Sunday, December 9, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup

My friend, Lori, made this for us up at our Girls Weekend in Winter Park.  We all take turns making meals, and this was simply delicious.  I made it tonight for the family, and it was just as delicious as I remembered it!  Thanks Lori!

servings: 9    
prep time: 15 min.    
ready in: 45 min.

9 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup + 4 Tbsp. flour
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3 cups fresh broccoli
3/4 lb. Velveeta, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1.  Cook/Steam broccoli until it is tender, but not mushy. At this point, you can use a food chopper to make into very small bits of broccoli, or leave as larger florets.  Set aside.

2.  Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, and mix in the flour.  Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.

3.  Mix in the broth and milk.  Add the salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, for about 10 minutes.

4.  Slowly, mix in the Velveeta and cheddar until melted.

5.  Add in the broccoli and continue cooking for about 5 minutes. 

**Serve with your favorite rolls or fresh home made bread!  Yum!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lemon Brownies

I found something similar on Pinterest.  After making them (from that recipe), I have adapted it a little bit.  The flavor was delicious.  I can't wait to make them again!

you'll need about 2 lemons for this recipe

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks butter), soft

4 eggs
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
additional lemon zest

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a 9x13" baking dish with non-stick/flour baking spray. 

2.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Mix in butter.

3.  In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon juice and zest.  Pour wet ingredients into the large dry ingredients and combine well.

4.  Pour batter into prepared baking dish.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until center is set.  Let cool.

5.  Prepare glaze by combining all ingredients.  Once the brownies are cooled (or slightly still warm), spread glaze over the brownies.  Cut and enjoy!

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Roasted New or Red Potatoes

I really wanted a new "starch" side for dinner, and this sounded fresh and yummy.  It was a HUGE SUCCESS.  The kids really loved it, and I myself, had to be careful not to eat too many!  VERY good--doing it again...soon!

6-8 new or red potatoes (usually 1 potato per person you're serving)
2-4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
rosemary, several dashes
parmesan cheese, several dashes (fresh shredded or from the green can!)

1.  Scrub and cut up the potatoes into bite sized pieces--not too small though.  Leave the skin on!

2.  In a large bowl, mix together olive oil and garlic.  Add cut potatoes and toss to thoroughly coat. 

3.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, rosemary and paremsan over the potatoes and again toss to thoroughly coat.

4.  Place potatoes in a lipped cookie sheet/jelly roll pan--cut side down. 

5.  Roast in a 450 oven, on the lowest rack for 35 minutes.  Delicious!

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Grilled Chicken Marinade

I found this recipe for marinading my chicken in before grilling it up.  I love to grill in the summer-time.  I think you can probably use up to several breasts or breast tenders.  Enjoy!

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh is best--use a bit less if using bottled)
1 pkg Italian seasoning mix


1.  Mix all of the ingredients together.  Place in bag with chicken.

2.  Let marinade for several hours--but not too long as the lemon juice will "cook" the chicken.

3.  Grill your chicken!

I served this up with roasted new potatoes--it was a hit!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Baked Mac n Cheese

I have a few Mac n Cheese recipes.  Lately, I've loved this one, as it is EASY and QUICK and DELICIOUS!  Very yummy!  Shaking the flour/milk/onion salt mixture helps make this super-simple and the sauce is creamy and yummy.  The leftovers are even delicious!

8 oz. elbow macaroni
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. onion salt
4 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (use different types of cheddar for a great taste)
1 cup soft plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter

1.  COOK macaroni according to package directions; drain well. Set aside.

2.  PLACE milk, flour, and onion salt in a quart (mason) jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously 1 minute.

3.  STIR together flour mixture, 3 1/2 cups cheese, and macaroni.

4.  POUR macaroni mixture into a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish or 2 (11 inch) oval baking dishes.

5.  Sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs and remaining 1 cup cheese; drizzle evenly with melted butter.

6.  BAKE at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

We tried this last night and it turned out fabulous.  It was less cake-like and more roll-like.  But with the ease of a cake and not waiting for dough to rise, etc. etc.  My daughter and I put this together, and it has been very much enjoyed!  I'll for sure make this again.  I'm thinking, it would be really good in the Dutch Oven too while camping!

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

2 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9x13" glass baking pan with non-stick spray. 

2.  For cake:  In a mixer, add all the "cake" ingredients (except butter): flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Once combined well, slowly stir in the melted butter.  Pour into the baking pan.

3.  For struesel:  In a medium-large bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, flour and sugar together until creamy.  Make large drops of the struesel onto the cake batter.  Take a knife and swirl it through until it is marble-like. 

4.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out NEARLY clean.

5.  For glaze:  In a medium bowl, mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla with a whisk.  Drizzle over warm cake. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Honey Sesame Chicken for the Slow Cooker

We had this tonight, and it turned out delicious.  I think I was expecting a more traditional Teriyaki chicken flavor, and while this had hints of that, it was more along the lines of "bourbon chicken" we find at our local Panda restaurants.  We really enjoyed the taste of this.  It took about 15 minutes to prepare and voila--the slow cooker did the rest!

2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 9-12 pieces
1 cup honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion  or  2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp. cornstarch
sesame seeds (for garnish)

1.  Place chicken thighs in the slow cooker and salt and pepper, both sides.

2.  In a medium sized bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes.  Stir well.  Pour over the chicken.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or high for 3-5 hours. 

3.  When chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken into a bowl and cut up into desired sized pieces.  Mix the cornstarch with water and then add to the slow cooker juices/sauce to thicken the sauce.  Return the chicken to the slow cooker, coating the chicken in the glaze/sauce.

4.  Serve over rice and sprinkle the chicken with sesame seeds.  Enjoy with your favorite vegetable!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Bake

I found this on Pinterest, but it was a video. I have written down the directions and ingredients. It was SO easy to make, and really really delicious. I love that!

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 8-12 tenderloins
2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup chopped basil or 2 Tbsp. dried basil
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pkg. (5 oz) seasoned croutons

1. On the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, pour the olive oil and spread in the minced garlic cloves.

2. Lay the chicken on top of the oil/garlic. Pour 2 cups of the marinara sauce over the chicken. Sprinkled the chopped or dried basil over the sauce.

3. Put half the cheese (1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the parmesan) over the sauced-up chicken.

4. Evenly spread the croutons over the cheese. Add the remaining cheese over the top.

5. Oven set to 350. Cover for the first 15 minutes of baking. Then uncover for the last 15-20 minutes. NOTE: Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, it can take up to an hour. Make sure the breasts reach 155* internal temperature. For the smaller breast tenderloins, it takes only about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Breakfast Empanadas, Freezable

This was a hit!  Our family SO enjoyed these--and we had them for dinner one night.  Because you are making dough, it was a bit more involved than my normal "quick" meals...but the pay-off was HIGH!  These are FREEZEABLE.  SO, you could make a bunch of these up, and have them for re-heatable breakfasts.  OR, like we did, have them for dinner (and enough for left-overs another night)!  Adapted from here.  Thanks!

1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup evaporated milk (110 degrees)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour

1 lb bulk sausage
1/2 cups onion, chopped, or 2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1 1/2 cups frozen hashbrown potatoes, thawed
8 large eggs
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
 dash of cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1.  In a mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
2.  Add milk, oil, sugar, egg, salt, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth with normal mixer paddle.
3.  Continue to add flour until it makes a soft dough--but do not knead.

4.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

1.  Cook the sausage and onion over medium heat until browned. Drain.

2.  Add the hashbrowns, eggs, milk, and spices. Cook and stir until set. Sprinkle with cheese and keep warm.
Assembling the pockets:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°.
2.  Punch down the dough and cut into 16 equal pieces.
3.  Roll each piece into a 6-7" circle on a floured surface. Top with 1/3 c filling, fold, and pinch shut. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

To freeze:
Allow to cool on the baking sheet. Once cooled, place in the freezer until frozen. Store in a ziploc bag in the freezer for 3-6 months. To reheat, place on a paper towel and microwave for 1 1/2-2 minutes.

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Mexican Chicken Ring

I found this on Pinterest...and we had it tonight.  It didn't take too long to put it all together.  My family doesn't like chunky tomatoes/onions/peppers, so I blended the Rotel.  I figure you can use salsa just as easily with a very similar flavor result. 

It was FABULOUS.  My kids ate it down, without complaint--a true sign of a successful dinner!

3 cooked & shredded chicken breasts (canned or your own)
2 cups grated Cheddar/Jack cheese plus some for sprinkling on top
¾ can of Rotel & all of the juice or ¾ cup salsa
3/4 cup light sour cream
1 package taco seasoning
2 rolls of regular sized crescent rolls (I use the low-fat)
1 lime (juice)
2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips plus some for sprinkling on top

1.  Combine chicken, Rotel/salsa, tortilla chips, sour cream, taco mix, cheese and 2T of lime juice.
2. Unroll and separate crescent dough. Arrange triangles on a baking sheet making a circle with wide ends overlapping in the center and points toward outside.
3.  Spread chicken mixture evenly into the center of the ring. Fold the points of the crescents in and over.
4.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and crushed tortilla chips and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

French Toast Casserole

My friend made this and I had it this was divine!  So fluffy and yummy, I could have had it for all three meals.  I'm thinking, you could easily make this in the crock-pot or the dutch oven while camping.  Thanks Mel for sharing the recipe...though I really wasn't going to leave your house without it ;-).

1 loaf french bread, cut diagonally into 1" pieces
8 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups half & half
1 cup milk (or you can take the half & half and milk, and sub it out for 2 1/2 c milk and 1 can sweetened cond milk)
cinnamon, to taste
nutmeg, to taste

1 cup softened butter
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup brown sugar

1.  Place cut bread in 9x13 baking dish.

2.  Mix remaining ingredients together.  Pour over bread and in between pieces.  Let sit in fridge overnight for at least a few hours.

3.  Cream together topping ingredients and spread on bread.

4.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. 

*Garnish with powdered sugar (optional) and serve with syrup or macerated berries.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are delicious!  Chewy and soft.  It's hard to not eat the whole batch.  I honestly don't know how they are the day after they are made, as they are so yummy we gobbled them right up.  Stop looking for a great chocolate chip cookie recipe--this is it!

ingredients: (you can easily 1/2 this recipe)
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups flour
4 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Spray cookie sheet(s) with non-stick spray.

2.  In mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.

3.  In large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add in dry ingredients into mixer.

4.  Add in chocolate chips.

5.  Use a medium scoop to drop dough onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.  Then remove cookies to cool further. 

Makes apx. 72 cookies (6 dozen).