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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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!

Old Fashioned Banana bread

This banana bread recipe was given to me from my Mamaw (oh yes very midwest) and as you can see in the photo above the recipe is pretty old. The recipe itself is easy and the bread comes out super moist and delicious.

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter or oleo
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup banana
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vinegar (which you’ll mix with the milk)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 425 degrees.
  2. Put flour, salt and baking soda in medium bowl
  3. Mix together butter, sugar, eggs and banana
  4. Add in flour mixture
  5. In a cup add in your 4 tbsp of milk and your 1 tsp of vinegar and mix. Once stirred together, add to the rest of yoru ingredients.
  6. Mix everything until smooth and pour into a bread pan. i added some sliced almonds to my bread.
  7. Put in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, check that it doesn’t get too done. You will know its ready when you put a toothpick in the middle and no batter is stuck to it.
  8. Let your bread cool, then slice and enjoy!