Archive for September, 2010


Mushroom Soup

September 9, 2010

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s fairly cool here. 

Fall like.

Usually when the temperature dips I make chili and then we are back to more seasonal weather.  I always make chili in September on day that is 85 or warmer.  It’s a standing joke between my husband and I.

This year I didn’t make chili, I made this wonderful soup instead.

It’s filled with tons of mushrooms and flavor.

Sometimes my husband eats it with croutons on it.  I usually serve it with some crusty bread. 

That’s it, nothing else.  We really like soup, my husband and I, and eat it as a meal.

Mushroom Soup

  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Small carrot, Finely Minced
  • 2 whole Celery Stalk, Finely Minced
  • 2 clove Garlic, Crushed And Minced
  • 2 pound White Mushrooms, Sliced Thin
  • 1 C Chablis White Wine (or any white wine you have on hand)
  • 1 C Tomato Juice
  • 1 C Chicken Broth
  • 2 pint Half and Half
  • 2 C Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
  • 2 t Cornstarch
  • ¼ C Water
  • pinch Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Heat oil, over medium heat, in a large deep pot.

    Mince the carrot and celery nice and fine. Toss into the pot and allow them to soften while you slice the mushrooms.  Next, add your garlic, right as the carrots and celery start to cook down.

    Add the mushrooms to the pot and allow them to reduce and soften. Pour in the Chablis, and let it cook with the mushrooms for a few minutes.

    Add the tomato juice, and the chicken broth. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes before adding the half and half, and bring to a soft boil.

    Grate Parmesan and add it to the pot. Let this cook for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and blended with the soup. Add the cornstarch to 1/4 cup of water, then pour into the soup.

    Lower the heat and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes or so, until thickened. Salt and pepper the soup to your own tastes.

    This recipe makes 8 servings.

    Here’s the original recipe.



    September 7, 2010

    I learned several years ago not to argue with a strong-willed child.

    Especially a child as strong-willed as me.

    About somethings that is.

    This is what Meeshie wore to school one day last week.

    No need to adjust your screen.  That’s a purple hat, red Christmas dress, white puffy vest and she even has blue shoes on.  She’s like a walking rainbow.  She even has a necklace on.  Very hip.

    She is always calling herself a fashionista.

    She loves to tell me that I don’t know fashion.

    She really thinks this outfit rocks. 

    As long as she’s under the dress code, I don’t stress out over it.

    It becomes a big argument and I just don’t have time for that in the morning.

    I do have a job to get to after all.

    She’s worn this dress to mass.  In October.  We go to the first mass on Sunday and the smiles this dress brings to so many people makes me happy.


    Pretzel Crusted Brownies

    September 6, 2010

    I came across this recipe and was intrigued.

    Pretzels and brownies?

    Salty and Sweet?

    I love salty and sweet.  Raisins in popcorn.  Chocolate covered pretzels.  Heck even salt on an apple.

    This recipe hits all those notes and more.

    I love how versatile this recipe is too.  You don’t have to put the cherries in there.  You could add a layer of caramel.  You could add bacon.  You could add dried apricots.  I think you get my drift.

    Gewey chocolatey awesomeness.

    Pretzel-Crusted Brownies


    • 3 C Pretzels, Crushed
    • 5 T Granulated Sugar
    • 3/4 C Butter, Melted
    • 1 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


  • 1-⅔ C Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ C Butter, Melted
  • ¼ C Half and Half
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ C Flour
  • ¾ C Cocoa Powder
  • 3/4 C Dried Cherries
  • For the crust, combine the pretzels, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Press into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 400F for 6-7 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let cool slightly while you make the brownie batter.

    For the batter, first thoroughly combine the sugar and melted butter. Add the half and half, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder, then add this to the wet ingredients. Once everything is evenly mixed, fold in the dried cherries and spread the mixture across the pretzel crust. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

    This makes about 32 yummy brownies. 

    Another reason to love this recipe.  This makes a large pan of brownies. 

     To eat. 

     To share. 

    But mostly to eat.

    Here is the original recipe.  Another awesome blog!  Heather’s Dish has some really great recipes!


    Sloppy Joes

    September 5, 2010

    We’ve had fall like weather this weekend.  I love it. 

    Summer is great and I love that season, but fall.  Well fall is so beautiful.  The trees.  The cooler weather. 

    I decided to make sloppy joes yesterday because of the cooler weather.  I now I can make them anytime, but like chili, I associate sloppy joes with fall.

    My husband’s family calls them crumble burgers and he calls them that to annoy me.  He loves to annoy me.

    When I was a girl, we used Manwich to make our sloppy joes.  That’s probably why I never really liked them.

    This recipe will change your mind if you find that you’re not a fan.

    You can add more spice to it if you like it spicy.

    You can serve it with additional barbecue sauce if you like sauce.

    We like it with some good old Wisconsin sharp cheddar.

    Except Meeshie, she likes hers plain.

    This recipe makes about 8-10 sandwiches. 

    It’s really great for those days of the week when everyone has to be somewhere at a different times but needs a good meal.

    Sloppy Joes

    • 1 T Olive Oil
    • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
    • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
    • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
    • 2 lbs Ground Sirloin
    • 1-8 oz can Tomato Sauce
    • 1-6 oz can Tomato Paste
    • 1 C Barbecue Sauce
    • 1 T Worcestershire Sauce
    • 1 t Tabasco
    • Salt and Pepper to taste

    Heat oil in a large deep skillet.  Add the peppers and garlic.  Saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the sirloin to the vegetables.  Stir and cook for about 8 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.  Drain the meat.  Add the tomato sauce, paste, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, and hot sauce into the skillet.  Stir and simmer until thickened.  Serve on hamburger buns.

    We like cheese on our sloppy joe, but you can serve it however you like.


    Sweet and Sour Chicken

    September 2, 2010

    I found this recipe.  

    Or more to the point it found me.  It wasn’t like was searching for a recipe for sweet and sour chicken.  But there it was.

    I was intrigued because Meeshie loves sweet and sour chicken.  I had planned to make it over the weekend and then one thing led to another and it didn’t happen. 

    But since I had the chicken defrosted, I decided to start the process and let the chicken sit overnight.  As a rule I try to get dinner on the table during the week in about a half an hour tops.   That means start to finish.  Like everyone, we are pressed for time during the week and I just don’t want to waste that time waiting for dinner to be ready. 

    The exception to that is in the winter.  I have a timer on the oven and can plan a meal that may need a long while to cook by putting it in the oven and making sure it’s done around the time we plan to eat.  In the summer I use the oven in the basement that doesn’t have that feature.  I’m not complaining.  I love that I have the two ovens and the versatility to use each one either separately or simultaneously.

    But this time my husband was getting home a little later than usual. 

    I figured if I started the process the night before I could eliminate some of the time that is eaten up by the prep.  So I prepped the chicken, made the sauce and tossed that into the dish overnight.  Then when I got home I quickly made another batch of the sauce, Meeshie and my husband love lots of sauce, and stuck it in the oven.

    I made some fried rice from Trader Joe’s. 

    It was heavenly.  Truly. 

    I have in the past bought the orange chicken from Costco and I can honestly say that will not be happening again.  Not that this is orange chicken.  It isn’t.  It’s sweet and sour chicken, but you get the drift, right? 

    This chicken totally rocks.

    Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1 C Cornstarch
  • 2 whole Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • ¼ C Canola Oil
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 4 T Ketchup
  • ½ C Vinegar
  • 1 T Soy Sauce
  • 1 t Garlic Powder
  • Green Pepper, diced
  • Pineapple, diced
  • Cut chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until browned on all sides but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. 

    Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken.  (I then put this in the fridge overnight and then before putting it in the oven, made another batch of sauce to place in the baking dish, along with the green pepper and pineapple.)

    Bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees F. Turn chicken every 15 minutes.

    Serve with your favorite rice.  I’ve been making it with the fried rice.

    Here’s the original recipe.  Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog is awesome.  She really has some great recipes on her site.

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