Thursday, January 27, 2011

Split Pea Soup






Pea Soup reminds me of the days I lived in New York City. I worked in Long Island City, New York; for an air courier company, called Sureway Air Express. We had this little Greek restaurant on the corner, where I would stop on cold days and order a pea soup. It would come in a "to-go cup",it resembled a fat coffee cup. I can even remember the colors, blue and white and a rim of Greek letters around it. I would take that back to my office and just enjoy the flavors, the warmth and the comfort from that one little cup of soup. I lived in New York by myself at the time and it was always so nice to find a comfort in things, brought a bit of home back to my heart. It kept me brave and daring..

Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:

1 bag of dried split peas
1 onion (diced)
2 carrots (diced)
3 stalks of celery (diced)
Any kind of ham, pork, bacon (I used ham hock bacon)
4 cups of chicken broth (I used 5 cups of water and bouillon cubes)
Garlic (I used garlic, sea salt, pepper mill)
A pinch of nutmeg
Real bacon bits (just for garnish)

Instructions:

Place all these in your Crockpot. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8. I then took my immersion blender and blended it smooth. I like the smooth texture. I also garnished with bacon bits. Croutons would be delish too. I know the color isn’t too pretty, but it did turn out delish.

If it seems thin, let it cool and it will thicken. If upon reheating it is thick, thin with chicken stock (or a cup of water and bouillon cube)

I hope you try it; it was simple and very good

I am always on a mission to make a simple, hearty meal for my loving family. I also like the thought that it was inexpensive and went a long way.

So my thought for today is to hold on dear to the memories of the heart, for they will carry you through the days that are so long.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Mom's Egg Salad" revisited 10/2012




"Mom's Egg Salad"

Thought I would hit my blog up again.

I am in the cooking mood, which is all the time, just thinking of home and of all the good things my mother used to make.

My Mom had 6 kids and I assure you we were always hungry. By the time we sat down at the table, we were ready to eat. During my years at home there wasn’t a lot of eating out; it was just a special treat. My mother went out of her way to expose us to all kinds of food, and cooked every day for us something always delicious. When she wasn't doing housework, laundry, homework, church work, gardening, paying bills, running us around, loving us and making sure we all grew up to be decent human beings...and in one complete statement, The MOM. She would also be milling around in the kitchen, whipping up special treats for holidays. My favorite was Columbus Day, she took a banana and put a sail in it like a boat, talk about creative. She was always making custards, cakes and treats. Another favorite of mine was the jello parfaits. Now in this day and time, what mom has the time to layer cool whip and jello in parfait cups and still run a house and family of 6 kids? Gosh, I can barely handle three. I remember all these with a fond and warm heart.

I think that is where I get my passion “to do it better than the restaurants” and to be frugal and use it all up. It is almost like I am programmed to get that last little bit of mayonnaise out of that jar. Funny right?

So today I am posting, “My Mother’s Egg Salad” if you have never had it this way, then it is worth a try. I find that also by letting it sit and hang in the fridge that the flavors marry more together. I eat this as a salad or as a sandwich. When I lived in New York City, at the restaurants you would order a salad plate and it would have three mounds on it, egg salad, tuna, and macaroni, served with crackers or bread. So sometimes I make this into a meal like that.


My Mother’s Egg Salad

items needed:
10 hard boiled eggs

6 strips of bacon (cooked and crumbled) (I use the real bacon bits and warm them in a pan, about ¼ cup)

1 tbsp of minced onion

1 tbsp of yellow mustard

Mayonnaise (not sure how much to use, just until you think it is wet enough for you)

A dash of salt and pepper


Chunk up the eggs and add the rest and mix together.


I made this today and already enjoyed some of it. It warmed my heart, and left me thinking of home when I was little. How blessed I am for the life my mom created for me when I was young. I try every day to give my children the same that she gave to me, "paying it forward " for the next generation. I had a wonderful childhood and a wonderful Mom and Dad. My siblings weren’t so bad either.

Take the time today to find something to remind you of home. Home is where the heart is, no matter how far away you are. Deep inside your heart and mind are the memories that shaped who you are today. Take a break and enjoy life.

I am taking this moment to say, “Thanks Mom for all you have taught me, without your love and patience I would not be the person I am today.” “I love you always!”

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Taco Soup

TACO SOUP





Hello to everyone,

I have decided to get back into the swing of things..this blog for one. I've decided to start with something I am good at talking and cooking...food and food ideas to make things more simple, seem to be one of my gifts. I am going to share with you all the dishes that I make for my family. Some are just normal everyday food and some of them are few ways to make something good.

If you try them a comment back would be appreciated or drop me a line. I love to hear if you liked it as much as we did.

Soups are a good thing to get into making. Great for saving money, and cutting costs, and they stretch real well. They make a hearty meal with a loaf of bread (I will show you that later on, I own a bread maker and I make my own all the time). Soup are great in any season.

So I am starting off with my soup of the week

Taco Soup

Ingredients

1 and ½ lb of Ground beef (I use 90/10) (you can use turkey, chicken, I have heard of people using chunks of chicken in the soup)

1 onion (diced)

2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5) (I use one regular diced and 1 of the spicy tomatoes diced)

1 can of corn (kernel style)

2 cans of any kind of beans (I use one of black beans and 1 pinto)

1 pkg of taco seasoning (I actually used just the taco seasoning I had on hand in a jar, seasoned to taste)

1 pkg of hidden valley ranch dip mix

4 cups of chicken broth (I used 4 cups of water and chicken bouillon)

I put mine in my Crockpot to cook all afternoon. It also tastes better the few days after.

Instructions:

Brown off your meat and put in diced onions. Cook until onions are soft. Pour into crock pot. In the crock pot add all other ingredients (juice from cans and all) and let simmer on high for a few hours or on low for 4 hours.

You can garnish this with broken up tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, or anything else that you would like.

Tips:

I always make some for putting up in fridge for meals during the week. It seems as it sits the flavors marry and it is always a little better tasting. I pre-package all my servings. I found some 2 cup containers on the internet, and they were a little costly, but they seem to save on over eating, and knowing what is in everything makes it helpful with watching what I eat. They are also great with the kids, they can just grab, nuke and go. Convience.

This soup is also very freezable. Freeze a quart for a night you are too busy.



Okay, there it is, now I will try to keep this up. I am back on trying to lose weight and keep my self busy, until I get back on my feet.

So lots of love to all my friends and family. You will be seeing more of me..