Recipe

French Onion Soup

I think French Onion soup is my favorite soup of all time.  The KING of soups!  When I was a kid, I almost choked on a big glob of cheese while eating a cup in the mall, but now I am much more careful.  Smaller bites.  Chewing.

My favorite soups are ones that have a rich broth, not too many chunky onions, but enough so that the bread doesn’t absorb all of the liquid.  The cheese on top should be a lovely mixture of gruyere, gouda and mozzarella.  Never too much.

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French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 5 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans (14 ounces) low sodium beef broth (recommended: Swanson’s)
  • 2 cans (10 ounces) beef consomme (recommended: Campbell’s)
  • 1 packet onion soup mix (recommended: Lipton’s)
  • 8 slices French bread, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere

directions

  1. Combine onions, broth, consomme, and soup mix in a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH setting for 4 hours, or LOW setting for 8 hours.
  2. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top with a slice of French bread. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each bread slice. Put soup bowls under broiler until cheese is melted. Alternatively, place the bread on a baking sheet and top with cheese; broil until cheese has melted, about 30 to 40 seconds, and set on top just before serving.

*adapted from Sandra Lee

Recipe

Pan-Fried Shrimp With Creole Mayonnaise

These fried shrimp are so yummy!  They remind me of some I’ve had at Carabba’s.  They have an Italian flavor that would also be yummy on Shrimp Parmesan as well.

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Pan-Fried Shrimp With Creole Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt-free creole seasoning, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

 

directions

  1. Combine flour, 1 teaspoons creole seasoning, and salt in a shallow dish. Pour milk into a shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge shrimp in flour mixture; dip in milk. Dredge shrimp in breadcrumbs; shake off excess breading.

  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of the shrimp; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and shrimp.

  3. Combine mayonnaise, remaining creole seasoning, worchestershire and hot sauce in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Serve creole mayonnaise with shrimp.

Recipe

Pasta Carbonara

Sometimes you just need a big bowl of pasta to get you through.  Tomorrow we are supposed to be experiencing a “Snowpacalypse” in the Carolinas, and I am seriously nervous.  I hate being closed up in the house for too long, and I HATE the thought of losing power and sitting in the dark and freezing.  To calm myself down, I made a big pot of creamy pasta.  It worked, I’m cool as a cuke now.  Bring it on, wretched snowstorm.

Pasta Carbonara
Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients

coarse salt and pepper

6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

4 leeks, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced ( white and light-green parts only)

3/4 lb short pasta, such as campanelle (I used gemelli and more like 1/2 lb.) or 3/4 lb orecchiette ( I used gemelli and more like 1/2 lb.)

2 large eggs

1/2 ounce parmesan cheese, grated ( 1/4 cup)

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)

Directions

1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. (I did not pour off any fat… it looked too good to discard.) Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until leeks are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Add pasta to pot and cook according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk 1/4 cup pasta water into egg mixture.

3. Drain pasta and immediately add to egg mixture, along with bacon, leeks, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle with more cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Recipe

Summer Seafood: Low Country Boil

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Summer just isn’t summer without a low country boil.  We go home every summer to Florida and invite the entire family over for a cookout.  This one is easy to do and when you are done, you sling the whole potful on a table (or in our case a door atop saw horses) lined with newspaper and everyone stands around and chows down.  Clean up is a matter of wrapping the newspaper up and throwing stuff away.  Can there be an easier party?

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So, that’s my crazy family.

Here’s the recipe we use here at my home when I do this.  It’s from Paula Deen, and even though her rep has taken a few hits this past year, she still puts out a mean recipe.

Paula Deen Low-Country Boil 1

Paula Deen Low-Country Boil

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 lb baby red potato, about 12
  • 1 (12 ounce) package smoked sausage, such as andouille, cut into 4-inch-long pieces
  • 6 ears fresh corn, shucked, cut in half
  • 3 lbs large unpeeled shrimp (extra large or jumbo)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

DIRECTIONS

  • Fill large pot with enough water to cover ingredients. Over high heat bring to a boil; add lemon and 1 Tbs. Old Bay seasoning for each quart of water. Reduce heat to medium; add potatoes and sausage. Cook until potatoes start to soften, about 10 minutes.

  • Add corn; cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Add shrimp; cook until opaque and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Drain.

  • Meanwhile, in microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and garlic; microwave on High in 15 second intervals until melted. Stir in parsley. Serve Low-Country Boil with Butter mixture and warm bread, if desired. (I pour butter mixture over corn).

    Easily printable here:  Low Country Boil

Recipe

Cooked Custard Eggnog

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So, eggnog isn’t everyone’s bag, baby.  I never experienced this dairy-licious delight until I married a good Midwestern born man.  It’s sweet, creamy…and pretty thick.  If you think that will turn you off, you might wanna move along.

Still here?  Then, enjoy.  We certainly did.

Cooked Custard Eggnog

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 quart milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat milk in a large saucepan, don’t boil.
  • Beat eggs and salt in a large bowl; gradually add sugar, mixing well.
  • Gradually stir about 1/4 of hot milk into egg mixture; add to remaining hot milk, stirring constantly.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until misture thickens and reaches 160 degrees.
  • Stir in 1/4 tsp nutmeg and vanilla.
  • Set saucepan in larger pan of ice for 10 minutes to rapidly cool mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours.
  • When ready to serve, fold in whipping cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.
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Recipe

Susan’s Lemon Icebox Pie

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This is absolutely one of my favorite pies. It is no-bake and super easy to make! Perfect for a summer day.  My mom made these when I was a little girl for my dad, so it reminds me of that wonderful time.  I hope it transports you to summer!

Susan’s Lemon Icebox Pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 graham cracker crust

DIRECTIONS

  • Pour Eagle Brand milk into medium bowl. Mix in fresh lemon juice and stir together.
  • In a separate bowl, pour cream into medium bowl. Beat cream until it forms soft peaks.
  • Gently fold cream into lemon and milk mixture.
  • Pour into graham cracker crust and cover with plastic dome. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. Store in refrigerator. Enjoy!
Recipe

Lemon Crumb Bars

I am not crazy about lemon flavor, but my husband loves it.  I am crazy about sweetened condensed milk.  So, with these bars, we are both happy.

Lemon Crumb Bars

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (18 1/2 ounce) box lemon cake mix or 1 (18 1/2 ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 large egg, plus
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups saltine crackers, finely crushed (1/4 lb)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In large bowl, heat cake mix, margarine and 1 egg with mixer until crumbly.
  • Stir in saltine crumbs.
  • Reserving 2 cups of crumb mixture, press remaining crumbs into bottom of greased 13×9 baking pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • With mixer or wire whisk, beat 3 egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Spread over prepared crust. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until set. Cool.
  • Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.
Recipe

Broiled Pork Chops

These easy pork chops are delicious with this sauce.  Next time I make it, I’m skipping the racks and just letting them lay around in the sauce to soak it up.  Otherwise, it doesn’t pick up as much flavor as it could.  Hope you like it!

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Broiled Pork Chops

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 pork chops

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the first nine ingredients; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Set aside half of the sauce.
  4. Place chops on broiling pan rack.
  5. Broil about 4 inches from the heat for 4 minutes on each side.
  6. Brush with remaining sauce.
  7. Continue broiling, turning and basting occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until juices run clear.
  8. Serve with reserved sauce.

Source: Taste of Home

Recipe

Baked Spaghetti by Paula Deen

Paula Deen is such a great ambassador for the South. But. She lays on that accent a little too thick sometimes and God help me with the cackling.  No matter.  If she says a recipe is good, you can take it to the bank.

This spaghetti is her recipe, and one of the most popular ones I’ve ever shared on Food.com.  Tons of reviews.  It is really juicy and you will be tempted to increase the pasta, but don’t do it!  It makes it too dry, upsets the balance of goodness or something.  Trust me, the best way to make this dish is just to do it exactly as Paula says.  If you want to take a short cut by using jarred marinara, I understand the inclination; but you are shortchanging yourself.  Delish with a salad and hunk of french bread.  If you’re real naughty, splurge on that fancy Irish butter in your fancy grocery store and slather it on the bread.  Heaven.

Baked Spaghetti by Paula Deen

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
  • House Seasoning (use 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a stockpot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  • Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet.
  • Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining.
  • Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot.
  • Simmer for 20 more minutes.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  • Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with sauce.
  • Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the sauce.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes.
  • Cut into squares before serving.
  • House Seasoning: Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Recipe

Never Fail Chicken Casserole

Never Fail Chicken Casserole

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Easy to put together on a busy weeknight, with plenty of passive cooking time. A new staple for us! The rice does get pretty “soggy” so if you are someone who likes individual grains of rice, this is NOT the recipe for you.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of celery soup
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 soup can water
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 chicken, cut up (I used breasts)
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Combine soups, butter, water and rice in buttered oblong casserole dish. Salt and pepper chicken and place in mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.