Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Creamy Mushroom/Spinach Soup and A New Puppy

We got a new puppy! This is Sally! Isn't she gorgeous? Sally says hello to everyone, and she would like to tell you a little about herself.

I am a Huskimo breed. That means I'm half Husky and half Eskimo.
I am three months old right now, and very smart. I have one blue eye and one brown eye. When my master tells me to sit, I sit. When my master has a handful of treats I shake hands with him/her to get one. I also do a high-five when I know I have done something good. I am house broken, and my master has been good enough to give me full access to a doggy door so I can go in and out as I please. And that also gives me full rights to bringing in sticks, rocks, leaves, and mud. I don't even get in trouble for bringing in my chewy outdoor stuff......
I spend a lot of time at the doggy park making new friends too. We go on long walks on the weekends to get me used to walking on a leash. I love my new home!

 Yes, I know.....
I know.....
It is summer and I'm posting a recipe for soup.
But this is a good soup.
This is a soup that is very versatile.
You can use it for soup and salad for a lite lunch,
and then you can use it for a simmering sauce for a great chicken dinner.
 This is one of those recipes that came about to empty out my fridge.
I had heavy cream,
and spinach that was right on the edge of turning to mush.
So into a soup it all went.
Please bear with me while I try and get this into recipe form for you.
Oh and,
This is the chicken dinner I made with the leftover soup.
Just brown your chicken breast and pour the soup over it to simmer 
for about 30 minutes.

Creamy Mushroom/Spinach Soup

2 c. water
1 1/2 TBS chicken soup base
Heat these to ingredients in a small saucepan until soup base dissolves.

2 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz package button mushrooms, sliced
3 TBS butter
salt/pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
4 TBS flour
2 c. heavy cream

I don't think the ingredients are in order, but I will step you through everything.

In a dutch oven melt the butter on medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until translucent. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until mushrooms are tender. Add flour and stir till butter and liquid is absorbed. Slowly pour in heavy cream while stirring. As it thickens, slowly pour in the soup base mixture. Add spinach, cover and simmer on low until spinach is wilted. 


Friday, July 7, 2017

Vanilla/Cinnamon French Toast Bake

 Who doesn't like a quick and easy French toast?
To change things up a bit, and not do the normal dip each slice in an egg mixture and place it on a hot griddle, I chose to do an overnight French toast. This turned out pretty amazing.
We are one of the lucky areas that still has access to a Nickles store.
So yes, I go there for discount breads, and day old sales. And if I'm lucky I sometimes hit days where they are selling test products. Those are always fun to try.
For this dish it doesn't matter if the bread is day old or not. It is probably better if the bread is a little old.

 I cut the whole loaf of bread into squares.
Placed them in a 9X9 pan.
Doused them with a milk mixture.
Those little tiny squares rested while I slept.
Pretty nice to have breakfast ready when you step out of bed.
 The topping may look a little different than the normal crumb topping.
That's because I am a save-a-lot, pack rat, and never waste.
I have leftover cookie crumbs that I keep in the freezer for topping cakes,
cupcakes, muffins and now for topping French toast bakes.....
It doesn't matter what kind of cookie. 
If I think they have sat to long I take a rolling pin to them and add them 
to my crumb bag in the freezer.
Of course, I don't tell anyone where the cookies went.
So I will stop being a crumb and get on to the recipe.....

Baked French Toast

1 - 15 oz. loaf Nickles Cinnamon Twirl Bread (cut into cubes)
8 large eggs
1 c. International Delight French Vanilla coffee creamer
1 c. milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 TBS vanilla extract

2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 TBS butter, soft
1/3 c. frozen cookie crumbs (optional)

Place bread cubes in a greased 9X9 casserole dish.
In large bowl, whisk eggs, coffee creamer, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread cubes. Lightly press down on the top of the cubes to allow the top layer of bread to absorb the liquid. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the topping (and I made this ahead too), combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter. Use pastry blender to mix ingredients to a clumpy sand texture. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In the morning preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove French toast mixture from refrigerator. Crumble topping over the bread cubes. Just before placing in the oven sprinkle on cookie crumbs. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes, until puffed, golden brown, and set. Make sure the center is not still wet. 
Serve with maple syrup.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Keep it Simple: Mini English Muffin Pizza

How many of you LOVE Kroger?
Do you want to know how I spend my time at Kroger? I go there at 3:00 a.m. when the store is empty, and the shelves are being stocked. So it's just me and the stock crew. I have plenty of alone time to travel the store without being bumped, side-tracked, and rushed. I travel the store looking for these tags ------->
The ones that say, "WOOHOO".
On one of my solo trips I found this fresh pepperoni. And what do you do with pepperoni? You make PIZZA!
 I used canned mushrooms and grated myself Muenster cheese.
I love the way Muenster cheese melts.
It is so creamy.
 We have a local Nickle's store.
Yes, still one of the lucky areas that gets to take advantage of Nickle's.
We go every two weeks and stock up on bread items.
One of the items we picked up was English Muffins.
I like English Muffins toasted with lots of butter and a little jelly.
But why not put these babies to good use and make a meal?
Keep it simple, I say.....
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
So I assembled the English Muffins with pizza sauce (as much as you like)
Cheese (sprinkle of oregano),
Cheese (sprinkle of oregano)
I like the way the oregano melts into the cheese.
Bake in preheated 425 degree F. oven for 15-18 minutes.
I went with the 18 minutes to brown the cheese a little.
 The muffins turned out crispy,
and it made for a simple lunch.
I served peaches in passion fruit juice on the side.
The peaches are found at Aldi.
Best peaches ever!!
These are perfect to serve if you have children running around.
They WILL stop for pizza.
And perfect for their little hands.



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