Creamy Chicken Soup

October 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Chicken, Leftovers, Lunch, Main Dish, My Own Creation, One-Dish Meal, Soups & Stews | Leave a comment

This lunch creation is what I fixed for myself today, from the leftover chicken soup that I made yesterday.

I think it turned out pretty good ūüôā


Soup – it’s been in the fridge, so skim off any fat

5-ounce can Carnation Evaporated Milk

2 tbsp. Argo Cornstarch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrab a heavy pot and heat the soup on medium. Take out the potato chunks and smush them up (yep, just like yesterday!) and then put them back into the soup and stir well.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey helped make the soup thicker, but the cornstarch mixture is going to really make it rich and creamy.

Since I knew I’d have leftovers from lunch, I just used the container that the soup had been stored in overnight and poured the evaporated milk into it.¬† Then, I added the cornstarch and whisked it until it was smooth.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASlowly add the cornstarch mixture into the hot soup. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATurn soup up to medium-high and stir constantly.¬† It needs to get to an “almost boil” but, of course, you don’t want it to burn.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKeep stirring and occasionally lift the spoon to check on the soup’s thickness.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooks like soup to me!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was so good – and there are leftovers from this – which I will eat probably tomorrow for lunch!






Game Day Sliders

September 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Posted in Cheese, Hamburger, Lunch, Main Dish, Sandwich, Supper | 1 Comment

This yummy and delish recipe is courtesy of the Retro Dinner Diva.¬† I saw the picture, read the recipe and had to print it off.¬† Oh, myyyyyyyyy!¬† I’m so glad that I did!¬† Even though I prepared this for supper, these would be great for lunch, too.¬† I only changed one thing:¬† the cheese and the amount used.¬† Oh, wait, that’s two things ūüėõ


1 pound hamburger

1 cup cheddar-jack

1 package of Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

canola oil sprayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmini hamburger buns (we like mini potato rolls for our sliders)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPreheat oven to 350 degrees F.¬† In medium sized bowl, combine cheese, soup mix, mayonnaise and garlic powder.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, gently blend in the hamburger; you want to get all of the flavors mixed into the meat but don’t overwork the meat.¬† Hamburger gets tough if you overwork it and nobody wants a tough slider.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpray your 9×13 cookie sheet with canola oil spray and then spread the meat mixture on the cookie sheet; flatten it to maybe 1/4 inch thickness.¬† OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABake in hot oven for about 20-25 minutes.¬† Remove when timer goes off – ding! and let the meat rest for about 4-5 minutes before slicing up with pizza cutter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy hamburger didn’t stick together but that’s okay, since we made double-sliders.¬† We aren’t picky about the way we eat our sliders.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASlice potato rolls in half, grab all the condiments you love:¬† mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, whatever and go for it!¬† We had fresh tomatoes from our garden.¬† YUM!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI ate two plus some baby carrots.¬† I wanted a third but my tummy said, “No thanks, not today!”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese will be definitely re-created in my kitchen…….soon!



Pasta Salad with Chicken

September 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Chicken, Feta Cheese, Lunch, One-Dish Meal, Pasta, Salad, Supper | 3 Comments

I’ve made this before!¬† It was pretty good the first time, but this time we liked it better.¬† The original recipe was in the January 2008 Family Circle magazine.¬† I made a couple of changes from the first time.


Three chicken thighs

2 tbsp. McCormick Perfect Pinch Original Chicken Seasoning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, you could have used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for this part, but I decided to make it myself.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.¬† Spray an 8×8 baking dish with canola oil and place the chicken thighs in the dish.¬† Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. of the seasoning.¬† OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes; remove from oven.¬† Carefully remove foil and turn chicken.¬† Sprinkle with the other 1 tbsp. seasoning.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover with foil again and bake for another 15 minutes.¬† Uncover and let the chicken cool for a bit.¬† Cut chicken up into small, bite-sized pieces.

Now you need to boil 8 ounces of pasta (I used bow tie pasta) in lightly salted water; the pasta will probably need to boil for about 9 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to finish the remaining steps.


3 tbsp. red wine vinegar (the original recipe called for white vinegar; I thought that red wine vinegar would give it a unique taste and it was incredible!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. honey

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup dill weed

1/4 of a yellow sweet pepper

1/4 of a red sweet pepper

4-ounce package of Feta cheeseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn medium sized bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, salt, pepper, olive oil and dill.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd the chicken to the dressing while the pasta finishes up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADice up the sweet peppers; I always keep sweet peppers in the freezer.  It takes just moments for them to thaw.  Toss them into the bowl with the chicken and dressing.  By now, the pasta ought to be al dente.  Drain and rinse with COLD water.  This is the only time in cooking that pasta should be rinsed and rinsed with COLD water:  when making a cold salad.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the pasta drains well, pour it into the salad bowl and gently stir all ingredients together. Cover the salad and refrigerate until supper.  Before serving, stir carefully and then enjoy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI served it with hot French baguettes with real butter.  And of course, iced tea.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was super-delicious!

Hamburger for Lunch

August 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Posted in George Foreman Grill, Hamburger, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Lunch, Main Dish, Microwave | Leave a comment

We haven’t been eating big meals since hubby came home from the hospital; he hasn’t been very hungry, so the teen and I have been kind of doing the “self-service” meals.¬† Today for lunch I made myself a burger on the George Foreman Grill.¬† I ran out of hamburger buns, but gladly ate it on some honey-wheat bread.


2 slices of honey wheat bread

1/4 pound hamburger

salt and pepper

Spray the George Foreman Grill with canola oil; plug in to preheat.

Directions:¬† season the hamburger, form into patty.¬† Toss onto Grill and check after about three minutes.¬† Flip just for the fun of it.¬† It shouldn’t take too much longer for it to be medium-rare, the way I love it.¬† Spread mayo on the bread and flop the burger on and dig in!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can see I wanted Kraft Mac & Cheese along with the burger.¬† Since it was just me, I fixed up one of those instant microwavable cups from Kraft.¬† Pretty good stuff.¬† Not as good as homemade mac & cheese, but it was enough for just me.¬† All I needed then was my iced tea and that was lunch!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chili Burgers, My Way

July 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Posted in Chili, Chili Burger, Food Network, George Foreman Grill, Guy Fieri, Hamburger, Lunch, Main Dish, My Own Creation, Supper | Leave a comment

Last night, the teen and I watched a recorded Drive-Ins, Diners & Dives with Guy Fieri.¬† You can not watch that show without drooling and/or racing to your kitchen for something to eat.¬† I made popcorn last night, even though none of the places Guy went to served any.¬† He went to a couple of hamburger joints, though, and I think each of them served some type of chili burger.¬† My son didn’t like chili for the longest time but now he does and so we decided that today should be chili burger day.

I hunted on the Food Network website for a recipe from last night’s recording and didn’t find it, so I winged it.


1.5 pounds of hamburger

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 can of Bush’s Pinto Beans

1 can (10ounces) of Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (I used mild)

1 can (14.5 ounces) of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp. McCormick Chili Powder

1 tbsp. McCormick Chipotle Seasoning

2 tbsp. McCormick Onion Powder

1 tbsp. McCormick Garlic Powder

1 tbsp. McCormick Ground Cinnamon

1 stick of butter

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrown hamburger (in the canola oil)¬† in deep pan.¬† Mine was frozen so it took a bit of stirring and chopping to get it totally browned and cooked thoroughly.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd all of the other ingredients, stirring as you add them.¬† You may want to use MORE or LESS of the seasonings, depending on your family’s tastes.¬† Woo!¬† A whole stick of butter – I saw this on the television show last night – it sounded like a great idea until I saw how BIG the stick of butter looked in the pan.¬† Then I began wondering about heart attacks…..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet the flavors blend and taste again; add salt and pepper.¬† Blend well.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover with lid and set in hot oven for at least three hours.¬† Time to make the burgers!¬† My hubby hasn’t been feeling well all weekend, so it was just the teenager and me for supper tonight.¬† He wanted two burgers and I wanted one.¬† He ate his too quickly for me to photograph it but here’s mine on the George Foreman Grill:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also toasted the buns like last night.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt does not take very long to cook a burger on the grill; maybe a total of four minutes.¬† Pop it on top of the bun:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd the chili and if you want, some shredded cheddar:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh.¬† My.¬† Gosh.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOkay, I tried to be ladylike and nice and neat and sliced my first bite with a fork and knife.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy son laughed at me and said that I had to pick it up to eat it, so I did.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMmmmmmmmmmmm!¬† Heavenly!

After eating two burgers, the teen wanted MORE chili, so he grabbed a bowl and some crackers:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe likes chili with his crackers, can you tell?¬† ūüôā

I needed a small bowlful, too.¬† I like cheese and sour cream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m so stuffed, I don’t think I’ll be able to eat until tomorrow!

Sloppy Joes and Corn on the Cob

June 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Posted in Corn on the Cob, Hamburger, Lunch, Main Dish, Paula Deen, Sloppy Joes, Supper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tonight’s main course is courtesy of RetiredDad9877 at AllRecipes. ¬†His dish is called Tonya’s Terrific Sloppy Joes. ¬†I changed a couple of things (like cutting the recipe in half and a couple of other things) and they turned out very well.

Ingredients and Instructions for Corn on the Cob:

4 ears of fresh corn on the cob

3 tbsp. salt

3 tbsp. sugar

water – lots of water

Fill a deep pot with the salt, sugar and water.  I used my big pasta pot.  Cover and bring to a rapid boil.  Pull the husks off the corn (this is the messy part):


and break each ear in half; set aside while you wait for the water to boil.  Now, start the Sloppy Joes!

Ingredients and Instructions for Sloppy Joes:

1 pound hamburger

2 tbsp. onion powder

1/4 cup chopped celery

9 ounces ketchup (yep, I measured it in my measuring cup)

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. white vinegar

1/2 tsp. mustard powder

1 good squeeze of a quarter of a lemon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst thing:  using a big skillet, brown the hamburger, onion powder and celery on medium-high heat.  I used my Speed Slicer Plus for the first time to slice my celery.  It was a blast!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI couldn’t use the gripper since the celery was so tiny (compared to a potato, kwim?) but it was fun and the celery turned out so pretty.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI never imagined that slicing celery could be so much fun.  I even called my hubby into the kitchen to see how cute the celery turned out.

Anyway – back to the cooking…once the hamburger mixture is browned, mix the ketchup with the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard powder and lemon juice. ¬†Stir it together and pour it on top of the hamburger:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGently mix together, lower heat to LOW and cover for about 15 minutes.


Your water should be at a full, rolling boil.  Slowly add the corn and be careful not to splatter hot water on yourself.  Cover and keep burner on HIGH and let it boil for about 10 minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen it’s close to 10 minutes, use your tongs and pull up an ear, pierce with a fork to see if it’s ready. ¬†If so, yay! ¬†Take the corn out and place in serving bowl with a ton of butter (yes, Paula Deen must love cooks like me!).

Back to the Sloppy Joes:  pour the hamburger mixture into serving bowl with a spoon, take to the table with hamburger buns.  Sit back and watch your family devour supper (or lunch).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also opened a can of pork and beans. ¬†Thank you, Jay and Duke at Bush’s Baked Beans for the Country Style Baked Beans!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, off to AllRecipes to write up a review on the Sloppy Joes.  I need to let RetiredDad9877 know that my son ate THREE of his Sloppy Joes and I ate one and hubby ate one HUGE open-faced Sloppy Joe (probably the equivalent to two Sloppy Joes?).

~ Patty


p.s., I went over to AllRecipes and reviewed the recipe AND submitted my edited version!


May 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Posted in Brats, Lunch, Main Dish, Sandwich, Supper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We love brats. Daniel asked me to purchase these because he wanted to prepare them.  Odd thing is, when it was time to prepare supper tonight, he was nowhere in sight.  That happened last night, too.  Oh, well.  Teens.  What can you do?


One pound of Johnsonville Beer -n- Bratwurst


Brat buns

Condiments: ¬†mustard (must be Plochman’s mustard¬†or I hear complaints) and ketchup

Sides:  pork and beans; chips; Cheetos

Cooking directions:

I didn’t photograph the initial cooking because it was rather boring. ¬†All you do is put the brats into a deep pot, cover with plenty of water and set on stove, on LOW for a couple of hours. ¬†Keep an eye on it and don’t let the water get low. ¬†I was able to take a nap for two hours because I put them in lots of water and set the stove timer on two hours.

Once the timer went off, I woke up (slowly) and went into the kitchen.

In your oven, move the rack one rack higher than the middle; do NOT use the TOP rack unless you are going to stand there and watch that the brats don’t burn. ¬†Turn the broiler on HIGH and grab your broiling pan, spray it with canola oil and pick up the brats with a pair of tongs and place on the broiling rack.

Carefully set the rack in the oven and close the oven door; set the timer for 5 minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter 5 minutes, flip the brats and set the timer for 5 more minutes  after you close the oven door.  Ahhh!  Pretty soon, someone will walk into the kitchen asking when supper is.  Remove the browned brats and let them sit for a bit.

Mine didn’t sit for 5 minutes because my people were demanding to eat them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpeaking of eating them, my family has two methods of eating brats that I have to mention!  My husband decided to make a tunnel in his brat bun and then set the brat inside the tunnel.  See the tunnel?  Very creative!  He does not like messy food and by making a tunnel, his was nice and neat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s another shot of hubby’s ready-to-eat brat! ¬†See how it’s nestled in the bun? ¬†Very smart!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy teen and I like to slice our brats in half and then lay them inside the bun. ¬†Here’s my son’s brat, nice and flat:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, now mine, before:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was supper; brats are also a great lunchtime meal.


May 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Lunch, Main Dish, My Own Creation, Supper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hamburgers are great for either lunch or supper. ¬†I think that every time I make them, I do something different….just to keep it interesting, know what I mean?


1 pound hamburger, 85/15

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

spritz of canola oil

Mix hamburger with seasonings. ¬†Make four hamburgers; I use my hamburger press. ¬†I wish I could remember where I got it from, but can’t. ¬†It’s pretty handy, though.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpritz your skillet with canola oil; not a whole lot, but enough to make a nice shimmer.  Turn stove up on HIGH and let it get really hot because you want to let your burgers get a nice brown.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALower the stove to medium. ¬†Set the burgers in the skillet and leave them for five minutes. ¬†This is the hard part for me, because I want to see how they’re browning. ¬†I pretty much make myself walk away for five minutes. ¬†Okay, if you can survive the five minutes, then flip the burgers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee the nice sear? ¬†That’s what happens when you leave them be. ¬†Let them sit for another five minutes or so. ¬†Turn off the heat and remove the skillet to a cool place. ¬†Everyone wanted cheese ¬†so I grabbed the cheese, folded it and placed it on the burgers. ¬†Then, I took maybe a couple of tablespoons of water, poured it into the skillet and covered the skillet and let the steam help melt the cheese.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter five minutes, they’re ready for the buns.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYummy – bubbly cheese!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADaniel wanted tater tots and we had them, along with pork and beans.

Pork Carnitas and Refried Beans

April 13, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Posted in Beans, Lunch, Main Dish, Mexican, My Own Creation, Pork Chops, Supper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yesterday for breakfast, I was craving carnitas and beans. ¬†My teen saw what was up and he stuck around. ¬†He knows what’s good!


Pork chop, I typically use 1/2 chop per person (cut up into bite sized pieces)

Canola oil (or lard, if you are my mom), maybe 4 tbsp.

1 can of Bush’s pinto beans (unless your mom gives you some homemade), drained

Tortillas (the best ones are the ones my mom makes)


Heat canola oil in small skillet; when it’s shimmery hot, add the pork.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the meat is cooked through, pour in the beans. ¬†Start smashing and smushing them. ¬†The beans need to get dry – this can take anywhere from 8-12 minutes. ¬†See below, how they’re sticking to the side of the skillet? ¬†That’s a good thing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeat the tortillas and then fill one side with the beans and carnitas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFold in half, so that you make a half-moon.  I made four, two for the teen and two for me.



Steamed Cheeseburgers

April 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Hamburger, Lunch, Main Dish, Supper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This yummy recipe comes from Framed Cooks.¬† These were great for supper, and they’d be super for lunch, too.


1 pound hamburger (I used 80% and not 1 1/2 pounds/hamburger as per the original recipe)

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 soft hamburger buns

condiments:  ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, etc.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe recipe calls for you to use either a dutch oven or a large skillet; I used my largest skillet and a steamer.¬† Fill the skillet with water BUT not so much that it touches the steamer’s bottom.¬† Turn on HIGH and prepare meat.¬† Place hamburger, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper into bowl.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGently mix; for this I grabbed a handy-dandy quart sized baggie and mixed it up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAForm the meat into four patties and let them sit and rest while the water in the skillet comes to a boil; grate the cheese while you wait.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the water is boiling, gently place the patties¬†in the steamer.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover and allow to cook on HIGH for about 8 minutes.¬† Here’s where I changed the recipe a bit:¬† at the end of the 8 minutes, remove the skillet from the stove and flip the burgers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATop with cheese and cover for 3 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt and get nice and gooey.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYum!¬† While the cheese melts, put the hamburger buns (still in their bag) into the microwave and warm for about 15 seconds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAServe with assorted condiments.¬† I made tater tots and pork and beans.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADrool!¬† They were good and I’m sure that I’ll be making them again.

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