Creamy Tomato Bisque

My favorite place to order tomato bisque is Bj’s brewhouse. Just delicious. They put these delicious, buttery croutons on top – divine! Every time I would eat it, I would turn to hubby and say, I need to learn how to make a good tomato bisque. So I found this delicious recipe from Wilderness Wife. This soup was easy to make too. It doesn’t taste like Bj’s and I’m still going to find a way to make it as delicious.  I didn’t have any curry or bay leaf – maybe that is the missing ingredient. Or as my hubby put it- everything could always use more butter!! This soup is 11 weight watchers points and serving size is 8.

Enjoy! Maybe make a grilled cheese with it. 😉 Recipe courtesy of Wilderness Wife.

Ingredients
  • ¼ lb. butter
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. chopped carrots
  • ⅓ c. all purpose flour
  • 2 (1 lb. 12 oz.) cans of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. curry
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • pinch of salt (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, celery, and carrots until tender.
  3. Add the flour, and stirring constantly, cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, marjoram, bay leaf and chicken broth.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally, then discard bay leaf.
  6. Puree using the appliance of your choice. I use an immersion blender, but a regular blender or a food processor will work.
  7. Add cream, paprika, curry, pepper and salt.
  8. Stir to combine.
  9. Serve hot or cold.
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White Queso

I have a weakness for Queso! I buy the canned Tostito’s queso and I will eat the whole thing,  most of it. My husband always teases me that its not a beverage! This past weekend we had an impromptu dinner with our neighbors. They told me to bring chips and salsa (another weakness of mine). I’ve always seen those queso recipe on Pinterst and I was determined to find something fresh and not canned! I stumbled across this recipe declaring it was the best recipe for white queso. I thought I’d give it a shot and it was really good. Our neighbors helped us eat half of it. Then for dinner my husband and I finished off the rest of it. I like food spicy but since I didn’t know the tolerance of our neighbors I tamed it down. Next time I will give it more of kick! I also wasn’t able to find chipotle paste and since I was in a hurry I didn’t ask for help. But maybe that would’ve helped with a kick.  Recipe and Photo courtesy of The Farmer’s Nest. Thank you!

 

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Ingredients:
1 large box (2 lbs) of White American Cheese
1.5-2 cups of fresh pico
1 cup fresh cilantro (If you added lots of cilantro to your homemade pico then reduce this amount to 1/2 cup)
1 large lime (squeeze the juice and add some of the pulp)
1 chopped jalapeno
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle paste
1 tsp of extra hot sauce (use whatever you have available) I personally use Freebirds death sauce.
1/2 cup of cream or half and half
1-2 cloves of minced fresh garlic

This recipe didn’t call for a double boiler but several of the other recipes I looked at suggested it. I don’t have a double boiler so I faked it with two pans. Here’s how to fake a double boiler:

 

~Our Sweet Life~

Go Bananas!

Recently I’ve started making Sweet Baby smoothies. We are still having issues with Sweet Baby’s tongue being in the posterior position. His occupational therapist suggested drinking smoothies through a straw, that way when he drinks his tongue will learn to draw in. This new addition has been welcomed. Yesterday I made him a pineapple and papaya smoothie. He really enjoyed that. This morning I made him a peanut butter and banana smoothie. He drank that down fast! I split the recipe in half but go to All-in-Son’s for the full recipe. Photo and recipe courtesy of All-in-son’s.

Ingredients5906106828_19c3c91727_z

  • 1/2  cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey, more or less to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour all of the ingredients in a blender, then blend until smooth. Add more honey if you want it slightly sweeter, more ice if you want it a little thinner.
  2. If you prefer to use an immersion blender like we do, pour the ingredients into the “blending beaker” or a tall glass. Blend until smooth.
  3. This makes at least 2 servings. Thick, rich, filling servings. You could easily cut it in half and still have plenty to feed to kids.

Limoncello Pasta

Here is the last recipe from our Italian feast over the weekend. This pasta is perfect for summer time, the lemon gives it the perfect zest. Recipe is from Rachel Ray. Heres the video with Rachel Ray & Micheal Buble (heart throb) making this yummy pasta.

limoncello pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • Salt
  • 1 pound 2-foot long pasta (regular spaghetti may be substituted)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup limoncello or white wine
  • 2 lemons, 1 peeled and 1 zested
  • 1 cup basil leaves (loosely packed), torn
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

PREPARATION

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and reserve the pasta in the cooking pot.

While the pasta is cooking, combine garlic, cream, limoncello or white wine and lemon peel over medium-high heat in a medium size saucepot. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic clove and lemon peel from the sauce and discard.

Add the sauce to the pot with the reserved pasta along with the torn basil and grated lemon zest. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine.

Sprinkle the Parmigiano Reggiano over the pasta and serve with roasted tomato crostini or other bread.

Serves 4

White Texas Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

We had some friends over for dinner this past weekend. We cooked Italian food. When our family cooks Italian food we go all out. We made Focaccia al Formaggio (cheese bread), Limoncello Pasta and White Texas Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Since it’s always good and we always want to have dessert first, I thought I’d share the White Texas Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting with you first. I’ll share the rest of the meal with you this week. Good things come to those who wait. 🙂

Just the other day my husband told me he wants me to find a great recipe for cake. And I believe I’ve found it! It was a hit this weekend. I’m sad I didn’t make it at the beginning of the weekend, so I’d have longer to enjoy it before Monday. But sadly Monday is here and I need to ignore it calling my name from the kitchen. The yummy, fluffiness of the white cake mixed with the chocolate fudge frosting. . . hmm delicious. The recipe has almond extract and next time I make it, I think I’d put half the amount required. it was a little too powerful in my opinion. I’d also make a little less of the frosting, it was too rich for me. This cake is easy to make but you defiantly can not be interrupted while making it. Enjoy!! Pictures and recipe courtesy of Tasty Kitchen. See this recipe pose on Tasty Kitchen’s website. 

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Ingredients:

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Butter, Cubed
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs, Beaten
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • ¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ cups Unsweetened Cocoa, Sifted
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray a 9X13 rectangular baking dish and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and bring to slight boil. Once the milk has been brought to a boil, add the cubed butter. Stir with a rubber spatula until butter has completely melted. Then remove pan from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar and eggs and mix to combine. Then slowly pour in the warm milk liquid while beating the mixture. Make sure you pour it in very slowly so the eggs don’t turn into scrambled eggs. Once the milk has been added, the mixture should be smooth. Then add the sour cream, salt, baking powder, almond extract, and baking soda.

Once the mixture is well blended pour it into the baking dish and smooth the top. Place pan in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, but start the frosting about 20 minutes in.

For the frosting: In a large saucepan on medium high heat, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder. Then whisk in the milk, butter, and corn syrup. Continue to stir until all ingredients are well blended. Remove pan from heat. Slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time stirring after each addition. Once all the powdered sugar is added, add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the frosting on top. Allow the cake to cool and the frosting to completely set before serving.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Here’s a yummy recipe I came across. Word of advice: don’t accidentally put in the whole onion instead of just 1/4 of a cup like the recipe calls for. Like a scatter brain I did that and way TOO MUCH onion. I think I’ll be burping onion for weeks. I’m sad I ruined dinner, because it has such good flavor! Add some garlic and maybe some fresh cilantro. We grilled the chicken. Enjoy! Recipe & Photo from Dinner, Dishes & Desserts.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas Enchiladas-2-blog-1024x663

1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
1/4 onion, diced
1 cup sour cream (I used a mix of low fat and fat free)
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese
8 small tortillas (I used flour, but corn would be good too)
Enchilada Sauce (2 small cans, or your own recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine chicken, onion, sour cream and 1 cup of cheese in a bowl.  Fill tortillas with chicken mixture.  Roll, and place seam side down in a 13 x 9 baking dish that has a small amount of enchilada sauce coating the bottom.  Pour over the rest of the enchilada sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes, until bubbly and warm.  Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving (makes them easier to remove from the pan).

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 21 points (for 2 enchiladas) 11 points (for 1 enchilada)

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I love sugar cookies and anyone who knows me, knows that is an understatement. So when I saw this recipe for Chocolate Sugar Cookies I was beyond excited. I also couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of that before. I was sadly disappointed-I didn’t like them. But I was also thankful because I don’t want to add anymore to my waistline. My husband liked them but he thinks next time I should add chocolate chips-they aren’t sweet enough on their own or with frosting. My brother liked them better than regular sugar cookies-I told him he was crazy. My only complaints is this recipe made A TON of dough. And I didn’t realize the recipe calls for after you chill the dough and after you roll out and cut them then you put them in the freezer for 15 minutes. I was a little annoyed – with Sweet Baby I don’t have all day to make cookies like these. So I was sadly disappointed by this recipe but thought I’d share because my brother liked them so much. I hope you enjoy and if you have any other suggestions to the recipe I’d love to hear them. Recipe and Photo is from Brown Eyed Baker. Check her out, she’s got a ton more yummy recipes!

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups all-purpose flourchocolate-sugar-cookies-46-600
1¼ cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, cold
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and mix to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and again beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined, giving it a final mix by hand with a rubber spatula.

3. Divide the dough in two and shape each half into a round disk about 2 inches high. Wrap both in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes (or up to 1 day).

4. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper (it’s non-stick and eliminates the need for extra flour) to a ¼-inch thickness. Transfer the parchment and dough onto a cutting board or baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerate and cut out your shapes and place on the parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between them. Gather up any excess dough, re-roll and repeat process until all of the dough has been used.

7. Place the baking sheets with the cut-out cookies into the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.

8. Bake until the cookie edges are set, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Cookies can also be frozen – I wrapped them in plastic wrap and placed in a ziploc bag.

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

With the weather getting warmer and a full propane tank-we are grilling again! We made Grilled Honey Lime Chicken, of course its an over-night marinade, which we found out too late. But it still tasted good, so next time we will let it marinate like the recipe calls for. Recipe & picture Source: Cooking Classy

Grilled Honey Lime Chickenhoney+lime+chicken31

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves or chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

  • If chicken isn’t an even thickness then place chicken in a large ziploc bag and seal bag. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken to an even thickness.
  • Place chicken in a non-reactive dish in a single layer. In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the mixture in a non-reactive, airtight container in the refrigerator. Pour remaining mixture over the chicken, cover dish and allow to marinate 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat grill to medium high heat. Once preheated, brush grill lightly with olive oil. Place chicken on grill and cook (with lid closed) 5-8 minutes per side until juices run clear (cook time depends on the thickness of the chicken, internal temp should register to 160 when done), baste each side of chicken with reserved marinade during the last minute of cooking. For juicier chicken, plate chicken, cover with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • Notes for better grilled chicken: don’t flip chicken over and over again, it only needs to be flipped once, and if you like the cross marks as pictured you can flip it a second time during the last minute of cooking. For the mouth watering grill marks brush the grill with olive oil before cooking and then when flipping to opposite side, this also prevents sticking as well. Don’t press down on chicken when grilling or poke continuously, this will release the juices and that delicious marinade. Don’t overcook or chicken will be tough, for tender chicken cook until internal temperature registers at 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Don’t lift grill lid more than necessary.

Chicken Noodle Soup & Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

I know some places are getting into spring and warm weather. But here, March is our snowiest month! Chicken noodle soup is great for fighting the flu! So if your feeling something coming on-making this chicken noodle soup. Earlier this month I made this delicious Chicken noodle soup that was passed down to me by a friend. When I tried heres I knew my hubby would love it and I needed the recipe. And I was right-he loved it. When she gave me the recipe she said she doesn’t measure she just tastes and eyes it as she goes.

chicken noodle

Chicken Noodle Soup

Cook a whole chopped white onion, 4 crushed garlic,celery, and baby carrots in olive oil with poultry seasoning, thyme, rosemary, bay
leaves, pepper, I added ginger (help with decongestion, break up mucus in the throat, and help fight viral infections) … All
in a big pot until they are tender. While they are cooking I use “grandmas ” frozen egg noodles from King Soopers and let them thaw. Also I cut up a rotisserie chicken without the skin into little pieces. Once all the veggies are tender add the chicken. Then add two 32oz boxes of chicken stock and one 32 oz box of veggie stock. Taste and see if it needs more seasoning. Bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 30 min. I add fresh parsley and milk. Then enjoy! I think it taste better the next day after it has been in the fridge over night.

After it had cooked for 30 minutes, we put the soup in the crock pot and let it cook all day. Just watch it and make sure it doesn’t cook the broth out like it did to ours. We went to the store the next day to buy some more stock.

I love eating bread with soup. I found this delicious recipe for Rosemary Olive Oil Bread on Pinterest to go with our Chicken Noodle soup.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

recipe from a hint of honey

INGREDIENTS
1 cup warm water (100-110 F)
1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour + extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes to proof.

2. Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. Add the bread flour and stir until the dough forms a ball. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about1 hour.

4. Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. Place it on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel or parchment paper; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven (and pizza stone) to 400 F. Once the dough has risen, gently brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with dried rosemary.

6. Bake on preheated stone for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Makes 1 round loaf.

Vegetables of Kings

I know I don’t feed Sweet Baby enough veggies. He mostly eats: avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Sometimes I purchase frozen peas or green beans and cook those for him. I know I need to feed him more veggies. Like carrots, spinach and recently discovered I can give him asparagus. I love asparagus. I love it baked with olive oil, salt & garlic. Hmmm yummy. But I didn’t know if that would be the best way to serve it to Sweet Baby. Gotta love the internet. I can come to it with my questions and bam! I have answers. I searched, ‘how to make asparagus into baby food.’ I found a great website with a few ideas on how to make some yummy recipes. But the simplest way was to steam them then puree them. That was easy enough. I had purchased the thin ones so they were steamed in like 3 minutes. If they are thicker, steam them for 8 minutes. I mixed my asparagus with some fruit so I wouldn’t completely shock his system. 😉 He loved them. His first bite he did look at me funny. Then he smiled and gave his approval, ‘geee’ sound. I made it a second time but I didn’t have the right asparagus/fruit mixture because he didn’t want to eat it. Asparagus is very high in anti-oxidants and also a particularly rich source of folate. You’ll probably remember being urged to take folic acid supplements (the synthetic form of folate) during pregnancy, because it helps protect against birth defects. But folate continues to be good for your baby as it promotes heart health and helps the body both produce and maintain new cells.Asparagus also helps maintain a healthy gut. This is because it contains inulin, a substance that it is not digested and moves to the large intestine, where it provides food for all the ‘good’ bacteria living there! This helps the ‘good’ bacteria grow and flourish, promoting a healthy digestive system. What’s more, asparagus – which offers protection against serious conditions like heart disease and cancer and contains many vitamins!

Check out this website for some more yummy baby food recipes using asparagus, Homemade Baby Food Recipes