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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cajun White bean Soup

It was cold over the weekend. I mean like highs in the 50's here. So not cool (pardon the pun), but I wanted a little fall like weather. Somewhere in the upper 60's-70's... at least for a couple weeks. On the upside, I got to pull out this Soup recipe from the Cajun Encyclopedia. It made a HUGE potful, so we had my in-laws over to enjoy it with us.
It was a first for me, buying ham hocks... which for me I had always laughed at the odd pig parts that certain grocery stores carried, only this week to find myself looking for the "best" ham hock of the bunch... YEP, never thought I would have done that one. But it was so worth it.

The one thing about this recipe, is that you have to soak the beans overnight prior to cooking them. So it's not one of those throw together at the last minute recipe. But it's so good and worth the time spent on it.

Cajun White Bean Soup (makes 12 servings)
WW pts: 6 pts a serving

1- 1 lb package of dried great northern beans
2 ham hocks
1 link of smoked sausage, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced bell pepper (I used green)
1/4 cup minced garlic
2- 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, no salt added
water as needed
1 bay leaf
salt and cracked pepper to taste

Presoak dried beans overnight. Drain and wash beans again before cooking. In a 2 gallon pot (or largest you've got), heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions , celery, peppers, garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, then add drained tomatoes. Add sausage and cook 3-5 minutes more. Then add ham hocks. Stir in beans and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about an hour. Once beans begin to become tender, mash them against the side of pot to create creaminess. Season with bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer approximately 1 1/2-2 hours, continuing to stir and mash beans occasionally. Soup is ready when it has reached the creamy consistency of cream of mushroom soup. I think I let ours cook 5 hours, adding a little more water about 1/2 way through.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I heart face weekly challenge: Orange

I heat faces weekly challenge this week is Orange. When I saw that I instantly knew which picture that I would choose. This has been my desktop picture, well since the day I shot it.

This was my sons first Halloween costume. The first time that I got to choose his costume and just ooh and ahh over those chubby cheeks sticking out from the fuzzy little tiger costume. This picture makes me smile on a daily basis.

For more entries of orange check out:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Greek Spinach Veggie Burger

Better Homes and Gardens is the inspiration for tonight's dinner. My In-laws always give me their leftover magazines. One of the recipes that I thought sounded interesting. I was actually kind of wary about it, but I figured if I could learn to eat brussel sprouts, then I could try a spinach burger... and to my surprise, it was really good.
We put the patties on an Arnold's Sandwich Thin & had roasted potato fries on the side.

Greek Spinach Veggie Burger (makes 4 patties)
WW pts: 6 pts a patty

1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried dillweed
1 cup Stove top stuffing, dried mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1- 10 oz. package frozen chipped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup fat free feta cheese

In Medium bowl, combine oil, garlic, oregano, dillweed and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Stir in stuffing mix to coat thoroughly. Stir in eggs, spinach and feta, mix well.
Shape into 4 1/2 inch thick patties. Heat griddle or large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add patties, cook 3-5 minutes per side or until browned and heated on each side.

I made a mixture of plain fat free yogurt, dillweed, pepper, oregano and garlic salt to go on top of the burgers. Then added a little bit of mustard on top burger too. It was delicious!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jumbo Shrimp in Creole Mustard Cream

If you've read my previous blog posts then you know about the "Cajun Bible" or by it's original name Cajun and Creole Encyclopedia. Every recipe that we've tried or had at our friends house has been delicious. Tonight is no different. I was kind of wary about this recipe, because the original had heavy cream and a whole stick of butter. But reducing both of those, didn't seem to make a difference in taste. But with all the changes it brought the "point value" way down!!!

Jumbo Shrimp in Creole Mustard Cream (makes 6 servings)
WW pts: 7 pts a serving

3 Dozen Shrimp, peeled and deveined.
2 Tbsp Creole Mustard
3 Tbsp butter, sliced
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 cup Sherry
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 cup fat free half and half
1 cup Fat free chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb spaghetti noodles, cooked per package directions

In a large sauce pan melt 2 Tbsp butter, making sure not to brown or burn the butter. Place shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, just so they start to curl and turn pink. Remove from pan and keep warm. Add chives, onions, bell peppers and tarragon to pan. Saute 3-5 minutes or until veggies are wilted. Add Cooking Sherry, to deglaze pan (scrape all stuff off the bottom of the pan) and cook until 1 Tbsp of liquid remains. Sprinkle in flour and stir. Whink in creole mustard, whipping cream and chicken stock until sauce thickens. Bring to a boil (low) and whisk in remaining butter. Add shrimp and cook until heated through. On plate, place pasta, then shrimp on top, spooning the extra sauce onto the shrimp.

We served it with a spinach salad, and it was a great compliment to the pasta dish!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Still here.

I know it's been a while since I posted a new recipe. But truth be told, we've been eating from recipes that I've already posted and a bunch that have leftovers. Which is great for our monthly budget.

I've also been out of town visiting family, and then playing a single mom while my husband is on a trip. So when trying to cook and feed a little munchkin, I've been lazy about talking to those of you who might actually be reading my little blog.

And speaking of munchkins, I know he's up in the kitchen trying to sneak into his stash of chocolate that he got over Halloween. Somehow I've got to figure out a way not to eat the candy... ok, let's all be honest. I think I've eaten more of his Halloween candy than he has. woops.

Somebody call the Candy police, to make me stop!!! And I promise to get you guys some great new recipes!!!