Dec. 11th, 2009 05:50 pm
bluesilverkdg: (Veggies)
I've not shared a recipe that I invented in a while, so I'll give y'all one. It's good if you like spicy vegetarian-type soups. And, as with all my make-believe recipes, you can totally modify it to fit your needs and taste.

3-4 potatoes, diced
3-4 stalks of celery, cut into bite-sized slices
One can Rotel tomatoes and chilis
Tomato juice (as much or little as you like)
Can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans, drained and washed)

Spices: I use the following, because I have and like them, but feel free to use whatever you like. Garlic powder, no-salt seasoning, cayenne pepper powder, powdered ginger, oregano, cumin, curry powder, turmeric. From the Indian grocery store, I use Garam Masala, but chances are good you may not have that one on hand unless you do a lot of Indian cooking.

I make a "broth" of the spices and boiling water, and cook the potatoes and celery until they're tender. At that point, add in the Rotel tomatoes, tomato juice (I use my mom's tomato juice that she cans from the garden, but store-bought would be fine, I'm sure), and chickpeas. Add a dash more seasoning if you like and let it simmer an hour or so.

That's it! It's pretty spicy, with the Rotels, the ginger, cayenne, etc. But if you had a stuffy nose or cold, this stuff would totally rock and I'm sure, cure what ails'ya.
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
So, my fridge is still not fridging properly, but I'm hopefully getting that taken care of tomorrow. In the meantime, I've taken to keeping my milk and orange juice in a cooler full of ice, like the pioneers used to do it back in olden times.

I've been trying to use up as much of the stuff in my fridge as I could, before it went bad. (On the next episode of Cops..when good coleslaw goes bad.) It reminds me of cooking with my dad. I used to love it when he and I had control of the kitchen when I was a kid. He'd make what he called "cabinet soup." He basically just cleaned out the cabinets and threw whatever he thought looked good in a pot. 99% of the time, it was pretty tasty, but it was difficult to replicate, because what were the chances you were going to have all that stuff, in those same increments in the cabinet again? But still, it was fun, and I was always amazed at the concoctions he came up with.

What I made for dinner this afternoon was not nearly as exotic as cabinet soup, but it was still pretty yummy. I had some shrimp in the freezer that I didn't want to lose, so I decided to get crafty with that. I heated some olive oil in the skillet, toasted a bunch of spices, added some Tuscan Harvest salad dressing to the oil, and then halved up some grape tomatoes that were getting decidedly overripe. At the last minute, I dumped in the shrimp and poured the whole thing over pasta with a little grated parmesan cheese.

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Not too shabby for stuff I just grabbed out of the fridge before it spoiled. :-)
bluesilverkdg: (Doughboy)
One of my favorite soups at Tomato Head is the artichoke and bleu cheese bisque. They make all their soups from scratch, and rotate the soup of the day continuously. It's been forever since I had this soup, but I've just had a craving for it. Since I don't have easy access to Tomato Head (that's my favorite restaurant in Knoxville, by the way) anymore, and heaven knows when they'd have this on the menu again, I thought I'd give it a whirl myself.

I found this recipe on Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/ARTICHOKE-BLUE-CHEESE-BISQUE-107061
It looks easy enough, and I think might be fairly close to what I've gotten at Tomato Head. The one ingredient that concerns me is the vermouth. I don't have any, nor do I care to buy a bottle just to get one cup for a soup recipe. I can't see that I'd ever use it in any other recipes or just to drink. So my question is, do any of you know of substitutes for vermouth? I tried googling to see if I could get any information, but I didn't know if it was trustworthy (I got recommendations to use a dry white wine, white wine vinegar or..white grape juice? Thinking I don't want grape juice in my bleu cheese soup, but I was hoping someone might have actual experience with the other two options to let me know how well they would work.)

Any assistance would be much appreciated. (Also, [livejournal.com profile] nonspecific, if it's good, and you think you'd like it, I'd obviously make you a modified batch to suit your needs.)
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
I wanted to share a super easy, yet yummy recipe that I've been making a lot lately. I got the idea from [livejournal.com profile] nonspecific and...I don't know where she got it.

The ingredients are canned tomatoes, chickpeas, olives (I like Kalamata, but whatever), lemon juice (real lemon juice, not that crap in a plastic lemon), feta cheese, olive oil and spices.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add whatever spices you like to it. I enjoy toasting spices to release the flavors and oils, and black ground pepper takes on a whole new dimension when it's been heated. I usually add some garlic powder, oregano, thyme...just whatever I feel like throwing in.

When the spices are combined and heated, add some fresh lemon juice, however much you like. I prefer it tangy, so I tend to use a good bit. Let that get sizzly, then throw in the chickpeas (drained and rinsed) and olives (drained.) I like to mix them all around in the olive oil/lemon juice/spice mixture until all the flavors mesh and the chickpeas start to soften a bit. Add the tomatoes last and stir well. Right before serving, put in some crumbles of feta cheese. It will melt a little, but still holds up very well in the heat.

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That gives you this: Photobucket

Nom nom nom. If I'm feeling saucy, I'll put it over some couscous or brown rice, but honestly, I like to just eat it like this. It's a vegetarian dish, obviously, but if you just HAD to put some dead animal in there, you probably could. But I mean, honestly...why would you want to?

All righty...I'm off to eat my concoction now. It smells SO GOOD.

(Oh..[livejournal.com profile] angline, you can see my potholder to the righthand side. It's the same style as the cute towel you sent me as a housewarming gift!)
bluesilverkdg: (Doughboy)
Last weekend I went to a housewarming party at [livejournal.com profile] tnrkitect's house. His wife had made these amazing peanut butter sandwich cookies, and I meant to get the recipe for them. She'd told me that the filling was cream cheese, powdered sugar and peanut butter, but I wasn't sure of increments. So when I got home, I just googled until I found something that looked similar. This is what I came up with:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 to 6 tbsps milk

In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter, cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and milk. Add more milk as needed to achieve spreading consistency.

Spread on half of the cookies and top each with another cookie.



Holy cow, soooo good. I made peanut butter cookies yesterday, and tried this filling. (I'll put the recipe for the cookies under the cut, but it's just pretty basic) I can't quit eating them, they're so amazing. I took some over to my dad yesterday, who promptly devoured them.

I'm definitely making these the next time we have a cookout or family dinner. And if you're a fan of peanut butter, you should make them, too! I'm just trying now to figure out how to incorporate chocolate into the mix, because that's the one thing I can think of that would actually make this recipe even better. Peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips? Or chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips. The possibilities are endless...
Next time I make them, I think I will leave out the vanilla extract. I may have added a bit too much, but I'm normally a fan of vanilla. In this case though, it didn't quite mesh with the other ingredients. I also had to add more milk, because the filling is THICK, and my mixer kept stalling when I was trying to blend the ingredients. Otherwise, I've gotta say, these cookies are darned near perfection. Oh, another hint, they tend to get a bit soggy if left at room temperature or warmer (they practically melted in the car yesterday on the way to see my parents.) Refrigerating them gives them a better texture, and I think, makes them taste better.

Here's the recipe for the cookies, if you like..

Feed your head. )
bluesilverkdg: (Doughboy)
OK, two things real quick. When I had my Dinner'n'Game night, I was asked for my recipe for alfredo sauce. So here it is:

1 package of cream cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 stick of butter
milk (give or take)
salt and pepper to taste
basil, oregano, thyme or any other spices you like.

Melt everything in a pot, let it simmer and enjoy over fettucine or the pasta of your choice.

This is a very flexible recipe. You can add more cheese or less, whatever spices you like, and the amount of milk is strictly up to you. If you want a thick sauce, add less. If you want a thinner sauce, add (duh) more milk. Pretty easy.
I wouldn't recommend using lowfat or nonfat anything, because it tends to not melt up as well. But hey, it's a free country. Made by this recipe, it's obviously NOT low calorie or low fat, but y'know what? We all need to splurge a bit every now and then, don't we?

Secondly (and this has nothing to do with food or recipes), I was just noticing today that since I've moved to Johnson City, Sabrina's asthma has been markedly improved. In fact, I've only seen her wheezing a time or two. Perhaps she was allergic to Knoxville. I'm pretty sure I was.


bluesilverkdg: (Default)

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