Thursday, December 30, 2010

Countdown to 2011: Main Dishes Recipes


I am joining up to Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Countdown to 2011 by linking up my 2010 Main Dish recipes. If you're looking for some new Main Dish recipes, stop over there to see more!

As I mentioned yesterday in my post of 2010 Meatless Main Dishes, 2010 has been filled with the majority of my pregnancy (Baby #2 due in three weeks!) and it has been filled with cravings for lots of meat! I had a good time trying new meaty recipes and overall eating a ton in general! Enjoy!

Chicken:
Baked Chicken Thighs on Rice
Seasame Noodles
Lime Pepper Chicken
Sweet & Sour Chicken
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
Texas Curried Chicken
Thai Coconut Chicken
Chicken Paprika
The Best Chicken Strips

Beef:
PW's Comfort Meatballs
Sharon's Spaghetti Sauce
Steak in a Creamy Tomato Sauce
Bowtie Lasagna
Teriyaki Beef with Rice Noodles
Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Gryos with Tatziki Sauce
Slow Cooker Lasagna Pasta Bake
Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Pork/Ham:
Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes & Ham
Megan's Pork Chops
Low Country Pork Chops

Fish/Seafood:
Salmon Cakes
Shrimp Vodka Cream Pasta

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Countdown to 2011: Meatless Main Dishes Recipes


I am joining up to Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Countdown to 2011 by linking up my Meatless Main Dishes recipes from 2010. If you're looking for some new recipes, stop over there to see all the great recipes!

I don't have a ton of meatless main dishes for the year, as with this pregnancy (baby #2 due in 3 weeks!) I have craved meat, meat, and more meat! Normally I try to have 1-2 meatless nights in my menu plans, but that has taken a backseat to my protein cravings. Soon we'll be back to "normal".

Orzo Greek Pasta Salad
Pasta with Roasted Eggplant Sauce
Grilled Cheese
French Bread Pizzas
Muffin Tin Deep-Dish Pizzas

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fantasy Fudge


This is not a new recipe, but when I inherited my Grandma's recipe binder, I found her version of this recipe with the note:

"...made 4 batches in 1969 - all very good. Used in 1970, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1989, 1994, Used 2003, 2006, 2007"

So I would say this is a definitely a tried and true recipe! I was very surprised to see her recipe from 1969 was the same as the recipe on the back of the marshmallow fluff container!

I've always been hesitant to make fudge, mostly because I don't get too excited about it, but because it seems intimidating to me. Once I saw this recipe that it was used so often, it removed a little of the scariness.

Fantasy Fudge
recipe from Kraft Marshmallow Creme

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 9 inch square pan with foil. Bring sugar, butter and milk to a full roiling boil in large saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 4 minutes or until 234 degrees F on candy thermometer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and marshmallow fluff & stir until melted. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into pan. Cool.

The verdict?
I made a double batch, because I had a 12 oz can of evaporated milk and about 18 bags of chocolate chips in the freezer. (I try to stock up during the holidays for the whole year - I'm not a chocoholic, I swear!) Doubling the recipe made a 9 x 13 inch pan.


It was ALOT of fudge. I split it up into teacher's gifts, a container to eat right away, a container for visiting family the next week, and a container for our family for Christmas. All but the container to eat right away were put in the freezer, and when I thawed them a few weeks later, they were all in the same consistency as when I first made them. It worked best to bring the fudge all the way to room temperature to cut into individual pieces, as I froze the fudge in bigger blocks.

As for the taste, I was thoroughly impressed. I haven't always been a big fudge person, but when you make it yourself, it seems to taste better doesn't it? This was great on a spread with a bunch of Christmas goodies, although my favorite use was the after-dinner sweet attack that always happens when I'm washing dishes. A little piece of this fudge, and I was perfect!

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Countdown to 2011: Soups & Stews Recipes


I am joining up to Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Countdown to 2011 by linking up my 2010 Soups & Stews recipes. If you're looking for some new Soup recipes, stop over there to see all the great recipes!

Baked Potato Soup - this is a fast soup to put together. Perfect for a weeknight meal!
Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
Gumbo
Crockpot Chicken and Noodle Soup
Thai Coconut Soup
Tomato Vegetable Soup
Giada's Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
Black Eyed Pea & Ham Soup - I'm making this on New Year's Day!
PW's Simple Meaty Chili
Tuscan Soup
Slow Cooker Zucchini Bisque
Basil Tomato Rice Soup

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Countdown to 2011: Breakfast Recipes

 
I am joining up to Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Countdown to 2011 by linking up all my Breakfast recipes. If you're looking for some new Breakfast recipes, stop over there to see all the great recipes!

Baked Oatmeal - this is a weekly breakfast at our house!
Pumpkin Oatmeal
Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal 
Apple and Oat Breakfast Pudding
Homemade Granola - this is my go-to substitute for cold cereal

Biscuit Breakfast Pizza
Sausage Egg Casserole (& Mini Egg Casseroles)
Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

Barefoot Contessa's Banana Sour Cream Pancakes
PW's Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Any Fruit Muffins


Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes


I love recipes that can be put together, then sit on Warm in a crockpot for anyone to spoon up as they need. Sloppy Joes seem to be an easy dinner for a busy night, or for a Christmas buffet that might last a few hours.

I already have a recipe for Crockpot Sloppy Joes on my site, but this new recipe appealed to me as it had tomato paste in it and not tomato soup, ketchup or another can of condensed soup. I always seem to have tomato paste on hand, but not specific ingredients, and I like to stay away from processed ingredients.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
recipe adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (I left out)
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or more as needed
2 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar, or more as needed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Dash of cayenne pepper

Hamburger buns or other soft sandwich rolls for serving

Use a medium round or oval slow cooker.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef with the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic, stirring to break up the meat. When the meat is cooked through, transfer the meat and vegetables to the slow cooker. Add the remaining Sloppy Joe ingredients and stir to combine well. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours.
Taste and add more vinegar or sugar, if desired. Serve the meat mixture spooned onto the buns.

The verdict?
After I set the crockpot to go, I went to the freezer to remove some buns, and realized we didn't have any! So I whipped up a batch of Bread Machine Buttery Rolls.

I almost burned the Sloppy Joes, though, as it got a little dark around the edges, even though it was only cooking on Low for a few hours. I spooned out the black chunks, gave it a stir, and turned off the crockpot and let it sit there for almost an hour until we were ready to eat and it was fine. Dish rescued! The cooking time for my crockpot was around 4 hours on Low, and 1 hour on Warm.

As for taste, this was a great dinner. I loved that it took ingredients that I usually have on hand, and it passed the test at the dinner table!

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cider Sauce


This post is pretty far behind Thanksgiving, it's almost Christmas! But life has been revolving around prepping for baby, so maybe I'll post Christmas by Valentine's Day...maybe. :)

We don't eat pie for Thanksgiving. I have huge issues with making pie crust, and my husband and I can't agree on settling on one kind of pie. He doesn't like nuts (no Pecan or Chocolate Pecan) and Pumpkin isn't my favorite.

We don't usually have family for Thanksgiving, so we have free rein on picking random un-traditional desserts. In the past we've had Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Oreo Pudding Dessert, and grocery store pie (not our favorite).

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cider Sauce
recipe from Mommy's Kitchen


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
3/4 cup oil
1 15 oz can pumpkin
2 eggs

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add oil, pumpkin and eggs. Whisk until blended or use an electric mixer. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool cake completely and top with the cider sauce before serving.

Caramel Cider Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2/3 cup apple cider
2 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter (not margarine)
salt to taste

In a saucepan, whisk brown sugar and cornstarch. Add cider and stir in the cream, butter and salt. Cook over med-hi heat, whisking constantly, until large bubbles form around the edge of the saucepan, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and allow to thicken, about 2 minutes. Top with vanilla ice cream if you want and drizzle sauce over it.

The verdict?
The cake was really easy to whip up, as my son and I did it together the day before Thanksgiving. The day of the big feast, when we were on our third helpings of Thanksgiving dishes, I hopped up to make the sauce for the cake. It came together quickly, in about the time it took for my husband to cut the cake and put it on plates.

The cake was perfectly pumpkiny and could have stood on its own. The Caramel Cider Sauce had a great apple cider undertone and of course, was sweet enough to really bring the punch to a Thanksgiving dessert. I know I will make the cake again, but save the sauce for a special occasion. It was a great fall dessert!

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Flashback Saturday for Dec 18, 2010

 Flashback Saturday is a way to introduce some posts
that might be lost in the shuffle of years' past!

A year ago this week I posted some great recipes for:



Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Friday, December 17, 2010

Looking for a few good Guest Posters!

I am looking for Guest Posts starting in mid-January as I'll be taking a "maternity-leave" from my blog, when the newest member of our family arrives.


There aren't any specific requirements, although I would be interested in any article that includes a "family style" recipe with at least one photo to share. Please email me with any topic ideas you think would be a good fit for Creatively Domestic! You don't have to have a cooking blog or a even a blog to help me out! 

You can contact me through my website at the top.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza


I've tried a few Chicago Style Pizza recipes in my time, and I've yet to come across one that even remotely compared to the real deal...until now.  I even talked my husband out of what we were having for dinner by text message:

"Do u want to try Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza 4 dinner? This looks like a good one." 

...and that's all I had to say, as my husband is always in the mood for pizza.

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
recipe adapted from Baking Serendipity

Pizza Dough (used PW's Pizza Crust recipe)
Marinara Sauce
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
Dried basil
Toppings of your choice

Grease a cast iron skillet. Then line the skillet with the pizza dough, bringing it all the way up the sides to form the deep crust.
Begin with a very thin layer of sauce at the bottom. Sprinkle the sauce with basil, add a layer of your toppings and then the cheese. Repeat (sauce, basil, toppings, cheese), ending with the sauce on top.
Place the cast iron skillet in a cold oven and set the temperature at 500 degrees. When the oven reaches 500 degrees, knock the temperature down to 400 degrees and bake for about thirty minutes. Let the pizza sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

The verdict?
I was excited to use my cast iron pan, as other recipes I've found for Chicago Deep Dish needed a springform pan. Anything I can cook in my cast iron pan always has a fighting chance at turning out spectacular.

For toppings, I used browned ground beef, onion, and broccoli. (OK, so I needed to use up some leftovers!)  I loaded up the layers, and followed the directions by putting it into a cold oven.

The crust got nice and crisp and supported the toppings really well. I would have let it rest for a little longer than 10 minutes, as it was still super piping hot after 5 minutes, and it smelled so good that we all almost burned out mouths! Leftovers the next day were just as good, so this is going to get put into the "Pizza" file!

I'm sharing this recipe at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Slow Cooker Zucchini Bisque

 

I had a huge yellow zucchini to use up, and saw this recipe in one of my favorite new cookbooks. After I weighed it and it was just under the 1 1/2 pound mark! It was a biggie and the perfect amount!

The verdict?
This was very creamy and filling, and I enjoyed that this was a meatless slow cooker main dish. The next time I have a large amount of zucchini, this would be a great way to use it up!

Slow Cooker Zucchini Bisque
recipe adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, ends trimmed, and cut into chunks
2 heaping tablespoons white rice
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup half and half

Use a medium round or oval slow cooker. Put the butter, onion, curry powder, and zucchini in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on High to sweat the vegetables for 30 minutes.
 

Add the rice, basil, and broth, cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours. Puree with a handheld immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender and puree in batches. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the half and half, cover, and continue to cook on Low until heated through, 20 minutes; do not boil. Ladle into bowls and serve!

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flashback Saturday for Dec 11, 2010

 Flashback Saturday is a way to introduce some posts
that might be lost in the shuffle of years' past!

A year ago this week I posted some great recipes for:






Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mini Egg Casseroles


More freezer food! I wanted to add more breakfasts to my freezer, and one day while debating making Egg Casserole for dinner, I had an idea to split the recipe in half and make "Mini" Egg Casseroles with a portion of the recipe.

I used my existing Sausage Egg Casserole recipe, but substituted leftover diced ham for the sausage. I sprayed the muffin tin with nonstick spray, filled them with bread, ham, and cheese, then poured in the eggs over top.


I let them sit in the refrigerator for the afternoon, sprinkled a little dried parsley on top, then baked them up for dinner along with the other half in a pie pan.

They baked up just like a regular Egg Casserole, but they really puffed in the oven! Don't freak...they will cool and slowly return to their cup size!

To prepare for the freezer, I removed them from the muffin tin, put them on a clean cookie sheet, froze until solid, then piled into a large freezer gallon size bag.

These have been really easy to pull a few out for breakfast in the morning! Reheating them in the toaster oven has worked better than the microwave. These would be great for Christmas or a buffet style breakfast!

This technique is now included in my Creatively Domestic's Freezer Meals ebook for sale on Amazon. To view this recipe and many others, please visit (and buy if you're interested) from that site.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Basil Tomato Rice Soup


Pantry raid! I had all of these ingredients on hand when I went hunting for a new recipe...I love it when a recipe appears to be destined to be made!

Basil Tomato Rice Soup
from 300 Best Comfort Foods by Johanna Burkhard
Serves: 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 28-ounce can tomatoes including juice
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I used homemade)
1/2 cup long grain white rice
1 teaspoon sugar, approx
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped

In a Dutch oven or stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and basil; cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until softened.

In a food processor, puree tomatoes with juice. Add to pot with stock and rice, season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in parsley.

The verdict?
Easy, simple, and a little more classy than a can of your typical tomato soup. I don't know if I would ever get a craving for this, but it was a great thing to dip grilled cheese in!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Flashback Saturday for Dec 4, 2010

 Flashback Saturday is a way to introduce some posts
that might be lost in the shuffle of years' past!

A year ago this week I posted some great recipes for:





Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Freezer Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes


Here's the other half of my on-sale bag of potatoes. I used the "pretty" potatoes to make Oven Fried Potato Wedges for the Freezer, and the oddly shaped or super small potatoes from the bag to make these mashed potatoes

 
The verdict?
I almost spooned up a small bowl of these just to eat myself before I packaged them up, because they were that good. I left out the milk to keep the potatoes on the dry side, as when mashed potatoes are frozen then thawed, sometime they thaw out a little runny.


When thawed, the texture of the potatoes were very runny. I was concerned, but baked them for 30 minutes with a sprinkle of paprika on top. They ended up drying out and being the perfect consistency and the great flavor carried through the freezing/thawing/baking process.

These would work great for entertaining during Christmas season! One less thing to put together last minute! 

This recipe is now included in my Creatively Domestic's Freezer Meals ebook for sale on Amazon. To view this recipe and many others, please visit (and buy if you're interested) from that site.