Friday, January 30, 2015

Winter Veggie Bisque (10 Days of Family Friendly Soups)

This series: I've made a lot of soup in the past few years.  I've come to know what my family will eat and what they won't.  Why don't you put my experience to work for you?!  Hope you find something tasty!  (I think you will!)

10 Days of Family Friendly Soups :: Day 5



I have tried probably about half a dozen or more butternet squash soups.  I don't make the other ones anymore.  This is the best squash soup recipe I have found.  And I've sort of been writing about it ever since I started blogging over two years ago...  (Man, I either need some new material or just embrace the fact that good food is worth revisiting!)  

Winter Veggie Bisque
(a Family Circle Recipe)

Ingredients

1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 T. unsalted butter
24 oz. fresh butternut squash, cubed
3 c. vegetable broth
2 T. sugar
1 t. ground ginger
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. cayenne
1/2 c. heavy cream - or - half and half - or - whole milk (whatever you have!)


Instructions

In a pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add chopped onion, apple, and carrots.  Cook until soft, approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Stir in squash, broth, sugar, ginger, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.  
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until squash is very tender.
Puree entire soup.  (I prefer a hand-held immersion blender to a traditional counter-top blender)
Once blended, stir in cream and reheat.


Notes

I typically use a little less cayenne than called for, just so it's not too spicy for my kiddos.

I serve this soup with large twice-baked croutons.  (the sea salt and pepper variety are my favorite because they add the perfect savory kick to this sweet soup.)

My children don't agree, but I also think that crumbled feta in this soup tastes amazing!  I was encouraged by a friend to try it even though I couldn't imagine the two tastes together.  She was right - It really is good :) (Hi, Nicole!)

This is a great soup for babies that  have started on baby food!  (really family friendly!)

We all really like this soup and eat it so frequently over the winter, that when I make it, I make four batches - two in  each of two pots.  For our family of 7, I can get three meals out of this.

This soup freezes well.  Just thaw, reheat, and eat!

Eating with diabetes??  Carbohydrate info:  1 cup = 20 carbs.






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Note: when the 10 Days Series is over, all soup recipes will be available on 
The Soup Savvy Page at the top.  So please feel free to Pin them now, or come back and visit the soup page another time!  You won't miss out on anything! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pasta and Mini Meatball Soup (10 Days of Family Friendly Soups)

This series: I've made a lot of soup in the past few years.  I've come to know what my family will eat and what they won't.  Why don't you put my experience to work for you?!  Hope you find something tasty!  (I think you will!)

10 Days of Family Friendly Soups :: Day 4



For today's soup, I'm going to send you directly to the source - An Edible Mosaic.  I don't make any changes or adjustments to this recipe - I make it as is and it is delicious!   It's an excellent soup.  My kiddos gobble it up because it's spaghetti and meatballs, and I feel great about it because it's got lean meat and lots of veggies.    You'll love the recipe, and you'll love the photos over at An Edible Mosaic - they're much lovelier and tastier-looking than mine, as you shall see :)     

Enjoy!



Notes

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and a side of garlic bread or cheesy break sticks.

The little homemade meatballs cook right inside the soup, so it's a nice time saver not having to bake them before adding!

This soup freezes well.  However, freeze before adding the pasta rings.  Once the soup is thawed and reheating, add pre-cooked, al dente pasta.

When serving as leftovers, or if the soup is too thick, add broth, water, tomato sauce, or tomato/vegetable juice to thin to desired consistency.



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Note: when the 10 Days Series is over, all soup recipes will be available on 
The Soup Savvy Page at the top.  So please feel free to Pin them now, or come back and visit the soup page another time!  You won't miss out on anything! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cauliflower Cheddar Ale Soup (10 Days of Family Friendly Soups)

This series: I've made a lot of soup in the past few years.  I've come to know what my family will eat and what they won't.  Why don't you put my experience to work for you?!  Hope you find something tasty!  (I think you will!)

10 Days of Family Friendly Soups :: Day 3


This soup started out as a fairly bland cauliflower soup recipe from a website that is no longer up and running.   So... since the website is dead, and I made some significant changes to it - like adding beer - I feel ok claiming it as my own :)  

Cauliflower Cheddar Ale Soup

Ingredients

3 T. unsalted butter
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1/4 c. flour
2 cups milk (any variety; I use skim)
1 1/2 c. water
2 c. vegetable broth
2 heads cauliflower, chopped (plus more to roast and add as a garnish)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
16 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. beer
several shakes of adobo seasoning (name brand is fine or get a recipe to make your own here if you prefer - if you make your own, blend it in a mini food processor for a great consistency and blend)
salt/pepper to taste

Instructions

In a large pot, melt butter.
Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the flour.  Stir constantly until until the flour is a light gold, about 3-4 minutes.
While stirring continuously, slowly add the milk, water, and broth.
Add the chopped cauliflower and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
Puree the entire soup.  (I recommend a hand-held immersion blender.)
Once completely blended and creamy, add the mustard and shredded cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted.
Stir in adobo seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.
Add beer and stir through.

Notes

Serve with roasted cauliflower garnish, additional shredded cheese, and whole wheat croutons.

Also tastes delicious with crumbled bacon (but I've even known to put bacon on random stuff like chocolate pancakes, so....)

This soup freezes well.  It's unlikely that it would need any thinning after defrosting, but if it does, simply add a splash of broth, stock, or milk to thin to desired consistency.  After it's heated through, you may want to give it another go around with the immersion blender... if you have one.









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Note: when the 10 Days Series is over, all soup recipes will be available on 
The Soup Savvy Page at the top.  So please feel free to Pin them now, or come back and visit the soup page another time!  You won't miss out on anything! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie Soup (10 Days of Family Friendly Soups)

This series: I've made a lot of soup in the past few years.  I've come to know what my family will eat and what they won't.  Why don't you put my experience to work for you?!  Hope you find something tasty!  (I think you will!)

10 Days of Family Friendly Soups :: Day 2


We first had this soup when it was given to us by the lovely Mary through one of my annual frozen meal exchanges.  My children would have licked the soup pot clean had I not restrained them.  I don't usually care for traditional chicken pot pie, and even I loved this soup.  This year, there was no chicken pot pie soup at the exchange, so I made several batches myself.  No one complained :)  

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
(original recipe from Chocolate Moosey - I have made made a very few changes to "beef" it up a little bit)


Ingredients
(the recipe written here is doubled, suitable for a large family dinner)

4 c. shredded cooked chicken
4 T. butter
1 c. chopped onion
2 -3 c. carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
6 c. chicken broth
2 c. heavy cream or whole milk
1 1/2 - 2 c. potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
1 1/2 c. frozen peas


Instructions

In a large pot, melt the butter.  
Add onion and carrots.  Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft.
Stir in flour, salt, and garlic powder, stirring continuously to form a roux.
Gradually stir in the broth and milk.  
Bring to a boil and add potatoes.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Add the peace and chicken.
Heat through.


Notes

Carla, from Chocolate Moosey, includes a recipe for cheddar biscuits with the soup recipe.  I encourage you to go check it out, as I'm sure homemade biscuits are delicious!

I, however, have not made them yet, and have taken it easy on myself by serving this soup with Bisquick biscuits.  I made their standard biscuit recipe and just added lots of cheddar cheese and chives, and a little bit of garlic.

This soup freezes well.  Just thaw, reheat, and eat!











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Note: when the 10 Days Series is over, all soup recipes will be available on 
The Soup Savvy Page at the top.  So please feel free to Pin them now, or come back and visit the soup page another time!  You won't miss out on anything! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tortellini Vegetable Soup (10 Days of Family-Friendly Soups)

This series: I've made a lot of soup in the past few years.  I've come to know what my family will eat and what they won't.  Why don't you put my experience to work for you?!  Hope you find something tasty!  (I think you will!)

10 Days of Family Friendly Soups :: Day 1


This is a soup that I adapted from a recipe I originally found via Family Fun Magazine, but I'm unable to find the original link.  I tried.  Sorry.  I've made enough changes to it to not feel too bad...  It was my idea to "health" it up by adding the spinach and garbanzo beans. I don't know why anyone would eat this soup without those ingredients in the first place... Family Fun kind of missed the boat on that one.

(I love all the soups in this 10 days of soup series, but this is one of my absolute favorites!  And so I'm kicking off the series with this recipe :) )  

Tortellini Vegetable Soup


Ingredients
(note: this recipe makes a double batch, suitable for a large family dinner)

3 T. olive oil
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 lg. zucchini (or two small), chopped (I usually slice it into discs, then quarter them)
2 lg. carrots, peeled and cut into coins
11 c. chicken stock
2 tsp. dried basil
2 bay leaves
1 c. canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
approx. 8 ounces frozen spinach
approx. 10 ounces frozen tortellini (I've always used cheese filled, to keep this a meatless meal)
5 - 6 T. chopped fresh parsley (a great way to use some of your prolific herb garden parsley!)
black pepper, to taste


Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion and carrot.  Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the zucchini.  Continue stirring for another 5 - 6 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the stock, basil, bay leaves, tomatoes, and salt to the pot.  Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the garbanzo beans, frozen spinach, and tortellini and bring it back to a low boil.  Cook for 2 minutes, then reduce heat and it simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.  

Stir in the parsley.

Notes

It's tasty topped with shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
  
Serve with buttery garlic bread or garlic and cheese bread sticks (pictured below - I just used a dinner roll recipe in my bread machine, added a little garlic and Parmesan cheese to the dough, and then baked the bread twists according to the dinner roll instructions - halfway through baking, I brushed them with melted butter and topped with Parmesan cheese and oregano.)

This soup freezes well.   However, don't add the tortellini before you freeze it.  Save the pasta to add after the soup is defrosted and you are heating it on the stove.

If the soup is too thick once defrosted or when you serve it as leftovers a day later, add a bit of stock, crushed tomatoes, or tomato/vegetable juice to thin it.







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Note: when the 10 Days Series is over, all soup recipes will be available on 
The Soup Savvy Page at the top.  So please feel free to Pin them now, or come back and visit the soup page another time!  You won't miss out on anything! 

10 Days of Family Friendly Soups (Sharing the Best of the Best from my Recipe Box)


This is it.  It's finally here - the series my fans have been begging for!*  For the next ten days, I'll be posting nothing but recipes (and then I'll switch back to my regularly varied and unpredictable content ;) )    

I am not a professional chef or even a hobby foodie, I just have seven mouths to feed and I like to make and eat soup.  I've made so many different soups in the past several years that I think I've developed an appreciation for "a good soup." Trying out new recipes is always a but risky, and we've certainly choked down some duds, but I've been making soup long enough now to know which ones my family really loves.

These 10 recipes are the ones we come back to again and again and again.  I feel so confident that these are objectively delicious and are even suitable for families with a picky eater in the bunch, I am putting my personal!) guarantee on these dinners.  Your family and friends will love them.**

Several friends have confided in me before that they don't think their kids will eat soup.  I posit that kids will eat soup if you give them a chance.  Smile and say "it's soup night" without apology (and serve lots of bread and cheese to go with it ;)  )  I actually stand by my story that I got my kids to eat soup by hosting our first "soup party" four years ago. It was a party.  Of course they were going to eat the party food!  Now, we have a yearly Fall Soup Party and eat soups all winter long. 

There are still several weeks of winter to go - plenty of time for you to try one or two  or ten new recipes!  I hope you do and I hope you like them as much as we do!  

Please feel free to share and Pin recipes for future reference.  After this 10-day recipe extravaganza, all soup recipes and other soup-related items (like how to host a soup party and serving tips) will be available on the all new Ordinary Lovely Soup Savvy Page!  Check back periodically for new links, recipes, and ideas!  

(first recipe to post later today - I have to leave some breathing room in between posts, you know!)

** Have a wonderful family-friendly soup recipe that you'd like to share??  Great!!
Head over to my facebook page, "like" Ordinary Lovely, and leave a link! 
Soup lovers everywhere will thank you! **

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* um, not really.  I just like soup and thought I'd write about it and hopefully someone out there will appreciate these great recipes and mediocre food pics ;)

** actually, I make no real guarantees.  But I'm pretty certain you, your husband, your kids, your kids' friends, your in-laws, the neighborhood Sunday school teacher, the UPS guy, and the YMCA aerobics instructor will all love these.   All my kids do, so I feel like that's the real stamp of approval!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy Handmade Christmas (vol 3)

I love giving handmade gifts at Christmas and at any time of year.  So I've started keeping track of what we've made and gifted here on ye olde blog.  Here are the 2013 and 2012 lists if you're interested...)

As for 2014... Better Late Than Never???

So... Christmas was a month ago now, but it's taken me this long to finish some last minute gifts and pull this stuff all together for a post.  Here's the yearly show and tell of the handmade gifts we gave for Christmas.  I always try to include links back to original ideas and patterns for your reference and for giving credit where credit is due.  If you have any questions about anything here, let me know!

I didn't do a lot of sewing for this Christmas, and that made me a little sad.  But for all the time I didn't spend up in the sewing room, I spent crocheting...  it was a very crochet-intensive Christmas.

All the adult guys got a Brain Waves Beanie, which I crocheted with the super soft Lion Brand Heartland Yarn  (I blabbed about it here




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One of my sisters recently moved back to Western New York from Florida, so I treated her to a couple things to keep her warm while her blood is thickening back up :)


  

The slippers were based on this tutorial and the hat is the In Bloom Beret (free Ravelry pattern)  I also made one of the In Bloom hats - picture below.  I really like these patterns and the finished products!





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A couple of cotton hot pads.  I used a free pattern for this, but for the life of me, I can't find it again.  Sorry :(



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This cupcake hat was so fun to make and looked super cute.  I looked around at a lot of patterns for this one, but ended up just doing my own thing to get the look I wanted. 





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And a few non-crochet items...  The first of which was scented, rice-filled heating pads.  These things are so wonderful on a sore back or over your toes on a cold morning :) I made several a few years ago and the ones I kept for myself were my dear companions through my last two pregnancies :)


(I used this tutorial)

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My nephew turned 1 in November, so he didn't mind that it took me until the end of January to make him a Birthday gift and Christmas gift :)

He received  a color-sorting clothespin activity ...

(these pics are from the tutorial I wrote a while back)

...and a set of soft flannel bean bags (and a dollar store bin for storing and bean bag toss game!)



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And, just yesterday, I finished an ornament for Russ that I had hoped to include in his stocking as a way of saying "thanks for putting up with all my craftiness!"  He'll have to wait till next year to hang it... unless he travels through time...




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And here are the things the kids made...
(we started back in October!)

Button Flower Wall Hangings (by Ruth)



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NFL Team Logo Embroidery Wall Hangings (by Aaron and Dominic)


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Melty Pearler Bean Ornaments (by Ruth and Clare)

(tutorial here)

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Holly Berry Wall Hangings (by Aaron and Dominic)
(adapted from this idea here)


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Pine Cone Christmas Tress (by Aaron and Dominic)



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Washi Tape Vases and Tea Light Holders (by Ruth and Clare)

kind of a lame photo, but it's the only one I got - they were drying on the deck after a coat of
spray Modge-Podge
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Scrappy Yarn Sun Catchers (by Ruth and Clare)


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