Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cheesy Rice Casserole

This rice dish is a huge hit around my house!! Everyone loves it and it can feed a ton of people or you can have leftovers the next day for lunch!! It is so easy and you can change it up to add whatever you like in it. I make mine with ground beef, but you can certainly use ground turkey, chicken or even sausage. Or if you don't like meat just use veggies!!
1 lb ground beef
2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup chopped red and green bell pepper
1/2 of a medium sized onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 14.5 oz can broth (beef, chicken or veggie)
2 cups water
3-4 dashes hot sauce (I like Franks)
1 1/2 cups cheese (Cheddar, jack, colby, pepper jack or any kind you like)
1 small can green chile's (optional)
juice of 1/2 of a lime
1-1 1/2 tsp salt to flavor

Here are all the things I used in mine today. Fresh tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, onions, cilantro, green chile's, lime juice, rice and cheese!! You'll want to chop up your veggies and cilantro before you start cooking!!

Brown you ground beef.

Just like that...now add in the veggies...except the cilantro!!

Now add the rice and 'fry' it all together for about 5 minutes stirring constantly.

It should look like this.

Now add all the liquids, including the water, broth and hot sauce. Then add the cilantro. Cover and let it come up to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 20-25 minutes until rice is completely cooked. Now spread cheese over the top and let melt for about 5 minutes.

Doesn't that look good!!! Serve to all your hungry people waiting for a delicious meal!

You can garnish with cilantro, avocado, sour cream, jalapenos, or anything else you feel like throwing on there!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Peanut Butter Squares

I love these!! There is no baking required!! Bring these somewhere and people will think you are a magician in the kitchen and they wont even know how easy it was to make them!!

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 c peanut butter
1 c butter melted
2 cups peanut butter chips
2 3/4 c powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter and melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of the 9x13 inch pan. Melt peanut butter chips over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Spread melted peanut butter chips over the crumb crust. Chill for about 15 minutes, then cut into bars before completely set, then chill until set.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

These are so simple to make and yet soo good!! I don't know about you all, but a lot of times around the holidays when we go to family's house they have these "sweet potato" dishes that are whipped with 10 pounds of butter, 5 pounds of brown sugar and piled high with marshmallow's. Then it seems like what was once this beautiful and tasty, good for you vegetable is now candy. I don't want to eat that!!

So I came up with this tonight.

2 good sized sweet potatoes sliced in half long ways

olive oil

kosher salt to taste

1 tsp of brown sugar

Drizzle olive oil over sweet potatoes and lightly sprinkle with salt. Then place face down on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. Bake for about 45 until tender and browned. Flip them over and sprinkle (very lightly) with the brown sugar. Serve warm. They are delicious!!

Homemade Tomato Soup

So my neighbor comes over with this bowl of tomatoes the size of Texas from her garden and says she cant look at another tomato ever again!! Well, what does any noble neighbor do to help out another neighbor? They take the bowl of tomatoes and help out a friend!! ;o)

Then.......they make salsa and tomato soup!! This recipe for tomato soup is so fabulously delicious, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I also made homemade wheat bread that day and made grilled cheese out of it to dunk into our tomato soup!!

12 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped (approx)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (Salt to taste basically this is just a guideline)
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic mashed and made into garlic paste


Place tomatoes, onion, celery, parsley and bay leaf in a large pot and cook, covered, on low heat for 1 to 2 hours, until forms tomato mush. ;o) Remove bay leaf and blend tomato mixture in batches in a food processor or blender, or you can use your hand blender, which is what I did. Then run through a sieve or strainer and return to pot. Stir in salt, sugar, seasoning salt, pepper and garlic salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, uncovered, 1 to 2 hours, until thickened. If you would like to turn this into a creamy tomato basil soup, during the cooking process add basil leaves as well. Then about 10 minutes before you serve your soup add in some heavy cream, about a cup!!

Apple Coffee Cake-Doesnt get much better!!

This recipe is different than any other coffee cake recipes I have had. Instead of using white sugar you use brown sugar and I think that make all the difference. It is so rich and moist!! I bake this when I make breakfast burritos for church and this thing disapears quick!!! Hope you enjoy!!


1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs 2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream (you can substitute yogurt for half or all of this cause I have done it!!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples (pampered chefs apple, peeler, corer helps save time on this!!)

Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Brown Sugar Glaze:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter. In a large bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each. In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges. To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. To make the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly. Serve warm.