Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Zucchini Soup

It is probably foolish to admit how excited I was after I made this soup. What an awesome, different way to use up those zucchini that overwhelm during summer! (Simple pleasures for simple people!) This is so. SO. good. Seen originally, here.

You will need:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 large zucchini, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • salt and cracked black pepper
  1. Cook chopped onion, garlic clove, zucchini and potatoes in a tablespoon oil for about 5 minutes, making sure vegetables don't brown.

  2. Add chicken stock and 1 cup water. Bring soup to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth. Return soup to the heat and add 3/4 cup cream, salt and cracked black pepper.

Chicken and Zucchini Tortellini Soup

I didn't get a very good picture of this, but here it is anyway. The soup was good and a good use for all that zucchini from summer!

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 large onion
2-3 medium zucchini, only 1/4 inch of flesh with peel-no seeds)
2 large carrots, cut diagonal
1 1/2 t. minced garlic
2 cans chicken stock
1/2 c. water
1/8 t. marjoram
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup tortellini
6 cherry tomatoes, halved.

Cook chicken cubes and saute onion together in a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add zucchini and carrots, liquids and spices and let simmer 15 minutes or until carrots are fork tender. Add tortellini and cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes more~ until tortellini is tender.

Can use shredded sharp cheddar as a garnish, if desired.

Sweet Pan Chili

Matt had a hunkering for baked beans one night, and I had only one can of Cambell's Pork 'n beans. Desperation is the mother of invention, and now we have a new favorite cool weather meal. That night I served it with cast iron cornbread and I wouldn't have it any other way.

In cast iron pan, brown and saute':

1 large onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef or sweet sausage (If necessary, drain excess fat)

Add to pan:

1 can black beans, drained.
1 can butter beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained.
1 can pork and beans, undrained

Then add:

3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 c. water
3-4 T. barbecue sauce
3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
A sprinkling of: paprika, garlic powder, cracked black pepper and salt

Let simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes.

Tuna Fish

I don't like fish. I don't EAT fish. I only COOK fish when Matt begs and pleads. The one exception is tuna fish, but I only eat my own.

If you like tuna to taste like tuna-this recipe probably isn't for you. If you like a whole medley of flavor with an only-slightly fishy taste, give this one a try.

I never use exact measurements so I have included approximations here.

  • 2 cans of tuna fish packed in water, drained well.
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Mayo or Miracle Whip (I use the latter)
  • 2 T. zucchini relish (I think this is the secret ingredient that sets my Tuna apart from others, but if you don't have any just use pickle relish)
  • 2 t. minced onion
  • 1/4-1/2 t. parsley
  • 1/4 t. horseradish (Optional. I add this when I am feeling frisky.)
Mix all ingredients together. (It is best to make the tuna a few minutes ahead of time, so that the minced onion will soften.)
Make a sandwich using whole wheat toast, salad greens, cheddar and tuna OR, for parties, a bit of tuna on Saltine crackers topped with thinly sliced extra sharp cheddar (only had colby jack in the fridge for picture day) is a GREAT appetizer.

Peanut Butter Popcorn (Balls)

You'll need:
About 1/2 cup popcorn, popped

1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

(I usually double this recipe for large crowds.)

Put your popped popcorn into a brown grocery sack but be SURE TO GET OUT ALL THE UNPOPPED kernels. (They can wreck havoc on your teeth!)

Mix the honey and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for a couple minutes, then remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir vigorously until all the peanut butter is melted, then mix in the vanilla.

Dump pan-goodness into papersack, covering the top layer of popcorn as well as you can. Then, holding bag shut with your hands-SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE it until popcorn is coated. You may need to use a spoon or your hands as well. Serve as is or, butter your hands a wee bit and form into popcorn balls. Wrap individual balls with saran and they will keep for well over a week!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Garden Veggie Pie

You will need:
prepared single pie crust
zucchini or summer squash
lemon juice
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Saute' :
(in 2 T. olive oil for about 5 minutes until slightly tender but still crisp)

3 medium summer squash (I used yellow and zucchini)
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato (I used 6 or 7 cherry)

Add about 1 T. minced garlic for one minute before removing from heat.

Prepare pie crust: Once rolled flat cut into wedges like a pizza and put pointed side OUT in a greased pie plate. Pinch the wide wedges back together to create a solid bottom and leave points hanging over edge.


1 egg

1/2 c. parmesan cheese (I like the shredded)
3 T. fresh basil, chopped

1 t. lemon juice
1/4 c. flour
1 T. sugar
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste ( I like plenty)

...into the saute'd veggies and pour into pie crust.

over the extra pie crust points. If you want a fancy presentation, paint with an egg wash. (I didn't) Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and cheese is golden.

TRULY delicious.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Homemade BISQUICK Knockoff

Bisquick is pretty great, but it is really simple to make at home for a fraction of the cost and all of the convenience.

You simply must try it. I doubt you'll be buying any boxes if you do.

6 c. all purpose flour
3 T. baking powder
1 T. baking soda
3 T. sugar
1 T. salt
1 c. shortening

Pulse in the food processor or blender until fully combined and the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Stores well in a glass container.

Use as you would Bisquick.

BLAT sandwiches, NON recipe

BLT's are one of the very select few sandwiches I eat.

Not much of a sandwich girl these days (must have been all those packed lunches growing up...)

And who needs a recipe for BLTs I ask? No one. The name IS the recipe. And so it is true for BLAT sandwiches.

No recipe here, just a suggestion, in case you never thought of it yourself.

Add avocado to your BLT and guess what? You have an outta this world, way-better-than-boring-old-BLTs BLAT sandwich, and guess what else?

You just snuck in an extra 20 vitamins and minerals into the diets of unsuspecting! WaHOO.

Tomato Sandwich NON-recipe

I hate cookbooks that print glaringly obvious foods and tout them as "recipes". That said, it can be inspiring to get new, fresh ideas for how to serve food because sometimes, let's face it~we don't think of these things ourselves.

I post this here but I declare it a NON recipe, just in case you have never tried the most delicious Tomato and Sugar Sandwich. I must needs get converts. I must lure you to the OTHER side.

I must warn you though: Do not eat these in winter with those cardboard tomatoes that are shipped green and somehow pass as food. These are a SUMMERTIME treat, meant to be eaten with garden tomatoes.

You know, the kind that TASTE like something.

Simply toast your favorite bread and butter. Slice up some delectable tomatoes and sprinkle with sugar. Not too much, just enough to sweeten (and bring out the amazing flavor). Top and snarf.

See? No recipe here. Just sheer garden bliss on a sandwich.