Saturday, March 31, 2012

Veggie Pizza

In my house Friday night is labeled "Pizza Friday." I have been having pizza on friday nights since I was a kid and things haven't changed since then. I really wanted to make a homemade pizza last night with homemade dough. I got home later than I thought so I ended up buying betty crocker dough mix for the crust. The crust was actually really good and the pizza was made with just veggies with it being Lent.

Veggie Pizza-Makes 13 inch pizza
For the crust
1 package Betty Crocker pizza mix

Roll dough out with a little flour and place on pizza pan
Spread 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes on pizza dough
Sprinkle with oregano
Top with veggies of your choice (we used onion, peppers, spinach, and mushrooms)
Cover with 1 1/2 cups of finely shredded cheese (we used Sargento Italian Blend)

Bake on 450 for 12-17 minutes

Let cool and cut. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Peppercorn Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Nothing like a Sunday dinner on a Thursday. I'm serving this along side gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, and biscuits. There is no doubt my one year old will gobble this dinner up!

1 1/4 lbs pork tenderloin
1/4 cup peppercorns, ground (assorted)
1/4 cup flour
1 quart milk
3 tablespoons peppercorns, crushed
2 tablespoons butter

How to make it

Sprinkle the peppercorns on a piece of foil.
Spray the entire pork loin with cooking spray.
Roll the tenderloin in the peppercorns until fully crusted and pat them into the meat. Place on a rack, uncovered in a 325 oven and roast for about 2 hours until meat thermometer reaches 170 degrees. Slice meat into 1/2" slices. Serve with gravy.

For the Gravy:.
With whisk mix flour and milk in large pan, add butter, peppercorns and salt.
Cook until thickened, lower heat, simmer for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz. package grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Romano (I'm using Asiago)
1 tsp mustard powder
Dash freshly ground pepper
Crumbled crackers, (ritz work well in this) bread crumbs or additional cheese for topping (optional)

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a rapid boil. Add macaroni noodles and cook until tender. Drain in a colander and rinse well with hot water.

Melt butter over medium heat in the same saucepan you used to cook the noodles. Whisk in flour until it boils and thickens. Slowly whisk in evaporated milk, followed by one cup of water until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Then stir in beaten egg, salt, sharp cheddar, Parmesan, Romano, mustard powder and ground pepper, and stir until cheese is melted.

Gently stir macaroni noodles into cheese sauce. Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs, extra cheese, or crushed crackers if you like, and bake at 400 degrees for around 15 minutes or until toasted on top.

NOTE-This was the creamiest baked mac and cheese I have ever made. I ended up adding 1/4 more milk to the recipe and I think that made it even creamier.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken and Pasta

I used to make this recipe a lot towards the end of my pregnancy. It's so easy to prepare and delicious! And again, excuse the crappy pic! I really need to figure out proper lighting when photographing food!

3 large chicken breasts (cut into chunks or shredded)
1 box of Penne pasta (fettuccine is good in this too)
1 garlic clove - minced ( garlic powder is ok)
1 8oz block of cream cheese (I found that 8 oz was too much so I only use 4 ounces)
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup of parmesan cheese (shredded asiago is also delicious in this dish)
salt and pepper to taste

Put chicken, garlic, chicken broth and butter in slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. One hour before you are ready to serve, add cream cheese and cook for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour. (if too thick, use additional chicken broth to thin sauce).

Cook pasta according to package. Serve chicken mixture over pasta. Top with parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2-3lb pork tenderloin
8 ounces of Coca Cola
2-3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 bottle bbq sauce (I like sweet baby rays)

Season both sides of roast with garlic powder. Pour in coke and then cover the entire roast with bbq sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Remove roast and shred. Return to slow cooker and mix the meat with the coke and sauce mixture. Serve on bakery buns.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Farfalle with Bacon, Onion and Gouda

This is definitley not figure friendly but it sure is delicious!

1 pound Bow Tie Pasta
5 slices Bacon
½ whole Sweet Onion, Finely Chopped
½ cup Heavy Cream (I used Half and Half)
1 Tablespoon Butter
½ cup Gouda Cheese (Shredded)
Salt And Pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until slightly crispy. Remove to a paper towel to absorb some of the drippings. Once cool, chop into pieces. Sauté the onion in the remaining bacon drippings until tender, and then remove to a paper towel.

Drain the sauce pan of the bacon drippings, and then add the bacon, onion, cream, and butter to the pan. Let simmer on low heat for a few minutes, until the cream sauce begins to reduce and thicken. Stir in the cheese. Add the pasta to the skillet, and stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the pasta is coated with the sauce. Season with the salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

32 oz bag frozen hash brown potatoes (I used cubed but shredded is fine too)
1 lb cubed ham
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup finely shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
10 eggs
1 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 can rotel

1.Layer one third each of frozen potatoes, meat, onions, and cheese in bottom of slow cooker. Repeat two times and then add can of rotel.
2.Beat together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
3.Pour over mixture in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on low 6-7 hours

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Another great recipe and even better because you can make it in your slow cooker. I made this a lot while I was working. It was so easy to throw everything together in the morning and when I got home from work all I had to do was shred the chicken and serve.

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed (I used 2 cans of petitie diced tomatoes instead-undrained)
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (I left this out as we are not big fans of cilantro)

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred, return to crockpot and stir. Serve with shredded cheddar, sourcream and corn chips. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Creamy Garlic Shells

I made this recipe about 3 weeks ago and am just getting around to blogging it. I am terrible when it comes to blogging lately. Actually, I beleive I said this in my last entry about two weeks ago! Oh well. Anyway, this recipe was rich, creamy and delicious! A big hit with everyone.

Creamy Garlic Shells

1 head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb shell pasta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
8 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded (I used monterey jack)
1 container of philadelphia garlic cooking cream
Salt and pepper

To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove most of the outer paper skins from the head of garlic, leaving it intact. Slice off the top portion of the head so that all of the cloves are exposed at the top, but the head is still intact. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the head of garlic on a piece of foil and loosely fold the foil up around the head of garlic to create a foil packet. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the cloves are easily squeezed from the skins. Squeeze all of the garlic out of the skins and smash with a fork to make a paste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Drain in a colander. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and the roasted garlic paste and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce comes to a low boil and thickens noticeably. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and cooking cream. Whisk until the cheese is completely melted.

Add cheese sauce to reserved pasta and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
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