Monday, October 21, 2013

Chicken Cheese Soup

This recipe comes from my Mother-in-law. It is a family favorite! When you are feeling down/sick/cold/or pretty much anything, this is the soup you need.
12 cups water
12 cubes/tsp. Chicken bouillon
6 Carrots (More! I actually used a whole bag of the baby carrots)
6 potatoes
4 celery stalks
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of flour
Cooked Chicken – diced
Cooked noodles (about 4 cups)
Cheez Whiz 14 oz. jar
1. Cook your chicken then dice it. It’s nice if you already have some set aside. I used around 5 chicken breasts. Boil your noodles and drain.
2. Get your 12 cups of water and bouillon on to boil. Wash and cut your carrots, potatoes, and celery. Add to your water as they get done. Bring to a boil.
3. When that is getting close to a boil start on your rue. Put your butter in your pan first and melt completely. Then slowly start to add your cup of flour. Add a little and then whisk in. Repeat until your flour is completely mixed in.
4. Add your rue to your soup. Stir together. Then add your chicken and noodles. Last comes the Cheez Whiz. If you add it in smaller scoops it will melt faster. Once the Cheez whiz is melted it is ready.
*This soup is great fresh, but tastes just as good as leftovers. It also freezes really well.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Amazing Taco Salad Dressing

I had the pleasure of feeding a bunch of men last night. They helped removed some trees so I figured I could at least feed them something other than the 'hotdogs' that were suggested. I decided to try out some Taco Salad on them. I had a recipe for a dressing that I really wanted to try. It passed the test with flying colors. ALL of the guys complimented me on it and my picky eating brother ate 2 helpings of SALAD because of it.

I found the recipe here.
Meatless Taco Salad

Here is what I did.

Ingredients for Dressing
1-1/3 cup of mostly squashed Avocado
1 cup Sour Cream
3 Tbs finely chopped Green Onions
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Chili Powder
Dash of Pepper

Mix all of those together and then set in the fridge so the flavors can mingle.

Our Taco Salad consisted of 1 lb of browned Ground Beef mixed up with the Western Family Taco seasoning packet (prepared as the packet suggests). I added 2 cans of Kidney Beans that had been rinsed thoroughly to the meat and put it in a crock pot to keep it warm while the guys worked.

We had lots of Red Leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes that were quartered, sliced olives, freshly chopped cilantro, and grated cheese. (Corn Chips optional)

I had some Mexican Rice that I had meant for a side dish, but the guys put it in the salad and it really added to the dish. Very delish!

I just made up this kind.

Anyway, it was a very good dinner. Everyone loved it. I can't wait to eat some leftovers.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I haven't tried these yet, but I wanted to make sure I had the recipe in a place I could find it later. I'm hearing all sorts of rave reviews about them. Let me know if you try them too!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tomato Chicken Noodle Soup

This was a pretty fun and simple recipe to come up with. I had some boiled chicken breasts in my fridge and no idea what to do with them. I've been feeling the need for some tomato soup. That is where it started. I didn't want to sit over a pot for forever so I pulled out my crock pot. It's a pretty big batch. Not sure on the servings yet, but it's definitely more than 8.

6 cups of Water
2 cups of Creamy Tomato Soup Dry Blend (My Personal Pantry)
3-4 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
4 stalks of Celery, washed and diced
1 bottle of Stewed Tomatoes (a large can of tomatoes would work too)
1 lb Pasta
1-2 tsp Salt
Other Seasonings

1. Pour your water and soup blend into your crock pot. Whisk until soup is incorporated.

2. Add your chicken, celery, and stewed tomatoes. Set your crock pot on High for 2-3 hours.

3. About 20 minutes before you are ready to eat boil some water for your pasta. Then cook your pasta and add it to your crock pot.

4. Add your salt and any other seasoning you'd like. I added 1 Tbsp of Italian Seasoning and a tsp of Garlic Powder.

Eat up and Enjoy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Safely Storing Food

Whether you are only buying food as you need it or are saving it for emergencies the way that you store food is important. Not only does it waste a lot of money if you don't store things properly, but it can sometimes be dangerous. We want our food to last as long as it can, while keep as much nutritional value as possible. I'm going to touch base on some basic food storage tips.

Unprocessed grains (meaning not ground up) can last 8 years and many a lot longer than that. To last that long they need to be stored properly. Before they are ground, rolled, etc it is recommended that they be stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place. After they have been processed or their sealed container has been opened they all have varying times until they have lost their nutritional value. They should still be kept in airtight containers in a cool and dry place. Here are a few examples.
   -Rolled Oats: Unopened- 8 years,  Opened- Use within 1 year
   -Wheat: Unopened - 12 years or more,  Opened- 3 years (Once ground use within a few days)
   -Cornmeal: Unopened - 5 years, Opened- Use within 1 year
   -Rice: Unopened - 30 years, Opened- As long as you keep it dry and in a cool place probably just as long
Beans, peas and lentils are the best source of protein that you can get from vegetables. They are also a good source of fiber. When you find yourself in a place where you don't have meat or can't eat it pairing these with a healthy grain creates a complete protein and an excellent substitute for meat.

Legumes will usually keep indefinitely when stored in a cool, dry place.

Here is an information sheet I received while taking a class. Feel free to print your own copy. I love having a list of guidelines for how long I can store things safely. Now the hardest thing is keeping track of when you opened something. It really isn't that hard. I like to keep a permanent marker in my kitchen so I can write the date it is opened right on the container. Works great for me!

Another tough decision that I'm sure EVERYONE has is 'How long can I keep this in my fridge?', 'Is this still good to eat?', and other questions similar to that. Here is another page with great guidelines to follow.

Here are a couple of extra 'rules of thumb' I have learned over the years.

Eggs- The date on eggs is a 'sell by date' you can often use them for a week or so after. The best way to know if an egg is still good is to do the Float Test. Gently place the egg completely submersed in water. If it floats, stands on it's end, etc it is bad. As the egg ages the membrane inside is deteriorating. This lets air in which makes it buoyant. If the air can make it in, so can bacteria.

Baked Potatoes- This is an interesting thing I learned and have tried to pass on. When you have extra baked potatoes left take them out of the foil to cool off and store them in an airtight container. If they are just put in the fridge in the foil the heat will stay in. Potatoes are a great place to grow bacteria. Also make sure you use them within a couple of days.

"When in doubt, throw it out." But also do your part to save your money and store your food safely!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Marble Pumpkin Brownies

Oh My! These were divine!

Just thought I'd share my friend's recipe. Thanks Jess! You are inspired!

The only difference I did with this recipe is I didn't layer the pumpkin mixture in between. I put all of the brownie batter on the bottom of my Large Bar Pan (Pampered Chef Stone), then poured the pumpkin mixture in stripes across the pan. I then took a butter knife and cut through the batters in both directions to get the marble look and get the pumpkin distributed.

This is what it looks like. Not a picture of the actual brownies.

Enjoy these (I know you will) and check out the other amazing desserts and recipes that Jess has posted!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


This recipe was introduced to me by one of my first college roommates. Many thanks to Valerie and all of her delicious recipes. A pan of these never lasted long enough to even cool. So good!

2 cans Whole Water Chestnuts
1 lb Bacon cut into 1/3 slices
1 1/2 cups Ketchup
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp Pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a 9x13" pan mix everything but your Water Chestnuts and Bacon.

3. Slice your bacon into thirds and begin wrapping around your Water Chestnuts. Secure the bacon with a toothpick (make sure you've poured your toothpicks out so you don't contaminate the clean ones you'll use later).

4. Place your Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts in your pan and swirl around to cover them in the sauce. Once all are wrapped and covered in sauce (they don't have to be completely covered since the sauce will be boiling and such) cover your pan in tinfoil and place in your oven.

5. Bake for 45 minutes.

Make sure to give them a little time to cool. It is hard, but you do want to be able to taste them.