Friday, February 24, 2012

Snickers Salad

This is a good dish for either a side, or as a dessert.

2 pkg. Vanilla or French Vanilla instant pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 - 12 oz. Cool Whip, thawed (I use Cool Whip Free)
2 large apples, chopped into small chunks
10-20 "Fun Size) Snickers candy bars

Prepare the pudding with the 2 cups milk. When thickened, blend with Cool Whip. Add the apples and the Snickers; mix well. Refrigerate until chilled.

Baked Beans

This Baked Beans recipe is so meaty, it's almost a main course instead of a side dish! My family loves it, and my husband's family always likes it when I bring this dish to family gatherings.

3 large cans Van Camp's Baked Beans (Original style)
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
1 lb. hamburger, browned
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon pieces until crisp; drain on paper towels. In remaining bacon grease, add onion and cook until golden (almost carmelized). Remove from pan and drain. Add hamburger to pan, and cook until browned; remove from pan and drain.

In large Dutch Oven, add all ingredients; stir to blend. Bring to simmer, then removed from heat, cover, and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.*

*These also do well in a Crockpot. If using this method, cook on low 4-6 hours.

Green Chile Pork Stew

This stew is definitely "comfort food" especially on cold days. Served with a side of hot, crusty bread, it makes a very hearty and filling meal.

1 lb. pork tenderloin
Salt and ground black pepper
1 Tbs olive oil
3 cans Great Northern beans
Yellow carrots* (canned, frozen or fresh)
1 - 10 oz. box chopped spinach, thawed
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 - 4.5 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 tsp. cumin

Cube pork, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in large pan or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add pork, cook 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in remaining ingredients, except for 1 can of beans.

Empty remaining can of beans into a small mixing bowl (do not drain); mash until fairly smooth. Stir in 1 cup water, mix well. Add to other ingredients in pan. Bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, about 15 minutes or until pork is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy!

*Yellow carrots are pretty hard to find. If they are not available, I use baby carrots, cut into small chunks.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Red Velvet Cake is a winner, no matter what the occasion. And this recipe combining the fudginess of brownies with the red velvet? Oh my.....

1 box Brownie mix (NOT the family size)
1-1/2 tsp. red food coloring

8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8- or 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.*

Prepare the brownie batter as directed on the box, using the recipe for the cake-like brownies (adding an extra egg). Stir in the red food coloring. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

Prepare cheesecake mixture: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls onto brownie batter; gently swirl two batters with a butter knife. Bake for 35-40 minutes until brownies and cheesecake are set. (A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean, and the edges will be lightly browned.)

Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled. Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.

* I use baking spray, and it works very well.

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

This is an adapted version of a recipe found on the Kraft Website.

3 cans french-style green beans
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
8 oz. Velvetta, cubed OR 1 pkg. shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese*
1-1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg. Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beans and soup in 2-quart casserole; top with cheese. Add water to butter in medium bowl; stir until melted. Stir in stuffing mix just until moistened. Spoon over bean mixture.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

*I prefer the shredded Cheddar cheese in this recipe. I prefer the flavor over the Velveeta.