The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 142 & 143

May 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm (Food) (, , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!

I was going to write a really smart-ass post last night, but then I decided maybe I better not…  but here’s what I had in mind!

“Pay day, long day, Taco Bell, ’nuff said!”

Anyway, busy couple of days, finished off a custom jewelry order last night, ran out to the post office to get it in the mail, stopped at Taco Bell and got dinner.  Then headed back out afterwards and got Blizzards from DQ.  Yeah, it was pay day, and we were all in the mood for something different.

So tonight, we had something kind of like a goulash.  We usually call it “hot brown and lumpy”, but there has got to be a better name for it! It tastes too good to have such a lousy name…  Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Insert New Name Here!

1 pound hamburger

1 pound egg noodles

1 1/2 cups water

6 Tbsp brown gravy mix

Cook egg noodles to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, brown hamburger and drain off excess fat.  Mix cool water and gravy mix in a large measuring cup, pour into pan with hamburger.  Cook over medium heat until thickened.  Mix in cooked noodles, serve!

You can also mix in a veggie if you want.  Peas is our usual mix in, but carrots might be good, or broccoli.

So, I guess that’s it for today.  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 91

April 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Happy Sunday to you all!!

Quiet day around here, kids were away for the morning, been watching movies all day, and napping on the couch a little.  No laundry to do (WOO HOO!), did clean up the kitchen though, but that took all of half an hour, and I just haven’t felt like doing much of anything at all today!  I do have to run out in a bit and pick up James, drop off the rent check, but that won’t take long either.

Easy dinner tonight, but still worth sharing:

Pesto Chicken and Veggies

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups broccoli florets, frozen, thawed

2 cups cauliflower florets, frozen, thawed

1 cup fresh (or fresh frozen) green beans

1 cup frozen peas, partially thawed

1 container Philadelphia cooking cream, Pesto flavor

3 cups cooked egg noodles, drained

Cooking spray, olive oil flavor

Spray large skillet with cooking spray, heat to medium, add chicken and cook until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  Add veggies and cook until crisp tender, about another 10 minutes.  Add in cooking cream and pasta, mix well, cook another 5 minutes.  Serve!

I have to pick out the broccoli and cauliflower before William will eat this, but Mike and I really enjoyed it all!

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

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 73

March 15, 2012 at 1:08 am (Food) (, , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!  So glad you could join me again…

Another busy, busy day around here.  Finished another pendant, shuttled James back and forth to and from work, picked up William’s friend so they could play video games together for a while, and made a really nice dinner.  Here’s the pendant:

And here’s the recipe for dinner:

Garlic Chicken and Veggies

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces, tossed with salt

1/2 green pepper, cleaned and cut into small strips

1/2 yellow or orange pepper, cleaned and cut into small strips

2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces (about quarters)

1 container Savory Garlic Philadelphia cooking cream

1 pound egg noodles, cooked to package directions

Olive oil cooking spray

Spray a large skillet or large sauce pan with olive oil cooking spray.  Heat pan over medium heat.  Cook chicken until no longer pink.  Add in veggies and cook 4-5 minutes or just until crisp tender.  Stir in cooking cream and cook another 2-3 minutes.  You can thin the sauce with milk or half and half if needed, I usually do.

Toss together with noodles and serve!

Everyone except William liked this one.  I had to pull some of the chicken out before I mixed everything up, and give him just noodles with this chicken and some peas, because he won’t eat any of the veggies in this dish.  But he likes the sauce!

Anyway, until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 50

February 21, 2012 at 1:40 am (Food) (, , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  So glad you could join me again on this adventure!

As you know by now, Mondays are a little hectic around here, but I’m getting a better handle on things.  Tonight, I was feeling a little adventurous, and I had time to play a little, so here’s what I came up with:

Mexican Beef Skillet

1 jar Great Value MILD picante sauce

2 pounds ground chuck

1 1/3 cups cold water

1/2 cup Tone’s taco seasoning

1 cup shredded cheese (I buy this in bulk at Sam’s and split it into several individual packages and freeze about half so it doesn’t go bad before I can use it all)

1 pound package egg noodles (I buy them in bulk at Sam’s and split them into 1 pound packages)

Cook noodles to package directions, drain and set aside.  Meanwhile, in a large pot (dutch oven works well) brown ground chuck and drain.  Put back in pan, add in cold water and taco seasoning.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Mix in picante sauce and noodles, mix well. Cover with cheese, cover pot, heat over LOW heat 5-8 minutes or until cheese is just melted.  Serve!

Everyone seemed to like this, except of course William, who had to pick out the pieces of peppers from the Picante sauce, but other than that, it went over well!

So 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 30

February 1, 2012 at 1:24 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

WOW!  Sort of a milestone for me, 30 days straight!  WOO HOO!

Welcome back!  Hope you’re still enjoying my ramblings and recipes.  Hey, that’s a good book title, “Ramblings and Recipes”!  I’ll have to remember that…

Tonight, we went sort of old school, and I have to say, I will NEVER buy another “pot roast” from Walmart or Sam’s!  I don’t think I’ve ever had a tougher piece of meat in my life.  I even had trouble cutting it with a steak knife, and that after 4 hours in the crock pot, which usually turns any piece of meat into wonderful tender yummyness.  Not this time!

ANYWAY, here was the menu:

Pot Roast (go ahead and splurge on a decent piece of meat, Winn Dixie usually has good stuff, and they put it on sale every few weeks!)

3-4 pound pot roast with SOME marbling, but not TOO MUCH fat

1 medium onion, chopped into roughly 8 wedges (or you can cheat like I did and add about a cup of dried onion flakes!)

1 Tbsp rosemary leaves (I put my in a tea ball so I wouldn’t have to fish them all out again before making gravy)

Place roast in crock pot, add onion and tea ball with rosemary leaves inside, cover with water or beef broth (I prefer broth, but I didn’t have any tonight…  😦

Cook on LOW 8 hours, or until extremely tender and falling apart.

Remove from pot, and let rest while you use the juices from the pot to make gravy.  Then slice and serve!


Strain juices from crock pot (above!), mix with “brown gravy” mix using measurements from the package. (yeah, I know, it’s cheating!) Bring to a boil, simmer 1 minute or until nice and thick.  Serve!

Cheese Toast (James made this tonight)

Slice fresh bread loaf, French or Italian breads work well.  Slice enough so everyone gets two slices.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Spray ONE SIDE ONLY with butter flavor cooking spray.  Cook, sprayed side up, at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven, turn bread over, sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice (ours tonight was a blend of mozzarella, cheddar and provolone), cook another 5 minutes at 400 degrees, or until cheese is fully melted and edges of bread are toasty.  Serve.

We also had canned (GASP!) veggies, just because I have a pantry full of them to get rid of, and I ate the last of the leftover Brussels Sprouts from a couple of nights ago, which I have to say taste even better having sat in the fridge mixing it up for a couple of days, they were AWESOME, some plain cooked egg noodles (really good with gravy over them) plus we had a nice fresh salad.

So, to wrap it up, HORRIBLE roast, GREAT bread, AWESOME Brussels Sprouts (who ever thought those words would ever go together in the same sentence, right?!) and OK everything else.  Definitely a filling meal, and everyone got SOMETHING they liked.

Tomorrow, curried chicken and home made Mac N Cheese, James style.

Until then, eat well, love well, live well!!

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