Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cold-Fighting Chicken Noodle Soup

It's funny, because I posted this is on a food blog I had (Eclectic Eats). I haven't maintained it, but oh well! The funny part is that I looked up this recipe last night because Norah & I are fighting colds right now. Well, I posted the recipe EXACTLY a year ago because Brian & I had colds! I guess it must be that time of year.

This recipe will definitely be my go-to soup when I get a cold from now on. I made it late last night and even enjoyed a bowl of it (at nearly midnight!) right after it was done.

I am a veghead and definitely not a fan of the taste of chicken, but I did include it in the recipe, because it does have some healing properties to it, apparently! I don't really eat it. In fact, I pretty much take it out & put it back in the pot for Brian to eat! :)

So, here it is...

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups carrots, sliced
  • 1.5 cups celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I actually used 7 large ones!!!)
  • 12 cups homemade or good quality chicken broth or stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 (heaping) tsp. ground marjoram
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 4 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded (I baked it)
  • 5 oz. (about 1.5 cups) uncooked egg noodles
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 3 minutes before adding the celery and carrots. Continue cooking a few more minutes before adding the garlic. Stir until fragrant. Add the chicken, broth, bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, parsley and ground pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce. Simmer lightly for 30 minutes.
Add the noodles and simmer until cooked, about 8 minutes.

Thanks to Krashed24 & MrsWindyCity (Elly’s) (What's Cooking Nesties) for the recipe!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ham and Potato Soup

This is not my own recipe, but it is fantastic, so I'm posting it as a recommendation.

Ham and Potato Soup


  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk


Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Lemon – Pepper Chicken

Okay, I love this dish. I learned how to make this in college and finally put it to paper about a year ago. The only problem here is finding the dressing. I use to buy Kroger brand Parmesan and Pepper. They discontinued it. Boo! Then I used Marzetti Asiago Peppercorn. They stopped selling it here, and it's a little spicy, so whatever. I have since found a perfect combo. It takes minimal work and tastes great.

1 bottle of Kraft Three Cheese Ranch, 1 bottle of Kraft Peppercorn Ranch - poor them out in a bowl, mix and then return to bottles, voila! You have two bottles of dressing that is perfect for this dish. Thank heavens for ingenuity!

If you can find it:
Parmesan Peppercorn or some other cheese and peppercorn dressing will work. I do not recommend using only Peppercorn Ranch. I've tried it and it's just not as good. It will work in a pinch though.

Lemon – Pepper Chicken


  • 2-3 Chicken Breast cut into strips or bite sized chunks
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs Lemon Pepper Seasoning (McCormick’s California Style)
  • ¼ c Lemon Juice
  • ½ -1 lb Extra Wide Egg Noodles (Just however many you need, I like to use the whole lb and save leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • 1 bottle Cheese & Peppercorn Dressing as mentioned above.


I like to get my dressing out first thing, to let it warm up a bit, so that it's easy to pour :)

Cut up the Chicken Breasts as you prefer. Pour the Olive Oil in the skillet and add your chicken. Add the Lemon Juice and Lemon Pepper Seasoning. Use a spatula to mix it around a bit.

Put water in a pot and add the noodles. Put the water on high and the chicken on med to med-high heat, depending on how it’s cooking. If you feel that you’re running out of fluids on the chicken you can add more lemon juice if you like and cover the skillet.

Cook my noodles slightly al dente. Once the noodles are done, drain them and place a bed of noodles on plates. Place the fully cooked chicken atop the noodles and drizzle the Parmesan and Pepper Dressing over the entire dish. Enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cucumber Salad

Don't let the onions fool you. This stuff is great :) It's my mom's recipe and I just love it.

Cucumber Salad


  • 3-4 medium cucumbers sliced and pealed
  • 1 sweet onion sliced thin
  • 2/3 cup creamy salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip™)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 cup milk


Whisk together the salad dressing, vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, milk and celery seed in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Pour dressing mixture over cucumbers and onion; toss to coat. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.

Note: you can add/subtract ingredient amounts to taste :)

Spinach Lasagna

When I met DH, he told me that he'd have to make his spinach lasagna for me. I think I wanted to throw up a little, but smiled and nodded because I was smitten. The day came and he made it. I tried it and was IN LOVE! It's truly fantastic and super easy to make :) For your pleasure, my DH's spinach lasagna :)

Spinach Lasagna


  • ½ lb lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb ricotta
  • 1 c Monterey Jack
  • parsley, fresh
  • ½ c grated parmesan
  • 20 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • Sauce


Cover bottom of lasagna pan with 1/3 of the sauce. Arrange layer of uncooked noodles on bottom. Cover with second 1/3 of the sauce. Combine ricotta, parmesan and spinach and spoon ½ of the mixture over the noodles. Put a second layer of noodles over the cheese mixture, then the rest of the cheese mixture. Cover with the remaining sauce. Top with the Monterey Jack. Cover with foil, domed so that the cheese doesn’t stick to the top.

Bake 45 Minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove foil and bake 20 minutes more.

Allow to set for ½ hour before cutting to serve.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Salted Nut-Roll Bars

1lb Nutter Butter Cookies
1 stick melted butter

2 cups butterscotch chips (or peanut butter chips)
2/3 cups light corn syrup
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups small marshmallows
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups Rice Krispies

~Preheat oven to 350.
~Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil and coat well with nonstick spray.
~Pulverize cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form (the kiddos love to help with this).
~Add melted butter; process until crumbs clump together.
~Press crumbs into prepared pan and bake 15 minutes or until golden.
~Melt butterscotch chips, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth, about five minutes.
~Spread 1/2 cup of the mixture over the crumb crust.
~Top with marshmallows and return bars to oven, baking until marshmallows puff (about two minutes). Do NOT overbake.
~Toss peanuts and cereal with remaining butterscotch mixture until well coated.
~Drop spoonfuls of topping over marshmallows and spread with an oiled spatula.
~Cool bars before cutting.

~~Yield: 24 bars~~

Spiced Nuts

I gave these out as holiday gifts this year in small mason jars and they were quite a hit.  I just eat them out of the jar, but one friend also said they are great chopped up on salads!

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 C unsalted mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Mix spices and reserve.

Heat nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast - about 4 minutes.  Add butter and cook, stirring until the nuts begin to darken - about 1 minute.  Add the spices, sugar, 1 tablespoon of water, and salt and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and the nuts are glazed, about 5 minutes.  Remove the nuts from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating them with a fork.  Let the nuts stand until cooled and the sugar has hardened - about 10 minutes.  Store in an airtight container.