Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Salsa Mac & Beef

This totally sounds like a WT kind of meal, but it's good!!

1 lb. ground beef
1 can Beef Consomme (Campbell's)
1 1/3 cups water
2 1/2 cups raw medium shell pasta
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup mild Pace salsa (or hotter if you want)
Cook beef in large skillet till browned, add consomme and water. Bring to boil and add pasta shells. Cook, stirring occasionally till pasta is tender, about 10-15 minutes (add more water if it evaporates). Add cheddar soup and salsa, heat through. I add a handful of Costco four cheese blend to the top!! Serves 4 adults-size portions.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Looking for a good appetizer recipe for an upcoming Christmas party? I've got the one for you. This dip is great served with crackers or celery sticks and other veggies. You can add more of the hot sauce if you like it more spicy.

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c blue cheese OR ranch dressing (made from packet the best)
1/2 c any flavor Frank's Red Hot sauce
1/2 c crumbled blue cheese OR grated mozarella
2 c cooked chicken, diced (already cooked rotisserie works great)

-You can make this two ways. First, you can mix everything in your crockpot and heat on low until hot and bubbly.
-Second, you can mix everything well until smooth and spread in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
-Either way you do it, give it a nice stir before serving and enjoy.
-Makes about 4 cups.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

10 chicken breast halves (the bag of individually frozen ones are good because they are thinner, just thaw)
10 slices deli ham
10 slices Swiss cheese or your favorite
1 BIG can cream chicken soup
16oz sour cream
cooked rice
Pound out your chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap, using a mallet or rolling pin. Place a slice of cheese and ham on top, covering chicken- use additional slices if needed to cover.
Roll up and place in 9x13 dish, using toothpick to secure if needed. When all are rolled up, Mix soup and sour cream and pour over top. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes @ 350. Be careful of boiling over in oven- use cookie sheet underneath dish just in case. Serve over cooked rice.

Peppermint Bark

PhotobucketI have a feeling this is going to become a Christmas family tradition in our home. The trick good bark is good chocolate--don't get the cheap, waxy stuff. I went to Kitchen Kneads and bought several pounds of their Guittard Old Dutch, and some of their good white chocolate (I can't remember the brand). I have heard that Bob's Candycanes are the best, not Spangler, but I found that out after I had already bought several boxes of Spangler. You can make this anyway you want--I added more milk chocolate (about 1/4 lb. more) than what the recipe called for. You can use dark chocolate, or any combination you want. Some people use all white. It's totally up to you!

1 lb (16 oz) chocolate (I like milk)
12 oz white chocolate
1/4-3/4 t peppermint extract (I only used 1/4 and it was perfect-not too strong)
Seven 6-inch candy canes (maybe more)

-Line bottom of jelly roll size baking sheet with foil.
-Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler (I don't have one so I just used a pot and a stainless steel bowl over the top of it. Make sure it's a good fit so not a lot of steam gets out on the chocolate, and the water in the pot should not touch the bottom of your bowl).
-Once boiling, remove from heat. Put in milk chocolate and constantly stir until all melted.
-Pour into your lined baking sheet and spread so thickness is just under a quarter of an inch. I jiggle the pan back and forth on a flat surface to get the chocolate nice and even and flat.
-Let chocolate sit a little then put in fridge (or outside in the cold garage or porch) and let set-up for 20 minutes.
-While first layer is chilling, crush candy canes. A hammer works great--careful for a rolling pin, they will put dents in it. Freezer bags are a little stronger and will hopefully end up with less holes in them. I like the candy canes nice and fine with slight chunks here and there.
-Take pan out of fridge and let it warm slightly at room temp for a couple minutes before adding the white layer. This will help the white layer to adhere better so that when you break up the bark the layers won't separate.
-Repeat the double boiling process for the white chocolate. Don't use soap when rinsing your bowl from the milk chocolate, just rinse with hot water and melt the white.
-I added the peppermint extract to the white layer, but you can do it any way you want. Mix it in well then spread white carefully on top of milk chocolate. Careful, it will start melting the chocolate underneath it, so be careful when spreading or else you'll get a swirl effect going on.
-Jiggle pan again to even out. Immediately sprinkle candy canes on top. I completely covered the bark very generously until no white chocolate was really showing.
-Let set in fridge or cold for 20 minutes. Then stab and break apart with a knife. It will split nicely when it's really cold, but if you want more uniform pieces let it warm up a little and you can just cut with a knife how you want it.
-Makes just under 2 lbs of candy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Slow Cooked Baked Potato Soup

I can't believe I haven't put this recipe on here yet! It's one of those unforgettable recipes. It's from "A Year of Slow Cooking" blog. It's a keeper, trust me. I'm making it today for tonight's dinner. It's sinfully delicious. Can't wait.

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 to 2-inch chunks
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
2 quarts chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, to add at the end (I use one pkg.)
crumbled bacon, green onion, chives, or cheddar cheese as garnish (optional but you'll definitely want them)

-Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Peel and dice the potatoes, and put them into the stoneware. Add onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the seasonings, and pour in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. The potatoes should be fork-tender. You can use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the soup, or a hand-held immersible blender. I suppose you can also leave the potatoes in chunks, if you really wanted, but I wanted a smooth soup.

-After smashing the potatoes, crumble in both packages of cream cheese, and put the lid back on. Cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is completely dissolved. Stir a few times during the 30 minutes.

-Garnish with crumbled bacon, green onion or chives, and cheddar cheese if desired.