Spinach Lasagna Rolls

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This is an excellent recipe. It can be frozen or prepared a day ahead of time and baked the next day. I did change the original recipe, mainly because I thought it was lacking in Italian seasonings. My changes will be in parenthesis next to the original ingredients.

9 lasagna noodles, cooked (I only cooked 8 because that was all I could reasonably fit into a 13×9 pan)
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained (I bought a bag of fresh baby spinach and sauteed it in a skillet with some olive oil)
15 oz. fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
Salt and Pepper to taste
32 oz. tomato sauce (I used 24 oz. of tomato sauce in this recipe but next time I am going to use Marinara sauce.)
3 oz. part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. (I think I will also add a little basil and oregano to this mixture.) Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over noodles in the baking dish and top each on with 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

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Bread Machine Challah Bread

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Easy, easy Challah Bread, perfect along with soup or in this case, Turkey and Dumplings! This is wonderful straight out of the oven with butter spread on it!

3/4 cup warm water about 110 degrees F
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons yeast
Egg Wash: (you don’t have to put this on if you don’t want to)
2-3 large egg yolks (freeze the whites and use it for something else)
2 tablespoons water
Topping: sesame or poppy seeds

Lightly grease or line with parchment paper one or two baking sheets. (I am using a Silpat baking mat). Add warm water, egg, vegetable oil, salt, flour, sugar, honey and yeast to bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select the Dough Cycle of your machine. Start the cycle.

When the dough cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to a lightly floured work surface. Punch dough down and let rest for 5 minutes. Knead dough a little bit to make it easier to handle. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 20 inch long rope. Put the ropes on the prepared baking sheet. Braid the ropes. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under dough. Cover dough with a cotton cloth and let it rise for 45-50 minutes.

Brush loaf with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is done. Cool on wire rack.

Bread may be frozen after it has cooled. Wrap loaf in foil then place in a ziplock freezer bag. Label and date. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw for 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

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These rolls are so easy to make because the bread machine does most of the work.  They taste wonderful too.  These can be made ahead of time and frozen if needed.

Here is the recipe for a 1 1/2 pound bread maker.  It makes about 1 1/2 dozen rolls.

½ c. milk
¼ c. water
3 rounded tbsp. butter
1 large egg
2 rounded tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 c. bread flour
2 ½ tsp. bread machine yeast

Egg Glaze
Lightly beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp. water

Select recipe size recommended by the manufacturer of your bread machine. Add all ingredients except Egg glaze into bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Process in dough/manual cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough to lightly floured surface. If necessary, knead in enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Divide dough into 8 (12) greased 2 ½ inch muffin pan cups. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Brush Egg Glaze on rolls. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until done. Remove from cups; cool on wire rack.

Potato Water Bread

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What to do??  What to do??  I just hate throwing out all that potato water.  You know, the water left from boiling potatoes? That water has a wonderful potato flavor and I always hate to just throw it all out.  So I did a quick search on the good ole Internet to find recipes using potato water.  I found one that I wanted to try.  It is Potato Bread.  I thought a fresh loaf of bread would be good to eat with dinner and I had all the ingredients so I didn’t have to go shopping for it.  It turned out wonderful!  It filled the house with the great smell of freshly baked bread.  It was even better just out of the oven/machine with butter spread on it!

So keep that potato water!  You never know what really good things you can make from it!

Freezable Mashed Potatoes

I hope to have most of the Thanksgiving meal fixed ahead of time.  I want to spend my time visiting with company instead of cooking in the kitchen.  I am going to cook the turkey on Thanksgiving day.  There is just something to be said about the wonderful smell of turkey that goes through the house.  If you want to follow along, I will be cooking other dishes for Thanksgiving and freezing them.  After Thanksgiving I will be preparing for Christmas and cooking freezable goodies.

The first thing I am cooking and freezing ahead of time is mashed potatoes.  I have never tried this recipe but it seems like it would work.  I froze all the mashed potatoes together because I am having quite a few people for Thanksgiving but you can freeze this in smaller containers that is more meal sized for your family.

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5 pounds of potatoes
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 pinch of paprika

Peel potatoes. Boil in water until soft. Drain. In a large bowl combine potatoes, egg, garlic powder, salt, cream cheese and milk. Mash by hand or with an electric mixer. Freeze potatoes at this point. I put mine in a ziplock freezer bag. May put potatoes into smaller freezer bags.

Cooking directions: Thaw potatoes. Place in a 3 qt. buttered casserole dish. Drizzle butter over top of potatoes and sprinkle paprika on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until top is golden.

7 Meals in 2 hours including the shopping!!

I thought I would give this slow cooker recipes for the freezer a try.  You know the kind.  Dump some food in a freezer bag and freeze it.  Thaw it out and cook it in the slow cooker.  Sounded easy enough for me, so I thought I would give it a whirl.  First thing I did was surf the Internet for recipes and there sure are a lot of recipes.  I had to decided which recipes I would fix.  I decided to make 7 dinners.  It took me about 2 hours to put them together and that includes the shopping.

First meal was putting spare ribs and barbeque sauce in a freezer bag.  Squish it together and freeze it.  When you are ready to cook it, take it out of the freezer the night before and thaw it in the refrigerator.  The next morning put it in the slow cooker and cook it on Low for 8 hours.  Cheesy Hashbrown Potato Casserole would be good with the ribs.  It is a freezable dish.

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Second meal I cooked was Poppyseed Chicken.  I went ahead and started cooking that for dinner now and decided not to freeze it mainly because it has sour cream in it.  The recipe didn’t say this but lightly salt and pepper the chicken before placing in slow cooker.  I know the chicken isn’t salt and peppered in the picture but do as I say, not as I do.  Still this dish needs something else.  I think I might try a slice of bacon on top of the chicken next time and see if that adds to the flavor.  I don’t know maybe it’s just me but I thought this dish was a bit bland if cooked according to the recipe.

The third and fourth meals were Chicken Delicious.  I made two bags of that and put it in the freezer.

The last chicken meal I made was Dijon Chicken.

Then I made 2 more meals using ground beef, Casserole Spaghetti and Mexican Casserole.

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OK, so step 1:  I labeled all the freezer bags.

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Step 2:  I put all the meat in the bags.

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Step 3:  Poured barbeque sauce in with the spare ribs and froze the bag.  By the way, the Head Country Barbeque Sauce in the picture is the best sauce hands down, just sayin’.
Step 4:  Cut up all the green peppers and added it to the dishes.
Step 5:  Cut up all the onions and added it to the dishes.
Step 6:  Cut up the celery and added it to the dish.
Step 7:  Added any canned goods to the meals.
Step 8:  Added any seasoning to the meals.
Step 9:  Seal the bags, squish the bags and freeze!

And I was done, easy, easy, easy!  Now I hope my family likes them.  This will be great to have on hand for the busy holiday season that is coming up.

Here is a great article on 31 Things You Can Freeze.  I think I am going to get busy and start freezing!!  First thing may be making up a batch of waffles!  Yum!

Oh I forgot to add:  do not buy the frozen chicken breasts for slow cooker recipes.  Only buy fresh chicken breasts to use in the slow cooker recipes.  The frozen chicken usually has a layer of ice around it and it will produce too much liquid in your dish.  Your dishes will turn out too watery.

Pumpkin Muffins

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These are the only ingredients you need for these muffins.  No oil, eggs or milk.  Just dump the yellow cake mix, one 15 oz. can of pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling) and I added 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.  You can add more spice if you want.  I like my cinnamon and nutmeg with pumpkin.  🙂

Mix that all up in a bowl.  It may take a while and the dough will be stiff.

Put the dough in 12 muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25.  Let the muffins cool before you take them out of the muffin tin.

Now what you will have is wonderful, EASY, FAST, moist muffins!!!

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Chicken Rotel

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This is a good easy recipe.  Even though it says to cook this in a 13×9 inch pan, I cooked mine in two 8×8 pans.  I froze one pan and the other pan we ate for dinner.  I think the 8×8 pan could have easily fed 6 people.  I like recipes that make a lot so I can freeze some for another dinner, especially with the holidays coming up and things get busy.

1 (3 lb.) chicken

1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 sm. can (4 oz.) mushrooms
1 stick butter
1 (7 oz.) pkg. vermicelli spaghetti, broken in half
1 lb. box Velveeta cheese
1 can English peas
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Boil chicken and cut up in bite-size pieces. Saute onion, bell pepper, celery and mushrooms in butter. Cook vermicelli in chicken broth. Discard broth when vermicelli is done. Add Rotel tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup and Velveeta to sauteed vegetables. Stir until cheese melts. Add chicken, vermicelli and peas. Mix well and pour in ungreased 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Can be made ahead and frozen. Serves 10-12.

Picante Chicken

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This recipe is so versatile.  It can be cooked right away or dump it in a freezer bag and freeze it before cooking.  It may be put in the crockpot to cook on Low for 8 hours or it may cook in the oven.  Everyone in the family enjoyed this recipe.  I poured it over rice but pasta or spaghetti can also be used.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
16 oz. jar picante sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Hot cooked rice

Place chicken in a greased shallow 2 quart baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the picante sauce, brown sugar, and mustard; pour over chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Serve over rice.

*Note: After removing dish from the oven I sprinkled the top with shredded cheddar cheese. It turned out wonderful!