Friday, December 30, 2011

Italian Chicken Soup

Printable Recipe

Italian Chicken Soup
1 box Ditalini pasta
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 1/2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
4 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese shavings, for serving

Cook pasta for 2-3 minutes less than suggested cooking time. Drain and rinse in cold water. Toss in 1 Tbsp olive oil and set aside.

Dice canned tomatoes and return them to their juice. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and oregano and turn off heat, stirring for 1 minute to keep oregano from burning. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add onion, green pepper, celery, and jalapeno. Cook until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, chicken, and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add cooked pasta, half and half, and oregano from the small skillet. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lots of parmesan cheese shavings.

Serves 8

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spinach Salad with Honey Dressing

Printable Recipe

Spinach Salad with Honey Dressing
3 cups spinach
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 red apple, diced
2/3 cup caramelized almonds *
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Toss together spinach, romaine, onion, mandarin oranges, and apple in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with almonds and bacon.

Whisk together all ingredients for dressing. Microwave for 45 seconds. Toss salad with desired amount of dressing.

*To make caramelized almonds, combine almonds with 5-6 Tbsp sugar in a non-stick skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and almonds are caramelized.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chocolate Pretzels

This is a really fun way to make chocolate pretzels. It's a great Christmas treat. I made them with rolos, candy cane kisses, and reese's peanut butter cups. But you can make it with any candy you want. The possibilities are endless! I was surprised that my favorite was the peanut butter cups.

Printable Recipe

Chocolate Pretzels
waffle type pretzels
rolos, kisses, or peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Place pretzels on a baking sheet. Top each pretzel with chocolate candy. Bake for 3 minutes until chocolate is softened, not melted. Remove from oven and top each chocolate pretzel with an m&m. Lightly press down to flatten chocolate to cover pretzel. Cool completely.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes
2 2/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour mixture in two additions, beating at low speed just until incorporated. Pour into cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely.

To make frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix well. Frost cupcakes as desired.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Honey Sauced Chicken

Printable Recipe

Honey Sauced Chicken
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, vegetable oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. Remove chicken; shred and return to crock pot. Serve over rice.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Mmm...Cafe

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Printable Recipe

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Soup
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced
6 cups chicken broth
5-6 potatoes, chopped
1 cup milk
4 Tbsp flour
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook for about 4 minutes or until tender. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and flour until smooth. Whisk into soup. Continue stirring until soup starts to thicken slightly. Add softened cream cheese to the soup in Tbsp-size pieces. Stir until cream cheese melts. Add chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6-8

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Goodies

I love Christmas!!! This is my absolute favorite time of the year. There's just something so wonderful and magic about it. I especially love all of the holiday treats. I can never get enough. I decided to share some of my favorite Christmas treats that I've already posted. I hope you enjoy. Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!!!

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