Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole

6 oz wide egg noodles
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup celery, diced
7 oz can tuna packed in water, drained well
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of celery
2 tbsp mayo (hellman's(
4 tbsp light sour cream
3 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Topping of choice

  1. Preheat oven 350. Spray a 7x11 baking dish with non stick spray.
  2. Prepare egg noodles per the pkg instructions.  Slightly under cook them as they will bake in the over.  Drain well. Place them in the baking dish.
  3. In a skillet over medium to medium high heat, melt butter, add the celery, saute a bit, then add the onions.  Cook until celery and onions are softened and almost translucent. Let cool, then place them in the baking dish with the noodles.
  4. In a bowl, add cream of celery, mayo, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  
  5. Then add the tuna and cheddar cheese.
  6. Pour over the noodle mixture. 
  7. Top with your favorite topping (fried onions, crushed crackers, breadcrumbs, etc)I used cracker crumbs from Savory Original Party Cracker mix.  It was delicious.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pecan Cranberry Cream Cheese Squares

Pecan Cranberry Cream Cheese Squares

I recently attended a Williams Sonoma Technique class that featured their cranberry relish with apples and oranges. They made a recipe similar to this using yellow cake.  I pulled this recipe out from 2001.  As just cream cheese bars, they were good, but adding the cranberry relish makes them an awesome Thanksgiving and Christmas treat. 

1/4 c brown sugar
1 pkg white cake mix
3/4 c finely chopped toasted pecans (or walnuts)

1/3 cup melted butter
1 - 8oz cream cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz cranberry sauce/relish 

1. Preheat oven 375. Grease 13x9 cake pan
2. Toast pecans in a pan over medium heat. As soon as they smell fragrant, remove from heat.3. In a bowl, mix brown sugar, pecans, cake mix and warm melted butter.
4. Save 1 1/4 cup of the mixture; pack the rest of the crumb mixture firmly but not too hard (or your crust will stick) in bottom of cake pan
4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light color. Don't overcook. Let it cool.
5. Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Fold in cranberry sauce/relish. Spread on top of packed crumbs, then sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture on top.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden.
7. Cut into squares.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Thanksgiving Cornbread Trifle

Thanksgiving Cornbread Trifle
I pkg cornbread mix, prepared per package instructions
1 16 oz frozen corn, thawed (or 2 cans of sweet corn, drained)
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, minced
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmans)

  • Cook the cornbread per the instructions.  Use your favorite 
  • Cut prepared cornbread into small chunks. (I cook the cornbread the day ahead and let it dry out)
  •  Cook bacon, chop (crumble) and set aside (this can also be done a day ahead)
  • Combine the bell pepper, red onions, jalapenos and corn together
  • Combine mayo and ranch dressing (I use Hidden Valley ranch packet with buttermilk, not the bottle)
  • Layer the trifle starting with cornbread, then the corn mixture, grated cheese, ranch dressing and bacon, repeat ending with ranch topped with bacon crumbles
  •  Refrigerate 2 hours before serving (can be made a day ahead) 
Note: You can add tomatoes, black beans, etc to the corn mixture.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

"Hash" Brown Spaghetti Squash

"Hash" Brown Spaghetti Squash
I love hash brown casserole.  I haven't always felt the same about spaghetti squash. This is a great recipe to start out with if you haven't really eaten spaghetti squash before. 

1 spaghetti squash - cooked
2 tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 

There are many ways to cook spaghetti squash.  If you have a way that works for you, use it. I found an awesome recipe.   You cut the squash in half (be careful, I just do it very slowly).  Scoop out the seeds.  Brush the halves with olive oil and salt/pepper.   Place on a pan and put it in the oven.  Set the temperature to 460 degrees.  (Do not preheat).   Cook until roasted.  Use a fork to scrape the insides "spaghetti" and put it in a buttered baking dish. 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Add the butter, onions, red pepper flakes and thyme in a pan cooking over medium heat.  Cook until the onions are translucent and almost brown in color. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the onion mixture to the cooked spaghetti squash.  Add the sour cream and 3/4 cup of the cheese to the mixture. Stir it all together. Top with the remaining cheese and bake 15-20 minutes.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Hamburger Pie

This is a recipe that my stepmom made when I was growing up.

1 med onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 lb lean ground beef ( I used turkey italian  sausage)
1/2 lb cooked green beans or 1 1/2 to 2 cups canned
1 10 1/2 ounce condensed tomato soup
5 to 6 med potatoes, cooked/mashed (prepare your favorite)
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated 

Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat, cook chopped onion until tender and browned.  Add meat and seasonings; brown, stirring to break up. Drain off excess fat. Stir in beans and soup; transfer to a greased 9inch square baking dish.  Spoon mashed potatoes in mounds over the beef mixture. Top with cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Serves 4 to 6

Ryan's Favorite Chicken Tenders

This recipe is from Hellman's back in 2001. 
My son loved this, and I loved them because they are baked not fried.

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Hellman's Light Mayo
1 1/4 cups Italian-seasoned dry bread crumbs

1. Cut chicken into strips
2. Brush chicken with mayo
3. Shake chicken and bread crumbs in a bag
4. Bake in 425 degree oven 15 minutes until golden brown and juice runs clear when pierced with a fork.

"Pizza Stuff" Baked Penne with Italian Sausage

Ryan's favorite

1 (12 oz) pkg dry penne pasta ( I use Barilla Protein Penne Pasta)
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb italian sausage
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add pasta and cook per the directions (8 to 10 minutes)
3. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Place sausage and onion in the skillet. Cook over med high heat until evenly brown.  Drain excess fat. Pour in wine. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to deglaze the pan. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Toss with cooked pasta. Place in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle top with mozzarella. (I add it into the pasta as well)
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Misty's Lemonade Cake

11/3 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
3 tbsp thawed lemonade concentrate
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp thawed lemonade concentrate
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cold
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, beat with mixer at med speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time beating well after each addition.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda stir w/ whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately to sugar mixture, beat well after each addition.
3. Pour batter into 2 (9 inch) cake pans coated with cooking spray, sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack, remove from pan, cool completely on wire tracks.

To Prepare Frosting:
1. Combine all ingredients but powdered sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer @ high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat @ low speed just until blended (do not over beat) Chill 1 hour.
2. Place 1 cake layer on plate, spread with 1/2 c frosting. Place the 2nd cake layer on top.  Frost rest of cake. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Note: you may prepare the frosting before starting the cake since it has to chill for a hour

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Okra Poppers

I love jalapeno poppers with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. 
Love this play on them with okra
I did not make them as I have a chef currently staying in my house.  
This is an easy recipe that doesn't really require measurements as it depends on the number of okra you have.  You can make 2 or you can make 20. 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the okra in half - lengthwise. 
Scoop out the membranes and seeds.  
Using your favorite pimento cheese recipe, fill each okra with as much as you like.    
(We used Palmetto's Jalapeno Pimento Cheese because it was in the fridge) 
Wrap each okra popper with your favorite deli ham
(We used black forest)
Bake until okra are tender about 10 minutes


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Crustless Chile Relleno Egg Bites

Starbucks Egg White & Red Pepper Egg Bites

My most favorite food of all time 
are these 
from Starbucks.

I could eat them 
for every meal

They are so good, but they are pricey at about $4.00!

These have inspired me
to make my own version.

I do not own a sous vide machine nor do I care to. 

I found several "sous vide" options

Cooking them in a mason jar in a water bath
(that scared me a little, vision glass shattering everywhere)


Cooking them in a water bath
by placing the muffin pan on a sheet pan with water

They look really pretty, but I didn't like the texture.
They were too mushy. 

So, I decided to take my favorite 
quiche-like, frittata-like recipe

that I blogged about it back in 2009
make them into my own egg bites

These are not sous videed.

Crustless Chile Relleno Egg Bites

They don't look pretty but they sure are good!

The challenge is that they stick in the muffin pan.

This was my second attempt to make them.
I tried spraying cupcake liners with oil, 
but they still stuck in the pan

Back to the test kitchen on that

Below is the recipe.  
I use it for a base recipe.  
You can change up the cheeses or add other
 ingredients such as bell peppers, onion, spinach, etc

I added Italian Turkey Sausage 

I get this at Aldi.  
I love it as a ground beef replacement.
Ground turkey is just too bland.
 I use this in italian dishes, chili, tacos, etc.
It's a great ingredient for meal prepping.

If you do not have an Aldi grocery store near you, 

Crustless Chile Relleno Egg Bites
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. grated pepper jack cheese
5 eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cup  half-and-half
1 - 4 oz. can of diced green chiles, drained
1/4 cup picante sauce

1/4 cup turkey sausage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mixed grated cheeses and spread evenly in buttered muffin pan.
Beat eggs with hand mixer, add flour slowly, and then beat in half-and-half. I beat until frothy as it makes the eggs fluffy.
If mixture is lumpy, strain it.
Pour egg mixture over cheeses in muffin pan.
Carefully spoon chiles & other add-ins over the surface, then spoon picante sauce over all.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is set. 

(I'd check at 20 minutes as some oven temperatures varies)


Monday, September 10, 2018

Fall is in the Air

Love this Trader Joe’s fall bouquet! It was only $6.00

It was awesome to see these pumpkins at Trader Joe’s this weekend. 

TJ’s is one of my favorites.

If I weren’t on my phone, I’d link you to some previous posts! 

It’s been over a year since I’ve blogged! 
It’s time for me to start again. 
I’ve had some exciting adventures so I will be sharing some fun things! 

I want to update, redesign, transform my blog! This means moving to a new platform which incurs some costs. Before I invest, I need to get back in the habit of posting regularly! 

So, stay tuned!!! 
I need to create a logo, 
I need to define my “brand”, etc! 
I might need your help! 

Love, Sandi 

Cinnamon + Sugar Brioche Toast