Friday, May 29, 2009

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

This recipe is kind of a joke. But not really. It's delicious.

One of my wonderful friends first told me about it and made it for me, and I was skeptical until I tried it.

It involves Chocolate Graham Crackers and Cool Whip.

That's it.

Break the graham crackers in half to make squares and slather some cool whip on, like a sandwich. Make as many as you like. And freeze them for a few hours.

Then eat them.

I'm not kidding.

They're better than any ice cream sandwich you will ever eat. And cheaper. Use the reduced fat ingredients, and they're even better for you.

You'll thank me. (and then I'll thank my friend. ' Cuz really it was her idea.)

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

I'll be honest. I hate meatloaf. I just don't like it. But this isn't meatloaf. This is a bacon cheeseburger brick of awesome. And I'm in denial.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 beaten egg
1 cup Kraft Cheddar Cheese Crumbles (or shredded, you pick)
1/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (i like the seasoned kind!)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp season salt (Lawry's is best here...)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Pepper to taste
1 small onion, diced (if desired)
6-10 mushrooms, sliced (can use canned, too) (if desired)
6-8 slices Bacon (already cooked, but not tooooo crispy. leave it a little chewy so it can cook into the meatloaf a bit and not burn)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together except the bacon.
Shape into a loaf in a 9x5 loaf pan.
Bake 30 minutes.
Place the bacon on top. You can criscross to make it pretty or just cover the top however you want.
Bake for another 30 minutes or until done.
Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and devouring.

My review: This was good. very tasty. I served it with a salad and some french fries. My mom likes to serve it as a meatloaf sandwich with lettuce and tomato. Either way, it's yummy. And a good alternative to yucky meatloaf.

Asparagus all year long...

I was always really iffy about frozen asparagus. How could it ever compare?

Winter does some crazy things to people though, and I got hungry for asparagus.

So I bought a bag of the frozen stuff two winters ago, and was taught the best way to make it ever from a friend's boyfriend. So here goes, folks.

1 bag frozen asparagus
Butter or Olive Oil

Take your bag of frozen asparagus out of the freezer.
Snip a corner off the bag and pour in some hot water (not boiling, just hot)
Let it sit in the sink to thaw and leak and do its thing.
Pour most of the water out, but leave a bit in.
Then, dump the asparagus and water into a skillet. I like to use a pretty small one so its full and takes a bit longer to cook, cuz you're going to want it to have time to soak in the flavor.
Add some butter (like 2-3 tbsp) or Olive Oil, minced garlic (to your liking, I use a lot), salt, and pepper.
Now cook it. On medium heat. It's best when covered by some aluminum foil with a hole cut in the middle so it can breathe.
It won't take long to cook. 10 minutes tops. But you have my permission to taste test. As often as you like. And you'll like.

My review: Yum yum yum. I want some now. If you don't like garlic, don't rule this out. Use some season salt instead. It's still good. And if you don't have fresh garlic, use garlic salt, and just don't put regular salt in. But you'll like it. Honest.

Jell-O Poke Cake

I just have to start this post by saying this is my favorite favorite dessert ever. Ever. When I get married, I want Jell-O Poke Cake. Screw all that fancy schmancy fondant, give me a good ol' Jell-O Poke Cake slathered in some Cool Whip.

1 (2 layer size) package of White Cake Mix, made as directed (you'll need egg whites, vegetable oil, and water)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 container Cool Whip
1 (4 serving) package of Jell-O (any flavor) (I prefer strawberry or cherry, but GO CRAZY)

(if you're worried about calories and all that jazz, use reduced fat cool whip and sugar free jello - it will still rock your socks)

Bake the cake as directed, in a 13x9 cake pan.
Let the cake cool for 15 minutes after baking (at least)
Pierce the cake with a large fork (1/2 inch intervals work best, I think. but sometimes I just go crazy and poke the crap out of it.)
Stir the cup of boiling water into the gelatin for two minutes.
Add the cold water.
Pour the Jell-O over the cake. (carefully)
Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours.
Frost the cake with Cool Whip. The whole tub. I'm not kidding. And be careful, because the top of the cake is very moist and can peel up into your frosting. And that looks ugly. But it still tastes good. So no bigs.
Then, refrigerate your cake for another hour before serving, just so the cool whip gets all happy. And then eat it.
Store all leftovers in the refrigerator. But let's face it, there shouldn't be many leftovers.

You can also do this as cupcakes, making them as directed on the box. Then, use the handle of a wooden spoon and poke a hole in the middle of each cupcake. Pour Jell-O on each one, refrigerate, frost, and refrigerate. Kids love them. And so do adults.

My review: I've made it clear that I love this. I just do. I made it last week for Memorial Day, and my grandpa, who is in his 70's and has eaten a lot of cake in his time, said it's the best cake he's ever tasted. Ever. 70 years is a long time to not taste the best cake in the universe. So you should make this today. Seriously. Save your family and friends from the agony of never having the best cake ever.

Cordon Bleu Chicken Breasts (Baked or Grilled)

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Sliced Deli Ham
Swiss Cheese Slices
Package of Shake and Bake for Chicken OR Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

To make the Baked version, start by preheating your oven to the temperature S&B says to. I believe it's 400 degrees. Then, using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts. Stuff each with one (or two) slices of ham and one (or two) slices of swiss cheese. If they stay together okay by themselves, let them be. Otherwise, secure them with toothpicks or metal skewers. Then, coat them with the Shake and Bake. And then, bake as directed for 20 minutes. And then enjoy. I like to dip mine in some honey mustard, but that's all up to you.

To make the grilled version, I marinate the chicken breasts in Honey Mustard or sprinkle some season salt on them. It's up to you. Again, butterfly the chicken breasts and stuff them with the ham and swiss. But this time, cook them on the grill. And you will most certainly want to secure them with the metal skewers this time. (the grill isn't as friendly and calm as the oven) Grill them til they're done! Again, you can dip them in honey mustard or just eat them plain.

My review: Yum. I prefer the baked version, but every now and then, I just wanna get outside and cook on the grill. My favorite things to serve this with are some mashed (or baked) potatoes and asparagus or broccoli. Another way it's good is sliced on top of a big garden salad, with (you'll never guess...) some honey mustard.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mini Bolis

This recipe does not really involve a list of ingredients. You will need crescent rolls, Mozzarella Cheese and pizza sauce. Otherwise, you can stuff it with whatever you like:

Ground beef
Green Peppers
Italian Sausage

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Open the crescent rolls and unfold into 4 rectangles onto a greased cookie sheet. Press the seams into each other and roll the dough into larger rectangles.
Spread pizza sauce onto each rectangle. Top with other preferred toppings (I used leftover spaghetti sauce that was filled with ground beef, garlic, mushrooms, and onion and some pepperoni). After you get your preferred amount of toppings, add some cheese on top and roll the dough together, closing each mini boli up. Brush each with some beaten egg. Bake for 15-20 minutes. I added some cheese to the top when they were done and put them under the broiler for a minute.

My review: Honestly, I just made this to use up extra spaghetti sauce, but ended up liking it a lot. I think it'd be really good to make veggie bolis, with zucchini, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. It was a good quick dinner. Yum!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Baked Asparagus

3 tbsp melted butter
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 small diced onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs (i like the seasoned kind...)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Place melted butter in 8 inch square dish.
Line the asparagus on the bottom of the pan.
Mix all other ingredients together and spread evenly over the asparagus.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

My review: This was my own concoction. And I LOVED it. I love asparagus and I'm so glad to have a new way to make it. This was easy and delicious. I think it would be good to use broccoli in it too. Make it. Lemme know what you think!

Pioneer Woman's Baked Fudge

P-Dub really outdid herself this time. I bought ramekins last weekend, in hopes to soon make creme brulée. But I was having people for dinner last night and remembered this post. And not to ruin your anticipation of my review, but holy cow.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 heaping tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Beat the eggs until they are light in color.
Then beat in the sugar just until combined.
Now add cocoa, flour, butter, and vanilla. Mix gently until well combined.
Pour the batter into four large ramekins or an 8-inch square baking dish. Set the ramekins or pan into a larger pan halfway full with water.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until upper crust is crispy and the rest is firm but not set.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

My review: Wow. This is so darn delicious, I have made it twice in a 24 hour period. My guests raved. I like making it in the ramekins, it makes it more personal and cute. And I had cute new ramekins that were begging to be used. Begging. P-Dub, you have never failed me. And I wasn't skeptical. But this was the easiest and most delicious dessert I have ever made from scratch, and it is going to take everything I have not to make it every day. Yum. Make this. Now. (And go to her site. and comment a lot. and make all of her recipes. Seriously.)