Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hearty Tomato Soup

It is way too bitterly cold to even go outside today. With wind chill it is about –25 today and it is just going to get colder. Tomorrow they are saying –45 degrees. The kind of weather where the weatherman said if you put a thawed freezy pop outside it will turn solid in 10 minutes. The kind where you will get frostbite in 5 to 10 minutes. O what joy. So what do I do to have fun indoors? I potty train my 2 year old. ;)brrrr1
With such cold weather I want some comfort food! Tomato soup and grilled cheese is just it! Just looking outside I want to curl up with a big bowl of hearty tomato soup and allow it to warm me up to the core. This homemade version is so yummy and isn’t packed full of preservatives. My daughter just loved this soup and ate it by the ladle full's. Chunks of tomatoes and all! {When I was younger I had to have my dad strain my grandmas homemade tomato soup!} I know right?! Pair it with a cheesy buttery grilled cheese and you are set. tomatosoup
Hearty Tomato Soup
1/4 medium onion (chopped)
1 stalk on celery with leaves (chopped)
4 Tbs butter
48 oz 100% tomato juice
2 (15oz) cans diced petite tomatoes
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 container home-style chicken stock or 1 chicken bullion cube
1 cup whole milk {you can use what you have on hand}
pepper to taste

Melt butter in dutch oven and sauté onion and celery until tender. Add diced tomatoes, juice, and sugar. Bring to a boil and turn down heat. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add chicken flavoring. Add milk and stir. DO NOT BOIL. Once warmed through serve and enjoy!
Adapted: The Pioneer Woman

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sweet Potato Enchilada Pie

So apparently today is National Pie Day! I know right?! How did you not have this marked on your calendar? Who makes up these holidays and how can I get on that committee? Just in case you aren’t one to celebrate National Pie Day than you will be happy to know that today is also National Handwriting Day. Uffda, thank goodness there is an alternative for today’s celebration! But in my house we will celebrate National Pie Day by enjoying this delicious Sweet Potato Enchilada Pie! Sounds kinda crazy, I know. But it is so delicious. It is such a unique combination of flavors. This recipe is actually the one that made me realize I might actually like sweet potatoes. I hope you are willing to catch the Pie Day spirit and give this recipe a shot.
sweet potato
Sweet Potato Enchilada Pie
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tbs water
1 lb ground beef
1/2 medium onion chopped
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed
1 can (10oz) enchilada sauce
3 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large microwave safe bowl combine cubed sweet potatoes and water. Cover and microwave for 5 minutes or until soft. {This is where the sweet potato will soften the most so make sure there isn’t any crunch left!}
Meanwhile cook beef and onion on medium heat. Once cooked stir in beans, enchilada sauce, and sweet potato and heat through.
Place flour tortilla in greased 9 inch pie plate and layer beef mixture on top add some cheese. Repeat this layer twice and finish with cheese on top.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Serve with Sour Cream {I think this totally makes the dish complete!}
Source: Simple and Delicious Magazine

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Split Pea and Ham Soup

I’m totally having a first world problem right now. First world problem you ask? My husband had to enlighten me on what this first world problem is all about…First World Problem
I’m going to confess to you my first world problem. I don’t get the Food Network Channel anymore! We cancelled our dish and now I’m left with bunny ears. I miss Paula Deen. I miss Chopped. I miss Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. If I was having a bad day I would just sit down and watch one of my favorite food shows! Now I am left with PBS. But don’t worry I found me a new food show that will fill my void. For now. It is America’s Test Kitchen. This is where I found this delicious recipe for Homemade Split Pea and Ham Soup.
My dad can sometimes be a hard cookie to please but he thought that this soup was “marvelous!” I will take that compliment. This soup is so full of pork flavor with out having to use a ham bone. Strips of bacon simmering with the soup is the secret weapon in this recipe. Its a must try.
split pea and ham
Split Pea and Ham Soup
2 Tbs butter
1/2 medium onion finely chopped
7 cups of water
1 lb ham steak {skin removed and cut into quarters}
3 slices thick bacon
1 lb green split peas {make sure to rinse them before using them}
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces
1 rib celery, cut into small pieces

Heat butter in your large sweet dutch oven {i still love mine!} over medium high heat. Add onion when butter starts to foam. Stir frequently until the onions are softened. Add water, ham steak, bacon, peas, thyme, and bay leaves. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Stir frequently so peas won’t stick to the bottom. Once simmering reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the peas are tender.
Remove ham steak and cover with foil or plastic wrap. {This prevents the ham from drying out} Set this aside. Stir in chopped carrots and celery. Continue to simmer covered until the vegies are tender about another 30 minutes.
Shred the ham steak into bite sized pieces with two forks. Now it is time to remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and bacon slices. Once those are removed stir in the shredded ham steak.
Serve with salt and pepper so it can be added to your taste preference.
Enjoy this beautiful comforting soup!

Adapted From: America's Test Kitchen

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chicken Wonton Tacos

I tried this recipe with not a lot of hope that it would turn out. For some reason when I try to make Asian inspired recipes they just don’t turn out. I tried another recipe a couple of weeks ago using Asian Toasted Sesame dressing and it just fell flat. But this one is so tasty! Its got crunch from the wonton wrappers, spice from the jalapeños, and a sweet touch from the dressing. The best part is I didn’t deep fry them because with my lack of a gall bladder I can’t handle it! Serve them up as an appetizer or enjoy them as your main course.
Chicken Wonton Tacos -Makes about 14 tacos
1/2 Rotisserie Chicken shredded
Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
1 package wonton wrappers
1/2 package coleslaw
2 Tbs oil
8-10 diced jalapeño slices (i have a jar of jalapeños I keep on hand)
2 Tbsp chopped peanuts

Combine coleslaw, oil, jalapeños,peanuts, and about 1/4 c Asian Sesame dressing until moistened. Refrigerate for at least one hour. This allows the flavors to meld.
Shred the rotisserie chicken and pour about another 1/4 c Asian dressing over the chicken until it is well moistened. You can refrigerate this at the same time as the coleslaw.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take two wonton wrappers and put a small layer of chicken down the center and fold it over like a taco. Spray cookie sheet and layer filled wontons on this to bake. Bake for 10 minutes. {At this point you could serve them with the coleslaw but I wanted them a little more crispy} Heat 1 Tbs oil on medium heat in a skillet. Pan fry for a couple of minutes on each side until they turn golden.
Take the wonton taco and put a layer of premade coleslaw down the center.
Serve while warm and Enjoy! Soooo delicious :)
Adapted: Life As A Lofthouse

Friday, January 4, 2013

Breakfast Pizza

This is by far one of my husbands favorite meals that I make. He really likes it when its time for this pizza. The last time I made this his words were “Its been too long.” And that is all he said! {Well besides all the oohs and ahhs!}  It is a very easy pizza to make and takes very little effort to put together which makes it all that better to me!
pizza ing
Who doesn’t love the excuse to eat breakfast for supper? I know I do!
breakfast pizza 
{Granted my picture doesn’t do it complete justice, just take my husbands word! It is very good!}
Breakfast Pizza:
7.5 oz Alfredo Sauce (1/2 of a 15 oz jar)
6 slices bacon
6 eggs (scrambled)
14 oz premade pizza crust (found in the pizza isle in the grocery store-non refrigerated)
1/4 c pepper jack cheese
1/2 – 1 c cheddar cheese (again I love cheese so I leaned towards the 1 cup side!)
Cook bacon according to package and crumble into pieces. Reserve some bacon grease to scramble the eggs in. (Extra flavor!) Put half of a jar of Alfredo sauce in a layer on the premade pizza crust. Top with scrambled eggs and bacon pieces. Then layer on the cheese. Cook according to your pizza crust package.