Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sundried Tomato Pesto Quiche

My neighbor, Carol, made a version of this for dinner for us one night and it was wonderful. I added in a few veggies to my version.


1 refrigerated pie crust
4 T. sundried tomato pesto (my hubby can't do regular pesto due to a pine nut allergy)
4 T. crumbled feta cheese
4 mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
3 eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 T. flour
salt and pepper
8 sundried tomatoes, cut into strips


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line pie plate with crust.
2. Spread pesto evenly over inside of pie crust.
3. Sprinkle feta over the pesto.
4. Sprinkle mushrooms and spinach over feta.
5. Beat eggs, half-and-half and flour. Pour over other ingredients.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Arrange tomato strips on top.
8. Bake 30 minutes. Let set 5 minutes before cutting.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Clam Chowder

I've always wanted to make homemade clam chowder, but so many of the recipes I've found call for canned clam chowder in them. This recipe was amazing! My hubby gave it two thumbs up and begged for more. Next time I make it, I will double the recipe so that I have plenty for our lunches during the week (this only made about 6 servings).


1 Tbsp. butter
2 celery pieces, finely chopped
1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup chicken stock
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
1 cup half-and-half
2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, undrained


1. Melt the butter in a large stock pot. Saute the celery, leek, onion in the butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, broth, clam juice, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup milk until smooth. Gradually stir into the soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
3. Stir in clams and half-and-half; heat through (do not boil); turn down to low heat.

Makes about 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from Reluctant Entertainer

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This is the best cream of mushroom soup I've ever had!

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 pounds baby portabello mushrooms, roughly chopped or thinly sliced (can also use regular button mushrooms)
3/4 cup minced shallots (I just use regular onion when I can't get shallots)
3 cloves garlic, minced (3 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry or white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a 5-6 quart thick-bottomed pot. When the oil is hot, swirl in the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms, stir to coat with the olive oil and butter. Cook the mushrooms on medium high heat until they are lightly browned and have released most of their water. Remove 1 cup of the cooked mushrooms from the pot and set aside (they will be added back in later).
2 Reduce heat to medium. Add the minced shallots and the garlic to the pot, stir to combine, cook for about a minute. Add the salt, dried tarragon, chicken stock and sherry to the pot. Increase the heat to medium high, bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
3 Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a standing blender, purée the soup until smooth. Then return to the pot. (If the soup is too thick for you, add some water or more stock to thin the soup to the desired level of thickness.)
4 Whisk the cream into the soup and add the black pepper. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the reserved cooked mushrooms.

Recipe modified from Simply Recipes

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

This is a delicious, hearty soup that is great on a cold, wintry day.

2 boxes of Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix
3 c. shredded, cooked chicken (you could also use leftover Thanksgiving turkey!)
3 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 white or yellow onion, finely diced
6 c. chicken stock (I used 4 cups stock and 2 cups water)
1/2 c. half and half
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
3/4 c. flour
2 t. pepper
1.  In a saucepan cook the rice according to directions (leaving out the butter called for on the box), set aside. 
2.  In a large stockpot combine the butter, carrots, celery and onion.  Saute over medium heat until tender.
3.  Using a sifter, sift in the flour over the vegetables and continue to stir over medium heat, cooking out the flour for about 2 minutes.  This mixture will clump together and become thick.
4.  Slowly pour in the chicken stock and allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes, while whisking to avoid any lumps.
5.  Add in the cooked rice and chicken, stirring to combine.
6.  Turn down the heat to simmer and the soup will start to thicken.
7.  Slowly stir in the half and half and pepper.  Heat to serve.

Recipe modified from Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gooey Salted Caramel Vanilla Butter Cookies

These were not my favorite cookie. The cookie part was not very sweet, and the caramel was too sweet. But, the people I shared them with seemed to enjoy them. I guess I just simply prefer chocolate chip. :)

2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Salted Caramel
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Kosher salt


1. Add 2/3 cup butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla to a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until light and fluffy. Add flour and beat on low speed until well combined. Shape dough into 1.5-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make an indentation in center of each cookie with thumb or end of wooden spoon handle. Refridgerate at least 1 hour until firm or up to 72 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake cookies directly from refrigerator for 8-10 minutes. When the cookies come out of the oven, you may need to press them down again slightly in the center to make a good shallow pool for the sauce. Cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, make the salted caramel sauce. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking and stirring for one minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in whipping cream until smooth. Cool for about 15 minutes.

4. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of caramel sauce into center of each cookie. Let the caramel set about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, like kosher salt.

Makes 12-14 cookies.

Recipe Source - Kevin and Amanda

Jessika's Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were described as being the perfect combination of crunchy and chewy. The definitely are crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside, but they are still not as good as the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I normally use. They came out of the oven very puffy, so I had to flatten them with a spatula.

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon rum (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two to three baking sheets with parch- ment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Scrape down the sides and add the egg and rum (or vanilla extract). Blend well until incorporated.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and chips. Mix with the electric mixer until well blended.
  4. Form the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place about 2-inches apart on the prepared trays. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and crackled. Cool on a rack. Cookies will firm up as they cool.
  5. To freeze: store cooled cookies in an airtight container in the freezer for two to three months — if they last that long!
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Recipe Source - Good Cheap Eats

Soft and Chewy Double Chip Snickerdoodle Cookies

1¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup butterscotch chips
¼ cup white chocolate chips

Cinnamon sugar topping:
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer ( with paddle attachment) or a large mixing bowl and handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy .
  3. Next mix in in egg and vanilla.
  4. Now add the flour mixture slowly, about ½ a cup at a time. Mix until well combined.
  5. Last but not least, stir in your chocolate and butterscotch chips. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill dough at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. ( if you are rushed on time, you can also put in the freezer for 10 minutes)
  6. Place the cinnamon and sugar for the topping in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
  7. Scoop heaping tablespoon-sized amounts of cookie dough and roll in to 1.5-2 inch balls. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture until well covered.
  8. Place cookies on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes for LARGE cookies and 9-11 for SMALL cookies.
  9. They may appear to be under cooked, but you DO NOT want to over cook these. After they cool, they will firm up, but maintain that desired soft and chewy texture.
Recipe Source - Family Fresh Meals


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