Friday, February 27, 2009

Beer and Onion Brats!

It's Friday night and I've been running around all day, I'm too tired to be in the kitchen for long so for dinner tonight, we're having Beer and Onion Brats with Salad. 

Quick, easy and OH SO GOOD! 

1 package (19.76 oz) Johnsonville Fresh Original Bratwurst 
1 large onions, thinly sliced 
2 bottles (12 oz each) beer 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
Place the brats in a nonstick pan, cook on both sides for a few minutes, until brown. 
Add the onion and beer, cover, turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 
Drain the beer into a colander, return the skillet to the stove, add the olive oil and fry for a few minutes until onions start caramelizing. 
Serve on your favorite bun. Spread a little mustard and smother brat with the cooked onions. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mini Meatloaves!

There's something so utterly comforting about a meatloaf isn't there? 

But I like to mix things up sometimes, and making mini meatloaves is the perfect way to get the right portions for my kids.....and with this recipe I get in their veggies too. 


1 lb ground beef 
2 slices of bread, cubed 
1 egg beaten 
1 small onion, finely chopped 
1 (10 3/4 oz) can vegetable soup, undiluted 
In a bowl combine all the ingredients. Shape into small loaves and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. 
Top with ketchup and serve with mashed potatoes or fries or whatever you're in the mood for. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough!

I usually make the Honey Pizza Dough, which you can find here in my recipes. I've been making that one for years and it's my family's favorite. It's fluffy and it rises beautifully. But sometimes when I'm in the kitchen doing my freezer cooking on the weekends, I throw this one together and pop it in the freezer. This recipe will make 8 individual pizzas, all you need to do is make the dough, divide it into 8 balls, flatten them into discs and then freeze them between sheets of wax or parchment paper. 

When you want a quick meal, pull one from the freezer and add the toppings and bake. DONE! I'm going to give you the original recipe that can be found on Martha Stewart's site, but I tell you I don't follow it to the letter. For example, she divides the dough into two balls and freezes those first and then refreezes the actual pizzas. I don't do that, I immediately divide the dough into the portions I want and freeze them. That's it.... 



 * 1 1/2 cups warm (115 degrees) water 

* 2 packets ( ounce each) active dry yeast * 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl * 2 tablespoons sugar * 2 teaspoons coarse salt 
* 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for kneading 
* 2 cups whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled) 
1. Place water in a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Brush another large bowl with oil. 2. In bowl with yeast, whisk sugar, oil, and salt. Stir in flours with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to oiled bowl; brush top of dough with oil. 


Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour. 

3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, knead until smooth, about 15 seconds; divide into two balls. 


4. Set balls on a plate (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Then freeze in a freezer bag up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. 

5. Divide each ball of dough into 4 pieces. Using your hands, stretch each piece into a 5-inch disk (if dough becomes too elastic to work with, let it rest a few minutes). Freeze shells on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Stack frozen shells between layers of parchment paper. Freeze in a freezer bag up to 3 months. Bake from frozen. 


Here's what I did with mine: I cut the dough into 8 equal parts. Formed them into balls 


Made them into discs, froze the ones I wasn't using and then rolled out the others for us for lunch. 


The kids love homemade pizza because they get to put their own ingredients and do whatever they want, like smiley faces. There was sausage, bacon and pepperoni pizza 


Mommy and daddy decided to turn theirs into calzones. YUM....all we did was put all the toppings that we wanted and then folded the dough over and pinched the ends to seal. Daddy's was all about the meat, bacon, pepperoni, sausage and cheese 


Here's mine, sausage, bacon, jalapeno, onion slices and cheese 


Friday, February 20, 2009

Hearty Red Beans and Rice

A stick to your ribs kinda filling and delicious. 


Credit: Gooseberry Patch Family Favorites 


1 green pepper, chopped 
1 onion, chopped 
1/2 c. green onions, chopped 
1/2 c. celery, chopped 
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped 
3 slices of bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, drippings reserved 
1/2 lb. polish sausage, sliced 
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed 
1 c. chicken broth 
6 oz can tomato paste 
2 oz jar chopped pimentos, drained 
2 T. ketchup 
1 t. chili powder 
1 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce 
3 c. cooked riced 


Saute green pepper, onions, celery and parsley in reserved bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat until tender. Stir in bacon, sausage and next 7 ingredients. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked rice. Serves 4.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Virginia's Baked Spaghetti!

Rich, creamy and the best baked spaghetti you'll ever taste. This recipe is for 12 servings so I made only half the amounts and even then, it's a lot of spaghetti, which is going with Curt to work tonight. 
Credit: Gooseberry Patch Cookbook


16-oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked
2-(24-oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
2 lbs. ground beef, browned
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
12-oz. evaporated milk
3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Combine spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce and ground beef in a large bowl; set aside. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat; add flour, Parmesan cheese, salt and garlic powder, stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly. Add evaporated milk and one cup cheddar cheese; stir until thickened.

Pour half of spaghetti noodle mixture into a greased 13"x9" casserole dish and pour the cheese mixture over top. Pour remaining noodle mixture into dish; top with remaining 2 cups cheddar cheese. 

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. 

Serves 12. 


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Calamari Beer Stew

I absolutely love Calamari but it's not often that I make it, mainly because it's one of those things that if you don't buy already cleaned and ready to cook, it is time consuming. 

But once in a while, I don't mind. I came up with this recipe earlier because what I originally had in mind was to fry the calamari rings, but I didn't feel like fried food and wanted something more of a stew, so this is what I came up with. So good! 




1 lb calamari clean and cut into bite size pieces 
1 medium onion, sliced 
olive oil 
1 packet mushroom/onion beef soup 
1 bottle of beer 
salt and pepper 
garlic powder 
1 small can of tomato sauce 

In a large skillet add a little bit of olive oil, the calamari and the onion. Cook for a few minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and cover. 

Simmer on medium to low heat for about 45 minutes or until calamari is tender. 


Keep an eye on it and stir it once in a while, making sure there's enough liquid in there, if need be, add a little bit of water at a time. 

When the calamari is ready, check to see if it's too watery, if it is, you can just dissolve some cornstarch in a little bit of water, add it to the skillet and stir constantly until the gravy is thickened. I served mine with Garlic mashed potatoes and I also sprinkled some parsley on top. 


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pork Chops Supreme

When I get tired of the usual Pork Chops recipes, I go back to this one. It's one of those real down home comfort dishes that leave you licking the fork and begging for more. So quick and easy to make too. 


6 pork chops (I use the loin ones without the bone) 
salt and pepper 
1/4 cup celery, chopped 
1 packet onion/mushroom soup 
1 cup water 
half a can of evaporated milk (6 oz) 
1/4 cup cold water 
2 tablespoons flour 

Season the pork chops with salt, pepper and paprika. 


In a large skillet, add a little bit of olive oil and cook the chops slowly until brown. When the chops are brown, drain off the excess oil and then add the onion/mushroom soup, the celery and 1 cup of water. 


Cook for 30 minutes over low heat until the pork chops and celery are completely cooked through. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix the 1/4 cold water, the flour and the parsley. 


Remove the pork chops to a serving dish and keep warm. 


Add the evaporated milk and the flour mixture to the drippings in the skillet and stir until combined and thickened. Pour over the pork chops and serve immediately. 


You can serve it with mashed potatoes or fries or rice or noodles or whatever you like. Because Nicholas is a HUGE rice fan, that is what I served with the pork chops. Yum Yum!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

Wonderful recipe from Gooseberry Patch.

The kids liked it but did complain that it's a bit spicy for them, I'll have to play around with it next time to make sure they'll eat it.


1/2 lb. ground mild pork sausage
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 c. canned diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
10 3/4 oz. can cream of celery
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom
10 oz. can enchilada sauce
18 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2. shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cook sausage and ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in jalapeno and next 5 ingredients; cook until thoroughly heated.

Stir together soups and enchilada sauce in a saucepan; cook until thoroughly heated.

Spoon one-third of sauce onto bottom of a lightly greased 13"x9" baking dish; top with 6 tortillas. Spoon half of beef mixture and one-third of sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with half of Cheddar cheese. Top with 6 tortillas; repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Two Week Menu Plan!

I do my grocery shopping on the 1st and the 15th of every month, so I shop for two weeks, it's easier for me to do it this way than shopping every single week. Here is my menu for the next two weeks......with almost all the meals from my new Gooseberry Patch Cookbook. 

{ Mexican Lasagna }

 { Pork Chops Supreme }

{ Virginia's Baked Spaghetti }

{ Hearty Red Beans and Rice }

 { Mini Meat Loaves, Garlic Mashed Potatoes }

{ Pepperoni Calzones }

{ Slow Cooked Beef Stroganoff }

{ Onion Burgers, Fries }

{ Chicken Stew and Biscuits }
THURSDAY 26TH { Crockpot Hamburger Steak }
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cinnamon Tea Rolls!

Another great recipe from Taste of Home. With everyone sick in the house, breakfasts have been pretty quick and easy consisting of cereal or toast, but I wanted to make something a little nicer today without having to spend too much time in the kitchen.
These were super easy and quick to make and they're really good. BTW, you may want to double the recipe.


1 tube (4 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls 
1 tablespoon sugar 
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar 1-1/4 teaspoons orange juice 


 Unroll crescent dough into one rectangle; seal perforations. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. 


Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; pinch seam to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut into four slices. 


Place rolls, pinched side down, in ungreased muffin cups. As you can see I just put mine on a cookie sheet. 


Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and orange juice; drizzle over rolls. 



Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cinnamon Fruit Biscuits!

I think refrigerated canned biscuits are by far, my favorite food item to have in the house. 

The possibilities are endless, whether you're in the mood for something savory OR sweet. Here's another great dessert, breakfast OR snack using store bought refrigerated biscuits. 


Cinnamon Fruit Biscuits
1 package (10 biscuits) refrigerated 
biscuits melted butter 
cinnamon/sugar mixture 
10 teaspoons strawberry preserves (or whatever kind you like) 
Dip top and sides of biscuits in melted butter and then in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. 
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
Using the back of a wooden spoon or like I did, I used my Pampered Chef Mini Tart Shaper and make an indentation on the top of the biscuits. 
Fill with a teaspoon of the preserves. 
Bake at 375º for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for 15 minutes before serving. 


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Garlic Chicken Drummettes

Quick to throw together and so delicious. My kids devour these! I usually make these as wings but this time I used the drummettes which work well too.  


2 lbs chicken drummettes 
salt and pepper 
7 garlic cloves finely chopped 
1 bay leaf 
olive oil 
Pre heat oven to 450. In a big bowl, combine the drummettes, salt and pepper, garlic.
Pour some olive oil into a big baking pan, add the chicken drummettes and using your hands get in there and mix everything really well. 
You can drizzle some more olive oil over the top if you wish....sprinkle with paprika and add the bay leaf. 
Sprinkle with paprika and the parsley and pop in the oven for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and nice and brown.