Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet

Nate loves kielbasa, so I was searching for recipes to try with it--eating it all as snacks just seemed a little too bad. :) I found this recipe at TOH, and it was a clear winner! We'll tweak the recipe over time, and try different veggies (I don't remember what we tried the first time, and I can't seem to find a picture), but it is definitely worth trying again!

Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet

8 Ounce uncooked bow tie pasta
1 Pound kielbasa, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 Cup mushrooms, sliced or chopped
2 Teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 Cup milk
1 1/2 Cup snow peas
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the sausage, mushrooms, and garlic in butter.
Combine cornstarch and milk until smooth; gradually add to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta; add to the sausage mixture. Stir in peas and cheese; cook until cheese is melted.

Serves: 4

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

I don't remember where I got this recipe, but I probably wouldn't try it again. I've tried a couple different potato soups, and this was the least satisfying. It was not thick enough, and had very little flavor. The Italian seasoning is something we added as we were eating, to try to get it to taste better.

We had this when my little brother was visiting for the weekend... his comment? "Why don't you just use Mom's recipe? Her'ss is amazing." reply is that I probably will next time. Maybe this is what I get for trying to perfect something that's already perfect. :)
(We had this with the cheesy onion breadsticks! At least THOSE turned out great!)

On another topic, does anyone else always want to spell 'potato' with an 'e' at the end? It's probably because plural is 'potatoes', but I have to erase the 'e' every darn time I spell that word singular... oh well. :)

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 Large onion
1 carrot, cut into 2" chunks
1 Stalk celery, cut into 2" pieces
1 Tablespoon Parsley
5 Cup water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 Tablespoon salt
pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning
1 1/2 Cup milk

Place all ingredients but milk in a slow cooker. Cook on low 10 to 12 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours. During the last hour of cooking, add milk.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Cheesy Onion Breadsticks

This is something I made with potato soup when my little brother was visiting over the weekend. The soup was slightly disappointing (recipe to follow), but this turned out AMAZING. Very quick, and Nate rated this almost as good as my Cheddar Biscuits. And those only rate behind cheesecake and his herbed wheat muffins! (I'm making the muffins soon... recipe to follow!)

The recipe calls for onion, but I made it without, and it turned out just great. I think I will try it with onion at some point, however.

Cheesy Onion Breadsticks
(Cooking for Two)

1/2 Cup Bisquick
2 Tablespoon milk
1/4 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/8 Teaspoon garlic powder
2 Teaspoon butter, melted

In a small bowl, combine the bisquick, milk, cheese, onion, and garlic powder. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times. Roll into a 4x6 rectangle. Cut lengthwise into four strips. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter.

Serves: 4
Serving Size: 1 breadstick
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 15
Total Time: 20

Mmm.... yummy meal!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chicken a la King

This was one more recipe where I used chicken from the whole chicken we cooked! This was surprisingly easy, and surprisingly amazing. I was expecting the green pepper to be a little overwhelming, but it wasn't. Nate was very pleased with this one, also-- definitely something I would make again!

Chicken a la King

1/2 Cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 Cup chopped green pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Cup milk
Dash salt
Dash pepper
1 1/2 Cup cubed cooked chicken
2 slices bread

In a small saucepan, saute mushrooms and green pepper in butter for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in the flour, broth, milk, salt, and pepper until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
Add the chicken, heat through. Serve with toast.

Note: The original recipe called for turkey vs chicken, and called for 2 t diced pimientos, added with the chicken. We had chicken, so I used that, and for the life of me, I can't EVER find pimientos in the store, so I just never add that.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stuffed Breadsticks

These things are AMAZING. I got this from Kate at Cooking During Stolen Moments.... she has some amazing recipes.
The only fault I have with this recipe is that we didn't like how they re-heated. Oh well, they were still great!

Stuffed Breadsticks
(Cooking During Stolen Moments)

1 Teaspoon yeast
1 Teaspoon sugar
3/4 Cup warm water
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon Italian seasoning
2-3 Cup flour
8 string cheese sticks, cut in half
32 Slice Pepperoni
2 Tablespoon butter, melted
2 Teaspoon Parmesan
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon Italian seasoning

Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt, and Italian seasoning. Slowly add the flour until completely combined and dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.
On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle. Cut into 16 squares. At the edge of each square, place one piece of string cheese and 2 pieces of pepperoni. Roll up and tuck in sides. Place on baking sheet.
Brush melted butter over each breadstick. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl, and sprinkle on top. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves: 8
Serving Size: 2 breadsticks
Yields: 16

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chicken Soup with Dumplings

This was something else we made from the chicken we cooked the other day. Most of the measurements here are approximate, because I was just kinda throwing things together. :) The dumplings are Grandma's recipe... this is 1/2 the dumpling recipe. I actually used a full recipe when I made this, but it thickened everything. I definitely would only use 1/2 next time.

It turned out pretty good... I was quite proud of myself. :)

Chicken Soup with Dumplings
(Me, Grandma Mickey)

3 Cup chicken stock
4 1/2 Cup water
1 Small onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 Stalk celery, sliced
2 Medium potato, peeled & cut into 2" pieces
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 Pound chicken, cooked, cut into small pieces
1/2 Cup flour
1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/2 egg
1/2-3/4 Cup milk

Put stock, boullion cubes, water, and onion in large pot; bring to a boil. Add vegetables and chicken, cook 5-10 minutes or until veggies are tender.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add egg and milk. Drop by teaspoonfuls into soup, simmer for another 10 minutes.

(Yes, that is the homemade french bread next to the soup. Amazing.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli

We had this Friday night when Kyle was visiting... the guys both like it, but I was pretty disappointed. There isn't much flavor to this. I am going to try adding pea pods, and other seasonings next time. Maybe oregano? We'll see... whatever I'm in the mood for. :)

Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli
(Can't remember where I got this one...)

1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 Cup milk
3/4 Cup Parmesan
1 Tablespoon butter
6 Ounce fettuccine
4 Cup broccoli
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/8 Teaspoon pepper

Whisk flour, salt, pepper, and 1/4 c milk in a medium saucepan. Whisk in remaining milk. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring, over medium heat.
Stir in cheese and butter, stirring until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep sauce warm.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli to pasta water during last 5-7 minutes of cooking.
Drain pasta and broccoli. Transfer to a large serving bowl and toss well with cheese sauce and parsley.

Serves: 4

Also: I've updated the chili recipe, with the pictures!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Zippy Slow Cooked Chili

Update: Yay, we now have pictures!

First of all, I want to apologize for the lack of a picture. I have an amazing new camera, and I totally forgot to take a picture of this!

Granted, I probably forgot because I didn't actually eat this... as Nate was eating this, I was eating a sloppy joe. Why, you ask? Well, that would be because I don't like chili. At all. (I know, I know, every family member who reads this is ready to disown me. Don't disown me just yet, please.)

But, I decided that I would be a good wife, and sacrifice for my husband. My house smells like chili. (That was the sacrifice part.) I got this ready before I went to work in the morning, and had it all ready when my husband got home from school. (See? Good wife.)

Family members still waiting to hear why they shouldn't disown me? Well... apparently I make really freakin' good chili. That's why. :) (And because you love me. Admit it.)

Nate said that he's had many chilis much worse than mine, and very few better. Which, for someone making chili for the first time who doesn't like chili, I would say that's pretty impressive.

(Picture will follow.... I'll update later, when we get a picture.)

Zippy Slow-Cooked Chili
(Taste of Home)

1 Pound ground beef
28 Ounce diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 Medium green pepper, chopped
15 Ounce vegetarian chili
8 Ounce tomato sauce
2 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon Parsley
1 Tablespoon dried basil
2 Teaspoon ground cumin
4 Clove garlic, minced
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 Teaspoon pepper
1/8 Teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 Tablespoon minced chives
shredded cheddar cheese

In a nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 3 qt slow cooker. Add everything but the cheese.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Serves: 6

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Homestyle Chicken & Biscuits

This is the first thing we made with our chicken from the other day! Very yummy! Obviously, this is just a general casserole-type recipe, but I was craving a casserole-type thing. :) I haven't made anything like this in awhile, and it sounds like a great way to use our chicken.

It turned out great... I would definitely experiment more with the spices, though.

Homestyle Chicken & Biscuits

10.75 Ounce cream of chicken soup (reduced fat & reduced sodium)
1/4 Cup milk
3/4 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
16 Ounce frozen veggies, thawed
1 Cup chicken, cooked
1 Package Refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

Heat the oven to 400. Stir the soup, milk, cheese, and peppers in a 3-qt shallow baking dish. Stir in the veggies and chicken.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the chicken mixture. Top the chicken mixture with the biscuits.
Bake for 12 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 27
Total Time: 35

Saturday, January 9, 2010

French Bread

...AKA "I wish I could make bread look pretty."

I love to make bread. It just never turns out pretty.

Take this french bread, for example. Tastes? AMAZING. Looks? Like a 4-year-old made it. Possibly a blind four year old. With his feet.

Oh well, at least it tastes good.

French Bread
(Better Homes & Gardens)

5 1/2-6 Cup flour
4 1/2 Teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 Teaspoon salt
2 Cup warm water (120-130 degrees)
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon water

In a large mixing bowl, stir together 2 c flour, the yeast, and salt. Add the 2 c warm water to the flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8-10 min). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease dough surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest 10 min. Meanwhile, lightly grease a baking sheet; sprinkle greased basksign sheet with cornmeal.
Roll each dough half into a 15x10 rectangle. Tightly roll up, starting from a long side; seal well. If desired, pinch and slightly pull ends to taper them. Place shaped dough, seam sides down, on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together egg white and the 1 T water. Brush some of the egg white mixture over loaf tops. Let rise until nearly double in size (35-45 minutes).
Preheat oven to 375. Using a sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal cuts about 1/4" deep across each loaf top. Bake for 20 minutes. Brush again with some of the egg white mixture. Continue baking for 15-20 minutes more or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove loaves from baking sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Serves: 28
Serving Size: 1 slice
Yields: 2 loaves (28 slices)
Total Time: 3 hrs

I think my biggest problem this time was that the cuts were not deep enough... so it cracked. :(

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm back! And cooking a WHOLE CHICKEN!

I didn't intend to take a break from blogging, but I am most definitely back from "vacation." Between illness, and not being home, I haven't had time to blog. I've barely even been cooking! We had all of our holidays away from home, so I haven't been in the kitchen much.
That is changing now. :)

I have never liked raw poultry. I can handle raw beef, raw venison, raw fish... just don't give me a raw bird. I find it disgusting. I don't like handling raw chicken breasts, so the thought of a whole raw chicken really bothered me, to say the least. Plus, it was just intimidating! So when I saw the Happy Housewife post this, I was pretty excited. Cook a chicken in a crock pot? I just rinse the chicken, dump it in, and walk away for hours? No oven or anything? Hmm... I can try that.
(Granted, I still have to handle the chicken, but this takes away a lot of the intimidation.)

So, we got a whole chicken (85 cents a pound? AWESOME), got a new bigger crockpot (thank you Mama for Christmas money), and tried it!

I put the chicken in at about 8 this morning, sprinkled some spices on it, took it out at about six when I got home, and it was beautiful. Cooked completely (which is a huge fear of mine with cooking meat)--in fact, so completely that it basically fell apart when I took it out of the crockpot.

And let's not forget the fact that my house smells great.

(Isn't my hubby so amazing? I didn't even ask him to help, he just walked in the kitchen as I was pulling the chicken out, helped me get it out, and started tossing bones and the skin back in the crockpot.)

We ate some of the meat right away (yes, it smelled that amazing), put some in a casserole (tomorrow's post!), gave a few bites to the puppy, and put the rest in the freezer.
(This is what it looked like right when I took it out... I had it in for so long, it was falling apart.)

I left all the juices in the crockpot, and added the bones when we de-boned it. Then I added 5 cups of water, and put it back on low. In the morning, I will have lovely chicken broth--ready for soup, and whatever other use later!
(Doesn't Remus look so happy to be cleaning the cutting board?? :) Then he sat and looked at me, practically asking for more. LOL. )