One Beer Bread at a Time.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tuscan Chicken Soup

I love love love this recipe. I think I am going to put together a set of soup recipes w/shopping lists and offer Souper TS Parties for Jan and Feb.
I love soup. So easy so filling!
A Chicken Soup So Good I dream about it:
Happy New Year to All!
Tuscan Chicken Soup
Ingredients:
2 carrots chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 med onion chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced--I use 2 tsp garlic garlic instead
1 large bay leaf (or 2 small)
8 c low sodium chicken broth
3 cups shredded roasted skinless chicken breast (1 lb) I used a couple of chicken breasts frozen--boiled them and shredded them
3 plum tomatoes diced
1/2 cup diced zuchinni (about 1 med)
1 can 15 oz-cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1 can 14oz artichoke hearts in water, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tbsp dried (i didn't have this so I used a couple dashed of Tastefully Simple Italian Seasoning Salt
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage or 1/2 tsbp dried
1 Tbsp fresh thme or 1/2 tbsp dried
12 thin slices parm. cheese cut w/vegetable peeler (optional)
1. Place carrots and celery in small microwavable bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and cover top of the bowl loosely w/plastic wrap. Microwave on high 5 in or until veggies are almost tender.

2. Heat oil in stockpot over med. heat. Add onion and saute 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes. Add steamed veggies and bay leaf. Saute 4-5 min. longer.

3. Pour in broth. Add chicken, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, and artichoke hearts. Simmer 30 min. remove and sicard bay leaf. Add oregano, sage, and thyme and simmer an additional 5 min. Top each bowl w/ 2 slices of cheese if desired.

****1 cup 218 cals. 22 gram protein, 19 gram carb, 5 gram fiber 6.5grams fat. 503 mg sodium.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In this most wonderful foodie time of year, some Holiday Eating Tips

I have some really great recipes to share. but first...

Eating Tips
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an 'eggnog-aholic' or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it! Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think.
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and mincemeat - have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert -- Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories , but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember: 'Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO-HOO what a ride!' Merry Christmas !

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

chestnuts roasting on an open fire...


Guess what I am snacking on???


Yep I made chestnuts--but not on an open fire, I made them in a stoneware pan in the oven 400 degrees for 22 minutes.


Facts about chestnuts:


Chestnuts are a delicious health food rich in nutrition. Just a handful of other foods can match the nutritional value of a chestnut.Unfortunately, very few consumers are aware of this. As opposed to most other nuts, chestnuts have a high water content and very little oil, thus making them virtually fat free. They are high in complex carbohydrates, contain high quality protein comparable to eggs, are gluten free, cholesterol free, and are very low in fat (1-2% while other nuts can be over 50% fat). Nutritionally, they are similar to brown rice and have been described as a grain that grows on a tree. Interestingly enough, they have as much ascorbic acid as an equal weight of lemons and are the only nuts approved by the Pritikin System. Listed below are some other interesting facts revealing the high nutritional value of chestnuts.


A delicious sounding recipe that I won't be making today because my left shoulder is killing me. I think I have tendonitis or something...Also let's face it, this recipe has too many ingredients and steps!



Roasted Chestnut Soup with Dumplings
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2000
Show:
The Essence of Emeril
Episode:
Christmas Show

1 1/2 pounds fresh chestnuts,

roasted and peeled (or 2 (10-ounce) cans whole chestnuts, drained)

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon garlic

2 bay leaves

1 large Idaho potato,

peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

2 quarts light chicken stock

1 sprig thyme

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil

1/2 lemon, juiced

Dash Worcestershire sauce

1 cup warmed heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a saucepan combine chestnuts, onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, potato and chicken stock and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. In a blender, puree the soup in batches along with fresh herbs, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


For the Dumplings:

1/4 pound ground pork

1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon quatre d'epices

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 wonton wrappers
In the bowl of a food processor combine pork, garlic, green onions and parsley and process until smooth. Add the Worcestershire, egg yolk, heavy cream, crushed red pepper, quatre d'epices and salt and pepper and pulse until thoroughly combined. To assemble dumplings, use a spoon to place a tablespoon-sized dollop of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Use your fingers to wet the edges of the wrapper, then fold in half, easing edges so that they meet to form a triangle. Press firmly to seal dumplings. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook dumplings in small batches so as not to crowd. Dumplings are done when they float and wrappers are tender and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve dumplings floating in hot chestnut soup.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

St Nicholas Day

I had already written this blog today and then I walked away from the computer and it didn't save and now I am rewriting. What was I saying....

Lifetime (the network for Women) is running wall-to-wall holiday movies. Which I have actually been enjoying. They all have happy endings and usually a bit of magic and life is short and the way I see it it it's a nice escape.

Anywho, tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day so tonight the kids will put out there shoe and go to sleep early and wake up to a small gift. So that will be fun for them, and help me to keep the complaining about going to bed to a minimum.

Tonight we are having a Veggie Chili, I found the recipe in the Chicago Tribune today:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/chi-dinner_chili_5dec05,1,4342944.story?ctrack=2&cset=true

It's called 5 bean veggie chili, I was going to cut and paste the recipe but it's a 2 pager and I've got to run!

Exciting news, I found my christmas card list! Okay I only have about 20 addresses on my list, but it's something!