Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Italian Chicken Noodle Skillet

Fast and easy, this recipe is wonderful for a quick dinner - especially if you happen to already have all the ingredients on hand!

Italian Chicken Noodle Skillet

1-3/4 cups egg noodles (or other pasta)
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes in sauce
1 10.75oz can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet stir in tomatoes and soup until blended. Stir in the chicken, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 5-8 minutes or until heated through. Drain noodles; stir into skillet. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; cover until cheese is melted.

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs

1 12oz pkg spaghetti or angel hair
1 28oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 batch of 30 meatballs (frozen or thawed)
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. (I usually only make enough pasta for one meal - since the sauce & meatballs lasts my husband and I two meals, I cook up fresh pasta each night and just re-heat the sauce)

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine spaghetti sauce and meatballs; cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes or until the meatballs are heated through, depending on if they're frozen or thawed.

Serve over spaghetti; top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.
Time: 20 min.

Make-Ahead Meatballs

Here's my first post on here! Sorry it's taken so long. :) These meatballs are yummy and this recipe makes 5 batches, so you can use one right away and freeze the other 4 to use later. Very "busy-mom" friendly! You'll need to devote a chunk of time to making them the first time, but once they're made, you can make any meatball recipe using homemade (and less expensive than store-bought) meatballs. A couple of our favorite meatball recipes are tried-and-true Spaghetti & Meatballs and Sweet & Sour Meatballs.
Make-Ahead Meatballs

4 eggs
2 cups dry bread crumbs
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp white pepper
4 lbs lean ground beef

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add the next five ingredients. Add beef; mix well (using your hands is easiest!). Shape into 1-in. balls, about 12 dozen.

(Alternate method for preparing the balls: Lightly pat meat mixture into a 1-in.-thick rectangle. Cut the rectangle into the same number of squares as meatballs in the recipe. Gently roll each square into a ball.)

Option #1 for cooking balls (my favorite since it's easier to turn them and it doesn't heat up the kitchen as much): Place one batch of meatballs (about 30) in a non-stick skillet. Turn occasionally until brown on all sides. Remove to a plate with paper towels to cool & repeat with the next batch.

Option #2 for cooking balls: Place in single layers in ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until no longer pink, turning often; drain. Cool on plates covered in paper towels.

Place about 30 meatballs each into freezer containers. May be frozen for up to 3 months.

Yield: 5 batches (about 30 meatballs per batch).
Time: 1 hour.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bran Flax Muffins

Okay, so I'm on a bit of a health kick right now. I try to find recipes that are yummy but also healthy. When I was at the grocery store, I purchased flaxseed meal and wheat germ not really knowing how I would use them. I found this recipe on the back of the flaxseed meal and it turned out great!

Recipe from the bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal

1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
¾ cup flaxseed meal
¾ cup oat bran (I substituted wheat germ)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ cups carrots, shredded
2 apples, shredded (I left the peel on)
½ cup raisins (optional)
1 cup nuts (I used pecans)
¾ cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together flour, flaxseed meal, bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, apples, raisins and nuts. Combine milk, beaten eggs and vanilla. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Yields 15 medium muffins.

I ended up baking the muffins for around 20-25 minutes. When I made the recipe, I ended up with 24 regular sized muffins.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cinnamon Pecans

I made these for Christmas presents last year and everyone loved them. They're easy to make and taste delicious!! For a nice gift idea, decorate a pretty jar or tin and add the nuts when they're cool.

• 1 egg white
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 pound pecans
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon *
• 1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, beat egg white with water until frothy. Stir in pecans and mix to coat. Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt and stir into pecan mixture. Spread on a baking sheet.
3. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool on wax paper. Store in an airtight container.
*I tend to put double or triple the amount of cinnamon in. Just add as much as you’d like. I also found that it’s best to bake it in a glass baking dish because it makes it easier to stir without shoving pecans off into the stove.

I originally found this recipe on allrecipes.com. It’s easy and delicious!