Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pasta with roasted broccoli and walnuts

This was surprisingly super tasty, and took about 30 minutes. I got the recipe from Real Simple (Feb 2009). I made it a while ago, and it looks like I also added in some grape tomatoes, cut in half. Tonight, we are having it along with a salad that has chicken added in. Gee, we sure are healthy tonight!
12 ounces short pasta (shells, spirals, etc)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped.
(If you don't like walnuts, I think almond slivers might work well.)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheeet, toss the broccoli, walnuts, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until the broccoli is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the broccoli mixture, butter, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. (Add more water if the pasta seems dry.) Sprinkle with the Parmesan before serving.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

Bottom Layer
4 cups frozen hash browns (at least partially thawed) - Today I had potatoes o'brien in the freezer, and it was especially tasty
1 cube melted butter or margarine

Press hash browns into the bottom of a 9x13. Pour melted butter on top. Bake for 425 for 25 minutes.

Egg Layer
Beat together:
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Stir in:
2 cups sausage
4 cups cheese - a combo of 2 would be tasty. I had the cheese blend from the big Costco bag
2 chopped green onions

Pour on top of the hash browns and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Seth ate it all, Abigail about half, and Zachary none. About typical for dinner around here. I'm sure it would also work to cut the recipe in half and make in an 8x8.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

TTC- Kramer Style!

Everyone seems to love this dish, and this particular recipe (adapted from the version found at http://www.duggarfamily.com/recipes.html) is my favorite variety so far. Usually I brown ground turkey to start wtih. But tonight for whatever reason I went with ground beef.

I usually add a layer of frozen corn, then a generous layer of tator tots.

In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 can evaporated milk, 1 can cream of chicken, 1 can cream of mushroom (or substitute for another "cream of" for you mushroom-hatin' Oshels).

Pour the soup mixture over the TOP of the casserole. This is the trick I picked up recently. Before I used to put the tots on top and it wasn't nearly as good.

Bake at 350 for one hour.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quiche in a rice crush

This was one of my Grandma's recipes. It originally called for "deli thin diced chicken, cut into thin strips." I'm not sure exactly what that would be, and I didn't have any chicken anyways, so I used ham lunch meat.

1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked rice
1 egg white
1 Tbl chopped green onions

Beat together and spread into a greased 10" pie plate. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

2 ounces of deli meat of your choice
3 eggs
1 egg white
1 can evap milk
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 grated cheddar
2 green onions, chopped

Sprinkle meat onto rice crust.

Beat eggs, egg white, evap milk, and salt. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese and green onions. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

The recipe says you can top each wedge with a tomato slice, but I think that is a silly idea. :)

We ate this with some oatmeal muffins and mandarin oranges. All three kids cleaned their plates, which is quite remarkable considering it had green things in it. Maybe it was because Nathanael ran them around outside for hours and they were famished! Either way, I'll take it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cheese Strata

I was looking for a recipe to use up some extra bread and this fit the bill. It also was a success with all of the kids!
6-7 slices of bread, crusts removed
3 cups of grated cheddar
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tbl minced onion
1 tsp Johnny's Seasoning Salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13. Arrange the bread in one layer on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. In a medium bowl mix together the milk, eggs, and seasonings. Pour over bread and cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on the top. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit at least 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thai Chicken Curry

I have various recipes for curry, but this one one of the simplest (since it's not made from scratch).

4 chicken breasts
1 can bamboo shoots
1 bottle Trader Joe's red or yellow curry sauce
1 can coconut milk
2 cups jasmine rice

In a mixing bowl, combine curry sauce and coconut milk. Stir well.
Place chicken in a 9x11 glass pan and spread bamboo over the chicken evenly.
Pour sauce over chicken and bamboo.
Bake at 350 for one hour.
Service with jasmine rice

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Asian Noodle Stir Fry

This is one of my favorite dishes to make at home. You will need:
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
(You could substitute beef or tofu)
1 lb chinese egg noodles, located in the asian section of the grocery store
1/2 bottle Trader Ming's Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce from Trader Joe's
1 T sesame oil
veggies you like: I usually add broccoli, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts but you could also add carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, baby corn etc.
Boil noodles until soft but not mushy
Cube chicken and fry in a wok or large skilet with sesame oil
Add about 3 T of the teriyaki sauce and the veggies and cook 5 min or less
Drain noodles and add to pan with the rest of the teriyaki sauce
Fry on high stirring constantly

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jello Cookies

This recipe started from Mom. I've been making them as long as I can remember baking. I often use the big box of Jello and double.

3/4 C shortening (part butter)
1/2 C sugar
1 small (3 oz) package of Jello. Any flavor will do.
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Roll into balls and flatten with glass dipped in sugar. Or today I used a stone cookie press.

Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

These also make great cut out cookies. Just chill the dough for a while first. I tend to make these for holidays. Green for St. Patrick's day, pink for Valentines, orange for Halloween, etc. They will bake faster though. Try 350 degrees, and keep your eye on them after 6 minutes.

Note: I just made grape for the first time, and it wasn't a great idea. Purple Jell-O plus yellow eggs makes brown cookies. Some red food die saved the day into an odd pink color, but I'd just pick another option next time.

Meatball Stew

Here is a slow cooker recipe I enjoy. Easy to make, and no touching raw meat!

In the crockpot, starting at the bottom:

4-5 diced potatoes -I had yellow ones on hand and they were so good
2 carrots
4 celery
layer of frozen meatballs - I usually have the Costco ones, but I'm sure anything would work

stir together and pour over - 1 cream of celery soup, 1 can of tomato sauce, 1 can of chicken broth

saute one diced onion and put on top

Cook on low all day.


I thought it would be fun to make bagels with the kids. They did get a kick out of helping and watching the first few steps, but then lost interest and I was stuck doing 101 little steps to finish them. It isn't like it was hard to do, but hard to keep up with the rest of the house in the process. I found myself thinking I should never make them again, but then they did turn out pretty tasty. So who knows. Next time I will at least do it on a morning Nathanael is here to help with the kids.

This is straight out of the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, with some minor adjustments and notes from me.


  • 4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast (or about 3 tsp if you have bulk)
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water (120 degree F to 130 degree F)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar + 1 tbl later
  • 1 teaspoon salt


In a large mixing bowl (I used my big mixer) combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Add the water, 3 tbl sugar, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon (I switched to my dough hook), stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total.) (I used the mixer for about 4 minutes, and then let the kids have at it.) Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes.

Working quickly, divide into 12 portions and roll into balls. Punch a hole in the center of each ball. Pull center of dough gently and evenly to make a 2-inch hole. Place on lightly greased baking sheet; cover and let rise 20 minutes (start timing after the first bagel is shaped).

While bagels are still rising, in a 12-inch skillet (or a big pot) bring 6 cups of water and the 1 tbl sugar to boiling. Preheat broiler.

Broil bagels 5 inches from heat 3 to 4 minutes, turning once (tops should not brown). Turn off broiler; preheat oven to 375 degree F. (Mine turned brown, but still turned out fine.)

Lower 6 bagels, 1 at a time, into boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 7 minutes, turning once. (Since I used a pot I did 3 rounds of 4 bagels.)

Remove bagels with slotted spatula; set on paper towels. Repeat with remaining bagels.

Place bagels on greased baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 bagels.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

First of all, I hate beef stew. But I've been so busy with school and work and everything else, that I decided to toss this together as a little treat for Anton (who LOVES anything hearty with meat). It's very easy and according to Anton, very tasty.
The night before, I chop 1 cup each of carrots, celery, peas, and onions. I put it in a tupperware in the fridge overnight.
I also buy pre-cut beef stew meat and defrost it the night before.

In the morning, put all the veggies plus the meat in the slow cooker and stir in one can of beef gravy. You could also make the gravy yourself or make up one of the slow-cooker powder packets.

Cook it on the LOW setting all day or the HIGH setting for half the day.

Serve over/with potatoes or rice.
On another note, I am always looking for good slow cooker recipes, so if anyone has any good ones to share that would be great!

Dairyland Rolls - Bread maker version

I used the bread maker to make rolls today, and it worked out well. I've been trying to make bread most every week, since it is so much cheaper and tastes better, too. I used the Dairyland Roll recipe but cut it in half. The only exception is I used 1 egg. I used the dough setting on my bread machine, then formed the rolls and baked as usual. They turned out great, and much less work!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Crunchy Noodle Salad with Thai Peanut Sauce

Anyone else out there a fan of Food Network's Barefoot Contessa? Here's a tasty recipe of hers that I've tweaked a bit. (I use bottled sauce)

1/2 lb thin spaghetti
1 lb sugar snap peas
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
4 scallions, sliced diagonally, use entire scallion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet until lightly browned
One bottle Thai Peanut Sauce - I use Masa's brand found at Fred Meyer

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the sugar snap peas, return to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until crisp tender. Lift the peas from the water with a slotted spoon and shock them by immersing in a bowl of ice water. Drain.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to the package directions. Drain well.

Combine the warm spaghetti, peas, peppers and scallions in a large boil and pour enough dressing over the noodle mixture to coat well. Before serving, top with the toasted sesame seeds and parsley. Tastes delicious cold, the next day with a little more dressing added!


Banana Chocolate Oatmeal Bread

Zachary's favorite joke goes like this:

Zachary: Knock Knock
Me: Who's there?
Zachary: Banana
Me: Banana who?
Zachary: Banana chocolate oatmeal!

So today when I was making some banana bread to use up the bananas that got smooshed in the car ride snack bag, I decided to make it into banana chocolate oatmeal bread.

Mix wet ingredients:
2 cups mooshed bananas
1 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine wet and dry.
Add 1 cup chocolate chips.

Pour into two bread pans.

Bake 50 minutes or so at 350 degrees.

Monday, March 2, 2009


This one is for all of you meat lovers...
I love ribs, especially baby-backs, however they are so expensive I only get them on sale. Tonight we had beef short ribs, which weren't the best I've had, but were still pretty good. Regardless of the cut, here is how we prepare ribs at the Kramers'...

First, boil the ribs for about an hour. I wouldn't boil them for less than an hour, but you could boil them longer (up to 2 hours). Then baste in BBQ sauce (all sides) and either put on the barbecue or bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tonight we had ours with rice, corn, and green salad. Yum!