Sunday, November 24, 2013

Irish Ginger Snaps

This month's recipe swap was to use ginger. Since I have to work during that time of deliciousness, I baked these up ahead of time.

1 cup of white sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon


Preheat oven 350F.

Cream together sugar, egg, salt and shortening.

Add flour, baking powder and spices. Mix together.

Roll mixture into balls and then roll in white sugar.

Place on cookie sheet and bake for 9 1/2mins. (Originally recipe calls for 5-6 but they came out too soft)

Remove and then press with fork before placing on cooling rack.

Makes between 2-3 dozen.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Apple Pie Cookies

With boredom, often comes baking. At least for me. One of my friends from school suggested making a pie for her. Pies don't travel well to the states but cookies do. Thinking back to one of the improv nights, I looked into it and managed to find this recipe. It is easy enough and I lucked out and already had everything at home.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/4 cups diced fresh apples (2 medium)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and maple syrup. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture. Once all flour has been incorporated, stir in apples and pecans.
Drop by 1/4 cupfuls onto prepared baking sheet. I used one of our soup spoons. Easier to get the dough off the spoon than out of the cup.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cookies are browned around the edges. Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I only baked the cookies for 15 mins. They had the nice browned edges.

It can make up to 16. If you'd like more, scoop out less batter.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Too EASY Creamy Leftover Chicken soup

I love to "prep cook". So when I am making a chicken dinner I am also cooking extra to dice up and freeze for a recipe later. If I make a cream soup and there is leftover, I freeze for the start up of another soup. Occasionally like this morning, I found both and so I am going to make a creamy chicken soup, with leftover boiled potatoes, pre-cooked cubed chicken, and a container of cream of (broccolli?) soup I found in the freezer as my base!

Before puree....

1-2 cups leftover chicken
2 cups water or broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 large carrots diced small
4 large potatoes, diced
1 cup corn
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup celery diced
1 cup chopped fresh/frozen green beans

1 1/2 cups of cream soup (canned or leftover)

and today's hidden veggie? a 1/2 small squash! peeled ad diced

Throw everything into a crockpot and simmer on low all day. It really only needs to cook for a couple hours as in my case it was all leftovers. But if your potatoes and carrots are fresh, cook until tender.

OPTIONAL: Using a handblender, or food processor, or masher......whatever you have, 
puree the contents of the crockpot adding milk as necessary if you find it too thick.

Serve with crusty bread on a cold fall day.

After puree...


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saucy chicken with veggies and rice

So, I am trying to increase the number of veggies we are eating and proportionately decrease the total amount of meat John and Judy eat. We are all very good eaters and I do not doubt they are actually hungry when they sit down, but John's inclination is potatoes and meat and bread. Judy is learning this bad habit. So any chance I get, I "hide" extra veggies in recipes. So if the recipe says 2 cups carrot diced, I will add 1 1/2 of carrot and 1 1/2 of parsnip! also, finely chopped spinach looks like a seasoning! I have completely omitted salt from any recipe as John adds salt and pepper before he even tastes a dish. I am encouraging them to give me feedback BEFORE they eat now, how does it smell?, taste before seasoning, and comment during dinner so I can pass it on to you fellow recipiers. (yes Staci, I made that word up, hahahaha)

Prep time is fast as there is placing in crock pot and letting it do the work!

3 cups carrot ( I used 2 of carrot and 2 of parsnip)
3 cups celery or swiss chard (or 1/2 and 1/2)
2 onions cut in rings
1 boneless skinless breast chicken (2 thighs each I think a turkey breast would be good here too)

1 can of cream of ? (your choice) soup undiluted
NOTE: I had none so I used 1 cup of milk instead
1 envelope of onion soup mix (I used beef)
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp tarragon
NOTE: I had no tarragon so I substituted 2 tsp Italian spice
1 tsp pepper

2tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup wine or broth

  • Place all 4 of the first items in bottom of crock pot.
  • Mix the next 5 items in a bowl and then pour into crock pot too.
  • I topped this crock pot off with 1/2 bunch of snipped fresh spinach*****
  • Cook on low for 4-5 hours. 
  • NOTE: I ALWAYS start on high if I am home and turn down after the first hour.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture and stir well.
  • NOTE: I used a gravy mix instead.
  • Cook for another 1/2 hour or until thickened.
  • Serve whole chicken pieces with rice or noodles on the side.


  • Remove chicken pieces and dice and throw into a large serving bowl.
  • Mix 2 cups of cooked rice (3 is too much - not enough sauce) or 4 servings of noodles with contents of crock pot. Toss.
    NOTE: This way would make it great on a buffet table.

We served with warm bread.

This was a prize winner (Taste of Home) apparently.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tuscan Pork Stew

What do you do with leftover orange marmalade the last recipe called for???? Well I have one!

In a frying pan:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs of pork cut into 1" cubes

Brown meat and transfer to a crock pot.

In the used frying pan:

2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup red wine or another 1/2 cup broth
1/4 cup orange marmalade
(I used a small can of drained mandarin oranges that I processed in a food processor)

Stir well and pour over meat in crock pot.


1 large can diced tomatoes WITH juices
1 large green pepper diced large
2 cups frozen beans or stir fry blend
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seed (omitted)
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp chilli flakes

Stir well. Refrigerate if you want for next meal.


Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. (I cooked on high 4-6) ***Uncover 1/2 way through if there seems to be a lot of liquid.


2 tbsp cornstach
2 tbsp cold water

Stir until smooth and add gradually to stew to thicken.

Cover and cook on high for another 30 minutes.

Serve with fettuccine or on egg noodles.



Well isn't this appropriate for most of the authors on this site! LOL
I am pretty excited about this one, it has all my favourite veggies in it. I made this whole thing 2 days ahead and refrigerated.


1/4 cup flour
2 lbs stewing beef 
(1" cubes - I buy the prepackaged beef and cut them in 1/2)
2 tbsp oil

coat beef in flour and fry on med-high heat until brown....keep scraping browned bits off bottom of pan. 

In a large crock pot:

1 can tomato soup undiluted
1 cup water or red wine
2 tsp beef boullion granules

*****I substituted with 1L of vegetable cocktail juice
3 tsp italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black pepper

Stir well and add fried beef cubes.


4 medium potatoes cut into cubes (I omitted)
3 medium onions cut in rings
3 medium carrots cut into cubes
3 medium parsnips cut into cubes
1 small rhutabaga peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup celery chunks
**12 large fresh mushrooms (add just before starting crock pot if you are prepping ahead)

Cover and refrigerate.

Place crock pot on low for 4-5 hours or until veggies are tender. Discard Bay leaf. 

Serve over egg noodles or on mashed potatoes!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cheesy Veggie Chowder

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped or shredded carrot

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

4 cups veggie or chicken broth

2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon flour

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup milk

2 cups chopped broccoli

2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese

Melt the butter in a large pot.  Add onions and carrots and saute over medium heat until tender but not browned.  Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 minutes longer.  Add broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender.  Mix flour with water and add to the soup.  Simmer until soup is slightly thickened.  Add milk and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender and soup is hot.  Stir in cheese until melted, serve and enjoy!

Everyone in my house loved this and would like it made again.  My 6-year-old gobbled it up with enthusiasm!  I hope you like it as much as we did.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

{Leftover} rice bake

So what happens when a recipe is a flop? I made curry chicken (a staple in our house) 2 nights ago and the curry was cheap. NO flavor. John said old, but I know its not that I am going back to finding my Watkins curry. 

It was NEVER going to get eaten so what to do.......
Or maybe the kid/husband mis-measured and you have enough rice to feed an army!

3 cups cooked rice (ours had celery and onions)
1 tbsp Sunset Gourmet Garlic
3/4 cup red/green pepper diced

Put into large mixing bowl. Add:

1 package of beef vegetable soup mix
1/2 cup water (if boullion in package is a lump in soup mix add to water and mix first)

Press into a greased bundt pan.
Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. 

While baking:

2 cups frozen corn
1/2 onion diced
1/8 cup olive oil
pepper to taste

Sautee in a frying pan, until onions are tender. 

Corn goes intothe center of the rice when it comes out of the bundt pan.

We served this dish with ribs and coleslaw.