Monthly Archives: August 2013

Grilled Cheeses Rule.

In reality, I chopped up the grilled cheese and used as croutons in a bigger bowl of soup.
Just a warning. Neither of these soups look super appetizing color wise. In fact, they probably would remind you of both ends of an upset tummy. To far? Don’t care—you were thinking it anyways. So here are the recipes (ish) below….I didn’t really pay super close attention, I just tasted as I went.

“Cream” of Mushroom Soup **really any shrooms will do, about a pound, but below is what I used


·         1 package dried shitake mushrooms (reconstitute them in boiling water for 5 minutes)
·         ½ small package baby portabella mushrooms
·         Handful of porcini mushrooms
·         1 shallot, minced
·         3 cloves of garlic, minced
·         2 tbs butter
·         ¼ white onion, chopped
·         32 oz. low sodium chicken broth
·         1 sprig of thyme (if you hate thyme, leave it out)
So I melted the butter in my le crueset braiser, and sautéed the shallots, onion and garlic until translucent. At the same time, I was cleaning my shrooms and reconstituting the dry shrooms. Once the onions and garlic have softened, add all the mushrooms. I used about 2 cups of the liquid that my dried mushrooms soaked in, which just adds more flavor. Add in the chicken broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, tasting the broth as you go. Once the shrooms have softened, transfer everything to a vitamix. Blend on setting 1 for about 30 seconds, then setting 8 for 30. Taste the soup. It should have a little texture but not be chunky. If it’s chunky, don’t be an idiot, just blend a little longer until it’s a good consistency. If you don’t have a vitamix, then you must be poor, and I suggest walking the streets for the next few nights to gather some dolla dolla bills. Vitamix’s rule, and regular blenders have no place in my kitchen anymore. Also, if it tastes like it needs salt and pepper, add it, you dolt.

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup


·         3 hothouse (or regular) tomatoes
·         1 heirloom tomato
·         10-12 roasted cherry tomatoes (rub a little olive oil on them and broil for 5 minutes—watch anything that you broil)
·         1 roasted red pepper, charred skin removed. If you don’t know how to roast a pepper-here is a handy tutorial:
·         1 cube vegetable stock cube (Knorr Home-style is the kind I used)
·         1 shallot, minced
·         3 garlic cloves, minced
·         ¼ onion, chopped
·         5 cups water
·         5 basil leaves
·         2 tbs. butter
Sauté the onions, shallots and garlic in the butter until translucent (See a pattern with soups??) In a large pot, bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil. Cored the 3 regular tomatoes, and then make an “X” with your knife at the bottom of each (This helps to peel them). Boil the tomatoes for 5-10 minutes, until you can easily peel the skin off. Remove the tomatoes from the water, peel them and add them to the onion and butter mixture. Add most of the water that you had boiled your tomatoes in, and add in the vegetable stock and roasted red pepper at this point. I also added in some regular chopped tomatoes that I had sitting in the fridge, and the roasted cherry tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add basil at the end. When the broth tastes yummy to you, (10 minutes), transfer to your vitamix and blend the same way as the mushroom soup. Now, if you like a creamier soup, add a few tbs of heavy cream. Just remember that a teeny tiny tbs of cream has a ton of fat and calories, so if you’re going to go fatty mcfat with the grilled cheese, don’t add the cream.
For the grilled cheeses, the only thing that makes them fancy is finding a delish bread—I found an English Muffin loaf at HEB and it made the perfect grilled cheese. Also, don’t cook on high heat—cook on medium, it will take forever but make your cheese melt at the same time as getting a crispy crust.

Chocolate Cake recipe, and things that make you wish I was your wife….aka grilled cheeses.

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Bundt cake
·         Duncan Hines moist yellow cake mix (the one that calls for vegetable oil)
·         3 eggs
·         1/3 cup of vegetable oil
·         1 cup water
·         ¾ cup sour cream (I used the daisy light kind, but really doesn’t matter)
·         Package of instant chocolate pudding (use sugar free)
·         Mini chocolate chips (1/2 bag)


In a kitchen aid mixer, mix the cake according to the directions on the box, adding the pudding mix (don’t make pudding, just use the powder). After it looks pretty mixed, add in the sour cream and chocolate chips. Bake in a 350 degree oven for at least 45 minutes, testing with a toothpick after that to see if it’s done. Wait at least an hour before flipping it on to a large plate. Once the cake has cooled completely, sift powdered sugar over the top. Eat alone, in the dark, where no one can judge.
And tonight, since Mondays suck so badly, and because my better half is sick, I’ll be making fancy grilled cheeses with three dipping soups: tomato soup, cream of mushroom soup (sans cream), and poblano soup. Don’t you wish your wife was making this for you tonight? She’s probably sitting on the couch right now thinking of ways not to make dinner for you. She’s also probably not as bat sh*t crazy as I am, so I guess you’ll have to count your blessings and appreciate a sane wife/girlfriend rather than a snazzy grilled cheese with dipping soups. Crawdad will have to settle for the latter.  
Fresh veggies for my soups!

gettin fancy….

Well, I know I said I was going to post the recipes for the BBQ and the chicken with butternut squash, but I actually don’t really remember what all I did, and didn’t take notes. So, tough shit to the four people who read this blog and wanted the recipe. Now, on the bigger and better things: I got a badass camera. Well. Not so much got as found, but it was at my house, and I’m claiming it.* It’s a canon rebel XT and looks like a total mom camera. So for all of you idiots asking me when I want to pop out a Crawdad, the answer is not now, but at least I have the mom cam to fill in for the time being. Also, I’m not a huge fan of babies, but that is a story for another day, and a few more glasses of cab.

So, tonight I am having a few hoes over for dinner, so I’ve got to be on my A-game. Even though I have an incredibly demanding job where I work in a high stress office from 8-5 (ha), I have managed to waste half my day prepping for the night ahead. For most people, a girls dinner would consist of a light salad, probably something with Quinoa, and fish. Well, the fish in Midland smells weird, and I’m fresh out of quinoa, so I guess the girls will have to settle for:

-Phyllo wrapped baked brie with a glazed mustard
-Assorted cheeses
-Fresh made bruschetta
Left to right:
Basil from my garden, heirloom tomatoes (the uglier the better),
parmesan, garlic, toasted pine nuts, store bought basil

-Toasted orecchiette with fresh pesto (basil from my garden), with Italian sausage
-Hatch chili cheese bread
-Chop salad with a light Greek vinaigrette, diced tomatoes, peppers, peppered salami and shaved parmesan

Close up of the tastiest pesto

-Sour cream chocolate chip Bundt cake sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Once I write the recipe down, I will show you how to go from THIS

And a little set up for the dinner tonight…getting fancy with my new camera. Someone will need to teach me some tricks though.
My new garden, with the most awesome gardening partner ever.
**I wouldn’t actually steal something as nice as a camera-it’s my husbands. Don’t get me wrong, love a good getaway, but only would steal something dumb like a bouncy ball or magnetic earrings.