Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tortellini-Vegetable Chowder

This is a really good and quick recipe. Great for our vegetarian friends. ;)

2 (14.5-oz.) cans chicken broth

1 (16-oz) package loose-packed frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots

1 (9-oz.) package refrigerated cheese (or meat) filled tortellini

2 cups milk

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon snipped fresh basil or
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1 cup shredded process smoked Gouda cheese

Ground black pepper (optional)

In a large saucepan, combine broth and frozen vegetables. Bring to boiling; add tortellini. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 4 minuted or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1 cup of milk and the flour, making sure there are no lumps. Add to saucepan; add remaining milk and dried basil, if using. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in cheese and fresh basil, if using, until cheese melts. If desired, season with pepper.

This is good when I forget to thaw meat for dinner. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baked Beans and Ham

Prep: 15 min.
Soak: 8 hours*
Cook: 1 hour, 5 minutes; Bake: 1 hour

1 (20-oz) package dried 15 bean soup mix
4 (or more) cups of water
2-4 (8-oz) smoked ham hocks
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 cups chopped cooked ham
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup ketchup
1 cup B-B-Q sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 can of chicken (or beef broth) This is an optional ingredient, I feel this recipe would be too dry without it.
1/4 cup bourbon (optional)

Place beans in a Dutch oven; add water 2 inches above beans, and soak 8 hours*. Drain.

Bring beans, 4 cups of water, and ham hocks to a boil in a Dutch oven; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Drain. Remove beans; set beans aside. Remove ham hocks; let cool; chop meat, discarding skin and bones.

Saute onion and 2 cups ham in hot oil in Dutch oven 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add beans, reserved meat from ham hocks, ketchup, B-B-Q sauce, next 4 ingredients, and, if desired, bourbon to Dutch oven.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I don't have a Dutch oven so I just use a large pot and transfer the ingredients to an oven-safe dish to bake.


To sort beans, pick out any foreign substances such as small stones and soil particles.

*For quick soaking, add 6-8 cups of water to 1 pound dried beans, and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 2 minutes; remove from heat, and soak 1 hour. Rinse and drain; cook according to recipe directions.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I have not tried this recipe, but will soon. At our house, we love to have an assortment of Hummus as a dip. This is a great alternative to always eating cream (sour or whipped) based dips because they are high in calorie and don't sustain you all that much. So I am anxious to try it. And when you buy hummus at the market, it is expensive. Let me know if you try it too. ~Shelly

1 can [15 to 16 ounces] garbanzo beans, drained and liquid reserved
1/2 cup sesame seed
1 clove garlic, cut in half
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp salt
chopped fresh parsleypita bread wedges, crackers or raw vegetables, if desired

Instructions— Place reserved bean liquid, the sesame seed and garlic in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth.— Add beans, lemon juice and salt. Cover and blend on high speed, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides if necessary, until uniform consistency.— Spoon into serving dish. Garnish with parsley. Serve with pita bread wedges.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I have a sick friend who wants me to post how I make my chicken noodle soup because she loves it and wants it today. I'm going to try to remember what I do because it's mostly to taste.

I boil a whole chicken, (just barely covering the chicken with water, chicken broth for a richer taste, or a mixture of both), until the meat just begins to separate from the bone. Then I take it out and skim the top.

As the chicken is boiling I chop potatoes, onions, garlic, celery, and carrots, I like to add a jalapeno or two depending on how hot it is, I either leave it whole or slice it in half so it can be picked out if it gets to hot.

I keep the water at a low boil while the chicken cools and boil the chopped vegetables. This is when I add spices like, bay leaves, basil, salt, sometimes cayenne pepper, poultry seasoning; anything you think will taste good! I also like fresh rosemary, thyme, different herbs are good and taste better fresh.

I buy the frozen egg noodles and follow the package directions and add them about the same time as the chicken, after I've picked the meat of the bone.

This is even better with left over turkey! All I can say is, smell the spices in your cupboard and decide what else to add and how much and keep tasting it until it's 'perfect'.

Anything you want to add, or how YOU make it, please post it here! I LOVE new ideas!! :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yummy Pork Roast

My family LOVED this! It is a must try. ~Shelly

Forgive me for not give exact amounts but it isn't necessary. Just take into consideration the size of the Pork roast. :)

Brown roast in a bit of oil after you dip roast in flour and salt mixture.

Mix in a bowl:

One small bottle of Russian Salad Dressing, add an equal amount of honey. Use your discretion for the size of the roast. Then add dry Lipton Onion Soup mix. Use one or two packets of this depending on the size of the pork roast.

Pour over roast. Wrap the roast tightly with foil. Baste roast about every 1/2 hour. Remove the foil cover the last 1/2 hour of cooking and be sure to use a thermometer so it is cooked to perfection.