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Split Pea Soup with Ham and Potatoes

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday. We spent ours with family and friends on Sunday.

Monday rolled around and we were left with the daunting task of…what to do with leftovers. Last year we started a tradition with our neighbors across the street of doing a holiday leftover night. We heat up what we had leftover, they bring over what they had, and we see what’s left by the end of dinner and plan out the next meal.

Most of ours was gone! Except the ham. The big, delicious spiral ham.

I chopped up what was left of the ham, put it in a deep pan with garlic, water, chicken bullion, onions, a bag of dry split peas (rinsed and sorted), and then added shredded carrot and diced potatoes. Seasonings were black pepper, Garlic powder, and onion powder.

I cooked it on the stove for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

And I think it’s the best attempt I’ve made yet!

Ingredients:

Diced ham from Easter leftovers, about 2 cups

Bag of dry split peas, rinsed and sorted

4 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup diced onion

1 garlic clove (I used frozen Walmart ‘pop n cook’)

2 tablespoon chicken bullion (I used ‘Better than Bullion’ brand)

Add the following to your taste:

Black pepper

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Add to large pot, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, and let it cook about an hour to 90 minutes. Stir occasionally so you don’t burn the bottom of the soup.

Note: I was worried the potatoes would cook too quickly and become mush before the peas cooked down, but they turned out great.

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Caulipower Pizza

Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated for reviewing this product. I just wanted to share my experience with a new product as we adjust our lifestyle to get healthier.

I was skeptical of trying a cauliflower type pizza crust, but you don’t find new things you like without trying them out.

I have not tried making my own crust yet, but that’s on the list. It’s time-consuming from what I’ve seen on various recipes, so I need to make sure I have the time for it. And buying cauliflower crust around here means ordering online. I’m not paying $20+ per crust!

At our local Meijer though I found Caulipower Pizza crust ($7.99 for two crusts). It does have brown rice flour in it, so it’s not quite the same. But it was worth checking out.

This is amazing! Honestly, it is. I could not taste a difference between this and a regular thin crust wheat-based pizza. And the best part is no bad after effects from the pizza crust.

We like different toppings, so I customize each one to fit what we each like.

Thin layer of pizza sauce, some shredded cheese, toppings such as pepperoni, ham, onion, mushroom, olives, etc., sprinkle of cheese on top. Then bake at 425 according to the instructions on the box. I do add about 1 minute to the recommended time to compensate for our oven’s temperature not being 100% on the money.

If you love pizza, but the crust doesn’t love you, check out this brand of crust. They also have a Facebook page: Caulipower Pizza

We also experimented with cutting the crust into 4, baking it, then use it as hamburger buns.

While the hamburgers were cooking I used a little olive oil on a cookie sheet, put two crusts on it, heated the oven to 425, and baked the crusts for approximately 9 minutes. Enough to get them cooked and crispy without burning them to a crisp. One crust cut into four pieces to make two hamburger “buns”.

Result? A decent hamburger on a crispy bun. Slightly bland, but I didn’t have all the toppings I would normally use, so those would have helped.

I paired it with asparagus cooked with garlic parmesan butter. Yum!

If you try these crusts out let me know what you think.

Dinner Experiment – Chicken and Veggies

Tonight I decided to experiment a little bit with a basic chicken and veggie recipe. (Ingredient list at bottom of post)

I put a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep skillet and started heating it up on medium heat (to prevent burning I heat it on medium). While it was doing that I diced up 3 chicken breasts into small pieces.

Once the oil was hot I added 2 chopped garlic cloves (I get frozen ones from Wal-Mart that I just pop them out of the tray into the pan), diced white onion, and diced green pepper. Let them saute a minute or two until the onion starts to become translucent) then added the chicken. Seasoned it all with black pepper and poultry seasoning.

I kept the heat on medium and stirred fairly often to keep things from burning.

When the chicken was almost done I steamed a bag of broccoli florets and then steamed a bag of riced cauliflower with Italian cheese.

Once the chicken was done I dumped in the broccoli and sauted a minute, chopping some of the larger florets up in the pan, then added the riced cauliflower and about a tablespoon of butter (we use Land O Lakes butter with olive oil).

It turned out much better than I expected! Very flavorful and filling, even without starchy rice or potato.

Ingredient list:

  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  3. Diced onion (as much as desired)
  4. Diced green pepper (as much as desired)
  5. 3 chicken breasts, diced into bite size pieces
  6. Bag of steamable broccoli
  7. Bag of steamable riced cauliflower with Italian cheese
  8. 1 tbsp butter
  9. Black pepper, to personal taste
  10. Poultry seasoning, to personal taste

Let me know if you try it!

Chicken Pot Pie Egg Rolls

Yes,  the title is right.  Chicken pot pie egg rolls! 

Tonight was my first time making any kind of egg rolls.

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And they turned out pretty good! 

First I cooked up some chicken breasts, corn,  and carrots,  let them cool a little.  Shredded the chicken and diced the carrots up into small bits.  Mixed the shredded chicken,  carrots,  and corn together with a can of cream of broccoli.

I put this in the fridge until I was ready to cook.  Using egg roll wrappers,  I put a couple tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center,  added broccoli sprouts and shredded cheese.  Then I rolled up the egg rolls as the instructions said to do on the package. 

Half of the rolls also got diced onion and jalapeño.

Into a 400 degree oven for 14 minutes.  And out came some pretty yummy egg rolls that I’ve decided to call chicken pot pie egg rolls. 

Now to figure out a good dipping sauce! 

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Easy Crock Pot Chicken stew

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Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of broccoli
1 can cream of potato
1/2 bag baby carrots, diced
3 celery sticks, diced or sliced
1 clove garlic – crushed (I love the frozen cube ones, so easy)
Diced onion (recipe ready by birds eye is easy and quick)
2 cubes chicken bullion dissolved in 2 cups hot water.
1 can corn, drained.

Seasonings: poultry seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, rosemary leaves.

Mix the seasonings with the cubed chicken then brown the chicken in a sauté or frying pan.

Dump all three “cream of” cans in crock pot. Add the diced carrots, celery, onion, and crushed garlic.
Add the broth made from bullion cubes.
Add the browned chicken.

Mix well and let simmer on low in the crock pot for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.
During the last hour, add the can of corn.

If I would have had them, I would have added potatoes or rice to the stew.

Apple Pie Baked in the Apple

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Granny smith apples with the tops cut off. Why? So I can hollow them out!

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Then mix up some fuji apples and what I could salvage from my hollowing attempts from the granny smiths. Add some sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon juice. Stuff inside the apples.

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Then, to make them look pretty, add some lattice pie crust.

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Bake at 375 for 20 minutes with foil covering the apples. Remove the foil, bake another 20 minutes.

And voila!

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You have apple pies baked inside an apple shell!

 

 

Edit to add: Just cut into one and had a bite. OH MY GOODNESS! Sweet from the fuji apple and the sugar and cinnamon, and tart from the granny smith apple. mmmmmm

Chocolate Mint Cups

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Don’t those look delicious?? They are my (second) attempt at making chocolate mint cups. The first ones…well you won’t be seeing pictures of those! The second ones turned out good though.

The ingredients:
1/2 bag Toll House milk chocolate chips
1/2 bag Toll House white chocolate chips
1/2 bag Toll House dark chocolate and mint morsels. Pick out all the mint morsels to be used. The dark chocolate ones can be used in place of the milk chocolate if you prefer.

(note: I used three different melting techniques making these candies).

Step 1: preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin paper cups. In each cup, place a single layer of the mint morsels. Bake in oven two minutes then check. If the morsels are now shiny, take them out and stir them in each cup. If not shiny or wont stir smooth, bake at 30 second intervals, checking for the shine to see if they are ready.

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Step two: let the mint cups cool 15 min before moving on.

Step three:
Using a double broiler method (mine is a small sauce pan with enough water to boil and a metal bowl that fits perfectly in the pan without touching the water). Bring water to a boil, reduce heat. Add white chocolate chips to bowl and stir until melted and smooth. Pour into each mint cup and use a knife to get all the mint covered.

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Step four: let cool 15 minutes before moving to next step.

Step five:
Place milk chocolate chips in a ziploc bag in a single layer (substitute the dark chocolate morsels if preferred at this step). Microwave for 30 seconds. Kneed the bag. If not melted and smooth, microwave again at 10 second intervals until smooth. Cut small tip off end of bag and squeeze the milk(dark) chocolate over the white chocolate. Again use a knife to get coverage over all the white chocolate.

Step six: this is the hard part…give the cups at least an hour to fully harden. Then…

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Step seven: enjoy!