Comfort Food · Dinner · Easy recipe · soup

Empty the Freezer Soup

Savory soups that simmer on the stove create two things –

  1. An aroma that’s irresistible
  2. A meal that satisfies both appetites and hearts

Last week I had the blessing of spending time with my parents and helping out during a time of hardship. Fixing meals each day was one responsibility I took on with great delight. A sampling of my menu included things like, Pinto Beans like Cracker Barrel’s, traditional Rump Roast dinner with all the trimmings, Baked Potatoes topped with broccoli cheese sauce – all recipe I’ve made many times.

But then my mom requested I make her recipe for Vegetable Beef Soup. She had this recipe in her head and verbally shared it with me one morning. I realized it would pull together very quickly, and would also use up some of the little bits of this and that in the freezer. Always a good thing, right?

During the fall and winter we eat lots of homemade soups. Some of my favorites are Senate Bean Soup, and Cream of Wild Rice Soup but both of these recipes are a little labor-intensive and take some time to prepare (but so worth it!). I love having a delicious soup recipe that’s a snap to pull together, and my mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup definitely fits the bill! You can use whatever vegetables you like/have on hand. This soup is a great way to use up those little bit of leftovers hiding in the fridge or stored in your freezer!

Here’s her simple recipe…

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup lima beans
1 potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 can Bush’s northern beans
1/3 cup barley
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
A couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, brown ground beef and onion. Drain any fat. Add the chicken broth and then all the vegetables, spices,seasonings and barley. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes.

I like to serve a soup like this with a crusty bread and a side salad.

Yum! This is a perfect winter meal that will:

  • Wisely use up leftover veggies in your freezer
  • Warm bodies
  • Win the hearts of those that sit at your table!

Open up your freezer, grab those veggies and throw them in a pot for this delicious soup this week!

Refresh your menu with a savory soup!

Chicken · Comfort Food

Honey Fried Chicken Strips

Honey Fried Chicken Strips, drizzled with honey on top.

One day just recently my daughter sent me a text and asked me for my recipe for Honey Fried chicken Strips. Oh my goodness! I hadn’t thought of that dish in a long time! I used to make this recipe when my girls were growing up, and quite frankly, I hadn’t made it in years! The reason is because it’s not exactly healthy. It is in complete contrast to some of my recent low calorie posts, but it’s simply too good not to share with you all!

Sweet Alli made up this recipe after getting it from me, then she invited her dad and me for supper. It was worth the little splurge to indulge in a couple chicken strips! You gotta live a little, right?!

Why is this recipe so good? In my opinion it’s due to the batter including honey. It gives it a slightly sweet flavor. I also always serve honey alongside for dipping. Wow, her meal turned out amazingly delicious! When you need a little something special and want to splurge on a not-so-healthy recipe, I’d encourage you to try this family favorite!

Honey Fried Chicken Strips
2 large chicken breasts
1 bunch parsley
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tbl honey
1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Salad oil

1. Cut chicken lengthwise into 1-inch strips. Chop enough parsley to make 1/3 cup.
2. In large bowl, mix flour, milk, honey, lemon-pepper seasoning, salt, and chopped parsley. Stir in chicken; set aside.
3. In 5 quart Dutch oven over high heat, heat 1 inch salad oil to 325 degrees on deep fat thermometer (or, heat oil in deep fat fryer set at 325 degrees.
4. Fry chicken strips, a few at a time, about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and outside is golden. With slotted spoon, remove chicken to paper towels to drain.

This is fried chicken with a twist…a sweet and delicious one! I hope you’ll give this a try. I don’t think you’ll be sad you did!

Here’s another version of fried chicken that’s healthier

With love from my country kitchen,

Chicken · Comfort Food · Lightened Up Recipe

Country Chicken Pot Pie (Reduced Fat!)

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those classic comfort foods in my book. I have made them for years with my homemade pie crusts and we love that version, but I’ve come across a recipe that is so savory and yet also reduced in fat, and so much faster! The answer to both less fat and less time comes in the form of a reduced-fat crescent roll! These make preparation so easy!

The filling for this pie can be changed to suit your family’s taste buds. The recipe calls for fresh mushrooms, which we loved in there, but if that’s not your jam, you can leave them out and use whatever veggies you love! Here’s the tasty recipe:

Ingredients

1 tsp Butter
1 small chopped onion
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 Cup chicken broth
3 Cups Cooked, chopped chicken breast (a rotisserie chicken is great for this!)
2 Tbl. flour
1/2 Cup Fat-free Evaporated milk
4 Reduced-fat Crescent rolls – I used all 8 that came in the can.

My big dish was rather shallow, so I put some of the filling in single serving bowls for another day.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 10-inch round shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Coat a large pot with cooking spray. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, until tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Stir in paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Add vegetables, broth and chicken. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. In a small cup, combine flour and 1/4 cup of evaporated milk; stir into chicken mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of evaporated milk and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Spoon chicken mixture into prepared baking dish. Unroll crescent rolls and arrange dough around inside edge of baking dish to form a border (there will be a hole in the middle). Bake until rolls are golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.
Every bite was so savory!

My husband and I were both happy there were leftovers for another day. I popped the dish back into the oven so the crescent rolls would get crispy again. It was just as good the second time around!

Eating healthy is deliciously disguised in this comfort food makeover! I hope you’ll try this soon!

This Broccoli Salad or this Green Apple Salad would make great accompaniments to this pot pie!

With love from my country kitchen,

Comfort Food · dessert · Fall · pumpkin · soup · sweet breads

Roll Call of Fall Favorite Foods

Tomorrow is the first day of fall and aren’t we all thinking about comforting casseroles, warm soups, and pumpkin everything?  I thought I’d gather together some of my favorites in those categories and highlight them all in one post for you today!  My recipe index here on my blog could be overwhelming, so maybe this list of a few favorites will help your autumn to be delicious!

meat loaf meal
I’m not a mac and cheese fan, but this recipe is fabulous!!!  I’d eat it every day if I could!

Casseroles
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Countryside Chicken Bake
The Best Ever Mac and Cheese
Taco Casserole
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cheese

Breads
Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – Perfect for breakfast or brunch!
French Breakfast Puffs – Breakfast or brunch
Butter Dips – Delicious with supper!
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits – Any time you need a biscuit – breakfast or supper!

Soups
Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder
Sausage Corn ChowderThis is an all-star recipe that always gets rave reviews!!
Butternut Squash Soup – Panera Bread has a similar soup…heavenly!
Taco Soup
Baked Potato Soup

Oh, this cake!!!!  Love it.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin Muffins – Great addition to breakfast or a fall supper!
Pumpkin Roll Step by step instructions in my post!  You can make this!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake – Fast and incredible!
Pumpkin Bread – Make small loaves to share.
Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter – Oh my goodness, these are fantastic!!

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter Recipe
Picture credit:  Taste of Home

If you’ll be hosting any fall event, having guests over, or cooking supper for your own family and want to try something new and delicious, here’s a great list to pull from!  These are some of my favorite fall foods that are tried and true!

If you need suggestions for other categories – salad, easy bread, breakfast, etc., just leave a comment.  I’ll be happy to help you!

Which recipe will you try first?!

With love from my country kitchen,

Comfort Food · Crock Pot · Dinner · Ground turkey · Main dish.

Turkey Meatloaf in the Crock Pot

My husband loves Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf and with good reason – it’s delicious! However, it’s also high in calories. Because we’ve both been trying to eat more healthy, and are avoiding those high cal Cracker Barrel entrees, I looked for a meatloaf recipe using ground Turkey. That was when I came upon this gem – BBQ Glazed Turkey Meatloaf that turned out to be FANTASTIC and also cooked in the crock pot! What? Meatloaf in the crock pot? You talk about easy! This recipe is a winner all the way around!! Take a peek!

BBQ Glazed Meatloaf – Cooked in the Crock Pot!

Clean-up was a cinch! Pull the foil out of the bottom of the crock pot and wipe it out! Ta-da! Friends, this recipe is for you if you’re looking for:

  • Delicious
  • Healthy
  • Easy to make
  • Easy to clean up

A friend of mine told me she steers away from ground poultry because it just doesn’t seem right! Well, I understand, but you need to give it a try! It’s so good, and so much better for you! Now for the recipe!

BBQ Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

1 1/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup shredded Mexican style shredded cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp Dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbl ketchup
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp spicy brown mustard (I used Dijon)

1. Fold a 24-inch length of foil in half lengthwise. Fit into the bottom and up the sides of a 5-6 quart slow-cooker.

2. Put the turkey, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, egg, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix with hands until well combined. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place on the foil in the slow cooker.

3. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the meatloaf juices run clear or an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the meatloaf registers 165°F, 3–4 hours on high or 6–8 hours on low.

4. Combine the ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture over the meatloaf, spreading it smooth. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the glaze is heated through, about 30 minutes longer. With the help of the foil, lift the meatloaf from the slow cooker and transfer to a platter. Discard foil and cut the meatloaf into 6 slices. Yields 1 slice meatloaf per serving.

This meal was absolutely delicious! My husband isn’t pining away for his Cracker Barrel meatloaf anymore!

I made this meal for our Sunday dinner and it was so great that it was ready when we got home from church! I mixed up the meatloaf the night before, then popped it into the crock pot before we headed out the door. What a great meal when you need something savory and have time to let the crock pot do the work!

Do you eat ground poultry? If not, I really hope you’ll get some turkey and try this recipe! I believe it will convert you!

Here are a couple other turkey recipes we love.

With love from my country kitchen,