Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fast Philly Cheese Steaks

I was in the mood for some Philly Cheese steaks.  However, I am working on keeping a tight budget and wanted to use things I had around the house already.  After searching Pinterest, I found a recipe that suited my craving with most things I had on hand.  Just a few substitutes and here it is:


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 green bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 thin chucks of steak, sliced thin
  • few dashes of garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons Italian dressing
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 (2.5-oz.) soft rolls, split (I used big hot dog buns because I had them on hand)
  • 4 (1-oz.) provolone cheese slices (I used monetary jack because its what I had)

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms, and sauté 13 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Add steak strips and garlic powder; sauté 3 until brown. Stir in dressing then season with salt and black pepper to taste.

2. Arrange steak mixture evenly on bottom roll halves; top with cheese and remaining roll halves. Arrange on a baking sheet.

3. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until toasted.

This really came out good, very flavorful and exactly what I'd wanted.  I paired the meal with Paula Dean's Potato Soup from last night and bam!  Dinner is done it took me maybe 20 minutes.



Friday, January 4, 2013

Simple Potato Soup

I cannot get over how easy Paula Dean's Potato Soup is, seriously EASY!  The best part? It's simply delicious.  I will recommend making homemade cream of chemical...I mean cream of chicken soup.  It's on my previous post so simple to find and easy to make.

Throw in Crockpot
(30 oz.) bag frozen hash-brown potatoes (I used the shredded style but only a 14oz bag)
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup (See my post on making your own, easy!)
1/2 chopped yellow or white onion
1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
At the end
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (softened)
Optional Garnish: minced green onion, cheese, a few strips of crumbled bacon if you'd like
Throw in slow cooker, combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion, and pepper.
Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours.
Stir in cream cheese, cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined.
Garnish if desired.
Next batch will include some razor clams!
I decided to try this out because I had everything on the list already.  It was cooking while I made dinner and literally overtook the smell of the entire home.  Can you say amazing?  What was the coolest part was watching it turn to soup when I stirred in the cream cheese.  I was a little worried about it being stringy but it was nice thick soup.  My boys loved it! 
I'll be making another batch tomorrow with clams and some other ideas.  I think this would also be an excellent use for your base potato mix. 
Keep this one near by!


Chicken and Black Bean Casserole

It's a lazy day and I don't feel like working my butt off in the kitchen. Which means...simple and easy meal tonight.
Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

2 chicken breasts diced or shredded chicken breast meat
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can of corn, drained
1 (4.5 oz) can rotel, drained
1 (10 oz) can green enchilada sauce (you can use red if you prefer)
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (I used sharp)
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add small amount of olive oil to avoid sticking. Sauté chicken with garlic, cumin and coriander until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the corn, black beans, and rotel.
Spread half of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish that has been wiped lightly with olive oil. Place 4 tortillas over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the sour cream.
Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese, and make another layer of tortillas. Layer the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas.
Cover dish with a oven safe lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove the cover, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and dot with sour cream. Continue cooking, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

"Cream Of" Soup

It seems as though ever recipe I try, I find a line: "Cream Of" soup required.  Since I am very big on cooking whole foods that require little preservatives, this feels like a slap in the face to my attempts.  I have tried excluding it but lost a lot of the recipe in the process.  So I said enough.

Recently, I began searching Pinterest for more options to rid myself of the cream of chemical slop.  You'd be amazed on how many others agree on this, which meant a lot of options to make your own.  Now, I hate complicated recipes.  If I cannot do it in 30 minutes or less, I just move on to another option.  Most of the ones I found were extremely involved and I don't have time for tons of extra work.

Then I found the one.

Here's the recipe, which I tweeked a little:
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth (I used 1 can, it was decently close)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning mix
    • I used: 1/2tsp onion powder, 1/2tsp garlic powder, 1/2tsp black pepper, 1/2tsp salt
  • Want to add your own? Combine a mix of the following until you equal about 1tbs: ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. parsley, etc/  Feel free to try whatever fancies your recipe.
  1. Combine the chicken broth and ½ cup of the milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a low boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour and seasonings into the remaining 1 cup milk until a smooth, thick mixture forms.
  3. Pour the flour and milk mixture into the saucepan with the broth mixture over low heat and stir continuously, whisking as the mixture simmers. Continue to simmer and stir/whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick, 5 minutes. The mixture will thicken a bit as it cools.
This made me almost four full cups of soup.  It looked like the canned stuff but had that good old homemade feeling to it - smelled a lot better too.  The best part?
I noticed no loss of flavor and I felt SO MUCH BETTER about what I was feeding my family.
Source PIN: