Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pretty Penne Ham Skillet

This in another one I found in my Simple and Delicious magazine. It is a fast one too- I love meals that I can throw to gether quickly. This is great to use up ham left-overs. It is also a flexible recipe- things usually turnout no matter how carefully or not you measure.

Pretty Penne Ham Skillet (This is a good one to half for a small family too)
1 pound uncooked penne or medium tube pasta (I only had egg noodles left as you can see :)
3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 large sweet red pepper, diced (I used green)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (1-2 tsp dried)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp minced fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried
1-1/2 tsp minced fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
3 T butter
1 can (14-1/2 oz) chicken brother
1 T lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute ham, pepper, oni9on, parsley, garlic, basil, and oregano in oil and butter for 4-6 minutes or until ham is brown and veggies are tender. Stir in broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Drain pasta; stir into ham minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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Dehydrated Apples

I just thought I would mention this one if you have a dehydrator. (I bought 80 pounds of apples the other day and have been pretty creative if trying to use them all up. This was a good way! They are very tasty and healthy and my kids love them!)

Dehydrated Apples
Apples (I think I used about 2 apples per tray)
Apple peeler and slicer
*Place sliced apples on the 4 trays and set the time for 8 hours at 135 degrees.
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Cafe Rio Lime Ranch Dressing

My friend, Leslie, gave me this recipe to go with my Cafe Rio Recipes a while back, and I finally remembered to make this last time I made my Cafe Rio. It was SO good! I thought it totally enhances an already delicious meal! Thanks Leslie!

Cafe Rio Lime Ranch Dressing
1 1/3 c. sour cream
2/3 c. mayonnaise
1 bunch cilantro
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
4 T. salsa verde
2 cloves garlic
1/8 t. Tabasco sauce
juice of 1 lime

Mix in blender until smooth.
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rachel Ray's Swedish Meatballs

I found this one in that Rachel Ray cookbook my mom sent me a while back. It was pretty tasty and it didn't take long to make. The recipe I had was a stove-top recipe though. You just fried up the meatballs in a skillet and then added the sauce while cooking. (I also used turkey burger.)

Rachel Ray's Swedish Meatballs
  • 1 pound mixed ground beef, pork and veal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4-1/3 cup cream
  • 3 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons of your choice: lingonberry preserves, red currant or grape jelly
  • 1 pound egg noodles, cooked to al dente
  • Finely chopped fresh dill, for garnish
  • Finely chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup cornichons or baby gherkin pickles, finely chopped (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 400ºF.

In a bowl, mix meat with egg, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup cream, onion, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and arrange on a nonstick baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.

Heat a saucepot over medium heat. Melt the butter, whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Then whisk in stock and thicken for 6-8 minutes. Stir in sour cream and jelly and warm through. Season the finished sauce with salt and pepper.

Carefully remove the meatballs from the baking sheet with a thin spatula.

Mix meatballs and egg noodles with sauce and garnish with dill, parsley and finely chopped cornichons or baby gherkin pickles, if using.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ginger Bread Cookies

I had the opportunity to go to Nauvoo, Illinois this last year for my brother's wedding. This is the actual Scovil Bakery Ginger Bread Cookie recipe. When they gave it to me, I decided right then and there that I was going to make ginger bread ornaments for the tree this year. :) They turned out really well, and the girls and I had a lot of fun making them. (Don't forget they have to be refrigerated for 24 hours- I got the girls all worked up, but then read that part. They were a little disappointed. :) To make ornaments, I just poked a hole in them while they were soft- I used a chop stick, but you could probably find something more effective. They were tasty to eat too- not just as ornaments. I figured, if I make enough, I won't mind it the girls play with or even "eat" the ornaments this year. :)

Ginger Bread Cookies (Scovil Bakery-- Nauvoo, Illinois)
1 cup sugar
1 cup Sorghum or Molasses
3/4 cup oil or lard
1/2 cup hot water

(It says to rinse the malasses from the cup with hot water, but I just put oil in first and it didn't stick.)

Add: 2 eggs

Mix together the following:
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ginger
6 or 7 cups of white flour

Refrigerate dough overnight. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

To roll out the dough, we use Pam in place of flour.

Cookies freeze well and are softer and more flavorful after freezing.
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Monday, December 1, 2008

Club-Style Turkey Enchiladas

This is another great one for Turkey left-overs. What a great taste- so different from the Thanksgiving leftovers I have been having all week! I think the bacon really adds to it! (Bacon and butter make everything better- as Paula Dean would say!) And lets face it- I am truly not much of a food photographer. I'll have moments, but they pass quickly, and this sure wasn't one of them, no matter how hard I try, so I'm stealing someone elses, too, in order to lure you into this yummy recipe. :)

Club-Style Turkey Enchiladas
8 bacon strips, chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper (I only had green and it worked great)
1/3 cup chopped onion
10 oz thinly sliced cooked turkey, shredded
1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss (or mozzarella) cheese, divided
1/4 tap salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 yellow corn tortillas, warmed (I substituted flour tortillas)
1 carton (10 oz) refrigerated Alfredo sauce (I used about 2/3 jar of ragu alfredo)
1/4 cup milk
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 can tomatoes, well drained (I chopped up 2 fresh)

In a large skillet, saute the bacon, red peppers and onion until bacon is crisp and vegetables are tender; drain. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bacon mixture, 1 cup cheese, salt, and pepper. Place 1/2 cup turkey mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13x9 baking dish. In a small bowl, combine Alfredo sauce and milk; pour over top.

Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Garnish with lettuce and tomatoes.
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Creamy Turkey Vegetable Soup

Still have any Turkey left overs? This was an amazing recipe I found in Simple and Delicious, and both Doug and I thought it was great! He said, "It tastes like the inside of a turkey pot pie, only better." I would have to agree. It makes me want to bake another turkey, just for the leftovers with good recipes like this one!

Creamy Turkey Vegetable Soup
1 cup diced fresh carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 T butter
2 cups diced cooked turkey
2 cups water
1-1/2 cups peeled, diced potatoes
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2-1/2 cups milk, divided (Confession: I used half and half to make it creamier)
3 T all-purpose flour
*I also added about 1 cup of stuffing I had left over- it added some fun flavor, and I thought it was a good addition if you have it sitting around. :)

In a large saucepan, saute the carrots, celery, and onion in butter until tender. Stir in turkey, water, potatoes, bouillon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in 2 cups milk. Combine flour and remaining milk until smooth. Stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cool and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey

I thought it would be fun to use a "non-traditional" Turkey recipe. This was a really yummy one I found in my favorite "Simple and Delicious" magazine. I was excited about the way it gave the turkey such a good flavor, but not an over powering lemon taste.

Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp minced thyme
1 turkey (14 to 16 lbs)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 med lemon, halved
1 med onion, quartered
14 garlic cloves, peeled (I just had minced galic)
24 fresh thyme sprigs (I just stirred the lemon, onions, and garlic in some dried thyme)
1 T Flour
1 turkey-sized oven roasting bag

In a small bowl, combine butter, lemon juice, peel, and minced thymr. Pat turkey dry (w/ cloth or paper towel). Sprinkle salf and pepper over skin of turkey and incside cavity; brush with butter mixture. Place the lemon, onion, garlic and thyme inside cavity.

Place flour in oven bag in a proasting pan; add turkey, breast side up. Cut six 1/2 inch slits in the top of the bag; cloise bad with tie provided.

Bake at 350 for 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 hours or until meat thermometer reads 180, remove turkey to serving platter and keep warm. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

"Best Ever" Fresh Apple Pie

My friend, Steve Keller (Our home teacher at the time) shared such an amazing apple pie with us once that I had to get the recipe. He said this was his dad's. It has definitely become a new favorite. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I think this was my favorite part of this years Thanksgiving dinner.

"Best Ever" Fresh Apple Pie (Thanks to Steve) Makes one Pie
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
(I also added pinch of lemon juice)
6 cups of peeled, sliced apples (I think I peeled about 5 or 6 apples)

Combine ingredients, mix well. Pour into unbaked pastry shell. Place another shell on top- flute the edges (which is an art I have never acquired- if anyone has tips please pass them on!) Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes (Steve said to check it at 30 or 40 minutes- mine was done at about 40.) Cover with foil the last 10 minutes.

If you're running short on pie crust, here is Steve recipe for a yummy crumble topping.

Crumble Topping
1 cup flour
1/2 cup firm margarine (or butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
(Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over the pie's top.)

Green Bean Casserole

I thought I would try a new recipe for Green Bean Casserole this year. I thought it turned out pretty good!

Green Bean Casserole
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup French Fried Onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. Sprinkle French Fried Onions on top
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Stuffing

I found this yummy recipe for Thanksgiving Stuffing at The Pioneer Woman Cooks website. Check out that link for the complete recipe. It was really good! There is nothing like the real homemade stuffing! (Also- I didn't have cornbread, so I just used the dried bread crumbs I had and it turned out great.)
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Grandma Lou's Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just had to post this in honor of the day and all my happy memories of Grandma Lou at Thanksgiving. She was such an amazing cook, and I was lucky to come across some of her recipe cards and copy them down a couple years ago. Hope you enjoy this one- it's the real deal and it's coming from the heart! (I made it last night and it turned out great!)

Grandma Lou's Pumpkin Pie Recipe: (Makes two pumpkin pies)
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk (I have no doubt she would have used cream or half and half. She was just that way.)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (She didn't have that down, but I had it and the name just makes it seem so appropriate. :)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into uncooked pastry shell 450 for 15 minutes and then 350 for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Italian Sausage & Vegetable Soup

This is one of my favorite soups! I found it in a Lion House cook book way back and I make it all the time. It is really quite easy to throw together and it always seems to turn out.

Italian Sausage & Vegetable Soup (Lydia Stewart)
· ½ lb ground sausage (You could also use Italian Sausage to give it more flavor)
· 2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes
· 2 cups beef base (can use bullion)
· 1 package mixed vegetables
· ½ tsp salt
· ½ tsp Garlic Powder
· 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
· ¾ cup sea shell pasta

*Brown meat (drain) and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, add tomatoes, beef base, veggies, garlic, salt. Bring to a boil. In the last five minutes add the pasta.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Glazed Carrots

I always like throwing vegetables it the crockpot- then I don't have to hassle with them at meal time. They make me happy as long as they have enough salt or butter on them. :) I know, I'm terrible. :) The Ranch Dressing gave it kind of a fun new flavor. You might want to half this recipe just because it made a lot.

Glazed Carrots
2 packages (16 oz each) fresh baby carrots
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 envelopes ranch salad dressing mix (I think you would be fine with just one)

Put carrots in the crockpot and pour mixed butter, brown sugar, and ranch mix glaze over carrots. Cook on low for about 5 hours.
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Baked Boned Chicken

This was a fun recipe I found. I thought it tasted pretty good. I used chicken thighs and it turned out great.

Mix together:
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Bread crumbs (approximately 1 1/2 c.)
4 boned chickenbreasts

Dip chicken breasts into mixed ingredients, then dip into bread crumbs. Bake in greased baking dish, uncovered, for 1hour at 350 degrees. Serve over rice.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

Ok... CONFESSION: The first time I got one of these starters and read the instruction sheet, I pronounced it "A"mish and I didn't make the connection until I passed it on and was embarrassingly corrected. Silly me...
Anyway- I love the taste (likely has something to do with all the sugar), but I do have two beefs with the recipe. So do the Ahhhmish :) have plastic Ziploc bags handy in addition to their packages of store-bought Instant Vanilla Pudding? Hmmmm.... interesting. There must be some kind of variation going on they never told us about. :) Anyway, it's good stuff so I won't complain. Also- I would really like to know why you can't use a metal spoon or anything metal. I just think that is rude. Is it so you feel Amish as you break your wrist hand-mixing it? :) Perhaps you know? Well, anyway, enjoy the recipe.

I have included the recipe for the starter if you have never recieved one and are feeling a little left out. Now you can be the first to make the mushy goodness and pass it on! :)

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe:

Amish Friendship Bread Starter:
1 tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
2 cups Warm Water — (110 degrees)
1 cup Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Milk

1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 cups Flour
3 Eggs
1 small Vanilla Pudding Mix — Instant (You can use chocolate too)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup Milk

Cinnamon Sugar:
1 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Cinnamon

For Amish Friendship Bread Starter:
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water in a deep glass container. Stir
in remaining warm water, flour and sugar. Beat until smooth. Cover. A large
glass jar or bowl with a tight fitting lid works best for this. Because your
first batch of starter contains fresh yeast, you can skip the next set of
directions and go directly to the instructions for splitting your start.

Do not refrigerate! Do not stir with a metal spoon! The starter requires 10
days for fermentation.

Day 1- Begin or receive starter, do nothing
Day 2- Mush the bag
Day 3- Mush the bag
Day 4- Mush the bag
Day 5- Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk
Day 6- Mush the bag
Day 7- Mush the bag
Day 8- Mush the bag
Day 9- Mush the bag
Day 10- Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk

Put 1 cup of starter in each of three Ziploc bags. Give 2 away to friends and
keep one for yourself. This will begin their Day 1. (It might help to mark the bag)

For Amish Friendship Bread:

You will have about 1 cup of batter left besides the 1 cup you have saved for
yourself. To the remaining batter add vegetable oil, sugar, flour, baking
powder, baking soda, eggs, milk, vanilla pudding mix, cinnamon, and salt. Beat
until well blended. Add one cup raisins, chocolate chips or nuts, if desired.

Grease 2 loaf pans well, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, coating bottom well.
Turn batter into pans, and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar onto tops of
loaves. Bake at 325 F degrees for one hour.

If you can’t figure out who to give all your starters to that will actually bake the bread, bake lots of bread and give it away.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quick and Easy Taco Bean Soup

This is a great soup for a busy night- it pretty much takes maybe ten minutes to throw together if you have everything, and you just can't mess it up. Add any beans you have and any kind of salsa (if you like heat- do the hot stuff).

Quick and Easy Taco Bean Soup
1 cup cooked shredded chicken
1 cup salsa
4 oz cream cheese (you can sub about 1 cup sour cream if you would rather)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can refried beans
1 can pinto beans
1 T chili powder
Salt & Pepper to taste

Throw everything in a pot, heat, and eat!
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Good Morning BLueberry Bran Muffins

Don't yummy blueberry muffins just make you happy in the morning. They sure do me. My only wish is that I had a magic fairy who would pre-make them for me so I wouldn't have to. :) Yummy way to start the day- it is worth the "hassle". :) Also- this is a good source of fiber- I'm trying to "up" that in my diet.

Good Morning Blueberry Bran Muffins
15 oz can applesauce (just over a cup)
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup All-Bran (I mixed mine in the blender to make it smooth)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 cups blueberries (I used a bag of frozen)

In a bowl, combine applesauce, oil, milk, and eggs. Stir in bran; let stand for 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon, and salt. Stir in bran mixture just until blended. Fold in blueberries. (Batter will be thick.)

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. (I made 18)

Sugar tops:
I just melted a little bit of butter, dipped the muffins in and then dipped them into a small bowl of sugar. Works best when they are kind of warm.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lyd's Ham Fried Rice

This is a great way to get those veggies in. You can make it even "healthier" by using brown rice, but you still geat a great taste! This is a family favorite- just throw in what you like! Feel free to use more or less of what I list. This is just a general amount that seems to work.

Lyd's Ham Fried Rice
About 1 cup sliced ham (any kind works)
2-3 grated carrots
2-3 celery stalks, slices (Doug said next time he wants more celery and less peas- guess it just depends)
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 T olive oil
6 T soy sauce, divided (I'm a salt adict so I like a lot, but use it to taste)
2 eggs, beaten
1 bag (more or less) frozen peas
4-5 cups cooked rice

In a large pot (probably your biggest so everything will fit in there) fry up everything (ham and veggies) execpt the eggs, rice, peas, and 3 T Soy Sauce. Simmer over medium heat in the oil until veggies get cooked through. In a small bowl, beat eggs for 1 minute and throw them in as well. Continue to stir and cook until eggs are also cooked. Then just stir in the rice, peas, and a bit more soy sauce to taste until they are heated through. Now you're ready to serve. Easy Shmeezy Lemon Squeezy!

It makes great left overs too... I'm actually eating a bowl for lunch right now! :)
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes

This was a great job for my girls! It kept them busy for a while! :) It is nice to have good helpers in the kitchen!

This is a yummy recipe I found in our newspaper, and I was really excited because I have had 1 cup of pumpkin sitting in my fridge for a while now, and I have been looking for a good recipe to use it in. I thought it sounded fun, so we enjoyed it for family night. (I mean REALLY enjoyed it!) It was a hit with my girls, and I liked that the pumpkin taste was very mild- maybe because of the cream cheese, but it was sure tasty!

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 30-35 at 325
Chill Time: 1 hour
Makes: 18

18 paper baking cups
18 gingersnap cookies
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 T corn starch
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup Karo Lite Corn Syrup

Place paper cups in muffin pans. Place 1 gingersnap cookie in each cup. Beat cream cheese, sugar, corn starch, and pumpkin pie spice with an electric mixer until well mixed. Add egg and blend well. Add pumpkin and syrup, beat 1 minute. Pour filling into cups, dividing evening. Bake in preheated 325 oven for 30-35 minutes, until just set. Chill for 1 hour. Garnish as desired. (I put whipped cream and a sprinkle of Cinnamon.)
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Doug's Favorite Chicken Enchilada's

This is a recipe from my sister, Jessica. I have added a couple things, but it was a hit for Doug from day one! He has begged me to have Enchilada Mondays... but ever since I tried it with whole wheat tortilla shells- which I would not recommend, I haven't made them as often. It was pretty much the only time he has complained at all about anything I have ever made. And it broke my heart! :) He really is SO supportive of my cooking- I appreciate his willingness to let me explore- I know not all men are like that. I'm a lucky gal! We like to kind of do it casserole style- I almost think it makes it go further.

Doug’s Favorite Chicken Enchiladas
· 1-2 Chicken breasts, diced (I nuke & chop them or do my Crockpot Italian chicken)
· 1 can cream of chicken
· 1 can enchilada sauce
· 1 can chilies (optional-too spicy for me :)
· 3-4 tbs sour cream
· 1 cup grated cheese
· Flour tortillas
· ½ can of olives, slices
· 1-2 Green Onions, chopped

*Cook chicken. Mix cream of chicken, chilies, chicken, sour cream, and ½ can enchilada sauce in a bowl. Layer casserole dish with tortilla, sauce mixture, cheese, etc. End with tortilla, then put more enchilada sauce, and cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 min. (you can also do individuals, just put sauce and cheese inside, roll up and place in dish. Top with remaining sauce and cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes.)
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Annette's Amazing Chili

This is an amazing recipe I got from one of those old Relief Society Cookbooks. Annette (whose recipe this is) was actually my Young Woman's leader, and this woman could cook! Mmmm! This Chili is really tasty- I like that it actually tastes homemade, and I think the sugar gives it a fun twist. Hope you enjoy.

Annette's Amazing Chili
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. ground sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 quart jar tomatoes, diced and undrained (or 2 cans diced tomatoes)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 T sugar (I used brown sugar)
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
*I also added 1/2 to 1 cup of salsa and to make it go further, three more cans of beans: black and 2 chili beans. I drained some, but not the chili beans.)

Cook and stir hamburger, sausage, onion, and garlic is saucepan until cooked through. Drain. Stir in tomatoes with liquid, celery, chili powder, salt, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Stir in beans, heat to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer until thick and heated through. (I threw it all in the Crockpot to simmer for quite a while- you could just do that after you brown the meat.)

Doug's Homemade Root Beer

We have a fun Halloween tradition (thanks to my family) of enjoying some good old fashioned homemade root beer, Chili, and doughnuts together. I usually put Doug in charge of the root beer, and this year is was amazing!!! Sometimes it can be tough to find the root beer concentrate (I found at Winco) and dry ice (I had to go to two stores and most of the people I talked to didn't know you could actually make it at home.) Hope you enjoy this spooky goodness- the dry ice is half the fun! My girls were completely captivated! (Also- we had a ton left over, which isn't exactly a bad, except for our "beer" belly's :) but we thought next time we would half or quarter the recipe- three gallons is a lot! :)

Doug's Homemade Root Beer
6-8 cups white sugar (taste it- it's a good excuse!)
3 1/3 gallons cold water
1 (2 ounce) bottle root beer extract
4 pounds dry ice (the more you get the more fizz to try more)

In a large cooler, mix together the sugar and water, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Stir in the root beer extract. Carefully place the dry ice into the cooler, and cover loosely with the lid. Do not secure the lid, as pressure may build up.
Let the mixture brew for about an hour before serving. Leftover root beer can be stored in one gallon milk jugs.
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