Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

French Onion Tomato Soup July 6, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Side Dishes,Soups — lindsayrose @ 4:03 am

We just finished the bulk of our kitchen floors!  It was a project that took the entire long weekend, but is well worth it.  We love them!  Now we just have to re-build the energy to do the living room and hallway.  Then we’ll really  be done!

 

I needed to make a dinner that would be quick and easy since I knew we’d be finishing in the evening.  The stove has been in the hallway all weekend, so we haven’t had a real home cooked meal in days.  By the time we’d get the stove back in the kitchen, there wouldn’t be time for a big meal.  We decided grilled cheese and tomato soup would be quick and easy, as well as tasty.

 

Well, since I haven’t cooked in a few days, I was kind of in withdrawal.  I hopped on allrecipes.com to see if I could find a recipe for a homemade tomato soup that was still quick and easy… and tasty.   I found this one and I am so glad I did.  It was delicious!  The base is tomato juice, but the beef bouillon gives it a hint of a French onion-y flavor, along of course with all of the onions.  A touch of brown sugar adds the perfect sweetness, and the dash of red wine that I added brought a nice flavor.  Broiled with a piece of toasted French bread and some melted mozzarella and provolone, this was the perfect side dish for our grilled cheese sandwiches.

 

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Onion-Tomato-Soup/Detail.aspx?prop31=1

 

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup February 20, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Soups — lindsayrose @ 3:34 am

Oh my goodness, this was delicious.  I haven’t written in forever.  This is due to many reasons, one of which is that I just haven’t been all that inspired.  Life has been very hectic, so we haven’t been testing out as many new recipes.  The ones that we’ve had recently that seemed worth writing about were ones that I had already written about!  One of the great things about this blog is that I can easily go back and find recipes that we loved and make them again.

 

Tonight, I wanted to try something new, I was in the mood to cook!  I went to allrecipes.com and the recipe for Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup was the main recipe on the front page.  It had 5 stars with almost 500 reviews, so I figured it must be good.  The ingredients seemed simple enough and it sounded tasty.

 

Well, it wasn’t just tasty, it was super delicious.  I already can’t wait for lunch tomorrow so that I can fill up all over again on the leftovers.    Below is the recipe, in italics is what I did differently.  Many of these changes are ones that I read in the reviews for the recipe.

INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)

  • 4 cups chicken broth (I added 2 extra because I used a lot of chicken)
  • 2 cups water (I added an extra 3/4 cup to balance out the extra broth)
  • 2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded (We had a huge pack, so we used 3 large breasts, which I simmered in chicken broth to cook before shredding)
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) package quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet  (I used Uncle Bens 6 oz box)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream (I used 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup skim milk)
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth, water and chicken. Bring just to boiling, then stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.
  2. Saute garlic, onion, carrots and mushrooms until tender.  Add to broth mixture just before removing it from the heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux. Whisk in cream/milk mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
  4. Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Even though I added more liquid, I didn’t add more flour because it was thickened due to the extra vegetables.  While it was finishing cooking, I wasn’t sure it would be thick enough, but once I removed it from the heat and let it cool a bit it thickend up just perfectly.

This was fairly simple and well worth the little effort it did take. This was such a good soup, definitely going into my favorites!  We served it with a Caesar salad.

 

Catching Up January 30, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Desserts,Entrees,Life,Products,Soups,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 4:03 am

I am supposed to be doing work right now, but I am really not interested so I figured it would be a good time to catch up on my blog. 

 

We’ve had some very random meals lately.  Many were not at all bad, but just not really worth mentioning.  Here are some of the highlights (some good and some not so good).

  • Chicken Pot Pie.   I originally wrote about this recipe in this post.  I love this recipe.  The thyme is very tasty and the wine adds a very nice flavor.  I made this one day last week when we were stuck home in the snow.  I decided to switch it up in a few ways.  First, I made it in the crock pot.  I made up the sauce on the stovetop and poured it over 2 large chicken breasts in the crock pot.  I added carrots, celery and onions and cooked it on low for about 6 hours.  Once the chicken was cooked through, I removed it from the crock pot and shredded it up with a fork. While I was shredding, I added a cup of frozen peas to the sauce in the crock pot and let them heat through.  I mixed the chicken back in with the sauce and put it in an 8×8 baking dish.  Now – here comes the special trick that made it extra tasty –  a few Sunday’s ago, Ross made homemade biscuits for breakfast.  He makes awesome biscuits and I always beg him to make them for me.  I think this was the second time, so hey, I can count on them once every couple of years or so.  Anyway, he froze extra dough.  I thawed it out and rolled it into an 8×8 square.  I placed it on top of the chicken mixture and baked it at 350 for about 25 minutes.  It was awesome.  I don’t know his recipe for biscuits, but any recipe would work.  It is much tastier than a pie crust, I  promise you that!
  • Tonight, we had another crock pot meal (I’ve been on a crock pot roll lately).  I was in a hurry this morning, so I just put some chicken in there and poured Lawry’s Caribbean Jerk marinade over it.  It was horrible.  I hardly ate any.  It was the saltiest stuff ever, so salty that I couldn’t even taste any of the flavor of the sauce.  I will definitely never buy that again, or probably any Lawry’s marinade.  It was that bad. 
  • In addition to the chicken (thank goodness we had something else with it) we had a Southwestern Corn Chowder.  I didn’t make it; this one came in a box.  Yes, a box.  It was a V8 soup.  Who knew V8 made soups?  I don’t think I could force myself to drink a V8 juice, but soup I could try.  It was great!  As advertised on the box (looks like an overgrown juice box) there is a full serving of veggies inside.  That along with a great flavor and hearty, thick texture, you can’t go wrong!  Apparently there are several other flavors.  I want to try the Butternut Squash and the Garden Broccoli!

  •   I have one other random note, and I add this only  because Amy Burns of Amy’s Confection Company isn’t making cakes so much as her other sweet treats anymore.  After finding out that Amy couldn’t make my wedding cake, I went on a long and difficult search for someone to do the job.  We ended up going with Once in a Blue Moon Bakery in Cary.  I am pretty sure that other than “congratulations”, the comment I heard most on my wedding was “where did you get that amazing cake?”  Not only did it look beautiful, but it was the best tasting cake I have ever had (again, only saying this because I’ve never tasted one of Amy’s!).  I mention this because I just ordered another cake from there for a gathering I have this weekend.  I ordered the same flavor as my wedding cake, chocolate with hazelnut mousse and cream cheese frosting.  I can’t wait to eat it.  They are also super cool because you can place your order online if you do it 72 hours in advance.  If you ever need a great cake for a special event, I highly recommend them!  They also have a really cute little cafe where they offer breakfast treats,  lunches and other sweet treats.  Check them out!

This isn’t the best picture of our cake, but it was the most convenient one for me to put here. 

OK, now I am off to go do my work!  Yay for tomorrow being Friday!!!

 

Tomato Gorgonzola Soup January 24, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Family,Soups,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 4:46 am

My sister and I had this for dinner last night and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.  This may be my new favorite soup.  It was such a very tasty combination of flavors, easy to make, and fairly inexpensive (Kara bought it and made it for me, but I was there when she did it, so I can attest to the easiness of it, and she said it was cheap!).

 

I love cheese, so anything with cheese automatically sounds good to me.  I like Gorgonzola (tastes a lot like Blue Cheese) but I can only take it in small amounts and if it is mixed in with something.  This was the perfect  amount of cheese, and the flavor blended so well with the creamy cream cheese.  It was more subtle than I thought it would be, which was perfect. 

 

I also really loved the sweetness of the chopped red peppers and the fresh taste of the basil (the recipe calls for dried basil, but Kara bought fresh and it was wonderful).  The chunks of tomatoes were perfect for the texture.  Some reviews of the recipe said that people used and immersion blender, and you could, but it was thick and creamy without doing it.  Personally, I liked the chunkiness of it.

 

Here is the link to the recipe.  It is calculated to serve 4, but Kara and I finished off the whole pot. I would definitely double it.  We had it with a nice crusty loaf of bread and it was a heavenly meal.

 

Thank you to my wonderful sister for a delicious meal and the best company a girl can get.

 

Frugal Food January 19, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Entrees,Panini,Products,Soups,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 3:36 pm

Frugal is something that by nature, I am definitely not.  Especially when it comes to food.  When Ross and I got married, we knew that our biggest downfall is that neither of us is very good at all about spending money wisely.  We’re a little too “live in the moment” when it comes to spending!

 

However, there are a few major home improvement projects that we really  want to do, so we are trying to save money in order to complete them before we move out of this house.  We’ll see how it goes.  Unfortunately, food is the most logical area to cut back on.   After all, it’s easier to cut back on food than electricity or something, right? 

 

I think in part this is why I haven’t been blogging as much lately.  Our food just hasn’t been interesting enough to talk about.  I’m going to try to be more creative with our cheap groceries and get more interesting.  Food is one of my highlights each day; I look forward to dinner the second I finish lunch.  So, I want it to be exciting and fun and interesting, even if it is cheap.

 

There was chicken on a major sale at Lowe’s this past week and I bought a whole bunch.  I froze them in packs of 2 so that instead of making 1.5 lbs of chicken for just the 2 of us, I am making a more reasonable amount and saving the rest for another meal.  On Saturday, I took 2 chicken breasts and covered them with my favorite lemon garlic marinade from Wegman’s.  (I always bring a bunch of this back everytime I visit NY).  I let it cook for about 6 hours and then shredded the chicken with a fork.  We loaded ciabatta rolls with the shredded chicken, caramelized some red onions and sauteed some mushrooms and topped it all with a slice of Swiss.  We grilled these and ate them alongside a new and tasty soup. 

 

Campbell’s Select Harvest Caramelized French Onion Soup was wonderful.  It was close to some I’ve tasted at restaurants, and only required being heated in a pot.  It is lower in sodium than most French Onion soups, but didn’t taste like it was.  We threw a slice of cheese on top and let it melt and really enjoyed this with our sandwich.

 

Last night, I wanted to make homemade soup.  I have a recipe for one that we’ve only had once, but I remembered that we really liked it.  I cooked this up last night, and ended up tossing in the leftover shredded chicken from the night before.  2 chicken breasts fed 2 people for 2 meals!  I’m proud 🙂

 

Bean, Pasta and Pepper Soup

 

1 tablsespoon olive oil

2 large carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can black beans

1/2 cup uncooked diatalini pasta (I couldn’t find it so I used elbows)

1 can chicken broth (or veggie to make it vegetarian, and I used doulbe this amount)

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

 

Heat oil in a pot.  Add carrots, celery, onion, parsley and garlic, cook until tender.  Add tomatoes, beans, pasta and broth.  Heat to boil.  Cover and cook 15 minutes or until pasta is done.  Add peppers and vinegar, heat through.

 

That’s all!  It is quick, easy, cheap and has a wonderful flavor.

 

Ham Cheddar Chowder January 4, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Soups — lindsayrose @ 6:03 pm

Ooooooh, this was good.  I bought some ham the other day because it was a good deal.  I decided yesterday that it was a good day for a soup and figured I use the ham in it.  I looked all around the Internet to find a good recipe.  I wanted to notstart at allrecipes.com, because that is where I always go for my recipes and I figured I’d try something different.  Well, I couldn’t find anything that was just what I was looking for, so I ended up at allrecipes and found something great!  I guess I should just stick with what I already know I like. 

 

The recipe for Ham Cheddar Chowder sounded delicious and had great reviews.  I took some advice from one of the reviewers and made some of my own changes as well.  Here’s what I did.  The stuff in italics is what I added that the recipe didn’t call for.  I also changed some of the amounts.

 

4 cups water

4 cups peeled and diced white potatoes

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup celery

1 onion, diced

1 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspon dried thyme

6 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons flour

4 cups milk ( I used skim and it was still perfectly thick and creamy)

1 14.5 oz can chicken broth

2 jalapenos, seeded, ribbed and diced small (if you take out the seeds and ribs, they aren’t the least bit hot, just flavorful)

2 cups fully cooked, cubed ham

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

 

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, cover potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, salt and pepper with the 4 cups of water (or however much you need, it really doesn’t matter).  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Drain, set vegetables aside.

 

In the same pot, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour until smooth.  Slowly add milk, whisking as you add it.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 

 

**The original recipe says to remove it from the heat here, add the cheese and stir in veggies and ham, returning to heat until warmed through.  Most of the reviews said that the taste was better if you let the veggies simmer for awhile, so I strayed from the recipe a bit.

Add vegetable mixture, thyme, jalapenos and ham.  It was really thick for me at this point, so that is why I went ahead and added the can of chicken broth.  I was glad I did, it ended up a perfect consistency and had a great flavor.  Allow this to simmer (we left it for an hour or so).  Remove from heat and add cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted throughout.

SO good!  We had a spinach salad along with it and I was beyond full.  I am about to have it all over again for lunch!

 

Southwest Chicken and Corn Chowder November 21, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Soups — lindsayrose @ 3:19 pm

Last night for dinner we had a delicious, creamy, sweet and spicy soup made in the crock pot.  It was just perfect for a cold night.  This filled me up quickly, but would be great served with a light salad.

 

Stay warm!!!

 

1 can chicken broth

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch cubes

1 medium sweet red pepper

1 medium sweet green pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

2 8 oz cans cream style corn

2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup frozen corn

1 tsp cumin

1 dried cayenne pepper, minced (or 1 tsp crushed red pepper)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup evaporated skim milk

 

Combine broth, chicken, sweet peppers, onions, garlic, cream style corn, potatoes, frozen corn, cumin and cayenne in the crock pot.  cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 8-10 hours.

 

In a measuring cup, mix the cornstarch and milk until blended.  Pour into the chicken soup and cook until it is slightly thickened.