Saturday, September 9, 2017

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

This soup is a wonderfully creamy and delicious dish can serve as the prelude to a meal, or the meal alone.  There are many variations of this dish, but here's a simple version that you can make using ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry.

One small onion, diced
Four cloves fresh garlic, minced
One carrot, diced
Butter, 2 Tbsp
Fresh plum or roma tomatoes (You can also use canned tomatoes or tomato soup)
1 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup chicken broth
Fresh parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh basil leaves
Salt and Pepper

Saute onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil.  Cook carrots until softened and puree carrots.  Add to onions and garlic. Add butter, cook until butter melts.
Add tomatoes and cook down.  Turn heat to simmer and add cream, milk, and chicken broth. Add parmesan cheese, chopped basil leaves, salt and pepper.
Garnish with additional cheese and basil. 
I like to add fresh croutons too.

Delicious and Easy Homemade Granola

I love granola for breakfast, or as a tasty snack. I used to buy it until I discovered how inexpensive and simple it was to make it on your own.  I've tried several different recipes--using maple syrup, using honey, using brown sugar as the sweetener--along with various ingredients.  Here's my take on homemade granola...

Mix dry ingredients together:
3 cups oats (not instant)
1 cup almonds
1 cup cashews
1/2 shredded coconut

Mix together ingredients to make sauce:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Drizzle sauce over dry mixture.  Combine well.  Lay flat on a parchment sheet covered baking tray.  Bake at 250 degrees, turning every 15 minutes for approximately 1hr. 15min. Allow to cool on the tray.  Mixture will harden after removing from oven.  Add 1 cup cranberries, raisins or craisins.  Allow to completely cool before storing in air-tight container. Granola should last 3-4 weeks.  (Though my family will usually eat it up within the week!)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hot Chocolate-delicious, fun, festive!

You can buy hot chocolate and spend a lot of money-or you can make it yourself at home, save money, and have fun with the family.  My family makes hot chocolate using plain chocolate syrup, or those hot chocolate powdered packages.  (I've tried melting chocolate and doing it from scratch...honestly, like brownies, the store bought stuff is pretty good, cheaper, quicker)
The using milk.  Forget using water-you'll never get that rich, creamy, and delicious taste without milk.  We like to use 1% or 2% milk.  Warm the milk in a pot on the stove, or simply pop it into the microwave for 1.5 minutes.  Stir in the chocolate.  Here's the clincher...adding the whipped cream makes it AMAZING.  There's just something about the milk and the cream that just can't be beat. We use the whipped cream from Costco. I put out different candy sprinkles-different colors, shapes, etc. for the different holidays.  The kids have fun decorating their hot chocolate.  It looks as good as it tastes!

Best Butter Mochi Recipe-quick and easy!

This recipe is the BEST butter mochi recipe.  I receive lots of compliments whenever I make it for parties, for work, for my family.  The best part is it is quick, easy, bakes in one 9x13" pan, and you don't need to refrigerate it.

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 box Mochiko flour (16 oz)
2 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups milk (I use 2% or 1%)
5 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup shredded or flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter and cool.
Combine Mochiko, sugar and baking powder,  Combine remaining ingredients to the dry mixture.
Pour into 9x13" pan and bake for one hour.
Cool and cut into squares.  I find using a plastic knife to cut the butter mochi is easiest so the knife won't stick to the mochi.  This does not need to be refrigerated.  It will last 2-3 days in moderate temperature. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Baked Potato Wedges

Got a few potatoes in hand and need a quick side for dinner or a snack?  Cut potato in six-eight wedges, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika and put on foil-lined baking sheet or pan. Other options are ranch dressing powder, barbecue powder, or lemon pepper seasoning. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce or ranch dressing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tomato Garlic Cream Pasta

Tomato Garlic Cream Pasta is a quick and tasty meal for weeknights that will satisfy and delight your taste buds. 

The sauce is tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, (though you can always use a store bought sauce-if I do, I like Prego), oregano, basil, garlic and onions sauteed. Add cream, butter, grated Parmesan cheese and cream cheese. Salt to taste. In a separate pan sauté vegetables (I like eggplant, onion, mushrooms and red bell peppers) with olive oil and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss cooked pasta, vegetables and sauce together. Add Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Grilled shrimp and nectarine salad

This salad is another fresh and healthy dish on a warm summer day, or if you want to remember the summer. 
Start with fresh mixed greens, add vegetables. I love cook cucumbers, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and grated carrots. Add ripe nectarine, almonds and grilled shrimp. 

Grilled shrimp:
-season shrimp with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic (or garlic powder)
-grill shrimp for 2-3 min or until shrimp is pink.