Saturday, March 31, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

As much as my husband loves soup, he is not a broccoli fan. I love this soup. Its my all time favorite. So once he is away, I get to make my yummy soup and some crusty bread.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp butter, divided
2 large cloves of garlic, sliced
1/3rd cup flour
2 cups half and half
3 cups chicken stock (veggie optional)
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional, but highly recommended!)
1/2 cup carrot, cut into matchsticks
12 oz broccoli florets. (I used this, and chopped it smaller)
16 oz good quality sharp cheddar cheese, shredded. (I used Cabot Smooth and Sharp)

Put the olive oil, 1 tbsp butter, and the onion in a large stock pot (I used my dutch oven). Cook on medium until translucent and soft.

And the garlic and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the 4 tbsp butter. Once melted, add the flour and stir with a whisk. Stirring often, cook 3-4 minutes. (you are making a roux)

Add the half and half, stirring the whole time.

Add the chicken stock and wine

Salt and pepper.

Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli and carrots. Bring to boil, and then lower heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

After it has cooked, at this point you can scoop out about 1-2 cups of the soup and use a food processor or immersion blender to puree the rest and add back the reserved chunky soup. I didn't do it this time, but its your choice.

Add the cheese. Stir and serve!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Rhubarb Muffins

I think rhubarb is a seriously under rated fruit....uh, or whatever its exact classification is...

In case you don't know, rhubarb looks like...pinkish red celery. Kinda.

Anyway. Its delicious. Its pretty tart, so you need to have some sweetness to balance it. Look for many other rhubarb recipes to come!

Would be great paired with the Strawberry Butter from this blog!

Rhubarb Muffins. 


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1tbsp white vinegar and enough milk to make 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb (around 2 stalks)

  • Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Spray 2 muffin pans

  • In a mixer bowl, add the applesauce, brown sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix until combined

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, side, powder, and salt.

  • Add to the mixing bowl and stir until just combined. 

  • Fold in the diced rhubarb

  • Put into greased pans.

  • Mix the melted butter, the sugars, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over all the muffins.

  • Cook 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean

  • Cool in pans for at least 10 minutes.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lemon Balsamic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

This is a light dish that can be served along side a grilled main course, or beef up the veggies a little and its a meal all its own.

Lemon Balsamic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

2 cups orzo pasta
1 lb asparagus, bottom 1/3 cut off and remainder cut in 1/3rds
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (or 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded and sliced)
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 lemon, zested and juiced.
Parmesan cheese (optional)

(Additional ideas for veggies: mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, brussel sprouts, etc)

Put oven on broil.

Put veggies on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Stir to coat and season with salt and pepper.

Put in oven and cook until softened and starting to brown. 10-15 minutes


In a shallow pan, place the balsamic, zest, and juice. Cook on medium, stirring frequently until reduces by half. Around 10 minutes


Cook orzo according to directions. Drain.

Combine all ingredients. Top with parm

Can be served hot, room temp, or probably even chilled.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread

So many people are intimidated by yeast breads. But you should give it a shot! The ingredients are inexpensive, so what do you have to lose?

Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread
Adapted from Budget Bytes


2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp oil (canola, olive, grape seed, etc)
1/2 tbsp salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2-3 cups all purpose flour

Combine the yeast, water, honey, salt, and oil. Let sit 10 minutes or until foamy

In a stand mixer bowl, combine the yeast mixture and the whole wheat flour.

Add the 2 cups of all purpose 1/2 cup at a time. Add additional flour in small amounts if needed. The dough should be soft but not too sticky.

Let machine knead 3 minutes

Cover and let sit 1 hour.

Remove from bowl and form into a loaf shape. Place in a sprayed loaf pan (8x4 or 9x5)


Let sit on the counter 1 hour and score the top with a serrated knife


Score with a serrated knife and cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to slow rise over night. Let sit on the counter while oven heats

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook about 30 minutes or until top is deep brown.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Whole Grain Banana Pancakes

Ok, I admit, I don't know exactly the correct terminology for things like "whole grain" "whole wheat" etc. I don't know if there are specific criteria to meet to be able to use these. So bare with me.

In this case, it means this recipe uses regular flour, whole wheat flour, and ground oats.

This recipe is equally AMAZING with pumpkin(about 1 cup) instead of bananas!

This makes a LOT. You can freeze them for a easy breakfast later!

I also make them in the waffle iron. One of the wedges is a perfect size for my ankle biter

Whole Grain Banana Pancakes
Adapted from holz! ;)

1 c ground oats,( use Magic Bullet or food processor)
1 c whole wheat flour
3/4 all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar (or honey, or date paste, or maple syrup)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp clove
1 egg
2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla (or almond extract)
2 bananas, ripe

Mix the dry ingredients well. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add dry to wet and mix until just incorporated. Let sit while you heat up a greased griddle or skillet to medium. Cook and serve!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Salted Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter and Bananas

I saw a picture of this a while back and got a whim tonight to wing it.

I am not a fan of dark chocolate by itself, but throw in peanut butter and bananas, and I'll demolish it with the best of them.

The salt at the end really waken up your taste buds and round out the sweetness.

Edit: Nutella would be a interesting substitution for the PB!

Salted Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter and Bananas

2 bananas, sliced
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2/3rds package of Dove Dark Chocolate

In a double boiler or microwave, melt chocolate.

Place bananas on wax paper on a sheet tray. Smear a glob of PB on top.

Use a fork to scoop up a banana and put it into the chocolate. Gently scoop chocolate on top.
Scoop back up with the fork and tap the handle on the rim of the chocolate bowl to shake off extra chocolate.

Repeat with all bananas.

Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt

Place in freezer 1 hour.

Store in freezer or fridge.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Runza Pull-A-Parts!

Ok, you don't know what a runza is?

Its a midwest thing. A roll or bun stuffed with meat, cabbage/sauerkraut, and seasonings.

We like to add mushrooms and cheese to ours. I also prefer the use of sauerkraut. It gives a nice tang to it.

I use the same bread recipe as in my Pizza Monkey Bread post
Runza Pull-A-Parts!


One recipe boule dough, risen for a few hours. (it is really best if you refrigerate it too. It gets SUPER sticky otherwise. If you can make it the night before, it would be easiest. But not required)
Or a couple packages of pizza dough. Or a few cans of biscuits.

1 lb lean hamburger
1 onion, diced
1 oz pkg mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup sauerkraut, drained and patted dry
1 egg
1/2 cup french dressing (or Dorothy Lynch dressing if you are lucky enough to be where they sell it)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese.
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to
Place the onions in a saucepan on medium heat with a little oil. Cook until soft.

Add burger and mushrooms.

Once burger is done and mushrooms and onions are soft and browned, season with S&P and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, sauerkraut, egg, french dressing, and cheese,

Add meat mixture. Combine

Flour your hands. Grab a lime sized piece of dough and pinch it flat. Add a few tbsp of mixture to the middle and pinch closed.

Place in a greased bundt pan. Once you have one layer, brush with melted butter.

Repeat for other layers.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. Add more cheese a few minutes before done, if you wish

Invert on a cooling rack and let sit 10 minutes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

I heard someone mention something like this a couple weeks back and I couldn't get it out of my head. Then I saw Paula Dean do something similar on her show.

I actually had bananas on hand, and some yummy homemade sandwich bread. So today was the day.

It takes about 10 minutes, and it will change your life.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
(For 1)

2 slices bread (I used my homemade sandwich bread recipe)
3 tbsp natural honey
1 tbsp honey
1/2 banana, sliced
1 tbsp soft butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix the honey and PB. I heated it up a little to make it easier to combine and spread.

Spread on both pieces of bread. (I will slice thinner next time)

Add the bananas

Close the sandwich and butter one face of the outside.

Combine sugar and cinnamon on a plate.

Place in a hot skillet.

Butter the other side and turn when browned.

Once done, coat both sides in cinnamon sugar.

Eat this. Now.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ravioli with Tomato Basil Alfredo

So this is a very Semi Homemade type recipe.

Its really fast and yummy. It uses store bought pasta and sauce, but you can really doctor it up to something very yummy.

Ravioli with Tomato Basil Alfredo
Adapated from MyRecipes

1 20oz package of cheese ravioli (I used 5 cheese, but I want to try mushroom next time)
1 16 oz jar sun dried tomato alfredo
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 Roma tomatos, diced
3 sun dried tomatoes, diced
3 cloves of garlic, thin sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped.

Add all the ingredients except the pasta to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes or so

Meanwhile, cook the pasta by package directions (try cooking them in broth or adding bouillon to the water. SO much flavor)

Drain pasta, and combine with sauce.

Its THAT easy. You can do that!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Skillet Peanut Butter Cup Brownies.

I have never made homemade brownies before. Why bother when the mix is a buck?

Well, this was worth it. It really doesn't take that long, and you can control the flavors. You can add more chocolate, or make it darker or sweeter. All the brownie power is in your hands. 
This is a fudgey brownie recipe

Skillet Brownies with PB Cups

Adapted From Simply Food Love

1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour 
1/2 cup cocoa powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 bag chocolate chips of choice

Optional 1 cup mini PB cups

Preheat oven to 350 
In one large bowl, mix together the eggs and sugar.

In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa, and salt.

In your skillet, melt the butter and add the cream. Heat until simmering. Add the chocolate and melt, stirring continually. Take off heat and let cool a couple minutes

Stir the chocolate into the sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture.

Pour batter into the skillet. Top with candy bites and bake for around 30 minutes. My skillet is 10 inches, so adjust the time accordingly.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homemade Sandwich Bread

Yay another bread recipe.

This one is from King Arthur Flour. Its the only flour I use, and their recipes are great.

This bread is moist, soft, and a perfect crumb for sandwiches.

Homemade Sandwich Bread

From King Arthur

1/2 cup milk 
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water 
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 packet active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter

In the bowl of a stand mixer, put milk and 1/2 cup hot water. Add yeast, sugar, and salt. Let proof 10 minutes.

Add the flour and melted butter. 

Mix on medium with dough hook until it starts to come together. Lower speed to "2"

Let it come together in a ball. Add a little more water if it seems dry.

Let machine knead for 8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 1-2 hours in a warm place.

Turn out onto sprayed surface and shape into a 8" log.

Put in a lightly sprayed 8" loaf pan (I used a 9" one. It was ok, just a little shorted and wider)

Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let sit 60 minutes, or until top is 1" above edge of pan

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool completely on cooling rack before slicing. Store in plastic bag

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Asian Style Mushroom Soup

This soup is similar to the simple soup served at Hibachi restaurants.

The trick is adding depth and flavors to the broth.

All the vegetables except the mushrooms and green onions are just in for flavor and get strained out, so just rough chop them in large pieces.

Asian Style Mushroom Soup

2 containers of chicken stock  (I like these products for this!
1 container of beef stock
2 carrots
2 onions
2 stalks of celery
5 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 knob of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
8oz of mushrooms, sliced thin
4 green onions, sliced

Add all but the last 2 ingredients to the pot. Cook on low for at least 45 minutes, up to several hours

Strain out the veggies.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Add mushrooms and green onions. Cook until tender. Around 30 minutes

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Open-Faced Veggie Melts with Basil Garlic Mayo

Who doesn't love roasted veggies? Put it on some crusty bread and top it with cheese...Who can refuse?

Open-Faced Veggie Melts with Basil Garlic Mayo

1/2 lb asparagus
1/2 sliced bell pepper
1 portobello mushroom, sliced
olive or grape seed oil
salt & pepper
Sliced bread (I used my NoKnead Dutch Oven Bread)
1/4 cup mayo (or Miracle Whip)
1 tsp fresh basil (I LOVE this, in the produce section)
1 garlic clove, pressed/minced/microplaned
about 6 sliced melty cheese. I used Provalone

Put your oven rack at the very top. Turn the broil on.

Cut the woody ends off the asparagus. Cut the remaining asparagus in half.

Toss in oil and salt and pepper.

Roast 5 minutes.

Add the sliced mushroom and bell pepper. Coat and season.

Cook 10 more minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, mix mayo, basil, and garlic. Spread on bread.

Top bread with veggies and then cheese.

Put back under the broiler until cheese melts and starts to brown

Friday, March 16, 2012

No Knead Overnight Dutch Oven Bread

Hello, my name is Kate. I am a bread recipe addict.

I can't stop making bread. All shapes, sizes, and techniques.

This bread has an amazing crust. Crackly and chewy. The inside is very moist. Minimal effort.

Really recommend it.

No Knead Overnight Dutch Oven Bread

Adapted from Here

3 cups bread flour
3/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water

The night before, right before you go to bed, mix all the ingredients together. They should all be incorporated, but only should take a couple minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter.

In the morning, it will be all bubbly and gooey.

Non stick spray a counter top and turn dough out. Shape into a ball and spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 1-3 hours.

Preheat a oven to 450 with the dutch oven inside.

Once preheated, spray the bottom and sides of the dutch oven and plop the bread into it. Be careful not to burn yourself. It doesn't have to be pretty

Cook for 30 minutes covered, and then 15 minutes uncovered.

Let cool completely.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bean and Bacon Soup

Husb loves this soup. Out of a can. I figure there has to be a better way. It was very good. Hearty and flavorful

Bean and Bacon Soup

1 1lb bag of dried navy beans
8 slices of bacon
2 onions, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 bay leaves
Pinch of ground clove
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes, with juices

Soak the beans in 10 cups of water for an hour (or soak overnight per the bag instructions). Drain

Cook the bacon to very crispy. Save a few tbsp of the bacon fat.

Saute the onion and celery in the bacon grease until soft. Add a splash of chicken stock to deglaze pan.

In a large pot (or dutch oven, or crock pot) put veggies and pan juice, beans, 6 slices of the crumbled bacon, bay leaves, clove, and remaining chicken stock. Not the tomatoes in juice.

Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours (or on low all day in crock pot)

30 minutes before serving, add the tomatoes, puree 2 cups of bean mixture and the tomatoes and juice and add back to the soup. Bring back to heat and serve. Top with crumbled bacon pieces.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jalapeño and Feta Skillet Cornbread

Did I mention how much I love my cast iron skillet?
This is my first attempt at cornbread. Man was it good. A little crumbly, but moist. The bread itself is a little sweet, but the salty of the feta is a nice counterpoint.

Jalapeño and Feta Skillet Cornbread


  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar PLUS
  • enough milk to make 1 1/3 cups
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 jalapeño, ribbed, deseeded, and finely diced
  • 4oz crumbled feta
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a 9 or 10 inch oven safe skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.

Put 1 tbsp vinegar into a measuring cup and fill to 1 1/3 cups with milk

In a large bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk in the milk and eggs. Whisk in most of the melted butter, reserving about 1 tbsp for the skillet. Lightly stir in cheese and jalapeños until just mixed.

Carefully, remove the skillet from the oven. Lower heat to 375. Bush the bottom and sides with remaining butter. Pour batter into skillet and place in oven. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.

 Let cool 15 minutes and serve

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Avocado, Black Bean, and Corn Salad

This is a super easy, super yummy side for anything mexican or even a great side for warm summer grilled meals.

Avocado, Black Bean, and Corn Salad


2 avocados, chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 roma tomato, diced
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
9 oz frozen corn, thawed
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Juice of a large lime
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together and let marinade at least 30 minutes.
Serve cold

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Skillet Cookie

I am in love with my cast iron skillet. I think everyone should get one.

That being said, this can be made in any oven safe skillet. Probably in any round pan. But the skillet is half the fun.

You can do any chips you would like. We are partial to the butterscotch and milk chocolate combo.

Skillet Cookie.

Adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about60 seconds. 

Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. 

Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. 

Stir in chips by hand.

Transfer dough to a 10-inch skillet, and press down to cover the bottom all the way to the edges.
Make the middle slightly more shallow

Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, about 40 minutes. Don't overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Let sit in skillet 5 minutes.Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Serve with ice cream!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Smothered Chicken

This meal will fill your house with amazing smells. The onions and peppers cooking is one of the yummiest things ever.

This is a comforting meal, but is over half veggies, so it still remains light.

Smothered Chicken


2 lb chicken tenderloins, or chicken breasts cut into strips
1/3 cup dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp honey
2 green bell pepper, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
8oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 cup mozzarella

In a skillet on medium, cook the chicken. If you use tenders, it will only take like 4 minutes per side, or so. Season with salt and pepper.

Take out and set into a baking dish.

Add peppers and onions to pan. Cook 3 minutes and then add mushrooms. Season with a little salt and the lemon pepper. Cook until softened and starting to brown. Around 10 minutes

While veggies are cooking, mix the mustard, worcestershire, and honey. Bush onto both sides of chicken. (this was a halved recipe when I took pictures)

Place hot veggies onto chicken.

Top with cheese.

Place in 350 oven for 15 minutes.