Monday, November 29, 2010

Wild Rice Soup

When down for Thanksgiving, my Mother in Law made us the best wild rice soup! She gave me the base recipe, which even she confessed she never follows. =) So, here is the base recipe, with all of my changes in parenthesis. Both my kids devoured this stuff at Grandma's, and then once again today at dinner time. Actually, they had it for lunch and dinner today! It's that good!

Wild Rice Soup

1 cup milk
4 cups prepared rice (I used organic wild rice blend)
4 1/2 cups water (I used half organic chicken stock)
1 lb sausage (I used organic Italian)
4 cups half and half
2 cans cream soup ( I used 3 cups of my Potato Chowder)
1 lb Velveeta (I used shredded sharp cheddar)
1 lb bacon or ham (We love ham)

Mix all ingredients in a large pot and heat till simmering.

That's pretty much it!! Super easy, super good. We will be eating these leftovers with pleasure!

Monday, November 8, 2010

World's Best Carrot Cake

 So I came across this recipe from my dear friend Glenda. She called it "World's Best Carrot Cake (In my humble opinion)". Well, when I see something titled "the best" or "world's best" or "most amazing" I really have to try it to see if these people know just what they're talking about. ;-)
Glenda, please, there is no need for all this "humble opinion" stuff. This cake is AMAZING! Nice and hearty, I know it's going to be my breakfast until the pan runs out. Which means I'll get it like, once, if I'm lucky....Craig's in love with the stuff!! I whipped some cream that had a dab of vanilla and cinnamon in it for the topping. Super delicious!!

World's Best Carrot Cake (In Glenda's humble opinion)
1 1/2 cups oil (I did part applesauce and coconut oil)
3 eggs
1 cup crushed pineapple
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups sweetener (I used 1 cup honey)
2 cups flour (I used soft white wheat berries, ground)
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients until well combined. Pour into greased and floured 9 by 13 pan. Bake on 350 for 40-50 minutes or until a knife put in center comes out clean.

The best part? My kids don't even know they're eating a vegetable when they eat this cake!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

If my mom ever made us beef enchiladas, they never made that much an impression on me that I remembered. What I do remember, though, is these ones. Chicken Enchiladas. I used to make these all the time when we first got married. One of Craig's favorite meals! Then, I kind of forgot about the recipe. Until tonight, that is. I doubled the batch because these freeze so well!

Chicken Enchiladas
2 tablespoons oil ( I use coconut or olive)
1 onion, chopped super fine
1 can diced green chili peppers OR 2 green chili peppers, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
8oz cream cheese
2 cups colby jack or monterey cheese, shredded
3/4 cup cream
12 tortillas

Saute the onion, chili peppers, and garlic in oil until soft. Add chicken and cream cheese. Warm until you can combine everything well. Put 1/3 cup of chicken on each tortilla and spread thin. Roll and place seam side down in lightly greased 9 by 13 (you may need to use two pans). Drizzle rolled tortillas with the cream and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake on 350 for 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and sides begin to bubble.
I like mine with blue corn tortilla chips and salsa.

Cheese Shells

Once or twice a year, I light the candles, bust out the pretty dishes, and make cheese shells. Usually, it's for a special occasion. The other night, it was just for fun. With so much amazing flavor, these shells are sure to go fast! Easier then manicotti, cooler then lasagna, you can't go wrong!  *p.s. this is just my personal opinion*

Cheese Shells
2 cups ricotta
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella
6 slices provoline, cut into tiny squares
1/2 cup parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten *please don't forget this part!*
2 cups chopped spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (I always end up adding more)
1 box large pasta shells
3 cups red sauce (spaghetti, tomato, or pizza)

Cook shells as package says. Drain and soak in cool water. Mix all of the other ingredients (minus spaghetti sauce) in a big bowl. Stuff shells and line up in lightly greased 9 by 13 pan. Pour red sauce on top. Bake, covered on 350 for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes. 

I double this recipe so there are plenty of leftovers to freeze in individual portions. Craig claims this stuff is the best a day or two old. You absolutely must serve this with french or dipping bread (The Rosemary Foccacia is a good bread!) and a Caesar salad.

Pan Nachos/Salsa/Guacamole

Some days, life calls for a super quick, easy, basic ingredient dinner. Well, the other night, that was pan nachos. Now, there's no real recipe for pan nachos. You put what ever you want on them. But all nachos need a few basic ingredients. Chips, cheese, black beans, and seasoned hamburger. I really hate store bought seasoning, so here's the stuff I use...this is for 1 lb browned burger.

Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper

Brown your beef, drain fat (if there is any), and add the seasoning. Now your meat is ready!

If you have black beans on hand, great! I had some in the fridge left over from burritos. Use about 1 cup of those.

Layer chips, cheese, beef, and beans on a pan. Top with all the veggies you want like green peppers, olives, tomatoes, etc.

Bake on 350 until the cheese bubbles.

I like mine with gallons of lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and a dab of sour cream. Yummy!

Oh, and do you want the best guacamole recipe ever? It's by a lady named Edith. It never lasts more than a meal or two in this house!

3 avocados
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 onion, minced
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1/2 roma tomato, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and let sit so the flavors can meld.

I bet you want some amazing salsa, too...Well, my mom claims the top recipe for that! I can it in giant batches. That's not an exaggeration, either!You can make this in a much smaller batch adn jsut have it in your fridge, though, too!

Janine's Salsa

12 tomatoes
2 green peppers
2 jalapenos (or more...)
1/2 bundle cilantro
2 onions
4 long banana peppers (I use hungarian wax)
Chop up all these ingredients and pour into pot. Add
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/4 tablespoon sugar
1-2 cans tomato paste

Simmer for a half hour. That's it!
And oh, how delicious!! Be sure to have a bag of chips on hand when you make this. You need to *uhm* test *ehem* it as it cooks to, well, you know...add more stuff...or not.. =)

Fresh out of the oven!
 All done up yummy. I like lotsa lettuce and guac.