September 28, 2017

29 Soup and Stew Recipes to Get You Into Fall and Winter

Beef and Vegetable Stew - Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
Creamy Homemade Jalapeno Cheese Soup
Beanless Chili Without Browing the Beef First
Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
Homemade Vegetable Soup
A Basic Chili Recipe to Start You Off
Crazy Chili
Seafood Chowder
Beef and Barley Soup
Machine Shed Potato Soup
Black Bean Soup
Spicy White Hot Texas Chili
Spicy Bean Soup
Homemade Chicken and Noodles
Garden Vegetable Soup
Cream of Herb and Shrimp Soup
Cream of Spinach Soup with Cheese
Corn Chowder
Cream of Wild Rice Soup
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Lobster Bisque
Roasted Red Pepper Bisque
Seafood Bisque
Cream of Asparagus Soup
Squash Stew with Pork

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September 27, 2017

Homemade Potato Soup - Similar to Machine Shed Potato Soup

Originally posted in 2009 - reposting for 2017

Originally I posted this collected recipe in the Fall of 2009.  I don't recall where it even came from but because of the name, I'm assuming it might be a copy from a restaurant with the same name (the Machine Shed).  I've never been there and never had their soup so I have no idea!

For the cold Fall and Winter nights coming just around the corner, this might be a yummy once in a while comfort soup to enjoy.

Machine Shed Potato Soup

2-1/2 lbs. baby red potatoes, quartered
3 stalks celery, diced
1 qt. water
1 qt. milk
1 t. black pepper
3/4 c flour
1/4 c chopped parsley
1/2 lbs bacon, diced (raw)
1 jumbo yellow onion, diced
1/4 c chicken base
1 t salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 c whipping cream

Boil potatoes for 10 minutes; drain and set aside.

In a large, heavy pot sauté bacon, onion and celery over medium high heat until celery is tender. Drain the bacon grease. Add milk, water, chicken base, salt and pepper. Heat over medium high heat until hot, but not boiling. In a large heavy saucepan melt margarine and add flour; mix well and allow to bubble; stirring for 1 minute. While stirring the soup, stir in the flour mixture slowly; continue stirring until thick and creamy. Stir in parsley, potatoes and cream. Garnish with some shredded colby cheese, bacon bits, chopped green onion. 

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September 26, 2017

It's National Pancake Day! Recipes for Pumpkin Pancakes and Pumpkin Griddlecakes

I don't pay attention to all the "national whatever" days so I had no idea National Pancake Day was September 26th and I just happened to have posted a recipe for Acorn Flour Pancakes this week!  Yay me!  But admittedly not too many people are going to be making acorn pancakes!  You have to gather acorns and crack them and soak them and rinse them and grind them... whew.  I might do that for 'fun' once or twice to learn the skill in case of an emergency situation where I would need to know how to do so, but generally speaking?  Nah.

Instead, I'm offering two recipes I've already posted on An American Housewife previously - one was back in 2009!  The first is pumpkin griddle cakes (griddle cakes are made with cornmeal)  and one for pumpkin pancakes, made with common flour.

Pumpkin Griddle Cakes

1/2 c corn meal
1 c boiling water
1/4 c pumpkin pulp (real pumpkin, not pie filling)
Not quite 1 cup of scalded and cooled milk
1 c flour
2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 t sugar
1 t allspice
1 egg, beaten

Combine corn meal and water and let stand 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and cooled milk and stir until smooth. Sift rest of dry ingredients together and add to first mixture. Beat egg and stir in. Mix all well. Drop batter by large tablespoonfuls onto a well greased hot griddle. Flip when tiny bubbles erupt all over. When golden and crisp serve with maple syrup.

 Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 c flour
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t salt
1/8 t nutmeg
tiny pinch of ground cloves

Mix 1 egg
6 T pumpkin puree
2 T melted butter
1 c milk

Fold the wet into the dry. Heat a buttered skillet over medium heat. Use about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook 2-3 minutes on one side until the air bubbles are numerous and popping. Flip. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve with butter and syrup.



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September 25, 2017

The Best Beef Stew Recipe! Beef and Vegetable Stew - Easy in a Slow Cooker or Crock Pot

Even though I think of a hearty beef and vegetable stew as a 'winter' food, for some reason I really, really wanted to make this yesterday.  It worked out perfectly though as it's about 100 degrees out this week and I was able to put this in the slow cooker and forget about it while it cooked away on the countertop and didn't heat up my kitchen.  I also used my solar oven to bake a loaf of bread so our dinner last night was not only delicious and filling but it cooked without my help or using the stove or oven!

This recipe is SO TASTY.  I apologized to my family a bit when I served it... I said, "I know stew is an old Grandma style recipe but...."  and I need not have bothered.  It was met not only with great enthusiasm, but the dish was scraped clean!

I did not have fresh carrots on hand - only about 1/4 cup leftover of the carrots I had dehydrated last month so that is why my photos don't show large, brightly colored carrot disks in them.  I also used my dehydrated sliced mushrooms and added them at the beginning of the cook time and we don't use corn very often in our home so I left that out.  Substitute as you need to or want to.

Beef and Vegetable Stew

3 c cubed, peeled potatoes
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, cubed
2 lb. steak or other beef, cubed or cut to about 1" pieces
2 T oil
3 T flour
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 c boiling water
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c ketchup
1 T prepared horseradish
1 T prepared mustard
1 T sugar
1 c peas
1 c corn
1 c fresh sliced mushrooms

Place the potatoes, carrots and onions in a slow cooker.  In a large skillet, brown the beef in oil.  Lay on the vegetables in the slow cooker.  Sprinkle with flour.  In a bowl, dissolve the bouillon cubes in the water and stir in the vinegar, ketchup, horseradish, mustard and sugar.  Pour over meat in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high about 5 hours.  Add the peas and corn and mushrooms.  Cook an additional 45 minutes.  Makes about 5-6 servings.

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September 24, 2017

The Top Electric Pressure Cookers - and Which one I Chose to Purchase (Hint: Cosori 7 in 1)

If you just want to cut to the chase and know which pressure cooker I chose to buy (after hours of research) it's this one:


Although so many love the Instant Pot, I noticed about 90% of the reviews for it were for things like making yogurt, oatmeal, beans, eggs and rice.

None of which are what I typically use a pressure cooker for! 

No - I want one for main dish meals like chicken and roast and other meats as well as soups, desserts, vegetables, side dishes and yes, quick last minute (baked) potatoes!  I researched many brands and styles; some tended to burn foods on the bottom, others took 3 times as long to heat up than other brands, some you could cook items faster in a pan on the stove.  Still others were used for yogurt or needed for pressure canning (which is nice but I plan to purchase an All American brand pressure canner for that).   
In the end I chose the Cosori 7 in 1 cooker. 

COSORI 7-in-1 Multifunctional Programmable Pressure Cooker, Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker with Stainless Steel Inner Pot, 6 Quart

Product Description from Amazon (where I ordered this exact one):

The COSORI® pressure cooker model number C1156-PC uses 1000-Watts of electrical energy with a durable sealing gasket. The glass lid lets you see what’s cooking at a glance. It also has a hard-plastic top with handle.

The steam pressure increases cooking temperatures inside. Your food is more nutritious and flavorful than the customary way of cooking or baking. You will have no mess and dirty pots using this one-pot method for your stew, soups, meat, and desserts.

You will enjoy the 15 preset programs with the push button LED digital control panel. The handles are cool, and the tempered glass lid will not break.

You will receive a recipe book, measuring cup, spoon, and ladle that comes with the pot along with a stainless steel rimed glass lid and extra sealing ring.measuring cup

Plug the UL certified listed cord into a USA 110/120-Volt, 50/60 Hz outlet. The power is 1000-Watts. Outside the USA you would need to buy an adapter for 220/240-Volts.Best Electric Pressure cooker

The container size is 8.66-inches and the working pressure is 70 kPa. The pressure range for the low level is 30-40 kPa; medium is 50-60 kPa and high is 70-80 kPa.

The dimensions are 18.25-inches in diameter x 13.5-inches tall packed in the box. The diameter of the inner pot is 8.5-inches. The pot weighs 16 pounds.

NOTE:  This unit is not designed for making yogurt. The pressure cooker does not have a home canning mode.

COSORI 7-in-1 Multifunctional Programmable Pressure Cooker, Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker with Glass Lid, Extra Sealing Ring and Recipe Book, 6 Quart/1000W

Other electric pressure cookers similar to the one I bought; all available through Amazon (including the Instant Pot, Elite Platinum and Cuisinart);

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
Instant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer
Cuisinart CPC-600 6 Quart 1000 Watt Electric Pressure Cooker (Stainless Steel)
T-fal CY505E 12-in-1 Programmable Electric Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker with 25 Built-In Smart Programs / Ceramic Nonstick Cooking Pot and Stainless Steel Housing 1100-Watts, 6-Quart, Silver
Elite Platinum EPC-808 Maxi-Matic 8 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker, Black (Non-Stick)


Don't forget a recipe book!

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September 22, 2017

Acorn Flour Pancakes - Happy First Day of Fall

Source:  The Farmer's Almanac

Acorns are extremely nutritious and readily available to most, making them a healthy and convenient addition to many recipes.

Here’s how to prepare and cook acorns!

Where and When to Find Acorns

Acorns come from oak trees and can be found across North America. They are typically “harvested” between September and November, when they fall from the trees and become easily accessible to deer, squirrels, and resourceful humans. When gathering acorns, look for ones that still have their caps, as those without are more susceptible to infestation by worms and other critters.

How to Prepare Acorns

  • Start by giving your acorns a quick rinse in cool water. Place them in a pot or bowl and fill it with water, then remove and dispose of any floating acorns, as they have likely gone bad.
  • Place the acorns in a colander and run them under the tap for a minute or two to dislodge any loose dirt or hitchhiking bugs. 
  • Set the colander aside to let the acorns air-dry, or simply dry them by hand with a dish towel. 
  • Remove the shells and caps from your acorns with a nutcracker (or a hammer, if necessary). Acorns can be tough nuts to crack!
Warning: All acorns contain bitter and irritating organic substances called tannins, which must be leached out before the nuts can be eaten. Tannins can cause nausea and constipation when consumed, but don’t worry—with a little patience and preparation, tannins are easily removed.

How to Remove Tannins from Acorns

  • Start two pots of water boiling. Drop the raw, shell-less acorns into one pot and boil until the water is the color of strong tea.
  • Strain the nuts through a colander and drop the strained nuts into the second pot of boiling water. Discard the dark water from the first pot, then refill it and bring the water to a boil again.
  • Repeat the process without interruption (do not let the acorns cool) until the water boils clear. This may take an hour or more, depending on the variety of acorn.
  • Alternatively, you can soak the raw acorns in cold water to leach the tannins out. Change the water when it turns a darker color. This process may take several days, depending on how long it takes for all the tannins to leach out of the acorn meat.

How to Grind Acorns for Cooking

  • Spread tannin-free acorns to dry on cookie sheets in a warm place. When partially dry, coarse grind a few acorns at a time in a blender.
  • Spread the ground acorns to dry on cookie sheets, then grind again in a blender.
  • Repeat until you are left with a flour- or cornmeal-like substance.

Acorn Pancakes Recipe

Once you have prepared your acorns, try them in this recipe adapted from Sharon Hendricks. Source: Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension

1 egg
1 tsp. salad oil
1 tsp. honey or sugar
½ cup leached and ground acorns
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup whole wheat or white flour
2 tsp. double action baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
Break egg into bowl and add all ingredients, beating to create a batter. If batter is too thick, thin with additional milk. Pour batter onto hot, greased griddle and cook slowly until brown. Flip to brown opposite side. Serve with butter and syrup or jam—and enjoy!

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Bakery Style Sugar Cookies

If you've been following me either by blog or Twitter you might already realize I've not been home for almost two weeks now.  I'm staying with a family member out of state and helping out for a bit.

Monday, I whipped up some sugar cookie dough since I already had the mixer out for something else and decided to make up dough and chill for later this week.  The next day while the 16 month old was napping, the 3-year-old and I made cookies together.

This recipe is perhaps the closest one I've found to a "memory" I have.

When I was ten years old I was allowed to go 'up town' by myself or with friends in our small town.  My friend Bridget and I would put on our tennis shoe skates (blue with the yellow stripes) and skate up town and head to the little bakery on the corner where we could get a sugar cookie for $.10 each.  They were hard to describe taste wise.  Perfectly circle and a bit crisp without being too crisp.  Tender but not at all soft.  The flavor was vanilla yet had a tang. The bakery closed down a couple years later and was long gone by the time I was 18 and on my own and starting on a quest to make my own versions of, well, everything I loved.

I've probably made about, oh, 60 or so different sugar cookie recipes through the past 30 years and this recipe is probably the closest one so far.  Not exact... but close when they rolled out thin, cut to circles and baked til the edges are just golden brown, they are close.

Sugar Cookies

2 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c butter
3 eggs
5 T sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t lemon extract
1/8 t almond extract
4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and sour cream. Beat in the flavors.  Add the flour, soda and salt.  Bring to a dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 day or overnight.  Roll out with plenty of flour.  Cut to shape. Decorate the tops with sprinkles or sugar if you wish.  If you want to frost them, do not sprinkle with anything, just bake plain.  Bake on ungreased baking pan at 350 until the edges are golden brown.  Remove from pan to cool complete.

I couldn't find any cookie-cutters in my host's kitchen, so I simply grabbed a glass from the cupboard and used that as a cookie cutter.

Oh so beautiful!

 If you are going to frost them later, don't bother topping with anything.  Just bake plain.

If you have an awesome little 3 year old helper like I do, then you will end up topping them with LOTS of cookie decorations!


3 year olds make the BEST cookies!

This is a legit photo I was taking of JUST the cookies when a quick-little toddler hand swooped in to snatch a fresh cookie!  Ha ha.

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September 21, 2017

Links to Amazon Best Sellers, Coffee & Tea, Bakeware, Cookware, Appliances and Dining and Entertainment items from Amazon

Best Sellers- from food service equipment to bakeware, cookware, appliances, dinnerware and more - What's hot right now and what are the top sellers?

Already know what you are interested in?  Want to price it or check reviews at Amazon?  Links to specific kinds of items below:

Coffee and Tea Related Products (coffee, tea, coffee makers, espresso makers and much, much more.)
Bakeware- Baking and Cooking dishes, pans and accessories. Bread pans, cake pans, candy making supplies and more.
Cookware - which is cookware, tea kettles, skillets, pans and canning supplies as well as pressure cookers.
Kitchen utensils and gadgets- measuring tools, scales, can openers, graters, peelers, slicers, spice and herb gadgets.
Small appliance parts and accessories  Replacement parts for your blender, bread machine, coffee and espresso machines, deep fryer, food processor, juice, microwave oven, mixers, pressure cookers and soda makers. Whew.
Small appliances- slow cookers, microwave ovens, food processors, rice cookers, blenders, juicers and small grills
Dining and entertaining- barware, cocktail items, cups, saucers, dinnerware, flatware and silverware, novelty items

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