Oven Smothered Chicken

Yes, you cook the chicken on the stove. How long this takes depends on your pot of choice and which burner you use.  About 20 minutes maybe.  The point is that the baking is to get that sauce on it.  To smother it.

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Oven Smothered Chicken

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Ingredients
  • 2 c water
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 10 chicken thighs
  • 1/4 c ranch dressing
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 c shredded co-jack cheese
Method
  1. Combine water, garlic powder, Creole seasoning, and onion powder in Dutch oven. Add chicken, cover, bring to a boil and cook until done.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350.
  3. Transfer chicken to a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ranch, mayo, cream cheese, onions, parsley, and paprika until thoroughly mixed. A hand mixer or immersion blender may help.
  5. Pour mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  6. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.

Creamy Tortellini Soup

This is a lovely crockpot soup using dry tortellini (the kind you find in the pasta aisle, not the dairy case).  Use whichever kind you like, though my kids prefer the tri-colored ones.

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Creamy Tortellini Soup

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Ingredients
  • 1 envelope white sauce mix
  • 4 c water
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 package dry tortellini
  • 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 pkg fresh baby spinach
Method
  1. Pour white sauce mix into crock. Add water, whisk to thoroughly combine.
  2. Add broth.
  3. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, and seasonings. Stir well.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Stir in tortellini. Cook on low for one hour.
  6. Stir in evaporated milk, and spinach. Cover, and let spinach wilt.
  7. Serve topped with shaved or shredded Parmesan.

Beans and Greens Chowder

My family likes the soups with the wilted greens.  They’re healthy, too.

This could be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth and the vegetable bacon substitute bits as garnish.  Also, you can get regular spinach and coarsely chop it.

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Beans and Greens Chowder

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Ingredients
  • 3 c chicken broth
  • 3 c chopped onion
  • 2 cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bag frozen cut okra
  • 1.5 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp savory
  • 2 c fresh baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients except spinach, salt, pepper and bacon in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on HIGH 3 hours.
  3. Add spinach and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle each serving with bacon.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onions and Garlic

I think most cooks have a favorite way of frying cabbage.  I actually tend to use smoked paprika nowadays because my kitchen tends to have more of it on hand, but regular paprika is how I used to make it.  I use my heavy stockpot because a head of cabbage starts out pretty big but some people have Dutch ovens equipped to handle the load.  Do what works for you.

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Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onions and Garlic

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Ingredients
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head cabbage, cored and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
Method
  1. Place bacon in large Dutch oven or heavy stock pot.
  2. Cook over medium till crispy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add onion and garlic, cook and stir about 10 minutes till the onion caramelizes.
  4. Immediately stir in cabbage and cook and stir 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in seasonings.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer.
  7. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pork Loin Supreme

When my family asks for pork loin, this is what they mean.  It’s easy and makes a wonderful homestyle gravy.  Be careful when opening the foil–if you sealed it well, it may bubble out.

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Pork Loin Supreme

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Ingredients
  • 3 lb pork loin
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Method
  1. Heat oven to 325.
  2. Combine soup, soup mix, and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Place pork loin in center of large sheet of foil in baking dish.
  4. Pour mixture over pork.
  5. Seal foil.
  6. Bake 2 hours.

4-Pound French Onion Soup

You will cry.  Yellow onions are typically sold in 3-lb bags so 4 lbs is more than a full bag.  If you don’t have a kitchen scale (and you should) buy the fourth pound from the choose-your-own bin. They’re more expensive, but usually not terribly so.  This is one of those places where I’ll honestly say that Better-than-Bouillon is a reasonable choice.  Bouillon cubes are a last option.  You could use a vegetable broth for a vegetarian version (but add some marmite or vegemite for depth) but don’t use water unless you’re desperate as the depth of flavor from the broth is noticeable and you’re putting the effort into prepping four pounds of onions.

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4-Pound French Onion Soup

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Ingredients
  • 4 lbs onions, cut in half crosswise and then sliced into "strings"
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 8 c beef broth (2 boxes)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 6 thick slices French bread
  • 1.5 grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese
Method
  1. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and bay. Cover and leave set 10 minutes. Stir.
  3. Cook for one to one and a half hours, stirring every 20 minutes.
  4. When the onions at the bottom start turning brown and sticking, add a splash of water.
  5. When the onions are about 1/4 of their former volume, and dark and sweet, add broth, salt, pepper, and thyme.
  6. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer another hour.
  7. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Remove bay.
  8. Meanwhile, toast bread slices at 475 about 5 minutes or until toasted.
  9. Top with cheese and return to oven until cheese melts, another 5-7 minutes.
  10. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with cheese toasts.

Mom’s Lentil Soup

My daughter’s favorite soup is this lentil soup.  My son’s least favorite soup is this lentil soup.  I think it’s a sibling thing. This was based on a recipe in a booklet I got from someone trying to convince me to eat more lentils.  It worked.

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Mom’s Lentil Soup

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Ingredients
  • 1 lb mild breakfast sausage
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 packets Jamon seasoning
  • 1 lb lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 8 c water
  • salt to taste
  • shredded cheddar for serving
Method
  1. Cook onion with sausage until the sausage is brown.
  2. Drain off grease.
  3. Add 8 cups water, Jamon, and lentils.
  4. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are the consistency you want..
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Serve with cheese.