Thursday, January 20, 2011

Easy Skillet Pasta

I was struggling with what to make for dinner tonight. I have cooked every night for the past two weeks and was running out of ideas! There is only so much you can do with a pound of hamburger or some chicken tenderloins, right? Plus, my hubby has started a strict diet and I am trying to eat healthier. So, I ventured to the WWW and checked out the Kraft website. I typed in some ingredients I had on-hand (hamburger, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese) and a few seconds later I had a huge list of recipes that included those ingredients. How awesome is that?!!

I decided on a super easy "skillet pasta" that only took 30 minutes total to make. Here is the recipe from the Kraft website. I changed mine just a little, so here is my version:

Easy Skillet Pasta

2 cups tri-colored rotini pasta, uncooked
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 slices Kraft Singles cheese, quartered
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until tender, drain and set aside. Brown hamburger in a skillet, drain. Stir in minced garlic, oregano, and spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add Kraft singles and stir until melted in. Add pasta. Stir until pasta is coated. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 6 servings.

I basically just omitted the peppers and some of the garlic, and changed a few of the steps. This was SO delicious! My hubby said it tasted like lazagna. Score! And, it was only 6 WW points per (1 1/3 cup) serving. I'm looking forward to having this again tomorrow! YUM!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The perfect compliment to Santa Fe Soup (or any soup/stew)

I posted this recipe a couple of days ago. If you like soups/stews, you will LOVE it! Today I have a recipe that would go perfect with the Santa Fe Soup, or any other type of soup or stew, for that matter. Actually, it would be great just by itself! Here is the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Sausage Cornbread Bake

1 lb. pork sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk self-rising cornmeal mix
1 can cream style corn
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet. In a medium skillet, brown the sausage and onion, drain well. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, cornmeal mix, creamstyle corn, sour cream, oil, and milk. Pour half of cornmeal mixture into 10-inch skillet. Sprinkle with sausage mixture and shredded cheddar cheese. Pour remaining batter over top. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 8 servings. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One of the best things since sliced bread!

Last year, my mother-in-law bought me one of these either for my birthday or for Christmas (I cannot remember which!) and I.Love.It. In fact, I don't think I will ever go back to my old way. You can make so many things in this -- and even "individualize" them! It is so convenient. You can make cornbread in this, rice krispy treats, brownies, cheesecake, individual granola bars, and even ice cream bars! The possibilities are endless!

Another thing I like about this is that it doesn't take up a lot of space, it is dishwasher safe, and it is non-stick (although I still spray it with non-stick cooking spray, just in case). I have used it so many times so far and am very pleased with the results. Okay, are you ready to find out what my favorite "thing" is??


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When it's freezing outside and you need something to warm your tummy.....make this!!

This is one of my FaVoRiTe soups, especially on a cold, snowy day. It is very filling, and pretty spicy. Pair it with some cornbread and you will be in comfort food heaven! :)

Santa Fe Soup

1.5-2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans white shoepeg corn
1 can Ro*tel tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 cup water

Brown ground beef, drain. Add onions. Cook for a few minutes or until onions become translucent. Pour into crockpot along with other ingredients. Stir well. Cook on High for 2 hours, then on Low for at least an hour or longer. Enjoy!!

*This is great paired with cornbread or corn chips or tortilla chips.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mashed Potatoes = Blah...

I LOVE potatoes! I love them any way you can cook them. One of my favorite potato dishes is a cheesy potato casserole. It is super easy to make and soooo good. However, tonight was the first time I have made it for my family.....weird, huh? Especially since potatoes are one of the only veggies my husband will eat. I have been trying some new ways to make potatoes other than the traditional "mashed". I am just so tired of having "mashed" potatoes for dinner all of the time. Even my little man won't hardly eat them anymore!!

For the cheesy potato casserole, you can shred up fresh potatoes or you can buy the frozen shredded hash-brown type. I took the easy way out and bought the frozen kind. Hey, easy and convenient are my two favorite words when it comes to cooking! I hope you enjoy this casserole as much as we did. :)

Cheesy Potato Casserole

1 bag frozen hash brown (shredded) potatoes
3/4 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 T. onion flakes (or you could use 2 T. finely chopped onions)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I actually used colby-jack because it was what I had on-hand)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a 11x7 baking dish (or 9x13) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove an sprinkle with corn flake topping. Return to oven and bake for 30 more minutes.


2 cups crushed Corn Flakes cereal
3 T. butter, melted
Mix together and sprinkle on top of potato mixture.

**I paired this with honey mustard grilled chicken and green beans. YUMMY!! Would also go great with any pork dish.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone (even if it is 4 days late)!! I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's and that you are ready to make the best of 2011. I know I am! The coming year has so many new things in store....including a new addition to our family! We will be having Baby Boy #2 towards the end of March and we are so excited and blessed!

Looking back on 2010, it was really a great year. There were some challenges, some adventures, and many memories. I kind of slacked on the blog last year, so I am hoping to make up for it this year. :) I am hoping to create a new blog look, post more recipes and restaurant critiques, and have more giveaways. I do need your help, though.

What suggestions do you have for my blog? What would you like to see more of? Less of? Anything new that I should incorporate? Let me know your thoughts!!

Again, Happy New Year! May each of you be blessed in 2011!