Sunday, March 11, 2018

Minestrone Soup

Cooking for one has become my new "adventure."  All the recipes I see usually make servings for 4 or more.  Of course, that is why they invented the freezer!!    Also, my son and his girlfriend have enjoyed "the extras."

With Bobby being gone, I am not that motivated to do much cooking and baking anymore.  He loved to eat and I loved baking and cooking for him.

I have been making a lot of soups.  Soups cover a lot of ground - you have your veggies, rice or pasta, and sometimes meat or chicken.  So it has to be healthy.  And soup usually freezes well!!

I made this soup a couple of months ago before he died and he loved it.  It is so easy to make and I had most of the ingredients.  The hardest part is chopping all the veggies.   So soup it was for dinner last night!!

I watch alot of the PBS CreateTV  shows(I do not have cable) and I found Ellie Krieger.  She was demonstrating this soup and it looked good.   As I said I had most of the ingredients, I will ** where I substituted.

Ellie Krieger's Homemade Minestrone Soup
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 large onion, diced 
2 ribs celery, diced 
1 large carrot, scrubbed well, then diced 
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced**I didn't have a pepper, so I omitted 
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1 teaspoon kosher salt ** I omitted because I am pre-diabetic 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
28 ounces canned, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes 
48 ounces (6 cups) no-salt-added vegetable broth or chicken broth 
15 ounces canned, no-salt-added small red beans, drained and rinsed** I didn't have red beans, so I used Great Northern Beans 
1/2 cup dried, whole-grain elbow pasta 
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish** I just had plain ole Parmesan Cheese
Directions
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heats, add the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften.

Add the zucchini, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. 
Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, then add the beans and pasta.

Uncover; increase the heat to medium-high just long enough to return the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pasta and vegetables are tender.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and sprinkle the cheese on top!

ENJOY!!!

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Best Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe

I haven't done much baking or cooking since I lost my husband, but I found this recipe on the Taste of Home website and I was looking for a way to use up left over chicken.

The original recipe calls for using 2 1/2 lbs of bone-in chicken thighs.  But since I roasted a chicken the night before, I just used the left over chicken instead.  I will place ** in the recipe where the chicken thighs are used.

Taste of Home Chicken Noddle Soup Recipe

Ingredients
  
**2-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs 
**1-1/4 teaspoons pepper, divided 
**1/2 teaspoon salt 
**1 tablespoon canola oil 
2 to 3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced  
10 cups chicken broth
4 celery ribs, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
3 cups uncooked egg noodles about 8 ounces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice 

Directions

** Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches, skin side down; cook until dark golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; remove and discard skin. Discard drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons.

 Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. (Add cook chopped chicken if not using the chicken thighs)  Return chicken to pan. Add celery, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 25-30 minutes.

**Transfer chicken to a plate.

Add noodles; let stand, covered, until noodles are tender, 20-22 minutes.

 **Meanwhile, when chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones. Shred meat into bite-size pieces. Return meat to stockpot. 

Stir in parsley and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove bay leaves. Yield: 10 servings (3-1/2 quarts). 

Comments:

My son and his girlfriend LOVED this soup!!  I plan on making this again.  It also makes your house smell really good!!! 

I lost my best friend.

I haven't been on here for a while, 

My husband had a series of operations the last several months.  He had stents put in an artery in his leg in October.  And after passing out twice in two weeks at work, a stress test revealed his main artery in his heart was 90% block.  On January 2, he had a left heart catherization done and a stent was placed.

January 20, 2018, he suffered a major heart attack and passed away.  I lost my best friend.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Best Ham Recipe You Will EVER Eat!!!

A customer told me about this at Thanksgiving.  She said this is the only way she prepares ham.  I thought I would give it a try.  What the heck!!  OMG!!  It is so easy and I swear you will never ever make ham again in the oven!!!  This is the best ham recipe you will ever have!!!!   AND it is super easy!!

You do need a 6 to 8 quart crock pot to accommodate the ham.

I found the exact recipe for this on the web site myincrediblerecipes.com

Ingredients:

1 Ham, precooked, spiral cut, bone-in or boneless - either one will work.
3 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used light brown)
1/2 cup honey
1 20 oz can pineapple tidbits (I used crushed pineapple in pineapple juice).

Directions:

In a large crock pot (6 qt or larger) cover the bottom with 2 cups of brown sugar.

Place ham on top of the brown sugar, open the slices slightly with your hands.

Pour the honey over the ham evenly (I heated up the honey in the microwave to make it easier to pour).

Spoon the pineapple on top and around the sides of the ham (with the juice).

Spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar evenly over the top ofthe ham.

Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

ENJOY!!  This will be the best ham you have ever had and you never ever make ham another way again!



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Chicken and Broccoli Pizza


I found this recipe in the Weight Watcher's cookbook, Simply Decilicous.  This is not your typical pizza.  And, unfortunately, does require a trip to the grocery store. 

As always, I did make some changes to the recipes and I will note those below with astericks **

Chicken and Broccoli Pizza by Weight Watchers

Ingredients:  

(Ingredients I omitted)
1 T mayonnaise **
1 t milk **
1/2 cup cornflakes crumbled **

1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts - cut into strips ** (I used chicken tenders)
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 package thin pizza crust

1 10 oz package frozen chopped broccoli thawed and patted dry
3 or 4 T grated Parmesan Cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450.

**If you want to bread the chicken, mix the mayonnaise and milk together, add the chicken to coat.  In a large ziplock bag, put the cornflake crumbs.  Add the chicken and shake to coat.  Place on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 10. **

I just fried my chicken strips in a skillet and cut them into bite size pieces.


Roll out pizza crust.  I put a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet.

Spread the ricotta cheese evenly over the crust and top with the chopped broccoli.


Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and top with the bite size pieces of chicken.  Lastly, add the mozzarella cheese.


Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15 minutes.


Entire Recipe:

Chicken and Broccoli Pizza by Weight Watchers

Ingredients:  

(Ingredients I omitted)
1 T mayonnaise **
1 t milk **
1/2 cup cornflakes crumbled **

1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts - cut into strips ** (I used chicken tenders)
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 package thin pizza crust
1 10 oz package frozen chopped broccoli thawed and patted dry
3 or 4 T grated Parmesan Cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450.

**If you want to bread the chicken, mix the mayonnaise and milk together, add the chicken to coat.  In a large ziplock bag, put the cornflake crumbs.  Add the chicken and shake to coat.  Place on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 10. **

I just fried my chicken strips in a skillet and cut them into bite size pieces.

Roll out pizza crust.  I put a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet.

Spread the ricotta cheese evenly over the crust and top with the chopped broccoli.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and top with the bite size pieces of chicken.  Lastly, add the mozzarella cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Verdict:

Resident Expert #1 (aka my husband) loved it.  Resident Expert #2 (aka my son) when I told him what we were having for dinner said it sounded terrible!  My husband ate two pieces, one "plain" and one with Montgomery Inn BQ sauce.  Said it was good both ways.  So my son and his girlfriend decided to give it a try . . . they both came back for seconds - so I am guessing it wasn't THAT terrible!!  I think we have a winner here!  My opinion - I thought it was good - it is certainly easy enough to fix.  Yes, I will be making this again!





Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut (or Schweinekotelette and Sauerkraut)


Many years ago, my husband bought me the cookbook, The German Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton for Christmas.  His Grandparents were German and his Grandmother would always cook these fantastic German meals.  Yet, there was no sign of any cookbook or recipes.  So this was one of the two German cookbooks he bought me.

Being that this is Octoberfest here in Cincinnati and Cincinnati is a huge German town. So I got out my two German cookbooks in honor of the occasion.

Unfortunately, this did require a trip to the grocery store for me since my refrigerator did not have pork chops or sauerkraut.

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut by Mimi Sheraton

Ingredients:

4 pork chops, about 1" thick
2 T butter or lard (I used olive oil to cook the pork chops and veggies)
1 medium size onion - diced
2 medium size apples - peeled, cored and diced
1 lb fresh or canned sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup warm beef bouillon
1/2 cup white dry wine

Directions:

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil/butter/lard in skillet and brown the pork chops on both sides.


Remove the chops and add the onions and apples (your house will smell heavenly!!!)  Saute until onions are soft.


Remove the onions/apple mixture and saute the drained sauerkraut

In a large casserole dish, put a layer of sauerkraut on the bottom, next a layer of the onion/apple mixture followed by all the sliced potatoes.


Then repeat with a layer of sauerkraut, the onion/apple mixture and top with the pork chops.


Pour the hot bouillon and white white over this.  Cover tightly and bake in a 375 oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.



Entire Recipe

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut by Mimi Sheraton

Ingredients:

4 pork chops, about 1" thick
2 T butter or lard (I used olive oil to cook the pork chops and veggies)
1 medium size onion - diced
2 medium size apples - peeled, cored and diced
1 lb fresh or canned sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup warm beef bouillon
1/2 cup white dry wine

Directions:

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil/butter/lard in skillet and brown the pork chops on both sides.
Remove the chops and add the onions and apples (your house will smell heavenly!!!)  Saute until onions are soft.

Remove the onions/apple mixture and saute the drained sauerkraut

In a large casserole dish, put a layer of sauerkraut on the bottom, next a layer of the onion/apple mixture followed by all the sliced potatoes.

Then repeat with a layer of sauerkraut, the onion/apple mixture and top with the pork chops.

Pour the hot bouillon and white white over this.  Cover tightly and bake in a 375 oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour

Comments:

My husband loved it. There are a few things I would change.  We both thought the pork chops were kind of dry.  I think the next time, I will put the pork chops over the layer of potatoes and cover them with sauerkraut and onion/apple mixture.  My husband thought it should have more sauerkraut (he loves his sauerkraut!!)



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Jalapeno Peach Pie

What do you do when you have way too many jalapenos??    Make pie, of course!!

Initially, I had no clue what to do with all my jalapenos.  I really didn't want to make hot pepper jelly since my green peppers weren't doing as well as the jalapenos.  So off I went to the Internet and I found this recipe.

It did require a trip to the grocery store for canned peaches in juice.

This was a very easy pie to make - no peeling of peaches.  I did have to chop and seed the jalapenos (wear gloves!!!!).

Jalapeno Peach Pie

Ingredients:

2 medium sized jalapenos seeded and chopped in small pieces
1 Tbs. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar.
6 cups of well-drained canned peaches or 6 cups of fresh, peeled peaches (if in season)
1 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. peach juice (save it when you drain the peaches) or water
3 TB cornstarch
Your favorite pie crust recipe for double crust
Preheat the oven to 425
Melt the butter over low heat.  Add the jalapenos and saute for a few minutes, then add the brown sugar.  
Allow the mixture to boil and slowly add the peaches and the 1 cup of brown sugar a little bit at a time.
Mix the peach juice (or water) with the cornstarch until it forms a paste, then add it to the peaches and jalapeƱo mixture and mix well.
Bring this to a slow boil, stirring every once in awhile - you want this to thicken up enough to pour into your pie crust.
When the filling has thickened, pour it into the prepared pie crust and cover with the top crust. Trim the edges and crimp the sides together. Make sure you add some decorative vent-holes with a fork–because the filling is already hot!
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes (or until the pie crust looks golden).
Enjoy!! 
Verdict:
My husband loved it.  (of course, adding ice cream always makes pie a lot better).  You can taste the jalapenos and it it a bit "spicy."  I thought it was "interesting."  Will I make it again, probably because my husband liked it a lot.