Easy Back-to-School Recipes

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 Barbeque Chicken Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1½ cups ranch dressing
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 500 grams fusilli pasta
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Fresh parsley

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • In a bowl, combine the chicken, tomatoes, corn, onion, ranch and barbeque sauce.
  • Cook pasta according to box directions.
  • Add the pasta, and mix until evenly coated.
  • Pour mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with mozzarella and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley.

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Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams ground beef
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion and green pepper, and then drain off any liquids.
  • Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup and brown sugar and mix thoroughly.
  • Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place in burger buns and serve.

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Mexican Hot Dogs

Ingredients:

  • 8 large hot dogs
  • 8 strips of beef bacon
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 hot dog rolls
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup pickled jalapenos, drained (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Dressing:

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Wrap each dog evenly in 1 slice of bacon.
  • Secure with a toothpick at both ends and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up the bacon and help it adhere.
  • Heat a grill or pan to medium heat.
  • Grill each side of the hot dogs until the bacon is extra crispy but not burnt. Set aside.
  • Butter the insides of the hot dog rolls and gently heat them in a pan until just golden brown.
  • Add the bacon-wrapped dog to the rolls and top with the tomatoes, onions and jalapenos.
  • Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended before adding it on the hot dogs.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves.

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Honey-Lime Chicken

 Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  • Combine 2 tablespoons honey and next ingredients (through garlic) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken and then seal the bag.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally.
  • Preheat grill to high heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade.
  • Place chicken on the grill rack coated with cooking spray.
  • Grill 5 minutes on each side, basting with reserved honey during the last 2 minutes of cooking time.
  • Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

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Peanut Butter Bars

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1¼ cups peanut butter
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended.
  • Press evenly into the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 inch pan and heat in the oven on low for 7 minutes.
  • In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the remaining peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  • Spread over the prepared crust when the crust is cooled.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

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Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups oats
  • ½ cup nuts, finely chopped (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy, and then beat in vanilla followed by the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each one.
  • Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda in a medium sized bowl. Add in nuts if desired.
  • Add this to the creamed mixture in 2 to 3 batches, mixing it until just combined.
  • Mix in the oats until combined.
  • Using a spoon, drop portions of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet or greased tray, spacing them a couple inches apart.
  • Bake for 12-13 minutes or until dark and chewy.
  • Let them cool slightly after removing them from the oven, and then transfer the cookies onto a plate for serving.

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Mini Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in the bananas, peanut butter, milk and vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, and then add to the creamed mixture just until moistened.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Fill greased or paper-lined miniature muffin cups three-fourths full.
  • Sprinkle with remaining sugar and bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.muff.jpg

Lemon Fruit Dip

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 250 grams whipped cream
  • 4 to 5 drops yellow food coloring, optional
  • Assorted fresh fruit


Directions:

  • In a bowl, mix together the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until blended.
  • Stir in whipped topping after whipping until light and airy and, if desired, food coloring.
  • Refrigerate, covered for at least 4 hours before serving.
  • Serve with fruit.

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