Sunday, June 17, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

I have been looking at this recipe for a few weeks now and I should have taken a picture of this when my sister pulled it out of the oven. It was the best one we have made so far. Sometimes it takes practice. I think we have it down now so I thought you might like it for your family. You can make it hot or mild and it is really good warmed up too.
Enchilada Casserole   350 oven
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 large Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1/3 Cup bottled Picante Sauce [Mild or Med.]
1 [10 ounce] can Rotel [original, mild or hot, drained]
1 [16 ounce] can Refried beans
1 [10 ounce] can Enchilada Sauce
1 C Corn [if frozen cook]
1/2 Cup chopped Black Olives [optional]
Crushed Tortilla Chips, Recommend **Grande Tortilla Chips
3 C grated Mexican Cheese
1 Small container Sour Cream
Method:  Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 pan.
In a wide deep frying pan on medium heat, brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic until beef is cooked through. Drain. 
I have a large bowl in which I put a large sieve over. [Not a colander because the meat will fall through the holes]  Then I put the meat into the sieve and push the grease out. Wipe out skillet with paper towel to be sure there is no grease left.
Now, lower the heat and return the drained Beef, and add the Picante, Rotel, and Beans, Enchilada sauce, olives, corn and salt. Stir and cook until well combined and heated through. Remove from heat.
Place a scant 1 Cup of crushed Tortilla Chips in bottom of sprayed 9 x 13 pan. Put half the beef mixture over it carefully. Top with 1 ½ C Cheese. Put another layer of chips, then the rest of the beef mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese or more. Enough to to have plenty to cover the top completely.  Caution; Do not make the layers of chips too thick. The casserole will be dry if you do. Be sure and cover with foil to keep the cheese from burning.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Test it with a small spoonful in the center. Serve with Sour Cream and extra Chips
** I recommended that brand of chips because they are thick and seem to hold the filling better and they don’t soak up the liquid. We have tried several brands of chips and we liked them the best. You can top it with Salsa, Chopped Green Onions, and a dollop of Sour Cream. This makes an attractive dish and as my sister is fond of saying “The eye eats first”.   

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gayle's Chicken Fried Rice
Haven't blogged in a while because this computer makes me want to hit it with a hammer more times than not and especially when I'm trying to type anything I want to be seen by others. I go, and I do have friends praying for me and this dratted computer, so there is hope.
This recipe I began making about 30 years ago from a Chinese girl who lived across the street from me. I've been making it ever since and it is quite easy [of course] and good. I don't know what a lot of children eat these days besides "Happy Meals" and ice cream but hopefully they like vegetables as this is chock full of them. 
2 Chicken Breasts, slice them, then make large bite size pieces.
1 C Raw Rice, NOT Minute Rice, or Uncles either
Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1 or 2 Eggs
1 Green Pepper
1 or 2 White or Yellow Onions
4 Carrots, peeled
4 Ribs of Celery, peel these a little
2 cloves of Garlic [optional]
Method for the Rice
2 C very hot water, some salt [not a ton because the soy sauce is salty]
1 C Raw Rice
Bring water to a boil and add the rice. Turn the burner down to the lowest heat, cover and let simmer till all the water is gone. This could take 30 minutes or so. I sometimes add a couple of Tablespoons of butter or Smart Balance to the water and then the rice. [I love rice]Do the rice first because it's going to take you some time to cut up the vegetables.
Get all your Vegetables cut up into large bite size pieces and set aside. Next beat the eggs and pour into a buttered small non-stick skillet. Don't scramble, you want the eggs done hard like a flat pancake. When they are done on the bottom flip them and cook until completely cooked. Not to high a heat or you will burn them and burned eggs stink and aren't worth eating.
Cut the egg into bite size pieces too. Set aside.
Now the rice should be done & hot. Now my friend always said to use left over rice in this dish but I always use any left over rice for breakfast with sugar, cinnamon and milk.
ANYWAY...... put a small amount of Canola oil in the large skillet, Dutch Oven or whatever you can saute in.
I think about a scant 1/4th cup. Just enough to cover the bottom. Get the skillet hot [not smoking] but hot and add the chicken pieces. I work them around until they are no longer pink but white on both sides. Takes a couple of minutes. Then add the vegetables, shaking the pan and turning the Veg's. and Chicken a few times. Then add the egg and rice. Now this is a lot of rice and you will need to turn down the burner and then mix the rice in as best you can until they get the idea that they are going to be cooked together. Takes a few minutes. If you feel that the rice is sticking add a dab more of the Canola oil. Now is the time for the Kikkoman. Start shaking it over the whole thing until the rice is brown. Taste and see if you have enough. If not add a few more shakes.  Now you can get Kikkoman with less salt. I did that but I gave it away because I thought it needed SALT!  Put the lid on your pan and let it cook on a very low heat for a few minutes, just until the veggies are starting to get soft. Spoon it up into bowls and you have a real balanced meal. Serve a little fruit for desert and there you have it.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chicken Tetrazzini

This is a recipe that I have had for 23 years. I had shattered my leg and couldn't walk. A pastors wife [can't remember their name] brought this dish and I requested the recipe and have been making it ever since. It's easy to assemble and you don't need any special talent. Now she used a whole fryer and cooked it until done and then deboned it. Way way too much trouble. You know me by now, I'm for easy and quick.
350 Oven
1 large Chicken Breast with the skin and bone in
Chicken Breasts these days are big enough to ride so one should be enough, but if you feel it's not enough meat then add another one. If you have a steamer put this in it with a little water in the bottom and steam for about 20 to 30 minutes. Don't let the water boil away. If you don't have a steamer you can just put it in some cold water and bring to a boil and simmer for same amount of time. When it is done and you will know because the bone will come out easily. Cut off the skin and pull out the bone. Chop into bite size pieces and set aside.
Add: 2 tbs. Butter
          1/4 C Milk
          1 small can Mushrooms or Mushroom pieces, drained
          1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup, undiluted
         *** 1 2/3 C Chicken Broth [I make my own but Swansons is good.]
          1/4 lb. of Spaghetti, Cooked and drained
          Salt and Pepper to taste
          2 Cups Shredded Colby or Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Whisk this all together in the bowl then add the Chopped Chicken and pour into a 2 qt. Casserole dish.  Cover the top with Cheese. Tent this with foil or if you have a lid for your casserole put it on. Bake for about 30 minutes until it bubbles.
***I don't have a can of Swansons Chicken Broth in my cupboard at the moment but I think the can is 15 oz. and you can add the whole can. It's a little over a cup, I believe. If it's a little soupy don't worry as it sits it will get thicker and boy is this ever good.  As you can see I serve it with fresh Broccoli because it just seems to go with it. She brought it to me that way.   and I thought it was yum! I know it looks horrible when you whisk it up but it is a different way to fix Chicken. 
I hope you will try this and that your family likes it as much as mine does

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Simple Deserts

I was thinking today about something simple you all might like to fix for your family that would be quick and you could make while your eating your supper. I have been making these recipes for about 30 years. When I worked as a cook in a daycare we used this Banana recipe for breakfast a lot. It comes from "The Christian Home Cook Book". I don't believe it is in print anymore but maybe if you get hold of Weavers Store they may be able to get it. These are a real go-to when I have nothing in the house but some dead Bananas and a couple cans of peaches. I don't have a picture as I just made the Banana one and it's gone.  Neither of these are very sweet but really good and will stand in for a tasty desert.
I always called this one;
"A Cup, A Cup, A Cup Cobbler"
Oven 375* 30 - 40 minutes
1 stick Butter
1 C Sugar
1 C Flour [reg.]
1 C Milk
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Salt
In a 8 x 11 oven proof dish [glass] melt the butter.
I just put the butter in the dish and stick it in the oven to melt.  Whisk the dry ingredients together and then stir in the milk. Pull out the dish of melted Butter from the oven and pour the batter over the melted butter. DO NOT STIR.
Pour sweetened fruit over the top, juice and all.
I use a couple of 15 oz. cans of sweetened Peaches.
You can use Cherie or Blueberry Pie Filling. If you use a pie filling you will have to kind of plop it over the batter. Probably one can, 21 oz. will be enough as it is bigger than the peaches. Looks odd but trust me it will come out real good. When I had an abundence of Blackberries I used to sugar them and wait till they had maserated and pour them in. Boy was that good!!
OK, put this in the oven when you are serving up supper and it should be about ready when you are clearing the table. It's done when a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Serve it with some Vanilla Ice Cream or Cool Whip.  It's really good hot or warm.

Banana Cake
Bake 350* 45 minutes  13 x 9 sprayed pan
Cream together; [with mixer] 
3/4 C Butter [room temp. or soften in microwave]
1 1/2 C Sugar
Then blend in;
1 1/2 C or about 4 dead, meaning black Bananas
I moosh them up really well with a fork before I add them. I have tried just putting them in but it comes out better if you moosh them.
2 Eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla
Whisk together before adding to wet ingredients;
2 C Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
Add to Banana mixture, alternately with
1/2 C Buttermilk or **sour Milk.
Blend after each addition. Don't beat this to pieces. You don't want it to be tough. Just get the flour and milk incorporated and then add;
1 C Pecans or Walnuts or no nuts at all. [It's great just plain.] Chop the nuts so they aren't big hunks in there.
Put it in the oven and it is done when a toothpick comes out clean.
I wait till it has cooled some then sprinkle Powdered Sugar over the top. This is good hot, warm or just room temp. It's a winner. No icing needed.  Really Yummy!
**Sour Milk is easy made. [as my Mother-in-law would have said] Add about a 1 tsp. [scant] vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 C Milk when you start this recipe and it will look like Buttermilk by the time you need it.
Hope this helps you working Mothers. Hard to have something homemade when you are gone all day. These are easy and good. Try them and see.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Few Ideas For Leftovers and a Cake

Been doing a little bit more cooking lately and my sister was asking if I had ever posted anything about leftovers. I know when you have boys or men who are hungry there just isn't anything left over. We do have meat that is sometimes left over and I make meals out of Chicken or Beef at little cost. I did this when my husband was living and kids were at home.  One of the things I make is Chicken Pot Pie [Daughters favorite]or Beef Pot Pie depending on what I have left. If you have gravy left from your Roast Chicken or Roast Beef and some chicken and beef left over too, you will have a hearty meal. I always just heat some mixed Vegetables or just whatever you have. [Not Broccoli because it will disintegrate and be horrible.]Heat the gravy in the microwave. You will have to add a little water to it so it isn't so thick. Add the chopped Chicken or Beef and the warmed Vegetables. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Top it with crust and there you have a Pot Pie.  I have made either in a casserole dish or in an iron skillet. No Pie Crust needed if you are short on time and the kids are around your ankles and starved. Just top with biscuits instead of crust. Bake at about 375 until the biscuits are brown and done. Yummy in the gravy and super simple and fast.

A couple of other things I wanted to show you and mention. Duncan & I made a beautiful Angle Food Cake this week. I always make cakes with Duncan, Hines that is. If you follow the recipe it is so simple and it makes a great cake. Bigger and lighter than the ones already made at the grocery store.[blah] I think better than Bettys or that dough boy guy.  Just be sure that your mixing bowl is clean and your Angle Food Cake pan is grease free and clean. So simple and it takes about 3 minutes to stir up. It's good covered in Strawberries & Cool Whip. I sometimes make a Lemon or Orange Glaze for it. You can also get some Cool Whip and add a little bit of Cocoa powder to it and have Chocolate Whipped Cream. There is also Cinnamon or Mint Extract and a little Green Food Coloring. You have fancy and it took no time at all.