Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

This is excellent soup, and perfect for a cool, fall day, or on those cold, winter nights. Serve with a good, crusty roll or french bread.


3 (10 3/4-oz) cans condensed chicken broth, or 1 large carton
2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed*
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
May also add chopped carrots and celery, if desired 
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning              
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups half-and-half                  
1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken (may also use turkey or ham)
1 tbsp chopped pimiento   
 2-3 tbsp dry sherry, if desired

8 slices bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled

In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth and water. Add the rice and onions. If adding carrots and celery, do so at this point. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until rice is tender.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the flour, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in the half-and half; cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add the remaining ingredients. Heat gently, stirring frequently. Do not boil. Garnish with bacon and with anything else you desire.

 *NOTE: Uncooked regular long-grain rice may be substituted for all or part of the wild rice. Reduce simmering time to 20-30 minutes or until rice is tender.

Easy Meatloaf

This recipe comes from  I got the recipe from work, and I've made it numerous times. It is the barbecue sauce on the top that makes the recipe, so don't skip it. For those who are not fans of mustard (including me) and would pass over any recipe that includes it (which I normally would do), I am telling you that the taste of the mustard does not stand out. My changes are in italics.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
1 egg
1 onion, chopped (I probably only use 1/3 - 1/2 of a cup at most. I do not use a whole onion - it would be too much)
1 cup milk
1 cup dried plain bread crumbs*
salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp brown sugar (rounded, plus I use dark brown sugar, which seems to make a spicier sauce)
2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard (rounded)
1/3 cup ketchup (rounded)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  In a large bowl, combine the hamburger, egg, onion, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. Form into a loaf and place into a greased 9x13" pan.
3.  In another bow,, combine the topping ingredients and spoon over the meatloaf.
4.  Bake  350 degrees for 1 hour, or until done.

 *NOTE: may also use crushed cracker crumbs, but I use bread crumbs

Pizza Burgers

I am re-posting this recipe. They make a tasty, and quick meal.


1 1/2 lbs hamburger
chopped onion
chopped green pepper
garlic pwd, optional
1 tsp oregano
1 (15 1/2-oz) jar pizza sauce
Parmesan cheese, to taste
Mozzarella cheese, to taste
Provolone cheese, to taste - if desired

Sliced Pepperoni, optional

English muffins, split - may also use English muffin toasting bread

Brown the hamburger and onion. Drain. Add the green pepper, garlic, oregano, pizza sauce and Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Spoon mixture onto English muffins and top with Mozzarella and Provolone cheeses. If desired, top with pepperoni. Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tried-and-True Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker website, and the original recipe can be found here. They are very good.

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 (12-oz) bags chocolate chips

Cream the butter and add the sugars. Beat well. Add the vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy. Add the flour, soda and salt, and beat just until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, and flatten slightly. Bake 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Cool cookies on the cookie sheets for a few minutes and then remove to cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Aunt Dorothy's Old Fashioned Brownies

These are my Aunt Dorothy's famous Old Fashioned Brownies.

(The next time I make them I'll post a picture)

Printable Recipe

2/3 cup butter
4 (1-oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until well blended and thick. Beat in the cooled chocolate and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt just until combined. Spread in a greased 9 x 13" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 35 minutes, or until set in the center and browned around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack. Frost.

1/3 cup butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Half & Half - enough added until the right consistency

Mix together until smooth

I store these in the refrigerator. 

Chicken and Dressing

Printable Recipe

3 cups diced, cooked chicken (I use a Rotisserie chicken)
1 (8-oz) package herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 (10 3/4-oz) cans cream of chicken soup
approximately 3/4 of a soup can of milk

Spread half of chicken in a greased 3-quart baking dish. In a large bowl, toss dry stuffing mix with melted butter, soup, and milk. Spread half of stuffing mixture over chicken. Add remaining chicken and top with remaining stuffing mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until bubbly and nicely browned.

Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup

Printable Recipe

3 pounds chuck roast, stew meat or thin-cut sirloin steak
salt and pepper
6 cups water
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/3 cup diced onion
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp salt
2-3 tsp beef bouillon granules
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 1/4 cups tomato juice (18 ounces)
1-pound can diced tomatoes
1 can corn, drained (or can use 1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen corn)
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced potatoes
1 small can lima beans, or 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Brown meat slightly in a small amount of oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in a large stock pot. Add water, stewed tomatoes, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, bouillon, chili powder, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and cover. Turn down heat to low, and simmer on low for 2 hours. Remove meat from broth and cut into small pieces. Strain fat from broth. Add remaining ingredients and cook for another hour on low.

Serve with corn muffins or other crusty bread.


Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

Printable Recipe

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 (10-oz) can refrigerated biscuits
salt and pepper to taste

Put all of the ingredients, except the biscuits into a crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Remove chicken and cut into small chunks. Return to crock pot. Stir everything well. Cut biscuits into pieces and place on top of soup mixture. Cover and cook for another hour, or until cooked all the way through. If desired, turn crockpot to high and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

I sprinkled gravy with poultry seasoning and rubbed sage to taste, for additional flavor.  It is not necessary though and is very good with or without it. 

Italian Meatloaf

This is best made in an actual meatloaf pan, so that the grease can drain in the bottom of the pan.  An actual meatloaf pan is larger than a bread-loaf pan, too. You will have to pack the meat in there. If it doesn't all fit, you can form what doesn't fit into a smaller, free-form loaf and bake separately. (So far, I've only made it in a bread-loaf pan, but I do plan to purchase a meatloaf pan, so that the grease will drain on the bottom.) Of coarse, it would not take as long to bake as the larger loaf - just watch the time and take out of the oven, when done. This is very good, and flavorful!

Printable Recipe

2 1/2 pounds ground beef
4 slices bacon (leave raw and chop into pieces - partially freeze first, to make chopping it easier)
1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup diced, seeded tomato
1 cup diced green peppers
1 cup diced onions
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp tried basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

1/2 - 1 cup ketchup

Spray a meatloaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the ketchup and mix until combined. Press the meat into the loaf pan and cover with the ketchup. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 40 - 60 minutes, or until cooked all the way through and top is nicely browned.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lemon Bars

Everyone has a recipe for Lemon Bars, I'm sure.  This happens to be our family's recipe, handed down from my Aunt Barb on my dad's side.  They can either be sprinkled with powdered sugar, or they can be frosted with this frosting.  The only change I've made to make these bars extra lemony, is to use lemon extract in the frosting, as opposed to vanilla extract.  You can make the judgment call as to what to use, but they're awfully good with the lemon extract.  That is what I used for our last family gathering.  I doubled the recipe.  These should freeze well.

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour

Combine the above in a small bowl and mix well.  Pat into an 8" square pan that has been sprayed with Pam.  If desired, you can line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until very lightly browned.

2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp grated lemon zest and fresh lemon juice  *Note: You will get about 1 tbsp of zest and juice out of a good-sized lemon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Combine all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and beat well.  Our over the partially baked crust and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the filling has set.  During the baking time, turn the pan around a couple of times to ensure even baking.  Do not over bake.  Cool and frost.

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp milk, or more to reach desired spreading consistency (I added more, and I used whole milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used lemon extract)

Combine all of the frosting ingredients in a small bowl and beat until smooth, spread on the cooled bars.  Cut the bars small, and store in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Printable Recipe

I found this recipe on Go Bold with Butter.

Even though it is a somewhat putzy recipe, it really is quite good - very moist.

Crumb Topping 
1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp  cinnamon
pinch salt

Cream Cheese Swirl
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Coffee Cake
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups sour cream

To make the Crumb Topping
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.

To make the Cream Cheese Swirl
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon until well combined.  Set aside.

To make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13" pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla.

Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.  Stir in the sour cream and mix just until combined.

Spoon into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Top with spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture.  Use an up and down motion with a knife to marbelize.   Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the cake.  Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

Printable Recipe

These cookies are soft and chewy, and stay that way for several days.  They're very good!

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling*
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter chips (I did not add)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
     In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and the salt.  Set aside.
In another large bowl, cream the butter, and the peanut butter, until light and fluffy.  Add the sugars, and beat until smooth.  Add the egg, and mix well.  Add the milk and the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly.  Stir in the peanut butter chips.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion.  Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisscross pattern, but do not overly flatten cookies.  Lightly sprinkle cookies with sugar.  Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheets before removing and the cool thoroughly on a wire rack.  Store the cookies in an air-tight container, and they will keep for several days.

*I use a clean salt shaker filled with granulated sugar to sprinkle the sugar on the cookies before baking, and it works real well.  (Just be sure to label the shaker.) You can lightly tap the edge of the pan over the sink to remove the excess sugar if you wish, but it is not necessary.