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Tag Archives: Make Ahead Meals

Chops, Taters, and gravy

If you love pork chops, potatoes in gravy then you are going to enjoy this savory dish! Oh and you only need a salad to complete this meal.”

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Ingredients

6-8 pork loin chops (boneless or bone-in)

6 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 10 oz. cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

3/4 C. water

1 package Lipton onion soup base

1/4 tsp.pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

French’s fried onions, optional

Directions

1. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place sliced potatoes in the bottom and set the pork chops evenly spaced on top of them.

2. In a large bowl combine together the soup, milk, water, onion soup, and salt and pepper. Pour over the pork chops and potatoes. Sprinkle a few handfuls of the French’s Fried Onions over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325 for 2- 2 1/2 hours. ***, REMOVE foil the last 1/2 hour to allow browning.

Source Joy in the kitchen

Court’s Cooking Notes

If your oven cooks low, increase your temperature by 25 degrees…  you can purchase an oven thermometer at most stores to check to see if your oven heat is measuring correctly.)

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Celebrity Chef Inspired Recipe

I just love the food Network magazine. They have so many great recipe ideas for dinner and other interesting stuff that is in their magazines. In January’s issue they had an article written about one of Ina Garten’s recipes. She is also known for her show Barefoot Contessa. The dish is called Rigatoni with Sausage & Fennel. Since she is one of my favorite celebrity chefs I was inspired to cook her recipe.

It’s made with Heavy cream, half and half, sweet Italian sausage and much more. It was nothing but rich, creamy and delicious!

Rigatoni with Sausage & Fennel

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. olive oil

3 C. chopped fennel (1 large bulb)

1 1/2 C. chopped yellow onion

1 1/4 lbs sweet Italian sausages, casings removed

2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)

1/2 tsp. whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle

1/2-1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 C. dry white wine

1 C. heavy cream

1/2 C. half-and-half

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 lb rigatoni, such as Barilla

1/2 C. chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 C. freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, divided

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or a dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for seven minutes, occasionally stirring until tender. Add the sausage and cook for seven to eight minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned. Drain the grease.

2. Next add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, two teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of black pepper and cook for one minute. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and add the heavy cream, half-and-half and tomato paste. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for twentyminutes, until the sauce has thickened.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add two tablespoons salt and cook the rigatoni according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Off the heat, stir in the parsley and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Serve hot in shallow bowls with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan on the side.

Source Food Network Magazine

All year round breakfast casserole

This Bacon and Egg Breakfast Casserole is packed with your morning favorites. Easily prepared the night before, this is sure to become a family favorite. You can have for Breakfast or dinner all year round. Why not start this Christmas by preparing it the night before, cover tightly and let it chill overnight in the fridge. Then on Christmas morning heat and serve.

Bacon and Egg Breakfast Casserole

INGREDIENTS

7 large eggs, lightly beaten

12 oz can evaporated milk

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

16 oz Oda Ida plain refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes

½ C chopped green bell pepper

½ C bacon pieces, divided

¼ C thinly sliced green onions, divided

1 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X8 baking dish. Set aside.

1. In a large bowl, gently stir together the eggs, evaporated milk, kosher salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder until well combined. Set aside.

2. Evenly spread the hash brown potatoes onto the previously prepared baking dish. Evenly sprinkle bell peppers on top. Layer with half of the bacon pieces, followed by half of the green onions. Spread shredded cheddar evenly on top, followed by remaining bacon and remaining green onions.

3. Pour egg mixture over entire dish. Bake uncovered for forty-fifty minutes or until top is golden brown and puffy set. Let rest at room temp for five-ten minutes before serving. Leftovers can be chilled and reheated nicely.

Source Chew Out loud

The Frugal Chef

I had planned on cooking salmon the other evening. But when I made a dash to the store for my weekly grocery shopping trip. I saw that it was expensive, and, unfortunately, was not on sale. While I was in the store I decided to make a quick change that was a little bit more frugal. I found the perfect recipe to feed the family. It was Cheesy Beef Goulash.
It’s a family favorite that is thrifty, simple, flavorful and perfect for dinner any day of the week. It’s also a hit with the kids making it a hit with the whole family.

Cheesy Beef Goulash

Ingredients

2 lbs ground beef or 1 lb ground beef + 1 lb Breakfast pork sausage
3 tsp minced garlic
3 C water
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
3 Tbsp Bragg or soy sauce
1 Tbsp seasoned salt
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 C elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Saute the ground meat in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked. Drain. Toss the meat into a large pot. Then add garlic and saute for about three minutes. Add water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Cover and allow to cook for fifteen-twenty minutes.

2. Stir in the uncooked elbow macaroni to skillet, stir well, return the lid and simmer for about thirty minutes. Turn off heat, remove the bay leaves, and add one cup of cheddar cheese right before serving.

Source Lil’ Luna

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Heavenly Cheeseburger Soup 

 Cheeseburger soup is true comfort food. It’s loaded with ground beef, milk, cheese,  potatoes and carrots. This soup will certainly be a new family-favorite in no time at all.

Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup

INGREDIENTS

4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 C shredded carrots
1/2 C diced celery
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
3 C chicken broth
1 lb lean ground beef
3 TBSP butter
1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 C milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 (16 oz.) package Velveeta processed cheese, cubed OR 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Put potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, dried basil and parsley into your 6-quart insert crock pot. Then pour the chicken broth over vegetables. Cover with lid. Cook on low heat for six to eight hours OR on high heat four to five hours or until potatoes are tender.

2. About forty five minutes before serving, cook and crumble ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain any grease. Pour cooked ground beef into crock pot. Carefully wipe out hot skillet with a paper towel then add butter. When butter is melted whisk in flour and cook until golden brown and bubbly for about one minute  Whisk in the milk, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into the crock pot and stir to combine everything.

3. Combine the cubed Velveeta cheese or shredded cheese to the crock pot. Stir again. Cover with lid and cook on high for another thirty minutes or until cheese is melted.

Source Life in the loft house 

Cheesy Creamy Nacho Soup

Full of flavor slow cooker cheesy creamy  beef nacho soup! Enjoy the taste of nachos in a comforting soup, excellent for any night of the week!

Slow Cooker Nacho Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained of fat
1 C  yellow onion, chopped
1 C green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced Optional
15 oz. can corn, drained
15 oz .can Goya black beans
15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 1/2 C. chicken or beef broth
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. heavy cream
3-4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Green onions, chopped for topping
Directions:

1. Use a bowl of a five-six quart slow cooker/crockpot. Combine the cooked beef, vegetables, beans, seasonings, and broth. Stir gently to combine. Cover and cook on high for four hours or on low for eight hours.

2. When four hours is up, stir in shredded cheese. Whisk together flour and heavy cream until smooth. Pour into slow cooker, stir to combine. Cover and continue cooking for an additional thirty minutes. Serve warm with chopped green onions and tortilla chips.

Court’s Cooking Notes: *Ground chicken or turkey may be replaced for beef
. 1 1/2 -Tbsps cornstarch may be replaced for flour for a gluten free option

Source Baked by Rachel

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Comfort Food Made Healthy

Chicken Spaghetti is my latest comfort food favorite. I have already eaten it twice on two separate occasions. The first one was at a friend’s Birthday party. The second one was when I stayed with my Grandparents. During my visit I went with my Grandmother to a ladies luncheon. After eating Chicken Spaghetti for the second time I was in love with the dish.

I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to make it too except with half the calories. I searched for one and came across this Healthier Chicken Spaghetti Recipe that is honestly full of flavor. It too is a healthier alternative of the Pioneer Woman’s classic — entirely homemade with no cream soups! It’s a simple make-ahead and freezer friendly meal.

I’m certain that your family will love this dish so much that they will probably even forget it’s healthy.

Healthier Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Bake

INGREDIENTS

3-4 C. cooked, cubed chicken breast (approximately 3 breasts)
2 Tbsp. canola oil
½ C. medium onion, chopped
½ C. green bell pepper, chopped
½ C. red bell pepper, chopped
3¾ C. Barilla whole wheat spaghetti, broken into 1.5″ pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 tsp. all-purpose flour
3 C. 1% milk
2 C. low-fat cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray.

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Combine the onion, green pepper, and red pepper and cook until softened. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to package directions until just al dente. Drain and transfer the pasta to a large pot. Then add the onion and bell pepper mixture to the pasta. Stir until well combined.

2. Next, add the carrot, salt, paprika, pepper, garlic and cook for one-two minutes. Stir in flour until completely absorbed. Add milk and cook, stirring often, until thickened. Stir in the cooked chicken, and one cup cheddar cheese.

3. Spread the mixture into the baking dish, top with remaining one cup cheese and bake twenty-thirty minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serve.

Source The Recipe Rebel

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Cook now or freeze and bake later

Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. lemon pepper
Grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

To prepare right away: In a medium bowl combine the oil, lemon juice, and lemon pepper. Place the chicken onto the greased baking sheet and pour the marinade all over the chicken. Sprinkle with grated parmesan, then bake for forty-five minutes

OR TO FREEZE… Combine in a gallon freezer bag: chicken, oil, lemon juice, and lemon pepper. Seal tightly. Place the bag/container with everything inside into your freezer. Then to prepare, thaw overnight in the fridge, then top with parmesan, and bake in the oven for forty-five minutes at 350F.

Source Recipe book and more

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