Monday, February 28, 2011

Bacon Potato Chowder

In slow cooker, mix:

2 can cream of potato soup
2 cans of milk
1 potato diced
1/2 onion diced
4 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon
dash of black pepper
Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
30 min before serving, add 1/2 cup of grated cheddar.

Chili Frito casserole

This one is a variation of Jill's chili casserole. Actually I kind of made it up but it turned out great!

Grease a 9x13 pan. Pour two cans of chili evenly as the bottom layer. On top, layer one can of corn and one can of diced tomatoes. Then spread shredded cheddar over as the next layer. Finally top with crushed fritos.

Bake at 350 for 45 min or until bubbly. Serve with sour cream.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lemon Tea Cake

This had a nice light lemon flavor, and a really light texture.  It would be perfect for a tea party.  Nathanael and I enjoyed it, but the kids weren't fans.  I think if I had called it lemon bread they would have wolfed it down, but the word "cake" threw them off.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp grated lemon zest (I got enough from one whole lemon)
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs, seperated
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup lemon juice (took me two lemons)

Preheat oven to 375 and grease a bundt pan.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, zest and salt.

In the stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff.  Beat in the yolks, butter and lemon juice.  Add the dry ingredients and blend just until moistened.

Pour into bundt pan and bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Invert onto a cooling rack.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Add extra where it broke coming out of the pan.  :)

Quick breadsticks

I like this breadstick recipe because it makes yeasty breadsticks, but is ready from the idea to the table in an hour.  You could mix it by hand or in the stand mixer, but my favorite way is in the food processor.

1 cup warm water
3 Tbl brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp yeast (or 1 packet)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
3 cups bread flour

In a small bowl mix the water, sugar and yeast.  Leave it for a few minutes until it gets bubbly.

Put the flour and salt in the food processor.  Mix a bit.  Slowly add the oil thru the chute and let it mix.  Slowly add the yeasty water until it is all combined.  Continue to mix until the dough becomes a ball and goes round and round the food processor bowl 25 times.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle.  Cut with a pizza wheel into 3/4" strips.  For each strip, grab the ends and pinch together, then give it a twist, and place onto a greased cookie sheet.  (I also end up making an 'A,' 'Z,' 'S,' and 'B.')

Let them rise about 20 minutes, covered.

Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, until golden.

Brush with butter.  Add any optional toppings like garlic salt or parmesan cheese.

Microwave cleaner

This one isn't for eating, but is kitchen related.  A few years back I learned a really simple way to clean out the microwave.  Fill a bowl full of water.  If you have a spare lemon cut it up and put it in the water.  (This doesn't help the cleaning, but does smell extra nice.)  Put the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 6 minutes or so.  The water needs to come to a boil and keep boiling for the last few minutes.  Don't open the door, but let the water steam away for at least 5 minutes.  Now just wipe it down!  Everything will easily come right off, even the burned popcorn butter, exploded chili, and mystery things in the corners.  Not that my microwave ever looks like that.  ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chicken Adobo

I don't have a photo, but I've had this one at a friends' house twice and it's delish!

3 lbs chicken thighs or drumsticks
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves minced garlic
1 t black pepper
3 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and marinate for 3 hours.
Bring to a boil, then lower temp and simmer for 40 min.
Uncover and simmer another 20 min until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened.
Serve over white rice.

Creamy Chicken and Tortillas

1 lb cooked chicken, chopped (I don't know why you can't put the chicken in raw, it should cook fine in the slow cooker)
1/2 c shredded cheddar
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
1 cup sour cream
8 oz salsa
12 corn tortillas, cut into strips

Mix together soups, salsa, and sour cream.
Grease your slow cooker, then layer:
tortillas, chicken, sauces. Repeat layers until you run out.
Cook on low 5 hours. Add cheese on top for last 30 min.

Hint: I always get more assistance from Little Helpers with recipes involving "layering," even though they don't necessarily eat it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shrimp Fettucine

1 package fettucine
1 lb shrimp
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can of mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup of white wine
2 T dry basil
dash of thyme
1 T lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Melt 3 T of butter in a skillet and cook onion and garlic until soft. Add all other ingredients, simmer for 10 min. (Note: use lime juice to toss with shrimp first, then add shrimp to skillet.) Toss with cooked fettucine. Serve with fresh grated parmesan!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Duggars' Taco Soup

1 lb ground turkey (I had leftover cooked chicken, so I used that this time)
1/2 med. onion, chopped
1 (4oz.) can green chilies, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. ranch or 1 c. liquid ranch dressing
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15oz.) can kidney beans, undrained
2 (15oz.) cans pinto beans, undrained
2 c. water
Brown ground turkey w/ onion. stir in remaining ingr. Bring to boil. Simmer 30 min. Serve w/ Tortilla chips, grated ched. cheese & sour cream.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chili Cornmeal Skillet

This one was was especially good!

1 T olive oil

1 lb ground beef

1 onion chopped

1 bell pepper chopped

1 1/2 T chili powder

4 cloves mincd garlic

1 can chili beans not drained

8oz tomato sauce


1 c yellow corn meal

1 T sugar

1/2 t salt

1 can corn drained, liquid reserved

2 large eggs beaten

1. Heat oil in ovenproof skillet over med high heat. Add beef onion, pepper, chili powder, and garlic. Cook 10 min until veg are soft and beef is cooked. Add beans and tom sauce and simmer another 10 minutes.

2. Combine cornmeal, sugar, and salt in saucepan. Pour corn liquid in measuring cup and add water to measure 2 1/2 cups liquid.
3. Whisk liquid into cornmeal. Add corn. Stir over med high heat until it gets thick, about 10 min. Cool to lukewarm, then stir in eggs.
4. Pour cornmeal mush over chili, covering completely. Place skillet uncovered in 350 oven. Bake until it bubbles and topping browns-- about 40 min.

Jack helped me make this one, even though he didn't eat any of it later. "Is it bubbling yet, Mom?"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

West African Chicken Stew

1/2 c all purpose flour
1 t paprika
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t black pepper
5 chicken pieces
2 T veg oil
1 can condensed French onion soup
1/2 c water
1 cup raisins
1/2 c orange juice
1 t grated oil peel
2 t chopped parsley
Serve over hot rice or couscous

Mix the flour, paprika, pumpkin pie spice, and pepper on a plate.
Coat chicken in flour mixture.
Heat oil in a pan and fry chicken approx 10 min until browned.
Place in slow cooker.
Combine all other ingredients and pour over chicken in cooker. Cook on low 7-8 hours.

Anton loved this one!

Grandma Hazel's Buttermilk Pancakes

Use a double batch on Christmas morning!

2 cups flour
6 T powdered buttermilk
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 eggs
1/2 c melted butter or oil
2 cups of water (add last to create desired thickness)
Sift dry ingredients first, then add wet ingredients. Lumps are OK, they will turn out great!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meal Planning

Here's my new meal-planning process...
1. Print blank monthly calendar off the internet
2. Sit down with cookbooks, internet etc. and plan meals for 2-4 weeks.
3. Each week before major shopping trip, sit down with menu and recipes again, making the shopping list.
4. Check off each meal in the corner of the box so you know which meals you have ingredients for (if you want to swap around later in the week)
5. Know that every night dinner is already planned and shopped for!
This has been helping me a ton, especially planning around the days I work vs. the days I'm home. And I never have that 5 pm panic of what's for dinner!?!?

Salmon Chowder

2 T melted butter
1 onion minced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic minced
1 cup diced potato
1 cup sliced carrots
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 t dill weed
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 14 oz can salmon, deskinned

Cook in slow cooker 7 hours. Use flour to thicken before serving.

Chicken Caponata

This dish is supposed to be vegetarian with eggplant. But since I HATE eggplant, I substituted chicken. I think next time I'll try it with Italian sausage.

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 onion diced
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can diced tomatoes
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 cup olives
2 T balsalmic vinegar
1 T tomato paste
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t crushed red pepper

Mix all ingredients, cook on slow for 7 hours, serve over pasta.

Chicken and bean burritos

1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 t garlic powder
2 t chili powder
2 lbs chicken breasts, cubed
1 can black beans drained
1 can pino beans drained
toppings: lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes etc

Mix soup, garlic, chili powder, and chicken in slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 hours. Add beans for the last hour. Serve in tortillas with toppings.

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli

This recipe was adapted from the top ramen cookbook Jill gave me for my birthday.  The ramen noodles are tasty, but it would also be good served over rice or another grain.

1 small onion, diced
minced garlic
3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 bunch of broccoli, cut up
2 cans cream of chicken
1/2 cup water
2 packages chicken ramen

In a big pan, saute the onion and garlic in some olive oil.  Add the chicken strips and cook until done.  Whisk together soup, water, and one of the ramen seasoning packets.  Add broccoli to the top of chicken, pour soup mixture on top.  Cover and cook until broccoli is tender.

Meanwhile cook the ramen noodles.  Drain.  Place in a big bowl and stir in the other seasoning packet.  Pour chicken/broccoli on top and gently stir together.

Seth's Strawberry Cake

Seth found a recipe card about 10 months ago for a giant, family sized strawberry shortcake.  He has been asking for it as a birthday cake ever since.  The recipe he found was a white cake mix, cool whip creation, which would have still been tasty, but I wanted to up the ante a bit, and this is what I came up with.  It was good.  Really, really good.  The only change I made between making it and writing it down was to increase the quantity of whipped cream, because I felt like I didn't have enough.  I wish there was more squishing out between the layers.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cubes unsalted butter - room temp.
8oz cream cheese - room temp
6 eggs - room temp
3 cups superfine sugar (you can take regular sugar and blend it in the food processor 30 seconds)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350, with rack in the center of the oven.  Butter and flour a bundt pan.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Using the stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the sugar, in three additions, beating well each time.  Continue beating on med/high until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes.)  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well each time.  Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated.

Bake 60-75 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool 20 minutes.  Remove from cake pan and cool completely.

1 1/2 quarts of strawberries
1/4 cup sugar

Wash strawberries.  Set aside 8 or so for the top.  Slice the rest and place in a large bowl.  Add sugar.  Mash a bit with a potato masher.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Whipped Cream
3 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Chill your bowl and beater ahead of time.  Beat the whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until mixed.

Cut the cake into thirds with a big serrated knife.  Place the bottom layer on a cake plate.  Cover with half the strawberry mixture, and then about 1/3 of the cream.  Repeat with next layer.  Finish with top of cake, and the rest of the whipped cream, and arrange the whole strawberries on the top.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cheesy cauliflower and bell peppers

This recipe came from yesterday.  We had it with some grilled chicken, but the dish on its own was really filling. too.  The veggies were cheesy good.  And I like that the prep can all be done in 1 pot.

1 cauliflower, broken into flowerettes
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbl cornstarch
1 1/2 c milk
4 Tbl butter, divided
1 tsp salt
1 cup shredded white cheddar (I used the sharp cheddar I had in the fridge)
1/4 cup cracker crumbs

Drop cauliflower into boiling, salted water.  Cook 5 minutes.  Drain.  Arrange in a greased casserole dish.

In the same pot melt 1 Tbl butter.  Add peppers and garlic and cook 2 minutes.  Arrange over cauliflower.

In the same pot melt 2 Tbl butter.  Stir cornstarch into milk and pour into butter.  Cook, stirring often, until thickened.  Add salt, pepper and cheese and cook until cheese is melted.  Pour over veggies.

Mix cracker crumbs and 1 Tbl melted butter, and sprinkle on top of veggies.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Or cover and refrigerate and later bake for 35 minutes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baked Sandwiches

I found this recipe in a Biquick pamphlet once upon a time.  It comes together very quickly, and makes the simple ingredients quite tasty.  You could use any sandwich meats and cheeses you wanted in the middle layer.

Mix together:
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup milk
1 egg

Place half of the batter in the bottom of a greased 8x8.
Add meat/cheese choices.  I used deli turkey, bacon (precooked) and shredded cheddar.
Top with the rest of the Bisquick batter.
Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees, or until it is golden brown and center is set.
Sprinkle with some more cheese and bake 3 more minutes, or until cheese is melty.
Let stand at least 5 minutes before cutting.