dear everyone: this is one of the easiest recipes in the whole world. and it is so healthy, and so good. so what i’m saying is, you should definitely make it. love, me. p.s. you can totally wait until fall to make it if you cannot imagine eating soup in the summer.
i don’t know if you’ve noticed*, but this here blog has been painfully void of recipe posts lately. summer is just not a very inspirational time in the cooking or baking arena for me. slash i forget to take pictures of the recipes i do make. woops!
this is one of those recipes that i almost didn’t share, because i was like, do people even want to see recipes that are this easy? and then i realized, those are the only types of recipes that i ever want to see, so maybe other people are lazy like me and will be into this sort of thing! like seriously, if i click over to a recipe, and there are more than 8 steps, you can guarantee that i am not making it. it might look amazing and delicious and magical, but it’s just not happening. where you at fellow lazys?
anywho, i hope you enjoy. love and smoochies to you all.
*i’m sure you have not noticed and your life has carried on as normal.
cream of broccoli soup (makes enough for about 6 servings)
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 small carrot, finely diced
1 package frozen broccoli chunks
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1 qt. chicken stock
1/2 pint whipping cream
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste (i have added chili powder, cumin, and other spices as well)
sauté onion, carrot and frozen broccoli in 1/2 C. butter. add flour, stir well and cook 3 to 4 minutes. add chicken stock, cream and seasonings. heat thoroughly. if desired, blend with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender) for a creamy, smooth soup. serve with townhouse crackers or crusty bread and cheese!
use vegetable broth or stock instead of chicken stock
i have to tell you guys, this is one of those recipes i’m a bit embarrassed to even post. not because this soup is not delicious…it is. but it’s so mindlessly easy to make that it feels like i’m cheating by calling it a recipe. this is one of those soups that you make when you want something homemade, but you don’t want to have to go buy a bunch of ingredients that you won’t ever use again, or that are going to hike up your grocery bill. this is such a good thing to make if you’re looking for an inexpensive but filling recipe that everyone will like. you can just tell your kids that the kielbasa is hot dogs and call it hot dog soup, and you’re all good. (sidebar: in our house, we call breakfast sausage “breakfast hot dogs” so Amelia won’t question why she should eat them…)
the cabbage, potatoes and beans in this help to bulk it up and make it really filling, even though there aren’t that many ingredients. it freezes beautifully and makes a huge batch. this would be a great recipe to make if you need to bring a meal to a new mom…no dairy, not spicy, and it takes no time to throw together, plus you can keep half of it for your own dinner that night without having to double the recipe.
i know we’re headed out of soup season, and i really let you guys down in the soup arena this winter, so i’m going to make some of the more “springtime” soups in the cookbook here in the next couple months to make up for it. although it snowed here in minnesota today, so i guess it’s still kind of soup season here in a way. gross.
portuguese soup (makes a large batch without doubling)
6 C. chicken stock or broth
1 lb. smoked kielbasa sausage, diced
1 lb. boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/2 medium head of green cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
combine all ingredients in a large pot. bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. reduce heat; simmer until thick, stirring occasionally (about 2 hours).
use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
omit the kielbasa (can also add another can of a different type of bean, like great northern to add more bulk)
hi friends! how was your weekend? i spent the whole thing balancing a bowl of ice cream on my belly bump while relaxing by a lake. it was as good as it seems, thank you for asking!
we spent our 4th of july holiday (well, the weekend leading up to it) at the cabin of our lovely family friends, and it was absolutely magical. seriously, what a treat to be able to be with family and friends in a gorgeous setting, doing absolutely nothing but enjoying ourselves for three whole days in a row. add in the fact that miss amelia was (mostly) an angel and it’s the recipe for a perfect weekend.
[but seriously how about that view?]
if you know me, you know that there are a few things in this world that i love with a deep, deep passion. number one is my family (big duh there). number two is summer in minnesota. number three is ice cream. and ice cream in the summer with my family all at once? it’s enough to make my pregnant heart skip a beat. if you’ve been around for a while, you know that i basically kept our local ice cream store in business when i was pregnant with amelia. so get ready for some photos of real deliciousness from the past few days.
we’re lucky enough to live in a place where kemps ice cream is readily accessible to us as a way to celebrate national ice cream month (which is apparently what july is, how did i not know this??), and it was the ideal treat to get while we were at the cabin. kemps has been around for a looooong time, and is known in a big way for their 40(!) flavors of ice cream. they literally have something for everybody. (click here to see if kemps is available near you. if it’s not, i’m very sorry for introducing you to this goodness but i had to, you know?)
in between all of our swimming and reading and relaxing over the weekend, we obviously did some serious eating, because summer weekend at the cabin, duh. we did the usual burgers, brats and fish fry, but for dessert, we opted for some mint cow tracks and plenty of cherry fudge chunk ice cream, and we were not disappointed.
after an informal poll, it was decided that baby zee preferred the cherry fudge chunk, while amelia liked the mint cow tracks a bit more. i’d like to lie to you and say that i only had one bowl, but i think we all know that wouldn’t be the truth. i’m only showing you one of my empty bowls though.
and now for the fun part…a giveaway!
because july is national ice cream month, kemps is letting me give away five $5.00 coupons for kemps ice cream to you guys! YES, I KNOW IT’S AMAZING. to enter, just visit the kemps website to take a look at all of their 40 ice cream flavors, then come back here and leave a comment telling me which flavor (or flavors) you want to try the most. it’s that easy. the giveaway will be open until July 19th, and i’ll pick the five winners randomly at that time. good luck!
this shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. all opinions are mine alone. #HomeBowlParty #CollectiveBias
i have a confession to make: i mostly watch football games for the snacks. yea, the sport itself is fun and all, but when it comes right down to it, it’s easier to sit through if there are some good eats and drinks. i normally don’t get too fancy with said eats and drinks. we’re very much a chips & salsa, crackers & hummus, cookies & milk family over here. it’s pretty easy to get in a rut of laying out whatever’s in the pantry, and that’s fine for any old football game.
but the big game warrants a little something extra. a little planning, a little recipe testing, and (dare i say it?) a little solo trip to Target for some treats. oh, solo trips to Target. you are my favorite. i’ve been known to take two hours to just wander around the store, even though all i end up buying is some laundry detergent and snacks for amelia. blissful does not begin to describe it. but i digress. this post is about football game food, not my deep love for shopping by myself.
for any of you Target lovers, you can save 15% at Target on Coca-Cola brand 6-pack 500ml bottles using the Cartwheel app (until 2/13)! and REESE’S cups footballs are also 15% off at Target using the Cartwheel app (from 1/24-2/13)!
one of the most fun things for me is to find ways to combine foods i love into one great recipe. i love buffalo chicken dip. i love pizza. so of course I’m going to love buffalo chicken dip pizza, right? RIGHT! i’m pretty proud of this pizza you guys. when i had the idea, i had a feeling it would taste good, but then i made it, and had severely underestimated the deliciousness factor. it’s two wonderful football foods that have been married into one even more wonderful football food. be still my heart. when Mister Man tasted it, he couldn’t stop raving about how good it was (and then he had two more slices).
this pizza is basically a deconstructed buffalo chicken dip in pizza form. so while most buffalo chicken dip recipes have you throwing everything together in one pot to heat up and melt together, we change things up a bit to make this. the sour cream, cream cheese, ranch dressing and buffalo sauce are mixed together to act as the sauce for the pizza. the chicken and mozzarella cheese are added as the toppings. i also threw on a cilantro garnish at the end for some color and fresh flavor. i think that the secret ingredient here is in the puff pastry crust though. it’s fluffier than most pizza crusts and really adds a nice twist!
i opted to use better-for-you ingredients in this recipe, because there are usually a lot of snacks hanging around on game days and i figured a more balanced list of ingredients would be a good idea. feel free to mix and match ingredients to make this recipe work for whatever you have on hand though. it’ll still taste great!
full disclosure, this pizza is DELICIOUS, but it’s also SPICY and SALTY. i highly suggest serving it with something refreshing to cool your mouth off, as well as something sweet to balance out the flavors. Coca-Cola and REESE’S cups footballs are solid choices, and pretty classic from a football food perspective. pizza and Coca-Cola? so classic. REESE’S cups shaped like footballs? so perfectly thematic. take my advice and serve this combo during the big game (whether it’s for a party or just for you, i won’t tell).
buffalo chicken dip pizza recipe (serves 8)
prep time: 10 minutes (does not include thawing time for the puff pastry dough)
total time: 35 minutes (includes cook time and cool down time)
1 sheet of puff pastry crust, thawed and rolled out a bit
1/2 C. buffalo sauce
1/4 C. light sour cream
1/4 C. light ranch dressing
6 oz. light cream cheese, cubed
1-2 C. cooked, shredded chicken (can use rotisserie chicken if desired)
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
cilantro, for garnish
make sure to thaw your puff pastry crust fully before beginning, whether overnight or for at least 45 minutes. preheat oven to 415 degrees F. in a small saucepan, mix buffalo sauce, light sour cream, light ranch dressing, and light cream cheese. heat over medium heat, stirring often, until all ingredients are fully melted and mixed together into a smooth consistency. while the sauce is heating, lay your puff pastry dough on a baking sheet, and with either your hands or a rolling pin, flatten out slightly. once your sauce is ready, spread it onto your puff pastry dough, reserving a little for dipping. top the sauce and dough with your shredded chicken and mozzarella cheese. bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the ends of the crust are puffy and the cheese is starting to turn golden brown. let the pizza cool, and top with chopped cilantro for garnish. slice into 8 pieces and serve as a snack during the big football game.
what are your favorite eats and drinks for the big game? are you more of a sweet or savory snack person? i’d love if you shared some ideas!
i’ve had some awesome feedback on the blog lately about including vegetarian options for my soup recipes. so i’ve decided to start posting a note at the end each recipe to let you know how to make any of these recipes vegetarian-friendly (if possible). that way, even the non-meat eaters can enjoy grandpa’s recipes. keep an eye out for this change going forward!
okay people, i know what you’re thinking…sauerkraut soup? no. just….no. why would you think we’d like that erin? sauerkraut in a soup does not sound good. i’m going to skip this post.
just do me a favor and give this one a chance. have i ever led you astray? i would tell you if it was weird, i promise. i mean, i know that i like sauerkraut by itself, and i know that’s a bit goofy, but i had multiple people who were not sauerkraut lovers try this, and they all loved it. it really is more like a cabbage soup, because the sauerkraut doesn’t have a strong taste. I wouldn’t lie to you, so trust me on this one and keep reading.
sauerkraut soup is actually quite popular in the northern european cooking heritage, and when i looked into it (because i was curious if this was a common type of recipe), i found that there’s a huge array of sauerkraut soup recipes out there…who knew! apparently it’s pretty popular, especially in this part of the country, where so many germans, norwegians, swedes and czech settled.
this soup is a classic recipe, using rinsed sauerkraut, lean beef and only a small amount of dried herbs to flavor it. if you look at the recipe, you’ll notice it includes ingredients that would be readily available during the cold winter months in a northern climate; things that could be kept in a cellar, or canned. and because they had to ration their dried herbs all winter, instead of using a larger amount of them to flavor the soup, they use a small amount tied up in a cheesecloth bag, but let it stew in the soup for a very long time to make them go further.
this was the first time i’d ever cooked a soup that called for a Bouquet Garni. if you haven’t heard of that before, you’re not alone, because i hadn’t either! a Bouquet Garni is basically just a fancy way to say “a bag of herbs mixed together”. by putting them together in a cheesecloth bag, it allows the flavors to steep in the soup when cooked for a long time (like a teabag), and also allows you to remove them all when the cooking is done so you don’t have to fish around for a few peppercorns and a bay leaf. bonus: it looks really cute when you make it, and makes you feel like a fancy chef, so i’m a big fan.
as usual, my favorite part of making this was getting to read a little note from my grandpa about a memory he had of cooking this soup (i included it below). i’m so happy that i decided to record this little project of mine here, because when i write the recipes down and talk about what the day was like, or what the occasion was for cooking a particular soup, it gives me memories of making each one, just like he had. and i think that’s what’s amazing about cooking any special recipe…it sticks in your heart, and just thinking about a meal can bring up wonderful memories of your life when you cooked it.
so promise me if you’re looking for an interesting recipe to try, one that’s easy to just dump in a pot and leave on the stove all afternoon, you’ll give this one a go. maybe it’ll become a favorite for you like it was for my grandpa!
sauerkraut soup (makes a large batch without doubling)
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 1/2 lbs. sauerkraut, rinsed in cold water and drained
1/4 C. butter
10 C. beef broth
3 lbs. lean beef, cubed
Bouquet Garni of 5 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, and 1 pinch of thyme, tied in a small cheesecloth bag (see above for photos of how to make a Bouquet Garni)
salt and pepper to taste
boiled tiny potatoes or boiled whole potatoes cut into chunks with skin on (enough for whoever will be eating at that particular meal…should be freshly cooked, as you serve the soup over these)
in a large soup pot, cook onions and celery until vegetables are tender. add sauerkraut and cook over low heat until it’s golden. add the beef broth, lean beef and Bouquet Garni, and cook covered over low heat for at least two hours. at serving time, remove Bouquet Garni and add salt and pepper to taste. serve over freshly boiled tiny potatoes or potato chunks (with skin on).
note from grandpa: the aroma of this soup brings back fond memories of a winter getaway we had as a family. staying in a log cabin, we snow mobiled, ice fished and cross-country skied…and almost froze in the process! we cooked this soup to warm us up after a long day outside in the cold.
use vegetable broth instead of beef broth
omit the beef (can also add a cup of brown lentils to add protein and bulk if you’d like)