Eat at Bett's

Our Passion for Food came from our Mom

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Quick Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe started with Angela (not sure where she got it). It became Nena’s favorite and ours too! The best thing about this recipe is how it uses what you have leftover in the pantry. Use up wilty veggies and those small bits of pasta that accumulate in the cupboard. I love to make this with rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, but you can use up any chicken breast

ingredients:
8 cups of chicken stock (or water plus bouillon)
1-2 onions
1-2 cloves garlic
2-4 carrots
2-4 celery stalks
3 bay leaves
parsley, poultry seasoning, Frankenmuth seasoning (if you can get it!)
1 can cream of celery soup
precooked diced chicken breast
noodles
Bring stock to a boil and add all the veggies cut up to desired size. Add bay leaves and season to taste. Add celery soup and chicken. Cook pasta to desired firmness. Fill bowls with pasta and ladle soup on top and enjoy!

Mom’s Coconut Cherry Bars

This cookie recipe was a favorite of mom’s, she would make them every Christmas. Phil, this is for you!

Coconut Cherry Bars

Ingredients:
Crust~
2 cups flour
1 cup butter
6 Tbls. confectioners sugar

Filling~
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
1 cup coconut
1 cup green maraschino cherries, quartered
1 cup red maraschino cherries, quartered

Instructions:
Mix flour, butter and confectioners sugar with hands and spread in a cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. In a bowl, beat eggs. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour evenly over cooked crust. Bake about 25 minutes until golden brown all over. Cool before cutting into squares.

Fluffy Pumpkin Dessert

We belong to a small group that meets every Friday evening. Because there are four couples, we each take turns bringing a dessert to share once a month. This past Friday, one of the woman made this Pumpkin Dessert and boy was it a hit. It is very light, and because the crust is made with gingersnaps, it has a nice autumny spice taste. Thanks Sue, for sharing your recipe with us.

Fluffy Pumpkin Dessert

Crust
2 1/2c. finely crushed gingersnaps (about 40 cookies)
1/2 c. butter or margarine melted

Cheese Layer
1 8oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. confectioners sugar
2 T. milk

Topping
3 cups cold whole milk
2 pkg. 3.4 oz instant vanilla pudding
1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin (not pie filling)
2 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
2 cups whipped topping (cool whip)

Combine gingersnap crumbs and butter; press into an ungreased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake 10 min. Cool. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners sugar and milk till fluffy. Spread over cooled crust. In another bowl, beat milk and pudding; mix for one minute (I use a wire whisk to avoid the splattering out of the bowl that tends to happen with an electric mixer). Add pumpkin and pie spice; beat until well blended. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with additional whipped cream if desired.

Pretend PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps


Okay, so I was craving PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. Whenever we go to PF Chang’s (which is not very often in this economy) we always get the Lettuce Wraps appetizer. Now, lucky for us, we usually have a coupon to use, YAY! Well, yesterday I had the craving again, but knew that we were not going to go anytime soon. My friend Jan was coming by to play cards (the guys were getting together with an old friend) and I asked her if she wanted to come to dinner. She laughingly asked what I was having and when I told her my thoughts, she quickly agreed to come and bring the egg rolls.

I looked online for a comparable recipe and finally found one that sounded like it would work. When Jan got here we commenced with the experimentation. What resulted was pretty good, not quite the same as Chang’s but very close, and I might add, very good.

So here it goes:

Pouring Sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons catsup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot water
1 tablespoon Dijon or hot mustard
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Chicken Stir-fry:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 1/2″
1 – 8oz. can sliced water chestnuts minced to the size of corn kernels
1/2 cup mushrooms, minced to the size of corn kernels (I use shitake mushrooms)
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce or nappa cabbage

Stir-fry sauce:
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Begin by making the pouring sauce. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, then add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, catsup, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and throw in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

Combine 1 teaspoon hot water with mustard and garlic and set this aside in small bowl.

Combine oils and add to wok or large frying pan. Heat oil over high heat until it glistens, about one minute. Add chicken and saute until cooked through, then remove from the pan and cool. Keep oil in the pan, keeping it hot over a low flame.

Prep the stir fry sauce by mixing soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.

Take the pan that you cooked the chicken in (with the still warming oil) and turn it up to medium-high heat (be careful because if too hot, the oils will begin to smoke). Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, wait one minute, and then add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms and the stir-fry sauce you prepared earlier. Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms have cooked, about four minutes, and remove to a serving dish.

Add mustard/garlic mixture to the pouring sauce, 1/2 teaspoon at a time to taste. Serve stir-fry with iceberg leaf wraps and top with pouring sauce.

I found that I needed to double the stir-fry sauce (maybe because I had three small chicken breasts) and add chopped green onions after you finish cooking the chicken and mushroom
mixture.

Carrot Cake

My niece Emma and I made a fantastic carrot cake recipe. This cake was very dense and moist (almost pudding like) and so full of flavor. We made three layers instead of two and it worked well. I loved the cream cheese frosting, but have to admit that it didn’t cover the whole cake. If you choose to make this frosting, please consider doubling the recipe. I am embarrassed to say that I found this recipe at a blog I was visiting, but for whatever reason, my computer didn’t save the site in favorites for me. So if this is your recipe, I apologize for not giving you the credit you deserve.

Ingredients

1 pound grated carrots
4 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
(I added 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with 48 regular cupcake papers or oil and parchment two 9″ cake pans.

Mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, brown sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, beat well. Add the grated carrots (I grated them pretty fine), coconut and raisins.

Pour the batter into prepared pans or scoop into cupcake papers (fill 3/4 full).

Bake cupcakes for 18-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Bake 9″ cakes for about 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (I had to leave the cake in five extra minutes)


Let cakes cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Beat together until light and fluffy.

Using the spatula, spread the frosting and create swirls on the cake. If you would like, you can lightly press coconut onto to sides and top. We chose to pipe little carrots with some of the frosting that had been tinted with food coloring.

Introducing Emma

Hello! My name is Emma. I am 10 Years old. I am going into 5th grade. I am visiting my aunt in MI, but I originally live in NC.

Aunt Gina & I are Doing some baking & cooking out of “Paula Deen’s my first cookbook” .

Lats night We Made Stuffed Shells & Here’s the recipe;

Stuffed Shells

What you need

Large Pot~ Colander~Measuring Spoons~ Dry Measuring Cup~ Medium Bowl~ Wooden Spoon~ 13 By 9-inch Glass Baking Dish~ Rubber Spatula~ Teaspoon~ & cooking spray:]

Ingredients

1 Teaspoon of Salt, Large Shell Noddles, 1 pound of cottage cheese, 1 Cup of grated parmesan Cheese, 2 Cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce, & 2 cups of grated mozzarella Cheese:}

What you’ll do
Turn on the oven to 350 degrees. Fill the pot three fourths full of water and add the salt. Put it on the cooktop and turn on the heat to high.
When the water is boiling hard, add the noodles and
cook until they are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Have an adult drain the noodles for you in a colander in the sink. Let them cool for 20 minutes, until they are cool to the touch.
In the bowl, combine the cottage cheese and Parmesan, stirring well with the wooden spoon.
Spray the inside of the baking dish with the
cooking spray. Pour a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish and spread it out with the rubber spatula. With the teaspoon, place a heaping spoonful of the cheese mixture into each shell. Place the shells side by side on the sauce in the dish. If there is more cottage cheese left, use the teaspoon to drop the cheese onto the shells. Cover with the rest of the sauce, spreading it with the spatula. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly on top of the sauce.
Put the baking dish in the oven. Bake it for about 25 minutes, until the mozzarella is bubbly and brown. Have an adult helper take it out of the oven with the oven mitts or hot pads, and let the shells cool for a few minutes before serving.

Here’s What It Should End Up looking like!!!

Thanks For Makin’ It with me

Note:
Emma and I had so much fun making this recipe, I wanted to let you know that we added a few more ingredients to the filling. 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 beaten egg and some salt and pepper.

Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry

I saw Ina Garten’s show recently on the Food Network channel and she was making appetizers. They all look so good! Anyway, I am going to a friend’s house next friday and I am bringing several appetizers and snacks to have while playing cards. Last night I decided to try the Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry, it is really simple to make and very tasty. I am definately bringing this one. I sliced the cheese in the food processor with the slicing blade, and then layered it over the ham. BTW, I use a little more ham than what the recipe called for.

Ingredients:
1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (I used Pepperidge Farm)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 pound good ham, sliced
1/2 pound Swiss Gruyere cheese, sliced
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and carefully roll it out to approximately 10 by 12 inches. Place it on a sheet pan and spread the center with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Place a layer first of ham and then cheese, also leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.
Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured board and roll it out to 10 by 12inches. Place the second sheet on top of the filled pastry, lining up the edges. Cut the edges straight with a small, sharp knife and press together lightly. Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve hot or warm.

Apple and Pear Crisp

My daughter was in the area for work this week and stopped by to spend the night with us. She came in loaded down with gifts from Trader Joe’s. We do not have a Trader Joe’s close by, so it is a real treat to have some their items in our house. She brought in some beautiful pears, but unfortunately they were ripening quicker than we could eat. Because it was pretty cool out yesterday, I decided to make an Apple and Pear Crisp to use up these delicious pears. This recipe is from Ina Garten and is so good and comforting and flavorful.

Ingredients
2 pounds ripe pears (about 4)
2 pounds firm apples (I used a few Granny Smiths that I had on hand, but the recipe calls for Macoun apples)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
For the topping
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) could unsalted butter, diced
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel, core and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. (I sliced them thinly). Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 13 baking dish.
For the topping
Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. (I used the food processor). Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

I added a handful of dried cranberries to the apples and pears, it was delicious.

Fun with kabobs

It’s warm outside so that means grilling.  I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t actually create a recipe for the kabobs, I used Lowry’s carribbean jerk marinade.  I marinaded chicken fillets for about 3 hours then cut them up in cubes and skewered them with green peppers, red onion, baby portabello mushrooms, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, and carrots.  The carrots did not skewer well but tasted fabulously grilled.  I served it with white rice.  Yummy!

Summery Beef Soup

My sister and brother-in-law, Angela and David, joined the local CSA.  I have no idea what that actually stands for, but it is a produce club.  Every week we get a box filled with just-picked veggies and herb, a bouquet of flowers, and anything else the woman feels like throwing in there.  It is kind of funny when you open up our refrigerator and are literally attacked by the mountain of greenery that won’t fit in the crisper.  (If you looked a little closer you would also notice that there is nothing else in their besides a mostly gone gallon of organic skim milk.)  I also must tell you that we have no idea how to cook these veggies (it’s not quite cucumber, zucchini, and tomato season yet).  So I made this fun soup to cook some of the veggies.  It cooks super fast with these small, new veggies (store bought veggies are much bigger so you’ll have to eyeball the amounts) and I left it without any thickener to keep it light.  We had it with some garlic bread and a tiny bit of grated parmesan cheese.

Summery Beef Soup
10 cups of beef broth
1 pound beef stew chunks
1 onion (I left these as rings for fun)
3 cloves garlic
5 bay leaves (okay, I love bay leaves)
a bunch of baby turnips (peeled and chunked)
a bunch of smallish carrots (peeled and sliced into rounds)
the greens of 2 leeks plus the bulb of 1 leek (sliced into rounds)
a couple of splashes of worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hoisin sauce (this is a yummy asian sauce used in Pho, a Thai soup)
salt and pepper
Heat the broth, add onion, garlic, and bay leaves, add beef, while they are cooking, cut up the other veggies, then add worchestershire, hoisin and seasoning, let cook until everything is soft and beef is cooked throughout.  Serve over egg noodles.  

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