Easy Potato Soup

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My house was freezing yesterday which made me think of soup which made me think of potato soup.  Convoluted thinking, yes, but I am addicted to potatoes so it’s an easy way to feed that addiction.  Besides, Mr. Meat Eater was out of town and he hates potato soup so it was the perfect choice.

This is a very easy recipe.  I know I’ve made a similar recipe before that seemed to take half a day but this one sure didn’t.  Just make sure you remember to bake your potatoes earlier in the day.  I also didn’t want to open a package of bacon for 3 slices so I used real bacon bits bought at the store.  It’s a recipe that would be easy to make vegetarian by leaving off the bacon and switching the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

Easy Potato Soup

3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsps flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup half and half
1/2 tsp Tabasco
shredded cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp; drain, reserving 1 tbsp drippings. I used real bacon bits instead of cooking bacon so I used 1 tbsp butter, melted, instead of saving the bacon drippings. Set bacon aside.

In the drippings or butter, saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, basil, and pepper and mix well. Very gradually add the broth while whisking to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes, cream and Tabasco and heat through but do not boil.

Garnish with bacon or bacon bits and cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Sausage with Peppers and Onions

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First, thank you to everyone who has written and asked about Minnie.  She is doing wonderfully.  She is starting to play a little bit and exploring the house more.  She is still afraid of people but is becoming used to us and has stopped shaking when she is with us.  She is walking great on a leash although stairs and door jams are still hard for her.  She will be having surgery in May to fix her eye and to spay her so that is our next big hurdle.  Zippy is being a great  brother and helping her along.  Here she is (she’s afraid of the camera):

Baseball season finally started on the 1st and even though I root for a perennial loser and a perennial winner, I always get excited when the season starts.  So, in honor of baseball season, I made some baseball park food ~ sausage and peppers and hot dogs.

The sausage recipe came from Food.com and I have made it a few times for get-togethers.   It always goes over big and everyone wants the recipe.  It was originally posted by yooper and it’s a winner.  I add the onion and leave off the cheese ~ just personal preference.

Sausage with Peppers and Onions

3 green bell peppers
3 medium onions, sliced into rings
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb hot Italian sausage, I cut them to make 2 or 3 inch pieces
1/3 cup red wine

Preheat your oven to 350º.

Remove stems and seeds from the green peppers and cut into large chunks and slice onions into rings.

In an ovenproof baking dish that can also be used on top of the stove, saute green peppers and onions in the olive oil until they are soft then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Remove vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Brown sausage in the same dish.

When sausage is browned, add the red wine.

Cover with lid or foil and bake about 40 minutes.

Uncover baking dish and add cooked green peppers and onions.

Bake an additional 30 minutes.

Place sausage and peppers and onions in a hoagie roll and if you like cheese on it, add cheese and stick under the broiler for a few minutes until melted.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

Happy Cooking!

Turkey Finger Sandwiches

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These are not finger sandwiches like I think of when I hear that term.  It’s a stuffed loaf of French bread slice into thin servings.  It’s really quite healthy unless you use marinated artichoke hearts like I did instead of the plain artichokes.  By the way it was eaten up at our party, it was a hit.  I got the recipe from Food.com where it was posted by PleasantNancy .

I think this sandwich would be great for a picnic or tailgating or really any occasion.

Turkey Finger Sandwiches

1 unsliced loaf of French bread
2/3 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp garlic, minced
12-14 slices of deli turkey
Fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, sliced into thin sticks
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and hearts sliced in half if they are big or you can use sliced regular artichoke hearts

Carefully slice off the top 1/3 of the loaf of bread. Pull out the bread from the bottom 2/3 carefully, leaving a 1/2 inch shell.

In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic together until thoroughly mixed. Spread half of this mix over the inside of the bottom shell.

Roll up the turkey slices and fit them inside the shell over the cream cheese layer. Lay spinach leaves over the turkey. Layer the red bell pepper strips over the spinach and the artichokes over the red bell pepper.

Spread remaining cream cheese mix over the inside of the top of the loaf and replace on top of the filled bottom.

Wrap entire loaf tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. I made mine the morning of the party.

To serve, unwrap and slice into 1-inch slices and stick a toothpick in each slice. Arrange on a platter and serve.

Makes 10-12 servings

Happy Cooking!

Brown Rice and Black Bean Enchiladas

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I am always on the lookout for meatless recipes that my meat-eater will love and usually it’s a recipe that’s filling and on the spicy side and this recipe is a go on both counts.  It’s easy to make and spicy but not so spicy that I couldn’t eat it.  DH just added hot sauce to his to make them more spicy.  When I cook something like this, I measure the spices in my (clean) hand so I’m sure I add more that the recipe calls for.  I also used Ro-tel diced tomatoes with chilies.  This recipe is 5 stars according to the meat-eater!

Fresh from the oven:

Ready to eat:

Brown Rice and Black Bean Enchiladas

1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and chilies (any brand is fine)
1/4 cup picante sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups cooked brown rice
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used more)
3 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro (I didn’t use)

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and then saute the green pepper, onion, and garlic until tender. Add the beans, tomatoes, picante sauce, chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and let it simmer,, uncovered until heated through and it thickens a bit. Mine never really thickened much. Add rice and cook 5 minutes longer or until heated through.

Spoon about 1/2 cup down the middle of a tortilla, roll up, and place in lightly greased pan seam side down. When all the tortillas are used and in the pan, spoon salsa over each tortilla.

Cover and bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for 2-3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Makes 4 servings of 2 tortillas each.

Happy Cooking!

Easy Frittata ~ Barefoot Contessa

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Ina calls this an Omelet for 2 but it’s really more of a frittata.  Either way it’s a fairly quick and definitely easy recipe.  I make frittatas for dinner more than I do for breakfast and we really liked this one.  I served it with Raspberry-Blackberry Muffins and watermelon.

I was afraid that 5 eggs was not going to be enough to make the frittata, but it worked out great.  I used large eggs but extra-large would be great, too.

Easy Frittata
Barefoot Contessa

1/4 pound bacon, sliced crosswise into 1 inch slices
1 tbsp butter
1 cup medium-diced Yukon gold potato
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper, I used diced jalapenos from a jar
5 eggs
2 tbsps milk or cream
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
4 ozs extra-sharp Cheddar, plus extra grated cheese, for garnish, all grated

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Cook the sliced bacon in an 8-inch ovenproof saute pan over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Drain the bacon on paper towels and discard the fat from the pan.

Add the butter to the pan, and then add the potato and onion. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the onion starts to brown and the potato is tender but firm. Add the jalapeno pepper and cook for 30 seconds until warmed through.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together with a fork. Stir in the scallions and diced Cheddar. When the potato is cooked, add the bacon to the pan and pour over the egg mixture.

Place the pan in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the omelet puffs and the eggs are almost cooked in the center. Sprinkle with a handful of grated Cheddar and bake for another minute.

Serve hot directly from the pan.

Makes 2 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Barbecue Chicken Wraps

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A super easy recipe!  I almost always have all these ingredients on hand so it’s easy to make anytime.  I don’t see why you couldn’t use leftover barbecue chicken instead of fresh chicken.  All you’s have to do is shred it and warm it up and then mix with the cooked peppers and onions.  Easy peasey!

Barbecue Chicken Wraps

1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 cup julienned green pepper
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbsps canola oil
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 cups taco or Mexican cheese
4 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
Sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, optional

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken, green peppers and onion until the chicken is cooked through and no pink remains. Stir in the barbecue sauce, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce is heated through.

Lay out one warm tortilla. Sprinkle cheese down one side. Top with some of the chicken mixture and any of the optional ingredients. Roll up and cut in half.

Makes 4 wraps.

Happy Cooking!

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

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Before I forget, you can now subscribe to my blog ~ you’ll get an email when a new post goes up.  At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.  I don’t do technical ~ I just follow the directions, LOL!  Anyway, the box is over there on the right.

I know you’re thinking what can be so great about ham and cheese sandwiches.  It’s the topping on the rolls that makes these into something special.  I love this recipe.  It’s great for lunch or parties and, of course, it’s easy to make.  You could also change up the meat and cheese any way you  want.

I got this particular version from a Gooseberry Patch Christmas cookbook, but I’ve seen the recipe in many cookbooks.

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

3.4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp poppy seed
2 tsps dried minced onion
2 (12 count) pkgs Hawaiian dinner rolls
1 lb thin sliced deli ham
1/2 lb thin sliced Swiss cheese

Combine butter, Worcestershire, mustard, poppy seed and onion in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat; remove from heat.

Slice individual rolls in half and make sandwiches using the ham and cheese. Place sandwiches on an ungreased 15×10 jelly-roll pan and spoon butter mixture over the top of the sandwiches.

Bake, uncovered at 350º for about 15 minutes. I baked mine a minute or two less.

Makes 12 servings of 2 sandwiches each.

Happy Cooking!

A BIG, Zesty Sandwich

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I was not in the mood to cook over the weekend and came across this recipe and it was just perfect for lunch.

This makes a BIG sandwich ~ I’m guessing it would feed 6-8 making it perfect for a picnic or tailgating.  I would think you could switch up the meats and cheese to make it your own ~ in fact I used provolone.  I also think a little bit of red onion would add to the flavor.

A Big, Zesty Sandwich

1 round loaf of sourdough bread ~ I used Italian
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 slices Gouda cheese ~ I used Provolone
5 slices Genoa salami ~ I used hard salami
1/3 lb. smoked deli turkey, sliced thin ~ I used oven roasted turkey
1/3 lb. Black Forest deli ham, thinly sliced ~ I used honey ham
1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup red wine vinegar and olive oil salad dressing

Cut the bread in half and hollow the top and bottom piece leaving a little bread.

Drizzle 2 tbsps red wine vinegar over the top and 2 tbsps over bottom. Layer the cheese, the salami, the turkey and the ham. Place the lettuce and tomatoes in a bowl and toss with the salad dressing; then place on top of the ham. Place the top of the bread over the lettuce/tomato combo and press down. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4-10 hours.

Cut into wedges and place a toothpick in each wedge to hold together.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches for the Crockpot

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Now, before you run away from this recipe, it really is not hot.  I was able to eat one with no problems and I can’t handle hot and spicy anymore.  They are really flavorful and DH yummed his way through 2 or 3 of them.

These are great for super bowl parties, tailgating, or a quick meal any night of the week.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches for the Crockpot

4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts (mine were pterodactyl size and so made alot)
1 (17.5 oz) bottle buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank’s)
1/2 of a 1 ounce pkg of dry ranch salad dressing mix
6 sandwich or hoagie rolls

Put the chicken in the crockpo and pour 3/4 of the bottle of the hot sauce over and then sprinkle the salad dressing mix over that.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.

Once the chicken has cooked, shred it right in the crockpot and let it continue to cook for a few minutes to soak up the sauce.

Pile onto rolls and splash with some of the remaining hot sauce if desired. I buttered my rolls and toasted them a bit under the broiler, add the meat to the bun and covered with provolone cheese and stuck it back under the broiler so the cheese could melt. Delicious!

Makes at least 6 sandwiches if not more.

Happy Cooking!

Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups

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This recipe is so simple to make and can be used for an appetizer or it would make a great roll-up for lunch.  It’s super easy to make and can be made a day ahead and left in the fridge until you are ready to eat them.  I found the recipe in one of my community cookbooks.

Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups

1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature (I used light)
16 ounces sour cream (I used light)
1 (1 ounce) packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip dry mix
1 pound deli ham sliced thin (I used Lite Virginia baked ham)
1 pkg flour tortillas (burrito size ~ you need 8 or so)

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and dry ranch together in a bowl and mix until there are no big lumps of cream cheese.

Put a thin layer of cream cheese mixture on a tortilla, leaving about a 1/2 inch space around the entire tortilla. Fit some of the sliced ham on top (you can cut it to fit).

Roll up tightly and then place in a piece of saran wrap and roll up the saran wrap tightly around the rolled up tortilla.

Repeat until all ingredients are used.

To serve as an appetizer, take off the saran wrap, cut the unsightly ends off and throw away and then cup up the tortilla into about 1 inch pieces. For sandwiches, cut the ends off and then cut in half.

Makes 10-12 servings as an appetizer or 8 as sandwiches.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!