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Celebrating Fall With Soup

So remember last week when I mentioned loving this time of year, because I love the chilly weather, but we were basically living in a rain forest because it was super humid. Well, I am happy to share the fall weather has FINALLY arrived! So to celebrate, I’m sharing this simple and super delicious tomato soup. This pairs well with any grilled cheese obvs, but it’s also super delicious on its own. I like that it has some heat and that making it at home, I’m able to adjust the flavors. I happen to love basil, my husband does not, so I can keep it at a minimum without sacrificing any flavor. Also, it’s super quick to make, making it the absolute perfect weeknight meal. I mean let’s be real for a second, after working all day who wants to come home and make a super involved dinner. Certainly not me, well ok usually me because I love cooking, but lately I’ve been so flat out that we’ve been eating out waaaay more than I’d like to admit. But I just don’t feel good eating out that frequently, so this soup was a savior.

Simple Tomato Soup

Simple Tomato Soup

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil to a dutch oven and heat over medium heat, until shimmering. Add in the onion and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add in the tomatoes, with their juices, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Add the basil, season with salt and pepper, and let cook briefly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the contents of the saucepan to a blender. (You may need to do this in batches) Process the mixture until smooth, venting the top to let the hear escape. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer positioned over a large heatproof bowl. Press the soup through the strainer, pressing through to retain all of the liquid but remove the solids. Adjust the tastes to your liking as needed.

Work Week Soup

I love this time of year. I’m a #basic fall lover. The cool weather, the foliage, the pumpkin spice (on most things, not everything) It probably has a lot to do with growing up in New England. Let’s talk about this “cool” weather for a sec, though. It has not been anywhere near cool lately. Literally a week ago, or so, we were up in the high 90’s. That’s way too warm for this time of year. Also, the humidity. Enough said. But if the temperatures were cooperating and we were seasonably cooler, soup is definitely on the menu. I have another super simple soup recipe to share with you this week, but I thought I would kick off this week’s posts with this potato leek soup. This soup is flavorful and filling. It also makes fantastic left overs. It’s easy to make, so definitely appropriate for a quick weeknight meal.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over medium low heat, in a large stock pot. Add in the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, taking care not to brown. About 10 minutes.
  2. Add in the potatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Remove the thyme and bay leaves. Using your immersion blender and mix until smooth. Alternately you can use your blender. Lett the mixture cool slightly. In batches place some of the soup mixture into a blender, allowing it to vent when you mix.
  4. Reheat the soup and add in cream. If the soup is too thick you can adjust by adding more stock or water. Serve warm.

Notes

slightly adapted from Once Upon a Chef

Everyday I’m Brusselin

I have been so busy lately, I had to skip my usual Friday post. The hustle is real in my life and it all surrounds work, traveling (for work) and normal family chaos. The upside is this work trip is taking me to places I’ve never been and will make for some awesome blog posts, I’m sure! I am so excited to explore all the foods in London, Geneva, Zurich, Milan, and Munich. What trip would be complete without a visit to Oktoberfest? Once this trip is over, things should start to settle, slightly. Though thinking ahead to November we kick off a super busy end to this year. Birthdays, Disney, Holidays, so much fun, and so much Serenity Compound. But back to the food, what a comeback…Brussels sprouts?!  Yes! I know, not everyone is a fan, but I have come to love them. To a point that If they are roasted, or better have some bacon on them, I would choose them over chocolate. This recipe is a new one. I actually found it while I was on vacation. I was looking through a cookbook and it said serve these to someone who doesn’t like Brussels sprouts, and they will love them. Ok maybe not exactly, but basically. So I had to try them. I will admit, at first, when I was mid-making them, I wasn’t sure. I mean I was way out of my comfort zone with sprouts. I roast them mostly, but sauteed, not so much. I was more than pleasantly surprised when I tasted them. The ginger is so delicious in this. The original recipe called for water rather than broth, but I loved it with the broth. It added another layer of flavor that was fantastic. Honestly, I think anyone who wasn’t a fan of sprouts, would definitely enjoy them after this.

 

Shredded Gingered Brussels Sprouts

Shredded Gingered Brussels Sprouts

Instructions

  1. Trim Brussels sprouts. Cut sprouts in half, then cut crosswise, into thin slices.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sprouts and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until they begin to brown lightly. Add oil and toss to coat. Stir in the onion, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper. Add broth. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 1-2 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Notes

Barely adapted from Taste of Home.

Fancy Pants Roasted Chicken

If you want a roasted chicken recipe that takes minimal effort, uses minimal ingredients, is weeknight friendly, and tastes fancy AF, this is for you. I love recipes that call for “pretentious onions” aka shallots. I love me some shallots! I absolutely love the flavor they add to any recipe, so I was thrilled to find this roasted chicken recipe called for them. I didn’t need much more convincing than that. Life has been a bit crazy as of late, so feeling a little fancy without the fuss is a nice dinnertime escape. I shouldn’t even say a nice dinnertime escape it’s more of a dinner must. The original recipe for this chicken calls for chicken thighs. I usually make this with boneless/skinless chicken breasts and have enjoyed them every time. Maybe a bit lighter, but certainly just as tasty. We had this with sweet potatoes and broccoli, but a rice pilaf and some sugary green beans….or really anything….would be great. So if you are feeling like me, needing a little comfort and a whole lot of fancy AF, then you need to give this recipe a shot.

Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a baking dish combine the oil, vinegar, soy sauce and shallots. Whisk to combine. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the baking dish and spoon some of the liquid and shallots over the top of each piece of chicken.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes and then flip the chicken. Spoon additional liquid and shallots over the tops of each piece of chicken and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the chicken is done. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Annie 

 

Game Day Eats

As the weather gets cooler, kind of, and various sports are starting up, I felt like making my first chili of the season was appropriate. I’ve tested a few different recipes in the past and this concoction that I made seems to satisfy all the flavor requests, a hint of sweetness, slight spice, and more veggies! That last one is my request. It’s also fantastic if frozen or eaten as leftovers. What’s more, this is a perfect crockpot dish. I just brown the meat the night before and then toss everything into the crockpot before I head to work. When I get home, dinner is done. Perfect! I generally eat mine with a healthy side of tortilla chips, but you could opt for some corn bread, or even have a little over some brown rice or quinoa. This chili is super filling so a little goes a long way, too.

Instructions

  1. Brown meat in heavy stock pan over medium high heat. Once cooked through, add in the onion, green pepper, jalapeno, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add in seasoning, beans and sauce and let simmer for at least an hour.

Notes