Midwest Spinach and artichoke dip

I love this dip! My friends love this dip, my family loves this dip! This is a really simple recipe that takes no time to make and is cheap to make as well!

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Ingredients

  • frozen bag of chopped spinach
  • 1can of artichoke hearts ( diced)
  • 1package of cream cheese
  • 1 container of sour cream
  • 1package of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder, pepper, salt, and red crushed pepper

Instructions

  1. Put your frozen spinach in a sauce pan at medium high heat.
  2. Chop up your canned artichoke hearts finely and add to the spinach.
  3. Add salt and pepper to spinach and artichoke mixture.
  4. Once the spinach has thawed, add your package of cream cheese and sour cream.
  5. Season with garlic powder and a lil red crushed pepper.
  6. As your cream cheese melts, fix your seasoning and begin adding in your cheese.

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7. Turn down temperature to low and let your dip finishing cooking.  Keep warm until you’re ready to serve .

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Midwest Poor man’s Beef Wellington

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If your’e a food show binge watcher like myself, you’ve probably seen cooks make the Gordan Ramsey famous beef wellington! One evening, I decided I want to try to make this! However, from all the recipes I looked up, one thing stayed in common for all—its expensive! A beef tenderloin is an expensive cut and paying nearly $20 for a piece of meat that would get me one serving…really wasn’t sitting well with me.

So ask I paced through the grocery store trying to figure out if I really wanted to spend the cash….this recipe emerged! Using a bottom round roast, would 1–save me money and 2–allow for multiple meals/servings.  And this my friends created the Poor man’s beef wellington! Its delicious, its fairly simple to make and its a fancy meal you can present while staying to your budget!

The total time should take you about 2-2 1/2 hours. 1 hour for letting your meat tenderize, 1 1/2 for it just cooking in the oven. Not too shabby really. And did I mention this warms up great?!

Ingredients

Roast

  • 2-4 lb bottom round roast
  • 1 cup finely diced mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Seasoning: salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, fresh or dried parsley.
  • 1-2 rolls of crescent roll dough ( I used the Pillsbury crescent roll sheet–highly recommend)
  • 1 large ziplock plastic bag to store meat while it tenderizes
  • 1 roasting pan
  • skillet
  • Meat Thermometer

Sauce  (I recommend making the sauce, if not I mean at least make some brown gravy!)

  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter softened
  • 1 tbsp of flour

Instructions

Wellington

  1. First we are going to tenderize our meat for our an hour. If there is any excess fat your meat, be sure to cut if off before seasoning.
  2. Rub your meat in olive oil and lemon juice, place in bag with seasonings. Mix around till meat fully covered. Place in fridge.
  3. At about 20 minutes left take your meat out of the fridge and let sit to get to room temperature.
  4. Once the hour is up, put a little olive oil in a skillet. You are now going to sear all 4 sides of your meat, its about 4 minutes each side for a total of 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Once all sides are seared, place meat in a roasting pan. Set timer for 1 hour and check on your temperature. (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°; medium-well, 145°).Depending how you want your meat done, we will shave off 13 minutes from the final cooking time. When you’re about 10 degrees away from your desired meat temp, that’s when we’ll remove the meat >place in the mushroom mixture and wrap in the dough. The dough takes 13 minutes to cook.

I ended up with a medium well wellington by taking out my meat at an 1 hour 30 minutes then cooking it for another 13-15 minutes. So I kind of broke it down of how long TOTAL the cooking time should be based on your meat doneness : 1 hour  15 min = medium rare, 1 hour 30= medium and 2 hours =medium well.

So based on the above, pick how you’d like your meat done then subtract 15 minutes, and that will be the time you’ll wrap your meat in the dough and mushroom mixture.

7. While your meat is cooking, finely chop your mushrooms and saute in butter until soft and nicely browned.

8. Roll out  your dough on a non stick baking sheet (preferably with edges so any juices don’t leak into your oven).

9. Spread your mushroom mixture over dough.

10. Take your roast and place in dough, roll and wrap so that the mushrooms and dough are evenly covering the roast. I had to kind of warp my dough around my roast and add some mushrooms over the roast. So do how you see fit.

11.Make some slashes on top of the roast, I made one  little big slash so I could stick my meat thermometer in without piercing the dough.

12. Finish cooking in oven for 13-15 minutes until dough is golden and cooked.

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13. Let sit for 5 minutes, FYI your meat temp will rise.

14. Serve and enjoy!

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Sauce instructions

  1. The sauce takes about a half hour to make, mainly due to reducing the wine. Add wine to sauce pan, turn onto to medium high heat and let reduce by half.
  2. In a small skillet, saute your minced shallots and garlic until shallots are translucent and soft, watch not to burn.
  3. Once your wine is reduced add in your shallot/garlic mixture. Stir and add in your beef broth. Let this now reduce for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl combine your soft butter and flour. It should make a paste and then add this to your sauce.
  5. Stir together. If sauce is too salty or thick, add a little water and keep at a low to medium heat until meat is ready.

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Serve over top of wellington and enjoy!

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Eggplant Parmesan

In all honesty, I have only ever eaten eggplant once in my life. I had it last year when I made ratatoulli! So trying eggplant in a different form, I wasn’t too sure how this recipe would turn out.

I can say that I actually impressed myself and have a new favorite recipe that is light, crisp and delicious. The entire recipe cost me $10 and it makes about 5-6 servings. I really recommend trying this out, impress yourself, impress your friends and enjoy an awesome meal!

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Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1-2 cups of flour
  • 1-2 cups of fine Italian bread crumbs (I like to use Kroger)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-4 tbsp of grape seed oil (highly recommend over olive oil for this frying)
  • Parmesan cheese shredded
  • Whole milk mozzarella shredded (available at Kroger)
  • Tomato sauce canned or see recipe below
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper
  • Deep medium size baking dish
  • Frying pan

Fresh tomato sauce recipe

  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small can or half of a large can pureed tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • dried thyme
  • dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • half a small onion finely diced
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper

Tomato sauce instructions

  1. Cut up/smash the whole tomatoes. Pour all  juice from jar and pieces into a sauce pan.
  2. Add your pureed tomatoes
  3. Saute your finely diced onion and minced garlic in a pan, till they’re soft but not browned.
  4. Finely chop your basil and parsley. About 1-2 tbsp each.
  5. Add in your onion/garlic mixture and begin seasoning with your thyme, oregano and additional seasonings.
  6. Taste taste taste! Get the sauce to your liking and keep on low heat so that it can cook while you begin your eggplant.

Eggplant Parmesan Instructions

  1. Peel your eggplant and then cut vertically into thin strips.
  2. Place the strips on paper towel and sprinkle with salt then cover with more paper towel. This process helps get all the moisture out of the eggplant so it wont’ be mushy. Let the eggplant rest for an hour, this is when I made my tomato sauce and prepared the rest of my ingredients.

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3. Once you’ve hit your hour mark, rinse off the salt from your slices and pat dry with paper towel.

4. Cut the vertical slices in half, so you have almost like squares. This will allow easy placement and stacking in the baking dish and makes serving easier.

5. We are now going to prepare our batter station with 3 separate bowls. An egg wash bowl, a flour bowl and then an Italian bread crumb bowl.

6. Whisk together 4 eggs so that the egg wash is smooth.

7. Take a slice of egg plant, dip into the egg wash–shake off any access then dip into the flour so that its lightly coated and shake off any access. Dip your slice back into the egg wash and into the bread crumbs.

8. Have a frying pan ready with 1-2 tbsp of the grape seed oil. Place your slice into the HOT pan and let brown on each side. About 3 min each side. I usually put 4-5 slices in at a time. More oil may be needed the more you fry.

9. Repeat batter process and fry all pieces.

10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

11. Place a layer of your slices into the baking dish. Cover with sauce and cheese then add another layer of eggplant. Repeat stacking until done. Top with sauce and cheese then bake for 30 minutes.

12. Cook your spaghetti as directed.

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Place your eggplant serving on top of your spaghetti, garnish with some parsley and serve with a nice dry white wine.

Enjoy!

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Carmel Apple Cinnamon rolls

This…this recipe…is just..ASTOUNDING. Impress your family, coworkers, your neighbor…like beyond delicious! This recipe takes a little time due to dough rising, like a few hours..but they keep well and warm up perfectly.

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Ingredients

Cinnamon roll dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk (warmed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour

Cinnamon roll filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter

Apple filling

  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Carmel icing

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Cream cheese icing

  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 7 tbsp softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Starting with the dough–warm milk on stove, pour in a bowl and add in yeast to dissolve.
  • In a separate bowl add your sugar, butter, salt, eggs and flour. Mix to fully combined, I mix by hand.
  • Next pour in your milk/ yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  • Now we will let hte dough rise for an hour, cover with a cloth and let rise till its about double its size.
  • While this is rising, we will get the apples ready! Peel skins off apples, and dice into pieces.
  • Place apples in a skillet, add butter and sugar. Cook apples on stove at about medium, until apples are tender.

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  • Once apples are ready, place in a bowl and mix them with the additional apple ingredients. Set aside.
  • Next lets get the filling ready, get another bowl–mix together softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

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  • Your filling is ready and now your dough should be ready to rollout!
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  •  Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, make into a large recetangle shape.

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  • Melt some butter in the microwave until it is liquid. You will then brush this on the dough leaving about an inch for the edge.
  • Now spread on your filling evenly and then spread on your apple filling.

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  • Once ready you are then going to roll this into a log–about 12-15 inches long.
  • Have a greased pan ready to place cinnamon rolls in.
  • Cut rolls into about 2 inches thick, should get about 12.

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, you will then cover your rolls with a damp paper towel for 30 minutes and let them rise again.
  • Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until dough it cooked.

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Now for the finishing touches! Lets get the icing started!!

  • First we will do the carmel icing, that will go on first then get covered with the cream cheese icing.
  • In a medium sauce pan, melt your butter and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved at about medium heat.

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  • Next add in your condensed milk and bring to a boil on medium high heat for about 2 minutes. You will need to watch this carefully so it doesn’t burn.
  • Remove from heat, stir and then spread over your rolls.
  • For the cream cheese icing, mix together softended cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  • Then mix in your vanilla and milk. Add salt, and then gradually mix in your powdered sugar.
  • Spread icing over the carmel icing.
  • Serve and Enjoy!

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Acorn Squash casserole

Its fall and that means squash is out and ready for the picking. I personally had never had acorn squash before, but decided to try it out. It has a similar flavor to a sweet potato but not as dense.

This recipe is super easy, cheap and delicious! I literally can’t get enough of this and will probably be making this agian here soon.

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Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 package of mild breakfast sausage
  • 2 cans of  chili ready tomatoes (tomatoes with green peppers)
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 1 cup of italian blend cheese
  • italian bread crumbs about 1 cup and 1/2
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • about 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and some garlic salt, dried tarragon (or italian seasoning is fine also)
  • a little chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut your acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds. Spread olive oil on the inside of the both sides of the acorn squash, then salt n pepper evenly.
  3. Put squash on tin foil inside a casserole dish or a baking sheet–place in oven and cook for 40-50 minutes. The squash should be easily pierced with fork and tender–when ready.

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4. At about 20 minutes, chop onion and mince garlic. Put in skillet and add in sausage. Cook on medium until sausage is cook, season with garlic powder adn salt n pepper.

5. Cook cup of rice as instructed.

6. When rice is ready add rice and cans of tomatoes to sausage filling, cook on low as the squash is finished cooking.

7. When squash is ready, scoop out of shells, chop and add to the skillet.

8. Season your filling and squash to your liking.

9. Pour ingredients into a medium casserole dish, sprinkle cheese over top and then your bread crumbs.

10. Melt butter in microwave until its liquid, pour over bread crumbs. Sprinkle a little garlic salt evenly over top of casserole.

11. Place casserole in oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the top is crispy.

12. Serve and enjoy!

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Kaitlyn’s family famous sausage roll

 

This is technically not a roll, more of breakfast hot pocket of sorts. Anyway this is one of my favorite breakfast dishes and is the ultimate crowd pleaser! It taste what I’ve been told as biscuits and gravy but better. It’s super simple, delicious and cheap to make! Serves 8.

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Ingredients

  • 2 rolls of low-fat crescent rolls (they don’t have to be low fat but it’s what I use and I think they taste the best!)
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1 roll of breakfast sausage ( I usually get mild)
  • poppy seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to what is listed on the crescent roll package.
  2. Put sausage in skillet and begin to cook.
  3. Cook sausage throughly and then turn down heat of stove and add in your cream cheese.
  4. Melt the cream cheese till it’s fully blended with the sausage.

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5. On a non stick baking tray roll out one package of crescent rolls. It should be a long rectangle and make sure there are no holes in the dough.

6. Spread the sausage and cream cheese mixture over the crescent rolls evenly.

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7. Take the second crescent roll and place over top. Fold in edges so it looks like a giant hot pocket. I also pinch  together the top so there are no holes.

4AD804F6-BB31-45CD-B5D8-BA1F353AC2738. And lastly cover your now beautiful giant sausage pocket with poppy seeds.

9E89FFE4-F28F-4512-AF07-B140FDD12C0A9. Place in oven and bake until golden, about the same time as instructed on the crescent roll package. Check the middle with a fork, stick in the middle to make sure the dough is not raw before removing from the oven.

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10. Sliced up and enjoy with family and friends !

Midwest French Onion Soup

I love French Onion soup…but I have never tried to make it. One of those things where I always thought this will be too difficult and take too much time. Well I proved myself wrong, I made it after work starting at 7:30pm and finished by 9:30pm…so if I had started it at 5pm like I told myself I would, it would have been done in a normal dinner time slot ha. But this recipe, is easy, its cheap and not a lot of work goes into it! I am over the moon on how good it is!

This recipe is based off of Julia Childs…and yes…I changed it up. I know, I know–how could I!

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Ingredients

  • 3 medium size yellow onions
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • French baguette (I got mine at the Kroger bakery)
  • Swiss and Italian mix cheese (contains- mozzarella and Parmesan–can be found at Kroger)
  • dutch oven (If you are serving as a large meal you can put it in the oven as is. If serving for an individual highly recommend getting a french onion soup crock bowl–I found 2 at Goodwill!)Please note:If you’re not going to add the cheese to cook in the oven a regular soup pot is fine to cook in.

Instructions

  • Cut onions into thin slices. I cut my onion in half, sliced each half of the onion then cut those long slices in half to get nice squarish pieces.
  • Put onions in dutch oven with butter and olive oil, cover and  cook on low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.

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  • Uncover add in your salt and sugar, stirring frequently for 40 minutes. Keep uncovered as they cook. The onions should begin to get a deep brown color as they become carmelized.
  • At about 10 minutes before your onions are ready, boil your beef broth.
  • Add in  your flour, mix for a few minutes.
  • Pour in your boiling beef broth and white wine. Season with your salt and pepper till its to your liking. Then set the temperature to a simmer, so about a low medium. And cook half uncovered for another 30-40 minutes.
  • If you are going to gratin your soup, whether serving family style in the large dutch oven or doing individual crocks–Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut your french baguette into about 1 inch thick slices. Add a little raw onion over your soup before placing them on top of your soup.

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  • Top with swiss cheese, then add a little Italian cheese mixture over top.
  • Place in oven and cook about 20 minutes, if your cheese isn’t where you want it to be do about 30 minutes.

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  • Then switch to broil, when you see your cheese at the level of melty you like. Watch as the cheese begins to brown, should only need to be in there for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Let it cool a little and enjoy!