Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

From: Southern Living

1 small onion, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
5 cups water
1 (6.2 ounce) package fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (8 ounce) loaf pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

Saute onion and carrots in a lightly greased Dutch oven over medium heat 5 minutes.

Add 5 cups water, seasoning packet from rice, broccoli, and chicken. Bring to a boil, and stir in rice; reduce heat, cover, and cook 5 minutes.

Add cheese and soup; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Thumbs up! This was a delicious, filling soup. For the rice, I used a package of Uncle Ben's rice that was already cooked. I just threw it in a little later than what the recipe said. I used Velveeta for the cheese product. This was a really simple soup to make and the flavor was incredible. One of our new favorites!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bob Evans Cheddar Baked Potato Soup

From: An old email recipe exchange

1 can Campbell's cheddar cheese soup 
1 can chicken broth
1 lb grated cheddar cheese
4 cups milk plus 1 soup can
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp of: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic salt
7 medium potatoes, diced to 1" and boiled

Add soup, 1/2 can broth, 1 can milk and stir. Add cheese and milk. Stir in cornstarch with the rest of the broth. Add broth to soup. Add spices and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add boiled potatoes and simmer 15 minutes more. Top with chives and bacon bits.

Thumbs up! I love a good potato soup recipe, and you can't go wrong with this amount of cheese, right?? I would definitely make this soup again. It's easy and fairly fast, once you've boiled the potatoes. And very delicious!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Chicken Soup with Rice and Barley

From: Automatically Light! cookbook

4 chicken breasts
1 cup carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cups onion, coarsely chopped
3 cups chicken broth, defatted
4 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup white rice
1/4 cup medium barley
1 tsp dried thyme

Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients through pepper. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until a fork pierces meat easily. Remove chicken and vegetables. Puree vegetables in a blender. Skim all fat from broth. Cut chicken into small pieces.

Return broth and pureed vegetables to the slow cooker and add rice, barley and thyme. Cover and cook at high for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until rice and barley are very tender. Add chicken during the last 15 minutes.

Thumbs up! What a classic comfort food recipe. I didn't use the slow cooker. I used the stove instead. I put all ingredients through pepper in a soup pot and brought to a boil. I simmered for about an hour and a half. I removed the chicken and veggies but I did not blend them, because I thought that sounded kind of gross. I added rice and barley to the broth/water and cooked for about 45 minutes. I then added the chicken and vegetables back in and cooked another 10-15 minutes to make sure it was all warm. Voila!


From: Automatically Light cookbook

1 lb lean, top round of beef, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
2 cups vegetable broth or juice
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp ground celery seed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup elbow macaroni
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Combine beef through pepper in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender. Turn heat to high, add macaroni and vegetables, and cook for 30-40 minutes or until macaroni is just tender. Add beans and cook on high for an additional 5 minutes or until beans are warmed. Remove bay leaf. Correct seasoning, if desired.

Thumbs up! I love minestrone soup and this was a great recipe. I would definitely make this again in the future.

Cheesy Ham and Mushroom Pasta

From: An old magazine cutout

12 oz. rotini
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped ham
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup packed chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Warm oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and saute until translucent. Stir in mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they give up their liquid, about 5 minutes. Mix in ham and cook until warmed through, stirring once or twice, 1-2 minutes. Add ham mixture, cheddar cheese and basil to pot with pasta. Toss to combine, moistening with cooking liquid if necessary.

Thumbs up! This is such a simple recipe, but it's so good. You can't go wrong with these ingredients, in my opinion. Perfect for lunch or a quick dinner!

Ginger-Soy Tilapia

From: All You

4 tilapia fillets
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

Preheat oven to 425 F. Tear off four pieces of foil, each about 12x15 inches long. Place a tilapia fillet in center of each piece of tinfoil. Spread 1 1/2 tsp ginger over each fillet. Drizzle each with one tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Season with pepper.

Fold top of foil to meet bottom edge. Crimp edges tightly to seal. Arrange packets in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until fish is opaque, 10-12 minutes. Serve hot.

Well, I liked this pretty well but I think I would have liked it with less soy sauce. I substituted coconut oil for the sesame oil and served the tilapia over brown rice. I'd like to try this again and just not use so much soy sauce. It's worth a second chance.

Pasta Primavera

From: An old index card file

2 cups broccoli florets
1 can condensed cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp pepper
3 cups cooked spaghetti

In a large saucepan, combine first seven ingredients. Cook uncovered over medium heat about 12 minutes. Stir in spaghetti, heat through. Serve.

Thumbs up! Easy, fast, and delicious! You can't get any better than that. I think this is a classic recipe that is perfect on those nights when you're trying to figure out what to make for dinner at the last minute - or even a yummy lunch! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Oatmeal Apple Cookies

From: Ladies' Home Journal

2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 tart apple, peeled and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In large bowl, combine brown sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats separately to creamed mixture, blending well after each addition. Stir in apples.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

I liked these cookies, but they weren't my favorite. They are best when warm. If I made them again I would use less oats. I felt that the oats made them a bit dry for my tastes. That being said, my son (4 years old) loved them and ate a ton, so maybe it's just my taste buds.  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Creamy Potato Soup

From: Food & Wine magazine

6 strips bacon
1 large onion, chopped  
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 pounds unpeeled russet or baking potatoes (about 4 potatoes), cut into 1-inch chunks
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt and pepper
sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large pot, cook bacon over medium-low heat until crisp (I used the microwave to cook mine). Remove bacon to a plate, break into small pieces, and set aside.

Drain from the pot all but 2 tablespoons fat (I used all my bacon fat, because - why not!?). Add onion (I left out the onion, didn't have one on hand) and increase heat to medium. Cook until golden, about 12 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

With an immersion blender (or regular blender), puree soup until chunky-smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I didn't add salt or pepper). Serve hot, and top with bacon bits, sour cream, Cheddar cheese and chives (I didn't use chives, I used dill instead).

I absolutely love this potato soup recipe. This is one of my top-three soup recipes to make. I definitely recommend this recipe because it's easy and it's incredibly delicious. 

Impossibly Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies

From: Betty Crocker

Chicken mixture:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Baking mixture:
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. 

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add onion and chicken broth; heat to simmering. Add frozen vegetables and seasonings. Heat until hot, stirring occasionally until almost all liquid is absorbed. Cool 5 minutes; stir in cheese.

In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup chicken mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto chicken mixture in each muffin cup.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve.

Thumbs up! This is a really easy recipe to throw together. I love chicken pot pie and this had the perfect balance of "crust" and mixture. I also loved how easy it was to heat up the leftovers and eat them on the run! I will definitely be making these again!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

From: OMG Chocolate Desserts


15 oz pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin spice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cupcake pan.

In a bowl, stir together flour, pumpkin spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Mix the pumpkin puree with sugar, eggs, vanilla and evaporated milk.

Add dry ingredients in the wet mixture and mix until it's evenly combined. Fill the muffin tins with 1/3 cup of the mixture in each cup. Bake for 20 minutes.

You can top the cupcakes with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on top before serving.

Thumbs up!! Hunter randomly asked one day for me to make a pumpkin pie, and while I didn't have all the necessary ingredients, I found this stand-in dessert. It was a big hit. It is meant to have the texture of pumpkin pie filling, so it's not not really cupcake-like. Add a bit of whipped cream to the top and some pumpkin pie spice and you have a very delectable dessert! 

Saucepan Spaghetti

From: Better Homes and Gardens Junior cookbook

1 pound bulk pork sausage or ground beef (I used venison)
3 1/2 cups water
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp minced dried onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sugar (I used a pack of Sweet 'N' Low)
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
6 ounces spaghetti (I used just over 7 ounces)
4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese 

Break up meat in a 3-quart saucepan. Put pan on burner. Turn burner to medium-high heat. Cook and stir meat until there is no pink. Turn off burner and drain the fat.

Stir water, tomato sauce, onion, salt, oregano, worcestershire sauce, sugar, basil, garlic powder and pepper into the pan. Put pan on burner and turn to high heat.

When the mixture boils, break spaghetti into pieces and add them to the sauce. Turn the burner to low heat. Put lid on pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir often.

When spaghetti is done, turn off burner. Remove pan from burner. Add the cheese and stir until it melts. Serve immediately.

Thumbs up! This was one of my FAVORITE recipes that my mom made when I was growing up. I was so happy when she hunted down the recipe for me to make a few nights ago! It was a huge hit and I am definitely going to be making it again. It's so easy to throw together and I LOVE one-pot recipes. Love it!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup

From: Joy of Cooking: All About Soups and Stews

6 cups water, or 3 cups water and 3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 - 2 lbs chicken parts, cut into serving pieces
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups short, wide egg noodles
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Bring the water, chicken, salt and pepper to a boil in a soup pot. Skim the impurities from the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is well cooked, about an hour. Remove the chicken, discard the skin and bones, shred the meat, and set aside. Bring the stock to a boil. Stir in the egg noodles and corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender but firm. Stir in the shredded chicken along with the chopped egg and parsley. Ladle into warmed bowls. 

Thumbs up! This was a great, hearty, filling soup. I have made this a couple of times now and it is always a big hit! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chicken Honey Stir-Fry

From: An old index card

1 lb chicken breast
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 carrots, some broccoli
hot rice

Cut chicken into thin strips. In a small bowl, mix orange juice, honey, soy sauce, cornstarch and ginger. Heat oil over medium heat in skillet. Add vegetables and cook for 3 minutes. Remove vegetables. Add a little more oil if necessary. Add meat and cook until it's not pink anymore. Add the vegetables and the sauce mixture. Cook until thick. Serve over rice.

Thumbs up! Yes, I ate the entire recipe by myself. No shame. This was totally delicious. The only change I made was I used one tablespoon of soy sauce instead of three. Sometimes I feel soy sauce is overwhelming. This was a really fast recipe that was filling and delicious. I will definitely be making this again. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Italian-Style Beef and Pepperoni Soup

From: Southern Living

1 lb ground beef
1 cup sliced pepperoni
Cooking spray
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp pepper

Cook ground beef and pepperoni in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Rinse and drain.

Saute mushrooms and next 3 ingredients in hot oil in Dutch oven 5 minutes. Stir in beef mixture, tomato paste, and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. If desired, garnish and serve with parmesan cheese.


Thumbs up! I ended up having to leave out the mushrooms, onions and bell peppers because I didn't have them on hand, and it was still a really delicious soup! I will absolutely make this again. It had a great flavor, so I imagine it would be even better with the missing veggies added!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Banana Egg Protein Pancakes

From: Undressed Skeleton

1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein
1 Extra Ripe Large Banana
2 Egg Whites
1 Egg
1 Tsp Dark Chocolate Chunks

Mash banana. Stir in protein powder and chocolate chunks. Mix together. Add eggs and mix. Cook!

I loved these. They tasted like regular pancakes, but they are packed with protein. I'm not a big fan of bananas but for some reason I love banana pancakes. I'll definitely be making these again in the future!

Baked Chicken Honey

From: Blisstree

Thighs, drumsticks, wings from 1 3-4 lb. chicken
1/2 cup soy sauce
the juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt, optional

Marinate chicken pieces in the rest of the ingredients, except for the salt, for 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally to redistribute. Drain chicken from marinade and transfer to greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, turning once, or just until cooked through and juices run clear. While chicken is baking, cook marinade in a small saucepan, until thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. When chicken is done, dip each piece into the cooked marinade and return to baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until just golden. Serve hot with the sauce over steamed rice.

Thumbs up! I love trying new chicken recipes. I love recipes that involve ingredients I already have on hand, so I can decide to make them last minute! This is a yummy, quick-cooking recipe that I'll definitely make again in the future.

Seared Scallops in White Wine Butter Sauce

From: PopSugar

5-6 large scallops
Cooking spray
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon minced white onion
3 tablespoons chilled butter
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh green onion
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place a skillet over medium-high heat until thoroughly heated. Coat scallops with cooking spray, and then salt and pepper right before placing on skillet. Carefully place scallops in hot skillet. Sear 3-5 minutes or until browned, flip sides, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove scallops from pan, and keep them warm in an oven at 150-175ºF.

In same pan, add wine to deglaze the pan, or use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the pan. Add onion, and bring wine to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until liquid reduces to 2 tablespoons. Over low heat, whisk in butter cubes, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in parsley and green onion. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve scallops with sauce.

Thumbs up! I actually buy my scallops from the Dollar Tree, of all places. They are $1 for 4 ounces, which is much cheaper than at the grocery store. Scallops are very high in protein and they're delicious, so this is a great recipe for when I just need a snack or small appetizer for myself. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tilapia Pasta

From: Better Homes and Gardens magazine

8 oz dried linguine
12 oz fresh or frzoen tilapia fillets, thawed if frozen
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and chopped
6 cloves garlic, minded
1 Tbsp capers
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp snipped fresh Italian parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Set pasta and water aside.

Season fish with 1/8 tsp salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add tilapia, cook about 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove; set aside.

Add remaining oil to skillet. Add onion and fennel. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic, capers, and Italian seasoning; cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce and reserved pasta water. Bring to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Stir in pasta and fish, breaking up fish slightly. Sprinkle with parsley.

Thumbs up! I actually love tilapia because it doesn't have that "fishy" flavor that so many fish have. I also love pasta and pasta sauce, so I knew this was going to be a winner. I left out the fennel and capers and it still had a great flavor.

Chewy Fudgy Homemade Brownies

From: Sally's Baking Addiction

  • 1/2 cup (115g) salted butter
  • 8 ounces (228g) coarsely chopped quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (80g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (11g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave. Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides, or grease it. Set aside.

Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-36 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished.

Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut.

Thumbs up! Okay, when I first tasted these brownies I thought they had too much chocolate in them. I could only eat one because it was so rich. But the next day, I figured I'd try one again. I popped it in the microwave for about 8 seconds - oh my gracious - to die for! These were so much better the second day, in my opinion. I will definitely be making these again. This is my favorite homemade brownie recipe I've tried. 

Crockpot Chili

From: All the Cooks

2 lbs hamburger, browned, drained
2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
5 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cup beef broth
28 oz chopped tomatoes
32 oz kidney beans, cooked
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients and cook in the crockpot all day on low.

You had me at "combine all ingredients and cook all day." In other words - don't touch it, don't stir it, leave it alone. In fact, I let mine cook overnight while I slept. Now that's my kind of cooking! I love chili and this was a great recipe that didn't disappoint. I would definitely make it again. (I substituted venison for the hamburger in this recipe).

Hearty Hamburger Soup

From: Food.com

  1. Brown ground beef and onion in a large pot. Drain if needed.
  2. Add spices and onion soup mix.
  3. Stir in water, tomato sauce and soy sauce. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients up to the potatoes bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until potatoes and carrots are tender about 30 minutes. (Add more water if needed).
  5. Season to taste with garlic salt.
  6. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese and sour cream.

Thumbs up! I love hamburger soups and this one did not disappoint. What a great comfort food.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brown Sugar Pancakes

From: Rachael Ray

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 pinch salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp melted butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  

In a large bowl, whisk the milk and eggs. Whisk in the vanilla and the melted butter.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three additions, whisking until smooth. (The batter will be thin.) Stir in 2 tbsp. brown sugar.

Melt some butter in the skillet. Using a ladle, pour some batter into the skillet, forming circles. Cook until the surface bubbles and the edges are browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until browned on the bottom, about 30 seconds longer. Sprinkle with some of the remaining 1 tbsp. brown sugar. Repeat with the remaining batter and brown sugar.

Thumbs up! I'm not a big fan of pancakes, but my kids and my husband love having them for weekend breakfasts or weeknight dinners if I forget to plan something (*ahem*...). I made these brown sugar pancakes for dinner tonight, though, and I have to say I really liked them. I think the kids did too, because they each ate 4 or 5. They are a little sweeter than my other recipe (which is basically the same as this except without the brown sugar) so maybe that's why I liked them a bit more. They definitely weren't sickeningly sweet. I will definitely make these again in the future. And yes - feel free to add in chocolate (my daughter and husband are chocolate fanatics) or any fruit that you usually would!    

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hearty Lasagna Soup

From: An old index card

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried parsley
3 1/2 cups beef broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups uncooked mafalda or corkscrew pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the beef, onion, garlic and parsley in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the beef is browned, stirring often. Pour off any fat.

Stir the broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning in the saucepan and heat to a boil.

Stir the pasta in the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Stir in the cheese. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

Thumbs up! I liked this soup a lot. I used venison instead of beef, crushed tomatoes instead of diced, and elbow macaroni instead of corkscrew. I thought this soup was yummy and filling. My only problem with it is that I had to add a ton of water while it was cooking because the pasta soaked up so much of it. So in the end I wish I had added a little more tomato flavoring to it. It was still great though, and I would definitely make this again in the future. I also appreciated the fact that I had every ingredient in the pantry already! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Taco Rice

From: An old index card

1 lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 cups medium salsa
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 1/2 cups rice

Brown the beef and onion in a skillet. Add the salsa, tomato sauce and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Make the rice and serve the beef mixture over rice.

Thumbs up! Listen, I know the picture isn't pretty, but I loved this recipe. I used ground venison instead of beef, and pasta sauce instead of tomato sauce. Other than that I didn't change anything about the recipe. It was incredibly simple to toss together and had a great flavor! I'll definitely be making this again. I think it would even be great in burritos or tacos.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Four Pasta Beef Bake

From: Taste of Home

  • 8 cups uncooked pasta (four assorted pasta shapes of your choice)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 4 jars (26 ounces each) meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, peppers, onions and mushrooms over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • 2. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl; stir in the beef mixture, two jars of spaghetti sauce and eggs.
  • 3. Transfer to two greased 3-qt. baking dishes. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 2 casseroles (8-10 servings each).

  • Verdict:
    Thumbs up! I did halve the recipe and it was perfect for our family of four. I used venison instead of beef and it was delicious. This was a really simple casserole to throw together and I didn't have to buy any ingredients for it, which is a major plus in my book! I highly recommend this recipe.