Happy 2016!! How about some Soup!!

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Yes I am still Alive!!! ūüėõ

I know, I know I have not blogged in forever, but I have been very busy with work and other things.

Plus I don’t cook up a ton of things for me on a daily basis, and when I do cook for my family I am so busy doing multiple things that I forget to take pictures, and if I do I don’t often have a lot of time to blog it all out. ¬†So I am sorry for those who care, and I will try harder this upcoming year!!

So this would be something I would not blog about since its just something plan I would come up with, but I thought I just better share this to let everyone know I am still kickin ūüôā LOL

So yesterday on my day off I thought okay you have stuff in the fridge you need to use, so I made Soup.

I call it “Winter Soup” or “What else can I put in this” Soup ūüôā LOL

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I also had gotten a four pack of bone-in chicken breast out of the freezer to make some room ūüėõ

Okay so I don’t have a recipe here because really it was a what can I throw into this pot kind of soup.

And I think that is what we all need to think more of when we have things in our fridges that need to be used. Or your pantry, heck if you have can veggies do it, or cans of tomatoes or sauce, what about pasta or rice, your options are endless!!!

So this is what I started with, cabbage, zucchini, carrots and beans.

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Chopped it all up and I added about 2 cups of chicken broth(had some left in the fridge), I cooked it in the oven on 325 degrees for 2 hours

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then I added about 4 more cups of broth, I love using “better than bullion” soup base, so I had a little beef flavor left scraped that in there and then some Turkey. ¬†Just mix that up with 4 cups of hot water added a onion power and dill. ¬†I love dill in soup, and I love using the tube herbs, I just don’t use fresh herbs quick enough so I do buy some of those tube herbs you can find in your produce dept. ¬†So whisked all that up and poured it right on in.

Cooked at 350 degrees now for about 1 hour, then I added the beans about 4 cups, not that whole jar, mixed, then check for seasonings, I add some crushed celery seed, more tube dill, kosher salt and white pepper.  Back in the oven for 30 minutes.

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adding the celery seed and my tube dill ūüôā

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Like I said I had chicken breast, so I just bought a new kitchen gadget, it was my Christmas present to myself…

Table Top Halogen Oven

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Now I love it, the first thing I cooked in it was a Steak, a Frozen Steak!!! ¬† Steak (bone-in rib eye) was about 1 inch thick, I took it out of the freezer, salted and peppered each side, and in 25 minutes I had the most perfect medium rare steak…It was delish!!!

Now I know the haters are going to hate, I NOT telling you buy it, this just works for me and I like it ūüôā

So I put two of the chicken breast in it and let it go, yes can I use the oven, of course, but I like this and wanted to use it, I can see it cooking and like the easiness ūüôā

So here’s my chicken cooking, of course once it was done again I forgot to take pictures…sorry, but it they looked great.

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So I shredded some of the chicken

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and added it to the soup, and it was done and ready to eat.

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I have soup for the next week and I frozen half of it too, I like doing this so its easy to bring out and heat out when you need something quick.

So what do you have in your fridge right now that you can throw into a pot and make your own

“Winter Soup”

Enjoy everyone!!

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Scallops………………Made Easy!!

4 Comments

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Okay yes I love Scallops…LOL ¬†I know I know, I say I love everything I blog about but that’s why I blog about it ūüôā

Any way ūüôā scallops are so delicious…if you don’t over cook them ūüė¶

I really cook very simple for myself, it was a beautiful spring day and I found some fresh carrots, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and these scallops.  I knew it would be a great quick spring dinner to  make and of course I used my infused olive oil.

Let’s talk about the olive oil for a minute, a lot of these stores that are popping up that have like 20 different infused olive oil and 20 different infused balsamic vinegar’s and yes I love them!!! ūüôā

Right now I have Lime infused olive oil, Roasted Onion & Cilantro infused olive oil, White Pear Cranberry Balsamic Vinegar and the Blueberry Balsamic. ¬†They have so many more to choose from, so check out where you live and see if you have any shops near you that sell these amazing oils and vinegar’s.

Ingredients

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I just thinly slice everything

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add my Roasted Onion & Cilantro infused Olive oil to skillet over med-heat
you can always you some fresh herbs at the end before plating if you
don’t have infused oils

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added my shallots, carrots & mushrooms cook about 5 minutes

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meanwhile pat dry the scallops, salt and pepper,
add to skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil

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turn when they get a nice caramel color on them

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at this time add brussels to your skillet with your
carrots, mushrooms, toss just and cook for just
about 2-3 minutes

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add a tbsp. butter  to scallops

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once butter melts, till the pan and with a spoon
scoop melted butter up over the scallops to finish
cooking them

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Plate your veggies

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top with the scallops and Enjoy!!

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Recipe – serve 3 or 4 scallops per person

5 – Carrots, thinly sliced
5 – large mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 – brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1-2 large shallots
olive oil
Sea Scallops
salt & pepper
butter

In a large skillet over medium high heat add 2 tbsp. olive oil, then add mushrooms, carrots and shallots, cook until almost tender and a little caramelized.  Add the brussels and continue to cook for about 2 Р3 minutes.  Add to center of plates and top with cooked scallops.

Pat dry scallops very well and salt and pepper both sides, over medium high heats cook scallops in a skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure you do not over crowd the skillet, let them cook for a good 3 minutes, once caramel in color  you can turn them over, let cook 1 more minute then,  add butter. Once butter is melted, tilt the pan and spoon butter over scallops to finish cooking, scallops should be springy to the touch, they will continue to cook once you remove them from the heat.  You do not want the scallops to get firm that would mean they are over cooked.

Serve them right away and you can drizzle the extra butter over top once plated.

***Note on the butter, if you are only serving 4 Р8 scallops you will not need more then 2 tbsp. butter.  Anything less I would use only 1 tbsp.

Enjoy!!!

Rag√Ļ alla bolognese…My way!!!

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Oh how I love thee!!! ūüôā

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Rag√Ļ alla bolognese¬†is a complex sauce which involves a variety of cooking techniques, including sweating, saut√©ing and braising. As such, it lends itself well to interpretation and adaptation by professional chefs and home cooks alike.

And I’m sure most of you have a recipe that has been pasted down the family tree ūüôā

Common sources of differences include which meats to use (beef, pork or veal) and their relative quantities, the possible inclusion of either cured meats or offal, which fats are used in the sauté phases (rendered pork fat, butter, olive or vegetable oil).

I used ground chicken ūüôā

What form of tomato is employed (fresh, canned or paste).

I use paste, I like using this the best.

The makeup of the cooking liquids (wine, milk, tomato juices, or broth) and their specific sequence of addition.

One day I hope that I could travel to Bolgana, Italy ūüôā

But until then this is¬†Rag√Ļ alla bolognese…My Way!!!

Ingredients –

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I freeze my bacon so it would be easier to slice and dice

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diced bacon

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Cut celery into thin strips                    then dice

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Diced onion                                                           add bacon, celery and onions to skillet

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Then add carrots

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stirring not to burn

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add ground meat

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breaking up meat with wooden spoon

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add red wine

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chicken broth

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add tomato paste

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stirring in tomato paste

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then stir in 2 tsp. beef base paste

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turn to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours

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warm up half n half/ milk                             stir in

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continue to cook for another 45 – 55 minutes, stirring occasionally

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its now ready for pasta

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LOVE Gia Russa products you must try them………….boil water

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add pasta                                             remove a cup of pasta water, set aside, in case  you need to thin out sauce

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Grate your Parmesan cheese

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remove your pasta                                                          toss with sauce

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turn out on to platter

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top with cheese and serve

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Delicious!!!!!!!!!  

Recipe

3 (3 oz.) strips bacon or pancetta, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled, grated
1 med-large onion, finely chopped
1.25 lbs ground meat (i used ground chicken breast)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
2 1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. beef base paste
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup half n half or milk

First off have everything ready to go, chop everything, measure out everything its just easier or at least this is what I like to do.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat add oil and bacon/pancetta, celery and onions, cook for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring not to burn.
Add grated carrots continue to cook for 5 more minutes, add ground meat, cooking and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly so not to burn, turn heat down just a little if needed.

Add red wine cooking for 2 minutes and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add broth and then tomato paste, stirring to combine, then add beef base reduced heat to low and gently simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.  Stirring occasionally. 

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan; gradually add to sauce.

Cover sauce with lid slightly ajar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 45 Р55 minutes, season with salt to taste. Stirring occasionally.

Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil, once boiling add a good handful of salt, stir and then add pasta, when pasta is just al dente, remove 1 cup of pasta water and set aside, I like doing this just in case I want to thin out the sauce. (i did not use any pasta water with this recipe, but you should always get in the habit of taking out pasta water just in case)

Drain pasta and add pasta to the sauce, tossing to completely coat the pasta, turn pasta out onto a serving plate or large bowl and top with fresh Parmesan cheese and then serve it right on up!! 

Enjoy this one and tell me about your recipe or maybe you have one that has been pasted down the family tree, I’d love to try any that you may have in your recipe box!!!

Simply Roasted…

3 Comments

pic 1Roasted vegetables are just simply divine!! ¬†That is in my¬†opinion, well anything roasted is divine, if its roasted right and not on the verge of¬†charcoal! ¬† I usually will roast my veggies in the oven, that is until spring hits or I should say mid 60’s and not raining outside, then its time to grill. ¬†I roasted some veggies last week when it was still cold and maybe a little snow…and then that weekend it got up to upper 60’s, oh well I grilled out anyway but I can’t wait for the spring to kick in that’s for sure.

I guess really you can roast any veggies, some maybe not as long as others, but for this bunch I put them all together.  pic 7

I had some fennel bulbs, onion, carrots, along with some¬†maroon¬†carrots from Texas and a¬†turnip…yup one little old lonely turnip. ¬†All with some garlic cloves, fresh dill and rosemary.

A friend of mine gave me a “Bunch” of rosemary that he got off his huge rosemary bush.pic 2¬† ¬†I clean about half the stems off and placed them in water and have them sitting on my table and I have fresh rosemary whenever I need. ¬†They are growing roots and new tops, this is a great way to keep fresh rosemary around. ¬†I’m really hoping the roots will be enough for me to plant them myself.

So really you can use any veggies or fresh herbs or dried if you do not have fresh for roasting.

My peeled and chopped veggies

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garlic (kept whole), mince the dill and the rosemary (too much rosemary can be over powering so be careful you can always add more if needed).

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tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, spread out on a baking sheet

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roast on 400 degrees till tender or how ever you like them, check them every 10 to 15 minutes and give them a quick turn.

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serve them up

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You can serve them with your choice of meat, or maybe with a salad, you can put them in a wrap,  on a burger or just by themselves are tasty.
This could be a great appetizer too, once roasted and cooled give another chop, slice a baguette, brush with olive oil, toast slices.
Serve on a platter with veggies, maybe goat cheese or feta crumbs, some pesto even some thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, let your guest make their own crostini’s. ¬†Add bowl of mixed olives, a dish of Marcona Almonds and some wine you now have a party!! ¬†
 Enjoy!!

Guinness Black Lager Irish Stew

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1 tbsp. oil
1 (3lb.) chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 Р1 1/2  inch cubes
4 tbsp. flour, divided
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 bottle Guinness Black Larger
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme, thicker sprigs
1 tsp. salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

In a large skillet add oil and brown beef, this may need to be done in 2 batches.  Once all beef is browned on all side put all into crock pot, add flour and toss to coat beef, then add rest of ingredients and stir to combine, then cook on low for 6-7 hours. Stir in Worcestershire Sauce and flour then cook 5 minutes more to thicken. Serve over mashed potatoes or noodles and serve with slice of the Harp Beer Bread.