Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

James has been bugging me for quite some time to find a new potato soup recipe. The one I usually make has celery and carrots, which aren't his favorite. So, I found the Baked Potato Soup recipe in Home Again, Home Again and I thought I'd give it a try. According to James, it's his new favorite potato soup. Am I a good wife or what? haha I have to was yummy! It was a really simple dish to make and it would be sure to impress your guests! Everyone likes potato soup so I'll go ahead and include the recipe:
Baked Potato Soup
4 large baking potatoes, baked a cooled (I just cooked them in boiling water, like mashed potatoes, and it worked just fine)
2/3 cup margarine
2/3 cup flour
7 cups of a milk (Yes, there are really 7 cups of milk!)
4 green onions, sliced
12 slices of bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled (I used 8 and it was plenty)
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Peel the potatoes and chop into pieces (We like the skins so I kept them on, much easier). Melt the margarine in a large pot. Stir in the flour until smooth. Add the milk, gradually, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add the potatoes and green onions. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Heat until the cheese melts, stirring constantly. Ladle into soup bowls. Serves 8
Note: If you plan on reheating the soup in the microwave I would recommend not putting all of the bacon into the large pot of soup, and just putting it in the individual bowls. When you microwave the soup with the bacon it makes the bacon chewy and hard to eat. If you will be reheating the soup on the stove the bacon stays crispy :)

Recipe Requests...

Sorry for the delay but I just realized that several of you were wanting the Company Chicken and Saucy Stuffed Shells recipes... Here they are :) Enjoy!

Company Chicken
1 (6 oz) pkg wild rice
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 cup Hellman's mayo
1 tsp curry powder ( I omitted this... I don't like this flavor)
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare the rice using the pkg directions. Layer the rice, broccoli, chicken, mushrooms, and Cheddar cheese in the order listed in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Combine the soup, mayo, and curry powder in a bowl and mix well. Spread the mayo mixture over the prepared layers and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350* for 50 minutes. You may substitute chopped cooked ham for the chicken, adding 2 tsp. of prepared mustard to the soup mixture. Serves 8-10.

Note: I halved the recipe and it made enough to serve about be prepared for leftovers! It heated up great for days!

Saucy Stuffed Shells with Four Cheeses
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 tsp garlic salt
3 cups water
3 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp basil
16 oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups (12 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
Jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
8 slices Provolone cheese

Brown the ground beef and sausage with the garlic salt in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until the meats are crumbly; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Combine the ricotta cheese and eggs in a bowl and mix well. Stir in the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Fill the pasta shells generously withe cheese mixture; the shells will be overflowing with the stuffing. Arrange the shells stuffing side up in a single layer in a 9x13 inch baking dish sprayed lightly with non stick cooking spray. Arrange the provolone cheese slices over the top and spread with the ground beef mixture.
Bake, covered at 350* for 45 minutes; remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes. Let stand at room temp. for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serves 12

Note: I halved the recipe and it still made a ton!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Saucy Stuffed Shells with Four Cheeses

Let's just say making this dish was quite an experience. It all started when I decided that I wanted to half the recipe (which still made a TON). I wasn't feeling to well the day I started making it but I thought, well we've got to eat so I might as well suck it up and make it. I started making the sauce a realized that it had to simmer for an hour...which at this point I didn't have time for. So, we decided to go out for dinner and have this the next night. Sounds easy enough. I finished the sauce and let it simmer for about an hour. The next morning James and I come down stairs and James says, "Well, there is your sauce sitting on the stove." Ahhh I was so mad. Needless to say I had to throw it all out. Luckily at this point I also realize that I had put 1/2 the meats and ALL of all the other ingredients. I guess it worked out good that I messed it up considering it might have tasted a little funky. So...I started over. Made the sauce, let it simmer, and then cooked the shells, stuffed the shells, and then poured the sauce on top. It baked in the oven for about 35 minutes. While it was baking I told James that I was never going to make it again... Too much of a pain. But, then we ate it and it was DELICIOUS!!! It did have a lot of prep work but I have to say that I will be making this one again. Next time hopefully I'll only have to make it once!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Company Chicken

Whew... I've gotten behind on my blogging! Last week I made the Company Chicken. It was sooo yummy, I can't wait to make it again. It's a very simple casserole style dish :) This would be the perfect dish to make for a new family on the block...Well, that's what the cook book says....Who does that anyways? haha That brings up a question...If a neighbor you haven't met yet brought you a home cooked dish as a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" thing would you eat it?

Anyways, back to the dish... It has wild rice, broccoli, chicken, mushrooms, cheese, and cream of celery. All layered in a large dish and baked in the oven for a while... SOO tasty and hearty! And of course, we were starving so I didn't have time to take a picture before we dug in! haha If you'd like the full recipe let me know :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

I have made this dish several times and we LOVE it! It's super easy and it will definitely impress your guests! It has alot of flavor and goes great with french bread :) The first time I had this I didn't even like shrimp and I thought it was delicious! You can make this with fresh or frozen shrimp, which makes it so easy!

I don't have a picture of the dish but I'll share the recipe :)

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine
16 oz. linguine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
8 oz. med. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut lengthwise into halves (I've never cut them...)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried basil, or 1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (This is ALOT of parsley, so I don't use quite that much)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Cook the pasta. Drain and rinse with hot water. Cover to keep warm. Saute the garlic in the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shrimp. Stir-fry until the shrimp turn pink. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
Spoon the shrimp mixture over the pasta on a serving platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6 (This dish does not reheat very well, so if you are making it for two you might want to half the recipe.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's Shake-n-Bake and I helped!

No, not really Shake-n-Bake, but I did make it all by myself! On Thursday night, while my husband watched the opening night college football games, I completed my first recipes out of the cookbook my two very talented friends have been using for weeks.

I made Chicken Romano and paired it with The Love House Rice. YUM-MY.

This dish was very easy to make. The Chicken Romano was SO juicy and tender and cheesy and crunchy and light.

All you need is:

  1. a sleeve of Ritz crackers (or any other butter crackers) crushed

  2. 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

  3. 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  4. 12 to 14 boneless chicken pieces (I used 4 large boneless chicken breasts)

  5. salt to taste

  6. 1/2 (1 stick) margarine, melted

You mix the cracker crumbs, cheese, and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken breasts in the the melted butter and coat with the crumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

The Love House Rice was a perfect side dish for this yummy chicken. This recipe can be found on page 95 of Home Again, Home Again. It was light and enough to fill you up.

My only complaint is that it took 1 hour to bake. The smell drifting from the oven made our taste buds angry and it was hard to wait! After devouring the entire meal, my dear, sweet, husband says: "We'll have to make this again." We?? The only thing he did to help was reach the shallow dish for me. ::sigh::

Add some buttery Cresent rolls and you'll have yourselves a really good chicken and rice dish!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Raspberries Galore!

Well, needless to say James and I have had a weekend full of raspberries :) haha I made the raspberry jam on Saturday along with a very delicious homemade raspberry cobbler :) And today I made the Raspberry Muffins out of Home Again, Home Again. They tastes like a gourmet muffin from Starbucks or something. I think my favorite part about them was the little crumbly stuff on top :) These muffins were pretty easy to make and could be made with blueberries or strawberries. They were sooo yummy I'm going to include the recipe at the end of this post. My only tip on this recipe would be to make sure you let them cool for 5-10 minutes after they get out of the oven. James insisted that we eat them after about 3 minutes and the first one kind of fell apart a little because the raspberries were still all gooey. But, after we ate one, the second one had sat long enough to firm up a little and it was delicious!
Raspberry (Strawberry or Blueberry) Muffins
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups frozen/fresh raspberries

Combine topping ingredients in bowl and mix until crumbly, set aside.
Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in bowl. Add the milk, butter, and egg and stir until just moistened. Fold in raspberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with the pecan mixture and pat lightly. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the muffins test done. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Freeze for future use, if desired. Makes one dozen muffins :) ENJOY!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chocolate Pie

This pie has great flavor! The only problem I ran into was that after refrigerating the pie for a couple of hours after it baked, the middle of the pie didn't completely set. It was more like chocolate pudding. I think I didn't cook the chocolate mixture long enough before I poured it into the pie shell. After being in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days, it finally was the right consistency for chocolate pie. I will definitely try this recipe again, and hopefully it will turn out a little better next time! :)

Mexican Corn Dip

I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago for Brad's fantasy football draft. The picture was taken before it was baked, so it looked even better when it was a little brown on top and bubbly. There was a little left over for me to try, and I really liked it. The recipe calls for green onions (which I left out) and a jalapeno chile. To make the recipe even easier, I used a small can of diced jalapenos, so it took a little of the work out of the recipe. The dip was as simple as mixing everything together, pouring it into a baking dish, and baking for 30 minutes. This would be a great recipe for anyone looking for something a little different for any kind of get-together.

Raspberry Jam...and more to come!

Last night James and I did something fun... We went raspberry picking :) James had been before but it was a new experience for me! It was like a treasure hunt... they were everywhere! We of course ended up with WAYYYY more raspberries than we could ever eat so today I tried something new.... Making jam! The recipe wasn't in the Home Again, Home Again cookbook, but they did have one for a strawberry jam if your interested! I used a recipe that came in the Sure-Gel box. It was SOOOO easy to make, and we cant wait to try it! All you need is LOTS of sugar, LOTS of raspberries, Sure-Gel, water, and canning jars! Super easy, and fun to make! I made 8 jars of jam and I have enough raspberries to make 10 more! haha Monday morning I'm planning on making the Raspberry muffins (in Home Again, Home Again) so check back for that post!!! If you have never made jam you really should... It's so easy :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bourbon-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

So my parents were in town this weekend and James and I decided to grill out some pork chops for the occasion :) I marinated them in the Bourbon mixture overnight and then James threw them on the grill for a while and they were DELICIOUS! Everyone loved them... If you need a good pork marinade let me know... I'll share :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Eggs Ole

This is the first real breakfast recipe I've gotten from the book. (I have made the Top of the Morning Danish, but I don't really consider that a breakfast meal.) Eggs Ole is a mexican twist on regular scrambled eggs. I cut the recipe in half because there was no way Brad and I needed to eat 10 eggs...I cut it down to 5 eggs, and we barely ate half of it! :) The flavor is very good...I think it comes from the cottage cheese and the green chiles. The recipe says to serve with salsa. It was good, and it mixed well with the mexican flavor. It was kind of hard for me to eat salsa early in the morning though. So after eating half of the eggs with salsa, I switched over to ketchup (my usual condiment on scrambled eggs), and I liked it much better! Even though I really liked this recipe, I don't know how many times I'll make it. I think I like my plain scrambled eggs too much to switch over to Eggs Ole for good.

Golden Chicken Rolls

This dish is good, but I don't think I'll be making it again. It takes a little to much effort to make, and I don't think I have to the patience. You have to split chicken breasts, stuff with ham and cheese, and you're supposed to use toothpicks to close up the chicken...that part didn't work so well with me, so I didn't end up using the toothpicks. You roll the chicken in a bread crumb/parmesan cheese mixture and then bake. Because I didn't use toothpicks, the cheese melted out everywhere all over the pan. (I don't think there was any left IN the chicken). The last step called for a few ingredients to be mixed together to form a sauce to drizzle on top of the chicken after it cooked, but I was tired and hungry by that point, so we just ate the chicken as it was. Don't get me wrong, it did have good flavor, and I'm sure the sauce would have made it even better. I just think there are easier ways to make good chicken.

Yellow Squash Casserole

I made this recipe a few nights ago, and I think it may be my new favorite way to make squash. It is extremely easy, and it doesn't require many ingredients. If you like squash, you need to try this recipe...I'm sure you'll love it too.

Yellow Squash Casserole
5 or 6 small squash
1 onion, chopped (I only used about 1/4 of an onion and it was plenty.)
8 oz. softened cream cheese
3 tbsp. sugar
salt to taste
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
2 stacks butter crackers, crushed (I used Ritz crackers.)

Cook the squash and onion in water until tender, drain. Add the cream cheese, sugar, and salt, and mix well. Spoon into a butter 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine the crackers and melted butter in a bowl. Sprinkle over the squash. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I have made these potatoes at least a dozen times, and I have to say that they are definitely my favorite mashed potatoes. They are simple to make...the only thing is you have to make them the day before you want to eat them, and they make a ton....I usually cut the recipe in half when it's just Brad and I. If you're looking for a healthy mashed potato recipe, then this recipe probably isn't for you, but I promise you, the extra calories and fat are worth it! :)

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
8-10 potatoes peeled, cooked, and drained
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
3-4 tbsp. butter
paprika to taste

Add 1/2 cup butter and the milk to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, cream cheese, garlic salt, and 1 tsp. salt until smooth. Spoon into a greased 9x13 in. baking dish. Chill, covered in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temp. for 2-3 hours. Top with 3-4 tbsp. butter, and sprinkle with paprika. I also add just a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

* picture for this one. I made it at the beginning of the week, and we were so hungry we dove right in. :)

Pasta Shells Florentine

I made this dish tonight, and I REALLY like it. I will definitely add it to my "make again" recipes. It was so easy to make. Just cook about 20 jumbo pasta shells. Mix frozen spinach (that has been cooked and drained), cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and a small amount of nutmeg together. Stuff the jumbo shells with the mixture, and line them in a baking dish. Pour a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce on top and bake. DELICIOUS!! I figured it can't be too bad for you because you're really not eating much pasta, and I used fat free cottage cheese and low-fat mozzarella cheese. It is also very filling! I'm sure the leftovers will be even better tomorrow! :) Brad said he liked it, but he wasn't so sure about it because of the spinach. You really can't taste the spinach AT ALL, but he just didn't like the look of it. I think I'm going to have to start blind-folding him so he won't be able to see what he's eating.

Chicken Romano

Last night I made a super easy chicken dish, Chicken Romano. It was as simple as crushing up Ritz crackers, melting butter, adding a little garlic powder, salt, and grated Romano cheese and rubbing it on the chicken! It was just baked in the oven for about 45 min. and that was it :) James really liked it, he said it tasted just like a homemade fried chicken, with a hint of cheese. I agreed... It did taste like fried chicken, only it had to be better for you than that!! This is such a simple recipe I'll add it to my post:
Chicken Romano
36 butter crackers, crushed
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated Romano cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 (3 lb.) chickens, cut up, or 12-14 chicken pieces (This is a lot of chicken, so change measurements according to how much chicken you want to make)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, melted
Mix cracker crumbs, cheese, and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and dip into margarine. Coat with the crumb mixture. Arrange the chicken in a single layer 9x15 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serves 6-8
This was soo easy I think Stacey could do it... haha

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not Your Mom's Meatloaf...and not mine either

Last night I made Not Your Mom's Meatloaf for James and I. It had a couple of strange ingredients in it so I wasn't to sure how it would turn out. I'm going to say it was just regular meatloaf is much better, of course! This recipe called for ground beef, Italian sausage, celery, carrots, and the other normal meat loaf stuff. I omitted the carrots because I thought that really didn't sound good. The celery was fine but I think it was the Italian sausage that made it taste a little off. The Italian sausage mixed with the ketchup just didn't do it for us. I'm not going to tell you NOT to make this because it wasn't gross... it just wasn't our favorite, but it might be yours! Give it a try!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sticky Icky...

So yesterday I made the Chocolate Popcorn that's in the Just for Kids section. Not good. I didn't really think that popcorn and chocolate sounded good together and I was wasn't. Not only was it a weird mixture of sweet and salty but it was incredibly sticky. The chocolate sauce that is poured over the popcorn had light corn syrup in it which I guess was what made it so sticky. I just tried one bite and it was all stuck in my teeth... yuck! Needless to say I won't be making this one again....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Squash Patties

After I talked to Ashley the other day and she told me about the squash patties, I decided they sounded really good, so I also made them last night too. They were extremely easy and fast to make, and I agree with Ashley that they're a perfect southern side dish. Brad wasn't a fan of these only because he doesn't like squash, but I loved them!

Dreamy Green Beans-DELICIOUS!

It always seems like I'm looking for new ways to cook vegetables or make different side dishes, and this recipe is EXCELLENT! I wasn't sure about it when I first read the recipe because it called for green beans, sour cream, and a few other ingredients. I didn't know how the greens beans and sour cream would taste together, but it was DELICIOUS! I sprinkled a little cheese on top, and I changed the topping from corn flakes to Ritz crackers. YUM! You have to try this one! We had leftovers for lunch today, and I think the green beans were even better than they were last night. This will definitely be a recipe that I make again.

Top of the Morning Danish

If you like sweets, then this dessert is perfect for you! The ingredients consist of sugar, powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, crescent rolls, and a couple of other things. It is definitely not fat-free or even a low-fat dessert, but it is VERY good! :) I have made this several times, and each time, it seems to get better. I have always put blueberries on top (that's what the recipe calls for), but you can also put cinnamon, cherry pie filling, or any of your other favorite toppings on top. This recipe is actually under the "Breakfast" section, but I believe it works better as a dessert. I have tried it for breakfast, and it's a little too sweet for early in the morning! :) You definitely need to try this sugary, sweet dessert. It's a favorite of my family!

Squash Patties & Tomato Feta Green Beans

Wow... These were delicious! The squash patties were like the perfect southern dish. Essentially you just mashed up some cooked squash, added a little flour, onion, salt, pepper, egg, and milk. After stirring it all together put a spoon full in some hot oil guessed it... fry it! Super easy and super tasty! Next time I make them I'll probably add more salt and maybe some shredded cheese... A few more calories cant hurt right? haha

The green beans were BURSTING with flavor! James was quite impressed, so of course he "kissed the cook"! haha As I'm sure you know green beans can sometime be a little bland... Not these! They have garlic, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, s & p (salt and pepper) tomatoes, pine nuts, and feta cheese. I will definitely be making these again!

We had our lovely neighbors over to grill out burgers and these side dishes dressed up the burgers quite nicely!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Strawberry Tunnel Cake

What a perfect summer treat! So the idea behind this is that you buy an angel food cake, cut about 1/2 top of cake off, hollow it out, fill it with a strawberry, cream cheese, condensed milk, and lemon juice mixture and then place the top of the cake back on. You then just ice the whole thing with whip cream, and serve! I added some chopped strawberries to the top to make it pretty :) I will remember next time I make it that it's too big for my cake plate...the lid wont fit on, and it has to be refrigerated so I had to do some serious rearranging in the fridge to make room. This is a quick and easy recipe that is sure to impress! We actually haven't tried the cake yet...It's for a dinner party tomorrow night...But, I did taste a little of the filling while I was making it and it was pretty tasty!

Pork Loin Sandwiches...Yum!

I've decided to dive right into the cookbook this weekend. I have plans to make 4 of the recipes...We'll see how I do... I started with the Pork Loin Sandwiches with Apple Jelly Sauce for dinner. I know it sounds wierd but believe me... They were very yummy :) Although, I must admit that making them didn't go as smoothly as I had planned...It started at the grocery. The recipe called for pork loin, and of course I just assumed that it was the same as pork tenderloin so that's what I got....not the same, but it worked! I had to modify the recipe a little too because it said to cook the meat in a pressure cooker for 10-15 minutes (I didn't even know what that was until I called Mom), so needless to say I didn't have one. So once I figured out how to make it all work I just had to toss all of the ingredients (ketchup, apple jelly, salt/pepper, chili powder, and a little vinegar) with the meat into my crockpot and let it cook for about 2 hours. Once it was finished it turned out to be like a sweet bbq pulled pork sandwich...Delish!

The finished product on an onion roll from a local bakery!

Welcome to Kiss the Cook!

So we've decided to put our kitchens, and cooking skills to the test! We have all purchased the same cookbook, Home Again, Home Again (by the Junior League of Owensboro), and we've made a pact to cook all 236 recipes and blog about our experiences along the way! Some of us are more experienced cook than others, haha so we're sure it will be a journey full of laughs, great tips, and of course yummy food! Feel free to add your comments or thoughts along the way. If your just dying for a recipe that we've blogged about let us know, we'll share! The cookbook is available to purchase online through the Junior League of Owensboro. You can access this site by clicking on the photo of the cookbook! We hope that you will join us for this exciting journey through one of Owensboro's favorite cookbooks!