What’s Cooking

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Finally some campfire worthy weather! We do a lot of camping, and I love to cook meals and desserts over an open fire. A fire pit in our back yard allows me to cook over the fire whenever I want and I’m very thankful for that. Before I get in holiday mode I thought I’d share a perfect fall Campfire Apple Cobbler recipe. Enjoy!

Campfire Apple Cobbler

*7 Quart Cast iron Dutch oven is needed.

3 20 oz. cans of apple pie filling

1 box yellow cake mix (Gluten free works perfectly too!)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter (cut into squares)

2 tsp. cinnamon, divided

After your fire is well established, line the inside of the Dutch oven with foil. With butter, grease the foil well. Dump or spoon all three cans of apple pie filling into the bottom of the Dutch oven. Next sprinkle brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon on top. Pour dry cake mix on top of apple pie filling mixture then sprinkle the remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon on top. Place small pieces of butter all over the top. Cover with lid. Place on outskirts of the fire and “bake” for 30-45 minutes. (Baking time will depend on how hot the fire is and will require keeping an eye on it.)

*Keep in mind while doing this recipe that no stirring is required. 

*This recipe can be made with other pie fillings, such as blueberry or peach without changing a thing!

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Butternut squash is a vegetable that I hardly ever use but absolutely love. Recently I decided to roast them in the oven with spices and I could’ve eaten the enter pan!

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Put cubed squash on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on spices, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Butternut squash is a vegetable that I hardly ever use but absolutely love. Recently I decided to roast them in the oven with spices and I could’ve eaten the enter pan!

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Put cubed squash on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on spices, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

I eat granola every day and bags of store bought granola can be very expensive. Granola is very easy to make, and if you like seeds and/or dried fruit they are a great addition.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

4 cups old fashioned oats

1 cups pumpkin seeds

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tbsp. water

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put oats and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. In a saucepan on high heat, whisk together remaining ingredients and boil. Remove from heat, pour over oats and toss to coat. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil and grease. Spread oat mixture evenly on both cookie sheets. Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely and store in airtight container.

*3 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Salads can be very ordinary and right down boring if we always prepare our same old recipes. This week’s recipe for Cornbread Salad is easy, filling and very flavorful. 

Cornbread Salad

Prepared Cornbread, cubed (about 4-5 cups)

1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 14 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 15 oz. cans corn, drained (Mexican corn can be used)

1 pkg. bacon bits or 1 1/2 cups bacon, cooked and crumbled

3/4 cup red/green bell peppers, chopped

2/3 cup onion, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 8 oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese or any other shredded cheese

Place cubed cornbread in the bottom of a trifle bowl or large container with a lid if needed for transporting. Mix together dry ranch dressing mix, mayonnaise and sour cream. (This can be doubled if you want more dressing. Also bottled salad dressing can be substituted.) Next layer beans, corn, bacon (except for 2 tbsp.), chopped peppers, onions and tomatoes.  (All of these ingredients can be mixed together then put on the cornbread.) Sprinkle on shredded cheese (all except 1/3 cup) then evenly spoon ranch dressing on top. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese and bacon on top. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours to overnight before serving.

*If you want to add meat to this salad, brown 1 lb. of ground beef or turkey and mix in 1 packet of taco seasoning, cool then spread over top of beans.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Salads can be very ordinary and right down boring if we always prepare our same old recipes. This week’s recipe for Cornbread Salad is easy, filling and very flavorful. 

Cornbread Salad

Prepared Cornbread, cubed (about 4-5 cups)

1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 14 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 15 oz. cans corn, drained (Mexican corn can be used)

1 pkg. bacon bits or 1 1/2 cups bacon, cooked and crumbled

3/4 cup red/green bell peppers, chopped

2/3 cup onion, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 8 oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese or any other shredded cheese

Place cubed cornbread in the bottom of a trifle bowl or large container with a lid if needed for transporting. Mix together dry ranch dressing mix, mayonnaise and sour cream. (This can be doubled if you want more dressing. Also bottled salad dressing can be substituted.) Next layer beans, corn, bacon (except for 2 tbsp.), chopped peppers, onions and tomatoes.  (All of these ingredients can be mixed together then put on the cornbread.) Sprinkle on shredded cheese (all except 1/3 cup) then evenly spoon ranch dressing on top. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese and bacon on top. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours to overnight before serving.

*If you want to add meat to this salad, brown 1 lb. of ground beef or turkey and mix in 1 packet of taco seasoning, cool then spread over top of beans.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Honey Mustard Chicken and Veggies

3-4 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut in half

1 lb. small red potatoes, quartered

1 lb. bag baby carrots, cut in half

8 oz. green beans, fresh and cut into bite size pieces

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite size pieces

2 tsp. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. each garlic & onion powder

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. whole grain mustard

2 tbsp. water

3 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl mix together honey, the two mustards and water, set aside. Place potatoes, carrots, onion, red pepper and minced garlic in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and drizzle with 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Toss to coat. Place the chicken breast halves and vegetables mixture on a lightly greased large baking sheet. Spoon honey mustard over all. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Coat green beans with 1 tbsp olive oil, season to taste and add to pan. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until chicken and all veggies are done.

*Use your favorite veggies. If using mushrooms add them when adding green beans. 

 

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

3-4 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut in half

1 lb. small red potatoes, quartered

1 lb. bag baby carrots, cut in half

8 oz. green beans, fresh and cut into bite size pieces

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite size pieces

2 tsp. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. each garlic & onion powder

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. whole grain mustard

2 tbsp. water

3 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl mix together honey, the two mustards and water, set aside. Place potatoes, carrots, onion, red pepper and minced garlic in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and drizzle with 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Toss to coat. Place the chicken breast halves and vegetables mixture on a lightly greased large baking sheet. Spoon honey mustard over all. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Coat green beans with 1 tbsp olive oil, season to taste and add to pan. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until chicken and all veggies are done.

*Use your favorite veggies. If using mushrooms add them when adding green beans. 

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Back to school! Now that the kiddos are back in school preparing breakfasts and snacks are a must. Sometimes they need to be quick, but I still want them nutritious.  This week’s recipe is great for everyone, enjoy!

Apples & Banana Peanut Butter Snacks 

Peanut Butter Spread

1/2 cup Peanut butter or nut butter of choice

1 tbsp.  Cocoa powder 

Maple Peanut Butter Spread:

1/2 cup Peanut butter or nut butter of choice

1-2 tsp. Pure maple syrup 

Stir peanut butter with cocoa powder and peanut butter with maple syrup… set aside. 

Apples, cored and sliced into rings (if not serving immediately, soak for 10 minutes in 2 cups of water with 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to prevent browning) 

Bananas, peeled and cut in half 

Spread either of the peanut butter spreads on one side of apple rings and sprinkle with desired toppings. If using bananas spread over the entire half of the banana and then roll the bananas in the your topping of choice.

Topping Ideas

Sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms

Chopped nuts, raisins, dried cranberries 

Granola, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds 

The ideas are endless and the best thing is you can make them with your favorites.

What’s cooking with Melissa?

One recipe that has so many variations is BBQ sauce. There is sweet, savory, spicy, fruity, tangy, etc. It is really a personal preference. One version that has become a favorite at our house is a tangy Carolina style BBQ sauce. This is easy to make and can be used on any meats that BBQ sauce is used for. (Note this is my version of the sauce)

Carolina Style BBQ Sauce

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup prepared yellow mustard

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. salt

dash of ground black pepper

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large sauce pan. Cook over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until sauce is reduced by about one third. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and pour on your meat (chicken wings, pork, etc.) and toss to coat.  

*Sauce can be cooled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.