Category Archives: Mike’s favorite

Creole Red Beans & Rice (Crockpot)

I forgot to type up this E-mealz recipe before their post was removed. We loved it, and it was not very spicy so it was suitable for young kids. I’ll do my best to remember it here:

In a crockpot combine:

1 lb dried red beans

16 oz sliced smoked sausage

1/2 onion, chopped

2-3 ribs of  celery, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped (the recipe called for one red and one green, but I used two red)

1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

7 cups water

Cook on high for seven hours.

Serve with rice and cornbread. Delicious!

2 Comments

Filed under Comfort Food, Crockpot, Kid friendly, Mike's favorite, No oven necessary.

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

Brie

Thinly sliced prosciutto

Fig preserves

Butter

Bread (French or sourdough would be best, but any sandwich bread will do)

Put the first three ingredients in the sandwich and then cook with butter like a grilled cheese sandwich.  (It is okay to eat the rind of brie, but personally we don’t like it.)

I’ve also seen a similar recipe that used blue cheese in place of the Brie. So do what suits you!

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Filed under Cheese, Comfort Food, Mike's favorite, Quick, Sandwiches

Valentine’s Day Fudge

I found this super easy recipe on www.familyfun.go.com while searching for Valentine desserts. The conversation hearts in the photo look great, but I used Valentine-colored M&M’s instead. (That’s what happens when you wait until February 14 to buy conversation hearts: they’re all gone.)

Dark Chocolate Layer:

1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

dash of salt

White Chocolate Layer:

1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

dash of salt

1. Line an 8″ square pan with foil. Set aside.

2. Microwave the ingredients for the dark chocolate layer for 30 seconds.  Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat until smooth. Spread over foil-lined pan.

3. In another dish, microwave the white chocolate ingredients in the same way, only stop every 20 seconds instead. (White chocolate tends to scorch.) Spread over dark chocolate layer.

4. While fudge is still warm, carefully score into 1″ pieces with a knife. Press a conversation heart or M&M onto each scored square.

5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm. 

6. Carefully lift out the block of fudge and peel off the foil. Cut onto the scored lines. Place each square of fudge in a mini muffin cup or wrap in colored cellophane with twist ties or pipe cleaners at the ends.

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Filed under Candy, Chocolate, Christmas, Cooking with Kids, Dessert, Mike's favorite, No oven necessary.

Green Bean Casserole (The One & Only)

Remember the other day when I said I draw the line at cooking with cream of mushroom soup? Well, not in this recipe. For whatever reason, it just isn’t Thanksgiving-Christmas-Easter without it.

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp soy sauce

dash pepper

4 cups cooked cut green beans (this is the one & only time of year we use canned green beans)

1 1/3 cups French fried onions (the more the better)

MIX soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, beans and 2/3 can onions in a 1 1/2 quart casserole.

BAKE at 350 for 25 minutes.

STIR and sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes.

 Some tips: If you’re going to do it wrong (making & eating this unhealthy monstrosity), do it right.  Don’t make it soupy!  And for goodness sake, please cover the entire casserole with the French fried onions and not just the edges.  

Please enjoy this Friends video where Joey says, “If you’re going to do it wrong…do it right.”

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Filed under Casserole, Christmas, Comfort Food, Mike's favorite, Side Dish, Thanksgiving

Peppermint Chocolate Bars

I couldn't find an image of this recipe, so please enjoy this picture of Peppermint Patty instead.

1 pouch (1 lb, 1.5 oz) double chocolate chunk cookie mix

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

2 T water

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies (about 20)

1 cup whipped fluffy white frosting (from a 12 oz container)

1. Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg and water. Spread half of the batter in ungreased 8″ square pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup of the crushed candies. Drop dollops of remaining batter over candies.

2. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or just until set. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack.

3. In small bowl, stir frosting and remaining 1/4 cup crushed candies. Frost bars. If desired, sprinkle with additional crushed peppermint candies. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

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Filed under Cake, Candy, Chocolate, Christmas, Cookies, Mike's favorite

Caryn’s Meatballs

I believe this is the final recipe from my “John & Caryn” collection.

Mix together:

1 lb ground beef

2 cloves garlic

2 eggs

1 cup Parmesan

1 1/2 T parsley

s & p

Then add:

2 cups bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (1/2 cup at a time)

Form into 2″ balls.

Heat 1 cup olive oil in a skillet and fry the meatballs in batches.  When very brown and slightly crispy, remove from heat to paper towels.  If they fall apart when cooking, cover.

Cook fried meatballs in tomato sauce 15 minutes.

3 Comments

Filed under Basic Cooking, Beef, Italian, Kid friendly, Mike's favorite, No oven necessary., Pasta

John & Caryn’s Pizza & Sauce (starring Rocky Balboa)

Be sure to place the pizza stone in the oven at least 1/2 hour ahead of time to make sure it gets good and hot.  475 for wheat dough or 450 for white dough. 

In a small sauce pan:

2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz each)

2 tsp sugar

shake of dry oregano

shake of garlic powder

salt (coat the entire surface)

Cook until it bubbles.

Here’s well, frankly, things get more stressful than I prefer in the kitchen.  The rest of the recipe needs to be done quickly so that the dough doesn’t stick to the counter or pizza paddle and so the sauce doesn’t make it mushy before the time comes to slide it on the stone.  I recommend a couple jogs in place and some neck stretches like Rocky would do.  Or you can just hype yourself up with this short video:

Now that you’re ready, roll pizza dough (such as Trader Joe’s) on a clean countertop into a circle. Use lots of cornmeal.  John’s tip: Think of the cornmeal as ball bearings so the pizza slides easily on and off the pizza paddle.

Quickly top that baby with sauce, cheese, & whatever toppings keep you happy.  Keeping with the cornmeal/ball bearings rule, slide the pizza on a pizza paddle and then slide it on the hot stone.  Remember: the oven isn’t cooking your delicious dinner–that burning hot hunk of pizza stone is. 

When it looks done it probably is.  Employ your pizza paddle for duty once again and serve your pizza up for dinner.  (Feel free to shout, “Adrian!” at any time now.)

5 Comments

Filed under Basic Cooking, Healthy, Italian, Mike's favorite, Pizza, Quick, Vegetarian Main Dish