Friday, January 22, 2010

My Mother's Marvelous Meatlaof.

If you have ever been to Boston Market, you have probably been blessed with tasting their amazing meatloaf. Well, when our mother happened upon a likely facsimile years ago, it became one of our classic dinners. To this day when people complain about their mother's yucky meatloaf, I just don't understand. This recipe is delicious and utterly easy.

1 cup Tomato sauce
1 1/2 tbl Barbecue Sauce
1 tbl Sugar
1 1/2 pounds Ground sirloin
6 tbl Flour
3/4 t. Salt
1/2 t. Onion powder
1/4 t. Ground black pepper
Dash garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine the tomato sauce, barbecue sauce and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until it begins to bubble, stirring often, then remove it from the heat.
3. Reserve 2 Tbl sauce. In a large bowl combine the remaining sauce and meat until throughly mixed.
4. Add the remaining ingredients to the meat mixture and stir until combined.
5. Place the meatloaf into a loaf pan. Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes.
6.Remove meatloaf from oven, uncover, and carefully drain the fat.
7. Using a knife, slice the meatloaf all the way through into 8 slices while still in the pan. Pour the reserved sauce over the top of the meatloaf, in a stream down the center. DO NOT SPREAD THE SAUCE.
8. Return the meatloaf to the oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until done. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
8 slices, 4 generous servings.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sanitary Sponges?

In efforts to make our blog a well rounded, educational place of reading, I would like to introduce a hint section. My hint of the day involves keeping sponges more sanitary, thus prolonging the life of your dish washing tools! After doing dishes and cleaning kitchen surfaces, rinse off your sponge and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. It kills bacteria and gets rid of the beginning mildew smell.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Homemade Mac N Cheese

Once upon a newspaper clipping, and ten years later, this is a family favorite!
    Makes 10 servings
    1 large package macaroni
    1 stick butter
    1 pint sour cream
    1 pint heavy cream
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    Dash salt
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    Dash white pepper
    1/2 cup salsa
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1 1/2 pounds grated Cheddar cheese
    Cook macaroni in water with a little oil and salt. Drain and set aside.
    In a pan, melt the stick of butter, add sour cream, heavy cream, Worcestershire, salt, garlic powder, white pepper and salsa. Blend in most of the cheese, reserving just enough to sprinkle on top of the casserole. Add macaroni and stir well.
    Put mixture in a large, greased casserole dish, top with reserved cheese, cover with heavy foil or layers of plastic and freeze. Defrost on serving day and bake, covered with foil, for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, then serve.

Crustless Quiche

1/2 c. ham cubes
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
2 c. milk
1/2 c. Bisquick
4 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Sprinkle ham, cheese and onion evenly in lightly greased pan. Place remaining ingredients in bowl and beat on high 1 minute. Pour into 9" or 10" pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 or 45 minutes until golden or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Meatball Casserole

For two
I am obsessed with this recipe. I love the tiny meatballs and the lasagna-ish taste of this casserole. Sometimes I just make the meatballs and freeze them for spaghetti night.
3/4 cup uncooked penne pasta
2 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, Divided
1 egg
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning ( I use pizza seasoning)
1/8 tsp onion powder
Dash Salt
Dash garlic Powder
1/4 lb ground beef or turkey
3/4 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile in a small bowl combing the bread crumbs, 2 TBSp parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt and garlic powder. Mix in meat and shape into 1/2 inch balls, place on a coated baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Drain meatballs and combine in a bowl with the pasta, cottage cheese, mozzarella and marinara sauce.
Spoon into a 1 qt. baking dish and top with 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Baked Chimichangas--trying to be healthy

Baked Chicken Chimichangas
I got this recipe out of a healthy eating magazine and make it all the time. Only 300 calories per chimichanga  :)
(makes six chimis)
1 1/2 cups cubed chicken
1 1/2 cups picante sauce, divided
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup chopped green onions, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 tbsp butter, melted

In a small bowl combine the chicken, 3/4 cup of the picante sauce, cheese, 1/4 cup green onions, cumin, and oregano. Spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture down the center of each tortilla. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up. Place seam side down in a square baking dish coated with cooking spray and brush with butter.
Bake uncovered at 375 for 20 minutes and top with remaining picante sauce and green onions.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Spaghetti in a pop bottle

I don't have a recipe today, just a very helpful hint that has saved me so much stress when it comes to spaghetti.
Keep your large 2-liter bottles for storing spaghetti. After you wash the bottles, stuff paper towels inside to help draw out the water. In a sunny window, it should take less than an hour.
Making sure the bottle is dry, put in your spaghetti. This takes time, but the result is worth it to me, because it will dispense a serving of spaghetti with just a shake of the wrist. It's easier for me than having to deal with spaghetti from a bag or plastic container. It seems to scatter all over the place and just my luck that is when Jake will decide to walk through the kitchen and step on a few pieces. Sweeping pasta is hard.

The best part about this is that the amount of spaghetti that comes out of the bottle is the perfect serving of pasta for two people with a bit of leftover. Easy measuring!

Black Bean and Rice Burritos

This is my go to vegetarian dish when I know I am cooking for someone who isn't a meat lover. Very flavorful and can feed a crowd easily!

Black Bean and Rice Burritos

1 package yellow rice (it has saffron in it to make it yellow)
1 can black beans (can use 2 cans if needed)
7 oz can of green salsa verde
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey or pepper jack cheese
8-10 Flour Tortillas

Cook rice according to package directions, stir in black beans that are
Rinsed and drained. Add half of salsa, and most of cheese reserving 1/3 cup.
Put 1/2 - 3/4 cup of rice mixture in to each tortilla, and roll up placing into
A greased 9x13 pan. After burritos are assembled, top with remaining salsa
And then cheese. Place in 350 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until Cheese is bubbly.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Café Rio Pork

Literally, it tastes similar to the real deal. My family loved me forever when I made this for a fancy Sunday Meal! Meat works well in tacos, salads, over rice, or in a pulled pork sandwich.
Ingredients: 5 lbs pork roast
6 cans tomato sauce
2 cups Dr. Pepper
2 cups brown sugar
Combine all ingredients but 1 cup Dr. Pepper.
Slow cook in crock pot for four hours
Add last cup of Dr. Pepper.
Slow cook in crock pot for 4 more hours or until pork can be shredded with a fork.
Shred pork and serve.


Our Recipe Blog

Taci and I have decided to share our recipes (mostly with each other) in a place visible for others to enjoy as well. As you can see, Taci has many helpful hints and tricks that make the everyday extraordinary. We hope to keep up with ourselves and are excited to have all of it in one place. Enjoy!


These oreos have been used for years as a way to acquire positions of power in the PTA, bribe neighbors and coworkers into getting something, and mystify the masses with magical cooking abilities.
Once used, do not expect your children to accept just any old cookie. Do not be shocked when they turn up their noses at a packaged, store bought oreo.
Simply, these little cookies have the ability to change your life.
Homemade Oreo Cookies

1 package Devils Food Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening

Combine ( the hardest part. At some point when I make these I give up the spoon and use my hands.)
Roll into 1/2 inch balls. Place 16 in 4 rows of 4 on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for exactly 8 minutes.
Once all of the oreos are baked and cooled its time to make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 brick cream cheese
2 cups powered sugar
A small splash of vanilla (During Christmas we add a few drops of peppermint extract instead and dye it green)

Soften (not melt!) cream cheese in the microwave at 1/2 power until it is pretty easy to stir.
Stir in the vanilla then gradually add the powered sugar until it is the right consistency for frosting.
When you frost the cookies, be generous! The best oreos have the most frosting.



I had the chance to celebrate New Years Eve in Hagerman with my inlaws again this year. It was fun because I got to watch my father in law play in his band but my favorite part was the fondue.
After a few hours of extensive google research I decided (with the aid of my mother in law) that a simple cheese sauce and a dessert sauce would do the trick. I found the coolest recipe for "any flavor dessert fondue" and I will swear by it always. I am officially in love. Here it is:

Any Flavor Dessert Fondue

1 (16 oz) can of frosting, any flavor. (we made a chocolate one and a coconut pecan one)
1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine in a small sauce pot on low heat until smooth.
This literally took 5 minutes to make, it is cheap and super easy.
Great, I found another way to gain weight.

What we dipped in the stuff:
Maraschino Cherries
Angel food cake cubes
Banana Slices
Sliced fruit on a tray from costco

Things I have dipped in chocolate before:

Rice Krispy Squares
Swedish Fish
Lady fingers
Cheesecake squares
Cream puffs

Cheese Fondue (also pretty darn easy!)
4 tbsp butter
5 tbsp flour
1 can evaporated milk
2 tsp ground mustard (enhances the cheesy flavor)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 -2 cups grated cheese, any kind ( we did some cheddar jack and mozzarella)

Melt butter in a small sauce pan and add and stir/whisk in flour to make a roux. Add milk, salt, and mustard and stir until thickened then stir in cheese. Keep this one warm or it may be a little stringy.

What we dipped in our cheese:
Green and black olives
Pieces of bagel
Cubed leftover steak

What I wish we also had to dip:
Roasted fingerling potatoes
Cubed ham and turkey
Roasted pearl onions
Chunks of steamed tender crisp carrot and broccoli
I never knew fondue was so easy! I found a pot at D.I. for 5 bucks and it came with a warmer and a bunch of sticks. I hope this has converted the people sitting on the fondue fence.

Happy New Year!