Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

I love vegetable soup! If only my children would love it as much as me..... someday!
The great thing about vegtable soup is it is very versatile. If you prefer potatoes to the barley, go for it! If you prefer different vegetables, go for it! Generally, this is a soup that always tastes better the second day.

1 pound cubed beef
1 medium onion diced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
4 garlic cloves
1 quart chicken/beef/vegetable stock
1 quart water
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup tomato paste
salt/pepper to taste
3/4 cup barley
3 1/2 cups chicken/beef/vegetable stock

In a small saucepan combine the barley and 3 1/2 cups of stock, season with salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer till barley is tender.

In a large stock pot, add vegetable oil, heat, add beef and onions. cook for 5 minutes. Add red wine. Simmer and let the liquid reduce by half. Add remaining vegtables, tomato paste and salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir frequently. Add remaining stock and 1 quart of water. When Barley is tender add to the soup (add cooking liquid as well). Continue to cook the soup until it reduces by 1/4 - 1/3.
If you prefer the broth to be thicker you can add cornstarch to thicken.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chicken w/ Cous Cous and Spinach Soup

Soup is a wonderful item to pack in our lunches each week. I made Tomato Bisque for Monday, a hearty beef Chili for Tuesday and for Wednesday Chicken w/ cous cous and spinach.

I literally just threw a bunch of things in the pot and let it cook!

1 quart chicken stock
1/2 quart water
2 cups chicken cooked and shredded
1/2 cup carrots small diced
1/2 cup onion small diced
4 garlic cloves
3/4 cup cous cous
3/4 cup spinach
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Heat chicken stock and water to boiling. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients except spinach. When cous cous is cooked add spinach and season to taste.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Maple Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Okay, so my honey found this recipe for us to try. He absolutely loves the roasted almonds at carnivals and street fairs. I have made them...never do they taste or resemble what could be purchased elsewhere. But none the less... I would give it a try!

This is the original recipe

1 cup almonds
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-3 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silpat. Roast the almonds at 350*F for 5 minutes. Stir. Roast an additional 5 minutes. Be careful nuts will burn quickly. Once removed from oven transfer off of hot pan to cool.


The original recipe is wonderful. However, I (personally) need something else.

1. Once roasted- immediately after removing from the oven sprinkle with Damara sugar.
2. Add the zest of an orange (1-3 tsps) to the ingredient list.


This recipe is from Hannah at Bittersweet Also, the author of the My Sweet Vegan

Free! Smart School Time Recipes

I received a Nextbook for Christmas this year. Which by the way I really wish I could twitch my nose and my entire library of cookbooks would appear within the ereader. I know big wish! I will wait (patiently).

Of course, for most people they downloaded their favorite novel to read. I did not. I downloaded a FREE cookbook. This particular book is a collection of recipes that were developed by various women on their blogs. All brought together for our enjoyment.

I highly recommend this ebook. I downloaded the book from If you do not have an ereader, check with Borders or other bookstores for an app for your PC, phone, or IPad.

In addition to the fabulous recipes offered in this ebook. I have gained further knowledge of other food blogs dealing with various dietary constraints.

So go and enjoy, and along the way check out this book. Let's face it, a cookbook can be a quick read and it is FREE! :)