" . . . For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me." Philippians 4:13

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Soup Please

Campbell's is right . . . Soup IS good food.  I obtained this recipe from the back of the Publix Alphabet Pasta box.  At the time, Jack was about 2 and really liked soup.  He ate his fair share of this soup until at about age 5 he decided that he was allergic to most vegetables (thank goodness for grape tomatoes) and limited his diet to about 4 things, including pizza.  I'm hopeful that he will eventually realize that he is in fact NOT allergic to anything and will try this soup again.  This is really easy to make and can be made vegetarian (as I did yesterday) by just eliminating the beef, doubling the vegetables, and using Vegetable Stock base in lieu of the Beef Base.  My hardcore vegetarian husband loves this stuff!  Cornbread crumbled into the soup only accentuates the yumminess.  I will usually double the soup and freeze half.

Alphabet Vegetable Soup (From the Publix Alphabet Pasta box)

1 3/4 cups Publix Alphabet Pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (16 oz.) Publix Frozen mixed vegetables
1 (46 oz.) bottle of V-8 or Publix tomato juice
4 cup water (could use Broth)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Beef-flavored instant bouillon (I use Better Than Buillon Vegetable)
Parmesan cheese, grated
*To the original recipe, I add a can of Publix Petite Diced Tomatoes and 1/8 cup of sugar to each batch

In a large stock pot, brown ground beef and drain.  Stir in frozen mixed vegetables, tomato juice, water, bouillon, basil leaves, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add Alphabet Pasta and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.  Serve with Jalapeno Cornbread!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Kathy Peavy -- Ricotta and Ham Calzone

I love spending a Saturday afternoon at the Mellow Mushroom with my friend Kathy Peavy.  She is one of the smartest nurses I know (CNS in a very busy CCU) and she has great taste in food (MM Stuffed Portabella and calzones) and beer (Stella).  We manage to solve a lot of life's problems over a calzone.  Being a Jersey Girl, she suggested the traditional "New York Calzone" this past Saturday -- Ricotta and Ham.  Oh my.  Really good.  I recreated it for my wonderful MIL who graciously tries everything I make.  Serve with a side of Marinara for dipping.

The Kathy Peavy -- Ricotta and Ham Calzone

1 lb. pizza dough (make your own or buy)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I use Low-Fat)
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan, shredded
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 egg
sea salt and pepper
1/4 lb. ham, thinly sliced and cut into slivers
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the dough into 2 pieces (or 4 pieces -- depends on how large you want your calzone).  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, onion, and egg; stir until well combined.  Set aside.  Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into 2 rounds (or 4, if you want smaller calzones).  Place 1 dough round on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat.  Spoon 1/2 of the filling onto the round if making 2 calzones (*spoon only 1/4 of the filling onto the round if making 4 calzones).  Sprinkle 1/2 of the ham over the filling (or 1/4 of the ham if making 4 calzones).  Dab a little olive oil all around the edge of the dough.  Fold the round over itself to make a half-moon shape.  Crimp the dound with your fingers (I used a fork).  Repeat until you have made all the calzones.  Brush the tops of the calzones with olive oil, cut 3 small slits on tops, and sprinkle with a little sea salt.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Yields 2 large calzones (cut in half to serve) or 4 smaller calzones -- ultimately 4 people eat well when served hot with Marinara to dip, a side salad, and a Stella!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another Day One

I don't mind starting over. I see it as a sign that one hasn't given up, but has chosen to keep moving forward -- "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.". So, I'll keep posting at my on own speed, as my schedule allows.  My intent in publishing my recipes was only to create my own virtual cookbook that could easily be accessed at work when someone asked for a certain recipe or eventually, when Jack needed to know how to cook his favorite dish. As it is Fall, I am making soup right now. This was dinner last night . . .

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Dash pepper
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 1/3 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

In a large non stick saucepan coated with cooking spray, saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in flour until blended; cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the broccoli, tarragon, thyme, and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Add milk; cook, uncovered, 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. In a blender, process soup until smooth. Return to pan and heat through (do not boil). Stir in 1 cup of cheese until melted. Sprinkle servings with remaining cheese. Yield: 4 servings. *Shortcut: In lieu of blender step, use Immersion blender right in the pot as soup is cooking. End product will be a little more rustic, not as smooth.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day One

After many hours devoted to reading (and drooling) over the Food Blogs of so many other cooks around the world, I'm coming on in to the pool. Testing the water tonight and so far, it's not too cold. I want to archive my recipes here so that my son, my friends, my family, and myself have easy access to recipes that we have enjoyed together or at least talked about. Nothing fancy here -- my hat goes off to the food bloggers who capture their food on film. I'll post pics as my schedule allows. My first recipe to post? Hmmmmm.

Mom's Meatloaf

(From Barbara Wilson) *Makes 2 Meatloafs - FREEZE one!!
When I brought Jack home from the NICU, I was very stressed. Mom made me her meatloaf and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake for our "Welcome Home" dinner. I was very comforted by this meal and every time I make Mom's Meatloaf, I feel my Mommy giving me a big hug!

2 lbs. lean hamburger meat
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 slices crumbled/cubed bread
salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 eggs
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Soak the bread in the milk for 5 minutes. Remove bread and squeeze out excess milk. Mix together the bread with the rest of the ingredients. Put in 2 loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Top meatloaves with more ketchup. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes.

Mom’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoons water
1 8 oz. can pineapple slices, drained and halved
4 maraschino cherries, halved
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in a 9”x 1 1/2” round baking pan (or Grandma Wilson’s cast-iron skillet). Stir in brown sugar and water. Arrange pineapple and cherries in the pan. Set pan aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder. Add milk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen sides; invert onto a plate. Serves 8.