Thursday, March 24, 2011

I love my full time job!

The past few weeks things have been so busy around these parts. We've had company, I'm prepping for a ladies event at church, bible studies have been wrapping up and new ones beginning. Life is just FULL, very full! And there are no complaints, really, other then the fact that I'm very tired. But, I'm learning that a very tired body means lots of good things were accomplished. :)

I've been thinking about my job here at home. One title that encompasses so many parts - Homemaker. I'm the homemaker. I clean, organize, shop for food, raise a daughter, teach that daughter, cook and entertain. And much more. It still always surprises me when I chat with women who work outside of home - who don't understand what "we do all day." Of course not in an "I'm offended you think that" way, but, just... how different life is for those of us who do stay home. Mindset and all. I'm so thankful for this gift of time at home. I'm so thankful for my full time job!

I've been on a cooking spree - in hopes of preparing delicious, home made, meals for my family. I love it when Brad comes home from work and says, "Smells good in here". It's a good feeling. I love watching my daughter munch down at dinner time - and says, "tastes good" in her own 2 yr old way. :) And the last few weeks we've had a few things that are share-worthy, so I'm thinking I'll share. Cooking seems to be my hobby. I'm not super crafty. I don't write novels or make blankets or take amazing pictures. But, I cook. I enjoy it. No, I love it. It's my expression of love to my family - something I'm good at.

Today I'll share recipes for: Beef Vegetable Soup, Tortellini and Ham, and Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake. Enjoy!

Beef Vegetable Soup
From Taste of Home/ Quick Cooking

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1-1/4 cups frozen corn, thawed
1-1/4 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon molasses

1) In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Yield: 4 servings.
*This recipe is so super easy and the soy sauce & molasses really gives it a different kick! I serve this soup with crescent rolls or homemade bread. {double's easily}
Tortellini and Ham
From Taste of Home/ Quick Cooking

1 package (19 ounces) frozen cheese tortellini
1 cup frozen pepper strips, thawed
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/4 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1) Cook tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute pepper strips in butter until crisp-tender. Add ham and garlic; saute 1 minute longer.
2) Combine the cornstarch, broth, basil, parsley and pepper; stir into pepper mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
3) Add 2 tablespoons cheese. Drain tortellini; toss with ham mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Yield: 4 servings.
*My hubs told me this one tastes like something you'd buy at Olive Garden :) How's that for a compliment? And, using a few convenience items... it's quick and easy! Don't skimp on the parm cheese - shredded really is better then grated for this recipe!
Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake
From Taste of Home/Quick cooking

2 packages (6 ounces each) reduced-sodium stuffing mix
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
8 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 pound sliced deli ham, cut into 1-inch strips
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1) Prepare stuffing mixes according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine soup and milk; set aside.
2) Divide chicken between two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Sprinkle with pepper. Layer with ham, Swiss cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, soup mixture and stuffing. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.
3) Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
4) To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
*Ick! We do not like Swiss cheese in this family - so I used Muenster, instead. :) And, you can half this recipe if you don't want to freeze one, which, is what we did. Not a lot a freezer space here.
There you have it! Some delicious, easy to make, meals that you can use to be a blessing to your family. :) I love this job!


Julie Anne said...

great recipes... might have to try the first two! I have a chicken cordon bleu recipe that I make in the crockpot! Love it... (and we love swiss cheese in this house!)

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing the recipes! But I have to admit, I can't stop giggling at the picture you posted at the top! :)