Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicken & Vegetable Chowder/Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Have you seen the food blog,  I love searching her site and seeing what I can come up with.  This week I took her Chicken & Vegetable Chowder recipe (found HERE) and embellished it a little.  Now, this recipe stands up well on it’s own, don’t get me wrong.  But my Mom and I have been lunching at Jason’s Deli a lot lately and I was desperate to imitate their Chicken Pot Pie soup.  Especially with the colder weather.

So I took the soup recipe and just added a puff pastry square on top.  You simply buy the puff pastry sheet, cut it into 9 squares and bake as per the directions on the box.  It really adds a nice little touch to this soup.  Enjoy!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Mini Potato, Onion and Cheese Empanadas

Hope all of my bloggy friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had a great time with my family (sadly, the hubs had to work a 12 hour shift – boo, hospitality industry).  We are still stuffed, the dog is tired and the little girl is beat from playing with her cousins.  So thankful for a loving God, salvation through Jesus Christ, an amazing husband, beautiful daughter and precious one on the way.  And you, of course!

Saw this recipe in our local paper’s magazine and HAD to try it.  They advertise it as an appetizer, but if you make enough of them then you can definitely eat them for dinner.  Would also make a great appetizer for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  These were very tasty!  I only had 1 pie crust the first night and made them the way described below.  Instead of going to the store the second night, I used a roll of Pillsbury Crescents and just rolled up the filling and crimped the edges.  Just as yummy!  So use either one you have on hand.  I substituted a lot in this recipe because I wanted to use things in my pantry – those will be in parenthesis.  Recipe from Living Magazine or


-1 package refrigerated pie crust (if making this for two nights, use both rolls of dough, should yield about 20 empanadas)

-1 and 1/4 cups mashed potatoes (I used instant)

-1/2 tsp cumin powder

-1 4oz can diced green chilies, not drained (optional)

-1/2 tsp salt or to taste

-3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped (I sprinkled in some garlic powder instead)

-2 cups finely chopped cooked green onions (I used 1 medium sized white onion and cooked in butter until caramelized)

-6 ounces Jarlsberg or Jarlsberg Lite cheese, diced (I used shredded Cheddar we had on hand)


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Set aside.

2.  Unroll dough and cut out 20 4” rounds.  Place 2 tablespoons filling in center of each round.  With wet fingers, moisten inside edges of dough and gently stretch over filling to make half moon shape.  Using fork tines, crimp edges to seal.

3.  Bake empanadas on parchment-lined cookie sheet about 14 to 16 minutes, or until light golden brown.  Serve warm.

DSC_0288This is a picture of the ones I made with the crescent rolls.  You can see that I put the filling in and rolled them up as usual, then tucked in the edges and crimped with a fork.  I wish I had gotten a picture of the ones with the pie crust because they were really pretty!


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meal Planning Monday . . .er . . . Tuesday

I stink at posting on time lately!  I’ve been feeling gross this pregnancy and have been trying to rest and take it easy.  20 weeks – halfway there! 

Here is the menu for November 23 to December 5:

Tuesday/WednesdayChicken and Vegetable Chowder, Green Salad

Thursday – Thanksgiving at my parent’s house – I’m bringing Sweet Potato Casserole and Jordan Rolls

Friday/Saturday – Pork Tenderloin (packaged), Green Bean Salad, Scalloped Potatoes (boxed)

Monday/TuesdaySloppy Joe Pie, Glazed Fall Vegetables

Wednesday – Out to dinner for the hubby’s birthday (surprise!)

Thursday/FridaySmothered Chicken, Pasta Salad

Saturday – TBD :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Beef Taco Bake

Okay, I forgot to post yesterday.  I have a couple really yummy ones for next week!  Here’s one that I’ve had typed up for a while.

This is a great twist on the tradition “Mexican Beef Pie.”  It is very filling and the kids should love it too!  Recipe from Campbell’s Kitchen.


-1 lb ground beef

-1 can condensed Tomato Soup

-1 cup salsa

-1/2 cup milk

-6 (8”) flour tortillas cut into 1” pieces OR 8 (6”) corn tortillas, cut into 1” pieces

-1 cup shredded cheese (I used a cheddar blend)


1.  Cook beef in medium skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned, stirring to separate  meat.  Drain.

2.  Add soup, salsa, milk tortillas and half the cheese.  Spoon into 2 qt shallow baking dish.  Cover.

3.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Garden Pizza

If you haven’t heard of this book yet, you HAVE to go out and get it: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  I LOVE fresh bread but hate kneading and such and most of the recipes in here are all about dropping a piece of dough on your pizza stone and cooking it.  You make a wet dough that can sit in your fridge for up to 2 weeks and you just take off chunks as you need it.

Anyway, that is where my pizza dough comes from but you can use this recipe with the pre-made pizza dough at the store.  This is a healthy alternative to a greasy delivery pizza.  The whole family loved it down to the 2 year old.  This is a great “garbage” pizza too – when I make it this week it’ll have tomatoes and zucchini but also leftover chicken and whatever else needs to leave the fridge!


-1 pizza dough – homemade or store bought

-1/2 cup tomato sauce – you can use plain or I used some Newman’s Own Tomato and Basil Spaghetti Sauce leftover in the fridge

-If using plain tomato sauce, you can spice it up with 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

-Fresh vegetables – I used 1 large tomato thinly sliced and 1 zucchini thinly sliced lengthwise.  Use anything you want to!  Tomatoes, broccoli florets, mushrooms, sausage, etc.

-Salt and pepper

-1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded cheese – I prefer mozzarella but you can use feta or cheddar or anything on hand


1.  Prepare your pizza crust and oven according to package or cookbook directions.  Spread sauce in a thin layer over crust, leaving an inch or so around the edge without sauce (this produces a yummy crust to hold onto!).

2.  Layer your vegetables on the sauce, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and then top with cheese.  Bake according to directions on package or in cookbook.

I know it seems easy enough, but I never thought to put vegetables on a pizza in this way.  We’ll be trying this on the grill this week so the house doesn’t get so dirty!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Surprise

Most of the time, the only way I can get my husband to eat vegetables is if I put brown sugar on them.  I found this recipe and thought that it sounded excellent.  This would also be a great alternative to the traditional Sweet Potato Casserole over the holidays.  Recipe from Paula Deen for Smithfield (


-4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed

-1/2 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk on hand)

-1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

-1/4 tsp salt

-Freshly ground pepper, to taste

-1 cup miniature marshmallows

-1/2 cup brown sugar

-1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.  Bake until fork tender, about 45 to 60 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes.

2.  Handling potatoes with a pot holder, slice each in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh into the bowl of a food processor leaving 1/4” rim of flesh to support the potato skin.  To the food processor, add the heavy cream, butter, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper.  Process until potatoes are silky smooth.  **Sidenote: The recipe said that you could do this with a potato masher as well.  I did that and didn’t like the lumpy texture I got.  Would definitely use the food processor next time.**

3.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Place sweet potato shells on the baking sheet and add a few miniature marshmallows to each shell.  Spoon or pipe the puree mixture back into each shell.  Sprinkle brown sugar and pecans on top.  Bake at 400 degrees until potatoes are hot, about 10 to 12 minutes.



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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Skillet Fried Apples

Made this as a side dish but it would be even better over ice cream for a simple dessert.  It’s basically the inside of an apple pie – so good!  Recipe from Southern Living Magazine.


-3 Tbsp butter

-5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

-2.3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

-1 tsp apple pie spice (I didn’t have this so I used pumpkin pie spice)


1.  Melt butter in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat; add apples and remaining ingredients.  Sauté 15 to 20 minutes or until apples are tender.  Store apples in the juices in the fridge to keep them yummy!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

Friends, sorry to be absent the last week.  I had an issue with my pregnancy and needed to rest for the week.  As a mother of a toddler, that is NOT EASY!  Everything is fine with the baby and while we had a sonogram to check on the little one we found out that it’s a . . . GIRL!  Two little girls.  I’m going to need some serious therapy in about 13 years with 2 teenage girls running around.  :)  Anyway, I’m back and doing a little better so I’m hoping to post some of the winning recipes from the last two weeks. 

Here are the meals planned for November 8 – November 21:

Monday – Eating at my parent’s

TuesdayGarden Pizza (made this last week but I have enough to make another one and I’m going to try to grill it outside – yummy!  Will post this recipe this week), veggies

Wednesday/ThursdayZesty Lime Fish Tacos (new to me but the recipe is on Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour), Shoe Peg Corn Casserole

Friday/Saturday – Cheese Tortellini (Butoni – LOVE the convenience), bread

Monday/TuesdayMini Potato, Onion and Cheese Empanadas (new!), Acorn Squash

Wednesday/ThursdayShepherd’s Pie (a family tradition but I’ve never posted the recipe so I’ll get that on here), Hot Fruit Salad (new), Cheese Stuffed Pull Aparts

Friday/Saturday – Chicken Parmesan (a YUMMY version without messing up your stovetop – will post), veggies

Desserts – Pumpkin Pie (traditional from the back of the can recipe), Cherry Dump Cake (seriously, the easiest and tastiest recipe ever!), Dark Chocolate and Orange Butter Cookies (new – I hope they taste as good as they sound!)


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