Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cheeseburger Crescent Casserole

Anyone who has been watching TV lately (guilty as charged!) has seen a Pillsbury commercial with a quick demo of how to make their Cheeseburger Crescent Casserole. After seeing this commercial SEVERAL times during my hour show I decided, "why not?! Maybe they'll quit playing the commercial if I just make it!" Side note, that didn't work out... but the recipe DID! I did a couple things different to add some more flavor... Here we go!

Pillsbury gives the directions as follows:
1 lb ground beef, cooked, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese (6 oz)
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
I added:
1 TB butter
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup sweet onion finely chopped
*reduce ketchup to 1/4 cup
1/4 cup BBQ sauce (I prefer famous daves)
1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese
*For a spicy kick add some diced green chili's or jalapenos!
Heat oven to 375°F. In 10-inch skillet sautee garlic and onion in 1 TB butter. Add beef and cook thuroughly. Add BBQ sauce and ketchup. Heat over medium-high heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Stir in relish and 1 cup american cheese. Spoon into ungreased 9- or 10-inch glass pie plate.
Separate dough into 8 triangles; roll up 1 inch on shortest side of each dough triangle. Place dough on top of meat mixture in spoke pattern with points towards center. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup American cheese and Pepper Jack Cheese.  
Bake15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Orange Rolls

I love bread. It is my absolute all-time favorite food. And.. if it werent for the fact that excessive bread-eating makes you fat.. I would eat it all day. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes I do.... shhhhh! One of my favorite things to make is rolls. Rolls just go so tastily with pretty much everything.

I created this recipe about 3 years ago, and havent made a different recipe since. Everyone who tries them wants the recipe.. even those who have a go-to recipe already. It really is THAT good! The best part about it is that its versatile. Its a great basic roll recipe. Great for cinnamon rolls. Great for breadsticks. Great for orange rolls, etc etc.

Todays post is about Orange rolls.

OH how I LOVE orange rolls. And we arent talkin Pillsbury from a can orange rolls. These are homemade, from scratch, all natural ingredients. So fluffy and tasty and pure sticky yummyness...

First you will need your handy-dandy Notebook Breadmaker. This is mine.

My wonderful MIL bought this for me a few birthdays ago and it is probably my most frequently used kitchen appliance aside from my KitchenAid. It makes dough OH SO perfectly. If you dont have a breadmaker, I would highly recommend investing in one, or adding it to your Christmas list. Its is definitely worth every penny.

Bread Recipe:
3/4 cup very warm milk
1/4 cup very warm water
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
4 TBS butter, softened
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Orange Topping:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 orange peel, finely grated (When I peel an orange, I pop the peel in the freezer. Frozen peel is really easy to grate)

Put all ingredients into your bread maker in the order listed above. Your liquids need to be very warm, but not hot. Once the flour is added, dig a little hole in the top, add your yeast, and cover it with flour. *hint. having a cute kitchen helper makes your bread taste better*

Press the dough setting, and let your machine do its magic. When the dough making process is complete, it should look like this:

Oh, just look at it! Beautifully risen bread dough!
Grease your counter and dump your dough onto it. DO NOT KNEAD! 

Form into 2" balls and place on a baking sheet.

Mix up your Orange Topping.

If you find that its too thick, just pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds or so. You want it to be runny enough to spoon over your rolls and have it melt down the sides. Pour over rolls, and let them rise until double in size. 

**Quick-rise method! If you dont have a couple hours to let those babies rise, thats not a problem. Turn your oven on to the lowest setting (should be 150-170 degrees). Once pre-heated, turn your oven OFF. Put your rolls in. Set your timer for 15-25 minutes. Once they are doubled, remove the rolls from the oven.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Make sure to watch your rolls because ovens vary. 

Ta-Da! Arent they pretty? Theyre delicious too. I may (or may not) have eaten way too many when they were still warm. These freeze well too. Let them cool, place them on a cookie sheet or cutting board, etc and pop them in the freezer. When frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. Have freshly baked rolls with no effort in just a few seconds of defrosting. SO clever, yes? I thought so! (insert pat on back here). Thank you! Have a terriffic day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cool Whip Fruit Salad

I know how hard it is to eat healthy, trust me! I am the biggest chocoholic there is! But because my husband and I are trying to eat healthy and have a overall healthier lifestyle i have been TRYING to be good and make healthier food! I am one of those people who loves munching on snacks while watching a movie or our favorite TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or just the late night munchies! SO i decided to make a sweet but healthy snack to replace my normal ice cream or candy! Plus its hard to find healthy food a kid enjoys, at least for me. My daughter is so picky! Getting her to eat or try new things is almost impossible so when my picky eater will eat this, you know its good! I Hope you all enjoy this as much as we do! 

Cool Whip Fruit Salad
~1 pkg Strawberries, washed & sliced

~1 Apple, washed & sliced

~2 Bananas, sliced

~2 cans Mandarin Oranges, drained

~2 cups Red Grapes, washed

Place everything in a bowl

and mix in Cool Whip

Place in a bowl and ENJOY! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Testimony of a Pressure Cooker

When I got my pressure cooker as a Christmas gift two years ago my first thought was, "What the heck is this?! And when am I ever going to use it? ONE more BIG appliance i DON'T have room for"... THOUGHTS OF REGRET my friends!

I am "one of those people" that buy things in bulk and a LOT of it when it goes on sale, in particular MEAT! Chicken Breasts for $1.29- $1.49/ lb... UM, YES PLEASE! Diet lean ground beef (93/7) for $1.99-$2.20/ lb FILL MY CART! Because I buy in bulk I spend a couple hours separating the meat into individual meals and stocking my freezer. What happens when I have a crazy busy day and I don't think about dinner until 5pm and all my meat is frozen? Sometimes, I result to meatless speghetti, but most times, I do not worry about it because I know my chicken can go from solid frozen to FULLY COOKED in 20 min or less! No, I am not joking. The ONLY reason I would think to write a post about this amazing life saver is because of how much time it saves me in the kitchen.


HERE is the exact cooker I use in my kitchen. Lets go back to my inital thoughts on this beauty. "What the heck is this?" Well it's a fabulous machine that cooks under intense pressure. "When am I ever going to use it?" For me, it saves me atleast 2-3x per week. "One more big appliance I don't have room for!" A valid point, but I would get rid of every crock pot and stock pot I own to make room for it if I had to! Oh, and it comes in multiple colors! Fabulous! Time is money right?! For me it is!

Bathtub Toy Chaos!

For those of us who have Toddlers or Young Children, we've all had that moment when we drain the bathtub and say to ourselves, "oh great! I just cleaned the kids, now I get to clean these toys too!" Does this look familiar?
Now comes the fun part. Do you spend tons of time putting them in clean water to rinse them out and then set them out to dry so they don't grow unwanted visitors? Ummm.. who has time for THAT?! Seriously!? How many of us throw them into some kind of bin when they are still wet and have that nasty bath water all over them with absolutely NO way of draining the excess water that runs off? Honestly, a lot of people so don't feel bad! Let's get real here, kids pee and spit in the tub all the time and even worse things! I think we've seen it all as mom's right? Why not have something functional and practical that saves you time and is CHEAP?! Here's the solution.
Yes, this is a dish drying rack that I got at Walmart for under $8! The suction cups are suction cup wreath hooks I also bought at walmart on clearance after christmas for $ .50 each. SCORE! But HERE is an identical suction cup I found on Amazon. The suction cups stay on as long as you GET THEM WET before attaching them to the wall and the dish drainer allows any water to drain off and as a result the toys dry OUT OF SIGHT! (just remember to rinse/wash them to get those germs off)  What I love most about this is the "utilsil holder". Many of our kids use "bath crayons". Tada! Now you have a place for those too! Organized life=Happy mommy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

I have had a life-long struggle with chocolate chip cookies. The dough is too sticky or too dry. The end result is flat, crunchy, and tastes too much like flour. We have all seen it, and weve all tried the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips and ended up with a "meh" result. Well, I am here to put an end to your sadness.

Holly, over at Life As A Lofthouse is absolutely amazing. This recipe is hers. These cookies are soft, chewy, and cake-like. The secret ingredient? Pudding! Yes, you heard me correctly. Dont knock it until you try it. 

1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, softened
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup White Sugar
1 small pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 pkg ( 12 oz) Milk Chocolate Chips

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter, both sugars, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until creamy and fluffy. Then slowly mix in flour and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoonfuls, onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for ONLY 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before eating. 

One thing I LOVE about this recipe is that you dont remove the cookies from the sheet. No smooshing those beauties. Wait until they are cool and then remove them. Unlike most cookie recipies, if you leave these on the pan they dont get dried out or overcooked. Perfection every time! If you love this recipe, make sure you visit Hollys main page via the link above. Shes seriously an amazing cook!

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