Monday, May 30, 2016

{Homemade} Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

Some of you have already tried my powdered cream of chicken soup substitute, which I love.  But I have lately started using this recipe as well.  I have found that it works better for certain things.  Both are a great addition to any recipe index, and if you haven't jumped on this bandwagon yet, you should.  You'll save yourself a bundle, and cut down on unnecessary ingredients.
This recipe makes the equivalent to 1 can of Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup.

Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup {Homemade}
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

3/4 c. chicken broth
1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning (sage)
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch dried parsley
pinch paprika
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. flour

In a medium saucepan, bring broth and all seasonings to a simmer.
Whisk milk and flour together in a separate container, and slowly pour into the broth mixture, whisking constantly.
Continue cooking, whisking occassionally until thickened, 3-4 minutes.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Use in desired recipe.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Coconut Cream Berry Polenta

Step aside oatmeal, there's a new hot breakfast in town.  Polenta.
It may sound sketchy at first, but trust me, this delicious berry breakfast is packed full of flavor.
I've long since discovered the magical happenings of cooking any hot breakfast in milk rather than water, and this one takes it one step further.  Coconut milk provides sweetness and texture, which pairs perfectly with berries of any kind.  Sprinkle some toasted coconut over the top and you are good to go.

Coconut Cream Berry Polenta
Recipe modified from Edible Perspective

1 c. polenta (I use this)
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. toasted flaked coconut
berries of choice

In a medium sized pan, bring water and coconut milk to a simmer over medium high heat.
Whisk in polenta.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

After cooking, whisk in the coconut oil, honey, and salt.
Ladle into bowls and top with berries, toasted coconut, and extra coconut milk.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Brussel Sprout Cranberry Quinoa Salad

This all season salad is perfect for potlucks, a satisfying lunch, or a vegetarian dinner (if you are in to that sort of thing...).
I made a few modifications; subbing freeze dried cranberry slices for craisins, which cuts down significantly on the sweetness, but still adds that great pop of color, and I used almonds instead of pecans, since that is what I had on hand.  Like most salads, anything you choose to throw in or omit would work great.

Brussel Sprout Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Recipe modified from Gimme some Oven

2 c. quinoa, cooked
6 oz Brussel sprouts
3/4 c. freeze dried sliced cranberries (or craisins)
1 c. sliced almonds (or pecans)

1/2 orange (1/4 c. juice)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 Stevia packet (omit if using craisins)

Wash and trim ends of Brussel sprouts, and thinly slice.
Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine.

Whisk dressing ingredients together and drizzle over salad.
Toss to combine.
Serve cold or at room temperature.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Broccoli, Ham and Egg Bake

This easy throw together meal is perfect for a hearty breakfast, but I almost always serve it as a main dish for dinner.  I never measure anything but the eggs - just layer everything in a casserole dish, pour the eggs over the top and bake.  You can mix up the ratio of everything else, depending on how much meat, cheese or vegetable you want.

Broccoli, Ham and Egg Bake
Recipe modified from Focuseat

4-6 c. small broccoli flowerettes
1-2 c. diced ham
1 c. mozzarella cheese
1 can diced green chilies
salt and pepper to taste
10 eggs, well beaten

In a 9x13" casserole dish, layer broccoli on the bottom.
Top with diced ham.
Sprinkle mozzarella on top, as well as green chilies.
Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Mix eggs, and pour over everything.
Move things around slightly with a fork, so ensure the egg mixture seeps to the bottom and is coating everything.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until middle is firm and the eggs have set.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Canned Apricots

Canning apricots is a great way to extend the harvest all year long.  This method leaves the skin on, making it quick and easy.
If canned apricots aren't your thing, try using these to make apricot nectar - toss entire contents in a blender with some sugar and ice and you have a fantastic summer treat!
Or, you can make canned apricot nectar.

Canned Apricots

mason jars, lids and rings

In each sanitized quart mason jar put up to 1/4 c. sugar (based on taste of fruit).
Pour about 1 c. boiling water into each and shake bottles to dissolve sugar.
Wash, half and remove pits of apricots, and place halved pieces in prepared jars.
Pour hot water over apricots until jar is full.
Remove air bubbles with a knife or plastic spatula by running it down the sides of the bottle.
Steam quarts for 25 minutes, pints for 20 (do not start timer until steam in consistently coming out).
Remember to adjust for altitude - Utah time is 35 minutes for quarts, 25 for pints.

New to canning?
Peaches and apricots are very similar - click here to view my peach canning tutorial.
Click here for a complete list of canning tutorials.