Friday, January 30, 2009

Oreo Fudge Ice Cream Cake

I found this recipe in Kraft Foods Magazine. There's a video on their site as well if you need extra help. Also, if you sign up, they will send you email recipes and a FREE magazine every month with great ideas to use their products. (Total advertising, but who doesn't like Kraft products?)
This is the finished cake. I put some sprinkles on it to make the grass for Elizabeth's Pet Shops to sit on for her special cake.
This is how the cake looks underneath the whipped topping frosting.

1/2 cup fudge ice cream topping, warmed (a great homemade recipe below)
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
8 Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches (or you could use Neapolitan)

1 Pour the fudge topping into a medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping with a wire whisk until it’s well blended. Add in the dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. or until well blended. The consistency of fudge topping can vary depending on what brand you purchase. If your fudge topping mixture is too thick to spread easily, stir in 1/4 cup milk.
2 Chop the Oreo cookies roughly into chunks. They don’t all have to be the same size. Stir into the pudding mixture.
3 Prepare a cookie sheet or cutting board with foil covering it. Arrange 4 of the ice cream sandwiches, side by side, on foil. Top sandwiches with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat the layers.
4 Top the pudding mixture with the remaining 4 ice cream sandwiches. The layers create a neat striped effect when sliced.
5 Frost the top and sides with the remaining whipped topping. It doesn’t have to look perfect.
6 Bring up the foil sides. Double fold top and ends to loosely seal the packet or cover with wax paper after letting set in the freezer for 10 minutes. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly before serving. Store leftover dessert in the freezer.

This can easily cut into 24-30 pieces. We have served our whole extended family with it a few times.

Hot Fudge Sauce (Ellen Bailey-one of my mom's good friends)

2 cups Sugar
4 Tablespoons Flour
4 Tablespoon Cocoa
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ cup Butter

Mix sugar, flour, and cocoa together until smooth. Stir milk in gradually–keeping smooth. Add vanilla. Put butter in. Microwave 1 minute and stir until butter melts all the way (4 minutes). Then continue to microwave and stir occasionally until the mixture is thick. Microwave 2 minutes at a time and then stir. Use a wire whisk. Pour over ice cream or brownies.

Chicken Alfredo

I made this again tonight for dinner and added sliced carrots to it. I boiled the carrots in a pan for 10-15 minutes and then added the dry noodles to them to cook. It was even better. YUM!
I decided to make an Alfredo sauce from scratch. I didn't have the little pocket of mix and didn't want to go to the store. I made my OWN! From SCRATCH!
I was even missing the heavy cream that all the recipes called for, so I looked up a substitute for that. Beware: This is NOT a diet recipe. Chicken Alfredo just sounded so yummy to me:

Here's what I did:
Alfredo Sauce
-1/4 cup Butter
-1 cup Heavy Cream
(substitute-melt 1/3 cup butter in microwave, add 3/4 cup milk, 1 Tablespoon Flour to thicken.)
-1 clove Garlic (I actually used about 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder)
-1/2 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (I actually used the powdered Kraft kind)
-1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley (I actually used about 2 Tablespoons of dry parsley)
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

I cut up two chicken breasts and browned them in a frying pan with 1/4 teaspoon garlic and 1 Tablespoon Parsley and then combined the sauce with the chicken. I boiled Vermicelli noodles (Size between spaghetti and angel hair) and put the sauce on the noodles on the plates.

Elizabeth practically licked her plate and had two helpings. Andy had two helpings (Elizabeth's were smaller) and Olivia liked it a lot too. Elizabeth said it was the best ever and said it over and over. I guess it was a hit! Vincent had some all cut up too and he ate it, but spilled most of it. Elizabeth said I should make it all the time, so I asked her if she wanted it for lunch tomorrow. She said she does. Then, I asked her if she wanted it for breakfast too. She says she does, (but she won't get it.) I think I'll be making this one again. I love being able to search online for recipes and substitutions. It makes everything so much easier!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crockpot Pasta Fagioli

This is like the soup from Olive Garden. We ate it on Halloween night before the big trick-or-treating festivities. It is very good. It was posted on the Year of Crockpotting Meals blog on Halloween last year.

1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 large red onion, chopped, or not
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced, or not
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (and juice), one works too.
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef broth
1 jar (16.5 oz) pasta sauce
2 tsp oregano
1 T Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup dry pasta, to add at end of cooking time

Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot, or cut the recipe in half. This makes a lot.

Brown the meat on the stovetop, and drain well. Let it cool a bit.

Chop up the carrots, onion, and celery. (If you or someone in your house doesn't like all of the vegetables, you can add less or none of onion and celery.) Add it to the empty crockpot.

Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Add the whole cans of tomatoes, and the pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and Tabasco sauce. Stir in your meat.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the 1/2 cup of dry pasta.

Cover and cook for another hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. It will swell quite a bit.

Serve with a bit of Parmesan cheese if you have it.

Corn Bread Taco Bake

One of my old friends said that I'm an amazing cook (and also posted his own recipe for TACO SOUP), so I guess I'd better put something extra yummy on here.

I made this and everyone enjoyed it. The Chili and Ground Beef are on the bottom of a 9x13 pan and then the corn bread goes on top to soak up all the goodness. It's so good. I just wish I could make corn bread like Famous Daves! Now that was some DELICIOUS corn bread!

Corn Bread Taco Bake

1 pound Lean Ground Beef
1 Envelope Taco Seasoning Mix
1 can Chili
2 cups Cheese, divided (any kind you have or like)
2 Packages (8.5 oz each) Corn Muffin Mix
1 can (11 oz) Mexican-Style Corn, drained
Chopped Tomatoes
Sliced Olives
Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 375°. In large skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until beef is no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning mix and prepare according to package instructions. Stir in chili and 1 cup of the cheese. In large bowl, prepare corn muffin mix according to package instructions. Stir in corn and remaining 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon ground beef mixture evenly onto bottom of 9x13 pan. Top with cornbread mixture spreading evenly to edges of pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares. Top with tomatoes, olives, and sour cream.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Easy Cheesy Lasagna

NaDell’s Easy Cheesy Lasagna

2 cups Ragu or other Spaghetti Sauce
2 cans (10 ¾ oz.) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
(may substitute Cream of Celery or Mushroom)
2 ½ cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
¼ cup Milk
1 lb. Ground Beef
10 dry lasagna noodles

The best part about this is that you don’t have to cook the noodles before baking.
Mix Chicken Soup, Mozzarella Cheese, and Milk. Set aside. Cook Beef until browned. Pour off fat. Stir in Spaghetti sauce. Heat thorough. Add spices as you wish. Spoon half the Meat Mixture into a 9x13 pan. Top with 5 dry Lasagna Noodles and Chicken Soup Mixture. Top with the remaining 5 Dry Lasagna Noodles and the remaining meat mixture. Add more cheese, olives, etc. if desired. Bake at 400° F covered for 30 minutes, or until it starts to bubble up a little. Let stand 10 minutes to set up. Eat and enjoy!!!

Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza

1 cup Softened Butter or Margarine
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
3 teaspoons Vanilla or Almond Flavoring
3 cups Flour
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 (8oz.) package Cream Cheese
2 cups Whipped Topping
5 Bananas, Sliced
3 cups Strawberries, Sliced
5 Kiwi, Sliced
1 can Pineapple, Sliced or Chunked

Mix and chill dough for crust about 1 hour. Press onto greased cookie sheet (covers about 2 thin cookie sheets). Bake at 425° for 5-7 minutes. Cool slightly. Stir powdered sugar with cream cheese. Add whipped cream. Mix lightly and spoon onto crust. Spread any desired toppings over pizzas. Keep refrigerated. Tastes great at baby or bridal showers too.

Party Potatoes

Party Potatoes- You could add ham to this.

8 Medium Potatoes
1/4 cup Melted Margarine
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 Green Onions, Chopped
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, Grated

Boil the potatoes, peel and cube them and place in large bowl. Add melted margarine to soup. Blend in sour cream, salt, onions, and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Stir and place in 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350° . Top with 1/2 cup more of cheese. Bake 25 minutes more.

Ham Breakfast Casserole

Ham Breakfast Casserole

6 slices Bread
Butter or Margarine
1 pound Ham
1 ½ cups Shredded Cheese
6 Eggs, Beaten
2 cups Half and Half
1 teaspoon Salt

Remove crusts from bread. Spread with butter. Place in 9x13 pan. Set aside. Spooon ham over bread slices. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine eggs, half and half, and salt. Mix well and pour over cheese. Cover and chill overnight. Remove 15 minutes before baking at 350° for 45 minutes or until set.

Ham and Swiss Cheese Pockets

What to do with Leftovers?
Today, after picking Elizabeth up from school, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner (since it's one of my goals this year to make healthy frugal dinners).
I came up with Calzone Pockets. I made some dough (couldn't even find the recipe I wanted in my binder, so I made it up) and then shredded up the ham from yesterday, sliced some yummy Swiss cheese and rolled out about 9 parts of dough to make them. I put in some of the shredded ham and broke up the slices of cheese on top and closed them up. 15 minutes later, YUM!

Andy loved them and the girls even ate all of theirs and all of their corn. Vincent had some of the roll part and some corn. I couldn't give up the yummy Swiss cheese. I love that stuff!
What do you do with leftovers?

Chocolate Microwave Mug Cakes

One of my friends posted this on her private blog, so I'm going to post it here for all of you. Her family did it for FHE and the kids really enjoyed it.
I just made it tonight after the kids went to bed for Andy and I to enjoy. It was yummy, but you might want to split one egg between two mugs.
It was cool to watch the cake rising over the top of the mug while it cooked in the microwave and then fall when the microwave stopped.

4 TBSP flour
4 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP baking cocoa (dry powder)
1 egg
3 TBSP milk
3 TBSP oil
3 TBSP chocolate chips
a small splash of vanilla

No need to spray or grease mug.
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly
Pour in milk and oil, mix well.
Add chocolate chips and vanilla, mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for THREE minutes @ 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, don't be alarmed! Dump out on plate if desired after cooking (it will almost split in half, so you could share it with another person if you wanted). We sprinkled ours with powdered sugar.

Chicken Pot Pie

It really is better than these pictures make it look, I promise. (Mine has a few more "spices" from the bottom of the pot when I left it on medium heat too long, but it still tasted very good.)
Chicken Pot Pie
My sister-in-law made Chicken Pot Pie for my brother's birthday dinner this week and I've been thinking about it since then. It is just SO yummy!
2 Large Chicken Breasts
2 cups Water
1 teaspoon Parsley
2 teaspoons Dry Chopped Onion (or 1/2 cup regular onion)
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic (or Garlic Salt-either way)
1 Family size Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup Milk
2-3 cups Sliced Baby Carrots
5 Medium Diced Potatoes
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
1 can Cream Corn (I was out of the Regular kind, but it still tastes really good in it.)
Defrost Chicken if needed. Cut up chicken into small chunks. Put chicken in large pot. Dump water and spices on top. Let cook on Medium for 15 minutes. Add Cream of Chicken Soup and Milk and stir. Add in carrots, potatoes, peas, and corn. Stir and let heat until it is boiling. Turn heat down to low and let it simmer until the crust is made or longer to help it thicken.

Crust my Mom uses that is SO good:
Celery Seed Pastry Crust for Chicken Pot Pie
2/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons Shortening
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Celery Seed (find this in the spice aisle or Poppy Seeds, Fennel might work too)
1 teaspoon Salt
4-5 Tablespoons Water
Cut shortening into flour, celery seeds, and salt (use a fork or a rubber spatula if you don't have a pastry cutter) until particles are the size of small peas.
Sprinkle in water 1 Tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the side of the bowl (I only needed 4 Tablespoons). Add in 1-2 Tablespoons extra, if needed.
Gather pastry in a ball and divide into four parts. (top and bottom crust of two pies). Roll out each piece separately on a lightly floured surface.

Place into greased pie pan and then fill with Chicken soup (there will be some left over probably. Good for a lunch or to freeze for another day or if you wanted to, you could make more crust and make some more pies). Add top crust and use a knife to make several holes in the top.
When cooking, use a cookie sheet underneath to catch any possible spills (just in case).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Then, let it sit for five minutes to thicken (if you can stand it) and then enjoy with cheddar cheese on top. YUM!
Let me know if you try it out.

Cheesy Saucy Manicotti Noodles

Cheesy Saucy Manicotti Noodles - NaDell Ransom
My friend made these for us more than a year ago, but she did it the hard way by boiling the noodles before filling them and didn't put sauce on them.
By spreading sauce on the bottom of the pan and also on top of the noodles, they cook perfectly.
(My picture is extra saucy and they are cut in half to show how they look. )

Vegetable Alfredo Salad Recipe

I decided to add in a recipe I just made up tonight. I've been trying to think of a way to use up some salad noodles. Here's the recipe and what I did.
Vegetable Alfredo Salad
3 cups Water
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Salad Noodles-little cylinder ones that are 1/4 size of macaroni
2 cups Sliced Baby Carrots
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/4 teaspoon Lemon or Lime Juice
2 cups Cut up Cucumbers (2 small cucumbers)
1 small can Sliced Olives
4 small Cut up Tomatoes
1 Packet Alfredo Sauce-prepare as directed on packet
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, a little more for sprinkling on top

In large saucepan, boil water with salt. Add noodles when boiling. While boiling, prepare vegetables for salad. Place each in small bowls. When noodles are tender, add carrots and boil for three more minutes. Drain noodles and carrots and put into a large mixing bowl. Toss with vegetable oil and lemon or lime juice. Prepare Alfredo sauce in small saucepan. Pour over noodles and carrots. Stir. Add in cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Stir. Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top and refrigerate. It tastes really good warm too.