Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Freezer Friendly Broccoli Cheese Soup

This has become our favorite soup.  We bought the disposable soup cups and lids from our local restaurant supply.  A double batch gives us each 12 cups. Basically 2 weeks of lunches (if our stash isn't found :)) Thanks to Tricia for a great recipe.

¼ c butter
¼ c flour
2 c half and half
2 c chicken stock
½ c chopped onion
1 ½ c frozen chopped broccoli
1 c chopped carrots
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
¼ tsp nutmeg
In a large stock pan over medium heat, melt butter and add flour.  Whisk together while it cooks for 3-4 minutes.  Slowly stir in half and half and chicken stock, and continue to whisk together.  Cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer.  Once simmering, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  After simmering, add onion, broccoli, and carrots.  Cook over low heat for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add salt, pepper, and cheese.  As the cheese melts, make sure to stir well to combine.  Once cheese has melted, add nutmeg and remove from heat.  Soup will be have vegetable chunks.  If you prefer your soup smoother, use an immersion blender to get desired consistency.  Freezing Directions: Prepare soup as directed above and allow to cool.  Divide into quart or gallon freezer bags, label, and freeze.  To serve: reheat in microwave for 1-2 minutes or on stove top for 10 minutes until warmed through.   Servings: 4

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bacon and Parmesan Pasta (aka Pasta Carbonora)

1 lb bacon (2-3 pkgs bacon bits)
1 pkg penne pasta
1 c heavy whipping cream
8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c parmesan
2 eggs
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, start the sauce.  Now, you’ll wanna add a cup of heavy cream and the package of cream cheese to a saucepan and heat on low.  Once the cream cheese is nice and smooth, remove from heat.  Now add these guys… Two eggs and 1/2 cup of the shredded parmesan   Mix well.  If you’re freakin’ out about the eggs not being cooked, don’t.  The heat from the pasta will cook ‘em right up!  You’ll wanna fry up some bacon, and chop it all up.  Drain pasta and return to pot.  Now add the sauce mix and chopped bacon.  Mix well to coat.

I took this to our sunday dinner with the in-laws and neighbors.  I pre-made the sauce, pre-cooked the pasta.  I re-heated the sauce as the pasta reheated.  This was very good.  Almost as good as the pasta carbonora we had in Italy 25 yrs ago.  It re-heated well, is filing enough you could serve as a "light" dinner w/a salad.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Stop and give thanks to those you serve and have served and those who have died for our freedom.  We live in a world that young men and women have given up time from their families so we can spend time with ours.

God Bless America

Friday, May 24, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake

4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (I used special dark chocolate bars chopped)
1 stick unsalted butter (I used salted)
¾ c sugar
3 lg eggs
½ c unsweetened cocoa powder
Butter an 8 inch round cake pan, line pan with wax paper and butter wax paper.  Melt chocolate and butter in a small metal bowl placed over a saucepan with boiling water. Turn burner down when water starts boiling, but keep at a simmer. Stir until you have a smooth mixture. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. When well combined, add in eggs. Stir until smooth, then add cocoa powder. Stir until just mixed.  Pour into pan and bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, and then invert onto cake plate or serving platter.  

This was VERY good and easy!  Being who I am I had everything measured out before I started, that worked well. After you add the eggs (I beat slightly) it gets thick and then thicker when you add the cocoa powder.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Made this for a "girls" lunch at work.  Didn't have fresh basil, used cheese sticks (use what you have, right?).  This was delish!  The avocados turned a little, but what you would expect if you were cutting them for your lunch in the morning.

2 avocados, cubed
2 tomatoes, cubed
Fresh mozzarella, cubed
Fresh basil, sliced into thin strips
Girard's Champagne dressing
salt & pepper, to taste
Combine avocado, tomato, mozzarella, & basil in a large bowl.  Top with dressing and toss to coat.  The dressing is available at Kroger or Target.   This salad is best served fresh, although I've made it at night & eaten it for lunch the next day.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pull Apart Bread

OK, so I love finding blogs or Facebook pages dedicated to food!  Took this to dinner and it was DEVOURED!  I think this also goes by Crack Bread.  My nephew doesn't like ranch, so we didn't tell him (shh don't tell my secret), and he loved it!

1 loaf of Italian Bread
8 oz shredded Mexican cheese blend (I used colby jack)
16 oz crisp cooked bacon, diced (I used 2 pkg bacon bits)
½ c unsalted butter, melted
1 TBS Hidden Valley Ranch dry dressing mix
Prepare 2 sheets of aluminum foil to wrap bread in, overlap the foil so the bread will be completely covered. On a cutting board, slice bread in 3/4-inch intervals, being careful to not cut all the way through. Cut again, crosswise, not cutting all the way through. Slide bread onto foil and stuff cheese between all cuts: sprinkle with bacon. Mix melted butter and ranch mix, with a fork, and drizzle over top of bread evenly. Wrap foil around bread snuggly and bake at 350 for 15 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes more. Serve hot. Enjoy! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Shredded Chicken

Wish I could give credit to the owner of this idea!  Saw it on either Facebook or a someone's blog. Wish I had thought of this simple idea!

Perfectly shredded chicken in seconds.... throw cooked chicken (still warm/hot) in Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment. Turn to speed 4-6 and in 20 seconds you'll have perfect, restaurant style shredded chicken.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tomato Basil Chicken Penne

Got this thru a facebook share.  OMG!  So good! So easy!  and perfect for summer, a pasta meal that isn't heavy with sauce.  We've had this several times and I made it for Savannah's b-day at work.  I just put the 9x13 in my roaster oven (work friends said only I would have a "portable oven") and off to work we went.  With salad it is a perfect meal.  Thanks to Cris at GOODENESSgracious for a new favorite.  I'm sure I'll have more.

12 oz Box Penne- Cooked
1 1/2 lb Chicken Tenderloins- Cooked and Cubed
2 15 oz Cans Diced Tomatoes with Basi, Garlic and Oregano
1/2 C Fresh Basil- Chopped
1 Clove Garlic- Minced
1/2 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Combine all ingredients except pasta and cheese in a skillet and heat through.  Add in pasta and mix well before pouring into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Top with cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese melts and browns slightly.  (I have baked at 350 for about 30 minutes, and it "baked" in the roaster for 2 hours at 250).