Monday, September 28, 2009

two new recipes I'll be trying this week

This will be Wednesday's dinner, Chicken & Wild Rice soup. I have some roasted chicken frozen I need to use up and it sounded good. :)

This one is one of the infamous weightwatchers-friendly crockpot recipes from the big file that circulates the internet. I'm making this tomorrow while I'm at my all day quilting class. Good way to use up leftover ham I had frozen too.

Corn, Ham and Potato Scallop

6 cups peeled baking potatoes -- cut in 1" cubes
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked ham
1 15.25oz. can Green Giant Whole Kernel Sweet Corn -- drained
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons instant minced onion
1 10 3/4oz.can condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

In 3 1/2 to 4-quart Crock-Pot slow cooker, combine potatoes, ham, corn, bell pepper and onion; mix well. In small bowl, combine soup, milk and flour; beat with wire whisk until smooth. Pour soup mixture over potato mixture; stir gently to mix. Cover; cook on low setting for 7-9 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Info: Potatoes cook more quickly when cut into small pieces; cubed potatoes will cook faster than quartered potatoes. The 1-inch chunks of potato in our recipe work well as they do not get too soft during the long cooking time. Also, leftover cooked roast beef or turkey can be used in place of the ham.

6(1 1/2-cup)servings. Per serving: Cal 320; Total fat 7g; (sat 4g); Choles 30mg; Sod 1010mg; Total Carbs 49g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 6g; Pro 14g. POINTS: 6

another good fall soup

This will be sometime this week as well, another Mom recipe & one of Chris' favorites. I am trying to make up a bunch of soups to freeze for my Dad's next trip out to see my Grandparents. Plus its fall, so I can finally make them again :) soups aren't too summer-friendly.


1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
64 oz beef broth
frozen peas
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
frozen corn
1/2 cup diced celery
1-1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lbs. beef stew meat
3 medium potatoes, diced

Treat soup pan with non-stick spray. Brown meat until cooked through; drain off fat and put aside. Sauté vegetables and garlic until limp; whisk in flour to form roux. Slowly add beef broth and cook, whisking until thickened. Add the remaining ingredients except for frozen veggies. Simmer until barley is cooked, approximately 1 hour. Add frozen veggies. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until they are heated through. Serve with crusty bread and salad.

French Onion Soup

This will be Thursday or Friday's dinner once Chris is home, with a salad and some crusty bread :) another of Mom's recipes, this one is a favorite. Have never had it in a recipe as good as this is, restaurants seem to make it too salty, this is just right. You'll need soup bowls that are oven-proof (under a broiler) I have these, Mom had something similar.


1 large onion (yellow or white), sliced thinly
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp sugar
dash salt
dash pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1 quart beef consommé
1 cup dry red wine
1 Tbsp cognac
large cut croutons
Grated mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese

Over medium high heat, sauté onion slices in butter until limp. Add flour, salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar. Continue cooking until onions are golden brown. Add consommé, thyme, parsley, basil, and wine. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Add cognac.

Place croutons in oven-proof bowls. Sprinkle cheeses over croutons. Ladle soup into oven safe bowls. Add more cheese as desired. Place under low broiler (or in 500F oven) until cheese melts and soup bubbles. Carefully remove from oven and enjoy.

let the fall cooking begin!

It's in the upper 50s here in Michigan so that means fall cooking! Yay! We are also going to an apple orchard / cider mill this weekend so I hope to pick up some apples to make some tasty things with (in addition to cider & doughnuts, and pumpkins).

First up on the fall foods list is homemade sloppy joes. This was my Mom's recipe, my Dad and I love it, Chris doesn't (scary veggies! he prefers Manwhich) so since he's out of town its the perfect time to make it!


1 – 14 oz can petite-diced tomato
1 cup celery stalk chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
3 garlic cloves, diced
1/3 cup ketchup
1-2 Tbsp. Chili powder (to taste)
2-3 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1 tsp. diced leaf oregano
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 1bs ground sirloin

Mix together the tomatoes, vinegar, ketchup and brown sugar until the sugar are dissolved – set aside. Brown the meat together with the remaining ingredients. Drain and add to the tomato mixture in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Serve with buns. Makes approximately 5-1/2 cups.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

birthday party recap

For Kathleen's birthday I made the cookie monster cupcakes without the cookie monster part ;) just the chocolate cake with oreos in bottom and filling. The filling was a pain the butt. Grinding up oreos I guess I fail at because I kept clogging my frosting tip I was using to shoot it into the cupcakes. Then I didn't make enough of the easy buttercream so I had to sub dark chocolate icing in a can for some of them. Worked out to my sister's advantage because she got to take some naked cupcakes and the remaining frosting back to Kalamazoo with her ;) I also think I put too much salt or vanilla or something in the frosting I made because they tasted a little "off" to me. The oreos on the bottom were a fun surprise for people ;) and overall they tasted good, just not OMG AMAZING like I was hoping for ;) I also was rushing to make those before I started filet mignon for dinner for my inlaws, so that could be part of my problem. I was SUPPOSED to have help from my husband that week but he traveled all week then worked up till right before his parents got there. But that's a rant for a different kind of blog ;)

crack banana bread

This doesn't taste like the "normal" banana bread, but mmmm its good. I had a piece for breakfast and just had a slice for a midnight (okay 1am) snack :)

Here is the original recipe on allrecipes (aptly named) best ever banana bread.

Here's how I made it ;) of course I changed it, I read the reviews and they sounded like good changes to me.

Best Ever Banana Bread

2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of cinnamon (maybe 1/4 tsp)
poured some vanilla in (1/4-1/2 tsp)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray one 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray coating.
Blend together the eggs, buttermilk, apple sauce and bananas.
Sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add gradually to banana mixture and stir in cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well.
Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

I made it with just a whisk and spatula, didn't even bust out the mixer ;) yum. It's good. And mine did take that long to bake, its a moist bread.