Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Whats for Dinner?

As I've mentioned I'm fairly new to culinary arts. Ok, I'm fresh off the boat. My memories of cooking from childhood were mostly of the microwave exploding, something on fire or someone screaming. My moms idea of cuisine? Mac N Cheese, straight from the box! Needless to say, I was on my own.

I looked at seeing about taking cooking classes but for the moment I found most to be out of budget for me right now. I watch Food Network pretty constantly and dream of making delicious, mouth-watering meals. What do I usually make you might ask? Dinner Ala Box.

Some great sites that have helped me on the, "Whats for Dinner?" front are:

Saving Dinner, Leanne is a charm, and her staff are great. You can get some free recipes and then order more! She has it set up in menus with different needs/categories and has a grocery list for you as well.

Also, I love FamilyFun because they have a little recipe box online for you to store ideas you like, or you can print it in recipe card format and glue it to a index card. Plus almost all are based around kids!

Then my newest inspiration, Menu in a Box. The very talented Ruthie, and SUPER ORGANIZED--You go Mom! has great suggestions and bright colorful pictures to match! Yay!

I was fortunate enough to come up with a recipe my family (and everyone who tries it!) ADORES. It's become sort of my signature dish, and I want to share it with you. You can borrow mine until you find your own! Also, some lovely ladies from Bot-swap have shared some recipes with me as well that I'll include here too! It's a Casserole Bonanza!

My recipe is:

Mama’s Mexican Casserole

A yummy, kid friendly Mexican enchilada inspired casserole dish! Ole’!

Chicken Breasts
1 1/2 cup
Enchilada sauce (we use Macayo’s)
Flour Tortilla’s cut in half
1 cup
Sour cream
1 ½ cups
Shredded Cheese (we use Mexican mix variety)
1 cup
Yellow Corn
1 cup
Stewed tomatoes chopped

The Chicken can be substituted for a lb of beef, you also could use a different type of tortillas if you liked. Green chilis or hot sauce could also be added if you like yours more spicy.
1. Cook the chicken in ½ a cup of the enchilada sauce and season to taste until done, then shred with fork or fingers. Mix with corn and tomatoes in the remainder of enchilada sauce.
2. Spray casserole dish with non-stick, preheat oven to 375
3. Start with a bottom layer of chicken/corn mix, then place enough tortillas to cover the top (this depends on the size of the dish your using!) and cover torillas with sour cream and then top with cheese. Repeat this once more: Using all the Chicken/Corn/Tomatoes mix, then the Tortilla’s, Remaining Sour Cream and Cheese.
4. Cook at 375 for 30 minutes or until Cheese is toasted on top and bubbly.
5. If you want it to be more decorative, remove it about 5 minutes early and place some sliced tomatoes on the top. Top with sour cream and cilantro if desired.

Tip: This is one of those dishes that is WAY yummier the next day! So freeze some for later, that is if you can stop everyone from eating it all!

Here's the recipes from my lovely lady friends over at Swap-bot!

From Shellycarebear we have:

Baked Tilapia

This one is always a hit with my family. You can also substitute the tilapia for other filets.
· 4 to 6 tilapia filets
· cooking spray
· 8 to 12 ounces baby spinach, cleaned
· 1/4 cup chicken broth
· 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
· salt and pepper
· Creole seasoning blend
· 1 small tomato, chopped
· 4 green onions, thinly sliced
Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and add the spinach. If necessary to make the spinach fit it into the baking dish, steam or saute the spinach for a minute or two to wilt slightly.
Sprinkle spinach with salt and pepper and onion powder; add the chicken broth. Sprinkle tilapia filets lightly with salt, pepper, and Creole seasonings. Arrange the filets over the spinach and sprinkle with chopped tomato and sliced green onion. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Can be served over rice.
Serves 4.

From Christine we have:

My whole family loves this. Sometimes I'll make it with mushrooms, red peppers, etc. Whatever I get out of the garden. You can also find the Turkey pepperoni which is a bit healthier and make it lower fat.

Pizza Casserole

2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced pepperoni sausage (like Hormel)
16 ounces pizza sauce
4 tablespoons milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or more depending on how much you love cheese - you can layer this however you want)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cook noodles according to package directions.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic and green bell pepper. Drain excess fat. Stir in the noodles, pepperoni, pizza sauce and milk, and mix well. Pour this mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, top with the cheese, then bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.

Hope you all try it! :)

This one is so good too - a little different but another pasta casserole...

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
3 cups cooked, cubed or shredded chicken
8 ounces spaghetti, broken into pieces
1/4 cup chopped pimento peppers
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp garlic powder (& whatever other kind of seasoning you like)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of
mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
*Optional (drained can of Rotel tomatoes)
1.Put uncooked spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain.
2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3.In a large bowl combine the chicken, cooked spaghetti, pimento, bell pepper, onion, soup, wine and 1 cup of the cheese. Season with garlic, salt and pepper to taste and mix all together. Spread mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top and bake for another 15 minutes.

From Pam we have:

Veggie casserole
1 large bag of mixed frozen veggies or 2 small bags of veggies (basic mixed or like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots what-ever your family likes. *Cook and drain.1/2 to 3/4 cup ranch dressing1 - 2 cups cheddar cheese1 roll ritz crackers - crushed1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter1 can sliced waterchestunts
Mix *cooked veggies and waterchestunts mix with ranch dressing in a 9x13 inch pan. Top with cheese, in small bowl mix ritz's and butter pour over cheese and spread out evenly. Bake @ 350 for 20-30 minutes.
This is always a favorite at pot-lucks and BBQ's!

Thanks all!

Love, Wishes and Delicious Dinner Dreams,


1 comment:

  1. These recipes look so good. I love recipe swaps! :)