Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

This is a recipe from Jared's mom, Rosemary. It is one of our favorite soups.
3 cups cooked wild rice
1 large onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1 cup cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup light cream, or half and half (sometimes I use whole milk if I don't have either of these).
In a 4-5 quart pot, saute the veggies in the butter until they are slightly soft. Add the flour, a little bit at a time, stirring and cooking until all of it is combined. Don't brown it. Slowly add the chicken broth, stirring until the flour-butter-veggie mixture is well blended. Add cooked rice and chicken. Add cream and cook soup until heated, but don't boil. Salt and pepper it to taste.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

I love this recipe for Mac n' cheese. It is very tasty and makes a great comfort food for those long winter months. Plus, the amount of butter and cheese called for is only mildly offensive.

1 lb pasta (elbow, spiral, bowtie) coked and drained
4 T butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups (5oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded white cheddar or swiss cheese
8 oz diced ham
2 slices white bread
salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cook pasta, and drain. In a 5-quart heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in flour to coat onion. In a slow steady stream, whisk in milk until there are no lumps.
  2. Cook, whisking often, until mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cayenne, if using, and 1 cup each yellow and white cheddar cheese. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Toss pasta with cheese mixture; fold in ham. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  4. In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form. Toss together with remaining ¼ cup each white and yellow cheddar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cranberry Pork

This is super easy and really good. Sorry it isn't very specific, but it has always turned out well, no matter how much of anything I put in.

1 to 3 pork roasts
1 to 2 cans cranberry sauce (whole berry)
1/2 to 1 bottle BBQ sauce

Put meat in crockpot. Add cranberry sauce and BBQ sauce. Cook on low all day or on high 4-5 hours. Serve over rice, potatoes, or in buns or tortillas.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

1 can (7.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp ground cumin
1 cup chunky salsa, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 oz cream cheese

Combine beans, corn, garlic, cumin and half of salsa in slow cooker. Arrange chicken breasts on top; pour remaining salsa over chicken. Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or 4-6 hours on low, until chicken is tender and cooked through.
Remove chicken and shred. Add back to slow cooker. Add cream cheese to slow cooker. Cook on high until cream cheese melts and blends into the mixture.
Serve with tortillas, lettuce, shredded cheese and tomatoes.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dressing

4 chicken breasts
4 slices swiss cheese
1 box of stuffing mix (3 cups)
Salt and Pepper
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 C. Butter melted

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Top each breast with a slice of Swiss cheese. Pour broth over chicken and cheese. Pour cream soups over chicken, cheese and broth. Sprinkle stuffing mix over soups; pour melted butter over everything. (sometimes i don't use butter if i'm feeling especially guilty that day) Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.

Slow Cooker Recipes

Hey girls, we've had some requests for slow cooker/crock-pot recipes... so, post your favorites!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

V's Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is nothing better in this world than a good chocolate chip cookie. Seriously. Nothing cheers me up better than cookie. I have been perfecting this recipe for years. Hope you like it!

2 1/4 cups flour (I get the best results when I spoon in to the measuring cup, and then level it off )
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
a dash to 1/8 tsp cinnamon (i like about 2 shakes out of the container)
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, hand softened
1/2 cup shortening (i like to use butter flavored crisco. I'm not a huge fan of shortening, but it just gives ccc's the best shape retention and texture. And I've found that if I use the crisco sticks, it freaks me out less. I think i just don't like digging it out of a vat.)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups (or just a little less than a 12 oz package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional) (I love them with pecans) (jared devours these with pecans) (no pressure) (they are still pretty great without pecans).

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Beat butter, shortening, sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Add your dry ingredients mixture to this about a 1/2 a cup at a time. Stir in the chocolate chips and the nuts if you want them.
Drop by heaping teaspoons full onto baking sheets.
You don't want to over-bake these. 7-9 minutes at 375 is about all you need. You can tell they are ready to come out, when they have lost their shine. Let them cool on wire racks.

Brownie Trifle

This dessert is always impressive, and it feeds quite a few people with pretty minimal effort.

1 package brownie mix ( 13X9 inch pan size)
2 1/2 cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 12 oz carton cool whip
3 Heath candy bars, chopped

Bake brownies, using directions for cake-like brownies. Cool completely.
Beat the milk and pudding mixes on low speed for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Cut the brownies into 1 in cubes; place half in the bottom of your trifle bowl. Cover with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with chopped heath.