Friday, December 14, 2012

Stacey's Creamy Chicken Soup

This is my go to recipe to take to a family that is sick or just needs some soup. I usually get a recipe request so I am posting it to be able to link it. My sister-in-law Stacey gave me this recipe years ago and it is on a crumpled stained piece of paper so it might be nice for me to print a new copy myself. It is not healthy comments about that :) The soup is a stock image. I never remember to take a picture but I wanted there to be something to "pin".

Stacey's Creamy Chicken Veggie Soup
Cook until tender:
1c potato peeled and diced
1 c carrots peeled and sliced
1/2 c onion diced (I usually do more)
1 c celery sliced
1 c cubed chicken (I usually use pre-cooked chicken from my freezer and add it after veg cook)
6 cups chicken stock

While cooking melt:
1 stick of butter (I know comfort food at it's finest)
then add: 
1/2 c flour
 Cook until mixed well and bubbly. Add to to cooked veggies with:
10 oz velveeta (seriously ) 
1 c frozen peas

cook until creamy, smooth and warmed through.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My sister-in-law Erin found these in an old Cooking Light magazine. They are light fluffy and a hit with kids and adults alike. They are great teamed up with Sisters Dish Peach Syrup. They are also good when you dot a couple blueberries in them after you put them down on the griddle. Click HERE for the recipe....ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

Photo from Miles Away Farm blog

I have been making this salsa out of the Ball Blue Book for a couple years. It is a darn shame that their new copies don't include it. It is spicy and wonderful. I use it on my bread instead of butter when I eat eggs. It is a great salsa that is on the hot side but super high on the flavor side. She give a great tutorial on the salsa HERE. I was able to find the cascabel chiles at a Mexican Mart in my town.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Basil Pesto own creation

I have a ton of basil in my garden and have been using it everyday to make dressing or just eat it with some garden tomatoes. There is nothing like the fresh taste of basil. I came up with this dressing to capture the beauty of basil. It is a great dip too for fresh veggies.

Basil Pesto Dressing
1 cup basil leaves
2 oz mayo
3 oz greek yogurt
5 or 6 walnuts, almonds, pecans,
.5 oz romano or parmesan cheese
1 ranch packet
milk to reach desired consistency

Blend all together. Chill and serve.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Red Fez Veggie Burgers

If you know us very well you know our favorite burger is THIS Red Fez burger is our all time favorite. We think it is over the top good. We don't repeat many meals here but this one we ate every week for a month. When my family came we wanted to share this with them but they are mostly vegetarian so we had to mix it up a bit. I found THIS veggie burger and I thought I could make it work. The meat loving, veggie patty (don't you DARE call it a burger in his presence) hating Man in my home actually said this was excellent. I am pretty proud of the results and I share them with you now. I must say it would be a darn shame if you didn't make it into a red fez burger with the mayo and carrot have been warned.

Red Fez Veggie Burgers
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons diced garlic
    Other Ingredients:
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) rolled oats (or old-fashioned oatmeal)
  • 1 can pinto beans slightly smashed
  • 1 can chick peas slightly smashed (or run them a second in the food processor)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz diced raisins
  • 2 oz diced dates
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp siracha
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a a saute pan over medium heat. Add all of the raw vegetables. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, gently combine the beans. Add the sauteed vegetables, and mix thoroughly. Stir in the dry ingredients, along with the egg.
  3. Using your hands, thoroughly mix the ingredients. Form into 6 patties for large burgers or 12 patties for smaller ones. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan, and cook patties 2 to 3 minutes per side. (If you’re making 8 patties, you’ll need to cook them in two batches.)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Caprese Chicken

(recipe and picture from Add a Pinch)
I made this last night. My family RAVED about it. I think once tomatoes are fresh and in season it would be even better. I planned on making my own mozzarella to go on it but ran out of time. I will let you know when that happens (now I FINALLY found all the ingredients!). The only thing different is I marinated the chicken in a balsamic marinade first to bump up the flavor. I also didn't add butter to the balsamic reduction. It doesn't need it. This was quick, easy, and very yummy! Head on over to Add a Pinch for the recipe!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stacked Roasted Veggie Enchiladas

(Photo and recipe from Perry's Plate)
This little Pinterest yummy I saw just a couple days ago and couldn't wait to make. It has all my favorite tastes and flavors and was really lovely looking. One of my favorite foods is enchiladas. Combine that with roasted veg and you are good to go! I made my corn tortillas using this tortilla recipe. With the homemade tortillas this was quite the labor intensive dish. I think next time I will use store bought. Otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe. It was really really good. We will for sure do it again! Get the full recipe here at Perry's Plate!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crispy Bean Tacos

(picture and recipe from
Last night I was in one of those panic modes where my ground beef wasn't fully defrosted for the Red Fez Burgers I was planning on making for dinner. I needed something else QUICK! My friend had sent this recipe to me months ago and I thought it was just what I needed. I pulled it off in under 15 minutes and everyone raved about it. I did do quite a few substitutions so let me list them. I didn't have feta cheese so I subbed Cotija which I feel is similar...just a little milder. I did have the coleslaw mix in my fridge and I doubled the slaw portions of the recipe (and we ate it was yummy). I didn't have black beans but I had canned my own pintos a couple months ago so I used those. I also added a bit more cumin then called for. They have you fry the tacos in 3 tsp evoo until crisp. I worried first of all the 3 tsp would be soaked up on the first batch and so I would have to add more. I decided just to pan spray the tortillas pretty good. They were crisp and delicious! This is for sure a keeper! Find the recipe HERE!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sugar free (or low sugar) Apple Butter

A couple years ago I got a book off Amazon called Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it. It is a book of cooking projects like making cheese, bacon, jams, etc. I am on a real kick to make anything I possibly can from scratch so this book has been fun for me. My kiddos got through all the jam I made last year so as soon as I could get some berries at a decent price I got right on it.
My favorite strawberry jam recipe has a little butter in it. That takes care of the foam. I have recently read about the scariness of canning butter so I left it out. Now I have all that darn foam on top. Not very pretty. Any ideas to prevent that that doesn't involve butter?!?!? Anyway, I made 2 kinds of strawberry jam. One kind you replace the lemon with balsamic vinegar. The other kind you add a little vanilla. My family LOVED both kinds and they will go into the rotation.
Now back to the book. I wanted some jam for the sugar free Mama too. There is a recipe in there for apple butter. I have made a lot of apple butter in my days but this one has you ROAST the apples. ANYTHING tastes better roasted so it had my attention. Even better the recipe only called for 1/3 cup brown sugar for the whole darn batch. That was still too much sugar for me so I switched it out for Stevia (after the jam had COMPLETELY cooled....cooked stevia=yuck). It is GREAT. Keaton prefers it. Lee loves it. It is a winner. So, here you go...try it out. If you want some more "cooking projects" head on over to Amazon and get the book!

Roasted Apple Butter
8 pounds sweet apples
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup golden brown sugar (or add same amount of (measures like sugar style) stevia)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cardamom (I didn't have this so I left it out)

preheat oven to 350
Peel, quarter, and core apples and put on 2 pan sprayed cookie sheets in a single layer. Cook for 2 hours until brown and fragrant (switching and turning 2 sheets at one hour). Puree in blender or food processor for 4 minutes. Add rest of the ingredients (except stevia if using that) then puree for 2 or 3 minutes more until all spices are incorporated and it is pudding like. If using stevia add after completely cool. This will store in a glass jar in your fridge for up to a month.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Awhile ago I "pinned" Cali's Chicken Burritos. I don't do flour tortillas so a big burrito doesn't make it on the menu very often. The "sauce" looked good so I thought of a way to incorporate it into something that would work more for me. I ended up LOVING the sauce (as a dressing too). That night I made a mexican version of haystacks. I put on the table:
*brown rice (that I had cooked a lot of a previous night and froze)
*black beans
* lettuce
*diced tomatoes
*crushed corn chips
and the star of the show the sauce. My family loved the build your own dinner. I loved the sauce on my stack (that was pretty much just a salad with a little rice and chicken).  This dinner went together really quick too and without heating up the stove. 

The sauce I pretty much did as the recipe calls for except adding extra cilantro and subbing the sugar for steevia. Head on over to Just Cook Already for the sauce recipe.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cliantro Lime Chicken Tacos

picture from Whats Cooking Chicago

I made one of those life changing meals the other night (thank you Pinterest). Chicken can get so ho hum boring. For years I have kept shredded cooked chicken in my freezer (see here for directions for this great time saver). It makes dinner in a hurry when I just don't have time. I am always looking for a new way to use them. These were SO flavorful and yummy. The pesto is a bunch of veggies with a tad bit of oil, almonds, and romano cheese. These are a great dinner you will want on your regular rotation. They are also a GREAT freezer meal. Head on over to Whats Cooking Chicago for the complete recipe!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pork and Polenta

Photo from Food Network  

This is seriously some good eats. If you haven't watched Melissa D'Arabian's show 10 Dollar Dinners set your DVR NOW! It seems there are no duds in her recipes. This one is one of my very favorites. She serves this with her Balsamic Onions they are REALLY great too and a great side for not a lot of money! When I make this I make a few changes....always something...right?!?!? On the Polenta I use fat free 1/2 and 1/2. I also was not able to find Polenta or course grits the first few times I made it (I have since been able to find them in the bulk section of Winco). I used regular corn meal and it was fine. When I make the ribs I have used pork chops and I like it better. I also double the veg (don't double the liquid or you will be sorry). This is a great fancy restaurant quality meal you can make at home for special guests or just an average Wednesday :)  You can get the recipe HERE enjoy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


image from Food People Want

Tomorrow I am making these little gems again. I made them a month or so ago and they are WONDERFUL. You don't cook the garbanzos. This is by far the best falafel recipe I have ever come across (my sister agreed). It has lots of onion, lots of yum. I left out the sesame seeds and used a regular tzatiki sauce from this recipe. If you want to save the fat I cook mine on a waffle iron (lots of crunch without the fry). Lee says they are much better fried but if you are looking for an option...try the waffle iron! Head on over to Food People Want for the complete recipe!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Red Fez Burgers

(Picture from Food Network)
Lee is always skeptical when I do something to his regular burger. This burger did not disappoint. I ate mine on sprouted bread (no flour or sugar for me). This burger is seriously the best burger we ever ate. Put this on your must make will LOVE it!
Recipe HERE be sure to make the carrot salad to go on top and the chermoula mayo...they make it FABULOUS!
Here are the modifications I made:
* In the carrot salad I used Steevia. I used almost 2x what the recipe said (my carrots weren't very sweet).
*For the burger I used all beef (I tried using some ground pork with it and I preferred an all beef burger).
* Instead of Harissa I used Siracha (I am sure any hot sauce would work).
* I did not put in the dye. I appreciate that is what makes them "Red" Fez burgers but who needs all those chemicals, really?
* I added about 3/4 cup water (a trick I learned from a chef for REALLY moist burgers)
* Instead of apricots I used raisins (I didn't have apricots and I thought raisins would work...they do perfectly!).