Friday, January 20, 2012

The Best Little Kitchen Gadget Ever Made!

Hi!!! It's me and I'm back again. As promised in my post yesterday, I told you I would come back and tell you about this niffy little gadget I got from The Pampered Chef. My next door neighbor invited me to her recent home party and she was just doing on and on about how great this gadget is, but the one comment she made about how great it was at breaking up Italian sausage is what convinced me to not only buy one but to buy three! I gave one to each of my daughters too..
It is called Mix 'N Chop. You can use it for ground meat, scrambled eggs, homemade tomato sauce, but also for chopping and mixing frozen fruit or fruit juice concentrates.
It is top rack dishwasher safe.

All you do is place your thawed food in your pan, grasp the handle and gently push downward into the food and twist. Repeat motion until desired consistency is reached. It's that simple and now I can see why she was raving on about it. Both of my daughters have used theirs and really like theirs too. So if you are invited to a Pampered Chef party in the future, I would highly recommend you purchasing this gadget!

These opinion are of my own and I was not paid to write this blog post about the Mix 'N Chop by The Pampered Chef.

Have a great week-end! Mary

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Italian Vegetable Soup it cold in your part of the country? It sure turned off cold here in Kansas City, MO. this week. So what better thing to make than a big pot of soup?! I found this recipe over on Allrecipes, but changed it to the way I like to make and eat it.
First, put your hamburger and two Italian sausage links (remove the casings) along with your chopped onion in a pot. See that black thing? It makes chopping up your raw meat a SNAP, I love it and I found it at Pampered Chef. I will do a short post on it soon!
After you have the hamburger and Italian sausage all broken up, than remove the casing from the other three links and break those into chunks, I like some chunks, but if you prefer, than just mash them all up.
Now brown all the meat and onions until no longer pink and drain off any fat.
Now add the rest of the ingredients: garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, beef broth, corn, green beans and potato.
Give it a good stir and bring to a boil, than turn it down to a simmer and let it simmer for one hour.
On the day I made this, I started out with it in my soup pot but than found out I was going to have to run hubby around alot the rest of the day, so I transferred it to my big crock-pot and put it on HIGH for about 3 to 4 hours (if you put it in the crock-pot first thing in the morning, than set it on LOW and cook for 8 to 10 hours).

 Serve with a crusty bread or biscuits or cornbread. It must have tasted really good to hubby, as he ate two bowls of it!!

Italian Vegetable Soup

1 pound hamburger
1 pound Italian sausage links
1/2 to 1 cup chopped celery
1/2 to 1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 - 16 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 - 14 oz. cans beef broth
1 - 15 oz. can whole corn, drained
1 - 15 oz. can green beans, drained
1 cup potatoes, peeled and cubed

Remove the casings from the Italian sausage, set aside. In a large soup pot, add your hamburger and two sausage links, mash all together; than add remaining links, broken into chunks and chopped onions. Brown until no longer pink and drain off any fat. Add the remaining ingredients, stir. Bring to a boil, than reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are tender.

Serves 8. Serve with a crusty bread.
Can freeze any left-overs.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and stay warm too! Mary

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Annual New Year's Day Dinner

Hi too all of you! I thought I would share with you the meal that hubby and I every New Year's day, it has been come our annual meal now for probably over 10 years!

Shown is Hoppin' John, smoked mustard green (from a can) and from scratch cornbread muffins. Oh my, this stuff is so good and hubby always comments about how we should have it more than once a year and it is a big plate of comfort food at it's best!

When I make my Hoppin' John, I just use canned black-eyed peas, it make it really quick and easy to put together, the part that takes the longest is cooking the bacon and cooking the rice. The recipe for the cornbread is on the side of my Quaker cornmeal, so easy too.

Well, if any of you would like the recipe for Hoppin' John, just leave me a comment and I will be glad to add it to this post!

Hope you have a great day in the kitchen! Mary

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookie Bars

Wow, did you all survive Christmas and New Years? We made it. My husband had total knee replacement done on his right knee on December 20th, yup, right before Christmas!! It was the soonest they could get it done and we wanted done before the end of the year for insurance reasons. So I had our small family Christmas at our house on the 18th, in between, working, getting as much done before his surgery and oh ya, also remodeling our master bathroom! Are we CRAZY....YUP!! Oh and I also squeezed in some baking for my neighbors goodie trays too.

I received this recipe from a Stampin' Up demostrator, Patty Bennett. She found this quick, easy and oh so delicious recipe at I'm so pleased that she shared it with me too! So now I'll share it with all of you.You mix your box of chocolate chip cookies according to box directions and you also mix the brownies according to box directions. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough in your prepared 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Than do the same with your brownies.
Opps, forgot to get a picture before putting in the oven, but you can still see from this, what I mean.
Here they are all done baking, so the house smell so yummy too!
Here they are with a can of chocolate frosting on top!
Not the best picture, remember, I'm flying around trying to do too many things at one time, but boy do they ever taste good!
1 package Betty Crocker Brownie Mix with chocolate pouch
egg, vegetable oil, and water as noted on brownie package
1 package Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix brownie mix as directed on box.
Mix chocolate chip cookie mix as directed on box.
Grease 9 x 13" baking pan.
Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough in baking pan.
Drop spoonfuls of brownie dough in baking pan.
Spread alittle, if needed, so the doughs just touch.
Bake for 42 to 47 minutes.
Cool on cooling rack.
Frost, if desired, after fully cooled.
Cut into bars.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!!

I hope you all had a safe celebration, if you choose to celebrate. I also hope you all have a wonderful New Year this coming year also!!