Monday, September 15, 2014

Tomato Tortellini Soup


When I got my assignment for Secret Recipe Club, it was still summer. But when it came time to make my recipe, it really felt like fall. And it still does. I'm holding out hope for an Indian summer, but until then, I will have this delicious soup from Amy at The Savvy Kitchen to keep me warm.

There's nothing better than tomato soup, (even though I don't really care for raw tomatoes, I adore tomato soup!) and I love that this soup uses canned tomato soup as its base. I always have it in my cupboard! Add some cheesy tortellini and yummy Parmesan, and boost the tomato impact with sundried tomatoes, and you have a super fast, easy and flavorful supper (or lunch)! This one is a winner all around. Thanks, Amy!

Note: Amy uses fresh tortellini in her recipe. I had dried in the cupboard, so I used that and it worked beautifully. If you use fresh, a 9 oz. package of the refrigerated variety is what you need.


Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the tortellini. Cook for 8-9 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic;


saute until golden brown. Add in the Italian seasoning,


chicken broth,


sundried tomatoes


tomato soup and milk.


Stir well to combine all the ingredients and bring the soup to a simmer. Add in the (mostly) cooked tortellini,


and simmer for 2 minutes. (If you're adding fresh tortellini here, cook for as long as the package directs.)


Remove the soup from the heat and add in about half of the Parmesan cheese.


Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with remaining cheese.


Tomato Tortellini Soup

1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup dried tortellini (stuffed with spinach and ricotta, or your favorite variety)
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the tortellini. Cook for 8-9 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic with the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat until golden brown.

When the onions are soft, add tomato soup, sundried tomatoes, milk, chicken broth and Italian seasoning. Bring to a simmer.

Once simmering, drop tortellini into the soup and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in half the Parmesan. Ladle soup into bowls and top with remaining parmesan.





Monday, August 25, 2014

Almond Joy Rice Krispie Bars


I love rice krispie bars, and I especially love finding ways to "fancy" them up. This recipe mimics a favorite candy bar, mixing in coconut, almonds and chocolate. These make a wonderful after school snack!

Some of the great flavor in these bars comes from toasting the almonds and the coconut - it is surprising how much the flavors of those ingredients intensifies after being toasted! It's so simple, but makes a huge difference, so be sure not to skip it!

I toast almonds and coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat. (In two batches, one for almonds and one for coconut - but no need to wash the pan in between!) Just be sure to stir often so they don't burn.


Now, melt the butter in a Dutch oven (this is my method - only one pan/dish to wash!) over medium low heat, then add the marshmallows.


Stir gently until the marshmallows are melted, then remove from the heat. Add the almond extract and rice krispies, coconut


and almonds.


Press into a greased 9x13 pan, and press down with your fingers. (It helps to grease your hands, too!) Sprinkle with the chocolate chips,


lightly pressing them into the cereal mixture.


Let cool, then cut into squares!


One year ago: Peanut Ice Cream with Chocolate Flakes
Two years ago: Lemon Raspberry Tart with Poppyseed Crust
Three years ago: Chicken BLT Pasta Salad
Four years ago: Bok Choy Chicken Salad
Five years ago: Corn Dip

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, Tickle my Tastebuds.

Almond Joy Rice Krispie Bars

4 Tbsp. butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3/4 teaspoon of Almond extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and mix in the almond extract.

Add the rice krispies, toasted almonds and toasted coconut. Stir until well coated.

Press mixture into a greased 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, pressing them into the rice krispies. Let cool. Cut into squares.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pear Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce


This month for Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Manu's Menu, where Manuela blogs Italian, Australian and Indian dishes. She has a great story, and it was fun to comb through her recipe archive! In the end I settled on pear ice cream since I have been quite neglectful in making ice cream this summer and because I love pears! I also love anything pear with caramel, and this ice cream is served with salted caramel sauce. Win/win! Manuela also made some lovely pear crisp baskets in which to serve the ice cream, but making the ice cream was about as ambitious as I got this month, as I'm preparing to move houses! I use this ice cream as a lovely treat after a day of work and packing! It's so easy to throw together! I hope you'll try it soon!

In a large measuring cup, combine the cream, milk and sugar.


Whisk it well, then add this mixture to a blender or food processor. Add in the drained pears.


(If you prefer, you can use 2 fresh pears. I used canned for convenience.) Process this until there are only small chunks of pear. Pour into an ice cream freezer


and churn until it reaches soft serve stage.


Transfer the ice cream to a freezer container and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Top with caramel sauce to serve.


One year ago: Salmon with Mustard Cream and Cheesy Breadcrumbs
Two years ago: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Three years ago: Apricot Pistachio Ice Cream
Four years ago: Kung Pao Steak with Vegetables
Five years ago: Fiesta Scramble

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Pear Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce

3/4 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 can pears in juice, drained
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
salted caramel sauce for serving

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, cream and sugar. Pour into a blender or food processor and add lemon juice and pears. Puree until only small chunks of pear remain. Pour batter into an ice cream maker and churn until at soft serve stage. Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least four hours. Top with salted (or regular) caramel sauce to serve.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa


As the summer winds down (sigh), it's great to find recipes that can be made in a flash. Weeknights are a busy time, so getting a good, healthy dinner on the table as quickly as possible can be a challenge. Not so with this fish! Just like many of the other fish recipes here, this one comes is fast, fast, fast, ensuring a relaxing dinner hour, with plenty of time to enjoy what you made! And with the fruity salsa, this dish will remind you of summer days, even on the coldest winter day.


Combine pineapple, red onion, jalapeño, red pepper, cilantro,


lime juice,


and salt in a small bowl. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle fish with cumin and chili powder.


Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side


or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Spoon pineapple salsa over fish.


One year ago: S'mores cookie bars
Two years ago: Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting
Three years ago: Sweet Corn Pizza
Four years ago: Feta Zucchini Pancakes
Five years ago: Honey Garlic Pork Chops

Find more great ideas at Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, Pennywise Platter.

Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa

1 cup chopped pineapple
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 mini red pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Combine pineapple, red onion, jalapeño, red pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle fish with cumin and chili powder. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Spoon pineapple salsa over fish.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream


Well, it finally feels like summer here, which is a perfect excuse to whip up some homemade ice cream. Cookies and Cream is one of my favorite ice cream flavors of all time, and I can't believe I haven't made it before now! It's super fast and easy too, using my sweetened condensed milk method. Beat the heat with this delicious ice cream today!

In a large bowl or measuring cup (I like to use my batter bowl because it's easier to pour into the ice cream maker) combine the half and half, cream,


sweetened condensed milk


and vanilla.


Whisk this well, then pour into an ice cream freezer


and churn until soft serve stage. Add the crushed cookies


and churn until they are distributed. Transfer to a freezer safe container


and freeze at least four hours.


One year ago: Thai Style Curry with Shrimp and Pineapple
Two years ago: Restaurant Style Salsa
Three years ago: Marinated London Broil
Four years ago: Black Forest Freezer Pie
Five years ago: Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Totally Talented Tuesday, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, Tasty Tuesday, Tickle my Tastebuds, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking 2, Yuck Stops Here.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

12 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla

Whisk together the half and half, cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a large batter bowl or measuring cup. Pour into an ice cream freezer and churn until soft serve stage. Add the crushed cookies and churn until they are distributed. Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze at least four hours.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Peach Glazed Salmon


I know I say this every time I try a new recipe for salmon, but this is THE BEST new recipe for salmon!! As usual, it fits my requirements for fish: super fast, super tasty! This salmon cooks so quickly you barely have time to steam some vegetables - truly, it's THAT fast. Plus it has the nice sweet/spicy contrast, although don't let the title fool you - it's really not spicy at all.

First, combine the cajun seasoning and brown sugar in a small bowl.


Coat both sides of the salmon fillets with the spice mixture,


and heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. While the oil heats up, combine the peach jam and lime juice in a small dish and whisk together.


Place the fillets in the pan, and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness.


(Salmon will flake easily with a fork when it's done - err on the side of less cooking time. You don't want tough salmon!) Remove the fish from the pan and place on a plate. Reduce the heat to low, and add the jam/lime juice mixture.


Deglaze the pan (that means scrape up all the nice brown bits) with the jam mixture, and let it cook for a minute or so.


Spoon the topping over the fish


and serve!


One year ago: Strawberry Donuts
Two years ago: Strawberry Ice Cream
Three years ago: Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade
Four years ago: Black Forest Freezer Pie
Five years ago: Kitchen Sink Muffins

Get more great recipes at Full Plate Thursday, Showcase your Talent, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday 2, Friday Flash.

Sweet and Spicy Peach Glazed Salmon

2 boneless salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 heaping Tbsp. peach jam
2 tsp. lime juice

Combine the cajun seasoning and brown sugar in a small bowl. Rub the mixture evenly over the two pieces of salmon. Heat vegetable oil in a non stick pan over medium-high heat. Cook salmon (depending on thickness) about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Blend the peach preserves and lime juice; add to the hot pan and swirl around gently to coat the fish and allow the sauce to thicken. Remove fish from pan and pour any sauce over the salmon.

Recipe Source: Mountain Mama Cooks

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mini Pepper Chicken Nachos


I saw these a while back on another blog and pinned them immediately. I'm trying to eat less junk food, and although tortilla chips shouldn't really count as junk food, unfortunately they do. At least right now. But this is a genius way to have nachos without the chips - and I promise, you won't even miss them! This nicely-spiced chicken mixture is PERFECT in mini peppers - and it ups your veggie intake. All good stuff! These make a great appetizer, and a great dinner alike. Enjoy them on their own for dinner or alongside a big green salad - either way, you WILL enjoy them.

Heat the oil in a 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and the white parts of the green onions and cook and stir 1 minute. Combine the chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, '


paprika, cumin, salt and pepper; add this to the skillet


and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken


and toss until all ingredients are well coated and chicken is warm, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salsa.


Slice the ends off each mini bell pepper and slice in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs and press each half open so the peppers are as flat as possible. Arrange close together in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

Spoon chicken mixture evenly over pepper halves. Top with black olives


and cheese. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.


If you like, top with tomatoes, cilantro, and remaining green onions.

One year ago: Tropical Sunrise Muffins
Two years ago: Raspberry Streusel Muffins
Three years ago: Raspberry Almond Bars
Four years ago: Black Forest Freezer Pie
Five years ago: Fruit Crisp

Get more great recipes at Mouthwatering Mondays, Inspiration Mondays, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, Tasty Tuesday, Tickle my Tastebuds, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking 2, Yuck Stops Here.

Mini Pepper Chicken Nachos

1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, sliced, white parts and green parts separated
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 cup salsa
1 pound mini bell peppers
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar/Monterey jack cheese blend
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro

Heat the oil in a 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and the white parts of the green onions and cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken and toss until all ingredients are well coated and chicken is warm, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salsa.

Slice the ends off each mini bell pepper and slice in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs and press each half open so the peppers are as flat as possible. Arrange close together in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

Spoon chicken mixture evenly over pepper halves. Top with black olives and cheese. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven, top with tomatoes, cilantro, and remaining green onions. Serves 6-8 as an appetizer.

Recipe Source: Sweet Pea's Kitchen
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