Friday, March 28, 2008

Ham and potato Soup

3 1/2 c. peeled and diced potato's. (i used red ones).
1/3 c. diced celery
1/3 c. chopped carrots
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
3/4 c. diced cooked ham
1 clove chopped garlic
1 can chicken stock plus 2 can fulls of water
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
5 T. butter
5 T. flour
2 c. milk

Combine veggies, onion, garlic a ham in large soup pan. saute for a few minutes and then add chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, the cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook stirring constantly until thick, about one minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form. continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the soup and cook until heated through. We like to top ours with grated cheese and chopped green onions, and have breadsticks to dip into the soup. yummy!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gooey caramel bars

32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (I used 1 bag of the kraft caramel bits - awesome because you don't have to unwrap them!!!)
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( i used milk chocolate, because I like them better...)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Cut into squares while it is still warm.

***Tip from my friend: use about 3/4 of the oat mixture to cover the bottom of the pan and just save about 1/4 to crumble over the top. Works better this way.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Honey Wheat Bread

As I have said before... I HEART any kind of homemade breads or rolls! This one is definitely a keeper (and healthy too!) My kids loved it fresh out of the oven!!!

1 package rapid rise yeast
1 t. white sugar
1/2 c. warm water

Mix and set aside.

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. melted shortening
1/4 c. honey
2 t. salt
2 c. whole wheat flour
3 c. bread flour
2 T. butter

Combine milk, 1/4 c. water, shortening, honey, salt and wheat flour in food processor or bowl. Mix in yeast mixture, and let rest 15 minutes. Add white flour, and process until dough forms a ball. Knead dough 80 seconds more in mixer or 10 minutes by hand. Place dough in bettered bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.
Punch down, and divide dough in half. Roll out each half, and pound out the bubbles. Form into loaves, and place in buttered 9x5 inch bread pans. Butter the tops of the dough, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise is a warm place until doubled; about 30 minutes.
Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 375*. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until tops are dark, golden brown. Butter crusts while warm. Slice when cool and enjoy!!

***I doubled the honey and used melted butter instead of the shortening!!! ****
***I have also made it where I substituted applesauce instead of the butter (which is probably my favorite way....

Yummy dinner!

So I just made a very delish dinner tonight and wanted to share! The recipes are below for barbecued chicken and warm potato salad. Let me know what you think!!!! Smooches!

Barbecued chicken from Barefoot Contessa

I made this for dinner tonight and it is one of the best barbeque sauces I have ever made!

2 chickens, quartered with backs removed (they come already cut at the grocery store)

Barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 c. chopped yellow onion
1 T. minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/2 c. veg oil
1 c. tomato paste
1 c. cider vinegar
1 c. honey
1/2 c. worcestershire sauce
1 c. dijon mustard
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 c. hoisin sauce
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1/2 T. crushed red pepper flakes

In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the veg oil for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are translucent, but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in refrigerator.

Marinate chicken pieces in 2/3 of sauce for 2 hours to overnight. (reserve some sauce for basting). Cook on grill on low heat until done. (about 45 minutes).

***This sauce is really yummy, but we had trouble with it burning on our grill due to the long cooking time. Next time, I will just use boneless, skinless chicken for a shorter cooking time so the sauce doesn't burn.

Grilled Italian-style Potato Salad

This is so yummy and so easy!!!!

2 lb. small red potatoes, halved
1/3 c. water
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. kraft zesty italian dressing
1/4 c. real mayonnaise
4 slices bacon, cooked to a crisp and crumbled
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place potatoes in 2 qt. microwaveable bowl. Add water; cover with lid. Microwave on high 8 min; drain. Add garlic and 2 T. of the dressing and toss to coat.
Spray large sheet of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray. Spoon potato mix onto center of foil. Bring up sides and make into a "packet" leaving room for heat circulation inside.
Grill 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender, turning packet over after 10 minutes. Mix may and remaining 2 T. of dressing in large bowl. Add potatoes, bacon, and onions and toss to coat. Serve warm.

***Those were the "book" instructions - These are my changes (which I like a lot better!)
First: I covered a sheet pan with olive oil, salted my potatoes and garlic and roasted them in a 420* oven for about 35 minutes. (I didn't microwave or put them on the grill). I mixed the other ingredients in a bowl and then tossed in the warm potatoes right out of the oven...yum!
Second: I doubled the "sauce" - so instead of 1/4 c. italian dressing and 1/4 c. mayo, I used 1/2 c. of each.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Asian Noodle Salad

This is from "pioneer woman cooks". I am making it for dinner tonight. We will see how it goes...

1 packages linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled
1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin (if available)
1 small bag bean sprouts (also called “mung bean sprouts”)
3 sliced scallions
3 peeled, sliced cucumbers
LOTS of chopped cilantro—up to one bunch
1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet


Juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 hot peppers or jalapeƱos, chopped
More chopped cilantro—LOTS

Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.*Dressing keeps up to three days before serving, WITHOUT cilantro.


Share with us all! If you have any recipes you would like me to post or try, email them to me: . Thanks for sharing your kitchens with me! Happy cooking!

Click on the link to recieve email updates when I post new recipes!!!!