Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cottage Pie

This is what we're eating for dinner tonight. It's in my Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer book, so it's meant for making in large batches and freezing. It's a bit more labor intensive than the other meals I make to freeze, because of the mashed potatoes, but it's worth it!

Cottage Pie
Ingredients (for a single batch)
1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
(1) 15-oz can green beans or corn, drained (I use corn)
(1) 10.5 oz can tomato soup, undiluted
1/2 cup mild or medium picante sauce
4 cups mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

brown ground beef with onion. Add seasonings. Drain off excess grease from ground beef, and spread evenly in a casserole dish. Layer vegetables on top of beef, followed by tomato soup and picante sauce. Top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese. Freeze, using plastic wrap and foil. OR bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until heated through.

Note: I first tried these in foil "cake pans" but they were not deep enough to hold all of the layers. I switched to round 3-quart foil pans this time, and they were perfect.

Apple Pound Cake

I am still trying to work my way through my 1/2 bushel of apples. This recipe may not use a lot of them, but man is it good!

Apple Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups cooking oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups raw apple chunks, peeled
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream the oil, sugar, and eggs. Then add the vanilla. SIft flour, cinnamon, soda, and salt. Add this latter powder mix to the creamed ingredients. Add apples. (you might not want to use the mixer at this point, it's pretty thick). Grease and flour a tube pan. Pour batter into pan and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven, for 1 hour, 15 minutes, or a little longer until done.

Try to not eat it all yourself. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

banana cake

I know what you're thinking, I do. Bananas and cake? But I promise you if you try this, it will be the most moist, delicious cake you've ever had. If you disagree, send it to me and I'll eat it. :) I'm not a huge frosting fan (I usually scrape frosting off wedding cake) but this almond buttercream frosting is SO good I'll eat the whole bowl if you let me. My grandma has been making this for us for as long as I remember!

What you'll need:
1 box white cake mix
3 medium ripe or way-too-ripe bananas (you can use 2-4 bananas, it really doesn't matter, just throw them in)

What you'll do:
Prepare the cake mix as directed on package, add the bananas to the batter last and mix well. You will probably need to bake for about 5 minutes longer than the box advises, due to the addition of the bananas. It will be done when a toothpick comes out clean.

[frosting, aka the part that makes the cake]
What you'll need:
1/2 C shortening
1/2 C (1 stick) butter (please use real butter, thank you)
2-3 tsp almond extract (depending on how almond-y you want it)
4 C powdered sugar
2 T milk

What you'll do:
Cream the shortening and butter in a mixer. Add almond extract and mix well. Add one cup of sugar at a time, mixing well. (After the sugar goes in it will be thick and pastey-looking). Add milk and beat at medium speed until it's light and fluffy.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and enjoy!

sloppy joes - ish

I like regular (tomatoey) sloppy joes and all, but sometimes they're just too... saucy? for me. I love love the zip and flavor of this version! I wanted to lick the pan when they were gone. This recipe is easily double-able, have the rest for leftovers or freeze it!

You'll need:

1 pound ground beef
small onion, chopped
1 (10.75 oz) can chicken gumbo soup
2 T ketchup
1 T mustard
1 1/4 C water
salt and pepper to taste

What you'll do:
Brown the ground beef with onion in a large skillet. Drain any fat off beef. Add soup, ketchup, mustard, water, and salt and pepper, stir. Simmer over medium heat for an hour or until liquid is absorbed. Serve on buns as a sandwich or open faced.