Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007!

I can't believe 2007 is already over, it went by so fast. I am sure tonight a lot of you will be celebrating and may not feel so great tomorrow morning. This recipe is PURE comfort food and just might help revive your senses in 2008.

We are making Creamy Tomato Soup with Romano Cheese Toast. You can definitely make this with traditional grilled cheese but the cheese toast is easier, faster and has less fat. I have lost 20 lbs in 2007 and I plan on losing more in 2008!

Your ingredients.

Your steps.

I only had a 28oz can of tomatoes and they are crushed not diced but you will be blending this anyway so it doesn't really matter.

This recipe calls for butter or olive oil. Use olive oil if you'd like but please don't use margarine, real butter or olive oil tastes better and is better for you.

Get it melting...

The recipe calls for leeks, shallot or onion. I LOVE shallots. I use them in place of onions in almost every recipe. They have a flavor that is almost a mix of onion and garlic. If you will learn one thing about me, I adore garlic. That is definitely one of the benefits of cooking for yourself, you can season the food how you want to.

If you don't know how to dice an onion check out this video on

Slap the lid on and measure out your flour.

Throw in the flour and stir it up for half a minute.

Toss in your tomatoes and water. The recipe calls for the tomatoes that come seasoned with basil, oregano and garlic so I added those seasonings.

Throw the lid on to let the soup simmer and grab a loaf of bread. I always have wonder bread around because that is the SO's bread of choice but use whatever you have.

Grab some grated cheese or grate some yourself.

Sprinkle it on the bread and stick it in the broiler for a minute or in your toaster oven. A toaster oven is very convenient if you cook for yourself. It is very, very convenient if you cook for yourself and live in the desert and don't want to heat your whole house with the regular oven.

I have one of these handy immersion blenders for making soups.

Emeril calls this a boat motor, its pretty fun to use. If you don't have one a blender or food processor works fine. Be careful as the soup is hot so you may want to let it cool.

Stir in your half and half.

you are done! grab your toasts and cut them into sticks with your pizza wheel or just leave as is.


I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Years Eve!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Spinach with Egg and Bacon

Thanks again for all of the comments. Please let me know if you do make the recipes and how they turn out.

Your ingredients

Your steps

Got this on clerance because the label was all dirty, WHO CARES!? One thing that I always have on hand is a lot of different kinds of vinegar. Vinegar packs a lot of flavor with no fat!

Here is your fat! This is imported from Jeannette PA which is very near to where I grew up.

Another thing you HAVE to have is good dijon mustard. You can get this in the grocery store and it is essential to vinaigrettes and marinades. I usually have 3-6 different kinds of mustard in my fridge at all times.

Good salt is important, please do yourself a favor and get some kosher or sea salt. Iodized salt just doesn't taste as good and I promise you WILL notice a difference.

One thing I will tell you right now, my kitchen is not always immaculate as I suspect is the case in a lot of homes. If you'd like to comment that my counter looks dirty or my stove top looks spotty I will probably just nod and agree with you! My house is old and still has the original tiles and grout, I gave up that battle a while ago :)

Bacon is a food group to the SO. Therefore, I tend to cook an entire package and then refrigerate it to be reheated in the micro for use on BLTs and burgers.

My usual green is spinach. I love spinach and I am anemic so the extra iron is always a boost.

If you keep a napkin or paper towel in with your greens it helps them stay fresh in the fridge longer.

your vinaigrette ingredients get whisked up until they look like...


Toss your spinach around in the bath until it is nice and coated.

Now get that egg going!

I adore sunny side up eggs. These are known as dippy eggs in Western PA and are usually served with toast and KETCHUP! I still eat that same meal a couple of times a year and it is the ultimate in comfort food. (foodies across the nation are gasping as I type this)

Sprinkle the bacon and tomato on top and you are ready to eat!

This dish seemed very rich because of the egg yolk but really was pretty light.

Have some bread on hand to get all the egg yolk up from the plate.

Share the roll with your trusty sous chef.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Somen Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

In my post Christmas shopping adventures I found the most wonderful cookbook.

There are a bunch of recipes in here that I plan to make. If you are cooking for more than one it will be easy to double or triple the amounts.

This recipe is for Somen Noodles with Peanut sauce. If you cannot get somen noodles you can use ramen, spaghetti or linguini.

First get your pan of water on the stove.

These are somen noodles. I discovered these when they were served on a salad and I loved them. If you do find these be VERY careful because they cook FAST!

It says to use some fancy peanut butter but Jif has always been my peanut butter and I don't need anything else. The writing on the jar is to let everyone know that is MY peanut butter and that eating out of the jar is not permitted. Yes, I have to do that in my house :)

You could use any hot sauce you'd like or cayenne pepper.

Here is a great tip, keep your brown sugar in the freezer and pull it out a bit before you need to use it and it will stay soft instead of turning into a brick in your pantry.

Add your garlic. I never used a garlic press before because I heard they were a pain to clean, but my sister got me this one for Christmas and it worked great and it cleaned up very easily. I would definitely recommend you get one of these and use fresh garlic instead of buying that minced junk they sell in jars.

Stir all of the ingredients well. The recipe said to stick the mix in a jar and shake, but I don't have random jars laying around and just whisked it up.

Your water should be boiling so toss in the noodles. If you have the somen noodles keep a VERY close eye on them because you do not want them to get mushy.

Your peanut sauce should almost look like chocolate. The sauce is thick so I drained the noodles and threw them back in the same pan leaving just a little bit of water so they would be easier to combine.

I garnished with some peanuts and dug in!

It was delicious and I will definitely make it again! The recipe suggests using the sauce for dipping with veggies and tofu as well, but I'd just add the tofu or even chicken to this recipe and it would be great. I hope you give this one a try!