Thursday, December 30, 2010

Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger

I came up with this recipe after researching some food sites looking for something different.  I came across a recipe and had to tinker with it and put my own spin on it... yum yum yummy is all I can say... It was absolutely delicious!!!!  Try it and enjoy...

Happy New Year and have a good 2011

Love, Joelle

Grilled Cheese Cheeseburgers

1 lb. ground beef ( I use 85% lean)
1 pkg. dried onion soup mix
1 egg
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
olive oil
salt & pepper
cheese slices ( I use Kraft)
Carmelized onions & mushrooms (cook in butter with a little salt & pepper until done)

In bowl mix ground beef, onion soup mix, egg, & dried bread crumbs combine well.  In skillet place patties , I make them extra thin making 5 patties per pound of meat.  I make the patties then place them in a pan drizzled with olive oil, pressing them extra thin (be careful the pan is hot).  I  cook for 2-3 minutes per side since they are so thin they don't need long).  While patties are cooking make grilled cheese, (butter a slice of bread put buttered side down in pan place 2 slices of  cheese on top of bread then top with an  additional slice of bread and place buttered side down on outside of sandwich).  Turn heat to medium ( I cook all the grilled cheese at once on an electric griddle much easier if you are making multiple sandwiches).  Turn grilled cheese when one side gets golden cook other side until done and cheese is melted.  Remove from pan immediately open sandwich and place beef patty (and onions & mushrooms and onions if using).  Cut in half and enjoy...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Chicken Minestroni & biscuits

With all of the running around of the holiday season and the endless munching of holiday goodies, I wanted to slow down a little and make some homemade soup goodness.  I was wanting something a little different and decided to go on an adventure and try and come up with something new and tasty.  I remember seeing my new friend Angie's blog about making Chicken Mexican Minestroni soup.... that got me to thinking of making instead of a regular Minestroni of making a chicken Minestroni.  My sister in law's boyfriend Scott was really kind over the holiday and told me how much he liked the Minestroni soup that I made.  I thought well great I will make some more... but I was wanting a little something different.  So I came up with this Minestroni and it turned out tasty and yummy.  Definately adding this to my winter soup rotation.... Also was wanting some homemade bread/biscuit something......also remember seeing Angie's homemade self rising biscuit recipe which by the way is absolutely awesome... check out her blog it is the bomb :)  (  I didn't have any heavy cream so I used half and half added about 2 tablespoons more, and a tablespoonful of sugar to her recipe....  Thanks inspired me and your recipes rock :)

Chicken Minestroni

1 lb chicken tenders, chopped
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
1 tbls. Worchester sauce
1 cup each frozen mixed veggies & frozen corn
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 box digitalini pasta
6 cups water
2 cans beef broth
3 beef buillion cubes
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
2 tbls olive oil
seasonings of your choice (I used cumin, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes,seasoned salt, pepper,parsley flakes, onion & garlic powder)
1 clove garlic, minced
2-4 Tbls. brown sugar
1 can kidney beans rinsed and drained
parmesan cheese, grated for serving

To big stockpot, add 1 tbls olive oil.  Add carrot, celery & onion.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring often until veggies are about 3/4 way softened.  Add additional oil, turn heat up to medium high.  Mix a little cumin, paprika, chili powder & seasoned salt & pepper in bowl add chicken turning to coat.  Add to veggies.  Cook stirring until chicken is done.  Add garlic clove and saute for about a minute.  Deglaze pan with red wine and worchester sauce stirring to get up browned bits from bottom of pan.  Add all other ingredients (EXCEPT, kidney beans and pasta), bring to boil stirring occasionally.  Turn down to medium low and simmer for about 1/2 hour until reduced by about a 1/4.  Turn heat back up and taste soup.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Bring to boil and add kidney beans and pasta.  Stir and cook until pasta is done.  Serve with grated parmesan cheese and biscuits/bread of your choice... enjoy

Biscuits (courtesy of Angie a lil country sugar)

2 cups self rising flour ( see recipe below)
2 tbls melted butter
1 cup + 2 tbls half n half

Turn oven to 450.  Make self rising flour.  Add butter and half n half.  Mix with fork until combined.  Sprinkle surface with flour (I usually use a little of the self rising flour before adding other ingredients).  Knead dough for a minute then pat out with floured hands.  Cut into biscuits using a glass dipped in flour or a biscuit cutter.  Place on greased pan and bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes or until browned.  Serve with butter...

Self rising flour

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Combine all ingredients.  (note for recipe above you will need to double the flour recipe).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Pasta

This is a family tradition... we love this pasta... I made it for my sister & brother in law and they loved it... my son loves it.... It has all kinds of yummy things in it and it is pretty easy to make... I serve this with parmesan cheese and crusty bread. 

Christmas Pasta

1 lb. ground beef
1 link sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
3 slices bacon, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 tbls. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbls. worchester sauce
1-2 anchovies ( or anchovy paste optional)
1/2 cup red wine
salt & pepper to taste
seasonings of your choice (I use red pepper flakes, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, sprinkle of cinnamon, parsley flakes, garlic & onion powder, seasoned salt)
1 tbls. olive oil
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can beef broth
1 c water
Pasta ( I usually use fettucini, but have used penne cooked al dente)
Parmesan cheese
Crusty Bread

In stockpot place olive oil, add onion, celery, carrot cook for a couple of minutes.  Add beef, sausage, and bacon cooking until meat is done, and veggie are tender.  Add red wine and deglaze pan.  Add everything (except pasta).  Bring to boil and then turn heat down to medium and simmer until sauce is thickened.  Cook pasta and drain.  Add pasta to sauce then cook for a couple of minutes.  Serve with parmesan cheese & crusty bread...  Enjoy.. Merry Christmas

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Mom's Mac & Cheese

I just wanted some good old comfort food today.... With a teething/sick baby and me who it seems like catches everything everyone brings home (yes I take vitamins)... comfort food fit the bill.... My mom makes awesome macaroni & cheese.  Everyone who tries it loves it... You can easily double the recipe for more people.  Also use whatever cheese you have (I like at least 1/2 sharp cheddar, but lots of times I clean out the cheese drawer just chopping, grating & mixing in whatever I have).  I have used smoked gouda, a little parmesan, whatever.  Also during the last 15-20 minutes of baking, you can add smoky links to the top of the dish, or you can add cubed ham to the uncooked dish and cook as normal, I wouldn't recommend using smoky links to the uncooked dish cause they have a tendancy to burn.   You can eat this as a main dish or it goes well as a side dish.  Enjoy

Mac & cheese

1/2 box elbow macaroni, cooked until about a minute before the box says it is done
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups milk
2 eggs
8 oz. cubed cheese
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic& onion powder
seasoned salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbls. butter cubed
smoky links or cubed ham (optional)

Spray baking pan with nonstick spray.  Place both milks in pan.  Add eggs & seasonings mix well.  Add drained cooked macaroni, and the cheese mixing well.  (If adding ham add now).  After mixing spread mixture into a layer. Dot top of casserole with butter.  Place in 375 preheated oven, baking for about an hour and 15 minutes or until casserole is set and browned and bubbly on top and sides. (Add smoky links if using and cook for additional 10-15 minutes.    Enjoy

Monday, December 13, 2010


Well since it's been so cold and blustery outside needed something warm & spicy to make for dinner.... I so love fajitas with homemade tortillas... They are so delicious... make them for your family tonight :)

It helps if you have a "helper" in the kitchen for this project... There is alot of chopping and stirring (but don't let it scare you) have someone cook the meat & veggies while you roll out and make the tortillas (or you can cheat and buy some  tortillas and skip this step... It is soooo worth it to make homemade tortillas... I will never buy another store bought tortilla again... they are so worth the effort :)

It is definately a labor of love :)


2 lbs london broil (or can use boneless chicken breast) thinly sliced across the grain
2 tbls. cumin
2 tbls. chili powder
2 tbls. paprika
pinch of red pepper flakes
juice from 1/2 lime
2 tbls. oil
1 tbls. worchester sauce
seasoned salt & pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green & yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (can use any color of peppers just need 2-3)
3 medium onions, peeled cut in half and then sliced in thin half-moon shapes
2 tbls. red wine (optional can use beef stock, or chicken stock instead)
pinch of sugar

To serve:
 Homemade tortillas (see previous post with Carne Asada for recipe)
Toppings of your choice... I used
tomatoes (chopped), shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, avacado (peeled, seeded and cubed)

In non metal bowl  place all of ingredients (EXCEPT steak, peppers & onions and topping ingredients). Mix well to form a "marinade".  Place meat into bowl and stir well coating all.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for around 30 minutes.   While steak is marinading cut peppers & onions up.  Make tortilla dough and cover with cloth and let rest for around 10-15 minutes.

In large pan place 1 tbls. oil heat to medium add steak.  In another pan place 1 tbls. oil and add pepper & onions.   Make and roll out tortillas while meat & pepper/onion mixture cooks.  After tortillas and done place tortillas on a place with a clean dishcloth over them to keep them warm. 

When meat is just about done, turn the meat up to high heat, adding 2 tbls red wine and a pinch of sugar to "deglaze" the pan.  Cook for 1-2 minutes scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, stirring until bubbly and heated through. 

Serve"family" style, everyone helps themselves to meat, and pepper/onion mixture, then toppings of your choice.  Enjoy....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Minestrone Soup

Well winter has made it's way to Michigan... cold, snow on the ground... My husband is doing the happy dance every time he sees a flake of snow... I on the other hand could be happy if the only snow I ever saw was on Christmas day and that was it... gotta have a white Christmas :)  LOL  anyway now is the time that homey comfort foods make you feel warm on the inside to help you brave that cold on the outside....
Minestrone soup is one of those yummy things.... alongside with some bread to dip in the broth ... life is good... enjoy

Don't be afraid of the long list of ingredients... you will probably have most of these items in your pantry.  I had to only buy the meat (you can only use ground beef or sausage if you don't have both) & kidney beans (but if you have another kind of bean use those). Any type of pasta works as well.  Use what you have.  Also, noticed when the soup was done after we had eaten, that the pasta continued to absorb the broth so I added more water.  It is supposed to be thick and have some broth but not like soup... More like stew... enjoy...


1/4 lb. ground sausage (I used Bob Evans)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped (or use 1/2 cup baby carrots chopped
I can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 can diced tomatoes
13 cups water
1 1/2 cups digitalini pasta,uncooked
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbls. sugar
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 Tbls. Worchester sauce
2 cans beef broth
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup Frozen vegetables for soup (or mixed vegetables)
Seasonings of your choice (I used dried parsley, onion & garlic powder, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt & pepper)

Crusty Bread (to eat with soup)
olive oil & parmesan cheese (optional)

In large stockpot over medium heat place oil in pan, put onion, celery & carrot in.  Saute for a couple of minutes.  Place sausage & ground beef in pan.  Cook breaking up meat and stirring vegetables until meat is done and vegetables are almost done.  Add remaining ingredients (EXCEPT KIDNEY BEANS & PASTA) stirring well.  Bring to boil turn heat down and simmer for a couple of hours stirring occasionally. Turn heat to medium high, add kidney beans and bring to a a boil.  Add uncooked pasta, stirring well simmer until pasta is done around 7-8 minutes or until al dente. Turn off heat.  Taste soup & adjust seasonings if necessary.   Serve in bowls drizzled with a little olive oil & a sprinkle of parmesan cheese... Enjoy

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Pumpkin... Pumpkin rolls

My friend Mark is hooked on Pumpkin Rolls.... he is on a mission to find them... LOL which makes me laugh... and think why on earth have I never attempted to make a pumpkin roll???  Oh wait a minute.... I remember that I did attempt once to make one and oh my gosh did it turn out awful... broken awful mess... (tasted good but looked horrible) this is supposed to be a roll not a mountain of pumpkin roll... LOL.... So it got me to thinking of developing a recipe.... Which got me to noticing that I ran out of pumpkin (see previous blog about all things pumpkin) and you will notice why I have no pumpkin in the house... So off to the store to buy some... LOL you can see my previous blogs about pumpkin as to what to do with the remaining pumpkin that you have on hand.. I made more pumpkin fluff... just follow the recipe as written using the remaining pumpkin that you have... enjoy

I looked online and all around for pumpkin roll recipes.... they are pretty much similiar some have nuts, some have more filling, spices sometimes are a little different.  I wanted traditional and yummy.  So here is my version....hope you enjoy

**note for the icing... I double the recipe and use about 1 1/3 the amount in my pumpkin roll cause I like lots of filling (not too thick though or it won't roll properly).. then I put the remaining filling in a serving dish and serve it on the side for those who like extra filling... (like me :)

Pumpkin Roll

Powdered sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup Pumpkin

1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
6 tbls. butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a jelly roll pan with nonstick spray.  Line pan with waxed paper.  Grease paper with nonstic spray & sprinkle with flour.  Sprinkle a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt & pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.  With electric mixer beat eggs & sugar until thickened.  Mix in pumpkin.  Mix in flour mixture about a 1/3 at a time until mixed.  Spread in jelly roll pan spreading out in an even layer.   Bake for 13-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.  IMMEDIATELY loosen cake and flip out of pan, carefully peeling off waxed paper.  Put towel sugar side down onto cake (where wax paper came off of) and roll up.  I roll the long way but you can roll whatever way you like, narrow or long (the cake will be thicker if rolled the narrow way or thinner if rolled the long way).  Your prefrence.    Cool on wire rack completely.

For filling beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter & vanilla until smooth.  Carefully unroll cake remove towel and spread icing on cake in an even layer.  Reroll cake placing seam side down on platter.  Wrap cake in plastic wrap and place in fridge for a couple of hours to set.  To serve unwrap cake, place seam side down on platter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve slices of cake... **see note about extra icing if you like... enjoy

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ian's Bad Day busters :)

My husband had an absolutely awful day at work.  He is a very patient, fun wonderful man so for him to have about had it at work I knew I needed to make the homefront warm, welcoming & yummy looking & smelling.  My husband loves my cheeseball.  It makes him smile.  He also loves desserts.  He has such a sweet tooth and has passed that to our 5 year old son Dakota as well.  They would eat sweets before anything else.... so I thought what can I make that would welcome him home, and bring a little smile to his face.  Hmmmm.... got me thinking... Dessert....  I looked around and had some bananas that needed using up... not wanting the typical banana bread or muffins, I thought peanut butter banana cake.. with peanut butter icing on top (who doesn't love peanut butter & bananas.... Then was looking around in the fridge & forgot that I bought stuff to make a cheeseball.  Now's the perfect here is a tribute to my wonderful husband and yes it did make him smile, and a few hours after being home he was laughing & playing with the boys with a full stomach.... mission accomplished :)

Joelle's Cheeseball

2 packages Cream cheese, softened
1 small bunch green onions, washed & thinly sliced
1 package (about 1 cup) ham, thinly slivered
1/2 cup green olives w/pimentos finely chopped
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
2-3 Tbls.  green olive juice
1 Tbls. Worchester sauce
1/2 tsp. each garlic & onion powder
crackers of your choice

In bowl, place all ingredients mixing well.  Shape into ball.  (can roll in additional nuts or chopped olives) if desired.  Sometimes I place a few olives or nuts on top of ball to garnish as well.  Cover & place in fridge for a couple of hours to let flavors combine.  Serve with crackers of your choice.  Refridgerate any leftovers.  Enjoy

Peanut Butter Banana Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter, melted for 30 seconds in microwave
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup applesauce
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp each vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 bananas, peeled & mashed with fork

Peanut Butter icing/glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbls peanut butter (melted in microwave for 30 seconds)
1 Tbls milk

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon & salt. In another bowl whisk eggs, add oil, applesauce, milk vanilla & peanut butter.  Mix well.  Add bananas to wet mixture.  Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients mixing just until blended.  Pour into greased one layer pan (I used a 10 inch pyrex glass pan).  Bake at 350 about 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

When cake comes out of oven, mix peanut butter icing ingredients, (mixture should be thin but not too thin (might have to add additional powdered sugar to make the icing however you like it) spread over warm cake (that has cooled around 10 minutes).  Serve while warm.  Store leftovers in fridge. 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving

I so love Thanksgiving... There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for and the delicious dinner and dessert...can you say yum :)  One of the delicious desserts I always make is Pecan pie.... It couldn't be easier to make and is absolutely yummy.  My husband has never had homemade pecan pie except for trying one of the ones that I just made. I had to go and buy extra pecans to replace the one that he dug into.  He was saying how yummy it was, and that it sure beats store bought ones.  I told him honey "everything" homemade tastes better... Nothing says lovin to your family & friends like a little bit of "homemade" something...

So from my family to yours Happy Thanksgiving!!!!  I love all of my friends & family.  Life wouldn't be the same without all of you.  Have a happy day and take a little time to enjoy....

Pecan Pie
6 oz Pecan halves (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup Karo Syrup ( I use 1/2 light & 1/2 cup dark but you can use whatever you have on hand)
2 Tbls butter, melted
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 pie crust
Whipped cream or Ice Cream optional

Preheat oven to 350.  In bowl with whisk,  mix 3 eggs until beaten.  Add Karo syrup, butter, sugar, vanilla & pinch of salt.  Wisk well to combine.  Mix in pecans with large spoon.  Pour mixture into pie crust.  Place pie pan on a oven proof baking sheet (to protect oven from spills from pie) and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top of pie lightly springs back when touched (be careful pie and filling is very hot).  Let cool completely.  Serve with whipped cream, or ice cream (optional).  Refridgerate leftovers.  Enjoy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Pumpkin & More Pumpkin

I so love fall.... love, love, love it... nothing says fall like recipes calling for pumpkin in them.  One of my favorite things in the whole world is my mom's Pumpkin bread.  It is the best pumpkin bread that I have ever had... yum yum yummy :)

My oldest son shares my love for pumpkin... It was his 18th birthday the other day (gosh where does the time go?) so I made him Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake (no bake kind) and Pumpkin fluff that you eat with graham crackers, sliced apples or gingersnaps... yum 

I am always on the lookout for other pumpkin recipes... lots this time of year get posted....always trying new ones....

Pumpkin Fluff

1 15 oz can of pumpkin
2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1 container of coolwhip
1-2 Tbls of powdered sugar
(optional) I mix a couple of Tbls of graham cracker crumbs, 1 Tbls sugar and 1 Tbls of melted butter together until comined and crumbly. 
Dippers of your choice:  Gingersnap cookies, graham crackers, or apple slices (I sprinkle mine with cinnamon sugar and a little lemon juice, and I serve them immediately because they don't keep)

Mix pumpkin, spice, coolwhip & powdered sugar together combining well.  Sprinkle with graham cracker crumb mixture for dressing up the top of the dip:)  Let sit for a couple of hours to let the flavors develop.    Serve with dippers of your choice

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 Flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2/3 water
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour 2 loaf pans.
Whisk dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon).  Mix sugar, eggs beating until combined with electric mixer.  Add water, pumpkin and oil mixing well.  Add dry ingredients slowly mixing with mixer until combined (don't overmix or your bread will be tough).  Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Adjust cooking time if necessary. 

Pumpkin cheesecake (No Bake kind)

1 pkg. light cream cheese, at room tempature
1 pkg.cheesecake instant pudding mix, dry not made into pudding)
1 container coolwhip
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin
1 graham cracker crust (can be store bought or homemade your choice)

In large mixing bowl with electric mixer beat cream cheese until fluffly (about 1 minute).  Add dry pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and milk.  Mix until combined, & a little thickened about 2 minutes.  Add cool whip mixing until combined.  Pour into crust, smoothing out.  Place into fridge and let sit a couple of hours until firmed up.  Serve with additional cool whip if desired.  Enjoy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Carne Asada

In my never ending quest to cook more "ethnic food" for my son Charlie, I attempted tonight to make my first ever Carne Asada... which if you don't know what that is... it is meat cooked until it is falling apart in a spicy sauce served with flour tortillas and various toppings of your choice kinda like a taco in a soft shell.
I am so glad that I ventured into unknown territory because they turned out absolutely wonderful....  Well Charlie ate 6 "tacos" and gave me the ultimate compliment...saying mom I like these so well we could have these once a month.  (That is another thing he says we eat the same stuff all the time... which as you all know I do cook a variety of stuff not Spaghetti on Monday, Mac & Cheese on Tues... etc)  anyway, they were tasty, delicious and very easy..  I served them with my homemade torillas and various toppings (sour cream, lettuce, tomato, avacado, cheese) .  Give them a try.... enjoy

Carne Asada

1/4 of a pork loin (about 2-3 pounds) left whole
1 onion, peeled cut in half lengthwise, and sliced into thin half moons, and seperated
2 cans enchilada sauce (I used one can mild, and the other can hot, your choice)
seasoning blend (I made a seasoning blend of seasoned salt, pepper,cumin, chili powder, paprika, )
2-3 Tbls sugar
To Serve: (toppings of your choice, lettuce, cheese, tomato, sour cream, lime juice)

Mix your seasoning blend.  Set aside. Pour half the enchilada sauce in crockpot, place  the onions ontop of the sauce.   In large Crockpot place pork loin.  Sprinkle seasonings liberally over pork loin, pour remaining sauce over meat.  Turn meat coating all with the sauce, sprinkle with remaining spice blend.  Cook on high for around 4 hours, turn meat over.  Turn heat down to low cook for around 2-3 hours until meat is falling apart.  Turn crockpot off.  Remove meat to platter and with 2 forks shred meat.  Spoon a little sauce over meat.  Serve with tortilla and toppings of your choice.  Assemble like a taco.  In bowls spoon a little sauce, sprinkle sauce with a little lime juice, dip tacos in sauce and eat.... Enjoy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taco soup with Homemade Tortillas....

Can I get a YUM!!! Homemade tortillas...  they are my latest craze.... I am absolutely addicted to them... I was never really crazy about tortillas... the ones that are store bought have this really weird taste to them.. I think it is the chemical preservatives in them to keep them "fresh".  All I can say is yuck... every once in a while I would have one with fajitas but again it was not often and I usually didn't finish it.  Ate all of the stuff on the inside of the tortilla and left the tortilla.  In my quest to make different dishes.. (remember from a previous post my son Charlie says mom we don't eat enough "ethnic foods") ... I was like okay... so onto teaching myself how to make more ethnic foods..... Tonight I am soaking the beans to make homemade mexican pinto beans for refried beans (to put on these tortillas with a little cheese) can't wait... yum.. :) It took a little while to learn to get the right torilla consistency with the dough... and how to roll them out and cook them, but it was sooooo worth it.  Hot steamy yummy tortillas, with a little butter, (and jam as my 5 year old likes them)... I will NEVER buy a package of tortillas again.... Try them... they are a little bit of work.. but absolutely delicious....
Taco Soup... a creation that is really easy and yummy with these tortillas... Kinda like tortilla soup ....

Taco Soup

1 lb. hamburger (ground chuck)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 stalk celery chopped
1 can beef stock
2 cans diced stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup water
splash of worchester sauce
2-3 Tbls sugar ( I use a combination of brown & white sugar)
1 packet Taco Seasoning mix
1 can each of corn, & black beans drained and rinsed
seasonings of your choice ( I use, chili powder, paprika, cumin, no salt seasoning blend, parsley flakes, red pepper flakes,seasoned salt)
Toppings of your choice (I use sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions thinly sliced)
Tortillas, or tortilla chips broken up (optional)
Hot sauce,a few dashes(optional)

Brown meat, onion, celery salt & pepper until meat is done and veggies are tender, breaking meat up and draining if there is alot of fat.  Add rest of ingredients stirring well.  Bring to boil, and then turn down heat simmering for around 1/2 hour. Serve with toppings of your choice and tortillas (or tortilla chips).  Enjoy


2 cups flour (additonal needed for counter top and to dust rolling pin)
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup very warm water

In bowl whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, & salt.  Add remaining ingredients mixing until all comes together in a ball.  Knead dough on flour dusted counter for about 30 seconds until together smooth and elastic.    Place back in bowl.  Place a clean dish towel over bowl letting dough rest for 15-30 minutes.  On flour dusted surface grab about a ping pong ball size of dough (or golf ball size) roll in your hands to make a ball.  Place on floured surface pressing down with your hand to flatten dough.  Sprinkle round with a little flour.  Roll moving dough in circular pattern until very thin.  Cook ( I use a Presto griddle with electric thermostat, the kind for making pancakes) on 400 degrees, it seems to regulate the heat and cook the tortillas evenly.  You can also go online and find a tortilla pan or use any heavy frying pan completely dry and over medium high heat.  Watch these carefully, you will see bubbles almost immediately pick up and if they have golden brown speckles on them flip and cook other side until tortillas are a light golden brown .  Enjoy.  Delicious with butter.  Enjoy (Watch out these are addicting :)  LOL

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Potato... Soup & Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

This post starts with the humble potato.... Yummy... 110 calories and no fat... some people don't eat "carbs" and think about the humble potato as "the enemy".. I am like give me a break... a little carbs won't kill ya... might even make you nicer... LOL  that is what I feel about Diet Coke & Chocolate... a little every day will sweeten my butt up & make me nicer!!! (so I've been told )

Went to my parents house and saw a recipe on the counter... My sister Danielle makes the best potato soup EVER!!! I saw her recipe on the counter with various other ingredients, potatoes, onions etc.  I asked my mom what she was doing and she said making potato soup.  I was very impressed ..go mom....:)  mom had back surgery a couple of months ago and in the last couple of years hasn't been well enough to cook but thank God she is doing better and has resumed some lost activities... Yeah momma...
So while my mom played with baby Jackson I made soup... I had lots of ham, potatoes, & veggies leftover so I thought why not do what Danielle & I did last time we got together to make this... make Scalloped potatoes & Ham too... cook once eat twice is what I say, one less mess to clean up later which is always a good thing...

Danielle's Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups diced peeled potatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled & chopped
3/4 cup cubed ham
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups water
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. garlic & onion powder
seasoned salt & pepper
chicken bouillon cubes, or chicken bouillon base or granules

In large soup pot, place onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, ham & water. Lightly salt & pepper.  Bring to boil over medium high heat. Add a couple of chicken bouillon cubes, or base.  Turn heat down and simmer on low for about 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender. Turn heat down to low.   In another saucepan melt butter, whisk in flour.  Cook whisking for a couple of minutes to cook out the "raw flour" taste.  Whisk in milk, garlic & onion powder, and seasoned salt & pepper to taste.  Continue whisking occasionally until mixture is boiling and thickened.  Add thickened roux to soup, stirring well until blended.  Turn heat up and cook until boiling and mixture has come together and thickened.  Taste & adjust seasonings if necessary. 
**Note** Instead of the water you can use some chicken stock, or part chicken stock & water ( Omit chicken bouillon/base if doing this).

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham
3 lbs. potatoes peeled , cut in 1/2 lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 package cubed ham (or use leftover ham, cubed)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
2-3 cups milk
1/4 tsp onion, garlic powder
seasoned salt . regular salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease large baking dish.  Place potatoes, onion, ham & celery into baking dish, mixing well.  Lightly salt & pepper mixture.  In saucepan, melt butter, whisking in flour until mixed.  Cook roux mixture for about 2-3 minutes .  Add milk, garlic & onion powder, seasoned salt & pepper.  Whisk occasionally until mixture is thickened.  Pour over potatoes mixture, mixing until all is mixed well. Place covered (with foil or baking dish lid) and cook for 1  hour.  TURN HEAT DOWN to 350, uncover and cook until potatoes are tender and top is lightly browned and center of casserole is bubbling and hot. around 15-20 more minutes.  Enjoy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ian's Birthday Dinner

It is my wonderful husband's birthday today.  Growing up we had a rule at our house if it was your birthday you could have whatever you wanted for dinner (ask my mom about my sister wanting Bean soup when she was like 6 years old for dinner,,, my mom did have to veto that one and tell her no..she said how can I serve a house full of company Bean soup for dinner?)  LOL  I have carried on that tradition with my family... We have had many delicious dinners... for years my son wanted a "Thanksgiving dinner" except with a whole roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, squash, and stuffing and of course lots of cake & ice cream.  When he was young I always took the day off of work to spend with him, and I would pack a picnic lunch of all of his favorite things and take lunch up to his school & eat it with him.  And also bring the class cupcakes to celebrate his day... Gosh I miss those days, he is going to be 18 in a few weeks... where does the time go....sigh.....
Anyways my husband requested steak, potatoes (he really is a meat & potato kinda guy) salad, vanilla cake with vanilla icing, and ice cream.  Do you think I could find a really good vanilla (white) cake recipe.  Tested a couple and they were yuckky :(  So I broke down and bought a boxed cake mix & icing... Geez shoot me now.. yuck cake out of a box & frosting out of a can.... maybe homemade next year honey.. got a full year to test drive them :)
I made him filet mingon, loaded baked potatoes, & salad...

Filet Mingon

4 Filet Mingon steaks (can either use the ones with bacon, I didn't but have used those in the past)
Olive oil
seasonings of your choice ( I used a blend of seasoned salt, Montreal Steak seasoning, onion & garlic powder, paprika, no salt herb blend, cajun seasoning, and chipolete cinnamon seasoning & cracked pepper)

Preheat oven to 375.
In large oven proof skillet, turn heat to medium high.  Pour into pan a couple of Tablespoonfuls of olive oil.  Swirl around pan to coat bottom.  Mix all of the seasonings in a small bowl.  Sprinkle liberally both sides of the steak pressing in seasonings.  Place in pan to sear.  Sear on both sides for around 3-5 minutes  per side until seasonings have formed a "crust" and the steaks are browned on both sides.  Place in oven for around 5-10 minutes.  Check for doneness by lightly cutting into steak ( I press down on my steaks instead of cutting medium well feels slightly firm) then cover steak pan with foil to keep warm.)  I let my steak cook until almost done and use that foil method to let the juices re-collect into the meat and the 5-10 minutes that the steak rests the carryover cooking gets the steak to the right doneness.

Loaded Baked Potatoes

4 Large Idaho potatoes scrubbed clean
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
toppings of your choice ( I use shredded cheese, green onions, thinly sliced, sour cream & bacon bits)
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 375.
On pan with a rim around it place potatoes.  Poke each potato a couple of times with a sharp knife.  Drizzle potatoes with olive oil , rubbing all of the potato with the oil.  Sprinkle liberally over the top with Kosher Salt.  Place potatoes in the oven and bake for around an hour. Remove from oven and check potato doneness with a sharp knife, if inserted easily potatoes are done.  Serve with butter, salt & pepper and toppings.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chicken with Grandma B's homemade noodles

Can I just say that I love homemade noodles....Those storebought cardboard yuckky ones...not so much but homemade melt in your mouth noodles dripping with some kind of homemade broth (soup) on them.... awesome.

My Grandma B always made homemade noodles.... she is such an awesome cook (I will be sharing some of her recipes like cinnamon rolls, and coffee cake, noodles, I could go on and on... ) she used beef short ribs flavored simply with a little onion, salt & pepper then lots and lots of wide homemade rolled out noodles.... They are absolutely awesome.  I took her recipe and put my own little spin on it.  I used this time chicken (but have used short ribs and they are equally delicious) and flavored the cooking broth with carrots, onion & celery along with seasonings.... My husband ate 2 helpings and loved them, and I am so glad that I have extra left to eat on this week .  I used the bones of chicken breasts that I removed the breast meat for (I made fajitas), I left around 1/3 of the meat on them.  You can use whatever pieces of chicken that you like.  Try these they sound like alot of work, but couldn't be any easier....enjoy

Chicken & Homemade noodles

Chicken carcass (I used the the bones of 3 very large chicken breasts I usually leave about a 1/3 of the meat on when removing the breast meat)
1/2 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped (can use baby or regular carrots 2-3 depending on size)
6-8 cups of water
2 cans of chicken stock
seasonings of your choice, I used 1 bay leaf, seasoned salt & pepper, parsley flakes, splash of worchester sauce, no salt herb seasoning blend)


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (additional flour for rolling out and kneading dough)
pinch of kosher salt,
1 egg
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp baking powder

In large soup pot, place all of ingredients (except noodle ingredients) and bring to boil, turning heat down & simmering for around 2-3 hours until meat is done and soup broth is reduced by about 1/3.  Let mixture cool.  When cool. remove chicken bones and remove meat from them and put meat back into the pot.  Taste mixture and adjust seasonings adding more if necessary to make really flavorful broth.  Turn up heat bring broth back up to full boil.

In bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt whisking to incorporate. Mix in egg, olive oil & water until mixture forms a ball in bowl ,might have to add a couple of more T. of water until mixture forms ball.  Turn out onto floured surface.  Knead slightly until dough comes together.  Roll out to 1/4 " thickness. With pizza cutter (or knife) cut into large square noodle shapes.  With large spatula lift noodle off of floured surface shaking off additional flour, and drop gently into boiling stock one at a time stirring well with each addtion of noodle.  Bring back to a boil and boil about 2-3 minutes or until noodles are floating to top.  Check for doneness by tasting noodle (it will hold it's shape, be firm to the tooth and not have a raw flour taste.  Turn off heat.  Ladle the noodles & broth into serving bowls & enjoy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My Aunt Mary called me and asked me to make Galoush for the family... I love to cook so I was happy to oblige..  Galoush is a yummy fall dish, with pasta, meat & tomato sauce.  I serve this with buttered bread & steamed mixed veggies on the side to round out the meal. 


1 box elbow macaroni
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 quart stewed tomatoes
2 cans tomato soup
1 can tomato sauce
1T. worchester sauce
1/4 c brown sugar
seasonings of your choice (I use garlic & onion powder, celery & seasoned salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, parsley flakes)
1/4 c red wine (optional)
1/2 cup water
hot sauce & shredded cheddar cheese ,optional

In large pot cook macaroni in salted water until done, drain.  In large skillet brown ground beef & onion.  Pour off extra fat in pan. In pan that you cooked the macaroni in place meat mixture & all other ingredients (EXCEPT hot sauce & shredded cheese). Bring to a simmer and simmer for around 15-20 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Serve with a little hot sauce, & sprinkle with shredded cheese.  My mom likes kidney beans added to her galoush so if you like them add them....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chili & Cornbread

When fall arrives here in Michigan and the weather cools down all I can think of is warm, steamy comfort food...bubbly mac & cheese , steaming chicken & dumplings, soups, and chili..... yummm nothing says warm & yummy like a good bowl of chili... with cornbread...not that dry, crumbly bland yuck cornbread, but moist, a little sweet & warm, buttery right out of the oven cornbread slathered in butter... (you do know that butter makes EVERYTHING better right :) lol..... all kidding aside... why not try making a big batch of chili and cornbread, sitting down with your family and enjoying.... I have tons of other ways to serve leftover chili as well... Here are a few: 

I love pasta topped with chili and cheese (cook spaghetti or elbow macaroni (for chili mac), heat chili and for spaghetti top it like you would spaghetti with marinera, for elbow macaroni add chili to the cooked macaroni, top with cheese and serve...

Baked potatoes (I roast potates, I use Idaho potatoes in a 375 degree oven (scrub them clean and poke with a knife to stop them from exploding in the oven), drizzle them with olive oil rubbing around so the potatoes is covered and sprinkling them liberally with kosher salt. Roast for around 1 hour.  The skins will be crispy and yummy, and the inside from roasting will not be dry but delicious.  ( if you are using yukon gold or red potatoes adjust the time cause they take less time too cook).  When the potatoes are almost done, heat the chili, when the potatoes come out of the oven, split open & mash the insides a little, pour chili over, add cheese, a little sour cream, and green onion tops.  I also top with a few crushed fritos (I know it sounds wierd, but it tastes delicious and the crunch is yummy too :)

I also love to make nachos with leftover chili.  Heat leftover chili.  Preheat broiler. On a sheet pan lined with foil spread nacho chips out in a layer.  Spoon leftover heated chili, top liberally with shredded cheese.  Place under broiler for a short while to melt cheese, serve with toppings of your choice ( I like hot sauce, sour cream, green onions.  Whatever you like....


1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 onion & green pepper chopped medium fine
3 cans diced tomatoes (I use ones made for chili but can use plain ones as well)
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 c molasses
1/4 brown sugar
1 T. worchester sauce
1 t. minced garlic or 1 clove minced finely
Seasonings of your choice ( here's what I use.... Seasoned salt, & pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, (just a pinch)Italian seasoning,(just a pinch) red pepper flakes (just a pinch, more if you like hotter), garlic & onion powder, no salt seasoning blend and a packet of chili seasoning mix (optional )
1/4 c red wine (optional)- can use beer
1 c water
1 can chili beans (mild or hot)depends on your preferences
1T. hot sauce-more if you like hotter

Brown meat, onion & green pepper in a large pot add seasoned salt & pepper to meat.  Break up meat cooking until meat is done.  If lots of fat drain off.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.   Turn heat down low and simmer for about an hour until thickened.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve with cornbread, & crackers..enjoy


1 1/2 c corn meal (not self rising)
1 c flour
1 egg
3/4 c milk
1/3 c sugar
3 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
2 T. oil
1/4 c miracle whip or mayo
2 T. honey

Combine all ingredients mixing well but not too much...batter will be a little lumpy.  Put into sprayed dish.  Bake at 400 degrees about 20-25 minutes until done, placing toothpick into center of bread making sure it comes out clean.  Brush with butter when out of the oven.  Serve with additional butter & honey.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Leftovers..... Steak Primavera omelets

Leftovers..... not always a welcome thing... Most people tell me that their families HATE leftovers and that they end up throwing them away... I am like with the price of groceries... are you kidding me.... how about making a REMIX.... in Joelle talk......  Folks, here's a little secret... make them delicious and undetectable and nobody will even know they are leftovers... all your family will think is yummy :)

Here's a tale of some leftovers getting a brand new life and lots of ........yum this is really great mom :)  Which this is what this momma likes to hear.....
My husband and I went out to dinner for Sweetest Day which is rare cause I hate going out to eat... ( I know, I know everyone thinks I am nuts, but usually the food is awful :(  I hate spending money on awful things.... and I like what I make much better....So we had leftover Steak  w/ sauteed onions & mushrooms, steamed veggies (zuchini, broccoli, & carrots) and mashed potatoes which I did throw out cause they were awful... (which I think how bad is it when you can't even make mashed potatoes right but ,....that my friends is another story altogether :)  ....

I was wanting to make a yummy breakfast for my family but was looking for something new and different (tired of the same ole stuff)... which lead me to the leftover box from Sweetest Day dinner.... I opened the box and thought what on earth can I do with this.... The veggies made me think of primavera....and then I thought what about the meat....and those potatoes....So I had my "lightbulb" moment and thought hmmm what about a steak primavera omelete....Then I saw those yuck potatoes, and thought alright throw those out, and get out real potatoes, onion & bacon and make your own... Off to the stove I went and the following is what I came up with... hope you all get into the kitchen & use up your leftovers.... My husband while he was eating breakfast kept made this up all on your own?  And I was like yes honey... I did... He was like I would have never thought of that... I said that is why you married me wink.... LOL not really but like to tease him... he is a great sport and loves me & my cooking... Thank you honey,,, love you...

I serve these with toast, you can serve with bagels, biscuits, torillas whatever.....

Steak Primavera Omelets...

Eggs, scrambled ( I use 2 per omelet)
Leftover steak (sliced across the grain thinly)
The onions & mushrooms from the steak (or saute your own in butter/olive oil
The steamed leftover veggies (or whatever veggies you like, broccoli, zuchini, carrots, peppers whatever you have in the fridge...)
salt & pepper
Shredded cheese

Preheat broiler....
In a 6 inch skillet melt a pat of butter, when melted move across pan to coat bottom.  Add some veggies, steak with mushrooms & onions.  Season with salt & pepper.  Saute till heated through.  Add scrambled eggs over top moving around with spatula until set on bottom.  Put in oven for just around 30 seconds to a minute until eggs on top are set then sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice, put back under broiler until cheese is melted.  Slide out onto serving dish... Enjoy

Potatoes, with onions, & bacon

1 T. bacon grease
4 potatoes ( sliced lengthwise and cut into thin slices)
1 onions chopped
salt & pepper
garlic powder (optional, if you like garlic)

In large saute pan with lid, place bacon grease, making sure to melt, on medium high heat.  Swirl around and coat pan.  Add potatoes, onions and seasonings. Mix well coating potatoes, with grease, onions & seasonings.  Place lid on pan, turn heat down to medium low & cook for a few minutes.  With a spatula turn potatoes letting potatoes carmelize and cook. When potatoes are fork tender & the onion is done, take lid off of pan and turn up heat to crisp up the potatoes.  Watch carefully so potatoes dont burn.  Serve with omelete....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Dinner

I have had the most awful day today =(  So not a good day all the way around... Thought to myself I might as well have a yummy dinner to make up for this awful, awful day.... (it is 3:00 and the baby has had 3 baths and 3 changes of clothes, and 3 changes of clothes myself =(  well only 1 bath for me lol.....
So was going to cook a great dinner for my husband for Sweetest Day tomorrow and thought why not do it today and go out to dinner for Sweetest Day (use up those gift certificates from last Christmas and my birthday lol :)  Hopefully my family will cooperate and let me cook dinner.....(listen to that family =)
Making  Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms, Cumin Marinated Pork Chops, Roasted potatoes w/ bacon & onions, steamed squash & Texas Sheet cake for dessert...

Cumin Marinated Pork Chops
5-6 pork chops
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worchester sauce
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1tsp. cumin
2 T. brown sugar

In a big ziploc bag, place all ingredients (except pork chops), mix together (I wisked the ingredients together in the bag), then place pork chops in.  Seal bag getting as much air out as possible.  Mix with your hands the bag around to coat porkchops in marinade.  Place in a bowl into the fridge (in case bag leaks).  Marinate at least an hour to overnight. Place on greased baking sheet ,disgarding marinade.   Cook at 350 degrees until pork chops are done about an hour.

Texas Sheet Cake
1 stick butter or margarine
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 can Hershey syrup
1 c flour
1tsp cinnamon

Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray and preheat oven to 325. 
Mix together with electric mixer butter & sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix together in another bowl all of the dry ingredients (I wisk the mixture instead of sifting it, much easier).  Alternately add dry ingredients, and Hershey syrup until all the ingredients are incorporated.  Place batter in sprayed sheet pan baking for 30 minutes until done and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  Immediately pour icing over hot cake..

1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 c sugar
1/2 c evaporated milk
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 mini marshmellows
1 tsp cinnamon

In saucepan over medium heat place butter, sugar,marshmellow & evaporated milk stir together.  Bring to boil stirring until marshmellows are melted and entire mixture is rapidly boiling.  Add chocolate chips stirring until melted.  Add cinnamon mixing well.  Pour mixture over hot cake just out of the oven spreading into a thin layer over cake.  Will harden upon standing.  Enjoy :)

Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms
6-12 Whole Mushrooms (stuffing mushrooms in mushroom section of supermarket)
1 can crabmeat drained and flaked
1 pkg Stove Top stuffing (I use Chicken)
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cups water
olive oil

In saucepan put water, sage and butter bring to boil.  When mixture boils turn off heat and add Stove top mixture.  Mix well put lid on pan and let sit for 5 minutes.  When done fluff with fork.  Add crabmeat to stuff mixture mixing well.  Wash mushroom caps and disgard stems.  Stuff each mushroom cap wih 1-2 Tablespoons stuffing mixture place on aluminum foil lined baking sheet stuffing side up.  Drizzle the mushrooms lightly with olive oil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees until done.  Enjoy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beef Vegetable Soup

I so, so, so LOVE soup.

  It warms your soul and your body, makes the house smell good and is good for you.... Add whatever your family likes, and don't put in what your family doesn't like....that is what makes it good and easy to make.  Just dump, cook and dinner is done.  Great for working moms & dads who don't have alot of time.  (I have even not put in the chopped carrot & celery didn't have time and put in a whole package of frozen mixed veggies...turned out fine, just a little more flavorful with them in:)  This is just a basic version of soup, I usually clean out my veggie drawer when I make soup (I usually don't put in green pepper, or broccoli or cauliflower because those veggies tend to overpower a basic soup),,, This is a great way to get veggies into your children. Even my very picky 5 year old loves homemade soup... and it is so yummy....

1 1/2 lbs. cubed beef stew meat (you can also use a cubed roast, cheaper buy it when it is on sale)
8 cups water
1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix
1 pkg. Good Seasonings Italian dressing mix (dry)
1/4 cup red wine
1 carrot chopped (can use baby carrots chopped around 1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery chopped
1/2 package of Frozen Mixed Vegetables
2 T. sugar
1 can stewed tomatoes (cut right in can with kitchen shears who wants to dirty another dish?)
Seasonings of your choice (I use garlic powder, pinch of red pepper flakes, bay leaf, cracked pepper, seasoned salt (go light cause of soup mix ), no salt seasoning blend, parsley flakes,dried onions, splash of Worchester sauce
Wide noodles; uncooked


In big soup pot place onion soup mix, and Italian seasoning.  Add beef to seasonings mixing well to coat beef.  Add remaining ingredients (EXCEPT NOODLES), mixing well.  Cook on medium high bring to boil, turning heat down to low ,place lid on pot and simmer for several hours until meat is tender and vegetables are tender.  Taste mixture to see if seasonings need to be adjusted.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Turn heat to medium high and bring soup back to rapid boil.  Add noodles, stir (I usually add a couple of big handfuls of noodles) and cook stirring occasionally until noodles are done. Serve with bread or biscuits(to sop up the yummy broth)... Enjoy

Can also do this in a Crockpot/Slow Cooker:  Place everything (EXCEPT NOODLES)in a Crockpot/Slow Cooker mixing well.  Cook on Low 8 hours or High 6 hours until meat is tender, and vegetables are done.  Add noodles to soup turning cooker on high (if not already) and stir and cook for around 15-30 minutes until done.  Enjoy.....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homemade Pizza Dough

Well today I made homemade pizza dough... Actually a double batch...some for a deep dish pizza (not really meaning to do that will explain :) & some for some cheesy breadsticks....
My husband use to work at a wonderful pizza establishment and was teaching me how to toss the dough etc.  I was  like okay,, just get the dough into the pan and then into the oven I am starving!!! LOL  He presses the dough into the pan I top it with sauce toppings, and cheese and into the oven it goes... Smelling so delicious we peek into the oven when the timer goes off and it looks like a flying saucer is in the oven.  It has over doubled in volume and my husband goes what happened... I said looks like deep dish pizza tonight... LOL   Tasted awesome and the breadsticks with garlic butter and freshly grated parmesan...delicious... Dough had just the right consistency.... Delicious.... will definately make again..
Just maybe not flying saucer sized but will make again....

Pizza Dough recipe

1 cup warm water (around 110 degrees)
1 pkg. dry yeast (I use rapid rising kind)
1-2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
3 T olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour
Cornmeal for sprinkling on pan
Sauce & toppings of your choice

Mix warm water, dry yeast & sugar in large bowl mixing well until mixture is dissolved.  Add salt & olive oil mix well.  Add flour mixing well until dough forms ball.  Place dough onto floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes until elastic.  Place back into bowl and cover with an additional small amount of olive oil, brushing on top of dough.  Cover and let raise for around 15-30 minutes.  Sprinkle cornmeal onto pizza pan and push dough with olive oil covered fingers onto pan.  Prick dough with fork to ensure that you don't have "flying saucer" dough...Top with pizza sauce, cheese and whatever toppings you like.  Bake at 425 for around 15 minutes.  Enjoy