As a self-proclaimed foodie and ingredient junkie, I often get the questions, “What is your favorite item to cook?” or “What dish are you known for?”  I always find this a difficult question to answer because I don’t have one favorite thing I like to make. What I made every week one month (like my paella obsession) isn’t necessarily what I’m making every weekend now…more and more roasted vegetables.

But something I always circle back to is soup.  I love it. I pretty much have it with every meal. We always have a soup prepared in our fridge to have with lunch at home on the weekends or to take in the office during the week.  I enjoy cold soups in the hot Georgia summers; like Avocado or Gazpacho; or good old traditional standbys like Cream of Broccoli or French Onion.

When I think of cold, rainy, winter nights, which we have had our share of lately, I think of a spicy Beer Cheese Soup. It’s warm, comforting, laced with jalapenos and a delicious afternoon snack on rainy afternoons. Especially when you use a hot pretzel for dipping.  Yum!

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Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup with Himalayan Pink Salt dusted Pretzels

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) beer of choice, I used a Bud Light
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 ounces low-fat, extra-sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, I use Neuchâtel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBS diced jalapenos + one fresh jalapeno, sliced
  • 3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Frozen pretzels (bake according to instructions)
  • 1 TBS, Himalayan Pink Salt

Directions

Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery and garlic. Saute until soft. Add chicken broth, beer and bay leaf. Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add cheese while stirring until just boiling and smooth. Add salt, pepper, mustard, jalapenos and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup has thickened.

Garnish with sliced jalapeno and serve with a hot baked pretzel.

 

Be sure to check out more delicious soup recipes from the talented members of the #SundaySupper Community:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)

Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)

 Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)

Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)

Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)

Of course once you have seen all of the recipes for the day, you’ll not want to miss our #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday.

We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special soup recipes!

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.

Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Don’t forget to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite soup, stew, chowder or bisque recipes with us!

 

This week’s Sunday Supper topic was to make a dish by our favorite celebrity chef. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I LOVE Emeril’s recipes. They are always so flavorful. They often use one of his spice blends, although this one does not, which really add a punch to the dish they are being used in. I prefer to prepare his spice blends at home, over purchasing them in the store. They taste better and homemade blends tend to have less sodium than the store bought ones.

Now deciding which Emeril recipe to share proved to not be too difficult. It happened to be the weekend after Thanksgiving when I was deciding what to make and I had a hamhock to do something with. Well, I had recently been perusing a new local restaurant’s menu and saw they serve Red Beans & Rice on Monday and call it Laundry Night. Apparently, in New Orleans (one my most favorite cities in the world) back in the day, the women of the household would let Red Beans simmer on the stove all day Monday, using the hamhock from Sunday night’s dinner, while they tended to the laundry.

I liked the story and loved the thought of Red Beans bubbling away in the crockpot all day. When looking for a recipe, I stumbled upon this one, and knowing Emeril never disappoints, eagerly bought the ingredients and got started. I doubled this recipe so my hubby and I would have some and so I could take a batch to ladies at work for lunch. It was a hit with him and the office…as if there was any doubt :0)

Do you like Emeril? What’s your favorite Emeril Recipe? (I also adore his Jambalaya)

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Red Beans & Rice served with Jalapeno Cornbread

Emeril’s New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 hamhock
  • 2 links of Andouille (Patak is my favorite and I highly recommend if you can get your hands on it)
  • 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted through, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • white rice (I love to make mine in the rice cooker)

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, black pepper and thyme for about 5 minutes. Pour into a crockpot. Add the bay leaves, hamhock, sausage, beans, garlic, and enough water to cover the contents. Cook on low all day (about 6-8 hours). Use a wooden spoon to mash about half of the mixture against the side of the pot before serving. Add more water if it becomes too thick. The mixture should be soupy but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and serve with white rice.

Check out more tasty recipes featuring celebrity chefs from my fellow #SundaySupper foodies:

Starters or Snacks :

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog – Oyster and Brie Soup and Wine Pairings for Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper

Linda at The Urban Mrs. – Inspired by Bobby Flay, Lobster Chowder with Roasted Corn Salsa

Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts – Rachael Ray’s Cinnamon Popcorn

Cindy over at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup

Jeff at The Catholic Foodie – Drop Biscuits – Breakfast with Chef John Besh

Renee over at Kudos Kitchen By Renee – Giada De Laurentiis’ Garlic Toasts With Red Pepper Aioli

The Main Dish:

Sheila at Cooking Underwriter – Paula Deen’s Chicken in a Crock Pot w/ Sauerkraut and Apples

Laura over at Small Wallet Big Appetite – Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun

Claire at The Realistic Nutritionist – Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken

Sarah over at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends – Michael Symon’s Lola burger with crab tater tots

Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen – Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi

Katy over at Happy Baking Days – Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart

Tammi at Momma’s Meals – Lee Drummond’s Sloppy Joe’s

Lane over at Supper for a Steal – Bobby Flay’s Rosemary Bricked Chicken

Tara from Noshing with the Nolands – Michael Symon’s Pork and Apple Scallopini

Shannon at Country Girl in the Village – Simple Red Sauce over Rigatoni. Inspired by, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

Kris over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene – Rachael Ray’s Muffin Tin Meatloaf

Nicole from The Daily Dish Recipes – Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pickled Pork Sandwiches

Becca from It’s Yummilicious – Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Alice at Hip Foodie Mom – Sunday Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes from Kelsey Nixon

Jen over at Juanita’s Cocina – The Neely’s White Turkey Chili

Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips – Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis

Isabel at Family Foodie – Polenta with Garlicky Shrimp inspired by Chef Todd English

Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet – Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce, From Emeril Lagasse

Bobbi over at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen – Cheesy Poblano Chicken

Patti at Comfy Cuisine – Tyler Florence’s Chicken Francese

Chris from Sustainable Dad – Pork Tenderloin with Jerusalem Artichokes and Negroni Vinaigrette

Roxanne over at The Roxx Box – Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille

Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Rachael Ray’s Spicy Corn Chowdah Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Jamie at Mama Mommy Mom – Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Gouda and Prosciutto. Adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’

Tora over at Tora’s Real Food – Pork and beans with Alton Brown’s pickled pork

Amazing Sides:

Megan from I Run For Wine – Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme

Sandi over at Midlife Road Trip - Gabriele Corcos’s Gnocchi di Patate

Shelby at Diabetic Foodie – Orange Pecan Black Rice, adapted from Ina Garten

Katie from She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles – Chef Fabio Viviani’s Spinach and Artichoke Risotto

Sweet Endings:

Kim over at Cravings of a Lunatic – Chocolate Cream Puffs with Hazelnut Filling

Renee over at Magnolia Days – Brownie Tart

Connie at The Foodie Army Wife - Inspired by Ree Drummond – Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake

Paula over at Vintage Kitchen Notes – Bill Granger´s Cherry Tart

Pam from The Meltaways – Savannah Sheet Cake

Amber at Mama’s Blissful Bites – Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding

Jaime over at Mom’s Test Kitchen – Southern Tea Cakes

Amy over at Kimchi MOM - Crack Pie, I Can’t Quit You

Lyn from The Lovely Pantry - Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Squares

Melanie at From Fast Food to Fresh Food – Sand Tarts

Wine Pairings:

Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

I was very excited about this week’s topic of Dishes in 5 Ingredients or Less, because I just made an amazing batch of these crock pot chicken tacos.  Not only does this recipe use only THREE ingredients, but since the meat is prepared in the crock pot, it’s effortless to throw together and comes out extremely juicy and tender.  Since I cook for the girls in the office, I love to toss all the ingredients in the crock pot before I go to bed and cook on low overnight.  In the morning, I pack the chicken to-go and take it in for lunch.

There is a an endless combination of meals you can make featuring this succulent and zesty chicken.  I like to use a wheat wrap and pile on the chicken, low-fat cheese, lettuce, onion, avocado, etc. for a healthy burrito; top shredded lettuce with cowboy caviar, the chicken taco meat, and drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette for a flavorful salad; or make nachos by topping tortilla chips with cheese, chicken, cowboy caviar, lettuce and Greek Yogurt.

Whichever way you choose to serve it; it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

printable version

This recipe is as easy as…

  1. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 packet taco seasoning
  3. 1 16oz. jar of salsa

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Cover with taco seasoning and top with salsa.  Seal the lid of the crock pot and turn the crock pot on low.

Cook for eight hours and serve!

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step one

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step two

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step three

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step four

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wake up in the morning to this! smells amazing

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shred and it’s ready to serve!

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taco salad is a delicious way to serve

Check out more delicious 5 Ingredient or Less recipes from the #SundaySupper community below!

Join us, September 30th, 2012 as we share our delicious, mouth-watering recipes! Here’s a sneak peak at what everyone is bringing to our #SundaySupper table. Be sure to stay after dinner at 7pm EST as we share our recipes during our #SundaySupper live chat!

Breakfast, Starters, Butters and Jams:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Beverages:

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite 5 Ingredient Recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

This week’s #SundaySupper topic was “What does Sunday supper mean to you and your lifestyle?”

In our home, Sunday is a day that we look forward to.  It’s a day we like to pack up our dog, kayak and a few friends and head to Stone Mountain Park for some outdoor fun.  Now, the end to a day of play in nature (and often times a weekend with a little too much fun ;o)  is always a hearty home cooked meal.  Once dinner is placed on the table, we rehash stories from the weekend and share what’s on the horizon for the days ahead.

st mtn

Kayaking at Stone Mountain with our pup not far behind

So, when a few weeks, ago my husband requested meatloaf, I knew just the recipe I wanted to try.  I came across it on one of my favorite recipe sites and had been wanting to prepare it for some time. Although I often think of meatloaf as a cold weather entrée, the blackberry bbq sauce on this one makes it perfect for a summertime meal. Of course I tweaked the original recipe a bit, as I don’t eat veal, I’m obsessed with Vidalia onions, I loooove garlic and I never buy whitebread.  I’d also like to add that it’s not only the bbq sauce that makes this recipe special.  I have never put milk in my meatloaf before and I am now a firm believer that it’s the secret to THE most moist meat you will ever eat.  Give it a try and I’m sure you will agree!

Meatloaf with Blackberry BBQ Sauce

Printable Recipe

Ingredients for meatloaf:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp each of salt and pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup 1% milk
  • ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs

Ingredients for blackberry bbq sauce:

  • 2 Vidalia onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups blackberries (if using frozen, like I did, make sure they are thawed)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • generous pinch each of salt and pepper

For the sauce:  Add all the bbq sauce ingredients to a blender, or food processor, and blend until smooth.  Pour into a small saucepan and heat on medium for about 20 minutes (if you have a splatter screen, now is a good time to use it).  After 20 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

For the meatloaf:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together in a bowl until evenly distributed.  Fill a greased, 5×9 pan  with the meat mixture and  spread out so it’s even on top.  Spread about a half a cup of the bbq sauce on top of the meat and bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Be sure to check on the loaf about every 30 minutes and when the sauce begins to turn brown on the top, place aluminum foil over the top to keep the sugars in the bbq sauce from burning.

Once the meatloaf is completely cooked, remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

When serving, pour some of the bbq sauce on top of the slices of meatloaf and serve with a couple hearty sides. I went with mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts.

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Meatloaf: pre-oven

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Meatloaf: post-oven. Mmmm, check out that crust.

While you’re here, be sure to check out the amazing recipes that my fellow foodies in the #SundaySupper community have put together for today’s topic. They inspire me each week and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you!

Menu Plan Monday

June 18, 2012

Now that my schedule has calmed down after planning and executing my dream wedding, it’s time to get back to cooking and blogging!  I’m not sure who is more excited, myself, because I’ve missed the kitchen (leading up to the wedding I jumped from one diet to the next, clear liquids, Atkins, etc. so my appliances have been dormant for a bit) or my hubby, because he was on his own and pretty much lived off hot dogs and sandwiches the past three months.  Sorry babe!

Anywho, I have a few things going on this week, but am excited to put together my first weekly menu plan in awhile! 

#SundaySupper:  Father’s Day Dinner of Minestrone, Lasagna and Garlic Bread.  Dessert was a Strawberry Buttercream Cake from The German Bakery

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Junior League Social at Square Pub (and my one month anniversary!). It’s appropriate we’ll be here since this is where my wedding “after-party” was held.  Their menu goes above and beyond the typical bar food.  (Hint: anything with Hatch Chiles is ah-mazing.)

Wednesday: Dinner at a friend’s house, menu TBD

Thursday:  Fried Green Tomato Sammies w/ Sweet Potato Fries (I made Fried Green Tomato BLTs last week and they were so good, I thought I’d expand on the basic recipe and add a few more ingredients.)  Also, super-excited to use my new mandolin to make home-made fries. 

Friday: I’m headed to Athens, GA for a Junior League Conference for the weekend, which means I’ll be eating at some of the best restaurants (in my opinion) around!  I’m hoping to hit The National, Speakeasy and The Grit…not to mention see some good music, as it’s AthFest weekend. 

Besides getting back into the swing of menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking and researching new recipes, I’m excited to announce that “The Hand” will be getting a whole new look in the very near future.  Stay tuned for updates on the big reveal!

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