Roasted Veggies

Mmmmm! My cousin Robin made these YUMMY veggies for us once when we went to VISIT her and her little family. It's the PERFECT side and, as always, is super easy and FULL of flavor. Hope you like!

Roasted Veggies
Olive oil
1 russet potato or a couple reds
1 yam or sweet potato
1 sweet onion
Couple handfuls baby carrots
Garlic, minced (optional)
Herbs (use one or a combo of: thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, etc.)
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a glass 9 x 13-inch pan with olive oil, just enough to coat.

Peel the potatoes and then cut all of the veggies into bite-size pieces. (I actually don't peel the red potatoes, but do what you want!) Toss veggies and garlic into prepared pan. Drizzle with a touch more oil and then sprinkle with herbs and salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes and toss veggies, checking to see if tender. Continue to check and toss every 5 to 10 minutes until done, probably about 45 minutes total cook time. NOTE: The time totally depends on how big you cut the veggies, so just make sure to watch them!

TIP: Make sure to cut all the veggies uniformly so they cook and get done at the same time. Mushrooms, zucchini, corn, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and basically anything else you can think of taste delicious cooked this way!


Meaty Spaghetti Sauce for the Crockpot

I know it seems too HOT to have a meal in the CROCKPOT, but it's actually smart to use the HANDY appliance during the SUMMER because it doesn't HEAT up your kitchen!

(P.S. I know the photo isn't amazing since it just looks like plain old spaghetti sauce, but I wanted to show how the sides of the crockpot get all toasty with sauce. I try to scrape it off and stir it into the sauce because those browned bits just taste sooooo good!)

Meaty Spaghetti Sauce for the Crockpot
1/2 pound ground beef, browned and drained
4 Colosimo mild Italian sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces
25 to 30 (or so) pepperoni slices, halved or quartered
1 jar meat-flavored spaghetti sauce (I prefer Prego)
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt

Put all of the meat in a 2- to 3-quart crockpot.  Pour the sauces and water over top. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and a few shakes of garlic salt. Stir everything together and then cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles or any other pasta.

TIP: If you can't find Colosimo sausages in your area, just brown 1/2 pound Italian sausage and throw it in instead. You could also slice up some polish sausage as a substitute as well. Also, if you prefer your sauce to be a little more liquidy, just add more spaghetti or tomato sauce!


Bestest Veggie Enchiladas Ever

OK, so I know I've posted VEGGIE enchiladas before, but I'm always EXPERIMENTING and coming up with different versions. My FAMILY voted this variation the BESTEST ever! Hope you like them. :)

Bestest Veggie Enchiladas Ever
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (I used mixture of red and green)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into shoestrings, matchsticks, or whatever you want to call them
Handful of baby carrots, thinly sliced
Handful of baby spinach
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced green chiles
Couple handfuls frozen corn
8 flour tortillas
Grated cheddar cheese

Bestest Sauce:
1 can medium enchilada sauce
1 can tomato sauce (I used Hunt's Garlic Roasted)
1 can petite diced tomatoes (I think mine had garlic and oil in it . . .)
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

In a large frying pan, saute the onion and bell pepper in oil until browned on the edges and tender; remove from pan and set aside. Add a touch more oil and saute the potato and carrots until mostly cooked through and tender. Toss the onion and bell pepper back into the pan. Stir in the spinach, beans, green chiles, and corn; remove pan from heat and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together all of the sauce ingredients. Lay the tortillas on the counter and evenly spoon veggie filling over each. Top with a little of the sauce and sprinkle with a little cheese; roll up. Scoop a large spoonful of the sauce into a 9 x 13-inch glass pan. Lay the rolled up enchiladas over top. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas (I didn't quite use it all, just until everything was covered and moist). Sprinkle more cheese over the top and bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbling around the edges. Serve this with lettuce, sour cream, and salsa like in the photo above.

TIP: Don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients in this recipe. The great thing about it is that you most likely have everything in your fridge and/or pantry already. If you're missing one or two of the veggies, just leave them out and add more of something else. I'm sure it will still be good!


Blackberry Cream Filling (for Cakes!)

This filling is so YUMMY, I just want to eat SPOONFULS of it. However, it does TASTE really good on cake too, so it's a toss up on how to EAT it!

Blackberry Cream Filling
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup blackberry pie filling
3/4 cup sweetened whipped cream

Blend together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Blend in the pie filling until thoroughly mixed in. Fold in the whipped cream. Use as the filling in the middle of your favorite cake!

TIP: The picture above is a lemon cake with lemon-flavored whipped cream frosting. The blackberry filling was super yummy in this combo. It would also be delicious with white or chocolate cake. And, if you don't want to make a layer cake, I'm sure it would be good just spread over top of any cake baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan!

BONUS TIP: This might be kind of obvious, but you can make the same recipe using blueberry, raspberry, or cherry pie filling. Yum!


Wild Rice with Nuts and Veggies

OK, so I get tired of PLAIN old rice on my plate all the time, so when I'm BORED, I stir in some extras! This is another EASY recipe that tastes FANTASTIC!

Wild Rice with Nuts and Veggies
1 cup uncooked wild rice
2 to 2 1/2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 cup julienned spinach (thinly sliced strips)
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

Cook the rice in the broth according to package directions. When there's about 5 minutes left on the time, stir in the remaining ingredients. Let time finish and then serve. See what I mean about easy?

TIP: The possibilities of adding extras to the rice are endless! Some other good combinations: diced green olives with pinenuts and sun-dried tomatoes; julienned spinach with garlic and grated fresh Parmesan cheese; caramelized onions with some drained canned tomatoes; bacon with just about anything; etc., etc.!


Easy Grilled Salmon

We LOVE salmon at our house, and this is one of the EASIEST ways to prepare it! I usually serve it with some sort of RICE and a veggie. In fact, my next post will be a YUMMY rice dish. There! Something for you to LOOK forward too!

Easy Grilled Salmon
Fresh salmon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Remove salmon from fridge and brush all sides with a generous amount of olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper; let come to room temperature. Gently place on a hot bbq or grill pan and let cook on one side until cooked about halfway, and then flip. You'll get a nice crispy crust/edge that is SOOOO good!

TIP: I sometimes sprinkle some blackening spices on instead of the pepper. If anyone wants a recipe for the blackening spice mix, let me know and I'll post it for you!


Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

This is from a BOOK I edited once called 101 Things to do with Meatballs, although I converted it to the CROCKPOT and adjusted it slightly. Super EASY and serves a big crowd!

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs
1 (12-ounce) jar chili sauce
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
50 frozen, precooked meatballs

In a bowl, combine all but the meatballs. Put the frozen meatballs in a large crockpot and pour the mixture over top. Cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours and then serve over rice when done.

TIP: You can also serve this as an appetizer with toothpicks!


Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

These little BUTTERY beauties are so EASY to put together! They taste AMAZING and complete just about any MEAL. I hope your family LIKES them as much as mine does!

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
2 cups Bisquick
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together the Bisquick, cheese, and milk. Mixture will be sticky. Drop by the spoonful onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Melt the butter and then stir in the garlic powder. Brush over warm biscuits and serve. Makes anywhere from 8 to 15 biscuits—it just depends on how many you want. You may have to adjust the cooking time for larger biscuits.

TIP: I found this recipe right on the back of the Bisquick box several years ago, but I've adjusted it slightly for my own taste (meaning I add WAY more cheese). Feel free to cut back if this amount seems like too much for you!