Mom's Overnight Egg Bake

This is the last recipe from Christmas I have to post. I actually made it for us for dinner last night because I had coupons for croutons and sausage and Mike really likes it. Thanks for the recipe Mom :-)!

2 1/2 Cups Seasoned Croutons (1 normal sized box)
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Jimmy Dean Sausage Roll (we like spicy)
8 Eggs
3 Cups Milk, divided
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup (I used 98% FF)

Grease 9 X 13 inch pan. Layer Croutons, cheese and cooked, drained sausage. Beat eggs and 2 1/2 cups milk. Pour over ingredients. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, Mix mushroom soup and remaining 1/2 cup milk. Pour over eggs. Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees 1 1/2 hours, until brown.

French Onion Soup

This was a recipe featured on The Lil' Peanut Patch and I've been wanting it ever since I saw it! I was a little nervous, but was very pleased with how it turned out!

5-6 medium sweet onions, cut in 1/2 and then sliced (so you have a bunch of 1/2 circles)
4-5 Tbsp. butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tsp. thyme
1/2 cup sherry cooking wine
6 cups beef broth
3-4 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
loaf of french bread (I just put croutons in Mike's and skipped it altogether in mine to leave it sans gluten)
sliced mozzarella or swiss cheese (we used Swiss)

Heat a deep pot over medium-med/high heat. Add butter and onions. Cook and stir occasionally until they are somewhat caramelized. Then, season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Add sherry to the pot, slowly deglazing the pan as you pour it in. Then add the beef broth and worcestershire sauce. Let the soup sit on med/low heat for at least 20 minutes.

While soup is simmering, turn on your oven to broil. Toast both sides of a thick slice of french bread. Then, place broiler safe bowls onto a cookie sheet and ladle the soup into your bowls, add the toasted bread (push it lightly into the soup) and lay a slice of cheese on top. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. YUM!

Puffed Pancakes

Another stolen recipe from my mom...we had it with our Christmas Day brunch. Ella LOVED them :-) and next time she wants pancakes I think this is what I'll do...much less time consuming that making a whole batch of actual pancakes!

1/2 cube butter (not margarine)
6 eggs
1 cup Milk
1 Cup Pancake Mix (or Bisquick)

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Place butter in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Put in preheating oven until butter is melted. In a blender, combine eggs, milk and pancake mix. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for a bout 15 - 18 Minutes until pancakes are puffy and lightly browned. Do not open oven while pancakes are cooking. Top with sifted powder sugar.

Serve with warm maple syrup or fruit toppings.

24 Hour Salad

My mom has made this salad for our Christmas Eve dinner ever since I can remember! The first Christmas Mike and I had together I made it for the two of us, not a good idea. It makes a lot and it doesn't save longer than a day, but it was delicious!

6 Cups lettuce chopped
Sugar, Salt, Pepper
6 Hard Boiled Eggs, sliced
1 10 oz. pkg. Frozen Peas thawed
1 lb. Bacon , cooked and crumbled
1/4 C. sliced green onions
2 Cups( 8 oz.) shredded Swiss Cheese
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large salad bowl, place 3 cups lettuce. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Layer in order the eggs, peas, bacon, remaining 3 cups lettuce, green onions and cheese. Combine mayonnaise and sour cream, spread over top of salad. Cover, refrigerate 24 hrs. Toss before serving.


Tonight I made Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken and was planning on using it to make tacos, but then I decided to try making some home made taquitos instead...and they were delicious (although less healthy!)!

-shredded chicken, beef or pork
-shredded cheese
-tortillas of choice (I used corn to be gluten free but I'm sure flour would be easier to work with)
-oil for frying!

-Heat enough oil in pan to cover tortillas when rolled up.
-Place a small amount of cheese down center of tortilla, then top with some of your meat mixture (to make my corn tortillas easier to work with I place 3 in a paper towel, wrap them up and heat in microwave for 30 seconds).
-Tightly roll up tortilla and place 1 or 2 toothpicks in to hold in place.
-Place in hot oil until they turn golden brown.

Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken

I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe. The chicken turned out really well, but was definitely more sweet than spicy (I only used 1/4 t. red pepper). I definitely plan to make it again...we could use it for tacos one night and then put it in tortilla soup the next night (tonight I tried it in homemade taquitos). I will however add some additional spices though (extra red pepper, some cumin, maybe some chili powder and garlic salt) and I'll probably add some sliced onions as well. It was super easy and definitely worth a shot!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I will use at least 1/2 next time)

Place all ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until chicken shreds very easily with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Chicken will absorb liquid after it is shredded.)

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

This is more a casserole than actual enchiladas, but was easy and tasty. I adapted it from a Kill the Gluten recipe.

1 can of cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1 small onion, diced
1 (16 oz) jar green salsa (I used 3/4 jar)
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
2 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded (I used 1 can)
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 dozen corn tortillas

-Mix soup, sour cream, salsa, green chiles, and onion (I sauteed mine first) in a large bowl .
(I mixed my chicken in as well)
-In a 9x13 pan, spread a small amount of sauce. Layer 4 tortillas, chicken, sauce mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers two more times.
-Cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Beef Stew

Such a perfect meal for a freezing day like today :-)! I just kind of threw this together with things I had on hand and thought it turned out well.

Ingredients: (guess-timates)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 c. onion, thinly sliced (a heaping cup)
4 c. beef broth
1 envelope onion mushroom soup mix
1 c. water
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3-4 c. potatoes, diced (I used 8 small-ish red potatoes)
4 T. cornstarch/flour mixed with 4 T. water to make paste

-Brown meat and onions.
-In large pot combine broth, soup mix, water and beef/onions. Simmer while chopping other vegetables.
-Add carrots, celery and potatoes and bring to boil. Turn down heat and let it simmer for an hour or so.
-Add flour/cornstarch mixture to thicken it up a little when veggies are cooked.

Mexican Big Macs

This recipe is from Our Little Somethings and was a good way to turn one of our favorite things, quesadillas, into an actual meal. Plus, you could make it meatless, with beef, etc. and mix things up. I didn't stuff this one for the girls and I very full with fillings, the one for Mike later one would have been better for a picture :-).

1 can refried beans
1/2 cup sour cream, divided in half
2 1/4 tsp chili powder
2 cups cooked chicken (I used a can)
1 medium red pepper
1/2 cup green onions with tops, thinly sliced
3/4 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced (I skipped these, we aren't olive fans)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, snipped
5 soft flour tortillas (I used corn and used 8)
2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
veg. oil spray
2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 F.
-In a bowl combine refried beans, 1/4 cup of the sour cream and 2 tsp of the chili powder; mix well.
-Chop chicken and red pepper in small pieces, place in another bowl. Add sliced green onions, 1/2 cup of the olives and 2 tbsp of the cilantro; mix gently.
-Place 1 tortilla on flat pizza baking stone or lightly sprayed cookie sheet.
-Using a scoop put 1/4 of refried bean mixture on top of tortilla; spread to cover.
-Top evenly with 1 cup of chicken mixture.
**Since corn tortillas are smaller, I made two little stacks with 4 tortillas each and split the mixture between the two**
-Put 1/4 of the cheese over the chicken mixture.
-Repeat layer of tortilla, bean mixture, chicken mixture and cheese three more times.
-Top with remaining tortilla; spray with vegetable oil.
-Bake 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown.
-Mix remaining sour cream with 1/4 tsp chili powder; spread evenly over top of warm tortilla stack.
-Sprinkle with chopped tomato, remaining olive slices and cilantro.
-Cut into wedges (like a cake) and serve with salsa.

Chicken and Rice Bowls

This meal idea comes from Taste Buds and was a nice change from our stir fry meals. I only marinaded the chicken for a few hours because I didn't read the recipe close enough the first time through, but it was still tasty...and healthy too! I was reminded of Teriyaki Stix by this meal (and Sara's short lived work experience there).

-chicken breasts
-equal parts teriyaki sauce & fat free italian dressing
-1-2 cloves garlic, minced
-veggies of choice
-rice of choice

-combine sauce, dressing, garlic and chicken in a ziploc bag & marinade over night.
-roast or grill chicken (I used my George Foreman grill!) and serve over steamed brown or white rice with your steamed veggies of choice.

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Rice Bake

(photo via Picky Palate, I didn't even try one tonight) This recipe is from, you guessed it, Picky Palate :-). I really struggled finding meals that sounded good to me this week and when I saw this I thought it might do the trick. I think it's really good and would be even better with the flavor of Swiss cheese instead of the mozzarella!

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/2 lb diced ham (I used about 1/2 that in lunch meat)
2 c. cooked shredded chicken breast (I used 1 can chicken)
4 T. butter
1/4 c. flour (I used cornstarch)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. fresh cracked pepper
14 oz can chicken broth
3 c. cooked rice of choice (I used 4 c. 1/2 white, 1/2 brown)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella or swiss cheese (I used mozzarella because I had it, but I really wanted swiss...I think it would be better!)

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil into a large skillet over medium heat.
- Saute onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, ham and chicken. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Melt butter then stir in flour, salt and pepper until combined. Slowly stir in chicken broth until well combined.
- Stir in cooked rice then transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Top with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Cover the dish with foil the last 10 minutes for oozing cheese.

White Chiken Chili

This was THE perfect meal for our chilly day today! I LOVED it...SO easy and flavorful! I came across the blog Delicioius Dishes at some point while looking for recipes at the beginning of this week and this was definitely a winner!

3 chicken breasts, cubed (I used 1 can)
1 med. Onion, chopped
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 T. vegetable oil

Saute until chicken is golden brown and add:
2 cans (15oz) great northern beans (drain and rinse)
1 (14.5 oz) can of chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz) of green chilies
1 T. jalapenos (I didn't have and it was still VERY flavorful)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp. black pepper

Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add:
1 C. sour cream
½ pint whipping cream

Stir in and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with chips, avocado and cheese.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

I found this recipe on All Recipes and really LOVED it! It's actually quite similar to My Tortilla Soup, but maybe a little spicier. Since I was using a can of chicken, I felt the crock pot was unnecessary and just let the soup sit on low on the stove top for awhile instead. We topped with cheese, sour cream, avocado and crushed tortilla chips since I was too lazy to make tortilla strips :-). (oh, and I threw in a can of black beans as well - rinsed and drained)

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken (I used 1 can chicken)
1 (15 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed (I used diced, fire roasted I had on hand)
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (I totally forgot this...woops)
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

-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.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese!

Look what I found at Walmart today, and for less than $3 a box too!!! There were only 3 boxes left sitting on the shelf and you better believe I bought them all. Hooray for macaroni and cheese for lunch :-)!

Mushroom-Onion Chicken

This is another one from Miserly Moms and it was actually really good I thought...not to mention so fast and easy and cheap! (and again sorry for the bad pictures, I really cannot get dinner done before it gets dark now anymore...darn time change!)

2 chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom
3/4 soup can of milk
2/3 cup french fried onions
black pepper

Heat a skillet. Brown chicken, add soup and milk, stir.
Simmer about 10 min. Add onions and season with pepper to taste.
Serve over rice or noodles.

Huntington Chicken

I found this recipe posted on the website Miserly Moms and there wasn't a picture, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. It was good though and definitely a kid pleaser. I think next time I will add some mushrooms or broccoli to it to give it some pizazz, but it was cheap and easy and a great base to work from. You could easily leave out the chicken and add some veggies to make it a meatless meal too.

2 cups cooked macaroni (I used my GF Penne)
1/2 T. butter
3 T. flour(or cornstarch)
1/2 cups cream or milk (cents)
1 cup cream cheese (I used FF)
1 cup hot chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken (or 1 can)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and put into a casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.

Cream of Rice

No recipe here...just a gluten-free breakfast idea for winter. I LOVED this growing up!
Follow directions on Cream of Rice box to prepare.
Then add LOTS of brown sugar, some butter and milk.
It's like our version of oatmeal :-).

Chili-Beef Soft Tacos

This is another mystery recipe...I ripped it out of a magazine long ago, but all identifying information was cut off. You can't go wrong with shredded beef tacos in my opinion and these definitely didn't disappoint! And they are so easy; just throw it in the crock pot in the morning and by evening you're ready to dig in.

-2 16-oz. jars mild or med tomato-based salsa (4 c.)
-2 T. cider vinegar
-5 t. chili powder
-1 1/2 lb. beef chuck pot roast
-12 corn tortillas
-sour cream, shredded lettuce, avocado (and cheese if you're like me)

-Spoon 1 c. salsa into small bowl; reserve. In slow cooker, combine remaining sals with vinegar and chili powder. Add beef, cover and turn heat to low. Cook until beef shreds easily with a fork, 10-12 hours. Shred meat, meat using 2 forks and spoon into serving bowl.
-Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Stack tortillas, wrap in foil and bake until warm, about 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream, lettuce, avocado and remaining salsa.

Zucchini Soup

The time change is killing my dinner picture taking ability. We ate tonight a little after 5pm and it was already too dark for a picture outside. I think I'll run for president on the platform that we will no longer practice Daylight Savings. Anyway, the soup was pretty good. I think I would like it better not blended up and will probably try that next time around. To my absolute astonishment Ella ate her entire bowl...who would have thought :-). (oh, and I don't know where it came from, it is one I wrote down long ago and had not yet tried)

-1 c. chopped celery
-1 c. chopped onion
-1 T. olive oil
-1 1/2 lbs. zucchini (about 5 c.), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
-3 c. chicken broth
-1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I couldn't find those at the store and used great northern beans instead)
-1 t. salt
-1 t. pepper
(I added some garlic salt and onion salt at the end)
Garnishes: thinly sliced radiches, crumbled feta cheese (we just used plain old cheddar)

-Saute chopped celery and onion in hot olive oil over med-high heat 8 min. or until tender.
-Add zucchini and next 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil over med. heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 min. or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat, let stand 20 minutes.
-Process soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor 30 seconds or until smooth. Return soup to pan and cook over heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish if desired.

2 Pot Roast Recipes

Mike's Favorite Pot Roast(from a church cookbook)
-1 can cream of mushroom soup (we use 98%FF)
-1 envelope onion soup mix
-1/2 c. milk
-beef chuck roast (about 2 lbs.)

-Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper and place in crock pot on low setting.
-Mix together soup, soup mix and milk. Pour over roast.
-Cook on low 8-10 hours until meat is done, stirring occasionally.
Serve with mashed potatoes and use sauce in crock pot as gravy.

Marci's Favorite Pot Roast (from Better Homes and Garden cookbook)
-beef chuck roast
-2 T. cooking oil
-3/4 c. water or dry wine
-1 t. beef bouillon granules
-1 T. Worcestershire
-1 t. dried basil, crushed
-2 medium potatoes, sliced
-handful baby carrots or 2 carrots, sliced
-1 onion, sliced

-Place veggies at the bottom of crockpot. Place roast on top.
-Combine water, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon, and basil.
-Pour over meat and vegetables. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours.
(For gravy: Measure pot juices and add water if need to equal 1 1/2 cups. Combine 1/4 c. flour/cornstarch with 1/2 c. cold water. Stir into juices until thickend and bubbly.)

Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken

I randomly came across the recipe blog Delicious Dishes somewhere along the line while looking for recipes this week and decided to give this one a shot. It was easy (a crock pot meal) and pretty dang good too!

2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I just used 1 large breast)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup salsa
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 package taco seasoning
½ cup sour cream (I used FF)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

-Place chicken in slow cooker. Pour broth, salsa, corn, beans, and taco seasoning over chicken. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or on high heat 3-4 hours.
-Remove Chicken with slotted spoon and place on serving dish. Stir sour cream and cheese into sauce in slow cooker, then pour over chicken.
*We served ours over rice.

Gluten Free Meatballs

I've been meaning to try this recipe from Kill the Gluten for awhile now and we finally got around to it. I was impressed with how well the meatballs stayed together and kept their shape. The taste was fine...I think I'll add some garlic salt next time around...but it was fun to have meatballs with our spaghetti tonight. The girls LOVED them!!! (I halved the recipe: 1/2 lb. meat, 1/4 c. cornmeal, 1 egg, 1 t. seasoning)

1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 to 1 cup corn meal
2 eggs
about 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

-In a large bowl beat the eggs and add uncooked ground beef into bowl. Mix well with hands.
-Add corn meal to desired consistency. Add seasoning and mix well with hands again.
-Roll them into 1 inch balls and place in fry pan lightly greased. I found it best to cook them as if they are triangles, flipping them from one of three sides over and over once browned using tongs.

Tortilla Soup (a new one)

This recipe is from Kill the Gluten (which is posting new recipes again finally - hooray!). I'm always ready to try a new tortilla soup recipe, so if you have any you love send them my way! This one was great, although I still prefer my recipe above all others :-).

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, diced
1 1/2 lbs chicken, cubed (I used 1 can chicken)
1 (15 oz) can corn, NOT drained
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, NOT drained
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 (4 oz) can jalapenos, diced (I just put in 1 jalapeno)
30 oz chicken broth
Toppings: tortilla chips, salsa, cheese, sour cream, avocados, cilantro, etc.

-In large saucepan, heat olive oil. Add onions and peppers and saute until tender.
-Add chicken and green chiles. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
-Add corn and pinto beans, followed by chicken broth, cumin, and garlic salt.
-Use jalapenos to taste, as using the whole can will make for a very spicy soup.
-Heat soup over medium low, letting flavors blend for about 20-30 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top as you please.

Mom's Taco Soup

My mom makes this every Halloween and we all love it. Scott even requested it for his birthday dinner one year :-). It's like a chili with a Mexican twist...perfect for fall!

-1 can chili beans (15 oz)
-1 lb. hamburger
-1 chopped onion
-1 can tomato soup (8 oz)
-1 can water (8 oz)
-1 can whole stewed tomatoes (28 oz)
-1 can kidney beans (15 oz)
-1 can green chilies (4 oz)
-1 can whole kernel corn
-1 package taco seasoning
*brown sugar
-Toppings: crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, green onions, avocado.

-Brown hamburger and onion and drain fat.
-Combine all ingredeitns and simmer at least 2 hours or cook in crockpot.
*Add brown sugar to taste...this really makes the difference!
-Top as desired!

Classic Hashbrown Casserole

I just made these on a whim yesterday...I saw the words "potato casserole" somewhere, this came to mind and I had to have it :-). When Mike and I first got married we had this for dinner probably once a week (no wonder I gained weight!) and I hadn't made it in forever. It tastes just as good use FF creamed soup and FF sour cream and it would have saved me a few pounds I'm sure.

-1 package frozen hash browns
-1 can cream chicken soup (can use FF)
-1 chopped onion
-1 container (16 oz) sour cream (can use FF or light)
-1 stick butter (I think just 2 T. is good enough)
-shredded cheddar cheese

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Place butter, sliced, in bottom of 9x13 baking dish with onion while you mix the other ingredients (for the cheese, I put one handful in the mix and use the rest to top the casserole at the end) until onions are clear.
-Mix onions in with other ingredients and spread the mixture in dish.
-Bake for 30-45 minutes. Add cheese to top during last 10 min. of baking.

Mushroom Wild Rice Casserole (Turkey, Chicken or Meatless)

This is another recipe from One Dish. It was ok, nothing spectacular, but not bad. I didn't realize I was out of pecans, so maybe that would have given it that special something. It was a nice meal for fall.
**I must add, that I gave the leftovers of this meal to my family, and they LOVED it, so give it a must have just been me :-)**

- 2 T. butter
- 1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms or 1 can (4 oz) sliced mushrooms
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, shopped
- 2 c. diced cooked turkey breast (I used 1 can chicken, but I think it would be just as good without meat too)
- 1 can cream mushroom soup (used 98%FF)
- 1 pouch (9 oz) ready-to-serve wild rice (I used 2)
- 1 c. milk
- 2 T. minced fresh chives
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over med heat. Add mushrooms, onion and celery; cook 5 min. or until onion is translucent.
- Stir in turkey, soup, rice, milk, chives and pepper; mix well.
- Spoon mixture into 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 15-20 min. or until bubbly and heated through.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Thanks to Annemarie (Taste Buds) for this festive cookie idea :-). The girls and I made up some little plates for the librarians at our library last night and they turned out so cute. I'm not a baker, so the fact that they turned out presentable was definitely a success :-)!

1/2 cup butter; room temp
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg; room temp
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Hershey Kisses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and peanut butter. Mix in both sugars, vanilla and egg. Combine dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add to peanut butter mixture & mix just until combined. Roll dough into 1" balls, roll in granulated sugar and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 min. Remove from oven and immediately press Hershey Kiss into center of cookie (I put mine in the fridge while the cookies are baking).

Asian Noodles with Vegetables (and Chicken)

This recipe comes from one of my best cookbook buys ever, One Dish. This was easy to make and I really liked it...the girls though, not so much :-). This would be great as a vegetarian dish too, just leave the chicken out!

- 1 T. vegetable oil (I used 1/2 sesame and 1/2 canola)
- 2 c. sliced shiitake or button mushrooms
- 2 c. fresh snow peas, sliced diagonally in half
- 2 packages (1.6 oz each) garlic and vegetable instant rice noodle soup mix (see note at end)
- 2 packages (6 oz each) refrigerated fully cooked chicken breast strips, cut into 1/2-in pieces (I just cooked up one chicken breast with salt and pepper)
- 2 c. boiling water
- 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
- 2 T. lime juice
- 1 T. soy sauce
- 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

- Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add mushrooms and snow peas; cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes or until peas are crisp-tender. Remove from skillet; set aside.
- Add noodles, 1 seasoning packet, chicken, water and red pepper flakes to skillet; mix well. Cook over med-high heat 5-7 min. or until liquid thickens.
- Stir in reserved mushrooms and snow peas, lime juice and soy sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.

I had a hard time finding the soup mix and eventually found these at Kroger. They were perfect and pretty cheap too. I used one spice packet, as the recipe said, both the dehydrated veggie packets, and neither of the oil packets.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

I took the beginnings of this recipe from one I found on All Recipes and went from there. My pumpkin seeds always tend to get overdone. I only had them in about 40 minutes and some of them were still a little burned. I put them on a baking sheet though I just realized so maybe that was the problem. The flavors in this are great - just watch them closely while they bake!

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned sale
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
(optional: 1/4 t. chili powder)

-Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
-Combine the butter, salts, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish.
-Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Cheesy Baked Mexi Rigatoni

This is the first recipe I have tried from Picky Palate and it was pretty good. The more I ate, the more I liked it. Ella and Addie both LOVED it and wanted more (although while Ella didn't eat the tomatoes, Addie picked them out to eat first). We used ground turkey instead of beef and I didn't have any chilies, but we'll definitely make it again! (oh, and I made a half recipe of it and it was plenty for the 4 of us)

1 lb dry Rigatoni pasta or any other pasta of choice (we used our Gluten Free Penne)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Anaheim green chili’s finely chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt
1 can cheddar cheese soup
½ Cup milk or half and half
1 Cup sour cream
2 15 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
Heaping ½ Cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves (add more if you love cilantro)
2 Cups Mexican blend shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions, making sure it’s not overcooked. Drain and set aside.
2. Place olive oil into a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Saute onions and chilies until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in beef, salt, pepper and garlic salt; cook and crumble until browned. Stir in soup, milk, sour cream and tomatoes. Stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cilantro and cooked pasta.
3. Pour mixture into a large 9 x 13 inch baking dish or individual size baking dishes of choice, see my link above. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. (I broiled mine a minute or two at the end)

Garbanzo and Green Chile Stew

I saw this recipe in a magazine ad for Bush's beans. This is the second time I've made it and I definitely love it. This time around I put torn pieces of corn tortilla in the bowls before dishing in the soup and I thought it was a great addition!

-3/4 lb. pork tenderloin cut in 1-in chunks (I use less meat than that and like to make a pork roast the day before and use the leftovers for the soup)
-1 T. olive oil
-1 c. diced onions
-1/2 c. diced carrots
-1/2 c. diced celery
-1 T. minced garlic
-1 can (14 oz) green enchilada sauce
-3 c. chicken stock of water
-1 can Garbanzo beans with liquid
-salt and pepper to taste
-corn tortilla pieces if desired

-Season the pork pieces with salt and pepper.
-Heat sauce pot over high heat. Add the oil and the pork tenderloin. Cook on high until the pork is brown all over, but still raw in the center. Remove the pork from the pan.
(if you are using leftover roast, like me, you can skip the first 2 steps and just use some of your meat juices for cooking the veggies in the next step)
-Place pan back on burner over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes.
-Add enchilada sauce and stock, bring to simmer. Add the beans and liquid, cook for 10 minutes.
-Add the pork back to the pan and simmer until the pork is cooked to medium.

Tostada Bake

Found this one on Tastebuds. Easy and pretty good. Addie was in love. I liked it, but it was a little salty for me so I think I may used some torn tortillas on the bottom with it next time too to balance out the chips.

1 lb ground beef
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 1/2 cups Fritos
1 15oz can refried beans (I used FF)
grated cheddar cheese

-Brown ground beef, add half can of tomato sauce and taco seasoning, mix well.
-Line bottom of greased 9x13 pan with 2 cups corn chips. Crush remaining chips, reserve.
-Spoon meat mixture over chips. Combine remaining tomato sauce and refried beans. Spread over meat.
-Bake, covered, at 375 degrees for 25 min.
-Sprinkle with cheese and crushed corn chips. Bake uncovered 5 min

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

I never got around to making this for dinner last week, but the girls and I ate it for lunch today. Ella and I REALLY liked it (we all know how I feel soups though...they are my favorite)! It is another winner from TasteBuds.

4 chicken breasts, cooked & diced (I just used 1)
2 cups cooked rice (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 brown...I think I'll put some wild rice in next time)
3-4 carrots; diced
1-2 stalks celery; diced
1 small onion; diced
2 Tbsp butter
5-6 cups chicken stock
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
(extra stock or water can be added to desired consistency - I put a little extra)

Sautee vegetables in butter until tender. Add cooked chicken, cooked rice, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Simmer 30-40 min. Add soup and sour cream and cook 10 min, or until heated through.

Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya

Sorry for the lack of posts this week - I haven't felt like cooking much. But today Mckell made this for us for lunch and it was DELICIOUS!!!!

2 cans Trappey's black-eyed peas with Jalapenos (undrained)
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
1 med. onion, chopped
1 can beef broth
1/2 c. butter (we put in 1/4 c.)
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut in pieces
Chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste

Fry sausage pieces. When almost done, saute onion & garlic.
Combine the black eye peas, rice, onions, beef broth, butter, and sausage in electric rice cooker. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Cook according to the instructions on the rice cooker.
Gently stir once when cooker reaches the warm mode.

Gluten Free Pad Thai

This was one of the first recipes I tried when I found the Kill the Gluten blog. It gets better each time we make it I think. I added my alterations in italics.

1 box Original Pad Thai
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
we use 1 can chicken and season with 1/2 t. each pepper, garlic salt, onion salt and 1 t. curry
3 Tbsp oil, divided
I use 1/2 sesame oil, 1/2 canola or veggie oil
1 egg, scrambled (we like 2)
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 lime...optional (I forgot tonight and it still tasted great)
2 Tbsp peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. shredded carrots
- Boil 4 cups water. Add the noodles and remove from heat. Let the noodles soak for about 5-8 minutes, then drain and run under cold water.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add egg(s) and cook until done. Remove the egg and set aside.
- Add the other 2 Tbsp oil and heat. Add the chicken (and carrots) to the skillet, cooking until just done, about 3-5 minutes. Add the noodles and the sauce packet. Stir fry for a few minutes, or until the noodles are done, adding water if necessary to keep them from sticking to the skillet.
- Add the egg, green onions, cilantro, and squeeze the juice from the lime over the top. Stir for 1 minute and remove from heat.
- Garnish with peanuts. (and some soy sauce if desired)

Minestrone Soup

This super easy and tasty recipe comes from Chalonn's recipe blog, Our Little Somethings.

1 lb of ground beef, browned (cook with onions and salt and pepper)
2 cans of Progresso Minestrone soup (or 3 cans of Campbell's)
2 cans of Diced Tomatoes
2 cans of Pork and Beans

Let sit in pot long enough for flavors to blend.
Serve with rolls or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Italian Chicken and Potatoes

I found this recipe on Kill the Gluten and was SO excited to try it. It sounded delicious and it doesn't get much easier! It IS really good, but my potatoes took FOREVER to cook (and you can see from the picture they were cut pretty small too). Next time I will either chop them even smaller or boil them in water for a little while first and then add them to the crock pot.

4 chicken breasts (we used 2)
1 1/2 cups Italian dressing
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4-6 peeled potatoes, cut into wedges

Put all ingredients into crock pot on low 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally.

Kelley's Banana Bread

This is my mom's is delicious :-)!!!

2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 tsp. allspice
3 bananas, mashed (I double the bananas)
4 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda

Combine all ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 t0 50 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

Liz's Red Beans and Rice

This recipe is passed on from one of my old college roommates, Liz. It was delicious!!!

1 – 16 oz. package of Kielbasa cut into ¼ inch slices (any sausage would do)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 – 15 oz. cans red beans, drained (we used light red Kidney beans)
1 – 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained (per her suggestion we used Rotel for some spice)
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. pepper and salt
cooked rice

While rice is cooking, in large skillet cook sausage over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes.
Stir in onion, green pepper, and garlic. Sauté until tender.
Pour in beans and tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper.
Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes serve over rice.

Optional garnish from Liz: "We always have limes in our fridge, so once when we made this we squeezed a lime wedge on it and it was really good. Now we do it all the time!"

Cheesy Zucchini Frittata

This is a Rachel Ray recipe. It was easy and I was really pleased with how well it turned out! The cheese gives it a more grown up flavor, but my girls still devoured it...with ketchup :-).

**note: the recipe only makes "2 servings" - we doubled it for our family of 4**

- 1 potato, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 T milk
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1/2 c. shredded asiago cheese (I used the Italian blend w/ parmesan, etc)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the potato in a small bowl with enough water to cover and microwave at high power until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, add the milk and mash with a fork; let cool. Mix in the eggs.
2. In a medium, ovenproof skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the potato mixture and stir to combine. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake until melted, about 2 minutes more. Let cool, then cut into wedges.

Creamy Blush Sauce with Chicken & Penne

This is a recipe from Campbell's Kitchen. It was super easy and really good - a fancier version of our typical spaghetti meal. I think I'll add in some sliced mushrooms and zucchini next time! Tonight I served it with Mom's Green Beans...Yum!

4 turkey thighs, skin removed (we used 2 chicken breasts)
1 jar Chunky Garden Mushroom & Green Pepper Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
Hot cooked penne pasta (I used my Gluten Free)
Grated Parmesan cheese

- Place the turkey into a 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the turkey and sprinkle with the red pepper.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours (my chicken cooked in just a few hours) or until the turkey is cooked through. Remove the turkey from the cooker to a cutting board. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the turkey meat from the bones.
- Stir the turkey meat and the half-and-half into the cooker. Spoon the turkey mixture over the pasta. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Mom's Green Beans

My mom has always been a green bean lover...I, on the other hand, have grown to appreciate them :-). Recently though I have really been loving them, so I finally asked her how she does it! Whenever my mom makes them when we are over for dinner, the girls can't get enough of them, so I figured I may as well start making myself every once in awhile. Tonight was our first attempt and they were DELICIOUS!

- canned green beans
- butter
- Goya All Purpose Seasoning (with the RED cap)
- Dump beans into sauce pan with a generous amount of butter (I put 1 1/2 T. for 1 can of beans tonight).
- Season with Goya salt and pepper...lots of both, to taste.
- Let the flavors mix together and enjoy!

Favorite Potato Soup

When I graduated high school my church Young Women leader gave us each a little cookbook she had compiled. Some of our favorite family recipes are from her (ie.Creamy Lemon Chicken), including the base recipe for this soup. I change this one up depending on my mood and who is going to eat it. When I make it for just us girls, I put in lots of frozen broccoli and no meat, but for Mike we add some meat to make it a little more hearty :-). Tonight I had bacon and half and half in the fridge for other recipes this week so we threw those in. It was delicious as always!

- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 c. onion, diced
- 2-4 T. butter
- 1 t. garlic, minced
- 3-4 potatoes, diced
- 2 c. water (or enough to cover potatoes)
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. pepper
- 1/2 t. seasoned salt
- 4 T. flour/cornstarch
- 2 c. milk
Optional: diced ham/bacon, corn, broccoli, shredded cheese

- Melt butter in large pot; Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, saute until tender.
- Add potatoes, water and spices (and any frozen veggies). Cook until potatoes are tender.
- Combine flour/cornstarch and a small amount of water to make a paste; add to pot.
- Add milk; cook on low heat until thickened.
- Add ham and/or cheese; stir through till heated.

Enchilada Bake

When I saw this recipe on Gluten Free Mommy I knew I had to try it! The ingredients sounded really good and it also reminded me of something I remember my mom making when we were growing up. Softening the tortillas in oil is a little time consuming (and not as healthy obviously) so you could shorten prep time by heating them in the microwave...of course they do taste better in oil though :-)!

1-2 lbs. ground beef, ground turkey, or soy crumbles (we went for turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Tablespoons of chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
3 cups tomato puree or tomato sauce
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
12 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
8 oz. Monterey Jack, shredded
4 oz. Cheddar Cheese, shredded

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meat in the skillet; drain. Add the onion and the garlic to the ground beef and cook until the onion is tender. Add the chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Stir in the tomato sauce, chiles, olives, salt and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Soften the tortillas in a small amount of oil and drain on paper towels. Mix the cottage cheese and egg in a small bowl.
- Layer 1/3 of of the ground beef mixture, 1/2 of the Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture, and 1/2 of the tortillas in a 9×13 baking dish. Top with 1/2 of the remaining ground beef mixture, the remaining Monterey Jack cheese, remaining cottage cheese mixture, remaining tortillas and remaining ground beef mixture. Sprinkle with the Cheddar Cheese and bake for 30 minutes.