Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A new ingredient for an old favorite!

So now that the weather is getting chilly out it's time for soup! I love soup and, in my opinion, it's one of the only good things about cold weather. The other night, I decided to make one of my all time favs - chicken noodle soup. I usually make my own noodles (I think there's a recipe for them somewhere on this blog) and serve it with yummy homemade bread. However, a few weeks ago I had some delicious chicken noodle soup and my friend Mindi's house. It was so creamy and delightful that I had to know what she put in it! Her secret ingredient...two cans of cream of chicken soup! So I tried it last night and it was the best chicken noodle soup I'd ever made! Here's what went into it:

Homemade noodles (which sound hard, but really aren't)
Chicken (of course)
Yellow Squash
2 cans of chicken broth
1 can water
2 cans cream of chicken soup

Seriously, it was so yummy! Next time you make your own version of this classic - try a few cans of cream of chicken. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pretzel Salad

1 cube butter
pretzels to line a 9x13 pan
1 8oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 8oz cool whip
1 large box strawberry jello
In a 9x13 pan melt butter, crumble pretzels and put into a single layer on bottom of pan. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes or until most of butter has been absorbed into pretzels, cool completely. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, slowly add cool whip, if needed add a little milk to make a spreadable consistency, spread over cooled pretzels, seal edges. Prepare strawberry jello per package, chill till partially set and pour over the top of cream cheese refridgerate until completely set.

English Toffee

16oz milk chocolate chips
1/2 lb chopped almonds (I like mine whole)
1lb butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
4 Tbsp light corn syrup
chopped almonds for top
Cook butter, sugar, water and corn syrup over medium till 280*, add nuts and cook till 282* pour into greased cookie sheet allow to set for 10 minutes put chocolate chips on top and when melted spread smooth and sprinkle almonds on top. Allow to set completely break into pieces.

Poppy Cock

8 cups popped corn
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup sliced almonds
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup butter (not margarine)
Keep popcorn warm in 224* oven. In sauce pan combine sugar, butter and corn syrup. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook and stir until carmel color about 10 minutes. Add nuts and stir nuts in. Pour over popcorn mix well and turn out on wax paper. Separate with a fork.

Nana Nelson's Danish Rice Pudding

1 quart milk
1 cup rice
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 bag slivered almonds (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 pint heavy cream
Bring milk and rice to a gentle boil for 25 minutes. Put into chilled dish, add salt , sugar, almonds and vanilla mix and refridgerate. Just before serving whip cream and sweeten to taste, fold in rice mixture, top with cherry pie filling. I enjoy it plain and without the almonds also.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pumpkin Mushroom Soup

I stole this recipe off of this website.

It's really yummy and super easy.

  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp. butter or oil
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (1 lb.) pumpkin (2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • dash nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • optional sour cream or yogurt, topping

Sauté mushrooms and onion in butter or oil. Add flour and curry and
stir. gradually adding broth. Add all but milk and cook, stirring,
for 10 - 15 minutes. Add milk and heat through without boiling.
May top with sour cream or yogurt.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

We had the Zinke's over for dinner last night and this is a recipe that Vanessa got from the Barefoot Contessa. It's so delicious, I can't wait to eat the leftovers (although there weren't many). This is such a great meal and it doesn't take any longer to make than regular lasagna, but (I think) it tastes so much better!!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 1/2 lb. italian turkey sausage (casings removed)
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt (although we omitted this ingredient)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb lasagna noodles (about 6)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
3 to 4 oz creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 lb mozzerella (we used grated, but you can also buy fresh and slice it thin)

1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking it up, about 8-10 minutes, until no longer pink. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tbsp of parsley, the basil, 1-1/2 tsp salt (but, as I said, we didn't), and 1/2 tsp pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.

3. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain. (Or you can just use the oven ready noodles!)

4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup parmesan cheese, the egg, the remaining 2 tbsp parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or not), and 1/4 tsp pepper. Set aside.

5. Ladle 1/3 sauce into a 9 x 12 x 2 inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozerella, half the ricotta mixture, and 1/3 sauce. Then add the rest of the pasta, mozerella, ricotta mixture, and, finally, sauce! Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce bubbles.

You will love it!!! It sounds like a lot, but - as I said - it doesn't take any more effort than making regular lasagna. And (a big bonus for me) it doesn't use that many dishes. One cutting board, a big skillet, a mixing bowl, and a pan. Not too shabby!! Next time you are going to make lasagna - make this one instead. You will not be disappointed!!