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It really has been a while since I have done a crock pot recipe, and with the weather being so cold, a warm hearty soup is in order. This one, a good one for vegetarians, is made with four types of mushrooms! It takes about an hour to prepare everything, and then 7-8 hours to cook on the low setting. Ready to head off into the kitchen?

Here is the list of what you will need:

1/4 cup of butter
1/2 large onion
3 stalks of celery
1/2 cup each, dried porcini and chanterelle mushrooms
2 TBS flour
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms
1 cup fresh baby bella mushrooms
2 medium red potatoes
2 small carrots
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of Parmesan, shredded

OK, now let’s get to it, shall we? Get out a skillet and add to it the butter. Next chop the onion up finely and add to the skillet. Then wash the celery and chop this into cubes. Add this to the pan.

Gratuitous celery and onion shot

Gratuitous celery and onion shot

Looks pretty huh?

Next get out a bowl and add the dried mushrooms. Add enough water to cover and set this aside so that the mushrooms will plump up.

Soaking the porcini and chanterelle

Soaking the porcini and chanterelle

While these are soaking, slice up the shitake mushrooms and the baby bellas. Set these aside. Next peel the potatoes and the slice to about 1/2″ in thickness, then cube the potatoes. Set these aside. Now turn on the heat on the butter, onions and celery. You are going to want to cook these until they get translucent. While this is heating up, peel and dice the carrots, and what do you do? You guessed it! Set these aside. Don’t forget to stir the onions and celery! Now check on those soaking mushrooms. They should be ready. Cut them into pieces and mix them up with the other mushrooms.

Mushrooms combined

Mushrooms combined

At this point the onions and celery should be done. Turn off the heat and add the flour, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir this up really well and then scrap the whole thing into your crock pot.

Cooked celery and onion

Cooked celery and onion

Then add the 2 cups of water slowly. The flour will explode as it soaks up the water.

Add water

Add water

Now add in the potatoes, mushrooms and carrots. Stir this up well.

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Turn on the crock pot to low, and set the time to 7-8 hours, whichever you prefer.

After 7 1/2 hours of cooking

After 7 1/2 hours of cooking

Once the timer goes off on the crock pot, slowly add in the milk and the Parmesan cheese.

Add milk and cheese

Add milk and cheese

Turn the heat up to high on the crock pot and set the timer for a half hour.

Let’s eat! The aromas from the kitchen have had my stomach growling all day! Serve it up with a hot crusty bread or how about Parmesan Texas toast?

Serve it up!

Serve it up!

Thanks for stopping by and if you try this recipe, let me know how you liked it!

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We have been having a mixed bag of weather. Rain, sunshine, hail, thunder, lightning, and now snow! What could be better on a cold spring evening than a pizza? Again, this pizza does not use sauce but tomatoes in its place!

Ingredients
Pizza dough
Extra virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp oregano leaves
3 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic
Mozzarella, cheddar and asiago to your liking
Pepperoni
Hard salami
Mushrooms
Chopped tomatoes, from the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes
black olives

Tomatoes sliced for the pizza

These tomatoes are not too bad for this time of year. Summer time tomatoes are best, but these will do!

Lay out your crust then let it rest. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees. When the oven is hot, place the pizza dough in the oven for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then brush on the olive oil, lay out the sliced tomatoes, and add your herbs and the garlic.

Add the herbs and garlic

Top this with 2/3 of the cheese. Follow this with the pepperoni, salami, tomatoes, mushrooms and olives.

Add the toppings

Follow this with the remainder of the cheese. Then place this in the oven,

Pizza is in the oven

and set the timer for about 10 minutes. Check the crust to see how it is doing. I had to add another five minutes to the timer.

Pizza right out of the oven!

Let the pizza sit for about 5 minutes, then slice it up!

Pizza is served!

Serve this up with a hearty red wine or an ice cold beer!

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Come and take a step back in time with me…Mid ’90’s it was. My parents offered me a trip to join them in France only if I paid the air fare, and they would take care of everything else. Who could not pass up an offer like this? I took it!

As most of this story is a chapter in a book that I have written and not yet published, I will tell you about part of our trip when we stayed with friends in Italy. And, of course this has to do with food…

We arrived at Alfredo and Luciana’s house late, and Luciana had lunch ready for us. A simple soup of tortellini in chicken broth. So here is the easy comfort food lunch we had that day, which we make for dinner on cold nights, and tonight is cold!

Ingredients
64 oz. low sodium chicken broth
Dash of white pepper
1 package of fresh chicken prosciutto tortellini
Olive oil
2 green onions, sliced
A couple of healthy pinches of Parmesan cheese

In a soup kettle, add the chicken broth.

Broth in the soup kettle

In another soup kettle add enough water to cook the tortellini. Add a drizzle of olive oil to keep the tortellini from sticking together.

Tortellini added to the pot with olive oil

Cook this based on the instruction on the package. While this is cooking,

Cooking tortellini

heat the chicken broth. When the tortellini is cooked, drain and add to the broth.

Add tortellini to the broth

Do not boil this but simmer gently. Serve by topping with cheese then the green onions.

Dinner is served!

Serve with a good crusty sour dough bread! Enjoy! BTW – tonight’s photos were taken by my husband who was really having a good time not only cooking but taking the photos. I was told to get out of the kitchen and not to touch the camera!

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I love pizza! Of all the foods out there I can eat pizza every day, as well as Chinese and Mexican foods. Oh and Italian too! I was inspired to try making this myself after having a pizza like this from a little place that was in San Carlos, CA called Cheshire. This pizza uses tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. Are you ready for some pizza!

Would you like some pizza?

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

Ingredients
Pizza Dough, I use a pre-made dough in this recipe
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Basil and Oregano, dried
1 huge ripe tomato
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Prosciutto – You can buy this in a thick slice, or some brands offer this already chopped
Black Olives
Capers
Parsley flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take your pizza stone, brush it with a bit of non-stick cooking spray. Then spread out the dough to the edges.

Spread out the pizza dough

Brush on EVOO and sprinkle with basil and oregano

Top with most of the cheese

Follow with tomato slices

Next sprinkle with finely chopped garlic

Next is the prosciutto

Add the olives

Follow with capers

Add remaining cheese

Put this into the oven and bake until the bottom side of the crust is browned, about 12 – 18 minutes.

Pizza right out of the oven!

Remove from the oven and let this sit for a minute or two, if you can, then slice and serve!

Dinner is served!

I hope that you enjoy this as much as we did.  This is a 2 – 4 serving pizza, depending on whether you want to share it!

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My friend at work the other day mentioned Chile Rellenos to me and I have not been able to get it out of my head!  This recipe is a take off from a recipe by Roseann Wilson of Albuquerque, NM, with one change.  Her recipe uses stewed tomatoes.  I chose to use diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano.  I just cannot handle bell peppers!  Eat one bite of those dogs and I will be burping bell peppers the rest of the day.  The chiles in this recipe do not affect me that way!

Ingredients
2 – 4 oz. cans of whole green chiles
1/2 lb. each of shredded cheddar and jack cheese
14 oz. can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano (or stewed tomatoes if you prefer)
4 eggs
2 TBS flour
3/4 cup of evaporated milk

Spray the inside of your crock pot with a non-fat cooking spray to keep the dish from sticking. Take the chiles drain them.

Drain the cans of whole green chiles

Then cut them into strips.

Cut down the side of the chile and open

Layer the chiles and cheese in the crock pot.

First layer - the chiles

Add a layer of jack cheese

Then cheddar

Repeat the layers.

Then start the layers over again

Finish with the cheddar. Then pour the tomatoes over this.

Add the tomatoes

Next, in a bowl, take the eggs and combine them with the flour and milk. Pour this into the crock pot.

Add the milk, egg and flour mixture

Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours.

I like this dish as it not only tastes wonderful, but it is all done in one pot! When done, serve this up with some rice and refried beans!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served, quick and easy! Enjoy!

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I could live on Pizza!  It is one of my most favorite foods.  Who doesn’t love all that gooey cheese? But pizza did not start out with all that gooey cheese!

Pizza has been around for a long time, and what we call pizza today is not the pizza of the past! Pizza is actually Greek in origin. Ancient Greeks used to cover their bread with oil, herbs and cheese. The name Pizza is derived from the Latin word “pinsere” which means to press. The Romans had their version too. They called it “placenta.” This pizza was made of dough covered with cheese, honey and bay leaves.

What we eat today comes from Naples. This pizza, called a Neapolitan pie added tomatoes to the cheese about 1889. The Pizza Margherita was named after the Queen of Italy who was presented with a pizza resembling the Italian flag. This pizza was made with tomatoes for the red color in the flag, mozzarella for the white and basil for the green! This is still a popular pizza today!

Around the world everyone has their own style pizza. In Australia the pizza is made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and bacon and eggs. Mmmm…breakfast pizza! Indian pizza includes tandori chicken and paneer. Korean pizza includes sweet potatoes, shrimp and crab. In Brazil they use bananas, pineapple and chocolate as toppings.

The best pizza I have ever had was in New York City. There is just something about New York pizza that is different from anywhere else that I have eaten pizza. In New York City you can buy pizza by the slice and then follow it up with my other favorite: Italian ice! Raspberry is my favorite flavor of that sweet dessert.

My all time favorite pizza is pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and extra cheese. What is yours? Do you make your own pizza? What do you top yours with? Please share this with me as I think making pizza will be coming as a future blog! And, one with some unusual ingredients!

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Check this amazing recipe out! This is from a gal in Texas who has the challenge of cooking gluten free!

glutenvygirl

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I made these one night, on a whim. I have whims quite often…and much of the time they turn out so-so, or worse. Those don’t get shared here (you’re welcome). These, however, were a huge hit. The kind of hit that has my kids asking excitedly when they come home from school: Are we having those yummy cereal pork chops again tonight?

I used crushed breakfast cereal to create the coating, along with sage, lemon zest, salt, pepper, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and butter.

20111214-124206.jpg

I also used pork chops, but they were camera shy.

Ingredients:
6 center cut bone-in pork chops
2 cups crushed crisp rice cereal (I use Erewhon Crisp Brown Rice Gluten Free)
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup shredded parmigiano-reggiano
1 tablespoon dried sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

First, preheat the oven to 425 and prepare two shallow baking dishes. Then, shred…

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