Archive of ‘Cooking’ category

Tuscan White Bean Soup

| Cooking

This Tuscan White Bean Soup is absolutely incredible. It's thick and creamy and brimming with flavor. Protein packed and healthy - it's a must try!

Tuscan White Bean Soup

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I L.O.V.E. soup!!! I don’t know why exactly but this obsession started about 6-7 years. Whoa, as I just typed that sentence I had a flashback – actually, I take back that former statement…I do know how this obsession started.

A few years after having my daughter I realized that I really hadn’t lost all my baby weight. I think for the first while after having a child you’re so deep into mommyhood that you barely have time to even look in the mirror. I woke up one morning and had a serious look at myself and decided it was time to do battle.

Overall, I’ve been fortunate enough that my weight hasn’t really been a huge issue prior in my life so diets had never entered my realm of existence. I was too embarrassed to ask friends what their experiences had been – I was determined to do this on my own without anyone knowing. Enter Weight Watchers. I had known a few people who had experienced really great success with this program and knew I needed something to keep me accountable. I really didn’t need to lose a ton of weight – I just didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin and knew I was past my own personal comfort zone. I signed up in the early fall and by Christmas, I had surpassed my goal weight by about 5 pounds – victory!!!

Now, getting back to our soup… I feel like my weight loss success was mostly due to getting a handle on portion control but also altering my typical eating habits, in particular, my lunches. I used to eat out or have huge leftovers for lunches. Instead, I switched up my lunches by taking homemade soup to work every day for my lunch. My go-to lunches were my homemade Chicken noodle, roasted butternut squash soup or vegetable soups.

Now, years down the road from my initial foray into soups, that lunch time soup habit has stuck. I was looking for a new soup that had lots of protein but that didn’t involve meat and I discovered bean soups. Now, I have to tell you, this Tuscan White Bean Soup is absolutely incredible. It’s thick and creamy and brimming with flavor. Honestly, it’s outstanding! I’ve made this soup for a number of people now and they always ask for the recipe. So, without further ado, here’s my Tuscan White Bean Soup.

TUSCAN WHITE BEAN SOUP RECIPE

Modified from Giada De Laurentiis’s recipe here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, cubed and parboiled
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans/white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tbsp parmesan or asiago cheese
  • 4 pieces of bacon or back bacon cooked and diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place a medium, heavy soup over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, potatoes, and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots soften.
  2. Add sage, sun-dried tomatoes and beans – stir and combine.
  3. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer until the garlic has softened, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Pour the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle 3/4 (or all if you don’t want any full beans) of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth – make sure to hold the lid tightly on the blender while pureeing the beans.
  5. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pot.
  6. Add salt, pepper, cheese and bacon to the soup. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately or ladle into containers for the freezer.

Download the Tuscan White Bean Soup recipe here.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Check out some of my other recipes including Curried Apple Egg Salad Sandwich, Double chocolate pecan cookiesThe ultimate rice krispie squareBest salad everNo bake energy ballsthe best chicken soup you’ll ever eatBailey’s dipped toasted marshmallowszucchini quinoa pattiesperfect chocolate chip cookiesmarinated feta cheeseMediterranean humus.

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Penne with Roasted Onions, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts Recipe

| Cooking

Who isn't always on the lookout for a delicious vegetarian meal that's great to serve to dinner guests. The combination of sweet, caramelized onions, flavorful cheese, and toasted walnuts is irresistible and makes this penne with roasted onions, gorgonzola and walnuts recipe a winner in my book.Penne with Roasted Onions, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts Recipe

Who isn’t always on the lookout for a delicious vegetarian meal that’s great to serve to dinner guests. The combination of sweet, caramelized onions, flavorful cheese, and toasted walnuts is irresistible and makes this penne with roasted onions, gorgonzola and walnuts recipe a winner in my book.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of working with a remarkable co-worker named Diane. Her office was next to mine so I was lucky enough to get to know her really well. She’s an extraordinary woman, you know…one of those. The kind of woman that can milk a cow then churns fresh butter for her divine homemade rustic bread with the concord grape jelly that she’d made yesterday. Seriously, there’s nothing she can’t do.

We became good friends and eventually starting exchanging gifts at Christmas time. Even though I make a lot of my own homemade gifts, I was intimidated by her incredible “Martha-like” talents so instead, I decided to give her a recipe book. As with everything else, Diane is an amazing cook. Thankfully she appreciated the book and even tried a number of recipes from it. The recipe I’m sharing today is from that book (which I’m sorry I don’t know the name of as I just have a photocopy of the recipe). Diane said this recipe was simple and delicious, my two favorite things in a recipe so I decided to give it a go. Good thing I did, it’s become one of my husband’s favorite meals.

I’ve made this on a number of occasions and my dinner guests always ask for the recipe. It’s very simple, only a handful of ingredients and great if you have vegetarian guests (or even none vegetarians) for dinner.

Penne with Roasted Onions, Gorgonzola and Walnuts Recipe

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Large red onions, quartered
  • 8-12 garlic cloves
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz penne, rotini or other tubular pasta
  • 6 oz Gorgonzola cheese, broken into small chunks
  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Cut each onion half into crescent-shaped slices about 1/8″ thick. Toss in a roasting pan with garlic cloves, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, shaking the pan every so often. The onions should be tender and slightly charred.

2. Cook the pasta, drain and return it to the pot. Add the roasted onions, garlic, cheese, parsley, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Stir and serve immediately.

Download the penne with roasted onions, gorgonzola and walnuts recipe here.

hope you enjoyed this recipe. Check out some of my other recipes including Double chocolate pecan cookiesThe ultimate rice krispie squareBest salad everNo bake energy ballsthe best chicken soup you’ll ever eatBailey’s dipped toasted marshmallowszucchini quinoa pattiesperfect chocolate chip cookiesmarinated feta cheesemediterranean humus.

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Glory Bowl Salad Dressing Recipe

| Cooking

Glory Bowl Salad Dressing Recipe - my new favorite salad dressing recipe from the Whitewater Cooks series! This amazing dressing is absolutely delicious and so versatile it can also be used on chicken, rice, noodles and more. Click to go to recipe.Glory Bowl Salad Dressing Recipe

This summer my family took an amazing impromptu trip to the Okanagan Valley in the interior of beautiful British Columbia. If you haven’t visited there before, I’d highly recommend it.

The Okanagan area is known for it’s lush vineyards, orchards, rolling hills and clear blue lakes. The skiing in the winter is phenomenal. During the summer, the quaint towns are bustling with visitors eager to enjoy the countless sandy beaches, hot sun, and a variety of outdoor and water activities.

Burrowing Owl Okanagan Valley British Columbia

Visiting the Burrowing Owl Winery in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia.

While we were visiting, I was introduced to the amazing Glory Bowl Salad Dressing by my dear friends Charity and Brian who are from the Okanagan. We were checking out one of the gorgeous wineries when I noticed Charity buying some interesting looking salad dressing. Having no idea what it was Charity gave me a little history.

Glory Bowl salad dressing is a delicious dressing created by B.C. chef Shelley Adams. Glory Bowl was named after a favourite ski bowl at the Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, B.C. which Shelley owned with her husband Mike. This recipe comes from her first cookbook Whitewater Cooks, Pure, Simple and Real. Shelley’s recipes are out of this world and I highly recommend them.

The Glory Bowl recipe makes more dressing than you may need, but you can use the leftover on chicken, rice, noodles or salad. I often give away my leftover dressing and my friends inevitably ask me for the recipe after sampling it. I make a slight variation of the original. To get the original version that includes a brown rice salad that Shelley suggests making with the dressing click here.

Glory Bowl Salad Dressing Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
2 garlic cloves crushed
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp white pepper
1-1/2 cups of vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all the ingredients except for the vegetable oil into a blender and puree together.
  2. With motor running, slowly add oil in a steady stream. Blend until completely smooth.

(Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks)

Download your Glory Bowl Salad Dressing recipe here.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Check out some of my other recipes including Double chocolate pecan cookiesThe ultimate rice krispie squareBest salad everNo bake energy ballsthe best chicken soup you’ll ever eatBailey’s dipped toasted marshmallowszucchini quinoa pattiesperfect chocolate chip cookiesmarinated feta cheesemediterranean humus.

Glory Bowl Salad Dressing Recipe - my new favourite salad dressing recipe from the Whitewater Cooks series! This amazing dressing is absolutely delicious and so versatile it can also be used on chicken, rice, noodles and more. Click to go to recipe.

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Campfire Banana Splits

| Cooking, Kids Fun, Outdoors

Campfire roasted banana splits

Campfire roasted banana splits

Campfire Banana Splits – Since we spend most of the summer camping, we’re always on the lookout for great camping recipes. We’ve had an amazing summer so far and decided it was time to try a new campfire treat, the campfire roasted banana split. This is a super easy and delicious snack to add to your camping food repertoire. Our daughter loved being able to build her own banana split treat and it’s virtually foolproof.

Just grab some bananas, and some yummy toppings, wrap in foil, roast in the fire and voila…hot, melty, gooey goodness. Kids and adults alike will love these fantastic campfire treats.

Campfire Banana Splits

Ingredients & Supplies

  • Ripe Bananas
  • Toppings (suggestions: marshmallows, chocolate chips (white, butterscotch, milk and dark), peanuts, walnuts, toffee chips, caramels, coconut, pretzels, etc)
  • Tinfoil
  • Knife

Directions

  1. Slice bananas down the middle but try not to cut all the way through to the other side.
  2. Fill the banana with toppings of your choice.
  3. Close up the banana as much as you can and wrap with tin foil.
  4. Place wrapped banana in the coals of your campfire and leave for anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove wrapped banana from fire and let cool for a few minutes then carefully unwrap the foil.
  6. Allow to cool a little more, grab a spoon and dig in.

Download your Campfire Banana Split recipe here.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Check out some of my other posts that would be great for camping including: Campfire Toasted Cinnamon RollsDIY Fire StartersDouble Chocolate Pecan Cookies,  No Bake Energy BallsPerfect Chocolate Chip CookiesBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

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