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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Roasted Fresh Tomato Soup

It is nearing the end of tomato season here.  A few days ago we had our first hard frost.  This year we've had a bumper crop of tomatoes!  I think I've picked about 2-3 bushel so far and there's at least another bushel on the plants we covered to protect a little longer from frost.

I love to eat tomatoes fresh, and one of my most favorite garden treats is a tomato sandwich!  Tender slices of homemade bread spread with mayo, and thick slices of ripened garden tomato sprinkled with salt.  YUMMMMY! My next favorite use of fresh tomatoes is Aunt Lois's Marinated Tomatoes... so tangy!  A perfect accompaniment for a summer meal.

What we don't eat fresh I bottle.  My family loves salsa and I love Best Ever Canned Salsa as it can be as mild or hot as you like (we prefer mild) and makes several pints.  We also like homemade Chili Sauce and can some of that to put on meats and potatoes.... an old fashioned treat.  

This delicious tomato soup recipe came from a friend several years ago.  At least the base of it did.  I tend to do my own thing with recipes.  The seeds and skin left in can leave a small amount of chewy texture, but I prefer that and it makes it much easier than separating those seeds!   I love this soup with a drizzle of cream and croutons or a grilled cheese sandwich on homemade bread.    Enjoy!

Fresh Roasted Tomato Soup

12 large, ripe tomatoes, quartered

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar

1/4 C. olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

2-3 T. minced garlic (more if you love garlic - I use the minced garlic you can buy in the store)

1 C. fresh basil leaves (I sometimes use the freeze dried basil)

1/4 C. butter

1 can chicken broth (or 1 1/2 cups of water with 1 heaped tsp. dry bouillon) 

1 C. heavy whipping cream

Garlic toast, chunky salad croutons, French Bread or other dippers.

Turn oven on to 500 degrees.  Line a large cookie sheet with foil.  Place tomatoes in a single layer on foil and sprinkle with vinegar and oil.   Place in oven and roast for 30-40 minutes or until some of the skins start to blacken.  Remove from oven.

While tomatoes are roasting, saute onion and garlic in butter until onion is translucent and tender.  Add basil leaves and saute just a minute longer until they are limp.

When tomatoes are done, combine with onion mixture and put in blender until blended smooth.  Place back in pan, add chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls, drizzle heavy whipping cream on top, add croutons or bread if desired.  

Makes 6 nice servings. (many more if your kids eat like my Wesley...  he only uses tomato soup for dipping grilled cheese.  Once the sandwich is gone, that's it.  1/3 C. servings are plenty for others who only dip! lol )

Joy's Notes:  Sometimes we also top our bowls with shredded cheddar.   Different varieties of tomatoes produce sweeter or tangier soup.  If you'd like your soup tangier, add a splash more of the balsamic vinegar, if you prefer it more sweet, you can add up to 1 tsp. of sugar.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Baked Chicken and Rice

When I was growing up, most of the time Mom fixed meals using foods we grew in the garden and meat we had raised.  Most meals were meat and potato meals.  Usually four items on our plates at dinner:  Meat, potatoes, vegetable, and some sort of salad. Most always a dessert accompanied that, often though it was a bowl of home canned fruit.  Once in a great while, Mom would make a casserole or dinner using ingredients we had to buy such as cheese, pasta, or rice.  It was such a treat to have a meal out of the norm. 

One of the dishes Mom would occasionally make for Sunday dinner was Chicken and Rice.  So easy to put together and throw in the oven to cook while you do other things.  This dish is such a comfort food for me!  Creamy, warm, delicious!  I'm not sure where she got the recipe, but the original name was Busy Day Chicken.  

I buy whole chickens and cut them up into 10 pieces for this, or sometimes I buy chicken leg quarters and cut those apart.  It depends on which is the best price per pound.  I've tried using boneless/skinless breasts and I don't like it nearly as well.  The fat from the skin really flavors the rice.  However, if you're really watching fats, the boneless/skinless breasts will work.  This time I used a pack of thighs I found in the reduced bin.  Perfect!

Chicken and Rice

1 fryer cut up or 6-8 other pieces of chicken

1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup (condensed)
1 1/2 soup cans of water
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix OR 2 T. bulk onion soup and dip mix
1 C. long grain rice

Scatter the uncooked rice in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with a few shakes of salt.  Set chicken pieces on top of rice.  Mix mushroom soup, onion soup and water together.  Pour over chicken.  Cover with foil and bake at 325 for 2 hours.  Uncover the last 25 minutes to allow browning.  

Joy's Notes:   This recipe freezes well after it's cooked so if you're cooking for a smaller group it's easy to portion off and free in individual servings OR do the recipe in 2 8x8 pans.  I've also used a deeper dish and doubled the rice and soup mixture.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse Eggs!


It is August 21, 2017 and here in South Eastern Idaho we are ready for the eclipse!  My home is not dead center for totality, but we'll have 99% totality and that's good enough for me.   Our kids started school last week, but we are out today to enjoy the eclipse and avoid the anticipated traffic (that is non-existent!).  

We have picked out the best viewing spot in our back yard and are looking forward to enjoying a few hours of family time!

Here a great suggestion for breakfast if you haven't enjoyed that yet, or any other meal to celebrate Eclipse Day!

The recipe for Eclipse Eggs can be found disguised as Peek-a-boo Eggs on THIS page of my blog!

Happy viewing!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Old Fashioned Cream Cheese Mints

Our son was married a few weeks ago!   We held an Open House at our home in their honor and had a great time figuring out what all we would serve for refreshments.  There was no doubt that we would serve these lovely little Cream Cheese Mints.   My Mother-in-Law made these so often for weddings and Quinceanera's.  We needed to have these in her honor as we've been missing her since she passed away last December.  

These little mints are so easy to make.  We use a soft plastic candy mold but you could just as easily roll into a ball and press flat with a glass or fork.  Give these a try on your next fun occasion!

Old Fashioned Cream Cheese Mints

1 8 oz. brick of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 lbs. of powdered sugar (7-8 cups)
mint flavoring

In a mixer, blend cream cheese and powdered sugar until it is a soft crumble.  Add a few drops of mint oil or about 1/2 tsp. of mint flavoring and mix again until well blended.  If you'd like to color your mints, add your food coloring now and mix.  You can pull part of your dough out to keep it white, and add color to the rest.

Shape mints by rolling about a rounded 1/2 teaspoon into a ball and then rolling in granulated sugar. Place in mold, or flatten with a glass or fork. Lay mints on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to dry.  When they're dry enough to handle, if you don't need to use them right away, place them in layers with parchment between and freeze.  They keep a long time frozen!