Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Taco Soup

I needed something to throw together for the day before Thanksgiving so I wouldn't have to worry about fixing something while I was still baking pies for Thanksgiving. This was a great hit and it was easy AND I fed 7 people and had leftovers for Britt to take back to college!
2 pounds ground beef **I used ground turkey**
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1- 15 ounce can chili beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 ounce black beans drained and rinsed
1- 15 ounce corn, drained
1- 15 ounce can Rotel
1- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 can green chiles
1 cup water
1 package ranch seasoning
1 package taco seasoning

Brown meat with the onions in a large skillet and drain fat. Transfer to a large slow cooker and add everything else and mix very well.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours and serve with sour cream, cheese, corn chips, jalapenos or whatever you like! Easy and yummy! Enjoy~

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

I have been told that the kids are tired of pumpkin this and pumpkin that with apples coming a close second...I guess it is time for Gingerbread, fudge and other flavors. I snuck these waffles in this past weekend and they are wonderful! I am glad I tried them and they will be on top of my list next fall.

  • 2 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 4  large eggs
  • 2 cup(s) buttermilk
  • 1 cup(s) pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup(s) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat a waffle iron. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl and set aside.
      1. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin purée, sugar, butter, and vanilla in another large bowl until smooth. While whisking, add the flour mixture and blend until smooth.
  2. Generously coat the waffle iron with vegetable oil and cook the batter in the waffle iron as recommended.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Mmmmmmm...these enchiladas put together and cook in a snap! They are so good, pair them with black beans or refried beans and all the toppings for Mexican food and it is a big dinner. This picture is terrible, but you get the idea. :)
12 flour tortillas
8 ounces cream cheese mixed with about 8-10 ounces of sour cream.**You can adjust this to what your family prefers. I add more of both cream cheese and sour cream**
8 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 can green chiles**I use 2**
Mix all together and spread on tortillas.  Combine 2 cans cream of chicken soup and 1 can chicken broth and mix well. Pour 1/2 half of this mixture on the bottom of a greased 9 by 13 or larger pan. Place the rolled enchiladas in the pan and top with the rest of the cream coup mixture and cheese.  Bake for 40 min at 350 degrees.  Top with cheese, black olives, shredded lettuce, green onions and tomatoes...whatever you eat on yours!  Enjoy~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkey Brine

I have never brined a turkey and thought I wanted to try it this year.  I did a lot of reading and re reading and talking to friends that have done it or are going to this year. I feel that I over educated myself and now I am overly nervous. My turkey has been outstanding for the last 8 years...why fix what ain't broke? Because it is something new! As I embark on this turkey journey I do so with questioning nervousness. I combined 2 recipes and from here on out it is hit and miss I guess.  I made the brine yesterday.  Here is the recipe I made~

3 cups of apple cider
1 gallon vegetable broth
1 gallon cold water
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
5 cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 cups sea salt
2 cups brown sugar
3 Tbsp peppercorns
5 bay leaves
peel of 3 oranges
1 Tbsp each sage, thyme and savory

I combined it all in 2 large pots and stirred until it was all dissolved and brought it to a boil.  Turn off heat and cover. Allow to cool completely and pour into a large pot or brining bag.**I bought a brining bag** Place turkey, completely submerged, into the bag and refrigerate for 16-24 hours.  I was given this tip from a friend**Keep the turkey in a cooler in the garage and keep a bag of ice on top of if it is not cool enough outside**That is for those of us in Texas** to keep the temp of the turkey down.
When ready to roast turkey submerge turkey in a sink full of fresh cold water and allow to sit for 15 minutes and then rinse more to ensure all salt is off the turkey.  *Another tip I was told was after you rinse the turkey then allow to sit in the fridge for a day, uncovered**  I plan on brining today in a cooler in the garage since it is 80 degrees and then rinsing tomorrow and letting it sit for the day and roasting it on Thursday with my favorite ~ garlic, fresh rosemary and lemons cut up and inserted inside the turkey. Wish me luck on this adventure! Gobble Gobble!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Snickerdoodle Bread

This is a great breakfast cake.  It does take a while to mix it all up and get it in the oven and then 1 hour to cook but you will not be disappointed!

2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup brown sugar
3 eggs at room temp
2 tsp vanilla
1 Cup full fat sour cream at room temp

In a small bowl mix 1 cup of white sugar and the cinnamon.  Generously grease the inside of a bundt pan.  Gently dust the whole inside of the pan with the cinnamon and sugar mixture, make sure you get all the nooks and crannies.  You will probably use 1/3 c of the total mixture.  Set aside the rest for the bread.  In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.  In an electric mixer beat the softened butter on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add white sugar and beat for 3 minutes.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes.  Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix for 1 full minute after each egg. Stir in the vanilla.  Alternately add the flour and sour bream, when all added then mix for 2 minutes.  Spread 1/2 batter into the pan.  Spread the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the top, spread the rest of the batter on top of the cinnamon mixture.  Bake at 325 degrees for 55-65 minutes...Enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Italian Tortellini Soup

I know, I know...lotsa soup going on...but it is finally Fall! This one is good and filled with lots of veggies! I it's kinda like a stew...but more like a soup...Rachel Ray may call it a Stoup. Whatever, I recommend it.
1 lb hamburger**I used ground turkey**
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
3 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
8 cups of water
8 tsp beef bullion
1 green pepper chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup fresh(or frozen) green beans, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans
1 cup zucchini, chopped **I did not use a full cup**
salt and pepper to taste...yes, again.
1 pkg Good Seasons dry Italian Dressing Mix
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 20 ounce pkg Cheese tortellini**I used frozen**

Brown meat in skillet with the onion, garlic and salt and pepper. Put the canned tomatoes in a blender and blend them until smooth. Put the meat mixture, blended tomatoes and all other ingredients, BUT NOT the tortellini and NOT the tomato soup, into a large soup pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes with the pot partially covered.  IN a separate pot cook the tortellini according to package directions and drain.  Add the tortellini to the soup and stir in the tomato soup, simmer for 5 more minutes. Enjoy~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Loaded Potato Soup

    • We love potato soup and this was an easy and new recipe. It was a keeper.  IT is finally getting to feel a bit like Fall here in Texas so I am taking advantage of it!

    • ~Recipe~
    • 4  (6-ounce) red potatoes
    • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
    • 1/2  cup  prechopped onion
    • 1 1/4  cups chicken broth
    • 3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
    • 2  cups  1% low-fat milk, divided
    • 1/4  cup   sour cream
    • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
    • 3  bacon slices, halved
    • 1/3  cup  shredded cheddar cheese
    • 4  teaspoons  thinly sliced green onions
    • Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.**I actually boiled my potatoes due to a rather unfortunate electrical fire in my microwave that rendered it 'ruined' as I await, not so patiently, for a new one to be installed*** While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk; add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon. Discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon. Enjoy~

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dinner rolls

These rolls are so easy and very good. They take around 1 hour and you get the fresh bread smell in your house and rolls for dinner! YUM.
I doubled this so I could freeze some...they did not make it to the freezer! :)
3/4 C milk
4 T butter
3/4 C hot water
4 T sugar
1 t salt
4 - 4 1/2 C flour
1 heaping T yeast

Melt the butter and milk either on stove or microwave.
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. While the milk and butter is melting, turn on the tap to get your hot water. **Temperature is important to making these rolls rise quickly**  
 Put your milk/butter and hot water in the bottom of the mixing bowl.  Add the sugar and salt. Then add 2 C of the flour...let it mix for 1 minute.
 Add the yeast. Turn the mixer on and add the rest of the flour 1 C at a time.
 You have enough flour when the dough scrapes the side of the bowl clean. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Coat the inside of a 9 by 13 pan with butter. Spray your counter, or a cutting board with cooking spray. Lay your dough on top of it. Take a sharp knife, spray it with cooking spray and cut your dough into 12 pieces.   Gently round them into balls, and put them in your buttered 9x13 pan.
 Put the pan into your warm 170 degree oven. Let them rise for about 20 minutes or until they have risen about 1 inch above the rim of the pan. Leave your pan in the oven and turn the heat up to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. This time includes the time it takes the oven to increase in temperature. If your oven takes a long time you may need to increase time...I baked them 25 min while it was heating to 350. Bake until golden brown. Eat! Enjoy~

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beef and Rice Soft Tacos

The name is a bit deceiving...I used ground turkey...but they were a hit. I  had been saving this recipe to see how easy they would be for after game nights. They came together without much effort at all and were good!
1 Tbsp oil
1 lb ground turkey(or beef)
1/2 cup water
1 cup salsa
1 pkg taco seasoning
3 cups Minute Rice**I used brown**
flour tortillas
cheddar cheese, shredded
other taco toppings of your choice

Heat oil in skillet and add ground meat, cook until lightly browned.  Stir in water, salsa and seasoning mix.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in rice and cover.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes, Stir.
Assemble as you would a taco.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I love to cook big breakfasts for the kids on weekends. This is one of their favorite pancake recipes. I bet your kiddos (and you) will love it as well!!
Whisk together~
1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt.

Whisk together~1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 stick melted butter
2 eggs
a little vanilla...then whisk into flour mixture until just combined.  Ladel 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot buttered skilet and cook until bubbly and sprinkle chocolate chips over teh batter before flipping. Cook until golden. YUM! Enjoy~

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Banana Bread

I have used this recipe for years. It is Britt's favorite so I make sure I make it when she is home from college and make extra for her to take back with her.
1 3/4 cup flour
1/3 cups shortening
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2Tbsp milk
1 cup mashed bananas
Stir flour, powder, soda together, set aside. Mix sugar and shortening w/ mixer until light. Add eggs and milk and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture and banana alternately to mixture. Turn batter into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 min. near the end of baking brush the top with melted butter and top with cinnamon and sugar and continue baking! YUM! Enjoy~

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lemon Garlic Marinade

You will need to adjust this recipe to the sizes of meat or veggies you are marinating....I have used it on everything from pasta to fish to chicken, beef and it is really good on grilled veggies.

6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 2 lemons
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley 
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Whisk all together and add to meat and coat. Put in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gingerbread Cheesecake

This has a different flavor...I cant tell if I like it or not but I thought I would pass it along.  I love the crust and will be using it for a pumpkin ginger pie I make at Thanksgiving. Let me know if anyone tries it and what you think!

Crust~ 30-40 gingerbread wafers **crunchy and thin**
1 stick of butter, softened

Filling~3 large eggs
3/4 Cup of extra fine sugar
1 (8 oz.) package of softened cream cheese
1 Tablespoon of finely grated orange rind
2 Tablespoons of fresh orange juice

Frosting~ 1 cup cour cream
1/2 cup powder sugar 
Preheat oven at 350°F
 Crush ginger bread wafers and blend with butter.  Spread over the bottom of a 12" spring form pan.  Pre-cook gingerbread mix for 10 minutes in oven. 
 Mix the eggs and sugar. Then, fold in cream cheese, orange rind and orange juice.  Spread over crust and cook in oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven after done and let cool.
 For the frosting, prepare by mixing well. Spread over cake and garnish with grated orange rind and/or fine gingerbread crumbs.  Enjoy~

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Caramel Corn

A typical Halloween/Fall treat is Caramel Corn.  I made a huge batch to take to our neighborhood Halloween party.  It was a hit! It is so easy and the clean up is almost nothing.
1 cup light Karo syrup
1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
1/2 butter
2 cups brown sugar

Heat all to the soft ball stage and pour over popped corn...EASY and YUMMY! Enjoy~

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

Holy YUM! This smells delish while baking. I am not a chocolate person but the caramel and peanut topping is worth this entire dish! It is fairly easy to make and not that time consuming so it is a keeper for our family!

For the brownie cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping:
2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1½ tbsp. light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup honey roasted peanuts

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F.  Butter an 8-inch springform pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.  Place the springform pan on a baking sheet.
To make the cake, combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; whisk together and set aside.  Add the butter and chocolate to a heatproof bowl set over simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are just melted – do not let them get so hot that the butter separates.  Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until well blended.  Whisk in the corn syrup, followed by the vanilla.  Add in the melted butter and chocolate mixture, and whisk until combined.  Whisk in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are just incorporated.  The batter should be thick, smooth and shiny.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and jiggle the pan a bit to even out the batter.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 15 minutes, then run a thin knife between the cake and the pan and carefully remove the sides of the springform.  The cake may have puffed up during baking, but don’t be concerned if it develops a crater in the center while cooling.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  When the cake is totally cool, invert it, remove the base of the pan and peel off the parchment paper.  Turn the cake right side up onto a serving platter.
To make the topping, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stirring just to combine the ingredients.  Place the pan over medium-high heat.  Heat, without stirring, until the caramel turns deep amber, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your saucepan and the intensity of the heat.  As the sugar is caramelizing, wipe down any splatters on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.  To test the color of the caramel, drop a bit onto a white plate.  Don’t be timid about the color – if it’s too pale, it won’t have much flavor.
Lower the heat a bit and add the cream and butter.  When the spatters are less vehement, stir to calm down the caramel and dissolve any lumps.  Stir in the peanuts and pour the caramel and peanuts into a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup or a heatproof bowl.
You will have more caramel than you need, but you want to get all of the peanuts onto the cake, so spoon all of the peanuts out of the hot caramel and onto the top of the cake.   Pour or spoon enough caramel to cover all the nuts, drizzling a bit over the edges of the cake for presentation.  Allow the topping to set at room temperature, about 20 minutes, before serving.  Keep the leftover caramel at room temperature and save for another use. YUM!! Enjoy~

Friday, November 5, 2010


MmmmMmmmmGood! This is a great Fall dinner. Brenn came home last year and said he tried another type of Jambalaya at a friends house so I embarked on finding and making another recipe than the one I usually made.  We all loved this one much better but he said it was not like Miss Katie's.  I asked her about her recipe and how Brenn raved about it and she laughed for a long time and then told me hers came out of a box! She is from Louisiana and a real Cajun so this made us all laugh! Anyway....this is a keeper!

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound cubed cooked ham
  • 1/2 pound cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/2 pound cubed smoked sausage
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 pound salad shrimp
      1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Add celery, bell pepper, and onion to the bacon drippings, and cook until tender.
          1. Add the ham, chicken and sausage to the pot, and pour in the tomatoes, beef broth and chicken broth. Season with thyme and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, and add the rice. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender
              1. Stir in the shrimp and bacon just before serving, and heat through. If you use uncooked shrimp, let it cook for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!