Gooseberry Patch Weeknight Dinners Cookbook – Giveaway

I love this book.

Weeknight Dinners CookbookMaybe it is because it has some great recipes in it for a crazy busy parent like me. It even features my Italian Bread Pizza.

Leah's Italian Bread Pizza

These recipes are quick to make. Like these Italian Steak Sandwiches.

Italian Steak SandwichOr this Speedy Lasagna Skillet. Which I think I might make tonight again.

Speedy Skillet LasagnaOK, maybe my family has an obsission with Italian inspired foods. This book breaks down each day of the week with a theme. Meatless Monday – which is called side recipes in my house, Tex-Mex Night Tuesday, Italian Wednesday, Comfort Food Thursday and Just for Fun on Friday. The index breaks the recipes down by main dishes, sides, breads. Any way you need to find a recipe you can.

But back to the recipes. This hamburger helper knockoff without the box. This cheeseburger macaroni was also a hit.

cheeseburger macaroni

And for cheesy bread lovers, there is no lack of recipes for you in here either. This bread is becoming a staple in our house. I stock up when the bread is on quick sale.

Warm 3 cheese bread

Are you dying to have the Weeknight Dinners Cookbook yet? Then register to win!! And guess what, I am giving away two copies of the cookbook since one of my recipes is included!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was sponsored by Gooseberry Patch by supplying the books for the giveaway. Pictures of food and opinions on the recipe are all mine.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Speedy Skillet Lasagna

A few weeks back I made the steak sandwiches out of the Gooseberry Patch Weeknight Dinners Cookbook. This week, the Speedy Skillet Lasagna was a big hit and only dirtied one pan.

Speedy Skillet Lasagna

Start by cooking up a pound of ground beef along with a 1/4 cup of onion and 1/2 cup carrot that are chopped in a Dutch Oven until the meat is no longer pink.

Chopped onion and carrot

Drain any excess grease and then uncooked pasta along with the remaining ingredients except for the cheese.

Campanelle Pasta and Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

uncooked pasta, tomato sauce and seasoning for Speedy Skillet Lasagna.Heat to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes or until your pasta is tender. I might have also added a bit of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.

Secret ingredients for red sauceContinue cooking til pasta is tender. Right before the lasagna is done cooking, I stirred in a quarter cup of cream.

Cooking skillet lasagna

Then sprinkle with about 2 cups of Mozzarella or Italian shredded cheese.

Speedy Skillet LasagmaWith the carrots, mushrooms and tomato sauce this is a fairly nutritious meal to oblivious hungry kids. Of course we all ate our weight in warm 3-cheese bread too.

Warm 3 cheese bread

Speedy Skillet Lasagna
A one pan recipe full of Italian flavors that will be on the table in less than 30 minutes and fill up your hungry family.
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ¼ c onion, chopped
  • ½ c carrot, chopped
  • 1½ c mafalda mini lasagna noodles or other type pasta
  • 1½ c water
  • 1, 26 ounce jar tomato sauce
  • ½ t. Italian seasoning
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup half and half
  • ½ c or more shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook beef with onion and carrot till meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
  2. Stir in uncooked pasta and remaining ingredients except for cream and cheese. Heat till boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce to simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  3. Stir in half and half to the pasta. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Loving what you are seeing. Checkout the cookbook again this week when I am giving it away for free Beyer Beware.

Gooseberry Patch supplied me with the Weeknight Dinners Cookbook to review. Opinions are mine. Affiliate links were used.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Party Finger Food

Whether you are going out and about tomorrow night or staying home, we will all be making snacks, appetizers, sweet treats and cocktails. So, I thought I would help myself organize. Prioritize what I should make for the festivities of ringing in the new year. Inevitably where ever we go, they request we bring our not so small fry daddy. So, let’s start with all things fried…

Fried Appetizers

Crispy Fried Chicken Wings

Fried Pickles

Fried Green Beans


Restaurant Style Salsa

Pizza Dip

White Pizza Dip

Bruschetta Dip

Cream Cheese Mexican Dip

Reuben Dip

Ham Dip

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Meat & Bread Appetizers

Hawaiian Roll Ham Sandwiches

Buffalo Chicken French Breads

Jalapeno Bacon Poppers

Bacon Sugar Smokies

Cheesy Sausage Bagels

Pull Apart Bacon, Cheese, Ranch Bread {AKA Crack Bread}

Sweet Treats

Baked Fruit Brie

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Donut Bites

Chocolate Fruit Dip

Saltine Cracker Toffee

Whatever your plans, I hope your food is good, family is close and 2013 is blessed!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Flaxseed

I don’t know if anyone else has this problem but bananas seem to ripen extremely fast on my kitchen counter. I get my chance to make lots of banana breads, muffins, waffles and other baked goods with banana puree. But I have found my favorite recipe.

Chocolate Chip Banana BreadOf course, you start with some ripe bananas.

Ripe bananasYou need to mash up three of them. I of course pureed mine in my food processor.

Banana puree

Then in a large mixing bowl combine the banana puree with 1/3 of a cup of melted butter, one egg, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Wet ingredientsIn another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and flaxseed. Yes, flaxseed. My friend, Katie, is always touting how her North Dakota farmers raise the best flaxseed. Guess I should get on the Omega bandwagon!!


Dry IngredientsSlowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Then grab your favorite chocolate chips. Mine are by far Ghirardelli!

Ghirardelli Chocolate chipsAdd 1/2 cup and stir together.

banana bread batterPour the batter into a greased or lined 4″ x 8″ pan and bake on 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Chocolate chip banana bread in panFlip the bread out of the pan and place bottom down on a rack to cool.

chocolate chip banana bread on rack

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Flaxseed
Easy recipe to use up ripened bananas. The texture of this bread is perfect with the flaxseed in the mix as well.
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cup flour
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoon flaxseed
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the mashed banana, melted butter, light brown sugar, and egg.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and flaxseed. Gradually add to the liquid mixture.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a lined or greased 4" x 8" pan and bake on 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or a knife comes out clean.

Orange Almond Blueberry Muffins – Crazy Cooking Challenge

This month for the Crazy Cooking Challenge, blueberry muffins are being featured. When I saw the orange almond blueberry muffins from Tessa at Handle the Heat, I knew I would love the muffins.

To begin, zest one orange and squeeze the juice from the orange.

Combine with two egg whites, four tablespoons of melted and cooled butter, and 1/2 cup of milk. Set aside and mix the dry ingredients.

I started the dry ingredients by finely grinding 1/4 cup of sliced almonds and toasting another 1/4 cup of sliced almonds.

Combine two cups of flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Then add in the toasted almonds.

Form a well in the dry ingredients to pour the wet ingredients into.

Stir to combine.

Then stir in blueberries till they are just combined.

Line 12 cupcakes tins or grease the pan if you don’t use papers.

I filled the cups fairly full, a little more than 3/4 full.

Bake on 375 degrees for fifteen minutes or a toothpick comes out clean. Then cool for fifteen minutes in the pan on a cooling rack.

Be sure to checkout the other blueberry muffin recipes. I am sure there is one that peeks your interest.


Naan Bread on the Grill

Over at A Latte with Ott, A, this month’s Iron Chef competition is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. With grilling season also taking a jump start with the June like weather in March I really wanted to do some sort of recipe for the competition on the grill. So, I pulled some inspiration from my recent trip to India.

I bring you Naan bread on the grill.

And to my family’s surprise, it was so good. It wasn’t just because I was starving to death in India.

You start by adding an envelope of Red Star yeast to a cup of warm water.

I then mixed together one egg, three tablespoons of milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, and two teaspoons of salt in another bowl. After about ten minutes I added the water and yeast to the egg and milk mixtures.

I then added three cups of flour to the liquid mixture.

Then drop the dough on a floured surface using about 1/2 cup of flour and knead for several minutes until a soft dough is formed.

Then put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rise till in doubles in size.

When it is doubled in size, punch the dough down.

You may need to use the remaining 1/2 cup of flour if the dough is a bit sticky. Fold into the dough the garlic.

Then pinch of pieces of dough forming golf ball sized pieces and place on a greased pan.

At this point, I put some meat on the grill and let the dough sit near by, covered with the damp towel to double again.

I melted a stick of butter and dipped my fingers in the butter to stretch the balls into then pieces of dough and placed them on the grill.

I cooked the bread over a medium to medium high flame for about 3 minutes on each side. Once I flipped the bread over, I buttered the cooked side with the melted butter.

It was fantastic. My non-bread eating daughter even had two pieces. This is going to be a staple on the grill all spring-summer-fall long!

Grilled Naan Bread
One of our favorite things in the summer is naan bread on the grill. It is easy to make and cooks quickly on the grill.
  • 1 (.25 oz) pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 c. warm water
  • ¼ c. white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. pressed garlic
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and about 3 cups of flour to make a soft dough.
  2. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl & cover with a damp cloth until doubled in size.
  4. Punch down dough and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a tray.
  5. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  6. At grill side, stretch out each ball of dough into a thin circle by dipping fingers in melted butter.
  7. Place dough on grill on medium heat; cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and browned.
  8. Brush cooked side with butter, turn dough over and cook until browned, another 2-4 minutes.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough.

Pull Apart Cheesy Ranch Bread – Crack Bread

This stuff is crack. Steph over at Plain Chicken warned her readers. But I didn’t listen. The one smart thing I did do is make it when I knew people would be over to save me from eating it all.

Last month I had won a basket full of King’s Hawaiian Bread from A Latte with Ott, A’s Iron Chef Competition. So, instead of using sourdough bread I used a King’s Hawaiian Bread Round Loaf.

It is so easy to make too. Just cut the round to form a checkerboard pattern all the way through till you are one inch above the bottom of the loaf.

Fry up about four slices of bacon, crumble and set aside. Then slice a block of Co-Jack cheese into square pieces. I just cut the block in half to form two long pieces of cheese and then sliced. I put the cheese in all the checkerboard cracks. Sprinkled the bacon over top.

Melt a stick of butter and then add one tablespoon of ranch seasoning. Spoon over top of the cheese and bacon.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake on 350 for about 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Let’s be honest, you will not wait till cooled to eat. I didn’t even have time to take a final picture. Sorry:(

Pull Apart Cheesy Ranch Bread – Crack Bread
  • 1 round loaf of bread (I used Hawaiian bread)
  • 1 (8 oz) block of colby jack cheese
  • 4 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 Tbsp. of ranch seasoning
  1. Slice bread in one inch slices in one direction leaving one inch at the base of the bread and then cut one inch slices the other direction, forming a checkerboard pattern.
  2. Cut block of cheese in half, lengthwise to form two long square pieces and then thinly slice.
  3. Place square cheese slices between each square of bread. Sprinkle with bacon.
  4. Mix ranch and butter together and spoon over bread.
  5. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  6. Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes.


Beer Biscuits

It was an accident. I promise. I didn’t intend to make biscuits with beer. It just happened.

I was really trying to make these 7-UP biscuits from Plain Chicken’s blog.

Honest. I started with my Bisquick. I also got the oven cranking to 450 degrees.

Added 1/2 cup of sour cream.

Combined to make a crust like consistency almost. See. Crumbly.

Now time for the 7-Up or Sprite or other clear, bubbly lemon-lime pop. Insert swearing under my breath when I can’t find any in my house or garage.

In comes plan B!

I grabbed a can of the husband’s brew. He was gone. His is cheaper than mine. Really, I just didn’t want to waste on of my 312s on this just in case it flopped.

Measured out 1/2 cup and poured it into the Bisquick mix.

Dust the counter top with some, well really quite a bit of, Bisquick. The dough is STICKY! Go ahead and toss some Bisquick on top of the dough too. Pat it sort of flat.

I put a 1/2 stick of butter in a round, or you could use a square, cake pan. Popped the pan in the oven to melt the butter.

When it was melted I cut out biscuits with a round biscuit cutter. A knife would do the job too. You will get between 7-9 biscuits depending on the the size of them.

Then toss them in the oven for about 12-15 minutes.

They grow together and form a butter crisp bottom with fluffy, billowy insides. They were a great addition to our three cheese baked spaghetti. I am not sure I will ever try the version with pop. The beer version is too good. Plus, someone had to finish the beer!

And yes, the kids and I ate the whole pan. What can I say, we are carb loaders:)

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