Tuesday, October 31, 2006

too much orange

Halloween menu plan: Creamy Patato soup in a pumpkin shaped and colored bread bowl. Maybe I'll post a pic. of the bowl later. They were cute. I wanted to make a cool dessert like a Pumpkin cream cheese roll, but I didn't. That thing is so good and it's kind of fun to make. Of course I leave the nuts out of it. Sometimes I wonder why people have to go and ruin things with nuts. Like banana bread. So much better without nuts! I don't know how many people would agree with me there. Growing up, my parents put nuts in everything. I have a recipe for bread bowls, but luckily our local bakery makes nice soft bread bowls and every fall they make them orange with a little green stem. Very cute. The soup isn't anything fancy at all, but it's easy and it tastes good and I let it cook all day in the crockpot.
Creamy Potato Soup
8 cups diced potatoes
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 package (8oz.) cream cheese
3 cans (14 oz. each) chicken broth
1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of chicken soup
bacon or cheese to garnish
Combine all ingredients except for cream cheese in a crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender. Add cream cheese and stir until blended. Garnish with bacon or cheese if desired. I added carrots and boiled them with potatoes and onions until they were tender. I processed them until they were smooth and then I put it in the crockpot with the other ingredients. Sometimes I just don't like lumps in my soup.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Apricot Chicken

Apricot-glazed chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1/4 c. apricot jam
2 green onions, diced
1/4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar

Place chicken breasts in a large zip-lock gallon-sized bag and use a rolling pin to flatten to desired thickness. In skillet over medium heat melt 1 Tbsp. of butter and brown chicken on both sides (About 2-3 minutes on each side). Add remaining ingredients to skillet with remaining tablespoon of butter. Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

I used chicken tenderloins so that it would cook faster. I served it with boiled red potatoes that were chopped into bite-size pieces with the skin left on. After potatoes were done boiling in salted water, I melted butter over the top and sprinkled them with fresh parsley. I also made steamed broccoli and served apple crisp for dessert. It tasted like some good old fashioned cooking that was much overdue in this house. My sister-in-law made her chicken with apple cider vinegar and saw raw sugar cane or something like that. She has gotten really good at substituting ingredients for all-natural and sugar-free. We used to eat some pretty scary things over at their house, but lately it hasn't been that bad at all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

SPAM meatballs

I made HF Hawaiian meatballs out of Spam tonight. Scary, huh. My mom gave me this recipe she made when she was in college. It sounds disgusting but everyone loves it whenever they eat it. I know SPAM isn't the healthiest thing out there, but if you are going to eat fatty greasy meatballs, you might as well give these a try sometime. They're super easy and super fast. She calls them "Hawaiian meatballs". Supposedly Spam is used a lot in Hawaii. I've had Korean neighbors that use it in sushi.

Also, word to the wise. You really should not buy generic when it comes to SPAM. Once I bought generic when we were living in Kansas City and when I opened the can it was a green and black, thick, syrupy goo. I poured it down the drain while I dry heaved. Now here I am 5 years later after gaining the courage to give it a try once again. Sometimes name brand counts. Anyway, here's how you do it.


1 (12 oz.) can SPAM, mixed into pea-size pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup cheese, shredded
Mix thoroughly and form into balls. Brown on all sides in frying pan. Set meatballs aside in a 9X13 casserole dish. Drain pineapple juice from a 20 oz. can and pour into a small saucepan. On medium heat combine:
pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Cook until thick then add pineapple chunks. Pour evenly over meatballs and place in 375 degree oven. Bake until bubbly. Serve with rice.
This is definitely a dish that is ugly and unhealthy and would look great in a 1970's cookbook. Please let me know if you try it. Every man that has eaten this loves it. I kid you not.