Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

This recipe is from Quick Cooking 2003, but I double the California veggies to the amount listed here for a heartier soup.

6 c water
1 pkg (30 oz) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
2 pkgs (16 oz each) frozen California blend vegetables
4 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 lb process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 c milk

In a lg pot, bring water to a boil. Add potatoes, veggies, and bouillon. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 min or til beggies are tender. Stir in cheese, soup, and milk; cook and stir til cheese is melted. Serve immediately or cool and freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 14 servings.

To use frozen soup: Thaw in refrigerator. Heat in a saucepan, adding additional milk if desired to achieve desired thickness.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tater Tot Casserole

I thought everyone knew what Tater Tot Casserole was til a friend out east mentioned that it was a midwestern dish and that lots of her non-midwestern friends had never heard of it.

This is one of those comfort meals that I remember eating as a kid. I'm sure there are many, many different versions of it. This is mine. I don't have it written down, I just make it, but I'll try to write it down for others to follow. The pizza tot casserole version is based on one I found in a cookbook.

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 of a chopped onion
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained (may substitute 2 cans green beans, drained)
any or all of the following spices to taste: seasoned salt, salt, pepper, garlic powder
32 oz pkg frozen tater tots

Brown beef and onion in skillet, draining as needed. Mix in soup, corn, and spices; heat through. Put meat mixture in greased 9x13" pan. Arrange tater tots in single layer on top of meat mixture. Bake according to tater tot package directions.

Pizza Tot version changes:
Saute half or all of a chopped green pepper with beef and onions.
Substitute 2 cans tomato soup for cream of mushroom soup.
No corn or green beans.
Add 1 or 2 cans (4 oz each) of mushrooms (drained) to beef mixture with soup.
Use Italian seasoning and/or oregano instead of or in addition to the garlic powder.
After putting the meat mixture in the pan, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese and/or black olives on top before adding the tater tots.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sunshiny Fruit Salad

This is my go-to fruit salad.

2 cans (20 oz each) pineapple chunks
2 cans (11 oz each) mandarin oranges
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding
other fruit of your choice, atleast 5 c total (I like to use sliced strawberries, blueberries, apple chunks, and/or halved grapes. Bananas would also work well, but I'm not big on bananas in fruit salad.)

Drain pineapple and oranges, reserving the liquid from one of the pineapple cans. In a sm bowl, combine the pudding mix with the reserved pineapple juice. In a lg bowl, mix together all fruit except oranges. Add pudding/juice mixture and stir. Gently fold in oranges. (Do not mix too much once oranges are in or they will fall apart.) Chill 2 hrs. Makes 10-12 servings.

*Note: The fruit salad will get more liquidy the longer it sits.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Grilled Herbed Chicken

We tried this for the first time on Memorial Day 2010 and will definitely be making it again!

1 c lemon juice
1/2 c vegetable oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 -5 lg boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR about 3 lbs chicken, quartered

Put lg plastic ziploc bag in bowl. In bag, mix together all ingredients except chicken. Add chicken, zip bag, and turn to coat chicken. Refrigerate chicken in bag for 8-24 hrs. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat, turning and basting frequently with remaining marinade til juices run clear.