Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bacon PepperJack Mac

Bacon PepperJack Mac, Farmers Wife Original

Merry (almost) Christmas y'all! I know I know, it's December and I haven't posted in a long time. But I hope you'll forgive me after I share this amazing new cheesy recipe with you! I've been playing around with pasta recipes lately because they tend to be cheap and really quick to pull together at the end of a long day. And with homeschooling believe me it gets busy

I love a good cheesy pasta, but let's be honest... Who doesn't? There's something so comforting about it, especially on a cold night. Which it just so happens to be tonight. Yes, it even gets cooler here in the dessert... Just not freezing. ;-)

I really wanted something I could cook in one pot, that my whole family would enjoy and came up with this. It's not anything super special, or even a new concept to the blogoshpere, but I wanted to share my version of it because if I can make this in half an hour I know you will want to try it too! ;-)

Ingredients:
16 oz. Small Shell Noodles (you can use any pasta you prefer, Elbows, Rotini, I just like these)
3-4 Strips of Bacon, diced
1 Tablespoon Butter (optional if you find you need more grease for the roux)
1/4-1/3 Cup Flour
2 1/2 Cups Milk, I used 1%
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder (or to taste)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or to taste)
3 Oz. Cream Cheese (I used Fat Free)
2 Cups Shredded PepperJack Cheese
1- 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Directions:
Cook the pasta according to package directions or til Al Dente. Drain and set aside, using the same pot cook your bacon on medium heat until crispy. If you find you don't have enough grease from the bacon add the butter, bacon varies a lot in fattiness. Add the flour and mix well forming a roux, will look like a bacony thick paste. Add in Milk and spices mixing with a whisk until smooth, let it cook on medium heat until a thick sauce forms, stirring often. Add in the cream cheese and let it melt, then add in the other cheeses. At this point taste it to add in any other spices you want. Once it's all smooth and creamy add the pasta back in to the post and mix well with cooking spoon. Serve warm, you can top it with more cheese, bacon bits or whatever your heart desires, plain is good too!

Review:
Well my kiddos liked it, I like it, and the Hubby likes anything with cheese and bacon. ;-) We give this 5 stars and I will be making it again! Enjoy!


Happy Cooking!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes (with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Swirl!)



Slightly adapted from Streaming Gourmet.

I've long wanted to make a pumpkin cheesecake, and had been promising myself that I would one of these years and finally this Christmas I said to myself "Why wait another year...? Make them now!" I know cheesecakes are one of those things that tend to overwhelm people, and are intimidating and difficult. But these were not! My whole goal with Christmas desserts this year was finger food, something you could easily grab and eat while still moving around and enjoying your day. And these along with the Peppermint Brownies and Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips were the perfect thing for a laid back Christmas dessert! These cheesecakes are ridiculously easy, yet creamy, smooth, everything you want in a cheesecake but in mini form. Now these are delicious without the cream cheese swirl on top, but you know me and no dessert can go un-garnished! It was a great way to use up the leftover cream cheese frosting from the Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip cookies I made a couple weeks ago. And you know how I love to re-use products to make something new!

Ingredients: made 24 cheesecakes
24 paper cupcake liners
24 gingersnap cookies
12 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Cream Cheese Swirl:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:
Line 24 muffin cups with papers. Place one gingersnap cookie, flat side down, into the bottom of each cup. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Beat cream cheese, sugar, corn starch and spice's with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add pumpkin and corn syrup; beat 1 minute. Using an ice cream scoop, pour filling into liners, dividing evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until just set. Chill for 1 hour. To make cream cheese swirl, combine the ingredients in your mixer, and mix on low until the sugar is all incorporated and then whip on medium-high speed until light and smooth. Either scoop a little dollop onto each cheesecake, or using a piping bag, pipe a swirl on top of each one. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Review:
These were delightfully easy, and scrumptious. There were only a few left when we came home Sunday night, and those were gone pretty fast! Such a nice combo of holiday flavors into a delightful dessert that most love, but also in a finger food format. A nice addition to any meal. This would be a great base to invent other mini cheesecake recipes too! 4.5 stars.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Crock Pot Sausage & Cheese Tortellini


Crock Pot Sausage & Cheese Tortellini, Adaptred from ChefRecip.es

 Hi y'all! Geez it's been a long time since I've been on here and I'm truly sorry for that. Life gets away from us too easily and things like blogging seem less important when things in your personal life are stressful, difficult, and trying. To say this year so far has been hard, would be an understatement. But we're coming out on the other side and I'm so thankful for my amazing hubby and kids and the closeness we share. I pray that never ceases.

We have had some joys in this year though... I have a new sister!! Lol! My husbands brother finally found himself a wife, and can I just say we are beyond thrilled for them! My son just got back from spending the night with the newlyweds and he had a blast! And in less than 2 weeks we're taking the biggest trip we've taken as a whole family, we're driving about 2,000 miles to go to IL for my best friend's wedding! We've been friends for almost 20 years, and she was my Maid of Honor, and now I get to be her Matron of Honor, and my kiddos are Ring Bearer and Flower Girl respectively! It's exciting to be a part of this, and I'm just praying we make it through the drive! lol!

That about summarizes up my crazy life, oh there are things I left out of course, but you get the gist. Now onto the food....

Believe it or not I have still been cooking.... However not many new things. Getting dinner on the table recently has been more of a chore than ever before as I'm not home most days. Which is another reason for the lack of posts, I haven't had anything new to share. But recently I've been trying to cook more, and tonight we tried this new recipe and my whole family devoured it!

Y'all know I'm a fan of crock pot meals, preferably ones where there's no pre-cooking involved. But I saw this one on Pinterest and just had to give it a try. And after a few adaptations my goodness was this amazing, and surprisingly lower in calories than I expected... A 1 1/2 cups per serving is only 321 calories according to MyFitnessPal! Oh did I mention I've lost 30 lbs? No? Oh well I have! I feel amazing! Ok, back to the recipe! lol! It was delicious, easy and I know these leftovers won't last because my new Sis in Law is asking when she can come eat some more. ;-)

Ingredients: 6-8 servings at 1 1/2 cups (calories ~ 321 per serving)
20 oz. 3 Cheese Tortellini (I bought the Buitoni one in the deli section)
1 Lbs. Hot Italian Sausage (I bought the links and just removed the casings)
2 15oz. Cans Diced Italian Tomates
3 Cups Chicken Broth (I made my own with Boullion)
6 oz. Cream Cheese, sliced into cubes
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:
Remove the casings from your sausage and cook in a large skillet over med-high heat until browned and cooked through. Meanwhile spray a 6qt. Crock Pot with cooking spray, and put the tortellini, broth, tomatoes and cream cheese in the crock. Once the sausage is cooked, drain off the fat and add to the crock pot. Mix well, and cook on high for 2-4 hours. If you can stir occasionally. Once cooked add the mozzarella and mix well, serve hot with your favorite garlic bread and a side salad.

Review:
This dish came together so quickly and easily, and the taste really was amazing. I did alter the recipe because I didn't think it needed the extra cup of broth since it's not a soup, nor did it need the full 8oz. of cream cheese to be creamy, and we really didn't miss it. This was perfectly cooked, was not soup like at all and had phenomenal flavor! 4.5 stars!

Happy Spring!
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chicken Alfredo


Chicken Alredo, Farmers Wife Original Recipe
 There are 2 things I like a lot about winter... Getting to make and eat lots of soups... And an excuse to eat pasta because it's not swimsuit season... hahaha! Ok not exactly, but it made you laugh right? I don't know about you but in our house pasta is always a hit. There are very few ways that my family doesn't go absolutely nuts over pasta, and this is one that they all love... Even the alfredo haters!

I came up with this recipe many years ago when my Husband and I were first married. He requested Chicken Alfredo for his birthday just a few months after we were married and he wanted it homemade! Now I will admit my cooking has come a long way over the last (almost) decade or so, and when we were newlyweds we ate a LOT of sandwiches... lol! But when given a challenge I will on occasion anyway raise to it and this was a success beyond what I expected. My hubby loved it, and it quickly became my most requested dish for family get togethers. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 pint heavy cream
2-3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
1 1/4 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (eyeball it)
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, sliced into small pieces (or in a pinch I've used the pre-cooked grilled chicken you can buy at the grocery store doesn't really make a difference)
1 (16 ounce) package fettuccine pasta, cooked according to directions on package

Directions:
In a medium saucepan or a skillet, melt butter at low heat. Add garlic, simmer until brown. Add cream, stir until butter and cream no longer separate. Stir in cheese with a whisk until melted. Add in the spices. Continue to cook at low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to boil. Combine with chicken and pasta and serve. Can garnish with some chopped parsley, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
For cooking the chicken you might want to marinate it a little before cooking it to give it some more flavor. I usually do mine in a little lemon juice, with salt and pepper, maybe a little garlic… depends on my mood! Stick it all in a gallon sized Ziploc bag, and make sure to coat the chicken well, and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes Can grill, broil, or even pan fry if you want.

Review:
This recipe gets RAVE reviews from my friends and family, it's fairly simple to make and is quite yummy. I also use the sauce from this to make a Chicken Alfredo Pizza modeled after Olive Garden's Chicken Alfredo Pizza.
5 Stars


 Happy Cooking!
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Hamburger Vegetable Barley Soup


Hamburger Vegetable Barley Soup, Family Recipe

Happy 2014 y'all! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season and that this new year is treating you well! Our holidays were very busy, but for the most part good. We've got a lot coming up in the coming year, most of it incredibly exciting! For those that don't follow me on facebook, my Brother in Law is getting married this March and we're so excited for him!! His Fiance just happens to be one of my closest friends so it's extra awesome for me, but being Matron of Honor has me busier than a bee!!! Plus my dearest and oldest friend in the universe is getting married just 2 months later in May and we're planning a big trip to be there for that! So please forgive me if I'm absent a lot, life is a bit ahead of me at the moment.

But this recipe cannot wait!! It's an oldie but goodie, and I don't know about you but I'm tired of big heavy meals and ready for some lighter eating. Recently I've lost about 20lbs over the last 5 months by trying to eat lighter, and so far it's working! And this soup is not only delicious, but it's not full of fat, since it's mostly veggies. Our family loves this soup, even my kiddos. And it's going to be a huge hit at my future Sis's Bridal Shower next weekend. (I hope anyway... lol!) So if you're tired of heavy meals, and want a delicious soup I hope you'll give this a try!

Ingredients:
1 lbs. Ground Beef
6 cups Beef Broth
2 cups Sliced Carrots
1 1/2 cups Coarsely Chopped Celery
1/2 cup Coarsely Chopped Green Pepper
1/3 cup Barley
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 cup Ketchup
2 8 oz. cans (3 cups total) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce

Directions:
In a 5 quart Dutch Oven or stock pot, brown ground beef, drain; stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour or until Vegetables and barley are tender. Remove bay leaves. Serve hot with a big chunk of french bread or your favorite rolls.

Review:
This was one my favorites growing up, always reminded me of Grandma's house. I was surprised this was so well received by my hubby, but he loved it! It's super easy, and totally delicious! It also freezes really great. 4.5 Stars.


 Happy New Year!
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