Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese and Zucchini Cornbread

This is all that I got after all my girls were fed. Boo Hoo, luckily it is an easy meal to make again.

What an amazing meal. Everything was eaten by everybody. I do not like baked macaroni and cheese. I hate how dry it always is and crusty cheese top. But this mac/cheese tasted almost exactly like shells and cheese that you buy in the store. I knew that the food would be a big hit with Anna because that is one of the few things that she will always eat. Anna didn't "dig" the cornbread, but it was awesome! I should have taken a picture of Lucy after she shoved everything into her mouth area! The one complaint that I have about this dish is that we ate everything and did not have leftovers for the next day, not even for my lunch. The picture above is all that I got to eat. If you make this I would definately double it if you have more than three people eating it. Enjoy.

Grade: A+

Macaroni and Cheese
1 c dried elbow macaroni
¼ c chopped onion
1Tbs butter
1 Tbs flour
¼ c milk
1 ½ c shredded American cheese
1 medium tomato
1. Cook macaroni in unsalted water about 10 minutes or till tender but still firm
2. Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan cook onion in margarine or butter till milk all at once. Cook and stir till slightly thickened and bubbly. Add American cheese, stirring till melted. Stir in cooked macaroni. Transfer mixture to a 1-quart casserole.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or till hot and bubbly. If desired arrange tomato slices atop macaroni for the last 5 minutes of baking. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Zucchini Cornbread
1 c coarsely chopped zucchini
1 c milk
½ c chopped onion
2 eggs
¼ c vegetable oil
1 ¼ c cornmeal
1 c all-purpose flour
2 Tbs white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Grease a 10-in cast-iron skillet, and place it into the oven while it preheats.
2. Place the zucchini, milk, eggs, onion, and vegetable oil into a blender, and pulse 5 to 8 times, until thoroughly mixed and the zucchini and onion have been chopped into very small pieces.
3. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the zucchini mixture into the cornmeal mixture, stirring to combine, and gently mix in the Cheddar cheese.
4. Carefully pour the batter into the hot greased skillet, smooth it out with a spoon, and bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Anna happily eating away.

Lucy before the macaroni exploded on her face.

Emily stuffing her face while Sarah drinks

Sarah deciding when to jump in

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weeknight Spaghetti and Meatballs

This was a quick meal from Rachael Ray's Comfort food cookbook. I cannot stand Rachael Ray, she bugs the hell out of me, but Jen had this book so I decided to look through it. Obviously, it took 30 minutes. Plus, I added garlic bread on a French loaf. The kids seemed to like it (of course Anna thought it looked awful and filled her plate with Ranch dressing). There are a lot of ingredients, but it is simple.

Grade: B


1lb ground beef

1 egg beaten

1/2 small onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c grated Parmesan

1/2 c Italian bread crumbs

Ground black pepper

1Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/2 c beef broth

1 can (28 oz)crushed tomatoes (I had know idea that they had "crushed tomatoes)

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 pinches dried oregano

3/4 lb spaghetti, cooked (I used a whole 13 oz box)

Combine meat, egg, onion, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, and little pepper in a bowl.

Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in oil. Roll small balls and drop into hot pan. When all the meat is rolled and in a pan, give the pan a good shake and cover. Cook meatballs for 8 min, giving the pan a good shake frequently to keep meat from burning. If balls are browning too quickly, reduce heat a little.

Add broth and let reduce for 1 or 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes, then oregano and parsley. Simmer until pasta is ready. Toss pasta with sauce and serve with garlic bread and grated cheese for topping.

I made garlic using butter and garlic salt. (Pretty complicated)

Anna adding her Ranch

Sarah looking very Beatleish

Lucy, picking a choosing what to eat (or throw on the floor)

Emily, nice and neat (tonight)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chicken, Corn, and Tomato Skillet

This recipe was fast and good. Everyone ate it and enjoyed it. The chicken broth kept the chicken moist and added flavor to the basmati rice. I have never had/worked with basmati, and was pleasently surprised at the aroma and taste that exploded out of the rice. Also I steamed some squash from our garden. Below is the recipe and some quick pictures.


1. Stir together 1 c chicken broth and 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes, with juice in a large nonstick saute pan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.

2. Stir in 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast haves, cut into 1/2 in pieces, 2/3 cup basmati rice, 1 c frozen corn, 1 tsp basil, and pepper to taste. When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium; cover, and cook for about 12 minutesor until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is done.

That's all!

Grade A-

Anna: Cheesing it up

Sarah looking cute while eating her hand.

Emily enjoying every minute

Lucy is having a hard time. :(

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Foolproof Beef & Broccoli

This was a nice take from the traditional beefe & broccoli. The cream of broccoli soup gives it a little cheesey taste and once again the soup keeps the meat tender. I used egg noodles for the base.

Grade: B

1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak OR beef top round steak, 3/4" thick
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups broccoli flowerets
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1/8 tsp. garlic powder OR 1 clove garlic, minced
1 can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup OR Campbell's® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Broccoli Soup
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp. soy sauce
4 cups hot cooked egg noodles

Slice beef into very thin strips.Heat 1 tbsp. oil in skillet. Add beef and stir-fry until browned. Remove beef.Add remaining oil. Add broccoli, onion and garlic and stir-fry until tender-crisp.Add soup, water and soy. Heat to a boil. Return beef to skillet and heat through. Serve over egg noodles.Tip: To make slicing easier, freeze beef 1 hour.Serves 4.

Anna adding her cheese and butter




Monday, August 10, 2009

zucchini brownies

It has been about a week since my last post because Jen and the girls were out of town. They are now back and I have a great recipe for you to try. It is zucchini brownies. I don't have any pictures for this one because Anna was off taking pictures of who knows what, but it looks and taste like a regular brownie. I made a chocolate peanut butter frosting for the top. Amazing!
Grade: A

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded zucchini


1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yogurt and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in zucchini.

2. Pour into a greased 13 in x9 in baking pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

3. For frosting, in a small saucepan, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Spread over warm brownies. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Emily and the Squash

I am going to be taking most of this week off because Jen is taking the girls to Ohio so I can get some work done in my classroom, but I just wanted to share a picture of this ginormous squash that was grew in our garden. I check every other day for squash and zucchini that are ready to be picked, and I obviously overlooked this one. I will resume posting on 8-10.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chicken and Asparagus Skillet Supper

Tonight's dinner was a success, except for the fact that I did not make enough rice for everyone. This meal was quick and easy with extremely tender chicken. I believe the chicken stock that you add at the end of the cooking process helped with keeping it tender. The squash was from our garden. Steaming the squash and asparagus was a great way to prepare these two veggies. One of the blog's followers was over for dinner and she also said that it was good. She is not pictured. :)

Grade: B+


8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

3 slices of bacon

1/2 cup chicken breast

1 lb of asparagus

1 small yellow squash

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In 12-in skillet cook chicken and bacon over medium-high heat 12 min, turning over to brown evenly. Carefully add broth; cover and cook 3-5 more or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.

2.Meanwhile, in microwave-save 2 qt dish combine asparagus, squash, and 2 Tbs water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with vented plastic wrap. Cook on 100 percent power 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring once. Transfer to plates. Drizzle cooking liquid; top with chicken, bacon, and onions.