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Well, yesterday I gave you Cream of Green Chile Soup, and today I give you Cream of Artichoke Soup. I made both of these soups in one day and for dinner we had the two of them combined! It was very, very good! This is an easy soup to make and very tasty with the gentle flavors of the artichoke hearts! Ready to head off into the kitchen? Let’s go!

Ingredients
2 TBS butter
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 #’s of frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted

Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke Hearts

4 cups of vegetable broth, or if you prefer chicken broth
2 cups of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

First get your butter melted in a stock pot. Then, just like in the cream of green chile soup, start to cook the onions until just soft. Then add in the garlic. When the garlic aromas hit your nose add in the artichokes.

Cooking the artichokes with the onion and garlic

Cooking the artichokes with the onion and garlic

Cook this for about 5 minutes and then add in your vegetable broth.

Add in the vegetable broth

Add in the vegetable broth

Cook this until the artichoke hearts are extremely soft, about a half hour.

Now get out your handy dandy blender or food processor and puree the soup until it is smooth.

Purreed artichoke soup

Purreed artichoke soup

Return this to your stock pot and add in the cream.

Add in the cream

Add in the cream

Bring this to a simmer and cook for about a half hour to reduce it. Then add your salt and pepper to taste. Here is the soup when it is done!

Cream of Artichoke Soup!

Cream of Artichoke Soup!

And here it is combined with the cream of green chile soup and a lovely crusty bread!

Cream of green chile and cream of artichoke soup combined!

Cream of green chile and cream of artichoke soup combined!

I hope that you will try both of these recipes! Please let me know if you do by leaving a comment!

Have a lovely Tuesday and thank you for taking the time to visit with me today!

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Pigs in a blanket!

Pigs in a blanket!

Last night I headed into the kitchen to make pigs in a blanket! It is an easy appetizer, and it makes 48 little piggies! So come with me as I take you through the process of putting these together! Let’s start with the ingredients…

Ingredients
1 cup of flour
dash of salt
1/3 cup + 1 TBS vegetable shortening
3 TBS very cold water
1 package of Nathans Mini Hotdogs, or if you feel wild, Hillshire Farms Little Smokies
mustard, ketchup or BBQ sauce for dipping

Place your flour and salt in a mixing bowl and stir it up. Then start adding the shortening a bit at a time. I use a fork to blend this and when you are done you should have little pea size bits in your bowl.

The flour and shortening are combined

The flour and shortening are combined

Then add the water one TBS at a time. When you are done your dough should be sticking together like what you see in this next photo.

Water has been added

Water has been added

Lightly dust your surface and then form the dough into a ball.

Form the dough into a ball

Form the dough into a ball

Roll out the dough as you would a pie crust.

Roll out the dough

Roll out the dough

Trim the dough.

Trim the dough

Trim the dough

At this point get your oven started. Pre-heat to 350 degrees. Prepare your baking pan by lining it with some foil and then use a non stick spray.

Next lay the little weenies on the dough and mark where you will cut strips.

Lay out the weenies on the dough and mark your slices

Lay out the weenies on the dough and mark your slices

Then slice the dough into your strips.

Taking a strip, place a weenie on the dough and start to roll the weenie in the dough.

Start to roll the weenie in the dough using water to seal

Start to roll the weenie in the dough using water to seal

With your finger moisten the edge and pinch to seal.

Rolled up little piggie!

Rolled up little piggie!

Don’t they look good?

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake these for about 30 minutes turning them halfway through cooking…When they are done serve them up with a bit of mustard, or ketchup. If you are doing this with those little smokies some warmed BBQ sauce is a really good compliment! Check out these pigs in a blanket!

Serve them up!

Serve them up!

Now just so you know, the flour mixture is one pie crust, and it makes for one flaky crust! Please let me know if you try this recipe!

The good news for today is that it is finally raining! Right now we have about a quarter inch and the temperatures are dropping! Snow maybe?

Well, thank you for dropping by today, and have a wonderful Thursday!

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Veal is one of the “hard to find” meats here in the Sierra Foothills. I am not sure why this is but when I saw veal at the grocery store I had to buy it! I decided to make Veal Marsala, and the Marsala was not easy to find either, but I did! I started dancing in the aisle when I did and believe me I got some weird looks! So, let’s head on into the kitchen!

The ingredient list is simple!
3/4# veal sliced thinly
1/2 cup of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups of Marsala wine
3 TBS butter
2 TBS fresh thyme leaves

A short list, but one packed with amazing flavors! Check it out!

Ingredients

Ingredients

The first thing you want to do, after getting your ingredients prepared and ready to use, as this is a quick cooking dinner, is coat your veal in the seasoned flour. Then heat the olive oil in a skillet and when it is hot add the veal. Do this in batches so you do not crowd the pan. Brown the meat. This takes about a minute a side!

Brown the meat

Brown the meat

As it browns remove it from the pan and set aside. Then add your mushrooms. You want to brown these and cook out the liquids.

Browned mushrooms

Browned mushrooms

Then add in the Marsala.

Add the marsala

Add the marsala

Heat this to boiling and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the the liquid is reduced by about one third.

Reduce the liquid by a third

Reduce the liquid by a third

Then add back the meat to the pan along with the butter. The butter and the flour will thicken the sauce a bit.

The meat added back

The meat added back

Bring this back to a boil, then add the thyme leaves. When the aroma of the thyme comes up, the dish is done! I served this with roasted potatoes and fresh green beans…

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

The flavors in this dish: Amazing! And, the best part of it, the dish is easy to make. Anticipate your cooking time to about 25 minutes!

Thank you for dropping by today and for joining me in the kitchen! Go have a great Monday, and I will see you tomorrow!

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I am really falling in love with cooking up a recipe using a beer or ale! The aromas of the food, not to mention the flavor, are rich and beautiful! So, when I came across a recipe in the December issue of Bon Appetit for a Belgian Ale – Braised Brisket, I just had to give it a go! I altered this recipe a bit, but it is based upon this recipe that I found! Shall we head into the kitchen?

Ingredients
Brisket of Beef, flat cut
Kosher salt
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 TBS of pressed ginger
Bacon fat
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup of flour
750 ml bottle Allagash Tripel Reserve Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale


4 cups of beef broth
1 bay leaf

The first thing that you do is season the brisket with the Kosher salt. I was liberal with this. Then tightly wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and place it back in the refrigerator. The recipe calls for 8 hours but I only did this for 4 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to warm up a bit. Meat cooks better the closer it gets to room temperature.

As the meat sits, make the mixture which you will slather the meat with. Place the mustard and brown sugar in a bowl. Now the recipe calls for one to grate the ginger. This is truly a pain in the rear! My experience with this was that the ginger does not drop off the grater but sticks in the little grates. I ended up spending about a half hour extricating what little I grated using a toothpick to lift the pieces. After getting what I could off the grater, I switched to my garlic/ginger press, which worked so much better! Add this to the mustard and sugar and then mix thoroughly.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats up, get out a baking pan with sides and place a rack in the bottom. Place the meat on the rack and them slather it will all of the mustard, sugar, ginger mix.

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Let this sit until the oven is hot, then place this in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until it is a lovely golden brown.

As the meat starts baking, the next thing to do is prepare the braising sauce. I used my cast iron dutch oven. Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat. Use about 2 – 2 1/2 TBS. When this is hot, carefully add the onion. Cook these until they are a golden brown.

Browned onions

Browned onions

This takes about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, and then slowly mix in the flour. Take your time! This ensures that you do not get lumps! Cook this until the flour turns a lovely golden color.

Next, slowly add in your ale stirring as you go. The aromas of the ale with the onions? Fabulous! Once this is incorporated into the onions, then add in the broth and the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

By now your meat should be ready. Pull it out of the oven and then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees. Add the meat to the dutch oven.

Ready to start braising!

Ready to start braising!

Cover this and place it in the oven. Cook this for 3 hours turning every half hour.

When this is done, remove from the oven, and remove the meat from the sauce. Let the meat sit covered for about 20 minutes before slicing. Place the dutch oven on a burner and heat to simmer until the sauce coats the spoon. When done, turn off the heat and cover. Slice up the meat.

Lovely sliced brisket

Lovely sliced brisket

Serve up slices of the meat and cover with a bit of the sauce. Don’t forget your vegetables! I served this with roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

This was very yummy and the aromas in the house were amazing! We have enough for another dinner and we are looking forward to the increased flavors of it sitting overnight!

Please let me know if you try this recipe! Now go out and have a great Wednesday, and thanks for joining me in the kitchen!

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Today marks a milestone for Life in the Foothills! This post is #1000! When I started this blog back in June of 2011, who knew that I would still be writing and sharing with you in 2014? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a painting celebrating 1000 posts!

1000 Posts!

1000 Posts!

Thank you 1000 times for reading this blog! Thank you 1000 times for all of your comments! Thank you 1000 times for inspiring me to continue on! Thank you 1000 times for all the great friendships I have made by writing this!

Thank you for visiting today and stay tuned for 1001! Have a fabulous Tuesday and see you tomorrow!

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While I have done this dish before, I changed how I make this recipe and now it is even better! This is an easy dish to put together and very tasty too! Here is a preview!

Preview

Preview

Ready to head off into the kitchen?

Ingredients
2#’s ground beef
1 small onion chopped
2 packages of taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups of water
2 2 1/4 oz cans chopped green chiles
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 container of fresh salsa
Corn tortilla chips
1# medium cheddar cheese grated
Sour cream

Brown the ground beef with the onion.

Brown the meat

Brown the meat

When browned, drain the fat off the meat. Then add in the taco seasoning mix and water.
Add in the taco seasoning

Add in the taco seasoning

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer until most of the liquid is gone. Then add in the green chiles, cilantro and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add in the meat mixture. Top with about one cup of the grated cheddar.

Layer of cheese over the beef

Layer of cheese over the beef

Then top with salsa, using just enough to cover.
Then add salsa

Then add salsa

Follow this with the tortilla chips,
Top with chips

Top with chips

then the remaining cheddar cheese.
Top with cheddar cheese

Top with cheddar cheese

Cook in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes.

When done, remove from the oven

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

and serve!
Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

We just topped this with some sour cream, but feel free to use this, along with some chopped olives, green onions, and a jalapeno chopped finely!

Now, wasn’t that easy?

Thank you for joining me in the kitchen today! Now go out and have a magnificent Monday!

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On a cold winter’s day there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot steaming soup! I have been thinking of soup lately, and cannot make up my mind on which one I should cook! So come with me as we cruise through some soup recipes!

I love the heat on Hot Sour Soup

Hot Sour Soup!

Hot Sour Soup!

But I also love the sausage and spinach in Spicy Chicken Soup!

Spicy Chicken Soup!

Spicy Chicken Soup!

And I do love the creaminess of Cream of Broccoli Soup! Doesn’t this look yummy?

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Let’s not forget about Easy Tortellini Soup! The first time I had this dish we were visiting friends at their winery in the Barolo region of Italy!

Tortellini Soup!

Tortellini Soup!

I love artichokes, and I use them in this Pork Sausage Soup! Here is the soup while its cooking!

Pork Sausage Soup

Pork Sausage Soup

I cannot make up my mind which one to make. Which one would you make?

Thanks for your help and for stopping by today! Have a great Thursday!

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Here is a recipe that I made over the weekend that was one great tasting dish! It combines cauliflower, Italian sausage, spinach and rigatoni in this lovely baked dish! The surprising ingredient that makes this dish is rosemary! How about a preview?

Preview

Preview

Ingredients
1# Italian sausage
2 TBS fresh chopped rosemary
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups of cauliflower cut into 1″ pieces
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1# rigatoni
4 cups of spinach, chopped
2 28 oz. cans of diced petite tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Romano cheese
2 cups of shredded mozzarella

With the ingredients all ready to go, break up the sausage into a preheated skillet and brown. While this is cooking preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take your cauliflower and coat it with the olive oil and then lay in a single layer in a baking pan. When the oven is hot, place this in the oven to bake for about 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Roasted cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower

Reduce the oven temperature down to 350 degrees.

By now the sausage should be browned. Add in the rosemary and garlic, and stir until the aromas come up.

Browned sausage with rosemary and garlic added

Browned sausage with rosemary and garlic added

Then add in the tomato sauce and cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Tomato sauce is added

Tomato sauce is added

Cook your pasta following the directions on the package. When done, run under cold water. In a large bowl mix the pasta with the spinach. Set aside.

Once the sauce has cooked, add a bit to the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Next add 1/2 the rigatoni spinach mix, top with 1/2 the cauliflower, and then more sauce. Follow this with the Romano cheese. Repeat the layers finishing it off with the mozzarella.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. When done, let this sit for about 10 minutes before diving in!

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

Let me know if you try this tasty dish! It was amazing!

Thanks for dropping in and have a wonderful Monday!

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Let’s celebrate bacon today! I don’t know about you but I love, I mean LOVE, bacon! I use it whenever I can! Let’s revisit some of my recipes that use bacon…Be prepared! Your mouth will water!

Check out these lovely pork chops, topped with rosemary, then wrapped in bacon! Here they are raw…

Chops wrapped in bacon

Chops wrapped in bacon

Here they are cooked…

The finished dish!

The finished dish!

The recipe: Pork Loin Chops Wrapped in Bacon

I did the same thing, sans rosemary, with a pork loin roast!

Pork Loin wrapped and ready!

Pork Loin wrapped and ready!

Here it is out of the oven!

Pork just out of the oven!

Pork just out of the oven!

The recipe: Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Roast

Then there is that delish beef rouladen that has bacon hidden inside….

Slowly roll up the bacon inside the meat

Slowly roll up the bacon inside the meat

Recipe: Beef and Bacon Rouladen

One more…chicken with bacon!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu

To see what other recipes I have on my blog that includes bacon, just do a search on bacon!

Have a great Monday! Thank you for stopping by and Happy New Year!

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What does one do with leftover Christmas Ham? Why, you make Navy Bean Soup! This is one of my favorite soups and it is relatively easy to make. The ham in this soup are my leftovers from the Maple Glazed Rotisserie Ham recipe. So let’s head on into the kitchen, shall we?

Ingredients
Bones from a ham
2 cups of dry small white beans
7 cups of water
3 stalks of celery
3 carrots
a handful of crimini mushrooms
1 bay leaf
5 chili de arboles dried chili’s
fresh ground pepper

Start off with the beans first. Put the water into your soup pot and add the beans.

Beans and water are added to the soup pot

Beans and water are added to the soup pot

Turn the heat up to medium high and bring it to where it just starts to boil. If you don’t catch it before it boils your beans will burst. So I check it continually. Turn the heat off and let the beans sit in the hot water for one hour.

While the beans are sitting, wash and peel the carrots. Wash up the celery. Cut both of these into small cubes. Chop the mushrooms roughly. Get out the bay leaf, the chili de arboles and your pepper grinder.

Carrots, celery, mushrooms, bay leaf and chilis are ready

Carrots, celery, mushrooms, bay leaf and chilis are ready

Trim some of the meat off the ham bone. The chunks of ham that you have carved off should go into the soup as well, reserving a bit for, say, maybe a mac ‘n cheese with ham?

Ham bone is ready to go in

Ham bone is ready to go in

When the beans are done, add the ham bone along with the chunks of ham, carrots, celery, the bay leaf and the chili’s. Do several grinds of pepper too! No need to salt this soup as the ham will give off the salt from the meat.

Everything is in the pot!

Everything is in the pot!

Bring this up to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer for a few hours. Check on it every half hour to 45 minutes to ensure that it is not sticking to the bottom of your pot!

Midway through cooking

Midway through cooking

Remove the bones from the soup, let this cool and then remove the meat from the bones. Remove the chili’s at this point. These chili’s will add a bit of heat which you will feel in the back of your throat when you chow down on this soup!

Meat removed from bones before cutting into smaller pieces

Meat removed from bones before cutting into smaller pieces

Add the meat back to the pot. Stir it up to blend. Next, get out your blender and place about 2 cups of the soup into it. Puree for about a minute, and then add this back to your soup. Stir it well. Cook for another hour.

I like to serve this soup up with a warm crusty bread slathered in butter! And, here it is, piping hot and ready to eat!

Soup is ready!

Soup is ready!

Well, I hope that you enjoyed today’s adventure into the kitchen! Have a great Thursday and thanks for stopping by!

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