Monday, April 28, 2014

Lots of Layers Green Salad:

A lady at our church (Mrs. Helmick) has brought a 7-layer-salad to a few potlucks, and we always LOVE when she does! It's so, so good! We had never tried a recipe for it before and Mrs. Helmick doesn't really have a recipe, so when I saw this salad, I knew we had to make it!
It turned out amazing and we absolutely loved it!! It was super easy and goes together very fast! It makes a lot, so it's perfect for a big party or get-together!
Don't be afraid of the peas or the dressing!!! It all goes together so well, and totally makes the salad!
Please excuse the pictures! The dish I put it in, was a little dark, so you can't see the layers quite as well! But trust me, it's super yummy, and I hope you give it a try!!

1 & 1/2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
10 whole hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 (12 ounce) package bacon, cooked and chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped (1 carton cherry tomatoes)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen peas
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
In a large glass bowl, layer salad ingredients in order listed above.  Combine dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk together until combined.  Pour over the top of the peas and spread to cover.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

-This looks SO, SO pretty in a big, clear punch bowl or trifle bowl, but it makes it hard to get all of the layers! That's why I like to put it in a 9x13 pan, or some other big, shallow dish. You can do whatever you want, though, and it will still be great!
-My family doesn't really care for Iceberg lettuce at all, but if you like it, you can use 1 head of Iceberg instead of romaine if you prefer.
-I LOVE onions (a lot), but not a lot of people do, so sometimes I leave the onions out and just serve them separately for anyone that wants them!
-Tomatoes are the same way as the onions; I love them, but only a couple other people in my family like them as well. It makes the salad look so pretty, though, I hate to leave them out! So, I prefer to use cherry tomatoes, that way if anyone doesn't like them, they can pick them out easily!!   

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cheesy Rice Bake:

We had a TON of leftover, cooked rice the other day, and I knew we would never eat it all before it went bad. I was trying to figure out what to do with it, and there is surprisingly few recipes out there that use cooked rice! Lots that use uncooked rice, but that wasn't going to help me out!
I stumbled across a recipe similar to this one, and decided to try it. I figured my family wouldn't love it, but they would eat it, and at least we wouldn't have to throw out a ton of rice.
I threw it altogether and stuck it in the oven.
Would you believe that my family loved this stuff?!?!!!
I couldn't believe it! It really tasted surprisingly yummy!! We ate almost the entire pan in one meal! I'll definitely be making this again and I hope you'll try it out as well!
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup shredded Velveeta cheese (see note)
4 cups cooked rice (see note)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley and pepper. Stir in the Velveeta cheese and rice. Mix until well combined.
Pour into a greased, casserole dish.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake 10 minutes longer.
-The original recipe called for cheddar cheese, not Velveeta cheese, but I don't like the grainy texture that pre-shredded cheddar cheese gives, so I highly recommend the Velveeta. Make sure it is good and cold, and it should shred fairly easily. I did use the cheddar for on top, because I think it works fine like that, but you can do whatever you want.
-My cooked rice was minute rice, but I don't think it would really matter at all what kind you use, as long as it's cooked!
-You don't need a huge casserole dish, but make sure it's big enough, so that your rice mixture does not come to the top of the pan. It bubbles a little while it's baking, and if your dish is too full, it may boil over!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

{Happy Easter 2014}


"...And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door,
and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning,
and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake,
and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said...Fear not ye:
for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said..."
Matthew 28: 2-6

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sweet Potato & Apple Gratin:

 I think I've said it before, but I'm not a huge fan of sweet potatoes. They are like white chocolate to me. I love the idea of them, and so I just keep trying them, thinking that I might eventually like them! Well, it hasn't happened with white chocolate yet, but it worked with this sweet potato dish at least! It was very different from anything I've ever had, and I really did like it! I fixed it for Valentines Day, and my whole family really liked it!
Hope you give it a try!
3 tblsp. butter, divided
1 small onion, finely diced
3 tblsp. cornstarch
2 cups chicken broth
dash of salt and pepper
2 & 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled (about 4 medium)
2 gala or golden delicious apples, peeled, quartered and cored
1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (click HERE for my recipe)
In a medium sauce pan, melt 2 tblsp. butter. Add onion; cook and stir for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown. Whisk in cornstarch, salt and pepper. Gradually pour in broth and whisk until smooth. Simmer until it reaches a boil and thickens slightly. Set aside.
Using and food processor with a slicing blade, or a mandolin slicer, thinly slice the potatoes and apples. In a greased baking dish, layer half of the potatoes and all of the apples. Top with half of the onion sauce. Layer with the rest of the potatoes and finish with the remaining sauce.
Cover tightly with foil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender with poked with a fork. In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tblsp. butter. Add cookie crumbs and mix until well combined. Sprinkle over potatoes and bake for 25 minutes more.
-The original recipe said that you could bake it the first time, let it cool and keep it in your fridge for a day or two. Set it out for an hour, top with cookie crumbs and bake until warm through. I did not try this, so I don't know how well it does or doesn't work, but I just wanted to let you know, incase anyone wants to try it!
-We served it with Ham, but I'm sure any Meat main dish would go well.
-The original recipe I think said it served 6-8, but I will half the recipe the next time I make it for my family! It really makes a lot!!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Cracker Jacks:

My mom used to make this for special occasions and it was the second thing she taught me and my sister how to make! It always reminds me of Thanksgiving at grandma's house! I hate to brag, but I feel like you need to know, it tastes 10 times better than what you buy in that box at the store! I honestly didn't know those even existed until a several years ago. I tried some, and after one bite, I knew why! Now, I'm not talking about Caramel Corn like you get in the tins at Christmas time! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all three flavors in those tins!!
But still, this recipe is so good, and really so easy!
I actually thought I already had it on the blog, but I went to make some for a movie night with some friends last week, and I realized I hadn't posted it!
I hope you try it out and enjoy it as much as we do!
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
6 quarts popped, popcorn
Place popcorn in a very large bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil; boil and stir (with a whisk is best) for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla (see note).
Pour the sauce over the popcorn, and gently stir until evenly coated.
Pour into a large, greased pan (see note).
Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Flip out onto a counter top or table top and spread out evenly to cool, breaking larger chunks into smaller ones.
Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
-Be careful when you stir in the baking soda and vanilla, because it will bubble up! It scares me every time!  
-A foil pan works fabulous for this!
-If we make a bunch of this, which we normally do, we like to store it in one of those popcorn tins!
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