Monday, March 15, 2010

Loaded Hamburgers

Patrick and I came up with this concoction, and we're pretty proud of it. We wanted some deliciously massive burgers, and since we're really into vegetables lately (who am I turning into?!?!) we wanted to put them in too.

-1lb lean ground beef
-1 green pepper and 1 red pepper, finely chopped
-packet of McCormick's Tomato Garlic & Basil Marinade
-Onion powder (or onions, if you are an onion lover -eww!-)
-Garlic or garlic powder
-Salt & pepper
-1 egg
-bread crumbs (just a handful, or enough to make the egg not so sticky)
-Shredded mozerella cheese

Mix it all together, sans the cheese. Patrick does it with his hands because it's easier. Then he separates it into 5 globs, putting one aside for Maya. With the other 4 he separates them in half, flattens one half and makes a pouch, and puts it on the plate. I put in the cheese while he's flattening the other half, and then pinches them together. Cook it on low/medium low until it's done-these are really thick burgers. They are so good we personally don't use any condiments!

TSFL edit:
Make 6oz patties. Use 1tsp of the spice packet and up to 1/2C diced peppers in each patty (if you are following TSFL do each one individually to ensure you have the right measurements, if just eating healthy it's not a big deal). Cook on the grill and enjoy with no bun but 1tbsp ketchup for dipping... and a nice massive salad :)

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

I think this is hands down the best pasta bake I've had in my whole life. It was so good that we had it on Saturday and we'll have it again later this week, and with the risk of telling everyone what absolute cows we are, between the three of us we ate the whole thing (sans enough for Maya's lunch the next day).

Recipe is from this post, by Emilie! (And the picture on her blog looks SO much prettier than when I made it... doesn't matter, it was absolutely delicious!)

1-1/2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 jar (14-1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat oven to 375ºF. Cook pasta as directed on package, adding spinach to the boiling water the last minute. Cook and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 3 min. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomatoes; bring to boil. Simmer on low heat 3 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in cream cheese. Drain pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole or 8-inch square baking dish. Bake 20 min.; top with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

**Note: When I made it the pasta was a bit soggy. I think that next time I won't start cooking the pasta till later, so it's done closer to when the rest of it is ready to go into the baking dish!

Banana Boats

Fun, simple recipe from when I was a kid!

-cool whip
-nuts or chocolate, optional

Cut an opening in the top of a banana. Carefully scoop out the innards. Mash and mix in some cool whip. Stuff the banana with the mixture and top with whatever you'd like!

Maya loved it, as you can see!

Broccoli & Rice Casserole

-Bag of frozen broccoli
-1 can Cream of Chicken soup
-2 cups minute rice-uncooked
-1lb Velveeta
-1C water
-1/2 C milk

Combine milk, water, soup, and Velveeta in a large pot until Velveeta is melted (stirring frequently-the cheese will burn. Eww). Add broccoli and rice. Pour into greased casserole pan or 9x13''pan, bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

This is my grandma's recipe... and for mine, if I'm making it for dinner I put chicken in it too. I bake the chicken ahead of time and cube it up, and add it when I'm adding the broccoli and rice.

Taco Pie

This is a favorite from my 7th grade Home Economics class... I loved it then and I've had it countless time since.

-1C bisquick
-3 tbsp water (or a tiny bit more if needed-but add in TINY increments)
-1/2lb ground beef (or we use 1lb (1 pkg) ground turkey)
-1C tomato sauce
-2 tbsp taco seasoning
-1C grated cheese

For crust:
Mix bisquick and water in a bowl with a fork until soft dough is formed. Press well into a pie pan, bake ate 375 for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

For filling, while crust is baking:
Brown meat, drain. Stir in tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring once in awhile.

Remove crust from oven. Spread meat topping over crust. Sprinkle cheese over meat. Return pan to the oven until cheese melts.

Serve with sour cream, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, or any taco toppings you like.

Chicken Broccoli Braid

(It makes double what you see up top there... we were just piggies and dove in before I remembered to take a picture!)
This is the all-time favorite recipe in this house. Patrick asked for it as his last meal before Iraq as well as his first when he got home. Maya loves it and it makes delicious leftovers! This is a Pampered Chef recipe.

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup cooked broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 oz. (1cup) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. all-purpose dill mix (or I use dried dill weed and I think it was better)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pkgs. (8oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls (those ones that are "for baking"-the flat ones-aren't so good with this!)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375F. Chop chicken and broccoli and place in bowl. Add bell pepper, garlic, and cheese, mix gently. Add mayonnaise, dill mix, and salt. Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12" x 15" rectangle baking stone (or baking sheet-but everyone should have a baking stone!) Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using roller, roll dough to seal perforations (or just pinch together really well-important!). Spread filling evenly over middle of the length of dough (look at my picture if you don't get it). On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3 inches deep using a pizza cutter. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip on turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid. Brush egg white over dough using pastry brush. Sprinkle with almonds (optional-I don't care for them on there). Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Pita Pizzas

-Pita bread
-Marinara/pasta sauce
-toppings if you'd like

Super easy! Good for toddlers! Maya can eat almost a whole one. I make them depending on what we have in the fridge at the time... turkey pepperoni is a favorite but so are peppers and basil paste too. Heat your oven to 350 and wait for the cheese to melt!

Cayenne Gingersnap cookies

Or, as a friend called them, jump-start-your-labor cookies (where were all of these recipes when I was desperate to meet Maya?!)

Again, trying to meet Christa's baby... again, a failed attempt but I swear these gave me contractions! I can't tell you how many I ate. This recipe is from a friend and Navy wife whose due date, ironically, is the same as Christa's... and her baby is still cozied up inside too!

2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
8 T. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. molasses
1/4 c. egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and spices and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the molasses to the creamed butter, then add the egg whites until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly. Once incorporated, roll dough into 1 inch balls and place onto baking tray. Bake 8-10 minutes.

(And, if you are overly pregnant...) Once cool eat as many as you can possibly stomach, lay down for a nap and wait for labor to begin!

Emphasis on the raviolies...

Look at these little suckers.
I can't find a picture of the box, but if you have a World Market near you go on a search. They were so good... rather sweet-mini ravioli stuffed with squash and parmesan. Maya loved them, and it made so much. The chicken we had with it had McCormick's Tomato Garlic & Basil Marinade on it (a favorite, we keep a few of them in the cupboard). I've never been in WM before a couple of weeks ago... it's like Ikea's brilliant sister and I'm SUPER EXCITED that there's going to be one pretty close to us when we move!

Cayenne Brownies

I've been on a mission to help my dear Christa go into labor since she was 37 weeks... ehm, over three weeks ago. They obviously didn't work but they are so delicious. It only made 9 of them, I was pretty bummed about that-so next time I think I'll double the recipe and use a bigger pan.

(Recipe from this blog!)

-1 stick butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 ounces dark chocolate (I used milk chocolate because dark makes me ill)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9x9 pan with parchment (I didn't use parchment-I sprayed with Pam). Melt chocolate and butter together, then allow to cool slightly. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in small bowl. Stir sugar, eggs, and vanilla into butter and chocolate. Add dry ingredients and stir until mixed. Pour into pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick has crumbs. Cool in pan, then remove and cut.