Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheeseburger Paradise Soup

*My mom gave me this recipe from Taste of Home magazine - I cut it in half because its just me and Andrew and the normal size makes 14 servings, you can always double it if you want. I added some variations as well. There was enough for us to both take it to work for lunch the next day and have two helpings at dinner.

3-4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed (if you use red ones you might need more)
1 small carrot chopped
1 small onion chopped (I used a vadalia so it was 1/2 of an onion bc it was huge!)
1/2 cup chopped green or red pepper
1-2 tablespoons, chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper (add less than that if you don't like heat or use some hot sauce, like the green tabasco or Franks)
2 cups of water
2 beef bullion cubes
1-2 garlic cloves minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 lb ground beef (you could use turkey)
1/4 lb sliced fresh mushrooms (I left this out bc I hate mushrooms)
1 tablespoon butter
2 1/2 cups of milk, divided
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 package (8oz) Velveeta cheese cubed
Crumbled cooked bacon to garnish or shredded cheese

Cooking Directions

In a soup kettle, combine the first 9 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 mins or until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skilleet cook beef, mushrooms (if you added those) and butter over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add to soup. Stir in 2 cups of milk; heat through.

In a small bowl, combine flour and remaining milk (1/2 cup) until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cubed velveeta until melted. Yield about 7 servings.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

East Coast Baked Ziti

Disclaimer: I originally found this recipe on some other cooking site but I've made some changes to the cook times and things.

1 lb ground beef
1 16 oz box ziti pasta (penne also works)
1 or 2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese (1 bag)
Parmesan cheese
Seasonings (I like to use oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper)
Olive oil

Serving size: 6

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook pasta, just a little under the called for time (pasta will cook more when it bakes; don't forget to put some olive oil and salt in the water prior to adding the pasta)
- While pasta is cooking, cook the beef. Add in whatever seasonings you like.
- Drain the beef grease.
- Add in crushed tomatoes (I usually use 1 - 1.5 cans but it really depends on how thick of a sauce you like)
- Add in about 2/3 the bag of cheese. Let the mixture to simmer on medium low to help melt the cheese
- Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water
- Add 1/2 pasta to a greased 13x9 pan. Coat it with 1/2 the sauce. Repeat.
- Cook for 30 minutes, then immediately add remaining cheddar cheese to the top of the casserole and sprinkle with parmesan to taste.
- Put (uncovered) back in the oven for another 10-20 minutes until the top has bubbled and browned.

Edamame Salad

1) Edamame is a type of soy bean. You should be able to find it at most grocery stores in the produce section.
2) There are no particular amounts in this recipe; it's all done to taste.

Red onion
Cilantro (very little is needed)
Coconut (optional; see variation)

Put edamame in a bowl
Add diced up mango (which is a pain to peel and dice, I know, but it's taste contrasts perfectly with the edamame and it's really the key ingredient.)
Dice up red onion and add
Add corn
Mix everything up and finish with a bit of cilantro on top

Skip the red onion and cilantro
Add in some shredded coconut

We were out of red onion and cilantro, so this is just with edamame, mango, and corn.

Here we go!

It's finally up, our very own recipe blog! I'm so glad everyone is here to help contribute. If you would like to contribute, just let me know and I will add you to the authors list. Just please be mindful of the rules and this will be really fun! Here they are:

1. Cost less that $20 to make (basic pantry items like salt, flour, etc. not included)
2. You have a picture to post with it (cause we HAVE to be able to see what you made)
3. Only uses ingredients that are readily available to purchase at a local store like Kroger :)
4. Takes under an hour to make (crock pot/oven cook time don't factor into that)

Keep in mind that your staples may not be everyone's staples, so if it's not tacos or spaghetti feel free to put it up here. If you think of it please add a label listing the main ingredient. Yep. so thanks for reading and enjoy!

Caribbean Jerk Chicken


1 KC Masterpiece Caribbean Jerk Marinade
4 Chicken Breasts slice into thick strips
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbs Jerk Seasoning (Optional)

1 Pineapple
1/2 cup brown sugar


Place chicken in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Add Jerk seasoning and red pepper flakes and shake till all the chicken is well covered (if you like more spice, use more!). Add marinade and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. After the chicken is done marinating, grill it to the juices run clear and it is ready to go!

For the pineapple, remove peel/husk/thing and slice into rings. I use a small circle cookie cutter to remove the core. Then place in a gallon size Ziploc bag (or bowl, but I HATE dishes) and add brown sugar. Shake until covered and allow this to sit for AT LEAST 10 minutes. Then toss the pineapple on the grill and allow it to cook until it caramelizes.

That's it for this one. I love it because it's flavorful, easy and delicious! Enjoy!


Spicy Corn Chowder

-4 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped

-1 medium onion, finely chopped

-1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

-Salt and freshly ground black pepper

-1 small jalapeno, chopped seeds and ribs removed

-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

-4 cups chicken stock

-2 large red potatoes, well scrubbed and small diced

-1 cup heavy cream

-16 ounces frozen corn

-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

-1 bay leaf


In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute the bacon until crisp and browned and the fat is rendered. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel and reserve. There should be about 4 tablespoons of bacon grease in pan.

Add the onions and red pepper to pan. Saute until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the jalapeno and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour until thoroughly combined. Cook the flour until it reaches a slight blonde color, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock and the potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes; potatoes will become soft. Add the cream, corn, cayenne and bay leaf. Simmer for 15 more minutes. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved bacon.

This is Gina Neely's recipe from food network, and it is AWESOME. I have made it 3 times since seeing the show in August. I always serve it with BLT's so you make use of the other slices of bacon!

Apple-Cranberry Pork Chops


-Brine (optional, but will help tenderize your pork):
-1/2 Gallon of water(ish, I just fill the bag 1/2 way)
-1 Cup Brown Sugar
-1 Cup Salt
-1 1/2 Teaspoons whole black pepper corns (1/2 tsp ground pepper)
-1/2 Can frozen apple juice concentrate
-2 Fresh Sprigs of thyme (or 1 TBS dried thyme)

-4 Thick Pork Chops
-Salt and Pepper
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or any other type of oil to grease the pan)

Apple-Cranberry Sauce:
-2 TBS Butter
-3 Granny smith apples, peeled and sliced into wedges
-2 fresh Sprigs of Thyme, leaves only (or 1 TBS dried thyme)
-1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
-1/2 Can Frozen apple juice concentrate
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ground cloves
-pinch of dry mustard
-salt and pepper
-1/2 lemon (or 2 TBS of lemon juice)


In a gallon size ziploc bag add all ingredients of the brine. Seal and shake until all of the salt has dissolved (you may need more water if it's not all dissolving). Open the bag and add pork chops. Place in the fridge for 30 min to 2 hours (but no longer, as the meat will get mushy).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and let it get hot. Pull pork out of the brine and pat dry. Place chops into the skillet and let them brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove pork chops and place them in a baking pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. I like pork medium well, so about 145 degrees, but this recipe always make them closer to well done :)

Next, in clean skillet melt butter over medium-low heat. Add apples and thyme and coat in the butter; cook and stir for 6-8 minutes to give them some color. Next add dried cranberries and apple juice concentrate to scrape up the bits off of the bottom. Add rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so. Serve apples over the pork chops.

That's it. This is a modification of Tyler's Ultimate Pork Chops. Also, if you live locally and want to try this one, I have TONS of fresh thyme in my garden, so don't go buy it, just stop by and get some. Enjoy!