Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Soup's On!

Since the weather turned chilly, I've been caving soup way more than normal. Instead of grabbing for a can I've been working on making soups for myself ... with pretty good success!

Allow me share the love ;)

In my 7 quart crock pot today: Minestrone

3 16oz cans "Italian style" diced tomatoes
1 16oz can dark red kidney beans (drained)
1 16oz can cannellini beans (drained)
2 c (16oz) water
4 c (32oz) chicken stock
1 & 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
leaves from 3 stems oregano - tossed in whole
1 tsp chopped basil
about 1 handful fresh spinach torn into strips
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1&1/2 tsp minced garlic (equal to about 2-3 cloves)
3 med-lg size bay leaves
6 red potatoes, par boiled 10 minutes, cut into half-moons
3 shakes sea salt

Turn crock pot to 4-6 hours, depending on when soup needs to be done. Switch to warm when desired. Store in fridge and heat when you're hungry.

I freakin love this broth! It tastes pretty amazing :) The husband and I went to Olive Garden a few days ago and I ordered their Minestrone just to compare, and wow was I happy! Mine is way better ... in my own humble opinion, of course.

My local Dillons grocery store has a delish seeded garlic bread they make fresh daily. Perfectly paired!

My next soup-venture will be gnocchi chicken. Please share your recipes with me if you have any you'd like to pass on! 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sugar High!

It's been foooreveeeer since I posted! No time to explain... just DRIIIIVE! (I'll get back to that  later) For now, I need to explain why that by spring, my ass will be as wide as all outside.


I love the holiday season - the weather, the decor, the food, and even some of the music - but mostly, the food ;) Pinterest has some great recipes for holiday sweets, and I decided to put my own spin on some I've re-pinned recently. 

First up; Chocolate Candy Cracker Bark -

you will need:
saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips (dark, semi or milk)
mini marshmallows 
thinly sliced almonds
non-stick or parchment covered cookie sheet (wax paper will stick!)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

On a non-stick cookie sheet, line up saltine crackers till surface is covered (mine will fit 40). Melt butter/brown sugar in a sauce pan - let bubble for a minute and continue. Pour butter/brown sugar mixture over the crackers, making sure the entire surface is covered. Place in 400 degree oven for 6 minutes, then remove.

Immediately pour entire bag of chips and a handful or two (depending on your liking) of marshmallows on the hot crackers. Place tray back in oven for 1 minute. Watch the chips till they get shiny (this means they are melting!) then remove the tray. Use spatula to spread melted chocolate chips and marshmallows over the cracker surface.

Sprinkle with slivered almonds and let cool bit. Press almonds firmly with spatula to set them in real good. If desired, place in freezer to cool/harden up faster.

After the cooling down, I cut it into squares, and placed them in a container to keep them happy. 

I've been experimenting with soups and cookies too, and I'll be sure to share them as well!

That's all for now ... stay tuned for some knitting and other crafty things! I promise I won't be gone for long.