Soup Surprise

Before we know it, fall will be here. A time of great scenery, football games, football parties, holidays and family get togethers. If you’re like me, everyone always seems to wind up at our house.

That’s not a problem, actually, I love it! I love to cook and I love to cook for a crowd.  A lot of my recipes are designed to serve 10 or more people, and this is one of them.

I know that when you take your first look at the ingredient list, you’re going to say “YUCK”, but, I promise you, that you will be pleasantly surprised by the wonderful flavor of this soup.  That’s why I named this one “Soup Surprise”, because it is.

Soup Surprise

2 Lbs.  Ground Beef
1 Medium Onion, diced
2 Cups Carrots, Grated
48 Ounces V-8 Juice
30 Ounces Cream of Celery Soup
32 Ounces Pinto Beans with Liquid
1 tsp. Lawry’s Garlic Salt
1 tsp. Janes Krazy Mixed Up Salt
Salt and Pepper to Taste

  • Heat a large stockpot on medium heat and brown the ground beef. Drain the ground beef well to remove all of the fat.
  • Add onions and lightly sauté.
  • Combine remaining ingredients with the ground beef and onion in the stockpot.
  • Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours.

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
———————————————-
Calories: 583
Calories From Fat: 243
Total Fat: 27.5g
Cholesterol: 73.1mg
Sodium: 4798.6mg
Potassium: 1045.5mg
Carbohydrates: 61.6g
Fiber: 9.8g
Sugar: 11.8g
Protein: 25.6g
My Points: 13.5

Cooking Tip:

This makes a large pot of soup and is better the second day than the first, if that is imaginable. Freeze the leftovers if you have any.

Comments:

These ingredients sound a little bit strange but,  I promise you, this will taste like one of your prized Chili recipes.

This recipe was given to me by a friend that was spending the weekend with us. She knew I enjoyed cooking and wanted to give me a new recipe to try. I have to be perfectly honest and say that had she not been there and insisted that I try it, this recipe would have just gone into my collection file. Boy, am I ever glad that she insisted that I try it. It is now one of our family favorites. Thanks, Dana!

Serve this with crackers or cornbread to round it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Salmon Appetizer Recipe For Your Next Party


This is one of our best recipes for appetizers. My favorite way to serve this is in the shape of a ball, like a cheese ball. Once the overnight refrigeration has been done, cover the salmon ball with freshly minced parsley. It makes a beautiful centerpiece and the parsley is a nice contrast for this creamy appetizer. Just follow the recipe below.

This one really is tops on our list of make ahead appetizers. You can make this in any shape your wish. I have made this in the form of a salmon loaf recipe, just use a square container instead of the rounded container. Add the parsley just as you would on the rounded version. This can also be used as a salmon dip. Leave it in your container and serve with crackers.

You just can’t have too many appetizer recipes and a salmon appetizer recipe can jazz up your party. Everyone gets tired of the same old cheese ball at every gathering. This adds a little imagination to the mix. Finally, a salmon recipe with a kick.

Salmon Ball

Ingredients

16 Ounces Salmon, Fully Cooked, Pieced and Chilled
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
4 Tbs Lemon Juice
4 Tsp Onion, Grated
2 Tsp Horseradish, Grated
1/8 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 Tsp Liquid Smoke
1 1/2  Cups Parsley, Fresh, Minced

1. Mix all ingredients, except the parsley, together in a mixing bowl.

2. Line a rounded storage bowl with plastic wrap and pour the mixture into the bowl. Press mixture firmly into the bowl and use a spatula to smooth the top to make a solid base.

3. Refrigerate overnight.

4. Just before serving, mince the parsley. Lift the salmon ball from the storage bowl and put it flat side down on your serving platter. Cover the ball with the parsley, pressing it all around the sides and the top to make it stick to the ball.

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)


Calories: 154
Calories From Fat: 102
Total Fat: 11.3g
Cholesterol: 44.9mg
Sodium: 110.9mg
Potassium: 260.1mg
Carbohydrates: 2g
Fiber: <1g
Sugar: <1g
Protein: 11.3g
My Points: 3.95

Cooking Tip: You can use canned salmon instead of fresh if you wish. Make sure you drain the salmon and remove the skin and bones.

Cooking Tip: Serve this with your favorite crackers.

Comments: Attractive enough to be used as a centerpiece.

Does Meatloaf Mean Comfort Food To You?

We’re having meatloaf for dinner tonight.

Now, some of you may be thinking “meatloaf, yuk”. But, you haven’t seen my recipe. It stars ground beef, tomato sauce, vegetables, all of the necessary ingredients to produce a perfect meatloaf and, ah yes, CHEESE. Cheese is that secret, soul comforting, ingredient that moves meatloaf out of the mundane category and into the “Can we have meatloaf tonight?” category. Without further ado, here’s the recipe and I added my video below the recipe to show you step by step how to make it.

Spicy and stuffed with cheese. The way meatloaf should be.

3 Lbs. Ground Chuck
6 ounces Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
2 slices Bread, Toasted and Pulled Apart
1/2 Cup Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1/2 Cup Celery, Chopped
1Onion, Diced
2 Eggs, Beaten
6 ounces Tomato Sauce

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the Cheddar Cheese in a bowl large enough to mix the ingredients together, approximately a 4 quart size. Use a spoon to mix with so the heat from your hands will not warm the mixture. It is easier to work with if it is as cool as possible.
  • Line a drip pan with foil and use a rack over the pan so the drippings can drip through.
  • Place half of the mixture on the rack and shape into a rectangle. Press on the edges to form a ridge all the way around, similar to making a pie crust.
  • When the base is formed, evenly spread the shredded cheese over the flat part of the base.
  • Place the remaining meatloaf mixture in flattened sections over the cheese. Use your hands to spread the mixture to a thin layer, covering the whole base.
  • Press all the way around to seal the cheese inside the meatloaf so that it doesn’t come out while the meatloaf is cooking.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for one and a half hours.
  • Remove from oven and let stand for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Servings: 8

Cooking Tips

If you want this to be an Italian Meat Loaf, add some Italian seasoning to the mixture and substitute Mozzarella Cheese instead of Cheddar Cheese.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 serving
Percent daily values based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving
Calories   395.94
Calories From Fat (51%)   201.59
% Daily Value
Total Fat 22.08g   34%
Saturated Fat 9.09g   45%
Cholesterol 177.26mg   59%
Sodium 401.96mg   17%
Potassium 726.61mg   21%
Carbohydrates 6.92g   2%
Dietary Fiber 1.07g   4%
Sugar 2.38g
Sugar Alcohols 0.00g
Net Carbohydrates 5.85g
Protein 40.40g   81%
MyPoints 9.5

The video shows you step by step how to make the meatloaf.

Do You Need Help Organizing Your Recipes?

Do you enjoy cooking? Do you dread going through all of those scraps of paper looking for that Vegetable and Beef Soup recipe that you make once a month? Well, I know that I do. I have absolutely TONS of hand written recipes, or I used to. Yeah, I kept the originals. They are now in a box in my garage, but they have been transformed into a marvel of technology.

They’re now in my Living Cookbook Recipe Management Software where I can quickly open them up, print a copy if I need to and save myself about 30 minutes looking through scraps of paper.

I set out on my journey to find the perfect recipe management software on the market. I looked high and low. I had an agenda. Not only did I want to organize my own personal recipes, but I wanted to be able to download recipes from the Internet into the software. I wanted to be able to create a cookbook from my own original recipes that I could either print and bind or upload to a website to sell.

The software I chose had to do all of those things. I wanted the cookbooks to be in a standard cookbook format. I’m old fashioned, I like things in a familiar form. I wanted to be able to email the recipes to friends and family that always call around the holidays or when they’re having a party and need a particular recipe.

I keep wondering how I became the sole keeper of my mothers cornbread dressing recipe. I guess I’m the only one in the family that is organized. Also, I’m older now and I wanted to choose the font size customized to my eyes. No more having to wear glasses to read my recipes. Yeah!

One other very important piece of the puzzle was that I needed to know the exact nutritional analysis of each recipe. My brother was recently diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and anyone in that same boat knows that you can’t just guess about what you’re eating. You have to know for sure what’s in the food you eat. This cookbook software has that built in. Their database is linked directly to the USDA Nutritional Tables and if the USDA makes any updates, you just go to the link in your software and upload the updates. Very important.

Just be forewarned. That information my surprise you. Boy, do I ever wish that I hadn’t put my Homemade Pimento Cheese recipe in there. Ouch, the fat grams. Oh well, don’t they say that it’s what you do most of the time that counts? I sure hope “they” are right.

This recipe software does a lot more than just the points I have covered, but these were the most important ones for me. If you’re looking for cooking software, decide what your most important needs are and go from there.