Broccoli-Cheese Soup

Good afternoon, everyone! I’m so sorry for my recent absence. It’s been extremely busy for us in the Champagne household. I’ve been helping family move, reading through submissions, dealing with teacher meetings, school concerts, shopping trips, colds, the list could go on.

Luckily, all of the colds and flus have forced me to practice making soup! I believe I’ve perfected the Broccoli-Cheese. This recipe requires a strong blender; I’ve got a Viamix.

These measurements all depend on how much soup you wish to make. I have a family of 6, so I often make two full batches, and we always have leftovers.

The ingredients:

– 1 head of broccoli
– 2 cups chunked cheese (I use marbled cheddar)
– 1 tsp powdered chicken bouillon base
– Sprinkle of seasoning salt and pepper (to taste)
– 2 cups milk
– 1 cup water
(The milk and water portions depend on how thick or watery you want your soup, in addition to what can fit in your blender)

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Directions:

  1. Chop broccoli and put in steamer.

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2. Chop cheese into chunks (whichever manageable size is recommended for your blender).

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3. Add cheese chunks and spices to blender.
4. Remove broccoli from steamer (once softened) and put it in blender.

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5. Add milk and water to blender.

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6. Blend at full power. With the Vitamix blender, leave it running for 7 minutes. The Vitamix blender heats the soup for you, so once the time is up, your soup will be hot enough to pour directly into bowls. If your blender doesn’t do this, then blend to your preferred consistency and heat in a pot on the stove.

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7. Serve. I like to grate some extra cheese and put it on top of the soup.

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This soup is a hit with our family. The kids like to put Saltine crackers in it (like they do tomato soup). If you have no Saltines, the goldfish crackers work well, also.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you all have a lovely holiday season! Happy Tuesday!

 

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Spinach and Avocado Pasta – Again

Good afternoon, everyone! It has been a long time since I’ve blogged about my attempts at making food, so I thought I would share last night’s dinner with you.

I, once again, made the pasta with Avocado sauce, as I did in this blog post. This time, however, I used not spaghetti, but a spinach fettuccine.

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I also cooked up some chicken breasts as the main protein. Since we discovered the meat shop near our new house, I’ve been buying pre-marinated chicken breasts. They’re so easy to cook! I just follow the directions on the meat shop’s sticker (put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes). Which I did. I used two different flavours, the one on the left was Honey Garlic and the one on the right was Mediterranean.

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While my meal was cooking, I emptied three avocados into a bowl, mashed them with a fork, and added salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. I also chopped up two tomatoes.

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Once the chicken and pasta were cooked, I added some of the pasta water to my avocado mixture. Now, while this is part of the recipe I followed, I wouldn’t recommend doing this with the spinach fettuccine water. It wasn’t great. What I would do, instead, is boil hot water in a kettle or add water and put the mixture in a pot on the stove. I haven’t tried this yet, so it would be trial by error.

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I then stirred it and mixed it with the strained pasta.IMG_5562

We then sliced the chicken, so each of us could try both flavours of chicken (though I only chose the Honey Garlic). We plated, adding chunks of tomato over our pasta.

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Overall, it was delicious. It went over well with my boys, but my two year old daughter… not so much. She scrunched her nose at the pasta, said “boogers”, and dumped her portion onto her twin brother’s plate.

Thank you all for reading! Happy Wednesday!

What I’ve Been Up To: Part One: The Food

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written. Sorry about that. I’ve kept myself busy trying new recipes, working on my crocheting in the evenings, writing, and taking care of my four children. This blog is about five of the new recipes I’ve explored.

First up is the Roasted Cauliflower. This is the recipe I followed:

Ingredients:

– 1 head cauliflower
– 2-3 cloves garlic (minced/crushed)
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– Salt and Pepper
– I added a dash of parsley

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Directions:

*Note: The recipe called for a ziplock bag to mix it all together, but I used a bowl.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Wash & thoroughly dry cauliflower.

3. Chop cauliflower.

4. Mince garlic,

5. This is where the recipe I followed said to put ingredients in a ziplock bag and mix. I just put it in a bowl and mixed it all together until the cauliflower was coated.

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6. Spread on baking sheet and put it in the oven for “30 minutes”. I had to put mine for much longer. Closer to 45 minutes. I also turned the heat to 400.

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The recipe I followed said to wait until the cauliflower started going brown. I did this, but it was still wilted and squishy.

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My final thoughts on the Roasted Cauliflower: This was tasty, but not really worth the trouble. I would be just as happy with flavoured steamed cauliflower, plus it would take less time and effort.

Recipe number two: Egg fried rice.

I genuinely had no clue what I was doing here. I’d never cooked rice before in my life. I followed the directions on the bag, but again, I really didn’t know what I was doing.

Ingredients:

– Rice
– Eggs
– Corn (I didn’t have any peas, which is what my husband uses when he makes it)
– Soy sauce

Directions:

1. Cook rice according to package. (I didn’t keep stirring, so the bottom burned on mine)

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2. Cook eggs a-la scrambled eggs.

3. I was really confused here, so I just mixed all of my ingredients together in the skillet.

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4. Serve.

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Final thoughts: I’m a huge fan of egg fried rice, I’ve just never made it before. And while I was completely confused with what I was doing, it turned out very tasty.

Recipe number three: Broccoli-tofu mock stir fry.

Ingredients:

– 1 head broccoli
– 1 small brick of tofu
– Soy sauce
– Water
– Unsalted butter
– Sesame seeds would be really good with this, but I didn’t have any

Directions:

1. Chop broccoli and tofu (into whichever shape suits you).

2. In skillet, melt a small chunk of butter.

3. Add soy sauce to skillet.

4. Immediately add chopped tofu and broccoli.

5. Stir constantly until broccoli has softened and all food is coated with soy sauce.

6. Add soy sauce and small amounts of water throughout cooking.

7. Serve and enjoy.

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Final thoughts: I love this one. I have been making this for my lunches during the day at home. Yum!

Recipe number four: Cod dinner. This is the recipe I followed:

– Cod (they called for “white fish”)
– 4 tbsp softened butter (I used unsalted)
– 2 tbsp fish spice of your choice (I used salt and pepper)
– lemon juice (recipe called for 2 halved lemons)

For the lemon-garlic butter:

– 1.5 cups unsalted butter
– 4 garlic cloves, crushed
– lemon juice (they called for the juice of 2 lemons)
– 2 tbsp cream
– freshly ground black pepper
– chopped parsley (I keep chopped parsley in my freezer for my cooking)

– capers, to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (recipe had the heat in celsius, which threw me off. Accidentally put it in at the wrong temp. Oops!)

2. Place the fish in an oiled “roasting tray” (I had to google this, because, let’s face it, I’m not the greatest cook and clearly not practiced enough to know what this was. I ended up using a casserole dish).

3. Rub the softened butter all over the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with foil.

4. Place in the oven and allow to bake for around 15 minutes (mine was in for longer), then remove the foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes. I kept checking after 5 minutes.

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5. While the fish is cooking, melt the butter, garlic, and lemon juice together in a small saucepan. Add cream in and mix well.

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6. Add parsley and pepper to taste.

7. Serve the fish with lemon-garlic butter sauce and top with capers.

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Final thoughts: While the fish ended up looking like it had been squished between my toddlers’  fingers, this meal was absolutely delicious. I will definitely make this again. We also kept the leftover sauce and used it for our prawns the next night. It also tastes great over broccoli and asparagus.

Recipe number five (the final one): Baked eggs in avocado. This is the recipe I followed:

Ingredients:

– 1 avocado (I used two)
– 2 eggs (I used three)

Directions:

1. Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit.

2. Scoop out the inside of the avocado, leaving a rim of meat around the edges and bottom.

3. Crack an egg into each half of the avocado.

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4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

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5. Serve.

Final thoughts: This might be good to some people, but it just didn’t work for my husband and I. I’ve never eaten a cooked avocado before, and I’ve got to say that I really didn’t like it. I would have much preferred to cook myself an egg and have sliced avocado on the side.

So there you have it. A brief look at the last two weeks of dinners in our house. Not all of them were great, but I learned some good lessons.

Thank you so much for reading!

The Attempt at Coleslaw

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m writing about my attempt at making coleslaw for my pulled chicken sandwiches. We had never had the sandwiches with coleslaw, but the thought of the possibility was always there.

Naturally, I searched Pinterest and found what I was searching for.

This is the recipe I followed:

– 1 bag classic coleslaw (I used 1/2 of a head of cabbage and shredded carrots)
– 1 cup mayonnaise
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (we did not add this, as Hubby is allergic to celery)
In retrospect, I realize that I did not chop the cabbage fine enough. It still turned out tasty, but next time I’m definitely chopping it finer, or perhaps shredding it, as well.
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You will probably notice the hand in this photo. It was my 4 year old son asking “What are you doing with this stuff?” He didn’t give me the chance to explain, he just ran back to the living room.
These are the directions:
1. Mix ingredients. Ta da!
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*The recipe called for the mixture to be refrigerated for several hours before serving, but I did not have the luxury of time, nor had I given this any forethought, so I served it right away.
This is when I made my sandwiches and added the coleslaw inside. I am not ordinarily a coleslaw ‘person’, but when it came to this particular meal, I greatly enjoyed the crunch and fresh taste of the coleslaw with the savoury pulled chicken. This was a hit!
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Thank you so much for reading! Stay tuned for my upcoming blog that looks at how I write. Happy Wednesday!

Potato Patty Mistake

Hello blog readers! It has been some time since I’ve written a blog about food, so I thought I would share with you a big blunder I’d made a few days ago.

On New Year’s Eve, my husband and I (mostly my husband) made a special meal of steak, lobster, asparagus, and mashed potatoes. It was delicious! We did, however, have plenty of leftover mashed potatoes (as is with most meals that includes this particular side dish).

A day or two after the New Year dawned, I decided to do something with the mashed potatoes. I had thought I’d seen an idea for potato patties somewhere on Pinterest, and I – foolishly – thought I could make them on my own without a recipe or any reference guide whatsoever. Yes. Foolish.

Alas, this is my attempt at potato patties.

Ingredients:

– Leftover mashed potatoes
– Butter/margarine (salted or unsalted, the choice is yours)

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The directions I created:

1. Heat pan and put a chunk of butter in.

2. Once butter has melted and is bubbling, scoop mashed potato leftovers into pan with ice-cream scooper. Flatten with “flipper”.

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3. Wait for a few minutes… or until you’re able to slide the flipper beneath the patty without it all falling apart. This is very difficult.

4. Flip patties and cook other side.

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5. Serve.

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Final thoughts: In retrospect, I think the potatoes should be on the dry side and possibly thicker. We like our mashed potatoes to be chunky yet moist, so we add a lot of butter in when we’re making it. My thought is that if the potatoes are thicker and dryer, it’d be easier to flip them. I also think that adding flavour wouldn’t be amiss. These just tasted like our mashed potatoes. Nothing special. Honestly, I might as well have simply put the leftovers in the microwave and had them like that. This was a complete waste of time.

Thank you for reading! Hope you’re all having a great New Year!

The Lettuce Wrap

Good morning, blog readers! Guess what? I actually cooked a dinner this week! Yes, amid my very busy schedule of late, I finally managed to make a meal. It was delicious!

At our house, we love lettuce wraps. I didn’t even have to search for a recipe on Pinterest, because this one is already a family favourite.

Ingredients:

– 1 head lettuce
– 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
– 2 packages of lean ground turkey meat (or beef, if that is your preference)
– Hoisin sauce
– Soy sauce
– Ginger (peeled and minced from chunk no larger than the pad of your thumb)
– 2-4 large carrots
*Note: This recipe is also very good if you add chopped water chestnuts – we just didn’t have any)

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Directions: (for the crockpot – I will write about doing it in a pan instead at the end)

1. Lightly coat the bottom of the crockpot with sauce (both a dab of hoisin and some soy sauce).

2. Put ground meat into the crock pot. Mine was partially frozen still, but thawed would be better.

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3. Top the meat with dribble of sauce.

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4. Add ginger (I used a chunk no larger than the pad of my thumb, peeled it, and used my special mincer to mince it) and garlic.

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5. Put crockpot on high for several hours (could be 5 or 6, even longer, depending on when the meat is cooked). I opened my crockpot up several times throughout the day and “chunked” up the ground meat, though I suppose this could be done at the end.

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6. I added more sauce throughout the cooking process and also scooped out some of the liquid from the thawed meat after it had been cooked. When you know the meat is done, have a taste of the mixture to make sure the spices are to your liking. Add more soy or hoisin if needed.

7. Once it has been cooked, clean a head of lettuce and peel off the layers, trying to keep each layer in tact to create little lettuce bowls.

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8. Peel and shred 2-4 carrots (I peeled four in the photo, but only grated 3).

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9. Add carrots and mix.

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10. Serve. I put the meat in a large bowl and place in the centre of the table with a serving spoon. Each person can take a “bowl” of lettuce and fill with meat mixture.

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**How to cook this in a pan:

Mix all ingredients (except carrots) in a deep pan and cook until meat is done. Add carrots at the end and serve.

*Note: This can get really messy, so I would eat over a plate or bowl.

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This is a delicious meal that my husband and kids love. I like my crockpot version, but it is faster in the pan. Over all a favourite in our house!

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Enjoy and thank you for reading!

Food My Husband Makes

Good evening, everyone! Tonight I’m going to share some photos of food that my husband has made. I believe I’ve mentioned before that he is an excellent cook, but perhaps these pictures will prove it to you.

My husband has made such things as: peach cobbler, cinnamon buns, eggs Benedict, beef wellington, crab, lobster, home-made pizza (including the dough), homemade bread and buns, weekly crepes, cakes, cupcakes, homemade lasagna, pizza pretzels, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding… the list could go on.

This is an example of a flawless meal of prawns and broccoli with hollandaise on top.

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This is an example of my husband’s weekly crepes. He sometimes makes whipped cream to go inside with berries, and sometimes with custard… but my boys always have theirs with Nutella inside.

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This is a photo of my husband’s roast beef with Yorkshire pudding.

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And lastly, these are photos of our dinner last night. We had some king crab legs in the freezer, so Hubby cooked them up and used the meat in some eggs Benedict. Absolutely delicious!

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Again, my husband is a superb cook. His meals put all of mine to shame. But I keep trying!

Thank you for reading! Good night, all!

The Delicious Second Attempt at Enchiladas

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m writing about my second attempt at enchiladas. I changed a few things in the recipe, and it definitely worked out for the better. The problem I have with blogging it today is that my husband helped by making his own enchilada sauce (instead of my strained salsa idea from my last attempt), but after he’d gathered all the ingredients, his iPad battery died and he couldn’t find the recipe on Pinterest again… so he had to wing it.

I followed my previous recipe.

– 1 roasted chicken, carved and chopped
– 1 rice package (I used Uncle Ben’s Bistro Express Tomato and Herb flavour – different from last time, and much more flavourful) (prepared)
– 1/3 brick of cream cheese
– 2 tablespoons sour cream
– A bunch of shredded cheese (I used aged Cheddar)
– 2 tablespoons lime juice
– 1/4 teaspoon cumin
– Salt to taste
– 1 package flour tortillas
– 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
– Enchilada sauce (Hubby made this from scratch – Photos included below)
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This is what Hubby did: I genuinely don’t know in what order he added his ingredients, but I know he cursed this recipe several times while mixing them. I’m sure it would have been easier had his iPad battery not died, causing him to lose the recipe and directions. It turned out delicious, though. We’ve got a container of it stored in the freezer for another enchilada night!
The ingredients he used:
– Salt
– Pepper
– Cumin
– Chicken broth
– Olive oil
– Garlic
– Brown sugar
– Diced tomatoes
– Tomato paste
– Oregano
– Paprika
– Chili powder
– Some other spices that I can’t read from the picture… sorry!
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The directions I followed:
1. Prepare the rice (I just followed the directions on the outside of the package.)
2. Combine chicken, rice, shredded cheese (half of the amount you’ve shredded), sour cream, cream cheese, cumin, lime juice, & salt, in large bowl.
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3. Put the mixture in tortillas.
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4. Roll, and put in a deep baking pan.
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5. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas.
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6. Pour whipping cream over the enchilada sauce.
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7. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top.
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8. Loosely cover with aluminum foil.
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9. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and keep in if you want your cheese to keep cooking. I did, so I put it in for another 10 minutes.
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This is the end result: Serve and enjoy!
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This one was a vast improvement from my previous attempt. It was so good, we each had seconds. Hubby took some to work for lunch and I had my left-overs for breakfast. I know… don’t judge. It was just that good.
I honestly can’t wait to make more. Once I find out the directions for Hubby’s enchilada sauce, I’ll let you know.
Thank you for reading!

The Left-Over Turkey Sandwich

One of my favourite things about turkey or chicken left-overs is what I can make with them.

In my opinion, the very best thing (and the most delicious) to make are turkey sandwiches. They are also very easy to make.

Ingredients:

– Left-over turkey or chicken
– Gravy (left over from the turkey or freshly made from the chicken)
– Bread
– Salt
– Pepper
– Margarine/butter

Directions:

1. Slice/separate small pieces of turkey

2. Toast bread then butter.

3. Put turkey on buttered bread and add salt and pepper.

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4. Close sandwich and top with hot gravy.

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5. Eat with a knife and fork. Enjoy!

Thank you all for reading!

Tomato Soup – Attempt #2

Good evening blog readers! Today I’m writing about my second attempt at tomato soup. It was better than the last one… but not by much. My husband says he loved it, but I think he’s just flattering me.

I found the recipe on Pinterest, but it is a different one than the last one I used.

This is the recipe I followed:

– 7 vine tomatoes
– 2-3 cloves of garlic
– 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
– Pinch of salt (to taste)
– Pinch of pepper (to taste)
– Chicken broth (recipe called for 2 cups, but I accidentally put in the whole container… which was about 4 cups)
– 1 cup cream
– 1 can tomato paste (I added this because I had to compensate for putting in too much broth)

Directions:

1. Mince garlic and put in saucepan with olive oil, salt, and pepper on low heat.

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2. Chop tomatoes (I make sure to take out the stem area – as pictured below) and add it to the garlic and olive oil (be sure to retain the tomato juices). *Note: I made the mistake of putting the tomatoes into their own pot as I misunderstood the directions on the blog I followed. I ended up adding the garlic mixture on top of the tomatoes – which is probably why it ended up still tasting a lot like garlic.

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3. Let the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil mixture simmer on medium for 15 minutes.

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4. Add in chicken broth.

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5. Let it cool for a few minutes before you put everything in the blender.

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6. Blend until smooth.

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7. Return to stove and add cream.

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8. At this point, we added in the tomato paste and I used the whisk to stir it in.

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9. Add salt, pepper, or any other flavours of your choice.

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10. Eat it on its own or enjoy with a grilled cheese!

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Enjoy and thank you for reading!