Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some yummy casserole recipes and cheesecake too

I've had a busy couple of weeks trying to get my Baltimore Album Quilt completed (hopefully only one more week to go) so decided to prepare a few casseroles to graze on so that I wouldn't have to stop and cook.  Thought I'd share the recipes because they're some of our favorites. 

Here are the recipes for the dishes I made:  Popover Chicken, Spaghetti Pie, Boned Chicken Casserole, and one dessert too - Cheesecake.

Popover Chicken
Boneless pieces of 1 cooked chicken (I use rotisserie chicken)
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 can milk or fat free half & half
Vegetables of choice such as, sauted onion, celery, carrot, peas (pot pie type vegetables - maybe even sliced water chestnuts for crunch)
Popover batter
3 eggs, well beaten
1 TB oil
1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ cup milk
1 tsp salt
Put meat, soup, milk, & vegetables in the bottom of a sprayed 9 x 13” pan. Mix eggs, oil, milk, flour, & salt until smooth. Pour over chicken mixture (it makes a popover topping). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Spaghetti Pie
2 cups cooked spaghetti
2 eggs (egg substitute can be used)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (I use Kraft shredded Parm)
½ cup mushrooms (fresh or canned)
Optional – other fresh vegetables can be added, such as broccoli, asparagus, peppers, onions, etc.
Italian sausage
1 cup cottage cheese (low fat can be used)
1 cup spaghetti sauce
½ cup grated, part-skim mozzarella cheese
Mix spaghetti, eggs, and Parmesan cheese. Spread in the bottom and up sides of large greased pie or quiche pan. Layer the following on top of this crust: vegetables, Italian sausage, then cottage cheese, spaghetti sauce, and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for about ½ hour or until cheese is golden and pie is bubbling. Faster than lasagna and really good.

Boned Chicken Casserole
2 flat cans boned chicken or turkey (I often substitute rotisserie chicken instead)
1/3 cup melted margarine (I use Smart Balance)
1 cup uncooked rice cooked according to package directions or 1 cup cooked pasta such as elbows
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms
4 oz baby peas (optional)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can evaporated skim milk or 1 cup fat free half and half
2 TB slivered almonds
Mix melted margarine, chicken, soup, milk, vegetables, and rice or pasta and mix well. Pour into sprayed 9” baking dish. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top and place ina 325 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until browned on top.  Serves 6.
My version is low fat but could also use regular evaporated milk or half and half.

Very rich tasting and quick to prepare.

I have to share a story about the Boned Chicken Casserole recipe and the Almond Cheesecake below.  Many years ago a friend of mine and her husband lived with me for awhile when he went to culinary school.  I would come home from work in the evening to the great smells of some of the dishes he had prepared.  He was such a good cook!  And it was such a treat to have someone else cook for me.  These are two of his recipes that I saved and have used over the years because we liked them so much.

Almond Cheesecake-crustless
2 8 oz pkgs. low fat cream cheese
½ tsp almond extract
3 eggs or egg substitute to equal 3 eggs
2/3 cups sugar
1 cup low fat sour cream
3 TB sugar
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract
Beat first four ingredients until thick. Put in a 9” sprayed pie plate and bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees until firm. Cool 10 minutes. Meanwhile beat topping ingredients together. Pour over the top of the cheesecake and bake another 10 minutes. Can sprinkle sliced almonds on top if desired. I prefer it as is, but some of my family like it with a dollop of blueberry, cherry, or strawberry pie filling. Great no matter how you serve it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Umbrella Quilt

My friend Kim and I have decided to make a quilt together for one of the ladies in our guild (Foothills Quilters - we call it Foothills) to win.  Foothills is currently doing a Block of the Month together and there is a lotto type drawing done each month where one lady wins all of that month's blocks.  Kim and I thought it would be fun, if at the end of the year, all the ladies who had made blocks but hadn't won any, got a second chance to win.  We decided to make this month's block - an umbrella block - into a quilt for a lucky second chance winner.  The drawing for the quilt will be at our Christmas Party in December.  I decided to make a sample quilt as a sort of mock-up of the quilt we're working on since I love this little block so much and wanted to have a quilt for myself too.  Here's mine.....I think it's pretty close to what the second chance quilt will look like.

Ugly Fat Quarter Quilt Tops

At the mini-quilting retreat we had last week in Payson, AZ, each lady who attended was asked to bring 2 ugly fat quarters. A challenge was given to the winner to make a quilt from them. Guess who won the ugly fat quarters!?  Since there were enough fat quarters, I was able to make two quilt tops.  Here's what I put together using these "lovelies".  I used the Turning Twenty Again pattern for both of these quilt tops.

This one is made up of the purple, lavendar, pink, and misc. colored fat quarters - I used a lavendar butterfly border.  Kind of reminds me of uglies emerging into butterflies.  This one will either go to a granddaughter, if one of them dibs it, or will go to charity. 

I used the more antique looking fabrics in the following quilt top and added the border fabric in with the blocks.  I may keep this actually looks kind of nice.  The fabric that won as the ugliest was used in this top.........I didn't think it was so's the mustard colored fabric with the bear paw prints on it (click to enlarge if you can't find it). 

Civil War Re-enactment

I decided to stay in Payson after the ladies left our mini-retreat on Friday.  My husband came up and joined me and we went to a really cool civil war re-enactment on Saturday morning.  Here are some pictures we snapped.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Recipes from Mini-Quilting Retreat in Payson

Some of you who attended the mini-retreat in Payson asked for recipes for the meals I served.  I think I have most of them typed already so will paste them here for you.

Taco Soup (this recipe originally came from PamF)
1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey, browned and drained (I use ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 can kidney beans, undrained (or other beans such as black beans, pinto beans, etc.)
(I usually use both black beans and kidney beans - I drain and rinse the black beans due to color)
1 can chili beans, undrained
1 can whole corn, undrained
2 cans chopped tomatoes (fire roasted are good in this)
1 pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water (can use ½ cup chicken broth for part of liquid)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat and onion together. Mix all ingredients together in stew pot and bring to a boil then simmer until ready to serve - can be simmered for two hours or longer. (To use crock pot.....cook for three hours on low). Serve with Fritos or corn bread. Makes 12 cups.

Scalloped Corn Bread/Pudding
1 can whole kernel corn (frozen corn can be used instead)
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs
½ cup melted butter (Smart Balance can be used)
1 cup sour cream (can use light sour cream)
1 (8 ½ oz.) pkg. corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)

Mix all ingredients and put into a greased 9 x 13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Easy Chicken Pot Pie
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup each chopped and sauted onion and celery
1 cup vegetables of choice (I use frozen mixed vegetables)
1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of potato soup)
1/8 tsp each ground poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and salt
3/4 cup skim milk, divided (or 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup instant non-fat dry milk, divided)
1 egg (or egg substitute to equal 1 egg)
1 cup Bisquick  (or 1 cup reduced fat Bisquick)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In sprayed 9"x 13" pan, mix chicken, vegetables, soup, spices and 1/4 cup of the milk.  Mix remaining milk, egg, and Bisquick.  Pour over chicken mixture.  Bake 30-40 minutes until golden.

Extra Good Vegetable Salad
1 can shoe peg whole kernel white corn (reserve juice)
1 can early young green peas (drained)
1 can French style green beans or green or wax beans (drained)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or other canned beans of choice such as black beans, chickpeas, etc.)
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
Marinade: ½ cup of the reserved juice, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup white vinegar, ½ cup canola oil, 1 tsp salt. ( I substitute Splenda for half of the sugar and use about half the amount of oil).

Mix vegetable ingredients together. Make marinade by heating the reserved juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Add the vinegar, oil, and salt. This will cool it sufficiently to serve or you may refrigerate before serving.  I like to refrigerate it so it has a chance to marinate a little while.  Can keep it in the refrigerator and eat on it for a week or more.  It gets even better as it marinates.  Use a slotted spoon to dish it up so it is somewhat drained when served.

Impossible Coconut Custard Pie
4 eggs, or egg substitute to equal 4 eggs, or half of each
½ cup sugar
¾ cup Bisquick (I use reduced fat Bisquick) [or instead you can use ¾ cup flour and ½ tsp baking powder)
2 cups milk (I use skim milk)
½ stick/1/4 cup margarine -softened (I use Smart Balance)
1 tsp vanilla
½ of a 7 oz pkg of flaked coconut

Mix all ingredients together and put into a sprayed 9” pie pan. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Makes it’s own crust. Good hot or cold.

Hashbrown Breakfast Quiche (this recipe originally came from JanM)
24-27 oz pkg hashbrown potatoes
1/3 cup melted butter (I use Smart Balance)
2 cups cheddar or montery jack cheese
1 cup crumbled bacon (or other breakfast meat of choice)
4 eggs (or egg substitute to equal 4 eggs)
1/2 cup half & half (I use fat free half & half from Shamrock Farms)

Spray 9" pie plate or 9"x13" pan.  Put hashbrowns into the bottom and slightly up the sides of pan.  Drizzle with the melted butter.  Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.  Layer with cheese and bacon.  Mix the eggs and half & half, pour over cheese/bacon layer.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

The pictures are from cooking sites on the internet, not from the actual dishes I cooked, but look the same or are very similar.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Two More Quilts Bound

I got 2 more quilts bound while I was at our mini-quilting retreat on Thursday and Friday.  Now all 7 of the quilts I quilted a couple of weeks ago are bound.  They all need labels and then they're finished.  Happy day!

Mini-Quilting Retreat in Payson, AZ

Thursday and Friday of last week a group got together for a mini-quilting retreat at our Payson mountain home.  It was really enjoyable.  There was lots of good conversation, plenty of food, and door prizes for all.  Plus we got a lot of sewing done.  Here we are working away.

In the following picture you can see a few more of the retreaters and a few of the door prizes (on the TV tray) that hadn't been won yet.

The ladies each brought baby pictures for one game.  For other games they also brought 2 orphan blocks and 2 ugly fat quarters.  The challenge to the ladies who won both of these was to use them to make a quilt.  Here are the orphan blocks.  There were so many pretty ones.  It's going to make an interesting quilt.

The ladies seemed to enjoy the door prizes.  LindaSue won a border quilting guide roll, Patty won a block carrier roll, Laura won the orphan blocks, Joni won some applique goodies, Joanne won the other block carrier roll, Joan won some thangles, and I was the last one to win so guess who got stuck with, strike that, I mean, who has the priviledge of making the ugly fat quarters into a quilt.  Laura brought the fat quarter that was voted to be the ugliest.........some of these fat quarters were really UGLY and are going to be quite a challenge to put together into a quilt.  There was one additional door prize, a digital camera; Joni took that one home.  Each lady also received a thumb pin cushion stuffed with wool batting so their pins will stay nice and sharp.

We had absolutely wonderful the mid-70's.....and were able to eat outside on the patio for all of our meals.  What a relaxing time and a great get-away.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

I want to wish all my blog friends and followers a Happy Easter!

Second Week's Progress - Organizing My Stash

I made more progress this week folding my stash.  There are 3 more shelves folded and more added to the previous 3 shelves.  The flannel, pre-quilted, and large backing fabric took more space so I was only able to get 4 stacks on those 2 shelves.

Isn't it starting to look better already?  I'm loving this method of folding. 

This week I pulled fabric for a couple of projects from the newly organized shelves and it made finding just the right fabric so much easier. 

I have several more large pieces of backing fabric I still need to fold, then it's on to the fabric I have in various fabric lines that I want to keep together, and fabric for anticipated projects that I want to keep together too.  This step is going to be a little bit more challenging.  I think I'll tie them together with colorful torn fabric strips from my scraps.  Maybe my scrap bin will get a little bit leaner in the process - that'll be a good thing.