White Cheddar and Broccoli Soup

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What you will need

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6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small white onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
4 cups homemade chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
4 cups broccoli florets
1 large carrot, diced
10 ounces cut up sharp white cheddar cheese
Directions

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Melt the butter in a large pot oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes.

DSC_0059It should look like this.

DSC_0064Then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth.

DSC_0060Add the chicken broth.

DSC_0061I strained mine, as if was fresh.

DSC_0068Then season with salt, nutmeg and pepper and bring to a simmer.

DSC_0071Reduce the heat to medium-low and and your broccoli uncovered, for  about 20 minutes.

DSC_0074It will thicken and look like this.
DSC_0078Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you’ll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or you can puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)

DSC_0081This is how it will look when you return it to the pan.  If you choose you can strain it for a bisque like soup.

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Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick.

DSC_0087Ladle into a bowl and garnish with cheese.

Marla’s Moist Chocolate Cake

DSC_0074One of my girlfriends was asking about moist cakes the other day.  This is another great dark chocolate moist cake.  I am dedicating it to her.  Hope you like it Marla!

What you will need:

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1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups raw sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup strong hot coffee

Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes in two round pans.

IMG_1124Mix your flour, baking soda, salt and dark cocoa powder together in a  bowl and set aside.

IMG_1126In your mixer place your raw sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix well.

IMG_1128Then add your dry ingredients.

IMG_1131Once your batter is blended well add your hot coffee.

IMG_1133Now pour your batter into two well greased round pans. Your batter will be runny.

Once your cakes come out of the oven allow them to cool.  Then apply a crumb coat with the frosting recipe below.

For your frosting you will need:

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6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp princess extract (feel free to use a different flavor)
2 tsp meringue powder

Once your cake has come out of the fridge and the crumb coat is hard you can began frosting and decorating.

DSC_0069I’ve had these Russian tips laying around that were ideal for Marla’s cake.  I started with pink chances are she likes the color, me I can’t stand it!  LOL

DSC_0083Since I don’t like pink I added Orange because Marla is always happy, she’s reminds me of what it would be like if sunshine had legs and smile!

DSC_0093Marla also wouldn’t be described as one type of flower so I added three types.

DSC_0096Then I finished it off with a leaf tip #70 wilton tips.

DSC_0075I hope you like your cake Marla, I can tell you that it was delicious!

Chicken Poblano Enchilada

DSC_0104If you love Poblanos than this chicken enchilada recipe is a must.

What you will need:

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5 good size poblano’s
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon pepper flakes (up this if you like heat)
2 cups shredded chicken
3 cups Jack cheese
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup greek nonfat pain yogurt

DSC_0072The first think you will do is broil your peppers 3 to 4 minutes per side.

DSC_0075Once they are broiled you will wrap them up in your foil and allow them to sweat.

DSC_0081Once they have rested the texture will look like this.

DSC_0082 This will make it easy to remove the skins.

DSC_0083Once you have removed skins, tops and seeds you will blend them.

DSC_0084This is what they will look like.

DSC_0080Cook your chopped onions for a few minutes with the salt.

DSC_0085Now blend your onions and add to your poblanos.

DSC_0087Take your poblano, blended onion, cumin, garlic, half and half, milk and yogurt and begin to warm over medium heat.

DSC_0088Now you will add your pepper flakes.

DSC_0091Once your sauce is ready take one corn tortilla at a time and wet it on both sides in your sauce before stuffing them.

DSC_0092Place chicken and jack cheese inside of each tortilla and fold over.

DSC_0093Take remaining poblano sauce and pour over enchiladas.

DSC_0094In the oven at 350 for 25 minutes, then on broil for 3 minutes.

DSC_0096This is your finished result.

DSC_0100 It’s beautiful and holds up so nicely.

DSC_0104This really is a wonderfully mild dish. If you like heat up the pepper flakes.

Thai Spicy Shrimp Soup

 

This soup is so good!

2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons grated frozen ginger
2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
2 stalks chopped lemongrass
1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Unsweetened coconut chips
Add all ingredients to list

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Directions

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Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the molasses, raw sugar, ginger,and curry powder in the heated oil for 2 minute.

DSC_0068You will want it bubbly like the photo above.

DSC_0069Now add one can coconut milk and lemongrass.  I freeze mine and keep infused lemongrass coconut milk on hand.  You can add the canned coconut and lemongrass and get the same results. I just happen to grow lemongrass and freeze my excess. Continue to cook for a few minutes until you can smell the lemongrass.

DSC_0072Transfer to blender and place on high for 1 minute.

DSC_0074Slowly pour the chicken broth over the mixture, stirring continually. Ssimmer for 10 minutes. Then add your shrimp; cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice.

DSC_0077Add final can of coconut milk.

DSC_0082To thicken it you will need around 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with a quarter cup of your broth once your lumps are out poor back into soup.  Never add cornstarch directly to your soup.

DSC_0080Toss in your chopped cilantro and stir.

DSC_0090Here’s the unsweetened coconut chips I use.  You can find them at Frys/Kroger stores.

DSC_0088Garnish with coconut chips and dig in. There is nothing bad I can say about this soup!  Mercy it is delicious.

 

 

Pomegranate Quinoa with Pistachios

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3 cups cooked quinoa
1 jar sliced peaches, diced  ( you could easily substitute oranges, pears, cherries or cranberries)
1/2  cup chopped pistachios
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dates, pitted and diced
1/2 bottle POM pomegranate juice reduced
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons sumac, divided
1 teaspoon dried mint, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh mint

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Instructions

DSC_0077In a salad bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, peaches, pistachios.

DSC_0080Then add dates and mint.

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In a small sauce pan reduce POM juice then  combine the olive oil, , garlic, 1 teaspoon of sumac, dried mint and kosher salt and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.

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Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss so everything is evenly coated. Dust with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sumac and freshly chopped mint.

DSC_0088 Mix well and refrigerate.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

IMG_0953The mint and pistachios really bring this dish alive.  Salad can be served immediately or saved for up to 2 days.

Spicy Tortellini Soup

DSC_0109If you enjoy spice you have to make this soup!

INGREDIENTS
1 medium sweet onion diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans organic diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers (if you can’t handle heat make one can regular diced tomatoes)
4 large fresh basil leaves
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup 1% milk
1/3 cup raw sugar
20 ounces three-cheese tortellini
fresh basil, to garnish
INSTRUCTIONS

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Place the onion,  and butter, Sautee over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

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Add in the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, and  stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes.

DSC_0097Once your ingredients have come to a full boil take your emersion blender and blend completily.

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Place the three-cheese tortellini, cream, milk and sugar into the soup and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the tortellini are tender and cooked through.

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Serve and garnish with fresh basil. This soup is spicy and so easy to make!