Cream of Mushroom Soup

…with Truffle Oil.

Yes.

cream of mushroom soup

 

This was better than I expected it to be. Like really, really good actually. Rich and comforting Saturday night grub. I cleaned the house and took down the Christmas stuff yesterday so I deserved it! I served this soup with a 3 ounce filet for myself (a larger one for Travis) and some cooked cabbage on the side. Then I watched 2 movies and went to sleep! The end.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 packages white button mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon of white truffle oil (per bowl) for serving (optional…but HELLO)
  • sliced green onions or chives (optional)

Method

  • Melt butter in a pot over medium heat and add shallots and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until they start to get tender and add the mushrooms. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir around every 30-45 seconds until they are tender and then add vinegar. Let the vinegar evaporate a little and add the flour by sprinkling it over the mushrooms and stirring at the same time, let cook for about 2 minutes while continuing to stir. Add stock and bring to boil. Lower the heat a bit and stir in milk and cream. Once that came to a simmer I turned the soup down to low. Serve with a teaspoon of white truffle oil and maybe some thinly sliced green onion.

Roasted Pork Loin Roast

Roasted roast. It’s a roast that was roasted. I shouldn’t be writing at-all-ever.

pork loin roast

I’m also giving you a recipe that you won’t be able to exactly recreate because you can’t buy this spice. Unless you live in or near Richmond, VA and go to the South of the James farmer’s market at Forest Hill Park…in THAT case, yes.

It’s a mix of locally grown, dried herbs and salts. Lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, lemongrass and sage! The last ingredient is LOVE…awwww! ***sticks finger down throat but then smiles***

spice mix

When the roasted roast was done and sufficiently rested, I sliced it and topped it with the onions and pan drippings.

pork loin roast

Roasted Pork Loin Roast

  • a 1.75-2 lb. pork loin roast
  • 2 teaspoons of a dried herbs mix (lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, lemongrass, Himalayan pink salt and sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 medium to large onion, halved and sliced

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree. Salt and pepper the roast on all sides. Heat a large oven proof saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add EVOO and pork roast. Once it’s seared to a nice golden brown on one side flip it over and add the onions and wine. Sprinkle the dried herbs all over the pork and the onions. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the internal temp reaches about 145 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Peach BBQ Sauce with Chipotle

This recipe makes the most amazing sauce! It’s the first thing I think about when the fresh, local peaches are in season and this is my 3rd summer making it.

Ingredients for bbq sauce

 

Here it is blended up in my mini food processor.

Peach bbq sauce

The original recipe called for whole chicken breasts to be grilled up. Last week I made a double batch of sauce and prepared skewers with chunks of chicken breast and boneless thighs which we grilled one night then baby back ribs another night!

baby back ribs

Peach BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup peaches (about 2), sliced into chunks (in season are best)
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo (plus 1 of the chilies if you like heat)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless organic chicken breasts

Method

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer until peaches are very soft and flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let cool. Pour peach mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place half the sauce in a medium bowl; add the chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, or cover and chill for up to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.

From Bon Appetit

Penne with Zucchini and Shiitakes

Diced zucchini and shittakes

Fast, easy to make pasta sauce doesn’t have to come in jar! I put this pasta together for a quick Sunday lunch when my sister was visiting last weekend. Check some pics from our weekend together on her blog.

We enjoyed (maybe-too-much) wine on Saturday night and I was craving pasta but I also wanted to eat lots of veggies and have a nice healthy meal. The eikhorn pasta has tons of nutrients and 8 grams of protein per serving. I chose shiitake mushrooms for their meaty-ness. Zucchini because it’s one of my favorite veggies and I wanted to add some “green” to the pasta. Garlic and shallots for flavor and bite. Last but not least…fresh, locally made goat cheese that I bought from the SOTJ Farmer’s Market the day before. If I hadn’t added it to the pasta I would have slowly eaten it throughout the week by sticking my finger in the container whenever I saw it in the fridge…it’s THAT good!

Penne with Zucchini and Shiitakes

Penne with Zucchini and Shiitakes

  • 1 – 12 ounce box Jovial Einkorn Penne pasta, cooked
  • 4 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 package shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 – 8 ounce container Night Sky Farms herbed goat cheese

Method

  • Set the goat cheese out to soften. Prepare and chop all the veggies. Add butter and oil to a large skillet and heat to medium heat. Add all the veggies at once and cook until zucchini is just getting soft. (I set a lid on the pot for part of the time to help them steam.)
  • Cook the pasta according the package directions and drain, reserving a little of the pasta water to help the pasta and veggies all come together.
  • In a large bowl toss together cooked pasta, veggies and goat cheese. Add a little pasta water if needed to help everything come together in a nice sauce.

Tri Tip Tacos (Slow Cooker)

Rump roast

I finally made a roast that I love! Last summer I made a pork butt roast with my sister Zandria. It had tons of ingredients. It was too big for crock pot and we (well… she) had to cut the meat into chunks so it would fit. The end result was full of fat pieces that we had to pick out and the meat wasn’t excellent for all the work required.

This roast is a different story. Mix the spice rub. Sprinkle and pat it into the meat. Let the meat rest for a few minutes while you chop onions and garlic, open a can of tomatoes and measure a cup of beef broth.

Rump roast and pickled red onions

Devin ate his inside of warmed corn tortillas and piled up with good toppings. I tasted the meat with the tortillas but thought it was better by itself on a plate and topped with the avocado, jalapenos, cilantro, a drizzle of sour cream and the pickled red onions I made (thinly sliced red onion, Bragg apple cider vinegar, splash of water and salt and pepper…let it sit for 5 hours in the fridge). Basically the same stuff Devin put on his taco!

The meat pulled apart basically by itself. It’s juicy and flavorful. And most importantly is easy to make and has literally no fat in it at all!!

tacos

Tri Tip Tacos

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 lbs tri-tip roast (our market had Hereford Rump Roast and the butcher said it was very similar to tri tip)
  • 14 ounces tomatoes and green chilies (I used Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies)
  • 1 yellow onion (I diced the onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic (I minced the garlic)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • tortillas as needed (I used corn)
  • toppings include: shredded cheese, salsa, pickled jalapenos, sour cream, lettuce, limes, cilantro, red onion, avocado

Method

  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Liberally season the tri-tip roast with the spices and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Place the roast into your slow cooker and cover it with the diced tomatoes and chilies, onions, garlic cloves and beef stock.
  • Set your slow cooker to low and let it cook for 8-10 hours until the meat is easily shredded.
  • Remove the meat from the slow cooker and give it a rough chop and use as needed for tacos.

Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

Herbes de Provence Potato Gratin

I made this dish twice over Thanksgiving for two different family events. The first time I made it with just potatoes and the second time I did half potatoes/half parsnips. I loved the potato/parsnip combo when I made mashed potatoes with them a few weeks ago but for this gratin dish I preferred the potatoes to stand alone.

Here are the cream, herbes de provence and garlic getting warmed up:

cream and herbs de provence

Sorry, no pics of the finished product…

Herbes de Provence Potato Gratin

From Dave Lieberman

  • 3 pounds russet (Idaho) potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere, packed

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Peel and wash the potatoes and slice them really thinly using a plastic mandoline.
  • Generously butter a 12-inch ovenproof baking or gratin dish (about 2 1/2 to 3-quarts).
  • In a small saucepan, bring the half-and-half, garlic cloves and herbes de Provence to a simmer. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove the garlic cloves. Set aside.
  • Arrange the potatoes in an overlapping layer on the bottom of the dish. Season the layer generously with salt and pepper. Scatter lightly with some of the grated cheese. Make another potato and cheese layer, finishing with a most generous cheesing.
  • Press the layers down gently. Pour the half-and-half mixture over the potato layers and fill the dish up to the top of the potatoes. Cover the dish loosely with foil so it is not touching the cheese on top and bake 30 minutes, uncover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and nicely browned.
  • Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before serving (this works great if you bake it then carry it to a friends or family’s house for dinner!).

Thai Veggie and Shrimp with Rice Pasta

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients in this dish. Many of these ingredients keep in the pantry for a long time and can be used in lots recipes and marinades. Then once you invest you only need to replenish one bottle at a time when it empties.

 

I always know it’s good when the guys in my house say thank you and help clean up after dinner 🙂

Thai Veggie and Shrimp with Rice Pasta

  • I package mini zucchini, sliced into 4 pieces in thin strips
  • 1 large handful baby carrots, sliced into 4 pieces in thin strips
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package sugar snap peas, ends trimmed, sliced in half on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 pound cleaned, peeled, deveined large shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons Mirin (Japanese Sake)
  • 2-3 tablespoons, low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 – 8 ounce box DeBoles rice angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • siracha

Method

  • Chop and prepare all veggies. Heat large skillet over medium heat and add grapeseed and sesame oils into the pan. Add the zucchini, peppers, carrots and onion and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile cook the rice noodles according to package directions.
  • Back to the skillet where the veggies are cooking add garlic, snow peas and raw shrimp and cook until shrimp are about halfway done and then add the Mirin, soy sauce, ginger, fish sauce, sesame seeds and chili garlic sauce. Cook for a couple more minutes until shrimp are done.
  • Toss in cooked, drained and rinsed rice noodles. Add juice of 1/2 lime. Serve immediately. Garnish with siracha for extra heat, if desired.

Creamy Swiss Chard and Shrimp Pasta

Thursday night is my favorite night of the week right now. After 4 long days of classes and studying it’s a relaxing feeling to know tomorrow is FRIDAY. I have tons to do tomorrow…a contractor is coming over to mount 3 TV’s in our house and connect a new security system, I have to meet with our tax person, I’m meeting with a group of 5 girls in the library for an hour or so in the afternoon to get started on a group project and then my mom, grandma, sister and nephew and my brother and his girlfriend are coming over to hang out, have dinner and see the Friday sunset with me. Menu TBA!

This is the chopped garlic and shallot ready to be sauteed:

After sauteing the garlic, shallots and swiss chard stems I added the leaves to wilt down:

The finished sauce:

Lots of garlic, yummy pasta, creamy sauce (that’s mostly good for you), your dinner veggie requirements thanks to leafy-green swiss chard and completed with juicy shrimp. I’m ready to dig in!

Creamy Swiss Chard and Shrimp Pasta

  • 1 lb. frozen, raw, peeled & deveined shrimp, defrosted
  • 1 – 8 ounce box De Boles Organic Angel Hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (5-6 large leaves)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup light cream
  • Freshly shaved parmesan cheese, to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

  • To be updated soon.

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

The cool weather and gray skies this week called for some comfort food in my house! I had 3 exams and a group project due this week so it was nice to have this easy to put together dish actually work for dinner for 2 nights (for the 3 of us). I have a little study break the next 3 days! Looking forward to it!

 

I’ve made this recipe multiple times but this is the first time I added sauteed garlic and mushrooms. They add a special flavor note to the dish that was just incredible. I especially like the flavor and texture of the shiitake mushrooms. They are a little more pricey than other types of mushrooms but since this is a meatless dish (and it lasted for 2 dinners) they are SO worth it!

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

  • 1 – 10 ounce box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 package of shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, halved then sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 – 15 ounce container, organic part-skim ricotta
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • freshly ground pepper and kosher salt, to taste
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella, divided
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 – 25 ounce jar spagetti sauce
  • 1 box manicotti pasta, uncooked

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 13×9 glass baking dish with non-stick olive oil spray; set aside.
  • Prepare mozzarella by cutting off about 1/3 of the log and dicing it up (this will get added to the filling). Slice the remaining mozzarella; reserve to be added to the top of the filled pasta.
  • In a small saute pan melt the butter. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
  • In a medium bowl combine spinach, mushroom mixture, ricotta, the diced mozzarella, nutmeg, salt & pepper.
  • In the bottom of the baking dish add 1/3 cup water and about 1/3 of the jar of spaghetti sauce and stir around a bit to mix. Fill the uncooked pasta shells with the ricotta mixture and place in the baking dish. Top the pasta with the rest of the spaghetti sauce then the sliced mozzarella and the shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Bake covered with foil for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes or so. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Whatever You Have Beef Stew

This week has been a blur. Devin started school on the 20th. Classes at VCU started for me last week on the 23rd so this was my first full week of classes. We’re both getting used to getting up early. He took a 3+ hour nap when he got home from school one day! It’s Labor Day weekend though, so with no school on Monday for both of us I can write on my blog, clean the house, do some homework and enjoy our last weekend at the pool for the summer!

The stew I made today is inspired by the rainy day and the bits and pieces of veggies from my cooking this past week that were left in my fridge. In the crisper drawer I had a quarter of a package of baby carrots, a bag of celery with only 2 stalks left, a yellow pepper and half of a large onion. My mom’s fresh canned tomatoes had been opened a few days ago for use in another recipe and I knew the rest of them needed to be used up soon. In the pantry I had a few tiny red potatoes. Making this stew was meant to be!

We served it with cornbread muffins:

Travis took some leftovers to his 95 year-old grandfather and he called me the next day to tell me how much he enjoyed it. He said that, “he wasn’t sure it was beef stew but whatever is was it was really, really good”! How great is that?? Thanks Grandpa!

Whatever You Have Beef Stew

  • 1 pound ground beef (93% lean)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • handful baby carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips and diced small
  • 3 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1 – 16 ounce bag frozen, chopped spinach
  • 12 tiny red potatoes, sliced
  •  1/2 quart fresh canned tomatoes (a 28 ounce can would work great)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

  • In a medium skillet cook ground beef and the minced garlic along with a little salt and pepper until the ground beef is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile chop veggies and add them along with the rest of the ingredients (including the cooked ground beef) to the crockpot.
  • Cook 3-4 hours on high.