Oct 142016
 

It was delicious, but I actually messed up this recipe. Instead of cutting the bread in half, I left it whole. It still turned out yummy. So yummy that I’m working on variations. Chicken, bacon, broccoli is the first variation I’m going to try and maybe Philly cheese after that. Sloppy Joe’s was also suggested.

I thought without the bread on top that the cheese would brown. We like brown cheese. Sadly, it didn’t. If you leave the bread as one piece and want the cheese to brown, try broiling it for about 10 minutes. I thought about trying it, but we were hungry.

I left the original instructions of cutting the bread in half and added my mistakes in the recipe. I liked the bread being more like a bowl, but I’ll be trying it the way it’s supposed to be in the future.

Stuffed French Bread
Serves 6
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf french bread
  2. 1 pound lean ground beef
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  4. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  5. 1 can cream of mushroom or cream of onion soup
  6. 1/4 cup sour cream
  7. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  8. salt and pepper, to taste
  9. 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  10. 2 teaspoons dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Slice the french bread in half, lengthwise, so you have two equal pieces. Or, you can do what I did and misread the instructions and not cut the bread in half but leave it whole.
  2. Scoop out the bread in the center of each piece or the center of the entire loaf if you leave the bread whole.
  3. Place the bread you scooped out in a large bowl and tear into small chunks. Set the two halves of french bread or the one whole piece with the center scooped out onto a large baking sheet.
  4. Brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain.
  5. Add garlic to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add soup, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook mixture 5 minutes or until heated.
  7. Add the beef mixture to the bread in the large bowl. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into the center of one half of the french bread or center of the whole piece. Spread out evenly. Top the mixture with the shredded cheese. Top with the other half of bread or leave open if you didn't cut the bread in half.
  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Life in the Lofthouse.com
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Oct 072016
 

I didn’t have enough ham, but I was hungry for the Tortellini and Ham recipe WildOne posted, so I decided to try it with smoked sausage. I also had a couple of tomatoes from the garden that needed to be used and thought they would pair well with the sausage, too. And of course, I replaced the peppers with broccoli for the pepper hater.

What I came up with is something that tasted different enough I thought it needed its own post, but at the same time it curbed my craving for Tortellini and Ham. I really enjoyed both recipes and I think which one I make will depend on what meat I have at the time.

Tortellini and Smoked Sausage
Serves 6
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package (19 ounces) frozen three cheese tortellini
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 10-12 ounces smoked sausage, sliced
  4. 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  5. 12 ounce bag frozen chopped broccoli
  6. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons ClearJel (cornstarch)
  8. 1/2 cup homemade chicken broth
  9. 2 teaspoons dried basil
  10. 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  11. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  12. 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  13. 4 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, divided
Instructions
  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook smoked sausage in olive oil over medium heat until browned on one side. Flip sausage and add broccoli and onion. Cook until broccoli is crisp tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute longer.
  3. Combine the ClearJel or cornstarch, broth, basil, parsley and pepper; stir into sausage mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Add tomatoes and heat until tomatoes are just warmed.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons cheese. Drain tortellini; toss with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Notes
  1. You could use boxed cheese tortellini.
  2. You can use fresh broccoli.
  3. You could use canned chicken broth.
Adapted from WildOne's Tortellini and Ham Recipe
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
sausagetortellini

Sep 302016
 

After making our own pizzas, we rarely order it anymore. Besides being able to tailor the toppings to our liking, we can also tailor make the sauce and the crust.

So far, I’ve made plain crust, Italian garlic cheese crust, and garlic sundried tomato crust. I’ve only made two sauces so far; a tomato-based pizza sauce and a creamy garlic sauce.

We usually pile our pizzas high with kale, which cooks down considerably. That’s why in the picture posted before baking, the pizza is very tall. I’m sure we’ll try other toppings soon, but I was having fun playing with the crust and sauce.

I didn’t take a picture of the dough itself, but it just looked like dough. Nothing exciting, but I do wish I’d taken a picture of the sundried tomato dough.

This recipe is the plain dough. You can modify it and make it your own, but always follow the directions that come with your bread machine.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough
Makes one 16 inch pizza crust.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  4. 3 cups flour
  5. 2 teaspoons yeast
  6. 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
Instructions
  1. Follow the instructions that came with your bread machine for dough.
  2. Place dough on floured surface, spray with a little olive oil to keep it damp and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle 15-16 inch pizza pan with corn meal and shape dough so it spreads to the edges of the pan.
  4. Add favorite pizza toppings and bake at 475 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until done.
Notes
  1. Honey makes the dough fluffier, but it isn't needed. With the honey, the crust turns out more like a deep dish pizza and without, the crust is more like a regular crust.
  2. My pizza pan is only 12 inches and I still use this recipe. The crust is just thicker, but cooks in about 25 to 30 minutes. The cheese is very brown in places, but we like it that way.
Adapted from West Bend Recipes
Adapted from West Bend Recipes
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Sep 232016
 

We used to have a fast food restaurant near us called Spaghetti Jack’s. I’m not sure when it closed, but it was quite a few years ago. I wasn’t fond of most of their entrees, but they had an Italian Sub that my husband and I loved. Over the years, my husband has complained about craving the Italian Sub, so I finally broke down and tried to recreate it.

Working from distant memory, this is what I came up with. I know my memory is skewed, but it’s pretty close to what I remember the Spaghetti Jack’s sub tasting like.

I think the Bolillo roll works the best for this recipe. It’s like a sponge that soaks up the juices without becoming a soggy mess. Any large roll or bun will do, but I highly suggest the Bolillo roll.

Baked Italian Sub
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 medium tomato
  2. 1 Tablespoon Zesty Italian dressing
  3. 1 Bolillo Roll or Hoagie Bun
  4. 1 slice Pastrami
  5. 1 slice Prosciutto
  6. 2 large slices Genoa salami
  7. 6-8 slices Pepperoni
  8. 1 slice Provolone
  9. 1 slice Mozzarella
  10. Spray Olive Oil (optional)
  11. pinch of garlic powder
  12. pinch of Italian seasoning
  13. 1/4-1/3 cup shredded lettuce
Instructions
  1. Dice tomato and place in small bowl. Add Zesty Italian dressing, stir and refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Cut and remove center of roll or bun.
  4. Add slices of meats and top with cheese slices. Spray cheese and top of roll or bun lightly with olive oil (optional). Sprinkle with garlic and Italian seasoning.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is hot and melted.
  6. Remove from oven and top with as much lettuce and tomatoes as you can fit in the top. Spoon about a teaspoon of the Italian dressing from the tomatoes on top.
Notes
  1. The center of the roll or bun is good sprayed with olive oil, seasoned with garlic and Italian seasoning, then fried on the stove or baked in the oven.
  2. You can use the large slices of Genoa salami or the smaller ones that are about the size of pepperoni. Use about 4 of the pepperoni size Genoa salami since they are usually thicker cut than pepperoni.
  3. Duplicate as many times as you need. I usually make them 4 at a time. I leave the lettuce and tomato off two of them and reheat them in the toaster oven, oven or microwave depending on my level of laziness. Then, I add the lettuce and tomato. The bread gets a little chewy in the microwave, but it still tastes yummy.
Adapted from Spaghetti Jack's Italian Sub
Adapted from Spaghetti Jack's Italian Sub
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Baked Italian Sub

Jul 152016
 

Creamy alfredo sauce, spicy and smoky? We’d have this all the time if it was healthy, too!

We do eat it with kale on the side. That helps, right? If I put the kale in it would that make it better? No? That’s okay.

We really don’t eat like this all the time, but once in awhile, a rich and creamy, smoky and spicy dish really hits the spot. Paired with garlic bread and kale lightly fried in olive oil… yum!

Spicy Creamy Smoked Sausage Bake
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Ingredients
  1. 16 ounces dry Rotini pasta
  2. 12 ounces cooked smoked sausage
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 cups chicken broth
  5. 2 Tablespoons Clear Gel, Flour or corn starch
  6. 2 cups half and half
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  10. 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  11. 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  12. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  13. 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook Rotini al dente according to package directions and drain.
  3. In large skillet, fry sausage over medium heat until browned on both sides.
  4. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add chicken broth and stir or whisk until smooth.
  6. Combine Clear Gel, flour or corn starch and half and half. Stir slowly into skillet mixture and heat until thickened.
  7. Add pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir until cheese melts.
  8. Add parsley. Stir until mixed.
  9. In 9x13 pan, add noddles and pour sausage mixture over pasta. Top with remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese on top is fully melted and as brown (or not) as you like it.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Spicy Creamy Smoked Sausage Bake

Jul 082016
 

Another great recipe for small slow cookers. I’ve found that since I’m only cooking for two now, the small slow cookers are wonderful for training myself to stop cooking for an army. I still love loading up my 6-quart slow cooker and having tons of leftovers for future meals and to freeze, but sometimes it’s nice to just have a small meal with less cleanup.

On occasion, I’ve started to make this recipe only to find that my ketchup has disappeared. Honest, I never remember using the last of it. Undaunted, I replace the ketchup and brown sugar with 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce and it’s just as good.

If you don’t like peppers, you can replace them with any vegetable you think would taste good with ketchup and brown sugar. I’ve tried zucchini and squash, both were pretty good. Fresh, thick sliced tomatoes were wonderful. Green beans and potatoes were my favorite substitutions. If you decide to use potatoes, I suggest sticking them on the bottom with the onions on top of the pork chops.

Slow Cooker Rancher's Pork Chops
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Cook Time
8 hr
Cook Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  2. 2 pork chops
  3. 1 small onion, sliced
  4. 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  5. 1/4 cup ketchup
  6. 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in skillet until crispy. Allow to cool, crumble and refrigerate for later.
  2. Brown pork chops in bacon grease for about a minute on each side.
  3. Place onion slices in bottom of 1.5 quart crock. Might fit in a 1 quart. Works well in a 2 quart. Place pork chops on top of onions then peppers on top of pork chops.
  4. Mix together ketchup and brown sugar, pour over peppers in crock.
  5. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low.
  6. Add crumbled bacon before serving.
Notes
  1. Don't like peppers? Omit or replace!
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Slow Cooker Ranchers Pork Chops

Jul 012016
 

Spicy, meaty and easy!

We don’t usually eat soup when it’s warm outside, but this soup we eat year round. To cool it down and make it seem less like soup during the summer we add sour cream, avocado slices and sliced green onions.

This also makes a fantastic camping soup because you can use all canned foods, which frees up room in the cooler. Some of the garnishes have to remain cold, but you can pick and choose which garnishes to take or leave them out completely.

Taco Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 can 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed)
  2. 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 can 15 ounces pinto beans, drained and rinsed)
  3. 2 medium tomatoes, diced (or 1 can 14.5 ounces diced or petite diced tomatoes, drained)
  4. 1 bag 12 ounces frozen sweet corn (or 1 can 15.25 ounce sweet corn, drained)
  5. 1 pound shredded cooked chicken, BBQ, rotisserie, pan fried or however you like it (or 1 can 12.5 ounce chicken breast, drained)
  6. 1 can 10.75 ounces cream of onion soup
  7. 1 can 10 ounces red enchilada sauce (or 1 can 10 ounces green enchilada sauce)
  8. 2 cups chicken broth (or 1 can 14 ounces chicken broth)
  9. 1/2 taco seasoning recipe (or 1 packet taco seasoning)
Instructions
  1. Stove Top and Camping Directions:
  2. Add all ingredients to a large pot.
  3. Heat until warm (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  4. Serve with your choice of garnishes.
  5. Slow Cooker Directions:
  6. Mix all ingredients except beans in crock pot.
  7. Cook on low for 3 hours, add beans, stir and cook for another hour.
  8. Serve with your choice of garnishes.
Notes
  1. Garnish suggestions: tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, shredded monterey jack, green onions, red onions, avocado slices, fresh chopped cilantro, ancho or poblano peppers, warmed tortillas, guacamole or whatever you like with your Mexican food.
  2. Love rice? Add a cup of cooked rice before serving for something a little different.
  3. Love pasta? Try frying some Pastina in butter, boil until al dente and add to soup before serving.
  4. Replace chicken with cooked hamburger or shredded cooked steak to make Beef Taco Soup.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Taco Soup

Jun 242016
 

Perfect no bake dessert for summer. A sweet, creamy and cold addition to summer meals and BBQs. With the addition of twisted lime slices on top, it’s also a pretty pie.

I left the lime zest out the first time I made it and it wasn’t “lime” enough, so I don’t suggest leaving it out.

You can make the graham cracker crust for this but I have to admit, I bought the crust because I was short on time.

Frozen Lime Pie
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Ingredients
  1. 8 inch graham cracker crust
  2. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  4. 1 cup evaporated milk
  5. 1/2 cup lime juice
  6. 1 teaspoon lime zest
  7. thin sliced lime for garnish
Instructions
  1. Beat cream cheese 'til smooth.
  2. Beat in sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk, adding gradually until well mixed and smooth.
  3. Add lime juice and lime zest. Beat on medium for 1 minute.
  4. Pour mixture into crust and freeze 'til firm (about 2 hours).
  5. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and garnish with slices of lime. Allow pie to thaw slightly, about 10 minutes, before serving.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Jun 172016
 

This is a family favorite I posted some time ago and finally added a couple pictures. I’m still trying to remember to take pictures when I make some of the variations, but we don’t have this recipe often due to the high-calorie content.

I also discovered something after making this recipe many times. If you stir the mixture after 30 to 45 minutes of cooking, it resembles more traditional baked macaroni and cheese. If you don’t stir, it comes out more like layers with the top being a fluffy cheese layer.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  2. 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  3. 12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
  4. 4 oz. mozzarella cheese
  5. 5 cups milk
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Layer macaroni, butter, and cheeses in a 9-by-13 dish. Pour milk over the top layer.
  3. Bake for one hour. Do not cover.
Notes
  1. To prevent this dish from becoming too brown and crusty (I like the brown and crusty myself but I know some people don’t), cover with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  2. Experiment with other cheeses!
  3. You can turn this into an entrée by adding your favorite meats and veggies!
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Some variations:

 

Baked Mushroom Cheeseburger Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb hamburger
1 diced medium onion
8 oz fresh, sliced mushrooms or 12 oz can mushrooms

Brown hamburger with onion and mushrooms. Drain and add meat mixture before cheese layer. Reduce milk by 1/2 cup. Follow remaining directions above.

 

Baked Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb hamburger
1 diced medium onion
6 slices bacon, crumbled

Brown hamburger with onion.  Drain and add hamburger and onion mixture before cheese layer.  After cheese layer, sprinkle with crumbled bacon.  Reduce milk by 1/2 cup.  Follow remaining directions above.

 

Baked Ham and Cheese Macaroni

Ingredients above plus:
1 lb ham and choose any combination of the following veggies:
Onion
Mushrooms
Broccoli
Cauliflower

Fry ham and veggies to remove excess liquid. Drain and add before cheese layer. Reduce milk by 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Follow remaining directions above.

This is a very versatile dish. Try using leftover taco meat, chicken, peppers, or any number of variations to make a completely different dish every time. Let me know what you tried, what worked and what didn’t!

Jun 032016
 

This salad is especially good when using garden tomatoes. Wonderful addition to backyard BBQs, picnics and gatherings.

I try most recipes first without salt and add it later if needed. This salad seems to need the salt. You could probably do without it if using home grown tomatoes, but I haven’t tried it.

Sometimes I have to adjust the herbs depending on how strong the basil is. My basil is stronger some years than others, so if you grow your own basil, you might want to take a taste test before serving and add more if needed.

Tomato Macaroni Salad
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces macaroni noodles
  2. 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  3. 2 green onions, chopped
  4. 1 cup cubed or shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  5. 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  7. 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  8. 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon coarsely cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni as the package directs. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Mix/toss together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours or until chilled.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Tomato-Macaroni-Salad

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