Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Soup

January is National Soup Month.  I learned that this morning.  I had no idea there was a National Soup Month, let alone that it was in January.  But, if there is to be a month set aside for celebrating soup, January is a pretty good one to do it in.

After all it's cold and soup is warming.  And everyone is thinking about health and soup is very healthy, especially when it's made with bone broth and has lots of vegetables.

Speaking of soup...last night I made the best Roasted Vegetable Soup.  And I didn't even know that it was National Soup Month.

My inspiration for the recipe came from Robin Miller's (from the Food Network) "Quick Fix Meals"...

Roasted Vegetable Soup Over Brown Rice
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 bunch of asparagus, snap off the bottoms and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 red onion coarsely diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups of homemade bone broth
1-28 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine or red vermouth
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup cooked brown rice
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  
2. In a large bowl toss all of the vegetables with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Transfer the vegetables to a large cookie sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in your favorite soup pan, combine the broth, tomatoes, red wine, and thyme and bring to a boil.  
4. Stir in the roasted vegetables, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes.
5.  When ready to serve add the basil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon the rice into your soup bowls and ladle the soup over the rice.
Serves 4

I'm so sorry that I didn't get a picture of this delicious soup. But, please, don't let that stop you from making it.  It really is good!!  It is a for sure keeper recipe and I look forward to being creative with it and trying different combinations of vegetables.  I may even add some beans or pasta.


This post is linked to:
Naptime Creation's Tasty Tuesday
Tutorial Creations
Fat Tuesday

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Ham Bone Soup

Goodness me...it's been since November 12th that I've posted on this blog!!  How can that be??

Well I started working part time and the holidays hit.  All at once.

Still working part time, but the holidays are over and it's a new year so we'll see what I can pull off.

In another world, on another blog I had posted about my appreciation for the first few days of January.  I still feel that way.

I like the quiet of January.  I like the clean slate of January.  I like being able to start over and have another chance to "get it right".  And I have a whole year to work on it.

Now, this being a food blog, January is the month to get back to basics.  After all the treats, all the dinners out, all the sugary sweets (some of which still sit on my kitchen counter) January is the time to start over.  To eat right.  To remember the veggies.  The bone broths.  The fermented foods.  It's a time to get back on track.  And that's a good thing.

For tonight's dinner we had Ham Bone Soup.  It's a New Year's day tradition around here.  We have ham for Christmas, all sorts of ham leftovers through the week and then it makes it's final appearance on New Year's Day, the grand finale as Ham Bone Soup.   Go here for the recipe.

This post is linked to:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffiins

What says Fall better than pumpkins?  And what says pumpkins better than muffins?  Okay, maybe pie, but for now how about muffins?  With chocolate chips because the chocolate really compliments the pumpkin and the spices, in my ever to be so humble opinion.   And this morning turned out to be a perfect time to try out the recipe I had found for chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.  It was raining and no one had to be anywhere until noon.  Time to put on another pot of coffee, turn on the oven, and whip up a batch.  Don't ya think?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I found this recipe from JoyofBaking.com

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup solid packed, canned pumpkin
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, spices and the salt. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. While the mixer is on low speed add the pumpkin alternating with the flour mixture.  Begin and end with the flour mixture.
4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Place on a wire rack to cool.
Makes 12 regular sized muffins.

These were really good.  They did take longer than 18 minutes to bake.  About 5 minutes longer.  I would suggest you set the timer for 20 minutes and then keep an eye on them.  When I cut into one it appeared to be slightly doughy, but it tasted just fine, actually delicious!  And I added a bit less sugar, maybe 2 tablespoons less.  I usually add a little less sugar than a recipe calls for.

I want to try these again in a few days and substitute honey for sugar and whole wheat flour for some of the white flour.  I'll let you know how those come out and how they compare.

Meanwhile, enjoy!  And let me know about your favorite pumpkin recipe.

This post is linked to:
Foodie Friday
Food Trip Friday
Simply Delish Saturday
Mingle Monday
mangia mondays
Tasty Tuesday
Tea Party Tuesday
Tuesdays At The Table

Monday, October 31, 2011

Beef Stew Cooked in a Pumpkin

Years ago, while visiting a pumpkin patch on a homeschooling field trip I remember one of the mom's talking about cooking a stew inside of a pumpkin and that thought stayed with me over the years.  This Halloween, since we had no plans (we really don't do Halloween) and since I would be home in the afternoon (yea!!)  I decided to give it a try.  I searched around on the internet, getting a general idea of what to do.  I found a stew recipe to base it on and we bought a pumpkin...

Beef Stew Cooked in a Pumpkin
You might be noticing that this is a rather large pumpkin.  Well that's what happens when you wait until the morning of Halloween to find one.  You have to go to several grocery stores and finally a pumpkin patch...but we were not to be denied!!

I adapted this recipe (with a few changes) from:
Cooking with Faith : 125 Classic and Healthy Southern Recipes

Golden Brown Beef Stew
2 pounds of lean stew meat, cut into small pieces
dry rub seasoning mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup of red wine
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 red potatoes, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped

1. Season the meat with the dry rub seasoning mix.  Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the meat.  Turn the heat to high and sear the meat until it's browned on all side.  Remove to a plate.
2. Finely chop one of the onions and add to the pot with the garlic and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.  Add the meat back to the pot and add the flour and cook and stir for five minutes, adding more oil if necessary.  Slowly add the liquids and bring to a boil and turn down to a slow simmer.
3.  Chop the remaining onion into chunks and add it with the other veggies to the pot.  Cover and simmer.

I cooked this for about an hour.  Meanwhile I cut the top of the pumpkin and scooped out the seeds.  I rinsed the seeds and tossed them with olive oil and salt and toasted them at 300 degrees until lightly browned.  This was our snack while we waited for our stew.

After the stew simmered for about an hour I spooned it into the hollowed out pumpkin which I had salted and peppered.  I covered it with foil.  You could use the pumpkin "lid" but mine was too big and would not have fit back into the oven.  I cooked it at 350 degrees for about 2 hours.

When we were ready to eat I spooned it out into the serving dishes.  I made sure to scoop some pumpkin flesh with each serving.

This was really delicious!  And it smelled so good while it was cooking!!

I served this with the biscuits my daughter had made for us.

I think we might have a new Halloween tradition at my house.

This post is linked to:
Sunday Soup Night
Butter Believer
Monday Mania
Make Your Own! Monday
Fat Tuesday
Tuesdays at the Table
Tuesday Confessional Link Party
Works-for-Me WEDNESDAY
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vegetable Beef Soup

I love to make soups in the crock pot.  Just through all of the ingredients in, first thing in the morning and you come home to a delicious and nourishing meal at the end of the day.  Add a salad and some bread and dinner is ready.  I especially like this soup because the meat doesn't have to be precooked which saves even more time and it uses only real food.  No canned soups or boxed mixes or processed whatevers in sight!

I adapted this recipe from the "Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes" cookbook which has been on my bookshelf for so long that I don't even remember where I got it.

Vegetable Beef Soup
1 pound ground beef
1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 large onion
2 small potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, slices
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dried red pepper flakes, to taste
Break up the meat as much as you can and place in the crock pot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and then add enough water to cover.  Cook on Low for 8-12 hours or high for 3-5 hours.  Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Makes 6 servings.

Yes, nothing tells your family they are loved and cared for quite like a good homemade soup to come home to at the end of the day.  Isn't it great that there's a way to do that even in the busiest of times!  It sure does beat take out.

What's your favorite soup recipe?

This post is linked to:
Sunday Night Soup Night
mangia mondays
Melt in Your Mouth Mondays
Hunk of Meat Monday
Make Your Own! Monday
Fat Tuesday
What's Cooking Wednesday
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try
Turning the Table Thursday
Full Plate Thursday
Frugal Food Thursday
It's a Keeper Thursday
Simple Lives Thursday

Monday, October 17, 2011

3 Bean Chili

Chili is not my favorite food.

You could say that I have kind of a love/hate relationship with it.  I'ts not my favorite thing to eat, but it sure makes for a great crock pot meal.  Unlike some dinners I have waiting in my slow cooker, chili requires no work at the end.  It's right there, ready to dish up.

And it can stretch.

It's good for a crowd, makes great leftovers...I must admit to loving chili dogs (nitrate free)!  And is wonderful to send with the hubs in his lunch.

Last week I tried a new chili recipe.  I adapted it from another one I had found many years ago.  I think it came out pretty good.  And I got to have my beloved chili dogs (nitrate free!) the next day.

3 Bean Chili
2 pounds ground beef (or you could use ground turkey or a combination of both)
2 15oz cans kidney beans
2 15oz cans white beans
2 15 oz cans black beans
2 15oz cans tomato sauce
1 large onion, diced
2  4oz cans Ortega chilies, chopped
1 tablespoon of chipotle peppers (more or loss, depending on how "hot" you like it)*
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
red hot pepper flakes, to taste
1 bottle of beer
Brown the meat.  Using a slotted spoon, spoon the meat into the crock pot.  Add all of the other ingredients and cook on low for 8-12 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.  

This is delicious served with corn bread.  I like to make mini cornbread muffins.  And I chop another onion and grate some cheese to go on top.  I also like a little bit of ketchup (organic, of course, with no HFCS) with mine.

*kitchen tip: Chop all of the chilies from the can and spoon by tablespoon, with the sauce, into an ice cube tray.  Freeze and then pop out the cubes into a freezer bag.  The next time you are making chili or soup or anything which needs a kick, just pop the frozen cube right in.


This post is linked to:
Make Your Own! Monday
Real Food 101
Monday Mania
Homestead Barn Hop
mangia mondays
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Savvy HomeMade Monday
Fat Tuesday
Tuesdays At The Table
Tasty Tuesday
Family Time Tuesday
Frugal Tuesday
Premeditated Leftovers
Domestically Divine Tuesdays
What's Cooking Wednesday
Daily Organized Chaos
Real Food Wednesday
Pennywise Platter Thursday
Turning the Table Thursday
Things I Love Thursday
Friday Food
Foodie Friday
Frugal Friday

Monday, October 10, 2011

Seasoning Mixes, from scratch

Being relatively new to the world of food blogging as I am, I'm very excited to have found  blog carnivals.  Each day different bloggers post a theme and invite other bloggers to link up.  It's so much fun and it's a great way to  get the word out about your own blog, and it's a great way to get to know other bloggers and to find new recipes!

This week Make Your Own! Monday  asked "what are you making on your own and no longer purchasing at the store?"  And that got me thinking...seasoning mixes!!

I like to make my own seasoning mixes.  It's cheaper and I have complete control over what goes into them.  No added sugars, salt, or MSG or any other odd ingredients.

I have a delicious dry rub mix that I use on... well just about everything.  Seafood, beef, pork, chicken, roasted potatoes, stews and soups, hamburger patties, meatloaf ...you name it...

All Purpose Dry Rub Seasoning Mix
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chile powder
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
1/4 cup kosher salt

And I make a taco seasoning mix I use for taco meat and with re-fried beans when I'm making tostadas.

Taco Seasoning Mix
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1& 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper

Oh, and to make things easier, because I'm all about easy, designate a plastic container for each mix and write the recipe on the lid.  That way you won't have to track down the ingredient list when you need to make more.

So, what are you making at home that you no longer buy from the store?  

This post is also linked to:
mangia mondays 31
Melt in Your Mouth Monday Blog Hop
Make a Food-"e"- Friend Monday
Real Food 101
Made By You Monday
Tuesdays At The Table
Frugal Tuesday Tip
Nap Time Creations
Fat Tuesday
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Recipes I Can't Wait To Try
Day 2 Day Joys
Works-for-Me Wednesday
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday
DIY Thrifty Thursday
It's a Keeper Thursday
Things I Love Thursday
Full Plate Thursday
Freaky Friday