Monday, September 27, 2010

Grasshopper freezer pie

Yesterday we had a potluck at church. I wanted to make something that was dessert, because that is my fav. I also didn't want it to be boring. So that pretty much ruled out cakes, cookies, brownies. IE all the standard potluck desserts. My fried Lori makes this fantastic chocolate pie. I took her recipe and tweeked it, and it is now my current fav. So easy, and ridiculously tasty.
Grasshopper Pie
Half a package of Oreos
4 T butter-melted
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of Andes chocolate mint candies, crushed OR mint chocolate chips
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup of milk
1 package of instant chocolate pudding mix (4 serving size)
2 tubs of cool whip, defrosted in fridge over night
1 Hershey's chocolate bar.
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Crush the Oreos in a blender or food processor. If you don't have one, put then in a zippered freezer bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. I stress the freezer part because regular ziplock bags are not thick enough and you will have cookie crumbs all over your counter and/or floor. Mix cookie crumbs with the butter. I know some of you are thinking, why not just buy the oreo cookie crumbs they sell next to graham cracker crumbs? You need the white part in the middle, and if you buy the crumbs it is just cookie.
  3. Pour HALF of the cookie mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Use a flat bottom glass to press the crumbs into an even layer. Now pour the rest of the crumbs around the edge and use the side of your glass to make the walls.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes.
  5. While that is baking, bring the heavy cream just to a boil over med heat. Add chocolate and stir, stir, stir! Cool slightly and pour over cookie crust. Freeze until firm.
  6. While that is setting, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix pudding and milk until it is soft set, add to cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  7. Fold in one tub of cool whip by hand. DO NOT USE MIXER! Spread over crust, return to freezer.
  8. Once that is frozen, a couple hours, spread last tub of cool whip on top and use vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls for the top. Freeze until ready to serve.
  9. To serve: release collar of pan and cut into 16 slices. This is VERY rich and pieces bigger than that may be hard to finish. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Easy Pork Chops

Sorry for no new recipes lately, I have been out of town for the last three weeks, and I the first two of that was at Mom's house, which meant I got a break from dinner. I am in Canada at my friend's house and she hates to cook so I try to help her out whenever I am here. Tonight's dinner was super tasty and super easy, score!

Easy Pork Chops
6 Pork chops
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of oil on med high. Mix together "some" flour, salt and pepper. Coat pork chops well on each side. Fry in hot oil until dark golden on both sides (you will have to flip them once the first side is done). Put in a 9x13 baking dish. Mix together a couple cans of cream of mushroom soup, a packet of lipton onion soup mix, one soup can of milk and a can of mushrooms. Pour over pork chops, cover and cook until internal temp is 160. I can't give you an exact time because pork chops vary in thickness. I put mine in and let them cook for as long as it took me to peel potatoes, cook them and turn them into mashed taters and it was perfect. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mexican casserole is easy!

I think the cinco de mayo bug hit me a little late this year, this week has been Mexican food week. Ok it might just be food-that-is-pretending-to-be-Mexican week. Last night I made this for dinner, once again the kiddos ate it up. Very easy...hence the name.

Mexican Casserole is Easy:
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup minced onion
package of spaghetti sauce mix
can of either tomato paste OR tomato sauce
1 1lb can of green beans
1 pkg corn muffin mix, prepared as package directs

Preheat oven to 375. Brown hamburger, drain. Mix sauce according to package directions, add sauce, onion and green beans. Bring to a boil. Pour into 2 qt casserole dish, top with corn muffin mix, making sure it is evenly covered and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cornbread is done. Optional, spread a little butter on the cornbread when you take it out of the oven. Make sure that you get the mixture boiling before you pour it into the pan and top it quickly. This ensures that the heat from the mixture cooks the corn bread from the bottom while the top is being cooked. Otherwise you will have cooked cornbread on top and goop underneath. Enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

Here's a super easy dinner that's tasty too, always an added bonus. My niece asked me why it was called Mexican lasagna and then said, "I mean I know it is called Mexican because it is a Mexican recipe, but why the lasagna?" Really I think it is the other way around, closer to lasagna than Mexican, but either way the kids gobbled it up! For those of you thinking, "I can't make this, it has mushroom soup in it" (Pam that means you) don't worry, my brother hates mushrooms and he has been eating this since we were kids, none the wiser that they are in there.

Mexican Lasagna
1 lb ground beef
med onion
packet of taco seasoning
a can of cream of mushroom
a can of cream of chicken
small can of green chilies (this is optional but I think it adds a lot to it)
12 oz can of evaporated milk
corn tortillas, not flour, very important. Broken into quarters. Recipe calls for 12, I think I used about 14 though
3 cups of cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Brown hamburger and chopped onion, drain. Add the taco seasoning and stir really well. Add in the soup and milk, stirring until well mixed and warmed through. In a 9 x 13 layer like you would lasagna, tortillas, sauce, cheese. Repeat 2 more times, ending with cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This one's for Pamla...

I am fairly certain that most people hate coming up with things to make for dinner. Even if they like the actual MAKING of dinner, coming up with what to make seems to be something that is universally disliked. My friend Pam seems to have a particularly hard time since between her hubby and kids she is basically left with water as the one ingredient that everyone will consume without complaint. I tell her she should tell them to suck it up and eat what she makes, but she is nicer than I am and tries to make everyone happy. Tonight while coming up with something to make for dinner I decided I should post whatever I made. Hopefully Pam can get her brood to eat this. Very easy and very tasty!

Pesto chicken and bow ties
1 box bow tie pasta
1.5 lbs cubed chicken
1 jar quartered artichoke hearts
1/2 jar basil pesto (I used the Classico brand)
2 cups cheese - I have used Feta and Parmesan but tonight I had mozzarella in the

In a large pot cook pasta. While the pasta is cooking, cook cubed chicken with 1/2 to 1 C water in a skillet. Drain pasta and chicken and return to large pot, stir in artichoke hearts, pesto and cheese. Serve immediately. This is also really good if you refrigerate it and eat it cold for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Sometimes being distracted turns out healthier...

Have you ever been so distracted while cooking that you realize you forgot to add an ingredient? That was today for me. I have this fantastic recipe for banana muffins (see below) from Adam's cousin Sarah and I was making a double batch to use up the mostly black bananas hanging out on the counter. The recipe calls for 1/4 C of melted butter, and since I was doubling it I melted a whole stick. As I was taking the second batch out of the oven, I looked up and realized the dish of butter was still in my microwave. Bonus about this is that they still taste great and were now mostly fat free! Try them out, so easy and SOOO yummy!

Banana Muffins:
3 large ripe bananas
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/4 C melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Beat the bananas until mostly liquid. Add everything else and mix well. Fill 12 lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until done. I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on top before I bake. For a really tasty treat drop a few chocolate chips in each muffin before you bake. Delish!

I'm no Heloise, but...

I know most people hate doing laundry, but I think it goes so much farther than the norm for me. I am a laundry nazi. Maybe that isn't the best description word, but I am crazy about how laundry is done. Seriously, ask Adam. The only person I have ever let do my laundry and not had an anxiety attack about is my mother. This could be because I inherited a lot of my laundry hang-ups (pun intended) from her, but then took it to the next level. I sort everything buy color, not like the normal lights, darks, whites. Literally by color. Pinks and reds, blues, greens, yellows, etc all get their own load. Then within the color families I have sub groups for temperatures. Not all of my whites can get washed on hot, and some of my colors need to be washed in hot to make sure the germs get effectively killed off. All my towels are white because I always wash towels on the hottest water possible (again a germ issue) and if they weren't white then they will fade or discolor. Can't have that. Socks have to go in with the towels, I don't want feet germs in anything but the hottest water possible; plus socks are rougher than most fabrics and I don't want fuzzy clothes. Sorting clothes is almost a nerve wracking thing for me. What if something doesn't make it into the pile and *gasp* has to wait for the next time I wash that color? I know, ridiculous. I make my own laundry soap. My mother got me to do this and I realized that A it works just as well and B is WAY cheaper than the stuff you buy in the store. Go here for a recipe. I usually double the washing soda when I make it. Once I actually get my laundry into the machine I am very particular about the settings the machine is on. Every load MUST be double rinsed. Have you ever done a load of laundry, left it in the machine for an hour too long and had it smell sour? That is usually because of soap left in your clothes. It sounds crazy I know, but it is true. A second rinse helps eliminate this. Something else that helps is adding a half of a cup of vinegar to the last rinse cycle or in your fabric softener dispenser if you have one. Yes, that's right, I said vinegar. Plain white vinegar. It cuts any remaining soap that might not have been rinsed out completely. It is cheap, and no your clothes will not smell like vinegar. Honest, try it. I do cheat a little though. I LOVE the smells of Downy's newest simple pleasures line, so I add half of a regular dosage with the vinegar. After the washer is complete I have to carefully go through my entire load to make sure there isn't something in there that I really should be hanging or laying flat to dry. 99% of the time I dry on low-towels are the exception, the heat softens them and makes them so much fluffier. Low heat keeps the color from fading, plus you are less likely to have wrinkles set into your clothing because you don't have a huge temperature drop when the dryer stops. Unless of course you have nothing better to do than stand around waiting for the dryer to stop. I cannot take things out of the dryer unless I am going to immediately hang them up or fold them. I hate wrinkled clothes. I don't mind ironing things that usually get ironed, IE dress shirts or cotton skirts, but you shouldn't have to iron a t shirt because it lived in a laundry basket for two days before you bothered to rescue it. Why bother to do the load if you aren't going to fold or hang it? You are no farther ahead than when it was in the laundry basket dirty. The washing is the easiest part of the process. Plus, it is way easier to iron when you are smoothing out little wrinkles from a dress shirt than when you practically have to soak a piece of clothing in order to get out deep set wrinkles. Now in the event that you need to get some wrinkles out of clothing that you don't want to iron or have to throw back in the dryer, spray a little wrinkle releaser. Downy sells some, which is crazy spendy, or you can make your own. Very cheap and works almost the same. Combine 3 cups water, 1 cup vinegar and 1 cap, about half full, of a WHITE downy. I stress the white because you don't want little blue spots on your clothes, well at least I don't. I like the pure essentials aloe and white lilac but there are several other options including one that is scent and dye free. However, since 1/4 of this mixture is vinegar, you really want a Downy with a strong scent to cover that up. Pour it into a spray bottle, shake well, and viola! Much cheaper than the $3.50 they charge for a bottle. This stuff is great, no need to iron, just spray it on (a little goes a long way), tug a little to smooth out the wrinkles, give it a few minutes to dry and you are ready to go. Try it out, tell me what you think. Is it a good as the Downy version? I will save the details of how OCD I am about folding and hanging for another day.