About This Blog

I like food. A lot. In this blog, I will divulge all my delicious recipes, giving you a full list of ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and notes to help you successfully make the dish. Feel free to try these at home, and let me know how it went in the comments for the dish! If you have any questions, I will answer them as quickly as possible. If you use my recipe and discuss it on your site, please link back to this blog. Happy eating!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup

We had so many mushrooms! Usually, we just cook them up with something, but lately, I've been in a Using-Mushrooms Slump.
Whilst searching for some healthy soups on the Internet, I stumbled upon a recipe similar to the one I used. Since I modified it slightly, I will post my recipe here. I was super excited when I read the original -- it sounded delicious, and the photo included sealed the deal (Check out the original recipe here). Also, this would not only use up our mushrooms, but we actually had to buy another package for it!
So here's the recipe: I will write my version first, and then write variations, including one for vegetarian eaters.

1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms, washed and cut thinly (Yes. That much)
1/2 of small sweet onion, diced
7 medium to large red potatoes, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 tbsp dill weed
2 tbsp Paprika (Preference is for Hungarian Paprika, see notes below)
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
about 3/4 tsp salt
about 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups low-fat milk
Olive oil

Mix spices and flour in a small dish and set aside.
Pour olive oil into a large pot and bring to medium heat.
Add mushrooms and onion; stir constantly. When water begins to fill the pot, turn heat up to medium-high. Reduce stirring, and allow water to evaporate; about 10-15 minutes.
Add potatoes, spice/flour mixture, broth, and milk.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are cooked through and tender.
Serve immediately with whole wheat rolls or light salad.

Hungarian Paprika is preferred because it gives the soup a fuller, richer flavour. We were able to find it in our regular Giant Eagle supermarket, so keep an eye out for it at your own local grocery store.
For a more vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth instead of beef.
The original recipe calls for sour cream to be added at the end. This can thicken the soup and give it a little bit of acidity. If you decide to add it to this recipe, add 1/2 cup at the very end, but BE CAREFUL. If sour cream is added to a very hot substance, it tends to curdle. Instead, take the pot off the heat, let it sit for about a minute, and slowly add the sour cream, with plenty of stirring.
This soup is already full of complex and wonderful flavours, but you can mix it up by varying the amount or kinds of spices to add.
It's super important to stir the mushrooms and onion constantly at the very beginning of this recipe -- even with plenty of oil, there is a risk of sticking to the bottom of the pot.

If you have any questions or comments about this recipe, please feel free to leave them below!
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beef and Vegetable Soup

Have I mentioned how much I like soup lately?
Since my friend went to Philadelphia for five days, she gave me some meat that she was worried would go bad whilst she was away. One of those things was a package of grass-fed beef for stews. So there's only one logical thing to do, right?
I developed this recipe after reading about twenty other ones, taking some of the ideas that were recurring, and adding a few touches of my own. The result was a filling soup with intensely flavourful broth that doesn't overpower the flavours of the solid components.

Stew beef, cut into smaller bite-sized pieces
One bag baby carrots, cut in half
Ten red potatoes, peeled and cubed
Market District Beef Stock
4 mid-sized garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
Worcestershire sauce
Butter or olive oil
Salt, ground black pepper, dried rosemary to taste

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat, heat garlic for roughly twenty seconds.
Add beef and enough Worcestershire sauce to cover pot bottom. Simmer beef in sauce until nearly cooked through.
Add carrots and potatoes, followed by stock and bay leaf. Add seasonings and more Worcestershire to taste.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Remove bay leaf and serve.

Notes: I know that it is common to use bay leaves in a soup that simmers for a prolonged time period, but in this case, using it in a fifteen minute soup allowed just enough flavour to be incorporated that it didn't clash with the other flavours.
I didn't actually measure how much Worcestershire sauce I used in the second half of this recipe. I sort of just dumped it in, let it simmer a bit, and based it on the smell. Since I wanted a stronger broth, I added quite a bit. If you want a milder flavoured broth, add less Worcestershire.

If you have any questions or comments about this recipe, please feel free to leave them below. Be sure to follow this blog so that you can get all the latest delicious updates!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cappuccino Cookies with Chocolate Drops

My latest culinary experiment comes in the form of these two little gems; the cappuccino cookies. I've been meaning to try out this recipe for a long while, but I haven't had the motivation. Since today has gone awry in dumbfounding ways, I decided it was time for some happiness, in the form of fattening, delicious treats.

1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 cup corn syrup (I actually don't have that. I used a common substitute -- 1/4 cup of honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp instant coffee powder
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Dark chocolate drops (optional)

Beat brown sugar and butter at medium speed in an electric mixer until well blended.
Add eggs, corn syrup (or honey), vanilla, and coffee. Beat until well blended and fluffy.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a separate bowl.
Add dry mixture gradually to wet mixture until well blended.
Divide dough in half, rolling each half into a log about two inches in diameter.
Wrap in wax paper and freeze for two hours.
Heat oven to 350F (about 175C).
Cut dough logs into one-inch thick slices.
Place cookies on lightly greased cookie sheet, place a chocolate drop in the centre of each cookie, and bake for twelve minutes or until golden brown.
Cool for two minutes on sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes: This recipe made thirty-two cookies, in my case. They come out nice and thick, with a light crisp on the edge, and soft in the middle. the chocolate drop is a very nice touch to the light coffee flavour of the cookie (I made some without the drop).
You can choose to cut them thinner if you wish, just be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.
This cookie is really nice when dipped very quickly in a spot of milk. It soaks up the liquid very nicely and retains the flavour, making a great cookie even better.
I would recommend this to people who don't even like coffee, since the flavour isn't overwhelmingly strong. I imagine it would be a fantastic breakfast treat for anyone who doesn't have the time to make something before work or school.

If you have any questions or comments about the recipe, please feel free to leave them below.