Friday, December 30, 2011

Creme Brulee

  Mike and I made creme brulee last week.  It was so delicious!  For those of you (like me) who have never had it before, it's basically a really great custard with a paper-thin layer of sugar.  It was remarkably easy, and so creamy and decadent.  Those little black bits?  Little vanilla beans.  I got such a kick out of using a real vanilla bean.  I may be a big dork, but it was fun. :)  Plus the vanilla flavor was out of this world!
  Sorry I can't include the recipe, but it's an America's Test Kitchen recipe that you can find in their Baking Basics DVD or I'm sure in one of their books.  The only change I would make is the sugar for the top.  They call for demerara sugar, but we preferred regular old white sugar.
  I totally recommend trying it, especially since we have Valentine's Day coming up!  What a fancy little dessert for the little sweeties in your life.  :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Potato, Potah-to

I love fall and winter for many reasons, but one of them is that it is SOUP weather.  I love it.  This soup is so easy, with so few ingredients that it is definitely a go-to recipe in our house.  Plus, it's really delicious.  The toppings can be changed.  This time we just added salt, pepper, and some grilled onions.  It was awesome.  Enjoy the cool weather!

Potato Soup
3 cups fat free milk (or any kind is fine)
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
2 c. frozen Southern-style hash browns
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (cheddar is the best but you can use other kinds, too)
green onions

Mix milk and soup in large saucepan.  Stir in hashbrowns.  Bring to boil on high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer 10 minutes stirring constantly.  Top with cheese, bacon and onions.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pea Soup and Genius Husbands

Stick to your ribs soup.  Warm you up soup.  So good.

Split Pea Soup

1 lb split peas
 garlic powder
Mrs. Dash
2 Bay Leaves
2 chicken bouillon
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced
small ham chunks

1.  Rinse peas.  In large pot, place 12 c water, peas, ham, onion, seasonings, and bouillon.  (I didn't have bouillon so I just subsitituted chicken broth - 8 c. chicken broth, 4 c. water but it could have had more water I think and been fine.) Bring to simmer - cook uncovered 1 1/2 hours.  Stir every 15-20 minutes or so.
2.  Add carrots and cook continuing simmering another 2 1/2 hours.  Keep stirring.
3.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve as is or blend in blender or with immersion blender.

Tilt your head to the right. 
That is genius right there. 
No, not me.  I can't figure out why blogger isn't putting this picture up right.  It's driving me bonkers.

My husband is the genius.  We kept losing our cups.  We'd set it down and then forget which was ours.  So he just put some soap dishes up above the sink and voila!  We always know which cup is ours!  He also put two up for sponges, etc and a bracket for a washcloth to clean up the kiddos.  The paintbrush isn't usually there.  :)  It is so nice to have everything clean and organized around the sink. 
Thanks sweetie!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mummy Dogs

Mummy Dogs are definitely going to be a Halloween tradition around here.  Andrew loved the mustard eyes.  I'm not a huge hot dog fan but for some reason these are soooo much better.  Just wrap strips of cresent dough around hot dogs cut in half.  Bake according to dough instructions and add mustard or ketchup eyes.  Yeah, it's basically pigs in a blanket, only with a much less gross name. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mushroom, Onion, and Chicken Pasta

I didn't used to be a mushroom fan. Turns out, if you use cruddy mushrooms, they don't taste good. And canned mushrooms.....*shudder*.
This is a variation on a Rachel Ray recipe, and it is super super good. The original recipe calls for orzo pasta and more meat than we normally eat in stuff. We use a bigger noodle and add a dash of salt. Hope you like it!
Mushroom, Onion, and Chicken Orzo Pasta
1. Heat water to boil. Salt and add orzo pasta.
2. Preheat skillet to med-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil. Season chicken breasts as desired (we just grill ours without any seasonings). Cook chicken. Remove from heat. Cover with foil on plate.
3. Add 2 tbsp butter to skillet and add mushrooms. Cook until brown. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp. dried thyme, and 1-2 onions (as desired). Cook until onions wilt.
4. Add 2 tbsp. flour. Whisk in 1 1/2 c chicken broth, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 3 tbsp. heavy whipping cream.
5 Simmer until thickened. Add chicken and orzo pasta. Add 1/4 c. fresh parsley.
6. Serve.
7. Eat.
8. No, seriously. Stop reading this recipe and go eat!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fridge Help

Is it weird that I want my fridge organized? So I need help. The bottom right hand side is Aaron's so that's no problem, but it's the rest of the fridge that needs help. Anyone have a great system?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gooey Butter Cookies

These. Are. Amazing.
Word to the wise, as hard as it may be, wait until these are completely cooled, cold even. Now, I'm one of those people who don't like warm desserts. Warm apple pie? No way. Put that puppy in the fridge. I'tm not even going to get started on the saddness that is...gulp...HOT fudge on ice cream. But even my husband, who loves warm cookies, agreed that these needed to be cool.  Cold, they are addictive, incredible, delicious, buttery....amazing!

Gooey Butter Cookies

1/2 c butter, softened
1 egg
1 butter yellow cake mix
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c powdered sugar

Beat butter, cheese, egg, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Blend in cake mix. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Drop by teaspoonful balls of batter into powdered sugar and mix to coat. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

*I made them a bit bigger and still just cooked for 13 minutes or so. Don't overcook these!