Monthly Archives: December 2011

Welcome Back

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Sorry for the slight disappearing act, I kept starting this post and then life would get in the way again.  I think I have finally finished my holiday shopping and now if my wonderful cold will go away I can enjoy the rest of the month!  I have been testing and playing with some new recipes lately, but things keep falling short of my goal.  I’m just gonna blame it all on my cold and hope that once I’m feeling back to normal my recipes will start cooperating again.  Until then I’m reworking tried and true recipes which are working the way they should.  This recipe is a rework of my Broccoli Carrot Soup, which I posted to Recipe52 many moons ago.  Essentially it’s a hardy Broccoli soup that’s low on the cream but high on the warm and filling which is essential this time of year.  As an added bonus it can easily be converted to a Slow Cooker which is also great this time of year when the To-Do list is never ending but the days are never ending.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Serves: 5


2 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, diced

2 leeks, diced

1.5 lb broccoli florets, rough cut

2 cups low sodium vegetable stock, divided

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup half & half

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and leek and cook 5minutes until garlic begins to brown.
  2. Add the broccoli and cook about 5minutes, broccoli should be soft and starting to wilt. Add the vegetable stock cover and simmer for 20minutes.
  3. Remove the cover and use an immersion blender to puree the broccoli until desired thickness, then add the milk and half&half. Slowly add the cheese, allowing it to slowly melt into the soup. Cover and cook for a final 10minutes stirring frequently and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

If doing this in a slow cooker add all the ingredients minus the cheese and cook on low for 7hrs, then turn to high add the cheese and cook for a final 30minutes.  I find this soup works best when adding the pepper and salt after the cheese, especially if a super sharp cheddar is being used.

Double Your Pleasure


Can you believe it?  Two SRC blog posts in one month?!?  When Jane of Heritage Cooks contacted me a few days ago about helping out an orphaned blog I jumped at the chance.  After all, I would have to be crazy to turn down being introduced to another great food blog full of great ideas.  I went right on over to check out Cookin With Chopin and was quickly blown away by the A-MAZING photography and the incredibly delicious recipes jumping out all over the place.  After visiting Germany in my other SRC post I decided to keep with the international theme and see where my stomach would land.  It didn’t take me long at all to stumble across the perfect recipe for my Tex-Mex loving household: Chilaquiles!  Many moons ago when I was in college there was an amazing Mexican restaurant down the street that served up this delicious casserole and after deciding to be adventurous one night and not getting the Enchiladas Verde I was hooked.  From the melted cheese to the crunch of the chips to the perfect salsa blended with whatever protein your heart desires this meal is just right.  Plus it comes together in no time at all and I have a feeling it would also be right at home in the slow cooker, altho some crunch might be lost with that.  I did make some changes, but nothing huge.  Switched the chicken for a mixture of black and pinto beans and also added some jalapenos to the salsa in order to give it more of a kick.



1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 28-ounce can of diced Rotel Tomatoes

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Approx. half a 14-ounce bag of tortilla chips

1 cup black beans, presoaked and drained

1 cup pinto beans, presoaked and drained

2 cups grated Colby-Jack cheese

Sour cream



  1. In a stock pot, saute onion, jalapeno, green pepper, and garlic in olive oil until tender (about 6-7 minutes). Add tomatoes, pepper, oregano, and salt to taste. Bring to boil, turn down heat, and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a 9 x 9" baking dish, layer half the chips, all of the beans, half the onion/pepper/tomato sauce, and half the cheese. Continue with the other half of chips, sauce, and finish with the cheese.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly around the edges. Top each serving with sour cream and fresh avocado.

Needless to say this recipe was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!  I plan on giving it a try with the salsa verde and maybe upping the heat with serrano peppers instead of the jalapenos.   So a big thanks to Ginny for sharing this recipe and bringing back some great college memories in the process!

It Takes Two


Another month has arrived and with it another visit to the Secret Recipe Club.  Each month I look forward to finding out what new blog I’ve been assigned, and start dreaming (and drooling!) about the new recipes to discover.  This month I was assigned Recipe Taster: Savor the Unexpected and savor I did!  Every link gave me inspiration and it took me more than the normal time to finally figure out what recipe of the six I originally had narrowed down to would be THE ONE.  After much debating I decided to take a trip back to my roots and cook up some traditional German food.  Growing up it was a treat when German Potato Salad and wursts appeared on the table, especially when a bottle of Kurry Ketchup was to be found.  While I no longer indulge in the various wursts, I am still a potato nut and with that couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try a new-to-me German Potato Recipe calledSchupfnudeln.  Needless to say there were a HUGE hit!  I served them up with some Tofurkey sausages and only wish I had been able to find some Kurry Ketchup to complete the meal.  The only change I made was switching out the nutmeg for oregano, otherwise I kept things as written in the original recipe.


5 main dishes, 10 side dishes


1.2kg floury potato

5 eggs

1 tsp oregano


250g flour

Butter and/or oil for frying them


  1. Wash and peel the potato, cut them in chunks and cook them in boiling salted water until soft.
  2. Right before the potatoes are done preheat oven to 315F and then dry the potatoes in it for 2-3 minutes. Using a potato ricer, process the peeled potatoes into a bowl; it they should still produce steam, let them cool down some more time once you have pressed them all.
  3. Once properly cooled down break the eggs over the potatoes, add the seasonings leaving, for the moment, the flour out.
  4. Using your hands or a sturdy spatula, start mixing the potato dough gradually adding the flour. Let the dough rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes in a cool location.
  5. Put a big pot of water on the fire and wait for it to boil before starting the shaping process. When ready to shape your Schupfnudeln proceed as follows:
  6. Flour a cutting board as well as you hand, spoon 1-2 tbsp of the dough over the board, flour its top and shape it in a log about 5in wide and 1in thick. Using a knife cut the log into strips wide roughly 1in long. Flour you hands and transfer one strip of dough in your palm, add extra flour if needed. Let the dough roll up and down your arched palm so to give it a crescent shape.
  7. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil and slowly add the Schupfnudeln, I used a slotted spoon to slowly drop them in.
  8. Let the Schupfnudeln cook for 2 minutes or so from when they come to the surface to ensure that they are cooked through. Naturally the thicker your dumplings the longer they will need to cook; you can always check for their doneness by taking them out using a slotted spoon and poking them with your finger, they should feel springy and not too soft.
  9. When cooked, transfer them to some paper towels and allow them to cool down before frying them.
  10. Heat a large deep pan with butter and/or oil. Fry the Schupfnudeln a few at a time, making sure to not crowd the pan and adding extra butter/oil between batches

I served mine with some apple sauce and sour cream to top, and the extras become a quick and easy breakfast the next morning.

Those Three

Three Bean Chili

Apparently I watch a little too much BravoTV because I started getting a crazy chili craving around this time last week, and I’m thinking Top Chef has something to do with that.  While none of the Top Chefs made my favorite kind of chili (White Bean Verde) I was inspired to try making my own vegetarian Three Bean Chili.  I had never made chili on my own before, but had assisted parents and friends in past chili making adventures.  For awhile I thought about sticking with white beans and going down that familiar path but after further thought I decided to be daring and try a red chili even tho I have never had a vegetarian red bean chili.  I avoided using imitation meat in this, I’m trying to cut down on as much processed food as possible, and with that also used dry beans instead of canned.  However I’m sure that some browned un-meat would be a great addition to this meal and will probably try adding seitan at some point.  As a bonus this recipe utilized the slow cooker which makes it the perfect mid-week or crazy weekend meal.

Three Bean Chili


1 cup dried Red Kidney Beans

1 cup dried light Red Kidney Beans

1 cup dried Pinto beans

1 tbsp EVOO

1 large vidalia onion, chopped

5 gloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup corn off the cob

2 Jalepenos, chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes, chili style

3 cups vegetable stock

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

2 tsp black pepper


  1. Soak the beans 7 cups of cold water overnight. In the morning, drain the beans and add them to the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, and set it to low. Cook for 8hrs, checking taste and liquid level every couple of hours.

The chili can be topped with mexican cheese, cream cheese, pico de gallo, or anything else that tickles your fancy.  I also served Joe’s over some cheesy cornbread while I decided to indulge in some blue corn chips with mine.  For a great next day meal add some cooked elbow noodles and cheddar cheese for some Chili Mac, yummy!