Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Treasured Taco Ring

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The Taco Ring is a flash back to my long ago days selling Pampered Chef (c) products. I still love and treasure all of my Pampered Chef tools! Really they can’t be beat! And Really I don’t sell it any more! I promise! But I did make Taco Ring for a lot of parties!
Here’s our families quick version!

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 -1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 onion, diced
1 package dry taco seasoning packet
1/2 cup water or chicken broth (I just had some hanging out in my fridge begging to be used)
2 packages of refrigerated crescent rolls

Directions:

  1. Brown ground beef, drain.
  2. Add seasoning, cheese, onion, water (or broth). Mix it up.
  3. Next you’ll need a round pizza pan or if you have a round baking stone, get it out.
  4. Spread your unbaked crescent rolls as shown in the picture below.
  5. Place meat mixture around the crescent rolls shown in picture.
  6. Pull ends over the meat mixture and tuck under.
  7. Place in oven and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until crescents are golden brown. Slice and serve in wedges.

Garnish the center with lettuce, tomatoes, a small bowl of hot sauce, use a bell pepper and cut the top off of it and make it into a serving bowl for hot sauce, sour cream or a spicy ranch dip!

Sorry I don’t have a complete picture with all the fabulous garnishes, but we were not feeling very fancy the night I prepared this dish. It was just a paper plate and taco ring kind of night! Enjoy!

I also appologize for my picture being blury! Next on my checklist for life…a photography class…someday…

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Momma’s Famous Sweet Iced Tea

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When I asked my son what he thought I should put on my blog, this is how the conversation went:

Mom: Hey buddy, do you have something in mind that I should put on my blog? Maybe something that is your favorite?

Boy: My Momma’s Famous Sweet Tea.

Mom: Umm, well, I will have to see about that. Anything else?

Boy: Well, mom, all little boys should have great sweet tea made by their momma’s. I am a lucky kid!

Here’s a picture of that lucky, tea lovin’ kid and his lucky momma!

Well, after that exchange my heart was full and how could I not share my technique for making sweet iced tea. I may have my “southern lady” card plucked out of my wallet if I say this, but… I do not drink tea. I just dont care for the taste. GASP!!! I know, I know! It is terrible of me. I had to learn how to make sweet tea. I didn’t like it, so I never made it growing up. Then I met The Husband. He loves it! Then we had The Boy. He Loves it, too. So, even though I do not like tea, I make a lot of it.

The Boy and his dad have called my tea “Momma’s Famous Sweet Tea” for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure who made it famous or whom it is famous among, but I even have a sign in my kitchen that claims that love and sweet tea are served daily. I once grumbled about making tea and was told if I didn’t it would be unethical! I politely smiled and thought to myself…EXCUSE ME, HAVE SOME WATER! But, the sign! My husband pointed to the sign, with a huge smile and claimed it would be deception in advertising! So off I go, happy as can be, that my family loves me and my sweet tea…

  1. I use a gallon of bottled water, we have well water and it does not taste the best. A gallon of water will turn into a gallon of tea.
  2. Pour 6 cups of water in a microwave safe glass bowl or pitcher.
  3. Put 4 family sized tea bags in the water
  4. Place water and tea bags in the microwave and cook on high for 4 minutes
  5. Let the water and tea bags steep (just hang out and sit there) for about 20 minutes (sometimes more or less, depending on my time schedule).
  6. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher. I love this one: http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=29280&words=pitcher
  7. Add 2 cups of sugar, yup 2 cups! Your tea should be still pretty warm, which will make the sugar dissolve wonderfully.
  8. Stir
  9. Add the other 10 cups of water and stir again! and then a little more stiring…
  10. Fill up a glass with ice and pour yourself a glass of Momma’s Famous Sweet Tea. Enjoy!

Zippy Zucchini Bread

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My cousin Julie is much older and wiser than I am. At least I thought so as a child and teenager. We seem to be pretty close to the same age now. Isn’t it funny how that happens? One evening while hanging out with her, she offered me some Zucchini Bread. I turned my nose up and refused. That, in no way sounded appealing to me! I mean, who wants to eat a green squash in a sweet bread! Not this girl! She continued to pressure me, I kept refusing! I don’t exactly recall what happened after that. I’m pretty sure she held me down and shoved it in my mouth! You know how cousins are. OK, maybe she didn’t hold me down, but somehow she got me to taste this squash infested bread! And… And… It was THE most wonderful thing I had tasted! Truly awesome! It’s like banana bread on steroids! Somedays I long for it so much I can almost smell it. Julie found the recipe in the First United Methodist Church Cookbook of Winnsboro, Texas and the recipe was submitted by our grandmother’s sweet friend Jackie Thompson.

Zippy Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:
1 Cup corn oil

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

3 eggs

2 cup sugar

2 cup flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Nutmeg

1 cup dry quick oats

1 cup nuts (I used coarsely chopped walnuts)

2 cup zucchini squash, cooked

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325

  • in a small mixing bowl blend the oil, vanilla and eggs.
  • In a large mixing bowl stir together sugar, flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, oats and nuts, until all ingredients are well blended.
  • add cooked and chopped zucchini and the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • Pour into 5 – 3×9 pans, or fill any loaf pan 2/3 full.
  • Bake at 325 for 55 minutes.

Instead of the large loaf pans, I bake six mini loaves, and 24 mini muffins. I bake the mini muffins for 15 minutes and the mini loaves about 25 minutes.

Really! Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed!

The Terrific Tampon Case Sewing Pattern: But it is so much more…

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The Terrific Tampon Case is my most requested pattern. Just a few days ago I was discussing with my Fashion Design class what we would be making in the sewing portion of the class. I accidentally forgot to mention the Terrific Tampon Case! Oh my, there was almost a revolt. At least six girls shouted at one time, “and a tampon case.” So, needless to say these are a big hit with the teenage girls.

This is the first sewing project I start with in most classes. I feel it is a great, easy, quick pattern that can boost students self esteem by seeing the results quickly. After students complete this project students are usually ready to go on to a more intricate patterns.

The pattern is free, you just need Adobe PDF. It is packed with pictures and diagrams. Enjoy and I’d love to see some of your Terrific Tampon Cases.

Click Here –>Terrific Tampon_ Pencil Case 2012 pattern

Dip Day Friday: Fresh Fruit Dip

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Here’s a super easy fruit dip with a tangy citrus flavor to serve with a fruit tray at your next party! I’ve used it several times for school functions. It’s also a great way to get the little kids to eat more fruit. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1small package of sugar free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (12 oz) can frozen Five Alive Juice concentrate, thawed
2 cups vanilla yogurt

Directions:
Mix all, chill and serve.

Tex-Mex Tortilla Bowls, Casserole or Baked Burritos

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Tex-Mex Tortilla Bowls, Casserole or Baked Burritos

One of my favorite meals growing up was a Mexican Chicken Casserole. I LOVED IT! I was a happy girl when the Mexican Chicken Casserole was in the oven. I’m going to give you several different option on the end product, but the same yummy filling that was served up at my house growing up. I love the casserole served in the tortilla bowls. The boy loves it as a baked burritos! It is up to you what you make out of it, but I’ll give you the filling and some suggestions. Be sure and read all the way to the end, this post is packed with tips.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breast, cooked, cubed or shredded

1 can cream of chicken

2 cups chicken broth, from a can or if you boil your own chicken use your own.

8 ounces Cheese Whiz

1 tablespoon of Chili Powder

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 cup green chilis, diced

2 Tablespoons butter

For Casserole: add a bag or tortilla chips

For Burritos and Tortilla bowls: 8-10 tortillas

It’s fun to serve with: hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, grated cheese

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, melt butter, add celery and onions. Saute till soft.

2. Stir in green chilis, chicken and chili powder.

3. Let cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Add cream of chicken soup, Cheese Whiz, and chicken broth.

5. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

NOW FOR THE OPTIONS:

Casserole OR Tortilla Bowls OR Burritos

Casserole

  • Crush whole bag of tortilla chips, put half of the bag in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Pour chicken filling over chips.
  • Spread the other half of the chips on top of the chicken filling.
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Tortilla Bowls

  • Take a muffin pan, I used the giant muffin pan, but I bet a regular sized muffin pan would work, too.
  • Put the tortilla over the muffin opening and press down folding the tortilla to mold to the side of the muffin tin.

  • Spoon in chicken filling to the center of the tortilla
  • Fill as many as you can
  • Cook in a 350 degree oven 20 minutes or until tortillas have light brown edges

Baked Burritos

  • Lay out tortilla
  • Spoon 1/4 of a cup of chicken filling into the middle
  • Fold ends and roll sides
  • Turn seam side down on baking sheet
  • Repeat with all tortillas
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

Tips:

  • When you know you will be using chicken more than once in a week, cook it all in one night so you have less prep time later in the week. I do this with ground beef, too.
  • I also dice celery and onions several at a time, in the food processor and store in the refrigerator for use later in the week. Less crying, clean up and prep for me later in the week! My son asked me one night if he chopped onions if he would get those black marks under his eyes. No sir, not unless you plan on wearing mascara.
  • If you don’t have cream of chicken, don’t be afraid to try a different “cream of” soup that you do have on hand

Enjoy!

Tangy Buffalo Baked Chicken Wang! Ok not really wings but…

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Tangy Buffalo Baked Chicken Wang! Ok not really wings but…

If you love chicken wings you’ll love this healthier, baked version.  I make a baked barbeque chicken and took the same principles to make this spicy chicken dish.  We ate ours with a salad and baked beans, but I think it would be great on a big hoagie roll topped with some ranch dressing.  I believe that’s the way I’ll have my lunch tomorrow!  Mmmm!

 

Tangy Buffalo Baked Chicken Breast!

Ingredients:

4 chicken breast, I left mine whole but cutting into strips may be fun, too.

1 1/2 cups wing sauce, this can be found in the condiment aisle of the grocery store

1 1/2 package of dry ranch dip mix

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees

2. Tenderize chicken breast, flatten to about 1/2 an inch, cut into strips if desired, or leave whole, completely up to you!

3. Mix together wing sauce, dip mix and butter. 

 

4. Place chicken in a baking dish and pour liquid over it. 

 

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is no longer pink. 

Another option: you can also put this into a slow cooker and cook all day on low, it will be falling apart by the time you get home.