Monday, November 28, 2016

Garlic Cheese Breadsticks

Paired with your favorite soup, or in addition to a great pizza night, these garlic cheese breadsticks are sure to please.

Garlic Cheese Breadsticks
Recipe from Baked by Rachel

1 c. water
2 1/4 tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
2-3 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water and allow yeast to proof.
To your mixing bowl, add flour, salt and garlic powder.
Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the yeast mixture.
Mix or knead for 6 minutes.
Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Knead dough to remove air bubbles, and roll out to desired shape.
Place on a greased cookie or pizza sheet.
Melt butter and add in the minced garlic.
Use a pastry brush to brush garlic mixture over entire surface of dough.
Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Minestrone Soup

This is one of those tried and true recipes passed down from my wonderful mother in law.  It is full of veggies and has a great flavor from the sausage.
I also like that you can control how "soupy" you want this to be.  My kids don't prefer all of the extra broth/liquid, so we use a slotted spoon to scoop this over their noodles, leaving more in the pot for me.
The leftovers conveniently freeze beautifully for a hot lunch or dinner any time (just freeze the soup - not the noodles).  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

Minestrone Soup
Recipe from Lyn Denna

½ lb. browned pork sausage
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 quart water
2 c. beef broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large celery ribs, chopped
1 can garbonzo beans
1 can green beans
2 8oz. cans tomato sauce
2 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. basil
1 Tbsp. parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Optional additions: zucchini and green peppers
1 lb. noodles

Prepare noodles according to package directions.
Combine all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour, or put in a crockpot on low for 4-6 hours.
Place prepared noodles in bowls and top with hot soup.

Monday, November 14, 2016

White Chocolate Popcorn

This delightful popcorn treat is absolutely easy and always tastes amazing.  The only thing of import here is the ratio of chocolate to popcorn; everything else that deems this a recipe can be thrown out the window. 
You can flavor the chocolate or add whatever color sprinkles you would like - I made this particular batch for a baby shower so I sprinkled some pink on there for fun.

Mini M&M's and colored sprinkles have also been a hit at our house:

White Chocolate Popcorn
Recipe from Eat Good 4 Life

1 c. pop corn kernels
20 oz white chocolate (baking bars, chips, etc.)
food coloring or sprinkles of choice

Pop corn into a large bowl.
Sift through to remove all un-popped kernels and discard.

In a double broiler, place chocolate pieces under boiling water and stir occasionally until completely melted and smooth.
Add food coloring to chocolate (if adding), and stir to combine.
Pour warm chocolate over popped corn and stir immediately to evenly coat.
Lay popcorn out to dry on cookie sheets or waxed paper.
Sprinkle with sprinkles (if adding) while chocolate is still wet.
Allow to dry completely.
Break up and store in an airtight container.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dry Chili Mix {Meal in a Jar}

This hearty mix comes together in minutes to create a delicious chili.  If you aren't into the whole "meal in a jar" thing, by all means just throw this together for a quick dinner any night of the week.
  If you are looking for convenient gift giving this Christmas, this ticket fits the bill.  I like to pair this meal with home made corn bread (also available as a dry mix).

Aside from the convenience of having ready made meals like this lining your shelves, these make excellent options for camping, hunting or 72 hour kits.  These can just as easily be put into mylar bags, or if you aren't worried about shelf life, a ziplock would work just fine.
The shelf life of this chili mix is 1 year.  If you have a food saver with the ability to seal a mason jar or vacuum seal a mylar bag, you can extend the shelf life up to 15 years if kept in a cool, dry place.
You can use any brand of freeze dried or dehydrated foods here, but I've included links to the products that I personally use.  The most important thing is to use instant beans; this allows for long term storability with minimal cooking time and water.  You can click here to find out more about how you can earn these products for free or half off.

Dry Chili Mix {Meal in a Jar}

1 c. freeze dried beef (I used 1/2 hamburger, 1/2 roast beef)
1/2 c. freeze dried tomato dices (i omitted these)
1 Tbsp. beef bouillon
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper 
salt and pepper, to taste

To make the chili:
Add 8 cups of water to a pot over high heat.
Add entire contents of jar and bring to a boil.
Simmer over medium heat until beans are cooked through, 20-30 minutes.
This chili will thicken up quiet a bit during the final minutes of cooking time, so don't panic if it looks too watered down, just keep boiling.

Serve with shredded cheese, optional.