Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chicken and Noodles with a Twist

We are definitely in comfort food season, and there is no greater comfort food than chicken and noodles.

The best part of this French Onion Chicken Noodle Casserole is that I get to use Prairie Farms French Onion Dip.  It's really the best part of any party.  I could snuggle up with a bag of fresh Lays and PF French Onion dip, and be quite content.

Although I only made a half recipe, this is delicious.  We have four servings of leftovers as it is, and I'm looking forward to enjoying them.  The french fried onions on the top are a great crunchy finish to a creamy casserole that's not too much.  Perfect comfort food.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Island Getaway

A getaway to Hawaii is still on my bucket list.  Someday I'll get there.

Until then, these Hawaiian Sloppy Joes were a lovely little escape from ordinary dinner.  I don't pretend the flavors were terribly authentic, but we did enjoy them.  I followed the recipe to the letter.  Except, when it came time to add the liquid smoke I grabbed vanilla instead.

See how similar they are?  Lucky for me, the vanilla flavor didn't really come through with all the other things going.  Reminder to self, if it should smell like liquid smoke, make sure it IS liquid smoke.  Better yet, read the label, don't just look for the yellow topped bottle.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Party-on, Halloween Style

Our annual Halloween tradition of hanging out with the neighbors and handing out candy from one garage continued this year.  We cranked up the heater, and added layers to cope with the cold, and then had a grand time together.

As always, I love to try some fun Halloween foods. These Monster Cookies were especially cute.  I used purple and leaf green food colors.  To get the slime colored green, I also added a dot or two of yellow food color.  They were soft and gooey, and a total hit.

Since we love regular Gooey Butter Cake, I decided to give the pumpkin variety a whirl.  (Please disregard the picture quality on this, all of a sudden I realized I hadn't taken one!)  It is great!  The texture of the pumpkin layer is very different than a typical butter cake, but that doesn't interfere with the flavor at all.  Soooooo very good.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Little Late to the Party

It's November!  Wow. Can't keep up.  Can't even believe the end of the year is just around the corner.

I have managed to piece together our menu for this month, and I'm looking forward to some of these recipes.  Mostly, I'm looking forward to not having to have a crock-pot meal every Monday.  We've changed our piano lesson time, so there's a bit more flexibility there, and I'm grateful.

So, here's to turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and a countdown to Christmas that's really not too far away!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Strategic Leftovers

Way back when I had a very little one running around, I was much more strategic about cooking on Monday for leftovers to use in a meal later in the week.  I tried everything I could think of to simplify dinner when she was young.  Now that I have more time, I'm less worried about cooking once and using twice, but I still love it when a week works out that way.

My pot roast from earlier in the week was a great starter for this Philly Cheesesteak Crescent Ring.  The rest of the cheesy, creamy goodness was fab.  Rich, but fab.  Very, very good.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Soup Season

Soup season is back.  I know, I know, it doesn't have to be confined to cold weather, but that's when it seems appropriate to me.  I'm a category girl--ice cream in summer, soup in fall and winter.  I just feel better when things are in the proper place.

Although it's really just another cheesy potato soup, I really like the thick, substantialness to this Cheesy Ham Chowder.  I followed the recipe, save using Kirkland bacon crumbles rather than cooking my own.

I'm also looking forward to the leftovers for a Saturday lunch.  It will be so good.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mississippi Pot Roast

Mom's pot roast was the best.  I don't know if the secret was her well-seasoned pan or just knowing the exact right time and temperature, but it was delicious.  Moist and tender every time, no matter the cut of meat.  I think I'll probably spend my adult life trying to recreate her success, but without the patience to bake low and slow as she did.

This Mississippi Pot Roast is probably the closest I've come in moist, tender texture.  I used ranch dressing and brown gravy mixes, with about a third of a jar of pepper rings.  The seasoning was a little different than mom used, but it was delicious!  Lots of flavors without overpowering the roast itself.  I also like that it wasn't drowning in liquid.  There was plenty of juice from the roast to make gravy, though.

It may not be Mom's recipe, but it was so good and easy, I may quit trying to replicate