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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tomato Bisque Soup

Miss Grace just finished making this for our Church's annual Fall Conference. It is a wonderful soup that is perfect for one of those days when its cold and rainy and you are in the mood for some grilled cheese and some  homey, delicious soup. We make it all the time just for those type of days.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced bacon (about 1/2 ounce)
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), roughly chopped
3 parsley sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When the soup base is cool, remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the tomato puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.
Whisk the heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls, garnish with the crispy bacon and fresh basil, and serve immediately.

Happy Munching!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Cake

It's that time of year again!  The time of year where we pull out our boots, scarves, light coats, firewood, and pumpkin recipes.  This recipe is a delicious twist on the traditional pumpkin pie, and the yellow cake crumble on top makes it almost like a pumpkin cobbler.    

Ingredients

    1 (30 ounce) can pumpkin pie mix
    1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
    3 eggs
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1 package yellow cake mix
    3/4 cup butter
    1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    Directions

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9 x 13 inch pan. 
      In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan. 
      Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Melt the butter or margarine, and drizzle it over the cake mix. Sprinkle walnuts over the top (optional).
      Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until done.
      Can either serve in pan or cut into bars before serving.

      Photo courtesy of Libby's (R)
      We hope this helps bring fall into your home and kitchen.  What do you think would go well on top of this dessert?  Ice cream?  Whipped cream?

      Happy Munching!
      Emily and Miss Grace
       

      Monday, October 1, 2012

      Incredible Edible Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

      If you like Reese's cups, then there are no words to describe how wonderful these cookies are.  They make a large batch, which is a good thing, because people tend to eat about four per person when these are served.

      Ingredients

      2 cups all-purpose flour
      3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine , softened
      2 cups sugar
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips

      Directions

      Heat oven to 350°F. 
       Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.
       Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. 
      Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. 
       Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips. 
      Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) 
      Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. 
      About 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

      PAN RECIPE: Spread batter in greased 15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350°F 20 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; cut into bars. About 4 dozen bars.
      ICE CREAM SANDWICHES: Prepare CHEWY CHOCOLATE COOKIES as directed; cool. Press small scoop of vanilla ice cream between flat sides of cookies. Wrap and freeze.




      These really, truly are one of our absolute favorite cookies ever. We hope you enjoy! FYI- we tried using just 2 sticks of butter once. While they were still good, they weren't as amazing.

      Happy Munching!