Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu: Nov 21-27

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and enjoyed spending time with family, if you were lucky enough to be able to do so! We got to spend the day with my husband's family (and with his father's side of the family.) The next day we go to have a luncheon with his mother's side of the family. Luckily they had chicken instead of turkey! I think one year they had lasagna... I like this mom's side of the family, they always have something the Friday after Thanksgiving and don't think turkey is a necessity that day.

I participated in my first ever shopping experience on Black Friday. I couldn't look away from the $1.49/yard fleece at JoAnn's. (This is partly due to my 30 for 30 goal of making baby blankets) I'll tell you what though, it's craziness! I'm not much of one to stand in line and wait for hours just for a good deal. We went after noon when their 25% off entire purchase coupon had expired. It wasn't as bad (we had stopped in before noon and decided it wasn't worth it) but I was still waiting in line to get the fabric cut for a while. So tell me, do you go shopping on black Friday? Or are you more like me and avoid the madness? I do like cyber Monday... I can handle staying at home and shopping! What sweet deals did you find if you went shopping on Friday?

 Monday: Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Tuesday: Herb Baked Eggs & Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi (this site has tutorials on making Ricotta Gnocchi and Potato Gnocchi)

Wednesday: Ate out (on the way to my husband's parents house)

Thursday: Thanksgiving Dinner with the in-laws

Friday: Turkey Sandwiches

Saturday: Ate out (on the way back from the in-laws... it's a 6 hour drive.)

Sunday: Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Spaghetti sauce over roasted spaghetti squash (cut in half, clean out inside, roast for 30 minutes with cut sides down in a pan. Use fork to remove squash. And yes, this is not the right picture...)

Vote for the recipe you want to see next week. This week's recipe post is going to be: Sweet Potato/Coconut Thai Curried Soup.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pear Pumpkin Soup

Every fall I have this unquenchable desire to make soup, soup and more soup. I'm always looking for great soup recipes. Of course this desire actually continues through the winter and sometimes even shows it's head in spring and summer. However, in the summer I usually push past it - soup in the summer is just too hot! I know there are cold soups, but I'm not really anxious to try it as I think my hubby would be a bit opposed to it. He tolerates eating any type of soup that is blended - including this one. However, I fully enjoyed this and would make it again tomorrow, but hubby wouldn't appreciate it very much. So since I love him, I try to limit the number of these soups I make. I think this one will be a once a year soup in our house!

Pear-Pumpkin Soup
Recipe adapted from:
First, you'll need pears -2 of them to be exact. Cored and I cut a strip of skin off down the middle. You can either do the same, leave all the skin on or peel them completely. I try to leave some skin on for the added nutrition...
Roast pears in oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
You'll also need an onion. Just one.
However, it will need to be chopped.
Oh, and 3 Tbsp butter.
Gotta have the butter!
Melt the butter in a pan and toss the chopped onion in it. Cook until tender.
While the onion is cooking, get 3 cloves garlic,
peel and coarsely chop them.
Toss the garlic in with the onion and cook for 2 more minutes, or until onion is translucent and begins to brown.
Add in 3 to 3-1/2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth.
Stir it in.
Next add 1 small can pumpkin OR 1-3/4 cups home-made pumpkin puree (I did the latter.)
Toss in the roasted pears.
Blend until smooth using a hand blender or an upright blender (in batches.)
Once blended, add 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
and 1/4 tsp allspice. Just do it! Cook over low heat for 10-30 minutes.
Dish into bowls, and either serve or add 1-2 Tbsp cream. (Then stir until it swirls.) I highly suggest the cream. Makes it taste divine.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all are having a wonderful time with your family and/or friends. I know we will be! Have a great day (I'll be back Sunday with the recipe post.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Banana Bread (made with instant pudding)

I had to share with you all about the delicious recipe for banana bread I wrote over at - seriously you gotta check it out!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Menu: Nov 14-20

Due to my two year old needing his mommy (and me not being on top of things enough to have this written before he got up from his nap - I blame pinterest... I found a great collection of quotes I HAD to look at!). I'm just leaving you with the menu today so I can give him the time and reassurance he needs to not walk around with sad outbursts.

Monday: Parmesan Crusted Pork (loin) Chops, Pumpkin-Pear Soup (won last week's poll and will be posted this week), & Broiled Vegetables.
 Tuesday: Thai Chicken Cabbage
Wednesday: Sweet Potato/Coconut Thai Curried Soup
Thursday: Had a Thanksgiving Dinner with my family (due to my brothers work schedule.) I made Twice-Baked Potatoes.

Friday: Frozen Pizza

Saturday: We had our Housewarming Party! 
(Some of the food included: Spinach, Artichoke & Bacon dip, Fresh Salsa, Black Bean & Corn Salsa, Coconut, Carrot and apple muffins, Mini-Apple Pies, Triple Chocolate Zucchini Brownie Cupcakes, & Chicken Salad Sliders.)

Sunday: Chicken fingers, green salad & leftover Sweet Potato/Coconut Thai Curried Soup

Vote for the recipe you want to see posted next week. This week will be Pumpkin Pear Soup.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

Do you know what I love about fall? Comfort food. It abounds everywhere. I love home-made soups, rolls, roasted veggies, etc. Fall is just great like that, we get to celebrate in the harvest of so many different types of produce. When I think comfort food, I NEVER think about ethinic food, and especially not food from Thailand. Delicious - yes, comfort food - NO. However, when my husband and I were eating this soup, that was the only way to describe it! Thai Comfort Food. Absolutely delicious. Strangely comforting. Definitely satisfying. Seriously, you have go to try it! And when you do, bring any leftovers to my house - I really want more of this stuff...

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Soup
recipe from: (with a few adaptations)
 In a pan large enough to hold soup (mine holds about a gallon-ish), pour in 1 Tbsp sesame oil and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Unless it is a non-stick pan, then only use the 1 Tbsp sesame oil. Let it get hot over Medium-high heat.
 Add to the pan 1 chicken breast (~1/2 lb) cut into cubes and seasoned with salt and pepper.
 Cook until no longer pink. (The camera and the steam were having issues on this day... okay they have issues whenever they're around each other!) Towards the end of cooking, toss in 2 cloves garlic, minced and 1/2 Tbsp minced ginger.
 Hello. I love this stuff! Coconut Milk - seriously you gotta have it!
 If you haven't used coconut milk in a while and you're like me, you'll try to use the tool that only cuts a slit into each side... mistake - coconut milk has this heavy cream that won't come out that way! So be sure to open the can all the way.
 Dump coconut milk into the pan. Oh, also add 4 cups (1 quart) of chicken broth to the pan.
 You'll also need some Green Curry Paste. 1-1/2 Tbsp to be exact. Unless you want to add more or less - then it's all up to you!
 Make sure to stir it well to get it incorporated.
 Time for a leek. Cut it in half (helps to rinse it anyway) and then into small slices.
 Ready for a little heat - also chop up one jalapeno.
 Now for some cabbage - about 1/4 to 1/3 of a head.
 Sliced - semi-thinly.
 Toss them all into the pan.
 Stir to combine.
 Let it warm up the veggies while you slice up about 4 ounces of mushrooms.
 Then toss those into the pan.
 You'll also want a handful of cilantro leaves.
 Chop them up a bit - should be about 1/4 cup.
 Toss them in.
 Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
 My mouth is watering... this is seriously great soup!
 These are cooking chow mein noodles (who knew they weren't just the crunchy ones? You can actually buy them like pasta - in the Asian Foods section of the grocery store.) However, I would suggest using rice noodles if you can find them (and they aren't 3x as expensive - seriously that's why I'm using the chow mein noodles!) You can also use rice (tried it with leftovers) but the noodles work better.
 Place the cooked noodles (chow mein or rice noodles) in the bottom of a bowl.
 Top with soup.