Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creamy Carrot Soup

This soup starts out slightly sweet and then the ginger and spices get you. I don't like too spicy food - so it's palatable for most people - kids... mine eat it w a little sour cream to balance the spice.

Creamy Carrot Soup
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
4-1/2 cups sliced fresh carrots
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 c honey
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender. Add the carrots, potato, broth and ginger. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool for 15 minutes.
In a blender, cover and puree in batches. Return all to the pan; stir in the cream, honey, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through.

* I got this recipe from my Taste of Home cookbook - the only change I made was adding the honey.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Superfood Salad

I had this salad for lunch today and ooh la la was it good!! I found a bag of the first FIVE superfoods listed at my grocery store.

Superfood Salad
Broccoli Slaw
Brussels sprouts - shredded
Cabbage - shredded (purple or green - or both!)
Grape tomatoes
Cucumber - sliced or diced
Roasted pecans
Poppyseed Dressing

Add all ingredients, drizzle with poppyseed dressing and enjoy!!! Yummmmm.....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Creamy Tomato, Basil, Sausage & Tortellini Soup

We are going through a cold snap here - the weather is perfect for soup!! I love soup. Truly. Deeply. Faithfully.

I wanted something creamy but hearty - like nothing I've ever had before. So I came up with this...

Creamy Tomato, Basil, Sausage & Tortellini Soup
20 oz fresh tortellini (I chose 3 cheese Buitoni)
1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground sausage
1 qt. Half & Half
32 oz chicken stock
1 c flour
1 stick butter
1 1/2 - 2 c marinara sauce
28 oz diced tomatoes
2 T fresh basil (I am loving the herbs that come in a tube!)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Brown sausage in large stock pot. Set sausage aside in a different vessel (I just put it on a plate). In a separate pot - cook the pasta per the directions on the package. In that same pot you cooked the sausage in, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 5 minutes to slightly brown the mixture. Whisk in the broth. Increase the heat and cook and stir until thickened. Decrease the heat to low, stir in the half and half and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in the marinara sauce, tomatoes, basil, tortellini and sausage and cook until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

*This was so good - I'm tempted to make it again tonight!! YUMMMM.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Everything Else Is Gravy

We were out of town for Thanksgiving this year. After eating Thanksgiving dinner at someone else's house, my sweet 8 year old asked if I could make our traditional Thanksgiving feast for Christmas dinner, and our traditional Christmas dinner for New Years Eve. That girl is such a foodie!! I agreed.

This year, I perfected my gravy recipe - FINALLY!!! WAHOO!! My husband (who is a gravy connoisseur) even said it's the best gravy he's ever had.

I made THIS TURKEY - took the turkey out of the roasting pan to be carved and took advantage of all those delicious drippings.

You will need:
Chicken Stock
A whisk
Salt & Pepper
& your aromatics from inside your cooked turkey (refer again to this recipe)

In your roasting pan, add 2 T of flour and 1/4 c chicken stock - whisk together to incorporate. Continue adding flour and stock little by little constantly whisking to incorporate - concentrating on scraping those lovely bits off the bottom of the pan. When you have the desired amount of gravy, pour it into a stockpot. Add your aromatics and simmer to allow the aromatics to incorporate their yumminess into the gravy - about 15 - 20 minutes (while I'm getting everything else on the table, carving the turkey, etc.)

Set a strainer or collander with small holes over a bowl to strain the gravy. Use a spatula to press all the liquid out and there you have it!! Best. Gravy. Ever.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Man Pleasin' Stick To Your Bones Soup

I saw a pin on Pinterest that intrigued me. It was called "Cheeseburger Soup." Personally, I think that those 2 words should never go together. It brings up images of soggy buns and lettuce in soup?? I had ground beef that I needed to use so I took a look. After looking at the recipe, I changed so many components of the soup that I decided I could rename it - since after all - it really is a 'new soup' for me.

So, the Man Pleasin' Stick To Your Bones Soup was born.
2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion
1 - 2 c carrots, diced (amount = preference)
32 oz Ore Ida diced hash browns
32 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
6 c chicken broth/stock
1/3 c flour
4 T butter

1 1/2 - 2 c half and half (or milk)
Salt & pepper

Brown the beef in a large stock pot. Drain and set aside. In the same pan, add 1 T butter, onions and carrots and cook on med - med-high until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste. While the meat and veg are cooking, cook the hashbrowns according to package directions in a sautee pan.

Once the veg are sauteed, add the chicken stock, the cooked potatoes and the ground beef. Bring to a boil.

While that comes to a boil - make your roux. I used the same sautee pan that I cooked my potatoes in. Put 4 T butter and let it melt, then whisk in 1/3 c flour until combined. You'll have a thick light brown paste. Add the roux to the boiling soup and continue to boil for about 2 minutes. Then, lower the heat to low. Add cheese and half and half. Stir until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a few dashes of tabasco (trust me).

Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Yummmmm


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