Thursday, July 30, 2009

ABM5: the utterz edition -

Mobile post sent by jalapeno using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Monday, July 06, 2009

One for the Bachelor and College kids

Just because your single or in college doesn't mean you have to starve. This week I will be featuring some great Q&E recipes that are great for that bachelor who can not cook or that starving college student. This idea comes from my friend @skyjack. Please feel free to offer your suggestions as well. One of the easiest things to cook with is Tuna. This handy little staple can be made in to many different meals fairly quickly & affordably. I'm going to offer two meals which are easily prepared in less than an hour. First, Tuna Salad Sandwich. This recipe comes from @Skyjack and can be viewed on

[Collegiate Meals] Bachelor Tunasalad Sandwich

The Second dish is Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Most ppl will use egg noodles in the recipe, however this version is college kids friendly and calls for Mac n Cheese..

Tasty Tuna Casserole

Prep Time: Total Time: Makes:
15 min 45 min 6 servings, about 1 cup each

What You Need!

1 pkg. (7-1/4 oz.) KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1 can (5 oz.) tuna, drained
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1 green onion, sliced
1 cup crushed potato chips

Make It!

HEAT oven to 350°F.
PREPARE Dinner as directed on package. Stir in soup, milk, tuna, peppers and onions.
SPOON into 2-qt. casserole; top with crushed chips.
BAKE 30 min. or until heated through.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Substitute 1 cup frozen vegetables, such as peas, for the red peppers.

Two easy meals in less than an hour..

More Bachelor/College ideas tomorrow..

Jalapeno Mama

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A pocket full of yum..

Tired from all the festivities? Need a quick meal or snack? Today's recipe is just that, plus it's so diverse you can use whatever you have in the fridge.

Ham 'n Cheese Calzones

Prep Time: Total Time: Makes:
10 min 28 min 4 servings, 1 calzone each

What You Need

1 can (13.8 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust
16 slices OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Shaved Honey Ham
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese
1/4 cup KRAFT Ranch Dressing
1 tomato, cut into 8 thin slices

Make It!

HEAT oven to 400°F. Unroll pizza dough on lightly floured surface. Pat out dough to form 16x12-inch rectangle. Cut into quarters.
TOP dough with ham to within 1/2 inch of sides. Mix cheese and dressing; spread on ham. Top with tomatoes. Fold each rectangle in half; seal edges with fork. Put on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
BAKE 16 to 18 min. or until golden brown.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Healthy Living
Save 50 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving by preparing with KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese and KRAFT Light Ranch Dressing.
Make Ahead
Prepare calzones as directed up to 8 hours in advance. Wrap baking sheet with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. When ready to eat, unwrap and bake as directed.
Serving Suggestion
Serve with a salad of mixed greens tossed with your favorite Dressing.
Other filling ideas:

Tomato sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Pepperoni

Apple or Cherry Pie Filling

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar

The combinations are endless.. You can also freeze these, this is great for kids.

Til tomorrow...

Jalapeno Mama

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Our founding Forefathers never had it this good.

Today I'm offering 3 recipes that are Q&E and would be great to take to that picnic or family get together. There so easy that even your kids could help, and so delicious our founding fathers will be jealous :)

First up, No Sugar Rice Pudding - by Shirley McNevich

I"m not a big fan of Rice Pudding, yet for some strange reason I began to crave it. I went on line to find a recipe which used already cooked rice & didn't require a lot of work, what I found was this.
No Sugar Rice Pudding

2 cups cooked/cooled rice (add 1 tsp. salt when cooking the rice)
2 cups COLD milk
One 1 ounce (1oz.) package Jell-O sugar free instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl add milk and pudding mix--beat with a whisk until it starts to get thick. Add vanilla and cooked rice--stir with a spoon until mixed. Refrigerate.

Quick, easy & simple. YUM!

Next, EZ Fudge

This recipe is so good everyone will think you stood over the stove for hours..

EZ Fudge

What you need:

1 bag semi sweet chocolate Chips
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 bag pecan - optional

Throw it all in a bowl.
Microwave for about 5 minutes. (Watch contents, may boil over depending on microwave)
Microwave about 3 more mintures, making sure it's good & melted
Stir it, Scrape into pan, work quickly fudge will be hot & sticky. Take care not to get burnt.
Let it set.

Last recipe,

Watermelon Pops

Prep Time: Total Time: Makes:
35 min 4 hr 35 min 16 servings

What You Need!

1 cup sugar, divided
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Lime Flavor Gelatin
2 cups boiling water, divided
ice cubes
1 cup cold water, divided
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin*
3 Tbsp. miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 pkg. (4 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
*NOTE I used Watermelon instead, only difference is Watermelon is more of a pink color than vivid red

MIX 1/3 cup sugar and lime gelatin mix in medium bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to 1/2 cup cold water to measure 3/4 cup. Add to lime gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted. Refrigerate 25 min.

MEANWHILE, repeat Step 1 using strawberry gelatin mix and omitting the refrigeration step. Pour into 16 (3-oz.) paper cups. Freeze 20 min. Stir 1/2 tsp. chocolate chips into gelatin in each cup.

BEAT cream cheese and remaining sugar with mixer in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in COOL WHIP; spread over gelatin in cups.

POUR lime gelatin over cream cheese mixture. Insert wooden pop stick into gelatin in center of each cup. Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Remove pops from cups just before serving.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Look for wooden pop sticks in craft or hobby stores. If you don't have pop sticks, you can use plastic spoons for handles instead.
How to Easily Remove Frozen Pops from Cups
Dip cups in warm water for 15 sec. Peel off cups.(Do not twist or pull pop sticks.)

There you go 3 quick & easy recipes for the 4th..

Jalapeno Mama

Friday, July 03, 2009

Recipes that will leave them asking for more, while not denting your pocketbook

Yesterday I decided to start blogging about ways to stretch your dollar. One place that we all have to make it stretch is meal time. How do you feed your family well, without spending a large amount? How can I provide quick & easy meals without serving take out? Those of you who know me, know how much I loathe cooking for meal time. Every now & then I will get a Donna Reed whim, but most of the time I really would rather pass.

So deciding on what's for dinner can be a challenge. It can not take too much time, can not be too difficult, use the ingredients I already have in the house & must be something that 3/4 of the ppl will like. Easy enough right?

This is where my cookbooks & the internet come into play. It is here I can find what I need to complete this task quickly & successfully.

One of my favorite places to get quick, delicious recipes is FOOD & FAMILY, it's a free seasonal publication put out by Kraft Foods. It offers lots of great quick meal ideas, easy to make recipes & budget stretching ideas. A large portion of the meals we have come from this magazine, just because they are easy & quick. Today for lunch we had:

Enchilada Casserole

Prep Time: Total Time: Makes:
5 min 30 min 4 servings

What You Need!

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. chili powder
4 corn tortillas
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream

Make It!

MICROWAVE meat and onions in 2-qt. microwaveable dish on HIGH 4 to 6 min. or until meat is no longer pink, stirring every 2 min.; drain.
STIR in tomato sauce, water and chili powder. Microwave 5 to 9 min. or until slightly thickened, stirring every 4 min. Transfer to bowl.
PLACE 1 tortilla in same microwaveable dish; top with layers of 1/4 each meat sauce and cheese. Repeat layers 3 times. Microwave 2 to 5 min. or until heated through. Let stand 5 min. Top with tomatoes and sour cream.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Healthy Living
Save 90 calories, 12 grams of fat and 6 grams of saturated fat per serving by preparing with extra lean ground beef, KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese and BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream.

Variation Beef and Bean
Reduce amount of meat to 1/2 lb.; Stir in 1 can (16 oz.) fat free refried beans with the tomato sauce.

Skillet Preparation
Cook meat and onions in large skillet on medium-high heat 3 to 5 min. or until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, water and chili powder; cook until heated through. Transfer to bowl. Assemble in skillet as directed. Cover; heat 2 min. or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and tomatoes.

This was very good & easy enough my 11yo could have done it with out my help.

You will want to serve a side with this.. I suggest

Spanish Tomato Rice

Makes: Serves Four Total Time: 15 min

  • 1-10 3/4 oz. can of tomato soup
  • 1-bag of instant spanish rice
Prepare tomato soup using equal amounts of soup and water. Bring to boil. Add contents of spanish rice mix. Continue boiling until rice is tender.

And why spend money buying pudding pops when you & your kids can spend time together & make your own?

Double Chocolate Cookie Pudding PopsPREP: 10 min. plus freezing MAKES: 9 servings

What You Need:

  • 1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 6 Oreo Cookies
  • 1⁄2 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Make It:

1. BEAT pudding mix and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min.
2. PLACE cookies in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Use rolling pin to crush cookies.
3. ADD cookies and Cool Whip to pudding; stir just until blended.
4. SPOON into 9 small paper or plastic cups.
5. INSERT wooden pop stick or plastic spoon into each for handle. Freeze 5 hours or until firm.

There you have it a whole meal that's quick, easy & delicious.

More to come.. :)

Mama Jalapeno

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Today's economy may call for some wartime tactics at meal time

I'm sure we are all tired of hearing about the State of the Economy, after all we are the ones living in it. Trying to keep food on the table & shoes on our kids feet. Tightening our belts to make ends meet this all has become a part of everyday.

As mother of five making my dollar stretch is something thatI do every day, making every cent count is a must. Now the kids are home on summer break & making three meals a day is something I must to do everyday. This makes the dollar stretching task even more challenging. How do I make something that everyone will like, is quick & easy & will not cost me a lot or require special ingredients?

Those of you who know me, know that cooking is not one of my favorite tasks to do. Oh every now & then I might get a Donna Reed whim, but for the most part, I would rather pass the spatula to someone else. So something that is quick & easy is required if I'm going to prepare the meal.

I have turned to my collection of cookbooks & the internet to help me make this task more enjoyable. After trying many recipes, some we liked & some not so much, I thought I would share in my blog some of the best I have found. I will also share other tips for stretching your dollar & places to look to get a good deal. I hope these various sources & ideas will help you make the most out of the little income you have. Oh and if you have tips or ideas you want to share, please by all means send them my way.

To start this off I thought I would share a recipe that is one of my favorites, because it's Q&E, tastes great & requires very few ingredients.

Growing up during War time & the depression mean supplies were rationed amoungst the families. Being that you had a certain amount of Sugar, eggs & milk you would reserve them for essentials. This caused ppl to become creative in the ways they would make their favorite recipes & caused the to invent new recipes.

One such recipe to be born from war time was "Wacky Cake". This recipe requires no dairy and no eggs, yet it's still delicious.

Wacky Cake

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted shortening
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift all dry ingredients into an ungreased 9x9-inch cake pan. Make a well in the center and pour the oil, vinegar, vanilla and cold water into it. The combination will start to bubble. Mix with a fork until well combined. Don't worry if there are a few lumps, avoid overmixing. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cake cool completely in the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into squares to serve.
If you bake in an 8x8-inch pan for 35-40 minutes.
For a 9x13-inch pan, double the ingredient amounts and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour.
Be sure you insert ingredients in order & you add the vinegar BEFORE the water. I have found that the smaller size pan works better. The large cake seems to be dryer that the smaller one.

I will be back tomorrow with recipes to make a whole meal in about less than a hour.

Jalapeno Mama