Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baked Potato Soup and Fresh Bread

The weather is starting to cool off, here in Southern Ontario. Flu and cold season is also upon us and we've been afflicted by the first cold of the season. When I'm feeling sniffly and achy, all I want to eat is something warm and comforting. Soup and fresh bread top the list of comfort foods in our house. Though the kids are resistant at times, I've found a few soup recipes that they will eat. This recipe was once again posted on Cooking for your Family. It really is a great place to find recipes and the women there are so friendly and helpful. But I digress.... I had some baked potatoes leftover from the other night, so thought this recipe was a perfect way to use them up. The soup is rich and creamy, with a slight saltiness from the bacon and tanginess from the sour cream. We love bacon, so I always use 1/2 a pound in this recipe, LOL. It was just what we needed last night and ate every last drop.

When I think soup, the first thing that comes to mind is nice warm bread. I have a huge file of bread recipes. Though I have my favorites, I try to make new recipes here and there. I really can't remember if I tried this recipe before. I must not have, because I would be making it once a week if I did. This bread is exactly like what you would find in your local bakery. The inside was light, fluffy and cottony soft. This would make excellent sandwich bread. This recipe reminds me of the bread my mom use to make for use, while growing up.


Baked Potato Soup
Submitted by mommy92005 (adapted from pampered chef cook book)

4 med. Baked potatoes
2 slices bacon
½ cup celery
1 can chicken broth
1 ½ cups milk1 garlic clove
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup light sour cream
½ cup cheddar

Remove skins from potatoes (baked) and mash them Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel, crumble and set aside. Keep the drippings in the pan (1/2 tbsp) Chop celery in the food processor Add chicken broth, milk, potatoes, celery, garlic, salt and pepper to drippings in pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 min. Stir in sour cream and reserved bacon. Add cheddar to top. Serve

Cindy's notes: I used 1/2 a pound of bacon, since we love bacon. I also threw in some cubed raw potato, since I like chunks of potato in my soup. I probably used more liquid than specified, since I was feeding 2 grown men, LOL.

Ultimate White Bread - Bread Machine
submitted by Sandy

3/4 cup water
2 1/2 T margarine or butter
1 egg
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Layer in bread machine per manufacturer's instructions. Makes 1 1/2 pound loaf.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pierogi Chicken Lasagna- Quick and easy weeknight dinner.

After 2 days of school, Mr.B came home with a cold. In the matter of days, we all had it, though it seems to have hit me the hardest. Hubby, Mr.B and I had to attend a teacher's night at his school, so I was looking for something easy to make, for my mother in law and Queenie. With a bad back, I knew that my mother in law could not stand at the stove and cook, so I needed something that was quick to put together and easy to cook. I had seen someone mention this recipe on Cooking for your Family and thought it was right up my alley. I was super psyched that it only took 5 minutes to throw together. The most time consuming part was chopping the chicken. The house smelled great when we returned home, Queenie had devoured her dinner and the boys had no problem finishing off the dish. I only tried a bite, since my throat felt like I had swallowed nails. Despite the excrutiating pain, it was delicious, LOL. The creaminess of the pierogies went well with the pasta sauce and cheese. I'm definately keeping this one in my what should I make when I'm not feeling well file.


Pierogi Chicken Lasagna

1 lb pierogies, frozen
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 (18 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
4 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Pour half of the sauce into a 9"x 9" casserole dish.
3. Layer pierogies over sauce and top with sliced chicken breast.
4. Pour remaining sauce over casserole and sprinkle with cheese.
5. Cover with sprayed foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin was on sale a few weeks back, so we picked up a few packages. There is 2 tenderloins per package, so I knew I'd get 2 dinners out of them. I browsed on line for new ideas to prepare them. I decided to combine a few ideas I had seen. I combined some of my favorite BBQ rub with some spicy brown mustard and marinated the tenderloins for a few hours. It turned out wonderfully! The tenderloins were so flavorful and moist. I added some potatoes to the roasting pan, about 30 minutes before the meat was done. The potatoes took on the flavor of the marinade and tasted awesome. Mr.B and Queenie gobbled down their dinners and my Mother in law was quite impressed. I'm keeping this in my marinade file for sure.


Spicy Mustard Marinaded Pork Tenderloins

4 Tbs BBQ rub ( recipe below)
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 C spicy brown mustard
2 Tbs water
2 lbs pork tenderloins

In a large Ziploc bag combine the BBQ rub, thyme, mustard and water. Place in tenderloins and zip up, making sure to squeeze out any air. Smush the tenderloins around so the ingredients get all incorporated and the tenderloins are covered with sauce. Let sit in refrigerator at least 3 hrs. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place tenderloins in a roasting pan with about 1/2 C water. Cook for 1 hr. At this point you may add potatoes to the roasting pan and cook everything until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove tenderloins and let rest 20 minutes before slicing. Take any remaining pan drippings to make gravy for the potatoes, by thickening with 1 Tbs cornstarch to 2 Tbs water.

Barbeque Rub

2 cups sugar (I use superfine)
1/4 cup paprika
2 t chili powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 cup salt
2 t black pepper
1 t garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and use as a rub for any barbeque meat. Yields about 3 cups.
Sandy's notes: Rub this into chicken, ribs, fish, or pork chops before grilling, broiling or pan frying. I sprinkle it on beef brisket and cook in the crock pot all day... OK, this rates at the very top for my favorite seasoning!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

I haven't been feeling too well lately, so I was looking for easy dinners to make. I knew I had all the ingredients for this recipe and I have never made it before, so I gave it a try. Well, as it came to be, I didn't have cream of chicken soup so I decided to use cream of mushroom. I hadn't been able to eat more than a few bites, in days and this was honestly one of the best dinners I had had in a long time, LOL. The kids loved it too, so that's always a bonus. I thought the chicken could have used more seasoning though.


Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
Adapted From: Campbell's Kitchen

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast half (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 375°F. Stir the soup, water, rice, onion powder, black pepper and vegetables in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with the chicken. Cover the baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Top with the cheese. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes. Stir the rice before serving. Serving Suggestion: Serve with a Caesar salad. For dessert serve frozen Italian-style water ice or gelati.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Apple Pie Cake

This was one of last weeks Meal of the Week recipes on Baby Center's Cooking for your Family board. I was bringing dinner to my best friend, so I figured this would be a great opportunity to try this recipe. It was easy to make and turned out moist and delicious. I love the chunks of slightly crunchy apple through out. I doubled the recipe, so we could have one too and it got rave reviews here at home. My girlfriend loved it too, so I'm thinking it's a keeper. I ommited the nuts since I was out, used Gala and Granny Smith apples and dusted the pans with sugar, after greasing them.


Apple Pie Cake
submitted by Bex

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.In a large mixing bowl, blend butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until well blended. Mix in dry ingredients and stir in apples and nuts.Spread mixture into a greased and floured 9" pie pan. Mixture will seem quite dry but try to spread evenly.Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Bex's Notes: I usually double this and make it in a 9x13 pan (same baking time, test for doneness).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Grilled Chicken Rollers

I saw this recipe in the Kraft Food and Family Magazine, before we packed up and moved. It looked really good, but since we didn't have a grill, I didn't even think of making it. Well we lucked out and found a house with a brand new gas grill on the back deck. Let me tell you, we've been in heaven. Plus I hadn't had to heat up the house, by using the stove or oven. So when I came by this magazine while unpacking, I decided that I would try this recipe. Now a lot of you know that I am notorious for not reading recipes all the way through. Which is what I once again failed to do. So I ended up wrapping the bacon around the chicken instead of lengthwise ( from end to end). As a result all that ooey gooey cheese ended up oozing out of the chicken. It was pretty good regardless, but I would have loved to have the cheese in there too. The chicken was tender and juicy, the bacon crisp and smoky. We didn't have balsamic dressing so I used BBQ sauce instead. I'll be trying this one again, the right way, soon, LOL.


Grilled Chicken Roller
adapted from Kraft Food and Family Magazine

1 small boneless skinless chicken breast (1/4 lb./125g)
1 KRAFT SINGLES Process Cheese Product Slice
1 slice bacon
1 Tbsp. KRAFT Extra Virgin Olive Oil Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette

Dressing HEAT barbecue to medium heat. Pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. TOP with Singles; roll up tightly. Wrap bacon around long sides of roll covering exposed Singles, stretching bacon as necessary to fit; secure with toothpicks.

GRILL 15 to 20 min. or until chicken is done (170ºF), turning frequently and brushing with dressing the last 5 min. Discard toothpicks before serving.

Serving Size = 1 roll (98 g)Nutritional InformationCalories 260 Total fat 12 g Saturated fat 4 g Cholesterol 85 mg Sodium 720 mg Carbohydrate 3 g Dietary fibre 0 g Sugars 3 g Protein 32 g Vitamin A 4 %DV Vitamin C 0 %DV Calcium

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

My Mom gave me this recipe, a while back, when I was complaining that I wanted to bake, but was out of flour. I was a little skeptical, but tried it anyway. Ever since then, this has been my go to Peanut Butter recipe. I made it a few years back for a Cancer fundraiser for Hubby's uncle, and got many requests for the recipe. I like that they are so quick to put together and taste so good. They are slightly chewy and irresistible. Bet you can't eat just one!!!


Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C peanut butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough, onto a cookie sheet. Using the tynes of a fork, press lightly onto the center of the cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, until edges start to brown.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Buttermilk Biscuits

I saw these on Mommy's Kitchen and they looked so good, I had to try them. I have an odd love for biscuits, ever since DH and I went on vacation to Houston Texas, about 8 yrs ago. There is just something about the soft pillowy center and the salty crust that makes me feel good inside, LOL. So I decided to try my hand at making some. They were pretty easy to make, although I did over bake them, thanks to rowdy children. None the less they tasted great. I'll be making these again and again I'm sure.


Southern Livings Best Buttermilk Biscuits

1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick real butter)
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
additional Self-rising flour(for counter surface to knead dough)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Cut butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl. Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. (I used my hands) Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed.

With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper.) Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan. (Dough rounds should touch.) Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

Prep: 20 min., Chill: 10 min., Bake: 13 - 15 min.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Potato Salad


I first made this potato salad for Hubby, when we first started dating, 9 yrs ago. I didn't think he'd be so crazy about it, because it's a pretty basic recipe. Nothing fancy, just good, LOL. Well this past summer I found out just how much he loved it, since he was bragging about it, to anyone who would listen. I made this several times for cookouts with our neighbors in TN. They loved it so much, that they requested I bring it every time and asked for the recipe. I told them my secret ingredient was Canadian Miracle Whip, but they wanted the recipe none the less. It's pretty much a staple at our house, during the warm summer months.


Potato Salad

8-10 large potatoes, peeled
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 a small onion, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1-2 C mayonnaise (the trick is to use half Hellman's mayonnaise and half Miracle Whip)
5 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp paprika, plus more for garnish

In a large pot boil potatoes until fork tender. Cool completely. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, green pepper, onion, salt, pepper, mayonnaise and paprika. Add in chopped egg and make sure all potatoes are covered with mayonnaise. Lightly sprinkle with more paprika. Refrigerate at least 2 hrs, before serving.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back in the saddle again!

We have finally settled into our new lives in Canada, so I thought I'd start on my blog again. I have a few recipes to dig out and share with you. Watch for them in the coming week. Glad to be back in the saddle again!!