Thursday, November 15, 2018

Slow Cooker Cranberry Stuffing you make in the Slow Cooker


With Thanksgiving Day days away, many of us are tweaking our last minute menus for the family holiday.  I really appreciate my double oven this time of year and it will soon be filled with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole. I utilize my slow cooker as much as possible, particularly during the holidays when oven space is in demand. It's delicious and easy. What could be better?

Ingredients:  1 cup butter, 2 cups chopped onion, 2 cups celery, 1/4 cup parsley, 12 1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning,  1 1/2 teaspoon sage, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, 2 eggs, beaten, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 large apple, cut in bite size pieces.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook onion, celery and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.

Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in large bowl and add seasoning.  Pour enough broth to moisten and mix in eggs.  Add cranberries and apples.  Transfer mix to slow cooker and cook on high for 45 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 4-6 hours.  

* To make this recipe in the oven, prepare as directed, using full amount of broth.  Transfer to a 9x13 pan (lightly sprayed with cooking spray), Bake at 350 uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Sweet Italian Turkey sausage Minestrone

~Italian Sausage Minestrone Soup~

When it's cold and rainy, it puts me in a soup mood.  Not just for the meal, but I love the process.  I found a favorite holiday movie to watch, brought out my large soup and began to dice and chop.  Suddenly, as things pulled together in my soup pot, the skies seemed to brighten and our house began to smell wonderful.  This is what a simple pot of soup can do for your spirits.

I admit this is the first time I've made my own croutons and I found them easy and delicious. In preheated 400 degree oven, toss cubed sourdough bread on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once. Remove and cool.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven. Add sweet Italian turkey sausage removed from it's casings and brown over medium heat, stir it to break it up with a spoon.  Add small diced onion, diced carrots and a clove of minced garlic.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook for 8-9 minutes.  Stir in two 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes undrained, 15.5 ounce can drained can chickpeas, 5 cups low sodium chicken broth and 4 cups of water.  Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.  Last step is adding 1 cup of ditalini pasta and simmer until pasta is done.  Season with salt and pepper.

When you are ready to serve this delicious dish, ladle into soup bowls, and top with homemade croutons.  Guaranteed smiles!

You will want a second helping😉

I'm a homemade crouton girl from now on!

I like to make enough to freeze in ziplock bags for days I don't have time to cook.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your soup♡

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Do You Have a Bloody Mary "Secret" Ingredient?

We are meeting friends this weekend for brunch. We're looking forward to seeing them at one of our favorite lakefront restaurants, Geneva Inn.  I love the leisurely feel of brunch. It's a meal that welcomes the day in a relaxed way, enjoying the good company of family or friends over great food, and the traditional Mimosa or Bloody Mary.

If you are a Bloody Mary lover, I'm sure you have your own style of preparing. The more dressed they are, the better. I like mine with with a spicy kick. Here's one of my favorite Bloody Mary recipes and it makes four servings. 

24 ounces V8, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, squeeze the juice of a lime and lemon, 2-3 tablespoons horseradish, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 8 ounces Titosvodka, (if you're a gin lover, that works too.) Pour into iced glasses, place a celery stalk and wedge of lime in each glass.

For extra zest, try adding a drop of balsamic vinegar on top of each drink before serving.  For my secret ingredient I like to add a tiny pinch of shaved ginger to each drink.😉 What's yours?

A make your own Bloody Mary bar is always fun and allows the hostess time to enjoy guests without serving everyone. Make sure you keep the ice bucket filled and an eye on not running low on ingredients.

Blue cheese or Feta cheese stuffed olives are a must at my house.

Serve it with a BlueMoonBeer chaser like here at Gordy's Boat House in Fontana, Wisconsin. Happy weekend!


Monday, November 5, 2018

Hearty Minestrone

~Easy Minestrone Supper this Week~

When the seasons change and the temperatures drop, I make sure I have a couple of soup starter mix packets from my favorite online site, Soups Online.  They offer over 2,000 items and shipping is quick.  Cugino's Mama's minestrone is a great starter.  Below is an easy recipe to follow for a delicious hearty minestrone.  If you aren't a fan of the vegetables below, you can substitute with your own favorites.  That's the magic of minestrone.  ~
Stop by my blog next week for a sweet Italian turkey sausage minestrone recipe that I think you will love.

You need the following:
-1 package Cugino's Mama's Minestrone Soup Mix
small package uncooked pasta shells or any shape thats your favorite
-2 pounds ground beef
-1/2 fresh green beans rinsed
-4 (14 1/2 ounce) cans beef broth OR 4 (17 oz.) cartons beef broth (I love Nature's Promise) They also offer low sodium if you are on a low salt diet.
-1 -2  (16 ounce) bags frozen mixed vegetables
-2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
-1  (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
-1 tube Amore tomato paste or can of tomato paste
-3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
-1/4 teaspoon dried basil
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-1/2 cup chopped onion

In your dutch oven or soup kettle, brown ground beef and onion over medium heat until meat no longer pink and drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered for 3-4 hours. Add 3/4 cup uncooked pasta to pot for the last 10 minutes of cooking and add water to the soup if too thick after the pasta is added.  You can sub out leftover ham instead of the ground beef too. So good!

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by Lakehouselyn♡

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Change of Seasons

It happens every year.  One week is 80 degrees and the air conditioner is running and the following weekend we are turning on our furnaces because there are frost warnings. We wake up to find our vegetable plants and flowers have a coat of frost instead of morning dew. This is being a Midwesterner. There was a day we used to baby step into Fall.  Gently and slowly transforming our wardrobe from shorts and sandals to long pants, coats, hats, scarves, boots and gloves (whew!). Now it seems to happen very quickly.

During this transformation and vowing to yourself you aren't in the mood for cooler weather, something happens.  It happens every year.  I find myself enjoying watching the leaves fall slowly to the ground, turning on the oven and baking muffins, breads and making stews and casseroles.  I enjoy going for long walks when the weather is brisk and hearing the crunch of the leaves under my feet.  We feel the need to ready our homes for nesting in preparation of the cold winter weather upon us just weeks ago.  Before I realize it, I'm watching Hallmark Channel holiday movies while I'm in the kitchen working.  

Over my morning coffee this morning, I began making my shopping lists for the holidays and finding myself looking forward to decorating the house inside and out.  We have already had our first snow on October 20 while our family was visiting the pumpkin farm.  It was unexpected and made our day all the more memorable.

Thus is the life of a Midwesterner and I love it.  The change of seasons is always something to look forward to and if it isn't your favorite season, you know it will change in a few weeks.  Happy weekend🍂🍂

What's your favorite season?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Pumpkin Joe for Halloween Supper

On Halloween we don't have time to fuss over supper when we have little ones to take trick or treating or are busy answering the door for trick or treaters.  This easy sloppy joe pie is sure to impress your family and as a time saver, make the sloppy joe's the night before.  

All you will need is a pie pan, 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, 4.5-6 oz. tomato paste, a packet of sloppy joe seasoning (I like using Fresh Thyme), ground beef and refrigerated pie crusts of your choice. I used Immaculate Baking organic crust for this recipe.

Combine browned ground beef with envelope of taco seasoning, tomato paste,  and tomato sauce and cook on stove top until it's done.

Remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before using.  When ready to use, gently roll the crust and place one crust into a pre sprayed pie pan.

Scoop the sloppy joe meat mixture into the bottom pie crust.

Carefully unroll the second crust and place on top of the sloppy joe meat. Pinch the top and bottom crust together to seal.  To make it festive for Halloween, take a knife and carefully cut out a pumpkin face of eyes, nose and mouth.
Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown and crisp.

My attempt at a smiling pumpkin came out as more of a scary skeleton! 

I loved the simplicity of this recipe and my family thought it was delicious. I hope you like it too.


(and Happy Birthday to my sweet Dad!)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Manhattan Cocktails for a Crowd

 Why not set up a "Manhattan" side bar for your next gathering?  I needed a recipe for a big crowd I could make ahead of time and found this easy one on Seriouseats.  Signature cocktails are always a great idea. Instead of taking drink orders, you will enjoy your friends and family. Cheers!🍸

                  This recipe will serve 8-10 cocktails and yields 32 ounces.

     18 ounces rye whiskey ( I like Makersmark), 9 ounces sweet vermouth,  18 dashes Hellabitters, 5 ounces filtered or bottled water (not mineral). Using a funnel, pour rye, vermouth, bitters and water into a pitcher.  Chill well and stir before serving. 

Garnishes on the side: Makers Mark Bourbon cocktail cherries and lemon twists (& ice)

~Happy Weekend~

Happy anniversary to my husband and love💞