Thursday, December 16, 2010

Virtual Advent Tour 2010 - A favorite Christmas story

Christmas truly is my favorite time of the year.  There is something magical about this time.  The lights, the decorations, the ornaments, a child's excitement that Santa is coming, snow on the ground.

One of my favorite memories from my childhood involves Saturday mornings.  We'd all pile onto my parents bed and sing Christmas carols before we got up for the day.  The one of the last things that we would sing is "Twas the Night Before Christmas".  Now, years later, I am reading that book to my girls and my brother reads it as part of our Christmas Eve tradition.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

I made chicken noodle soup the other night.  So good and it hit the spot on a cold day.


  • Chicken, rough chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 32 oz. chicken broth, plus enough water to make 5 cups
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Noodles
  • Place chicken, celery, carrots and onion in stock pot and cover with chicken broth and water.
  • Heat to a boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes.  The vegetables should be tender.
  • Add the noodles and cook on medium low heat for another 6 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

French Onion Soup

I love French Onion Soup.  It is one of my favorite soups in the whole world.  Here is a basic recipe for making it.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • French baguette, sliced and toasted
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese or Gruyere
  • Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Add onions and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. 
  • Mix in the broth, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Heat to a boil and then remove from heat. Discard the bay leaf. 
  • Season to taste with pepper. 
  • Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Refrigerate. Rewarm soup before continuing.
Now you can finish this off one of two ways.
  • The first is to ladle the soup into broiler proof bowls.  Place the toasted baguettes on top o the soup and sprinkle with Swiss cheese.  Broil this until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
  • The second way is to ladle the soup into bowls and top with toasted baguettes.  When toasting the baguettes, place the cheese on top so that it melts onto the toast.

Beef Stew

Here is a basic beef stew recipe that I've found and that brings back memories of childhood.

  • 2 lbs chuck roast, preferably with the bone
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 shallots
  • 6-8 springs of parsley
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 32 oz beef broth
  • water
  • Place the chuck roast (beef) into the bottom of the pot.
  • Rough chop all of the vegetables so that they are in bite size pieces.
  • As the vegetables get chopped up, place them in the pot on top of the beef.
  • Add salt and pepper then cover everything with the beef broth and water.
  • Simmer on medium heat for 3 1/2 to 4 hours stirring occasionally.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

White Chicken Chili

I was watching the Food Network a couple of weeks ago while I was cleaning the family room and saw a recipe that I simply had to try.  It was "White Chicken Chili" by the Neelys.  I've simply linked to their recipe instead of retyping the whole thing. Sorry about the extra click but this recipe is worth it.

This was a simple chili to make and when it was done was absolutely delicious!  The hardest part of the recipe was shredding the rotisserie chicken, although I had a little helper assisting me with that!

I'm still here...

I haven't posted in a while, but I'm still here and still cooking new things in the kitchen.  Since the weather started to get cold, I've been trying to cook soups and stews at least once a week.  These are turning out great.  My problem...I don't remember to take a picture of the soup until we're eating the last drop of soup!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ham Panini

For Christmas, my parents gave me a panini maker.  I didn't have a chance to get it out for a while with this and that going on in my life.  I got it out a couple of weeks ago and love it!  There are so many possibilities for meals with it!

Here is a basic recipe for a Ham Panini.  I've added some notes at the bottom of the recipe on ways that you can dressed it up a little and make it really yummy.

  • Olive Oil
  • Bread
  • Brown or Dijon mustard
  • Sliced ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Preheat panini maker to the medium heat setting.
  • Brush one side of each slice of bread with the olive oil.  Put the olive oil side of the bread down on a clean surface.
  • Put a thin layer of mustard on a slice of bread.
  • Place 2 slices of ham on top of the mustard.  Make sure that the ham does not hang over the sides of the bread.
  • Add the Swiss cheese on top of the last layer.
  • Place the top slice of bread on top with the oiled side up.
  • Place the sandwich(es) on the panini make and cook until golden and crispy.  This should take about 5 minutes.
To dress up this basic ham panini:
  • Instead of using Swiss cheese, use grated Gruyère cheese.
  • Between the ham and cheese layers, add a layer of Béchamel sauce.