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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Key Lime Pie

This is, by far, the world's easiest key lime pie. My mom has made this for years, it might be a weight watcher's recipe, and it's AMAZING. So easy to make. You can whip it up in under 5 minutes flat. Seriously...so good...so quick...so delish.

P.S. It's not going to be "green," though unless you add food coloring. It really is key lime. Don't let the color fool you!!

Key Lime Pie

1 shortbread or graham cracker pie crust
1 8 oz. cool whip
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. lime juice

Mix cool whip, milk, and lime juice and pour into crust. Refrigerate.

Velvety Vegetable Cheese Soup

I got this recipe out of the Kraft Food & Family seasonal magazine. It's a free magazine that's sent out I believe 4 times a year and it's got some of the BEST recipes I've seen. I was recently informed of this awesome free deal by one of my cousins and I decided to give it a try. My first issue arrived in the mail, as promised, a few days ago. This season's theme? "Comfort Food Favorites." I don't think it's any secret at all now that my favorite thing to make is comfort food. :) So I was pretty excited when this came in the mail.

If you're interested in receiving this free magazine, you can sign up at www.kraftfoods.com/share
It only takes a second and there's no obligation. And there's an option to click on that won't send you any offers or tips to your email. You'll just received the magazine 4 times a year. It's fabulous!

Anyways...I tried my first recipe out of there today...the Velvety Vegetable Cheese Soup. Since it's been ridiculously cold here in MN these past several days, Chris and I have been craving chilis, soups, stews, etc. It's helped make this crazy winter season we're in just a tad bit easier to handle.

I really LOVED how this soup turned out. In the picture it looks a tad bit more thick than what I actually came up with. Don't expect the cheese to be super thick like you would get when ordering broccoli cheese soup at a restaurant. It's more of a cheesy broth. But wow...it's really good. I made this whole thing, prep time and everything, in a half an hour. Super easy to make and very very good!

Enjoy!

Velvety Vegetable Cheese Soup

1 pkg. (16 0z) frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot mix
2 cans (14 oz. each) fat-free, reduced-sodium, chicken broth
3/4 lb. (12 oz.) Velveeta pasteurized prepared cheese product, cup up (we used a full lb.)

Place vegetables and broth in large saucepan; cover. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Mash vegetables with potato masher to desired consistency.

Stir in Velveeta; cook 5 minutes or until Velveeta is melted and soup is heated through; stirring frequently.

Makes 6 servings of 1 cup each.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chili Oriental

A great meal to serve on a relatively "chilly" day here in MN. My mom made this for us for years and it was one of our "staples" you could say. I made it for the first time several years ago back when I was teaching at Fillmore Central. The teaching staff had this annual Christmas celebration called the "12 Days of Eating." Each person signed up as a team to take a day and bring food for everyone to enjoy all throughout the day. It was there that I realized how awesome this chili really is. I kid you not...14 teachers out of 20 asked me for this recipe. It is SO easy to make. You can have the whole thing done in less than 45 minutes. And not to mention...very healthy...and quite tasty! We usually double the recipe to make sure we have leftovers.

Enjoy!

P.S. This chili really holds its heat well, so be sure to blow on your spoon first or you'll burn your tongue!

Chili Oriental

16 oz. ground turkey
1 tbsp. minced or diced onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
4 c. or 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 c. of water
dash of pepper
1 bag of frozen oriental style veggies (we used a broccoli stir fry mix)

Brown ground turkey; add all other ingredients and cook for 30 minutes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pizza Meatloaf

This isn't your normal "meatloaf," people. We've jazzed it up a bit and it's literally "heaven on a plate." Well...maybe not, but it sure seems like it comes close. For those of you out there that really don't like meatloaf, I challenge you to give this one a try. It seriously tastes like pizza...not at all like meatloaf.

I've made this recipe before for my parents, but hadn't ever made it for Chris. He LOVED it.

It's definite comfort food. Pair it with a side of mixed vegetables and you're good to go!

And when you're cooking it, don't let the "pinkness" of the meat scare you...that's just the pizza sauce. You're not eating undercooked meat if you follow the directions. I promise.

Pizza Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground beef (we used ground turkey)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (8 oz.) pizza sauce divided
1 cup saltine crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
addional pizza sauce warmed, optional

In a bowl, combine beef, eggs, 3/4 cup pizza sauce, crumbs, parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, onion, green pepper, salt, oregano, and pepper; mix well. Pat into a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Drain. Spread the remaining pizza sauce over loaf; bake 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella; return to the oven 3 or 4 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with additional pizza sauce if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Monday, January 21, 2008

15-Minute Smoked Sausage Jambalaya

This is the recipe I'm probably the most "known" for. Chris and I made it for the first time New Year's Eve of '04 and it immediately became a favorite of our's. We've made it for a lot of our friends, and family over the past three years. And some of those friends and family are now even making it themselves!

It's not to be considered your "typical" jambalaya recipe as it's not really hot (although you could make it HOT if you wanted to), but it's really a hearty meal that fills you up and keeps you warm on a nice freezing cold day such as today!

And sidenote: The "15-minutes" in the title is a bunch of junk. That's probably just the prep time...the cooking time is obviously just a tad bit more than that!

Another sidenote: We usually double the recipe and it feeds 6 people depending on how much you put in the bowls!

15-Minute Smoked Sausage Jambalaya

1 cup instant rice
1 medium onion chopped
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
8 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. of smoked sausage, cut into 2" pieces
1/2 cup of celery sliced
4 drops of hot pepper sauce (sub. taco sauce if desired - which is what we do because we're wussies)

Cook rice by directions on pkg. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, and green
pepper and celery and saute until veggies are tender. Add tomatoes, hot pepper sauce and pepper.
Drain rice and stir into sausage mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly
heated.



Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

This is an old favorite of mine that my mom introduced to our family years ago. I'd have to ask her to be sure, but I think this is a weight watcher's recipe...but maybe not. Either way, it's overwhelmingly delicious and I think you should try it. Yummy stuff!

Mexican Lasagna

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. green pepper
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 envelope of taco seasoning
2 c. cottage cheese
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese - divided
2 eggs
6 - 6" flour tortillas

Brown turkey and green pepper and onion. Add tomatoes and taco seasoning. Simmer 5 minutes. In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, 4 oz. cheddar cheese, and eggs. Place 3 tortillas on bottom of sprayed 9 x 13 pan. Spoon meat mixture evenly over tortillas. Top with 3 more tortillas, then cheese mixture. Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake uncovered until cheese mixture is set. Serve on bed of lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. Top with sour cream, black & green olives, and salsa.

Serves 6

WELCOME!!!!

So it's my first post ever. I'm going to attempt a cooking blog in order to get me into the kitchen more. I absolutely love cooking! It's one of my favorite things to do in life and I just need to make more time to do it. So in having a blog I need to update regularly, this should help.

So with that being said, I welcome you. I'm not a gourmet chef by any means. I tend to lean more towards "comfort food." In that case, I'm probably going to be posting many recipes that "comfort me." Or...are just plain good...you decide!