Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

I'm always trying to find new, unique ways to get my kids eating veggies they may not necessarily love already. Cauliflower wasn't too particularly hard to get them to eat because they love broccoli and I told them this was white broccoli. :) The soup was really good and we all happily gobbled it up. You really can't go wrong with adding bacon either!

I found this recipe on Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. It's a blog I haven't been following for too long. I'd say less than a year. I'm still exploring and finding new things to make. Lynn has such a great site set up, plus a gluten-free section. It's easy on the eyes and easy to navigate around it :) I've made Blueberry Baked Oatmeal off her site and I am looking forward to making her Creamy Coconut Cake, Homemade Smoothie Mix, and One Pot Spaghetti!

(Printable Version)

What you need:
  • 5 cups cauliflower
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)

Steam cauliflower until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Chop finely.
In a large saucepan, combine broth and half and half.

Whisk in flour slowly. Cook over medium high heat until it thickens, stirring constantly.

Add cauliflower and reduce to medium low. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Add cheese and stir until melted.

Serve topped with bacon. 

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    Friday, March 30, 2012


    I am no stranger to sweets and I will try any sweets at least once. Snickerdoodles were a cookie that I had never made or eaten. When I lived with my in-laws and they had cookie dough from a chorus fundraiser my brother-in-law had participated in, we had plenty of snickerdoodle dough. I just never chose to eat any of them. {How could I choose them over white chocolate macadamia nut????} I knew they had cinnamon in them, but that was really as far as my knowledge went.

    As I've mentioned before, I've been going through my old recipes and trying to make the old before I try the newer ones.  I was happy to try out a cookie recipe. I think they are probably my favorite "dessert" - they are small in portion size and they keep well. They don't take up a lot of space.

    This recipe was fantastic. The cookies were fluffed up and they were soft and chewy on the inside with a bit of crunch on the outside. I loved the sugar cookie-esque taste with the cinnamon in it!

    Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Chili Dogs

    I made this recipe for my son's 5th birthday a few weeks ago. He is a huge hot dog lover and I am a huge chili dog lover. I figured I could make the chili for me, my husband, and my daughter. Only my husband and I ate the chili, but that's perfectly fine. I really loved this chili - it reminds me (and hubs agreed) of Skyline A LOT...and as you all may well know, we love our Skyline {Skyline Copycat, Cincinnati Chili #1, Cincinnati Chili #2}. The only thing that was really different was that it didn't have cocoa powder like Skyline does.

    Oh and due to a lovely recipe {Oven Hot Dogs}, I am now a total mayo-on-hot-dogs lover! Like I needed something else to add mayonnaise to?!

    (Printable Version)
    What you need:
    • 4 tbsp. butter
    • 1 yellow onion, finely diced (plus some for topping)
    • 2 tbsp. chili powder 
    • 2 tbsp. paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
    • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
    • 1 tsp. dry mustard
    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • salt
    • 1 lb. ground beef
    • 1 1/4 cups water
    • Hot dogs
    • Hot dog buns
    • Toppings: mustard, mayo, relish, onions, cheese, etc.
    Melt butter in a large skillet with diced onion. Cook until translucent, trying not to brown the onions.

    Add your spices to the onions; mix well.

    Add ground beef and water, working to crumble it up as finely as possible.
    Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

    Cook your hot dogs when chili is almost done - boil, nuke, fry, grill - choose your method!
    Serve chili over hot dogs and top with your favorite toppings!

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      ~Twisted Thursday #53 ~

      Wednesday, March 28, 2012

      Baked Veggie Sandwiches

      This had been on my menu plan for what seemed like forever and I would always put it off for something quicker. I did finally make it and then I was straight up kicking myself for not making it sooner. In a way, this kind of tasted like a vegetable pizza. I was able to get my kids to eat veggies they don't normally eat (red peppers and spinach) - it was a win-win all around :)

      What you need:
      • 2 3/4 cups flour
      • 1 tsp. salt
      • 2 1/4 tsp. rapid rise yeast
      • 2 tbsp. olive oil
      • 1 cup cold water
      • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
      • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced finely
      • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
      • 1 cup spinach, I used frozen
      • 1 cup carrots, grated
      • 1 garlic clove, minced
      • 2 tsp. olive oil
      • marinara sauce (for dipping) - optional
      Mix together flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl.

      Add in oil and cold water. Stir until a ball forms.

      Knead the ball a few times on a lightly floured surface and then place in a Ziploc bag.
      Let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

      Divide in half and let sit out covered with a tea towel until puffy, about 30 minutes.
      Heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.

      Add all your veggies (if you use fresh spinach, hold out until the end) to the skillet and cook until crisp-tender and spinach is wilted.

      Spread 1/2 the dough into a greased 8x8" glass pan. Make sure it covers the whole bottom.

      Add 1/2 your cheese to the top of that.

      Then add your veggie mixture.

      Top with the rest of your cheese.

      Then stretch the other half of dough over the top.

      Bake for 15 to 30 minutes in a preheated 400* oven.
      Slice and serve with marinara to dip!

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      Tuesday, March 27, 2012

      Tamale Balls

      I know a lot of people have nightmares for in laws, but I am one of those lucky few who have the most awesome in laws ever! I love them to death :) I haven't really had the chance to share as many of my mother-in-law's recipes as I would like to. I have posted her Cincinnati Chili and Potato Candy recipes (two of my personal favorites, other than this one).

      This one is an oldie but a goodie. We actually hadn't made it since about late 2007. I told my husband not to forget that we have to make these more often. They are a pretty simple recipe. You just mix and let them cook. I'm going to try and figure out a way to make these in the crockpot because I always end up burning mine. I did manage to NOT burn them this time though - I stirred every 15 minutes.

      (Printable Version)
      Recipe from Francie Koehrsen

      What you need:
      • 1 lb. ground beef
      • 1 lb. sausage
      • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
      • 3/4 cup tomato juice
      • 1/2 cup flour
      • 1 tbsp. chili powder
      • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
      • 2 tsp. salt
      • 5 cups tomato juice
      • 1 tbsp. chili powder
      • 2 tsp. salt
      Combine all the non-sauce ingredients in a bowl.

      Roll into small balls.

      Place sauce ingredients into a large pot.

      Place balls into sauce. Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours.

      Stir every once in a while to prevent burning.
      Serve over rice.

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        Monday, March 26, 2012

        Secret Recipe Club: Lemon Fettuccine

        I could not have been more excited for this month's Secret Recipe Club recipe. I've been bursting-at-the-seams ready for reveal day :)

        This month my recipe comes from The Culinary Enthusiast. Kelley's blog is full of a ton of great looking recipes. I am excited to also make her Sweet and Sour Cocktail Meatballs and pretty much anything on her breakfast and dessert list. She is also one half of Seasonal Potluck, which is a very neat site dedicated to featuring seasonal fruits/veggies in the form of recipe link ups!

        Now initially I wasn't planning on specifically trying to find a lemon recipe. However, when I saw lemon fettuccine, I immediately decided to make it. My husband is always asking for more lemon recipes and I am completely fine with that when pasta of any sort is involved. Plus, this recipe gave me the excuse to get the lemon juicer tool that I've been pining over for a year :)

        I was also able to share this with a bunch of people via a Family Readiness Group meeting at the company (my husband is in the army). I put our leftovers into a square baking dish and topped it with my remaining Parmesan. I tossed it in the oven just to heat it back up. Those who tried it, loved it. I know one person who got at least seconds, if not more. I was kind of hoping that no one would eat it so I could have it all to myself. I love to eat spaghetti leftovers for literally 4 days. I was really looking forward to having tons of leftovers to eat. But I guess that no leftovers is a huge compliment as well because that means everyone loved it! I know we certainly did and it's definitely one I will make over and over.

        Saturday, March 24, 2012

        Fantastical Feature: Casserole Queens

        The Casserole Queens Cookbook: Put Some Lovin' in Your Oven with 100 Easy One-Dish Recipes

        I won this cookbook from Kim @ A Well-Seasoned Life

        We tried the following recipes from this cookbook:

        Queen Ranch Casserole on pg. 106 to 107 ~ this one was a pretty good recipe. It reminds me of another recipe I've tried, although I cannot put my finger on it.

        Creamed Carrot Crunch Casserole on pg. 130 - I really liked these. Next time I make them, I may change the ratio of carrots to bread crumbs. I am not a huge fan of bread crumbs though.

        Oh Boy! Broccoli Casserole on pg. 131 - we had this one as a side on Valentine's Day. I am hoping to experiment with homemade Velveeta with this one.

        Granola Oatmeal Bake on p. 157 - definitely my favorite of the recipes I tried from this cookbook. The kids and my husband also loved it.

        Broccoli Cornbread on p. 124 - now, I'm not completely sold on this one, but I'm also not a huge fan of cornbread. It was pretty good though for a cornbread. If I had to choose between this and any other cornbread I've had, it's easily this one.

        This cookbook gets 4 utensils from me.
        It has a great deal of recipes and the way it is set up is fantastic. The front is full of tips and tricks and some recipes are noted with a "freezes well" or "vegetarian-friendly" symbol :)

        Friday, March 23, 2012

        Andes Creamy Mint Brownies

        I'm sure you all are used to hearing this from me. I love broccoli, jalapenos, buffalo anything, chocolate, spaghetti, etc. Guess what else I love? Andes Mints.


        I love those little things. Lo and behold, it was a significant bonding moment when I found out my husband (when I was dating him 6 years ago) also really loved/s Andes Mints. It seemed like not too many people had heard of them or tried them before. I sure wasn't sharing any of my Andes mints for them to try.

        This is a recipe I got many many years ago and is part of my first set of recipes in my recipe binders. I recently made it for an FRG meeting. I had quite a few compliments and quite a few people asking for the recipe as well.

        I will, for sure, be testing this out with a homemade brownie recipe sometime soon. The topping on these brownies was killer and it went perfectly with the mints!

        Thursday, March 22, 2012

        Tuesday, March 20, 2012

        Almond Danish Swirls

        Honestly, I think these would be amazing for tea time...or like a book club meeting or something. They were so dainty and delicious. I loved them. I wanted to eat a billion of them.

        (Printable Version)
        Recipe from Paula Deen & Friends cookbook p.83

        What you need:
        • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
        • 1 tsp. almond extract
        • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
        • 4 oz. slivered almonds, chopped finely
        • 2 - 8 oz. cans refrigerated crescent rolls
        • 1 egg white
        For glaze:
        • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
        • 4 tsp. milk
        • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
        Beat together cream cheese, almond extract, and sugar until fluffy. Fold in half of the chopped almonds.

        Separate one can of crescent rolls into 4 rectangles. Seal the seams. Flatten to a 7x4-inch rectangle.
        Spread 2 tbsp. cream cheese mixture on each rectangle and roll up from short end.

        Repeat with other can of dough. Place all rolls onto a plate and cover with saran wrap. 
        Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350* and remove rolls from refrigerator.

        Slice each roll into four pieces and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

        Combine egg white with 1 tsp. water and brush over rolls. Top with remaining almonds.

        Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
        Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl. After rolls cool, drizzle glaze over the top.

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