Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012

Souper Super Bowl

This weekend marks the biggest TV Watching Events this country knows, The Super Bowl! In our school our students are taking the lead in running something called the Super Bowl of Caring.

I realized that I should share with you some of my own Super Soups for Super Bowl…

Guinness French Onion Soup

soup & biscuitLoaded Baked Potato Beer Soup

Tomato Soup

Pasta Fagioli

Cilantro White Bean Soup

Reuben Soup

Habanero Tomato Soup

Mushroom Brie Soup

Jalapeno Soup

… for even more soup recipes, click on the “soup” tag or category on the right


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January 30, 2012

Guacamole Dip

This was going to start out as just a normal quick Guacamole until I cut the 2nd Avocado and realized it was not good anymore. Since I knew that I wanted to have enough I figured I could add some sour cream to turn this into a dip. I really don’t know the exact measurements of how I made this but after we were 1/2 done with it Rich decided to take some photos because (in his words) “I don’t want to be the only one to ever be able to enjoy this”. I think that really meant “Rachel, you should figure out how you made this so that you can make it again” No matter which motive behind Rich encouraging me to post this you choose – it is a winning “dip”!

Guacamole Dip

(measurements approximate – since I did not measure and just tried to recall)
  • 1 avocado – in small chunks (or mashed)
  • leafs from 2 – 3 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 dollop sour cream (about 1/8 – 1/4 cup?)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Diced Green Chilies (those pickled ones)

Mix all ingredients well together in a small bowl. Serve with Quesadillas or Chips or just a Spoon





And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What is your favorite thing you have ever eaten which you just can’t seem to re-create (at a restaurant or that you made once, but never again)?

January 27, 2012

Homemade Tomato Soup

Growing Up, I [thought that I] was not a fan of Tomato Soup. Actually, I am sure there was a time that I might have kind of liked it – but overall I avoided it. I guess my ‘hatred’ for Tomato Soup came from Campbells – now, don’t get me wrong, I love my most Campbell’s Soups but I have never been a fan of Tomato Soup because that it was I thought Tomato Soup tasted like!

Recently, Rich had wanted Grilled Cheese with our tasty Smoked Cheddar we had in the fridge. I figured it was time to make a version of Tomato Soup that I liked! I have kept altering it every time I made it recently. And then today I was told “If you made tomato soup like this every time that you made tomato soup from now on, I would be happy”. And there you have it, an awesome tomato soup recipe!
This soup was perfect to go with Roasted Garlic Bread (I’m in love with the breads by LaBrea that the markets around here sell) with Smoked Cheddar Panini (I always seem to burn my grilled cheese sandwiches, so most “grilled cheese sandwiches” around here are really “paninis” made in the “George Forman”). While I am admitting things that I often screw up way more than someone who knows how to cook should, I will admit that I struggle with: Grilled Cheese, Chocolate Chip Cookies, fluffy Rice, & grilling

Easy Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese

  • 2 28 oz cans tomatoes (1 can crushed and 1 can petite diced)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped small
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/2 cup warmed chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan heat the butter at medium heat and gently sweat the onion, carrot, and celery for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sautee for another minute or so. Add the flour and mix in thoroughly to the butter/onions in the pan. Mix it in fully and make sure there is no extra flour just hanging around the pan.
Take your heated chicken stock and slowly mix it in to your onion mix, making sure to fully integrate it before adding more.. Continue until fully mixed (it will be thick).
Add your cans of tomatoes. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until everybody seems soft and bubbly and happy together. If you like a smoother soup you could have used any kinds of tomatoes and blended (immersion blender) at this point – but we like out tomato soup more chunky (it is more rustic and  100% homemade that way).
Lower the heat on your soup as low as possible and slowly add the milk as it simmers. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed as well as any other spices you may want in your soup. Then allow to heat through for a few minutes for flavors to blend. Serve and enjoy, especially with your favorite Grilled Cheese!

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what food have you changed your opinion on as you have aged?

January 21, 2012

DIY Sushi Date Night

Sushi is tasty

Dates are fun

Why not make your own sushi for a tasty fun date night

I am by no means an expert on Sushi Making. We have done it a few times and honestly, the  best way to learn to make sushi is to practice! You might want to watch a few videos (Hi YouTube), go out to eat & watch the expert make your rolls, or look up some tutorials.

The basics that you need to know are place your nori sheet on a bamboo mat. Place about 1/2 cup of your rice on the nori and pat it into the bottom 3/4 of the nori. Put your desired fillings carefully on the 1/3 of the nori closest to you. Carefully roll the sushi and then cut into 6 – 8 pieces. That is the long & the short of it.

Don’t expect the first (few) rolls to look good, but they will sure be tasty!



There are a few things that you need…

  • sense of fun/adventure
  • acceptance that you might make mistakes
  • Nori
  • Sushi Rice
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Wasabi
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Soy Sauce
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Green Onions
  • Avocado
  • Imitation Crab
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Other Sushi Fillings of your choice









One Year Ago – my Horoscope about making others happy through feeding them (which is still hanging in my kitchen)

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what is your favorite Date that is centered around an Activity?

January 18, 2012

Hershey Kiss Peanut Butter Blossoms

These are one of those classic cookies that everyone knows and loves – they look impressive with that hunk of chocolate in the middle and have that great chocolate-peanut butter combination going for them!

After the Holidays stock up on Clearance Kisses to make these (the wrappers get taken off, no one has to know if they were from one holiday ago!) You can even take the Peanut Butter to the next level by using the individual Reese’s Cups in these (both Rich & Mom preferred the Reese’s version) but make sure you roll your balls on the larger size to be able to fit that cup. I bet that you could make these ‘gourmet’ by using the Dark Chocolate Kisses too!

Hershey Kisses Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

from Hershey’s – makes about 3 – 4 dozen

  • 1 bag Hershey Kisses (can also use Reese’s cups)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup  Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add both sugars; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased (can use parchment if you would like) cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie. They will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

"wait - let me fix them before you take the picture!"

One  Year Ago – Pasta Fagioli

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what is your favorite “classic cookie” to make or eat?

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