Monday, January 16, 2017

Three for Three

What a good way to start a week!  Not one, not two, but three new recipes in one meal, and all winners in my book.

I was pretty sure this Crock Pot Beef and Noodles would be a winner from the get go.  It's a lot like the recipe I use for my regular pot roast, so just adding yummy Reames noodles should only make it better.  That's absolutely the case.  Delicious, tender beef made in its own gravy, and fat, doughy noodles to go along.  This was totally family-pleasing, with lots of appreciative comments at the table.

Next came The Best Broccoli of Your Life.  Now I've made some recipes with superlative titles before, but I think this one takes the cake.  And, of course, I was skeptical that it could rise to the challenge.  I only had a little fresh broccoli left, so I decided to add in some baby carrots (cut in quarters) to the mix.  Although I was a little too generous with the salt, these were fantastic!  All the best veggie taste as the main event, but perfectly highlighted with the roasting and lemon flavors.  So good!  It's also pretty enough and tasty enough for company.

Finally, we needed dessert!  And I wanted to use the other pie crust from the box I bought for last week's quiche.  French Coconut Pie to the rescue!  The prep for this recipe is so quick and simple.  The result is so buttery and awesome.  We ate it warm from the oven, and it was amazing.  Perfect way to use up that pesky, leftover crust!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Make It a Muffin

When I originally had burgers on the menu, I wasn't sure what kind of burger I planned to make.  I figured to just top your average burgers with whatever we had in the house.

As it happened, I ran across this recipe for Muffin-Tin Bacon Cheeseburgers.  It looked like a perfect twist on the average burger--all the same ingredients, just rearranged a little.

These are pretty easy to make.  I chose to sub in bacon crumbles for cooking my own bacon (shocker!), so I just added it after the ground beef was browned and drained.  I did a squiggle of ketchup on each cup, and then added a 1/4 slice of Colby cheese (that's all you need really, the original's recipe calls for more cheese than the math provides for).

These were such a hit!  On the one hand I was a little surprised--it's just burger stuff reconfigured.  On the other hand, I wasn't--it's just burger stuff reconfigured.  Either way, I'll definitely make them again, and maybe keep this one in my back pocket for parties or other gatherings.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Five Minutes to Spare

It's your typical busy school morning with no time to spare. I knew I had planned to make this Slow Cooker Potato Soup and was planning on putting together some time in the early afternoon.  I decided to do a quick recipe check before bus time, and realized that the recipe called for 8-10 hours on low.  Now, I know you can cut the time in half and cook on high, but that wasn't going to be super convenient either.

Since this recipe is incredibly simple, I decided to push it and see if I could get the whole thing going before we walked out the door.  I dumped in the hashbrowns, poured in soup, gave it one quick stir, and put on the lid.  Literally less than five minutes.  It was such a beautiful thing.

We topped our soup with bacon, cheese, sour cream and green onion.  It was so good, and all the better because it was so easy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Last Minute Sub

A change of plans for our Monday meant changes for our menu as well.  It turned out to be a great change!

These Shredded Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches were quick and tasty.  We all really enjoyed the cheesy Texas Toast (I used Pepperidge Farm).  I changed up the prep process a bit to make it even quicker and simpler.  Knowing I needed to be as efficient as I could, I prepped the chicken and sauce the night before by combining cold chicken, tomato sauce, and the herbs/garlic.  Then I just warmed it in the microwave while the toast was cooking in the oven.  It worked perfectly.

I don't know that this exactly tastes like chicken parm, but we all enjoyed it.  I would definitely make it again.

So Good I Could Quiche You

I love quiche.  From the first time my mom let me sample her's at a small, local tearoom, I was sold.  If quiche is on the menu someplace, there's a good bet I end up ordering it.

Quiche is a great dish for busy nights where you have some prep time, but don't want to babysit your food.  This Bacon Cheddar Quiche was simple and fast.  I started with a purchased pie crust, added my trusty Kirkland bacon crumbles, and cheese.  Since I had some fresh broccoli on hand, I asked my kiddo if I should add it, and I got a resounding yes.  I just steamed it in the microwave and then added it on top of the cheese.

This quiche was so good.  There was absolutely nothing fancy about it, but it sure hit the spot on a chilly, blustery night.

We needed some dessert to finish things off, but I didn't want something that would mess with the baking time or temp of the quiche.  I decided to try this Blueberry Slump since it was quick, and I've had some blueberries in the freezer that needed to be used.

It was fantastic!  The warm fruit and sauce, topped by sweet dumplings were so good.  I was so afraid the dumplings will be tough or doughy or weird, but they were perfect.

My whole table really enjoyed this warm, cozy meal.  I want to make everything again soon.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snack Season

The holidays through the Super Bowl are definitely the ultimate Snack Season.  If you find yourself in need of an easy, cheesy snack, look no further than this Crock Pot Cheesy Party Mix.

Snack mixes are a serious weakness for me.  Add in cheese-flavoring and I'm ALL IN.  I love this snack mix and it's been my breakfast and snacks ever since I made it.

You'll notice I made a couple of swaps.  I love Bugles and decided to sub them in for the pretzels.  I think it provided the same saltiness, but then no one had to eat around the pretzels. And then a great mystery unfolded and prompted my next swap, no cheeseballs!  There were none to be had in my grocery store.  Now, usually I think I see them in those giant barrels, but I was prepared to eat the leftovers if I had to.  I couldn't even find that!  I ended up using the Cheetos cheese puffs.  They worked just fine.  My last swap was Corn Chex instead of Wheat.  I just prefer the corn flavor more.

This was my first time making a party mix in the crock pot.  I have seen several other recipes, but just couldn't decide how it would work.  This recipe calls for leaving the lid off, and I liked the idea of not trapping the moisture in with the cereal.  I was, however, a bit concerned about whether it would stay hot enough to actually bake in the topping, but it worked.  After cooling, the mix got a lovely cheesy, buttery glaze all over it.

I'm not sure this beats actual traditional party mix, but I'm definitely making it again.  (And probably messing around with the combo of snacks I include at the same time!)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Blintzes are Best

Blintzes are a rare treat for us, usually we have them at Easter brunch, but that's about it.  I love Lynn's recipes for their straightforward nature and real life ingredients, so this Blintz Breakfast Casserole seemed like a fun at-home alternative.

It's pretty easy to throw the two layers together, and the filling layer just seems to disappear into the base layer.  So, don't worry if that happens.  It gets lovely and puffy as it bakes, much like a Dutch baby.

If you want to really knock this one out of the park, top it with this Easy Raspberry Sauce.  My kiddo ended up eating a bowl of it for her dessert!

I love the idea of making this for a special Saturday morning or some other brunch occasion.  It has wonderful flavor and tastes a little decadent without being too rich.