Friday, July 27, 2012

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Chicken Noodle Casserole

12  ounces  Wide Egg Noodles, cooked according to package directions
2  Cups  Cooked, Chopped Chicken
1/2  pound  Velveeta (or Cheddar)  Cheese, cut into small pieces
1  Cup  Finely Grated Carrots

White Sauce:
1/2  Cup  Butter
1/2  Cup  Flour
1  Tablespoon  Parsley Flakes
1  teaspoon  Seasoned Salt
1/2  teaspoon  Poultry Seasoning
1/4  teaspoon  Black Pepper
1/2  teaspoon  Crushed Coriander Seed
2-1/2  Cups  Beef Broth

Melt the Butter in a medium saucepan.  Stir in Flour and seasonings; cook and stir for two minutes.  Slowly add in Beef Broth, cooking and stirring until thickened.

In a large mixing bowl combine the hot cooked Noodles, Chicken, Cheese, Carrots, and White Sauce, stirring until Cheese is melted.  Transfer to a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes, until light golden brown on top.  Serves 8-10.

Ultimate Comfort Food!  I like to make this and place in two foil 8x8 pans; excellent to have in the freezer for a quick dinner or to take to someone.

I also like to take this camping with us; I get altitude sick and it is nice to have a ready meal for the first night in the mountains.  I place an 8x8 foil pan, partially thawed, in my large 12-inch skillet, fill the surrounding gap with water, cover with my griddle, and allow it to cook in the 'water bath' until it is hot.  Kind of a clunky way to cook, but hey, it works!

How I love my green Jade-ite pan!
I wish I had the nerve to paint my kitchen cabinets this green...

Adapted from Seasoned With Love, page 108.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Lunch Program >> The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Summer Lunch Program

a semi-sporadic series
fun lunchtime recipes

Just In Time For Summer Vacation!

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

3  ounces  Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 to 1/3  Cup  Mayonnaise, as needed to bind together
1-1/4  Cup  Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1-1/4  Cup  Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2  teaspoon  Garlic Powder
1/8  teaspoon  Seasoned Salt
12  slices  Hearty Sandwich Bread
Softened Butter for spreading on the outside of the Sandwiches

In a mixing bowl, beat Cream Cheese and 1/4-Cup  Mayo until smooth.  Stir in Cheddar, Mozzarella, Garlic Powder, and Seasoned Salt.  Stir in remaining 2 Tablespoons Mayo if needed to bind cheeses together.  Spread 6 slices of Bread with Cheese mixture, about 1/3-Cup each, top with remaining Bread.  Butter outside of Sandwiches, cook in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown, flipping Sandwiches as needed.  Serves 6.

Try toasting these in the waffle iron--it cooks on both sides without needing to flip the Sandwiches over!  To cut down on fat content, try spraying the Bread with non-stick cooking spray instead of buttering.

Adapted from Quick Cooking, March/April 2000.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Zucchini Nut Muffins

Wondering what to do with all that Zucchini bounty?
Make a quadruple-recipe of Zucchini Nut Muffins for the freezer--these
are excellent in school lunches!

Zucchini Nut Muffins

3  Eggs
1  Cup  Oil
2  Cups  Sugar
1  Tablespoon  Vanilla
2  Cups  Grated Zucchini Squash
3  Cups  Flour  (can use half White and half Whole Wheat flour)
1  teaspoon  Salt
1  teaspoon  Baking Soda
1  Tablespoon  Ground Cinnamon
1/4  teaspoon  Baking Powder
2/3  Cup  Chopped Nuts

Preheat oven to 325*.  Beat Eggs until light and fluffy.  Add Oil, Sugar, Vanilla and grated Zucchini.  Mix lightly but well.  Add Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, and Baking Powder, mixing until well blended.  Stir in Nuts.  Spoon into muffin cups, filling 2/3 full or pour into two greased loaf pans.  Bake muffins for 24-28 minutes or loafs for 50-60 minutes, or until bread tests done.  Cool on cooling racks.  Serve warm with Butter and Apple Butter.  Makes about 18-20 muffins or two loaves.

For a Quadruple Recipe use:
12  Eggs
4  Cups  Oil
8  Cups  Sugar
4  Tablespoons  Vanilla
8  Cups  Grated Zucchini
12  Cups  Flour
4  teaspoons  Salt
4  teaspoons  Baking Soda
1/4  Cup  Ground Cinnamon
1-1/4  teaspoon  Baking Powder
3  Cups  Chopped Nuts
Note that these amounts are adjusted from the original recipe.

This will make about 6-1/2 dozen Muffins or 9-10 loaves, depending on pan size.

You will need the largest bowl you own to mix it all up in:

Wondering how to efficiently bake 6-1/2 dozen muffins?  Use your small canning rings placed on a baking sheet:

This recipe was one of my mother-in-law's.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

For the Rolls:
2  packages  Dry Yeast
2-1/2  Cups  Warm Water
3/4  Cup  Butter, melted
3/4  Cup  Sugar
2-1/2  teaspoons  Salt
2  Eggs
8 to 8-1/2  Cups  Flour

For the Blueberry Filling:
3  Cups  Blueberries, fresh or frozen
3/4  Cup  Sugar
3  heaping Tablespoons  Flour
3  Tablespoons  Water
Squeeze of  Lemon Juice, about 2-3 teaspoons

Ground Cinnamon

To make the Roll dough:
In a large mixing bowl, soften the Yeast in Warm Water.  Stir in the Butter, Sugar, Eggs, and Salt.  Stir and beat until smooth.  Stir in Flour, two cups at a time, until all Flour is incorporated.  This will be a soft dough.  Loosely cover and let rise until double, about one hour, or tightly cover and refrigerate overnight (if refrigerating, let set at room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing with following steps).

While Dough is rising prepare the Blueberry Filling:
In a microwave-safe glass bowl, toss the Blueberries, Sugar, and Flour.  Sprinkle with the Water.  Micro-cook for 4 minutes.  Stir and cook until thickened, 2 to 4 minutes longer.  Stir in Lemon Juice.  Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble:
Punch down dough.  Turn out  onto floured board and knead until smooth, 20 to 30 strokes.  Divide Dough in half.  Working with one half of the Dough at a time, roll out in a 18x12-inch rectangle.  Spread the Dough with half of the Blueberry filling, sprinkle with Cinnamon.  Roll up from the long edge and cut into 12 rolls.  Place the rolls, cut side up, in a greased 9x13 or a foil half-size deep steam table pan.  Repeat with remaining Dough and Blueberry filling.  Let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350* while the Blueberry Rolls are rising.  Bake for 24-28 minutes, or until done and a light golden brown.

Glaze with a mixture of 1-1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla, 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, and enough Milk to desired consistency.

Makes 24 Blueberry Rolls

Waaaay back in January I responded to a friend's Facebook "Pay-It-Forward" post that asked people re-post, and then make something homemade for the first five people who responded to the re-post.  Well, here it is, mid-July and I'm just now getting it done!  This is what I made for those who responded.  I hope you enjoy these Blueberry Rolls, too!

Dough recipe adapted from Joys of Cooking, page 61.  Blueberry Filling recipe adapted from my Mom's boysenberry pie filling.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Liebster Award

How was your weekend?  We had an awesome weekend--spent the day up in those Peaceful Pines at Family Camp.

It was so relaxing to get up to the mountains and soak in the beauty of the hills with our Church family.  It did make for a long day, though--getting up at 4:50 am to leave the house by 5:30 (although we didn't get left until 5:45) so we could be there for Morning Worship at 7:45.  Then the blessings of an open-air Church Service and fellowship in the afternoon.  How the children loved the time after lunch to play in the creek.  I relaxed with the other moms in the shade beside the creek and T enjoyed horseshoes with the fathers.  After supper came Campfire and s'mores and then the drive home--we pulled into the garage at 10:05--and tired children to clean up and get tucked in.

When I finally had time to check email--can't remember if it was late Saturday night before we left, or late Sunday night after we got home--I found an email from Jill at Sew a Fine seam telling me that I had won the Liebster Award!  {And I'll expose my ignorance here: I had to read her blog to find out what that was!}


The Liebster Award is an award given to small blogs--blogs which have under 200 followers. Liebster is a German word, and I quote from Jill's blog:

"Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome."

Aww... how very kind of you!

There are two requirements in accepting this blog:

One:  to pass it on to five other small blogs, which I am very glad to do!  Here are links to some of my favorite.  They are either thought-provoking or of interest to me.  Pop over to see them and tell them I sent you with a smile.

The first blog is from my dear friend Beth at Aria Gardens.  She cans her garden bounty.  What more can I say?

Next up would be Kendra at Living In The Shoe.  Thank you, Kendra, for your thought provoking, heartfelt, and humorous view of life. 

Then come two fun blogs:  April has some really great sewing tips at In An Orchard,
and Dogwood Designs has beautiful things to buy, both in the Etsy store and at their brick-and-mortar store.

And now I'm going to cheat a bit.  These next four blogs are all on the same topic: adoption.  Friends, thank you for your honesty that you share with us all.  You encourage me in my parenting and I keep you in my prayers as you parent your children.
Life with a Family
Handful of Quietness
Once Upon A Sunbeam
Mudpies and Tutus

And the second requirement in accepting the Liebster Award is that I share five random things about myself.  And I'm not real good about sharing things about myself, so here goes..

1.  The song "Mairzy Doats" has been stuck in my head.  Since last Friday.  You can Google it if you want it stuck in your head, too.  I guess the bonus of it is that it is a cute song.

2.  Three things I'd like to do are:  see Fourth-of-July fireworks over the Statue of Liberty, go camping for a week in the Ozarks, and go to Scotland.

3.  I teach Kindergarten-Second music.  Maybe that's why "Mairzy Doats" has been stuck in my head.

4.  I worked as a housekeeper for six-and-one-half years, cleaning and cooking from my Senior year of high school until I had children.

5.  I really don't like Dahlias.

And that's about all I can think of for now...  Care to share one random thing about yourself with me?