Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Parmigiano Pumpkin Soup

This soup is pretty fantastic. I wanted to make this for my parents the last time they visited but there was a canned pumpkin shortage so they had to break into their food storage and bring a can with them. They were glad they did!

Parmigiano Pumpkin Soup (American Lifestyle Magazine, October 2009)
3 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
1 large onion, cut into 1/8” dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (about 28 ounces) 100% pure pumpkin
1 quart chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ cup cream (at least 10% fat)
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley (flat-leaf)

Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until crisp and frizzled. Add the onion and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, until aromatic. Stir in the pumpkin, broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Transfer to a 5- to 6- quart slow cooker, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low. Stir in the cream and Parmesan, and heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I haven't made this in a couple of years but I remember it being really tasty and it is from my sister who has the best recipes so I am giving it a go and making it again this week. Makes a huge batch so it would be good for a party, bring to someone or it is a good one to freeze if your feeling stingy and want to stock up on freezer meals like I usually do.

1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves minced
2 Tablespoons oil
2 lbs. chicken
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 10 oz can Ro-tel tomatoes w/ green chilies
4 cups chicken stock (broth is fine as well)
2 cups beef stock
1 can tomato soup
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt to taste
tobasco to taste

In large saucepan, cook onions and garlic in the oil until soft.
Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 50 mins.
Remove chicken and shred or cut up. Return chicken to pan.
Adjust seasonings and serve soup with condiments:
-shredded jack or cheddar cheese
-sour cream
-chopped green onions
-fresh cilantro
-tortilla chips or strips

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Does everyone already know about this recipe? Well someone told me about it a few years ago and since L had dairy and egg allergies when he was younger this was the perfect cookie recipe for him and perfect for me since it requires no effort. Hello people 3 ingredients! Not only easy but they are really, really good.

1 box spice cake mix
1 can (the size of a soup can) pumpkin puree
chocolate chips

Mix all together and drop by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 mins, depending on your oven. I just usually estimate and do the toothpick trick since I have never actually seen a real recipe for this but it is basically a no fail cookie.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The BEST Marinara Sauce

As I am making a double batch right now I just can't help but post this recipe. It's just TOO good not to. It's zesty, which I love.

Marinara Sauce for Pasta (Katie B from Hershey Ward))

½ cup olive oil
1 medium onion
1 small carrot
large handful of fresh parsley or 2-3 Tbsp. dry parsley
3 to 5 cloves of garlic – crushed or finely chopped
1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried Basil
1 16 oz. tomato sauce
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
3 tsp. capers
1 tsp. sugar
½ cup to ¾ cup of water (used to rinse out tomato sauce cans)
½ to ¾ cup chicken broth

Finely chop onion, carrot, parsley and garlic by hand or in food processor. Sauté chopped ingredients as well as basil and oregano in heated olive oil until somewhat soft. Add rest of ingredients. Simmer very slowly for 1 ½ to 3 hours. Serve over the pasta of your choice with freshly grated (not canned) Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese.
For a change of pace, you may add mushrooms, ground beef, ground Italian sausage, shrimp, etc. I always add lots of ground beef and/or sausage!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apple Brownies

We spent a few hours at the apple orchard yesterday so we'll be baking with apples for days and days to come. Here's a recipe I was given at a meal swap. I was hesitant it deserved the name "brownie" until I tried them. We're baking some at this very moment!

Apple Brownies
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 large or 4 small apples, peeled and diced
granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top after baking)

Preheat oven to 350. Choose your pan size: either a 9 x 13 pan, two pie pans, or a pie pan and four mini-loaf pans. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and apples. Mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chicken Salsa Tacos

This is a recipe my cousin recently shared with me. It is SO good and WAY easy. I made it in my crock pot for about 4-5 hours. She suggests flour tortillas but my little family prefers corn tortillas. Mmmm...

6-8 Chicken breasts
Jar of Salsa ( medium sized )
1c. brown sugar

Mix Salsa and brown sugar pour onto chicken breasts and cook. (Either in Crock pot or oven) Shred chicken and serve in soft flour tortillas with regular tacos mixings. (ex. sour cream, lettuce, tomato, olives, re-fried beans, etc.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe

Sorry, this isn't a recipe that you would probably want to eat but it will keep the kiddos busy while you cook. So that counts, right? I think that I made this about every single day when we moved to PA and needed to unpack boxes. The Lukester thought it was the greatest thing ever. Easy and cheap and you've got to love that fun cornstarch texture.

In container add 1/4 cup cornstarch, then 1/4 cup water, about 5-10 drops of food coloring. It might be difficult to mix at first, but it will suddenly come together (remember to put cornstarch in container first).

Grab some paintbrushes and enjoy painting before it gets too chilly!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Two Delicious Summer Recipes

I thought I should share these before the end of summer:

Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto (Cooking Light, September 2010)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pieces of yellow bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
Cherry tomatoes
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
Red onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
1 tablespoon commercial pesto (I used Classico)

Combine rind, 1 tablespoon juice, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Toss with bell pepper, tomatoes, chicken, and onion. Thread vegetables and chicken onto four 12” skewers. Place skewers on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray (I did not do this, I grilled mine outdoors). Broil 12 minutes or until chicken is done, turning occasionally. Combine 1 teaspoon juice, yogurt, sour cream, and pesto. Serve sauce with kebabs. Yield: 4 servings (serving size 1 kebab and 1 tablespoon sauce).
Calories: 211, fat: 7.3, Protein: 27.9, Carb: 7,

Chicken Dinner Salad (Cooking Light, September 2010)
6 medium beets
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ cup plain 2% Greek-style yogurt
14 cup Sriracha (hot chili sauce, such as Huy Fong)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 shallot, minced (I used 1 tablespoon grated onion)
6 ears shucked corn
6 cups packed fresh spinach
4 ounces goat cheese, cut into 6 slices (I used feta)
6 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans

Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour or until tender. Drain. Cool beats slightly. Trim off beet roots and stems; rub off skins. Slice beets.
While beets cook, place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to ½” thickness using a small heavy skillet. Combine yogurt and chile sauce in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag and seal. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Combine 2 tablespoons oil (I omitted), ½ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
Place chicken on grill rack; grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into 1” strips.
Brush remaining 1 tablespoon oil over corn and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt. Grill 10 minutes or until lightly charred, turning corn occasionally. Cool. Cut kernals from eats of corn.
Place 1 cup spinach on each of 6 plates. Top each serving with chicken, 1/3 cup beats, 1/3 cup corn, 1 cheese slice and 1 tablespoon pecans. Drizzle 1 tablespoon dressing over each salad.