Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday!

You may have seen me mention before how much I love lists! I make lists for everything... grocery lists and to do lists and lists of new ideas for the shop and supply lists and wish lists and... well you get the point. I'm a list maker, AND I'm addicted to notebooks. But my newest list won't kill any trees! My newest list will be right here on my blog every week, starting today! Here goes...

This week I'm going to share my top ten favorite RECIPES!! I LOVE allrecipes.com! I have about a million and one cookbooks, but I always surf on over to All Recipes when I need some new meal ideas. I always read the reviews before trying something new and I have never been disappointed with something that had multiple comments of AWESOME! Of course I haven't really tried many new recipes since I started making Lens Pets nine months ago, but I hope to get back to it some day! Because even though I'm not wild about cooking/baking, I AM wild about eating!! ;) 

1. Sweet dinner rolls - In an effort to get back to using my bread machine more, I found this amazing recipe in March last year. We call them FAT ROLLS around here and OMG they are HEAVENLY!! I haven't made them in a while because they're kinda time consuming but they are worth every single second it takes to prepare! My kids ask for them all the time. I make them as 'clover' rolls instead of the crescent type (just  cut into equal pieces, roll into balls and put three little balls into each section of a muffin tin) and did I mention they're DIVINE?! Man I want some! I think I might need to make some with dinner tonight. Seriously... if you like bread, even a little bit, you MUST try this recipe!! Here's a shot I took of my first batch (before they were buttered on top so forgive them for looking a little dry - they're NOT, not at all, not even before buttering the tops! they're soft and fluffy and dense but light and just MELT.IN.YOUR.MOUTH! Aside from brushing a little melted butter on the tops when they come out of the oven I don't even add additional butter to mine)

2. Raspberry Oatmeal Bars - I found this recipe when I was looking for something to take to a cookie swap. Like I mentioned before, I do not enjoy baking - but eating... two thumbs up. ;) So I was looking for an EASY recipe that would take very little time to prepare but pack a big punch. FOUND IT! every single person that has ever eaten these has fallen in love. :) My dad flipped out the first time I made these for him because apparently they are something he loved as a kid but hadn't had in a lot of years. Now he asks for them pretty much every time he comes to visit. I am in love with raspberries, you seriously cannot go wrong with that fruit!

3. Bangin' Banana Bread - after reading the reviews on this one I just had to try it out and I am SO glad I did! I hate dry banana bread... that is NOT a problem with this recipe! It turned out SOOOO moist and had a GREAT banana-y flavor! Hands down the BEST banana bread I have ever eaten! And oh look! I  even have a photo of my first loaf! :) 

4. Italian Calzones - I should share something other than bread maybe, lol. The recipe for this dough is FANTASTIC! So delicious! I especially loved that I could make up the dough, then everyone could choose their own ingredients to go inside the calzones! Because of course the kids just wanted pepperoni, cheese and pizza sauce. I on the other hand warmed up a tiny bit of oil, tossed in some garlic and then browned  some cubed chicken, added black olives and cheese - no sauce. YUM!!! Again - time consuming rolling out the dough, stuffing and sealing each one, but so worth it! I seriously need to make these again soon. 

5. Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup - *raises hand* Lazy chef here... I LOOOOOVE my crockpot! I mean how much easier can a meal get?!?! Throw it all in in the morning, dish it out at dinner time - and ONE pot to clean!!! Fantastic! I tried this recipe recently when I was looking for something quick and easy but delicious to take to a soup swap! Winner winner chicken dinner! My kids devour this and though I'm not usually one for a lot of ingredients in one dish I love it too! You can make substitutions if some things aren't to your liking - chicken broth instead of beer, frozen or fresh veggies instead of canned. I left out the onions because I do NOT do onions... EVER! You can add more spices (though I'm a mild kinda girl and this has just enough bite for me). This is a delicious soup, with smashed up tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese on top! Ok.. it won't win any awards for being the healthiest recipe, but it's still yum! ;)

6. Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti - If you are one of the 5 people in the universe who has never heard of this, never tried this, never stuffed yourself to the brim with this... you are MISSING OUT! This is seriously the MOST fantastic casserole I have EVER eaten. I love casseroles, I mean really, they're just as easy as cooking in the crockpot!! This one actually takes some time to prepare but it is so far beyond worth it it's just not even funny. It took me years of hearing other people rave about this recipe before I tried it myself. And now I'm sad for all those chicken spaghetti-less years that we could have been dining on HEAVEN IN A CASSEROLE DISH! Not even kidding. I made it for dinner tonight because looking up all these recipes was causing some serious cravings! Here is the Pioneer Woman's most beautiful picture of this dish... I drool just looking at it!

7. Corn Casserole - I for one LOVE corn bread with my chili... but once I discovered  this corn casserole I could never go back to plain old corn bread again! This is SO delicious and amazing!! The first time I had it a friend made it as a side dish... I think I ate more of the corn casserole than I did the main dish. ;) This recipe is exactly the same as the one she gave me. And can I just say, YUM YUM YUM!!! My kids weren't wild about it (WHAT is wrong with them?!?!?) but I totally don't care! I make it every time I make chili (which they also don't like, lol - I'm such a mean mom!). If your family digs corn bread I dare you to try and resist this!

8. Taco Lasagna - another recipe thanks to the same friend who made the corn casserole (she's a fabulous cook). LOOOVE this! I love it, the kids love, it's a hit all around!!! I do take a few short cuts (like taco seasoning instead of all the individual spices - you know, because I'm the lazy chef!) and I switch out the corn tortillas for flour just because that's my preference but other than that, WONDERFUL!

9. Easter Brunch Lasagna - I found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine YEARS ago, at least a decade by now! I've made it on Easter every single year since then... and a few times for dinner in between. I LOVE the combination of the noodles with the white sauce, ham, broccoli, cheese... DELICIOUS lasagna. and a change from the typical beef/red sauce that lasagna usually has. So filling, I always walk away stuffed!

10. Stuffed peppers - though this particular recipe is not mine, it is similar and it's got great reviews. I would share my recipe, only I don't use a recipe. This is one of the meals my mother taught me to make when I was 18 and moving out on my own. There is no measuring happening here people, it's just 'toss it into the bowl, mix, stuff, cook, GORGE'. Yep. And it is seriously like the all time best favorite comfort food out there. Oddly enough, I don't actually eat the pepper. While I LOVE raw green peppers, once they're cooked they gross me out. BUT you don't get the same flavor without the pepper (trust me, I've tried) so I always stuff ONE pepper and put it in the middle of the dish... then all the rice and seasoned meatballs that would have been stuffing additional peppers is just in the pan with my one pepper in the middle. ;) I LOVE this dish and I don't make it nearly often enough. Unfortunately my arthritis has gotten so bad that it's quite painful for me to mash up the meat and seasonings to make the meatballs. Sometimes I can bribe the kids into helping though. ;)

Well, I hope you enjoyed my very first 'Top Ten Tuesday'! I would love for people to leave me suggestions as to what other 'top tens' they'd like to see. :) 

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