Nicki's collection of recipes, open for all friends, family, and anyone who wishes to share from his/her own collection!

Author: Nicki (Page 2 of 37)

Lasagna Soup

Recipe Source: Modified from a Betty Crocker recipe.

Originally called ‘Cheesy Lasagna Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, sliced
2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups water
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cups uncooked pasta (4 ounces)
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (6 ounces)

Directions:

Cook beef, onion, bell peppers and garlic in Dutch oven over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown and onion is tender; drain.

Stir in water, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in pasta, brown sugar, Italian seasoning and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.

Top with cheese and serve.

Sugar and Spice Pecans

Recipe Source: Daisy

Ingredients:

1/2 lb pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1//2 cup water
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

Heat nuts to 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Cook sugar, water, salt and spices to soft ball stage. Do not stir.

Stir in nuts until creamy and thoroughly coated. Immediately pour pecans on waxed paper and separate nuts as they cool.

The Dip That Makes You Dip

Recipe Source: Debbie McIntyre

Ingredients:

2 bars of cream cheese
Pace Picante Salsa (whatever heat level you want) – but I do not use the chunky one I use the original one.
1- Chipotle Chile
1/2 -1 cup of shredded cheese
one bunch green onions, chopped
1 med tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
opt- 1/4 cup cilantro – chopped
opt-1 jalapeno, minced

Directions:

I put the cream cheese in the food processor ( it helps too if it is room temp) and blend till creamy. I add the salsa a bit at a time, I am more interested in consistency, but I will guess it is about a cup. You want it creamy and not too liquidy, although it does firm up a bit in the refrigerator so you don’t want it to be so firm that you wont be able to get a chip in there. With the processor running, add one chipotle chile and a little of the adobo sauce too( you find them in the hispanic food area called chipotle in adobo sauce). If you wanted to add a little more heat then you would add the jalapeno now too.Open your processor lid and toss in cheese, I either use the Sargento Lite Mexican Shredded cheese to lighten things up, or sometimes for a kick I use Shredded Pepper Jack and/or this Chipotle White Cheese (I have only seen this at Costco and it have a neat smoky taste without being too spicy) and the chopped green onions,. at this point you would also add the cilantro if you were using it. Place the lid back on and just pulse till mixed through. You don’t want to loose the texture of the onions and cheese. Take it out and place in your serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Doing this part early in the day is a good thing, gives it plenty of time to firm up and have all the flavors come together. When you are ready to serve, you can garnish with the chopped tomato and avocado. Serve with chips, cut veggies, crackers, anything dipable!

VARIATION –
Take extra large flour tortillas, spread the dip on the tortilla about 1/4 – 1/2 inch from the edge, top with the avo and tomato. Roll the tortilla fairly tightly. Get some sturdy paper towel and just dampen, you don’t want them wet, lightly dampened. Roll the paper towel around each tortilla roll and place in a sealable plastic storage bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Just before you plan to serve, unroll the paper towels and slice the tortilla rolls about 1 inch thick. Serve cut sides showing, and you can have some extra salsa on hand for dipping too if you want.

Christmas Butter Cookies

Recipe Source: Denay Davis, Cooking with Denay

Ingredients:

1 cups butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
1 ¼ miniature chocolate morsels

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy (about 12-15 minutes)
Add egg yolks an extract and beat well.
Stir flour and salt together.
Add flour to egg and sugar mixture.
Dough will be soft.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove from refrigerator.
Roll dough out to ½ inch in height
Cut dough with 3 inch round cookie/biscuit cutters
Place on ungreased cookie sheet
Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until delicately browned on edges.
Makes 3 -3½ dozen.

Ricotash

This recipe was originally based on a friend’s arroz con pollo recipe, it has since evolved into a pseudo-succotash and chicken mixture served over steamed rice, which became affectionately referred to as “Ricotash”

Note: Adjust the measurements as needed. This recipe as-is serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

1 cup of each:
tomato sauce
sweet whole kernel corn (drained if from a can)
kidney beans (drained if from a can)
uncooked rice

1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked chicken

Adjust the following to taste:
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning (low salt preferred!)

Directions:

First get your rice going. I use a rice cooker and leave it to cook while I cook my chicken.

In a small saucepan mix tomato sauce, chicken, corn, and beans. Next, add your spices. Mix thoroughly and simmer about 10-15 minutes over medium/low heat.

Serve sauce mix over rice.

Note: unfortunately I didn’t take pictures the last time I made this, but I do have a picture of leftovers. 😉

Thai Style Chicken

This recipe is one of my daughter’s favorites, and is a great (and easy!) way to break up the monotony of every day dishes — not to mention introducing new types of food to your family. 🙂

Ingredients:

1/3 cup peanut butter (shown with creamy, use chunky if desired)
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups uncooked pasta
2 boneless chicken breasts

Directions:

Take two cups of your favorite pasta and cook according to package instructions. I made mine with thin spaghetti. While that’s cooking, chop the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and cook until meat is no longer pink in the middle and the juices run clear.

To mix up the sauce, combine the peanut butter, water, soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, garlic, chili powder, and cayenne pepper (optional) in a medium sized bowl. I found it easiest to mix with a small wire whisk to combine the peanut butter and wet ingredients first, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in dry ingredients.

When the chicken is done, toss in with peanut butter mixture until well mixed. Drain pasta, toss in olive oil (if desired).

Serve in a bowl with pasta topped by chicken and peanut butter mixture.

Suggestions:

I think next time I may make this with chunky peanut butter to add a bit of texture to the sauce. My daughter suggested topping with cashews — which I would have done if I had any. 😉

I ran across a similar recipe earlier tonight that added crushed pineapple (drained), so I’ll keep that in mind for future alterations to this recipe! 🙂

Cherry Glaze

This recipe (I think) came by way of my grandmother on my father’s side. This is my dad’s favorite holiday treat, and I know once my daughter tries it, it will become hers too! (that child LOVES cherry dishes!)

This is a photo of the recipe card that my mother has:

Little by little, I’m trying to get digital copies of the recipes that my mother has that I love …

Recipe Source: Carolyn Burton, Forestdale, AL

This is a layered dish.

First layer:

2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

The easiest way I’ve found to crush the crackers, put them in a large ziplock bag and roll over pressing down with a rolling pin.

Combine butter and crackers and press into a 9×13 baking or casserole dish.

Second layer:

8 ounce package cream cheese
1 cup sugar

Whip cream cheese and sugar together and pour on top of graham cracker cracker crust.

Third layer:

3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans usually work best)

Pour nuts onto cream cheese and sugar layer.

Fourth layer:

1/2 pint whipping cream (optional — I honestly think it tastes and looks better without this!)
1 can cherry pie filling

Pour filling on top of nuts layer and smooth out. Refrigerate then serve. To store, cover and refrigerate.

No-Bake Cookies

Note: Also called “Unbaked Cookies”

These are a bit tricky to make … not so much in the mixing of ingredients, more in forming the cookies themselves. These take a bit of practice and patience — and it helps if you make them on a day that the air is dry! (moisture in the air makes them take longer to dry/set)

This recipe came from my grandmother. I don’t know where she got it, but my mother used it all of my life. They are really easy to mix up, and spooning them out into ball-like shapes (or “heaps” LOL) takes a bit of practice.

The great thing about these cookies are: it doesn’t care how bad you think they look, they still taste great!

This is a photo of the recipe card that my mother has:

Little by little, I’m trying to get digital copies of the recipes that my mother has that I love …

Recipe Source: my grandmother, by way of my mother

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 cup coconut
6 tablespoons (unsweetened) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nuts

Directions:

Combine sugar, butter and milk in saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 3 minutes. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl. Pour hot mixture over and mix well. Drop onto a large sheet of wax paper using tablespoons.

Cookies are best stored after they have “set” (dried completely and are not sticky anymore).

Sand Tarts

This is my daughter’s favorite holiday treat! I’m not sure exactly where the recipe came from, but my grandmother used it for years, then my mother used it as long as I can remember, and now it’s been passed down to me. 🙂

This is a photo of the recipe card that my mother has:

Little by little, I’m trying to get digital copies of the recipes that my mother has that I love …

Recipe Source: my grandmother, by way of my mother

Ingredients:

1/2 lb butter
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions:

Sit powdered sugar to the side in a large bowl. Mix all other ingredients. Roll out dough into 1″ balls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

If dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon more flour.

Bake 325-375 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Check the bottom to make sure you don’t burn them!

When cookies are done, let cool enough so you can handle them; then proceed to roll each in powdered sugar, making sure to tap off loose sugar with your fingers.

Nicki’s Note:

For best results, use real butter instead of margarine. Also, for the chopped nuts, I use pecans. Walnuts are also a good choice, but I think pecans have a sweeter taste and really compliment the cookie. For the vanilla, I use “heaping teaspoons” because I like mine to have a bit more than the recipe calls for.

Butter Cookies

This is probably my brother’s and my husband’s favorite holiday treat! My grandmother used to be a lunchroom worker (aka “lunchroom lady”) at Dixie Junior High (Alabama). This is one of the recipes that she used for years, then my mother used for years, and now I am continuing the tradition.

This is a photo of the sheet of paper that my mother has bearing this recipe:

As you can see, there are some conversions out to the right-hand side, those are what my mother uses for a “home-sized batch”. (I believe the larger measurements were for when they were making them at the school)

Little by little, I’m trying to get digital copies of the recipes that my mother has that I love …

Recipe Source: Dixie Junior High School lunchroom, by way of my grandmother

Ingredients:

1 cup butter/margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/3 teaspoons vanilla (I use 1-1/2 teaspoons of REAL vanilla, but use your best judgment for your taste!)
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Sprinkles, nonpareils, and any other desired cookie decorations (optional)

Directions:

Mix sugar and butter until well-blended. Add egg and vanilla. Add flour slowly, a little at a time. Roll out onto a greased or non-stick cookie sheet. Decorate if desired, then bake 10-12 minutes at 375-400 degrees F until done — color will be a golden or light brown around the edges.

Hint: Check the bottom of a cookie to make sure they don’t burn!

Nicki’s Note:

It’s best to form about a 1″ ball and flatten a bit with your palm. My grandmother would use a fork to create ridges in the center of the cookie (for holding cookie decorations). Use your best judgment according to how or if you’ll be decorating. 🙂

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