Archive | December 2013

Delicious Split Pea Soup

If you would have asked me growing up if I would ever have eaten split pea soup….the answer would have been hell no!!!!!

Luckily as adults our tastes change and we are more willing to try foods that didn’t sound so good way back when.

I love split pea soup but I don’t like the time it takes cooking it in a pot on the stove so I was thrilled when I found a recipe that uses a crock pot!

This is by far the best and easiest way to make split pea soup and it was a winner hands down!

Note: I used the big bone left over from a spiral ham with lots of ham left on it. Worked perfectly and I didn’t need to add any extra ham.

Delicious Split Pea Soup


1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, rinsed
1 hambone, or 2 meaty ham hocks, or 2 c. diced ham
3 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 med. onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery plus leaves, chopped
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp. seasoned salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
1 1/2 qts. hot water


Layer ingredients in slow cooker, pour in water. DO NOT STIR.
Cover and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone.
Remove bones and bay leaf. Serve garnished with croutons.

Doesn’t get any easier than that!





Merry Christmas

Even though it’s only December 19th I’m taking the time NOW to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

I have soooo much to do before Christmas that I will not be posting anything here until at least after the end of next week….
or hell it could even be after the new year!

So if you want any updates you can follow me on Facebook HERE.

Merry Christmas



Crockpot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

I made this soup last night and it appears it was a hit.

Crockpot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup


1 lb ground beef (or soy crumble for vegetarians)
1 cup onions, diced
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
5 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (or soy bacon for vegetarians)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 cups potatoes, cubed
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
4 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth for vegetarians)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Start by sauteing onions and browning your beef together, until meat is no longer pink.

Next combine all ingredients EXCEPT for the shredded cheddar cheese, milk and flour.

Stir to combine ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.

When 10 minutes are left, you are going to add a thickener and your cheese. To make the thickener, combine milk and flour. Whisk until all clumps are gone.

Uncover crockpot and stir in shredded cheese and milk/flour mixture. Cover and cook for the remaining 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.




Marinated Ham and Swiss Sliders

I made these for the Seahawks game Sunday and they were wonderful!!!!

I made two new discoveries with these sliders.
#1 In the past I never liked Swiss cheese, I do now. It was actually baby Swiss….is that the same as regular Swiss???
#2 In the past I didn’t think I liked horseradish, I do now.
Cool huh???!!

When I printed out the recipe I guess I didn’t really look at the directions closely.
I didn’t realize they had to ‘marinate’ overnight.
So instead of drizzling the onion mixture over the top and letting them sit overnight I simply put the mixture inside the bun and baked as directed.
Honestly they came out just fine and I can hardly wait to make them again.

Also I didn’t make or have horseradish mayo so I just put mayo on the top bun and horseradish on the bottom bun.

Ham & Swiss Sliders


3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks or 12 Tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup sweet onion, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons hot or spicy mustard
2 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

24 (about 2 x 2-inches each) small dinner rolls
Horseradish mayonnaise
24 (about 3/4 pound) thin slices of deli ham
24 (about 1/2 pound) thin slices of Swiss cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley


Line two 9 x 13-inch (or one 10 x 15-inch) baking pans with non-stick foil or butter traditional pans.

To prepare marinade, saute minced sweet onion in butter over low heat until onion is soft and translucent.

Add brown sugar, mustard, poppy seeds, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Stir and let gently bubble for 3 minutes until brown sugar is melted into the sauce. Remove from heat. Set marinade aside to cool while you assemble the buns.

Remove buns from the package and do not separate. Using a long serrated bread knife, slice the entire sheet of buns in half so you have a layer of tops connected and a layer of bottoms connected. Flip the layer of tops away from you with cut-side up so you can easily reassembled them in the same order.

Spread tops and bottoms of buns with a thin layer of horseradish mayonnaise. Layer ham slices to evenly cover the sheet of bun bottoms. Repeat with Swiss cheese slices in an even layer. Replace bun tops. Slice in between each row to separate buns into individual servings.

Arrange ham and cheese buns into prepared baking pan(s). Spoon marinade evenly over buns, letting some marinade drip in between buns. Cover tightly with foil. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sprinkle buns with chopped parsley. Bake marinated buns covered for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. The buns should be caramelized on the bottom and golden brown on top.

Yield: 24 appetizer servings




Creamy Turkey Noodle Soup

I made this soup yesterday and along with toasted cheese sandwiches it made an awesome winter dinner!
It was a hit with the family and is a keeper.


I did not follow the directions in paragraph one because I had already cooked the turkey carcass overnight after Thanksgiving.
I took that stock which had turned gelatin-like and added several cups of water to make the 12 cups needed.
Worked like a charm.

Creamy Turkey Noodle Soup


1 leftover turkey carcass, this will make 3+ quarts of broth
3 cups cooked turkey, diced into bite size pieces
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped or 1 cup chopped onion
3 large carrots, sliced small or 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
3 celery stalks, sliced small ot 1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon chicken base, chicken bouillon will work also
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, adjust according to taste
2 cups half and half cream
8-10 oz egg noodles


Place the turkey carcass in a large pot (at least 8 quart) and cover completely with water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the carcass from the stock in the pot. I find it easiest to place a large strainer over a second large pot. I pour the stock and carcass through the strainer and it removes everything for me. (I don’t try to save any of the remaining meat off of the carcass, because I really do not care for the way it tastes after simmering for so long. If you don’t notice the change, go ahead and use this meat for the soup.) Set the broth aside to cool. You will need 3 quarts (or 12 cups) of the broth for this soup. I always save and freeze the extra broth for future soups and other recipes.

In a large pot (at least 8 quart), saute the celery, carrots and onion in the butter until they are almost tender. The vegetables will absorb most of the butter at this point. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Stir to combine and let the vegetables absorb the flour. Gradually add 4 cups of the reserved broth. Bring this mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly for about two minutes, or until thickened.

Add the additional 8 cups of broth, the bouillon, salt, pepper and diced turkey. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. While the soup is simmering, cook the egg noodles, drain and set aside. (I prefer cooking them separately, because I can more accurately determine how soft they will be.)

After 30 minutes, add the cooked noodles and the cream. Warm over low heat, just to make sure that everything is warm. Enjoy!



Crispy Baked Onion Rings

I love onion rings however I refuse to fry anything in oil.
I don’t like the greasy smell and having to deal with disposing of used oil.
And no, I don’t have a fryer and don’t want one.

I can however make my own non-fried onion rings!!

This recipe takes a little bit of time to do but it’s totally worth it.
And the dipping sauce is just like Burger Kings’!!!


These were a hit with everyone in the family.

Crispy Baked Onion Rings


1/2 cup flour, divided
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk – room temp.
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
30 saltine crackers
4 cups kettle cooked potato chips (I used Lay’s)
2 large yellow onions, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rings
6 tablespoons vegetable oil


1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons creamy horseradish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and adjust the oven racks to lower and middle positions.

In a shallow baking dish, place 1/4 cup flour

In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and egg. Whisk to combine. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup flour, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce.

Using your food processor, pulse the potato chips and saltine crackers until you have a very fine, crumbly mixture. Place half of this mixture in a shallow baking dish and set the other half to the side. When you’re half-way through coating the onion rings, add the rest of the crumbly mixture to the pan.

Slice onions into 1/2 inch thick rings. Discard any small pieces of onion.

Line a plate with wax paper. Begin coating the onion rings by first dipping each onion in flour. Then dip the onion ring in the batter, allowing any excess to drop off. Finally coat the onion ring with the potato chip/saltine coating. Use your fingers to press the coating to the onion. Place each coated onion ring on the wax paper lined plate.

When you’re about halfway through coating the onion rings, prepare two rimmed baking pans by drizzling each with 3 tablespoons of oil.

Place the oil coated pans in the oven for 8 minutes. While the oil is heating, finish coating the rest of the onion rings.

After 8 minutes, the oil will start to smoke. Remove the pans from the oven and *carefully* tilt each pan so that the oil coats the surface. Divide the onion rings among the two pans.

Bake the onion rings for about 8 minutes, then switch the pans around and bake for an additional 8 minutes or until they are crispy.

Place the baked onion rings on a paper towel lined plate for a minute or two while you prepare the sauce.


In a small bowl, combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients together and mix well. Refrigerate any leftovers.