The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza day 334-347 (week 49 & 50)

December 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm (Food, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!

I can’t believe I’m on week 50 already!!  And I’m sorry I got sidetracked last week and didn’t post, but I hope you will forgive me.

I’ve been so busy, working a little OT, getting presents made, shipping out of state presents, finishing up William’s makeshift Advent calendar.  I just ran out of weekend last weekend!  This weekend, I skipped doing my nails so I would have time to catch up here, make a couple of projects I had wanted to try, finish wrapping the presents sitting around here in bags, clean up a little, you know, all those things that get away from you this time of year!

I’m really looking forward to a four day weekend next weekend!!  Going to bake some cookies, get everything together for Christmas dinner, and pick up the last couple of things on my list for the boys, and maybe a couple of stocking stuffers.  Want to try a new roll recipe I found, too, hopefully we’ll have nice fresh sweet yeast rolls to go with Christmas dinner!!

And I’ve been so turned around, I can’t honestly say I can give you a day by day account of what I made, but I do have a couple recipes to share, a new twist on one I’ve made before, and hopefully you will find something you like here!!

So, on to the food….

Garlic Pork with Rice and Peas

4 boneless pork chops

1 cup frozen peas

1 container garlic flavor Philadelphia cooking cream

Rice made in your rice cooker or stovetop

Trim the little bit of fat from the edge of the pork chops, then cut the chops into small bite sized pieces.


Put about 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, heat to medium, add in pork and cook until no longer pink.  Add in peas, cover and steam about 5 minutes.  Add in cooking cream, stirring until melted well.  You can add a little milk if needed to thin it out if you want.  Add in the cooked rice, stir until mixed well, and serve!



Glazed Carrots

1 Cup frozen carrots

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp butter

Put everything in a microwavable dish, cover, microwave 5 minutes, mix and serve!

Coconut Curry Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cans coconut milk

1 box Golden curry mix

Put everything in the crock pot, DO NOT add any water, cover and cook on LOW 8-10 hours.  Remove chicken from the pot, shred, stir sauce in pot, add back in chicken, serve over Chicken Flavored Rice.




Chicken Flavored Rice

I don’t know about your rice cooker, but here’s how mine works…

Fill to “3” line with water, add in 3 scoops rice and 1 packet of chicken flavoring (I used Knorr’s chicken stock this time), set to COOK and serve when it’s done!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I don’t think I really need to go into this one…  frozen meatballs, boxed spaghetti, jarred sauce….

Pot Roast

1 3-4 pound pot roast

1 box beef stock

1 packet beef Flavor Boost

1 packet French Onion soup mix

Put everything in the crock pot, set to LOW, cook 8-10 hours, it will literally fall apart, and because you didn’t add any plain water, it won’t be all dried out!!

Home Made Beef and Rice Burritos

1 pound ground beef

2 cups water

1/2 cup taco seasoning

2 cups leftover rice

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese

8 tortillas

Put ground beef, water and taco seasoning in the crock pot in the morning.  Set on LOW and cook 8-10 hours.  When you get home from work, chop up the beef in the pot, stir in the rice and beans, and add a little more taco seasoning if you need to.  Mine needed just a couple tablespoons more!

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the tortillas one at a time on a plate, sprinkle with a few tablespoons shredded cheese, two large spoonfuls (maybe 1/2 cup??) of the meat, rice and bean mixture, fold in sides and roll into a burrito.



Place in a wide shallow baking pan.  Repeat with all tortillas, you might have a little filling left, but not much.  Pour enchilada sauce over burritos, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve with a little sour cream, or ranch dressing.

Bacon Cheeseburger Muffins

1 pound bacon

1 pound ground beef

2 cans biscuits

1 cup shredded cheese

Cut bacon into small pieces, cook until crisp, remove to paper towel lined plate.  Set aside.

Cook beef until no longer pink, crumbling as you cook.

Press biscuits as flat as you can get them, keeping them round.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray, put one biscuit in each muffin cup.  Spoon in little shredded cheese, some bacon, some beef, top with a little more cheese.  Repeat until you run out of muffins and toppings.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or more if needed, to get a nice golden brown edge on the muffins.  Serve with dipping sauces of your choice!



So that’s all I can remember that I cooked, hope you found something you enjoyed!!

Until next time, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 258 – 263 (Week 38)

September 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  What a week….

William was home sick from school two more days, so he’s now missed 6 days in the first month of school!  I sure hope whatever the heck is going around out there stays the heck away from us!!!  He’s on another round of antibiotics, hopefully this will be the end for a while.

Mike is still fighting off the first bug, using his inhaler a lot, sleeping more than not when he’s not at work.  I feel bad for him, but I’m still fighting it, too.  My chest is still a little tight, but the stuffy nose is all gone and the sore throat with it, so I guess I’m getting better.  Out of antibiotics, so I certainly hope so!!

Work is going better, I’m actually helping to train a new person, so maybe all my uncertainties are all in my own head!  That would be business as usual for me, I’m always my own worst enemy.  I’m still learning new things, so that’s good, and keeps things interesting.

And last but not least, it’s been a busy weekend.  We were supposed to go visit my folks, dad’s birthday today, but since William was sick again, and Mike and I weren’t quite over what we had, we didn’t think it would be the smartest thing we’ve ever done to go over there.  But, we did get laundry done, the kitchen is cleaned up, got the yard cleaned up so maybe the HOA will leave us alone for a while, even got James to come home and help for a bit.  And got what I hope is a nice surprise…  the neighbors pulled up with a trailer, so maybe they are moving out!  That would be the highlight of my year!!!  They never cut their grass, the HOA ends up doing it about once every three months, so the weeds are literally 4-5 feet high before they get cut back, so guess what our yard is full of!  Keep your collective fingers crossed…

So, on to the week in food.  It was a very chickeny week around here, but we tend to eat a lot of chicken, so that’s not really unusual.  Maybe you’ll see something you want to try!


Chicken and Sausage

3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 rope smoked sausage

1 Jar tomato basil spaghetti sauce

1 Tbsp garlic powder

Cut the sausage into chunks, put it in the crock pot.  Put the chicken in whole.  Add the sauce and garlic.  Set on low, and cook 8-10 hours.

During the last hour, prepare some rice in your rice cooker to manufacturer’s directions, adding a little garlic and chicken flavor boost to the water before you add the rice.  Stir it up before you turn on the cooker.

Remove the chicken and sausage from the crock pot, shred the chicken, cut the sausage into smaller chunks, add it back into the sauce to keep it warm.

Put about 1 cup cooked rice in each bowl, top with chicken, sausage and sauce, and serve!  You can add a little shredded cheese if you want.

This was OK, but it needed something, and I couldn’t figure out what…

We had some steamed broccoli on the side…

Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp white sugar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

3 drops vanilla

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup flour

2 Tbsp chocolate chips

Mix the sugars, egg yolk, butter and vanilla together in a small bowl.  Add in the flour and mix until a thick dough has formed.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spray a small ramekin or coffee mug with butter flavor cooking spray, scoop in the prepared dough, microwave 45-60 seconds, and serve!  (Mine cooked for 50 seconds and were perfect)  You can top off with a scoop of ice cream if you like, would be good!!

Bacon Egg and Cheese casserole

12 eggs

1/2 cup Parmesan

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

1/2 cup half and half (fat free)

1 pound bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked crisp

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish with butter flavor cooking spray.

Mix all the eggs and cheeses together, add the salt and pepper.  Pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle in cooked bacon, and make sure it sinks in to the eggs.  Cook for 1 hour, testing at 45 minutes to see if done in the center (poke it with a knife, clean = done!).  If you can get it done in 45, then do, but my oven always takes a full hour.

Sorry I didn’t get a “done” shot!  It looked really good.

Allow to cool about half an hour, cut into 8 pieces, package them into individual servings, and you have breakfast for a few days!  Reheat 1 minute in the microwave, loosely covered, salt and pepper if you want, YUM!!!


Curry Chicken

5 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/2 package Golden Curry seasoning mix

1 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

Left over rice

1 cup frozen peas

Trim chicken thighs of any large pieces of skin or fat, but leave the little stuff, it’ll cook off.  Cut into bite sized pieces.  Cook in a large skillet over medium heat just until no longer pink.  Add in water, simmer for 10 minutes.  Add in curry seasoning, stir until mixed well, simmer another 10 minutes.  Add in left over rice and frozen peas, cook another 5 minutes, serve!

I had some left over broccoli from the night before, so I reheated that and topped off the bowls with it, except for William’s.

This was really yummy, but then we’re all getting hooked on curry since we first tried it earlier this year.  I’m going to have to find my own mix of spices to make my own curry!!


Mexican night!!

Can you believe, I told William it was Mexican night, and he actually says YEAH!  So here we go…

Frozen burritos topped with enchilada sauce and cheese, baked per package directions, but with my own little twists.


Flour tortillas

Ground beef

Taco seasoning


Shredded cheese

Butter flavor cooking spray

Cook ground beef until no longer pink, crumbling as you cook.  Drain off excess fat.  Add in about 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup taco seasoning, stir well, cook until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.

Preheat large skillet over medium heat, or just a touch lower.  I use the “4” setting on my stove.  Spray pay with cooking spray.  Put in 1 tortilla, spoon in about 3-4 Tbsp prepared beef, top with shredded cheese, top with another tortilla.  Use enough cheese so that the tortillas will stick together!  Cook about 1 minute per side, be careful when you flip it, it can be messy but after a few tries, you learn the tricks to keep them together.  I use two spatulas!

Remove from pan, cut into triangles with a pizza wheel, and serve with sour cream, ranch dressing, salsa, whatever you like!


Left Overs

We had some baked potatoes left over from the week before, I had frozen them after I cooked them, they keep pretty well.  We also had curry, chicken and sausage, and some school sandwiches, so everyone got something they liked.


McDonald’s – yeah, I know, junk food, but I was in the mood!!


Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

Mini Pineapple Pizzas

These sort of go together…

2 cans refrigerated biscuits, flattened

1 jar pizza sauce

1 bag pepperoni

1 cup pineapple tidbits (I mean one of those single serve cups, not a whole cup!)

1 bag shredded Italian blend cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Spray a muffin pan with butter flavor cooking spray.

Sprinkle corn meal on a pizza stone or pizza pan, whichever you have.

Put the flattened biscuits in the muffin cups, my pan holds 12.  Put the rest on your pizza pan or stone.

Mix about 1/2 jar sauce with finely chopped pepperoni.  Spoon mixture into muffin cup biscuits.

Spread about 1/2 tsp sauce on each flattened biscuit on the pizza pan/stone.  Top with 1 slice pepperoni and 4-5 pineapple tidbits.

Top each muffin and each mini pizza with shredded cheese, as much as you can get on there without overflowing!!  (we like lots of cheese)

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


Mini Apple Pies

2 cans crescent roll dough

1 can apple pie filling

1/8 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 Tsp vanilla

Butter flavor cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray Texas muffin pan with cooking spray.

Separate dough into 8 sections, two triangles each.  Roll up the dough into a ball, flatten it out really flat, put one circle into each muffin cup.  You will have two triangles left, roll them together, then roll them out into a rectangle, or as close as you can get to a rectangle.  Use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into 6 skinny strips, then cut those in half so you have two shorter skinny strips.  Set aside.

Mix the apple pie filling with the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Spoon into biscuit cups.  Top with crossed dough strips, sprinkle with a little sugar.  Bake about 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes, serve with a scoop of ice cream.


Chicken and Dumplings…  sort of

OK, so this was not my best experiment.  I bought a package of frozen dumplings, and tried to follow the package directions, but all I got was thicker broth instead of good dumplings.  The dumplings were just lumps of dough in the bottom of the pan, they were NOT good.  So, I ended up with chicken, rice and peas in a nice creamy sauce.  It tasted really good, but I was SO disappointed in the dumplings, I was really looking forward to them!

So here’s what I cooked:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 packets chicken Flavor Boost

1 Tbsp Everglades original seasoning (the green one, not the red one)

1 1/2 quarts water

1 cup frozen peas

1 pkg frozen dumplings

Put all this in the crock pot, cook on low 6-8 hours.  Remove chicken, shred, set aside.

Pour juices into stove top pot, bring to a boil, add dumplings.  The package says to break them into pieces, but they were frozen together, so I couldn’t!  This is probably the problem….  boil 3 minutes, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.  I did that, I still had lumpy doughy things in my pot, but my juices had become a sauce, so that was good.

I removed the dumplings, added in some leftover rice and the frozen peas, added in the shredded chicken, cooked it all over low for about 15 minutes to heat up the peas and rice, and served!  It tasted good, but it wasn’t what I had planned, so I was disappointed.  Oh well, guess I need to learn how to make flat dumplings!  Got a pasta machine on my Christmas list…

And now, some random photos for you…

I did my nails yesterday, I’m not sure I like them, but they’re OK.

Here’s William.

Here’s Duke the girl cat named by a four year old…

So, that’s it for this week.  It’s been a good food week, or at least a good food weekend.

Until next time, eat well, love well, live well!


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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 44

February 15, 2012 at 1:07 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again my friends, and welcome back!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Hope yours was as nice as mine…  but then I have three great guys in my house!

I feel like I’ve been cooking all day, but I sort of have because I made dessert earlier, then prepped all the stuff for dinner a little early so it wouldn’t be such a long wait once Mike got home.  Plus I’ve been doing a little crafting every day, working on this year’s line of Christmas ornaments already, they’re coming out pretty well!  Busy, but in a good way!

So, here’s our menu for Valentine’s Day!

Coconut Curry Chicken (yeah, this one has been done before, I’m not counting it as “new” for today…)

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any leftover skin or fat, cut into SMALL pieces (approx 1/2″)

3 heaping tablespoons curry paste (I probably should have stopped at 2, but I was feeling adventurous)

1 can coconut milk

2 Tbsp oil for frying

Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add chicken pieces and cook until done through.  Drain excess liquid if necessary.  Add in coconut milk and curry paste, stir really well.  Simmer 25 minutes or until sauce is well thickened.  Serve over rice.  (just a note on the rice, I use a rice cooker, and usually I just do rice and water, but tonight I used chicken broth instead, it came out a little fluffier, and had a little more flavor, but it didn’t make a HUGE difference)

Green Beans with Bacon

4 cups frozen green beans

1/4 cup crispy bacon

This is beyond simple!  Put the green beans in a sauce pan, cover with water, add the bacon, and boil until the beans are tender!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 pound bacon, cut small, cooked crisp

2 pounds brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed, loose leaves removed, quartered

1 box dried dates, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Cook bacon crisp in a large frying pan, remove bacon but not the drippings.  Add in the brussels sprouts and cook just until sprouts turn a brighter green.  Transfer sprouts to an oven safe casserole dish.  Add bacon, dates and pecans, stir well.  Make sure the dates are evenly distributed, they tend to stick together.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, stir, bake another 15 minutes or until sprouts are very tender.  Serve!

Egg Custard

2 cups milk

2 large eggs

2 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tsp vanilla


Place 5-6 custard cups or ramekins in a larger pan, just large enough to fit cups.

In sauce pan, heat milk over medium low heat just to simmering.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla.  Slowly add to simmering milk, stirring well.  Cook 1-2 minutes only.

Pour through strainer into custard dishes or ramekins.  Pour hot (not boiling) water into larger pan just to half way up cups.  Sprinkle nutmeg over the top of each custard.

Place pan in 300 degree oven, bake 35-45 minutes, or just until custard is no longer jiggly.  It may not be fully set, don’t worry!  Leave cups in water in pan for 2 hours, it will continue cooking then cool, and it will be well set when it’s done.  Serve!

So that’s it for today, hope you enjoy one or all of these dishes yourselves!

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 31

February 2, 2012 at 1:31 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Hello friends, and welcome back!

Tonight’s meal was a big hit, and I had LOTS of help!  It was so cool having my older son, James, in the kitchen, being creative, and having fun!

So, here are our recipes for the evening…

Coconut Curry Chicken

2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken pieces, trimmed of extra skin and fat (there is always some, isn’t there?), cut into bite sized pieces

2 Tbsp butter

1 can coconut milk

3 heaping tbsp MILD curry paste (probably more like 6 Tbsp when it’s all said and done)

Melt butter in large skillet, add chicken pieces, cook on medium until cooked through.  Drain excess liquid.  Add in coconut milk and curry paste, mix well.  Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened and creamy.  Serve!

James’ Mac N Cheese

1 pound noodles of your choice (we chose egg noodles tonight)

1 pound shredded cheese of your choice (we had a mix of mozzarella, provolone and cheddar)

3/4 cup milk

1 stick butter

2 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp brown gravy mix

1 cup bread crumbs (if using seasoned crumbs, just use bread crumbs, don’t add any spices)

Salt and pepper to taste (OMIT if using seasoned bread crumbs)

Cook noodles, drain, place in casserole dish.

Melt butter in large pan (we used the one from the noodles when they were done), add milk, gravy mix and flour, stir with whisk until smooth.  GRADUALLY add cheese, stirring, until smooth and creamy.  Mix into noodles.  Spread evenly in dish, top with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until bread crumbs are browned slightly.  Serve!

And we had leftover veggies with all this, just so we could say we had veggies, but they weren’t anything special.  You know, those canned (YUCK!) veggies…

Everyone liked everything, even picky William, so it was a really good night!

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 8

January 10, 2012 at 1:47 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Welcome back!!

All I can say about mini meatloaves and twice baked potatoes is THEY’RE GONE!  They were a HUGE hit!

On the menu tonight, curried chicken over jasmine rice, and chocolate pudding with fresh whipped cream for dessert.  I’m sorry to say there won’t be any photos of the curry, it’s already gone!

Curried Chicken with Veggies

Jasmine rice, cooked in rice cooker, to package directions (I made about 8 servings)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 sweet red pepper, cut into small strips

2 green onions, cut into slices

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into slices

1 can coconut milk, unsweetended and unthickened

1 Tbsp red curry paste (I used mild, and I think it was TOO mild!)

1/8 tsp red pepper (I used cayenne)

1 Tsp white sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice to package directions, keep warm.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in skillet, add chicken, cook and stir until cooked through, remove chicken from pan.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in skillet, saute carrots 3 minutes, add red pepper strips and onions, saute an additional 2 minutes, remove from pan.

Add coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, sugar and red pepper to pan, heat to boiling, simmer 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Add chicken and vegetables, simmer 3-5 minutes or until heated through.  Serve over cooked rice.  (I also served warm naan bread wedges.)

Chocolate pudding

1 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

1/4 cup butter

1 cup milk

In medium saucepan, heat milk and butter to boiling.  While heating liquids, place chocolate chips and confectioners sugar in blender, chop or grate setting until very finely chopped.  Add boiling liquid, blend until smooth.  Pour into custard cups, 4-6 depending on how full you fill them.  Chill at least 30 minutes.

Fresh whipped cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 Tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in food processor, use whipping attachment and setting, process until fluffy.  Chill until ready to use.


Until tomorrow, good eating!

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