thesoupfairy: (Default)
Immediately after dinner last night, we went to a friend's house for her birthday (for which I made this cake). I didn't have time to get these recipes posted, so here they are a tiny bit late. :)

Pesto-Topped Chicken Breasts

Delicious and tender and perfectly flavored! This takes just a tiny amount of pesto - most pesto recipes make pretty large quantities by comparison.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

  • cooking spray

  • 4 teaspoons pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.

Place pint nuts in food processor with S-blade. Pulse a few times. Add basil and pulse a few more times. Add garlic and pulse a few times again. Now, with processor running, add olive oil in a constant fine stream. Stop to scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.

Place chicken breasts in prepared casserole dish. Divide pesto evenly among chicken breasts, spreading on top of each. Cover dish with foil and bake 45 minutes.

When oven timer goes off, turn off the oven but leave the chicken in while you make the fettuccine.

Creamy Fettuccine

This is delicious and lovely for a light lunch all on its own, or as a side dish or even a vegetarian main dish.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 11 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2 pound fettuccine

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup ricotta

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 Roma tomato, diced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

  • 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, cut into ribbons

  • salt & pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine melted butter and ricotta. Add Parmesan and mix well. Toss with tomato, basil, and spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with drained but still hot pasta.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Brown Sugar Rum Cake

I just made this cake for a dear friend's birthday last night.

Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 55 minutes
Cool: 30 minutes or more
Servings: 12

  • cooking spray

  • 3 tablespoons flour for the pan

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened

  • 2-1/2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 2 tablespoons dark rum


Preheat oven to 350°F. Using cooking spray and 3 tablespoons flour, prepare 9-inch fluted Bundt/tube pan, using a pastry brush if necessary to coat pan well with flour.

Sift remaining flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer until creamy. Add brown sugar in 1/4-cupfuls, beating between additions. Continue beating 4-5 minutes, until light and loose. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture and evaporated milk, in small amounts, alternating between the two, until all incorporated. Add rum and stir until just mixed.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on countertop to release any air bubbles.

Bake 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Invert onto plate, loosening from sides of pan if necessary using a thin silicone spatula.

While cake is cooling, make Rum Glaze:

Rum Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dark rum


Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix together sugar and cornstarch and stir into butter. Pour in milk, cook and stir frequently until the mixture begins to boil. Continue cooking until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Pour over top of cake slowly.

You can also choose to pour the glaze over the cake while it is still in the pan, but wait until it's cooled and you're ready to invert the cake. Give the glaze a few minutes to run down the edges and soak into the cake, then invert onto plate.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Southwest Pork Loin

Tender, juicy, spicy, delicious! I've given both Crockpot and oven cooking directions.

My son and his girlfriend had theirs on buns with the rice on the side and a spoonful of the salsa inside the sandwich. The Spanish Rice recipe is here.

The seasoning mix that is rubbed on the roast before marinating is an excellent rub for steaks, too.

Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 2-4 hours
Cook: 6-8 hours
Servings: 6

  • 3-4 pound boneless pork loin

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon habañero powder (or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Cut pork loin in half if necessary so it will fit into your slow cooker. Combine lime juice and olive oil in large shallow bowl. Combine seasonings well and put half of them on a plate if you had to cut the roast in half. Roll one of the pork loin pieces in lime juice mixture, then in seasonings. Repeat with second piece. Place in bowl containing lime juice mixture and refrigerate 2-4 hours to marinate.

Place pork loin pieces in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until meat thermometer inserted in center of each piece registers at least 155 degrees and the meat is very tender.

If using oven, you can leave the roast whole so long as it will fit in your roasting pan. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place marinated roast in lightly oiled roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes per pound, or to about 155°F on a meat thermometer.

Let roast rest for 10 minutes. Remove to serving platter, discarding cooking juices.

Black Bean-Corn Salsa

Around my house, we call this "Veni's Salad". When I first created this, I envisioned it as a salad, and I still eat it that way sometimes, but honestly most everybody eats it with tortilla chips like a salsa. And it never lasts more than an hour or two.

Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1/3 cup lime juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • dash cayenne or habañero powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2-1 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained well

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed

  • 1-2 avocados, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

  • 5 green onions

  • 2 Anaheim chiles, diced

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced


Combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, salt, and cilantro in a jar. Shake to combine well; set aside.

Toss remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss again to coat.

You can serve it right away, but it's even better if you let it chill in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors blend. If you want to make up a big batch ahead of time, it'll keep in the fridge for a few days to a week, but you'll want to leave the avocado out and just add it right before serving.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Peppery Artichoke Pitas

These are my husband's favorite dinner - if I don't make them once a week, he complains I'm not making them often enough. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to keep the ingredients on hand all the time. The original recipe was vegetarian - but my husband thinks he needs meat at every meal. <grins> I've added other veggies in the past with great success - sliced fresh mushrooms, diced or sliced red bell pepper, sliced red onion, etc.

Sometimes we serve these all by themselves - there's protein, veggies, and bread. Sometimes with a pasta salad, coleslaw, or chips on the side. What would you serve them with?

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30-45 minutes if cooking the chicken, otherwise none
Servings: 4

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cook them as directed here or just use leftover ones, even canned chicken will work)

  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Spike or similar seasoning blend

  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed well and drained

  • 1 can quartered artichokes, rinsed well and drained

  • 1/2 cup torn spinach leaves

  • 1/4 cup creamy garlic or Caesar salad dressing

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 pita rounds


If you're using chicken and it's not already cooked, put your chicken breasts in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Add the bouillon, garlic powder, and Spike. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a high simmer, and cook until chicken is done in the middle and tender enough to shred easily.

Remove chicken from water and either dice or shred the chicken. In a large bowl, toss chicken with remaining ingredients except pitas. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and salad dressing.

Cut the top 1 to 1-1/2 inches off one of the pita rounds. Very gently open the pocket of bread. Dice the piece of pita you cut off. Spoon the salad into the pita, filling about halfway. Put in the diced pita pieces, then fill the rest of the way with salad. Repeat with each pita.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Mushrooms & Ravioli Alfredo

Hey, folks. This is creamy perfect comfort food for me. It's also ridiculously easy. This works as well with fresh pasta as with frozen, and it's lovely with tortellini, too.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 family-size package frozen ravioli

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped roughly

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sauté mushrooms in melted butter for a few minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté until mushrooms are golden. Add peas and stir for a couple of minutes until peas are softened. Remove sautéed veggies from pan.

Melt remaining butter in same saucepan. Whisk flour into butter, a little at a time, until smooth and golden and bubbling. Add cream, in very small amounts at first, whisking all the time. Add salt and pepper and continue whisking and tasting until the sauce is thick and creamy and tasty! Stir in Parmesan, then return vegetables to the pan and stir until well-mixed. Toss with pasta and serve.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Tuscan Baked Rigatoni

Creamy and delicious!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

  • 16-ounce package rigatoni

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound bulk turkey sausage (or use any bulk sausage you like)

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 cups torn fresh spinach leaves

  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 2 cups shredded Gouda

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease large casserole dish and set aside.

Put water on to boil for pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

While water is boiling, heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. (If using pork sausage you may not need any oil for this step.) Brown sausage in oil, stirring to break up. When sausage is about half-way cooked, add onions and garlic to the pan. Cook until all meat is browned and onions are tender. Add tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Stir in spinach, beans, and pine nuts. Cook until heated through. Stir in Gouda and pasta, toss to coat.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Turkey Normandy

This got great reviews from my son and his girlfriend! I served it with chocolate mousse.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 pound package egg noodles

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 3 cups peeled Fuji apples, thinly sliced (about 3 apples) - if you have a mandolin slicer or a food processor with a slicing blade, this will be quick and they'll be nice and uniform.

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1/4 cup apple juice

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, but please use fresh if at all possible!)

  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x13-inch casserole dish.

Cook noodles according to package directions. When noodles are done and drained, melt 1 tablespoon butter and toss with noodles. Set aside.

While noodles are cooking, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet. Add apples; cook and stir over medium heat 7-10 minutes or until tender. Remove apples from skillet.

Melt remaining tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium heat. Brown turkey in butter, stirring to break up meat. Stir in apple juice; cook 2 minutes. Stir in soup, green onions, sage, pepper and apple slices. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Spoon noodles into prepared casserole dish. Top with turkey mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until hot.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
I recommend preparing the burgers first, then returning them to the oven shortly before the fries are done if they need reheating.

Buffalo Slaw Burgers

Tangy, spicy, delicious!

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced cabbage or pre-cut coleslaw mix

  • 1/4 cup shredded apple

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery

  • 2-3 tablespoons bleu cheese dressing

  • 3 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce (Tabasco, Frank's, etc.)

  • 2 teaspoons ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted

  • 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

  • 4 lettuce leaves

  • 4 hamburger buns


In a small bowl, combine slaw ingredients. In another small bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the burger ingredients. Shape into four burgers.

Preheat broiler. Broil burgers 6 inches from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F and juices run clear, basting occasionally with reserved sauce. Serve on lettuce-lined buns; top each with 2-3 tablespoons slaw and sprinkle with remaining green onions.

Sweet Potato Fries

It's hard to get sweet potato fries crisp, even if you deep-fry them. These are made in the oven but they are pretty crisp outside, steamy sweet inside. A nice combination.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1-1/3 cups finely grated Parmesan

  • 4 smallish sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and cut into wedges


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour and seasonings. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of water. Place the Parmesan on a sheet of waxed paper or in another shallow bowl.

Dip the sweet potato wedges first in the flour mixture, shaking off excess. Then dip each wedge into the egg white mixture until coated. Finally, dip the sweet potato in the Parmesan, pressing the exposed flesh of the potato into the cheese. (Don't worry if some gets on the potato skin.) Arrange potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet as you go.

Bake potatoes until tender and crisp, about 25 minutes. Serve sprinkled with more salt if desired.
thesoupfairy: (coffee 2)
Okay, I admit it: I don't always eat breakfast. Most days, I get up early to make my husband's espresso and get him out the door for school, and by the time he's gone and I've checked my email and made my to-do list for the day, I've already been up for several hours. About then my body starts begging for food, but I usually opt for leftovers from dinner the night before. I don't drink coffee every day - it can wreak havoc with my bipolar cycles - but I didn't get much sleep last night and I start a new session of classes today, so I needed it! Also, there were absolutely no leftovers from last night's dinner!

I've already covered espresso here, so I won't do that again. For something approximating latte (yeah, I know, it's not microfoam!), heat your milk or half & half in the microwave or in a saucepan. DON'T BOIL! Put in a jar, cap and shake well. Remove cap (carefully!) and pour the foamy milk into your coffee.

Sunny Morning Cereal

This is a great way to start your day. It has complex carbohydrates (if you use a whole-grain cereal) and protein for long-term energy, and will fill your belly and keep you feeling full for a good while.

This morning I made this cereal with Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Hot Cereal, but you can use pretty much any hot cooked cereal - Cream of Wheat/Rice, Malt-O-Meal, any of the Bob's cereals. I don't recommend it with oatmeal, but that's just me.

This makes one large serving.

Cook: 4 minutes
Servings: 1

  • cereal

  • 1-2 eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit

  • sweetener and milk or half & half to taste


Cook cereal according to package directions, whisking in egg(s), vanilla, and fruit shortly after stirring cereal into boiling water. Sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener (I like turbinado sugar or honey) and add a splash (or more) of milk or half & half.

thesoupfairy: (chili)
Chicken Tortilla Soup

I'll be putting this in the crockpot in a few hours. I'm willing to bet that my husband and son will eat a bowl right after school, and another for dinner!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Servings: 8

  • 4 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups water + 4 chicken bouillon cubes

  • 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed

  • 1 can (14ish ounces) diced tomatoes or tomato puree

  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles ("Ro-Tel")

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

  • 8 white or yellow corn tortillas (6 inch size), cut into 1/4-inch strips


In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add chicken and reduce to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes. While chicken is simmering, assemble remaining ingredients (except tortillas) in large slow cooker.

Remove chicken from broth, allow to cool enough to handle, and dice. Measure broth and add water if necessary to return to 4 cups. Add broth and chicken to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the tortilla strips on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes; turn. Bake 5 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf from soup. Serve with tortilla strips.
thesoupfairy: (steak)

This basic marinade can be altered by changing the spices and herbs. This is how I made it today. Chuck eye is similar to ribeye, almost as tender and slightly less expensive. Choose bright red meat with nice white marbling. Choose a steak less than 1-1/4 inches thick, especially if broiling, because thicker steaks will not get warm in the middle before the outside is done.

Tamari is real soy sauce - most cheap soy sauce is a sad wheat-based imitation. Go for the real deal if you can.

Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 4+ hours
Cook: 6-14 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4 chuck-eye steaks

  • 1-2 teaspoons steak seasoning blend (today I used Spicy Montreal Steak blend)

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced


Combine all ingredients but the steaks, stir well, pour over steaks in a shallow dish. Let stand to marinate in the fridge for at least four hours.

Bring steaks to room temperature in marinade (about half an hour on the countertop should do it). This is very important because it gives the inside of the steak a better chance to cook before the outside gets done.

If you've got a grill, by all means fire it up! If you're working with an oven broiler like I am, preheat the broiler.

A broiler pan will let the fat that renders off your steaks have someplace to go - fat is good, for sure, but if your steak sits in it, it will cause the steak to burn. If you don't have a broiler pan, you can use a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet, but you may want to move the steak to a different spot with less fat as you cook it.

So you start off with your steaks on the grill or on a broiler pan about 4 inches from the heat. Cook on first side, turning once the top starts to look done. After turning, you'll cook for about the same length of time as the first side. You can watch the edges of the meat to see how done it's getting: when the edges go from red to pink, the inside is probably moving from rare to medium-rare; when the edges go from pink to brown, the inside is probably moving to medium. Another good way to tell is to test the "fleshiness" of the steak - pinch the muscle between your index finger and thumb. That's what a steak cooked to medium feels like. If you like your steaks rare or medium-rare, you want to stop cooking the steak when it's softer than that. Don't cut into the steak to test doneness unless you absolutely have to - this lets valuable juices escape.

When you think it's done enough, remove the broiler pan from the oven and test for doneness again. When it's done to your liking, it is totally not time to eat it! Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes - until it stops steaming and the juices stop running off - before serving.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Everybody's favorite. Cook and chop a couple of slices of bacon to add if you like.

Cook: 60-90 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4 baking potatoes

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick)

  • 1/4 cup milk, half & half, or heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Scrub potatoes. Bake for 60-75 minutes in a 375°F oven - check for doneness by squeezing gently. The potato flesh should have a bit of give to it when it's done.

Cut top one-third off potatoes. Scrape potato flesh from cut-off tops into a bowl. Scoop potato flesh out of skins carefully, leaving a 1/4" thick wall so skins stay intact. Heat butter and milk/cream until butter is melted. (This is ALWAYS the key to great mashed potatoes!) Mash potato with remaining ingredients, reserving a bit of cheese to top. Fill potato skins with mashed potatoes and top with reserved cheddar.

Return to oven until browned on top - turn on the broiler if you like to better brown the top.

Tonight's Spinach Salad

Prep: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

  • 4 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves, stems removed if necessary

  • 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thinly

  • 6 fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly

  • 1/4 cup tamari

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider, white, balsamic, rice, whatever you like)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced thinly


Rub entire inner surface of serving bowl with cut side of garlic clove. Toss spinach, onion, and mushrooms in bowl. (Thinly sliced red bell pepper is also lovely in this salad, but my local grocery store didn't have any while I was there this week.)

Place tamari, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a jar, cover, and shake well. Toss with salad and top with egg slices.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
This is my family's favorite dinner. Easy-peasy, too.

Sour Cream Chicken

The original recipe that inspired this came from my ex-husband's grandmother, who made it with pork chops. It's good that way, too.

Cook: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups water + 2 bouillon cubes)

  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning (to taste)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 8 oz container sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons flour


Bring stock to a boil in large heavy skillet with good lid. Add lemon pepper and chicken breasts. Lower heat to a high simmer and cook, covered, 30 minutes.

Carefully remove chicken from skillet. Check for doneness (juices run clear when pierced to center of breast), simmer longer if needed.

Stir flour into sour cream until uniformly blended. Whisk into simmering broth until smooth. Continue whisking a few minutes until sauce begins to thicken nicely.

Return chicken breasts to sauce and simmer 10 more minutes, uncovered.

Glazed Carrots

So delicious. Like candy, really.

Cook: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound carrots (baby, left whole or regular, scrubbed or peeled and chopped)


Combine butter, water, and brown sugar in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until butter and sugar melt. Add carrots and simmer 25 minutes or until carrots are softened and liquid is mostly evaporated.

Garlic Couscous

Israeli couscous (ptitim) is my preference over other types of couscous. It's larger and has a lovely texture.

Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups water + 2 chicken bouillon cubes)

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1-1/2 cups Israeli couscous

  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole

  • Bragg's Liquid Aminos or salt to taste

  • olive oil


Bring broth and pepper to a boil. Meantime toast couscous slightly in a dry skillet until it smells nutty. Add couscous and garlic to boiling broth, lower heat slightly, and boil 10 minutes or to desired texture.

Drain if liquid hasn't all been absorbed. Rinse if desired. Stir in Bragg's or salt and olive oil to taste.
thesoupfairy: (garlic)
This was my contribution to my family potluck tonight.

Maka's Perfect Pot Roast

This feeds a crowd. If you don't have a crowd to feed, you can dice the leftovers, add a bit of water, and simmer it into hash.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 9 hours
Servings: 10

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled but left whole

  • 4-6 potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and cut into chunks

  • 4 carrots, peeled or scrubbed and cut into chunks

  • 4 celery stalks, cut into chunks

  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (4 pounds), cut into quarters

  • 2 cup espresso or very strong coffee

  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup cold water


Place the vegetables in the bottom of crockpot, tossing to mix. Arrange roast pieces on top of vegetables. Combine coffee and tamari, pour over roast.

Cover and cook on low heat for 9 hours.

Remove roast and vegetables to serving platter with a slotted spoon.

Strain solids from cooking liquid and pour into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk into boiling liquid, and keep at a high simmer while whisking until thickened.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Country-Style Turkey (or Pork) Tenderloin

Fall-apart tender meat with a rich gravy, and my house has smelled amazing all day while it cooked in the Crockpot. Serve it with mashed potatoes and your favorite simply steamed vegetable.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 8

  • 1 package (1-1/2 to 2 lbs) turkey breast tenderloins or pork tenderloin

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup cold water


If your tenderloin is not already in two pieces, cut it in half. In a large zipper bag combine flour, garlic, mustard, and pepper. Add meat, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker and pour broth over. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F. Remove meat and keep warm.

Strain cooking juices. If you don't have 2-1/2 cups, add more chicken broth to make that amount. Bring to a boil in a saucepan. Combine cornstarch and cold water, stirring until smooth. Whisk into boiling broth and continue whisking at a high simmer until thickened.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Coconut Curry Chicken

Rave reviews!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 6

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 Anaheim chili pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1-1/2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 chicken bouillon cube

  • 4 teaspoons curry powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 3 cups water

  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked white or brown rice

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 tablespoon flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

  • raisins or cranberries and/or chopped peanuts to garnish


Toss potatoes, onion, celery, peppers, and garlic together in a large slow cooker. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown chicken on all sides.

Transfer to slow cooker. In a glass measuring cup, heat coconut milk and bouillon cube in microwave, 2-4 minutes, until bouillon cube begins to dissolve. Whisk in curry, salt, and pepper; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan with a good lid. Add rice and lower heat to the lowest possible simmer. Cover immediately, and do not uncover or stir until the timer goes off: 15 minutes for white rice, 40-45 minutes for brown rice. Remove from heat, uncover, and fluff rice with a fork.

Meanwhile, a few minutes before rice is ready, remove chicken and vegetables from slow cooker to serving platter with a slotted spoon. Pour cooking liquid off into a measuring cup with a pour spout. Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in flour a very small amount at a time, continuing to whisk to a smooth paste. Add a very small amount of chicken cooking liquid, whisking constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Continue adding liquid in small amounts and whisking until all liquid has been incorporated and sauce is thick and smooth.

Serve chicken and sauce with rice; garnish with green onions, raisins or cranberries, coconut, and peanuts.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Spaghetti Not-Quite-Bolognese

My real Bolognese Sauce recipe is in my cookbook. This was just something I cooked up today because it was lunchtime and I was hungry and out of leftovers. If you want to put in a little extra effort, you can dice and sauté any number of veggies while browning the meat - onions, celery, and carrots are particularly nice.

Prep: Nada (unless you have to defrost the meat)
Cook: 15-20 minutes
Servings: probably 6

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease

  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, turkey, whatever)

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 cup beer

  • 1 cup heavy cream, half & half, or milk

  • 1 tall can Hunt's spaghetti sauce, whatever flavor you like

  • salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste


Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Meanwhile, melt bacon grease in big pot and brown meat in the hot bacon grease. Add garlic just before meat is done and cook briefly. Increase heat to moderately high and add beer. Cook, stirring often, until beer has evaporated. Stir in cream and repeat. Stir in sauce and seasonings and cook until thick and bubbly. Serve over cooked spaghetti or toss together.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
We're having leftovers for dinner tonight since it's just my husband and me tonight and I made plenty of pasta last night.

But it was time for me to make rat food. Yes, my family has pet rats. Several of you have heard me mention that I make their food, and have asked for more details.

First of all, the reason I make their food. Rats have incredibly short lifespans. The average pet rat has a lifespan of just 2-3 years. They are delightful little furry people, with very distinct personalities, and we want to feed them as well as possible so they spend more time healthy and so we get to enjoy them as long as we can.

Okay, so. This recipe makes enough food for 2 weeks for my 4 young adult rats. I freeze 3/4 of the recipe and thaw as needed. Store the part you'll use within a few days in the fridge in an airtight container. You'll have to experiment with your ratties to figure out how much they need. I feed twice a day, morning and evening, and I try to feed just the right amount so that everything gets eaten before the next feeding.

Please note that the original post on which I based this recipe is here. All I've really done is customize this to my own little ratties, and develop a way of making it that is easy for me.

This takes a while. Expect to spend at least an hour making it. I find it quite meditative. Even when I'm not feeling like cooking, I can get into making this! It's pretty mindless, so I can let my mind go blank and just chop and mix.

Happy Rattie Food

  • 32 blueberries

  • 8 kale leaves, finely chopped

  • 1/2 container sprouts, chopped

  • 1 can beans (pinto, red, black, garbanzo, etc.), rinsed and drained

  • 1 banana, finely chopped

  • 2 broccoli crowns, stems and florets, chopped

  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, baked (microwave 6 minutes) and diced

  • 8 grapes, chopped or 1/4 cup raisins

  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups chopped bok choy or Napa cabbage

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

  • 2 tablespoons corn kernels

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh apple

  • 2 slices beef liver, cooked and chopped finely

  • 1 summer squash (6-8" long), finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup green peas

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or 1/2 cup fresh or frozen)

  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped


When you start, put the liver on to boil, and put the sweet potatoes in the microwave.

How you put this together depends on your rats. Some rats will decide they don't like certain fruits or veggies and will just pick and choose which bits to eat. (One of my rats refused to eat the liver pieces.) For those rats, you may find it works best to put all of your fruits, veggies, and liver through a food processor and then mix the resultant paste with the second bunch of ingredients (see below). For rats who are less picky, try just chopping the items above as indicated and then mixing them with the ones below.

  • 1-1/2 cups Total breakfast cereal, crushed

  • 2 lbs soft tofu, crumbled

  • 3000 mg calcium

  • 4000 mcg chromium picolinate

  • 500 mcg vitamin B-12

  • 80 mg manganese

  • 3 tablespoons raw shelled sunflower seeds

  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds

  • 9 tablespoons oats

  • 3 tablespoons pearled barley

  • 3 tablespoons millet

  • 6 tablespoons cooked brown rice

  • 8 tablespoons wheat germ

  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 4 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

Combine all ingredients, mixing very well. If any of your vitamins/supplements are in tablet form, you can drop them in with your rice while it's cooking to help dissolve them. Capsules should be opened and the powder added to the mixture. Discard the empty capsules.

Once this mixture is done and the fruit/veggie mixture is done, combine the two and store.

Good snacks for your ratties, all chosen for specific rat health benefits, in addition to this diet (be sure that you don't feed them extras until after they've eaten their meal/s for the day):

  • celery

  • avocado

  • prunes

  • peeled and rinsed oranges VERY IMPORTANT! An oil on the outside of citrus fruits is correlated to cancer in male rats

  • garlic

  • raspberries

  • onions

  • strawberries

  • dates

  • ginger

  • popcorn (popped but unsalted/unbuttered)

  • dark chocolate

  • pasta
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Pasta with Peas and Bacon

Creamy and delicious, and my family loves it!

Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 24 ounces bow-tie pasta

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 12 oz bacon, julienned

  • 1/4 cup chopped onions

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped roughly

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • salt and pepper


Prepare pasta according to package directions, dropping peas into the cooking water just before draining.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel to drain. Pour off all the bacon grease except 1 tablespoon. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden. Add cream and simmer until slightly thickened. Add bacon and Parmesan to sauce.

After draining pasta, toss with bacon cream sauce, adjust seasonings.


Apr. 5th, 2010 03:21 pm
thesoupfairy: (desserts)
I attempted to make flan yesterday, and learned an important lesson:

Make Flan The Day Before!!!!

The cook time varies and this really is kind of an all-day project. Not having enough time to cook, cool, and chill the flan can mean your flan turns out to be a flop.


While flan is not really difficult to make, it requires you to read the recipe carefully, have everything ready when you get started, and planning ahead to give yourself plenty of time!

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30-60 minutes
Chill: 4 hours or longer
Servings: 6-8

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (or 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice)

  • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • pinch of salt


Have ready a glass pan to use as your flan mold. You can use a round flan mold, but i use a glass loaf pan and it works great. You can also use individual ramekins. You'll also need a large roasting pan, large enough for your mold to fit into with enough space around it to pour the hot water in without splashing it into the flan, and deep enough that the hot water will come at least half-way up the side of the mold.

To make the caramel:

Combine 1 cup of the sugar and the water in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar begins to melt. Swirl the pan over the heat until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color, about 10 minutes; don't stir with a spoon unless you must! Remove from heat and immediately add the lemon juice, swirl the pan again to combine, and then pour into the flan mold. Tilt the dish so that the caramel evenly coats the bottom and a bit up the sides. Place in roasting pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bring a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath and keep it hot.

Combine the cream, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the cream to a brief simmer, stirring occasionally. Take care not to let the cream come to a full boil.

In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the whole eggs and the yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar; add a pinch of salt. Whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Temper the egg mixture by gradually whisking in the hot cream mixture; don't add it too quickly or the eggs will cook. Pass the mixture through a strainer into a large measuring cup to ensure that the flan will be perfectly smooth. Pour the custard into the caramel-coated mold.

To create the water bath:

Pour the hot (not boiling) water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the mold; be careful not to get water into the custard. Carefully transfer to the middle oven rack and bake for 30-60 minutes, until the custard is barely set and just jiggles slightly. Let the flan cool in the water bath, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (If you're doing individual ramekins, they can chill a much shorter time - perhaps an hour or so.

When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a dessert plate on top of the flan and invert to pop it out.
thesoupfairy: (spices)
Creamy Chicken Pasta

My casserole-hating son liked it!!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Bake: 35 minutse
Servings: 8

  • canola oil cooking spray

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & cubed

  • 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 bag frozen cut spinach (not the kind that's frozen into a brick)

  • 1 pound extra-wide egg noodles or other similarly sized/shaped pasta

  • 1 can mushroom pieces and stems

  • 2 eggs

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 8 oz Swiss cheese, grated

  • 8 oz sour cream

  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan


If your chicken breasts aren't cooked yet, you can simmer them in water for about 30-40 minutes or wrap them in foil and bake them at 350°F for 45 minutes. (The latter will make them more tender.) This is not included in the times posted at the beginning of the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9x13" casserole dish with cooking spray.

Put water on to boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Stir frozen spinach into cooking water just before draining noodles.

While water is coming to a boil, heat oil in skillet and sauté onion, red pepper, and garlic until onions are translucent. Stir together diced chicken, onion-pepper mixture, noodles & spinach, and mushrooms.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Stir in grated Swiss and sour cream. Mix well with the chicken-noodle-veggie mixture.

Spread in prepared casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.

Heat broiler. Remove foil, sprinkle top with Parmesan, and place under broiler until Parmesan is bubbly.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
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October 2012

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