Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shannan's Hearty Bean Soup

Hearty Bean Soup (from Shannan I)

1 tsp olive oil
1 each: medium carrot, onion, zucchini, all chopped
1 can condensed bean with bacon soup
1 can water
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion (undrained)

Saute onion and carrot five minutes. Stir in zucchini and saute one minute. Stir in soup, water, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 4 servings.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

John's favorite cake.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 sticks butter (or I suppose you could use margarine)
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Sift sugar, flour, and baking soda. In saucepan, melt butter, cocoa, and water over low heat; bring to a boil. Add dry ingredients. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into greased and floured jellyroll pan. Bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

1 stick butter
4 Tbsp cocoa
6 Tbsp buttermilk
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Bring butter, cocoa, and buttermilk to a rapid boil (in saucepan). Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts. Mix well and spread on cake while warm.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Menu Plan 3.19.2010

Got some easy, kid-friendly meals in this rotation because John will be doing some traveling. Hoping for nice weather to grill a little! I'm still working on my grocery list, so I'll figure side dishes out later. Probably salad/veggies

3. Pancakes and sausage
4. Grilled brats/hot dogs
5. Burgers (grilled)
6. Tacos
7. Chicken Eden Isle (John's b'day request)
8. Homemade pizza (cheese for kids) (Greek for us!)
12. Chicken stir-fry
13. Grilled tilapia
14. Out to eat w/friends!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mexican Vermicelli

My husband has a subscription to Western Horseman magazine and the day it comes in the mail, he reads it from cover to cover. I think he has an inner cowboy that is begging to be released.

Anyway, it's not at all uncommon for him to tear recipes out of his magazine and leave them on the counter or the kitchen table (subtlety is his gift) in hopes that I'll take a hint and add the recipe to our menu rotation.

I made this for him several weeks ago and he loved it. The kids didn't love it, and I thought it was okay, but he asked me to make it again, and I like to keep him happy.

Mexican Vermicelli

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb vermicelli
1-1.5 lbs ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
dash of garlic powder
2 cups diced onion
2 cups celery, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 pound can stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
1.5 cups whole kernel corn (I used frozen)
1 cup water
sliced or grated cheese--any kind

In large skillet or stockpot, brown vermicelli in butter, breaking into small pieces (I think it would be much easier and less messy to break the pasta BEFORE you started browning it!). Stir in meat and brown, draining excess fat (I didn't follow directions; I added my beef that had been previously browned, frozen, and thawed). Add remaining ingredients and blend. Cook on stovetop over low heat for 25 minutes. Prior to serving, cover with cheese and allow it to melt.

*I think I ended up adding an extra can of stewed tomatoes and some more water. Your finished dish should be of a casserole-like consistency. I also omitted the celery and used way less onion than it calls for!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Julie's Soft Sugar Cookies

Okay...I decided to be nice and share this instead of keeping it all to myself!

Soft Sugar Cookies

3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400. Mix flour baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, cream butter. Add sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add sour cream and half of flour mixture. Beat, scraping bowl. Add remainder of flour mixture.

2. Roll on lightly floured surface. (I usually do about 1/3 of mix at a time). Roll to 1/4 inch thickness. (Note....these are pretty thick cookies which is one of the reasons they remain so soft). Cut with cookie cutter.

3. Place on cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart. Bake about 8 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.


2 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
6-8 tsp milk for spreading consistency (4-5 tsp for piping consistency)

Mix Well!


Julie thinks that one reason these are so good is the almond extract in the frosting. I concur.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Menu Plan 3.5.2010

I decided to link things again because it helps ME find things quickly. Also, all of the meals are ones that I can make on top of the stove without turning on the oven. Something wacko started going on with my oven this week. And seeing as how we just replaced the kitchen faucet and garbage disposal (also this week) we're really not jazzed about replacing the oven. on the stovetop it is!


1. Basil chicken (don't be impressed, it's a boxed Macaroni Grill kit I got *cheap* w/coupon)|salad|bread
2. Pork and black bean chili|rice|sour cream
3. Pizza--takeout, not homemade
4. Grilled burgers|sweet potato fries (I buy Alexia brand frozen sweet potato fries)
5. Fajitas|black beans| fixings
7. Grilled brats|hot dogs (I'll be gone when my fam has this. It will likely be accompanied by all kinds of junky sides). smile.
8. Mexican vermicelli (I will post the recipe later this week. It's a new recipe that John loves).
9. Baked potato soup|cornbread
10. Beef stir fry|rice
11. Spaghetti|bread|salad or green beans
14. Pesto chicken and pasta| salad| bread