Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup

I went to make black bean soup one night and realized the recipe I was going to use was a crock pot recipe. Whoops.  So I totally improvised this and it was delicious!

2 cans black beans
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper (diced)
1 onion (diced)
1 tsp garlic (minced)
1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt

In a pot saute the pepper, onion and garlic until tender.  Add the black beans and broth.  Bring to a boil then turn down and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Put the mixture into a blender in two batches.  Blended for about 30 seconds then place back into the pot.  Bring back to a boil then lower to a simmer and add in the cumin, chili powder and salt.  Let the mixture simmer for 10 more minute then serve with sour cream and cheese.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fresh Apple Cake with a Caramel Glaze

I made this one night for dessert for our small group dinner.  I also made it with fresh apples from when we went apple picking.  Mmmm, fresh apples make everything better! This recipe is from My Blessed Life.

2 eggs
1/2 butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp real salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups diced Granny Smith apples

Caramel Glaze:
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar (sifted)

Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan.  In a large bowl beat together the eggs and butter.  Add in the sugar and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture slowly.  After they are combined, add the diced apples.  Pour into the greased pan and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes.

While the cake is cooling off a bit, make your glaze.  Heat the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract and milk in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir continually until it reaches a boil then let it continue to boil while you are stirring for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon for confectioner's sugar.  If you would like the glaze to thicken up even more then add another tablespoon.

Pour the glaze over the cake evenly and let cool before slicing. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chicken Soup with Chive Dumplings

This is the perfect creamy mean for a cold night! I made this on one of the first chilly nights of the season and it was absolutely perfect!  This recipe is adapted from Very Culinary.

3 chicken breasts (cooked and diced)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 small onion (diced)
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Salt and black pepper

In a large pot heat the olive oil then begin to saute the carrots and onion.  Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or util the vegetables are tender.  Add the stock and diced chicken, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.   While the soup is simmer, begin to make the dumplings.  In a mixing bowl combine the flour, chives, baking powder and salt.  Using a pastry blender, fork or your hands, add in the unsalted butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Stir in the milk until just combined.  Stir the parsley into the soup and using a small spoon drop the dumpling batter one by one into the soup mixture.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes then reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 additional minutes.  Use a toothpick to test the doneness of the dumplings. One the dumplings are cooked through, remove from heat and serve. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Sometimes you just need some creamy cheesy mac and cheese.  I have fallen in love with this recipe. It's so easy!!!! It takes minutes to prepare and is much better than grabbing one of the boxes from the store.  This recipe is from Baked Bree.

1 pound pasta
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp flour
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Boil the pasta according to the directions. Drain and set to the side.  Put 1 cup of milk in sauce pot.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of milk until it is smooth and without clumps.  When the milk in the pot begins to steam, add the milk and flour mixture to it and stir.  Once the mixture begins to thicken up to the consistency of cream, stir in the cheese until smooth.  Stir in the salt, pepper, dry mustard, cayenne and nutmeg.   Pour over the pasta, stir to coat and serve. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I am not a huge fan of meatloaf.  We had it often as a child so maybe I got burnt out eating it?  I don't know.   Gray loves meatloaf though so I decided to whip one up for him!  The thing is, this meatloaf was really good! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it!  This recipe is adapted from Sneaky Spoons.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 small onion, diced
1/3 cup milk
1 cup dried breadcrumbs or panko
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar (divided)
1/2 tbsp mustard
1/2 cup of ketchup (divided)

Heat oven to 350.  Grease a loaf pan and set to the side.  In a mixing bowl combine the ground beef, egg, onion, milk, breadcrumbs, 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, mustard and 1/2 cup of ketchup.  Put the mixture into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top then pour the remaining ketchup on top and brush to cover the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour until the meatloaf is cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes then remove from pan and slice.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Individual Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pies

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture.  These were absolutely fantastic!!!!! The second I saw them on Cassie Craves I knew I needed to make them as soon as possible. They did not disappoint at all.

2 tbsp butter
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cooked chopped chicken breast
1 cup broccoli florets (steamed)
All-purpose flour for dusting
2 10-inch round prepared pie crusts
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp water

Heat oven to 400. Grease your mini muffin tin. In a pan melt the butter over medium heat.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds then add the flour and whisk for 2 or 3 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, if it thickens up too quickly add a little more milk.  Turn the heat off and stir in the cheese, chicken and broccoli then season with salt and pepper.  To put the pot pies together roll out the pie crusts, using a 3 inch cookie cutter or a small cup, cut out the pieces for the bottom of the crusts.  Place them down in the mini muffin tins. Fill with the chicken mixture.  Now beat the egg with the water and set to the side. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter or a smaller cup cut the tops out.  Brush the egg mixture around the edges of the pot pie then press the tops onto the bottoms and seal.  Brush the tops with the eggs mixture then make a 1/2 inch cut at the top of each pot pie.  Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes.