Monday, December 30, 2013

Hard Rock Baked Potato Soup

It is sooooo cold here in Omaha - time for soup!!

My friend Lya - is an amazing cook.  I lived with Lya while at Baylor and she was a good cook before we even starting cooking much.  On occasion when I am visiting in Texas, I get to stay with Lya and she shares some of her new favorite recipes.  She has a recipe card stand in her kitchen and it usually has some of her most recent favorites clipped in order.  Check out Paprika-Mushroom Chicken or "Gravy Chicken" as Lya's family calls it.  Also, we love Spicy Flank Steak - you have to try this!!

I was looking for yummy recipes to serve to my Bunko group quite a few years back and I made this Hard Rock Baked Potato Soup that Lya gave me and I also made Tomato Basil Soup - which is another favorite from another wonderful Baylor friend - Belinda!!  I got bread bowls from Panera - we had quite the feast.

I just made the Tomato Basil Soup, Mini Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches  and Craisin Salad for a girlfriend lunch over the holidays.  I am a busy girl and I don't always have time to research new recipes. This time - I just went with my favorites!!

Enjoy this amazing soup.  I have made the "full fat" version with cream but I used Fat Free Half and Half this time and it was still tasty.

Hard Rock Baked Potato Soup

6-8 slices of bacon, fried – retain drippings
1 cup diced yellow onions
2/3 cup flour
6 cups of hot chicken broth
4 cups peeled, diced baked potatoes
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 ½ tsp. minced garlic
1 ½ tsp dried basil
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½  tsp. Tobasco sauce
1 ½ tsp. black pepper
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
¼ cup diced onions

Chop bacon, reserve.  Cook onions in drippings until clear.  Add flour stirring to prevent clumps – 3 – 5 minutes or just until golden.  Add chicken broth gradually, whisking to prevent lumps, until thickens.  Reduce heat to simmer and add potatoes, cream, bacon, parsley, garlic, basil, salt, Tobasco and pepper.  Simmer 10 minutes – do not boil.  Add cheese and onions – heat until melts.  Garnish with bacon, cheese and chives.  I even added a little sour cream :)

Serve in bread bowls or with French bread and white wine!! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pretzel Turtles

I LOVE the Pioneer Woman.  Being from Texas, I can totally relate to almost everything she says and does.  I didn't grow up on a farm or a ranch or ever even live on one.  I just love Ree's fun personality and her amazing recipes.  Please visit The Pioneer Woman.  You will love her site!  She has the best pictures with a great description for each recipe.

I saw this one on Facebook the other day.  I have made something similar to this before but Ree always adds a twist or something to make them even better.

This turned out amazing.  They looked professional - and oh so yummy!  I only made 24 like the recipe mentions but I am ready to make more!!

Pretzel Turtles - adapted from The Pioneer Woman

24 whole mini pretzel twists
24 whole individually wrapped caramel squares, unwrapped
8 oz good quality milk chocolate, melted
24 whole pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325,  Place pecan halves in a single layer on a baking sheet and put in oven for 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through, until lightly toasted.  Remove from pan and allow to cool.  Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.  Arrange the pretzels neatly on pan.  Top with an unwrapped caramel.  Place the pan in the oven for 4 - 5 minutes - or until the caramels are softened... but definitely not melting.  Remove pan from oven and gently press a pecan half into each caramel - just enough for the caramel to fill the pretzel.  Set them aside to cool.  Meanwhile, melt the chocolate.  When pretzel/caramels are cooled, spoon about a teaspoon of chocolate in 24 spots over the baking sheet.  Lightly place each pretzel in the middle of the dollop, making sure they are centered.  You don't have to press -the weight of the pretzel is enough.  Allow them to cool completely before serving or storing.  (you can hasten them in the fridge)

Variation - you can spoon a little extra chocolate over the tops of the turltes to cover the whole thing in chocolate.  *I did this on a few 

Printable Version

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Butternuts - great Christmas cookie

Saw this recipe on Facebook the other day and thought the cookies looked like a great new recipe to try.  Chris loves butter-type cookies and I knew with the pecans and butterscotch chips - these would be awesome.  Denise posted this recipe on a great website...Just a Pinch.  She said this is her most popular Christmas cookie.  She makes like 500 a year!  How could I not try this cookie!

I did and we love it.  I love the butter-goodness and the crunch of the nuts and butterscotch chips.  Perfect recipe for you to add to your collection of Christmas cookies!

P.S.  I doubled the recipe.  I always like lots of cookies to around during the holidays.  Also, the glaze on this recipe calls for 1 tsp of Rum Extract.  I was a little worried about the rum flavoring but went with it anyway.  The cookies are yummy.  Denise recommends trying another extract if rum isn't your favorite.  I might try vanilla next time!

Butternuts - adapted from Denise at Just a Pinch

3/4 cup butter, room temperature + 1 Tbsp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
6 oz butterscotch chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Rum Glaze ( This is enough glaze for a doubled batch)

3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp rum extract
1/2 cup pecans\
3-4 Tbsp milk

Cream butter with powdered sugar and salt til light and fluffy.  Blend in flour - mixing well.  Add butterscotch chips and 1 cup finely chopped pecans.  Dough is crumbly - shape dough into small balls - scant teaspoonful.  Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 for 15 minutes or until firm but not brown.  Let cool on wire racks.  Make rum glaze - mixing until smooth. Dip the cookies in glaze and sprinkle with chopped pecans.   Enjoy!!

Printable Version

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Roasted Pecans with Butter/Salt YUM!

These are amazing!  I love pecans... and roasted in the oven with butter and salt...oh my stars!!

My parents moved across town after I graduated from Baylor.  A sweet family lived just around the corner - one I had known my whole life at church.  As neighbors do in East Texas, they exchanged small Christmas gifts.  Mr. and Mrs. Kerr would always bring mom and dad a sweet plate of cookies, candies and a handful of these yummy pecans.  I always happen to be around when this plate was delivered so I could enjoy the pecans.  Mr. Kerr was a golfing buddy of dad, and he knew I LOVED his pecans.  He would often send a coffee can full - labeled... "Susan's Private Stash" so my dad wouldn't be tempted to get into them. (cause we know Dad)

Since then, my wonderful dad is in heaven and Mr. Kerr is there too.  I am sure they are enjoying golf stories with Ronnie and other friends.

I don't have Mr. Kerr's exact recipe.  This is one of those recipes that you can really use as much butter and salt as you would like.  The more butter/salt - the richer the taste.  I think Mr. Kerr's were richer than mine.  Just make them and enjoy them.  They make a great gift in a cute Mason Jar, etc.  And... They are so easy!!

Oh - one last thing - I just found a coffee can stash in my freezer.  I must have decided I needed to save them.  I know they have been there at least two years.  THEY ARE STILL TASTED AMAZING!  Just a thought!

Roasted Pecans

1 lb pecan halves
4-5 Tbsp butter
1 - 2 tsp table salt (can add a little sea salt too - if you like) 

Melt butter and pour over pecans.  Toss with salt.  Roast in oven at 325 for about 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through baking.   Allow to cool and store in an airtight container!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Forgotten Cookies (Meringue cookies)

I made a German Chocolate cake for my hubby in November and I had left over egg whites.  I remembered this fun recipe that a sweet family friend always made when I was growing up in East Texas.  I have known Libby my whole life.  She and my mom were sorority sister at North Texas.  Libby is a great cook.

Another great memory with Libby and her family... heading over to their house Christmas morning as we were headed out of town to my grandmothers.  We would enjoy a little fun time with them - us dressed for the day, them in their PJs still.  Libby always had Sausage Pinwheels for us to enjoy.  She made her dough from scratch where I have improvised and I use canned biscuits.  Regardless, this is a favorite Christmas morning recipe and anytime of the year recipe.  My girls LOVE them!!

Enjoy these Forgotten cookies - you will love them if you like Meringue cookies.  You could even put a little green or red food coloring and color them for the holidays.

Forgotten Cookies ( I doubled this because I had four egg whtes)

2 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat egg whites, adding sugar gradually, until stiff peak.  Fold in vanilla, chips and nuts.  Cover cookie sheet with foil, shiny side up.  Heat oven to 400.  Put dollops of cookies on cookie sheet.  (They don't really spread out so I put as many on there as would fit).  Put cookies in oven and immediately turn off the oven.  Leave the cookies in overnight.  Enjoy!

Printable Version

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coconut Cream Pie - it magically layers!

Found this yummy easy recipe on Facebook a while back.  I just decided to make it one night last week.  I was amazed how easy it was.... and how it magically layered while cooking.

We loved this pie.  Chris enjoyed it warm the first night and then we refrigerated it and enjoyed it cool or microwaved the rest of the week.  Also, I know I added more coconut than this.  I had a bag of coconut and just kind of dumped it in.  A friend in Marshall made it and she thought it needed more coconut too.  FYI!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sloppy Joe Cola Dogs

I LOVE my Fall Southern Living magazines.  They are always so festive and so full of fun recipes.  It seems like dinner is just not a huge priority at my house these days -  Just the dynamics of family members at home at different times.  I hate to spend a ton of time cooking - when no one is there to eat it!

I found this fun, easy recipe in my October Southern Living.  It was quick and easy and tasty - perfect combination!  I loved the added touch of coleslaw!

Sloppy Cola Joe Dogs (adapted from Southern Living)

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced ( I used only half)
1 1/2 lbs ground round
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup jarred sliced pepperoncini salad peppers
ground red pepper/salt to taste
8 hot dog buns or hoagie buns
store bought coleslaw

Brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat  - stirring often.  Drain when meat is brown and crumbly;  Return meat mixture to skillet and add tomato sauce, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix well. Stir in Dr. Pepper and 1/2 cup water.  Cook for 6-8 minutes or until bubbly.  I let mine thicken.  Remove from heat and add pepperoncinis and salt and red pepper to taste.  Serve mixture over warm hot dog buns or hoagie rolls and top with coleslaw!!

Printable Version

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I made Stuffed Bell Pepper YEARS ago - with ground beef, ketchup, rice, etc.  This recipe is with Italian sausage, diced onion and potatoes and the sauce is in the bottom of the crockpot - not in each bell pepper.  I thought this was a great new version.  Tiffany works at the church with me and she shared this recipe with me.  Also, I LOVE a good Crockpot recipe that I can make ahead of time.

Sorry for the poor pic - just couldn't get a good one!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
4 large red peppers ( my store was out of red :)
chopped onion
diced potato (about 6 oz)
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley - roughly chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1 lb Italian sausage

In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, combine crushed tomatoes, oregano and 1/4 each salt and pepper.   Cut the tops off the peppers and discard seeds.  If the peppers won't sit upright, slice a very thin piece off the bottom.  In a large bowl, add the onion, potato, parsley and crushed red pepper - toss to combine.  Add the sausage and mix to incorporate.  Add 1 cup of mixture into each pepper.  Place the pepper tops over the filling.  Cook until sausage is cooked through and peppers are tender - 5-6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.  Using two large spoons, transfer peppers to plates, letting any excess liquid drain into the sauce.  Stir the sauce and serve with peppers.

Printable Version

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mexican Corn

I made this yummy Mexican Corn this past week for a birthday lunch at preschool.  I got the recipe years ago from Phil - our dentist and friend.  Phil is quite the cook!  This was easy and yummy.  I made it the night before and baked it at preschool in our kitchen - just before eating.  This side dish would be great addition to any meal!!

Mexican Corn

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter, softened (or more if prefer)
3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 small can of diced green chiles
12 -16 oz frozen white/yellow corn
salt to taste
2-3 Tbsp salsa

Thaw and drain corn.  Mix all together and pour into a greased casserole dish.  Bake uncovered at 350 or 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly!

Printable Version

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pumpkin Bars

When I first moved to Omaha, my new friend Mary gave me this easy recipe for yummy Pumpkin Bars.  I made these Thursday and my girls were diving in before I even put the frosting on.
I took some to share with the preschool teachers - they were a big hit - very moist!!

Pumpkin Bars

1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1  15 oz can of pumpkin

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cup sifted powdered sugar
add 1 Tbsp mil or enough to reach desired consistency

Mix first three ingredients and add pumpkin; mix well - add dry ingredients and mix well.  Spread into a ungreased ( I sprayed mine with Pam) jelly roll pan ( 15 x 10 x 1).  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Spread with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting.

Printable Version

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Currier Family Slush

My friend Barb serves this yummy slush punch at all of her family gatherings.  They served it at all three of her boy's graduation parties.  The slush is just a fun, slushy treat!  Another friend, Shelley, just built a new house with a new pool.  She thought the punch would be nice to have out by the pool  - adult style.  Barb made some for Shelley to "spike" as she and friends sat out by the new pool.  I have tried both versions - with alcohol and without.  Both are yummy!  This is great to keep in your freezer  - just to have on hand!

Currier Family Slush

3 pkgs small Jello (preferably strawberry) (Barb used sugar free)
4 cups sugar
2  -  64 oz cans pineapple juice
1 pint real lemon juice
boiling water
2 liters of ginger ale or 7-Up
(raspberry vodka - optional)

Dissolved all three packages of Jell-O into nine cups boiling water.  In separate bowl, dissolve four cups sugar into 4 cups boiling water. Once both mixtures are dissolved, Stir them together along with the pineapple juice and lemon juice.   Pour into ice cream buckets or containers suitable for freezer.  Take out of the freezer one hour before serving and place in cooler.  Check it as needed - may need to be chopped up with a spoon or ice pick.  Serve 3/4 slush to 1/4 ginger ale or 7 - up.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

Easy Overnight Caramel Pecan Rolls

I love my friend Lori  - but she just is not a huge fan of cooking.  She loves to eat - like me and our group of friends - but she is a little picky on what she eats.... and what she cooks.  She shared  a favorite new recipe and said I had to try it.  She got it from her friend Sarah.  I made it and we loved it.  I especially love any recipe I can make at night and it is ready for me to bake in the morning.  This would be a great Christmas morning recipe.  Please try this  - my friend Lori would be so thrilled to know she shared a recipe with my readers!!

Easy Overnight Caramel Rolls

12 - 14 frozen Rhodes rolls
chopped pecans
1 stick butter
small box Cook & Serve butterscotch pudding
1 cup brown sugar

Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. First, put chopped pecans in the bottom of your greased bundt pan - then the frozen rolls.   Melt butter in small saucepan.  Add pudding and brown sugar and stir til combined.  Pour melted mixture over rolls and pecans.  Cover with a dish cloth overnight.  In the morning, bake at 325 for 25- 30 minutes - making sure to get the center done.  Cool slightly and flip onto a large plate.  Enjoy!

*I have a new silicone bundt pan and this worked perfectly!!

Printable Version 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Macadamia Fudge Cake

First, I have to apologize..... I haven't posted a recipe in over a month.  We just took two girls to college last week and preschool started this week.  It has been a crazy time!  No excuses - just didn't do it.  I will post cute apartment/dorm room pics later.

But, onto important things......  This Macadamia Fudge Cake is awesome - serve with fresh whipped cream or Reddi-Wip and your family and guests will love you.  It is easy and it LOOKS fabulous!  Make this for your next gathering!

Macadamia Fudge Cake

1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. instant coffee granules
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup butter, softened
½ tsp. vanilla
1 egg


½ cup sugar
4 oz. (4 squares) semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (7 oz.) jar macadamia nuts, halved or slightly chopped

Heat oven to 350.  Line the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan with wax paper.  I use a spring form pan.  Spray the paper with PAM.  Combine all ingredients for the cake in a large bowl, mix at low speed until well blended.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 30 – 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool cake 10 minutes on wire rack.  Removed cake from pan; cool completely on rack. 

For topping, combine sugar, chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan over medium heat; stirring constantly until mixture boils.  Continue stirring and reduce heat; cook 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Cool mixture 10 minutes, stir in nuts. (I reserve a few to sprinkle on top).  Place cooled cake on serving plate.  Pour topping evenly over cake.  Sprinkle reserved nuts on top.  Serve with homemade whipping cream.  

Printable Version

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Guinea Grinders - An Iowa State Fair Favorite

I live in Omaha and believe it or not, I have never been to the Iowa State Fair.  I grew up LOVING the Texas State Fair and Big Tex!  My friend Kim recently shared this recipe with me.  She says it is one of her family's favorites.  I hear it is an Iowa State Fair Favorite!!

I found a great explanation for this recipe over at Amanda's Cookin.  To quote Amanda -

"Some Italians aren’t happy with the name as its origins date back to when Italian immigrants were called “guineas”. It’s considered a racial slur and some restaurants in Iowa have even changed the name of this sandwich to plain old “grinder”. I read somewhere that the word grinder refers to the act of grinding your teeth back and fourth to bite through the tough bread in the sandwich, which would also indicate they didn’t toast them early on. No matter what you call it, it’s really delicious and freezes well too!"

The recipe that Kim gave me is just like Amanda's.  I saw where Amanda mentioned getting her version from the 30 Day Gourmet.  I love how the 30 Day Gourmet has instructions for 12 - 72 servings!!

Not a great picture - but my family was anxious to eat!!  They loved them!!

Guinea Grinders (makes 12 sandwiches)

1 lb Italian Sausage (I used hot)
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
30 oz of pizza sauce - homemade or purchased
4 loaves of French bread - sliced horizontally for any size sandwich

Combine sausage and ground beef in a large skillet and brown - drain.  Mix pizza sauce with salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.  Mix meat with sauce and heat in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours or on high for 2.  Cut bread sections in half and open,  pick out some of the middle of the bread and fill the hole with meat mixture.  Top with shredded mozzerella cheese and put bread top back on.  Wrap the entire sandwich in foil and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  

**use only half of the meat mixture and freeze the rest for later

Printable Version

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chocolate Fudge Pie - Guilt Free

My friend Donna shared this Southern Living recipe with me recently.  I love chocolate and always like saving a few calories when I can.  I liked the fudgy, thick consistency.   We love Reddi-Wip so I topped each serving with Reddi-Whip and raspberries instead of the extra Cool Whip!

Chocolate Fudge Pie - Guilt Free (adapted from Southern Living)

1 cooked pie crust
6 oz unsweetened chocolate baking squares, chopped
1 (14oz) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
fresh raspberries

Microwave chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.  When melted, whisk in milk until smooth; let stand two minutes.  Fold in half of whipped topping until combined - pour mixture into crust.  Cover and chill 4 - 8 hours.  Spread remaining whipped topping over pie and garnish with raspberries.  ( I didn't top with the rest of the whipped topping;  I topped each slice with a little Reddi-Wip and then raspberries)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

The teachers and children's staff where I work made up a fun cookbook for me for this last birthday.  What an awesome idea!  I love recipes and such a perfect gift for a foodie!!   They said they felt such pressure - no way!  I love it!!

Leslie shared this Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle.  I love chocolate chip cookies so I knew we would love it.  I could probably have cooked it a tince longer to me more "brittle-like" but it was so yummy.  I just cut it in a variety of geometric shapes.  The extra salt made it super yummy!!  Leslie included an idea of changing it up to be Almond Cranberry Cookie Brittle - would love that with a few white chocolate chips sprinkled in!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine butter, sugar, salt and vanilla - beat until creamy.  Stir in flour until blended.  Press dough into a greased jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes or even a little more.  Leave in pan to cool then break apart like brittle.

Almond Cranberry Version - replace vanilla with almond extract and add 1 cup dried cranberries.  I think it would be yummy to replace the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips :)

Printable Version

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Broccoli Salad

I love this recipe!  I got this recipe from my neighbor Janine when we lived in Katy, Texas.  You can be creative with this recipe - more or less dressing and add some optional ingredients such as grated carrots, raisins, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, etc.  I like my broccoli pieces chopped small but that is just me!  Take this to your next cookout!

Broccoli Salad


1 cup mayo (I did a mixture of fat-free and light)
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar


2 bunches of broccoli, washed and cut up into bite-size pieces
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
cooked and crumbled bacon
Sunflower seeds

Mix dressing and combine with salad ingredients just before serving!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

This is a favorite recipe from Southern Living that I have been making for probably 5 - 8 years.  It is a favorite at all of our Sunday School gatherings and other parties.  It was called Black Bean and Corn Salad but I have always served it as a dip.  My oldest daughter and I were just making it today and she commented, "This is so yummy - I could just eat it with a spoon!"  It doesn't need the chips  - just an amazing recipe either way!

Black Bean and Corn Dip (adapted from Southern Living)

3 ears fresh corn
3-4 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 small purple onion, chopped
1 - 2 avocados, seeded and chopped (I use two)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook corn in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and cool.  Cut corn from cob.  Whisk together, lime juice and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.  Add corn, black beans and remaining ingredients.  Toss to coat.  Cover and chill 2 hours.  Serve as is or with tortilla chips!

Printable Version

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thai Lahvosh

One of my teacher friends brought this absolutely yummy dish to one of our birthday lunches.  I LOVED it - just couldn't get enough.  I hurried home and made it for my family that same week.  I was at a bridal shower today and the lady that gave Leslie the recipe served it at the shower - it was perfect!

I found a box of 3" and 5" Valley Lahvosh Rounds at a local HyVee Grocery Store.  I am sure you could make this on one large Lahvosh cracker but we so enjoyed making the smaller ones.  I hope you can find a similar cracker round in your area to give this a try!

Thai Lahvosh

2 Grilled chicken breasts, diced
Lahvosh crackers - We used the Valley Lahvosh Rounds
Cashew pieces
Thai sweet Chili sauce - We used Taste of Thailand brand
Mozzarella Cheese
Chopped green onions
Chopped tomatoes

Place the crackers on a baking sheet.  Put the chicken, cashews and mozzarella cheese on the crackers.  Top with 1/3 - 1/2 of the bottle of chili sauce.  Cook on 500 just til the cheese is melted - just a few minutes.  Top with green onions, chopped tomatoes and a little more sauce.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jenna's Graduation Party

Our sweet Jenna graduated from high school last week.  It has been a whirlwind month with preschool graduations and my own daughter graduating from high school and... our oldest coming home after her first year in college.  I knew when Annie and Jenna were born and they were just one grade apart that we would have our busy moments - this was one of them!

The graduation party was a huge success - Jenna loved it and that was of most importance.  We did a dessert themed party similar to Annie's with a few different desserts, candies, more Blue Bell Ice Cream and a different color theme.

I cannot tell you how much fun a dessert party is.  I also have to tell you how much I appreciate all of my friends and their help.  My dear friend Sue did most of the decorating, my friend Barb helped with the "Jenna" table, my friend Donna made two amazing cheesecakes for the party and Michelle, Lori, Tammy, Kathy, Donna and Shelley spent several hours dipping Oreo balls, Red Velvet Cake balls, Cookie Dough Truffle and frosting sugar cookies.  We had a party... the night before the party!  I truly couldn't have pulled off Jenna's fun party without the help from family and friends!  Thank you!

Monster Bars, Lemon Bars, English Toffee, White/Dark Chocolate Candy with Sea Salt and Pecans, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Sugar Cookies, Precious CAMERA cookies made by a sweet preschool mom, Oreo Balls, Red Velvet Cake Balls, Cookie Dough Truffles, Mini Gigi's Cupcakes And Texas Blue Bell Ice Cream Sundaes served in the Kitchen (Missing from this picture - the wonderful Brownie Cheesecake was front and center and on the top of the right tiered was Jenna's favorite - Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Avalanche Apples - sliced)

  Jenna and her good friend Jay!  The rest of the graduation pictures are still on the camera!  :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

I don't cook much fish around here.   There are a few family members that just aren't huge fans.  Chris loves just about anything... but he doesn't love salmon.   I decided to try it.  Meg and I both enjoy it and I was hoping to sway Chris.  We all enjoyed this yummy recipe!  Well - everyone except Jenna - who won't even try it.

A preschool teacher found this recipe on  It was quick and easy and I served it with roasted green beans, onions and grape tomatoes.

I used one large piece of salmon with the skin.  I put it on a piece of foil and Chris cooked it on the grill.  The skin burns to the foil and you slide the salmon right off.  This version uses the broiler which I will try next time.  I actually think their version looks a little tastier!

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 ( 6 oz) boneless salmon fillets
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat broiler and the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.  Spray the rack of the broiler pan with cooking spray.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper and arrange onto the prepared broiler pan.  Whisk together the brown sugar and the mustard in a small bowl.  Spoon mixture evenly onto top of salmon fillets.  Cook under the preheated broiler until the fish flakes easily with a fork - 10-15 minutes.

Suggestion - put a little water in broiler pan for steam

Printable Version

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Breakfast Sausage Ring

Here is another recipe from Facebook - from Welcome Home.  I have a recipe similar to this that I got from my good friend Emily - Sausage Bundt Cake.   I like them both but this new one doesn't have eggs in it.  I was always worried about getting the eggs done in the middle of the other one.  This one came out of the pan beautifully and we enjoyed a slice with scrambled eggs.  It could be because I used my new pan given to me from the preschool teachers - a silicone bundt pan from Sur la Table.  This pan was amazing - I just need to try it with a cake now! 

Breakfast Sausage Ring

16 oz breakfast sausage (any flavor)
2 (7.5) cans of Pillsbury Buttermilk biscuits
2 cups shredded cheddar or Montery Jack cheese ( I mixed several)

Preheat oven to 350.  Brown sausage in frying pan, drain,  Open first can of biscuits and flatten each biscuit into a larger circle.  Place in bottom of greased bundt cake pan, overlapping each biscuit so that it makes a ring round the bottom of the pan.  Top biscuits with 1 cup shredded cheese, next place cooked sausage on top of the cheese then top sausage with the remaining cup of cheese.  Open second can of biscuits and flatten each one and repeat placing each one around the top of the bundt pan overlapping so it looks like a ring.  Cook for about 25 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven and let it set for 5 to 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate.  Slice and serve.  

Welcome Home says this makes a nice centerpiece for a breakfast buffet.  Also- try spicy sausage and pepperjack cheese :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sweet N' Salty Pecan Crunch

I love my Seasons magazine I get from our local HyVee grocery store - always filled with the best information and recipes.  I usually make one or two recipes from each magazine.  I gave this yummy snack mix a try and we loved it.  It is crunchier and a bit harder than my Pecan Praline Snack Mix but the teachers at preschool seemed to really enjoy the extra crunch and the different cereal.  I can't seem to stay out of it!  :)

Sweet N' Salty Pecan Crunch (adapted from HyVee Seasons)

1 (14.5 oz) box golden maple Quaker Oatmeal squares ( my store didn't have maple - used brown sugar)
1 cup broken pretzel sticks (I used tiny twists that I already had)
1 cup coarsely broken pecan halves
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt ( or more - I didn't measure)

Preheat oven to 250.  Spray a 13 x 19 baking dish with cooking spray.  In a 2 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup, bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda.  Pour over cereal, stirring to coat. Transfer to prepared baking dish.  Bake one hour - stirring every 20 minutes.  Spread on parchment or wax paper and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Allow to cool, break into pieces.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.  Serves 18 - 1/3 cup servings)

Nutrition Facts from Season - 260 calories, 11 g. fat, 3 g. saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 5 g protein,

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

There seem to be a lot more recipes on Facebook lately.  These baked chimichangas looked easy and something my family would enjoy.  I was correct!  Easy and very tasty!  We had them two nights in a row - reheated them the 2nd night.

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
8 oz pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded or diced
8 flour tortillas
cooking spray
toppings - salsa, cheese, green onions, sour cream, black olives

Stir together cream cheese, pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.  Fold in chicken.  Divide among tortillas.  Tuck in sides and roll up tortilla and place seam side down in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, turn chimis over and bake another 15 minutes.  Server with your favorite toppings.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

I think I originally saw this recipe on Pintrest.... which then led me to Real Simple.  I am always looking for healthy meals, and of course I love one-dish meals.  This chicken was wonderful - simple, tasty and fairly healthy.  We loved it!

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Beans (adapted from Real Simple)

6 Tbsp olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 lb trimmed green beans
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts (bones left in with skin - about 3 1/4 lbs)  I used 3 boneless with no skin

Preheat oven to 450.  Coat a large baking dish or cast iron skillet with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil.  ARragne the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.  In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat.  Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them above the lemon slices.  Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat.  Using a slotted spoon, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of green beans.  Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixtxture over chicken.  Roast for 50 minutes.  Remove chicken from dish and roast the green beans and potatoes for about 10 more minutes.  4 servings

According to Real Simple - 687 calories, carb 20 g; cholesterol 181 mg; fat 37 g; fiber 4 g; iron 4 mg; protein 67 mg; sat fat 8 g;  and sodium 735 mg

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn

Our sweet Annie was home from college over Spring Break.  She is loving her sorority and her new Big Sis - Megan.  Megan showered Annie with tons of PiPhi goodies but one of Annie's very favorite gifts was Megan's Peanut Butter Popcorn.  I am a huge peanut butter fan so Annie and I couldn't wait to make it.  OH MY STARS!  If you love peanut butter and chocolate.... and popcorn.  This is a great combination of sweet and salty!  You have to make this immediately!  I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about it!  INDULGE... and ENJOY!!  Thanks Megan for being such a great BIG SIS to Annie and for this wonderful recipe!

                                                Megan and Annie

Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn

2 bags of microwave popcorn (I used one bag of a double bag of Vic's popcorn - 4 1/2 oz)
2 cups honey roasted peanuts
4 cups mini peanut butter cups
3 cups peanut butter chips (I just used 2 bags)
1 Tbsp oil or shortening ( I used oil)
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place popped popcorn, peanuts, peanut butter cups in a large bowl.  Melt peanut butter chips and oil in a double boiler or in the microwave stirring at 30 second intervals.  Pour melted peanut butter chips over popcorn mixture.  Stir gently to coat. Spread the mixture onto a waxed paper lined counter.  Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Spoon into a ziploc bag.  Snip the corner of the ziploc bag and drizzle all over popcorn. Let popcorn sit until chocolate is set.  Store in an airtight container!  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

King Ranch Casserole

I know ALL of my Texas friends have heard of King Ranch and the famous King Ranch Casserole.  Most of my Nebraska friends aren't as familiar so I decided to make this for one of our preschool/teacher birthday lunches.  I used the precooked grilled chicken breasts strips from Costco so this recipe was a snap.  I LOVE it!  It is easy and well-loved.  There wasn't a bite left today at preschool!

One other thing, I am not always a huge fan of cooking with canned soup.  I did use the Cream of Chicken soup the recipe called for but instead of using Cream of Mushroom Soup - I decided to liven up the recipe and use a half-pint of cream.  What a great change to this recipe!  Like I said - not a bite left!

P.S.  I remembered mid way through our buffet line - that I needed a picture!  Sorry!!

King Ranch Casserole

2 cups diced chicken, seasoned with a little chili powder, cumin and garlic powder
1/2 stick butter
1/2 - 1 onion, diced
1/2 - 1 bell pepper, diced
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 half pint of whipping cream
12 corn tortillas
2-3 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Sprinkle cooked chicken with seasonings and heat in skillet.   In another large skillet, melt butter and saute onion and bell pepper about five minutes or until tender.  (or you can heat the cooked chicken and seasoned veggies all in one skillet )Add Rotel, soup, cream and chicken.   Tear four tortillas in bite size pieces and layer in the bottom of your pan.  Top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture and 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat twice.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly!

**I made mine the night before and it was still yummy!

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Black Bean and Corn Salsa Pork Chops

I cut this recipe out of a Southern Living magazine years ago.  I wanted something new to try so I gave it a shot.  Chris and I both enjoyed it - nice flavor and relatively healthy.  I hadn't cooked with an oven bag in years -   I will definitely make this again!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa Pork Chops (Southern Living)

1 oven bag
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper, divided
2  (11 oz) cans whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained (I think I only used one)
1  (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1  (10 oz) can diced tomato and green chiles ( I used Original Rotel)
4 (1/2 inch) boneless center-cut pork chops, trimmed

Preheat oven to 350.  Place oven back in a 13 x 9 pan.   Add flour, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper to oven bag.  Twist end of bag and shake to combine.  Add corn, beans and tomatoes to oven bag.  Squeeze to blend ingredients.  Sprinkle pork chops with remaining seasoning.  Arrange in an even layer over vegetables.  Close bag with nylon tie and cut 6 (1/2 inch) slits in top of bag.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until pork chops are done and tender.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Avocado Cream Chicken Enchiladas

We love Mexican Food.  I found this recipe over on a great blog - Greens & Chocolate.  Taylor has a great blog with tons of wonderful recipes.

I love this recipe!  I used precooked white meat chicken so it was so quick and easy to assemble after a busy work day.   The avocado cream sauce was a nice change to the typical chicken enchilada sauce.  My family was very pleased - I bet yours will be too!

Avocado Cream Chicken Enchiladas (adapted from

for the avocado cream:
     1 Tbsp salted butter
     2  (4 oz) cans diced green chiles
     2 cloves garlic, minced
     1 Tbsp flour
     1 tsp cumin
     1/4 tsp salt
     1 cup chicken broth
     1/2 cup sour cream
     1/4 cup chopped cilantro
     2 avocados

for the filling:
     2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded/or diced
     2-3 cups Monterey Jack cheese
     8-10   6 inch flour tortillas
     additional avocados and cilantro, for topping

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a glass 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside;  In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add green chiles and garlic and cook for one minute.  Add flour, stirring constantly, and cooking another minute.  Add cumin, salt, and broth - bring to a boil.  Lower heat and add sour cream and cilantro, stirring til smooth.  Add green chile mixture and avocados to blender and puree until smooth.  Add 3/4 cup sauce to bottom of prepared dish.  Prepare enchiladas by spreading 1 -2 Tbsp sauce along with chicken and cheese in middle of each tortilla.  Roll up tightly and place seam side down in pan.  Pour all but 1/2 cup remaining sauce on top of enchiladas and then sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling.  Also, can put the broiler on for a minute to get the top nice and golden.  Let sit for a few minutes before serving.  Drizzle with the rest of the avocado cream and top with avocado and cilantro.  Enjoy!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Pork Chops and Potatoes

I have had this recipe for years.  I got this recipe from my roommate at Baylor, Jennifer, and her sister, Gretchen.  They are both amazing cooks.  I cannot tell you how easy this recipe is and also - how yummy.  I especially love the potatoes and onions under the pork chops.  This recipe takes very little time to prepare and about an hour to cook.  It is COLD here in Nebraska - this is some great comfort food!!

You can definitely make this recipe in larger quantities - or add more potatoes.  Just vary the amount of butter, salt/pepper, etc.

Pork Chops and Potatoes

6 boneless pork chops
2 - 3 baking potatoes
1 onion
1/3 - 1/2 stick butter -

Brown seasoned pork chops; Spray a 9 x 13 glass pan with Pam.  Layer - thinly sliced potatoes, raw onion rings, little pieces of butter, salt and pepper, sprinkle with flour;  Repeat twice.  Top with browned pork chops.  Cover with foil and bake at 400 for about one hour.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Spicy Shrimp

Kelly teaches preschool with me and she recently brought this yummy shrimp for her lunch.  She just opened the container - and people were flocking wondering what the yummy smell was.  She hadn't even heated it yet.  She said she makes this regularly - just to have to snack and to bring for her lunch to preschool.  Another teacher said she and her husband make something similar on the weekend just to have as an appetizer.

I bought frozen, raw, deveined, shelled shrimp.  I could only find a small bag but I am in search of a larger bag.  This was wonderful.  I ate a few as they came out of the oven, my husband snacked on a few and my youngest finished them off for dinner.  They are good warm or cold!  Add them to your favorite pasta or grab as a snack as you pass the refrigerator.

Spicy Shrimp

4 tsp olive oil (or Pam with olive oil)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne papper
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Spray the broiler rack with nonstick spray; preheat the broiler.  Combine first six ingredients and toss with shrimp. Place on broiler rack and broil 6-8 minutes or until golden - turning once.  

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Granola Bars

I went scrapbooking last weekend with a group of about 30 ladies.  We have been doing this weekend for about 12 years.  Great fellowship with wonderful ladies plus I get to work on my girl's scrapbooks - such a fun weekend.

Amanda is in my Sunday School class and she made these yummy Granola Bars and put one in each of our Goodie Bags.  A couple of ladies didn't show up and it was a race to see who could get the extra Granola Bar from the extra Goodie Bags.

I decided to try them to see if my girls would eat them before they quickly rush out the door for school each morning.  I made a batch and cut them in granola bar size.... and wrapped them individually in plastic wrap.  We Love Them!  I took some to preschool today and the teachers loved them. too.  I think you can be creative with ingredients.  I added Craisins instead of raisins and I threw in some slivered almonds - which really added a nice crunch.  I think your family will love these!!

Granola Bars

1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup or honey (I used honey)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together until well blended and add the following:

3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup coconut  (I didn't put in - didn't have any)
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 cup raisins (or Craisins)
1/3 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 -3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix well.  Pat into a lightly greased jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.  Cool and cut into bars.  Wrap in plastic wrap for a grab and go breakfast!

*I wanted my dough a little dryer - I added a more oats, kernels, wheat germ and almonds to reach desired consistency

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

One of my preschool teachers found this on a wonderful blog - The Yummy Life.  The Yummy Life focuses on easy and fun healthy recipes.  You should definitely visit this blog.  Judy said she and her husband loved it and I am always game for a new Crockpot recipe - especially one that I can start at night and have ready for breakfast.

Both my husband and I thought it was very yummy.  My daughters thought it was a little "healthy" for them.  Jenna thought it needed more SUGAR!  :)  I did add a little more sugar to hers when I served it.  I sprinkled some almonds and Craisins on mine.  Be creative with your toppings and enjoy!

Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk (or substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup or other desired sweetener)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

Nutritional Info (per 3/4 cup serving): 149 calories, 3.6g fat, 27.3g carbs, 3.9g fiber, 4.9g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4 pts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Three Cheese Pimento Cheese

Being from the south, I love pimento cheese.  One of my first recipes I put on the blog is for a Pimento Cheese that I would make every summer my family would go to the beach.  Some would eat it on bread, others on a cracker, some on celery - either hot or cold - but it was always enjoyed.

I found this recipe in Southern Living.  It was quick, easy and didn't make too much.  We snacked on it cold and then we did try it grilled.  We liked it both ways but I think the favorite was cold - with crackers or on a sandwich.  This is a little different than my traditional Pimento Cheese but still so yummy.

Three-Cheese Pimento Cheese  (adapted from Southern Living)

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos, drained
1 (5 oz) jar Kraft pimento cheese spread
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used light)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp grown chipotle chile powder
1/4 salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
12 to 18 oz shredded Cheddar cheese  (I used closer to 18 oz - depends on texture you want)

Microwave cream cheese for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes - in thirty second intervals - or until melted and smooth.  Stir in next six ingredients.  Stir in cheddar cheese.  Serve immediately or cover and chill.  Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 4 days.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Grape Salad - YUM!

I love this recipe!  It is a cross between a salad and a dessert!  It may be a little summery for your taste but I found some great grapes this week  -  we loved every bite.  Shelley teaches with me and brought this fun recipe to one of our birthday lunches.  You have to try it - I promise it will be a hit!

* I halved this recipe for our family using only one pound of red grapes :)

Grape Salad

1   8 oz whipped cream cheese
1   8 oz. sour cream (I used light)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb red grapes, washed and left whole
1 lb green grapes, washed and left whole
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix the first four ingredients and pour over the grapes. Mix together and pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Mix the brown sugar and pecans in a separate bowl and sprinkle over the grape mixture.  Refrigerate uncovered for 8 hours before serving.  ( I couldn't wait :)

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stuffed Pepper Soup

This is a great new soup recipe.  My sweet friend Barb got it from her sister.  I made it....and we enjoyed it and..... I forgot to take a picture.  Barb made it again and I asked her to take a picture.... Barb forgot to take a picture.  I promise - this is a yummy soup and you will love it.

The first time I used ground Italian sausage and my hubby thought he would like the sausage in bigger bite-size chunks.  Just a thought for when you are making it!  Enjoy!

Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 pound Italian sausage links
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into strips
8 oz quartered grape tomatoes
29 oz can tomato sauce
1 T garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
2 quarts beef stock
½ cup rice
2 T sugar

Take the casing off the Italian sausage and cut it into small bite size pieces.  Place sausage, peppers, and onion in a soup pot and cook until the sausage is cooked all the way through.  Drain any extra grease.  Add  the rest of the ingredients.  Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 30

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