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Hello Everyone!

I love to cook and bake.  I am certainly still a novice at the two, however, and so I frequently get recipes from Food Network.  Here are the recipes for a few of my favorite meals to make at home that are both economical and tasty.

French Onion Soup

Recipe Courtesy Tyler Florence and Food Network

Read Below for my own tips

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere

Directions

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn’t burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you’re ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Chelsea’s Tips: Use Swiss instead of Gruyere if you want to save a little dough.  Gruyere is amazing but also expensive.  I also use dried bay leaves and french thyme and it still tastes fantastic.

 

Olive and Pancetta Pasta

This one is courtesy of me.

Ingredients:

  • Angel Hair Spaghetti
  • A small tub of Brown Italian Olives (I find these at the olive bar at our local Marsh)
  • Olive Oil
  • A package of Pancetta from the deli (if you haven’t used it before it looks like a circular piece of bacon)
  • Italian Blend of Spices
  • Penzey’s Pasta Spice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parmesan

Directions:

Boil a large pot of water and add your pasta of choice (I bet this would be good with bow tie pasta as well).  Boil for about 8 minutes until cooked and then drain.  While pasta is cooking place the pancetta on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until nice a crispy (keep a good eye on them).  Add a generous amount of olive oil to your pasta along with the spices to taste.  Crumble up your pancetta and add along with the olives.   You could eat this as a main dish or as a side.  Also, if you don’t want to spring for pancetta, bacon or bacon bits do just fine.  Sprinkle a little bit of Parmesan on it for the final touch.  Enjoy!

 

Easy and Good Guacamole 

Courtesy of Secrets Maroma Beach (where Nick and I honeymooned)

Ingrediants:

This will make a small batch for two people.  If you want more just double it.

  • 2 avocados (make sure they are ripe-which means they feel a little soft and will pop out of their skin easily)
  • half of one small white onion chopped finely
  • half of one small tomato chopped small
  • lime juice (around 2-3 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Serrano pepper (if you want it to be spicy)

Directions:

Chop your onion up finely and add it to your bowl.  Pour your lime juice over your onions and let them sit while you complete the rest of the recipe.  Cut up your tomato and add it to the bowl.  Cut your avocados in half and add them the bowl as well.  If you want it to be spicy cut up a Serrano pepper and add that too.   Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.  Mash it all up with a fork and you have some really good and easy guacamole!  So much better than what you find in the restaurants.  I think it may be the lime.

 

Apple Pie

This is a new recipe I am going to try today.  Apples were on sale and Nick chose an apple pie over apple sauce.  This recipe is courtesy Paula Deen and Food Network.

Picture of Crunch Top Apple Pie Recipe

Ingredients

Dough and Filling:

  • Dough for a double crust 9-inch pie (homemade, frozen, or refrigerated)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash salt
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled, chopped cooking apples
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, chopped into small pieces

Crunch Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a 9-inch pie pan with half of dough. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Stir in apples, applesauce, and lemon juice. Spoon apple mixture into pie pan and dot with butter. Cut remaining crust into strips; arrange in a lattice design over top of pie. For crunch topping, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Using a fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over top of crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust and topping are golden brown.

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