Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

When I first made this soup, I put three different milks in it and it was so heavy.  The second time I made it,  I removed two and something was missing. Finally, I came up with best combination, with few calories (in my opinion).  Some recipes have tons of veggies packed in. By all means, I truly encourage that! (kale would be awesome!)  I found though, after blending the soup, it never became quite as creamy. As always, adjust the recipe to your liking and enjoy what you’re feeding your body.

 

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Serves 4

  • 1 bag Frozen Broccoli crowns
  • 2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 1/3 cup Half & Half
  • 1/2 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (diced)
  • 1/2 cup Carrots (chopped)
  • S & P to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese (shredded) plus 1/4 cup for topping

 

First, place the 3/4 of the broccoli, stock, onion, garlic, carrots, S & P, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley into a pot. Cook on medium high heat until it begins to boil. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes or until the carrots have softened.

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Once the veggies are completely cooked, remove the pot from heat and use either an immersion blender or a regular blender to smooth the soup. Caution: be very careful because the soup is extremely hot and can cause burns. Blend the soup until your desired consistency. Then put the soup back into the pot and place on the stove on a low heat.

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As the soup begins to heat up, add the half & half ,3/4 cup of cheese, and the remaining broccoli. Stir until everything is combined. Cook the soup until it is hot enough for your liking. Serve and top with additional cheese. Enjoy!

*This soup is exceptional with a turkey sandwich or submarine. *

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Baked Potato Salad

Being a food lover and a self taught cook, new recipes and ideas always pop into my head. There are so many versions of potato salads, especially this one, that you can really changed to what you like. When I think of a loaded baked potato, it always has sour cream, onion, bacon, and cheese on it. ALWAYS! By all means, add what you love but the following is my recipe for this reinvented potato salad.

 

Baked Potato Salad

Serves 4

  • 8 medium Russet Potatoes (washed, dried, and pricked)
  • 1 Celery stick (small diced)
  • 3 Green onions (chopped)
  • 4 Bacon strips (cooked and chopped)
  • 1/2 Mild cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • S & P to taste
  • 1/8 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Fresh parsley (chopped)

 

First, preheat the oven to 400° and put the baked potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for 35-45 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

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Once the potatoes have cooled, half them and cut them into bite size pieces. Place in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Leave a small amount of cheese and green onion to top off the mixed salad.

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When the salad is mixed, place it into a clean bowl, cover and refrigerate for about an hour. Serve and enjoy!

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

As a kid, I couldn’t stand corned beef and cabbage. My mom would always make me something different so the rest of my family could enjoy this dish. After not having it for at least 20 years, I decided to cook it and put my own twist on it. Turns out, it isn’t so bad after all. The beef is cooked in beer and has all the veggies with it. In my opinion, the beer cut out the over powering salt flavor and just left a juicy, flavorful piece of meat. Also, cooking mashed potatoes gave a different taste than the traditional boiled potatoes. Give this recipe of mine a try this St. Patty’s Day and let me know what you think. I truly enjoyed it!

 

Corned Beef Brisket and Cabbage

Serves 4

  • 1 Corned Beef Brisket with seasoning packet (2.5lb)
  • 1 1/2 Bottled Beer (light ale)
  • 1 cup Baby carrots
  • 1 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Celery stalk (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (small diced)
  • 1/8 tsp Ground pepper
  •  1/8 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Fresh Parsley
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Sides

  • 1 Medium sized head of cabbage(chopped)
  • 3 tbsp Butter (unsalted)
  • S & P for taste
  • Sprinkle of Sugar
  • Mashed Potatoes (prepared)

 

Crock pot recipe-must cook meat on low for 8-10 hours or on high 4-6 hours

If you choose to not cook in the crock pot, follow below:

Place the all of the ingredients for the Corned beef brisket (not the sides) into a deep pot. Turn on high until it comes to a boil. Lower the temperature to low and simmer for 5-5 1/2 hours (yes, this long). Remove the brisket from the liquid and let it set for about 5-10 minutes. Be careful, the meat should be very tender and may fall apart. With a sharp knife or electric knife set, cut the corned beef into 1/4 inches slices. It should cut easily and be very juicy. Serve on top of the cabbage (recipe below), carrots, and mashed potatoes. Add a tablespoon of the liquid from the pot to the meat if desired.

 

For the cabbage, in large skillet, melt the butter on medium to high heat. Add the chopped cabbage, salt, pepper, and sugar. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage has softened.

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Serve with your Corned beef, carrots, and mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

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Tasty Taco Salad

I am always open to new ideas and ways of cooking meals. If it has fresh ingredients and is easy to make normally, why not try it a different way. My husband loves tacos! When I ask him what he wants for dinner, the answer is always tacos. A taco salad can be changed in so many ways by what fresh ingredients you add to it. Also, by the dressing or meat. Feel free to change it to your liking but as for this blog post, this is my recipe.

 

Taco Salad

Serves 4

  • 4  Flour tortillas (burrito size)
  • 1 1/4 lb Ground beef (73-80% lean)
  • 1 Garlic clove (finely diced)
  • 1 small White onion (chopped)
  • S & P to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Ortega taco sauce (mild) plus extra for dressing
  • 1 head of Iceberg lettuce or Romaine (chopped)
  • 1 Tomato (chopped)
  • 1 Avocado (small diced)
  • 1 cup Shredded cheddar
  • 1 can Black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can Sweet corn
  • 4 tbsp Sour cream

 

To make the shells, preheat the oven to 375°. On a baking sheet, place a soup bowl face down. Make sure the bowl is oven safe. Put a tortilla in the oven or microwave and heat enough to just make it warm and slightly sticky. (oven-1 minute, microwave-20 seconds). Place the tortilla around the bowl and push down the sides so the fold and make a bowl shape. Spray with non cooking spray and place in the oven for 5-6 minutes or until slightly brown. Turn the broiler on towards the end to make it even crisper. Pull the baking sheet from the oven and let the shell cool a couple minutes and then remove from the bowl.

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For the taco meat, preheat a skillet on medium to high heat. Cook the ground beef completely while stirring and breaking the meat up into small pieces. Add in the onion and garlic. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the onion is cooked. Season with S & P, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and the taco sauce. You are welcome to use a taco seasoning packet instead of the sauce if you prefer.

Once the meat is fully cooked and the shells are baked, add the lettuce to all the shells. Fill them about half way. Then add all of the toppings that you desire plus the meat. Add additional taco sauce or a salad dressing of your choice. Stir and enjoy!

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Authentic Chicken Wings

As a native of Buffalo, NY, I know my chicken wings. They are never, ever called Buffalo wings! That is just the sauce that is applied. With that said, chicken wings can be fried, baked, or grilled and be absolutely delicious. I have had many people tell me they want a recipe for authentic chicken wings and this one delivers! They are crispy, saucy, and pack just enough heat to make you crave them over and over. They are easy to make and be reheated just as easily if you want to make them ahead for a party. Give them a try! You’ll love them!

 

Authentic Chicken Wings

Coating Mix

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 tbsp Corn starch
  • 1 tsp (each) S & P
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Franks Wing Sauce (mild) or Hot sauce (medium to hot)
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted butter

Other Ingredients

  • 24 Chicken wings (drumettes preferred)
  • 1 large container of Vegetable oil (frying oil)
  • Blue cheese dressing (dipping sauce)
  • Carrot and Celery sticks

** Deep fryer is recommended**

First, turn your deep fryer to 375° and let it heat up completely before adding the wings. Next, wash and completely dry off the chicken wings. Take 6-7 wings and put them in a zip lock bag with the coating mix. Completely coat the wings, shake the wing off to remove the excess flour and place in the deep fry basket.

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Deep fry the chicken wings for 8-10 minutes or until the green light turns on. This indicator let you know they are done. Remove the chicken wings and place on a sheet pan and place in a warm oven. The excess grease will evaporate. Continue cooking the remaining chicken wings.

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Once the wings are all fried, place them in the oven and begin the sauce. The sauce will only take about 3 minutes to make. In a sauce pan, heat the butter and hot sauce to a low boil. Whisk the sauce until it is combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pull the chicken wings from the oven and place them in a container that you can toss the sauce and wings together. A tupperware container works great. Add the sauce and close the container. Shake to coat all of the wings. Plate the wings. Serve with blue cheese dressing (not ranch), celery, and carrots. Enjoy!

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Monster Meatballs

 

Generally, when someone mentions Italian food, you automatically think spaghetti and meatballs. There are so many different ways to make them and believe me, I am not here to say any of them are better/worse than others. I have made small meatballs, stuffed meatballs, pork meatballs, and monster meatballs. By far, these are my favorite to make and eat. Why? Because not only are they great with spaghetti and fill you up but they are amazing on a submarine sandwich. Give this recipe a try and you will see just what I’m talking about!

 

Miranda’s Monster Meatballs

Makes 9 large meatballs

  • 1 1/2 lbs 73-80% Ground beef
  • 1 small White onion (diced)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dark Bourbon (optional) *non alcoholic option-milk*
  • 1/2 cup Store bought Bread crumbs (seasoned)
  • 1 slice of White bread (grated)
  • 2 tbsp Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp S & P
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground fennel
  • 2 tbsp Grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • Your favorite marinara sauce or homemade sauce

 

First, preheat your oven to 400°, line a baking sheet with foil, and spray lightly with non stick spray. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix with your hands. (best tools in the kitchen) Be careful not to over mix the meat because that will make the meatballs tough. Just mix the meat enough to combine all of the ingredients. Next, form into balls the size between a golf ball and a tennis ball. There is no need to be a perfectionist at this point. If the size is slightly off, it’s not a big deal. They will be put in the sauce of your choice to cook at least 15 more minutes. Once the balls are all formed, bake for 40-45 minutes.

After you remove the meatballs from the oven, let them sit, without touching or moving them for 10 minutes. This will allow the meat to set and ensure they will never fall apart. Add them to your sauce, and cook in the sauce for at least 15 minutes. Serve with extra parmesan cheese and parsley. Enjoy!

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Submarine sandwich- cut 1 meatball in quarters. Place on a slightly toasted sub roll. Add sauce and mozzarella cheese. Place under a high broiler for 3-4 minutes or until bubbly. I add spinach and parsley but that is totally up to you!