Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vegetable Soup!

So I am trying to lose a little weight and I made a big batch of Vegetable soup to take with me to work for lunch for the week.

Here's the recipe!

1 onion chopped
1 bunch of celery, chopped
1 large can or two small cans of stewed tomatoes (fresh if in season but you have to cook it longer)
1 can of green beans (or frozen)
1 can of corn (or frozen)
1 lb carrots chopped in slices or chunks
1 to 1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp pepper (or more to taste)

In a large stew pot, heat the vegetable oil and saute the onions, celery, and carrots until the onions start to turn translucent. Then add all the other vegetables, broth, and seasonings. The broth should cover all the vegetables and it should look like soup. If you want more liquid you can add more broth or just add water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are as soft as you like them. Taste the broth and season until satisfied.

If you want a brunswick stew like soup add leftover chicken and potatoes and omit the green beans. Cook until all vegies are soft and then take a potato masher and mash the soup until it is thick. Serve with homemade biscuits or bread!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


While my family was all in town for my grandfather's funeral my uncle made some cheesecakes. There is no better comfort food than a good cheesecake. Now there are many kinds of cheesecakes and most of them pretty good. I will tell you the one I DON'T like is the one out of the tub that you get from the grocery store. The Philli cream cheese cake in a tub. All you have to do it pour this into a cracker crust and viola you have cheese cake. Well, it isn't very good and it is a waste of money if you ask me.

So I was able to get my uncle's cheesecake recipe out of him in a weak moment. Here it is:

Basic Cheesecake Recipe:

3 packages of cream cheese (1/2 lb packages)
3 eggs
1 14oz. can of Condensed Milk

Blend and pour into a graham cracker crust.

To make the graham cracker crust take about 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs and mix with 3 tbs melted butter. Press into a pie dish or a springform pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. When you take it out run a knife around the outer edge and let cool for 1 hour on the counter and then 3 hours in the refridgerator.

For variations:

Chocolate chip cheese cake: use chocolate chip cookies and put in a food processor to make them crumbs and use for the crust (with 3tbs butter). Mix into the cheesecake mixture about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips(cover with a bit of flour before putting in to the mixture. This will help them not all sink to the bottom).

Chocolate cheesecake: Use oreo cookies for the crust. Blend in cocoa powder and or baking chocolate and a bit of sugar.

Oreo cookie cheese cake: Use oreo cookies for the crust and blend in broken oreo cookies into the mixture. It works best when you use the double stuffed oreo cookies for the mix.

Lemon Cheesecake: Use graham cracker crumbs for the crust and blend in a bit of lemon zest into the mix.

The possibilities are endless. ... Thanks Uncle John!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Apple Season

Apple season is upon us. We, the whole family, will be heading up the hills to go apple picking. We love Carter Mountain Orchard, located literally just above Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson). We will be heading up on Sunday and will be picking Golden and Red Delicious apples. Now I know they say that the apples aren't good for cooking but I use them and they are just fine. Be looking for an apple sauce recipe, apple pie recipe, and other great apple recipes in the coming week.

More on Waffles

Thought I would update my recipe on waffles. Whenever the kids want waffles I now don't really even need to go to the recipe book to make them. It has become a very easy recipe to follow and hopefully you will memorize it too and be able to make great homemade waffles anytime.

For every cup of all purpose flour add:
1 egg
1 TBS baking Powder
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (more or less depending on how dense you like it. I veer on the more side as I like the waffles lighter)

See how easy that is. I usually double the batch and that gives us about 6 big Belgian waffles.

Next I want to purchase a smaller wafflemaker for freezing for the weekdays.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Taco Trick

When making tacos from a box or mix, when you cook the ground beef throw in diced onion. It adds a little something extra to your tacos!! If you like green peppers add those too. Drain the meat, onion and pepper and add the sauce mixture and continue to prepare the way the directions on the back say.

Also, throw in a can of Rotel Chiles and Tomatoes.  It increases the amount of food and spreads out the meat a bit further.  I don't even bother to drain the can. I use the liquid in the can as part of the mixture for the taco seasoning.  Kicks it up a notch! (as Emeril Lagasse would say!)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Fried Chicken

We are having fried chicken tonight. I will put the entire recipe up later. I took two whole chickens and cut them up in pieces and they are soaking in buttermilk right now. They will soak for about 5 hours. The longer the soak the better they are. It is best when they soak overnight. We will coat them in egg wash and then a seasoning mix which I will post. Then they will fry in a cast iron skillet for 12 minutes on each side, flipping only once. Yum!!