Easy Tomato Soup

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So true, right? So I love tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches paired together. I have shared a few grilled cheese sandwich recipes, but now it is time to share a tomato soup recipe. I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but it was shared with me from my mother.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Cups of Chicken Broth
  • 1 6-oz Can of Tomato Paste
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Cup of Half and Half
  • Chopped Fresh Tomatoes, Optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, saute garlic in butter for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in flour, until blended.
  3. Gradually add the chicken broth.
  4. Stir in tomato paste and cayenne until well blended.
  5. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 mins or until thickened.
  6. Reduce heat and gradually stir in cream. (Do not boil)
  7. Garnish with chopped tomatoes if desired.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I LOVED it! This soup was so good, especially with grilled cheese sandwiches. I recommend it.

For more soup recipes, go to Iron-Rich Black Bean Soup

For more tomato soup recipes, go to One-Pot Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

For more recipes, go to Hillshire Farm Crustless Quiche

Crazy Cantina Chili

So today is:

As I am part Mexican, this is a holiday I celebrate every year. I haven’t posted anything for this day yet as haven’t made anything that would be perfect for any Cinco de Mayo celebration. But today I have something:

Chili

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So a friend of mine entered me in a chili competition and I was at a loss of what to do. I’ve never really cooked chili, but then I decided to do a recipe from The Star Wars Cookbook:Wookie Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes by Robin Davis.

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-0z Can of Kidney Beans
  • 1 16-oz Can of Black Beans
  • 1 16-oz Can of Garbanzo Beans
  • 1/2  a Large Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 28-oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes with Juice (I used the Diced Tomatoes with Chiles as I like my food HOT!)
  • 1 Cup of Tomato Juice
  • 1 lb of Ground Beef or Turkey (Optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt

Directions for Vegetarian Chili:

  1. Open the cans of beans. Drain off the liquid from the cans in the sink. Rinse and set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and set aside.
  3. Put the oil in a large saucepan and set the pan on medium heat.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and stir with a wooden spoon until tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chili powder and cayenne pepper and stir for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato juice; and stir well.
  7. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve Chili with cheese and/or sour cream

Directions for Meat Chili:

  1. Cook meat in a pan on the stove.
  2. Follow the directions above, adding the meat during step 7.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I thought the original recipe was good, but wasn’t as hot as I liked it so I added the chiles. I also included meat as I thought it would be more appealing.

I didn’t win the contest, but I had fun trying.

For more recipes to help with your Cinco de Mayo, go to Best Guacamole Ever! (Plus Make Your Own Tortilla Chips!)

For more from The Star Wars Cookbook, go to Twin Sun Toast

For more holiday posts, go to Yoda Soda

For more soups, go to White Bean and Barley Soup with Tomatoes and Greens

For more vegetarian recipes, go to Two-Cheese Roasted-Veggie Pasta

Potato Chip Omelet

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Happy New Year!

I hope you all have a blessed year!

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So last year I did a breakfast food post and I thought that it would be fun to keep that tradition going!

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I found this recipe in a Good Housekeeping magazine, I don’t remember which one, and it intrigued me. Potato chips in an omelet? Will that taste good?

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But that’s what this blog is about! Covering the written mysteries and the food mysteries!

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Ingredients:

  • 8 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 3 Cups (about 4 oz.) of Potato Chips, Crushed
  • 1/4 Cup of Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of Oil (I used Olive Oil)
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Smoked Paprika (Can substitute with Cayenne Pepper)
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the eggs, potato chips, and parsley.
  2. In a 10 inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-low.
  3. Add the chopped onion and cook for 8 minutes.
  4. Stir slowly, until the edges start to set. Cook undisturbed until top is mostly set.
  5. Cover with a large lid and carefully flip. (If your skillet has no lid, use a large plate or platter without a rim.)
  6. Slide the omelet back into the pan and cook 5 minutes, or until set.
  7. Sprinkle with paprika.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve with an arugula salad and a baguette.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I loved it.

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I thought it was surprisingly delicious and it was only 365 calories, a calorie for every day of the new year.

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For more New Year posts, go to Best-Ever Blueberry Muffins

For more omelets, go to Breakfast Omelet

For more breakfast posts, go to Rice Krispies Peanut Butter Banana

For more Good Housekeeping recipes, go to Arugula-Walnut Pesto

For more recipes, go to B is for Blueberry Smoothie

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In other news, let’s have a quick year review.

So last year I published 110 posts!

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Out of those 110 posts, I’ve reviewed 54 mysteries. Which you should definitely check out.

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The Black Sheep Knitting Mystery Series (5 books), A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery (1 book), Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery (1 book), Death on Demand (1 book), The Dresden Files (3 books), Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery (1 book), A Greek Island Mystery (1 book), Hatter’s Cove Gazette Mystery (1 book), Hannah Swenson Mysteries (7 books), A Hemlock Falls Mystery (2 books), Kinsey Millhone Mysteries (2 books), A Kovac and Liska Mystery (1 book), Ladies of Distinction (2 books), A Midwife Mystery (3 books), Miss Marple (1 book), Nellie Bly (1 book), A Plain Jane Mystery (1 book), Potluck Catering Club (1 book), Regan Reilly Mystery (2 books), Sherlock Holmes (1 book)A Southern Sewing Circle (1 book) and Ultimate (1 book)

And with independent mysteries: The Book of Madness and Cures: A NovelDeath Comes to PemberleyFangs But No Fangs, The Girl on the Train, The Italian WifeMurder and Other Unnatural DisastersSleeping BeautyTickerWhere Are You Now?, and The Winter People: A Novel

And the true crime books: Cape May Court House: A Death in the Night and The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars.

Along with the biography, Agatha Christie: The Woman and Her Mysteries and the short story “The October Game” from Long After Midnight.

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With cooking I reviewed 55 different recipes; 1-2-3-4 Peanut Butter Cookies, A is for Applesauce Cake, Apple Orchard BarsArugula-Walnut Pesto, B is for Blueberry SmoothieBasil Spaghetti with Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes, Best-Ever Blueberry Muffins,  Breakfast Omelet, Breakfast Puffin MuffinsBrioche French ToastBroken Lasagna with Zucchini-Tomato Sauce, Brussels Sprouts Turkey Sausage & Pesto Pizza Casserole, Bulghur Salad, Caesar Salad, Caprese Salad, Caraway Rye Bread, Cheesy Pesto Pull Apart BreadChocolate Covered Cherry Delights, Christmas Cheese RoundsCocoa M&M Cookies, Crasins Scones, Garden Pasta Salad with BocconciniGreen Tea Frappuccino, Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups, Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad, Happy Trail Mix, Harlem Tea Room Baking Powder Scones, Harlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme Scones, Harvest Pumpkin Scones, Irish Soda Bread, Italian Wedding Soup, King Arthur Carrot Cake or Cupcakes, Lemon Bars, Lemon Scones, Mini Lemon Pancake Cookies, Mozzarella Tomato Toast, No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies, Orange Chocolate CakeOrecchiette with Red Onions Almonds and Green Bell Pepper, Oven-Crispy Creole Seasoned French FriesPasta with Prosciutto Cherry Tomatoes and AsiagoPesto Parmesan Popcorn, Pigs in a Blanket, Pizza Siciliana, Polka Dot Macaroni and CheesePumpkin Spice Cake, Ratatouille, Rice Krispies Peanut Butter BananaScandinavian SpudsSchooner’s Summertime-Only Strawberry-Raspberry Pie, Simple Pasta Salad, Sour Cream Lemon PieVegetable SoupWhite Bean and Barley Soup with Tomatoes and Greens, and Wookie Cookies.

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This blog was viewed 2668 times last year.

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The busiest day of the year was December 10th and the post Scandinavian Spuds

The top five posts of this year were:

5) Breakfast Omelet from Key Lime Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

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4) Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder

3) No Limits by Lori Foster

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2) Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Fudge Cupcake Murder

1) Scandinavian Spuds from Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke

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I wish I had that.

Wow

So what will the next year hold? You’ll just have to follow me to find out!

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Oven-Crispy Creole Seasoned French Fries

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With Superbowl Sunday coming up, I decided to share a tasty recipe that is sure to be a hit. I also just want to take this moment to share my support for South Carolina Panthers, go team!

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Moving on…

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Thoughts Before Baking:

So this recipe comes from this Food Network magazine. In the magazine they call it Emeril Lagasse’s Oven Crispy French Fries with Paprika-Parmesan Salt, but I decided that was too long for a title and renamed them.

I love fries!

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And I decided that I would give these slightly healthier ones a try. As I didn’t want to spend money buying creole seasoning when I only need one tablespoon, I decided to make my own. It only cost like 30¢ that way.

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Creole Seasoning Ingredients (from Epicurious)

  • 1/3 Cup of Paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons of Dried Oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons of Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dried Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Granulated Onion
  • 4 Teaspoons of Dried Thyme
  • 4 Teaspoons of Granulated Garlic

Directions:

  1. Mix all the spices together in a bowl.
  2. Store in airtight container for three months.

 

 

French Fry Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Baking Potatoes (about 1.5 lbs), scrubbed well
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of the above Creole Seasoning, Emeril’s Original Essence Seasoning, or other Creole Seasoning
  • Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sweet Paprika (I couldn’t find any so I used regular)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Onion Powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Pat the potatoes dry and cut them lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices. Turn each slice flat and slice again lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, creole seasoning (or Emeril’s seasoning), and 1/4 a teaspoon of salt.
  4. Toss well to combine.
  5. Transfer the fries to a large baking sheet, arranging them in lines and not allowing any to touch.
  6. Roast the potatoes for 15 mins.
  7. Turn them over and roast another 15 mins or until brown and crispy.
  8. While potatoes are cooking, combine cheese, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  9. When potatoes are crisp and brown, sprinkle with mixture.
  10. Serve Hot.

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Thoughts After Baking:

I thought these fries were really good, but the sheet needs to be greased or else the fries all stick.

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I also thought the fries were better without the paprika-parmesan salt. But other than that, they were really delicious.

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For more holiday posts, go to Best-Ever Blueberry Muffins

For more recipes, go to Italian Wedding Soup