Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

I got this recipe from my sister, Patty. It is creamy and delicious.
2 c. chicken stock
2 10 oz. pkg. frozen cauliflower OR 1 bunch fresh , chopped
1/3 c. butter
1 onion, chopped fine
1/3 c. flour
4 cups half and half or whole milk
2 cups velveeta cheese cut into small chunks
salt and pepper
parsley to garnish

In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook about 8 minutes or until tender crisp. Remove about 1/3 third of the cauliflower and set aside. Use an immersible blender to blend the stock and cauliflower OR pour into a blender and blend until smooth. In a soup pot, melt butter and saute' onion until tender. Add flour, stirring and cooking until smooth. Slowly add the half and half, blending and cooking until smooth and creamy. Stir in the blended cauliflower. Add cheese and cook, stirring constantly unitl sauce is smooth and cheese is melted. Add reserved cauliflower. Heat, but don't boil. Garnish with parsley.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Easy Crockpot Beef Stew

What's better on a cold night than a bowl of beef stew with some wheat bread? It just takes a few minutes to put together, and then you can enjoy the smell of it stewing in the crockpot all afternoon. Measurements are approximate since I don't really measure for this.

1 1/2 -2 lbs. stew beef cut into small chunks
About 1/2 cup flour
Salt and Pepper OR Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste (remember steak seasoning is really peppery, so be careful not to put too much- yes, this is the voice of experience!)

3 potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 or 3 stalks celery with tops, chopped
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 big glob (maybe 1-2 T.) beef better than bouillon mixed in about 1 cup water(add more water if needed) and heated to dissolve in the microwave.

Cut up the beef, then put it in a bowl OR just on the cutting board add the flour and seasoning. Mix well. Let marinate while you chop the veggies. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Put in crockpot. If there are bits left in the fry pan, add a little bit of water and deglaze the pan and add that in the crockpot too. Add veggies, bouillon mixture and soups. Mix together and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Zesty Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Wahoo! Another easy, delicious crock pot recipe- perfect for busy December dinners. I wish I could tell you where I got it, but I don't remember. I printed it off a food blog or site somewhere. But it is really good. And like I said, easy. It tastes kind of pork Cafe Rio-ish.

6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
12 oz bottle barbecue sauce (whatever kind you like)
1/2 cup Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing (I'm sure another Italian dressing would work as well)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Shred chicken and mix in with sauce well. Serve on buns or on baked potatoes (both are delicious!)
This freezes well in ziplock bags.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Patty's Borscht

My sister, Patty served two missions in Siberia, Russia (I know- she's a saint!) and really learned how to make delicious traditional Russian borscht soup. She says every Russian family has their own recipe. She has really perfected hers. It is so healthy, flavorful, and makes a perfect Christmas-time soup with it's bright red color. I had borsch on our cruise last summer and Patty's recipe is WAY better than that was. Give it a try; It's really pretty easy:

1 lb. tender beef cut into small pieces
3-4 T. flour
Seasoning Salt and Pepper to taste

1 large onion, chopped
1 c. diced carrots
1 1/2 c. diced potatoes
1/2 c. chopped celery
2 c. chopped cabbage
1 14 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
2 quarts beef stock
1 T. vinegar
2 T. dried parsley
1 T. dried dill
2 tsp. garlic powder (more or less to taste)
2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 c sugar
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 14 oz. can diced beets with juice

Dredge beef in flour and salt and pepper and fry in a little oil in the bottom of a large soup pot. When beef starts to brown, add onion, potatoes, carrots, and celery and brown with meat for several minutes. This creates a nice flavor in the vegetables and gives them a head start in cooking. Then add cabbage and all other ingredients, except the beets. Bring to a boil and then simmer until vegetables are tender- don't overcook. Turn heat off and allow soup to sit for an hour or more. Just before serving, bring the soup to a second boil- immediately turn heat off and add the beets. If the beets boil they will lose their beautiful color. Remove bay leaves. Ladel soup in bowls and garnish with sour cream and parsley (I used fresh dill.)