Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 pounds white potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, cook the bacon, then remove, let cool and chop, reserving the grease in the pot.
  2. Sauté onions and garlic in reserved bacon grease until the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Stir in the flour, coating all the onions and garlic, and cook until the flour begins to brown and is thick and gummy.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock and milk, whisking it into the flour mixture, and cook until the liquid begins to thicken.
  5. Add the potatoes, corn, thyme and bay leaves, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
  7. Stir in the cream, and let heat through for a couple minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Spoon into bowls and serve garnished with bacon pieces (and crackers, if you so choose).

The original recipe for this outstanding chowder can be found here.

Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into about 1-1/2-inch pieces.
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups mushroom or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 container (6 ounces) French’s fried onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a stock pot, boil green beans in about 3 to 4 quarts of water until fork tender.
  3. Drain the green beans and pour them into the prepared baking dish.
  4. In the same pot (rinsed and dried), melt the butter and sauté the onions and mushrooms until the mushrooms have released their juice.
  5. Add in the garlic and sauté for about another minute.
  6. Sprinkle the flour, salt and black pepper over the mushrooms and onions, and mix until the flour is absorbed.
  7. Add in the mushroom or vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
  8. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until mixture thickens.
  9. Pour sauce over green beans, then add 1/2 cup of the fried onions and toss well to combine.
  10. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 20 about minutes or until green beans reach desired doneness.
  11. Remove from oven and sprinkle the remaining fried onions on top.
  12. Return to the oven and bake for about another 5 minutes or until golden brown.

The original recipe for this incredible casserole can be found here.

Chicken & Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
  • 2-2/3 cups milk, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 2 teaspoons paprika

Instructions

  1. In a stock pot, sauté the onion and garlic in butter until onion is translucent and tender.
  2. Stir in the soups, 2 cups of milk and heavy cream.
  3. Season with Adobo and pepper to taste.
  4. Add in the peas and carrots.
  5. Stir in the cooked chicken and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring frequently.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together the Bisquick mix and 2/3 cup of milk.
  7. Drop dough, by heaping spoonfuls, onto chicken mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
  9. Cook uncovered over low heat for 15 minutes.
  10. Cover and cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.
  11. Serve hot and enjoy.

Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 1/8 cup roughly chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or two mashed anchovies)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Note: You can use dried herbs when necessary, but makes sure to cut the amounts down (1/2 cup = 2 tablespoons; 1/4 cup = 1 tablespoon; 1/8 cup = 1/2 tablespoon)

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process until the dressing is smooth and the herbs are very finely chopped, about 45 seconds.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  4. Serve immediately over your favorite salad blend.
  5. Store any remaining dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (when reusing, allow to sit out at room temperature for about an hour and stir well before drizzling over salad).

The inspiration for this delightful dressing can be found here.

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican or nacho blend is ideal)
  • 1-1/2 cups black bean & corn salsa, divided
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6-8 flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl the chili powder, cumin, paprika, Adobo, cayenne and black pepper, and season the chicken breasts with it.
  3. Cook the chicken until done, allow to cool slightly, then shred with a fork.
  4. While chicken is cooking, sauté the onion in oil until tender.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooked onion, cream cheese, shredded cheese, and 1 cup of the salsa.
  6. Fold the shredded, cooked chicken into the cream cheese and salsa mixture, stirring until well combined.
  7. Spoon about 1 cup of the filling into each of the tortillas and then fold and roll them as you would a burrito.
  8. Lay the chimichangas, seam side down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish lined with aluminum foil and lightly greased.
  9. Spray tops of tortillas with olive oil, butter or cooking spray.
  10. Bake in oven 15-20 minutes.
  11. Switch the oven setting to broil and broil for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the chimichangas over.
  13. Return to the oven and let broil an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  14. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and remaining 1/2 cup of salsa.
  15. Serve chimichangas with a generous spoonful of the salsa and sour cream mixture on top.

Spicy California Shrimp Stacks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 12 ounces raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and tails removed
  • 2 cups diced cucumber (about 2 small or 1 English cucumber)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 teaspoons sriracha sauce (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 cup mashed avocado (about 2 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting any salt and oil.
  2. After rice is cooked, add rice vinegar and stir, then evenly spread it out on a sheet pan to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté shrimp until done; cool, then cut into 1-inch cubes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine cucumber and chives.
  5. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.
  6. Using a 1 cup dry measuring cup, layer ¼ cup cucumber, then 2 tablespoons of avocado, then ¼ of the shrimp, and 1/3 cup rice.
  7. Carefully turn the cup upside down to turn the stack out onto a plate, lightly tapping the bottom of the cup if necessary.  
  8. Spread 1 tablespoon sriracha mayo over top.
  9. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon or so of soy sauce.
  10. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of sesame seeds.
  11. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients and enjoy.

* Note: If you don’t use all of the ingredients, simply layer them (minus the sesame seeds and sauces, which can be added later) in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate to save some for another meal.

The original recipe for these light, yet amazingly delicious shrimp stacks can be found here.

Chipper Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1-1/4 cups dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, butter, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt, and cut together with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly.
  3. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the crumb mixture and set aside.
  4. Press the rest of the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter until well combined.
  6. Pour the milk and peanut butter mixture evenly over the crumb crust.
  7. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
  8. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the top of the chocolate chips.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, being careful not to over-bake (remove from oven before they look done).

The original recipe for these ooey, gooey bars can be found here.

Simple Shrimp Creole

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided
  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can (5.5 ounces) tomato juice
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound raw jumbo shrimp, thawed
  • Hot cooked rice

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, sauté onion, pepper and celery in oil for 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender; sprinkle vegetables with 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning while cooking.
  2. Stir in the soup, tomato juice, tomatoes with chiles, water, lemon juice, remaining Creole seasoning, chili powder, Adobo, parsley and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes until heated through.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook uncovered 10-15 minutes or until shrimp is fully cooked.
  5. Serve over rice.

Sourdough Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 205 grams active sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg white, whisked
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sourdough starter and 1-1/4 cups warm water, and mix with the paddle attachment.
  2. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flours and sugar and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Cover and let the dough rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
  4. Using the dough hook, add the salt and remaining 1/4 cup water, and knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic (add more all-purpose flour, about 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky).
  5. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  6. Lift one side of the dough and fold it into the center of itself, repeating with the other three sides of the dough and cover again. Repeat this step three more times, allowing the dough to rest at least 40 minutes in between stretch and folds.
  7. Cover the bowl again and allow to rest a final time at room temperature for 1 hour. The dough should be lively, smooth, and airy. If it appears sluggish and feels cold to the touch, allow the dough to continue resting in a warm place for another hour.
  8. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for about 12 hours.
  9. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and liberally grease the paper liberally with oil.
  10. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and dust the top of the dough with flour.
  11. Divide the dough unto 8 equal pieces.
  12. Shape each piece into a rope by rolling the dough back and forth with your hands until the rope is about 20 inches long.
  13. Form pretzels by creating a “U” shape, twisting the ends of the dough rope together twice, then folding the twist over and onto the center of the “U.”
  14. Place the pretzels on the prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room between pretzels.
  15. Cover the pretzels with a cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  16. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  17. Combine 2 quarts of water and baking soda in a large pot and bring it to a boil.
  18. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, drop the pretzels, one at a time, into the boiling water for about 10 seconds.
  19. Flip the pretzel and boil another 10 seconds, then remove and place it back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
  20. Brush each pretzel with egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  21. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed, turning the baking sheets halfway through to brown the pretzels evenly.
  22. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  23. Serve with mustard or warm cheese dip.

The original recipe for these super soft and airy pretzels can be found here.

Chow Mein Hotdish

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork (beef or turkey also work well)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1-1/4 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 cups mushroom broth (or whatever broth you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) golden mushroom soup
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • Chow mein noodles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven for 350 degrees.
  2. In a 12″ cast iron skillet (or large oven-safe skillet), sauté meat and onion in oil.
  3. Once it’s starting to brown, season the meat as desired.
  4. Add in celery and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the rice, broth and water.
  6. Add the soup and soy sauce and stir until well combined.
  7. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and cook for 35 minutes.
  8. Give the mixture a good stir and continue cooking in the oven for another 35-40 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  9. Remove from the oven, scoop onto plates and sprinkle each serving with chow mein noodles.