Thursday, September 12, 2013

Easy Crockpot Mongolian Beef

This crock pot meal is fabulous when school is in full swing and there are after school activities.


1 pound stewing meat (I actually use 1.5 pounds and there is plenty of sauce)
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced thickly (I omit this as my children don't like onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1/2 cup hoisin sauce


Dump everything in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you are going to cook it a bit longer it is advisable to add a little bit more water so it doesn't dry out. This is delicious with rice and a nice green vegetable such as broccoli, peas or green beans.

Freezer directions:

Mix all liquid ingredients and put in a freezer bag. Add your meat and mix up to be sure the beef is covered. Seal and date your bag and place flat in the freezer. Take out of freezer the night before cooking and put in your fridge to thaw. Next morning put in the crockpot and follow directions above.

Source: (adapted from)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Garden Fresh Vegetable Pie

I just made this tonight.  It's a recipe from Trisha Yearwood, in this month's Better Homes and Garden.  

It's yummy if you're a fresh from the garden veggie lover!  Below is the recipe, but I'm sure just about any garden fresh veggie would go great in it.  I tweaked it a bit to please our taste buds!  :)  

* I didn't use onions or water chestnuts. 
*I didn't peel my tomatoes--too hard and BTW Trisha, why??? 
*I was leery of the mayonnaise and cheese mixture, but--YUMMY!  
*Embarrassingly, I, Denise, ate half a pie!  

Garden Fresh Veggie Pie

  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • 1cup peeled and chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 1large zucchini squash, thinly sliced
  • 1large yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • 1/2teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1cup mayonnaise
  • 1 - 1 1/2cups shredded mozzarella cheese (4 to 6 oz.)
  • 1 - 1 1/2cups shredded cheddar cheese (4 to 6 oz.)
  • 2large tomatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 29-inch deep-dish pie shells, prebaked as directed
  • 18 ounce cansliced water chestnust, drained

1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2.Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add garlic and saute for 2 minutes; don't let it brown. Add onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Divide the mixture in half.

3.Mix the mayonnaise and cheeses and set aside. Layer the sliced tomatoes in the bottom of the baked piecrusts. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining salt and pepper. Layer the squash mixture on top of the tomatoes, then layer the water chestnuts. Top each pie with half of the mayonnaise and cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Allow the dish to stand for 15 minutes before cutting into wedges.

nutrition facts (Trisha Yearwood's Vegetable Pies)
  • Servings Per Recipe 12,
  • cal. (kcal) 393,
  • Fat, total (g) 31,
  • chol. (mg) 23,
  • sat. fat (g) 8,
  • carb. (g) 22,
  • Monosaturated fat (g) 11,
  • Polyunsaturated fat (g) 10,
  • Trans fatty acid (g) 0,
  • fiber (g)2,
  • sugar (g) 3,
  • pro. (g) 8,
  • vit. A (IU) 500,
  • vit. C (mg) 10,
  • Thiamin (mg) 0,
  • Riboflavin (mg) 0,
  • Niacin (mg) 1,
  • Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0,
  • Folate (µg) 49,
  • Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0,
  • sodium (mg) 472,
  • Potassium (mg) 210,
  • calcium (mg) 155,
  • iron (mg) 1,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pretzel Crusted Chicken

I saw this recipe in a magazine and it looked good and easy---most of the ingredients are staple items in your pantry and refrigerator.  We ate this last night and it was well received!

2 Large Eggs
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 Cups Crushed Pretzels
1 Tablespoon Minced Thyme
1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Cutlets (I cut boneless, skinless breasts in half and pounded them thin)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Divided
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Milk
1 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

*In a shallow dish, whisk together egg and mustard until smooth.  In a separate shallow dish, combine pretzels and thyme.

*Dip chicken in egg mixture, letting excess drip off.  Dredge in pretzel mixture to coat.

*In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add half of chicken, and cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.  Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and chicken.  Wipe skillet clean.

*Melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes.  Slowly add milk, whisking until smooth.  Cook, whisking constantly, for 6-8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.  Add cheese melts and mixture is smooth.  Spoon sauce over chicken.

(I used skim milk and 2% cheese, but I'm sure if you used a fattier milk and cheese, it would be creamier---and tastier!)  We ate this with rice and mixed veggies.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Green Bean Casserole

Today, the day before Thanksgiving 2012, Google says that Green Bean Casserole is the most search recipe.  Below is my sweet Grandma Olsen's recipe for Green Bean Casserole.  It is so yummy, sort of like a veggie comfort food.  

Grandma, the most kind and gentle person I ever knew,  is in heaven now.  I only have the sweetest memories of her and look forward to seeing her and Papa again one day!

2 can of French style green beans
1 package stuffing
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can milk (use empty soup can)
1 can French's Onions Rings
Velveeta Cheese

Mix soup and milk together and set aside.  In a large casserole dish spread out one of the drained can of beans.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the stuffing (right out of the package) on the top of the beans.  Pour 1/2 of the soup mixture on top of stuffing and spread it evenly.  Layer Velveeta cheese slices over soup mixture.  Then, relayer again with beans, stuffing, soup and cheese.  Top the casserole with French's Onion Rings.  Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.  Top with foil towards the end of baking if the top becomes too brown.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Classic Pesto Sauce and Pizza Dough

I just found this pesto recipe and I love it!  My new favorite is making this pesto sauce and spreading it on pizza dough, topping it with fresh tomatoes and/or sauteed mushrooms and then top with Mozzarella cheese.  This recipe takes a tiny bit of work, but is so yummy!  Hint:  Make your dough first, then make the pesto while the dough is rising.   Also, this pesto can be used for anything, not just pizza!

Pesto Sauce
In food processor:
2/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil
2 Tbsp pine nuts
1 peeled garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Continue processing while gradually adding:
  1/3 cup olive oil
  1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

This makes 1/2 cup pesto which is enough to spread on one pizza dough (below).

Pizza Dough
In mixer, add 2 1/4 cup flour.  Set aside.

In smaller bowl, mix together:
1 pkg yeast
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Add 3/4 cup WARM water.  Stir until dissolved.
Add 1 1/2 Tbsp oil.  Stir well.
Add yeast mixture to flour and mix very well.  Dough will be sticky!

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for about 30-45 minutes in a warm place.

Spread some extra flour out on your clean kitchen counter.  Place dough on counter and knead a few times before you roll dough out to fit your pizza pan or baking sheet.  Use more flour as needed, to prevent sticking.  Add toppings and bake at 450 for about 15-20 minutes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Enchillada Casserole

I took this recipe from the January issue of Cooking Light. It is so easy, delicious and a family pleaser. My entire family loves this--even my 16 month old! We serve this with tortilla chips and salsa. The chips are great to help scoop up the casserole:)

Enchillida Casserole

1 lb. ground sirloin

1 C chopped onion

1 T butter

1 T minced garlic

1 1/2 T all purpose flour

1 C fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth

1 T low sodium taco seasoning

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

4 (8 inch) whole wheat flour tortillas

1/3 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers

*Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add beef and onion to pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble.

*Preheat oven to 400.

*Melt buter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broth, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce to pan. Bring to boil; cook 2 minutes, stirring occassionally. Add 1 1/2 cups tomato mixture to beef mixture, reserve 1/2 C tomato mixture.

*Place 1 tortilla in a 9-inch pie plate. Top with 1 C beef mixture. Repeat layers, ending with tortilla. Spread reserved tomato mixture over tortilla. Top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Cool slightly and cut into pie wedges.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

My friend made these a few weeks ago when she had me over to her house. I got the recipe from her and made them for some friends who came over for dinner last night. My husband loved them and my guests went back for more. The kids all loved them too! I will be making these again for sure! Here's the recipe:

This picture doesn't do them justice! We use the recipe for the chicken in quesadillas, too! It is so good!
Marinade -
6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat tortillas)
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream

1. Whisk the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken in a Zip-loc bag.
2. Let it marinate for at least a 1/2 hour, but preferably a half day or so.
3. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan.
4. Fill the tortillas with chicken, saving marinade, and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.
5. Put tortillas in 9x13 pan as you go.
6. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade (if there is any).
7. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas.
8. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.