Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuscan White Bean & Spinach Soup

Still soup weather. It's snowing … again! Just made this for supper. It was fast and delicious!
Tuscan White Bean & Spinach Soup
Serves 8
The Ingredients: 
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 - 32 oz. boxes low sodium chicken broth, or vegetable stock
2 cups water
14 1⁄2 oz can diced tomatoes
I also added 1 can Rotel tomatoes, HOT
2 - 14 1⁄2 oz cans cannellini beans or other white beans
1 cup whole wheat pasta shells, or shell pasta
2 tsp rosemary
Baby spinach, cleaned and trimmed
1⁄4 tsp black pepper
Shredded cheese for garnish
The Directions:
In a large soup pot, saute onion & garlic in olive oil.
Add broth, water, tomatoes, beans and rosemary to pot. Season with black pepper. Bring to boil.
Add pasta and cook 12 minutes. If the soup seems too thick for your liking add a bit more broth.
Add spinach and cook about 1 min, until wilted. Serve with shredded cheese.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Super Easy Parmesan Chicken

We eat a lot of chciken at our house. It can be challenging to come up with tasty new recipes. And did I mention easy? Easy is always important. This one fits the bill perfectly. It's delicious and couldn't be easier! It's been around for a while, so if you haven't tried it, you really should make it soon!  :)

The Ingredients.
6 chicken breasts
2 cups Hellman's Mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Seasoned salt
Italian bread crumbs
The Directions.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray inside of 9x13 casserole pan with Pam. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry. Season both sides of chicken with seasoned salt and pepper.
2. Combine mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Spread evenly over chicken, making sure to completely cover each piece. Sprinkle bread crumbs over all.
3. Bake for about 1 hour. This is good reheated as leftovers. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Easy Vegetable Soup ~ for Liadan

I just read that spring is 33 days away! Seems like forever! This has been a long, brutal winter and I'm still in soup making mode. Recipes for vegetable soup vary from kitchen to kitchen and cook to cook. Often, recipes are based on local produce. When I make this soup, I usually add ditalini pasta, short little tubes like elbows, but shorter and without a bend. I think they're perfect for this hearty recipe.

Easy Vegetable Soup
3 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1-14-1/2-ounce can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-16 oz. loose-pack frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 handfuls ditalini pasta
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a soup kettle, combine the water, undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, oregano and pepper. Bring to boiling. Stir in frozen vegetables and pasta. I had leftover green beans in the frig so I tossed those in as well.
2. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 6 minutes or until frozen vegetables and pasta are tender. Stir in beans and parsley. Heat through. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Serves 8.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In My Kitchen ~ December 2013

FaLaLaLaLa .. LaLaLaLa.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone which means Christmas is almost here! Merry Christmas from my kitchen to yours!

I especially want to send holiday greetings to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, for making the In My Kitchen posts possible. What a wonderful lady, so talented and kind. Be sure to stop by and check out her posts, and the posts of all the other bloggers who participate.

In my kitchen …
Years ago, when my daughter was a little girl, we'd make Christmas ornaments together to give as gifts. This is one of my favorites. To make it, you'll need nuts (almonds and filberts in the shell), a hot glue gun, and holiday ribbon. If you want to add a bit of glamour, you can paint the nuts gold. I prefer them natural.

In my kitchen …
Caprese Skewers, a red and green themed holiday appetizer. You can find the recipe here.  

In my kitchen …
Way back in the 1950's, when I was growing up, my mom always made an Ice Cream Cake for dessert on Christmas. Ice cream cake in December, in snowy cold Minnesota, is a bit of an oxymoron, but my three brothers and five cousins loved it and looked forward to it every year!

In my kitchen …
Pretzel buttons: Pretzels, Hershey's kisses and Christmas M&M's. Easy and yummy! Fun to make with kids, too!

Finally, here's a song that makes me smile. Sorry about the commercial.  Listen here.

Peace and blessings to all of you!

Friday, November 1, 2013

In My Kitchen ~ November 2013

Hello, November! Today seems like the perfect day to build a fire and cozy up with a book. But errands are calling. I have groceries to buy for an egg dish to make for my new granddaughter's christening brunch on Sunday morning. And I volunteered to iron the christening gown, handmade by my Great-Aunt over 66 years ago. It's made of fine cotton batiste, with hundreds of tiny stitches. There's a matching slip to go under the dress, all excruciatingly difficult to iron, but so lovely.

AND now, I'm excited to share more of the things in my kitchen. Be sure to check out the other bloggers who have joined with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to give us a peek into their kitchens and their worlds!

In my kitchen ...
I have an enormous collection of recipes; handwritten on cards, torn from magazines, stuffed in a wooden box, crammed in drawers. And then there are my cookbooks! This recipe was given to me by my uncle, probably back in the 1970's. It's a link to him and to the past, and I treasure it.

In my kitchen ...
Trader Joe's Sun Dried Tomatoes. I love to add them to cheese stuffed ravioli. See recipe here.

In my kitchen ...
Trader Joe's Roasted Red Pepper Soup, perfect with grilled cheese sandwiches for a fast supper on a cold autumn night.

In my kitchen ...
Gun Flint Trail Wild Raspberry Jalapeno Jam, made right here in Minnesota and sold at The Bibelot Shops. This jam goes great in a turkey sandwich: toast sourdough bread, add sliced turkey from the deli (or even better, leftover Thanksgiving turkey) and melted swiss cheese, along with a dollop of this sweet, spicy jam for an amazing sandwich treat.

In my kitchen ...
Homemade Hot Chocolate, silky and rich and satisfying.

In my kitchen ... 
An apple cranberry crisp (recipe here).

Finally ...
Back in 2008, Saint Paul artist-in-residence Marcus Young started an annual sidewalk poetry contest for city residents. I was one of the winners in 2009, for my poem November. You gotta love a city where poetry is that important! Below is a photo of the poem being installed on the sidewalk in front of my daughters house. My young granddaughter is adding her tiny hand print to the wet cement. In honor of the month, I am sharing my poem here with all of you:

Autumn winds drag leaves from trees,
streets clog in a dreary finale.
Bare branches crisscross heavy skies.
Icy rain spatters, ink-blots pavement.
I settle at the window, stare
into thick black flannel, search
the woolly lining of the night for winter.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Southwestern Chicken for a rainy Sunday

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I've hauled out my trusty Rival crock pot. It must be at least 35 years old, still works like a charm. I've been pouring over my stash of slow-cooker recipes. Southwestern Chicken is perfect for a cold,  rainy Sunday.

Southwestern Chicken
The Ingredients.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar salsa, medium hot
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese
Minute Rice
The Directions.
Combine corn, beans and half the jar of salsa in the crock pot. Season chicken with salt and pepper. I used seasoned salt. Place chicken on top and cover with the remaining salsa.
Cook on high for 5 hours.
Serve with rice. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese just before serving.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In My Kitchen ~ October 2013

Hello and welcome to a new month! The leaves are beginning to change color in my corner of the world, from green to yellow, bright orange and red. Nature's having one last fling before settling down for winter's deep sleep. 

In my kitchen ... 
I've got Honey Crisp apples. Sweet, firm and tart, the Honey Crisp originated here in my home state, at the University of Minnesota. Although they were developed in the 1960's, they weren't released to the public until 1991. 

In my kitchen ...
I've got rich, dense bundt cake. Did you know the bundt pan was created in Minnesota in 1950 by H. David Dahlquist, founder of Minneapolis-based Nordic Ware? The name bundt comes from the German word bund, which means "community" or "a gathering of people." Mr. Dahlquist added the letter "t" to the end and trademarked the word.

In my kitchen ...
You'll usually find a jar of Royal Blend rice on the pantry shelf. We love rice and this nutritious combination of Texmati white, brown, wild and red makes a great side dish. It's low-fat and an excellent source of fiber. I buy it locally but it can be ordered online.

In my kitchen ...
I've got a crustless quiche (recipe here). It's perfect for any time of day: breakfast, lunch or dinner; goes together quickly and never disappoints. It's one of those marvelous recipes that uses up leftover veggies (tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, green pepper), as well as bacon or ham and a variety of cheeses.

Thanks for stopping by. And thanks to the amazing Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, for providing this place for all of us to come together and share! Be sure you take a minute to visit the other kitchens joining the fun!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy First Day of Fall: Easy Chicken & Dumplings

This is cold weather comfort food at it's absolute best ... and easiest! Plus the house smelled wonderful all afternoon, while the Minnesota Vikings were loosing another football game on TV.

Slow-Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
The Ingredients.
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. butter
2 cans (10.5 oz) Cream of Chicken soup
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 medium white onion, diced
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. dried parsley (or fresh if you have it)
4 large Flaky Refrigerator biscuits (half a can)
The Directions.
Place thawed chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot. Top with butter.
Combine cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, diced onion, pepper and parsley in a bowl and blend well. Pour over chicken in crockpot. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low for 8 hours.

After the chicken has cooked for the proper amount of time, cut each biscuit into 8-9 small pieces and roll into a ball. Then roll in flour to prevent biscuits from sticking together. Add biscuits to crockpot and continue cooking 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the biscuit dumplings are done. It took an hour in my crockpot. The recipe says to remove the chicken, shred and return to the crockpot. I left the chicken breasts whole.  Serves 4.

Note: This makes a lot of gravy. If it gets too thick, you can thin it with additional chicken broth.
Next time I make this, I think I'll add sliced carrots. They'd be so good, plus they'd add gorgeous color!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Black Bean Soup

Best Ever Black Bean Soup
3 cans of seasoned black beans (drained, not rinsed), 1 can mashed
2 - 10 oz. cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
White Rice (I used minute rice. Follow instructions on box for 4 people)
In a large pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add water, chili powder and cumin and stir. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for 15 mins. Place a cup of rice in a bowl and pour in soup; garnish with fresh cilantro. Tastes even better the next day.