Sunday, January 29, 2012

Company Casserole ~ by Kelsey

This is from my "A Taste of Oregon" cookbook.  I am going to post the recipe as it is written in the book, but I will note the changes I made when I prepared it.  This was SO good.  Even Grace ate it, and she NEVER eats what I cook for dinner.  I completely left out the butter this recipe calls for, and it was still very rich!

4 cups uncooked egg noodles
2 pounds ground beef ( I used 1.5 lbs since that's how ours is packaged)
1 tablespoon butter (again, I left out the butter)
4 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup cottage cheese
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chopped scallion or onion
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper (Now this confused me.  One tablespoon?  Seemed like a typo.  I used one whole green pepper)
2 tablespoons butter, melted (again, omitted by me)

Cook and drain noodles.  Saute beef in large skillet, using one tablespoon butter, until brown.  Stir in tomato sauce and remove from heat.  Set aside.  Combine in a bowl the cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, scallion, and green pepper.  Using a 3-quart casserole, spread half the noodles, then cover with the cheese mixture.  Add the rest of the noodles. (I found it hard to spread the cheese on the noodles, so I ended up just mixing the cheese with the noodles.)  Pour two tablespoons of melted butter over top of noodles.  Cover with meat mixture.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 375.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Beef Stew ~ by Sarah

I love stew.  I got this recipe from Mary Hunt of Everyday Cheapskate.  It's easy and delicious!  The meat will shred itself and be so, so tender after cooking so long!  I added peas to the recipe, but you could add green beans, instead.

3 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 can diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons tomato paste
6 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
3 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
zest of 1/2 an orange
8 small red potatoes
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut
1 small bag frozen peas
salt and pepper

Marinate beef in red wine overnight.  Place meat, wine, beef stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, cloves, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, and orange zest in a covered casserole dish or crock pot.  Cook for 12 hours in a 250 degree oven, or on medium in a slow cooker for 10-12 hours.  Add carrots and potatoes in the last two hours.  Add peas in last 20 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

*One thing I will probably do next time is, after marinating the beef, take it out of the wine and dredge it in flour before adding it to the crock pot.  I like my stew really thick and this was a little more runny than I prefer.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies ~Molly

I found these the other day on Pinterest. I have always loved chocolate crinkle cookies, but these are possibly my new favorite cookie ever. They are chewy and airy and the chocolate chips make them slightly gooey. The recipe only made about 15 cookies, so you might want to double the batch. They were linked to a blog, but I think they are originally from I changed the recipe a little and wrote it below. If you want to see the original (and comments from other people who used the recipe but then included their own changes) go here: She also included pictures (that's where I got the one below) to make the recipe idiot-proof (cough, cough, Kelsey).

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 egg whites, room temperature
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar, plus more to roll the dough balls in
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I only greased my sheet, but they really stuck to it. I had to let them cool for quite a while before I could get them off without breaking them.

2. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in a microwave or using a double-boiler. Let them cool slightly before you add them to the rest of the dough. I used a double-boiler and heated them just until they were mostly soft enough to lose their shape if touched.

3. Whip egg whites until they form soft peaks. Whisk in 1 cup of powdered sugar.

4. In another bowl, mix 2/3 cup powdered sugar and the remaining dry ingredients. Beat the cocoa mixture into the egg white mixture until just combined. The mixture will be shiny and sticky, but don't worry that your whites don't hold their shape. Don't over mix.

5. Stir in the melted chocolate and remaining chocolate chips. You dough will become very stiff and the melted chocolate that lands on the edge of the bowl won't mix in very well, so try to pour it as much in the middle of the bowl as possible.

6. Use a spoon or your fingers to scoop out the dough and form balls about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Roll in powdered sugar and place on baking sheet. All about 2-3 inches between the cookies to allow them to spread out.

7. Bake until puffed and beginning to crack, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple more minutes before removing from sheet.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pea Salad ~ by Sarah

Mom makes a pea salad that I have always loved.  She gave me her recipe and a different recipe she had seen and then I combined them with others I had seen to make this one.  It was yummy!  All amounts are general--you decide based on what you like!

two bags frozen peas
two stalks celery, finely chopped
green onions, finely chopped
cheddar cheese, cubed in small cubes
bacon bits
water chestnuts
homemade ranch dressing
boiled eggs--I didn't do this this time due to time

Combine all ingredients except ranch, in large bowl.  Add ranch dressing, a little at a time, until you get a consistency you like.  The longer before serving you can make it to let the flavors meld, the better!

Frank's Redhot Buffalo Chicken Dip ~ by Sarah

Cousin Amy brought this to Thanksgiving as an appetizer and we all loved it!  Serve it with bread, crackers, celery, and/or will be a hit!

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup FRANK'S® REDHOT® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK'S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (12.5 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained

DIRECTIONS: HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth. MIX in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken. BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Apple-Ham-Cream Cheese Sandwiches~by Kelsey

This is actually a Molly recipe.  She makes them for us sometimes, and we always love them.  I actually even figured out how to make them WITHOUT Molly!  I am so independent!  I know the ingredients sound weird, but trust me, these are SO good!

Deli Ham
Cream Cheese (spreadable)
Bread of your choice

Start out by washing and slicing the apple.  You can peel it if you want, but I don't.  Slice it into thin rings that look like this:
Cut out the seed part in the middle.  Fry them on the stove for a few minutes (you might want to add a little butter or use cooking spray).  You just want to soften them up a bit.  In the meantime, spread some cream cheese on the bread, and pile on the deli ham.  Add the fried apples, close the sandwich, and put a little mayo on the outside.  Cook the sandwich in the frying pan until it's browned.  Enjoy!  Notice I have no picture of the finished product.  I couldn't take the time, I had to eat it!

Chili Cream Cheese Dip~by Kelsey

This recipe was introduced to us by our neighbors down the road, the Bruhn family.  It's simple and really tasty.

Canned Chili (You decide what kind.  We have used hot, regular or the Walla Walla sweet one.)
Cream Cheese Bricks

On the stove top or in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chili and the cream cheese.  The ratio is really up to you.  I think we usually use about one can of chili to one brick of cream cheese.   Heat and stir until the cream cheese is melted.    You can also add shredded cheddar cheese or cooked ground beef.  Serve with chips.