Monday, October 25, 2010

ISO Halloween appetizers

Anyone have a favorite Halloween appetizer? I'm going to a Halloween party as part of my MOM's group on Friday and am taking witches wands (chocolate covered prezel sticks with sprinkles) and thought I'd take an appetizer too. :)

in the cupboard chicken & veggie soup

Tonight I had zero motivation to make dinner. But my Dad was feeling really crappy yesterday so I needed to cook him something. I was thinking along the lines of soup, my husband wanted baked mac & cheese (as the meal, nothing else). When I'm sick I don't really want a bunch of mac & cheese. So soup it is. While standing in front of my stash of canned goods in the storage room in the basement I saw the alphabet pasta I'd bought at Meijer awhile ago. On the back of the box was a basic recipe for alphabet soup.

I tweaked it to what I had on hand.

Chicken & Veggie Alphabet Soup

8oz Meijer Alphabets (or other similar small pasta)
~1 lb cooked chicken breast, diced into bite sized pieces (Costco has frozen grilled chicken strips i like to buy & freeze for soups & casseroles)
46oz bottle reduced sodium V8
14oz can chicken broth
3-4 cups water
2 chicken bouillons
1 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp garlic pepper
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp celery flakes

Threw everything but the pasta in the pot and brought to a boil and am now doing the simmer for 30 min bit. Then will do the cook pasta for about 10 minutes and may throw some parm cheese on, jury is still out there :)

So far it smells good :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

ISO: Thanksgiving sides in the crock pot

Calling out into the great unknown that is the interwebz: My inlaws are hosting Thanksgiving this year instead of me, because we are all going to IN to gather one more time as a family before a cousin moves to Europe with his family. My mother in law wants to do most of the cooking and I said I'd help, but she only has one oven and the bird will be taking over that most of the day. So, if anyone has any tried/true tasty crock pot recipes for the traditional thanksgiving fixings, please let me know.

My mother in law already has a green bean casserole one, it's similar to the traditional one just like 3x the amount of beans and less liquid:beans ratio. I already have a mashed potatoes one that is pretty good, just have to dig it up.

So we need:
Sweet potatoes
corn pudding (my thanksgiving favorite)
any others you may have that are worthy :)

My father in law will cook the bird and usually stuffs it, I can probably do some stove top stuffing on the stove for just regular stuffing, but if anyone has a good crock stuffing recipe please share.

An apple dessert may be good too, an aunt plans to bring pumpkin pie I believe, another a veggie tray, and another a fruit salad, and I plan to do appetizers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Awesome London Broil marinade

My Mom always used to use some generic meat marinade mixed with wishbone Italian Dressing. I didn't remember which random packet she used so I decided to try the McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning we use on pretty much everything (burgers, steaks, pork chops). I've marinated with it before just a few hours on NY strips and it was good. This time I put the top round in with the marinade on Thursday afternoon so it marinated about 48 hours :) its smelling pretty amazing on the grill.

3lbs top round steak
1/2 cup olive oil
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 heaping tsp McCormick Montreal steak seasoning
At least 1 tsp of minced garlic, I put 2 in because we like garlic.

Poke a bunch of holes in steak (both sides) with a fork and put in a gallon sized resealable baggie. Mix marinade and pour in, press air out and then seal. Swish around to mix seasonings up. Put meat in the fridge and turn it at least twice a day to evenly marinade.

As far as the broiling or grilling goes, you'd best find a recipe but we always use two burners on the gas grill. Heat both burners to high then turn off one and put the meat over that. Switch every 20 minutes or so and don't flip the meat for at least an hour. Low heat & slow cooking along with the long marinating time makes the meat nice and tender.

Then we slice it thin and use the leftovers for french dips (just use a packet of au jus) the next day :) Or make hot steak sandwiches.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

crockin' the fall ;)

Have a set of yummy things I've made in my crock pot lately :)

First up was a week ago Dad & I had this slow cooker tamale pie, it was like chili with cornbread cooked right on top. Quite yummy :)

Tonight's dinner is slow cooker chicken taco soup with whole wheat beer bread. Yum!

Both have kind of a mexican/chili flare ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beef Stew & crusty bread

The beef stew recipe I make is based on my good old Betty Crocker cookbook, I have the bridal edition but it appears she also puts it on her website. Sneaky Betty. I of course change it ;) but the key is low heat and slow cooking time. Or I make a pot roast and then throw extra veggies in when reheating (shredded, with gravy) and viola, beef stew. I had some beef tips from Omaha beef and it made some very yummy stew.

Beef Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cooking onions, diced
1 bag (16 oz) baby-cut carrots
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
32oz container beef broth
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 medium red potatoes (1 1/2 lb), cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup frozen peas

1.Heat oven to 325°F.
2.In a large ovenproof Dutch oven, mix all ingredients except potatoes and peas. Cover and bake 2 hours, stirring once.
3.Stir in potatoes and peas. Cover and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes longer or until beef and vegetables are tender.

YUM. It's so good.

Made it with this crusty italian bread baked on a pizza stone.