Potato Corn Chowder

Morning everyone, I would definitely say we are in soup season. It must be the Irish side of me because I can eat soup any time of the year! It’s a rare thing for G–Man to even eat a homemade soup, he’s so picky that I have pretty much stopped offering him things to try, unless it is something none of us have ever had before. I’ve made potato soup before and I’ve made corn chowder before, but never have I made them together. It just seemed right! And boy was it!!!

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(This is definitely a keeper, perfect for this cold season!)

Potato Corn Chowder

(Recipe adapted from DD’s recipe)

1/2 stick butter, melted

1 large onion, chopped

3 large celery stalks, sliced

2 large carrots, sliced

2 cans yellow corn, with liquid

2 can cream corn

5 red potatoes, washed and cubed

4 cups chicken stock or broth

2 cups milk

1 package country gravy mix(pepper mix is good too)

1 pinch red pepper flakes, optional

salt and pepper to taste

garnish with parsley or chives

Start with a dutch oven pot, or small stock pot, and add melted butter, onions, celery, and carrots. Sweat those down. Add the corn and cream corn, potatoes, stock, and milk. Let this cook until the potatoes are tender about 20 minutes. With a ladle, pull out some liquid from the pot and put into a small mixing bowl and whisk in the country gravy mix. Mix till dissolved, pour into the soup pot and stir gently. Add pink of red pepper flakes(if using), season with salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley or chives.

It’s a quick put together soup, so easy and tasty! Very rarely do I make something for dinner that even G–Man will eat, but this soup was a hit with him! YAY, brownie points for Mommy ๐Ÿ˜€

NOK’s NOTES:

If you would like to omit the country gravy mix but still want to thicken up your soup, just add instant potatoes! Start out with 1/4 cup instant potato flakes and stir it in gently until you reach the desired thickness. I prefer my soups, especially chowders, to be THICK! It makes sense to add instant potatoes, they won’t take away or alter the flavor in any way.

Hope you all enjoy, stay warm and many blessings from my

house to yours!!

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Italian Sausage Sandwich

Afternoon everyone! It’s been some time ago that I started making hot sandwiches for Wednesday night dinners. Mostly because they’re easy to put together, take about 10 minutes to bake and are perfect to grab–n–go on our way to church. I wanted to do an Italian hot sandwich but for some reason our Walmart doesn’t carry the bulk Italian sausage(amongst other things). So we went with Italian links and went from there! Feel free to use any form of Italian sausage for this recipe, spicy, sweet, or mild.

 

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The key to this great sandwich is to use the best ingredients you can get your hands on!

Italian Sausage Sandwich

Yields 1 dozen sandwiches

6–8 links of Italian sausage, pan cooked or grilled

1 brick cream cheese, softened

2 Tblsp dried onion flakes

2 tsp dried minced garlic

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 Tblsp Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp dried thyme)

1 pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

1 small onion, thinly sliced

5–6 mini sweet peppers, thinly sliced

1 Tblsp butter

salt and pepper, for veggies

12 buns, any will do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking pan with release foil. Either on the stove top cook sausage till nicely browned or grill. Set aside and allow the meat to rest.
In a medium saute pan, add thinly sliced onions and sweet peppers to melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with lid and let the veggies cook till fork tender. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to use.
In a small bowl combine cream cheese with onion flakes, dried minced garlic, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes(if using). Spread this mixture on each bun half(top and bottom). Place bottom halves on the foil lined pan.ย  Slice each sausage link on the bias, or at a severe angle and not too terribly thick or thin. You should be able to get 5–6 slices out of each link.
Place three slices on each cream cheese bun half. Top with a onions and sweet peppers, and place the other bun half on top. Bake for 10 minutes or until buns are nicely crisp and serve with favorite sides of chips, fries, or tots and salad.

These are a huge hit, the family always scarfs them up, any leftovers are put in the fridge and warmed back up in the toaster oven or just eaten cold(I prefer them cold the next day). Even if you can;t grill out the links, pan cooking them does an excellent job.

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Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread *UPDATED*

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Afternoon everyone! A couple of weeks ago I asked everyone on Facebook and Instagram what their favorite pumpkin recipe was. Sadly, only one person responded BUT her response was the best one I think I’ve ever made!

On Instagram a dear friend Melissa suggested a pumpkin banana nut bread. I asked her if she had a specific recipe for it or if I should just fly by the seat of my pants…and fly away I did! I looked around for a 5 star recipe, and sure enough I scored a delicious, delectable, and delightful quick bread recipes from the test kitchen of Nestle. It’s moist and it’s received raved reviews from those who purchased the mini loaves and muffins from me. Everyone loves the combination of the pumpkin and banana, and quite honestly I never would have thought to have put the two together! I can’t thank Melissa enough for suggesting it!!

Alright, enough blubbering… y’all just want me to get to the recipe already ๐Ÿ˜›
I did take a few liberties with the recipe. I don’t keep canned pumpkin(butternut squash) in the house. We process fresh pumpkin, or try to, every year. So I took out the fresh pumpkin from the freezer(2 cups worth) and let it thaw. Just like I do for the Amish banana bread recipe that my Mom has used for as long as I can remember, I let the banana’s get as ripe as I possibly could. And this particular quick bread recipe called for 4 tsp cinnamon. Now, I personally love to use a Chinese cinnamon called Cassia. It’s a very pungent cinnamon and a little goes a long way. Naturally I cut that back as well, but if you’re using a store bought cinnamon you may want to use the full 4 tsp amount. But I leave that up for you to decide, you all know how much cinnamon you can handle ๐Ÿ™‚

Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 78 minutes

Makes: 24 slices (12 slices per loaf)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’Sยฎ 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 medium) very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350ยบ F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, bananas and vegetable oil in large mixer bowl; beat until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture; stir in nuts. Spoon into prepared loaf pans.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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There is enough batter to make four mini loaves and 6 muffins(or two large loaves as suggested in the original recipe). I think the muffins turned out perfectly! I have enough ingredients that I plan to make more and this time add a streusel topping(per my Mom’s request)!
You can certainly use muffin papers if you like, it does make for easier clean up. If you do choose to do muffins, don’t bake them any longer than 20 minutes. The mini loaves were done in about 52 minutes or there about. I tested each one with a sharp knife, if it came out clean then it was time to take them out. It really is an easy recipe, and with the fresh pumpkin you’ll need to drain it slightly. I just placed the pulp in a mesh strainer over a bowl in the sink and gently moved the pumpkin around to help it drain faster. You’re not going for a dry consistency, you just want it less soupy.

AND These freeze up nicely too! If you want to make several batches before the Thanksgiving holiday and give them out as gifts, just be sure to wrap them up in plastic wrap, foil, place in a freezer back(remove all the air), wrap in freezer paper and if you want to make sure to preserve the freshness place them in food saver bags before freezing. Sounds like a crazy way to freeze them but trust me, it works! Just be sure to let them thaw out completely before gifting in a pretty wrap with a bow and tag!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe, it has become a family favorite for us!

Have a blessed day!!

 

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UPDATE!

Yesterday I had to use up the remaining bananas, they were oh so ripe! I followed the above recipe to a certain point. With the exception to adding the nuts into the batter. I left those out and put the batter in a greased and floured pan. I went ahead and used one of the large aluminum casserole pans to fit all the batter. So what did I do with the nuts?!

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Yep, I went there! I added the nuts to a streusel topping ๐Ÿ˜€ For. The. Win.

Nut Streusel Topping

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup oats

1 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl using a fork your fingers. Sprinkle over the cake batter and bake until cake tester comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

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Enjoy!!

Cornbread Chili Casserole and Caramel Apple Crisp

Afternoon everyone, I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything. It’s been a crazy recovery since September. I certainly do have a backlog of posts I need to share with you all, and what better one to start with than the cornbread chili casserole and caramel apple crisp!!

Y’all know I’m always on the prowl for food inspiration, even when I have a pretty good idea how something can go, I still like to see if someone else has done it with success. I’m weird that way ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let me just preface this in saying, my Mom makes THE best chili and cornbread in all the 50 states. She learned from the best, who had learned from the best and so on ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not the least bit biased hehe!! Well, I got it into my head that those two needed to be put together in a big ol’ pan just because. Now putting these two together is not anything new, just do a google search and you’ll find oodles of recipes that put together chili and cornbread. Why is mine worthy to blog about? Perhaps it’s not, but the family thought it was pretty amazing and left only two servings in the pan afterwards(even G–Man ate some, huge shocker). But hopefully on those chilly fall/wintery nights when your family is sick of having another pan of soup you’ll consider making this version and win them over ๐Ÿ™‚

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This is by far the easiest meal I’ve made yet, bakes up in 20 minutes and can be made as spicy as you like…or not! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cornbread Chili Casserole

For the Chili:

2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans black beans, one drained

2 Tblsp chili powder

1 Tblsp Spanish paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp oregano(or more if you like)

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of red pepper flakes

2 cup shredded cheese(Mexican blend is nice)

For the Cornbread

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 Tblsp + 1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tblsp sugar

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a dutch oven pan, brown ground beef with onions and garlic. Drain fat if needed. Add in black beans, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and oregano. Let simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. If mixture seems a tad loose(almost soupy) sprinkle in a little instant potatoes. It won’t alter the flavor and will thicken the mixture up perfectly! Spoon into a lasagna pan, spread out evenly and top with shredded cheese.

In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add in milk, vegetable oil and egg. Whisk briskly until completely combined. Pour over cheese layer, smoothing out to the edges and corner with the back of a spoon or spatula. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and somewhat bubbling around the edges. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Yields 8-10 servings

 

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My Dad grew up having desserts almost every night, and while I wasn’t raised that way I do indulge him occasionally. Seeing that it’s apple season I went looking for a quick and easy dessert and thankfully I found one! Chow (dot com) has a very tasty apple crisp recipe with an oatmeal streusel topping. I just took it a step further and added a caramel drizzle over the top.ย  I didn’t have 2 1/2 pounds of granny smith apples, I had about three of them and several gala apples. It worked out nice in the end and is now one of G–Man’s favorite desserts! SCORE!! I’ll share the original recipe below since the website is acting all wonky on my computer. Not sure if it’s my system or the website. But I’ll post my changes/additions afterwards.

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Easy Apple Crisp

(Original recipe from Chow.com)

2 1/2 pounds medium Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples (about 5 or 6), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces, plus more for coating the dish

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oven to 350ยฐF and arrange a rack in the middle. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter.

Combine the apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl and toss to coat. Place the apple mixture in the prepared baking dish and set aside.

Using the same bowl as for mixing the apples, mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt until evenly combined. With your fingertips, blend in the butter pieces until small clumps form and the butter is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and bake until the streusel is crispy and the apples are tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

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***NOK’S Touch***

Instead of thinly slicing the apples, chop the apples into bite size pieces. I left the salt out of the sugar and cinnamon mixture on purpose because I use salted butter when I bake. If you use unsalted butter by all means add in the salt. I even cut back on the cinnamon by 1/4 tsp because we use an imported cinnamon which is very strong. A little goes a long way!

I added the Breyer’s caramel ice cream sauce(comes in a soft black squeeze pouch, we use this one specifically because there is no high fructose corn syrup in it) after I pulled the crisp out of the oven. No need to poke holes or drag a knife through it, just let it cool with the caramel sauce on top till it’s warm and serve with vanilla ice cream. Simple!

This dessert was definitely a hit and a keeper! There wasn’t any left, I’m not surprised ๐Ÿ˜€ If you like, you could certainly add golden raisins or dried unsweetened cranberries to the apples(or both). Instead of apples, try this with peaches for a peach crisp (which is another favorite of my Dad’s)!

 

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!!