Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This past weekend we had a Birthday party for our mom (Happy Birthday Mom!!) and the menu consisted of several varieties of soup. My soup: Loaded Baked Potato. It was REALLY delicious and not as bad for you as some other versions of this soup out there... although it probably still isn't too good for you! :)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

6 potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup (+ 1 soup can water)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
3 cups milk
1 Tablespoon Tastefully Simple's Onion, Onion Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Tastefully Simple's Bacon, Bacon Seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon

Wash potatoes and bake them as you would a baked potato (I used the microwave which works well). Leave skins on the potatoes and cut into bite sized pieces. Cook the bacon until extra crispy and crumble. Add the remaining ingredients and let it cook. This soup is rather thick so feel free to add more milk or less potatoes.

Enjoy!! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup with Cheese Tortellini.

I found a new food blogger For the Love of Cooking who has some amazing looking recipes. Below is my take on one of the many I plan to try!

Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup with Cheese Tortellini

(adapted from For the Love of Cooking)

To Roast the Tomatoes:

2 – 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes

4 tablespoons wild tree roasted garlic grape seed oil (or olive oil)

Salt & pepper to taste

2 teaspoons dried basil

Dried garlic to equivalent 4-6 cloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Strain tomatoes from juice, reserving juice. Line baking sheet with foil and cover with cooking spray. Place tomatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with grape seed oil. Sprinkle with basil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes – do not over roast or tomatoes will become dry.

To Make the Soup:

2 tablespoons roasted garlic grape seed oil (or olive oil)

1 yellow onion (diced)

3 carrots (diced)

4 stalks of celery (diced)

Dried garlic to equivalent 4 cloves

4 cups chicken broth

Bay leaf

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1.5 cup milk

20 oz. package of cheese tortellini

Grated romano cheese

Heat grape seed oil, onion, carrot, and celery in large soup pan. Cook until tender. Add garlic and stir. Add broth, reserved tomato juice, bay leaf, sugar, vinegar, and roasted tomatoes. Cook over medium-low heat for 2-3 hours.

Place milk in a separate blow. Slowly add a little bit of soup mixture into milk. Do NOT pour cold milk into the soup because it will curdle. Once the milk is warm, add it to the soup and stir until mixed. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.

Add tortellini and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve in a soup bowl topped with romano!

Really, this is not difficult or time consuming to make. Most of your time is spent smelling the soup cook and resisting the urge to try it before it’s complete! The end result is tasty!

And, if you do not have an immersion blender, you will want to buy or borrow one (thanks mom!) - trying to pour or strain and use a regular blender will make more dirty dishes and make you more work than you need to!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rustic Caramel Apple Tart.

This was the cutest little apple dessert ever! And when I say little, I really do mean it. I adapted a recipe from my Cooking for Two magazine. The end product - perfect for four! The best part? It tasted good! It was similar to an apple pie but without the top crust...and since I don't really like the crust this was perfect for me! Served with a little vanilla ice cream - this was the perfect end to my day!

Rustic Caramel Apple Tart
(Adapted from Taste of Home - Cooking for 2)

2/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter
6 teaspoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extra

2 cups chopped & peeled apples
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

cinnamon & sugar mixture
caramel ice cream topping

Combine flour, sugar, and salt for crust. Cut in butter until crumbly. Slowly add water and vanilla until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet. Combine filling ingredients and place on top of pastry - leaving about a 1.5 inch edge clear of filling. Fold up the edges of the pastry over the filling (the center will stay uncovered). Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. Remove from oven, cool slightly, top with caramel sauce, and serve warm!

Seriously so good you may want to double the recipe and have extra servings!! Enjoy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Bundles.

While these are slightly time consuming, they will be well worth your efforts! They taste so good! And if you are not into spinach I think you could take the basic recipe - use some cheddar cheese and broccoli and get a very different, but probably equally delicious alternative recipe!

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

(Adapted from Kraft)

4 oz. cream cheese softened

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed and well drained

1.25 cups mozzarella and garlic cheese (divided)

6 tablespoon grated parmesan (divided)

3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness and cut in half the long way

1 egg

12 RITZ Crackers, crushed

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1.5 cups spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella and 3 tablespoons parmesan until well blended; spread onto chicken breasts. Starting at one short end of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Set aside.

Beat egg in shallow dish. In a separate bowl, mix remaining parmesan, cracker crumbs, and Italian seasoning. Dip each chicken bundle in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Remove, top with spaghetti sauce and remaining mozzarella. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes (or until spaghetti sauce is heated and mozzarella is melted.

I served these with some green beans and a piece of garlic toast. These chicken bundles would also be good place upon a bed of spaghetti!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Banana Oatmeal Graham Muffins

I experimented with banana muffins last night in an effort to use up some overripe bananas and lucky for all of you, came with a recipe good enough to share! :)

Banana Oatmeal Graham Muffins

Wet Ingredients:
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg

Dry Ingredients:
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
3 graham crackers, coarsely crushed

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 T. flour
2 T. butter
dash cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all wet ingredients and add dry ingredients to mixture. Place muffin liners in muffin pan and fill liners atleast 3/4 full. Prepare streusel by cutting butter into the remaining topping mixture. Cover each muffin with streusel topping. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, allow to cool and enjoy! :)

Makes one dozen muffins.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup.

I am on some strange soup kick. This is not like me! is another delicious soup recipe!

Italian Wedding Soup.


1 pound ground pork sausage
1/4 cup Italian dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients. Form into 1-inch balls, place on cookie sheet, and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned.


3 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced carrots, cut into ¼ inch pieces
1/2 cup diced celery, cut into ¼ inch pieces
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried onion
1 teaspoon dried garlic
5 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
½ cup dry white wine
1/2 small pasta
2 teaspoons dried
1 cup dried spinach

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add carrots, celery, red pepper flakes, dried onion, and dried garlic. Sauté until softened – 5 to 6 minutes.

Add wine and bring to a boil. Add broth and water. Bring back to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 9 minutes.

Add the dill and meatballs to the soup and simmer for 20 minutes. Add spinach and cook until hydrated. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

This comes together fairly quickly and taste delicious! Phenomenal with a side of fresh bread. I would definitely make this again, but the next time I think I would make chicken meatballs - the same ones I made back in August.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hearty Tortellini Soup.

No picture today. Soup is hard to photograph! If you have any tips, please share.

This soup was awesome for two reasons - it allowed me to use up some bratwurst we had leftover from out latest "grill out" and it tasted great!

Hearty Tortellini Soup
Adapted from Taste of Home
6 brats (could use pre-cooked, cook just for the purpose, or use leftovers)
1 quart water
2 quarts italian-seasoned tomatoes
1 packet lipton onion soup mix combined with one cup water
1 cup frozen cut green beans
1 cup frozen cut carrots
1 cup dried spinach (I had some dried from last summer's garden. You could also use fresh or omit altogether)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp garlic
2 cups cheese tortellini (prepared according to package directions)

Cut brats in bite-size pieces. Place in soup kettle with all other ingredients except tortellini. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Uncover and add tortellini.

Then enjoy.

You must keep in mind that I am not a huge soup-person, but I thought this soup was delicious. I ate it for lunch almost every day this week. I even made my aunt eat some and she said it was good. My husband and his farmer intern also liked it. Make it; you'll like it!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Eight Layer Tortilla Bake.

8 Layer Tortilla Bake

Back in June, I brought this recipe to you without pictures. I made it again last night with a few changes and thought I'd share the visual with you. This is truly a very EASY recipe and really delicious. To get the recipe: Click here!

The changes I made with this one is that I added a can of green chilies to the black beans and refried beans and also two layers of taco seasoned ground beef.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ham Roll Ups

Ham Roll Ups are one the quickest, easiest and most delicious appetizers you can whip up. I'm not sure where the original recipe came from, but I believe I first had it when my aunt Cindy brought them to a family gathering. Either way, the are really good but quite addictive - you won't be able to only have one!

Ham Roll Ups

Ham - I used cooked ham from a deli, feel free to use prepackaged lunch meat.
Cream Cheese - 4 oz. or however much is necessary, depending on how many you wish to make
Dill Pickles - 12 to 16

1. Let Cream Cheese soften.
2. Spread Cream Cheese on ham slice.
3. Wrap pickle in ham.
4. Slice and enjoy!

See - very easy! :)