Thursday, August 25, 2016

Crock Pot Lasagna with feta and spinach

I  have never made lasagna in the crock pot before, but now that I have I will be hard pressed to make it any other way.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that there is feta cheese in here, which I have a love affair with.  I used the no-boil noodles with this recipe and it came out perfect.  Now I just have to share this recipe because you need to have it!  You really, really do.  It's that good.  And, you're welcome!

4 cups (that's the great big size can) tomato sauce
10-12, (or whatever you can fit in your crock pot) no-boil lasagna noodles
32 ounces Ricotta cheese  (I used regular, but light works great too)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder - amount;  whatever floats your boat.  We love garlic so I used 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 bag of fresh baby spinach leaves
2 1/2 cups shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
3/4 to 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Lightly coat the inside of the crock pot with cooking spray.
Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of pot.
Arrange a layer of the lasagna noodles over the sauce. 

In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese,feta cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, parsley and eggs; mix to  thoroughly combine.  Add spinach (I trimmed the stems and rolled the leaves in a bundle and then sliced... but that's just me.)  Stir again to incorporate the spinach in the  mix.

Spread 1/3 of the mixture over the pasta.  Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella and 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese over the ricotta mixture.   

Top with a cup of tomato sauce.

Repeat these layers until all ingredients have been used up.
Top with a final layer of lasagna noodles, cover with tomato sauce and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Turn off and let stand, uncovered for 35-40 minutes to let the liquid be absorbed. 

Prepare to be in love!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Potato Soup with cheats

Loaded Potato Soup
(with my cheats)

Several years ago (the 1980's to be exact) at a brunch of creative friends, someone made this soup.  I was smitten from that day on!  Through the years when time was a commodity I was lacking in, I' "tweaked"it just a tad. The original recipe called for baking the potatoes one day, and chilling in the 'frige overnight, then making the soup the next day. Who has time for that anymore?  Enter hash browns (the cubed kind) from the frozen foods section at the grocery store.  What a game-changer.  

You can make it the "old fashioned" way if you have the time. And when I want to brag on myself, I do.  But this way is a great alternative. Oh, and about the bacon... I buy the bag/packages of already cooked, real bacon (NOT Bac~O's!) instead of frying up those strips of bacon. As for how that equals out to be 24 strips of bacon, I use two large-ish bags)  I'll let your conscious be your guide...

Loaded Potato Soup
(this recipe is doubled)

1 1/3 cup butter
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
14 cups milk
1 bag frozen cubed potato hashbrowns
8 green onions, sliced
24 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled * ( I opted for the pre-packaged bacon pieces) *
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
16 oz. sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 tsp black pepper

Melt butter in large pot, stir in flour.  Heat and stir until smooth.
Gradually whisk in milk.  Stir constantly until thickened.

Add potatoes and onions.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly

Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crock Pot Post Roast

We had this dish a couple nights ago and I thought I'd share.   I have had this saved this to my Evernote app for quite some time now and finally decided to make it.  Do you have a smart phone?  I really like Evernote (by the way, it's not just a smart phone app, you can also access it on the internet, but I really like having it on my phone (it'll sync up between the computer and your phone) because I can just pull out my phone in the grocery store and all the ingredients are right there for me so I can pick up what I need.   I don't know if you know this or not, but I'm an app junkie!  Are you?  (I'd love to know what your faves are!) 

Back to the recipe... (whew!) This is such an easy dish and who doesn't love a crockpot meal, right?  I'm thinking we're putting this recipe in the "keeper" file at my house.   Here ya go...

2-5 pound pot roast, any kind
1 envelope Ranch dressing (dry)
1 envelope Italian dressing
1 envelope brown gravy mix
Potatoes and Carrots
1 to 1 1/2 cup water

Cut up the carrots and potatoes however you like 'em. (big chunks, diced...whatever) and place in the Crockpot.   Put roast on top of veggies.  Sprinkle all 3 packets of mixes on top.  Pour the water on top of all and cook on low for 6-10 hours, until tender and veggies are cooked through.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shrimp Saute

Love Shrimp?  This is a super easy one.

Shrimp Saute
1 lb (I used 2!!) shrimp
1/4 cup butter
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp chives
1/2 tsp tarragon leaves
1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp season all (personally, I think it should be less, but you be the judge)
1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper 
1 tsp garlic powder

Shell and devein the shrimp. 
Melt butter in skillet, add lemon juice and seasonings.
Saute shrimp in hot herb butter over medium heat, about 8 minutes, or until pink.
Serve hot and over rice.

Additional notes: 
I didn't use the Cayenne pepper in this dish last night, and I think I prefer it without now.
If you don't have fresh shrimp, it's perfectly ok to use the (thawed) frozen, pre-cooked kind.  Just adjust your times to want to eat shrimp, not rubber.

and if you do try this dish, come back and tell me how you liked it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Confessions of a Sloppy Kitchen Cabinet

Ok, it's true confessions time.   I'm going to let you peak into my before/after pics.  I was up to here with pans falling out of the cabinet!  I had been neglecting this cabinet because due to a death in my husband's family, family commitments of my own, and just running around like a chicken-with-my-head-cut-off lately, this had been ignored.   Oh, I still was baking and cooking, and of course cleaning the dishes, but as for putting them away in an organized fashion... well, look for your self

I must really like you to be showing you this!
What makes matters worse, that's about all the kitchen cabinet space I have!  (well, I have cabinets higher up, but those are for dishes)

First, I had to pull everything out.  Thank goodness I have a fairly long counter space (again, that's about all the space I have)
(and yes, I DO need that many cookie sheets)  LOL
Now that it's all out on the counter, I start weeding through things I haven't used, but thought it necessary to buy at one point.  Snapped pics of 'em with my iphone and texted some other ladies to ask if they had a use for these things.  Got their quick responses and went straight to my car (and put them in batches) in my trunk to deliver.  Out of sight, out of mind, ya know.

Cleaned out the cabinets, wiped 'em down really well and back in they go!

There you have it.  I feel a bit better now.   At least I'm not afraid to open the cabinet doors now.  How about you?  Do you dare share your kitchen cabinet insides?  Leave a comment below.  I showed you mine...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


For dinner tonight I made Smothered Swiss Steak.   This was nothing less than awesome.   (don't be grossed out by the Brussels sprouts on the plate, and don't hate me.  I like 'em!)

Smothered Swiss Steak
1/2 tsp salt
6 cube steaks  (about 4 oz each)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp pepper
1-2 TBSP garlic powder
5 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion  diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (12 oz) cola (I used Coke Zero because that's what I had on hand)
1 TBSP beef bouilon granules
2 TBSP Heinz ketchup
1 envelope dry onion gravy mix, or dry onion soup mix.
Sprinkle salt evenly on both sides of cube steaks.  Combine flour, pepper and garlic powder in a gallon size zipper type bag.  Shake the steaks in the bag to coat with flour.
Brown steaks (two at a time) in hot oil - abt. 3-4 minutes on each side.  When all steaks are browned, drain drippings reserving 1 TBSP oil in pan.
Saute' onion and bell pepper in drippings for about 7 minutes, or until tender.
Add diced tomatoes, cola, beef bouilon granules and ketchup.  Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened (about 5-6 minutes)
Return steaks to the skillet and cook for 55-60 minutes, or until tender. 

I would love to hear back from you if you try this!  The cola makes it really tender. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Red Velvet Bon-Bons

About 5...(or was it 8??? ) years ago I bought a cook book from QVC all because of these.  Red Velvet Bon-Bons.   You won't believe how incredibly easy they are!   The only "hard" part is dipping all these balls into chocolate, and that's because I hate the tediousness of it.   I made them one year for the Christmas Eve get-together my family has.  All the family, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and immediate family gather on Christmas Eve for food and games.  Ever since, these are "expected" to be there.  (Last year I made something different.  Boy!  You would've thought I had told them there was no Santa this year.

So, if you've never had, or heard, of Red Velvet BonBons, I'm going to share with you now.

All you need is
A box of red velvet cake mix (You could make it from scratch, but why?)
Container of cream cheese frosting
Chocolate for dipping  I used almond bark and candy melts

Bake the cake according to package directions.  Crumble it up in a large bowl and add the container of frosting.  Mush and goosh it all together. (That's the fun part!)
put in the frige to chill (making it easier to handle) a couple of hours
Roll into balls.  Don't get OC about this, just make the balls however big you want 'em.
Put the balls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and put in freezer for an hour...or two.

When the chocolate is melted, pop 'em out of the freezer.  Dip in the chocolate onto another wax paper lined cookie sheet.  (I used a toothpick to spear the balls and dip into the chocolate.

That's it!   Now go and impress!

NOTE:  You can probably notice in the pic that I used milk chocolate on half of 'em, and dark chocolate on the other half.