Saturday, January 30, 2010

Slow Cooked Hamburger and Noodle Soup

Good soup, something different, but not my favorite.

Slow Cooked Hamburger and Noodle Soup

1 lb lean ground beef
NOT 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 pkg dry beefy mushroom recipe soup mix
1 can diced tomatoes, u ndrained
3 cups water
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed, drained
1 cup uncooked fine egg noodles
*I added some zucchini slices*

In large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

In 4-6 quart slow cooker, mix ground beef and remaining ingredients except vetables and noodles.  Cover; cook on low heat setting 6-8 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, stir in thawed vetables and egg noodles.  Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook 15-20 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp tender and noodles are tender.

(Serves 6)
(Pillsbury Most Requested Recipes)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Swiss Chicken and Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

For some reason I pulled this recipe to try even though I do not like swiss cheese. It smells like stinky feet to me. I liked this dish though. It was easy, had a great texture, and smelled nothing like stinky feet! (NOT appetizing food conversation, I know.) I've concluded that I don't like to eat swiss cheese by itself. In recipes, and maybe even on a sandwich (the jury's still out on that one) it's a good thing. I will no longer substitute provolone for swiss.

(One more thing: do you capitalize the "s" in "swiss?")

Swiss Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts
sliced swiss cheese
1 pkg Pepperedge Farm dry stuffing (I used cornbread because it was in the pantry)
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
olive oil

Rinse and dry chicken. Moisten chicken with olive oil. Salt and pepper each chicken breast.

Lay one piece of swiss cheese over each chicken breast in baking dish. (I used 9x9 for 4 small breasts.) Pour stuffing over entire pan. Melt butter and drizzle over stuffing.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Enjoy!

(Serves 3-4)
Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 T honey

2 T canola oil

6 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and halved lengthwise

salt and pepper

6 cinnamon sticks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together honey and oil. Rub each sweet potato half with honey and oil mixture. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Press a cinnamon stick between matching halves of each sweet potato and wrap potatoes in foil.

Place on a baking sheet and roast 30 minutes. Remove foil from potatoes and arrange, skin side up, on baking sheet. Set cinnamon sticks next to potatoes and return to oven. Bake until potatoes and cinnamon sticks brown lightly, about 30 minutes. Transfer to serving platter.

(Serves 6)

(Oprah Magazine, December 2003)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

These LOOKED great in one of my latest issues of Kraft Food and Family magazine. When we decided to go visit family, I knew these would be a perfect treat to take. They were so perfect, they were gone before a photo of them ever happened. They were destined to be eaten, not photographed!! Maybe next time!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1 pkg Jell-O chocolate instant pudding
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1/2 cup cold milk
6 squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and divided
1 cup peanuts, divided
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13x9 baking dish with foil; spray with cooking spray. Mix first 4 ingredients until blended (mixture will be thick). Press of the cake mix into prepared pan.

Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle half with each of chocolate and nuts over crust; top with peanut butter. (Not easy smooth, but doesn't have to look great.) Cover with layers of remaining cake mix mixture, chocolate and nuts. Press gently with spatula. Bake 15 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours before cutting into bars.

(Makes 32) *Not the way I cut them!*
(Kraft Food and Family magazine, Fall '09)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nutty Noodles

I love Asian food, particularly Asian food with noodles...and peanut butter...and edamame. This one's delish! I could eat it every day. Makes a great lunch for a few days.

Nutty Noodles

8 oz. wheat (soba) noodles or multigrain thin spaghetti (I used spaghetti)
1 cup crinkle cut carrots
2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce (I combined peanut butter, Tahini, rice vinegar, and sweet red chile sauce until I liked the way it tasted)
2 T creamy peanut butter
2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
Chopped fresh cilantro
Coarsely chopped cry roasted peanuts

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles and carrots, return to boiling and cook 5 minutes. Stir in edamame and snow peas; cook, uncovered for 3-5 minutes longer or until noodles and vegetables are tender. Drain and return to saucepan.
In a medium bowl, mix together peanut sauce, peanut butter, and soy sauce until it's smooth. Stir the peanut sauce into pan with the noodles and veggies. Sprinkle on the cilantro and peanuts.

(Serves 4)
(Parents Magazine, July 2008)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas

We love Mexican food at our house. Riley knows the menu at a Mexican restaurant without looking (quesadilla, enchilada, taco...and don't forget the beans and rice). He loves it all! I've made enchiladas before, but not the basic red sauce variety. I've made sour cream enchiladas, my Aunt Bette's yummy queso enchiladas, etc. This was new to me and I was honestly skeptical.

Martha Stewart? Enchiladas? See what I mean? I gave it a try because it sounded simple enough and I was pleased. Russ said he'd eat two...and ate 4! Not as good as Dart Bowl though (and I certainly didn't expect them to be)!! They tasted even better the next day.

Tex Mex Beef Enchiladas

2 T olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 small chipotle chile in adobo, minced plus 1 T adobo sauce
NOT 1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound lean ground beef
salt and pepper
8 corn tortillas (have a few extras)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking occasionally, 1 minute. Add broth, chili powder, chipotle, and adobo sauce, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Make filling: In nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If freezing, don't place any sauce in baking dish.) Spoon 1/4 cup sauce in bottom of 8-inch square baking dish. Set askide. Make enchiladas: stack tortillas; wrap in fil, and warm in oven, 10 minutes. *(I warm in microwave.)* Fill each with a heaping 1/4 cup of beef mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese; tightly roll up.

Raise oven heat to 450 degrees. Arrange enchiladas, seam side down, in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly. 15-20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with cilantro and, if desired, a green salad.

To freeze: make suace and enchiladas; arrange enchiladas in baking dish without sauce (so tortillas won't become soggy). Place sauce in airtight container. Cover dish with plastic wrap and foil. Label, date, and freeze enchiladas and sauce. Use within 2 months; bake without thawing.

To bake from frozen: Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove foil and plastic wrap from baking dish. Pour sauce over top, and sprinkle with cheese; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; baking until lightly browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and serve.

(Serves 4)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


(Cow Zones as Riley calls them)

1 lb. lean ground beef
3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1 can low sodium tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I just used the whole box...)
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cans refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
Olive oil
*Jar of spaghetti sauce as topping, if desired

Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain.

Combine beef, 2 1/2 cups cheese, and next 3 ingredients.

Unroll each pizza crust, and cut each crust into thirds. Roll each portion into a 5-inch circle. Spread 3/4 cup of meat mixture evenly over half of each circle. Moisten edges with water; fold dough over, pressing or crimping edges to seal. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, and cut slits in tops to allow steam to escape. Brush with olive oil.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Top with spaghetti sauce, if desired; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Melt cheese under broiler.
I had to show a picture of this "not so pretty one" that busted open!
Note: Freeze baked calzones up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Wrap in foil and bake at 300 degrees for an hour or until thoroughly heated.

(Serves 6)
(Southern Living, September 2003)

They were great, we all liked them and Riley had 3 small bowls of the filling while the calzones were baking!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Golden Pumpkin Muffins

I tore this out of a People magazine long ago because this easy recipe caught my eye. Two things I keep in my pantry. Sounds like a winner to me!
Golden Pumpkin Muffins

1 box yellow cake mix
15 oz. can 100% pure pumpkin
Mix one box yellow cake mix with one can pumpkin. (That's it, no eggs, water, oil. Can you believe it?) Bake in muffin tins at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

(Makes 12 muffins)
(Lisa Lillien of

They were a hit with everyone in my house. Great for dessert or breakfast on the go! (And why wouldn't they be great with some pecans, walnuts, or chocolate chips added?)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Veggie Pinwheels

I'm always looking for another way to squeeze in veggies around here, especially into my 4 year old. He's really good about eating them, but I still push them in. I thought this would be a great after school snack for us to make together and taste yummy too!

Veggie Pinwheels

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T finely chopped fresh dill
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper (I left this one out)
1/2 cup tiny frozen peas, thawed
1 cup fresh broccoli, steamed, cooled, and chopped
6 whole wheat flour tortillas

In a bowl, blend together the cream cheese, dill, lemon juice, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper using a rubber spatula. Gently fold in vegetables.Spread some onto each tortilla (tip: warm them slightly, so they roll nicely) leaving 1 inch around the edges. Then, starting from the bottom roll tortillas up tightly. If you're making these ahead, wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you're ready to serve, slice each tortilla crosswise into as many pinwheels as you like.

**I think we would like this as a dip with carrots too. Riley tested out the filling while I spread the tortillas. My helper became my taste tester!**

(Serves 4)

Friday, January 8, 2010

New England Hearty Potato and Cheddar Stew

I'm on a roll, catching up from 75 days on hospital bedrest. Thankfully here in Texas we're having a colder than usual winter. It's not normal for us to be down into the teens. I'm thrilled with so many opportunities to make all of these soup recipes that I "collect". Here's another good one...

New England Heart Potato and Cheddar Stew

1 T unsalted butter
2 T extra virgin olive oil
NOT 1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced lengthwise then thinly sliced crosswise
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into small pieces
2 cans vegetable or chicken broth
2 t fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 cup half and half or light cream
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (truth be told, I used 2 1/2-3 cups)
1 cup sour cream
NOT 1/4 cup chopped chives
(I love love love my new Dutch oven--thanks, Mom!)

In a large Dutch oven, combine butter and olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add carrots, celery, and NOT onions (but I do add more carrots and celery to make up for the missing onion...and some garlic too); stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes until onions are golden. Add potatoes, broth, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.Add half and half and continue simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if desired and serve hot with sour cream and chives.
(Serves 6)
(Oprah Magazine, April 2004)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Russ claims to not like black-eyed peas and I try to make them in some form or fashion on New Years Day. This year, I hit the jackpot!! Maybe it was the lead in to this recipe from the Austin American Statesman that did it...?

"There are some among you who think that Mack Brown, Vince Young, and some other Longhorns are the reason Texas won the 2005 National Championship. I can tell you that the real reason is this lucky black-eyed pea soup."

It has an orange glow because of the chili powder too!

Following in his father's footsteps, Riley woke from his nap (while soup was simmering) and said, "WHAT is that smell?" and not in a good way...GREAT.

Black Eyed Pea Soup

3 rounded cups dried black-eyed peas
1 ham bone with some meat or ham hocks (I used leftover Christmas ham, no hocks involved)
3 cups minced celery
NOT 3 cups minced onion
3 cups minced carrots
2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced or diced (I used a little over a pound of sausage and the rest ham)
2 T chili powder
salt to taste
pepper to taste
*I added some garlic since I left the onion out*

Place peas in 3 quarts water with ham bone (preferably honey ham bone) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until peas are soft, about 2 hours. (No need to soak peas.) Discard bone, leaving bits of ham in soup. Add celery, NOT onion, and carrots and cook another hour. Add diced smoked sausage and simmer 30 minutes. Add chili powder. If needd, add more water, salt, or pepper. Serve with cornbread. Makes about a gallon. Freezes well.

(From Austin American Statesman, Dottie and Joe Wilkinson)