Tomato Soup

My friend Clara was coming over and what’s better than soup in the winter?  This is the Pioneer Woman’s tomato soup, which is quick and easy, and then I made grilled cheese with sourdough and Kraft singles to go with it.  Perfect winter dinner.

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Tomato Soup

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • a few carrots, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes
  • 16 oz vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped parsley (fresh)
  • grated parmesan

Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat.  I used the dutch oven because I am still obsessed with it.  Grate in the garlic, add the diced onion and carrot and stir to coat.

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Heat until soft.  5 min or so.  Add the tomato paste and stir, cooking another minute or two.

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Add the tomatoes with their juice, the stock and the water.  Stir together and bring to a boil.

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Cover and reduce the heat, letting the soup simmer for at least a half hour, but I waited an hour to let the flavors develop.

Use an immersion blender to puree.  I stopped before it was completely smooth just to give it some texture.  I of course forgot to take pictures before eating it, so here’s a picture of me packing up the leftovers, how glamorous.

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I served with a grilled cheese with sourdough and Kraft singles slices of American cheese because I am an adult.  Top the soup with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese because more cheese is always better.  9/10 would make again.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

I know, I know, it’s been forever since there’s been a post.  But there has been no shortage of cooking!  My lame-ass excuse is actually that I lost my camera battery charger and it has just recently been tracked down, so we’re back!

My coworkers were treated to these cookies today and they were a hit.

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Lemon Shortbread Cookies (recipe from Miette)

  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

First you want to get all your mis en place, or get all your ingredients measured out and prepared.  And preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

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Use a microplane to grate a bunch of lemon zest.  Be sure to avoid grating any of the white portion as it’ll make the cookies bitter.

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Then you’ll want to smash together the sugar and lemon zest.  Mortar and pestle is best but use whatever you’ve got.

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Meatball Tortellini Soup

Let’s ignore how long it’s been since my last post, shall we?  This is a super easy and delicious soup.  If you’re super ambitious you can make your own tortellini but let’s be real, the prepackaged ones are so much easier!

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Meatball Tortellini Soup

  • 8 oz ground beef chuck
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, and more for topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, small dice
  • 2 stalks of celery, smal dice
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 9-oz package of cheese tortellini
  • 4 cups loosely packed spinach
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine the ground beef, parmesan, 2 tbsp parsley, the egg, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and a few grates of pepper.

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Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup

All the soups!

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Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 1 14 oz can roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup angel hair pasta broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • a few pinches of salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • a little cilantro

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, carrot and celery.

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Cook until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another minute.

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Dump in the roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, and chicken breast and bring it to a boil.

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When the chicken is cooked through, lower the heat to low, remove the chicken and shred it.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

My coworkers keep giving me a hard time because I never bring in baked goods.  Sorry that I’m usually spending my cooking time for dinner to feed MYSELF and not you people, but alas, I decided tomorrow was as good a day as any for peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp peanut butter (chunky or smooth will work)

Preheat your oven to 350 deg F.  Line your cookie sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

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Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.

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Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add the egg and continue to beat on medium speed until incorporated.

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Add the peanut butter and mix on medium/low speed until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

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Mushroom Bourguignon

Okay I’ve got a thing for bourguignon.  Who wouldn’t, though?  I know I’ve already done beef bourguignon on here but I can’t get enough!  Pseudo-veggie friendly this time with mushrooms instead of beef, but there’s still beef stock in there.  Feel free to substitute vegetable stock but oh man you’re going to lose some flavor.

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Mushroom Bourguignon (yields 4-ish servings)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 lb portobello mushrooms, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (ps PEELING PEARL ONIONS IS A PAIN, especially without fingernails)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme (1 tsp if fresh, I used dry womp womp)
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup red wine (plus more for drinking obvi)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • egg noodles, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving
  • chopped chives for garnish

Put a pot of water on for the egg noodles and prepare per the package.

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil and a tbsp of the butter over high heat in a Dutch oven.

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Let the butter melt but DO NOT LET IT BROWN OR BURN.  I can’t emphasize how much the nuttiness of browned butter is not welcome when not wanted.  And burned butter is like burnt popcorn and no one likes that.

Dump the mushrooms and pearl onions into the hot pan.  It’ll sizzle like hell.

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Stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes, or until the mushrooms start to brown but don’t release any liquid into the pan.  Remove and set aside.

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Beef Stew

It’s winter so it’s like law of the land that us humans must consume beef stew.  Plus it’s actually cold here in Austin, it’s kind of freaky.  The Cayenne pepper and the brown sugar here make it sweetly spicy and awesomeeee.  You could also add turnips orrrr mushrooms ’cause that’d be dandy.

Beef Stew (fo four)

  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • olive oil (at least 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t like it a little spicy)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • some red potatoes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into a dice
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

Smother your beef with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Then add the butter and once it’s melted (careful not to brown it) start browning the beef in batches.

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Keep going…

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