Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vegetable Pizza Appetizer

Vegetable Appetizer Pizza

4 tubes (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dill weed
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
Optional: olives, shredded cheese, and whatever else you can think of!

Unroll two tubes of crescent dough and press into each of two ungreased 15*10 baking pans; seal and seam perforations. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise and dill until smooth. Spread over crusts. Sprinkle with vegetables, olives and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into squares, makes 4 dozen bars.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

This is a recipe my Mom passed onto me a few years ago.  It has stood the test of time... I make it over and over again.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1 can diced tomatoes 16 oz
10 to 12 corn tortillas
2 cup small cottage cheese, drained
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese with peppers
1 egg
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives

Brown ground beef; drain thoroughly. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper, salt, pepper, and tomatoes; heat through. Pour half the beef mixture in bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish. Then mix the cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese and egg together, put half of the mixture over the meat; then layer with tortillas and cover as completely as possible. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After taking out of oven, spread top of casserole with sour cream. Then make rows of cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and green onions across the casserole in a diagonal pattern. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Note: I cut the corn tortillas into squares so they don't overlap so much. I think the dish is too heavy when the layers pile up. Fresh tomatoes are the best, especially when they are fresh from the garden. Remember: tomatoes always taste better when stored at room temperature.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tween's Cooking Day... Marshmallow Fondant

Marshmallow Fondant (MMF)

16 oz. white marshmallows
2 Tbsp. water
2 lbs. confectioner's sugar, sifted

Liberally grease a large section of your counter top with the shortening (you can also use a large bowl, but I think the counter top is easier). Pour about half of the sugar over the shortening and make a large well in the center.
In a double boiler or the microwave, heat the marshmallows and the water until melted. Pour over the powdered sugar and mix (I like to use my hands – greased of course – to do this. Just be careful because it is quite hot at first).
Knead, adding more sugar as needed, until the mixture is not sticky. (I have never used all 2 pounds of sugar.)
Wrap airtight (I usually wrap in plastic wrap and then stick in a ziploc baggy) and let rest overnight for best results.
When you are ready to use it, dust your work surface with cornstarch and knead until pliable (you can microwave it for a few seconds to help soften it if you need to). Then shape or roll as thin as you want with a rolling pin dusted in cornstarch. To keep it from sticking to your work surface, turn rolled dough frequently and continue dusting with cornstarch until you have reached the desired thinness.

Leilani and the girls got together for a homeschool book/craft group meeting, and we rolled out the fondant. The budding artists had a great time molding the fondant into creative designs. The Marshmallow Fondant recipe is an all-time family favorite from my cousin Beth. The possibilities are endless!