Southwest Cornbread

Active Prep Time: 30 minutes  Bake Time: 30 minutes

“I do not like corn bread, but I love this.  Weird, right?”

1 lb ground beef

1/2 onion – chopped finely

Salt and pepper – to taste

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 8 1/2-ounce box corn bread and muffin mix

1 egg

1/3 cup milk

1 can cream-style corn

2 cups pepper jack cheese – shredded

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the bottom and sides of a large casserole dish.

2)  Brown and drain ground beef and onion.  Add seasoning and stir well.

3)  In a small bowl, combine corn bread mix, egg, milk, and corn.  Stir well.

4)  Pour 1/2 cornbread mix in casserole dish.  Add ground beef and spread evenly.  Add cheese evenly.  Add remaining cornbread mix.

5)  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

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Best Ever Banana Pudding

Makes 8 servings Active Prep Time: 30 minutes  Chill Time: 4 hours

This is hands down, across the board, my family’s favorite dessert.

30 vanilla wafers

2 bananas – sliced thinly

1 large box instant vanilla pudding

1 8-ounce package block cream cheese

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups milk

1 container cool whip topping  – divided

1)  Line the bottom a 9 x 13″ baking dish with vanilla wafer cookies. Add a layer of sliced bananas.

2)  In a large mixing bowl, combine pudding, cream cheese, condensed milk, vanilla, milk & 1/2 container of cool whip. Pour over cookies & bananas. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

3)  Top with remaining cool whip before serving.

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Chicken Fried Rice

Makes 4 servings Start to Finish: 30 minutes

“This beats any Chinese restaurant.  It’s so good – one of those “fight over left-overs” meals.”

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces & salted

4 eggs – slightly beaten

3 cups rice – cooked

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger -or 1 T fresh ginger root

3 cloves garlic – minced

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables – petite cut

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1)  Heat oil in a large skillet.  Cook chicken on a medium heat until no longer pink.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

2)  Push chicken to the side of the side of the skillet and pour in eggs.  Stir eggs until cooked.  Add vegetables, rice, soy sauce, and seasonings – in that order stirring about 1 minute after each addition.  Continue stirring and cooking over medium heat until combined and rice and vegetables are heated.

Tip – Fried rice works best with cold rice, but if you don’t have time – fresh, warm rice will work.

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Mexican Pizza

Makes 4 servings Start to Finish: 30 minutes

“One of my favorite guilty pleasures is Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza.  I’ve often thought about replicating this recipe and finally decided to try it.  Yay!”

12 small flour tortillas

Vegetable oil

1 lb ground beef

1 can refried beans

1 cup salsa

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese – shredded

Sour cream – for garnish

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)  Lightly brush flour tortillas on both sides with vegetable oil.  Place oiled tortillas on a large baking dish (you might have to do it in batches.)  Bake tortillas for 6 minutes on each side.  Remove from oven.

3)  Brown and drain ground beef.  Add beans and salsa.  Mix well and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through.

4)  Sandwich ground beef mixture evenly between 6 pairs of baked tortillas.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over tops of sandwiched tortillas and return to oven for 3 – 5 minutes to melt cheese.  Serve topped with sour cream.

*You can easily and deliciously turn this into a vegetarian dish by removing the beef and doubling up on the refried beans.*

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This is a repeat from last spring, but I couldn’t resist sharing this again!

The Meal Planning Mom Blog

Makes 8 servings
Active Prep Time: 30 minutes  Refrigerate Time: 3 – 4 hours

1 9 ”  pie shell
6 limes
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 16-ounce container cool whip topping
2 drops blue food coloring
6 drops yellow food coloring

1)  Bake pie shell according to directions and set aside to cool.

2)  Zest 4 limes and juice 6 of them.  Combine zest, juice, cream cheese and condensed milk.  Mix well. Fold in cool whip topping.  Stir in food coloring.

3)  Pour into pie crust.  Refrigerate 3 – 4 hours to set.

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Chicken Fajita Salad

Makes 4 servings Start to Finish: 30 minutes

“I love this.  My kids still prefer it as a traditional fajita, which is only the addition of tortillas.  You should try it this way, but keep tortillas on hand for anyone who prefers it that way.”

1 lime juiced

2 tablespoons cilantro – finely chopped

3 tablespoons garlic – minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts – cut into thin strips

1 green bell pepper – cut into thin strips

1 tablespoon olive oil

15 1/2 ounces kidney beans – rinsed and drained

1 bag mixed salad greens

Shredded Cheddar cheese – for serving

Sour cream – for serving

Salsa – for serving

Guacamole:

2 ripe avocados

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 cup cilantro – finely chopped

1/2 lime – juiced

1)  In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and chili powder; add chicken strips.  Seal bag and massage marinade into chicken.

2)  In a large skillet, heat olive oil.  Cook chicken over medium heat until no longer pink.  Add bell peppers to chicken.  Add beans and cook until peppers are tender and beans are heated through – about 5 more minutes.

3)  Divide salad into 4 bowls.  Top each with chicken mixture, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

Guacamole:

Scoop and mash avocados.  Mix well with the other ingredients.

Kid Tip:  Remove pieces of chicken from skillet before adding peppers and beans.  Serve plain or with tortillas.

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Buttery Lemon Skewers

Makes 6 servings Active

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Grill Time: 10 minutes

“This was an “Oh Look – Shrimp Are On Sale” quick recipe.  These are delicious.”

2 lbs medium to large shrimp

1 lemon – juiced

1/4 cup butter – melted

Cajun seasoning – to taste

1)  Peel and devein shrimp.  Toss with butter, lemon juice and cajun seasoning.

2)  Thread on pre-soaked skewers.  Grill over low heat for 4 – 5 minutes on each side or until shrimp are no longer opaque.

Tip:  Lemon will cook your shrimp, so do not make in advance.  If your butter is scalding, it will also cook your shrimp.  Let it sit for a short while (5 minutes) after melting before tossing it on.

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