Monday, February 25, 2013

Zuppa Toscana, Olive Garden copycat recipe

This comes from I had not tried Olive Gardens soup before and I thought this was one of the best soups I have ever tasted! Then I had Olive Gardens because I thought I should compare and I liked this version better, It has more flavor and you get more stuff in your bowl then they give you at Olive Garden.  I think I need to make this for dinner tonight!

1 lb Italian sausage (I like mild sausage) 
3 Med. Potatoes sliced thin
1 lrg. Onion, chopped
1/4 C.  Bacon, crumbled
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 C. Kale, chopped
8 Chicken Bullion cubes
1 1/2 quarts water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Brown Sausage in Soup pot, Smoosh into small bites
  2. Add water, chicken bullion cubes, potatoes, onions, garlic, and bacon
  3. Cook until potatoes are done about 20 minutes
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Add kale and cream, heat through and serve

French Dip Sandwich

These are not your Mamas French Dip! I always wanted to use that phase, I don't know why it is such a silly phase. These may look  normal but they are much much more! And of course how can you have French Dip Sandwiches without homemade french fries! Yum my mouth is watering already!

1 Loaf French Bread
(I like to get the ones with seasonings on top, like "everything" or "garlic")
Deli Roast Beef 
(I get mine cut as thin as humanly possible)
Cream Cheese
Deli Sliced Cheese
(I like to use muenster and Swiss together)
1 Pkt. Au Jus dry mix
(I use Mcormick brand)

  1. Make Au Jus sauce use only 2 cups water instead of the 3 it calls for
  2. Cut your bread into 5 inch sections and cut in half. Scoop out some of the bread in the middle
  3. Spread a layer of cream cheese on one side of the bread. 
  4. Put a piece of cheese on both top and bottom of bread
  5. Toast Bread, not too much or it gets to crusty.
  6. Put as much meat as you want inside
  7. Yum Yum Yum, serve with Au Jus and home made french fries sprinkled with season salt.

Pear Almond Tart

This is so yummy! I love love love this dessert and it is very easy to make and a little unexpected.

1 Pie Crust, I buy mine
3/4 C. Sugar
1 Cube + 1T. Butter, room temperature
1T. Flour
2 Eggs
2 t. Almond Extract
1 sm. pkg. slivered almonds, toasted
1 Can Halved Pears

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375
  2. Cream together sugar, butter, flour
  3. Beat in eggs, almond extract, and almonds
  4. Pour into pie shell
  5. Slice each pear half into thin slices, keeping it joined together at the top so it fans out at the bottom. Lay four pear halves on top of pie. I put them so the corners of each pear meet in the center of the pie. 
  6. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes until pie is set up. (when you shake it the center doesn't jiggle)

Lettuce Wraps

This recipe comes from called Almost-Famous Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I have tried making lettuce wraps before and I'm just not satisfied with the taste especially after going through so much work. These on the other hand are very Scrumptious and worth all the time it takes! These taste most like P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps.

1 lg Egg White
1 T. Cornstarch
1 T. Vinegar
1 1/2 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breasts, 
diced very very small

2 Bundles Cellophane noodles
Oil for Frying

 Stir-Fry Sauce
1/3 C. Water
2 T. Oyster Sauce
1T. Hoisin Sauce
1 T Soy Sauce
1 T. Vinegar
1 t. Sesame oil
2 t. Cornstarch

Stir Fry
4 T. oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch Ginger, minced
4 Green onions, chopped
1 t.Salt
1 t.Sugar
1/2 lb Mushrooms
3/4 C. chestnuts, diced

Dipping Sauce
Soy Sauce
Chili paste

1. Prepare chicken: Whisk the egg white, cornstarch and vinegar in a bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. I know this seems like an unnecessary step but it make the chicken very tender. Try to dice the chicken as small as possible.

2. Make the stir-fry sauce: Whisk 1/3 cup water, the oyster, hoisin and soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil in a bowl, then whisk in the cornstarch until dissolved.

3. Fry the noodles: Pull the noodles apart into sections. Heat 3/4 inch  oil in a medium saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer registers 380 degrees F. Working in batches, press the noodles into the oil with a spatula until they puff, 5 to 10 seconds. Drain on paper towels. These are not necessary but definitely an added bonus to the taste
4. Make the stir-fry: Heat 2T. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet; when almost smoking, stir in the garlic, ginger, and minced scallions, then add salt and the sugar and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, water chestnuts and  stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the stir-fry sauce and chicken and cook 1 minute.
5.Make dipping sauce:  Mix soy sauce, chili paste, vinegar, and mustard together, add the amounts you want of each. Work with it and see what you like best.

Make a bed of noodles on a platter and top with the chicken mixture. Serve the noodles and stir-fry with lettuce leaves 

Coconut Ginger Crepes with Cream Cheese

Yummy does not do these justice, I had to refer to my thesaurus to find some adequate words.These are so

Appetizing, Scrumptious, Luscious, Delectable, Mouth-watering!

3 C. milk
2 C. Flour
4 Eggs
2 T. Oil
4 T. Sugar

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Hopefully you already know how to cook them. If not, you tube it.

Yummy Stuff
 1 can Coconut Milk
 2 inches Fresh Ginger, minced
8 oz.  Cream Cheese
1/4 C. Brown sugar
Homemade syrup (recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Put coconut milk and ginger in a pot, simmer for 4 minutes
  3. Get your crepes and put cream cheese in them and roll them up
  4. Put crepes in a pan top with coconut, ginger mixture
  5. Top with brown sugar
  6. Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top
  7.  Top with bananas, strawberries, and homemade syrup

1/2 C. Butter
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Milk
1 t. Lemon Juice
1 t. Vanilla Extract
1 t. Almond Extract
1/2 t. Baking Soda

  1. Add Everything except baking soda and extracts to a pot and boil together for 1 minute
  2. Add extracts, stir then add baking soda, and stir. It will become very foamy when you add the baking soda so make sure you have a medium to large pot, so it wont over flow.