Thursday, September 20, 2012

Vegetable Cheese Chowder

This soup tastes similar to a potato cheese soup, but it is lighter and better for you with all of the vegetables in there. I think cauliflower would be an amazing addition to this soup, but it is still on my list of things to experiment with. This is really yummy and perfect for lunch or dinner.

Vegetable Cheese Chowder

4 cans, or 64 oz. chicken broth
4 cups water
1 bunch of broccoli, finely chopped
4 medium potatoes, finely diced
4 stalks celery, finely diced
1 small onion, diced
4 carrots, shredded or finely diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans evaporated milk (or I just use 2 cups regular milk)
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Flour and water, one part flour to two parts water to thicken

Combine chicken broth and water in large soup pot and add diced vegetables. Simmer until the vegetables are tender. Add 2 cans evaporated milk.

Combine 1/2 cup flour with 1 cup water in a separate bowl and mix well with a whisk until all lumps are gone. Stir in flour and water mixture into vegetable broth mixture until bubbly. You may continue to thicken as needed.

When it has thickened to your liking, cook and stir one minute more to completely cook the flour, then simmer 15-20 minutes longer.

Add 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese. Simmer until cheese melts. Makes 16 one cup servings.

You may garnish with crumbled bacon on top, and serve with peasant bread.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

White Chocolate Bundt Cake

I got this recipe from my Aunt Kaye, and I have to tell you, this cake is amazing. Make it for something fancy, or serve it with all of your fresh raspberries this summer. You're welcome.

The Cake

1 Betty Crocker yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix
4 oz. instant white chocolate pudding mix (or you can use cheesecake flavor pudding)
1 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil
2/3 cup skim milk
1 egg white
2 eggs
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Coat a 10" bundt pan with non stick cooking spray. Combine cake mix through the eggs in a bowl, blending until well mixed. Stir in white chocolate chips and pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

The Glaze

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
1 Tablespoon almond extract

Mix in a small bowl. Cool cake for 10 minutes in pan before inverting on a serving plate or cake stand. Brush glaze on with pastry brush to coat cake. I just drizzled it over the top and used the back of a spoon to smooth it all over the cake. If desired, you can sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the glaze.

The Raspberry Sauce

1 10 oz. package frozen raspberries in syrup
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 Tablespoons orange juice

Drain 1 package raspberries and discard juice. Puree the rest in blender and strain if desired.

If you can't find raspberries in syrup, make your own heavy syrup by dissolving 3/4 cup sugar in 1/2 cup boiling water. Puree a bag of whole raspberries in the blender and slowly add enough of the syrup (not all) to make raspberries pourable. Add orange juice.

Add this to a bag of frozen raspberries

The Assembly

Garnish the cake with fresh raspberries.

To serve, first take a slice of cake. This is what the cake looks like with the pecans and white chocolate chips inside. It is so moist.

Then top it with raspberry sauce. Drizzle a little extra on the plate so you can dip the cake in it.

Top it with sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Delicious, I tell ya. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bethany's Peasant Bread

From my sister, Bethany. So easy, and so delicious. My favorite variation is to rub butter on top of the loaf when it comes out of the oven and then sprinkle it with some garlic salt and serve with soup or spaghetti or salad--really it can go with almost anything. Or try some herb butter. That's really good too.

Bethany's Peasant Bread

1 1/2 Tbl. yeast
1 1/2 Tbl. coarse kosher salt
3 cups warm water
6 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

1. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl in order listed. Stir with wooden spoon or mix in stand mixer until mixture is uniform.  Cover and let rise 2 hours or until dough begins to collapse.

2. You can use any portion of the dough anytime after this point. The rest can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

3. When ready to bake, prepare pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent your loaf from sticking when it slides into the oven. I'm still trying to figure out how to do this without making a mess of my oven. Sometimes I sprinkle a cookie sheet with cornmeal and put the loaf right in the middle before letting it rise and baking it right on the cookie sheet to contain the cornmeal mess.

4. Sprinkle the surface of your dough with flour, and cut off a grapefruit sized piece using a serrated knife. Hold dough in your hands and add a little more flour as you shape it into a ball. The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends but it will flatten out.

5. One or two loaves is about right to fit on your peel and pizza stone. It doesn't work as well or look as pretty when you try to cram three on there and they are all touching. Rest loaf and let it rise, covered with a loose towel, for 40 minutes while your oven heats to 450 degrees with pizza stone on the center rack. Place an empty broiler pan on the rack below.

6. Slash the top of the loaf about 3 times with a serrated knife. Transfer loaves to hot pizza stone (or bake it on a cookie sheet). Quickly pour 1 cup hot water into the broiler pan and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for 30 minutes.

Like I said, my favorite way to serve this is to rub butter over the hot loaf right out of the oven and sprinkle it with garlic salt. Or you can also try out this recipe for herb butter.

Herb Butter

1 cup butter, softened
2 Tbl. fresh minced parsley
1 Tbl. minced garlic cloves
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Or, to simplify, sometimes I just use this butter.

*For an Italian loaf, try mixing 2 Tbl. of Italian seasoning into your dough in the first step.