Friday, July 26, 2013

Chewy Caramel Popcorn

We have had this caramel popcorn a couple of times when we've had family movie night and we have loved it!!! I even forgot to add vanilla this last time and it was still delicious! Oh, and another plus, there is plenty of caramel left over to refrigerate and use as fruit dip. YUM!

Chewy Caramel Popcorn
Serves 8

2 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Corn Syrup
1 cup Butter
1/2 tsp Salt (unless your popcorn is salted, like microwave popcorn, then you won’t need any)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
2 large bowls of Popped Popcorn, (I usually just make one big bowl and save the rest of the caramel for later:)

Combine first 4 items in medium saucepan and stir over medium/high heat. Stir continuously. Let boil for 2-3 minutes (no longer) and then remove from heat. Add the milk and vanilla. Return to heat and stir until is just barely starts boiling again. Remove and drizzle over popcorn. Stir well, only use enough to completely coat the popcorn.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Creamy Potatoes

Creamy + cheesy = me likey and you likey too. These potatoes were yummy. I served them with a sloppy joe. My wonderful husband decided they were perfect with a spoonful of sloppy joe mix on top. And he was right. From now on I think I will only eat them with sloppy Joe mix on top. So good!!!!

Creamy Potatoes
Serves 6

 4 to 5 large potatoes cut into thin french fries or enough to fill a 9×13 glass baking dish
1 pint whipping cream- 2 cups
salt and pepper over the potatoes and cream
2 tsp. parsley flakes
2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Cut your potatoes into thin french fry strips, and lay the fries, in a 9×13″ glass pan. (Arctic circle or McDonald’s fries type of thin!)
Pour all of the cream over the top of the fries.
Salt and pepper the potatoes very generously.
Sprinkle at least 2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese over the top.
Sprinkle Parsley flakes on top of the cheese.
Spray a bit of cooking spray on the side of the foil that will face the cheese. This assures that the foil won’t stick to the cheese after it melts.
Cover with foil, and poke a fork through the top of the foil, 2 or 3 times to allow a little steam to escape. This way, your cream doesn’t boil over into your oven.
Place your potatoes in the middle of the oven. Cook at 400 degrees for about 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
During the last 15 or 20 minutes of baking lower your rack one more step. This makes the bottom of your potatoes, brown and crispy.
Remove potatoes from the oven, remove the foil and eat!


One day I had no idea what to make for dinner so I asked my Facebook friends what I should make. My sister in law wrote back that I should make Stromboli. I had no idea what Stromboli was, but quickly looked it up, it's basically a folded up pizza.  It sounded easy and you can personalize it with whatever filling you want. Perfect!

Serves 8

1 c. cornmeal
2 loaves of frozen bread, thawed
1 pkg. pepperoni
10 slices lunchmeat ham, cut into bite size pieces
1 pkg. shredded mozarella
1 small onion, diced
2 small jars of pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Get a large cookie sheet and cover slightly with cornmeal. Spread bread loves into a large oval using your fingers or a rolling pin. Spread desired amount of pizza sauce on dough leaving 1" border around dough. Top with whatever topping you want. I used ham, pepperoni, onions and mozarella. Fold both long ends of oval up over eachother pinching shut. ( I use egg wash, 1 egg and 1 tbsp water mixed together, as the glue if necessary.)
Sprinkle a little corneal on top, then flip over. Repeat with other loaf. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a side of pizza sauce or ranch to dip in.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chicken Pillows

When my oldest son was in first grade, his class made a recipe book of their favorite meals and this recipe for chicken pillows was in it. I had had these before, but didn't know what they were called. They are sooo yummy and satisfying. My oldest son eats 4 or 5 everytime, no joke! He's goimg to eat me out of house and home someday.

Chicken Pillows
Serves 6-8

2 pkgs big crescent rolls
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
2 medium green onions, sliced
2 c.  cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. bread crumbs
1 can cream of chicken
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Cook chicken, cube or shred. Place in large bowl along with cream cheese, butter, green onions, pepper. Mix well. Stretch crescent rolls and stuff with a big spoonful of chicken mixture. Pinch shut. Roll in bread crumbs. Place on a greased baking sheet and cook in oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown on top. 
While chicken pillows are in oven make the sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat  over low heat until ready to use. 
Serve chicken pillows with sauce on top and a salad on the side. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tex Mex Burgers

Nacho cheese is amazing. Love, love, love any kind of cheese but nacho cheese is just so darn good. It's smooth and creamy and good on virtually anything, so why not on on burger! The pic of this burger on pinterest with the cheese oozing out was enough to peak my interest and it did not fail me. It was yummy. Oh, and even if you don't like corn chips please do not leave them out of this recipe, once they are coated in cheese they totally make the burger.:)

(I was out of bacon so that's why it is not in the pics. )

Tex Mex Burger
Serves 4


12 slices  smoked bacon, 4 slices finely chopped and 8 left whole
1 1/4 lbs. 80% lean ground beef
3 – 4 Tbs grated onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbs pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 c. milk
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar
1 14 oz can  diced tomatoes with green chiles, well drained
4 soft burger rolls, split
Crisp yellow corn chips
Chopped onion, tomatoes, cilantro and pickled jalapeno

Preheat and clean grill.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a wire rack on a baking sheet (or use a broiler pan). Lay 8 slices of bacon over the wire rack and bake 10-12 minutes, until nice and crispy. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine beef, chopped bacon, onion, garlic, chipotle puree, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture into 4 even balls and gently mold into patties. Drizzle with olive oil and grill 5 minutes a side for medium.
Meanwhile, make the queso sauce; Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook one minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Stir in the cheese and let melt. Lastly, stir in the tomatoes. Reduce heat to low while everything comes together.
Layer burger rolls with grilled patties, queso sauce, back, corn chips, onion, tomatoes, and pickled jalapenos.

Recipe from Pass the Sushi

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bacon Red Pepper Penne

This pasta dish is special because it has a simple delicious sauce that is made with roasted pepper tomato soup which gives it a wonderful flavor. As always with most of the recipes on Too Good To Chew simple and delicious is my motto. :)

Bacon Red Pepper Penne
Serves 8

16 oz. container of  Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
2 c. 2% milk
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lb. penne pasta (or ziti), cooked until tender, but still firm to the bite
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
3/4 c. chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1 1/2 c. cubed provolone or mozarella cheese
8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9x13-inch pan (or other 2 1/2-quart baking dish) with nonstick spray.
 Prepare sauce: Heat soup and milk in a medium saucepan until small bubbles begin to form around the edges (just until hot). In a larger saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir well. Continue to cook, stirring, until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly begin adding hot soup/milk mixture to the large saucepan, whisking constantly while adding. Sauce will start out lumpy and become smooth as the liquid is incorporated.
 Assemble the dish: In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with the sauce. Break apart the spinach with your fingers and add it to the bowl. Also add red peppers, provolone cheese and 3/4 cup of Parmesan. Stir until ingredients are evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with bacon crumbles and top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Finish with a good dose of freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
 Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges and the center is hot (about 10 minutes more). Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: This recipe does not call for much salt, but I made sure to salt the sauce. 

Recipe from Recipe Girl

Monday, July 15, 2013

No Bake Cookies

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but chocolate and peanut butter has got to be the best combination in the world! No Bake Cookies are my favorite cookie recipe and I make them at least once a month!!!! So simple, quick and yummy.

No Bake Cookies
Makes about 16 cookies

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 3/4 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. peanut butter, creamy or crunchy if you like it.
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. oatmeal

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add milk, sugar and cocoa powder by whisking in. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and peanut butter and stir to dissolve. Add oatmeal and stir until well combined. Place oatmeal mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet, how big you want the cookies is up to you. Let cool until they have hardened or be like me and eat it out of a bowl with a spoon and a glass of milk!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

French Dip Sandwiches

Tender, flavorful meat on a lightly toasted french roll with oozy, melted provolone. YUM!!! This recipe is definite must. It was so delicious and the left over broth makes a fabulous dipping sauce. Mmmm mmm good!

French Dip Sandwiches
Serves 4

2-3 lbs. oven roast
2 cans beef broth (about 4 cups)
2 pkgs Lipton Onion Soup Mix
white Italian sub rolls
provolone cheese slices

Put oven roast in crock pot. Add beef broth and soup mix. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Shred roast with a fork, and return shredded beef to crock pot for a few more minutes. Slice open bread, and place a good amount of beef on one side, top beef with cheese slices. Broil open sandwich in oven for a few minutes, until the cheese gets melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, and serve with a ladle of au-jus left in crock pot. 
Notes: Please know your crockpot and adjust cooking time accordingly.  For example, mine gets really hot so I only cook on high for 1 hr. then turn to low for 3 hrs.  

Recipe and pic. from The Whicker Basket

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

These bars are so good and on top of that sooooooo easy to make. It literally took me 5 minutes to make! Gotta love that especially after you've just cooked dinner and don't feel like being in the kitchen any longer than you have to.

Cake Mix Cookie Bars
Serves 8

1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1/4 c. water
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips. I used 1/2 cup M&M's and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix, pudding, water, vegetable oil, eggs and chips or M&M's in large bowl.
Pour the batter (it's going to be thick) into a greased 10x13 baking dish. I sprayed my dish with nonstick cooking spray which worked well.
Bake your bars for 20-30 minutes (I took mine out at 22 minutes.)
 When the edges are just golden and starting to get crispy, it's probably perfect.

Recipe from Parent Pretty

Stuffed Shells

Pasta is my first love. Any kind will do. My sister in law made us some stuffed shells for dinner last year and ever since then I have added them to our regular menu. My kids also love, love, love them. They would eat the whole pan all by themselves if I let them, but I make them share!

Stuffed Shells
Serves 8

1 pkg. jumbo pasta shells
1 lb. ground beef
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp basil, divided
1/2 tsp. oregano
2-3 Tbsp. sugar
1 15 oz. tub ricotta cheese
1 5 oz. tub grated parmesan
2 c. shredded mozarella
2 eggs
salt TT
pepper TT

Cook jumbo shells according to pkg. directions, adding salt to boiling water.
Mix ricotta, mozarella, 1/2 of the parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper and 1 tsp basil together in a bowl. Set aside.
Brown meat (remember to always season meats with onion powder, garlic powder and pepper). Drain. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, 1 tsp basil and oregano. Bring to a boil. Let simmer covered until ready to assemble shells.
Place a layer of sauce down in a 9x13 pan. Spoon 1 tsp cheese mixture into cooked, cooled shells and place in pan. Repeat until all cheese mixture is gone. If you have any extra shells just throw them on top too.:) Cover shells in sauce and finish with parmesan on top.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve with a salad, garlic bread and corn. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Honduran Enchiladas

Before you read on I feel like I should inform you. Honduran Enchiladas are not the same as Mexican Enchiladas!!! There are no rolled, baked tortillas here. Honduran Enchiladas are tostadas with a meat and potato mixture and refried beans. Topped with cooked cabbage slaw, boiled eggs, parmesan cheese and hot sauce(if desired). It's absolutely delicious and I could eat them all day long!

Honduran Enchiladas
Serves 6

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
salt TT
pepper TT
 2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
Cabbage Slaw:
1 head of cabbage, cut in thin strips(julienned)
1/2 small onion sliced with potato peeler
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp cumin
1/4- 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 packet goya seasoning (optional)
salt TT
pepper TT
Refried Beans:
1 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cans refried beans
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
sirachi hot sauce
boiled eggs, sliced
parmesan cheese

For Refried Beans: Saute onion in oil for a couple of minutes until tender. Add refried beans and seasonings. Stir until well combined and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and simmer on low heat with lid on until ready to assemble enchiladas.
For Meat Mixture: Cook onion and ground beef until browned. Meanwhile peel, dice potatoes, then put in microwave safe bowl with 3 Tbsp water, cover with saran wrap and microwave for 4 minutes. Drain meat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant (1 minute). Add seasonings, tomato sauce, and softened potatoes.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
For slaw: Saute onions in 1 Tbsp oil for 1 minute. Add cabbage and tomatoes. Saute for 1 more minute. Add salt, and seasonings, and chicken broth. Cook until most of the broth has been absorbed into cabbage.( How much chicken broth you add is entirely up to you. If you want it runnier add more, if not don't. The only goal here is to soften up the cabbage and give it a nice flavor. )
Assembly: Place a nice little layer of refried beans on tostada. Top with meat mixture, then cabbage slaw. Finish with boiled eggs, parmesan cheese and hot sauce. Enjoy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Navajo Tacos

Growing up in the Southwest Navajo Tacos were a staple. Some people have never heard of a Navajo taco so let me describe what it is. It is a piece of fried bread topped with chili, cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and salsa. Deliciousness. The other great thing is it can also double as your dessert. For dessert top with honey and butter, butter and jam, or cinnamon sugar. You might have to have dessert before dinner because they are absolutely delicious when they are still warm with the melty butter and honey!:)

Navajo Tacos
Serves 8

1 36 count bag frozen Rhodes Rolls,thawed
1 can pinto beans
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
salt TT
pepper TT
1 can diced tomatoes
Oil for frying

Heat frying oil in a pot over med. heat.
Brown ground beef until cooked through. Drain. Return to pan. Add pinto beans, diced tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. 
Meanwhile take two of your rolls at a time and smush together. Place on a floured surface and roll out to a circle about the saize or asmall salad plate. Place in hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Place on a paper towel lined plate. Continue until all dough is used and fried. 
Assemble tacos by placing chili on top of fried bread and top with desired toppings: shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, green onions, etc.
Oh, and don't forget dessert! Top fried bread with desired topping and devour!!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mini Nutella Cookie Bites

I found this recipe on Pinterest recently and I can't resist any kind of dessert, but one made with Nutella! Come on! These cookie bites were super simple to make and so delicious. Of course like always I did not let them cool long enough so they were a little messy, due to the chocolate oozing out. :) That's what water and soap are for though right?

Mini Nutella Cookie Bites
Makes 3 dozen Cookies

1 c. shortening + 2 Tbsp water
1 c. white sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Jar of Nutella(12 tablespoons per batch)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your mini muffin tin (unless it is nonstick like mine).
Cream shortening and both sugars in bowl until light, smooth and fluffy! Beat in eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated. Gradually add dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) until all the flour is mixed in!
Roll dough into balls 1.5 inches thick.
Pop them in the mini muffin tin and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown but not too dark around the edges.
When done, remove from oven and let sit for about 2 minutes. Then make wells for the Nutella, I used a Children's Ibuprofen measuring cup, but  a similar object or a spoon would work too. Add 1 tbsp Nutella to each cup – once it starts to melt, you can swirl it around and make it nice and smooth.
Let cool 15-20 minutes in tin. Enjoy!

Notes: I always replace butter for shortening in my recipes because with shortening you end up with a perfect cookie each time. With butter you have to watch how much you mix the dough and make sure the temperature of the butter is just right; otherwise, it will all have an effect on the texture of your cookie.

Recipe slightly adapted from Daisy Chubbs Tea and Treats

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pastelitos de Perro

Pastelitos de Perro is literally translated to "Dog Pies," horrible name right, but oh so delicious. This dish is a traditional Honduran dish comparable to an empanada, but made with a corn dough instead of a pasty dough. They are served up with feta, or cotija, and cooked cabbage slaw. They do take a little work, but like usual when planning and work is involved, it's worth it!:)

Pastelitos de Perro
Serves 6-8

Meat mixture:
1 lb. of ground beef
1 med. onion, diced
1/2 large green bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp cumin
salt TT
pepper TT
1 packet of Goya seasoning 
3 c. masa harina
1 1/2- 2 c. chicken broth 
1/2 tsp paprika
2 packets of Goya seasoning 
1 bottle of vegetable oil for frying
Cabbage Slaw:
1 whole cabbage, sliced thinly into strips
1/2 onion peeled into thin slices using a potato peeler
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
salt TT
pepper TT
1/4 -1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 packet Goya seasoning

Begin by filling a pot with oil about half way, enough to submerge pastelitos when frying. Heat over medium heat. 
For the Meat Mixture: In a pan, cook ground beef,onion, and bell pepper until meat is brown and cooked through. 
Meanwhile peel and dice potatoes. Then place in a microwave safe bowl, add three Tbsp. water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3-4 minutes until tender. 
Add minced garlic to meat mixture and cook for another minute. Drain meat and add back to pan. Add tomato sauce, potatoes and seasonings. Bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. turn off heat and set aside. 
For the dough: Mix all ingredients in a bowl, start with 1c. of chicken broth and add more as needed. (You want the dough to be pliable and not too dry.)
Assembly: Make balls of dough about the size of a golf ball. If you have a tortilla press, line with parchment, place dough in and press into tortilla shape. If you don't have a tortilla press like me. Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper, use a large salad plate and press plate down on top of dough to flatten. 

Finish spreading it out using a rolling pin to desired  size. Fill with meat mixture and pinch closed using fingers, then use the prong of a fork and make a seam pressed all along edges.

Fry in oil for 3-4 minutes until golden in color. Place on a plate lined with paper towels.
 Meanwhile for Cabbage Mixture: in a large pan heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add cabbage, onions and seasonings. Saute for 4 minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer with lid on for 4 minutes then with lid off for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 
To serve: Place pastelito on a plate, top with cabbage mixture, feta and a little hot sauce if desired.Can also serve with beans, any extra meat filling and rice on the side. 
Now enjoy the fruits of your labor!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Sometimes when dinner rolls around I do not feel like spending any time in the kitchen cooking. So for days like that I try to choose easy, quick meals to prepare. This BBQ chicken pizza is just that. The day I made it I was feeling very lazy so I bought store made crust. It was still good, but to be honest with you next time I will probably make homemade crust or buy Rhodes Rolls and use them as crust. Regardless of what crust you use this meal will still a big hit with your family and is so easy to prepare!

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Serves 6

Your favorite bottle of BBQ Sauce or homemade
Pizza crust, store bought or homemade
1/2 red onion, diced
2 chicken breasts, diced and cooked
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
mozarella cheese

Spread BBQ sauce on pizza crust. Add chicken, bacon and red onion. Finish with mozarella cheese. Cook according to pkg. directions on your pizza crust. Slice and enjoy.