Monthly Archives: July 2012

Italian Countryside Soup

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Italian Countryside Soup (slow cooker)

What makes this soup great soup is that it is light but still hardy. Recipe adapted from my Crockpot cookbook.

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1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano (undrained)
2 cans cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
2 small to medium zucchinis, chopped
1-2 cups frozen cut green beans
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 T dried basil
1 package kielbasa, chopped
1 small package of cheese-filled tortellini

Sauté onions and bell peppers in olive oil until tender. Add to crockpot. Then, add cannelloni beans, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, spices, and chicken broth. Set on high for 3 1/2 hours. Add tortellini and sausage and continue to cook for another 25-30 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!

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Easy Breakfast Casserole

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Breakfast Casserole

What makes this recipe so great? You do not have to make it the night before like most breakfast casseroles. Plus, the ingredients can be anything you like. Too easy!

1 tube of crescent rolls – they make them in solid sheets now for baking
Your choice of breakfast meat – I used sausage crumbles
10 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded cheese (any kind you prefer. I used cheddar)
2 1/2 T milk
salt and pepper, to taste
And any other ingredients you want!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Line the prepared baking dish with unrolled crescent roll dough. Let it come up the sides a bit.
Layer the sausage crumbles and cheese (and any other ingredients) over the crescent dough. Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper and pour over bacon and cheese.
Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the center is set. Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!

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Blue Cheese Walnut Spread

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Blue Cheese Walnut Spread

This is not for the faint of heart as it is full of strong flavored ingredients. I happen to love it and most of our friends who have tried it absolutely love it.

1 cup Walnuts, chopped
1 6oz tub of crumbled Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola
1 small Red Onion, diced fine
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
3 handfuls of Cilantro, chopped

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Fold all the ingredients together. I serve it with apple or pear slices, and crackers. We’ve also tried it on top of steak filets. Thanks to my sweet friend, Betsy, for this one! Enjoy!

Fresh Blueberry Bars

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Fresh Blueberry Bars

This tastes so amazing with the fresh blueberries and cream cheese frosting. It’s nice and light and makes you think of summer. * Note: you will bake the crust and filling one day then refrigerate over night before frosting the next day. Or at the very least make in the morning and refrigerate until completely chilled before frosting. *

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Crust:
1/2 lb butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup + 2 T flour
Pinch of cinnamon

Filling:
5 whole eggs
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
3/4 t salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
Flour to coat berries
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Pinch of cinnamon

Icing:
1 lb cream cheese,
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the flour and cinnamon and mix until combined. Spread dough into the bottom of a buttered 9×13- inch pan. Bake until lights brown, or half-baked, approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove and let cool.

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Filling:
Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a bowl until smooth; stir in vanilla and salt. Toss the blueberries in flour, shaking off any excess. Fold walnuts and blueberries into sugar mixture; add cinnamon and mix. Pour into pre-baked crust and bake until firm, approximately 30 minutes. Remove and chill overnight.

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For the icing:
Cream powdered sugar and cheese until smooth; add vanilla and almond extract and drizzle over bars. Ice the bars the next day and cute into squares.

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Big Thank You to my dear friend, Mindy, for assisting! 🙂

Southern sweet tea & Tervis Tumbler

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As a Southerner, I like nothing better on a hot lazy summer day than sweet tea. What I don’t like is messing with boiling tea bags and waiting for tea to cool. Well, now I have found the quickest and easiest way to have fresh brewed sweet tea! I ordered Celestial Seasonings “Southern Sweet” black tea for my Keurig and I absolutely love it! You just brew it over ice and immediately have a great glass of sweet tea.

Another Southern favorite of mine is Tervis Tumbler. It’s the BEST insulated tumbler with a lifetime warranty and made in the USA. You can get them in hundreds of different themes and sizes. I have a collection of different sizes but my favorite is the 24 ounce tumbler. Here’s a link to their website: Tervis Enjoy!

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Southern Chicken Salad

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Southern Chicken Salad

I know what you are thinking, and no, none of the ingredients are fried. 🙂 This is actually a recipe I came up with through trial and error. You can substitute the dried cranberries with diced apples or grapes. I am also including directions on how I prepare the chicken. You can always use rotisserie chicken or prepare the chicken how you usually would.

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2 lbs skinless chicken tenders, cooked & diced (separate cooking directions below)
4-5 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 cup sweet relish, drained well
2-3 T mayo, Hellman’s
1-2 T Ken’s honey mustard dressing
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste
Poppy seeds to sprinkle on top (just makes it look nice!)

Mix ingredients together and taste… add more of above if needed. I usually serve with a wrap, croissants, or crackers. Enjoy!

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Chicken directions:

I’ve tried cooking chicken for this recipe a bunch of different ways and have found this way is my favorite and pretty easy. It always comes out moist and cooked perfectly for this type of recipe. I usually cook the chicken the day before or the morning of when I need it.

2 lbs chicken tenders (I love the Kirkland Signature brand from Costco)
I packet Herb-ox sodium free beef bouillon powder
Water to cover chicken

This is kind of a modified braised method as I don’t brown the chicken beforehand. Place chicken in medium to large sauce pan and add water so that it just covers the chicken. Add the beef bouillon and mix a little with a fork. Turn on to high and bring water to a rolling boil. Then, cover and turn heat to low. Cook on low heat for about 45 minutes. Let cool and store overnight or to use later.

Tortilla Pizza

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Tortilla Pizza

I love thin crust pizza and this is a great option for making thin crust/low carb pizzas at home. Fast and easy recipe and perfect for last minute dinners.

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1 large tomato and basil tortilla (any large favored tortilla or wrap)
1/2 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano, drained
1 – 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
You can use any toppings you prefer. For this one I used turkey pepperoni and fresh basil.
Set oven to 425 and cook pizzas for 18-20 mins. Enjoy!