French Onion Soup and Steak

I LOVE slow cooked caramelized onions, add it beef stock and a whole lotta cheese and you have one fine bowl of soup!

french-onion-soup

I tend to skip the bread because I can’t STAND soggy bread.  There is nothing and I mean NOTHING in this world more disgusting to eat than soggy bread. *Shutter*, heck I can’t even type that without a full body shutter….ugggghhhh!

Anywho….I made the soup and we had that as our first course.  We followed it up with a lovely steak, baked potato, and salad for dinner.  Not a bad winter meal, if you ask me.  All the comfort foods in one place – cheese, potatoes, steak…..YUM!

steak-dinner

 

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

A while back, we had a pot luck lunch in our office.  I roasted off a few turkey breasts, sliced the meat and served them at room temperature with a cranberry flavored mayo and fresh bakery rolls.   I took the bones of the turkey and made a huge batch of stock, which I tucked away in my freezer for a rainy day.   Well folks, that day arrived.  I defrosted the stock and poached a bone in turkey breast in the stock.  While that was cooking, I started dicing up onions, mushrooms, carrots, and celery.

I stared by browning the mushrooms in a screaming hot pan until they were nice and golden brown.  I removed them from the pan, lowered the heat, added a bit more oil and the rest of the vegetables.  I seasoned them with salt and pepper and let them sweat.  I added the mushrooms back into the pan, strained the stock into the pot and brought it to a boil.

While the stock was coming to a boil, I diced up the turkey breast and added it to the pot.  When the liquid started boiling, I added two cups of a wild rice blend, stirred it around, popped on a lid and turned the heat to low.  I let it cook for 45 minutes before lifting the lid.  The house smelled amazing!

turkey-soup

Soup was done!  It tasted so, so good.  I knew the hubby wouldn’t be satisfied with just soup for dinner so I also breaded some chicken cutlets and made chicken sandwiches to go alongside.  I pulled out some buffalo wing sauce and tossed my chicken in that before putting it on my bun, the hubby just doused it with sauce and slathered the top of the roll with ranch dressing.  He was thrilled!

chx-cutlet-sandwich

Not a bad days work….If I do say so myself!

Potato Soup

I love, love, love, potatoes…..add cream and bacon and well…..let’s just say, it can totally make everything right with the world.

potato-soup

I am so very lucky that the hubby is content with soup for dinner.  Of course, he has to have a sandwich…AND chips on the side, but at least he considers it a meal!  I started by sauteing bacon in my stock pot.  Once it was done, I removed it from the pan, and sauteed the onions, carrots, and celery in the bacon fat.  I added in chicken stock and the potatoes.  Once the veggies were tender, I added in some heavy cream, a bit of frozen corn, and heated everything through.  When it was ready to serve, I topped it with a bit of the bacon and dug IN!  Soup is truly the only good thing about winter……

Pork Chops

stuffed-pork-chops

The first week back at work after almost two weeks off is always busy.  Thankfully, I was able to take advantage of some help from the store and still get a healthy dinner on the table each night.   I picked up some bone in stuffed chops from the local grocery.  They make the potato filling in store and stuff the chops.  I took it one delicious step further by breading them before baking.  I steamed off some peas and opened a can of baked beans….dinner was done!  Maybe not the fanciest meal I have ever made, but it was tasty and that is truly what matters…we had a lovely meal on the table, shared details about our day, and enjoyed each other’s company.   Not a bad way to kick off the first week back at work.

Need a change of pace

I felt the need for a change of pace this January – so for dinner one night, I decided to have an asian style soup with an asian style chicken salad sandwich.  I was craving lighter flavors after the indulgence of the holidays.

The soup was supposed to be a Spicy Asian Soup, I gotta tell you, it was BORING in the extreme.  It wasn’t bad, just ho hum, certainly not something I will be  making again.  The chicken salad sandwiches on the other hand were AMAZING!  I used Martha Stewart’s recipe as a starting point….and made far too many changes to document.  It was fantastic! Light, crunchy, spicy, bursting with flavor, EXACTLY what I was looking for.  I couldn’t have been happier if I tried.  We are two weeks into the new year and I have been on an ethnic food kick….the hubby couldn’t be happier!

Beef….

Is what I did for Thanksgiving!  This year it was just the hubby and I for dinner.  Our niece has a big family Thanksgiving meal at her house on the Saturday after Turkey Day so I knew we would be having turkey.  It gave me a chance to change things up a bit.

t-day-menu

Between my work schedule and the husbands travel schedule, I haven’t been spending as much time in the kitchen as I like.  I find it very therapeutic, so I took the opportunity to spend the entire day in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.   We started with bacon and homemade buttermilk waffles.

Because honestly, a day that starts with bacon is ALWAYS a good day in my book!  For lunch, I made a pot of pasta fagioli soup and paired it with a good old grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

soup-and-sammie

Late afternoon, I put out a plate of cheese and crostini, I found a really awesomely sharp cheddar and a creamy brie.  It was a perfect little bit to get us through the second football game of the day.

Finally, it was time for dinner.  Our first course was homemade pumpkin ravioli.  I made the filling in the morning and just before dinner, I made the dough.  I picked up a ravioli maker from Williams Sonoma and it made my life so much easier.  That and the pasta rolling attachment for my kitchen aid meant I went from a ball of dough to actual ravioli in under twenty minutes!

I made a very simple cream sauce, butter, cream and Parmesan cheese for the ravioli, they were amazing.  I can’t wait to make them again!

For dinner, we grilled beef tenderloin steaks and asparagus, and I made twice baked potatoes. I even made homemade bread using my sour dough starter, I am telling you, I was in the kitchen ALL DAY LONG, and I loved it!

It is always good to end the day on a sweet note, neither the hubby or I are big fans of pie, so I made a caramel apple cheesecake instead.  It was AWESOME!

 

It was a very relaxing, enjoyable day, which I think we both needed and for which I was truly grateful.

SNOW!

Sorry folks, the cold weather and snow is all my fault.   I took the hubby to church yesterday for a christening and BAM, three hours later, temperature plummet and snow falls from the sky, I guess you can officially say hell has frozen over!

Since the weather was down right frosty, I decided to make a batch of soup.  I have been craving a bowl of cream of whatever soup and I finally gave in today….Cream of Cauliflower to the rescue.

cream-of-cauliflower

Super duper simple.  I diced and sauteed three leeks in butter.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper before adding two heads of cauliflower and eight cups of broth.  I tossed in some fresh thyme and two bay leaves.  I brought it to a boil, turned it to a simmer and let it cook, covered for 30 minutes.  While the soup was cooking, I cut two other heads of cauliflower into small florets and steamed them.   After 30 minutes, I pureed the soup, added in the florets, two cups of shredded cheddar cheese, and two cups of heavy cream.  YUM!

11-20-16-014

We had the soup for lunch along with sandwiches.  Not a bad way to spend a frigidly cold November day!