It’s beginning to be fall and that means soup! I love how warm and cozy a bowl of hearty soup makes me feel. Sometimes I don’t have the exact ingredients a recipe calls for, though, so I’ve made a recipe of my own based on what I had on hand. It can’t be that hard, right?
1 1/2 c dried black eyed peas
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 Tbsp bacon grease
1/4 c all purpose flour
2 chicken breasts
3 c mixed vegetables
4 c chicken broth
1-2 c milk or half and half
Salt and Pepper to taste
The night before you make your soup (or the morning of), place your dried peas in a pan and cover them with 2″ of water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add more water, and let sit overnight.
Trim the chicken of any excess fat and cut into 1″ cubes. Place in a pot of boiling water, and boil for a few minutes until cooked. Meanwhile, add diced onion and bacon fat to a large stock pot and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the flour and whisk to make a roux. Add chicken broth, milk, mixed vegetables, drained peas, and chicken. Season to taste. Cook the soup until broth is hot and vegetables are soft – about 20-30 minutes.
Serve as is or with some hot crusty bread.
You could easily substitute pinto beans or a bag of mixed beans in this recipe. If you are in a time crunch, canned beans work well also.
I used a mixed bag of frozen carrots, potatoes, celery, and onion from the store because I didn’t want to spend my whole life peeling carrots. This soup would be even better with fresh vegetables, and you can use just about anything you have laying around.
If you don’t have bacon fat you can substitute lard or butter, but the flavor will be slightly different.
Canned chicken would work in a pinch, and a rotisserie chicken would be easy and add a lot of good flavor.
One of my favourite meals growing up was my mom’s Chicken Pot Pie. I still love it, and I figure everyone has to eat, so here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
2 premade pie crusts
1/3 c. butter
1/2 onion, diced
1/3 c. flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1-2 Tbsp cooking sherry
2/3 c. milk
2 chicken breasts
3-4 medium potatoes
Handful of green beans
Handful of peas
Preheat Oven to 425*F
Cut chicken up into 1″ pieces. Boil in water until done (if you want some extra flavor you can add cooking sherry and chicken broth to the water).
In a large skillet melt butter, add onion, salt, and pepper, and cook until onion is tender and translucent. Mix flour in and cook for a minute or two. Add milk, broth, and cooking sherry; whisk to combine and prevent lumps from forming. Stir in vegetables and cook until gravy is thick. Stir in chicken.
Line a 9″ pie pan with one crust. Add gravy mixture to the pan, top with the remaining crust, seal edges, and flute. Cut slits in several places in the top crust.
Bake 425*F for 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
A few weeks ago I bought a few sewing patterns. I put off printing them because I don’t have a printer at home. Thursday was the day, though, the day I went to the print shop. I taped my pages together, laid out my fabric and cut! Then I sewed my major seams while on the phone with my best friend. This is the Wiksten Tank in a light cotton. It’s so bright and summery! I’m in love. This picture was taken before I finished any of the edges, so I will take some better ones soon.
I saw this book months ago at Barnes and Noble, but didn’t buy it. But then about a week ago, I did. Now I want to buy all the wool and make all the gnomes! They seem so fun and whimsical….
And look at this gorgeous salmon I made last night! It was delicious.
I am an intermediate cook. I can make food that isn’t awful. But at the same time I rarely make food that is wonderful. A few weeks ago I finally reached my breaking point. I was tired of making food that just didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would. I wanted tried and true recipes that would tell me what to do and how to do it so I could turn out culinary masterpieces. Or at least something that would leave me with fewer meals that turned out…awful. Enter the Joy of Cooking, the book that is changing my life.
The first thing I noticed about the book is that it is thick. The pages are crammed with recipes as diverse as Beef Wellington, Lentil Stew, and Scotch Eggs. It clearly delineates the steps to make meals. It talks about menu planning and the best way to prep ingredients. If you are a beginning cook, you can learn from this book how to make just about anything. If you are an experienced cook, this book will suggest new recipes to help you break out of your routine.
I love Mexican-ish food. Having grown up in the Southwest, Mexican, and all its variations, is comfort food for me. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
1 lb ground beef
1 bell pepper
1 can black beans
1/2 box noodles
Spices to taste
Cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top
Brown beef in a large pan. Chop onion and pepper, add to the pot when the beef is nearly done. Add black beans and season to taste (I used onion, garlic, pepper, and fajita seasoning). Cover pot and allow to cook over medium-low heat until onions and peppers are soft.
In a separate pot boil water. Add noodles and cook until al dente. Drain, and add to the beef mixture, stirring to combine.
I made roast lamb for Easter dinner. Oh my word, was it amazing! I found the recipe on Judy’s Chickens (seriously, you must follow her blog. She has amazing recipes and really helpful explanations).
I chopped and trimmed and marinaded and poured and baked, and in the end this is what I came up with.
The lamb was so tender, even though I cooked it to well-done. I decided to make half a recipe, since it was just for my boyfriend and me. Except for the topping. I forgot to halve those amounts…. I also added a bit of red wine to the broth for the veggies for a little extra flavor.
My oven caught fire tonight, and it wasn’t even my fault! I was calmly and peacefully going about my evening, whipping up the meringues that I’ve been so anxious to try when my roommate announced that her sister-in-law needed to come use our oven. Apparently her oven is on the blitz, and since she lives less than a block away, it makes sense for her to come here. Ok, I thought, I’ll just put the meringues in the fridge until her cheesecake is done. 20 minutes later I open the oven door because smoke is billowing out and find a fire in the bottom. Baking Powder to the rescue! We put that fire out in a jiffy and went on with our cake-baking. Then the smoke started again. This time the fire was bigger. We ended up having to take the cheesecake out so we could cool and clean the oven before we finished baking it. It seems that if you let a fire burn in your oven it can kill your heating element. Who knew?
The cheesecake is done and back in its real home. The oven no longer smokes. My meringues are currently baking. I now know how to clean an oven. And that I should not let my oven burn…you know, original ovens used fire for heat…. Here’s hoping my meringues turn out. I’m told they’re rather temperamental.
Today was a busy day! It’s my day off, so I decided to do something fun: namely, have one of my best friends over for the day. She and I are both into crafting and we’ve been working on making skirts. Since I had already bought fabric all that was left to me was to get to it and make the skirt. So we measured and thought and measured again, and after several mistakes and fixings this is what we came up with.
I was so proud of myself. I was going to do this one all by myself, without any help from you-know-who. I followed the recipe step by step, blending sugar and cream cheese, then adding the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly. The next step was to add cream, vanilla, and butter, and blend. Next step: bake for 65 minutes . . . Wait!! Where’s the chocolate!! This is a chocolate cheesecake. The recipe calls for 12 ounces of chocolate, and I want to taste every bit of that. What do you do when the RECIPE messes up?? Well, I had to call in the expert for help. My mom is an amazing cook. Her cinnamon rolls are seriously awesome. She should be world-renowned for them. Well, she came and fixed my cheesecake, and I poured it into the crust I had made the day before, and stuck it into the oven. It baked and baked and baked, and started to smell seriously good, and baked, and then the timer went off!! But it wasn’t done. I baked it some more, and baked it and baked it some more, but it was still really jiggly. But finally my mom came home, we baked it a little more, and then left it to cool. And then we ate it. And boy was it yummy!!!