Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

Got this one from a recipe card at the Commissary!

Not as good as my sister-in-law's... but still a big fat winner! Such a winner that we forgot to take pictures of it before digging into ours and had to use Maya's since she is notoriously FAR slower with meals.

2T butter or margarine
1/4C flour
4C milk
2C peeled, diced baking potato (doesn't sound like enough but it was for the three of us)
4 green onions, chopped, divided
1/2t salt
1/2t pepper
1 1/2C shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (for time and efforts' sake, and not having tons of leftover bacon, I just got the real bacon bits)
Sour cream, optional

Melt butter in a dutch oven (or soup pot) over low heat, add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute, until thickened and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk. Stir in potato, half the green onions, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 30 minutes or until thickened and potato is done. Stir in 1C of the Cheddar, cook 5 minutes more. Serve soup with remaining cheese, green onions, and bacon sprinkled on top (and I like a little sour cream too!)

Italian Asparagus Sticks

Got the recipe here! I am NOT a fan of asparagus, so this was solely for Patrick and Maya... but they liked it! I do have to say, it took awhile to do-the asparagus was skinny skinny, so if I ever did it again it would be in the summer when they are fatter!
1 Cup Whole Wheat Panko or Bread Crumbs

1 Tbsp Italian Herbs (you can find them in any grocery’s spice section)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Flour
1 Bunch Asparagus, cleaned and stems removed (if you snap the asparagus down towards the bottom, they will naturally break at the woody part at the bottom)

Optional: Tomato sauce for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl.
3. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl.
4. Place the flour in another bowl.
5. Make an assembly line with the bowls. Dip the asparagus first into the flour, then the egg and finally into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly and repeating with all the sticks.

6. Place all of the coated sticks on the baking sheet/rack. Arrange so they’re not touching, spray lightly with oil and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden.

7. Serve with tomato sauce.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paula Deen's Crunch Top Apple Pie

Oh my land. This was SO GOOD. Recipe courtesy of the Food Network.
  • Paula's Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled, chopped cooking apples (I used granny smith to balance out the sweet)
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar applesauce (I only used about 8-10oz, as per the suggestions by reviewers)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, chopped into small pieces

Crunch Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a 9-inch pie pan with half of dough. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the apples, applesauce, and lemon juice. Spoon the apple mixture into pie pan and dot with butter. Cut remaining crust into strips; arrange in a lattice design over top of pie.

For crunch topping:

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using a fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over top of crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust and topping are golden brown.

Paula's Perfect Pie Crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

3 tablespoons granulated white sugar

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold

12 tablespoons butter, (1 1/2 sticks) cold and cubed

1/4 cup to 1⁄2 cup ice water

In a large mixing bowl,sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you start to coat it all up with the flour. Add the cold butter cubes and work it into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter. Work it quickly, so the butter doesn't get too soft, until the mixture is crumbly, like very coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Bring the dough together into a ball. When it comes together stop working it otherwise the dough will get over-worked and tough. Divide the dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. On a floured surface roll each disk out into a 10 to 11-inch circle to make a 9-inch pie.

Yield: 2 (9-inch) pie crusts

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Butter

Snagged this from Parent's Magazine!

3-4 Sweet Potatoes

Cut in half and bake for about an hour or until done.

For butter:

1/2C softened butter
2T honey
1/2t cinnamon
2T plain Greek yogurt

Whisk together and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

Fruit Salad

This one is an old family favorite!

One box vanilla COOK AND SERVE (important-NOT instant!) pudding
Can chunk pineapple
Any fruits you may want-strawberries, blueberries, grapes, bananas, cocktail cherries, etc.

Cut and wash fresh fruit, mix together.

This is the odd part: drain the pineapple juice into a small saucepan. Add the pineapple to your fruit mixture. Add the pudding mix to the pineapple juice (NO water, just ignore any instructions), keep stirring every so often on medium heat until boiling (be careful not to burn-ick) and turn off. Quickly pour over fruit and mix together. Refrigerate at least an hour or two before serving.

Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Super simple, but delicious. Shown served with Sweet Potato Fries.

Pack of chicken breast
Bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
optional-cheese (we use provolone) and buns (have you tried Sandwich Thins yet? If not-you're missing out)

Place chicken in crock pot and cover with water. Cook high 4 hours or low 6-8. Remove chicken breast, shred, and drain the water in your crock pot, add chicken back in and squeeze in barbecue sauce until you feel it's moist enough. Voila-super easy!

Zucchini Bites

Well, I got this recipe here but then changed it a bunch. Here's my variation.

3 zucchini
2 Roma tomatoes
Fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese for the top (or Mozzarella would be fine)
4oz-ish Cheese of some sort-Blue, Feta, cream cheese, or in my case-we had nothing else but 2 Laughing Cow herb & something or other wedges and those were great.
Dash pepper

Cut zucchini into 3/4-in. slices. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out the insides and discard, leaving the bottom intact. Place zucchini on an ungreased baking sheet; spoon 1/2 teaspoon cheese into each. Combine Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper; sprinkle half over inside cheese. Top each with a tomato slice; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.