Thursday, December 31, 2009

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Have you ever run out of cream of chicken soup when you bake a casserole or make chicken pot pie? Well, I made this last night for our chicken pot pie cause I didn't have any canned stuff, and it turned out WONDERFUL! And soooooo easy!
I got this recipe off, great website.


1 1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 c milk, divided
3/4 c flour


1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring chicken broth, seasonings and 1/2 c of the milk to a boil.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and the flour.
3. Add to boiling mixture and whisk briskly until mixture thickens (shouldn't take long at all, mine was done almost immediately).
4. Cook until desired consistency is reached, keeping in mind that it will continue to thicken as it stands.

Makes the equivalent of 2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

.:Holiday Baking:.

Here's what I made this year:

I've already done a tutorial/recipe for these before on my other blog (probably put them on here, too!), so just check out the link. They are super easy and really quite tasty!

** Peppermint Bark **

I used the recipe and directions found over at The Idea Room.

12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (you could also use baking chips, bark, etc.)
1 pound white chocolate (I just used one bag of white chocolate chips - close enough to a pound!)
Candy canes
Peppermint extract

Pre-heat your oven to 250.

Line your cookie sheet with foil and spray it. (She used a 9x13 dish, which I'll talk about later in the post.)

Cover the lining evenly with your semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Bake for about 5 minutes or until they look melted.

Use a spatula to spread out your chocolate evenly. Place in the fridge to harden.

You can melt your white chocolate however you want. I always brave the microwave! I melted my chips for about 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between intervals.

Add your peppermint extract (to taste).

Pour over your hardened chocolate, and spread evenly - and quickly! It starts to harden up quickly!

Sprinkle your crushed up candy canes over the top. Place in fridge to harden.

Remove the foil from the cookie sheet and shake off the excess candy. Cut your bark however you'd like.

Sooo....I didn't do so well with my first batch of bark. I didn't spread my white chocolate quickly enough, so not a lot of candy stuck to it. (As you can see!) I decided to give it another try doing it with 9x13 dishes.

This worked great. I also put my candy in a strainer and let the powder go through into my melted white chocolate, along with the peppermint extract. I like the look and the taste this gave my bark. Then the larger pieces are what I sprinkled on top.

Now, I had a problem with both of my batches. When I cut the bark, almost always my two layers of chocolate would separate. I know the white layer alone will taste delicious, and I also know that people can just hold the two layers together as they eat it. But why would it not stick together??? Can someone help me out? I was so frustrated that I about swore off ever making bark again!

** Chocolate Candy Cane Whoopie Pies:.

My mom posted this recipe on her blog a week or two ago, and I decided to put my own spin on it.

I decided to make cake mix cookies instead of cookies from scratch. Call me lazy if you want (I also used canned frosting!) but I also really love cake mix cookies.

So here's what you need:

Cake mix
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs
crushed candy canes
peppermint extract
Andes baking bits (optional)

Pre- heat your oven to 350.

Mix your cake mix, oil, and eggs.

Stir in your baking bits. (I LOVE these candy cane bits!)

Put scoops of dough on your cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Let your cookies cool completely before adding frosting!

I mixed peppermint extract and red food coloring into my canned vanilla frosting. I just add extract to taste.

Frost one cookie and then roll the edges in the crushed candy canes. My mom's recipe says to frost the cookie and place the other cookie on top to make a sandwich before rolling the edges, but I found it easier to roll the edges before the second cookie was added.

Add your other cookie on top.

DONE! And delicious!

I also made another batch with just regular Andes baking bits - not the candy cane ones, but the chocolate and mint ones. For those, I used chocolate frosting instead of the peppermint frosting, and still rolled the edges in candy canes. Yum!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Quesadillas

These turned out to be quite delicious and simple! All you need is tortillas, chicken (I boiled mine and shredded it), cheese, mushrooms, spinach leaves, and tomatoes (opt.)
Combine all of the ingredients into the tortilla.
And then I used my george foreman to grill them. Yum in the tum!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moist Banana Bread

I've been wanting to make this for a while, cause we always have overripe bananas lying around that I end up throwing away. I found this recipe online (google search, don't know where), I was looking for one that was relatively healthy but still moist. I heard substituting the butter for applesauce is a good idea too, but I didn't do that.

2 cups plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
Optional for topping: sliced bananas, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sugar
Optional for filling: 1/2 cup of walnut pieces, 1/2-1 cup of chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, yogurt and mashed bananas and mix well.
3. Slowly stir in the flour, a little at a time. Then mix in the baking soda and salt, mixing thoroughly. (Opt) Fold in the walnuts or chocolate chips. (I chose walnuts)
4. Pour mixture into loaf pan. If too stiff, add more yogurt and mix well. Only add in a little at a time.
5. (Opt)Place banana slices on top of the mixture in the pan and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (I just did the cinnamon sugar, yum!)
6. Bake in the center of the oven at 350F for +- 60 min, checking by inserting a knife or toothpick in center until it comes out clean. (Mine took 60 min exactly)
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before placing on wire rack.

The best thing for these kinds of breads is to leave them overnight covered in seran wrap after they cool. It seems they become more dense and moist this way!

Sorry I'd have a picture but our bread is almost all gone already! ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

.:Pumpkin Muffins:.

My sister gave me this recipe a couple of falls ago, and it has become a traditional favorite at our house! This recipe makes a TON, so I usually do half of it with butterscotch chips and the other half with chocolate chips. They are a great visiting teaching or neighbor gift, or even just to freeze for later, and believe me, you'll have plenty to go around!


3 c pumpkin (be sure not to get the pie filling!)
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
4 c sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t cloves
1 pkg. butterscotch chips (or chocolate chips - or both!)

Pre-heat your oven to 350.

Mix the pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (except the chips) and mix.

Stir in with the pumpkin mix.

Stir in chips. (Be sure to set aside half of your batter if you are choosing to do half butterscotch chips and half chocolate chips.)

Line your muffin tin (if you are a liner sort of baker - I despise cleaning out muffin tins, so I always have to line mine!) Fill 2/3 full with batter.

Bake 18-20 minutes. (My oven is more on the 25 minute side, and they were still very moist and soft!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

.:Fluffy French Toast:.

We are having this for dinner tonite so I thought I would share!


1/4 c flour
1 c milk
1 pinch salt
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1 T white sugar
12 thick slices of bread (Texas Toast works great, but we're using Grandma Sycamore bread tonite)

* Mix all ingredients together

* Soak both sides of bread

* Cook on griddle on medium heat

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cheesy Potato Soup (w/ bacon)

I got this award-winning recipe from my friend Bethany. I made it tonight. It feeds 6-8 people (or more, it is so rich!) and is also great in a bread bowl.

In large pot combine:

4 cubes or 2 Tbs. granules Chicken bouillon
3 Cups hot water
5 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped onion
Cook above ingredients until tender.

In second pan melt butter and whisk in flour. Add the half and half and mix until smooth. Add Velveeta and grated cheese and mix until smooth and then add to vegetables.

¾ cup butter
¾ cup flour
8 oz cubed Velveeta
4 cups half and half
½ cup grated cheddar cheese

You can add milk to it after it is all cooked to make it a little thinner and it helps make it not as rich tasting.
I also added about 8 slices of bacon, cut up and cooked, as I mixed everything together. Good stuff.

Enjoy the yum-yums!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ruth's Casserole

Named Ruth's Casserole after my great grandmother, Ruth, whose recipe this is. Some people say it's like Shepherd's Pie, my husband called it Poor Man's Casserole, or Peasant Casserole...anyway, seems like a fairly popular recipe, and this is just one variation, but I love it and always have.

1 lb ground beef
3-4 potatoes (I usually use russet, but used red tonight and they worked just great)
1-2 cans green beans (My mom always used 2, I always use 1. I think 1 is plenty)
2 cans tomato soup (or, as discovered tonight, 1 can tomato soup and some milk. Not as flavorful, but still yummy)

Brown the beef while cooking the potatoes, either by boiling or in the microwave. Once they are cooked, peel (optional) and chop potatoes (bite-size chunks, not super small). Combine all ingredients and eat!

Makes 3-5 servings

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coconut Curry Chicken!

Oh my yummy goodness! I made this for dinner tonight and just had to share! I got it off the Utah Deal Diva blog, and is way cheap to make!

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used a little more)
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Assemble ingredients
2. Dice onion & cut up chicken. Season chicken with salt & pepper.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add curry and mix thoroughly. Let flavors meld for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. Reduce heat to medium, cook for 5-7 minutes, till chicken is mostly cooked through.
5. Transfer mixture to heated crockpot. Add coconut milk, tomatoes and sugar, stir. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
6. Cook 2 1/2 cups of rice according to package directions. Serve sauce over rice. Enjoy!

This makes 6 servings at only $.63 per serving!

Butternut Squash Soup

Autumn is in the air, and you couldn't get more Fallish than cooking a warm bowl of this little number. My friend made this the other day and people in the neighborhood could even smell its yummy goodness. I am going to try it later this week!

3 Leeks (white part only) sliced
4 med carrots chopped
5 TB butter
3 lbs butternut squash peeled and cubed
6 C. chicken broth
3 med zucchini peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (If you don't have this on hand it is fine)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 C. half & half
grated parmesan or cheddar cheese

Over med heat, saute the leeks and carrots in butter approx. 5 min. stirring occasionally. Add squash, broth, zucchini thyme and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer until veggies are tender (about 30 min) Cool to luke warm. Puree in blender or food processor until smooth. Add cream, mix well and heat thoroughly but don't boil. Garnish with cheese. Makes 12 servings and freezes well!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

.:White Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies:.

I saw this recipe on a local T.V. program the other day, and visiting teaching gave me the perfect excuse to try it out!

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine softened
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips melted
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups white chocolate chips
  • 8 oz package cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 can cherry pie filling (I used raspberry because I'm not a fan of cherry pie filling)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sugars, shortening, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl. Beat until it is blended well.

Melt 1/4 cup white chocolate chips in the microwave.

Add to the bowl and beat until creamy.

Add flour, soda, and salt. Beat until a soft dough forms.

Hand stir in 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy.

Stir in milk until it is absorbed.

Drop spoonfuls of dough on to cookie sheet.

Make an indention with the tip of your finger or a spoon.

Drop a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each indention.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. (Mine were more on the 12 side).

Let the cookies cool for 1-2 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.

Allow cookies to cool and spoon on your filling.

Store in the fridge!