Hearty Sausage Soup

This is another recipe I got off a postcard from a local realtor. Taco Soup is another one. I hope you like it as much as we do!
The Ingredients:
1 pound turkey or chicken sausage (I used Italian style pork sausage)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, diced (I used a handful of baby carrots)
1 large red potato, diced (I had 3 small ones)
2 tsp Italian seasoning (I used Cavender's Greek Seasoning)
2 cans chicken stock
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes
1 can white beans, undrained

Saute onions and garlic with sausage until browned. If you are using pork sausage you may need to drain some fat off.

While that cooks, prep the potatoes and carrots.

Add the carrots, potatoes and seasoning to the meat and cook for 3 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Programming code all blog commentors should know...

Many, many, many thanks to my favorite geeks over at EPBOT (FYI: They are the same folks who do Cake Wrecks) for posting this little tip for all of us pretend-geeks who love to write blogs and read blogs and comment on blogs but sometimes want to put a link in them and don't know how to embed it so it ends up looking all kinds of awful. I have used it lately when posting my weekly menu to This Week For Dinner and it works PERFECTLY!! Since I would probably mess it up and type it in wrong for you, I will simply link you over to their post. Happy Commenting!!


Menu 8/27 - 9/2--2010

Friday-- Shrimp Po Boys and chips
Saturday--PW Chicken Fried Steak
Sunday--Hearty Sausage Soup
Monday--Chicken Enchiladas (Happy 13th Anniversary to us)
Tuesday--????? Mystery Anniversary dinner since Jayme was at work on Monday night
Wednesday--Salmon Patties and Mac & Cheese (Happy 3rd Birthday to Princess Pattie of the Pants)


Owl Barf Balls

Raley and Clay have a book called Gross Out! Animals That Do Disgusting Things. It talks about different kinds of bugs and other creatures who are gross or do gross things. At the back of the book is a recipe for these treats. We thought they looked fun and it became our project for the last day of summer before school started back up. So I rounded up my sous chefs...

...and gathered The Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp cocoa
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
1/2 cup pretzel sticks (broken into small pieces to look like bones)
1/4 cup coconut flakes (fur) (optional)

Mix the butter, sugar, milk,, and cocoa in a medium saucepan.

Heat the pan on medium high and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Bring to a boil for one minute.

Turn off the burner and remove pan from heat. Add the peanut butter, oats, pretzel pieces and coconut to the mixture and stir until combined.

Allow mixture to cool for 5 minutes in the pan (until it's cool enough to touch). Scoop out the mixture and drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Remove blobs from wax paper and form into balls. We made them more like an oblong shape.

Store in a container in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to two months for fun snacking anytime. Makes 1 to 2 dozen balls.


Menu 8/20 - 8/26--2010

Friday--Taco Soup I never made last week
Sunday--Shredded Pork Wraps
Monday-- Pizza to celebrate the first day of school
Tuesday--Pioneer Woman's Chicken Fried Steak
Wednesday--Hearty Sausage Soup


Garlic Bread

After having lunch at Olive Garden last week I wanted to try a garlic butter topping for bread at home. I often buy loaves of French or Italian bread from the bakery or the Pillsbury kind in a tube to bake at home. So I melted some butter in the microwave and added garlic salt until it tasted right to me. Then I brushed it on top of our loaf of Italian bread.

Meaty Manicotti

This recipe is from my Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes cookbook. Although it took me forever to actually make it (it was on the menu for a few weeks) it is a wonderful recipe! I hope you think so too.
The Ingredients:
14 uncooked manicotti shells (I only used 13 in the dish)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (I couldn't find any so I used Italian seasoned ground turkey)
3/4 pound ground beef (I used 1 pound ground turkey)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, cubed
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups meatless spaghetti sauce, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the manicotti shells per the box instructions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the meats and garlic.

While the meats cook, shred your mozzarella** and cube the cream cheese.

Also, pour 2 cups of sauce in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

When meat is browned, drain fat and cool the meat for about 10 minutes. I actually forgot the cooling step and it seemed fine. After 10 minutes add the cheeses and salt to the meats.

Mix the cheese and meat together. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and rinse the shells to cool them down. Stuff each shell with about 1/4 cup of the meat/cheese blend.

Place the filled shells in the prepared pan.

Pour remaining sauce on top of pasta and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

I cannot describe how good this was! The meat mixture was really tasty. I have thought about using it in lasagna and several other dishes as well.

We ate this with a lovely spinach salad and some Italian bread.

**Buying shredded cheese saves a lot of time, I know, but if you buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself you will find you much prefer the flavor and consistency of the cheese. It also is slightly more economical!!

Menu 8/13 - 8/19--2010

Friday--Meaty Manicotti
Saturday--Oven Fried Chicken Strips
Sunday--Taco Soup
Tuesday--Probably soup and grilled cheese


Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti

I first saw this recipe in a magazine and wanted to try it right away. I have since gotten the cookbook and let me tell you: If you do not have The Pioneer Woman Cooks, RUN to the store and get it right! now! I'll wait... My mother-in-law makes Chicken Spaghetti and gave me her recipe. I made it once and nearly died from the effort. It is delicious but a lot of work. Ree's recipe is simpler and all of us like it very much. I made it last night for guests and it went over very well. There are a few changes to make it Chaos-friendly so I though I would post the differences.
The Ingredients:
1 cooked chicken
1 pound spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 (4 oz) jar of pimientos, drained
1 small onion
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 1/2 cups grated cheese, divided
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 to 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to taste

I didn't take a lot of pictures when I made this last night. Partly because I was in a hurry and didn't have my helper (Raley usually takes my pics but he was busy cleaning his room) and partly because the pictures in Ree's cookbook are so beautiful, I could never compare.
In her recipe, she tells you how to cook a cut-up fryer and reserve the broth to cook the noodles in. I use a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and chicken bouillon cubes for the broth. Just saves a little time. While the noodles are cooking, skin and de-bone the chicken and shred the meat into bite size pieces. After the spaghetti is cooked al dente, drain it and place the noodles in a large bowl. Add the cream of mushroom soup and 2 cups of the grated cheese (Ree uses cheddar but I prefer Colby Jack). Add the onion, green pepper and pimientos (I don't care too much for pimientos so I only use a 2 ounce jar). Throw in the seasoned salt, black pepper and cayenne. I am a spice wimp so I use only about 1/8 tsp of cayenne. Plus I was serving to kids so I didn't get it overly hot. Finally add the chicken and the broth. Stir it all together until well mixed. Pour into a 9 x 13 (at least) baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes until bubbly. This fed four adults, 4 kids and we had about half of it leftover for future lunches this week. I usually freeze a serving or two as well.
We served it with a green salad and a loaf of french bread. When the chicken spaghetti came out of the oven, I covered it in foil while the bread cooked. When the bread was done I coated it with a mix of melted butter and garlic salt. I will do that every time I make bread now!! For dessert we had this deliciousness, but youll have to click to see!

Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

I've had this recipe a while and I've made it several times. I ripped it out of a magazine but I can't remember which one. I think it was Kraft Food & Family.
The Ingredients:
1/2 cup fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
1 pkg (4 serving size) Jell-o Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding
8 Oreo Cookies
12 Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

Pour fudge topping into a medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup whipped topping with a wire whisk until well blended. Add in the dry pudding mix; stir 2 minutes or until well blended. If it's too thick for spreading, add in a little milk. Like a tablespoon at a time.

Chop the Oreos into chunks.

Stir into pudding mixture.

Unwrap the ice cream sandwiches and place four of them side by side on a long sheet of aluminum foil.

Top with half the pudding mixture.

Repeat layers once more and top with remaining sandwiches.

Frost the top and sides with the rest of the whipped topping.

Wrap the foil around the "cake" and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving. I got a late start making this yesterday and it only froze for about 3 hours before being served. It was a little soft but still oh-so-yummalish!!

It's not pretty or fancy, but we like it. I have made it before using Cookies & Cream Ice Cream sandwiches and it was even better!

Menu 8/6 - 8/12--2010

Sorry this is a day late. Yesterday was a very busy, very fun day!
Friday--Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti with Jayme's work partner and family
Sunday--Tuna Alfredo
Monday--Oven Fried Chicken

I plan to blog the manicotti after I make it!