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!