Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Spicy, Cheesy Corn Chowder

This is perfection in a bowl!  The flavors are absolutely amazing together.  My family and I love the kick to it too.  Delicious!  Enjoy!
-4 Tbs salted butter
-1 onion, finely diced
-4 slices bacon, chopped
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
-1 orange bell pepper, chopped
-12 oz frozen corn
-1/4 cup flour
-3 cups chicken stock
-2 cups half and half
-8 oz shredded hot habanero and jalapeno jack cheese
Melt butter in large saucepan.  Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the bacon chunks and cook until golden brown, for about 4-5 minutes  Toss in the bell peppers.  Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the corn and cook for 3 more minutes.
Sprinkle flour on top and give it a good stir. Pour in the broth and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add the half and half.  Give it a good stir, cover, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the cheese and stir until melted. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Simplified Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is super easy to put together and oh, so delicious.  Everything you love about chicken cordon bleu, but easier and faster. YUM!  Enjoy!
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into chunks
-8 oz diced ham
-10 oz small pasta (garden rotini, small shells, etc.)
-3 cups water
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp dry mustard
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-8 oz shredded Swiss cheese
-1 Tbs salted butter, melted
-1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
Heat oil in large skillet or wok.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, for 2-3 minutes.  Add the ham, pasta, water, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, salt and pepper.  Mix very well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until all melted.
Preheat broiler to high.
Combine the melted butter with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top of pasta mixture.  Broil for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
Scoop onto plates and enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake

Oh, I can't even begin to describe how delicious this cake is!  You get spice cake, with pumpkin spice pudding, whipped topping, caramel, toffee bits, chocolate...It's such an amazing combination! Enjoy!
-1 (15.25 oz) box spice cake mix
-1 (3.4 oz) ox pumpkin spice instant pudding and pie filling
-1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
-1 large egg
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-2 tsp pumpkin spice
-1 (12 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
-1 (12.25 oz) jar caramel topping
-8 oz whipped topping, thawed
-1/2 cup toffee bits
-1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup caramel syrup
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray (the one with flour and butter).  Set aside.
In your electric mixer's bowl, add the cake mix, pudding mix, pumpkin and egg.  Mix well. Slowly, add the oil and pumpkin spice.  Beat on low for a couple of minutes.  Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove cake (in the pan) onto wire rack and immediately poke it everywhere with the back of a wooden spoon.
Quickly mix the milk and caramel topping and pour all over the "holey" cake. Let it cool for 1 hour on the wire rack.
Spread the whipped topping on top and sprinkle with the toffee bits and chocolate chips.  Drizzle the caramel sauce right on top.
Cover the cake and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  Slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Loaded Tuna Casserole

I saw this on Pinterest the other day and it looked good and satisfying.  So, I altered it a little and made it for my family.  It turned out great!  It's loaded with lots of good stuff, like mushrooms and onions, and topped with crunchy French fried onions.  Yum!  It goes great with some salad on the side.  Enjoy!
-3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 onion, finely diced
-8 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
-8 oz small pasta (rotini, shells, etc)
-1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
-1 cup sour cream
-3/4 cup milk
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-4 cans (5 oz each) tuna in water, drained
-1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
-1 package (3 oz) French fried onions
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until veggies are nice and tender, for about 5 minutes.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook for only about 8 minutes.  Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, to the onion mixture, add the mushroom soup, sour cream, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the drained pasta and tuna.  Mix well.  Pour into 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkle on top with the cheese and the French onion.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Adapted from a recipe found here.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Peaches and Cream Bars

I love peaches and I love my peach tree.  I also like to freeze some of my fresh peaches in the summer so that I can use them throughout the colder months. I was looking for something a little different to do with some of my frozen peaches when I found this recipe.  It's perfect!  Fresh peaches are the best choice, but frozen will work just as well.  If using frozen though, make sure after thawing to discard as much as you can of the liquid.
These bars are seriously so amazing!  They are sweet and light, they melt in your mouth and they will really make you happy. :)  Enjoy!
For crust and topping:
-3 cups flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, slightly brought to room temperature (still cold)
For filling:
-4 large eggs
-2 cups sugar
-1 cup sour cream
-3/4 cup flour
-a pinch of salt
-2 lbs fresh peaches, pitted and thinly sliced OR 2 lbs frozen peaches, thawed with juice squeezed out
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray (the one with flour and butter).  Set aside.
In your electric mixer's bowl, using the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar and salt from the crust ingredients.  With the mixer going, add chunks of butter.  Mix until nice and crumbly.
Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture for topping.  Pour the remaining mix into the prepared pan.  Press down with your fingers. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven (do NOT turn off the oven) and let it cool for a few minutes.
While the crust is cooling, in a large bowl, mix the eggs and sugar.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over golden crust.
Sprinkle with the reserved crumbly mixture. Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let it cool completely (about 3-4 hours). Cut into bars and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe found here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Hazelnut Soup

Yes, hazelnut soup, just like in the movie Tangled.  As a foodie, every time I watched that movie with my kids, I had to wonder how would hazelnut soup taste.  Well, let me tell you that it is absolutely delicious!  First off, chopped hazelnuts are quite easy to find.  Any grocery store has them in the baking section with the other nuts.  The ones I got were already chopped, which is nice.  Second, there is a wonderful concoction of flavors going on in this soup; there's red onion, leeks and parsnip.  Yes, all the goodness!  Everything is cooked to perfection then blended for a nice, smooth texture.  So, so good!  Enjoy!
-2 cups hazelnuts, chopped
-5 Tbs salted butter
-1 red onion, chopped
-2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
-2 medium leeks (white parts only), very well cleaned and chopped
-2 Tbs flour
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-2 cups water
-6 cups chicken broth
-2 cups heavy cream
Place hazelnuts in large skillet and toast for about 5 minutes, on medium-low heat, stirring frequently.  Once done, remove from heat.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the red onion, parsnips and leeks.  Give it a good stir and cook for about 10 minutes, or until veggies are softened.
Sprinkle the flour, salt and pepper on top of veggies.  Mix well and cook for 1 minute.  Add the water, chicken broth, and 1 1/2 cups of the hazelnuts.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using an immersion blender, process the soup until nice and smooth.
Add the heavy cream.  Mix well and cook for 1 more minute.
Ladle into bowls, top with some of the remaining hazelnuts and enjoy!

Friday, November 4, 2016

New England Clam Chowder

We're big fans of clam chowder at our house.  This homemade version is truly the best. The veggies are sauteed in bacon grease, then everything is simmered for a while to blend all those yummy flavors together.  Great comfort food!  Enjoy!
-6-7 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
-1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
-1 onion, finely chopped
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-4 (6.5 oz each) cans minced clams
-1/2 cup flour
-6 cups milk (whole or 2%)
Cook bacon in large sauce pan until nice and crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from pan onto paper towel lined plate.
Return pan with bacon grease to stove.  Add the potatoes and onion.  Give it a good stir.  Add the salt, pepper, thyme, and clam liquid from the clam cans.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
While that's cooking, in a large bowl, mix the flour and milk until no more clumps.  Add this gradually to the chowder.  Mix well and cook, over medium heat, for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the clams and cook for 1 more minute.
Ladle into bowls, top with some of the cooked bacon and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Southwestern Brunch Casserole

I love an easy egg-sausage casserole.  This is easy to put together and I love all the veggies that go in it. Of course, serve it with a nice serving of medium or spicy chunky salsa and you're in for such a treat. This also works  great for dinners, not only breakfast or brunch.  Enjoy!
-1 lb bulk sage sausage
-1 onion, finely chopped
-1 bell pepper, chopped
-salt and pepper
-2 lbs potatoes (Yukon work great, but any will do)
-8 oz shredded Cheddar cheese
-8 large eggs
-3/4 cup milk
-medium or spicy chunky salsa
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large skillet, start browning the sausage, along with the onion and bell pepper.  Season with some salt and pepper and cook until sausage is nice and brown.
While that's cooking, peel the potatoes and slice very them very thin**a mandolin would work great for this, but manually can work as well.  Once sliced, placed potatoes on bottom of prepared dish (it's ok to have more than 1 row).  Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of the potato layers.  Top that with the sausage mixture.  Top with remaining cheese.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs.  Stir in the milk and season with some salt and pepper.  Pour oven casserole.
Cover tightly with foil and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  Uncover and cook an additional 15-20 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Slice, top with salsa, and enjoy!


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