Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sarah's Scrumptious Tomato-Dill Soup

"We" just ate this soup for lunch. I say "we" because I ate my bowl while Martin was working on his grilled cheese sandwich and then he had to take the dog out so while he was gone I ate his bowl of soup too. I figured I'd share the wealth!

1 small onion (or half of a medium-large onion) chopped
2 of the big cans of petite diced tomatoes (they are something like 21 oz or so...)
1 box of chicken broth
approx. half a small (not tiny, just small) container of heavy whipping cream.
some salt
some dill
some garlic
some butter

Heat the butter and garlic (not too much garlic) and sautee the onion until it looks right. Clear, but not browned. Add tomatoes (don't drain them!), stir it up, add the chicken broth and heat until it's simmering. Add the cream until it's a nice pink color--but be careful not to have your soup boiling when you add the cream, because it could curdle and although it won't kill you, it looks kind of gross. Simmer for awhile and add some dill. And salt. And pepper if you want it.

Sarah uses an immersion blender at the end to make it less chunky. Good idea!

VERY easy! And it re-heats very well! Enjoy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oreo Truffles

I thought I would post these in case anyone was looking for one more treat to make for a Christmas party or a Christmas gift. These things are absolutely incredible. I have never, ever, ever gotten a complaint about these things... they're SO yummy everyone assumes you're a domestic goddess... when they're actually really easy!

They're easy... but time consuming to make. AND MESSY! And mine never look pretty, but I'm getting better. (haha, this picture was definitely not taken in MY kitchen!)

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) Oreo Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.

Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.

Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

--I usually put the balls in the refrigerator for a bit before dipping them in the melted chocolate, just to let them firm up a bit. I'm still perfecting this whole process... a few times I think I've made them too big and so I've needed more chocolate for dipping.

Every time they're the hit of the party!!

Bacon Wrapped Smokies - Easy Appetizer

You Will Need:
1 package of smokies (make sure to get smokies, I almost grabbed franks)
1 lbs of bacon (I used about 1/2 a pound so if you already have it, great!)
some brown sugar
thawed out OJ concentrate
tooth picks

Wrap bacon around smokies. I wrapped about 3 smokies to one slice of bacon. Pour a little OJ concentrate over smokies. Sprinkled a generous amount of brown sugar all over them. Baked at 350 for 45 minutes.



These are all over the internet so if you want more info on this recipe just Google it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This is my first ever homemade beef soup. And it was the easiest meal I've ever made and quite tasty, too! Recipe from my Fix It and Forget It daily calendar.
Frances' Hearty Vegetable Soup
1 lb round steak, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups water
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 onions, sliced
3 celery ribs, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen veggies of your choice (suggested: peas, green beans, and corn)
1. Combine first 3 ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high about 6 hours (I only did 4 hours on low - so obviously timing is variable).
2. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 2 more hours or until meat and veggies are tender (I cranked the heat up to high from low and cooked about 3-4 hours, I think).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


If you don't have sweetened condensed milk on hand or the dry milk powder stuff, here is an alternative substitute.

One cup evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 1/4 cup sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let cool.

That "let cool" part. It's important. But otherwise this substitution worked like a gem for my cookies yesterday.

Who knew there was SO MUCH sugar in sweetened condensed milk?! Oh my!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First Christmas Cookies!

I'm putting this up right now - just in case I don't get any other Christmas cookies made. Although my success with these this morning has made me hopeful!! I got this recipe from my mother, who got it from some magazine. These are delicious! And easy, too!

Saltine Toffee Cookies

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put two sticks of butter and a cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. While that is boiling, line your cookie sheet with saltines - about 2 sleeves of saltines (depending on the size of your cookie sheet). Pour butter mixture over saltines and spread to coat evenly. Place in oven for 5 minutes. Then sprinkle 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips over the crackers. Wait about 5 minutes for chocolate to melt, then spread evenly with spatula. Sprinkle 3/4 cup chopped (wal)nuts on top. Cool completely. Stick in fridge for a couple of minutes so the chocolate hardens. Then break into pieces. And enjoy! Can be stored in freezer.

Spaghetti Squash

This has got to be the coolest thing EVER! I was reading through my mom's Moosewood Cookbook (the original version) and they had a spaghetti squash casserole recipe. I had never heard of that before and if you havn't either, well now's the time to check this thing OUT! It's a squash, but when you cook it, the inside s become really stringy, the same texture (although not quite as chewy) as spaghetti noodles. You just run your fork through it and it comes apart in strands. Here's how I ate mine:

-Cut squash in half (careful, it's hard to do)

-Scrap out the seeds

-Put in microwave safe dish with a bit of water in the bottom and put the squash facedown.

-Microwave until soft enough to easily prick with a knife. Mine took a good 10 mins or so. You could also bake it in the oven for 10-15 mins at 350. (Oil the baking sheet with EVOO).

-Put squash on a plate and smoother with home-made tomato sauce and sliced Asiago (mmmm) I put the cheese slices under the sauce so they melted right away.

This half of a squash was a fair size and I ate the WHOLE half! The best part was that since it is squash, it's not starchy like pasta, so I did not feel super full or stuffed. I saved the other half for another dinner.