Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Classic Pasta And Mushrooms

Sometimes you just want to make something simple.  Maybe use some leftover chicken or maybe some cherry tomatoes. And sometimes it can get even more simpler than that depending on how hungry you are. This is my go to quick meal. Why reach for that pack of Ramen Noodles or that can of soup when you can make a rich and creamy pasta dish in no time. Sometimes just a handful of ingredients spell out comfort food at its best.

Classic Pasta and Mushrooms

3 cloves Garlic, Minced
½ cup Cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth (OR Dry White Wine)
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Parsley, Minced
1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
 Salt and pepper to Taste
1 pound Thin Spaghetti Or Angel Hair Pasta
Extra Parmesan, For Sprinkling

Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water, leaning toward the al dente side. Do not overcook! Drain pasta and then return to the cooking pot. Save some of your pasta water in a separate cup.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and garlic to pan. Toss/stir around and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes; increase heat to high if needed to help mushrooms begin to turn golden brown.

Next, pour in chicken broth or white wine.  Using a wooden spoon, stir while scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Continue to cook over medium-high heat for several minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.

 Reduce heat and pour in heavy cream.  Continue to stir until sauce thickens.  Finally, add Parmesan and stir, allowing cheese to melt and incorporate into the sauce. Turn off heat.

Add cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add half the sauce from the pan and toss well.  Then add remaining sauce as needed. If sauce gets to thick, use pasta water to thin it out. Serve pasta in individual bowls, topping each helping with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with extra parsley and extra Parmesan.

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Cream Of Mushroom Soup

I always make this soup when I have mushrooms in the fridge that I need to use. It is so rich and creamy....one of those perfect soups for a cold afternoon.  You’ll never go back to the canned stuff once you make your own homemade cream of mushroom soup.  It’s not full of salt like the canned soups are. It’s thick and creamy with that earthy mushroom flavor. Really good!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

½ cup butter, divided
2 cups Shiitake mushrooms, sliced or chopped
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ cup flour
2½ cups half and half
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tablespoons dry minced onions
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

I like Shiitaki mushrooms, but I use whatever I have leftover. Crimini, Baby Bells, or even button mushrooms work well.  You can even mix them and add a variety to your soup.

In a large skillet melt ¼ cup of the butter. Add mushrooms and garlic salt. Cook until mushrooms are tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt ¼ cup butter. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add half and half and heavy cream.

Add minced onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 more minutes on low.  Serve.

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Creamy Cheeseburger Soup

If you make nothing else this year from all my recipes, you have to 
make this soup.  It is my all-time favorite of the soups I make and 
I could live off this stuff.  It is so rich and hearty and absolutely 
delicious.   This is a keeper my friends.

Creamy Cheeseburger Soup

1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
4 potatoes, peeled and diced into bite sized chunks
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar, diced into small cubes or shredded

In a large stock pot, brown the ground beef over medium heat until 
cooked through. Drain the fat, stir in the seasoned salt to coat the 
beef, and set the beef aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bottom of the stock pot set over 
medium heat. Once melted, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes 
or until translucent. Stir in the garlic and parsley and cook 1 more 
minute. Add the corn, potatoes, cooked ground beef, and chicken 
stock to the pan.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook for 10-15 
minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. 
Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. 

Whisk in the milk and cook until thickened to consistency of a thin 
gravy. Add the flour mixture to the pot of soup, along with the 

Stir to combine and continue cooking over medium-low heat until 
the cheese has melted and the soup has thickened, stirring 

Serve with croutons or extra shredded cheese or both!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cherry Topped Brownie Bites with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love these little brownie bites because you can change them to just about anything you can think of. Sometimes I sneak a Rolo Candy in the center and then frost them with caramel icing. I've also put a Kraft caramel candy or a miniature peanut butter cup in the center.  But no matter what you fill them with, make sure you put that special sweet cherry on top!   

Cherry Topped Brownie Bites with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 box Ghirardelli fudge style brownie mix, plus whatever ingredients are called for on the box.
4 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar

1 Star Fine Foods Dessert Cherries for topping

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare brownies according to package directions. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray and fill each cup 3/4 full with batter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for a couple of minutes then carefully remove the brownie bites from the pan to a cooking rack. Allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, whip the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and whip until creamy. Add frosting to piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped out and squeeze a dab of frosting on each brownie.

Need a mini cupcake or brownie pan? I got mine at Amazon for a great price. Click on the link below to see the one I use: 


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