April 23, 2014

Hash Brown Taco Casserole

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I realized something from my early years of blogging.  I used A LOT of exclamation points.  Like after every.single.sentence.

Here is an example . . . How was your day!!  I really think you will like this!  It's so easy! It's topped with sour cream! You should make it!

Yeah . . . I'm serious - that many exclamation points.  
Anyway . . . I knew I would like this dish before I even tried it.

  Hey, if pasta is great with taco flavors, then potatoes would have to be too, right?

It is rich and creamy and cheesy and has so many different flavors going on.

I even dipped a few tortilla chips in this casserole and decided it would make a good nacho topping.  
Hash Brown Taco Casserole
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1/2 Lb. lean ground beef
salt and pepper
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 Tbl. taco seasoning, to taste
1/2 c. water
2 Tbl. chopped cilantro
1/2 c. salsa
3 c. hash browns, thawed (I used O'brien Squares with Onions & Peppers)
1 1/2 c. grated Cheddar cheese

For serving:
sour cream
additional chopped cilantro
additional cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium heat; season with a little salt and pepper.  Add the onion and saute until tender.  Add the garlic and saute 30 more seconds.  Add the black beans, taco seasoning, water and chopped cilantro.  Stir until well combined and continue cooking until most of the water has evaporated and mixture has thickened.  Stir in the salsa and thawed hash browns.  

Add half of the mixture to a greased 8x8-inch casserole dish.  Top with 3/4 cup of cheese.  Top with remaining meat mixture and remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.  Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro and additional cheese.  Serves: 4 

Slightly adapted from: Fake Ginger

April 21, 2014

Reese's S'more Magic Layer Bars

This is one of those treats where you keep saying "Just one more Bite" and then you still keep eating it. The base is like a chewy cookie and the topping is creamy, chewy and crunchy all at the same time.

I am obsessed with Reese's Pieces and it's dangerous for me to keep a bag in the house, because before you know it the WHOLE bag is gone?   What . . . who ate all of those???

I wasn't sure how the marshmallows were going to hold up, so I opted to freeze them . . .  that way, it would take a little longer for them to melt.  They still ended up getting very brown, which was great for that toasty flavor and once you covered the bars with the peanut butter chocolate glaze, you couldn't tell how brown they really were.  If you don't want them to get as brown, just tent a piece of foil over the bars for the last few minutes of baking.

Do you have a favorite magic bar recipe?  I would love to try it :)
Reese's S'more Magic Layer Bars
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. frozen mini marshmallows
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
1/3 c. white chocolate chips
3/4 c. Reese's Pieces Candy
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. milk chocolate chips + 2 Tbl. peanut butter, for drizzle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cake mix, egg, butter and 1/3 cup peanut butter and mix together until a dough forms.  Press into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with frozen marshmallows, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and Reese's Pieces Candy.  Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.  The marshmallows will get very brown.  If you don't want them to brown as much, tent a piece of foil over the top for the last few minutes of baking.  Cool completely.  Melt 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips and 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth and creamy.  Use a fork and drizzle over cooled bars.  Cut into bars and serve.  Makes 15 bars.  

slightly adapted from: Le Creme De La Crumb

April 18, 2014

Weekly Menu Planning Saturday #6 - Easter Edition

Happy Easter!
I'm posting the menu-plan a little early this week in case you are still looking for Easter ideas and Easter leftover ideas.

Orange Rolls
Use Rapid Rise Roll Dough

Use leftover hard-boiled Eggs from Easter

Use any leftover ham from Easter

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken
This recipe also tastes amazing leftover.


One Pan Roast Chicken with Veggies in an Hour

Menu-Plan Day and Take-Out Night

Use all the leftover Robin Eggs from Easter

April 15, 2014

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

How fast does time fly?  It is already Easter this Sunday :)

My family always has a barbeque and we grill hamburgers. My mom makes my favorite Macaroni Salad and Grammy's White Sheet Cake.  We color a TON of Easter Eggs and the neighbor kids usually come join in the fun.       

For those of you that eat Ham on Easter, this is the perfect casserole to enjoy the next morning with all your leftover ham.  Of course, you can eat this at any time and use deli ham, which is what I did.  

You can make this casserole the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning and breakfast is served.  

It is so simple and tastes so GOOD!
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

3 c. hash browns, partially thawed
5 eggs
3/4 c. milk
4 oz. chive and onion cream cheese (I used 1/3 less-fat)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
salt and pepper
3/4 c. diced ham
1/3 c. diced red bell pepper
1 c. shredded Cheddar or Monterey cheese

For Topping:
3/4 c. panko bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. Johnny's Garlic Seasoning (or garlic powder)
1 Tbl. melted butter 

Place hash browns in a greased 8x8-inch baking dish and season with a little salt and pepper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.  Whisk in the cream cheese.  It doesn't have to be completely smooth.  Add the mustard powder, salt and pepper.  Last, add the ham, red pepper and shredded cheese.  Pour over hash browns and stir to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.  

Remove plastic wrap and place casserole in a cold oven.  Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine all topping ingredients.  Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle with topping.  Return to oven and bake for 15 more minutes.  If you want the topping to brown more, broil for a few minutes at the end.  Remove from oven, cut into squares and serve.    Serves: 4-6.              

Jenn's Notes: I used square O'Brien hash browns (with onions and peppers).  I served with additional chopped bell peppers and hot sauce.   

April 13, 2014

"Skinny" Banana Pudding Milkshake with Chocolate Malt Whipped Cream

I use the term "Skinny" very loosely for this milkshake.  The milkshake part IS skinny since it is made with frozen bananas rather than ice cream.  I added some instant banana pudding mix to give it that yummy pudding flavor.  You could easily use sugar free pudding mix here.

Now . . . the Chocolate Malt Whipped Cream is TO DIE FOR!!!  Can you just taste it now?  Fresh whipped cream mixed with Chocolate Malt Powder and a little vanilla.  The flavor is just like a chocolate malt.  You are guaranteed to sneak many spoonfuls of this whipped cream before it makes it to the milkshake.  BUT . . . The whipped cream obviously is NOT skinny.

If you want to skip the whipped cream, you can mix the Chocolate Malt Powder directly in with the bananas and save a the calories.         
When I was younger one of my favorite breakfasts was blending a package of chocolate malt Carnation breakfast mix, milk, a banana and some ice cubes into a smoothie.  This was long before I knew that frozen bananas created a thick and creamy ice cream consistency when blended.
Chocolate Malt and Banana really is a DIVINE combo.  You will LOVE this milkshake.  Your kids will love it too and they won't even know there isn't ice cream in it.

At my local grocery store, the Chocolate Malt Powder is down the aisle with the Peanut Butter, Jam and Coffee.

You might also like:
One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream
"Skinny" Banana Pudding Milkshake with Chocolate Malt Whipped Cream
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

4 large ripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
4 Tbl. instant banana pudding mix
1 tsp. vanilla extract
up to 1/2 c. milk

Chocolate Malt Whipped Cream
4 oz. whipping cream
2 Tbl. chocolate malt powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Peel ripe bananas, slice and place in an air-tight container; freeze until completely frozen.  I usually let mine freeze overnight.  Add frozen bananas to a food processor and blend until chunky.  Add the pudding mix and vanilla extract and blend until completely smooth and creamy and the consistency of soft serve ice cream.  Blend in a little milk at a time, until it reaches milkshake consistency.  Divide between two small cups and top with chocolate malt whipped cream.  Or blend chocolate malt powder directly into the bananas and skip the whipped cream.  Makes 2 small milkshakes.

For the Chocolate Malt Whipped Cream: Pour whipping cream into a chilled bowl.  Beat with a hand mixer until frothy.  Add the chocolate malt powder and vanilla and continue beating until it reaches desired consistency.  

Jenn's Notes: Make sure to use ripe bananas, or the "green" banana flavor will overpower everything. 

April 12, 2014

Weekly Menu Planning Saturday #5


Use leftover Quinoa filling from Peppers and make tacos.  The recipe is slightly different than this recipe, but it will taste just as good.

Tomato Alfredo Pasta with Grilled Chicken
This is one of my favorite go-to meals.  

Mini Breakfast Pizzas

Chicken Broccoli Supreme (No Canned Soup)

Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches
I highly recommend serving this with Lays Cheesy Garlic Bread Chips.  Holy Cow . . . they are so good.

Menu-Plan Day and Take-Out Night