Homemade Ice Cream

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the homemade popsicles we made for the kids to have on ice cream day at school. This week, I finally got around to posting the recipe on Living The Life Fantastic. You can read it here.

It’s so simple and delicious. You don’t even need an ice cream maker, but frankly, I enjoy the process and the grinding sound of the ice cream maker; brings back memories of summers while growing up.

For the popsicles, we make the base (the cream and sugar) and add sliced strawberries, bananas or cherries and simply poured them into popsicle molds and froze them.

Let me know if you try them!

Enjoy!

Soup So Good You’ll Want to Swim in it

If I could eat tex-mex everyday, I would feel like the most blessed woman ever. Tex-mex, good *FRESH* salsa and a margarita (with salt) – my slice of heaven on earth.

I twittered about making this soup the other night, and several people asked about the recipe.

I made a couple of adaptations from the original recipe, which I have noted with asterisks.

If you make it, let me know how you like it!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chilies, drained *
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes, including juice *
1/2 – 1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Bag of tortilla chip
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 avocado, seeded, peeled, diced and tossed with lime juice to prevent browning

[* I substituted a can of Rotel tomatoes for one can of diced tomatoes and did not add the can of chilies]

Directions:

1.Place chicken in slow cooker.

2.Combine chilies, garlic, onion, tomatoes, 1/2 cup chicken broth and cumin in a blender *. Puree until smooth. Pour mixture over chicken.

3.Cook on High for 3 hours. When chicken is tender, use the tines of 2 forks to shred the meat. Adjust seasonings adding additional broth if necessary.

4.Just before serving, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and cilantro to slow cooker. Stir to blend.

5.Serve in soup bowls, topping each serving with plenty of tortilla chips, cheese, avocado and a squeeze of lime juice.

Yield: Serves 4 – 6

[* the original recipe did not call for blending the chilies, tomatoes etc. But I love a smoother tortilla soup – hence the pureeing]

BOO-YA! Share your Tricks and Treats

I have always enjoyed Halloween. For me, it signifies the start of fall.

Of course, having two kids now in school also means double the classroom treats for classroom parties. {stick a fork in me}

So I look for the easy-peasy stuff to create. This means using my good-‘ol standby Kraft Food & Family magazine:

Easy Ghost Cookies:

How stinkin’ cute are these?!! And they take mere minutes to make {swoon}…

Easy Ghost Cookies
What You Need
1 pkg. (6 oz.) BAKER’S White Chocolate
18 NUTTER BUTTER Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
decorating gels and/or assorted small candies
Make It
MICROWAVE chocolate in medium microwavable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
SPREAD chocolate onto one side of each cookie for the ghost’s “body.” Cool slightly.
DECORATE with gels and/or candies to create “faces.” Cool until chocolate is set.

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Spider Cupcakes:
another super easy, yet adorable recipe

Spider Cupcakes

What You Need
1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
1/3 cup KOOL-AID Orange Flavor Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drink Mix
2 Tbsp. hot water
1 can (16 oz.) ready-to-spread white frosting
24 OREO Cookies
12 pieces black string licorice (32 inch each)
48 miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces
Make It
PREPARE cake batter as directed on package; blend in dry pudding mix. Spoon evenly into 24 paper-lined medium muffin cups. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool completely.
DISSOLVE drink mix in hot water. Stir into frosting until blended. Frost cupcakes, reserving some frosting for attaching candies.
CUT each licorice piece into sixteen 2-inch pieces; set aside. Place 1 cookie on top of each cupcake. Insert 4 licorice pieces into each side of each cookie for the “spider’s legs.” (Eight licorice pieces for each cookie.) Add 2 candy-coated chocolate pieces to top of each cookie using some of the reserved frosting for the “spider’s eyes.”

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Candy Corn Clay Pots:

These are fun and inexpensive to make. I have picked up the little clay pots for these at Hobby Lobby for less than $1.00

Directions available at Reader’s Digest.

To take part: Please add the link FOR THE POST FOR BOO-YA! onto Mr. Linky. (do not just link to your home page)
Next to your name, indicate whether it is a decoration, craft, or treat (or any combination)
[And please link back to my site in your post.]

As always – Thank you for participating! I hope you enjoy traveling around to view all of the posts as I know I will.

Something is swirling around in this ‘lil ole brain

There are so many things I love about the internet. The connections. The community. The food.

Yeah, I said food.

I can’t think of an easier way to get new recipes than to create a Mr. Linky, spread the word and then hop around the web while drooling on my screen printing out amazing recipes.

And I also can’t imagine anything much worse than having to cook dinner in a hot house. I have stood with the freezer open just to cool myself while cooking dinner because I foolishly decided to boil some potatoes/bake biscuits at 400 degrees/fry meat/sweat like a pig.

Because y’all are so creative and domestic-y and all, I’m gonna beg you for some good easy stuff to feed my family open up a couple of posts in a few weeks so that we can all benefit from each others domestic-y-ness.

Don’t worry if you aren’t domestic-y. Your recipes are probably the best ones when it comes to not heating up the kitchen (microwave canned veggies… butter some bread…) Please share your secrets with the rest of us who are slaves to the stove in the heat of the summer.

I will be preparing some buttons to spread the word. And by all means, spread the word! You don’t want your only other choice to be my recipe for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, now do you?

Check back for details in the next few days. And in the meantime, start thinking about what recipes you’ll share.

There will be two separate recipe carnivals on 2 separate days.
1) Foods for days when it’s too hot to cook
2) Foods to take to a picnic.

Start thinkin’. And get ready!

(Be sure to scroll down for this weeks What The?!)

Chicken (noodle soup) of the sea*

I’ve been looking for an excuse to share this (amazingly simple, utterly delicious) recipe with y’all.

My husband’s father was a Naval Submarine Nuclear Tech (not sure if that is the official term, but I’m going with it). At that time, the Navy was not a very family friendly division of the military. Unlike the Army, which just sent my dad oversees for a year at a time, Sean’s father was out to sea for months and months every year for the duration of his military career. (I say just sent my dad oversees for a year at a time tongue in cheek, although I do love the military; I’m an Army Brat)

Because he was out to sea so often and for so long, she was a married single mom for a lot of the years Sean and his brothers were growing up. Add to that, the fact that the Navy wouldn’t just send his dad’s check to his mom (so they’d go months without checks) and this meant having to wing it a lot when it came to meals.

Some of my favorite meals come from things his mom made up or adapted in order to stretch their food while his dad was out to sea. And this is one of them. It’s basically chicken noodle soup with a twist.

1-2 large cans of chicken broth (depending on how many noodles you use)
1 bag egg noddles
1-2 cans chicken
Boil the noodles in the chicken broth. Add a few sprinkles of pepper if desired. Add chicken about 1 minute before done cooking – long enough to heat the chicken.

In the meantime, make some mashed potatoes. If you really want simplicity, use instant potatoes. Make them a little thicker than normal.

When all items are made/cooked, put some mashed potatoes in individual bowls. Then add soup over it. (Hence the reason for making the potatoes a bit thicker.)

Oh my goodness – I love this meal. It quickly became one of my favorite comfort meals and it’s perfect for last minute meals.

*I know that makes it sound as if there is tuna in this… (thanks Jessica Simpson) But: Chicken noodle soup + the fact that this twist was born out of the times my father-in-law was at sea = my corny post title.