Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cheeseburger Soup.

Last night I was contemplating hibernating for winter.  Aside Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'm not too interested in the coming months.  Wake me up in time to celebrate the dogs birthday on St. Patricks' Day and call it good.  The sad part, it's not even winter yet!  But last night was chilly.

After finally being home for the night at 8:30 pm.  Gary and I put on some comfy clothes and headed to relax by reading.  His reading material: The Country Today.  My reading material: Taste of Home BIG Book of Soup.  Even though we had just eaten I was on a mission to find the next soup I would make to warm me from the cold and help me through winter.  Gary said hibernating is not an option.

I called out soup titles to the sound of "that sounds good" and "I'd like that" and "make that one."  In the end it was the Cheeseburger Soup that won.  So much so that I made a special trip to the grocery store to get the one ingredient I was missing.  That's how good this soup was sounding.

I am happy to report that my special trip was worth it!

Cheeseburger Soup
(adapted from Taste of Home)
1 pound ground beef
1 cup each chopped onion, chopped carrot, chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4 tablespoons of butter (divided)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups peeled & diced potatoes
1/4 cup flour
8 ounces cubed process cheese (Velveeta)
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Brown ground beef and set aside.  In large soup kettle, saute onion, carrot, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender.

Add broth, potatoes, and beef.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a small skillet, melt remaining butter.  Add flour and cook for about 2 minutes then add to soup.  (The recipe said until bubbly, but mine just globbed together and I threw it in the soup like that).  Add process cheese, milk, salt, and pepper to soup.  Cook and stir on low until the cheese melts.  When serving, top each bowl with a squirt of ketchup.  And a piece of toast or a homemade roll!  I will soon be attempting homemade rolls!

Delicious.  And if you are like my husband you'll want to include pork in some way, shape, or form.  My suggestion for this dish: add bacon.  We might do that with some of the leftover soup.  But I'm sure it would taste just as good...if not better!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Zucchini Stuffing.

I've been having some problems on here...I've attempted to post this three times now - from start to finish - and so this time I will just say that this recipe is amazing.  I had it at a pot luck at work in the form of a casserole, I got the recipe, made it my own by turning it into a side dish, and now present it to you.

Zucchini Stuffing
(adapted from Linda K)

2 medium zucchini (sliced & chunks)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 cup carrots (shredded)
2 cans mushrooms
12-16 ounce bag of sage and onion croutons
4 tablespoons butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small container sour cream
2 tablespoon chicken base (bouillon)

Saute veggies in butter with chicken seasoning until zucchini appears clear.  Combine soup, sour cream, and croutons.  Add cooked vegetables and combine.  Pour into baking pan.  Cover.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for additional 20 minutes or until the top appears light brown.

I need to mention that Linda submitted this into our department's cooking contest and won first prize.  The dish was a big hit.  I think my version is just as big of a hit and will be a perfect fit on my Thanksgiving table.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Butterscotch Toffee Cookies.

As I thought about the upcoming bake sale at work I dreamt up these cookies.  The cookie base is butterscotch, but without an overwhelming butterscotch flavor.  The cookies themselves are filled with Health Toffee Pieces and chocolate chips.  They sounded like all kinds of it turns out: they are delicious!

Butterscotch Toffee Cookies
(Recipe by Holly)

2 sticks of butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar
2 small packages of sugarfree butterscotch pudding mix
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 bag Health Toffee pieces
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat bugger and sugar until fluffy.  Add dry pudding mix and beat until blended.  Add eggs; mix well.  Slowly add flour and baking soda, beating until completely blended.  Stir in toffee pieces and chocolate chips.

Form balls of dough (using about 1 tablespoon) and place on baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Cook for 1 minute on the baking sheet and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Super simple.  Super easy.  Super tasty.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cheeseburger Pasta.

This evening I bring you a quick and easy dinner.  It's also tasty and went well with seasoned tater tots.  I'm guessing this could easily go on my huband's favorite meal list based on ingredients and taste.  I'd be willing to add it to mine for ease of preparation.  This recipe is perfect for a week night dinner.  There is minimal prep.  You can make dinner from start to finish in less than 30 minutes!

Cheeseburger Pasta
(adapted from Campbells)
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 small can cheddar cheese soup
1 1/4 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups uncooked small pasta
salt, pepper, garlic to taste

Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet.  Add cheddar cheese soup, beef broth, water, ketchup, and pasta.  Over medium heat, bring to a boil and then cook while stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until noodles are cooked.  Remove from heat and allow to cool/thicken for 5-10 minutes.  Serve alone or with french fries or tater tots.

Again, this is super simple and tastes good.  It's sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.  You could easily add mushrooms for added flavor and texture or omit the onions if you have a non-onion eater in your household. Either way - enjoy!