Friday, October 24, 2014

Pizza Pasta

Dinner was easy tonight...had been wanting to try a Pizza Pasta Casserole recipe that I had with a few changes that's what happened!
Everything that I had seen made TOO much or had different ingredients than those that I had on hand.

Paula's Pizza Pasta

1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz. Rotini Pasta, cooked al dente
2 cans Hunt's Dinner Starters (Pizza)
2 cups Italian blend cheese (Mozzarella, Romano, Provolone, Asiago & Parmesan)
4 oz. sliced pepperoni

In large skillet, swaute Italian sausage until cooked through. Add chopped onion & continue to cook for 8-10 minutes. Add cooked & drained pasta, Hunt's sauce. Preheat oven to 350. Pour Pasta mixture into 13x9 casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese & place pepperoni over cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.

Added a side salad and an easy & tasty dinner was on the table in such a short time!
Salad dressing was Homemade 1000 Island tonight.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

French Onion Soup from start to finish!

I began with a recipe from my dear friend, Becky Turner, sadly Becky left this walk of life a couple of years ago...however, she left us with a wealth of information when it came to decorating tablescapes with her Art Deco collections of Fiesta, etc. She also held a vast knowledge of culinary creations, gardening and was always willing to share!

Caramelised (Becky's spelling) Onions

1 stick butter
3 lbs. sweet onions such as Vidalias

Place stick of butter in Crock Pot or Slow Cooker. Peel and slice onions in 1/4" strips. Cover & cook on low until a dark mahogany color. Normally 12-14 hours.

I also added 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper and 3 sprigs of thyme to my onions while cooking. Removed stems prior to finishing for French Onion Soup.

The next morning...I added 2 bay leaves, 1/2 cup Red Moscato wine, 3 cups beef broth and simmered on low for 6 hours. Remove bay leaves.

Finishing touches...made 1" thick pieces of garlic toast from French bread to top the bowl of soup. Top with  2 slices of  Swiss cheese and place under broiler until melted and bubbly.

Just waiting for the garlic toast & cheese before going under the broiler!


Thursday, October 9, 2014


FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Your Mother's Love...

From the moment I learned of the life I carried within me...
I already knew I'd love you,
Even before I knew if a little boy or little girl is coming into my life.
Before I even met you, my heart was stirred; you had your Mother's love...
Knowing I had been blessed to carry and give birth to a little one.
From the moment you were born, you stole my heart,
you'd always know your Mother's love.
There may have been some long nights, as you were unsure about this place!
Yet, there were many moments...a smile, a coo...even that sparkle in your eyes...
And I knew, even in those earlier days, you'd always know your Mother's love.
Childhood, adolescence, young adult, even becoming a wife...I knew there would be
Trying times, times of training and discipline;
yet all were given with your Mother's love.
I'm sure as the years have passed, and, now that
you're a young adult, these things are seen more clearly.
Wherever life made lead you...although sometimes, not easy, nothing will change!
And should the path we're given take one of us from this earthly walk...
You'll Always Have My Love, from the moment you were conceived,
You've had Your Mother's Love!

August 2011


Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons
from Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup quartered button mushrooms ( I used Baby Bellas)
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 tsp minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves, minced)
1 1/2 cups diced red potatoes (I used, unpeeled red potatoes)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp dry sherry (I used 1/2 cup Dry Vermouth)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
( I cut and sautéed 3 chicken breasts in 2 Tbsp. Olive oil,
seasoned with salt and pepper)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dry)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste (I didn't find it necessary to add any more salt or pepper)
Puff Pastry Croutons

Melt butter over medium high heat in the pot you will use to make the soup.
Sauté onion, celery, mushrooms, carrot and garlic for about 4 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook about 3 minutes more. Whisk in the flour and
cook a couple of minutes to
get rid of the raw taste. Deglaze pan with sherry. Stir in broth, chicken,
thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
and the mixture has slightly thickened. Stir in the corn, peas, parsley
and lemon juice.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.


Grandma's Lab-Tested Chicken Soup
Allergies, sinus infections galore! Pulmonary infections!
This really does help! Not only does it help, it is delicious!

Found this recipe several years ago in Reader's Digest.
It had been lab tested by pulmonoligists and said to be effective in
pulmonary infections. I have made it several times and it honestly does help!
Not sure of the combo of nutritional values but it does work!

Grandma's Lab-Tested Chicken Soup
1 2-1/2-3 lb. chicken
2 lbs.chicken wings, extra
3 large onions, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 turnips, peeled and diced
11 to 12 carrots, peeled and diced
5 to 6 sticks celery, sliced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1.Put cleaned chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to boil.
2.Add chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots.
3.Boil for 1 1/2 hours, removing fat from surface as it accumulates.
4.Add celery, parsley, salt and pepper, cook for 45 minutes,
then remove chicken and skin, bone and dice.
5.Remove vegetables, process 1/2 of veggies in food processor until smooth.
Return with chicken.


White Chicken Chili
Makes 12 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped poblano pepper
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
2 (16-ounce) cans navy beans, drained
4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream

In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. A
dd chicken, ground chipotle chile pepper, cumin, salt, coriander, and red pepper.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is browned.
Remove chicken to a bowl. In same Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 tablespoons
olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, poblano pepper, jalapeño peppers,
garlic, and bay leaves. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until tender.
Add chicken, chicken broth, and green chiles. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer,
and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans;
cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Add cheese and sour cream, stirring just until cheese is melted.


Saw a version of this recipe in Sunday's, naturally,
I had to try it (change it up, as usual)...rolls eyes! haha

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 b/s chicken breasts, cut in bite size strips
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes in juice
2 cans seasoned black beans, undrained
2 cans Chipotle corn, drained
2 qts chicken broth (or 3Tbsp. chicken base & 2 qts. water)

For serving:
Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar
Chopped Green Onions
Lime Wedges

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Toss chicken strips with chili powder and salt.
Add to hot oil and cook until chicken is cooked through.
Add onions and cook 5 minutes longer, add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Place tortilla chips in bowl and ladle soup over.
Can add additional toppings of sour cream, shredded cheddar,
diced avocado, chopped green onions; if desired.
Add a lime wedge to be squeezed over individual servings.



2 cups cold heavy cream
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies
Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish


n the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment,
combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur,
cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla.
Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed,
until it forms firm peaks.

To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies
flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible.
(I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.)
Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies.
Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching,
followed by another fifth of the cream.
Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each,
ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap,
and refrigerate overnight.

Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake
and remove the sides of the pan.
Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.