Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

May 26, 2012

Greetings from Austin! This is a recipe that I got from a friend down here and that I served last night to rave reviews.  The amounts of spices are not specified because it depends on how big your roast is . I served it with sweet potato casserole and fresh green beans. It makes your house smell fabulous!

1 pork tenderloin

onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, fresh rosemary



1. Trim the tenderloin of all visible fat, and mix up your spices and rub all over the roast.

2. Wrap the roast with individual pieces of bacon to cover the whole roast. Place in a baking dish with a lid or cover with foil tightly.

3. Roast for 1.5 hours at 350*, then remove the top of the roaster and turn on the boiler to brown up the bacon.  Careful here, it can burn quite quickly. Remove to a carving board and let the roast rest for 10 minutes, covered, then slice and enjoy!


Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Church Potluck Style

January 15, 2012

If you like casseroles with cream soups and sour cream, you will love this one. This was the first time I’ve ever mixed green chilies with a cream soup, and it was amazing! I found the recipe in my grandma’s church cookbook from Croom A Coochee Baptist Church in Florida. The recipe was submitted by Mindy Oxendine.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
3 cups cooked chicken, diced (I used leftover dark turkey meat from Christmas.)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 large can green chilies

8 oz sour cream

1/2 can chicken broth

1 box chicken rice-a-roni (I got a box of rice/vermicelli by mistake, and it worked well.)

3 cups cheddar cheese (Just use as much as you need to cover the dish.)

1 large can French fried onions (enough to cover the top)


Cook rice-a-roni as directed on the box. Add in cream soup, green chilies, sour cream and chicken broth. Place in 9x13in pan. Sprinkle cheese over the top and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle onions on top and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serves 8.

Note: Since I have a smaller family, I divided the mixture into two 9×9 pans. I cooked one of them, and placed the other (before adding cheese) in the freezer for another day. Half the recipe was plenty for my family of four, and we even had leftovers.

Beef Stroganoff

August 1, 2011

I tried so many recipes for Beef Stroganoff that turned out badly that I decided that I must just not like it. But what is there not to like: beef in a creamy sauce that has slowly simmered all day, smelling wonderful, only to taste a gluey mess that was too salty by far, thanks to the inevitable use of a package of onion soup mix. Then a magazine I subscribe to, called Cooks Country ( a more down home version of Cook’s Illustrated, as seen on PBS), broke down the ingredients in a package of onion soup mix to make it more natural and far less salty. So I tried the concoction in my next batch and it turned out GREAT! Now I use the substitution whenever onion soup mix is called for , usually to wonderful results. This magazine is for real foodies, who enjoy the whys and wherefores of a recipe, and how it came to fruition, how they tested the recipe 50 times before printing it. The magazine also does not accept advertizing and does reviews on various kitchen implements and ingredients giving them star ratings. Ok, enough about my bed time reading.

Mix to replace onion soup mix

3 T cornstarch

4 t onion powder

2 t brown sugar

1 t garlic salt

1 t instant espresso powder (can be bought either at The Bakers or Whole Foods)

1 t dried thyme


3 lbs stew beef

3 T oil

1 C red wine (it all cooks out!)

2-10 oz cream of mushroom soup

1 C sour cream

1. Brown the meat in the oil, transfer to slow cooker, and sprinkle with the special mix, turning to coat it all.

2. Add the red wine to the pan to deglaze (scrape up all the browned bits), mix in the soup and pour over the meat. Cover and cook on high 3-3 1/2  hours, or on low 6-7  hours. Stir in the sour cream and serve over noodles.

Beefy Shells and Cheese

July 4, 2011

Here’s a new one that I have recently fallen in love w/. I absolutely luv Velveeta Shells and Cheese and this was a way to bring it back into my life. Super simple to put together and make. Ready in about 30 minutes. I switch between kidney beans and the black beans depending on what I have in the pantry and what kind of mood I’m in. The chili powder is “use what u can tolerate.” If u don’t like things too spicy don’t put much in. If u like it spicy add more. ENJOY!


1 pound ground beef
1 package (12 ounces) shells and cheese dinner mix
2 cups water
1-1/4 cups salsa
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt


In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Set aside cheese sauce packet from dinner mix. Add shells and water to skillet. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender.
Stir in the salsa, beans, chili powder, salt and contents of cheese sauce packet. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Yield: 6 servings.

Bow Ties with Sausage and Bell Peppers

May 9, 2011

            Pasta is a frequented ingredient at our house.  Not only is it inexpensive, but it is often quick and tasty, too!  This meal is one of our favorites.  It only requires a few ingredients, but these ingredients produce a really flavorful meal.  “Bow Ties with Sausage and Bell Peppers” is also a relatively easy and quick meal to fix for dinner.  It is even a favorite of our two-year old daughter Riley!


8 oz Bow tie pasta

¾ lb Italian sausage links

2 Bell peppers

½ c Beef broth

¼ tsp Ground black pepper

1 T Dried parsley

½ c Grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Pour pasta into serving dish.
  2. Cut sausage into 1-inch pieces.  (Jason is super-sweet and removes the casings before cutting because I like it better that way.)
  3. Cook sausage and peppers in a large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is fully cooked and peppers are no longer crunchy.
  4. Add broth and pepper to skillet.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  5. Add sausage mixture, parsley, and parmesan* to pasta in serving dish and stir to combine.

Serving Size:  4

*We prefer to add the parmesan to our individual servings, mostly because I’m a cheese-aholic, and Jason prefers to be a little healthier.  This method also prevents the cheese from getting goopy from the hot pasta (in case you have that problem).

This recipe is adapted from “Bow Ties with Sausage and Sweet Peppers” in the Big Book of 30-Minute Dinners by Better Homes and Gardens.

Chicken Barbeque Pizza

April 25, 2011

This is a fun and yummy recipe that requires very little effort.  I make the dough in my bread maker, but you could just as easily buy a pizza crust from the store.  The pie recipe came from me just figuring it out.  The dough recipe comes from the manual for my Bread Box Bread Maker.  It’ll make 2 thick pizza crusts (I usually do one chicken barbeque and one pepperoni).

Pizza crust dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 Tbs  warm water
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs dry milk
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  •  2 tsp active dry yeast

– Put all ingredients into the bread maker and select the dough program for 2 lb.

– When dough is finished in bread maker, place dough on lightly floured surface.  Divide in half and press each half onto a pizza pan (or pizza stone if you have one), raising edges slightly.

Pizza Recipe (makes one pie):

  • About a cup of cooked Chicken (I usually use leftovers after cooking a whole chicken, or you can use canned chicken, or whatever)
  • About 1/2 cup of Marinara sauce
  • About 1/4 cup of Barbeque sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

– Combine marinara sauce with barbeque sauce (I usually just do this by sight and taste.  The barbeque sauce can easily overpower the marinara sauce, so just add the barbeque a little at a time until it tastes good to you.  If you add too much, just add more marinara.)

– Spread sauce over the dough and top with as much mozzarella as you like (I like mine cheesy!)

– Coat chicken with a Tbs or two of barbeque sauce and spread over cheese.

– Cook the pie at 425* for 15-20 mins and voila! Yummy Chicken Barbeque Pizza.

Stuffed Peppers

March 28, 2011
Red bell peppers.

Image via Wikipedia


Last week I found this recipe while browsing through Jane Maynard’s blog “This Week For Dinner.”  She gives credit to a lady named Julia Axtell for giving her the recipe.  While on the blog, I was searching for something a little different than our family’s typical dinner recipe and this did the trick.  The rice mixture that fills the peppers is especially delicious!  I only made half the recipe (I used 4 peppers and half the rice mixture) and it was plently for my husband and I.  Our son has an amazing dislike for green peppers, one of the only foods he does not like,  so we graciously allowed him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner and all was well!


  • 6-7 bell peppers of any color, 1 3/4 to 2 pounds
  • 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 Cups cooked rice
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I left this out only because I did not have any)
  • 1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2  8-oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 Cup water

Jane Maynard’s Instructions:

  1. “Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut tops from peppers and remove seeds and ribs. If your peppers don’t want to stand up nicely, cut off part of the bottom as well to level the base of the pepper.  Try not to cut throught to the inside, but if you do it’s not the end of the world.  Brush outside of peppers with oil.
  3. In a medium frying pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat, Add onion and cook 2-4 minutes or until softened.  Crumble sausage meat into pan and cook, stirring to break up lumps, until it begins to lose its pinkness, 5-7 minutes. Drain the fat (use a slotted spoon or pat with papertowels).
  4. Slightly beat egg in a large-ish mixing bowl.  Add rice, parsley, cheese, salt, pepper and sausage/onion mixture.  Mix well.
  5. Stuff the bell peppers with rice filling, mounding top slightly.  Place peppers ina 9″ X 13″ baking dish. Mix tomato sauce with water and pour into dish around peppers. Bake 45 minutes.”

Buffalo Chicken Soup

March 16, 2011

This recipe has been on my list of recipes that I really wanted to try for a long time, ever since my husband got it from a coworker. Last week I tried it for the first time and brought it to a church fellowship dinner. (I know, you’re not supposed to bring a dish you haven’t tried to those kinds of things, but who really cares?) I made a double batch and came back with an empty pan!



  1. Dice chicken and cook on stove in saute pan. Remove chicken from pan, and cook onions in pan until translucent.
  2. In large soup pan, add soup, sour cream, and 4 cups milk. Whisk together and stir until creamy. Add buffalo sauce, onion, hash browns, cooked chicken, and cheese.
  3. After everything heats through, add milk to tone down the heat or more buffalo sauce to heat it up!

Caramelized French Onion Soup

March 14, 2011
Brown and white onions

Image via Wikipedia

I got this recipe from Southern Living a hundred years ago, and it is a hit with most adults.  The caramelized onions that are the base are great on burgers too! It does take a long time to cook but it is all in the slow cooker, so it is pretty hands off. From experience I have learned not to put the onions on to cook overnight, because I keep waking up hungry from the delicious smell!!!

Caramelized Onions

3 lbs of onions, cut in half, then thinly sliced

10 oz beef broth

1/4 C butter

1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 8 hours.

2. Store in an airtight container in fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in freezer for 2 months.


1 recipe of caramelized onions

10 oz beef broth

10 oz beef consomme

2 C water

1/2 t thyme

1/4 C red wine

bread and cheese

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2-2 1/2 hours.

2. Either ladle into oven proof bowls, top with french bread slices and grated cheese, then broil until bubbly, OR broil some French bread with grated cheese on top and then float in soup.

Parmesan Green Beans

February 21, 2011

These green beans are a perfect side dish in the summer with green beans fresh from the garden. In the winter I’ll use frozen green beans instead. Either way, this is a delicious and simple side dish!

Parmesan Green Beans

Parmesan Green Beans


  1. Cook green beans in a pan of boiling water for 8 minutes.
  2. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Pour remaining ingredients on green beans and toss lightly.