Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ultimate Cheesy Artichoke Bread

This last Friday was the official first day of Summer. 

It stormed and rained in Iowa and we've been under a flood warning since....

it seems like it's been weeks.

To cheer us all up this weekend I made our favorite dip, Cheesy Artichoke, and then before I could serve it, we had surprise guests and all our plans had to change for a few days. 

Then tonight preparing dinner, I found the container of dip in the back of the frig. Sweet!!!

I decided to use it as a topping on a loaf of sourdough (hehe!!) as a side for our pasta dinner. Yum!

So even though I have been resorting to using the oven as little as possible, because the air conditioner is running because it's 85F outside, and pouring rain, I cranked that baby on for this bread.


   Told ya!

The Chicken Chick


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chili Cheese Biscuit Pie

 Ever been faced with this as a dinner option?

Well, I never thought I would be either but that is a photo my daughter sent me and asked "Mom, did you know this happened in the frig?".

My first instinct was to tell her to throw it away, and then I thought, wait a minute that's really wasteful, I can make something out of it.

So I told her to leave it there until I got home.

And this is what I whipped up....

Who doesn't like cheesy chili with warm cheesey biscuits wrapped around it??

I don't see anyone waving their hands, do you?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Teriyaki Stir Fry

This simple, savory dish is made in the time it takes to steam a pot of rice. About 20 minutes and Boom!! it's done.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Easy Bake BBQ Chicken

If you've been reading my past posts, you know that we are having really weird weather.

I was certain we were in the clear, meaning warm and sunny days, but no...

Yesterday was another 80 degree day that turned into a torrential downpour. much for grilling the chicken.

Instead I opted to make this delicious version of BBQ chicken. I'm thinking I may just actually prefer BBQ chicken grilled cooked this way. And I think you will to once you try it.

Not only is this easy, it only used 2 ingredients. 

Yes, I said TWO Ingredients. Chicken and your favorite bottled BBQ sauce. That's it!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pasta with Ham, Kale and Parmesan Butternut Squash Sauce

So, I went downstairs to gather items to make dinner. 

Yes. We live in the Midwest and we have a basement. Not something I have ever liked or even gotten used to after almost 20 years back here. But it is a necessary evil in my mind. 

Folks, they have Tornados back here.If anyone lives in the US, they pretty much know those horrific wind-weather devils happen back here predominately in the Midwest. 

I thought I'd be safe, moving to Iowa. Oh no, I was so wrong. They get terrible weather here. Yes. I know Ice storms, snow, but they also get those Tornados. 

Growing up in California, we had earthquakes. Been through many of those in the last 50 years, including the last really catastrophic ones that impacted the Bay Area and LA.

Well, I don't know what's worse? I just think Mother Nature rules, and we're just little pawns that over a lifetime she manipulates. 

Our hearts go out to the folks in Oklahoma and Kansas and Missouri, they get hammered. 

We also get our share up here in the upper Midwest. 

So, the weather here is finally cooperating and we no longer have torrential rains and it's starting to warm up. Fingers crossed-things change back here rather quickly.

But....while I was down in the basement...

Low and behold I found a big butternut squash just hanging out on the shelf. My family loves winter squash and to find a big baby just waiting for me to cook was sweet. Testament to how cool as in air temperature, basements are folks.

Today was too hot to think about roasting it, that would be my first move. No...I made an awesome sauce out of it. 

Yes!!  Seriously, after seeing this, do you blame me?

No, I didn't think so. 

And I used the same water to cook the squash, blanch the kale and cook the pasta, no waste here. 

I made a butternut squash, parmesan laden, buttery sauce to coat this pasta. Ramped it up in the veggie line by steaming fresh kale and made sure to keep it cheesy by adding copious amounts of fresh parmesan cheese. 

Oh yeah, this is one dish you'll be thankful for your garden or Farmer's Market. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Chicken Hobo Packets

We keep hoping for some sunshine. Even the kids are getting antsy because school is out and the pool can't open unless it's at least 70 degrees outside.


So our grilling season has had a slow start as well. In honor of the anticipation of grilling and camping I decided to make "Hobo Packets" and throw them in the oven instead of on the grill.

As a child growing up these were a favorite to make at camp during the summer. Normally you start with ground beef, add some potatoes and carrots, salt and pepper, then seal and cook those babies directly over the campfire.

You could smell them cooking and it was like Heaven when you opened them up, plus you were starving!!

I came home and peeled and sliced potatoes and carrots, sliced zucchini and mushrooms. Tore the foil and sprayed it and got everything all ready.

Then I tore the butcher paper on the meat I had thawed and found.....

2 large chicken breasts.......

I had an "oh shister" moment.

Then it hit me, make "chicken" Hobo's!!!

Yay! Dinner was saved.
Whew, sometimes a mom has to be quick thinking!! These turned out so nicely, I think I may have to add them to our regular meal rotations.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Lasagna

I am still actively using my slow cooker, even though in some parts of the US it's 100F or over.

Here in North Iowa it's still in the 60's and pouring rain...

I refuse to turn my heater back on though, so Mother Nature better cooperate pretty soon. 

Today I whipped this meal together with my 17 year old daughter. Having your children help you in the kitchen gives them a better idea of where the actual end result originated from. They are also excited to be a part of the prep and really look forward to eating it!

And, I am trying to give her a few easy recipes to add to her basic arsenal when she leaves for college next year. I want her to be able to survive on more than ramen, mac n cheese or quesadillas.  

It came out much better than I even anticipated. 

I did set aside 1/2 cup of the Mozzarella cheese and sprinkled that all over the last 5 minutes. I also found that if you let it set for about 10-15 minutes, uncovered, it is much easier to cut and serve.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Rhubarb Berry Compote

The other day I was telling my hubby how disappointed I was that with the large yard we have there is not one rhubarb plant anywhere. 

You can see rhubarb growing all over in our neighbors yards, in fact one of our neighbors mows his down to nothing every season. *sigh*

Low  and behold, on this last Friday my hubs walked in the door after work toting this ginormous bag of RHUBARB.

I mean we're talking 20 lbs. at least. (so be careful what you wish for...)

Well shucks, not only do I have enough to bake with, I can freeze it, I guess, and I made this jewel...