Archive for the ‘Soups’ Category





Supreme Pizza Soup

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012







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Everything But Olives


Don’t forget that today is the last day you can comment to enter our Fall Giveaway for the bread mixes!! Drawing is tomorrow!!


I did a small show on Friday night in Edmond, OK and debuted the soaps. I was very pleased at the response and of course, the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ was a hit. It was a fun time.


Last night, I had to cook for 25 young people, and considering that over half of them were young men, I figured that was the equivalent of 40 mouths. Guys eat – alot – I know that well. And what better food to fill 40 mouths on a cool night than soup? But not just any soup. This had to be a soup that would please the taste buds of the potato chip munching, coke guzzling, pizza party crowd. I found a recipe online that looked interesting, but when I made it, I was left kinda blah. Just not much taste. It was pretty, but that was the most I could say for it. So, in my usual “Let’s just dump the frig into the pot and call it supper”, I took the recipe and made it my own.


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By the time I was finished, I had pizza in a pot – and I might say a really, really, really big pot. I made close to 20 quarts. I figured THAT should hold them!! So here is the result of my craziness. I have broken it down into a more reasonable amount for you that makes enough for about 8 people. Oh, and just a side note, I used my dehydrated veggies instead of fresh. They worked great.


Supreme Pizza Soup


Ingredients:
3/4 lb Johnsonville Sweet Italian sausage (can use the turkery or chicken sausage too)
1/2 – 1 lb ground beef
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium green pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 tbsp. minced garlic
8 cups chicken broth
28 oz Red Gold diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil (other brands are fine too)
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can Hunts 4 cheese Spaghetti Sauce
2 1/2 cups large macaroni, farfalle or your favorite pasta
Parmesan Cheese
Note:
You can thicken this soup with cornstarch and cold water if you prefer a thicker soup. Make it first and then determine if you want it thicker. Add cornstarch mixed with cold water into boiling soup, stirring constantly to thicken.
Printable Recipe



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I actually started the day before because I was going to be making so much, but you don’t have to do that. I browned the Italian sausages on both sides in a large skillet and then placed them on a baking sheet to bake at 350º for about 20 minutes. They were taken out of the oven, cooled and then put into a plastic bag in the frig to cool all the way down. This makes them easier to slice. All of the sausages were sliced realatively thinly and put into a bowl and set aside.


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Brown the hamburger, mixing in salt and pepper and fennel seed before browning.


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In a stock pot, add all ingredients except for the Italian sausage. All of the herbs here were grown in our garden and dried and are so pretty in the soup! Simmer on medium heat for two hours. Bring to a low boil and add sausage and pasta. Cook until pasta is tender, stirring occassionally to keep pasta from sticking to the bottom.


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Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top of the soup. Add some Italian bread and you have a meal!!



Happy Eating!



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It’s 105º And Soup?!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012





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Using Your Garden

For Winter Soup


The good news is that my meds seem to be working and I don’t feel like I’m burning up from the inside out, with the accompanying clammy persperation from a metabolism gone haywire. And my eyes are a teeny tiny better and that is awesome. Thank you so much for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. But the bad news is that it is 105º outside. There was a roadrunner on the drive, carrying a frilly, little parasol to beat off the heat as she looked for a lizard. OK. So, I’m exaggerating a little. It was actually just a tiny fan.


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I have to tell you about my adventure with our little Ellie-dog, our long-haired mini dachshund, in this heat. I was driving on the interstate, after having made some deliveries, and Ellie went along for the ride. She was in the front seat, panting from the very hot day and trying to get comfortable, when all of a sudden she jumped down to the floor. I told her to get back into the seat, but she dove under the car seat to the crackling and rustling of paper and plastic wrap. Backing out of her hideout, she jumped into the seat with a stale, partially eaten, chocolate cupcake. Chocolate can be deadly to dogs and I knew it.


Just to give background: A few weeks ago, in a moment of absolute insanity, I had purchased a packaged “Super Chocolate” cupcake from a huge pile on a table at the grocery store. The pile was so inviting to a person who is supposed to be totally abstaining from such things and besides, there was a big, big sign that declared, “SALE!!”. They were on sale. That’s a siren song to this coupon shopper. I had to have one. So I did.


When I got to the car, I opened the package, took one bite and thought, “Bleh! That’s awful!!” and put it back into its plastic wrapping, intending to toss it in the trash. That was a sale down the drain. I don’t know if my separation from such things made that cupcake taste bad or if it was just a sorry product, but whatever, my picky tastebuds saved me from myself. I placed the wrapped cupcake in a small bag and put it on the floor of the car, where I promptly forgot about it. I must have stopped fast or something, because that little bag rolled under the seat where it went to live in a cupcake no-man’s land.


That is, until Ellie found it. As soon as she had grabbed that cupcake, she jumped onto the seat cushions on the passenger’s side of the car while, at the same time, my hand shot out to grab her nose. Now, remember that I am on the interstate going 70 mph. Ellie was trying with all her might to wolf down her treasure before I could pry her mouth open. Driving with my left hand, I stuck two fingers of my right into the back of her jaw, opened her mouth and scooped out wads of slobbery cupcake as Ellie tried valiantly to grab it back along with my fingers. I yelped. Using the elbow of my left arm, with hand on the wheel, I managed to get the window open partway in order to toss the offending cupcake onto the highway. I figured that it was so slobbery that it would decompose and that wouldn’t be considered littering? I managed to hold Ellie’s collar in such a way that she could not move to grab the chocolate pieces that had broken off and scattered all over the seat. And I mean ALL over the seat.


Instead of heading back to work, I made a detour to the vet and plopped my silly puppy onto the table, stating rather foolishly, “She ate a chocolate cupcake. Not all of it, but some of it and it said that it’s a Super Chocolate cupcake!” The vet dubbed her Cupcake Dog and did an exam, using the name frequently. He determined that she was just going to have a really bad tummy ache because – yes, we read the ingredients on the cupcake package – there wasn’t even enough chocolate to call it just a Regular Chocolate cupcake, much less Super Chocolate. False advertising indeed.


And so, Ellie, Cupcake Dog, did fine and I bandaged my fingers where she had been unable to distinguish between them and globby cupcake. No harm done.


Better for you than preservative-filled, pretend chocolate cupcakes are the veggies in your garden. You do have a garden, right?! If not, then start thinking about next year! If you are like me, your garden is coming in all at once right now. It makes an overwhelming task to deal with mountains of tomatoes, potatoes, corn and every other kind of vitamin-filled vegetable that show up at this time of year. At the request of a reader, who asked what other kind of soups I process that use potatoes, I thought I’d share a recipe that my friend Janis invented and shared with me a number of years ago. She serves it every cold, Halloween night to volunteers who help with her community project. Her method of making this soup is the “dump” method and the ingredients include the “kitchen sink” but I put together a batch and measured what I did so that I could pass that on to you.


The nice thing about this soup is that it makes so much that you are able to can it in the pre-meat stage and then cook up your meat prior to serving so that it is fresh tasting and delicious. The recipe makes about 8 pints of base soup. Of course, you can make this large batch for a crowd and add your meat at the end, without worrying about canning it. So here you go:


Janis’ Fall Soup



6 – 8 cups fresh tomatoes that have been blanched, skinned and quartered or chopped. (You can use canned tomaotes if you do not have fresh, one can being Rotel tomatoes)
1 can chicken broth
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper diced (not needed if using Rotel tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 medium new potatoes chopped with skin left on
3 carrots, chopped
1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
1 cup green beans (frozen is fine)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (optional)
1 large onion chopped
1 1/2 cup cooked pinto beans or kidney beans or a can of drained Ranch Style Beans
1 26 oz can of your favorite brand of spaghetti sauce – I like Hunts
To Serve Soup (For 1 quart)
1/2 lb hamburger
3 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1/3 cup shell pasta


Printable Recipe(For picture click “No” on security box)



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Drop tomatoes, whole, into boiling water and watch for the skins to split. Remove to ice water when the skins split. Slip skins off of tomatoes and quarter or dice tomatoes and place into a large stock pot.


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Add can of chicken stock to tomatoes and bring to a boil to stew.


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Add jalapeno


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Add chopped new potatoes and carrots. Continue to boil until carrots are tender.


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Add chopped onion


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And just a little hint. When using fresh tomatoes and cooking them, often they have a slightly bitter taste. If you make spaghetti sauce or even juice from fresh tomatoes, this can be a problem. The solution is to add about 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the tomatoes as they cook. They will foam up like the top of a volcano! But this cuts the bitterness totally and gives a more smooth, nice taste. If using commercially canned tomatoes, this step can also be necessary. Note: Do not add soda if you are going to can tomatoes only, using the waterbath canning method. This cuts the acidity and reduces the safety of using waterbath canning. For this particular recipe, we will be pressure canning it, so reducing the acid will be fine.


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Add green beans, corn and peas (peas are optional). I am using frozen here, but fresh is great.


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Add beans


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Add spaghetti sauce


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Put soup into jars, either pints or quarts, and process in a pressure canner on 10 lbs of pressure for 60 minutes for pints and 75 minutes for quarts.


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To serve, open a jar or two of the soup base and put into a deep pan. Add one cup of water for one quart of soup base. For 1 quart of soup, cook 1/2 lb of hamburger or ground chuck with 3 cloves of pressed garlic, salt and pepper, until browned.


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Add beef to the soup. I like to add pasta shells too. Boil until the pasta is tender and add more water as it cooks to thin if need be.


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Serve hot with fresh cornbread. This is a wonderfully quick dinner on a cold, winter night. Also, just for information, this is great for camping. Dehydrated hamburger can be purchased at many hunting/camping stores, as well as at Costco. This meat can be rehydrated and cooked with the garlic and salt and pepper and then added to the soup. Great meal for around the campfire or when the electricity goes out!



Happy Souping!



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C’est La Vie – C’est La Soup

Friday, March 9th, 2012





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Soup Dujour!

Click title above to isolate post from other March posts


I know. I know. I’m behind. I can’t seem to catch myself coming or going. But I did manage to catch a car!! And it didn’t involve one of those icky salesmen either. We got a normal, honest one.


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For those of you who follow the blog, you know that I have been on a frustrating search for a hunk of metal with four wheels that doesn’t take $100 to fill the gas tank and that uses what IS put in its tank, sparingly. I have driven one model after another, enamored with the outsides, only to find doors that felt like aluminum foil and innards like a bumper car. And then I discovered the Nissan Versa Hatchback and fell in love. It is heavy for a car its size, is very roomy inside (seats 5 people), actually has pep and gets 33 mpg highway miles (Mr. Fix-It and I checked it). I splurged and got fancy alloy wheels today and so now I really look Up-Town…well, as Up-Town as a platinum haired (we don’t say ‘gray’ around here) woman can look. I love the back end space where there is plenty of room to haul Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ gift baskets for delivery. Yep. I’m a happy camper. Oh yes, and I found out today, that it actually stays on the highway when we have our 40 mph winds sweeping down the plains!!


And so, between finding a car, filling orders and playing with my grandbaby, time has slipped away and I all of a sudden realized that this is Thursday. Oh no!! I’ve been seriously blogless this week. Of course, the March Bread Pans Giveaway is still ongoing, so be sure to leave comments to enter. And it appears that quite a number of people tried the new bread recipe posted last week and found it as delightful as Mr. Fix-It and I did.


Therefore, I thought I’d show you one of the ways that I use the French bread from my last post which just tickles Mr. Fix-It to death. I make my own French Onion Soup recipe and top it with a toasted piece of this yummy bread, melted Swiss Cheese over that and serve it piping hot. Here is my recipe for French Onion soup. (And you must remember that I am a dump cook so I measured what I was dumping for you. You can increase amounts according to the size of your family)


MB’s French Onion Soup



2 tbsp real, honest to goodness (not the margarine or yogurt stuff) butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup cool water
1 medium onion sliced into thin rings
1 clove garlic finely minced or pressed
4 cups beef broth or 4 cups water and 4 beef bouillon cubes


Printable Recipe



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Melt butter in a 2 quart sauce pan over medium high heat


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Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are tender


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Add two tbsp flour and stir to make a roue


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Add 1/2 cup cool water, stirring quickly to form a thick gravy


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Add beef broth and stir until thoroughly mixed.


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Stir soup occassionally as it simmers at a low boil for 30 minutes, adding water or broth if liquid reduces


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Take 4 slices of crusty french bread and toast lightly. May butter if you wish.


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Pour soup into bowls that have been placed on a cookie sheet.


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Place bread slices on top of the soup and top with slices of Swiss cheese. Place the cookie sheet and bowls into the oven on broil. Broil until cheese is bubbly.


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Garnish with parsley and serve hot with a salad or fruit. Yum!!



Happy Ooo La La!



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A Tasty Bisque

Thursday, February 9th, 2012





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Remember!! Comment at the end (below the blog box where it says in little blue letters, “comments” click on that and it takes you to comments and a comment box) in order to enter our giveaway. Drawing is Feb 13th. This time TWO people win one of the two identical packages – Pie tin set and First Out Pie Spatula. So comment early and comment often because every single time you comment, your name goes into the pot!!


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Content In All Situations


In my last post, I was waxing a bit philosophical and I discussed my understanding about finding joy in the mundane stuff even when things don’t seem all that great. I told you that I had discovered that joy is an attitude of choice. And as I have been contemplating that state of being for the past few months, I have also discovered another attitude of choice: Contentment.


Now, I looked up that word and there are a number of definitions with lots of educated descriptions, but as I have been thinking about it, I’ve come up with my own explanation of the state of “contentment”. As I see it, a life of contentment is a life without resentment. Heh..that kinda rhymes, doesn’t it?! It means gracefully allowing the stupid driver who cuts in front of you to be wrong or the store manager trying to stiff you out of a return to be dumb or a lady with a fur and fancy car to be rich or a long-haired youth, marching with a sign to be vocal.


In other words, it means, “being satisfied with one’s self and one’s situation, not comparing one’s self to anyone else or expecting others to live up to one’s perception of fairness.”


It hasn’t been that long ago that I was in a state of poverty according to that government definition. That’s a whole ‘nother story in itself, but the gist of it is that we had very, very little money. The strange thing is that I never felt poor. I honestly felt blessed and it could have been that I was in a very small town with other people in the same boat, but some of my friends were very wealthy too and so I should have felt like maybe life was lacking something. But I didn’t. And I think that it is because I had discovered the verse in Phillipians 4:12 that says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” I had lived in abundance and then I was poor but that state only dealt with money and contentment deals with the heart.


Now, today, I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, according to those government definitions, either, but I am richer than I was in those days now past. And I have found that more money does not give more contentment. There is always more money than one has at any given time. And it isn’t because the world or the people around me are all behaving themselves and living right lives. That just doesn’t happen. There are people who cheat and steal and even kill, but those people can’t steal my contentment.


We are told in Psalm 37:1, “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;…Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The greatest desire of our heart is to be content in God. No need to be angry that others have made more money or that others have more skills or that others say things hurtful. Contentment means to just relax in that with which God has blessed us and to remember that each of us is so special that we are not like nobody else!


And of course, one way I relax in what God has blessed me with is to cook it! There is one way toward a contented tummy and that is with a comforting soup on a cold day like today. This recipe is one that a friend and I made up from top to bottom and has been a secret since the late 70′s (except that the original is in the cookbook at the shopping page!), but I have decided to share it today and I hope you find it to be a blessing! The story behind it is that this friend and I used to treat ourselves on special grocery days in the big city (from the country) by going to a particular restaurant. That was in the days before children. This restaurant was very expensive and since neither of us, being farmer’s wives, had much money, we would order the only thing we could afford – soup and salad. But that was all we wanted because that soup was incredible. Finally, she and I decided to try to figure out how to make the soup. We would eat there and discuss the flavors that we were getting in each bite. We went home and started experimenting and the base of this soup was developed. Then, in later years, I added more ingredients that I thought were missing and the following recipe is the end result. I usually make it with fresh crab, but the canned baby clams work just as well and in the off-season are best used anyway. If you want to use crab, just get some snowcrab, steam it and remove from the shells and chop. I sure hope you enjoy it!!


Rich Crab or Clam Bisque



4 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp onion, grated
3 Tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp mace
1/8 tsp nutmeg
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 cup canned milk
1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 tsp granulated bouillon
2 cups shredded crab meat or 1 10oz can of baby clams
1 1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup sherry (if you are using cooking sherry, cut back on the salt)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup finely diced tomatoes


Printable Recipe



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In a large sauce pan on medium heat, melt butter


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Add onions and saute for 30 seconds


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Add flour


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Stir to blend and make a bubbling roue


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Add nutmeg and mace together and stir


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Add canned milk and bouillon. Stir until bouillon is dissolved


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Add half and half and continue stirring on medium heat. Do not bring to a boil. Lower heat if the soup is getting too hot.


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And crab, or in this case a can of baby clams with the juice.


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Add sherry and stir to mix well


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Put in lemon zest


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And add tomatoes and stir. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.


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Serve hot and garnished with parsley and black pepper. Yuuuuuummmmmy!!



Happy Bisquing!



This post is linked at Deborah Jean’s Dandelion House Friday Blog Hop


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Creamy Chicken Veggie/Noodle Soup

Monday, May 2nd, 2011





SOUP – It Ain’t Just For

Winter!



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Creamy Chicken Veggie/Noodle Soup


I don’t know about where you are, but here in Okie Land, it’s just downright cold. Last night, we had a low in the 30′s and it appears to be making a repeat performance tonight. A wonderful rain has continued the entire day, totally breaking the drought for sure. We even had a little pea-sized hail for good measure. The ground is soaked and that’s a good way to be!! A neighbor even burned trash this weekend – something that has been forbidden in these here parts.


And so, though this is the first of May, and though we normally have warm weather by this time, I decided to “soup” up my basic chicken soup recipe and make a meal into which Mr. Fix-It could sink his teeth. By his third bowl, I figured that he liked the results. There’s leftovers for tomorrow too! Here is my new concoction!


Creamy Chicken Veggie/Noodle

Soup

  • 2 quarts chicken broth (I use my home canned broth but you can used store-bought)
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped cabbage
  • 2-3 Tbsps. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 fresh orange peel from 1/8 of an orange
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 recipe homemade noodles or 1 cup packaged noodles
  • Note: You can substitute dried veggies, canned chicken and canned milk if you want to try your hand at ‘sustainable’ cooking.


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    Pour one to two tbsp olive oil into a large stock pan or pot.


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    Add 1 tbsp flour and on medium heat, stir until flour is fully incorporated to make a light roue.


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    Add 2 quarts chicken broth and 1 bouillon cube and stir. Simmer on medium heat


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    In a skillet, add one tbsp olive oil and sauté 1/2 cup chopped onions until soft


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    Either by hand, or in a food processor, chop 1 cup baby carrots and 1 stalk of celery



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    Chop three large button mushrooms


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    Add chopped veggies to sautéd onions and toss


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    Pour vegetables into simmering broth


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    Add 1/8 tsp thyme


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    And 1/8 tsp sesame oil


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    Add chopped raw chicken breast


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    Add a fresh orange peel. We love this. It makes all the difference, but it is optional


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    Stir and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes and then remove orange peel


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    Add 1/2 cup chopped cabbage and simmer, covered, for 10 more minutes


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    Uncover and add 1/2 cup half and half and stir well


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    Bring to a boil and gently sprinkle in homemade noodles while stirring to keep from clumping. We much prefer the homemade noodles to packaged and they are so simple to make. They are much more tender, but you can use the packaged. Simmer until tender. The noodles will naturally thicken the soup, but if you want it to be any thicker, just add cornstarch that has been mixed with cold water. Note: If you plan to can this soup, leave out the noodles. Just open a jar of soup later and add noodles prior to serving. Noodles get mushy when canned.


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    Add a homemade roll or some crackers and YUM!



    Happy Cooking!



    MB
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    Dehydrating Series Pt IV

    Monday, January 24th, 2011





    Part I
    Part II
    Part III

    Dehydrating Part IV

    Or

    Soup’s On!!


    I’m sitting here listening to my sweet hubby laugh his head off as he is pulling up YouTube videos of “Carl” (Billy Bob Thorton) from the movie Slingblade making prank calls to restaurants and asking the clerks for “French fried pertaters and biscuits and I like some mustard with those biscuits, uh-huh”. The clerks are attempting to take this order with as much grace as possible. I have to admit that I’m laughing too. I guess I’m remembering the phone calls I used to make, from our church phone on Wednesday service nights no less, to Weigel’s Dairy Store in Knoxville, Tennessee to tell the clerk, in high pitched squeals, “Your cows are out!” immediately hanging up the phone. Real smooth, huh? Kinda like the phone calls my grandparents used to receive in the ’30′s, at their grocery store, where a voice asked if they carried Prince Albert in a can and with the answer in the affirmative, young voices would yell, “Then let him out!!” We are so brilliant when we are young. However, it seems that Mr. Thorton is still brilliant – he’s entertaining my husband, anyway!


    I’ve noticed that in the blog world, bloggers of the feminine persuasion have dubbed their loving husbands with honorary names that reflect everything from their appearance to their personality. The Pioneer Woman refers to her life partner as her Marlboro Man while another at the Rural Revolution refers to hers simply as Husband of The Boss. I’ve been musing for the past few days about what I should title the perfect man in my life – the one who can fix literally anything, including a sad day. He can take a car apart and put it back together, as well as a computer and its software, a refrigerator, an antique telephone and my hair dryer and have them all working as a result. He fixes up Christmas for our adult kids, fixes boo-boos on the animals and is currently fixing a whole new room addition on the house complete with a wood stove. He says he’s suffered through the last ice storm without heat!! He even has a tool belt like Tool Time Tim of Home Improvements. So yep, that’s what the love of my life’s moniker shall be from now on; Mr. Fix-It. And as an aside, just to let you know, he says that he married me because I came with power tools!!


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    There is nothing I enjoy more than putting a piping hot meal before Mr. Fix-It after a long day’s work. I especially love him because he loves soup and that is one of my favorite things in the whole world on these cold days. But I’m weird. I love it on warm days too – homemade that is. When I go to Olive Garden, I’m the “Never Ending Soup and Salad” kinda gal. Therefore, it is really pleasant to have all of the ingredients for soup right at my fingertips, dried and ready to reconstitute for any quick, hot meal. In this fourth and final in my series on dehydrating, I’ve got a recipe for broccoli cheese soup that will leave you craving more. Let’s go!

    Broccoli Cheese Soup



    1 Tbsp Olive Oil
    1 Tbsp dried celery (1 stalk fresh chopped)
    1 tsp dried bell pepper (tbsp fresh)
    1 Tbsp dried onion (2 Tbsp diced fresh onion)
    1/4 tsp dried garlic (1 tsp fresh, chopped garlic)
    1/3 cup dried potatoes (1 cup cubed fresh potatoes)
    1/2 cup dried broccoli (1 1/2 cup chopped fresh broccoli)
    4 chicken bouillon cubes
    4 1/2 cups water
    1 can milk or 3/4 cups half and half
    1/4 lb Velveeta Cheese + or -
    1 Tbsp corn starch + 2 Tbsp water


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    Put 1 tbsp Olive Oil in a 3 qt sauce pan and add onion and dried garlic. Sauté. If using dried onions, just stir around a little to get the flavors going. That was the only thing I was out of. Gotta dry some more!



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    Add dried celery and dried bell pepper. For the purposes of less typing, I’ve included fresh equivilents in the recipe above but not in the directions, but you CAN make this with all fresh veggies



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    Add dried potatoes and continue stirring in the oil



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    Add dried broccoli



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    Add three cups of water and stir.



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    Add 4 chicken bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to medium for a slow boil and cook for 30 minutes uncovered.



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    Add 1 1/2 cups additional water



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    Add one can of milk. The canned 2% and Fat Free is fine too. If you want a richer soup, you can use half and half



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    I canned Velveeta Cheese that was on sale (I’ll blog about that at a later date) and put it into 8 oz jars. Here, I have heated the jar to soften the cheese and am using 1/2 jar or not quite a 1/4 of a pound of Velveeta. You can add more or less according to your taste.



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    Mix one tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons COLD water until cornstarch is totally dissolved



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    As soup is boiling slightly, stir in cornstarch mixture and continue stirring to avoid lumps



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    You can make some corn muffins with my cornbread recipe and make everybody happy! I used my cast iron muffin pan. I love cast iron!



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    And there you have it. Soup that, if you dehydrate and can everything, can be made with no need for refrigeration and would be easy to make over a fire if the electricity goes out! In this state, that is no unusual circumstance!!



    Happy Cooking!


    MB
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    Beef Vegetable Soup

    Wednesday, September 1st, 2010







    Soup’s On!!



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    No, I am not going to give you a recipe for scorpion soup. Is there such a thing? Could be. It would make sense. I mean, just think about it. Who was the first person who dragged a lobster out of the sea and said, “Wow. I bet this thing would be good with drawn butter!!” For every thing that is edible, there is someone who considers it a delicacy. But no, today I will not give you such a recipe.


    In Oklahoma, we do have scorpions. They scitter across the floor, clawed appendages extended like a mini forklift, making a clacking sound that just gives you the creeps. Seeing them is a good thing. Not seeing them results in pain that could not be reproduced if a 2000 lb wrecking ball was dropped on your foot. If one of these things gets into your clothes overnight, putting on a pair of pants the next morning can leave sting after sting as the awful critter wages fierce battle with your thigh. You hop around the room, screaming, swatting your pants and crashing to the floor as you struggle to get out of the offending garment. There is no good thing about a scorpion. Yes, God put them on this earth for a reason, but I will wait until I am before Him to ascertain that purpose. Until then, the only good scorpion is a dead scorpion.


    I am certain that it is an interesting study into the macho masculine psyche of the average American male when it comes to crawly things. The most manly of our species is reduced to hopping from one tip-toe to the other when startled by a spider, snake, centipede or scorpion, while emitting high-pitched squeaks and other manner of unidentifiable sounds. Such was the case with my macho man as he spotted the first scorpion of the season creeping from under the stove and attempting to navigate the kitchen floor. I heard my name called in a higher than normal squeal, a command to appear and I arrived in time to find my husband hopping up and down, splayfooted (shoes of course) on the flattened remains of the struggling scorpion. Now, I might add in all fairness, that I can’t make too much fun of the opposite sex, since I and others of my ilk have been known to reach even higher decibels of screeching at the sign of a mouse, or in my case, a flying bat, in the house.


    Oddly enough, the first sign of a scorpion in our home has turned into a ritual of planning for us because we have noticed, over the past many years, that with the appearance of the first brave critter, cooler weather is soon to follow exactly three weeks later. No joke. It was this year, however, that I decided to test our observation and theory most scientifically. As soon as the prehistoric-looking and dead, yucky bug was deposited in the yard for disposal, I grabbed the calendar and counted twenty-one days forward to August 24. I wrote on the calendar “Cool Weather??” With that bit of scientific notation accomplished, I promptly forgot about my experiment and continued to survive the 100++ degree heat that we had been experiencing much of the summer. Of course, you might think that I was seeking something on which to hang my hopes of some kind of relief from the dry inferno that is August in Oklahoma, however, would you blame me?


    Last week, we of Central Oklahoma woke up to a day of normal heat, but joyfully watched as a front moved into the area around noon, dumping rain and 80 degree temps. I was ecstatic and noted that the forecast showed ever cooler nights with daytime temperatures ranging from the 80′s to mid 90′s ahead. The heatwave of Summer had broken. I flipped open my calendar, as I remembered my note, and checked the date on which I had scrawled my question. August 24th. And what was the day’s date? August 24th!! I am calling my discovery “The Scorpio Buggus Phenomenom” and I am hoping to win a Nobel prize in science for my diligent research. I need someone to nominate me. Hint. Hint. You can include in your nomination my theory as postulated thusly: “The season change from Summer to Fall is dependent solely on the appearance of Scorpiones Paruroctonus and occurs exactly 21 days from a first sighting. Summer cannot change to Fall without the sighting of these tiny arachnids.” I am expecting a government grant. I figure that this is much more critical to the issue of global climate change than the mating habits of the humpback whale.


    Biology and Physics aside, the snappy feeling of Fall is in the air. Sights and sounds predict state fairs, pumpkin patches and a winter not too far away. It puts me in the soup mood and I have been canning my share. There is nothing more wonderful than opening your own jar of homemade soup, on a cold evening, to be enjoyed with cornbread or fresh homemade bread. If winter is a beast and ice storms steal your electricity, you can pop open a jar of your soup, put it into a pan over the fire, heat it and warm your insides. This is my own version of beef-vegetable soup and is a hearty blend of lean meat and vegetables galore!! It is easy to make and easy to can.

    Beef Vegetable Soup

    3 lbs meat
    1 cup onions
    1 cup celery
    2 cups diced potatoes
    2 cups corn
    2 cups peas, canned or frozen
    2 cups green beans
    pepper to taste

    2 cans ranch style beans
    1 can whole or chopped tomatoes
    12 cups water
    10 tsp. or 10 cubes of beef bouillon
    1 tbsp minced garlic (or more if desired)
    2 cups diced carrots
    1/2 cup pearled barley
    1/2 tsp thyme


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    I use a nice, lean, rump roast and cut it into little cubes


    ImageHost.org Brown the meat in two tbsp. of olive oil in a large stew pot. Add onions and cook.

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    Add chopped carrots, celery and green beans. (Hint: I cheat and chop the carrots and celery in the food processor)


    ImageHost.org Add corn. This is corn that I cut off of the cob and froze earlier in the summer.

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    I like to add new potatoes from the garden. These were harvested in June and have been boxed in a cool, dry place. You can use Russets too.


    ImageHost.org Ranch style beans give it just that little extra kick.

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    Continue cooking meat and veggies together. Add garlic and thyme.
    YUM YUM!

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    Add tomatoes and stir


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    Add water, bouillon and pepper and let simmer for an hour. Add barley and simmer for 30 minutes longer.

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    Ladel into warm, sterilized jars to 1/2″ head space.


    ImageHost.org Place lids that have been warming in nearly boiling water onto jars and screw on rings, but not too tightly. Place jars into pressure canner that is filled with warm water about two inches deep.

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    Pressure according to canner directions at 10 lbs for 70 minutes.


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    Remove jars from canner and allow to cool. Listen for popping of the lids as they seal. Lids should be flat across the surface with no bulge in the center.





    You can add anything else you like to this soup.
    The sky is the limit – well, that is, except for scorpions.



    Happy Cooking!!~~~~MB





    Mama Mia! It’s Good!

    Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

    I woke up this morning to cold air! It is only the first of October and the chill is already on in Oklahoma. 55 degrees! It truly feels like Fall now and with the cold, rainy and overcast days, I feel like soup, soup, soup. I love Fall and Winter because the cold always offers an excuse for a big bowl of soup. Homemade soup is special because it is filling but doesn’t have to be loaded with calories and it offers a wide range of veggies that I don’t always eat by themselves.

    When I go into the kitchen to make soups, I rarely stick to a recipe. I might use one as a base, but I always wind up adding my own twists along with the kitchen sink! I have gotten into the habit of writing down every step I take and every ingredient I toss in or out because, invariably, the hubby will say weeks later, “Let’s have that soup you made a few weeks ago.” All I can do is look at him sheepishly and admit that I have no clue how I made it. Hence, the notes now.

    Since it is flu season and since all good mothers know that chicken broth is the quintessential cure for what ails you, I have included below, the steps, recipe and instructions for my own version of Italian Meatball Soup with chicken broth as its base. It uses pork for the tiny meatballs, but ground turkey works just as well. Leftovers freeze very well. I apologize that the photos are a bit dark from using incandescent light, but the wonderfully overcast skies offered little natural light through the windows.

    MB’s Italian Meatball Soup
    1/2 lb ground pork or ground turkey
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp fennel seed
    4 cups chicken broth
    4 cups water
    3 russet potatoes (new potatoes work fine as well)
    1 large Onion
    1/2 cup Hormel Picnic Bacon Bits
    4 cloves garlic
    2 cups fresh spinach or 1 3/4 cups frozen spinach
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 can whole or skim condensed milk or 1 cup heavy whipping cream (depends on how much you care about fat content)

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    In a food processor or blender, add ground pork or ground turkey, salt and fennel seed. Process until meat is finely mixed. (and of course, use the top which is off for photo purposes!!)


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    Make 1/2″ meatballs by taking a pinch of meat and rolling it in your hands.


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    Spray large skillet with olive oil spray and brown meatballs. Set aside.


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    Cut potatoes into large, bite-size pieces.


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    Dice Onion


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    Press or dice garlic


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    Add 1 tbsp olive oil into stock pot and saute onions and garlic until just clear. Do not brown. Add 4 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil.


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    Add potatoes and water. Return to a boil and allow to simmer until potatoes are tender.

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    When potatoes are tender, add meatballs.


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    Add bacon bits. I like to use the Hormel Picnic bits because they are lower in fat. Stir and return to simmering.


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    Add milk or cream and pepper and stir


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    Add spinach and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes longer.


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    Serve with garlic bread spread with pesto and toasted. There will be no chill on a cold day in your home!!
    And the Sourdough French Bread shown here is an original recipe for another post soon. Enjoy!