Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's Not Cat Food!

This is what I was yelling as I was opening the can of tuna for the Tuna Casserole. My cats can literally hear the can opener come out of the drawer and they come running. They always seem to think that the tuna is for them. I don't know why, because I don't think they have ever even had tuna!

This recipe reminds me of a 1950's housewife. I think it's the negative connotation that tuna casserole usually gets. This one doesn't have the icky potato chip topping ::shudder::. Instead, it's topped with breadcrumbs. It still gives the casserole a nice crunch without using chips or crackers ::shudders again::.

I found this recipe years ago and have made it several times. It's actually one of my go-to casseroles. I am surprised it hasn't made an appearance in my blog before now. I make it probably around three or four times a year. This doesn't sound like a lot, but considering I only cook on the weekends, it's a lot.

This is very easy to assemble, although it looks like beach sand when it's baked. See the picture below and you will understand. The recipe doesn't say to drain the pimento, but I always do. Please drain the mushrooms as well. You don't want the mushroom juice to overpower everything else in the recipe.

All I can think of when I eat this is my cats. But, it's hard not to think of anything else when they stare at you while you are eating. I swear they think are going to get some tuna, but they never do.

Tuna Casserole
from: Pillsbury Casseroles
1 package (7 oz) elbow macaroni (1.5 cups)
1 cup milk
1 cup (about 4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (6 oz) tuna, drained and flaked
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms, drained
1 jar (2 oz) pimento, drained
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup bread crumbs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2-quart casserole dish. In a large saucepan, cook macaroni as directed on package. Drain, return to saucepan.

2. Add all remaining ingredients except bread crumbs; stir to combine. Pour mixture into greased dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

3. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


I title my entry this because that is what I was this morning. I woke up on Sunday at 6:30 (thanks to one of my cats), and it was now 10:30. I hadn't eaten and I was hungry. My two cups of coffee had not satisfied me. I really didn't want the regular breakfast fare, so when I saw the recipe below, it "called" to me. It was like an epiphany.

This recipe has circled around the Nest for some time, so out of hunger or spontaneity, I decided to try it. I do have to admit that I ate too much of it. I now have a stomach ache. Although it could partially be the fact that I am allergic to cinnamon. But, the stomach ache is worth it because this is a good one! It makes lots too, so it would be good for entertaining or for a family breakfast. It's similar to a coffee cake. You can use as little or as much brown sugar as you desire. If you like a lot of topping, use a lot. If you prefer a lesser topping, use less.

I probably should limit the times that I am spontaenous when it comes to cooking. I end up making or baking something that is not usually healthy. Last weekend for 4th of July, I decided to bake a chocolate cake. Not a good idea for a woman home alone.

Oh well. Anyhow, enjoy the one below.

Cinnamon Flop
from: The Nest (

2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder

Mix all the ingredients above together. Pour into a 9x13 pan, or two round cake pans.

Top with lots of brown sugar and cinnamon. I suggest using enough brown sugar to lightly cover the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top of the brown sugar. Cut up some butter, around 1/4 cup, into little chunks and place it over the top of the brown sugar and cinnamon mix.

Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Easy Peasy

This doesn't even warrant a recipe because it was so easy. I wanted stir fry and we had all the ingredients on hand. Plus, I had a weird craving for rice with soy sauce. I'm a weirdo.

Below is how I threw it together, but if you have any vegetables on hand, fresh or frozen, you can make a stir fry. Some good combinations:

* Steak, sugar snap peas, bamboo shoots, zucchini, carrots, onions
* Chicken, peas, baby corn, celery, water chestnuts, onions
* Chicken, asparagus, onions, green peppers, red peppers

I could go on and on. For this recipe, I used two cut up chicken breasts. You can either cube them or cut them into strips. My husband made fun of me because I cubed them. He says "That isn't how you make stir fry". Whatever. I am a free spirit. I don't like to follow directions. I also used a package of frozen stir fry veggies. I believe it had carrots, water chestnuts, sugar snap peas and a couple of other things in there.

If you want to get really creative, you can make your own sauce. I used a bottled sauce (GASP!) but your own would work. Soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, fish sauce, hoisin, or anything else your heart desires.
Here is my take on stir fry:

Pachey's Chicken Stir Fry

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 package (16 oz) frozen stir fry vegetables
4 tablespoons sauce

1. Heat oil of your choosing in a pan over medium heat.
2. Cook the chicken until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes
3. Remove chicken from the pan and add vegetables. Cook, about 5 to 7 minutes until done, but still crisp.
4. Add chicken back in pan. Add sauce and stir to coat. Let everything heat through.

DONE! Serve with rice and my favorite, soy sauce. The best part about this meal is it takes about 15 minutes, not counting the time the rice takes. I have a handy dandy rice cooker, so I always rely on that.
Easy Peasy! How appropriate since this recipe had sugar snap peas in it!