Sunday, November 21, 2010

Slow Cooker Chili

This recipe comes from the 101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker cookbook. It's definitely my favorite chili recipe. And, once again, I love that it's so easy. The only real cooking comes in browning the hamburger. After that, you just dump a bunch of ingredients in. Awesome!

The original recipe was way too big for our little family. So this is my modified version, cut down to fit in my smaller slow cooker. It probably still serves 4-6 people and we always have leftovers. (Which, by the way, are awesome on Navajo Tacos the next day!)

Slow Cooker Chili

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1/4 cup dried minced onion OR 1/2 large onion, chopped
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, with liquid
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 16-oz. can kidney beans, with liquid
1 4-oz. can diced green chilies, with liquid
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in greased slow cooker (mine is about 4 quarts and it fits perfectly). Cover and cook on high heat for 2-3 hours or on low heat for 4-6 hours. Garnish with sour cream, chives, and/or grated cheese.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

I realize you can't really see the dressing on the salad in this picture. That's because it's really thin and blends right into the lettuce. But it's there.

I found this recipe on a website called Copykat. It didn't taste exactly like Olive Garden salad dressing, but it was close. I hope to make it a lot in the future simply because it was easy and cheap - my two favorite things! The recipe calls for Romano cheese, but I couldn't find any in the store that wasn't $6 for a teeny tiny container. So I just used 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and it turned out just dandy.

I also didn't put sugar in it. I like my dressings a little tart.

1/2 C. Mayonnaise
1/3 C. White Vinegar
1 tsp. Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp. Corn Syrup
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp. Romano Cheese
1/4 tsp. Garlic Salt – or one clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Parsley Flakes
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
sugar (optional)

Place all ingredients in blender until well mixed. Can be enjoyed for about 10 days if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Apple Crisp

I participated in Bountiful Baskets for the first time a couple of weeks ago. One of things I got was apples. I love to eat apples, but unfortunately these weren't the best eating apples. They were a little sour and didn't have much flavor.

So I made apple crisp. They turned out to be perfect apples for apple crisp. Add a couple scoops of ice cream, and voila!

Apple Crisp

4 cups apples, peeled and sliced
1 tbs. lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter

Put apples in shallow pan (I used my 8 x 8 square pan). Sprinkle lemon juice over apples. (If you happen to be using bottled apples - which I never have - lemon juice isn't needed.) Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl, then add melted butter. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apples.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until apples are soft.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream for best results. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chips Cookies

Have you ever tried cinnamon chips? I hadn't until the other day when they were on sale at the store. On impulse, I grabbed a bag and I'm really glad I did. These cookies (which is the recipe found on the back the bag... I know, I'm so original!) taste like your basic oatmeal cookies, but the cinnamon flavor is found in the chips, of course, and is a lot more pronounced. I really like cinnamon, so I was sold.

(I also didn't include raisins. But a certain husband of mine turns up his nose at raisins baked into things. So, yeah... no raisins for us.)

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chips Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg) cinnamon chips
3/4 cups raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and sugars in bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips, and raisins (batter will be stiff). Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

This is not the most flattering picture, but these are super creamy and delicious - trust me. It makes a ton of sauce to pour over the top, so if you don't like your enchiladas drowning in sauce, you could probably take out one of the cans of soup and reduce the sour cream a bit.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

4 cooked chicken breasts, shred into pieces
2 large cans canned chicken
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 - 1 pound cheese, grated
3 tbs. butter, melted
10 8-inch flour tortillas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can diced chilies
16-oz. container sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together soups, chilies, onion, and sour cream. Brush one side of tortillas with melted butter, then place chicken and cheese on top. Roll up snugly leaving ends open. Place side-by-side in a 9 x 13" pan. Pour soup mix over tortillas and top with any remaining cheese.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cookies and Cream Fudge

We love fudge at our house, and we also love Oreos. Especially my husband. Since Oreos have been dirt cheap lately at our local grocery store, we decided to put the growing number of packages we have around our house to good use. My husband found this recipe from Nestle Toll House and we gave it a shot. It turned out pretty good, but you definitely have to be a fan of white chocolate. It's very rich (as in, have-a-full-glass-of-milk-handy kind of rich) and actually reminds me of Hershey's Cookies and Cream candy bars.

Cookies and Cream Fudge

3 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) evaporated milk
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) white chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow cream
1/2 cup finely crushed Oreos
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup crumbled Oreos

Line 9-inch square baking pan with foil.

Combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in white chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, finely crushed Oreos, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle crumbled cookies on top. Gently swirl cookies into fudge using a knife without touching bottom of pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Mmm... is there anything that says fall and cold weather like beef stew? This recipe is about as easy as they get, but my husband loves it. We've tried the recipes that have more of a tomato flavor, and he's not as much of a fan. But he requests this one all the time. The thing that makes it simple? We use a package of Western Family seasoning mix. It's only about $0.70 at the store (or cheaper if it's on sale), and it's the perfect blend of beefiness and spiciness. And this way, I don't have to worry about if I have the right spices!

Crock Pot Beef Stew

2 T oil
3 T flour
1 pkg. stew meat (I just buy the ones that come pre-cut from the store. I probably should be more frugal and cut up my own, but I'm all for easy when it comes to this recipe!)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 onion, diced into small pieces
1 package beef stew seasoning mix
3 cups water

Add oil to medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add flour to resealable Ziploc bag, then stew meat and shake until meat is completely covered. Add meat to oil and cook for 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.

Add cooked meat, cut-up vegetables, water, and seasoning mix to crock pot. Stir then cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours or low for 5-7 hours.

*This could also be cooked over the stove. Just bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour or until vegetables are tender.

Dish it up and enjoy a yummy, hot bowl of stew.