Monday, December 30, 2013

Asian Slaw

It's a glooooooomy day here. Cold and gloomy. My poor boy just wants to spend hours outside, but after about 10 minutes he's ready to come in and starts with the restlessness again. Endless loop.

I will be 36 weeks we are down to the 'any day now' section of life. The dresser is together, baby clothes are being washed and organized and the bassinet has been purchased...just needs to be assembled. I am so ready in the physical sense, I am uncomfortable, but mentally not prepared for what the near future holds. I really cannot wait to meet our new little boy though. Our sweet Luke.

Now onto the food...what you really came over to my neck of the woods for.

This is an easy side dish and could be amped up with some peanuts for a protein punch. We had it along with the Pinto Bean salad and Quinoa Noodle Salad.

Again....a crappy picture....sorry!

Asian Slaw

3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
Hot sauce to taste
1 bag shredded coleslaw mix...I did the kind with purple cabbage, green cabbage and carrots
3 to 4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts

Whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and hot sauce in a small bowl. 

Toss in a large bowl with coleslaw mix and green onions. 

Chill for about an hour to meld flavors. Give a toss before serving. 

Dig in!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pinto Bean Salad with Maple and Mustard Dressing

Ah...we got a new camera. A Nikon Coolpix. LOVE IT. So many more settings than our old Sony. But, unfortunately, we didn't have it in time for my next 3 blog recipe please don't judge the recipe by the picture...they are all 3 delicious.

We had a cold salad supper the other night. It's still pretty warm most of the time in Florida...and humid. Very, very humid.

We made 3 different ones, a quinoa noodle salad, an Asian coleslaw and this pinto bean one. I've been making this one for a few years now and it's always a hit. It's a good one to just have in the fridge to have with lunch or as a last minute side with dinner. It's actually hearty enough to be the main dish. It's good served over salad greens as well. it is, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Pinto Bean Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

1 3/4 cups cooked pinto beans (about a cans worth), rinsed and drained if using canned
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup diced, roasted bell pepper (I usually use red, but used a combo of red and green this time)
3 or 4 green onions, sliced (green and white parts)

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 lemon's worth juice, 2 to 4 tablespoons

Whisk together dressing ingredients, set aside.

In a large bowl, toss all ingredents. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour to really let flavors combine. 

Dig in!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Slow Cooker Savory Breakfast Casserole

Ah...Christmas is over. Breath a sigh of relief. It was exhausting this year!

Cooper had so much fun, but little ones get too excited to do things they get grumpy. We had our fair share of melt downs during the holiday. Our living room is still littered with Christmas gifts, I am putting off the organizing new toy stuff....

But look at this face....

My parents got him a bike.....he loves it. He refuses to wear his helmet so we won't let him ride it outside yet. 

We had about 12 people over for Christmas brunch. This year I did all slow cooker recipes, which was SO easy. I woke up at 5AM to get everything going and it worked out great. I was hoping to share all of the recipes with you....but our digital camera died a week before Christmas and we have yet to buy a new one. Kevin's tablet takes pictures, but they didn't turn out too well. We did get one good picture...for the recipe I am sharing below. 

We used vegetarian sausage patties and no one knew the difference!

Slow Cooker Savory Breakfast Casserole

6 eggs, beaten
1 pound bulk sausage, browned or 1 box vegetarian sausage patties, thawed and chopped up
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar
8 slices bread, torn into pieces or 1/2 a loaf of French bread, torn into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Mix all ingredients together except mozzarella, pour into a greased slow cooker. 

Sprinkle mozzarella over top. 

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours and then 1 hour on low. 

Dig in!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Blueberry Streusel Cornbread

Tonight....I am going to share the recipe for this delicous Blueberry Streusel Cornbread...but first....a recap on the weekend.

We went to our downtown area last night and saw the lights. They do a great display for children to run and play through in a park. 

Yes...the rest of the country is freezing and we are here in Central Florida running around in shorts looking at Christmas lights. 

We stopped for a dinner outside at Jimmy John's. Cooper ate about 5 bites of a ridiculously large Tuna Sandwich...he felt pretty big holding this. 

We also got Squeak  new tankmate....her name is Pippy. She's very skiddish still, but she'll come around. I opened a can of soda near them this morning and she ran like the world was ending....

OK, so onto the cornbread....

I was flipping through a copy of Fix it and Forget it and Enjoy it....and saw this recipe. I made it go along with the Cowboy Casserole from 2 posts ago. WELL....we ate it after because I neglected to look at how long it would take to bake before planning out timing for everything. was still really good. It's interesting because while you could eat it as a side dish for dinner, it does have the sweet streusel it's sort of desserty too. I used frozen blueberries, but you can use fresh or frozen. If you use frozen, make sure they are thawed and drained before mixing them in. 

Blueberry Streusel Cornbread

2 packages(envelope sized) cornbread mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed and drained if frozen

Streusel Topping:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. 

Mix corn muffin mix, eggs milk and flour until combined. Fold in blueberries and pour into a greased 9x9 baking pan. 

In a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients until mixed into fine crumbs. Use a pastry cutter or fork. Sprinkle over cornbread. 

Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm. 

Dig in!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

The Sweet Tooth has hit.....I want cake most days. Or chocolate. Or ice cream. Or ALL of them....

But...I don't want to turn on the oven. This cake was perfect for that. Cake and pot....easy.

It was really good served with vanilla ice cream, but would also be fantastic with some fresh whipped cream...or cool whip if that's your thing.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 2/3 cups water
3 eggs
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups cold milk (I used 1 %)
1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups...1 bag...semisweet chocolate chips

Spray 4 or 5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water eggs and oil with a mixer until well blended. Pour into slow cooker. 

Rinse bowl or use another mixing bowl and whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand until slightly set, about 2 minutes. Spoon over cake batter and sprinkle with chocolate chips. 

Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 or low for 5 to 6 hours, until toothpick inserted into cake part comes out with soft crumbs. Serve warm. 

Dig in!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Minnie's Cowboy Camper Skillet Dinner

Florida in December makes it a little hard to get into the Christmas Spirit. It's hot. Our tree isn't even up yet. I am having a super unmotivated year, I need to snap out of this funk....

The tree will go up this weekend and I will start wrapping presents, no waiting until 2 days before Christmas this year.

Cooper is really excited about Christmas this year and keeps asking me when Christmas is. He was even excited to see Santa this year, no tears!!

WELL...hopefully it starts cooling off soon. I know I have no room to whine when most of the North is currently covered in ice and snow.

Today's recipe is another one brought to you by my mother in law. Along with Anamosa Squash and Creamy Chicken and Noodles(which is ALWAYS my top pinned and viewed post). This recipe is something her mother used to cook on the farm. They ate a lot of potatoes, mainly plain but sometimes with kale and sometimes in this casserole below. We were trying to figure out what to cook this week and this sprang to her mind. I made it last night and it was SO GOOD. Very basic, very easy and very filling. Also...super cheap!

I used red potatoes because it was what I had on hand, but you could use any potato you want. Also, her mother used to use canned pork and beans, I used vegetarian. I also added the fried onions, they were not in the original 1940's version.

Minnie's Cowboy Camper Skillet Dinner

1 1/2 - 2 pounds potatoes, any kind. Peel and cube or leave skins on if using red. 
1 medium onion, diced
1 large can baked beans, vegetarian or pork and beans
1 cup ketchup
A couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Fried onions for garnish (optional)

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, drain. 

Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a large skillet and cook onion until just starting to get tender. Add cubed potatoes and continue cooking until potatoes start to brown and crisp a bit. 

Mix in ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. 

Poor over beans and heat through!

Garnish with fried onions, if desired. Serve hot!

Dig in!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Anamosa Squash

One of the lovely things that comes along with your mother and sister in law living with not having to cook dinner EVERY night and getting to try other people's cooking. Both are great cooks and this dish below has been my FAVORITE so far....

They both went to a tea room/antique shop with a gypsy type feel a few years ago in Anamosa, Iowa and had this dish. The owner shared the recipe with them....luckily for us. Unfortunately, the shop is now closed. But the dish lives on....

We make ours with vegetarian sausage, but I'll share the measurements for meat eaters and vegetarians below.

I am also including a video under the recipe on how to cut an acorn squash if you need a little guidance.

Anamosa Squash

4 small or 2 large acorn squash
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 pound ground sausage or 1 box of Morning Star Farms or other vegetarian sausage patty or link(thawed)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon or to taste Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 425. 

Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Line baking sheet with foil and brush with a little olive oil. Brush cut sides of squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut sides down and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender. 

Meanwhile, brown sausage in skillet if using real sausage. Or cut up vegetarian sausage into small pieces (crumbly) and heat in skillet. 

Whip cream cheese with Worcestershire sauce and stir in sausage, while still warm. 

While still warm, divide into cooked squash and serve right away. 

Dig in!

This is SO GOOD. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Black Bean Fajita Casserole

WELL....I am 32 weeks pregnant today....32 weeks.

Time is flying! At the most, I have about 7 weeks left. I am having a scheduled cesarean this time around and they typically deliver you about a week before your due date. This boy is active and I feel like he's trying to break out already.

Our current family on Thanksgiving.

Alright..onto today's recipe!

I did a post a few days ago on cooking peppers and onions in the slow cooker, it's time to put those to good use. 

Back when we were all meat eaters, I did one of those foiled chicken pack campfire oven whatever you call it? Anyway, it had rice, taco seasoning, chicken, salsa, peppers and onions all wrapped in foil and baked. Was pretty good. It's one of those meat dishes I miss. I decided to make a vegetarian version and we were all very pleased!

This is an easy recipe, but you have to allow time before assembling to precook your rice, peppers and onions. 

Black Bean Fajita Casserole

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (I used brown)
3 cups water
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
2 small or 1 medium bell pepper(s), cut into strips
1 medium onion, cut into strips
Fajita seasoning to taste
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups salsa or picante sauce
2 cups shredded Fiesta or Mexican blend cheese
Sour cream 

Prepare rice according to package directions with taco seasoning mixed in. 

Meanwhile, saute peppers and onions with fajita seasoning until tender, or cook using slow cooker method. Dice when cooked and cooled a bit or leave in strips. 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease/use pan spray in a 13x9 pan. 

Spread cooked rice over bottom of pan. Evenly distribute black beans, corn, peppers and onions over rice. Spoon salsa over top. Sprinkle with a bit more fajita seasoning, if desired. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until cheese has melted and it's heated through. 

Serve with sour cream and more salsa if desired. 

Dig in!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Peppers and Onions in the Slow Cooker

Ahh...still full from Thanksgiving?

Finally feeling a little hungry over here....

I hope my American friends had a happy Thanksgiving! We did. We celebrated 2 days...Thursday at my Dad's and Friday at my Grandma's. Yum yum....

My dad had an AMAZING garden this year and we left with a bag full of cherry tomatoes, broccoli and bell peppers. I needed to find something to do with all of the peppers so I came up with a fajita casserole that I will share in a post later this week. The casserole required sauteed peppers and onions, which I love to eat...but hate cooking. My mind got all creative remembered how EASY it is to cook onions in the slow cooker, I shared it in another post. WELL...I decided to give it a try with peppers and onions, the result was great!

I cooked mine with some fajita seasoning for the casserole, you could do the same for actual fajitas or for the casserole I'll share later. Or leave it out and use them however you like...

This is one of those no exact measurement recipes, you can make as little or as much as you need.

I used my small slow cooker for this one, but it would work in a larger one too.

Cut up your bell peppers and onions into strips and place in the slow cooker. Dot the top with butter and fajita seasoning, if using. Turn on low. Stir every hour to 1 1/2 hour and dot with a little more butter if they star to brown too much around the edges. They take about 3 to 4 hours total. 

So easy....easy clean up...yummy stuff. 

Dig in!!