the microwave.