Somebody Else's to them, whomever they may be.

Somebody Else's to them, whomever they may be.
How I feel after throwing a party...

Thanks for the visit!! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cathy's Sherried Tomato Soup...To. Die. For.

At this point I have made this recipe on several occasions and it is absolutely excellent. It is a recipe from Pioneer Woman and she's never failed me yet. :)

6 Tbsp Melted Butter
1 Whole Medium Onion, Diced
1 46 oz. Bottle of Tomato Juice (T: I used Campbell's Brand)
2 14 oz. Cans of Diced Tomatoes (T: I used Del Monte's Petite Minced)
2 Tbsp. Chicken Base (T: I used Better Than Bouillon)
3-6 Tbsp. Sugar (T: I used 3)
1 Pinch Salt
Black Pepper to Taste (T: I used 1/2 Tbsp.)
1 C. Cooking Sherry (T: oops...I only used 1/2...I just realized. BTW you can find this in the oil and vinegar aisle at your grocery store. It is salty, so do not add additional salt until you have combined and tasted your soup.)
1 1/2 C. Heavy Cream
Chopped Fresh Parsley
Chopped Fresh Basil (T: I only had dried)

In a soup/stock pot, Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Then add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, salt, pepper and stir. Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in cooking sherry and cream and stir. Add in parsley and basil to taste.
Adjust the other seasonings and serve with crusty bread and butter.

Beginning to end I cranked this out in 20 minutes. It was excellent hot and fresh...and no doubt will be even more so tomorrow.

I am tucking this recipe away, not just as a tomato soup, but as a base soup for other soups (such as without the cream and with more veggies and beans a minestrone, etc. The sky's the limit!)

Chicken Adobo

I use to travel to the Philippines some years back and Chicken Adobo was, hand's down, one of my favorite dishes.  I got this recipe from a friend of mine from the Philippines.  I've used it on a number of occasions and it has never failed me.  Happy Adobo-ing! 

2 lbs. Chicken: bonesless, skinless thighs
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
2 tsp. Crushed Ginger
1 medium Onion, Diced
4-5 medium sized Yukon Gold Potatoes, chopped
2/3 C. White Vinegar
1 C. Soy Sauce (Hawaiian if you have it)
1 C. Water
3 Bay Leaves
Black Cracked Pepper
1/2 C. Warm Water mixed with 1/2 C. 7-Up or Sprite

In a large skillet heat olive oil. Add  in chicken, let brown. In a separte sauce pan, add a bit of olive oil and sautte the onions, add in the garlic and the ginger.  When onions are transluscent add back into the chicken.  Add water (1-2 C.) and bring to a simmer.  Add the vinegar, soy sauce and aditional water if needed, as well as the bay leaves.  Add potatoes and let simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Lastly add in the water/Sprite misture.  Let simmer several more minutes then turn off stove and serve over rice.

**Notes: I have made it with and without the potatoes and with and without the Ginger, as you please according to what you have and to your own taste.  Do not add any additional salt until you have added the soy and the vinegar, or you might ended up over-salted.

Very easy, relatively fast and very tasty

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert: Easy Peasy

This is a layered dessert, easy and relatively quick to assemble and well worth it.  It is decadent in its simplicity and its creamy-deliciousness.  :)

Whip it up and serve it out, your friends, families and guests will think you are a genius.  ;)

Note: If you have a food processor your cookies are crushed in no time flat.  If not, a large Ziploc bag and a rolling pin should work just fine.

  • 20 chocolate cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, divided (Tracy Comment: you know that means Oreos, right?)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese (softened or cubed), softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided (Tracy Comment: aka Cool Whip)
  • 15 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped (Tracy Comment: Reese's PB Mini PB Cups of course!)
  • 1 cup cold milk (Tracy Comment: 2% is preferable)
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
  • Crush 16 cookies; toss with the butter. Press into an ungreased 9-in. square dish; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and 1 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with peanut butter cups.
  • In another large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix and remaining confectioners' sugar on low speed for 2 minutes Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in remaining whipped topping.
  • Spread over peanut butter cups. Crush remaining cookies; sprinkle over the top. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Tomato & Basil Soup with Tortellini

Tomato & Basil Soup with Tortellini
Ingredients (serves 4)

* 1 Tbsp olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or 1/2-to-1 Tbsp minced garlic
*1/2 of a finely diced yellow or white onion
* 1 28oz. can Hunt's Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
* 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (Tracy Note:I used chicken)
* 1/2 pkg. of the small pkg. of Three-Cheese tortellini, cooked (Tracy Note: I used the Buitoni)
*2-3 Tbsp. finely snipped fresh Parsley
*2-4 Tbsp. finely snipped, or torn, fresh Basil Leaves
*2 shakes of Celery Salt
*Black Cracked Pepper
* Parmesan as you please

* Crusty bread, to serve


1. Heat oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions cook about 1-2 minutes until fragrant and translucent.
2. Add tomatoes and their juice, stock and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes until tomatoes have broken down and mixture is the consistency of a chunky soup.
3.Add in the tortellini, cooking for 9 minutes at a low boil.
4. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding in Black Cracked Pepper, Celery Salt, Fresh Parsley and Fresh Basil.
5. Ladle into bowls, top with Parmesan. Serve with crusty bread.

Modified Caldo Verde: Collard, Potato, Bean & Kielbasa Soup

Note: This recipe came from One Potato, Two Potato by Roy Finamore.  The title of his recipe is: Kale, Potato, Bean and Linguica Soup.  I didn't have Kale, I had Collards, and I didn't have Portuguese Linguica (Sausage), I had Kielbasa, so that is what I used.  If you have Kale and the Linguica, by all means, use them as you wish.

I'm giving you my modified recipe.  We will make this again and again--it was phenomenal.  One of the great things about this recipe is that you can modify according to taste and what you have on hand.

2 tsp. Olive Oil, plus more for serving
1 Kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (or thinner if you like)
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4-1 1/2 lbs. of red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
2 bay leaves
coarse salt and black cracked pepper
4 very generous cups, thinly sliced, then quartered, collard greens (remove the tough spine, then layer all of your cleaned leaves on top of each other and roll together, lengthwise, very tightly.  Slice thinly (which is what we do), or chop coarsely.  We sliced thinly and then cut the wheels in quarters.  Do what pleases you where this is concerned.)
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can of chopped tomatoes (or 1 3/4 c. peeled, seeded, chopped ripe tomatoes): I used canned
1 (15 oz.) can dark kidney beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 C. cooked beans): I used canned

  • Put the olive oil in a heavy stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add in kielbasa, cook 4-5 minutes, then add in onions, letting them become golden and translucent (about 5-7 min.)  Stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, until it is fragrant. 
  • Add 1 C. cold water, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pot. 
  • Add the potatoes, bay leaf, and 8 more cups of cold water. 
  • Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce to a simmer, cover partway, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the collards and continue to simmer until the collards and potatoes are tender but not falling apart.
  • Add the tomatoes, beans and sausage and continue to simmer for another 10-12 minutes. 
  • Correct the seasoning as needed and serve in wide soup bowls. 
"The soup will really sing if you drizzle each bowl with a thread of fruity olive oil." -- Roy Finamore

If you are serving this on the second day, make sure you have plenty of broth.  Add water to thin the soup as necessary and simmer for about 10 min.  I didn't have trouble with the consistency the next day.

Serve with crusty bread and fresh butter and a crisp green salad seasoned with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, olive oil and red wine vinegar.)

Angel Hair Pasta with Creamy Tomato & Clam Sauce

I made this tonight.  It was spectacular and perfect.  I will be making it again and probably often.

Angel Hair Pasta with Creamy Tomato and Clam Sauce
  • Angel Hair Pasta (1lb)
  • 2 cans minced, canned Clams: reserve the juice from one can, strain the other
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Minced garlic
  • 1 med. White Onion, diced
  • 1 Can of diced tomatoes (or fresh Roma Tomatoes 1 & 1/2 cups of diced or sliced )
  • 2 Fresh Lemons or 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • ¼ C. Cooking Sherry
  • 1-2 cups Cooking Wine of choice: I used White Cooking Wine: We don’t drink and so do not have this on hand.  However, if you do, feel free to use regular wine as you please.  Adjust your salt accordingly.
  • Black Cracked Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • 1 Can Chicken Broth
  • Water as needed
As you please:
  • 4 Tbsp Heavy Cream
  • Fresh Basil (10 leafs) chopped

Makes 6 servings…unless you love it…and then it makes less… ;)

In a large sauté pan:

In Olive Oil, sauté the diced onion, when somewhat translucent add in your garlic.  Add in 1 Tbsp of butter and continue to sauté.

When garlic is aromatic and onions are cooked, add in can of broth (or equivalent in bouillon/water), and un-drained can of minced/chopped tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer.

Separately, in a glass dish: add in minced clams and juices.  Add 4 Tbsp. of lemon juice and black cracked pepper to taste. Mix.  Add in to simmering sauté.

Add ¼ C. Cooking Sherry.  Stir, continue to simmer. Add in additional Tbsp. of butter.  Once the butter has melted, pour in White Cooking Wine.  Let simmer 5-8 minutes, while you work on your salad and salad dressing.

Taste for salt, add as desired.  Because I used cooking wine, which is already sodium rich, I did not add in very much additional salt at all.  If you are using regular wine, you may need to adjust.  Add in additional lemon juice as desired per your taste.

(If you choose to add in fresh Basil, which I did not have and so did not do, now would be the time to add it to your sauce.)

Cook your Angel Hair.  This takes 3-4 minutes.  Be ready with your strainer, however reserve about 2 ladle-fulls of the starchy pasta water.  Add these in to your sauce, and let continue to simmer while you handle the pasta.

Bring your sauce down to a very low simmer.  Just FYI: this brothy mixture is absolutely delightful.  Make sure you take a couple-three spoonfuls to taste to adjust flavors, and frankly…just to enjoy it.  It would be easy enough to get some crusty artisan or French bread and butter and just eat it as a soup…but that would be a different recipe then, wouldn’t it? ;)

Next: Choose one of the following two options:

1: Leave the brothy sauce as is.  Put your angel hair in a dish, or back in the pot, and pour the sauce over the top, mixing all together.


2: Add heavy cream into the brothy sauce 1 Tbsp. at a time, stirring in until you have added all 4 Tbsp.  Once incorporated, combine the angel hair with the sauce.  If you wanted to you could make this a much richer, creamier sauce by adding additional cream.  This was not my desire at this time.

Done.  I served it with French bread and a green salad with a homemade creamy Italian dressing.

p.s. IF you have any leftovers, and you put them in the fridge…they taste great cold at about 11:45 p.m. while in the midst of buzzing around the house doing miscellaneous things.

Happy Eating.  :D

Taking a Break

Wow.  Even I surprised myself with my hiatus from my blog these past few months.
To be honest, I felt despondent about writing.  There was...and much going on the world that I felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to even begin.  On top of it, I wondered if I really wanted to be putting so much of my life out into the vapors of the internet.

So, I decided to take a break.  Give it a rest.  Take a reprieve.

But I'm back.

And I have stories.

And I have recipes.

And I have things to say...but then why would that have changed just because of a hiatus.

So, prepare yourselves, because the words are about to tumble down.  :)