Monday, August 23, 2010

Li'l Cheddar Meat Loaves

I made this for supper tonight, and I definitely give it two thumbs up! I love meatloaf, and this one was particularly I love the individual portions. This would be a great dish to make for guests!

Servings: 8

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb. ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard

In a large bowl, whisk egg and milk. Stir in the cheese, oats, onion and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into eight loaves; place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Nutrition facts: 1 loaf equals 254 calories, 10 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat), 72 mg cholesterol, 690 mg sodium.


*Taken from Taste of Home online - per suggestion from Dianne Redden. :)

Southern Spaghetti Casserole

Here's a great casserole from the Carmel cookbook...I cut this one in half most of the time, because we don't need a whole 9x13 pan, however, the recipe below is for the 9x13 recipe. It's a great, easy, delicious meal!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1/4 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
2 lb. hamburger, browned
1 (32 oz.) jar Ragu sauce
Velveeta cheese
12 oz. cooked spaghetti

Add Ragu to hamburger. Simmer a few minutes. Layer in 9x13 pan: half of spaghetti, half of meat sauce, half of bacon and slices of cheese. Repeat layers. Bake at 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

*Recipe taken from the Carmel Cookbook, compliments of Sandy Vonk :) 

Sunday, August 22, 2010


This is the best lasagna, especially if you're not a huge fan of the chunky Ricotta or cottage cheese most lasagnas use.

White Sauce:
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1.5 C milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter/margarine
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Mixture will be lumpy--works best if you stir with a whisk. Simmer together for a bit until appears melted and thickened. Set aside--will thicken up more as it cools.

Meat Sauce:
  • 1-1.5 lb hamburger
  • .5-1 lb Italian sausage
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 26 oz jars spaghetti sauce

Brown and drain meats together then add remaining ingredients.

  • 9-12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 4-5 C mozzarella cheese
  • .5-1 C parmesan cheese

In a 9x13 pan put a very thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom (you will be able to see parts of the bottom of the pan still).

Place 3 uncooked noodles on top of the sauce (I also fill in with parts of noodles at the ends because the noodles aren't quite 13" long)
On top of the noodles spoon on 1/2 of the white sauce. Sprinkle with 2C shredded mozzarella cheese and top with parmesan cheese to taste. Top with half of the meat sauce.

Add 3 additional noodles and then top with the remaining white sauce. On top of the white sauce add 2C shredded mozzarella and parmesan followed by 3 noodles.

Top the final layer of noodles with the remaining meat sauce.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, uncovered, at 350 degrees. This will make approximately 12 servings depending on how big you like to cut your pieces. Depending on the amount of meat you use you may want to use a slightly larger pan, I have one that is made by Wilton and is designated a "lasagna pan."

This is a favorite in my household and we love that we have a ton of leftovers to take to work the next week. It freezes great so I use the smaller Gladware containers to freeze individuals servings which makes things so easy during our crazy mornings.

Also, not having to cook the noodles is so much easier than most traditional lasagna recipes.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

We used this recipe for our wedding nice and easy and really good! This would be a good recipe to experiment with different kinds of frosting. Here's a link to some more Martha Stewart cupcakes that look amazing!

Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salf
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fiesta Bake!

I tried this recipe out last week, and was a pretty big's easy, has pretty "standard" ingredients, and was very yummy! I also like that it is made for an 8x8 square pan....which means not so many leftovers!

Let me know what you think. :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 lb. ground beef
chopped onion
3/4 cup salsa
1 package taco seasoning
1/4 cup water
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 package corn bread mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz.) can of green chilies

Brown meat and onion; add salsa, taco seasoning, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-6 minutes. Stir in corn. Spoon into an ungreased 8"x8" square baking pan. Prepare corn bread according to package instructions; stir in cheese and chilies until smooth. Spread over meat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees or until corn bread tests done.

*Recipe from the Sioux Center Community School Cookbook, compliments of Julie Green.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dutch Baby / German Apple Pancakes

  • We love brunch. There is something so luxurious about being lazy on a Saturday morning and having some good coffee and eggs. I have tried several variations of the "oven pancake"....I'll let you know how this one turns out! 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large tart apple - peeled, cored and sliced
  1. In a large bowl, blend eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Gradually mix in milk, stirring constantly. Add vanilla, melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Let batter stand for 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Melt butter in a 10 inch oven proof skillet, brushing butter up on the sides of the pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over the butter. Line the pan with apple slices. Sprinkle remaining sugar over apples. Place pan over medium-high heat until the mixture bubbles, then gently pour the batter mixture over the apples.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Slide pancake onto serving platter and cut into wedges.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Southwestern Chicken Salad

David and I love this dish for three reasons:

1) Healthy Mexican food!
2) Easy to make
3) Makes a big batch that warms up really well

Also, I like it because it looks pretty! :) The recipe suggests serving this cold over salad greens or in a pita, but David and I like to heat it up in the microwave, and put it in a warmed tortilla with some guacamole. Enjoy!

4 cups cubed rotisserie chicken
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
*1 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
1 cup chopped red or sweet onion
1 cup fresh minced cilantro

3 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. honey
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

Tortillas, and avocado slices or guacamole

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients; pour over chicken mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Serve as desired.

*It's pretty easy to make your own roasted red peppers, and there are some good recipes for that online.

Gorilla Bread

It's like Monkey Bread, but WAY better!!

Serves: 12-14

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 pkg. cream cheese
2 (12 oz) cans of refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the sugar and cinnamon (or just use a premixed sugar and cinnamon mixture if you have some...). In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well, then set aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. I thought that using the whole package of cream cheese was a bit much, so maybe leave a chunk in your fridge unless you LOVE cream cheese! Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, and wrap the biscuit around it.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place 1/2 of prepared biscuits in pan, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour 1/2 of melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and add 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar and butter mixture, and add the remaining nuts.

Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Flip onto plate.

WOW! Writing that recipe made me really hungry...Enjoy!

*Recipe acquired from Brenda Renes Oldenkamp's recipe stash. 

Grandma Renes's Chex Mix!

I LOVE THIS CHEX MIX!! Warning: Completely addicting, and makes a HUGE batch. Yes, lethal combination.

1 bag of Bugles
1 box of Post Waffle-Crisp Cereal or Honey Chex Cereal
1 box of Cheese-its
1 big bag of oyster crackers
1 bag of Cheetos
1/2 bag of pretzel sticks
1 can of nuts
8-10 oz of Orville Popcorn Oil (or 1/2 of 14 oz. bottle)
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Ingredients can be swapped if some things aren't available...dump all of this in a garbage bag, and shake together until completely mixed.

ENJOY! (at your own risk...)

*Recipe made famous from my Grandma Renes - obviously. 

Ensalada de Pasta

Another one of my favorite Spanish sounds really strange, but is really quite delicioso!

1 bag/box of the rainbow or tricolor spiral pasta (it makes it look prettier!)
1 can of corn
2 apples cut into small pieces (I like Gala or something similar...something that has a sweet and tart kick to it!)
1/2 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
A few slices of cut up deli ham
1 can of drained tuna

Mix well and top with a little bit of olive oil, vinegar and salt.

¡Que aproveche!

*Recipe compliments of Paqui. Te echo de menos, mi madre española! 

Tortilla Española

A recipe straight from my host madre en España! A Spanish classic...hopefully this will turn out for you, she never really uses recipes, so this is the best I could get out of her. :)

Serves: Can be adjusted

1 egg per person plus one extra (3 people, use 4 eggs)
1 fist sized potato per person cut into small pieces
1/2 an onion cut into small pieces

Cook onion and potatoes in a frying pan on a medium setting with quite a bit of olive oil and a little bit of salt for about 20 minutes, the oil should almost cover the potatoes. Drain the oil (you can keep it and use it for future cooking if you want...) and mix the potatoes with the eggs. Put a little bit of olive oil in a pan and put mixture in. Mix while cooking, and then pat into shape when it starts to firm up. Use a plate to flip and cook the other side. This only takes a few minutes.

¡Que aproveche!

*Recipe compliments of Paqui. Te echo de menos, mi madre española!

Brenda's 5 Ingredient Goulash

I love this recipe because it's fast, easy, and you almost always have these ingredients on hand.

1 cup elbow macaroni
1 can tomato soup
1 lb. of hamburger, I like to cook with a chopped onion
1 can of corn
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger with the onion and cook noodles according to the normal directions. Dump all ingredients together in a pot over the burner and stir until all is mixed together and heated.

*Recipe compliments of Auntie B

Egg Casserole

This is my favorite egg casserole...the Bisquick in it makes it so light and fluffy, it's delicious!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix in order given:

1 cup Bisquick
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 teaspoons of chopped onion
1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1 cup of milk
Ham chunks

Pour into a 9x13 glass dish, pour 1/2 cup of melted butter on top and bake for 40-45 minutes.

*Recipe compliments of Brenda Renes Oldenkamp

Grandma Betty's Fruit Cups

A childhood favorite from my Grandma Betty. Very easy to make, and great to just throw in a lunch box, or grab for a quick breakfast or healthy snack!

It makes around 20 small fruit cups, we like to use the little 1/2 cup GLAD containers.

2 cans of crushed pineapple and juices (around 2 lbs)
1 large can of apricots or peaches and juices, I like to cut them up a little bit
3 mashed ripe bananas
Dissolve 3/4 cup sugar and 1 cup water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
6 oz. of frozen orange juice concentrate
I also like to add some raspberries or strawberries

Mix all ingredients together and freeze in cups. To serve, I either like to thaw them in the fridge for a few hours, or to serve immediately, pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Bon appétit!

*Recipe from Betty Boxrud

Orange Julius

The girls from Pod 108 have declared this the best study break treat of all time, and we took a LOT of study breaks!! Basically just a fabulous refreshing treat...also great with a little bit of rum thrown it...perfect for an evening treat! :)

Serves 4 (recipe can be cut in half to serve 2)

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (1/2 of the container)
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Fresh or frozen fruit (optional)

For the full recipe, this will fill up the whole blender, just add enough ice or fruit to reach the top and then blend together until smooth.


*Recipe taken from Lori Huisman, from my 8th grade Home Economics class.