Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crock Pot Chunky Artichoke Soup

This soup taste great, but it's a little involved to make, like I had 3 pots on 3 burners on the stove at once.  If I would have had 2 more arms and hands I would have been able to take pictures, but since I don't I only got a picture of the finished product.  I can, however, talk you through how I made this rich and creamy soup loaded with vegetables to make you feel healthy and it's great to put in the crock pot and come home to on a cold winter day.

Ingredients: 1 lb. ground hamburger, 1stick of unsalted butter (divided), 1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 (8.5 oz) cans of quartered artichoke hearts,slightly chopped, 1/3 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 T. onion flakes, 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp. dried thyme,1/4 tsp. dried oregano, 1/4 tsp. sage, 1 cup whipping cream.

Monday, February 27, 2012

the next time you're in Cincinnati....

... I highly recommend eating at the Restaurant Tom and Chee.  There are two of these restaurants in Cincinnati and their menu consists of different kinds of Tomato Soups and different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches.  (But don't worry about not finding something you like as there are lots of ways to make a grilled cheese sand which; and they tasted great!!!)  We saw this restaurant on an episode of Man vs.Food so we knew it had to be good.
 I ordered a cup of the creamy tomato basil soup and the Pep and Chee sandwich; which consisted of sourdough bread, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.
Ott, E ordered a plain tomato soup and a flying pig sand which; which was bacon, pulled pork and Gouda on white bread.  This restaurant is also famous for make a donut grilled cheese sandwich and while we didn't order it; we did see it on the tv show.  Overall, this was a cute place to have lunch and visit the next time you are in Cincinnati.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to paint train tracks in a nursery

Baby MacchiOTTo will be arriving in a few weeks and our Nursery is starting to come together quite nicely.  As you'll recall we want the gender of the baby to be a surprise so we are going with a black and gold themed nursery in honor of our alma mater Purdue.  Since Ott, E and I met at Purdue and we used a photo of us at Purdue to announce our pregnancy to family and friends; I figured we would stick with that theme; and get this 4th generation Boilermaker started off on the right foot.

I'll be showing you the nursery in phases and the first part I'm going to show off is how I painted train tracks on one wall of the nursery. This will be the main wall where the crib sits. And as you can see in the pictures below we have a Purdue border running around the top of the room in gold and black.
To start off I used painters tape to tape 4 horizontal lines.  These would become the rails of the track and would be painted in gold.  I used a yard stick and a level and a pencil to mark where the tape should go and then placed my tape on the walls.  I then painted the gold color in between the lines where the track would be.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Asian Zing Duck Wings

Like most guys Ott, E likes to eat wings; and I've been known to make some in the crock pot on game days for him to enjoy. But, the other day I thought I would mix things up and ordered some duck wings from Maple Leaf Farms website. Within a couple of days a package of 16 wings showed up on my door. So I found a recipe to pair with them for an Asian Zing Sauce. The flavors in this sauce really paired nicely with the bold flavor of the duck wing.  And duck wings are a little bigger than chicken wings so we get more meat off of them.  (Bonus!)
Ingredients:  16 Wings, 2 tsp. Corn Starch, 4 tsp. vinegar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce, 1 T. soy sauce, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. garlic, minced.
Directions: In a small bowl dissolve cornstarch in vinegar.  In a separate, large bowl, combine all other ingredients, then add vinegar mixture.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge Linky Party: Maple Leaf Farms Duck

We are all set to kick off February's Iron Chef Challenge with our themed ingredient of Duck.  While I realize Duck is not always a commonly used meat in most kitchens this is a challenge and will hopefully stretch you in your culinary skills and give you some inspiration to try duck on your own.

Rules: Chefs (aka bloggers) will prepare something using Duck in their recipe and blog about it.  Included in this blog post must be the recipe along with pictures and any tips on preparing the item. Posts must include Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge Badge (code found in sidebar).

The winning recipe will receive a prize of a $100 Duck Package -- $50 worth of Maple Leaf Farms Duck, Meals to Remember Cookbook ($35 value),

Guest Judge, Brian Beam, has been with Maple Leaf Farms for 13 years and is the Director of Duck Sales. He and his sales team service North and Central America.

And for more great recipes and tips on cooking with Duck check out Maple Leaf Farms on facebook and twitter (@mapleLeafFarms).  Also, if you're on twitter feel free to use #IronChefChallenge when discussing this contest.

The Linky is open February 17 - 24th. The winner will be announced on the blog the week of February 27th.

Good Luck and may the best chef/blogger win!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Makeover Caulliflower Soup

I love a good soup on a cold winter day, and although this hasn't been your traditional winter there have still been some cold days so I was looking through one of my cookbooks for a new soup recipe and stumbled upon this one in a Taste of Home cookbook for Makeover Cauliflower Soup.  I love the creaminess of this soup and the vegetables give it a nice healthy bonus.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oatmeal for Breakfast.... fixed in the crock pot while you sleep

In the winter when it's cold outside I really like eating oatmeal for breakfast.  There's just something about a warm meal that sticks to your ribs on a cold day and makes the snow and ice bearable.  I found this great recipe that cooks in your crock pot overnight while you sleep.  And you can pick and choose some of the ingredients according to your own tastes and likes.  I used apples and cranberries in mine, but you could easily use raisins and pecans or just eat it plain.  Simpley put your ingredients into the crock pot, turn it on and go to sleep.  When you wake up you will have a hot and nurshing breakfast waiting on you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Obsessed with these Peanut Butter Donuts

I'll admit it... I'm a little obsessed with donuts right now. My donut pan is so much fun to use that I enjoy finding new recipes to try. So today I'm sharing this recipe for peanut butter donuts with chocolate glaze and then topped with some Reese's Peanut Butter cups. I love the peanut butter taste of the donut itself; as it taste amazing without the glaze and toppings as well (in case you don't have a sweet tooth.)
So pour yourself a cup of coffee and pull up a chair because you won't want to miss how to make these delicious donuts for yourself. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

February's Iron Chef Challenge: Duck

PhotobucketFebruary is here; the Groundhog saw his shadow, the Super Bowl is upon us, Valentines Day is just around the corner and this month's Iron Chef Challenge will be featuring Duck as the themed ingredient and the sponsor is Maple Leaf Farms. 

Rules: Chefs (aka bloggers) will prepare a dish using Duck in their recipe and blog about it.  Included in this blog post must be the recipe along with pictures and any tips on preparing the item. Posts must include Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge Badge (code found in sidebar).

Maple Leaf Farms is located in Northern Indiana and one of the largest producers of white pekin duck in North America.