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!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Teacher Appreciation 2014 A Cute and Simple Gift

Once again I had to walk through the store to figure this one out.  People probably thought I was crazy as I wondered up and down the aisle trying to figure something out..and then all at once this is what I came up with!
We found this cute cup at Marshalls for $4. It even has the cute reusable ice cubes in the bottom.
My daughter layered the Starbursts by color.
We personalized it with a black Sharpie. Tied on the tag and it is ready to go!!
A huge thanks to all those that teach!! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ryan's Crock Pot Tortilla Soup

My brother made us this amazing soup awhile ago and I had been craving it.  Don't he other day when I was needing a Mexican dish for a pot luck at work I finally got the recipe from him. It is delicious and was a huge hit!
Ryan's Crock pot Tortilla Soup
1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
2(10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chili peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
(10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained.
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro 
lime juice, to taste. 
Mix ingredients in your crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Garnish with chips, sour cream, cheese, lime juice and avocado.
*I used frozen chicken tenders and shredded them once they were cooked and put them back in the soup.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mom's Manicotti

Years ago my Mom and I decided to try out making manicotti.  It was delicious.  Sad thing is we never wrote down the recipe.  So after a few tries and taste testers, I think I've finally got it pretty close.  This is a good one to make ahead of time and will freeze well.
Mom's Manicotti
1 (16 oz) carton Cottage Cheese
1 cup+ 1/2 cup shredded  Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.
1 teaspoon parsley
1 egg
1/2 pound cooked ground beef (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 slice of bread, broken into tiny pieces
8-10 Manicotti noodles
1 jar spaghetti or marinara sauce (My family's favorite in this dish is one with sausage.)

Cook noodles according to the package directions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together except the 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese and 1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese.
Stuff the cooked noodles with the mixture.
Pour a little of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a lightly greased  9x13 in pan. Just so it lightly covers the bottom.  Lay the stuffed shells in the dish.  Pour spaghetti sauce over top of them.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tablespoon of Parmesan over top and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remover the foil and bake for 10 minutes more or until hot,bubbly and the cheese is melted.



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