Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Soup - Puppies

Last night we had Minestrone Soup. I just love Minestrone soup and am actually a bit picky when it comes to eating it. I set out to find a recipe that I thought tasted right. I am still going to try and get the recipe from Mom's dining room at her apartments, but this one is really good.  Just click on the link for the recipe over at cdkitchen which I just love their site.
Pesky shadow at the bottom again.  I took five different shots of this bowl, each from a different angle.  Still there, cannot figure what is causing it.  Any way, doesn't it look yummy?

I know that any recipe can be converted to use a slow cooker or crockpot, but for the first time on any recipe I like to make it exactly as the recipe states, with all the ingredients that it calls for.  Then, if I like it I will start adding my own little touches and tweaks.  That being said, I was forced to make a few changes in the original recipe, this is what changed.

I bought one large carton of vegetable broth, (32 oz) because it was absolutely all that Walmart had.  It was the Swanson's brand, which I rarely buy, but it was all they had.  No cans of vegetable broth, any brand, only this one carton.  Which was quite expensive. So, I added a can of chicken broth.  I have tons of that on hand at all times.  While at the store for the broth, I found Hunt's Fire Roasted Tomatoes.  OH MY GOSH! what a fantastic flavor.  So, I bought two cans of those for the soup using them instead of the one can of stewed tomatoes. I like lots of tomato so usually double it in all my soups and stews.  I substituted minced garlic when I found my whole garlic had to turned to black mush.  Must clean out the fridge today.  I used one onion instead of the two because not many around here eat them if they see them.  I found that I did not have any basil, so that was left out.  The last change in the original recipe was in the pasta, I used shell macaroni instead of spaghetti.  I have never seen minestrone served with spaghetti noodles and Olive Garden used the shells, so I bought a box of shells and used a little of that.  I did cook them separate and added the pasta to my bowl, not the pot of soup because I am hoping to jar up and process the left overs to put in the pantry for fall, recently found out that canning pasta is not good.  This will definitely go in to the keeper file.  Next time I serve it, I will grate off a little Parmesan cheese using the hand crank grinder I found in my cabinet.

Speaking of finds in the cabinet, I don't think I posted about my home made ice cream. I know I told some one about it, remember talking about the experience, but didn't see it on a post.  Don't have a photo, forgot to get that, I will next time I make it.  I was thinking about my dad, and we have finally started having rather warm temps (finally normal for this time of year) so went and bought the ingredients to make some ice cream. Since I was using my dad's old freezer, I used mom's recipe.

No Cook Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Lg. pkg. Vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 c. sugar
1 Lg. can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
Whole milk
Mix together until dry ingredients are dissolved, pour into container and add milk to fill line. Process according to manufacturer's instructions.

Simple, you can easily change it by using that as a base and adding different flavors. Next time we will add some crushed Oreo cookies or peaches.  Am also going to try a batch using Splenda.

Now, that all being said, let me tell you what ended up happening.  First of all, the wooden case of the ice cream freezer leaked like a sieve. Guess it was all those years of setting.  I gave this freezer to my parents some where around 25 years ago.  Dad used it often, but he pasted away in 2003, doubt he used it for a few years before that.  Since it leaked, the drum didn't freezer properly.  It was actually really soft at the top, got a little better as we got to the bottom.  We ate it however.  I then put the left over in a plastic storage container and put it in the freezer.  WOW did it harden up in there.  Still nice and creamy texture.  Here is the weird part, it tasted like banana.  Not strong, just a hint.  I did not add any banana so have decided that banana pudding was put in a vanilla box.  Next time we make it, I will use our freezer which is molded plastic.  It has never been used, found it when I cleaned out some shelves in the garage.

On a sad note, one of the puppies died.  It looked like the momma dog sat on him.  Daughter J was just devastated.  I keep telling her not to get attached, we are not keeping a single puppy, but it is too late for that.  We are still not keeping any of them, but she has become quite attached to them, one in particular.

I have a mountain of clothes waiting for me to put up and need to get a bite to eat right quick.  Tomorrow is pay day and we are out of so many things, will be a big bill just in paper goods (foil, baggies, toilet paper, paper towels) so need to get my list and coupons together.  In fact, if I get them all hung up and put away, hubby will wonder what is wrong with me that the bedroom is cleaned up.  I want to work in the bedroom this morning while it is still tolerable temp wise, will move to the cooler kitchen for the afternoon.  Following the menu plan, will be making chicken salad for supper.  Asian chicken salad with mandarin oranges actually.  I am using the left over chicken from KFC we had on Father's day.  I need to use it up, don't want to waste it, and this batch had a little bite to it which will be really good in the salad.  Of course hubby won't like it, he feels it isn't cooking a meal unless I prepare a meat and several sides.  It is predicted to hit the triple digits today, so I am turning that stove on at all.  It will be running late tonight as I set it to clean.  Okay, so just don't tell the family unit that my menu plan for this week is designed to use up the left overs in the fridge.  Most times if I can re-purpose them they don't notice. I just don't understand this aversion to left overs.

Thanks for stopping by, leave me a note if you like.  I love knowing some one read this.  Come back and visit again soon.

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