Thursday, December 20, 2007

Theresa's Adaptation of Great Grandma Brunner's Tamale Pie

Great Grandma Brunner's Tamale Pie
Adapted by her Great Granddaughter

    • 1 cup slivered almonds (optional) and a little oil
    • 1/2 - 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 chopped onion (optional)
    • 1 chopped green pepper (optional)
    • 3-4 large handfuls of egg noodles
    • 3-4 cups water
    • 1 can diced tomatoes
    • 1 can whole kernel corn
    • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms (or small can parts and stems) (optional)
    • 3 - 5 medium sized beef tamales in large chunks
    • 1 can olives chopped (optional)
    • 2 - 3 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
    • 1/4 tsp cayanne pepper (optional)
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1-2 cups shredded cheese
    1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Brown almond slivers in some oil in a large skillet then set aside in the casserole dish.
    3. Brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper in the large skillet.
    4. Add the water and egg noodles to the meat, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until the egg noodles have sucked up all the water. The meat should be pretty well cooked through.
    5. Drain this mixture and put into a 9X13 casserole dish or pyrex pan.
    6. Combine with almonds, diced tomatoes (juice and all), corn, mushrooms, tamale chunks, olives, worcestershire sauce, cayanne pepper, paprika, and pepper. Make sure everything is mixed together in the pan without breaking up the tamale chunks too badly.
    7. Cover with shredded cheese
    8. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until cheese has melted and contents are bubbling.
    I haven't tried this yet, but I think it'll work and I'm going to try it shortly after christmas since I have some tamales I want to use. I'll let you know how it turns out!

    Some Notes on the Changes I've made:
    • I made some of the ingredients optional for picky eaters.
    • I cut the overall cooking time down by at least 45 minutes for the mom who doesn't have time to let dinner cook ALL DAY.
    • I stole the idea of cooking the meat with the noodles from hamburger helper's recipes. They always use this shortcut to save on DISHES, EASE, and TIME I've noticed.
    • I cut down the amounts of the ingredients so that the end result would be better suited to a smaller family.
    • I don't prefer creamed corn so i substituted for whole kernel.

    Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies and Butter Frosting

    1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese at room temp
    1 cup real butter at room temp
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    3 1/2 cups flour
    1 egg
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 tsp. almond extract
    1 tsp. baking powder

    1. Cream together cream cheese, butter, sugar, egg, flavorings, and baking powder with a mixer on medium speed until well blended
    2. Gradually add flour and mix well
    3. Refrigerate overnight
    4. Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies.
    5. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes

    1/3 cup cold real butter (I found out the hard way you don't want to use margarine)
    4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1/4 cup milk
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    Food Coloring

    1. Beat butter till fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar and slowly beat in milk and vanilla
    2. Slowly beat in remaining powdered sugar.
    3. Add food coloring

    This recipe makes soft delicious sugar cookies.

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Homemade Pedialite

    If I haven't raved about my pediatrician before, let me do so now...he is AWESOME!! Noah has been throwing up today and because of the storm I can't really get anywhere to buy special drinks for him, so he gave me this receipe for some homemade pedialite. It is stuff I usually have on hand anyway and it is really easy to make. I will never buy special "sick" drinks again!

    1 quart of water
    1 oz. orange juice
    1 tbsp. sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. baking soda

    Mix them all together and give it in small sips to your sick child.
    If your child doesn't like the taste, Dr. Parker said that you could add either a little more o.j. or sugar to sweeten the taste. Isn't he amazing!

    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    Cheeseburger Soup

    My friend Stephanie gave me this receipe for a yummy soup that I made last night. It is very hearty, creamy, and delicious! My family loved this meal! It has a lot of good stuff in it (carrots, celery, potatoes, etc.) but you can't really taste it, so it is a great meal for kids. It was a great way to sneak some veggies into Clayton's dinner! This is our new favorite creamy soup!

    1/2 lb. browned hamburger
    3/4 c. shredded carrots
    1 tsp. dried basil
    4 tbsp. butter divided
    4 c. peeled diced potatoes
    8 oz. Velveeta (cut into cubes)
    1/2 tsp. pepper
    3/4 c. chopped onion
    3/4 c. diced celery
    1 tsp. parsley
    3 c. chicken broth
    1/4 c. flour
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 c. sour cream

    Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil, and parsley in 1 tbsp. butter for about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, beef, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pan melt 3 tbsp. butter and add flour. Cook and stir about 3-5 min. Add to soup. Bring to a boil, cook about 2min. Reduce heat to low, add velveeta, salt, and pepper. Cook (while stirring) until cheese melts. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream and enjoy!
    **I served it with warm homemade bread, this is the PERFECT soup to dip with!**

    Friday, November 30, 2007

    Great Grandma Brunner's Tamale Pie

    Homemade Mac and Cheese

    -2 cubs dried elbow macaroni
    -2 tablespoons margarine or butter
    -2 tablespoons flour
    - dash of Pepper
    -2 1/2 cups milk
    - 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( more or less to taste)
    -1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less to taste)
    - 4 oz cream cheese

    1. Cook macaroni in water for about 10 minutes until tender but still a little firm. Drain well.
    2. Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, melt margarine in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir till slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in cooked macaroni. Transfer mixture to a casserole.
    3. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    *you do not have to use mozzarella and cheddar cheese, use whatever cheese you have or whatever cheese sounds good.

    Thursday, November 29, 2007

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

    1 8 oz (? I THINK) package of Cream Cheese
    1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
    1/3 cup lemon juice
    1 tsp vanilla

    1 cup graham cracker crumbs finely crushed
    3 tsp sugar
    2-3 tbsp butter

    Blended, thawed, frozen strawberries or some other fruit topping that you prefer.
    *Unsweetened topping like raw blended fruit is good because the pie is really rich and sweet on it's own.

    Take cream cheese out of the fridge and allow to sit out so that it will be at room temperature when you need it later. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put graham cracher crumbs, sugar, and melted butter into an 8 or 9 inch diameter pie pan. Mix together and press against the sides of the pie pan to form a crust. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and then allow to cool.

    In a large mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until light and fluffy. Continue to whip and gradually add condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whip all together until you have a nice thick mixture with a fluffy texture. Pour contents into cooled pie crust, cover* and chill in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours at least before serving. I usually chill over night.

    As you serve, top with desired topping.

    * I use an upside down ceramic plate or something instead of plastic wrap to cover the pie pan so that the filling doesn't stick to the plastic wrap or anything.

    * If while you're serving, the pie starts to be harder to work with since it is coming back to room temperature, put it back in the fridge or freezer for a couple minutes to set back up.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian)

    Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian)

    1 can kidney beans *
    2 - 3 cups worth of mashed potatoes
    1 can campbell's tomato soup (you can do 2 cans if you prefer)
    1 can of green beans
    1 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix kidney beans, green beans, and tomato soup in a 9 x 13 *pan. Spread mashed potatoes over the top of that. Cover mashed potatoes with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 - 30 mins until cheese is melted and contents are hot and probably bubbling up the sides.

    * to make this non-vegetarian, substitute 3/4 to 1 lb of cooked ground beef instead of kidney beans. I invented this vegetarian version one time when I was starving and all out of meat. It turned out pretty good.

    * I can't remember if this amount will make a 9x9 or a 9x13 but I'm fairly certain I've made it in a 9x13 before.

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    Crock Pot Creamy Golden Chicken

    Crock Pot Creamy Golden Chicken
    adapted from

    4 cooked chicken breasts (chopped or whole)
    2 10 oz cans cream of chicken soup
    1 package onion soup mix
    2 - 3 cups water depending on desired thickness
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp basil
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 small can of chopped mushrooms (optional)
    3-4 whole potatoes chopped (optional)
    1 1/2 - 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (optional)
    1 - 2 cups cooked rice

    Combine ingredients (except cheese and rice) in a crock pot and let cook for 4 hours. (If chicken is uncooked, cook for 8 hours) Add in cheese if desired after cooking and allow to melt. Serve over cooked rice.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Chocolate/Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
    (Jenna's Favorite BDay Cake)

    Chocolate Cake Batter
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 tsp white vinegar
    1 tsp vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl (flour, sugar, cocoa, soda, salt) and set aside. Mix liquid ingredients together (water, vegetable oil, vinegar, vanilla) in a different bowl and then mix well into the dry ingredients. Set aside.

    Cream Cheese Filling:
    1/8 tsp salt
    1 (8 oz) cream cheese
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 beaten egg
    6 oz choc chips - I think this is about 1 cup. we used mini choc chips.
    1 cups nuts - (optional, jenna likes it without)

    Cream together first 4 ingredients (salt, cream cheese, sugar, beaten egg). Beat on Medium for about 1 minute then Stir in remaining ingredients. Put aside.

    Grease a bundt pan. Pour 1/2 of the cake mixture into the bundt cake pan. Drop cream cheese mixture in a ring around the center of the cake batter. Be sure not to let any of the cream cheese mixture touch the sides of the pan. Cover cream cheese mixture with remaining cake batter. Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes so that it's not too hot to handle, but won't be so cool that it's stuck in the pan. Turn the pan upside down on a platter and gently tap around the bottom of the pan until the cake comes out . It's difficult to get it cleanly out and it might not come out perfect but it still tastes good. Piece it back together if it's just a small piece that came off. No need to frost this cake.

    (In this picture, the entire top of the cake came off in the pan. Partly because the layer between the top of the cake and the cream cheese was a little thin. Anyway,.. that's why it looks speckled. yours will probably look like a solid chocolate bundt cake when it comes out. :) )

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped
    1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
    3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    3/4 cup Mayonnaise
    1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
    SPOON into 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish.
    BAKE 20 min. or until heated through.
    I was going to make this Thanksgiving morning to munch on before the big meal, but I got hungry and decided to make it last night. It was so yummy and so easy. I added more mozzarella cheese then recommended and I served it with pita chips. So good!!!

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Favorite Thanksgiving Jell-o Salad

    Cranberry Jell-O Salad
    -1 lg. pkg. Cherry Jell-o
    -1 pint sour cream
    -2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
    - 1 cup boiling water
    - 1 cup pecans

    1. Dissolve jell-o with hot water in a large bowel. Refrigerate for about an hour until the jell-o is about half way solid. Be sure to check on the jell-o every now and again to make sure the jell-o doesn’t get too solid.
    2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
    3. Refrigerate until solid.

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Homemade Noodles

    I like to make chicken noodle soup. Especially now that the weather is turning colder. I think it is the perfect fall/winter meal. Justin likes my soup but has always said it was 2nd best to Grandma Smith's because I didn't make my noodles from scratch. So I found this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and made some and I have to say, I will never go back. These noodles were easy (took about 1.5 hours from start to finish) and delicious!

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 beaten egg yolks
    1 beaten egg
    1/3 cup water
    1 tsp cooking oil or olive oil (I used cooking oil)

    1. In a large bowl stir together 1 and 3/4 cups of the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle of this dry mixture. In a small bowl combine egg yolks, egg, water, and oil. Add to the dry mixture and mix well (I had to add 1/4 cup extra water to get the consistency right. You may not, but just in case your dough seems a little dry, you can add some water.)
    2. Sprinkle kneading surface with the remaining flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (approx. 10 min.) Cover and let the dough rest for 10 min.
    3. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface roll each portion into a large square (try to make it as thin as you can). Let them stand uncovered for 20 minutes.
    4. Cut the noodles. I used a pizza cutter to cut mine and it worked like a dream. It took only a couple minutes to get my noodles all cut. Depending on how you like them or what you are using them for, you can make them as long or short, thick or thin as you like. For my soup, I liked them about 2 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick (remember the noodles will expand a little when you cook them).
    5. Let the noodles dry overnight or until completely dry. Missy said that she prefers not to dry them, but to use them wet. I dried mine for almost 24 hours. I guess that if you make them far enough ahead, why not let them dry, but if you are in a time crunch, they can be used wet. **Once the noodles are dry, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Or they can be put in the freezer for up to 8 months!
    6. The amount of time they take to cook depends on a lot of things: how big they are, how dry they are, how firm or soft you want them to be, etc. So put them in your soup last and then check them every minute or so. Mine (that were completely dry) took about 15 minutes).
    **Delicious side notes: 1. These noodles were even better over the next few days. They absorbed the flavors of the soup and softened up even more. Yummy! 2. You can add things to step one to flavor your noodles. You could add oregano or parsley to enhance the flavor of your soup or whatever. I am going to try this next time!

    Friday, November 9, 2007

    No Fail Pie Crust

    This is a quick and easy pie crust that tastes great. I have never had this pie crust fail - even when I was sure it would because it didn't look right.

    Makes 1 double crust

    2 c flour
    1 tsp salt
    3/4 c shortning or butter
    1/2 c milk

    Mix flour and salt in large bowl with lid. Cut in shortning or butter. Cover with lid and shake vigorously until little balls of flour form. Make a "well" in the center of the flour and pour in milk. Replace lid and swirl to mix in milk. Shake again until single ball forms. I roll out the crust between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. This crust freezes well after rolling out and folding in quarters.

    Thursday, November 8, 2007

    Mail-Recipe Chicken Enchiladas

    Chicken Enchiladas
    (Recipe from the Mail)
    10 - 12 flour tortillas
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    1 16 oz can of enchilada sauce
    1 - 1/2 cups Pace Picante Salsa
    chopped cilantro (optional as a garnish)
    *(try "el pato" sauce for enchilada sauce instead if you like it HOT)

    1 8 oz package cream cheese
    2 - 3 cups chicken cooked and cut as desired
    1 - 2 cups of Pace Picante Medium Salsa or whatever you like
    chopped olives (optional unless you love olives like I do)

    1. preheat the oven to about 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan if desired and set aside.

    2. Make filling by combining ingredients in a medium to small sauce pan until melted and you have a good *filling consistency.

    3. Take a flour tortilla, put 2-3 large tablespoonfuls of filling along one side of the tortilla. You can adjust filling amounts per roll as needed to make the desired amount of enchiladas. (I've found that nobody notices the difference if I have to stretch it kind of thin towards the end) Place the roll seam side down in the pan.

    4. Fill the pan with rolls and coat the tops of each roll in the pan with enchilada sauce. I usually pour it in a straight line down each roll long ways and let the excess drip between the rolls.

    5. To make it look pretty, cover the top of everything with the chopped cheddar cheese. Pour 1 1/2 - 2 cups of salsa on top of the cheese in a line across the rolls. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro among the salsa if desired (Might want to put it on after it's baked if you don't want it to be cooked).

    6. Bake for about a 20 - 30 minutes or until all the cheese is sufficiently melted to your taste.

    *All measurements are approximate so if you think there's too much of something put less. This should make around 1 - 2 9x13 inch pans of enchiladas.

    * The filling should be kind of (cream based) soupy when hot but not too thin. Thickens more when cooled.

    *No this isn't a picture of the actual recipe I'm describing. If a picture of the actual recipe is needed to help explain my directions please let me know and I will make an effort to take a picture of it next time I make it. Also, if you find any of the amounts to be incorrect, they were approximations based on memory. Please let me know and I'll update the recipe on here.

    I finally took one. Here's an actual picture of what this dish looks like. KK and I made it tonight.

    Dad's Homemade IceCream

    Dad's Homemade IceCream
    2 cans sweetened condensed milk
    1 quart half and half creme
    flavoring to taste: (chocolate syrup, blended frozen strawberries, peppermint extract and crushed up candy canes)
    Milk - to fill line (we use 2% but any kind is fine)

    Machine Use:
    Approximately 5 quart old fashioned maker with motor
    2 bags of ice
    rock salt

    Use tons of rock salt and constantly replenish the ice. Should only take 1/2 hour if properly iced and salted to finish.

    *any kind of nuts - don't put in until the last 5 minutes when it's almost done or it won't freeze well)

    Favorite Thanksgiving Pie Recipe

    Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
    -4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
    -1 tablespoon milk
    -1 tablespoon sugar
    -1 (8 ounce) tub Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
    -1 prepared Pie Crust
    -1 cup milk
    -1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
    -2 (3.4 ounce) packages JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
    -1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    -1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    -1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

    1. Mix cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and the sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Gently stir in half of the whipped topping. Spread onto bottom of crust.

    2.Pour 1 cup milk into large bowl. Add pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and spices. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread over cream cheese layer.

    3.Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Top with remaining whipped topping just before serving. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.