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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FIRE ROASTED TOMATO BISQUE

When I was a kid, you couldn't pay me to eat anything tomato related (except ketchup), like tomato soup, tomatoes in salad, etc.   In fact, that trend continued up until about a year ago, when I ventured into topping my salads with fresh tomatoes (they have to be little pieces though), and just last weekend I made this delicious tomato bisque.

It was really yummy!!  It includes some canned/pre-made items, but has an overall homemade flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. flour
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
Two 14 ½ oz. cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsps. sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
salt and freshly ground white pepper


DIRECTIONS:

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic, cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkly the flour over the vegetables and stir over low heat for 1 minute, or until the flour is fully incorporated.  Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and bring to a boil.  Cover partially and cook the soup over moderate heat, stirring occassionally, until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.

Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.  Return the puree to the saucepan, add the heavy cream and cook until the soup is just heated through.  Season the soup with salt and white pepper and swirl in the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter.  Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with croutons and serve.  

Enjoy!

recipe c/o:  www.foodandwine.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

SKILLET APPLE CRISP

I love this recipe for several reasons.  First, it's loaded with flavorful apples....Second, you serve and devour it when it's warm....Third, you serve it with ice cream....Four, I could keep going, but you may just have to try it for yourself!
I made this right after Thanksgiving dinner.  It took about 30 minutes of prep time.  I popped it in the oven while we were playing a board game, and 30 minutes later it was ready.  Oh....and the house smelled awesome while it was baking!


INGREDIENTS:

6 cups peeled and chopped apples (approx. 2.5 pounds) Gala and Granny Smith
2 cups oats (I used quick cook oats)
1 cup flour
½ cup cold butter
½ cup brown sugar 
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. caramel sauce (and additional for serving)
vanilla ice cream for topping


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medim bowl, mix oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter cut into small pieces.  Using a pastry blender or fork, crumble the butter into the dry mixture.

On stovetop, heat cast iron skillet until hot.  Add 1 Tbsp. butter and allow it to melt.  Pour in apples and stir gently, then add oatmeal misture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to mix together.    Drizzle 2 Tbsp. caramel sauce over the top.  Remove from stove.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until apples are tender and oatmeal is golden.  

Top with ice cream and more caramel sauce and serve.  

For a fun presentation.  Bring the entire skillet to the table with several spoons and allow your guests to dive in!  

Enjoy!

recipe c/o: www.createdby-diane.com

Monday, November 14, 2016

CHOCOLATE CHIP COFFEE CAKE

So you just made a wonderful dessert recipe which called for a half bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.  So what do you do with the other half bag?, well you try another recipe, of course!

And, did I pick a good one!  A scrumptious coffee cake that melts in your mouth.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips ( I used the mini version)

For filling and topping:
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup sugar

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a *10-inch tube baking pan.  In a medium bowl cream together the butter and 1 cup of sugar.  Beat in the eggs until the mixture is light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream and milk, and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and add alternately with the sour cream mixture until well blended.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan.  Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping mixture and sprinkle half over the batter.  Spoon in the remaining batter, and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon/sugar on top.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

* I do not own a tube pan, so I opted for a bundt pan.  The only thing that means is you don't get to see the pretty cinnamon/sugar mixture on the top of the cake.  With the bundt pan it's on the bottom.  

Recipe c/o:  myrecipes.com

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE

For those of you who love cheesecakes as much as I do....this is one tasty recipe!  Creamy and smooth with lots of chocolate chips throughout.  Save up your calories for this one and savor the flavors!
I actually did lighten the recipe up a bit by using the 1/3 fewer calories version of cream cheese and you just can't tell the difference.

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cups thin chocolate wafers (Nabisco)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. all purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Crush wafers in a food processor, or with a rolling pin.  Mix crumbs, sugar, and butter together.  Press onto *bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.  Set crust aside.  

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually add the condensed milk; beat well.  Add vanilla and eggs, and beat on medium speed until smooth.  Toss 1/3 of the chips with 1 tsp. flour to coat (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cake).  Mix into cheese mixture.  Pour into the prepared crust. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining chocolate chips.  

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour.  Turn off oven (do not open the oven door) and leave the cake in the oven to cool for another hour.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.  Refrigerate before removing the sides of the pan.  Keep refrigerated until time to serve.  

Add dollop of whip cream to each slice of the cake prior to serving.    Enjoy!

*I placed a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the springform pan to make it easier to remove from the pan and possibly plate.  It worked great....although since I was bringing this with me to a dinner I didn't actually plate the entire cake, but sliced it and served pieces up individually. 

Recipe c/o:  Allrecipes.com