Creamy Country Potato and Ham Soup

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1 Tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 cup matchstick carrots

4 potatoes, chopped in to 1/2 inch pieces

32 ounces chicken broth

2 cups ham, chopped

6 Tbsp butter

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup flour

1 cup half and half

1 cup milk

1 cup frozen peas

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

shredded cheddar cheese for topping

In a stock pot……

Heat olive oil, add onion and carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and chicken broth, turn heat to high and bring to a boil, let boil until potatoes are tender but not mushy. Stir in the ham.

In a Medium sauce pot……

Melt butter, stir in the garlic and saute for a minute or 2. Whisk in your flour and cook until thick. Slowly add half and half and milk, whisking constantly, until your mixture becomes thick. Stir your milk mixture into your stock pot potato mixture.

Stir your peas into your stock pot. Add cayenne pepper and black pepper. Heat until your peas are cooked through. Serve, sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and ENJOY!! 🙂

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Easy Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray one loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

3 ripe bananas

1/3 cup melted butter

1 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 lrg. Egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1-1/2 cup flour

In a medium bowl…..

Place bananas in your bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add melted butter and stir until combined. 

Add baking soda and salt, stir until combined.

Add sugar, egg and vanilla, stir until combined.

Finally, stir in the flour.

Pour into already prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. ENJOY!!:)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

3 cups broccoli florets, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup matchstick carrots

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 Tbsp butter

4 Tbsp flour

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

In a medium pot place the chicken broth, broccoli, diced onions, minced garlic and carrots. Bring to a boil and let boil stirring occasionally until veggies are tender about 7 minutes.

In a medium stock pot place butter and flour, whisking constantly on medium heat until butter is melted with flour (your roux).  Remove from heat and slowly pour your broccoli mixture into your butter/flour roux, mix well. Slowly add your heavy cream, place pot back on the stove on low, uncovered and let simmer. Once it has begun to simmer add your garlic and onion powder, nutmeg, cayenne and salt and pepper. stir till combined. While stirring constantly add your cheese.

Simmer on Low/Med for about 7 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve your soup with a little cheese sprinkled on top and a side of crackers and ENJOY.

Marinated Fontina Antipasto

1 wedge (about 1/2 lb) Fontina Cheese, cut into cubes

1/2lb fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes

1 cup pitted Italian Green olives

1 cup pitted taggiasca olives

1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered

4 cloves of garlic

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 pinch dried thyme

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

juice of half a lemon

juice of 1 orange

pinch of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve. Allow to marinate at least one day for best flavor. Serve with crackers, sour dough rounds or a fresh sliced baguette. Enjoy!!

 

Carrot Raisin Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line with parchment paper one 9 inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a small bowl combine

1-1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together

1 cup veggie oil

1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup molasses

3 eggs, room temperature

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined well.

Add

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup shredded carrots

Stir until combined well, Pour into already prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. ENJOY!! 🙂

 

Peppermint Crunch Macarons

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Makes about 30 macarons.

280 grams powdered sugar (1-1/4cup)

160 grams Almond Flour (3/4cup)

3 egg whites, room temperature

1 pinch cream of tater

1 pinch of salt

50 grams sugar (1/4cup)

1/2 tsp vanilla

In a blender or food processor add powdered sugar and almond flour, give it a spin until combined well. Remove from blender and sift into a medium bowl.

In bowl of mixer place ROOM TEMPERATURE egg whites and cream of tater, beat until frothy, slowly add sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks have formed.  Add have your almond flour and powdered sugar mixture to your egg whites and gently fold in until combined. Once combined add vanilla and the rest of your almond flour/powdered sugar mixture stirring gently until blended. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip.

On a piece of parchment paper trace 30- 1 inch circles, set parchment paper upside down (you do’t want the pencil to transfer to your cookies)  onto a baking tray. Pipe your mixture onto your circles, then smack your tray once or twice and the counter. Let your cookies rest now for 35 minutes on the counter.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, bake for 25 minutes or until firm to touch. Once baked let cool completely on baking tray.

Filling and Peppermint Crunch

1/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 tsp vailla

1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1 Tbsp milk

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

5-6 candy canes smashed into little bits (peppermint crunch)

Beat all the ingredients together till soft and creamy, Pipe onto your cooled cookies and sandwich second cookie on top, roll into peppermint crunch and enjoy. 🙂

 

BLTA Panzanella Salad

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Salad

8 pieces of bacon, uncooked

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped

1-1lb container grape tomatoes, halved

6 pieces sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 avocados, cut into cubes

Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar]

1 tsp honey

1 tsp dijon mustard

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

Cook bacon  in a skillet until crispy. Remove bacon and set on paper towels, set aside. Pour out bacon grease leaving about 1 Tbsp of bacon grease in the skillet. Add bread to skillet and toss to coat in bacon grease, crispy bread on medium heat, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

To a bowl add lettuce tomatoes and avocados. Crumble bacon and add to bowl. Add bread to salad bowl and toss.

In a small bowl add all of your dressing ingredients and whisk until combined.

Add dressing to your salad and toss. Let sit about 10 minutes before serving to let your bread soak up some dressing, serve and enjoy 🙂