Saturday, March 2, 2013

CHECK OUT OUR NEW LOOK!!!

You may have noticed the Kozi Kitchen looks a bit different today!  Kudos to my wonderful web designer, Connie DeMille from http://measuredbytheheart.com/ for all her hard work (and unlimited patience) with this not-so-tech-savvy gal!!!

The goal is to combine the Kozi Kitchen and my family blog, http://www.ruthie-livelaughlove.com/  so that all you wonderful people have one main web page to access! 

For all of you Kozi Kitchen fans, be sure to check out The Family Table, which will be the main web site of  Live/Laugh/Love.  As mother of four almost grown and out of the house children, I want to give some perspective from the "other side", now that all the blood, sweat, and hard labor years are done!  The Gray family is always "cooking" up something, and yes, that picture at the top of the page is our family table, where the magic happens.  (Or not.)  The main goal of The Family Table is to give you a giggle and a bit of parental perspective.  Laughter helps to get you through the hard stuff, you know?

For all you Live/Laugh/Love fans - keep coming back, we designed the Kozi Kitchen so that even the male reader should not be intimidated by any frilly girly colors (like pink and baby blue, even though I wanted to)!  Check out our family recipes, tips and tricks (soon to come), or just keep reading the family post, I don't care, just please keep coming back!

One more thing.  If you are a regular reader, please take the time to leave a comment and let me know you're out there!  I love to hear from you, questions, suggestions, and if you click "become a follower" I won't be mad.  PROMISE!!!

So please be patient with us as we continue to tweak and upgrade.  It won't be much longer now!

Thanks for visiting Live Laugh Love @ Ruthie's Kozi Kitchen!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

HEARTY BEEF STEW


    
     I love a nice, thick beef stew, nothing dissapoints me more than when I order it in a restaurant and it's watery and soupy.  That is not this!  The secret is quick cooking tapioca, you can find it on the jello isle at your local grocery.  This wonderful recipe can be either baked in stove or in a crock pot.  I combined some ideas from a couple of  my recipe books, the fam gave their stamp of approval, and the rest is history!

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed golden mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1/4 onion, cut into chunks
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine tapioca, sugar, soup, broth, water, salt and pepper. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.
  3. Pour into crock pot and bake on low 5-6 hours.
  4. If you prefer to use your oven, bake in a greased 13x9 covered pan at 375 degrees for 1-3/4 to 2 hours or until done.
Serves 6-8

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PEANUT BUTTER THINS



     Ever need to make something sweet but you don't have much time?  Here's your solution.  A peanut butter cookie with a powdered sugar glaze.  The men in my family think we need cookies in the house 24/7, and this has been my life-savor for many, many years!  It whips up quickly, bakes in 15 minutes, and BAM.  You're super mom.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened (not melted)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbs. milk
Directions:
  1. Mix first 7 ingredients with mixer.
  2. Pat in ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 10-15 minutes until edges start to brown.
  4. Mix last 3 ingredients for glaze and drizzle over cookies while still warm.
     Good luck - they won't stay around long!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

BARBECUE RANCH CHICKEN PIZZA


                                          

     Gotta tell ya, Taste of Home is my favorite resource (next to my 25 year old Betty Crocker cookbook), I get the magazine every month because everything in it is super simple.  I have so many pages dog-eared it's not funny.  I stumbled across this little gem about a month ago and it was one of those go-to recipes that got me through the busyness of the holidays.  Five ingredients.  Delicious.  Better make two pans.

Ingredients:
  • 2-8oz. tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/2 cup hickory smoked barbecue sauce (or any kind - I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken (I used canned, you can also use left over chicken)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Press the two tubes of crescent rolls onto bottom and sides of a 15x10 in. baking pan.
  3. Bake crust for 10 minutes. 
  4. Mix together 1/4 cup each barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, spread over crust.
  5. Toss 3 cups chicken with additional 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and arrange over top and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese melts.
My girls and I like to add slivers of onions when our men aren't around.  My husband likes for me to add olives, pepperoni and bacon to his slices.  Get creative and make it your own!

Serves 4-5 (makes 8 large slices)

Friday, August 10, 2012

ROASTED VEGETABLE MEDLEY





Baby potatoes, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, vidalia onions, fresh broccoli, green peppers and mushrooms - oh yes! Don't you just love summer? I hate to see it go. My mom is keeping me supplied with plenty of fresh veggies and this is one great way to make use of them! Get creative with it, use the veggies I listed or select a few from the variety. Also use your own ideas for seasoning. Enjoy the last bit of summer - flavors and all!

Ingredients:

Any summer vegetable such as:

New or baby potatoes, halved
Cherry tomatoes (whole)
Summer squash - any kind, diced
Onion - any kind, sliced lengthwise
Fresh mushrooms
Fresh broccoli
Green peppers

Any seasoning such as:

Steak dust
Celery salt
Smoked paprika
Salt
Pepper
Use your imagination! I used a few dashes of all of the above except steak dust.

Directions:

1. Coat a large 9x13 roasting pan with cooking spray.

2. Add vegetables and spray generously with cooking spray.

3. Sprinkle seasonings over vegetables and toss.

4. Bake @ 170 for 4 hours or 350 for 1 hour.

The vegetables are so tasty and true to their flavor! This is obviously a heart healthy dish, no butter or cholesterol here!

Serves 8


Thursday, August 9, 2012

TACO CHICKEN ROLLS


     I told you my son loves all things taco so when I found this in a Taste of Home cookbook and it mentioned Cheezits, cheese stix, and green chilis, I just had to go for it!  YUMMY!!!!

     One thing - get a meat mallot, it'll make your life a lot easier.  And schedule this on a day when you have time to pound meat, or pound it as soon as you buy it and then refrigerate it, freeze it, hang it out to dry if you want (kidding) - but just plan on POUNDING that MEAT!!!

     Oh and get some toothpicks.  Don't let that be an afterthought.  In fact, I'll just add that to the ingredients.  I think I had about 7...

Ingredients:
  • Toothpicks
  • 1-2 cups finely crushed Cheezits (or other brand cheese crackers)
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese - just use some version of that in cheese sticks - cut into six 2 inch sticks.  In other words, 2 cheese sticks cut into 3 sections.
  • 1 can (4 oz.) green chilis
Directions:
  1. In a ziplock gallon bag, combine the cracker crumbs and taco seasoning; set aside.
  2. Flatten chicken between two sheets of waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness (you can use a rolling pin, a liter of pop, a brick, or a meat mallot - use whatcha got!)
  3. Coat chicken with crumb mixture by shaking in bag - you may want to dip chicken in milk first to get crumbs to stick (hind sight is 20/20), my crackers kept rolling off.
  4. Place chicken in a greased 13x9 in. baking sheet and do next two steps:
  5. Place a 2 inch cheese stick and about 1 Tbsp (or less according to taste) of chilies on each piece of chicken.
  6. Tuck ends of chicken in and roll up; secure with a couple toothpicks
  7. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. My chicken was still thicker than 1/4 of an inch so it took about 15 minutes longer.
  8. Remove toothpicks and save for after dinner!
                            
                                                   Serves 6-8 and WOW, was I in love!!!



Thursday, August 2, 2012

SQUASH SAUTE


     Old Taste of Home magazines are my inspiration -  I have one that features several squash recipesc so I decided to combine them.  That was a few years ago - and my girls ask for this dish every summer.  Don't ya just love one dish meals?  Yeah, me too.  Oh, my son - the non-vegetable lover?  He picks out the polish sausage and I supplement with mashed potatoes or mac-n-cheese (or both!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 3 cups yellow squash, cubed
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, cored and sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper (as you can see, I didn't have one that day)
  • 2 tsp. dried basil (can use fresh too!)
  • Polish Sausage - 1, diced
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Directions:
  1. In a large skillet, saute onion in oil util tender.  Stir in squash, peppers, basil, and polish sausage.
  2. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.  Add cooking wine and cook about 10 more minutes (or until vegetables are tender).
  3. Remove from heat, sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.
Serves 6.  Ahh, love it!!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SQUASH POPPERS

    
       Squash running out your ears?  I've got a couple of new recipes that are gonna knock your socks off!!!  This is so great my whole family LOVED it!  Think squash with a "chip" twist.  Kinda crunchy, potato-ie - so good you can't eat just one! 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cocoled
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 cups raw bite-size squash
Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, combine potato flakes, Parmesan cheese, celery salt, garlic powder, and butter.  Transfer to a gallon size ziplock bag.
  2. In another bowl, beat eggs.
  3. Dip squash into egg, then drop into gallon bag and...shake, shake, SHAKE!!!
  4. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 miutes. 
Serves 8.  Can be served with Ranch dressing or dip.  Can also substitute or supplement squash with other vegetables - such as mushrooms, peppers, brocooli, cauliflower, and zucchini!
 
 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TACO SALAD



     Well it's summer time and who wants to fool much cooking indoors?  This is a dish that will get you in and out of the kitchen lickety split and there's not much hot cooking involved - except for browning the meat! 
     My son and I are pretty much the only ones around for dinner this week, due to certain other members of the family trotting off to FLORIDA on "business" and "youth conventions".  Since I am NOT in Florida, but instead here cooking for my son, I am cooking easy, and only things he loves.  He loves taco anything (I think I've said that before), and this is his all time fave.

     How is this different from other taco salads, you ask? 

                                             Here's my little gem.  The secret to my success.

     #1 Son is even more in love with his taco salad now that I discovered Spicy Ranch dressing.  Here's how I make it.

     Ingredients:
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 large tomato (or not - we leave it out cause sonny HATES tomatos.)
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey burger
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag Tostitos
  • 1 bottle Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch Dressing
    
     Directions:
  1. Brown meat, drain, and add taco seasoning according to directions.  Lay some paper towels on a counter and spoon meat onto them.  Lay another paper towel on top and press down - this soaks up any excess grease.  Let set while doing the next few steps.
  2. Shred lettuce head into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
  3. Drain and rinse kidney beans in a colandar.  Dry with paper towel and add to lettuce.
  4. Add the cheddar cheese to the mixture.
  5. Top with meat and add 1 cup of salad dressing a little at a time, stirring between additions, mixing well.  You can use more or less of this according to taste.
  6. Refrigerate.
  7. Right before serving, crumble up 1/2 bag of chips and add to the salad.  I wait to put these in last so the chips don't get soggy. 
  8. Stir in other 1/2 cup of salad dressing.  Again, you may prefer more or less. 
  9. Arrange salad in bowls with chips lining the outside (like the picture) if you want to dress it up a bit.
  10. Refrigerate any leftovers and eat for lunch the next day!
     Serves 8-10

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CHEESY SPAGHETTI CHICKEN

     Well, I finally cooked!  Something new, that is.  In a busy season such as this (wedding season - 1 1/2 weeks away...EEK!), I draw from all of my old favorites which are already...here!

     So this is from my Taste of Home cookbook.  Everyone here gave it an A+ and it really was quite savory!  The steak seasoning is a new fun ingredient - not new to this house, heavens no - hubs has about 3 different kinds stocked for grilling season.  But I have never used it in a casserole before, and it gave a great flavor!  Swiss cheese really kicks it up a notch, as well.  This is one of those "keepers" for sure!!!

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta, broken into 3 inch pieces (oops, forgot to do that)
  • 3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • a few sprinkles of dried, minced onion (so my son won't notice - or you can add real onion)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 tsp. steak seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
Directions:
  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine chicken, soup, onion, milk, 1/2 cup chedder cheese, 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, peppers, mayonnaise, steak seasoning, and basil.
  3. Drain spaghetti.  Add to chicken mixture, toss to coat.  Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9 in. baking dish, and cover with foil.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 
  5. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Serves 6-8.  We only had 4 for dinner so - hooray for leftovers tomorrow!