Friday, September 27, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I really love soup - yes I do. One of the things I get really excited about when the weather gets even the slightest bit cold is that it is once again soup season.

I have many, many favorite soups - but I've never made broccoli cheese - and why in the world not?? Well, I'm not sure - but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will make this again, and again and again. I got this recipe from the Velveeta box and changed it only slightly to suit me. Okay, I'll be honest - I added TWICE the amount of cheese than the recipe calls for. Well, because I freakin' love cheese AND because I didn't like the consistency of their recipe. I also used the immersion blender - which isn't called for in their recipe either. It turned out PERFECT - best Broccoli Cheese soup I've ever had in my entire life. All 4 of my kids gobbled it up.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
3 T butter
1 yellow onion, diced
2 T flour
1 c milk
2 c chicken stock
16 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
10 oz frozen broccoli
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in stock pot over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until tender about 3- 5 minutes. Add flour and whisk until incorporated. Add milk and chicken stock and heat until warmed through. Add half the Velveeta and the broccoli. Whisking constantly until the Velveeta has melted. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until there are no more big chunks of broccoli. Add the remaining Velveeta. Turn to low heat and cover for about 15 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so.

Serve with sour dough bread and grated cheddar on top!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Veggie Yakisoba

I've seen a lot of "pins" on Yakisoba on pinterest lately and I was curious. It looks like ramen noodles with veg to me - so I looked it up. Curious.

Then I thought - like every family in America (whether or not you admit it) that I have ramen in my pantry and I just happened to have a package of cole slaw - sans dressing in the fridge. I also had teriyaki sauce on hand - brilliant and ridiculously easy.
Veggie Yakisoba
3 packages ramen noodle soup (minus the seasoning packet)
1 bag prepared coleslaw mix (green and purple cabbage and shredded carrots)
Fav teriyaki sauce
1/2 onion, diced
Sunflower seeds for extra crunch

Cook ramen noodles per directions - don't use seasoning packets.

In a large pan, sautee onion in a little butter until soft and sweet. Add coleslaw mix and teriyaki sauce. I didn't measure - you want the teriyaki to add flavor - but not drown your veg. Go light - you can always add.

When noodles are cooked, add to the veg mix. Use tongs or chopsticks to combine everything together.  Serve to your family and watch their eyes light up as they enjoy this ridiculously inexpensive and delicious veggie dinner!!

Baked Potato Soup

I've seen many variations on this type of soup. I knew I had some Yukon Gold potatoes that needed to be used, so I decided to make this soup. 

But, as most things in my life are - it didn't work out the way I thought it would - but the soup still turned out amazing.

First, the potatoes I had didn't look so great - I waited a few days too long to use them. BUT, I had already started heating up the chicken stock and had cut the onion. So, I improvised. I had a package of frozen cubed hash browns in the freezer that I thought would work. It didn't look like enough potatoes, so I thought maybe I'd make a corn chowder of sorts. Turns out I only had about 2 cups of frozen corn - not the 8 cups I thought I had. So. Head in the freezer, searching for options, I saw a bag of frozen steak fries. Yes, people - I was just that desperate - and threw those in the pot as well. I only give you these crazy specifics so you know how versatile this soup can be. 

Baked Potato Soup
5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into bite size pieces (or whatever potatoes you find!!)
64 oz chicken stock
1 yellow onion, diced
2 T seasoned salt
Garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 qt. heavy cream
Garnish with bacon, cheese, green onions - the skys the limit!!

Cook potatoes in chicken stock until fork tender. Add corn, onions seasoned salt and garlic powder and cook until warmed through. 

Use an immersion blender to combine everything together into an applesauce consistency. Whisk in the heavy cream until well incorporated. Holy yum.

Taco Sauce

In the pursuit of adding a little kick to our usual taco night, I decided to make a "taco sauce" and it was delicious!!

The only trick is - you have to have time to let the two ingredients marry - so I'd plan on making it at least an hour before eating it. I made enough to keep in the fridge for a week or so - it just gets better with time.
Taco Sauce
Sour cream (or greek yogurt)
Taco seasoning

Depending on how much you make - so no measurements. I put some sour cream in a bowl and added taco seasoning to it until I thought it "looked good". Nice instructions hu? Good thing this blog is just a food journal for myself:)

Amazing Taco Meat

I knew I was going to make taco meat for dinner but I didn't want the same old same old. So, I did a little looking around on the internet and tried a few new things - BIG PAY OFF!!

I usually just make taco meat with a "taco seasoning packet" and adhere to the directions on the packet. I could just kick myself for not remembering what sites got me on this trail - but I'm telling you - this taco meat will knock your socks off.

I'm not a big meat eater myself - but I have to admit that I was eating this meat by the spoonful right out of the pan. Seriously.

Amazing Taco Meat
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 packet dry taco seasoning (I like McCormick's) *1/4 cup
1 packet dry Ranch seasoning and salad dressing mix *3 Tbsp
3/4 c water

Cook ground beef until browned. Add in the onions when the beef is about 1/2 way cooked - so they have time to get soft and sweet. Add taco and ranch seasoning as well as the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

If you really want to bump things up - check out my post called "Taco Sauce"


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