Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup

Don't faint, but I did take a picture of this one. I made myself wait to consume it until I had a picture, just for you. This soup is creamy and hearty delicious and full of immune-boosting garlic - perfect for the "cold" season!

Take 3 whole heads of garlic and chop the top third off of each one. Wrap each head of garlic in aluminum foil and put in a 350 oven for 50-60 minutes. Remove and let cool, then squeeze all the pulp out of each garlic into a bowl. Mash with a fork and set aside.

As for the soup itself, start with cooking some bacon in the bottom of a large pot. I used 4 slices of center-cut bacon, which is comparatively lean. Once the bacon is cooked, remove and add to the hot bacon grease 4 carrots and 2 ribs of celery, finely diced. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add 2 cloves of minced garlic and oh, probably about 3 pounds of red potatoes, diced into small pieces. Cover with chicken broth and water, until the potatoes are barely covered with liquid. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Once the veggies are tender, take about 2 cups of the mixture and add to the roasted garlic; mash with potato masher and return to pot. Stir it all together, and crumble the reserved bacon into the soup. Serve right away or let it sit on low, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Meatball Subs

Here's another one that I don't have a picture of. Wow, I don't know what is wrong with me. Maybe it's the pregnancy...I get so hungry that my first thought when supper is ready is not, "Okay, where is my camera?" But I need to go ahead and post this one so I don't forget it, because we all loved it! Maybe next time I make it I can add a picture!

First, the bread. You could certainly buy any hoagie style buns that you like, but lately I have been on a kick of making ALL of the bread that we eat from scratch. Maybe it's like nesting, or maybe it's because I know this will probably be impossible once new baby makes her appearance! But here is the recipe I used (adapted from Taste of Home):

  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) quick rising dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour, plus extra for kneading

  • Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl. Add the water and oil, and mix until combined. Use hands to knead, adding more flour as needed (I could make a joke here but I'll refrain), for about 5 to 10 minutes. Place ball of dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour. Divide into 6 portions, shape into loaves, and then cover and let rise again. I let them rise the second time for another hour, but you don't have to wait that long. Bake at 400 for about 12-15 minutes.

    Now for the meatballs - super simple. Mix one pound lean ground beef, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, and a splash or two of soy sauce in a bowl. Form into balls and brown in an oven-safe skillet, olive oil, for about 2-3 minutes per side. Add some minced garlic, and then one large can of crushed tomatoes, as well as Italian herbs to season. Bring to a boil and then transfer to a 400 oven for 15-20 minutes.

    Split your homemade hoagie rolls, and place meatballs inside, topped with mozzarella cheese. Serve with baked sweet potatoes or the veggie of your choice.

    So wish I had a picture to share.

    But at least my tummy is happy.


    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Chicken Butternut Stew

    I don't have a picture of this one, sorry. I guess we gobbled it up too fast! But it's super easy and very tasty, and I really think you should try it!

    I started with some bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, covered them in water, and poached them for about 30 minutes on each side, shredding the meat after they were cooked and cooled, and reserving the broth for the stew. Of course, you could use any cooked, shredded chicken that is easiest for you, and store-bought chicken broth if that floats your boat! This way is simply more economical for our family (and a bit tastier, too!)

    Chop an onion and saute in olive oil. Add 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add some minced garlic to cook for about a minute, then cover with chicken broth and one can of diced tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and any Italian herbs you have on hand, and let it cook until the squash is tender (at least 20 minutes - but with the freedom to leave it on the stove much longer if that fits your schedule better.) Stir in one cup of quinoa and cook for an additional 30 minutes, until the stew thickens and the quinoa is tender.

    Oh how I wish i could show you a picture! But I hope you enjoy anyway!

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Why is this soup so stinking good? I have no idea. But it is. It earned a "10" from everyone in my house, both for supper and for lunch the next day.

    I started with a package of bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts that I got on sale for $0.99/lb. It had 2 large split chicken breasts in it, which I put in a pot, just barely covered with salted water, and simmered on the stove for about 45 minutes on each side. BOOM - homemade chicken broth.

    In a large pot, saute one large sweet onion (none other than Vidalia, of course), and one red bell pepper, both chopped into small pieces. When they are tender, add 1 bag of frozen corn kernels, 1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed), one small can of green chiles, one large can of crushed tomatoes, and the liquid that the cooked chicken is sitting in. Put the chicken itself aside until it's cool enough to handle, then pull the skin off and shred the meat. Add the meat, along with some chili powder and cumin, back to the soup, and let simmer until ready to eat. This was more of a stew texture, which we really like, but you could add more water or broth to thin it out if you prefer a more soupy soup.

    As for the tortilla part of the chicken tortilla soup, we didn't actually get that far. The original idea was to serve with crushed tortillas on the top, but the chips didn't make our grocery budget this week, so we ate it with saltines that we already had.

    We didn't really miss the tortillas.