Sunday, September 28, 2008

Football Dip

On Sundays during football season, I like to make things for my hub and me to munch on. He watches the games almost all day and I enjoy my time in the kitchen while he's "busy." I stumbled upon this quick and easy dip recipe today and thought I'd give it a shot. I made a couple of revisions, though. I used ground turkey instead of ground beef (as I do for everything) and I added taco seasoning to the meat and a little to the cream cheese. I also used less processed cheese. It just seemed like it was going to be a lot. And I cooked it for closer to 20 minutes. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Allrecipes.com
1 pound ground beef
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, room temp.
1 (8-oz.) jar prepared salsa
1 pound loaf processed cheese, sliced or cubed.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until no longer pink. Drain off grease. Spread the cream cheese in an even layer in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Spread a layer of salsa over the cream cheese, then cover with a layer of ground beef. Top with slices of processed cheese and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through. Serve hot.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still Experimenting...

As I've mentioned, I'm trying some new things in the kitchen. Tonight's dinner featured Lemon Garlic Tilapia and Potatoes/Green Beans. My hub had a late class today so I was hoping to whip it all up really quick before he got home. I love sitting down to a nice, hot meal together. However, my plan came to a screeching halt when I realized not only that I had forgotten to grab a couple of lemons from the grocery store this weekend, but also that my lemon juice had recently expired. My hub actually came home early and offered to save the day by running to the store for me. It was really sweet of him, considering that he had just had a long day of work and class. When he got home, he proudly handed me the bottle, as if to say "Don't worry honey, I took care of it." Unfortunately, he had grabbed a bottle of lime juice by mistake. It was so cute. And since I already had the fish prepped and ready to go, we used the lime juice instead. So, that's my disclaimer for this particular dinner. I didn't like the tilapia at all, but I'm fairly certain that the lime had a lot to do with that. My hub liked it though. So, it wasn't a complete loss, I guess. And we both really loved the side. It was surprising since both of us don't really care for green beans in general. But, this was really good, not to mention super easy. Try it for yourself!

1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Water to cover both the potatoes and beans
1 pound very small, red potatoes (washed well, skins on )
1 pound fresh green beans, stem ends snapped off, broken in half or thirds
Minced garlic to taste ( I used 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Directions: Start the water, salt and sugar to a boil while prepping the potatoes. Add the potatoes as soon as they're prepped, cover and let cook until nearly done. (Actual time will vary based on the size and density of the potatoes. The tiny potatoes from Summit took only about 20 minutes.) Add the beans, return to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes or until the beans are well-cooked but still bright green. Drain. Return to the hot pot and toss with garlic and butter. Add salt, if needed. 

4 tilapia fillets
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Rinse tilapia fillets under cool water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place fillets in baking dish. Pour lemon juice over fillets, then drizzle butter on top. Sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and pepper. Bake in preheated oven until the fish is white and flakes when pulled apart with a fork, about 10-20 minutes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Curious Cooking

Lately, I've been wanting to venture out and try foods that I've never had before. I've been curious in the kitchen. So, my hub and I went to the Farmer's Market this weekend and picked up a few things. We both had never had eggplant before so we thought we'd try it. Today, I cooked up an Eggplant Parmesan recipe. It got rave reviews and 4 1/2 stars on Allrecipes.com so I thought I was in for a treat. And...apparently I don't like eggplant. My hub enjoyed it, though. So, I'm chalking it up to my tastebuds. If you like eggplant, give the recipe a shot.

Eggplant Parmesan
Allrecipes.com
3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced 
(I only used 1 large eggplant and estimated the other ingredients from there)
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1 (16 oz.) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. (As you might be able to tell from the photo, I only did a single layer.) Sprinkle basil on top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Raspberry Crisp

I've been wanting to make raspberry ... something for a while now, as the hub has had a craving. And after I stumbled upon Little Birdie Secrets' Blackberry Crisp this weekend, I thought I'd give it a go (substituting raspberries for blackberries, of course). I've never made a crisp of any kind, but the recipe was really simple and looked really yummy. And it did not disappoint. It was really good, even though I messed up. I used a cup less raspberries. But, I think the extra sugar just helped off-set the tartness of the berries and all was well. I've added what I did to the recipe below. Enjoy!

Raspberry Crisp
3 cups raspberries (I bet blueberries would also be fabulous!)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter
3/4 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour raspberries in a casserole dish or pie plate. Pour 1 cup of sugar over the berries and gently mix. For the topping, combine cinnamon, flour, brown sugar and oats. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Cover the raspberries with the topping. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until brown. My reduced amount of raspberries seemed to have some effect on the topping staying afloat, but it was no biggie because we liked it just the same!
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