Cranberry Sauce

I used to think I didn’t like cranberry sauce. That was because the only cranberry sauce I had ever seen was jellied cranberry sauce out if the can. Since I don’t even like the texture of Jello, a can of jellied cranberry sauce looked rather disgusting. However, one year my brother made some cranberry sauce with whole cranberries. Well, that has a totally different texture. Also, the oranginess of his cranberry sauce really complimented the tartness of the cranberries. Now, I make cranberry sauce every year. I don’t worry about having extra if no one else cares to eat it because I use the left over cranberry sauce for my orange-cranberry sour cream cake.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2- 12 oz bags of cranberries
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 t allspice
  • 3/8 t nutmeg
  • 2 navel oranges

First, wash the cranberries.

washed cranberries
washed cranberries

Then, add the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and nutmeg to a 3-quart saucepan.

cranberry sauce ingredients in a saucepan
cranberry sauce ingredients in a saucepan

Juice and zest the two oranges. Add the juice to the saucepan, but save the zest until after cooking. Stir the ingredients together and bring to a boil over medium heat.

simmering the cranberry sauce
simmering the cranberry sauce

Lower the temperature and simmer for 15 minutes.

adding the orange zest
adding the orange zest

Stir in the orange zest and allow the sauce to cool.  After it cools is thickens up quite nicely.

cranberry sauce-cooled and thickened
cranberry sauce-cooled and thickened

You can store this in the refrigerator for several weeks and use it for other things like a glaze for chicken breasts or pork chops.

 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Well, actually nothing in this recipe is baked, but it is loaded–loaded with calories, carbohydrates, fat grams, and flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds of red potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1  can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup queso
  • 1 oz cream cheese

Wash the potatoes and cut them into bite size pieces.

Red potatoes--washed and cubed
Red potatoes–washed and cubed

Chop the onion.

Chopped onion
Chopped onion

Melt the butter in a 3 quart sauce pan. Add the onion and saute until translucent.

Sauteed onion
Sauteed onion

Put the garlic through the garlic press and add to the sauce pan.

Garlic and garlic press
Garlic and garlic press

If using fresh parsley, chop the parsley.

Chopped Parsley
Chopped Parsley

Add the parsley, potatoes, chicken bouillon cube, and milk to the sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Add the queso and cream cheese. Continue to cook until the cheese is melted.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Loaded Baked Potato Soup

 

Top with plenty of bacon and serve. This makes two big servings.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

In my family, homemade egg noodles were called dumplings because that it what my dad grew up calling “dumplings.” However, I have taken the “dumplings” from my childhood and made them a key ingredient in a much heartier and more comforting soup.

EGG NOODLE INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

SOUP INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped or sliced
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

NIGHT BEFORE

Prepare the egg noodles as follows:

eggs and flour
eggs and flour
egg noodle dough
egg noodle dough
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
rolled out dough
egg noodles, rolled out and cut into strips
egg noodles, rolled out and cut into strips
heavily floured egg noodles
heavily floured egg noodles

Chop the vegetables.

Chopped mushrooms, onions, celery, and carrots
Chopped mushrooms, onions, celery, and carrots

Put the noodles and the chopped vegetables in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the soup.

BEFORE SERVING

Using a 2 quart saucepan, saute the onion, carrots, and celery in the cooking oil a couple of minutes until tender.

Sauteing the onion, carrots, and celery
Sauteing the onion, carrots, and celery

Add the mushrooms and continue to cook.

Adding the mushrooms
Adding the mushrooms

Add the chicken broth and the chicken bouillon cube. Stir in the poultry seasoning and bring to a boil. Lower the heat until the soup continues to simmer.  Add the egg noodles SLOWLY, one at a time.

Adding the noodles ONE BY ONE
Adding the noodles ONE BY ONE

If you get in a hurry, you will have a big glob of noodles in your delicious soup. Cook for about 2 minutes and add the cream.

Creamy chicken noodle soup
Creamy chicken noodle soup

Put the cubed chicken in bowls. Ladle the soup over the chicken and serve.  This makes about 3 servings.

Baked Salmon and Vegetables

I’ll give credit to my friend Wendi for this post.  She insisted that even the simplest things I throw together should be posted on my blog. My recommendation for getting dinner together during the week is to chop a quantity and variety of vegetables on Sunday afternoon so that you have plenty of options through the week.  Those chopped vegetables can easily be steamed, roasted, stir fried, or thrown into a soup or casserole.  The vegetables you use depends on what you have on hand.  However, if you chop your potatoes ahead of time, you should cover them in water to avoid unappetizing discoloration.

INGREDIENTS

  • chopped vegetables (broccoli, squash, carrots, potatoes, green beans, asparagus, onion, bell pepper, or whatever you have on hand)
  • salmon filets
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • olive oil
  • sliced almonds (optional, but Courtney’s great idea)

NIGHT BEFORE

Chop vegetables and place them in a baking dish.

Chopped vegetables in a baking dish
Chopped vegetables in a baking dish

Add salmon fillets on top of the vegetables. I usually use frozen salmon fillets and let them defrost on top of the vegetables overnight.

Salmon with vegetables and seasoning
Salmon with vegetables and seasoning

Drizzle the salmon fillets and vegetables with olive oil. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning and sliced almonds if you wish. Cover and refrigerate.

BEFORE SERVING

Preheat the oven to  425 degrees. cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Baked Salmon with Vegetables
Baked Salmon with Vegetables