Sunday, January 15, 2012

{Creamy Baked Potato Soup}

It's been rather cold around snow just cold!!  So I love to make soups this time of year.  My mom makes THE best baked potato soup.  My rather picky baked potato loving husband LOVED it - yay!!

Creamy Baked Potato Soup
4-5 baked potatoes - we used about 8 small red potatoes (already baked)
pkg diced ham
shredded cheese
white sauce recipe here
salt and pepper
chicken bouillon
carton half and half

Directions -
Make your white sauce except use milk and half & half.  I alternated the milk and then the half & half as I would cook it down and get it nice and creamy.  Then I salt and pepper to taste and added about 1-2 tsp of the bouillon or until I got the right flavor.  I diced my potatoes and added them to the soup along with the ham.  Then sprinkled shredded cheese on top before serving.

--Candy Cane Snowballs--

We made these yummy little pillow cookies for Christmas neighbor treats.  They were very yummy.  You could also make them for Valentines Day with all your left over candy canes!  I found the recipe here.
Candy Cane Snowballs
  • 3 c. powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 2 t. vanilla (or if you’d prefer a stronger peppermint flavor, you can replace 1 t. of vanilla with a teaspoon of peppermint extract)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 c. finely crushed candy canes, divided
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2-3 T. milk
1. In a mixing bowl, beat 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Slowly add to mixing bowl, beating until combined, about 1 minute. Stir 1/2 cup finely crushed candy canes in by hand.
3. Roll dough into small balls using just under a teaspoon of dough. Rolls balls through granulated sugar to coat and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool.
4. While cookies bake, stir together remaining 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar with 2-3 T. of milk. Add just enough milk to form a thick glaze. Drizzle over cooled cookies and top with remaining crushed candy canes immediately.

Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Here is another Pinterest favorite at our house.
Did you know that the grill cheese is becoming one of "the" greatest trends right now?  Restaurants based just on the grill cheese are popping up everywhere.  There are quite the hottest "adult" thing to eat - lol!!  And believe me they aren't the typical cheese and bread sandwiches either.  Well when I found this one it had me hooked at avacodo -- that is my favorite!  So we have this at our house for lunch a lot:)

Avocado Grilled Cheese
whole wheat bread
mozzeralla cheese thinly sliced
ripe avocado sliced thinly
sliced tomatoes
ham -- the lady used pepperoni (but we aren't a fan at our house) or even turkey would work
Assemble, butter both sides of your bread and toast.  We found that using a panini press really helped to keep it all squished together and not fall apart when flipping.

~THE Perfect Party Punch~

I found this punch here on Pinterest and it's from a lady that says she is the punch queen - lol!  She was very convincing that her punch is THE punch to serve at parties.  So my mom and I decided to mix it up for our New Year's Eve party.  We also just recently had it at my cousins baby shower.  It is REALLY good!!  But the lady is rather particular about how to assemble the punch so read the whole thing before you start.

The Punch
1 can frozen pina colada concentrate, thawed (Bacardi makes a good one)
1 can frozen orange pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
4 liters of diet lemon-lime soda (That’s two 2-Liters for the mathematically challenged.)
1 bag of pebble ice (You can buy it at Sonic Drive-In or at most grocery stores in the deli or meat departments.)
1 bag of frozen raspberries
And now for the directions:
*Pour the thawed concentrates into your punchbowl and stir.
*Use one of the empty cans and fill it with water four times and add it to the mixture. Stir.
*Add your diet soda to the mixture. (You can use regular sugar-filled soda if you want, but I think it gets too sweet and you will also feel guilty when you fill your glass for the sixteenth time. Which you WILL.)
*Next, add about half your bag of pebble ice.
(NOTE: Please do not insult The Punch by using crappy ice cubes from your freezer. The Punch will hate you forever.) (ANOTHER NOTE: Please do not screw up the order and add the ice before the soda. You will get an ugly foam at the top of your punch bowl.) (ONE MORE NOTE: I’m sorry if it seems like I’m micro-managing this recipe. It’s just that I have already suffered bad punch experiences so that you won’t have to. I micro-manage because I care.) Let’s see….where were we? Oh, yes. We’re ready for the crowning ingredient…
*Add your frozen raspberries to the top.

Gingerbread Cookies

For Christmas this year my son begged me to make gingerbread cookies instead of our traditional sugar cookies (thanks to a weeks worth of reading the book in school).  So I asked me friend Lori for her famous oh so yummy recipe.  These are to die for!!

Gingerbread Cookies
Recipe From Scovil Bakery, Historic Nauvoo
In a small bowl, whisk together:
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
2 tsp ginger
and set aside.
In large bowl, cream together:
¾ cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup sorghum (molasses)
1 ¼ cups sugar.
½ cup hot water
In a separate bowl, combine:
6 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
the spice mixture prepared above,
then add this mixture to the wet ingredients. (Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. )
Refrigerate overnight.
Roll out dough on a floured surface. Use cookie cutter to cut out cookie shapes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes for soft cookies; 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies.
Cookies freeze well and are softer and more flavorful after freezing.
Note: spraying the mixing bowl with Pam before adding the ingredients helps the dough to come out more easily.
You can make a simple glaze by mixing desired amount of powdered sugar with milk to get a smooth texture and cinnamon to taste.  Then I just dipped the cookies into the glaze and let set up.
We also dipped them in chocolate and those tasted REALLY yummy!!:)

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

Hey friends, sorry I have put my food blog on the back burner for quite a few months.  But I promised myself I would get caught up, so be prepared for lots of yummy recipes to come.  Most of these dishes, like this one, I found on Pinterest.  If you haven't discovered the world of pinning then I dare you to start and believe me you will get hooked.  You can follow me here if you would like!
Well this recipe is from the famous celebrity nutritionist Christine Avanti and our whole family LOVED it!!  So enjoy...

Tortilla Chip Chicken Enchiladas
4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 14 oz. can fired roasted tomatoes, organic
1 14 oz. can enchilada sauce, mild
½ bag Doritios, baked
2 cups cheddar cheese, fat free, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, low fat, shredded
1 2.8 oz. can black olives, sliced, organic
1 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
½ cup sour cream, non fat
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté chicken cubes with garlic, salt, pepper, onions, bell pepper and jalapeno pepper for 5 minutes on medium heat add fire roasted tomatoes and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. When done remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add fat free cheese, olives and tortilla chips, mix well. In a 9x13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour half of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish, tilt dish to evenly spread sauce across the bottom. Next, pour meat, cheese and tortilla chip mixture into the baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Sprinkle remaining low fat cheese evenly over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Garnish with non fat sour cream and fresh cilantro.