Uncategorized, Bread

Dressing

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Preventing these starving people from overtaking the bowl of food before I get pictures is near impossible. I semi invented this recipe. I got the basic ingredients from my friend Sarah. She’s one of my best friends. I’ve known her for so many years, I almost lost count. You know she’s one of those friends that you can literally tell everything you know to. I have other friends who I share things with, but Sarah has been with me forever and we share many of the same life style patterns. She and I have survived deployments, AT’s, four kids, deaths, and general life challenges together. I care very deeply for her. She’s my rock. I hope she feels the same….

For years and years I was bound and determined to figure out how to make dressing. At Thanksgiving my family would buy from local restaurants. It was always SO expensive. It would end up costing us tons of money. Almost as much as half our meal. It isn’t cheap feeding 20 people. I learned this recipe and ever since, I’m the one who is asked to bring dressing. Ego booster? Yes!

 

1 cup of roasted chicken, shredded

1 small bag of Pepperidge farm stuffing

1 small, unsweet cornbread, crumbled

2 large celery stalks, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 teaspoon sage

32 oz chicken broth.

butter

Preheat oven to 350. In a frying pan sauté onions and celery until soft, in a little butter. About 5 or 6 tablespoons. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Mix together breads in a large bowl.  Don’t drain butter. Pour into bread mixture. Add chicken and sage. Mix well. Pour in chicken broth. About 1/2 to start. Stir together. Add 1/4 of remaining if needed, and then the remaining 1/4 if needed. Bread should feel sticky. Bake 45 minutes.

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Soups and Stews

Loaded Cheddar Broccoli Potato Soup

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My mother in law found this recipe on Tip Hero. She decided to give it a try. It is a thinner version of potato soup, but it’s good. My mother in law shares the love of recipes that I do. I was given one of the best gifts ever about a year or so ago. She gave me her collection. I love them. I have tons of cookbooks. There used to be this antique mall here in town….let’s just say I always bought so many books, they really knew me. I’d come in the door and it’d be Oh…we have new books or nope not this time. HAHA. That’s sad. I LOVE old cookbooks, unique cookbooks, anything different, anything fun. I could go in there and they’d have cookbooks for $1.00. How can you pass this up? Sadly, they haven’t really had anymore for $1.00…so I don’t go as much. I wonder if they miss me? HA….anyway give this recipe a try. It’s pretty good!

5 tablespoons butter, divided

1 small onion, chopped

4 medium carrots, diced small

4 cloves minced garlic

4 medium potatoes, small diced.

1 quart chicken broth

2 small heads of broccoli, diced

1/3 cup flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 cups cheddar cheese

3/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce

6 slices of precooked chopped bacon.

In a large pot melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add potatoes and chicken broth. After bringing to a boil, simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the broccoli. Simmer for 10 minutes until tender. While soup is simmering, add the remaining 1/4 cup butter to a sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and cook until brown. Whisk in milk and stir until thick. Add cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt, pepper, and tabasco sauce. Pour into the pot with the veggies. Stir until combined. Garnish with bacon.

Chicken, Uncategorized

Chicken Meatballs

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I’ve had an emotional day. I can’t tell you exactly why, but I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with my hashimotos disease. Sometimes I’m super grumpy and I cry or get angry for no reason at all. For whatever reason cooking makes me feel better. Why shouldn’t I go ahead and make some lunches for the little munchkin? I always like to have food that is processed as little as I possibly can. I really hate to send things that are unhealthy. I have a really hard time not giving him as much healthy food as I can. I guess this stems from my fear that my own health problems might be given to him. We live in a country where most of our residents are insulin resistant and a lot are starting to show signs of having things like hashimoto’s and grave’s disease. This isn’t something that I want for Cooper. I don’t know what the chances of him having these things are, but I’ll do what I can do to prevent. These are his favorite. I don’t even know where I got this recipe from, but it’s a keeper in this household.

 

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

2 eggs

1 lb ground chicken

string cheese sticks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, except the cheese sticks. Cut each cheese stick into 4 pieces. I use a small cookie scooper and divide the meat into balls. Then I flatten them and put the cheese in the middle and roll it in my hands to make meatballs. Cook for about 20 minutes.

Noodles, Uncategorized

Mac and Cheese round 3

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I don’t know what the deal is, but these guys love mac and cheese. My other two recipes are my favorite, but this one is really simple and it tastes good too. Honestly the few ingredients it contains makes it even more easy to get together. That’s always my goal when cooking during the week, because the littles have school the next day. I save my elaborate recipes for weekends.

I was surfing through Facebook today. Which by the way guys, I made a page for my blog. I invite you guys to like the page. Anyway, many of our local news persons have their own Facebook pages. One of the people I know had posted to something someone else had posted on the news people’s page about electric bills being double and triple this month. I clicked on it, mostly just being nosey, but then I realized, wait my electric bill might end up being outrageous. It had already went up 50.00 from the month before, but it’s been super cold here. We haven’t had a winter so cold in a really long time. Then I thought, you know I’m getting ready to post to my blog about mac and cheese….what better way to live, if I have to be inside from the cold than to be snuggled up with some good ol’ mac and cheese??

8 oz noodles, like elbow noodles

4 strips of bacon, diced

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 teaspoon munced garlic

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups whole milk

4 oz yellow cheddar cheese

4 oz of aerican cheese

salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Cook pasta per box directions. Drain pasta. Cook bacon in a sauce pan until crisp. Transfer to a papertowl lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of grease from pan. Cook shallots and garlic in drippings over medium heat until shallots are soft. Increase heat and whisk in flour and cook for one minute.  Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheeses. Whisk well until melted. Season sauce with salt and the pepper. Stir in pasta. Serve with bacon.

NOTE: I recommend starting with a pinch of cayenne. If it’s not enough for your taste then increase a little more. Be aware that as it simmers then it’ll get hotter.

Uncategorized

Sweet Potatoes

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A while back I posted another recipe that  I sometimes make for my family. This recipe is the recipe I generally use. It’s so good. This one is simple. You need a few basic ingredients.

This recipe smells like fall. It’s a recipe I can get the boy helping with. It’s something that’s got more dietary needs than let’s say mashed potatoes. I really have never been a huge sweet potato fan, but it’s a good alternative.

We never grew these when I was a kid. We had regular potatoes, but never sweet potatoes. Really, we only grew things like cucumbers, corn, green beans, cabbage, and potatoes. I guess my family just typically eats more of these things than anything else. I had never eaten asparagus or Brussel sprouts until this year. I never ate collard greens until I was an adult either. I’m not a huge fan of asparagus, but I will eat it. This makes me wonder…what is ya’lls favorite veggie? What’s your least favorite veggie??

4-5 medium sized sweet potatoes

bag of marshmallows

brown sugar and cinnamon to taste

pinch of salt

1/8-1/4 cup butter

Peel and cut your potatoes. Boil them until soft. Mash the potatoes and add in the butter. Get out a hand mixer and mix until a creamier consistency. I prefer no chunks in mine. Add cinnamon and sugar. I usually use a few tablespoons of sugar and maybe about 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon. I didn’t list the amounts, because everyone’s taste is different. I prefer them not to be super sweet. Add salt. Mix until combined. Put in a baking dish. Top with marshmallows. Put under broiler until melted and browned.  Watch carefully, or it’ll burn.

Pork, Uncategorized

Pineapple Ham

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We love ham. We just don’t get to eat it very often, because it can be expensive. I buy it especially if it’s on sale. I just freeze it and save it for later. This recipe I like because I can actually prepare it minus cooking and freeze it. Then the morning or the night before I want to make it I just throw it in a bowl and put it in the fridge and let it unthaw. The great thing about this is you can throw it in the crockpot, or you can throw it in the oven. It works well.

When I was a little girl, probably about 12-13 my parents started to earn more money at their jobs. My mom started being able to explore more foods that previously we haven’t been able to eat. One of the things she would buy is the ham that has the bone in the middle “the eye”. I always thought it was so great. As I got older, I realized how life was changing. My parents were amazing. I know they loved me and they wanted to do whatever they could do to make my life good.

1 can of pineapple (crushed, chunks, or even slices)

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

3-4 slices of thick ham, cut into squares

Mix everything together. Bake in oven covered with foil for 20-30 minutes on 350. OR put in crockpot and cook 6-8 hours.

cookies, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

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Every year Santa sends our elf to visit. He’s a rotten mess. He get’s into our stuff, he runs the house, he dirties stuff up. I’ll tell ya’ll now though, he’s the kindest, sweetest, thoughtful elf ever. This morning when my little guy woke up the ingredients were sitting on the counter with a note that says that we need to  make them. Obviously, we jumped at that chance. This recipe comes from my book called The Amish Cookbook. We got it from PA during our vacation you guys read about from earlier in the year. Cooper is an amazing child. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such a special and sweet child. If I’m feeling down and out, he can cheer me up. He is so full of life. I’m just so lucky.

When we were baking, I kept thinking about when he was little. He never enjoyed a pacifier or sucked his thumb….he had a love for blankets. I always have to giggle because he always carried around a blanket. He loved them. He had probably 100 of them. I’d say Cooper put down that blanket and help mommy. He’d say “no…my blanklet.” Yes you read right…blanklet! He’d hide it behind his back and smile and run over to me and give me kisses. I’ll tell you…now that my baby is a preteen almost, I can tell you that I miss those days so much. I miss having babies and toddlers in my home.

1 Cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups flour

3 cups oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream together sugar and shortening. Add peanut butter and eggs. Next add all the dry ingredients.  Bake 10-12 minutes on 350.

NOTE: Cooper and I learned that you have to use a fork and pat them down otherwise they don’t cook well. The don’t spread really so, use a small scoop and pat down. When they are finished they’ll be brown around the edges. Cool completely.