Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nana's Ground Beef & Vegetable Soup

The very first thing my hubby said when he found out I was working on a Fall Soups & Stews round up for Rocket City Mom was, 'You gotta include my Mama's soup!'  I showed him my list and it was the very first one on it!  We LOVE this soup!  Served with a grilled cheese and you have a PERFECT Fall or Winter meal!  

Ground Beef & Vegetable Soup
2 lbs ground beef
2 onions, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can tomatoes with juice
46 oz can tomato juice
4 potatoes, peeled and diced in bite size pieces
28 oz canned green beans or lima beans, drained
2 (15 oz) cans corn drained
salt & pepper to taste or seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
In a dutch oven or large soup pot, brown ground beef with onion.  Drain off grease, but leave a couple of Tbsp for flavor.  Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add tomatoes, juice, potatoes, drained beans, and drained corn.  Bring to a boil and cover and reduce heat to medium/medium low (a slight bubble).  Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Season to taste and serve with grilled cheese!  

Smoked Sausage & Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Food is clearly a big deal in our family.  We have planned entire vacations around our favorite restaurants.  We love to cook, and we love to eat.  We love to try new foods and try to recreate them at home.  So that's why when my dad went out of town for a Fishing Expo for his company, The Fish Ranger, when he tried this soup, he had to ask for the recipe.  Low and behold  they gave it to him, and my mom has been making it at home eversince.  To be honest, black eyed peas aren't my absolute FAVORITE, so I was a little hesitant to try this recipe, but I finally did after hearing them go on and on about how good it was.  OH MY GAWD y'all, this just became my favorite soup.  I did adapt the recipe slightly, the original didn't call for garlic (the horror!) and was made in 2 pots.... way too much work.  HA.  If you like smoked sausage, you HAVE to try this recipe!!!! 

Smoked Sausage & Black Eyed Pea Soup
16 oz bag dried black eyed peas
2 lbs smoked sausage, sliced
2 Tbsp bacon drippings or oil
1 onion diced
1 whole fresh jalapeno, minced
1 can rotel, mild or original
1 box chicken broth
3 cups water
Soak peas in cold water overnight.  Drain the next day.  In a dutch oven or large soup pot, brown smoked sausage in oil over medium high heat for 5 minutes.  Add onion and cook for 5 more  minutes,  Reduce heat to medium and add jalapeno and garlic and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Add soaked peas, rotel with juice, chicken broth and water.  Bring to a hard boil.  Reduce heat to medium/medium low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 2 hours or until peas are tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with Tabasco sauce and corn muffins.  

Slow Cooker Soy Braised Chicken & Bok Choy

You know that recipe that your kid always requests anytime you ask what they want on the meal plan this week?  Well this one is THAT recipe for my daughter.  She absolutely loves it.  Her love affair with this recipe started a couple of years back when I let her make dinner with it.  It was so simple, even at the time when she was 6 or 7 years old, she could make it almost entirely by herself.  Now that she is almost 10 (OMG! Where has the time gone?)  She can cook just about anything, but this is still one of her favorite recipes!    If Bok Choy isn't your thing, you could sub out broccoli or whatever veggies you like!  Definitely add this one to your crock pot rotation!

Slow Cooker Soy Braised Chicken & Bok Choy (recipe source)
1 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 onions sliced
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 large head bok choy, cut into 1 inch strips
green onions, thinly sliced
buttered white rice
Spray slow cooker with non stick cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.  Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker.  Top with sliced onions.  Combine garlic, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, bay leaf, paprika, and black pepper in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken and onions.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  During the last 10 minutes, turn the slow cooker up to high and fold bok choy in with the chicken to cook.  Prepare rice.  Serve Chicken & Bok choy over rice and top with green onions.  Enjoy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Honey Dijon Baked Chicken Legs

My husband does not like meat on a bone.  So we save wings and chicken legs for nights when he won't be dining with us.  My daughter and I LOVE chicken legs!  My mother in law taught me how simple they are to make and we enjoy them with all kinds of different glazes.  This is one of our favorites!  

Honey Dijon Baked Chicken Legs
1 Package chicken legs (ours had 11 in it)
4 Tbsp butter
3 or 4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 TBSP soy sauce
Line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil to keep from having a sticky mess to clean up!  Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.  Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and add the garlic.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in Dijon mustard, honey and soy sauce.  Divide the sauce into 2 bowls.  Place one bowl in the fridge.  Coat the chicken legs completely in the other bowl of sauce and place them on the foil lined cookie sheet.  Cover the chicken legs with another large piece of foil, and tuck the foil around the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  After the hour is up, remove foil and turn the chicken legs over carefully with a pair of tongs.  Pour the remaining sauce from the bowl in the fridge over the chicken legs.  Bake uncovered for 15 more minutes.  Serve!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meal Planning Inspiration For The Week: 10-20-14

Hello!  We could not ask for more gorgeous weather than we have had this past weekend and will continue over the next week here in Madison, Alabama!  We got our bikes tuned up and have been enjoying family bike rides every afternoon!  We have had some DELICIOUS food to fuel our activity heavy Autumn days.  Take a peek:

Hamburger Steak & Gravy - This Southern Classic is one of our favorite comfort foods.  Sure 'from scratch' takes a little more time and effort, but it is worth every second!  SO delicious!

Southern Style Peas - You won't have to make your kids (or husband) eat these veggies!!!  My kids call them 'better than candy' peas.... for a reason!

Honey Dijon Baked Chicken - Don't skimp on the fresh garlic and fresh bread crumbs in this recipe.  This is the juiciest baked chicken you will ever eat!

{Ultimate} Pinto Beans with Bacon & Chives - Our favorite pot o' beans!  You would never guess they were from a can!

Baked Ziti - Italian comfort food at it's finest!

Fresh Ginger & Garlic Roasted Broccoli - Our favorite way to eat broccoli!

Ham, Broccoli & Alfredo Pasta Toss - You won't believe how delicious and EASY this 5 ingredient, 20 minute meal is!

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars - NON Bakers UNITE!  These 4 ingredient bars will wow your family and friends!  They are so delicious and EASY that they have been deemed DANGEROUS!  

I hope you have a wonderful week!  See ya next time!  

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

{Ultimate} Pinto Beans with Bacon & Chives

{Ultimate} Pinto Beans with Bacon & Chives

'From scratch' usually tastes better and is worth the effort when I have time (to me!), but pinto beans are one food I make from canned now, because we honestly can't tell the difference so it's not worth the extra time or steps.  These doctored up canned pinto beans are our absolute favorite way to make them!  If you prefer to use dried beans for this recipe, just soak them overnight and add more liquid and adjust your cooking time accordingly.  A lot of people put raw bacon in their beans, but as much as I love bacon, I DON'T love biting into a huge hunk of boiled bacon.  This recipe calls for frying your bacon first, then removing bacon, cooking the beans in the grease then stirring in the crispy bacon at the end.  ITS SO GOOD!  We always make extra of these beans (I double this recipe!) to make refried beans with and just because the leftovers are SO dang good!  Enjoy!  

{Ultimate} Pinto Beans with Bacon & Chives
6 slices bacon, chopped 
1 onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
2 (29 oz) cans pinto beans seasoned with pork (We use Luck's!) + 1 can water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
fresh chives, chopped 
In a large pot or dutch oven, saute chopped bacon until extra crispy.  Remove bacon to a paper towel to drain.  Add onion to pan to cook in bacon drippings.  After 2 minutes, reduce heat to medium and add garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minutes.  Add entire content of canned beans, fill 1 can with water and add to pot as well.  Add chicken bouillon, chili powder, Worcestershire, and apple cider vinegar.  Cook over medium low/low heat uncovered for 30 - 45 minutes or until liquid is cooked down to desired consistency.  Stir in chives and reserved bacon and taste to adjust the seasoning.  Serve!  

{Ultimate} Pinto Beans with Bacon & Chives

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars | Aunt Bee's Recipes

I love to cook almost as much as I hate to bake.  Ha.  I will find a shortcut every time when it comes to baking.  These Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars are the NON baker's solution to a Fall themed dessert.  They are ABSOLUTELY delicious and only 4 easy ingredients.  Even I can do it :-) Oh and did I mention your house will smell amazing????  

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars (adapted recipe source)
1 (16 oz) package pumpkin spice cookie dough
1 ( 8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl beat cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth.  Separate cooking dough into 2 parts.  Crumble and press half the cookie dough into a thin, even layer in the bottom of a non-greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan with floured fingers.  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the top.  Crumble up other half of cookie dough and sprinkle it over the top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing.  Store in fridge.  

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars | Aunt Bee's Recipes