Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sharing the Love: Chicken Wild Rice Soup

1 6oz box Uncle Ben's chicken and wild rice
1 c cooked wild rice
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c celery
1/2 c chopped carrots
2 potatoes, cubed
1/4 c butter
4 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 - 3 c shredded, cooked chicken
1/3 c flour
2 c half & half
1 c milk

Make rice according to package directions.  Cook potatoes until fork tender.  Meanwhile, in a dutch oven, melt butter.  Add onion, celery and carrots*.  Saute for 3 - 4 minutes.  Add broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender.  Whisk flour into milk until smooth.  Bring broth and veggies to a low boil, add milk mixture and half & half.  Heat to boiling, but do not bring to a rolling boil.  Add potatoes, wild rice, and Uncle Ben's rice mix.  Heat through and serve. Enjoy!

*I think next time I'll just add the potatoes here and not cook them separately.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Grandma Johnson's Ginger Crinkles

This is Cory's maternal grandmother's recipe. These are soft and spicy and comforting and delicious.  Eat a couple with a glass of milk.  Here's to you, Grandma Johnson!

3/4 c shortening
1 c sugar
1 egg
4 T molasses
2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Cream shortening and sugar, add egg and molasses.  Mix well, then add dry ingredients.  Form into balls and roll in sugar.  Place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sharing the Love: Easy Eggbake

My strata recipe requires an overnight to soak into the bread, and I needed something I didn't have to wait for.  Voila!  Here it is:

2 cups ham, sausage, bacon or any kind of breakfast meat (add any veggies you like as well)
1/3 bag of frozen hashbrowns
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (sub swiss, Gruyere, or any kind of cheese you like)
8 eggs
3 cups of milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Grease 9x13 baking pan.  Mix hashbrowns, meat, veggies, and one cup of the cheese and place in pan.  Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over hashbrown mixture.  Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for an hour, or until eggs are firm. 


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Presenting my Children

Today in Mass, Father Terry's homily was poignant. He said, in short, that parents worry about their children.  They worry when they're young, and they worry when they're grown.  And it's never been more true.  I'm going through a challenging time.  My strength and my patience and my grace is being tried.  I'm like everyone, and I forget to give my challenges to God.  I get caught up in my sorrow and my anger and sometimes it consumes me.  But then, once in awhile, God speaks to me.  Today, Father said that when we come to church, we present our children to God.  It hit me in the heart.  So I did. I presented my children, and my family to God.  I asked him to bless us and to heal us and restore us.  I feel comforted.  Ye who are weary, come home.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sharing the Love: Cavatappi Carbonara

I have previously shared my recipe for spaghetti carbonara, but I made it a little different this week.  This one knocked my socks off (if I must say so myself).  Try it and report back.

Cavatappi Carbonara with Asparagus

1 box cavatappi
1 lb bacon
1 small onion, chopped
4 eggs
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook cavatappi according to package directions.  While noodles are cooking, cut bacon into pieces and fry.  Drain all but 1T bacon grease.  Add onions and cook until opaque.  Remove from pan.  Add the asparagus to the pan and cook over medium heat until tender, about eight minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and 1/4 c heavy cream.  Add remaining ingredients (drain but do not rinse the pasta).  Drizzle remaining 1/4 c heavy cream over entire dish and mix gently.  Pour into large casserole dish or pasta bowl.  Heat in the oven for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.


*I don't really measure the cheese; put as much as you like.  I usually put a large handful.
** You don't have to heat in the oven; I just think it helps the eggs set up just a bit before serving.
*** Fresh or frozen peas are a good substitute for asparagus

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sharing the Love: Sloppy Judies

This is my aunt Tricia's recipe (page 134 of the Torola cookbook).  It's drool-worthy, and the perfect dish for a large group.  Half it if it's just for family or you'll be eating it for weeks!

Sloppy Judies:

3 lbs ground beef
2 cans tomato soup
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 medium onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 T chili powder

Brown ground beef, onion, and celery.  Drain juices.  Add other ingredients and simmer or cook in crockpot.  I have frequently mixed this up the day before and then just simmered in my crockpot the day I serve them.  Delicious.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pizza Pie

In my hometown, there's this pizza place called Pizza Factory.  They have thin crust, and amazing sausage, and nothing beats it.  I grew up on Pizza Factory pizza, and it set the bar high for me.  When we moved into our neighborhood, I was so pleased to find out that there was a little pizza place called Marcellos that rivaled that sausage Pizza Factory pizza.  They didn't deliver, but we loved to go there and sit in the same booths the captain sat in when he was a kid, eating there with his parents.  A couple years ago, Marcellos closed down, because the strip mall they were located in was bought out.

My family loves pizza, particularly the captain. I don't love pizza, but I tolerate it.  But I'm a pizza snob, it turns out.  After a couple years of mediocre pizza delivery, I got an issue of the Mpls/St. Paul magazine Best Pizza in the Twin Cities and we made a family decision. We'd try all of those places.  They get their pizza fix, and I don't have to settle.  It's been pretty fun.  Here's a rundown of some of the places we've tried.

I'm starting with Pizzeria Lola.  It's a little restaurant in South Minneapolis that has exceptional pizza.  I discovered it a few years ago when it was featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  MAN I LOVE THAT PIZZA.  The kids still haven't been there, but if I find myself in the Crosstown/Xenia area, I always pick up a Ma-Sharoni to go.  Mmm...

We tried Red's Savoy in Uptown.  Good pizza, but bad service, and it was about a million degrees in the restaurant.  I wouldn't go back.

We found a place we love, Detellos in Eden Prairie.  It's actually the same owner/recipes as Marcellos, and I was very pleased to find it.  It's a little drive, but worth every mile.

Lookit that cheese!

I've been to Black Sheep Pizza in downtown Minneapolis, and the mushroom pizza there is to die for.  I have discovered that some of my aversion to pizza is red sauce (I know...what??), so that mushroom pizza with loads of garlic is the bomb dizzle.  I also love the Mimi pizza at Punch, as well as the Nutella dessert pizza (YUM!), sauceless wonders.

We went to Mozza Mia in Edina.  Liked, not loved.  The sausage has tons of fennel seeds, which I love, but was so reminiscent of a Totino's Party Pizza that I couldn't get passed it to find out if it's really that good.  I did discover, by happy accident, that kids eat free on Sundays.  Might return just for that.  They have house-made mozzarella that is divine, also.

Tonight I picked up Latuff's, which is a great place right in Plymouth.  It's been here forever, and a fan favorite.

There are more on our list.  Pompeii Pizzeria in Elk River is next on my list.  It's a fun adventure.  Matthew thinks that next we'll have to try the best hamburgers.  I am lucky to live in an area where we have the opportunity to try this kind of food journey as a family.  I hope my kids are enjoying it as much as I am!  Would love more recommendations from my local readers if you have some.  What's your favorite pizza pie?