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The Secret Is In The Sauce

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North Carolina, United States

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inmimiskitchen@yahoo.com

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1. All my posts are written for myself first (with my followers in mind of course). If I make money from a post due to third party advertising such as Google or Foodbuzz, then so much the better.
2. If I write about a product, cookbook or restaurant, chances are that I received the product, cookbook or meal for FREE.
3. If I write a review about a product, cookbook or restaurant that was not FREE, I will disclose that in my post. I will always write about local establishments and businesses (non-chain) gratis- I support local businesses and hope you will too.
4. FREE product does not guarantee a positive review.
5. If you are interested in sending me a book or product to review, or want me to review a restaurant, please know that I make every effort to post reviews within 4 weeks of receiving a book, within 2 weeks of receiving a product, and within 1 week of dining at a restaurant.
6. I write for several websites and print publications in addition to my blog and my writing interests are strictly food or cooking-related, so please make sure that your book or product is food-related in some way.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Year of Soup Recipe Challenge Week 11- Caldo Verde: Portuguese Kale Soup

It's week 11 of the Year of Soup Challenge here in Mimi's Kitchen, and I have another awesome guest post! This week's soup recipe is from Sofia, another of my foodie friends from Half Hour Meals. Sofia, a wonderful cook and a native of Portugal, has shared many of her delcicous, authentic Portuguese recipes with us at HHM, and I'm thrilled that she agreed to do a post for Mimi's Kitchen!

Please be sure to stop by Sofia's blog, Food Ideas, to check out some more of her wonderful recipes. And, if you're interested in a chance to win a pair of one carat diamond earrings, just become a facebook fan of GemEx, the company she works for! Are you ready to get cooking? Get out your soup pots and your ladles and let's make some Portuguese Kale soup!

Sofia writes: This is an old time favourite soup and a classic in Portuguese cuisine. There are a variety of recipes for this soup, but I still prefer the original one, which is as simple as can be. Caldo verde actually means green broth!

Ever since I was a little girl I remember having this "green broth" on cooler days. Having lived away from Portugal most of my life, I must say this soup must be THE one that brings back memories of us visiting my grandparents and running around on their farm. Every year when we went back, our bodies would change, our personalities too, yet the taste and craving for this soup would always be with us.

Today, I carry on the tradition from our home in Wisconsin, and make this soup often for my own husband and children, just as my Mother once did for me. And every year when we go to Portugal, we always reunite the family and go to a restaurant to enjoy Caldo Verde as well as other traditional foods.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)

Ingredients:
6 potatoes
1 lb of kale or Chinese cabbage
2 quarts of cold water
4 tbsp olive oil
1 chourico sausage, sliced (chorizo)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Wash the potatoes, peel and cut them in thin slices.
Wash the greens, roll them up tightly and slice them as thin as you can (this is very important).
In a little hot water first quickly scald the greens - this will make the greens keep their colour.
Take 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lightly sautee the potatoes in a large pot.
Add the water and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are breaking apart.
Mash the potatoes or mix them thoroughly to create a nice minimally-smooth cream .
Let it simmer again for about 5 minutes then add the kale.
In a small frying pan lightly sautee the sliced chourico.
Just before serving, quickly mix in the leftover olive oil and the fat from the slices of chourico.
When serving the soup in bowls decorate them with the slices of chourico.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Year of Soup Recipe Challenge Week 10- Broccoli and Cheddar Soup


I have a special treat for you today in Mimi's Kitchen! For the Year of Soup Challenge Week 10 post, my friend Catherine from Half Hour Meals has graciously agreed to do a guest post! I am really excited about this because Catherine's recipes are awesome...everything of hers that I have ever made has been easy and delicious (check out my review of one of her recipes here).

So, grab another cup of coffee and pull up a chair while Catherine shares her recipe for Broccoli and Cheddar Soup with us. Please be sure to visit her wonderful blog, Living the Gourmet, and then try this soup recipe...you won't be disappointed!

On a cold January day I found myself sitting by the window looking out into a vast winter wonderland. I had a nice hot cup of coffee in one hand and an Eating Well Magazine in the other.


As I turned each page, a new and interesting recipe greeted me one after another. But my body yearned for something different from chicken or pasta- I needed something warm and comforting and only one dish would satisfy such a craving- soup!


I found this recipe that day and simply fell in love with it! Creamy, delicious and truly gratifying! After I read the recipe, I nearly jumped up from my seat and prepared all that was necessary.


Inka, my poodle and my sous-chef, watched as I excitedly prepared my soup. As I tasted this delicious bowl, all I could think of was Louis P. De Gouy, author of The Soup Book, who said, “Soup is cuisine's kindest course. It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o'clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.”


Ah success! Warmth from the cold winter weather all in a bowl of comfort food- nothing can compare to a scrumptious bowl of steaming hot broccoli cheddar soup!
---------------------------------
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Adapted from Cabot Cheese – Eating Well Magazine

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sweet butter
4 potatoes – cooked & diced with skin
1 onion – diced
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups milk
3 cups broccoli – cooked & chopped
8 ounces sharp or extra sharp cheddar – grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Ground black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add potatoes and onion and cook, stirring, until onion in tender, about 5 minutes.

Add flour and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes longer.

Gradually stir in chicken broth and milk. Bring to low simmer. Add broccoli and simmer on low another 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Add Lemon juice and black pepper.

This soup is satisfying and tastes so rich and delicious!

Enjoy with love,
Catherine
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Year of Soup Recipe Challenge Week 9- Irish Vegetable Soup


Happy St. Patrick's Day from Mimi's Kitchen! St. Patty's day is a big deal 'round our house because I am married to an Irishman who is very proud of his heritage. DLH's great-grandfather Driscoll came to America in the early 1900's from County Cork, Ireland, with nothing but empty pockets and the dream of a new life. Now, a hundred-plus years later, traces of that hopeful, red-headed young man can still be seen in the strawberry-blond hair and Irish blue eyes of my husband and his four brothers.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day and my husband's great-grandfather, I thought I'd do a recipe for an Irish Vegetable Soup for week 9 of The Year of Soup Challenge. Almost as thick as a stew, this tasty and filling soup was very typical mid-day fare for working men like Grandpa Driscoll, and was usually served with plenty of bread and sweet Irish butter.

Irish Vegetable Soup
1/2 cup pearl barley
5 cups chicken broth or water
4 large potatoes
2 carrots
1/2 medium turnip
2 sticks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 large cabbage leaves, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme)
6 sage leaves (or 1/2 tsp. dried sage)

Place the barley in a large pot and cover with 5 cups broth or water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and wash the potatoes, carrots and turnip. Cut peeled vegetables into large (but bite-sized) pieces. Add all vegetables to pot with barley. Add salt, pepper, and herbs. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Serve with bread and butter.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Year of Soup Recipe Challenge Week 8- Basic Chowder


I'm trying to catch up on the Year of Soup Challenge here at Mimi's Kitchen...by my count I am three weeks behind! I don't have any good excuses...just been really busy lately, getting ready for the WGHP appearance, working on other writing obligations, and testing recipes, so the time has gotten away from me!

Now it's time to get back on track...even though I know it's entirely possible that nobody but me has noticed, and more than likely that nobody but me cares (you are out there reading this aren't you? anyone?). Still, a promise is a promise, even if you only make it to yourself, and I'm OCD enough to feel driven to get caught up.

Today's recipe is adapted from one that I found in Better Homes and Gardens magazine a few years ago, and it's really great! It's a basic chowder that comes together in 30 minutes, and that you can change up with just a few additional ingredients to make several variations. If you like chowder as much as I do, then this versatile recipe is for you!


Basic Chowder

3 tbsp. butter
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 (14-oz.) can chicken broth
2 cups refrigerated diced potatoes with onions such as Simply Potatoes (half a 1-lb., 4 oz. package)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup half and half
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; saute celery and onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour until combined. Gradually whisk in broth; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add potatoes and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Slightly mash some of the potatoes. Add bacon and half and half. Simmer until heated through. At this point you would add your variation ingredients and continue simmering until heated through.

Variations:
Chicken Corn Chowder- Add 1 cup frozen corn and 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken.
Chicken Primavera Chowder- Add 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, and 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken.
Crab and Basil Chowder- Add 12 oz. lump crab meat (drained, flaked and cartilege removed), and 2 tsp. dried basil, crushed.
Ham and Corn Chowder- Add 1 cup frozen corn, and 1 cup chopped, cooked ham.
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$2 Dinners Posts Are Moving


After the success of my recent appearance for $2 Dinners on WGHP, I decided it was time to give $2 Dinners it's own home on the web,and for that reason I won't be posting my column from this past week. I am in the process of starting a $2 Dinners blog that I hope to launch in the next week or so, hopefully before my next spot on WGHP. I hope ya'll will check back and please stay tuned for the big launch of the $2Dinners blog real soon!

In the meantime, here's the video from my appearance on WGHP.
 

Food for Thought:

"In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom."

- Barbara Costikyan

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