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Monday, September 29, 2014

Loaded Up

Soup is always a pleasant meal on a chilly day. This last weekend was very rainy and drizzly.  Even though I love the rain, it was a little crazy.  One day we had mashed potatoes.  However I have no desire to reheat them. I thought I would be creative. How 'bout soup?!  Mom often made potato soup, when we kids were growing up. Perfect!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
adapted from: http://www.girlcooksworld.com/2011/11/loaded-bacon-and-cheddar-baked-potato-soup.html

4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 (16oz) package bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
4 garlic cloves, minced
4T butter
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups milk
2 T cornstarch (with water)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

In a large stockpot cook bacon. Drain most of the bacon fat (after removing the bacon bits). Saute onion and garlic in bacon grease and butter.  Stir in milk and broth (and cornstarch slurry).  Stir in mashed potatoes.  Stir until thickened and smooth (I used my immersion blender to puree some more).   Top with reserved bacon bits and cheese.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's A ... One Skillet Wonder

I love fresh produce.  Recently we were gifted with two huge zucchini.  What to do with these monsters? I thought that I could do the usual of making bread. However I thought I would like to get out my creative energies and try something new.  I found this skillet recipe that I HAD to try immediately.

Beefy Zucchini Skillet Wonder Dish
adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/ground-beef-zucchini-skillet

1 pound ground beef (I used 1 package ground turkey)
1/2 onion, diced small
1 t minced garlic
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes (NOT drained)
1 medium zucchini (quartered and diced small)
1 (8oz) sliced mushrooms
1 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a skillet cook meat, onion and garlic until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in veggies and spices. Cover and simmer for about 15minutes until veggies are tender.  Serve over brown rice/quinoa (like this blend) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dessert Breakfast

The other day Mom surprised the boys with donuts. They loved that. However we had quite a few leftover so I creatively made a breakfast casserole. From the amount the boys ate of it (BAP alone ate 3 pieces) I think they enjoyed it.  Today is my brother's birthday; I know that he has a sweet tooth. I think he would love this easy delectable recipe.

Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding
adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/cake-doughnut-bread-pudding-recipe.html

1 cup sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups half and half
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
4 leftover cake doughnuts, broken up into pieces
24 doughnut holes

Place doughnut pieces and holes in a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with raisins. In a bowl whip together eggs, half and half, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour over doughnut mixture.  Let soak while oven preheats to 350. Cover with foil and bake 40minutes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Creamy & Delectable

I have had a hankering for beef stroganoff lately. However with the weather being back in the 80s I was a bit leery to make this recipe.  I cooked the recipe on HIGH...so it was much more tolerable to deal with the heat.  I served over mashed potatoes (BAP and SSP favorite part of the whole meal).

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
adapted from: http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/01/25/slow-cooker-beef-stroganoff-no-cream-of-x-soup/

1 pound beef stew meat
12oz white mushrooms, sliced
2 T minced garlic
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T Dijon mustard
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t dried thyme
3 T cornstarch
1 bay leaf
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz sour cream

Place beef, mushrooms and garlic in a crockpot.  In another bowl combine broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, onion, thyme and cornstarch.  Pour over meat mixture. Stir. Cook on HIGH for 5 hours. At 20minutes before serve time add cream cheese. Cover for 10 minutes. After this time stir.  Add sour cream; cover and cook another 10minutes. Stir and serve over mashed potatoes.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bittersweet Memorial

Today we celebrate two years since our little LP joined the choirs of Heaven.  We are sad but happy for her. Sad that she cannot be here to commemorate her life but joyous she does not have to endure this rough cruel world.
Back at the end of this last May we were overjoyed finding out that we had another bundle of joy on the way (due the same week as LP).  However after finally being able to bust out my maternity clothes just over two weekends before, I sensed something was horribly wrong. I went in for a heartbeat check with SSP after dropping BAP at school.  Thank goodness, SSP is only 3 1/2 years old and often times in his own world. I was devastated to learn that little GFP had no heartbeat (my dear husband was out of town on business). Crying I went home. Then the next day (when my husband could be there) I delivered him almost 10days ago. GFP was 17weeks 5days - compared to with LP I was just 20weeks.
On this feast day we celebrate LP and GFP birthdays in Heaven. We love and miss you, dear little ones! Happy Birthday into Heaven!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cold Weather Means Soup

When the cold weather comes (like it did in a hurry this last week) soup is often found on our menu. Yesterday morning we woke up to a thick layer of frost. A friend gifted us with some fresh corn from their garden.  I had been eyeing this corn chowder for awhile. Perfect opportunity to make it!

Corn Chowder
adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/corn-and-cheese-chowder-recipe.html

5 ears corn, kernels removed
1 large onion, diced
3 cans diced green chilies
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups half and half
3 cups chicken broth
8oz low sodium bacon, chopped up
3T butter

Cook bacon until crisp tender.  Remove from grease to a paper towel lined plate. In the same pot saute onion and chilies in bacon grease and butter.  Stir in corn.  Add cornstarch, broth and half and half (mix to meld the cornstarch in).  Cook until slightly thickened. Add bacon back. Stir. Serve in bowls. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Baked ... Much Better

I have had leftover refried beans sitting in my fridge for about a week. I thought it was about time that I better used them before they turned into a science experiment. We love tacos so that part was easy. However I wanted to put a twist on them. I found this recipe while perusing the internet. Perfection! BAP and SSP each eat 2 or 3. They loved them. I loved that I was able to hide some veggies (and they did not notice).

Stuffed Baked Tacos
adapted from: http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/beef/baked-tacos-2.html

1 (20oz) ground turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 can refried beans
taco seasoning
1 (10oz) can Rotel tomatoes
18 hard corn taco shells (about 1 1/2 pkg)
2 cups shredded cheese

In a large pot brown together turkey with onion.  Add beans, taco seasoning and tomatoes.  Stir until thickened.  Place meat mixture evenly in taco shells. Top with cheese. Place in a greased 9x13pan with openings up. Bake at 400 for about 25minutes or until lightly browned/toasted (you can do as little as 15minutes).