Tip: Cooking Bacon in the Oven

After trying this I find it hard to cook bacon on the stove top anymore.
This way is easier, the bacon tastes better, and the cleanup is a snap!

How To Do It:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place bacon on the foil, each piece not touching.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes (while you are making the rest of breakfast)
  • Remove bacon from aluminum foil and place on paper towels.
  • Let the grease on the foil harden before clean-up. Then, just roll up and throw away.

Easy stuff! You’ll thank me later…

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Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs

Feel fortunate. I’m giving away my “secret” spaghetti recipe.
I make this for guests and for my family frequently.
Goes great with red wine – though you should get ready to hibernate afterwards!

Degree of Difficulty: Medium-Difficult
Time Frame: 45 mins-1 hour

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3/4 cup parmesean cheese
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the spaghetti.

Add olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and half of the chopped garlic. Cook until soft.

Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper. Simmer 5-10 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, make the meatballs. Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining chopped garlic, parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of the parmesean cheese, and salt and pepper. Combine everything with your hands and roll into walnut-sized balls. Drop into the simmering sauce.

While the meatballs are simmering, add the beef bouillon cubes and bay leaf to the boiling water. Once the cubes are dissolved, add the spaghetti. Cook to al dente (7-8 minutes).

Once the meatballs are thoroughly cooked, add a ladle-full of pasta water and butter to the sauce.

Drain the spaghetti, discarding the bay leaf.

Add pasta to serving plates, covered in meatballs and sauce. Top with remaining 1/4 cup parmesean cheese.

Suggestions and Comments:

  • This serves 4-6 people, one serving each – but I almost always double the sauce recipe, even for our family of 4. We love those meatballs – and they are great for leftovers in hoagies or just by themselves!
  • Make sure to discard that bay leaf. It has sharp edges and would really OUCH to bite into it!
  • This meal is very filling, but I have frequently served french or italian bread as a side. It’s great for sopping up the sauce!
  • If you want to simmer the meatballs and sauce all day, make sure that the meatballs don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Seriously, prepare to hibernate after this meal. It’s great for a weekend meal when it’s cold outside. Heck, it’s great anytime!

Source: Rachel Ray

Posted in main dish | Leave a comment

Chicken and Stuffing (in the Slow Cooker)

That yummy recipe that I fall back to when my brain just doesn’t want to think!

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Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Time Frame: 2-2.5 hours (in the slow cooker)

Ingredients:
4-5 chicken breasts
1 16 oz. box of stuffing
One half stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
1 pkg. frozen sweet corn
2 cups chicken broth

Directions:
Lay chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Mix the other ingredients together and lay over the chicken breasts.

Cook in the slow cooker for 2 – 2.5 hours.

Suggestions and Comments:

  • The original recipe called for 2 cups of water in stead of the chicken broth. I really think using the chicken broth is much better.
  • After 2 hours, make sure the stuffing topping does not get dry. It is it, that’s a good sign your meal is ready to eat.

Found This in the “Fix it and Forget It Favorites in Five Ingredients”

Posted in Crock Pot Food, Side Dish | Leave a comment

Baked Tacos

Crispy. Easy, cooking and cleanup.
Once you go baked, you never go back!

Degree of Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Time Frame: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef
4 teaspoons dried minced onion
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
2 cups shredded Colby-jack cheese
18-20 hard taco shells

Optional Condiments:
lettuce (shredded)
tomato (diced)
Salsa
Guacamole
Sour Cream

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl combine dried minced onion, chili powder, cornstarch, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside.

In a large skillet brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Add refried beans, tomato sauce, and prepared taco seasoning. Mix well.

Spoon the taco meat mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, standing up. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the taco meat in each shell.

Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through. Remove from the oven and top with any optional condiments for serving.

Suggestions and Comments:

  • I know it seems like it makes a lot…but, frankly, I could eat 3-4 of these and be happy. My children ate 3 each! So, unless you are making these for a solo meal, I wouldn’t cut it in half.
  • These are great for kids because the ingredients don’t fall out as easily!
  • Truthfully, I don’t think I’ll make tacos any other way again! Very crisp, warm, and the ingredients blend together well when baked. Plus…melted cheese! Mmmmm!

Found this on Pinterest!
Source: BlogChef

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Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Also known as…Crack Weenies! Totally addictive.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Time Frame: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pound bacon, cut into thirds
1 pound little smokies
1 stick butter
2 cups brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the bacon into thirds and wrap each smokie.

Place all wrapped smokies in a single layer baking dish.

Melt the stick of butter and add 1 cup of the brown sugar until well mixed.

Pour the butter and brown sugar mixture on the smokies and bacon. Then take the other cup of brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over the smokies.

Bake them for about 15-20 minutes and then turn the heat up to 400F for about 5 minutes or longer until the bacon becomes crispy.

Suggestions:

  • This recipe is pretty self-explanatory. But if you’re making these for a big party, you might want to double the recipe! I could eat half of these myself!

Found this on Pinterest!
Source: Tasty Kitchen

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Mississippi Roast

Tender, juicy, flavorful, easy.
What else do you need to know?

Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Time Frame: 8 hours (in the slow cooker)

Ingredients:
chuck roast (size is your choice)
1 pkg. dry Hidden Valley Ranch
1 pkg. dry Au Jus mix
1 stick of butter
5-8 pepperoncinis

Directions:
Put chuck roast in the slow cooker.

Sprinkle dry Hidden Valley Ranch on top of the roast.
Sprink dry Au Jus mix on top of the ranch mix.

Place one stick of butter on top of the mixes.

Put the pepperoncinis around the butter on top of the roast.

DO NOT ADD WATER.
Cook in the slow cooker for 7.5-8 hours.

Suggestions and Comments:

  • Use real butter, darn you.
  • If you add veggies to this, add water – but please note that, in my opinion, it won’t taste the same. My suggestion is to make homemade mashed potatoes with this roast. They are fabulous eaten together! (and rolls and a green veggie…mmmm)

Found This on Pinterest!
Source: Berge Central

Posted in Crock Pot Food | Leave a comment

Tres Leches Cake

When a Hispanic friend confirmed that this, indeed, is worth making…
I knew I’d have a favorite!

Level of Difficulty: Medium-Difficult
Time Frame: 1.5-2 hours

Ingredients:
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
5 whole Eggs
1 cup Sugar, Divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 cup Milk
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
_____
FOR THE ICING:
1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
3 Tablespoons Sugar
maraschino cherries
cinnamon (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.

Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.

Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a large rimmed platter and allow to cool.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.

Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries and a bit of cinnamon if you desire. Cut into squares and serve.

Suggestions and Comments:

  • Follow this recipe exactly. It doesn’t disappoint.
  • For the love of Pete, don’t use Cool Whip or something like that to save time on the topping!
  • Before pouring on the three milks, make sure the cake is setting on a big enough platter with rimmed edges. Even a cookie sheet would work.
  • When you pour the three milks on the cake, it will seem like it’s too much…but, trust me, the cake sucks it all up and, oh, is it not disappointing!
  • A cherry on top of each square piece does add to the cake, they are not just decoration.

Found this on Pinterest!
Source: The Pioneer Woman

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