This is a blog of my adventures in the kitchen. I always like to try new things, and I'm looking up different recipes constantly. Some recipes on here will be my own, some will be found recipes. Some will work, some won't. Trial and error, right? I'm no professional and I don't claim to be, I just enjoy cooking. :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Healthier Cream of Broccoli Soup

So, I've been feeling a little guilty about all of the "bad" foods I've made recently. Today, I was craving soup. I looked in my fridge and in my cupboard and found a few things I thought would be good thrown together, but still be fairly figure friendly. :)

The secret is the cream of celery soup. It made it thick and creamy, without adding fattening cream to it. :)

Things you'll need:

4 C chicken or veggie broth or 4 C water with bullion. (This is a complete guess. I just threw some water in and added some bullion granules.)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 can 98% fat free cream of celery (I think any "cream of" soup would work here)
broccoli (I used the whole bunch but cut off the florets and cut them small)
1/2 C grated cheddar
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 C fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

In a pot, saute the onion in the oil until soft. Add the garlic. Add the water and bring to a simmer.

Add the broccoli and let it simmer until the broccoli is cooked as much as you want. I cooked mine until it was pretty soft. :)

Add everything else, except the cheese, and heat it up until it's simmering.

Take off heat and add the cheese, stirring to melt. (I tasted this before adding the cheese, and it was good without, too. So, skip it if you want to save those calories)

I know some people blend up cream of broccoli soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender, I liked it chunky. :P

I put this into the recipe calculator and these are the nutrition facts I got from it:

Servings: 5

Per serving:

Calories 229

Fat 13

Cholesterol 39

Sodium 1181

Carbs 18

Fiber 2.7

Protein 10.7

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

[warning: This is NOT a healthy food. At over 500 calories for a SLIVER of a slice, it just might be a heart attack waiting to happen -- but what a way to go!]

I found this recipe online, and thought it would be perfect for Valentine's Day. It was incredibly rich... TOO rich... It was pretty good, but I don't think I'll be making it again. :) Ray couldn't eat more than a bite. lol...

***update: give the cheesecake a day or two in the fridge. The flavor completely changes -- in the best way! Yum! :)

I didn't use the crust in the original recipe, so if you want that part of it you'll need to click on the link. :) I used brownies for the crust.

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

Things you'll need:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

I baked brownies for the crust, but it would be easier just to buy some. Or make a different crust of your choice. :)

Crush up the brownies, and press them into a 9 inch springform pan, bringing up the sides at least 2 inches.

Melt the chocolate. The recipe says to do this in a double boiler. I used the microwave. Just put it in a bowl (sorry for the ugly bowl) and pop it in the micro for 30 second intervals, stirring after each. It will take maybe 1:30.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy with an electric mixer.

Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Be sure to stop and scrape the sides a couple of times, to make sure it's really mixed in.

Mix in melted chocolate and vanilla, until thoroughly blended. Slightly beat the eggs, and then add them to the mix. Mix it in gently so you don't get air bubbles.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust -- My crust looks disgusting, I know... That's why I didn't post more pictures of the crust up above, when I was explaining it. haha.

Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 55 minutes*. The cake will seem underbaked in the center, but will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.

*I took the advice of some of the reviewers and left the cheesecake in the over after I turned it off. I'm not sure if it was a good idea, or not... It still cracked a little bit, and it continued to cook longer than stated. So, up to you on that one. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Eggs Benedict

I was craving eggs benedict the other day, but I tried making it years ago and failed miserably. Deciding that I've learned a thing or two over the years, I thought I'd try it again.

I dished some up for my husband and myself and we ate it. After which he told me that he's always hated eggs benedict, but that this was really good to him. lol... He even went back for seconds. ;)

Not for the diet conscious, since hollandaise sauce is basically just butter and egg yolk.

I found the hollandaise recipe online... just click on the link to go to the original recipe.

Eggs Benedict

What you'll need:

English muffins
ham or bacon
lemon juice
cayenne pepper

For the hollandaise sauce, here are the amounts:

1 1/3 cup of butter
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp of cold water
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper (I used alot more than a pinch)

Make your hollandaise sauce first.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over a low heat.

Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Taking a spoon, skim off the foam from the surface of the melted butter and discard.
Transfer the rest of the butter to a warmed pouring jug and set aside.

Pour 2 inches of water into a saucepan and heat so that the water is gently simmering but not boiling.

In a glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the water until frothy.

Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and continue to whisk the egg yolks for several minutes until they have thickened.

Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk the eggs for a further minute, in order for the eggs to cool down.

Place the bowl with the eggs back into the saucepan but remove the saucepan from the heat.

VERY slowly, pour the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture, making sure that you continuously whisk the eggs whilst doing so. This is very important. If you add the butter too quickly it will not emulsify and it will separate, or "break". This actually DID happen to me... Don't throw it out! I'll show you how to fix it! :) So, if you finish with this step and you HAVE broken the sauce, continue with the next steps and we'll fix it in the end. :)

I didn't photo this, either. I was too busy whisking.

Whisk in the remaining ingredients until they have thoroughly blended together and the sauce is as thick as you require.

So, this is what MY hollandaise sauce looked like:

Gross, right?

Okay, to fix this mess takes a little bit of time, but it's not difficult. Take a glass bowl and rinse it under hot water to warm the bowl a little. Dry it. Add about 1 tsp of lemon juice in the bowl, then add 1 tbsp of the broken sauce. Whisk until this emulsifies, and makes a creamy sauce. Now continue to add the broken sauce, 1/2 - 1 tbsp at a time, whisking to combine between each. Eventually, you'll have this:

Check the seasoning and then serve immediately or keep warm over a bowl of hot water for up to 30 minutes.

Now for the rest. I didn't take any pictures of the eggs poaching. :( I'm sorry.

So, to start you want to add water to a pot. Make it at least 5 inches deep. Add a tsp or two of vinegar. That's actually totally optional, but it's believed that it will help the egg whites stay together.

Bring that to a low simmer and heat up your ham while you wait for it. If you use bacon, you'll want to have that cooked.

Break an egg open, and place in a cup. That will make it easier to place in the simmering water.

Gently place the eggs in the water, one by one, and cook for 3 minutes - or until the whites are done but the yolks are still runny.

While the eggs cook, toast your english muffins. When they're toasted, butter them and place the ham on top.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the eggs and place them on the ham. If you're making alot and the english muffins aren't ready, you can place the eggs on a paper towel to wait.

Now, put some hollandaise sauce over the top and you're done! :)