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Friday, October 22, 2010

Soup to Nuts

So, I have declared it....Soup Month!
All my recipes will be soups that we love.
So here goes.
Vegetable Soup
I love this one, because it uses all the stuff in my fridge and
pantry that has just been sitting and waiting to be used.
Heat a non-stick skillet and add olive oil.
Artichokes and purple onion.
Brown a little to get that good, yummy flavor.
 Add some celery, carrots, you know, whatever you have.
 A little cabbage...mmmhmm.
 For the liquid part, I use chicken broth and tomatoes.
 This is the best part...put all of the ingredients in a crock-pot.
Love the crock-pot!
Now for another Mammie secret, (that's my mom) add a little
chili powder to your veggies and it makes them taste
real good.
 Simmer for about 3-4 hours
(you've already cooked the veggies, so it doesn't take long)
on med-high heat.
I put these on about 8am and had it for lunch.
 After everything just needed a little green.
So, I added some peas.
You could use green beans, green pepper, something green.
I add this stuff last because it is more delicate than the other veggies and it doesn't over cook them.
Nobody likes mushy veggies.
 If you are just opposed to the veggie only idea.
Add some chicken.
We had left-over grill chicken from the night before
Chop it up and add it right in.
I didn't heat the chicken, because the hot soup took care of it.
Hot days.
It doesn't get better.
My tummy says, "Alright!"
This soup can freeze, so I put individual servings in the freezer and
pop it in the microwave if I need a snack when I am seriously dieting.
I wish I seriously dieted more.
 You were wondering about that "Nuts" part weren't you?
I am nuts about Balsamic vinegar.
Yes, I admit, the sweet goodness just makes me salivate.
And we live on nuts around here.
We put them in and on everything and snack on them everyday.
So let's put the two together and make them even better.

 Balsamic vinegar
 Together in the pan
 Heat and stir.
 Add walnuts.
Okay, I think just about any nut would be delicious,
but we like walnuts, because we don't like walnuts without the sugar
coated goodness.
And they are very good for your brain.
I really read that somewhere...I need all the help I can get.
 Pour nut mixture onto a greased, foil-lined baking pan.
 Put in the oven for 10 minutes.
Such a short amount of time for such tasty goodness.
 Sugar and Balsamic all melted and caramelized.
Go ahead try some, you won't be sorry.
It's easy.
These are really great added to a salad for that little sweet nibble.
Goes well on that salad with blue cheese crumbles, also.
Oh, my!

Vegetable (or chicken veggie) Soup

1 14 oz can artichokes, browned
1/2 purple onion, chunked and browned
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped cabbage
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1 14 oz can tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chili powder, a few shakes
1 pkg frozen peas

Brown veggies, except for peas in non-stick skillet with a little olive oil. Add veggies, broth, tomatoes, and spices to crock-pot. Cook for 3-4 hours on med-high heat. Add peas or other soft veggies and heat for a few more minutes. Remember to add some steak or chicken if you can't face only veggies. Eat up!

Caramelized Walnuts

Non-stick spray
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Spray foil with non-stick spray.  Combine sugar and vinegar in small saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.  Add nuts; toss to coat.  Transfer mixture to baking sheet.
Bake until nuts are deep brown and syrup thickens and coats nuts, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Cool completely on baking sheet. Break nuts apart.  Store at room temp in air-tight container.

Oh, yes! It is that time of year.
I know you don't want to think about it, but check out this card site.
They have really cute cards, with interesting colors.
Not just red and green.
Also, they plant a tree for every order they recieve and
everything is printed on recycled paper.

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