Cheesy Cabbage Casserole

cc 8These pictures are old! Like, Christmas time old! But, I’ve made this recipe so many times since and just haven’t posted it. Until now!

Don’t turn your nose up at it! I happen to LOVE cabbage. As does my husband. I know some people don’t like it cooked at all, but if you’re one of “them” people, this recipe will change your mind and bring you to the cooked cabbage side.

Not only does this go well with a holiday meal, but it also goes great with a weeknight dinner. Especially steak. It’s a ttttttaaaadddd rich (AKA fattening) but momma needs to indulge sometimes!

Cheesy Cabbage Casserole (adapted from Taste of Home)

  • 1 head green cabbage, roughly shredded
  • 1/4 c. white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. mayo
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. panko crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13″ dish with cooking spray. Add in the shredded cabbage. Sprinkle the onion evenly over the top of the cabbage. Next, add the salt and pepper.

In a bowl, whisk together the soup, milk and mayo. Pour evenly over the cabbage mixture. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top, then finish with the panko crumbs.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.

cabbage casserole 2cabbage casserolecc 3cc 4cc 5cc 6cc 7The cheese and panko make for a delicious crust on the top. What a great combo. Yum!

This can also be made ahead of time, even the day before. I just wait and add the panko crumbs right before I pop it into the oven.

My parents have requested this dish when we’ve gone to their house for dinner and guess what? It’s the ONE dish that’s eaten the most. Surprising right? Not really. Because once you make it, you’ll understand the need to devour this!

Frozen Pancakes

frozen pancakesLooks like I’m on a breakfast roll, as my last two posts have been about the meal that starts your day. No recipe today, but just a little tip to make one of your upcoming mornings a little simpler.

My kids love breakfast. They literally gorge themselves before heading off to school. I completely don’t get this since I’m not a breakfast person! They usually eat cereal on the weekdays because getting three girls and myself ready, can get a little hectic in the mornings. Maybe I just need to get up earlier! Anyways, sometimes, I’ll make a big batch of pancakes over the weekend (or on a weekday morning if I’m feeling ambitious) and freeze whatever’s left.

Yes, you can freeze pancakes! They reheat so well, it’s like you just cooked them up!! After the first initial cooking, I let them cool and place them in freezer bags, zip and in the freezer they go. They’re super easy to pull apart for individual servings (not necessary in my house since my kids will eat the whole bag) and reheat in the microwave. I usually heat 2-3 pancakes for about 1 minute, and voila! Breakfast is served.

As for my kids’ favorite pancake recipe? Well, I’ve tried MANY. And the winner for them? The recipe on the Bisquik box! I almost always have the Heart Smart Bisquik in the pantry and for some reason, they always want those pancakes. If I had to choose my favorite pancake recipe? Cornmeal pancakes. OK, so there, you did get a recipe out of it! Just not one created by me.

So the next time you’re whipping up a batch of pancakes, double it! And freeze the rest. It will definitely make for a quicker start one day!

Spanish Rice

spanish rice 3I haven’t posted in over a week, which isn’t like me! But, as you hopefully read a little while back, our new little venture, Hanky Planky, has been keeping us super busy. And that’s a good thing. But between that, my daily transcription job, a three week cold that turned into bronchitis, my three kids and one of them starting softball (I’m team mom, again!), I’ve been a tad bit occupied. Aside from that though, here’s a good one for you.

You all know my love for Mexican food runs deep. It’s a craving that can never truly be satisfied because I could literally eat Mexican food every day. And with this rice recipe, your international meal will be complete!

My mom has made this recipe for as far back as I can remember. She’s always called it Spanish Rice, but since it’s always served with Mexican food, maybe it’s actually Mexican rice? Whatever it is, it’s so, so good! But, and I haven’t told her this yet (Hi Mom!), I changed her recipe. Just slightly though! And it was out of convenience that turned into a blessing in disguise. That change is the carrots. Our favorite Mexican restaurant serves their rice with carrots in it, and they’ve got some pretty good rice. So since the original recipe called for tomatoes and I didn’t have any, I opted to add in carrots in their place instead. And yep, this is the way I’ll make it from now on. Try it Mom!!!

Spanish Rice

  • 1 tbsp. bacon drippings or canola/vegetable oil
  • 1 c. white rice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 c. carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. each cumin & ground black pepper

In a small to medium pot, heat on medium low. Add the bacon drippings or oil. Once melted, add in the white rice. Stir to coat the rice with the oil. Continue to stir the rice occasionally to keep it from burning. Make sure to keep heat on low, and do this for about 5 minutes.

Add in the garlic and salt. Stir together. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. Stir and turn heat up to medium/medium-high. Once it comes to a boil, put a lid on it and reduce heat to low (simmer). Cook for 22 minutes. Stir and serve.

spanish ricespanish rice 2Now that you have this recipe and my refried bean one too, what’s stopping you from making an authentic Mexican meal at home? Nothing, so get in that kitchen!

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

tt ballsGame day is coming up and if you’re like me, it’s a great excuse to eat a lot of food. We’re not much for football in this house, but every year for Superbowl, I make a nice spread and we usually have friends over. This year I’m making about 9 pounds of baby back ribs and loaded potato skins as requested by the man of the house. And of course we’ll have some dips and chips and a bunch of other goodies. But, if you’re still undecided about what you’re wanting to make, I have an idea for you.

I made these meatballs for dinner last night and they didn’t disappoint. They were so tasty in fact that I thought they would be an excellent Superbowl/party snack as well. But really, they make a great dinner option. And they’re quick. And they’re kid friendly. And they taste really, really good. Sounds like a winner, right?

So I have to say this though….I call these teriyaki but there’s really only one “teriyaki” sauce that I use and I really urge you to go out and buy it. My parents have used this sauce for years and when I went out on my own and had my own home, this sauce became a permanent resident in my casa. And that’s Yoshida’s Gourmet Sauce. Mi casa es su casa Mr. Yoshida. I don’t know how to say that in Mandarin or Cantonese, so Spanish will do. But do you get my point? This is the “teriyaki” sauce you should have in your kitchen. And it will be the only one you’ll ever buy after you’ve tried it. But if you want to be really stubborn, use what you’re using. I’m going to be stubborn and stick to my guns though about Yoshida’s.

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs (makes approximately 2 dozen)

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1/2 c. teriyaki sauce (you know what kind you should use!)
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger, or 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 clove minced garlic, or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 c. panko crumbs
  • Dash black pepper

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, except 1/2 c. teriyaki sauce. With your hands, combine the meat mixture until evenly mixed. You can either put this back in the fridge for an hour or two or just go ahead and make your balls.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. To make the meatballs, I use a little scooper to ensure evenly sized meatballs, but you can just as easily use your hands. Place all the meatballs in the baking dish. Then pour the 1/2 c. teriyaki sauce over the meatballs. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Tah-dah! That’s it.

tt balls 4tt balls 3tt balls 2tt balls 5I served this for dinner with steamed brown rice and sautéed cabbage and it was just scrump-diddly-dumptious. But like I said, these would make great appetizers for a Superbowl party, or really any party. Basically what I’m saying is, just find an excuse to make these!

Have a fun Sunday. Patriots or Seahawks? Honestly, I’m just there for the food.

Jalapeno Cream Sauce

jc sauce 7One of my favorite restaurants here in town serves this delicious pan fried chicken breast with a jalapeno cream sauce over the top. I order it every time we go there because it’s simply delicious and I just love the sauce. Well, as I’ve talked about before, eating out is SO incredibly expensive and unfortunately, this is a $20 dish at this place so make it at home I must!

Luckily for me (and my family), my experiment turned out pretty well because although I really like that restaurant, I haven’t been back since I concocted my own sauce. And recently, I was talking to a friend about this very restaurant and she mentioned her husband loves the sauce as well. We scheduled a day for her to come over and we cooked this dish right up in my kitchen and she agreed! The sauce tastes very similar to what you get at the restaurant. And it’s so incredibly easy, yet looks like you spent way more time on it.

Jalapeno Cream Sauce

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. pickled jalapenos, chopped (these can be found on the pickle aisle)
  • 1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 c. half & half
  • 1 heaping tbsp. flour
  • White pepper, cayenne, salt to taste

In a skillet or saucepan, heat over medium heat. Add butter and let melt. Add in the jalapenos and sun dried tomatoes and let cook for a couple of minutes, until warmed through. While that’s cooking, in a measuring cup, add the half & half and the flour. Use a whisk to combine and stir until smooth. This is the slurry that will thicken the sauce. Add in the garlic to the pan and let sauté about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low and add in the slurry. Bring heat back up to medium, and whisk. As it comes up to a bubble, it will thicken. Add in the seasonings a little at a time, tasting as you go. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve.  *White pepper and cayenne are very strong flavors so start off lightly.

jc saucejc sauce 2jc sauce 3jc sauce 4jc sauce 5jc sauce 6Once the sauce has thickened and is seasoned to your liking, pour over whatever you like! I love this on a panko coated pan fried chicken. I’ve also served it with shrimp and pasta and it went very well together. The restaurant that I got the idea from, uses it as a dipping sauce for calamari as well.

jc sauce 8And surprisingly, my kids really like this sauce. I just make sure to put it on the side and they dip their chicken in it. Family friendly!

“Fried” Drumsticks

Well, so much for winter. After our New Year’s Eve snow, (which actually hung around for a few days in the shady spots of our yard and the neighbor’s) the weather forecast has shown that it will be in the 80’s tomorrow. THIS is one of my gripes about living in Southern California. It just shouldn’t be 80 in January, a week after it snowed. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I just refuse to wear shorts in January! Anyways, now that I’ve gotten that complaint out of my system, onto the food. January means it should be cold, and cold weather means comfort food. So there.

I made these “fried” drumsticks awhile back and this is the way to make them. Although I love traditional fried chicken (your U.S. citizenship is taken away if you don’t), this is easier and makes for quicker cleanup. And you can completely customize this to suit your tastes. You just need to know the method to do it.

“Fried” Drumsticks

  • 8-10 drumsticks
  • 1 cup flour
  • Seasonings of your choice (I used paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper)
  • Cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, add flour and generously sprinkle the seasonings of your choice into the bowl as well. Stir to combine. Dredge the drumsticks in the flour mixture and place on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Once all the drumsticks have been dredged, completely spray them with cooking spray. Place in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes. You can tell they’re done when the meat starts pulling away from the bone.

fried chicken 3fried chickenfried chicken 2And there you have it! These drumsticks come out with a crunchy skin and are moist and flavorful. Like I said, customize it to suit your tastes and use what seasonings you like.

Even though winter seems to have come and gone (please come back), you can’t take comfort food from me!

Cheese Danish

danishOne of my weaknesses are canned biscuit products. Yep, you read that right. The sometimes scary pop of that can goes far back into my childhood. And I still love them. In particular, the buttermilk biscuits. I don’t want to know what’s in them! I’ve never even looked at the ingredients because there’s no way I’m giving them up. They’re a quick breakfast that I love drizzling honey on and although I usually stop myself after inhaling two, I could easily eat three no problem!

I also really like crescent rolls. Uh-huh. I do. I really, really do. My kids like ’em too. Sometimes I put some chocolate chips on them, roll them up and voila, chocolate “croissants”! But I recently made cheese danishes out of them and Hallelujah! They’re easy, cheesy (cream cheesy) and a nice little breakfast treat.

Cheese Danish (makes 8)

  • 2 tubes crescent rolls, separated and rolled to 8 rectangles
  • 1/2 of an 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Just under 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a stand mixer or if you don’t have one, a large bowl and use a hand mixer, add all the ingredients, except obviously the crescent rolls. Whip until combined. Add a large spoonful of the cheese mixture to each rectangle and fold the sides up toward the center, pinching together. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the danishes because the dough tends to burn on the bottom. When done cooking, remove from oven and let cool. Delish with a cup of coffee!!danish 2danish 3