Potato Corn Chowder

20 Nov

I came across this recipe in a magazine many years ago.  It is a Kraft foods recipe but I have changed it around as I tend to do and has been a family and friends favorite especially when it starts to get chilly out.  This chowder is so easy to throw together and I love to serve it with a cheesy bread made with Bisquick for dipping into the chowder.  It also fills the family up so they don’t eat as much chowder to have some leftovers!  I love to use the multi-colored fingerling potatoes to give this added color.

Inspired from Kraft’s Sassy Potato Corn Chowder

    • 3 cups cubed  potatoes ( about 1-1/4 lb.)
    • 2 (13 3/4 ounce) cans chicken broth or water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes
    • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
    • 1/2 cup chopped onions
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 cup light dressing Miracle Whip light or mayonnaise
    • 2 cups 2% low-fat milk
    • 1/3 chunk Velveeta cheese from the 2 lb box cubed
    • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
    • toppings : sour cream, bacon bits, cheddar cheese and green onion


Cook potatoes, broth, corn,and  onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Mix dressing or mayo and flour in medium bowl. Stir in milk. Add to potato mixture. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Add cubed Velveeta and seasoning until melted.  Remove from heat for a few minutes to let the cheese thicken the chowder.  Serve with toppings of your choice.


Rhubarb Pie

7 Sep

I can’t believe it’s been about 4 months or so since I have posted anything.  It’s been so crazy here with the wedding and all events related to it!  We did alot of work ourselves to include the dessert buffet.  Had no idea how much work we created for ourselves but the personal touches added so much and it allowed us to put the money towards other options.  I have to admit it was worthwhile.  Thank goodness for the video and soon pictures so I can piece it all together.  Talk about the quickest 6 hours of our lives.

I actually made this pie back in May but did not have the time to post it.  This is also a very old recipe that I copied from a cookbook years ago and I don’t have an idea where it came from.  My best guess is came from an amish cookbook.  I was in the mood for rhubarb pie and the produce department did not have any but I did find a bag in the freezer section.  The pie turned out just as good with frozen rhubarb.  I told my husband I was making this pie and his 1st words were “ew rhubarb”.  I told him not to knock until he tried it.  I gave him a small bite and he asked for a bigger piece and then took some with him.  My co-worker who also does not care for rhubarb pie said it was very good. 

Rhubarb Pie

  • 3 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 9″ unbaked pie shell

Place rhubarb in unbaked pie shell.

Combine remaining ingredients and stir to form a smooth paste.  Pour over the rhubarb.

Cover pie with crumbs made by mixing 3 tablespoons each of flour and sugar and 2 tablespoon butter until crumbly.


Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, then at 325F for 30 minutes.



Red Chili Enchilada Meat Loaf

11 May

I saw this magazine at Costco last year, BH&G’s Ultimate Mexican.  I browsed through it but did not buy it.  When I was recently at Costco I was looking at the magazines and saw where BH&G re-released the magazine.  I did not hesitate to buy it this time.  There are some great recipes and wonderful tips, I even learned a few things.  Now I know what kind of cheese I used when I made the stuffed poblanos while vacationing in Mexico!  Anyways I wanted a quick meal and I was looking for something with beef.  My family loves meatloaf and this dish fit the bill.  I doubled the recipe so they would have leftovers.  This was really good served with mashed potatoes

Adapted from Better Homes and Garden Ultimate Mexican

Makes 6 servings

Red Chili Enchilada Meat Loaf

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 8.5 oz package corn muffin mix
  • 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • salsa, optional

Preheat oven to 350F.  In  large mixing bowl combine the egg, onion, 1/4 cup salsa, chili powder, garlic and salt.  Add in the meat and mix well. 

Line a 9×9 baking pan with foil.  Shape mixture to fit the pan.

Prepare the corn muffin mix according to package directions.  Spread the batter over the top of the meat.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Top the meat loaf with the cheese.  Cover loosely and let stand about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

If desired serve with additional salsa.

Pepper Jack Chicken with Succotash

22 Apr

We’ve been really busy here the past month.  We made the invitations for Mariya’s wedding this upcoming July and I must say they are awesome!  Also Larry, Mariya and I went to Paris for a week.  So I did not do much cooking but instead brainstorming and of course while in Paris eating every macaron in sight.  And my sweet little brown Chinese Imperial (Shih Tzu per AKC) Maggie went into heat and that required 5 hour round trips.  Needless to say the Armstrong household has been busy. 

After all the eating out or prepared food cooking it was time for a real meal.  It was a gorgeous Saturday here in Charlotte.  I got to work in the yard and start cleaning it up.  I had earlier in the week picked up a Food Network cookbook and we decided to try this dish.  Barry created the pockets in the chicken and stuffed them while I did the cooking.  I changed a few things in the recipe to make it my way and it was really very good dish and not only looked beautiful, but tasted great.

Adapted from Food Network’s Great Easy Meals

Pepper Jack Chicken with Succotash

Serves 8

  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 cups baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts about 12 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing on the chicken
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun spice blend
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans or 1-15 oz can baby limas, drained
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 375F.  combine the cheese and 2 cups arugula in a bowl.  Cut a deep wide pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast.  Be careful not to go thru the chicken.  Stuff breast with the arugula mixture and use toothpicks to secure open ends so stuffing does not all come out.  Brush both sides with olive oil and season with the Cajun spice blend.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat about 5 minutes.  Cook the chicken until blackened on the bottom about 4-5 minutes, turn and cook until blackened on the other side about 3 minutes. 

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook about 15 minutes.  Transfer chicken to platter.

Wipe out the skillet and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the lima beans and squash and cook until squash is tender about 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 cups arugula and the lime juice. 

Slice chicken in half and serve with the succotash.

Chinese BBQ Stir-Fry

19 Apr

Chinese food, bbq and stir-fry what is not to like?!  I used to own a wok but to me it was no different than my skillet.  I love my cast iron skillet.  My husband bought it at a yard sale used over 20 years ago.  I’ve had other skillets that for one reason or another just never lasted.  I hand wash and season the skillet every time I use it.  The bad thing is, it is so heavy and my hands don’t have the strength like they used to but as long as I can lift it I will use that skillet and this dish is perfect for it.  It has that slightly sweet tang and I like to cook the cabbage longer than the original recipe.  I serve this over a coconut rice.  I just use a can of coconut juice, not milk, and cook the rice in that.  My husband can attest how good it is, he ate more than half for dinner!

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Chinese BBQ Stir-Fry

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 – 7.5 oz bottled hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size strips
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium sweet pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, thinly bias sliced
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 small head about 3-4 cups coarsely chopped Chinese cabbage

Heat 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil in a wok or 14″ skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pepper, onions and carrots and stir-fry 4-5 minutes or till crisp-tender.  Remove from skillet.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil and add the chicken.  Stir-fry until no pink remains.Remove from skillet.

In a medium bowl combine hoisin sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder and black pepper.  Stir cornstarch into marinade .  Add to skillet.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Return chicken and vegetables to skillet.  Add the cabbage and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Serve over hot cooked rice.

Taco Soup

20 Mar

When I didn’t work on Sundays dinner was quite the event as I had the time.  Since the parents moved away and I switched my work schedule to be off on Saturdays instead it’s been a different story.  I still need to eat so I tend to do crockpot meals.  We’ve had chicken dinners for the past several weeks so I thought it was time for a change.  I’ve made this meal many times before over the stove but the difference being my recipe did not have the corn or the ranch dressing mix.  Since I found this in the crockpot section I thought it was worth a try.  My house smelled so good!  The son came home and was very excited when he saw what was cooking in the crock.  This filled up the pot but when I came home from work a few hours later, these guys had killed it!  This is a meal that kids and men love.  Of course now the son said next time I need to make my crockpot taco meatloaf!  Maybe in a few weeks, stay tuned.

Adapted from Food.com

Taco Soup

serves 8-10

  • 1 (16 ounce) can great northern beans
  • 1 (16 ounce) can light kidney beans 
  • 1 (11 ounce) can niblet corn
  • 1 (11 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilis 
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
  • 1 lb shredded ground beef
  • optional toppings sour cream, shredded cheese, corn chips, chopped green onion

Cook meat and drain.  Add all ingredients to crock pot.  Do not drain liquid from the cans.  Stir, cooking on low heat for 4 hours.

Garnish with toppings of your choice.

Rose Madeleines

12 Mar

I really love experimenting with different flavors and lately the flower essences have been getting my attention.  When I bought a bottle of Monin Violet flavored syrup last year to make violet buttercream macarons I knew this was the start of something great.  I used the syrup to make a divine violet buttercream for sangria cupcakes for my friend’s birthday.  I started googling recipes for other flower flavors and came across an idea for rose madeleines using a rose syrup.  I didn’t have any rose syrup but found a recipe to make it.  Since I already had rose water and bought some rose and lavendar extract at Sur La Table I decided to make my own syrup.  The recipe I found called for almost double the sugar to water and turned the finished product into a taffy so I had to add more water and reheated it until the mixture melted.  I added the syrup to David Lebovitz’s madeleines and tinted them pink for a wonderful subtle flavor.  My husband loves madeleines since he had the green tea flavor I made earlier in the year.  I will be making madeleines for the wedding so

Adapted from David Lebovitz The Sweet Life in Paris

Makes 24 regular size cookies

Rose Madeleines

  • 1/3 cup rose syrup (recipe below)
  •  9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (preferably aluminum free)
  • 1/3 cup rose syrup
  • couple drops red food coloring

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the eggs, sugar and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.

Add the flour, and baking powder and using a spatula to fold in the flour as it is being added gradually into the batter.

Add the rose syrup to the cooled butter and slowly dribble the butter in the batter  while simultaneously folding it in with the spatula until all the butter is incorporated.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to but no longer than 12 hours.

Butter the madeleine molds lightly.  If using nonstick molds that is all you need to do otherwise dust with flour and tap off any excess. 

Preheat oven to 425F.  Using a teaspoon, plop a generous amount of batter into the center of the mold.  It does not have to fill the mold.  Leave the dough in a mound and do not spread as the heat from baking will spread it out.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cakes feel springy and just set.  Remove from the oven and tilt the pan so cookies fall onto the cooling rack.

When cookies are cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Rose Syrup

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose extract
  • couple drops red food coloring

 Cook the sugar and water under sugar is dissolved and mixture reduces and becomes the consistency of syrup.  Takes about 10-15 minutes.  Add the rose water and extract.  Tint with food color if desired.