Sunday, February 28, 2010

taco soup

this soup has a lot going for it. where do i start? first, it is so very easy. second, it's souper (ha... oh, i'm embarrassed) easy to make for large groups. third, it's my favorite meal to bring to others - it's very mobile. that's because you can cook the meat (flexible on which meat you use, another plus) ahead of time, bring it and your cans as passengers in your car, and mix everything together when you arrive at your lucky friend's home. let's hear it for taco soup! actually, let's just hear the recipe.

taco soup
1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or 2 chicken breasts
1/4 c. chopped onions
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes & liquid*
1 (15 oz.) can corn & liquid*
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans & liquid
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce*
1 packet taco seasoning*
water, to thin

in large pot, brown meat & onions; drain liquid. all ingredients: boil, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally. add water to thin to your preference. garnish with shredded cheddar, sour cream and corn chips.
*i use low-sodium options of these ingredients & i've never needed to add salt.
to freeze: pour cooled soup into gallon-sized ziptop bag and lay flat on cookie sheet or 9x13" pan in freezer. once frozen solid, remove pan & stack soups however you please!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

holy toledo cupcakes

when my friend joy (actually, my cousin-in-law joy) shared this with me, it was in a small pile of recipes she thought i might like. i don't think it had a real name, but she did mention that it was her husband joe's favorite. so i thought i'd give it a try. and that is why they are now named "holy toledo!" cupcakes - they're that good.

holy toledo cupcakes
mix & set aside:
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
1 (6 oz.) package chocolate chips

in another bowl, mix:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1 c. water
1/2 c. oil
1 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla

put liners in cupcake pan. fill halfway with batter (will be runny), top with heaping teaspoon of filling. bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

heya paella!

paella is a one-pot spanish rice dish whose name sounds like it should be yelled at parties. and it will be, after using this recipe. "paella!"
unfortunately, a basic ingredient in paella is saffron, the world's most expensive spice. but have no fear! this recipe replaces it with tumeric, which gives it a saffrony-yellow hue and a smokey taste. the other good news is that you can make this using only one pot, and everyone likes washing fewer dishes, right? one tip on this one: cut up and prepare everything ahead of time since you'll be adding ingredients pretty quickly.

easy paella (adapted from everyday food)
2 T olive oil
3/4 lb. peeled de-veined shrimp
1 (12 oz.) pkg. chicken sausage, sliced to half inch rounds
1 small onion, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 c. long-grain rice
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. tumeric
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 c. frozen peas, thawed

heat 1T. olive oil in pan at med-hi heat. cook shrimp until just pink ~ 4-5 minutes. transfer to plate.

add remaining oil and sausage; cook over med-hi heat until beginning to brown ~ 2 minutes. add onion, stir frequently ~ 3-4 minutes. add garlic & rice, stir until rice is translucent ~ 1-2 minutes. stir in paprika, tumeric, tomatoes, and broth, stir and season with s&p. bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer. cover and cook until rice is tender and has absorbed almost all liquid ~ 20-25 minutes. stir in peas, cook 1 minute, stir in shrimp and serve.