Monday, March 28, 2011

Cream Cheese Potato Soup

Cream Cheese Potato Soup

7-8 C chicken broth (less broth will result in a thicker soup)
8 C peeled and cubed potatoes
1/2 C minced onions (I use fresh)
1 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/8 t cayenne pepper (optional)
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, cut into chunks

Combine potatoes, broth, onion and spices.  Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.  Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening. Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

*Good if you add 1 C frozen petite peas, fun color and a little more nutrition!

**My kids love this soup, but don't prefer the cayenne.  The recipe originated as a copy of "Panera's" potato soup, but they use white pepper and double the cream cheese. I adapted it to be a little lower fat and kid friendly. Tru's FAVE!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Luscious Lemonade Cake

Luscious Lemonade Cake

1 1/3 C sugar
6 T butter, soft
zest of 1 lemon
3 T thawed lemonade concentrate
2 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 egg whites
2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 C buttermilk

Place sugar, butter, zest, lemonade and vanilla in amixer and mix until well blended.  Add eggs and egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, mis together dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to batter, alternating with buttermilk, until all dry ingredients and butermilk are well blended.  Pour into tow well greased and parchment paper lined 9"round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Frost when completely cool.

Lemonade Frosting
2 T butter, soft
zest of 1 lemon
2 T thawed lemonade concentrate (I added 1 more T,  3 T total in frosting)
1/2 t vanilla
1 8oz package of cream cheese, soft
3 1/2 C powdered sugar

Mix together all ingredients except powdered sugar and bled well.  Gradually add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until blended.  Don't overbeat. Frost cake.

**Grandpa Frank loves lemon and we've been looking for a while for a birthday cake that is delish, but still has a tart bite.  This is it and it's fantastic! From the Keeping Up Cookbook
 A little fancier for Mother's Day!!!

Vege or Meat Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna

10 cooked lasagna noodles
6 Cups favorite marinara sauce
5 cups grated  mozzarella cheese
1 pkg chopped spinach thawed (the one in the box)
1 zucchini diced
6 mushrooms diced
6 artichokes diced (from a can)
1 garlic clove minced (or 1 tsp prepared minced garlic)
1 14oz container of ricotta cheese (I use low fat)
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
1 C chopped onion
1 C shredded parmesan cheese

Cook noodles as directed. Rinse in cold water and let sit for a few minutes.  Cook onion, and garlic in sauté pan.  After onions are translucent, add spinach and cook until most of the water is evaporated. Turn off the heat and add ricotta cheese, stir until combined. Add nutmeg to the mixture. Mix well.
In a 9 x 13 pan, place a small amount of sauce on the bottom just to prevent noodles from sticking.  Place 5 noodles in bottom of pan, overlapping to fit.  Spread half of the spinach mixture on top of noodles. Top with half of zucchini, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Sprinkle the vegetables with some salt.  Sprinkle half of mozzarella cheese on top of vege mixture.  Then pour and spread 3 cups of marinara sauce. Repeat noodle, spinach, vegetable, cheese and sauce layers.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese over sauce.  Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Meat Lasagna
**To make meat lasagna, add 1 lb of ground beef into onion and garlic mixture, with a teaspoon of  Italian seasoning.  Don’t add nutmeg or spinach.  Cook until browned and most of the moisture is evaporated.  Add 6 (or more) cups of sauce to the beef mixture. When layering, put small amount of sauce before noodles, 5 noodles and then half of ricotta container and spread the best you can over noodles. I usually use my hands.  Top with mozzarella and then meat sauce. Repeat layers and then top with parmesan. Bake the same.

***For the picture above (to satisfy all tastes) I used a very large lasagna pan and did 1/3 vege and 2/3 meat.  It worked out perfect. I used about 16 noodles and increased all of my other ingredients.  Also, there are 100's of variations, different vegetables,  using italian sausage with the ground beef, etc. Mix it up and do what sounds good to you.

Our favorite marinara is Giada's Marinara, but a bottled or can sauce works great too!

Every Night Salad

Every Night Salad

This is the salad we have all the time, we've been making it for years (17 to be exact) and I have never written it down.  So here goes....

8 C greens (we prefer spinach and spring mix)
2 oranges peeled and sectioned
2 avocados, peeled and diced

Place in a salad bowl.  Mix dressing ingredients below in a separate bowl and just before serving, toss.

4 T olive oil
4 T balsamic vinegar or seasoned rice vinegar
1 t dijon or honey mustard
salt to taste
pinch of pepper
1/2 t salad supreme seasonings (McCormick)

**Adjust any of the salad ingredients to taste, as well as the dressing.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 C flour             
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder         
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

Mix, then add:
2 eggs                 
2 C buttermilk (very old – 1 month past due date )

Serve with any syrup, but Buttermilk Syrup is our favorite.

**I'm not sure why the recipe says that about the due date, Hans says he can tell a difference.  I put so much syrup on mine, I can't tell one bit. But when you have buttermilk in the fridge that is about to go past the due date, you don't have to worry.  And no one has ever been sick! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

German Pancakes

German Pancakes

2 C milk
2 C flour
8 eggs
1/4 C butter

Put butter in 9 x 13 pan and turn oven on to 425.  While butter is melting, put milk, flour and eggs in a blender and blend until smooth, scrapping down the sides.  When butter is melted and bubbly, pour batter into hot pan and return to oven.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden and puffed up.  Serve with powdered sugar and lemon.  Or...nutella, syrup, jam, cinnamon sugar....whatever tickles your fancy.

**If you bring the eggs to room temperature and warm the milk, the batter "puffs" better.

**I know these aren't "German" but that's what we call them.  My mom's original recipe only had 3 eggs, 3/4 C flour and 3/4 C milk.  They came out really puffy, but then shrank to thin little pieces, my family could eat 4 pans of that recipe.  So I just increased everything and they still love them.  I also love putting in fresh fruit like peaches or berries, but the pancake doesn't puff as well.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Soyu Chicken

Soyu Chicken

1 part soy sauce
2 parts water
1/2 part sugar
Chicken breasts, tenders or whatever cut is desired.

Mix enough sauce to just cover chicken in heavy pot. Simmer chicken until done. Serve with rice.

**This is a Pinegar family favorite and it's what we always have to celebrate Cory's birthday Feb 22, or at a gathering close to that. We also serve orange jello with mandarins and cool whip, peas, rolls, salad and brownie torte.  This is what Mom wrote down in her journal that Cory picked for his last birthday dinner  before he died. A small little miracle that she wrote it down!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sopapillas (aka Scones)

Sopapillas (aka Scones)

4 C flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
4 T shortening
1 1/2 C warm water
1 quart oil for frying

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and shortening.  Mix in warm (almost hot) water until smooth.  Cover and let stand 30-40 minutes.

Roll out to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into squares (optimum 3 inches).  Heat oil to 375 (using a candy thermometer) and fry until light brown.  Serve hot with, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar and honey butter. 

**The rolling out of this dough and cutting makes them fry up so light and airy! They keep great in a paper towel lined bowl in a 200 degree oven until the whole batch is done.

Honey Butter

Honey Butter

1 C real butter
2/3 C honey
3/4 C powdered sugar

Let butter sit at room temp for 20 minutes or so.  Mix butter, honey and powdered sugar with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds or until light and fluffy.  Serve at room temp.

**Love this new honey butter recipe, so simple and no raw egg yolk!
**A new thing we tried, we added 1/2 C - 1C marshmallow cream (yes the jet puff in a jar) and it made the consistency creamier....we all liked it!  Added it at the end when it was all mixed up!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Giada’s Marinara

Giada’s Marinara

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil           
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped             
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped         
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper   
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes or equivalent of fresh tomatoes par boiled, peeled & seeded
2 dried bay leaves

In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. I like to blend the sauce to a creamy texture.  Then return to pan to use on pasta.(The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Re-warm over medium heat before using. Sauce also does very well frozen for a few months and just reheat in microwave or on stove top.)

** I make huge batches of this in the fall with my garden tomatoes and freeze it in single use tupperwares.  We affectionately call this "orange noodles," at our house, because the carrots make it a little more orange than red!

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

1 lb chicken cubed    
1 onion chopped
1 ½ t garlic powder              
1 T veg. oil
Cook all together in large soup pot until chicken is done.

2 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained  
1-2 cans chicken broth (just thickness preference)
2 can chopped green chilies          
1 t salt
1 t cumin                  
1 t oregano       
½ t pepper                  
¼ t cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat through, take off heat and add:
1 C sour cream
½ C whip cream

** I sometimes use fat free sour cream and half and half.  Less calories but still the same great flavor, just not as rich.  Also I use rotisserie chicken often as a time saver!