Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Variety Brownies In One Pan

Make them think you slaved for hours in your kitchen. Really you only use one large brownie mix or 2-3 smaller bagged ones, one bowl and one Jelly roll type pan and you have 3 different types of brownies. Quite genius I think and when you taste the variety you will go out of your mind.

Mix your favorite Brownie mix (sometimes I replace the water the recipe calls for with milk or flavored alcohol) and spread batter into the greased jelly roll pan.

Coconut Brownies
Sprinkle coconut on one third of the batter in the pan. The coconut will toast up so nicely and add such a great taste and texture to your brownie!

Chocolate Heath Bar Brownie
Take 2-3 Heath bars and crack them up. Place toffee pieces on brownie batter on the next third of the pan. Sprinkle a handful or two of semi-sweet chocolate chips on top of toffee.

Smore Brownies
Cut large marshmallows in half or use 1-2 cups mini marshmallows, a dozen Unwrapped Hershey Kisses, and a handful of walnuts. Pull brownies from oven when they are 3-5 minutes from being done. Sprinkle the marshmallows on brownies. Pop them back in the oven and bake the last few minutes. Once they have plumped, pull the brownies out and top your marshmallow with the kisses and nuts.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Re-Inventing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are awesome. Imagine just adding one or two ingredients and have a new yummy tasting cookie. The buttery chocolaty goodness with ? ? ? ?

Basically, take your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and add some other good stuff.

Cinnamon Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
I add cinnamon and a packet or two of Maple and Brown sugar oatmeal to mine. They are delish!

Red, White and Blue Cookies
Omit chocolate chip and add a handful of dried cranberries, add 1 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips, and a handful of dried blueberries. That's it and you will have the best Patriotic White Chocolate Chip cookie ever!

Toasted Coconut and Pecan Cookies
Keep the chocolate chips and add 1/2 cup toasted coconut and 1/2 cup pecans. YUMMY!

Caramel Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies
Add 1-2 packets of Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal, keep the chocolate chips in your recipe and then cut 10 or 12 caramels into 4's and mix into your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Add a cup of Peanut Butter chips to your favorite cookie dough or chop up some Reece's Peanut butter cups. OH YEAH!!!

Experiment. Make some unique cookies right now and then share your idea in the comment section. (:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fantastic Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad! Oh, am I a fan. I love Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing. (NO, mayo on my pasta, please!) It has been my favorite for years.

Jamie's Fantastic Pasta Salad

1 16 oz box any type of Pasta (I used Disney's Pirate Pasta with cool shapes, a skull, treasure chest, pirates...)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1/4 tsp. regular salt
1/2 tbs. McCormick's Italian Pepper and Onion Seasoning blend
2 Tbs. Italian Seasonings

1/2 cup cubed Gallo Salami
1/2 cup chopped reduced fat string cheese
1/2 cup cubed Pepper Jack Cheese (you can use any types of cheese you want)
1/4 cup chopped peperoncini rings
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 small can sliced black olives (optional)

Boil your pasta with a little salt. Once cooked according to directions on the box. Drain and rinse and set aside. Mix the Italian Dressing Ingredients and set aside.

Once the pasta has cooled toss it in a bowl or gallon size Ziploc bag. Pour Italian Dressing over pasta and toss. Add remaining ingredients and stir or shake bag after each addition. Put your Fantastic Pasta Salad in the refrigerator for an hour or two so the flavors can blend. Serve with a Sandwich (Mmm Monte Cristo) or Marinated Tri tip or whatever your little heart desires.

You can tame down the spiciness of the Fantastic Pasta Salad by omitting the Pepper Jack, peperoncinis, and adjust the seasonings.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Foil Packs

Back in the day, when I was a little Girl Scout we would go on little camp outs. We learned how to make our own mess kits. Pretty cool in concept by the way, if only we could train family members and guests to use one. Wow, the dish time would be practically eliminated. Back to this post. Oh the Foil Pack. What a fun and wonderful meal wrapped in aluminum foil. I don't remember exactly what the contents were of the Girl Scouting Foil Packs but below you will find the recipe for the Foil Packs I made for Robby's last trip to Pismo. (The Foil packs did not make it in the cooler. So sad for the campers, lucky me, I won't have to make dinner a few times!)

Hamburger Patty Foil Pack Jamie Style makes 6

One pound lean hamburger or ground turkey
Garlic Salt and Pepper
Onion Powder
a little diced onion

Combine and set aside.

3 potatoes cleaned and sliced (soak them in water so they won't turn)
1/2 bag Trader Joe's frozen green beans
1/2 bag Trader Joe's Yellow or white corn or a can of Green Giant Niblets

Garlic Salt, Pepper, whatever seasonings you like

6 12 inch or longer pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil

Divide the meat up into six portions. Take one sheet of aluminum foil. Form meat portion into a patty. Place patty in the middle of the foil. Take a few pieces of potato and top the patty. Sprinkle with seasonings. Top a handful of green beans and sprinkle some corn on top of that. Bring the foil up length wise and roll the ends of foil down, then take the ends and roll both sides up. Set aside and assemble the remaining Foil Packs.

Place in a freezer bag and freeze for camping use or Cook them up in the oven at 375 degrees F for 30-45 minutes.

If you use them for camping they can be barbecued or thrown into the open fire. Just make sure you have some really long tongs to pull them out. There is really nothing like a Foil Pack when you are out camping.

I popped two of these foil packs in the crockpot on 7/15/08. They cooked on low all day and they were fantastic!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chicken Curry Style Pot Pie a la Crescent... no curry

This is an experiment. I have been craving Chicken Curry. So I bought chicken and broccoli at Trader Joe's last night. I baked my chicken in the oven with Garlic Salt and Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle. I steamed my broccoli over the stove and I below is what I made.

Chicken Curry Style Pot Pie a la Crescent... no curry, no mayo, no lemon juice

2 cooked chicken breasts shredded or chopped into bite size pieces
1 bag broccoli steamed
4-8 oz cubed Pepper Jack Cheese
2 cans 98% fat free cream of chicken soup

One roll Pillsbury Crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Spray the bottom of a pie plate with oil. Layer chicken and then broccoli, chicken and then broccoli until you have used up those ingredients. Strategically place cheese cubes where you thing a cheese part need to be. Bury all of that with two cans of cream of chicken soup. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or cheat and microwave for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven or microwave. Open crescent rolls and separate. Start with the wider end of triangle place rolls like slices of pizza around the pie plate as if making the shape of a pizza, sealing the first four ingredients in. Use all the rolls as long as top covers. Bake left over rolls or use them for Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings at for dessert. Bake an additional 15 minutes until top has browned.

Remove from oven and serve and eat it and like it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sloppy Joes! They are SLOPPY!

Ok, so I looked Sloppy Joe's up on the net. Wikopedia says... A Sloppy Joe is an American dish of ground beef, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings, and served on a hamburger bun. I surfed a bit more on the net and found that there is no exact origin of the Sloppy Joe, but recipes began surfacing in the 1940's.

My Mom would make Sloppy Joe's for us once in a while. It was always a nice treat and it was fun to watch her cook them over the stove. From what I remember she would brown the meat, drain the fat into a can, add a can or two of Campbell's Tomato Soup, minced dried onion, salt and pepper, dump in a little brown sugar and then a big squirt of ketchup and a smiley face of mustard and then stir it all together. They sure were good.

When we would go to our cousin Steve and Debra's, (when they lived in California) she would add a can of Campbell's Chicken Gumbo soup. They were good too.

This morning I cooked up my Sloppy Joe's and put it in the crock pot to cook all day. I used my Mom's recipe minus the brown sugar and thought about the Chicken Gumbo but did not have any in the pantry. Below is what I did. I like mine a bit spicier so I added more spices.

28413 Sloppy Joe's

2 pounds Lean ground beef sirloin
1/2 of a red onion diced
1 Tbs. minced garlic
a little olive oil
a few shakes celery salt
a few shakes onion powder
a few shakes Lawry's Garlic Salt
a few shakes Garlic Powder
Salt and pepper
a few shakes Mrs. Dash Seasoning blend Southwest Chipotle
2 cans Campbell's Tomato Soup
a big squirt ketchup
a mustard smiley face
1/2 a red bell pepper diced
1/2 a green bell pepper diced

Whole Wheat buns or rolls
Cheddar cheese slices and or Pepper Jack Cheese slices

Brown your beef with the onion, garlic and a little olive oil. Drain fat. Sprinkle various seasonings. Add cans of tomato soup. Stir until well combined. Make your ketchup and mustard smiley face and stir again. Dump mixture into your crock pot set on the low setting. Add two kinds of chopped bell pepper and stir. Let it cook for a few more hours. This is great for company or serving at two dinner servings. The meat gets really tender and all the flavors blend together very well. The fat kinda comes to the top of the crock pot so if you want you can skim it off with a spoon.

Serve your Sloppy Joe's on hamburger buns or rolls and eat them the messy way or serve open faced with fork and a knife. Either way they are yummy. Enjoy your all American meal!

Tonight I ate mine, open faced with pepper jack cheese and Heinz pickles slices on the side. It was great! Share your recipe in the comment section if you want. I would love to read how you make them Extra Sloppy!

Corn and Pepper Salsa

Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day and my Dad's Birthday all in one day. I crock potted some Carnitas. It was great! To top our Carnitas tacos I made the Green Salsa from a previous post, Guacamole and Corn and Pepper Salsa. It looked perty and tasted good too with the Carnitas, Green Salsa and Guacamole.

Corn and Pepper Salsa

1 small can Green Giant Niblets Corn or the equivalent in fresh or frozen
(Drain most of water from canned)
1/2 a large red bell pepper cut into small pieces
1/2 a large green bell pepper cut into small pieces
1/2 a red onion sliced and then chopped into small pieces
a few good shakes Lawry's Garlic Salt or you could use a minced 1/2 clove of garlic
a few shakes black pepper
If you like things spicy use some Jalapenos! (I didn't, my Mom does not like things too hot)

Combine in a bowl and stir. Let set in refrigerator before serving. You can serve a top tacos or with chips. Either way it tastes goooood!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spicy Crescent Hamburgers

I bought a few too many tubes of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Those things expire. Anyway, I was trying to figure out how to use them up in a dinner entree. My Mom used to make a Chicken one with water chestnuts and a few other things, that I don't remember. I also bought some ground beef from Trader Joe's. I was going to make Tacos but we have had them weekly for about 5 weeks straight and well, I'm tired of tacos. So wha-la I created Spicy Crescent Hamburgers. This way I use up the rolls, use the ground beef, and still have a little spice in my meal. This recipe will serve 4-8 depending on the appetites of the people you are serving or sides you will be serving with it.

Spicy Crescent Hamburgers

1 Pound 15-20% Fat Ground Beef
1 small can green chili's
4 oz Pepper Jack Cheese cut in small cubes
garlic salt, pepper, whatever seasonings you like to taste

1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 slices Pepper Jack Cheese (stack them and then cut the into 4, you should have 16 small pcs.)

Mix the top four ingredients well and form into 8 patties. Try to bury cheese chunks into meat as best as you can. Put in 'frige to chill. (I heard a rumor that if you chill the meat before cooking it makes it really moist.)

After a while pull the patties out of 'frige and fry them up in a pan. Brown both sides. I didn't time it but don't cook them all the way done.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Open container of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Unroll and separate the 8 triangles. Place a small slice of the pepper jack cheese on the larger part of the triangle. Place one patty on top of that. Then top patty with another small slice of the cheese. Carefully pull the 3 points together to the top of cheese topped patty. Do this same thing for all ingredients. Pop those little goodies in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Once cooked pull them from the oven and serve with any of the things listed below.

Oven baked french fries
My Mediocre Version of Tiger Fries (posted at another time)
Lettuce salad
Potato salad
Baked beans
The possibilities are endless, I was kinda lame tonight and served mine with pickle slices and decorative ketchup on my plate.

Robby really liked this! He liked the spiciness of it all. You could change this recipe to a non spicy version by substituting chopped onion for chilis and cheddar for the Spicy jack. Again the possibilities are endless.

Try it you might LOVE it! I will be making this again soon. I still have more rolls! Ha. And it really was tastee!