Friday, September 3, 2010

Cooking with the Brays

I haven't posted much of the food that we've been baking and cooking lately. I've been trying out new (and some old) recipes and I thought I would share some with my blogger world. It all started a few weeks ago with some recipes that I found online. We eat chicken A LOT, and there are only so many things we can do with chicken. When we went home to MS a few weekends ago, Mrs. Sharon gave us some of her vegetables that she had canned (including squash, green beans, butter beans, and also some jams/jellies!). While we were there, we had a birthday party for PaPaw and Aunt Kim complete with brisket, broccoli salad, squash casserole, homemade desserts, and a bunch of other food that I can't even remember right now. Anyway, I fell in love with the squash casserole and was so excited to find the recipe in our Bray Family Cookbook that Nana made us for a wedding present. So that night, I made fried chicken, Bray Family squash casserole (but I made it my own with a few different ingredients) and green beans. Did I mention the homemade gravy? It was so good! Definitely not the kind of meal we feed our CVICU patients as it was not heart healthy at all and I'm sure that meal clogged a few arteries. The picture makes most of it look like mush, but it was soooo good!

My next attempt at a new recipe was for the 4 Cheese-Veggie Lasagna Cups. Basically, biscuits, tomato sauce, cheese, and frozen vegetables. Again, I just used what I had at the house, so I didn't use the ricotta cheese or garlic or parsley, but they still turned out very yummy!

1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Flaky Layers refrigerated original biscuits (8 biscuits)
1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen broccoli, carrots, cauliflower & cheese sauce
3/4 cup diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onion (from 14-oz can)
1/3 cup Italian-style tomato paste (from 6-oz can)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (5 oz)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Separate 2 biscuits into 3 layers each; add 1 layer to each of remaining 6 biscuits. In ungreased jumbo muffin pan, press each biscuit on bottom and up side of muffin cup.
2. Microwave frozen vegetables as directed on bag. Pour vegetables into medium bowl; stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and garlic.
3. In small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon of the parsley. Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon ricotta mixture into each biscuit. Top each with 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese and rounded 1/4 cup vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and parsley.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and filling is hot. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Carefully run knife around side of cups to loosen; remove from pan. Cool 10 minutes longer before serving. Serve warm.

(I added tops to mine, but that's evidently not the way I was supposed to do it! Haha.

Friday when I woke up to go to work, I found this on the counter waiting for me. A delicious catfish fillet with peppers and onions and tater tots!

Last Sunday we had a fellowship meal after church. We always have some sort of theme or style of food and this Sunday was Breakfast. Daniel made a Cheesy Hasbrown Casserole with ham and bacon. (it's the mostly yellow casserole in the picture) The Joostens made a Sausage Caserole, and the Jencks made an omlet casserole. We also had pancakes and some wonderful desserts including coffee cake, pretzel salad, and a Cherry Delight cake that I made. Yum Yum!

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
1 bag frozen hashbrowns
1 stick butter
4-6 cups of cheese (depends on how cheesy you like things)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz of sour cream
ham cut into small pieces (we used sandwich meat)
crumbled bacon
Cook the hashbrowns in a skillet with the butter and add your choices of seasoning. When they are tender, mix everything else together (save a cup or 2 of cheese for the topping) and place in a 9x12 baking dish and heat in the oven at 350 for 15-30 minutes until it is all warm and the cheese on top is melted.

Cherry Delight Breakfast Cake (or for any other meal!)
from Left to right: pretzel salad, coffee cake, and my cherry delight.

1 pkg. cherry chip cake mix
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling
1/2 c. slivered almonds (I did not have these, therefore I did not use them)

Mix together cake mix, butter, and eggs. Pour into ungreased 13 x 9 pan. Spread cherry pie filling over top and sprinkle with slivered almonds.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. (I had to bake for about an hour)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
mix together and drizzle on top

This past weekend my mom informed me that my Nannie passed away. My Nannie was not a blood relative, but she was just like a grandma to me when I was young. She lived in Oklahoma and I spent many afternoons during my visits to OK with her baking. She has some amazing recipes that I now have in my collection. Her infamous chocolate chip cookies, pecan pies, pecan nut rolls, and brownies are just a few. My mom and I would always try to make her recipes at home after leaving, but we never could make the quite like she could. We always said that it was because she put so much love into her baking. Cheesy, but it's true. Nannie was a special lady and in memory of her I made chocolate chip cookies from her recipe. Of course, they we're even close to hers, but it took me down memory lane and I got to relive some of my precious experiences with my Nannie. That's what cooking is. It's memories and love and fully bellies. :) I'm so thankful for those experiences.

1 comment:

  1. hi sweetie, so fun to catch up on your blog and see all you have been doing. I might even try those lasagna cups to see what they are like.
    tell me about India; where and is this with Good Shepherd or DFN?

    love you
    aunt karen