Cream of Broccoli Soup

December 16, 2008 at 9:22 pm | Posted in soup, Yummy Veggies | 3 Comments

Our winters are cold.  I absolutely hate them.  The bad thing is that it’s just now getting to the cold point.  Ugh.  I am constantly in the mood for a bowl of steaming hot soup on these dark, windy, cold nights and I hadn’t made this one in a long time so I decided to have it last week.  This is something that 10 years ago you couldn’t have paid me to eat it -you still cant’ pay anyone in my house to eat it besides me so this is definitely a “me” recipe.  🙂  I’m the only broccoli lover in my house.  I got this recipe from a friend’s mom in college but I’m not sure the original source.  Anyway…here you go!

Ingredients

– Broccoli (fresh tastes best but I used frozen this time)

– Butter (8oz or 16 tablespoons) (WOW!!!)

– 1 cup of flour

-4 cups of chicken broth

-1 pint of half and half

-1 tsp salt

– 1/4 tsp white pepper

– 1.5 cups of skim milk

Directions

Cut broccoli into 1/2 inch pieces removing the stems (unless you like them  if you do, you can throw them in).  Steam until tender.  Do not drain – set aside

-Melt butter in pot over medium heat.  Add flour to make a roux.  Cook for 2-4 minutes stirring constantly as to not burn.  Add broth while sitrring with a wire whisk and bring to a boil. 

-Turn heat to low.  Add broccoli, half and half, salt, and pepper.  Heat but do not boil 

Mrs. Pig Rating:  This soup was just as yummy as I remembered it!!  I love broccoli so I love this one.  It’s so creamy and yummy on a cold winter night!  🙂

Baking Time!

December 9, 2008 at 12:21 am | Posted in Candy, chocolate, Cookies, Dessert | 3 Comments

I love, love to bake for Christmas!  It’s been a tradition of my mom and mine for awhile now and I started on it yesterday.  I just did a few easy things but it got me in the mood to bake Christmas things so I can’t wait until next weekend when I really go at it!  Yesterday I baked:

Peanut Brittle

Chess Squares

Puppy Chow

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Mint Chocolate Cookies

I had baked everything before except for the mint chocolate cookies.  They are AMAZING.  My coworkers kept eating them today more than anything else.  They truly do taste like a Thin Mint so if you like those, then you will LOVE this.  Here is the recipe from allrecipes.com:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 36 chocolate mint wafer candies (I used Andes mints)
  • Directions

    1. In a large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off slightly.
    2. At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about 1 hour.
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    4. Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. While cookies are baking unwrap mints and divide each in half. When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie. Let the mint sit for up to 5 minutes until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie. Eat and enjoy!

    Pig Rating:  The pig loves chess squares, but he isn’t a mint fan so he didn’t try the cookies.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  Everything was so good!  The chocolate mint cookies truly do taste like a Thin Mint and fresh out of the oven these are AMAZING.  This recipe makes about 40-45 cookies.

    Chicken Tikka Masala

    December 4, 2008 at 2:13 am | Posted in Chicken, rice | 5 Comments

    So, I think I’ve mentioned before that I used to be quite the picky eater.  If you would have tried to get me to try Indian food 4 years ago I would have turned my nose up and ordered Papa John’s.  My husband has slowly but surely gotten me to try several different foods and ::gasp:: I actually like some of them!  We went to an Indian restaurant in our city sometime last year and it was pretty good.  I saw this recipe on one of my fave blogs My Kitchen Cafe so I decided to give it a shot.

    (I fear this looks like some sick dog food concoction so sorry about that…Ha!)

    Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe

    1 cup plain yogurt
    1 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (Kylie substitutes paprika for the cayenne – next time I’ll do that or cut it down to 1/2 teaspoon)
    2 teaspoons black pepper
    1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (I didn’t have this on hand so I left it out)
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

    Combine all ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for one hour. Grill or cook chicken in frying pan. Discard marinade

    1 tablespoon butter
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons paprika
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 8-oz can tomato sauce
    1 cup cream
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

    Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over hot rice.

    PIg Rating:  The Pig really liked this dish.  He definitely wants me to make it again.  YAY!

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I was unsure of what I would think about this, but it actually turned out to be really yummy.  This is a really filling recipe though – I would say that the recipe as written makes about 4 servings.  We had a lot of leftovers.  Definitely keeping this in the dinner binder!

     

    “World’s Best Lasagna”

    December 1, 2008 at 1:08 am | Posted in Cheese, pasta, sauce, slow cooker, Turkey | 2 Comments

    Italian food is my absolute favorite.  I could eat it every single day.  I probably wouldn’t be a size 4 if I did that though huh?  There are definitely times when I splurge on something that sounds amazing and I don’t care how many calories are in it.  I have seen this recipe on allrecipes.com for “World’s Best Lasagna” for awhile now but I never got around to making it.  I always just kind of throw a bunch of stuff together normally when I make lasagna and it is always good but I wanted to try something new.  Last weekend we decorated the Christmas tree and I wanted something yummy and comfort food like for the cold evening so I decided to make this finally. 

    Ingredients (Don’t be scared off by the long list…)

    • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
    • 3/4 pound lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
    • 1/2 cup minced onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
    • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 12 lasagna noodles
    • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (I omitted)
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Directions

    1. In a Dutch oven (I used my crock pot as I don’t have a dutch oven…hoping for one for Christmas!!), cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
    3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
    5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig liked this but he said it was almost too sweet for him.  He said he likes the other lasagna that I make better.  He ate leftovers many times though so it must not have been TOO bad…  🙂

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I thought this was excellent!  I loved the sauce – it absolutely made the dish.  This is something that I will definitely make again – would be especially good for a carry in dinner!

    Little Pig’s Rating:  Sheridan loved this!  She kept saying how good it was and she had seconds.  YAY for her finally starting to try new things!!!  Will liked it as well.  His favorite thing of mine is baked ziti though so he still likes that better.  🙂

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