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.