Recipe Review: Cookies and Cream Fudge

I’m not much of a sweets person myself unless it’s ice cream but I love to make them. Every so often I’ll try out a new recipe and bring it into the office and let them have at it. Such was the case with this Cookies and Cream Fudge recipe from Lil Luna.

Please pin from original source by clicking on photo.

Please pin from original source by clicking on photo.

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Serves:  not listed but this easily could make 36 bars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used light)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 can marshmallow fluff (7 ounces)
  • 20 Oreos crushed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here.

THOUGHTS

  • Super easy to make and smells amazing – this smells EXACTLY like Blue Bell Cookies & Cream ice cream. I wish I could turn it into a candle!
  • This was a huge hit at the office.
  • Even though this only fills a 9×9 pan it’s so rich and decadent that you need to cut it into small squares which ultimately means that it feeds quite a lot of people.
  • This is a great dessert recipe for all the non-bakers out there!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

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Recipe Review: Roasted Jalapeno Soup

I made this soup over the weekend to go with this Broccoli-Cheese Cornbread (which is undeniably one of my husbands favorites).

Roasted Jalapeno Soup


Roasted Jalapeno Soup

Serves: Makes 2 cups – in my family this only serves 2 people if you’re serving something else with it. If this were the entire meal, then there’s only enough for one person.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 green jalapeno peppers
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and chopped (roughly 2 carrots)
  • ½ cup onion, peeled and chopped (roughly 1 small onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2-½ cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream or milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped and peeled
  • ¼ cup mushrooms, sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • My husband and I were a tad disappointed with this soup because we really didn’t get much flavor out of it. We could taste the cream and we could taste the butter but there was little to no flavor of vegetables coming through. I did not include the chopped tomatoes or mushrooms because my tomatoes had gone bad and my husband avoids mushrooms like the plague. I think this soup has a lot of potential so I plan to try again and tweak the recipe a bit. Here’s how:
    • Double the jalapenos
    • I used matchstick carrots and I don’t think they cooked enough… I didn’t get this wonderful golden color that Chocolate Moosey got. Next time, I think I’ll use pre-steamed carrots. Also, ½ cup carrots is no where near equivalent to 2 carrots where I come from – I used a ½ cup, next time I’ll try 2 whole (same goes for the onion btw).
    • Switch the whipping cream (I used light, not heavy) out for milk

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Remember when I told you a while back that we made our first trip to Trader Joe’s?  Well, one of the things we bought while we were there was some chicken and vegetable potstickers.  They’ve been hanging out in our freezer since then and we decided to cook them up the other night and make this dipping sauce to enjoy as well.  I have no idea where I originally found this recipe – I just searched for a copy cat of P.F. Chang’s Dumpling sauce years ago and found it.

P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

(note: this image is not mine – the source can be found here)

P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Serves: not listed, but this made enough for probably 6 servings for my husband and I, perhaps more.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 oz white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 oz sugar
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients.

THOUGHTS

  • My husband loved this – I thought it was waaaay too salty.  I added a lot more sugar to mine and it was much tastier that way (for me at least).
  • I’ve recently found a post on the P.F. Chang’s website that shows their recipe for their sauce.  I think I’ll be trying this sometime soon.  However, after looking over the ingredients I don’t think they were 100% forthcoming.  We’ll see.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

Recipe Review: Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Yep, another soup recipe.  This time, with quinoa.  Aren’t you excited???  Come on, look at that picture!  Doesn’t it look delicious?!?!

vegetable-quinoa-soup

Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Serves: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • This soup has soooo many good for you things in it.  In fact, there’s not one single solitary unhealthy item in it. 
  • I thought this soup was a little on the bland side unfortunately so for me, it needs some tweaking.  I think instead of plain diced tomatoes next time I’ll used the basil, garlic and oregano ones.  In addition, I like to top mine with a bit of mozzarella cheese. 
  • Serve this with some crusty bread or a turkey sandwich and you’ve got a delicious healthy meal. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Easy Minestrone

It’s no secret that I love me some soup.  I’m especially a fan of soups that are chock-full of veggie goodness and beans and take practically zero time to prepare like this one from Taste of Home

Easy Minestrone

Easy Minestrone

Serves:  10 (or so it says, I think closer to 4-5 if you’re serving this as the main course)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked elbow macaroni  the recipe calls for this, but I don’t include it (see the ‘thoughts’ section for more info)
  • 5 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Just before serving, stir in macaroni and heat through. Serve with cheese.

THOUGHTS

  • This soup is delicious.  I especially love it topped with parmesan cheese.
  • I prefer this soup without the noodles because they have a tendency to get soggy and smushy.  I’m not a fan of either so I just leave the noodles out. 
  • To speed things up, I chop my tomatoes, carrots and celery in the food processor. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches

In an effort to start incorporating some healthy foods into my diet I decided to give these babies a try.  I’m not really a fan of eggs in general, but I do like quiche.  I love mushrooms, which are very healthy for you, so this sounded like a good recipe to try.  (FYI – mushrooms are a good source of B Vitamins and Vitamin D, may promote immune function, are high in antioxidants, and are high in Selenium.  Check out this article.)

Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches

Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches

Makes: 4 dozen mini quiche

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces (I used a half of a ‘roll’ of Jimmy Dean’s hot breakfast sausage which is pork, not turkey)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup 1% milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup.
  4. Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a rack on top of the pan, flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack. Turn upright and let cool completely.

Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.

THOUGHTS

  • The flavor of these is good but the texture doesn’t resemble that of other quiche I’ve had.  These are a bit more chewy.  I’m not sure if I’m microwaving them too long or if it’s because the quiche I’ve had in the past is vegetable quiche.
  • I think I would prefer these with a bit more scallion and cheese.
  • I would make these again if I was having a brunch for friends, but I’m not certain I would make them just for me.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Alderberry Hill
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Making the World Cuter
Mod Vintage Life
My Girlish Whims
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Recipe Review: Vegetarian White Bean Soup

As I mentioned yesterday I’ve been eating this soup practically every other day and I’m gotta tell you… I’m hooked.  I love a good brothy soup and this soup is just mmm mmm good.  It’s ANOTHER Taste of Home recipe (you’d think I’m a rep for them or something with the consistency in which I review their recipes but I’m not… although that’d be cool). 

vegetarian white bean soup

Vegetarian White Bean Soup

Serves:  7

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 cup each chopped onion, celery and carrot
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large saucepan, sauté the zucchini, onion, celery and carrot in oil for 5-7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 

THOUGHTS

  • Top this with a little mozzarella cheese and you have a match made in heaven.
  • I know some people don’t like tomatoes and if you’re one of ‘em, you should still like this soup.  The flavor of the tomatoes practically disappears. 
  • This is a great vegetarian dish if you’re a fan of Meatless Mondays!

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

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Recipe Review: Lentil Vegetable Soup

Prior to cooking this soup I’d never eaten lentils.  Since I’m a rather picky eater I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad bit nervous about making this soup but it turned out wonderful.  I’m happily eating this soup at lunch every other day of the week (alternating with the soup I’ll be sharing with you tomorrow).  This is, yet again, another Taste of Home recipe

lentil vegetable soup

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 can (5-1/2 ounces) spicy hot V8 juice
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium tomato, cubed
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the potato, tomato, carrot and celery; cover and simmer 30 minutes longer or until rice and vegetables are tender.

THOUGHTS

  • Just like the Easy Hamburger Soup I told you about on Friday I placed my potato, tomato, carrot, and celery in my food processor and used that to cut down on my chopping time. 
  • I’ve made this dish as directed using the ½ cup tomato juice + 5-1/2 ounces spicy V8 and I’ve also made it just using the same quantities, but all spicy V8.  I honestly couldn’t tell a difference.  If you don’t keep plain tomato juice on hand and don’t want to buy it, just use the spicy V8. 
  • This dish is filling and makes a great healthy lunch. 

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

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Recipe Review: Easy Hamburger Soup

In typical boy fashion, my husband is a big fan of dead animals… in the sense that he likes to eat them.  So, when I make soup, I usually try to throw in a soup that contains meat just for him (since I don’t like meat in my soup).  This time around, I made another Taste of Home recipe called Easy Hamburger Soup.  My husband has already eaten all of it.  Guess he liked it. 

easy hamburger soup

Easy Hamburger Soup

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces, each) beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 4 large carrots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup quick-cooking barley
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, broth and water. Add celery and carrots.
  2. Place peppercorns on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to beef mixture. Stir in thyme and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Return to a boil. Stir in barley. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until barley is tender. Remove from the heat; stir in parsley. Let stand for 5 minutes. Discard spice bag.

THOUGHTS

  • This is a great soup for cold weather.  It’s got some ‘stick’ with the meat and the barley.  The men in your family (and women too!) will love this one.
  • I did things the lazy easy way and chose to place my onion, celery and carrots in my food processor instead of chopping them by hand.  This saved me a ton of time and trust me, my husband couldn’t tell the difference (and wouldn’t have cared regardless). 
  • I didn’t have cheesecloth so I just added a ½ teaspoon of black pepper in lieu of the peppercorns. 
  • I also didn’t have quick-cooking barley so I just used regular barley (I love it when I’m prepared).  So, instead of adding the barley for the last 10-12 minutes I read the instructions on the back of the barley box that said that it needed to cook for 45 minutes… so that’s what I did.  I plopped the barley in with 45 minutes left to spare on the timer and it cooked up just fine. 

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

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Recipe Review: Autumn Harvest Minestrone

I know I’ve mentioned this previously… but I love soup.  Like a lot.  I even love it enough to eat it in the middle of the 100+ degree Houston summer. 

Because I’m a crazy person. 

Who loves soup. 

Anywho – the one thing I don’t particularly love is canned soup.  It’s usually very salty and well, just not as good as homemade.  Because I don’t have the time to cook fresh soup on a regular basis I usually set aside one weekend every couple of months to stock my freezer with delicious homemade soups.  I did this over Thanksgiving weekend and I made four separate soups that I’m going to share with you over the next few days. 

Enjoy!

(note:  I found this recipe here)

autumn harvest minestrone

Autumn Harvest Minestrone

Serves:  6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 oz each) fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups (1/2” chunks) butternut squash (approx 1 lb)
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into ½” chunks
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled, quartered, and sliced 1/4” thick
  • 2 cups bagged coleslaw mix
  • 1 large leek (white and light green parts only) sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons water

DIRECTIONS

  1. 1. In 4 quart or larger slow cooker mix beans, broth, squash, tomatoes (with juice), turnips, parsnip, coleslaw, leek, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  2. In blender, mix basil, parsley, cheese, oil, salt, pepper, water, and remaining 1 ½ teaspoons garlic until smooth. Scrape into small bowl and refrigerate.
  3. To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls and top with a heaping tablespoon of basil sauce.

THOUGHTS

I was a bit skeptical about this soup because I am definitely not a fan of butternut squash.  Call me crazy, but I just don’t think my vegetables should taste sweet.  I don’t like sweet potatoes for the same reason.  That being said, I have made a minestrone soup before that had a little bit of butternut squash and the soup turned out quite tasty.  So, I thought that this soup might be worth a try.  Sadly, this soup is heavy on the butternut squash and it made the entire soup sweet.  When I asked my husband to try a bite he said ‘this is horrible!’  He shares my aversion to sweet vegetables.  Unfortunately, this entire (giant!) crockpot full of soup went down the drain.  😦  Perhaps, if you’re a big fan of butternut squash, you might really like this soup.  However, if you have a dislike for sweet veggies like we do in our family then this soup is not for you. 

If you are a fan of butternut squash I’d love for you to make this soup and tell me what YOU thought.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

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