Monday, December 24, 2007

Roasted Potato Soup

6 baking potatoes, cut into medium pieces
1 onion, sliced or chopped
6 gloves garlic or about 3Tbs. minced garlic from jar
3 Tbs. melted butter
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Place potatoes (I leave skins on) in shallow roasting pan or cookie sheet. Add the onions and garlic and then drizzle with melted butter. Pepper to taste. Roast in oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer potatoes to large saucepan. Add broth and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer with lid for about 20 minutes. Mash potatoes to desired consistency. Add cream and cook another 10 minutes, stirring until desired consistency. Add salt as desired.

Serve with grated cheddar on top and cornbread.

*When I add the cream, I also add 1 can sweet whole kernal corn. Also, depending on how "soupy" or "thick" you like your soup, you can use less broth/water or add more if it gets too thick.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Eggplant Parmigiana

1 small eggplant
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs. water
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbs. oil
1.2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Wash and peel eggplant; cut cross-wise into 1/2-inch slices. Combine egg and water; dip eggplant into mixture, then into the flour. Preheat oven to 400.

In skillet, cook eggplant in oil about 4-6 minutes.

Place eggplant in a baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Top with spaghetti sauce (use more if needed) and mozzarella. Bake 10-12 minutes. Serve with cooked spaghetti.

Apple & Walnut Tarts

This recipe makes 4 - its easy to double though for 8 . . .

1 8oz sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 apple, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Heat overn to 400. Cut pastry into 4 squares and place inside 4 rounds of a muffin pan. Mix together all other ingredients and fill each pastry with some of the mixture. Bake until crust is golden - about 20 or 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes & remove from pan. Serve with whip cream is desired.

Mom's Great Mac & Cheese

Bring water to boil and cook maccaroni (I prefer the larger size).

In medium saucepan, melt 1 stick butter and 1/2 a brick of Velveeta cheese. Stir continuously so the cheese doesn't scorch. When melted together, add 3/4 cup shredded cheddar and stir until melted. Add 1/2 - 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream and stir until blended. (If it's too thick add more cream). Salt and pepper to taste.

Add cheese to drained maccaroni.

You can also use other cheeses - parmesan, Gouda, different cheddars, etc. The velveeta helps it have a really creamy texture.

Easy Shepherd's Pie

Recipe from Real Simple
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp. Worchestershire
8 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1 16 oz. pkg refrigerated mashed potatoes (or make your own)

Heat oven to 400. Brown ground beef and drain any fat. Stir in ketchup and Worchestershire. Add vegetables and cook 1 minute. Spoon into baking dish. Mix cheese and potatoes together and then spread over beef/veggie mixture. Bake until heated - about 10 minutes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Swiss and Bacon Dip

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

I love this as a dip, but also love to make little appetizers by mixing the ingredients and filling mini fillo dough cups with it - then bake for 10-12 minutes. (Kim made it this way at her Christmas party.)

  1. 8 slices center cut bacon,chopped
  2. 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  3. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  4. 2 rounded teaspoons prepared Dijon style mustard
  5. 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese, available on dairy aisle
  6. 3 scallions
  7. chopped 1/2 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
  8. Baby carrots and a selection of spiced flat breads, cocktail sized pumpernickel or rye breads, or sliced whole grain baguettes, for dipping


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Brown bacon in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Drain crisp bacon bits on paper towels.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon, Swiss and scallions with cooked bacon. Transfer to a shallow small casserole or baking dish and bake until golden and bubbly at edges, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Top with chopped smoked almonds.
  5. Place dip on a platter and surround warm casserole with breads and carrots for dipping.

Bacon Water Chestnut Rolls

Courtesy of

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, halved
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup tomato-based chili sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Wrap each water chestnut with a piece of bacon. Place the rolls seam-side down in a baking dish.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and cooked through. Drain off the grease. (I turned the "rolls" over about halfway through.)
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, brown sugar and chili sauce; pour over the bacon-chestnut rolls. Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.

I used mostly whole water chestnuts (I bought two different brands and they were very different sized from one can to the other. The can of large water chestnuts, I cut in half. The other jar I left the water chestnuts whole.)

Dip for the Stars

Courtesy of

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons dry vermouth
ground white pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 cup pesto sauce


  1. In a food processor, combine the butter, feta cheese, cream cheese, garlic, shallot, vermouth, and white pepper. Process until smooth.
  2. Oil a medium bowl, or gelatin mold, and line with plastic wrap for easy removal. Layer the dip into the mold as follows: Sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto, cheese mixture. Repeat. Pat down into the mold, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Turn the dip out onto a serving plate, and remove plastic wrap. Serve with crackers.

I thought this was a little to "shalloty" and will use a smaller shallot or maybe half of one next time. Also, I didn't have any vermouth, so used red wine vinegar instead...

White Chocolate-Cinnamon Triangles

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create 'n Bake® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 cup white chocolate chunks or white vanilla baking chips
1/2 cup honey-roasted cashews, chopped
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons milk


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in all remaining bar ingredients until well blended. In ungreased 9-inch square pan, press dough evenly in bottom. Bake 23 to 27 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 30 minutes.
  2. In small bowl, blend all glaze ingredients until smooth, adding enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over bars. Cool completely, about 45 minutes. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Cut each bar in half diagonally to make triangles.

Raw Vegetable Salad

Courtesy of

6 slices bacon
3 cups chopped broccoli
3 cups cauliflower, chopped
3 cups chopped celery
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup sweetened-dried cranberries
1 cup raw Spanish peanuts
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peas and cranberries. Wisk together the sugar, salt, vinegar, grated onion, cheese and mayonnaise. Pour dressing over the salad; add nuts and bacon and toss well.

I used Oscar Meyer bacon recipe pieces (directions on the back to tell you how many tablespoons equals 1 bacon slice) and skipped the celery...

Chicken Enchilada Dip

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) jar mayonnaise
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken breast halves on a medium baking sheet.
2. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove from heat, cool and shred.
3. Place shredded chicken in a medium bowl, and mix in cream cheese, mayonnaise, Cheddar cheese, green chile peppers and jalapeno pepper. Transfer the chicken mixture to a medium baking dish.
4. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

When I made this for care group tonight I was in a hurry and didn't want to chop the jalapeno, and I think it was a little bland without it.