Monday, September 15, 2014

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

I have been waiting for fall since Spring.  As I get older it becomes more and more of my favorite season.  When I was younger I loved summer...but I'm over that.  

I love the cool crisp weather and being able to bundle up in a hoodie.  I love all of the beautiful colors and smells that autumn brings.  I love ALL things pumpkin, and now I love soups and chowders!  This week I believe fall has arrived.

The weather change has been wonderful!  However, going from 90 degrees to 70 degrees in a day has caused major allergies.  My husband and I have caught the crud!  So I was FINALLY able to have an excuse to start my chowder addiction.  Horrible excuse though lol.

This Cheesy Vegetable Chowder definitely got us hooked!  I have made three huge batches of it in two days!  Yes, it's that good!  It's full of broccoli, potatoes, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and more!  So yummy I couldn't have just one bowl!!

My husband got sick right before I did so I decided to try this out. He and the girls ate it all before I was able to get a full bowl.  The next day I got sick and begged for him to learn to make it for me.  He wasn't going for it :(  So....I went to the store and made it myself.  It was worth every bit of the Wal Mart chaos!  Now, I have some to freeze for next time! Woop! Woop!

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

By: Crystal Barrett

August 14, 2014

About 8 servings                                                          (Click here to Print)


6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 an onion - yellow - finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup or 1 stalk finely chopped celery
1 package sliced baby bella mushrooms
3 cloves minced garlic
2 peeled and chopped potatoes
4 cups Swanson chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 c water
2/3 c milk
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
2 or more cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese


-  In a huge pot, melt butter on medium heat.

-  Add onions and garlic.  Saute until onions are transparent.

-  Add celery, carrots, and mushrooms to the pot.  Stir occasionally and saute until carrots and celery is tender.

-  Add the chopped potatoes and then the chicken broth to the pot.  Bring to a boil.  Let boil for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and can be easily stuck with a fork.

-  In a small bowl mix flour with the water.  Add this mixture to the pot.  This should thicken up the chowder within a few minutes of simmering.

-  Add milk and broccoli and simmer until the broccoli is tender.  This only takes about 5-7 minutes.

-  Take the pot off of the heat and add cheese.  Stir well and serve.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pizza Pasta

I think we have been on a pizza kick lately.  The other day I posted my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza and now I am posting this.  I don't think I see weight loss coming anytime soon!  That's ok... I'll just be fat and happy :p

My grandma brought me a recipe very similar to this for my father's birthday dinner.  I LOVED it!  I tweeked it and it was a huge success with my toddlers.

My girls are my worst critics.  They are picky and hardly ever eat anything except chicken nuggets, corn dogs, and mac and cheese.  I usually ask them "Is it good?" about five minutes into dinner and they don't ever have a problem telling me "NO".  I didn't hear any "NO's" on this dish.  Matter of fact, I didn't hear any talking at all!  They ate it all!  YIPPEE!

This pasta is incredibly easy to make unless you get fancy and decide to make your own pasta sauce. It takes 30 minutes to prepare....
30 minutes to bake.....
and 5 minutes to devour :)

Oh and by the way... This recipe makes ALOT!!  I made two 9x13's.  One we ate for dinner and the other I stuck in the freezer for a rainy day.  I love big recipes that surprise me and give me an extra meal.  


Pizza Pasta

By: Crystal Barrett

August 6, 2014

Makes 2  9x13 dishes                                        (Click Here to Print)                         


2 lb hamburger
2 c diced sausage 
2 boxes of noodles - any shape or size.  You can even mix different ones together
1  minced green pepper 
1 minced onion 
1 container  fresh sliced mushrooms 
1 pack pepperoni
4 cups shredded mozzerella cheese
2 c parmesan cheese
1 large jar Prego pasta sauce
1 large can pizza sauce


- Brown the sausage until done.  Drain and crumble.  Set aside.
  ( Do not cook with the hamburger.  I did this and it became too greasy.)

-  Brown the hamburger in a large skillet with green pepper and onion.  Drain and add to a      large pot.

-  In the large pot with the hamburger, add the sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni, and both         sauces.
-  Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

-  Meanwhile have your noodles boiling in a seperate pot.  Drain when done.

-  In the 9x13 dish add noodles.  Layer the sauce mixture on top. Finish off with cheeses.  
   I layered mozzerella, then extra pepperonis and mushrooms, then a layer of parmesan.

-  Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes on 350.

The girls patiently waiting for it to come out of the oven :)  Sorry my child's hair was straight up from nap time lol.

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