Thursday, December 17, 2009

Soy-Garlic Chicken

 I made this chicken for a friends birthday dinner.  It was nice to be able to throw the chicken in the slow cooker, and not have to fuss with frying something up right before.  It was really flavorful!  I thought it would be fun to shred it, mixed in with the yummy sauce and make sandwiches or something fun like that.  (I got this one from Simple and Delicious)

Soy-Garlic Chicken
6 chicken legs quarters, skin removed (I used boneless, skinless chicken breast.)
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. minced garlic

Place meat in slow cooker.  In small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic; pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until meat thermometer inserted into chicken reads 180.
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Quick French Onion Soup

Every man needs a good flavorful bowl of broth when he is feeling under the weather... or maybe it is just my man. :) Doug wasn't feeling well last week, so I made this for him. It is kind of funny to use a recipe with "One serving" but it worked! I got this from the "L.A. Lite Cookbook."

French Onion Soup
1/2 cup raw white onion slices
1 packet low-soium beef bouillon
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp lite salt
6 melba toast rounds
1 oz. mozzerella
freshly ground pepper, to taste
dash of parley
nonfat cooking spray

1. Saute onion in skillet with notfat cooking spray
2. Add beef bouillon to onions.
3. Add water, salt. pepper, bay leaf and onion powder.
4. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer10-15 minutes.
5. Remove bay leaf.
6. Place soup in a bowl. Top with melba toast.
7. Sprinkle cheese over melba toast.
8. Microwave soup until cheese is melted.
9. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.
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Crunchy Tuna Casserole

I remember my mom making Tuna Casserole every now and then as a kid, so this dish brought back some memories for me.  I don't know why I don't make it more often, because my girls always really like it.  It's a good "kid friendly" meal.

Crunchy Tuna Casserole
1 (6 1/2 oz.) can tuna
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cups cooked noodles
1/4 cup bread crumbs
3 T. melted butter
1 small pkg. potatoe chips, crushed

Combine tuna, peas, soup, and noodles.  Spoon into a greased baking dish.  Moisten bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over casserole.  Top with crushed potato chips.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes, or until bubbly hot.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Natalie's Perfect Sugar Cookies

My friend Natalie makes the most amazing sugar cookies!!! They are perfect! Soft, but not crumbly. She invited my girls over to decorate Christmas cookies, while I got all the presents wrapped. (True friendship!) They were thrilled! She is such a great person, and now I think she is even greater, because she shared her recipe with me! :) Just wish the cookies could have lasted longer... at least now I can make another batch! :)

Natalie's Perfect Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all of the above ingredients together, then slowly add 5 cups of flour. (Chill dough before you roll out cookies for best results)

1 cube butter, softened
1 block of cream cheese, softened (8 oz.)
about 1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until creamy. (Sometimes I add a little milk and less butter to get the consistency I want)

Here they are with their pails full of cookies! What a gal- she knows how to make little girls VERY happy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peanut Butter Popcorn

I just found my new favorite recipe for caramel popcorn from my friend Emily! Who would have thought it could get even better with a bit of peanut butter?! I was excited mostly because I stink at making caramel popcorn, and this is such an easy recipe, that I couldn't mess it up! It was so gooey and yummy- that is my favorite! We bagged it up in cute little festive bags and shared it with our neighbors for Christmas. (It was hard to share, but I figured, it's Christmas... any other time and I probably would have eaten it all myself! :) (Picture from

Peanut Butter Popcorn
3 Bags butter-flavor microwave pop-corn (I just popped a few batches in my popper.)
1/2 c. Honey
1/2 c. Corn Syrup
1 c. Sugar
1 c. Peanut Butter
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Pop popcorn and pour into large bowl. (I had mine in two bowls.) In a saucepan, mix honey, cornsyrup and sugar. Heat and boil for 1 minute 15 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over popcorn and stir and toss until popcorn is covered.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Creamy Gravy

This is a recipe I found in a food storage pamphlet. I went to a really neat workshop on gathering at least one months supply to have as a back-up in case of an emergency. My husband and kids have all had the flu this last week, and I haven't made it to the store- so it is nice to a recipe using ingredients from my pantry to get a good meal on the table without a trip to the store, even if I was the only one that was able to enjoy it. :) (That so shouldn't have been said. :)

Creamy Gravy and Rice
Stir together:

1 (12 oz.) can low fat evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups reconstituted milk
(or 2-3 cups of regular milk if you have it.)
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp beef favored bouillon
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp. onion powder

Place the above ingredients in a sauce pan along with:
1 (6 oz.) can of Tuna (I just warmed up some of my frozen meatballs.)
2 T. butter
Salt and pepper
Cook and stir constantly until thickened. Serve warm over rice, biscuits, pasta or bread.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Healthy Baked Corn Tortilla Chips (Homemade)

Now you need some tortilla chips to go with that guacamole! (I have had a bunch of extra corn tortillas and I decided to put them to good use.) These turned out great. I actually added some cumin, chili powder and onion powder. It gave it a good flavor! Here is what the The Recipe Zaar had to say:

A wonderful healthy snack and a great way to use up leftover corn tortillas. Great with Easy Authentic Guacamole or for making nachos. I vary the toppings on this depending on what I will be serving them with, but lately have just been making them plain. VARIATION: If you need more healthy oils in your diet, brush with olive oil.

Healthy Baked Corn Tortilla Chips (Homemade)


  • 5 corn tortillas (Great Value or Misson brands are Gluten Free)
  • salt (optional, additional spice options listed in directions)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stack tortillas one on top of the other and use kitchen sizzors to cut them into 4 slices like you would cut up a pizza.
  3. Spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet (not air-bake) , spacing them at least 1/4" apart (they will be chewy instead of crispy if not spaced properly). (NOTE: If you must use an air-bake pan, try 350 degrees for 20 minutes.).
  4. Shake salt and desired toppings over tortillas.
  5. TOPPING OPTIONS (choose any combo): SPICES: paprika, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder (sparingly), cayenne pepper (sparingly, will add heat!). CHEESES: grated parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, etc. or try SWEET: cinnamon & sugar.
  6. Bake 8-12 mins or until chips are starting to get crispy and slightly golden brown at the edges (check every 1-2 minutes after 8 mins).
  7. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 mins before serving in order to let them fully crispen. Extra Crispy: put back in turned off oven at least 10 mins or until ready to serve for extra crispy and warm chips (watch them, you may need to leave oven door cracked to prevent over browning).
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Quick and Easy Guacamole Salsa

Time of make some yummy guacamole tonight! I found this recipe on and I added my own twist. Always makes a yummy appetizer or dresses up a salad or pita.

Quick and Easy Guacamole Salsa


  • 3 large ripe avocados (should give a little when squeezed)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-4 plum tomatoes (~1 cup diced)
  • 1 medium onion (~1 cup diced) or green onion
  • cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans
  • Add some heat if you like


  1. Wash and discard the peels and seeds of your avocados and put the remaining flesh in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add lime juice, salt and pepper and mash into the avocado with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
  3. Dice tomatoes, onion black beans, and cilantro and stir into avocado mixture. Add more salt to taste.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

My Mother-in-law found this recipe in Taste of Home's Big Book of Soup. It was so creamy and delicious! I could do this one any (or every) night of the week, especially when she's doing all the dirty work!!! :) The process and taste reminded me a lot of my clam chowder.

Baked Potato Soup
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large baking potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
4 green onions, sliced
1-2 bacon strips cooled and crumbled
1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
3/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large soup kettle or dutch oven, melt butter. Stir in flour; heat and stir until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil. stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Yield: 8-10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Black Bean Soup

I found this recipe in Family Circle. Mine turned out really thick- I think I would dilute it a bit more, but it had a really good flavor!

Black Bean Soup
Heat 2 T oil in 5-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add 2 carrots, peeled and diced, 2 ribs celery trimmed and diced, 1 medium diced onion and 4 cloves minced garlic. Cook, over medium heat, for 5 minutes. Once fragrant and slightly softened, add two 14-ounce cans vegetable broth, 1 envelope ham flavoring (I used a ham-hock and boiled it in with it. I also added a bit of beef bullion.), 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 2 cups water and 6 cups soaked and cooked black beans. (One pound bag yields 6 cups when cooked.) Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree soup in batches; serve warm, with sour cream, if desired.
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Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potato Wedges

My sister-in-law sent me this delicious recipe and I gave it a try. Either you like yams or you don't. (But you might just kind yourself "liking" after you try this recipe.) I love candied yams-- I have to say that they are one of my very favorite parts of Thanksgiving! We usually make my Grandma Lou's special recipe- lots of sugar and butter. They are so good! But this was delicious! Not too sweet and I like what the ginger and nutmeg added. It was fun to try baking them instead of boiling. I think I'll defitely try this one again!

Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potato Wedges

Make this tasty side dish up to two days ahead, and store, covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat at 350°, covered, for 20 minutes or until heated through; if desired, finish the dish under the broiler to recrisp the edges of the potato.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in half crosswise, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 400°.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, water, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Discard cinnamon stick. Combine sugar mixture and potato wedges in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Arrange potato mixture on a large jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until tender, stirring after 20 minutes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Creamy Herbed Potatoes

My Mom found these delicious potatoes on the Pioneer Woman site. I think they were the most popular side dish for Thanksgiving dinner. They had so much delicious flavor- they almost put the typical mashed potato dish to shame! :) Hope you'll give these a try!
Creamy Herbed Potatoes
  • 4 whole To 5 Whole Russet Potatoes
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Whole Milk (half And Half Works, Too)
  • 1 teaspoon Finely Chopped Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Finely Chopped Chives
  • ½ teaspoons Finely Chopped Sage
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice potatoes very thinly.

Add butter to a large skillet over medium low heat. When melted, add diced onion. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cream cheese to the pan and stir to melt. Pour in cream and milk, stirring to combine.
Season with plenty of salt and pepper, then add chopped herbs.

Place potatoes in a buttered baking dish. Pour contents of skillet over the top. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly. Allow potatoes to sit 15 minutes before serving.

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Sweet Potato Chips

Looking for a deliciously healthy side dish? This was surprisingly tasty! My parents served them as a simple dish and it was fantastic!

Sweet Potato Chips
2-3 large sweet potatoes (you can peel them, but I liked the texture the peel added.)
2-3 T olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
Cumin, to taste

Thinly slice sweet potatoes or yams. Toss in olive oil until coated. Lightly sprinkle with salt and cumin. Spread evenly on baking sheet. Cook at 350 for about 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. (Cooking times may vary.)
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