January 4, 2010

Italian Pie

Posted in Beef tagged , at 12:02 am by RootsAndRings

This is my sister’s favorite meal, it’s what she requests on her birthday every year. It’s not my absolute favorite but every time I make it, people rave about it. Enjoy!

2 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. dry spag. sauce mix
15 oz. can on tomato sauce
8 oz. carton of sour cream
8 oz. shredded mozz. cheese
1 pkg. crescent rolls

Brown meat (with a little onion, if you like that sort of thing… I like that sort of thing). Drain the fat. Add mix, tomato sauce, and sour cream. Put in a 9×13 pan, sprinkle cheese on top. Unroll the rolls and lay the across the top. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. Cook uncovered for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


January 3, 2010

Brown Rice

Posted in Other at 11:52 pm by RootsAndRings

This rice is fantastic and goes perfectly with Apricot Chicken. Although I have yet to make it successfully because there is something deep inside me that prevents me from making a successful pot of rice or a pancake. I don’t know why, it makes no sense to me. But my mom makes this rice and it’s fan-freakin-tastic.

3 T. butter
1 c. rice
1 can french onion soup
1 can consomme
1 c. water

Brown rice in melted butter. (Don’t burn!) Stir. Stir. Add onion soup and water. Mix. Cover and simmer 15-18 minutes. Put into a dish and pour 1/2-3/4 can of consomme over rice. Bake uncovered 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Apricot Chicken

Posted in Chicken tagged , at 11:45 pm by RootsAndRings

Growing up, this is what I always requested for my birthday meal. It’s delicious. I especially love making it since Stephen and I are only two people which means we get to eat it two days in a row. I serve it with brown rice and rolls. You’ll want the rolls to sop up the apricot goodness.

4-5 chicken breasts
11 oz. jar of apricot preserves
11-14 oz. bottle of Italian dressing
1 envelope of onion soup mix

In a medium sauce pan combine preserves, dressing, and soup mix. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until preserves are melted. Put chicken breasts in a baking dish and pour mixture on top. Cover with foil. Cook in a 350 degree oven for an hour. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes. Wipe your drool off the floor.

September 1, 2009

The Pasta With No Name

Posted in Pasta tagged , , , , , at 3:55 pm by RootsAndRings

So a couple weeks ago I made this random pasta dish and it turned out really well. I made it again last night, and again I liked it. So I thought that maybe I should share it with you since it’s so easy. The problem is that I don’t really measure much or keep track of cooking times. But I don’t think you can mess it up. It makes a very large pot of pasta. We have it for dinner, then lunch the next day, and then lunch the following day. And if you are better at portion control than us, you could probably get more than 6 servings out of it.

1 package of angel hair pasta
1 package of bacon, cooked- crispy!
1 large onion, halved and sliced
5 or 6 tomatoes, seeded and diced
a bunch of basil, torn or minced or however you like it
a small package of pine nuts, toasted

Pretty simple. While your bacon is sizzling away, cook all of your onions in some butter. You can make as much onion as you want. They cook down a lot so always put in more than you think you’ll want. You could cook them in olive oil but it won’t taste as good. Once they are translucent and tender, turn to medium/low and keep cooking them. We want them golden and sweet and delicious. Boil your pasta. I like to throw a bunch of garlic salt in the water to help give the pasta some flavor. Once your pasta is done, drain it and put it back in your big pot. Add everything- the chopped up crispy bacon, the pine nuts, the tomatoes, the onions. I add a drizzle of olive oil and some butter. But not too much of either because you don’t want slimy food. Mix it all up. This takes some elbow grease. And that’s it. Told you it was easy!

July 31, 2009

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Posted in Breads tagged , , , at 2:59 pm by RootsAndRings

Learn how to make these before you have children. Seriously. These are so good. And they aren’t labor intensive so even us non-bakers can handle it. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 T. water
2 eggs
3 crushed bananas (works best when they are old)
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1-1.5 c. chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350. Cream butter, sugar, and water until smooth. Add eggs and beat well. Mix the mashed bananas. Then mix in flour and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips. Easy as pie! Well, easy as muffins… Ha. I’m hilarious. Put into greased muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes.

July 30, 2009

Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Posted in Desserts, Freezable tagged , , , at 1:10 pm by RootsAndRings

This is a recipe from Kroger. No joke. They didn’t steer me wrong with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Truffles so I had no reason to doubt them. This is the first cheesecake I’ve ever attempted. It is magically delicious. It is insanely rich so start with a small piece. Not kidding. I’m a chocoholic and can usually handle richness… but this is RICH. Mine came out really dense and thick. But that’s the way I like my cheesecake so it’s perfect.

9 oz. chocolate wafer cookie (I assumed the meant Oreos so I bought an 18 oz package of Kroger brand Kiddo’s and used half)
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9 inch springform pan with 3 inch high sides. Chop cookies in food processor until finely ground, blend in sugar. Add melted butter and process until smooth. I had to stop and stir a few times to get it going. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of pan. Bake about 5 minutes. Mine burned a little, but now in hindsight, I think I baked mine for 9 minutes… Hmm… Take pan out of oven and let cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temp.

10 oz. dark chocolate (bittersweet), chopped (I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips)
4 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese, room temp. (I used 2 regular cream cheeses and 2 low fat, you know, because I’m watching my figure)
1 1/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs

Stir chopped chocolate in double boiler until melted and smooth. (I microwaved. Shut up Martha, that’s how I roll.) Let chocolate cool slightly – lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in food processor until smooth. I did this little by little so my processor wouldn’t freak out and explode. I don’t know it it helped, I like to think it did. Blend in eggs, one at a time. At this point if it looks like your processor is going to overflow, we’re in the same boat. Don’t worry, it didn’t. Now add the chocolate to the mixture and blend until all mixed. Pour filling over crust and smooth the top. Bake until center is set and just appears dry, about an hour. Cool for 5 minutes and then run a knife around the edges to loosen. Chill overnight.

3/4 c. whipping cream
6 oz. dark chocolate (bittersweet), chopped
1 T. sugar

Stir all ingredients in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over center of cheesecake and spread to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Chill until topping is set, about an hour.

Release pan sides. Transfer to platter. Let stand 2 hours at room temp before serving (if you can wait… we couldn’t). Enjoy.

Cheesecake 2

Saltine Surprises

Posted in Desserts tagged , , , at 12:48 pm by RootsAndRings

This is a recipe from my friend, Kendall. She introduced these to me in junior high and made them throughout high school. One night in college I was craving these terribly. I begged her for the recipe. They are delicious and easy and delicious. I always use semi-sweet chocolate chips but my aunt made them with dark chocolate chips and they were out-of-this-world amazing. Did I mention they are delicious?

Saltine crackers
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter
1 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a jelly roll pan (with sides) with aluminum foil. Lay saltines salt side up on the pan. This should be one layer over the entire pan. Pour sugar and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue stirring while in a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Pour mixture over crackers. Cook for 8-9 minutes. Take pan out of the oven and pour entire bag of chocolate chips on top. It will take them a second but they’ll melt so you can spread them like you would frost a cake. Refrigerate until hard. About an hour. Break into pieces. Eat until you get sick.

June 15, 2009


Posted in Chicken, Freezable tagged , , at 7:19 pm by RootsAndRings

This is my Meme’s recipe. And you know what they say about Memes… those ladies can cook! This is one of my all-time favorite dishes. It makes a lot, so get you some aluminum baking dishes and freeze a bunch. I wish I could tell you how much it makes, but I forgot. Someone, add it to the comments. I just keep a stack of the 8×8 pans and fill a bunch.


2 1/2 cups of spaghetti, broken into 2″-3″ pieces (about half the bag)
4 cups cooked chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1+ cups chicken broth
1 t. salt and pepper
1 lb. grated cheddar (I use 1/2 sharp cheddar)

If you haven’t already, cook your chicken. (I already told you to do this though… come on, pay attention.) I boil it with some peppercorns. Then cube your chicken. Cook your spaghetti – you can use the water from cooking your chicken. Drain spaghetti. Mix all ingredients together (save some cheese for the top). If it isn’t juicy, add more broth. Put into pans. You can freeze it at this point.

To cook, preheat your oven to 350 and bake for about 30 minutes. Everything is cooked so you are basically just heating it.

May 13, 2009

Crockpot Taco Stoup

Posted in Beef, Crockpot, Soups/Stews tagged , , , , at 10:07 pm by RootsAndRings

I’m stealing Rachael Ray’s term “stoup” – thinner than a stew, thicker than a soup! If you like soup, add more water. If you are Stephen, or are married to Stephen, leave as is. As most soups, tastes even better the next day!


2 cans of kidney beans
2 cans of pinto beans
2 cans of corn (I only used 1)
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 regular can Rotel (I don’t do spicy so I substituted plain diced tomatoes)
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg ranch dressing mix (I’ll repeat: mix! The powder, not the dressing!)
1 lb. ground beef (I used venison)

Brown your meat. Drain the fat. Put the meat in your crockpot. Pour taco and ranch mixes in pot. Mix well. Drain and rinse all 4 cans of beans. Add those to the pot. Add entire cans of corn and tomatoes and Rotel — do not drain! Stir. Cover and cook on low about 8-10 hours. You can cook it on high for 4-5 hours. Serve with some shredded cheddar, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.

Lazy Day Lasagna

Posted in Beef tagged , , , at 9:46 pm by RootsAndRings

This is from a cookbook that a local high school sold. I made it in college one night for some friends and, to this day, is my friend Jim’s favorite lassagna. He has requested that I post this for him so he can make it for his wife. Jimbo, I hope it’s as good as you remember it!


12 oz. cottage cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella
2 eggs
1 tsp. onion powder
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 t .dried basil
1/2 c. chopped parsley (much less if you’re using dried)
32 oz. jar of spag. sauce
1/2 c. water
1 3/4 lb. gr. beef
16 oz. uncooked lasagna noodles
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Brown ground beef. Drain the fat. Mix the first 7 ingredients. Mix spaghetti sauce and cooked ground beef. Layer in 9×13 baking dish as follows: Meat sauce, 6 noodles, 1/2 cottage cheese mix, meat sauce, 6 more noodles, rest of cottage cheese mix, and 6 more noodles. Top with meat sauce. Pour water around the edges. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes and shakes some Parmesan cheese on top.

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