Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Italian wedding Soup

This soup is so delicious's healthy! Growing up I had a bestie named Christie Orme. I was very close to their family and spent as much time as I could over there. I had two moms growing up, my mom and Kathy Christie's mom. I'd like to think that I have taken great things from both of them, and incorporated it into the type of mother I am. Christie's mom used to make us delicious snacks..such as her yummy popcorn, I now make that for my daughter and she loves it. She used to make a soup very similar to this one, and I would make sure I was over there when she was making it! I found a recipe and incorported what I could remember from Kathy's, and came up with this one. I made it for my family and they loved it. It has such great memories attached to it.I'm really not sure why I am just barely getting around to making it. It is a homemade soup that is healthy and it really isn't alot of work. It is a crockpot recipe also,so you can set it and walk away or go to work. My family loves peasant bread so I paired it with that. I will also post that recipe. The peasant bread recipe is easy,and not alot of ingredients.

Italian Wedding Soup

Serves 6-8

Soup ingredients:
2/3C carrots, sliced
2/3C celery, chopped
3/4C onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 pkg onion soup mix
7 1/2C chicken broth
6oz baby spinach, chopped
1 1/2C pasta

Meatball ingredients:* (see note)
1lb ground chicken you can also use ground turkey
1/4C Parmesan cheese
1/2C seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes* (see note)
1 egg

Add prepared vegetables, seasonings, onion soup mix and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare meatballs. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients, shaping small meatballs. Place meatballs 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Add meatballs to slow cooker in the last hour of cooking. When 30 minutes remain, add chopped baby spinach and pasta. Gently stir and replace cover.

French Peasant Bread

1 pkge dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 Tbls sugar
2 Tsp salt
4 cups flour
Melted butter

Place yeast, water, sugar and salt in warm bowl and stir until dissolved. Add flour and stir until blended. Do not knead:). Cover and let rise one hour or until doubled in size. Flour hands, and remove dough from bowl and place in 2 rounds on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise an additional hour. Brush the top with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce temp to 375 degrees and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with butter again with butter. Serve warm.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumkin Carving Family Fun!

This is my favorite time of year. The air begins to feel crisp, the leaves start changing into these amazing colors, and last but not least it's time for Halloween! My daughter loves to get the decorations out and have scary movie family night. We finally had our pumpkin carving night. Mckenna drew a design that she had her dad carve. Her favorite part is pulling out all of the gewy seeds. Most important and my favorite thing about carving a pumpkin is toasting the seeds. Don't throw those seeds away!
Line a pan with foil. Preheat the oven to 275. Toss them in olive oil. I like to sprinkle garlic salt, pepper, and some parmesan cheese. It takes about 30-40 minutes for the seeds to toast. They are so yummy!

When we had our snack, and the pumkin was finished, we decided we needed a picture. We are trying to document our memories more:-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soul Food and memories

Biscuits and Gravy

This was a breakfast staple in our family growing up. My dad loved to get up and make breakfast on the weekends. One of my most loved memories as a kid was waking up to the smell of my dad cooking breakfast. There are several methods to creating this yummy breakfast favorite of mine. My dad and his sister used to argue over which method was the best. My aunt Sharron (who is an amazing cook) thinks that the whisk whisk whisk method is the best for no lump creamy delicious gravy. My Dad's method was to cook the sausage in the skillet, but take the milk and flour and shake it in a mason jar first. He believed that was the best way to guarantee no lumps. I listened to this back and forth conversation a lot as a kid. It usually took place when we would go back to Texas, and those two would be up making breakfast arguing out there methods. It used to crack me up, and it still does. My dad has been gone for 10 years now. I am so grateful to have these fun memories. Every time I make this for my family I think about them, but mostly my dad because I miss him so much. No matter how well I tell my daughter this story and other silly stories about her papa, it just doesn’t do it justice. I truly wish she would have had the chance to know him. They certainly would have loved each other so much<3. That being said I am so grateful for what a wonderful grandmother my mom is to my daughter. We went to Lagoon recently with her, and those two were running around going on all of the fun rides together. It made me realize that there are so many small things that fill my heart with so much happiness and love.

This is a picture of my mom and my daughter on a ride at Lagoon. My mom has her arms in the air and a big smile on her face. It made me feel so happy that I felt a little emotional. Life hasn't been super easy for my mom at times, but she loves life and has always known how to have fun. I don't know what I would do without her. Love you mom!

Ok Here is my recipe for Biscuits and Gravy. I have taken both methods and created my own for perfect gravy. I like to use Bisquick for the biscuits, but you can use canned biscuits too.

1 Package of sausage ( I use original)
3 cups of milk ( you can use more. It just depends on how much gravy you want)
3 cubes of butter
1 cup of flour
Biscuits either Bisquick made or canned
a few grinds of the Pepper grinder
1 tsp (sprinkle it around a bit) garlic salt
1 tsp ( a few shakes) chilli flakes


Prepare the biscuits first that way when you start the gravy you can pop them in the oven. Brown the sausage in skillet season with the garlic salt and pepper and chilli flakes. In a pan scald the milk. When the sausage is browned add in the butter and flour, then begin wisking until the butter flower and sausage are well blended. Then add in the scalded milk. I like a lot of pepper in my gravy so I will pepper it a bit more. Keep wisking constantly until the gravy is a nice gravy Consistancy. Cut you biscuits in half and pour your delicious gravy over the top. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A New Recipe!

I came up with this recipe last night. I was not sure what to make for dinner but I needed to use up some mushrooms in my fridge. So I decided I would go with some sort of chicken, mushroom, and pasta creation lol. This is what I came up with. Give it a try and I hope you like it. It was a hit with the fam!

Chicken and Mushroom Pasta


* 3 chicken breasts
* 1 package of baby porta bella mushrooms
* 1 package of thin spaghetti pasta
* 2 Tbls of grated parmesan cheese
* Olive Oil
* 1/2 cup of diced onion (adjustable of course)
* 1 clove of fresh garlic
* 1tbl fresh or dried parsley
* Garlic salt
* cracked pepper
* 1 cup chicken broth
* Lemon wedge or lemon juice
* 2 tbls of corn starch
* 3/4 cup of cooking sherry
* Lemon pepper seasoning


Drizzle pan with olive oil. The pan should be well coated with the olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken and place in the pan covered turning once. When chicken is fully cooked reduce heat to low and remove chicken. Slice the chicken and add back in the pan with the oil. Add in diced onions and mushrooms. Season with garlic salt, cracked pepper, lemon pepper, dried parsley, squeeze lemon wedge over mixture. Add in the fresh garlic. When the onions and the mushrooms are cooked, deglaze the pan with the cooking sherry. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat add 2 tbls of corn starch stirring frequently to thicken the sauce. Add cooked pasta noodles to the mixture and mix well. Serve with a little parmesan and more parsley for color. Enjoy!


I thought maybe next time I might add a little milk to make the sauce creamy. You could always use cream of mushroom in there also.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mckenna Lynn's growing up!

Yesterday my Mckenna Lynn started her first day of third grade.
I can't believe it. She carefully thought out what she would wear, even how she wanted me to do her hair. This year she not only entered a new grade, but she started a new school! She was very excited and a little nervous. Eric (her dad) and I walked her through the craziness to her new classroom. I could tell that now that we had come to the door way, her nerves were starting to get the best of her. Just then her new teacher came out and welcomed her into the classroom. She had a great first day. She came home very excited about some new friends. I was so happy to hear that she had a great first day. This is the year of me letting go, just a little more at a time. I have always been so protective of her. I have always worried about having her find her friends so she wouldn't have to wait outside by herself anticipating the bell to ring. This morning I walked her to the side of the school where the kids line up. I tried not to hover. I asked her if she saw some of her friends to line up with, and she looked at me and said " yes I think I see them". I walked away looking back ever so many steps glancing at her looking around for her friends. I realized that she needs to be on her's the only way for her to gain her own self confidence. I know that she will be fine. She is a social girl, and has always been able to make friends fast. I am just letting go...letting her grow up on her own a little bit at a time.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Texas potato's

** This is a little recipe my mom made up and called it "Texas Potato's". This is one of
those meals my mom used to make and I loved it. It was this kind of smell that I loved coming home to. Oh I miss that....the smell of someone else cooking! A lot of times I could smell it coming home and just prayed it was our dinner I smelled :-) My parents didn't have a very big grocery budget, so my mom would get creative with simple ingredients. Quite a few of those inventions like this one had some funny names. I am proud to say that I make all of those meals my mom made up back then for my family now. Some of them are a little "pumped up" version....sorry mom lol. In my defense it is sort of a family trait to take recipe's and make it your own. This recipe is just ground beef, scalloped potatoes, and cream of mushroom soup. Now I have made a few changes: I added fresh mushrooms, diced onions, fresh garlic, parsley, and various spices. This recipe is so great because you can be really creative with it if you want. I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as my family does. Even though my daughter doesn't like mushrooms, she loves this! You'll have to bear with me…I am a bit like Rachael Ray, I go by taste on seasonings. Here is the recipe:
Texas Potato's
1 lbs. Ground beef
2 to 4 potatoes (depending on how thin you want to slice it) uncooked
3/4 cup diced onion (you can always use more)
1 clove garlic pressed or diced
One package of the baby bella mushrooms sliced
Dried parsley or fresh, about a Tbls.
1 tsp. of garlic salt
1 tsp. of onion powder
A few pinches of pepper
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup or so of cheddar and jack cheese (you can change to a cheese that you may prefer more)
Preheat oven to 375

Directions: Begin browning the meat in a skillet. Add the onions and sliced mushrooms. Add the seasonings. While the ground beef is cooking start slicing the potatoes. Spray the casserole dish first, and then begin lining the bottom with the sliced potatoes. When the meat is closed to brown add in the fresh garlic. I add it in towards the end so that the garlic doesn’t burn. When mixture is finished, add in the can of cream of mushroom soup. Once that mixture is well mixed begin scooping some of the mixture on the potatoes. Then add another layer of potatoes. Then scoop the remaining amount on top of those potatoes. Cover the dish with foil. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour to cook the potatoes depending on how thick or thin you slice them. I will test the potatoes with a fork, if they are tender I will take the foil off and sprinkle the cheese on top and cook again until the cheese is melted. Then serve Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A great way to get started

This is my favorite way to get started! I love a dirty martini, and I usually come up with some great ideas this way :-) This is the way that I make mine. There are several ways but I will share my favorite Martini recipe.

Dirty Martini:
3 large cocktail green olives
1 oz. of a good vodka (my favorite is Svedka)
1 oz. of Vermouth (it’s usually one to one on the vodka to vermouth ratio)
A splash of olive juice (more if you like them very dirty)

: Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour in a nice Martini glass with the olives and Enjoy!

Food For Thought

I came across this one day shopping with my daughter. I had to stop and read it to her because it had so many great truths in life that we forget about. She is only eight so obviously most may have gone over her head, but maybe these reminders to our children can be stored in there subconscious somewhere. Many times we as parents in these moments see the eyes glaze over...or their attention span is all over the place. I hope that when I am older and my daughter is grown, I can watch from a far and be proud that she has listened to a few things. There were two things in this that stuck out the most to me. The first was that we should enjoy our lives and live the best one we can because it is not accidental. The second is make your handshake mean more than a pen and paper. Some of the most important things can seem so small. Anyway this article stopped me dead in my tracks. I love it and I wanted to share it.