Sunday, January 30, 2011

Recipe #89: Easy Beef Enchiladas

Yep, definitely making these again.  Found this recipe on  I could only fit 8 of these in the casserole dish, but that's plenty!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix or burrito seasoning mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked regular long-grain white rice (optional)
  • 12 flour tortillas (10-inch), warmed  (I used 8)
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared enchilada sauce  (I just used one can)
  • shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat. Stir the seasoning mix, beans, soup, onion and rice, if desired,in the skillet.
  2. Divide the beef mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side down into a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Pour the enchilada sauce over the filled tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recipe #88: Noodles Corn and Boogers (Hamburger)

As I type this blog, it's 7:30 in the morning and I'm eating breakfast.  What is breakfast today?  A nice cinnamon pastry flavored coffee, and leftover NC&B.  Yep, here's the fourth of my favorite 4 Dichtl family recipes:  Noodles Corn & Boogers.  It's ridiculously easy to make, cheap, and filling.  Oh, and it tastes good (that is, if you liked canned creamed corn).

(Note:  the other 3 Dichtl family recipes are spaghetti pie, tuna soup burgers, and Laramie loaf.  It's funny- I've realized anyone who hasn't tried any of these recipes gives me weird looks when I mention them because of their strange, misleading names...)

ANYWAYS, back to NC&B.  You can brown the meat any way you like with whatever seasonings; I'll just type out the recipe how I did it last.


1-1.25lbs ground beef
1 package egg noodles
2 cans creamed corn
Salt, pepper, garlic, etc to taste


Ground beef in a skillet on the stove.  This is your chance to add most of the seasonings.  I ground it with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and just a little bit of Worcestershire sauce.

Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When beef and noodles are complete, take a 9x13 casserole dish (lightly greased), and distribute half the noodles on the bottom of the dish.  Then, add half the beef.  Next, add one whole can of the corn, distributing evenly.  If you want, add some black pepper on top.  Repeat these three layers with the rest of the ingredients- noodles, then beef, then corn.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recipe #87: Venetian Shrimp and Scallops

I had to go grocery shopping again, so I decided to go through all the pictures I post of my meals on Facebook (a sort of visual menu) and make some of my favorites over again... somehow, in over a year, I'd managed to not make one of my favorites and blog it- Venetian Shrimp and Scallops, a Rachael Ray recipe.  How horrible of me to keep something so awesome from you guys!

This meal is fresh, light, full of flavor, and it comes together pretty quick... and you add some crusty baked bread to the mix and you're in heaven.  I'm so full right now...  The only downside is that this meal is a little pricey with all this good seafood, so save it for a special occasion... or not.

Here it is, copied directly from  (This last time making it, I didn't bother flouring the scallops- I just seasoned them.  Also, I didn't have wine, so I just used more chicken broth in its place):


Shrimp and Scallops:

  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (1 turn around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Hot, crusty bread, for plate mopping


Lightly coat the sea scallops in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Discard remaining flour.
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil (1 turn around the pan) and butter. When butter melts into oil, add scallops. Brown scallops 2 minutes on each side, then remove from pan.
Add an additional drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic, shallots, and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce heat a little and saute garlic and shallots 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine to the pan and free up any pan drippings. Reduce wine 1 minute, then add stock, tomatoes and saffron threads. When liquids come to a bubble, add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Return scallops to the pan and cook shrimp and scallops 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer shrimp and scallops to a warm serving dish and top with basil and lemon zest. Pass plenty of bread to enjoy the juices.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Recommending a Friend's Gluten-Free Cooking Blog!

I just wanted to recommend a blog to you, my dear readers.  This is my friend Sara's blog, and features all gluten-free recipes.  Whether you need to follow such a diet or not, these recipes are worth a try!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recipe #86: Stuffed Pork Chops

I love this recipe for two reasons:  First, I normally don't like pork chops and this makes me like them, and second, most of these ingredients tend to be on hand in my kitchen, minus the pork chops themselves.  I've been making this recipe for awhile now, but it's the first time I've been able to blog it!  Copied from, here it is, with my changes in italics:


  • 1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs  (If they're not seasoned, use thyme and sage)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups whole kernel corn  (I also used some chopped onion)
  • 4 pork chops butterfly cut
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup  (I added 1/4c milk to make it more pourable)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In bowl, combine bread crumbs, butter, egg, and corn. Mix until it is a stiff stuffing. Cut parallel into each chop to create a pocket. Stuff each pork chop with stuffing mix. Place chops in a (greased) cooking dish and then pour mushroom soup over top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until chops are cooked all the way through. (Note:  you'll have a lot more stuffing than you need to stuff the chops with, so arrange the rest of the stuffing around the chops and include them with the meal when served.  That's my favorite part!)
I made mashed sweet potatoes to serve with them that came out particularly good today!  One potato per person, peeled and cut into small cubes, boiled in water (just above the level of the cubes) for about 25 minutes.  Drain, add half a stick of butter per 2 potatoes, some salt and brown sugar (couple table spoons), and a little bit of milk (about 1/4-1/3 cup), mash.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blog updates!

Yes, that's my kitchen (well, half of it...) as the background!  And there's my favorite burner gracing the banner area behind the title.  Now it's a little more personal!

REMEMBER:  You can always click on the pictures to see them in their full-sized juicy glory!

Foil Packet Baking

I was first introduced to cooking by tossing all ingredients into packets fashioned out of aluminum foil a few years ago during a camping trip.  My friend Tom made the most epically awesome stew I've ever had, despite a lightning/rain/thunderstorm that threatened to ruin our entire trip.  I never really thought about making meals that way at home much until I discovered a recipe using the technique in one of my cookbooks, and it turned out great (see  The veggies are a perfect texture and cleanup is such a cinch!

Today was my second shot at it.  I'd thawed out some orange roughy fillets I'd had in the freezer for awhile, and while at Chuppa's farmer's market today, found a pack of veggies that I knew would be perfect with it- zucchini and squash.  So I sliced the veggies into coins, cut up some onion, and laid them on one half of a good 1.5 feet (ish...) of aluminum foil.  I used the kind that has a nonstick side.  Then I sprayed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and mixed them around a little.

Then I took the roughy fillets and sprayed those with the oil as well, then used paprika, salt and pepper to season them.  I laid them on top of the veggies, added a little bit of lemon juice, and sealed the sides and then the tops of the packets.  Then they went into the preheated (400 degrees) oven for 20 minutes.  They came out perfect!

This technique is so easy and can be adapted to so many ingredients.  I want to try it with shrimp soon...

Recipe #85: Laramie Loaf

This is one of the Dichtl Big 4.... one of those family meals you've eaten your entire life, where just smelling it brings back memories of dinner..... (the others are spaghetti pie- recipe 1, tuna soup burgers- recipe 10, and another that I haven't blogged yet)

Now, I like to keep these family recipes EXACTLY how I used to eat them, but the first time I made this for Nick, he didn't like how hard the outside of the french bread was.  To me, that's just part of the tradition, but I compromised for this time and used loaves of ciabatta bread instead, which are a little more forgiving and easy on the gums.  Another change I made was to not put olives on part of the sandwich since one friend who was eating it didn't like olives.  Lastly, I didn't bother eating the top bun on my sandwich (as you can see in the pictures) because it doesn't have as much of the good stuff on that side.

My friend Tom says that since we changed the type of bread used, we should call it Larry Loaf instead of Laramie Loaf.  Hmm...

Don't be scared off by how weird these ingredients sound together.  I LOVE this recipe.  I can't really begin to describe the flavor, but trust me, it's good- if you like the ingredients separately, you'll like them together.  Also don't be scared by the looks- it's not real pretty, but it's DELICIOUS!!


2 loaves french bread (or, in my case, 2 large ciabatta loaves), sliced through the middle
2 3oz packs of cream cheese (NOT 8oz- these little 3oz packs do exist in the store)
1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip
3 tbs mustard
4 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Olives, per taste, chopped or sliced
Shredded cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
1 chopped tomato
Bacon slices, cooked, about 12


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Place loaves open face on foil and butter insides.

In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and olives (or leave the olives as a topping in case someone doesn't like them, but they make a big difference in the taste).  Smear the mixture on bottom halves of the loaves.  Top with cheddar cheese, tomato, and bacon (and olives if not in the spread).  Cover with top piece of bread and wrap with foil.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Note:  Next time I do this, I'm going to try to make them all open face and just create a loose pack of foil around them for baking.  I didn't bother eating the top of mine because it didn't have any of the toppings on it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recipe #84: Manhattan Clam Chowder

Well, I don't know if typical Manhattan clam chowder has bacon, but I don't care-  having the entire apartment saturated in the smell of bacon most of the day was awesome.  ...and almost cruel.

Manhattan clam chowder is different than New England style in that it is tomato/broth based instead of creamy.  Here's an easy crock pot recipe!  It has a very bacon-y, almost smokey flavor.


3 (8OZ) cans clams, with juice (I used 4 6-something oz cans)
2 14oz cans tomatoes, chopped, with juice
2 oz bacon, diced (I used a whole package of already cooked bacon, 2.3oz)
1lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley (I used dried)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and fresh ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook on low about 9 hours.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Recipe #83: Onion & Mushroom Soup

Nick and I love two ingredients in just about any meal:  onions and mushrooms.  So when I found this recipe in my new cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens Fresh and Easy Meals), I knew it would be perfect!

I was a little lax on amounts (adding more of ingredients than called for, mostly), and I used different types of onions and mushrooms (see my notes), but it turned out great.  It made a TON, much more than the 4 servings the book told me.

One major thing that differed from the picture in the book..... my onions never browned.  I don't know if it's because maybe I didn't add enough brown sugar, or what.... I'll have to try tweaking it next time.  The result was still good though, just not as photogenic.


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large onions, cut into 3/4 inch chunks (about 4 cups) ~I used 3 very large onions, 1 spanish, 2 yellow
1 cup sliced leeks (3 medium)  ~I used 2 large leeks, and it made much more than 1 cup
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms ~I used baby portobellos and shiitake mushrooms.
1 cup finely chopped carrots (about 2 medium)
1 14.5oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1.75 cups water
1.5 cups cooked wild or brown rice ~I used a bag of Uncle Ben's 90 Second Rice
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)  ~I used some dry white wine instead
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


In a large sauce pan or pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Cook onion and leeks in hot oil, covered, for 13-15 minutes or until onions and leeks are tender, stirring occasionally.  Uncover; stir in brown sugar.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes more or until onions and leeks are golden brown.  (They never turned brown for me...)

Stir mushrooms and carrots into onion mixture.  Cook and stir over medium heat about 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.  Stir in chicken broth, the 1.75 cups water, cooked rice, sherry (if desired), and pepper.

In a screw top jar (or something that's completely seal-able), combine the 1/2 cup of water and flour.  Cover and shake until smooth; stir into the rice mixture.  Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir for 1 minute more.  (I let mine simmer for a little while and served it with crusty toasted bread.)

My gorgeous leeks before cutting...

A shiitake mushroom

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Teryaki Stir Fry

My friend and fellow foodie Tom made some of his own teryaki sauce (at least, that's the impression I got- that it was home-made...) so I knew I had to make a stir fry with it.  I rely very much on recipes, which is ok while I'm still learning, and I am getting good at improvising and swapping out or adding ingredients... but I won't feel accomplished until I can come up with entire dishes on my own.

Well, today I threw together a stir fry that I was actually pleased with without any inspiration from any of my cookbooks.

First I heated and oiled my wok, then tossed in boneless skinless chicken thighs (read: CHEAP yet yummy!) that I'd cut into small pieces.  Fried that up in two batches, adding some fresh ground black pepper, then set it aside.  Added more oil and heated the wok back up.  Added minced garlic, sliced criminis, snap peas, and red bell pepper, and cooked them until they softened some.  Then added a good amount of the teryaki sauce and heated it all through.  Finally, I added the chicken back in with a little more of the sauce, and cooked it another minute or so.  I served this over that 90-second microwave rice from Uncle Ben's and sprinkled on some sesame seeds.  It was fab!