Sunday, November 06, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Soup

Easy yumminess! Woo-hoo!

For a crockpot recipe, I consider this one more difficult, because you can't just add it all and walk away. But it does smell good when you're home and want some!

2 cups chicken broth or bouillion
1 chicken, cooked and cut up, or leftovers cut up into small pieces
1 quart container of small potatoes, or 5-6 larger potatoes, cut into pieces
1/2 head of cabbage, cut up.
1 large package of broccoli-cauliflower-carrot mix or other frozen veggie mix.
1 can crushed tomato
salt and pepper

Put the potato and cabbage in the crockpot with the boullion. Cook on low 4 hours.
Add chicken, frozen veggies (still frozen) and tomato, and season with salt and pepper. If you cannot see any liquid, add a little water. Cook on low 3 hours or until veggies are done. If you like pasta in your soup, you can add it dry at this point as well.

Even the boys ate it.

Crockpot chili

Yumminess comes in crockpots!

You need:

A package of ground turkey, browned and drained. I like to brown it with taco mix.
1 can crushed tomato (large can)
1 can kidney beans (large can), undrained
1 can corn (small can), drained
1/4 cup chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
pepper to taste
dash garlic powder
other herbs/seasoning to taste

Dump it all in. Mix it up.
Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally if you happen to be home.

If it is not thick enough, sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of flour before serving.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Chicken Salad Yummy

This worked for us today, though the kids were a bit skittish at first.

You need:

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, seasoned, and cut into strips or chunks. I cheated and used Schwan's fajita chicken.
1/2 cup grapes, sliced in half longways.
1 gala apple, chopped.
2 cups wheat pasta, cooked.
1 package (12 oz?) cut green beans, cooked.
1/2 cup roasted red pepper salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste.

Toss it together in a bowl. Seriously. I tossed it, put it in the fridge, and two hours later, we had dinner. I would think any salad dressing would be good for this- if you use something like Italian, or the red pepper stuff we used, make this an hour or two beforehand, and the pasta and chicken marinates a bit. Yummy.

Yummy Black Forest Dessert Torte

Need something cool and yummy for spring and summer? This one is a favorite here.

You need:

2 packages of instant chocolate pudding
3 cups of cold milk
1 package of Oreo cookies, regular
2 cans of cherry pie filling
1 large (at least 16 oz) container of whipped topping or 2 small (8oz), or equivalent sweetened and whipped whipping cream

Combine pudding and milk, and whisk for 2 minutes. Put in fridge. You can make this with cooked pudding if you prefer, but make sure it is COLD before you start putting it together.

Once the pudding is ready, fold in 8 oz of the whipping cream or topping.

Spread half of this into the bottom of a large glass bowl.

Spread can of cherry filling over top.

Crunch up 12-16 Oreo cookies. Spread over cherries.

Spread 4 oz of topping/cream over this.

Spread rest of chocolate moussey stuff over cream.

Set aside a couple spoonfuls of cherry stuff, then spread the rest on.

Set aside a couple spoonfuls of cream, then spread the rest.

Crunch up 12-16 more cookies. Eat rest of cookies. Spread crunch cookies over top.

Add your couple of spoonful of cream on top, at center.

Now put the rest of the cherries in the middle.

Lick cans and dairy container, and bowl from pudding.

Put the torte into the fridge and let it firm up a bit, at least 30 minutes.

Dig in.

This dessert works with unleaded replacements (ie, sugar-free/fat-free/etc.).

Friday, October 09, 2009

Beef Casserole

Yummy yummy yummy!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned.
1 pkg wheat pasta (we used rotini), cooked
1 can corn
1 can green beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheese

Mix everything but the shredded cheese in a casserole. Spread cheese over the top. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes, uncovered.

The boys liked it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Making Dyed Eggs

Need a quick and fun activity for kids in the spring? Dying eggs is easy and fun, and doesn't need to be a complete mess. Here is how you do it!

You need:

eggs. You have almost unlimited dye, so go for it. I'll load up some hard-boiled egg recipes soon.
Food dye. You can get those little sets of 4 colors. They've gotten expensive in the grocery; if you are paying more than 2 bucks, you are overpaying for them.
1 tablespoon of vinegar for each color you want.
1/2 cup water per color.
a cup or mug for each color. I find corningware mugs work perfectly. If you use white, you get a better view of the color.
newspaper to cover the work area. You don't want the dye on your kitchen table or floor.

For each color you want, put 1/2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and eight drops of dye in a cup or mug. For purple, use 4 red and 4 blue; for orange, use 4 yellow and 4 red.

Put egg in the mug. Leave for at least a few seconds; the longer you leave the egg in, the darker and brighter the hue will be. Purple tends to be the muddiest color, we often leave that one off.

Want shiny eggs? Rub them with a little veggie oil.

Voila! Beautifully dyed eggs! Now you can add stickers and stuff!

Also, you can draw on them with a white crayon before dying them, and make designs!

The set-up usually takes longer than the dying, but the kids like it.

How to hard-boil an egg:
Believe it or not, there are a variety of ways to hard-boil eggs. My favorite method:

Buy eggs about a week before. Older eggs peel easier.

Take the eggs out of the fridge. If you do this about half an hour before you cook them, you'll have less crackage.

Get out a large pot.

Place a layer of eggs in the bottom. get out some paper towels and set them on these eggs, and put another layer on top. Don't do more than two layers at a time. The towels prevent cracking.

Cover the eggs with cool-to-cold water. Remember, those eggs are still cold, and we don't want crackage.

Place on stove and heat to a boil.

Once the eggs come to a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.

Now you can cool your eggs and dye them. Cooling quickly with cold water will prevent green yolk.

If you want a fancy, full explanation of hardboiled eggs, I recommend The Egg Gourmet.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quick Chili

Ah, the joys of new foods... Joey will actually eat this chili, despite the bit of tomato. Ready?

You need:

1 package ground turkey
1 can kidney beans, undrained
2 cans tomato sauce (small cans)
1/4 cup chili powder
dash of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 container sour cream
1 pkg grated cheese
2 pieces of bread or some crunched-up corn chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place bread or corn chip in bottom of casserole dish (whole grain bread works better than chips if you are watching carbs, and works the same).

Brown turkey.
Add the beans (undrained!), tomato sauce, and seasonings. Stir over medium heat and bring to a bubble. (If you are feeling lazy, you can skip the casserole part and just let this simmer for about 10 minutes. However, the meat will be tenderer if you do the casserole part.)

Pour over bread/chips. Carefully spread the sour cream over the chili mixture, then spread cheese over the top. I use most of the package, but some folks like less cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until it bubbles a little and the cheese is melted.

Voila! Yummy chili even Joey will eat. Heck, even Andy will take a couple of bites!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bacon Turkey

Want something yummy for Thanksgiving? Worried about how to cook a turkey? Well, keep this one in mind for your next event!

You need:

A turkey. Bigger is better. Once you heat up the oven, why not cook as big a bird as you can find?
1 apple
1 onion (I use sweet onion, like vidalia)
3 pieces of celery
1 pound of thin-sliced bacon
olive oil
salt, pepper

Take the giblets and neck out of the thawed or fresh turkey. Place in your roaster pan. Set oven according to the package (usually 325 degrees).
Cut up apple, onion, and celery. Place loosely in cavities, both ends.
Rub turkey with plenty of olive oil- breasts, legs, and wings.
Sprinkle on salt and pepper generously. I sometimes put thyme on my turkey, too. This year I used seasoned salt and seasoned pepper.
Place in oven and roast according to the package. A 20-pound bird usually takes about 4 1/2 hours. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. DO NOT BASTE. Opening the oven loses all the heat, and then your turkey takes longer to cook and will get dry.
45 minutes before your expected end time, open the oven, pull bird close to you. Cover bird with bacon, strip-by-strip. Don't forget the legs. The turkey will look bacon-stripey. Overlap the bacon slices slightly for a good seal. Maneuover around your pop-up thingee if the turkey has one.
Close the oven back up. If this took you a while, you may want to add some time to the cooking- about ten minutes.

Pull the bird out of the oven, and let it stand 15-20 minutes before slicing. Yummy!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

It works! Pumpkin Butter

This was a LOT yummier than I ever dreamed it would be.

1 29-oz can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix).
3/4 cup apple juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cook in your slow-cooker for 4-6 hours, until you achieve desired thickness.

No slow-cooker? No problem! Combine everything in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low or medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring constantly. For thicker sauce, simmer longer.

If you over-thicken, just add a little extra apple juice to thin it out.

Use Splenda instead of sugar. You may need to cook it a little extra time to get the thickening.

Play with the spices. Like it spicier? Add some ginger! Some folks prefer allspice or pumpkin spice to this mix. I am a particular fan of nutmeg, so I sometime put in some extra. ;)

Want fresh pumpkin? It will taste better! Take 4-5 small pie pumpkins, cut in them into halves (or quarters), and place into the slow cooker for 4 hours, then scoop out the flesh and blend or puree (or mash with a potato masher. Or I use a hand mixer.) You can also bake the fresh pumpkin- place the pumpkins flesh-side-down in a roasting pan with a cup of water. Bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes. Scoop and puree.

NOTE: Even if you can this, it MUST BE REFRIGERATED. It should last 4-6 months in your fridge if sealed.