Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Day 40 01 Year, Trumpland: Hot Air

During the next three years, it will be called a State of the Union Address. The first address of a President's term, in simple called a Joint Address to Congress. Some are calling it the best speech of his political career. I am not one of them. It was another campaign speech long on promises and short on substance. And riddled with errors. Yes, the tone was improved. After 40 days in office, Lil' Donald managed both a presidential tone and mostly kept to the telpromptor. He doesn't get brownie points from me for simply doing the minimum his office requires.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Saucy Italian Chicken

  • 18 ounce pkg. shredded Italian blend cheeses (2 cups)
  • 6slices thinly sliced deli-style ham
  • 66 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 124 ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 1/3cup Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs, toasted*
  • Snipped fresh basil or parsley leaves
  • Hot cooked pasta (optional)


  1. The night before, set aside 1/2 cup of the cheese; wrap and refrigerate. Place one slice of ham on a clean work surface. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the remaining shredded cheese and top with a chicken breast half. Carefully roll up to enclose chicken. Place in the removable crockery liner of a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Repeat with remaining ham, cheese, and chicken breasts. Pour pasta sauce over chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, let crockery liner stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place liner in the slow cooker unit. Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup shredded cheese, toasted panko, and basil before serving. If desired, serve with hot cooked pasta.

From the Test Kitchen


To toast panko, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted, shaking skillet occasionally.

Mongolian Beef


  1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
  2. Don't get the oil too hot.
  3. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  4. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  5. Remove it from the heat.
  6. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices (Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts).
  7. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef.
  8. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  9. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil).
  10. Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
  11. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges.
  12. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later.
  13. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
  14. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.
  15. Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.
  16. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
  17. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.
  18. Leave the excess sauce behind in the pan.

Farmer's Market Vegetable Soup

  • 1/2of a small rutabaga, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
  • 2large roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2medium carrots or parsnips, chopped
  • 1large red-skinned potato, chopped
  • 2medium leeks, chopped
  • 314 ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 - 1/4teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2cup dried bow-tie pasta
  • 3cups torn fresh spinach


  1. Combine rutabaga, tomatoes, carrots, potato, and leeks in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add vegetable broth, fennel seeds, sage, and pepper.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Stir cooked pasta and spinach into soup mixture. Ladle into bowls and serve with Garlic Toasts.

Garlic Toast

Garlicky Spinach and Feta Dip

  • 110 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 110 ounce carton garlic-flavor cream cheese for cooking
  • 1cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
  • 2tablespoons dried tomato pesto
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Using paper towels, squeeze out any excess liquid in spinach.
  2. In a medium bowl combine spinach, cream cheese for cooking, yogurt, mayonnaise, 3/4 cup of the cheese, the olives, 2 tablespoons of the green onions, the pesto, and pepper. Transfer spinach mixture to a 1-1/2-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle mixture with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for about 1-1/2 hours or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons green onions. Serve dip with Crispy Pita Chips

Friday, November 18, 2016

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

Here is what you need: Serves 6-8
1 lb ground beef (or vegetarian crumble) (do not have to precook)
3 cups of beef broth (or vegetable broth to make vegetarian)
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB dried parsley
1 TB dried basil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1, 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1, 6oz can of tomato paste
1 cup V8 (or any vegetable drink)
2 cups uncooked shell pasta
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of water
Optional topping- shredded cheese
1. First mix together the can of tomatoes, and tomato paste in crockpot.
2. Next add broth, beef, garlic, parsley, basil, onion, V8 and salt/pepper.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
. When 30 minutes are left of cook time, add in the 1 cup of water and noodles. Stir to combine. Put lid back on and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
If you like your soup to have more liquid,  feel free to add some extra broth and or water when you add the noodles.

The Best Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth (use my EASY homemade broth or low-sodium)
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I used ½ teaspoon salt & ¼ teaspoon pepper)
  • 2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. In a 6 quart crockpot add in whole chicken breasts, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, olive oil, thyme and bay leaf.
  2. Next add in chicken broth, water, and season with salt and pepper to taste. I used ½ teaspoon salt & ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat 6 - 7 hours.
  4. Remove cooked chicken breasts and cut into bite sized pieces. Place chicken back in to the crockpot. Now add in egg noodles and parsley.
  5. Cover and cook just until noodles are tender, 5-10 minutes.