Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another Soup!

My husband and I are in a very fall mood and almost craving soups.  Here's another really good one I just made!  The only trick is you have to melt the cheese in the white sauce first otherwise the texture is not so good, trust me!!

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

    • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken in florets
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
    • 1 chicken bouillon cube
    • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups milk
    • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon each cayenne pepper, curry powder and white pepper


In a large saucepan, combine the cauliflower, onion, broth and bouillon. Cover and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes longer or until thickened. Reduce heat; add cheese and seasonings. Pour into cauliflower mixture. Simmer slowly for 30 minutes (do not boil). Yield: 6-8 servings (2 quarts). 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Vegetable Beef Soup

This is one of our favorite soups. The kids really like the broth and I usually add abc noodles so they think of this a "kid" meal.

2.5 lbs beef roast or stew meat (I use bottom round), cubed
2 pkgs frozen mixed vegetables
1 64 oz can of vegetable juice (like V8, but cheap)
2 cans beef broth
2 cubes beef boullion
1 pkg italian dressing mix

Place all ingredients in crock pot or large stock pot. I usually start with a frozen roast (suprise, suprise) and when it's thawed in the crock pot I remove the meat, cube it, and return it to the soup. If you don't have enough liquid to cover the goodies add some water. If the soup needs salt after it's cooked I sometimes add another boullion cube. I also add ABC noodles the last 15 minutes or so. Some days we feel like Barley Beef Soup and omit the noodles but add a couple handfuls of barley at the beginning of the cooking time. Usually we cook this for about 8 hours but it can be ready much faster... the beans get nice and mushy the longer it cooks... we like that, you may not.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Really yummy light pie!!!

This is another Taste of Home recipe that we really like, especially in the summer!  It's really good even without the spreadable fruit.

Light Lemon Pie


    * 1 package (.3 ounces) sugar-free lemon gelatin
    * 1/2 cup boiling water
    * 3/4 cup cold water
    * Sugar substitute equivalent to 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
    * 1 cup (8 ounces) 1% cottage cheese
    * 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat Cool Whip® whipped topping, thawed
    * 1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust (8 inches)
    * 1/2 cup 100% strawberry spreadable fruit
    * 8 large strawberries, halved


In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cold water and sugar substitute. Refrigerate until partially set.
    In a fine strainer, drain the cottage cheese. Place cottage cheese in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; stir in gelatin mixture. Fold in whipped topping.
    Pour into crust. Refrigerate until set. Just before serving, cut into slices; garnish each with 1 tablespoon spreadable fruit and two strawberry halves. Yield: 8 servings. 

Maple Oat Nut Scones

I love these at Starbucks and had to share the recipe once I found it.  I think the key to these is the blending of the oats for the texture.  

Starbucks Maple Nut Oat Scones Recipe

For The Scones

1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons cold butter (small pieces)
1 large egg
1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1/2-3/4 teaspoon maple extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Maple Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
5 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Using a food processor or blender, finely grind the oats.

In a mixer mix the flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the maple syrup and butter and mix well.

In a small bowl beat the egg with the cream and maple extract. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.

Add the pecans and mix just to incorporate.

Place the dough on a floured surface. Knead and pat the dough into an 8 to 10 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.

Place the wedges on the baking sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until light brown.

Remove the scones from the oven to wire rack. Let cool about 3 to 5 minutes.

Mix the glaze ingredients until smooth. Adjust the amount of water to get to the desired consistency. I like the glaze to be rather thick. Spread lots of glaze over each scone and dry about 15 minutes before serving.

This recipe makes 8 Starbucks Maple Oat Nut Scones. 

Here's what we had for dinner tonight!

Tonight I made Cube steak and mashed cauliflower.  It was so good.

Cube Steak

This recipe started, as a recipe from Andy's Grandma, but it's changed a little over time.  I listed her original amounts, but I just dump until the total liquid just covers the cube steaks.

2-4 steaks (I've always used cube steak)
1 c water ( I use apple juice or plain soda)
1 c catsup
1/4 c vinegar
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs mustard

These are also in her recipe but I've never added them to mine.
2 tbs onion, chopped
2 tbs green pepper, chopped

My cooking instructions:

Brown steaks in skillet (one that you have a lid for), when browned on both sides remove from skillet.  Mix remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Return steaks to skillet and simmer till steaks are done.  If desired remove steaks and thicken sauce with a little corn starch mixed with water, to make gravy.  

Grandma's cooking instructions:

Brown steaks if desired.  Mix other ingredients and bring to a boil in a sauce pan.  Pour over steak in a baking dish and bake at 325 for 1 to 2 hours. 

This just seemed like over kill to me,  I bet this would work in the crockpot though!

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower or 1 bag frozen cauliflower florets

Cook cauliflower till very soft, I steamed my fresh cauliflower for about 15 - 20 minutes.  Drain well!

If you have a food processor put cooked cauliflower in that, I used my blender, but some people use potatoe mashers in the pan.

Add 1 cup grated cheese (or more if you like) and about 1/3 to a 1/2 cup sour cream.  Blend, mash, whatever until about the consistancy of mashed potatoes.  If it gets to thin you can thicken with a little bit of instant potato flakes.  In fact you can also just add these at the begining to to get a little more of a mashed potato feel.  Salt and pepper to taste.   

I also put it back in the pan and on the burner, or zap it in the microwave a little to reheat it after blending it.

a couple variations:

  • milk or cream instead of sour cream
  • feta or crumbled blue cheese instead of chedder
  • one recipe I saw suggested adding a little dill
  • and ultra healthy is chicken broth instead of any dairy and (horror) no cheese

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Great, fast and easy soup!

Kielbasa Cabbage Soup

3 cups coleslaw mix
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teapoon caraway seed ( I don't have any so I just seasoned with pepper and garlic)
2 tablspoons butter
1 carton (32oz) chicken broth
3/4 to 1 pound fully cooked kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium unpeeled golden delicious apples, (I would use granny smith next time)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
dash of salt

** I added potatoes to mine. I sauted them with the veggies and simmered the whole soup just till they were done.

In a large saucepan, saute the coleslaw mix, carrots, onion, celery and caraway seeds in butter for 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Yield: 6 servings (2 quarts).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Janet, do you remember this cake from college?

I haven't made this cake in ages, but I 'm so excited I found this recipe again.

Laisy Daisy Cake

1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup oats
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine
2 egg whites or 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
3 Tbs milk
2 Tbs margarine, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour an 8 or 9 inch square pan.

In a small bowl add boiling water and oats, stir and set aside. In a large bowl beat the sugars and margarine until well blended. Add egg whites and vanilla, beat well. Add dry ingredients and oat mixture.

Pour batter into pan and bake 55-65 minutes for an 8 inch pan or 50 - 60 for a 9 inch pan, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it.

In a small bowl combine all the topping ingredients; mix well. Spread over the top of HOT cake. Broil about 4 inches from heat, 1-2 minutes or just until topping is bubbly. Cool completely.

A yummy twist on regular lasagna!

White Lasagna

* this recipe calls for cooked noodles, however I have done this with uncooked noodles. I just make extra sauce (double it) and cook for about 1 hour or until the noodles are soft. You could also use a bought jar of Alfredo sauce and thin with chicken broth.

* This also only makes about an 9x9 inch pan, increase ingredients for a bigger batch.

1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 Tbs flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic
1/8 tsp white pepper (regular works it just doesn't stay as white a sauce)

1/2 a medium onion, sliced thinly
2 cups fresh mushrooms
1 Tbs olive oil
1 (14.5 oz) can of artichoke hearts drained and chopped

8 lasagna noodles cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided ( I use more like a cup)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Melt butter in a saucepan; stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and broth, cook stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Stir in garlic and pepper.

Saute onions and mushrooms in oil, stir in artichokes, set aside.

In a greased casserole, spread 1/4 of the sauce. Place a layer of noodles, top with more sauce, 1/2 of the artichoke mixture, and 1/2 of the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the Parmesan. Top next with more noodles, you should have used 1/2 the noodles by now. Add another 1/4 of the sauce, the rest of the artichoke mixture and another 1/2 of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the Parmesan. Finish with the final layer of noodles, sauce and remaining Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more or until lightly browned.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mint Chocolate Bark

This is a great, easy candy to make, especially if your looking for a gift around the holidays!

Mint Chocolate Bark

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring (or more depending on the strength of you food coloring)

* I love chocolate and orange, so this year I'm going to try orange extract and a little yellow and red food coloring to make orange (ooooh for Halloween) maybe for Christmas I won't use any food coloring.

Step 1
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Melt the semisweet chips in a heatproof bowl set atop a pot of simmering water over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until smooth. Pour the chocolate onto the cookie sheet and spread it to about a 1/4 inch thickness with the back of a spoon.

Step 2
Using the same method, melt the white chocolate chips with the oil. Stir continuously until smooth. Add peppermint extract and food coloring; stir well. Pour the mixture over the chocolate layer and spread to about and 1/8 inch thickness. Draw the tip of a butter knife through the layers to create swirls. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Step 3 remove the bark from the pan. Peel off the waxed paper. Set the bark on a cutting board and cut it into 2 dozen bars with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Zucchini Bake

I thought this sounded like an good recipe to post for the fall ( if we ever leave the 90 degree days behind)
This is a pretty informal recipe because it came from my family and changed depending upon the mood.

Zucchini Bake

1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 package saltine crackers, crumbled
1/2 cup butter, melted
bacon, cooked and crumbled
grated cheddar cheese 1/2 to 1 cup

Layer in a baking dish, pour melted butter over first four layers. Top with grated cheese and bacon. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes.

Spinach Salad Supreme

This is a wonderful dressing for spinach!

Spinach Salad

1 lb fresh spinach
6 strips bacon

1 can mandarin orange segments
fresh mushrooms
hard boiled eggs, sliced


1 Tbls bacon drippings
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 small onion grated
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup salad or olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Parmesan

Make dressing by beating all the ingredients together. When serving toss salad with dressing and top with crumbled bacon.

Frog Eye Salad

Don't even think that this is a healthy salad, but it is good. I also thought this could be fun to post since Halloween is coming up, and it has kind of a creepy name.

1 1/3 cups Acini Pepe (tiny round pasta usually found in a box)
1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks, drained (reserve 1/4 cup juice)
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg (3.4 oz ) vanilla instant pudding
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
2 cans (11 oz each) mandarin orange segments, drained.
2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Cook pasta according to package. Rinse with cold water, drain well. (If you don't have a mesh colander you can use cheese cloth or a paper towel to help drain the little pastas without loosing them through the holes.)

In a large bowl, beat reserved pineapple juice, milk, sugar and pudding 2 minutes.

Gently stir in pasta and remaining ingredients; cover. Refrigerate at least a couple hours before serving