Everyday recipes, life and craziness from Jen's house.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Herb Dip

Yesterday was Easter.  For the past 7 years, we've spent Easter with the inlaw family in Iowa.  They are just 4 hours away, so it's easy to spend holidays with them.  Even when Jeff was deployed, JP and I traveled to Iowa for Easter.  We've enjoyed visiting with family and Jacob has enjoyed the small town Easter Egg hunt that's held on Saturday morning before Easter.  This year was a little different. JP had his league bowling awards and a bowling tournament on Saturday morning.  On Saturday afternoon, JP and I drove to Kansas City to pick up Jeff.  He's been in Seattle for the past 3 weeks.  On the way home, we met up with some geocaching friends in Topeka.  It was a normal busy Saturday before Easter!  So needless to say, we stayed in Kansas instead of traveling to Iowa.  No family this time, just friends.  A lot of military families depend on friends during the holidays...and this year we had a great Easter with friends!

We had Easter supper (remember, dinner is at noon!) at our friend Amy's house.  The menu was not the typical Easter meal...no ham, no leg of lamb.  Instead, we had turkey.  Amy's son went hunting on Saturday morning and brought home fresh turkey!  Fresh, wild turkey tastes very different than the turkey you usually eat on Thanksgiving.  We had a great time with some great friends.

One of the things that I brought for our Easter meal was Herb Dip and veggies.  Everyone liked the dip and gobbled (haha) up the veggies.  You can substitute dried herbs, but the fresh herbs really make the dip shine.  You can also change up the herbs you use...I think some fresh tarragon would be great!

Herb Dip
1/2 c. fat free Greek yogurt (or fat free plain yogurt)
1/2 c. sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1/2 c. mayo
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped (or 2 T. dried parsley)
Fresh dill (I used about 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill)  (or 1-1/2 T. dried dill)
4 green onions, sliced...use the white and green part (or 1 T. dried chives)

Mix the yogurt, sour cream and mayo together.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and onion powder.  Chop the herbs and add to the dip base.  Mix well. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours and serve with veggies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Semi-homemade (Easy-Peasy) Tortellini Casserole

Semi-homemade (Easy-Peasy) Tortellini Casserole is a big hit in my household.  Everyone loves it and wants seconds when I make this!  It's a hearty casserole that hits the spot.  And it's pretty easy to make.  It tastes like you've been cooking all day!  This recipe makes enough for our family of 3 to have seconds and even leftovers for lunch the next day.

Semi-homemade (Easy-Peasy) Tortellini Casserole
1/2 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 jar Spaghetti sauce (I like Prego, but use whatever you like!)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste

1 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. sugar
1 package frozen cheese tortellini
5 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded, divided

1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, divided

Brown the ground turkey (or beef) with the diced onion and garlic over medium heat.  After the meat is no longer pink, drain.  Add the jar of Spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and sugar. 

While the ground turkey (or beef) is cooking, cook tortellini according to the package directions, but cook them 2 minutes less than the package says.  Drain tortellini.

Place 1/3 of the prepared sauce in a greased 9x9 inch pan.  Spread the tortellini over the sauce.  Sprinkle most of the shredded mozzarella and most of the Parmesan  cheese on top of the tortellini.  Save 1/4 c. of mozzarella and 1 T. of Parmesan for the top of the casserole.  Pour the rest of the prepared sauce on the cheese.  Top the casserole with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake in a 350* oven for about 20 minutes.  The casserole should be bubbly and the cheese on top should be melted.  Serve with a green salad.  Enjoy~

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rogan Josh

The last time I was at Penzeys Spices in Omaha, I picked up a bottle of Rogan Josh Seasoning.  If you've never been to a Penzeys Store, each spice or seasoning is displayed in a little jar.  You can remove the lid and smell each seasoning.  JP loves to do this!  Anyways, the Rogan Josh smelled soooo good.  A little spicy, a little curry-like and a little exotic.  According to Penzeys, Rogan Josh is...
  • "Just a little spicy. A very popular dish from Northern India and Pakistan. This version of the red lamb stew comes from the state of Rajasthan, known for its hilly deserts and fierce, yet chivalrous warriors. Rogan Josh can be made with beef, but this blend is a great example of how a crafty seasoning can change the somewhat objectionable, "gamey" flavor of lamb into something far more delicious. Some blends are interesting-this blend is good." 
  • Hand-mixed from: paprika, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, Korintje cassia cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and saffron.
The jar of Rogan Josh has been sitting in my cubboard for a few months.  Jeff doesn't care for spicy food, so I've been waiting to make this dish when he wasn't at home.  Wednesday night was the perfect night to make Rogan Josh!
I didn't have any lamb, beef or pork on hand, but I did have chicken...I'm not sure how traditional my version of Rogan Josh is, but JP and I enjoyed it!  I served the Chicken Rogan Josh over rice and veggies with a dollap of yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro. 

Chicken Rogan Josh adapted from Penzeys

2 chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces
1 large onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
3 T. Rogan Josh seasoning
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. plain, fat-free yogurt
1 c. water

dollap of plain, fat-free yogurt
cilantro leaves

In a dutch oven, brown the chicken in the oil.  Remove the chicken and add the onion to the hot pan.  Add the Rogan Josh seasoning and salt and stir 1 minute.  Add the cooked meat back to the pan.  Mix the water and yogurt together.  Slowly add the water/yogurt mix.  Stir well.  Cook 1-2 hours over low heat.  Severve over rice and steamed veggies with a dollap of yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro on the top!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Fool's Day

Ok, I know I'm late with this post.  Here it is the 5th of April and I'm writing about what happened on the 1st.  But hey, better late than ever, right??

So every April Fool's Day, I try to pull one over on JP.  It usually involves food, and I usually trick him.  hee hee hee   I think it's great fun, and so does JP.  He's come to expect a trick and now that he's getting older, it's getting harder and harder.

This year, I had two tricks to play on him.  The first was in the morning.  The night before, I mixed up some Knox gelatin with juice and stuck it in the fridge.  April Fool's morning, JP went to take a sip of juice.  And guess what??  It was stuck in the bottom of his glass!  Bahhhahhhahhh.  This was a trick in itself.  The juice in the bottom of the glass was done so that he would think he was safe for the rest of the day.  Oh nooooo.  I had more trickery up my sleeve!

All week long, I told JP we were having chicken pot pie for supper on Friday night.  He loves chicken pot pie, so he was excited because I never buy or make it.  However, it wasn't really chicken pot pie!  Instead, I make peas, carrots and corn out of Starburst candies and mixed it with vanilla pudding.  I mixed in some chopped dried apples for the chicken stuck it in an individual pie plate and popped a precooked crust on the top!  It looked like chicken pot pie and I totally tricked JP!

Other years, I've made "Strawberry Pie" (meatloaf and pink mashed potatoes in a pie plate,) "Grilled Cheese" (toasted pound cake with cheese colored frosting,) and "Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes & Gravy" (chocolate rice krispie treats in a loaf pan and cool whip "potatoes" with butterscotch sauce as the gravy!)
Strawberry Pie 2010
Is this really a grilled cheese?
Grilled Cheese 2009

What did we have for supper on April Fool's Day?? Leftovers.  I know...so exciting!

Where do I get my ideas??  Family Fun.