Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole

This was quite tasty and easy to make.  I used 2 29 oz cans of sweet potatoes and this recipe filled a 9 x 13 pan to the top!  The 'crust' is really a topping.
Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole
4 1/2 to 5 pounds fresh sweet potatoes (yams) or 2 (40-ounce) cans sweet potatoes (yams)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
Nonstick cooking spray

Oatmeal Cookie Crust

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil, place them on a baking sheet, and bake for about 1 hour. After 1 hour, test by piercing with a fork; if you can pierce them easily, they are done baking. If not, bake them a little longer and test again. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool until you can handle them, remove foil, and remove skins by simply pushing off the skins from the flesh of the potato. Place the cooked potatoes into a large bowl. If using canned sweet potatoes, skip the baking. Just open the cans and drain off the syrup.

Mash the sweet potatoes with the butter using a pastry blender or a potato masher until mostly smooth. Add the eggs, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg and beat until you have a uniform mixture. Add the brown sugar and cream and mix well.

Oatmeal Cookie Crust

Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, oats, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir together well. Stir in the butter with a fork until you have a crumbly mixture.

If you had turned off the oven, heat it again to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spreading the sweet potatoes in the pan. Top with the marshmallows, then crumble the oatmeal crust on top of the marshmallows. Bake 30 to 45 minute

Monday, March 30, 2015

Almond Mandarin Salad Recipe

Kathleen put this together one night over spring break.  Very tasty.
Almond Mandarin Salad Recipe
The Best of Country Cooking, 2002

1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

8 cups torn mixed salad greens
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. In a small skillet, heat the almonds and sugar over low heat. Cook and stir until almonds are coated with sugar glaze; remove and cool.

2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. In a bowl, combine lettuce, oranges, celery and onions. Add dressing and almonds; toss to coat. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Crockpot Ribs--"Little Pieces of Heaven"

These ribs were falling off the bone good---hard to get a good picture!  They were quite tasty and very little work to put together. 
Crockpot Ribs - "Little Pieces of Heaven"

1-2 slabs of ribs  Beth used 5# of pork ribs
1 can of Coke or Dr. Pepper Beth used diet Dr Pepper
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce or your favorite
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Line your crockpot with a crockpot liner, or spray with cooking spray.  Salt and pepper the ribs and then line them around the crock pot, standing up. Pour in your soda.

Cover and set it on low for 8 hours.

After 8 hours,  pour off liquid. Now, cover the ribs with the BBQ sauce--ribs may be falling off the bone tender.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour.
Take out and serve!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

THE BEST Oven Chips

These were quite tasty.  We did have to broil them for a few minutes on both sides at the end, since our burgers were ready and these could have cooked another 5-10 minutes.
THE BEST Oven Chips

Potatoes, as many as you like Beth used 6 medium sized
Oil, with a high smoke point
Salt, good quality

Chop your potatoes into chips (around ½ an inch or 1 cm thickness is ideal)

Choose a baking dish, making sure it's big enough to take all your chips in one layer (use more than one if necessary)Beth used a jelly roll

Pour a thin layer of oil into your dish, just enough to thinly coat the bottom of the dish

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C, and place the oiled dish in to preheat for at least 15 minutes.

Place the chopped chips into a pan, and cover with cold water.

Add a pinch of salt, and bring up to the boil. Boil for exactly two minutes and then drain and set aside to steam and dry (the drier the chips, the crispier they'll be)

Once the oil has had it's 15 minutes heating, carefully add the chips to the pan, shaking gently, to ensure they are in one layer.

Place the pan back in the oven for 15 minutes, then take them out and flip the chips over using a metal spatula.

Place back in the oven for a further 20 minutes, at which point they should be golden, very crisp, and ready to be drained slightly, doused with salt, and devoured!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chocolate Chip Scones

Kathleen made these while she was on spring break. They were kind of dry when mixing up, so we added 2 more T of whipping cream and that seemed to help. These were DELICIOUS!

Chocolate Chip Scones

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips*
coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking
confectioners' sugar for topping after baking (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Grate the frozen butter Toss the grated butter into the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, your fingers, or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, and vanilla together. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula until everything appears moistened. Slowly and gently fold in the mini chocolate chips. Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. Dough will be a little wet. Work the dough into a ball with floured hands as best you can and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Press into a neat 8″ disc and cut into equal wedges with a very sharp knife. Top with a sprinkle of additional mini chocolate chips (optional) and coarse sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 extra days. Scones freeze well, up to 3 months.

*I prefer mini chocolate chips because you get more in every bite! Regular size is just fine, though you may want to increase the amount to 1 and 1/4 cups. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sour Cream Cucumbers

I have been making these since way before Don and I married(28 years ago)  Kathleen made these last weekend and I told her to find a recipe to follow.  These are the ingredients I have always used.  We LOVE these.
Sour Cream Cucumbers
Taste of Home

1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Pepper to taste
4 medium cucumbers, peeled if desired and thinly sliced we used 2 large seedless
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, vinegar, sugar and pepper until blended. Add cucumbers and onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 8 servings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easy Pizookie "Pizza Cookie"

Kathleen put this together one afternoon when we had company.  She doubled it and it FILLED a large cast iron skillet and took 1 hour to cook.  We LOVED this!  It is just a huge chocolate chip cookie! See what we did in bold.

Easy Pizookie "Pizza Cookie"
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt (I use sea salt)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Cream together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large bowl with hand or stand mixer. Add eggs and beat until well mixed. Add in flour mixture slowly until completely blended. Next add in the chocolate chips.
Here I add dough to 1 pt sized Pyrex baking dishes, which work perfectly for the pizookie. You can also use small cast iron or other glass baking dishes. We used an 11 or 12 inch cast iron skillet when we doubled this.
Bake the pizookies at 375 until golden brown around the edges, approximately 18 minutes.  Doubled, it took a good hour to cook
Remove from the oven; the center will be somewhat mushy still, but perfect for a pizookie!
Serve with a scoop of ice cream on top and you're good to go!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Asparagus Casserole

I saw this recipe in a Penzey's catalogue and knew I would make it. I made a trip to their store and bought the fox point seasoning and used that.   Jenna and I really like this casserole and will make it again.  I couldn't find cream of asparagus soup, so used what is bolded.

Asparagus Casserole

Penzey Catalogue 
3-4 bunches asparagus (about 3 lbs.)
2 11-oz. cans cream of asparagus soup (or 16 oz. cream cheese mixed with 1 Cup water plus 1 tsp. VEGETABLE or CHICKEN SOUP BASE)
1 Cup milk
1/2 Cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. roasted garlic(dried), optional
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 6-oz. can French-fried onions
Preheat oven to 350°. Wash the asparagus and cut into halves or thirds. Place in boiling water and cook for 4-6 minutes, depending on how thick the stems are; you want the asparagus mostly done. Remove from heat, drain and run briefly under cool water. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the soup or cream cheese mix, milk, sour cream, GARLIC (if using), PEPPER and SEASONING of choice. Add the asparagus and mix until well coated. Stir in half of the French-fried onions. Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the remaining onions over the top of the casserole. Return to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.
Prep. time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 12-14

Monday, March 23, 2015

Crispy Gerogia-Style Chicken Breasts

This was easy and tasty.  I had plump chicken, so it took 20 minutes longer to get them cooked.
Crispy Georgia-Style Chicken Breasts
WW Cookbook "Love it, Cook it, Eat it"

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 (5 oz) skinless boneless chicken breast
1/4 C finely chopped pecans
1/4 C Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tsp chopped Fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch cayenne

1. Combine buttermilk and pepper sauce in medium bowl. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, at least twenty minutes or overnight. (I did overnight)

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine pecans, bread crumbs, thyme, salt, and cayenne on a sheet of wax paper. Remove 1 chicken breast from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Coat chicken with pecan mixture, gently pressing to help id adhere. Repeat with remaining chicken and pecan mixture. Discard any leftover buttermilk and pecan mixtures. Lightly spray chicken on both sides with nonstick spray.

3. Spray large cast-iron skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and back until chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Beth had to cook these for 30-35 minutes in the oven.

*Per serving- One chicken breast: 240 cal, 9 g Total Fat, 1 g sat fat, 366 mg sodium, 6 g total carb, 1 g sugar, 1 g Fib, 32 g protein.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spicy Sriracha Bread

I found this recipe and since we like things with a little spice, tried it last week. We really liked it. It wasn't too spicy, but had a little kick. Made a great grilled cheese with the leftover bread!

Spicy Sriracha Bread
Cooking Light JULY 2004

3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1/4 cup Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 cups bread flour, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon butter, melted

Combine water, Sriracha, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 3/4 cups flour, salt, and egg to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll dough into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place roll, seam side down, in an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray; cover and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan, and brush with melted butter. Cool on a wire rack.

This also works in a bread machine; follow the manufacturer's instructions for placing ingredients into bread pan.

Calories: 119
Calories from fat: 8%
Fat: 1.1g
Saturated fat: 0.4g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.3g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
Protein: 4.2g
Carbohydrate: 22.4g
Fiber: 0.8g

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Corn Tortillas from Scratch

I bought a bag of masa harina a month or so ago to try my hand at corn tortillas.  I finally got around to trying them.  I used a tortilla press and found that I still need practice!  It is a good thing, since I have a lot of the masa yet to use!

Corn Tortillas from Scratch

1½ cups masa harina found near the flour, or in the international aisle
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, softened butter, or lard
About 1 cup hot water, plus more if needed

1. In a medium bowl, combine the masa, salt, and fat of your choice. Stir together with a fork until evenly combined. Gradually add the water to the bowl in a steady stream, mixing constantly, until a soft dough comes together. (Turn the dough onto a work surface (lightly floured, if necessary) and knead briefly just until the dough is smooth and supple.

2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

3. When you are ready to cook the tortillas, divide the dough ball into 10-12 equal sized pieces. Shape using a tortilla press, two pie plates pressed together, or a rolling pin to form 6- to 7-inch rounds. Beth found a tip to use a freezer bag, slit on both sides and press the pieces between this for a no stick option.

4. As the tortillas are shaped, transfer them to a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Cook about 1 minute per side, just until each side begins to brown/char. Transfer to a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Once all the tortillas are cooked, let rest under the towel briefly. Though they may seem stiff just out of the skillet, the warmth and moisture under the towel will help make them perfectly pliable again. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 2-3 days.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cheeseburger Broccoli Chowder

 I made this recipe and doubled it since I have 1 pound packages of ground beef.  It was great and satisfying on a cold and dreary day.
Cheeseburger Broccoli Chowder

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 to 2 potatoes, peeled and diced

1. In a large saucepan, cook beef with onion and green pepper until the beef is no longer pink; drain. Stir in soup, milk and Worcestershire sauce. Add broccoli and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Korean Beef Tacos

I can not begin to tell you how much we all loved these!  If you like spice, use more jalapenos.  This will be a regular at our house.

Korean Beef Tacos
Servings: 10

2 pounds beef roast, trimmed of fat
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
10 cloves of intact garlic
1/2 red onion, diced
2 jalapenos, diced Beth used one large
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Combine the sugar, soy sauce, red onion, jalapenos, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame seeds in a small bowl.

2. Add the beef and garlic cloves to the crock pot and cover with the sauce.

3. Cook for 8-10 hours on low. When it has 30 minutes left to cook and the beef can be easily shredded with a fork, break it into larger pieces. Continue cooking without the lid on so the sauce thickens up.

4. Finish shredded the beef and serve over warm corn tortillas with jicama slaw.

To make the jicama slaw
1. Combine half a bag cole slaw mix, 1/2 diced jicama, 1/4 chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 2 tbsp peanut dressing, 1 tsp Asian hot sauce, and the juice of two limes. Mix together and serve on the side or on top of the taco itself.

Serving Size: 1/2 cup beef or 2 tacos with slaw
Nutritional Information: 207.9 calories, 6.5 g of fat, 2.7 g of carbohydrates, 3.1 g of fiber, 17.4 g of protein

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

If you like chocolate and peanut butter, this is for you.  It did keep me full until lunch!
Chocolate Banana Smoothie

1 cup milk or almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
2 ice cubes

sweetener, to taste.

Put all into a blender and mix until smooth.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chocolate Marshmallow Cups

These were super easy to make and who doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter?  They are rich, so next time I may make them into the mini muffin size.
Chocolate Marshmallow Cups
adapted from Arlene from Taste of Home BB

1 package mini marshmallows
1 c crunchy peanut butter(Beth used creamy)
1 12 oz package chocolate chips
1 stick butter
cupcake lines

Put 8 marshmallows in the bottom of 24 cupcake liners in regular sized muffin pans. 

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwave safe bowl.(Beth started at 1 minute, stirred and then cooked for 15 second increments until totally melted. )

Spoon chocolate mixture over the marshmallows and chill until firm.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Southwest Dip

This is a delicious dip and easy to make!
Southwest Dip

1 (8-oz) package light Dairy cream cheese, softened
1 (1-oz) packet dry ranch dip mix
½ Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 (16-oz) container sour cream
1 (15.25-oz) can corn, drained well
1 (15-oz) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well
½ c.  cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced thin

In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, ranch mix and taco seasoning until smooth.
Add in sour cream and beat to combine.
With a spoon, fold in corn, black beans, cheese and green onions.
Eat right away with chips or refrigerate to let the flavors blend together. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Jalapeño Popper Pizza

 Jenna's friend came in late last Thursday night, so I made a few pizzas.  This was new recipe and is a KEEPER, for sure!  YUM!  I used a pizza crust I had in the freezer and it stretched to a 17 in pan.   I patted it out in the pan, so didn't use the cornmeal.
Jalapeño Popper Pizza

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 jalapeños, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
1/4 cup semolina or yellow cornmeal **  Beth didn't use this
1 ball pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated jalapeño monterey jack cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza pan with olive oil.

Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

In a small bowl, combine the jalapeños and shallot with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil.

Working on a surface that has been sprinkled with semolina or cornmeal, roll out the pizza dough into a 10-inch-diameter round. Transfer to prepared baking sheet or pizza pan. Beth just patted the dough out into a 17 in pan.

Spread the cream cheese evenly over the top, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with jalapeño monterey jack, jalapeños, shallots and bacon.

Place into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and brown on the bottom and the cheese is melted on top.

Cut the pizza into wedges and serve immediately.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cooking Chicken in the Crockpot for Chicken Salad

I was making chicken salad for a ladies day at my mother in law's church.  I cooked the chicken the day before using my crockpot.  LOVED 'fixing it a forgetting it'!  Try this for any recipe that you need cooked chicken for.
Cooking Chicken in the Crockpot For Chicken Salad

4-5 Chicken breasts
1/2 c water

Place chicken breasts (I use frozen) and half a cup of water in a crockpot set on low for 4 to 5 hours or until cooked through. Remove from water and allow to cool before dicing.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Andes Mint Cookie Dough Truffle Bars

I needed a quick dessert one night, so put this together.  They are delish!  Cut them small, since they are rich!
Andes Mint Cookie Dough Truffle Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup Andes Mint baking chips, divided *Beth chopped up Andes Candies to =this amount
1 1/2 teaspoons shortening

Cream the butter, sugars, vanilla, and milk. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt together. Slowly add to the creamed mixture.

Stir in 3/4 cup Andes Mint chips by hand. Press the mixture into a buttered 8x8 baking dish.

Place the remaining 1 cup Andes Mint chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat. When the mints are melted and creamy, pour over the top of the cookie dough in the pan. Let set. Cut into 36 squares. Store in a sealed container.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Parmesan Crusted Pizza Grilled cheese

This made a quick and tasty dinner one night when Don was gone. I will be making this again as lunches for Don and me.


Parmesan Crusted Pizza Grilled Cheese

2 slices whole grain bread
2 teaspoons butter, softened or spreadable
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon pizza sauce
6 slices pepperoni
4 tablespoons mozzarella, divided

Butter one side of each slice of bread with softened butter. On unbuttered side of one slice, spread on pizza sauce. Then add about 3 tablespoons of the mozzarella, lay out the pepperoni, and then top with the rest of the mozzarella and the other slice of bread. The buttered side should be on the outside. On one buttered side, spread 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese and press down gently. Place this face down on a skillet or griddle heated over medium heat. Top the other buttered side (should be face up in the pan) with the rest of the parmesan cheese.

Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese on the inside is melted. Enjoy immediately.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ranch Style Beans

These were quite tasty and cooked quite quickly in my crockpot.  They were done in 6 hours.
Ranch Style Beans
adapted from Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook

1 pound package dried pinto beans
3 14 oz cans chicken broth(Beth used 42 oz water with 3 tsp chicken bouillon)
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T chili powder
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t pepper
1 t salt
1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes, pureed

Rinse beans and put in slow cooker.  Add all ingredients except the Rotel tomatoes.  Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mexican Macaroni

I put this together one afternoon when it was cold and dreary here.  It is a nice change from regular mac and cheese.  I really liked it.
Mexican Macaroni
Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook

1 8 oz package elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 c water
1 c sour cream
1 4.5 oz can chopped green chilies
2 c shredded Mexican four cheese blend cheese(Beth use part cheddar and part Monterey jack)

Stir together first 6 ingredients in a bowl.  Stir in 1 1/2 c cheese.  Pour mixture in to a greased 3 qt crock pot(Beth used a 9 x 13 crockpot)  Top with remaining cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 4.5 hours.  Makes 6 servings.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops

I made these last week on a night it was just Don and me at home.  We really liked these.  They were quick and easy.  I used 3 bone in pork chops.
Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops
 Jayne Lancour
1 package of boneless pork chops (I used four boneless pork chops)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet dry Ranch dressing mix
In crockpot layer pork chops, add the cream of chicken soup, then sprinkle dry Ranch dressing all over.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours OR low for 6 hours.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pudding Sugar Cookies

I made these to take with me to visit my former students. They were easy to make and I got 4 1/2-5 dozen cookies. I used a cookie scoop, so my cookies were good size. These were quite tasty

Pudding Sugar Cookies

Taste of Home Cookies cookbook

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix or instant pudding mix of your choice **
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda

**Beth used Oreo cookie pudding mix

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, oil and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and dry pudding mix. Combine the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. 

2. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. 
3. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks. Yield: 7 dozen.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Creole Sausage with Rice and Beans

Don likes Cajun food and I had just enough time to put this together last Friday to have it ready in time for dinner.  We liked it!
Creole Sausage with Rice and Beans
Southern Living Slow Cooker cookbook

1 (14-16 oz) package smoked sausage, sliced
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 t Creole seasoning
1 1/2 c uncooked long-grain rice
2 (15 oz) cans red beans, rinsed and drained

 Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat 5 min. or until browned; drain. Place sausage in a 4-quart slow cooker; stir in tomatoes and next 3 ingredients.

Cover and cook on LOW 3 1/2 hours. Stir in beans. Cover and cook on HIGH 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Amish Chicken Corn Soup

Here is another soup recipe I made last week(do you see a theme here?)  I was the only one home and decided to make 4 qts of soup!  Ayi yi yi!  Who wants to come for lunch?  I really liked it!
Amish Chicken Corn Soup
16 Servings

12 cups water
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup shredded carrots
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cans (14-3/4 ounces each) cream-style corn
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a Dutch oven, combine the water, chicken, onion, celery, carrots
and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for
30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are

Stir in the corn, noodles and butter; cook 10 minutes longer or until
noodles are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Yield: 16 servings
(about 4 quarts).

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 134 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 498 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 13 g protein.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Swiss Chicken Casserole

I made this last week and we all liked it.  I may have cooked it a little too long, 7-8 hours is plenty.
Swiss Chicken Casserole

1 package of stove top stuffing mix4-6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of Swiss cheese
1 can of reduced fat cream of mushroom soup-
1/4 - 1/2 cup of warm water around the edges.

Spray crockpot with cooking spray or use a crockpot liner.  Put DRY stuffing mix on bottom of crockpot.  Place chicken over DRY stuffing mix.  Place swiss cheese over each piece of chicken.  Spread soup over chicken and cheese.  Drizzle water around edge of chicken.

Cook on low in crockpot all day. 8 hours is plenty of time.

If you don't use or have a crockpot you can cook it in the oven at
350 degrees for an hour.

1 serving = 8 points(WW)
Serves 4

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cheesy Taco Soup

We have had a cold snap for a few weeks here in Texas, so I have been making comfort foods!  Don and I liked this.  If you don't like a lot of spice, make this with diced tomatoes instead of the Rotel.    Not sure where I found this recipe since I have had it for a long time.
Cheesy Taco Soup

3 cans chicken broth(Beth used 32 oz water and 3 tsp chicken bouillon)
1 can Rotel, mild
2 pounds frozen vegetables(your choice)
8 oz Velveeta light
1 pkg taco seasoning

Put all ingredients except the velveeta and taco seasoning in a stock pot.  Cook until done.  Mash or puree all or part of the soup.  (Beth pureed the Rotel tomatoes and left the veggies whole)

Add Velveeta and taco seasoning.  Simmer and serve.

WW points--whole pot= 8 pts, 1 cup = 1 pt.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

Hey! This is Kathleen, Beth's daughter. We have been getting lots of snow in Oklahoma this week, so on our snow day, we found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it. Read my changes below!

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

Throw the following ingredients into your crockpot on Low. Start checking for doneness at 1.5 hours. (side note: boil the macaroni for a few minutes first for optimal results)

12-ounce can evaporated milk
8-ounces cream cheese
16-ounces elbow macaroni **See notes below
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Place all ingredients in the crockpot (the order does not matter). *Kathleen's change: turn the crockpot on to HIGH and start checking/stirring around 1.5 hours in. 

Notes: The original recipe suggested to boil the noodles for several minutes and draining them before placing them in the crockpot. We added raw noodles and the result was quite starchy. So, I recommend boiling the noodles for 5-minutes and then lowering the cooking time. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Danish Kringle

My friend Jeri had this recipe on her Facebook news feed a week ago.  Being from Racine, Wisconsin where Kringle is well known, I had to try this.  This is the 2nd recipe for kringle I have tried.  Here is the other one.  This was super easy to make.  We all loved it!

Danish Kringle

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degree F. to 115 degree F.)
1/2 cup cold butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm milk (110 deg. to 115 deg.)
1 egg beaten
Nut Filling (recipe follows)
Glaze (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.

Using a pastry blender or two knives, in a large bowl, cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Add yeast mixture, sugar, warm milk, and egg; beat until smooth (dough will be very soft). Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but not more than 24 hours.

When ready to use, remove from refrigerator. Punch dough down and divide in half; return other half to refrigerator. On a well-floured board, working quickly before dough softens, roll into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle, approximately 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick (if dough gets too warm from handling, return to refrigerator).

Spread half of the prepared Nut Filling down the center of the rolled-out dough rectangle in a 2-inch strip. fold sides of dough over filling, overlapping 1 1/2 inches; pinch edges to seal.

Oval Shape: Form roll into a circle and pinch ends together. Place seam side down on a large greased baking sheet. Repeat same process with remaining dough and filling. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until double in size.

Pretzel Shape: Lift the filled roll from both ends firmly and center the middle of the roll onto the baking sheet as if you were forming a circle. Pull the ends of the roll so that they make a cross above the roll, then pull the ends down and tuck the ends under the top part of the roll so that the ends stick out from under the roll.

Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place approximately 30 minutes or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

After the dough has risen, bake approximately 20 minutes until golden brown or when the internal temperature registers approximately 205 to 209 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Spread prepared Glaze over the warm Kringle. Sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts. Serve Kringles warm or at room temperature.

To re-warm, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Slide a whole, uncut Kringle onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cover loosely with a large piece of aluminum foil and heat for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove aluminum foil before slicing.

Makes 2 Kringles (each serves 10 to 12)

Nut Filling:
1 1/2 cups finely-chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

In a large bowl, combine pecans or walnuts, brown sugar, and butter.

1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
4 to 5 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, water, and vanilla

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Saucy Chipotle Barbecue Pork


This was one of the best BBQ pork recipes I have every made.  The chipotle gave just enough 'smoky' taste to make you think it was done in a smoker.  Try this soon!
Saucy Chipotle Barbecue Pork
Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook

2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (4 to 5 pound) boneless pork butt roast, cut in half (Any pork roast will work)
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1 (18 ounce) bottle spicy original barbecue sauce
1 (12 ounce) bottle Baja chipotle marinade (Lawry's) ***Beth used a home made recipe found here
Garnish: sliced green onions

Rub first 3 ingredients evenly over pork. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add pork; cook 10 minutes or until browned on all sides.

Place onion and pork in a 5 quart slow cooker. Add barbecue sauce and marinade.

Cover and cook on high 7 hours or until pork is tender and shreds easily. Beth cooked this on high for 1 1/2 hours and then on low for 5-6 hours.  I think 8-10 on low would be perfect.

Remove pork to a large bowl, reserving sauce; shred pork. Stir shredded pork into sauce. Serve as is, over a cheese-topped baked potato, in a sandwich, or over a green salad. Garnish, if desired. Makes 8 servings.