Monday, October 27, 2008

Herb Buttered Pasta

I love this dish. It is a refreshing change to have a pasta dish instead of a heavy "meaty" dish. It is so quick and simple--and the ingredients are right in my cupboard. You can toss some blanched broccoli in with it.

ingredients:
8 oz. pasta (your favorite--we use extra-wide egg noodles, but anything will work)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme (or marjoram)
1 tsp. dill (or caraway seed)

directions:
1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain but do not rinse (as to keep pasta warm). Set aside.

2. Place butter in pasta and toss until melted. Sprinkle in the other herbs and then salt to taste.

Serving Ideas:
*Serve this pasta dish along side your favorite meat dish...it's great with a rotisserie chicken.

*Even better...use as the main dish and serve with a vegetable side (green beans are great with this)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Egg Strata

I call it "Egg Pizza" for the sake of the kids! They seem to eat "pizza" with more enthusiasm.

This recipe has been in my family for a long time. My mother made this frequently and now I make it every so often. It is hard to mess this up. Recently I went camping with my family and some friends...and I made this in the dutch oven. It was great! You can make this for breakfast, a brunch, and we have it all time time for dinner--it is good any time of day! There are many variations to this, and you can add ingredients that you personally like and change what I've put here. Get creative and enjoy!

ingredients:
10-14 eggs (use your judgement...for a dryer strata, use less, for a fluffier more quiche like, use more)
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
Salt
Pepper

Mix this all together...beating the eggs well.

optional ingredients:
sausage, chunked up and cooked
bacon, cooked
ham, sliced or diced up
mushrooms
broccoli or spinach

Use any or all of these ingredients...it's up to you!

cheese--2-3 cups of your favorite cheese blends mine are:
1-2 cups swiss, shredded
2 cups cheddar, shredded

10-12 pieces of bread, or more (you may lightly butter to make it richer, but it's not necessary)

directions:
1. Spray with non-stick cooking spray, a 9x13" baking dish. Line your dish with bread...however many slices will fit, and it's okay to squeeze them in tightly.

2. Sprinkle half of your meet and optional ingredients over the bread. Sprinkle half of your cheese mixture over this layer. Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture over this layer.

3. Again, lay as much bread down as you can for another layer. Put the rest of your meat and then your egg mixture on this layer. Finish by sprinkling the rest of your cheese on the top.

4. Cover with foil and let it soak in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Overnight is great.

5. Cook at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until egg is completely cooked and it's not mushy. (Don't be confused by the cheese...it may be melted and gooey, and that is fine, as long as the egg is done.)

*When I made it in the dutch oven, I added a couple of layers, doing the same thing, and I tried putting some cream cheese droplets on each layer for a variation...it was great.

*I'd like to try some pepper-jack cheese sometime and maybe some cilantro and chorizo (mexican sausage)...and perhaps serve it with salsa and sour cream for a completely different take on a great base meal.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spanish Rice

This recipe has been in the family for a while now. It was given to my mother from our close friend Debi, and my mother passed it along to me. I made it last night for dinner along with the chicken cheesy enchiladas. It's a great side to have with any Mexican dish you are making.

ingredients:
1 cup rice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 onion--diced
salt
pepper
oil
1 small can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth (1 can)
3 rings cut bell pepper (optional)

directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Brown the rice in hot oil. Add onion. Season with garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

2. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth (slowly). Taste liquid to see if there is enough salt and add more accordingly. Add bell pepper rings on top.

3. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

I tried this recipe tonight. It took only 10 minutes to prepare. I had all the ingredients on hand and it was yummy! It's a Campbell's Soup recipe.

ingredients:
1 can cream of chicken soup (can use %98 fat free)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup picante sauce
2 tsp. chili powder (I used a bit less for the kids' sake)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used 2 Kirkland canned chicken)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (cheddar would work fine too)
6 flour tortillas (6"), warmed (there was enough chicken mixture for me to make 8 enchiladas)
1 small tomato, chopped (for garnish--I left out)
1 green onion, sliced (for garnish--I left out)

directions:
1. Stir the soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder in a medium bowl.

2. Stir 1 cup picante sauce mixture, chicken and cheese in a large bowl. (I left the cheese out of this part and just sprinkled cheese into each enchilada as I was assembling).

3. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place them in a 11x13 baking dish. Pour the remaining picante sauce mixture over the filled tortillas. Cover the baking dish.

4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with the tomato and onion.