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Maggi Beef Noodle Soup

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Steve’s Grandma Mac made some awesome dishes back in the day. One of my favorites was her very simple but super scrumptious Maggi Beef Noodle Soup. It is hearty and packed full of flavor! This picture below is one of my favorite pictures of Grandma Mac! She was so sassy and always making others smile!

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Grandma Mac was born in Germany and her meals were always very simple. She lived through World War II and back then, they had to make do with just the staples. Many of her recipes used basic items you can find in your pantry. I love her Maggi Beef Noodle Soup recipe! It’s hard to explain what Maggi tastes like. It is almost a concentrated beef seasoning of sorts. Grandma Mac used it on everything just like my Filipina mom uses soy sauce on everything. My mom just can’t cook without her Marca Pina Soy Sauce and Grandma Mac just couldn’t cook without her Maggi. Both of which we always have on hand in our house! We like to make mashed potatoes with this soup. I know it sounds crazy to pile starch on top of starch but we love spooning this soup right over a large bowl of mashed potatoes. It will always be one of my favorite meals to make and eat. Maggi is just amazing! You can find it in most grocery stores but it can be pricey. We buy our Maggi at the same place we buy our Marca Pina Soy Sauce, at our local Asian store! And at the Asian store, it is really cheap just like our Marca Pina Soy Sauce. You really have to buy Maggi and give this recipe a try because it is that awesome!

Printable Recipe: Maggi Beef Noodle Soup

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Ingredients:

  • Maggi Seasoning

  • 1 lb ground chuck

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic

  • 4 beef bouillon cubes

  • 2 – 12 oz packages of Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles

  • 6-8 cups water

Directions:

Sauté onions and minced garlic for a couple of minutes in a frying pan.

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Add ground chuck and brown till completely cooked. Drain off grease.

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In a large stockpot, add water till 3/4 full (approximately 6-8 cups of water). Drop in bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally to evenly disperse the dissolved bouillon cubes.

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Add cooked ground chuck to the boiling water. Add the two packages of Reames noodles into the boiling water. Add 13-15 shakes of Maggi seasoning to the water. Boil the noodles for approximately 10-13 minutes stirring occasionally until noodles are tender.

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Add Maggi to taste in each individual bowl of Maggi Beef Noodle Soup.

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We lost Grandma Mac on March 14th, 2014. She lived a long 78 years and touched so many lives. Our children are both very close to their great-grandma Mac. We purchased our home because it literally is next door to grandma’s house. It has been hard on our family but we find comfort in knowing she is no longer in pain and is reunited in Heaven with the love of her life, Grandpa Mac. We miss you Grandma and Grandpa! We love you both very much!

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Baked Parmesan Crusted Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

Steve made this the other day and it was gone in no time! Loved by both kids! The flavor explosion is unmatched and the chicken literally just melted on your tongue. Definitely don’t need a knife to cut this up! Your fork will do just fine. Super good and you need to try this! You’re welcome because you will be thanking the Packs later, lol! The pictures show a double batch being made…we just knew everyone would want 2 pieces of chicken, lol!

Printable Recipe: Baked Parmesan Crusted Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the ones found frozen individually in freezer that have been thawed)

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup grated, parmesan cheese

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, seasoning salt, black pepper and minced garlic.

In a metal or glass baking dish, lay chicken pieces in one flat layer.

Dollop the mayonnaise mixture evenly on top of the chicken.

Spread the mayonnaise mix evenly across the top of the chicken breasts.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout.

Creamy Polska Tortellini

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comI came across this recipe on Pinterest. Looked delicious! We had to alter it to fit our family and it turned out fantastic. We aren’t big fans of sausage mostly because of those hard, whitish chunks that kind of freak me out because I have to wonder what it is. So our family uses polska kielbasa instead. It’s a smoother blend and mighty tasty just fried and served with good ol’ fashioned Kraft Mac-n-cheese. Give this Creamy Polska Tortellini a try, it certainly has made it into our monthly dinner rotation! Best part is that it is a one skillet dinner making clean up a breeze! A must have for your kitchen is World Spice Minced Garlic. So worth the money! We drop a dollop in almost all of our dishes! It comes in a squeeze bottle or a jar.

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Also, pick any spaghetti sauce you like, we prefer Hunts Garlic and Herb Spaghetti Sauce in a can. The best flavor and often only a buck!

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Fresh tortellini is usually found near the boxed, dry noodles in a refrigerated section. This Buitoni was extra yummy and cheesy!

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We like to use Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa in any recipe that calls for sausage. It really is a smoother blend that is noticeable in the way it looks and tastes. Pretty inexpensive too! Man, I need a new meat cutting board…ours looks horrible, lol! Just a note that we doubled this recipe so the photos reflect that. We knew we wanted to make a double batch so that we had leftovers for lunch that Steve could take to work and that Spencer and I could easily heat up.

Printable Recipe: Creamy Polska Tortellini

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 1 Package Polska Kielbasa

  • 1 Teaspoon of World Spice Minced Garlic

  • 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth

  • 1 Cup Hunts Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

  • 1 – 9oz Package of Fresh Tortellini

  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Slice polska into medallions.

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comHeat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

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craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comAdd polska to oil and cook until seared and heated throughout.

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comAdd garlic, stir and cook for another minute.

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craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comAdd chicken broth, spaghetti sauce, heavy cream and tortellini.

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comStir and bring to a boil. Decrease heat between low to medium.

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comCover and continue to cook for 12-14 minutes until tortellini are tender and heated through.

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comEnjoy! 

Sweet Italian Chicken by Mike

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We recently went on vacation with some of our favorite people on Earth, the Small Family! Florida was fantastic in December!

craftycreativekathy.wordpress.comWe stayed in a condo and to cut costs, we ate in as much as possible. We picked up a bag of frozen, boneless and skinless chicken breasts to use one night for dinner. We thought Italian chicken would be quick and easy. It is a family favorite and really simple. Chunk up the chicken and put the pieces in a 9×13 pan. Pour an entire bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing over the chicken and give it a stir. Bake for 30-40 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. Yep, simple and delicious.

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My brother, Mike, though said that sounds good but let’s split the bag up and I’ll make my chicken. Cool, two different entrees for one meal! Mike picked up some brown sugar and a package of dry Italian dressing. Steve and I thought, interesting…let me tell you, what Mike made was to die for! Sweet and tangy with such an unexpected flavor combination that left you wanting more! We have made it 3 times since we’ve been home, lol. Mike didn’t necessarily measure out what he was doing, he just knew how much to use. It took Steve and I up to the third try to get the measurements just perfect! So here goes the recipe…trust me, try this and you’ll thank us (errrrr Mike) later! The Sweet Italian Chicken goes great over steamed, white rice!

Printable Recipe: Sweet Italian Chicken By Mike

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Regular-sized, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (or 3 if large)

  • 1 Package Dry Italian Dressing

  • 3/4 Cups Brown Sugar (Light or Dark)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces.

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In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry Italian dressing, brown sugar, salt and pepper.

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Add chicken to the bowl and stir with your hand until all chicken pieces are coated.

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Place chicken into a single layer in a 9×13 glass or metal baking dish.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

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Stir the chicken up  to coat the pieces in the wonderful, sweet juices! Serve over steamed, white rice and make sure to spoon the juices on top!

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Frozen chicken breasts are typically the size of your palm excluding your fingers. If using those, thaw it out and use 4. If using fresh boneless, skinless, chicken breasts you will find that a lot of times the chicken breast is freakishly huge like from the tip of your fingertips all the way to your wrists! If I saw a live chicken with breasts that size I do believe I would run because a chicken that big probably eats humans, lol! So if the breast is abnormally large, use only 3 breasts. This makes 4 generous servings! Enjoy!

 

Tender BBQ Ribs in the Crockpot

I found this recipe for BBQ ribs made in the crockpot. I knew I had to try it! I changed the recipe to something I knew our family would love! We love the sweet but gotta have the tangy. Our favorite soy sauce always gives us that tang! We use Marca Pina Soy Sauce.

Proud to say it is made in the Philippines! It’s just the right amount of saltiness without being overbearing and very cheap to buy! A large bottle (seriously, the size of a wine bottle) only costs $1.95 at our local Asian store. These ribs were seriously fall of the bone goodness! Give this recipe a try. Nothing like good ol’ ribs in the middle of winter because these ribs are made in the slow cooker and finished off in the oven! Yummmmm!

Printable Directions: Tender BBQ Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs Pork Spare Ribs

  • 4 cups Pineapple Juice (reserve 1/2 cup for later in recipe)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups Brown Sugar

  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (we prefer Marca Pina Soy Sauce)

  • 16 oz Bottle of Kraft Honey BBQ Sauce

Directions:

Place plastic liner in crockpot. You can omit the liner and heavily spray the inside of the crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut ribs into individual servings of 2-3 ribs each place in slow cooker.

Mix 3.5 cups pineapple juice, soy sauce and brown sugar together.

Pour pineapple mix over the ribs.

Cover and cook on high for 8 hours. Cover a large cookie sheet in foil and turn oven onto broil. Ribs will be fork tender so carefully remove ribs and place on prepared cookie sheet. In a small bowl, mix together the remainder 1/2 cup pineapple juice and Kraft Honey BBQ sauce.

Using a brush, heavily brush the ribs with Kraft Honey BBQ sauce mix.

Flip over and brush other side heavily with BBQ sauce mix.

Place cookie sheet in oven and broil for 2-5 minutes on each side. Watch ribs carefully to ensure they do not burn.

The goal is to caramelize the BBQ sauce. Carefully remove from cookie sheet onto a serving plate.

Stove Top Lasagna

One of our family’s tried and true, simple to do recipes is Stove Top Lasagna. Everything we normally put in our 21 Layer Lasagna goes into our Stove Top Lasagna. The only difference is quantity and we switch the lasagna noodles out with penne noodles. This recipe is perfect for when you want lasagna but don’t have time to layer it and also when it is blazing hot out and you don’t want to turn your stove on. You can certainly add more like green peppers but this basic recipe is quick to come together!

Printable Directions: Stove Top Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, diced (not pictured)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic * We love our Spice World Minced Garlic!
  • 1 lb ground beef/chuck
  • 1 lb of penne noodles
  • 16 oz of large curd cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt & pepper to taste (not pictured)
  • 1 can Hunts Spaghetti Sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Paremesan cheese (optional & not pictured)

Directions:

Boil penne noodles as directed on box in a large stockpot.

Once fully cooked, drain and return to pot noodles originally were cooked in. I personally run cold water over my noodles while they are still in the strainer to stop the cooking process and then put them back in the original pot it was cooked in. I like my noodles to be al dente.

While the noodles are boiling add diced onions, minced garlic and ground beef to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat till meat is brown throughout. We are a garlic loving family! There are very few things we make in which garlic is not added. Our favorite ingredient in most dishes is the Spice World Minced Garlic! Squeeze the amount you need right into your recipe!

While waiting for the meat and noodles to cook, drain and rinse the cottage cheese in a strainer.

Place cottage cheese in a medium-sized bowl. Add the egg and salt and pepper to taste. Stir till well-combined and set aside. Drain grease from cooked brown beef/chuck if necessary once fully cooked.

Add cottage cheese mix and cook over medium heat until cottage cheese mix is heated throughout. The large curds will break down slightly but will keep their shape somewhat. If you use ricotta cheese versus cottage cheese in your lasagna, you certainly can use that in this step instead of the cottage cheese.

Add Hunts spaghetti sauce to the skillet of ground beef. A can of Hunts Spaghetti Sauce is typically around $1.00. Perfect price on our fixed income. They are packed full of flavor and what we always use in our Italian dishes!

Turn burner down to low-medium heat and cook until sauce is heated throughout.

Add spaghetti meat mix to the cooked noodles. Stir till well combined.

Add shredded mozzarella cheese and stir until cheese is well combined and melted throughout. It will get ooey-gooey and stringy…that is a really good thing!

Serve immediately with your favorite garlic bread! We buy fresh made bread from our local Sedalia Food Mart. We slice the loaf in half and slop on a good layer of butter/margarine. Sprinkle on garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Throw in the oven with the broiler on. Once the edges are deep golden in color, it’s done! Takes less than 5 minutes to make perfect garlic bread! Don’t forget to sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese!

Super delicious and both our 4-year-old and 16-year-old love it!

Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Roast

One of our easiest and most favorite of meals is our Pulled Pork Roast. You can turn it into pulled pork sandwiches by adding bar-b-q sauce or anything else you like. Sometimes we will spoon my hubby, Steve’s, East Carolina Barbecue Sauce over our pulled pork sandwiches. His sauce is tangy and fantastic! On the first day, we usually like the shredded pork just the way it comes out of the crockpot served over a heaping scoop of buttered mashed potatoes! The flavor of the roast is perfect straight out of the crockpot! Almost every week or every other week, our local grocery chains will have a boneless, skinless pork roast for around $1.79 a pound! Of course it is usually a 6-8 pound hunk of roast but my hubby slices it right up. He usually keeps a 1/3 of it as a roast. Then he splits the remainder in half. With one half he makes thick sliced pork chops (4 slices) and the other half, he makes thin sliced pork chops (8-10 slices). The thick sliced pork chops are great for our Creamy Ranch Crockpot Pork and the thin porkchops are perfect for Pancit Canton or Schnitzel. We can usually get 4-5 meals from one pork roast! This roast is so easy and packed with flavor! Buttery, moist pork seasoned with tasty seasoned salt. Yum, yum, yum!

Printable Recipe: Pulled Pork Roast

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pound boneless, skinless pork roast

  • 1 stick of butter/margarine

  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

Directions:

Sprinkle a good layer of Lawry’s seasoned salt on both the top and bottom of the pork. How much? Enough to coat but only create a thin layer (see photo below).

Place pork roast in the crockpot. Cut butter/margarine stick in half lengthwise. Place butter halves on the sides of the roast. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours. I like to turn my roast upside down initially. The fat melts down into yummy juices. Then I turn the roast right side up (the fat on the bottom) after 3-4 hours and what fat is left on the roast usually melts away. You know your roast is done when you do the fork test. Stick a fork in the middle and gently pull to one side. If the meat easily pulls apart/shreds, you are done! If your roast is fully cooked (145 degrees F) shredding it would literally be effortless. It should almost fall apart with just a little poke. You could always use a thermometer to ensure your roast is fully cooked. Remove the roast from juices. Shred the roast on a cutting board using 2 forks. Strain the juice left in the crockpot to remove any large chunks. Return the shredded pork to the crockpot full of juices to keep the pork moist. 

Serve pork warm. Spoon juices over pork on plate. I prefer my shredded pork roast over buttered mashed potatoes. Save leftovers by removing shredded pork from most of the juices (leave some in there to keep the pork moist). We almost always have enough leftover to make at least a second meal from our pork roast like pulled pork sandwiches!

Pulled pork sandwich with Steve’s East Carolina Barbecue Sauce! YUMMY!