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Showing posts from February, 2011

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup Do grilled cheese and tomato soup qualify as one of your go-to comfort meals?  So perfect in its simplicity, for me, the combination evokes memories of lazy winter weekends, warm hugs and tummy satisfaction. I had a hankering for grilled cheese and tomato soup this week.  Not just any old grilled cheese and tomato soup, mind you, but a delicious homemade tomato soup paired with a crusty, crunchy, cheesy sandwich. My tomato soup recipe is quick and easy.  I use a large can of crushed tomatoes so it doesn't need to be tomato season to make this soup.  I also use homemade chicken stock, but you can use any chicken stock, or vegetable stock, you have on hand.  I really like having complete control over the amount of salt (and other additives) in my stock so I try to use homemade as much as possible.  I know, it's the control freak in me!  Well, let's see how this is done. Donna's Tomato Soup Tomato Soup Ingredients Serves 6  Ingredients

Chardonnay Wine Tasting

Red wine or white wine, which do you prefer?  I prefer white.  Now, mind you, I am not a wine connoisseur.  Not by a long shot.  If you ask me my preference in wines I will  choose either Pino Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.  I like the freshness of the taste and the citrus flavors. Many people prefer Chardonnay when selecting a white wine.  I've noticed that Chardonnay is most often chosen by my female friends, family and colleagues at dinners and social gatherings.  Did you know that Chardonnay is the most popular of the grape varietals in America?  So, I thought a wine tasting with Chardonnay wines would be a great way to expand my wine horizons. I wanted to compare and contrast the flavors and characteristics of different Chardonnays. We spent last weekend in Vermont with our friends Ron and Sharon.  They agreed a Chardonnay wine tasting sounded like a fun idea, so we made it a plan for Friday evening as a way to kick off the weekend. The Wines and The Fact Sheet The Chard

Steak Au Poivre- a Restaurant Meal to Make at Home

Do you want to make a steak dinner at home that has that special touch?  A dinner that says you put in a little extra effort?  This Steak Au Poivre is one of those meals, but it won't take you all day and it only requires a handful of ingredients. Steak Au Poivre Ingredients The Steak Au Poivre Ingredients 2 bone-in rib-eye steaks, about 1 1/2 pounds each Kosher salt 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper 1/2 cup brandy 1 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 2 tablespoons butter Directions Preheat the oven to 375 °F . Crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the back of a pan, or a spice grinder. Heat a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, season with salt, to taste, and coat the meat with the black pepper.  We only cooked one steak and shared it and all the other ingredients were cut in half.   Put the steaks in the hot skillet and cook until blackened and the steaks have rel

Classic Baked Mac & Cheese

Every once in a while my son wants to learn to cook something.  This week he had a craving for baked macaroni and cheese.  We agreed it would be a great opportunity for him to learn to cook this classic dish.  Baked macaroni and cheese doesn't get made very often at my house.  It is a once in a while treat because of its high fat, carb and calorie content.  On those occasions when I do make it I use the classic recipe from The Joy of Cooking.   That is the recipe we decided to make. Baked Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients 2 cups elbow macaroni 2 1/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar or Colby cheese 3 T butter 2 T all-purpose flour 2 cups whole or skim milk (I used skim) 1/2 medium onion, minced 1 bay leaf 1/4 tsp sweet paprika 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs salt and pepper to taste Directions Preheat oven to 350 ° F . Cook the macaroni in salted water approximately 3 minutes less than package directions.  Drain and set aside.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over