A wonderful way to eat your broccoli

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This was a yummy soup to eat with our pretzel tots.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 1 stick 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 4 heads Broccoli Cut Into Florets
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • 3 cups Grated Cheese (mild Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, Jack, Etc.)
  • Small Dash Of Salt (more If Needed)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Splash Of Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk and half-and-half. Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper.

Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.

Taste seasonings and adjust if needed. Then either serve as is, or mash it with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender in two batches and puree completely. (If you puree it in a blender, return it to the heat and allow to heat up. Splash in chicken broth if needed for thinning.)

Peace, Cheese and Comfort,

Gingersnap

 

Oh so good!

Yummy little pretzel tots!

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So for a very long time I have been promising the hubby that I would make him homemade pretzels. If you know hubby he loves pretzels in any shape or form. On Saturday in preparation for one of the biggest ball games of our season I decided it would be a great time to make them. I knew that hubby was going to need all the help he could get during the game to keep his nerves together.  But you can’t have pretzels without something to dunk them in so I also made broccoli cheese soup to dunk the yummy little nuggets in. I will post the soup recipe in another blog post. Now to the pretzels!

Soft Pretzel Tots

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water ( I make it feel like bath water or if you want to measure the temp it should be between 110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (not the quick rising kind)
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I actually used bread flour)
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water (this is your wash to hold the salt on the pretzels)
  • Pretzel salt or course Sea Salt or ( I used Kosher Salt)
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (this is a must to make this) and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and place in a bowl that has been oiled well with vegetable oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. (what I do to is turn the oven on to 200 F for 5 minutes then cut the oven off and place my dough in the warm oven)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.  Then bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil make your tots. Turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 22-inch rope. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Then roll them into as close of a ball shape as you can get. Place the pretzel tots into the boiling water 5 at a time for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large spoon with holes. Place them on the baking sheets as they are  coming out of the water. Brush the top of each pretzel tot with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. (this is an important step because it allows the pretzels to harden up a little more)
Peace, Love and Tots,
Gingersnap

Delicious little tots!

Hot Potato, Hot Potato

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This is a really simple soup that is great for those cool fall nights.  I have been making this recipe for about 10 years and every time it turns out great.

Potato-Cheese Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 can ready to use chicken broth (sometimes I use more depending on the amount of potatoes in my pot)
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar (this helps you not get that foam that potatoes put off when boiling and keeps the potatoes white)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cup milk ( I use skim or what ever milk I have on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (go easy on the salt because of the chicken stock and cheese)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender.  Add the chicken broth, potatoes and vinegar; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Add the flour, salt and pepper to the milk.  Add the milk mixture to the potatoes and cook until the soup is thickened and heated through. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Serve immediately.

Peace, Love and Cheese

Gingersnap

Yummy

Hot Buns!

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This is the perfect recipe if you are looking for a quick yeast roll.  I made soup for dinner last night and wanted something other than crackers to go with it. So I made these rolls which would also be great to make burgers on. They are a very sturdy roll.

30 Minute Rolls

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 envelope of yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/ 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour

In mixer combine, water, oil, yeast and sugar let set for 15 minutes. Using the dough hook of your mixer, mix in the salt, egg and flour. Knead the dough in the mixer until the dough is soft and smooth.

Form dough into 12 balls and place in a well greased 9×13 pan and let rest for 10 minutes or longer if you want to cook them later in the day. Then preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the rolls for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Then once the rolls come out of the oven take some melted butter and brush the tops of the rolls.

Peace, Love, and Hot Buns

Gingersnap

Make these tonight

 

Cajun Chicken Pasta (Thanks Pioneer Woman)

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This is what we had for dinner last night and it was super yummy.  I think I gave Cheesecake Factory a run for their money.

  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
  • 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste ( I made my own recipe at bottom)
  • 1 pound Fettuccine or what ever pasta you want to use
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1/2 whole Large Red Onion, Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced or A can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Cayenne Pepper To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Salt To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!

Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.

Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.

Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.

With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!

Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.

Cajun Spice Mix

2 tablespoons Paprika

1 tablespoon Chili Powder

½ tablespoon Onion Powder

1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

½ teaspoon Cayenne  Pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

Peace, Love and Spice

Gingersnap

It’s Greek To Me

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For dinner last night we had the most amazing greek taco sandwich things!  Here is the recipe with the changes I made for us. Looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today. I think this will have to be one of those every couple of week recipes.

Lamb or Ground Beef:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground lamb or ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine

Feta Mint Tzatziki:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • Salt
  • 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt or full fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (this added such a nice change to the Tzatziki)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint or dill

Cucumber Tomato Relish:

  • 1 tablespoon roasted red pepper olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsmic vinegar
  • 2 firm tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sandwich Build:

  • 4 non-pocket pitas or Nann bread because I couldn’t find any really soft pitas. (You want to warm these before making the tacos)

Directions:

For the lamb or ground beef: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the meat gets nice and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the lamb and reserve. Lower the heat to medium and saute the onions in the lamb juices until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano and garlic and cook until fragrant. Season. Add the tomato paste and cook until it caramelizes. Deglaze with the red wine and scrape any bits up that have adhered to the pan. Add the lamb back in, stir and set aside.

 For the tzatziki: Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater and place in a fine-meshed strainer or cheese cloth fitted over a bowl. Salt the cucumber and let sit 10 minutes. Then squeeze out any excess moisture. Add the strained cucumber into a bowl with the yogurt, feta, garlic and mint or dill.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

 For the cucumber tomato relish: Toss the olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a bowl and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cover and let sit at least 1 hour to marry the flavors.

 Schmear the tzatziki on the pitas, then place on the lamb or ground beef and top with cucumber tomato relish. 

Now stuff this in your mouth and get ready for your tongue to jump out and slap you in the head!

My tongue wants to hit me in the head just looking at this picture!

 

M.I.A

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Sorry that I have been missing in action!  Not that there is really enough people who follow my blog to care.  I have been too busy living life to sit down and collect my thoughts on just about anything.  Also pretending to diet while stuffing lots of food and adult beverages down my throat has slowed down the creative juices.  So now that summer (dieting) is over hopefully I will be back regaling you with yummy food and my super sassy wit.

Peace, Love and Chicken Grease

Gingersnap