Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup


This is an update from an older post. Each time I made this, I found I was making the same adjustments. It was time to update the blog to reflect that. I love this recipe and always have lots of compliments when I've taken it to people.

2 lbs chicken, cooked & cut up
I prefer to cook my chicken in the crockpot with 1 cup water & 2 tsp chicken bouillon & sprinkle with pepper.

Once chicken is cooked, in a large pot combine:
2 quarts chicken broth, I use Pacific organic chicken broth
1 quart water
1+ cup chicken juices leftover from crockpot (I usually use all that is leftover)
1/4 cup chicken soup base
1 large family size cream of chicken soup (26oz)
1 regular can cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz)
2 tsp dried minced onion
3+ carrots, grated
pinch of dried minced garlic
Dash of pepper
Very small dash of celery salt (my kids won't eat celery!)

1 24oz bag Reames frozen noodles (or use your own homemade noodles)
Start cooking the noodles in their own pot of water.Important: I usually sprinkle just a little bit of chicken bouillon in it to give them some flavor. Cook noodles until half done. These noodles take a bit to cook but I've fooled many people into thinking they're homemade... so it's worth the time to let them cook. (I've never mastered the whole homemade noodle thing, so I leave the work to Reames. However, my sister makes my mom's homemade noodle recipe all the time. Click here if you want authentic homemade noodles.) 

Meanwhile, put water, chicken bouillon granules, chicken soup base, cream of chicken soup, minced onion, and pinch of minced garlic in a large pot.I prefer to cook it on medium to help start the flavors to mix together. I use a whisk to make sure the soup mixes into the broth well. Once it is slightly boiling, grate carrots into the pot. These add great flavor and texture. And my kids eat the soup better if they are grated and not chopped. Plus, they cook faster that way. Allow the soup to continue a medium boil.

Once the noodles are almost done, throw them in the broth and let them finish cooking and absorb the flavor. The broth will also thicken from the starch of the noodles. Keep the soup at a rolling boil, being sure to stir often so the noodles aren't sticking to the bottom.Finally, add chicken. Add a dash of pepper for taste. I usually taste test along the way just to be sure it doesn't need a little more chicken soup base or bouillon. The cream of chicken soup usually does a great job of adding great flavor while still keeping the broth very chicken-noodle-like. I let it cook just a couple minutes past the noodles being done to be sure the chicken has absorbed lots of flavor from the broth.
After the noodles are done and it has passed a couple of taste tests, serve up with your favorite roll, breadsticks, or just a simple side salad! I promise you won't be disappointed. It's hard to mess this soup up.
It makes a big batch. Perfect for making some for your family & taking some to the neighbors or someone who just needs homemade chicken noodle soup in their life! :) This soup is also amazing served over homemade mashed potatoes! Oh heaven!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

EASY & FLAKY Pie Crust














Tips:
A friend told me she used her Bosch instead of a pastry cutter for the flour/shortening/butter mixture. OH MY GOSH! LOVE THIS! Used it today and made 6 crusts in less than 15 minutes. I love my pastry cutter. I'll save it for other recipes, but when I make pie crust, I make a ton so that I have them in the freezer for recipes to come. So, here's what you do: Simply put your shortening and/or butter in your mixer. Add your sifted (important) dry ingredients into the mixer. Using your whisk attachment, pulse the mixture briefly until you get the pea size chunks desired. Boom, you're done. Pour it into a bowl and add your wet ingredients, stir just until they're wet and you're all done. SUPER easy! You can get a lot of pie crust made doing it this way. I did a triple recipe and probably could have done a 4x recipe. It was so fast and easy!! Making my holiday pie making faster and easier. And into the freezer they go. Did you know cold pie crust is the best way to make pie? Your crust will be flakier & it's easier to work with and roll out. Good luck with all your pie making this Thanksgiving week!

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
5 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
 
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This step should take 3 or 4 minutes.

Lightly beat the egg with a fork, and then add it to the mixture. Next, add in the cold water and vinegar. Stir the mixture together until it's just combined, and then remove half the dough from the bowl. Yield: dough for 2 crusts. I usually make 3x or 4x batches at a time!

If making a regular recipe, divide the dough into 2 parts. Put each ball into a freezer bag and seal tightly. Press down on the dough, keeping it about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place in freezer. If using soon, keep the pie crust in the freezer for at least 30 min before using. Remove and roll out quickly and get it into the oven with your pie!

If you are making a large batch, divide the dough into  equal parts. A quadruple batch would make 8 crusts, a triple would make 6. Follow the same instructions as above. When ready to use, remove the crusts and place them on the counter for 20-30 min before you need them. DO NOT thaw in the microwave! Roll out as usual for any crust needs!

For rolling out, use a small amount of flour for dusting on each side. Roll out to desired thick/thin-ness. Tip, roll your dough up around your pin and then unroll onto your pie dish to avoid cracking or tearing when transferring!

Bake according to the instructions for your specific recipe: pot pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie... etc. If baking shell first for a chocolate or cream pie, bake at 375* for 15-20 min until golden brown. For any recipe, you may need to put foil around the edges to avoid over browning.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Baked Ziti

From Becki
 
I received this recipe from a friend and neighbor in my community. It looked different and delicious!
 
1 lb Italian sausage, browned and drained
1 jar pasta sauce
3/4 cup water
1 box penne pasta, cooked and drained
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs basil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
8 slices frozen garlic bread
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix cooked sausage, cooked pasta, pasta sauce, water, garlic powder, pepper, basil and parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Toss lightly. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Place garlic bread slices on top of mixture. Cover with shredded mozzarella. Dip 8 slices of Roma tomatoes in olive oil, and place one slice on each bread slice. Bake uncovered in 400 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Let set for 10 mins before serving.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mialisia: A Recipe for fun AND success!

I realize this is a recipe blog. And it still is. And it always will be. There's another kind of "recipe" I just HAVE TO SHARE with you. Hear me out. Watch the videos. Read what I have to share. Listen to one phone call. You won't regret it. I promise.

I recently joined MIALISIA as an INDEPENDENT FOUNDING DESIGNER. It is an amazing company!!! It is a patented jewelry concept that is a RECIPE for fun, success, and YOU get to be the designer! Watch the Concept video, the Story behind the jewelry. Since we launched in July, I am just loving getting to show everyone our MIALISIA jewelry! The jewelry is versatile, interchageable, fashionable, and quality!!!

See for yourself!:

The founders and CEOs, Sean and Annelise Brown, are exceptional people. NEAT PEOPLE!!! I met Sean at a prelaunch event. Talk about grounded, kind, and not at all pretentious. Just a normal, funny, educated, and genuine guy. I was very impressed. I am very happy to be part of a company with people like him running it.

From the Mialisia website:
"At Mialisia we believe the jewelry you wear is an extension of you. It expresses your mood, your attitude and especially your personality. That’s why Mialisia’s interchangeable jewelry converts into dozens of different looks and styles. This Versastyle™ jewelry provides today’s busy woman with both convenient options and incredible value."

The concept is going to change the way people look, feel, and think about jewelry. This IS NOT just "another jewelry company." It isn't "just another startup" or "another MLM." If you watch the video about what they have been doing the past few years, you will come to realize how special this jewelry really is. Our company is in the very beginning stages. What does that mean? It means HUGE OPPORTUNITIES!!!! Be part of this company at the beginning! Haven't you ever wondered what it would have been like to be part of Pampered Chef or Scentsy or any other big company in the beginning stages? I have. THIS is THAT opportunity!

Annelise sold over $1 MILLION from her basement! The ladies at craft and trade shows went crazy over this jewelry! And it is no wonder they did. The price is so reasonable. 90% of the jewelry is between $15-$50. You get more than just a necklace. It does so much! It becomes a bracelet, boot bling, a belt. It can be combined with any of the other pieces to become a completely different look!
 

The jewelry is lifetime guaranteed.  Free shipping to the customer's home with only a $40 purchase! No one in this industry does that. I have had the privilege of seeing and playing with the jewelry. It is high quality. My toddler could pull on it all through church and it would be fine. NOT the case with any of my other jewelry I've ever had. Haha.

When I was introduced to this company by a dear friend, I researched the internet about Mialisia. I found a lot of information. Later I discovered some of the information on other websites was not accurate or it was misleading. If you have questions, allow ME to answer them! If you're curious, there are several opportunity calls this week. You can just listen in. You just mute yourself and listen. Then when they open it up for questions, unmute to ask your question. If you want to contact me before the opportunity calls or have questions between the opportunity calls, don't hesitate to contact me: jillmialisia@live.com

Opportunity Calls:
Conference Call #559-726-1300 access code:699461#
Monday, August 5th
4:30pmPT/5:30pmMT/6:30pmCT/7:30pmET
Tuesday, August 6th
... 4:30pmPT/5:30pmMT/6:30pmCT/7:30pmET
Wednesday, August 7th
4:30pmPT/5:30pmMT/6:30pmCT/7:30pmET
Friday, August 9th
4:30pmPT/5:30pmMT/6:30pmCT/7:30pmET
These opportunity calls are great to invite people to hear the excitement about Mialisia and to learn about all of the details about joining this NEWLY LAUNCHED company! Invite everyone to listen and to be educated about the facts so they can make an educated decision for themselves!

These are recorded as well so every person who is not able to listen to a live call can listen to the recording at any time!!!
Recorded Opportunity Call:
559-726-1399 access code:699461#
As of right now, the team I am part of is NUMBER ONE in the country!!! Be part of that team! There are four teams currently in the country. And teams within those teams. Our team is the fastest growing and has the most members out of ALL the teams in the company! Contact ME to be a part of the excitement. BE part of the company at the beginning stages because I'm telling you.... now that we have launched, the masses will come. Our company is on fire! Take the opportunity now to build your team! The compensation plan is awesome. We have a great hostess program. You are not going to be begging people to have a party. THEY WILL WANT TO HAVE ONE! The jewelry is fun! The possibilities are ENDLESS. I know. I played with several pieces myself. Once women start to play with it and see the possibilites, the jewelry sells itself. It truly does.

Here is just a peek of some of the jewelry. I have a Facebook page with many more looks and some of my own from the prelaunch event I attended. Go have a look, and then contact ME to join my team!

 
 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Refrigerator Bran Muffins



These are some of the most delicious and moist Bran Muffins ever! :) They are a true favorite at our house. It makes A LOT so I half the recipe most of the time even though the batter is good in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Full Recipe:

2 cups boiling water
6 cups Kellogg's All Bran Cereal
1 cup Shortening
4 eggs
1 quart Buttermilk (4 cups)
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 tsp salt
5 tsp baking soda-- sift this into flour to remove      
   lumps
5 cups Flour


Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1- In a large bowl, pour boiling water over Bran
2- Add shortening. Stir until shortening melts. Cool.
3-Add the other wet ingredients and mix
4- Mix dry ingredients then add to wet ingredients. Stir lightly just until mixed.
5- Drop by spoon fulls into well greased muffin pans (or muffin liners if you prefer), filling them 2/3 full.
6- Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.

**If you choose not to use all of the batter now you can cover it and put it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. when you go to use it again DO NOT RE-STIR just scoop with spoon or small measuring cup.


**Half Recipe Measurements**
1c boiling water
3c bran cereal
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs
2 c buttermilk
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking soda (sifted into flour)
2 1/2 c flour

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cinnamon and Sugar Pretzels

These are not a new concept. There's a ton of recipes out there for them. But they're fun, easy, and a nice sweet crunchy treat. Plus, I almost always have pretzels on hand so it makes a quick & fun treat to take around. And hence, they must have a home on my blog. :)

16 oz bag of pretzels (usually small twists, but big ones are fun, too)
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

In a small bowl, mix oil, cinnamon, and sugar. Place pretzels in large bowl and pour mixture over top, stirring to coat evenly. Pour onto a cookie sheet and bake at 300 for 10 minutes. Remove and stir and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove and stir again, then cook an additional 10 minutes. So there is 30 minutes total cooking time. Allow to cool, then store in a sealed container. Mine usually cool & go straight into little holiday cellophane bags for neighbors. :)

Note: when I made these to post, I was out of twisty pretzels and only had the snaps. I prefer to the twisty ones. The square ones are a lot of pretzel and (to me) didn't taste quite as good. I thought they had a slight burnt taste to them because there's so much more pretzel to them. They were okay, but the others have turned out better for me. So I prefer the twisty ones to the squares. Just my opinion.

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

My kids LOVED helping with this recipe. It was super easy and they taste great.

I'm not going to lie. This isn't a new concept. The recipe is all over the internet and on the back of the Rolo bag. But, since I use this blog as my portable recipe box, it needs to be on here!

Pretzels (we used the Snyders snaps, they are square and not butter flavored)
1 bag of Rolos, unwrapped
Pecan halves (or you can use almonds, cashews, red & green m&ms)

Recipe makes about 50 turtles, depending on how many Rolos are in the bag.

First, you need to toast the pecans. At 350, toast the pecans on a cookie sheet for 4 minutes. Stir them around and toast another 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, place all the pretzels -salt side down is my preference (it's prettier)- on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Kids loved this part, too. Then place all the Rolos, fat side down, in the center of each pretzel. Bake at 350 for 3 minutes. Remove and immediately place a pecan in the center and press down gently. Not too hard or the caramel oozes out. If you don't like pecans, use an M&M, almond, cashew, even Reese's pieces candy. Let cool.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Applesauce Cookies

from Jean

I got this great recipe from my neighbor. My husband LOVES these cookies. They nearly disappeared before I got a picture! I won't lie, they aren't the prettiest cookies. They're not your typical rolling out or roll-into-balls cookies. But they are flavorful and you won't be disappointed.

Cream together:
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix together:
2 cups applesauce
1 tsp soda

Add:
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
4 cups flour

Mix all together. If desired, add nuts or raisins or chocolate chips. We prefer not to put anything in it. We just like a light frosting on top. I will say that chocolate frosting on these cookies is best. I thought a regular cream cheese would be best, but the chocolate balances out the flavors and the cloves perfectly. Find the recipe here. The chocolate recipe is at the bottom of the post.

Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. I haven't needed to grease the cookie sheet. This recipe makes about 4 dozen depending on the size of your spoonfuls. Mine made 3 1/2 dozen but my cookies could have been a little smaller.

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. I promise, you don't want longer than 10 minutes. :) Cool and frost lightly with chocolate frosting. These aren't like sugar cookies where you go crazy with the frosting. ;) A little goes a long ways. I didn't thin my frosting down. I think the consistency was fine with the regular recipe.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

I am reposting the recipe because it has been on the blog for over 2 years and I took some new pictures. Plus, I've found making individual pot pies rather than 1 big one helps them cook better.

Crust:
Click here for the recipe. I just used the dough from a previous batch and let them thaw all day to room temperature.

Roll out one crust and place it in the bottom of 9 inch pie dish. Roll out top crust and leave until your filling is done.

Chicken:
2 chicken breasts, thawed
Salt and pepper

Place chicken in glass baking dish and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cover with foil. Bake chicken at 350 for about 40-45 minutes or until done. Cut up all veggies while chicken is cooking. After chicken is done, put chicken on cutting board to cool. After it is cooled, cut up into desired chunks. (Note: I've found that baking the chicken keeps it much more moist than boiling it. If you don't care, then just boil it or for even quicker cooking time, cook it in a George Foreman grill and sprinkle with the salt & pepper. This takes about 15 minutes but it's a little crisper on the edges.)

Filling:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp chicken soup base
1 cup potatoes, cubed to desired size
1/3 cup carrots, chopped to desired size
3 Tbsp celery, chopped into itty bitty pieces
A couple shakes of dried minced onion

Individual foil pie dishes
(Recipe makes 5)

Boil all veggies until they are still firm, but close to done. If needed, add more water if the veggies are absorbing a lot of the water. Add 3 Tbsp to 1/4 cup cream of chicken soup. Add more chicken soup base if needed to taste. Add salt -if needed- and pepper to taste. Stir in until blended, with a taste check afterward, of course! :) (If you want your pie more runny/juicy add a little extra soup/water.) Let cool slightly. Add in chicken and pour into pie dishes. I buy the foil individual pie dishes. They come in a pack of 6. I just reuse them and wash them in the dishwasher! Super easy. The pies cook better as individual rather than one big one.

Put top crust on top and flute the edges. With a sharp knife, cut about 4 slits in the center to let steam escape.


Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 and cook for an additional 10 minutes or less... just until golden brown. (I got mine a little too golden this time... as you can see in the picture.) Maybe a little foil around the edges? I've done that for other pies, so I guess it would work for this, too.
Let set up for about 5 minutes and then serve.

Note: You could do other veggies if desired. I'm not a pea or green bean person so I opted for potatoes, celery, and carrots. If you do peas, cook them separately and throw them in at the end with the chicken. I guess you could do frozen veggies, but I've found that fresh tastes soooooo much better. It's worth all the effort to cut it all up and have it taste so yummy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Raspberry Trifle

I had this dessert at a baby shower and literally couldn't stop eating it. It was amazing. Should have known the secret was homemade custard! My friend was kind enough to share the recipe and took a picture of the beautiful layers as well. As great as the picture is, it doesn't do it justice. The flavor is so good and you'll find yourself licking the bowl to get the last bit of custard! ;)

from Renée

This recipe is by French Canadian cook Jean Paré

Ingredients:
1 White cake mix, 2 layer size
Raspberry Jam

Custard:
2 2/3 cup Milk
1/4 cup custard powder (Birds Eye... see link below)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup Milk
3/4 tsp vanilla

1 Pkg. 15 oz frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed, syrup reserved

Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Make cake mix according to directions on box using 2- 8 inch round cake pans. Cool completely. Slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 2 thin layers each. Spread 2 layers with 1/4 cup jam each. Cut all 4 layers into cubes.

To make Custard:
Heat 2 2/3 cups milk in heavy saucepan on low heat until it simmers. (This is a slow process. Do not heat on high heat or it will burn your milk)

Stir custard powder and sugar together well in a small bowl. Mix in 1/3 cup milk and vanilla. Stir slowly into hot milk until mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely.

To Make Trifle:
Drain syrup from raspberries in bowl and reserve.

Spread 1/2 the cake cubes in bottom of 2 quart glass bowl. Pour 1/2 the raspberry syrup over the cubes. Sprinkle with 1/2 the raspberries. Spread 1/2 the custard over raspberries. Repeat with remaining cake cubes, syrup, raspberries and custard. Chill until cold.

Whipping Cream:
Beat cream, sugar and vanilla in small bowl until stiff. Spread over top layer of custard.

Enjoy!!

Servings 6-8

*Note: Birds Eyes Custard Powder is a British/Canadian Product. I have not been able to find it in the grocery stores in States. But you can order it online at this website:

http://www.britishfooddepot.com/Birds-Custard-Powder-300g-240.htm
Or through amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Custard-Powder-300g/dp/B000JMBE7C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327110695&sr=8-1

*You can substitute vanilla pudding for the custard but it definitely does not compare to a homemade custard!! :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Aunt Lettie's Lemon Cake

I FINALLY got a picture of this yummy cake. So this is a re-post of an older post. The picture doesn't do it justice. I have take this cake to MANY a community/school/family function and have yet to not be asked for the recipe. It's that good. It is so simple. Totally my style!

from Aunt Lettie
-this was a family staple at family reunions and many family gatherings... so yummy

3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
1 small pkg (3 oz) lemon jell-o

Blend in blender. Add yellow cake mix. (Lemon can be used if desired). Blend until mixed well. Pour into greased/floured 9x13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Poke cake all over with fork while cake is still hot.

Mix 1/2 cup lemon juice (I just use the ReaLemon concentrated stuff) and 2 cups powdered sugar. If you want your cake less juicy, half the lemon juice and powdered sugar. Pour over cake. And let cake cool completely.
It was near impossible to get a good picture of this cake. It is good the first day, but the second day, it is AWESOME!

Sunshine Jello Salad


I originally found this recipe about 2 years ago and have loved it. It is perfect to take to family gatherings and there's almost never anything leftover. It's a great salad to take for funerals, too. My kids love it. I only changed 1 thing -leaving out the pineapple- from the original recipe, but left everything else. It is easy and always a crowd pleaser.

1 (6 oz.) orange Jell-o2 cups boiling water
1 cup mandarin orange and pineapple juice, reserved from the canned fruit
1 (6 oz) frozen orange juice concentrate
1 (3.4 oz) lemon pudding mix
1 (8 oz) carton of whipped topping
1 (20 oz)can pineapple tidbits, drained reserving juice (I don't use the pineapple, just the juice)
1 small can mandarin orange (I think these are like 8 or 10 oz), drained reserving juice

Mix boiling water and jello together for 2 minutes. Mix in frozen orange juice concentrate until dissolved. Mix in reserved 1 cup mandarin orange and pineapple juice. Add fruit. (If you don't include the pineapple like I do, you can use 2 cans of mandarin oranges so there are more oranges. I prefer to just use the pineapple in something else & take the juice and only use 1 can of oranges. I've never had any complaints.)

Put in a 9 x 13 dish and refrigerate until set. So that the oranges are well distributed throughout the salad, I carefully take a spoon and arrange the oranges in the pan. I usually do this while it is sitting in the fridge. Otherwise, when you move it from the counter to the fridge, all your "hard work" is out the window. ;)

Make pudding according to package directions. Pour over set jello and refrigerate for 5 min.

Drop whipped topping in several mounds on top of pudding layer and carefully spread. Look at those beautiful layers!

Note: I usually make this a day ahead. However, I do the jello part the night before and let it set up overnight. I also make the pudding and put it in a bowl. The morning of, I just take a paper towel and dab any water droplets from the jello if there is any. Then, just before I take it, I put all the layers together. It has seemed to be the most smooth process for transport and freshness.