Saturday, December 27, 2008

Easy and Tasty Enchiladas


1lb Ground Beef Browned
1 small onion chopped
1 can black olives chopped
1 pkg Taco Seasoning
3 cans of Enchilada Sauce
8 large Burrito Tortilla Shells
1 large package of Mexican or Taco Cheese shredded


Brown the beef, add the chopped onion and olives, mix in the Taco Seasoning and water - simmer 5-10 minutes until the liquid cooks off.

In a large deep frying pan warm up all three cans of enchilada sauce. Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam or other cooking spray to grease. Dip tortillas one at a time in the warm enchilada sauce so both sides are covered - move to pan and fill with meat mixture and sprinkle with cheese - roll up and put fold side down in the pan. Do this with the remaining tortillas, once all 8 are filled and rolled up pour remaining sauce over the top and cover with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for approx 30-35 minutes. Cut in pieces and serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and/or salsa.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Vodka Slush

4 teabags
9 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 frozen OJ concentrate
1 frozen Lemonade concentrate
2 cups Vodka

Boil 2 cups of water with the 4 teabags - tea should be fairly dark - remove from heat and discard teabags. Add 2 cups of sugar - stir well. Add 7 cups of cold water, OJ & Lemonade concentrate and use a hand blender or regular blender to mix well. Add the vodka and stir well.

Pour into 9x13 pans and put in the freezer until frozen - because of the booze it will take a good day to freeze.

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop into glasses, pour 7-up, Sprite, or ginger ale over the slush. Drink with a straw and enjoy!

Truly Homemade Manicotti


4 eggs
1 1/2 c. water
1 TBSP. oil
1 cup flour


Whisk together liquid ingredients and add flour, whisk until there are no lumps.

A small (6" or so) nonstick frying pan works best for this; I spritz it with Pam once but after the first one, the oil in the batter is enough to keep them from sticking. Put burner on just a little higher than medium heat and ladle a bit of batter into the pan and swirl it around. It should be enough to just coat the whole pan, not like a pancake quantity. Let it cook until the top looks completely dry, then invert the pan and pop it out on a cooling rack or plate. Repeat until all batter is used. This will make a stack of shells that is enough for a family dinner, if you are making them for a crowd you should double or triple it. (Tripling makes between 50-60)


1 Lg container ricotta cheese
1 small bag shredded mozzarella
1/2 to 1 cup of parmesan
garlic powder


Put a line of cheese in the middle of the circle and fold the sides over. Done! Place assembled manicotti in a baking dish layered with sauce, top with sauce and cheese, bake in a 350 degree oven approximately 35 minutes.

Any cheese mixture you are accustomed to making for lasagna, etc, works fine. Shells can be made days ahead and refrigerated; they can also be frozen. These manicotti are light and glorious.

Submitted by: Kimberly of Dispatches from the Northern Outpost

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chocolate Tote Cake

This is a family favorite made for every birthday celebration. I have one in the oven as we speak to celebrate my dad's 62nd birthday tomorrow.

2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour milk (sour with 1t vinegar or lemon juice)
1 cup salad oil
1t vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2t baking soda
1 cup boiling water

Mix together eggs, sugar, milk, oil and vanilla. When it is well mixed add flour, cocoa, baking soda. When thoroughly mixed add the boiling water and blend well. The batter will be rather thin.

Grease your baking pan or pans then bake for 40 minutes at 350. Makes two 9" layers or one 9x13 pan.

I usually frost this with chocolate fudge frosting between the layers and on the side. I then put butter cream on the top and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips for the most decadent cake around. My sister has also been known to put a layer of chocolate brownies in the middle just to make it insanely rich and delicious.

Holiday Stuffing

1 stick butter
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 lb breakfast sausage or sweet italian sausage browned
2 small apples cored and chopped into small pieces
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts chopped
16 oz Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing

Melt 1 stick of butter into boiling water, add drained and rinsed sausage into water, mix in apples, raisins and walnuts. Stir in the stuffing mix. Add more water if necessary.

To make this lighter - use 3 cups of chicken broth to replace water and butter.

This is enough to stuff a 20lb turkey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Orange Cranberry Jello Mold


1 can whole cranberries
1 can mandarin oranges
2 boxes orange jello
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained very well
ginger ale
walnuts (optional)


Melt cranberries in small pot over low/med heat until wet. Stir in orange jello, one box at a time. Pour into mold. Cool some, add fruit and nuts. Add ginger ale, maybe half a cup, let set in fridge overnight.

Cornbread Dressing


1 pan day old buttermilk cornbread (9x13)
2 T butter
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs
2 c. chicken broth
2 T (or more) sage
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble cornbread into greased 9x13" pan. Saute onions and celery in butter till soft. (I sometimes use extra butter.) Mix all and bake 30 minutes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cheddar Ale Soup


1/4c Butter
1 small onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
2t Worchestershire sauce
2 (12oz) bottles of dark ale
2t ground mustard
2 cans chicken broth (use veggie stock to make vegetarian)
2 cups half and half
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese - shredded
5T cornstarch dissolve in 5T of warm water


Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat, add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until onions turn clear. Add the beer and bring to a boil. Boil for at least 3 minutes to evaporate the alcohol out.

Add the chicken broth and the dry mustard - return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer. Slowly stir in the half and half and the shredded cheese, stir constantly until cheese is melted. Stir in the corn starch mixture and stir constantly until the soup is thick.

Serve garnished with chopped bacon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mushrooms Berkeley


1 1/2 lbs of mushrooms
2 medium or 1 large bell pepper (red or green or whatever color you like is fine)
1 small onion
Butter or oil for sauteeing (your choice...doesn't really matter)

Sauce ingredients:
2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup brown sugar (a little less is actually fine)
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce
Fresh ground pepper


Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Dice onion and green pepper and saute in a deep frying pan. Slice mushrooms (unless they are already quite small) and add to pan, cover briefly if you like to cook faster, but saute until the mushrooms are nearly done. Pour the sauce over the vegetables, stir, and turn to low. Let them simmer until the sauce reduces slightly and you find yourself picking mushrooms out of the pan and eating them when no one is looking. It all gets very dark and evil looking but smells wonderful. Great accompaniment for steak, I have also added cooked chicken and served it over rice. The sauce makes a good marinate for flank steak as well.

Submitted by: Shieldmaiden96

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter flavored shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter flavored shortening, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla .Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Mexican vanilla extract can be found in Mexican grocery stores. If you can't find it, feel free to substitute regular vanilla extract.

Submitted by: Apocolypse37

Chicken Marsala


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating (and thickening if desired)
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Oregano (fresh or dried) to taste
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine (or More)

1. In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.

2. In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear. You can add more flour to thicken if desired.

I usually serve this over a bed of Angel Hair pasta.

Also you can really add or subtract what you want (besides the wine) I like mine with Scallions and Sun Dried Tomatoes, Some people use Portobello Mushrooms, or add some chicken broth to enhance the chicken flavor.

Submitted by: Apocolypse37

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

2 large green peppers
1lb lean ground beef (93/7)
1 package of meatloaf seasoning
1 egg
1 cup quick cook rice
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 cans tomato soup
Tomato Paste

Place the raw ground beef in a bowl, break apart, add egg & seasoning packet - mix together. Add rice and bread crumbs and mix in.

Cut the peppers in 1/2 and clean out the seeds. If the stems are still intact cut or remove so the pepper 1/2 will sit up like a cup. Rinse out the peppers and pat dry with a paper towel.

Fill the pepper halves with the meat mixture and then spread a layer of tomato paste over the top of the meat. Put the 4 halves into a large crock pot. In another bowl mix 1-1/2 cans of tomato soup with 2-3 cans of water, mix in about two spoons of tomato paste and wisk together. Pour this over the peppers - it will not completely cover them.

Allow them to cook in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.

When ready to serve scoop out about 1 cup of the sauce from the crock pot and mix with the remaining 1/2 can of soup and wisk together, heat thoroughly to use as a sauce to pour over the meat.

Serve with rice or potatoes and a green vegetable.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Vegetable Casserole

1 package of frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, etc.)
1 can water chestnuts, drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup mayo
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 stick of butter
2 cups stuffing mix (real stuffing mix not Stove Top)

Mix together vegetables, water chestnuts, onion, mayo and cheddar cheese. Place in a greased casserole dish.

Melt butter and toss with 2 cups of stuffing mix and cover the top of the casserole the buttered stuffing.

Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly approx 35 - 45 minutes - will depend on the depth of the casserole dish you use.

Mom's Holiday Jello

A tradition in my family - no holiday is complete without this tasty sweet jello salad! Don't let it fool you - it's doesn't resemble "jello" at all! It takes at least a day to create this - the first layer needs to completely set before you make and pour the 2nd layer so it's a two step process.

1 small package of raspberry jello
1 small package of lemon jello
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of Mayo
1/2 8oz tub of cool whip
1 can of crushed pineapple - undrained
1/2 package of mini-marshmallows
Finely chopped walnuts
2 cups of boiling water

1st step: Dissolve 1 pkg raspberry jello in 1 cup of boiling water. Stir in 1 can cherry pie filling. Pour into a large clear glass bowl, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate until set.

2nd step: Dissolve 1 pkg lemon jello in 1 cup of boiling water. Add 1 package of cream cheese and beat with electric mixer until well blended. Add 1 cup of mayo and the cool whip. Stir in the undrained pineapple and the 1/2 bag of mini marshmallows. Pour this layer over the chilled fist layer and sprinkle with the finely chopped nuts and chill until set.

Tips - I make the 1st layer before work and the 2nd layer when I get home to use the 2nd day. If you pour the 2nd layer before the first one is fully set it will ruin the layered look of the salad.

To make this low fat and low calorie make the following modifications:
- use sugar free jello for both layers
- use light cherry pie filling
- use neufatel cheese instead of cream cheese or use light cream cheese
- use light mayo
- use light cool-whip
These modifications really don't affect the flavor (unless you are sensitive to artificial sweeteners) and really lighten the recipe.

Jezebel Dip

3 15 oz cans of Peaches, drained
¼ cup JalapeƱo peppers, seeded
2 cups of sugar
¼ tsp of AllSpice
3-4 8oz bricks of cream cheese

Combine peaches and jalapeƱos in a food processor until well blended. Pour peach mixture into a 4 qt saucepan. Add sugar and allspice to saucepan. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring constantly. Once boiled, turn down heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. The sauce should thicken up during cooking. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Pour the sauce over the bricks of cream cheese (there should be enough of the peaches to cover 3-4 8oz. bricks of Cream Cheese)

Serve with crackers (Wheat Thins work very well).

The combination of sweet and spicy and creamy in this recipe is surprisingly delicious.

Chicken Wing Dip

2- Packages of 8oz cream cheese
4 chicken breasts or 8 tenderloins
1 can chicken broth
*enough chicken wing sauce to cover the chicken (see recipe below)
*enough crumbled blue cheese to cover chicken
1-8oz bag of multi-shredded cheese(cobly, monterey jack cheese, cheddar)
1-bag of Tostitos

Recipe for Wing sauce:
Traditional (orange) French dressing mixed with Franks Red Hot. The more hot sauce the spicier your wing sauce will be.

1. Boil the chicken breasts or tenders in chicken broth (can add some Franks Red Hot to the broth for added kick) once the chicken is cooked through shred it with a fork.

2. Mix in the wing sauce. If you let the chicken sit in the sauce overnight the flavor will soak into the chicken.

3. Spread cream cheese on bottom of a glass baking dish and placed cooked chicken w/wing sauce on top of cream cheese.

4. Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top of chicken ( a light layer to cover the chicken).

5. Sprinkle the multi-shredded cheese on top.

6. Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake until cheese has melted then mix together well. Add a bit more shredded cheese and return to the oven until bubbly.

Serve w/Tostitos

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welcome to 2 Hot Dishes

This is a recipe blog for the rest of us - fast, easy, good food for people who are not gourmets and who don't really have time to prepare but still want to create cheap, easy, good food for themselves and their families.

Your fearless leaders are VeryBadCat of and Tricia of Middle Age Mania. We are both working women with demanding jobs who want to get dinner on the table without spending an hour in the kitchen at the end of a long day.

So welcome - dig around - and we hope you find something for dinner!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Broccoli and Cheese Soup


1/2 c. butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb. broccoli, fresh!
2 cans chicken broth
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed
heavy cream
garlic powder
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. cornstarch


Saute onions in butter. Add broccoli, stir until broccoli is neon green. Add chicken broth and bring to near-boil. When broccoli is tender, reduce heat. Season. Add cheese, stirring frequently. Add cream to desired taste and texture. Dissolve cornstarch in water, stir into soup.

I always serve this with hot bread.

Beef Burgundy

This recipe is one of my all time favorites. It takes very little time and effort, but it tastes incredible.


8 oz. egg noodles
1 lb. beef stew meat
1 medium onion
2 cans golden mushroom soup
1/2 to 1 c. Burgundy wine
2 T butter
12 oz. mushrooms
garlic powder


Saute beef (should be cubed) and onions in butter. Season meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder. When meat is just slightly browned, add mushrooms, one can of soup and half a cup of wine. Add more soup and wine alternately until desired taste and texture is reached. Simmer roughly 20 minutes, until beef is cooked and sauce has thickened. Serve over egg noodles.

Basic Mac & Cheese

This is a building block recipe, in that it's very plain and serves mainly to give you a platform to customize the dish to your own taste.


16 oz. macaroni noodles
(2 or 3) 5 oz. cans evaporated milk
3 T butter
1/4 c flour
4 oz. Velveeta
3 oz. mozzarella (shredded)
6 oz. sharp cheddar (shredded)


Cook macaroni to al dente, drain. Melt butter over medium heat, stir in flour to make roux. Stir in condensed milk and Velveeta. Add three quarters of the shredded cheese, handfuls at a time, stirring well after each addition. Pour drained macaroni into a greased baking pan, and pour cheese sauce over the noodles, turning a few times to coat. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Parmesan Potatoes

6 Potatoes
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter or margarine

Peel potatoes and cut into quarters or 1" wedges.

Combine flour, cheese and salt in a plastic bag. Moisten potatoes and shake in bag until covered.

Melt butter in a 9x13 pan, place potatoes in single layer. Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour. Turn potatoes and continue baking for another 1/2 hour.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

1-3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 large eggs
2 bananas* mashed
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter & sugar together using an electric mixer, add in eggs and mashed bananas.

Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, then add slowly to wet mixture, mixing well as you go. Once well blended stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased bread loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done.

*for best results use bananas that are overripe and very soft.

Layered Pumpkin Dessert

1 yellow cake mix
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
8 oz Cool Whip
2 packages vanilla instant pudding
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1 cup milk
1-1/2t pumpkin pie spice

Mix cake according to instructions on the box - pour approx 1/2 into a greased 9x13 glass baking dish and bake starting with about 1/2 the required time and checking until it's done (toothpick comes out clean) allow to cool and set aside. You can use the other 1/2 for whatever suits your fancy - I sometimes make in a bread pan or make cupcakes.

Blend together softened cream cheese, confectioners sugar and 1/2 of the tub of cool whip and spread over cooled cake.

Combine pudding, pumpkin, milk and pumpkin pie spice and whisk until well blended. Spread on top of cream cheese layer. Spread remaining cool whip on top and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice for visual effect.

Chill in refrigerator for several hours before serving.

Meat & Potatoes in the Stove

This is a family recipe that my husband's grandmother created and is one of his favorite childhood meals. I think his grandmother actually cooked it in a woodstove but these days my oven does just as well. It is not a weeknight dish even though it's fairly easy to prepare because it takes awhile to cook. I make this on a winter Sunday afternoon most often.

Skin on* Chicken Breasts &/or Thighs rinsed
Small White Potatoes quartered
Sweet Potatoes quartered
Canned crushed tomatoes
Fresh garlic cut into small pieces
Fresh or dried parsley
Salt & Pepper

Start with a covered roasting pan - spray it with nonstick spray then add the potatoes and sweet potatoes, spoon some tomatoes over the top of the potatoes, sprinkle with the minced garlic and chopped parsley and add salt and pepper. Lay the chicken on top of the potatoes, cover with more crushed tomatoes, garlic and parsley and salt and pepper.

Bake at 350 - covered until chicken is done and potatoes are tender. My experience is it takes approx 2 hours to cook but I usually check after 45 minutes or so. Leave it uncovered for the last 1/2 hour.

Serve with a green veggie like steamed broccoli or green beans and a nice crusty bread.

*Skinless chicken does not work very well in this recipe as it dries out terribly and becomes crumbly. If you are worried about the skin stripping it off before you eat it works well.

Meaty Chili

1lb of extra lean ground beef (I like 93/7)
1 extra large can of crushed tomatoes
1 jar of chunky salsa
1 cup of hot water
2 packages of McCormick Chili Seasoning (I use 1 hot and 1 medium)
1 can of kidney beans drained & rinsed (optional)
Shredded Mexican Cheese for topping

Brown the ground beef, drain (and rinse to get off extra fat if you like). In a large pot combine the crushed tomatoes, the salsa, the seasoning packages and the hot water. Stir until well mixed, then add the beans and the drained ground beef.

Heat over medium high until boiling, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle about 1/4 of shredded cheese on top of each serving . Serve with a loaf of crusty bread and a nice cold glass of milk.