Saturday, January 24, 2009


I love minestrone soup and I have never had a recipe for a good one. I made this one up and it turned out well. I know most of them are made with groud beef or sausauge but I decided to try it with shredded chicken and it did not dissapoint. You can make it with beef or sausage as well and change the chicken broth for beef broth or you could also do it meatless and add more veggies and beans. Be creative and don't be afraid to add to or take aways something you don't like but it was really tasty just as I made it. After you begin making homemade soup it is really hard to go back to eating canned soups. It is also much healthier to make your own than buy canned soups. Doesn't that look yummy especially on a cold day or when you are sick and not feeling well?:

Jessie's Minestrone Soup

1 onion, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (optional I had one in I need to use in my fridge but don't be afraid to make it without it if you don't have one)
9 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped
3 T. minced garlic
2 T. olive oil
2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded or chopped(whichever you prefer)
2 qt. chicken stock
1-28 oz can crushed tomates
2 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp basil
2 dried or fresh bay leaves
1/2 tsp ground sage
3 T. chicken bouillon
3-15 oz cans of cannelini beans, great northern beans, or pinto beans
1 cup frozen corn or you could use peas or green beans
1 cup cooked noodles~ I used macaroni but use whatever you like
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery,red pepper, carrots, and garlic and saute for 10-12 minutes until the veggies start to get tender. Then add all the rest of the ingredients except the noodles, corn and parsley. Bring to a boil turn down the heat and simmer the soup until the veggies ar tender. About an hour. Then add the cooked noodles, frozen corn and fresh parsley and continue to simmer it for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with homemade rolls or grilled cheese sandwiches. Remember to take the bay leaves out before eating it. You could also cut down the simmering time I just think the longer it simmers the better the flavor is of the soup.

Note:this makes a large 6 qt pot of soup so if you don't want that much just cut the recipe in half and it will still work out the same.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now if that picture doesn't make you want a cookie I don't know what will. I love to bake more than I like to do regular cooking. My specialty is cookies. I don't know why that is it just is. Maybe it is because my grandpa was one of the best cookie makers around. He has since past on but I still can taste his cookies. Anyway, If you like oatmeal in your cookies this recipe is for you. They are so yummy!!

Oatmeal Choco Chip Cookies
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups partially blended old fashioned oats (I put these in a food processor or blender and pulse it a few times)
2 cups flour
1-12 oz pkg semi sweet chocolate chips
1-12 oz pkg milk chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and blend well. Add the vanilla. Then add the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda and blend well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into 1-2 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 320. for 10-13 minutes. Watch them closely, they should hardly be brown around the edges. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the cookies sheet before eating or taking them off.

I also drizzled some of them with melted caramel. They were tasty!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beef and Mac Bake

This is a quick and easy meal. I make it when I am short on time. Cause you throw everything together in one pot or baking dish to cook. My family enjoys this and I always let my kids choose which kind of pasta to use. They chose shell pasta last night.

Beef and Mac Bake
1 lb. ground beef or you can use ground turkey or chicken
1 lb. your choice of pasta
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 quart tomato juice
1 normal sized can condensed tomato soup
1-2 cups shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese

Brown the ground beef with the onion in a skillet. Drain the grease off and place ina large bowl. Dump the pasta in the same skillet that cooked the beef and brown it like this:

Then dump it in the bowl with the beef. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Pour into a large baking dish, dutch oven/cast iron pot and Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Great with a green salad and garlic toast.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


We went to a restuarant a little while back and my kids wanted to have pesto. They have never had it before and they loved it. My kids are little so I was suprised that they liked it. Anyway, I realized that I have never made it before so I decided to make some the other night. It turned out really well. My kids loved it and even my Husband the non- sauce lover except red sauce ate it and thought it was tasty. My 3 year old has also eaten it for lunch everyday since we had it until it was gone. So here is my recipe for pesto!! We ate it with bowtie noddles and Tortellini. It is a mixture of both in this picture:


.75 oz package basil

1/2 cup fresh parsley

2 T. garlic

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 -3/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1-2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

Mix all except the olive oil in a food processor. Begin adding the oil and mix until all comes to gether to make a thick paste like this:

Then mix with a pound of your favorite cooked pasta and serve with garlic bread, salad and more Parmesan cheese on top. Yummy!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Funeral Potatoes

I love love love funeral potatoes. I am sure that you all have a favorite recipe for these yummy cheesy potatoes but I have tried many recipes out there and this one is by far the best. My kids and hubby love these as well. We always eat them with ham, homemade dinner rolls, salad or some sort of cooked vegetable.

Funeral Potatoes
8 medium sized potatoes, baked and grated with a cheese grater
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1-16oz. container sour cream
1 small onion or 1/2 of a larger onion, grated with a cheese grater
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese-it is also good when you use half cheddar and half pepper jack
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1 stick butter, melted

Mix all of the ingredients except corn flakes and butter, in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Mix the butter and cornflakes and sprinkle on top of the potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

This is what they look like before you bake them:

Friday, January 9, 2009


I tried another new recipe last night. It turned our really good!! My kids and hubby loved it. I have made Manicotti before but I found this recipe and it was a bit different from the one I had so I decided to try it. We all liked it better than my other one.I recommend trying it especially if you love Italian food like we do!!

1 pkg Manicotti shells, cooked according to package directions
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp onion powder or onion salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
Fresh spinach, minced (optional) I didn't use it this time because we had a spinach salad with the manicotti but I recommend putting it in because it is another good way to get your kids to eat their veggies!!
4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese

Cook the manicotti. While manicotti is cooking, mix the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, spices, and spinach together. Fill each shell with the cheese mixture until full. In a 9x13 inch pan pour half of the sauce in the bottom. Place the filled manicotti on top of the sauce. Then pour the remaining sauce over the pasta like this:

Sprinkle top with 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover the pan with tin foil. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Uncover and cook for ten more minutes. Serve with garlic french bread and a lettuce salad!!!
*** I have a great marinara sauce recipe. Check my side bar for the link and you can use that one. It is the spaghetti and meatball link!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Heart Healthy Chicken Soup

I tried a new soup recipe last night. It turned out really good and my family loved it!! Plus another added bonus is that it is really healthy for you. I got this recipe from the Picky Palate website. I changed some things a little bit but I cannot, like I have said before take the credit for the soups goodness. I am going to give you the recipe how I made it but if you want to see the original recipe you can go to We ate the soup with grilled cheese but would be equally good with homemade rolls!!

Heart Healthy Chicken Soup
2 T. olive oil
2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 T. minced garlic
2 chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
3 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth you can also use low sodium broth
3 T. tomato paste
2 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn or you can use a can of corn, drained but I reccomend frozen
2 cups sliced fresh spinach
1 tsp black pepper
2 T. Ranch dressing mix
1 cup water
2 tsp. chicken boullion
2 bay leaves
1 T. parsley

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink. Add in carrots, celery, onion, red pepper, jalapeno, and garlic. Saute for about 8 minutes or until the veggies begin to get tender. Then add all the rest of the ingredients except the spinach. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 -1 hour or until the carrots are tender. Add in the spinach and simmer for 15 minutes more. Serve with grilled cheese or rolls!!

My kids loved this and it is a good way to get your kids to eat spinach without the taste of spinach!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chicken and Broccoli

Happy New Year!!! I am so sorry I have not posted in forever. I have been so busy during the holidays and my husband broke his finger right before Christmas and had to have surgery on it so I have been out of the loop for a little while. I am finally back and hope to update this more than I have been doing. I am sorry to say I do not have any pictures of this recipe because they look really bad!! I need to take a photography class, but anyway I sure hope you will try it, anyway. My brothers and sisters and I grew up eating this. I love it!! My kids do as well and it is such a great way to get them to eat broccoli!!

Chicken and Broccoli
1 medium bunch of broccoli chopped and cooked
2-3 chicken breasts cubed and cooked (I usually cook it in a skillet with a little Olive oil)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayo
1 T. lemon juice(I used lime because that is what I had)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 cup bread crumbs(homemade are better~you can make them by toasting a couple pieces of bread and then blending them up in a food processor or blender until crumbs)

Mix all together except the bread crumbs and 1 cup of the cheese. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with the remaining one cup cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve over white or brown rice.