Monday, February 28, 2011

Oui Oui!! French Onion Soup

When I was a kid, I hated soup.  You couldn't pay me enough to eat even a bite.  My mom would go on and on about how soup was not only good, but good for you...( yeah, that was incentive to a seven year old).   Luckily, I got over it. Now soup is a staple part of my dinner menu nightly.  It's a wonderful accompaniment to almost any meal or a meal in itself.  Chicken soup, vegetable soup, broccoli and cheese...can you say yum?!

My newest passion is french onion soup.  I've only developed a taste for this over the past couple years.  So, when one of the hubby's favorite sport shows, The Matthew Mitchell Show, had the Coach's Kitchen segment featuring this delicious delight, you know I had to give the recipe a try.  I stuck mostly to the recipe, but may have changed a pinch here and there.  Here it goes...


4 large onions, yellow, sweet, etc.
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1 1/2 bottle of dark beer
2 quarts of beef broth
salt, pepper, onion powder
1-2 tbs beef powdered beef bullion
1 loaf of french bread
Gruyere' cheese
Oven safe soup dishes or aluminum pans (I used the ones for pot pies)


Chop Onion in medium small size chunks.  Melt half a stick of butter in a sauce pot and dump in onion.

Saute onions in butter until caramelized over medium low heat, approximately, 45 minutes, stir constantly.

Once onions are a lovely shade of golden brown, pour in half a bottle of beer.  Stir and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the alcohol has evaporated, approximately, 25 minutes. 

Pour in 2 quarts of beef broth, add salt, pepper and onion powder and 2 tbs of powdered beef bullion.  Cook on low for for 20-30 minutes until broth is completely heated.

Ladle some soup into your oven safe dishes or aluminum pans.  Slice a piece off french bread and lay it on top of your soup.  Cut the cheese in thin slices and top off your bread.  Now put under the broiler for about 5 mins til your cheese melted and bubbly.

Nothing left to do now, except enjoy. Bon Appetite!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Maple Pretzel Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each) (I only used 3)
1 egg
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1-1/2 cups of crushed pretzels
1/4 cup of canola oil
First flatten the chicken breasts to 1/2-in. thickness.
Then in a shallow bowl whisk the egg and the maple syrup.
Next put the pretzels in a separate shallow bowl.
Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and coat with the pretzels.
Finally in a large skillet, cook the chicken in oil over medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Wrap

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 ounces (1 cup) sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons all-purpose dill mix
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place chopped chicken, broccoli, and bell pepper in bowl. Press garlic over vegetable mixture. Shred cheese and add to bowl, mix gently. Add mayonnaise, dill mix and salt; mix well.

Unroll 1 package of crescent rolls; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12 x 15-inch rectangle stone. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using roller, roll dough to seal perforations. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3 inches deep. Spread filling evenly over middle of dough. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid. Brush egg white over dough using Pastry Brush. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 25 for 28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Sweet Potato Souffle

3 1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups softened butter
6 large eggs
1/2 cup self-rising flour
3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Boil the potatoes in water with 1 teaspoon of salt until tender. Drain the potatoes and cool to room temperature. Process the potatoes with remaining ingredients in a blender and pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole pan.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until set and lightly browned

Chessy Baked Penne

4 cups 2% milk
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup
all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground pepper, to taste 1 pound penne pasta, cooked until tender yet still firm to the bite
1 cup frozen peas
1 ½ cups diced ham
1 cup diced provolone cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat milk in a medium saucepan until small bubbles form around the edges. In a larger saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir well. Continue to cook, stirring, until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly begin adding hot milk to the large saucepan, whisking constantly while adding. Sauce will start out lumpy and become smooth as milk is incorporated. Stir in nutmeg and freshly ground pepper. Turn heat up to medium and bring sauce to a simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the pasta.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a shallow 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with the sauce. Stir in peas, ham, provolone and ¾ cup of the grated Parmesan. Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges and the center is hot (about 10 minutes more). Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Serves: 6

Pig Picking Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup margarine
4 eggs
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, with juice
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 - 9 inch round baking pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, margarine, eggs and mandarin oranges with juice. beat for 3 minutes with an electric mixer.
Pour into 3 - 9 inch round cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine pineapple and juice with pudding mix. Stir in pecans and coconut. Finally, fold in the whipped topping. Spread between cooled cake layers. Chill in refrigerator

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hot Mexican Spinach Dip

1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, diced and softened
1 cup evaporated milk
1 (2.25 ounce) can chopped black olives, drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium baking dish, mix together salsa, chopped spinach, Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese, evaporated milk, black olives, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Bake mixture in the preheated oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips

Pecan Pralines

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup pecans

Combine the sugar and milk and cook slowly in a heavy pot over low heat until it reaches the soft ball stage (238 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and add the butter, vanilla, and pecans. Beat mixture with a wooden spoon until it is smooth and creamy. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.

If the candy doesn't harden within 10 minutes, it may be cooked some more.

Yield: Approximately 1 dozen

Cajun Pork with Noodles

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon minced onion flakes
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup mushrooms
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch thinned with water
1 box cooked spaghetti

In a large skillet brown the pork tenderloin until it turns white on all sides. Add the minced onion flakes and cook until they are slightly toasted. Add milk, mushrooms and Cajun seasoning. Finally add the cornstarch and cook until thickened.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the box. Drain noodles and mix the pork tenderloin mixture together with the noodles.

Yields 3 to 4 servings.

Coconut Beer Shrimp with Sweet & Tangy Sauce Recipe

4 eggs
1 cup beer
3-1/2 tsp Creole seasoning (divided use)
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh or moist-packed shredded coconut
Oil for deep-frying
Sweet and Tangy Sauce:
2 cups orange marmalade
1/3 Tbsp shredded horseradish

For the Shrimp: Combine eggs, beer, 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, flour
and baking powder.

Dip the shrimp in beer batter and roll in coconut. Fry in oil heated
to 350 degrees F. in deep fryer, wok or deep saucepan. The oil should
be at least 1-1/2 inches deep. Drop shrimp in a few at a time and fry
until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel. Serve with Sweet
and Tangy Dipping Sauce.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Konkey Doodle

1 pound fresh mushrooms
1 pound bulk sausage
2 pounds hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt to taste
2 cans tomato soup
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 pound shell macaroni, cooked and drained
1 pound Cheddar cheese, grated

Slice and sauté mushrooms. Cook sausage in large skillet, stirring to break in small pieces. Drain off fat. Add hamburger, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring until hamburger is browned. Stir in salt, soup, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and mushrooms. heat through. Layer meat mixture, macaroni and cheese in 6 quart casserole, ending with cheese. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Makes 20 servings

Apple Stuffed Chicken Breast

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped apple
2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Combine apple, cheese, and bread crumbs. Set aside.
Flatten chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Divide apple mixture between chicken breasts, and roll up each breast. Secure with toothpicks.
Melt butter or margarine in a 7 inch skillet over medium heat. Brown stuffed chicken breasts. Add wine and 1/4 cup water. Cover. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch; stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir until thickened. Pour gravy over chicken, and garnish with parsley. Serve with roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Creamy Herbed Pancetta Spread

2 oz. pancetta, finely chopped
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 clove garlic, minced 
Beat all ingredients together in large bowl until well blended. Spoon into a small serving bowl, or into a foil-lined 2-cup mold. Cover; refrigerate overnight. Turn out onto a small serving plate, remove foil; serve with crackers.
Makes about 2 cups. (16 servings)
*Substitute 2 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped, for pancetta, if desired.

Bacon Onion Pinwheels

10 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Mix all ingredients except crescent rolls.

Unroll crescent roll dough; separate into 8 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal. Spread each rectangle evenly with bacon mixture; roll up starting
from short side. Cut each roll into 4 slices. Place pinwheels on ungreased cookie sheets; flatten slightly.

Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Deviled Eggs A La Potatoes

 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and pierced
12 hard boiled eggs, shells removed and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Paprika to garnish

 Wrap each potato individually in a paper towel and place in microwave about 1/2-inch apartMicrowave on high setting 5 - 6 minutes or until fork tender.  Remove from microwave. Immediately cut each potato in half lengthwise.  Let stand 5 minutes to cool slightly.  Place 12 egg yolk halves in large bowl (see note below).  Place all of the egg white halves on a large serving plate.  Using a spoon, scoop out potato “meat” and place in bowl with the egg yolks.  Mash with fork or potato masher.  Add remaining ingredients except paprika.  Stir until well blended.  Using a teaspoon, place equal amounts of the mixture in each egg white half. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours before serving. Sprinkle with paprika and serve chilled.   

Note:  The remaining 12 egg yolk halves can be finely diced and sprinkled on salads or other vegetable dishes for an extra dose of protein.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Tuscany Beef Focaccia

1/2 cup chopped ripe olives
1/2 cup chopped stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 (8-ounce) container garlic-flavored spreadable cream cheese
1 (10-inch) focaccia bread, split
4 lettuce leaves
8 (1-ounce) slices deli LAND O LAKES® Provolone Cheese
3/4 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef

Combine ripe olives, stuffed green olives and parsley in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix well.

Spread half of cream cheese mixture on cut-sides of each focaccia half. Layer lettuce, 4 slices cheese, beef and remaining cheese on bottom half of focaccia.
Top with remaining half of focaccia.

To serve, cut focaccia into eight wedges.

Fresh Strawberry Pull Aparts

24 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
16 ounces fresh strawberries, sliced and divided
1 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter

Cut rolls into thirds. Sprinkle toasted almonds evenly in bottom of a sprayed
Bundt pan.
Top almonds with 1 cup sliced strawberries.

In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Dip all roll pieces in the sugar mixture coating them completely. Layer half of the roll pieces over
the almonds and strawberries. Top with another cup of strawberries and the rest of the roll pieces. If there is any remaining sugar mixture sprinkle over

In a small saucepan combine the remaining strawberries, sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil over medium-
high heat.
Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Pour over layers in Bundt pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to one inch below the top of the

Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 40-45 minutes. Cover with foil last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning.

Cup of Everything Cookies

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup crisp rice cereal

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup ground walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 eggs

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and the sugars. Mix in the oil and the flour. Add in oatmeal, crispy rice cereal, coconut, nuts, vanilla, salt, baking soda, eggs and chocolate chips. Mix until well blended.
Drop by teaspoons or tablespoons on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes.

Spicy Beer Cake

2 cups beer. Use plain old Bud or Miller's High Life (not lite beer or ale)
1 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups raisins
Pour beer into a small bowl and let stand uncovered overnight at room temperature.
Next day: Cream shortening, and gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs one at the time, beating well after each addition.
Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to mix, then add to creamed mixture alternately with beer, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition.
Dredge pecans and raisins in remaining 1/2 cup flour, stir to coat well, then fold into batter.
Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350 and bake an additional 25 minutes or until cakes tests done.
Remove from oven when done, and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out loaves onto wire rack to cool completely before slicing or wrapping to freeze.

Servings:8 Slices per loaf

Pork Chops with Oranges and Parsley

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 bone-in pork chops (1 inch thick; about 2 1/2 pounds total)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 strips orange zest, plus 1/2 cup orange juice and 2 oranges, peel and pith removed and flesh cut into segments (3 oranges total)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season pork with salt and pepper and cook until cooked through, 9 minutes, flipping once. Transfer to a platter.
  2. Add orange zest and juice to skillet. Cook until slightly thickened, 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange segments. To serve, spoon orange mixture over pork chops and top with parsley.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

S'Mores Cheesecake Squares

S'Mores Cheesecake Squares
18 whole graham crackers, divided
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
32 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
6 (1.55 ounce) bars milk chocolate candy,
coarsely chopped, divided
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 14 of the graham crackers in food processor container; cover. Process until finely ground. Add butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar; mix well. Press onto bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Coarsely chop remaining 4 graham crackers; set aside.

Mix cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar and vanilla extract with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped candy. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with remaining candy, marshmallows and reserved chopped graham crackers.

Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Cut into bars.

Crockpot Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 soup can water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into strips
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Stir the picante sauce, soup, chicken, corn, beans, water and cumin in a 4-quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.
Stir the tortillas, cheese and cilantro into the cooker. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with additional cheese, if desired

Cajun Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large, fresh mushrooms
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium bell peppers, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 pound butter
2 pounds white crabmeat
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons green onions, chopped
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons plus a dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons plus a dash of Tabasco pepper sauce
Salt, black pepper, and white pepper to taste
3 teaspoons ground red pepper or to taste
4 tablespoons dry vermouth

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and reserve them for another use (a good Cajun never throws anything away). Wipe the caps. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the onion, bell peppers, and celery in 1/2 pound butter until soft. Stir in the crabmeat and 1/2 cup lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green onions, parsley, and bread crumbs. Add a dash each Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove dressing from heat and let cool.
Stuff the mushroom caps generously with the dressing and place in a single layer in a shallow ovenproof dish. Melt the remaining 1/2 pound butter and add the remaining 6 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons each of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce plus the vermouth. Simmer together for 1 minute, pour over the mushrooms, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or broil at 450 degrees for 5 minutes.
Serves 8.

Apple 'N" Pork Burgers

  • 1/2 cup shredded peeled apple
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup drained unsweetened crushed pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese (3/4 ounce each)
  • 2 hamburger buns, split
  • Lettuce leaves, tomato slices, sliced ripe avocado, mustard and mayonnaise, optional
  • In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble pork over mixture; mix well. Shape into two patties.
  • Grill, covered, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and no pink remains. Top with cheese. Grill 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
  • Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, avocado, mustard and mayonnaise if desired. Yield: 2 servings.