Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spicy Italian Meatball soup

I love soup, every kind of soup.  However my husband doesn't like soup.  He says they aren't filling enough. I have been wanting to find one he would be willing to tolerate so I made this one because it sounded and looked delicious and then crossed my fingers.  He ended up loving it!  It was so delicious!!!!

Ingredients Meatballs:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 c dehydrated onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions Meatballs:
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Shape into 1in meatballs.  Place on prepared baking sheet.
Broil for 7-10 min or until the meatballs become brown and fragrant.  (they will finish cooking in soup)

Ingredients Soup:
Prepared Italian meatballs
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
5 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 carrots, pealed and diced
2 cups small pasta (macaroni, diti, rotini, penne)
2 cups spinach

Directions Soup:
While meatballs are cooking, heat oil in large pot.  Saute onions and garlic until translucent.  Add broth, water, tomatoes and Italian seasoning.  Heat to boiling.  Gently add the meatballs, carrots, pasta and spinach.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through, carrots are tender and pasta is soft. 

Top with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese!  YUMMY

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole....this is seriously so good!!  It takes a while to cook, but is soooo worth it!! I will definitely be making this a regular!! 


4-5 medium potatoes scrubbed and diced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
8 slices cooked bacon, cooled and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced (green parts only)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces


Heat oven to 350*.  Lightly grease an 9x13 baking dish.

Spread half of the diced potatoes in bottom of pan.  Place the diced chicken breasts evenly on top.  Season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with half the bacon crumbles, 1/2 cup of the cheese and half the green onions.

Spread the remaining diced potatoes on top, followed by the remaining bacon, another 1/2 cup cheese, remaining green onions and another 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Pour heavy cream over top of casserole and the dot with the butter.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.  Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes.  In the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and bake until melted.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Andes Mint Muddy Buddies

My family loves Muddy Buddies!  We have tried a few different kinds lately.  We liked the cinnamon churro okay, but probably won't make them again.  But now, the mint Muddy Buddies..... YUM!  We LOVE these!  They are especially good at Christmas!  I don't know why, but I can't get enough mint lately.  Peppermint Brownie Cookies, Mint Hot Cocoa, and my favorite - Mint M&Ms.  I buy bags of these during the holidays.

These are super easy to make, and the only bad thing about this recipe is that it doesn't make very much. :(  I guess I will just have to make more.....

2 boxes (4.67 oz) Andes Creme de Menthe Thins
5 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons sprinkles, optional  (I used 2 each of red and green)

Add powdered sugar and sprinkles together in a gallon-size plastic bag.  Mix together.

In a large bowl, measure out the Rice Chex.

Unwrap and place all the mints into a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute, and then in 15 second intervals until you can stir it smooth.

Pour the chocolate over the cereal, mixing until cereal is evenly coated.  Add cereal to the bag with the sugar, and shake until covered.


Mint Hot Cocoa Mix

I have been on a search for some REALLY GOOD homemade hot cocoa!  All the store-bought stuff tastes watered-down and a little blah.  I finally found one that I liked.  I did modify it a little though, because it was made with special dark cocoa.  We love dark chocolate, but my kids thought this was a little too bitter for their liking.  So I mixed it with some regular milk hot cocoa from the store.  Still good. :)

The great thing about this recipe, is you can make all different kinds of flavors.  We made a batch with mini chocolate chips instead of the mint ones, and we put them in cute little jars on the counter.  With the plain cocoa you could add in caramel topping, marshmallows, vanilla creamer, butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips, or even peanut butter!!

I always wanted a little hot cocoa bar during the winter!  I am going to have lots of little jars with some of the above ingredients in them to add in.

1/2 cup special dark cocoa or regular cocoa
1/2 cup rich milk cocoa mix (We used Nestle in the red & gold can)
1 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
*1 cup mint chips (green ones in the baking aisle), grind or blend up so there are no big chunks. 

The last batch I made, I didn't have the mint chips, so I used the red & white peppermint ones, a little different flavor, but still good.

*Substitute for mini chips if you are making regular flavor.

Mix everything together in a large bowl and pour into a jar or other storage container.

To serve:  1/4 cup cocoa mix with 1 cup hot water

Stay warm and enjoy!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Peppermint Brownie Cookies

I made these cookies last week for a party, and they were sooooo good!!  In fact, I'm making them again today! Some of the smaller candy cane pieces melted, but I still like having lots on there!  Still yummy though.  :)  For my next batch, I actually found some red and green candy canes to add extra color.

These are basically brownies with a mint flavor, gooey chocolate chips inside, and crunchy candy cane on top.  Go make them RIGHT NOW!  You won't regret it. :)

1 pkg (19.5 oz) brownie mix (I used Pillsbury)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 TBS cold water
1 tsp mint extract (I worried about this, because mint has a slightly different flavor than peppermint extract, but it was really good.  I'm sure peppermint would taste good, too.)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cany canes, chopped

Whisk together brownie mix, flour and brown sugar in large bowl.  With a wooden spoon, stir in eggs one at a time. 

Add butter, 3 TBS cold water and mint extract.  Stir until well combined.  Batter should be thick, but not dry.  Add one or two more TBS of water if needed. (I didn't need to.)

Fold in chocolate chips.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Scoop tablespoon-sized dough and roll to form a ball.  Place on parchment-lined baking sheet a few inches apart.  Press down slightly, but don't flatten.

Bake for 5 minutes - remove from oven & sprinkle chopped candy canes on top.  Bake an additional 5 minutes more, or until cookies are set.

Allow to cool on the pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Coconut Cream Pie

This is seriously THE BEST coconut cream pie recipe around, and let me tell you why:
1.  No cooking and stirring (in my case burning).
2.  It's thick and rich.
3.  It's easy!
4.  It tastes like you spent all day making it.

I made this for Thanksgiving, and I was a little nervous because I had never even tried the recipe before.  The only thing that went wrong was that I tried to use the roll-out crusts, and they kind of shrunk in the pans, (because I don't know what I'm doing) so I had to run out and buy frozen ones. Lesson learned. haha :)

However, I got lots of compliments on it and my SIL even said, "This is definitely not a pudding pie".
It does have pudding in it, but it's really rich - it tastes more like a cheesecake.  YUMMY!

For the crust:  You can use a graham cracker crust, or make your own flaky, flour crust if you are talented like that.  The frozen ones aren't that great, but the filling made up for it.  :)

I doubled the filling ingredients to make 2 pies, and I used the 9" deep dish - perfect!

Filling Ingredients: 
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cream of coconut (non-alcoholic, found in the drink mixer section)
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. coconut cream instant pudding mix
1 (6 oz) pkg. sweetened, flaked coconut.  (toast some to mix in, and also to sprinkle on top)
2 (8 oz) tubs frozen whipped topping, thawed (one is for the top of the pie, or you can make your own)

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and cream of coconut until smooth.  Add pudding mix, blend well.

Stir in coconut until combined and then fold in whipped topping.

Pour into cooled pie crusts.

Spread the second container of whipped topping over the filling, or put into pastry bag and squeeze like you do cupcakes. 

Toast a little coconut in a 400* oven for 3-5 minutes - watch carefully so it doesn't burn! Sprinkle over the top of the pie - BEAUTIFUL!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Another great recipe from bunco!  This time from my friend Calleen.  This was seriously so good!!  And I promise....not that hard. 


4-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 thin slices of ham
8 thin slices of cheese (Swiss, Provolone, or Mozzarella)
1 cup flour
2 beaten eggs
2 Tbsp olive oil

1 pkg original shake-n-bake
1 pkg blue cheese dressing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
*you can also add the left-over seasoning mix to the sauce.


Flatten chicken by pounding between two pieces of plastic wrap.  (my chicken was really thick so I sliced them in half which gave me 8 pieces)  On each breast lay a slice of ham and a slice of cheese.  Roll up and secure with toothpicks.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.

Roll chicken in a bowl with 1 cup flour.  Dip chicken in a bowl with 2 beaten eggs and then in the seasoning mixture.  Brown in a hot frying pan with olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Place in baking dish.

Pour sauce over chicken, cover with tin foil and bake at 350* for 40 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.

Cook chicken and sauce separately.  By baking chicken at 350* for 30-40 minutes or until done, and cook sauce in small pot and serve on top of chicken.   


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