Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another day, another Mexi- Soup...ruts

Enchilada Pasta Soup
(adapted from pillsbury.com)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 14 oz can creamed sweet corn (we didn't have so I just threw in corn I tried to smash)
  • 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 can green chilies
  • 1 chicken breast or 1 can chicken
  • about 4 oz acine de pepe (little teensy cute pastas located in pasta section)
  • 3/4 t. cumin
  • sprinkle oregano
  • 1/4 t. onion powder
optional: cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips for topping

1. Throw all (but pasta) into crock pot.

2. Cook 2 1/2- 3 hours on high or 4-5 on low.
3. Shred chicken, add pasta and cook for 20 more minutes.
4. Serve.

We are clearly in a Mexican soup rut! But it's a good place to be.
I don't know what would happen if I cooked the pasta dots longer...possibly they're so teeny there might not be a problem with getting too soggy. So the pasta is what makes this soup different from all the other taco soups I've posted. And this is really good with that fun pasta! We loved it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Warm and yummy Mexi-Soup!

Crock Pot Enchilada Chicken Soup
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained ( I throw in frozen sweet corn)
  • 1 packet enchilada sauce mix
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (I like using just one)
  1. In crock pot, mix the enchilada packet together with the water and tomato sauce.
  2. Add cream of chicken soup and milk and whisk together until smooth.
  3. Add chicken.
  4. Pour drained black beans and drained corn on top of that.
  5. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3.
  6. Before serving, take out chicken and shred, then put back and stir it all together.
Serve with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips...whatever you like.

This is different from my normal ground beef taco soup and my snowman chili, which is why I am happy adding it to my rotation along with the others. I like the flavor the red enchilada sauce brings, along with the milk/cream of chicken soup blend. Worth trying! We enjoyed it! And it's fast and easy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cheesy Chicken crock pot recipe

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken and Broccoli over Rice
(adapted from pickypalate.com)
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cheddar soup
  • 8 oz chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt seasoning
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 cups broccoli florets, lightly steamed, just fork tender
  • shredded cheddar cheese on top (optional)

1. Place soups, chicken broth, Cajun and garlic seasoning into a crock pot over low heat. Whisk until smooth. Place chicken in, pressing to the bottom. Cover lid and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

2. When chicken is cooked, use 2 forks to shred into bite size pieces. Stir in sour cream and broccoli.

3. Serve over steamed rice and sprinkle with cheese.

This was really good! More flavor than I thought it would have. All the kids ate it happily, which is always a surprise. The cajun seasoning added just a nice zest, very subtle but interesting.

A healthy start

Amish Baked Oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 1 c. + 2 T. milk
  • 3 c. oats (regular or quick)
  1. In 1 1/2 qt. dish, beat eggs well.
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add butter and milk, then add oats.
  4. Stir well, and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until center is set.
  6. Serve hot with warm milk poured over.
I didn't even know there was such a thing as baked oatmeal but I really liked it! It was perfectly sweet; not overly so like some quick packaged oatmeals. Great with milk. Leftovers can be used for a few days, though it kind of tends to crumble. Once crumbled it's a nice addition to yogurt as well. Make your own parfaits!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quick, non-oven treats

Cathedral Windows

  • 1 c. chocolate chips (I used half milk, half semi-sweet, but don't use all milk!)
  • 6 T. margarine
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 2/3 bag colored marshmallows (as much or as little as you like)
  • 1 c. coconut
  1. Melt margarine and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring regularly.
  2. Remove from heat. When cooled, add sugar and marshmallows.
  3. Rip out two pieces of waxed paper, about 10 inches long. Spread 1/2 of the coconut on one sheet, the rest on the other.
  4. Divide marshmallow mixture in half, placing half on one sheet, and the rest on the other. Leave some to sprinkle on top so you're covered as you roll them up.
  5. Roll up into logs, making sure coconut covers all sides.
  6. Refrigerate, then slice.
These are so easy and good! You just have to try them. Quick, easy, kids can help.....eat along the way- it's great!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

PF Chang's Mongolian Beef

PF Chang's Mongolian Beef

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • vegetable oil, for frying (about 2/3 cup; you'll end up draining most of it)
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a small sauce pan. Add the garlic and ginger and saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes (careful not to burn your garlic!).
  2. After 2 minutes add the soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the brown sugar and reduce heat. Let simmer and thicken while you prepare the beef.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a wok until it is hot but not smoking. While the oil is heating cut the flank steak into 1/4-1/1 inch strips, against the grain. Coat the the strips in cornstarch and let sit for a few minutes. Next carefully drop the beef strips into the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook evenly (probably won't be all the way cooked, but mostly).
  4. After 2 minutes remove the beef with a slotted a spoon and place on paper towels while you drain the oil from the wok.
  5. Put the now empty wok back on the burner add return the beef to the pan. Cook over medium heat. After 2 or 3 minutes add the sauce to the wok and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the chopped green onions.
  6. Serve the beef over rice with stir-fry veggies.
I have never cooked with steak before. Never. I wanted to try this recipe though so I expanded my meat repertoire. The steak cost about 4.99 for a pound, but it fed our whole family, who liked it. This is basically Teriyaki sauce, so call it Teriyaki Beef. It is great! I make Teriyaki Chicken a lot, but beef is a nice change. I cooked mine a little bit long because I was afraid of pink so it was a tad chewy but still tasty anyway. Next time I'm wondering about putting it in the crock pot to save time and possibly be tender anyway? Regardless, this recipe is worth making, special occasion or not.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A different kind of cookie bar..

Sweet and Salty Turtle Cookie Bars
(from pickypalate.com)
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanillla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped pretzel sticks (I'll use more next time)
  • 1/2 Cup ground walnuts (tasted great and I'm not a nut person!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla until well combined. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and slowly add to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Thoroughly grease a 11x7 (or similar size) inch baking dish with cooking spray. Press 1/2 of the cookie dough into the bottom of the dish. Drizzle caramel sauce over dough then sprinkle with pretzels and walnuts. With a cookie scoop, scoop the remaining cookie dough evenly over top of pretzels and nuts. Press down slightly, should look uneven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cookie isn't wobbly in the center. Remove and let cool completely before cutting into squares.

These were fun! I really liked the pretzel and walnut additions. I will add more of these next time. Much easier to handle when cool.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another quick roll recipe that makes a lot!

Lion House Rolls

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2 T. dry yeast (I use quickrise)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening (I use butter) at room temp
  • 1 egg
  • 5-6 cups flour (I use about 5 1/2 cups- just want it to be slightly sticky so you can roll it out easily)
  • melted butter, about 1/4 cup

  1. Combine the water and the milk powder and stir so the milk dissolves. Mix in the yeast, sugar, salt, shortening, egg, and 2 cups of the flour.
  2. Keep adding flour and mixing it in until the dough is not overly sticky.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rise until it is double in size (about 45 minutes).
  4. Take dough and roll out on floured countertop into a big rectangle about 13x10 or so (doesn't matter too much).  Brush on melted butter.
  5. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into little rectangles, roughly 2 inches by 5 inches, but it really just depends how big you want your rolls and how your big rectangle turned out. (I get about 24-30 rectangles).
  6. Now, take the little rectangles and roll them up so they look like snail shells. Like them up on greased cookie sheets about an inch apart.
  7. Cover them with the plastic or towel again, and let them rise again until they have doubled in size (about another 45 minutes). Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes until sufficiently browned.
These are another great non-knead non-bread machine roll. I think I can be done trying roll recipes because I've already posted my faves! Well, I think I have a bread-machine roll I haven't posted yet, but maybe another time. Time-wise, start making these at about 3:00 if you want them for a 5:30 meal.