Cream Cheese Corn

We had this side dish growing up a lot. Always a staple at family gatherings as well.
Its really simple, but it's so good. But what's not good with cream cheese... really?!!

3 cans corn
1 8oz pkg Philadelphia cream cheese

Drain cans of corn and put them in a bowl. Put cream cheese in the bowl. You can cut it up to help it melt down if you want.Microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring between each, until cream cheese has melted down and the corn is hot. Stir to make sure all the corn is sufficiently coated. About 2 or 3 minutes.
Serve on the side with your main dish.

Note: For just my little family of 4, I usually don't need this much so I do a 1/3 pkg of cream cheese and 1 can of corn. But it's a great dish to take to potluck. It always gets eaten and the bowl is practically licked clean. I don't blame them... it's cream cheese!

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Beer-Battered Onion Rings

from Denton and ( with my changes)

3 cups flour
2 eggs, separated
1 cup Fat Tire Beer (its better, I promise)
4 Tbsp butter, melted
salt to taste (a pinch or so)
3 large Vidalia or Walla Walla onions (these are the best ones to use)

Put flour into large bowl. In another large bowl beat egg yolks. Add in beer, butter, and salt. Set aside 1 cup of flour (from the 3 cups) in a small bowl for dipping the onion rings. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the remaining 2 cups flour and mix well. Allow to stand for 30 minutes to an hour. Heat up deep fryer to 375.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Coat each onion ring with flour (to help the batter stick) and then dip into batter.Using a fork allow some of the batter to drip off a bit. Carefully dip the onion ring into the hot oil. You don't want to just plop it in there or the batter will fly off and your onion ring won't be as pretty. (But it still tastes the same.)Deep fry until rings are golden brown.

Note: If you don't need to use all the batter, it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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Meat and Potato Burrito

I love Taco Johns. However, I live 2 hours from the nearest one. So I decided to make my own version of their Meat and Potato Burrito. It actually turned out pretty good. We'll definitely be making them again!

2 lbs hamburger
taco seasoning
lettuce, shredded
tomato, cut up
nacho cheese sauce -I just buy a small cup at my convenience store
sour cream
Ore Ida Crispy Crowns
Burrito-sized tortillas

Brown hamburger with minced onions. Drain and return to pan with 1/3 cup water and taco seasoning. Use your own judgement on how much seasoning you want. Turn on low and allow the hamburger to get moist and tasty. If it starts to get too dry, add just a little more water.

Broil the crispy crowns. You want about 6-8 per burrito. I like a little bit more crunch and texture in mine so I use 8. Broil the crispy crowls on high for about 7-8 minutes. Turn them over and broil for another 3-4 minutes. Check until they're golden brown and crisp, but not burnt or soggy.

Wrapped in paper towels, warm up tortillas slightly in microwave.

To make the burrito:
Put some meat and some nacho cheese sauce in the tortilla. I learned later that this was not enough nacho cheese sauce. I think about 2 Tbsp is more appropriate. Maybe more. You don't want a dry burrito. :)
Put the crispy crowns down the center.Pile on sour cream, tomatoes, and lettuce. Then wrap it all up. I didn't have the burrito-sized tortillas and so mine didn't roll up so great. We'll definitely be buying those for next time. I had to use toothpicks to hold them together. As you can see below, the poor thing was bursting at the seams. However, they still tasted great. They're juicy and crispy and oh they're so yummy! Eat and enjoy.

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Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kabobs

My husband's creation---No veggies, just meat!

2 or 3 chicken breasts, cubed
Bacon slices, cut in half for wrapping

2 tsp McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 shakes of dried minced onions

Make marinade. Put cut up chicken in it and let marinate for several hours. (We did 4 hours.) Wrap half piece of bacon around each piece of chicken and place on skewer. About 4-5 per skewer works well. Don't leave spaces between or the stick will burn through on the grill. (A lesson learned very quickly!) Grill until chicken and bacon are done. Some veggies between the meat would have been great, too. Cherry tomatoes, green peppers, onions, carrots, potatoes, etc. My husband agreed. Next time! These were good and had great flavor. However, definitely NOT lo-fat. :)

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Monkey Bread Muffins

This is just a twist on an old favorite
and it's a fun recipe to make with your kids

1 tube of Pillsbury Flaky Layers biscuits
cinnamon/sugar mixture in a ziploc bag
melted butter and brown sugar to desired consistency
Muffin pan
Non-stick spray OR Muffin liners (optional)

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. Put pieces in ziploc bag and shake. (This is my kid's favorite part.) Spray muffin pan or use muffin liners (or both). Place 3 pieces into each muffin cup. Repeat. (One muffin cup will have just 2.)Using a spoon, drizzle brown sugar mixture over each muffin cup. If you want them super gooey, put more on. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Naturally, they are best served warm. We like to serve these with scrambled eggs and cheese.
Note: I should have put these in muffin liners. I think they would have been less mess. If there are any left, place them in ziploc bag. When you want another one later, just pop 'em in the microwave for 20 seconds.

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A Family Favorite: Sloppy Joes

from Mom

2 lbs hamburger
2 1/2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp minced onions
1/4 tsp mustard
2 -3 bay leaves

Brown hamburger and drain. Add all ingredients and simmer until desired consistency. Remove bay leaves before serving. Serve on toasted buns.

Note: The recipe above is for a half recipe. (Sometimes I even do a half of a half!) A full recipe calls for 4 lbs hamburger, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 cups ketchup, 16 oz tomato sauce, 2 cups water, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire, 2 Tbsp white vinegar, 2 Tbsp minced onions, 1/2 tsp mustard, 5 bay leaves. My mom prefers to make a whole batch and freeze the rest. It freezes really well.

Lo-fat tip: Use ground turkey in place of the hamburger.

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