Archive for October, 2013

Menu Oct. 30-Nov. 4


Wednesday: freezer enchiladas
Thursday: Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells
Friday: Chicken and Avocado Baked Burritos
Saturday: out or leftovers
Sunday:  Make-ahead Spinach Pasta Bake
Monday: Alfredo tomato chicken


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Bean and Barley Soup


One of my favorite soups of late is this Chicken and Barley Soup, and I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVEN’T BLOGGED ABOUT IT! I have made this soup several times, and I love it. Note to self: Make that soup again soon!

Anyway, that soup was the first time I had ever had barley, and I instantly became obsessed. So when I came across this Bean and Barley Soup from One Dad’s Kitchen, it instantly caught my eye. Barley? Check. Meatless? Always a bonus. Delicious? As it turns out, YES!

This soup is so good and so filling. It’s the perfect soup for cold fall or winter days. I love that it’s inexpensive, too. It makes about 6 servings, and there is at least half a bag of beans left to use for another time.

Bean and Barley Soup
1 cup dried multi-bean mix, rinsed
1/2 cup pearl barley
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
black pepper, to taste
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

3 cups spinach leaves, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place the beans, barley, garlic, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf, kosher salt, Italian seasoning, pepper, and tomatoes into your crockpot. Add 6 cups of water and stir well.  Cook on low until the beans are tender and the soup is thick, about 8 hours.

At end of cook time, add the spinach and Parmesan cheese, and stir. Continue to cook on low until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and enjoy!

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Menu Oct. 20-25


Sunday: leftover Beer Cheese Soup
Monday: Gnocchi Spinach Bake
Tuesday: out
Wednesday: Rainbow Alfredo (no, we haven’t had this three weeks in a row, it just keeps getting pushed back!)
Thursday: Wild Rice Hot Dish
Friday: Pizza night

Find more menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

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Menu Oct. 13-18


Sunday: Sausage and red pepper quiche
Monday: Quesadilla casserole (from the freezer)
Tuesday: out or leftovers
Wednesday: Bean and barley soup
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: take out
Saturday: Beer cheese soup and beer bread

Find more menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

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Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup


Is anyone still out there? I hope so, because I’m back! I know, I know, it’s been awhile. I do have a good excuse, though, if you’re at all interested. I had a baby! Our little boy was born at the end of February. He surprised us by coming two months earlier than expected, but he is doing very well and is a strong and healthy boy. Words cannot express how thankful I am.

It’s been a long time since I’ve really cooked anything, but now I’m trying my best to get back in the kitchen. I do miss cooking, but it’s been hard for me to get back into a routine. Hopefully the decision to revive my blog will give me the encouragement to get cooking!

Luckily for me, fall is coming up, and that means soup weather! There’s nothing I love more than snuggling at home all day while yummy soup simmers in the crockpot. In my opinion, that’s one of the few good things about fall and winter!

Here is our first soup of the fall and our first recipe after a long hiatus. Luckily, it’s a good one! I found this on Pinterest awhile back and, unfortunately, just now got around to making it. As it turns out, this recipe is delicious! Creamy tomato soup with chunky veggies and warm french bread for dipping … mmm, my mouth is watering again just thinking about it. This meatless meal is perfect for cold winter days, and is also budget-friendly. It gets 5 stars from us!

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup butter
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf into your crockpot (I used a 3.5 quart crockpot, but any smaller would have been too small). Cook on low for 5-7 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving, prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Then, add this mixture back into the crockpot. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, half and half, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

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