Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fresh strawberry bread

I tried this recipe because I had some strawberries that I REALLY needed to do something with. They were a little too ripe to be eaten plain and I didn't have any Cool Whip to make a fun dessert. So, I got this recipe from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads that my Dad got me a few years ago. Holy cow, it's yummy!! Zac is a huge fan of strawberries, so of course he loved it and wants me to double the strawberries!! It's a veeeerrry simple bread recipe, so those of you who say bread is too hard - try it!!


1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 3/4 cups flour (bread or all-purpose)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional - recommend walnuts or pecans)


Preheat oven to 350.

Crush enough of the strawberries to fill 1 cup. Pour into a small saucepan and heat on medium. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Cool. Slice remaining strawberries and chill.

In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients, except the sugar.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter; then add the eggs and water, mixing until light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in the crushed strawberries and nuts, if using. Pour into greased medium (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") loaf pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, till pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then turn onto a cooling rack/towel.

Now, Zac and I are just eating it like it is and it's darn tasty. Mr. Clayton's idea also sounds great - top the slices with softened cream cheese and the reserved, chilled strawberries. Either way, it's definitely "Good Eats."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Taco ring

I originally got this recipe from a Pampered Chef party. They use it as an advertisement for their pizza stones, but I just use a regular pizza pan. I can't take credit for the above picture, I found it on RecipeZaar. I tried this recipe after the PC party I attended and Zac FREAKED out over how good it was. It's pretty darn scrumptious.


1 lb ground beef
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I like to add more!)
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 pkg crescent rolls
Sour cream
Taco toppings of your choice (lettuce, tomato, olives)


Preheat oven to 375.

Brown ground beef in skillet, drain. Mix in taco seasoning. Stir in shredded cheese and set aside.

On pizza stone/pan lay out crescents rolls in circular/spoked shape with pointed end pointing to outside of stone. You should have an empty circle in the middle; it will look kind of like sunrays.

Spoon beef mixture onto crescent rolls. Pull the points toward the center and tuck into the fat edge of the crescent roll. (Looking at the picture might help this make more sense).

Bake for 20-25 minutes, till crescent rolls are browned.

Put a bowl (or hollowed out bell pepper) in the middle and fill with salsa or sour cream. Mound lettuce, tomatoes, etc. on top of the taco ring.

I suppose you could mix black beans or something in with the meat - but this one is pretty darn good on its own.

Easy red beans & rice

I edited this recipe from my Betty Crocker's "Big Red" cookbook - the greatest cookbook ever! I've just recently started eating beans, since I'm trying to get over my pickiness with food. This recipe is easy and yummy...add some Jiffy cornbread muffins to round it out - YUM!!


1 can (15-16 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 pkg of smoked turkey sausage, cut into half-circles
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 cup uncooked regular long-grain rice
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chicken broth (I use water & chicken bouillon)


Cook turkey sausage with garlic & onion powders, till lightly browned. Remove from heat.

Add beans, rice, salt and broth. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Cover and turn heat to very low.

Simmer 14 minutes without removing lid. Remove from heat.

Fluff with fork. Cover and let steam 5 - 10 minutes.

NOTE: Most bean recipes call for using the bean liquid because it has a lot of flavor. However, as Betty Crocker notes, the bean liquid is also what causes the most flatulence (sorry, I had to tell you - it's good info). So, that's why I changed the recipe and used broth instead of water/bean liquid. But, if you want to use it, just add enough water to the bean liquid so that you have 2 cups of cooking liquid.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Enchilada casserole

I found this recipe on All Recipes last week and Zac made it for lunch today. Of course, he changed a few things - wouldn't be a Zac recipe if he didn't!! It was pretty darn tasty...


1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Taco seasoning (to your taste)

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

salt to taste

4 (10 inch) flour tortillas, torn into strips

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


Heat oven to 350 and lightly grease a deep dish pie pan or casserole dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Drain fat and stir in taco seasoning. (Remember you will be adding more spices in a minute!)

Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and salt. Mix well and allow to thicken slightly.

Spoon a thin layer of tomato mix in bottom of pan. Layer tortilla strips, tomato mixture and cheese until pan is full, ending with cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Yummy options:
**Zac added about 1/2 a can of drained black beans and 1/2 a can of sweet corn to the tomato mixture. Very good!!
**Next time we make it, I am going to add a layer of refried beans between the tortilla strips and the tomato mixture. (I'll omit Zac's beans and corn). I'll let you know how that turns out!

Welcome to the blog!

I really enjoy trying things in the kitchen. I don't think cooking is really hard, you just have to be a little creative! Since I've gotten married and had a child, I have also learned the benefit of making kitchen time easier with quick recipes or with recipes that can easily be doubled and one half frozen for next week's dinner! I hope you enjoy my blog and try some of the recipes. PLEASE share any good ones that you have, too!!!