• Mexican Breakfast Casserole

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    This picture stinks…will update the photo when we make again.   This casserole is so good and feeds a crowd.  We had it for dinner, both kiddos loved it, and then we had it for lunch today and it was just a good as leftovers.

    Definitely making this again and especially when we have guests over.

    Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective.

    Ingredients:

    • 16 eggs or 32 oz. carton of egg beaters
    • 1 red pepper, diced
    • 4-6 green onions, chopped
    • 4 quality corn tortillas cut into ½ x 1 inch slices
    • 1 ¾ c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
    • 1 tsp. salt or 1 tsp. of taco seasoning
    • Pepper
    • 1 bag of frozen hash browns – about 6 c. hash browns, defrosted
    • ¼ c. + 2 TBSP taco seasoning (1.5 packet)
    • 6 TBSP melted butter

    Serve with salsa, green onions, cilantro, sour cream, etc.

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325*
    2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray
    3. In a large bowl combine eggs through pepper and pour egg mixture into pan
    4. In another bowl combine the hash browns, taco seasoning and melted butter, and toss to coat.  Evenly place hash browns over egg mixture.
    5. Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes until the center is set and hash browns are crisp.  You may want to put it under the broiler at the end to crisp up the hash browns.

    Mexican Breakfast Casserole:
    5star

     

     

  • Copycat Panera Macaroni and Cheese

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    This macaroni and cheese and so THICK and CREAMY.  It really is delicious.  I just wish Ethan would eat macaroni and cheese, because if he did, we would definitely make this more.

    Did I mention that it’s THICK and CREAMY?  And delicious?

    Goes great with barbecue, burgers, sandwiches, and just about everything.

    I’m generally not a fan of leftover macaroni and cheese.  It can be hard, grainy, and the taste just off.  But this recipe heats up beautifully!  If you have leftovers, simply put the leftovers in a pot, add about 1/2 c. milk, and heat over low heat on the stove.  You will never know that it’s leftovers!  Seriously.

    Recipe from Shugary Sweets.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 c. unsalted butter
    • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1 c. milk (I used skim)
    • 2 c. half and half
    • 2 c. shredded white cheddar (I used Cabot seriously sharp cheddar)
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 tsp. dry mustard
    • 1 lb. pasta, cooked

    Directions:

    1. Cook pasta according to package directions while making the sauce. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
    2. In a large pot on medium high heat, add butter until melted. Whisk in the flour and cook for about one minute. Reduce heat to medium and add milk, half and half, salt, dry mustard and pepper. Continue whisking until it begins to bubble. Reduce to low and add white cheddar. Stir until melted. Add cooked pasta, stirring until combined. Remove from heat and allow to sit about 5 minutes to thicken. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. ENJOY.
    3. If you have leftovers, when you want to reheat it, add about 1/2 c. milk and cook it on low on the stove top. Worked perfectly.

    Copycat Panera Macaroni and Cheese:
    5star

     

  • Ellie’s Lasagna

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    Steve and I both love lasagna and baked ziti.  Sadly, our children are less than thrilled with either option, so I never make it.  We were at a team dinner (pot luck style) and Ellie said she “loved Coach Anita’s curly lasagna.”  Ellie proclaiming that she “loves” anything pasta is a miracle, so as soon as I got home I emailed Coach Anita for her recipe.

    We discovered that both kids love spiral pasta, and they don’t like baked pasta if it’s too cheesy.  Score!

    Ellie ate it up the first night, but the leftovers went  untouched. Sigh. At least she ate it the first night.

    Ingredients:

    • 16 oz. spiral pasta
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 8 oz. – 16 oz sausage (depending on how much meat you like)
    • 45 oz. jar of pasta sauce
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 8 oz. ricotta
    • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350*
    2. Cook pasta (under cook it because it will continue cooking in the oven).
    3. Saute the onion, then add the garlic; then add the sausage and cook through.
    4. Add 1/2 of the jar of sauce to the skillet with the sausage and add the Italian seasoning, and stir to combine; then add the pasta and mix to combine.
    5. In a 9/13 baking dish, add 1/2 of the remaining sauce to the bottom of the dish; then add the pasta mixture to the baking dish; dollop spoonfuls of ricotta into pockets throughout the casserole; then top with the remaining sauce.
    6. Cover with foil (if you like crunchy top noodles don’t cover) and bake for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly. At the end of cooking add the mozzarella cheese and return the dish to the oven but turn the oven off and let the cheese melt.

    Ellie’s Lasagna:

    5star

     

     

  • Corn Casserole

    This may look like cornbread, but it’s not.  It’s corn casserole, and it’s soooo good.  Everyone in my family calls it corn mush, but in this case “mush” is a very good and tasty thing!  We had it with red beans and rice, but you could eat it with just about anything.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 (8.5 oz) box of cornbread mix
    • 1 (15 oz.) can of creamed corn
    • 1 (15 oz.) can of corn, drained
    • 1 egg
    • 1/3 c. fat free milk

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400*
    2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
    3. Grease a 9×9 baking dish and pour batter into dish.  Bake for 30 minutes or until brown.

    Corn Casserole:

     

     

  • Baked Chicken Parmesan

    There is absolutely no frying involved in this recipe…it is so easy….and so delicious.  It’s definitely a healthier version of traditional chicken parmesan and no one misses the hassle or the extra calories of the traditional version.  The croutons give this dish the breading of the traditional version, and since I use fat free croutons, none of the guilt.   The kiddos devoured this meal!

    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • salt to taste
    • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
    • 1 (3-oz.) package fat free croutons, divided
    • 1 jar of pasta sauce, divided
    • 1/4 c. chopped basil
    • 8 oz. mozzarella, shredded , divided
    • 4 oz. Parmesan, grated , divided

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350*
    2. In a 9 x 13 pan, add olive oil and garlic; then add the chicken and sprinkle with salt and ½ tsp. of Italian seasoning.  Crush ½ of the croutons and sprinkle over chicken; then cover chicken with 2/3 of the jar of sauce.  Add remaining Italian seasoning and chopped basil.  Then add 4 oz. of shredded mozzarella and 2 oz. of grated Parmesan; then spread remaining sauce over the cheese.  Top with remaining croutons and remaining cheese.
    3. Bake for 35 minutes or until done.

    Baked Chicken Parmesan:

     

     

  • Chicken and Biscuits Casserole

    This hearty and healthy dinner was enjoyed by everyone, and it’s easy to make which is always a plus.

    Adapted from Taste of Home Casseroles, 2011.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tsp. oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. dried basil
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 2 1/2 c. skim milk
    • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 16oz. package frozen mixed vegetables
    • 2 c. cooked chicken, cubed (can use rotisserie chicken)
    • 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese

    Biscuit Ingredients:

    • 1 c. all purpose flour
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/3 c. skim milk
    • 3 TBSP oil
    • 1 TBSP fresh parsley, minced

    Directions:

    1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat; then add the onion and cook until tender.  Stir in the flour, basil, thyme, salt and pepper until blended.  Gradually stir in milk and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened; then add the vegetables, chicken, and cheese and reduce to low.
    2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine four through salt. In a small bowl combine milk, oil and parsley; then stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
    3. Transfer hot chicken mixture to a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish.  Drop biscuit batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto chicken mixture.
    4. Bake uncovered at 375* for 30-40 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.

    Chicken and Biscuits Casserole:

     

  • Cranberry Sweet Potato Casserole

     

    Not the prettiest dish to photograph, but it is so delicious!  Everyone LOVED this…even -s, who’s not too crazy about anything sweet potato.  Both kiddos requested that I make this again, and it will definitely be made at Thanksgiving.

    Adapted from Tara McConnell’s Hot Recipes in Cool Dishes.

    Filling Ingredients:

    • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
    • 1 c. Craisins (reduced sugar)
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 4 TBSP butter, melted
    • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. allspice
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    Topping Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1 c. flour
    • 1 c. chopped pecans
    • 1/2 c. butter, melted

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400*.
    2. Add potatoes to a large pot of water; bring to a boil and cook until tender.
    3. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine Craisins through salt.
    4. In another mixing bowl, combine the topping ingredients.
    5. When potatoes are tender, drain and return to pot; add Craisin sauce and mash with a potato masher.
    6. Spray a 3 qt baking dish (7 x 9 ish) with cooking spray and add potato mixture and spread topping over the potato mixture (may want to take a knife and spray with cooking spray to more easily spread the mixture).
    7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping has browned.

    Cranberry Sweet Potato Casserole:

     

     

  • Polenta Sausage Bake

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    I had a tube of polenta I wanted to use up, and I also wanted to try something new, since it seems like for the last couple of months I’ve been making mostly family favorites.  I came across a recipe that sounded really good to me, so I gave it a whirl, and it was really good, and it also was really good as leftovers.  Served with a tossed green salad and a fruit salad, this was a very satisfying and delicious meal.

    Adapted from Simply Recipes.  Original recipe from Sunset Magazine.

    Ingredients:

    • 5 1/2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
    • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning
    • 1 med yellow onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 medium bell pepper (red, green, orange or yellow), thinly sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
    • 1 lb. Italian turkey sausage (removed from casings), sweet or spicy or Italian spiced ground turkey
    • 1 tube (16oz.) prepared polenta, 1/2-inch slices
    • 1/2 lb. (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch slices

    Directions:

    1. Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a 2-3 qt saucepan on medium heat. Add tomatoes and Italian seasoning, simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, or until thick.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, stirring and breaking it into small pieces as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Cover the pan and cook until vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 5-8 more minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
    3. While veggies and sausage are cooking, preheat broiler, and coat the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan with a 1 Tbsp oil. Add the polenta slices to the pan. Coat the top of the polenta with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil. Broil the polenta about 4 inches from the heating element until golden brown and crispy, about 10-15 minutes.
    4. Pour sauce over broiled polenta, then arrange Mozzarella slices over the top and return the casserole to the broiler. Broil until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

    Polenta Sausage Bake:

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  • Chicken Tamale Casserole

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    This recipe comes from the November 2008 issue of Cooking Light.  After seeing the recipe in the magazine, I wasted little time putting it on the weekly menu.  We love tamales, so why not a tamale casserole, without having the work of making tamales!!  Win win for sure, and the casserole didn’t disappoint.  You could easily use leftover chicken or turkey…great way to use all the leftover Thanksgiving turkey too!

    Update: the leftovers are excellent!!!
    Ingredients:

    • 1 c.  (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
    • 1/3  c.  fat-free milk
    • 1/4  c.  egg substitute
    • 1  tsp.  ground cumin
    • 1/8  tsp.  ground red pepper
    • 1  (14 3/4-oz.) can cream-style corn
    • 1  (8.5-oz.) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)–I bought a 6 oz. Martha White package and it turned out fine
    • 1  (4-oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
    • Cooking spray
    • 1  (10-oz.) can red enchilada sauce
    • 2  c.  shredded cooked chicken breast
    • 1/2  c.  sour cream
    • Chopped cilantro for garnish

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°.
    2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
    3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

    Chicken Tamale Casserole:

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