Monday, January 28, 2013

Ham Chowder in the Crock Pot

I threw this together in about 15 minutes. I even got the compliment/comment while it was simmering away "It smells like Heaven in here!"

1 30-oz bag frozen hash brown cubes
1/2 large white onion, diced small
1 TBS garlic, minced or from jar
4 green onions, sliced thin
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 15-oz can whole kernel corn, draned
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt  
2 quarts water
6 chicken bouillon cubes  
2 cups ham, diced
1 cup milk
1/4 cup corn starch 
2 cups cheese (extra to sprinkle on top)

Add everything EXCEPT milk, corn starch, and cheese to the crock pot. Stir together well and set on high for 3-5 hours (low for 7-9 hours).
Stir every few hours to make sure the chicken cubes dissolve completely.
When soup has simmered for cooking time, make sure to turn crock pot to high (IF cooking on low). Whisk together the milk and corn starch. Stir into soup, let thicken for 10-15 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted, reserve some to sprinkle on top of soup as serving. Check seasoning to adjust if more salt or pepper is needed, I needed more pepper.     

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stuffed Pork Chops

I made these when my hubby graduated from college in May of 2005. I had forgotten that I even made them until my sissy asked me for the recipe today.

Thanks Sissy for the Picture!

6 1-inch thick cut pork chops (Bone in or bone less) with a "pocket" cut in each chop, you can do this on your own, or have the butcher do it.
1-2 TBS olive oil
1 cup white onion, minced
1 TBS (3 cloves) garlic, minced
2 cups white mushrooms, minced
1/4 lb of Pancetta or bacon, diced small
3-4 cups baby spinach, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
12-oz ginger-ale

Cut "pocket" in chops, if you didn't have butcher do it for you, and set aside.
In a saute pan use 1 tbs of olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and Pancetta. Saute on a medium heat until onions are soft and mushrooms are golden. Add other tbs of oil (if needed) and all the spinach to the saute pan until wilted. Remove from the heat and add bread crumbs, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
Salt and pepper both sides, and inside the pocket of the chop.Stuff each chop with 1/6 of the mixture. Place chops on a baking sheet. Pour 1/2 can of the soda on all chops and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes (or until chops are no longer pink).
Turn the oven broiler on (oven off) and pour rest of soda on the chops. Broil the top of the chops until desired browning on each chop. Usually about 10-15 under the broiler. Keep an eye on them!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Refrigerator Mexican Lasagna

OK, truth be known here. I really just cleaned out the leftovers from the fridge. And this is what I came up with, because this is what I had.

1 lb of already browned ground beef (with salt and pepper, onions and cheese used in a recipe I need to type up still called "Sloppy Jenn's)
1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup kidney beans

Then I opened a can of red enchilada sauce and grated about 8 oz of cheese.
I thawed some 6" corn tortillas. Which by the way DO NOT recover very well once frozen.
This is why I cut the tortillas in half and just layered them like lasagna noodles, instead of making myself batty by trying to roll up each tortilla as it crumbled under my fingers and split all over the place, causing copious amounts of swearing (some in my head and some not).

In a 13x9 pan I spread about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce then layered some of the halved tortillas. I used about one third of the meat/rice/corn/bean mixture over the tortillas and sprinkled it with 1/4 of the cheese. Do this 3 more times: Sauce, filling, cheese, tortillas.
I made 3 full layers and ended with tortillas as the top of my lasagna. I was then out of enchilada sauce at this point so I rummaged around the fridge and found some salsa (2/3 cup approx) to top the tortillas with, and then sprinkled with the last of my cheese. Covered with foil and placed in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Until the filling is warmed through and the cheese is melted.

I served this with a green salad and some sour cream.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Michael's Meatball Soup

I asked hubby what he wanted for dinner tonight. I always do that, not only to see what sounds good, but to also make sure I am not making the same thing he had for lunch; since I put leftovers in the freezer for him to take to work.

Well tonight he completely surprised me! He said he could do a "broth soup". So I am in the kitchen whipping up a Meatball and Pasta soup.

I think it came out really well. I also think that it could use less pasta, so I noted the amount that should be used, not the amount that I used. Hubby wasn't fond of the beans that I added (he is supposed to eat more on his diabetic diet). I really liked the "Italian element" that they added.

1 TBS olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 TBS garlic, crushed or minced very fine
1/2 tsp Italian Seasonings
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 C chicken broth
2 C water
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
1 large Bay leaf 
2 med carrots, peeled, and diced into small cubes
1 C small pasta (elbow, shells) uncooked
1 15-oz can of Cannellini  (white kidney) beans, do not drain
1 lb (half a package) of pre-made Homestyle Meatballs from frozen food section
Parmesan cheese shreds 

In a large stock pot on med high heat add olive oil and onions, until the onions are soft. Add garlic and saute for about 2-3 more minutes
Add Italian Seasonings, pepper, broth, water, Worcestershire, Bay leaf, and carrots to the pot. Turn to high, until it comes to a boil. Cover and turn to med until carrots are almost soft, about 5 minutes.
Add pasta, beans, and meatballs. Continue to simmer, covered,  for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
Remove Bay leaf before serving. Top each bowl with some Parmesan cheese.

Like I said too much pasta for a soup, but it was SO tasty!!
Thanks to the hubby for inspiring me after all these years.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Birthday Cake Party

Thank you all for stopping by to share your cakes with me!! I am truly blessed to have family and friends like you!!

Butterfinger Cake

Crumbs in my Mustachio 
Chocolate Overload Cake 

Blackberry Cheese Cake Brownie

The Baking Fairy
Tie Dye Cake

Birthday Cake Oatmeal

Who Needs A Cape?
Inside Out German Chocolate Cake

Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen 
Cinnamon Roll Cheese Cake 


 Skinny Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

The Two Bite Club
Toasted Butter Pecan Cake

Submitted by Melissa's HoneyBeeHive
Triple Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Bibi's Culinary Journey
Cream Puff Cake 

Leave a Happy Plate 
 Cannoli Cup Cake

Chocolate Ganache Cup Cakes

Red White and Blueberries 
Lonestar Ooey Gooey Butter Cake 

Adorned Well 
Peanut Butter Cup-Cupcakes

Butter Roll

Manila Spoon 
Giant Oreo Cake
Kit Kat and Berries Cake

Lóa Guðrún Kristinsdóttir 

Easy Chocolate Cake


Marshmallow Nail Polish Bottles

One bag of Tootsie Rolls
One tub of vanilla frosting
One bag of regular size marshmallows

Unwrap the same amount of Tootsie Rolls as marshmallows you are going to use.
Cut a toothpick in half. Insert blunt end into Tootsie Roll and pointed end into the marshmallow to make your bottles.

I had 40 marshmallows (until my 4 yr old ate one) so I ended up with 39 assembled "nail polish bottles".
I put a real bottle of polish to compare.

Remove foil lid from the frosting and place in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir well! Add the food color you want to use to frosting and stir. 
I used regular "liquid drops", but you could use the "paste" kind to. This is what I had on hand.
Dip each bottle into the frosting, until it almost touches the Tootsie Roll handle. Scrape off the excess frosting the bottom of each marshmallow and place on a foil lined tray. I didn't take pictures of the dipping process, cause it was hard to do!
I made various shades of pink for my event. So I just kept adding drops of red food dye for each batch.
Then place in the fridge to "harden".

Remove from foil. Place on serving platter.
I used a small off-set spatula to place on my serving platter.


Pink Nail Polish Bottles!!

Thank you Nana Michelle Aloha Recipes for sharing the idea with me!!