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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

This bread is so delicious.  It is not too sweet and incredibly moist.  I gave this cake as my Christmas gift to friends and neighbors.  Everyone went nuts over it.  The best part about this bread is that it is super easy to make.  This only takes about 5 minutes to mix together and it makes the house smell heavenly while it bakes.  This is a great treat to make ahead of time; I actually think it tastes better the second day.  This is a great accompaniment to the Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole I am posting tomorrow. Give this a try for Easter brunch or for dessert with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.   

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Artichoke Cheese Ball - Kraft Fresh Take

I was recently contacted by the folks at Kraft and they asked if I would like to take part in their Fresh Take Flavor Makers program. I gladly accepted.

Have you seen the new Kraft Fresh Take Cheese and Breadcrumb mixes in the cheese section at the grocery store? I've seen them, but I hadn't used them until now.

Part of the program is to make a couple of recipes using one of the varieties of Fresh Take. I was challenged to make an appetizer using the Classic Four Cheese variety. I decided to make an artichoke cheese ball. The Fresh Take packet made this super easy. I mixed the cheese packet into the cheese ball mixture and rolled the cheese ball in the bread crumbs. The cheese ball was super delicious. It had all the flavors of an artichoke dip. I had a hard time controlling myself around it - I wanted to eat the whole thing myself!!

 Stay tuned for another challenge recipe and a giveaway! #KraftFreshTake

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mr. Goodbar Bites

This recipe is from my parents neighbors, The Sharpless'.   They gave my parents a tin of these peanuts for Christmas.  There were still a few left when we got down there, and we quickly devoured them.  I made my Mom call Karen to get the recipe so we could make more ASAP. (It was a real crisis)

This recipe is SUPER complicated.  Are you ready?  One package of chocolate almond bark and a jar of dry roasted peanuts.  That is it?  Yep.  Karen made sure to point out that this should be made with good, cheap almond bark from Walmart - Plymouth Pantry is the brand.  I think it is the only kind they sell.  I use it all the time.

We are totally addicted to these peanuts.  I can't believe something SO simple tastes SO good.  We thought they tasted just like a Mr. Goodbar (Chicken Legs' favorite candy bar).   You must make these!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Baked Beef and Bean Tacos

I love Mexican food, but I try no to eat it out very often.  I lack self control and always over do it on chips and salsa.  I've been seeing a lot of post for Baked Tacos on Pinterest and decided to give them a try.  I stuffed the shells with a mixture of taco meat, refried beans, salsa and cheese. They were wonderful.  If you are pressed for time, you can make the meat mixture ahead of time and assemble the tacos when you are ready for your fiesta.

I took this recipe one step further and made my own taco shells.  I actually baked them draped over the oven racks.  They only took a few minutes to crisp up.  Be careful though - they go from not done to done in a flash.  I actually burned my first batch because I walked away.  Luckily I had a whole package of corn tortillas to play with.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pizza Quiche

Chicken Legs is a huge quiche fan.  We eat it a lot for dinner since I don't get up at the crack of dawn to cook breakfast.  I decided to combine quiche with my favorite food - pizza.  It turned out fantastic.  It was super creamy and delicious!  It was the best of both worlds.  I had my pizza flavors and  he had his quiche.  We both really liked this.  I just used sausage and pepperoni, but next time I might add mushrooms (for Chicken Legs).  I also thought this might be pretty good with some pizza sauce drizzled over it. Maybe?  It is worth a shot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

No-Boil Ravioli Lasagna

No-Boil Ravioli Lasagna recipe - frozen ravioli, spaghetti sauce, sausage/hamburger, ricotta, mozzarella - layer everything in a pan and bake. No need to precook the ravioli. Super quick casserole! Ready in 30 minutes. Make a great freezer meal! Assemble and freeze for later. Serve with a salad and crusty garlic bread for a quick weeknight meal.

This ravioli bake is SO easy and SO delicious.  The thing I love best about this recipe is that you don't have to boil the ravioli before you bake them.  Just throw the frozen ravioli in the casserole dish and pop it in the oven.  It couldn't be easier!

Make ahead tip - I cooked my sausage the night before and put it in a ziplock back in the refrigerator.  I just pulled the cooked meat out of the fridge when I got home.  It took longer for the oven to preheat than it did to assemble the casserole.  We served this with a salad and garlic bread.  It was one of the best things we ate all week.  This is great for a crowd and also reheats well.  Put this on your menu right away!

No-Boil Ravioli Lasagna recipe - frozen ravioli, spaghetti sauce, sausage/hamburger, ricotta, mozzarella - layer everything in a pan and bake. No need to precook the ravioli. Super quick casserole! Ready in 30 minutes. Make a great freezer meal! Assemble and freeze for later. Serve with a salad and crusty garlic bread for a quick weeknight meal.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Southwestern Chicken Roll Ups

This is a variation on one of my all-time favorite dishes - Chicken Roll Ups.  I used some taco seasoning in the chicken filling and substituted salsa for the milk in the soup mixture.  YUM!  I could have eaten the whole pan of this stuff.  It was that good.

The filling could be made ahead of time and just assemble the casserole when you are ready.  If you want to freeze this dish, you will need to bake it and then reheat it.  The crescent rolls won't rise as well once they have been frozen.  I served the chicken roll ups with some taco rice and black beans.  This will definitely be in our usual dinner rotation!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

BBQ Meatloaf Sliders

I don't like meatloaf.  I don't know exactly why, but I sure it has to do with some I ate as a child.  I am sure the version I ate had onions and pepper chunks (or something equally as hideous) in it and immediately turned me off to it.  My friend Cathy posted her recipe for meatloaf.  She promised it was meatloaf for people who don't like meatloaf.  I was skeptical, but I took the plunge and gave it a try.  

Chicken Legs was positive I wouldn't like it and we would have to go out.  He was teasing me the whole time this was in the oven.  Guess what?  He was wrong.  I actually really liked this!  I think it was the brown sugar and BBQ sauce topping that really put this over the top for me.  I served the meatloaf on slider buns.  It was even good the next day. Chicken Legs ate it cold with some mayo. Give this recipe a try if you have people that don't like meatloaf.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pesto Chicken and Creamy Rice

I've been making a version of this recipe forever.  The original recipe is from the back of a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup.  I've made many changes to the recipe over the years, and this is my latest version.  I love this dish because it only takes a minute to assemble and you have a main dish and side made.  The rice is super creamy; it is reminiscent of a risotto. The chicken is always tender and juicy.  You can't beat this for an easy weeknight meal!

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