Sunday, December 9, 2007

3 Months Later...

...I have finally cooked!! And boy did I...
Saturday was Wes's company Christmas party at our house. No biggie...hotdogs, hamburgers, salespeople bringing appetizers. Well, that's too simple for me, of course. So I decide I want to make chili. Not too hard, right? HA! Of course I can't just do the chili seasoning mix + ground beef + tomatoes = chili. Nooo way. So here's what I made. It turned out GREAT...but I think we'll be eating it for the next month and a half. I definitely had to send Wes out to Wally World to buy a TURKEY FRYER to cook it all in because it made so much. Oops.

6 lbs. ground beef (shoulda realized it was going to make a ton at this point...)
8 cans diced tomatoes
6 cans RoTel tomatoes
4 cans tomato paste
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans dark red kidney beans
2 cans light red kidney beans
2 cans cannelini beans
2 cans chili beans
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I stuck them in the food processor with a couple of spoonfuls of the diced tomatoes to chop them up well. Feel free to add more chipotles, this chili wasn't very spicy)
2 large red onions, diced
1 head of garlic, diced
2 green peppers, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 to 1 beer--I used a Fosters because it was in the fridge :)
2 packets of chili seasoning mix
about 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
ground cumin
chili powder

I first sauteed the bell peppers, onions, and garlic (in batches) in a little bit of olive oil. I then added that into a pot with 6 cans of diced tomatoes, the RoTel tomatoes, the 2 cans of chili beans, the cans of all the other beans (drained and rinsed well), the beer, the chipotle peppers and some seasonings (salt, cumin, chili powder, Tabasco, Worcestershire). I let this mixture simmer for a bit. At this point, it was near midnight, so I went to bed :). Assuming you're doing this all in one fell swoop, just let the veggie mixture simmer while you brown the beef in batches. Drain well each time. Also, I added a bit of the last 2 cans of diced tomatoes and the seasoning mixtures each time (once the beef was cooked) and let it simmer for just a few minutes before adding it to the veggie mixture. I also was mixing the tomato paste and water and adding it to the pot to get the amount of liquid in the pot that looked good. Writing this all down, it doesn't seem nearly as complicated--and time consuming--as it was. Anyway, I let it all simmer (in the turkey fryer pot on the side burner of the grill) for about 3 to 4 hours. I continued tasting it and adding whatever it seemed like it needed during that time. I served it with fritos, grated cheese, and sour cream. YUM! In fact, I'm going to go eat a bowl right now :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yummy Chicken Recipe--from MC

We had this a couple of nights ago, and it was great! I stole it from MC, but she made it in the crock pot, and I didn't think of it until the evening I wanted to have this is my version of MC's Ranch Crockpot Chicken!

3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. of ranch dressing mix
1 can of cream of celery soup
1/2 can (soup can) milk
1 block of low-fat cream cheese
1 box of long grain and wild rice, cooked
salt and pepper
olive oil

Salt and pepper the chicken, then cook for about 3-4 minutes per side in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium or so heat. While the chicken is cooking, combine the ranch mix, soup, and milk in a large bowl. Remove the chicken--it will not be cooked through yet!--and set aside. Reduce heat to med-low/low, and add the soup mixture to the pan, scraping up all the bits from the pan and stirring for a second. Add the chicken back to the pan, coating in the soup mixture. Cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


So I'm not doing a very good job cooking! Monday night I cooked, Tuesday I was tired, so we had Mexican, Wednesday was my school's Chick-Fil-a night, so I was the good little teacher and got dinner there (remind me not to do that...too many parents wanting to discuss their precious children!!), and tonight we went out to celebrate a friend's birthday (that was a MONTH ago, I'm a bad friend!!). Not much cooking going on in the Vicars' household! And I'll go ahead and tell you...tomorrow night we've got a football game, so I'll be coaching the cheerleaders, and my dinner will come from the booster club. Another non-cooking night!
I apologize to all of ya'll because I'm not posting recipes, but I apologize MORE to my dear husband...poor guy!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Our Staple Veggie!

I don't know why I haven't posted this yet, because its one of the few veggies I cook that Wes really likes...and its easy too! I have never measured the ingredients, so I'll estimate the best I can!
Garlic Green Beans
1-2 pats of butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced garlic (best if its fresh, but I admit...I've used the jar stuff too)
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. milk
1 bag frozen cut green beans

In a saucepan, combine the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic in this. Stir in flour, making sure to get rid of any lumps, as it will thicken quickly. While still stiring, add milk slowly, allowing to thicken. Add salt and pepper, and stir in bag of green beans, coating all in garlic sauce. Cover, reduce heat to low/med-low, and let cook til beans are warmed through.

We're having these, along with wild rice, stuffing, and turkey breast (if it ever finishes cooking...ugh!) tonight.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Chicken and Rice Casserole...YUM!

Sorry I haven't posted in FOREVER...I haven't cooked in forever either! School has started, I've been exhausted, so Wes went to the grocery store last time. He came home with $150+ worth of chips and dip, frozen lasagna, frozen pizza, frozen chicken pot pie, bologna, and Little Debbie cakes. Not exactly what I buy at the grocery, but it was really sweet that he went!
So last night I decided it was time for a real, home-cooked meal. I'd heard good things about Paula Deen's Chicken and Rice Casserole, so I basically made her recipe, but you know I like to change things! So here it goes...
1 rotisserie chicken, pull all the chicken off and dice
1 6 oz. box wild rice, cooked
1/2 sweet onion, sauteed in a pat or two of butter
2 cans of green beans, drained
1 small jar (4 oz.?) pimentos, drained
1 small bag diced almonds (next time I would use more, but Wes didn't like them at all...)
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 can cream of celery soup (I may try it with cream of mushroom next time for fun)
1/2 of a small container of reduced-fat sour cream
1 big spoonful of mayo
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
optional: sleeve of ritz crackers (crushed), melted butter for topping
This recipe is soooo easy...just preheat the oven to 350, cook the rice while you get the chicken ready, then put everything in a big bowl, mix it up, and put into a greased casserole dish! If you want to add the ritz crackers, cook the casserole for about 15 minutes, then sprinkle with ritz and butter, and cook for another 10 minutes or so. If you don't want the topping, just cook it for around 25 minutes.
I put it in two small casserole dishes, and froze one of them.
(Don't tell anyone...but I liked this so much that when I got home from school today, I ate some of it cold, straight out of the casserole dish!!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Baked Potato" Salad

Last night, Wes and I were going out on the boat (yup, we got a boat!!), and I thought it would be fun to take a picnic dinner. So, we had ham and provoalone wraps, watermelon, and this "baked potato" salad. I tried to copy the salad from a restaurant on John's Island that has now closed, and I think I did a pretty darn good job! And, Wes ate his entire plate of it...he's branching out!!! Now, of course I didn't do a good job measuring, so you may need to tweak these amounts.

1/2 a bag of petite red potatoes, rinsed and diced into small pieces
2 T. white vinegar
1/3 c. mayo
1/3 c. sour cream (plus an extra spoonful I think :))
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 small package of already cooked bacon (the little bags near salad dressings-the 'recipe sized' pieces)
about 2 T. diced up fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, boil the potatoes in some generously salted water for about 10-11 minutes, until just tender. While that is boiling, combine the mayo, sour cream, cheese, bacon, chives, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drain the potatoes well, and while they're still hot, sprinkle with the vinegar. When the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, combine with the mayo mixture. Serve at room temperature or cold. So yummy!!

And just 'cause I know you want to see it, here are a few pictures of the boat :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Yummy Lunch!

I just made a very yummy lunch...and easy too!

I boiled some frozen, shelled edamame (soy beans) until cooked--maybe 1/2 cup?
I also boiled some small shell pasta in salted water with some olive oil until cooked--maybe 3/4 cup
Then, in a small saucepan I melted about 1 1/2 tbsp. of butter with an equal amount of olive oil. In this, I sauteed about 2-3 cloves of garlic (chopped). I then added some parsley flakes and a pinch of salt.
I combined the edamame, noodles, and butter sauce, then grated some parmesan over it. YUM!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Take on Paula Deen's Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Cheese!

This is basically Paula Deen's recipe, but I did change a few things around...

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I like to use corkscrews or shells, and I use closer to 2 1/2 c.)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Small container sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Boil the macaroni in a large pot in plenty of water until tender, drain. Reduce heat to low/med. low, combine all other ingredients in the pot, mix well. Add the noodles and let simmer for a while (maybe 1-2 hrs?). Even better the next day!!

We're having this tonight with grilled porkchops, spinach, and grilled corn on the cob...yippee!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Tortelini Soup--From Joanna

Joanna gave me this recipe today, and I made it for dinner tonight! Its very yummy...and very easy!
2 small packages of cheese tortelini
Hot Italian sausage
2 cans chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can RoTel tomatoes
Seasoning (basil, oregano, salt, pepper)
Boil the tortelini, brown the sausage, combine with the broth, tomatoes and seasoning.

Of course, I can't follow directions very well, so here's what I did: I boiled 1 'family size' pack of cheese tortelini; browned the sausage (removed from the casing...blech), removed the sausage from the pan and drained off the fat, then put it back on the heat and deglazed the pan with a little bit of the chicken broth (I used 1 box of broth instead of 2 cans) and the can of diced tomatoes. I let that mixture simmer for a few minutes, then put it in a large pot with the rest of the chicken broth, the tortelini, the sausage, and a can of diced tomatoes with basil and oregano. The sausage was already spicy enough for my taste, so I didn't want to add the RoTel! I let the soup simmer for a few minutes, then served with crusty bread. YUM!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Does this mean I am now officially a computer dork?

So this weekend in Atlanta, Kelly, Meghan and I were talking about good recipes we've tried recently (and does sharing recipes mean that we're OLD???). We wanted to come up with a way to share with each other some of the recipes we I've started a blog! I don't really know how to do this, so we'll have to see what happens :)