Jill Reick’s Cheese Chowder

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About 20 years ago when we were living in Lawler, Iowa, I bought the local church cook book.  Being a mom with a house full of hungry kids I was always looking for recipes that they would like but I would like too.  Sometimes, that isn’t easy.

I am a HUGE fan of soups and stews but that isn’t something kids typically like neither does Hubby for that matter.  He says they don’t fill him up.  One day I decided to give this recipe a try hoping the cheese would entice the kids to eat it…and the ham might make Hubby think it’s filling.

Cheesy-Chowder
Well…it was a hit and has forever been named “Jill Reicks” soup…it’s actually called “Cheese Chowder”.  Some of you might know Jill as the owner of Pine Needles Quilt Shop in Cedar Rapids.

Anyway…here’s the recipe.

3 medium potatoes diced
3 stalks of celery diced (we typically skip the celery)
1 medium onion chopped
4 carrots grated (I just slice mine)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 quart milk
1 pound Velveeta cubed
2 cups chopped ham (we use Turkey Ham)

Cook vegetables in 3 cups of chicken broth with pepper.  Don’t drain.  In a large sauce pan, melt the butter, then flour and milk making a white sauce.  Cook over medium heat stirring constantly.  Add Velveeta gradually stirring to melt the cheese.  Add this sauce to the cooked vegetables and ham.  Heat thoroughly but don’t boil.

I’ve made this so many times that I don’t use a recipe anymore…I have been know to “clean the refrigerator” when I make this soup.  That’s why you can see green beans included in the soup but not listed in the recipe.  If there are any vegetables left over in the refrigerator, I just throw them in the soup.

Like most soups, this is even better the next day.  Leftovers never go to waste…and that “Jill Reick’s” soup.

Unstuffed Cabbage

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The other day a friend of mine had a recipe posted on her Facebook wall.  It looked good so I decided to give it a try.  Well I didn’t have this…and didn’t have that so I basically ended up with a different dish.  It was so good and I don’t want to forget what I did to make it so I decided I’d write up the recipe and post it on the blog..that way I don’t forget AND you can try it too.  (if you’re judging on looks, I know it doesn’t look good.  Judging on taste…YUMMY especially if you’re a cabbage lover like me!)

UnstuffedCabbage
Hubby’s in the field now harvesting so I make all sorts of things he really doesn’t like to eat…I eat them for three days and make him something else.  My list of foods he doesn’t like include spaghetti, chow mein, soups and anything with cabbage.  That’s one of the reason I tried this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey (I only used one pound)
1 tablespoon oil (I omitted this)
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes (I didn’t have the diced tomatoes or the tomato sauce so I use salsa)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt (no salt for me!)
(Not original to the recipe, I added 1 cup of cooked rice)

Preparation:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.

Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

I loved it….I especially liked the salsa in there to spice it up.  I used my own homemade salsa so there is corn and peppers in there.  I will definitely be making this again.

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