Cheesy Brown Beef and Rice Casserole

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This is so good. I used reduced fat cheese and sour cream and still thought it was creamy and delicious.

original recipe

What you need:
1 lbs ground beef
2 onions, diced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
salt, pepper, oregano
1 cup frozen peas

How you make it:
Preheat oven to 350° F
Spray a skillet with cooking spray and turn on the heat to high.
Roast the onions for a few minutes
Add ground beef and garlic, brown the ground beef completely, turn heat to medium.
Spice with salt, pepper and oregano how you like it.
Add rice, peas tomato sauce, 1 cup cheese and broth, and let simmer for 3 minutes.
Transfer everything into a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the rest of the cheese with the sour cream.
After 15 minutes put the cheese/sour cream mixture on top of your casserole and bake for another 15 minutes.

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One Hour Cinnamon Rolls

These were pretty good, which is why I’m blogging about them. I halved this recipe because it makes so many. Just make it with 2 eggs instead of 3. Personally though, nix the glaze in this recipe and whip up a batch of cream cheese frosting. The glaze in this recipe didn’t taste great to me but the rolls themselves were fluffy and soft and wonderful. Hence it appears on my blog. Plus, I’m way overdue on blogging, but I’m going to blame my pregnancy on that one. Migraines and baking do not go together all that well.
Here are some pics of the process. I like seeing progress photos so I know if it looks right as compared to the original, I just rarely remember to do that while I’m baking.

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For dough:
3 and 1/2 cups warm water (about 115 degrees F)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 Tablespoons rapid rise/quick yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
3 eggs at room temperature
11 cups all-purpose flour
For filling
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1-2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
For glaze:
4 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
For rolls:
Prepare two large cookie sheets (half-sheet size) with parchment paper or silpat mats. Set aside.
In a large bowl (I used my 6qt stand mixer), combine water, yeast, oil and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Add eggs, flour and salt, and mix for 10 minutes. I used the dough hook on my stand mixer. You can also do this by hand, with a wooden spoon until it all comes together, and then a kneading motion for the rest of the time.
Pour dough onto a floured surface, and knead until dough is soft, smooth and not too sticky. Only add additional flour if it’s unworkable and sticking to the surface and your hands.
Roll dough into a large rectangle, approximately 18×26 inches.
Filling and Assembly:
Spread melted butter over the top of the dough. Then, top with brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon.
Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 24 1-inch pieces.
Place rolls on to prepared cookie sheets. Cover them with clean towels and set aside to rise for 20 minutes in a warm, draft-free spot.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
For glaze: (I didn’t add the syrup, too odd for my taste.)
Combine all ingredients (sugar, half and half, vanilla, maple syrup and butter) in a medium sized bowl. Stir or whisk until smooth.
Pour glaze over rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.

from the lemon sugar blog

Caramel Apple Mini-Pies

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These were pretty yummy, although I think I prefer the mini apple pies I blogged about before. The caramel though was a nice touch and these are a little more self-contained. Basically, I’m saying pick your poison ;-). I didn’t make them salted however, because I never cared for that. They’re good either way. I also used refrigerated pie dough that was pre-made. I have made it by hand a dozen times and I’ve just found that usually I prefer speed over the satisfaction of making it by hand.

Make the dough:

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.

Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.

Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.

Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.

Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.

Make the filling:

In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

Assemble the pies:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14×14-inch square.

Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles. (You should have approximately 20 3-inch circles.)

Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.

Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).

Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.

original recipe

Kit-Kat Cake

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Ok so I saw pictures on Pinterest for a kit-Kat cake that looked super good. Sadly, there was no recipe attached to the pics, so I made one up based on what I saw.

Ingredients:
1 chocolate cake recipe of your choice (I used a mix because this pregnant mama has zero energy)
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 envelope of gelatin
1 lb strawberries, fresh
Chocolate for dipping
24 snack sized kit-Kat bars

Bake two 9 inch cake layers, let cool and set aside.
Pour the whipping cream into a deep bowl and blend with a hand held mixer for about 5 minutes until it’s thick and fluffy. In a separate small bowl, mix the cocoa and sugar. Slowly add into the cream. (Taste test this part, you may not need all of it.) Dissolve your gelatin in 4 tbs of boiling hot water. Once it has dissolved, add it to the cream and mix it thoroughly. Put the cream into the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but up to 4 hours if you have the time.
Now melt your dipping chocolate and put your strawberries in it. Place on wax paper to cool. (I recommend refrigerating them for a few minutes.)
Assemble your cake: place the first layer on your cake stand and cover it with heaping spoonfuls of the mousse (whipping cream mix). Smooth it across and add the second layer. Repeat with more mousse on top and then spread it all around the cake as if you were icing it. Unwrap the candy bars and line the side of the cake with them, pressing firmly. Now add your chocolate dipped strawberries to the top of the cake, pressing firmly into the mousse.
Wrap tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate until 30 minutes before you serve.

One Pan Chicken Alfredo

This was absurdly easy. It was also crazy delicious. I forgot to add the parsley and I doubled the pasta and liquid to make a bigger batch.

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One Pan Chicken Alfredo
Author: Melissa @ No. 2 Pencil
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4

An easy, One Pan Chicken Alfredo Pasta dish.
Ingredients
3 tablespoon of olive oil
1¼ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 cup of heavy cream
½ a pound of penne pasta, or any bite-sized shape pasta, uncooked
2 cups of freshly shredded real parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Flat leaf parsley for garnish
Instructions
Start by cutting chicken breasts into 1 inch pieces. Season with ½ a teaspoon of kosher salt and a few turns of pepper.
Brown chicken in olive oil over medium high heat.
It does not need to be cooked through at this point, it will continue cooking as it simmers.
Once chicken is browned, add minced garlic and saute for about one minute.
Add chicken broth, cream, and uncooked pasta to pan and stir.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender.
Remove from heat and stir in shredded parmesan cheese.
Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Notes
Note: Keep pan covered while pasta and chicken simmer.

http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2013/06/06/one-pan-chicken-alfredo/

Low-Fat Orange Cake

I made this because I’m always on the hunt for some dessert that will help my sweet tooth without killing my diet. This was surprisingly good with a little light cool whip on top. It was moist and good. Obviously not as good as a thick fluffy cake with cream cheese frosting, but it helped my sugar craving.

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One white cake mix, 1 cup of orange juice, one 6 oz. container of plain Greek yogurt. Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Chicken and Black Bean Casserole

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This was easy to assemble and had great flavor. I used a rotisserie chicken because I was low on time.

Ingredients
2 cups diced or shredded chicken breast meat (or for extra lazy days use a rotisserie chicken)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chili peppers, drained
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Sauté chicken with cumin, garlic powder and coriander until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cilantro, black beans, and green chili peppers.
Spread half of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Place 4 tortillas over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the sour cream.
Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese, and make another layer of tortillas. Layer the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas.
Cover dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove the cover, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and dot with sour cream. Continue cooking, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

By The Girl Who Ate Everything