Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mom’s Beef Vegetable Soup

 IMG_6829e“Peas and Carrots, Carrots and Peas.  Book come out, please, please, please!”  That phrase of Princess Pea’s from Super Why has been haunting me like the March of the Toreadors, It’s a Small World and the music from Peter & the Wolf.  Don’t you just hate when a song gets stuck in your head and drives you crazy?  So you ask why is that phrase haunting me?  Well this month for the Improv Cooking Challenge our hostess Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker has challenged the participating bloggers to make any recipe of their choosing using the two specified ingredients of, you guessed it, peas & carrots, carrots & peas, let me figure this out, please, please, please! 

If you don’t have a child or have never seen Super Why, what happens is that Whyatt, the main character gets a call on his computer in which he discovers that one of the other characters has a "super big problem". After investigating the problem Whyatt calls on all the "Super Readers" to come to the Book Club.  There the four characters, Whyatt, Pig, Red Riding Hood, and Princess Pea gather.  Whyatt plugs in his Super Duper Computer and uploads data about the problem and they all discuss it.  Once the problem is discussed, Whyatt says, "When we have a question, we look ... in a book!" Pig always asks, "Which book should we look in?" and in response, Princess Pea casts a magic spell to summon the appropriate book: “Peas and Carrots, Carrots and Peas.  Book come out, please, please, please!”  The book then magically descends from the shelves.  Whyatt, invites the audience to read along, summarizes the problem faced by the book's characters and drawing a parallel to the problem the Super Readers are trying to solve. The Super Readers follow the storyline to solve the problem applying their literacy skills to change the story when needed to overcome any obstacles.  Throughout the story they are rewarded with red glittery "Super Letters" which are uploaded into the Super Duper Computer, eventually forming the words that make up the solution to the "super big problem."  Yes I know, for those of you who have never experienced the show you now feel like you have a “super big problem” and have missed out…or maybe I have a “super big problem” as I know oh-too much about this show.  I’m just glad that Maisie’s outgrown the show…even if it is still haunting me there’s hope that the haunting will end. 

So now that you’ve read this far, let me tell you that I could have used Whyatt, the Super Readers and a magical book as I was at a complete loss as to what to make using peas & carrots.  That was until I had my DUH… moment.  I seriously for an entire month had been wondering what on earth to make using peas and carrots and then I just wasn’t feeling well, our weather was cold and stormy and I wanted to make some comforting soup, my Mom’s Beef Vegetable Soup.  I was writing out my shopping list, beef, split peas, barley, string beans, yellow squash, parsnips, carrots, lima beans, mushrooms… and light dawned on Marblehead… peas & carrots, carrots & peas, I had found my recipe, please, please, please!

My Mom doesn’t remember if it was her Mom or my Dad’s Mom who originally made this soup but either way it’s been made my entire life and has always been a favorite of mine.  Of course the recipe below can be cut down but just like my Mom does, I make the recipe as written which makes a huge, and I mean HUGE pot of soup.  I then freeze individual sized portions so that anytime I crave this delicious, comforting soup, it’s there in the freezer, ready to be eaten after just a few minutes of defrosting and heating in the microwave.  

Peas & carrots, carrots & peas, try & enjoy this soup, please, please, please!!

IMG_6831eMom’s Beef Vegetable Soup

In a very large stock pot add the meat and marrow bones and cover with 3x the depth of water.  Add the peas, barley & lima beans to a cheesecloth or put into a colander and suspend into the water.  Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook at a simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the meat is tender and the peas, barley & lima beans are soft.  Skim the soup as needed.  Once everything is soft, empty the contents of the cheesecloth/colander into the beef stock and add the string beans, carrots, summer squash, parsnips, mushrooms and soup base to taste.  Simmer until the vegetables are cooked and soup has thickened to desired consistency.  Add salt to taste. 


My previous Improv Cooking Challenge entries:

February 2013  Hearts & Flours:  Three Ingredient Fudgy Nutella Brownie Bites
January 2013  Bananas & Nutmeg:  Baked Bananas 
December 2012  Chocolate & Marshmallows:  White Chocolate Marshmallow Cranberry Cashew Bark    
November 2012  Sweet Potatoes & honey: Sweet Potato Glass Noodles with Honey Garlic Lime Shrimp 
October 2012  Oatmeal & RaisinsS’mores Granola Bars   
September 2012  Zucchini & Brown Sugar:  Zucchini with Onion & Brown Sugar 
August 2012  Tomatoes & Peppers:  French Fries Hash Browns 
July 2012  Corn & Butter:  Fritos Crusted Pollock 
June 2012  Cherries & Almonds:  Dried Cherry Almond Tart 
May 2012  Strawberries & Cream:  Strawberry Soup 
April 2012  Peanut butter & Jelly:  Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars 
March 2012  Potato & Cheese:  Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole 
February 2012  Ginger & Carrots:  Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing 
January 2012 Lemon & Sour Cream:  Ponderosa Lemon & Sour Cream Tart 
December 2011 Eggnog & Cranberries:  Eggnog Popovers with Cranberry Butter 
November 2011 Pumpkin & Cream Cheese:  Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake
October 2011 Caramel & Apples:  Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pressure Cooker Balsamic Collard Greens

IMG_6641e I totally admit that I have no earthly clue on how to make a big ol’ bowl of collards look beautiful in a picture, but what I do know is how to make them taste amazing!  This recipe takes five minutes of hands on work, 20 minutes in the pressure cooker and then you’ll be eating some of the most delicious collards you’ve ever tried.  Though I do love me some southern collards rich with bacon, ham hocks and butter, this recipe is much more diet friendly and so packed with delicious flavor, I don’t even for a moment miss those other ingredients.  I hope that you’ll give this recipe a try and trust me, you’ll be licking the bowl.

IMG_6643ePressure Cooker Balsamic Collard Greens

Add the stock, olive oil, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, Whey Low Gold, salt & pepper to the pressure cooker and stir to mix.  Stir in the onion and garlic.  Add the collard greens and seal the pressure cooker.  Over high heat bring to full pressure and then reduce temperature to low.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Remove the pressure cooker from the heat and either run it under cold water or release the steam via the valve.   Open and stir to coat all the collards with the sauce. 


Monday, March 4, 2013

Loaded Potato Soup

IMG_6713eIt’s Secret Recipe Club time and this month I was assigned the blog Cupcakes with Sprinkles which is written by Meghan, a sweets loving, cooking and crafting Mama to two cutie-patootie little girls.  So I know you’re scratching your head thinking Cupcakes with Sprinkles and a sweets loving Mama and here I am posting a recipe for Loaded Potato Soup???  Well I had just done a whole slew of sweet treat baking as I was sending a care package off to a friend’s daughter who’s away on her mission for the next year, so here in the Cook Lisa Cook home we were sort of sweet treated out.  Also, about a month ago we were out for dinner and Eammon ordered loaded potato soup and just adored it and had asked if I would try to make some at home for him, so when I saw Meghan’s loaded potato soup recipe I knew what I’d be making.  Trust me though a number of her sweet treat recipe have been saved to make in the future.  I mean check these out and I know you’ll be adding them to your list of recipes to make:  Boston cream pie, one of my all time favorites, white chocolate mousse torte for my white chocolate loving husband and Avalanche Bars which I know I’ll be making one day soon with Maisie.

The day that I made Meghan’s soup was a cold day here in Georgia so it was a perfect & delicious meal.  I’m not even going to mention how much of the pot Eammon consumed in just one day but I’ll put it to you this way, I have already made this soup again and seeing how much Eammon especially loved it the first time, I was smart and made a double batch the second time around.  Oh and here’s something amazing and almost unheard of, other than adding a bit of salt, I changed nothing in Meghan’s recipe…yes amazing for the cook who is always tweaking and changing recipes.  Oh and when I say I didn’t change anything, I mean even the second time around, this recipe is just absolutely perfect and I hope you’ll give it a try…but make a double batch, trust me on that one!    

IMG_6720eLoaded Potato Soup (recipe from here)

In a large stock pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside. Keep the bacon grease in the pot and add the onions, cook until tender.  Leave the onions in the pot and add the potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. With a slotted spoon remove about a cup of potatoes. Place in a bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes on med-low. Whisk in the milk, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened.  Slowly stir the milk mixture in to stock pot of potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Stir the bowl of smashed potatoes back into pot.  Add 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and three-fourths of the bacon to the pot. Add pepper and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Cook an additional 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with some shredded cheese, bacon and sour cream.


My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts: 

Lemon Almond Biscotti 
Creamy Mints 
Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken 
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings 
Fried Green Tomatoes 
Chicken Satay Noodle Salad 
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake 
Candied Popcorn
Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
Home Style Chicken Curry

Secret Recipe Club

Friday, March 1, 2013

**CLOSED** **GIVEAWAY** Certified Steak & Seafood ~ $50 Gift Certificate **CLOSED**

Congrats to Trice from High Heels & Good Meals.  I hope that your choice from Certified Steak & Seafood provides for some wonderful meals.

steak au poivreRecently I blogged about some wonderful Prime Filet Mignon and Chilean Sea Bass which I received from Certified Steak & Seafood.  With the gorgeous filet I made a fabulous Steak au Poivre which delighted us beyond words and with the fish I made a simple yet delicious Sesame Ginger Sea Bass which Maisie just couldn’t get enough of. 

Sesame Ginger Sea Bass 1Both the beef and the fish arrived at my door individually vacuum sealed, frozen and packed in a cooler with dry ice so it was easy for me to defrost or just pop into the freezer.  For me, finding and purchasing USDA prime beef, like the filets I received is difficult but with Certified Steak & Seafood it’s easy to order online.  What’s also really nice is that they allow you the ability to choose up to 12 weeks out, the arrival date of your order.  So order for that special holiday or gift and your order will arrive the day you choose.

The Foodie Blog Roll Contests: Winner!

After enjoying the wonderful steaks and fish I couldn’t wait to have more and what better way than at a discount?  So, I entered the "Spread the word to Win a $50 Gift Card for Certified Steak & Seafood" contest through The Foodie Blogroll, hoping to win a $50 Gift Card to Certified Steak & Seafood!  Well guess what?  I WON!!  Even better, you can win too as I received a second $50 Gift Card from Certified Steak & Seafood to give away to one of my wonderful readers. 

At the end of the giveaway I will provide the one lucky winner with the gift certificate code.  Just follow the directions below for all the ways to enter.  For a little luck of the Irish, entries will be accepted up until 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, March 17, 2013 and the winner will be chosen by random draw.  I will contact the winner via email and they will have 48 hours to contact me with their email address.  If there is no contact, after the 48 hours a new winner will be drawn.  Certified Steak & Seafood only ships to U.S. and Canada residents.

How to enter:

Required entry:

  • Leave a comment on this post letting me know which is your favorite, beef or fish and your favorite preparation.

Additional entries:

You can earn up to four additional entries:  Each item you do counts as one additional entry so please leave a separate comment for each, letting me know that you are already a member or follower or now have done each item.

Good luck!

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