Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dinner This Week

After 2 weeks of sickness, company, and general life craziness I am hoping to return to some semblance of normalcy this week. So, I am writing a dinner menu. Cross your fingers.

Monday - hamburgers and veggies
Tuesday - potato soup
Wednesday - dinner at church
Thursday - buffalo chicken sandwiches
Friday - dinner out with the Ericksons (RR I hope!)
Saturday - corned beef and cabbage
Sunday - tbd

What are you having this week?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chicken Soup with Brown and Wild Rice

As with most of my cooking, this soup doesn't have an exact recipe. My first attempt at making something similar was off of a recipe found on 365crockpot if you want to google it. That being said, this is my favorite soup to make at home and all of my kids eat it.

4 1/2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of water
2 chicken breasts cooked and chunked (if I remember correctly, the original recipe you put them in raw and let them cook, but I didn't like that so I precook mine)
1 box of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1/2-1 cup of brown rice (This isn't in the original recipe, but I like more rice in it as well as a more thicker versus runny soup. I normally just grab a couple of handfuls of rice and plop it in. A white rice could also be used as well as using Costco's wild rice mix)
1 cup of diced carrots or shredded if preferred
1 cup of diced celery
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup of half and half (fat-free does work in this)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the broth, water, carrots, celery, chicken, rice and box of Rice-a-Roni with seasoning packet in a large crockpot or pot for stove. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. If you put your chicken in raw take it out and cube or shred it and put it back in.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour (and I normally do a dash of pepper) by tablespoon to make a roux. Whisk in the half and half a little at a time until fully mixed and smooth. Stir cream mixture into soup and cook on low for 15 more minutes. (The original recipe had the amounts of the cream mixture at least doubled. I don't know if it is having added more rice or not, but for me, it is way too much and steals from the flavors and makes it a bit bland and too thick. The way I fixed that problem was to add chicken bouillon granules and water) Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy the comfort food!

This makes enough to feed 4 adults and 6 kids ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Frozen Blueberry Muffins

2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cups of sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Cream together butter and sugar in seperate bowl. Add eggs, mil and vanilla and mix well. Stir in dry ingredients until moistened. Fold in frozen blueberries. Spoon into muffin tins and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12-18 muffins depending on size of blueberries.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cranberry Bliss Bars


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Drizzling Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and mix well. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into the greased pan, using a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Spread on the completely cool cake. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.

Drizzling Icing:
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp of milk, powdered sugar, and vegetable shortening. Gradually add more milk until the icing has a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. Put the icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags.

Cut into squares or triangles and enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ham and Potato Soup

I found this on pinterest and is was SO good! I did NOT add the chicken bouillon granules to the water because I cooked the hambone in water and used that as stock which had a lot of flavor. Enjoy!


3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
4 slices american cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

Another pinterest success! This is super yummy!

2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1 stalk celery, finely chopped (feel free to add more celery if you like celery; I don't, so I don't add much)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth (I usually use a mixture of low-sodium chicken broth and broth made with chicken soup base because it gives it such nice flavor)
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup milk
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese

Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes. Add chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender. Mix flour with water, add, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened. Add milk and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender and soup is heated through. Stir in cheese, allow to melt, and serve.

30 Minute Rolls

Found this recipe on pinterest. These rolls are a cinch and really yummy! My only advice is to bake a couple minutes longer than it says. They seemed to need it.


1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water

1/3 C oil

2 Tbsp yeast

1/4 C sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

3 1/2 C flour

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour. Knead with hook until will incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes)

Form dough into 12 balls and then place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

No-bake Granola Bites

This is pretty much a granola bar in a bite size ball. Easy and quick to pull together.
1 cup quick oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup of coconut flakes
1/2 cup of ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chocolate chips or other add-ins (craisens, nuts, etc)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix everything in a bowl except the peanut butter. Slightly warm the peanut butter in the microwave (it's only about 30 seconds in my microwave). Pour peanut butter over mix and stir it in to coat everything. Chill in the refrigerator for a half and hour. Remove from fridge and roll into balls. Keep in refrigerator.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homemade Hot Pockets

Here's something I've been having fun with lately. Make your dough and then get creative with the fillings.

1 package yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups flour, more as needed

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar. Let it set for a few minutes until foamy.

Stir in oil, salt, and flour. Knead 5 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes.

Divide dough into serving size pieces. (I make about 8) Roll and pat each piece into a circle (about 6-inches across or so). Top half of each circle with filling of choice, keeping back from edges so it will seal well. Fold the other 1/2 of circle over the filling and pinch sides together or seal with a fork.

Poke a couple steam vents and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

So far I have filled mine with...
Spaghetti sauce, Mozzarella and Pepperoni
Cream of chicken soup, broccoli, leftover chicken cut into bite size pieces

Leftover beef gravy, onion, peppers, leftover roast beef cut into bite size pieces

Sometime soon I'd like to try a breakfast variety. Maybe cheese sauce, ham and scrambled egg?

So far they've all turned out pretty good. I have learned to put a bit more sauce in them than you think you'll need. Otherwise they may turn out kinda dry. I hear they freeze well, but have never tried it myself. Have fun!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Creamy Ham 'n' Mac

2 c. elbow macaroni
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1-1/2 c. diced ham
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni; drain and set aside. In large pan, melt butter; whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk, bouillon and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in 1 c. cheddar cheese, ham, Parmesan and macaroni.

Transfer to a greased 2 quart dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.