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cheesiest broccoli soup

Cheesiest Broccoli Soup

The hot weather is here early this year because we haven’t got anything else going on so why not make it stupefyingly hot in May? When summer comes I tend to switch my eating habits to bagged salad, sandwiches and take out. Let’s be honest, my winter menu is pretty similar but I make a lot of soup as well. Cheesiest Broccoli Soup might be my last soup until October.

Luckily, it’s a good one. Also, it is versatile. You can change the vegetable, the type of cheese, and the starch to pretty much whatever you want or have on hand. The amounts below will give you two pretty big bowls. Double and triple it and you’ve got enough to freeze some for later.

What you will need:

Olive oil or vegetable oil or canola oil

2 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 lb. broccoli florets

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 teaspoons veggie or chicken stock concentrate

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic

1 cup milk

2 cups water

1/4 tsp chili flakes

1/2 cup rice or orzo or any small pasta

What you will do:

  1. Make yourself a drink. Isn’t that how we are all getting from 4PM to bedtime? Well, if you aren’t then get a glass of water or whatever it is you are drinking.
  2. Cut broccoli into bite size pieces (pieces you could get on a spoon and into your mouth without choking yourself).
  3. Medium dice onion.
  4. Finely chop garlic.
  5. In liquid measuring cup, combine 8oz milk, stock concentrates and 1 cup water.
  6. In a medium put, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Then add broccoli and cook 5-7 minutes more until broccoli is wilted and onion is softened and lightly browned.
  7. Add chili flakes and garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Stir in butter until melted. Add flour, cook and stir often until lightly browned.
  10. Gradually stir in milk mixture.
  11. Add rice or small pasta.
  12. Let simmer until the pasta or rice is done (rice takes about 15 minutes, pasta will take what the package says it will take).
  13. Stir in the cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!
  14. If the soup feels too thick, add in water a tablespoon at a time until it loosens up.
  15. Consume!
Easy Chocolate Chip Scones

Easy Chocolate Chip Scones

I said I am not wasting resources baking. What did I mean by that? It means I still have bread so I’m not going to bake any until I run out of the bread I have in my fridge. If I run out. Let’s hope I don’t because the only loaf I know how to make is super basic so it won’t look impressive on Instagram. So this week is easy chocolate chip scones because I have been making these for 25 years and I can make them on autopilot.

I do not roll them out and cut them into pretty rounds. I scoop them up with a spoon and plop them down onto a cookie sheet. I do measure the amount of dough that goes into each scone but that is because I want them all cooked exactly the same and I don’t want to waste any dough. 

You do not have to put chocolate chips in these. You can put currants or dried cranberries or blueberries or orange zest or whatever you want. Or make them plain but if you do that you might want to roll them out and cut them into rounds so you can slather them with butter and/or jam.

Give me a minute, I have to go get the recipe off the corkboard in the kitchen.

By the way, here’s what the corkboard in my kitchen looks like. It’s practically empty now that all the school notices are gone. 

Easy Chocolate Chip Scones

You will need:

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt (the smaller the grain the better)

½ cup sugar

8 tablespoons COLD butter, cut up into cubes

⅔ cup milk (whole and half are okay, I have never used nonfat or nondairy so I don’t know how it will work)

1 cup chocolate chips

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees then line baking sheet with parchment paper or one of those silicone mats or nothing. It’s up to you. Please don’t use wax paper, it is coated in paraffin wax which is highly flammable.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. 
  • Now, this can be tricky. If you have a food processor you might want to make this like a pie crust. Put the dry ingredients in the bowl of the food processor, whir them up then drop in the butter pieces. I don’t have a food processor so I put the cold cut up butter in with the dry ingredients and then using my hands, rub the butter into the flour until it’s like dampish sand.
  • Add the milk and chocolate chips or whatever else you want to add and mix. I keep using my hands to bring it all together because by now, why not? My hands are a mess.
  • Portion out into 60-63 gram drops, like in drop biscuits, by dropping spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. You can roll the dough out and use a round cutter, that works very nicely as well.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, let cool then hoard them all for yourself.
Homemade mashed potatoes and gravy

Homemade Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Originally, I was going to make a turkey meatloaf to go with the homemade mashed potatoes and gravy. There were a few reasons why I didn’t. One, my younger son developed a horrible cold that lasted a week and a half and I never had time to go shopping for all the ingredients and make the entire meal. Two, I already have a turkey meatloaf recipe I like. I think meatloaf is a lot like love in that there is no accounting for taste. What one person adores another will think is a sociopathic jerk. Three, I wanted to make the mashed potatoes and gravy for a very personal reason so I kept that portion of the challenge and let the meatloaf portion go. Four, Contessa Garten’s version of meatloaf calls for 5 pounds of meat. It would take my little family weeks to eat that much. All that being said, we will include her recipe for meatloaf since it looks delicious and maybe you are both in need of a meatloaf recipe and you have a large group of humans that need feeding.

Read more

Sidecars with dried cherries and crackers

Sidecars with Dried Cherries and Crackers

Oh by gosh, by golly!  It’s time for cognac soaked dried cherries!  We drank so many sidecars I was a wee bit hungover the next morning, but they tasted so good I didn’t care. Sidecars with dried cherries and crackers is an excellent way to spend an evening.

I urge you to make these drinks with your friends. Heck, make them with your enemies and they might become your friends. We made the sidecars exactly as directed and they were delightful. Read more

Tasty

Tasty

Tasty is fun to watch, but I have to admit that I have only ever made one thing from it and that didn’t turn out very well.  I am more than willing to say that the failure is probably my fault since, as I have said on many occasions, I am not a very knowledgeable cook.  And that is my problem with Tasty as a recipe app.  The basic things are stuff I already know and for the more advanced stuff, I need more information than is provided. Read more

Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts

Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts

I had to buy doughnut pans from Amazon because I couldn’t find them in the local shops or big box stores. The trend for cinnamon baked doughnuts has passed, so it makes perfect sense that I would now attempt them.

I am not what anyone would describe as trendy. Not because I eschew trends on principle, it’s more that I am not paying very close attention to what other people are doing. I have enough trouble keeping up with what I am supposed to be doing. Read more