Friday, October 21, 2016

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

It's new soup time.  Fall is in the air and summer is just a happy thought away so as I like to start off today with a new cream soup. I had to add my touch so I can make it mine.

I have to admit I looked though a few recipes and none were exactly the way I would make mine so I combined a few of their suggestions and added a few of my ideas and here is my recipe.

It was delicious.........**quick can easily substitute cooked small acne de pepe instead of tortellini if desired.  

  • 1- (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes ( I only had diced tomatoes so I placed mine in blender to pulse on grate)
  • 1 (16 oz.) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 4 cups chicken stock(+ 1 can of chicken broth if needed to thin)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon basil/garlic olive oil fresh pesto or (if you do not have the pesto use depending on your taste either 1 tsp. dried basil or 3 fresh basil leaves chopped.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced(use only if you do not have basil garlic pesto)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and  sliced or diced very thin(you can even grate it)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  •  salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Pecorino Romano cheese grated, garnish

In a large dutch oven pot place olive oil, add onion and carrot.  Simmer slowly until onion is translucent and carrot is tender. Add garlic or pesto and simmer a little longer or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, stock, red pepper flakes and cook slowly until tomatoes start to reduce about 30 minutes.  Slowly add milk and and half mixture and cook  a few minutes or until slightly thickened. Add tortellini, salt and pepper to taste and cook on low a few minutes for tortellini to cook.  **Note: Refrigerated tortellini should not be overcooked.  Ladle to large soup bowl and garnish with cheese if desired.

Note:  My soup was not super thick which is the way I wanted it to be.  I figured the uncooked tortellini might absorb some of the broth.  Having said that keep an extra can of chicken broth to thin if your soup gets too thick.

If desired use an emulsion blender to puree all ingredients before adding tortellini.


  Happy Cooking from my kitchen to yours,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chocolate Brownie cherry cheesecake

Our Saturday social is going to be this Saturday and although I had several soup and dessert recipes to choose from I decided a new one I saw on the Hugs and Cookies site appealed to me and it really didn't require a lot of ingredients to make so I decided it was a dessert that would appeal to many....mostly me. lol

Last week I made wonderful cherry and chocolate morsels cookies (what's up with me)? and now I'm into the chocolate cherry cheesecake.  Don't have a clue why but hope you enjoy this recipe.  If I like it I may choose it for a holiday dessert.  Enjoy! Easy Baking from my kitchen to yours, M.j.

  •  1 box Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix, prepare according to directions
  • 1 can cherry pie filling(reserve 1/2 cup to top cake before serving if desired )

  • Cheesecake Filling
  • One 8 oz package cream cheese softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • Hot Fudge sauce for topping (optional)

  1. Grease a 9" spring form pan, line it with parchment and grease again.
  2. Preheat oven 350.
  3. Spread half the brownie in the pan.
Cheesecake filling:

  1. Beat cream cheese, egg, vanilla and sugar,
  2. Spread this over the brownie batter.
  3. Dollop scoops of the cherry pie filling on top, reserving a bit for the tops.
  4. Use the rest of the brownie batter to top the cherries.
  5. Spread carefully with offset spatula.
  6. Bake about approx 60 minutes until baked all the way though.
  7. Cool to room temp and then chill a few hours before cutting.
  8. Top with extra cherries you reserved or use an extra can if you want a lot!!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Crockpot beef and pork cubes with sweet potatoes

Here's another crockpot meal for you.  I'm thinking crockpot meals are the way to go now that I have settled in for fall and feel like taking it easy.  They take the "what am I going to make for dinner tonight"? out of your day.  You do have to plan ahead but I think that 's a good thing.

Today's meal I took a little from a friends'recipe suggestion and added some ingredients I had in my refrigerator. 

 This is the kind of meal you can add in lot's or a little amount of vegetables (I used sliced peppers because I had them and they give the sauce a nice flavor.  Quite honestly I think sliced carrots or corn might be a nice addition as well.

Here's my recipe:

1 1/2 lbs. beef and pork cubes
1 whole onion cut in 4
salt and pepper to taste
1 large sweet potato peeled and cut in cubes
1or 2 garlic clove minced
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can beef broth
green, red or yellow peppers sliced large
1 cup mushrooms sliced(optional)
bay leaf(optional) 

Optional:  Note:  If you want your broth to be a little thicker in a small bowl place 2 T cornstarch and 2 T water.  Stir well until combined and add to crockpot to thicken your sauce about 5 minutes before serving.

Saute beef and pork cubes in small amount of olive oil until slightly browned.  Add onion and cook until browned slightly. Add garlic and cook a minute or two. 

In a separate bowl whisk together tomato paste and broth until blended.

 Add all to crockpot including thickly sliced peppers, sweet potato and bay leaf. Set crockpot to high for two hours and then to low for 3 hours or on low for approximately 5 to 6 hours.Remove bayleaf.  Add cornstarch mixture and stir until combined and slightly thickened. Serve immediately.  Fresh bread or a side salad adds a nice touch.

P.S. the sweet potatoes add a nice touch to this meal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Chocolate Maraschino cherry cookies

Here's a new cookie recipe that I've been holding back trying.  I like to try a few new ones before the holidays so I get a chance to taste test.

I feel the same way about chocolate and cherries as I do with chocolate and bananas.  You usually can't go wrong with these ingredients.  Whether it's a cake or bread, as in banana adding some chocolate morsels steps up the recipe to another level.  So let's see how this works.

I decided to put a few in a baggie with powdered sugar to see how they taste.  I like them both ways.  If you decide to add some powdered sugar make sure the cookies are completely cooled or the powdered sugar will soak in the cookie.

Chocolate Chip Maraschino Cherry Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt(I eliminated the salt and used salted butter).
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
10 ounce jar maraschino cherries drained 

Drain maraschino cherries well. Dice, blot with paper towel until mostly dry; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Add vanilla, mix well.

In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, corn starch, and salt. Whisk together.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mix on low speed, just until combined.  With a large spoon Add chocolate and maraschino cherries, mixing until evenly distributed.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or at least two hours).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using large cookie dough scoop (2 tablespoons), drop dough onto baking sheets, several inches apart.  Bake for 12 minutes, just until edges are starting to turn golden. Cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.
The cookies are delicious and soft and not overly sweet.  A good holiday cookie pick.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Blueberry cream pie

Need a easy,quick and yummy dessert?

Try this recipe .
1 pint blueberries rinsed and patted dry
1 small vanilla instant pudding
11/2 cups milk
1 container cool whip
1 regular size graham cracker pie shell

Whisk pudding with milk allowing to thicken slightly.  Add 1/2 container cool whip. Whisk until blended.

Pour into pie shell.  Top with blueberries.

Add the rest of the container of cool whip to top.

Garnish with extra blueberries

Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Add sliced strawberries for extra flavor and color.


Happy Baking from my kitchen to yours,