Friday, January 30, 2015

Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

In a recent search for a good sloppy joes recipe I happened to find this unique version at the website Spend with Pennies.  The ingredients join together perfectly in the crockpot to boost the flavor of the hamburger meat. You could easily adapt the recipe to your own family's taste by using your favorite sliced cheese or even the Philly "traditional" Cheez Whiz. Instead of the cans of condensed onion soup, simply use 2 cans of beef broth. The green peppers, onions and mushrooms are also optional....add more or less to your liking.
Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

3 lbs. ground beef chuck
2 teaspoons garlic powder
black pepper to taste
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cans condensed French Onion soup
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 package of sliced Provolone cheese
package of hoagie rolls

Brown ground beef in a large skillet (try not to break up the beef too much); drain grease. Place cooked beef, onions, peppers and mushrooms into a Pam sprayed crockpot.  Toss with flour, garlic powder and pepper (to taste). Pour soup and Worcestershire sauce over the top of the mixture. Cook on low for 5 hours. Serve on rolls and top each sandwich with one slice of cheese. (Could also be served on cooked pasta or rice)

This crockpot recipe was a big hit in my house because all of my kids were asking for a second sandwich before I even had the chance to sit down for my first bite!! We will definitely add this recipe to our busy weeknight Crockpot rotation!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tortellini & Sausage in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Tortellini & Sausage in a Tomato Cream Sauce

1 package (14 oz.) Kielbasa, cut into pieces
1/2 cup onion, diced (optional)
1 cup chicken broth (or water)
1 (28 oz.) can of whole tomatoes; cut up inside the can
1 (20 oz.) package of tortellini (I used mixed cheese tortellini)
2 tablespoons cream cheese, diced (I used 4 Tbsp. whipped cream cheese from a small tub)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar cheese & Mozzarella cheese)

Saute the onion in 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet on medium heat until soft. Add sliced kielbasa and cook until browned.  Add chicken broth, tortellini and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil; then turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until pasta is done. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese & cream cheese. Cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted & blended. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lasagna Soup

 I've wanted to make this recipe for lasagna soup for awhile. Today's cold rainy weather was the perfect excuse to experiment with the recipe. I did substitute Italian sausage for the ground beef and I also left out or altered some of the ingredients.  I boiled the lasagna noodles in a separate pot before adding to the soup....but I think next time I will just boil the noodles in the same pot with the sausage, tomatoes and broth mixture. That would mean less dishes to wash and I think it would still taste great! Overall our entire family loved the soup.  We all agreed that the ricotta cheese and mozzarella mixture made the soup extra yummy!!! We are adding this recipe to the "make again" file!! 

Lasagna Soup
adapted from Cooking Classy

12 lasagna noodles, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 package (1 pound) Mild Italian Sausage
1 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can Crushed Tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sugar
1 (32 oz.) box of chicken broth
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
8 oz. ricotta cheese
Parsley, fresh or dried (optional)

In a large pot, boil 12 broken lasagna noodles until tender.  In a separate large soup pot, cook Italian sausage, diced onion and garlic   until done; about 10 minutes.  Add basil, oregano, thyme, sugar, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and broth to the sausage mixture. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for at least 10 minutes. When noodles are tender........reserve 1/2 cup to 1 cup of pasta water before draining noodles. Stir the noodles and reserved pasta water (1/2 to 1 cup) into the large soup pot with the sausage and tomato soup.  In a small mixing bowl, mix together mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese.  Ladle soup into bowls and then add a large dollop of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle either fresh or dried parsley flakes on top.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Crockpot Roast & Noodles

Sometimes the best meals are the simplest.... I knew this recipe would be a favorite for my family because it combines two of our favorite meals....juicy roast with beef gravy and lots of egg noodles!!! The delicious flavor of the slow cooked roast is reason enough to try this recipe. In could easily make this recipe and leave out the noodles. Just serve the roast and gravy over mashed potatoes or along with your favorite veggies and enjoy!!!
Crockpot Roast & Noodles

1 (2 pound) roast
1 envelope Beefy Onion soup mix
1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom soup, undiluted
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 can (14 oz.) beef broth
2 (16 oz.) packages frozen egg noodles
4 cups water (OR 4 cups beef broth)
salt & pepper, to taste
Place roast in crockpot. Sprinkle onion soup mix on top.  Smear mushroom soup on top of roast and then add garlic powder. Add 1 can beef broth to the bottom of crockpot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 1 hour before eating....remove lid and shred roast using 2 forks.  Add noodles and 4 to 6 cups water (I used 4 cups beef broth). Cook on high for 1 hour or until the noodles are done.  Salt & pepper to taste. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Italian Shrimp Bake

I have seen this recipe floating around Pinterest for many years. I've made this recipe a few times in the past but I thought I would share it on my blog for that one person new to the recipe that loves shrimp (and lots of butter). Ha Ha The flavors in this meal are very similar to a shrimp scampi dish and goes along well when served over cooked rice or your favorite type of pasta!
When I had a craving for an easy shrimp dinner last week, I realized that I did not have any lemon. So I substituted lemon juice from the bottle instead. I love a strong lemon flavor so I was more than happy to add as much juice as I liked to the baking pan. Although you could easily leave out the sliced lemon or lemon juice and still get plenty of flavor from the seasoning.   The recipe also calls for a packet of Italian Dressing mix...which I always have stocked in my pantry because it is my favorite go-to salad dressing. All together you only need 3-4 ingredients which makes this Italian Shrimp Bake recipe an easy meal to make anytime!
Italian Shrimp Bake

1 (20 oz.) bag frozen extra large shrimp (raw~tail on)
1 stick salted butter
1 package Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix
1 lemon, thinly sliced...or....2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rinse the frozen shrimp under cool running water until thawed. Place the stick of butter in the center of the baking sheet and put the sheet into the oven until the butter melts...about 6 minutes.  Remove the sheet with melted butter from the oven and layer the sliced lemon on top. (or just add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to the melted butter) Lay the thawed shrimp onto the lemon slices/melted butter. Sprinkle the entire packet of Italian Dressing mix (or less if you prefer) evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice or pasta. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Best "Chewy" Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie!!! I recently volunteered at a Christmas cookie drive collection for airman at a local Air Force base.  The decorated bags for each airman were filled with an assortment of homemade baked cookies. I noticed that the majority of cookies that were donated for the event were either chocolate chip or peanut butter.  It was also obvious that chocolate chip cookies can result it all kinds of textures, shades and varieties.  My personal preference is for a more tender chewy cookie. So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest for "Super Soft" cookies I just knew that I had to try it! 

.........and the result was an amazing cookie!!! 

The Best "Chewy" Chocolate Chip Cookies
original recipe from Two Twenty One

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 345 degrees. In a large bowl cream together the butter, oil, sugar and brown sugar.  Add eggs and beat together until batter is fluffy.  Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla and flour. Fold in the chocolate chips.  Roll batter into 1 inch balls. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8-9 minutes.
This cookie is so soft and chewy that it just melts in your mouth!!! It truly is the ultimate in comfort food that pleases all ages!!! I'm definitely using this recipe as my "go-to" whenever I need a fail-proof cookie. Ideas such as adding pecans, toffee bits or white chocolate chips is already in my plans for the next time I need a sweet "chewy'" dessert.  Make this recipe soon and your family will be very happy!!!