Great Expectations and Catching Up

Here we are into the second day of the new year; where are you, at this time? Today found me doing a bit of catching up on lists I thought I’d typed, printed & stored (Knit Group/Special Needs Group), cutting coupons for this week’s shopping trip, clearing out the kitchen of accumulated mails (flyers/coupons/notes to myself, etc.). The kitchen looks much neater, my notebooks for both groups are now ‘up to date’ (YAY!), lists typed, printed, AND stored on Publisher (thought I’d done that a few weeks ago!). Tonight will be homemade Potato Soup – warm, fills the tummy and gets rid of the last of the 10 lb. of potatoes I bought for Christmas dinner and some of the ham, too!  My guys were commenting yesterday about how they can tell I’m feeling much better: I’m cooking  more! We had a whole chicken in the crockpot, noodles and veggies for dinner last night (with a little saved for another meal).

Recipes, you ask? Well, just ran into several different soup recipes I’d saved out for you – here they are:


Pork & Black Bean Soup

6 C. chicken broth
1 T. chopped canned chipotle peppers
in adobo, plus 2 T. adobo sauce
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb. pork shoulder, trimmed
kosher salt
GARNISH:sour cream, fresh salsa &
cilantro, if desired

In 5-6 qt. crockpot, whisk together
chicken broth, chipotles & adobo
sauce, & cumin; stir in beans, onion &
garlic. Add pork & cook on Low 7-8
hours or High 5-6 hours, covered,
until beans are tender and pork easily
pulls apart. Transfer pork to a bowl &
using a fork, break it into large pieces.
Using a blender, puree half the soup.
Stir pork back into soup; season with 1
tsp. salt. Serve with garnish.
Serves 6.
(recipe: Womans Day, Oct., 2011)
Smoky Split Pea Soup

1 lb. green split peas, rinsed
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2
inch pieces
2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2
inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 in
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 ham hocks (about 1/2 lb. total)
kosher salt & black pepper

In a 5-6 qt crockpot, combine split peas,
carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic, onion,
thyme & 6 C. water. Add ham hocks;
cook on Low 7-8 hours, or High 4-5 hours,
covered until meat is tender and easily
pulls apart. Transfer ham hocks to a plate.
When cool enough to handle, shred meat
discarding skin & bones. Stir meat back
into soup along with 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp.
black pepper. Serves 6
(recipe: Woman’s Day, Oct., 2011
Gingery Carrot Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
kosher salt & black pepper
1 lb. carrots, thinly sliced
1  1-inch piece fresh ginger,
thinly sliced
2 pitas, split horizontally
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt or
sour cream

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Heat 1 T. oil in a large saucepan
over medium-high heat. Add onion,
season with 1/4 tsp. each salt &
pepper; cook, stirring, until
onion begins to soften, 3-4 minutes.
Add carrots, ginger & 4 C. water; bring
to a boil.Reduce heat & simmer until
vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes.
Using a blender, puree vegetable
mixture. Brush cut sides of the pitas
with remaining 1 T. oil; sprinkle with
curry & 1/8 tsp. salt. Cut each pita
into wedges and place seasoned-side
up on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake
until golden brown and crisp, 8-10
minutes. Ladle soup into bowls;
top with yogurt and sprinkle with
pepper, if desired. Serve with the
pita crisps. Serves 4
(recipe: Woman’s Day, Oct, 2011)
Italian Pasta & Bean Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
kosher salt & black pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. farfallini (small bowtie pasta)
or other small pasta
2 (15 oz, ea) cans cannellini beans,
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes in
1/2 C. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese (1 oz)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-
high heat. Add onion and 1/4 tsp. each
salt & pepper. Cook, stirring, until  onion
begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add
garlic; cook, stirring for 1 minute (do not
let it brown). Add broth and pasta; bring
to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until
pasta is just tender, 8-10 minutes. Stir in
beans and tomatoes; cook until heated
through, about 2 minutes. Remove from
heat and stir in parsley. Serve with the
Parmesan cheese. Serves 6
(recipe: Woman’s Day, Oct., 2011)
Turtle Cookie Cupcakes

1 pkg. Betty Crocker double choc.
chunk cookie mix
3 T. oil
1 T. water
1 egg
36 round milk chocolate-covered
chewy caramels, unwrapped
36 pecan halves
36 mini muffin cups (paper)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place miniature paper baking cups
in mini muffin tins. In large bowl, stir
cookie mix, oil, water & egg until
soft dough forms. Shape dough into
36 1 1/4 inch balls & place in cups.
If dough becomes sticky, dust
hands with flour. Bake 8-9 minutes
or until edges are set. Immediately
press one milk choc. caramel into
center of each cookie cup. Cool
two minutes; top with pecan
halves. Cool completely.
Remove from pan with narrow
Cheesy Bacon Potatoes

6 potatoes, peeled & sliced
1/2 C. onion, chopped
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 C. milk
1/2 C. Half & Half
4 T. flour
4 T. butter
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large pot, saute chopped onions
in butter until soft but not browned.
In small bowl, combine flour, salt &
pepper. Stir flour mixture into onion
mixture; add milk & half & half.
Stir & cook over medium heat until
mixture begins to thicken (about 3 min.)
Turn off heat. Add 1 1/2 C. cheese to sauce;
stir until melted & smooth. Add sliced
potatoes & bacon, stir well to combine.
Pour mixture into a casserole dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover
with foil & bake 35 minutes. Remove
foil, sprinkle reserved cheese over
top and return to oven; bake another
30 minutes or until potatoes are
soft, cheese is melted and edges
begin to brown. Let stand a few
minutes before serving to allow
sauce to thicken. Serves 6-8.
Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 green peppers, coarsley chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 C. cooked long-grain white rice
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 C. Kraft shredded Italian Five
Cheese with a touch of Philadelphia,

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Brown meat with peppers & garlic
in large skillet; drain. Stir in rice,
spaghetti sauce & 3/4 C. cheese.
Spoon into 2 quart casserole that
has been sprayed with nonstick
spray. Top with remaining cheese &
bake 25 minutes or until heated
through. Serves 7, 1 C. each
Turkey Enchilada Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey breast
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. minced fresh oregano or
1 T. dried
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oil
1 (29 oz) can red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In 5-6 qt. pan over high heat, stir
turkey, onion, garlic, oregano and
cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly
and no longer pink, about 4 min.
Stir in 1 C. enchilada sauce; add
salt to taste. Cut tortillas in
half. Arrange 1/4 of tortilla halves
evenly over bottom of a shallow
3 qt. casserole dish, overlapping
to fit. Sprinkle 1/4 of cheese evenly
over tortillas, then top with 1/4 of
turkey mixture and 1/4 of remaining
enchilada sauce, spreading each
level. Repeat to make two more
layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey
mixture and sauce; top with
another layer of tortillas and
sauce, then cheese. Bake 18-20
minutes, until cheese is melted and
casserole is hot in center. Sprinkle
with chopped cilantro before
serving. Makes 10 servings.
(recipe: RDJ 10/02/11)


How has your weather been lately? Here in good old Michigan,

where it’s supposed to be cold this time of year, we’ve only

had a very light dusting of snow. I went out for a quick trip

to the store today and found the weather had gotten colder

(26 degrees) and was rather windy – even leaving a few

broken branches in the driveway (not big ones). We got

a bit of snow last night, but thankfully, not enough to

actual hinder any driving or walking (YAY!).

Hope you’re enjoying the beginning of what I really

HOPE will be a GREAT year for everyone.



Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. A stick to the ground snow came yesterday with more overnight but still not deep. (Michigan also). Some of those soup recipes made my mouth water! It is good to hear you are getting paper work done. I’m a bit behind yet.

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