Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

This is a great baked potato soup made in the crock pot. The recipie came from one of my favorite blogs "A Year of Slow Cooking". If you enjoy using your slow cooker you should check this site out for some great recipes.

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 to 2-inch chunks
1 teeny onion, diced (I used dried minced onion)
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used garlic powder)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
2 quarts chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, to add at the end
crumbled bacon and green onion or chives as garnish (optional)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Peel and dice the potatoes, and put them into the stoneware. Add onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the seasonings, and pour in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. The potatoes should be fork-tender. You can use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the soup, or a hand-held immersible blender. I suppose you can also leave the potatoes in chunks, if you really wanted, but I wanted a smooth soup.

After smashing the potatoes, crumble in both packages of cream cheese, and put the lid back on. Cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is completely dissolved. Stir a few times during the 30 minutes.

Garnish with crumbled bacon, green onion or chives, and I'd assume cheddar cheese would be just delightful.

I used my blender to smooth out the soup and it was a little too smooth. I think next time I'll just use the potato masher and maybe blend 1/2 of it. I think this would also be good if you left some of the skins on the potatoes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is a family standard. I made the fist batch of the season yesterday and the boys are having it for dinner tonight. I look forward to leftovers. This soup makes A LOT, but it freezes well.

2 Tbl butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
Sauté onion in butter until translucent
Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil
Add 5 chicken bullion cubes and stir to dissolve (you could also just use 5 cups chicken broth)
Add 8oz package of egg noodles, crushed (I like the thin noodles)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Bring to a boil until noodles are tender
Add 2 pks chopped broccoli thawed and drained well
Cook for 4 minutes
Add 5 cups milk and 2lb cubed Velveeta cheese
Heat over low until cheese is melted.

Baked Potatoes and Roasted Chicken

This recipie is really good and honestly couldn't be easier.

Scrub 3-4 baking potatoes (how ever many will fit in the bottom of your crock pot) and poke a few holes in each one to release steam. Cover potatoes tightly with foil and place in bottom of crock pot. Season 4 bone in, skin on, chicken breasts and place on top of poatoes. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, until chicken is done.

I used a parmesean spice blend/rub that I had on hand but you could use any rub you want or just salt and pepper. The chicken was very moist and the potatoes were cooked just right. I ate after it had been in the crock pot about 10 hours, the chicken was starting to get a bit dry, but was still moist.

Menu for the Week of October 10

Monday-Roast Chicken, baked potatoes, steamed carrots, biscuits
Tuesday-Broccoli Cheese Soup
Wednesday-Whatever Chad and I decide
Thursday-Parmesan and Potato Crusted Chicken Fingers, brussel sprouts, rice or potatoes or whatever I can find in the cabinet

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I just had an amazing salad for lunch so I thought I would share what made it so good. It was just a basic iceburg lettuce salad with a few carrots, cauliflower, and a few spare pieces of celery in it. I also added some leftover hamsteak and usd honey mustard dressing. The party that was really good was the trail mix I threw on top. It is a mix that is crasins, soynuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds. It was great! It added some nice flavor and crunchyness while still being pretty healthy. I highly recommend topping your salad with trail mix.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I thought I would add a couple bonus recipes since it has been awhile. We made these dips to take to some friends' house to have during the Iowa/Iowa State game. The dips and company were great, the game...not so much.

Chicken Enchillada Dip
Cook chicken in crock pot in red enchillada sauce.
Shred chicken.
Mix cubed velveeta cheese, chicken, 2 cans Rotel and 1 new can enchillada sauce. Heat in crock pot until hot and dippy. It was very good. You could totally spice it up or change it however you would like.

Spinach Dip
(adapted from this recipe

Ok, so pretty much I made this dip without the feta or nutmeg. I also didn't use fresh garlic I used garlic garlic dip from Tastefully Simple. It was very good. I think it needed more garlic. OH, and I added some finely chopped water chestnuts to add a bit of crunch. It was very good with Wheat Thins, tortilla chips, and I'm sure it woudl be good with veggies.

Crock Pot Pork Chops

Ok, so this is a really easy recipe and I probably shouldn't even post it, but they were really good.

A while back we bought some bone in pork chops that we just weren't that impressed with. We tried grilling and baking them and they just didn't work. Then I tried them in the crock pot and they were tender and flavorful. So, last night I did them in the crock pot again and they were a hit. Even Connor liked them.

Pork chops with a bone (mine were VERY frozen)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (really you could use any, mushroom would be good)
Salt, pepper, and I added some Mrs. Dash of some sort.

I put the pork chops in the crock pot, dumped the soup on, added about 1/2 a can of water (probably don't need this) and the seasoning. Cooked on low for about 10-11 hours and then put on warm until we ate about 2 hours later. They just fell apart. The sauce was pretty tasty too.

I'm Back!

After several weeks, ok months away, I think I'm back. We had a crazy summer that made menu planning and trying new recipes pretty tough. But we are trying again so we'll see what happens.

Here is this week's menu

Sunday-Meatloaf, salad, green beans, boxed potatoes (we were supposed to have mashed but the bag of potatoes I bought was rotten :( )
Monday-Pork chops, peas, stove top stuffing
Tuesday-Pasta, salad or frozen veggies
Wedneady-Enchilladas and veggies of some sort. There migth also be rice involved
Thursday-Chicken and stuffing bake
Friday-The boys and Catherine are on their own-I'm going on a quilting expedition

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pineapple Salsa

This is a great salsa modification that makes for a fun alternitive to regular salsa. And as a bonus it is very easy.

1 jar salsa
1 can corn, drained
1 can crushed pineapple, drained.

Mix it all together and eat with chips!

When I made it I used a large can of pineapple, a regular size can of corn, and a big jar of salsa. I ended up adding a bit more salsa, but it would have been fine if I didn't have any in the refrigerator.

You can use any kind of salsa. It was originally made with black bean and corn salsa, but I don't like black beans. You could also add a can of rinsed black beans if you like that sort of thing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fruit and Spice Pork Chops

First an appology. With June being the busy time at work and some family issues that have been going on, I just haven't been cooking much this month, so I applogize for the lack of new recipes. However, the one I'm posting today turned out really well, so it might be worth the wait.

A while back we bought a bone-in porkloin and had it cut into chops. Well, we really haven't liked them that much. We just haven't found the best way to cook them that gives us a tender chop. Well, this recipe does the job. I think the key is a long cooking time with lots of luquid. This recipe is basiclly the one I found on this blog... with a few minor changes. If you like to use your crock pot this blog is a great source of recipes.

But anyway, here is what I made.

Fruit and Spice Pork Chops

6 bone-in pork chops
1 cup apricot jam
3 tbl brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cinnemon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
a few whole cloves
1 lg can mandarin oranges with the juice.

Spray the inside of a 6 qt crock pot with nonstick spray. Mix together the jam, sugar, and spices. Place pork chops in the crock pot and cover with the jam mix. Pour the can of oranges and juice on top. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.

I needed to have two layers of chops to get it all in the crock pot so I put some of the sauce on top of the first layer. I also cooked them a lot longer. I think I did 2 hours on high and 5-6 on low. I served these with couscous and veggies. They turned out really good and I would make them again.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

I made this soup over the weekend to take in my lunch this week and next. It made a lot so I probably could get 8-10 days out of it. It is a bit bland so I will add more seasoning next time.

Vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb beef chuck, cut in 3/4" cubes (I used pre cubed stew meat)
1 medium onion, chopped (our onion was bad so I just used some onion flakes)
4 cans beef broth (I used two boxes low sodium)
1 can (28-35 oz) plum tomatoes (I used crushed)
2 cups water (I used a little less water and more broth)
1 bay leaf*
1/4 tsp dried thyme*
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
1 lb red poatoes, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced (opps, I just realized I forgot this-I even bought some)
1 pkg frozen peas
1 pkg frozen corn (I used a can-drained)
Barley (I think I used 1/2 cup)

Brown beef in vegetable oil. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, water, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Once it came to a boil I added the barley and cooked it unti lthe barley was tender.

Add carrots, potatoes, and celery, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Add peas and corn and cook 15 minutes.

*I didn't have the right seasoning so I added some thyme, parsley, and Italian seasoning. I would just make this part up, use whatever seasoning you like.

As I'm sure you can tell this was a real recipe that I just adapated to what I wanted and had around the house. It would be great without the meat or with additional vegetables. It is a basic vegetable beef soup. It worked well for me and was a lot more cost effective than buying 8 cans of $2 soup.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rhubarb Crunch

This recipe came from the Gilbert Lutheran Church Cookbook.

3 cups sliced rhubarb
1 cup white sugar
1 TBL flour, rounded
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter-melted

Mix the first 5 ingredients and place in greased 9X9 cake pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients except butter and put on top of rhubarb. Pour the melted butter over the top of the topping, doing your best to cover the entire top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes

Emily's Notes:
I doubled this and made it in a 9x13 pan. It was very good, but a little sweet. If your rhubarb is very sweet you might want to reduce the sugar or add a bit of lemon juice. I also baked mine for a lot longer until it looked golden.

This is very good and I will make it again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Menu for the Week of May 2

Ok, this month is getting away from me and I haven't done the menu or shopping. But we do have a menu for this week. I really hope to get the rest of the month done tonight so I can shop on Saturday.

Monday-Hot dogs and mac and cheese
Wednesday-Breakfast casserole
Thursday-Whatever you can find
Friday-Scalloped potatoes and ham

Unfortunatly, there are no new recipes this week :( However, I made my Mexican Cheesecake for a party on Saturday so I'll post that as a special treat sometime this week.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chicken and Rice

This is a recipe that I adapted from one give to me by a friend. I really liked the way she made it, but a few alterations were needed to get Connor to eat it.

Chicken and Rice

2 chicken breasts cubed and cooked
Hot cooked rice (I use however much is made when you use 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water)
1 can cream of chicken soup (you can use cream of mushroom)
1/2 cup sour cream (you can use mayo)
2 cups shredded cheese
A few sprinkles of dried onion flakes.

Mix it all together saving 1 cup cheese for the top. Top with cheese and bake at 350unilt hot and the cheese is melted.

The original recipe calls for green peppers and onions instead of peas.

This is very good and pretty easy to make. It also reheats will for lunch.

Pizza Burgers

This is an adaptation of my grandma's pizza burger recipe. I have made a few changes that in my mind made them easier but just as good. I'm going from memory here so hopefully I won't leave anything out. If I find I did, I'll update.

Pizza Burgers
1 1/2 lb ground beef browned with chopped onion
1 can Spam cut into small cubes (yes, that's right, Spam)
1 cup shredded chedder cheese
1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1-2 jars pizza sauce

Mix it all together. Top 1/2 a bun with the mixture and broil until hot. If you like the tops toasted you can butter them and put them in the broiler too.

You want the mixture wet enough to hold together but not soupy like a sloppy joe, so the amount of sauce you use might vary. I think I used 1/2 small jars last time I made them.

I added green olives and canned mushrooms last time I made these and it was really good. I've usually added olives but the mushrooms were a first. You could also add green peppers or any other pizza topping you like. I have thought about chopping up pepperoni to add as well.

These reheat surprisingly well. Just heat the mixture up in the microwave and put on a bun. Yummy lunch!

Catching Up

Well, it has been a crazy couple of weeks with sick babies, birthday parties, and baseball games. So, I'm going to attempt to catch up. I think I owe at least two recipes and a menu. Folks, I'm sorry to say but the menu just isn't going to happen this week. I haven't had a chance to work on this month's menu so I'm trying to get that done this week and figure out what we are eating this week at the same time. Last night we had chicken and rice, tonight we are grilling something, and either tomorrow or Thursday we will have pasta. Who knows what we will have the other day. I'm hoping to get back on track with menus in the next couple of days. But until then, here are a couple of recipes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu for the Week of April 25

This week's menu is planned, but I'm pretty sure it won't stay this way. It has been a crazy couple of weeks and the plan hasn't always been followed. As such, there are a couple meals that haven't gotten made that I would like to make. But, here is the plan...

Monday-Pizza Burgers
Tuesday-Kabobs and CousCous
Wednesday-Orange Chicken and Broccoli
Thursday-Fiesta Bake

I will be sharing the recipe for a few of these meals, hopefully they will turn out. Taco burgers and fiesta bake are not new, so I know those will be good. I don't see the kabobs happening since we just had those and who knows how the orange chicken will turn out. I will probably make the baked potato soup from last week instead of the kabobs.

Have a great week!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken and Brocoli Casserole

This is a family favorite. There is usually a little left over and whoever gets to take it in their lunch is very lucky. The great thing is, this is super easy and pretty quick to make.

2 cups cooked chicken-chopped
1 bag frozen broccoli cuts thawed and drained
1 cup mayo
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 stick of butter or margarine melted
1 bag/box croutons

Mix the chicken, broccoli, mayo, soup, cheese, and pepper together. Spread in a greased 9x13 glass baking dish. Mix croutons and butter together and top casserole with croutons. Bake at 350 45 minutes to an hour or until it is bubbly.

This is not a recipe where I really measure much-shocking! I know. Last night I used a whole package of chicken cut into small pieces and a bag of broccoli. Sometimes I use more, sometimes less it all depends on what I have on hand. I also baked it for about 20 minutes last night before putting the croutons on so they didn't get as dark. This worked really well.

I love this casserole! It is also very good if you use the broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mixture instead of just broccoli.

Menu for the Week of April 18

Here is this week's menu. I already anticipate changes.

Sunday-Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Monday-Chicken Tacos
Tuesday-Chicken Cordon Blue
Wednesday-Dinner Out
Thursday-Baked Potato Soup

I haven't included Friday or Saturday because our plans are still up in the air. This is our anniversary weekend so we will probably go out Friday night. We have some family in town on Saturday so we will probably eat with them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

8-10 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 ½ lb ham, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 c (or more, to taste) cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup

Spray crock pot with non-stick spray. Place ingredients in layers as follows:
- half the potatoes
- half the cubed ham
- half the chopped onion
- salt and pepper
- half the cheese

Repeat same layers.

Pour soup over the top. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8+.

WOW! This was awesome, and even better reheated for lunch. We used leftover baptism ham, which was a bit salty, but other than that it was great. The recipe originally only called for the mushroom soup, but I didn't think that looked like enough so I added the chicken. Generally speaking, I think the cream of chicken soup adds more flavor. I'm also pretty sure we used more cheese. We went home for lunch and put this together so it turned on around 12:30 and cooked on high until we at around 6. There were some burnt edges, but they were really good. I've never sprayed my crock pot before, but now I will because clean up was a snap. If you don't have a mandolin slicer and have always wanted one, this is the reason to get one. I would have gone crazy if I had to slice all the potatoes. Plus, they were all the same size and cooked evenly.

This is definitely on the repeat list.

Dinner Menu for Week of April 12

Here is what we are having/have had this week for dinner...

Monday-Chicken and Rice, bread
Tuesday-Scalloped Potatoes and Ham in the Crock Pot, peas
Wednesday-Cranberry Roast in the Crock Pot, steamed glazed carrots, buttered noodles
Friday-VEISHEA food

Recipe of the Week is all grown up!

Once upon a time I started sharing recipes with friends on a nearly weekly basis and Recipe of the Week was born. Unfortunately as time went on Recipe of the Week became Recipe of Whenever I Had the Time and Something to Share. Recently, I've begun mapping out my dinner menus a month at a time and have been trying a lot of new recipes. As I've been discussing these recipes with friends and coworkers they have been asking for them so I thought it was time to resurrect Recipe of the Week. But then I thought, maybe I'll just start a blog instead of an e-mail list, that could be fun. So, here we are, Recipe of the Week became a blog when it grew up.

This blog will include weekly menus, recipes, tips, and thoughts on recipes. When I know where I got a recipe I will do my best to name my source. I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions on recipes you have tried or think we should try.