The Odessa Record -

Trout cassarole, blonde brownies & Flylady soup

Series: Welcome to my Kitchen | Story 10

Soup is a good choice for feeding a crowd any time of year, especially when made in a slow-cooker. The ease of putting everything in the crock early in the day, makes hospitality and meal time entertaining stress free. is a website and blog I follow. The tips for easy cleaning and household organization are useful, and recipes for hearty meals on a budget are some of the best offered. Flylady Crockpot Soup is designed to be made from ingredients on hand, so is adjustable to what is in your pantry or to your families taste. It is a light but filling soup, in which you can incorporate any fresh produce item.

Flylady Crockpot Soup

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced Tbsp olive oil

2-3 large carrots, peeled and sliced

2-3 stalks celery, trimmed and sliced

1 turnip, peeled and diced, (optional)

2 cups cut green beans, fresh or frozen, or 2 cans

(15 ounces each) cut green beans

6 cups chicken broth

1/4 large head of cabbage, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Bay leaf (optional)

Optional Additions:

1 can (15 ounces) black or red beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) kernel corn, drained

1/2 cup dry barley

2 cups diced potatoes

Diced cooked meat of your choice

Additional seasonings:

In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large slow-cooker and cook on high 6 hours or low 8 hours. Yield: 10 to 12 large servings.

Note: When I want to hurry this soup along, but still use the slow-cooker, once the onion and garlic is sautéed, I add the celery, carrots and cabbage to the skillet, reduce heat, cover and “sweat” the mixture to slightly soften. Also, if you prefer, beef or vegetable broth may be used.

As I noted on the Welcome to My Kitchen Facebook page, Avocado Ranch Dressing is currently a popular topic in recipe blogs. I tried several recipes but none seemed to do justice to the avocado nor improved or enhanced the ranch flavors. After many experiments, I have come up with a combination appealing to me. When you try it, please share your opinion with your fellow readers. I believe lime juice is the key to distinct flavors in this recipe.

Avocado Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

3/4 cup mashed avocado

1 tsp crushed parsley flakes

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced or 1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp fine ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to develop. Serve with cut fresh vegetables and crisp crackers or chips, or use as a salad dressing. Yield: 1 1/2 cups dressing.

Note: Avocado tends to turn brown quickly. Fortunately, this recipe is easy to cut in half. Use a small avocado or half of a large one and half of the remaining ingredients.

Bev Scherr brought Blonde Brownie to a recent coffee hour. These bars boast the right blend of chewiness in a crispy crust, with just a bit of chocolate. Toffee Bits make them elegant enough for a formal tea. No matter the occasion, they are sure to disappear quickly.

Blonde Brownies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup Brickle Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees for a metal pan, or 325 degrees for a glass pan. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan. Spray with non-stick baking spray and set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir brown sugar, eggs and vanilla into melted butter. Add flour mixture and mix well.

Stir in chips and toffee bits, saving a bit to sprinkle on top. Spread mixture in prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserves bits. Bake 25 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted 2-3 inches from the edge.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely in the pan. Cut into bars to serve.

Bev notes: Semi-sweet chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips could be used in place of the recommended choices. Additional, foil maybe used in place of parchment paper (my experience is it is not as easy to remove).

This time of year, cooks begin thinking about clearing the home freezer to accommodate the new seasons fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have a fisherman in the family, you are bound to find a trout hidden there. It hasn’t been there long enough to pronounce it freezer burned and throw it out guilt free. Cheesy Rice and Trout Casserole might be your solution. This is my variation of Trout Casserole, found on

Cheesy Rice and Trout Casserole

2 cups boned and skinned, poached trout meat

1 can (14 3/4 ounces) condensed cheese soup

1 1/2 soup cans water.

1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 1/2 cups dry instant rice

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated cheese

In a large sauce pan heat soup and water. Add green pepper and onion. Continue heating until mixture comes to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Break trout into small pieces in a casserole dish. Cover with the instant rice. Pour soup mixture evenly over rice, and stir gently. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges if desired. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Share your favorite recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159 email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Water gardens and flower beds in the cool of early morning or late evening for best economy of water usage.


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