Tagged: soup

WIAW #21- Stuck in a Rut

Hey ya’ll!! So happy it’s finally Wednesday, wouldn’t you agree?! I’m terribly sorry for my lack of posts this last week. It’s been a pretty busy time – and I know it’s just going to get busier in the coming months!! When I get busy…I get stuck in food ruts!! Do you have the same problem? It’s a little disappointing that I was on such a roll posting a new recipe every week and then *BAM* the busy hit and it’s just sooooo much easier to plan meals that are tried and true rather than trying to get creative. On this week’s menu I’ve got all of my fallbacks – chicken fajitas, teriyaki tilapia with brown rice and salad, and chicken pesto tortilla pizzas. Of course I’m pretty lucky to only have to prepare dinner for the hubs and I a mere three nights this week – because Friday we’re leaving for South Carolina!! Woot!!! I am so excited to get our mini vaca on (I am less excited for the car ride and the amount of times I will need to stop to pee.)

As usual, a big thank you goes out to Miss Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting this linkup every week. Time for the foods (albeit pretty standard and what I’ve been eating lots of lately) I ate this Monday!

Breakfast: Another one of my fallbacks, banana chocolate chip protein muffins. I made a double batch so we can take some on the road with us this weekend, too! Though I’m getting to a point where I’m so effing hungry all the time that these guys only fill me up until about 9:30 before I want to snack and I used to be able to make it to 10. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the baby growing in my belly. I’m also pretty sure she loves these muffins, because after I eat them she usually does a little dance for about a half hour or so. I also had some decaf earl gray in my Charleston Tea Plantation mug to prepare for the weekend!!
nommy muffins

Snack: My first snack of the day was a hard-boiled egg and some 2% pepperjack. This particular photo is NOT recycled. I do actually always make a smiley face with this snack…because why not?
face snack

Snack Again: Still hungry? Yes! At about 11 I munched on a gala apple.
apple

Lunch: I made up a batch of my ravioli minestrone last Thursday maybe…either way…it was a big batch and I’m still enjoying the leftovers. This bowl was sans the ravioli with a little parmesan on top and probably more red pepper flakes than I needed, but it was delightful!
soup

Delicious Beverage: As the weather is finally getting enjoyable, Johnny and I took a walk to the nearest coffee shop on our lunch break on Monday and I snagged my first iced coffee of the season! Just a decaf one with a wee bit of half and half and some sugar! Perfect!!
ice coffee

Snack: There have been times when I’ve asked myself over the last 30 weeks if I reaaaaally think I’m going to be a good mom. When I think about it, it’s so terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I feel like most great things are. (Like roller coasters!) Generally, I do. I think I’m going to be a pretty awesome Mom, actually. And I know that my hubalub is going to be an amazing Dad. I’ve already determined that my baby girl will lovingly be referred to as a number of food items as I’ve already started calling her “muffin” and “pumpkin” and “cupcake” when I talk to my belly. When I do have a moment of doubt, though, I remind myself that if I make snacks this pretty for myself – I’m going to make awesome snacks for my kids. Lol.
pretty rice cake

Snack: Carrots and hummus to tide me over.
carrots

Dinner: Johnny went out on Monday night so dinner was all up to me! I made myself a SEAT! Spinach, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato sandwich!! I found out at my last doctor’s appointment that I’m slightly anemic and I need to start taking iron supplements in addition to my prenatal vitamins. Although my diet is already fairly high in iron, it’s much higher in calcium, which can hinder iron absorption. I’ve been doing what I can since I found out to eat as many iron rich foods (like spinach and egg yolks!) as I can to make my body happier. I wilted two giant handfuls of spinach down in a small skillet and added two whole eggs that I cooked over hard. I plopped my spinachy eggs on some whole wheat toast with avocado and tomato slices. It was soooooooooooo delicious!! Sure, it’d probably be even better with bacon and cheddar cheese (but what wouldn’t be, really?), but I was trying to stay on board the health train.
SEAT

Dessert:And obviously my day isn’t complete without sometttthing a little sweet to cap it all off. More peanut butter greek yogurt with chocolate chips please. Yes, the photo IS recycled….but that’s because I was too busy watching Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part II on ABC Family to bother snapping a photo of my snack when I had this perfectly good photo to reuse.

peanut butter greek yogurt

So that’s all she wrote, folks!! Next week I’ll be sharing some of my eats from my trip to SC!

What are your favorite snacks to bring on a road trip??
When you go out to eat on vacation, do you try to keep it healthy or do you prefer to indulge?
Are you a sucker for a Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family like me? Or can you resist?!

Soup for Days

So I’m not sure if you’ve gathered this about me based on some of my more recent posts (like White Chicken Chili, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, and My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever…buuuuuut I really like soup.

Like, I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaly like soup.

Like I could eat soup every day and be totally happy with my life.

Although there are many soups I am quite fond of, for as long as I can remember, Matzo Ball Soup has always been one of my most favorites!. If you’re not familiar with Matzo Ball Soup, it’s essentially like a delicious chicken noodle soup, minus the noodles, plus matzo balls. Matzo, if you’re not familiar with it (which ,if you’re a child of the Rugrats generation, I find hard to believe – but ya never know) is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week of Passover among other holidays, like Hanukkah!

Now, I don’t talk much about religion or faith – particularly on my blog. It’s  just one of those things, ya know? But, in sum, although some of my family is Jewish and actively practices the religion, I wasn’t raised to follow any particular religion. I was just raised with faith. We celebrated Christmas… and sometimes I lit a menorah. I participated in a few Passover Sedars in my time, I learned to write my name in Hebrew, and I know what L’shanah tovah means.

My husband is Catholic, our wedding was Catholic, our children will be Catholic, and I’m confident when I say that there will come a day where I will be Catholic. Regardless of my choice of religion, I’m proud of my Jewish heritage. (Some people have a hard time separating those two and understand the difference. That’s pretty much why I don’t talk about it.) Ultimately, though, the extent of my Judaism is my constant use of Oy Vey in everyday conversation, letting my friends know if they’ve got a schmutz on their face, and my ability to make a perfect pot of Matzoh Ball Soup.

Every good Jewish girl (or lover of Matzo Ball Soup) knows the key…is schmaltz. Schmaltz is chicken fat. Yuppers! Chicken fat. You cannot make a perfect pot of Matzo Ball Soup in a day. You make the stock ahead of time, chill it, and remove the fat from the top of the chilled stock. That fat is what makes Matzo Ball perfection. Here is my recipe for Matzo Ball Soup.

Matzo Ball Soup

For The Stock

  • 1 whole chicken, about 5 lbs, giblets removed
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth (I always use part chicken broth and part water when I make my stock for soups. I think it gives it a much richer quality. If you’re ambitious and confident in your stock making abilities, you can use all water)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 4 carrots, quartered
  • 4 stalks of celery, quartered
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • A big handful of fresh parsely
  • 2 tablespoons of salt, or to taste
  • 10-12 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

Put everything in a large stock pot and bring it up to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer gently for about an hour and a half to two hours – until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.

CAREFULLY remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a large cutting board (or something like it) to cool. Once cool, remove and discard the skin. Shred the meat with two forks and place in a container.

Strain the stock into a separate large stock pot. Let your stock cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to chill completely overnight. TIP: To cool your stock as quickly as possible to avoid the risk of any food born illnesses, one of my favorite tricks is to take an  empty 2 liter bottle and fill it 3/4 with water and freeze it. Use the frozen bottle to stir the stock to cool it faster from the inside, out!  

For the Soup

  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 carrots, sliced into coins
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded

Add all of the ingredients except the chicken to a large stock pot. Bring the heat up to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the chicken during the last ten minutes of cook time to heat through.

For The Matzo Balls

  • 1 box Manischewitz® Reduced Sodium Matzo Ball mix (both packets) (yes, I use mix and not just Matzo Meal – it’s pretty much the same the mix just already has salt and baking soda added it it)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons schmaltz (skimmed from the top of the chilled stock. it’s solid when chilled, so heat  it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to liquify)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of onion, grated fine on a microplane

Whisk the eggs, schmaltz, parsley, and onion together until combined. Add both packets of matzo ball mix and mix until just combined. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 minutes, but up to an hour is kosher (heh…get it…nevermind).

To cook the matzoh balls, bring a pot a chicken stock up to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slight simmer.

Moisten your hands with a bit of cold water (I like to keep a little bowl of it handy to keep the matzo mixture from sticking to me) and gently form the matzo balls in your hand.  They are deceiving and get much bigger once they start to soak up all of the liquid they are cooked in, so only make them about the size of a golf ball.

As you complete them, gently place the formed matzo balls into the simmering stock. Once all of the matzo balls are added cover the pot and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

To Serve

To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowl and top with matzo balls. I like to start with 3. Sprinkle with a little fresh parsley.

Eat with friends and family and enjoy.

mbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorta French Onion Soup

Bonjour, loves! So sorry I haven’t posted in a while.

Always the bum I am lately.But I’m here now, so no worries!!

AND I’m here with an awesomeeeeeeeeee soup recipe.

Soup, from me? Shocking, I know. Heh. At the very least, I think I can safely say that French Onion Soup is  just about everyone’s favorite soup…or at least in the top ten range. Right?? Right!

What’s not to love?

Rich oniony broth with a bubbly, brown, cheesy top. I guarantee I’m not the only one who burns the roof of my mouth on the first bite. Heh. Who really wants to break into all that cheesy deliciousness and wait for it to cool?? My goodness I get all excited just thinking about the stuff, burnt mouth and all. Recently, I finally decided to conquer the task of making my very own french onion soup…soooortaaaa.

Traditionally, french onion soup is topped with Gruyere cheese,  which is a delightfully nutty, creamy swiss cheese that I love love love. What I don’t love, though, is that it’s around $13 a pound at my local grocery store… YIKES!! So rather than go the traditional route and break my poor little bank with gruyere cheese, I chose my new favorite (thanks to my panini party) FONTINA which rang in at $4 a pound, which is much more reasonable if you ask me! Quincy was super excited about it, too!!!

Heh. Isn’t he the cutest??? He certainly loves cheese.

Anywho, here is the recipe for my version of this scrumptious soup.

Sorta French Onion Soup

  • 1 lb yellow onions
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 6 oz dry white wine
  • 1 (32 oz) container beef stock
  • 1/2 (32 oz) container chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small french baguette, sliced
  • 6 oz fontina cheese (or whatever cheese you like!)

Begin by thinly slicing your onions.

Don’t be afraid to walk away for a moment if you get teary eyed!
I typically use the “stick-your-head-in-the-freezer”
method of preventing onion tears.
Sometimes it works…sometimes not so much…

Once you’ve recovered from chopping,
melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot on low heat.
Add the onions. Season with pepper and thyme.

Cook the onions on low, stirring often,
for about 30 minutes
or until the onions caramelize.

Add the wine…

Then, add the stock….

Beef…

Then chicken…

I guess you could add the chicken then the beef if you must…
Now add a pinch of salt.

Stir it up reaalllllllllly well, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pot.
Bring it to a quick boil, then reduce the heat to low.
Pop on the lid and let it do its thing
while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Now you’ll want to grate your cheese.
Try really hard not to eat it all in the process.

Mmmmmm cheese. I have a serious cheese problem…
Next slice your baguette.

Spread the remaining butter onto your lil’ bread slices.
Sprinkle them with the remaining garlic, too.
Place them on a sheet pan and pop them
in a 350 degree oven until they’re toasty brown.

Now take your oven safe bowls and ladle in the soup.

Top with your homemade croutons and cheese.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is ooey and gooey
and DELICIOUSSSSSSS!!!!!

Now please, do yourself and the roof of your mouth a favor, let them cool for AT LEAST five minutes. The bowls are super hot, too, so don’t forget your oven mitts for serving! Also, don’t shy away from this recipe if you don’t have oven safe bowls! You could always top your croutons with cheese while they’re toasting in the oven instead!!

At

this point, I had to step away for a moment. My poor baby blues were not happy with my dinner decision.

Souper Ravioli

Now, I’m not too sure about you or where you’re from,
but it’s been pretty gloomy where I’m at lately.
I’m talking rain and storm clouds and gray skies for the last few days.
But ya know what I do when the weather’s got me down???

Make soup!!!!!

I flippin’ love soup!!!!!!!! (Notice my use of exclamation points, that’s how you know I really mean it. Heh.)

Anywhosers. I knew I wanted to make soup last night, but I wasn’t sure what kind. With the rain coming down the way it was I knew I didn’t want to have to leave my house, so I had to utilize what I already had. The result??

Well, if minestrone and lasagna florentine made a baby, this soup would be it. I served it up with some cheesy delicious garlic bread that took all of ten minutes to prepare. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if it kept raining…so long as I have an endless supply of this soup!

Ohh! And just so ya know… I know it’s not REALLY pronounced this way, but I’m silly, and if you pronounce “ministrone“… “minniestrowNEE” it rhyme with ravioli and is fun to say out loud. Try it. You’ll giggle.

Ravioli Minestrone
with Cheesy Garlic Bread

For the soup:

  • 2 (15 oz) cans low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 package of your favorite ravioli
    (I used frozen ones, of the cheese and spinach persuasion)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Begin by heating one tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, garlic and celery. Let cook for five minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the wine and cook five minutes more. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, except for the ravioli and remaining oil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cooke the ravioli to package directions. Drain and coat in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add some garlic powder and oregano if you’re feeling frisky!

To serve: Place desired amount of ravioli in your bowl and top with soup.

*Note: I cook the ravioli separate from the soup to avoid soggy ravioli. Soggy ravioli = sad face.*

For the cheesy garlic bread:

  • 1 loaf crusty italian bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Garlic and Oregano to taste
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the italian bread in half. Place on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and garlic. Top with cheese and oregano. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melty and brown.

Slice and serve!!

Fufu and Light Soup: A Taste of Ghana

So here’s a fun fact…

Tomorrow is my one year BLOGIVERSARY!

(you should send me presents to celebrate… you know you want to…)

Anywho, I may have mentioned this in previous posts, but I started this blog for my Online Journalism class. My assignment was to pick something I was passionate about and blog about it. Obviously the first thing that came to mind was my one and only obsession: FOOD! Who knew that I’d still be sharing my obsession with you a whole year later!!!

My original blog title was Twenty-Something and Starving: An American Girl’s Quest for World Cuisine. Throughout the semester I dabbled in all sorts of different cuisines. I made French food for the first time, I was heavy-handed with the chilis in my first Indian curry, and I probably made the least photogenic sheapards pie of all time. Heh. Seriously, not a pretty sight.

For my final project, I was required to make a video about something that I was unfamiliar with. Outside my comforot zone, if you will, just like this second challenge. With the help of my friend Manfred, native to Ghana, I decided to make African food for the first time ever!!! What I made that time around was Jollof Rice, a slightly sweet, salty and very spicy rice dish that is traditional to west African and Ghanaian culture. So for this project food blog challenge, I decided to give Manfred a call so I could take a chance with another, more challenging Ghanian dish.

Fufu.

Fufu to Ghanaians is like croissants to the French or biscuits to Americans. It accompanies just about everything they eat, particularly soups and stews. I made light soup for this fufu, but I’ll get to that in a few!

Fufu is typically made from a combination of boiled cassava, plantains or yams and then pounded into a giant mass using a mortar and pestle until it reaches a doughy consistency. When it’s finished, it looks something like this…
Now, I do not have access to a mortar and pestle but I was told not to fret. Typically in America, when fufu is desired it can be made using easily accessible ingredients in a short manner of time.

Here is what you need and how to make it.
(Recipe Courtesy of Ghanaweb.com)

  • 2 1/2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 1/2 cups instant potato flakes
  • 6 cups water

Bring 6 cups of water to a rapid boil in a large, heavy pot. combine the two ingredients and add to the water.

Stir constantly for 10-15 minutes — a process that needs two people for best results: one to hold the pot while the other stirs vigorously with a strong implement. (They’re not lying when they say you may need two people! I had to call for help in the kitchen for someone to hold the pot while I stirred!!) The mixture will become very thick and difficult to stir, but unless you are both vigilant and energetic, you’ll get a lumpy mess.

When the fufu is ready (or you’ve stirred to the limits of your endurance!), dump about a cup of the mixture into a wet bowl and shake until it forms itself into a smooth ball. Serve on a large platter alongside a soup or stew.

Here is my fufu.

It was a weeeeeeeeeeeeeee bit lumpy, but it’s all good. It usually takes a lot of practice to get it just right! I was pleased with my results for being a first time fufu maker, and it went along great with the light soup that I made!

Manfred was kind enough to share with me his simple recipe and directions for the light soup he enjoys at home!

Light Soup

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 habanero pepper
    ( my grocery store didn’t have any, so I used two serranos instead!)
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 2 large tilapia filets, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, and peppers and place them all in a blender. Pulse until liquified.

Pour the contents of the blender into a large pot. Add the water salt and pepper and bring to a rapid boil.

When a boil is reached and a slight foam begins to form on top, add the potatoes and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook ten minutes.

After ten minutes, add the cubed tilapia. Let cook for about ten minutes more or until the fish is opaque and cooked through.

Serve with fufu!!

There is a traditional way to eat fufu, too, of course.

With your hands.

Reach on into that soup.
Pull off a piece of fufu.
Scoop up whatever tastiness you can from the bowl… and swallow it.
Chewing fufu is for fufu noobs.
That’s right. Noobs.

*Disclaimer: You may notice a spoon in my bowl. I only made a small amount of fufu so as to not have to clean up a gigantic mess if it didn’t turn out right. The fufu WAS eaten the proper way with my hands. The remaning soup was consumed using the spoon. Thus, NOT a fufu noob. That is all.*