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Monday, October 25, 2010

brief break

I am in the middle of filling out my inventory needs for the upcoming craft fair, so I won't be able to post any recipes or whatnot for a few weeks. Please bear with me. If I can get caught up, I will post before the craft fair, but if not, those of you that are local to me, please stop by ExpoLand in Fishersville, VA on November 13th and 14th!!

And I'm still looking for more inexpensive recipes as well as feedback from those of you who have tried some of the recipes I posted!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yummy Soup!!!

So, with the beginning of fall temps around here, it's kind of kicked me into "warm, filling food" mode...which means soups, stews, chili, and LOTS of baking (not really good for me since I taste as I go).

Last night, according to my family, the Loaded Baked Potato Soup was a grand slam, out of the park, why bother running the bases when you could just walk, kind of meal...yes, THAT good!.

Here is the recipe in it's original form, from the Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook:

1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes (russet preferred)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons imitation bacon bits
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup fat-free half and half
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sliced green onions (green part only)
1/3 cup shredded fat-free or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup fat-free or light sour cream

1-preheat oven to 350 F

2-pierce each potato several times with a fork. Put potatoes on a baking sheet.

3-Bake for 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork or knife.

4-Let potatoes cool for at least 10 minutes. Peel the potatoes or cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Put the potatoes or scooped-out flesh in a medium saucepan. Mash with potato masher until slightly chunky.

5-Stir in the broth, bacon bits, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 6-8 minutes, or until the flavors have blended, stirring occasionally.

6-In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-and-half and flour. Whisk into the potato mixture along with the green onions. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.

7-To serve, ladle into bowls. Top each serving with cheese and sour cream.

Now.....for my version:

potatoes - any kind, as many as you want
3-6 cups of water (and 3-6 chicken boullion cubes....3 of each if you want a single batch, 6 if you want a double batch)
bacon bits
diced ham
onion powder
garlic powder
1-2 cups half-and-half (again, depending on if you are making single or double batch)
3-6 tablespoons all-purpose flour (single or double batch)

Notice....not too many measurements here because, honestly, it is to YOUR family's personal taste. The version I made last night had NO accurate measurements for the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, or pepper....basically what I thought "looked right".

ALL the steps are exactly the same. I add the ham in step 5 and I do *not* add in the green onions, nor do I top with cheese or sour cream....nobody in the family thinks it needs these things.

Last night, hubby added pinto beans to his serving....I guess there's room for more improvement, alterations, but once again, it all depends on your own family.

Cheers! Larisa

Monday, October 11, 2010

as promised....more recipes

So, I asked some friends for their favorite, easy, inexpensive and filling recipes, and here they are:

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
1 box of spaghetti
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup
2 small cans of Chicken Breasts ( believe the name is Swanson's)
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 pound of Velvetta cheese

Cook spaghetti and drain. While that is cooking, add all remaining ingredients to roasting pan or oven safe dish. Cut Velvetta into cubes. Add spaghetti and stir well. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Stir well when done.

  • Hamburger Tator Tot Cas.

    HB Meat( or turkey)

    1 small can of cream soup( I use cream of chicken but you use what you like)

    tator tots


    Brown your meat and add in soup( sometimes I also add corn here too). In a 9x 13 pan layer HB mix, tator tots, cheese.( Repeat layers until your pan is full or you run out) cook in oven on what ever your tator tot bag says to bake on. ( all your doing is cooking your tator tots)

Otherwise I do Beef Broccoli with left over beef (from the pot roast or grilled meats)

1 lb thinly sliced meat cooked to medium rare or so otherwise it dries out, c. of broccoli fresh or frozen, 1 c. carrot slices, 1 small onion sliced, 1 c mushrooms (optional for kids who hate them), 1 can beef broth, 1 1/2 TBSP Corn Starch, garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce

to 1 c. beef broth add corn starch and 2-3 Tbsp soy sauce and mix in, set aside. unless already cooked cook your meat set aside

to a wok or skillet, add 1-2 TBSP oil and heat to medium, add 1 clove of garlic (or 1 tsp of the already minced stuff in a jar) 1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes and cook until garlic starts to turn slightly brown. Add carrots and broccoli (if fresh) and cook 3 minutes, if using frozed broccoli add now with onions cook 2 minutes more, add mushrooms cook until softened. Add the beef back in and heat through. Add beef broth and cook until slightly thickened. serve with white rice.

We eat this alot because it's great for leftovers, is fast and easy.

I love to use my crockpot, especially when I'm running all day.

I throw a chicken, potatoes and carrots in the pot with some water, whatever seasoning and it's ready at dinner time.

Chili! Very easy! Get the packet of chili seasoning at the store and follow the back. I will add sausage to it sometimes too.

Pot roast in the crockpot too.

All these I spend maybe 20 min in the morning. Then I will usually make a salad and have dinner rolls with them

tacos and spaghetti are quick and easy can also get pre-cooked fajita meat.....slice some onion and bell pepper and saute til tender.....takes about 10 minutes!

2lb hamburger 4c mozzerella 2 loaves french bread

slice loaves lengthwise and hollow out......brown hamburger (season to your liking...can also put in spaghetti sauce or maranara sauce)....mix in cheese.....put in hollowed out bread.....brush top of bread with garlic butter....wrap in foil and bake 10 minutes at 350* foil and allow to brown....pair with chips or a salad depending on how you season it....serves 6.....we tried this the other night....i only used 1 loaf....fed 5 of us with one big slice left over!

super quick and easy! ranch bean casserole

3 cans ranch beans (if you're not in the south you will have to use chili beans)

1 bag fritos

1lb grated cheddar

mix beans and chips til chips are well coated....put in greased 9x13 with cheese....bake at 350* til cheese is melted......serve with sour cream and salsa

easy chicken parmesan

1 chicken breast per person

1 jar maranara sauce

1lb grated mozzerella

bake chicken til almost each piece with maranara sauce......bake for 10 - 15 each piece with mozzerella....bake til cheese is melted....serve with green beans or a salad

buy the premade in 9x13 pan.....bake according to pkg directions.....during last 15 minutes of baking time top with maranara sauce.....during last 5 minutes add cheese.....bake til cheese is melted......again....serve with green beans or salad (we eat a lot of green beans and salad! left overs are great for making meatball subs

my fav easy (vegetarian) dinner is baked ziti....cook a box of pasta, add a jar of sauce, sprinkle with cheese, put in the oven at 250 until cheese is melted....and voila! yummy goodness! (I usually heat up the sauce before putting it in the oven, and add some veggies if I have them on hand, and italian seasoning....)

1lb smoked sausage (ekrich's sp?)

2 cans green beans (i know....there she goes with the green beans again!

2 cans new potatoes

slice sausage into a sauce pot.....add green beans and potatoes (with liquid)....heat to boiling....serve

veggie/beef casserole

1lb hamburger

1lb grated cheddar

1 can each.....cream of chicken, cream of mushroom and cheddar cheese soups

1 lg bag frozen veggies

brown hamburger and drain.....add remaining ingredients except for shredded cheddar.....mix with shredded cheddar.....bake at 350* til cheese is can also substitute tuna for the hamburger and also add two cups rice

something we came up with....."mixed up mommy" and mixed up daddy" named

1lb hamburger

1 onion chopped

1lg potato chopped

for mixed up mommy you need one pkg taco seasoning....for mixed up daddy you need one pkg chili seasoning

brown hambruger.....add potatoes and onions.....cook til tender.....add seasoning mix and mix with a layer of shredded cheddar (yea...i know....we eat a lot of cheese as is or put in a 9x13 dish....cover with cornbread mix and bake til cornbread is golden

upside cornbread....similar to mixed up daddy....omit the potatoes and onions....put in a 9x13 dish.....cover with shredded with cornbread mix....bake til cornbread is golden

Mexican Lasagna

1 lb of ground beef (turkey would be fine as well)

flour tortillas (taco or burrito size, doesn't matter)

1 can cream of mushroom

1 can cream of chicken

1 can enchilada sauce

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: preheat oven to about 460, brown and drain grease from ground beef and put it back into the frying pan, put the cream of mushroom and chicken and the can of enchilada sauce in with the beef and mix all together until there are no lumps. Line a 9x13 non stick baking pan with torn up pieces of torillas, then top with a thin layer of the beef mixure, then a thin layer of cheese. Repeat (torn up torillas, beef mix, cheese). Then bake in oven until top of cheese just begins to brown.

Let it cool before serving and enjoy!

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1bag- frozen meatballs

1jar frame jelly

1 jar Chilli sauce (usually found by the ketchup)

There is no exact measuring in this. Put the desired amount of meatballs in the crockpot. In a sauce pan on the stove add to tasted the grape jelly and chilli sauce. Simmer on low until grape jelly is more like a sauce. Poor over meatballs in crockpot. You can serve with mashed potatos and use any extra sauce in the crockpot as a gravy or you can add the meatballs to hoggie buns and have meatball sandwhiches.

Hope some of these work for you!!