Creamy Tomato Pesto Soup

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This soup is just divine!  I made it for lunch over the weekend and I thought Mr. Meat Eater was going to lick the pan when it was all gone.  Tomato is my go-to soup when I am craving soup and this recipe just kicks it up a notch.

It is super easy to make.  If you don’t have a stick blender, you can just eat it as is and it will be just as delicious.  I used San Marzano canned tomatoes because I like the way they taste the best but if you can’t find them, any crushed tomatoes will be just as good.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Creamy Tomato Pesto Soup

2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup diced onions
2 tbsps minced garlic
1 (28 oz) can whole peeled crushed tomatoes
1 pint heavy cream
6 tbsps basil pesto
3 tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent.

Add the tomatoes with their juice. Add the cream slowly while stirring, then add the pesto and cheese. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. If no stick blender is available, serve as is.

Serve with crackers or garlic bread if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Paws-itively Good Chow

Happy Cooking!

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Lobster Rolls

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One of the things I miss from when we lived on Cape Cod is cheap lobster.  Of course, we lived there in the 80’s so it might not be cheap anymore.   Lobster here in Virginia is never cheap.   I really, really miss lobster rolls so when I saw frozen lobster meat at BJ’s that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, I bought some just to make lobster rolls.

This is a no recipe recipe.  I just add ingredients until it tastes right ~ easy and delicious.

I did drain the lobster meat and then pressed it so the salad would not be watery from being frozen.

A Lobster Roll

A Lobster Roll 2

Lobster Rolls

Lobster meat, cut in chunks ~ I used about 1/2 pound
Mayonnaise
Celery, finely chopped ~ about half a large stalk
Chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
New England style hot dog rolls, sides buttered and toasted

In a medium bowl, mix the chopped lobster meat, celery,  and parsley. Add enough mayonnaise so it all stays together or add enough to your liking. Add salt and pepper and mix.

Stuff the hot dog rolls.

Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 rolls.

Happy Cooking!

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Baked Fish Sticks

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Don’t forget to comment HERE for a chance to win a copy of a Gooseberry Patch cookbook.  The giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight.

A Print Friendly Note:   I just noticed that on print friendly, if you hover over any part of the recipe you don’t want to print, it highlights and you can delete unnecessary parts.  I usually just print the recipe and delete all the other stuff.

We love fish sticks and I’m always looking for a made from scratch recipe that isn’t fried and I think I finally hit on one we really like.  I want to say I found this recipe in a Southern Living cookbook but I’m not positive.

I used cod in this recipe but you can use your favorite fish.  I like using a thicker fish and we like cod so that’s why I chose it.  The recipe is easy and I made my homemade tartar sauce and I also made cocktail sauce by mixing ketchup and horseradish to taste.

Baked Fish Sticks

Breading:
8 bread slices ~ I did not cut off the crusts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsps grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Fish:
Cooking spray
1 tbsp canola oil
2 lbs cod or other white fish such as flounder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup milk ~ I used 2%
Breading mix

Mix all breading ingredients together and set aside.

Spray a jelly-roll pan with cooking spray then coat the bottom of the pan with the canola oil. I used a brush to spread it over the bottom of the pan.

Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt on each side and cut into strips.

Beat eggs, egg whites, and milk in a shallow pie plate until well blended.

Place the breading mix in a ziplock bag.

Dip the fish into the egg/milk mixture then add to breading bag and shake carefully until coated. Place prepared fish on prepared pan. Repeat with all the fish strips.

Bake at 400º for 15-20 minutes or until breaded fish strips are golden.

Serve immediately with your favorite sauces.

Makes 6-8 servings

Happy Cooking!

Garden Minestrone from Fresh from the Farmstand

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Here is another recipe from Gooseberry Patch‘s Fresh from the Farmstand cookbook.  Don’t forget to sign up for my giveaway of a copy of this cookbook!  To enter, go to  THIS POST!  Entries on any other posts or on Facebook will not be counted!

I LOVE minestrone soup!  I also have a terrible habit of NOT reading a recipe through until I’m ready to start dinner.  I read the ingredients and that’s as far as I go.  I don’t see myself changing any time soon so I spend some time trying to figure out how I can change it up to work for me.  And that’s what happened with this recipe.  I didn’t start with dried beans so I used two cans of navy beans, rinsed.  My celery was so limp, I couldn’t stand to touch it so I threw it out and subbed fresh green beans.  Mr. Meat Eater refuses to eat anything with cabbage in it so I subbed spinach.  In place of the water used to cook the dried beans, I used chicken broth.  I also used 2 cans of diced tomatoes with the juice since tomatoes at this time of year are awful. I also threw in some oregano and basil. Soooooooo…same recipe?  I followed the recipe just using my substitutions.  You can make any recipe your own and this is just a good example of it.  This particular recipe is so good and that makes it easy to add your own ingredients.  My photo isn’t very good either, sigh ~ the white stuff is Parmesan which I have to have with minestrone.

The recipe was submitted to Gooseberry Patch by Kay Marone of Des Moines, Iowa.  Here is her recipe the way it is in the book.

Garden Minestrone

2 cups dried navy beans
10 cups cold water
2 to 3 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cups ditalini, uncooked
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large soup pot over high heat, cover beans with water. Bring to a boil; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain; rinse beans well and return to pot. Add 10 cups cold water; bring to a boil. Stir in salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, saute onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes or until onion is lightly golden. Add this mixture along with the tomatoes to the simmering beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for another hour.

Stir in cabbage, zucchini, pasta and parsley. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with Parmesan, if desired.

Makes 8-10 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Spicy Black Beans and Rice and a NEW Gooseberry Cookbook Giveaway!

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The Giveaway is now over!!!

A BIG thank you to all who have sent me good wishes regarding my bout with gout.  Yes, I still have it and am on my 3rd medication.  I HOPE this one does the trick!

A new Gooseberry Patch giveaway starts today ~ the cookbook is called Rush-Hour Recipes and I will be cooking from it this week!  Giveaway rules will be at the end of this post for a copy of this cookbook.

Mr. Meat Eater has spent lots of time in the Caribbean ~ probably at least as much as he has spent here with me.  He really loves Caribbean-type food, including beans and rice.  When I saw this recipe I knew he would love it because it doesn’t have bunches of what he considers objectionable veggies in it.  I made it today for his lunch and he loved it.   I’ll have to take his word for it because I don’t like beans and rice so I didn’t even try it.  I did have some leftover so I am going to freeze it and next week I will add a little chicken and make tortillas with it.

I used brown rice instead of white and petite diced tomatoes since that’s what I had on hand.  Other than that, I followed the recipe.

The recipe was submitted to Gooseberry Patch by Aubrey Nygren-Earl of Taylorsville, UT.

Spicy Black Beans and Rice

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup long-cooking rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1 (15 1/2 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add uncooked rice and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the beans and diced tomatoes and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.

Makes 8 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

I have one copy of this cookbook to give away.  To enter the drawing please reply to this post and this post only.  For another chance to win the cookbook, please “LIKE” Gooseberry Patch on Facebook and let me know you have in your post.  If you have already “liked” them, just say so in your post.

The drawing will be held on December 23 and I will mail the cookbook after Christmas.   If I pick a winner and do not hear from the winner by December 27, I will pick a new winner.

Any questions, please send me an email ~ a_recipe_a_day at yahoo dot com.

Happy Cooking!

Easy Baked Fish

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This is one of those recipes that is so easy, it’s embarrassing.  There really is no recipe ~ just a method that you can use on any white fish.  In this picture, I used flounder.  Feel free to change up the ingredients to suit you.

Easy Baked Fish

1 lb white fish ~ use your favorite
4 tbsps butter, melted
3/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp or more garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350º. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and garlic powder. Dip the filets in the butter and then in the crumb mixture, coating the entire fish.

Place in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs and butter over the top.

Bake until fish flakes easily, about 25 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Three Tomato Pasta

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What an excellent pasta recipe!  The original recipe calls for goat cheese ~ I’m still not that thrilled with goat cheese so I subbed in mozzarella but if you love goat cheese, by all means use it.  The only thing I didn’t have on hand for this recipe was the sun-dried tomatoes so this is almost a pantry recipe.  I also didn’t use the fresh parsley because I didn’t have any so I use a few shakes of dried parsley.

The recipe came from a cookbook that I bought for my DD for Christmas but I didn’t remember buying it for her last Christmas, too.  So it became MY cookbook ~ The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook from Cooking Light .

Three Tomato Pasta

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped and drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
12 ounces penne, cooked
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella or 1/2 cup goat cheese
chopped fresh parsley, if desired
chopped fresh basil, if desired

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, saute for a minute or two being careful not to let the garlic burn (if it does, throw it out and start over). Add sun-dried tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Mixture will reduce.

Prepare penne while the sauce cooks. Drain, place pasta in same pot that you cooked it in and add the sauce, cheese, parsley and basil, if using. Mix lightly and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Cooking!