Friday, October 30, 2009

Caramelized Onion and Portobello Mushroom Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons


3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 pounds onions, halved, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

4 fresh thyme sprigs

1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms, stemmed, caps halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips

3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 cups canned vegetable broth

1 cup dry white wine

18 1-inch-thick slices French-bread baguette, toasted

8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large pot over high heat. Add onions and thyme; sauté until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until soft, about 12 minutes. Add Cognac and garlic; stir 20 seconds. Stir in onion mixture, then broth and wine. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until onions are very tender, about 45 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Season soup with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and chill. Bring to simmer before serving.
Preheat broiler. Place baguette slices on large baking sheet. Spread goat cheese on baguette slices, dividing equally. Broil goat cheese croutons until cheese begins to brown in spots, about 30 seconds. Divide soup among 6 bowls. Top with croutons and serve.
bon appetite 2006

the festivities begin...

Look at these cute little guys I made for my MOPS group Halloween party today! Iwish I could take the credit for thinking this up in my own noggin.. but I can not. I got this idea from a great website called Bright Ideas. Check it out sometime! Its full of all sorts of fun stuff!
Hope you have a great Halloween weekend!!
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Creamy Artichoke Soup

This is another recipe from Aubrey.. my favorite person in San Diego; who cooks amazing food and makes me fat. She posted this on her blog and I begged her for permission to post it on here. Looks amazing! She serves this with some warm, crusty bread. Enjoy!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 leeks, white part only, washed well and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small potato, peeled and chopped

1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

2 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish


Heat olive oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and the garlic and stir. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the artichokes, stock, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Using a handheld immersion blender, or in a blender in batches*, puree the soup. Add the 2 tablespoons mascarpone and blend again to combine. In a small bowl, stir the remaining 1/3 cup mascarpone to soften.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Dollop the top of each of the soups with a spoonful of the softened mascarpone cheese and top the cheese with chives.

* When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
recipe, courtesy Giada DeLaurientiis, Food Network

Monday, October 26, 2009


~I'm working on things I can make doubles of and then freeze one, to have 'back-ups' in my freezer. I'm thinking I would like to have some meals in there for those nights I have no idea what I am going to make, don't feel like making, or am going out on the town (it could happen!).
~So I have been searching websites - food blogs - anything that has a recipe listed. Wondering if I can adapt them to a 'frozen dinner'. Alas, because of a general dislike for casseroles, the hunt is not going well for me. And my husband is not a big fan of soup, another freezer friendly idea.
~I found a website that offers a menu for 15 dinner, 10-15 lunch and 10 breakfast iddeas. Again, the dinners are not working much for our family, but I did like some of the lunch and breakfast items.
~I thought I would post some of the recipes I did like, as well as publish the web site for the rest, in case your families are not as finicky as mine!
~Start looking for a new category labeled 'FREEZE IT:', as well as more breakfast and lunch ideas.
On the list this week are:
Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Baked Oatmeal (pumpkin pie!)
Cranberry Crumb Bars (made 'em, ate 'em... gone!)
Egg Sandwiches
Pop Tarts
Bacon & Potato Pancakes
Pizza Muffins
Taquitos (Rolled Tacos to all you Californians!)
Fruit Cups
~Here's the website I found for the once a month meal plan: OAMM ~ Once A Month Mom

Sunday, October 25, 2009

menu #17

Monday: Boneless Pork Chops & Roasted Yam Fries

Tuesday: Fajita's
black beans
spanish rice

Wednesday: BLT Pasta with Turkey Tenderloins

Thursday: Sloppy Joe Sliders
homemade potato chips

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lemon Chicken Soup

It got down to a bone chilling 64 degrees here in California yesterday, ha! Coming from Colorado I have to laugh at the weather forecast here. Today we are having a "Serious Weather Warning, in fact it was even broadcast during the first 5 minutes of the Today show. It's raining and the wind is blowing, scary!
Anyway- I woke up yesterday craving soup and sniffling from a cold we are trying to fight off.. so here is what I made for dinner. Play with the lemon's in this recipe if you aren't sure you like a strong lemon flavor. I do, and so I used 2 lemons in mine and added a slice on top. but I'm just wierd.

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbs Olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 dried bay leaf
1 (2-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind, optional * I used a handful of shredded parm cheese
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup minced onion
1 cup small pasta. I used whole wheat pasta circles
2 cups diced cooked rotisserie chicken, preferably breast meat
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt
Black Pepper

In a large stockpot, saute in 1 Tbs olive oil- carrots, celery, onion and bay leaf. Stir and saute until onions turn transparent and veggies start to get tender.
Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and parmesan rind, if using, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down and let simmer for 8 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is tender, for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken and heat through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and the parmesan rind and discard. Stir in 1/2 of the cheese and the parsley. Season with salt, to taste. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
adapted from a Giada DeLaurientiis recipe, Food Network

Monday, October 12, 2009

menu #16

Monday: Adobo Marinated Chicken Quesadilla
Black Beans
Spanish Rice

Tuesday: Black Bean Soup with Crab & Kielbasa Sausage
Brown Rice

Wednesday: Zuni's Roasted Chicken
Mashed Potatoes

Thursday: Boneless Pork Chops & Roasted Yam Fries

Friday: Jerk Chicken
Cilantro-Pineapple Rice

Friday, October 9, 2009

Black Bean Soup with Crab & Kielbasa Sausage

I love to make this soup - it's the only soup my husband will eat!

Last year, when Hurricane Ike visited us, we had this great idea (haha!) to weather it out, stay home and just see what happens. Well, it was ok - the kids slept a bit, i slept nothing, and my husband was asleep on the couch 3 hours before it even approached our West Houston home. I bought a few things to have on hand. You know, water, diet coke, chips, just the essentials. I did, however have the where-with-all to make this soup a few days before. I bought double ingredients, to perhaps share with others. I made the rice, too, and we stored it in the fridge, thinking we could heat it up in those days following the hurricane.
Let me tell you, this soup was the best part of the whole ordeal! In the middle of electricity-free, candle-lit, air conditioning-free, and humidity-laden air, our family was able to heat this soup up on the stove (we had gas still and just struck a match to light it!) and had some resemblance of a 'normal' day!
I had this vision of us serving the meal to all of our neighbors and them being so grateful! Well, we did share it, to A neighbor, and THE neighbor was grateful, we just had a lot left over and without refrigeration - the soup went bad soon after. It's the thought, right??

ANND - it's a slow-cooker recipe, what else could be better?

The Ingredients:
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained
3 cups chicken stock
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 lb kielbasa sausage, cut in half length-wise, then sliced in 1/2 in thickness
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 T ground cumin
2 bay leaves
Salt & Pepper

The Garnishments:
2 cups lump crabmeat, picked for shells and cartilage
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

The Side/Serve-Along-With:
Brown Rice (Make sure you factor in the 45 min it takes to cook the brown rice!)

The Method:
In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients from black beans through S & P -- Mix well. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Spoon brown rice into a bowl, then ladle soup over rice and garnish with crab and cilantro.

adapted from a Robin Miller recipe

Sunday, October 4, 2009

menu #15

Monday: Lasagna (didn't make it last week)
garlic bread
green salad

Tuesday: Cinnamon Spiced Pork Chop
mashed potatoes
green beans

Wednesday: Steak, Cauliflower and Breadcrumbs

Thursday: Grilled Chicken
Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto