Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Here is the Chicken Tortilla Soup I made! It turned out really good! Look for the recipe in my previous post.

I ended up slow cooking it for about 7 hours and then shredding the chicken. Best served with shredded cheddar and smashed tortilla chips on top. I forgot to add that I put a sprinkle of oregano in before cooking.

Here are my nightly Josie pics.

This is what she does while mommy cooks!

Go Ravens!!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Whats in my crock pot now??? Chicken Tortilla Soup! Which is totally one of my favorites! It is so so so cold here, so I thought I would try out a soup for today, and make the Alfredo tomorrow. Now I have never made a soup before, but I can't imagine making one any other way than slow cooking it. Here's the recipe I used (found on kickinitinthekitch's blog):

2 skinless chicken breasts frozen
1 10 oz package frozen corn
1 10 oz package frozen chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
24 oz chicken broth (I used two 14.5 oz cans)
10 oz tomato sauce
10 oz diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
sprinkle of dried cilantro
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken before serving.

Soups cooking, I'll let you know how it turns out in 6-8 hours, LOL!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Delicious Pot Roast

For the last few nights, we have been eating the Chicken Tacos that I made on Monday night. So we finally finished them on Wednesday and yesterday I made a pot roast in our crock pot.
The recipe I used is from It is super easy to make, and the prep just depends on what veggies you decide to add.


  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 5 1/2 pounds pot roast


  1. In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.
  2. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.

The changes I made to this recipe was to replace the water with beef broth and I also used 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup. And to add lots of fresh veggies. I threw in potatoes, baby carrots, green beans, celery and onion. If you like your gravy a bit thicker, add 2 Tbsp of corn starch before serving it.

Now, the last time I made this, I slow cooked it all day on low for about 8 hours or so. But yesterday, I got a late start and cooked it on high for 4 hours. Eric and I really like this dinner, but it always tastes better the next day when the flavors have really come out. I season it with a bit of salt and pepper and serve over white rice. Hope you enjoy it!

Tomorrow, Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chicken Tacos and Apple Enchiladas

Chicken Tacos, yum!

Tonight my in laws came down for dinner and I made Chicken Tacos in the crock pot. They were awesome! This recipe was given to me by my friend ABMcKinney from the Nest. This recipe is so easy, you will be amazed how effortless and delicious it is.

I put about 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast in my crock pot followed by one packet of taco seasoning and a jar of salsa- I use enough to cover the chicken. If you want spicy meat, use a medium or hot salsa, it really makes this meal. I cooked the meat for 6 hours on low and when it was done, the chicken shredded itself upon stirring. I served the tacos with traditional refried beans and all the fixings. It was a hit and we'll have plenty to eat for the next few days.

The recipe for the Apple Enchiladas is from and will make 6 servings.


  • 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Spoon fruit evenly onto all tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down on lightly greased 8x8 baking pan.
  3. Bring margarine, sugars and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour sauce evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Makes 6 large tortillas; may be cut in half to serve 12.

My modifications for this recipe are as follows, use small tortillas, not the burrito size ones. And bake on 375 degrees for 40 minutes to make the tortillas crunchier. These are so yummy served with vanilla ice cream and if you let the enchiladas sit for 5 minutes or so, the sauce thickens.

Hope you enjoy tonight's dinner and dessert! Here are a few new pictures of Josie.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Florentine Meatball Calzones with Tomato Dipper

Tonight for dinner we ate these! And they were good!!! I found this recipe on a fellow blogger's page, She has some great recipes, so definitely check it out. This is actually a Rachel Ray recipe, and while I have never had good luck with her recipes, I figured I would give it a try. I was a little nervous to attempt this because it looked difficult, but it ended up being very easy and quick to make. Definitely a keeper!

Florentine Meatball Calzones with Creamy Tomato Dipper

  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach (10 ounces), defrosted and wrung of excess water
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 small onion, half grated and half finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated, divided
  • 2 large eggs, 1 lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (about 3 handfuls)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 2 handfuls)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • A few grates fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tubes refrigerated pizza dough (10-ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes ( 14.5-ounces), (you can use regular tomatoes if you have them on hand)
  • 1/4 cup basil (a handful), chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Pre-heat oven to 425ºF.

Combine the spinach, ground turkey, grated onion, half of the garlic, 1 egg, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, mozzarella, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Work the mixture together with your hands until combined and set aside.

Spread one of the pizza doughs out onto the counter. Cut in half width-wise and in thirds lengthwise, making 6 squares.
Take a handful of the meat mixture (about 1/4 cup), shape into a meatball and drop it onto the corner of one of the squares. Continue in this way until there's a meatball on each square.

Brush the edges of each square with a little of the beaten egg and fold the opposite corner over to close in the meatball and make a calzone.
Fold and press the edges to seal the meatball inside.
Brush the tops lightly with egg. Repeat with the remaining meat and dough and arrange all of the calzones on a baking sheet.
Bake until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes.

While the calzones are baking, place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons.
Add the chopped onion and remaining garlic to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan with the basil and simmer the sauce until thickened up a bit, 2-3 minutes.
Turn the heat off and add the cream.

I decided to make this recipe a bit leaner by using 99% fat free ground turkey and instead of heavy cream, I used fat free half & half. I like to use the jars of chopped garlic, I think it is so much easier than cutting fresh, and I like to use a lot of garlic when I cook. I also buy bags of frozen chopped onion to save time and money. I did not grate or finely chop the onion, it was all pre-diced and that was fine. Also, I wasn't able to find fire roasted crushed tomatoes, but regular ones worked out just fine. I believe those were all the ingredient changes I made.

This recipe made so much meat! I was able to make 12 calzones with the dough and had a ton of meat leftover, so I froze it to use next time. I brushed a little extra egg on top before baking and they came out a beautiful golden brown.

Next time I make this for dinner, I will make 2 changes. First, I want to use extra mozzarella cheese to put inside of the calzone and second, I would love to make this recipe with whole wheat dough. I think it would taste great! I served them with fresh cut steamed green beans and it was a terrific meal. I have to say I was totally surprised and impressed that I was able to pull this off, and we have plenty of leftovers to eat for lunch tomorrow.

I'll leave you with a few new pictures of sweet baby Josie. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Three meat spaghetti sauce

So you maybe wondering about the title of this blog. The making of Macaroni. (I might have forgotten to mention that Macaroni is my online screen name.) For me it has two meanings. One is the obvious cooking reference, as pasta was one of the first things I learned to make. It was and still is a staple of our diet!

But more importantly, I have found cooking to be very therapeutic. It is such a great outlet for me and what comes out of it is usually an awesome dinner for Eric and I. I feel like I have found a new piece of me. Would it be silly to say that cooking completes me??? I love that I can take the most basic ingredients and compose an intricate meal. So the making of Macaroni is really about me finding me. I am redefining who I am, as a woman, as a mother and as a wife. I am so lucky to be able to stay at home with my daughter and really get to know her. And at the same time, getting to know me, and what makes me happy.

Lets break the intensity here, and jump into what I plan on doing. My hope is to be able to cook daily. I would love to use this as my recipe box, complete with cooking instructions and final reviews. If you use one of my recipes (and by "my" I mean ones I have found, not created) please let me know your opinions!

So here is my recipe of the day, courtesy of July5Bride on the Nest.

Three Meat Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb ground beef
1 lb bulk Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
2 jars (4.5 oz each) sliced mushrooms, drained. (I always substitute fresh mushrooms, but I just eyeball the amount when I do that)
1 cup chopped pepperoni
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP Italian seasoning
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

In soup kettle, cook beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain. Stir in tomatoes, water, tomato paste, mushrooms, pepperoni, parmesan, sugar, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Yields 11.5 cups.

Freeze in serving size portions. To reheat, thaw in fridge overnight, heat in saucepan.

I omitted the mushrooms, sorry not a fan. And added a tsp of crushed red pepper for some heat. One teaspoon was a bit much, next time I will cut back to half a teaspoon and also leave out the pepperoni. No need to cause a heart attack, two meats will do! Also, I probably will add more crushed tomatoes for a bit of a thinner sauce.

We really enjoyed this sauce and will definitely make it again. Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, January 9, 2009

This is why I want to cook

Meet Josie. She is almost 5 and a half months old, and is the most amazing thing to have ever happened to me! She makes me want to be a better woman, mother, wife, sister and friend. It was not until she was born that I realized a) that I should learn to cook and that b) I can cook. In fact, for the last few weeks, I have actually been enjoying planning and making dinner for my family! Now I am not talking about fancy 4 course meals here, but simple main dishes that anyone can do!

Poor Eric, we have been living on the same five meals for the last (almost) 6 years. They are as follows: spaghetti with sauce from a jar, macaroni and cheese with hot dogs,
meatloaf (which he secretly hates, but I continue to attempt,) Hamburger Helper (you pick the flavor) and frozen pizza. Crazy, I know. And he has never once complained.

Well those days of boring and bland out of a box/jar are over. I have been taking baby steps and teaching myself to cook for the last couple months. And guess what? I am enjoying it! I think I may love to cook. I love the planning, the hunt for the recipe, the grocery shopping, the prep and mostly, the outcome. I have truly impressed myself with what I can accomplish. I am not sure why I have never approached this before. My memories from growing up all involve someone cooking for my family. And while that was a great privilege, I don't think I learned to boil water until I was 18. So I guess I am a little late to the game. But, I am ready and willing to catch up!