Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bean soup with ham

Bean Soup with Ham
1/2 cup dry black beans
1/2 cup dry great Northern beans
1/2 cup dry red kidney beans
1/2 cup dry pinto beans
1/2 cup dry split green peas
1 ham bone or ham hocks with meat attached
1 small onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
6 cups ham broth (I made mine using ham soup base)
16 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 hours before serving, rinse beans with cold running water. Remove stones or shriveled beans. In a dutch oven or stock pot, mix beans and 9 cups water. Bring to boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Place beans, broth, onion, celery, ham bone and spices into pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove ham bone and add tomatoes to soup. Heat to boiling, reduce to low and simmer for 15 more minutes. While this is simmering, remove any ham from bone and add to soup. Discard bay leaf and serve.
*This is delicious soup - it rates a 10

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fudgy Mint Brownies

Someone at work brought in some brownies with mint patties in them last week and everyone liked them. I decided to try my own version, which turned out really good. You only need a small piece of these, because they are really rich and unfortunately they are not calorie free! Fudgy Mint Brownies
2 boxes fudgy brownies (I used Duncan Hines)
eggs, oil and water as directed on brownie pkg.
1 pkg York peppermint patties
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare one box of brownies as directed on pkg. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Unwrap mint patties and lay on top of prepared brownies. (24 in all; 6 rows of 4) Prepare second brownie mix as directed, then stir in mint extract. Pour over mint layer. Bake for 40 minutes. Take out of oven and frost immediately.
Frosting
4 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons milk
2 scat tablespoons cocoa
1/2 box powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat margarine, milk and cocoa, but do not boil. Remove from heat and pour into mixing bowl containing powdered sugar. Mix, then stir in vanilla. Pour over hot brownies. Enjoy!
* These received a 9 rating from my family - very good

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Crescent Chicken Squares

I have a friend at work who has been asking me for this recipe for a while and I keep forgetting to take it in to work. Now she says that since I have a recipe blog I should put it here - so here it is!

Crescent Chicken Squares
8-ounce pkg cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons margarine, melted - reserve 1 tablespoon
4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons minced onion
2 8-ounce pkgs crescent rolls
3/4 cup seasoned croutons, crushed
1 can cream of chicken soup plus 1/4 cup milk for sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese and 4 tablespoons of margarine until smooth. Add milk, salt, pepper and onion. Stir in chicken and mix well. Separate rolls into 8 rectangles and press perforations to seal. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mix into center of each. Pull 4 corners of dough to top center of filling, twist together and pinch to seal. Place squares onto ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops of squares with remaining melted margarine. Sprinkle with crouton crumbs. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Warm cream of chicken soup mixed with milk and spread this sauce over top. These reheat well.
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I have been making these for several years and my whole family likes them. I have served them to friends and they are always a hit. Bob and Heather rate these a 9.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

More Freezer recipes

Here are a few more recipes for things that freeze well. I will add my families rating of these recipes later, but can tell you that I have made the spaghetti casserole before and it is very good. It's a good one to bring when someone is sick as kids really like it. Spaghetti Casserole
1 pkg (16 ounces) angel hair pasta
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce ( I use Hunts 4 cheese)
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
16 ounces sour cream
4 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Cook pasta for a slightly shorter time than directed on pkg, until just done. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown beef and drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from heat. Stir together cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. In two 8x11 freezer pans, layer half the meat sauce, pasta, sour cream mix and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover tightly with foil and freeze up to 3 months.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Orange Teriyaki Chicken
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 - 6 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
Mix all ingredients except chicken. Divide into 2 freezer bags. Add 4 chicken breast to each bag. Seal bag, allowing very little air inside. Freeze.
To cook: thaw chicken breast. They can be cooked on the grill, George Foreman type grill or baked at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
*Spaghetti Casserole from Taste of Home, Chicken recipe from the Freezer Chicks
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*Rating for the Orange Teriyaki Chicken: 8. Good, but we thought it had a little too much orange in it for us.
Rating for the Spaghetti Casserole: 9 - always a hit.

Freezer Recipes

Here are a few dinners that can be made ahead and frozen. Crowd Pleaser Casserole
1 1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
12 oz frozen corn
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups macaroni noodles
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook noodles shortly under time directed on package, so they don't get mushy when frozen. Brown beef with onions, then stir in the corn, soups and seasoning. Place into 9x13 freezer pan. (I used two 8x8 pans). Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover tightly with foil and freeze. To cook: Thaw. Cook covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Cheesy Chicken Soup
4 chicken breasts
6 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped or slivered carrots
4 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Add chicken breast to water and simmer until tender. Remove chicken breast from water and allow to cool. Add celery, onion, carrots and bouillon to water. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Shred cooled chicken and add to soup. Add cream of chicken soup and bring to simmer. You will probably need to add more water at this time if soup is too thick.
Place soup into freezer containers and freeze.
To serve: Thaw soup and heat. Before serving add cheese.
*Recipes adapted from the Freezer Chicks.
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Rating for the Crowd Pleaser casserole: 9. It was easy and good!
Rating for the Cheesy Chicken soup: 10! We loved it and will definitely have it again.