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Cheesy Wild Rice Soup

October 23, 2011

Nothing says autumn like a hearty soup.  This is a staple in our household this time of year, as it certainly fits the bill – it all but screams turtlenecks, new notebooks, and pots of chrysanthemums on the front porch.

This recipe makes my all time favorite soup, ever.  I’ve tweaked the original recipe a bit – the original recipe called for both Velveeta and condensed cream of potato soup.  It may need a few more changes, but even as-is, I can’t resist helping myself to a second bowl!

And just to note… you’ll need a stock pot for this recipe – it makes quite a bit.  We freeze about half of it for nights we’d like comfort food in a hurry.

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup

adapted from Leanne and David’s recipe
makes many, many servings


  • 1 cup long grain/wild rice mix
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 cups chopped celery
  • 1-2 cups thinly chopped carrots
  • 1-2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb shredded cheese


  1. Prepare rice with 2 cups broth.  Do not drain.  Meanwhile, in large pot, saute carrots in butter for about 10 minutes.  Add other vegetables, garlic, and potatoes until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute.
  2. Slowly add in milk, remaining broth, and rice.  Bring mixture to a simmer (do not boil) until carrots are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Whisk in cheese mixture one handful at a time until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cheese Stromboli

August 29, 2011
tags: ,

We’ve never eaten stromboli before, so I can’t say this is an authentic recipe, or could even officially be categorized as stromboli.  Over at Fix Me A Snack Cindy affectionately refers to them as Pizza Pinwheels, and we just might steal that name.  They’re fun to eat (particularly with ranch dipping sauce), but the name stromboli just sounds so official.  Pizza pinwheels it is!

Cheese Stromboli

(a.k.a. Pizza Pinwheels)

recipe adapted from Fix Me A Snack
makes 10 stromboli


  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/3 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • sauteed mushrooms
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Allow the dough to come close to room temperature so that it is easy to work with.  Shape into a 6×14 inch rectangle.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Spread on the olive oil then the sauce, cheese, and mushrooms.  Tightly roll up the dough and pinch the loose edge to adhere it to the roll.
  4. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 2-inch segments. Gently reshape the segments into circles and place 2-3″ apart, swirl side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes or until the dough starts to brown. Allow the stromboli to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Serve or transfer to a cooling rack. The stromboli can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month.

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetable Sauce

August 26, 2011

Farmers market + the latest edition of Cook’s Country = delicious.  Enough said.

Pasta with zucchini and summer squash

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetable Sauce

recipe from Cook’s Country (August/September 2011)
Serves 4


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 6 tablespoons basil pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot.  Melt butter in 12 inch skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in squash and zucchini and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in tomatoes, wine, 2/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot.  Toss vegetable mixture and pesto with pasta, adding reserved pasta water as needed.  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

List of Lunch Box Ideas

August 13, 2011

It’s almost that time of year — lunch box time!  It’s just my husband and I right now, so I only have two non-picky palates to please.  Easy, right?  For the most part, yes… even so, it can still be a struggle to keep lunches exciting and fresh day in and day out.

I’ve scoured the internet and have compiled some fun ideas for the upcoming year.  I printed off this list and have it hanging on the fridge for future reference.  Who knows – maybe it’ll spark our healthy snacking life, too!

Lunchbox Ideas


  • Sub sandwich
  • Cheese sandwich
  • Lunch meat sandwich
  • Turkey and cheese roll-up
  • Taco roll-up
  • Egg salad sandwich
  • Chicken salad sandwich
  • Peanut butter and jelly or honey
  • Bagel sandwich
  • Cheese, sausage, and crackers
  • Quesadillas
  • BLT
  • Pasta salad
  • Panini
  • Pizza


  • Plum
  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Applesauce
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Orange
  • Clementine
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Melon cubes


  • Carrots and dip
  • Red, yellow, orange, or green peppers
  • Radishes and dip
  • Sugar snap peas and dip
  • Broccoli and dip
  • Cauliflower and dip
  • Grape tomatoes and dip


  • Muffin
  • Trail mix
  • Fruit leather
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Rice cake
  • Granola bar
  • Quickbread
  • Raisins and Craisins
  • Cheese cubes
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ants on a log
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • String cheese
  • Dried apricots
  • Chex mix

Cheesy Vegetable Bake

July 21, 2011


Cheesy Vegetable Bake

adapted from Real Simple
makes 4 servings


  • 1/2 pound dry, small-shaped pasta
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled Feta
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella


  1. In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small bowl. Place the zucchini, eggplants, and onion on a baking sheet. Brush with the vinaigrette. Heat broiler on high. Broil until tender, 6 minutes per side.  Reduce heat to 350.
  2. Chop the roasted vegetables. Place the empty pasta pot over low heat. Add the garlic and the remaining oil and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the drained pasta, vegetables, oregano, tomatoes, pasta sauce, Feta, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the remaining salt and toss. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes more.

    To freeze: Assemble (but do not bake) the casserole. Cover tightly with two layers of aluminum foil. Store for up to 3 months.

    To reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave.  Cover and heat in a 350° F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and heat for 10 minutes more.


One Ingredient Ice Cream

July 20, 2011



When I heard about one ingredient ice cream, I was skeptical.  The basic gist: put a frozen banana in the food processor.  That’s it.

I figured we’d end up with a frozen treat – possibly tasty, possibly not so much – but I didn’t expect the texture or taste to be anywhere near the glory of  ice cream.

Three words that I don’t usually admit to: I was wrong.

It turned out to be creamy, similar to soft serve.  If someone offered me banana flavored ice cream, I’d laugh.  But somehow this turned out to be our new favorite dessert.

You’ll have to try it if you don’t believe me.

One Ingredient Ice Cream

adapted from the kitchn
makes 2 small servings


  • 2 bananas
  • Add-ins (optional – see below)
  1. Slice bananas.  Freeze for at least two hours.
  2. Blend frozen bananas and add-ins in a food processor.  Scrape down the sides as necessary until smooth, creamy, and lump-free.
Optional Add-ins
  • hot cocoa mix (possibly just cocoa powder?  I’m not sure on this one…)
  • chocolate sauce and peanut butter
  • honey
  • fudgesicle
  • vanilla
  • pineapple juice, coconut, and rum
  • Nutella


Scrumptious Sunday

July 10, 2011

I haven’t been a very consistent blogger the past month or two…  but that just gives me all the more ammo for my latest edition of Scrumptious Sunday!  Here are some recipes that may be making their debut in our home in the near future.  As always, click on the pictures for links to each recipe.

cheesy puff pull apart bread from How Sweet It Is

twice-baked potatoes from Dinner: A Love Story

brownies from Beantown Baker

zesty Asian inspired marinade from Green Lite Bites

soft white hamburger buns from Cook Like a Champion

cheesy artichoke French Breads from How Sweet It Is

popover upsidedown pizza from Recipe Shoebox

mall pretzels from Elephantine

As a side note, it seems I can always tell my latest pregnancy cravings from Scrumptious Sunday links.  This week: cheese and bread (preferably, but not necessarily, together).