Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup

 

This is the First (Official) Soup of the Season here in the Weldon Household!  Even though – technically – it’s ‘Summer’, and even though it may have been 86 degrees yesterday, and even though my husband refuses to eat hot soup on a day where you still need suntan lotion, and even though I’ve already pulled out my Christmas music selections (and added to them recently) – all those things aside …. it’s Fall in THIS house! 🙂

I used to be very by-the-book when it came to recipes.  Well, honestly, when I was first married, I didn’t think I needed to be … therefore lots of prepared meals flopped, badly, because I thought I knew what I was doing.  So … due to lots of life experience, and making 438,916 meals (slight exaggeration) I’m finally getting to that point where I can begin to create my own ‘versions’ of recipes.  I use cook books still, and for the most part, follow them ingredient by ingredient – but, have found myself improvising many of them.  Here’s a basic cheesy broccoli soup recipe that I added my own ‘flare’  to.

I, first, steamed 2 heads of broccoli and a half yellow pepper (chopped) and red pepper (chopped) in a half inch of water.  Once they were tender (to my liking) I removed them from the saucepan, and put them in another container to add back to the soup later. I rinsed out the same saucepan – mostly to save having to wash multiple dishes – and used about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of milk, a crushed garlic clove, 2 teaspoons of chicken flavoring and some seasoning salt and brought those to a low boil.  Added in a little less than a 1/4 cup flour (sifted) and stirred that until slightly thick. Flour is just one of those ingredients that you can add more of if you prefer your soups super thick, or less if you prefer it a little liquidy.  I added some cheese (add up to a cup for really cheesy soup), white pepper and fresh thyme.  After the cheese had started to melt, I added back in my steamed veggies and a splash of heavy cream.  I took it off the stove and immediately served it to my boys.  They ate it UP like there was no tomorrow!

I truly think you could add just about ANY vegetable to this – steamed – and have it be just as delicious.  I just happened to add what I already had laying around in my refrigerator.   It was yummy!!!

2 heads broccoli

1/2 peppers (yellow, orange, red or green)

1 1/2 – 2 c milk

1 clove garlic (minced or crushed)

2 t chicken flavoring

salt/pepper

cheddar cheese (about 1/2 – 1 cup)

1/4 c flour (sifted)

(optional : fresh thyme)

splash of heavy cream

 

Roasted Lemon Potatoes

2 pounds potatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
coarse sea salt
paprika powder (used smoked)
3 garlic cloves minced
1 lemon & zest from half of it
pepper
parsley
Place peeled/cubed potatoes in dish, mix all ingredients except for parsley and paprika – cover potatoes, sprinkle parsley and paprika. Bake at 400 for 20 min. on each side.

Cranberry BBQ Ribs

3 pounds pork loin back ribs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 14-ounce can Cranberry Sauce (I made my own!)
1 12-ounce bottle BBQ Sauce (I used Honey)
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon Red-Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or powder)
Mix all together – pour over ribs – cook on low for 7 hours!

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Sweet Potato Cranberry Muffins

These are a true favorite of my entire family!  A seasonal tradition now, come Fall time!

Best part???  The freshly chopped cranberries.

Now, I like craisins just as much as the next gal …. but, in my muffins?  Only REAL cranberries will do!Best of all – this is a perfect snack for breakfast, lunch or after-school!  (or…in my case -being a mom to two growing boys- snack after breakfast, snack before lunch, snack after lunch, snack after school, snack just before dinner or snack right after dinner)

In one bowl, MIX:

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 c sugar

2 t baking powder

3/4 t salt

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

In another bowl, MIX:

1 egg

1/2 c milk

1/2 c sweet potatoes – mashed

1/4 c butter – melted

Mix dry and wet ingredients together and then stir in 1 c of cranberries – chopped.

Back @ 375 for 18-22 minutes.

You’re welcome.

Applesauce Pancakes

First of all – SUPER SORRY I don’t have a picture – they were SO good that my family – literally – ate them up before I got some pics …. so, that tells you how delicious this recipe is!!!!  Enjoy Home Chefs! 🙂

2 c Flour

1/4 c Brown Sugar

2 T Baking Powder (you read this right – 2 Tablespoons!)

1 t Salt

Mix in bowl, set aside …… in another bowl, mix:

2 Eggs

1 c Milk

1/2 c Applesauce (I used homemade and it was deeeelightful!)

1/4 c Butter – melted

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mixx well.  Cook on griddle or non-stick pan and enjoy!!!

Homemade Applesauce

Michigan Apples & Gala Apples, Cinnamon Sticks & Cloves

Use 10-12 apples (any variety), cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. (sweeter apples won’t require a lot of sugar to add to sweeten)  Boil on a medium/high for about an hour 1/2 in just enough water to cover bottom of pan (add more if you want it a little thinner), until peels start to separate from apples, stirring occasionally.  After apples are nice and tender, remove peels, stir continuously (add some sugar is desired).  My boys love this hot off the stove – my Hubby prefers it ice cold, but either way – it’s delicious and makes your home smell amazing!

 (Make sure you count how many cinnamon sticks & cloves you put into the pot, so that you know exactly how many you need to remove later!)

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cake w/Lemon Cream Icing

Gingerbread Cake:

‎1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter (softened)
1 egg
1 c molasses
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t salt
1 c hot water

Grease pan (or double pans for two layer), preheat over to 350. Cream together sugar and butter, beat in egg. Beat in molasses. In separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Mix both mixtures together and then whisk in hot water. Pour into baking pans, bake 20-40 minutes [depending on size of pan(s)]

Lemon Cream Icing:

4 T softened butter
4 T softened cream cheese
1 1/3 c confect. sugar
1/2 t lemon extract
Beat butter and cream cheese, gradually add sugar and lemon.