Just a reminder: You can make a burrito out of nearly anything you can wrap a tortilla around. We had chicken chili with white beans a few days ago and the little dab of leftovers worked great with the addition of Monterey jack.I call this a “cuddle” of puppies. I like how the little guy with the white on his muzzle is framed in this picture.Mrs J likes banana bread so much that she buys bananas and lets them ripen just so she can make it. The one has raisins and pecans. I found a jar of apple butter on the pantry shelf, applesauce works well as an accompaniment but apple butter just goes it one better.Notice the subtle segue from apples to snakes? LOL Here’s your random wildlife, a small snake in the grass beside the walk this morning. I’m not sure what species it is but I would guess it’s a juvenile black rat snake. The mottled look fades over time.We made the last batch of tomatoes into soup and canned 7 quarts. I amazed myself with a practical application of arithmetic – I knew my canner would hold seven quart jars so I figured how many inches of juice I needed and let the tomatoes reduce at a simmer until it measured the correct depth. I won’t burden you with the formula lest I make a foolish error but if I remember correctly 7 US quarts is a tad over 5 inches in my 10″ pot, I think I went five and a quarter-ish, making a mark on a wooden spoon.I never said there wouldn’t be math! I did say there would be kittehs, though. They named this one Brock and he was adopted the next day after Mrs J posted this picture on the shelter’s facebook page.I’ll close out with a couple of sammiches, here’s a loaded chicken tenders sammy with some potato salad from the local Kroger deli.More sauerkraut than pastrami on this reuben. There wasn’t much pastrami left so I compensated a tad.
A cool front came through and dropped the temps from the 90s yesterday into the 70s today. When I saw the forecast yesterday I knew that soup would work great for the menus today. I soaked these large lima beans overnight and started them simmering in a big pot this morning. I sifted through the results on a quick search and settled on this recipe to work with. Turned out pretty good! I departed from the recipe only slightly, using water and chicken seasoning paste instead of stock. The teaspoon of Creole seasoning wasn’t something that I would have thought of for this dish but it worked nicely in there. I went with a bacon and jalapeno corn bread using the recipe off the corn meal box and preheated the cast iron skillet to get that nice crust. It spent 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
We roasted a boneless leg of lamb for Easter dinner and had a lot leftover. I remembered looking at recipes for lamb and thought they sounded pretty good so I did a search and ran across this recipe. I used it as an ingredient guide for the proper amounts of the spices and kept with the spirit of the recipe although I made some additions and subtractions. I did have some canned chickpeas, but no lentils of any sort so I left them out, as I did with the cilantro.
I used a can of San Marino tomatoes with their juices, roughly chopped, and added some garlic, orange and lemon zest, and a half teaspoon of Madras curry powder that has been lonely in the cupboard. I dithered a bit on the pasta, thinking ditalini, but went with the pearl couscous. I’m not a huge fan of the tri-color pastas but that’s all I had in the larger sized couscous. It was very good. We don’t often get out of the familiar spice “comfort zone” but I think we will try something like this again.
I swear I didn’t see that bay leaf in there. I actually had it in my mouth and had to take it out. Nothing special about the veggies or the broth but I did use a different noodle this time:The package has several little noodle bundles, each just about right for a single serving. I boiled two of them separate from the broth and then drained them and plopped them into the bottom of the bowl before adding the soup proper. It does solve the problem of noodles disintegrating when saved as leftovers. Tomorrow or the next day it will be a snap to boil a serving of needles, takes five minutes, and the serving size won’t be a problem.
From frequent contributor, Joshua D:
A discussion came up on Balloon Juice about the benefits of cauliflower. Recipes got bantered about but this one made me salivate the most! My only contribution is formatting, otherwise full credit goes to Ruemara
Cauliflower Beer Cheese Soup
- 1 med onion
- 12 oz beer
- 1 pint broth (chicken is preferred, but suit your taste)
- 1 head cauliflower, cleaned & roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt-free seasoning
- Salt & Black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
You start with sauteing onions in 1 tsp oil until translucent, add beer, broth ( I prefer chicken, since it’s clear) and all of a cleaned, roughly chopped head of cauliflower. Add garlic, salt free seasoning, and black pepper to taste. Once cauliflower is tender (about 10 minutes) turn off burner and use your handy, dandy immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Mix in cheddar shreds and smoked paprika. You can also go with smoke seasoning and tortula yeast for the cheez flavour. Stir. Salt to taste. Drink up. I think that’s what I did. It was good.
Just a note – Getty is now allowing embedded images in WordPress posts, which I think is kind of fun – TaMara
A few kittehs from a new crop at the shelter. Mrs J says there are two new litters that came in. There are seven new kittens in total to go with eight adults that are still there.There are a few dogs that have arrived, some adults and a few pups.Mrs J says this female came in from a puppy mill, she’s an adult and has had several liters of her own. She appears to be a chihuahua mix but that’s just a guess.Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Fries!We have no info on this one. Some sort of terrier.Soup’s on! This is a classic pantry soup. Beef and barley with onions and various veggies. I browned the beef in the pot in a little olive oil and poured in a bottle of dark beer to deglaze, then added beef broth and the barley. It cooked a while and then the veggies went in during the last hour. I made a basic recipe loaf of white bread and tossed in a handful of garlic cloves when the machine beeped. There is a subtle taste of garlic throughout and it paired nicely with the soup.And a few more kittehs. These are not related. Mrs J says the larger cat was adopted today. The shelter had an adoption fair today and two dogs went out for home visits.
I have a pot of this simmering on the stove as I write this. I wanted to make it a second time to see if I could make the recipe a bit simpler. Really couldn’t, so I wrote it as I went, to make sure I didn’t miss a step. I really like this soup, it has a very rich flavor, like chicken and biscuits. Mmmm….
Because I have a vita-mix, most of the soups I make start with a thick vegetable broth. It gives a great depth of flavor. It’s chocked full of nutrients and anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t eat enough vegetables, so I do what I can to up my daily veggies. But you may not want to go to that trouble, so you can substitute 4 cups of chicken broth for the vegetable broth in the recipe below.
Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 2 stalks celery (with leaves), rough chopped
- 2 medium carrots, rough chopped
- 1 cup cut green beans (I use frozen)
- 4 cups of water
- 2 chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless, doesn’t matter it will be shredded)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
saucepan, dutch oven or large saucepan, blender
In the blender, add rough chopped carrots, celery and green beans, spices, 2 cups of water and blend until smooth. Add to dutch oven along with chicken breasts and 2 additional cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Add diced carrots, celery, salt and pepper to the liquid and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender crisp.
While the chicken is cooking, melt butter in the saucepan, add onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent. Whisk in flour and cook about 2 minutes or more. Turn the heat up to medium-high, slowly stir in milk and bring to a low boil, whisking until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
While the vegetables are cooking, shred the chicken. The easiest way to do this is to use two forks and pull across the grain of the meat in different directions. You can then use your fingers to break apart any large pieces.
Once the vegetables are tender crisp, whisk in the white sauce and then stir in the chicken. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve with parsley garnish.
Makes about 6 cups.
It was pretty cold overnight, down into the teens. We got a bare dusting of snow but that will go away today. Strong south wind and warming temps today, we have made it into the 40s but there is a chance for sprinkles later. Soup sounded pretty good. This one has the turkey and some baby carrots along with a wild rice mix from Zatarain. They make good rice mixes and we really like the wild/long grain rice mix they sell. It’s been absent from the local market so we ordered a case online.