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.