Thursday, August 16, 2012

Italian Sausage Zucchini Soup

Yeah... It's that time of year again... The time when everybody and their dog has zucchini coming out of their ears. It's also the only time of year when people in small towns lock their doors. *snicker*

So anyway, I have been scouring my Taste of Home app for zucchini recipes so we can have something other than the ever popular Zucchini Bread. *snort* So I came across this one recipe, scanned the ingredients and my mind started running off with ideas. Here's what fell in my soup pot tonight. Enjoy!

1 lb. Italian sausage
1 medium or 2 small(ish) zucchinis, sliced
2 yellow summer squash, sliced
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pt. diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper

Brown the sausage, add to a large stockpot with all the other stuff. Being to a boil, turn the heat down and summer until the veggies are all soft. YUMMY!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Spicy Grilled BBQ Chicken

I got this recipe from my Taste of Home app on my phone... I really shouldn't have a Taste of Home app on my phone. Now I can look up recipes without even going to my cookbook bookcase! And if you know anything about me, you know I spend much too much time reading cookbooks as it is!!

Whatever the sorry excuse is, this is an awesome recipe!! I'll take a picture sometime and post it if you really want one. ;) The sauce for this is actually for 2 while chickens, but we don't eat THAT much chicken!! I still make the full batch of sauce though, so next time I make chicken I have it on hand! :D

1 boiler/fryer chicken (3 1/2-4 lbs.), cut up

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. + 2 t. chili powder
2 T. + 2 t. prepared brown or horseradish mustard
1 t. salt
1/4-1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes ( used 1/4 and it's plenty warm for us!)

Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Grill the chicken, covered, over medium heat for 40 minutes (or until almost done) turning several times. Pour some sauce into a smallish bowl and baste the chicken. Grill 5-10 minutes longer until juices run clear.

Serve with additional sauce if you like and put the rest in a jar for the next time you make something and need awesome sauce.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

 I have a problem with the internet. It has websites on it. The websites have recipes on them. I have a printer. I like food. Do you see the problem?? Good. I'm glad you commiserate with me about how expensive ink is! I found this particular recipe on Taste of Home's awful page. I can't say that I built it, or even remotely imagined it. Only that it tastes extremely good, and I can give you the link for the recipe. I might get arrested for plagiarizing or something otherwise. Haha!

Enjoy!! :D

Valtrompia Bread

 I found the pans at a thrift store, forgot what they were called, lost the recipes and instructions that came with them, found the instructions, still couldn't remember the WEIRD name they were called, googled and finally came up with the right thing. VALTROMPIA bread pans. SERIOUSLY? Alrighty.

 I hereby christen thee; MEHITABELL VALTROMPIA! Known to common folk as That-Fancy-Bread-That-Is-Sliced-Real-Thin-And-Used-For-Parties (otherwise known as Hors D'oeuvres). NEVER MIND. We'll call it Mabel bread and get it over with. Shall we?

1 C. + 2 T. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. yeast (or 1 pkg.)
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. flour
Herbs: I used Basil, Thyme, Rosemary & Dill (Just a few sprinkles of each)

 Mix the water, yeast & sugar. Let set for about a minute. Add the salt & flour; mix well. Knead for 10 minutes. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour. Divide in half. Roll each half into a smooth roll about 7 inches long... (or skinny enough to slide into the pan without scraping off all the shortening on the sides! ) Place into a WELL GREASED Valtrompia pan. Make sure you grease the tar out of the pans or your bread will live in them indefinitely. And grease the lids too. ;D Bake upright at 400 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool the rest of the way. I found that an electric bread knife works best for cutting this! Just refrain from making Valtrompia shavings..... like I did on some of the slices.

Ranch Spread/Dip

 I went to the Amish Store with my mother in law approximately 47 days ago, and they had ranch dressing mix there. I bought it thinking Hidden Valley. It doesn't taste like Hidden Valley, but it tastes great as a spread or a dip! I would guess if you use Hidden Valley mix you should use less than I poured in my concoction. HA! And no, sorry, I don't have a picture for you. If I feel real loving I might take one at a later date before we completely devour the stuff.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1/4 C. mayo
4 T. ranch mix -start with 2 if you're using Hidden Valley brand-
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. garlic salt

 Mix everything together until smooth and then taste and add stuff to suit your fancy. Or don't add anything further and keep it plain.

Those Fancy Cucumber Sandwiches

I found these Valtrompia bread tubes at the thrift store one day. Four of them for $4! It kinda made me grin real wide since the single pans next to my rubber-banded clump were marked somewhere between $2 and $3 each! By the way, can someone PLEASE tell me WHY someone named this poor innocent pretty little bread something like Valtrompia?! I mean really. It's like naming your poor helpless baby Mahitabell or something equally ridiculous. You can be like me and make your own bread or you can be lazy like me and buy that already thinly sliced party bread. Either way, these things are good.

Thinly sliced party bread
Ranch spread
Sliced cucumbers

 The picture is kinda self explanatory... take a piece if bread. Smear on a glob of ranch spread. Top with a cucumber and give a little sprinkle of dill weed. Then realize you took the picture before sprinkling the dill weed. Shrug and carry on. Either way they taste good!

Chocolate Toffee Delight

 This here recipe is all mom's fault. SHE was trying to make dad a birthday cake and screwed it up. Don't be like her. I had her chop it into 1" chunks and threw it in a bag to save for this Trifle that I suddenly envisioned. I sorta thought I knew kinda what I was doing, so I didn't look up a recipe for a trifle. I just more or less built one of my own. 

 I was informed by one person that I can use the Bible Study goers as Guinea pigs anytime I want to, so I'm guessing this must have tasted ok. I WAS Planning on putting a layer of the toffee bits in the middle layer there, where you see white stuff in between black stuff, but I didn't remember that part until the top layer of cake was on. Don't be like me either. You can be yourself if you want to tho. It's probably more fun anyhow!

1 (9x13 size) pan of brownies*, cut into 1" cubes
1 (6 oz.) box Cook N' Serve Chocolate Fudge pudding, prepared according to the instructions
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) tub cool whip
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Toffee bits or a crushed Heath bar or Skor bar
Mini chocolate chips

 *I'm telling you to use brownies, 'cause normal chocolate cake ain't gonna hold up right when it's layered like this. I don't think. But then you already knew that I don't think, so never mind.

 Step 1. Bake, cool & cube your brownies.
 Step 2. Prepare your pudding.
 Step 3. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cool whip, vanilla & powdered sugar. Beat until smooth & creamy. SOMEONE had snuck LITE cool whip into my freezer. DON'T be like them!! It defeats the purpose of this dessert.
 Step 4. Layer half the cake in a trifle bowl. Top with half the chocolate pudding and half the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with toffee bits. (You could even sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips if you felt led to do so...) Repeat layers. Top with mini chocolate chips and more toffee bits for garnish. Refrigerate until serving.

Mini Bagel Ham Things

 Please pardon me if this is a recipe that you have been eating since Kindergarten. I've met a lot of people who have never clapped eyes on the things. *ahem* I should say, they have never cast a lip over these things. EITHER WAY. THEY ARE GOOD and you should not live life without them. Give them a try and please don't tell me they are too difficult for your culinary abilities. ;)

 These are probably supposed to be an appetizer/snack food, but we have been known to eat them for supper with a side of fresh veggies & ranch to dip them in. The veggies in the ranch, I mean. Don't blame us if our Ham Thingies accidentally might have fallen into the ranch on their way to our mouths once in a while too! (Reece could probably take the blame for that accident.)

Mini bagels
Sliced deli ham
Cream cheese, softened
Sliced cheese

Cut the bagels in half, spread with cream cheese. Top each bagel half with ham and a slice of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted; about 10 minutes.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Barbeque Ham & Pineapple Pizza

Sometimes I get bored making the same ol' stuff all the time. That's when I go through my cooking guideline books (otherwise known as cookbooks to most people) and find a recipe that I think I can improve upon. This was one of those recipes. Of course, it also helps to have all kinds of leftover stuff in your fridge... especially ham, if you're like me and you buy HUGE hams when they're on sale for $1.50/lb. at the store!

Barbeque Ham & Pineapple Pizza

1 pizza crust
Barbeque sauce
2 C. cooked, cubed ham
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, WELL drained
2 C. shredded colby jack cheese

 Make the crust according to the directions, except put all the dough on to one big jelly roll pan instead of using two 12" pans. After it's prebaked, top with barbeque sauce, ham, pineapple and cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and the cheese is melted.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

I found this recipe's cousin in the Cooking Club magazine that I get every month. I'm a Life Member of the Cooking Club of America, and I love their magazine!! Anyhow, I say this recipe's cousin, because I'm pretty sure the person who made it would have no idea this was the same thing if the met this meatloaf going down the street... HA! Either way, this stuff in Nummy. I know, 'cause my girls said so.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1  1/2 lbs. hamburger
1 (12 oz.) pkg. bacon, diced*
2 eggs
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. oatmeal
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1  1/2 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 C. french fried onions

 *Dice the bacon by cutting the raw bacon in strips with kitchen shears, and then cut it in little dices. It works great and it's much easier than crumbling it after it's fried!!

 Fry the bacon until it's just about crisp, then drain in a paper towel lined bowl. Crumble the hamburger in a large bowl, then add the bacon, eggs, ketchup, oats, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, onion powder and 3/4 C. shredded cheese. Mix with your hands until well blended. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, form the meat mixture into a good looking loaf and place gently in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese and the french fried onions. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.

For Lack of a Better Name... Fish!

The original of this recipe had about 1/17 of the spices that I use now days, but I have converted more than one fish hater with this stuff, so it must be good!! :) There are just a few tips you MUST remember when making this fish... Fear not the spice, hate not the onion and despise not the butter. Remember this and your taste buds will hum. When you're all done sprinkling and onioning and buttering your pan should look like this:

 Please, just keep in mind that you don't really wanna use every single flavor of seasoning salt you own if you happen to have 37 of them in your cupboard like I do. I practically brined everyone the last time I made this...

 Every-Spice-In-The-Cupboard Fish

1-2 lbs white fish filets
1 med-large onion minced
1 stick of butter
Spices... like:
Mrs. Dash, Old Bay, Johnny's Seafood Seasoning, Onion powder, Garlic powder, Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Italian Seasoning, Cumin, Nutmeg (YES!! It takes away the fishy-ness), Lawry's or Johnny's seasoning salt, Celery salt, Cajun seasoning, you get the picture? Pretty much everything but the Apple pie spice, cinnamon and cardamom and stuff like that.

Place the fish on in a 9X13 pan. Sprinkle with the onion. Sprinkle all the spices evenly over everything. Cut the stick of butter in about Tablespoon size chunks and place all over the fish. Bake at about 350 for 30-45 minutes. I like to cook it to death so the spices really permeate the fish, but it you don;t like twice dead fish you don't have to be like me. Serve with mashed potatoes and spoon the butter spice sauce over them. YUMMY!!

Butternut Squash Soup

Reece's mom had given us this butternut squash and I wanted to do something interesting with it so I started Googling and found lots of soup recipes. Then I decided that apparently all I needed to do was put in the stuff that sounded good to me. So I did. And while we were eating, Rosie kept telling me 'Mommy! This is yummy!!' :)

1 butternut squash
1 medium-large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 medium apple, peeled, cored & chunked
1/2 C. butter
2 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 T. sugar (optional)
Salt, cayenne pepper & nutmeg to taste
Half & Half to thin the soup to your desired consistency

Bake the squash at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. In a large soup kettle, sauté the onion in the butter. Add the cream cheese and chicken broth. Simmer until the cream cheese is all melted. Add the apple. Scoop the squash from the rind and add. Add seasonings to taste& sugar if you're using it; simmer until everything is tender. In small batches, puree the soup in the blender until smooth. Pour back into the kettle and add as much half & half as you deem necessary. Reheat and serve.

Strawberry Lemonade

Once upon a time I needed to use up some lemons that were on the verge of rotting to death in my fridge. So I decided to make lemonade. I had just tried the garbage they try to pass off as something wonderful at McDonald's and it's flavor left something to be desired. Very much something. And I have 40,000 bags of strawberries I never use in my freezer. So. I made strawberry lemonade. And it was good. And everybody that tastes it loves it. Even Reece said it wasn't too bad, which REALLY means something because he doesn't even LIKE strawberries. OR lemonade! So here tis... It's extraordinarily easy and extraordinarily good.

Strawberry Lemonade

Frozen strawberries
Water as needed if it get too thick
Ice -if you feel like using it

 Juice the lemons and don't worry if you get some pulpy stuff in this, the blender grinds it up real well. ;) Pour the lemon juice into the blender and start adding strawberries. If it gets too thick add some water and/or ice to make it the consistency you like. Add sugar to taste and enjoy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rosie's Rice

 Rosie came up with this recipe one day when I was talking to Reece on the phone pondering how I was ever gonna make hamburger gravy for him to take in the truck. See, he doesn't like mashed potatoes, and I can't send him his happy happy boiled potatoes that he loves, because after they have been frozen they are all rubbery and he can't stand them. So I was mourning that I can't make him hamburger gravy and he was crying with me when Rosie came up and said thoughtfully, with her finger on her chin and her head tilted, "I think you should use... ... ... RICE!! I think that would taste yummy!" So I made up my hamburger gravy and added rice and cheese and Reece drooled all over his phone and whined 'cause he wasn't there to taste it that very night. Now it is a much requested meal around here!  Enjoy!

1  1/2 lbs. hamburger
1 medium-large onion, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1  1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 beef bouillon cubes
Water -about 3 cups?
1 C. brown rice (I use the instant stuff that cooks in 10-12 minutes)
2 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

 Brown the hamburger with the salt, onion and garlic, drain off the fat if there is any. Add the water and seasonings. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the rice and more water if needed so the rice can cook properly. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Mix in the cheese and serve when it's all incorporated. ;) (I like to sound important.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bacon Chicken Drumsticks

I absolutely love chicken legs. If I was the one building chickens they'd have 10 legs and nothing else. Specially not any gizzards. I wanted to do something different and good and wonderful but I didn't know what I wanted so I started inventing. Since I also love bacon and I had some in the fridge, I decided to combine the two. I had no idea what I was doing, so I wrapped the chicken with the bacon and slathered on honey mustard & barbeque sauce. I did two separate pans so we could decide which one tasted best. I had gross barbeque sauce so we liked the honey mustard better, but they would both be great if you have the right stuff! Plus, they are easy to make and even easier to eat! Serve these with these Parmesan Roasted Potatoes, some veggies and a salad, and even your mom will say you made a balanced meal!

Broiled Bacon Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken legs
Barbeque sauce or Honey mustard

 Place a metal cooling rack in a cookie sheet. Rinse and remove the skin from the chicken legs; wrap with bacon. Slather on the sauce of your choice and place on the rack. Bake at 400 degrees, basting with more sauce until chicken is tender and starting to fall off the bones.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

I apologize. I don't have a picture of this recipe 'cause I figured that everybody already has the Stenersen Cookbook and so therefore they don't even NEED the recipe, but I know that there are SOME people (Glenda) who don't have theirs handy. At least I don't think she has hers yet... Original recipe from Brenda Seppala.

6 medium unpeeled potatoes
Olive oil
3 T. Parmesan cheese
1 T. dried parsley
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix together the Parmesan cheese & spices in a small bowl. Scrub the potatoes, cut into cubes and place in a gallon size plastic bag. Pour olive oil over top and shake to coat. Add the spices and shake to coat the potatoes evenly. Spread on to a greased 15X10 cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes or more until browned. Stir them halfway through cooking to brown them more evenly.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Awesome Peanut Butter Brickle Cookies

This is the down side of being a Life Member of the Cooking Club of America... Recipes like this. I wonder if I'd accomplish anything if I drank my weight loss shake with a couple of these cookies?? After all, the lady at Melaleuca said that if you're nursing you should probably eat a small meal with the shake so you still get the required calories in your diet for the day... HA!

3  1/2 C. flour
2 C. oatmeal -we used the instant stuff
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 C. (1 lb.) cold, unsalted butter, cut up
1  1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. creamy natural peanut butter
4 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3 C. honey roasted peanuts
2 (10 oz.) bags peanut butter chips
2 (8 oz.) bags toffee bits

Stir together the flour, oats, soda & salt; set aside. Beat the butter & brown sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat in the peanut butter & vanilla. Add eggs one at a time beating till just combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the peanuts, peanut butter chips & toffee bits. Refrigerate until firm enough to shape, 2-3 hours or overnight. (Or you can just set the dough on the porch for about an hour if it's below zero! :D) Use a medium size cookie scoop to form cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Freeze for 10 minutes or until firm. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until light brown on the edges. Cool on the baking sheet on a cooling rack for 3 minutes. Place cookies on cooling rack and cool completely. (The original recipe said to make 1/4 C. sized cookies so that'd be a little bit bigger than the large size cookie scoop!) Makes 8 dozen cookies if you use the medium scoop, 3 dozen if you use the large scoop.