Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cream of Crab Soup

I'm really into soups this Winter, so you'll probably be seeing a few more before warm weather hits. Although, I hear it could get up to the high 60's around here this weekend! Regardless, I still think you should whip up this soup for your family and friends.

I posted a photo of this meal on Facebook the night I made it (yes, I Instagram my food sometimes, zip it!), and instantly got many pleas for the recipe. Well friend, I'm hear to tell you it tastes 100 times better than it even looks or sounds. Seriously tasty soup here. I didn't come up with this recipe and since it was my first time attempting it, I followed it mostly to the letter. I don't say this often, there's not much I'd change! (I noted what I did change below.)

I also made Red Lobster knock-off Cheddar Bay Biscuits to go with it (to die for!), and the entire meal was simply PERFECT. I'll be posting the recipe for the biscuits next week, so stay tuned!



Cream of Crab Soup

1 lb. lump crab meat
1 pint half and half
1 pint milk
1 cup seafood stock (This proved tricky to find, I had to get it at Fresh Market. You could use chicken stock, but I'm not sure how it would affect the flavor.)
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 small onion, diced (I omitted)
1 stalk celery. diced (I omitted)
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. Old Bay

2T chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

My suggestion, if needed to thicken (I prefer a thicker soup):
Mix 1T of cornstarch with 1T cold water and mix to combine. Add to soup and continue to simmer until thick. You can use additional batches of this mixture until desired consistency is reached.

Instructions:

1. Melt butter, add flour and stir continuously in a large heavy pot on low heat, until smooth. (about 5 minutes) Add onion and celery and continue to cook and stir for 5 minutes.

2. Slowly add seafood stock and seasonings and stir until thickened, and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in half and half and milk. Add crab meat, parsley, and seasonings, and cook on medium until thoroughly heated through, but do not boil.







Credit: http://cajundelights.blogspot.com/2011/08/sinful-bayou-crab-cakes-cream-of-crab.html















Monday, December 31, 2012

Cocktail Weenies

Happy New Year's Eve, friends!

Sorry I've been MIA lately, I've been enjoying some time off with my family, as I hope you all have been able to do as well. Today's post will be short and sweet since I need to leave my beloved internet-land and prep some yummy snacks for our New Year's Eve celebration tonight! In case you were wondering, this year it will consist of a sushi party in our pajamas. Please try to contain your excitement. BUT, I am planning to make a few apps to snack on and go along with our take-out sushi.


Speaking of appetizers, this recipe is one I first had on Thanksgiving Day when we visited my mother-in-law in Utah. It only requires three ingredients and a crock pot, which is my kind of party. Before I leave you, let me also say that I generally really, REALLY dislike mustard, so I wasn't sure about this sauce. However, it is just wonderful, and doesn't taste like mustard at all. I hope you find a way to work these little cocktail weenies into your holiday before we all have to get back to reality!

May 2013 bring you all the happiness you can handle. :)



Cocktail Weenies

Ingredients:

2 packages Lil' Smokies
1 jar currant jelly (right next to the regular old grape jelly)
1 8oz jar of yellow mustard (dijon works nicely too!)

Directions:
Mix jelly and mustard together in crock pot. Turn temperature on high and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until the jelly is "melted."

Add Lil' Smokies to sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rotel & Bacon Cups

This is one of those recipes that's been floating around Pinterest for some time now, and it finally came up on my "to try" list. These little babies are totally addictive and super easy to make! You should add them to your holiday appetizer menu ASAP. Or just make them for dinner tonight. Yes, do that.


I played around with the ingredients a little and used greek yogurt instead of mayo to lighten this recipe up a bit. I also chose monterey jack cheese instead of the swiss the original recipe called for, because it just seemed to fit better. This recipe makes a ton of little cups, so be sure to share it with a crowd!

 

Rotel Cups
 
  • 1 can Rotel, drained
  • 3 packages of mini phyllo cups (frozen section)
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 1 bag real bacon bits (I prefer Hormel)
 
Mix everything together and fill cups. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
 
 
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mexican Potato Soup

If it were up to me, I'd be perfectly happy eating soup for dinner every night of the week. There is just something comforting about a hot bowl of soup. It's happy place-inducing, and there is nothing that hits the spot quite like it on a cold, winter day. The other reason I'm a big soup fan is because it's one-stop shopping, I love being able to make a whole meal in one pot. Less dishes, less preparation, less clean-up. That makes this mama happy!


This soup recipe started off as one thing, and me being the rebel that I am in the kitchen, spontaneously turned it into something completely different. I have to admit, my creative attempts don't always turn out so well, and sometimes they are flat out disasters (ask me about butternut squash and blue cheese pasta sometime...on second thought, don't). Lucky for me, and now YOU, this soup recipe is a complete keeper! You can probably expect to see many more soup recipes from me before the Winter is over. In the meantime, go whip up a batch of this super easy, 6-ingredient soup!





Mexican Potato Soup

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 tub Philly Cooking Creme, Santa Fe Blend
  • 1 bag frozen southern style hash browns (the square kind)
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 lb 2% Velveeta, cubed
  • 32oz. chicken broth
  • 1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • Optional: Shredded cheese, sour cream, or tortilla chips for garnishing
Directions:

Brown ground beef and add in taco seasoning in a large pot.

Add cubed velveeta, cooking creme, rotel, chicken broth, and hash browns and simmer for 30 minutes or until hash browns are warmed through and the velveeta is melted.







Thursday, November 29, 2012

The BEST Pumpkin Bread

Let me start by saying, I don't bake, unless it's from a box. There are few exceptions to this rule. One, I have a flourless chocolate cake recipe that uses black beans (yes, you heard correctly) that is OUT of this world, and I manage to make it from scratch by some miracle. If you're nice to me, I'll share it with you one day. The second exception is bread. Poppy Seed Bread last week, and Pumpkin Bread this week.

I have tried countless pumpkin bread recipes in my day, and this one is by far, hands down, the best one ever. It's a scientific fact. I can't pretend that I came up with this recipe (well, I could, but that would be unethical and all), it was given to me by a friend. The really great thing about it is that you get 3 full size loaves out of this baby! Normally I make one full size loaf for us, and a bunch of mini loaves to give away. It also freezes beautifully, if you aren't into sharing.  And let's face it, when it comes to pumpkin bread, should you have to?



The BEST Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups canned pumpkin puree








Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NOT Your Mom's Green Bean Casserole

I've decided to throw in a bonus recipe this week, in honor of Turkey Day! I just happened to dig this one up, and decided that it needed immediate sharing in time to make it to your Thanksgiving table. But don't go getting used to this two-posts-in-a-row-thing. ;)

I am perfectly happy with the old Campbell's cream of mushroom soup version of the holiday favorite, Green Bean Casserole. The first Thanksgiving my husband and I spent together (just our little family), I proudly made the old American classic and plopped it down on the table at dinner time. After one bite, his face told me all I needed to know. Blech.

Let's face it. Many of us have grown up with this version, and have come to love it the way we love Kraft Mac and Cheese in the blue box - because it tastes like childhood. But that doesn't mean it's actually good. It's not. I'm sorry. (The casserole that is, the blue box is still amazing, and you can't convince me otherwise.)

So, I introduce to you my adult version of green bean casserole for your holiday table. It's out of this world, and still has some elements of the traditional casserole for nostalgia's sake. And bonus, if you make this version, you'll even earn yourself a seat at the grown-up's table. Winning!

(Sorry, this picture sucks, just trust me - it's fabulous.)

 



NOT Your Mom's Green Bean Casserole

  • 1/2 lb bacon - cooked and crumbled (I cook mine in the oven now to avoid the mess, and it works beautifully! For a tutorial, go here! You can also use bacon bits from the salad section of the store if you don't want to go to the trouble to cook the bacon yourself.) 
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2C flour
  • 1 1/2C chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag of frozen green beans (defrosted) OR 2 cans of green beans of your choice (I use canned, because that's just what I prefer, I've used both regular cut and french style green beans.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • French fried onions

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat, and whisk in the flour, stirring for 1 minute. Slowly add in chicken broth and whisk for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder, continuing to stir until thickened. Next, add cheddar cheese until melted.

Pour green beans and bacon bits into cheese mixture and stir to combine.

Transfer to a 9x9 pan (Or any other pan of a similar size. Pie pans work too, or other round baking dishes as I've used here.) Top with french fried onions, and bake for 30 minutes.

Dig in!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ahem. Is this thing on?

Well, Pie Hole Fans, I bet you thought I was planning to neglect you forever, didn't you!?

 I kind of was...

You see, not due to lack of love or devotion, I simply had all these pesky things going on in my life. Like three kids and a husband, a full-time job, and full-time classes. You know, just silly things, really. So, I let the poor old Pie Hole fall by the wayside. However, I am happy to announce that two things have recently happened that encouraged me to fire the old blog back up again.

First, I have finally finished my bachelor's degree! (Happy dance.) Whew, it was tough but I did it! Not having to worry about a full-time class load on top of my full-time work load AND all my family obligations, has freed my schedule up a little, giving me some time to refocus on the blog.

Second, I have some bossy bitches for friends. (You all know who you are.) I don't think there has been a group get-together in the past year where at some point I didn't feel like I was in a bad after school special on the topic of peer pressure. But, thanks to my friends who have pushed me, I am finally going to give the blog another attempt. My goal is to post one recipe per week to start off, so keep me accountable!

No, I'm not done yet. And yes, I do plan to share a recipe today. Hey, you wanted me back, here I am - now keep reading!

I had a hard time coming up with a recipe worthy of the Pie Hole's re-grand opening, so I went with a no-fail, childhood favorite from my mama. This is a recipe for a Poppy Seed Bread that my mom used to make all the time when I was a kid. Whenever I go home to visit, she is required to make it for me for breakfast, and she's usually sweet enough to make extra so I can take some home. Rewind to the first time my husband tried said bread at my mom's house. I was 8 months pregnant at the time, and before we headed home, my mom gave us a mini loaf to take along. I decided my poor, fat, pregnant self needed a nap when we got back, so I laid down. But I woke up to a husband with an extremely guilty look on his face. He had eaten my bread. ALL of it. Let me say that one more time. He ate ALL of a pregnant woman's favorite bread of all time. According to him, he "just couldn't stop." Yes, it's that good. But I wouldn't recommend stealing it from your pregnant wife, because that was NOT a pretty day.

So, here you have it, the bread that makes husbands rival their pregnant wives. Let me know what you think!



Poppy Seed Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring

  • Directions:
    Preheat oven to 350.
    Combine the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients separately, then incorporate together.
    Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and divide batter evenly between them. (I have also made these as mini loaves. You could probably do muffins as well!)
    Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    Cool and stuff face. :)

    Glaze (optional)

    1/4 cup orange juice
    1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
    1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
    powdered sugar

    Directions:
    Combine the first three ingredients and gradually add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Pour over warm bread (or just eat with a spoon).