Loaded Baked Potato with Cheddar Broccoli and Bacon

I bought a couple of huge baking potatoes today and decided to make us a stuffed potato for lunch.  I thought a broccoli soup of sorts would be perfect and it was.  I chopped my bacon before cooking it but crumbled cooked bacon will work lovely too if you happen to have some leftover bacon waiting to be used.  I microwaved my potato today but feel free to cook them however you prefer.

  • 2 strips bacon – diced
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli – chopped
  • 1 jalapeno – minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup cheddar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Cook potatoes and set aside.  Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy.  Set aside reserving about 1 Tbs of bacon fat in skillet. Add flour to bacon fat, stir and cook for about 1 minute.  Add milk and stir until thickened.  Add broccoli, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 4 minutes until broccoli is desired tenderness.  Stir in cheddar until melted; add sour cream.  Serve over 2 giant baked potatoes or 4 small ones and sprinkle with bacon.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Baked Italian Meatloaf Pasta

I put some of the leftover meatloaf to use today as a substitute for meatballs.  This was my crock pot meatloaf  so it had a softer texture than oven baked meatloaf but the flavor worked perfectly.

  • 8 o.z pasta
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • leftover meatloaf ~ about a pound
  • 1 cup italian cheese blend

Cook pasta according to package.  Drain and add 2/3 of the spaghetti sauce.  Cut meatloaf into large chunks and stir in. Pour into buttered baking dish; top with italian cheese blend.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Hearty Chicken and Mushrooms with Tomato Sauce

I made this dish for for lunch yesterday.  It was very good; really more than we should have eaten!  This was a great alternative to my usual spaghetti dishes.   I really enjoyed the fresh mushrooms and the green pepper. I’ve come to learn that marjoram always works well with tomato dishes; it used to be one of my underused spices but I find it making its way into more and more dishes all the time.

Chicken and Mushrooms with Tomato Sauce

  • 1 large boneless chicken breast 6 o.z. fresh mushrooms ~ cut into sliced or chunks
  • 1/4 cup onion ~ sliced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup green pepper ~ diced
  • 1 jalapeno ~ diced 1 clove garlic ~ minced
  • 2/3 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 o.z. angel hair pasta ~ cooked according to package directions
  • 2 – 3 o.z. goat cheese or mozzarella if desired

In large skillet heat oil; add mushrooms and onion.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile cut chicken breast into small pieces.  Add green pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and chicken to mushrooms and cook for an additional 7 – 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in diced tomato season with marjoram, salt and pepper.  Serve over cooked pasta; sprinkle with cheese and broil for 2 – 3 minutes if desired.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Super Easy Beef and Noodle Casserole

I was just thinking about this recipe a few days ago; little did I remember it was in our family cookbook that my Grandma put together many years ago. I have to admit I didn’t actually make it today but if my childhood memories of this are worth anything I know it is delicious. I am posting it as is was written but I have to admit I would probably add some garlic, italian herbs, and some parmesan if I were making it today.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 15 o.z. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

In skillet cook beef and onions until meat is brown and onions are tender. Butter a 2 quart casserole; spread uncooked noodles evenly in baking dish.  Drain fat from beef and onions and sprinkle meat mixture evenly over top of noodles.  Mix water and spaghetti sauce and pour over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes; sprinkle with cheese, return to oven and bake an additional 3 – 5 minute until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Angel Hair Pasta with Crab and Spinach

Just a quick post today for the pasta we had for lunch.  I had some leftover crab meat and thought a pasta dish would be delicious.  Cooked shrimp would work well too with this recipe.

  • 6 o.z. angel hair pasta
  • 3 o.z. fresh spinach
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups crab meat
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions until desired tenderness, add spinach to pasta during last minute or two of cooking.  Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of liquid.  In skillet melt butter.  Add cayenne, garlic, pepper, crab and reserved pasta water.  Heat to a simmer; mix cornstarch and cold water add to liquid stirring until thickened.  Pour over pasta, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and stir.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

This manicotti came out so deliciously that I think the recipe speaks for itself.  I did make mine a bit spicy with a spicy spaghetti sauce and crushed red pepper stirred in but I know this would be fantastic with any style sauce you choose.

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

  • 8 o.z. dry manicotti noodles
  • 8 o.z. fresh mushrooms ~ sliced or diced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic ~ minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 o.z. fresh spinach
  • 15 o.z. ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup italian blend cheese (or a mozzarella and parmesan combination)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper if desired
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • additional cheese for the top

Cook manicotti according to package directions.  Careful not to over cook ~ they will finish cooking during the baking process.

Meanwhile cook mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat about 8 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked as desired.  Add garlic, salt, pepper, and spinach.  Continue cooking about 2 more minutes until spinach is beginning to wilt.  Remove from heat to cool. (I did not drain because the juices were very flavorful; it did make the cheese mix a bit wet but I think it was worth it for the flavor)

Combine ricotta, eggs, 1 cup of cheese and crushed red pepper.  Stir into mushroom and spinach mixture.

Spread about 1/3 of the jar of spaghetti sauce in 9 X 13 pan. Fill manicotti with ricotta, mushrooms, and spinach mix.  I used a zip lock bag with the corner cut out to fill each shell.  I think this would have worked a bit better if I’d cut my mushrooms smaller and had a thicker cheese mix (perhaps chilling the mix would have firmed it up).

They were a bit sloppy but once filled I lined them up in baking dish.

I then topped with remaining sauce and some extra cheese.

Chill until ready to bake if making ahead.  I was making these ahead so once ready to cook I heated the oven to 400 degrees and baked covered for 40 minutes.  Then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.  I would think they may cook about 10 minutes faster if baking right away so adjust the time accordingly.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Chili Cheese Dogs ~ with black beans and jalapenos

I made Charles one of his favorite treats today.  Chili cheese dogs; I don’t know that I’d ever really made them before and there is no place around here to buy a descent one.  I made a spicy jalapeno and black bean version.  I served it with some fresh tomato, cottage cheese, and root vegetable chips so it wasn’t completely terrible for us.  I also tried out some uncured hot dogs; nitrate and nitrite free.

Chili Cheese Dogs ~ with black beans and jalapeno

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno slices
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs mustard
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 can black beans ~ drained and rinsed
  • hot dogs
  • buns

In medium skillet begin cooking ground beef over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until no pink remains; about 10 minutes.  Drain and return to pan.  Add chili powder, salt, pepper, and jalapeno slices.  Stir together ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, and brown sugar; add to beef.  Stir in black beans and heat through; check thickness and add 1/4 cup water if desired.  Cook hot dogs as desired and serve.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Quick and Easy Chicken and Noodle Casserole

Just a quick post tonight.  I made an easy chicken and noodle casserole for Charles’ dinner before I left for work so this is a nice make ahead recipe.  Substitute the veggies with what you have on hand.  My choice today was a frozen mexican vegetable blend; broccoli, cauliflower, corn, and red peppers but a nice mixed vegetable or california blend will work well too.

Quick and Easy Chicken and Noodle Casserole

  • 6 o.z. dry noodles
  • 2 chicken breast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 12 o.z. frozen vegetable mix
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • paprika

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Dice chicken breast and season with salt and pepper; at a little crushed red pepper if you like a bit of heat.  Heat non-stick skillet over medium high and add seasoned chicken.  Sprinkle with thyme and cook for about 6 – 7 minutes until cooked through.

Add chicken stock and bring to simmer.  Combine corn starch and cold water.  Stir into simmering broth until thickened.  Add veggies, cooked and drained noodles, and cheddar cheese.

Stir well and pour into buttered 2 quart casserole.  If desired top with additional cheese and sprinkle with paprika.  Refrigerate if making ahead.  Bake cold casserole for about an hour at 350 degrees.  If baking directly after making reduce cooking time to 35 – 45 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Cheesy Shrimp and Tortilla Pie

Just a quick post for the delicious cheesy shrimp and tortilla pie I made for dinner.  I almost made enchiladas but I saw my pie pan and thought it would be a nice way to build dinner.  I used 3 tortilla shells and made a homemade cheese sauce and salsa.  I am sure if you have a favorite salsa or cheese sauce you can use those instead.  I am also sure chicken or beef would be delicious but I wanted seafood tonight!

Cheesy Shrimp and Tortilla Pie

Cheese sauce

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 3 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 4 o.z. sharp cheddar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Shrimp

  • 12 o.z. small shrimp peeled
  • 1 Tbs crushed cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup liquid from salsa

Fresh salsa

  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 finely diced jalapeno
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 1 Tbs cilantro
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

For salsa mix together all ingredients and set aside.

To make cheese sauce melt butter in sauce pan.  Add flour and stir cooking for one minute.

Add diced jalapeno

Cook over medium low for about 5 minutes stirring often.

Add milk and increase heat to medium.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until beginning to heat through stirring occasionally.  Increase heat stirring constantly until bubbly.  Once thickened reduce heat begin stirring in cheese a little at a time until melted.  Stir in about 1/2 cup of homemade fresh salsa.

For shrimp ~ Cook shrimp and all seasonings until shrimp is no longer pink; drain if needed.

To build pie place about 1/2 cup cheese sauce in bottom of oiled pie pan. Top with burrito size tortilla shell.

Layer 1/2 of the shrimp, 1/2 cup cheese sauce, and 1/2 of the salsa.  Top with another shell.

Repeat layer leaving a little cheese sauce for top layer.  Add one more shell and remaining cheese sauce.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Allow to rest about 5 minutes before cutting into.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I see recipes all of the time for exotic grilled cheese sandwiches and they always sound and look so good but when it comes down to it I can’t resist the comfort of a Kraft singles on toasted white bread.  It’s nothing fancy; but it brings out those warm and fuzzy feelings.

It can be made in a skillet or on a griddle.  I have one of those awesome griddle / waffle / pancake makers from the 70’s …. it’s yellow and all mine!  Mom always had a silver metal one but I found this on a yard sale a few years ago and I couldn’t resist.  Once I opened it I was even more thrilled; I don’t know that it had ever been actually used!

I use it often for pancakes and I love it for grilled cheese.  I’ve tried waffles once, but I usually go with pancakes ~ guess I need to work on a waffle recipe.

Anyway, back to the grilled cheese.  I always lightly butter my bread. I don’t like to make it greasy on the outside with too much butter so I just use a little.  I remember mom telling us as kids to use the tub of margarine because butter would burn; I know now that this is not true unless you overheat the surface to begin with so butter for me; always butter.

Two slices of Kraft singles every time.

Of course the bread will go on the griddle butter side down with cheese between the slices and butter on top of the top piece.

Time will vary.  I use my griddle on a relatively hot setting; I try to not turn the dial so it’s the same temperature for pancakes too…. if using a skillet I would go for medium – medium high heat.  2 minutes usually does the first side then about 3 minutes for the other side.  Just keep an eye on it.  You can cook faster but the cheese won’t melt so a total of 5 – 6 minutes seems to get everything hot throughout.

Once both sides are toasted I like to flip back over to the first side for about 30 seconds.  This makes sure the top is warm too and allows a few seconds for the bottom to cool and release any steam and stay crunchy.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly