Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crock Pot Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Crock Pot Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
Adapted from Potato Patch Recipes

2 ½  c. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 c. butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
1 c. carrots, peeled and chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth, divided
5-6 tbsp. butter, crumbled
1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼-½  tsp. ground red pepper, to taste
1 ¼ tsp. of salt, or more to taste

1.  Combine the sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, onion, butter, and half of chicken broth in your slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until vegetables are tender.
3.  Puree until smooth in a blender one cup at a time, returning batches to the slow cooker. (I usually leave a little unblended to add a little texture.)
4.  Stir in the remaining broth, coconut milk, ground cumin, ground red pepper and salt.
5.  Cook on high 15 minutes or until heated through.

This recipe is the perfect comfort soup for this time of year.  It is thick and creamy, sweet with just a hint of heat from the red pepper that makes it all the more comforting.  It’s the perfect soup-in-a-bread-bowl recipe.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Perfect Pumpkin Waffles

The other day I wanted to make pumpkin waffles.  I found this recipe on a Pumpkin Waffle Blog, and this was their ultimate pumpkin waffle recipe.  So I guessed that this was going to be the best recipe.  And I wasn't disappointed.  It had the perfect blend of pumpkin, spice and texture.  Another website had said to make apple syrup to eat with pumpkin waffles, and while I didn't have time for that, I did have a bottle of apple butter that we opened up.  The apple was really good with the pumpkin.  If you are looking for a great Fall feeling recipe, this is a good one.

Perfect Pumpkin Waffles

1/4 c. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 c. whole milk (I used 2%)
1 c. canned solid pack pumpkin
4 Tbsp. butter, melted

Combine brown sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl and whisk together to break apart the cornstarch.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and whisk to combine.  Separate the eggs.  In a medium bowl put the yolks, and in a small bowl put the whites.  Add the pumpkin and the milk to the yolk.  Mix it well and set it aside.  Whip the egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form and set it aside.  Pour the melted butter into the yolk/pumpkin mixture and mix until it is well blended.  Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir it until it is combined.  Gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter.  
Bake in your waffle iron.  Serve with maple syrup or something 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Italian Chicken Yummy

I got this recipe from Dustin's aunt a few years ago and since it had no name, we named it Italian Chicken Yummy.  Because it is so yummy.  And it is made with Italian dressing and chicken.  It is also extremely easy and every one of my children will eat this happily.  Therefore, I make it a lot.  It is done in the slow cooker and smells so great as it cooks all day.  It is a great base recipe, so if you are missing some ingredients, you can still make it work with what you do have.  I have done it without the cream cheese and added Greek yogurt the last few minutes.  Or sour cream would work, too.  Ranch dressing can be substituted for Italian and also tastes great.  Of course, then you would want to refer to it as Ranch Chicken Yummy :).  I have also poured liquid Italian dressing in with it in place of the dry packet and that worked, too. 

Italian Chicken Yummy
by: Aunt Julia

2-4 chicken breasts, cut in half
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can milk
1 can water
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 Italian dressing packet

In your crock pot, combine the cream of chicken soup, milk, water and Italian dressing packet.  Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds, or until it is soft enough to be able to stir it with your spoon (don't make it liquid, just make it soft).  Combine the cream cheese with the soup mixture.  Add the chicken.  Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours.  Serve with rice.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies

I decided that it was time I contributed to this blog.  Kelly, one of our student clerks, brought these cookies and the recipe to work one day a few years ago, and it has become one of my favorites. 

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bananas (mashed)
1/2 can evaporated milk
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
6 oz package chocolate chips

Sift dry ingredients together. (I don't sift.  I just throw them together and mix them up with a fork or a whip.)  In separate bowl, mix shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs to sugar mixture until well blended.  In another bowl, mix mashed bananas and evaporated milk.  Add flour and banana mixtures to sugar mixture and blend together well.  (I usually alternate adding the flour and banana mixture a third at a time - always starting and ending with the flour mixture.)  Add chocolate chips.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  (I've never baked them for more than 10 minutes, but it may vary depending on how hot your oven is.)

I made them with the boys in December, and I think they liked them!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Easy Pumpkin Cookies

Since we are on the subject of ridiculously easy things to make, I thought I'd throw in this one right now.  These pumpkin cookies taste like the expensive ones you can buy in the store (think 6/$3.99) and only take about 2 minutes to whip up--plus the bake time.  They require only three ingredients:

pumpkin, a spice cake mix and chocolate chips (the smiling boy and Halloween decorations are not required, but are highly recommended!).  We have another recipe for pumpkin cookies that is the fully from scratch method, which is delicious, but if you are in a real hurry (or just a little lazy, like I get), these are so easy to mix together and you still get that delicious, spicy fall smell filling your home.

Easy Pumpkin Cookies

1 spice cake mix
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
1 c. chocolate chips

Pour the cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl and mix until well combined.  Add the chocolate chips and stir it well.  Drop by tablespoon full onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.