Sunday, February 10, 2013

Corn Chowder

A warm bowl of Corn Chowder makes an easy quick meal to put a side dish with.  I changed this recipe when I was loosing weight to make it lower in fat.

Corn Chowder

1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
4 cups yellow corn
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk

In a medium size saucepan sauté onion in olive oil spray or cooking spray.  Add green pepper, corn, and seasonings. Cook about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and simmer 10 minutes. ln a blender or food processor puree half of the corn mixture.  Add pureed mixture back to to the pan and mix well. Add milk and heat until hot but do not let it boil.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quick and Healthy Chex Snack Mix

Need a healthy and easy snack for Game day or any day?
Try this easy and healthy Chex Mix Recipe.

Quick and Healthy Chex Snack Mix Recipe

4 cups Chex cereal, any flavor or combination of flavors, pretzels, nuts 
Olive Oil Spray
Seasoned Salt
Worcestershire Sauce

In a mixing bowl combine cereal and spray lightly with olive oil spray or Pam cooking spray.  Lightly sprinkle seasoned salt and lightly drop a few drops of Worcestershire Sauce.  Stir to combine.
In a toaster oven pour out 2 cups at a time into baking pan.  Set toaster oven on toast setting and about medium brownness.  watch it close so it does not burn.  After toasted put in a serving bowl and continue with the other 2 cups, or more.
If you do not have a toaster oven it can be done in the microwave.  Spread Chex mix out flat in a glass dish. Heat in microwave starting with one minute and add more time as needed.  Also watch this method close so it does not burn.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours, Cookingkaren

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Country Gravy Mix Recipe

Once you keep this mix handy in your pantry you will not need to buy gravy mix again.  It is easy and very economical.
Country Gravy Mix

1 cup flour
2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredient in a Ziploc bag.  Shake to combine.

To make gravy pour 1 cup water into small saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup dry gravy mix.
Bring to a boil under medium heat and stir until it is thickened to gravy consistency.
Enjoy easy gravy.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Easy Barbecue Chicken Breasts

This recipe very easy.  By the time you get a few vegetables ready this chicken will be ready to serve.  For a large family or company double the recipe.

4 frozen Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
1 cup Salsa
1 cup Barbecue Sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a freezer Ziploc bag add salsa, barbecue sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.  Zip bag and mush it a bit to mix.  Open bag and add chicken breasts.  At this point you can freeze it for a later date or leave it in the refrigerator to defrost and marinate for 24 hours.
To bake after defrosted; remove chicken from the bag and place in a baking dish.  Pour sauce over the top.  Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes uncovered.
They can be done in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Chicken Stuffing Casserole

This recipe makes a very easy main dish.  It is a favorite of my husband.  
I keep the individual chicken breasts in the freezer ready for a quick defrost in the microwave.  I even speed up the prep time by cooking the chicken in a Corningware dish.  Then you can add the other ingredients and it is ready to bake or microwave to finish it.

Chicken Stuffing Casserole

2  to 3 chicken breasts
1-10.5 ounce can low fat Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1-6 ounce box Chicken Stove Top Stuffing mix

Cube chicken breasts and cook in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray until tender and cooked completely.
Add mushroom soup and milk.  Stir until combined and bubbly.  Remove from heat.
In a medium size saucepan prepare stuffing mix as directed on box.
In a medium size glass casserole dish add chicken mixture and top with stuffing.
Bake at 350 degrease about 20 minutes until bubbly.  It can be microwaved for about 5 minutes instead of baking.
Serves 4 

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Today I had the fun of spending the whole day in my kitchen.  This kind of lengthy project I do usually once a year.  It was tamale making day for Christmas.
It is a New Mexican tradition that I learned a few years ago.
Making tamales is a labor of love.  It takes time but it is well worth it.

Cook red chile sauce and have it ready to cook your pork in.

Red chile sauce
2 cups water
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1-3 tablespoons red chile powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
In a medium saucepan whisk flour into water. Add remaining ingredients and whisk.  Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thick.

In a skillet sear 2-4 pounds of pork sirloin.  Add red sauce to meat.  Slow cook meat on low overnight or in pressure pan for about 30 minutes.  Once meat is cooked shred it with two forks and return it to the sauce.

While mixing masa soak corn husk in warm water.


2 cups dry masa
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
2 cups warm water

In a mixing bowl mix masa and salt.  Add oil and water and mix until all combined and about the consistency of peanut butter.  Add more water if it seems a bit dry.
It may be necessary to mix more masa depending on how much pork you cook.  I have learned it is easier to stir together if it is in smaller batches.

Dry off one side of corn husk with a towel or paper towel.  Hold corn husk in the palm of your hand with larger end in palm.  Take a soup spoon size of masa and spread it on corn husk about covering the palm size of your hand.  Lay it on counter and add 1-2 tablespoons of pork filling.  Roll corn husk together by grabbing free edge and making masa meet together and keep rolling all the way up.  Fold over small end of corn husk.

It takes practice to get a good roll with them but no matter what they will taste great.

Once they are all rolled it is time to steam them.
If you have a food steamer, lay them down flat and steam for 1-1/2 hours.
If you use a steamer pot on your stove lay them upright and steam them 1-1/2 hours.

Time to eat and enjoy your labor of love.
I make another batch of red chile sauce to smother the tamales with when I serve them.
They freeze very well and will keep in refrigerator for about a week.
I have used chicken breast instead of pork for a nice variation.
From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

French Onion Soup

As a teenager in cooking class I made French onion soup for the first time and enjoyed it.  Since then I revised it using wine to reduce the fat when sautéing the onions.  It makes a wonderful appetizer or compliments many meals well.

French Onion Soup

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup white or red wine, or cooking wine
4 cups beef broth or au jus 
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 slices french bread or any bread on hand
4 Tbsp grated mozzarella cheese

In a large saucepan sauté onions in wine under medium heat until slightly tender.  Add beef broth and worcestershire sauce.  Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until onions are tender.  

Toast bread under broiler or in toaster.
Serve soup in 4 ovenproof bowls.  Place toasted bread on top of soup and sprinkle with cheese.  Put under broiler until cheese is melted.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Biscochito Cookies

Living in New Mexico this cookie is a traditional Christmas treat.  They are very easy to make.  They also make a great cookie for a gift or cookie exchange.

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup brandy
1 tablespoon anise seed, ground
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Cream together butter, sugar, egg, brandy, anise seed, baking powder, and salt.  Add flour and stir by hand until dough is formed.
Roll dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutter or biscuit cutter and place on cookie sheet.
Mix together 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl.  Sprinkle on top of each cookie.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until just slightly browned.
If anise seed is whole put it in a food chopper.  I use the Magic Bullet with the small container.
These cookies are very easy if put in a cookie press instead of rolling and cutting dough.

Enjoy a New Mexican tradition.  
From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕


Friday, December 7, 2012



Starter Recipe:
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/y3 c. milk
1/2 t. yeast
Mix yeast in a bit of warm water to dissolve.  Add all ingredients to zip lock bag and mush to combine.
This is day 1 of your bread
Day 2: Mush the bag.
Day 3: Mush the bag.
Day 4: Mush the bag.
Day 5: Mush the bag.
Day 6: Add 1/3 c. flour, 1/3 c. sugar and 1/3 c. milk to bag and mush.
Day 7: Mush the bag.
Day 8: Mush the bag.
Day 9: Mush the bag.
Day 10:  This is baking day.
Pour starter into plastic bowl and add 1/3 c. sugar, 1/3 c. flour, and 1/3 c. milk.  You can bake it all up or give starter to friends or save one for yourself and start it as day 1 mush the bag.
Recipe to bake bread:
1 c. starter
3 eggs
1 c applesauce
½ c. milk
½ t. baking soda
1 c. sugar
½ t. vanilla
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
2 c. flour
2 small boxes of vanilla instant pudding mix
Grease 2 large loaf pans or 6 mini loaf pans.  Mix all ingredients together.  Add nuts, fruits, or chocolate chips as desired.  Substitute vanilla pudding for butterscotch, chocolate or any flavor.
Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
(I baked mini loaf pans at 400° for 30 minutes.)

Do not use any metal spoon or bowl for mixing.  If air gets in bag let it out.  It is normal if starter rises, bubbles, or ferments.  Do not refrigerate during the 10 days.  To hold batter longer it may be refrigerated a few days.
Variation ideas:
A vanilla variation is dust greased baking pans with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Add 2 t. cinnamon to batter.
Use chocolate pudding with butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips.
Use butterscotch pudding with chocolate chips.
Use pistachio pudding.
Use lemon pudding.
Use pumpkin instead of applesauce with vanilla pudding.
Use banana pudding and mashed bananas.
Use vanilla pudding and mashed bananas.
Use chopped apples with cinnamon recipe.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Friendship Soup

This soup mix makes a wonderful gift for Christmas.  I have given it many times and fix it for a nice warm meal in a bowl.  For small families you can half the recipe easily.

Friendship Soup
Layer in a quart jar:
1/2 cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dry minced onion
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning 
1/2 cup dry rice
In a sandwich bag:
1/2 cup dry macaroni 
1/4 cup quick cooking barley

In a quart jar layer ingredients and add on top sandwich bag of rice and barley.
Attach these cooking directions to jar:

Jar of soup mix
1 pound ground beef
12 cups water
1- 28 ounce can tomatoes

Remove from jar bag of macaroni and barley and set aside.
In a large pot or Dutch oven brown ground beef and drain.  Add water, tomatoes and soup mix.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover with a lid.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  Add macaroni and barley.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all is tender.
Makes 16 servings

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Best Bagels

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We look forward to a Sunday morning brunch with bagels. Fresh homemade bagels are extremely good.  The first thing my we noticed is they are tender and easier to bite into.
In less than 3 hours you and your family can be enjoying the best bagels.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water

Place all ingredients in bread maker and select dough cycle.
When dough is ready divide into 8 equal balls.  Press each ball in the center with your thumb to form hole and shape into bagel.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and let them rise about 10 minutes.
While they rise bring a large pot of water to boil and add 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Boil each bagel about 1 to 2 minutes per side and drain on a wire rack.

Bake on greased cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly browned.
If toppings are desired, before baking brush bagels with egg white and sprinkle with topping of choice.
If you do not have a bread maker:
Mix yeast, sugar, and salt in warm water and add flour.  Mix dough by hand to form together.  Knead about 5 minutes.  Place dough in a bowl with plastic wrap on top. Let rise about 1 hour in a warm place.
From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dutch Oven Chicken Meal

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Dutch Oven Chicken Meal

4 chicken breasts
4 medium potatoes
4 medium carrots
1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper
1-2 tablespoons Chicken rub seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Cube chicken breast.  Chop all vegetables.
Rub the inside of cast iron Dutch oven with olive oil.  Add chicken and vegetables.  Add chicken rub, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
For outside cooking:

Start enough charcoal in charcoal chimney to fill it 3/4.  After about 20 minutes the charcoal is ready to use.  Place 6 charcoals on foundation for Dutch oven.  Place dutch oven over charcoal.  Add about 12 to 15 charcoals on top of lid.  Cook about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Remote lid and serve.

Inside cooking:
Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake in cast iron Dutch oven or skillet with a lid for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Tetrazzini

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After a few days of enjoying left over turkey and all the trimmings try this wonderful recipe.  It gives left over turkey a different twist.  
I smoke our turkey and the smoked meat gives this recipe a great taste.
This recipe can also be done with chicken.

Turkey Tetrazzini

1-8 ounce package spaghetti noodles
2 cups shredded cooked turkey 
3 tablespoons olive oil
1- 8 ounce package sliced mushrooms 
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, green , red, or yellow, chopped
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 small can chopped green chile or 1/2 cup frozen chopped green chile
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions and drain.

In a medium skillet heat olive oil and sauté mushrooms, onion, and pepper until soft.
Mix flour into cold milk and add to skillet.  Cook with medium heat until it is slightly thickened.  Stir in green chile, salt and pepper.
In a large casserole dish sprayed with non stick spray add spaghetti noodles, sauce, and turkey.  Stir to combine.
Sprinkle cheese and bread crumbs on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. 

Wishing you and your loved ones Thanksgiving Blessings.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dutch Oven Sweet Potatoes

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Last night I did a trial of outside Dutch oven cooking sweet potatoes before doing it for Thanksgiving.

I have a 12 inch cast iron Dutch oven.  The camping Dutch oven sit up on small legs built in.  The legs allows for you to put charcoal under it.  It also has a lid with a small lip around it to hold back charcoal and ash.  In Dutch oven cooking you also place charcoal on top.

I laid down 2 bricks for my foundation and put 4 bricks up for side walls.  It is nice to have side protection if the wind is blowing.  
Fill a charcoal chimney 3/4 with charcoal and light newspaper at the bottom.  In about 20 minutes the charcoal will be ready to cook with.  A charcoal chimney is the easiest way to start charcoal.  Do not use charcoal starter fluid and do not use easy light charcoal.  They can burn too fast.  Basic plain charcoal is the best.

Wipe the inside of the Dutch oven with olive, canola, or cooking oil.  Wash and dry sweet potatoes.  Rub them with cooking oil and place them in the Dutch oven.  Put on lid and you are ready to cook.

With long tongs add about 6 to 8 charcoals on bottom of brick platform.  Set Dutch oven over them.  Add about 12 to 15 charcoals on top of lid spaced evenly. 

After an hour lift lid carefully with a long handle hook and check potatoes.  
Cook until the sweet potatoes are very soft.  
Remove lid and set it aside on a brick.  Lift Dutch oven off of charcoal.  
You are now ready to enjoy soft yummy sweet potatoes.
Regular potatoes can be cooked in the same manner.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Minestrone Soup

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On a cool evening how about an easy and filling soup to warm up with.  This recipe is easy and can be done with or without the beans.

Minestrone Soup

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1-26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce or homemade spaghetti sauce
  • 15 ounce can or 2 cups cooked beans of your choice
  • 1 cup macaroni pasta

Chop onion, carrots, and zucchini.
In a large saucepan cook onion, carrots, and zucchini in olive oil until slightly soft (about 5 to 10 minutes).
Add Italian seasoning, chicken broth, and spaghetti sauce, beans, and macaroni.
Bring to a boil and cook under medium to low heat until all vegetables are tender and macaroni is soft (about 20 minutes).

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Seafood Bisque

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Who says great soup has to come out of a can.  In a small amount of time you can make a wonderful flavorful bisque that is easy.

Seafood Bisque

2 cups cooked shrimp, lobster, or crab; or a mixture of all
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter, or Smart Balance Butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups 2%,1%, or skim milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco 
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

In a small nonstick pan simmer onion in 1/4 cup of the chicken broth for about 10 minutes.
In a medium size saucepan melt butter under medium heat and add flour. Whisk until it is smooth.  Add milk and chicken broth slowly and whisk until smooth.  Stir in seafood ,onion, salt, Tabasco and Old Bay Seasoning.  Turn burner down to low and cook until it is slightly thick.  Do not let it boil.  Remove from heat and enjoy.
It makes 2 large servings or 4 small servings.
I boil my seafood with old bay seasoning added to the water for extra flavor.
Extra Tabasco and old bay seasoning can be added to Bisque.
From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Brandied Fruitcake

This cake is wonderful for the holidays.  It takes 30 days ferment the fruit.  Now is a good time to get it started and you can bake before Christmas.  The mini loaf pan size make great gifts.  

Brandied Fruitcake
Day 1:
In a half gallon jar or bowl with lid add
2 1/2 cups sugar 
2-15 ounce cans sliced peaches in syrup, do not drain
Stir and set lid on but do not close lid all the way, it will start to ferment.  (Do not refrigerate)
Stir for 9 days.
Day 10:
Add 1-20 ounce can pineapple chunks in juice and stir.
Stir for 9 days.
Day 20:
Add 2- 9 ounce jars maraschino cherries in syrup and stir.
Stir for 9 days.
Day 30:
It is time to bake your cakes.
You now have enough fruit for 3 cakes.
For each cake use these ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fruit (drained but still juicy)
1 box white or yellow cake mix, dry
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans or nuts of your choice
In a mixing bowl stir together all ingredients.

Bake in bunt pan, angel food pan, 2 loaf pans, or about 6 mini loaf pans.

Spray pans with no stick spray and dust with flour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Mini loaf pans may not take as long to bake.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt is extremely easy to make and so much healthier.  After making yogurt you can add vanilla or any flavor of choice.  Any fresh, frozen, or canned fruit can be mixed in.


4 cups 2%,1%, or skim milk 
1/4 cup powder milk
3 tablespoons plain yogurt with active cultures

In a saucepan dissolve powder milk into milk.  Heat on stove with medium burner until it is steaming.  (Do not let it boil.)  Let it cool about 5 minutes.  Add yogurt and stir to dissolve.
Pour into a glass dish with a lid that will fit into an insulated cooler.  Glass jars also work well.  
Put glass dish into cooler and pour hot tap water into cooler to lid level of dish.  Put lid on cooler and let it sit for 6 to 12 hours.  Changing the hot water may be necessary to keep it warm.  A slow cooker set to warm can be used very easily also.

Your yogurt should be a bit firm to the touch with clear water on top.  Pour or spoon off the clear water and chill.  
You have just made fresh healthy yogurt for the first time.  Save enough for your next batch.  You can use yogurt from your batch to start a new one about 4 times.  It is necessary then to start with store bought yogurt again.  This way you keep enough live culture strong enough.

I did my batch overnight and changed the water right when I got up.  A few hours after changing the water it was ready.
I will be excited to hear yogurt stories.  It is very easy and forgiving.
From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Friday, November 2, 2012

Green Chile Chicken Rice Casserole

I have a request from a wonderful reader for more chicken recipes.  
I use a lot of chicken and turkey in my kitchen.  This recipe can be done with roasted chicken boned, skinned and chopped to save time.
I keep chicken breasts in the freezer for my main meat on hand.  Defrost and cook them in the pressure pan, or on the stove top in a bit of water and sprinkled with seasoning of choice.  I also grill chicken breast to use in recipes.

Green Chile Chicken Rice Casserole

  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped or shredded  
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 can low fat Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 small can green chilies (chopped), or 1/2 cup fresh or frozen (chopped)
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1 cup grated low fat cheese (Cheddar or Monterrey Jack)

Spray a large casserole dish with non stick spray.
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Pour into casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbly.  This casserole can be cooked in the microwave for 10 to 15 minutes.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No Bake Small Serving Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is great for a few people when a large batch is too much.  It is also quick since you do not have to bake it.

No Bake Small Serving Caramel Popcorn

1 bag plain or butter microwave popcorn
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or Smart Balance Butter
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Pop popcorn and pour into glass bowl.
In a small saucepan melt butter and add brown sugar and stir.  Bring to a boil under medium heat.  Boil 5 minutes.  Add baking soda and stir.  It will foam up.
Pour onto popcorn and stir to coat it.  Stir occasionally as it cools to keep it from clumping.  Add nuts to popcorn if desired before adding brown sugar mixture.  
After it is cool add any candy of choice if desired for variation.

From My Happy Kitchen To Yours ☕