Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dill Pretzels

Dill Pretzels

40 ounces of pretzels
12 ounces Orville Redenbacher's popcorn oil
1 oz. Hidden Valley Ranch powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dill

Mix oil, ranch powder, garlic powder and dill together in a bowl. Put pretzels in a bag and pour oil mixture in bag and mix together. Let sit overnight.

At the lake last year, a guest brought these dill pretzels. I could not stop eating them! She told me the ingredients and later when I was home, I googled "dill pretzels" hoping that I could find the recipe online... and I did! 40 ounces in a little less than 2 bags of pretzels and popcorn oil comes in 16 ounce bottles, so I rounded up and used everything up so there wouldn't be any left overs. I'm not a fan of leftover ingredients. Pair with a Fresca and a sunny fall afternoon or with beer and card nights with friends. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
from a crock pot cookbook

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes with chopped mild green chilies, undrained
1 cup chicken broth
1 yellow or white onion, diced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and black pepper, to taste
4 corn tortillas, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
shredded cheddar cheese
lime juice

Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine tomatoes, chilies, 1/2 cup broth, onion, garlic and cumin in medium bowl. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover; cook on LOW 6 hours or HIGH 3 hours, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from slow cooker. Shred with 2 forks. Return to cooking liquid. Adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper and more broth, if necessary. Just before serving, add tortillas to slow cooker. Stir to blend. Serve in soup bowls, topping each with cheese and a squeeze of lime juice.

I'm not sure why you have to mix all of the ingredients in a separate bowl before putting them in the slow cooker... seems like waste of a bowl to me. Also, when I got everything in the pot, it looked like there was hardly any liquid in there after adding 1 cup of broth, so I doubled it and added another cup of broth. The last minute I added about a cup of salsa for a little extra kick. I'm looking forward to tweeking this recipe a little more, then it'll be super! (Any suggestions???)

I love soup. I love crock pots. And I love my new bowls. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Salsa Chicken Rice

Salsa Chicken Rice
inspired by GF Herald.... yup, the local newspaper

1 8.5 oz package Uncle Ben's Ready Rice Santa Fe flavor
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 6 oz. package Southwest flavor grilled chicken (love this stuff)
2 bell peppers (I found I prefer red)
1 cup salsa
1 can black beans
1 can corn
2 tablespoons lime juice
Cheddar cheese
2 green onions

Throw the rice in the microwave and let the magic happen. Meanwhile, chop the peppers and chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat a large pan up with the olive oil on medium heat. Add chicken and bell peppers. Cook for a few minutes till peppers are tender-ish. Add the rice that was hanging out in the microwave, salsa, black beans, corn and lime juice. Continue to cook everything is heated through. Top with cheese and garnish with green onions.

I made this for lunch yesterday, and this makes quite a bit. Later I come home from work and 90% of it is gone! I'm like "Honey, did you have friends over? Where did all this food go?" "I ATE IT ALL IT WAS SO GOOD! You need to make it every day this week!" So I'm making it again tomorrow....
I bet you can tell I wrote this recipe because I use terms like "tender-ish", but that's what's awesome about cooking as opposed to baking - eyeballing it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
from a crock pot cookbook

1/4 cup butter (that's right... only half a stick :)
3 large yellow onions, sliced thinly
1 cup dry white wine
(3) 14.5 cans beef broth
1 teaspoon Wocestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
4 slices French bread, toasted
4 slices mozzarella cheese

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, cook for 15 minutes or until onions are soft and lightly browned. Stir in wine. Combine onion mizture, broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt and thyme in slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 4 oven-safe bowls; top with bread and cheese. Place beneath broiler until cheese melts and just starts to brown.

I'm a little hesitant to cook with wine. So I substitued it for chicken stock... then I regretted it. The soup was good, but it was obviously missing something since I skipped out on the wine. So don't skip the wine!

Tragedy in BD Kitchen

A word of advice: Take your pizza stone out of the oven before you turn the oven on broil. Otherwise this will happen. Your pizza stone will break in half. And you will be very sad.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies
adapted from Harvest Kitchen cookbook

18.5 oz. package yellow cake mix
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
16 oz. container cream cheese frosting
nutmeg to taste

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, spice, pumpkin, and butter. Beat together with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Drip dough by generous tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets (or lined with parchment paper). Bake at 375 degrees for 11 to 14 minute, or until set and lightly golden around the edges. Cool for one to two minute, remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Spread with frosting; sprinkle with nutmeg. Makes 2 and a half dozen.

So, in typing the recipe, I realized that I accidentally DOUBLED the butter that was suppose to go in here.... notice the "half stick" note on top that I added just for you. The Big Guy Upstairs is definitely looking out for me and my blog, because they still taste delicious! (just much worse for you then they already are)
Did I mention how low maintence this recipe is? No wet and dry ingredients bowls, no measuring flour, baking soda, no cracking eggs. Only four ingredients in the physical cookie! (Three if you don't get your canned pumpkin mix)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


adapted from Betty Crocker

2 medium sliced carrots (1 cup)
2 medium celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 (15 oz.) can chick peas
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (32 oz. carton)
4 cups tomato juice (32 oz. bottle)
1 cup uncooked small shell pasta
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

Mix all ingredients except pasta and cheese in a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook on high heat setting 15 to 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Fall is in the air. Time for soup! Minestrone is one of my favorite soups and I love that I can assemble this in the morning and let the crockpot do all of the work. Hint: Add liquids last so you don't have to plop a bunch of vegetable in and splatter all over! This soup is awesome with a big piece of crusty bread.

Joe's Favorite Pasta

Joe's Favorite Pasta
from Harvest Kitchen cookbook
1 bulb garlic
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 to 3 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt to taste
16 oz package linguine pasta, uncooked

Slice 1/4 inch off top of garlic bulb; drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil; bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove garlic from oven and let stand. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes ans seasonings; mix well. Remove garlic from aluminum foil and squeeze out cloves. Chop finely and and add to tomato mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Combine hot pasta with cold tomato sauce; mix well.

Who's Joe? I don't know Joe... I may have to rename this dish. The cold tomato sauce really took down the temperature of the pasta, so next time I'll try to take it out of the fridge a little earlier so it doesn't change the temperature of the pasta so much.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 and 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup cooking oil or butter, melted (I usually use vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and set aside. In another medium bowl beat eggs slightly; stir in milk, oil, and vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy). Pour batter on to lightly greased waffle baker and cook according to manufacturer's directions. Serve warm with syrup and a cup of coffee in your favorite mug.

I realize that they make waffle mixes where all you do is add water, but I reach domestic nirvana when I can make something from scratch just as easily as I could with a shortcut. And who doesn't love waffles???

One of those weeknight meals