Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cream of Broccoli Soup

I've started to crave soups so fall is definitely in the air!!  I have always been a huge fan of cream of broccoli soup, but have only made it with lots of cheese and little broccoli.  Well this time I used broccoli and even some of the stems.  It turned out delicious!  I couldn't stop with just one bowl!!
Cream of Broccoli Soup
from Allrecipes
5 Tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
8 cups broccoli
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons flour
Pepper to taste.

Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium high heat, then saute the onion and celery until tender.  Add broccoli and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the broccoli is tender about 10 minutes.

Working in batches, pour some of the soup into the blender, but do not fill it more than half way.  Hold down the lid with a folded kitchen towel, start blender , using a few quick pulses, to blend it up a bit.  Pour into a large bowl.

Over medium heat melt the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter, then add the flour and cook stirring constantly until is gets mixed together.  Gradually add the milk and cook until thick and bubbly while stirring constantly.  Pour the broccoli mixture in and stir to combine.  Season with pepper and garnish with a little shredded cheddar cheese.

*I actually cooked my one night, then stored it in the fridge.  Heated it up the next day.  I think this allowed the flavors to mix even more!
This is a definite keeper!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Patty Melts

Interesting fact that I had only heard about Patty Melts and had never actually tried one.  I had made the Potato Cheese Herb Bread and decided it was time to try this so called sandwich out.  Well verdict in....IT WAS AMAZING!! Fairly simple to put together, it was delicious and a HUGE hit with the family! I will be making these again and again!! 
Patty Melts
Made 6 medium size sandwiches
1 pound hamburger
1 medium onion, sliced
3-4 fresh mushrooms sliced (Optional)
2 Tablespoon butter
12 slices of bread
softened butter or butter spread
6 slices of cheese

In a skillet over medium heat melt butter and add the onions, mushrooms and a pinch of sugar (my grandma's trick), Saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally  It takes about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.

While onions are cooking form your hamburger in to patties to fit the size of your bread.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook patties in a separate skillet until they are cooked through.

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  On medium heat use a clean skillet.  Place the butter side of the bread facing the pan, add the slice of cheese, a bit of the onion mixture, the hambuger patty and the other slice of bread with the butter side facing out.  Grill until golden brown and then flip and toast the other side.  Cook until the cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

We then added some ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles to ours.
*Amounts of ingredient can vary depending on how many you want to make and how big your bread is.
The Potato Cheese Herb bread added fabulous flavor!
I can't believe it took me so long to make Patty Melts because they are awesome!
Actually craving one right now!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Potato Cheese Herb Bread

As you all know I am a huge fan of homemade bread.  This time I was in the mood for something a little different.  It turned out fabulous!  My whole family loved it.  The combination of flavors was delicious! The secret ingredient (potatoes) made it a moist and light bread.
Potato Cheese Herb Bread
(Makes approximately 3 loaves)
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 (4oz) package Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
5-6 cups flour
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese or your choice)

Add the water, yeast and sugar to the bowl.  Mix and allow to "proof" for about five minutes.  Start mixer and add poatoes,
olive oil, salt, and spices.  Mix and then add 3 cups flour.  Continue mixing and adding flour until the dough is formed and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. (I needed 6 cups).  Then add the cheese.  Mix until combined. Dough will be dense.
Cover and let rise in a greased bowl for about 30-45 minutes or until double in size.
Form in to loaves and place in greased pans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and when you tap on the top it sounds hollow.
(Mine took closer to 50 minutes)
When it comes out of the oven rub the top with butter.
Let cool a bit. Then slice and enjoy!
This barely made it out of the oven when my kids started devouring it!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tomato Bisque

I love tomato soup, the creamier the better.  So when I had a taste of tomato bisque I knew I had to try and recreate it.  It is amazing!!  Creamy and full of flavor.  It will make people think you slaved in your kitchen all day, but it is so simple to make.  It is almost better the next day when all the flavors have had time to mix a bit more. Even my picky eater LOVES this soup!! 
Tomato Bisque
(I usually double the recipe)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water
4 Teaspoons chicken bouillon or 4 cubes
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup carrots. diced
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon basil
3/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon dill weed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1-2 fresh tomatoes diced
1 cup cream or half and half
1/2 Tablespoon butter (Optional)\

Heat oil in a large saucepan.  Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic.  Saute for about 5 minutes or until softened just a bit.  Add water.  Stir in bouillon, basil, parsley, dill weed, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.   Let cool for a bit and then put the soup in blender.  Return to pan and add 1 cup cream or half and half and the freshly diced tomatoes. Season to taste if needed. Return to stove to heat just a bit  or store in the fridge and heat up when ready to serve. We serve with just a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
My new favorite soup.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Basil, Tomato Pasta with Avocado Sauce

WOW!! It has been awhile.  Life has truly been insane.  Moving, all the issues with the house, training for a huge race and no internet for awhile took a big toll on me.  Let's say cooking did not go high on the priority list.  The house is still not put together and I still have an endless supply of boxes to unpack, but thankfully I am taking it all in stride.  Life's to short!!
     As I mentioned above I have been training for something I never in the world would of ever thought I would do, but somehow next weekend I will be doing it and hopefully surviving.  It is a 180 mile relay race with 11 others.  A group of High School Alumni all over the age of 40.  I'm excited to spend the time with them, but also seriously scared of my abilities.
    This "race" influenced this next recipe.  I got it from a friend that I will be running with.  I love avocados, but was skeptical to how it would taste as a pasta sauce?  ........well verdict is It was AMAZING!!! It got raving reviews from the family.  The girl that hates avocados had 2 helpings.  I will be making it again and soon.

Basil, Tomato Pasta with Avocado Sauce

adapted from Runnersworld

2 chicken breasts cooked and diced

12 oz pasta (I used penne)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 avocados, halved and pitted
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender. Remove from heat and reserve 1 cup cooking water. Drain pasta, cover, and set aside. In a bowl, add tomatoes and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add oil and basil. Toss to coat. Set aside. Scoop avocado into empty pasta pot. Mash with a potato masher. Add garlic and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Whisk pasta water in, creating a light sauce. Mix in Parmesan cheese and pepper. Add pasta.chicken and tomato mixture and stir to coat. Top with additional Parmesan cheese (Optional).
Serve and Enjoy!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fried Cinnamon Apple Rings

NOTICE:  I am in the process of moving to a new house (finally one of my own!!) with an awesome kitchen!!(I can't wait to share it with you!)  So right now my cooking time is minimal therefore, I am so thankful that my cousin (an AMAZING cook) did this post and shared this incredible recipe with me!! 
What better way to celebrate Flag Day than with Delicious Fried Apple Rings~!
~Flag Day is also her birthday...HAPPY BIRTHDAY RHONDA!!
Fried Apple Rings
from Rhonda Shuck
3 large apples (any kind)
2 cups pancake mix
2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon and sugar mixed together

First we take the apples an peel and slice them. I use my handy dandy apple peeler slicer and it worked great.
This of course could be done by hand also.

Take  pancake mix and and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon & sugar mix and stir in. (the cinnamon and sugar mix is the one I use for sprinkling cinnamon toast)
Mix with enough water to make a thicker pancake batter.
Dip you apple rings in your batter, making sure all edges are covered.
Fry them until golden brown; turning once.
Enjoy plain or sprinkle with powdered sugar or make a light glaze with brown sugar and powered sugar.  
Brown Sugar glaze is powered sugar and brown sugar mixed together with a little water.
(This is Rhonda's favorite!)
Thank you Rhonda!!
and I'm off for a day of painting...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Almond Joy Chocolate Bundt Cake

I was looking for something a little different to take to a monthly work pot luck lunch.  I had found a box of Almond Joy flavored pudding at the grocery store and it inspired this recipe.  It turned out delicious and the mix in added a nice change from normal cake.
Almond Joy Chocolate Bundt Cake
1 box German Chocolate cake mix
Mix according to package directions.
Stir in:
1 cup sour cream
1 (3.5 oz) box pudding mix (I used Almond Joy flavored, coconut cream or chocolate will work too.) Add the dry mix to the batter.
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup almonds

Pour into a greased bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the cake bounces back when touched in the center.  I allow mine to cool in the pan just a few minutes before taking it out of the pan.
Now it is up to you..
You can add a little chocolate glaze to the top, sprinkle with some powdered sugar or do both.
You could even serve with vanilla ice cream!!


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