Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Despite it's name, I would never think of this as a casserole. What I would think of it as is a delishy dinner that I want to make once a week. I got the recipe from this blog, and we were more than happy with how it turned out! When finding new recipes on other blogs, I almost always always make a change or two to fit our taste buds. I encourage you to do the same!
I also stole this picture from that same blog because mine just didn't do it justice!

What you'll need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite-sized pieces
1-2 tsp. cumin (I used 2. The taste is delishy!)
1/4 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-1/2 cups salsa
1/2 pkg of cream cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
shredded cheese
sour cream

In a Pammed frying pan, cook chicken, onion, and cumin until chicken is white throughout. Next, add peppers and saute for about 2 minutes. Then, add the salsa and cook for two minutes. After that, add the cream cheese and cook for...yep! 2 minutes. Add the black beans and tomato, stir together, and serve. You can do this in a tortilla with cheese sour cream, cilantro, and avocado (that's what we do), or you can eat it over rice. It is also yummo just to use as a chip dip. Either way, you will love it. It is one of our new faves!

*The original recipe has you transfer it to an 8X8 baking dish, top with cheese, and cook at 350* for 15 minutes. But we thought it made the cheese too greasy and mushy, so I don't see any reason to bake it. Just keep it on the stove long enough for the beans and tomatoes to heat up, and you're ready to go!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meal Tip Monday: Tools

Egg Slicer
A handy tool that gets little applause is the egg slicer. Although it does slice a mean egg, it can be used for so many other things. Did you know you can slice strawberries? Mushrooms? Olives? Kiwi? Well you can! Give it a try!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Caramel Vanilla Rice Krispies

Sunday is treat day at my house. Okay, most days are treat days at my house, but we especially always want a treat on Sunday. Last Sunday was no exception.
Everyone knows the standard rice krispie treat recipe, right? Wrong. Up until last Sunday, I had never made rice krispie treats. Eaten more than my fair share? Definitely. Made them myself? No. So when I text Kim for the recipe, she text-laughed back at me. So I Googled it instead, and then did a smidgen of modifying.
I have had this bag of Caramel & Vanilla mallows in my cupboard for a while now. Not sure why we bought them, but I'm glad we did! I can't believe how much of a difference they made in our rice krispies!
image from here

I used these in my krispies, and they are heavenly! Also, I upped the butter a bit, which always helps. So if you, like me, have never made rice krispie treats, here is my version, which is actually almost identical to the original. I like my krispies ooey and gooey rather than hard and crunchy, so if you like the same, here is my version!

3 C. Rice Krispies
24ish Caramel & Vanilla mallows
2 Tbsp. butter

In a saucepan, melt butter and then add mallows. I was worried the mallows wouldn't melt, but after stirring for longer than I expected to (3-4 minutes), they melted. Once they did, I poured the mixture on top of my pre-measured krispies and then pressed them into a Pammed 9X9 pan. Make sure you pour the mixture on the krispies and not the krispies into the pan/mixture (they will get to hot and turn out hard and crunchy).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our Newest Feature

PRINTABLE recipes!

We have decided it would be a whole heck of a lot easier for you to print your favorite recipes you find here on howetocook in a convenient recipe card size. That way you can print, file, and always have your favorite recipes on hand. We hope you'll leave us some feedback on whether or not you find this useful and if you would like us to change anything about them.

Just look for this (or something similar!):

at the bottom of your favorite recipes. It will take you to a Google Docs page where you will need to click "File" then "Download Original" and it should bring it up in a PDF file that you can print.

This is a work in progress so if you're favorite recipe doesn't have a printable link on it yet, check back soon!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Giveaway Winner

It is time to announce the winner of the flirtyapron. We truely wish that we could give a prize to everyone who entered because you are all so deserving! We picked the winner using and the winner is:
Who said: following!
We will get you your apron asap!

Thanks again to all those who entered and keep checking for another giveaway soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Idaho Tacos

I can just hear the wheels in all your heads turning as your thinking, "Did I just read that wrong? Did she type that incorrectly? Surely someone here is confused!" But no my friends. I am really talking about Idaho Tacos. You know a Howe girl would never steer you wrong! Just trust me! Try it once and you will love it! It's quick, it's easy, and it's yummy!

What you'll need:

Potatoes-- enough for your family
1 lb. ground beef
1 packet Lipton Beefy Onion soup mix
Shredded cheese (I use cheddar)
sliced green onion
diced avocado
diced green pepper
sour cream
ranch dressing
any other toppings you might like

Bake the potatoes until done. In the meantime, brown the ground beef until no longer pink; drain. Add the soup mix and 1/4-1/2 cup water. Simmer until the water is about gone. Now just cut open your potato and top with meat, cheese, and whatever else you choose to go on top. It's just that easy friends! It's the best combination of flavors! Take my word for it and give it a try!!

Giveaway--Last Day to Enter!

We are so excited to announce our giveaway to celebrate howetocook having 100 followers.
We want to give a big Thank You to everyone who reads and follows our blog!
For this special occasion we decided we wanted to give away one of the "Howe Sisters"
fave things to use in the kitchen... A flirtyapron!

We love these adorable things for so many reasons that we thought one of you lucky ladies MUST have one. If you have not seen or do not already own one of these little numbers,
here are our top five reasons why you will definetly want to (I won't bore you with our whole top ten):

5. I know I'm not the only person who has ruined one too many articles of
clothing by out-of-control bacon grease or splashy red wine vinegar.
4. You will look and feel so stylish that you will want to cook just for an excuse to wear it.
3. One look at you in this and your husband will mistake your
macaroni and cheese for take out from the Olive Garden.
(O.k that might be just a tiny bit of an exaggeration but he will think anything you make wearing this is darn amazing.)
2. You will no longer refuse to wear an apron in fear of being mistaken for your Great Aunt Florence who was a school lunch lady and was never-ever caught without her apron on.

And our top reason, drum-roll please...
1. You won't have to cook naked anymore because this apron is as sexy as any lingerie.

So, now that you know you want this, here's what to do:
**Become a follower and tell us, or just leave a comment if you already are a follower.
**Blog, Tweet, or Facbook about Howetocook.
**Tell us why you need/deserve this apron.

Make sure you leave a seperate comment for each entry!

You can enter up to two times.
We will announce the winner on Thursday.
Good Luck!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spinach Lasagna

This recipe comes from my cute friend, Melissa. Normally I would turn my nose up to a healthier version of lasagna, but after reading through the recipe a few times, I decided it might be worth it. And oh. my! Let me tell was more than worth it. Now how healthy it actually is, I don't know. But spinach instead of ground beef at least sounds healthier, right?? Also, I've always kind of shied away from making lasagna because it seems like a daunting meal. While making this I quickly realized that it is actually very quick and easy. And you know that we all love that!

image found here

Here's what you need:

12 cooked lasagna noodles (Just cook them according to box directions)
16 oz. cottage cheese
2 c. spinach leaves (shredded)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 3-4 cloves minced fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Spaghetti sauce. Use our favorite recipe from here OR 1 jar or can of spaghetti sauce
2 c. mozzarella cheese. (I actually only had about 1/2 cup so I used some cheddar. Worked fine!)

Combine spinach, cottage cheese, eggs, garlic and salt and pepper

Layer as follows:
1/2-3/4 C spaghetti sauce
4 noodles
1/2 spinach mixture
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/2-3/4 C spaghetti sauce
4 noodles
The other half of the spinach mixture
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/2-3/4 C spaghetti sauce
4 noodles
remaining spaghetti sauce
remaining mozzarella cheese

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Giveway at 100

Hey rockin' readers. Pause. Did I just call you rockin' readers? Let's pretend that didn't just happen.

Well anyway. Here's the dealio. We have a sweet giveaway lined up. BUT, we're going to wait until we're to 100 followers to do it. We're really not too far away, but we need your help spreading the word! Tell your friend and fam and FB friends (who you maybe don't talk to in real life) about howetocook so that you can soon enter a sweet giveaway. Should I tell you what it is? Hmm. I'll think about it. For now, just spread the word about your favorite recipe blog! (That would be this one :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Easy Crock Pot Potato Soup

I hear this is a pretty good version of Outback's Baked Potato Soup, but I've never had it at Outback so I'll just take their word for it. Again, I found this recipe on another blog and just had to share it with you! We made this at my mom's on Saturday night and we were all big fans! So, here ya go!

1 30oz. bag of frozen, shredded hash browns

3 14oz. cans of chicken broth

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup onion, chopped

(We used green onion and WAY less--about 3--we're not onion lovers!)

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

1 pkg. cream cheese

(The real stuff--Fat Free doesn't melt!)

**In a crock pot, combine everything EXCEPT for the cream cheese. Cook for 6-8 hours on low heat. About 1 hour before serving, add cream cheese and keep heated until thoroughly melted. Serve with cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, green onions, or whatever else you think would be good!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I got this recipe from my new favorite friend, Alison. Apparently they are also referred to as O'Henry Bars, and she calls them Scotch-a-Roos, but I endearingly named them Scotchies. As Alison said, "Call them what you want. It still doesn't change the party in your mouth." And it may or may not be because I'm teaching Romeo and Juliet to my 9th graders that I say to you: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Enjoy these yummies.

What you need:
1 C. Karo Syrup
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Crunchy Peanut Butter
Approx. 7 cups Rice Krispies
1 pkg. chocolate chips--gotta be Ghiradelli or Guittard
1 pkg. butterscotch chips

In a saucepan, combine karo and sugar. Bring to a slight boil, add peanut butter, and boil/stir until peanut butter is melted. Once all ingredients are mixed together, pour measured Rice Krispies right into the pan. I've tried adding the mixture to the krispies, and it cooled to fast and wouldn't mix well, so I add the krispies to the hot mixture right in the pan. Stir together and press* into a 9X13 pan. SLOWLY melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in a sauce pan, pour over krispie mixture, and let cool. Be careful on the chocolate/butterscotch mixture. It burns easily!


*Note: Run your hands under cold water before pressing the krispie mixture into the pan in order to be able to press them and not singe your fingers off :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

BBQ Pineapple Bacon Burgers

Oh. MY! Who doesn't love a good burger? Especially when it comes from a BBQ? of my favorite things about summer is definitely the endless BBQs. Yesterday, warm weather and all, my husband fired up the grill and we had ourselves some beyond delicious burgers. The best part? We kind of invented the idea. I mean, I'm sure it's not 100% original or anything, but let's pretend it is, alrighty? Okay, so I just googled it and it is definitely NOT original. Dangit! Soo you can pretend it is or isn't. But either way, here's our version.
No picture. Sorry. I'm working on it...
What you'll need for this deliciousness we call a burger:
1 lb. ground beef
1/4--1/2 C. BBQ sauce (our fave is Sweet Baby Ray's)
1/8--1/4 C. bread crumbs
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can pineapple slices (the rings)
1/2 pkg. bacon
In a bowl, combine meat, BBQ sauce, bread crumbs, egg, and S&P and squish together. This part is pretty gross. I personally hate the feel of raw meat squishing through my fingers, so I put Ziploc baggies over each hand to avoid the gag reflex. Once everything is nicely mixed together, grab a handful of meat and form it into a patty. As disgusting as "grab a handful of meat" sounds, I don't really know how else to say it. You can make them as thick or thin, big or small as you'd like. I made 6 patties and had a tiny bit of meat left over.

Next, BBQ those babies! Low and slow is how we like to do it. Hmm. Did that sound inappropriate? Shoot. My in-laws read this blog!

While your meat is grilling, cook the bacon in a frying pan to the crispiness of your choice. When your meat is almost cooked (we go with well-done at our house), add a slice or two of cheddar cheese (Tillamook is best! We are cheese snobs and swear by Tillamook!) and set your pineapple rings on the grill next to the meat. Only grill the pineapple on each side for a minute or two--just long enough to warm them up!
imag e found here

Finally, assemble! We added mayo, more BBQ sauce, tomato, and avocado because really...what's a burger without avocado? Nothing, I say.

And now, enjoy! Man. I am drooling thinking about how good these were! We may or may not have these again this weekend. Don't judge us! Go ahead and have your o wn BBQ this weekend. Yum!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

*NEW* Giveaway Winner!

We never heard from our last giveaway winner, so we chose a new one!

Congratulations to...

Emily Robison!
Emily said, "I am a new follower!"

Emily, please send us a message at with your information so we can get you your "Home Baked Family Favorites" cookbook!

Thanks again to everyone who entered. And don't worry, we have another giveaway right around the corner!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thyme Chicken & Bowties

Image found here

This rich and hearty pasta dish is an easy and delicious twist on the classic Chicken Alfredo. We love it because the tyme gives it a really yummy flavor but it is still close enough to "Olive Garden sauce" that my kids will eat it. See for yourself, you won't be dissappointed.

Here is what you will need:

6 oz. bowtie pasta

1 T. butter

2 green onions

1 lb. chicken breast cut into chunks

1 t. thyme

1/2 t. garlic powder

2 C. whipping cream

3/4 C. shredded parmesan

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

3/4 C. fresh mushrooms (optional)

*I start boiling the water for the pasta before I

start my sauce so they are done about the same time.

*Mince onions and sautee with thyme in butter until soft.
*Add chicken and cook until white in the center.

*Pour in the cream, garlic, and salt and pepper.

*Stir together and add the cheese.

*Add sliced mushrooms if desired.

*Let simmer until sauce is thickened.

*Serve over or mix together with pasta

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

I've heard this called lots of things but I call it Mexican Lasagna. This is a super-easy recipe I got from my sis-in-law. It is so hearty that you can only eat one piece.

image from here

You'll need:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (I brown it with a little diced onion)
1 packet taco seasoning
Let this simmer for a few minutes.

10 flour tortillas
1 c. sour cream
2 c. salsa
2 cans corn, drained
2 c. shredded mozzarella
2 c. shredded cheddar

You will use half of everything to make two layers (just like lasagna, hence the name!). Start with 5 tortillas. I cut them in half and stack them up, then cut them in 1 inch strips. Pam a 9x13 and cover the bottom with the tortillas. I just sort of throw them in randomly. I'm wild like that. Spread 1/2 of the sour cream and salsa over the tortillas. Spread one can of corn and half the ground beef. Cover with 1 c. cheddar and 1 c. mozzarella. Now repeat it all again. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let it sit for 5 minutes before you cut it into pieces.

You can use medium or hot salsa if you like it a little spicy, but I am super boring and I use mild for my fam. I hope you will try it for dinner and let us know what you think!! Enjoy!

P.S. I was being a lame-o and forgot the last half of the meat and that's why my pic looks so strange. Please excuse that!