January is downright cold. Many of us are taking a beating with near record low temps and lots of rain and snow. Warm up family and friends with some of my best chill-chasing soups. Continue reading…
Get ready for the raves when you cook up a big batch of these slow simmered pinto beans. It wasn’t until recently when I was hosting a dinner party that I was reminded how good they are. I’ve been making them this way for years.
Just pure vegetables are in this flavorful No Cream Asparagus Soup. As an added bonus, how does just 4 ingredients sound? I thought this might pique your interest. With a few bunches left over from a get-together with friends, I decided to make this unadulterated version that’s easy on time, and easy on the waistline.
It’s elegant served on it’s own, or as a prelude to a main course.
Chili is one of the easiest and most versatile dishes. There are literally thousands of different combinations floating around out there in cookbooks and on websites. So how does one choose which to make? Once you have a base chili recipe you like, the sky’s the limit. A good foundation can be built on, and so it is with chili.
Since we liked the Smoked Sausage White Bean Chili so much that I made last month, I decided to make chili again using the beef sausage. The result was a lean, spicy, thick stew with just the right amount of smoke flavor.
This smoked sausage chili can be put together in just a few minutes, then slow cooked until serving time. Perfect for game day.
Chili is a throw-everything-in-the-pot and let it simmer kind of dish. It’s usually quick and easy to make, easy on the wallet, and hearty enough to satisfy a hungry appetite any time of the day. I thought I had pretty much exhausted the various options of ingredients to mix together until I discovered this flavorful, super simple Smoked Sausage White Bean Chili.
As an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador, I was invited to participate in the December ad campaign for Hillshire Farms. One of the assignments was to prepare a dish from a list of their original recipes. So I decided to give this one a try.
Though this isn’t the sauciest, soupiest, or whatever you want to call it type of chili, it’s full on flavor. I love that’s it’s a lean chili. Especially since I’m saving up on calories for some extra holiday treats to enjoy this month.
New England is notoriously famous for their clam chowder. The creamy, rich, savory kind, which is my personal favorite for sure. So when I want to enjoy a taste of this eastern seaboard specialty, I pull out a pot and start cooking.
I’ve come up with my own version that incorporates vegetables in addition to, you know, that go-to herb mixture I use.
Don’t let the elegance of this vegetable clam chowder fool you. The ease in which this savory soup comes together almost makes one feel guilty there isn’t more work involved. This is the kind of soup I enjoy, not only to eat, but to cook as well because it’s so simple.
This is an easy, versatile soup that comes together in a short time. Most of the ingredients can be plucked right from the shelves of your stocked pantry. It’s like having a little fiesta in a bowl!
Between now and the end of the year, alot of us are going to be pretty busy. Family gatherings, holiday dinners, office parties, shopping, and numerous other activities will keep everyone hoppin’. So what happens on a weeknight when everyone comes home hungry?
Comfort in a bowl. Diced carrots, onions, and small broccoli flowerets are cooked to tender perfection in a base of chicken stock, cream, and cheddar cheese. There’s just one ingredient that sends it over-the-top savory good. It’s a must-have in every cook’s arsenal.
Herby, creamy, savory heaven.
Soup isn’t rocket science. Though there may be some of you that might be intimidated looking into the bowels of a big pot. I suppose that could be daunting.
There’s nothing better to warm the cockles of your stomach than with a comforting bowl of homemade chili. It’s a go-to standard at my house on any given day when the weather gets chilly (oops, no pun intended).
This is what I’m talking about. Mmm. Pure comfort.
Chili is such a versatile, simple stew to make. It can be made on the stovetop in a large pot, a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, or any other cooking vessel of choice. It can be made to accomodate special diets. With meat. Without. Hot. Mild. Kick. No kick. And everything in between.
Lots of aromatic herbs cooked in a pot of chicken, savory broth, and veggies, topped off with simple dumplings. I think that pretty much sums it up.
Cooler evenings mean soups and stews in this house. Chicken and dumplings evoke childhood memories. It was usually this same time of year when the leaves were falling and the air was crisp and cool, if not cutting from the wind. Mother would put a big pot on the stove and cook up a bunch of chicken parts with carrots, celery, and onion. It would simmer away for about an hour until she would add the thickener and homemade dumplings. That was probably one of my favorite dishes growing up.
Since the beginning of this year, I started dabbling in entering cooking contests. I didn’t realize how many there are out there! So it was with careful consideration that I pick and choose my way through the Smorgasbord of options. To some it may seem easy-peasy, just throw in a picture and a list of ingredients and you’re in! Not so easy.
First, you have to read the contest rules and regulations. There’s a lot of fine print. Some have different twists. Social media followings can carry a lot of weight in some of the larger competitions, like the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Judges are looking at a set of criteria, and score each element accordingly. Number of ingredients, how the recipe is written, ease of preparation, appeal, and taste are the main scoring components. Then there is the photo that you must take of the completed dish, and one showing it on a plate. If you’re not a photographer, this could hurt you. Also, many ask for a write-up of what the inspiration for the dish was. Also a summary of what the dish is about. So you have to have some decent writing skills to boot.
Contests usually require the sum of baking, cooking, photography, and writing skills. At the end of the day, you’ve not only done all of these things, but you did all the grocery shopping, prep work, actual creation of the dish, staging, and don’t forget, the clean-up.
One of the contests I entered was sponsored by Taste of Home. They were looking for healthy twists on classic recipes. I decided to enter the soup category, throwing my hat into the slush pile. So yesterday, I received an email.
Drum roll please. I received runner-up honors for this:
Hearty Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup. I posted it last week.
Chicken noodle soup evokes so many memories of childhood. I call this a comfort meal-in-a-pot. With the outside temperatures dipping into the single digits and below zero, this is one of my all-time favorites to have simmering on top of the stove. There are so many variations that the possibilities are endless for putting your own spin on it! I recently started reducing the amount of sodium to make it healthier, along with the addition of vitamin-rich Kale that gives the immune system a good kick of nutrients.
Whether you’re nursing a loved one’s nasty, miserable cold, or serving it up as the main course, this tried and true belly warmer will have them coming back for seconds. If it’s the star at the dinner table, be sure to accompany it with some hot rolls out of the oven or a loaf of crusty french bread.
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 cup white onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 tsp. crushed garlic
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup mushrooms, stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. dried or freeze-dried basil
- 1 - 11 oz package fresh frozen wide egg noodles, thawed
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 1 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onion, celery, and crushed garlic. Sauté until tender.
- Add flour, stirring until smooth. Gradually add chicken broth, continuing to stir. Bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, carrots, and basil and return to boil.
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lid and add egg noodles.
- Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
- Stir in chicken and kale. Simmer covered for 5 minutes or until the kale is tender. Keep warm until ready to serve.