If you have a question or comment, please e-mail me at marinscreations@yahoo.com

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chicken N' Wild Rice Casserole

This is one of those impossible to photograph, good ole' comfort food meals. My kids especially like this one. I love the crunch that the water chestnuts add. It makes a lot but never has a problem getting eaten in our house.

2 cups chicken, cooked & cubed
1 8oz. can water chestnuts
1 cup diced onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup mayo
1 10.75oz. can cream of mushroom
12oz. wild riced, prepared

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Pour mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until warmed through.
*adapted from a church activity recipe

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Philly Cheese Sandwich

This is one of my lazy day dinners. It is so quick and simple, and tastes great!

1 lb. deli roast beef, shaved
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 slices provolone cheese
6 hoagie rolls

Heat chopped onion and bell pepper in a large skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add shaved roast beef to the skillet just long enough for the meat to barely brown (do not overcook or your meat will be dry and chewy). Turn off heat and place provolone slices over meat. Allow cheese to melt before spooning into hoagie rolls. Spread hoagie rolls lightly with mayo if desired.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Onion Strings

These are sooo yummy! How could a deep fried onion not be good though? Pioneer Woman never fails to impress. I will make a few slight changes next time though. I think I am going to cut my onions thicker, only because I really like the juicy flavor of cooked onions and I might do half seasoned salt half regular/sea salt. I'll let you know when I try it and tell you how it goes.

1 large onion
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 scant tablespoon salt
Lots of black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Canola Oil

Slice onion very thin (a mandolin slicer comes in very handy here). Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk for at least one hour.Combine dry ingredients and set aside.Heat oil to 375 degrees.Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tab to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.Repeat until onions are gone.Eat before your family sees them.Repeat with another onion, because they’ll be really mad they didn’t get any.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Canning Jar Pincushion

I found this wonderful idea on Suzanne's Crazy For Collars and loved it! I loved the dual storage it provides. She has a wonderful tutorial on her blog that you can find here. It seriously took me 5 minutes to make this little guy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Beef Enchiladas

This is the Pioneer Woman's favorite enchiladas. I decided to give them a try for a couple reasons. 1- everything she makes is good, 2- cilantro!, 3- I've never made beef enchiladas before. These were very tasty! They do take some time to make as it is a three step process, but it's worth it.
The Pioneer Woman recently started another website called Tasty Kitchen. It's filled with wonderful recipes and has already become one of my favorite sites. Be sure and check it out!
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large (28-ounce) can enchilada or red sauce
2 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a past, cooking for 1 minute. Pour in other red sauce, chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt

Brown meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.
10 to 14 corn tortillas
½ cup canola oil

Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas oil until soft, not crisp—about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.
Sauce (above)
Meat (above)
Tortillas (above)
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped black olives
1 cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out.Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bubble. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over enchiladas before serving.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

If you are looking for a quick and simple way to make cookies, cake mix cookies are the way to go. These are great for making with the kids as well, so simple and very few ingredients to work with.

1 box Lemon Supreme cake mix (or flavor of choice)
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg

1. Mix all ingredients for approximately 2 minutes, or until well combined. Roll into balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a juice glass, flatten the balls of dough. I sprinkled mine with clear decorators sugar. (optional)
2. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes. Edges should lightly brown. Let cool slightly before removing from pan.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crispy Southwest Chicken Won tons

These were sooo good! All my favorite flavors mixed together and fried, how could I have gone wrong?! Serve a little ranch on the side for dipping and you have a delicious meal. Even the kids liked them.

2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
½ Cup finely diced white onions
½ Cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 large cloves fresh garlic, minced (I used 1)
1 12 oz can chunk chicken, drained (from Costco)
¼ Cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
¼ Cup Verde Salsa (I use Herdez brand)
2 Tablespoons prepared ranch dressing
½ package won ton wrappers (found in the produce section of the grocery store)

1. Heat oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and bell pepper for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic for 1 minute and remove from heat.
2. In large bowl add onion mixture, chicken, cilantro, salsa, ranch, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
3. Place 1 Tablespoon chicken mixture in center of won ton wrapper. Brush bottom edge with egg white wash, fold over filling and press edges together firmly, forming a triangle shape.
4. 2 options of cooking. 1st is place about 1 inch of canola or vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. When hot, place 4 won tons at a time into oil. Cook 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown. 2nd option is place won tons on a baking sheet; bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until crispy, flipping once half way through cooking.
5. Serve with Ranch dressing or salsa if desired
(of course I found this one on Picky Palate!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Outback Bushman Bread

I found this recipe on the Newlyweds! blog a few weeks back. I am always looking for different breads and rolls to serve with dinner (and yes, I am one of those crazy women who cranks up her oven and bakes in the summer) and thought this one sounded good. It did not disappoint! It has a hint of sweetness to it and tastes fabulous warm with a little butter. It's been so long since I've been to Outback so I can't say if it tastes like theirs or not, but I can say it tastes delicious! Thanks Newlyweds!
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses

COLORING (I skipped this part)
1 1/4 teaspoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon yellow food coloring
1 teaspoon blue food coloring

cornmeal for dusting

1. Mix sugar with warm water, then dissolve the yeast in the solution. In five minutes the solution will begin to foam as the yeast begins its gassy dance party.
2. While the yeast is waking up, mix the flours, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. Mix butter into the dry mixture with your hands. Make an impression in the middle of the dry mixture. Add the honey and molasses into the well. Mix the food coloring with the yeast solution, then pour the solution into the well. Stir from the middle bringing the dry mixture into the wet stuff, slowly at first, then quickly as you incorporate all the ingredients. You will eventually have to use your hands to combine everything. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface, then roll the dough into a ball and place it into a covered bowl in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
3. When the dough has doubled, separate it into 6 even portions. Roll each dough portion into logs that are 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. Pour cornmeal onto your rolling surface. Moisten your hands then rub water onto each dough log and roll it in the cornmeal. Arrange the rolled dough on a baking sheet and cover it with plastic wrap. Set the dough in warm spot to rise for another hour or so until the loaves have doubled in size.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the dough and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes in the hot oven. When the bread is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the bread with a sharp bread knife and butter on the side. If you want whipped butter, like you get at the restaurant, just use an electric mixer on high speed to whip some butter until it’s fluffy.Makes 6 small loaves.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Strawberry Frozen Delight

Sorry for the lack of posting! I've been MIA as I have family in town. I should be back to my normal routine by next week. Thanks for checking in.
This was a nice, light, summer dessert. I made this for a family party and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. I will definitely be making this again.

4 cups strawberries, (2 cups smashed, 2 cups sliced)
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups cool whip, separated
16 oreos, crushed in food processor
2 Tbsp. melted butter

1. Line a bread pan with heavy duty foil.
2. Mix 2 cups smashed strawberries, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and cool whip for 2 minutes. Pour into lined bread pan.
3. Combine oreo crumbs with melted butter and press over top strawberry mixture.
4. Cover pan with foil and freeze for at least 6 hours.
5. Just prior to serving, invert the frozen dessert onto a plate, remove foil, and frost the with remaining 2 cups of cool whip and top with sliced strawberries. (I only frosted the top, so I didn't use all the cool whip)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chicken Burros

These burritos were delicious! This is another wonderful Picky Palate recipe. I love her recipes because they are always loaded with my favorites- chicken, cilantro, and ranch dressing, you just can't go wrong! I changed a few things, but basically just used fresh, homemade ingredients. Yum!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Mild Rotel)
1 pkg Lipton Spanish Rice, Cooked ( I used my homemade Spanish Rice)
2 Cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 Cup shredded cheese
1/2 Cup ranch dressing (homemade Hidden Valley)
1/4 Cup favorite salsa (I used my homemade salsa)
tortillas (I prefer the uncooked)

1. In 10-inch non stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno pepper; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken, 3 tablespoons cilantro, salt, cumin, pepper and tomatoes with green chilies; cook 5 minutes.
2. Mix ranch dressing and salsa in a small bowl until combined. Place chicken mixture, rice, lettuce, cheese and sauce inside tortillas. Fold and serve.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese

If you've never been on the Pioneer Woman's blog before, you're missing out. She is an amazing cook and her recipes never lack flavor! I have one word for this one- SPICY! Wow, I even toned down the heat in this recipe and it was still spicy. It was so good though that you continue eating even though your mouth is burning. My husband had 3 servings.

1 lb. macaroni noodles
1/4 to 1/2 of a red onion, diced
equal amount of red bell pepper, diced
1 4oz. can green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
1 finely diced jalapeno (I used 1/2)
1 heaping cup grated pepper jack cheese ( I used 1/2 pepper jack, 1/2 mozzarella)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
salt & pepper

1. Boil pasta until al dente.
2. In a large skillet, add olive oil and saute onions, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and corn over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add green chilies, stir,then turn off heat.
3. Drain pasta and add it to the skillet. Pour on cream, add cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Breadsticks II

These by far are the most flavorful breadsticks I've ever made. The topping is awesome and makes a lot, so you can save it in a shaker (refrigerated) and use it on other italian dishes as well. You could even get away with purchasing a loaf of ciabata or french bread and using this same seasoning mixture. I served these along side my Lasagna and they were delicious together!

1 1/3 cup warm water
2 tsp. yeast
3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. oregano
3 Tbsp. powdered milk

seasoning- combine the following
2 Tbsp. parmesan
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. oregano

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Combine then knead the bread till dough is formed. Cover and let ride till doubled.
2. Roll dough out into a large rectangle 1/2-3/4" thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1x4" strips. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise till doubled.
3. Brush breadsticks with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning mixture.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Lightly brush with butter when done.

Recipe compliments of Catch the Cooking Bug!

Monday, July 6, 2009

BBQ Chicken Salad w/Cilantro Ranch Dressing

My husband absolutely loves this salad. The dressing is the best part, you've got to make the homemade Hidden Valley Ranch from the packet, it's the only way to go. I do highly recommend cooking the chicken in the crockpot with KC Masterpiece Original sauce too. Delicious!

hearts of romaine
1 can corn
1 can black beans
15 grape tomatoes, halved
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, cubed or shredded
favorite BBQ sauce (I use KC Masterpiece Original)
mozzarella cheese

1 packet prepared Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (1 cup mayo/ 1 cup milk)
½ bunch chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime, or 2 Tbsp.

Place lettuce in a serving bowl. Layer with corn, black beans, and tomatoes. Mix cooked chicken in BBQ sauce and top over salad. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top.
Place ranch dressing, cilantro, lime juice and minced garlic in a blender or food processor and mix well. Drizzle over salad.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lazy Buffalo Chicken Salad

I found these boneless buffalo chicken strips about a year ago, shortly after having my baby. I was looking for some quick-fix-it meals just to get us by until and I could get myself back into a routine. I have been buying them ever since, and we love them! I usually don't buy anything frozen like this and it's actually rare to find me in the freezer section of any store unless I'm buying ice cream. I'm just anti-freezer meals.
Anyways, you really should give these a try, whether it be on a salad or by themselves dunked in ranch or blue cheese dressing. It's a simple summer meal.
hearts of romaine, chopped
tomatoes, diced
celery, chopped
cucumber, sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
mozzarella cheese, shredded
Tyson's boneless buffalo chicken strips, prepared
ranch or blue cheese dressing
Layer veggies over a bed of romaine, sprinkle with cheese, top with chicken, and drizzle with dressing! Yum!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sausage & Mozzarella Calzones

This recipe was so easy to make! The most time consuming part was browning the sausage, which is nothing. The dough took 5 minutes in the mixer and it was ready to go. I love quick easy meals, especially when everyone eats it too! I found this recipe on a blog called Eat at Home.

1 lb. sausage
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 6oz. can tomato paste + 1 can water
basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
mozzarella cheese, the amount depends on how cheesy you like it.

Brown the sausage with the onion and garlic. Drain the grease. Add remaining ingredients, except cheese, and combine them well, letting them heat together for a few minutes.

1 pkg dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbs. oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the other ingredients (I used a stand mixer with a dough hook for this step.) Beat the ingredients until well mixed. Let the dough rest 5 minutes.

Now it’s time to assemble the calzones. I made 4 medium sized calzones, but you can make any size you'd like.
1. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll into circles. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet. Spread 1/4 of the meat mixture onto one side of the dough and add the cheese.Fold the dough over the top and seal the edges. (I used the prongs of a fork to seal my edges.)
2. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. You'll need to adjust your baking time depending on the size you make.