Monday, December 12, 2011

Potato and Broccoli Soup

Potato and Broccoli Soup

The basic recipe came from Rachel Ray. But sometimes, I have to tweak things because of what I have in the house. It turned out so good, I wanted to share!!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used vegetable oil)
6 slices bacon, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes or more!!
8 ounces Mexican blend cheese
1 or 2 bunches of steamed broccoli chopped (or 1 small bag of frozen broccoli)
Chopped chives, more shredded cheese and sour cream, for garnish

In a medium pot or Dutch oven, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

Drain off excess bacon fat from the pot and add butter. When it is melted, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour into the pot and cook with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a bubble. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

(I didn't have a fresh onion so I used dried onions)

Whisk in mashed potatoes and broccoli, then stir in the cheddar cheese and cook until the potatoes are hot and the cheese is melted.

(I used frozen broccoli, I threw it in the pot frozen. To speed up the cooking time of the broccoli, I scooped the broccoli and some soup out and put it in the blender until creamy. I also put some of the bacon in the blender too. Mine ended up being a little thick, so I added some milk. I then put it back in the pot and brought it back to a light boil for a few minutes. Remember to stir frequently to the bottom burning!!)

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved bacon, sour cream, cheese and chopped chives. (I didn't have chives)

I also served with freshly baked rolls.

This was super yummy, if I do say so myself. My kids were a little turned off by the green color but half of them still said it was good, and all the adults loved it!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole


About 4 cups sweet potatoes cooked and mashed

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons Butter, room temperature
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all pupose flour
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/ cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Put sweet potatoes peeled and cubed into a saucepan heat over medium heat until tender: drain and mash

2. Either in a large bowl or the cooking pan wherever you mash your potatoes...
mix together the potatoes, sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk anbd vanilla. Mix untill smooth. Tranfer into a 9X13 inch baking dish.

3. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and flour, then cut in butter until mixture is course. Add pecans and mix and sprinkle mixture over the sweet potato mixture.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until lightly brown.

I did add some minature marshmallows on top to melt and look festive. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Glorious Morning Muffins

Glorious Morning Muffins

by Gold Metal
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups of unbleached flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots (2 to 3 medium)
1 cup shredded peeled apple
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 raisins
3/4 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 35o degrees F. Place paper baking cup in each of 18 regular size muffin cups.

In large bowl, beat eggs, oil milk and vanilla with wire whisk until well blended. Add flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in carrots, apple, coconut, raisins and 1/2 cup of the almonds.

Divide batter evenly among cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup almonds over batter.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, remove from pan.

This recipe is easily changed. I didn't have a few of these ingredients, like coconut, raisins or almonds. I substitute, 1 diced up banana and pecan pieces. I am sure you can mix and match to your hearts desire!! Give it a try you will not be disappointed. My whole family enjoyed these so much and so fast, that I could not get a photo!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Smore's Pops

Smore's Pops

These are so easy and very yummy too!! I heard a friend talk about making these and I had to try!!

All you need is:

  • Lollipop sticks, that you can get at any craft or hobby store

  • 1 bag of large Marshmallows

  • Chocolate, I used Chocolate Coating that comes in cubes, but I am sure you can use any kind you want.

  • Graham Crackers.
Start by putting all your marshmallows on the ends of the sticks.

Then smash your Graham crackers as fine or chunky as you want.

Next melt your chocolate. I microwave my chocolate at 30 second intervals at 60% power. Stirring at each interval. Do not over heat chocolate or it will get clumpy.

When chocolate is melted dip the marshmallows completely in the chocolate and then roll around in the Graham crackers. I just rested them on their tops.

When they have cooled, enjoy!!

This is a great activity for kids!!

Variations: Use the really big Marshmallows you find at Walmart and stick them on the big Pretzel Rods. Then dip in chocolate and Graham Crackers.

You can do pretty much any variation you like, just use your imagination and have fun!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Many years ago I had the perfect recipe for peanut butter cookies, but then after moving multiple times, the book with it was lost. After this last move, we have the goal of being box free. To my surprise, I found a box full of recipe books and low and behold my favorite cookie recipe book was found. It is the "Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie Book!"

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups (packed) brown sugar. (I use light brown sugar but recipe calls for dark)
2 sticks (1 cup) margarine softened (or salted butter)
3 large eggs
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 *F

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients, flour, soda and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, or mixing bowl, blend sugars with a eclectic mixer or stand mixer at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping the sides of bowl. Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until just mixed. Do not over mix.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. 1 1/2 inches apart. With a wet fork, gently press a crisscross pattern on top of cookes. Bake for 18-22 minutes until cookies are slightly brown along the edges. Transfer cookies immediately to a cool flat surface with a spatula.

As a variation, add 2 cups of coarsely chocolate chips to the flour mixture and then bake as directed.

Yield: about 3 1/2 dozen


Thursday, July 7, 2011

German Pancakes

I don't know if these are the "typical" German Pancakes but my mom is from Germany, and this is her basic recipe that was passed down by her mother.

If you were to ask each of my brothers how to make my moms pancakes, they would give you a slightly different recipe. The way my mom cooked when we were kids is add a little this and a little that and seemed to be like pulling teeth to get actual recipe.

However, after getting recipes from my brothers and my mom and after the 13 years I have been making these for my family, I think I have perfected this Pancake recipe as I remember as a child.

This is not your typical fluffy pancake. These are more dense. But the great thing about these is that hours after you are done. These pancakes still taste great just to grab one and go.

German Pancakes

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
3 cups of milk

In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

Add eggs, oil and then slowly add milk until a nice thick consistency. Thick but batter should still flow nicely off your spoon but not be to runny. You man not need all 3 cups and you may need slightly more.

Set your griddle to 325' and spray with cooking oil or as my mom always did, drizzle some vegetable oil on griddle and spread around with a paper towel.

Drop batter onto griddle to your preferred size, wait till the batter bubbles up and pops then turn. Leave on the other side for about the same amount of time as the first. You can check by lifting the side of one and see if it a nice light brown color. You may have to play around with timing as each griddle is different.

Spread some butter and syrup and enjoy.

This recipe will yeild about 30-40 pancakes.

Even if you have your favorite batter, give this one a try. I promise you will not be disappointed. I can please the pickiest of picky eaters with these pancakes!! My kids often come home from sleep overs and tell me how much better mine are, and even my sister has complimented them over and over!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Zucchini Casserole Augratin

6-10 zucchinis
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 pint sour cream
2 cup grated cheese
2 slices of bread
1/4 teaspoons of salt

Cut up and parboil & drain zucchinis (about 5-10 minutes, do not over cook the zucchini or it will get real soggy.)

In a small bowl, mix the margarine, sour cream and 1 cup of grated cheese.

After Zucchini is parboiled, spread in 8"x8"baking pan, then pour the sour cream over, gently incorporate into the zucchini.


2 slices bread cubed, salt and remaining 1 cup grated cheese.

Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Let cool for 5 minutes and serve!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole

Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole

Because Wednesday is Payday...Tuesday in our house has turned into pantry day. Today while searching through the pantry, I saw a few ingredients that sounded interesting and after a few different ideas I came up with this one. It was really good. The picture is not so great because the rice does not want to hold up, but you get the general idea!!

1 lbs ground beef
1 large can of mild enchilada sauce, I used El Paso
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of green beans, drained
4 cups of cooked white rice
2 lbs of cheese or more if you prefer.

While cooking the rice, you can work on the rest of the casserole. In a large sauce pan, cook your ground meat. Season with some salt, pepper and onion powder. After meat is fully cooked, drain all grease. With meat back in the sauce pan, add the can of enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, green beans, black beans.

After rice is cooked, add it to the sauce pan along with about 2 cups of cheese. Stir until it is all mixed together and cheese is melted. Place in a 9x13 pan and cover with remaining cheese.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy. Add salt and pepper to taste