Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ultimate Baked Potato Soup~

This is one of my favorites. I was very skeptical about adding the cilantro & tarragon. It tasted so good already that I didn't want to ruin it but I am so glad I added it! The herbs add perfection to this dish so don't leave them out! Pureeing 1/2 the soup is an important step too. It makes the soup so creamy. I double the recipe for our large family & sprinkle a little cheddar cheese on top. Enjoy!!


* 1 pound bacon, chopped
* 2 stalks celery, diced
* 1 onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
* 4 cups chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
* 3 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
* salt and pepper to taste


1. In a Dutch oven (or large non-stick pot), cook the bacon over medium heat until done. Remove bacon from pan, and set aside. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.

2. In the bacon grease remaining in the pan, saute the celery and onion until onion begins to turn clear. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan, and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

3. In a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, tarragon and cilantro. Bring the cream mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir the cream mixture into the potato mixture. Puree about 1/2 the soup, and return to the pan. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Creamed Chipped Beef

I remember eating this as a child with my grandmother. I've never found her recipe but this one is extremely close if not exact.


* 5 cups milk
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup butter
* 12 ounces beef lunch meat (such as Carl Buddig ®)
* 16 slices bread, toasted


1. Whisk the milk, flour, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until smooth.
2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Gradually stir in the milk mixture until thick. Add the beef; cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Pour over toast to serve.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chicken & Dumplins in a Crockpot!

I found the idea for this recipe the other day & after some tweaking, this is THE BEST quick & easy Chicken & Dumplins I have ever made. It was sooooo easy, it's perfect for a busy day!

6 boneless chicken breast
3 cans Butterball chicken broth
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 celery stalk (chopped)
2 cans bang biscuits
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste

In a large crock-pot mix together chicken broth & cream of celery soup (will be slightly lumpy). Add chicken breast, celery, bay leaf, & seasonings.

Cook on high for 5 hours.
Remove bay leaf.
With 2 forks shred chicken breast & stir well.

Open biscuits & flatten each one with the palm of your hand or with a rolling pin. Slice each into 4 strips & then in half.
Toss them into the crock-pot as you cut, stir.
Cook on high 90 minutes, stirring once.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Broccoli Casserole

This recipe was given to me by my ex-mother-in-law. I've tried several broccoli casserole recipes & this is still our favorite.


2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked as directed, drained
3 eggs
1 heaping TBSP mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1 & 1/2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
1 8oz pkg shredded Cheddar cheese
(optional~ crushed Ritz crackers)


1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl; whisk in the mayonnaise, cream of mushroom soup, & cheddar cheese, pour into cooked broccoli. Mix well, mashing broccoli as you mix. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish. (optional~ top with crushed Ritz crackers)
3. Bake in the preheated oven until center sets, 30 to 45 minutes.

*Mema's Cottage Cheese Loaf

This recipe was passed down to me by my grandmother, Reba. It's a traditional Seventh Day Adventist dish & it is one of my favorites. I have seen other similar recipes but none can compare to this one.


1 24oz container of Cottage Cheese
½ C Chopped Pecans
½ C Chopped Celery
1 med Onion
4 LG Eggs (beaten)
1 stick Butter (melted)
2 Beef or Veggie Bouillon Cubes
5 C Special K cereal
Salt & pepper to taste


1. Dissolve bouillon cubes in melted butter.
2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together.
3. Pour into a greased 9x9 baking dish.
4. Bake @ 350 for about 40 mins or until firm in the center.

OAMC~ Double or triple recipe & freeze extra batches.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pudding Mixture
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
Dash salt
1 1/3 cups boiling water


1. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla until well blended. Spread batter in ungreased 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake pan.
2. In small bowl, mix 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa and dash salt. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Slowly pour boiling water over sugar mixture. (Don't stir!)
3. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch. Serve warm. If desired, serve with ice cream. Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Carrabba's Olive Oil Dip

I make this & serve it with sliced loaves of french bread. It's so yummy!


1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


1.Combine all ingredients, except oil, on a shallow bowl or plate.
2.Pour olive oil over.

Serve with fresh-baked bread for dipping.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak

This is one of the first "difficult" recipes I attempted to make back when I was first learning new recipes. The gravy is just wonderful, so creamy with a nice kick of spice in the undertones of flavor. It's not healthy, but it is O' so worth it!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 pounds beef chuck steaks, well trimmed
1 cup oil for frying
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cube beef bouillon


1.In a shallow bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, salt, garlic salt, celery seeds, chili powder and cayenne pepper; set aside. In a bowl, beat together eggs and remaining 1/2 cup flour. Pound steaks flat with a meat mallet. Dredge the steaks first in the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture.
2.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry the coated steaks until golden brown. Remove from skillet, drain, and keep warm.
3.Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil, then stir in the leftover seasoned flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the flour is browned. Remove from the heat and Stir in milk, and beef bouillon. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until gravy thickens.

*Sour Cream Pork chops


6 boneless pork chops
salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste
1 onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper, sliced
1 can Butterball chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream


1.Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown chops in a small amount of oil.
2.Place chops in slow cooker, and top with onion & pepper slices. Pour chicken broth over chops. (add a little more salt & pepper to taste) Cover, and cook on Low 7 to 8 hours.
3.After the chops have cooked, in a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons flour with the sour cream; mix in a little juice from the crock pot to thin, pour into crockpot & stir, breaking apart chops slightly as ya go. Turn slow cooker to High for 20 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir. Serve over flat noodles.

Extra notes ~

~If you don't like onions, omit them or dice them small & put them in first, under the chops. They will be completely dissolved by the time it's done.

~For a quick & easy meal. Fry twice as many pork chops & freeze extras for use in this recipe next time.

*Honey-Lime Pork Chops


2 limes (juiced & quartered)
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 (4 ounce) boneless pork loin chops


1.In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first four ingredients. Add pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chops, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 inches from the heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

OAMC~ Double/triple recipe. Add all ingredients into a Zip-bag bag & freeze until needed.

Red Skinned Potato Salad


4 pounds red potatoes, chunked, boiled until tender, & drained,
4 boiled eggs, chopped
1 pound bacon, fried, chopped
2 stalk celery, chopped
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


Mix mayo, vinegar, chopped eggs, relish, chopped celery, chopped bacon, salt, & pepper together in a large bowl. Add boiled potatoes. Mix well. Chill.

*Mini Sausage Chimichangas


1 (12 ounce) package Hot Flavor Jimmy Dean Hot Pork Sausage
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 ounces Mexican style shredded cheese
1 (16 ounce) package egg roll wrappers
1 cup canola oil


1.In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion, cumin and chili powder over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until meat is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Stir in garlic, remove from heat; set aside to cool 5 minutes.
2.Transfer sausage to a large mixing bowl; stir in lime juice and cheese. For each chimichanga, place 2 rounded tablespoons of mixture on egg roll wrapper; roll according to package instructions.
3.To cook: in a wok, Dutch oven or fryer, add oil to a depth of 3 inches; heat to 375 F. Fry 3 or 4 at a time about 3 minutes or until deep golden brown; drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce if desired (see recipe below).

OAMC~ Make a triple batch, separate & freeze the mixture. Then just defrost, spoon into the egg rolls & cook them up in no time.

Cinnamon Rolls

I started making these years ago & everyone still begs for them!


3 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup white sugar


1.In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2.In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the cake mix and 3 cups of the flour; stir to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
3.Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
4.Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 10x16 inch rectangle. spread the softened butter over the rectangle; sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon. Starting from one of the long sides, roll up the rectangle and cut into 1 inch wide rolls.
5.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Pour the melted butter into a small bowl and mix the white sugar and pecans in another small bowl. Dip the top of each roll in the melted butter, then in the sugar and pecan mixture, then place the topped rolls snugly into the prepared pan. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
6.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until rolls are golden.

*Meat Loaf

I've tried several recipes over the years & this is definitely our family's favorite.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 dash ground black pepper
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup steak sauce, (e.g. Heinz 57)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
2.In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, salt, egg, black pepper and bread crumbs. Pour in the milk, 3 tablespoons of the steak sauce, onion and green bell pepper.
3.Place the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and shape into a loaf. Brush the top with the remaining steak sauce.
4.Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until done. Allow to stand 5 minutes before slicing.

OAMC~ Double/triple recipe, freeze before cooking.

*Spinach Cheese Manicotti

I usually brown some chicken & spread it around between the manicotti


1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 egg
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti shells (or Jumbo Shells)


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, and egg. Season with parsley, pepper and garlic powder. Mix in 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan. In a separate bowl, stir together spaghetti sauce and water.
3.Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Stuff uncooked manicotti shells with ricotta mixture, and arrange in a single layer in the dish. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until noodles are soft.

OAMC~ double/triple batch & freeze before baking.

Chicken Salad

Sometimes I toss in cheese, grapes, apples, nuts &/or onions.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast meat
1/2 cup finely chopped celery


1.In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, poultry seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and lemon juice.
2.Toss the chicken & celery into the mayonnaise mixture, and stir to coat. Chill until serving.

Banana Pudding


1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 bananas, sliced
1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers


1.In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.
2.Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill.

Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - boiled and shredded
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce


1.To Make Meat Mixture: Heat oil in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, onion and green chile peppers and saute until browned, then add taco seasoning and prepare meat mixture according to package directions.
2.To Make Cheese Mixture: In a medium bowl mix sour cream with cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper; stir until well blended.
3.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
4.To Assemble Enchiladas: Heat tortillas until soft. In each tortilla place a spoonful of meat mixture, a spoonful of cheese mixture and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with any remaining meat and cheese mixture, enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese.
5.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Pico de Gallo Chicken Quesadillas

2 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup sour cream, for topping


1.In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, 1/2 of the onion, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2.In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken and saute until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove chicken from skillet, shred and set aside.
3.Put the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the hot skillet and saute the other half of the onion and green pepper until tender. Stir in the minced garlic and saute until the aroma is strong. Mix in half of the pico de gallo and chicken breast meat. Set aside; keep warm.
4.In a heavy skillet, heat one flour tortilla. Spread 1/4 cup shredded cheese on the tortilla and top with 1/2 the chicken mixture. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup cheese over the chicken and top with another tortilla. When bottom tortilla is lightly brown and cheese has started to melt, flip quesadilla and cook on the opposite side. Remove quesadilla from skillet and cut into quarters. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve quesadillas with sour cream and remaining pico de gallo.

Crack Dip~

This scrumptious & highly addictive dip came to us from Sean's wife, Jacki. 

Crack Dip

2 (16oz) packages of hot Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
2 (8oz) packages of Philadelphia Cream cheese
2 (10oz) cans of Mexican Rotel

1.In a large skillet, cook sausage and over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until meat is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Drain.
2.In a crock pot, mix cooked sausage, cream cheese, & Rotel, stirring frequently until melted.
3.Turn crockpot to low & enjoy. (Serve with Tortilla Scoops)

Kalua Pig

Kalua Pig in a crockpot~
Ingredients 1 (at least 6 pound) pork butt roast
3 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt
3 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
1. Remove excess fat. Pierce pork all over with a carving fork. Place in slow cooker & rub salt then liquid smoke over meat.
2. Cover, and cook on Low for 16 to 20 hours, turning once during cooking time.
3. Remove meat from slow cooker, and shred, adding drippings as needed to moisten.
4. Serve on Hawaiian Rolls