"Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup

I got this recipe from my mom. It is one of my favorite meals and always has been. The only thing missing here is a bread bowl. I've been craving it since it's cooled down. And since I'm in Arizona by "cool down", I mean in the 60's. I've been freezing! :)

2 large or 3 smaller heads of Broccoli or
a bag of frozen broccoli that you can steam in the microwave
6 Tbsp Butter
3/4 Cup Flour
6 Cups Milk
8 oz of shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 Chicken Bouillon cubes
Salt & Pepper to taste

If you are using fresh broccoli, wash it and cut it up. In a big pot, cook your broccoli in a couple inches of water.  If you are using frozen steam-able broccoli, then wait until further instructed.

Pour 6 cups of milk into microwave safe bowl and heat for about 5 minutes or cook in a pot on the stove over medium heat, careful not to curdle it.

To make a roux (to thicken the soup), get a large pot and melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour to melted butter and whisk for about a minute to get rid of the floury taste.

Add the warm/hot milk slowly and whisk until thick (10-15 minutes).  If you add cold milk this process will take much longer and your arm will be very sore.

While you're doing this put the frozen broccoli in the microwave and cook as directed.

Once the roux has thickened, take it off the heat and stir in the cheese.

Cut up the broccoli as small as you would like it and add it.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.  If it is too thick you can add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup more milk or water to thin it.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

French Bread Pizza

1 loaf French Bread
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove
3 Tbsp or so of Italian Seasoning
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

Cut french bread length-wise as evenly as possible. I wasn't very good at that. In a small bowl, mix olive oil and minced garlic. Brush onto bread. Sprinkle about 2 Tbsp of seasoning onto the bread. Put in an oven at 350 for about 5 minutes. Take out and spoon and smooth pizza sauce over the bread leaving about 1/2 inch before the edge. Then top with cheese and more italian seasoning. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. You can also use more of your favorite pizza toppings.
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Chicken Parmesan

FYI for my recipes. My hubby is lactose intolerant so usually when I call for some diary product, I either substitute it for his milk or a product that has lesser levels of lactose, like mozzarella cheese. So this isn't really Chicken Parmesan, it's more like Chicken Mozzarella. I also used linguine here instead of spaghetti. I think I like it better with spaghetti.

2 Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Flour
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Milk
1 1/2 C. Seasoned Bread Crumbs
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
Spaghetti Sauce

Place the chicken inbetween 2 sheets of plastic wrap or place in a large ziploc bag. Using a meat mallot, pound it until nearly flat. Cut each piece of chicken into serving size pieces.
Mix the eggs and milk together. Cover the chicken in the flour, then the egg and milk mixture, then the seasoned bread crumbs. Place oil in frying pan and get warm. Brown the chicken in the oil on both sides and place in baking dish. Cook at 350 for about 45 minutes or until chicken is done. Start boiling the water for the spaghetti about 15 minutes before the chicken is done. When chicken is cooked, top the chicken with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. Place back in oven until cheese has melted.
Place chicken and spaghetti sauce on top of spaghetti.
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BBQs (A.K.A. Sloppy Joes)

Not the best picture, sorry. We were in a hurry to eat and the bun looks like it's already had a bite taken out of it. It hasn't.

I grew up with these being called BBQs. Which I think was smart. If my mom had tried to serve me a Sloppy Joe, she would have been turned down and it would have been fast. I still don't like calling them Sloppy Joes. It reminds me of the lunch lady on Billy Madison. To get my little boy to eat these, we call them Krabby Patties. For those Spongebob fans, you know what that is. Although that's a Cheeseburger and this clearly isn't. We call Cheeseburgers Krabby Patties, too.

1 lb Hamburger
1 can Chicken Gumbo Soup
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp Mustard
Hamburger Buns

Brown hamburger and drain fat. Add other ingredients (minus the hambuger buns), stir, and heat through for about 5 minutes. Dish onto hamburger buns and enjoy!
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Zucchini & Squash

1 Zucchini
1 Squash
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Favorite Seasoning - I use DeVerl's, you could use Season All or just salt and pepper

Wash, slice and put in frying pan with olive oil and favorite seasoning. Cook on medium heat frequently stirring for 5-10 minutes. Once it starts to brown or get tender, it's done.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Melt In Your Mouth Cinnamon Rolls

Use my Mom's Homemade Rolls recipe listed under the bread label.

1/2 cube melted butter or margarine
Brown Sugar

Follow directions of Mom's Homemade Roll Recipe until you get to where you've just rolled out the dough. Don't cut it. Instead, spread the melted margarine around with a pastry brush. Then add enough brown sugar to cover that, I'm not exactly sure how much that is. Then sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
Roll up very carefully and cut with a bread knife into pieces. Place in greased baking pans, (I use round cake pans) and let rise for about an hour. Then cook at 375 for 8-9 minutes.

3 Cups Powdered Sugar
6 Tbsp. Margarine or Butter melted
3 Tbsp. Milk
1 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

Mix well and pour over warm cinnamon rolls.
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Cheesy Biscuits

I got this recipe from Mandi Freestone who made these for us a while ago and I've been craving them ever since.
I didn't realize they were so easy or I would have done it a long time ago.

1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Cheese
1 3/4 Cup Bisquick
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
1 Tbsp or so of Garlic Salt
2 Tbsp. Parsley

Mix ingredients together well and place on a greased baking dish or I used greased muffin tins. I use a Pampered Chef medium scoop which is 2 Tbsp to scoop them into the muffin tins. 1 batch made 12 bisquits.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, remove from oven.  Top with melted butter, garlic salt, and parsley.  Place back in oven and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

I didn't have any parsley on hand and this was a very last minute addition to tonight's dinner so I skipped that part.

Just to prove how easy all of the dishes are that I made tonight for dinner are, here's the list.

Pork Loin
Rolls & Cinnamon Rolls made out of one batch of dough
Cheesy Biscuits
Roasted Asparagus
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Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of Asparagus - the thinner the asparagus, the better!
1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Wash and cut or snap off ends of asparagus. Place on baking dish and brush olive oil onto asparagus. Then cover with salt and pepper.
Cook at 350 for 10 minutes.
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Tasty Pork Loin

1 Pork Tenderloin
1 McCormick's Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin Bag & Seasoning Packet

Follow directions on seasoning packet which are to put the pork in the bag that comes with the seasoning, put the seasoning in the bag and shake it around making sure all of the pork is covered, cut 4 slots in the bag and cook it. Super easy!

Sometimes I'll add a little water to the pork half-way through and cut it in slices so it will cook faster. Comes out so tender and tasty!

But.... I don't actually use a tenderloin. I buy a pork centerloin and cut it in half, freezing half for next time. Plus it's a lot cheaper.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pot Stickers

Pot Stickers:
1 pound Ground Pork
1/2 medium head Napa Cabbage (aka Chinese Cabbage)
1 Green Onion
1 tsp. Ginger
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. White Sugar
1 tsp. Sesame Oil
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 package of Won Ton Wrappers

Brown Pork. Drain the fat. Finely chop cabbage and green onion. In a medium size bowl mix browned pork, cabbage, onion, ginger, salt, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Lay out a few won ton wrappers at a time (so they don't dry out) and fill with 1 Tbsp of pork mixture. Using a pastry brush, brush the sides with water. Fold and pinch to seal.

If serving with rice, now would be a good time to start the rice. We prefer sticky rice. But you can use whatever kind you like.

If you want them steamed, get the water hot and then put the potstickers in the top pan of the steamer and let sit for a 5 - 10 minutes.

If you want them browned in a pan, heat 3 Tbsp. of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place the pot stickers into the oil, seam sides up. Stirring constantly, heat 30 seconds to a minute. Pour 3/4 cups water into the skillet. Gently boil 7 to 8 minutes, until oil and water begin to sizzle, then add 2 Tbsp. of vegetable oil. When the bottoms begin to brown, remove pot stickers from heat.

Dipping Sauce:
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 drops of Sesame Oil

Mix well.

The steamed pot stickers were my favorite out of the two but I will admit that I didn't fully read the instructions for how to brown the pot stickers. I did them more like egg rolls and fried them in hot oil. They were still good but tasted more like egg rolls than pot stickers.  My bad. But I will say that even my kids, who don't eat much of what I make, loved this and ate this up. I didn't make all of the pot stickers tonight so I put the leftover pork mixture in the fridge and I can make more tomorrow.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Mexican Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts - cubed or whole
3 Cups Salsa
1 Cup Water
2 Cups Minute Rice
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Put chicken, salsa, and water in frying pan and cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Turn chicken often and make sure salsa doesn't stick to the pan. If it does, add more water. When chicken's cooked, add rice. You can add more salsa or water if you need to. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add cheddar cheese and let melt.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Soft Gingersnaps

This is a family recipe and one reason why I love the Holidays!

1 1/2 Cups Shortening
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Molasses
2 Eggs
4 1/2 Cups Flour
4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Cloves
1 tsp. Ginger

Cream shortening and brown sugar. Mix in molasses and eggs.
Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet ingredients. Mix well. Roll into balls and roll in sugar.
Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.
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Hasselback Potatoes

I got this recipe from My Kitchen Cafe who got it from someone else who got it from Sweet Basil which I've just discovered and really like. Not sure why this dish is called what it is, but it is.
I did change the recipe a little bit. It calls for more garlic and butter, and I added DeVerl's Seasoning. So here's what I did.

3 Medium Size Potatoes
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. DeVerl's Seasoning
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Place potatoes on cutting board and cut thin slices almost all the way through. Place in baking dish and put garlic in between potato slices. Pour on Olive Oil and the seasonings. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes or until crispy.
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Banana Shakes

I grew up with my mom making these for me. She always used to say that it was healthy because it has bananas and milk in it. So I'm going to stick with that.

These measurements are more of a guess than anything. I don't ever actually measure when I make it, I just do what I think looks good. But when I made them today I paid pretty close attention to what I put in and did the best I could at guessing how much it was.

2 Ripe Bananas
1 1/2 Cups Vanilla Ice Cream
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup Milk

I used store bought chocolate milk today
and it didn't taste a ton different but it was definitely yummy

Mix all ingredients in the blender until there are no more chunks.
Serves 3 medium size servings or 2 large servings
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Honey Glazed Chicken

I got this recipe from a recipe blog called My Sisters' Cucina. You'll love it if you like curry. This dinner was super yummy and I give them full credit. Carson even said it was good and he usually won't try my food so you know it's gotta be good. Mine looked different than theirs but either way is fine.

Honey Glazed Chicken
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup butter
4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, salt and cayenne pepper together in a large ziploc bag. Drop chicken in bag and shake to coat. Melt butter and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place flour coated chicken in baking dish and turn to coat both sides with butter. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Honey Glaze Sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine all ingredients. Pour over chicken until well coated. Bake for an additional 45 minutes. Serve over rice.
(Keep your eye on it so it doesn't burn)

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