Easy and Quick Cheesy Bread

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I made this last night to go with my orgasmic vegetable soup. Yes, I just used orgasmic and vegetable soup in the same sentence. It’s really effing good, so back off! Anyway, this bread was the perfect compliment to the soup. Salty, cheesy and crunchy. Yum!

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  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 Tablespoon white sugar
  •  2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  3/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, or a mix of Cheddar and Parmesan
  •  1 egg
  •  1 cup milk
  •  1/3 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400, grease pan with butter or cooking spray
  2. In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cheese)
  3. In large bowl mix together egg, milk and oil. Add dry ingredients and mix just until all batter is wet.
  4. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven.

I was so hungry that I immediately tore into the bread and turned it into a crumbly (although delicious) mess. I’d recommend taking it out of the pan and letting it cool for about 15 minutes if you care about presentation. It’s amazing the next day if you crisp it under the broiler with some butter. Enjoy!

Super Comfort Veggie Soup

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I made this soup last night and could not believe how good it was. Not, “considering this is filled with vegetables I can’t believe I didn’t want to throw up.” I mean, it’s good. If you’re new to cooking feel free to follow the recipe to the letter. For anyone with more cooking experience as you can see this is a great base for a soup. You can throw anything in here!

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(Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. You probably have most of this stuff in your house right now. I swear.)

  • 2+ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • 4 celery stalks, small diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, quarters and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 head broccoli, bite size pieces
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    (Any size works for these veggies, this is just what I did.)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced.
  • 4 cups veg stock (Can use all water if you don’t have stock, this just makes it richer)
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (If you’re lucky enough to have fresh herbs on hand double the amount.)
  • 2 small bay leaves (make sure to remove before serving)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat while you chop up your onions. Add onions and sauté while you cut your celery.
  2. Add celery, then chop garlic and carrots and add them, stir every few minutes. Keep an eye on everything to make sure it’s softening but not turning brown.
  3. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes then throw in everything else. Turn to high until it starts to boil then lower to a simmer and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  4. Everything should be nice and mushy by this point, so now if you have one you can pull out your immersion blender and blend about half of the soup. All this does is give it a creamy texture but isn’t necessary.
  5. Now eat as much as you want and be happy.

I’ve paired this with some quick cheesy bread and it was amazing! Somehow it was more satisfying than chicken soup and stupidly healthy for you.

A quick word on the steps where you sauté the onions, celery, garlic and carrots. Now, that’s optional. You could throw everything in raw and it would still be soup. But, it really doesn’t take any longer to sauté the vegetables and it makes infinitely better soup. Yes, it does add a few tablespoons of olive oil, but considering that every other thing you put in there is a vegetable I don’t care how much are watching what you eat, you can handle that small amount of oil.

5 minutes later:

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First chicken noodle soup of the season

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Just a quick photo to show I’m not dead or in a cooking depression. Xoxo

 

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Video: Chicken and Dumplings

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Ingredients:

Chicken:
  • 3 Chicken Breasts with bone and skin
  • 4 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 4 celery stalks, rough chop (don’t throw any part of it away)
  • 2 mediums onions, rough chop (don’t throw any part of it away)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
Dumplings:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 oz heavy cream or whole milk

Directions:

  1. In large stock pot over medium high heat, add first 9 ingredients (everything but butter and flour.) Bring to a boil, lower to a mild simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove meat and set aside and strain all liquid into a bowl, set aside.
  3. Reserve carrots in bowl and throw away all remaining ingredients (celery, onions peppercorns and bay leaf).
  4. Let chicken cool slightly and remove all meat from bones. Throw bones and skin away.
  5. Now make the dumplings!!: Mix all dumpling ingredients just till moist and set aside.
  6. Put pot on medium heat to melt butter, add flour and stir nonstop for 2-4 minutes until it’s a light brown color.
  7. Slowly stir in broth, then add chicken and carrots, bring to a light boil.
  8. Spoon dumplings over chicken and cook covered for 10-12 minutes. (Dumplings will be really wet.)
  9. Remove lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until cooked through.

So first off, this video is chopped all to hell! I couldn’t make the 10 minute limit so I had to cut out a bunch of stuff. I’m sorry about that. If something doesn’t make sense, just send me a quick email and I’ll get right back to you. Also, although it looks like a lot of ingredients and directions, please don’t be intimidated. It is really one of the easier things I have posted on here. It’s been suggested to me that for the new cook I leave some info out sometimes, so I’m trying to make sure I put every step on here.

I hope you liked the video and recipe. Thanks for watching!

xoxo,

Mel

Recipe: Lasagna that rocks!

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bottles of tomato sauce of your choice (or try the pasta sauce from this site.)
  • 1 package (16oz) lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 8oz. cream cheese (soften)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Directions

1. chop onions and garlic, get ingredients ready.

2. Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 6 minutes.

3. Add both kinds of meat and brown.

(When meat is fully cooked it should look like picture below.)

4. Add spaghetti sauce to browned meat and keep warm, letting the flavor combine.

5. Put water on to boil in large pot, while that is heating up, combine Ricotta cheese, cream cheese and sour cream in large mixing bowl.

6. Beat on medium speed until it is smooth. (The softer the cream cheese is the easier this will be. Cream cheese tend to be lumpy when mixed.) Set aside.

7. Once water is boiling, add noodles in small batches, making sure that they soften enough to be submerged totally in the water.

8. Follow directions on box for cooking, cook until Al Dente. Once they are done, drain and set out on paper towels out of the way until cool.

9. in 9″x13″ glass dish, cover bottom of pan with sauce and meat, follow with one layer of noodles, overlapping a bit.

10. Next, cover with all of the filling.

11. On top of filling do a layer of sauce, a layer of noodles and another layer of sauce. (At this point lasagna can be refrigerated overnight.)

12. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in a 350 over for 1 hour.

13. Remove tin foil, add mixture of mozzarella and cheddar cheese and cook another 10-15 minutes.

14. Prepare to be hugged, proposed to and adored. They’ll never know how easy it is to do, they’ll think you’re magical. And you know what? You are.

xoxo,

Melanie

Dinner tonight

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Roasted garlic on toasted pieces of bread and a bunch of leftovers that turned into a pseudo lasagna. Can you get more comfort foody?!

Grilled Cheese Hamburger?!?!

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A friend of a friend told me about something he made the other day at work: A grilled cheese burger. What is that you ask? Well, it is two grilled cheese sandwiches that are used as the buns for a hamburger.

I know, right? Doesn’t that make you want to cry it sounds so totally over the top and wonderful? I understand that it is pushing the envelope, but to each his own. Personally, I have every intention of trying it at some point. I don’t think I could handle it on a regular basis, but I cannot live without having carnal knowledge of that meal.

Just sit and think about it for a little bit…. And if you live near me, and are man enough, lets plans a cookout in early spring and make this happen.

P.S. My friend John just told me about this burger that takes it even a step further at Vortex in Atlanta:

DOUBLE BYPASS BURGER
Twice as big as the Coronary Bypass (which is a half pound!) Topped with
two fried eggs, six slices of American cheese, and
eight slices of bacon, all served between the two
grilled cheese sandwiches that we use in place of
the regular hamburger buns.

(Thanks Eric for the original inspiration. You are a true hedonist.)