Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Cookbook Recipe #25

Do you have cookbooks that all the pages are stuck together? That is how this cookbook is. I have cooked a couple of recipes in this book so many times that all the pages are so full of crud grime. I like it though! My mom gave me a bunch of cookbooks awhile ago and this was one of them. It has the wonton soup recipe in it that I absolutely love. But I wanted to make a new recipe out of here so I decided to make the chicken and wild rice soup. I have made chicken and wild rice soup before and it did not turn out very well. This one came out much better because I stuck to the recipe a little more then I did last least with the liquid measurements. I like a lot of rice in my soup so I did a little more then the recipe called for. Phil really liked this one a lot. It did not make that much though, so if you want leftovers you would want to double the soup for sure.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Betty Crocker's Soups and Stews Cookbook

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup white wine

Wash wild rice in wire strainer.

Heat chicken broth and rice to boiling in a dutch oven. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes, until rice is tender.

Meanwhile cook mushrooms, butter and garlic in a skillet for about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir to combine.

Add mushrooms to soup and stir well until flour is not lumpy.

Add chicken, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Heat to boiling.

Add cream and wine. Heat until just hot.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Italian Country Style Ribs and Tomatoes

If you are looking for a good stick to your ribs comfort  food recipe this is it. This is one of those better the next day recipes as well. Phil cooked the Italian country style ribs and tomatoes tonight because it takes 2 and a half hours to make. Which makes the ribs tender and juicy as they cook in the sauce. We really like this dish, can you tell?! This is the recipe that Phil burnt the crap out of his hand when taking the dutch oven out of the oven. It was the first time he ever used it. He grabbed the pot lid right after he took it out of the stove with his bare hand. Which I can see how you could do it because it looks like a pot that you would normally grab the lid bare handed. He learned his lesson though and had a pot holder in his hand the whole time. The dish came out great, and I know it will be awesome for lunch tomorrow!

Italian Style Country Style Ribs with Tomatoes
Adapted from Blue Kitchen

1/4 cup olive oil
3 pounds boneless country style ribs
1 28oz can Italian Plum tomatoes with puree or juices, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pat ribs dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven. Brown ribs well on both sides, turning them a couple times about 10 minutes.

Transfer ribs to a plate and reduce heat to medium.

Add carrot and celery to pot and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in garlic, rosemary, and paprika and cook an additional minute. Add wine and scrape up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Cook for about 3 minutes until wine is almost evaporated.

Return ribs to pot and pour tomatoes on top. Cover pot and transfer to oven.

Braise ribs until very tender 2 - 2 1/2 hours, carefully turning them about halfway through.

Serve with pasta.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sweet Potato Turkey Shepards Pie

I know people are always looking for ways to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving so I thought this recipe for turkey shepards pie with sweet potatoes would be a good one for now. This is a good way to use up alreay made sweet potatoes. Then you just have to make the filling. You could also use regular potatoes and/or leftover turkey instead of ground turkey to use up other leftovers. Or if you have any leftover vegetables, you could use in place of the frozen vegetables. The possibilities are endless!
This is one of those recipes that I feel like I am running all over the kitchen while making because there is a lot of components. So using premade potatoes would help with that. I, today, did not have leftover potatoes. Sometimes it is more fun when its a little crazy. I really like shepards pie though so it is worth it to me. This is a healthier twist on the classic version as well as it is made with sweet potatoes and ground turkey. We did like how this came out but I would have to say it is hard to beat regular shepards pie.
Sweet Potato Turkey Shepards Pie
Adapted from Skinny Taste
For the Potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
For the filling:
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 oz mushrooms
10 oz frozen mixed vegetables
2 tablspoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons tomato paste
Boil sweet potatoes in a pot until cooked and soft 15-20 minutes. Drain and mash with chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large saute pan brown turkey until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. When cooked set aside.
Add butter to pan. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook 4 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add vegetables, chicken broth, tomato paste, cooked turkey and poultry seasoning. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes on low.
In a large oven proof casserole dish pour filling. Then top with mashed sweet potatoes.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chicken Marsala in the Slow Cooker

Phil and I have are having a holiday party next weekend so this weekend I am decorating the house for the holidays. I love decorating for Christmas, especially now that we have a house. My mom's best friend Kristy has a bed and breakfast and decorates her house so extravagant and really pretty. So my mom and I now try to emulate that in our own houses. Kristy has a large tree in every room in her house and they all match the decorations that are in the rooms. It is very beautiful. So I decided I wanted to have a tree in every room in my house as well. They are not all large trees though. We have our large main Christmas tree in our family room and all the others are of varying sizes but are mostly smaller. Even though my house does not look near as extravagant as Kristy's it does still take me all day to decorate. It does look very pretty! I always get excited to see what people think of it too.

Because I have been decorating like crazy I knew I would want a dinner that would be ready for me when I was ready. So I figured the slow cooker would fit the bill. Chicken Marsala is one of my favorites so when I found this recipe for it in the slow cooker I knew I had to make it. The only thing I would change about this is that I would probably not cook it as long because the chicken gets a little on the dry side. The sauce is good to put on it to make it taste juicier, but I think if I cooked it maybe an hour less it would be better. 

Chicken Marsala in the Slow Cooker
Adapted from Pillsbury

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8oz mushrooms
1 cup sweet marsala wine
1/2 cup water
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
Angel hair pasta for serving, if desired

In a slow cooker place garlic and oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Top with mushrooms and wine. 

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. 

Remove chicken from slow cooker. 

In a small bowl mix cornstarch and water until smooth. Pour into slow cooker. Add beef broth. Increase the temperature to high and cook and additional 10 minutes. 

Add chicken back in and cook an additional 5 minutes. 

Serve over pasta or rice. Top with parsley.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ham and Bean Soup

Cookbook Project #24

Since I had a thanksgiving dinner this last weekend I have sooo many leftovers of course. I never do anything with them, which is really silly because I usually end up throwing so much of it away. I made a ham this weekend so I saved the bone because I like to make ham and bean soup. Ham and bean soup is a great way to use up leftover ham from Thanksgiving. You can use the ham bone to flavor the soup. It does take a little bit longer to make because of this because you want to get a rich flavor for the broth. I cut up a bunch of leftover ham to go in the soup as well. I put my celery in the last 15 minutes because I do not like when it gets mushy, but you could add it in with the carrots if you prefer.

 My mom would always send leftovers home with me in the past after Thanksgiving when I was in college, but this is the first time I have ever turned leftovers into something else.  I know a lot of people get weird about ham and bean soup, but I really like it and think it is really hearty.

Ham and Bean Soup
Portsmouth Iowa St. Mary's Parish Cookbook 2007

4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 15oz cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 ham bone, or ham hock
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt, to taste

In a large dutch oven saute carrots until tender.

Add chicken broth, pepper and ham bone. Cook over medium low heat for one hour.

After one hour add beans and cut up ham. Cook for another 45 minutes.

Add celery the last 15 minutes.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Apricot Cranberry Chutney

My dad and my brother came in to town this weekend. I figured because they were in town so close to Thanksgiving that I would make Thanksgiving dinner for them and then I also invited over the in-laws. We had enough food for an army that's for sure. But it would not be my style if I did not have enough food for an army.

Phil's dad brought us over his turkey fryer so we deep fried our first turkey. Phil first injected it with creole butter and rubbed the outside with creole seasoning. We love the creole butter for injecting into roast chickens so we figured it would be really good in the turkey as well.

Here are some shots of the action:

Phil's Dad Dave making sure the fryer will be level
                                                  Phil and Dave lighting the fryer

Phil putting the turkey on the fryer

Phil just messing around,getting prepared case!

Cooking the turkey

Our spread, way too much food!

We had the deep fried turkey, brown sugar and mustard glazed spiral ham, corn, creamy mashed potatoes, apricot cranberry chutney, crescent rolls and pumpkin cake roll for dessert. 

Our chef at my work made the apricot cranberry chutney last year at our Thanksgiving lunch. It was so good that I asked him for the recipe. So I ended up making it for our friends Thanksgiving last year after I had it at work and everyone really liked it. My brother says that it tastes like you would think potpourri would taste like. Which sounds so disgusting but it is a very good comparison because it does have a very sensual taste.
It is a good new twist to cranberry sauce. 

Apricot Cranberry Chutney
Adapted from  

1/3 cup diced dried apricots
1 (12oz) package craisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

In a medium bowl mix together the apricots, cranberries, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves. 

In a saucepan boil the water with the sugar until sugar is dissolved. 

Add in the dried fruit mixture and vinegar, bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and cook for 5 minutes. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

PW's Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Cookbook Recipe #23

I would recommend anyone to get the Pioneer Women Cookbooks. I got the first cookbook: The Pioneer Women Cooks last year and I have since signed up for Ree Drummond's blog and have cooked several recipes from both of her cookbooks and her website. Every recipe has been delicious including these mashed potatoes. I have made these potatoes a few times now. The cream cheese just adds a completely new element to the potatoes. You do not even need butter on these potatoes because the flavor is so good. The recipe below is a little different than the one in the cookbook in that the one in the cookbook calls to use 5 pounds of potatoes. I was only feeding 3 people so 5 pounds of potatoes would have been a stretch so below is the recipe for 4 people.

PW's Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from The Pioneer Women Cooks by Ree Drummond

5 large baby red potatoes, skin on
3 tablespoons of butter
2 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add potatoes and cook, with the lid on, for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Drain water and mash potatoes with the skin on.

Add the rest of ingredients and mash until well combined and creamy.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

I must be in an Italian mood lately as my last couple posts have been Italianesque. I don't think that is a word, but it sounds right haha.

I got this recipe in an email from a blog that I subscribe to a couple weeks ago. I thought it sounded really good. I really like regular meatloaf so I have a hard time trying different recipes for different types of meatloaf because I think it is hard to beat the real thing. This meatloaf was really good. It tasted very similar to chicken parmesan (even though I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken. I think the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese inside the meatloaf gave the breading flavor and then the sauce and cheese on top completed the parmesan piece. It was really good. It was a great new twist on an old classic.

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf
Adapted from Proud Italian

1 pound ground turkey (or chicken)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine ground turkey, egg, basil, oregano, minced garlic, onion salt, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Mix well and pour into a greased loaf pan.

Top with pasta sauce.

Bake 45 minutes.

Top with shredded mozzarella and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Caprese Soup

You all know that I looovvee soup! One soup that I have always really wanted to like is french onion soup. But you know that I do not like onions so I don't eat french onion soup. I saw this recipe for caprese soup recently and thought, now there is an idea! A way for me to enjoy the yummy, cheesy goodness of the french onion soup in a way that I would like. I knew I had to try this.

My parents have been bringing out loads of my stuff from all my years and home and college, everytime they come out. In one of the boxes I came across the soup crocks that you see in the picture. I was super excited about them. I know they are generally used for french onion soup, so I knew I would have to use them for this recipe. I was excited to use them what they are made for!

This soup was really good. And actually pretty filling. Soups can sometimes not be so filling for me anyway. This was also really easy and quick to make because you can use pre-made ingredients  I really enjoyed this new twist on an old favorite. 

Caprese Soup

Tomato soup (use your favorite variety)
Prepared Basil Pesto
French Bread, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
Buffalo Mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat up your favorite tomato soup over medium heat. 

Place sliced bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 7 minutes or until bread is toasty. 

Once bread is done spread each slice with pesto. Top each slice with a piece of mozzarella.

Flip oven over to broil.

Pour prepared tomato soup into oven proof crocks or bowls. 

Place 2 to 3 cheese topped bread slices in each crock.

Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cherry Bars

Cookbook Recipe # 22

I was going through some of my cookbooks this last weekend looking for what recipes I am going to post for each one. I was looking though my community cookbooks. I am sure everyone has at least one of these at home. I tend to forget about these cookbooks I think because they do not have any pictures. I just love looking at the pictures in all my cookbooks. Although they do not have pictures, they should not be forgotten because the community cookbooks a lot of times have some of the best recipes there are. Recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Recipes that you know have been made over and over again by several family members.

When looking through some of my community cookbooks I found a recipe that I have been looking for, for a very long time: Cherry Bars. I remember several different people having these at parties. Mostly I remember my piano teacher Karla always having these bars after our piano recitals. I got so excited after the recital to get to have at least one of the cherry bars. I was so excited when I came across this recipe and knew I had to make them right away!

Cherry Bars
Hey Good Lookin' What's Cooking?

1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 can cherry pie filling
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, combine margarine and sugar until well blended. Add remaining ingredients, except pie filling and mix well.

Pour half of batter in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Top with pie filling. Then top with remaining batter by spoonfuls over filling.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Salisbury Steak

How many of you loved going to the store with your mom or dad growing up and picking out Kid's Cuisine? I sure did! I loved the wheels and cheese Kid's Cuisine. I used to think it was so cool to have  TV dinner.  I know one TV dinner I never would have wanted to eat as a kid would be salisbury steak. I really like it now, but that was the worst getting the salisbury steak for lunch at school even.
I got the TV trays that you see in the photo in spirit of TV dinners. I think they are super fun, although I think Phil thought I was silly using them.

I got this recipe from the Pioneer Women. I changed it up a little bit as the recipe called for putting onions on top of the steak, where I decided to do mushrooms. We really liked this recipe a lot. The gravy gives so much flavor to the meat. It is a good switch up to a burger or steak dinner.

Salisbury Steak
Adapted from the Pioneer Women

Meat Mixture:
1 pound ground round
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 cube beef bouillon
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup

1 carton sliced mushrooms
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon kitchen bouquet
1 teaspoon corn starch

Combine all the ingredients for the meat mixture and mix until well combined. For into 4 to 6 oval shaped patties.

Fry patties in a skillet over medium high heat on no longer pink about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a separate skillet, brown mushrooms.

Once mushrooms are browned, reserving a small bit of 1/4 cup of beef stock on the side, add rest beef stock, salt, pepper, kitchen bouquet and garlic salt. With reserved beef stock, mix in corn starch. Mix well until not lumpy and then add to gravy. Bring gravy to a boil to thicken.

Pour gravy over steaks and serve.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Phil's Chili

Every once and awhile on a Sunday in the fall or winter Phil and I will have a chili day. We will start early in the afternoon and both make a batch of chili for dinner. I like my chili a little plainer than Phil does so that is why we each make our own. Phil will put in peppers, onions, tomatoes in his and I just stick to beans and turkey. He has always gotten a lot of compliments on his chili when he makes it for other people which is why I figured I would post his recipe today.

Phil's Chili

1 pound ground turkey
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 14.5oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5oz can chili beans
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
2 serrano chilies, diced with seeds
1 white onion, diced
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic

In a large pot brown ground turkey. Add rest of ingredients and cook for 5 hours on low with cover on to keep in moisture. Slide lid off part way the last hour to thicken.

Serve with your favorite toppings.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nutella Banana Stuffed French Toast

My husband Phil is a firefighter and works 24 hour shifts, so on the weekends when he gets off shift I like to make breakfast. I am always looking for new breakfast ideas in my cookbooks and magazines. I found this recipe for Nutella Banana Stuffed French Toast in The Picky Palate Cookbook by Jenny Flake that I just got recently. I recommend this book, if you are a cookbook fan like me, there is a lot of simple but not everyday recipes in it. This is the second recipe that I have made from it already and they both have been great.  Phil loves nutella, as do I recently so I figured this recipe would be a big hit with him. He came home from work and said "why is there nutella and bread on the counter?" I told him what I was making and he said "WOOAAHHH!" He was super excited about it. And for good reason because it was awesome! I definitely used more nutella then was called for in the recipe. The recipe called for a tablespoon per sandwich and I probably but 1 tablespoon and a half to 2 tablespoons per sandwich. Nutella has been is so many recipes that I have been seeing recently. I love it!

Nutella Banana Stuffed French Toast
Picky Palate Cookbook, By Jenny Flake

4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 slices bread
3-6 tablespoons nutella
2 medium bananas, sliced 1/8 inch thick
Powdered sugar

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Add eggs, milk, brown sugar and vanilla to a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Dip the bread in the egg mixture on both sides.

Add bread to skillet and cook about 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat.

Once bread is browned spread 1/2 -1 tablespoon of nutella on each bread slice. Top 3 of the bread slices with the sliced bananas. Top the bread slices that have bananas with the remaining bread slices.

Top with maple syrup and confectioners sugar if desired.

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