Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easy Cheese Danish

This recipe is one that I found online, but the woman who published it said that she doesn’t know where the recipe originally came from because her mother and grandmother always made it. So, alas, I don’t know to whom to give credit. When you try this, the heavenly taste will make you say, “Creator of the recipe? Who cares?! This is SO GOOD!!!” ;)

Anyway, as long as you know I didn’t come up with it, let’s just get down to the nitty gritty.

Soften the cream cheese by nuking it in the microwave for a minute or two on low, or stubbornly plow through the mixing process like I did. ;) Place it in a bowl with the sugar, egg, and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

Grease a 9 X 13” baking dish. Carefully open the rolled up canned refrigerated crescent rolls, leaving the 4 sets of double triangles together. You’re going to lay them in the baking dish and press the seams together to form a solid bottom.

Since each set of 2 triangles is rectangular, you’ll be able to fit 3 sets across the length of the dish. For the remaining empty spaces, I cut the last rectangle of crescent rolls into 3 strips lengthwise and just tried the best I could to make it work. It’s not hard, just takes a little ingenuity.

Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on top of the crescent roll crust.

Top with the second can of crescent rolls in the same manner as the bottom layer.

Beat the egg white with a fork and brush on top of the crust. You need so little for this; I ended up setting the egg yolk back in the little bowl with the white to use for scrambled eggs.

Bake in a 350° oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Definitely check at the 35 minute mark.

Cool at least 20 minutes before spreading the icing on top. My 10 year old, Timmy, was so anxious to eat them, he suggested I put it in the freezer to speed up the cooling, which I did, just to please him. ;)

While waiting for it to cool, make the icing. In a small bowl mix the milk with the confectioner’s sugar until smooth. I just used the spoon I mixed it with to spread the icing on.

Serve and watch the smiles!! Enjoy! ~TMMF

Easy Cheese Danish

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 8 oz packages cream cheese
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla 
1 egg
1 egg white  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spinach Pepper Jack Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This is another recipe I found online and knew I must try. I am so glad I did, because it was heavenly! My children wolfed it down and asked for more. I actually didn’t even change anything in this recipe, which you know is unusual for me. ;) 

So, without any further ado, let’s get cooking! 

Shred the pepper jack cheese. If using frozen spinach, make sure it’s thawed, squeezing any excess water from it. If you’re using fresh spinach like I did, place the leaves in a bowl with a small amount of water, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave for 3-4 minutes. Drain any excess water. Mix together the spinach, pepper jack cheese, salt, and pepper. 

Now it’s time to work with the chicken breasts. You’re going to pound them to flatten, and you can use a meat mallet, or, if you’d like to go really high tech, use a hammer like I did. ;) Place the chicken breast on a cutting board, cover with waxed paper or one of those thin plastic cutting board sheets, and pound away (use the flat side of the hammer) until the meat is thinner (about ¼ to ½”) and spread out.

Turn the chicken breast over and spoon a forth of the spinach-cheese mixture into the middle. Roll up and place the seam side down in a greased baking dish. 

Mix together the bread crumbs and Cajun Blend seasoning. You know I’m going to say to use PepperMary’s Cajun Blend, so I’ll just go ahead and say it: Use the Cajun Blend from PepperMary. ;) 

Brush the chicken breasts with the olive oil and sprinkle on the bread crumbs. Top each with more pepper jack cheese. 

Bake at 350° for about 35-40 minutes. Serve and enjoy! ~TMMF

Spinach Pepper Jack Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 chicken breasts
1 c frozen spinach or
   about 5 or 6 c fresh
4 oz pepper jack cheese
   plus more for topping
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl bread crumbs
½ tsp PepperMary Cajun Blend

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cheesy Smoked Sausage and Pasta Skillet

One pan meals…what could be better?? Well, throw in the fact that it has pasta, and CHEESE…and you’ve got a winner! This little recipe is one my friend Teri shared with me that originally was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Simple Recipes Cookbook. That’s quite a mouthful; but this dish is definitely a keeper. The recipe did call for pepper-jack cheese, which I swapped out for cheddar, and I added in zucchini, because…well, you know I’m always adding extra veggies to recipes. ;) It tasted great with the zucchini and boosted the nutrition.

So, let’s get cooking!

First, prepare your meat and vegetables by dicing the Vidalia onion, cubing the zucchini (approx. 1” cubes), and slicing the smoked sausage. Peel the garlic and mince, unless you’re using a garlic press when it's time to add it.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and smoked sausage in the olive oil until onions are tender and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for about a minute.

Add the zucchini, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, milk or half & half, salt, and pepper.

Add the pasta and stir well. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer for about 15 minutes, just until pasta is tender. Depending on what pasta you use, this could take slightly less time. I used egg noodles.

While it’s cooking, shred the cheese and slice the scallions if using them.

Now remove from heat and stir in ¾ c of the shredded cheese until melted. Sprinkle the remaining ½ c cheese on top and then the sliced scallions.

Serve and enjoy! ~TMMF

Cheesy Smoked Sausage and Pasta Skillet

1 Tbl olive oil
1 package smoked sausage
   (I used smoked turkey sausage)
1 small Vidalia onion
2 cloves garlic
1 small zucchini
1 ½ c chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
½ c milk or half & half
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
8 oz small pasta (your choice)
1 ¼ c sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 c scallions (optional)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

As if Sloppy Joes weren’t one of the yummiest all-American comfort foods, along comes…Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes! Oh my!! This is a recipe I came across online, and I thought it was very good as is, but I did tweak it slightly. The result is a must-keep recipe that our family will enjoy again for a nice change of pace. I hope you do too. :)

So, let’s get cooking!

Prepare your peppers by slicing them and then cutting the slices into thirds. I have found that for this type of dish, leaving the pepper and onion slices whole makes eating the sandwiches more difficult, as the longer slices tend to pull out a bunch of the filling when you bite into them. So cutting the slices into thirds works better.

Slice the Vidalia onion in half, place the sliced side down, and cut into slices. Then slice those slices into thirds like the peppers. If half of my children didn't hate mushrooms, I'd have added them to this recipe to make it even more scrumptious.

Place the hamburg, peppers, and onions into a skillet and sauté until meat is partially browned (about halfway; just estimate).

Add the beef broth, the A1 Sauce, and the Worcestershire sauce. Mix thoroughly and simmer over lowered heat until liquid is reduced and slightly thickened.

Place the bottom buns on a sheet pan and then spoon out the sloppy joe mixture onto the buns. You can see the mess I made as the mixture fell onto the sheet pan. Try and be neater than me! ;)

Now layer the cheese on top of each. I used a slice each of Swiss and American, but I’d also like to try it with Provolone, which is the traditional cheese for Philly Cheese Steak subs. I know it was delicious the way I made it, but I also know from making the subs and from making my Philly Cheese Steak Pizza that Provolone cheese would be awesome on this too!

Using your oven’s broiler, melt the cheeses. I think it took two minutes or less for it to get melty for me. Yes, I did just make that word up. ;)

Add the top of the bun and serve with chips, pickle spears, or whatever you’d like. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

1 to 1 1/2 lb hamburg
1 green bell pepper
1 Vidalia onion
1/2 c beef broth
3 Tbl A1 sauce
3 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
sliced Swiss cheese
sliced American cheese
hamburger buns or sandwich buns