Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ponderings on a Snowy Sunday

But not as snowy as it's been in D.C. lately, thank goodness! I am about SICK of snow, so to take my mind off of it I decided to make a delicious batch of one of my favorite soups to take for lunches this week: Tomato Bisque.

I use this recipe from Food Network, and I alter it a bit to improve on the healthiness. I use organic chicken broth, Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend, turkey bacon, and fat free half & half. It's so good. Matt even likes it. When I mentioned to him today that I was making this soup for lunches (for like the 5th time this winter), he said, "Good. We were winning more games when I was eating tomato bisque for lunch." I laughed.

I don't have a pretty picture for this soup, and if I did have a picture, it wouldn't be pretty because this isn't really a pretty soup.

On the menu for this evening: chicken cordon bleu, cheesy corn & mac casserole, and broccoli. This is our Valentine's dinner. This meal has me wondering why it's called cordon bleu but doesn't use bleu cheese. Hmmm...something to ask Google.

I'm doing a baked version for the chicken from All Recipes, linked here. The casserole recipe is one of my grandmother's, which I will post below. It's a family favorite, and we eat it at almost every holiday meal. Again, I'm altering it to make it a tad healthier. Smart Balance butter blend, no salt added canned corn, 2% milk Velveeta, and whole-wheat macaroni.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cheese-Corn-Mac Bake (from Joan Shufelberger, a.k.a. "Gram")

1 can creamed corn
1 can whole corn & juice
1 cup uncooked macaroni
1 cup cheese cubes (American or Velveeta)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons minced onion

Mix together all ingredients and bake in a greased casserole dish for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Can be mixed ahead of time. Refrigerate then bake as needed.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Super Bowl Menu for 2

While I can't say I'm excited about watching the actual game, I am excited about the food! Every year the Super Bowl makes me want to make certain things only because we always did when I was a kid. Mom ALWAYS made guacamole for the big game, even though I can't remember ever really WATCHING the game. It was all about the food.

So, in keeping with tradition, I am going to make guacamole. I've yet to settle on a recipe to go with and at this point I'm thinking I'll just wing it. You know, throw things together on my own based on what I've read in several recipes. I feel quite comfortable doing that especially with guacamole for several reasons: A. I'm Mexican. 2. I've made lots of guacamole before. and D. I've read lots of guacamole recipes. So there.

With that said, I hope it ends up looking like this and tasting fantastic. Here's the recipe for this guac.

In addition to guacamole, since dip does not a dinner make, I'm also making Chile Verde, something my cooking buddy Zach and I made for the first time together using this recipe. Only made perfect by eating it with homemade tortillas, something I learned to do from my Uelita. I will post the recipe, however, it's rather vague because she has it memorized and I just wrote as we went. BTW, I'm only making a half-recipe of the Chile Verde because it makes a TON!


Homemade Tortillas

2 heaping cups flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
2 T. oil (I usually use olive or canola)
1 1/2 c. lukewarm water (maybe a little more or less)

Combine dry ingredients. Add oil and combine (with your fingers if you're brave enough; that's what Uelita does, so that's what I do). Add in 1/2 c. of the water and combine. Add in another 1/2 c. of water and combine. Continue adding water until dough begins to come together and form a large ball. Let dough rest for 10 minutes, covered. Then shape dough into a log and tear dough into small pieces, turning, shaping and flattening each in your hand into a hockey-puck-like shape. One recipe should make about 8-10 dough ball things. Cover dough balls and allow to rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Roll out one dough ball very thin and flat. Place it in the heated skillet and flip immediately. Allow it to cook in the skillet until it starts to bubble slightly. Then remove it to a warm place (preferably a tortilla holder with a towel in it). Continue to roll out dough balls and cook until you've cooked 'em all. If tortillas start to blacken as they cook, lower heat on skillet.

Carianne helped me and Zach cook tortillas when we made fish taco. Pictured: Carianne, tortilla cooking in skillet, tortilla holder with towel. Mandatory for maintaining proper tortilla temp until serving! ;)