You all know that I'm not great in the kitchen, but I do like to eat so I force myself to cook every so often. Here are a couple of things that we've tried recently that were definite successes.

Cheesy Chicken Soup
(this is from my mom and was apparently a weight watcher's recipe)

3 cans chicken broth
1 can rotel
2 lbs frozen California vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
2-3 cups shredded chicken
10 oz. velveeta cheese

Bring chicken broth and rotel to a boil, add vegetables and chicken. Simmer 35 minutes or until vegetables are cooked. Add cheese; eat after melting. This recipe should come with the caveat that it kinda looks like baby food, but I promise that it's delicious. You can also add diced potatoes if you like a little extra starch. And I should probably mention that I add more like 16 oz. of cheese. :)

Chocolate Chip cookies (made into holiday cookies)

I read this tip somewhere and decided to give it a try. Use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, but substitute white chocolate chips and add dried cranberries for a more festive cookie. I'm not going to retype the entire recipe (you can find it here); I will just say that this is a big cookie recipe, but really delicious. And it does make a difference whether or not you use bread and pastry flour instead of regular all-purpose; the texture really is better if you let them sit in the fridge for 3 days before baking. I mixed these up earlier this week and added both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, dried cranberries as well as some pecans. I baked just one pan when I mixed them (because fresh chocolate chip cookies sounded really good on a rainy day at home), but won't bake the rest until Friday or Saturday.


Turkey Lasagna Recipe
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound lasagna noodles
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

I have to say that the lasagna was pretty outstanding although I wasn't a huge fan of the seasoned sweet Italian turkey sausage I bought. I'll probably just buy regular sausage when I make it again.

And a few pictures of Rory from a teeny-tiny-not-much-thought-put-into-it photo shoot I did with the kids in their Christmas outfits. More "official" ones to come later.

Seriously could not be any sweeter.

Fairly certain that this exact shade of red is her color.


I had chemo today so starting to feel kinda gross. Hopefully, I'm going to pull myself out of this funk I've been in for days and get back to normal. Looking forward to a little quiet time tonight and tomorrow morning.


Renee T. said…
Ok- that "stinker" pic of Rory is just adorable! She looks lovely in red :)

KrisJ said…
Dang she is so cute!! I sure hope you feel better and can enjoy the little break you have!
I'm gonna have to try that cookie recipe! Thanks!
Ok... I'm definitely trying that soup recipe! Yum!! (and the lasagna... But i love soup in the winter!) I make a similar cookie recipe at the holidays too... And I also do a batch of dried cherry and dark chocolate chips. Mmmm...

And, the photos of Rory are adorable! I feel like Spencer and I need to fly down for a holiday shoot! ;)

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