Friday, May 11, 2012

Creamy Goodness

What's better than chicken and noodle soup on a chilly day?  Creamy chicken and noodle soup.  I got a wow from the Mister on this one. 

Creamy Chicken and Noodle Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, cut in 1/4 inch slices
2 celery ribs, halved length-wise and cut in 1/4 inch slices
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
8 cups chicken stock (add a couple of bouillon cubes if not flavorful enough)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup heavy cream
1 batch homemade egg noodles cooked(recipe to follow) or 8 oz store-bought cooked
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large stock pot over medium heat and add olive oil.  Once oil is heated through, add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf.  Cook and stir for about 6 minutes or until the vegetables are softened but not browned.  Pour in the chicken stock, chicken, cream of chicken, and cream of mushroom and bring the liquid to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 25 minutes.  Add the cooked noodles, dried parsley, and heavy cream.  Cook about 5 minutes or until heated through. 

Homemade Egg Noodles

2 cups flour
3 egg yolks 
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 -3/4 cup water
Using stand-mixer, measure flour into bowl, add egg yolks, whole egg and salt.  Thoroughly mix egg into flour.  Add water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.  Be sure to add only enough water to form dough into a ball.  Turn dough onto well-floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  If using a Kitchenaid, use dough hook to knead for about 5-7 minutes.  Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Divide dough into four equal sections.  Roll dough, one section at a time, out until paper-thin, keeping remaining dough covered.  
Cut dough cross-wise into 1/4-inch for wide noodles
Cut strips into smaller pieces.  
Place in boiling water (with salt or chicken bouillon added) and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes.

Drain well.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Little Miss Picasso

We have an artist among us folks.  Little Miss M is a very hands on kind of girl, so art is perfect for her.  She's in an after-school art club and absolutely loves it.  She's pretty darn good at it too, if you ask me!  Tonight was her art club's showcase where the students show off their art work to the parents.  Little Miss M had four pieces on exhibit.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did! 

The Mickey Mouse plate above and the pig up on the pedestal...

The white cup in the middle...

Paper mache penguin...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cookies and Cream

I just discovered the perfect chocolate chip cookie for icecream sandwiches.  Normally I'm a chewy gooey in the middle cookie kind of girl, but icecream sandwiches are a completely different story.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  These are just the right amount of soft and chewy, but substantial enough to sandwich icecream in the middle. 

Icecream Sandwich Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.  

 Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. 

Cool completely before making icecream sandwiches.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lightening Leprechauns

The Mister and Little Miss M had their last soccer game of the season yesterday.  Don't worry, the Mister was coaching, not playing.  Although they had a great time, I think it's safe to say they are both glad the season is over! 

Looks like we might have another little soccer player on our hands before too long! 

Go Lightening Leprechauns!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

More Cheese Please

I love macaroni and cheese.  From the box or from scratch.  I prefer the from scratch stuff, but any old kind will do.  One of these days I'll share my Mema's Southern Macaroni and Cheese recipe with you.  If you're lucky.  For now, you'll have to settle with this one.  It's pretty darn good though.  I added some broccoli to mine just for kicks.  Add it or don't add it.  It still tastes good.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

8 oz pasta (I used elbow macaroni this time, but have been known to mix it up with bowtie or shells)
2 crowns of broccoli, stalk removed and cut into pieces
4 tablespoons salted butter (If you use unsalted, you will just need to add a little salt to the sauce)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Frank's hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

Bring water to boil and cook pasta according to package.  After pasta has cooked for two minutes, add broccoli and cook remaining time.  

Once pasta is cooked to your liking, drain and set aside.  Using same pot that you cooked the pasta in, melt butter on medium heat.  Once butter is completely melted, add heavy cream, hot sauce, and ground mustard.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  

Add pasta and broccoli to cream mixture, mixing well.  

Add cheese and stir continuously until cheese is completely mixed in and melted through.

Even Baby P enjoyed this one!  In tiny baby-size pieces, of course!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beans Beans

When we go out for Mexican food, I usually end up getting full off of the chips and salsa before our food ever gets to the table.  The Mister and I almost always end up sharing a plate, since there really is no point in me ordering my own meal.  My favorite part of the meal is being able to dip chips in the side of refried beans.  It is oh so good.  That's why I love this next recipe so much.  You get the goodness of a side of cheesy refried beans and salsa!  Now that's what I'm talking about!  

Cheesy Bean Dip

1 16 oz can refried beans
1 8 oz block cream cheese
1 to 1/2 cups salsa
1 to 1/2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, colby jack, or a Mexican blend preferably)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
jalapeno slices

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spread cream cheese in bottom of 9x9 casserole dish.  (For some reason I can't seem to find my 9x9, so I cut the recipe in half and put in loaf pan.)

Heat beans for about 30 seconds in microwave to make it easier for spreading.  Add cumin and chili powder to beans and mix well.  Spread bean mixture over cream cheese.

Pour salsa over beans and spread.  You want just enough salsa to cover the beans is why the variation in measurement.  I usually don't measure, just put what I think looks good...

Place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until it starts to bubble on the outside edges.  Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over top.  Put jalapenos on top of cheese.  I say the more the better!  

Place back in oven for around 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!!