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)
well. it’s been almost a month of radio silence from me. there are a lot of reasons for that, the main one being that we are potty training miss Amelia, while also dealing with a not-quite-three month old. i’ve also been a little short on blog post inspiration. so i figured, why not write about something near and dear to my heart? which right now, is this cocktail. or any cocktail really. i mentioned potty training, right?
(plus, it’s been a little baby heavy around here lately, so i figured we could use a change.)
this cocktail was inspired by those simmering potpourris you make on the stove with citrus and mulling spices, the ones that make your house smell like christmas. i had some clementine peels laying around one day during nap time, and after digging through my spice cabinet for the rest of the ingredients, this recipe was born.
drinking this cocktail is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket and going out into the fresh snow. the mulling spices make it a bit warm and spicy and the citrus keeps it tasting bright and fresh. it’s perfect for the winter, especially when everything starts to feel a bit dark and you just feel generally blah. or you know, it’s perfect for an evening after a day spent potty training your strong-willed two and a half year old. whatever occasion makes more sense for your life right now.
let me know if you make it, and what you think! bonus: the simple syrup can be used to sweeten coffee or tea for a little seasonal flavor.
winter spice bourbon cocktail (makes one drink, easily multiplied)
1 oz. winter spice simple syrup (recipe below)
2 oz. bourbon
2 maraschino cherries
1 cinnamon stick
fill a lowball glass with clementine and cherries, smash together a bit. fill glass with ice. pour simple syrup and bourbon over ice and give it a quick stir with the cinnamon stick. garnish with another cherry and slice of clementine. best enjoyed while curled up with a blanket, a fire and a good movie.
winter spice simple syrup
1 C. water
1 C. sugar
peel of 2 clementines
1 star anise pod
2 cinnamon sticks
in a medium saucepan, bring clementine peel, star anise, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and water to a simmer over medium-high heat. reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 10 minutes. let cool completely, then strain. discard the solids. bonus: syrup can be kept in fridge for 1-2 weeks, and can be used to sweeten coffee or tea with a subtle citrus and warm spice flavor.
if you need ideas for other cocktails, check out these posts too:
oh hey everyone! guess who’s back in the baking game? this pregnant lady.
if you follow me on snapchat (find me at username hooleywithaz) you might have seen some of my gluten and dairy-free baking shenanigans lately. long story short, and which i will be going into in more detail in the future, we’ve been battling some pretty severe eczema with Amelia over here. the good news is that thanks to some dietary changes and some amazing topical treatments (both of which we hope are temporary after some months of working everything out), she is now a happy, itch-free toddler who can wear short sleeves and run around in her birthday suit.
we are starting to slowly transition gluten and dairy back into amelia’s diet, starting with dairy, but because it’s slow, i’m still doing a lot of modified cooking and baking. and while there are a lot of great commercial gluten-free products out there, sometimes you just want to bake something homemade, you know?
enter the savior: mama hools. my mother has a special set of skills, many skills. one of these skills happens to be cooking for people with food allergies. and i’m talking real food allergies, not “i want to lose weight so i’ll tell myself i’m allergic to gluten” allergies. she also happens to know how to adjust recipes to make them taste delicious, even when they’re free of anything seemingly tasty. she’s a magical fairy, i’m telling you.
she has many amazing recipes, but one of our favorites is her gluten-free (and dairy-free) pumpkin muffins. they are moist, flavorful, and freeze beautifully, which makes them the holy grail of gluten-free muffin recipes. she found the original recipe at gluten free goddess, but modified it a lot to accommodate some additional allergies and in my opinion, made it easier and better. i would choose to eat this pumpkin muffin recipe, and i’m not even gluten-free.
i posted a picture of this deliciousness on my instagram and got so many requests for the recipe that i thought i’d share it here. if any of you are gluten-free, or just looking for an awesome pumpkin muffin recipe, i highly suggest that you make these. let me know if you have any questions on the ingredients or the recipe, just leave a comment and i’m happy to help!
2 C. all-purpose gluten-free flour (w/ xanthan gum added, my flour called for 1 1/2 tsp. for this amount of flour and type of recipe)
1/3 C. organic coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/3 C. coconut sugar (mix it with enough maple syrup to make it packable)
1/3 C. olive oil or coconut oil (i used coconut)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 C. almond or coconut milk (i used almond)
1 can pumpkin puree
preheat oven to 350 F. whisk together dry ingredients. add in wet ingredients, mix well by hand or mixer, making sure all dry ingredients are incorporated. if desired, stir in by hand 1/2 C. roughly chopped pecans, walnuts, raisins or chocolate chips.
line a muffin tin (regular or mini) with liners or grease well. spoon batter into tins, filling close to the top. smooth the tops with the back of a wet spoon. bake 15 minutes for mini muffins, 22-25 minutes for regular muffins. let cool and remove gently. store in a tupperware, or freeze. to defrost: 5-10 seconds for mini muffins, 10-20 seconds for regular muffins. keep an eye on them though, i’ve burnt my fair share, they go faster than you think!
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)