Sour Cream Noodle Bake

I have heard of “Noodle Bakes” for years from my Grandma Barbra, and also recently while leafing through some of my old Church cookbooks that I’ve bought over the years. Each and every one of them are unique to the person making them. Enter Ree Drummond (The “Pioneer Woman”) and her version of the noodle bake, which she calls her “Sour Cream Noodle Bake”. Her recipe is very much similar to one of my favorite recipes for the noodle bake, which I found in an old 1980’s Church cookbook. Is it safe to say that the 80’s was the “Generation of Casseroles”?!

A lot of people don’t care for casseroles anymore – but I can’t see or understand why. Casseroles can be delicious and easy to make. Let’s bring back the casserole! 😉

The following recipe is my version of the ever popular dish…

Sour Cream Noodle Bake Blog

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

1 pound ground beef
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups grated Sharp Cheddar cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking dish (I used a 9 x 13 baking dish) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet and the drain most of the fat.

Add the can of tomato sauce to the browned ground beef along with tablespoon of fresh basil, tablespoon of fresh parsley, teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of pepper. Stir together and simmer mixture on low for about 30 minutes.

Next, cook the egg noodles until al dente. This should take about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.

In a bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Stir together and then add teaspoon of pepper and sliced green onions to the mixture. Add this to the cooked egg noodles and stir.

When you are ready to assemble (and the pasta sauce has simmered about 30 minutes) add half the noodle mixture to the baking dish. Next, top with half the meat mixture – spread out evenly over the noodles. Then sprinkle on half the grated sharp cheddar cheese. Repeat until the final top layer is a layer of the rest of the sharp cheddar cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. The cheese will be melted and the inside middle, hot.

Leftovers (if you have any) are even better the next day…

Enjoy!

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Orange Juice Taste Test

OrangeJuiceBlog

Interesting FOOD FACT!

I’ve been researching orange juice and was surprised with what I found. Orange juice that’s labeled “freshly squeezed” IS such – but what they don’t tell you is that the juice is held in “holding tanks” for several months before it’s bottled. However – FROZEN orange juice (concentrate that comes in the tubes) is FROZEN fresh and sold immediately. I was surprised by this so I did several taste tests and the winner every time was the FROZEN! It’s “smoother” and fresher tasting. Also sometimes regular orange juice gives me “acid reflux” – the frozen never did. Very interesting. I’ll be buying the FROZEN from now on…

Survey

Ok everyone! I need your help with something. I (along with the help of “Survey Monkey”) have created a survey concerning this blog. Please take 3 minutes out of your day to complete it. Your thoughts and opinions matter – and I need them! 😉 ALL of your answers, comments, etc. will be kept confidential. They will be “totaled” together and generated in percentage figures – so nothing personal. The survey will only be available until April 25th (about 10 days) so please don’t hesitate… THANK YOU in advance…

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VKQ9GQZ

UPDATE: (04/27/2014) The survey is now closed. THANK YOU to everyone that participated! Your answers and comments were greatly appreciated!!! Thanks again…

-Blaise

Glazed Lemon Snack Cake

I’ve been “working” on testing different fast lemon “snack cakes” for awhile now – and I think I’ve found the perfect one. It is simple, delicious and perfect for snacking! You can leave the glaze off if you want, but I prefer to add it immediately as the cake comes out of the oven. It really soaks in, and makes an extra moist cake. This recipe can serve as many as 10 people…but I find it serving about 5 large portions quite well! 😉

LemonSnackCakeBlog

Glazed Lemon Snack Cake

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
(you will also need powdered sugar, butter and lemon juice for the glaze)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease 8-inch square baking pan.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl combine the egg, lemon zest, melted butter and milk.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until JUST combined. (DO NOT over mix – the batter will have a few lumps…this is normal – you want this!)

Pour batter into greased 8-inch pan and bake 30-35 minutes. DO NOT overbake.

While the cake is in the oven make the glaze…

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together (using only 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice). If the glaze isn’t the right consistency (you want the glaze to be “thin” and ribbon like) add the extra tablespoon of lemon juice.

When the cake is done, take the cake out of the oven and allow to rest for about a minute. Pour the glaze over the hot cake and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon.

Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!

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Lemon Bar “Muddy Buddies”

I have recently discovered a love for the site Pinterest – so many delicious recipes, wonderful ingredients and not to mention hundreds of thousands of recipes under the category (one of my favorite categories) “LEMON”. Most of the pins that I “pin” are that of either chocolate or lemon…and this recipe combines BOTH beautifully. White chocolate and lemon are pared together in this simple (and delicious) “Chex Mix” recipe. I have to credit my Aunt Kami for finding and this sending this recipe my way – thank you! 😉

I had actually already tried the bagged version of this that they sell in supermarkets – but I was disappointed because the taste was “chemical” to me. This version is simple, light and fresh! I will be returning to make this recipe again and again…and I hope you will to!

LemonBlog

Lemon Bar “Muddy Buddies”

8 cups Rice “Chex” cereal
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

Before starting this recipe make sure you have two CLEAN big brown paper grocery sacks. It’s really the easiest way to make it. If you don’t – get some before making this recipe. Not many groceries store have these, but I believe Kroger (Pay Less) does if you ask at Customer Service.

Start by combining the white chocolate, butter and lemon curd in a saucepan over low heat stirring constantly until melted together.

Pour the Rice “Chex” cereal into the large big brown paper grocery sack. (I used TWO sacks – one within the other to prevent any potential mess…)

Once the lemon and white chocolate mixture is melted (you don’t want the mixture to boil – just melt together) pour it into the grocery sack all over the tops of the cereal.

Fold the grocery sack down and shake to coat evenly.

Unfold the bag and add the powdered sugar. Start with the 1 1/2 cups – if you think you need a little more, add it at the end.

Once the powdered sugar is in the bag, close it up and shake well again.

Spread out the finished mixture on a cookie sheet to cool completely.

Storing this at room temperature in an airtight container will have it last about 5 days.

Enjoy!

If you don’t like lemon – check out my chocolate version of this (delicious as well) by clicking this link…

https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/chocolate-puppy-chow/

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Lightning Fast Desserts

There is nothing I love more than making desserts from scratch…expect maybe aside from eating them! 😉

I love taking the time to ensure that everything is done correctly and I love seeing (and tasting) the final outcome! In making desserts from scratch YOU control the quality of the ingredients – which I love.

BUT – I know that everyone doesn’t have the time to make homemade desserts from scratch, so I’m going to share FIVE of my favorite “lightning fast desserts”! TWO of these desserts have already been featured on my blog and they are the recipes for my “Any Flavor Chip Fudge” (which has just been updated) and my “Turbinado Peanut Butter Cookies”. You can find them here…

Fast blog

Lightning Fast Fudge recipe https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/fudge-favorite-chocolate-fudge-and-favorite-peanut-butter-fudge/

Lightning Fast Cookie recipe https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/peanut-butter-cookies-with-turbinado-sugar/

The other three recipes I’m going to share are super simple and super delicious! I’ve made them a LOT over the years, and I hope that you will to. They are…

Lightning Fast Biscuits and Jam

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough lightly for about a minute.

Roll the dough to 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. My biscuit cutter is approximately 2 inches.

Bake at 425 degrees on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 14 minutes exactly.

Top with your favorite jam and serve!

Makes about 6 large biscuits.

Enjoy!

Lightning Fast Banana Bread Cookies

2 overripe bananas
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Mash the 2 bananas in a bowl with a fork or potato masher.

Add the oats and walnuts and stir to combine.

Drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 12 cookies.

Enjoy!

Lightning Fast Cupcakes

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 can room temperature soda

Any flavor of cake mix and any flavor of soda will work! Experiment! Try them all! My favorite though is chocolate cake mix and “Coca-Cola” – so delicious!)

Combine cake mix and soda and whisk together until smooth.

Pour the batter into a cupcake paper lined tin and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes exactly.

Let them cool completely and then frost as desired! I really like “frosting” them with whipped cream!

This makes 12 regular size cupcakes.

Enjoy!

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