Friday, June 29, 2012

Buttermilk Syrup

Okay, so this has got to be the most unhealthy stuff on the face of this earth, but it is SO delicious. I got this recipe from my cousin Meika. We were having waffles at their home one Sunday, and there was no butter on the table but there was this delicious syrup. When I learned the recipe, I quickly realized no butter is needed when this syrup is served, because all butter is included in the syrup. Convenient right?
Mine turned out a little bit darker color than Meika's, I think because I cooked it just a little longer than I was supposed to, but it tastes just as wonderful. You can use it like regular syrup but it would also be delicious on ice cream. Enjoy!

Buttermilk Syrup

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter (yup! 2 cubes)
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups white sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients except vanilla in medium large pot over medium heat. Don't curdle milk. Once boiling stir continuously for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Mix. Let cool. Store in fridge for weeks. Makes about 3 cups.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lazy Day Stew-SUCCESS!! (with a minor adjustment)

I am sorry I don't have a picture, but yesterday we tried the Lazy Day Stew crockpot freezer meal. I was skeptical of this one only because there was not really any seasoning included in the recipe except 1/2 can of tomato sauce and salt and pepper. It actually was quite delicious. I am going to make one adjustment to the recipe and change it on the original post listed below as well. Lets exchange the water for 1 can of beef broth or if you want to include the water, throw in a cube or two of beef bouillon. Half in each freezer bag. I think that would make a big difference. Also, I love barley but rarely cook with it. I LOVED the barley in this stew. It added a lot. I didn't miss the tapioca stuff, which was added to thicken it, I guess.
One note: I bought my stew meat at Costco. It was sooooo good and tender. I have purchased stew meat before at other grocery stores, and found it to be tough and dry. Costco's stew meat comes in large chunks, but I just threw them in as is. Really, It was so good.
The blog said that these recipes are supposed to feed two adults and a child, but I have thrown a little extra meat into each one, and I think they would easily feed at least a couple more kids or another adult. We have had plenty of left overs each time.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sausage and Peppers= SUCCESS!!!

We tried our first freezer meal yesterday. Sausage and Peppers. We put it on a day old baggett that I toasted with some butter, little bit of garlic salt, and Swiss cheese. It was DELICIOUS! We used Mild Italian sausages in this one but I put Hot sausages in the other that we made and both of us agree that we would love a little more heat. If you are making this for kids, I think they would even eat it. It had such a good flavor. I cut the sausages in half long ways and stuffed the sandwich with lots of peppers and onions. Also the recipe only calls for 3 sausages in each bag. Most Italian sausages come in packages of five. If you have a bigger family you can easily throw in some more sausages and peppers into each bag. I put four in each, and it was perfect to fill us up and have a few leftovers for lunch the next day.
One thing they don't mention on the blog was how to get it from the freezer bag to the crockpot. I guess you could pull it out the night before you want to cook it and leave it in the fridge. I just put it in a sink of cold water for 20 minutes. I was able to break it up small enough to throw it in the crockpot and walk away. I can tell I am going to love this already!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Freezer Meals (for the slow cooker)

I've seen countless pins and blogs about buying all the vegetables and meats and preparing several freezer meals at once. I have seen it and always been a little over-whelmed at the task. Like I said in the last post, I am not sure what got into me today, but I really wanted to try this. We really don't have a very big freezer, so I settled on just three recipes that I found on the this page that was pinned on pinterest. She prepared six different recipes (which by the way each recipe makes two complete meals for at least 3 adults). I picked the three that looked the most interesting and picked up all the ingredients and prepared them in a little less than 2 hours with James' help. She has more specific instructions on preparing them which you should read but I will just list the recipes here to prepare the meals. As we cook them I will update you all on how they turned out. But they all look delicious and they are so lovely stacked in my freezer I just can not tell you how pleased I am about this project.

Teriyaki Chicken

Medium- Large bag of carrots
Red Onion cut into large chunks (I used a sweet onion, because James and I HATE red onions)
2 large cans pineapple
4 garlic cloves (I used minced from a jar)
4 chicken breasts
1 cup teriyaki sauce

Split everything into two 2 gallon freezer bags. Shake them up, seal and label with the following instructions: Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to crock pot, cook on low 8 hours. Serve over rice.

Lazy Day Stew

4 lbs cubed stewing beef
4 cups baby carrots
4 cups baby red potatoes cut in half
2 medium onions, chopped
10 oz package of dried lima beans (optional.... I threw in some barley instead)
2 cups celery, chopped
4 tsp quck- cooking tapioca (I didn't know what this was and didn't know the point of it, so I omitted it from the recipe... let you know if it is important later)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (1/2 in each bag)
2 cups of beef broth (Or beef bouillon with respective amounts of water)
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Split everything into to two one gallon freezer bags, shake it up and seal, label and put in freezer.
Instructions for bag: Cook on low 8 hours. Eat as soup or serve over noodles or rice.

Sausage and Peppers

6 Italian Sausages
2 green peppers
1 red pepper
1 large red onion (again we used a sweet onion)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (again I use the minced garlic in a jar)
2 cans italian diced tomatoes
drizzle olive oil
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

Split everything into two one gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.
Instructions for bag: Cook on low for 8 hours or grill. After cooking serve over pasta or on buttered crusty bread.

Apple Butter (for the Slow Cooker)

James, Lucy, and I have been away visiting my in-laws in NM and then some friends in Tucson for the last week. We got home yesterday an hour before my Relief Society activity was to begin. It was all about cooking... I wasn't going to miss it. I guess I was inspired because on my way home I bought the ingredients for this Slow Cooker recipe and the next day decided I wanted to try making some pre-made frozen meals for the slow cooker as well. A lot of times when I am inspired if I don't get right on it, I lose motivation. A good nights sleep sometimes is enough to kill it, but it wasn't today. I started the Apple Butter this morning and James helped me put 6 freezer meals together while we watched SYTYCD. They all look and smell so good, but I have no idea of knowing how they taste until we actually get to cooking them. I will include them today anyway, because I am so pleased with a fridge full of fresh freezer meals that I put together.

Back to the Apple Butter. I tried this at the Relief Society activity last night, and loved it! I just finished blending it tonight and I am so pleased with how it turned out. It is so easy... with the right tools, I guess. When my sister moved to NC she gave me all her kitchen supplies including her apple peeler. I am not sure what she is going to do, but Sis, if you wanna make this one, your gonna need it. Enjoy!

Apple Butter (for the Slow Cooker)

6 1/2 lbs apples- peeled, cored, and sliced (the tool pictured above does all three in one shot)
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla

Place apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Pour mixture over the apples and mix well. Cook in slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown. Uncover, stir in vanilla and continue cooking uncovered on low for 2 hours. Use blender to puree the apple butter until smooth. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze. Serve on breads, muffins or pork chops.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Christmas Crack

I don't actually know the name of this cereal treat, but for the sake of this post and I am going to call it Christmas Crack! Only because my Aunt Joice makes a huge bowl of it for our Christmas Eve party at my Grandma's house every year and it is impossible to stop picking and eating it all night long.
I hunted down this recipe from her because I needed to make a treat for our CubScout pinewood derby. I was a CubScout den leader in my last ward and I got out of attending lots of activities by volunteering to bring the refreshments. I would drop off the treats and go home to put my baby to bed. (Confession: Most of these activities took place on Tuesday evenings... I really just needed to be home so I could watch the Biggest Looser) I knew this would be a hit, and it was! I made a HUGE batch and thought for sure there would be leftovers sent home. There was not even one piece of cereal left at the bottom of that bowl. Big disappointment. I was looking forward to eating a fatty, sugary, snack while watching my Biggest Looser.

Christmas Crack

3 cubes butter
2 cups Sugar
2 cups Karo Syrup

Boil 3 minutes remove from stove and add 1-2 tsp vanilla.

1 big box Rice Chex
1 big box Golden Grahms
1 bag coconut
1 bag slivered almonds

Mix Cereals in a very large bowl, and pour hot sugar mixture over the cereal mixture.
Stir gently until all cereal is coated.
Lay out on cookie sheets and let cool uncovered. Put back in the bowl and serve.

Chile Relleno Casserole- Revisited

About a year ago, I added this recipe for Chile Relleno Casserole. I am not sure I gave it enough credit. And also, there was a side note at the end of the recipe saying, "Replace hamburger with sausage to make breakfast casserole." I would replace this side note and make it manditory. Sausage really makes the difference. It is all we use now. This stuff is so stinking good and if you are a fan of green chilies at all you MUST try this recipe. SOOO GOOD!
PS. Most of you are not as lucky as I to have a New Mexico connection to supply your roasted green chilies, but I have tried the ones in a can and they are pretty dang good as well. Just saying.

Chile Relleno Casserole

1 lb breakfast sausage
1/2 tsp salt
2 small cans green chile
1 1/2 cup milk
4 beaten eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese (I use way more)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt and dash pepper
I add Corn tortillas (4-5 cut in strips)

1. Brown meat and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Beat milk, flour, eggs, salt and pepper together.
3. Put 1/2 chile on bottom of casserole dish, layer with 1/2 tortillas, meat and cheese. Pour 1/2 egg mixture over top of bottom layer.
4. Layer the rest of the green chilies, tortillas, meat and cheese and pour remaining egg mixture over top.
5. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Verde Chicken Mexican Lasagna

It's June! As promised here are some recipes that we have been enjoying over the last few months that I have yet to blog about.
This first one has become one of my favorites. It's Mexican, and it's a casserole. What can I say,... two of my favorite things. There are lots of skeptics when it comes to casseroles, but I am not one. They are usually filled with calories but they are always tasty and so easy to serve up. So when I saw that there was a contest in the LDS Living magazine for best casseroles and this was 1st place winner, I had to try it. The 2nd and 3rd place winners looked good too, but I have yet to try them. I will post as soon as I do.

Confession: The first thing I ever do when I open any magazine is flip to the recipe section. Food is my favorite thing to look at and although I rarely get to making all of the tasty looking dishes I do get a lot of good ideas from looking at all that food. Same thing applies to pinterest.

Verde Chicken Mexican Lasagna

1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
1 16 oz container sour cream (I always use light)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups green salsa (I usually do half green and half regular)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (plus additional for garnishing)
12 soft taco flour tortillas
8 oz package shredded Mexican blend cheese (I don't think that this is enough. I usually add more)

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
2. Mix chicken, sour cream, black beans, salsa, corn, cilantro and spices in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Cut tortillas in strips.
3. In a 9x13 dish, scoop 1/3 of the chicken mixture into bottom of pan. Spread evenly. Place one layer of cut tortillas on chicken mixture to cover. Top with 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Repeat with chicken mixture tortillas and shredded cheese two more times.
4. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and casserole is wormed through. Delisioso!