Sunday, February 28, 2010

Golden Mushroom Soup

Not too long ago, Dick and I went to a phenomenal local restaurant called Roosters. It's a brewery on Historic 25th Street here in good old Ogden, and we love it! Not for the spirits they brew, but rather for the grub. On this particular visit, we both got their Golden Mushroom Soup for our appetizers. I chose this because I thought it sounded delicious, but also it sounded a little magical. It ended up being both! We couldn't stop talking about it for days, so I ended up searching online for a recipe I thought might be comparable....and I found one! It was light and just a little creamy, but not like it came out of a can. And just the right amount of spice - it really has a great KICK to it! It didn't take long to make, and we both loved it. Which is saying a lot since we had such high expectations built up in our minds from our first experience! Dick has pretty much said since I met him that he "doesn't like mushrooms," but I'm pretty sure he's converted now. You will be, too, once you give this a try!
Golden Mushroom Soup

2 Tbsp. butter
1 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. white wine (I used chicken stock)
1 lb. mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 1/2 tsp. dried dill
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 c. vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 c. milk (I used skim w/ great results!)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt to taste
heat butter in a large pot, add the onions. cook over medium heat, until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown, ~7 min.
add white wine to pot. add mushrooms and spices. slightly lower the heat, cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
add the soy sauce and stock. cover and simmer about 10 minutes.
in a separate small pan, mix the 1 Tbsp. butter and flour to form a thick paste. cook, stirring constantly, for 1 min. then mix in the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until steamy and slightly thickened.
add milk mixture and lemon juice to the soup. stir well, and serve.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TWD Honey Wheat Cookies...Tasteful yet tacky.

Let's get one thing straight, ok. When I say tacky, it has nothing to do with the cookies or the recipe. Just the blogger/baker of the cookies herself. I loooooove being in the Tuesdays With Dorie club! I'm not gonna lie, being a TWD Baker makes me feel a little special, and I always look forward to trying something I've never made before. Sadly though, this club has done nothing to thwart my bad habits of procrastination and occasional laziness. I admit there have been a few recipes I have made a few days, or even a week in advance, and been totally prepared to post without feeling rushed or the least bit stressed. But there have also been weeks where I wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning to make a recipe before I go to work! This week I did pretty good on the timing, but that's where the laziness kicked it. I put these delicious cookies away in storage bags before I remembered to take pictures for my post...and that is why there are shiny, non-photogenic ziplock bags in these very professional-looking pics.
Honey Wheat Cookies
Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
click HERE for recipe
Please don't judge me. Try to look past the plastic to the soft, lemon-y, fabulous cookies! The dough was quick and easy to make, and I could fit 20 cookies on a sheet at a time so it didn't take long to cook them either. I ended up with 40 cookies, by the way. The wheat germ coating made them taste healthier than they probably are, but it sure makes ya feel a little better as you swallow the last bite of your 4th helping. They're not too rich, and not too gooey...they're just right! You can visit Flourchild for the complete recipe.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

#1: The Time Traveler's Wife...and our Valentine's Dinner Tradition

Want to know the secret ingredient for our "Recipe of LOVE" on Valentine's Day? It's a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's. We've gotten one for our Valentine's dinner for the past 3 years, and it's one of our favorite holiday traditions (we also enjoy their jack-o-lantern pizza at Halloween). It's delicious, it's cheap, and it's super low-maintenance...what more could you ask for? Our first V-Day together, we actually went out and endured the circus at the restaurants and movie theaters, but every year since then we've celebrated a day early and then done our own pizza dinner, some delicious chocolatey dessert, and a movie at home. One year, the most horrid of all Valentine's Days, Dick dropped the pizza on his way into the house, but I put it back together, and it still tasted fantastic!

It was on that very Valentine's Day that Dick learned that this holiday is so NOT a joke. I made him a Candy-Gram poster that was very cute, and got him an awesome guitar balloon, and put them in our room for him to find when he got home from work. When he got home and saw them, he realized he'd forgotten to get me anything. So he rushed out, and thinking he was brilliant, made me the absolute worst Candy-Gram poster in the history of candy-grams! You can compare the two below. Decide for yourself. As far as I'm concerned, anything with bright red Crocs taped to it, or having anything to do with Quigley Down Under (the worst movie ever!) is not an acceptable Valentine.

Luckily, he got the message when I stopped laughing after I found out that it was my real Valentine. This year, he gave me my new favorite romantic movie: The Time Traveler's Wife. That's what I call progress, people. I love you, baby!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

White Chicken Chili w/ #3: The Notebook AND #2: Stardust

Alright, so I know I've done like a million chicken recipes this week, but they've all been knock-outs, so no complaining allowed! It was pure luck that I came across this one. Pure luck, I say! I love Rachael Ray, but I don't usually watch her show because I'm at work when she's on, but one day a few weeks ago I caught her show...LUCK. On this particular show, she looked back at her Top 10 Downloaded Recipes from 2009, and this was one of them. Don't worry, there are about 5 more that I'll be trying and sharing real soon! And just to let you know how good this chili is, Dick professed it to be his all-time favorite chili. You might be thinking, "But he's the kind of guy who will eat anything...and mix anything for that matter!" In fact, he ordered a Mint-Peanut Butter milkshake once, and just like I told him it would, it tasted horrible! But now I'm getting off-track! Anyway, I took it to a Girls' Night In at MJ's house, and they loved it, too. So you can see that this is a chili that crosses barriers, and appeals to cavemen-like husbands and girlfriends alike. I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did!

White Chicken Chili
From Mandi Forrester on the Rachael Ray Show

1 32 oz. box chicken stock (low sodium)
3 cans white beans, undrained (I drained & rinsed mine because I couldn't stomach not to and it still worked great!)
5 c. cooked chicken, rotisserie or boiled, shredded
16 oz. of your favorite salsa
1 8 oz. block pepper jack cheese, grated
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
black or white pepper to taste
1/2 c. finely crushed corn chips (optional, if you like your chili thicker)
sour cream for garnish
Place all ingredients, except the corn chips in a pot on the stove over med-high heat until the cheese is melted. When the chili is melted, add the crushed corn chips, if using, and simmer for 10 min. to thicken. Garnish with more chips, cheese, and sour cream if desired.

#3: The Notebook

Do I really even have to tell you why I chose this movie? I'm not going to. If you haven't seen it, you are seriously missing out! It's a classic...even though it's only5 years old.

#2: Stardust

At first glance, this one might not look like a romantic movie, but it is! Sure, there's a lot of other stuff to enjoy - it's a super fantasy! - but the best part, by far, is the love story. I love it because it's just really different (not the weird or crazy kind of different), but still gives me what I want out of a romance. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sweet-Spicy Chicken & #4 My Fair Lady

I have an early Valentine for's a little sweet, and a little spicy...just the way you like it, right?! Haha don't get all hot and bothered, it's just some crock-pot chicken! It's pretty freakin amazing chicken, though. This is one of the simplest and most delicious recipes I've ever made, and one of my go-to dishes. This is one of Dick's regular requests, which is awesome because we can use it for multiple dinners, and I'm always thrilled because it lasts us a few days. We usually do things in this order: Day 1 - chicken tacos, Day 2 - chicken quesadillas, Day 3 - rice bowls or salad w/ whatever left-over chicken we have. I got it from my all-time fave food blog Prudence Pennywise. Like the chicken, she's amazing, and pretty much my hero. So, I hope you enjoy your yummy Valentine!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken in the Crock Pot

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
1/3 c. brown sugar
1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1. spray the inside of your crock pot with non-stick spray.
2. put all of the ingredients in the crock pot, and give it a little stir.
3. Cook on Low 6-8 hrs, or high 3-4 hrs.
4. About 3o minutes before serving, shred the chicken with two forks, and let sit to absorb moisture.
5. Dig in!

The movie part of your romantic evening will be the classic My Fair Lady with the one and only Audrey Hepburn. This movie is so sweet and funny. I have to admit that I don't really like Professor Higgins (I think he's arrogant and kind of a dirtbag!), but it's still a wonderful movie! The music is great, and there are some parts that just kind of make me giddy - like in both of these songs it takes me back to when Dick and I were first dating and I felt like I could just float away at the very thought of him! SIGH...I had to share my two fave scenes from the movie (notice that neither of them has the good old Professor haha).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup...and #5 is Sleepless in Seattle

I signed up for these emails from Prevention Magazine for work because sometimes they have good health articles in them that I can print for clients (which is why I have over 1500 messages in my "Wellness Folder!"), but more often than saving good articles I save the yummy recipes they send. This is one of those. We pretty much loved it - flavor was awesome! - but I'll be shredding the chicken next time...I just wasn't in love with random chunks of chicken, and it made the onions stick out MAJOR which I'm just not a huge fan of, unless I'm eating French Onion Soup. Anyway, I hope you love it as much as we did!

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
From Prevention Magazine
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno chili peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5 oz. cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. fat free sour cream
1/3 c. fresh cilantro
4 oz. reduced fat tortilla chips
1. In a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes (with juice), black pepper, chili powder, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Process to a smooth, thick consistency and set aside.
2. Warm the oil in a large pot over med-high heat. When hot, cook the onion, jalapeno, and garlic, stirring frequently until the onion is translucent. Reduce heat to low, add the tomato mixture, chicken, and broth, and simmer uncovered 15 min.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water until a smooth paste forms. Add to the soup and raise the temp. if necessary to keep the soup just barely boiling. Simmer for 5 min.
4. Remove from heat, add the sour cream, and stir until well blended. Stir in the cilantro, garnish with tortilla chips and serve.

Just so you know, this is not really my #5 favorite romantic movie - it's actually higher! Don't ask me why I'm putting them in this order, I couldn't tell you, it's mostly just by mood. I searched and searched for my favorite clip of the movie (the one where Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnel are watching An Affair to Remember, and they are crying and quoting every line), but couldn't. So I figured the trailer would kinda capture all the best scenes...except for that one. Also note that when I watch this movie, I pretty much look just like they do in that scene. I can quote every line, and I get a little teary-eyed. If you haven't seen this movie, then where the heck have you been?! It was made in 1993, for crying out loud - get on the ball! Enjoy your dinner and a movie!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TWD: Brownies for Julia...SINFULLY gooey for Moulin Rouge!

I have to be honest, when I read the recipe - that you can find in full by clicking here at Chocolatechic - and it said that these brownies would be gooey, I didn't really believe it. But let me tell you, I will never call Dorie Greenspan a liar again! When that lady says "gooey" she means business. I've never been shy or ashamed of the fact that my favorite brownies come from a little red box with Betty Crocker's name on it - they are rich and fudgey, and I just love 'em! Plus, my love for them has grown leaps and bounds over the years as I've tasted dry & cakey homemade brownie after dry & cakey homemade brownie. If I wanted cake, I'd ask for cake...sorry...but not really. You know it's true. Anyway, I actually cooked these about 7 minutes longer than the recipe called for because I was worried they weren't really cooked. Also note, Ms. Greenspan isn't joking when she says these babies are delicate - you for sure have to wait for them to cool (some of my TWD pals even put them in the fridge and freezer to set them up a bit more!) before you cut them. If you're itching for some ooey gooey chocolatey goodness, this recipe will sweep you off your feet (it may even make you curl your toes!).
Rick Katz's Brownies For Julia
Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

You know what would be a perfect companion to these sinfully divine brownies? A romantic movie, of course! My #6 on the countdown to Valentine's Day is Moulin Rouge - which if you've seen the movie you know is "sinfully" good, just like these brownies, because Nicole Kidman plays, well, a prostitute. If you've never seen it before, don't let that scare you out of watching it! If you like musicals, you'll love it. If you like chick-flicks or romance, you'll love it. If you don't love it, we can still be friends, but we just won't be able to enjoy singing the soundtrack at the top of our lungs in the car together (which is what my oldest best friend Jackie and I did all through high school!). Love love love it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

cOuNt DoWn to VaLeNtInEs: #7 Return to Me - my Italian Roots w/ Chicken Tetrazzini

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I've decided to do a little countdown this week...each day you'll get a recipe and a clip of one of my all-time favorite romantic movies to help get you in the mood. Even though I've not always had a valentine on this Day of Love, I've always been a fan of the holiday. Okay, so maybe not the actual holiday because those years without a date or boyfriend really sucked, but at least the idea of the holiday. And let me tell you, just because you get married does NOT mean that the rest of your Valentine's Days will be roses and chocolates (I'll catch you up later this week hahaha!), but if you have a good sense of humor (which is a must when you're married anyway), a good romantic comedy and some yummy food can make just about any love disaster at least a little bit better. Yep, I've always lived my life vicariously through movies, and I'm not about to quit now. If you haven't seen Return to Me you have to Netflix it pronto! It will make you laugh (so much!), maybe cry, and definitely leave you feeling the lovey dovey butterflies. Love love love it, and I hope you do, too!

Well, this recipe has been a long time coming, my friends. Truly. This was the very first recipe that I ever looked up on the internet and dared to make with my own two very inexperienced hands. This is the one that started what some may call my cooking obsession. And I may be going a little overboard, but I'm just going to say it anyway, this recipe changed my life. I'd seen Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis a few times before, but when I saw her make this, I just had to try it. I remember the thinking, "It doesn't look that hard." And I also remember that it took me FOREVER to make hahaha! It was my first time using fresh garlic, and my first time making a roue with butter and flour. Oh, the memories. This was the first time I mustered up the courage to seriously step out of my comfort zone in the kitchen - before then everything had been frozen, prepackaged, or a casserole. Anyway, we loved it the first time, and this time it was just as good, except that I forgot to add the peas. But still, it was fun going back to my cooking roots with this delicious Chicken Tetrazzini!

Chicken Tetrazzini
From Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network
9 Tbsp butter (I only used 5)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 c. dry white wine, or chicken broth
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
4 c. whole milk (I used skim w/ good results)
1 c. heavy whipping cream, room temp.
1 c. chicken broth
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
12 oz. linguine
3/4 c. frozen peas
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley leaves, or 1 Tbsp dried
1 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. dried Italian-style bread crumbs
1. preheat oven to 450.
2. spread 1 Tbsp butter over a 13x9x2-inch baking dish (I just used my oven-safe deep skillet). Melt 1 Tbsp each of butter and oil in a large deep nonstick frying pan over med-high heat. Sprinkle chicken w/ half tsp each of salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook until pale golden and just cooked through, about 4 min. each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool slightly. Coarsely shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and into a large bowl.
3. Meanwhile, add 1 Tbsp. each of butter and oil to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over med-high heat until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms become pale golden, about 12 min. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 min. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 min. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl w/ the chicken.
4. Melt 3 more Tbsp butter in the same pan over med-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 min. Whisk in the milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, remaining 1 3/4 tsp. salt and remaining 3/4 tsp. pepper. Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 min.
5. Cook pasta as directed, only until tender, but still firm to the bite.
6. Add the linguine, sauce, peas, and parsley to the chicken mixture. Toss until sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is well-blended.
7. Transfer back to the deep oven-safe skillet, or to the prepared baking dish. Stir the cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the pasta. Dot w/ remaining 3 Tbsp. of butter (I didn't do this, and it was still awesome!). Bake uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25 min.

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