Posts from October 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken

My mama made me jealous last night talking about the delicious BBQ chicken sandwiches she and Dad had eaten.  Using the slow cooker made it so easy!

2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 whole chicken, cut up (3 to 3-1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup cola soft drink
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp bourbon (plus a nip for the chef!)
1 lemon, sliced

Stir together the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over chicken.  Place chicken in a single layer in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker.

Whisk together cola, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar and bourbon in a small bowl.  Slowly pour mixture between chicken pieces (to avoid removing spices from chicken).  Place lemon slices in a single layer on top of chicken.

Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 7 hours.  Remove chicken from slow cooker; let cool slightly.  Discard lemon slices.  Skin, bone and shred chicken.  Serve on your favorite bread for sandwiches with coleslaw.

Image: Wikimedia Commons
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Taco Pie

Two of my favorite things, tacos and pie, come together beautifully in this dish!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup salsa
2 tbsp taco seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup 94 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup biscuit/baking mix

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the salsa, taco seasoning and pepper.  Transfer to a greased 9-in. pie plate; sprinkle with cheese.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk and biscuit mix just until combined; pour over cheese.  Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
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Easy Minestrone Soup

Simmer this soup on the stove (or start it earlier in a slow cooker).  Delicious on a Meat Free Monday!

4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1-1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1-1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
5 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour (or until vegetables are tender).  Just before serving, stir in macaroni and heat through.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.
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Pecan Catfish

It's the sauce you make in the pan after you've cooked the fish that really sets this dish off!

1 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, divided
4 catfish fillets (6 oz each)
1/2 cup butter, divided
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 to 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

In a shallow bowl, combine 1/2 cup pecans, cornmeal, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.  Coat catfish with pecan mixture.

In a large skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium-high heat; fry fillets for 6-7 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, melt remaining butter over medium heat.  Add remaining pecans; cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add the cream, lemon juice and remaining salt and pepper; cook and stir for 1 minutes.  Stir in parsley.  Serve sauce with the catfish.
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Chicken Alphabet Soup

Spell love S-O-U-P with this fast and easy, one pot dish!

2 medium carrots, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 quart chicken broth
1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1/4 tsp dried thyme
3/4 cup uncooked alphabet pasta
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried parsley)

In a Dutch oven, saute the carrots, celery and onion in oil until tender.  Stir in the broth, chicken and thyme.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in pasta.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Stir in parsley and serve.
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Chocolate Chili

Don't let the name fool you, it's just one teaspoon of baking cocoa that adds the full flavor of chocolate without a hint of sweetness.  You'll be amazed at how rich this tastes!

1 pound lean (90%) ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cans (16 oz each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (14-1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp baking cocoa
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium until the meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
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Four-cheese Stuffed Shells

A Meat Free Monday meal so tasty, no one is going to ask "where's the beef?"!

12 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup 4% cottage cheese
2 tbsp minced chives
1 packages (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups meatless spaghetti sauce, divided

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, asiago cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, chives and 1 cup spinach (save any remaining spinach for another use).

Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce into a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Drain pasta; stuff with cheese mixture.  Arrange in prepared dish.  Top with remainig spaghetti sauce and mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
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Cantonese Beef

Surprisingly simple and absolutely delicious! 

1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small onion, sliced
1 tbsp canola oil
1-1/2 cups water
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 celery ribs, sliced
1 small green pepper, julienned
1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp cold water
Hot cooked rice

Drain oranges, reserving juice; set oranges aside.  In a Dutch oven, brown beef and onion in oil; drain.  Stir in water, soy sauce, ginger and reserved juice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

Add the celery, green pepper and water chestnuts.  Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Combine cold water and cornstarch until smooth; stir into beef mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in reserved oranges.  Serve with rice. 
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Taco Meat Loaf

Everyone loves topping this dish with their own personal favorites!  And, if (and that's a big if)there are any leftovers, they make an incredible sandwich. 

1 cup crushed saltines (avout 30 crackers)
1 envelope taco seasoning
1/2 cup ketchup
1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 can (2-1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds lean ground beef
Suggested toppings:  salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and olives

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients.  Crumble beef over mixture; mix well.  Press into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 1-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160. 
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