Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Soup

A couple of nights ago, I went to a friend's Pampered Chef parties. I was flipping through the recipe books and saw one entitled "Chicken Parmesan Soup." I didn't have time to look at the recipe closely and I ended up not buying the cookbook, but the title of that dish stuck with me and so I made my own creation of Chicken Parmesan Soup! One of my daughters asked for seconds so that is always a good sign!

Chicken Parmesan Soup

1 chicken breast
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste
3 tbs butter
lots of garlic, dried basil and oregano
2-3 cups of chicken stock
1 baguette of bread
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese (have about a cup of loosely packed, fresh grated)
fresh basil (optional, for garnish)

In a skillet (or I just used my soup pot and then rinsed it out) put at least 1/4 cup of olive oil and heat it up. Quickly cube up the baguette (reserve enough to make 1/2 cup of bread crumbs) and add it to the hot oil. Stir it around letting it toast. Add some of the parmesan cheese and some salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl once it is toasted.

Slice chicken into thin pieces, like in a chinese stir fry. In a cleaned out soup pot add more olive oil and start browning chicken. Before it is cooked through, add the tomato paste, seasonings (salt, pepper, dried basil, oregano and garlic) Then add the can of tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring to a very gentle simmer DO NOT BOIL or your chicken will be rubber. Add 1/2 cup homemade breadcrumbs. (This thickens the soup a bit.) Add the butter cubed up to the soup. The butter is a trick I learned from Food Network, it mellows out the tangy tomato flavor and adds an awesome depth of flavor to any tomato soup or marinara sauce. Last, add more parmesan to the soup and stir to melt it in.

Serve in a bowl with cubed up mozzerella (this starts to melt and gives you strings of cheese as you eat. YUM!) And a few pieces of the toasted baquette. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My House is For Sale!

Taking a moment away from my blog to share some exciting news. My husband just got a job in Washington, just across from Portland, OR and so we are moving from Texas up to Washington! I wanted to share the listing and hope you spread the word that my house is for sale. It's an awesome floorplan, with beautiful, mostly private views. It's 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms + office + gameroom, walk in pantry and large closets in all the bedrooms.

The official listing with lots of photos and a walk through video is here:

Please check it out and send it to any friends you know who are thinking of moving!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shrimp Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

At best this is labeled a WIP (Work in Progress.) But it was tasty enough to warrant a mention, so that perhaps I can work on it in the future. Tastes sort of like fried coconut shrimp.

Shrimp Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

4 portobello mushrooms, gills removed
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
1/4 stick of butter
3/4 package of cream cheese
2 cups raw shrimp, diced
splash of soy sauce
splash of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apricot jam
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 1/2 cup toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes
salt & pepper
Olive oil

Coat mushrooms in olive oil and grill or broil to get them started cooking. Chop onion, ginger and garlic and saute it in the butter. Remove to a bowl. Mix in cream cheese, apricot jam, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Add coconut flakes. Stir until everything is mixed well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Then add raw shrimp. Stir. Mound up on mushrooms. Place in a baking dish and cook for 15 minutes at 425 or until shrimp is cooked through.

Fast & Easy Breakfast Cups

These are a big hit with our kids so I thought I'd share. It's a fast and healthy breakfast go to in our house.

Yogurt Cups

In a small sauce pan mix up some frozen fruit and a heaping spoonful of no-sugar added all fruit jelly. You could probably leave the jelly out, but it seems to help with the consistency. Add a squirt of honey. I make this mixture a bit over sweet, so when it mixes with the plain tart yogurt the sweetness evens out. With a potato masher, mash up your fruit mixture until it is almost pureed. Or if you like, you can puree it in a blender for kids who have texture issues. Above I made strawberry and banana. After the strawberries were mashed down, I removed it from the heat and mashed in a banana.

 Layer in your container jam, whole-milk plain yogurt, jam, yogurt. If your kid (or you) likes granola, then put some in a small snack zip bag and store it on top so they can sprinkle it in.

Cottage Cheese Cups

My girls have been eating cottage cheese since they were babies. I didn't put honey in it until they were a bit older, but now it's a favorite, especially with pineapples crushed in! So I just simply mixed some 4% cottage cheese with a bit of honey and topped with crushed pineapples. All ready to be stirred in and enjoyed come morning!

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