Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spicy Tex Mex Salmon Cakes


8oz salmon, drained and flaked
1 package mexican style corn bread mix
1 egg, beaten
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 c red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/4 c celery, chopped
1/2 c sour cream

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly. Form into patties (8).

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Cook patties until brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total.

This is a great variation on an old favorite.  My mom used to make "salmon patties" all of the time and it was (and probably still is) my favorite recipe. For regular salmon patties, combine salmon, egg, and a few pieces of torn up bread and form into patties. Cook as instructed.

Caribbean Shrimp


2 tbsp instant minced onion
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
14 1/2oz can whole tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice

In a cup, combine onion with 2 tbsp water; set aside to soften, about 10 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat butter until hot. Add green pepper and reserved onion; cook and stir until almost crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, bay leaf, sugar, allspice, salt and ground red pepper, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
Add shrimp; cook and stir until pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve over steamed rice, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

This recipe was clipped from a newspaper many years ago and has been a family favorite for a very long time. It is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy and an excellent way to serve shrimp.

Beer Cheese Dip


1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened

1 (8oz) package Velveeta, diced

1/2 can beer, room temperature

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

In a medium bowl, whip together cream cheese, Velveeta, beer and garlic. Continue whipping until smooth. Serve with potato chips, warm bread, pretzels, or fresh veggies.

Variation: If the above recipe is too boring, add a package of ranch dip mix. Yum!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Use Applesauce in a Cake

Use applesauce as an egg or oil substitute in cakes, cupcakes, and muffins.

Egg Substitute

Applesauce makes an excellent egg replacement for desserts, especially for those who are allergic to eggs. It will add extra moisture and sweetness to your cakes, cupcakes, and muffins. Applesauce does not have the same binding qualities as eggs, so results may be best with recipes that call for only 1 or 2 eggs.

Step 1
Measure ¼ cup of applesauce for each egg. You may need to add more applesauce to some recipes but it is easier to start out with too little than too much.

Step 2
Mix the applesauce into the remaining ingredients, according to the directions of the recipe.
Step 3
Check the consistency of the batter or dough. Mixes for cookies and certain types of dough should be fairly thick and able to hold their shapes. Batter for cake, muffins and dessert breads generally have more of a thick liquid consistency. Follow the guidelines for the recipe to determine if mixture is adequate and add more applesauce if necessary.
Step 4
Follow the original recipe for the baking temperature and time. The applesauce should not have a significant effect on the baking time.

Oil Substitute

You can use applesauce to replace the oil in a cake recipe to reduce the amount of fat and calories in the finished product. If you haven't replaced oil in a cake with applesauce before, make a test run before a big event, such as a birthday, when you are going to rely on a perfectly baked cake.

Step 1
Follow the recipe for your cake. Replace the oil with the same amount of applesauce. Using unsweetened applesauce to replace the oil will avoid adding too much extra sugar.

Step 2
Combine the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients in separate bowls. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to avoid creating lumps.
Step 3
Replacing oil with applesauce can dull the other flavors so add extra spices or flavorings if necessary.
Step 4
The cake will cook more quickly than normal when you use applesauce in place of oil. Check your cake often. When the sides of the cake start to pull away from the pan, the cake is done.

Tips and Warnings

Read the instructions on the box if you are using cake mix. See if the recipe includes alternate instructions for making a low-fat cake, which may offer tips replacing the oil with applesauce. 

Cakes baked with applesauce in place of oil tend to be drier than cakes made with more fat. 
Do not use applesauce to replace butter in a cake, or the consistency of the cake will not turn out properly. Use a different recipe that calls for oil if you want to replace the fat with applesauce.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crockpot Lasagna

Any lasagna recipe can be made in the crockpot. I'm serious. And you don't even have to cook the noodles first. (Awesome!)

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cans (15 ounces each) Italian-style tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1 container (15 ounces) small curd cottage cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Cook ground beef and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt.

Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the cottage cheese and Parmesan. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)
Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker; top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the meat sauce mixture. Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the meat sauce mixture. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining meat sauce mixture.

Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender.
Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Wraps


2lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce (from 12-oz jar)
3/4 cup ranch dressing
1 package flour tortillas for burritos (8 tortillas)
3 cups shredded lettuce

In 1 1/2-quart slow cooker, place chicken; sprinkle with salt. Cover; cook 6 to 7 hours (if slow cooker has heat settings, use Low).

With slotted spoon, remove chicken from slow cooker and place on cutting board; discard liquid in slow cooker. In slow cooker, mix buffalo wing sauce and 1/4 cup of the ranch dressing. With 2 forks, shred chicken. Return chicken to slow cooker; stir gently to mix with sauce.

To serve, spread each tortilla with 1 tablespoon remaining ranch dressing; top each with about 1/2 cup chicken mixture and about 1/3 cup lettuce. Roll up tortilla; secure with toothpicks.

For something different, substitute blue cheese dressing for the ranch, or top with a little crumbled blue cheese.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ham and Broccoli Au Gratin

2 boxes (10 oz each) frozen broccoli in cheese sauce
2 cups diced cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven to  375°F
Microwave broccoli & cheese sauce as directed on box.
In ungreased 9-inch round (2-quart) glass baking dish, mix broccoli & cheese, ham, onion and 1/2 cup of the cheese. 
Open can of dough; do not unroll. With serrated knife, cut dough into 1-inch slices. Cut each slice in half; place cut side down on hot ham mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Try substituting refrigerated biscuits for the crescent rolls.

Feta-Chicken Bake


6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 pkg. (4 oz.) crumbled Feta cheese with basil & tomato
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Season with black pepper. Top with cheese; drizzle with remaining lemon juice.

Bake 35 to 40 min. or until chicken is done (165°F). Top with red peppers and parsley.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mini Chicken Pot Pies


Chicken Mixture
1tbsp vegetable oil
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Baking Mixture
1/2 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add onion and chicken broth; heat to simmering. Add frozen vegetables and seasonings. Heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Cool 5 minutes; stir in cheese.

In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup chicken mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto chicken mixture in each muffin cup.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve.

This recipe could also be made with the left-overs from a grocery store rotisserie chicken.  Shred the leftovers and mix with thawed vegetables, cheese and seasonings. Omit chicken broth and skip the skillet step. Follow remaining steps as directed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

English Muffin Breakfast Pizza

4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2-4 slices deli ham, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 
2 whole wheat English muffins, split, toasted

In small bowl, beat egg product, milk, salt and pepper with wire whisk or fork until well blended.

In nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper and ham in oil 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. 

Pour egg mixture into skillet. As eggs begin to set at bottom and side, gently lift cooked portions with spatula so that uncooked egg can flow to bottom. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until eggs are thickened throughout but still moist; stir cheese into eggs.

Spoon egg mixture evenly over muffin halves.