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Category Archives: Cooking

Soup, Soup: Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

Soup, Soup: Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

It is getting close to ending my chapter of being in college.  I will be graduating with a degree in psychology and art history in May, then traveling right away to Italy and England for three and a half weeks.  I am so excited because I have never left the United States! I traveled a bit around the country, but I have never ventured out.  Not even to Canada, which is very close.  Anyway, because of friends who have gradated or are graduating soon, I have a lot of going away parties to sadly attend.

Recently, a long-time friend decided to move to San Fran.  In honor of her, we threw a going away party and all our friends were invited.  That is a lot of drunken folks to feed.  I find that the top easiest foods to cook for a mass of people is: Spaghetti, pizza, chili and soup.  When I found this Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup from Iowa Girl Eats on Pinterest, I knew that I found a hearty soup that looked easy enough to make.  I had to double my recipe and change some of the ingredients to make it vegetarian-friendly.

Bread and Soup

Need:

Croc-pot (larger size)

1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

6 carrots, sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

8 cups of vegetable broth (I used the cubes where you mix water)

2 cans of great northern beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup for when cooking, 1 cup for topping when serving)

1 bushel of Kale

Salt, Pepper, Rosemary, Tarragon, Basil, etc.

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients into the croc-pot.

soup in the pot!

2. Cook for 2 and a half hours on high or until carrots are soft enough.

3. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top.

See? So flipping easy! I got so many compliments.

The way I made it was with a ton of garlic, which I think made the dish taste so yummy.  I would add anything to your taste.  The original called for a sort of Italian sausage called kielbasa (never have tried it before).  My boyfriend says that there is a meat-textured alternative for vegetarian that might also work if you can’t live without some meat in your soups.  But I think it was fine and hearty without a meat.  I already have requests from my boyfriend to make it again.  I’m going to add more veggies like celery, broccoli, potatoes and mushrooms next time.

Close-up of soup~

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Cooking

 

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Pizza Roll-Ups

I love pizza.  It’s the perfect mash-up of warm bread, gooey cheese and the wonderful idea of toppings.  I personally love mushrooms, spinach, green olives, pineapple, feta cheese and sausage… Yes, all on one pizza, topped off with hot sauce or BBQ sauce.  Yet, as easy as pizzas are to make (and eat) they aren’t very healthy- no matter what the government says.  I’ve seen this recipe floating around the web and I would like to share my “healthier” version of this easy, tasty pizza.  I have trouble at stopping at my limit of five, but they are small enough to pack away for lunches the next day.

Need:

2 fat-free mozzarella cheese-sticks (cut in half, then cut again the long way- hopefully that makes sense)

Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls (Pillsbury has some in the refrigerator section of your grocery store)

Turkey Pepperoni

Cookie sheet

Optional:

garlic powder or garlic salt

cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375*

Unroll your crescents and place 5 pepperoni slices on the big part of your triangle.

On top of your pepperoni slice, place 1/4 of your mozzarella cheese stick.

Roll up your crescent, place on your baking sheet.

Optional: Lightly spray your rolls and powder your rolls with garlic powder or garlic salt.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool and enjoy!

A side of low-fat pizza sauce is great with this or just plain.  Great for parties or a movie night in.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Cooking

 

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Soda Cake

This easy recipe calls for only two ingredients. How great is that?!

Need:
1 box of your favorite cake-mix (I personally love fun-fetti)
1 can of soda (I use 7-up, or Serra Mist. I bet you can use anything on hand. I even heard diet works)
Cake pan/cupcake pan
cooking oil

Directions:

Set oven to directions on your cake mix. (usually 325-350*)

Mix your can of soda into your cake mix until all major lumps are gone.

Pour batter into your lightly oiled cake pan. (you can go without but I had a little problem with the cake sticking on the pan- a little soaking and elbow grease solved that issue)

Cook for 20-25 minutes or until your knife/toothpick comes out clean.

The cake is amazingly moist and sweet. The sugar from the soda hardens a bit on the outside, so you have an interesting texture that I’m sure everyone will love. You don’t even have to mention how easy this was! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Cooking, Uncategorized

 

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Easy-Peasy Bread

Easy-Peasy Bread

I found this recipe on pinterest. It’s so easy I have it completely memorized. The original recipe called for all-purpose flour but I used whole wheat flour and it work just find.

Needs:
6 1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 packet of dry active yeast
3 cups of lukewarm water
1 tablespoon of kosher salt (regular salt should work too)
extra flour to cover dough
tin foil
bowl
cookie sheet
another small pan with 1 cup of water

Instructions:

Set oven at 450*

Mix everything in a bowl. I used wet hands to fully mix everything because it will become really sticky.

Mixed up
After everything is fully mixed in, you want to let it rise for 2-5 hours.
(At this point, you can set the dough in the fridge if you need to- make sure it’s covered!)

IMG_0073
Divide dough into 3 loaves, lightly cover with flour and place on a tin foil covered cookie pan. Let sit for 30 minutes. (I have room to only bake two loaves at a time. I let the other loaf sit while the other two cook.)

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Cook loaves for 30 minutes with the pan of water on the bottom rack.

 

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See? Pretty easy! Now you have homemade bread and can impress your friends with some mad baking skills.

I would like to try this with a mix of herbs and see how that works. Maybe basil, rosemary or even lavender.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Cooking

 

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Super-duper easy crispy chicken recipe

As a college student I live off the three basic food groups: ramen, beer and pencil splinters.  I don’t cook meals. When I was growing up, I was blessed by my wonderful mother who cooked dinner for me every night.  If it I missed my meal, or “fend-for-yourself” night, I would eat cereal, heat up leftovers or burn toast. Yeah, that’s right- I can’t even make toast without burning it.  As my dad used to say to others: “She can even burn water.” Yikes!

 

Now, I feel that I need to prove all those who thought I couldn’t cook wrong, or burn down the house trying.  I managed to come across this super basic level recipe over at Divine Caroline that sounded really good.  I even had all the ingredients!

 

Find:

Boneless Chicken (I used breasts!)

Ritz Crackers  (She suggests a bag/tube and a half, but for my one breast I used only a half and feel I should have used less- you can always use more later)

White Flour (again- use as needed)

Two eggs

Canola Oil

Pepper/Mrs. Dash/Etc.

Preheat your oven to 350° and make sure your breasts (the chicken’s!) are thawed fully.

Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Make sure its a good coat or your crispies will fall off.

Take out three bowls. One bowl will have your whisked eggs. The second will have your flour. And the third will have your crushed Ritz crackers, pepper and Mrs. Dash.

                  *I used a Ziploc bag and my hands to crush my Ritz crackers.. it wasn’t finely crushed but it turned out fine

Now take a skillet and fill the bottom with some canola oil and heat it on medium.

Got everything ready?  Here’s the fun part..

Take your chicken and coat her in the eggs. Then coat her in flour. THEN the eggs again. Lastly, coat her in the crackers.  BAM! Throw her in the heated oil and wait until she browns.  After she has a nice shade on her, throw her into the baking pan and cook her for 20-30 minutes.

Mine was a pretty big piece- so I left it in for 30 minutes and she was perfect. That’s right- PERFECT.  My first chicken I cooked was juicy and so tasty.  And since it isn’t deep fried, I wasn’t feel one singe of guilt. I even managed to steam some asparagus for the side and topped it off with my last Blue Moon.

Too bad I still burnt my toast the next morning!

Stay tuned for more adventures in the kitchen, craft-room and insight to inner thoughts of Emilie.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Cooking

 

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