Menu and Crock Pot Potato Soup Recipe

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Happy New Year Everyone and Happy Getting Back to Normal Life!

This week starts with a mad rush and ends pretty much the same way it started, but I am excited to actually have more control over my meals again.  It seems like all I did for two weeks was graze, and I enjoyed every minute of it!  But now, meals and snacks are going to be fewer and more far between.

Our meals this week started off using the crockpot.  Last night, I put all the ingredients in a crock pot and then this morning before leaving all  I had to do was turn it to low and forget about it.  Hopefully, most of the meals this week will be just as easy, but I do have some that require some preparation and then the oven timer.

Here is our menu for the week and please go to the end of the post for a super easy crock pot recipe.

Monday:  Crock pot potato soup

Tuesday:  Beef burritos made from stew meat prepared in a crock pot. Corn

Wednesday:  Shepherds Pie with mixed veggies in the pie.

Thursday:  Pulled Pork Spaghetti and salad

Friday:  Grilled cheese sandwich bar and fruit

Saturday:  Leftover day!

Sunday:  Dinner with friends

Oh boy, I am looking forward to my creation on Thursday!

But here is todays recipe and what we had for dinner tonight.  Super easy and very good!

Crock Pot Potato Soup

8-10 potatoes

1 onion thinly sliced

1 stick of butter cut into cubes

1/4 flour

Ham cut into cubes

3-4 cups milk

Place one layer of potatoes on the bottom of your crock pot.  Place some of onions over potatoes, then a little of your butter and ham.  Next layer of potatoes, onions, ham, butter but then add all your flour.  Finish with a final layer of potatoes, ham, onions, and butter.  Pour milk over the top until it is 2/3 the way up your crock pot.  Turn on low for 10 hours  while you are gone.  So yummy!

Sugar Cookies

We ve developed a tradition in this house.  It really wasn’t one we tried to do, it just happened!  Every year, I seem to be behind on my Christmas baking, and end up making sugar cookies on the 23rd of December.  Not early, but late in the day, so they are impossible to decorate!  We have begun waiting until the 24th to decorate in between masses.  My kids are still young enough to be in the children’s service, but they are old enough to acolyte at the midnight one.  So on Christmas Eve, we attend church at 5pm, come home and then head off to mass at 1030.  During the time at home, I have tried to keep them occupied so they will stay calm.  We make reindeer food, watch a movie, eat grilled pimento cheese sandwiches and chips and color Christmas cookies.  This has seemed to work out so well, that it is now a tradition!  Another tradition to this cookie decorating is that the last one can always be piled high with frosting and consumed by the decorator.  I try my hardest not to judge on how much frosting is on the cookie because, after all, it is Christmas!

I use my great grandmothers Christmas Crisp Holiday Sugar Cookie recipe, and they always make the best cookies!  So I thought I would share this recipe with you today.

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Christmas Crisp Holiday Sugar Cookie

Cream 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup lard and 1 1/2 cups sugar together.  Add two well beaten eggs.  1 tablespoon vanilla and beat until light.  Dissolve 1/2 teaspoons of soda in 3 tablespoons sour cream (or buttermilk).  Sift three cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.  Add the sour cream mixture and flour to the creamed together ingredients and blend well.  Chill until very cold.  Roll until thin as a dime on floured surface and cut into Christmas shapes with cookie cutters.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes until a delicate golden brown.

I have written the recipe exactly how my great grandmother wrote it in the Record Book.  A couple of changes can be made to the ingredients.  Instead of lard you can use shortening or another cup of butter.  If you use butter, I would use slightly less than a 1/2 cup and make sure it is very very cold!  Also, I do not roll mine out quite so thin.  I like a fatter cookie! to frost, I use a butter cream recipe.  Makes the cookies that much better!

Do you have any vintage recipes in your Christmas traditions?

The perfect meal when one is sick or on a chilly day.

Here is how I make my chicken soup.

First, I cook three chicken breast in the crock pot with wine, garlic, tons of oregano, tons of basil, salt and pepper.  I do not measure anything out, but I know most of you do.  So I use about two cups of white wine.  I use my favorite wine.  A Pinot Grigio.  Oh my goodness, this adds so much flavor!  Garlic, about two heaping tablespoons.  Oregano about 4 tablespoons, and the same with basil.

I cooked the chicken for about four hours, then added 8 cups of chicken broth.  I am sure you can make your own stock, but I did not.  I have found a great broth that we can have (my family has allergies to certain foods)  that is only broth. No preservatives, so salt, and no funny things added.  Find what you like.

Then I added two cups brown rice, celery, onion, and carrots.  I add to how much I think my family will actually eat.  You can really add any veggie you want.  But the true star of the show is the broth.  When it all cooks together, the wine, seasonings and chicken stock, the broth is out of this world good.

Cook in the crock pot until the rice and veggies are ready.

I know, not very straight forward, measured out cooking.  But, really it is all by taste.

What came from our garden:

oregano

basil

carrots

onion

Have a great day everyone!

Love,

Suzy

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

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I love oatmeal cream pies!  When I was a kid, my dad would always get them.  I did not really like them as a kid, but when I entered my teenage years, my love for them began to grow.  Now, if there is a box within close range, I have to check myself closely.  If left alone, the box disappears.  The kids ask where they are and I say I have no idea what they are talking about.  So to make things easier, I do not buy them.

However, I did have a craving for them the other day, so I decided to experiment.  The results were truly delicious and I was so excited about them, that I thought I would share the recipe.

Keep in mind, they are the sweetest most delectable treats, and one small one will last you through the night.  I have a huge sweet tooth, and all it took was a small cream pie to satisfy me.

Oh, they are so good!

Here is the recipe:

Suzy’s Oatmeal Cream Pies

2 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 3/4 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup milk

4-5 tablespoons honey

1 egg

2 teaspoons cinnamon

and here is the ultimate kicker:  1 cup butter cream frosting!  Which is 2 cups butter, 1 package powdered sugar and 5-6 tablespoons of milk.  Reserve one cup for the cookie batter and the rest for the cream filling for the pies!

Combine all the ingredients.  Butter and flour an 11×9 pan and place batter in the pan like brownies.  In fact the consistency is a lot like brownies.  Cook for 40 min at 350.  Let cool completely!!!! Cut into squares and fill with butter cream.

Delectable!

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This Weeks Menu

I know, it is Saturday, and the week is almost over, and a new one is beginning.  But let me explain, well, wait, I have no explanation!  Ha!  I just plum kept meaning to come here, and by the end of the day, would lie in bed and think, I forgot to post again!  Well, that is the way life goes sometimes.

I did want to show you some pictures from the week and share my menu with you.

Monday:  pork and cheese enchiladas!  It was yummy and well received by all.

Tuesday:  St. Patrick’s day themed all day. The family woke up to green eggs and ham!  My little girl was the only one wowed by the fact the eggs were green.  She thinks I am magical, the rest new it was food coloring.

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For dinner we had beef pie and boxties.  Yum!

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Wednesday:  went for a lighter fair after all the heaviness of St. Patrick’s Day.  We had taco soup and salad.

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Thursday:  My husband I went out to eat to kick off March madness.  We are big college basketball fans, so off to the local bar with our bracket in hand!  Kids had macaroni and cheese.

Friday:  Brats and Hot dogs cooked on the grill.  Yes it is warm enough for this here.  Tomorrow it is supposed to be 70 degrees.  Nice!

Saturday: BBQ Pork Chops, with veggies and potatoes cooked on the grill as well.

Sunday:  Homemade pizza from my son.  He loves making it!

Red Cabbage Soup

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We have a ton of red cabbage from our garden this year.  Our first year of growing this beautiful plant, and we are up to our ears.  So far, we have made sauerkraut, cole slaw and canned soup.  I am pretty excited about the other recipes we are going to try, from stir fries to cabbage rolls.

I remember when I was little, my mom would make cabbage soup.  The house would smell divine while she was cooking it.  I actually remember my mouth watering because it smelled so good.  But then I would chicken out and pass up the goodness because it looked to disgusting.  I had no idea what I was missing, until I made my own.  Mom, so sorry I was a picky eater!

I called my mom, and asked what she put into her soup, and let me tell you it is soooo easy!  Truly this soup surprised my husband and I.  We did not put in any seasoning from a jar, it is simply fresh garden goodness, and did I mention absolutely beautiful?

Perfect for a fall day!

Red Cabbage Soup ( for all my vegetarian readers, this is vegan!)

Chop one head of cabbage-you can chop in bigger chunks or shred like cole slaw.

One chopped onion

One clove of garlic

Diced jalapenos to your liking.  We like things with a kick.

Fresh Basil to your liking

Shredded carrots again to your liking.  We had huge carrots from our garden with probably was the equivalent to four.

Add a little water to the pot, not too much as the cabbage will produce its own liquid.  To ours, we added approximately four cups.  We were making a huge batch to can and eat.

Mix all of this together in a huge pot, and then let cook on medium heat stirring occasionally.  Cook it until the cabbage loses some of its crunch but not too much!  (Of course if you like it soggy, then please keep cooking)  While you are waiting for it to stop cooking, enjoy the heavenly smell that this soup makes.  It will truly make your mouth water.

Garnish with shredded cheese, or leave as is.  The soup is great both ways.

Enjoy!

Wednesday Weekly-Pastries

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Breakfast is crazy at my house!  It seems like the kids stand in front of the refrigerator and stare asking, “What is there to eat?”  So I took measures into my own hands this past weekend, planning out breakfasts that include healthy and a little bit of fun.  Now instead, they eat what is on the menu for the week, not taking forever to decide.  Although it may have seemed easier leaving it up to them, I noticed they were not making healthy choices, so I had to provide those choices for them.

Part of the fun was making cinnamon rolls.  But I did not just make plain old cinnamon rolls, I also replaced the standard filling with blueberry or strawberry preserves.  And, I left off the sugary frosting on all of them.  At first, my children were mortified, but they have realized they are still just as sweet without the added sugar.

The roll recipe I usually make, from my grandmother, seemed daunting for a Sunday.  Although delicious, it would have been a very long process.  So, I decided to open up the Record Book (my great grandmothers book)  and see if there was an  alternative.  I found her quick hot roll recipe, and thought that this looked like a great alternative!  The results are extremely delicious.  I will still use the more complicated one for days when I want to remember my dear grandmother, but for days when I want to get rolls quickly done, this is a great standby!

Here is the recipe (remember this was written in the 40’s):

Dissolve one package of yeast with two tablespoons sugar and 1 cup warm water.

Scald 1 cup milk with one tablespoon butter or oleo, and one teaspoon salt.

When milk is cool, add one beaten egg.  Then add milk mixture to yeast.

Stir in enough flour to make a soft but sticky dough. (I found this to be 4 1/2-5 cups)

Let rise one hour, then punch the dough down and stir with fork.

Let rise 20 more minutes, then shape into rolls. (this is when I rolled dough out about 1/4″)

This is a step added to make rolls:  Fill with cinnamon roll filling or your favorite fresh preserves. Then cut and place in baking dish.

Let rise until double in bulk.

Bake in moderate oven. (translation 375)

Bake 15 to 20 min.

I hope you all try this fun recipe!  Let me know how it goes!

Would love to know what you are cooking up!

Love,

Suzy