Thursday, January 8, 2015

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

It has been really cold around these parts of the Northeast.  Today it is negative 1!  That means lots of bundling up and what is better than a hot bowl of soup to take the cold out?  Last week I made a Brazilian fish stew called moqueca.  Recently I was craving creamy broccoli cheese soup, like the kind you eat out of a bread bowl at panera. :)  Except I like my broccoli in big pieces for a chunky feel, not puree.  If you prefer a smoother soup, you can puree it in a blender. :)









Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ medium chopped onion
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ lb fresh broccoli (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside. In a large pot whisk together the melted butter and flour over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in the half and half and milk. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
  4. Add salt and pepper and cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve. 


Adapted from food.com

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Treasure Chest Bars


Adapted from Pillsbury Christmas 2008 Cookbook

Prep: 30 min.
Ready in: 2 hours
Serves: approx. 25-30 bars

BARS:

- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3 ounces milk chocolate 
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries (the original recipe calls for 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained & halved)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

FROSTING:

- 1/4 cup butter 
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

--
1. Heat oven to 350.  Grease 15x10 inch pan with butter or non-stick spray.  In large bowl, beat all bar ingredients except chocolate, fruit and nuts with electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth.  With spoon, stir in chocolate, fruit and nuts.  Spread evenly in pan.

2.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown. 
Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat 1/4 cup butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until light golden brown.  Remove from heat.  Stir in powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons milk until frosting is smooth and spreadable.

3.  Quickly spread frosting over warm pastry.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.  Cut into bars.






Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lasagna Roll-Ups

A variation of lasagna.  Instead of a casserole, make individual roll-ups.  They are amazing and so yummy!!!

Ingredients:

12-16 lasagna noodles
1/2 container ricotta cheese
1/2 container cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded mixture cheeses of your liking - 1 cup to mix in with ricotta, 1 cup to top (I use a mix of cheeses that include Parmesan, Monterrey jack and various Cheddars)
2 eggs
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can (28 oz.) of diced tomatoes 
1 large can (28 oz.) of crushed tomatoes 
italian seasonings to taste (basil, oregano, parsley)
salt/pepper to taste

optional:
1 pound sausage and/or ground beef or turkey, cooked and drained
spinach
1 can or fresh chopped mushrooms

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 350.  
In large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and eggs (also spinach if using).  Mix well.  

In saucepan, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil, saute onions and garlic.  Add tomatoes and seasonings to taste.  I usually add about a half cup of the pasta water.  Add meat if using.

In a greased baking dish (or two smaller casserole dishes), spread 1 cup sauce.  

Spread lasagna noodles flat.  Top with a layer of cheese mixture then a layer of veggie options and roll.  Place in baking dish.  Repeat.    
*
Once the dish is filled, add remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with foil.  Bake 45 minutes.  Uncover, bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly and browned on top.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  10-12 servings.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Honey Salmon


yummy sweet salmon! 

and very easy to make.

In a bowl, combine:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon thyme
1-3 pounds of salmon



Place your salmon on a strip of foil and pour the honey mixture over it



Pull the foil over from the edges to cover the salmon and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Uncover salmon and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, we made zucchini/squash and white rice. 





My husband says this is one of his favorite recipes! :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Avocado Bruschetta



This is a dish my husband put together for breakfast the other day and it came out so yummy I had to share!

1 baguette, sliced into thin pieces
1 ripe avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
1 tomato, diced
1 onion, diced
basil and cilantro (we didn't have fresh but we had dried)
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. vinegar
salt and pepper

Drizzle olive oil over the baguette slices and toast until golden brown. 
In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Top each baguette with a spoonful.  Enjoy!
mmmmmmm, yummy goodness!
Thanks, Lou!!!



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rainbow Cake!

I made a rainbow cake for my brother for his birthday and it turned out pretty darn cute!
 
 
I thought you might want to make one for yourself (or someone you love) so here are the instructions:
 
Buy one white cake mix and prepare batter as instructed.  Once mixed, divide batter evenly into 6 bowls or cups.  Using food coloring, add one color per bowl and mix.
 
To make orange, mix 2 drops red and 2 drops yellow
To make green, mix 2 drops blue and 2 drops  yellow
To make purple, mix 2 dropes of blue and 2 dropes of red
 
Butter and flour your cake pans and then pour the batter in one color at a time in the middle, on top of each other. The colors will thin out in the pan as the next one is poured on top of it, like this:

 
 
 
Bake as appropriate, let cool and then frost.
Enjoy!!!!