Friday, September 30, 2011

French Onion Soup

The air has turned crisp and I saw a few leaves skipping across the street on my ride home today. This means (in my little world) that it is soup season. This is a happy occasion.

Here is my French Onion Soup recipe. It makes 4 bowls - of which, I will eat three.

Slice 4 large sweet onions (though any will do, really) and toss them in a large soup pot with about 1 Tbs of olive oil in it. Saute low and slow for 30-45 minutes, until they JUST start to brown a touch. When you see them start to brown, toss in 2 chopped cloves of garlic and stir and cook another 1 minute, then add 2/3 cup dry sherry and deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil to cook off the alcohol.

Add 2 cups chicken broth AND 2 cups beef broth to the onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover for about 20 minutes.

While the onions simmer, dice up about 2 cups (more if you really like it) crusty bread in 3/4 in cubes, toss on a sheet pan in about 2 Tbs olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs fresh chopped rosemary and 1 Tbs fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven (350) for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan a few times.

When the croutons are done, pull them out and switch the oven to low broil. Now toss 2-3 Tbs more rosemary and 1 Tbs more thyme into the soup pot as you turn off the heat. Ladle into oven proof soup bowls. Top with a handful of croutons, then top with Gruyere cheese (or sharp provolone instead). Broil until bubbly.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Official...Reece is Walking

Of course, he refuses to do it for the video camera! He has been trying it out for a few weeks - just letting go and lunging and taking a few steps. Today that changed. He stood up, stopped and got his balance, and then took about 6 steps!

Hopefully we will get it on video in the next day or two...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Navy Bean Soup

Navy Bean Soup from the Crock Pot

I love to make navy bean soup in the crock pot.  I never knew just how easy it was until a little old lady who helped us take care of my mom told me how to do it.  I was amazed at how few ingredients were in it and how completely delicious it was.

1 pound of dried navy beans, rinsed and sorted
1 c. diced carrots (I use 3, never really measure it)
1 large diced onion
2-3 bay leaves
1 left over ham bone (like from an Easter spiral ham) OR 2-3 meaty ham hocks
salt to taste

Throw all this in the crock pot and cover with water.  Cook on low or high until beans are tender.  Low is about 8 hours, High is about 4.  Pull out the bay leaves before serving. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recipe Under Construction

I am working on a new recipe. Feel free to help! I am combing a few ideas - banana bread and nutella cupcakes. I'll post a picture of mine as soon as I manage to find the camera cord the kids hid somewhere.

Self Frosting Banana and Nutella Muffins

Here is round one:

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together:
1 1/2c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mash together:
2-3 very ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Cream together:
1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar

Mix three components (mashed, mixed, and creamed) together. Batter will be really thick and you'll have to work it a bit to get it all mixed. Scoop into 12 lined and sprayed muffin tins.

Nutella topping:

scoop some nutella into a ziptop bag. Squish it around so it is soft and smooth. Snip the tip and squeeze out a squiggly or ring of nutella onto the top of the muffins. Swirl in.

Bake 23 minutes.

Current Status:

Now - in theory - I was supposed to be able to swirl the nutella in the top. I couldn't. The batter I made was too thick. However, I would make this change next time: Fill the muffin tins reserving about a tsp per muffin. Take the nutella and zap it a few seconds in the microwave to make it thinner. THEN squeeze the nutella on the muffins and spread the reserved banana batter on top of it. I think this will work better.

They tasted super yummy - even with the rather messy swirling attempt I made. The nutella that pokes out the top does look like frosting. Even the nutella under the surface ends up tasting like frosting.

UPDATE: I made the changes suggested above and got a much prettier muffin!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reece' s First Steps

Well, today was the day. Reece has been working up to it for a few weeks. Scooting around furniture, using anything not bolted down as a walker, letting go and testing his balance. We knew it was coming. Today was the day he decided to try for real. He let go of Doug, got his balance, then proceeded to take 4 steps across the floor to me. He is 10.5 months old. Amazing.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday morning...

Some Sunday mornings are super busy, others pretty lazy. The kids were up early this morning and doing what they do -- that would be getting into everything, playing, laughing, running around, while stopping by every so often so crawl up in a lap for a hug or a big smile. I was cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast when I noticed it had gotten pretty quiet around the corner, so I tiptoed around the edge to see what was going on. (Quiet in a house with three boys is usually something to be concerned about, trust me.)

When I got to the living room I saw Gabe asleep in the chair on Doug - and Doug asleep, too. Grayson working all the latches on the coffee table. (No worries, Reece was accounted for - he was upstairs taking a nap.) So this was one of those GOOD quiet days. Well, at least the morning...the rest of the day remains to be seen!