Thursday, March 24, 2011

French Onion Soup.

They say this is a poor man's soup. History states that this was common in the Roman Empire and then became more popular in the 18th century and was upgrade with the addition of toasted bread and cheese. It then again became popular in the 60's when French cooking became trendy. I say that this soup is well worth the effort! It was cheap but a bit time consuming. Most of all, I was surprised my two year old Leta loved it! She just couldn't get enough!

There isn't a whole lot of ingredients and you can always sub what you like. I made mine vegetarian. But you are welcome to use beef or veal broth. The only thing I didn't have on hand was the Vienna bread and Thyme. Not too bad on the wallet.

Three large yellow or Spanish onions, peeled and sliced
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of EVOO
1 1/2 quarts of broth (veg, chicken, beef or veal.)
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1 teaspoon of dried thyme (or one sprig of fresh thyme)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Vienna bread toasted
Provolone or swiss cheese (If you buy the prepackage by the faux cheeses, I swear I will hunt your ISP down and slap you silly! Get the real stuff!)

1) In your pan melt the butter and add in the oil, garlic, thyme, parsley and bay leaf.

2) Watch this video, it will explain caramelized onions far better then I could. Just add the onions to the melted butter in step one.

3) After the onions are done, add into a larger pan the broth, onions, worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Cook on medium high for twenty to thirty minutes. This would be the time to taste and add seasons as needed.

4) Cut your bread to fit what your cooking in, butter and toast like you would grilled cheese. Until it's golden brown.

5) Ladle soup into a oven proof bowl, cup or ramekin. Leave enough room for the bread, top with cheese and place cheese on top.

6) Place on a pan and under your broiler until golden brown.

7) Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's vent day.

Oh boy, I can tell it's middle of the week. I am kapoot on the energy level. Drained. Not to mention a little irritated. Would it be wrong of me to keep my ear bud in and pretend that my four and two year olds aren't running around like crazed little minions?

Tomorrow can not get here quick enough.

Today's top five vents are:

5) Dear clothing manufacturers: I work out and thusly in the midst of my weight lost endeavors, I am in between clothing sizes. I am sure my peers in the gym would appreciate it if you made half sizes. Considering the full moon was last week, I am sure they don't want a daily reminder.

4) Dear lady in the over sized SUV, what are you over compensating for? I just wanted a root beer from Mc Dondals, not a five minute wait and a neck cramp to make a right turn. Just because you had to make a left turn and make it IMPOSSIBLE for me to see oncoming traffic.

3) Dear Michiganders, quit complaining about the rain! It's RAIN! Not SNOW!

2) Dear Body, what part of FIVE day period do you not understand?!

1) Dear Max, you have become our new pet. You sure know how to win over your new owners affection by eating the last ten dollars I had to my name. Guess I will get it back in a day or so? Does money digest? Crap...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

King's Royal Icing.

It was national "Pi" day and what better way to celebrate it then with royal frosting? In reality, I am part dork and Pi has always mystified me. What can I say? Ironically, I am horrible at math. I am not at all joking.

I really needed to test frostings for Hannah's upcoming birthday and I am making a flower cake for her and I need to do a dry run with this recipe because I didn't want to wait til the night before and get a dud. I wouldn't of had to do this if I had the ability to hold onto recipes. I really need to keep track of them. And after much googling and reading through the various versions of royal frosting. I found the most basic stripped down version and tweaked and low and behold it worked out great!


3 cups of powdered sugar
7 teaspoons of corn syrup
7 teaspoons of milk
4 teaspoons of Almond extract
Food coloring


1- Simple blend all ingredients until smooth and dip base color if you want and allow to dry and pipe decorations if wanted. Just make sure you set aside un-colored frosting for this prior adding the base color.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lilly's Teriyaki BBQ'd Chicken!

Ironically this is my daughter's only other form of chicken she'll eat that's not in a nugget shape. What is even stranger is that it's slightly spicy, something she's always turned down. But she enjoys it.

This is a really easy to put together!

This makes enough for three to four skinless chicken breasts.


3 tablespoons of Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic or 1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon of ground black powder
1/4 cup of ketchup
2-4 skinless chicken breasts (I used organic)

1- Mix all ingrediants together. Place chicken and sauce into bag and coat evenly. Place in fridge and marinate for up to an hour.

2-Place in a covered baking dish with three tablespoons of water and bake at 350 degrees until done.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Turkey Chili Quesadilla. FAM week two.

I do not know about you but Chili was a staple in our house hold growing up, safe to say it still is. It is up there with the top of top if comfort food. I have learned that I can not and mostly will never make it like my father. I hope one day he writes it down so that I can sit down with the girls when they are older and say "This is exactly how Grandpa made his." Then they can pass it down and so forth.

Our Chilis in this house hold tend to be of the turkey variety. We typically do not eat red meat, expect on all major Irish holidays. It's healthier for us and it's the best for us. We try not to eat meat all that often but having a child who needs protein but is allergic/food texture issues to soy, etc makes it hard not to eat meat. We used to not eat any for some time, now we just eat healthy free range organic meats.

My youngest two do not have their taste buds suited to spicy just yet, so I decide to make this a Freeze Ahead Meal for me. Really easy, just put it together and slide it in the oven!

1 pound skinless turkey breasts cubed into one inch pieces (you can use chicken or potatoes.)
1-2 cups vegetable stock
1 packet of McCormick White Chicken Chili seasoning.
1/2 cup small diced white onions
1/2 cup small diced bell peppers(I used red, orange, yellow and green.)
1 can of white northern beans
Tablespoon of EVOO
Whole wheat tortillas
Kraft Mexican Cheese blend

1- In your dutch oven add EVOO, chicken, onions, peppers, beans, seasoning and veg stock. Stir and cook until tender and thickened. I think it took 30-45 at 450 degrees. Let it stand to thicken some more.

2-With another pan warm a tortilla on one side, flip and add cheese, add a thin-ish layer of the chili and fold over the tortilla. Let cool before you cut or the filling will spill out.

2b-If you are doing this for a FAM. Let them cool completely and then cut in half. To freeze take a half and place a piece of parchment paper in between and freeze. To reheat I do 15-30 seconds at a time until warm.

3- Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

*Final notes- I used what think is a 3.5 quart clay dutch oven. I am sure you could cook this on the stove after you cooked the chicken. Also I made the Quesadillas on the non-stick electric griddle. I find that the bigger surface makes it easier to cook and fold.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

White Bean and Barley Soup.

In my quest to find better and easier food to cook, I found this. It's easy and filling. I also used my crock pot and this was the first thing I cooked in it!

It has a lot depth and a natural earthy flavor that you just can't get from a can.

I did find that the original recipe had issues, esp when it came to the beans. Cooking the beans, actually. I went ahead and followed the directions as per the original recipe and found out an hour before it was suppose to be done, that indeed these so called "chefs" had never cooked beans in a slow cooker and or forgot to mention it would be best to pre-soak them over night. I am not saying you can't cook dried beans in a crock pot because you can and I have before. The problem here is that most beans take longer to cook when you have acidity and salt. I knew better but any ways, I had to cook on high for an extra four hours. So don't make my mistake, pre-soak the beans.


2 small ribs of celery (or one large, two medium) sliced small/medium thickness.
1 medium carrot, cut length wise and sliced
1/4 of a large spanish onion, finely sliced
1/3 of a package of restaurant blend mushrooms ( baby bella, portabella, shiitake,) or about one cup one chopped of your choice.
1/2 cup of pearl barley
1 cup of white or great northern beans
3 cloves of garlic smashed
1 bay leaf
14 oz of diced tomatoes, I used half of the 28 oz can and used the juices
1 table spoon of olive oil
3 cup of veggie stock
5 cups of water
2-4 tablespoon of Mrs Dash garlic herb blend, you can adjust to your taste as it cooks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
Baby spinach
1 cup of parmesan cheese

1- Pre-soak beans in water overnight.
2- In crock pot add all ingredients expect spinach, cheese and balsamic vinegar and cook on low for eight hours. Add in more water or stock if it get too thick.
3-Prior to serving add in about two large handfuls of spinach, cheese, balsamic vinegar and season to taste.

Perfect for a filling meal with a crusty loaf of bread.