Sunday, October 25, 2009

Round Steak Sauerbraten

This week's recipe is another one of my family's favorites. On one particular occasion that my husband had to work late, there was none left for him to eat after the kids devoured their dinner! This recipe does have quite a few steps and does have a few unusual ingredients. However, I really like it because it makes the house smell wonderful, and I don't have to worry about working on dinner while helping my daughter with her homework because it cooks so long.

Round Steak Sauerbraten
1 1/2 lb. round steak
1 Tbs oil
1 envelope brown gravy mix
2 c water
1/2 Tbs dried minced onion
1 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Cut meat into 1-inch squares.
2. Brown meat in oil in large skillet. Remove meat from skillet. Discard any grease.
3. Add gravy mix and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
4. Stir in onion, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Add meat and stir. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Cover.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
6. Remove bay leaf. (If 'gravy' needs thickened, you can thicken it like you would usually thicken gravy with a flour or cornstarch and water slury.) Serve over rice or noodles. (I typically use 2 cups water / 2 cups instant white rice.)
Serves 6

Source: This recipe is from The Everyday Gourmet by Carol Cook. Mrs. Cook was one of my Home Ec teachers in high school.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Enchilladas, Mexican Layered Salad & Cornbread Casserole

As I was thinking about posting this week's recipe, I realized it is again something that contains chicken! I promise next week I'll come up with something else. We live off the sale ads. I tend to stock up on chicken when it's on sale, so we eat a lot of chicken. You can always replace the chicken in the enchilladas with taco-flavored ground beef and make Beef Enchilladas. Come to think of it . . . I might try that!

Mexican Layered Salad

1 bag chopped Romaine lettuce
1 small cucumber, sliced and quartered
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe avacado, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 can chopped green chilies
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a trifle bowl or glass serving bowl, layer the first five ingredients. Combine the mayonnaise, chilies and seasonings; spread over the top. Sprinkle with chips and cheese. Serve immediately.

Yield: 10 servings

Every where I have taken this recipe, it gets rave reviews. We personally opt out of the chilies, but that just a personal preference. Add and omit as you please. I don't care for avacados either, but they are wonderful in this salad.

Chicken Enchilladas

(Please excuse the cell phone picture. I took enchilladas to a friends house and forgot my camera.)

8-10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 - 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tbl dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 tbl chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 (12 oz) jar taco sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken, onion and green pepper. Add sour cream, 1 cup cheddar cheese, parsley and black pepper. Stirring until cheese melts. Add the salt, tomato sauce, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
3. Spoon the mixture into tortillas and roll up (fold in sides and roll). Arrange the tortillas in a lightly greased 9x13 pan. (They will slightly over lap and some will have to fit on the side.) Cover with taco sauce and 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, let cool and serve.

And while I'm already typing recipes, this one will round out a whole meal for you . . .

Cornbread Casserole

1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (8 1/2 oz) box corn bread / muffin mix
1 egg
2 tbls butter or margarine, melted
1/2 tsp galric powder
1/4 tsp paprika

1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into a greased 7" x 11" baking dish.
2. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the top and edges are golden brown.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Sorry there isn't a picture of the Cornbread Casserole. I hadn't planned to include it until just a few minutes ago. You can bake the enchilladas first and up the temp to cook the cornbread since the enchilladas need to set anyway -- Cover to keep warm.

Monday, October 12, 2009

November Meeting Details

Details have been finalized for next month's Titus Two meeting and are as follows:

Date: Friday, November 13
Time: 6:30 - 9:00 pm
Place: Maggie Barnhouse's residence
(Directions will be posted at church.)
Please bring an appetizer or dessert.
Speaker: Mrs. Red Lott
Topic: Husband/Wife Relationship
Helpful Hints Topic: Grocery Shopping Tips

You may want to bring your Bible, a notebook and a pen to take notes. I'm sure Ms. Red will share plenty of information that you will want to remember.

Ms. Red is planning to have a Q&A time after she is done speaking. We'd also like to have a time where everyone can feel free to ask questions or bring up topics for discussion. This will be a time to help each other -- "How do you find time for devotions?" "What kind of snacks are good for after school?" "When and how do you do laundry -- all on one day or a couple loads a day?" This is where we could use the advice of the learned women in our church. I know I've been able to pick up useful tips from other ladies in the church in many areas of life.

If you have any trouble finding someone to watch your children, please let me know. There are many college students and young ladies from church that I can recommend.

Please plan to come and be a part of this Titus Two group whether you could use some encouragement or if you feel the Lord could use you to be an encouragement! Can't wait to see you there!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Creamy Swiss Chicken

This week's recipe comes with a challenge . . . I received this recipe from my sweet mother-in-law. Problem is, we don't have a name for it. She calls it "Triplett Chicken" because the last name of the man that gave it to her was Triplett. We have quite a few oddly named recipes, but that's a whole other story. I named it Creamy Swiss Chicken, but that just shows my inability to creatively name a recipe. (A little side note: Even if you are not a big fan of Swiss cheese, try this recipe. The flavor isn't real stong, and it melts into the sauce and gives the dish a great flavor.)

So when you make this recipe, let your creative juices flow. Leave a comment with a recipe name recommendation. Maybe I'll think of a prize for the winner! If nothing else, I'll be eternally grateful that my recipe no longer bears the name of Triplett Chicken!

6 halved, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 soup can of milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted (optional)
6 slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs

1. Layer chicken in 9x13” baking dish. (If you have the time, browning the chicken first adds a lot of flavor. Chicken breast halves can be cut into 2-3 pieces to stretch the servings.)
2. Mix soup and milk in a mixing bowl. Pour over chicken to cover.
3. Layer cheese over chicken. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Drizzle with butter.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let sit for 3 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6-8 servings

This is really good served with mashed potatoes as the sauce can be served over the potatoes. I have even mixed some of the sauce in with the potatoes to thin it out -- not that I ran out of milk or anything ;) -- just being creative! It added great flavor! If I have the extra money, I buy pre-made mashed potatoes in the refrigerated section. It's a great time saver if you have the money.

Please excuse my lack of color and the two starches in this meal -- corn is what we had that day, so corn is what we ate with dinner. Probably doesn't matter to many people, but I always think of those things since my high school Home Ec teacher ingrained it in my memory.

Don't forget to leave a recipe name suggestion! ENJOY!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Quick & Easy Alfredo Sauce

Lord willing, every week I will post a recipe. Whether you are in a rut and feel like you make the same thing every week or if your recipe box is half empty, we can probably all benefit from 'new' recipes. I am all about quick & easy, so I love this recipe. This is a big hit with my family, and it's requested almost every two weeks when I make out a menu before grocery shopping (except the kids call it "the noodles with the white sauce" despite my many attempts to help them remember the correct name).

Quick & Easy Alfredo Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups milk
3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth.
(Note: A low-fat cream cheese works well. Use the recommended 2 tsp. of garlic powder. It seems like a lot, but it makes a big difference in the favor if you use less. I've tried using a spoon to stir before, and the whisk makes a big difference. It helps obtain the desired smoothness. See pics below as a reference -- the butter will blend in.)
3. Add milk a little at a time to thin out sauce to desired thickness. (It will thicken slightly when Parmesan Cheese is added.)
4. Stir in Parmesan Cheese and pepper.
5. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency adding more milk if needed.
6. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

Yield: 4 servings

I add fettucini pasta and grilled chicken to make Chicken Fettucini Alfredo. Sometimes I will use penne pasta instead of fettucini because it adds variety.
I'm still experimenting on this, but I've added salsa and chili powder to make a salsa-alfredo sauce. If you've even eaten the Southwest Chicken Pasta dish at Red Robin, you'd understand why. It has penne pasta, salsa-alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, black olives, sour cream and fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few ingredients.

TIP of the day!
As a time saver, I will prepare chicken ahead of time for recipes. Quite a few of the recipes I make include diced, cooked chicken. I've always found it a pain to thaw two chicken breast, cook and dice them while trying to assemble the rest of the casserole or whatever the recipe. It has also bothered me that the chicken seems to lack flavor even if I sprinkle it with a spice blend or garlic powder. So I came up with the idea to marinate a 3 lb. bag of chicken breast or tenderloins with Italian dressing (any kind will do although Aldi's Light Italian Dressing is great), and then grill the chicken on the outdoor grill. I will dice up all the chicken and divide it into 1 1/2 - 2 cup portions (since most of my recipes call for that amount). Then I put it in the freezer and can pull out a bag of already prepared chicken when I need it.

If you have a recipe you would like to share, please contact me in person or at