Category Archives: Cooking

Hello Fall

The only positive thing about colder weather?

Soup!

 

Zuppa Toscana Soup (Olive Garden knock off)

1 lb ground Italian Sausage
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large white onion
4 Tbs bacon pieces
2 tsp garlic puree
10 cups water
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb sliced russet potatoes
1/4 of a bunch of kale – chopped

Saute sausage and red peppers in large pot. Drain, refrigerate.

In same pan, saute bacon, onions and garlic over low-med heat until onions are soft.

Add chicken bouillon and water and heat until boil.

Add diced potatoes and cook until soft – approx. 30 mins.

Add heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated.

Stir in sausage and kale, let all heat through (approx. 15 minutes) and serve.

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A Kids Meal

Back in the day my grandmother used to make tuna melt sandwiches for me and my cousins. Now I’ll admit, I was not a fan. Something about warm tuna turned my stomach over and me off. But, as I’ve matured I’ve come to love that little kids meal. In fact, I made them just the other night.

Goose turned her nose up and had her tuna in a roll of lettuce (What? Lettuce over bread and cheese??? Sigh. She’s not my kid). But after listening to me make tons of this-is-the-best-thing-I’ve-ever-eaten noises, she asked for a bite…and then proceeded over to the stove to get her one of her own (Yea for bread and cheese!).

Whether you’re young or just slightly older than young, you’ll love these little sandwiches.

Tuna Melts
4 English muffins
2 large cans tuna
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup real mayonnaise (I just mix a bunch in until it looks good)
pepper to taste
8 slices of cheddar cheese
enough shredded Mozzarella to sprinkle on top


Cut muffins in half and place on baking sheet.

Layer tuna mixture, cheddar cheese, and mozzarella.

Place in over at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and tuna is warm.


Then just throw a side at it and enjoy!

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Happy Easter

Pictures courtesy of Goose

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Do You Like Bacon?

What about chicken? And cheese?

Mmmm, I sure do.

I like it so much that I’m having last night’s dinner for lunch again today.

 

 

 

Yum! It’s just as good the second time around! I love this recipe!

Bacon and Cheese Chicken Breasts
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 C bacon bits
1 Tbs. dried basil
1/4 C bread crumbs
1 Tbs Italian seasoning (Mrs. Dash)
olive oil to coat
4 thinly sliced Chicken Breasts

In medium bowl mix together mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, bacon bits and dried basil.

Coat chicken in oil, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and lay flat in small baking dish. Take the ingredients in your bowl and layer it evenly over all breasts. On top of that sprinkle with bread crumbs. Drizzle all with a little olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.. making sure chicken in cooked throughly.

Delicious! And for my side? Pasta with Bertolli’s four cheese Rosa.

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It’s True

Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart were friends? They were. And did you know that Amelia once flew Eleanor to a fancy government event? It’s true. Maybe you know that Eleanor’s favorite dessert was Angel Food cake served with a pink fluffy topping?

Are you wondering how I got my hands on this all-important info? Goose’s last week’s reading story, that’s where. And, as luck would have it, the story included Eleanor’s famous recipe, the very recipe that Goose volunteered her mother (aka, ME) to make for her entire class. :) Again, all true.

I tried to get out of it. I don’t have a sifter, I told her. I don’t have time.. I’m tired. Can’t we just buy the box mix?

In the end, I made the cake.. and to my surprise, it rose to it’s full height.. the heavy whipping cream whisked into fluffy peaks… and everyone said it tasted very good. All very important facts.

And just one bit more of info that you might like to know.. the box mix cost $2.39, Cool whip cost $1.79, and strawberries $1.89/pint.. for a total of $6.07… The price of the ingredients in Ms. Eleanor’s recipe.. approximately $15.61. Yep, those are some cold, hard facts for those of us who like to whip it up from scratch.

It’s a this point that I’d love to say that $15.61 recipe produced a cake that tasted 10 times better than the wimpy “box” mix.. but, I can’t. I didn’t get to taste my cake. You see, my one Angel Food cake had to feed 23 people.. If you’re not in the class, you don’t get any……………

I probably should have just bought that wimpy box mix..and saved me so cold hard cash…  What? They’re 10 years old… they’d never have known the difference. :)

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Vegetable Non-Sense & Soup

I love soup. Love it! It’s so good and an easy choice for any meal.. especially lunch. Pop the top, stir in a splash of water, throw it in the microwave and tada! Slurp it down. My favorite is vegetable soup. This sounds weird followed by what I’m about to tell you… I dislike almost every type of vegetable known to mankind. Vegetables just don’t do much for me (minus the health benefits of course).

A few weeks ago, Goose wanted to eat at Panera Bread. She ordered the Broccoli Cheese Soup and I got their yummy Tomato Soup. When we got our order.. I high-tailed it back to our table to escape all the people trying to squeeze down the line… That’s when I noticed both soups were Broccoli Cheese. Broccoli in soup isn’t in my top 5 picks.. but rather than push my way back up the line I excepted the mistake.

So where am I going with all this vegetable non-sense?

I’ll tell you… I’m now very much in love with Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheese Soup. It’s so good that I wanted more..and so did Goose. So, I Googled the recipe. And from the online pages of GroupRecipes.com I present to you something so delicious..


a copycat recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup:

1 tbls. butter, melted
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups half & half
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb. fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

Saute onion in 1 tbls. butter

In another pan, cook melted butter and flour , whisking over medium heat for 3-4 minutes

Slowly add half & half while continuing to whisk

Add chicken stock, while continuing to whisk

Once it starts to simmer, let simmer for 20 minutes

Add broccoli, carrots and onions

Cook over low heat until veggies are tender

Add salt and pepper

Pour in batches into blender and mix or use immersion blender

Return to pot and over low heat, add cheese, stirring until well blended

Stir in the nutmeg

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Easy Street

That’s exactly where I could be found last week! I was off work the entire week! And it snowed, so I got to stay at home and chill for several days. Loved it! On one of my free days I made these little pies.


Super easy to make… Buy the pre-made pie dough-sheets and some pie filling, use a couple cups to cut out small circles (one slightly bigger than the other), cover a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray, stuff the larger circle down into your mini-muffin pan, dab some filling in, and then slap the smaller circle on top. Cook at 425F for 13-15 minutes and wha-lah! Tiny pies!

And with your leftover pie crust scraps?

Spray a sheet pan with butter-flavor cooking spray, throw the scraps on, spray the dough with butter-flavor cooking spray, sprinkle on some sugar and cinnamon. Cook until lightly golden, then generously sift on large amounts of powdered sugar. These lasted all of 3 minutes before they were devoured by Goose and me.

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Doesn’t This Look Good?


I know what you’re thinking, “Uhm.. well actually no, it doesn’t.. In fact, it looks kinda yucky…kinda VERY yucky.”

Maybe so.. but it tastes quite yummy. This happens to be a roast.. this one in particular is an arm roast and it’s my very favorite type of roast. It’s Cranberry Roast and I wouldn’t mind a bit if I never had it cooked any other way.
Cranberry Roast
Medium size roast
1 can cranberry sauce
1 small onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic
2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Throw in all in a crockpot, cook on low for 9 hours, and enjoy.

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Nothing Blue

Mr & Mrs

Our little story goes something like this…. We shared a friend named Jerry who should have been the founder of Eharmony… His favorite hobby was setting people up… I think he was responsible for 6 different marriages. Jerry was the UPS man for both of our places of work and after a little persuasion he succeeded in our set-up… After 2 years of dating and 2 years of engagement.. we finally bought a house and then eloped on Friday, February 6, 1998.  Of course this is just the outline… but the story sticks pretty close to that. So, to celebrate this memoriable occasion I decided to cook.. because food is always good. I made a version of

The Pioneer Woman’s Stuffed Mushrooms, Yummy!

mushrooms

Her White Chicken Enchiladas, to die for!

white chicken enchiladas

And this Red Velvet Cake from Lick The Bowl Good, so moist that I thought it was almost too moist, if that’s possible.

cake

It was all very, very tasty and really such an enjoyable way to celebrate the day…just sticking close to home and being domestic.

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My Thoughts on Chicken Spaghetti

chicken spaghetti


So, I spent the weekend just puttering around..not doing too much of anything…just the typical. I did find time to make the Pioneer Woman’s very delicious Chicken Spaghetti. This is something my granny use to make when I lived in Arkansas as a budding adolescent. I haven’t had it in, oh, five years or so.. :) Truthfully, in all this time, I haven’t given chicken spaghetti a thought..no cravings at all.. that is until my Honey came home from a recent duck hunting trip to Stuttgart, AR. It had been a treat for him while he was there and said Arkansans considered it to be a staple in their diet. Hmm, I didn’t know that??? So I figured, being an ex-Arkansan you know, I’d better get busy and make it. I wish I had had my Granny’s recipe.. but because it is a very guarded family recipe (she ripped it out of the local paper) I wasn’t fortunate enough.. so I turned to the new Goddess of Cooking for help. The Pioneer Woman’s recipe isn’t exactly like my granny’s but it is still very good and super easy to make. And it makes enough to feed an army (she has a lot of kids, you know?). Not only did we eat it twice, but I froze enough for another meal and gave some to my parents (I only have one kiddo and she has a difficult time sitting still long enough to eat much of anything). We’ll have it again, that’s for sure.. and not just the leftovers. I guess there might be just a bit of Arkansas left in me after all :). Hmm, who knew?

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