Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pineapple Cheeseball

2 8 oz boxes of cream cheese, softened
8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
2 cups pecans, finely chopped and separated into 2 separate cups

*Mix everything but 1 cup of the pecans. Mash and mush it together.
*Refrigerate until firm.
*Take out and form.
*Roll cheeseball in remaining cup of pecans.

I got this recipe from Linda Lawson in 2000. I just made it for the first time last week at a get-together at our house. I heard from most of the people who tried it that it was yummy! I love this cheeseball!

To form my cheeseball after it's firm, I wrap it in saran wrap then shape it, so my hands don't get all over the cheese.

I bought Wheat Thins and the Club cracker Sticks to go with this. I loved the Wheat Thins with it. I imagine your favorite cracker would be great! Enjoy

Thursday, June 26, 2008

McAlister's Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 cloves garlic, minced (or a 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
1 onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons margarine
2 Tablespoons flour
3 14oz cans chicken broth (or 5 c bouillion)
4 cups half and half
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
1 can creamed corn
4-6 boneless chicken breasts (cooked, skinned, torn)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 packet dry fajita seasoning
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro-if you have it

To serve:
tortilla chips
shredded cheese

*In a large pot sautee garlic and onion in butter for 5 minutes.
*Add flour. Stir well. Cook 1 more minute.
*Add broth and half and half. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat to low.
*Add soup, salsa, corn, chicken, cumin, fajita seasoning and 2 T cilantro.
*Stir well, continue to heat 15 minutes more.
*Crumble tortilla chips into individual bowls or serve chips on side of plate. Top with shredded cheese.
*Top with more cilantro if you wish.

I just made this last night and Jon told me that our family now loves this recipe! When he walked in from work he told me that it smelled JUST like McAlister's soup! I got in on the internet, and don't even remember where!

As far as making it...I followed the recipe exactly and the soup seemed awfully thin and I mixed some flour and milk to add in and thicken it up. I think I got it a little too thick, so in the future I will just increase the flour in the recipe to 4 Tablespoons. I served dinner as soup and baked potatoes and it was a great!

Beef or Chicken Marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 green onions chopped
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Mix together and let meat marinade before grilling. The longer you soak it the better the flavor. Then...grill 'er up!

I found this recipe on the internet...don't even remember where...and our family LOVES it! We have used it 3 times this summer already! After our Memorial Day cookout a couple of friends have asked what we cooked our chicken in. It's a very easy way to get dinner out of the way in the morning, set it in the fridge and let the hubby cook when he gets home! I usually put it in a large ziplock bag. Then I squeeze most of the air out and use a straw to 'vacuum seal' it. This way there is marinade touching every surface of meat. If you only have a small amount of meat, it will probably just be fine in a bowl.

I want to list some substitutes I have used...the first two times I didn't have the EXACT ingredients but using some close substitutes still yielded some YUMMY chicken!

If you don't have:
Soy Sauce.....Use teriyaki sauce or marinade
Honey....Use brown sugar
Distilled white vinegar....Use apple cider vinegar or red or white cooking wine
Green onions....Use chopped regular white or yellow onions

Friday, May 16, 2008

South Texas Bean Dip

1 16 oz can refried beans
3 oz cream cheese softened
12 oz sour cream
1 bunch green onions (I usually omit)
1 pkg Taco seasoning mix
4 oz can green chilis, dried (I usually omit)
8 oz salsa
8 oz shredded cheese

*Mix all ingredients together except for cheese.
*Pour into 8x8 baking dish.
*Bake 325 for 20 minutes, or put in microwave 4-5 minutes.
*Top w/cheese, bake 20 more minutes. (Only microwave a little longer.)
*Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.
*Serve with chips.

This recipe is from my dear friend Linda Lawson. She used to make it for us when we came over and stayed up all night playing Euchre or talking around the kitchen table. Yum Yum! I usually microwave it just to avoid heating up the oven. I also usually just stir the cheese all up in it instead of spreading it on top. This is great on a snack table while watching a ball game or playing games. It is also good as a side dish to a Mexican meat dish.

If you don't have a taco seasoning mix, you can substitute these spices:
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Blueberry Dessert

1 cup flour
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

*Mix together, press into pie plate.
*Bake 300 for 20-30 minutes til light brown.
*Cool completely.

8 oz cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar
8 oz cool whip
Can of blueberry pie filling

*Put in pie crust.
*Spread fruit on top.

I got this recipe from my friend Melinda. All I can say is Yummy Yummy Yummy! :)
You could use another kind of fruit. You could also omit the pecans from the crust if you don't like them or don't have them. This is a good quick dessert you can make in a pinch if you have the ingredients on hand.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4-5 medium sweet potatoes
6 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
shake or 2 nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla

*Prick and boil potatoes 40-50 minutes. Cool. Peel.
*Mix all ingredients together except marshmallows. Mix/Mash well. Use beater if needed.
*Put into GREASED casserole dish.
*Put into preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
*Raise temperature to 400 and add marshmallows to top. Heat 5-10 more minutes until browning.

I found this recipe on the internet, but it has become a tradition in our family. I make this every Thanksgiving and it always get rave reviews!! Not very healthy or low on sugar, but is a great addition to a yummy turkey or ham!!


1 Jar Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (I use Robusto Garlic)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 6 oz can water
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes or tomoto puree
1 lb ground whatever
1 lb mild italian sausage
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/8 cup brown sugar
onion flakes or powder

*Brown meats. Drain
*Mix all canned products in crock pot.
*Mix in cheese and brown sugar; add meat.
*No idea on measurements...I sprinkle each spice pretty generously over the sauce in the pot. Lighter on the oregano and basil, just b/c they are stronger tastes. Heavy on the garlic, if you like garlic!
*Simmer a couple hours or all day in crock pot.

9 lasagna noodles
8 oz ricotta cheese
parmesan cheese
a few cups mozzarella cheese

*Spread a thin layer of sauce on bottom of 9x13 dish.
*3 Lasagna Noodles
*Thin spread of Ricotta
*Sprinkle Parmesan
*1/3 of sauce
*1/3 mozza
*Repeat to make 3 layers. Will completely fill dish to top.
*Bake 30 min or until warm throughout on 350. Bake on cookie sheet to keep any "boil-over" off bottom of oven.

This is an awesome recipe!!! The sauce makes it great! Use whatever kind of meat you have--ground beef, turkey, venison. My mom got this from a caterer/friend at our home church. I have adapted it to make it meatier and thicker. You can use this sauce for any noodles to make various pastas--spaghetti, mustaccioli, etc. YUMMO!! :)

Poppyseed Chicken

3-5 cooked chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
8 oz sour cream
1 roll crackers
1/2 stick butter
2 T poppyseeds

*Tear or cube chicken. Put in bottom of casserole dish.
*Mix together both soups and sour cream. Spread over chicken.
*Crush crackers. Spread over mixture.
*Drizzle butter and poppyseeds.
*Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so--til bubbly.

Our family eats this A LOT! I always have the ingredients for this on hand. It is pretty flexible...if you have 2 cream of chickens and no cream of musrooms, or vice versa, use what you have. You can use ritz or club crackers. We like Club b/c they have a 'buttery-er' taste. I don't even have this written down, so the measurement on the poppyseeds may be off. I just sprinkle them out!
I often serve this with rice to make it go farther, especially if we have company. Just make whatever kind of rice you like, then spread a spoonful of casserole over the rice.

Veggie Casserole

2 cans corn, drained
2 cans french green beans, drained
1 can water chestnuts
8 oz sour cream
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups grated cheese--I use mozzarella
1 roll ritz crackers
1 stick melted butter

*Mix veggies in a baking dish.
*Mix sour cream and soup and add to veggies.
*Add cheese on top.
*Add crushed crackers and drizzle with melted butter.
*Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

I got this recipe from a lady I don't even know in Little Rock, but they had us over for dinner while we were in college. This has a lot of ingredients, so it's not usually good to make on the 'spur-of-the-moment', but it is very tasty!

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can green chiles
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken
8 tortillas, torn into bite size pieces
1 medium bell pepper chopped
1 lg tomato, chopped
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese--sharp cheddar of mex blend is good

*Mix soup, chiles, sour cream, and milk in bowl until blended.
*Add chicken, tortillas and pepper.
*Add tomatoes and 1 cup cheese.
*Spoon and spread into greased 9x13 baking dish.
*Cover w/foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
*Uncover. Sprinkle rest of cheese.
*Bake 5-10 more minutes.
*Let stand 5 minutes.

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 16 oz can pumpkin
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

*Beat eggs, then add sugar. Beat. Add sugar. Beat. Add oil. Beat. Add pumpkin. Beat til light and fluffy.
*Add dry ingredients a little at a time.
*Bake in UNGREASED sheet cake pan on 350 for 20-25 minutes--till pulling from sides.

For frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar

*Beat cream cheese and margarine together.
*Add vanilla.
*Add powdered sugar little by little until good frosting consistency and mixture tastes sweet.

This is Jon's mom's recipe and was his favorite treat growing up. It has become one of my favorites too, and is a regular and our annual Thanksgiving dinners with our dear friends. YUM!! Such a sweet treat!

Taco Soup

1 lb ground anything
1 small onion chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 pkg HiddenValleyRanch dressing mix
1 15 ounce can corn, drained
1 10 ounce can rotel
1 15 ounce can tomatoes, chopped
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can Bush chili beans (2 if you like it thick)
1 15 ounce can water

*Brown meat wth onion. Drain.
*Add taco seasoning mix and dressing mix. Stir.
*Add remaining ingredients.
*Simmer on stovetop for 2 hours or in crockpot on low all day.
*Serve with grated cheese and Fritos.

This is one of our very favorite meals to eat all fall and winter! Great to serve to a crowd while watching a football game! :)

My Mom's Meatloaf

1 lb ground round
1/2 cup crushed crackers or oatmeal
1 egg
3/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp mustard
dash pepper
1 small onion
2 pieces celery
1/2 clove garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 green pepper

*Chop veggies.
*Mix all together.
*Bake in loaf pan 350 for 45-60 min.

I ate and loved this recipe growing up. Since then, I have found a couple other recipes I like too, but this one is still very good to me.
This recipe can also be used to make meatballs--just shape them into meatballs, and bake in a casserole dish or cook on stovetop. Drain grease. You can add a can of cream of mushroom or celery soup or a can of beef gravy for sauce.
You can also lower the temp of this recipe to 250 and cook longer-like to go to church.

Turkey Meatloaf

2 lb ground turkey
1 cup milk
1 cup italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 lb colby cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ketchup

*Mix everything except salt and pepper.
*Season on top.
*Bake in loaf pan 1 hour on 400. (Internal temp 180)

This is not the only meatloaf recipe I make, but I like using it b/c the turkey is so lean. This means that after baking, the loaf is not sitting in a vat of fat that has cooked out. Also...If you make this you don't HAVE to have colby cheese. The first time I used torn up american slices, the second time I used shredded cheddar.

TexMex Cheesy Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts

1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cilantro (optional)
salt and pepper

*Mix everything but chicken in a small bowl.
*Put chicken in a casserole dish and spread mixture on top.
*Bake 350 for 45-60 minutes.

YUMMY!!! Jon loves this chicken! We eat it with the TexMex Black Beans and Saffron Rice. My kids eat this up too, but you might want to cut the chili powder in half you you have little ones eating this.

TexMex Black Beans and Saffron Rice

2 packages saffron rice
1 can rotel
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup sour cream
1.4 cup shredded cheese

*Prepare rice according to directions on package.
*While rice is cooking, drain and rinse beans.
*Pour beans and ENTIRE CONTENTS of rotel into saucepan--don't drain. Cover and let simmer.
*Pour cooked rice into round, deep casserole dish. Form a little hole in the center--like a bread bowl.
*Pour bean mixture into hole, leaving some rice showing around edges.
*Garnish with sour cream in center of beans. Spread cheese all over.

We love this recipe as a side for any Mexican dinner. The rice and beans provide and tasty and healthy complement. You can find the saffron rice on the rice aisle, and the kind I use is Mahatma in a shiny yellow bag.

Chicken Spaghetti

3-5 Chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can fiesta nacho cheese soup
1 lb velveeta (1/2 big box)
1 can rotel
spaghetti noodles

*In a medium bowl make rotel dip--melt velveeta and rotel tomatoes in the microwave. Pour into 9x13 casserole dish.
*Boil chicken. Cool them, tear them, put in casserole dish.
*In same water you just boiled chicken in, boil spaghetti noodles. (I use a slotted spoon to get some of the "chicken floaties" out.
*Add soups over chicken.
*Add drained noodles.
*Mix it up.
*Bake on 350 for 20-30 minutes until heated through.

If it's not creamy enough when you mix it all up, add a little velveeta. IF still not creamy enough, add a little milk to keep the cheese from becoming too sticky.
This is a yummy, cheesy casserole! The velveeta makes it a little pricey, though.

Chicken Noodle Soup

2 cups cooked chicken, cut up
2 quarts water (8 cups)
8 chicken bouillion cubes
3 1/4 cups egg noodles
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream

*Boil water with cubes.
*Add noodles and cook uncovered until tender. DO NOT DRAIN!!
*Add soup and chicken. Stir until hot.
*Stir in sour cream until well blended.
*Serve with crackers.

My family loves this soup! It is perfect for a chilly day, but not too heavy to eat when it's warm out too. I usually make it in the morning on the stovetop then put it in the crock pot on "keep warm" until dinnertime.

I got this recipe from Julie Rudolph.

BBQ Pork

2 T butter
4 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder
1 1/2 c beef broth
4 T liquid smoke
BBQ sauce of your choice

*Cut Pork into smaller pieces
*Brown in saucepan in melted butter
*Place in slow cooker
*Pour liquid smoke and broth over meat
*Drizzle (generously) BBQ sauce over meat pieces
*Cook on low for 6-8 hours
*Tear apart with fork, serve on buns

This is a very yummy BBQ pork recipe! I couldn't find one I just loved, so I mixed a few recipes together. I usually make a double recipe, then freeze several meal-size portions for a quick lunch/dinner another day. Using the crock pot keeps your kitchen nice and cool on a hot day!