Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Collection of Soups, Stews & Chowders from Joyously Domestic

It's that time of year.  As the chilly weather is setting in for many of us across the country, nothing warms our bellies and souls more than curling up with a big bowl of soup.  I've rounded up some of Joyously Domestic most-popular recipes for soups, stews and chowders - all right here in one post.  There's sure to be something here for everyone ... from creamy, thick chowders to healthful, broth-based soups.  Some are written for the slow cooker and others come together on the stove top.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Classic Peanut Butter and Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

You know 'em. You love 'em. Old-school, classic no-bake cookies. A super quick-to-make, well-loved treat that was a staple of so many of our childhoods. They certainly bring me a real sense of nostalgia every time that I make them. And, I love seeing my own kids enjoy these cookies just as much as I did when I was young.

And, really ... what's not to love here? Chocolate and peanut butter collide amid a sea of oats, sugar and butter. {The ingredient list is a short one and consists of stuff most of us keep on hand.} And, you'll literally be in and out of the kitchen in like, ten or fifteen minutes making these. 

This is my mother's recipe and one that she made like, weekly when I was growing up. In our family, we prefer a combination of both quick oats and old-fashioned oats in this recipe. It just seems to create the perfect texture. But, just using regular quick-cooking oats works fine if that's what you have on hand or prefer. {Most recipes call for just quick oats.}

NOTE:  I would pretty much never recommend margarine for any recipe. However, my mother always used margarine in this recipe when I was growing up. I have tried making these many times using real butter, but they just never seem to turn out the same. So, I list margarine in the ingredient list. However, the recipe can very well be made with butter if that is all you prefer to purchase or have on hand.

Now, isn't it time you whipped up a batch of these today? You'll be so happy that you did.

Yields 24 - 28 small cookies or 12 - 14 large cookies.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pimento Cheese & Bacon Wonton Appetizers - Two Ways

First of all, I'd like to give a shout out to Lori, a blogger friend and fellow Michigander over at Foxes Love Lemons, for always encouraging my wonton wrapper obsession.  Specifically, she's cheered on my love for forming them into little cups and filling them with all kinds of lovely ingredients.

Just when I think that my readers must be getting sick of me posting wonton cup recipes, there Lori is - cheering me on from the sidelines!  (She may have even once referred to me on her blog as the "wonton cup queen" within her Veggie Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Salad Wonton Cup Appetizers post.)

My friends at Kroger graciously sent me a slew of Kroger Greek products to try recently.  I was invited to develop some recipes using their products and share the results with you, my readers.  I was immediately drawn to their Greek Cream Cheese & Greek Yogurt product since I am a huge cream cheese lover and I've always enjoyed Greek-style yogurt.  The product comes packaged in an eight-ounce block portion and looks just like traditional cream cheese.  It was perfect for use as the base for my pimento cheese recipe and I love that it has two times the amount of protein as regular cream cheese (and half of the fat).  This is an product that will work wonderfully in many of my recipes that require cream cheese as one of the ingredients.

These appetizers can be prepared cold or hot.  To serve cold, simple bake off the wonton cups, add in the filling ingredients and serve as-is.  To serve hot, the baked wonton cups can be filled with the pimento cheese and bacon, then thrown back into the oven for a few minutes until the cheese filling is hot and bubbly.

Making homemade pimento cheese is a breeze, is inexpensive to prepare and never disappoints - especially as party fare.  Whip up a batch and serve it tucked inside of adorable, little wonton cups.  Your party guests will love them and you'll be well on your way to becoming a "wonton cup queen" in your own right!

Recipe yields 12 wonton cup appetizers. 

A Collection of Chicken Recipes from Joyously Domestic

Chicken is a staple ingredient in so many of our kitchens.  Yet, so many of us are daunted and overwhelmed by the task of finding new ways to incorporate chicken into our weekly or monthly dinner rotations.

You'll find lots of creative and scrumptious recipes that utilize chicken here on Joyously Domestic.  I invite you to browse through some of our most-popular chicken recipes and try a few out for yourself.  I'm sure you'll find something that you and your loved ones will fall in love with.  From main dishes to soups to dips and appetizers ... there's lots to choose from.  Some are intended for the slow cooker, too, so those recipes are perfect for your busy weeknights.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 21, 2013

DIY Spooktacular Halloween Scene

This was a fun family project for us a few years back.  We spent a few evenings in a row working on this together as a family and have been enjoying the final result for several years each Halloween season.  Your scene can be used as a table centerpiece or set out anywhere around the house along with your usual Halloween decorations.

The sky really is the limit here on what you can choose to include or use for your project. We did a cemetery scene.

We did buy a few craft items for this project, but many of the supplies used were things we had already at home.  Here's an overview of what we used and how we created this spooktacular scene.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Apple Cider Butter Sauce

It's fall, y'all.  Isn't it mandatory that we all make hoards of dishes using apples and pumpkin?  I've got a recipe to share that combines the two. My Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Apple Cider Butter Sauce will be right at home on your kitchen table on a crisp, fall day ... and can be served either as a dessert or a brunch dish.

You get to decide if you'd like to serve it warm or cold ... many have preferences on this usually based on how it was served to them growing up.  For me, I enjoy and prefer it warm when it is first baked, but relish it cold the next day after the leftovers have been stored in the fridge overnight, as well.

Regarding the bread called for in bread pudding, one can simply purchase a nice loaf of crusty bread (Italian or French, for example) to cut up into cubes once it is a bit stale.  I actually save up leftover, day-old bread on a weekly basis and toss pieces into the freezer in a large zip-top bag to use in bread puddings and dressing (a.k.a. "stuffing") down the road.  Sometimes I might even save a couple of leftover yeast donuts, plain bagels or pieces of cinnamon raisin bread in the freezer, as well.  When I've got a sufficient amount tucked away, there's little that I love more than making bread pudding.

NOTE:  The recipe calls for 3 whole eggs and 2 yolks.  Use the amount called for if you like bread pudding pretty "custardy."  If you like it a little firmer and dryer, use 1 less whole egg.

Yields 6 - 8 servings.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Sometimes there's just nothing that will satisfy a craving for roasted meat and potatoes like, well ... roasted meat and potatoes.  This dish is full of flavor and is so incredibly simple to make.  Thyme, lemon, onions and a little white wine (chicken stock can be substituted) come together with a basic vinaigrette to beautifully and deliciously season the chicken and potatoes.

Everything cooks in one baking dish.  Your complete meal is ready to go without dirtying a ton of dishes.  We like this with a salad or some steamed green beans.

I like to use two or three large skin-on/bone-in chicken breasts (that I halve) for this.  But, you can cut up a whole chicken or utilize bone-in/skin-on thighs.  (I wouldn't recommend skinless and boneless unless you want dry meat.)

Yields 4 - 6 servings (depending on how many chicken pieces you use)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Salsa Verde White Chicken Tortilla Bake

This is a spin on my Salsa Verde White Chicken Enchiladas.  Frankly, this is an easier version since you don't have to roll the tortillas up enchilada-style.  Rather, this is comparable to building a super quick lasagna ... soft tortillas stand in for lasagna noodles while the filling consists of spiced chicken, black beans and corn.  And, everything is layered up with a delicious sour cream-based green salsa sauce and lots of gooey cheese.  A topping of slightly-crushed tortilla chips adds the perfect "crunch" to the dish!  Don't bypass adding the chips ... they really "make" the dish.

I prefer to use my homemade Salsa Verde in the cream sauce of this dish, but a good-quality store-bought green salsa would be just fine.

Serves 6.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Slow Cooker Steak in Golden Mushroom Cream Sauce

My mother has been making cubed steak in cream of mushroom soup gravy in the slow cooker ever since I can remember.  It's pretty much the most-requested "birthday meal" within our family.

For my version, I use two different kinds of mushroom soup and add in some fresh mushrooms.  I've made this with cubed steak, thin slices of eye of round or even thin-cut, boneless pork chops.  I've, also, used this sauce to make meatballs in the slow cooker many times. 

This is the perfect Sunday dinner.  We love serving the meat and gravy over mashed potatoes.  And, a big loaf of homemade bread is a must ... perfect for sopping up the velvety, rich gravy on your plate.

This will serve 4 - 6 people ... depending on how many pieces of steak you use.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

One Pot Tomato & Basil Pasta {A Martha Stewart-Inspired Recipe}

One skillet + five minutes of prep time + twenty minutes of cooking = a super quick and easy pasta dinner.

I was amazed at how this dish turned out for being so simple and basic to make.  The only liquid that is added is straight H20, so I was concerned that there wouldn't be much flavor or a good consistency to the "sauce" that is created as this cooks.  But, something amazing happens.  Just the few ingredients that are added bring great flavor to the dish while the starches in the pasta release into the water so that it thickens almost like cream was added.

I came across a Martha Stewart recipe for One Pot Pasta (video of recipe preparation included) that totally intrigued me.  I did alter a couple of things when making it myself, but I pretty much kept with the basic method she used.  Next time, however, I will use a little less crushed red pepper flakes.  Her recipe called for a half of a teaspoon, but I got ambitious and used probably around 2 - 3 teaspoons!  Yikes - it was pretty darn spicy, but still a fabulous dish!

NOTE:  I used a combination of regular spaghetti noodles and whole wheat noodles.  I like the healthful benefits of adding the whole wheat pasta, but it did make the sauce a weird brownish color at the end of cooking.  I would recommend not using a brown-colored pasta if you would like the sauce that is created to stay a creamy, white color.. 

Yields  4 - 6 servings.