Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Just wanted to let everyone know that I am on a brief hiatus while we finish moving into our new house. The next little while is going to be quite busy - moving, Thanksgiving, having a baby - so I'll post when (if) I can, and once things settle down I'll get back to posting more regularly.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Spicy Italian Soup

I based this off of a recipe for Zuppa Toscana from The Olive Garden. But, being me, I changed and substituted so much stuff that I can't really call it that anymore. So Spicy Italian Soup it is. I made this for a church dinner we had last Saturday, and everyone who tried it raved about it. I was getting recipe requests and compliments all over the place. That always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. :-)

So here's the soup as I made it. Don't be put off by the number of ingredients - they're all cheap.

Spicy Italian Soup
1 lb. ground beef
1 large diced red onion (you could use any color onion here)
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. bacon grease (or oil)
10 cups water
5 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 tsp. ground sage
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (reduce or eliminate if you don't like spicy)
1-2 tsp. salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. sliced potatoes
1 cup milk
3/4 cup powdered milk
1 tbsp. margarine
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Brown ground beef in large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.

In the same pan, saute onions and garlic in bacon grease for approximately 15 minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Mix together the water and chicken bouillon, then add it to the onions and garlic. Add sage, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Cook until boiling.

Add potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.

Combine the milk and powdered milk. Add to soup along with margarine. Cook until thoroughly heated.

Stir in the ground beef and spinach. Heat through.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Caramelized Apples on French Toast

We got a loaf of French bread on clearance yesterday, and Jeff wanted to use it to make French toast this morning. I'm not going to give a recipe for the French toast, we just do it very basic and everyone has a recipe for basic French toast - milk, egg, some cinnamon, dip the bread, cook the bread, yada yada.

But I am going to post the recipe for the delicious Caramelized Apples we used to top the toast. I found this recipe on Real Mom Kitchen, and it was wonderful! The perfect topping for French toast, pancakes, waffles, or ice cream and other desserts.

Caramelized Apples
3 Tbs unsalted butter (I used margarine)
5 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I just use vanilla flavoring)

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir apples into sugary, buttery mixture until coated. Let apples cook and caramelize, about 15 minutes, stirring every so often (reduce heat as needed). Remove skillet from heat and stir in vanilla. Can be served warm, room temperature, or cold as desired.

Easy and delicious!