Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Yum!  This was my first time making stuffed peppers, and they were great!  My in-laws grew some beautiful bell peppers, and we couldn't wait to use them for this recipe.  It's a great all-in-one recipe: meat, starch, and veggies all together.  They're easy to make and very tasty.  Hope you like them!

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 pound ground beef
1/2 (1 oz) package taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water, divided
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup cooked rice
2 Tbsp minced onion flakes
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (8 oz) can Rotel tomatoes, drained
4 large green bell peppers
Shredded pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9"x13" dish with cooking spray. 

Place the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown the meat, breaking it apart into crumbles as it cooks, about 8 minutes.  Drain the excess fat.  Stir in the taco seasoning, 3/4 cup water, chili powder, cooked rice, tomato sauce, garlic salt, and minced onion flakes; mix until thoroughly combined, and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove stems, membranes, cores, and seeds.  Place in a microwave-safe dish with 2 Tablespoons of water.  Cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 3 minutes. 

Place the steamed peppers into the prepared 9"x13" dish, and fill lightly with the meat filling.  Top each pepper with a spoonful of the Rotel tomatoes and a handful of shredded cheese.  Cover the dish with foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teak Dog Tuesday!

How is this even possible?  He's incredible.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cake Batter Blondies

I can't even describe these.  I've been sitting here trying to come up with words for how delicious these are, but they're just too amazing.  I love gooey, slightly undercooked cookies (stemming from the love of cookie batter, I'm sure), and this is the gooey-slightly undercooked cake version.   Incredible. 

Biz has been on a health kick lately, leaving me to eat most of the pan by myself, which was fine by me.  I selfishly didn't even want to share these with friends or neighbors.  I wanted them all to myself. 

Cake Batter Blondies

1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine the cake mix and sprinkles in a large bowl, and then mix in the oil and egg.  Add the milk slowly, just until the batter is combined--you want it to remain as dense as possible.  Place batter in a greased 8x8 dish or 8-inch cake pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or just until the edges turn golden.  Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting because the gooey center needs to set. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Easy Mexican Ground Beef Casserole

Like I said yesterday, we're looking for fast, easy, and tasty recipes (who isn't?) now that school is back in session.  This fit the bill.  (Now that I think about it, it's sort of a Mexican version of the ravioli lasagna from yesterday.)  We had everything we needed already in the house, and it came together in under an hour--and only a few of those minutes were hands-on time. 

You can adapt this easily.  Add black beans or chili beans, use crushed tortilla chips instead of tortillas, add green onions or black olives or jalapenos, whatever you want!  We served it with Mexican rice. 

Easy Mexican Ground Beef Casserole

3 large tortillas
4 oz (1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 oz (1 cup) shredded pepper jack cheese
1 lb ground beef
1 cup sour cream (I substituted nonfat Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup salsa verde
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained of excess liquid

In a skillet, cook the ground beef until no longer pink and drain.  Mix salsa verde into the ground beef. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly spray a 9"x13" dish with cooking spray.  Tear one tortilla into pieces, and use it as the bottom layer on the baking dish.  Add a layer of ground beef, half of the sour cream, and half of the diced tomatoes.  Repeat layers of a torn tortilla, the other half of ground beef, sour cream, and diced tomatoes.  Top with a final torn tortilla and the shredded Cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. 

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ravioli-Style Lasagna

It's back-to-school time for me, so I've been on the lookout for tasty dishes that won't take much time to prepare.  Even better and always important for the school year, it tastes just as good reheated the next day for lunch. 

This is one of our new favorites, and it's easy to adapt to your particular tastes.  You could omit the ground beef, add spinach, use ravioli with chicken and mushroom filling, etc.  Also, if you like more sauce, you could use a whole 24 oz jar of tomato sauce; I just used what I had in the pantry.

Ravioli-Style Lasagna

2 (9 oz) or 1 (20 oz) package refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
1 (16 oz) can crushed tomatoes
8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb ground beef

Preheat oven to 400.  In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. 

In a 7"x11" baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, put a thin layer of crushed tomatoes--just enough to cover the bottom of the dish.  Then layer half of the ravioli, half of the remaining tomato sauce, half of the beef, and half of the mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layers, adding the Parmesan cheese to the top. 

Cover and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.