Friday, January 30, 2015

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I'm on a quest to find Tradish's signature soups. Soup is a must this time of year, not only because it's cold but because it's comforting. The whole experience of eating soup is captivating. It's all about using your senses, awakening memories, or making new ones. Without spoiling the surprise, I will share these recipes with you because we both know nothing tastes as good as when someone else makes it for you. I trust, that you will gladly buy soup from Tradish someday soon. Super bowl XXLIVC (I totally made that up) is a few days away, taking Chili out of the mix, nothing reminds me more of game day then Chicken Tortilla Soup. As smoky as it is acidic, the peppers combine with lime juice and Cilantro to invite your taste buds to a tailgate of their own. The garnishes are just as important for this soup as the main ingredients, so no skimping. This simple recipe is adapted from Food Network Making it Easy, and is definitely a keeper. Enjoy a cup or 3 on game day during commercials or while they let the air out of the quarterbacks egos. If the game has nothing new and exciting at least the soup does, let's eat.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

6 cups chicken broth, low-sodium canned

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed

1 ripe tomato, chopped

1 cup shredded cooked chicken

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)

About a dozen corn tortilla chips,(we like mission strips) broken a bit

Lime wedge for garnish


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chipotle, chili powder, and salt and cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook for 5 minutes more.

Pull the saucepan from the heat and stir in the tomato, chicken, cilantro, and lime juice. Divide the tortilla chips among 4 warmed bowls, ladle the soup on top, and serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Know-How Get every last drop of juice from those little limes. Before halving, microwave them for a few seconds and roll them under the palm of your hand to release the juice from the pulp.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I heart crockpot cooking!

If your looking for a rainy day stew, look no further. This recipe is a little different and one I found in a book I purchased for $2 bucks at an estate sale. Now that this recipe is a keeper, the book is worth every penny.
Sausage & Vegetable Stew serves 4-6 ppl
Adapted from Stephanie O'deas Make it Fast, Cook it Slow
-4 cups carrot celery onion
-2 cups sliced mushrooms
-2 potatoes cubed (you can omit and serve over rice)
-6 fully cooked Chicken Sausage Links- I used spinach and provolone
-2 cups Chicken Broth
-1/3 cup dry white wine or sub red wine vinegar
-1 large handful of baby spinach
- 1 ts granulated garlic
- parmigiano reggiano
- 2 tbs of olive oil
Cut the veggies into 2 inch chunks and place at the bottom of your crock pot. Add sliced mushrooms to the pot. Drizzle olive oil over veggies. Add garlic and stir. Add sliced sausages on top and pour in broth and wine. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Add a handful of spinach 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parmigiano and serve. If you want omit the potatoes and serve cover brown rice. This dish is great for fall.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stuffed Peppers

Finally the chill is back in the air and it's time for some hearty fall flavors. This recipe is my version of my Grammy Stella Gallagher Stuffed Peppers. Her comfort food style of cooking stems from her roots growing up in a coal mining town. Her cooking style was somewhat southern with hints of Pennsylvania Dutch. Her food was always comforting and gave you a feeling of being home. My Mom has a version and actually my sister Hanna makes a Mediterranean version with feta and orzo. This recipe is my version for an easy fall dinner. Time to plug in that crock pot, cool weather cooking is back.
Stuffed Peppers hand-me-down

-1lb ground beef 90/10
-1 cup white beans
-1/2 bag microwave Brown Rice, or Quinoa (90 second)
-2 jars tomato sauce, I use Trader Joe's
-1tbs EVOO
-1tbs Worcestershire
-pinch oregano, granulated garlic, thyme, grated park
-dash hot sauce
-5-6 medium-sized green peppers
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1/2 cup chopped pepper
-grated pram
- salt and pepper to taste

Cut off tops of peppers, remove seeds and membrane. Rinse under cold water. In large mixing bowl combine beef, reserve sauce, EVOO, Worcestershire, spices, hot sauce, onion, pepper, rice, and beans. Mix all ingredients until incorporated. Stuff each pepper and place in crock pot. Fill with sauce 1/2 way covering peppers. Set crock pot to 4 to 5 hrs on low. Serve with side salad and garlic bread.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Best Birthday Cake Ever

This is an old recipe I made for Stella's 3rd Birthday. It was the cover picture that Summer on Family Circle Magazine. I thought I gotta make that cake. Needless to say it's the food of legends and fairytales. It more then wows the crowd, it's time consuming but easy and truly makes the guest of honor feel super special. This year my birthday buddies, Stella and Max, are tag teaming this tasty treat. Thankfully they both picked mint chocolate chip. Create any flavor combo, or take requests. It will be a bittersweet tradition as our first borns turn another year older it also means summers over. No better way to celebrate them ages 4 and 8, then with this ICE CREAM SPECTACULAR!
Homemade Ice Cream Cake
:from Family Circle Magazine's recipe

24 Oreos plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon milk
8 to 9 ice cream sandwiches, depending on size
1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream- sky's the limit pick any flavor
1 pint Dutch chocolate
(The original recipe calls for a 3rd flavor but 2 will do)
1 container of cool whip

Coat bottom and side of a 9-inch round springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line side with waxed paper, using spray to help adhere to pan. Trim paper to height of pan.
Finely crush 12 of the cookies in a food processor. Add milk; pulse just until mixture holds together. Set aside. Pulse next batch of 12, no milk just dry crumbs set aside in separate bowl.

Unwrap 4 ice cream sandwiches. Working quickly, cut each in quarters. Stack strips of sandwiches on end, packing them snugly together, around waxed-paper-lined pan. Repeat with remaining sandwiches to form a stand-up edge. Spoon milk cookie crumbs into center of pan; press firmly over bottom. Freeze 1 hour.

Remove both flavors of ice cream from freezer and let soften for 15 minutes at room temperature. Transfer mint ice cream to a small bowl and stir until good but firm spreading consistency. Repeat with chocolate. Remove pan from freezer. Spread mint ice cream on bottom, then top with second set of crushed cookies. Then top with chocolate ice cream, you can repeat layer of mint for 3 layers. Up to you. Top with thawed whipped topping swirling top decoratively. Garnish with more crumbs or whole Oreos. Cover and Freeze overnight.
To serve, remove side of pan, then waxed paper. Cut into wedges.

**I know mine is square, I couldn't find my spring form pans. Compromise to make it work. But the circle definitely holds more and has a better presentation.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chicken N Rice

Back to school means back to germ city. There is nothing better for those sick days then this chicken and rice soup. The original recipe stems from my Mom, she makes it at Thanksgiving with leftover turkey. I always have leftovers when I buy a rotisserie chicken and tonight it's leftovers turned soup.
1 container Mirepoux (Trader Joe's) fancy culinary term for diced carrot, celery, onion
2-3 tbs olive oil
1 container free range chicken broth
1-2 cups water
1 bouillon cube
1 breast picked and shredded chicken
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup Uncle Ben's instant brown rice
1 clove garlic
Pinch thyme
2-3 Bay leaf

Place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the mirepoix stirring until evoo has coated the veggies and they are mixed. Slice end off garlic clove and crack it with flat side of your knife add to the mix. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the onions are translucent not browned. Add rice and stir to coat with the evoo. Turn flame to low. Then add the chicken, broth, bouillon, and water- bring the liquid to low simmer. Taste test and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low until the rice is tender-about 20 minutes. Serve hot w/ favorite crackers. My Mom used to serve it to me with buttered saltines! Yum.

**cooking the rice or any starch in your broth makes a thicker broth.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Toasted Perfection

For some unknown reason there is no written recipe for this remarkable family garlic bread. Of course over the years I've added my own twist on it by added fresh or dried herbs but that's one of the reasons I love it. It goes with everything soup to nuts. Oh and did I mention my kids love it so much sometimes I catch them just eating the buttered part. But it's ok cause then I know they are mine.
Bissell Family Garlic Bread
Any day old bread, Kaiser rolls, French or Italian -if it's a loaf slice long ways.
1 stick butter unsalted
1 bunch basil leaves washed and patted dry
2 stalks scallion white and green slices
1-2 tsp salt
Dash thyme
Dash granulated garlic
Dash onion powder
Garnish Tops
2 tablespoons Romano Cheese
2 tablespoons sedans seeds black or white

Preheat oven to 375. Line sheet try with foil, unless pans are non stick.
In food processor add butter, pulse. Add rest of ingredients, except cheese and seeds, until combined. You will need to scrape the sides down a few times.
Empty butter into serving dish. Butter tops of bread. Sprinkle w/ scallions, cheese and seeds. Bake until golden brown about 10 minutes. Or wrap and refrigerate if made ahead of time. As Dean would say..."mmm, da-li-sus"!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Perfect Pulled Pork Southern Style Crock Pot Recipe

As summer winds down we do not want to spend our last school free moments in the kitchen. This is a full proof delish down home dinner. You can serve with onion straws, coleslaw, baked beans (I did), corn salad, etc. You get the idea. Sad to see summer go? Well so am I and Olaff I'm sure. Nothing a crock pot and an onion soup packet can't fix. This recipe is a keeper, so click print now. The original recipe has been tweaked but courtesy of Lipton Recipe Secrets:
3- lb. boneless pork shoulder
1 envelope Onion Soup Mix
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. hot pepper sauce (optional)
1/4 cup veggie stock
Dash cinnamon, thyme, pepper, cayenne, granulated garlic
10 soft rolls, like Kaiser or egg twist

Arrange pork in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients except rolls and pour over pork; turn to coat.
Cook covered LOW 8 to 10 hours or until pork is tender (or timer pops).
Remove pork; reserve juices. Shred pork with fork, then stir into reserved juices. Serve on rolls.

Recipe Idea: Pulled Pork Tacos