Friday, December 31, 2010

100. Black-Eyed-Pea Dip

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I'm finishing this challenge (woot!) with a recipe that's perfect for a New Year's Day gathering.

I used the Glory brand of black-eyed peas, which are seasoned Southern-style, and they lent this dip a great smoky/meaty flavor. The diced bell pepper gave it a nice texture and pop of color.

I couldn't find garlic ranch dressing, so I just used the original version and added in some garlic powder.

I saw (too late) that SL suggests serving this with cornbread crackers, which I think is a great idea...adds another Southern element.

1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas seasoned with pork, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 tablespoons garlic Ranch dressing
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Stir together first 6 ingredients. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

99. Peanut Butter and Jam Oatmeal Bars

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

What's better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Well, throw in some oatmeal and yellow cake mix...and you've raised the bar on a classic.

These are perfect for breakfast, snack or dessert...and they're easy to make. They're a little crumbly (a lot of the topping fell off when I was cutting them into bars). And, I think I may double the peanut butter and jam mixture next time to really make that flavor more pronounced.

1  (18.25-oz.) package yellow cake mix
2 1/2  cups  uncooked quick-cooking oats
3/4  cup  butter, melted
1/2  cup  creamy peanut butter
1/2  cup  strawberry preserves
1/2  cup  chopped roasted peanuts

Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

Stir together cake mix and oats in a large bowl. Stir in butter with a fork until mixture is crumbly and dry ingredients are moistened. Press half of oat mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.

Stir together peanut butter and preserves in a medium bowl. Gently spread peanut butter mixture evenly over oat mixture in pan. Sprinkle peanuts and remaining half of oat mixture evenly over peanut butter mixture.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool.

Lift baked bars from pan, using foil sides as handles. Place on a cutting board, and cut into 24 bars.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

98. Spicy Oven Fries

From 2002 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I made these fries to go with my chicken sandwiches with white BBQ sauce slaw.

Let me say this...I love spicy food. But, these were almost too spicy to eat. My lips were burning from the Creole seasoning. This was an easy and quick recipe...but I would definitely scale back on the amount of seasoning.

  • 3 large baking potatoes (about 2 pounds)
    2 tablespoons  olive oil
    2 tablespoons  Creole seasoning
    Vegetable cooking spray

    Cut each baking potato lengthwise into 8 wedges.

    Combine olive oil and Creole seasoning in a zip-top plastic bag; add potato wedges. Seal bag, and shake to coat. Arrange potato wedges, skin sides down, in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with vegetable cooking spray.

    Bake potato wedges at 450° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

97. White Barbecue Sauce Slaw

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I am a HUGE fan of white barbecue sauce, and my favorite way to eat it is on a Hawaiian roll with pulled rotisserie chicken.

I always keep a bottle of Big Bob Gibson's sauce on hand, and I've never made my own. So, when I saw this recipe that used homemade white BBQ sauce within slaw, I knew I had to try it out.

I loved the crunch and texture the slaw gave to my typical sandwich, and the horseradish gave the white sauce a nice punch of flavor. It didn't taste anything like what I'm used to...but I'm hanging on to this recipe!

1 1/4  cups  mayonnaise
1/4  cup  horseradish
3  tablespoons  cider vinegar
1  tablespoon  lemon juice
1  teaspoon  coarsely ground pepper
1/4  teaspoon  salt

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour until ready to serve.

For Slaw: Combine 1 (16-oz.) package shredded coleslaw mix with carrots, 1/2 cup White Barbecue Sauce, 1/4 cup chopped red onion, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss gently; cover and chill 1 hour. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

96. Barbecue Pizza

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Living in Birmingham, there are no shortage of amazing BBQ joints...but I'm partial to Full Moon for one solid reason: the chowchow they put on their sandwiches.

For those unfamiliar, chowchow is a Southern pickled relish made with green tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, etc. It's full of vinegar, crunch, and punch. I could eat it with a spoon.

So, when I saw this pizza recipe using chowchow as the sauce base, I was all in. Here's what chowchow looks like:

This had all of the components of a fabulous BBQ sandwich, with a pizza crust and cheese twist. Delicious!!!

1 (12-inch) prebaked pizza crust
1 cup chowchow
1/2 pound shredded or chopped barbecue pork
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup warm barbecue sauce
Spread crust evenly with chow-chow; top with pork and cheese.
Bake at 450° for 12 to 14 minutes or until cheese is melted. Drizzle evenly with warm barbecue sauce.

95. Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

When I woke up this morning, it was still snowing (more than 24 Birmingham!), so I felt like cocooning...and cooking. 

I picked these cookies because I had all of the ingredients on hand, and even though I'm not a big sweets eater, I love a PB cookie.

While these were yummy, they had a little bit of a different consistency (because of no flour?)...crumbly and a little grainy from the sugar.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir together ingredients in a large bowl until combined; shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets, and flatten gently with tines of a fork. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes about 30 cookies.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

94. Tiny Cinnamon Rolls

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

My family always has breakfast at my sister's house on Christmas morning to watch my three nieces with their gifts from Santa. I thought these would be a great contribution...and they were.

I actually woke up about an hour later than expected...and still had time to put these together. That's how easy they are to prepare.

And they certainly are tiny. Bite size. They're perfect for someone like me...who likes cinnamon rolls but doesn't have enough of a sweet tooth to generally eat a whole one. They're also the ideal size for kids.

I ended up doubling the icing after the initial drizzle because it just didn't look like they were coated enough.

1 (8-ounce) can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1 drop vanilla extract
Unroll crescent roll dough, and separate into 4 rectangles; pinch seams to seal.
Stir together sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over rectangles.
Roll up, jellyroll fashion, starting with a long side; press edges to seal. Cut each log into 5 slices, and place in a lightly greased 8-inch round cakepan.
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.
Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, stirring until smooth; drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls.

93. Marinated Cheese

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

For Christmas Eve at my parents' house, we always have soup/chili and a bunch of nibbles, so I brought these to share with the group.

The flavor from the Italian dressing wasn't as strong as I anticipated, but these still tasted great. And, with the three different colors of cheese, it made for a pretty presentation.

I put the cream cheese in the freezer for about 30 minutes, which made it much easier to slice. However, those slices broke down a little in the marinade...but they're the ones that soaked up the most of the flavor.

1 (0.7-oz.) envelope Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 (8-oz.) block Monterey Jack cheese, chilled
1 (8-oz.) block Cheddar cheese, chilled
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, chilled
1 (4-oz.) jar chopped pimiento, drained
Assorted crackers
Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Set aside.
Cut Monterey Jack cheese in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Repeat with Cheddar cheese and cream cheese.
Arrange cheese in 4 rows in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish, alternating Monterey Jack cheese, Cheddar cheese, and cream cheese. Pour marinade over cheese. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Drain marinade; arrange cheese on a platter in rows. Top with pimiento, and serve with assorted crackers.

92. Quick Shrimp Chowder

From 2004 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I settled in at home for wrapping presents on Christmas Eve Eve and put on this pot of soup. It starts with a can of potato soup with layers of flavor added. It tastes more complex than it actually was to and creamy and delicious.

Don't leave out the red gives it a great kick. Also, I doubled the cheese just to thicken it up to my desired consistency at the end.

Serve with crusty bread for dipping! YUM!

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of potato soup, undiluted
3 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, and sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in cream of potato soup, milk, and pepper; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Stir in cheese until melted. Serve immediately. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

91. Spicy Beef and Black Beans

From 2004 Southern Living Annual Recipes

In the course of this year, I haven't had many recipe misses, but, unfortunately, this was one.

For starters, the meat was really tough, which probably had to do with the cut of beef. Also, cut into strips, it was harder to eat in "nacho" form. I'm thinking it would have been better cut into bite-size chunks.

Also, this ended up being kind of a soupy mess in the oven bag. I scooped out my portion with a slotted spoon, but the presentation was pretty unappetizing. I'm wondering if both cans of tomatoes being drained would have helped with that. It was also very heavy on the black beans...I think one can would have been plenty.

Overall, I think this dish could work with a few tweaks...or you could just make standard nachos.

1 oven bag (Large size - 14- x 20-inch)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound boneless beef sirloin, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
Tortilla chips
Garnish: tomato slices, chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place oven bag in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Add flour to oven bag; twist end of bag, and shake.

Drain 1 can tomatoes. Add tomatoes and remaining undrained can tomatoes to bag; squeeze to blend ingredients. Add beans and next 3 ingredients to bag. Arrange ingredients in an even layer.

Close oven bag with nylon tie; cut 6 (1/2-inch) slits in top of bag.

Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, and serve over tortilla chips. Garnish, if desired.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

90. Brunch Eggs

From 2003 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Want a delicious, make-ahead Egg McMuffin at home? Then you've got to make this recipe.

I halved the recipe and prepared it the night before, letting it sit out for about 30 minutes before baking. I served over half of a toasted English muffin.

The whipping cream/cheese mixture was rich and decadent, cut by the hard-boiled consistency of the egg yolk. It was a beautiful, easy recipe with TONS of flavor.

12 thin Canadian bacon slices

3 (4-ounce) packages shredded Swiss cheese
12 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place bacon in a single layer in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Cover; chill up to 8 hours, if desired.

Break eggs over cheese, spacing evenly. Pour whipping cream over eggs; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425º for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and paprika. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from oven; sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

89. Avocado-Ranch Dressing

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

My friend Jenny had me over for dinner the other night (chicken and dumplings!), so I put together this dressing, knowing how much we both love guacamole, for a wedge salad to accompany.

You better love avocados, because the flavor is predominant. I thought it was a little thick...I should have thinned out a little with more milk. It's definitely a nice and different twist on ranch dressing...worth a try!

2 ripe avocados

1 cup Ranch dressing
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Cut avocados in half; scoop pulp into a food processor or blender.

Add 1 cup Ranch dressing and remaining ingredients to food processor. Process until avocado mixture is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Friday, December 17, 2010

88. Shrimp-and-Artichoke Quiche

From 2003 Southern Living Annual Recipes

With only two eggs, and a cup of Bisquick, this was more like a casserole than a quiche. It almost had the consistency/feel of grits.

I got the extra small artichoke hearts, but even still, they were kind of unwieldy in size. I ended up pulling them aside and cutting into smaller portions to have with each bite. I think that it would work better to chop them up instead of halving them.

I also think this recipe would be great as individual quiche cups, baked in muffin tins.

Be sure to do the knife test instead of just pulling it out of the oven at the suggested time...mine ended up needing to be cooked about 10 minutes longer to be "set" in the center.

3/4 pound frozen cooked shrimp, thawed and coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)

3 small green onions, sliced
1 (4-ounce) package shredded Swiss cheese
1 (4-ounce) package shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup BISQUICK Original All-Purpose Baking Mix
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 (14-ounce) can small artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half lengthwise

Sprinkle shrimp and green onions in a lightly greased 9-inch pieplate.

Combine Swiss and Parmesan cheeses; sprinkle half of cheese mixture evenly over shrimp mixture.

Whisk together baking mix and next 3 ingredients until blended. Pour evenly over cheeses in pieplate; top with artichoke heart halves, cut sides down, and remaining cheese mixture.

Bake at 400° for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

87. Microwave Chocolate Fudge

From 2002 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I think my co-workers are loving this challenge...brought in another treat for them today with this recipe.

The SL site said, "The milk chocolate morsels give this fudge a Tootsie Roll-like flavor," and I can see that. They had a nice chewy texture with a creaminess, as well. I think it's the milk chocolate that makes these not as rich, which I enjoy. I'll add nuts on the next batch I make.

I'm not a "baker," so I especially enjoyed how easy these were to make by using the microwave.

3 cups milk chocolate morsels

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart glass bowl. Microwave chocolate mixture at MEDIUM (50% power) 5 minutes, stirring at 1 1/2-minute intervals. Pour into a greased 8-inch square dish. Cover and chill 8 hours; cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Store in refrigerator.

86. Southwestern Vegetable Soup

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

It's frigid here in Birmingham, so it was a great night to break out the soup pot. This is my favorite kind of soup...dump a bunch of cans, cook for a few hours (and make house smell good), and enjoy.

I left out the ground beef because I wanted it to be a true vegetable soup. I loved all of the different kinds of veggies in here. It made for a hearty, yet healthy, meal. I cut up the stewed tomatoes in the can so there wouldn't be big chunks in the soup. The chili seasoning gave it just the right amount of kick, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese at the end lent a creamy component.

1 pound lean ground beef

5 cups water
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (8-ounce) can cut green beans, drained
1 (1 3/4-ounce) envelope chili seasoning mix
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced

Brown ground beef in a large Dutch oven, stirring until it crumbles; drain. Stir in 5 cups water and next 10 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 hours. Serve with cheese.

Monday, December 13, 2010

85. Macaroni-Mushroom Bake

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

There are two schools of thought when it comes to baked macaroni and cheese: eggy and creamy. I fall into the eggy category, but this screamed comfort food on a very cold night, so I gave it a try.

Talk about easy to make...and a sure crowd-pleaser. I ate it as a meal, but it would make a great side dish for any kind of meat. It's very rich, from the mayo, and the mushrooms give it a nice texture and twist on a classic dish. Plus, it's well-documented how much I love anything topped with Ritz crackers.

8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup round buttery cracker crumbs

Combine first 7 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish; top with cracker crumbs.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes.

Friday, December 10, 2010

84. Sausage Bread

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

So...I'm afraid of dough.

I don't work with it much...I've certainly never made my own from scratch...and I just approach handling it with trepidation.

All that to say that I probably didn't roll this out as thoroughly or evenly as I should have, and it was so thin in places that I was worried the filling would pop through during baking.

However, this recipe must be fool-proof because it turned out perfectly. It was beautiful coming out of the oven, and it really held its shape when it was sliced.

The French bread dough was crunchy and chewy, and it's hard to beat the spicy, gooey combination of hot sausage and cheese.

My family loves sausage balls on Christmas morning, but I think this dish needs to make an appearance instead this year!

1 (1-lb.) package ground hot pork sausage

1 (11-oz.) can refrigerated French bread dough
1 1/2 cups shredded pizza cheese blend

Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove from pan; drain well, pressing between paper towels.

Unroll dough into a rectangular shape on a lightly greased baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with sausage and cheese. Beginning with 1 long side, roll up, jelly-roll fashion. Turn, seam side down, on baking sheet, and pinch ends to secure filling inside. Cut 3 (1/4-inch-deep) slits across top of dough with a sharp paring knife.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

83. Tropical Banana Bread Muffins

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes

A two-ingredient recipe? Sold! I love recipes that start with a box...and then have a twist.

These are blinged-up banana nut muffins...the chewy pieces of fruit are like little jewels inside. I loved the sweetness and texture it brought.

I brought these to my office, and one co-worker suggested adding coconut to the mix next time, which I think is a great idea.

1 (17.1-oz.) package banana-nut muffin mix

1 cup dried mixed tropical fruit, roughly chopped

Prepare batter and muffin pans according to package directions for 1 (17.1-oz.) package banana-nut muffin mix, stirring 1 cup dried mixed tropical fruit, roughly chopped, into batter. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake and cool muffins according to package directions.

82. Pesto Dip

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I had pesto left over from the lasagna, and an SEC Championship party to attend, so I made this very flavorful dip. If you're looking for something quick and easy to put together, this is a good go-to recipe. It's simple, light, and delicious.

I actually left out the buttermilk because I didn't want to buy a big carton for only 1/4 cup. I can't imagine that small of an amount making a difference in the recipe, unless it's just to thin it out, and I liked the consistency without it. 

1 (7-ounce) container pesto

3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk

Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until blended. Cover and chill. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables.

Friday, December 3, 2010

81. Easy Lasagna

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

My friend Jenny cut and colored my hair (red!) last night, so I had made this the night before for us to have for dinner.

I loved the idea of flavoring the ricotta with pesto...and it gave this dish a really distinct and different taste.

I always make my lasagna with ground beef...but I'm using hot Italian sausage from here on out. Delish!

I also cut the amount of cheese in half. I didn't put any within the layers, just two cups on top along with some Parmesan cheese. And, I used spaghetti sauce with mushrooms.

We both agreed this was a keeper!

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 (15-oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup refrigerated ready-made pesto
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 (26-oz.) jars pasta sauce
9 no-boil lasagna noodles

4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Italian three-cheese blend or mozzarella cheese

Remove and discard casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.

Stir together ricotta cheese, pesto, and egg.

Spread half of 1 jar pasta sauce evenly in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with 3 lasagna noodles (noodles should not touch each other or sides of dish), half of ricotta mixture, half of sausage, 1 cup three-cheese blend, and remaining half of 1 jar pasta sauce. Repeat layers using 3 lasagna noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining sausage, 1 cup three-cheese blend. Top with remaining 3 noodles and second jar of pasta sauce, covering noodles completely. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 cups three-cheese blend.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

80. Quick Artichoke Dip

From 2002 Southern Living Annual Recipes

The Iron Bowl (Auburn-Alabama football game) is practically a holiday in Alabama...Birmingham itself literally shuts down for four hours. I'm a Georgia fan (and I know I shouldn't say that with any pride this year), so I never have a dog in this hunt, but I'm always up for a party.

This dip made a fabulous addition to the spread at my friend Jenny's get-together. It was sooo easy to put make, and it was delicious...tangy, creamy, undertone of artichokes. The Italian dressing gave it great flavor. YUM!

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 (0.6-ounce) envelope Italian dressing mix
1 (16-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Process first 3 ingredients in a food processor until blended, stopping to scrape down sides. Add artichokes and cheese, pulsing 5 to 7 times or just until artichokes are coarsely chopped.

Spoon mixture into a serving bowl; cover and chill 1 hour.

79. Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes

For my family, dessert isn't a big deal. We're much more interested in savory food, but we've learned to add in sweets as we've gained members over the years who won't accept having no dessert.

These were the perfect end to Thanksgiving meal...instead of tackling a full piece of pecan pie after a big dinner, these are ideal tidbits of a little something sweet. The original recipe makes six dozen, but it was easy to third.

They're flaky, crunchy, sticky, chewy bites...all the goodness of pecan pie in prettty little  packages.

3 cups chopped pecans

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 (2.1-oz.) packages frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells

Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.

Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans, eggs, and next 3 ingredients.

Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoonful pecan mixture into each pastry shell, and place on 2 large baking sheets.

Bake at 350º for 20 to 22 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

78. Summer Squash Casserole

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes

For Thanksgiving, my parents make the turkey and dressing, and my sister and I cook the rest of the side dishes and desserts.

My family has been great testers of the recipes I've been making for this challenge all year...but my sister was quick to point out that she wanted me to make "real" green bean casserole for the holiday.

So, since squash casserole isn't a staple of our Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to experiment with this dish. While the squash mixture was good, we weren't fans of the stuffing topping. The herb seasoning was just too overpowering. That said, I think this would be fantastic with crushed Ritz crackers on top.

1 1/2 pounds yellow squash

1 pound zucchini
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 cup grated carrots
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 (8-oz.) package herb-seasoned stuffing
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut squash and zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place in a Dutch oven. Add chopped onion, 2 tsp. salt, and water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook 5 minutes; drain well.

Stir together 1 cup grated carrots, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl; fold in squash mixture. Stir together stuffing and 1/2 cup melted butter, and spoon half of stuffing mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Spoon squash mixture over stuffing mixture, and top with remaining stuffing mixture.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown, shielding with aluminum foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

77. Broccoli-Spinach Casserole

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Every good Southern woman knows a delicious casserole begins with a can of cream of mushroom soup and ends with a topping of crumbled Ritz crackers...and this one's no exception.

I can guarantee that this dish will make fans out of broccoli and spinach haters. It has tons of goodness holding it together. I served it with steak, and it was a fantastic accompaniment. Perfect for a potluck, too. Plus, it's easy to put together (and halve, as well).

I got home from the grocery store and realized I didn't have any mayonnaise (how is that possible?), so I substituted some dijonnaise I had on hand...and it added a perfect extra flavor to the dish. I'll definitely make that "mistake" again.

2 (10-oz.) packages frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

2 (10-oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
36 round buttery crackers, crushed

Stir together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with crushed crackers.

Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until set.

76. Eggnog Pound Cake

From 2009 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I've been hanging on to this recipe all year, waiting for eggnog to hit the shelves, which I mistakenly thought happened after Thanksgiving.

This cake is a such a surprise in your mouth. It looks like a traditional pound cake, so that's what you're expecting, and then you're hit with the rich, creamy, decadent flavor of egg nog, which takes this dessert to a higher level. What a perfect addition to any holiday gathering. It just tastes like Christmas.

My only complaint was that this over-browned in my oven, which always cooks true, so I will decrease the cooking time next go-round.

1 (16-oz.) package pound cake mix

1 1/4 cups eggnog
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat all ingredients together at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes. Pour into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

75. Chicken Spaghetti Supreme

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

My standard recipe for chicken spaghetti, handed down from my mother, is made with a sauce of Velveeta and cream of mushroom soup. When I saw an entirely different version, I knew I had to give it a try.

The tomatoes stew and become tender in the oven, and the mushrooms soak up the flavor of the Italian dressing. When you shred the chicken and stir it all together, it makes such a wonderful sauce. Adding the cheese at the end thickens it up perfectly.

This is definitely a must-make!

4 skinned and boned chicken breasts

2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup Italian dressing
1 (8-oz.) package spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top evenly with onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Pour dressing evenly over chicken and vegetables.

Bake, covered, at 375° for 45 minutes. Remove chicken and vegetables from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Shred chicken using two forks.

Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain. Combine shredded chicken mixture and spaghetti, tossing well. Top evenly with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

74. Monster Meatball Sandwiches

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes

These had all the potential to be great...but, somehow, they just weren't. I expected the meatballs to have a sweet, thick coating, but they ended up tasting bland. I wonder how they'd be if they were just cooked in the chutney, without the chicken broth to dilute the flavor.

I couldn't find the particular relish the recipe called for, so I got sweet-n-hot salad peppers and chopped them up. They added all of the flavor to these sandwiches. I ended up putting them both on the bottom and top, so that every bite had crunch.

I loved the presentation for entertaining, so I'll definitely try this recipe again with some adjustments.
32 bite-size frozen meatballs

1 (9-oz.) jar mango chutney
1 cup chicken broth
16 fresh dinner rolls
1 (16-oz.) jar sweet-hot pickle sandwich relish

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cut rolls vertically through top, cutting to but not through bottom. Place 2 meatballs in each roll. Top with desired amount of relish.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

73. Spicy Party Spread

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Don't let this picture keep you from making this dish...I could not make it photograph well, but it was ridiculously delicious!

The oddest part of this recipe when I first read it was the pecans...and I still can't figure them out. You can't pick up their taste or the texture in this dish.

That said, it was soooo good. It was creamy, cheesy, and "taco" spicy (almost like it had meat in it). Next time, I think I'll add pickled jalapeno slices on top at the end, for color, texture, and a little extra kick.

This is a fantastic football party's great hot or room temp. The dish was cleaned out in no time!

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 teaspoons butter or margarine, melted
Pinch of salt
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 to 3 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup (1.3 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup picante sauce

Bake pecans in a shallow pan at 275°, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes or until toasted. Stir in butter, and sprinkle with salt.

Stir together cream cheese and next 4 ingredients; stir in pecans, and spoon into an 8-inch square baking dish.

Bake, covered, at 375° for 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with crackers or corn chips.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

72. Tomato 'n' Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust

From 2009 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I've had this one on my list for awhile, thinking it would be a nice twist on the traditional "baked ziti" type of casserole, with polenta in place of the pasta.

And while this was good, it wasn't great. The polenta was delicious, with the steak seasoning and cheese, but the meat mixture lacked flavor. Perhaps I should have used hot Italian sausage...or Italian instead of plain tomatoes.

Some of the reviews on the SL site suggested pre-baking the layer of polenta to form more of a "crust," but I decided to follow the recipe, and I didn't mind the soft texture of the polenta.

Overall, this was an okay casserole that could be great with a few tweaks.
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1 pound ground chuck
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350°. Bring 3 cups water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in cornmeal; reduce heat to low, and simmer, whisking constantly, 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in steak seasoning and 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese. Spread cornmeal mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Brown ground chuck in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain and transfer to a bowl.

Sauté onion and zucchini in hot oil in skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in beef, tomatoes, and tomato paste; simmer, stirring often, 10 minutes. Pour beef mixture over cornmeal crust. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

71. Sausage-Cheese Muffins

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I absolutely love sausage balls...I make them every chance I get, from brunches to football season to Christmas morning. So, I was intrigued by this recipe, which sounded very similar, just in a different presentation (and minus all of the rolling!).

But, I was surprised that these had a different sort of taste...delicious, but different. They were a little more dense...and one was very filling.

They turned out beautifully, presentation-wise, and would make a great addition to any entertaining.

Note: These lose their flavor at room temperature, so be sure to serve warm.
1 (1-lb.) package ground pork sausage

3 cups all-purpose baking mix
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can condensed cheese soup

3/4 cup water

Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and cool.

Combine sausage, baking mix, and shredded cheese in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Stir together soup and 3/4 cup water; add to sausage mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into lightly greased muffin pans, filling to top of cups.

Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

70. Hot Roast Beef Party Sandwiches

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

So...I could picture the type of rolls that this recipe called for, but neither of the two stores by my house had them. But, I knew it was important that the rolls be "connected," so I just used Sister Schubert rolls that I thawed.

These rolls had EVERYTHING going on...salty from the roast beef, sweet from the preserves, crunchy from the nuts, and creamy from the mayo/mustard.

They don't photograph that "pretty," and they're a little messy...but they're absolutely delicious!

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

2 (9.25-oz.) packages dinner rolls
2/3 cup peach preserves
1/2 cup mustard-mayonnaise blend
3/4 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef, chopped
1/2 pound thinly sliced Havarti cheese
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Heat walnuts in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Remove rolls from packages. (Do not separate rolls.) Cut rolls in half horizontally, creating 1 top and 1 bottom per package. Spread preserves on cut sides of top of rolls; sprinkle with walnuts. Spread mustard-mayonnaise blend on cut sides of bottom of rolls; top with beef and cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Cover with top halves of rolls, preserves sides down, and wrap in aluminum foil.

Bake at 325° for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Slice into individual sandwiches.

69. Chicken-and-Wild-Rice Soup

From 2004 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I love having a pot of soup cooking on the stove on Halloween, and it's usually the first time in the South when it's actually cold enough to break out the soup & stew recipes.

This has tons of flavor and comes together quickly. It's creamy (but not rich) and packed with lots of veggies. Most of the reviews I read on SL's site suggested using broth instead of the water for additional flavor...I used a four-cup container of chicken broth along with one cup of water.

1 small onion, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
5 cups water
1 (6.2-ounce) package fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce) loaf pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

Sauté onion and carrots in a lightly greased Dutch oven over medium heat 5 minutes. Add 5 cups water, seasoning packet from rice, broccoli, and chicken. Bring to a boil, and stir in rice; reduce heat, cover, and cook 5 minutes. Add cheese and soup; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

68. Snappy Reuben Rolls

From 2002 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I felt like having snacks for dinner tonight, so I went through my appetizer file and found this recipe.

I love anything wrapped in crescent rolls...sweet, flaky goodness. This had all of the flavor of a Reuben sandwich in a neat, little package. The sauerkraut-Thousand Island mixture had tons of tang.

I was concerned that the cheese in the filling would melt out during baking and make a mess, but these stayed together nicely. Perfect football food!!

1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (10-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained
2 tablespoons Thousand Island salad dressing
1 teaspoon dry mustard
8 (1/2-ounce) thinly sliced deli corned beef slices
2 Swiss cheese slices, cut into 16 (1/2-inch) strips

Unroll crescent rolls, and separate into 8 triangles. Roll each dough portion into a 7-inch triangle.

Stir together sauerkraut, salad dressing, and mustard. Place 1 corned beef slice across wide side of 1 triangle, folding to fit, if necessary.

Spread 2 tablespoons sauerkraut mixture over corned beef, and top with 2 cheese strips. Roll up, beginning with wide end of triangle. Repeat with remaining triangles, sauerkraut mixture, corned beef, and cheese. Place rolls, point sides down, on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake rolls at 375° for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

67. Marzetti's Spaghetti

From 1999 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I know it's been awhile since my last post...I've taken a little (unintentional) cooking hiatus. BUT, I'm back, and I'm determined to finish out the last 33 recipes by the end of the year. (Yikes!)

So, I remember my mother making "mezzetti" as a casserole when I was a kid, and when I saw this variation of the recipe, I figured the flavors would be the same.

This is absolute comfort food. It's creamy and cheesy, but not too rich. There's plenty of tomato flavor, but it's definitely an untraditional topping for spaghetti.

It's a little on the thin side, and I was surprised the Velveeta didn't thicken it up more.

The recipe makes 12 servings, so I "thirded" it...and it still made quite a lot.

3 pounds ground beef
3 large onions, chopped
3 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
3 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (46-ounce) can tomato juice
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 (16-ounce) loaf process cheese spread, cubed
1 (8-ounce) loaf process cheese spread, cubed
16 ounces spaghetti, cooked

Cook ground beef and onion in a stockpot over medium heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in process cheese spread until melted. Serve over spaghetti.

Friday, September 24, 2010

66. Banana-Pecan Pound Cake

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I originally came across this when I was searching for a cupcake recipe. Turns out, I didn't have enough liners when I got home, so I went with the suggested cake variation.

This pretty much tasted like banana bread (and less like "cake"), because it wasn't super sweet. On the other hand, it wasn't super moist, either, like traditional banana bread.

I was kind of so-so on this recipe...but it went FAST at work!

1 (16-oz.) package pound cake mix

3 large bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1-1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Beat first 4 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds. Scrape down sides, and beat at medium speed 3 minutes. Stir 1 cup pecans into batter.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup pecans evenly on bottom of a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan; spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

65. Mini Pesto-Turkey Meatloaves

From 2009 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Y'all...don't be put off by the picture. I, too, was a little dismayed when I pulled them from the oven. Ground turkey just doesn't cook up "pretty."

But, let me tell you, these totally deliver in flavor. The pesto knocks them out of the park. I was concerned about them being dry, since there's no sauce and turkey is so lean, but they were so surprisingly moist.

I love the muffin presentation of them, too. Serve two or three per person, add a starch and a salad, and you're done.

1 to 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey

1/4 cup panko
1 medium onion, shredded

1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons refrigerated pesto
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (5 oz.) freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375°. Gently combine ground turkey, next 6 ingredients, and 1/2 cup cheese just until combined, using hands. Spoon turkey mixture into 12 lightly greased muffin cups.

Bake at 375° for 16 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and a meat thermometer inserted into centers of meatloaves registers 165°.

Monday, September 13, 2010

64. BBQ Chicken Quesadilla Torta

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

For our third game-day recipe, we went a little heartier, for some substance...and this fit that bill. It was incredibly filling!

The combination of barbecue with Mexican ingredients like black beans, cheese, and guacamole seemed a little odd to me, but I was intrigued enough to try it out. (And, I wanted to put my never-used springform pan to a good savory use!)

The flavors really worked well together...and this could easily be a main dish recipe. We were STUFFED!

1/2 pound (about 2 cups) chopped barbecued chicken

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
4 (10-inch) burrito-size flour tortillas
1 cup seeded, diced plum tomatoes (about 2 large)
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Mexican-style cheese blend
Toppings: sour cream, guacamole

Stir together barbecued chicken, black beans, and 1/2 cup barbecue sauce in a medium bowl.

Place 1 tortilla in a lightly greased 10-inch springform pan, and spread with one-third chicken mixture. Sprinkle with one-third each of tomatoes, green onions, and cheese. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining tortilla, and gently press. Cover pan with aluminum foil.

Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove sides of pan, and cut into wedges. Serve with desired toppings.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

63. Cream Cheese-Vegetable Squares

From 2004 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Here's the second of three appetizers we made to kick off college football season. I've had this one earmarked for awhile, and I was really excited to try it.

It's a great blend of creamy and crunchy, and the crescent rolls on the bottom were hearty enough for this to be a "pick-up" dish.

The suggestion was to cut these into 20 squares, but we went a little larger. I think they would have been easier to handle and eat cut smaller.

The cream cheese mixture had a delicious flavor, but the spread was almost a little bit too thick. It's a rich combination, so I'm thinking that a thinner layer would work better.

1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls

1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1 (1-ounce or 1.4-ounce) envelope Ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup broccoli slaw mix*
1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded Cheddar cheese

Press crescent roll dough into a 13- x 9-inch baking pan; press perforations to seal.

Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until golden; cool.

Stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, and dressing mix; spread over crust. Sprinkle with broccoli slaw, and top with cheese; gently press into cream cheese mixture. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Cut into squares before serving.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

62. Warm-and-Spicy Salsa

From 1999 Southern Living Annual Recipes

One of my favorite parts of football season is having "carpet picnics," a la Pretty Woman. I love making a meal out of a bunch of appetizers.

So, for the kick-off Saturday, my friend Jenny and I cooked up a bunch of nibbles, starting with this recipe. Two more to come...

We went to the store on game day, and the Rotel section had taken a pretty good hit, so we had to get the Mexican variety. It kicked this salsa up big time!

There's a lot of acid in this dish, particularly from the vinegar, so it's not for the faint of heart, but I loved the slight crunch of the onions and celery. A warm salsa was new to me, and I really liked the variation.

1 cup white vinegar

1 large onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
3 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat; add tomatoes and green chiles and remaining ingredients. Return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Friday, August 20, 2010

61. 1-2-3 Jambalaya

From 1997 Southern Living Annual Recipes

OH MY! This dish was amazing!

It had tons of flavor, and it was a cinch to put together. You can adjust the seasonings for your taste, but I went for the higher suggestion of Creole seasoning and hot sauce, and it brought me right to New Orleans.

There were so many great reviews for this recipe on SL's site, which is always a seller...but I'm glad I read them, because many suggested bringing the mixture to a boil before putting it in the oven to ensure that the rice cooks enough. It cooked perfectly!

It was absolutely delicious...a great recipe for entertaining, because it feeds a crowd and it's low-maintenance. This one's definitely going in the rotation.
1 large onion, diced

1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 cups uncooked long-grain rice

2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans French onion soup, undiluted
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can beef broth
2 to 3 teaspoons Creole seasoning
2 to 3 teaspoons hot sauce
Sauté first 3 ingredients in hot oil in a Dutch oven 4 to 5 minutes or until sausage is browned. Stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes, stirring after 30 minutes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

60. Chiles Rellenos Quiche

From 2003 Southern Living Annual Recipes

This was the winner of the May "What Should I Cook?" poll...and, wise choice, readers. It was delectable.

The quiche was light and fluffy, thanks to the ricotta. Don't be alarmed by the chiles for a's mild enough for a crowd (and for brunch/breakfast). I wanted a little bit more of a kick, so I added pickled jalapeno slices to mine...perfect.

2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles, drained

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese With Peppers
2 cups milk
1 cup BISQUICK Original All-Purpose Baking Mix
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 12- x 8- x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle green chiles, Cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese evenly into baking dish.

Beat milk, baking mix, and eggs at low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in ricotta cheese; spoon mixture evenly over chiles and cheeses in baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Friday, August 6, 2010

59. Lean Green Lettuce Tacos

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes

When I saw this recipe, I was intrigued by the idea of adding vegetables to a traditional taco mix...and it totally worked. The zucchini and squash gave the dish great texture. The lime juice squeezed over the top at the end added a bright, fresh, citrus flavor.

I was going to serve these with a side of brown rice, but I ended up adding the cooked rice right into the beef-vegetable mix and serving it all together in lettuce leaves.

This was a delicious dinner...and it also made for a yummy cold dip with corn chips the next day!

1 small zucchini, diced

1 small yellow squash, diced
1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1.25-oz.) taco seasoning
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
8 romaine lettuce leaves

Sauté first 3 ingredients in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in seasoning until blended; cook 1 minute.

Reduce heat to low; stir in tomato sauce, and cook, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Serve meat mixture in romaine lettuce leaves with desired toppings.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

58. Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes
I've been watching the new TV show DC Cupcakes, and while I don't have a big sweet tooth, it gave me a huge craving. So, I dug into the SL cookbooks and found this recipe.

The sour cream makes these cupcakes, as promised, incredibly moist. Because it's made with German chocolate cake mix, the chocolate taste was very subtle, and I wished for a little more chocolate flavor. I topped these with cream cheese frosting, but I think a chocolate buttercream would have worked well, too.

I took most of these into work, and they were quickly consumed! One co-worker, over the course of the day, had SEVEN. That's right.

1 (18.25-oz.) package German chocolate cake mix

1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Paper baking cups
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat first 5 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium, and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.

Place paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into baking cups, filling two-thirds full.

Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pans to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 1 hour).

57. Lasagna Pizza Cups

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I'm getting so excited about college football starting back up again, and that means it's time to start testing some game-day recipes. These fit the bill perfectly...the goodness of lasagna (pizza?) wrapped up in a little package. Bread, cheese, meat, and sauce...all good.

Don't even try to eat these with a knife and fork. You might think it would be too messy to eat with your hands, but everything stays together perfectly. Serve with warmed up sauce for dipping. You can see that I had these for dinner with a salad, but these will definitely make a reappearance on my tailgate menu this fall.

My only complaint was that the biscuit didn't have a lot of flavor. The next time I make these, I think I'm going to brush both sides with a little garlic butter to punch up the taste. And, I can't wait to try these with different fillings, like pepperoni or sausage.

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-oz.) jar pizza sauce
1 (7.5-oz.) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375°. Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain well. Return meat mixture to skillet; stir in 1 cup pizza sauce. Remove from heat.

Press biscuits on bottom and up sides of lightly greased muffin cups. Spoon about 1 rounded tablespoonful meat mixture into each biscuit cup; top with ricotta cheese (about 1 heaping teaspoonful each). Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of pizza cups to loosen from sides of pan. Remove cups from pan, using a spoon.

Place remaining pizza sauce in a small microwave-safe glass bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 30 to 45 seconds or until thoroughly heated. Serve pizza cups with warm sauce.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

56. Ham-and-Tomato Pie

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Summer on a plate.

This pie was gorgeous, both in appearance and in taste, from the freshness of the basil and firm tomatoes to the heartiness of the ham and cheese.

It was wonderful as dinner with a salad...but even more delicious cold for lunch the next day.

The first slice I had, I worried that it was a little too salty, and I thought about halving the ham or cutting out one layer of cheese the next time I made it.

The next day, however, the flavors were just right...both light and rich, and not too salty. This was a perfect summer dish, for any meal of the day.

1 (8-oz.) package diced cooked ham
1 (9-inch) frozen unbaked pie shell
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Sauté ham in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until ham is brown and any liquid evaporates.
Brush bottom of pie shell evenly with mustard; sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon ham mixture evenly over cheese, and top with single layer of sliced tomatoes.
Beat egg and half-and-half with a fork until blended; pour over tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with basil, pepper, and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
Bake on lowest oven rack at 425° for 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.

Monday, July 12, 2010

55. Garlic Herb Tilapia with Fruit Salsa

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I'm wary of cooking fish at home, but when I do, I always opt for the grill or oven. I've stayed away from cooking it on the stovetop because I'm always worried I'll overcook the outside and leave the inside underdone.

But, I bit the bullet...and it was a big success!

The spice rub gave the fish great seasoning, and the flavor paired nicely with the salsa, which was an ideal blend of spicy and sweet, with tomatoes and onions mingling with big, juicy pieces of mango and peach.

I used thawed frozen fish, and my grocery store didn't have any tilapia, so I used mahi mahi instead.

This had a beautiful presentation and amazing taste...easy enough to put together quickly for a weeknight meal but also perfect to serve company.

1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets (about 4 fillets)
1 tablespoon McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1 cup refrigerated fruit salsa
1/2 cup seeded and chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons butter

Rub tilapia fillets evenly with seasoning. Stir together salsa and cucumber in a small bowl.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add tilapia, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until well browned and done. Serve immediately with salsa mixture.