21
Mar
10

I’ve moved

http://jessicaclare.wordpress.com/

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04
Oct
09

Mmmm…potato soup

Being that I’m all knocked up and stuff, I sometimes I get cravings. STRONG cravings. Today, I woke up from a nap (ahh…the sweet bliss of a nap) craving potato soup. I love a good potato soup and the weather has been perfect for it (cool and rainy). I’ve never actually made potato soup, though, so I had to find a recipe. I found this on allrecipes.com and used it as a guide. I did change quite a bit about it, though. It turned out SO well. Completely satisified my craving and its a definite “keeper” recipe.

Potato soup

Ingredients

1 package of bacon
2 Tbsp bacon grease (reserved from frying bacon)
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 c flour
3 cups chicken stock
5 cups milk (I used 2 % but I don’t think it would matter)
5 green onions, chopped
4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 tbsp salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Cheddar cheese

In a large dutch oven (or whatever soup pot you’re using), fry bacon. Drain and chop small. (I fried up the whole package and ate some, so I’m not totally sure how much ended up in the soup.Probably about 2/3 of the package?) Drain all but 2 tbsp of the grease from the pot (make sure to leave the brown bits at the bottom too) Add butter to grease and melt. When butter is melted, add green onions and saute for a minute or two to soften. Then add the flour, stirring together with the fats. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken stock and milk, about a cup at a time. Add 2 Tbsp salt, then add potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes to the desired consistency (I left some small chunks, but most were mashed). Stir in pepper and bacon. Taste and add salt accordingly. Top with cheddar cheese when serving.

The original recipe called for sour cream, but I left it out. Troy really doesn’t like it, and the soup didn’t need it. I honestly can’t imagine that it would add anything to the soup but if you want to try it, go ahead. I also really like the texture that using the potato masher gives, but you can certainly use the immersion blender if you want. I prefer some small chunks in my soup though.

Also, this makes A LOT. Enough for 6 people at least. So if you’re making it for less, either cut the recipe in half or be prepared to eat potato soup as leftovers for a few days.

13
Jan
09

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I like soup. All kinds, especially those that are easy to make and hearty enough for an entire meal. I’ve actually been making a lot of soup lately, mostly because I live in Wisconsin and its winter. Wisconsin winter+soup=HAPPINESS. For real.

I found this recipe at the request of my husband. He loves mexican chicken soup. The original recipe calls for making it in a crockpot, but my crockpot isn’t really big enough (I have a 4 quart, I think you’d need at least a 6 quart), so I made it in my big dutch oven.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Find the original recipe here)

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts & 2-3 boneless skinless thighs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (I left this out. Hubby HATES cilantro)
  • Corn tortilla chips for topping

Place all the ingredients (except the chips) into the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours (I cooked it for 2 hours on the stovetop on low). Before serving, remove cooked chicken, shred and add back into soup. Top with tortilla chips (I also topped with cheese)

So easy and so yummy.

07
Nov
08

Soooooo….

I got a little sidetracked. I’m sorry about that, but I’m back with a list of recipes I need to blog about! I’m going to try to mix in some Thanksgiving favorites this month too, plus we’ll have a little discussion about brining a turkey.

So, for my first recipe back from my break, I’d like to give you…..drumroll please….Chicken Enchiladas.

Ok, so that probably isn’t the grand gourmet dish you were expecting, right? I mean, what have I been DOING all this time if I haven’t been slaving away on fablously complicated dishes? Well, I have a husband and a kid that simply don’t DO gourmet. We’re pretty simple, and I like to keep things easy and tasty, and this recipe fits that bills. You’ll need a slowcooker for this one.

Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of boneless skinless chicken thighs, plus 1-2 boneless skinless breasts
  • 1 large can of enchilada sauce (I use mild, do whatever you like)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 6-7 medium sized flour tortillas
  • 3 cups mexican blend cheese

Place chicken in crockpot. Cover with enchilada sauce, plus 3/4 of a can’s worth of water. Mix in taco seasoning. Cook 8 hours on low. Remove meat and shred with a fork.

Mix chicken with a couple scoops of sauce remaining in the crockpot, plus 1.5 cups of the cheese.

In a medium baking dish, spoon enough sauce into dish to cover the bottom. Fill each tortilla with meat/cheese mixture, roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Top with more sauce and remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Voila. There you have it. Easy chicken enchiladas. These are really, really good. You can also use the meat for tacos, tostadas, taco salad, quesadillas, you get the idea. I recommend doing a mix of thighs and breasts only because the thighs stay very moist and I like the texture of the mix better, but you can do all breasts if you’d like.

19
Sep
08

Stuffed pork chops

LOVE stuffed pork chops, but the ones I find in the store always seem so blah and tough. I decided to try making them myself, and they were wonderful! I did brine the pork chops first, which really makes them moist and delicious. One note if you’ve never brined before: DO NOT SALT THE MEAT AFTER BRINING. You can add other seasonings if you want, but do NOT add salt. They will be WAY too salty. Trust me on this. Step away from the salt.

Brine:

  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP whole peppercorns
  • 1 c cider vinegar, microwaved until hot
  • 1/2 pound ice

Mix sugar, salt and peppercorns together with hot vinegar until disolved. Add ice and shake/stir until melted. Pour over 2 thick cut boneless pork chops and refrigerate for 1.5 hours.

Stuffing

  • 2 cups sage and onion stuffing mix
  • 1/2 med onion, chopped
  • 2/3 c macintosh apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2-2/3 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 6 TBSP butter

In a frying pan, saute the onion in 2 TBPS of butter until soft. While the onion is cooking, soak 1 cup of the stuffing with the chicken broth. Make sure its pretty soggy. Add cooked onion and apple. Then toast the remaining 1 cup of stuffing mix in 2 TBSP of butter until browned. Add to the stuffing mixture and mix well.

Remove your pork chops from the brine and rinse them well. DO NOT SALT THEM. I repeat, DO NOT SALT. With a sharp knife, make a 2 inch slit in the top of the pork chop. Moving your knife back and forth in a pendulum motion, make a large pocket on the inside of the pork chop, without cutting through or making the top slit bigger.

Take the remaining 2 TBSP of butter and put one tbsp into the bottom of each pork chop cavity. Then take your stuffing and stuff it into the pork chop. I found that clean hands work best for this. Get as much in as you can (the sides should bulge)

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until stuffing reaches a temp of 150. degrees

12
Sep
08

I love snacks

There is nothing that I like better than some good snacks and nothing says snacks like football season. A couple of weeks ago I hosted a small gathering for the fantasy-football-draft-from-hell (the actual draft, not the people in attendance). For the occasion I made a veggie pizza and an asiago artichoke dip. Both were a hit.The veggie pizza is a recipe from my friend Sheila, while the artichoke dip is from a local restaurant. I tweaked the dip recipe a bit.

Veggie Pizza (courtesy of my friend Sheila)

2 rolls of crescent rolls

8oz cream cheese
2/3 cup mayo
1/2T powered garlic
1T dill
1T dried onion powder

Finely shredded cheddar cheese

Assorted veggies, chopped small (I use broccoli, cauliflower, yellow pepper and carrots)

Spread crescent rolls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until browned. Blend cream cheese, mayo and spices together and spread on top of crescent rolls. Top with cheese and veggies. Cut into slices and serve

Delafield Brewhaus Asiago Artichoke Dip (find the original recipe here)

1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts, drained (not marinated)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Chipotle puree to taste (see note)
Ciabatta bread

Put cream cheese in large bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients. Spread in ungreased 10-inch pie tin. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.

To serve: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake dip, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve hot with warmed ciabatta bread. Makes 8 appetizer servings.

Note: Chipotle puree is available at specialty food stores. When adding, start at 1/4 teaspoon, as puree is very hot.

30
Aug
08

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers were a dinner staple in my house growing up. They are an easy meal that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and gets everything (veggie, starch and protein) all in one delicious package. When I started making them, hubby complained that they needed something else…like CHEESE (hey, we live in Wisconsin!). I modified my mom’s recipe a little to come up with this and they are delicious and easy!

Italian Stuffed Peppers

5-6 bell peppers (I use yellow, you can use whatever you like)

1 lb ground beef

1 c cooked rice

2 cans (14.5 oz) tomato sauce

½ med onion, chopped small

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1.5 c Italian blend shredded cheese (whatever your grocery store has)

Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut the top of the peppers and remove seeds. Set aside.

Brown ground beef, drain and set aside. Saute onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic at the end and let soften briefly. Add browned beef and rice to mixture and stir to combine. Add 2/3-3/4 of a can of tomato sauce (until its well combined and wet, but not soupy). Add Italian blend cheese and mix well.

Scoop filling into peppers and place in a baking dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce (1 full can and ¼ of the used can) over the top of the peppers and into the baking dish.

Bake peppers until soft, about 1 ¼  hours. Remove from oven and top with mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melted. Serve over rice.